Version 2.4 – 3/11/2011
Also posted on LeagueDB
II. THE IMAGINARY ‘THREAT METER’ AND ‘TANKING’ WITH THE MASTER
VI. SUMMONER SPELLS
VII. THE ITEM BUILD
VIII. ITEMS TO AVOID (OR HIGHLY SITUATIONAL)
X. CLOSING NOTES
- Thanks for Reading!
I've seen many guides posted about Mordekaiser, and some of them good, and many of them awful. We all start at different skill levels, and have various levels of understanding of the game and its mechanics, but the one thing missing from many of these guides is flexibility. These are constantly plagued by individuals who claim one item is 'terribad', and there's only ONE way to build him...
Well, in my humble opinion, that's where you've already failed. There is no one way to build Mordekaiser. I stand by a firm belief that Mordekaiser is perfectly suited to build in to a range of items, and should be built specifically to counter the enemy team. When the matchmaker gives you lemons, Mordekaiser is the chainsaw that tears them in to pulp. However, sometimes matchmaking gives you concrete, and that’s when Mordekaiser has to be a ****ing jackhammer.
Mordekaiser's early game isn't nearly as powerful as it was in the early game. However his general style of gameplay has not particularly changed, but he is significantly easier to kill early in the game, and one should have a healthy fear of that . The point still stands that later on, you can absorb impressive amounts of damage if you're building and playing properly.
That said, I'll try to make this as painless as possible (though it is long, I apologize), so your Mordekaiser can be as painful as possible. This is my greatest understanding and opinion of Mordekaiser in words; take it with a grain of salt.
II. THE IMAGINARY ‘THREAT METER’ AND ‘TANKING’ WITH THE MASTER
I want to point out first and foremost that Mordekaiser suffers from a lack of taunts or stuns to force a response from an enemy team. In that regard, he is not an effective tank. On the other hand, he can absorb enormous amounts of damage thanks to his constantly regenerating shield. That being said, it is advantageous for Mordekaiser to play in such a way that he directs fire to himself through tactics and item choices in order to save his squishier allies from that same damage.
This is why the title of this guide is ‘Fueled by Internet Rage’.
Annoy your enemies, play aggressively, take risks, but don’t be stupid. Make your enemies believe they have the advantage, and then squash them for it. You can’t hit a button like Rammus, Shen, or Galio and take your threat meter from 0 to 100 without your enemy even realizing it. You have to build this ‘meter’ slowly over time and enrage your enemies in to thinking they MUST kill you. It’s YOUR fault they are losing every teamfight. BURN HIM DOWN!!!
…but you’re made of metal, and burning you down is nigh impossible. Rest assured you’re not made of wood, you won’t float in water, you weigh far more than a duck, and therefore you’re not a witch.
- Marks: Magic Penetration
- Seals: Flat HP
- Glyphs: Flat CDR
- Quintessences: Flat HP
Magic Penetration should be self explanatory. More damage = Greater ‘Threat Meter’ = More shield = More time alive = More kills = More downed towers = More downed Inhibitors = More wins. Get it? Don’t forget. I'll use this equation a lot.
Why so much Flat HP? Mordekaiser shouldn't be stacking HP, he's got his shield!
You're absolutely right... but let's face it. From levels 1-4 or 5... he's fairly squishy. His shield is nuked off in one or two auto-attacks, and his base health pool isn't anything worth shaking a stick at. This reservoir will keep you chugging along through those early levels, making sure that pedophile playing Annie doesn't put much of a dent in your life force early on.
Flat CDR is the same logic as Magic Penetration. More spamming = More damage = More shield... yea.
Other runes that will work: Magic Resistance Seals... that's about the only thing I could consider changing. Perhaps Health Regeneration Seals or Dodge Seals. If you feel really confident about your early game, Movespeed Quints may not be horrible per say, but I'd hate to sacrifice the HP.
