Mordekaiser Build Guide

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Fran's Mordekaiser 101

written by FranMadaraki

Mordekaiser Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Iron Man
    Morde's defining trait. Gives him pseudo-HP. Note that shield is affected by resists.

    Mace of Spades
    A fairly interesting skill. Its double damage kicks in when the target is alone, mostly you will see it while chasing. Unfortunately, scales with AD and is completely disabled by blind.

    [spell=Creeping Death]
    Another Sunfire-esque skill. Its defining trait is being able to cast it on your allies, shielding them (and also helping you get assists).

    Siphon of Destruction
    Awesome skill. Spammable, deals high damage, charges shield. You can also punish your silly lane opponents for coming to lasthit minions.

    Children of the Grave
    That skill is Morde's defining trait. Easy kills galore! Using it on enemy carry is a won teamfight. Also tank towers with it.

    Can be used defensively due to built-in spell vamp.

  • Introduction

    Greetings, fellow warriors.

    As you already know, Mordekaiser is severely underestimated.
    Tier list writers, including Riots themselves, consider him one of the worst champions. The sole argument they have is that he is a tank but has no way to initiate. Yes. The sole argument.

    But hey, that is a good thing.
    Underestimated champions are not so researched, so people don't know how to counter them and - more importantly - don't even bother to learn to counter them.
    So, how do you exploit that?
    By making Morde a formidable threat that cannot be ignored.

    In other words, welcome to my tank/carry Mordekaiser guide.

    For better performance play Kings of Metal by Manowar on repeat during your matches.

  • Pro and Contra

    Unmatched farming and pushing power. Heimer is equal in power only because his abilities work on turrets. Other pushers like Sivir and Nasus are not even near.
    Massive sustained damage.
    Cleverly used ultimate turns 5v5 into 6v4.
    Very gank-resistant.
    Abilities are effectively free, as HP lost by using them is compensated by shield.

    Greatly reduced power if there are no minions nearby.
    Easily loses lanes if pushed away from waves.
    No way to initiate.
    No crowd control.
    Next to no burst damage.
    No single target nukes.
    No escapability.

  • Runes and Masteries

    With runes, you have some choice.

    or or
    or or
    or or

    For masteries, I prefer 9-0-21 build.
    Why so?

    Because utility tree is amazing for Mordekaiser.
    Talents from utility boost his strengths and cover his weaknesses.

    Relies on spamming abilities? Reduced cooldowns.
    Slow? Movement speed.
    Needs summoner spells to be effective? Reduced cooldowns on them.
    Farms like a beast? Experience bonus to ensure he will be the first to reach level 18.

    As for the remaining, I think that 15% Magic Penetration is better for Morde than movement speed boost from Dodge, mostly it's because Morde is not usually in melee range. Therefore, offensive tree.

  • Summoner spells

    I prefer Ghost and Ignite.

    Why so?

    Ignite is absolutely crucial for Morde.
    It synergizes with his Children of the Grave, because both are used as finishing moves, and Ignite ensures that the target will not escape Mordekaiser's grasp by healing.

    Ghost allows you to chase and flee. Mostly chase, because Morde is not a burst caster, he relies on being near his target as long as possible.

    Flash is worse than Ghost, because Morde does not need a get out of fail free card as he's not squishy, and sudden initiating is pointless because his target can get away.

    Exhaust is a... not very good choice. As a tank, Morde does not need the offered surivability. He does not need to chase a target if it has low HP, he kills it. If it doesn't have low HP, why bother?

    Smite is just wrong. Why do you need Smite when you kill creep waves instantly?

    [spell=Rally] does not benefit Morde himself and is therefore useless.

    Refusing to get Teleport and Clairvoyance made me very sad, because these two spells offer amazing map control. Too bad Morde relies on his summoner spells in combat too much.

    Revive? Repeat after me: Revive is a newbie mark.

    Heal offers earlygame survivability, which Morde does not need, as he gets more "shield HP" per Siphon of Destruction than Heal offers.

    I would really like to take Clarity because it is one of the best spells out there, but I chose not to.

  • Skilling Order


    Or this.

    [spell=Creeping Death] offers more protection and support and is not shut down by anything. Siphon of Destruction offers more harassing and pushing and is shut down by silence and stun.
    If you are harassed a lot, level Creeping Death.

    Mace of Spades doesn't really shine until lategame (because I get my Frozen Mallet only then, also because I often find myself chasing a single target only then), is shut down by blinds, silence (if you wanted to use it mid fight) and stuns, and, most importantly, scales with attack damage. You are not supposed to stack attack damage.

  • Item Build

    I am not a fan of strict item builds.
    As a tank you should adapt to the needs of the game.

