Malphite Build Guide by Shadow Palm

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Shadow Palm

Tank Malphite: Bad Company

Shadow Palm Last updated on August 31, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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When you play Malphite correctly, to your enemies, you will be nothing other than Bad Company. You will be the tank that makes them piss their pants in fear. With this guide, you will tank with the best while still having the damage output to make you a top priority target. And that's why they call me Bad Company. . . I can't deny.

What is that makes a tank?

Well, a tank can soak up tons of damage, provide lots of cc so the enemy team cannot escape, and, most of all: a tank will lessen or remove most damage the enemy team tries to output. To do this, most tanks have disables, slows, damage reducers, and taunts. Malphite has no taunts, but he does have an AoE disable Unstoppable Force, a slow/chasing ability Seismic Shard, a damage reducer (which also increases his damage) Brutal Strikes, and an ability which slows nearby enemy attack speed as well Ground Slam.
Tanks will also risk themselves to save an ally. (It is better that the tank die in a fight than the AD carry, or AP anti-carry)

With this build, I grab plenty of mana and regen to greatly increase damage output in order to make you a constant threatening target in order to keep your opponents on their toes, or in their graves.

*Song is Bad Company, by Five Finger Death Punch. Enjoy!

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Summoner Skills

I grab Fortify and Teleport. (My personal favorites for tanks)

Teleport is awesome on tanks, because it allows you to jump in from anywhere on the map to save your ally who is in a tight spot. It is almost like having Shen's ult Stand United, not necessarily quite as good, but it is still awesome. This also allows you to keep a global presence in order to be where you need to be, when you need to be there.

Fortify is a necessary tank spell, for a few reasons: it gives you early game minion damage to help with early farming, and it let's you Defend a tower from anywhere on the map as well as pick up an occasional assist (If the other team will tower dive for a kill early game).

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Masteries, Runes, and Skill order


I go 0/21/9 grabbing damage reduction and dodge as well as the hp regen from defense, and bonus xp from utility for early laning.


With my runes, I grab MS quints. These help immensely with mobility and chasing throughout the game. I grab dodge seals. These give a good bit of defense; giving you that much more dodge. I grab CDR per/lvl Glyphs so that I can spam just a little bit more. I grab Mpen marks because they help with early damage and a little bit late game as well.

Skill Order

My priority is R>Q>W>E.
Granite Shield gives you a shield (10% of your total hp) which is great anti harass, and lets you have a nice bit of defense before you even start losing health during any fight.
Seismic Shard is amazing harass early game and let's you chase down anyone throughout the game, stealing movement speed from the target. It also lets you get away from ganks from lvl 1 to 18.

Brutal Strikes allows you minimize harass from champions like Caitlyn or Urgot by giving you a temporary % boost to your armor. This also gives you a % increase of damage, making it ideal when you get a few hits on tower, or during a team fight. This ability makes Manamune much more potent in this build, and the 60% splash never hurt anyone (not on your team at least). For these reasons, Brutal Strikes is very important to level up.

Ground Slam has nice things to it, but you only need to grab it once at level 4 because you get most of these stats from only level 1. Once you have it, just save it until after you pop your Brutal Strikes to get a bit more oomph. It is always nice for quickly clearing creep waves as well, giving cheap stacks on your Manamune.

Unstoppable Force is one of the best initiators of a skill. You jump into the fight stunning all in an area (and dealing pretty decent damage as well) giving you an easy shot with your Seismic Shard on the squishiest, Brutal Strikes for splash and armor, and Ground Slam for nice damage and attack speed reduction all by the time they hit the ground. If your team has half the intelligence of a snail, they will be right behind you and the fight will finish quickly.

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Item Build / Order

Ninja Tabi makes for a great set of boots. Giving you armor for survivability and dodge chance for the damage red. and occasional speed boost thanks to Nimbleness . If the enemy team has a large amount of magic damage, or loads of crowd control, then an appropriate alternative is Mercury's Treads.

Manamune gives you everything you need to become the threatening tank you need to be in order to make yourself a target. With it, you will have a decent amount of mana regen, a large pool of mana (both of which allow you to spam your abilities like a madman and keep your opponents back or dead), and lastly, it gives you about 65 damage. Nothing on The Bloodthirster, but it is enough, considering this brings you to 182, and Brutal Strikes temporarily bumps this up to a hefty 250 a hit with 66% splash. Great for hitting towers and Ashes.

Warmog's Armor gives you a hefty supply of HP and a good amount of Regen. By itself, it boost up your Granite Shield by 130hp, and gives you regen to recuperate from a fight without needing to recall.

