Mordekaiser Build Guide by dana44
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You can't kill what's stronger
+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
typical final build
Threats to Mordekaiser with this build
What is Mordekaiser?Mordekaiser is what Riot calls a juggernaut. He can take more damage than a carry, yet still damage like a carry. You better get used to comments like the this as you carry your team to victory.
Let's be honest, no champ is universally over powered. Everybody would play him, everybody would ban him, and Riot would fix that right away. Mordekaiser is a bit weaker than he's been in season 7, but still in the right situation Mordekaiser is one of the strongest champions in the game. Riot compensates for his strengths by making him slow, weak at the start, and void any form of crowd control, initiate, or escape.
These disadvantages make him hard to just pick up, but special. He is well worth it. No other champions play like him. You're free to blast your abilities as fast as your cool down allows because you have no mana to worry about. When you kill an opponent with your ultimate active on them you get a ghost version of them to control by holding down the ALT key. You can even get a ghost version of the dragon simply by doing damage to it in a battle your team wins, even if your ultimate is on cool down! As great as it is to play the game 6v5 due to having the dragon on your side it is even better to turn a 5v5 fight into a 6v4 by killing an enemy, especially their adc. With that of advantage your team can't help but win.
At the extreme end of dominance once you've hit level two on your Children of the Grave and have a couple damage items you can solo the dragon and then use that to solo the baron!
At the end when you roam around annihilating opponents with your OP damage and a pet dragon the entire map is your domain - you're the Kaiser!
Pros / Cons
+ How fun is it to do 6 vs. 4? Get their carry and earn a penta kill
+ ghost dragon will usually push over a tower
+ great wave clear with W and E to split push
+ can solo the baron with level 2 ghost dragon and two damage items
+ if ahead will carry
+ currently off meta so will not be banned
+ can be built in many ways
- no crowd control
- slowest champion in game
- short-ranged and kiteable
- can't initiate
- can't escape
- nearly impossible to come back with
- buggy (ask google about "Mordekaiser bugs")
Long ago he was reworked to be a carry. Then slightly reworked to be a juggernaut. He can still carry with the best of them, but can sustain alone in a lane. Consider him a mobile turret. A powerful, slow, fragile turret.
Also, there isn't any better ult in the game than having the dragon fight on your side.
Top or Bottom
One of his powers is his unique ability to earn bonus XP when last hitting minions with other champions around. In theory this lets him out level the other team's carry and lead the team to victory.
However the current bonus is only about 17% more experience from minions that he last hits. This doesn't speed up his leveling fast enough to overcome his weak start to be a good general bottom carry. He just can't get to his target. In general there are better carries in solo queue for your team, despite his Harvesters of Sorrow XP bonus. Take him top or mid.
The exception is if you can duo with a support like Blitzcrank that can pull their carry to you. That gimmick changes everything and you can dominate the match.
Harvesters of Sorrow
Harvesters of Sorrow is what makes Mordekaiser better with allies. It isn't the Sunfire Cape style damage this does that makes it great, it is that you can heal yourself and an ally for 190 + 30% AP or 380 + 60% AP if you can catch two champions in a team fight. Injecting hundreds of HP to both you and an ally in a team fight is a game changer.
It provides a speed boost to get Mordekaiser closer to an ally. This lets you follow your team's initiator into a fight or follow an ally away from a fight if things go poorly. Use this to get close enough that you kill their ADC at the back with Children of the Grave on them.
When you are damaged during the laning phase you just go for a stroll to the nearest jungle camp and activate Harvesters of Sorrow. You can leave the monsters for your jungler, you just want to get a heal from them.
Harvesters of Sorrow makes Mordekaiser look deceptively close to death. Iron Man shield converts a significant portion of the the ability power damage he does a shield, so with Harvesters of Sorrow up he has good resistance to damage.
All this health and healing makes him a juggernaut, not a tank. If your team needs a tank there are better tank champions out there. However he can be built tanky enough to rotate in with the primary tank.
Summon Aery and Scorch are a wonderful combination that let you do a significant amount of damage in the first few levels. As long as you don't all in before level 3 this should help make your next few levels up to be much easier.
The Ultimate Hat is useful because you want to be able to use your ultimate every team fight. Celerity helps address Mordekaiser's terrible movement speed.
