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Malphite Build Guide by m4tt30

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author m4tt30

Malphite-Rockin' This House

m4tt30 Last updated on October 20, 2011
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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: 15

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

Utility: 15

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First off let me say, there are a lot of ways to play and build Malphite, this is a full guide to him, not a build. Read the whole thing before you judge. Malphite is my favorite champion and one of the most versatile in the game. Enjoy!

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AP=Ability Power
AD=Attack Damage
AS=Attack Speed
MR=Magic Resistance
HP=Health Points
Ult=Ultimate Ability
CC=Crowd Control(Slows, Stuns, Silences, Etc.)
DPS=Damage Per Second

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The Many Roles of Malphite


Probably Malphite's best role, although it is not what riot claims for him, Malphite is one of the few champions in the game to naturally scale armor and magic resistance. His passive also makes him extremely hard to harass early and even late game can take an entire ability from an AP caster.

AD Off Tank Bruiser

This is also a very viable role for Malphite, his natural tankiness makes it very easy to take it just a little farther and the active on his can easy give him extreme damage. Quite possible the most fun way to play Malphite.


In my opinion Malphite is one of the best junglers in the game. Although he does not get through his jungle very fast he does it with very high hp, this plus his makes him very hard to gank. Also since he already has a long slow he is capable of ganking without red buff at level 3. Once he hits 6 however he has one of the strongest ganks in the game, able to use his ult from the bushes, even a full hp champion is almost guaranteed to die.

AP Off Tank

This is Malphite's least used and worst role. Not to say it isn't viable however, he gets a 1 ratio on his Ult and a .6 ratio on his Q. Although he does need some tankiness to him Malphite can easily be built to the point of nuking squishies from full hp to death in the matter of a second or so.

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Where should Malphite be played?

Honestly, anywhere, I have found success in all 3 lanes and the jungle with Malphite. It really depends on your team comp. Preferably he is top solo but if you have a Garen or a Nasus and they want it then let them have it. If you don't have a proper AP carry, or they are not comfortable going mid, say you have Annie and they have Talon, then go mid. If you don't have a proper support then go bottom and protect your AD carry. If you are last pick and need a tank and a jungler and Amumu is banned, go for Malphite. This is why Malphite is so versatile.

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Pros and Cons


+Very strong early game
+Very versatile
+Has an unexpected nuke
+Can be built into perhaps the toughest tank in the game
+Hard to harass early game
+Has plenty of CC


-Mana hungry
-Can't 1v1 bruisers late game
-Fairly difficult to use Ult properly
-Doesn't look as badass in game as my picture above

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Granite Shield

-Malphite is shielded by a layer of rock which absorbs damage up to 10% of his maximum Health. If Malphite has not been hit for 10 seconds, this effect recharges.

This passive is what makes Malphite truly unique, no other champion has a passive like this and him makes him nearly unharassable in the lane early game. Many people think this is why he should stack health however if you are reading this you probably already know that HP tanks are the weakest kinda and that Malphite would benefit much more from armor anyways.

Seismic Shard

-Using his primal elemental magic, Malphite sends a shard of the earth through the ground at his foe, dealing damage upon impact and stealing movement speed for 4 seconds.
Deals 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.6) magic damage and steals 14/17/20/23/26% Movement Speed from the target for 4/4/4/4/4 seconds.
70/75/80/85/90 Mana

This is Malphite's best ability, even better than his ult in my opinion. The movement speed steal is huge for early game harrasment and the damage is awesome. This ability makes it just about impossible to get away from Malphite without using some sort of distance covering ability such as .

Brutal Srikes

-Malphite hits with such excessive force he deals damage to units around his target. He can also call upon his strength to increase the damage he does for a short time.
Passive: Malphite's basic attacks hit units near his target for 30/38/46/54/62% of his Attack Damage.

Active: Malphite's Armor and Attack Damage increase by 20/25/30/35/40% for 6/6/6/6/6 seconds.
55/60/65/70/75 Mana

This is the ability that makes him a viable off tank DPS and jungler. The passive makes him really great for pushing minions and the active gives him extreme damage and armor. Also it adds a cool skin effect to him that makes him look molten, pretty sweet.

Ground Slam

-Malphite slams the ground sending out a shockwave that deals base damage plus half his armor as damage and reduces the attack speed of enemies for 4 seconds.
Malphite slams the ground dealing 60/100/140/180/220 (+) magic damage to surrounding enemies, reducing their Attack Speed by 30/35/40/45/50% for 4/4/4/4/4 seconds.

