This guide can be found here as well, with pictures and stuff to boot!
So, I'm going to take this opportunity to post a little something something of a guide.
First guide, but I've been playing Mordekaiser with a near 100% success rate (as in, yes, winning nearly all my games) with the following strategy.
Works for me, and my playstyle. I might be crazy, don't blame me, the guide, or the champ. Some things just aren't your playstyle, and that's that.
So, here goes:
Mordekaiser is heavy metal. Literally. He's a metal man made of destruction, welded together with pain, and is powered by the tears of orphans and champions alike. Play him like the heavy metal badass he is. Take no prisoners, feel no remorse, and above all, look contemptuously on as the fools around you try to damage you.
This is a tank build. This is also a heavy duty killing machine build. How can you be both, and still be effective? Mordekaiser just does it. He has some of the best base stats of anyone in the game, and has some of the greatest base damages on his abilities. He also has perhaps the best passive in the game, period.
20% of the damage dealt from ability is converted in to a temporary shield. Maximum shield strength is 450.00 health. The shield decays by 15.00 per second.
This passive allows him to tank anything and everything as long as he's slinging spells. It's extra hit points, for free, that he can regen at a ludicrous rate.
Mace of Spades (8/7/6/5/4 seconds)
On next hit, Mordekaiser swings his mace with such force that it echos out striking up to 3 additional nearby targets, dealing his attack damage plus 20/40/60/80/100 bonus damage. If the target is alone, the bonus damage is doubled.
Like all his abilities with the exception of his ult, you should be using this as much as possible. I rarely ever go for champions to trigger it, instead going for minions that are close to champions. The echoes bounce off the minions and hit the champs. However, if you've got your mace charged, and there's just the champ, by all means, pound them.
Creeping Death (20/18/16/14/12 seconds)
Unleashes a protective cloud of metal shards to surround an ally, increasing armor and magic resistance by 10/15/20/25/30 and dealing 16/32/48/64/80 (+.1 per ability power) damage per second to enemies in the cloud.
It's underrated, but REALLY REALLY useful. It's an AOE damage spell that does decent damage, is targetable, and gives armor and magic resist. This is a tank build, so you're going to want this as much as possible. Keep it up and always be in the middle of the fray.
Siphon of Destruction (6 seconds)
Mordekaiser damages enemies in a cone in front of him, dealing 65/110/155/200/245 (+.25 per ability power) magic damage.
For each unit hit, Mordekaiser's shield absorbs an additional 8/12/16/20/24 health.
This is what makes Mordekaiser's presence known. It allows him to stay in lane, it allows him to do good damage, and it allows him to do it at range while your foolish foes cower behind inconsequential minions. You should be able to keep your sheild going full power forever with this ability.
Children of the Grave (120/105/90 seconds)
Curses an enemy champion for 8 seconds, stealing 3/3.5/4% life per second, plus an additional 0.1% per 50 AP.
If the target dies while under the effect of the curse, their soul is enslaved and will follow Mordekaiser for 30 seconds. During this time, Mordekaiser gains 25% of their ability power, and attack damage. The spirit gains 65/75/85% + (+.02 per ability power)% of Mordekaiser's adjusted damage, ability power, and 50% + (+.02 per ability power)% of Mordekaiser's health.
This is an ultimate that wins games, smites foes, and will get you the most ganks, win the most team fights, and is what makes Mordekaiser a game winner. You must know when to use this ultimate. Whenever possible, stack it with ignite. When in team fights, target the lowest health carry your enemy has. When you're about to die, or are being chased while at low health, put it on a high health tank. When you get surprised, if you can, drop it before you get stunned. This ability is the difference between a Metal Monolith of death and destruction, and a mildly intimidating tin can.
One spell is a must have:
Ignite is a damage over time spell that targets a single champion, dealing 50 damage plus 25 damage per level over 5 seconds and reduces the target's healing and regeneration by 50%. This damage is not lowered by armor or magic resistance.
This is necessary both for early ganks and assists, and also for your ultimate. This should ALWAYS be in your arsenal.
The other spell should be some sort of movement spell, such as ghost, flash, or teleport. Exhaust could also fall into this category as the reverse of movement.
He is effected heavily by CC, so cleanse might help.
It could also potentially be a utility spell such as rally.
I would not recommend Heal, as you will wind up with plenty of regeneration. I don't recommend clairvoyance, as you will not be terribly worried about ganks. It might be good if you are in a premade, and no one else can grab it.
