How To Play Malphite In League Of Legends

Looking for a Tank that never goes out of style? Do you want to play a champion that can bring both insane crowd control and massive burst damage? Well, have we got the champion for you! In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith.


One of the most iconic champions in League of Legends is Malphite. He is best known for the insane crowd control he provides while being durable enough to soak damage and peel for his team. Although he can easily slot into being a mage since his ability power scaling is pretty good, we find that his best role is that of a Tank. He is just too good at his job to be reduced to a glass cannon burst mage. But, we must admit that this versatility in terms of build path is one of the best things about this champion. So what exactly makes Malphite a strong pick?


Malphite’s kit is all about crowd control, AoE damage, and increased durability. He has very simplistic abilities that any beginner can pick him up and play him well without learning deeper knowledge about his abilities.

Passive – Granite Shield

Malphite is shielded by a layer of rock which absorbs damage up to [+10% max]. If Malphite has not been hit for 10 seconds, this effect recharges.

You can be forgiven for overlooking Malphite’s passive ability. Granite Shield, quite literally, gives you a shield which can let you soak up more damage. This is great for trading with your opponent and also gives you a bit of sustain. Try to make the most out of this shield by playing aggressive when you have it up.

Q – Seismic Shard

Deals magic damage and steals Movement Speed from the target for 3 seconds.

Seismic Shard is your primary damaging ability. You’ll mostly be using it to poke your targets in lane. It’s pretty high on mana usage so try to use it wisely early on. You can also slow your target using this ability which will make it easier for you to catch up to them or to get away from them.

W – Thunderclap

Passive: Malphite’s armor is increased. This effect is tripled while Granite Shield is active.

Active: Malphite’s basic attacks create aftershocks for the next 5 seconds, dealing physical damage in a cone. His first attack after activating Thunderclap deals increased physical damage to his target.

Thunderclap is a great ability mostly because of its active. When used, you essentially have the passive of Titanic Hydra on your basic attacks. You can easily clear waves this way and it’s pretty cost efficient in terms of mana usage. It’s passive, on the other hand, is also really good. It increases your armor and its effect is tripled when Granite Shield is active so you’ll really be tanky when your passive is up. 

E – Ground Slam

Malphite slams the ground dealing magic damage to surrounding enemies, reducing their Attack Speed for 3 seconds. This ability gains damage equal to some of Malphite’s armor.

Ground Slam is a pretty basic ability. Malphite slams the ground and damages surrounding enemies. The attack speed reduction is only a bonus. Use this whenever you trade with an enemy. You can also use it to help you clear minion waves.

R – Unstoppable Force

Malphite charges to the target area. Upon his arrival he deals magic damage to nearby enemies and knocks them into the air for 1.5 seconds.

When you use Malphite’s ultimate, you will indeed feel like an Unstoppable Force. This is a great ability and what Malphite is best known for. You can use this to set up kills when engaging the enemy. It is best used to combo with your team’s other abilities like Yasuo’s ultimate. This ability has a short cooldown when maxed out so you’ll be using it often in the late game. When you build Malphite as a mage, this ability deals so much damage that you can easily one shot the enemy team’s carries.

Runes and Item Builds

We’ve mentioned at the start of this guide that we’ll be focusing on playing Malphite as a tank. So for your items, you should prioritize mostly on increasing his durability. You also need to buy items to increase his sustain in lane since his mana usage can be pretty high.

Starting Items

For your starting items, you have two options. The go to choice would be to buy Corrupting Potion. This will increase your sustain in the early game and let you keep up with your opponent when they try to trade aggressively. If you feel like you won’t need the sustain or are against a ranged opponent, then go for Doran’s Shield instead. It is a good tank item that gives Malphite the stats he needs to survive and make it out of the laning phase.

Mythic Item

For your Mythic item, you have three choices. In our opinion, the best option is Frostfire Gauntlet. Simply put, this item gives you everything you need plus it increases your dueling power thanks to Snowbind, which lets your attacks create a frost field that slows and deals damage to enemies inside it. The next best choice is the go to item for all tanks, Sunfire Aegis. It gives a little bit more than what Frostfire Gauntlet gives in terms of stats but its immolate passive is way stronger. The last option is Evenshroud. This has the least amount of stat increase from the other items but works great when you can immobilize enemy targets.

Full Build

Right after purchasing your Mythic item, you must upgrade your boots. The standard for Tanks is Plated Steelcaps but you can swap it out for Mercury’s Treads if the need arises. Next, go for Winter’s Approach for the health and incredible mana sustain this item gives. Afterwards, buy a Thornmail  for the armor, health, and return damage. Next up is a Force of Nature to help you against mages. And finally, top off your build with Gargoyle Stoneplate which gives you armor and magic resist while having an active shield that essentially acts like a second life bar.

Other Viable Items

While the full build we’ve shown above is generally considered the standard for Malphite, it is not set in stone. There are plenty of other items that you can purchase depending on your preference or what your situation currently needs. Items like Dead Man’s Plate, Spirit Visage, Warmog’s Armor, Randuin’s Omen, and Frozen Heart are all good items to have especially if you want to be extra tanky. Try to mix and match these item sets to see what works best for you. Doing so will help you develop a better understanding of the game’s deeper mechanics.


For your runes, go with the Sorcery tree and take Arcane Comet as your keystone. This will increase your poke in lane especially when you use Seismic Shard. Next, take Manaflow Band for the mana sustain, Transcendence for the ability haste, and Scorch for the burn effect on your abilities. For secondaries, take Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic from the Inspiration tree. These runes will further increase your sustain in the early game. For rune shards, take double Adaptive Force and Armor

Useful Tips

  1. Some of Malphite’s abilities might scale with Armor. Despite this being the case, don’t hesitate to go for Magic Resist items when the situation calls for it. 
  2. Malphite is generally strong against champions he matches up against. Some of his biggest counters are Mordekaiser, Illaoi, Sylas, Renekton, and Sion. These champions can hinder his efficiency so when you match up against them, it’s better to play it safe than have them snowball and get a lead.
  3. For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport. Flash gives you more utility in the form of a blink, while Teleport lets you have more presence around the map.

So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Malphite in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!