IntroductionFor starters; If you want a super flip-mode jungler who is going to carry your team, this guide won’t help you achieve that. Malphite is an oldschool character that lacks a lot of the more recent "overpowered" spells that almost all new champs get ( dashes, jumping over walls or insane tanky-ness with the dps of jesus). However, if you’re looking for a fun tanky dps who laughs at towers and eats AD carrys, Malphite is a perfectly viable choice. As for my credentials, I am by no means a pro but I have always loved Malphite and with the new changes to the jungle I decided to give Malphite another go and was shocked at how useful he can be.
I play Malphite as a tanky dps assassin (I know what your saying “Assassin?! I want what your smoking!”). But with the right items, Malphite can stick on AD carrys and apply some serious hurt.
MasteriesI use 0-21-9
I shall explain why.
Resistance : Who doesn't need more magic resist, as my main build doesn't really have that much MR, this is a useful thing to plug the hole.
Hardiness : More armour means a safer jungle as you will have higher HP after taking less damage from creeps. Malphite’s also does more damage the more armour he has, so this talent gives more defense and more damage, niccce.
Tough Skin : Isn't too great, but with his passive means safer low level jungle and its a pre-requisite for bladed armor.
Durability : The more HP the better as it increases the benefit from the passive
Veteran's scars : See above.
Bladed Armor : 6 damage isn't much but combine it with and your an AOE monster in the jungle.
Initiator : Anything with move speed + means you can stick on carrys more efficiently and perform your role in group fights.
Honor Guard : Less damage for a tanky dps is always nice.
Juggernaut : More HP again improves malphites passive .
Summoner's Insight : Isn't the best but there's not much else to choose from here, I have had SO many games where I haven't taken it and had my flash with less than 15 seconds left on the cooldown and I kick my self for not having it, it can save your life or get you that much needed gank.
Expanded Mind : Again not much to choose from here, more mana is always useful for low level.
Swiftness : This combined with Initiator and means your one fast rock!
Runic Affinity : I take this because early level jungle is significantly slower without blue buff and this reduces the amount of time spent without it, thus increasing your jungle ability. Additionally, Red buff also aids Malphite’s carry killing potential and this is also benefited by this mastery.
Summoner SpellsI feel i shouldn't need to explain much here.
Useful for everything, escaping and ganking and when used correctly in combination with it can catch people off guard.
Since I don’t buy Wriggles, getting Smite is not optional. It also help massively with securing (or stealing) dragon, baron or buffs.
RunesThe runes suggested in this guide give 34 Armour and 24.3 Magic resist ( at level 18 ). I feel that for Malphite not much more than this is required, the armour stacking gives you great low level jungle power, harder to kill by mobs and and increase in damage dealt by , also helps if you tower dive at low level.
With the armour runes + you start with 44 armour, combine that with and and you can AOE the jungle down no problem, also with and 44 armour, you never need to B in jungle and i mean never, you can stay in jungle all day and only B to get items.
Skill OrderI am not a big fan of rigid skill orders, as it really depends on how the game is going. However always primary
In a perfect game I like to max next as it gives you the most out of your runes and by the time your maxing your second skill, you should have bought so once you catch them they shouldn't get away.
At level 3 I sometimes get over a second point in , I only do this when I am going to attempt an immediate gank on a pushed lane which requires assistance.
Item BuildsStart with a , this gives you everything that is needed, Armour, Hp and a little HP/5 regen. It stacks well with runes and masteries, sell this item when you need your sixth slot.
You can easily stay in the jungle until you get 1175 gold (even without ganks), Once you achieve this you should do your first B, picking up a and a . If you do attempt a gank at low level and are forced to take a B but don't have the gold for both items, then prioritise the You should get the heart of gold by the 5-8 min mark.
After the first B you should have picked up your first two items and if you have the gold get a health pot or two, you don't need them for the jungle but if you do a gank or a fight kicks off, you can use the pot and carry on farming the jungle mobs!
with at max level is a mega attack speed debuff and I mean mega, Since AD characters are powerful in the current meta it’s a really great counter item. Overall its too sick not to get, get this item every game, also the armour on it is awesome. Basically, this item does everything for . More attack speed debuff and armour for damage! Oh yeah, and cooldown! If you play Malphite with out this item, you must be on crack
this item is really nice, It gives your auto attack a snare and it provides a large bonus to HP, making your give a larger shield, It also gives you a little AD which works well with meaning if they don't attack you, u are doing damage. Frozen Mallet is the only big HP item I get ( since is just too costly and provides no AD).
Since the current meta is that teams damage consists of 3AD and 1AP, my normal build looks like this
This core build makes you nice and tanky, and if left alone you can do some really nice damage to non-tanks (aka AD carrys) all items are useful here combining with and .
Its kind of rare to find AP mid and AP top (in non team games) but if you run in to it you will need to change your build up, for these heavy AP teams i like to get.
There isn't much armour here, but if your playing right, the enemy AD carry shouldn't be using auto attacks on you, because you should be all over him, forcing them to spend precious time attempting a futile escape. These items give you nice damage and all the AoE magic damage should be mitigated thanks to a nice big MR, I would still suggest getting the on your first B but selling it mid / late game.
Super fed Build
Its rare you get this build, but if you do, prepare for Carry Malphite!
Again all items synergise well, works well with (gives more AD for the proc) if u get these items early into the game you can carry any team.
