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Malphite Build Guide by Dendee

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dendee

Malphite Rock Solid (Full Guide) Item updates soon

Dendee Last updated on December 7, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #6 in
Top Lane
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.



Offense: 6

Honor Guard

Defense: 11


Utility: 13

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Hi, this is my first build, and its for what i feel is one of the most under rated champions in the league, Malphite. This build may not be the best but it allows you to do what Malphite needs to do, farm, shut down your lane opponent, and eventually carry in the way a tank can carry. Malphite as a laner can completely dominate a lane, any ad will fail against you, as will most ap champions. Malphite's skillset is completely built around a synergistic moveset which is what makes him extremely fun to play as.

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Pros / Cons

Huge early game damage mitigation with Granite Shield
Extremely good initiation at all points in the game with Unstoppable Force
Easy to hit fast moving ultimate
Extremely fast with his Seismic Shard and impossible to run away from
Is a rock
Extremely heavily scaling off tank stats ( Ground Slam)
Crushes all Attack Damage users

Has trouble against some ap casters early
Has trouble trading without Granite Shield up
Has lower damage late game then some would like
Well there has to be four, so very mana dependent early

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The rune choices are fully built around the fact that armor increases his early game damage by an extreme amount, the quints can easily be replaced by movement speed quints for the ability to start cloth 5pot early, but he gains enough ms through using q on an enemy champion that the quints are not necessary. Magic resistance runes can be run more primarily if laning up against an ap champion, or you can choose to run mana regen if you plan on heavily harassing your lane opponent.

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For masteries 0/21/9 is recommended to make up for the choice to not run movement speed quints. Choosing armor and magic resist in the defense tree is to firm up your defenses to a point of not really caring and so that no one can bully you out of lane. Taking points in health regen even though the three health regen may not seem like alot, allows you to regen up to full hp while your shield takes the damage essentially allowing you to take no damage and win trades effectively. Taking extra health per level allows for more bonus shielding from your passive which is a key part of Malphites playstyle. The rest of the defense tree masteries should make sense on their own. The part where there is an option is running utility or offense, in utility your core will be to take the movement speed and buff duration with your choice of added base mana or time reduced dead, the improved recall is also very nice that one second is huge believe it or not. Taking extra mana helps early because of Malphites high mana costs. If you choose to go 9/21/0 take points in attack damage into cooldown reduction and magic pen to help 3 of your 4 abilities

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Here is what makes Malphite either amazing or terrible, his somewhat major item dependance. For the start of the game you should start Boots of Speed and three Health Potion unless you are running ms quints and the movement speed masteries. If you are running the masteries and quints you can start Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion but boots is still much stronger. Boots allow for mobility which is key early for trading and escaping from ganks. Progressing straight into Philosopher's Stone allows for Health and Mana regen which both help him trade early, so that you can regen to full health while using your shield to take damage for you. Mana regeneration helps with trading as you can afford to cast your high cost spells more early. Mercury's Treads are extremely powerful at all parts of the game and the tenacity can help you to escape ganks and take less damage from ap champions as those are your only weakness. Heart of Gold adds to your early income, and builds into one of the most important items for Malphite, not to mention the extra 250 health which adds 25 bonus damage to your shield allowing for even more effective trades. Picking up a Glacial Shroud allows for more mana to cast your spells with aswell as cooldown reduction to allow for a near permanent slow from your Seismic Shard. Glacial Shroud also builds into another one of Malphites core items, but is a strong enough item that it doesn't need to be upgraded for a long time. Then progressing into frozen heart, for the attack speed slow which stacks with the attack speed slow on your Ground Slam allowing for complete attack speed shutdown and giving you more armor for your Ground Slams armor scaling. Building into Shurelya's Reverie allows you to run from and initiate into fights much easier while adding more power to your sheild and more cooldown reduction for your skills. Randuin's Omen is a great final item as it allows for another attack speed slow and making you take even less damage, and again adding damage to your Ground Slam. Then you can build into Guardian Angel for the revive and bonus armor and mr to add to your tankyness. Your final item will be a Force of Nature for the health regen and magic resist or just a Abyssal Mask to help your ap carry and buff your whole team, this depends on the ap carry your team has, both are acceptable choices.