This ability gains damage equal to 50/50/50/50/50% of Armor.
60/65/70/75/80 Mana
This ability is the perfect for AD champs and early game lane fights. It has good damage and a huge AS debuff. In a team fight this paired with your ult can make an AD champ useless. In lane fighting where someone might think they can get in a basic attack fight with you after a few hits they realize that they aren't doing any damage.

Unstoppable Force

-Malphite ferociously charges to a location, damaging enemies and knocking them into the air.
Malphite charges toward the target area, dealing 200/300/400 (+1) magic damage and knocking enemies into the air for 1.5/1.5/1.5 seconds.
100/100/100 Mana
Although this ult if fairly low damage it can hit their entire team and the knock up is a huge team fight winner. This may very well be the best initiation in the game, especially because fully comboed can do easily 1000 damage total to a carry, which basically means 1 second into the fight nearly dead carry.

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greater mark of desolationgreater mark of desolationgreater mark of desolationgreater mark of desolationgreater mark of desolation
This is a choice, armor penetration or magic penetration,I find both work equally well, but they require different play style. For magic penetration i can harass harder with my Q and E however for armor penetration I can usually win more auto attack fights in the lane. I would say for solo top, go with armor penetration for duo lane bot go for magic penetration.
Flat armor is really important for a tank, since Malphite does more damage with his with armor i go for flat instead of scaling.
I take these because scaling MR glyphs don't pan out until level 12 and by then you will have your so the extra 9 MR won't really matter.


These are just awesome runes for pretty much anybody, this will help your passive early game and give you that added HP since you don't build any for a while.

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I go with a 0/15/15 setup for a few reasons

1)The first is that the 4% damage reduction for going full 21 points in defense is not very much (40 HP per 1000:()
2) Second is putting points in is basically useless
3)I put points in because Malphite is mana hungry this helps alot more than you would think
4) I put 3 points in because lets face it, movespeed is always awesome.

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Summoner spells

Good Spells


-Flash is just by far the best summoner spell.It can be used to chase and escape, 80% of people use it, why not for Malphite.


-Sometimes you just need that little bit more damage, ignite is the answer.


-Basically same reason as flash but you can also use it to gank and defend towers, really just a matter of play style.

Other Choices


-Mana is an issue for Malphite, however with proper management you shouldn't need this, but hey it works


-Map movement is made easy with teleport, never a bad choice


-Really jsut depends on your play style, sometimes heal is a good choice, especially for newer players


-Great for early lane kills, usually the job of your melee dps, such as Xin Zhao, but still viable.

Never Use


-With and you should have no problem getting out of CC. Besides you are a tank, taking damage and baiting CC is your job. Don't give the enemy a reason to no dump CC on you. I just can't justify using this over any of the suggested spells above.


-You have no way to get people into turret fire, don't use this spell.


-Rally is aweful, just never use it.


-Not even going to explain, do you plan on dying?

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Armor and MR vs. Health

I think that this is a very important point that most people do not understand, or maybe understand conceptually but do not know the numbers I would like to clear that up. The equation for damage taken for armor and mr is this 100/100+armor or mr. Lets do some simple calculations:
50=100/100+50=66.67% damage taken
100=100/100+100=50% damage taken
200=100/100+200=33.33% damage taken

As you can see, stacking armor and mr can really help, ALOT. However you can see that it gives diminishing returns. But coupling resistance and health is the most efficient. More calculations

Lets say you currently have 100 in both armor and mr with 2500 hp, and you have a choice buy more resistance or buy hp, say a or a , which will do more?
100/100+100=50% which means your effective hp is 5000 (1/.5 x 2500)
=100/100+100=50% effective hp is 7860 (1/.5 x 3930)
=100/100+200=33.3% effective hp is 7508 (1/.333 x 2500)

Now although the effective hp is higher with the we have to look at the added benefits from and the fact that it doesn't take 20 minutes to build. So like I said, in terms of allowable damage, the combo is better, but in terms of your job as a tank, taking items that offer your team or yourself more utility will most likely be better.

The first major reason I would say that resistance is better than hp is for tank shredding. Since the hp tank is the most obvious and simple form there are many abilities and items that aim to counter this, things like and . These items tear up hp tanks but the %life is not true damage and can be mitigated.

