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Mordekaiser Build Guide by Sushi_Cat

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[Patch 10.20] Mordekaiser Guide |"Iron Stands Eternal!&

By Sushi_Cat | Updated on September 22, 2020
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Runes: Standard Mordekaiser

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #41 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

[Patch 10.20] Mordekaiser Guide |"Iron Stands Eternal!&

By Sushi_Cat
Hello there, I am SushiElCade. A 340k Mastery Points Mordekaiser Main who has mained both Old and New Mordekaiser. While I am no means the best Mordekaiser in the world, I hope I can help you learn Mordekaiser.

If you like metal, hulking suits of armor, big weapons, being a lord of death, and crushing your enemies dreams with an iron fist, then Mordekaiser is the champion for you. Mordekaiser is a brute-force style champion that wants to get in the middle of fights and isolates single targets with his ultimate. Mordekaiser can do these things because he is the only champion in LoL that has potentially constant AoE damage. In addition, he is the only AP Juggernaut in the game. Mordekaiser is mostly played as a Top Laner. However, Mid Mordekaiser and Jungle Mordekaiser are both viable as well.

In this guide, we will go over Pros and Cons, Abilities, Item Builds, Match-ups, and even specific strategies you can apply to your games.

For more resources, I highly recommend you check out the Mordekaiser Mains Discord Server. There are many lovely people there (including myself) that would be happy to give you advice!


Mordekaiser Mains Discord Server
Mordekaiser Mains Subreddit
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+ One of the strongest midgames in the game
+ Unique and very powerful ultimate
+ Literal constant DPS while fighting
+ Easy To Pickup
+ No Mana


- Zero mobility
- Becomes an ult bot lategame without a significant item lead
- Ultimate rendered useless with specific items or abilities. (ex. Quicksilver Sash or Remove Scurvy.
- Kitable if you miss E
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Mordekaiser’s Passive is Darkness Rise.

Mordekaiser’s damaging abilities give him a stack of Darkness Rise. At 3 stacks a circle of metal shrapnel starts flying around Mordekaiser. Enemies in the shrapnel lose 1%-5% of their maximum HP per second. Mordekaiser also gains 3% bonus movement speed Basic attacks and damaging abilities. If Mordekaiser does not attack any enemies within 4 seconds Darkness Rise deactivates. In addition, Mordekaiser’s basic attacks scale with 40% of his ability power. In addition, Darkness Rise does bonus damage to neutral monsters.

Mordekaiser’s Q is Obliterate.

Mordekaiser slams down Nightfall in a targeted area, dealing damage to everything in its radius. Obliterate does bonus damage if only one target is struck. Obliterate scales with 60% of Mordekaiser’s ability power.

Mordekaiser’s W is Indestructible.

Mordekaiser passively stores a potential shield. 35% of Mordekaiser’s damage is converted into his potential shield on his secondary resource bar. Mordekaiser’s potential shield decays by 8-25 every second when Mordekaiser has not attacked anything in 2 seconds. Activating W gives Mordekaiser a shield depending on how much potential shield he had stored, from 5% of his maximum health up to 30% of his maximum health. The shield lasts 4 seconds and starts decaying rapidly after the first second. Mordekaiser can reactivate W to heal for 40%-50% of his current shield.

Mordekaiser’s E is Death's Grasp.

Passively, Mordekaiser gains 5%-15% magic penetration. Upon activating Death’s Grasp, Mordekaiser pulls all enemies in its radius in a target direction and deals magic damage.

Mordekaiser’s Ultimate is Realm of Death.

Mordekaiser slows an enemy champion by 75% for 0.5 seconds. If the target is still in range and is still visible to Mordekaiser, Mordekaiser banishes the target and himself to the Death Realm for 7 seconds. The Death Realm is a 1v1 arena where you are forced to either fight or evade Mordekaiser. Upon entering the Death Realm, Mordekaiser steals 10% of the enemy’s attack damage, ability power, total attack speed, maximum health, armor, magic resist, and size by 10%. If Mordekaiser kills the enemy champion, he keeps the stolen stats until they respawn. Enemies outside of the Death Realm cannot interact with those inside the Death Realm, and vice versa. Nobody can enter the Death Realm besides Mordekaiser and the targeted enemy. Units outside will see each other as spirits.
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Flash is a very strong spell that is taken by nearly every champion in League Of Legends. Flash allows your champion to blink in a target direction. This spell has both offensive and defensive options, such as being able to get away from an enemy champion by just flashing or by flashing over a wall if necessary. ALWAYS take this spell on Mordekaiser.

