Morgana Build Guide

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GiRLSTAR's Super Awesome Delicious Morgana Guide!

written by GiRLSTAR

Morgana Build



Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Soul Siphon
    Soul Siphon is one of the many reasons why Morgana has such strong lane-staying power. At the point where your Tormented Soil can kill the caster creeps (75 damage/second on 3 creeps)) You will also be healed for 11.25/second. It wont keep you alive while you're being hit by an enemy champion, but it will give you the health regeneration you lack with the item build I recommend.


    Dark Binding
    Morgana's skillshot. It travels fairly slow(at about the same speed as Blitz's hand, or TF's Wild Cards. Slower than Mundo's Cleaver) This ability will travel a considerable range, (if you press Q, it will travel to slightly outside of the visible radius) or until it reaches an enemy creep or champion. This ability is not limited by terrain, and can(and should!) be shot through jungle walls, towers and the walls surrounding an enemy base.

    This ability is Morgana's bread and butter. It is an incredible harassment tool, champion-in-the-bush-finder, snare, and initiator.

    Just remember that enemies caught in this ability can both cast abilities, AND attack. Make sure you stay out of their ability and attack range after casting Dark Binding unless you have to.

    When playing AGAINST Morgana, if you have life steal and get caught near enemy creeps, kill them to mitigate some of the damage you take.

    Morgana's attack combination should be;

    Dark Binding, IMMEDIATELY followed by Tormented Soil. At level 6 and above, if fighting a solo enemy champion, feel free to Ult and auto-attack during this 3 seconds of enemy immobility.


    This is a video of my fed Morgana's Dark Binding being used to kite chasing opponents, as well as her ability combination.




    *update*

    The cooldown on Dark Binding has been greatly reduced in the recent patch. This makes the ability much easier to use during team fights. Do not be afraid of throwing Dark Binding's regularly. Especially if you're having trouble landing them. The more you throw, the more likely you are to land some.

    Dark Binding has also seen a reduction in mana-cost. What I have found is that, due to my recommended skilling order, it has become increasingly easy to spam this skill at earlier ranks. Combined with smart use of tormented soil, early lane harassment has become even easier.


    Tormented Soil
    This is your farming ability, as well as the second half of your attack combination. Tormented Soil's damage "tick" begins as soon as it touches an enemy so you can use this ability to do the following;

    - Increase the damage an enemy takes while caught in your Dark Binding. (this is your basic 1-2 attack combination)
    - Finish off an extremely low health enemy champion if your Q ability is on cooldown.
    - Increase the stacks on your Mejai's Soulstealer by "tagging" enemy champions during team ganks as it has a considerable range and Morgana has fairly slow move speed.
    - Assist in team fights by providing moderate AOE Damage. (End-game damage in a winning game should be anywhere between 150 and 250 damage per second).

    Between 60-75 damage per tick(or roughly around rank 3), this ability should be able to kill the caster creeps and thus starts your farming.

    This is a video of using Tormented Soil to finish off a running opponent.



    *update*

    Tormented Soil now applies a stacking magic resist debuff. I cannot stress how important it is during team fights now, to drop a tormented soil on the feet of as many enemy champions as possible. Most of the time they will simply ignore it, and the stacking debuff to their resist. This increases the effectiveness of your ult by a significant percentage against almost all champions.


    Black Shield
    Black Shield is one of the nicest and most underrated abilities in Morgana's arsenal. I'm going to list some basic strategic uses for this ability that I havent seen in other guides here on LeagueCraft.

    Just to emphasize on the tooltip. Casting this shield on yourself(or others) will give you a 4-8 second "immunity" to ALL negative status effects.

    Use this ability to;

    - Ignore TF's Gold Card, or Veigar's Event Horizon and set yourself up for an easy Dark Binding/Tormented Soil combination. Against these "squishier" champions, an easy kill is almost guaranteed if you're 1v1.
    - Escape ganks. Most ganks at both low and high level often rely on a slow or stun. Casting this ability on yourself or your teammates can give you the edge you need to get away.
    - Immunity to Blitz-pulls. If you're fast, you can cast your Black Shield while you see Blitzcrank's pervotron arm reaching out to feel up yourself or your teammates. A sad Blitz is a Blitz who cannot robo-perv.
    - Dual-Champion combination's. Casting your Black Shield on an Ult'ing Nunu will give him immunity to ANY interrupts or silences until the shield wears off or is destroyed.

