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Mordekaiser Build Guide by Bernarnar

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bernarnar

The Mindset of Mordekaiser

Bernarnar Last updated on August 21, 2011
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Carry Example


Tank Example

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
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Welcome to the mindset of Morde. This guide is not a standard build-runes-masteries guide; it's going to be more about your thoughts when playing Morde rather than your actions. It's an idea based off of Stonewall008's mindset videos. I feel that is the most effective way of teaching people how to play a champion.

In short, this is a guide rather than a build.

It will still include items, runes and masteries that I would recommend, and all will be explained. That item build you see up there is a fairly standard build. Not focusing on anything in particular, it's the sort of build you could use. It's not my set-in-stone recommendations though, so don't judge this based on the 8 items you see at the top, those are merely for completeness.

Judging by some comments, People aren't taking this the way it's intended. This is a Guide not a build. Those 6 items at the top are a mere example of what you can buy. Don't look at them and judge this by the build, it's not what I intended with this. This guide leaves room for you to make personal choices to about what you buy, because every team is different at the end of the day. Take away the information written and the items which are in the items chapters, not the build of 6 at the top.

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Pros / Cons

'Why would I play Morde?' you may ask. Good question, why would you play Morde?

Here's a list of Morde's Greats and Fails

+ Iron Man
+ Great minion farmer, and can finish a build of 6 items quickly
+ Great turret pusher (consequently)
+ Great diversity / unpredictability
+ Can carry 4v5s and bad teams (Sometimes)
+ Not terrible scaling
+ Not too common (less arguing over who is Morde, and people dont usually know him inside out like they do Tryndamere etc.).
+ Can accidentally walk into 5 people and live to tell the tale
+ One of the 3v3 Rulers (Along with Tryn and Mundo)
+ Generally fun (IMO obviously)
+ You Fed? They Dead!

- Tank playstyle is very lacking, and outperformed by others
- Squishy early game (Hence my Runes)
- If you can't keep farming, your items are too expensive
- No CC in Tank builds (Without Items)
- People will tell you to tank (for some reason)
- People will call you OP if you dominate, and a noob champ if you don't (generally).
- No massive burst (like Annie)
- A little Shield-dependant, so have to fight around minions.
- Solo lane is SO important!

These are like categories that Morde will fit into. If these advantages entice you, and the disadvantages seem manageable, why not give Morde a go?

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Summoner Spells

and . There are NO alternatives. More detail will be covered in the later sections, but for now we'll say this. You have no CC, so instead of being Nunu or Warwick and having a Slow / Supress, you have to instead speed yourself up to get the advantage.

Ignite with your ult provides a double DoT, punishing squishes early-game for extending.

The way these work is as follows:
Ghost preferably whilst in a bush, and get behind your target. Self-cast Creeping Destruction, and whack Ignite and your Ult on the target, then get them with a MoS. As they run, Siphon can hit them from a distance.
The reason you want to be behind them (i.e. between them and their nearest safe-point [usually a turret]) is so that they either have to run at you to escape, or run towards your tower / teammate, both of which can aid you.

If that's TL;DR or Confusing: Ghost-*Run behind them*-W-Ignite-R-Q-E

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Skill Sequence

Siphon is your first priority. It makes the majority of your shield's burst-gain and is great for harassing and last-hitting. At lv1 this is pretty weak. Its main use will be to last hit (since you are melee) or to build up a bit of shield if the need arises. At lv2 it becomes a nice bit more powerful, so you can begin trying to attack enemy champions with it. The damage will slowly wear at the HP of squishies.

Creeping Death should be maxed second. It provides a lovely little increase to armour, which can be used both aggressively and defensively. It also gives Morde a threatening look, which will psychologically disrupt peoples' desire to harass you. Most importantly, it gives an AoE of damage to anybody wearing it. When playing Morde, I like to bind a self-cast W to ensure I can put this on myself without needing a click, and can use W to put it on someone else if I feel it necessary. More about this later.

Mace is nice, but it needs a melee hit, which is why it is left until last. A point in at lv4 is nice to get it usable, but upgrading Creeping Death and Siphon is much more beneficial. The main reason you want a point in MoS early is because it resets your attack timer, aiding you in last-hits, and speeding up clearing minion waves.

Your Ult is a lovely DoT, which is a heal for you. Use this on a ranged squishy carry the second damage starts rollin', and you've bagged yourself a new team member. Shove this on a Tank if you find yourself running for your life, as it steals and heals based on %age of their max. Hold Alt and right click to move your pet around. Don't let it walk around by your side with no purpose like I see so many Mordes do. Once you acquire a pet, set it on the nearest enemy Champion. If there isn't one around, set it on a Turret. It can also facecheck bushes, Baron, Dragon, etc. if you want to stay safe.

Ah, they may as well rename this 'Mordekaiser' because it's his defining trait. This shield is what can make or break fights, and what makes stacking mass-HP items somewhat redundant. With this, Cooldown Reduction is perfectly viable to contribute to. The faster you can use Siphon, the more often your shield can replenish. You want to keep your shield at max as often as you can mid to late game, but early game focus more on keeping your actual health up. Spamming skills to kill waves of minions might look impressive, but it will chip at your HP. Remember, your HP regenerates, and your shield decays: Prioritise your health.
Later game, your actual health isn't often touched, so feel free to unleash your spells.

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Let's Get Down to the Mindset Then!

From hereon in, the guide will take the structure of a bit of a Q+A. It should follow the types of questions we subconciously ask ourselves every time we play. Hopefully, this will give people an insight into how Mordekaiser can be played, and will be more valid to a you whilst in-game than a typical "Early game farm minions, mid game gank, end game kill" type of guide.

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+ I want to play Carry Morde (Solo Queue Ranked ish)

Usually a guide to a carry is referred to as a solo queue ranked guide, probably implying you can carry a ranked game if you use it.


Welcome to Carry Morde!

You have chosen Carry Morde. Your role in a team will be to get an early advantage, either in kills or levels (or both) and wreck face. Mordekaiser is a great candidate for this because:
+ The gold flow compliments his ability to buy items quicker than enemies, and therefore have an advantage
+ He can turn a 5v5 into a 6v4 before the rest of the team even reach the fight
+ If he is counter ganked, it isn't always lost hope
+ Shield helps turret diving to help out against a turtle
+ Unlike most carries, you dont die to 3 auto attacks, so you can stay near the front of your team.

