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Malphite Build Guide by Gott der 7 Meere

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gott der 7 Meere

.:^:. .... Throwing Boulders, Shards and Bedrock .... .:^:.

Gott der 7 Meere Last updated on August 19, 2012
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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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Hello Summoners,

Malphite is an anti-physical-carry-tank with a big arsenal of CC. He can easily take a solo lane or jungle.
Allthough this is pretty much a standard build, I have seen no good Malphite Guides here on Mobafire (except perhaps PsiGuards), and thus I would like to contribute my way of playing the big stony thing.

feel free to contact me with quetions and feedback,

my IGN is "Gott der 7 Meere" on EUW.

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About this Build

Every build has its ups and downs. Playing Malphite like discribed in this guide works best, when your understand how it is supposed to work.

  • You will have ...
  • ... a flexible and cost effective build.
  • ... skills that are strong and frequently usable.
  • ... plenty of durability to do your job: tanking.
  • You will lack ...
  • ... softness, squashyness, not-hard-beeing.
  • ... carrying potential if you fight without your team.
  • ... understanding teammates if you screw up your ults.
How to play Malphite ?

There are a number of possible lanes for Malphite...
  • Top - He can put a lot of pressure on top lane with Seismic Shard, is very hard to gank but it is advised to take Teleport because he can - and should - turn around any fight with Unstoppable Force.
  • Jungle - Thanks to his Ground Slam and Brutal Strikes he can clear camps in the blink of an eye, his Granite Shield gives him excellent sustain, and his ganks with Seismic Shard, Unstoppable Force and red are very strong.
  • Mid - I have seen Guardsman Bob do this and tried it out myself - you can poke and burst down squishy AP-carries very easily, but you have to be very carefull mid. The real reason you would go mid, is that you don't need Teleport to be everywhere with your ultimate. You shouldn't build AP just because you go mid.

... and his possible builds ...
  • Full Tank - Even without a single damage item, Malphite will still do a lot of damage (thanks to the Armor ratio to his E) and CC. Your tasks are (in order of importance) to initiate on clustered enemies to make them panic, to protect your carries by shutting down dangerous ultimates and keeping the enemy damage away from them and finally to kill high priority targets.
  • AP Tank - Because Malphite is unstoppable on his charge and the damage of the following ----combo can be greatly enhanced with items like Abyssal Mask - to the point where it takes out targets - building him with his nuking potential in mind is very effective.
  • AA Tank - Increasing his damage with regard to his auto-attacks is less effective but still viable. Items like Trinity Force and Hextech Gunblade make him more of a hybrid that can deliver sustained DPS on top of his strong combo. Some teams can shut this kind of play down with kiteing and poke, others will be completely destroyed by it.

The guide will cover mostly an AP Tank Malphite because his ultimate is the crucial point of playing him, in my opinion, and should be made stronger where possible.

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Abilities and Skillorder

- improved by: HP, Armor, MR
Granite Shield (Sustain): Powerfull shield that basically removes your need for Health Potions because if you can anticipate damage and get your shield up, you won't need the heal afterwards. When jungling, wait until your shield comes up before starting each camp. In lane, avoid damage between waves so you can recharge it.

> > > - level, MPen, CDR, AP
Seismic Shard (CC, Damage, Farming, Finisher): This is your primary ability in lane, allowing you to trade damage, lasthit and cripple ganks. Once you get your Chalice of Harmony it will be your best friend. This does not only slow, but speed you up too, eliminating your need for Ghost. Max this first in lane. When you jungle, this makes your ganks very strong both as initiator and finisher. Still think about putting more points in your W when jungling.

> > > - AD, Armor, CDR
Brutal Strikes (Damage, Farming): Awesome for jungle and farming big creep-waves. You will only need one point early in jungle, and, in lane, you may even skipp this skill until later. Never forget to turn this on before fights.

> > > - Armor, MPen, CDR
Ground Slam (Damage, Debuff): For one, this skill allows for easy farming and pushing. Intrestingly, the damage scales of your Armor, so you won't have to sacrifice damage for tankyness. Other than that, the AS-debuff makes you the powerfull anti-AD tank that Malphite is. If you get Frozen Heart, you basically deny any AS dependent champion, are nearly immune to physical damage, and you get a lot of AOE damage out of it. Remember to use Brutal Strikes before this to profit from increased Armor - and thus damage. Max this as first skill in jungle and as second skill in lane.

> > > - level, CDR, MPen, AP
Unstoppable Force (Initiator, CC, Damage, Gap-closer): Firstly, the distance you travel is quite big, and you can use it in all manners you would use Flash. Secondly the knockup and stun initiates clashes or catches runners. A nice diving and ganking tool, too. The huge damage and excellent AP ratio make this even tastier, but it comes at the cost of a long CD, so make sure you don't miss this and get CDR so you have it ready when its needed.
Note that it is not always advisable to start a fight with Unstoppable Force, sure its a lot of damage and cc but once its gone, you are no longer a thread and any enemy will just kill your carries. Sometimes you will just run into them to get most of the damage and than you will ult those enemies that got to your ad carry or try to do something funny.