The final thing to consider when thinking armor or mr is the point value for effective damage of each health point, in our experiment above the first champion has an effective damage of .4 whereas the second has an effective damge of .28. This means that the second champion will benefit more from hp regen because each point regenerated will give him essentially more back, this means that during and after a team fight the second tank will have more sustainability from his awesome regen. Using another example, for a mana hungry champ, like Swain that rushes a you don't start with a you start with a . Although you will have more mana to start, you will burn through it and then be left with nothing, however if you are regenerating your mana you will always be lower but never run out, same goes for a tank. Many times I have gotten extremely low in a fight backed off, waited for my shield to come up and then went back in, just waiting 10 sec, I essentially reclaimed about 20% of my health and am basically ready to fight again. Not to mention when using a , you get up with the same health regardless of your max hp, so why not put it to the best use possible, food for thought.

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Now depending on how you play Malphite will obviously effect your items alot so I will explain them all


philosopher's stone

philosopher's stone-Great first item, gives awesome sustainability and gold per 5 is can never hurt. This should always be purchased first time back, even over boots.
-Hard to compete with these boots, they are the most expensive for a reason, if their entire team is damage however ninja tabi boots are a good choice as well.
-This is your first item, unless you are facing heavy magic in your lane. Still buy the first armor part of this though for the HP regeneration and armor before getting your . In my opinion this is the best armor item in the game, it grants so many stats all which you can use.
-The best MR item in the game, a staple for any tank. Just like it grants so many stats that just cannot be passed up, after you are this far through the build you have officially reached tank status and have become an extreme threat, oh by the way, your health regeneration at this point is right around 100 per 5 seconds depending on your level, talk about sutainability.
-This item does wonders for Malphite, those extended fight mana problems gone, those pesky CD's shortened, the highest armor stat in the game, and an aura that reduces enemy attack speed. If the team has no real basic attackers however I suggest buying a instead.
-What needs to be said, high MR and a spell shield, I highly recommend this item on most champions so why not the ultimate tank.
-Once getting this you will be basically unkillable, in a more literal than figurative way, having over 330 armor and 250 MR plus nearly 3k HP, whats not to love.

Remember thought that every game is different and every item has a specific purpose, if the team has a ton of auto attackers then don't be afraid to substitute an armor item for thronmail if they have a ton of AP champs then grab a second or an . Being a tank is all about being flexible and supporting your team. In the end you are just a support with a different role.

Off Tank DPS

philosopher's stone

philosopher's stone-Same as above
-Since you will not have these will be even more crucial.
-A staple item for any tanky DPS, armor, damage, and critical stike in one package, with this build this item alone will add about 80 AD to Malphite.
-Helping boost your Atma's this will add moderate damage a ton of HP and a slow that just makes it impossible to escape.
-The golden item, solves your mana problems, makes your Q hit as hard as any AP carry and adds an additional 12 AD in HP.
-The first item that puts the "tanky" in tanky dps same as above but now with added damage
-saving you from those pesky casters this is your main MR for this build
-If the opposition is not putting out too much damage or not focusing you at all, grab one of these instead of .

This is a tricky way to play any champ, how much DPS vs. how much survivability, this is really dependent on the game, your team, and their team, the items above a just a template and will work for most teams especially if your team has another off tank or even a full tank.

philosopher's stone

philosopher's stone-Still same as above
-Standard for any AP caster, gotta get that magic penetration
-HP, AP, and mana, great for anyone going AP
-HP, AP and another slow, enemies will be slowed for good with this item and 500 HP will help achieve off tank status
-Your main form of MR and even more penetration, true damage to squisies will no be achieved.
-Added tankiness and your highest AP item, great acitve as well
-Needed for added tankiness, if not having an issue dying, grab a deathcap instead anytime during the build process.

Like I said above, going AP is his least viable build, do not mistake yourself and think that you can be the AP carry, it is simple another way to go off tank DPS.

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Atmog's and Malphite

Okay so I am sure many of you just read the item section and saw on my Tanky DPS build that I build but I do not build a . I'm sure your saying wow this guy doesn't understand what Atmog's is, lol. Not true, I just think that for the rest of the build, doesn't add much, although fully stacked it adds a whopping 1430 hp, still add's 700, meaning at best is only 730 hp more, meaning only 14 more points of damage, add's 20 and an awesome slow, it is Tanky DPS, not tank. Besides look at the rest of the build, every item adds health.

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Early, Mid, Late game

Early game

During the early part of the game you should be focusing on farming and harassing your opponent. Don't even start using your Q until level 3 unless you need the slow for a super early kill. For my main harass in the lane I like to Q, E followed by a few basic attacks. Don't over do it on the basics just use your slow and thats it, if you can only get it one or non no big deal. Most champs do not realize the attack speed slow on your E and will get into auto attack fights with you becuase of this, few champs will win this fight, so for the most part, just fight them. It will just use your mana for hardly any damage. Once you hit six you will have around a 650 point nuke with ignite. Try to focus on getting people down once you hit 5 with your Q, make sure you have at least 300 mana to do your full combo and unleash hell.

