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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.
This is where most people will wonder about my build. Even with the Masteries and Runes that I have chosen, you can still get all those nice tanking items straight out of the gate. I don't do that. Here's the build order:
Doran's Ring + Health Potion are the items I start with. The reason I start with these is due to the result of countless games, and countless starting item combinations. Doran's Ring is THE BEST item to start with for Malphite for 3 reasons. It helps your passive, it helps your mana regeneration, and it helps your Seismic Shard. A lot of players start with Sapphire Crystal, Doran's Shield, or Ruby Crystal. I have tried all of these, HUNDREDS of times, and none of them work better than Doran's Ring for the laning phase. Sapphire Crystal gives you more mana, but it's basically 1 or 2 additional uses of Seismic Shard before you run out of gas, and then you are even more vulnerable to enemy attack because you don't have the additional health that other items provide. Doran's Shield is the most popular, as it adds pretty decent survivabiliy in a single item for early game, but it doesn't provide you any means of mana or mana regeneration, so you run out of fuel much more quickly. What's the use of staying in the lane if you can't do anything while you are there? Ruby Crystal is used quite a bit, as it turns into many items that Malphite may want to purchase mid-late game. There will not be a good mid-late game for Malphite if he can't seem to do anything in the laning phase. Sure, he may not die, but he won't be getting many minion kills either if he can't stay close to enemy minions through harassing, so you will not be able to get the gold you need for those items very quickly anyway. Doran's Ring provides a lot more to Malphite's laning phase than any other item. It allows you to constantly harass your opponents from range, which means you won't be taking much damage from them anyway. Try it out, and see what I mean.
The next item I get is my boots. I choose between 2 boots. My first choice is Sorcerer's Shoes, but if my opponents are using a lot of stuns or disables, I use Mercury's Treads. Those are the only 2 boots I use. People ask "They have a lot of Physical Damage. Why didn't you take Ninja Tabi?". Well, Sorcerer's Shoes adds a lot more to Malphite's survivabiliy than you may realize. If you throw a rock at someone that wants to hurt you, they may or may not stop to think about it. You throw a larger rock at them, and they will most certainly stop and think "Damn! That guy hits hard." Also, it helps with all of your main damage output. Seismic Shard, Ground Slam, and Unstoppable Force are all magic damage, so are affected by Magic Penetration.
The third item I buy is depends who my allies are, and who my opponents are. If my opponents deal a decent amount of Magic Damage, or my allies deal a lot of magic damage, I choose Abyssal Scepter, grabbing the Blasting Wand first. Abyssal Scepter is amazing on Malphite, as it provides survivability from Magic Resistance, it provide AP for your Seismic Shard and Unstoppable Force, and it reduces everyone's Magic Resistances around him, making his Unstoppable Force and Ground Slam that much more effective. If my opponents deal a lot of Physical Damage, or my allies don't really need the help of Abyssal Scepter, I choose Sunfire Cape, Grabbing the Chain Vest first. Sunfire Cape is great on anyone who is going to be in the center of the fight, but with Granite Shield, Ground Slam, and getting deep into the heart of the opponents with Unstoppable Force, it makes him a prime candidate for one. Of course, regardless of any outside influence, I always grab whichever item next of these two choices that I didn't already choose.
After I have my Doran's Ring, Sorcerer's Shoes (or Mercury's Treads), Sunfire Cape, and Abyssal Scepter, I go for Guardian Angel. This will make you a beast because you can attack without worry pretty much, as you will most certainly deal massive amounts of damage at this point in the game. And, if you are lucky, you can recover from Guardian Angel into a Ground Slam, and hopefully finish off a couple more of your attackers. Don't forget that Sunfire Cape's passive is still happening while you are within Guardian Angel's ability. So, while your opponents wait for you to jump back up, you will have dealt an additional 2 or 3 more ticks from Sunfire Cape, and then Ground Slam, that's a nice bit of damage to use to take out enemies that are probably on the verge of going down themselves.
The next two items I buy will also follow the same rules as the 4th item. If the opponent's are dealing a lot of Magic Damage, I will go for Banshee's Veil, and if they are dealing a lot of physical damage, I will go for either Frozen Heart if they are melee attackers, or Thornmail if they are ranged attackers. Then I sell Doran's Ring for a Rylai's Scepter, a Void Staff, or a Zhonya's Ring, depending on what your opponents are doing. Most games will never get to this point, but it never hurts to know what do buy with the extra gold that you may get in those really tough matchups.