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Mordekaiser Build Guide by Jachyra

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jachyra

Death Metal: Jachyra's Guide to Mordekaiser

Jachyra Last updated on April 8, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #36 in
Top Lane
Win 48%
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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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Why to play Mordekaiser? The answer is pretty obvious - he's the general of hell, is 8 feet tall, and looks scary as f**k. Anyone who screams "death is too good for the likes of you" and shreds on a bigass spiked mace is awesome.

The problem most people have with Mord - both when playing him themselves and as his ally - is that they downright don't understand him. I wrote this guide with the intention of helping out both beginning and experienced players, and hopefully it will be a good resource for any readers out there.

“…and his name was Death (Metal), and hell came with him” – Revelations 6:8

To those of you who think Mord is no longer viable after the infamous nerf on 9-13-11, you are wrong. Moscow 5 dominated with him at the IEM World Championship, and my guide and playstyle utilize many of the strategies they use. In other words, you cannot kill the Metal.

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Pros / Cons


  • Very independent champion (great for solo queue)
  • Can turn a 5v5 teamfight into a 6v4 for 30 seconds
  • Is one of the best pushers in the game and can literally walk through minion waves
  • Very strong lane presence
  • Is capable of soaking up tons of damage without losing any health
  • Scary. He is just so damn scary.

  • Has no CC whatsoever (by far Mord's greatest downfall)
  • Weak early game
  • Is VERY reliant on having a solo lane
  • Melee

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Iron Man:

: A percent of the damage dealt from abilities is converted into a temporary shield, absorbing incoming damage.

The spell that makes Mord unique, blah blah blah. Everyone pretty much knows what this does: gives Mord a rechargeable shield that will protect him from damage. The more enemies you hit, the more shield you get. This is why Mord is strongest when he's surrounded by enemy minions, and is also why playing aggressively with him is so effective. If you're always doing damage, your shield stays charged. The shield is also affected by armor and magic resistance, which is why it is MUCH BETTER to focus on these two categories in your build, rather than pure health.

Mace of Spades:

: On next hit, Mordekaiser swings his mace with such force that it echoes out, striking up to 3 additional nearby targets, dealing damage plus bonus damage. If the target is alone, the attack deals extra damage.

I typically max this spell second, and it is a very handy spell if you know how to use it right. There are a few things to keep in mind when using this. First of all, it will do way more damage if your enemy is by himself, so attempt to use it when your enemy isn’t surrounded by minions. Another important aspect of your Q is that it will refresh your attack cooldown, so use it right after a standard auto attack for a good 1-2 combo. I like the visual effect this spell has on Mord’s mace – it almost looks as if he were straight out of Soul Caliber and just soul-charged. Mord should be in the next Soul Caliber.

Creeping Death:

: Unleashes a protective cloud of metal shards to surround an ally, increasing their armor and magic resistance and dealing damage per second to enemies in the cloud.

This is an awesome spell, but should be maxed last. There are many uses for this: use it to protect yourself, use it to protect an ally who is getting focused, and finally - if you are getting zoned in the laning phase - throw this on a minion and sit back out of your opponent's range while this does your farming for you. An easy way to place your shield on yourself is Alt + W. Fun fact: this makes Mord look like Magneto. But not gay.

Siphon of Destruction:

: Mordekaiser deals damage to enemies in a cone in front of him. For each unit hit, Mordekaiser's shield absorbs energy.

Your bread and butter spell. This should be maxed first, should be your main farming / harassing / shield charging spell, and is your main source of damage (apart from Children of the Grave). Make sure you learn just how far this spell reaches - I often feel like I'm hitting opponents outside of its range but am still damaging them. If used right you can harass an opponent right under his turret: sneak in, blast him in the mouth, and walk away - allowing the shield you just charged up to take the shot from the turret. It is very funny.

Children of the Grave:

: Mordekaiser curses an enemy, stealing a percent of their life initially and each second. If the target dies while the spell is active, their soul is enslaved and will follow Mordekaiser for 30 seconds.

A downright hilarious spell that allows Mord to walk out of 1v2s and even 1v3s victorious. Your primary goal should be to “ghost” an enemy - preferably a ranged AD carry, such as Caitlyn, Ashe, Vayne, Kog'Maw, etc. However, if you get caught in a tight spot don't be afraid to drop this on an opponent and get some health back. The health returned to you is based on a percentage of your opponent's health, so the tankier your opponent is, the more health you will get back. Ignite is an awesome combination with this spell – I typically hit my opponent with Ignite before Children of the Grave, as the range on the latter is much further than that of the former.
The first picture shows the range on Children of the Grave, the second shows the range on Ignite. Use ignite first, so as to make sure you are within range to also hit them with your ult.

