First off, let me one to state that if you are looking for a tank build, this is not it, it never will be it, and i don't suggest it. I'd go as far as to suggest if you are looking to build a tank and not a killer, then there are plenty of other options out there for champions.
Mordekaiser simply does not inherently have anything that makes him stand out as a tank besides early game pushing/farming. There are plenty of others(such as blitz) which can be even more lethal and more useful to the team. Not saying that tank builds don't work, they do, but it's rarely optimal.
This build is about getting out there and stomping faces. And generally i always am the first to smash my tower, and have occassionally gotten a early second tower.
Ignite: Some people say it's overrated, but truth is, it's not. You take this. Every single time, if you don't take it, you've already failed the guide. While at 18, a dot doing 500 dmg may not seem like a lot, but it stacks with your ultimate, ignite can get you early kills before your ulti, and once you get your ulti, it can be surprisingly lethal if you combine them both, but be very wary of cleanse.
Ghost/Flash: Increases morde's escape/chase potential, yes they are useful, i'd get ghost over flash personally, but either way they do okay.
Exhaust: In my opinion this should be duo'd with ignite. Not only does this snare which will help with chases early, but later in the game, it will affect your entire teams ability to hit the target, which is more useful. It also is a blind for 3 seconds, which will help with pesky melees who think they have all the gear in the world, and during those 3 seconds you will turn the fight.
Doran's shield+Health Potion: This is your generic starter item, the extra armor and hp will pad you, but the health regen is the heavy thing here, sure it's less then a pendant but since you aren't building the pendant into anything the doran will last you longer than the hp regen would since the padding the armor and hp provides will be more effective at longer fights late game then the 1.3 hp per second would later since youll never make it to 200 second fights.
Berserker boots: At first i tried boots of swiftness, and it worked well, but i found the extra movement speed a bit unnecessary chances are most of the time if played right you will be pushing near towers, and the difference between a 2 and a 3 boot while noticeable isn't worth the tradeoff of the attack speed increase, which stacks well with this build.
Last Whisper: I never see other morde's with this, and it's really regretful. Even at a bare minimum you'll end with 160 attack damage, if a person has no armor items they'll still have at minimum 20% reduction which would reduce your attack to 128, this item will allow you to up your damage to almost 144, which is 16 damage, but the biggest thing is the fact that you most likely will run into armor, and the higher your attack is, and higher their armor is the better it scales, the attack speed and the damage boost will make you surprisingly lethal at this point.
Madred's Bloodrazor: Again, another controversial item, this will further boost your attack speed, give you some armor and some attack speed, but where it shines is it's hp attack. 4% doesn't seem like much right? with this item you will be around 1.6 attack speed, and at higher levels youll see low characters at 1800 and high at around 4000(but closer to 3000 will be around cap in your games), a 1800 character will be hit by 64 magic damage while the 3000 will be hit by 120!!! damage
Malady: This is your lifesteal and will keep you going, but this will also push you to 2.0 attack speed, you will break towers at this point like butter, youll be soloing most characters that come at you. With your high attack speed you'll max your stacks in about 3 seconds which gives you a extra 30 per swing in damage and at a 2.0 attack speed youll be doing high damage, and the best part is your damage is half magic and half physical at this point.
Frozen Hammer/Black Cleaver/Infinity edge: I generally only get this last item after the game is pretty much won/lost. If I'm getting a lot of escapee's or the enemy is bursting too hard, ill get the frozen hammer first, and replace doran with one of the other. If escape isnt the issue but i need more power in team battles ill generally pick up both black and infinity. This really is a judgment call, you could also get phantom dancer or trinity edge, but you don't really need more attack speed at this point.
You may wonder, but Bladin, why not get malady first, that way i'll have lifesteal. the simple answer is... you won't need it. At the early point of the game where you should get easy kills and the like, most of your offensive will come from pushing with siphon and pestering with creeping. You are also gaining your "defense" against armor characters. While you could get malady first, it'd put off last whisper and then put off mordred even further. You should be playing pretty well and your shield should keep you going enough. If you REALLY want lifesteal, i'd ALMOST suggest getting the vampiric instead of a doran's shield, because youll generally be in melee and scaring off the other team. but i'd still say actually build the malady after mordred's.
Also whenever you die, or have to go heal, or escape, if you can afford it, buy the most expensive piece of the item you are building, for example the 1050 40% attack speed bow, that should be the first item bought for last whisper and mordred's
Mace of Spades: Good skill for aoeing, useful in 1v1 but i generally use it for building my shield more than i do for killing.
Creeping Death: This actually get's a lot of neglect early on, it's not a huge shield builder, but it's a huge survival/dps boost, the 85 dmg per second at max rank isn't negligable, even with 5 ticks your already looking at 425 aoe damage, and you don't even have to be the one in the center
Siphon of Destruction: Best ability morde has. Not only do you do good infinite aoe damage early on, but it's a great shield builder, this is what you should focus on
Children of the Grave: Great ulti, if you took ignite, if you get into a 1v1 fight, and your exhaust/ignite are up, you just got a kill. Period.(well unless they cleanse, or are nidalee/gangplank)
Build order should be Siphon>Children>creeping>mace BUT get your first point of mace before your first point of creeping. it's a larger shield builder and a shorter cooldown, the first rank will actually do its job for a long time.