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9 / 0 / 21

Morde is a tanky caster, sort of. A bit like Gragas or Cho'Gath. Whilst he doesn't use mana, he uses his skills a lot. Finishing the Utility tree is Unquestionable. Morde's effectiveness is massively increased when he has Ghost and Ignite, and so the quicker you can get them back, the more useful you will be. And hey, nobody likes being useless. The route to the end is everything which doesn't include mana, bar Perserverence which is for its HP regen.

The 9 in offence is to get the Magic Pen and the CDR. With this, you can have 9% CDR just for spawning. Pretty nice. It's just such a shame that improved Ignite sits just out of reach, and that not finishing Utility is out of the question.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
I use Magic pen reds, for a pretty obvious reason. Morde relies on magic damage from his skills, and the more magic pen you get, the less magic resist your enemies will have.

Greater Seal of Health
Three of these for about 15 HP (explanation under Quints).

Greater Seal of Vitality
These give almost 4 times as much HP at lv18 than Seals of Fortitude. About 120 HP isn't anything to be scoffed at towards the end.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
AP Per level, as Morde needs level advantages, and uses AP. Magic Pen or CDR are perfectly viable here as well, but I would very much recommend AP/L, as 28 AP just for levelling is always nice.

Greater Quintessence of Health
Okay, here's the reasoning behind the somewhat-messy Seals. Morde starts with 501 HP. Barely over 4 bars, for someone as durable as Morde, is not really a lot. His early game as a result will suffer for it. With 3 x 26 in Quints, 3 x 5 in Seals of Fortitude, and 6 x 1 in Seals of Vitality, you will start with an extra 100 HP. Not only is that pretty significant in terms of the weakness of early-game skills, it has a psychological effect too. Seeing someone with 6 bars of health early-game is a lot more threatening than someone with 5 bars. It will make your enemies think twice about trying to whittle you down straight away. For this reason, in order to maximise your benefit from runes, 3 flat HP and 6 HP/L will make the most of eveything.

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What Do I Buy as Carry Morde?

Item purchases are the make-or-break of almost any champion. I don't personally believe that a set of 6 items will always be the 6 best items you can buy in a game. Despite the fact i have a 6 item build up at the top, that's just one possible combination for a mix of damage and survivability, suitable for carry Morde. It's fairly reliable if you want to copy it to get to grips with Morde, but it can never always be the best combination of 6 items because your team and the enemy team will not both be consistant.

What are my Core Items?

Sorcerer's Shoes
These boots are needed. No, an enemy Ryze does not mean you should take Merc's. You want the MPen. Early game, AP items are expensive. This means if you buy Merc's you will need to wait for quite a while to do any significant damage with your abilities. If you have Sorc's, your enemies will have less MRes, and so you will be able to do a pretty good chunk more damage. You can also clear minion waves faster, meaning a potentially increased gold flow.

Zhonya's Hourglass
Whilst I don't tend to build this until between 4th and last, it is nonetheless MADE for Morde. With your shield, HP stacking is made a bit redundant, because as the game rolls out, your actual Health should be touched less and less. This means Armour and Magic Resist are the keys to Morde's survival. Factor in the 100 AP, and it's a pretty good deal. Add in the passive, and hoh baby this is a treat. If you're fed, you'll need 3 or 4 people to kill you. When you get pounced on, whack this baby on and watch them waste spells. It buys time for your team, either becase you have the enemies distracted or for them to get themselves to you and save your shiny metal... head.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Morde has no CC! This is a common cry at almost any Morde discussion. With Rylai's, he has 4 slows. All of which, unfortunately, are 15%, but that's better than nothing. This is great both for chasing people and for running away. As well as this, the HP and AP are both things Morde makes excellent use of, and the Giant's Belt ingrediant is a good mid-game item.

I Now Need More..............


I'm not under threat, I feel I can go all out with my next purchase and turn myself into a killing machine. What should I build next?

Abyssal Scepter
Magic Resist compliments Zhonya's Hourglass nicely. AP is AP. The reason for this is the MRes Aura. With this and Sorc's, a squishy with 40 MRes late game will have absolutely none. This is a great item for Morde, being an Aura it also supports any casters who may be with you.

Haunting Guise
Early game magic pen. Simple as. Health and AP are nice, but not in very high quantity. I usually get this if I'm against a bulky team, but will sell it late game because the numbers it adds just don't make it worthy of an item slot. Still, more than worth its gold early on.

Deathfire Grasp
Rewriting this section after using it a little bit. It's VERY GOOD! The 30% active is amazing at poking at tanks wandering around on full health. The CDR is definitely appreciated, and the AP is always nice. Don't hate on this item because of the mana regen, if you can look past that it makes a great item. It's also built out of Kage's Lucky Pick which gives increased gold flow.

Lich Bane
Viable, but expensive. This will turn Mace of Spades into a huge nuke if you're fighting alone. Movement speed is always a welcomed stat for Morde, and magic resist fits in nicely for your survivability.

Hextech Gunblade
Again, very expensive. Active will go nicely if you need a bit more CC, and will net a kill if you use everything and they manage to get away on a smidge of hp. Use this last in your sequence, because it does not deal a percentage like Deathfire, and it has a slow.

Moonflair Spellblade
In my opinion this is in no way a bad item for Morde. CC is both your biggest friend and greatest enemy. Whilst Sorcerer's Shoes are way too useful to give up, you can still slightly reduce the CC you take with a Spellblade. For only 1200g, you never know, it might save your life.

Cooldown Reduction!

Ergh! When I try attacking I find that I've used everything and they're still alive! What can I buy to stop this?

Morello's Evil Tome
Mana on Morde!? Well, again ignore the mana stat. 20% CDR is half of your allowed stat, and considering you have nearly a quarter from Masteries, you have 30/40% CDR with this item. The 75 AP is also a hefty boost - almost as much as Rylai's.

Frozen Heart
MORE MANA! 500 is such a shame to wase, but again. 99 Armour is just 1 off Thornmail's, and 20% CDR is again half of your allotted. This item is quite expensive though, so don't get it early, you'll find yourself behind in completed items.

Shurelya's Reverie
The movement speed on this is nice, it's like a mini extra ghost. The Health and Health Regen are nice earlier in the game. Again, everything giving CDR seems to give mana, but nevermind. 15% is pretty significant for CDR, especially considering it's quite a cheap item. Like Deathfire, get Philosopher's Stone first to get increased gold flow.

Blue Elixir
These elixir's are so underbought it seems. For only 250 gold you can have increased CDR and a little bit of AP. Early on, if you have a little spare gold, go for one of these. They can be the difference between finishing a chase and missing it.


I'm a little bit more frail than I should be. What can I buy for:


Return their damage as Magic Damage. Nice. Plus it's the biggest shot of armour you can get in one item, and is only 2000g. Pretty nice.

