IntroductionWelcome to my Malphite guide. (Created January 2012, updated every time I find a stronger build/tweaks)
Although Malphite, is not looked at as a first pick, he's still a very strong counterpick option in both solo queue and team play. -(Note this has changed for July 2012, he is now considered a very strong pick)
Due to the current meta of
- Bruiser top
- Ap middle
- AD/attack speed reliant jungler
- Ranged AD/Support bottom
The teams will usually end up with 3/5 heroes that rely on attack damage, or attack speed. In situations like this, Malphite is one of the best picks as he singe handedly counters 3/5 heroes with his ground slam, and will be able to tank 3/5 of the enemy team without getting a scratch.
He will counter 60% of an enemy team if they are following the current meta-game's team composition.
His level 6 burst is also huge, and can catch enemies that are off-guard.
MasteriesI tend to run 0/21/9 masteries, as there is nothing suitable for a champion like malphite in the offensive section of the masteries for me, as I play him as a armour based tank focusing on increasing my damage through ground slam for jungling, and my burst through penetration for laning. However, I prefer to run 1/22/7 (or 0/23/7 for teleport) for laning as he can get the benefits from the ignite buff to last hit, and an extra point in defensive to take more harass in lane.
Explanation for masteries:
Tough skin -> Bladed armour
- Along with a brutal strikes, ground slam bladed armour allows Malphite to clear the jungle very quickly.
- Relentless allows your seismic shard to be more effective even against slows, and tenacity is always a good stat on any tank as you'll be soaking up a lot of spells on the front line.
- Additional 10 gold when using smite is negligible, but will help towards early wards
- Veteran's scars bring a bit more health into laning phase allowing Malphite to soak up more with his passive. while Defender gives him extra resistance in lane (1) or teamfights (possible 5)
- Additional health helps a lot for tanks, and at 4000 health (what most hero's reach when they are building tank now) you will get an extra 160 health, which is like a free ruby crystal.
Expanded mind or Good hands
- This is really debatable, and based on preference. If you want to spawn quicker late-game it's a good choice, but for people such as myself who want to be able to spam Seismic shard, and Ground slam whenever the skill is off cooldown Expanded Mind is the way to go.
- Flash mastery, lowers cooldown. Can replace this with enhanced recall if tempted, as 15 seconds on Flash is very minor.
- Malphite is very mana thirsty without blue buff until philosophers, so this helps him quite a bit early-game.
- Extended buffs on a jungler is never bad, especially if you do not require the masteries in the offensive tree. You should not be taking this if you are headed top lane with Malphite though.
RunesThe runes shown first are universal for Malphite. It's strong in both Jungle, and Solo-top.
They allow you to be the main tank, and are substantial, while not requiring to purchase runes that are not commonly owned.
However, there are other rune set-ups I've used and tested.
Some other rune page set-ups I prefer are:
The Regrowth jungle start or "The Ass" solo top
- With 40 armour at level 1 you can start regrowth while taking almost no damage after finishing the jungle with only 1 health potion.
- You're an ass solo top against most AD heroes very strong against heroes with no poke (or sustain) solo-top such as
Ganking oriented Jungle Malphite
- This page is meant to deal more damage early-game, starting with a cloth and 5 to increase damage done on ground slam when ganking. Magic pen make a big difference in early-game ganks.
- This page is also strong against bruiser heroes that HAVE a poke. some examples:
Bully in lane
- Generally used against heroes that are squishy early-game and have no sustain. Very strong against AP middles (some), and good for when you want to be a bully in lane to weaker early-game heroes that just want to farm (Mainly AD carries, when they are put as a solo lane)
examples: (These are the ones I see solo most often, when I actually do see them solo)
*New Anti-AP build
- Used against hero's that deal magic damage and usually picked to counter the Rock top.
- Mana Regen allows for more spam mid-game which allows you to whittle down most AP carries (since most of them do not have built in sustain, besides Vlad) then burst them with your full combo. Vlad can be beaten if you wait until he uses his Transfusion (Q) on a minion before throwing your shard so he cannot hit you.
- Magic resist allows you to be able to defend against most harass from the enemy along with
- Movement Speed allows you to escape ganks, and chase easier to land the seismic shards.
- Smite is necessary for any jungler to maintain control of both Dragon, and Baron.
- Flash is very good on Malphite, using flash and to escape or initiate increases the effective range closed by casting both flash, and unstoppable force to around 1,400.