    There are many other uses for Black Shield, both offensively and defensively. Many of them are dependent on a partner though, so I encourage you to think outside the box while playing, and come up with ways you can assist your team or lane partner with it.


    Soul Shackles
    A fed Morgana can end entire teams with this ability. Until you reach that point, Soul Shackles will provide you with a considerable AOE damage team-fight Ultimate. This isnt the only use though.

    ----
    Due to Morgana's ability mechanics; in many team makeups it can be increasingly difficult to land killing blows. Often times your phys carries land the final blow, simply due to rate of fire. (Ashe, Sivir, Teemo, Yi, Poppy, etc.)

    And while I dont condone "stealing" kills from teammates, I also want to make it perfectly clear that a fed Morgana is absolutely destructive, and every bit of a game-changer as a fed phys-carry.
    ----

    Now, with that being said.. I've found that Soul Shackles is a very easy way to land Killing Blows, both in team ganks and 1v1's. The first damage it deals is nearly instantaneous(like a .25 second cast time) to any nearby enemy champion. This can be crucial to winning your fights, and increasing the stacks on your Soulstealer.



    Here is an example of what I mean.



    Damage however is not the only effect of Morgana's Ult though.

    Two of the less appreciated aspects of Soul Shackles are the slow, and the stun. Casting this ability while being attacked by a melee-champion can allow you to easily escape. Especially because through Black Shield, you will be immune to that enemies slows and stuns.

    Due to the slow and the stun, you can also use this ability to assist in ganks or to chase running enemy champions!



    Casting this ult at the beginning of a team fight can make all the difference in the world, as enemy champions will have a hard time moving during the fight and will suffer from a stun 4 seconds later.

    I know many guides want you to stack plenty of armor and magic resist items, so that you can survive those 4 seconds until the stun lands. I disagree, as I've found that with higher damage.. most champions want nothing more than to escape your blue ghostbuster beams of doom.



    This video highlights the strengths of using Morgana's Ult as an escape mechanism!


    *update*

    Due to the changes to Soul Shackles, it has become increasingly difficult to use this ability effectively. It is much rarer that it will land killing bows, with the reduction to the initial ability power coefficient. Hopefully Riot will take notice of this, and readjust this ult to compensate.


  • Introduction

    Welcome to GiRLSTAR's Super Awesome Delicious Morgana Guide! My credentials arent so fantastic. I *just* hit level 30, and my win/loss ratio isnt super fantastically awesome with her (mostly due to solo queue'ing). I do however boast a very significant K/D ratio, and 3-4 times more assists than deaths. It doesnt mean a whole lot on the internet, but hopefully this guide can help players who are learning Morgana realize that she is a very capable champion in her own right.

    This is going to be a very "wordy" guide, as I would like to impart as much of my thoughts, ideas and theory into what makes the strongest and best Morgana as I can.

  • Summary

    Many of the guides I've seen here on LeagueCraft I do not agree with. Morgana does not need to be built like a tank to survive. Nor does she need to rely on teammates to get kills, or win fights. Morgana is by far one of the strongest lane-holding champions. Due to her range, and ability power ratios of her abilities, she can very easily hold a 1v2 lane. In a 1v1 lane such as mid, the opposing champion does not stand a chance, and a well played Morgana will have at least 1 kill by level 6.

    Hopefully this guide will help you learn to dominate and win your battles as Morgana. Using the strategies, and builds found within this guide I can regularly produce 5:1 Kill/Death ratio and better. (while writing this guide today, I played in a solo-queue game to double check some things and went 16-0-8 starting from the bottom lane with a decent Gangplank as a laning partner)

    These are some of my general observations about Morgana.

    - Morgana is naturally fairly "tanky" for a caster. She has naturally higher armor, health and magic resist than most others.

    - Morgana is INCREDIBLY mana intensive. All of her abilities become very expensive once they hit level 2 and 3+, rushing to a Chalice is a necessity for a successful Morgana.

    - Morgana has incredibly nice AP ratios on her Abilities. If you consider the full duration of each one of her abilities, all 4 have at least a 1.0 Ability Power Ratio, ranging from 1.2 on her Dark Binding, to 2.0 on her Ultimate. (her Tormented soil has a 0.2 Ratio, but over a 5 second duration this turns into 1.0)

    - With an AP-Strong item, rune, mastery and summoner ability build.. Morgana can kill virtually any enemy champion 1v1 she catches in a Dark Binding from full health with equal items at any stage in the game.