Once you have your ghost, unleash hell. You just turned the teamfight from a 5v5 into a 6v4, and can use your ghost for many purposes. Throw Creeping Death on your ghost and tank a turret, if your enemies split up send your ghost one way while you go another, etc. To control your pet just hold down the Alt key and right click to command it. It takes a bit of practice to fully master the multitasking of controlling Mordekaiser and his ghost at the same time, but you'll be unstoppable once you get it down. If you get focused by the enemy in a teamfight and they break you down to barely any health, BUT you get a ghost in the process, attempt to retreat Mord back to safety and continue fighting the enemy with your ghost. Always take full advantage of your ghost – for 30 seconds you are twice as effective as anyone else on the map. This is huge.

Make sure you are always aware of who you are playing, as some champions can effectively cancel out your ultimate. Dr. Mundo is a near impossible pet to acquire due to Sadism, and there are many champions like Zilean, Soraka, and Shen that can steal an easy kill from you with their respective ultimates. Then there are those annoying champions who have spells that simply absorb your ult, like Sivir’s Spell Shield and Nocturne’s Shroud of Darkness. Also keep in mind what items your opponents have, as a Banshee's Veil, Quicksilver Sash, or Guardian Angel can also effectively cancel your ult. Any time I ult someone and fail to kill them, this scene from Gladiator runs through my head:

Children of the Grave is your ace in the hole; it is what separates good Mord players from bad ones. Use it wisely.

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Runes should reflect your playstyle and compensate for your champion’s weaknesses. Since Mord is weakest early game, I designed my rune setup accordingly.

2X Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed will give you valuable movement speed. Movement speed is a very important attribute for Mord, as he is a melee fighter and has to close the gap between him and his opponents quickly. These will also help you run down and ghost an opponent with Children of the Grave as he is running away from the battle.

1X Greater Quintessence of Ability Power will make you more threatening early on. The more damage you cause the more your shield is charged, so building offense will in turn help you defensively as well.

9X Greater Mark of Magic Penetration will help your spells pack a punch, and is very effective when combined with Sorcerer's Shoes. There really isn't any other choice of Marks for Mord - these are by far the best.

9X Greater Seal of Health will make you a stronger lane presence early on. Mord’s spells cost health, so these are in my opinion the best seals to take. Greater Seal of Armor are another great option, but since midlane (you should almost always go mid with Mord) is usually reserved for AP casters, armor is not ideal. Take armor if you're going top.

9X Greater Glyph of Ability Power will again make you more threatening early on and are my favorites. Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist are also good choices.

As I said, runes should reflect your playstyle, and these are my personal favorites. These will make you stronger right from the start, and if Mord gets a strong start he quickly snowballs and becomes unstoppable.

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Summoner Spells


: This is absolutely essential for Mord. Combining this with Children of the Grave is a brutal mix. You definitely want to get this.

: This is commonly referred to as the best summoner spell in the game. I used to prefer Ghost and still feel it is a viable option, but it just isn’t as useful for escaping gaps, jumping through walls, closing that last bit of distance to get off Children of the Grave, etc. 9 out of 10 pro players take Flash every time. You should too.


: This will give you a lot more mobility in teamfights and can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes. When an enemy starts to get low and retreats, use this to chase him down and enslave him with Children of the Grave.

: This isn't a bad spell, but it can only be used offensively. This doesn't give you the flexibility that Ghost and Flash do, which is why I prefer them.

: If you’re going top lane you should always consider taking this. It allows you to AFK farm, while also being able to quickly get down to the bottom of the map and help out with Dragon or back door. I take this when going top with other champions, but I feel Mord is just too reliant on Flash and Ignite to take it.

: Not a bad spell, but should be taken by your AD carry or support.

: Same as Heal


As for the other Summoner Spells - no. Just no.

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I go with 9/21/0 masteries. Like my rune setup, this is primarily to help Mord out during early game when he is weakest. The 9 points in offense gets you that boost to Ignite and adds additional AP, cooldown reduction, and magic penetration. The 21 points in defense will give you more survivability, while also providing some extra movement speed and cooldown reduction. I’m not going to go through and explain every single choice, as I feel they are pretty self-explanatory. Really there is no “right” or “wrong” way to distribute masteries; they should reflect your playstyle, and this setup is what I like the best.

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When designing a build, you must take into account your champion’s strengths and weaknesses. Mord is a battlemage, meaning his role is to dish out a large amount of damage while also having the survivability to last in a teamfight. With this mentality in mind, I tried to put together a set of items that simultaneously provide both offense and defense. If you can throw in some helpful passives that your team will benefit from, you are good to go.

