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[Guide] How to build Malphite the Right Way

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malphismia

Senior Member

06-16-2010

UPDATE: 09/21/10
So Malphite got a buff, I've completely changed my playstyle for Malphite, but this guide and the jungle rotation is still viable. I Use Randuin's Omen now, so you can Ult --> Activate Randuin's Omen --> Win teamfights. Guardian Angel is a waste of money now on tanks.

I will be making an advanced malphite guide in the near future. Good luck and rock on.

I'm going to cover Tank Malphite and Jungle Malphite.

I) Tank Malphite

Runes

Marks: Magic Pen (Every tank gets the majority of their damage from spells, and their spells hit big even without any AP boost, so magic pen is the way to go with most tanks)
Seals: Armor or MP5/level
Glyphs: Magic Resist or MP5/level
Quints: Flat HP

Masteries

0/9/21 Dodge, Nimbleness, Mana regen (meditation), Quickness, Flash, CDR
0/16/14 Strength of spirit, dodge, Nimbleness, Veteran scars, Awareness, Mana Regen (meditation), Greed, Flash

The second mastery set-up is my favorite. Getting 21 in one mastery type isn't always the best setup, Havoc/Tenacity are only 5% and 4% damage increase/reduction. e.g. You do 100 damage, you get only 5 extra damage (not taking into account AR or MR yet).

Strength of spirit is an amazing mastery. 0.3% of your mana into health regeneration. Since your first item is sapphire crystal, 0.3% * 415 = 1.2 health regen PER SECOND.
So this mastery actually gives you 6.23 health regen/5 at level 1, and increases as you level. At level 18 with banshee's/frozen heart, you get ~20 hp/5 regeneration from 3 mastery points alone. Veteran Scars is basically two free HP quints.

Summoner Spells
Flash

Teleport - great if you still use wards
Ghost - great if you like extra chasing ability, or flash is on cooldown
Clairvoyance - my personal favorite, at least one on a team assures a huge advantage on map control
Ignite/Exhaust - Leave it to your carries
Heal - Only for new players
Cleanse - If they're blowing their CC on you, they are losing the teamfight anyways, use it if you don't like merc treads


Item Build:

1. Sapphire Crystal + 2 HP pots (Gives you mana and HP regen from strength of spirit)

This item is the best to start out, since item builds should change from game to game.

If you're tanking aganst casters:
Sapphire Crystal --> Catalyst --> Banshee's veil
If you're tanking against physical DPSers:
Sapphire Crystal --> Glacial Shroud --> Frozen Heart

2. Boots 1 --> Merc Treads (casters, CC) / Ninja Tabi (DPS)

3. Heart of Gold

4. Mana Crystal --> Catalyst or Glacial Shroud

5. HoG --> Randuin's Omen

6. Finish: Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil

7. Aegis of Legion

8. (If game drags on) Force of Nature (caster) or Thornmail (dps)

9. 6th slot goes to Wards, Fort elixirs, Re-popping oracles.

Note: Getting wards is basically the tank's job, since your carries have pricey items to build. Oracle is also your job since you survive the longest and easiest to keep that oracle alive. I get Greed mastery, since at 30 minutes, you get 2 free wards

Update: I get Clairvoyance instead of wards now. This spell, singlehandedly, prevents ganks in all 3 lanes during laning phase, has helped me steal enemy buffs, dragon, nashor multiple times, helps me farm without worrying about ganks, take towers until knowing 100% when to b, and sees enemy running to their lanes at the start of game, so you can plan your lane combos according to their weaknesses. To raise your gameplay to a whole 'nother level, master the art of clairvoyance.



Spell Progression:


R > Q > E > W

Level shards (Q) whenever available. Early game, these shards have huge range and huge damage. Also huge mana sink, so your MP5 and mana item will help. Your main damage will come from Q and E.
Don't get W until you leveled up Q/E first, this will maximize your damage and avoid getting spells like W that won't help your laning phase.

Reasons:
(Outdated, Patch has fixed this) #1 The problem with W is the passive splash, so if you're attacking a turret with an enemy beside it, the turret will automatically attack you. I.e. it prevents you from pushing in laning phase.
#2 You don't have any damage items as a tank. % increase of low damage = low damage.
#3 You can get W if you start farming early. Once you have a leveled up ground slam and get W, you can clear waves in seconds. I sometimes get one level in W at level 8 or 9.

Gameplay:

Early game: Play aggressive. I usually harass from bush, since the shard has such huge range, I can harass them away from minions and let my ally farm. Make sure you last-hit when possible and save up for your catalyst or glacial shroud. Buy and teleport when you have enough. You are able to take some harassment because of your 10% hp shield.

