Build Guide by wwwwwwwww

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 wwwwwwwww

Ways to build a good Malphite

wwwwwwwww Last updated on February 6, 2011
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Ideal: End stats-Build Order


Necessary builds

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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 15

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Build Explanations

The first team build is the example of the type of build that you'd like to be able to build in a game as Malphite. The Left champion is an example set up to show more accurate end game stats. The one on the right shows build order.
You will rarely be able to build it in a real game, but from my experience it is a good high damage, tanking build. Against mostly physical teams, you should be able to copy this build almost exactly.

The second team Malphite is more like the type of build that you will have to build in most games so you don't die as often.

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Strengths and weaknesses

Ground slam gains great aoe damage from armor
Grounslam weakens auto-attackers.
Brutal Strikes gives Malphite's auto-attacks some aoe damage.
Shard is great damage even without ap.

Needs to build defensive items to be tough, even with passive he can be squishy without them.
Needs armor for groundslam to do good damage.
Passive is heavily reliant on damage mitigation and health.
Low base health regen.
Low base mana & mana regen, high mana costs.
.5 second casts on both Ground slam and Seismic Shard

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Skills and proper use of skills

Granite Shield --Passive Malphite gets 10% of his health as a shield, shield is replenished when Malphite goes 8 seconds without taking damage.

Proper use of Granite Shield

  • Get armor and magic resist to increase the durability of your shield.
  • Get some health to increase the absorbed damage of your shield.
  • Try to avoid damage while Granite shield is down so it can reset. Malphite's health regen is lower than most similar champions by a small, but significant amount.

Seismic Shard --Q Malphite sends a shard of the earth through the ground toward the enemy target stealing 14/17/20/23/26% speed for 4 seconds. Deals 70/120/170/220/270(+.6) 625 range. Cost 70/75/80/85/90 mana. 8 second cd. -High single target damage.

Proper use of Shard
  • Harrassment: be mindful of your mana.
  • Running away: be sure to slow the fastest one at the safest time.
  • Damage: Shard does high base damage, but it is single target and has only a .6 ap ratio. I would not recommend getting ap if you don't max out your cooldown reduction. Shard moves slow, and depending on how fast the target moves and its distance it can take between .5 and 5 seconds for shard to reach the target and deal damage. If your allies are all focusing one target and are going to kill it anyway, please use shard on a different one or it's a waste of mana.

Brutal Strike --W Malphite hits with such excessive force that he deals damage to units around his target. 30/38/46/54/62% damage to nearby targets. Active: increases his damage and armor by 20/25/30/35/40% for 6 seconds. 16 second cd. -Use to mitigate tower/physical damage and improve the damage of groundslam.

Proper use of Brutal Strikes
  • Before a ground slam, preferably with cd reduction to benefit up to two ground slams.
  • When hitting a large number of enemies or a high priority target i.e champion or tower.
  • To mitigate physical damage from minions, tower, and players.

Ground Slam --E Malphite slams the ground, damaging nearby enemies and reducing their attack speed by 30/35/40/45/50% for for seconds. Deals 60/100/140/180/220 +70% armor as damage. -Use near as many enemies as possible to mitigate the other team's damage in group fights. Great for farming large waves of minions. -Malphite's highest damage ability, responsible for a large amount of his magic damage.

Proper use of Ground Slam
  • Farming minion waves-careful not to use it too often or you will run out of mana.
  • Harrassing players starting at level 2. Go to melee distance of minion, enemy caster minions if possible, and use ground slam immediately when the enemy champion is within range, back out afterwards while cd recharges to avoid a backlash.
  • Weakening enemy dps.
  • Damaging enemy players-This is your best damage ability once you have good armor. Whenever possible, you want at least 400 armor by end game on Malphite (base armor, this does not include the armor you get with brutal strikes)

Unstoppable Force --R If only this really was unstoppable. Malphite charges the target area, knocking up enemies and dealing 200/300/400(+1) damage. -Several problems with this ability I'd like to point out.
1. Malphite's speed is only increased by about 100%, so he sometimes takes a while to reach the target.
2. Aoe symbol is a little inaccurate, just because an enemy was within the placement circle when you hit the location doesn't mean he gets hit, use inner part of circle for most accurate results.
3. Not unstoppable, if they haven't fixed this yet, Malphite can be stopped by knock-ups/knock-backs, and possibly some other effects although these occur rarely.
4. Ult goes through walls if the circle is completely on the other side, but not towers or ruins of towers.

When to use Ult:-It is recommended that you use unstoppable force to initiate fights, but this is actually not its best use. Many players are too cautious or slow to follow into the fights, so there are many times where a perfect initiation can result in your death with no compensation because your teammates aren't ready or willing to fight. Don't start groupfights if the other team is much stronger or you're overextended. Your teammates will yell at you if you spend time farming, gearing, and defending, but it's better than feeding.

Proper ways to use ult.
  • Initiate a group fight by hitting as many key enemy champions as possible, then brutal strikes+ground slam and keep hitting while your team gets there
  • Interrupt a high damage ult, such as nunu's ult or kats ult.
  • Change the outcome of an enemy gank by ulting the gankers so your allies can run away or turn the tables on them.
  • Defend a tower, by waiting till enemy champions start hitting the tower, then ulting the majority of them and using groundslam to drastically cut their dps --If you can kill the minions with this combo or they have sunfire then the tower starts hitting enemy players as a bonus.
  • Run away when you're in trouble. Preferably through a wall (Turrets and turret ruins block Malphite's ult!)
  • Stop and finish off an enemy running away.