+ or or
- Teleport is very strong on Malphite solo-top, as the AoE you provide, and ability to charge the enemy AD carry or AP carry early-mid game makes you very strong for dragon control. It's also strong in solo queue, mainly because you can teleport to bottom for a gank, which most players are not ready for.
- Ignite should only be taken if you are laning against someone you expect to be able to kill by 6, because you have poked enough with to gurantee a kill at level 6 with
- You should only grab exhaust if no one on your team will grab it.
Make sure to grab homeguard if you are planning to run teleport because homeguard and teleport is a very strong combo.
Passive: Granite Shield
Malphite is shielded by a layer of rock which absorbs damage up to 10% of his maximum health. If he has not been hit for 10 seconds, this effect recharges.
- Allows Malphite to take pokes in-lane, and trade blows while coming ahead because the shield recharges itself every 10 seconds.
- Allows Jungle Malphite to clear camps such as Wolves, Wraiths while taking almost no damage, and Small Golems taking only a few scratches early-game.
Q: Seismic Shard
Deals 70 / 120 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+60% of ability power) magic damage and steals 14 / 17 / 20 / 23 / 26% movement speed from the target for 4 seconds.
Cost 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90mana
- Maxed first in lane, and second in jungle after
- Ability explanation simplified would be, slows them and hastes you for the slowed amount.
- Very good for chasing, and should be focused on faster heroes when escaping, and whoever you're chasing when chasing.
- Use when chasing, and when escaping. Does both great!
W: Brutal Strikes
Passive: Malphite's attacks hit units near his target for 30 / 38 / 46 / 54 / 62% of his attack damage.
Active: Increase Malphite's armor and attack damage 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 6 seconds.
Cooldown 14 seconds
Cost 50/55/60/65/70 mana
- Almost useless in lane, but a one point wonder in the jungle
- Never level this if you are in lane, until everything else is max.
- Take this at level 2, or 4 depending on when you gank on jungle malphite
E: Ground Slam
Malphite slams the ground dealing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+50% of his Armor) magic damage to surrounding enemies, reducing their attack speed by 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% for 4 seconds.
Cooldown 7 seconds
Cost 50/55/60/65/70 mana
- The main skill that makes Malphite viable as a counter-pick in the current Meta-game.
- With 40% cooldown reduction, the cooldown of Ground Slam is 4.2 seconds, meaning if you constantly spam it on their AD Carry he/she will constantly be debuffed except for 0.2 seconds in between each ground-slam. You can also protect your AD carry with this, by lowering the enemy bruiser's attack speed almost permanently for the duration of the team-fight.
- Combined with all AD carries around you will be crippled in terms of attack speed, including the bruisers.
R: Unstoppable Force
Malphite charges towards the target area, dealing 200 / 300 / 400 (+100% of ability power) magic damage and knocking enemies into the air for 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds.
Cooldown 130 / 115 / 100 / 110seconds
- Great for initiaton, although it is similar to the headbutt + pulverize combo of it has around 350 more range.
- Can also be used as an escape mechanism, as it's generally a 1,000 range dash that cannot be stopped once cast.
- Deals considerable damage early-game and mid-game.
- Can take a Carry out of a fight if used with
Skill orders for level 2 gank, level 4 clear, and laning
Solo lane skill order
- Poke with Seismic shard , and use Ground Slam when they try to auto attack you (if they are melee champions)
Regular jungle clear skill order
- Clearing jungle Blue (leash) -> Wolves -> Wraiths -> Small Golems -> Red buff
Jungling items + Explanation
Start with : You will need the additional health to sustain in the new jungle as it is fairly brutal now for AoE clearer's like Malphite or Skarner.
- Boots are no longer viable as you will be taken too low after a full clear to gank or counter-gank. The only reason why you purchased boots in season 2 was to force early ganks, but now that you will be too low after a clear starting boots is pointless.
- Regrowth is also no longer a good option to start with because you will be taken too low to finish an entire clear with only one potion running standard Malphite jungle runes. Although it is possible to start regrowth with a full defensive runepage, it's overall better to start machete.
Early Goals (jungle)
- Spirit stone allows Malphite to clear faster while providing some replenishment of mana and health for him to stay in the jungle for a bit longer and also can build into which provides tenacity allowing you to build into either or .
I recommend going mobility boots over ninja tabi if you are planning to gank a lot.
Core items (jungle)
- Armour gives Malphite more damage on Ground Slam and cooldown reduction allows Malphite to continually apply debuffs on movement, and attack speed on enemy heroes with both + .
- Malphite is very similar to Cho'Gath meaning cooldown reduction helps his damage over time more than just stacking ability power.
