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Malphite Build Guide by IronEagle92

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author IronEagle92

ROCK TO THE FACE! Malphite the epic champion

IronEagle92 Last updated on May 7, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #6 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
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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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 29

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 1

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Pre Reading Note

I will be writing this for people who are not complete newbies to malphite or LoL, so if you have a basic understanding of the champ and the items this would be good before you start reading my guide. So if you wanted to try a new build then keep reading, if not you may find it difficult to understand.

Keep in mind you are a tank/support tank in this build so don't expect to be getting many kills, try for assists and as little deaths as possible, so play smart and ideally you will end up with heaps of assists. Remember, its a thankless job being a tank, you don't get the kills (and shouln't get them) but at least you can say you were there.

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So you are all probably wondering... wtf is this guy thinking with building Malphite like that? Its a question i have heard all too often, yet at the end of games people are surprised at how well it works. I started off playing LoL as mainly tanky champions so i think i know what im doing, but its up to you to choose what you want, this is just they way i play Malphite.

This build for Malphite is for a solo top or support bot, not a jungle Mal... I know mal has some great ganks when he plays jungle, but personally i think he is a bit slow and is better in lane, others can do the job better. If you are going support bot as malphite, i usually go 0 cs - not to worry though, you should be giving many kills to your ad carry so that should be good enough gold-wise (plus you will rarely need to go back so you can get farm then).

You are an anti ad tank. So you should try to be in the lane with their ad, you are the one who can stop their growth with all that early harass and armor, so make sure you do your job well and you will own them late game. Early game is where it happens, not many people know that so use your time wisely.

Pros of this build:

  • Harass
  • Cheap and effective
  • Rarely need to b

  • If you are not getting assists you will get no gold (unless you are solo top)
  • You NEED to land your ult or s*** goes pear-shaped quick (make sure you can aim)
  • Not much damage (that being said, i have found that you are so tanky that you can usually kill squishier people before they cause you serious pain)

Mobafire for some reason does not have the flat mr runes for marks or glyphs so i have had to use the per level runes on the cheat sheet. This will give you more mr at level 18 than the flat runes but you will be more susceptible to ap early game, so the choice comes down to you really.

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Usually i have a preference with leaving my quints on every champ as movement speed, it helps in so many ways and has saved me more than once (something you should try) but if you are impartial to ms quints then choose your own quints, maybe some extra hp so you have more shield, or extra armor if you want more damage, up to you.

I usually roll with:


9 x Warding +0.77 mr (This is the flat mark that was not in the cheat sheet)


9 x Resilience +1.41 armor


9 x Warding +1.34 mr (the flat glyph that was not in the cheat sheet)


3 x Swiftness +1.5% ms

So this gives me a total of:

Movement speed +4.5%
Magic resist +19
Armor +13

This usually makes you pretty strong against starting ganks and early harass, the extra movement speed comes in handy for escaping ganks or getting to somewhere just that little bit quicker.
This is a good general base for every tank, i like to get more mr in the runes because armor is a bit cheaper in game. You should also choose based on your preference of armor and mr per level runes or flat, my personal preference is flat just so you get that early edge.

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Masteries should be pretty simple... i mean, you're building for a tank so ideally you should spend your points as 0-29-1.

Defensive masteries explanation:
This would be a lot easier in explaining why i didn't choose certain aspects of the defensive masteries...

  • Summoner's resolve - you are using clarity flash, this would be a waste
  • Tough skin - unless you are an idiot and like to stand in the middle and draw minion aggro then this is pretty useless
  • Bladed armor - to get this you need tough skin, so not worth it. plus it steals cs and makes it more difficult for the ad to farm so its not ideal
  • Siege commander - whilst this is a great point to get, most of the time you are near a turret you will be with your ad trying to kill it, only because you killed the enemy lane, if not you are with your team and turrets go down pretty quick anyhow so this point could be spent better elsewhere
  • Mercenary - you would have an easier time killing jungle minions or siege minions who would give you a better reward for 3 points of your masteries (BIGGEST WASTE)

Utility Mastery
Summoner's insight is the only point worth spending in the utility masteries because of the benefits to both flash and clarity.

