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Malphite Build Guide by emepik

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 emepik

The best tankalicious champion alive: Malphite

emepik Last updated on September 25, 2011
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Team 1

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: 0

Strength of Spirit

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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This build is going to be for the players wishing to step up their game on tanking. But first we have to ask ourselves, what does it mean to tank? The best definition I can define with my experience in League of Legends, and many other MMOs, it means to be the player to cause most aggravation to an opponent, to take the heat of his fellow team members. Where comes focus, comes survivability. So if you were looking for a build to make Malphite a carry, look somewhere else, I will only be covering a build to "tank" for the team. Using this build will ensure you use Malphite to the fullest potential in helping the team. I'd also like to state before continuing with this guide, it as such. A GUIDE. This isn't meant to dictate you into only buying the items I listed. This is just what I found worked best on most occasions. I don't emphasize on the items in this build anyways, mostly strategies.

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Overall Strategy as Tank

As stated in the introduction, tank isn't just what you build. It's also HOW you play. How many of you have had the displeasure of solo matching and while sitting in champion selection, you team looks extremely strong with goods in all areas of interest for team setup, and your team ends up losing to back doors and sheer damage? To me, all too much. So this build is to try to explain how you generally want to play, no matter who you chose to tank with. First of all, not every champion can tank. Who you chose should depend on their skills. For example, although many people consider Mordekaiser a strong tank, I do not. He has very little crowd control, which is all too important for any good tank. Although his base stats give him fairly good health throughout the game, with an annoying little shield for his passive, I consider him at best an off tank.

When playing tank your goal is not to go for kills, but rather assisting your team in any ways you can to survive as a whole and gain a huge advantage during team fights. If someone is running away with fairly low health, you should not be throwing away your crowd control skill (such as Malphite's seismic shard, or Allistar's headbutt) just to finish the enemy off. This does two very bad things for your team. First and foremost, it will generally get someone on your team (usually a carry) killed, for you can no longer use the crowd control effect until your skill's cooldown resets. Second, it also siphons a kill from one of your damage potentials on the team. It may not seem like much, but a kill can sometimes be the difference in how well the champion will do the rest of the game (especially if it's a character that generally does well with early game snowballs, such as Alkali).

Stats are also important to choosing which tank, or items you wish to bring into the game. I see so many people try to run Irelia with a tank build. Although this may work in some games, it's generally not going to work against most good teams. While only having only one crowd control skill, she also has a huge disadvantage compared to most other tanks like Rammus and Malphite due to her base stats not being able to keep up, until building your late-game tank items.

I've decided to add this little bit of important bit of information, even though it's one of the minor issues of tanking and people tend to abuse this portion of tanking. As much as it may seem like it, the tank does need some damage to make the team consider him a threat so they furthermore attack you, instead of attacking the easier to kill players. If you are skilled enough with the champion you chose to tank with, you really won't need to build items to increase damage. For you can usually do enough damage off of base value using the correct skill order and strategy. However, if you are new to tanking with that character, you may wish to choose a damage item through mid-game+. Also, for the love of god, if you are new to tanking with that champion, please say something to your team, so they can incorporate this into their game/builds.

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Pros / Cons

The upsides:

  • Ensuring team fights turn in your favor with the right team.
  • Low death count, assuming he is played according to this guide and your team plays. accordingly.
  • High survivability.
  • Will be able to keep your teammates alive.

The Downsides:
  • This build requires immense teamwork and sync.
  • To fully utilize this build, you must constantly be with your team, making map awareness a must, and jungle buffs rare.

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For my masteries, this is my general setup. I don't specifically differentiate from it very far, for this is generally works best playing with your team. There are some minor changes you may need or want to make, such as:

  • Swapping out teleport for something else, if your team already has 2 of them or something. Do not take this out if at all otherwise possible though, for using teleport on the tank works best for he can do the most damage while being attacked under your tower.
  • If you have trouble keeping your mana during laning phase, go ahead and switch up your utility pints a bit to better equip for such.

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Skill Sequence

For skill sequence I will be posting two champion references at the top. The first one will be the preferable skill sequence so you can get the most important skills for being the priority tank for your team. On the second reference, this is another skill guide which will let you more balance your skills depending on the situation.

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As far of the items go, nothing really special. The first setup is the most important for a general build against a balanced team setup. The second reference is for a strong caster enemy team. And the third? You guessed it, is meant to fight against a heavy attack damage carry team. When building a tank, you have to build to work against your enemy as best as you possibly can. Therefore change items as you see fit, every game.

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Early Game

For your laning phase with Malphite, pay attention to what your enemy is building, and how they play. Take note of any penetration items they build, or look likely to build. Also take note of who is being the most aggressive on their team, and use it to your advantage throughout the rest of the game. When laning, last hit as much as you can, while using seismic shard to harass the weakest person in your lane. Do not try to be a hero. Don't overextend too much, for Malphite is particularly slow without boots, even with the speed boost you get when using seismic shard. But do note that you steal a portion of the movement speed of the target you use seismic shard to slow. So not only do you gain movement speed you slow them down (making it ideal to use on faster moving champions, perhaps one that starts with boots).

You may also use ground slam to last hit many low minions, but be careful for burning mana isn't a smart idea, for your enemy may rush you when you run out of mana leaving you without an escape with no mana to use seismic shard.

Standing in the front of your minions, taking the blows of some of the enemy minions, taking minimal to no damage due to Malphite's passive granite shield might also prove helpful in denying your opponent experience. This however will take some extensive knowledge of Malphite, and your opponents.

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Mid and Late Game

For the rest of the game, you should be initiating and defending for your team. Save your crowd control effects for when your team is in trouble. Also make sure you're constantly with your team. This may lead to very few 1 man jungle buffs (like blue) but this will ensure your team plays it's strongest. Instead of trying to get kills, weaken the opponent for your team, while keeping them safe. There is no point in getting a feed, try to give most of the kills to your carries and damage dealers. Make sure to use ground slam on as many champions at possible at this point. You shouldn't be using it to farm minions, but rather using it on AD carries, or anyone that relies on their auto attacks for damage, because it decreases their attack speed. Also, when you use unstoppable force, make sure you are going to hit enemies with it. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT use it to escape a death. The cooldown on this ability is not shorter than your death timer will be. This ability is very important to how Malphite plays out in the game. It should be used to save a teammate, or initiation purposes only.

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Thanks for reading through my army of words. I guarantee this guide will help you better understand Malphite, along with many other tanks. If you do not wish reading through this entire guide, I'd say the most important part I have written down, is the "Introduction" and "Overall Strategy as Tank" portion of this guide. If you have any advice you can either contact me via my handles, leave a comment, or PM me on mobafire.
I primarily made this guide after countless games of the tank building right, but seeking kills instead of focusing on the team. Just because you have damage doesn't mean abuse it.

Xfire - ddrsephiroth
IGN - MeLoveULongTime

If you like, please comment and vote. It really helps, and hopefully this reaches the many tanks out of there falling to greed! I will also add any information that anyone might think necessary to this build. Thank you for reading.