I've tried 9/21/0 and 9/0/21. They both work, but I've grown to love the latter. Starting off the game with 9% CDR + Runes is the best thing since The (original) Man Show.... alright, not that good, but it's great. Obviously you should have the 15% Magic Penetration, as well as the Move speed... the rest I leave up to you, but you'll quickly realize your choices are limited as you have NO mana... please don't forget that.
Q: Mace of Spades
W: Creeping Death
E: Siphon of Destruction
R: Children of the Grave
See recent patch change notes below
This is how I roll. Love it, hate it… I’ve tried them all, and I’ve settled on this as my most effective skill build. I’ll grab one point in Q at level 8, but won’t touch it again until the rest are maxed. This build maximizes shield generation and farming potential early on. With Creeping Death spinning about you and standing in the middle of a creep wave (where you should always be), there isn’t much for harassment that is going to touch your health bar. W and E are also fantastic harassment skills. It’s amusing to watch a melee champion try to take out one of the Siege minions while getting ripped apart by your W… then when they’ve had enough of the tearing, the tower steals their kill.
It's come to my attention that all of Mordekaiser's skills are roughly on par with one another. However, Creeping Death is still a priority as it maintains shield through farming. I have noticed that Mace of Spades' short cooldown and burst potential may be more effective early-game for generating shield. In this regard, you may want to prioritize Q over E when following the skill order above given your situation. Depending on the enemy, you may have more effective harass with Q over E, but not always.
VI. SUMMONER SPELLS
Though for most Mordekaiser players, I think this selection is fairly static, I decided to create the section anyway.
Ghost and Ignite is all I use, all the time.
Ghost: Because it's going to serve as your only escape/chase move, and prove invaluable more times than none.
Ignite: Because it will ensure your ultimate will land a kill 90% of the time.
The only other spell I've seen discussed is exhaust. It has it's merit as a great CC tool, but it's greatest weakness is in the escape mechanic should you need one. Exhaust will only cripple a single target, while Ghost allows you to outrun the entire team. The same thing with chasing should you favor Rylai's Crystal Scepter (discussed later), as you can catch up to and slow the entire team.
VII. THE ITEM BUILD
I know you skipped to here to make sure I knew what the hell I was talking about. You're not such a sly dog after all...
This is where most of the discrepancies lie, and this is where many players, new and experienced, become the most... irritable. The first thing I'm going to do, is lay out your choices... there are more than six. WTF!? There are only 6 Item slots!!!oneleven1!!11! My god. You are observant. Remember when I said this guide was about Flexibility? Ohhh right... you skipped to this section. Move along then, nothing to see here.
The key stats you’re looking out for are: MPen, CDR, Armor, and MR, with a side of HP and CC. If the item doesn’t have these stats, ignore it. It’s not going to help you help your enemies masticate on more metal, and therefore they won’t be more inclined to (attempt to) destroy you.
It should be noted that MR and Armor do have an effect on your shield, and this is why they are such important stats.
For opening, I stick to Rejuv Bead +6 HP pots, as it's a fast track to Warden's Mail. In addition, the 6 HP pots is basically another 1200 HP on demand, and your abilities, sustainability, etc. are all fueled off of HP... I'm pretty well convinced at this point that there is no better starting setup, especially since the Doran's changes.
ITEMS TO CONSIDER:
Items to keep under consideration for each game:
Sorcerer’s Shoes: 75% of the time, these are the boots I grab. Most of your damage is magic damage, with decent AP ratios. MPen is the best way to boost your overall damage output. More damage makes you less prone to be ignored.
Mercury’s Treads: 25% of the time, when there is heavy Silence/Stun. Silence and Stun will completely shut down shield generation unless you pull off a Creeping Death before hand. Slows and Snares are less worrisome, because you can still spam abilities.
Randuin’s Omen: Amazing item. It has everything Mordekaiser could ever need, minus MR/MPen, in one neat little anti-physical package. AoE CC, on-hit CC, Health, CDR, chunk of Armor. It’s gorgeous. I like to use this against physical DPS/nukes that have weak escape mechanisms and punish them for choosing me in the first place. Twitch, Pantheon, Ashe… etc. It also builds from Warden's Mail - a fantastic early game HP regeneration item, and with it's on-hit debuff, can often result in a few narrow escapes.
