Malphite Build Guide

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Ahh, the underused but deadly Malphite

written by Icree

Malphite Build



Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Granite Shield
    This is one of my favorite passives ever ever.


    Seismic Shard
    Other than the first level. Use of this skill depends on who you are laneing against. Generally if there are ranged heroes that like to harass the poo out of you, you should get levels in this firstish. Where as if you're not getting too much harass, Ground Slam will do much better for the first few levels.


    Brutal Strikes
    Make sure to get one point in this before too long. The 'cleave' effect is very nice and the bonus on active is very promising; I'll explain more on that later.


    Ground Slam
    An ability that scales with armor on a tank!?
    This will be your most commonly used skill, with a short cooldown and it's amazing scaling ability you will be killing everything everywhere.


    Unstoppable Force
    Best initiation ever ever, enough said.


  • Introduction

    This is Malphite. A champion that no one likes to play and everyone is terrified when in a game with them because they think their now playing 4v5. However, so many people get tricked into playing him wrong that poor Malphite never scales properly and never becomes the killing machine that he can be. This guide (unlike my amumu guide) will go into the ONLY way i can see building Malphite with any success.

  • Summary

    Malphite is a tank.

    Itemizing is dictated by your enemies (i go into that later) but either way you should be able to take a lot of damage and you should have a good hp pool.

    If you go for armor, go for a lot of it. Armor (meaning you're against AD heroes) means you will be going for ONLY armor/hp. You wont need any ap or attack damage because of your skills. With armor your ground slam (with brutal strikes on) will do ridiculous amounts of damage. and your Unstoppable Force + Brutal Strikes + Ground Slam combo will tear people up, giving your team the best opportunity possible to kill people. Hopefully you get a kill or 2 in there but don't be disappointed if you don't. Remember that you're a tank not a dpser, just because you do a huge amount of damage doesn't mean you're not the tank.

    If you're against AP heavy heroes you will get a lot of resist and AP, either way your passive will be amazing because the 10% of hp it gives you will take a long time to get through w/ so much armor or resist. By the end of the game you should be shooting for 300 armor or about 100 resist + however much AP you can find and somewhere between 3 and 4k hp.

    In conclusion, armor makes your ground slam a huge damage dealer and makes your passive hard to get through; resist/ap makes your ultimate and your seismic shard fantastic slow and stun and damage. Remember, brutal strike makes your ground slam do more damage, armor makes you do more damage, and ap makes you do more damage. So you can go any of these directions as long as you go tank heavy.

  • Masteries + Runes

    I swap back and fourth with masteries all the time with Mal. Going for Offence or Defense and even Utility sometimes. The important thing is to go with your playstyle; if you have trouble early then Utility is for you, if you're aggressive or like to get into the thick of things you'll likely need some defense and if you play it cool and wait for the perfect opportunity i would say that offence will benefit you the most.

    For runes, As much HP as you can
    I've recently found that per lvl runes do very well so i would suggest them for all of these. They start to out perform flat runes at about lvl 6, so the loss of hp at the very start sucks but once you hit 6 they are doing more for you

    Glyph: Magic Resist
    Seal: HP
    Mark: Never know what to do with these ones...
    Quent: HP

    Your early game will benefit greatly from the HP and you will see a fair difference even late game.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Flash I don't care about the person looking over your shoulder saying that flash sux. Get it on Malphite. I can't tell you how many times it's saved me and/or gotten me away from a dangerous siduation. It also has gotten a ton of extra kills for me. Flash + Shard + Slam = ppl die. I know that your ult is very much like it but when your ult is down, or when you don't want to waste the cd, use flash.

    Teleport is my second choice most of the time. It's good for map control and great for the first few levels where you want to bluepill and then get back fast.

    Ghost always a good one but i do like flash a bit more for this particular character because you can get through trees and cliffs and the like, very useful for malphite. example: flash over a cliff so you can line up your ult properly.

  • Items

    I hate putting down full item builds. They create cookie cutter heroes that other players can recognize and learn to deal with and never adapt to what is going on. That being said, there are a few guidelines and certain items that i see as extremely important.

    Ninja Tabi I go with these boots because of the armor/dodge of course, but Boots of Swiftness are also very good. Kind of basic items so explanation would be superfluous.

    Randuin's Omen A very good choice because of how many different stats are on it. very good on Malphite. The passive slow + the active slow make chasing much easier, yes... you will be chasing with a tank. (especially when you have Frozen Mallet as well)

    Guardian Angel This is good on any tank but especially good on this character. Armor for his Ground Slam and the ability to rez after dieing combo'd with his passive is kind of ridiculous.

    The above are examples of what type of items I see a good Mal looking toward. Below are a couple that I really feel should be in any Malphite build.

    Philosopher's Stone I like tanks that have mana to get this item first. It's one that i sell later on to get that last few gold for another item, or just to use the slot for something more important. Early game, however, this item is fan-freaking-tastic. ( [item_text=Shurlya's Reverie] is built from this and is very nice for mal, a good way to go if you don't have other item preferences.)

    Frozen Mallet, [item=Rylai's Scepter] The HP on these combo'd with the passive on them is flawless. Most tanks should go this direction but Malphite's passive ability makes this golden. This choice will be dictated by your enemies, are you going to be in melee using ground slam or hanging back and using your ult + shard?

