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Mordekaiser Build Guide by DKims

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DKims

Mordekaiser ADC Patch 5.17 in Depth Guide (TL;DR in notes)

DKims Last updated on September 14, 2015
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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: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Mordekaiser with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Miss Fortune This is probably the dream matchup when playing Mordekaiser. Most of Miss Fortune's damage can be negated by Iron Man and having zero escapes doesn't help her. Keep your passive up and her Q will not be able to deal damage. Her slow is a little annoying however it is not significant because your mobility is not the best anyway. At level 6 make sure Iron Man is stacked to a decent amount so that her ult will be mostly negated and dealing damage to her becomes easier since she stands still when ulting (basically, walk up to her and deal damage).
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After a seemingly overpowered rework, Mordekaiser has changed the bot lane meta to juggernaut-support. With his rework came the infamous new passive, giving him the experience of a solo laner and a shift of power in his abilities. This also brought back the double relic shield meta, although it is only useful on Mordekaiser.
I have seen other guides for Mordekaiser, but I didn't agree with some of them so I decided to make my own with my input on how to play him. Feel free to leave any comments on your own opinions of the guide and what should be changed.
There are TL;DR's for items, masteries, and runes just in case the in-depth guide is too long to read (while in loading screen, trying to learn Mordekaiser).
(The guide is now complete and will be updated on patch day for any changes made to Mordekaiser)

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Pros / Cons


  • Extremely high amounts of damage with Mace of Spades
  • Relatively tanky
  • Iron Man passive negates a lot of damage
  • Low cool-downs
  • Pet Dragon
  • Gets the same amount of experience as a solo laner even when laning with a support.

  • Mordekaiser is immobile and easy to hit
  • Has no escape
  • Iron Man shield is easy to take down for non-spell casters
  • Without a hard cc support it is easy to peel from Mordekaiser
  • Can be easy to kite
  • Ghosts are a bit clunky and deal a set amount of damage.
  • Falling behind usually means you stay behind

Pros Summary

Mordekaiser is the definition of a Juggernaut. High damage, ability to tank (a little), and low mobility. Starting with the Pros, Mordekaiser's damage output is ridiculous, especially in the early to mid-game. Mace of Spades adds additional damage to his auto attacks and gives the potential to win any and every trade, as long as you hit all three autos in the given time frame. Included with his high damage is his relatively tanky nature. He can't tank like a full defensive build Cho'Gath but he is able to stay alive against at least two people with the possibility of killing one. To help with his tanking ability, his passive Iron Man is able to negate damage from a spell or auto attack. When it is fully stacked it could prevent two or even three spells from dealing damage. If that wasn't enough Mordekaiser's cool-downs are extremely low. At base Mace of Spades has a 10 second cool-down and Siphon of Destruction with 6 seconds, both of which stack the Iron Man shield. Although the cool-downs do not seem very short, by the time that a Mordekaiser is able to get three auto attacks, Mace of Spades is already down to about 5-6 seconds. In between that time, Siphon of Destruction can be activated and re-activated again by the time Mace of Spades is up again. Harvesters of Sorrow is the longest regular spell cool-down, however the spell lasts 4 seconds, which at rank 1 leaves 8 seconds until the ability can be activated again. The only downside to his spells is his ultimate's Children of the Grave cool-down. It is pretty lengthy for how long it lasts however the 120 seconds is definitely not short. One new and hyped update to Mordekaiser is his ability to get the Dragon as a ghost. This gives extreme siege pressure early and will almost guarantee a turret kill. His final and the main reason for his bot lane role is his new passive on Harvesters of Sorrow. Mordekaiser gains the full experience from a minion kill regardless of who is with him. This gets him to the same level as the solo laners and leaves the other ADC one or even two levels behind if the lane is pushed.

Cons Summary

Of course no champion is perfect and Mordekaiser is the same. His Cons are typical of a Juggernaut. He is very immobile (although Harvesters of Sorrow does give movement speed) and a fairly big target. Maneuvering through obstacles is a challenge and will only be annoyances to get around. He has no quick gap closers or escapes, making it easy to gank him if the player is unaware and peeling away from a Mordekaiser without a cc support is not very difficult. Without any potential to chase or lock down a target, kiting becomes an easy task and makes the Iron Man shield a non-factor. One of his beneficial factors is creating a ghost to deal extra damage, except the ghost is very clunky with high amounts of attack speed and does a set amount of damage (50 at rank 3, although there may be a glitch that allows the ghost to do more damage since in every game I have played so far the ghosts definitely did more than 50 damage even at rank 1). One very important thing to remember is that falling behind usually means that Mordekaiser will stay behind. Keeping a Mordekaiser that is behind, once behind, is somewhat effortless.