Randuin's Omen
This is probably my preferred Armour item. Not only does it contribute to HP and HP Regen, it adds a bit of CDR, which is lovely. The best thing about this item is its active. Slowing people for 2.5 seconds is great when you need to get away from people, especially in those 'I just walked into all 5 of them aaaaaaaa' moments. Or just to annoy people like Irelia or Xin who lack actual chasing ability. Once again, Heart of Gold is increased Gold flow. If you plan on buying Deathfire Grasp and/or Shurelya's Reverie along with this, get their money-making ingredients first to shorten the wait.

Sunfire Cape
Some people swear by this thing. As Rammus, Shen, Garen or Amumu, then yeah. As Morde, I don't find this particularly useful. Personal opinion I guess. If you like this, and want a bit of armour and health, go for it. If you don't, then don't.

Magic Resist

Force of Nature
This is so close to being on the 'Core Items', it's really good on Morde. The move speed is more than appreciated, and it gives Health Regen out of his ears. The MRes is also very noticable.

Guardian Angel
A small bit of Magic Resist, a small bit of armour, and a brilliantly intimidating cloud around you. You should'nt really be dying too much as carry Morde, because you should be trying to fight 1v1, or 2v1 at worst. This just makes you a bigger threat. Later on in the game you could sell this, because it only gives you small boosts.

Quicksilver Sash
This item is a bane of your existance, but it's so rare. It will clean your ult/ignite combo when popped. As Morde is susceptable to stunlocks and CC, It's like a free Cleanse but without wasting a space for Ghost or Ignite.

I'm Completely Facerolling

I would not usually get either of these items. Rabadon's is very expensive (and for good reason) and Mejai's is high-risk-high-reward. IMO You'll need to be on a pretty good streak to think about getting a Mejai's. Rabadon's is if you have 5 items, and see no harm in getting a mass ton of AP. It will make you stronger, but at the same time give you nothing but power. Don't even think about this if you have an enemy Veigar. If you're completely facerolling and don't think you're ever going to die, you could try getting one of these.

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Why not full AP?

The reason I wouldn't play Carry Mordekaiser as full AP is because you won't be as able to do what Morde does best - 1v1 and 2v1 without breaking a sweat. Defensive items are needed even on Carry Morde to ensure he isn't left squishy when fighting without a minion wave to build shield on. You need to survivability to become unkillable. Yes, people like Annie don't need survivability as much, but Mordekaiser needs the presence of 'unkillable' so he can do things like 1v1 an Akali later on.

If mass damage is your thang, you can go for a build like:

But you'll lose out on survivability. Okay, you have a bit of Spell Vamp and a bit of Life Steal from Gunblade, and the Health, Armour and Magic Resist from Rylai's, Zhonya's and Lich Bane, but not in huge bursts as Force of Nature and Randuin's Omen. You'll lose out on durablity and the ability to walk into 3 people, say 'oops' and walk out.

It's this main reason that I don't recommend you go full-AP on Morde. Play Annie if you want massive burst damage.

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How Do I Play as Carry Morde?

Start off with a Regrowth Pendant and Health Potion. Now you will be in one of three situations:

My Team has a Jungler

Dibs the solo lane. Carry Morde will need the level advantages, both to gank and avoid being ganked. If you find yourself in the enemy's solo lane, feel free to treat it like a normal duo lane. You have great lane presence, so stay at the middle by the minion intersection points and get some last hits; either melee or with Siphon, it depends on your opponent. Whilst you have almost unmatched minion wave clearing capabilities (Renekton and Morgana may prove better late game) you want to avoid pushing to avoid being ganked by the opposing jungler, as Morde will have no escape capabilities other than Ghost. When you get the opportunity (usually after a dive, be it successful or not) port back and get an early Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak depending on who you're laning against. This will give you a nice resistance early, and can build into Abyssal Mask, Force of Nature, Thornmail or Randuin's Omen.

Against a duo of enemies, you'll need to be more cautious. Turret hug and just come out to clear the minion wave. Also, try to get minions to aggro you instead of the turret. The less they hit it, the slower you lose it. Besides, you have health regen and a shield so you won't feel too much pain. Only dive if one of them is a squishy who decides to keep extended on low HP. You'll still need to be cautious of the other guy in the lane though. Stick to keeping the turret alive, and worry less about kills until you're high enough level to gank, or are just significantly higher than your lane. When you see an opportunity (like, around a quarter health) feel free to whack siphon onto the wave of minions, pop Ghost and dive at the underhealthed enemy. This temporarily gives you the 2v1 presence in the lane, but remember: don't get cocky. A kill isn't worth a death, and that goes double for a 2v1 lane.

My Team Has no Jungler and no Mid

Take Mid. The logic is to send your carry to mid so they can get a level advangate, and some kills by ganking. Play in mid like, well, like you usually would I guess. Keep behind your minions to help against skill shots, avoid pushing and last hit with Siphon. At lv3, you should have Siphon at lv2, which will do about 100 base damage. Considering most carries at lv3 would have about 600/700 HP, that's a fair bit if you can catch them in it a few times. If your opponent is squishy, you'll definitely want to go for them at lv6. Wear at them with Siphon until about half HP, then wait for the next minion wave. If they're still stood forward with half health, congrats on your free kill. Charge your shield with Siphon and put Creeping Death on yourself. Then pop Ghost and use your Ult - Ignite - Mace - Siphon routine on them, and enjoy your free kill.
If your opponent is not so squishy, hold back with your ult and Ignite until either:
1) They get cocky and try to push you.
2) They foolishly stay in lane on about a quarter health.
3) You get a helpful ganker pay you a visit.
4) You get ganked and turret dived yourself. (Never turret dive a Morde early game).

Morde is a good ganker, and that's what makes a mid an effective mid. Being in the middle means you have quickest access to either lane in the event of an emergency. Ganking as Morde is simple.
1) Get into the River bush.
2) Ping the preliminary target (to let your team know).
3) Whack on Ghost and Creeping Death.
4) Zoom over to the squishyest guy (who you just pinged) and use your combo (Ult - Ignite - Siphon etc.).

N.B. You must only gank extended targets. Firstly, they will probably be by a wave of enemy minions. Secondly because it makes it so much simpler for you to pin them between yourself and your turret / allies.

