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Malphite Build Guide by Crimmage

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Crimmage

Malphite: Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n Roll

Crimmage Last updated on August 26, 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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello, Crimmage here, and to those super-conservatives who take offense at my build name, well... let's try to look past that? sorry :( and I'm interested in bringing you a guide to Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith and how to go through intercourse, substance abuse, and rocking the roll. ;) Many of the guides I see here either focus completely on making Malphite as beefy as possible and try to make the most of what makes Malphite a unique champion, namely his Ground Slam scaling off of armor. Due to recent patches, however, this technique seems to have lost some viability in my eyes. Other times I see Malphite builds trying to go full AP. This is my take on the current rocky rough guy, though. I try to utilize all of his abilities so that they are all effective, providing a consistent and high flow of damage. So let's take a look at how I build our little rockstar. [loLpuns]

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Very good burst damage [Spammable]
Good harassment
Difficult to kill
Amazing anticarry or initiator


Can be squishy early game (But who isn't squishy early game?)
Item dependent for survivability

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6/23/11 - Added Lich Bane to optional Items
7/19/11 - Added Sorcerer's Shoes to optional Items
7/24/11 - Moved Lich Bane up to main build.

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I start my marks off with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because all of Malphite's damage is magical, other then his auto attacks. Not much to say here.

For my seals, I generally like Greater Seal of Armor for the early game Ground Slam damage and survivability in the lane. Other choices include Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration, Greater Seal of Defense, Greater Seal of Vitality, Greater Seal of Evasion, and Greater Seal of Health. It's really up to you.

Glyphs are also fairly flexible. While I prefer Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist because I like to be durable to mages and help balance my MR and Armor out, other options include Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Ability Power, and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist.

Quints I generally like to use Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for the early game and all-around game effectiveness of your abilities, but you can substitute a lot of things such as Greater Quintessence of Health for early game survivability, Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration because spell pen is just a really great option for Malphite, or even Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. It's really mostly up to you.

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My masteries focus on obtaining the Archaic Knowledge for more spell penetration, as well as grabbing the defensive tree because you are going to be putting yourself in a lot of dangerous situations. An option you can look for also is putting more into the utility tree for mana regen and a lower cooldowns, although mana shouldn't be too much of a problem if you know when to conserve it and not putting any points into the defensive tree can leave for a squishier Malphite.

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Summoner Spells

Flash is a great all around spell, useful for almost any champion. It does have a high cooldown. I find it especially good on Malphite because there are times after you use your Unstoppable Force that you are going to be focused down (Which is not a bad thing in the first place!) and you need to get out. Luckily, you have flash! Not much else to say. (Plus you get the added bonus of wallhax.)

Now this spell you might be questioning me a little about. However, I assure you that it can be invaluable, particularly when you are in the laning phase but outside it still shines. Malphite is a bursty champion, and having this spell really increases the ability to make a fatality out of your opponents, using this ability as a finisher.

These are the two spells that I use, although there are other great options.

- A great spell, and there are times where this can be invaluable! Combined with your Seismic Shard you can use this to escape deadly situations with really fast movement speed, get to a teamfight faster if you're a little farther away then you would like, or chase down a fleeing opponent (Although your Seismic Shard is an amazing chase tool.)

- Gives you great map control, allowing you to defend or BD, although Malphite won't have that great of a BDing ability. Still better then other tanky characters with your Brutal Strikes buff. Not much else to say.

- This CAN be good, but usually I don't have mana problems with Malphite in the early game, although it is possible. Loses a lot of viablity late game when you have a huge mana pool.

- Same as above almost, good for baiting enemies but not recommended since Malphite is already good at being an underestimated damage dealer.

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Skill Sequence

Your first skill is debatable. I typically grab Seismic Shard for the slow, but the AoE damage from Ground Slam along with the 30% attack speed debuff can be invaluable if you decide to go for a level 1 fight. So Seismic Shard is great for singling out a target, Ground Slam better in multi-enemy fights.

We also level up our Seismic Shard and prioritize is up to level 7, leveling our Ground Slam when we can't. The reason that we level up Seismic Shard first is that it allows great harrassment ability, scaling with a better base damage and being able to use it at range. I personally don't take Brutal Strikes until much later because it lowers the damage you are capable of doing because the base damage that Ground Slam does outweighs the 20% bonus you get from 1 rank. Another factor is that using Brutal Strikes before Ground Slam is that it can really take a toll on your mana early game. Needless to say, level up Unstoppable Force whenever possible.

