Malphite Build Guide by BurningCactusRage
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.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my AD Malphite guide. AD Malphite may not seem serious or viable, but it is surprisingly good, and from my experience, superior even to AP Malphite. This is in fact, not a troll build. It seems silly and your teammates may laugh at first, but after seeing your damage output they might think again.
In this guide, I will explain what AD Malphite's strengths are and what makes it usable and cover his weaknesses as well, while trying to keep things short and to the point.
Pros and Cons (Why AD? Why not AP or tank?)
Before I am bombarded with questions, I will get this out of the way right now. AP Malphite has two very large problems: his ratios aren't good enough to justify building AP (his entire combo deals a whopping 180% of his AP). Granted, 2 of the skills are AOE, but even then it's ineffective. Also, early game he can't spam spells as well since his only reliable poke is his Q, and any top laner with lifesteal will immediately negate that.
Tank Malphite is good. However, he has next to no damage and during jungler ganks, all he can do is CC the laner and hope that the jungler kills him. In teamfights he's somewhat more effective, but his only role is to try to knock up everyone possible, E everyone, Q somebody, and survive long enough to shoot off more CC. And, the only two "tank scalings" he has is his passive and his E.
AD Malphite, on the other hand, has many strengths:
-Naturally tanky stats
-You get sustain through lifesteal
-With Hydra and your W, you do tons of AOE damage
-W is a steroid that increases your damage (and armor) by a whopping 40%
-Passive allows you to win trades
-E is great against auto attackers due to AA slow and Q is a great gap closer - without AP the utility is still strong
-Your ultimate can win entire fights and is probably one of the best initiations in the game
Cons to playing AD Malphite:
-Means you don't have a tank top lane (remedied if the jungler can go tanky)
-Not nearly as tanky as a normal tank build
-Not as strong against AP casters who can poke him down until he gets ult.
Flash is arguably the best spell in the game. It's an escape over a wall, it'll save you from that gank, it'll let you get that last kill to ace the team... An obvious choice for virtually anyone.
Ignite is good on you since you have a high kill potential as Malphite. Good for early game aggression and absolutely destroys anyone with heals or lifesteal or anything similar.
Teleport is also great too: equally as valuable or sometimes even more so. It lets you get back into lane quicker so you can continue to CS, or you can teleport to other lanes to grab objectives like Dragon or to take turrets, countergank, etc.
I wouldn't recommend taking anything else. Flash, and your choice of teleport or ignite. That simple.
Skills and Sequence
If against an autoattacker of any kind, take E first.
Otherwise, take your Q. The speed steal will be more helpful.
Passive: Granite Shield. Very straightforward, very helpful. Since you don't build health it won't be as helpful late game but nevertheless is useful. Early on, you can win trades with this: engage when you have it up, and they have to take out that extra 10% of your hp. Then, after the fight is over, go back to last hitting, don't get harassed, and bam! You have another 10% of your health, regenerated for free. The regeneration time scales with level, and is later reduced to 8 and finally 6 seconds.
Q: Seismic Shard. Point and click spell that instantly steals the target's movement speed. This is great in chases since you can hit the Q and you will catch up quickly because you now are moving much faster and their speed is crippled. The slow/speed up scales, so that's to keep in mind whether you want to level this first or your E.
W: Brutal Strikes: This is the reason this build works. Quick breakdown: passively enemies within 200 range of you take 30% scaling to 62% of your AD as well. Paired with your Ravenous Hydra you practically are auto-attacking multiple people at the same time! The active gives you a 20% scaling to 40% AD AND armor steroid. Once you've hit late game you become an absolute monster. You deal absolutely ridiculous damage (AOE, too) and you become a force to be reckoned with. And, the icing on the cake: only 25 mana. Never feel afraid to activate this skill.
E: Ground Slam. Strangely enough this actually scales off of your armor as well as AP. But the important part to this build is the attack speed slow. Scales from 30-50% for 3 seconds, making it very difficult for any melee fighter to beat Malphite in a duel. Great when chained with ultimate too.
R: Unstoppable Force: This ultimate is arguably the best teamfighting ultimate in the game. Terrifyingly fast speed of 1500 plus your movement speed makes in nearly impossible to dodge. Relatively long range of 1000 units. 1.5 second knock-up (Your Yasuo will love you forever if you hit the 5-man). Even if you lost lane hard this ultimate's utility is undeniable. You can turn entire teamfights with this.