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Summoner Spells

A common summoner spell for most champions. Since Mordekaiser lacks an escape, Flash is necessary for any situation where you need to quickly get away. Flashing aggressively is good too, just make sure that you can get the kill.

Another common spell, especially for an ADC. Heal makes it easier to survive the lane and get away. It also extends trades, allowing more damage output. The only downside to this is the kill potential isn't as great as Ignite.

Optional Spells

Unlike Heal, Ignite gives a lot of pressure and kill potential. It is a lot easier to secure kills and lowers the chance of letting one go with a sliver of health. This is convenient since Mordekaiser has low mobility and almost no chase potential without Harvesters of Sorrow. Of course there is the downside and the spell gives zero sustainability and some AD Carries are able to abuse that.

Personally, I don't like taking this but if the support takes Ignite, Exhaust is not the worst spell to take. Reducing the damage of another damage dealer makes trades favored towards a Mordekaiser and the movement speed reduction definitely helps when it comes to ganks or getting auto attacks with Mace of Spades. However, it is not the most efficient spell on Mordekaiser and an ADC who is close enough to get auto attacked by a Mordekaiser is doing something wrong. Just have the support take Exhaust and take another spell.

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Flat AD Marks are standard for any ADC. It adds damage for trades, helps with last hitting and pushing wave faster. Another option is the Greater Mark of Armor Penetration. These aren't as great as they used to be, especially the flat marks because it does not help much against champions stacking armor.

Another common rune for any role in the bot lane. Greater Seal of Health is really not worth the price and space unless it is a scaling rune. Greater Seal of Armor gives extra defensive stats against other AD Carries and reduces the amount of damage taken, instead of stacking health early.

This can be swapped with AP/AD Glyphs, cool-down reduction Glyphs or Armor Glyphs. I wouldn't recommend the CDR because of his already short cool-downs, and more of the AP/AD Glyphs for damage. The Armor Glyphs should really only be for going against an all AD comp, but even then having the Magic Resist would help reducing the damage from annoying supports like Sona or even Soraka.

This is where I differ from other guides. Regardless of the ADC I am playing, I will always take 3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed. I prefer to have the attack speed over the extra AD since it gives shorter time frames of when I can do damage. The extra attack speed makes Mace of Spades easier to maximize in damage because of the shorter time frames between each auto attack. It already does a lot of damage so adding a flat amount of AD will not benefit the spell much. If it is too difficult to last hit without the extra AD then taking only 2 attack speed Quintessences will help. Another option is to take Movement Speed Quintessences to make up for his mobility however, I, personally, would not trade the attack speed for it.

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Throughout my search of guides, one of the parts I didn't agree with were the masteries. Some of the points invested are the same for obvious reasons but others I decided to spend somewhere else.

Offensive Tree- Row 1

Double-Edged Sword and Butcher were the two that I kept. Double-Edged Sword because Mordekaiser is a melee champion and will deal extra damage. Butcher helps push the lane and unlocks Feast. Some guides took Sorcery instead of Fury but I don't find it worth to invest points for CDR considering the cool-downs are fairly short and 2.5% is negligible. In my opinion, it is better to invest in attack speed, especially with the 3 Quintessence of Attack Speed. This will help hitting the auto attacks and maximize the damage of Mace of Spades.

Offensive Tree- Row 2

Starting from the right, I took a point in Feast for sustainability. In lane you will take a lot of damage and lose health from spells so any sort of health restore is welcome. The points invested in Mental Force and Brute Force were because of Mordekaiser's hybrid scaling on his abilities. This will help deal early damage and make it difficult to build against Mordekaiser early. Expose Weakness , at first, seemed like a good idea, but with the amount of damage that Mordekaiser already does, one percent damage for your support won't really help much (it just didn't seem like it was worth the point).

Offensive Tree- Row 3

Going from right to left, Executioner is a standard mastery for a carry and is probably the most overpowered mastery right now. Arcane Mastery and Martial Mastery are there for the same reasons as Mental Force and Brute Force , which gives both the AP and AD for Mordekaiser's hybrid scaling. Spell Weaving is one of the masteries I kept from other guides because Mordekaiser does damage from his spells and auto attacks. This also synergizes with Mace of Spades very well.