The usual secondary are Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter. Ravenous Hunter works, but isn't great since Mace of Spades is a multitarget ability and is only 1/3 effective. If you don't like there there are two other popular pairings.
Triumph and Coup de Grace or Last Stand. Generally Last Stand is better than Coup de Grace since you spend so much time with low health.
Against poke lanes Demolish and Second Wind are good. With Demolish you should be able to get a gank from the jg, ghost the opponent, and get first tower. Second Wind really can keep you in lane when you can't get close to hurt the opponent.
Item Build Order
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
When you're top or mid the first item you must get against an attack damage opponent is Seeker's Armguard. This is one of the most gold efficient items in the game and will last you until you need an item slot for a 6th item. Until you get this you are often simply too squishy.
Next you need to compensate for Mordekaiser's speed by getting Sorcerer's Shoes. If you're laning against an opponent with too many slows or too much cc get Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads in those cases. Don't bother with Ninja Tabi as Seeker's Armguard is better if you need armour.
Mordekaiser scales off Ability Power, Health, and movement speed. As of the 8.4 patch there are a lot of great choices. The best items are Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Liandry's Torment, Morellonomicon, Spellbinder. If you've got an easier match up and need to finish a kill do Spellbinder first. If you've got a jungle with some cc build Morellonomicon or Liandry's Torment first. If you've got a pure damage jungler like Master Yi build Rylai's Crystal Scepter first to prevent them from escaping ganks. Either way these will be your first items in nearly every match.
Even after boots you still won't truly have enough speed until you get Aether Wisp to build into Spellbinder, the only question is if you've got enough HP and defense to build it first before one of the AP/HP items or not. You'll want Aether Wisp as early as you can to help get to the back lane where the carry is hiding so you can get the best ghost.
Often you will choose just one of Morellonomicon or Liandry's Torment depending on if you need percent damage against high HP tanks or magic penetration against squishy targets. I usually prefer Liandry's Torment as it makes you land your ult a lot more and really helps solo the baron with the dragon ghost.
If you're unsure about what is best about your match up the check if your opponent is building up their AD or AP (just select the champion and read the stats) and optionally build Seeker's Armguard if against AD. Then do Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Sorcerer's Shoes, and finally Liandry's Torment as your usual core.
Core Item Details
Occasional Item Details
Items to avoid
This is for the items that sometimes go well on Mordekaiser, but just don't really fit enough for me generally recommend.
When playing Mordekaiser Flash is a must. It is either Exhaust to provide you with a bit of Crowd Control to utilize your Mace of Spades ability when mid or Teleport when top. Teleport's ability to get back in your lane or cross the map to a ward in the opposite lane to help your team and then get the dragon means you almost always want this.
If you are in the bottom lane with champion like Blitzcrank that has a pull go for Mace of Spades first. The other 99% of the time you start with Harvesters of Sorrow against a melee champion that will dive you like Riven or Siphon of Destruction against everything else. Use Siphon of Destruction as much as your cool down allows - consider it a basic attack against champions. Avoid hitting minions with it unless you know it is smart or you'll push your lane and get yourself ganked. You'll be able to keep your Iron Man shield full this way and use Summon Aery and Scorch to chip away at your opponent.
Max Harvesters of Sorrow so you can surprise your opponent with how much damage you do and how little they can hurt you in the laning phase. You've got a weak start, so consider the first few levels the survival levels. This helps, especially when you're top and can get a heal from the Ancient Krug and Krug pair instead of just the Gromp if you're bottom.
Follow that up with Mace of Spades for maximum killing power. Mace of Spades doesn't just get better from more damage per level, it goes from adding 50% attack damage up to 90% attack damage. This is the ability that makes people fear Mordekaiser, so making it devastating for level 12 is very useful.
When I need poke in early laning I'll bump Siphon of Destruction to level 2 since is much more effective than level one. Usually I max this last simply because you need Harvesters of Sorrow for laning survival and helping your jungler gank and Mace of Spades for the huge damage. If you're against a range bully and still in the laning phase I may begin to max this second better trades and a more full Iron Man Shield.
Almost all the time it is simple - max Harvesters of Sorrow followed by Mace of Spades and finally Siphon of Destruction.