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Summoner Spells

The Good
You want to take Flash because its well flash and is just simply the best summoner spell in the game. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS TAKE THIS SPELL
Ignite brings alot of damage to add to Malphites insane kill potential at level six, and is a very strong spell in general.
The Acceptable
Teleport is an amazing spell if your team plans on raking objectives or you need to get around the map often, this is a change out for ignite.
Ghost is a very bad spell for laning but it is extremely strong late game and makes you alot harder to kite, in combination with Seismic Shard and shurelya's reverie you will be cruising like a racecar.
Exhaust is another very good spell on Malphite and in combination with your other spells allows you to nearly completely nullify the enemy carry. Especially when they have no attackspeed and do 35% damage :D
The bad
Do not take any other spells unless you are jungling then take smite, malphite doesnt need any of the other spells!

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What Are Malphites Moves And What Do They Do?

PASSIVE: Granite Shield
This move is what i find to be one of the best if not the best passives in the game, this is the bread and butter of Malphite from his early to late game, using this correctly can cause you to dominate lanes. This passive is not like other shielding passives such as Iron Man, which are for a max amount Malphites Granite Shield which is for an amount equal to 10% of Malphites total health instead of bonus health. This passive is also unique as it scales off of Malphites armor and magic resistance, making it more then just a shield like Jannas Eye Of The Storm which does not scale of armor and magic resistance and takes all damage as true damage, but Granite Shield is able to reduce the damage taken to the shield. As Granite Shield can be used to absorb alot of burst damage early, and even shut down combos, you should wait the 10 seconds for it to be refreshed between engages so that you can regenerate your missing health.

Q: Seismic Shard
This is your Q spell, this spell is a major boost to your utility all through the game, not only is Seismic Shard a slow but it has its own unique effect it grants you whatever movement speed is stolen. This means that if your lane opponent has Boots of Swiftness and the enemy jungler comes to gank you with only Boots of Speed on the lane opponent will grant you more movement speed because there is more movement speed to be stolen. When you use Seismic Shard to begin a trade you have time to get in and perform your trade while running away with the movement speed you 'borrowed' from your lane opponent so they cant hurt you either. Seismic Shard is extremely powerful when used in combination with items such as shurelya's reverie you can gain large amounts of movement speed. This is your main chasing and gank setting up skill as with large amounts of cooldown reduction it is almost a permanent slow making it impossible to run from Malphite.
W: Brutal Strikes
Brutal Strikes is a very powerful pushing tool and very good steroid later in the game. What Brutal Strikes does is give you the effect of a built in Tiamat which gives splash damage to enemies around your main target. This is amazing when you are in the jungle, but in top lane pushing will mean ganks and ganks will mean that you will die, so i recommend not to take any points in Brutal Strikes until absolutely needed. In teamfights Brutal Strikes will grant you much more armor and attack damage making the splash damage part of Brutal Strikes do more damage, that is all i can say about this move, that is a good steroid late game but questionable early.
E: Ground Slam
Ground Slam is what makes Malphite into the powerful laner and anti carry that he is. What makes Ground Slam so good you may ask, well heres the answer: Malphite is a tank and tanks get armor so they can survive ad carries late game, and Ground Slam scales off of how much armor you have! In laning phase using Ground Slam in conjunction with your Seismic Shard and Granite Shield almost no one can trade effectively with you if done correctly, because when you use Ground Slam you are slowing your enemies attack speed so they cant hit you as much, aswell as having a low enough cooldown that with your philosopher's stone you can essentially trade all of the time, because of the heavy scaling that Ground Slam has making it hard to trade with. In the late game when the enemy team has a fed Vayne or Master Yi with that pesky super high attack speed, you will slow them down to the point of almost being useless. Ground Slam in conjunction with Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart will make Ground Slam hit harder and you will have around a 85% attack speed slow on whoever you choose.
R: Unstoppable Force
Unstoppable Force is Malphites main tool for starting fights at all parts of the game. Unstoppable Force has a very fast projectile speed and relatively large hitbox, making it easy to hit and very strong if you can hit multiple people. So you are trying to get to the back lines to find the enemy Vayne but there is someone like Alistar waiting there to keep you off of her with a knockback from Headbutt. No problem Unstoppable Force makes you immune to all crowd control so you can get to Vayne and slow her attack speed, and make her useless. Now what if they decide to build tenacity so your ultimates stun that isn't affected by their tenacity. Unstoppable Force can not only be used to pick a fight but if your Flash is down, you can use Unstoppable Force to jump over walls and get away. Unstoppable Force can also be used in lane to set up ganks, and kills because of its insane base damage when used with Ignite and the 1.5 second stun doesn't hurt at all.