Situational jungle item choices
- Good option to speed up allies as you use unstoppable force to initiate, or haste your allies to chase.
- If you're really fed as jungle Malphite, and they have a lot of AD, and you want more damage this can be a good choice.
- Very effective item as of season 3's patch. Since it no longer requires creeps to farm and has the passive of Force of Nature, it will scale with your passive very well along with all that armour you will be purchasing.
- Only other viable large magic resistance item besides ruinic bulwark on Malphite. Helps a lot against poke similar to bulwark.
Laning items + explanation
- Ward if you expect to be ganked early, if not an extra 2 health or mana potions.
- Faerie charm to sustain your seismic shard spam.
- Only if you plan on being aggressive. This item set sustains your health and mana while also providing security with a ward.
Against physical hero's you should start
- This is generally chosen against Darius so you can trade well with him while also sustaining.
- Should not be chosen against AP champions
- You generally play passive with this item set as you will not have the ward for security and will attempt to farm it out.
(if you're against someone who deals magic damage and you started with faerie charm ) Then
- If you are winning slightly, and want to press for a stronger presence and burst you should purchase
- If you are not winning and are having trouble get or depending on the enemy's team comp. (3 AD, or Duo AP), and rush either or so you will still have a large impact in teamfights while remaining tanky.
(Huge amounts of penetration for stronger poke with seismic shard and for stronger overall burst.
- Because Malphite's seismic shard has a long range, and decent base damage he is able to poke very well.
- Sorcerers boots increases Malphite's damage, since he already has very high base damage on his skills with fairly short cooldowns. You essentially want to poke until they're around 60% health and then finish them with
- Haunting guise causes your seismic shard spam to be more effective and to get them to around 60% for the dive/burst.
- Sunfire cape is a very strong item on laning malphite, as you get a lot of farm in lane, and by the time you purchase a Sunfire cape it will be very influential in teamfights (early-midgame) It synergizes with Malphite very well in lane, as you have sorcerers boots usually, and armour with health are good purchases for Malphite.
- Frozen heart - Same reason as taking it on jungle Malphite. He benefits from cooldown reduction, mana, armour and the debuff is ridiculous for enemy AD heroes along with ground slam
- Warmog's armour - Synergizes with Sunfire cape very well. When you have both a Sunfire's cape and Warmog's armour you will most likely never die unless focused for an extended period of time.
Situational items for laning Malphite
- If you are facing against dual AP or a very dominant AP laner and you are a bit ahead you can purchase this for more poke and stronger trading potential.
- If you get enough gold to purchase this early-game, and they have a fed AP caster and many squishies, this item can allow you to instantly gib someone a few levels below you mid-game. (pretty much the support or AD carry)
- Definately should be purchased when playing against dual AP after instead of Frozen heart.
- Recommended heavily, along with Frozen heart and Ground slam it's deadly to AD heroes.
- If you are very ahead of the opposing laner, you can buy this item to have a larger burst potential and be stronger against their bruisers. It deals dual damage when synergized with seismic shard and can be applied with his ground slam for AoE % shred.
Laning and Heroes
To avoid false information, I will only list heroes I play against, and my opinion afterwards when I lane against them with Malphite. I will not be putting theorycraft into this guide, only legitimate problems I encounter in lane as Malphite
- If he lanes against you, you're screwed since you have no disable for drain until 6, but he has horrible poke so just farm, and don't stand in his drain.
- Granite shield deals with the Parley spam effectively. Don't trade auto-attack blows with him, and focus on farming.
- It's a farm-fest for both, and since she cannot poke you, you can win the lane early with seismic shard spam.
- I've seen many players try cassiopeia top in order to lane against Malphite, but her poke early-game is not enough to zone you especially when you go for teleport as a summoner, she won't be a problem until it hits level 7-9+. Investing in an early negatron cloak however, will cause her to be a minor problem later.
- You both farm non-stop, you resist his pokes with granite shield and he recovers from yours with his passive "carnivore". If you play very aggressive it's possible to zone him early before he can clear minions with rupture and feral scream, but at mid-game it will be a stalemate.
- You shield his harass, he shields your harass. Once he hits revolver, he will be constantly pushing you to turret and blocking your harass (he beats you later)
- Beats you early-game and can snowball into a mid-game where she beats you, but once you have a few core armour items she only tickles.
- You lose to Rumble, if a Rumble is counter-picked against you take smite and jungle instead.