My Team Has no Jungler and a Mid

You'll have to duo lane then. This might seem like outright bullying, but if the enemy team has an Akali or a Teemo in a duo lane, you'll need to be in that lane. Both make really tasty snacks. You can poke at them with Siphon, and at lv6 get them to half health then dive them. Both of them are horrendously squishy, and from personal experience they become great food. General behaviour in a duo lane is as normal. Try to avoid using your incredible presence to push them right back to their turret. You have a threatening aura around you as Mordekaiser, but you also have no escape mechanism for a gank. Try to keep the minions fighting at the middle of the lane. It's also not the end of the world if your lane gets pushed back to its turret, because it makes Ghost diving a breeze with nearby minion fights and a long run for your enemies to get back to a tower.

The Ganking Phase

The ganking phase tends to naturally occur. If you're mid, you can start it yourself, since you will be the the highest level on your team and you have quick access to both lanes. In a solo lane, you don't really want to be the one who initiates ganking, because you could easily lose your lane. In a duo lane, you can help bring the laning phase to an end by going mid, either as a gank fron river or by walking directly there after a recall. Toward the middle of the game you'll want to be asking yourself these sorts of questions:

1) How close am I to my next item?
2) How important is my next item?
3) Are any of our lanes in danger of being minion-pushed?
4) Has anyone on the enemy team wandered off on their own?
5) How important is it that I stay in this lane?
6) Is Red/Blue buff available, and will taking it disrupt my teammates?
7) Is there anyone I can help right now?
8) Can we do Dragon?
9) Are we sufficiently warded?

If you're close to an important item, such as Rylai's, you'll want to find a lane with a nice block of enemy minions to farm off. Simply walk into them, Siphon, Creeping Death, auto attack then MoS. You can clear minion waves before they know what's hittem, so grabbing a burst of gold is almost always at your reach. If the item isn't important, and is just an upgrade of your ingredients, think about 3) and 5). You'll want lane presence more in the middle parts of the game, because if you're in a 5v5 standoff in mid, and you go off to clear a minion wave for money, you could lose your front mid turret, which would have a significant impact. If 5) isn't an issue, then consider 4). A lone enemy could mean a nice pick-off, but it could also be bait. You'll want to consider how many enemies are missing before you go in for a kill, or you could bring along a helpful teammate.

If 3) and 5) aren't concerns, look for 6) 7) and 8). Dragon is a key objective in Summoner's Rift. Whilst Morde can't really solo Dragon too easily, getting just one teammate and taking the fireball for them whilst they beat on it too is probably the best way to get a safe Dragon. Red and Blue buff are both also really good. Blue buff is a free 20+% of your allotted CDR, and Red Buff gives you and your ghost a free Frozen Mallet plus a bit of DoT. However, someone like a Swain on your team would mean getting Blue Buff could be disrupting, because he needs it a lot more than Morde. That's where 7) would come in. As well as helping someone who is in combat with the enemies, you can also help people by attacking Red/Blue buff to help them get it faster (or in the case of someone like Lux helping them get it at all). If you don't think your team realise this, just wear the buff down low and then ping it on the minimap, and ping the person you want to give it to if necessary.
9) is just a matter of teamplay. Yes, you should be warded, but it isn't only one person's job. As Morde can make a lot of money, it's a good idea to buy wards even mid game just to be on the safe side. Against people like Fiddlesticks you'll want the map awareness they provide.

You'll rarely if ever come across a situation in which there's no reason for you in lane, there are no map objectives, and there isn't a lane which has minions to clear. If this is the case, all you can do is push a lane.

The Pushing Phase

This isn't really where Carry Morde shines, per se. You can be left in a bit of a sticky situation if your team isn't in possession of a proper tank. Because you're bulky and strong, it's logical that you stand at the front of the pack because you can absorb and dish damage. Problem is you do not want to get focused. Get pulled in by a Stun, Snare, Rocket Grab etc. and you're out for the count. You excel at 1v1 and 2v1ing their strongest people to take them out of the fray for your team to push. What should you do then when the teams are in a 5v5 standoff in mid?


Yes, you have brilliant minion-wave clearing capabilities, especially if you have a Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Deathfire Grasp (or anything AP giving really).

How and When to Push a Lane. (Backdoor).

Ask Yourself:
1) How many people can be accounted for? (enemies AND allies).
2) How close are you to their next Turret?
3) Do your team need you alive at all costs?
4) Is there someone to tag along with you?
5) Is an enemy backdooring you?
6) Is one of their Turrets on about 200HP?

Usually, 4) and 1) are your main points of thought. Having someone in the jungle just above/below you in a case of emergency is great. If you're thinking about pushing top lane's second Turret and 3 of your team are in Spawn, you should probably wait until you can have some support. On a similar note, if all 5 of the enemies are missing, you might want to make sure they aren't planning a push/defend on Top lane as well, or it could go horribly wrong.
In the case of 6), you'll probably be able to build a nice bit of shield by Siphoning Wolves/Double Golems and then just walk up and double hit the Turret dead. To double hit, simply auto attack and press Q just as the attack connects to reset the attack timer and hit twice quickly.
If 5) is a problem, just run through the jungle with the intent of appearing behind them (Between them and their base) and doing your usual thang. You can gank pretty much anyone who doesn't have a lame escape method and the correct positioning to do it (I'm looking at you Kassadin) because of your near-inability to lose 1v1. Having someone in the near vicinity is always nice on the offchance that you don't manage the comfortable gank.
Once this person is clear, it's usuakky a good chance to push the next minion wave, both to make up for the distance gained by enemy minions, and to make the enemies think you're pushing the lane that you just cleared. Then, run to the opposite lane and begin pushing that one. The enemy team should be dispersed between mid and the lane you just cleared, giving you ample time to begin something.
If Backdooring has become somewhat of a necessity for your team, it may be a smart idea to send 2 backdoorers, one Top and one Bottom. This way it can't be prevented by a 5-man pounce, because they will have to split their forces. With mid under attack from 3, and the other two under threat, there will always have to be a numbers disadvantage somewhere, seeing as 1 person alone can't really threaten you, so sending just 1 person would prove little use.

A potentially better way of backdooring, which I like to call minion aiding, is also a possibility for Morde. If you have the minions fighting in the middle of a lane, or more toward your base, this will provide you with an advantage. Ignore the minions fighting, and the wave after that. Stand and wait for the next wave (or if the minion fight is close to your base, walk to them) and begin killing them with W-E-Q. Work your way as far up as you can with this, and stay close to the enemy base just killing the enemy minion waves. This allows your minions to work up into a group of 2 or 3 waves, allowing them numbers dominance after you stop. If unattended, a wave of this size can push a Turret with no help. If you manage to get behind the enemy turret and clean out the fresh minons from behind there, your minions will get to that turret and receive no competition, so they can put all their effort into targeting the turret. To backdoor the normal way, you have to stay in the lane you're pushing, so your whereabouts are obvious to the enemy. Popping out of the jungle to clear a fresh wave of 6 minions puts you in one place for a much shorter period of time, and without careful team planning the enemies may never actually find you to stop you.

