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Malphite Build Guide by Dotter

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dotter

Malphite - They say he is the Coon..

Dotter Last updated on January 21, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Introduction - Guide updated

Hi everybody. Sooooooo... yeah...
This is a guide on playing Malphite -> The build is the one I've used the most, but other varieties will be listed later on in the guide.

I hope you'll do well with the build, because I've had great succes with it.
This is mainly because I am The Coon. <- (Spoiler!!!)

This guide is updated for patch:
Ahri patch.

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What You Need To Make This Build Shine

In order to really make this build and the champion Malphite become nasty and badass, you need to know some basic stuff about him and how he works as a tank.
What you will need to know and be able to do will be explained throughout the guide, but here is a short list:

1) Know your role:
- You need to know that you are the primary tank for your team and therefore it is your job to initiate fights and to protect your team -> Don't leave your teammates to get a kill, unless you've already won the teamfight and your carries aren't no longer in danger.

2) Be able to farm:
Malphite is really item dependant, if you want to maximize his potential. He is not as naturally tanky as some other champions, so you need items fast to be able to tank like a baws. -> Therefore you need to be able to farm with last-hitting and Ground Slam.

3) Do not waste mana:
Despite the fact that you get an early Philosopher's Stone, you still won't have enough mana regeneration to be able to spam your spells like there's no tomorrow. Only use Seismic Shard for harrasing if it is actually getting you somewhere - If your enemy has a lot of health regeneration, you're better off using Ground Slam to try to outfarm your opponent, instead of zoning him/her.

4) Remember that your ultimate can be stopped:
If you waste your initiation, your team is pretty much ****ed. At least in an even match. Try not let that Cryptic Gaze, Summon: Tibbers or whatsoever stop you from smashing into the enemies. Try to catch them by surprise.

5) Do not steal kills from your carries:
They simply need to be more fed than you do, since they have the carry potential, while you always have your Unstoppable Force, which is a pretty reliable initiation in my opinion.

Other suggestions to list here, write them in a comment. :)

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Pros & Cons

Pros(Sweet Beans):
- Awesome initiater.
- Awesome farmer.
- Good chase/escape mechanism with Seismic Shard.
- Can tank a lot of damage with his passive.
- He doesn't necessarily need a lot of HP, but it is good for your passive.
- Great ganker.
- Scales pretty decently into lategame.
- Has a constant ******* -> Chicks dig it (Ask Lux, Miss Fortune etc.)

- Unstoppable Force requires teammates, who know how to act afterwards -> If not you will die 8 times out of 10.
- If you want a lot of armor and magic resistance, your HP pool will be low. This will make your passive less effective.
- Malphite is very item dependant, so you need to get a lot of creep kills. Try to last it as many creeps as possible with Ground Slam. This is why I gp/10 items are so good on him.
- Malphite is extremely mana dependant, but this problem is significantly reduced and perhaps completely removed by Philosopher's Stone and Frozen Heart.

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Summoner Spells

Flash + Teleport
Flash + Exhaust
is the best summoner spell combos for Malphite.

I do not recommend using Clarity anymore. Through a lot of testing, going with Philo Stone and utility masteries, that just seems better in my eyes, especially because of the change in the metagame.

I recommend using either Exhaust or Teleport in higher ELO and in more competitive play.

I use this in every game now. This is awesome for escaping and chasing. It can be good to use Unstoppable Force + Ground Slam then flash out for survival. Afterwards you spam shards as fast as possible. This is such an awesome tower diver spell with Malphite. When you are lvl 6 and have ulti, try to use Unstoppable Force on someone, who is recalling with low hp. Then Ground Slam and a Seismic Shard if necessary. This will make you a bit fed late-game. Also keep an eye on other lanes, if an enemy is on low health near a tower. Tower dive them and push the lane - really effective in mid lane, as no-one will be protecting the tower afterwards. Now, that the range of the shard is reduced it will be harder to chase, if you don't get instant kill at towerdives.
It is okay to use it against single heroes in the beginning, but when late game begins only use Unstoppable Force in teamfights.