    Other than the above suggestions, HP is extremely important, I recomend getting more hp than anything else because it beefs your passive very very well. I've said before (or later in this guide.. i don't remember) Armor and resist are entirely dependent of who you are against.

    Important note: I don't care what people say, btw they say that Mal is a 'fighter tank' and is used to do lots of damage and sort of a little bit off tank, Mal is a TANK he gets huge amounts of armor/resist/hp and because of it he is almost unkillable. I use his Ult at 0 distance more often than not because the other team initiated and I'm the one that is supposed to make sure that I get focused, because I'm the tank.

  • Skilling Order

    Unlike lots of different characters, the skill order is important to the way you play, not the way you build or how well you want to do.

    The first skill to get is Seismic Shard There are several reasons for this, the first being that it is your only ranged move, so harassment is difficult without it. The second being that the speed increase and decrease can help you get the last couple hits for a kill or get away from the other team getting those last couple hits on you when you have to run.

    Other than that first skill, you can leave Seismic Shard at level one and boost Ground Slam and Brutal Strikes quickly or you can do Ground Slam and Seismic Shards. If you want to be able to harass from afar (if you are against ranged characters, especially those that can stun/slow) then Seismic Shard needs to come sooner, if not and if you want to be up close and personal then definitely go the other direction. Brutal Strikes should always be 'secondary' to what you are doing, leave shard at lvl 1 then you will be lvling Ground Slam fast, need shard? go with shard/strikes and use a couple levels of slam for farming.

  • Gameplay

    First things first, do not go mid; it doesn't work. After that you really want to be with a ranged hero or another harassing melee, but that isn't always your choice so you can just deal with what you have.

    First item should be a mana regen item. Like i said earlier Philosopher's Stone is a very good item to start up. Don't get the health item first because your 'health' regens extremely fast with your passive.

    1-6
    Get your first item and some mana pots(very important). Harass with Seismic shard and get as many ground slams in as possible with the mana you have. Hopefully you will be slamming both heroes and creeps but really the important thing is to get last hits with it. By the time you run yourself all the way out of mana you should have gotten your enemies to use pots, Heal or have them at a pretty low health and generally scared to get into the thick of things. Try to have mana to use Unstoppable Force right when you hit 6. With some good co-ordination with your lane partner and some set up with the creeps (getting them toward your tower rather than up where you could dash into their tower's range) you should be able to either get a kill or make someone blue pill back to base. I suggest staying out in the lane as long as possible even if they aren't about and it's a 'good' time to get back to base. All the creep kills you can get.

    6-10
    Stay out in the field until you start fearing for your life, low hp and low mana with too much harassment, etc. Get back to base and finish your Philosopher's Stone as well as getting at least the little boots. Tele back to the lane so you don't miss much. These levels are very similar to the previous 6.

    11-15
    The moment you hit 11 (which you hopefully were able to time with pushing their creeps into their tower) retreat but do not go back to base, find someone to gank. Your ult should be back up by now and you should ping something then use ult, ground slam, and seismic shard all in one go if you have the mana. After that whether sucessful or not go back to base and get your next item or 2. It's hard to say whether you should start with Frozen Mallet, [item_text=Rylai's Scepter] or with a def item, if you're feeling squishy go for an hp item of your choice and if you find that you are doing fine on hp then go for an armor of whatever sort or the mallet\scepter if you feel like you have them on the run. Like i said earlier, i'm not going to give you a straight up item build b/c i don't want you to not think about what you're doing. This, btw, is where you will decide whether you will be going armor, resist, or ap. If your enemies are caster heavy you should move to resist and ap with a little hp. If they are melee heavy go with armor and hp, no ap needed. Again make sure to level your skills properly so as to have the best skills up as high as possible; vs AD champs get ground slam and vs AP champs get more seismic shard.

    15-18
    You will start to shine here. Having either your armor up or your resist/ap up and now having some kill ability. You should be looking at people to gank, you should have your boots and at least part of most of your items and you should have saved someones life about 3 times by now. Remember to get your [skill=brutal strikes] going before you ground slam because it gives you armor which gives ground slam more damage. Remember you're a tank. Gank whenever possible but make sure you stay with your group when their on the move. Don't push a lane solo if your teammates are pushing mid, some fighters can do that but you're a tank, be there for your team.

    Knowing how to control the minions in your lane is very important. Push them toward your opponents tower when you want to bluepill or retreat or go gank. Pull them to your tower if you are getting harassed or if you will be getting some help from another player. Even holding them in the middle of the lane can be useful for things like keeping up harassment during the first levels.

    Initiation is one of Malphites greatest strengths, don't squander it. Use your ult and flash when it's required and when it will be most helpful to the team. Using them to run away is a good use for them when you are in danger of death, using them to keep the enemy team committed when the rest of your team is going to come from all sides and kill everything is a good way to use them. Even getting the last hit on the carry that is running away from a team fight is a good use. Examples of bad usage: chasing down a single enemy, if you didn't get the slow with Seismic Shard then you shouldn't be chasing let alone using up your CD to do so. Yes your Unstoppable Force cd is not horrific but why waste it?



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Submitted by Icree

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