Why not different masteries?
Well that is a good question, some people may wonder why i did not choose more utility masteries or offensive ones... Simply put: YOU ARE A TANK! you are not a damage dealer or a support, you are a tank. So stick to defense its what tanks do best.
There is a difference between support and support tank so don't get confused.

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Summoner Spells

I will answer the question everyone is asking: WHY?!

As i said before, you are a support tank, so what you will be aiming to do is harass your enemies and try to support your ally. Malphite is very mana hungry when harassing so you should get clarity. Some people argue that this spell becomes useless late game, i think they have a point but i play for early game, if you win early game, even if they have a stronger late game you will have the edge. Clarity is extremely helpful not only for harassing but if you need to give you or your lane partner more mana if you are low and a gank comes to your lane, it is also helpful for getting just that bit more mana for an ult or q to finish off an escaping foe where otherwise you would be out of mana. To me, you cannot play malphite this way without clarity.

As always, flash is a great way to escape, especially with your ms quints you can afford flash over ghost.

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Early Game

Bot support:
You are a tank. I know i have said this many times, but i don't think you really understand. YOU ARE A TANK. people will be more interested in focusing your ad carry, who more often than not will be a squishy. this can be problematic because you do not have a heal.

So, the question is, how do you get people to focus the tank?

my answers:

  • Troll them - be annoying as all hell, you can spam your taunt or verbally abuse them (this could get you reported though)
  • Overextend - this could get you killed and yelled at, you are a tank but you are no superman
  • Heavy harass - just keep rocking them in the face with your q :) this can be annoying and deals a bit of damage as well as slowing them (you can afford to do this because of clarity)

So really what you want to be doing is just waiting in a bush or running up and punching people and qing them until they have to go b or get fed up and try to focus you... when you get low just stand back and regen your hp with your dorans sheild (you would be surprised at the hp regen with that).

  • when you harass make sure your shield is always up so if it gets busted wait for it to regen then go in again... your shield will save your hp for any ganks that may come in.
  • Usually at bot you will have an ad and a support, make sure you keep hitting your w for extra armor when the ad comes after you

Solo top
YOU ARE FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! haha feel free to farm and do what you want! remember to harass so you can push them out of lane because you have much better lane sustain than most champs (when you use clarity) you should be able to out level them with no problems. Just remember you are on your own here so don't try to go for the kill on your own because you have more cc than damage so wait for the jungler (they will be focused if for some reason they want to fight or if you get counter ganked so you might pick up the kill)

PRO TIPS for top:
  • You don't deal much damage but you are a tank so you can defend the lane really well
  • If they start getting aggressive just throw a rock in their face and walk away, they will be slowed so its all cool
  • Try to conserve your clarity for when you most need it, you have not got any one else to rely on to save you most times, so a ward would come in handy too

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Malphite's ult is an exceptionally good ult and really can change the outcome of team fights, or if you are good enough, games.

Using your ult:
So you might be all like, its an ult... just point and click, right? its not that simple, most malphite players miss their ult when they first start, which essentially can cost you your life or your team mate's. It is crucial to land your ult on a gank or team fight because everyone expects you to, and if you don't s*** goes south quick.
I recommend aiming your ult a little behind the enemy and slightly more in a direction you think they will run. This is because it is not an instantaneous ult and people can still move out of it. Half the time when i am playing as mal i will either ult from a bush or flash ult or i will be running in after the ad then use my ult. The most important issue to deal with when using malphites ult is timing. Unfortunately this is something you need to learn whilst playing so its all up to you. Just remember, treat your ult like a free kill, if you use it well you will usually end up with an assist or kill.