Concerning my skill order: You skillorder should be flexible. All his skills have their good sides. Against enemies with escapes, get Seismic Shard - if they can't run away, get Brutal Strikes and Ground Slam.

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Summoner Spells

If you want to jungle, take Smite to secure dragon/baron/buffs. SPACE Teleport: you can turn around ganks, teamfights and push.
Flash extends the range of your skills and gives you a gap-closer. SPACE You get Exhaust vs , . Ignite is the the - - -exhaust.

Avoid , and - they don't give you enough to warrant dropping or . Other summoner spells are very champion specific ( , , ) or underpowered ( , ).

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Champion Statistics

In this section, I will talk about the most important stats for Malphite, how much you need of them, and where you can get it effectively. In my oppinion, there is no one item or mastery that is set in stone, you should adapt to your team and enemy anyway. Therefore I list them all, and you can choose what you want accordingly.

Ability Power: --- its not a waste, but don't build glass cannon ...

- ,

Allthough you shouldn't build AP glass-cannon, any tank or utility items that give you additional AP are most welcome as you have two splendid ratios that can take advantage of it.

Defense Penetration: --- penetrate 50 MR somehow...

- and you love allies with: , ...

You depend on your skills to do damage, and your damage is directly related to your oponents MR. Allthough you will never be able to deal true damage (ignoring all MR), you should at least aim to do so with as many defense penetration as you can muster. Never go for expensive AP if you have no penetration, its just a huge waste. Abyssal Mask is an extremely good item as they increase all your team's burst, not just yours.

Armor: --- ~300


You have two skills that are affected by Armor and you are a hard tank. There is no question that you will get Armor, only how much. You should aim to get at least 100 Armor asap, rising to ~200 late game and peaking when you use Brutal Strikes to over 300. Really, 300 is more than ample, get other stats.

Health (HP): --- ~1k bonus HP


Get two Ruby Crystals or a Giant's Belt, HP is your first line of defense. Your awesome passive Granite Shield makes HP more effective and provides you with a sort of pre-emptive HPreg, so get cheap HP!

Magic Resistance (MR): --- ~200


Sooner or later you will have to survive AP-carry burst in team fights.

Movespeed (MS): --- ~400


Upgrade your boots soon because you don't want to waste your ult or Flash just to get somewhere. I prefer Speed Quints to have MS superior to most enemies.

Cooldown Reduction (CDR): --- +30% - +40%

- Zeke's Herald Shurelya's Reverie

Your skills provide your damage, and especially your ultimate with its long CD is your primary killing tool. CDR is the most valuable offensive stat you can get, as your ult decides battles.

Mana / Mana Regeneration (MReg): --- +200 bonus Mana

- - - - Greater Seal of Replenishment

All your Mana issues can be solved with blue buff. If you don't get that, either save your skills for when it matters and get some mana so you can use your full combo, or build Chalice of Harmony to keep up a constant stream of Seismic Shards in lane or Ground Slams in jungle.

Utility / Team Support: --- Your team comes first!


Never underestimate the value of aura items for your teammates. Every team should aim to get Aura items that help it's carries, effectively giving them more stats/gold. As Malphite you have three nice choices for aura items that give you great benefits and also help your team: Abyssal Mask Frozen Heart and Aegis of the Legion. More situational but still ok options would be Zeke's Herald and Will of the Ancients. Active items build out of gold items ( Shurelya's Reverie, Randuin's Omen) help especially in jungle and make you a lot better tank, they offer less obvious offensive stats, however.

Stats not listed here are thouroughly ineffective on Malphite, or go against the thought process of my build (Crit, AD, Spellvamp).

Get as many Tire One Items as you can, they are most cost-effective. Good upgrades provide you with 3 or even 4 of the stats stated above..

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Runes and Masteries


Red: MPen (AS/Armor). You rely on your magic damage, these are a good choice.
Yellow: Armor (MReg). Armor is your main stat. Possible alternative should be only MReg if you have Mana issues.
Blue: MR/lvl (MR/AP/lvl). Get flat MR if you face magic damage in lane, else the scaling are way better.
Quints: HP/MS (MPen/Armor/AP). Up to you, I suggest Movespeed or Health Quints as they help a lot in 1v1 or 2v1 situations.


0/21/9 Get something out Defense, the rest is open for change. You can go 0/21/9, 9/21/0 or 0/9/21 or even split your points 0/15/15.

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Game Walkthrough

Starting item choices:

Your first Item is supposed to give you survivability early, either by avoiding skillshots and ganks with boots, or by decreasing damage taken. Cloth Armor works well in Jungle if you have no experience, Regrowth Pendant is good if you want to rush a Philosopher's Stone.
Your Granite Shield won't take away all the damage. Never be below 50% and use Health Potions to stay healthy.
Seismic Shard don't use it too much early as it drains your mana quickly, but its already a nice poking and farming tool. For jungling, start with Ground Slam, obviously.