Ignite gives Mordekaiser the ability to be much more aggressive during the laning phase. Ignite applies a damage over time (DoT) effect to an enemy champion. The amount of damage depends on the user's level. I only recommend Ignite in cases where Mordekaiser can easily snowball in lane and become a 1v9 Raidboss.

Teleport allows Mordekaiser to have much more pressure throughout the entire map. Teleport allows the user to teleport to any non-player ally unit or structure after a 4-second channel. While you normally want to use Teleport on minions, wards, or turrets pretty much anything can be teleported to. Things such as Rek'Sai's Tunnels , Teemo's Noxious Traps and Zac's Cell Division. Mordekaiser's Teleport ganks are very good because he can use Death's Grasp to pull enemies towards his teammates to secure eliminations.

Exhaust is a very situational spell that only helps Mordekaiser against AD Assassins such as Zed or Talon. Upon use on an enemy champion, Exhaust slows the target enemy and reduces their attack damage for a short period. In my opinion, Exhaust is overkill because Mordekaiser already has an easy time with most Assassin champions, and the ones he has a hard time with like Akali do not prioritize attack damage so Exhaust would be a waste.

Ghost is kind of a meme on Mordekaiser however it can be very effective. Ghost gives your champion bonus increasing movement speed upon use. This is very useful for Mordekaiser because it effectively removes one of his weaknesses of being kited. However, because of the lack of early kill pressure that Ignitegives and the lack of global map pressure from Teleport make Ghost a very fun but not consistent option.
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Conqueror is the most popular keystone for Mordekaiser. This is because Mordekaiser is one of the fastest Conqueror stackers in the game. While it he doesn't stack it nearly as fast as Pre-Patch 10.13 Conqueror, he still can get maximum stacks extremely quickly.

+ + Auto Attack (AA)

Because this simple combo hits an enemy champion 3 times, this triggers Darkness Rise to activate and generate another stack of Conqueror. After this, all you need to do is AA your target two more times to get the 15% healing. Keep in mind that fully stacked Conqueror heals for 15% of ALL damage you deal. This includes the damage from Darkness Rise and gives Mordekaiser constant healing while in combat. If Mordekaiser builds Spirit Visage Darkness Rise can heal him for 40 HP per tick of Darkness Rise. While you won't be out healing Aatrox or Dr.Mundo, the healing definitely makes a difference.

While before Phase Rush took a backseat to Conqueror, now it is on par with Conqueror in terms of usability. While it still depends on matchup, Phase Rush is very good on Mid- Mordekaiser as it makes really bad ranged matchups much more tolerable. For melee matchups, I would still recommend Conqueror

While other runes such as Dark Harvest, Grasp of the Undying, and Fleet Footwork can be run on Mordekaiser, they are too unpopular and not consistently useful enough to warrant detailed descriptions.
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Rylai's Crystal Scepter (AKA Rylai's) has been a staple of Mordekaiser almost as long as the champion has existed. You want to build this item every single game with almost no exceptions. The passive that Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives is perfect for Mordekaiser because it makes all his damaging abilities apply a slow. This slow makes it much easier to land Death's Grasp and makes the Death's Grasp + Obliterate combo much easier to perform successfully. That combined with the 90 AP and 300 HP this item gives makes it one of Mordekaiser's best options for items.

Liandry's Torment (AKA Liandry's) is another staple item for Mordekaiser. Liandry's Torment is a very good item for fighting other Juggernauts like Darius or Illaoi or Tanks like Ornn or Maokai. Liandry's Torment applies a stacking DoT effect that does 2% of the opponent's maximum health per tick that stacks up to 5 times. This passive combined with the % damage of Darkness Rise, the free magic penetration from Death's Grasp, and the fact Magic Resist items are not very good right now means you will be doing truckloads of damage to all champions, regardless of whether or not they have 1,500 HP or 10,000 HP. Much like Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Liandry's Torment gives 75 AP and 300 HP.