Siphon should always be at the max possible rank, and when possible take children.
Phase 1: Laning: many people would be surprised, but morde is actually GREAT at solo laning if you play well and know what enemy champions can do. You can easily hold a lane 2v1 if you don't have a enemy team that can stun or root. I've gone mid against trist before and actually managed to kill her and push both towers while my team pushed against their first tower.
Since your siphon is at max, youll actually be doing good noticeable damage. But where most mordes fail, is that they go for the champion to keep pestering, and not building shield, end up getting hurt, and having to leave your lane. NO don't do that. Always position your aoe so you hit at least 3 minions as well as a champion, 90% of games the enemies will be trying to get some kills and you can position yourself easily to do it. Also your siphon has a wider range than indicated, especially around the base of the cone,if you stand like almost on top of enemies and face the back mages, chances are you will hit 1-2 of the melee minions and all the back and probably a champion.
But don't be afraid to NOT hit a champion, feel free to get a 3-5 hit of just minions to build your shield, then when you go back in for a second one, your second burst will power your shield to absorb most of the hits from the enemies, rinse and repeat, if they wear you down more than you wear them down(provided they aren't healing) then you are doing it wrong.
Once you get mace don't save it to hit champions. Instead, use it to build your shield up before going in for a siphon against the champion. Rinse and repeat, and you'll be level 2-3 enemy is pushed back to their tower or dead, and youll have gotten a lot of gold since you are getting almost all of the finishing blows on minions.
Another big thing is, some morde's let them push back. No. Keep the pressure, don't let either of your lane enemies leave the lane, if you are slack and tease the tower oftentimes if your other team is doing well, youll lose 1 to go gank. Use your mace and creeping to regain your shield, and tank the next mob wave otuside of the tower range, you won't lose any hp if done right, and youll keep the pressure and your shield high. Youll actually be able to take 1-2 tower shots pretty quickly without much risk besides shield, so youll be able to get a few siphon's off against champions who get too brave by their tower. Then it's only a ignite, or a children, or both and you get a kill.
As soon as you hit 6, i won't say go gank, no, morde you aren't a ganker, not this early, your way better at pushing a lane, if anything send your lane partner to go gank. Instead, your dots will be a surprisingly lethal combo, and the enemy who was pestering you at 30-40% hp is now your new slave. Get your shield, wait for them to get close enough to ignite(children has a longer range so always ignite first). and hit them with ignite and children, you should be able to judge the proper time to do it, maybe hit them with a siphon first, or hit them with it after. You'll get so many quick/early/surprise kills, and get a ghost. The other enemy is now forced to retreat, send your ghost after the other. It does good damage, has enough hp where it can easily withstand enough tower attacks or enemy attacks to do a good deal of damage, and if you are lucky youll get a ranged one.
Mid game: Mission Accomplished! your tower is now clear(or destroyed but honestly if you lost a tower as morde it should only be due to missed mia mid calls). What should you do now? Instict would send you to head to mid and push them there, but chances are your original lane will be there before you can do any real damage. If you were in mid then look at your team, which is getting pushed? go to them. if you were a lane, send your laner(or if you were solo the jungler) to assist the other lane, if they are also clear then you can skip to the end game. At this point going solo will be more dangerous(but never LETHAL). You are mordekaiser the walking steel death. Play like it. Don't go suicide, but you should feel your opponents, chances are if your following my guide, and you are a good morde, you could take on pretty much anyone 1v1, surprisingly fast, and get a ghost to possibly kill a second again surprisingly fast, i've gotten many double kills.
What mordekaiser is good at with this build, is smashing towers and being a heavy dps in team fights, and winning most solos. Your biggest enemy is ashe, she will ulti you specifically almost all the time when you are in tower range to destroy your shield and generally get you killed while your team gets away.
But what should you be doing? The answer is, where aren't the enemy team? Push that. Solo but be wary. Always watch the map, if you see 4 people laning against your team and a empty, go push there. If you see the enemy team disappear from the map for 5 seconds then back off and get out. the enemy will come to you, weakening where they were, and if they are slow you can still hurt them. Avoid fighting 1v1 when pushing unless you can see at least 3 which are out of range to assist, if you can see 2, or 1, then as soon as you don't feel safe with how far you pushed, don't risk it, just go. You'll actually be able to solo dragon and about tank baron with this build so when you feel comfortable be doing those. and lizard buff is always nice.
Late game: This is the hardest part, since it relies on your team. You won't be able to take them all on, but you will be able to make spare parts of 1-3 champions in a row, provided you ghost the first one. And generally if you have been playing too well they will often focus you out.
But you are very very strong 1v1 or even 1v2 pending the champions that come, for example twisted fate, sivir, warwick, generally all drop at your feet unless they have been fed abnormally, but you could say the same about any character really. don't be afraid to start with a early ignite/children, most people will say save it, but with your base damage, and having exhaust, the damage from those 2 dots and yours will generally scare them off while your getting heals from children and malady.
