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Mordekaiser Build Guide by TXK_

Top platinum

[10.21] Detailed Mordekaiser Top + Match-ups Guide

By TXK_ | Updated on October 14, 2020
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Runes: Standard Build Against Most Champs

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #41 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Max Q -> E -> W

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Table of Contents - Click on a Header!

A brief rundown of the champion

Pros, Cons and Setup
Champions stengths, weaknesses and build

How to play Mordekaiser
Introduction Back to Top
Hey guys, the short following paragraph is to provide a quick introduction about me and why I chose to make a guide. Hope the guide helps!

My IGN at the moment is "TXK" and I have been playing since season 7 with almost 4000 hours played on the EUW server. As of season 10 I am a top lane main in platinum with a 68% wr on Mordekaiser however I spent both season 7 and 8 trying the mid lane role. My transition to the top lane was simply because of the preferred playstyle and lower pick rate at the time of playing.

I have mained multiple champions in my time such as Aatrox and Swain but the reason I have chosen to write an in-depth guide on Mordekaiser is because of his unique playstyle. A small advantage to having an OP ultimate is if an opponent decides to get loud in all-chat, send them to the Gulag 😉, I can guarantee they won't be asking for 1v1s anymore. And yes, I realise there are other guides on the champion however I find many of them offer random alternative builds which don't compliment the champion's kit at all. Anything to stand out I guess. To counter that, here is my guide:
Mordekaiser and the Meta Back to Top
Mordekaiser has had a strong stance in the meta ever since his rework back in [9.12] due to his high HP and consistent damage output because of complimenting runes and strong item synergy (more info later). With tanks seeing a higher playrate, tank-killing juggernauts such as Mordekaiser are seeing more gameplay thanks to great sustain, strong scaling and percentage tank-shred. If played well, Mordekaiser is able to punish popular picks such as Garen or Sett as well as straight counter tank champs such as Ornn or Maokai.

But why main Mordekaiser you ask? Simple: he's unbalanced. He is a strong-scaling AP carry who carries both 1v1 duelling and 1v9 raid boss potential. A key reason to playing Mordekaiser is his versatility: you are able to divulge into a full damage build, a full tank variant, or even somewhere in between. In this guide, I will cover the most common top lane match-ups, tips to acing your laning phase as well as both what he excels at and what Mordekaiser is weak to, so stay tuned.
Pros and Cons Back to Top


Strong early to late game
Good sustain
Simple combos
Versatile item builds
Great waveclear


Lack of in-built mobility
Easily kited
Vulnerable to burst early game
Single missable gap close
Abilities Back to Top
Darkness Rise (Passive) INNATE: Mordekaiser's basic attacks deal bonus magic damage on-hit.

Damaging abilities or basic attacks grant 1 stack per enemy champion or large monster hit, up to a maximum of 3. At 3 stacks, Mordekaiser gains Darkness Rise for 4 seconds. Further basic attacks and abilities against enemy champions and large monsters refresh the duration.

DARKNESS RISE: Mordekaiser deals max HP magic damage per second to all nearby enemies and gains 3% bonus movement speed.
Obliterate (Q) ACTIVE: Mordekaiser smashes the area in the target direction, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit. Damage is increased if it hits only one enemy.
Indestructible (W) PASSIVE: Mordekaiser stores damage he deals and damage he takes in his secondary resource bar, up to 30% of his maximum health. The Potential Shield decays every second after not dealing or taking damage for 1 second.

ACTIVE: Mordekaiser consumes all his current Potential Shield to shield himself for 4 seconds for the same amount. At first the shield decays very slowly but exponentially increases near the end. Indestructible can be recast after 0.25 seconds.

RECAST: Mordekaiser consumes the remaining shield, healing for a percentage of the amount.
Death's Grasp (E) PASSIVE: Mordekaiser gains percentage magic penetration.

