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Malphite Build Guide by Fearstreet

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Fearstreet

The Ultimate Tank

Fearstreet Last updated on June 29, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

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

Utility: 0

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*June 29, 2011 = Updated my rune build to accommodate a little more magic resistance by sacrificing attack speed. Also included my definition of Ultimate Tank to make it a little more understandable why I build Malphite the way I do.

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In my opinion, the Ultimate Tank is a tank that is able to initiate team fights and also contribute highly to the damage output of those team fights. Lets face it, would you rather sit there and do nothing except take hits, or would you rather take hits and deal some damage back to the enemy? People will dispute that this isn't even a tank build. However, Malphite's ~4000 hp and high armor beg to differ. Here you will see the item build focusing on nothing but hp/hp regen and armor/magic regen which is common for any good tank, but seems to be forgotten as I have seen some horrible tanks lately. The rune and mastery builds are where I switch some things up and people are going to argue with me on whether or not this IS the best build. I will state here that there very well may be a better build, however this is what has been working for me for a LONG time.

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Pros / Cons


    Great initiator
    Survivability FTW
    Enough AD to be a decent threat throught the game


    No AP
    There is no real AD focus in this item build
    Should be careful/smart early game until your build comes through
    Low-Fair Magic Resistance

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Creates a shield based on your amount of hp and regenerates after 10 secs out of combat. This passive was made for tanking!

This is going to be your harassing move for pretty much the entire game. Not to mention its slow will ensure that Teemo does not escape that team fight you will be winning. You COULD open up the match with it if you choose, but I normally open up with something else.

I choose to open with this move only because it is a great move for farming groups of minions. Just get in the middle of them, let your passive soak up the damage, and watch the gold stack up.

This ability is a second reason I boost my armor stat like crazy. If you read the effect, it does damage based on ability power AND the amount of armor Malphite has. Even so, I don't really even use this move that often unless I get bored or I am surrounded in a team fight. Seeing as team fights are more towards mid to late game I don't even concentrate on it until later.

I don't need to really say why this move is great. It was truly made for ganking large groups and initiating team fights. If you see your team is being chased mid by the enemy just hop in a bush and intercept them. The range of this move is awesome and will take you to wherever your target(s) is/are. When this move hits it hits HARD and pops all enemies in the air giving your team the time to turn around and finish the job.

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Here is where things get a little dicey when it comes to public feedback. I have been going with:
Greater Mark of Desolation 9 Marks of Desolation
9 Seals of Fortitude
9 Glyphs of Warding
Greater Quintessence of Desolation 2 Desolation Quints
1 Warding Quint

What is better than a tank? A tank that can deal a (more than) fair amount of damage in team fights. That is where your rune build comes in. This helps jump start Malphite's Seismic Shard by allowing it to do awesome amounts of damage early game. I had a game where our mid went afk and I had to pick it up. Holding Ezreal back with nothing but Seismic Shard was EASY thanks to my ungodly armor pen.

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I normally go with a 21/9/0 mastery set.
"But thats not a tank build!!!"
You will live, trust me. Malphite's items will keep you alive and kicking for the game, just be smart.

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You are going to want to leave the Summoner's Platform with only one item, and that item is a Ruby Crystal. Don't freak out; you will be fine. The hp boost will be enough to get you through the few minutes you need in order to save up for the next item.

Get back as soon as you have enough gold to afford Heart of Gold. Easily a KEY item to ANY tank. Whenever I see a tank who does not start with Heart of Gold, I die a little inside. It is a perfect item for an expensive build like this one. Its 5 gold/10 sec. will keep you going back to base for items and have you going back into the fight armed like a juggernaut.

Your next item is going to want to give you a little bit of speed, but you don't want it to detract from the focus of your build. Welcome to the world of Ninja Tabi. There have been so many times where I have been the center of attention in a team fight and all I see is Dodge Dodge Dodge. These will give you just what you need to stay the center of attention the longest in a 5v5.

Mid Game

Now it is time to start focusing on our main build. You are first going to want to get a Sunfire Cape. It gives a substantial amount of hp and the passive effect is exactly what Malphite needs in a team fight.

Once you have your Sunfire Cape done, it is time to focus on every tanks favorite item, Warmogs. You are going to want to save this item for later as it takes a little bit to build and you want the previously mentioned items to ensure you are effective in-game. You see tanks walking around with Warmogs as their first item. "HURR DURR I BEST TANK!!"...
"An Enemy/Ally* Has Been Slain"
<-- *Depends which side the idiot is on

Late Game

These next couple of items can really vary depending on the situation.

Heavy AP Champs

Normally I like to throw in Force of Nature seeing as it give nice hp regen and magic resistance. A good item and could be key seeing as almost EVERY enemy team has multiple AP heavy champs.

Heavy AD/DPS Champs

The other item you could get is Thornmail. That little extra boost of Armor is ALWAYS appreciated, but the main reason it is popular is for its passive. Let us say someone has fed Xin/Yi/Tryn... you get the idea. God forbid this happen, but sadly people for some reason LOVE to feed them. Time for the tank to pick a 1v1 with that champion and send him packing. While he chops away at your crazy armor and hp, he will he digging his own grave. Honestly, he should be really hurting by the time he gets through your Granite Shield.

Ok, time to switch things up here. Normally I would say go for Guardian Angel and rip things apart with no fear. You very well could do that but I prefer getting Atma's Impaler. This thing amplifies your AD based on your hp while giving you some pretty good Crit Strike. Key words: BASED ON HP. By now your hp is INSANE so enjoy your little AD boost. Ohh also I forgot to mention, this works hand in hand with Malphite's Brutal Strike. That passive does bonus damage to surrounding enemies BASED ON AD!
Hello, my name is Malphite. Welcome to die.

Now that our build is finished we can kick back and charge our way THROUGH the enemy nexus, right? Nah, we have that Heart of Gold sitting there collecting useless gold now. Time to change that. It just so happens that Heart of Gold is a key item in building Randuin's Omen!

Congratulations, you have been halfway there the entire time! (I cannot stress this enough, GET THIS ITEM LAST!!!)

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Well, that is how I recommend tanking out Malphite. I hope you took something away from this guide and will put it into practice. Like I said before, my mastery and rune build are simply what I prefer and nothing more. You want to build that section better, go for it. Anyway I just want to thank Mt. Dew for making this guide possible. How else could I write an entire guide at 4:00 in the morning. Thanks for reading and don't forget to comment/vote on this guide. Hey, if it works for you too then why not share it around.