[13.21 ] S13| In-depth | Mordekaiser Top + Counters
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Runes: Standard Build Against Most Champs
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Max Q -> E -> W
Threats & Synergies
A battle of sustain. Poke with Q and dodge his abilities. Save your E to peel him off you during his final Q animation.
Strong scaling champion means you want to look for early prolonged fights. Her E cooldown is long in the early levels so fights should be won pre 20 min.
His all-in is more powerful than yours. Pray he hasn't taken ghost and use E to disengage. Your teamfight is stronger than his.
His max hp damage Q and mixed damage abilities combined with high sustain makes this late game match-up a pain. Look to punish early if he goes in to melee minions.
Typical tank - Build Liandry's and Rylai's = win
Her high mobility and true damage completely counters Mordekaiser. You should outscale her but making it to late-game is the rough part. Rush a Bramble Vest to limit her sustain and burst.
Typical tank - Build Liandry's and Rylai's = win
Save your ultimate for after his cleanse has been used as it counters the ability completely. Time it so he has placed barrels beforehand as they're not taken with him within your ult. His Q will hurt early so avoid his grasp procs.
Focus on poking with Q and cancelling his passive which has an 8 second lock out period. Opt for both Protobelt and Rylai's if he is too mobile.
Avoid any trades pre 6 due to his very high mobility. In team fights ult gnar to shred his hp and avoid his team breaking ults.
Use your Q to poke and hide amongst minions. In teamfights ult Illaoi to prevent her 1v5.
A strong duelist who snowballs incredibly well, has sustain and does mixed damage. Avoid fights when she's approaching her 5 stack passive or if your wave has low hp for Irelia to Q to. Ulting limits her mobility by stripping waves away from the fight. Irelia's eventual Wit's End makes her nigh unkillable for Mordekaiser.
AIDS champion. Save your ult after his ult since he can not take turrets with him in your Death Realm.
You can win early duels if played correctly however Jax will outscale and 1v1 you post lvl 6. If Jax builds BORK, avoid trades to the best of your ability. As of 10.16, be wary that his E cooldown is shorter than it was before. Avoid increasing it's damage by not autoing during it's duration and only using spells.
His lack of dashes means you can run him down if you catch him with your E. Your 6 is stronger than his so look for a 1v1.
Kennen has high poke so focus on keeping your HP high by staying amidst minions and keeping your range. When fighting, look for an all-in. In teamfights deny a 5 man stun with your ult.
High damage early so try to avoid trades. Your passive will reveal her in shroud so anticipate movement and counter her with Q's.
His high mobility and in-built anti-heal makes all-ins difficult so poke with Q and disengage with E. Do not ult while he is using his as he is unstoppable.
Strong poke can be countered with well timed W's and Doran's Shield. A relatively easy match-up. You will out sustain him due to Malphite's poor mana early so generate a lead.
Why are you playing blind?
Keep him off farm using your Q and avoid all-ins without anti-heal post 15 mins.
Busted champion who wins at all stages in the game. Pre 6 you can peel him off yourself with E so focus on farm. Olaf falls off so play for late game.
Poke down with Q as his threat alone is relatively small. Post 6, look to ult him after his initial cast of R to cancel the knockup and damage.
Keep range and sacrifice farm early as his all in is very powerful. Typical Pantheon's look for fights at level 2 and 3. You outscale this champion very well and in fights use your E to position yourself behind his invulnerability.
Typical tank - Build Liandry's and Rylai's = win
A typical ranged v melee matchup. Sacrifice minions to maintain a high HP and look for an all-in. Do not engage with E without Protobelt as her E will generate distance between you two again. Your teamfight is a lot stronger so focus on scaling and prevent her roaming by pushing waves.
Renekton's early is incredibly strong and thanks to BORK buffs, he can scale relatively well into the late game. An early Bramble Vest limits his burst and sustain. During fights predict how he'll spend his fury. If he tends to use an empowered W, DO NOT use your W while he has fury due to the shield breaking mechanic. Either immediately heal using W, or await for him to use the stun.
A rare but possible match-up. Keep your distance from the bushed by positioning yourself close to river. Either freeze the wave outside your turret and next to his as without bushes, Rengar has no mobility. His empowered W will cancel your R so avoid ulting this target.