Pretend League of Legends a racing game with the the first player to reach level 18 the winner instead of a FPS death match where the player with the best KDA ratio is the winner. The higher your level the further ahead you are in this race. It is better to be a level ahead of your laning opponent without a kill on him than a level behind having killed him once. Kills take your opponent out of the match for a while and give the killer a massive XP bonus, so there is a strong correlation between kills and being a higher level, but never lose sight of level being more important than a kill. Even more important than level is getting objectives. Objectives are roughly nexus > two Inhibitors > baron > one inhibitor > dragon > turret > Rift herald > kill > pushing a wave or clearing a jungle camp.
Although it is great to get a kill in the laning phase it is really a race to get as many last hits as possible on the creep to get gold to buy a better item. During this part of the game occasionally damaging the enemy can make him him back off so you can farm better, If you can send him back without a kill it is still a win because he will lose a wave worth of experience. Eventually these little wins lead to bigger advantages and your final victory.
The biggest challenge with Mordekaiser is the start because he is basically a weak carry without a support. His first items don't give him a power spike. But once you get all of them you ready to rule.
There are only a few rules:
1) Be patient. No, really. Stay alive, don't be a feed-kaiser! Your time is coming and if you fall behind you may not be able to come back.
2) Don't push, let your jungler gank instead of you being ganked.
3) Place wards. Strive to place the most or close to most on your team or you'll stay in Bronze forever.
3) Use jungle camps to heal.
4) Get the Herald! Once you hit the 15 minute mark you need to get some combination of top, mid, jungle, and your ghost together to get it before it is gone.
5) Dragons Dragons Dragons. If you don't get a dragon you basically and playing without using your ult.
6) If you know you're only going to get one hit on an opponent prime your Mace of Spades by hitting a minions so when you hit the enemy it is with the big third hit.
7) Use Children of the Grave on a champ that does a lot of damage by auto attack. Getting a carry like Jinx or a jungler like Master Yi is more useful than a support that does little damage. If you can't get your first choice then get anything. Any ghost is better than no ghost.
You will spend the first few levels doing your best to last hit minions and chip away at the opponent. Only engage an enemy if you can cast Harvesters of Sorrow on a minion the enemy will have to stand next to while your Mace of Spades lands three hits.
Mid game watch the lanes. Each wave of minions is worth ~1/3 of a level. Remember that! Clear as many waves as you can and out level the other team. Once you hit mid game and a turret is down somewhere and a team fighting begins watch for an opportunity to push a lane from your turret toward theirs. Mordekaiser's wave clear is fantastic, you'll be able to clear almost as fast as you can walk. By the time your lane is where it is supposed to be you'll have gained a level from XP that otherwise would've been wasted. Only push the lane to their turret if you have map vision otherwise and are certain you won't get 2v1'd.
can be very enjoyable since you can get a couple games in per night. It is really a nice condensed version of the full
The biggest game difference is the inability to buy wards. Although that changes the game a lot, pretty much everything in this guide for SR applies to TT. Since you start with 850 instead of 500 gold my favourite start is a Doran's Shield and Ruby Crystal for extra health.
The build order is always Seeker's Armguard item for your lane if it is against regular attack damage, boots, and then Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
The two special items you need to be ready to buy are Wooglet's Witchcap and Moonflair Spellblade. Moonflair Spellblade is a decent item that makes you tankier, gives you AP, and most importantly Tenacity. If your opponents have CC is you need to buy this item, preferably early.
Wooglet's Witchcap is basically Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass rolled into one OP item. This isn't on SR for a reason! This is one of your core items.
The final difference is to take Exhaust and Flash.
Be patient! Keep using the Siphon of Destruction to keep your Iron Man shield full and Harvesters of Sorrow to keep your health up. Don't do an all in until you've got all three abilities as you'll almost never win. Often you'll wait until lvl 6 or even until you've got two items. Then next thing you know you've won the game for your team!
With the immense healing of Harvesters of Sorrow, a refilling Iron Man shield, a bit of armour, and MR you're practically a walking turret destroying anything foolish enough to get close. In case that wasn't enough to make your opponents run, just wait until they get a taste of your ghost dragon with its ice fire breath to slow them in their tracks. You can walk around taking all the objectives and killing anything that gets in your way.