    - Due to Morgana's range, it becomes increasingly difficult to lane against her as she begins to out-creep you. Putting Morgana against notoriously strong single and double lane combos is a smart choice as she will never have a problem creeping. (ie: Blitz, Mundo, Zilean, Tryndamere, Gangplank).

    - A smartly played Morgana, along with a team that consistently calls MIA's is *very* hard to kill. For this reason a Mejai's Soulstealer is a very smart choice, especially with how many assists (if not kills) Morgana accumulates in an average game.

  • Pros / Cons

    Morgana's weaknesses are champions she cannot keep at bay with her Dark Binding easily. Evelynn and her stun can very easily setup an enemy teammate for a gank on Morgana. Champions with low cooldown slows can also overcome Morgana's Black Shield such as Ashe and her frost arrows.

    Here is a list of enemy champions and their abilities that can be problematic for Morgana.

    Udyr - His turtle shield is usable DURING Morgana's Dark Binding and can completely negative if not considerably mitigate the damage from her Dark Binding and Tormented Soil at low level. Due to the mana and cooldown-intensiveness of Morgana, a smart and well played Udyr can be your bane in 1-6.

    Sion - Shield-Bukkake build Sion is very similar to Udyr. His shield is castable during Morgana's Dark Binding, and absorbs a very considerable amount of damage.

    Nidalee - Nidalee in kitty-cat can Pounce out of your Tormented Soil, even while caught in Dark Binding. This can significant reduce the amount of damage Nidalee takes.

    Gangplank - Captain Crunch's Remove Scurvy ability dispels your Dark Binding, allowing him freedom to be obnoxious. You can counter this to an extent to wait until you hear him eat to Dark Binding as it has 2-3 times the cooldown of your Dark Binding.

    Sivir - Spell Shield. Do I really have to say more?

    Tristana/Jax/Corki/Amumu/Kassadin/Scarecrow/Shaco/Warwick/Katrina/Tryndamere/Malphite/Anyone with Flash - Like Nidalee, all of these champions and anyone with flash can get out of your Tormented Soil. This will not remove the Dark Binding, but it will reduce the damage you can deal to them while their abilities and the summoner spell flash are not on cooldown. Note that some of these abilities are Ults, and will probably not be used to just escape a Tormented Soil

    ANYONE with Banshee's Veil. If you have an Ashe on your team, convince them to constantly keep the Banshee's Veils at bay, as you both have around the same range.

  • Masteries + Runes

    Here are the masteries I usually run with. Its a pretty straightforward, standard caster build. Probably the most important mastery is the point in Archaic Knowledge. (for 15 magic penetration).

    http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/1003401100000000000000000000103042130030300

    My runes are very simple as well.

    9x Greater Mark of Insight
    9x Greater Seal of Force
    9x Greater Glyph of Force
    3x Greater Quintessence of Potency

    Here are some thoughts about the runes.

    Due to the update to Tormented Soil, magic penetration is very easy to come by. A Tormented Soil ontop of a Dark Binding will very easily net you 24-32 Magic Resist (at rank 5) by the end. Now granted it wont affect the damage of the initial ticks, but by the end of it your ticks should he hitting like a truck.

    I've swapped to using Greater Seal of Force and Greater Glyph of Force instead of Flat. This is mostly playstyle, as I've been building for the long-term lately, instead of the quick kill.

    The reason why I chose per 5, and not per 5 by 18.. is because you need the mana regen PRE level 6. After level 3-4, you should have your chalice and mana conservation should no longer be as large of an issue.

  • Items

    This is the item buy order.

    Begin the game by buying;
    [item=Meki Pendant]
    2x Health Potion

    Once you reach 500 gold, return to base and turn your;
    [item=Meki Pendant] into a Chalice of Harmony
    Teleport back to your lane.

    Now wait for 1235 gold and your teleport to be up, and then return to base and purchase your;
    Mejai's Soulstealer

    If your teleport isnt up, stay in your lane for a little bit longer until you have an additional 350 gold. Use this to purchase your;
    Boots of Speed
    Teleport back to your lane.

    The next purchase you're going to make is your;
    Sorcerer's Shoes


    At this point your basic items are finished and its time to survey the enemy team makeup and make your item choices to counter.