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Abilities Overview

This passive is great. In short, your base HP is increased by 10%, and any HP items that you buy have their effectiveness increased by 10%. Amazing during the laning phase as any harrassment that the enemy attempts will often have the damage minimized by this. We'll talk more later.

This is an amazing skill in the lane. It gives you movement speed steal. That's a fairly unique ability as far as I'm aware. It slows your enemy and then gives you that speed, making you an amazing chaser, as well as allowing you to harass your enemies as well as closing the distance to further harass with your Ground Slam.

This is a pretty great skill as well, the only part I'm not a fan of is it's extremely long cooldown. I level this skill up last because I like to maximize my burst damage output as soon as possible. Later in the game, though, this really ramps up the damage as I obtain more armor.

Another great skill. Lowers attack speed by 50% at max rank, combined with a Frozen Heart will net a 70% attack speed debuff. Not to mention it's great damage.

This may be one of my favorite skills. While it is a skillshot, the main requirement is the timing in which you use it. It also pops the enemy up into the air for a while, acting like a stun. It does have a very high cooldown compared to other ultimates, but if it were any lower, Malphite would be stupidly OP with max CDR. It has a lot of uses. You can use it to escape an enemy team, initiate a fight, or anticarry like a boss. With a high AP ratio to boot, it's damage is enough to bruise a team up pretty good as a standalone.

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Now for the part that's been anticipated. We'll start off like a game starts. There are 3 ways I will say that you can start this build off. The first way is to start off with a simple Ruby Crystal. The pros of this are that the HP you get from it scales your Granite Shield passive, providing the obvious capacity to take more harrassment damage. Another way is to start off with a Sapphire Crystal and 2 Health Potion which will give you about 400 health to heal. My favorite starting path is to start with a Sapphire Crystal, 1 Health Potion, and 1 Mana Potion. This allows you to use your abilities more often then the first 2 as well as providing that health pot to recover on anything that went further then harassment against your shield.

Your next item that you should be looking for is:

Catalyst the Protector

This is probably the best item you can get for the lane, mainly due to it's passive. The level up will inevitably wear your enemy down while you harass with the constantly increasing mana, as well as healing you and regenerating your mana back up. Not much else to say. Grab Boots of Speed after this. And then you'll want to invest in

An amazing item for Malphite. It gives you a solid amount of tankiness with the HP gain, a solid amount of AP for your Seismic Shard to be even more effective, and a huge mana pool. Don't be afraid to spam skills now. Now that you have this working for you, you'll probably want

The best boots for a character such as Malphite, although other close contenders include Sorcerer's Boots. Not much to say. Our next item is

TBH, this is one of my favorite tanky items, and it works even BETTER on Malphite. CDR, MORE mana to compensate for the spamminess of the CDR, and armor which scales with your Ground Slam. Not bad for the 1525 gold price, eh?

Now look, some of you may want to build straight into the Frozen Heart now, but it's time to take a look at your enemy team's composition. Typically, a team will have magic damagers, and without a hefty amount of MR, you are probably going to be eaten up pretty quickly. So if your game does have some hefty magic dealers, you'll want to grab a Negatron Cloak before anything else. If they ARE mostly or all AD, though..

Heh. What's not to like? More CDR, more armor, therefore more damage on top of a 20% speed malus to all of your enemy team's auto attackers which will stack with your Ground Slam.

Now we had to put that Negatron Cloak to use, didn't we? What could be better then this item? Not only does it give you a ton of MR and AP, but it reduces the enemy team's MR by 20, increasing the damage of not only your Seismic Shard with the AP, but also your Ground Slam. What could be better?

This item used to be an optional item, but I found myself grabbing it in almost every game that lasted long enough for me to do so. It really has no downside to it in my opinion. It puts your MR right up there next to your armor if you went with Mercury's Treads instead of Sorcerer's Shoes. Increases your damage output by dabbing in auto attacks every now and then, also adding a physical damage variable in case your enemies were building MR.

