Malphite: A Controversial Champion

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Zayith

Senior Member

05-11-2011

If theres one thing that everybody can agree on about Malphite, it's his amazing ability to tank. There's no doubt that Malphite can perform the role as a main tank with a E (Ground Slam) that scales with armor, one of the best initiator in the entire game, his attack speed debuff on E (Ground Slam) while a nice early game Granite Shield. Malphite is easily describe as a tank for majority of the people on League of Legends. However, after hours of researching builds on League Craft, champion guides and forums, nobody can even describe his controversial roles as a Bruiser and his pure damage builds for definite. So why is this true?


Riot's Confusing Labels and Tips
Lets start this by Riot's description on Malphite. Recently, it has changed yet it defines no exact role on how Malphite should be played. As of now, Malphite is listed as "Melee" and a "Fighter", nothing else. Theses tags have changed many times in the past but as of now, Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Malphite is only labeled as a Fighter and Melee Champion. If you read the current Malphite tips (which also changed a bit since his release), they suggested that Malphite is a tank saying that "Malphite is one of the few tanks in the game who can jungle". This is suggesting that Malphite is a tank while also saying that Malphite is a DPS. Riot is not direct on his role on Malphite to begin with.


Ground Slams apparently love being low to the ground and rock hard. The ladies love it.
One key thing to note on Malphite is his E, the ground slam that scales with armor instead of a AP ratio. This set's people's minds to say "Hes definitely a tank, his E scales with armor. A damaging AOE tank with his E and Ult". The scaling of armor question AP's builds (due to only Q and Ult with AP ratios) and adds twisted to AD builds. There's even builds out there for Malphite that are pure AR (without magic resist) and simply, tank builds that focus on both AR and MR (because why not get MR when you have massive amounts of AR?).


Brutal Strike is brutally universal, yet brutally controversial
Brutal Strikes, a very unique skill on it's own. At rank 5, Brutal Strikes adds a brutal passive 62% cleave damage and a brutal 40% AD and AR when activated. This could be a potentially a brutal spell. This W spell, argues that Malphite is a AD Champion or a AD Bruiser. It also argues more on Malphite's ability to tank. Due to this spell, the idea of Malphite being a AP champion has been debated.


Malphite's Ability to be AD and as a AD Bruiser
People argue that Malphite's base attack speed is so low that stacking AD with Brutal Strikes isn't enough. Because of this, it is argue that you must stack attack speed items in order for Malphite to be at par with the other champions. However, at level 18, Malphite does have a base of 1.05 attack speed so why people say that is a mystery to me. One other argument is Malphite's long CD on Brutal Strikes. It has a 16 second CD and it last for 6 seconds. Of course, with a 40% CD reduction, Brutal Strikes will only be down for 3.5 seconds which is very consisted. 40% CD reduction is too much to ask however as long with AD, attack speed, armor and magic resist.

A other problem that people seem to mention is the lack of AD items that give Armor and I laugh to this. Blood Razor, Wiggler's Lantern and M.Razor gives both AD and AR while granting a amazing passive for Malphite (Wiggler's and M.Razor) with his natural cleave damage. Atma's Impaler offer's Crit, Armor and AD as well while assist on Malphite to build a AD Bruiser. The brand new Wit's End gives 30 MR, attack speed, bonus magic 42 damage (with natural cleave! take that minions!) and a MR stacking passive. Hex Drinker is also a nice item to be built with a AD Bruiser Malphite (30 MR, 30 AD with MR shield). Ninja Tabi's also are quite nice due to the brand new stat added to the game (making Merc. Trends not forced upon) with the dodge and armor.

My Opinion
I argue that Malphite is a nuke. I believe Malphite as a AD character would launch his nuke, auto attack the champion and either chase down with Q (Shard) with the little amount of HP left on them or to simply run away (like a hit and run champion). The argument on Brutal Strikes wouldn't mean much to me. It just simply means that Malphite is no Master Yi. However, I rarely play AD champs so my knowledge is very limited



Malphite Ability to be AP and as a AP Brusier
People argue that Malphite can be played as a AP Champion. Most people argue that as a AP Bruiser rather then a AP Champion due to his passive and armor scaling E.

His Q (Shard) has a AP ratio of .6:1 and his Ult's ratio 1:1. Malphite only has 2 AP ratios due to his E scaling with armor and W being a active buff/passive buff. However, Q (Shard) has a very low cool down, steals speed (not reduce) and has a decent range. His Ult has a natural highly damaging base with a 1:1 ratio. With a 40% CD (which you should have due to Masteries, Runes and Frozen Heart), his Ult's CD is only 1 minute. Every 1 minute, you can launch a painful nuke guaranteeing a kill.

However, people argue that other characters are simply much better for this role. No matter, as a AP Bruiser, you still have that awesome AOE Stun (which now hurts with this build) that leads to the whole reason Malphite is even played as a champion (and is consider a tank). The issue is, this leads your role to a tanking position which means, you will be targeted. My opinion, it's nothing that a Hour Glass can't fix. I mean, a hourglass gives you 50 armor (Hooray for E!), 100 AP and a active that leads you out of that tanking position.