    AGAINST A HEAVY PHYSICAL DAMAGE TEAM
    If the enemy team is very heavy in Phys-Carries such as Sivir, Yi, Poppy, Gangplank, Ashe, and Tristana then your final 3 items will be;

    Frozen Heart [item=Zhonya's Ring] Deathfire Grasp

    Frozen Heart will give you the armor you need to survive while under fire by physical damage champions. In combination Frozen Heart and Deathfire Grasp will allow you to reach your cooldown cap, which in turn will give you extra escaping power by reducing the cooldown of your Dark Binding.


    AGAINST A CASTER HEAVY TEAM
    If the enemy team is very caster heavy, such as Veigar, Ryze, Zilean, and Anivia, then it will be prudent to increase your magic resist.

    Banshee's Veil is redundant, as this is exactly what your Black Shield does (but on a longer cooldown). The passive magic resist is nice, but your money is better spent elsewhere. (the exception to this rule is if you need to save your Black Shield for another, such as Nunu.)

    Abyssal Scepter Abyssal Scepter [item=Zhonya's Ring]

    This item is the easiest and shortest answer to the problem. Purchasing anywhere between 1 and 3 of these will easily counter all but the most fed casters. Especially since your Black Shield not only makes you immune to most caster abilities (such as other Dark Bindings, Gold Cards, and Event Horizon's) but it absorbs magic damage.

    AGAINST A GANKALICIOUS TEAM

    If you find that you're the target of focus fire in team fights, consider buying a;

    Guardian Angel [item=Zhonya's Ring] and Abyssal Scepter or Frozen Heart

    For the sole purpose of keeping the stacks on your Mejai's.


    AGAINST A TANK OR MAGIC RESIST HEAVY TEAM

    Void Staff [item=Zhonya's Ring] Abyssal Scepter

    Void staff is your friend. 40% of the enemy magic resist is a LOT. When coupled with Sorc Shoes, an Abyssal Sceptre and your +15 Magic Penetration mastery, you should have no problem tearing through the magic resist of any enemy champion.


    *edit for update*

    I have tried Haunting Guise and while the Health gained from the vamp is fairly substantial, I feel that the extra 1k it takes to build the item slows you too much from your core item build.

  • Skilling Order



    Generally this is the skill order I use in a normal game where I'm neither absolutely dominating my lane, nor having any problems in it.

    If I'm having zero problems laning, and my lane opponents are both very easy to harass OR dont have any abilities I need to mitigate with Black Shield, I go with something like this;



    The reason I skill in this order (Tormented Soil over Dark Binding) is that the theoretical damage increase (if I Dark Binding AND Tormented Soil for near the entire duration) should be fairly negligible between increased ranks of the two.

    HOWEVER; Tormented Soil allows Morgana to farm effectively. The faster you can reach farm-status, the faster you can complete your items and the easier it will be to kill your opponents.

  • Summoner Abilities

    These are the abilities I always use.

    Ignite
    Ignite serves more than one purpose in my build. Firstly, it can be wielded as an additional "nuke". Morgana's damage comes from mostly damage-over-time abilities, and ignite is simply another one of those. The combination of Dark Binding, Tormented Soul, Ignite and Auto-attack can very easily produce a couple hundred damage a second between levels 1-5. Enough to very easily kill someone.

    Also, note that because Morgana has such long cooldowns and such a slow auto-attack with a very short range; Having an additional ranged ability to finish off a running opponent can be crucial to scoring your first few kills. Also with improved ignite in the masteries, having your ignite on cooldown produces an additional 10 ability power. While this might not seem like much, I've often found its worth burning on an opponent early to 1) make them more hesitant to aggressively lane, and 2) increase my ability to creep.

    Secondly, this ability serves as the counter-heal. With the change to ignite, you can now use this ability to stem the healing abilities of some of your more obnoxious opponents such as Gangplank, or Mundo. Because Morgana will *never* have an Executioner's Calling, having a counter can be crucial in team fights.

    Teleport
    The longer you can stay in a lane, the better off you're going to be once the mid-laners begin ganking. Morgana is by far one of the slowest heroes. Even with the +3% move mastery, it takes her forever to return to her lane.

    Due to how mana-intensive she is, having the ability to B(recall), buy your chalice and return to your lane with full mana can make all the difference in how dominant you are of your lane.



    Here are the honorable mentions;

    Smite
    Many players dismiss smite as being pretty worthless. Whats another creep kill every minute or so. Especially since Morgana really has no business jungling.