Most of the games that I have played with Malphite are over before I buy anything past the Abyssal Mask. But this is only 4 items, isn't it? Oh no!

Other items which may be situationally more appealing include:

Thornmail - This is actually a really good item on Malphite. More damage for your Ground Slam, and a recoil effect from any auto attackers. The recoil effect isn't really too useful on our big rock buddy though, because with a Frozen Heart and Ground Slam, the enemy's attack speed generally won't be too high.

Force of Nature - Not a bad item, but you're already fairly tanky. I would get this if there's an absurd amount of AP on the enemy team though.

Abyssal Mask - Wait, but isn't this item already in our inventory? Well, yes. While you won't benefit from the passive, the AP and MR is something to be feared. An item both tanky and offensive. That's what our Malphite is, right? I generally go for Lich Bane instead and that's usually enough.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Another great item for Malphite. Makes your Seismic Shard do even more slowing, gives you solid HP [Which you might want more of], and more offensive capabilities.

Zhonya's Hourglass - Solid item. Armor and AP increase your overall damage as well as giving you 2 seconds of immunity. The active is not my favorite part of the item, as you being focused is generally much better then your squishies being focused. Still really useful! :)

Sunfire Cape - Really, this item is probably the MOST useful on Malphite then it is on other champs. More HP, more damage from your Ground Slam and a passive AoE damage that can really add up. Definitely a high priority choice if your game is still going on.

Void Staff - An extremely offensive item, situational but can yield deadly results. You'll be destroying even their tanks with your combos, as well as being extremely hard to kill yourself.

Glacial Shroud - Wait, but didn't we grab a Frozen Heart earlier? Well, yes. But these are two different items. While your Frozen Heart provided Armor, Mana, and CDR, this item's CDR and armor will STACK with your Frozen Heart's. Ingenious, no? Never a bad choice if you don't know what to buy.

Sorcerer's Shoes - A good substitute for the Mercury's Treads and perhaps ideal for when you need some extra oomph in your spells. Spell pen will increase the damage of all your spells, making it sometimes more valuable then AP or Armor for Malphite.

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Your role as Malphite

Many people classify Malphite as a straight-up tank. I tend to disagree, though. Tanks are supposed to consistently keep the rest of their team protected, often through the use of CC. Malphite DOES have a great CC with Unstoppable Force although it is on a 100-140 sec CD without CDR factored in. Sure, don't be shy to protect your team with your ulti, it can win you team fights! But be aware that after you use it, you won't be able to protect them from the other team anymore. Do, however, focus down those enemy carries bringing your carries down. Slowing their attack speed, movement speed, and hell, even doing significant damage to them is amazing. I build Malphite tanky because he needs to be. With his ulti and getting right into the middle of things he needs to be able to get out of alive. But he also does significant damage. Take out the carry.

In short: Yes. You are a tank. You are a tank up to the point that the enemies fall back onto the ground after you use your Unstoppable Force. Then you have a change of roles. You must attack whoever is either A) killing your team the fastert B) whoever is squishy C) Seismic Shard/Focus down whoever your team is trying to focus down.

Know that all games are different though and you must adjust to any and all.

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Early Game

At level 1, you'll generally not want to engage the enemy too much. Your damage output is fairly low and you aren't too difficult to kill. When you get your second point in Seismic Shard the harassment can really begin. You'll want to single out the target that doesn't have great health regen or a lot of potions, although you can commit. When you hit level 6, if you've been harassing enough then you should be able to wreck someone and get a kill, although generally if you have a competent lane partner ( Malphite is a great solo as well) you have a good possibility of getting a kill earlier. If you are being harassed dangerously, then you should B like always and when you have enough money for your Catalyst the Protector then you should go grab that, as well as speed boots if you don't have enough for your Catalyst.

Mid Game

You should be a wrecking ball, with the enemy team's squishies fearing you to death. Grab blue buff whenever possible, as spamming your Q and E will deal significant damage. You really shine here and pretty much anywhere. You should be very difficult to kill if you play smartly.

Late Game

You should still be destroying squishies and casters. Anyone that looks at you funny should feel your wrath. There's not a whole lot of difference to how you should be playing Malphite between mid and late game, it's just often a change of who to focus down.

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Well, that's my Malphite guide. Remember to stay rock solid and ROCK the roll!