Build Guide by Resonar
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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.
3/8/2011: Added to and completed "items" chapter. Now you may enjoy a run down of why I build the way I do.
3/10/2011: Added to Laning Options and Tactics chapter. Gave a few Partner Laning options still to be added; Laning Against and the "Mid" option.
Playing as Morgana you should be familiar with the League of Legends Metagame, she is not the best pick as a first time user!
Morgana should be used as follows:
1. To nuke, disable and maim enemies/enemy teams.
2. To rake in assists; she is not a champion who will go around killing everyone; higher ELO play does not allow Morgana to be a viable AP carry.
3. Help her team out of troubling situations; snaring to stop chasers and Rylai's assisted tormented soils to slow and deter attackers.
4. Push creeps as hard as any caster can.
Pre-Game Section 1: RUNES
MARKS : Insight
Morgana being a caster Marks are an obvious and easy choice to make MAGIC PENETRATION.
Not only do they help Morgana hit harder later game when rushing Needlessly Large Rod she will hit like a truck against squishier DPS and Casters in the early to mid game.
SEALS : Clarity
Now for the most part the seals become "useless" once you finish building your Archangel's Staff, however this is not the case. MP5 per level (or otherwise) seals allow Morgana to delay the use of other Mana Regeneration items after her tear of goddess. This is the key to Morgana's power early amounts of AP can be rushed VIA Rabadon's Deathcap whilst Morgana still reaps the benefit of massive Mana Pool increase making the eventual Archangel's more potent. By level 11 Morgana if you have farmed correctly she will have 220-230 AP with 3 items, Rabadon's Deathcap, Sorcerer's Shoes and Arachangel's Staff.
Other effective seals are Flat Armor to negate the source of early game damage or any form of Health seal to give Morgana more bulk as she rushes in to use her soul shackles.
GLYPHS : Celerity
Cooldown Reduction Runes are fairly stock standard for a caster, it gives them a better overall game as they get more use from their abilities.
Glyphs are where Morgana's path is not so clear although the CDR is useful, Ability Power per level or Magic Penetration glyphs are just as nice.
I prefer to take Cooldown Reduction because I stack magic penetration with both sorcerer's shoes and Abbysal Sceptor.
Ability power per level or Flat Ability power will help solve any early game power problems you have before Rabadon's.
QUINTESSENCES : Insight
For the some reason as Marks stacking Magic Penetration is VERY helpful to any play style of Morgana. Insight quintessences along side flat health quintessences are the to best types of quintessence however I prefer the Magic Penetration as Zhonya's Hourglass and Rylai's Crystal Sceptor give enough health and armor for any good to mediocre Morgana.
Pre-Game section 2: MASTERIES
Point Arrangement 9/0/21 (Basic or Common Caster Mastery set-up)
As with all AP nuke characters they don't have much to gain from offensive Masteries other than that of Archaic Knowledge and the minute AP and CDR supplied by Archmage's Savvy and Sorcery.
That in mind even Archaic knowledge has... Limited use as the synergy with Insight runes is not good and against squishies with under 60 MR the 15% is pathetic however if playing with a team that is worried by tanks it is quite welcome most tanks having 100-200 MR results in a MR reduction of 15-30 which is not so bad at all! (Calculation excludes flat magic penetration which is calculated prior to percentage reduction.)
Ghost acts as an effective chase mechanism trying to bypass Morgana's excessively weak Movement Speed which is an area all casters lack in besides champion's like Singed and Kassadin. Ghost allows Morgana a few things.
1. Fleeing -obviously- it can give Morgana enough time whilst running from Zeal and Phantom dancer assisted DPS to allow her cooldown on Dark Binding to reset giving an easy snare and get away targets moving in straight lines really suck at avoiding a snare especially over confident Bulky DPS types.
2. Chasing, Morgana needs a catch-up. Champions fleeing battle tend to have a bad habit of using straight forward paths as zig-zag orientated flees are slow and inadequate at best. Ghost will give Morgana the extra speed to chase past a turret and land her snare on her -one directional- fleeing enemy, followed up by tormented soil on the snared opponent can result in easy kills or assists.
Morgana has amazing CC; snare, stun and with the help of rylai's her AoE acts as an impressive slow, and although these could be considered an escape mechanism -as is flash- there is another reason behind this choice in summoner spell... TEAM FIGHTS.