Now, how does this fit in on an AD Malphite? Simple. 1) Ult in and smash as many people as you can into the air. 2) Immediately follow up with your E and Ravenous Hydra's active. 3) Begin hitting the squishiest member, and your hydra passive plus your W passive will hit everyone else too. 4) Penta-kill.
But seriously, I can not praise this ult enough. Great gap-closer and beautiful in teamfights. Literally the only way to stop you is death. It is awesome.
Start off with the standard AD start, Doran's Blade and a Health Potion. If you really like, you could start with a Long Sword but the trade off of 2 extra potions and that little bit of AD isn't usually worth the health and lifesteal that the blade gives.
Your first actual item should always be Tiamat or Vampiric Scepter to build into Ravenous Hydra. You need this item. The stats are too good to pass up: 75 attack damage, 12% life steal, some health regen, passive synergy with your W and the active are so great I would not get any other item (besides maybe boots) before this. For boots, Berserker's Greaves should be a clear choice. If you want to add the furor enchantment, it makes you very very fast due, especially with the Rage passive on your next item...
Trinity Force! Trinity's spell blade makes Malphite's initial hit hurt a ton, and lets you do tons of damage. Try to keep either your E or Q up so you can proc it a second time in any fight. Rage is also a great passive, especially with Furor. You can stick to targets extremely well with it.
For your third item, I usually take The Bloodthirster since it provides three helpful things: Lots of AD, lots of lifesteal, and the overshield. The overshield is actually useful on you since you will be in the center of the heat and it will also sit on top of your passive shield, which is at least helpful.
Your last three items can be basically anything that gives you AD and maybe one attack speed item. Good candidates include:
Essence Reaver: Why is this good? 80 attack damage is good. 10% lifesteal isn't bad either. 10% CDR will help you use more ults and have more Triforce procs available. The passive isn't anything crazy, but it will keep you from ever running out of mana and for that it's ok. Late game that's not a huge worry though, mostly the hard stats are good.
Infinity Edge: 80 attack damage, as always, is very welcome. The critical strikes will amplify your damage too, after buying this getting another crit item might not be too bad. Just note other crit items don't give as much AD and don't benefit from your W steroid.
Maw of Malmortius: The 60 AD is pretty good to have, and this item is a must for teams with lots of magic damage. 40 MR goes a fairly long way later on, and the lifeline passive might actually just save your life. Plus you get spell immunity so that's good too. The other passive is okay, if you're at 50% hp that's 25 extra attack damage so it definitely counts, just keep in mind you're still a little bit squishy. Good item even if they only have 1 good caster.
Last Whisper: Sure, it's only 40 AD. But, 35% armor penetration? It makes for a great item if the other team decides to start stacking armor. Definitely good to get even if only a last item.
Blade of the Ruined King: This item is good, but not fantastic. You get good life steal and attack speed, but not a lot of AD in return. The passive is good and the actives are good, however, so keep in mind, if the other team is tanky, this could be your go-to item. If you get this, don't get a second attack speed item.
Zephyr in all honesty is honestly a weird item. AD, attack speed, movement speed, and CDR? Plus Tenacity? The 25 AD is okay, 50% attack speed is definitely great. The MS, CDR, and tenacity are mostly just nice bonuses, nothing here that's critical. If you get this don't get another attack speed item. Some people will recommend replacing your boots with this if you get full build... And it's not all a bad idea. You lose around 10 MS, but when you have Rage from trinity (and furor or maybe alacrity) it really isn't that much in return for the stats you get. So, if things get that late yes, replace boots with this.
Youmuu's Ghostblade So the 30 AD is okay, but Ghostblade offers a lot more than that. 20 armor pen lets you shred squishies, and the crit chance is great with an IE. The CDR is a nice bonus, but the active is awesome. Activating this immediately after an ult can takes your awesome damage and makes it even more powerful.
If your team yells at you to go tanky, just stop after getting Triforce or your Bloodthirster and get tank items instead. Randuin's, Sunfire, Spirit Visage... It won't be as fun or strong but there are situations where it may be more practical.
I hope you enjoyed this guide! I personally think AD Malphite is one of the funnest builds in the game and I hope you find so too. If you read this guide and tried it out, let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear that I inspired you. If you have any good criticism let me know in the comments and I'll try to respond to you. Wish you luck on the Fields of Justice!