    Thankfully, as Morde is the richest champion out there, you have room for error and experiments.

    Start with Doran's Shield or Regrowth Pendant or Null-Magic Mantle.
    First is better in 1v2 and 1v1. Second is better in 2v2. Third is better if your enemy will likely have strong magic nukes or if you are sure that your enemy will be Mordekaiser. Remember: in Morde/Morde mirrir matchup, the one with moar MR and M.Pen wins.

    Next: Boots of Speed. You should be the first to upgrade your boots.
    I usually pick Sorceror's Shoes, but Quickness, Tabi and especially Mercs are more than viable as well. Swithcing to Mercs lategame is something you will find yourself doing often.

    Then Sunfire Cape. It suits Mordekaiser so well it's ridiculous.

    After that I usually build Abyssal Scepter. It gives you AP, MR, it boosts your damage from spells and Sunfire and helps your team as well. Awesome item for Morde.

    If you are heavily harassed by magic, grab Null-Magic Mantle or Negatron Cloak somewhere inbetween.

    That's it, core build is finished.
    Now you have loads of choices.

    I'll divide items in two groups.

    Tanky items
    They offer survivability but reduce threat.

    Thornmail is great versus P.DPS-heavy teams. Craploads of armor, helps push towers, also damage is boosted by your trusty Abyssal Scepter. Buy it after you are already focused in teamfights.
    [item=Force of Nature] is one of my favorite items. Craploads of MR, HP Regeneration, Movement Speed (because you are so painfully slow). Builds from Regrowth Pendant if you bought it. Definitely buy it when your enemies are magic-heavy.
    Banshee's Veil does not need praise. Buy Negatron first, though, because Catalyst is useless for you.
    Randuin's Omen is your main source of cooldown reduction, does not reduce your threat as much as Thornmail. Amazing vs P.DPS. Again, build it once people stop ignoring you.
    Guardian Angel is a nice choice versus balanced teams. Also, it protects your trusty slave from dying if you are killed when he's following you around.
    VERY situational. Stacking health is not a very good choice. But if you get a lot of stacks, it greatly boosts your threat. Also get GA.
    Frozen Heart gives armor and CDR and makes their carries cry bloody tears.

    Carry items
    They provide damage and generate threat, but offer less survivability.

    Haunting Guise is cheap, offers some M.Pen and HP and helps if your early game wasn't so well.
    Sunfire Cape is a very good choice, especially versus Physical DPS teams. Damage is boosted by Abyssal Scepter.
    Aegis of the Legion is the same to tanks as Infinity Edge is to carries. You just can't go wrong with this item, it's so cheap, offers so much, helps your team, and it builds from Null-magic mantle if you bought it! Amazing. I can't recommend it enough. And if somebody else bought it, you both will receive twice the benefits.
    It's in this category because killing an aura bitch shuts the auras down.
    Frozen Mallet ensures your target will not get away if it gets in your melee range. Boosts your Mace of Spades. Offers more survivability than
    [item=Rylai's Scepter] ensures your target will not get away if it's in your cast range. Boosts your damage. Offers less slow, but it's AoE. Mace of Spades if there's only one targer and Children of the Grave count as single target spells.
    Mallet makes you closer to tank, Rylai makes your closer to carry.

    Which items NOT to get
    Atma's Impaler
    You don't autoattack and stack neither HP nor AD. Chalice of Harmony is just better.
    Warmog's Armor
    This item is, like, the biggest Morde trap ever.
    Warmog's efficiency depends on farming capabilities, Morde is an awesome farmer, therefore, you should buy Warmog. Or even stack Warmogs.


    You should stack resists. Warmog does not help your shield, and your shield is your main source of survivability.

    Spirit Visage
    Um... no? It doesn't boost Spell Vamp. Yes, that's sad, but, hey, healing reduction spells don't reduce Spell Vamp.

    When the stupid game just won't end
    Mejai's Soulstealer
    Snowball to victory. Offers so much threat it's ridiculous.
    To make it worth it you must get 5+ kills or 10+ assists without dying inbetween. Get GA!
    Will of the Ancients
    Helps you and your fellow casters.
    [item=Zhonya's Ring]
    Frankly, finishing the game with Zhonya on a tank and a positive score is like spitting your enemies in the face. With acid. On fire. Too bad Morde's AP scaling is low.
    Void Staff
    "Holy crap! Their Morde is fed! Stacking MR will ensure he will not pose any threat!


    omg h4x"

    Also don't forget that, as you are not stacking AD, you require AP to push towers.

  • Laning Strategy

    How to deal with creep waves
    Siphon them. Cloud yourself and charge into the wave. Siphon them again when they are low.