Offensive Tree- Row 4

Blade Weaving is taken for the same reason as Spell Weaving , the amount of spells and auto attacks used benefit from each other with both weaving masteries. I didn't take any points in Warlord because the mastery adds ontoBONUS AD and not the AD from items. This really isn't worth getting on Mordekaiser since he doesn't build any items that give bonus AD like Ravenous Hydra. The same goes for Archmage because you are building hybrid, the 5% is not worth spending 3 points on. Dangerous Game is for the sustain since you will be taking damage and restoring any bit of health is useful. If you do not find yourself taking a large amount of damage after killing an enemy champion, you do not have to take this and can put the point on Expose Weakness .

Offense Tree- Rows 5&6

Frenzy and Devastating Strikes are kind of pointless on Mordekaiser because of his non-crit and non-armor/magic penetration build. Arcane Blade and Havoc are useful because of the damage increase and synergy with Mordekaiser's kit.

Defense Tree

I won't go into this as much as the other tree because most of it is standard. Block and Unyielding reduce the amount of damage taken and with a Doran's Shield first back it can be really helpful in lane. Veteran Scars and Juggernaut give health, which is kind of necessary for a Mordekaiser. The only different thing I took from a few other guides is Swiftness . Every since the update to the masteries, Swiftness has been a worthwhile mastery to invest in. 15% slow reduction will help in any sort of chase and trade considering his mobility.

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Skill Sequence

I won't be explaining what the skills do since hovering over them gives a description.

The Skill Sequence is as follow:

Levels 1-3

The short cool-down and AOE damage helps to push the lane early or farm from a distance at level 1. Pushing the lane will get you to level 2 faster (although it is already faster than a typical laner with the extra experience gain). This also stacks the shield for Iron Man so taking level 1 harass isn't a problem.

Taking Mace of Spades second will give trading potential. Mace of Spades does a huge amount of damage after the first auto attack and restores the Iron Man shield making it very difficult to equally deal damage for the other duo lane.

It's the last basic skill to take and is extremely convenient to have. Level 3 trades are usually what define the lane until one of the lanes back to get items. If the support catches one person from the other duo lane, Harvesters of Sorrow will make it easier to follow up with the extra movement speed, deal DOT and steal health if the skill hits an enemy. It also helps when trying to run from ganks.

Skill Sequence Max

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Max Mace of Spades to deal the most damage possible. This is Mordekaiser's main damage dealing skill due to its massive damage amplification on his auto attacks. Siphon of Destruction is the next best skill to max out best of the damage increase and cool-down reduction, allowing the shield to stack more often. Harvesters of Sorrow should be maxed last because it's damage output is not very good unless both Mordekaiser, and whoever has it, overlap the area of effect. It is mostly used for the health stealing and movement speed. And of course, rank Children of the Grave whenever possible.

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Starting Items

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Every Mordekaiser should start with a Relic Shield. It restores health with every stack used on a minion and gives extra health to start. This is also why having a melee support is recommended, instead of a low pressure or ranged support, because it is important to have two relic shields (although having a Soraka isn't the worst either). Having three Health Potions will make laning much easier.
IF AND ONLY IF you happen to have a Soraka or Sona it is okay to start with a Doran's item, usually a Doran's Shield is best for Mordekaiser. With the exception of those two supports, if you don't have a melee support with relic shield, don't play Mordekaiser (laning will be an absolute nightmare against someone who isn't stupid).

Items to Rush

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Trinity Force is a must have item because of the massive power spike it gives. Start the item with a Phage for the extra health, attack damage, and movement speed from attacking. Get a Sheen on the next back for the amplification on auto attacks. This is will increase the damage in the first auto attack from Mace of Spades and any auto attack after if a spell is used in between each auto (increases second and third auto for Mace of Spades if used in the time frame).
Sterak's Gage is a cheap and extremely efficient item to build on Mordekaiser. It gives health and 25% of your base AD. Primal Rage gives an additional 25% of your base attack damage, a size increase (bigger hit box for auto attacks, technically), and a shield based on the amount of health you have. Considering how much health this build gives, the shield is very big and kind of an annoyance to get through. An optional item is Titanic Hydra, which is more expensive but it gives more AD and has the Tiamat passives. I would only recommend this if you are ahead or building it as a later item just for the extra health and damage.
I left the Boots of Speed because the boots are purely situational. If you are ahead and there really isn't another threat, then the Berserker's Greaves are great for the extra attack speed. If there is another threat, then depending on the type of damage Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads (also for cc) are necessary. Ionian Boots of Lucidity will give CDR, but with Mordekaiser's already short cool-downs, it is really unnecessary. For enchantments, Alacrity, Homeguard and Captain are the better options.

