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Malphite Build Guide by LetsLearnToL0L

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author LetsLearnToL0L

How to kill 5 Birds With 1 Stone! (Tank)

LetsLearnToL0L Last updated on August 20, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
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Win 52%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Malphite was the first character I bought, and was a great investment. Playing his right is hard to do at first, but it gets easier over time, as you start to get used to him. Malphite is an armor tank, who specializes in harassing early game, and tanking and initiating Mid-Late Game.


- Awesome initiator wit Unstoppable Force.
- Awesome farmer Ground Slam + Sunfire Cape.
- Good chaser with Seismic Shard + Ninja Tabi + Nimbleness.
- He doesn't necessarily need a lot of HP, because of Armor.

- Unstoppable Force requires teammates, who know how to act afterwards -> If not you will die a majority of the time.
- This build prioritizes Magic Resist and Armor, so your passive wont be as effective as if you built Health.
- Malphite is very item dependant, so you need to get a lot of last hits.
- Malphite is extremely mana dependant, so you need Clarity.

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v1.0.0.118- Granite Shield
Granite Shield recharge rate reduced to 10 seconds from 12 seconds.

Typical Riot they over-nerfed Malphite, but it's all cool, they buffed his passive a little.

v1.0.0.115- Heart of Gold
Recipe Changed: Ruby Crystal + 350 Gold
Now gives: +250 Health +5 Gold per 10
Randuin's Omen armor reduced to 53 from 80

A little setback, because malphite is an armor tank; but good news, no direct nerfs to Malphite.

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Summoner Spells

My Choices:
Clarity is necessary, because Malphite is very mana dependent early game, and in order to solo-lane or be a dominant force in a side lane occupied by two people you need mana. If you don't want to take clarity feel free to grab a Chalice , which will probably fix your mana problems, as pointed out by Anlh *The downside to taking a chalice is it does slow down your build, and takes up and item spot.
Flash is extremely useful in a few scenarios: your ult is on cool-down and u have to initiate, your being chased and you need to escape, and tower diving (not advised).

Other Possible Choices:
I usually don't take Fortify , but it can prove useful for those times where your in a two-person lane and your partner needs help.
This is useful in either laning scenarios, solo and two-person. This shines especially in a solo-lane, when you have to recall whether it be for Hp, Mp, or Items, and you can just Teleport back losing very little exp. If you had just recalled, and the enemy team is starting a team fight, then you can to the nearest minion, tower, or ward, and help your team mates.
Same as . Can't go over walls, but is better in a straight out race.
This spell is always fun to use. All you do is, after you have initiated the team-fight, just pop on one of their carries. Not to mention this is always great to rack-up some early game kills (or assists) during the laning phase.

If You really want to:
I can see how this could be useful, maybe use it to heal in the middle of a team-fight, or after the team-fight when you need to push. This could potentially save your life a few times in the laning phase, say maybe an enemy gank.
I would only take , if you don't have a support willing to take this, and your team really needs it (you have a jungle/counter-jungler). If that criteria is met, then this can be viable.

NEVER (for this build):
I never take ignite on Malphite for two reasons: is for racking up kills, not taking, and usually a carry on my team has Ignite say or .
Malphite isn't a tower pusher, so there is no need for .
This is not a Jungling Malphite guide, so is useless for this build.
First if their team has a lot of Crowd Control you should be taking Mercury Treads, and if that is not enough then buy a .
Malphite doesn't need to and re-initiate, you have done your part, as well as you shouldn't be dying very often (too tanky).

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Rune Choice

You may ask, "Why no Fort Quints ?", it's a common misconception that all Tanks NEED Hp. This is not true, I go for armor and magic resistance with seals, glyphs, marks and quints. Obviously, because Malphite is a tank, and I want to be able take some damage against AP and AD heroes early-game.

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Item Tips

Core Build:
Now you may say, "Wtf, is ths guy on crack?!?!", and my response to that would be no, and that LOL is an RTS (Real Time Strategy), where you have to make your decisions in real time based on the scenario. Not rely on a guide to make your decisions for you. All I can do is push you in the right direction by advising you on what items to pick.