Allow me to take a moment to stress the importance of adaptability. Yes, I have certain items I prefer and some that I take in >95% of the games I play in, but building to counter the enemy team is critical. Always keep in mind the enemy team composition when building – if they are AD heavy emphasize armor, if they are AP heavy emphasize MR, if they are squishy build AP and steamroll huehue.

Starting Items:

: my current favorite choice for starting items. Getting boots to start will make it easier to harass and farm in lane, while having HPs provides extra sustainability and will allow you to spam your spells more often.

: a good choice if you know you’ll be laning against an AD hero and will need the armor and regen. Consider taking this if you’re going top lane.

: good option if you’re going against a champ with lots of burst damage and you know you’ll need the extra health regen. This is not my favorite pick, as it doesn’t build into any of my preferred items. If you plan on including Force of Nature in your build this is an item to consider.

: I honestly do not have a whole lot of experience with this start, but it is something I have been meaning to try. The appeal is obvious – your spells will hit that much harder and your shield will be charged that much more. This also builds immediately into Hextech Revolver, which is an added incentive.

Core Build:

A core build is usually classified as the items viable for a champion in >90% of games regardless of team compositions. It is usually between 3-4 items, with the other spaces being filled with situational items specific for the game in question. The items I consider as my core build are as follows:

: My personal favorite choice for boots. Get these as early as you can and your spells will pack a punch, especially when coupled with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. The other reasonable choices of boots for Mord would be Mercury's Treads , if the enemy team is AP heavy or has lots of CC, Ninja Tabi if the enemy team is AD heavy and shredding your armor, or Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the additional cooldown reduction. 95% of the time I prefer taking the extra magic penetration, it just adds too much to your damage output to be ignored.

: I used to feel this item was totally overrated with Mord, but I have changed my mind. WOTA will give you and your team so much more sustainability in both laning and teamfights, and for the price you pay it really is worth it. Build Hextech Revolver first, and then upgrade it to WOTA as soon as possible.

: I used to buy this item later on in my build because I typically went top lane with Mord. However, now that Mord is more suited for midlane you will want to move this up in your purchase list, as the early bonus magic resistance will help with laning. If going top I will often get Rylai's Crystal Scepter first, but when going midlane I buy this first. Again, the important thing is adaptability – if you are laning against a mage, it should be common sense to get early magic resistance. This also gives you more ability power and lowers the magic resistance of all nearby enemies, which will help your team considerably later on.

: I feel this is a must-have item with Mord and buy it almost every game. The added ability power and health are exactly what you need, and the passive you get will give all of your spells slowing effects. While only Children of the Grave gets the full 35% slow, this is still a very valuable item. In team fights you should be in the middle of everything, and a 15% slow on their entire team is not something to be overlooked.

Situational Items:

Personal Favorites:

: provides more armor and durability, along with an awesome passive. It is very discouraging to see your opponent with a GA, and hopefully this will cause the enemy team to focus someone else. By choosing not to focus you, they might as well send you an engraved invitation saying “Mord, please futt-buck us all game long.”

: ability power! Self-explanatory – if you want offense, get this.

: ability power with armor! Also has a nice active that will render you invulnerable for 2 seconds, which might be just enough time for your cooldowns to reset and permit you to charge your shield when the stasis ends.

“What if I need armor?”

: awesome item for armor, health, and health regen. Also has a great active that will give you some CC during team fights and chasing / retreating. If you plan on getting this, I recommend buying Heart of Gold early on so you can take advantage of the GP10.

: how do you stop an AD carry? Easy – buy an item that makes him kill himself, and then ghost him and turn him on his own team. This is the single highest armor item in the game, and one that will make AD carries hate you. This is great if the enemy team has a Tryndamere, Master Yi, Fiora, etc. who is walking through everyone.

: probably my favorite armor item overall and one that I use with other champions, but not one I often choose for Mord. You waste money on mana, but the 99 armor, CD reduction, and enemy attack speed slow are all very beneficial. When combined with Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, this turns you into a walking slow-the-hell-out-of-everyone.

: a very underrated item in my opinion. I rarely include it in my build outside of 3v3s, but it is still a viable option. The stats you get for the price you pay are a great deal, which is why you see so many true tanks buying this. Furthermore, in most team fights you should be in the middle of everyone spraying **** everywhere, so the 35 magic damage per second passive this brings will really pay off. When combined with Creeping Death, you will do >115 damage per second to all nearby enemies. That’s pretty awesome.