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter: This is the one exception to my ‘Flexibility’ rule. Mordekaiser has no CC – both of this compensates for that. Rylai’s slows everyone you hit (15%), and the poor ******* with your ultimate over his head, whom your team will home in on like a hive of angry bees when you're face-checking your bush for easter eggs. This is an insanely powerful item on Mordekaiser early game, and I highly recommend getting it as a first, high-tier complete item.
Abyssal Scepter: MR, MR Reduction Aura, and AP. OK, the AP isn’t great for our Metallic Master of Mayhem, but the MR and Aura are fantastic. You’ll give your team (if heavy on magic damage) a huge boost in damage. I’ve watched teamfights go from close losses, to decisive victories just from the inclusion of this one item.
Quicksilver Sash: You know what has two metal thumbs and hates being silenced or stunned for extended periods of time? Mordekaiser. You know how to make a WW or Malzahar wonder how the hell you just ignored their ultimate and destroyed them for it? This item. It's a free, old-school Cleanse backed by some MR, and it's incredibly cheap.
Lichbane: A great way to say "I'm already winning, and now I'm going to do it faster". Once you have secured some AP in Abyssal and Rylai's, this will provide a whopping 230 damage boost to your Mace of Spades, or other melee attacks every couple of seconds. Great for helping to rip down towers a bit faster, and god forbid you catch someone alone in the forest while you're fed on the fear and anguish of your enemies.
Aegis of the Legion: Helps you, helps your allies, helps your minions. What’s not to like? It has everything you can use. MR, Armor, a team boost to damage for pushing, and a dash of HP. The aura increases your fictional ‘Threat Meter’ as well, because as long as you’re alive, your team is also harder to kill and deals slightly more damage. It's not for every game, but sometimes you need to do a little more to help your team survive the fight... since you're such a powerful farmer, I'm sure you can fit this in to your inventory.
Spirit Visage: You don't buy this item for the 20% boost to healing/regen passive. That’s not why it’s good. It’s cheap, gives MR, a little HP, and CDR to help your spamming. More spamming = More shield= More damage = Greater ‘Threat Meter’… you get the drill.
That pretty much sums them all up. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to post them with your reasoning as to why.
Mordekaiser is a pseudo-tank. He's tank-y (he can absorb damage), but has no taunts, slows, or stuns to force a fight when he wants to fight. Thus you need to compensate for this and give yourself reasons to be attacked. Rylai's, Aegis of the Legion, Abyssal Scepter, Randuin's Omen. These are all reasons that give the enemy team incentive to tear you down, because you're a walking buff to your team, or a walking plague to them (or both). Once again, you’re focusing on building up that ‘Threat Meter’ over the course of the game.
I’m not going to sit here and give you a cookie cutter build that will work for every game. It shouldn’t be that way. I’ve given you my item selection and reasons as to when and why I use each one. Analyze your enemy, and choose accordingly. Use your BRAIN!!! If the enemy team is all magic damage, don’t buy Sunfire Capes and Randuin’s Omen! That’s like spraying degreaser all over your buddy because he’s got a mosquito on his face. It just doesn’t make sense (as funny as it may be to watch your (ex) friend freak out because you just hosed him down with degreaser). Remain FLEXIBLE!
What I will tell you is this. Focus on buying the pieces of items that well help you out right then and there. Laning against Pantheon? Pick up the Chain Vest on your first trip back. However maybe Pantheon switched lanes with Morgana – so on your next trip you pick up a Negatron Cloak and a Giant’s Belt or Regrowth Pendant, because here and now, there’s no point to finishing that Warden’s Mail. Round out your defenses as you need them, they are all key pieces to your item goals, and there’s no reason to wait to get necessary stats just to complete an item.