(Recommended for duolane with DPS champion)
- Awesome spell for Malphite, since it can be used to block out an enemy carry in a teamfight. It is also usable in laning phase to either pick a target to kill or to protect your laning mate from getting killed. It can be used in 1v1 to get a kill or to get away.

(Recommended for solo top)
- This will make you sick at setting up ganks at level 6. Malphite is a great roamer, but teleport will make him get to "hot-spots" faster and therefore, you might surpise enemies more. Also good for solo-laning, since it will get you back to your lane quickly.

(Recommended if your team lacks ignites)
- For eating up the rest of an enemy's HP to kill him/her. Also helps to stop champions as Mundo and Swain. Better on a carry that needs kills more than you do, but still a somewhat viable choice.

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With this build I recommend going 0-9-21, since you will need the utility to sustain and some survivability from the defensive tree.

Going down the utility tree means that you can improve both summoner spells and get CDR on abilities and summoner spells, mana regeneration and more gold.
I don't really think going with 9 in offense boost you that well and I don't recommend doing so.

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- You gotta love this passive! During early game it makes Malphite very hard to harras and kill. If your shield is down just go back for 12 seconds and the shield is up and running again. As it scales with HP, you can also run with 3x Greater Quintessence of Health. Try to always remember to have the shield up and running before a fight. It will greatly improve your survivability, since it can give suck up 60-80 damage in early game, which is almost a spell ^^

- I pick this ability first, because I want to harras my enemies right from the start of a game. It is really good for harrassing and chasing. Especially with Boots of Swiftness It does quite some damage, especially because I have 9x In teamfights you pop Unstoppable Force + Ground Slam first. Afterwards you pick a squishee target and shard them to death!

- Nice ability, which I get in level 4, because it benefits your GS. The passive can make you kill 3 ranged minions every time you use Ground Slam. Use this before, you use ultimate, so your GS is boosted from the extra damage. This spell, will make you really hard to harras in early-mid game.

- This is such an important ability. It is excellent for farming, especially when you have Sunfire Cape. However it can also win teamfights. The Unstoppable Force + Ground Slam will deal about 600-900 damage late-game. It also slows the enemies attack speed with 50% when max leveled. Therefore it is awesome against champions as Mr. Yi and Warwick. If you also have Randuin's Omen the team is slowed so bad, that you often win the teamfight, if the combo is performed well. The scaling of +dmg from armor was reduced in the latest patch. This mean, that you won't do as much damage, which sucks. You might not be able to towerdive alone as well as before. Sucks, but honestly Malphite was a bit overpowered in early-mid game.

- This awesome ability is what makes Malphite my favourite champion. It is a very nice initiating spells. Combined with Ground Slam it also does a lot of damage late-game. You can take about 50% of the squishees HP with this combo. Combined with Randuin's Omen + Seismic Shard you have a great appearance in teamfights. A good initiation often decides which team wins the teamfight. If you initiate properly, your teammates should be able to kill the enemies, unless they are too fed compared to your team. Try to let the carries get the kills as they need it more than you do. Before you use Ground Slam use Brutal Strikes for a better damage output

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Rune Build


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Mark - Magic Penetration x9
- I want to be able to harras with shards early game, in order to get fed. The mgc pen will help you harras squishees. Many are surprised how much the shard can damage early-game if you have these marks.

9x & 9x
Seals & Glyphs: I go for armor and magic resistance with seals and glyphs. Obviously because I am a tank and I want to be able to stand against AP and AD heroes in early-game. Since you will get tons of armor and magic resistance in mid-late game, I focus on having some survivability in early game, where you need to be able to sustain in you lane.

2x + 1x
- Since you won't use Boots of Swiftness I think getting some movement speed from runes benefit your mobility decently enough for you to chase, escape and protect teammates.
- Magic resistance per level will help you against casters in lategame. Your build will naturally provide more armor, so this rune will help you have a more equal scaling between magic resistance and armor. Also helps against solo top AP bruisers.