Don't ever get revive. You will not die enough. Don't ever get smite, as you kill creeps too fast already (unless you intend to jungle. This is NOT a jungle build). Don't get fortify, because if they are pushing your towers, you're doing it wrong.
Clarity is only good for lulz.
Runes should do one of two things: Fill in holes in your weaknesses, or make your good points more badass.
In this case, we will do a little of both.
My current Rune Book looks like this:
Quintessence of Fortitude: 32.5 health.
Quintessence of Insight: 1.89 magic penetration
Quintessence of Celerity: .9 cooldown reduc at level 18
9 Marks of Insight: 8.55 magic penetration
9 glyphs of celerity:8.1 cooldown reduction at level 18
9 seals of regeneration: 17.82 regen per 5 at level 18
As I said, runes are there to fix your weaknesses, and make your strengths greater. You might find other runes that work better for you.
I always use 9/21/0 for masteries. Having the extra defensive masteries are always nice.
Also, for the offensive, go for the caster masteries first, and don't worry about the ignite mastery. Mordekaiser's AP ratios are terrible. Get the magic pen at 9 instead.
You should focus on getting as much sheild as possible with your skills.
That being said, go for Siphon of Destruction whenever its available.
It's a great amount of damage, and a huge amount of sheild restored. At level 5, it will give you a full sheild from hitting a minion wave. The best part? It's spammable. Every time its up. No kidding.
Only get one point in mace early on. It's a one point wonder. It scales automatically with your attack damage, and the extra 100 is nice for last hitting. Even with only one point, you will be able to take out the ranged creep wave with just this and siphon untill later... at which point, this is going to be higher anyways.
Pick up Creeping Death whenever Siphon or CotG is not available. It's a life saver. Get used to casting it with Alt-w whenever it's up.
Children of the Grave, as an Ultimate, should be grabbed whenever possible.
My skill order looks like this:
You can grab Mace if you feel it suits you better, but I believe that Creeping Death is actually a better skill at higher level than Mace of Spades.
(6/7/2010) I have completely re-written this section. Too much stuff has changed in the last few patches.
Now, the biggest part of playing a tank is knowing how to build what, and when.
This is part experience, and part knowledge.
First things first, you need to know your position in the line up. Basically, if you're going to be in a 2v1 lane (very common for Mordekaiser) then you need to get Doran's Sheild and a health pot. Otherwise, grab Rejuvination Bead, 6 pots, and rock over to your lane.
Your first goal should be building up a tough shell of Metal and Power. Depending on who you're laning against, get Warden's Mail or Spirit Visage. Obviously, if they are hitting you hard with basic attacks, grab Warden's Mail on your first time back to base. If you're getting nuked with magic, then grab Spirit Visage.
Next, Mordekaiser needs to have some treads. I go for Mercury Treads for this in most of my games, but Boots of Movefast (swiftness or mobility) are also quite a good thing to go for, as speed assists your own killing capacity.
The next item should be another tank item to help against the rest of the threats. If you got Spirit Visage, consider Wardens Mail, and vice reverse. Depending on the team comp, it might behoove you to get armor against a full caster team (tanking towers), and it might behoove you to get magic resist against a full DPS Team (several abilities are still magic damage). This item should be something that rounds out your defenses. I would suggest that you default to the medium tier item you didn't take (warden's mail or Spirit visage), but force of nature or upgrading to Randuin's omen is also acceptible.
The next step is to become the powerful core of your team, the Metal Anchor of Power.
For those of you who have read this guide before, you know I used to suggest Haunting Guise as another core item. Unfortunately, this item is no longer what it was, as the primary draw of it was the spellvamp mixed with magic penetration. I have come to terms with this sad change, and have built Mordekaiser accordingly.
Add tank items as you go if you find that you aren't metal enough. (Do not take any of those items on the List of Loathing. Ever. I will find and melt your face my self if you do.)
I find that at this point Morde lacks hitpoints. Not a LOT of hitpoints, but enough that something must be done. He also works well with a slow, so we're gonna pick up Frozen Mallet, which gives us plenty of hit points and a slow on our basic attack. Of course, the ghost also gets the slow, which is imperative if you snag a ranged carry's ghost.
The final items should be along the lines of team-buffs. I've found that Will of the Ancients is terrible, but you might consider trying Abyssal Sceptor for the team magic pen. It gives AP and Magic Resist, so nothing terrible (though AP is not the best for Mordekaiser). Stark's Fervor is always great on any team with a good carry. Don't worry about it if someone else is getting it. Aegis of the Legion is another good item to go for.
