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Malphite Build Guide by Pajamin

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 Pajamin

Malphite: All aboard the Pain Train

Pajamin Last updated on November 10, 2011
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Team 1

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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 0

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So... you want to play Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith. Well you are in luck! I'm hear to teach you the best way to do it!!! =D I like to play Malphite as a Tank, mostly because thats what he is. Everyone who disagrees is wrong. I've tried dps Malphite... no good. Ive tried AP malphite... die instantly. Tank is the best way to build him hands down. Lets take a look at why Malphite is awesome.


  • Extremely tanky. With his passive shield his brutal strikes armor increase, Malphite is tanky right from the start!
  • Good early harass. Seismic Shard can decimate the defenses of carrys early game.
  • Has a spell that scales with armor! How much better can it get!
  • You are a giant rock that smashes into the enemy team. Seriously cant get much sweeter.
  • Quite versatile, you can play Malphite in a few different ways and be successful.

He does have a few drawbacks however...


  • Like most initiators, Malphite's ultimate is reliant on your team doing being there to back you up. If your team sucks you aren't going to do much.
  • Early game magic damage can be rough. Like Zilean's bombs for example.
  • Versatility can sometimes make it difficult to decide what to do in a given situation.

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This build has been getting kind of stale as of late so I decided to update it. Currently I am in the process of creating 2 additional builds for Malphite as well as updating the current one, making this a complete guide to the champion.

In Progress:

  • Tanky Malphite Build
  • AP/Tank Malphite edit
  • Physical Tank Malphite
  • Possible Jungle Malphite build, I need to try it out some more first though

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I take Magic penetration reds. Malphite's spells are all pretty hard hitting magic attacks. Magic penetration makes 'em hit even HARDER!

I use flat armor yellows. 13 armor is pretty insignificant late game, but early game it means bonus damage to your ground slam and a little longer until your shield breaks. You could also go with flat health to make your shield better early on but it seems like not very much health to me.

I take cooldown reduction per level blues. I love these little guys. I use them on about everyone I play. Give you 8.1% CDR at lv 18. With the items and masteries you get with this build you will be up to 36% by the end. All you're spells will be back in no time!

I use magic resist per level quints. Magic resistance is important on Malphite. I take the over time quints because the way I see it, most mages don't do huge amounts of damage early, and these quints are better than their flat MR counterparts by about lv 13.

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I like to go 9/21/0. As a tank I like the 4% damage reduction a lot so I take quite a bit of defensive masteries. I for sure get the bonus to AR and MR. The extra health is helpful early on too. I'm also sure to get andor, I don't build a lot of ap on Malphite, but what I get I want to really count since my ult scales 1:1 with ap.

In the offence side of things I get a little extra ap. Not much but it helps. Then I take 3% more CDR and of course, 15% magic penetration!

You might look at this and say "did'd he just say Malphite wasn't a mage? Why so much magic related stuff?" Well here is why: Unstoppable force is meant for initiating team fights and hitting as many people as possible. If I can do a little extra damage right at the beginning of the team fight we are more likely to win.

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Summoner Spells

Here is what I like to take. I know there are other good things to use with Malphite but this is what i prefer.

Clarity:I take this one mostly for the early game. With clarity you can harass the other team with seismic shard without having to worry about mana. Late game I use it more for helping my allies since you won't have any mana issues late game.

Ignite:I like to use Ignite for a little extra damage on your early game spell combo. Late game its good for stopping those carrys who have a ton of lifesteal.

Other Pretty Good Spells:

ExhaustNot my first choice but it can stack with all the other slows in this build making it impossible for someone to get away. Can be handy for early game kills too. I used to use this instead of Clarity.

TeleportI've seen this work well. You can appear close by to save your teammates lives.

FortifyIf you take this be sure to take the mastery for it. Might take some time to get used to the timing for it.

SmiteTake this if you want to jungle, but if you're going to do that i suggest a different guide than this one =P

These are the only ones I recommend on Malphite, but if there is something else you are used to go ahead and use it, provided its not rally.