Mid Game

During mid game you should be looking to gank with your awesome ult. Once you have your awesome tankiness try to push towers and support your teammates as much as possible. This is probably his weakest phase of the game so be careful and don't over extend, although you are tanky, you don't have your insane resistances yet. If you don't have much farm then do it now, you can easily clear the jungle and minion waves with W+E and, i'm not saying steal farm from carries but tank items are expensive and a little farm never hurt anybody.

Late Game

Late in the game your most important job is to take damage and start team fights. With such a great initiation you are sure to win most team fights. This is also why AP Malphite is the least viable, there is a good chance that you will die ulting into 5 of them, however you will probably take one with you, so your play style is up to you. The most important part of this is that remember dying is a good thing, if you can escape with low hp do it, but if you die that means there team put a ton of damage into you. This is not to say run in and die then call your team bad for losing. But if everyone is in the fight and you die then thumbs up. Also if you are being chased with anther teammate and one or both of you might die, go back and slow them down, let your other teammate escape, the only person on the team to die before you is your support, remember protect your carries at all costs!

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Friends, Enemies, and Punks



-Talon's passive needs CC, your Q is spammable and the effect is long, really good lane mate


-Caitlyn has great range and anyone with a slow can allow her to get in alot of auto attacks, your ult garantee's her peacemaker and the knock up is long enough for her trap to settle witch grants a 4 second stun/snare


-His ult sinergizes with yours, get people baited into the bush he can start his ult then you ult, 2 easy kills, plus between his and your Q they are perma slowed.


-Again your ult plus his are a match made in heaven. Also your Q will allow his drain to be much more effective.

Xin Zhao

-Xin's knock up requires him to get three hits, your slow allows that too happen, his massive damage is complimented by your debuff's.


-A support champ that can deal damage and keep you healed. As a bruiser getting in hits is important, heals help you do that. And together your ults make over 3 seconds of suppression for the enemy.



-The only champ that can out debuff you on AS and Movement Speed, with his wither. Try not to get in an auto attack fight with him unless he was recently used this ability.


-She is a tank slayer, silver bolts will mess you up, early game she isn't that big of a threat however


-His transfusion outranges your Q and he can use his blood pool to avoid damage and heal himself, a real pain in the ***


-His silence will outrange your Q and he can rift walk to dodge your ult, very hard to lane against but not enough burst to be a real problem late game.


-He has more sustain than you do in lane. His silence plus rupture can really swing the tide of a fight.


-All of his ghouls can really make fighting him challenging. Keep your distance until you see an opportunity that he is on cool down and you can get in a few good hits. One of your most challenging top solo opponents.



-Annie does not outrange your abilites. Her main harass is Q and W which will get your shield down plus like 50 damage early game. If you see her stun up be aggressive, she will always go for the combo and will run herself out of mana. She is extremely squishy and can be bursted down with ease. I recommend going mid if she is mid and your AP carry is not a good counter to her.


-Teemo is extremely squishy and you don't need basic attacks to get him low so his blind is basically only good for its damage which is not good.


-She has a stun but it is short, even if she dashes and stuns you before she gets away you can Q, E her. You will win basic attack fights against her, especially with your W activated. One of the easiest typical top solo's you can be matched against.


-Although he has a shield you do too, if you can get your Q off first you can easily run up and use E to put his shield all of the way down. At this point he has hurt himself 50 points for basically no shield, with your AS debuff you will win in a basic attack fight. It is easy to bait him into fighting and you will almost always win.

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Jungling Malphite is pretty simple, put a point in first for the damage and AS debuff then use his and at every camp. I do a typical jungle route of Blue buff, wolves, wraiths, lizard, and golems. You can make it through in one run with cloth armor and 5 health potions. The stronger the leash you can get at blue the better, I try to have my teamates put in 2 or 3 hits for me. I usually go buy after this, kill wolves, wraiths, and golems one more time then I gank, be sure to level up your Q at least once as it is your main ganking tool, when I go back I try to buy boots a couple more health potions and some mana potions. At level 6 your gank is extemely powerful, you can ult pretty much anywhere from the bushes, at this point killing both people in the lane is fairly easy, if your ult is up, you should be ganking. On your second time back however make sure you get a philosophers stone so your AP carry can have blue and your AD carry can have red, don't be greedy!

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There are many ways to play and build Malphite, I suggest tank because it is his strongest role. Malphite's damage will surprise most players, have fun with him and I hope this guide was useful. Thanks please upvote!