Offensive Items

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The order of which you build these two items is preference. If you need the life-steal and immediate slow then Hextech Gunblade is the better item to build first. If that isn't so much of a problem then Rylai's Crystal Scepter is better. Rylai's Crystal Scepter will give more health to synergize with Sterak's Gage, more damage and a better slow. Hextech Gunblade helps if you are losing health a little too fast (if you are getting one shot then no amount of lifesteal/spellvamp will save you, just get some defensive items). Optionally Blade of the Ruined King can replace Hextech Gunblade. The other two items, Guinsoo's Rageblade and Youmuu's Ghostblade aren't recommended but are funny items to build, if you're into that kind of thing (who needs fun in League of Legends).

Defensive Items

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One of the great things about Mordekaiser right now is his ability to build 3 damage items and two defense items and still do tons of damage. I won't be going into all of these items ( Titanic Hydra was already explained) with great detail because that would take too long (I just don't have time left after spending so much time on the Mastery chapter).
Randuin's Omen is good against champions with high attack speed and lots of crit damage. The slow will help with chasing and escaping as well. Sunfire Cape is great if you are somewhat on a budget and also has an area of effect passive which goes well with Harvesters of Sorrow. Spirit Visage will give more health and health regeneration, making it easier to survive team fights and extended trades/poke. If you don't like building a fully defensive item, then Maw of Malmortius is great since it does damage and gives magic resistance with a spell shield if you get too low.
Dead Man's Plate is a good option too if attack speed reduction isn't necessary.

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Playing Mordekaiser

Finally on the last section, this guide took way too long to make and read.

Playing Mordekaiser is actually very simple since he does not have any complicating mechanics.

In Lane

Try to shove out the lane early so you hit level 2 faster than your opponent (regardless you will but pushing will shorten the amount of time it takes by 30 seconds). Once hitting level 2 be patient and wait for your support to do the same. If it is possible, try to trade because you will out damage the other ADC. Upon both you and your support hitting level 3, trading and shoving the lane should go without difficulty. Make sure to keep ward coverage so you don't get ganked because getting out with both you and your support is not very easy. One important thing to remember is DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TAKE DAMAGE. If you are a player that plays passive to avoid taking damage, Mordekaiser is not the champion for you. Being a melee and immobile champion will force you to take some kind of damage and when trading being in the other lane's face will also force you to take damage. This is not to say that you should not care for how much health you lose because restoring it is not very easy even with Relic Shield.
Remember that Dragon control is important and if you secure it, it will guarantee the first outer tier turret. You do have to hit the dragon at least once and your team has to get it, however. Once you hit level 6, make sure to use your ultimate before you kill someone, and try not to misclick the support. Also do not forget to use Harvesters of Sorrow in any fight.

In Team-Fights

Although you have a lot of health, don't let that fool you. If you build full damage, you will melt and do nothing in fights. Try to wait out at least 2 cc spells before going all-in and use the ultimate on someone useful (like a tank or ADC). Try to keep Iron Man up with Siphon of Destruction by hitting multiple targets. Mace of Spades will take out at least 2 squishy targets if you can get to them but attacking the person in front of you with it is not a bad idea either. Trust me, it does a lot of damage and will make your jaw drop when the enemy tank's health drops to 1/4 of what he had. Make sure to not get kited and when kiting away use Harvesters of Sorrow and Siphon of Destruction.

Important Things to Remember

Do not get caught by yourself. Even if you are full build early, going 1v5 is not something you should do. At least have someone with you when you roam around the map or when taking an objective.
Do not waste Mace of Spades- Although I said that the cool-down isn't very long, it is still not a spell you can spam. Wasting it will reduce the amount of damage you deal significantly.
Do not overestimate Iron Man- It is not permanent. It decays over time to a base amount and is not hard to take down for an ADC that has a lot of attack speed. Turret shots will also instantly remove it so try not to take any. Once it is gone you are like any other squishy just with a bit more health.

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Thank you for reading through this lengthy guide. It took 3 nights to write this (plus the time I spent trying to do field research with Mordekaiser) and to review over the guide. Just as a reminder, this guide was made from my knowledge of the game/champion and differs from other guides because it is based of my opinion of what is best (basically I'm saying that this is definitely not the end all be all guide for Mordekaiser). Please feel free to comment and criticize what I have written down (without being mean preferably) and give your own opinions of what is best.