Hextech Protobelt-01(AKA Protobelt) is a very useful item for many reasons. For one, Protobelt has all three of Mordekaiser's core stats. Hextech Protobelt-01 gives 60 AP, 10% CDR, and 300 HP It is also a very cheap item, costing only 2,500g. The active ability for Hextech Protobelt-01 is also godlike for Mordekaiser because it lets him shove minion waves before two items. Overall, you cannot go wrong with Hextech Protobelt-01.

Morellonomicon is a much more situational item compared to the other items so far. However, that does not mean it is not a good item. Morellonomicon gives AP and HP. It also gives magic penetration and applies Grevious Wounds to any target damaged. For the unfamiliar, Grevious Wounds is a debuff that reduces all healing the target receives. It effects self heals such as Vladimir's Transfusion and Aatrox's Deathbringer Stance as well as targeted heals such as Yuumi's Zoomies or Bard's Caretaker's Shrine. Morellonomicon is a good option for a third or fourth item when you need AP and/or the enemy team has a lot of healing.

Zhonya's Hourglass (AKA Hourglaas / Zhonya's) is the best defensive AP option not just for Mordekaiser, but any AP Champion. Zhonya's Hourglass gives 75 AP, 45 Armor, and 10% CDR. The ability puts whoever uses it into Stasis for 2 seconds. Stasis renders a unit untargetable and invulnerable for the duration, but also unable to move, attack, cast spells, or use items during this time . Being in Stasis does not interupt Darkness Rise if it is active. This property allows Mordekaiser to have a quick time out to stall for cooldowns or wait for his team to back him up. However, be aware that the timer for Darkness Rise still goes down while in Stasis.

Nashor's Tooth isn't a super viable option on Mordekaiser, however, I felt it was necessary to add because it is extremely fun to use and a lot of novice Mordekaiser players swear by this item. Nashor's Tooth gives 90 AP, 50% Attack Speed, 20% CDR along with a unique passive that lets your auto attacks scale with 40% AP. On paper, this item seems very good. Mordekaiser's auto attacks already scale off of 40% AP, so this effectively makes his auto attacks scale off of 80% AP. However, Nashor's Tooth has some glaring flaws. For one, it gives no HP. Because of this, you cannot make full use out of your crazy 50% Attack Speed in teamfights. However, this item goes perfectly with the previously discussed Lethal Tempo build.

Overall, while a decent option the lack of HP makes it a suboptimal option when compared to Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Liandry's Torment.
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Gargoyle Stoneplate is a very good general tank item. If the enemy team does not have a single big threat and you need to 1v5, this item is an excellent option. Gargoyle Stoneplate is even better if you're laning against an AP champion. Because Negatron Cloak builds into Gargoyle Stoneplate, chances are you'll have already bought a Negatron Cloak beforehand.

As previously mentioned, Spirit Visage has an excellent synergy with Conqueror. Which is definitely it's most powerful asset to Mordekaiser. The MR helps, but because so many Mages have easy access ways to negate MR, such as Vel'Koz's Organic Deconstruction, Karthus' Wall of Pain, or Ahri's Orb of Deceptionare all common examples. That in conjunction to cheap Magic Penetration items such as Void Staff or Sorcerer's Shoes make MR a decently weak stat. However, the healing increase, the CDR, and the HP are all very good which is why this item hasn't fallen out of style.

I believe Thornmail is a very slept on option for Mordekaiser. A lot of Mordekaiser's hardest matchups are auto attack champions like Olaf, Vayne, and Fiora, so an item that punishes an enemy for auto-attacking you is an indispensable asset. Even if you cannot build a full 2900g Thornmail, the 1,000g item Bramble Vest is a cheaper alternative with the same Thorns passive and builds into Thornmail itself. While it doesn't make the matchups an easy win, it makes them far more tolerable.

Dead Man's Plate currently has a bug on Mordekaiser. The empowered auto attack from 100 Dreadnaught stacks gives Mordekaiser 2 stacks of Darkness Rise. While this might seem incredibly overpowered at first, it's not a game-changer mostly. The bonus movement speed this item gives allows Mordekaiser to globe-trot much more efficiently. So while not a necessary item, it is nice to have in situations where you need to move across the entire map quickly.