    If you are trying to push hard, cloud yourself and go in front of your wave, then siphon enemy creeps.
    If you are doing it correctly, your creeps will survive and enemy creeps will not outdamage your shield.

    If you are not trying to push, just lasthit with Siphon of Destruction.

    Solo Mid

    Not a favorable position for Mordekaiser, because he doesn't receive his famed level advantage over his enemies that way but sometimes you'll have to solo mid because it's the only hope for your team.

    Harass, harass, harass. Constantly punish your enemy for overextending. Make sure he eats as much Siphons as possible.

    Note that if your enemy's ultimate is a rape button (Ashe, Annie, etc) he WILL rush to kill you if you overextend just a little bit.
    Don't go past mid point.
    If you harassed your enemy heavily, rush to him, pop everything you have and watch him die.
    If he's not in poor condition, call a gank.

    Note that all of the above about your enemy applies to you as well, ward the river (you are rolling in cash, duh).

    This one is painful.

    Not for you, but for your lane partner.

    You are a goddamn vacuum cleaner, he will starve. Please be generous and let him lasthit a lot early, since your Siphon leaves their creeps almost dying.

    Again, harass. Cloud your ally if necessary.
    You can actually facecheck bushes with Creeping death on, by the way, but it is your job to buy wards. Not that you mind. Right?

    Don't try to get first blood, you have only a weak AoE nuke. Let them push a tad and then explain to them what happens when they do it.

    Now THAT's where Morde shines.
    You have a level advantage over your enemies, you can outpush a lot of matchups alone. Once you hit level 6, reduce one of your enemies to low HP, get double kill with your ultimate and hit the tower. Call your jungler if necessary.

    If you are awesomesauce, you can even push it in one try like that.

    You must do that not only for monies and pushing, but because it establishes you as a formidable threat.

    It's really awesome if you manage to get first blood, by the way.

    The only way to outpush Morde 1v2 is to force him out of minion wave range. Double stun lanes love to do that.

  • Mid Game

    Now you have your Sunfire Cape and stuff.

    You actually deal surprisingly high damage. Especially if you help your P.DPS lane, as their enemies surely did not buy any MR.

    Jump out of the bushes, unload everything. If the target is stunned or something, it's dead. If not, pop Ghost and chase. If a nearby tower is pushed down, it's dead. If not, you can actually towerdive, shiled blocks around 2 tower hits now. Ignite + Children of the Grave if the target will die to that.

    Mow down their tower, rinse and repeat.

    If you can't catch up but somebody else will chase the target down, Creeping Death him.

    If you find yourself being ganked, note that all of your abilities can be used defensively. Except Mace of Spades. Because it stops you for the whole attack animation. And that's exactly why I don't level it.

  • Late Game

    Late game is 5v5 time!

    And that's where you suddenly shine again.

    You don't require minions to charge your shield anymore.

    Let your initiator initiate (cloud him), taunt and rush into the fight, dealing truckloads of damage everywhere. One you see their carry with low HP, +. Get a multikill with their carry. You won the teamfight. Sign of the horns necessary. Headbanging optional.

  • Ability Usage: Mace of Spades

    Actually, Mace of Spades is not that bad.

    It's great for finishing creep waves off, if you use it after Siphon of Destruction and if Siphon doesn't finish them all off instantly.

    It works awesomely in situation when you have just one autoattack or the enemy will get away.

    But it hits only up to four targets while Siphon hits everything is range, its projectiles are not instant.
    W and E are more important for laning phase.

    The usage is very straightforward: you can autoattack? Pop Mace first.

    Does not work on towers. Some Mordekaiser players think it does, but it does not. Do not try.

  • Ability Usage: Creeping Death

    [spell=Creeping Death] is your main support power.

    Use it on yourself to effectively push, or on your ally for protection. Use it on whoever will be closer to the target for the most time, it's not necessary you. Note that it will still charge your shield no matter who's the target.

    Cooldown is huge.
    AP scaling is just .15, but as it's effectively an AoE DoT, it's not that bad, since it's .15 per tick.

    Don't use it to deny, FFS! I often see newbie Mordes doing that! It's wrong. Really wrong. You will end up doing more damage to yourself than to your enemym not to mention that it will be on cooldown then.

    You can cloud siege minions, though.

    Clouding your pet is pure awesomeness. Do it. If your enemies don't try to mow you down as soon as you pet somebody, of course.

    You should also remember that the projectile is ridiculously slow. It must be seen to be believed.

    If you use it on your squishy when he's already focused, it will arrive on his dead body.
    Use it beforehand.

    It can be used defensively by clouding yourself when you try to get away.