ACTIVE: Mordekaiser pulls all enemies within for 250 units, dealing them magic damage.
Realm of Death (R) ACTIVE: Mordekaiser targets an enemy champion and takes them to the Death Realm stealing 10% of their base stats (HP, AD, AP, ATK SPD, ARMR, MR, MVM SPD, SIZE) for 7 seconds. If Mordekaiser defeats the enemy within the 7 seconds, he leaves the Death Realm keeping the stolen stats until the opponent respawns. Allies and enemies during this team view the champions as spirits.
Runes Back to Top
Conqueror Each stack of Conqueror grants AP for 6 seconds, stacking up to 10 times, for a maximum of 20 − 50 (based on level) Ability Power. When fully stacked, heal for 15% of damage dealt. The buff refreshes upon dealing damage to enemy champions with attacks or abilities. Note: Proccing your passive will provide two stacks but will not refresh the buff.
Due to Mordekaiser's play style, Conqueror and the champ go hand in hand. In most match-ups you are looking for extended fights to fully utilise your passive as you run your opponent down and as a result Conqueror provides the sustain and damage needed. The keystone excels in the middle of teamfights as more damage = more healing.
Triumph 1 second after scoring a takedown, restore 12% of your missing health and receive 20 bonus gold.
The rune offers bonus sustain during fights allowing for 1v5s. The gold bonus is nice but unnoticeable usually.
Legend: Tenacity Gain 5% (+ 2.5% per Legend stack) Tenacity icon Tenacity, up to 30% with 10 stacks. Stacks are earnt through: champion takedowns, epic monster takedowns, large monster kills and minions kills.
One of Mordekaiser's biggest faults is his lack of mobility. To counter this issue, you should look to limit any CC taken by stacking tenacity (through Mercury Treads, Unflinching, etc.) A moving Morde is a good Morde.
Last Stand Deal 5% increased damage to champions while below 60% maximum health. This increases based on your missing health, up to 11% increased damage while below 30% maximum health.
During trades and extended fights, you will be looking to create the biggest shield possible with your W. As a result, you should wait to use the ability until you reach the 30% HP threshold to maximise the runes efficiency.
Taste of Blood Damaging an enemy champion heals you for 18 − 35 (based on level) (+ (+ 10% AP).
An underrated rune which rewards you for poking your opponent with Q's and ensuring your HP stays topped up. Despite the AP scaling on it, outside of laning phase the rune is more or less non-existent. 20 second cooldown.
Ravenous Hunter Heal for 1.5% (+ 2.5% per stack) of the damage dealt by your abilities, on-hit effects and items, up to 14% at 5 stacks.
Earn a stack for unique champion takedown.
Only heal a third of the usual amount from AoE damage.
A godsend. Almost all of Mordekaiser's damage benefits from Ravenous Hunter and when combined with Conqueror, you will become unkillable. The rune also benefits from a potential Spirit Visage.
Bone Plating After taking damage from an enemy champion, for 1.5 seconds, the next 3 spells or attacks you receive from the same enemy champion deal 30 − 60 (based on level) less damage. 45 second cooldown.
Bone plating eases the pain from rough match-ups such as Renekton or Darius by surviving their initial burst giving room to counter their engage with your own damage or E to disengage.
Revitalize Increases healing and shielding by 5%.
Healing and shielding bonus is increased to 10% when below 40% HP.
Conqueror benefits from Revitalize and synergises with Last Stand by becoming more potent at low HP. It will act as a pseudo-Ravenous Hunter by slightly increasing the sustain provided by your key stone.
Items Back to Top