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Skill Sequence

Taking Seismic Shard at level one, brings the most utility, and allows for escape from those pesky top lane camping junglers that gank at level two. Then you take points in Ground Slam at levels 2 and 3 because of its lower mana cost and the slow from Seismic Shard will allow you to always land this sucessfully. Take a point in q at level 4 because Brutal Strikes does not help at all until teamfights as it just auto pushes your lane, take ground slam at level 5 and then Unstoppable Force at level 6 of course. Then max out ground slam and Seismic Shard taking your ult whenever possible for the bonus damage and lowered cooldown. Then take your first points in Brutal Strikes and max it out last. This allows for the highest damages without pushing your lane unintentionally.

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This is where i personally think Malphite is the best, he has an insane clear speed and almost flawless ganks at all levels especially after level 6. For starters if you are Purple (Top) side of the map you will want to start at wolves, which you will start with your Ground Slam DO NOT LET YOUR TEAM PULL THESE. After you do wolves you should go straight the the Golem (Blue) Buff. The route is the same until now on both sides, on the top side you should go to your wolves and remember to Brutal Strikes before you Ground Slam for more damage on your Ground Slam, you should then go kill the Lizard (Red). Then you should progress to your double golems, going to gank top afterwards if you have enough hp. You should then proceed to camp top and mid, and maybe bottom lane if it is easy enough to gank. Once you have your ultimate you should camp mid or top only ganking bottom lane if they are overextended because snowballing top lane is extremely powerful. Continue to clear your buffs and jungle, you can give Blue Buff to your mid if you are ahead and if they are not dying. If your mid does not use mana take your Blue Buff. Remember there is no rule that says you have to give your lanes your buffs. They can get it if you are doing well, if you are not take it, if they are doing badly take it. always take your Red Buff until late game then give it to your ad carry, if you are worried about losing your buffs ward them. Always keep control of your buffs and jungle, it is your only form of income. On the bottom side of the map the jungle route is the same but gank top after you take Blue Buff.
If you are ahead you can choose to give your lanes your wraiths or double golems.
Here are some jungle timers for you!
Small Camps
Wraiths: Spawn time - 1:40 || Respawn time - 0:50
Wolves: Spawn time - 1:40 || Respawn time - 1:00
Golems: Spawn time - 1:40 || Respawn time - 1:00
Lizard: Spawn time - 1:55 || Respawn time - 5:00
Golem: Spawn time - 1:55 || Respawn time - 5:00
River Camps
Dragon: Spawn time - 2:30 || Respawn time - 6:00
Baron: Spawn time - 15:00 || Respawn time - 7:00
The river camps are extremely important and should be warded by at least a sight ward at all times, you should contest them whenever possible and use a Vision Ward to make sure the enemies have no vision of the buffs before taking them, they are extremely powerful and can pull a team back from behind, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THESE!
Here is your jungling route for bottom and top side, the exception being that you should gank top whenever you are near it.

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This is where you can really put your opponent "Between a rock and a hard place." This is not my favorite way to play Malphite but he is extremely strong in lane. When you go to lane optimize your itemization off of your opponent, if you are up against Riven or Renekton you will most likely want to start Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions to ward off their amazing early games. If you are against Rumble or Kennen and you picked after them, you made a mistake but starting Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion, is stronger here so that you can get out of their powerful zoning spells. If you are against a heavy magic damage champion do not buy your Philosopher's Stone right away but instead purchase your Mercury's Treads, to stop alot of the damage. Against Riven or Renekton is where you can shine, instead of getting Mercury's Treads get Ninja Tabi and sell it later for Mercury's Treads. Aside from these bits your build should go on as usual. In lane one of the most important things you can do is trade damage effectively, this is where Malphite excels.