You can also go with HP quintessences or MS quintessences, but I prefer MP,MR and armor, since that scales well with your early game and Malphite's passive is nerfed, so HP is not as good in early game as before.

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Item build

There are alot of different ways to build Malphite:

Start of with:

Regrowth Pendant + 2x Mana Potion or 1x Health Potion + 1x Mana Potion.
This is the build I use the most on Malphite - It provides great survivability and some decent utility as well.
Philosopher's Stone
- An insanely cost efficient item, which provides great sustain and furthermore it gives gold every 10th second. Awesome and cheap item.

Mercury's Tread
- It gives early magic resistance, which can be highly needed if you face a strong caster in your lane. Furthermore it provides the most tenacity in the game, which greatly hels you soak up some damage and still maintain some mobility in teamfights. Just the best boots pick on a tank.

- Gives tons of great stats on Malphite:
-> Mana - he is mana hungry like hell.
-> 99 armor - The second most in the game - boosts your survivability and damage output.
-> Cooldown reduction - Lets you initiate more often, which will set up more kills for your carries and give you the opportunity to force more teamfights (if you want to do that).

- Great item on initiaters. It will block one spell, sometimes it can seem useless if the shield is removed by some insignificant spell, but other times it will be really beneficial against heavy CC's, like for example Ashe's ultimate. It also provides mana and HP, which are both great stats on Malphite, since he is quite mana hungry.

- In my opinion the best item on initiaters in the entire game. The active simply works wonders with Unstoppable Force! It also provides great stats and a lovely passive ^^ Core item on Malphite in many games. It also allows you to get Heart of Gold without having to sell it again.

- Simply for more defensive stats against casters, who are quite strong at the moment. Fortunately for tanks, Rabadon's Deathcap had a small nerf xD.
It also gives tons of HP regeneration, which is great in the aftermath of fights, where you either need to push or defend, depending on the outcome of the fight.

- I've started to love this item on Malphite. It gives some decent HP and a great active. You will reach the CDR cap with this, so you will be able to spam your spells alot, which is nice.
If you feel that it doesn't provide the survivability, then grab a more tanky item like:
Warmog's Armor - If enemies have alot of armor/magic penetration. It boosts your passive alot and gives insane sustain - good for pushing after teamfights.
Abyssal Mask - If you have alot of magic damage in your team and no one else has it.
Sunfire Cape - Perhaps a bit lackluster in lategame, but still a great item. It can help you farm really well, but that is not that needed in lategame.

Build 2 - Solotop Malphite

Item Sequence

Mana Potion

Nomad's Medallion

Boots of Speed

Heart of Gold

Mercury's Treads

Sunfire Cape

Banshee's Veil

Randuin's Omen

Force of Nature

Differences from build 1:

1) Start with Regrowth Pendant and a mana pot for great early game sustainability.

2) Grab Sunfire Cape after boots instead of Glacial Shroud. -> For more effective farming and for the extra HP.

Finish with the item you feel suits you best against the enemy team.

Build 3 - Against Heavy Physical DPS

Item Sequence

Mana Potion

Nomad's Medallion

Boots of Speed

Heart of Gold

Ninja Tabi

Warden's Mail

Negatron Cloak

Eleisa's Miracle

Randuin's Omen

Banshee's Veil

Differences from build 1:

1) You get Ninnja Tabi for the dodge chance. It will greatly help you in late game against champions as Tryndamere, Vayne, Master Yi etc., who can shred tanks rather fast.

2) Eleisa's Miracle - I strongly recommend getting this if you skip the tenacity from Mercury's Treads, since tenacity is a really important stat.

3) Thormail - Really strong item against heavy physical DPS teams and it's rahter cheap.

Finish off with an item you find best in the given match.

