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Mordekaiser Build Guide by Temzilla

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Temzilla

Mordekaiser: The Soak, and it's Role.

Temzilla Last updated on August 1, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #23 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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This is how I play Mordekaiser.

That doesn't mean that you will be instantly successful and have magical 50-0 games with Mordekaiser.

What it does mean, is that you can perform the role of a "soak" much more effectively than other Mordekaiser builds do so.

Every single person I've ever seen in solo queues calls Mordekaiser a tank, and it makes me ill, because he has no abilities to protect anyone, and no method of initiation.

This build is how i build mordekaiser in nearly every game i play with him.

This guide will not teach you the basics of how to play Mordekaiser, other people can do that much better than i can.

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Pros / Cons

These are the Pros and Cons of Mordekaiser, not this build.

-You can kill super minions, and push back waves of minions more effectively than other "tanks".
-Lane Sustainability is extremely high.
-Can lane 1v2 effectively
-Does good enough damage to not be ignored.
-Is a soak, this means he can take a huge amount of damage, and is very hard to kill.
-Farms creeps VERY effectively

-It's hard to farm without pushing.
-Uses health for his abilities, causing problems in the very early laning phase. (Gone by level 4)
-Can be harassed easily in the early game (Gone by 6)
-Not a real tank, can only initiate if the enemy makes mistakes, or you are vastly over leveled.
-Really sexy, this makes other players jealous, and makes you a target.

But in all seriousness, Mordekaiser played properly could be considered viable.

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Runes: Really Expensive!

You're going to be using Quints and marks of Insight for your Spell Penetration.

Morde has pretty terrible AP ratios, and relies heavily on cooldown reduction and spell penetration, so you'll get much more out of Magic Pen Marks and Quints than out of AP marks/quints.

Magic Penetration isn't a flat calculation, but know that it's far more effective at low levels of magic penetration than AP is. (Mordekaiser's primary role is as an Anti-Carry, so you won't be building to kill tanks.)

The seals and glyphs are armor/mr because of Morde's shield. Effectively, Mordekaiser has 90% spell vamp because his shield is just health, which makes hp runes almost useless.

I felt that while CDR is easily capped by gear, or getting blue buff, you have no reliable sources of MR. (Also, there is no MR dropped by picking up CDR items.)

I got swiftness quints because mordekaiser is super fat and needs to lose weight, so running around will help him out.

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Masteries: It's not 9/21/0

I tried to use the 10-19-1 (9-21-0 is just bad, Morde doesn't synergize well with the tank tree other than the first 6 points) masteries in order to grab the ghost and ignite masteries, but I've had much more success with 9-0-21.

I go 21 into utility instead of defense specifically for the move speed, cool down reduction, and experience masteries, which i honestly feel are all necessary for Mordekaiser.

Mordekaiser needs to be fast, in all respects, he needs to be able to spam his abilities, and run all over the place, that's why you get so many points in the Utility tree.

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Soak, what it means to you.

Soak, what does that word mean in the context of LoL?
A soak is someone who can take a lot of damage, period.

I see a lot of people confuse the word "tank" with "initiator".

SURE Mordekaiser is a great tank, but he's a terrible initiator.

How do we make him a better initiator?

Well, if he runs into a team fight with all damage items, he will just be stunned and instantly killed.

If he runs into a team fight with all tank items, he won't do any damage.

The best way to make mordekaiser into a soak, is to use a blend of cooldown reduction, magic penetration, and magic resist/armor.

The bigger picture, and how this applies to Mordekaiser, is that the best way to play Mordekaiser, because of several factors (Ultimate, Skill Kit, and Damage Scaling) is as a Soak.

Soaking is a bit dangerous, as you will die under the focus of five people, and if your team isn't good enough, they won't be able to kill the other team before you die (making your ultimate next to useless).

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The Item Build, An Explanation.

The build is built up to be super mega tanky.

The purpose for this is because, when you ult someone you don't need to land the killing blow to get the ghost, so the ult is effectively a nice marker that says "focus me!" and it's your job to land it on the right person.

This build is super tanky because when YOU die your ghost goes away, thus, you living longer combined with proper ghost management means your ghost lasts longer.

Like all morde builds should do, you get 40% cooldown reduction, because more ghosts = More useful morde.