JunglingWith the new jungle, Malphite does it very well, no HP pots are required and you can stay in the jungle all day long farming the golems, wraths and wolfs. Malphite is very weak at dragon control which means you rely on bottom lane keeping a ward at dragon. Once you see the enemy jungler heading to dragon or attempting it, get over there to steal using Smite or disturb him. I don't get on Malphite as I feel it’s a waste of gold (Since you easily AoE the jungle down, which mitigates the utility provided by the Wriggles proc). Top lane pretty much always get anyway, so you’re fine with Baron, just don't be lazy and try and always have one on you at all times.
Even without HP pots Malphite can resist enemy junglers attempting to counter you. Malphite’s passive is invaluable and if you really get into trouble use to steal speed and run away. At low level with and and your 44 armour you can stand toe-to-toe with all AD junglers and stay alive long enough for the mid / top / bot to come and help pick up the kill (make sure to ping and hope they are paying attention).
Starting the jungle
I use a fairly standard route and the best thing about it is he doesn't need a leash (thats right no leashes needed and zero HP pots, what a boss you are Malphite!)
I start by doing Wolves > Blue > Wraths > Wolves > Red > double Golems > Wraths > Wolves > double Golems then just farm the 3 packs as there should always be a camp re-spawning for you to kill. Gank if you see an opening such as an enemy pushing there lane, if not just sit in that jungle and farm the first two items (Heart of Gold and Boots). You also don't need to wait for when you go from camp to camp, but if you feel they are going to try and counter jungle you then play it safe and wait for the shield.
The blue buff!
Having blue at level 1 makes life SO much easier! It gives you the ability to spam abilities to farm jungle fast, but people will try and counter jungle you and steal it. If you do lose your blue at level 1, do red instead. Do Red > Wraths > Wolves ( You do Wolves as your 3rd pack just in case they were really mean and stole them as well, if you do them on your 3rd pack they will have re spawned by the time you get there ) > double Golems ( don't use your on the double Golems ), take a B, buy and a ( make sure you get at lvl 3 ) it should be around 3:40-3:50 mark on the timer now, after that its time to counter jungle them. When the enemy steals your blue they put them self's behind, they will not be ahead of you on levels nor have red and your going in to there jungle with red + + they are not escaping you if you find them. Make sure to save your do not use it on the double golems before you B, you will need it as you will most probably find them at there blue or red at this time ( make a educated guess here / ask your support to save his CV for the 3:50 mark to see if there red / blue is still up )
You can give away your 2nd blue if your mid really needs it just don't spam so much, + bladed armour = who needs to cast spells to aoe stuff.
GankingTime to talk about ganking, on paper Malphite isn't the best ganker, he has 1 hard CC ( which is his ulti! ) and he is melee but after playing him I found his ganking potential is very high and very different from most gankers, its not the fact he has high damage or CC, its his armour. Starting with + + runes and mastery's gives you 95 armour at level 3 and that there is his power at his ganking, you can tower dive like no-one else, you let your laner do the damage, you’re just there to soak the tower damage up as your team mate kills the person under his own tower, use if needed to escape the turret damage after you have scored the kill.
For a level 3 gank do Wolves > Blue > Wraths > Wolves then gank, making sure u get 1 point in ( If you’re going to do this make sure you wait for after every pack, as you will need all the HP you can ) or you can do red after the 2nd wolfs for a level 4 gank, I would suggest the level 4 gank as with red it is a lot stronger, but some times people need ganks ASAP, doing this you will be ganking the lane with about 700 HP and an extra 95 from .
Malphite fears no tower!
Team fightsAs Malphite your not really a tank, you have 1 hard CC which is your ulti and its on a big enough cooldown to be once every team fight, so the best way to play him is a tanky dps assassin, your job is to kill the enemy AD carry or pressure them enough to stop them applying decent DPS and there are many ways to do it. Don't just get horny and that carry to try and one shot him, using straight off the bat is an obvious play and the AD carry might see it coming and flash away, wasting your ulti. If you can get over to him without wasting your ulti its perfect. As you get into close proximity with the enemy carry they should be nervous (you are a godly one-shotting AD assassin Malphite after-all), I find this often results in them using flash to keep some distance, which leaves you with an assessment to make.
a. If the flash was too defensive then the enemy carry has already severely lowered their DPS and you may use your to turn back around and assist your own squishies by knocking up the opposing team’s front line.
b. The enemy AD flashes intelligently and may rejoin combat quickly. You may use your own flash to close the distance once more, which still leaves your available to hit multiple targets back in the fight.
In essence don’t waste in the first seconds of a fight unless you can use it to setup a nice AoE chain to drop multiple targets with help from additional AoE ultimates from the rest of your team.
Final CommentsI made this guide because Malphite is free this week and I really enjoy him, so I thought I’d share how I play him and hopefully this will help other people play him better.
Malphite is a very fun jungler he is also fun in team fights. He is a old character so as you can guess he is lacking some "OP" skills. When playing him you will facepalm... alot when the enemy players dash away, jumps over a wall or simply their life steal will out heal your damage.
I play him as a tanky dps, assassin debuffer ( a mouth full I know! ).
By using Ground slam with Frozenheart your packing a 70% attack speed debuff, making people like Vayne kinda useless and you can’t complain with that. His power to tank towers is only outperformed by Rammus. The major difference is that people don't expect Malphite to do it.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this guide and I hope it helps people enjoy the character as much as i do.