Build 4 - Against heavy caster teams

Item Sequence

Mana Potion

Nomad's Medallion

Boots of Speed

Heart of Gold

Mercury's Treads

Banshee's Veil

Warden's Mail

Force of Nature

Randuin's Omen

Guardian Angel

Warmog's Armor

Differences from build 1:

1) You rush Banshee's Veil after your early-mid game items. -> Strongly helps you tank in mid-game and it provides mana to keep your spells going.

2) You grab Guardian Angel instead of Frozen Heart / Sunfire Cape. -> It provides 38 magic resistance, which helps against a heavy caster team. It also provides a revive, which is really strong against caster heavy teams, since they are way more reliant on their cooldowns than a physical based team. Therefore you have a better chance of not wasting the revive from Guardian Angel.

3) You grab Warmog's Armor as the finishing item -> It gives tons of HP, which combined with alot of MR is great against a caster heavy team. Especially if they don't have anyone with Madred's Bloodrazor.

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Optional Items

- I prefer this over Banshee's in some situations, since this item is way cheaper and it allows you to decide when to "cleanse" - It can get you out of any CC, even Warwick's and Malzahar's annoying ultimates. It also removes ignite and Mordekaiser's ulti. Simply one of the best and most underused items in the game.

- If you face a lot of AD champions get this item. It's passive will make them shut their stupid mouths and make you really tanky, due to the 100 armor (the most from any item in the game!!)

- You initiate, you you are in the middle of the heat. This will help your caster, make you deal more damage and also give you a decent amount of MR, against casters and generally just spells, scaling on AP.

- This will boost your passive like ****. It will also make you really tanky against casters and champions without Madred's. Just remember to get MR, if you have this item and the enemy team has some Madred's Bloodrazors. It is also really expensive, so consider this choice wisely.

- This item provides nice tanking stats and it's passive can be nice. (CAN be). However, you will often be the last man standing, since you have no hard CC like taunts, to keep enemies away from your teammates. So if you reach a point where you die, you will probably get killed again. If you don't feel this way, then this item is awesome, really awesome. It can be a lifesaver, but also a waste of money. It's risky, but can be worth it.

This can help your team, if you're struggling with winning the teamfights. Furthermore it gives decent stats. I rarely use it, but it can be useful if you don't have a supporter, who has it.

- If you face two squishy enemies in your lane, these boots are great for harrasing without being harrased.
Run close, shard, run back. -> A great way to bring the enemies low, so you or your laning partner can kill them when you experiece a chance to do so.

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How to play Malphite - Duo lane

Early game:
Try to last hit as many creeps as possible and wait with harrasing until you are level 3 and Seismic Shard is level 2. In lvl 1 it almost doesn't do any damage and it will be somewhat of a waste of mana. -> Unless you see a chance for first blood.

If you lane with a carry, let them farm more than you and perhaps rush Heart of Gold right after Philosopher's stone - Furthermore you should soak up as much damage for the carry as possible. Also try to let the carry get the kills if possible.

Keep harrasing the squishiest enemy with Seismic Shard - If they go aggresive on you, just fall back for a while and get your shield up again.

Malphite can be played both aggresively and rather passive with succes, personally I tend to switch between being offensive or defensive in my playstyle, depending on the champions I face and how good my opponents are.

Mid game:
This part of the game begins for you when you have Unstoppable Force - Or when the first turret is destroyed. Either stay in your lane and try pushing/farming - If you have destroyed the enemy turret in your lane, start roaming around the map, supporting your teammates with ganks and/or pushing.

Don't use Unstoppable Force for killstealing - Use it for initiating ganks and perhaps to towerdive enemies. Try to farm as much as possible in this period of the game, so you can gear up and be able to tank effectively in lategame.

Late game:
Since this is a pure tank build, you won't be able to do that much damage and to push that well on your own. Therefore your late game starts when the carries' late game begins.

When they have farmed well enough and are ready for teamfights, make sure to move in a group, so you avoid ganks and being outnumbered. Also put up wards for map control. Make sure to buy more wards than the carries, so they can get fully geared asap. Always ward have dragon and baron warded.