Doran's Shield - Further explained in the gameplay section, your aim for the early game is to out sustain your opponent. While Doran's Blade and Ring offer good stats, the passive regeneration and on-hit minion damage ensures your laning phase is as smooth as butter. Dark Seal is a no-no.
Liandry's Torment - To be built as a first item into immobile match-ups such as Sion/[[ornn]. Max-hp per second stacks with your passive's (same effect) while providing a damage % amplification for longer fights. Can also be built as a mid-game power spike if the opponent is not initially tanky.
Hextech Protobelt-01 - To be built as a first item into ranged match-ups such as Teemo/ Quinn and other match-ups where a gap close is needed. Dash should be saved until R is used to ensure you are able to get on top of the opponent. Can be built later in the game to apply pressure to enemy marksmen and mages.
Rylai's Crystal Sceptre - To be built against tanks/immobile champs such as Ornn/ Maokai who have few/no dashes to evade the slow. The item's passive synergises really well with your passive as it ensures you 'stick' to the enemy and makes landing your abilities easier.
Bramble Vest - Against high sustain and auto-based opponents such as Fiora/ Irelia, Bramble Vest is a must have. The item does not have to completely built into Thornmail until the lategame and allows safer and healthier trades to be taken.
Nashor's Tooth - A pure damage item which grants needed CDR, AP and ATK SPD. Players should experiment with this item as the playstyle changes slightly in which your new main damage output lies within your autos rather than your Q for when the target is too mobile to land abilities on. I would not recommend building the item first as it leaves Mordekaiser really squishy and vulnerable to burst.
Zhonya's Hourglass - A strong hybrid item offering both offensive and defensive stats. Should be built when teamfights are beginning to break out as it increases survivability and prevents burst. Notes: Your passive will remain active even while in stasis. Try to make use of the stopwatch component before finishing the item to further gold value.
Spirit Visage - One of my favourite items to build as it turns Mordekaiser into an absolute unit thanks to it's unique passive - increases healing by 30%. Can be built during the midgame to counter most mid-lane mages and is usually a must-have by lategame.
Adaptive Helm - An alternative/ addition to Spirit Visage to answer for enemies with lots of DoT abilities. It counters specific champions by reducing the effects of repeated magic damage. This includes: Cassiopeia, Teemo, Malzahar, Ryze, Zyra, Brand, Singed, Swain, or any other champion who may build Liandry's Torment.
Thornmail - Offers tankiness by granting both HP and armour as well as utility through it's anti-heal. Primarily used to counter auto-based champions who build sustain such as Jax or Irelia.
Randuin's Omen - An alternative to Thornmail when the enemy team relies on crit damage. I'd only build this if there was at least 2 crit users and an ally has already built anti-heal.
Dead Man's Plate - Very situational item for running down fast champions who build flat AD or lethality. The passive on-hit slow can be useful in 1v1s but aside from that, the two previous armour items should be used instead.
Morellonomicon - Should be built when the enemy team does primarily magic damage and Thornmail is not suitable. The item itself is not very cost efficient especially since Mordekaiser has inbuilt percentage magic penetration. Overall, very situational and not very effective.
Banshee's Veil - Can be built to avoid single sources of CC such as Morgana/ Lux binds. If you desire magic resistance, you are better off investing in an Adaptive Helm or Spirit Visage as Mordekaiser fulfils his role as a juggernaut better with tankier stats.