Malphite, the Pure AR Build
Yes, I have seen people talk about pure AR builds as a damaging build for Malphite. I won't say much about this however as I see very little point of mass stacking pure AR to increase 1 spell's damage as your entire build. If your going to mass stack AR, you might as well get some MR and tank a bit. I mean, seriously, use your E one time and your pretty much a useless rock for a few seconds in a middle of the team fight. Mass stacking armor does not make up for that extra damage that you build with a AP build.


The Conclusion
Can Malphite be consider either of the above roles (besides tank)? Would any of theses roles work? Many people can't seem to agree to the damage Malphite builds and rather or not if the DPS builds are viable. Malphite encourages many confusing builds that lead to this controversial topic today. Nobody can seem to agree.

What do you guys (and ladies) think? Can Malphite play the roles above viably?


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TheOneTrueAustin

Senior Member

05-11-2011

The way that I play him is to gradually transform his role throughout the game. Early on, I play him as a strong lane harasser. He doesn't gain much damage from stacking AP or armor on their own so instead it's better to focus on magic penetration items and runes, as well as magic regeneration runes. The most obvious one is haunting guise which beefs up his passive shield as well as slightly increasing his Q damage. With decent magic regeneration you can continuously spam Q almost every time it's off its cooldown which helps to wear down almost any enemy champs you might be facing.

Later in the game, his role shifts to that of a tank. You end up using his abilities more for their utility than to do damage as they simply don't scale that well with anything. If you build armor your ground slam is slightly more powerful, but it's not that significant of an increase. If you build AP you're squishy and you better hope your team can make up for the 5v4s you're thrusting upon them when you ult in and die.


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Zayith

Senior Member

05-11-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOneTrueAustin View Post
The way that I play him is to gradually transform his role throughout the game. Early on, I play him as a strong lane harasser. He doesn't gain much damage from stacking AP or armor on their own so instead it's better to focus on magic penetration items and runes, as well as magic regeneration runes. The most obvious one is haunting guise which beefs up his passive shield as well as slightly increasing his Q damage. With decent magic regeneration you can continuously spam Q almost every time it's off its cooldown which helps to wear down almost any enemy champs you might be facing.

Later in the game, his role shifts to that of a tank. You end up using his abilities more for their utility than to do damage as they simply don't scale that well with anything. If you build armor your ground slam is slightly more powerful, but it's not that significant of an increase. If you build AP you're squishy and you better hope your team can make up for the 5v4s you're thrusting upon them when you ult in and die.
A Tanky AP Build is a build that can easily be worked out with the Rod of Ages and Zhonya's Hourglass. Zhonya's Hourglass would fix all of your charging in suicidal problems if you have a good tank on your team who charges in with the Malphite who uses Unstoppable Force. I don't see how that could me much of a issue (especially when the hourglass does nothing but good to a AP Bruiser Malphite who depend on both stats to damage). Sunflare Cape does wonders as well as Abyssal Scepter to support the AP Malphite. AP Malphite is more of a support damager rather then a pure damager such as Katerina. Even if his AP ratio's aren't amazing on Q, but it isn't shabby. Instead of looking as Malphite as a Mage, look at him more as a tanky nuke.

Shard on Malphite is a very nice harasser early game, I do know. On my tank Malphite, I know how once you get a champion down to 3/4 health, he/she becomes Malphite food with his Ult. On my personal build, I use a 9/0/21 with MPen runes and Doran's Ring for the mana regen, health, and extra AP. The damage adds up. I'm pretty much a early game mage and changes roles to a tank. With this set up, I can skip the Mana regen runes and focus on HP runes to make the Granite Shield stronger.


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Raze and Raise

Senior Member

05-11-2011

Malph only has one CC, playing him as a figher makes more sense.

He can nerf other fighters attack speed And take more dmg with his passive. He gets a MEGA damage cast and can slow them or kite them with his slow. Yet his only Damage taking ability is his passive. And his only CC, although nice as it is to start fights, Can't Lock Down S--t. He's not a good tank, but he is a good fighter.


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Zayith

Senior Member

05-11-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze and Raise View Post
Malph only has one CC, playing him as a figher makes more sense.

He can nerf other fighters attack speed And take more dmg with his passive. He gets a MEGA damage cast and can slow them or kite them with his slow. Yet his only Damage taking ability is his passive. And his only CC, although nice as it is to start fights, Can't Lock Down S--t. He's not a good tank, but he is a good fighter.
You underestimate his Ult's ability to turn around team fights. Not only it's a AOE stun (that has a painful base damage) but it leads you into tank position while taking advantage of debuffs (ground slam, sunflare, omens, frozen heart, abyssal scepter)


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Draghinaazzo

Senior Member

05-11-2011

I grab an IE and triforce on him and ROFLMAO as i carry my team with a tank.

also, people hate being airbourned from 900 away then crited for 1k+


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Zayith

Senior Member

05-11-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draghinaazzo View Post
I grab an IE and triforce on him and ROFLMAO as i carry my team with a tank.

also, people hate being airbourned from 900 away then crited for 1k+
Do you support the AD Malphite and not the Bruiser AD Malp then?