Early Game Trading

Early game your Granite Shield should be enough to cover most encounters with enemies, if your Granite Shield is not fully charged DO NOT FIGHT. The shield is your bread and butter of trading, you should lead in with a Seismic Shard followed by a Ground Slam the bonus movement speed from Seismic Shard should still be up and you will use this to run away and let your shield recharge. Do not harass at the expense of your creep farming as this will make you extremely strong late game as it will come earlier because of the bonus gold from Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold. You will have to limit your harass early because of the high mana cost on Seismic Shard and Ground Slam before you have extra regeneration from your Philosopher's Stone. Even then you should buy a sight ward and place it at your enemy junglers Blue Buff if you are the top side of the map and coordinate with your jungler and mid lane to steal it for yourself. The extra mana regeneration from Blue Buffwill allow you to spam your Seismic Shard and Ground Slam combos. If you are ganked use your Seismic Shard to slow the person with more cc to and run to your tower and continue as usual (see the ward section below)

Mid Game

Malphites weakest part of his game is before he hits level 6 and gets Unstoppable Force which is a powerfull tool for setting up ganks and creating a situation to kill as it has extremely high base damage. For mid game trading you should still not fight without your Granite Shield because by this point in the game it can be used to tank a full tower shot. This shield is extremely effective as it scales off your armor so an early Glacial Shroud gives you more damage on your Ground Slam and lets your Granite Shield tank more damage aswell as giving you more mana to cast your spells with. You will want to start a fight with Seismic Shard and follow up with Ground Slam as usual, continuing to do so, will allow for you to wither your opponents health down to a much lower amount, always make sure you have enough mana for your full Seismic Shard Ground Slam and Unstoppable Force at one time, doing so will allow for around 600-700 damage when put with ignite and your previous harass should be enough to kill anyone, keep your Granite Shield up so your health can regenerate untouched back up to full. When you back purchasing Kindlegem will add around 27.5 health to your Granite Shield or you can purchase your shurelya's reverie but this is not recommended until around 30 minutes so you can make a high profit from your philosopher's stone. This will transition into late game and out of the laning phase unless you are clearing your lanes minion waves, you may now move onto the team fighting section

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This is where Malphite truly becomes "The Rock". Your main goal in team fights is to get in ad carries such as Vayne Corki and Tristanas faces and keep them from doing anything, with your Ground Slam for its huge 50% attack speed slow and you can steal their movement speed with Seismic Shard so they cant run away. Getting to the carry can be quite difficult at times so using shurelya's reverie to speed up your team before using Unstoppable Force can be amazing. This is because the more movement speed you have when you cast Unstoppable Force the faster you move. Your goal with Unstoppable Force is to find a cluster of people and hit them all with it, if you cant get everyone use it to catch someone out of position, and kill them. In fights before using Ground Slam and fighting in general be sure to use Brutal Strikes to cause Ground Slam and make you hit harder, you will then somehow find your way to their ad carry and use your Randuin's Omen to slow their attack speed to around 10% when combined with Ground Slam and your Frozen Heart. the carry will also be slowed by Randuin's Omen allowing for the rest of your team to catch up. Remember you are the rock and your teamates as Malphite would say. be sure to use Seismic Shard on anyone that tries to run away as with 40% cooldown reduction it is a near permanent slow as is Ground Slams attack speed slow. After a teamfight wait for your spells to come back up and rinse and repeat. And by the way using Ignite on a fed ad carry with life steal is extremely useful. If your ad carry is being beat up by the other teams bruiser say with them and protect them so you can win, or you can choose to get someone else to do it but as we all know the only person we can hold to make the right choices to save our team is us. Your job as Malphite is to initiate and make their carry hurt or protect yours you should be the one that tanks the towers, goes in first and does all the dirty work that might not get any credit, but this is how Malphite carries his team and you know you are the one that won your team the game, after all what is Willump without Nunu?

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You may have heard the saying "Buy a ward stop a gank save a life"
I'm not going to tell you it isnt true, because it is. Do it.
Now for a more in depth guide on where and when to place wards.
Sight Ward is your standard issue ward and you should pick one up on your first trip back at around 8 minutes, if you are in jungle then this ward should be placed outside of the enemy wraith camp, parallel to the perpendicular bush in middle. This ward allows for extreme amounts of map control, and for your mid to see when they are going to get ganked, and a rough idea of when you need to go to contest their red. On the second trip back you should pick up a Sight ward and a Vision Ward. The sight ward can go anywhere now, be it top or bot, the vision ward is for Dragon control. You should continue to buy wards the whole game, and remember IT IS NOT ONLY THE SUPPORTS JOB TO BUY WARDS. Supports often barely have enough money to live on and only the jungler can ward any place at any time. If you are top lane, even if you arent being ganked you should purchase a sight ward every time you go back to save yourself, if you are being ganked try buying two wards!

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Proof of Concept Other People To Come Soon