Morgana when built as a heavy HEAVY nuke cannot initiate compared to a bulky support Morgana.
This is where flash comes in. A tank should initiate as Morgana sits behind them, as focus is directed to the tank Morgana after casting her snare and tormented soil into the fray and spell shielding her ally tank, will Flash -> Soul Shackle -> Zhonya's Active. This will give her immunity for the wait between 1st tick and 2nd tick ulti OR it will scatter the enemy team allowing DPS and Nukes to pick off the weaker targets.
The "main" first item argument Meki Pendant, Sapphire Crystal or Doran's ring?
First of all Doran's Ring;
Yes it is viable!
1. Gives a nice AP bonus
2. Extra Health
3. Mana Regen.
I personally dislike it much preferring to get my ToG early as possible so that I may start stacking my mana pool ASAP being able to build your mana from low levels is a large benefit.
Also the hp isn't that much of a benefit with the extra mana provided from both sapphire crystal or meki pendant, your passive spell vamp is more than enough to sustain you. (Plus you have a spare health pot)
The AP is the most favorable part of Doran's Ring I had a long run buying Doran's but later found them to be a waste of space in my inventory as I try to build the pieces of my AP items.
With Doran's viable but ruled out as a "waste of early gold" and a slow track to ToG which is vital for the AP boost on AA staff.
The next question becomes "Meki Pendant or Sapphire Crystal?"
I opt for Sapphire crystal although its more expensive than the "lustrous" Meki Pendant having a larger starting mana pool is as I see better. It gives you plenty of mana to spam your tormented soil and dark binding and with MP5 per Level seals you get decent enough mana regen for Morgana seeing as you should only be using your abilites when you are able to land them instead of spamming at minions.
Why not meki pendant? Simple 7 per 5 = 1.4 per second and thats pretty... unreliable to say the least.
Having a large mana pool allowing you to use your skills several times in succession instead of having to wait whilst your only killing potential "Regens" isn't a good way to play. Even though MP5 per Level seals aren't that great. It really is enough to wait till you get your tear of goddess.
So item 1: Sapphire Crystal -> Tear of Goddess
Item 2: Get Boots of Speed you'll be eaten alive by any DPS who rush boots and jungle red buff honestly Master Yi might not be scary but when you have under 350MS and he has 400MS with red buff. Even snaring him won't get you far enough away. Boots of speed give you just that extra kick so at signs of trouble you can snare and back off to a turret.
This ability of Morgana's to stick to level 1 boots for a while is essential to her deadliness! Rushing Rabadon's 155 + 155*0.3 = 201.5 GOOD GAME
Item 3: Needlessly Large Rod -> Rabadon's Deathcap.
This item gives Morgana two things potency on the field, nuking with dark binding and a tormented soil follow up.
Firstly having full Magic Penetration runes with none of that AP which casters so desperately need Morgana needs some GOOD and QUICK AP, needlessly large rod and rabadon's provides that.
Needlessly Large Rod (80 AP) -> Needlessly Large Rod + Blasting Wand (120 AP) -> Rabadon's Deathcap (201.5 AP as discussed earlier)
This also shows that any later AP is more effective after the completion of AA staff this is shown dramatically with up to 320-350 AP after the 2 items.
Item 2 completion : Boots of Speed -> Sorcerer's Shoes
Get them. All casters benefit from these boots of course mercury treads are useful but playing as Morgana you're going to jump into the fight after the classic "Crowd Control Initiations" where the entire team throws their CC stupidly on the same target because the "team captain" shouts "GO FOR MISS FORTUNE SHE'S DA WEAKEST" <--- Your Best Friend. Instead of disabling the more prominent threats or saving CC for annoying DPS and AoEs.
Not to mention the great synergy with your runes (after runes, masteries and boots magic penetration is at 15%|34 and after the addition of abyssal scepter end game [unlikely you'll get to make it] standing at 15%|54)
Item 1 completion : Tear of Goddess -> Arch Angel's staff (previously abbreviated as "AA staff")
This will give Morgana PLENTIFUL Mana which lets her cast repeatedly over long periods of time. Most people swear by AA staff (Unless they don't play casters or play Vlad and AP Mordekaiser) it IS a fairly staple item, Morgana works well with it she has a fairly good base Mana Pool and she does need some Mana Regen in Mid and Late game. The AP goes nicely and the passive is marvelous cause we also get another 30% of that 2%! (yes that does mean AA staff is really supplying 2.6% I suppose?)
