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Mordekaiser Build Guide by tox2ik

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author tox2ik


tox2ik Last updated on March 12, 2013
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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: 0


Utility: 21

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In season one Morde was played as a tank or as an AP character. I disliked both after extensive tries and built him with a balance of durability, mobility and damage. The changes he received made my previous build very bad in season 3. Tank Morde is now not viable at all, while pure AP still suffers from the same issues.
- Tank Morde is a lame fat blob and is no fun to play (try Cho'Gath...)
- Ap-kasier is very easy to nuke (get Brand instead)
My build is an attempt to overcome what I see as shortcomings of AP or tank Morde and is more or less pure pwnage. With an updated guide, this is also true in season 3.

See `Play Style' chapter for basic guidelines and explanation of skill sequence.

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Morde's strength comes from being a superior farmer. His harassment capabilities are also very strong, especially in the mid lane. However, maxing Siphon of Destruction first to increase his harass comes at a cost of draining your own health. Just try casting E from the fountain till you get to the outer turret every time it is up to get a sense of how much health he will lose. At higher levels of E, that is something one must definitely consider.

Spell vamp runes and masteries help a long way towards keeping Morde's health and are the centerpiece of this build. Keep in mind that using Q ( Mace of Spades) is a lot more cost effective and will actually replenish health rather than draining it. When laning top against melee champions such as Jax, Pantheon or Xin Zhao, It may well pay off to level Q first.

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Previously I recommended 21/6/3 on mordekaiser because that would maximize his damage. I was fully aware that going utility-morde was the superior choice in 3v3 (morde in 3v3 is op and lame, don't do it...), but it did not pay off in 5v5. With the introduction of new masteries in season 2 and 3, the utility tree is far more compatible with morde's kit and I've had the best experiences with mid-mordekasier using a 9/0/21 mastery tree.

I never intended for this guide to be an all-round introduction to mordekasier for newbies and adepts alike. Hopefully the tree makes sense to you without my explaining every point. If not, frankly I don't care.

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Summoner Spells

Just get Ghost or Flash and Ignite.

Fortify = fail (cant hold enemy under tower like Shen, Amumu or Rammus)
Heal = epic fail (because you have 5x greater seal of regeneration and Force of Nature)
Exhaust = only vs ad team (ranked)
Teleport = (see flash)
Repeat the equation for the remaining summoner spells...

No Ignite; enemy pop a Health Potion or a Elixir of Fortitude after Children of the Grave = fail.

Ghost is good because you want the effect of Creeping Death to grind the enemy down while Mace of Spades and Siphon of Destruction are on cool-down.

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If you're not surviving the enemy stuns, get Mercury's Treads, otherwise get Sorcerer's Shoes boots. Other boots are just fail (Ionian boots may work). Even against ad teams, don't get Ninja Tabi or Boots of Swiftness against Sona / Janna / Miss Fortune / Teemo / Singed / etc.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a good item for Mordekasier. This is mostly because all other champions tend to run away from Morde in a 1v1 situation. The slow effect will enable you to chase them down. Of course, if you are up against an ad-heavy team, then Sunfire Cape would be good as well, or maybe even better, since they are in your face anyway. However, once they realize that they are about to go down, they will run and if none of your mates can keep them in place, Sunfire Cape will do you no good.

Trinity Force used to be my last item, but is now the in the core list after Hextech Revolver and Sorcerer's Shoes. What I like about Trinity Force is that it makes you roughly 30% stronger, faster, far better in melee fights and most importantly - effective at killing towers.
- gives you more AD to push structures faster
- phage passive will hinder your enemies from running away
- the 150% physical damage on every cast will even out what you lack in melee damage.
- better than Lich Bane because it has no health and does not improve your odds in melee fights.

Hextech Gunblade would give you an active-effect item that locks a single enemy in place for a short time. This would be a must have if you didn't have Rylai's scepter and Trinity Force.

I remember reading in some guide that Deathfire Grasp was an awesome item for Mordekasier and thinking that it sounds funny. I have since then stopped playing MK as a tank, and realized that it really is the best way to initiate against a full health enemy. What you want to do is to kill+ultimate their AD carry as fast as possible, and no other single item will help you with that as much. It also has cool-down reduction which will help you cast your ult in almost every fight.

Randuin's Omen will do you no good if your enemies are mostly dealing magic damage. Get an Abyssal Mask in that case. It will give you the 20 magic penetration you are missing (since you got Mercury's Treads to counter their bursts and stuns) and provide you with extra magic resistance.

Item build wise you did decent up until Ramaudin's Omen (--MonkMiroku)
The reason I like this item is that it makes it possible for morde to 2v1 or 3v1 against melee champions. Tryndamere, for example, is a piece of cake with even Warden's Mail.

Frozen Heart is a very good choice against teams where most damage comes from basic attacks. Surely, getting mana on morde may seem like a total waste, but the ability this items gives you to tank turrets and the passives are well worth it.

If the majority of the enemy team is dealing magic damage, consider Spirit Visage. The spell vamp and life-steal effects gain a notable boost and magic resistance-wise it's the only good item for morde when the enemy team's magic damage is overwhelming.

Elixir of Brilliance is a good way to bring the CD percentage closer to 40. Get it if you have the money.


The majority of the guides I have seen put a great deal of effort into explaining how their builds are situational and that you need to get armor vs ad and MR vs AP. I think there is a lot of truth in that and is why I have provided some alternatives. Generally though, the items presented above work in almost every game.