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Here is a list of Malphite's skills, and reasons why they are awesome.

Granite Shieldis Malphites passive. You get a shield that is 10% of you're max health that has to break before you can take any damage. This is awesome because it makes you not die a lot. You can take small damage from minions and stuff while still regenerating your health too!

Seismic ShardThis spell shoots a shard of rock towards your enemy. When it hits it does magic damage and steals some of their movement speed. It is awesome because of how well it harasses people early game. It's also great for taking out the people running away with just a few health left. Max this skill out first. At the end of the game you will probably be sharding them for 350 or so.

Brutal StrikesGives you passive splash damage with your basic attack, and when activated gives you bonus armor and attack damage. What part of that isn't awesome? I only get one or two levels of this skill at first. Just for a little extra farmed gold. But late game when you have a lot of armor for it to add to it becomes essential.

Ground SlamSlams into the ground dealing magic damage around you (damage increases with the amount of armor you have =D) and slows the attack speed of whoever it hits. Awesome? Well it does damage, potentially a lot, and makes them do less damage. Yes, Awesome. I usually try to max this skill out second. At the end of the build you will be ground slammin' for about 450.

Unstoppable ForceOkay get this, you jump at an area from a ways away, when you land you knock enemies into the air, deal a ton of damage (400 base damage at 3rd upgrade), AND stun them. This is the reason Malphite is banned so much in ranked games.


Obviously level this spell whenever you can. By the end of this build it will be hitting for around 500.

So your full combo at the end will be hitting everyone for close to 1000, and whoever you single out will be hit for about 1300, plus ignite and any auto attacks you lay on them. That plus whatever your allies can dish out will kill just about anyone.

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The following is a list of the items i get, and some great reasons why I get them! =D

Banshee's VeilThe last thing you want to have happen is for you to ult into the middle of them, only to be stopped from pulling off your full combo because of some lousy CC. I get the catalystpart first for the manna and health. Then finish off with the negatron cloak whenever you start needing the magic resist. Usually its relatively early in the game. However if they dont have any cc you may want to skip this item all together and get one of the optional items below!

Boots!Either one will work, depends on what the other team is made of. Since this build is a little weak on the MR side mercury treads might not be a bad idea. But Ninja tabi are also good because they give you just a bit more damage with your Ground slam. If you are really feeling adventuous you could go with the boots of swiftness.
Frozen HeartLots of armor, lots of mana, and everyone else has their attack speed reduced! YAY! I get the glacial shroudfirst for the early armor mana and cooldown reduction. You can finish it up whenever you want but I usualy wait until after Rylai's so I can get a little more health first. The passive stacks nice with ground slam and Randuin's too.

Rylai's Crystal ScepterThe only AP item in the build. I get this one because of its passive mostly, making your shards slow even slower and slowing them when you ult into them all to is great! Throw randuin's omen into the mix to and they aren't moving after you get there.

Randuin's OmenThis item is the heart of any good malphite build. (not just because it is made from heart of gold either). The active slow nearby enemies attack speed and movement speed. And the duration of that increases when you have more armor and magic resist! Plus it gives you more armor, health regen, flat health, and cooldwon reduction. I usualy try to get the heart of goldpart early because it makes you finish up your build quickly. You can finish your build completely by 40 min because of heart of gold

Guardian AngelAhhh, guardian angel. The one item ever good tank build should have. Here is why! You all know how annoying it can be to kill the tank. Well this item make it that much more annoying! Coming back to life after they just spent all that time killing you is just on big slap in the face to the enemy. This doesn't mean that you should just run around wherever you want because it is still can die pretty easily if they catch you off guard.

Other Niftey Items

These items are all the other items that I like on Malphite. I usualy go with the items above but there are circumstances where I would take the following items instead.