You are also a very hard tower pusher, call out to your team "attack bottom" quickly clear top/mid of minion waves and head down there with them, put pressure for about 20 seconds, their team will start heading ther,e meanwhile go top, and you can easily take out a tower, or 2, or even push a inhib, this is what mordekaiser does best, since your team is pushing hard(unless they are a fail team but again not your fault) they can't spare 3-4 to come gank you, youll often get a teleport or late into your push youll get a 1-3, you can get unlucky and die, but more often than not, youll do great and take them from behind.
Depending how late in the game you have to be careful, when someone dies, they most likely will come to you, so if your team killed a couple, but gets injured where they cant fight back, be ready, they are coming your way. Either take the time to clear as many minions as you can, and move to middle, or head to town.
Push with your team once one of the side lanes gets taken out, keep your shield charged, use exhaust to blind/save allies from melee champs, stack your dots and use your ghost.
Ghost tips: ive seen a couple mordes with ghosts which don't look like they have any control, always choose their targets. If theres a enemy by a tower, don't wait for them to come out, send your ghost in. Itll do at least 300-400 dmg before getting destroyed by the tower but more often than not, the enemy will run back and it leaves the tower pretty much open, the ghost has finite range, so if you think you can get a kill, just run along, even if you send him after someone down a lane, and you run along the forest on the other side. If the enemy isnt there, use him to rush a tower, finish off minion waves, send him in first, and you run in, he can take hits before the minions get there, and gives you a GIANT boost in tower damage per time/wave
Don't: Let your ghost just randomly chase a enemy champion if you aren't following, he won't get the kill unless hes really low, and if he is, why arent you guaranteeing it by following your ghost so he doesnt rubberband back to you..
Don't: waste your ghost on minions, even if you cant take a tower, he can still tank it for a good amount of time if you arent close to pushing the tower with minions, then get in as many hits as you can, towers don't regen(cept nexus towers) hit it, and hit it hard, then get out before your ghost dies. which will be at least 6 tower shots, where you can get a good 500-1000 damage min on the tower.
Don't: use your children on anyone who has cleanse, use your ignite first, wait for them to either take the full damage or cleanse, and then hit them with children.
Choosing a Lane partner: The basic thought process for most morde users is "ohhhh heallsss gimme gimme gimme. Which is foolish, if you honestly need a healer for a lane partner, your doing it wrong, itll help overpower them even more sure, but you won't need it, and more importantly -it won't get you kills- With one exception. Alistar. He is hands down mordekaisers best possible lane partner. his heals will keep you oging infinitely, but more than that, he has 2 VERY short cooldown cc abilities, his knockback can hit things trying to escape back toward you and give you more lane to kill, knock a enemy away when trying to kill another, or just give you more time to damage them.
But beyond just alistar, i would suggest avoiding
Soraka, Heimer, Udyr, Sivir Amongst others, soraka because her aoe will generally be counter productive to your shield building, while her heals may be nice, she lacks any cc or any real dmg potential to help with killing in the early lane game. Heimer, his turrents don't do great damage early, and your going to pushing. he will have to place his turrets very offensively, which will cause them get broken A LOT, and if he posts them outside of the lane, they will actually draw minions away, which again is counter productive, itll further hut your shield generation. udyr, offers aoe dmg, but nothing really special, you don't need aoe damage, you need champion killing, and udyr simply isn't that early on, at least without someone else who has CC which you don't. Sivir, she can help hit them when they are camping their tower from your push, but you don't need or want her help on minions.
What you want is surprisingly... DPS! with cc. nunu, is utterly hands down one of the best partners, his blood boil is great, he has consume so he can keep his hp up to balance your shield, his nuke is a snare which you don't have, and his ultimate is really high damage and is fantastic. Shaco, is great a good shaco will utterly destroy in your lane. Evelynn is surprisingly NOT a great partner, but she is a great ganker for your lane. Veigar is good for his stun and nice damage, kassadin is a great partner, and with your high ability usage, he'll have a ton of E usage, with your pushing ability, and his teleport->bursting ability youll control your lane.
Who is going to destroy you? The simple answer, anivia(more of a annoyance, but the wall can mess up your siphon rotations), ryze(good ones), annie(if her ulti is up), kassadin(if fed). Alistar, soraka, taric, nidalee. Those 4 for the obvious reason of healing, while you won't face any real risk from any of them except alistar(pending his team mate and yours) they will pretty much destroy your chance at early game kills.
then let me ask you this, what does a tank built mordekaiser bring over any of the other tanks? A bit higher dps, and lane pushing ability. That's it, once you move into team based battles, a full tank mordekaiser will lose the advantage you were seeing early and mid game. A good team will never focus fire you, because they have no reason to.
While i'll agree that it is not inherently fear inspiring, but it works really well, i win about 70% of my games, generally have one of the top kills, lowest deaths, most creep kills, and most turret kills. The games i do lose generally fall apart when the enemy team has more skilled players then ours does in general, I mean around the 20 minute mark i generally already have my berserker/last whisper/mordred/doran, and can pretty much take any champion down.
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