Randuin's Omen fills a very specific but important niche amongst the tank items. The reduced damage from critical strikes can make you virtually untouchable by a non-fed Crit champion like Yasuo, Tryndamere, or Caitlyn. The slowing active while not being extraordinary is nice to have, especially because it is the only instant slowing ability Mordekaiser has access to. Basically, only build this item if there is a fed crit hypercarry.
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Super Early Game:

The Super Early Game is Mordekaiser's weakest point. Darkness Rise does a laughable 1% HP per tick Level 1 and doesn't start doing even decent damage until around Level 7, where it does about 2.5% HP per tick. Try last hitting the first three melee minions with Obliterate for maximum CS efficiency. If you cannot do it, do not feel bad. Even the highest-ranked Mordekaiser mains sometimes whiff this. Try poking your enemy laner with Obliterate and either go for isolated hits with it or try to last hit minions while also hitting your laner. This assures you can always get the maximum value out of Obliterate. Do NOT throw out Death's Grasp willy-nilly, since it's the one thing keeping Akali or Darius from running you down in these early levels. However, if the enemy plays far too cocky Mordekaiser can still punish them hard, so you are not completely useless.

Early Game

By 7 minutes, First Blood will be decided and most people should have gotten their first back items. Now you can start posing a real threat. You can now play a little more assertively (depending on the laner of course). And now you are super difficult to gank due to Realm of Death. Now that Darkness Rise's damage is ramping up, you can really start to fight people. During this stage, try to roam to your Jungler if possible to utilize Mordekaiser's amazing skirmish potential. If you stomped your lane, you should have your first item by roughly 12 minutes. Early Game ends once either First Turret has been taken or when Turret Plating falls at 14 Minutes.

Mid Game

By this stage, you should have (at the very least) your first completed item unless you hard-fed your laner. If you are very fed, you can have all your AP Items or even be almost full build by this stage. This stage is where learners start roaming to other lanes and where most neutral objectives like the Dragon and Rift Herald are secured. While the first one/two Dragon s cannot be helped by Top Lane, you can help with securing Rift Herald . By this stage, Teamfighting should be a regular occurrence. Mordekaiser's teamfighting is very simple. You need to think about getting / keeping Darkness Rise up and/or who to use Realm of Death. Darkness Rise should start doing huge damage by this stage (roughly around 3.5% - 4% HP per tick). You want to get as many enemies in Darkness Rise as possible. Since if 3 enemies stand in Darkness Rise for five seconds, that's 20% of their health gone from Darkness Rise alone.

Late Game

Mordekaiser's late game is very good. He is one of the best scaling Juggernauts. By this point, you should have all your AP Items and start building tank options. As the game goes on, Mordekaiser becomes more and more of a Realm of Death bot. We will go over how to use Realm of Death to its maximum potential in the Tips And Tricks section. Using Realm of Death on the enemy Jungler during a fight for Elder Dragon or Baron Nashor is huge since neither objective transfers to the Death Realm.
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While Mordekaiser is not nearly the hardest champion in League Of Legends, he has some tricks up his sleeve that naive opponents won't expect. Try using these in some of your games.

- Death's Grasp can be placed directly in front of Mordekaiser to act as a push rather than a pull. It is one of the few abilities in League Of Legends that can function both as a push and a pull. You can use this unique mechanic to push overaggressive enemies into your tower, or use it to push enemies away from you in a pinch.

- Keep in mind that Realm of Death removes EVERYTHING that is not the enemy champion you sent to the Death Realm. Abilities, Neutral Monsters, {Note: as of Patch 9.23 a bug exists where Akali's Twilight Shroud and Ivern's Brushmaker transfer over to Death Realm due to a bug.}. You can use this mechanic to dodge skill shots that would have killed you otherwise. For example, let's say you are laning against Heimerdinger. Heimerdinger's Turrets do not transfer, making him an easy kill. Other abilities that act in a similar way to this is: Illaoi's Prophet of an Elder God, Zyra's Garden of Thorns, Azir's Arise!, and more. Player spawned units such as Annie's Summon: Tibbers, Ivern's Daisy!, Malzahar's Void Swarm, and more. (Note 2: If Yorick uses Eulogy of the Isles while inside The Death Realm, The Maiden Of The Mist will automatically die when Yorick exits.

- You can use an Auto-Attack on the same frame as Indestructible's Heal. While this isn't game-changing, it is convenient and does feel mildly satisfying to pull off.