Mid-game
: Gank mid before people start leaving their lanes.
When you're ganking mid from brush, do Seismic Shard (Q) --> while the shard is in motion to them, ult them (R) --> Ground slam (E) immediately after ult --> Put on brutal strikes for more damage --> Q

If you can pull off the early Q, it sets you up for a second Q to lasthit or if they flash away.

End-game: Stay grouped. Ward river, nashor, dragon, enemy red/blue buffs.

Keep yourself on fortitude elixir. It costs 300 gold. But for 400HP (~Giants belt, 1,110gold) and 28 damage (3x Sword = 1245 gold), the stats are well over 2000 gold.

Save your ult for any channeling champs (nunu, fiddle,karthus) and strong ults (kat, twitch).
Don't initiate with your ult (usually). Your ult is ranged, so it creates distance between you and your team. So if it takes 1-2 seconds for your team to react and run to you (stun is only 1.5/1.75/2 seconds), they will not be able to capitalize on it.
Ult in the middle of the teamfight, usually 4 seconds in, this will put a break in any champs spell combo (Ryze), allow the ally that got focused-fired to run away, and will help hit more targets since all the melee enemies are together.

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II) Jungle Malphite

Pros:
-Blue buff helps mana problems early on
-Long-range aoe stun as a jungle ganker will net you so many kills
-Passive HP shield regenerates between camps, helps take less damage

Runes:

This is the most important part, since if you don't have the right rune/mastery build, you can't jungle well.

Marks: Armor
Seals: Armor
Glyphs: MP5/level
Quints: HP

Masteries:
0/21/9
0/16/14

You'll keep your HP up very well as 0/21/9, but with 0/16/14, you can get max utility mastery, which is very useful because your buff comes off before golem/lizard respawns (buff lasts 2.5 minutes, lizard/golem respawns every 5 minutes), and increasing the buff duration helps to keep you with runes as long as possible.

Item Build:
Cloth Armor + *3-6 HP pots

*3 pots if you want to bluepill early to build an early item like ninja tabi or heart of gold (do this especially if you want to gank early after your bluepill)
*6 pots if you want to jungle longer for XP/better items (first trip = mana crystal + boots 1 + ruby for banshee or cloth vest for glacial shroud)

The initial Cloth Armor can go into multiple items in your tank build. Frozen Heart, Ninja tabi, Randuin's (vs melee DPS).

Start building the tank build on your first trip back. I've found that madreds is a waste, since you should stop exclusively jungling after level 6-ish.

Summoner Spells:
Smite + Flash.

Gameplay:

Level 1- Ground slam (E)
Level 2- Brutal Strikes (W)

From then on, get R > Q > E > W whenever available.

Start at your Golem. If you think they're going to gank you, go to their golem.

Finish off mini-creeps at the golem camp first, then finish the actual Golem.
Go to Wolves beside golem.
Go to wraithe camp.
Go to Lesser golem camp near Lizard.
Keep alternating between small creep camps until you have enough gold for your first item (if you get 3 pots).

Repeat cycle if you have 6 pots, occasionally popping in and out of lanes to keep enemy on their tip-toes (especially your 2nd solo, you don't want them to be laidback and outharassing your 2nd solo lane).
Even sharding the enemy and running back into river bush will keep them wondering if you're there or not. When you're ganking, a long-range flying mass of rock that moves like a missile and stuns will scare the **** out of anyone.


Jungling tips:

-Get awareness mastery, so you level up after golem. Don't let anyone stand beside you or you won't level up (awareness mastery or zilean passive will level you)
-Tell your mid to back away when you're doing wraithes, since they will get your XP if they're at turret
-Attack and then run to one side of the camp, so the creeps huddle together so your W splashes
-Don't start with smite, wait till the creep's hp is low enough to kill it with smite. This prevents anyone stealing your buff. If none are MIA, then smite to let cooldown start
-Tell at least one lane not to push their lanes, so you can gank it easier (if enemy pushed to your turret, once you gank they have a longer way back to retreat to their turret)



Hope you learned something about Malphite Constructive criticism and any questions are welcomed.


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Mo shaggin

Senior Member

06-16-2010

Thankyou it gave me some good tips.


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malphismia

Senior Member

06-20-2010

Bump for feedback


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Deusvar

Member

06-30-2010

Very interesting guide, though I disagree with tanks not needing to farm at all.

Jungling Malphite is new to me as well. Given his mana problems early game I can't see myself giving it a real go though, that and sacrificing Heal + Cleanse is a huge dent in any tanks arsenal.

Item progression looks solid, though leaves you without the stacking armour which, I believe, makes Malphite shine. Of course stacking armour only against casters is a terrible idea and you're correct in saying prioritize Banshee's Veil over Frozen Heart if that's the case.

Aegis is one item I feel a tank Malphite should get once team fights start, its very useful for protecting allies and is cost effective.

I'll be looking at Strength of Spirit, I had no idea it was that useful.