Late Game is Coming

As late game (about 40 Minutes) approaches, carries tend to become rediculously strong, tanks become unkillable, and supports become pretty useless. Why am I telling you this? Because focus on the supports! Their power curved off a long time ago, and their defences generally won't match (The exceptions here would be Taric and Alistar.) You should probably have Sorcerer's Shoes and Rylai's Crystal Scepter by now, along with 1 or 2 other complete items. Make Zhonya's Hourglass your priority. The Armour and AP it gives, as well as the active for when you are inevitably pounced upon, are unmatched. Focus on staying as a team at this point, even if you're winning. The last thing you want is to be pounced on repeatedly and to spend over a minute dead each time. How well you play as a team seems to be of much more weight at this time, unless you have a massive advantage on map coverage and/or Kills. Whilst you can lead your team to an extent, your best friend would be CC, netting you a guarenteed explosion of your moves on someone. Losing anybody at this stage can be the breaking of a game, so try and let someone with CC start the fights.

Hitting the right person with your ult becomes ever more important now, because a ranged DPS actually has the power to kill squishy characters, and the 6v4 advantage when you're pummeling their base (hopefully) or when they're trying to get into yours can make light work of the situation.

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In a Premade

Chronologically, this should have gone before the whole guide, but it's here because it can be skipped if you're not a full 5 premade.

Building a Team Around Carry Morde

If you're in a premade of 5, and you want to focus a team around having Mordekaiser as your main carry, you need to consider these things:

Who is our Tank?

Amumu is brilliant in a team with Mordekaiser, mainly because he sorts out a great Tank and a Jungler in one teammate. Mordekaiser loves being in a solo lane, and with a jungling Amumu he can have his wish. Amumu also fills one of the other great helps for Morde: Crowd Control. Amumu packs two Stuns, meaning in a good situation Bandage Toss can snare a running Squishy, aiding Morde in getting his Ult on them. In a teamfight, Amumu can toss his AoE Stun so that Morde gets a clear path to their Carry and can safely whack his combo on them, giving you the most favourable 6v4 you can get. Amumu can also gank Morde's 2v1 lane very nicely with Bandage Toss.

Ok. Rammus' Ability to pick people off a single target at a time is pretty nice. Rammus taunting the Squishy DPS goes brilliantly in getting your your optimal pet. With Morde and Rammus both 'carry hunting' the enemy team could have trouble putting out much damage.

Malphite works nicely using his Unstoppable Force and Ground Slam combo to help disable the enemy's carry. This gives you nice opportunity to run into them and get your combo off. He can also help with his ult if you get into trouble, and makes chasing a breeze.

Shen used Teleport! Shen is a great partner to really secure a gank. Wait in a bush and get him to tele to you, then with the shield Ghost out of a bush and when you get to the target, Shen can taunt them to ensure they have a very hard time getting away. Shen's ult can also save your life in a pinch.

Garen doesn't compliment Mordekaiser too well. His silence is useful, but other than that I don't view him as a very good tank. You definitely don't want him stealing your kills with Demacian Justice either.

Who is our Support?

JANNARR! Janna's absolutely awesome at initiating with her Howling Gale and Zephyr combo leaving enemies CCd into the ground (well, actually quite the opposite). Her Eye Of The Storm will ensure the enemies touch your real health even less at the end of the game. All in All, Janna is pretty much an awesome Champ. Problems occur late game when her damage and survivability start to curve off a little bit, and Banshee's Veil becomes a problem for her actual usefulness. You'll have to role reversal then, and you will need to protect her to keep your CC up.

Invincibility is something craved by all people, and Kayle can offer just that, albeit for a small amount of time. Still, Divine Blessing's movement speed buff and Intervention can help make you somewhat able to initiate (by pounding on their Carry), especially if you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Randuin's Omen to aid your escape. Kayle also has CC in the form of Reckoning and some great damage with Righteous Fury. To put it simply, Kayle has better damage than Janna, but less Survivability on her own.

Taric is simply Fabulous with his Click-and-Stun Dazzle and his general helpfulness. If he's playing properly, he should have items such as Soul Shroud Aegis of the Legion and Abyssal Mask, giving you great Aura effects along with Shatter and Radiance to increase your awesomeness just by standing there. Groovy!

OMG ALISTAR IS A TANK!!!11 Well, he can be classed as a tank/support IMO. He has nice CC in Pulverize and Headbutt, and good support with Triumphant Roar. Colossal Strength and Unbreakable Will make him a great Turret pusher for that extra shot of Gold, and for absorbing turret aggro whilst you dive someone.

Soraka is the epitome of a support character... As in she's practically useless unless there's someone along with her. I also find her usefulness curves off far too early. The constant heal is nice for spamming your abilities, but past the laning phase it's nothing particularly amazing because you should have enough health from Force of Nature or Giant's Belt to need it. Her best aspect is Infuse to silence the enemy carry.

Sona gives you AP with her Hymn of Valor and can keep you healthy with Aria of Perseverance. If it wasn't for Crescendo I feel she would suffer the same fate as Soraka. Crescendo is great for getting to that Squishy when you need it, and obviously to run away in a pinch.

And Who Now?

Tank and Support are the main sorts of people you'd need to consider. The remaining team should aim for the most important things: Crowd Control and raw Damage. Chasers help to get any kills you might just miss, and Crowd control is really important for a Mordekaiser to carry at his best. I'd go as far to say having CC is what wins games in general. Kinda ironic for a Mordekaiser guide I guess :3.

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+ I Want to Play Tank Morde

So you want to play as Tank Morde? Well, first off if you own:
Or someone of the sort, You're probably better off playing them as a tank in competative play. Mordekaiser lacks the great tanking potential for serious games, and becomes a meatshield (like a Cho'Gath with absolutely no CC), he may not die, but he won't do a lot either. He can't initiate or draw attention in any way. Competatively, Mordekaiser is a bulky AP carry, or an uneducated pick.
Nonetheless, if you want to play Tank Morde, then you've come to the right place.

Welcome to Tank Morde!

Mordekaiser can tank because:
+ Iron Man Passive
+ Creeping Death provides resistances and a nice threatening AoE
+ You can farm really well keeping yourself alongside Carries on Gold and Items
+ You can become almost unkillable with the right items and underfed enemies
+ AoE Damage hurts the whole team at once

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The masteries are kept the same.