- While we've all seen memes about sending the enemy ADC or Support to the Death Realm it can sometimes be better to use Realm of Death on the enemy tank. For example, let's say you are getting ready to team fight. Then BAM, Nunu & Willump slam into your team with Biggest Snowball Ever! and start charging up a 5-Man Absolute Zero. While other Juggernauts would be forced to run or Flash away, you are not just any Juggernaut, you are Mordekaiser. You can use Realm of Death to effectively remove Nunu & Willump from the map and save your team Iron Giant style. And in the Death Realm, you can seriously soften up Nunu & Willump with Darkness Rise or even kill him and steal his stats. While this is a specific example, you can apply this mentality while team fighting to prevent your team from getting wombo-combo'd

- Realm of Death can also be used as a stall tool. You can ult the enemy hyper carry and try to contain them for the duration of Realm of Death. The stolen stats should make them not hurt quite as much. If you do opt for this use of Realm of Death, definitely buy Zhonya's Hourglass for easier stall potential.

- You can use Flash while in the animation for Obliterate. This can result in some pretty flashy (hue) plays and can result in kills you might not otherwise get.

- Obliterate's hitbox extends ever so slightly behind Mordekaiser. While it's next to impossible to hit an enemy with it, it can be very useful for last hitting minions.

- Death's Grasp cancels all channeled abilities in the game such as Fiddlesticks' Crowstorm or Karthus' Requiem. WARNING: Realm of Death does NOT cancel channeled abilities, they just go off in Death Realm.

- It is 100% worth using Flash to get in range to proc Darkness Rise. Since a huge amount of your damage comes from it, getting it up in fights is your #1 priority.

- (Credit to Nomez on the Morde Mains Discord for telling me about this mechanic) If you build Hextech Protobelt-01, you can buffer Hextech Protobelt-01's active while you cast you Q, so you can instantly cast it after your Obliterate animation completes. You can also still use Flash while buffering Hextech Protobelt-01.

- Keep in mind that the active for Zhonya's Hourglass or Stopwatchdoes not cancel Darkness Rise if it is active. This can allow you to heal up a bit with Darkness Rise by it proccing Conqeuror while you are in stasis.
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In conclusion, Mordekaiser is a very strong champion when in the right hands. Especially in lower elos where players make stupid mistakes much more often. Mordekaiser is a tanky, high damage Juggernaut who punishes anyone who steps out of line.

If this guide helped, please consider checking out my Twitch channel. I've been trying to stream at least once a week so if you're interested in Gold Mordekaiser / Volibear gameplay go check me out. Have fun playing Mordekaiser, and have fun dominating your opponents in the Death Realm, and I'll see you on the Rift!
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12/16/19 - Guide Published

1/13/20 - Updated information for Darkness Rise. Slight grammatical changes. Added Poppy, Volibear, Annie, Sion, Pantheon, Kled, Twisted Fate, Vladimir, Darius, Veigar, and Shen to the matchups list.

1/23/20 - Updated guide title. Added Cassiopeia, Cho'Gath, Viktor, Fiora, Camille, Ornn, Akali, Kennen, Nasus, and Sett to the matchups list.

1/24/20 - Added Quinn, Vayne, Rumble, Urgot, Garen, and Sylas to the matchups tab.

2/4/20 - Added Riven, Ryze, Renekton, Yorick, Rengar, and Tryndamere to the matchups tab. Updated title of guide.

2/15/20 - Removed Warmog's Armor from the guide. Not relevant or useful enough on Mordekaiser to justify being included. In addition, most of the beginner pandering text was omitted. You should know the basics of LoL before you try to learn specific champions. So if you're here you should know what basic game mechanics are. Also edited the introductory paragraph to further this directional change. Added Yuumi to Synergies tab.

2/22/20 - Added Darkness Rise's bonus damage to neutral monsters under the abilities tab. Edited Introduction. Updated Chapter-Headers so they didn't look like ****. Changed Guide header from Infernal Mordekaiser to Default Mordekaiser

2/26/20 - Added a variant of the Conqueror rune page geared towards poke matchups. Grammar corrections.

3/7/20 - Added the Protbelt + Q buffer under Tips And Tricks.

6/25/20 - Edited/pruned the entirety of the Runes section, updated mastery image, updated the Volibear matchup for Reworked Volibear

9/11/20 - Updated Pros / Cons
League of Legends Build Guide Author Sushi_Cat
Sushi_Cat Mordekaiser Guide
[Patch 10.20] Mordekaiser Guide |"Iron Stands Eternal!&
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