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Bumbah

Senior Member

06-30-2010

Solid item build, but I strongly disagree with your tank runes,
I personally believe the only tank runes for Malphite are armor, Magic RES, and HP quints. Tanks aren't about dealing damage (ie magic pen, CDR), they're about taking and mitigating damage while your carry burns them down. Malphite thrives off armor (offensively and defensively) so i was shocked th see that you only included them in your "jungle" guide.
Also, I firmly believe E>Q for tanking. Reducing their attack speed if far more valuable for a tank than stealing movement speed. Rank 1 Q is all you need imo (plus, its a huge mana eater....a malphite without mana is a sitting duck)

8/10. great guide


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malphismia

Senior Member

06-30-2010

Quote:
Bumbah:
Solid item build, but I strongly disagree with your tank runes,
I personally believe the only tank runes for Malphite are armor, Magic RES, and HP quints. Tanks aren't about dealing damage (ie magic pen, CDR), they're about taking and mitigating damage while your carry burns them down. Malphite thrives off armor (offensively and defensively) so i was shocked th see that you only included them in your "jungle" guide.
8/10. great guide


I took out my explanation to shorten my guide. Here is why:

Runes ARE meant to help your early game. Most rune stats, imo, are going to be negligible in late game. For jungling, that armor is really crucial to stay alive early, but lategame 21 armor from marks+seals is essentially nothing (comes up to 300ish worth of gold).
Shards are my main harassing tool early laning game, has earned me FB very often. Magic pen for increased damage, and I use Seals and Glyphs (sometimes flat Mana for glyphs) for MP5/level. If you use all your mana on sharding just 1 target, I assure you they will be dead before your mana turns to 0.
Try this rune set, rank up shards PRIMARILY, you will be amazed at the early burst damage output. I've often denied my opponents any creep kills just by hiding in brush and sharding whenever they come near.


I am a firm believer that runes fill in the potholes of your build. I don't get chalice of harmony which some guides recommend (waste of money on a tank who needs to farm for tank items). I make sure my seals+glyphs take care of my mana problems, and get my items solely for armor, HP, and MR.

There are too many items that provide a package of all those tank stats (AR,HP,MR), but don't provide magic pen + tank stats. I sometimes get Haunting Guise when I've racked 2-4 kills, but that's rarely since AP doesn't do much for Malphite.
Quote:

Also, I firmly believe E>Q for tanking. Reducing their attack speed if far more valuable for a tank than stealing movement speed. Rank 1 Q is all you need imo (plus, its a huge mana eater....a malphite without mana is a sitting duck)
For W, there is only a 20% overall AS reduction from level 1 E to level 5 E. You will also notice that the base damage 220 is very small for an ability, and the main damage comes from your AR which is a flat 70% armor throughout all levels, so it won't get better as you level.

For Q, there is a +55 damage increase each level, and 20% slow increase and 20% movement buff. You will notice that in teamfight, your shard will make the difference between a enemy champion that got away or got slowed, or make the difference between you running away from a champion (it slows them and speeds you) and your ground slam will only be useful when the enemy team is BUNCHED UP (the initial ult will usually scatter them).

If you use that ability more often, you'll know the range is very very limited. I was attacking golem and ground slammed, it didn't even reach the creeps beside it. They increased the attack range of Malphite's melee attack, so you'll notice that the range you're hitting your target is farther, and if the target even SLIGHTLY moves, they're out of ground slam radius.

That's all I have to say, thanks for your feedback.


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Koregen

Junior Member

07-09-2010

Great guide. I haven't really played malphite before stumbling upon this but with your tips I'm finding myself really enjoying the champion.

I'm only level 14 so I'm taking clarity to ease the mana issues and have had excellent success with early harassment. If the players in my lane aren't pro I can fully shut down their gold flow cause I force them to stay so far back.

This is probably the first guide that's actually useful that I've seen so well done.

Looking forward to trying the jungling once I'm higher level.


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Quizard Raderack

Senior Member

07-09-2010

Awesome guide..Thanks


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malphismia

Senior Member

07-09-2010

Thanks for the feedback!

I just wanted to say something to those about armor stacking - Don't focus on it too much

#1 Stacking Armor for Damage. Increasing damage as a tank is secondary, increasing tanking ability as a tank is primary. Thus - Focus on stacking Armor AND Magic Resist

#2 Malphite does not have GREAT tank base stats, since they label him as melee DPS, they give him stats as such. Stacking armor sets you up for major fail tanking versus casters and basically every spell from champs.

#3 It makes Malphite a one-dimensional champ. Malphite, as everyone knows, is the most diverse champ there is, scaling off so many stats. Do not turn him into 5xSunfire Rammus/Amumu (sorry to those tanks)


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MMM So Moist

Member

07-09-2010

ITT: How to fail as malphite


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