How To Play Malphite In League Of Legends

As you get your rank higher in League of Legends, you’ll find yourself needing to play other roles apart from what you usually main. So if you find yourself getting autofilled into the Top Lane and your team needs a tank, Malphite can be a real lifesaver. Here’s how you can get started playing him.


Malphite is one of the best beginner champions you need to learn to help you get a better understanding of the game. Playing as Malphite, you’ll learn how to initiate team fights, peeling for your team, and just being your team’s overall front line. Despite being a solid tank, he does have some weaknesses especially when faced against heavy AP team comps. Nevertheless, his kit and play style offers enough wiggle room to work around his weaknesses.

Champion Abilities

One look at Malphite’s kit and you’ll see a few things stand out. First thing is that he has a lot of potential for crowd control. Next, almost all of his abilities have damaging effects. And lastly, his kit is obviously designed for a tank. 

Passive – Granite Shield

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

Malphite’s passive is pretty straightforward. It’s just a shield that can help you further soak some damage. It scales with your health too so it’ll get stronger as you build more tank items.

Q – Seismic Shard

Malphite launches a shard of earth at an enemy, dealing magic damage and slowing them by up to 40% for 3 seconds. Malphite also steals the amount slowed, gaining it as move speed for 3 seconds.

This is Malphite’s primary offensive ability used to poke your opponents. It has great scaling with ability power so it can deal a hefty amount of damage. It also slows them for a significant amount and gives him move speed to effectively stick to his target.

W – Thunderclap

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

Active: Malphite’s next attack deals additional physical damage and creates an aftershock that also deals physical damage in their direction. His attacks continue to create aftershocks for the next 6 seconds.

This ability has a ton of uses. First off, you get tankier just by leveling up Thunderclap. The next best thing about it is it kind of acts like a mini Titanic Hydra. It gives Malphite excellent wave clear and it makes every basic attack from him hurt a little more.

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.

Another ability that makes Malphite a very strong pick against AD champions. Most AD champions rely on their basic attacks to dish a huge part of their damage. Since Ground Slam reduces affected enemies’ attack speed, these AD champions will have some of their DPS negated. Not only that, it also deals decent damage and it has a good AP ratio making it good for further clearing minion waves.

R – Unstoppable Force

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

This is Malphite’s signature ability and why he’s such a good initiator. Unstoppable Force makes Malphite a very strong presence in team fights. One well timed ult can drastically change the tides and single handedly win a clash. 

Runes and Item Builds

When it comes to items, Malphite has his pick of both tank and AP items that can benefit his kit and play style. While Malphite can deal a lot of damage when building full ability power items, it makes him less effective as a tank. It essentially makes him a glass cannon. We think that Malphite is better utilized as a tank and this way he could be of more help to his teammates. With that being said, this guide will only focus on how Malphite is meant to be played as a tank.

Starting Items

For starting items, there are three different options you can choose from. If you’re against a champion who likes to duel and be aggressive early on, go with Corrupting Potion as it’ll help you trade and sustain as it’s the best starting item overall. If you’re unsure of what to get, you can’t go wrong with a Corrupting Potion start. If you’re against a ranged opponent and could use some early tank stats, you can go with Doran’s Shield. If you want to be aggressive and deal a little more damage, you can start with a Doran’s Ring for its ability power and mana regeneration.

Mythic Items

Since Malphite is a tank, all three tank Mythic items are technically viable on him. However, only two of them stand out and have proven to be effective on Malphite. The best Mythic for him is Sunfire Aegis. It gives him everything he needs from health, armor, and magic resist. Plus its passive also helps him deal additional DPS when near enemies. The second best choice is Frostfire Gauntlet. It has most of what Sunfire Aegis can give you but on a lesser scale. The main difference is that Frostfire Gauntlet has a spellblade passive that can be triggered whenever Malphite casts a spell. This passive creates a small area around your target that slows them for a significant amount. It’s pretty handy when you’re against a slippery champion like Yasuo or Irelia.

Full Build

For the most part, you’ll be building Malphite like a generic tank. After your Mythic, your next item should be Thornmail. This will help you trade with your lane opponent as it increases your DPS and makes you tankier. For boots, take Plated Steelcaps if against an AD opponent or Mercury Treads if against an AP heavy team comp. Next, go for a Frozen Heart for the armor and bonus mana. It also reduces damage taken and the attack speed of anyone who attacks you. Then build an Abyssal Mask next for Health, Magic Resist, and bonus damage whenever you immobilize an enemy champion. Feel free to swap out this item if you don’t need the magic resist. Finish off your build with Gargoyle Stoneplate for the active shield and its additional resistances. 


For runes, you’ll go with the Sorcery tree and take Arcane Comet as your keystone. This will synergize well with Seismic Shard and gives you additional damage when you trade with your opponent in the early game. Next take Manaflow Band for the mana regeneration, Transcendence for cooldown reduction, and Scorch for additional DPS. For your secondaries, go with the Inspiration tree and take Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic. Since Malphite is reliant on items to be tanky, he can be a bit easy to kill early on. Having these as your secondaries will ensure that you have enough sustain to break even or maybe get ahead during the laning phase. For rune shards,take double Adaptive Force and either Armor or Magic Resist depending on your matchup.

Useful Tips

  1. Malphite has very good CC and his ultimate is very scary during a team fight. Opponents will continually expect this from you so you can use that to your advantage and play some mind games on them.
  2. Malphite gets countered hard by other tanks who can outsustain him and deal more damage than him like Tahm Kench or Dr. Mundo. It’s best to ban these champions if you can or just play it safe when you happen to match up against them. 
  3. For your summoner spells, take Flash and Teleport. Ghost is another viable alternative to Teleport but you won’t really need it since you get a move speed buff from Seismic Shard.

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 guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!