If you find that nothing fits your team, grab some more survivability. Guardian Angel, Force of Nature, and Randuin's Omen are all great items. If you find yourself repeatedly disabled, grab Quicksilver Sash, and if you find yourself getting mauled by DPS, grab a Thornmail.
The List of Loathing
Get any of these items, and I will melt your face my self:
Warmoggs: NO NO NO NO NO NO! BAD! DIE IN A FIRE! You are NOT getting this item. It's bad for Mordekaiser. "But Sye," you say, "It's got Hitpoints, it's got regen, it's got... well, hitpoints AND regen!" And it does NOTHING for you! The regen you get from it is findable on stuff that's better than this junk, and the hitpoints are actually a liability for mordekaiser. Simply put: Sheilds = HP. HP != Sheilds. Having more hitpoints means that people will go for Bloodrazer, which is a good item in it's own right, it will ANNIHILATE your sheild. If you see a mundo, he will blow your sheild with one cleaver! Malzahar can melt your sheild in no time flat as well. HP is bad on mordekaiser, because his sheild is more hitpoints than anyone else gets already.
Sunfire Capes: Lots of Mordekaisers build these, and I have to wonder: Why!? WHY!? It has no place on this character. He has more than enough damage already, and it is more effective to increase your allies or your own damage through spells than to get 40 damage per second. You get twice that from Creeping Death at level 5, and that's free and spammable. Also, see my rant above about hit points.
Banshee's Veil: A good item, over all. Just not in this case. Think about it. Do you target someone with Banshee's Veil with your abilities? No? Then why would someone target you instead of little miss squishy Annie? They won't? Right. Then you fail. Also, mana is not something you can use, so putting as little as you can on Mordekaiser is always a good plan.
More to be added as I find things that make me want to melt some faces.
There is a little strategy out that most pros use, and the general concensus is that it is good. And it is. It's called Last Hitting. You dance around your minions, running in to hit a minion that is about to die, then running back behind the minions to wait for more to play with, never hitting a minion more than is necessary to get the kill and gold for it. It's a great strategy, and highly effective. IGNORE IT!!!! (unless you are outnumbered. See "Outnumbered" below)
Mordekaiser can't afford to do this. He must use his abilities. All the time. He should always have a full sheild, and needs to nail minions do get it.
So, what do you do instead? Push. Push like your life depended on it. It does. What will happen is that the battle will happen at your enemies tower, and your enemy will try to stay in lane as long as possible, even at ridiculously low health to make sure their tower doesn't die.
You should constantly be harassing enemies. Whenever an enemy is too close to his minions, hit one of those minions with a mace of spades and a siphon of destruction. The combo will put 100 damage on them at first level, and a LOT more than that at later levels. You can even harass them (and should) when they are at their tower. A Siphon and a mace generally generates enough sheild to block a tower shot especially if you drop Creeping Death on yourself before the tower hits you. Put the fear of Morde in them and hit them where they thought they were safe. No place is safe from Mordekaiser.
At level 6, you strike. Make sure your target is nice and low on health. Make sure they have no heals to surprise you with. Charge your shield.
When all is ready, get close enough to hit them with Siphon, hit them, then ignite, then use your CotG. If they don't get Wished, healed, and your judgment was right, they should die. And you have a ghost. Get the hell out of tower range, then get right back to tower range and start abusing it. Hold alt to control the ghost, and tell it to break the tower. It will generally hit harder than you do, too.
If the lane mate is there, scare him off using the ghost (ghost's auto attack HURTS) and then pound on the tower.
Try to stay in the lane until the enemy tower is down, or by some strange divine intervention, your tower is down.
I've gotten towers down in 6 minutes, so it shouldn't take too long, and if done right, you should have more than enough for your first item when you go back.
Using Children of the Grave
As a general rule, only use CotG when they are at about 20% if you have ignite, 10% if you don't. Also, if you're getting attacked, are low on health, and need a pick me up, use it on the one with the highest maximum health to help you survive. If you're going to die, use it. If you do die, by the time you respawn and get back to lane, your CotG will be back up, and you put damage on someone. If you make it back to safety, then it was a good use, and you can probably regen and not have to go back to base. Never hesitate to use Children of the Grave.
It is important to note where enemies are, at all times. Don't wait for an ally to call someone MIA. Assume that they are, judge their threat, and react accordingly. If you're solo mid, and one goes mia, you can probably take the pain of a surprise gank and recover. If two go missing, you shouldretreat back to tower and hold the line and let your teammates push the enemy towers. You should always do your best to be aware of you surroundings and the minimap. Your death is no one else's fault but your own.