"But I've seen 0/9/21 / 9/21/0 / 0/15/15 being used!!"

Good for you, and they probably also used Dodge Seals and Movement Speed Quints as well. Let me explain why I think a tanky Morde should use the same masteries as an offensive one:

This is the only reason people look at Mordekaiser and think "He should be a tank!" Now, the only way to keep this fully charged, and thus keep them away from your real HP, is by using your spells, mainly Creeping Death and Siphon of Destruction. And the way to maximize this is... Cooldown Reduction! And it is for this very reason that I view Sorcery and Intelligence to be the best things to aim for. After getting that far in both trees, it is only logical to get the magic penetration and the Summoner Spell CDR, thus re-making 9/0/21.

Obviously, it's up to you to make the decision on your masteries, so I'll give a brief rundown of my opinions on the other popular options if you wish to consider them.

You sacrifice 11AP, 7.5% of your max CDR and 15% magic penetration for 4 Armour, 4 MRes, 2% Dodge chance and a speed increase (Which has a 2% Chance of occurring). I Wouldn't call that a worthwhile trade-off.

Ardor and Tenacity are the only things which you want from Defence. A 4% increase in your AP is very nice to have, and taking 4% less damage overall can help. Veteran Scars reduces your early game squishyness, meaning you can use 9x Greater Seal of Vitality if you want, to give you 175 more HP at lv18.
In Utility, you miss out on Awareness which personally I like to get on any champion I can, because leveling up fast is important, especially for a Tank. The last thing you want is to be getting pounded on by higher-levelled enemies, it'll make you somewhat redundant. You'll also miss out on increased Blue Buff, which brings your biggest consideration as a tank: CDR. Quickness and Improved Ghost are also in the utility Tree, so unless you go 8/21/1 your Ghost will be less potent. As a Tank's job is to take damage, in theory, you should be dying more than your carries, so missing Good Hands is only made worse. Intelligence and Presence of the Master are the icing and cherry on the Mordekaiser cake. 15% of your max CDR and the faster use of your ever-reliant Ghost and Ignite give you more staying power.

I've seen this in a couple of places now. Where this trend came from I'm not too sure. The idea behind it is that you only need up to Quickness in Utility, which can be achieved in 15 points. Those 15 then go into Defence, giving you that 10% Movement Speed buff and 3 points in Veteran's Scars.
If anything, the top half of the Utility tree is the disposable half (But obviously you can't ignore them) and the bottom half consists of what Mordekaiser needs. The Defence tree is similar, you want the bottom two most of all. This guide takes both halves of the Don't-really-need-but-have-to-take masteries, and ignores the icing and cherry from both. I really cannot see why this could be superior to any other set.

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Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is the only difference between this and the Carry Runes. This is because once again you want your CDR maxed A.S.A.P. to keep your shield up. You can go for Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction if you prefer it, but it needs something like lv13 to break even with Focus. If you want to be picky, you'll have 5.85% CDR with 9 Glyphs of Focus, so swapping one for a Glyph of Force means you still have ~5% CDR but 3 extra AP too. I wouldn't recommend any other changes from Carry Mordekaiser.

I'll shove in the rune expanation here in case you didn't read it earlier:

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
I use Magic pen reds, for a pretty obvious reason. Morde relies on magic damage from his skills, and the more magic pen you get, the less magic resist your enemies will have.

Greater Seal of Health
Three of these for about 15 HP (explanation under Quints).

Greater Seal of Vitality
These give almost 4 times as much HP at lv18 than Seals of Fortitude. About 120 HP isn't anything to be scoffed at towards the end.

Greater Quintessence of Health
Okay, here's the reasoning behind the somewhat-messy Seals. Morde starts with 501 HP. Barely over 4 bars, for someone as durable as Morde, is not really a lot. His early game as a result will suffer for it. With 3 x 26 in Quints, 3 x 5 in Seals of Fortitude, and 6 x 1 in Seals of Vitality, you will start with an extra 100 HP. Not only is that pretty significant in terms of the weakness of early-game skills, it has a psychological effect too. Seeing someone with 6 bars of health early-game is a lot more threatening than someone with 5 bars. It will make your enemies think twice about trying to whittle you down straight away. For this reason, in order to maximise your benefit from runes, 3 flat HP and 6 HP/L will make the most of eveything.

Why not Greater Seal of Evasion and Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed?

If you take a Rune for +5HP, you will always have 5 more HP. Having 9 Dodge seals gives you about 6% chance to dodge an attack. In other words, it isn't reliable. There's only a 0.75% chance that each rune will have an effect, but there's a 100% chance a HP Rune will give you HP. It's not reliable enough for Morde.

I have tried Quints of Swiftness. Then I took them off and didn't notice the movement speed change. I would rather have the HP Early game than move a little bit faster, especially when Ghost Force of Nature and Shurelya's Reverie can sort out your needs for more Speed, and won't cost you 78 HP early game.

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What Do I Buy as Tank Morde?

Item purchases are the make-or-break of almost any champion. I don't personally believe that a set of 6 items will always be the 6 best items you can buy in a game. Despite the fact i have a 6 item build up at the top, that's just one possible combination for a mix of damage and survivability, suitable for Tank Morde. It's fairly reliable if you want to copy it to get to grips with Morde, but it can never always be the best combination of 6 items because your team and the enemy team will not both be consistant.

What are My Core Items?

Force of Nature
Absolutely awesome. Gives movement speed and a high blast of Magic Resist. The health regen also makes getting it (or at least its ingredients) early game a good choice, because the loss of health potentially inhibits your ability to use your spells. This is a must-buy, no questions asked.

Randuin's Omen
You have no CC. Buy Randuin's. You now have CC. Sort of. You have a nice AoE slow for both chasing and running. If you have this and not Rylai's Crystal Scepter then you can use it to save a Squishy teammate who is being chased by shoving your big self in between and popping the active. Once again, the health regen makes getting this early beneficial. Another 5% of your CDR makes 19.85% (almost 20%, which is half of your allotted 40%) with your masteries and runes.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Core on Carry Morde, and Core on Tank Morde. This is core on any sort of Mordekaiser build, because it increases his damage, aids his survivability, and gives him some more CC. This item is just great in general on Mordekaiser.

And What now?

Obviously you should get boots pretty early on. Which shoes should you take?

Merc's if you're having problems with CC. Mordekaiser is vulnerable to being stun-locked, and has no escape mechanism. Yes, as a tank you should be sponging damage (and potentially dying) for your team, but there comes a point where tanking merges into feeding. Merc's can save you from situations where your death was unnecessary. They also give you some hefty MRes, which is always nice against caster teams.