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Skill Sequence

Start with shard unless you are foresting. It is your only ranged ability and is good for harrassinge.

Get ground slam at level 2. The attack speed mitigation is very high.

Level up shard or ground slam to max by level 9. Most people level shard, but groundslam has a greater team benefit and seems to be a much better choice.

Get your ult at level 6.

Brutal strikes is not necessary to level. So either get it after you have ult, or after you have maxed out both ground slam and shard. (I only get it when i have a choice, even though the passive is a large boost to malphite's physical damage)

I would recommend putting a point in Unstoppable force every level a rank is available, but honestly in some games you'll be better served putting that point towards getting shard or ground slam maxed out first. (Don't skip the level 6 point, but at level 11 it is sometimes better to get rank 5 of ground slam or shard, they can be used more often anyway)

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Different people get different runes for different reasons. Here are some runebook ideas to take and why.

  • Weaknesses to Strengths: Most champions have low natural magic resist, right now Malphite has some of the highest, but most magic resist items are horrible for Malphite. To counter this there is a novel solution. Malphite doesn't cope well after building too many magic resist items, so I build magic resist runes. Scaling magic resist glyphs and seals are vastly superior to flat ones starting at levels 7 and 10 respectively, so I take them. Flat marks and quintessances are better than the scaling versions until level 14, so they make a reliable early game. Over 140 magic resistance on Malphite by level 18 taking only mercury tread boots is a good deal so that's what I recommend, and I am free to build the other items I need at my leisure.
  • Buffing Strengths: This is the most tempting to do. Take runes that buff your best stats (armor/cd) so you can hit harder and stick to your strengths. The one problem I've noticed with this idea is that you become incredibly easy to counter and it might not provide enough of a benefit.
  • Ignoring resistances: This is popular with most dps champions and Malphite players tend to take Magic pen runes alot. My problem with this is that the ignored resistances can be easy to build up, especially by players that are countering their weaknesses.....1 flat magic resistance quintessance counters the glyph section of magic pen marks....1 flat magic resist quintessance almost completely cancels 3 magic penetration quintessances....full magic resistance marks almost cancel out magic pen marks....and you still have 1 flat magic resistance quintessance, full seals, and full glyphs to go.
  • Basic runepage: health, cd reduction, crit, mana regen, etc. Stuff that some players take that generally works for all of their champions, or all of their champions of at least 1 of the 3 basic catagories: Tank, Mage, Phys Dps.

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Masteries & Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells: For all characters 1 escape/chase and 1 utility/killing power ability are a must. (Unless you are exploiting less experienced players or and unbalanced champion and/or team comp or you take an item that makes up for the deficiency.) For Malphite the best two choices are Clarity and Ghost. I'm sure you know why Ghost, Flash, etc abilities are good, but many people seem to have a vendetta against Clarity.


  • Offensive: If you are putting points in offensive for the 15% Magic penetration, I recommend 3 points in the crit mastery and the other point in ability power. The occasional crit can help alot during combat and the ability power is bad enough by comparison that its safe to say the crit is always better. After that you get the cooldown reduction and spell pen. I wouldn't recommend going any further than that in offensive unless you're planning to work all the way down the tree to get the 5% increased damage. (Always works)
  • Defensive:Malphite is generally built tank, and the 6 magic resist and armor are good to get from defensive, as is the dodge, nimbleness, damage mitigation, and health. However, I have two warnings for you regarding the tree.

    -The first warning is that the 4% damage mitigation at the bottom isn't as good as it sounds. It doesn't seem to effect true damage sources as well as a few physical damage and magic damage sources. The 4% damage mitigation occasionally glitches, and in a few instances when I used to have it I noticed it having the opposite effect. An ally with less max health than I have, less armor, and less magic resist gets hit by the same ability from the same player that I get hit from and I take more damage. Which has led me to believe that the Mastery has some error where it increases the damage you take in some games rather than reduce it.

    -The second warning is not to take a single point in ardor. It doesn't do very much, you don't have a reason to bulid ap on Malphite, and judging by the small amount of bonus attack speed (roughly 2%) that you get anyway the game probably thinks you already have the mastery if you have at least 1 point in the defensive tree even if you don't have any points Ardor anyway.

  • Utility: The Utility tree does not help you kill stuff or mitigate damage directly, but the random stats in the tree are the most helpful. I recommend putting points into the utility tree for anything and everything you think you need from it. (Improved Clarity with Malphite when you take Clarity)

Defense of Clarity for Malphite: Malphite has low base mana compared to other champions, and his ability costs are not low. He needs clarity for the same reason many support characters and mages take clarity, because he can use mana very fast and doesn't start with that much. Most of Malphite's damage cost a large portion of his base mana, and very few mana items are good for Malphite. Chalice of Harmony and other mana regen items are typically not very useful for Malphite in games where he needs to constantly get better tank items to stay or get ahead of his opponents, and in most games Malphite will have systemmatic mana problems from both farming and fighting until he has Frozen Heart and possibly a Banshee's veil. Clarity is the best solution because it give Malphite the boost of mana he needs to finish off some opponents or help with that escape. Once Malphite runs out of mana he is literally just a walking rock shield in most games. So unless you want to spend much of your runepage on mana regen instead of something better, I'd suggest clarity.

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The item builds that I suggested above are generally the best for tanking and still doing decent damage. You should usually start with a ruby crystal, and take the build order I recommended, but in some games you have to vary your build. Keep up to date on the items and what they do, and get what you need during games and you should do fine.

On a side note, Malphite needs some armor no matter what the enemy team, so even if the other team is all magic damage, take some armor items.