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Pros / Cons

+ good farming
+ insta-nuke enemy support/carry
+ can do 2v1 or 3v1

- Vulnerable against high-burst melee champions (mid or top)

Experiment with leveling Q and W before E in those cases. It's not flawless, but it works.

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Play style


MS = Q = Mace of Spades
CD = W = Creeping Death
SD = E = Siphon of Destruction


Some guides will have you believe that maxing E is of paramount importance because "it gives you lane control and a good harassment tool". Well, okay. But what if say.. Jax or Xin Zhao jump on your head? Ap-harass-morde will do one E, then W and run. By the time another E is ready it will not be very useful because there will be no enemy minions to help you charge the shield fully. Another Q however, will do a lot more damage against a single target and charge your shield more because it gets 25% of damage dealt. I guarantee you Xin or Jax will turn back after eating two Q's at level 3.

This guide suggests that you max Q Before E. This is because the cool-down of Q is actually lower than of E on level 5 of the skill. Also, keeping W and Q at level one and relying on E alone will make mordekaiser susceptible to the typical counter play where you see three or more champions rushing him. In games where you can predict that will be happening a lot, maxing W and Q first has the potential of turning those assault in your favor.

Laning against ranged AD champs might be somewhat more tricky. What you want to be doing is blocking their main harassment ability ( Ashe Volley, Caitlyn Ace in the Hole, etc) by casting E on as many minions as possible when you anticipate their attack, waiting for the shield to go down, then Q and run back while they auto your shield down. And repeat. This works well if a couple of your spells destroys the minions entirely and if you attack only when either Q or E is available.

optimal path: Just kill ad carry and let her kill the rest of the enemy team.
pushing towers: Ult their tank and make him tank the tower.
less optimal: stay with your carries and punish whoever is trying to kill them.

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Patch notes

Creeping Death now properly gives assists
Iron Man
Shield regeneration adjusted to 30% at all levels from 25/27.5/30%
Shield regeneration is now half effective versus minions
Mace of Spades bonus damage reduced to 65% from 75%
Siphon of destruction no longer adds additional shield for each unit hit
Fixed a bug with Mordekaiser's Taunt animation
Fixed a bug where Mordekaiser's per-level health, armor, attack speed,
damage, and magic resist were lower than intended
Mace of Spades ability power ratio increased to 0.4 from 0.2
Fixed a bug with Iron Man where the tooltip said it had 5% decay but was actually 3%
Shield generation increased to 25/27.5/30% from 20/25/30%
Shield decay reduced to 3% from 5%
Mace of Spades now resets the attack timer when used
Iron Man shield generation reduced to 20/25/30% from 30%
Iron Man shield decay increased to 5% from 3%
Mace of Spades now has a 0.2 ability power ratio
Fixed a bug where Mace of Spades didn't gain proc effects from Sheen,
Lich Bane, and other similar items
Mace of Spades
Base damage increased to 80/110/140/170/200 from 20/40/60/80/100
Now scales off of only bonus damage rather than all damage
Now deals 75% bonus damage if Mace of Spades only hits 1 target
Health cost reduced to 20/25/30/35/40 from 30/35/40/45/50
The main target of Mace of Spades now generates shield for Mordekaiser
Creeping Death
Base damage increased to 24/38/52/66/80 from 16/32/48/64/80
Ability power ratio increased to 0.2 from 0.15
Increased missile travel speed when casting Creeping Death on an ally
Siphon of Destruction
Damage reduced to 65/105/145/185/225 from 85/110/155/200/245
Ability power ratio increased to 0.6 from 0.4
Base shield generation reduced to 1/2/3/4/5 from 6/9/12/15/18
Children of the Grave
Now steals 24/29/34% of the target's maximum health over the duration up from 24/28/32%
Now deals half damage to the target initially and half damage over time
Duration increased to 10 seconds from 8
Total ability power ratio over the duration increased to 0.04 from 0.016
Fixed a bug where Children of the Grave was improperly blocked by Black Shield
Mordekaiser now gains 20% of the pet's Ability Power, reduced from 25%
Mordekaiser now gains 20% of the pet's Attack Damage, reduced from 25%
Children of the Grave Pet
The pet now gains 75% of Mordekaiser's ability power and damage at all 3 ranks and the
ratio itself no longer increases with Mordekaiser's total ability power
Pet health bonus reduced to 15% from 50%
Fixed a bug where the pet was not generating shield for Mordekaiser when hitting inhibitors
Iron Man
Shield generation increased to 30% from 25%
Fixed a tooltip bug
Fixed bugs where several components of some spells generated shield
equal to 20% of the damage dealt instead of 25%
Fixed bugs where several tooltips did not properly reflect cooldown
values with cooldown reduction factored in
Fixed a bug where occasionally Mordekaiser could generate shield
multiple times from a single source of damage (causing a huge spike)
Reworded/simplified several tooltips
Fixed a bug with Children of the Grave where it was granting permanent
ability power and damage in some circumstances
Fixed a bug where Mordekaiser would infrequently gain health from Mace
of Spades or Syphon of Destruction while Children of the Grave was on his target

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Want to teach me Mordekaiser?

I will gladly accept challenges to a Mordekaiser vs Mordeksier duel on either Summoner's Rift or The Twisted Treeline.

My summoner names are:
North America: tox2ik
Europe Nordic: tox3ik