Malphite - The Annoying Rock - by Perfection Lost

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This guide outlines my early use of Malphite. It is broken down into these sections:

  1. Skill Analysis
  2. Summoner Spells
  3. Masteries/Runes
  4. Items
  5. Play Style

1. Skill Analysis

Below is an outline of Malphite's skills, with some inline comments:

A New Champion Approaches: Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith
  • NOTE: Malphite currently has placeholder icons.
  • Ground Slam - Malphite slams the ground sending out a shockwave that deals damage based on his armor and reduces the attack speed of enemies for 4 seconds. 
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    Comments: Maximizing this skill is the focus of this build. It is a great farm skill, and great for applying team preasure to grouped up enemies. Since this skill is powered by armor, maximizing its use lets up build a great physical damage tank.
  • Seismic Shard - Using his primal elemental magic, Malphite sends a shard of earth through the ground at his foe, dealing damage and stealing movement speed for 6 seconds. 

    Comments: While this skill is AP powered in terms of damage, the movement speed/slow is invaluable. Maximize this skill first.
  • Brutal Strikes - Active: Malphite's damage is increased by a large %. Passive: Malphite's attacks deal damage to units around his target. 

    Comment: Since this is not a damage build, the AOE passive damage is not substantial. That is not the main focus of this build that is not much of an issue. However, the active boost to direct damage can give that extra oomph in a fight.
  • UltimateUnstoppable Force - Malphite ferociously charges to a location, damage enemies and knocking them into the air when he reaches that location. 

    Comments: This skill is money. While this buidl is not an AP build, this skill still serves as an excelent initiator, and combos nicely with Ground Slam. See the play style section for more.
  • PassiveGranite Shield - Malphite summons a shield of rock that absorbs 10% of his maximum health. If Malphite has not been hit, this effect will recharge after 10 seconds. 

    Comments: This skill is decent. Malphite is a little squish for a tank, and this skill helps him buff up a bit. Early game it lets you harass a bit more. Late game if you get good stacked HP it can soak a weak spell letting you live longer. One of the best uses of this skill, is that it allows you to look deceptively weak. This lets you be good bait.

2) Summoner Spells


IMHO this skill is a must. It lets you shop with out any downtime, letting you XP more.


WIth the recent nerf of Clarivoyance, Blink is now a better choice on most heros. It is both an escape, and a chase.

3) Masteries/Runes:

Personally I find the Masteries/Runes system a little annoying. I am typically spec'd 0/7/23, as this is all around good every hero. For utility I spec up to Inteligence. With defence I get resistence/strength of spirit. With these specs you have light energy and health regen, which is a good enough boost in the early game, as well as a little extra speed, which every hero needs.

As for runes, I hate rune farming. I have a 3 basic pages with a random assortment of runes. One is focusted on attack damage, one is focused on spell damage, and one is focused on defence. I bet your book is similar. Use your defence runes.

4) It's All About the Items

My typical item build is like this:

Regrowth Pendant (the recommended one on the left)
Boots of Swiftness (rank 3 sm)
Soul Fire Cape
Soul Fire Cape / Force of Nature
Force of Nature / Soul Fire Cape (Whichever you did not take above)

If you can farm straight for the Soul Fire Cape, do it. It makes farming so much easier. If you have to leave your lane (for shame, you fail) get the boots and the armor first.

Why do you want Soul Fire Capes so bad? And why do you want so many of them? Because they increase your AOE damage with Ground Slam, give you HP and Armor. This is everything you need with this hero. Having two is even better. Hit a wave of creeps once or twice, then ground slam and you eat the whole wave. Hell, fight around the enemy and you will accidentally eat the whole wave.

The force of nature is ther for the magic resistence, and increased movement speed. Even if the other team does not have a lot casters, it is nice for the regen and movement speed alone.

5) A Player's Player Style

Early Game (lvl 1-3): 

Lane with another player. You are not a cary, so don't pretend you are one. 

Use Seismic Shard to harass the enemy. Make sure your ally takes advantage of the slow. This is the only point in the game where Seismic Shard is decent damage, so make sure you take advantage of that. 

Your passive lets you tank a hit or two for free, so you can be a little agressive, and then back up as it recharges for 10 seconds. That said, you are also somewhat squishy early.

Last hit. You hit hard early (around 80), and have a fairly quick attack animation.

Mid Game (lvl 3+ until a tower gets pushed):

Stop spaming Seismic Shard. You don't have the energy management to maintain it, and it is no longer good damage. This is where you begin to rely on your ally some. If someone charges you, hit them a couple times, then lay a sesmic shard on them. Then hit them some more. You still hit hard at this point, so you can net a kill this way, or atleast send someone back to base.

Try to save some mana up for when you hit 6, so that you can do a spike with casting all 3 of your spells (Q, W, and R).

Late Game:

Late game you should be doing one of two things:

1) Farm with your Soul Fire capes, and Ground Slam. Its easy. You can eat 2 waves quick, and then rejoin your team elsewhere.

2) Team Fight. Team Fight whenever your ult is up. Team fight when your ult is not up. You are a tank, and you will be getting kills because of your teamates, and by applying team preasure with ground slam.

There are 2 main ways you should be teamfighting:
  1. 2+ enemies are grouped up. Initiate with your ult. Follow with ground slam. Hit the weak one Seismic Shard as he tries to run. Because of your Ground Slam/Soul Fire Cape combo any creeps around the enemy should be dead. Everyone who was stuck around you should be hurt (and continue to hurt). To boot, they attack slower because of the ground slam. You are in a good place.
  2. You have no ult, or the enemy is not grouped up. That's fine! Find someone who looks squishy w/ your team. They are probably in back, so you might have to ambush them from some reeds. Hit them withSeismic Shard, and then ground slam them. You probably just did half their life in damage. They are feeling nervous and running, and your teammates finish him off. Or maybe you land one of those heavy hits, because you activated your passive. In an ideal situation, the enemy will now group up so that you can do #1.
Closing Comments:

This hero has great staying power. While he is not a HUGE threat, you do continuous AOE damage. This means ignoring you in a long fight is very dangerous. You will do just about as well in a 3v1 as a 1v1. Which means you will actually do well with teammates.

There is potential for adding a frost mallet to this hero. I'm not sure that it is completely necessary though. You can catch, and slow a hero initially. Your teammates should be able to do the rest. Maybe I put a lot of faith in teamwork, but sometimes its best to fill your roll: Initiate, Tank, and AOE.

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Season One launched

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