When you die look at your death recap after a team-fight, if your taking 75% Magic Damage (from multiple characters), buy Magic Resist, if your taking, 100% Physical (from multiple characters), then buy Armor, etc.

Also press TAB every once and a while, to see what items the opposing team is building. If their entire team is building Ability Power items, then build Magic Resist, visa-versa.

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Typical Item Build (I suggest this start)

This build prioritizes Seismic Shard early game for easy harassment of those squishy Casters like: Annie , LeBlanc , Ryze , as well as the close-ranged dps like: Master Yi , Warwick , Garen , etc.

"Seismic Shard is your bread and butter - it is your harassment skill, it is your zoning skill, and it is what enables to you be so powerful in a lane..."
--Jebus McAzn

My Typical Item Build:
As I mentioned before Malphite is a tank, and should be initiating. So I based my item build on Armor and Magic Resist, because tanks who only have high hp get shred within seconds of initiating, and Malphite is an initiator.

Starting Item:

Full Build (no shoes):

Shoe Choices:
If the team has a lot of Crowd Control otherwise , because it there is synergizes well with nimbleness (the mastery).

Item Explanation:
First, the starting item, Doran's Shield , people may think this item got nerfed because you cannot buy an hp-pot with it anymore, well for most characters this may be true, but for Malphite this item remains his best friend. His passive Granite Shield , works perfectly with , because it allows him to have a bit of anti harass while regenerating health.

Then partially start your Randuin's Omen by buying a Heart of Gold as it is cheap and provide a decent amount of health and armor as well as 5g per 10 seconds. With the Heart of Gold , Doran's shield , Runes, and your passive Granite Shield , it should be tough for the other team to penetrate your armor as well as deplete the extra 300 health. Making you a nuisance to the other team early game.

Next on my list is Mercury's Treads , as a tank your goal in life is to disrupt the other team, enough so that they want to drop all there CC on you, and counter acts this perfectly, as well as provide some necessary Magic Resist.

Sunfire Cape , another one of Malphites BFFs. The benefits of a are: 1) Helps Farming, 2) Gives Hp as well as Armor, and 3) because you should be initiating, you'll be in the middle of battle, thus doing AOE damage to everyone around you.

Next finish the Randuin's Omen , because this item is great for team-fights. Its Active is devastating to the enemy team, whereas it slows both movement and attack speed for 2 seconds as well as an additional 2 seconds after the 400 armor is obtained (after full build).

Next is the Force of Nature , this will be your first real Magic Resist item. It's passive is extremely useful, especially when your team is pushing after the team-fight or the other team has a lot of pokers like .

Banshee's Veil , is a good item for surviving in teamfights as it stops negative spells, as well as it provide some magic resist so the enemy nuke won't drop you in half a second.

Thornmail , this is your way of telling Master Yi , Xin Zhao , and Ashe to F*** off, because it provides armor and deals damage back to them when attack with standard attacks (which is always).

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Experimental Start(developed by Gray)

No Clarity thus extra Summoner Spell
Lets your carries get last hits (You have Gold/10 items)
Extra Mobility From Shurelya's Reverie
Extra Mastery Point, for Summoner Skill Mastery (ie Tele, Fortify, and Exhaust)

Not as Tanky (early)
No Support Clarity for your team (ie lane partner)
Gold/10 doesn't generate much income

In a Nutshell:
Start with and
--> Philosopher's Stone, and buy as well as .
Then --> , and Philosopher's Stone -->

Full Walk-through:
You start off with a and a . When you return from the laning phase you should have around 1500 gold, turn the into a Philosopher's Stone. Then buy a , and a if you have enough money.

After getting some gold, finish your boots , and your .

For the rest of the Build Refer to my Typical Item Build in the section above.
Explanation Coming Soon, as well as a little customization to the build, this is just an idea suggested to me by Gray.

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Early Game:
Malphite is a great solo laner, even after the nerf to his Passive . Now don't and call mid in champ selection, and say "I read this 'awesome' guide, and it said Malphite is a good solo laner", thats just stupid. What I mean is Malphite can handle quite a bit of harassment with his passive, as well as dish out a good amount of damage with Seismic Shard . Make sure to last hit.