- Not really a problem in lane, as his early-game poke is horrid compared to your seismic shard, and you block his overload with granite shield. He only beats you late-game, but you can grab a negatron and make him useless.
- Ground slam makes him useless, as most Tryndamere's get wriggles first, they will be attempting to trade blows with you at 0.4 attack speed.
- Annoying, but you can farm as much as you want. She doesn't break your granite shield easily, and most of her cougar damage is physical.
- Beats you in lane fairly hard, early-mid as he can outsustain your pokes, and poke harder with his ghouls. You can farm, but he can generally zone you easily once he gets tear of the goddess.
- Strong early-game and can out-sustain you if you don't have enough potions. Be sure to get 3-5 potions per back and watch his fury early-game as he can burst you down when you don't have armour items. You beat him later in trades when you have a sunfire.
Getting 'fed' as MalphiteWhen you get fed as Malphite, do not build full-tank. Even if you are jungle.
When you pick up majority of the kills, it's better to build damage items that also provide a bit of resistance mainly because you have a lead in gold, and should be using it.
If I get fed in jungle my item build generally goes as the following :, and then continue with my normal build. If they do not have any AP carry (which is highly unlikely) I go for a haunting guise as well before Sunfire cape.
If you get fed as a solo-lane, you should start pushing in your lane with ground slam , which is very easy. After pushing in your lane, look for ganks at either mid or bottom. With your ganks generally secure a flash or kill. To win solo queue, you must win other lanes after winning your own.
Jungling and Ganking
There are two ways you can start the jungle
1. Wolves -> Blue Buff (leash) -> Wraiths -> Small Golems -> Red
- This route is safe, and mainly taken when you want to farm jungle. It is the general path to go, as you clear fairly fast, and can get level 6 without being behind.
2. Wraiths -> Red Buff (leash) -> Ganking top
- This route is for crippling some strong heroes before they can snowball at top lane. Since red buff applies on seismic shard, you can usually pop an enemy summoner spell with the gank if they don't start boot and push a little past river
- Recommended if the allied top-lane has crowd control + enemy top lane has no escape mechanism other than flash
- If ally top has no crowd control, it's up to the summoner to decide whether or not this path will be worth it.
Ganking post 6
Shown in the picture, there are 3 ways to gank top lane.
- 1. the generic, going straight through the river. This is the simplest gank, but will only work if the enemy laner is pushed out.
- 2. Going from behind, this type of gank usually forces the enemy to blow a summoner, or they will die depending on how well you and your top laner react.
- 3. The brush gank, only recommended if your allied top lane pushes incredibly, not recommended for the level 2 gank. The strongest gank will be the brush gank past level 2.
- 1. Ganking from behind (left). If you are on the purple team, you will go from the blue side of the wall. And vice-versa if you are on the blue team.
- 2. The generic through-midlane brush gank. This works for both blue and purple team.
- 3. Ganking from behind (right). Same as the left side, gank from the side of the enemy, to cut them off from the turret.
- 4. Ganking through brush.
- 1. Going through the brush, this works very well for a level 2 gank bottom lane. Make sure to have your allied bottom lane clear out the minions so the enemy does not get vision of you going into the bottom brush. It leads to a very unexpected gank.
- 2. Ganking from river, this is strong, but not as strong as gank route 1. This works if the enemy is pushing to your allied turret.
- 3. Ganking from behind the enemy. (Ganking from the side closest to enemy outer turret) This gank works very well if the lane is pushed at a standstill in the middle of the lane, where neither side is pushed.
- Make sure to have the support record where wards are placed, and when they expire.
Team FightsIn teamfights there are 2 options for Malphite.
1. Instagib their AD-carry or someone squishy and out of position with you're team with
+(if you're laning and took ignite)
2. Defend the AD carry from bruisers.
- Slow them with Seismic shard and Randuins , and use ground slam to lower their attack speed. The bruiser's won't be able to kill your AD carry that easily with all the debuffs, and hopefully along the supports heals focused on the allied AD carry.
As Malphite you want to initiate, as you're ultimate is a long knock-up meaning that it cannot be cleansed, or lowered with tenacity. Afterwards the ground slam also gets anyone squishy fairly low, causing them to panic. It's also very helpful in saving low health allies.
When clearing wards, or scouting always walk first with allies behind you, the 300 armour goliath should not be afraid of anything.
Videos + Explanations (and replay links)
Using ultimate for escaping
In this clip I use unstoppable force to escape
- I do this because, it is early-game and I do not expect to use my ultimate for initiating anytime soon, late-game when close to a teamfight escaping with flash may be more beneficial, and saving unstoppable force for a close teamfight
- Doing this is more beneficial early-game because there will be almost no teamfights early, and because the cooldown of unstoppable force is 80 seconds, whereas flash is around 265 seconds.