F*ck Riven players. Kidding... Look for a 'poke and peel' combination with trades using Q and E. Without CDR, RIven's mobility has big gaps so look to fight after her third Q or E.
Avoid his Q by farming from range and avoid his E by staying behind minions. You win late fights and your ult will either guarantee a won 1v1 or prevent a team killing R.
Distance yourself and poke using the tip of your Q. Anticipate his W with a Protobelt dash or using W to soak the damage. This match-up is mostly skill and timing based.
Typical tank - Build Liandry's and Rylai's = win
A typical high-poke ranged match-up. Use your W to soak the DoT from Teemo's E and focus on maintaining a high HP. Upon reaching 6, wait for Teemo to place his shrooms before looking for a 1v1 using your ult (the shrooms aren't taken into the realm). From there, just continue to snowball.
Due to his R stealing base stats - focus on building damage and anti-sustain rather than tank.
High mobility and massive burst gives Mordekaiser a rough time. Tryndamere has both a strong early and late due to his scaling with Crit.
Urgot typically looks for a fight at level 1 due to his E and passive. After that, you should outscale until level 9 where his W comes online. 1V1s should be won pre Death's Dance
Her combined high mobility and true damage counters Mordekaiser hard. Protobelt allows you to close the gap but avoid fights without a Jungler or someone who inflicts CC. Bramble Vest can limit what she does early.
Your early is stronger than his however his sustain makes up for that. Look to catch him with your E and avoid his empowered Q in trades. Play aggressive to avoid a 40 minute game where he 1v5s.
In short trades avoid his repeated W which has a 5 second cooldown without CDR as it heals a truck-ton. His E is easy to predict due to the audio cue. Other than that, treat him like a typical tank.
Your passive counters his W and his E is his only form of gap close - avoid short trades and focus on running him down.
Another high mobility champion who gives Mordekaiser a hard time. Your R limits his mobility due to a lack of minions so only look for fights at level 1 or post 6. Build full damage due to the armour penetration granted from his R.
His ghouls die to a single auto so look to build attack speed to counter this. Your R counters his R completely so a post 6 1v1 should be won.
My IGN at the moment is "TXK" and I have been playing since season 7 with almost 4000 hours played on the EUW server. Having recently returned to League (from TFT); as of season 12 I am a top lane main in gold/platinum mainly using 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 over-powered ultimate is if an opponent decides to get loud in all-chat, send them to Brazil 😉, 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:
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.
Currently the meta has a lot of tanks and melee champs who are weak to Mordekaisers sustain and tank-killer-kit meaning gaining LP will be a breeze.
|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.|
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.|
Each stack of Conqueror grants AP for 6 seconds, stacking up to 12 times, for a maximum of 24 − 60 (based on level) Ability Power. When fully stacked, heal for 9% 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.
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.
Gain 5% (+ 2.5% per Legend stack) 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.
Heal for 1% (+ 2% per stack) of the damage dealt by your abilities, on-hit effects and items, up to 11% 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.
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.
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.
|Riftmaker - To be built as a standard first item as it provides both sustain and tank-shred via the true damage conversion. It synergises with Conqueror and your passive as with Mordekaiser you're looking for long, extended trades.|
|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 closer is needed. Active should be used to close the gap between champions as not only does it provide a dash but also 2 seconds of movement speed towards your target.|
|Night Harvester - Makes bursting squishy targets a lot easier but means you lose out on the sustain provided by Rift Maker and the gap close from Hextech Rocketbelt.|
|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.|
|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 AND shielding by 25%. Can be built during the midgame to counter most mid-lane mages and is usually a must-have by lategame.|
|Cosmic Drive - Movement speed and CDR are both valuable stats for Mordekaiser which makes keeping-up and killing targets much easier. I suggest this item if the enemy team have lots of ranged match=ups and you're confident in landing your Q's.|
|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.|
|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 can just build Oblivion Orb without the legendary passive.|
|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 considering Mordekaiser has inbuilt magic penetration.|
|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!|
|Plated Steelcaps - 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.|
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.|
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.
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.
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.