“What if I need magic resistance?”

: I used to consider this as part of my core build, but Mord isn’t played the same way he used to be. Still, this is an awesome item and one of my favorites – MR, health regen, and movement speed all wound up into one item. It practically sells itself.

: another great MR item and probably one of the best all around items in the game. I don’t get it too often with Mord since he doesn’t benefit at all from mana, but still a perfectly viable option.

: this item so l33t. Adds an instant-cleanse to your arsenal and some early magic resistance for a fairly cheap price. I rarely buy it myself, but always keep it in mind.

“What if I want to hit harder?”

: the big brother of Will of the Ancients. If you’re going to get this I’d recommend using it to replace WOTA in late game. This will skyrocket your damage output and includes a nice active. I have never had much success with it myself, but I know many Mord players swear by it. Figure out what works for your playstyle and move forward from there!

: get this if the enemy team is stacking magic resistance and you think it will be worth it.

: build this during the late game phase and Mord will shred through enemy teams. Hit your opponent with Siphon of Destruction and then a Mace of Spades + Lich Bane combo. Ability power and damage all at once – you’ll be a double threat if you know how to use it.

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Mord is a mage, and as such your goal should be that of any AP carry - dish out as much hurt as possible. However, because he isn’t squishy like a standard AP or AD carry, you should not be hiding behind your tanks letting them soak up all the damage. Mord fills the role of a battlemage, similar to Rumble, Vladimir, and Ryze. What you lack in CC and support, you make up for in damage output and durability.

The following three sections are an attempt to briefly lay out everything I know about Mord. I will break my playstyle down into three subgroups: early game, mid game, and late game.

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Early Game

Buy your starting item(s) and head towards midlane. You may take top once in a while, but you should play mid for most games. When minions spawn help your jungler out with a leash at either wolves and blue-buff or wraiths and red-buff, and then head on out to battle.

DO NOT spam your spells at the start. Your spells cost health, and you don’t have the regeneration to continuously dish out damage. Plus if you end up pushing your lane, you will get ganked and embarrassed by the enemy jungler. Your primary focus should be on last hitting minions. This stage should last until you have around 600-700 gold (give or take), usually right around the time you hit level 5 if farming correctly. Once you’re there, recall and pick up an Amplifying Tome, two Sight Ward, and as many Health Potion as you can. Then head back to your lane.

NOW is when you start to bully. Mord is such a strong lane presence that it would be wasteful not to play aggressively, and the items I listed out are everything you need to gain the upper hand on your opponent. You now have Boots of Speed and Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, making you faster than your enemy and excellent at harassing. You have extra Health Potion which compensate for the lack of health regeneration early on. Sight Ward are the most important items. Once you start to dominate your opponent he WILL call for help, and the enemy jungler WILL come to gank you. Ward both sides of the river and keep an eye out for him. The same goes for top lane, although a single Sight Ward should cover your *** most of the time. Wards are your insurance - they will save your life. I cannot stress this enough: if you want to live you MUST use wards.

When going mid, drop a ward on either side of the river. I like to cover both entrances from the enemy jungle, while also keeping an eye on the river and enemy wraith camp:
Ward here if your base is at the bottom of the map. Note how all pathways are covered, and that the ward placed above midlane (left picture) also reveals when the wraith camp has spawned.
Ward here if your base is at the top of the map. Same concept as before.

When going top, usually one ward will do. Don’t just set it in the bushes by river – that’s a waste. Put it out further to give yourself more notice when a gank is coming.

Once back to your lane, do what Mord does best: bully. Blast your opponent with everything you have, while attempting to maintain your shield at all times. The best way to do this is to time your spells so you hit them right before they hit you. This will charge your shield just before you take damage and will allow you to win exchanges 90% of the time. If your opponent is smart, he will stay far away from his own minion wave. This forces you to choose between harassing him and keeping your shield charged, and it is a choice you will have to make yourself. In this situation, I usually use Mace of Spades and Creeping Death on the enemy minions (to charge my shield) and Siphon of Destruction to harass my enemy. With some experience, you should be able to wear your opponent down and achieve some lane control. You can now either choose between:

A) Pushing, and getting his turret down as much as possible. This is not a bad strategy – having your minions charge into a turret will make last hitting much harder for your opponent and deny them gold. This also allows you to sneak around and counterjungle your enemy, particularly at his wraith camp – Mord clears wraiths in about 2 seconds. The problem with pushing your lane is that the enemy hero will still keep up on experience, and if he is good will be able to last hit fairly well under his tower. If you want to deny them experience, you should