Early game (4000g):

Sight Ward

You want HP and seeing as Randuin's Omen is a nice end/mid-game item, you can get this early for money.
Only if you want a continous stream of Shard and Slams to give you a strong lane presence and still want Mana for your ----combo. If you get blue buff for some reason, this item is not needed. Philosopher's Stone or Doran's Ring can replace this if you only use your skills more conservatively.
This is the cheapest HP you can get, and it will help you throughout the game. No need to upgrade it, but when you have to, there are sweet options for doing so. Haunting Guise is another HP choice that gives you more offensive stats.
Early game items have to be cheap. That and the fact that most top laners/jungle creeps rely on physical damage and you get something for your Ground Slam makes those the perfect boots for Malphite. Mercury's Treads for Tenacity or Sorcerer's Shoes for greater burst are nice, too.
You want a big Armor item soon, so get the Vest asap. Rushing Glacial Shroud can be very effective vs top laners with physical damage.
If your enemy tries to fight you, use this together with Brutal Strikes to lower his AS and strike back.
Sight Ward Always, always have one of those in your inventory. Wards are your tool to turn ganks and get kills! Even Vision Wards are worth their money!

Mid Game (7000g):

Sight Ward

Frozen Heart is probably the best item you can get for Malphite, both for increasing his damage and survivability dramatically. Get this small version for your early game and upgrade it when you need the Armor and aura. Rushing Frozen Heart can be a good thing if you are top vs ad-champs.
Now you have to decide if you need MR or more Armor. This is the cheapes MR item you can get and will turn into an Abyssal Mask later. Get this as your first finished item (after other parts) if you are mid against magic damage.
If MR is no concern, this is the top Armor item and the next part towards Randuin's Omen.

Note that until now we only bought parts and no full item. We do this to spread our defenses and stats as wide as possible for as little money as we can. Your core of:

Sight Ward
(general core build)

leaves room for wards and gives you plenty of upgrade choices. This can deviate depending on what you do... (try to be flexible)

Sight Ward
(Top lane vs physical damage)

Sight Ward
(Mid lane with blue buff)

Philosopher's Stone Sight Ward
(Jungle Malphite)

End Game (13000g):

Sight Ward

Arguably the best item for him, you should get this every game sooner or later.
While Frozen Heart is giving you damage and defense, Randuin's is more of a pure tank-item. A very cheap and effective tank item. Get this vs physical damage if your team needs you to tank.
As you will get MR sooner or later, the question of upgrading your Negatron Cloak is crucial. Abyssal Mask is very good for you as it unites defensive and offensive stats again. Should you really need only tank stats, go for Banshee's Veil, but that should rarely happen.
To get more CDR and AP and thus increasing your damage considerably. The MR is just a nice addition. Obviously, a blue-buff-enhanced-Malphite will not need this item at all. If you dislike this item and are wondering what to do with your Chalice: replace it with Shurelya's Reverie.
Possibly switch to Mercs if you notice Ninja Tabi/ Sorcerer's Shoes was the wrong choice.

Every upgrade of your Giant's Belt gives you more HP and something else. Let us see, what you need...
  • - An ok item, many people don't like it because it doesn't give you much for its price. If you get this, get it early (it can help in jungle).
  • - Your AA will be stronger, this might help you if you face many melĂ©e champs, but is less ideal for AP-Tank- Malphite.
  • - Cheap HP. A big shield and more tankyness. If you do a lot of damage but die, then this helps.
  • - A small amount of cc (only slows with your Ground Slam) and AP. Should your team need more damage or CC, get this.
Get elixirs, especially the Oracle to clear wards.


Focus on your role exclusively. Go full tank if your team has no tank. If your team has tank, and needs more damage, or if:


Skip Randuin's Omen and get damage items Trinity Force/ Abyssal Mask.

In the end your builds will look like these Example Builds:

Sight Ward
(Average Game on Top Lane)

Sight Ward
(You jungle and don't get too much farm...)

Sight Ward
(You play mid and are lucky to get blue buff)

(Full build and pentakill Malphite)

Shurelya's Reverie
(Full build as pure rock Malphite)

I hope by now you realize that a clever build needs to be flexible. Every game has its own requirements and obviously teamplay is better than any build. Don't dismiss items just because you have never seen them on Malpithe.
You should also know that your ROLE in the game limits your item choices, and your team and enemies strenght over the different game stages (early/mid/late) imposes strict requirements on your effectiveness.

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Guidelines for decent Gaming

Honor the Code and behave like decent Ladies and Gentleman should...

  • "That heal/stun/slow/attack/ult saved my life, that was soo close, thank you very much."
  • "I underestimated my enemy, it was my mistake, it won't happen again, I promise."
  • "Kind Sirs, getting Mercs against that team is a decent thing to do."
  • "[all] Talk kindly to your fellow gentleman, it is hard for them too."
... if you get my drift :D

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As with almost every mobafire guide, credits go to jhoijhoi for learning about BBCode. I hope you learnt something from this guide, I wrote it to clear my thoughst on Malphite and to let others look at my conclusions.
I am happy with this guide as it is. If you have something to add to my line of thoughs write to me. I greatly appreciate discussion and arguments about builds, I don't want you to adapt my style, I see it as an experiment that yields good results and should be appreciated as such.

Thank you for reading!