ThronmailThis item can be good if they are just wreaking you with physical damage. Not only is it the biggest single armor item in the game it also returns damage back to people hitting you with physical damage. If you need to buy this item you probably don't need as much MR so I would get this instead of Banshee's unless of course they still have a ton of CC.

Warmog's ArmorIf they are just doing a ton of damage but its mixed between magic and physical this item is you're best bet. Just a whole lot of health. Also it adds quite a bit to you're shield. If they are doing enough damage to warrant this item I would probably replace Rylai's with this one.

Force of NatureGet this item if the other team is really magic heavy. This is the biggest MR item int he game so it will fit your purposes great. However since its passive increases your health regen by a percentage of your max health I suggest getting Warmog's armor with this item so they can work together.

Abyssal ScepterThis item isn't an obvious choice but if both teams are a little magic heavy it could come in handy. I raises your MR while lowering any nearby enemies MR, both defending yourself from their magic and increasing the effectiveness of your entire teams magic. Plus it also gives you a little AP. I would replace Rylai's with his one if you are going to get it. But you probably want to get some other item that gives you health if thats the case. Maybe a sunfire cape.

Sunfire CapeThis Item can be pretty handy sometimes. Health and armor are good for tanking, then the AOE magic damage is pretty decent too. If you decide you need more armor than AP get this instead of Rylai's, or get this if you get abyssal scepter too.

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Early Game

Take the solo lane if you have a jungler on your team. Start out by buying a mana crystal and a few HP potions. You should harass whichever person has the least health regen/lifesteal. Only hit them a few times durring your first two levels then really start hammering them when you reach level 3 and you have an upgraded Seismic Shard. If they think they can kill you and they come at you there is a good chance you can get a kill with you skills and ignite. Once you reach level 6 and you get your ult you can probably kill anyone who is at half health or really squishey. Just remember this combo: RWEQF (Unstoppable Force, Brutal Strikes, Ground Slam, Seismic Shard, Ignite). Since you have your shield you can easily tower dive people with your ult and get away unscathed.

If you have someone with you try to lane with either a ranged carry like Ashe or Tristana, or someone who can catch up to then when you slow them like Master Yi or Tryndamere. A high damage mage would work well too. If you lane with a Zilean they can put a bomb on you right before you ult in for even more damage! Strategy for laneing with someone is pretty much the same but you will probably get a kill or assist a lot sooner if they are any good. Try not to steal people kills with your ult even though it might be tempting. You will be getting a lot of assists later so it will be better to get your teammates some early kills than you.

If you want feel free to gank somewhere once you get your ult. Its really fun to plow into someone when they don't even know you are there. It can get you an easy kill or assist.

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Mid Game

For this part you are going to want to stay with your team mostly. You are one of the best team fight initiators in the entire game. Use that to your advantage. You are also pretty good at taking down towers with Brutal Strikes' damage increase so take a few whacks at any unguarded tower. Don't be afraid to use your ult as an escape method if you get caught off guard. It feels like a waste but with the amount of CDR you have with this build it will be back in no time.

Dont forget to buy your heart of gold pretty early on. It will make everything else come by a lot faster.

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Late Game

Not a lot different from mid game except it is vitally more important that you are with your team. Being the tank is a lot of responsibility so you cant just go wandering off in hopes of some random kill. You will save your allies lives many times if your around them. Your goal is to be as annoying as possible to the other team so they have to focus you, giving your heavy dps people a chance to get in and do some real damage. You will be tanky enough to take hits from towers while your allies attack them. This can get some nice pushing done when the enemy team is completely dead.

Unfortunately... you could be the best Malphite in the world but you team can still lose due to other people derping. Your best bet then is to be a scary as you can and hope you can get them to surrender. This has worked for me once. Only because I set up enough kills to make it look like my carrys were godlike. It can be a fun challenge but it probably wont work.

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Thank you all

Thanks for checking out my Malphite guide! I hope you enjoy this great Champ as much as I have. Let me know what you think with and remember, I love you and thats why I made this for you.