- Shorter cooldown than flash
- 2.5x the range of flash
- can knock someone up while escaping
- can only be used if you are not out of mana
- you will not have ultimate if a teamfight happens soon afterwards
- it is not an instant blink like flash
Ganking side-lanes as Malphite
In this clip I use the combo, and it instantly takes out Sona, leaving Sivir with fairly low health, and she ends up dying after a Taric stun.
- Malphite's burst when he is a solo-lane will allow him to burst down lower levelled squishy heroes very quickly, generally: bottom lane.
- This is due to his fairly good total base damage in the combo. Ganking bottom lane with his ultimate will generally allow him to ensure one kill, or two.
- Low chance of failure since Malphite initiates with his 1000 range knockup.
- Can take dragon after ganking bottom lane, as either one or both will be dead
- Gives bottom lane a huge advantage, which can snowball greatly as AD carries influence the game the most late-game.
- You have to walk to bottom lane, so your lane may get pushed.
- You counter that con with teleport
Replays of Malphite games all around 1,950-2,060 elo
Final CommentsI picked up Malphite at the 1900 elo range, while thinking to myself.
All these overpowered AD carries, and tryndameres keep chopping me up no matter who I play.. What can I do?
Then I recalled from beta when I first started playing.
Rock is OP.
And then I played Malphite.
- I only won that many games because I counterpicked, never underestimate the power of counterpicking.
Malphite crushes the 1AD bruiser top/1AD jungler/1AD carry/1support/1AP middle meta like a rock crushes a smaller rock
Hope this guide helps you on your journey to become a better Rock!
PS (Postscript):After some controversy of jungle speed, and attack speed runes I'll be testing a set-up of Attack speed runes, resist and etc. for Malphite and testing out more builds as suggested from other players.
Currently interested in:
Attack speed runes/set-ups to increase jungle-speed
Building Rylais on Malphite, for constant AoE slow
Gold/5 being built solo-t
If you're wondering how a 1,500 got his guide featured: I'm currently dodging to 1,500 from 2070 to climb the ladder again with a few heroes I've never played before. It's a hobby of mine.
April 1 2;27 AM:
Updated guide: Sorry for not updating in 78 days!
- Removed wriggles, it's completely pointless unless using attack speed runes which I dislike.
- Removed Atmas it proved to be purchase that was not as efficient as other items.
- Added a section on what to do as a 'fed' jungler or solo-lane.
- Rylai's proved to be very efficient against bruisers.
- Reworded a most chapters, and removed a few paragraphs that were not needed.
Expect a bigger update in a week or so, that will go into how to lane against a hard heroes, and strong roamer's and current flavours of the month. (Warwick etc.)
small note : Incoming Xerath guide (don't worry I haven't played Xerath below 1900 yet.)
pss: I won't make/release it until I hit 2,000+ again, but it will depend on how classes go.
July 9th 2012 12:47 AM:
Updated guide once again!
- Various options changed, main focus of the guide changed from jungle to solo-lane
- More rune options added, including one for laning against AP carries.
- Tips for playing against Dual/Triple AP added.
I'll be looking through the comments for heroes that are hard to play against as Malphite and test against them when I see them. I'll try to figure out a playstyle and build to counter them with a few friends and add it into the guide, so just post a comment if you're having trouble.
PS: July 2012 - My IGN was changed by a very troll friend to something else. If you really want to know what it is send me a PM on solomid.net (I check the forums constantly because it's my favourite place to post)
PSS: Xerath guide postponed due to changes, and possible guide on Gangplank coming if requested for the meta of July 2012. It works fairly well even after the nerfs to Gangplank.
PSSS: They removed queue dodging.. sadface.. :(
PS: Want a guide? If enough people want one I'll personally main a hero for a long while and write one ^^
February 23rd 2013 11:07am
Updated this guide for season 3 (FINALLY! I stopped being lazy!)
- A lot of changes due to the overall effectiveness of health stacking rather than resistance stacking in the new season 3 meta
- Item paths changed as a lot of items were removed from the game that were used in this guide ex: Heart of gold, force of nature.
PSS: I hit Diamond I already after only 40 games after the "leagues" system was introduced
April 24th 2013
- Added Renekton to lane matchups
Other guidesVote for next guide, post suggestions I'll add them to poll
I'm doing sejuani + Khaz jungle right now