Remember, morde's single use in higher level play is his ghost.

You start out with these two because of Morde's terrible HP use very early game. Also builds into the core FoN.

Pretty simple logic here, 25 MR and 35 Tenacity, the only logical source of tenacity on Mordekaiser.

This is really just personal preference, because Sorcerer's Shoes makes him a lot more tanky, but makes him much more susceptible to CC, and there are no Tank items with a source of Tenacity that are worth picking up on Mordekaiser.

You get this item for three reasons.
1. It has the most Magic Resistance of any item in the game.
2. It has 8% movement speed on it, a critical stat for mordekaiser.
3. It builds out of Regrowth Pendants, and solves your "hp for abilities" problem forever.


Frozen Heart is 100% Core on Mordekaiser, the only replacement would be Nashor's Tooth.

There is 0 reason to not build an item, that gives you two of your best stats, armor, and CDR in huge amounts, and shuts down most AD champs, for only 2770g.

This one might be a bit controversial, but basically, this item gives you tons of health, in case you are being CC'd down. And then it gives you a slow, which lets you basically focus down one target.

If you're comfortable with no CC or health, Will of the Ancients is a better alternative.

You not only generate shield while you are dead with W on, your ghost also stays alive while you are reviving.

This item is super cheap, gives you tons of magic resist, and gives you a nice active to use in case you are caught in a Malzahar/Warwick/Urgot Ultimate.

This build doesn't have any AP, but really, 40% CDR and the spell vamp from boots and your runes will boost your sustained damage by tons.

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Rylai's would be a pretty awesome item, if it didn't cost 3000g+, have that thing about AoE's and DoT's only slowing 15%, and have so much AP/HP on it instead of juicy Armor/Magic Resistance/Spell Pen, if you NEED Rylai's, replace Abyssal or Randuin's with it.

350 health, 75 armor, and a cool active, if you really wanted, i would replace GA with this. (it would be about a 5 second slow, very effective if you can catch people with it.)

100 armor, Awesome! The problem is that Guardian's Angel and Frozen Heart exist.

NO. You don't need the health, the regen, or the 3000g lost.

If there are more items you think need to be covered, tell me about it!

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Summoner Spells

Morde is fat, he needs ghost to get his fat butt out of those bad situations, and it can also be used offensively.

Morde's Ultimate, combined with Ignite is deadly, a lot of summoners will react to your ult by running to heal, and an Ignite/Ult combo can catch them off guard and get you a kill. (Far from "absolutely nessecary" as some guides rave on about it, but it's a better choice than anything else)

CC IS Morde's main weakness, but If the team you're facing is very CC heavy, Mercury Treads are much more effective.

Morde isn't a support, and he farms hard enough to afford wards.

Okay, I'll admit i've used Clarity on Mordekaiser before to troll. [/sarcasm]

Just say no to drugs kids.

If you're dead, you did something wrong as morde, or you helped your team get an ace, and morde is bad at tower killing even with Nashor's, so you don't need Revive.

Flash is interchangeable with ghost imo, each has their pro's/con's. The most notable being the ability to flash through walls, and the ability to use ghost to more effectively chase. (For morde, I'd much rather have ghost, because if he is slower than the enemy flash doesn't work well, and if he is faster, he doesn't need to use flash.)

Morde is one of the few that would use Heal well, since he stacks armor and MR so hard, but heal isn't as good as ghost because of the dual purpose of ghost.

Morde doesn't lose towers, let the tanks/supports take it.

Exhaust Is a bad thing to take for one reason, ghost is always better.

If you are being shut down by a hard AD Carry like a Tryndamere or a fed Master Yi, Exhaust isn't the answer, Frozen Heart + Randuin's Omen is.

To situational for me, sometimes I'll take it, but ghost is more reliable.

Remember, Summoner Spells are there to let you play your character in the style that suits you.

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So that's my Mordekaiser.

Remember, the Master of Metal isn't a particularly offensive character, but if play carefully, you can have some real fun with him.

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Patch Updates!

5/21/2011 - Redid the entire guide, for Tenacity changes, along with a few idea shifts.
5/23/2011 - Added some pictures.
6/10/2011 - Cleaned things up a bit.
7/21/2011 - Partial Item build change, a few item changes.