Mid-Late Game:
After acquiring a few points in Ground Slam , as well as a Sunfire Cape (only 1st and 3rd build), Malphite can easily farm through minion waves. Just pop brutal strikes and ground slam, and just Auto Attack the remaining minions.

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Team Fights

Your job as the tank/initiator is to mitigate the damage dealt to your team by disrupting the other team with various forms of Crowd Control. You ask "How do I do that?", the answer is with a few main combos. This is assuming you set your '1' slot (Randuin's Omen Randiun's Omen) to T..

Preferred Method:
Key Combo:
W -> R -> E -> T -> Q .
W -> R -> T -> E -> Q .
Now you ask, "Why should I do this?". Well first you prep for initiation by using Brutal Strikes to improve your armor, then you initiate by using your ultimate on the enemy team. Then you use Ground Slam (or Omen ), and follow up by using the other, in order to severely reduce the damage output of their Dps carry and stop them from escaping from your teams wrath. Last, you use Seismic Shard Seismeic Shardon the floaters who remain, and try to flee. Now this should be executed instantaneously, so the order between E and T don't matter. This is because these two things have similar effects, and should both be used somewhat simultaneously in order to devastate the other team.

Second Method:
Key Combo:
W -> 'Flash' -> E -> T -> Q .
W -> 'Flash' -> T -> E -> Q
This method is only to use when your ultimate is on cool-down, as initiating with your ultimate will go much more smoothly, and will allow your team to slaughter the other team while they are in the air.

Experimental Method:
Key Combo:
W -> 'Flash' -> E -> T -> Q -> R
W -> 'Flash' -> T -> E -> Q -> R
I don't suggest this method as it could go terribly wrong, but with a little luck this can shut down the enemy team and minimize loses. Now, this method works best if you Flash in from the brush allowing you to take the other team by surprise. You start the same way as the other two methods, but at the end you use your ultimate. Now having your ult after the initiation can prove beneficial in a few main ways: 1) to catch the survivors, 2) disrupt channel spells, and 3) as apposed to your team catching the end of your Knock-Up, they can utilize the entire time to focus down the enemy carry(ies). Now this is all just a theory, and I wouldn't suggest trying this in a really close game, or if you aren't an experienced player.

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Warding (Oracles soon to come)


Because you're a tank, you aren't as item reliant as your carries, thus your team relies on you to buy wards. Wards are CRUCIAL. You can ask any person who has been playing LoL for a while, whether they are a pro or a rec. player (me).

Spots to Ward:

These are some ideal places to ward.
Baron and Dragon should always be warded with a Vision Ward , because they will be warded by both teams. Once you have warded the designated spot, destroy the other teams ward.
Start warding Baron after people start to reach level 12.

(pic found on this guide)

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Now, after a successful team-fight your team should be pushing. Try to encourage everyone to come help push rather than recalling.
Once everyone has gathered up near the turret, it is YOUR JOB to tank the turret agro, when no minions are available to do so. This doesn't mean tank the turret until you die, because this will put your team at a disadvantage when the other team starts to respawn. Tank the turret as much as possible using your W to increase your armor, and hopefully it will be dead before you're forced run out of turret range. If not then your team will take a few shots and finish the turret off, but usually this is not the case, because the entire team will either focus you in the team-fight or will leave you at around 1/2-1/3 health. Pushing can make or break a game, so doing executing your skill combo correctly in a team fight (and winning the fight) is essential to winning the game.

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After reading this you're probably saying, "Gimme more!", and I do realize that this guide is a little short. Any recommendations on what to add or edit would be helpful, and thank for reading my guide.

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Match History (This build works)

Sorry this some are cut and pasted, but I started playing one or two other tanks for some versatility in ranked games (in case malphite gets band).

This was uploaded Free courtesy of
(Use Forum Code)

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Alternate Titles

Their Defeat is Set in Stone!
Being Carried on the Rocks!
Only Throw Rocks When Your Made of Stones!
Their Team Just Hit Rock Bottom!
Stuck between a rock, and his teammates!

Put your choice in the comment section!!!