These are for those AD heavy teams. The dodge chance is pretty insignificant, you'd be getting these for the Armour. Still, against Auto-Attack heavy teams the dodge is good to have.

Some guides like these. I guess you can get to turrets, enemies, etc. a lot faster in order to do your job of protecting, but they offer no other defencive benefits. Personal preference.

Yes, you can get these on Tank Morde. This means your spells will actually do noticable damage, but you remain susceptable to CC, and lose a possible shot of Armour / Magic Resist. Depends which of the damage or the defence you think are the more important.

These give you a nice 10% CDR, which is 25% of your max. These are good if you don't plan on buying defensive items which come with cooldown.

Now I Need More CDR

Frozen Heart
A nice extra HALF of your CDR :3. With this and Randuin's Omen you'll have it capped (39.85%) which is awesome for your tanking prowess. The 500 mana is wasted because you don't use it, but 99 Armour is a lot. This item is very expensive, so I wouldn't recommend getting it too early, unless they have a heavy Auto-Attack team.

Shurelya's Reverie
Mini Ghost! This active is good for helping your squishies run from a gang of enemies whilst you run into them to tank the damage. You can also use it to chicken out and run when the time is right, or if your team can't catch up to the enemies when they run with their tails between their legs, pop this and show 'em not to mess!

Spirit Visage
Pairs superbly with the HP Regens from Randuin's Omen, Force of Nature and Shurelya's Reverie. The 10% CDR will take you to 24%, 60% of your max. Later in games I tend to sell these because they don't offer massive stats.

Now I Need More Armour

Returning their Auto-Attacks as Magic Damage, which is great against people like Xin Zhao and Ashe. 100 Armour is the biggest shot you can get in one item, which makes it a high priority (in some cases moreso than Randuin's Omen). It's also pretty cheap at only 2000g.

Zhonya's Hourglass
Nearly made it back as a Core Item on Tank Morde. The active is so useful for your own survivability, but at the same time you want the attention on yourself raather than your carries. The Armour and AP are both great things to have.

Sunfire Cape
I've never been too fond of this. However, against fairly AD teams, getting this early could be useful. Don't bother building this as a 4th or 5th item though, the numbers are too small and 40 damage a second is pretty obsolete.

Now I Need More Magic Resist

Abyssal Scepter
Gives you a lovely dose of MRes and some nice AP / Magic Penetration. Gives you a pretty good balance of offence and defence, and supports your team with your Aura.

Banshee's Veil
More Mana :(. The point of this thing is for the spell shield every 30 seconds. This will protect you from so much and give you a threatening aura. This also means you can bodyblock Enchanted Crystal Arrow and other stuff of the sort.

Guardian Angel
Small bit of Armour, Small bit of Magic Resist, and another threatening cloud. This'll make people think twice about whether to attack you or run away, which can be good in aiding a late game push. Once it procs, I usually then sell it because of the low numbers it gives.

Quicksilver Sash
Free Cleanse for against CC heavy teams. Getting this and Banshee's Veil could be overkill, but it could also be invincibility. You decide. Also a nice shot of Magic Resist to boot.

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The Great Debate (Warmog's)

The Great Debate

Warmog's Armour. Loved by some, hated by others, built by many on Morde free week. Some people will disregard a Mordekaiser build because it has this item in, which is why I haven't put it in my 'Tank Example' at the top. I'll outline the pros and cons of this item, after all this is a guide not a build, you should be making your own decisions. This particular item just has a lot of controversy it seems.

+ Morde can farm minion waves very well. This means just visiting an unattended lane every minute or so can get this thing full in no time. He's such a good minion farmer that it only makes sense to buy an item that takes advantage of that.
+ This item offers the most health in the game, 1350. Mordekaiser's pretty low on health, so with this he should be in the 3000-4000s
+ Morde uses his health to cast abilities, and this offers a load of health regen. Some say health regen is useless outside the laning phase, but after a bit of a push you can afford to wait around on half health with this and Force of Nature, which Warmog's Armor accompanies very well.
+ A large health bar is intimidating, and as a tank you want people to focus you. If your enemies need 5 people to kill you, they may set their whole team on you whilst your DPSs attack.

- Iron Man is your 'health' later in the game. the way to stop your shield from fading is not more health, but more Armour and Magic Resist. Having a lot of HP can seem redundant especially if you're a good boy/girl and playing with maxed CDR.
- The health regen can be considered overkill, Force of Nature can do a pretty good job on its own.
- It's expensive. Another 3000g item (although Morde is pretty good at raking in the gold).
- Madred's Bloodrazor will own you unless you have magic resist. Your shield is a flat 640 at lv18, so increasing the base damage of an enemy's attack and increasing only your health will mean your shield becomes weaker.

That's all there is to it really. The main thing I would say is don't rush this. If you end up with just boots and Warmog's 20 minutes in, you'll be lacking in damage, Armour/Magic Resist and CDR. If you think about it the more CDR you have before this, the more efficiently you can fill it up.

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How Do I Play Tank Morde?

You have the choice of or +
Doran's Shield will give you better early game survivability with more health and a bit of Armour. Regrowth Pendant is an ingrediant to Shurelya's Reverie Force of Nature and Warmog's Armor and gives more health regen for using your abilities.
You will now be put in one of two situations:

My Team Has a Jungler

Try and get the solo lane. You are a tank, and you can't be absorbing damage from enemies a higher level. You're also a potent ganker for when the ganking phase begins, so having a level advantage is a good idea. If it's a 1v1, play it as if it were a 2v2, so keep the minions fighting in the middle of the lane and only last hit. Oncy Siphon hits lv2 (when you're lv3) you can start trying to catch the enemy in it, as it will slowly chip at their health (unless they're someone like Dr. Mundo or Sion). If it's a 2v1 lane, stay at your turret and play defensively, only coming forward to kill minions. Keep the aggro on yourself rather than the turret, because you will regen your health, but the turret won't. Let the enemy champions stay as extended as they wish, because your jungler will be available to gank, especially when you hit level 6.

At level 6, if you're not in need of a gank and the enemies are extended right up to you, feel free to pop Ghost and try diving one of the enemies. Whilst this isn't really a priority for Tank Morde as it is for Carry Morde, it's definitely good to have kills. Be aware that getting a kill and being forced to go back because of losing most of your health could easily result in the early loss of your lane, since you have no space for Teleport.