Playing with Others
Outlined above is a general strategy, and the core of your laning phase. However, when you have an ally (morde can alterantively be side solo, or solo mid), your chances of taking out an enemy increase that much more. First of all, your ally must understand that Mordekaiser CANNOT be a passive player, sitting back and last hitting minions. He will push, simply because he is Morde. If your Ally wants to play passive, request another person (preferably a ranged character, or melee with a travel ability like Jax or Kat) that will be agressive with you. The reason I say a ranged character is because while Morde can get up to the tower, and can push it like none other if he gets a chance, he is still a melee character. As such, he has to have time to both engage and disengage the tower. His sheild helps buy this time, but it will only take one shot during the lane phase before it starts hurting him. With a ranged character, they can be putting damage on the tower while you harass enemies at the tower.
Also, whatever character you are laning with (unless it is another tank or a support) you should try to allow them to last hit. You can clear waves REAL easy, so you have to be careful not to starve your ally, because that leads to a useless ally. A useless ally is a liability. So be careful not to leave your ally behind.
Finally, whenever there is a hit to be taken, it should be taken by you. You are a tank, and you can ignore things that would floor most characters. With your regen, you should even be able to withstand harassment without your sheild and only be forced off lane for a little bit.
We can destroy mid. Follow the simple steps under laning for the majority. Do not leave your lane until you destroy their tower. The only reason you lose your tower is if you get ganked by more than two people. Even then, if you don't die, you should be able to hold the tower for **** near forever. The biggest goal is going to be pushing towers. Killing enemies allows this, but it is not mutually exclusive. While laning, you want to kill your enemies tower as soon as possible.
Mordekaiser is perhaps the best 1v2 character in the League. He's got toughness, he's got damage, he's got POWER. He's got METAL! He's got the Metal and the Mettle to stand toe to toe with TWO people, and come out not only on top, but ahead of the game.
If you find yourself in this position, Rejoice. The Gods of F'ing Metal have blessed you with this opportunity to kick some ass!
However, he is not quite a god in the first few levels of the game. He needs his sheild, which doesn't fill very fast at low levels. He needs damage reduction, which he doesn't get until his first items.
Basically, he needs to not get his ass kicked. So play it cool. Don't chase. Don't blow all your spells trying to get shield until the enemy minions are in your tower range. They can't harass you out of tower with your sheild. The primary thing to do is make sure you get Experience. If you get experience, you level, which means you can finally start punishing with Siphon of Destruction Once you get a good base built up, you can start considering pushing back out. Be wary of ganks, because you are a very tempting target.
The important thing is the tower. You are the only one in front of it, so if you leave, or god forbid, die, then you leave it undefended. You CANNOT afford this. Consider teleport if you have trouble with this, as you can get back to the fight quickly. As you build steam, you will become an unstoppable train of carnage because of your soloing. Enjoy.
After Tower One
After you push your lane's tower, push the creeps back a little, then b, buy, and head to the other double lane. Push their tower. Most players will try to counter push, but it should only take one person to keep the enemy from counter pushing. Smart players will help defend the other tower. By now, you should be able to take some pain, so you should be the first one into the fight. Push them back to their tower. Now their backs are against the walls. Keep harassing. Tower two won't take long. Nor tower three.
The team is probably already all in one place. So is their team.
Now then, the basics of tanking is to A) Keep enemies from focusing your allies, B) survive Damage, a) take damage, and D) initiating. In that order. Now, you will have a hard time disrupting enemies focusing you allies without cc. However, enemies have a hard time ignoring a glowing helmet above their head as their life plummets, and are even LESS apt to ignore the heavy hitting super carry that just joined the fray on the enemy team.
So the a teamfight should go down like this: You bring up creeping death, run into the midst of the enemy, leading with siphon to get some extra sheild. Your team should be hot on your heels. After you're no longer stunned (Not kidding) or perhaps even just before you are stunned, you should drop your ult on the lowest health, highest damage enemy. Try for a ranged DPS, but melee dps is a good idea too. Ignite him as well, if you have it. Something happens with this ult: Your team is going to go after that enemy obsessively.
Mordekaiser has claimed a soul.
Use the ghost to kill another.
The rest should fall like wheat to the sickle.
Now go crush another tower.
There is a tactic, much like last hitting, that rewards passive play. It's called Turtling. It is difficult to stop, and difficult to break. It occurs where the enemy stays in the base, all five of them, and tries to defend their remaining three inhibitor turrets.
Your job is to hold a lane, and push it. Just you. It will take more than one enemy to stop you, which means the other four members of your team will only have to deal with three enemies.