In late game you simply initiate the teamfights with the badass combo:
Unstoppable Force + Brutal Strikes + Ground Slam + Randuin's Omen. Use Brutal Strikes right before you use Ground Slam to boost your damage output. This will win you a lot of teamfights - Afterwards you spam Seismic Shard + Ground Slam to harras enemies. You will get some kills and a LOT of assists this way. This combo = win - if performed properly xD

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Solo laning

First of all, Malphite is awesome for solo laning. He has great harrasing capabilities and some nice sustain with Regrowth Pendant.
Granite Shield also helps you against harrassers. It means that once in a while you can go take out some minions without losing HP, even though you are being harrassed.

If possible, I always solo-lane as Malphite - a creepfed and overleveled Malphite can in my eyes almost carry. He scales well into lategame and has insanely good initiation capabilities.

Furthermore he counters the top AD bruisers quite well, since his damage output scales well with armor. That means that when you built more armor to soak their damage, you will do even more damage with your Ground Slam.

If you solo top, it is all about farming, farming and even more farming. Last-hit the best you can and try to avoid getting outfarmed. Try not to use your spells that much for farming in early game, so you can use your mana to harras your opponent with Seismic Shard - However, if you have the possibility to take 3 creeps with Ground Slam, don't hesitate to do so. Farm is more important than harrassing. If the enemy has alot of sustain, try to get your jungler to gank early, so you have an advantage.

Mid laning

Yes, Malphite can go mid. But only do it if no one else wants to do it or if it is a complete counterchampion to your AP carry. - For instance you can go mid against Kassadin, so your AP carry won't get wrecked completely.

The thing is, however, that you can only lane mid against squishy carries, not champions like Vladimir, Mordekaiser and Urgot. Against champions as Veigar, Teemo, Ashe etc. you should be able to own them, because they are much easier to kill than you´, since your damage output is so significant in early game and your survivability so high. If you go mid against a caster, perhaps start with Null-Magic Mantle if they have good early harrassing.
Just note, that you shouldn't seek to go mid, only do it if no one else wants it and if you need to counter an anti-carry or for the trololol of it.

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Good Teammates

Laning Mates

Malphite should be soloing top or jungling. Check Psiguard's guide, if you want to jungle, his Malphite guide is amazing.

But some good teammates are:

- With your Seismic Shard and his ganking capabilities, your laning enemy is gonna have one hell of a time, when being ganked.

- Her AoE ulti combined with Unstoppable Force can leave most of the enemy team stunned/knocked up for quite a while, which gives your carries time to **** them up like a baws.

- Not that strong atm, but man her arrow and your ulti is good fun. :p
That's kinda why I put her on this list.

- Not as a laning partner, but Kennen synergizes really well with Malphite. Unstoppable Force + Slicing Maelstrom are a great initiationg combo and will do insane damage. It brings so much CC to a teamfight and can leave enemy carries almost useless in a teamfight.

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Bonus Builds

Here are some alternate builds, if you want to try something different:

AD/Offtank Build

Item Sequence

Mana Potion

Nomad's Medallion

Mercury's Treads


Trinity Force

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

Wit's End

Youmuu's Ghostblade

- Takes advantage of the nice mobility Malphite has.
- Makes his steroid, Brutal Strikes hit like a baws.
- Makes him a great bruiser with nice chase/escape capability.
- Last item can be eíther Youmuu's Ghostblade or Phantom Dancer
Recommended summoner spells: Exhaust + Ghost or Flash

Recommended runes:
9x Greater mark of desolation
9x Greater seal vitality
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed or greater quintessence of vigor

AP/Anticarry Build

- Gives insane burst
- Gives decent survivability
- Can succesfully shut down an enemy carry
- Decent utility

Recommended Summoner Spells: Flash + Exhaust

Recommended Runes:
9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9x Greater seal of replenisment
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

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Final Words

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. If you rate it negative please tell me why, so I can improve the guide.

Sooooo.... yeah... the end.