My Team has no Jungler

You will be going into a duo lane. Try to go with someone who has some sort of CC if you can, or at least try to get against a squishy enemy. Your ult will be able to pound on them and hopefully get yourself a turret pushed as you reach level six. Bear in mind you have no CC of your own, so when you want to dive someone you'll be relying on Ghost and your lane partner. If you're paired with someone like Sion or Rammus then just let them know when to pull someone in and you can easily take down a squishy enemy together.

In terms of play, you'll want to ensure to get a Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak as early as you can, depending on who you feel most threatened by. They won't go to waste, because they build Force of Nature or Randuin's Omen. One of these will give you more staying power in the lane. Try to let your laning partner get the kills in a lane, but make sure you get your ult off on as many deaths as you can. Being a tank you don't need the kills, because you have brilliant enough gold flow just by using your abilities on minions. It's always tempting to finish off a kill with siphon, but try not to blatantly do it, it could deny your carry of their all-important B. F. Sword.

The Ganking Phase

The ganking phase early on is critical to your job. KEEP WITH YOUR SQUISHIES!. Your job as Tank Morde is to prevent them from dying. The better your carries do, the better you will do later on in the game. Since you have no form of initiation, you're like a personal bodyguard meatshield guy. Just be aware that you don't really have anything to save someone if they're focused aside from Creeping Death, just try your best. If you go off to gank, make sure there's an ally on the receiving end to help you pincer, and you could probably bring along your carry to ensure they're not left on their own to receive the same fate.

As a mobile bodyguard, you need to be looking around for:
1) A squishy left on their own
2) Someone who needs assistance
3) A lane which is nearly pushed (to your side)
4) Places which need warding

Squishies left on their own may be able to push a lane, but inevitably they'll get ganked and die, unless they're someone like Kassadin who has a flawless escape method. People doing Red / Blue buff or Dragon may need your help. You can take the aggro from Dragon (by initiating) because your attack speed isn't of an issue, so it's better you get yours lowered that someone like Xin Zhao who needs his Attack speed to do Dragon anyway. Morde can clear waves of minions really nicely with W-E-Q into the middle of the wave, and get himself a nice load of Gold in the process. With this Gold, you can easily Ward the jungle to help out people who want to backdoor, or to just prevent ganks in general.

The Pushing Phase

Tank Morde plays a big role in the pushing phase too. You need to stay at the front of your team because you can take damage. You won't be as able to deal it as say Xin Zhao but if he jumps into 5 people, he's going down. Just remember you have no way to initiate, so you'll need to wait for a mistake from the enemy team before you can begin the push. Ask your team to leave the minion wave. They may want the 25 gold they can get from the kills, but having shield up is much more important for you as a tank. Even if you don't get the wave killed, try to hit at least 4 of them with your Siphon of Destruction. Getting your ult off on their carry is absolutely vital at this point. Turning a 5v5 into a 6v4 at the pushing phase is a huge advantage.

If you're on the offense, you should be at the front poking at people with Siphon. Don't be afraid of taking pokes (like Volley etc.), especially since you should have Force of Nature by this point. Your shield and health regen should keep you standing there waiting to nail that ghost. If there's a numbers advantage on your side of the field, running up to the turret and double-hitting it with Mace of Spades then running back is a good way to annoy the enemies into walking into a 2v5 just to get you off the tower.

On the Defensive, stay in front of the Turret at all times. It's your job to be hitting minions with Siphon, and ensuring as little damage to your Turret as possible. You want to be receiving all of the pokes for your team because you don't need to care about the damage. Also try to bait a tower dive from the enemy team, especially from someone squishy who can't handle Turret hits, Ignite and Children of the Grave all at once.

End Game is Approaching

Towards the end of the game, you can become pretty damn hard to take down if you have adequate Magic Resist and Armour. It is at this point you'll want to consider Zhonya's Hourglass if you don't have it. It will save you from an enemy team pouncing on you, and give you a lovely shot of Armour. You just need to watch out about the fact that you want to be receiving damage, so you need to make sure that popping the active doesn't get someone else on your team focused. Other very strong choices late game are Warmog's Armor and Rabadon's Deathcap. If you have sufficient damage output for what your team needs, getting a Warmog's Armor can make you just that bit harder to kill. If the enemy team have a single Madred's Bloodrazor then do not bother with Warmog's, it just reduces the use of your shield. The thing about late game is minion waves are less within-reach. You're less likely to team fight near a minion wave like you will be doing in the pushing phase meaning your shield is a bit harder to charge, so buffing your health isn't actually stupid as it would be mid game when you have minions in all the fights. Now, if your team are losing then you should be tripping over enemy minions, lovely food to fill your Warmog's. If you're winning, you may need to be jungling and attending neglected lanes in order to fill it quickly.
If you aren't putting out much damage and feel a bit like a walking doorstop, Rabadon's Deathcap can help a little bit. If you have 180 AP from Zhonya's Hourglass and Rylai's Crystal Scepter already, then you'll be on a comfortable 447 AP after a Rabadon's. You want to hope that because you suddenly spike in damage output, you're gonna be focused by the enemy team, because Mordekaiser as a Tank cannot force aggro to himself, despite that being his primary role. You should only go down a route like this if your damage output feels lackluster, as Tank Morde's primary role is a damage absorber and the damage is a bonus. Warmog's, or any other defensive item if you don't like it, will be better for your ability to sponge damage from Carries. If you want a little bit of both and seem to be fighting a lot, Hextech Gunblade is a consideration because of the added Spell Vamp and Life Steal. It doesn't have the defences of Warmog's nor the straight power of Rabadon's, but it is a nice, if somewhat expensive, middle-man.

In terms of playstyle, you're going to lead your team! Stand at the front and be prepared to walk into traps and ganks because you can live them, your squishies can't. You should have the mentality of a leader as you cruise around with your Carry (who should have great DPS output by now) preventing them from suffering a horrible fate. Mordekaiser as a Tank is critisised as being ignorable at late game, so you need to make yourself the center of the enemy attention, even if it means something like walking onto one of their inhibitor turrets alone, baiting a wall of enemies for a lovely Enchanted Crystal Arrow followed by your team smashing them up, all whilst the turret focuses you and your unkillableness. You must not be scared of death as much, because your job is to help damaging characters win, not to go 14/1/26 at the end.

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Rounding Off

This concludes 'The Mindset of Mordekaiser'. I hope I've taught a little bit of insight as to how he should be played (as a bulky AP Carry!) and why you would want to see his face on your team. As always, constructive critisism is welcomed, and feel free to use this as you please. Remember though, most of what you read on websites like MOBAFire are not set in stone. To be at your best, you need personal swings, which I hope this guide leaves room for. Good luck, and thanks for reading.