Defensive ult:
Method 1 - Have you ever been in a situation where your ad is dying and you are full hp and you have an ult? well guess what, you should use it on the main damage dealer chasing your ad (or try to hit as many as you can). Tell your ad to run and just keep running, because you are a tank. If they say "but.." you say "***** PLEASE, I'M MALPHITE"... this works especially when you are under a turret, because you are a tank they will quickly lose interest, usually they would have tower dived with their jungler, so someone would be tanking the turret, make sure you use your slow on this person to try and score a free kill from the turret.

Method 2 - sometimes stuff just goes all kinds of wrong, either your team is dead or you got 5 ganked, or something horrible like that. Whilst you are a tank, you can still die, usually i have found that it takes about 20-30 seconds to kill a fully geared tank like malphite with their whole team chasing, so you will want to keep running.
In this situation where you are dying and are the only one in peril, there are a few things you can do:

  • use your q to slow someone with cc or if they have non, the main damage dealer
  • use your w for extra armor
  • if they are close enough hit e to slow their attack speed
But there is also one other thing you can do... ult.
Many people would be thinking right now, ah we ult them and then in the time they are knocked up we can run away and flash! sneaky sneaky! - this does work, but only if you are in the jungle and can flash over a wall, else you will find that you closed the distance between them and you and are now getting ccd and smashed... A better alternative is to use your ult to escape! Because his ult does not need to target a minion or champion you can ult where ever so it is useful to escape enemies, generally when you do this, they will stop the chase so try to conserve your flash.

Malphite's ult will not let you travel through some walls so be careful where you ult!!!

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Items always vary... because you are a tank you will want to keep an eye on who is killing your team or even you. If it is ad then build armor, if it is ap then build mr, if it is sustained then build hp.

My usualy Malphite build goes:

1) Dorans Sheild - great starting item, extra armor and hp as well as hp regen
2) Ninja tabbi - more ms and a bit of armor, the damage reduction on basic attacks is nice too
3) Sunfire cape - this is a must on malphite! it gives more hp and armor and this helps his e and passive. Get the giants belt first as you already have some armor from the dorans sheild and tabbi
4) Force of Nature - Mr will start to be more useful as you move in to mid/late game, this item has great mr and some sweet hp regen and ms increase so you will benefit greatly
5) Guardian Angel - It gives you great armor and some more mr, and just on the off chance you do die, you will have that little safety net. Generally people just leave you alone once you have a GA as you are too much of a trouble to kill

The 6th item:
This item usually is a warmogs. Sometimes i will not need one so i use the extra item to counter whoever is dealing the most damage, so consider items like:

  • Banshee's veil
  • Thornmail
  • Randiun's omen
  • Frozen heart

If you want some extra damage take a look at items like this:
  • Rabadon's Deathcap
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter
  • Frozen mallet

If you want to be more supportive:
  • Aegis of the legion
  • Locket of iron solari
  • Shurelya's reverie
  • Will of the Ancients

Usually by the time you get your sixth item it is very late game so you will want to choose your sixth item accordingly (ie, no rod of the ages). Just remember that its always nice to have more health so a warmogs is quite viable.

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Final Tips

Just a final few pointers to help you on your way

  • Always harass the main damage dealer, not the support or tank
  • Try to ult the most dangerous person if you can't get them all
  • Save your ult for when you can see all the enemies and preferably if they group up, use this to initiate
  • If you are struggling with the main build grab an aegis of the legion, it should settle you till you can get back on track
  • If you want to change your dorans shield at a later stage, go for it, i usually don't get time to because the 6th item arrives at very late game
  • Make sure you buy pots and wards if you need them! you will usually replace a support bot, if you are top it doesn't hurt to look out for yourself
  • Never get too cocky as the tank, you can take a beating but you are not invincible so don't kid yourself and overextend
  • You don't deal much damage so never try to kill something by yourself if a few members of the enemy team are mia
  • CALL YOUR MIAS - especially if you are top! if you are bot you should let your ad farm and you do the typing

Thanks for reading :)