B) Zone them, and continue to last hit only. This is trickier than continuously putting pressure on his turret, but is more beneficial if you can pull it off. For a more in depth guide on how to zone, watch Shurelia’s movie below:

To recap this section:
  • Take mid or top lane
  • Play conservative and last hit minions
  • Recall and shop when you reach 600-700 gold
  • Return to your lane and win
  • Have a ward posted at all times

Unless you want to start roaming and ganking early, you should pretty much stay in midlane and farm for the first 15 minutes or so. I recommend getting Sorcerer’s Shoes as early as possible; they will make your spells quite a bit more potent and you’ll further gain the upper hand. You should always make sure that you have enough gold for 1-2 more wards and 3-5 health potions every time you recall. As Mord you should pretty much always have a couple wards and health potions in your inventory. Plan ahead and figure out how much gold you need – it’s very annoying having to sit on your respawn and jack off while you’re waiting for that last bit of gold.

That about wraps it up for early game specifics. The laning phase should end around 15-20 minutes, and so begins the mid-game.

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Mid Game

When the laning phase ends, you should be as involved in group fights as possible. By minute 20 you should be outfarmed and at least one or two levels ahead of every other champion on the map. With the spell vamp from Will of the Ancients you won’t have to recall as often, and can further press this advantage by melting creep waves. All in all, this is when Mord is strongest. Do not wait for your enemies to catch up - use this advantage in every way you can. The more you’re involved in the action, the more likely you are to snowball. What follows is a list of things you should be focusing on during this point of the game:

-Start roaming to new lanes and use your Ignite + Children of the Grave combo to pick up easy kills. When ganking, always attempt to get between the enemy and his turret if possible. Again, Mord is a melee champion, so you have to quickly close the distance between you and the poor bastard you’re about to enslave. Don’t be afraid to use Flash if you need it to gank, but only use if you are sure you can get the kill and escape alive.

-Make sure that you always feel a sense of satisfaction when you leave your lane and start roaming before your opponent does. You know they just typed in “Mord MIA”, upon which all of their allies **** themselves. Everyone fears Mord - enjoy this.

-Ward the map for your team. I know I have said it many times already, but wards make such a difference. Go to Youtube and look up replays of M5, TSM, Fnatic, AAA, etc. – all the pros put huge emphasis on map control. You should too, and given that Mord is one of the best farmers in the game, you should contributing to the ward fund.
I did not make the above picture, but it shows everything I want to talk about. The red circles are top priority for warding, blue circles are second, orange circles are third, and green circles fourth. Don’t try to ward all of these areas by yourself – you’ll spend all your gold on wards. However, you should personally make sure that AT LEAST the red circles are warded.

-Do your best to make sure no lanes get pushed by your enemies. If you see four or five enemy champions gather, haul your spikey *** over to that lane and defend. Mord is exceptional at stalling an enemy team when they are pushing a tower - just kill the minion wave. With no minion wave, the turret will rain down on your opponents. It is still fairly early on in the game, and it is unlikely that anyone will have built up enough durability to tank a turret without minions to back them up. When an enemy team is pushing, take out their minion wave(s), give your team time to get into position, save the day.

It is hard to really get into specifics about midgame playstyle, as every round is different from the next. The point I really want to emphasize is that this is when you are most effective, and you should take full advantage of this. Be as involved in the action as you can – your team needs you to carry for them.

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Late Game

Mord is still very strong at this stage, but not quite as potent as during the 20-40th minutes. He is very strong early game (if you are careful) and is completely dominant mid game, but loses some effectiveness in the loner matches. This is due to a few reasons that are unavoidable:

-You will no longer be overleveled. At midgame you will often be multiple levels ahead of your opponents, but the longer the game goes on the more they catch up.

-You have no crowd control. Long games are often decided by a single team fight, which are often won or lost because of a single person getting overextended, stunned, and nuked. Mord has no CC. This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.

-Usually by this time the enemy will have figured out that you go after their AD carry every time, and they will do everything they can to stop you. The tanks will immediately focus you, that AD carry may have gotten a Quicksilver Sash, etc. Mord’s greatest weapon is ghosting an enemy, and it will become steadily harder the longer the game progresses.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Mord is a weak late game champion. You will still be very threatening and effective, just not to the level that you should be earlier on. This is why it is so important to get ahead early on and press that advantage while you have it.

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Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading my guide to Mordekaiser. I hope it was helpful and would appreciate any thoughts / comments / questions you have. I will attempt to keep my guide updated, but I am a college student and don’t have a whole lot of free time, so please bear with me. If you vote this down, please leave comment or feedback and I will respond ASAP!