Sorcerer's Shoes - Whilst potentially strong in the mid lane, this is a guide for top lane Mordekaiser. The two other options provide much more utility in comparison thus building these boots can be seen as sacrilege.
Mercury's Treads - A personal insta-build item if the enemy team contains any CC-bots such as Leona, Morgana, Nautilus, etc. Note: Pay particular attention to which types of CC are able to be reduced, Mercury Treads into a Yasuo are not a good idea!
Ninja Tabi - Noticeably reduces the physical damage from ranged match-ups and from bruisers alike. If the enemy team contains 2 or more auto-based champions, build these boots.
Choose your boots carefully in response to the biggest threat - if you constantly find yourself unable to move because of a pesky Neeko strongly consider Mercury Treads. And vice versa if a fed Lucian is gunning you down. Boots do not always have to respond to your laner's damage if you're ahead.
Gameplay Back to Top
Early Game Your levels 1-3 are powerful and not to be underestimated. Against common tank laners such as Maokai or Garen you can dominate the laning phase and generate a lead however, against burst-y duelists such Renekton or Darius, extra care should be taken and you should look to scale and go even. Always begin with Q and in a winning match up, aim to push the first wave and rush level 2 by Q'ing the wave and killing the first 3 melee minions. While minions are battling it out, look to hit your opponent with the very tip of the Q. One tip you should use is to predict when your opponent will go in to auto a creep as they should be unable to attack you in response out of fear on missing the gold. If on the other hand, you are not confident in trades, simply use your Q to farm from a distance.
At level 2, level your E and use it to enhance your poke. You should not be looking to all in your opponent at this stage. The best time to use your E is when you know the enemy jungler is not present and your opponent's abilities are on cooldown. Once you've reached level 3 and have levelled your W, you can look for long extended trades.
Begin the fight with E->Q->auto and look to position yourself between your opponent and their turret. Having procced your passive, you'll have the movement speed advantage in most cases and will be able to mitigate any damage taken with your W shield. You should use your W at the start of the fight and "consume" the shield at the end of it. With Doran's Shield you are looking to out-sustain youropponent, always keeping a HP advantage. Rinse and repeat until level 6.
Your level 6 is incredibly powerful in that it makes you more or less ungankable. Aim to keep the wave pushed into your opponent to bait the jungler top alleviating map pressure for your team (for drakes or your own teams ganks). In the case the jungler appears or your opponent mis-positions, ult the weakest target and use the E->Q->auto to initiate the fight. A judgement call is needed in that, coming out of the ult, do you have enough HP to deal with the other opponent? If not, prepare to run and use your E if possible to generate distance. If so, prepare to type '/all top diff' as you've just 2v1'd.
Mid Game Laning phase ends more or less ends once a turret has been taken and the map has been 'opened up' as a result. The general strategy is to continue to farm waves and generate map pressure via side-laning where appropriate (your team is pushing also). If the enemy's top tower is the one to fall, you should be in a good enough position to continue to push to a tier 2. One key note is to be present for objectives by either walking up to the location or pushing side lanes with Teleport available. When fighting at objectives, either ult the enemy jungler to deny smite, or their strongest carry who you can 1v1. Even if you don't kill the target, you remove a strong threat for up to 7 seconds.
Late Game During late-game teamfights you are able to initiate and make picks via your E or R. If the enemy is alone/your team has the number advantage, simply use your E to begin the fight and position yourself to soak up damage. Should a 5v5 team fight begin, you want to R their carry or frontline depending on which would disrupt the team the most/have the most impact.
Combos Back to Top
Mordekaiser has very few combos which can be used during all instances of the game:

E -> Q -> Auto
The fastest way to proc your passive against a single target is by linking these actions together. This will also be the combo you use to one-shot waves in the late game. Notice how at the end of the video, I position myself by running ahead of the enemy. This allows me to stick onto my target to further extend the trade.

Q -> Flash
The only other real combo is the Q -> flash which to the enemy, appears as a flash -> Q. A finisher - this is carried out since Mordekaiser's Q has a small channel time in which you are able to cast summoner spells. More often than not, your opponent will assume they're out of range of the Q animation and will not use their own flash, potentially resulting in a kill. My suggestion is for new Mordekaiser mains to practice in practice tool a couple of times before taking it to ranked.

Q Poke
This isn't really a combo, it's just a clip of how you can use Mordekaiser's Q to farm wave and/or poke.

E Disengage
Again, not a real combo but a realistic situation in which your E can be used to distance yourself from the enemy. This can also be used to deny ganks by the enemy jungler and should be saved for AFTER the enemy has used their gap closers.
Thank you for reading! Back to Top
Thank you for tuning in to my guide and I hope it helps. Feel free to drop any questions or suggestions in the comments or add me on League of Legends to dm privately. Username: TXK, on the EUW server.
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