Force of Nature is going to add a nice bit of Magic Resist to protect from mages, but also gives a nice movement speed boost and awesome regen (By itself, it is giving you over 100 hp/5).

Randuin's Omen is your prime support item, as popping this in a team fight right after Brutal Strikes, it gives an AoE slow for about 4 seconds on both attack and movement speed. This right after your ult can screw the other team over during said team fight. On top of the active, the large chunk of armor and good deal of health make it great. The passives (Cdr and slows on being hit) are also great.

The last item is mostly your choice (depending on how the game is going at this point). If the other team is ad/as heavy and for some reason is able to get through your defenses, you will want to grab Frozen Heart in order to passively slow attack speeds, and get some armor and a little damage.
However, in the event of you needing no more survivability then a perfect item to grab is Atma's Impaler. This gives you less armor (about 1/2) and doesn't reduce attack speed, but will boost your Damage by about 70 dmg (+100 with Brutal Strikes). Often, this will be the better choice, but keep your team in mind when making the decision.

Alternative items which I usually don't need/want

Thornmail-- Good item, but you stack attack speed reduction, and don't have a taunt. Other items / abilities of yours would undermine the damaging effect of Thornmail.
Guardian Angel-- This works well, but I usually don't die unless a fight went bad enough for this item not to make a difference.
Leviathan-- Great item if you are getting lots of kills and assists (that is of course if you like stack items, which I do not) if you are going to get it, the sooner the better.

Build Order

If the other team has lots of harass, you will want to make a decision between Ruby Crystal or Doran's Shield. Ruby Crystal is the best option, as it will speed up your build time, but Doran's Shield will make early laning much easier.
If you get Ruby Crystal, grab the recipe for Heart of Gold and boots of speed if you can when you first recall, and then move for Tear of the Goddess. Grabbing it early is essential so that you can fill it up as soon as you can. Once you have it, use your abilities as much as you can within reason, clearing creeps and pushing lanes with Brutal Strikes and Ground Slam; they have low mana costs and can be dropped in base for a free 8 mana, and can be used en route to lane without making much of a dent in your mana pool.

From here, you want to finish boots (whichever you will grab, make the decision now). If the other team is heavily AD/AS, build Warden's Mail. If they have large amounts of Magic damage, shoot right for Force of Nature. If they have balanced damage output, go for Warmog's Armor. Once that is finished, build Manamune and finish the rest of your items (saving the recipe for Randuin's Omen for last if you can to keep the gold gen from Heart of Gold). Now you want to build your last item, and you are done with your build! YAY!!!! Now go out there and make heads roll.

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Early laning

It is ideal if you lane with anyone who has good harass (such as Caitlyn, Casseopeia, Garen, Twitch), because your Seismic Shard will keep anyone in place long enough to take some heavy hits even from level 1. It is best to stay in the bushes and pop out with a Seismic Shard to keep the other guys out of range of experience. If you can do this, even missing out on gold will be well worth it. Once you are level 6 and they are level 3, getting kills or assists will become incredibly easy. Whether you can or cannot, it is always important to push the lane, and get your Tear of the Goddess when you can, as it will largely increase your damage output, and help you gear up for late-game at little cost.


Once you are around level 11, jumping into another lane with an Unstoppable Force and Seismic Shard will allow you to grab lots of kills/ assists. At this point, you will want to save your ult for either a guaranteed kill or two, or to save one of your allies. At this point, grabbing blue buff (you can do it alone, but it takes a little time) if you can will not go amiss. This will increase your spamming greatly and allow you to keep your ult up whenever it is needed. For the most part however, during this part of the game, you want to help push people out of lane (unless you can get a kill) and then push towers. Keep the other team on their toes.

Team Fights

Stick with your team. I cannot emphasize this enough. When the opportunity to ult into a group of 3-5 enemies presents itself to your team, and you are busy pushing bot lane alone, then you are S.O.L. So stick with your team and have the other team calling you Bad Company when you jump in and stop their escape from your AD carry. Your decent amount of CDR will also allow you to throw down your Seismic Shard often enough to prevent people from escaping, so keep on anyone on the run so you can either pick up a kill, or let your team catch up.
After your full combo is up in a team fight, immediately start attacking the AD carry. Because of your Ground Slam, you need to keep on them at all times so you can constantly slow attack speed and deal out damage (which will be hitting all surrounding enemies as well).

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All in all, Malphite makes a mean tank that can press oil (a painful process in-case you didn't know) out of almost any opponent, and will keep his team alive. When played right, he also is a force to be reckoned with. Malphite is nothing but Bad Company to the enemy team until the day he dies (If he ever does).

Enjoy the build, feel free to vote, critique, and smash faces.