Mordekaiser Build Guide by PapaTang0
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
A lot of inspiration for this guide comes from Frish who initially came up with this concept for Mordekaiser. The original build and even more tips can be found here:
This is a first attempt at a guide, so forgive any discrepancies.
There once was a time when Mordekaiser dominated in nearly every game he was in. He used to be very competitive in both Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline. Then his passive was nerfed to make him markedly less effective for some time in the roles he played. After said nerf, He ceased to be my main champion of choice and I moved on. I have only recently started testing these builds based on what I used in the past and looking at what people have been doing with him at present. This is my collection so far, and I plan on noting all my finds here. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
Why Magic Pen?
Simple answer. Mordekaiser's abilities scale horribly with AP. The solution utilized here is to not make you stronger, but make your opponents weaker. Any MR that is accumulated over the course of the game is overcome by all the magic pen you stack. Thus dealing more damage, getting more shield for your passive and increasing your ability to harass without pumping tons of gold into AP, also making you quite tanky as well since magic pen items give boosts to MR and HP.
The point is to give the opposing team one of two options:
1 buy one MR item, ignoring your stacking of magic pen then getting curb stomped in team fights
2 Notice that you're stacking magic pen, buy more MR items and force them to buy less offensive items, making the AD on your team start to rape face.
Marks are a given. We need Magic pen so Marks of Insight are a must
As for Seals. This is a relative preference imo. I like the health per lvl, but Seals of Vigor can add some good HP regen when you spam abilities, and armor could be nice vs. ad champs.
I try to stay balanced with my defense as I solo top, so I like to run Glyphs of Shielding. Although I could see glyphs of focus being used for more aggressive players.
Quintessences: 2x Swiftness and 1x Insight. Insight for magic pen, and swiftness since Mordekaiser is a bit slow. I have seen a lot of people use Spell vamp quintessences for extra sustain as well, but it's not my cup of tea. He feels too squishy early on and is easily targeted by AOE abilities w/o Movement speed.
I focus on Magic pen, but there is a lot of use from the utility tree. Most of all, Mastermind is needed to be able to pull off the ignite + ulti combo more frequently. So we pump 9 points into offense gaining boosts to ghost and ignite spells, give a little extra AP, CDR which is great for our spamming, and that little extra Magic Pen from Arcane Knowledge.
Then to the Utility tree:
Less time spent dead and faster recalls, since this is all we can benefit from (unless you want to use Flash instead of Ghost). More movement speed to dodge those abilities. Max out awareness and Intelligence for increased EXP and CDR (now at 10%). One point may be put to somewhere else as preference. I like the spell vamp. Then of course mastermind to refresh ignite faster.
Ignite should always be used with Mordekaiser since it works so well with his ult. As for the second, once again, preference. I like Ghost. Others like Flash. Some like a more offensive option and use Exhaust. Teleport may be used to quickly return to lane. Aside from that, There are no real viable choices for Mordekaiser
Items... anticipate and modify
The only difference between the two builds here is item order. But how do you know what to buy? you should look before you even start the game. Look for the champion that is most likely going to be in your lane. Is he AD or AP? Is the team as a whole more AD or AP? The opponent with the highest kills, is he/she AP or AD?
Did you die? DON'T SIMPLY SIT AND WAIT TO RESPAWN! Look at that little box you can open to show you what majority of damage was dealt so you can counter appropriately.
Always buy a ward or two for your lane as well, since you will be taking out all the minions to maintain your shield early on, making enemy ganks very easy if you have no wards.
Vs. AD: Doran's Shield - Great all around. Armor, health, and hp regen. everything we need is here to start off.
Vs. AP: Regrowth Pendant and 1x health pot - great sustain and allows for more spam of siphon of destruction for farm and harass.
1st Trip Back: (about 900 gold)
Vs. AD: Boots and Regrowth pendant - Mobility and increased sustain
Vs. AP: Boots and 2x amplifying tome - extra power in your abilities and mobility to avoid those AOE attacks.
2nd Trip Back: (About 2000 gold vs AD, about 1100 vs AP)
Vs. AD or AP: Hextech revolver and Sorcerer's boots - getting some more sustain with spell vamp as well as mobility and magic pen to cut that MR down from your opponent.
3rd Trip Back: The counter buy (About 800 Gold)
By this point whether you started with Vs. AP or AD, you should have an idea as to what is going on with the opposing team in terms of what the majority of damage dealt is and you need to make a choice: Chain vest for AD, or Negatron Cloak for AP.