All together fool proof item. Very standard not many other viable options.
Item 4 and 5: Rylai's and Zhonya's Hourglass
Now; the purchase order for these two are more or less interchangeable I prefer the Zhonya's as it gives Armor which is nice as well as the statis. Which combined with flash is extremely powerful in team fights;
Wait for initiation -> Lay your tormented soil on team fight -> Flash to centre of soil/enemy team -> Hit the "R" key -> Hit "4" on the keyboard (best item spot for you to put zhonya's in as its directly above the "R" key so it gives you even faster statis ;D although this is not critical)
Follow this up with Dark Binding and another tormented soil on the unlucky captive.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter makes this tactic twice as good slowing with the initial soil then once again with the first nuke segment of soul shackles.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives extra health which is favorable and AP which is standard for casters. The slow effect is what makes it especially useful however making it more likely to hit the second segment of Soul Shackles and stun nuke an entire team making for easy clean up.
Item 6 : Abyssal Scepter
Your last item.... Highly unlikely you'll be able to build it.
Magic Resistance along with the armor from Zhonya's hourglass and the bonus Health from Rylai's will give Morgana(YOU) amazing survivability and make her even scarier to teams. With the reduced damage from this item combination with the effectiveness of her passive it'll be like you weren't even hit!
The Aura also makes this a very team friendly item. Allied casters will happily thank you for the magic penetration whilst allied tanks and squishy champions will enjoy the benefits of Magic Resistance.
Magic Pentration is very good on Morgana giving "surprise" damage as you negate enemies' defensive systems.
Laning Options and Tactics
Great Laning Partners;
Galio, Shen, Rammus.
Their taunts; allow for you to lay down tormented soil and once the taunt expires you can use dark binding to lock them further on your tormented soil. The longer they're their the more damage that is done (Not just because it hits more than once it also builds up the magic penetration portion of the ability) dark binding will also hit harder after this as tormented soil will have reduced enemy magic resistance.
Amumu is also great thanks to bandage toss and curse of the sad Mummy.
But I hate the little F*** and he's generally ALWAYS banned from ranked matches.
(So is Rammus but he's not as amazingly cheap as Amumu)
Good Laning Partners
Sion, Malzahar, Annie. (Although Malzahar will primarily be mid as will Annie)
Sion is a fun laning partner between his stun and your tormented soil enemies won't know what hit you, this combination of stun and tormented soil is a very easy first blood. Alternately Stunning then Snaring and if Sion's cooldown is low enough another stun (each used after the intiial duration of the previous ability.)
Malzahar has a silence... I really like silence but also his level 6 keeps an enemy suppressed for a rather long period of time just saying Soul Shackles + Dark Binding + Tormented Soil + Malefic Visions + Nullzone + Nether Grasp all at once will overwhelm anyone even tanks who rush a negatron cloak! It's amazingly painful for any opposition however Malzahar is fairly squishy with no healing methods but he has great spamming potential thanks to Malefic Visions and its mana return.
This Mana return also applies for Annie her stun has yet again another great synergy with Morgana. Morgana can help Annie get kills and feed on the assists simple by holding an enemy in place whilst tibbers devours their soul.
Decent Laning partners;
Taric, Soraka (Infuse can either restore your mana or silence enemies when they try to harass), Warwick (Although he should be in the jungle his suppress is extremely useful)
anyone else with a stun!
Avoid Laning with;
Teemo. All Teemos are ******ed...(Sorry Teemo players it isn't actually true I just find that the synergy with Teemo and Morgana is more or less non existant)
Mordekaiser. He will last hit every minion and kill with ignite and children of the grave leaving you goldless (No assists or Minion kills) and any Mordekaiser worth his stuff should be mid keeping their carries underleveled or dead.
More to be published.
With school in Australia coming back in just over a week (final year can't be bothered), I don't have the time to write further in depth description, once my school work is finished I will update with either footage or screen captures on play style including kill positioning and team fight capabilities. (Chapters have been added to give an idea of extra information to come)
You should see Morgana Soul Shackle an entire team without being scratched!