Malphite Build Guide by sgamerdk
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.
Malphite is one of the quintessential tanks of League of Legends. His kit rewards and synergizes with defensive items and his abilities serve to initiate team fights and disrupt the enemy team while remaining in the fray. In laning phase, Malphite has a ranged harass ability, Seismic Shard, which allows him to poke, chase, escape and even last-hit from range as long as he has the mana to do so. Ground Slam is a very effective tool for trading with enemy AD champions, especially those reliant on attack speed, and can push minion waves rather quickly. Malphite's passive, Granite Shield, allows him to take a lot of punishment in lane without being forced to recall or killed. After he reaches level 6, Malphite gains some 1v1 kill potential, but becomes an amazing asset with an allied jungler gank. Unstoppable Force is one of the most powerful CC abilities in the game and can set up some very easy kills with the help of a jungler.
Later in the game, Malphite serves the classic tank and initiator role. By this time he will have several defensive items that allow him to deal respectable damage and absorb a lot more. He can initiate a fight with Unstoppable Force
Crystalline Flask gives you a nice mix of health and mana sustain that refreshes upon returning to base, making it a very cost-efficient sustain tool in easy to moderate matchups. You can choose to limit your sustain by buying a Sight Ward in order to avoid early ganks, or you can go for three Health Potions for higher sustain, perhaps against a jungler with weaker early game ganks like Malphite.
If your opponent deals almost entirely physical damage and can be shut down with a lot of early armor, Cloth Armor might be a good option for a starting item. 15 extra armor combined with 5 Health Potions gives you a ton of effective health for early laning. This start is really strong against powerful early game AD laners like Xin Zhao, Riven and Fiora. You can build the Cloth Armor straight into a Warden's Mail or Ninja Tabi pretty quickly, so it won't go to waste.
You can also opt to go with 11 potions (mixed health and mana, I find 7 health and 4 mana to be effective) and a Sight Ward in matchups where you need a lot of sustain. This is the safest starting option, but spends all of your money on consumables.
As a solo top, your job is to get as much gold and experience as possible, zone/kill your opponent and make sure you don't waste too much of your jungler's time. If you manage not to fall behind your lane opponent (in gold and experience), you hold your tower for a reasonable amount of time and you don't force your jungler to babysit you the entire laning phase, you've probably done a decent job. Winning a lane requires more than just careful play though, you have to harass appropriately, fight for a CS advantage and control your opponents decisions as much as possible. Malphite works great as a counterpick to a lot of AD laners, so abusing that advantage is often key to putting your team in a good spot for mid game.