    The reason why smite is such an awesome, but un-obvious choice is this. Very often, the only thing that stands between you and a successfully landed Dark Binding is a single creep. And very often that creep is the only thing standing between you and +300g for a kill. Smite is by far the quickest and easiest solution to such a problem. If you're quick you can cast it while your skillshot is in flight, and the opponent on the receiving end wont know where their shield went until its too late.

    Flash
    Escape ganks by jumping through jungle walls. Nuff said. Also, you can jump past or around enemy creeps to land your skillshots.. or use it to jump out of tower attacks, or other enemy abilities.

    The downside is that your black shield should already cover most of that, with the exception of towers.

    Ghost
    Used offensively to run through creeps to land Dark Bindings, or to make up for Morgana's less than superstar status speed. Generally Flash is more useful, but hopefully with this guide you wont need either to survive.

    Clairvoyance
    Nice to be able to see around corners, or into bushes. But thats what Dark Binding is for. Shoot first, ask questions later. If your Dark Binding stops abruptly, you hit something.

  • Landing your Skillshots

    Let me preface this section by stating the obvious. The more times you cast your Dark Binding, the more likely you are that one of them is going to land. The hand grenade approach to skillshots, and the reason why decent mana regeneration is so incredibly important.

    A couple things to note;

    Many enemy champions have larger hitboxes than the creeps. This means that if a champion is standing in a line with 2 creeps on either side.. it becomes more than likely that your Dark Binding if aimed directly at them will land.

    Here is a video example of using the hitbox size to your advantage!




    The same becomes true with the edges of enemy champions. All your Dark Binding needs to do is barely graze the edge of the enemy champion to connect. Try to get good at skimming your Dark Binding across the edges of creeps, or threading it between the gap between the melee and caster creeps.

    Many times there is only a single creep that is truly standing between you and the enemy champion. Try to learn the pacing that the enemy creep is dying at, and cast your Dark Binding *as* the enemy creep is dying. This will come unexpectedly to most enemy players, as they wont be paying as close attention to the health of their own creeps.

    casting your Tormented Soil first is a good way to clear the enemy creeps and land your skillshot. Generally if cast from maximum distance, 1-2 damage ticks from your Tormented Soil will land before the Dark Binding arrives. If this is enough damage to clear the enemy creeps, than the path for your Dark Binding is clear.

    The range of your Dark Binding is actually slightly larger than the visible white radius you see when you click or press Q to activate your Dark Binding. Use this to your advantage to catch your opponents from distances they dont expect!

  • Working in the team

    Morgana's Dark Binding is one of the strongest initiating abilities. In a team gank situation, it works about as effectively as ANY stun. A well placed Tormented Soil ontop of a Dark Binding initiator can push an enemy team back far enough for your own team to gank the nearly helpless enemy champion.

    Morgana's Ult can make all the difference in the world during a team fight. The combination of Stun, Slow and significant damage can hinder an enemy team, giving your team a significant upper hand. (Consider it like if Karthus, Nunu, Scarecrow and Amumu's all got together in a 4some and had a baby.) You can also use her ult to protect towers and inhibitors, as enemy champions will be wary of the 4 second timer and will do their best to escape to safety. (pushing them back)

    An intelligent use of Black Shield can not only save teammates, but assist yourself and your teammates in ganks and abilities. Combinations like Black Shield + Twitch's Ult or Black Shield + Nunu's Ult can make the difference between an ace and nothing.

    Dont feel like your only role is support however. Morgana is more than woman enough to stand toe to toe with any other champion in the game.

  • Farming

    Morgana's Tormented Soil is her primary source of income. The creeps naturally form a rough circle (melee in front, casters in the back) the size of her Tormented Soil, and very often you will be able to catch 5 if not 6 of the 6/7 in it!

    Once you reach the third level of Tormented Soil (or 75 damage a tick) your Tormented Soil should very easily be able to kill the caster creeps from full health to nothing by itself.

  • Conclusion

    I hope that you enjoyed my Morgana guide, and that it helps you learn what is probably the strongest, scariest and most underrated DPS caster. Morgana doesnt have to JUST be support.

    If you liked my guide, or have anything to add or comment on, please comment! and vote +1 for AWESOMENESS

    All of the videos I created for this guide were made in 2 back-to-back solo queue games I played as I was creating this guide. I am not responsible for how poorly my opponents played.



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