Even if you die, a tower falls, and you have done your job.
Careful, though. If the enemy is not turtling, this is just you begging the enemy to kill you. Play agressive, not stupid.
Other Things to Note
Mordekaiser is an evil *******. He is also a general for some as yet unknown legion of death. You should use whatever tactics you can to win. Whatever it takes.
However, certain things WILL NOT help you win:
Trash talking your team. It will never help. Ever. It will simply lower their morale, which in turn lowers you chance of winning.
Raging. Rage typing will get you killed. Play the game, keep your messages short and precise.
Underconfidence: You will lose if you play a passive style with Mordekaiser.
Overconfidence: You are among the hardest to kill champs out there. You are, however, NOT invincible.
I built this guide as a means of analyzing my own playstyle. I set out to see what I'm doing right, what I'm doing wrong, and also to see what others think of how I look at this character.
I will be honest, I love this character.
If you see something I should take a look at, let me know. Also, let me know if you've tested it out to any success or not. I know I have won (at the date of this writing) 15 games in a row with these strategies.
That being said: Feedback please!
EDIT 1 (4/15/2010) Fixed Cooldowns, added note about Starks Fervor.
EDIT 2 (4/18/2010) Updated items section to include sunfire capes, and fixed the over exaggeration that is my spiel on Haunting Guise.. Also uploaded to Leaguecraft.com
EDIT 3 (4/23/2010) Just fixing some typos. Thanks Longshot. Will take a look at the feedback and make more changes as necessary. Probably after the next patch when the new stats hit.
EDIT 4 (5/3/2010) Updated to reflect the changes of the recent patch. Added Randuin's Omen to the "extra items" section.
EDIT 5 (6/7/2010) Been forever since I updated.... My bad. I didn't feel there were enough changes to update until the last patch. Added a 1v2 guide under "Outnumbered" and completely re-wrote the items section.
EDIT 6 (6/7/2010) Changed the items section again. I found that the aura build wasn't working as well in certain comps, so I downplayed that section and upplayed the personal tankage (closer to the original build). Also, Will of the Ancients is terrible.
EDIT 7 (7/17/2010) Cleanse baiting is stricken from the guide, as it is no longer necessary to bait their cleanse.
I've been following this guide a lot lately, and have been having great success. The emphasis on building your FIRST item based on the enemy team is really valuable.
I managed to mid against Annie and get two early kills against her, finishing that game with something like 12 kills, 6 deaths and 10+ assists. The deaths all came later, when they decided to start attacking me relentlessly, and my team usually managed to clean them up afterwards.
Overall, I endorse this guide. It really rekindled my love of a champion who I think is totally awesome, but used to believe was on the weak side.
I've been a little underwhelmed by haunting guise, and usually much happier with spirit visage. My shield is usually easy enough to fill even without magic pen, and I get plenty of "player aggro" by knocking over towers and using ghost/ult to take out their runners, even if my damage is being somewhat reduced by MR.
Then again, speaking of those two items, does Spirit Visage make the spell vamp more effective?
Quick notice : Remake the skills part so that it isn't counting your cooldown reduction.
And sometimes I like getting Starks as a choice for mord, I usually open bead pot-pot and then get the Emblem, which is the lowest cost out of all the items. I saw no real issues I had with it though since the most primary facts of mord were covered, being MPen, life regen, and a slowing item.
your guide forgot some stuff
mordekaisers way to awesomeness:
if you're normal gaming and you have a jungler in your team
pick mordekaiser - go to that 1on2 lane
if you get kills early on ( shortly after or even before hitting lvl 6) and your team doesn't do too bad either - get early mejais / leviathan (yes both of them) after your first lifereg item (spirits / wardens / FoN) and boots
the combination of leviathan and mejais on a solo laning mordekaiser will win you the game before a single enemy, or maybe even teammate reaches lvl 18 (you certainly will)
Wow great minds do think alike. This is how I have always played Morde. However I have yet to try the new haunting guise but I can promise you I will in my next game. I completely agree with the skill order, the items, summoner spells, and tactics. I always rush FoN whenever I see a Ryze,Annie, and/or Viegar. Now I cant write a guide because it would be a near perfect duplicate! GJ
Edit: I also found a fondness for levi's when the team is doing well. Morde has no problems getting kills and assists.
spirit visage + mercury treads > force of nature
i approve warden's mail, probably my favorite starting item for mord (i cringe when i see caster teams!)
Most importantly, you left out the best item in the game for mordekaiser (hint: he has a high base damage)
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