If there is a relatively even spread of both AD and AP, and you can't seem to get headway with the counter you chose, purchase the other as well since you will be using it later on anyway.
4th Trip Back: (About 1500 gold)
The underestimated Haunting Guise - Adds to both your offense (magic pen and a little AP to boot) and defensive (extra health) needs. Great item for Mordekaiser. (if you bought a Doran's Shield, sell it to make way for this item)
5th Trip Back: (About 1300 gold)
Will of the Ancients - Spell vamp and AP to you and your team mates. Better sustain and increased power.
Complete your Counter Buy: (About 1900 gold)
Sunfire Cape - More HP and added damage with creeping death
Thornmail - For those attack speed junkies like Tryndamere, Master Yi, Xin Zhao, etc...
Abyssal Scepter - combines perfectly with your Magic Pen and gives a little boost to your abilities
Force of Nature - Increased HP regen and Mobility to stay in lane longer. Normally used if there is increased difficulty against the opponent.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - slow those escape artists, add more devistation to your abilities as well as more health for tankiness.
The Second Counter Buy:
By this stage, a normal balanced team will usually be leveled up and nearing their item build completion, so a more even spread of damage is to be expected on a balanced opposing team. So whatever you didn't counter in mid game is countered here. If the team is heavy on one type of damage, then buy the other defensive option that wasn't purchased.
Vs. AD: Abyssal Scepter or Force of Nature (for same reasons as stated in mid game)
Vs. AP: Sunfire Cape or Thornmail (for same reasons as stated in mid game). Randuin's Omen is a great option here too as it allows for even more slowing power.
If I'm doing particularly well, I buy a void staff for some offense.
Of course, if you finish your build, always buy Elixirs! Green doesn't have much use on Mordekaiser though. FYI don't know if I'm just out of the loop, but you can use elixirs once your inventory is full. Just buy the Elixir while alive and it is automatically applied to you.
Mace of Spades [Q]
Decent skill, but requires melee range and and only hits a maximum of four targets. I place one point in at lvl 4 and max it last.
Creeping Death [W]
Not only acts as a mini sunfire cape, but adds MR and can be cast on any ally, including minions. I put a poitn in this at lvl 2 and max it third.
Siphon of Destruction [E]
Mordekaiser's bread and butter move. Use this ability as much and as fast as possible when near large groups of minions. Try to hit the opposing laner as well. The reach this ability has is quite long, so farming at a distance is very easy, and makes mid game harass very simple. Start with this ability and level it up second.
Children of the Grave [R]
The ultimate. 1st priority goes to this ability. Used as a last hit or in a devastating combo with ignite to give you a ghost whose auto attacks charge your shield and heal you when you have Hextech revolver or WotA. Therefore one would be wise to target a champion that is an AD carry if possible.
The objective is to farm and harass as much as possible. When using siphon of destruction, hit as many targets as possible. Attempt to get the opponent hit as well. Your abilities should be used frequently to keep your passive shield up and prevent your opponents from poking you.
Creeping death can be used on minions, so before you approach a wave, you may want to cast it on a minion to start charging your shield, or on yourself to get that little boost of armor and MR. Ward your lane to avoid ganks and you should do fine. Make sure you have enough money for a ward or two on your trips back. Once you hit lvl 6, it gets real.
Once your Ult is attained, let the enemy push so he cant run. hit them occasionally during this to lower his HP. Once his health is low enough (around half. preferably less of course) run in, activate your shield, hit him with a siphon and mace of spades, then ult/ignite him. By this time they will be running like a wimp, but luckily this enough time for your siphon to be ready to go, so hit your siphon, and there's your ghost Start taking out that turret with your new buddy.
If you can't seem to kill your opponent in lane, and they always just get away to return to base, you should be ecstatic like getting a kill. The more they need to retreat, the less exp they get and the lower their CS will be in the long run, making them less of an actual threat. Mordekaiser can be a great zoner as well.
Team Fight Strategy
While everyone is waiting to start a fight, you should be spamming your siphon and abilities to get your shield up as much as possible to soak up damage. Once a fight is initiated, Your job is to single out the one person that helps with your ult, their AD carry. Attack and ult/ignite them when their health is low. Then once you have your ghost, you essentially become nearly invincible since your ghost, along with your abilities, charges your shield for a ridiculous amount. From there, it's just clean up.
The only exception to this strategy is to focus the champion that has become the greatest threat.
Be wary for champions that utilize revive or invulnerability skills, like Zilean or Kayle. once your ult is cast, they may counter with their ult as well, so wait until they popped theirs before you commit.