  • Ability Usage: Siphon of Destruction

    Siphon of Destruction is your bread and butter when laning.

    The more targets are caught in the range, the better.
    Usually using it on a creep wave will instantly charge your shield.
    Targeting all six creeps at once under normal conditions seems to be impossible. Althought, when creep waves crashed into each other ad there are also leftovers from the previous one, it's more than possible.

    If somebody goes in for lasthit, punish him with it.

    Attack animation is very fast. Cooldown is also short. Spamming it on CD will drain your HP quite quickly if you skilled it up instead of [spell=Creeping Death].

    On the actual range: as with most spells, indicator does not quite show it.
    If the target is on the edges, it will not be hit, if it's between the edges but not in cone range (about one or more creep away), it will be hit.

    Can be used defensively if you are sure that you will get more shield than lose HP. You can also scare people off by turning back and attacking, they often decide you are up to something. Also you can show that you really don't like to be towerdived.

  • Ability Usage: Children of the Grave

    Children of the Grave is Morde's defining spell.
    Wins teamfights.

    How to use it?

    First of all, it can and must be used defensively. Especially on low MR, high HP targets. Towerdivers are also punished quite awesomely.

    But it's not the point.
    As I mentioned previously, you can easily get double kills or mess up ganks. If you can't kill them and they are smart enough to focus you and not your pet, leave your pet to fight and run towards the tower.
    If you are risky and sure that bushes are free, juke your enemies (it's easy when your pet distracts them) and try to kill them with your pet while they figure out where are you hiding (pop Recall). Learn the range of the "leash", because, if the per is out of the range, it will return to you, giving away your location.

    You can tank towers with the pet. More importantly, your pet can draw turret aggro while you push the tower (you must NOT shield your pet then because it will draw turret aggro to you).
    You can facecheck bushes with it.

    How to use it in teamfights?

    Fund somebody wounded, focused and dealing high damage.

    Sometimes not killing the target but forcing it to retreat equals won teamfight as well.

    Specific champions to care about:

    1. Tryndamere.
    Morde is a hard counter to Tryndamere.

    Endless Rage lasts 6 seconds and gives 5% HP.
    Children of the Grave lasts 8 seconds, eating up to 4% HP per second.
    Ignite also deals some damage.

    Do the math.

    Also, Tryndamere's main damage source is his items, and he has two passives, both boost his damage.

    And he has a pseudo-blink, and it doesn't help versus dots.

    Always, always try to get Tryndamere's soul.

    2. Zilean.
    Zilean is a hard counter to Morde.
    Do not ult anybody until he ults somebody.

    3. Kayle.
    Kayle is a hard counter to Morde as well.
    You ult somebody, she ults and heals him, he gets away. Again, wait for ult.

    4. Morgana.
    Morgana is a soft counter to Morde. Ult someone only if her shield is on cooldown or you just popped it on the target. Also, her ult requires you to be near her, and you need to be near to deal damage. Also, your hitbox is huge, thus allowing her to snare you easily.

    5. Mundo.
    Mundo can outregen your Children of the Grave + Ingite if he's not focused. Try to ensure that he is. On the other hand, your Children of the Grave will heal you like crazy if you are the target.

    6. Twitch
    The only interesting thing about the rat is his poison, which he regains while being ghosted. Also if he'll try to get away, your ult will still finish him off.

    7. Jax
    His ultimate is passive that adds some damage. You like people with passives that add some damage.

    8. Master Yi
    He is fast, he has two damaging passives, he hits like a truck.

    9. Kennen
    Kennen, esp. ASPD Kennen, can stun. It's the only champion that can stun while ghosted.

    10. Twisted Fate
    Damaging passive.

    11. Everybody who can blink or something
    You are a soft counter to blinks.

    12. Vladimir
    DoTs work on pool.

    13. People with buffs
    You get that buff-prolonging mastery, but you shouldn't jungle, you must get buffs from your enemies.

    14. Sunfire stackers
    They also have no MR.

    15. Everybody else
    Because having a meat shield always helps. As well as killing a champion.

    Also note that your pet is a champion. It's a good thing (Zilean can speed him) and a bad thing (Veigar gets more AP if he kills him).

    If your pet can't catch up, ask somebody to speed him up.

    And last, but not least.

    Some Mordes forget about that.

    When you have a pet, you receive massive buffs. Don't watch their carry kill themselves, because this makes you useless - you could just play as that carry instead of Morde.

    Ace the bitches and push. Duh.

  • Jungling


  • Conclusion

    This concludes my guide on Mordekaiser.

    I don't have much more to say.
    I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.

    Spread the word, fellow warriors!

    Fran out.

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