As a suggestion, but by no means law, my average build order is the following:
- Bead + 6 HPots
- Warden's Mail + Boots 1
- Wards + HP pots
- Giant's Belt + Sorc Shoes
- Wards + HP pots
- Negatron Cloak + Rylai's
- Wards + HP pots
- Randuin's Omen
- Wards + HP pots
- Abyssal Scepter
- Wards + HP pots
- Situational Item
- Situational Item
I repeat, this is NOT LAW. Do not follow this to a T. Sometimes, you NEED an early negatron cloak, don't neglect that. NOTE THE WARDS AND HPOTS. You are, hands down, one of the best farmers in the game. Use the extra income to help give your team map control. Wards, oracles, and Hpots should be on you at all times. You can lose the HP pots when you only have one item slot left...
VIII. ITEMS TO AVOID (OR HIGHLY SITUATIONAL)
Below is a list of what to generally avoid, and why, in addition to when it may be acceptable to use them.
Force of Nature: If you rush this item first, I will track you down, commit arson on your home, and sell your first born child to a sweat shop in Indonesia. It is a late game item, with late game benefits. DO NOT FINISH IT FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, EVEN FOURTH. STOP IT! Huge MR, Huge Regen, and a respectable movement speed boost. Many will say ‘Regen won’t keep you alive’. Perhaps, but regen will keep you fighting after the fight is over, so you can keep farming so well, you big, shiny, metallic, sexy beast, you. Plus, it’s the largest chunk of MR in a single slot, and since you’re spending so much time farming, each slot is fillable with something AWESOME! This is my go-to when I’m facing heavy magic damage teams, and it’s snagged even sooner when there is heavy magic damage poking. Galio, Morgana, Ezrael, for example, are great at repeatedly ***** slapping you for getting near minions. We can’t have that. Besides those particular situations, if I want MR, I want some damage along with it. Abyssal Scepter and Spirit Visage combined will give better stats, more damage, and subsequently more shield. I understand there are many reason to have this item, however there are many more reasons not to.
Thornmail. This discourages people from attacking you. The only time I get this is later in the game when they've already committed to focusing me, and I want to toss them a curveball. This is only good against heavy physical dps like Twitch, Yi, Tryndamere, and Ashe that have NOT built ANY survivability. Why not give the match to the paper to burn itself? You have better things to do with your time. Like Sudoku… or falling asleep to an episode of Bob Ross.
Banshee's Veil. Again, why bother wasting a spell on something that's going to eat it, then force me to eat through a shield too? Not to mention, you're paying for mana you don't have. It's generally a cost effective item despite the mana, but for MR, I'd rather have Abyssal. There are always excessive CC situations where you may need this, but again QSS will often do that better.
Guardian Angel. It has it's uses at times, and a good purchase if you've racked up Legendary status and don't want to give the enemy team 1000g should they decide to take you down all together, because you’ve beaten them in to submission, stolen their wives or husbands or partners, and filled them with so much malice and hate, Lucifer himself would be proud. Other than that, why kill something that isn't going to die?
Warmog's. A rush to this means they are rushing to Madred's Bloodrazor (or otherwise %HP based attacks), which will help them tear down your shield and start eating in to the big stick of butter you've turned yourself in to... after they've killed your whole team, because you're a big stick of butter, and they want a topping for the team they’ve smashed in to mashed potatoes. Again, no reason to attack you other than you being the last one standing, and you call yourself a tank? You're nerfing everything about you by building this item, avoid it entirely.
Anything that adds Mana. You have none, why pay for something you don’t have? That’s like paying for gasoline when you don’t have a car. Unless you have something to burn… don’t mind the bodies in the backyard. Move along please. Now that his AP ratios have been buffed, etc. Lichbane is the one exception to this rule. Also, in extenuating circumstances, so is Banshee's Veil. Veigar and Blitzcrank will have their way with your metal ass without them.
IX. LANING STRATEGY
Mordekaiser does fantastic in a lane, no matter where you put him. As a result, he is a fantastic addition to almost any team composition - but don't put him in a lane against another creep whoring farmer - and don't choose him if your team has 0 CC. Morde needs to farm creeps, or family die.... if he had a family. My guess is he has them preserved in a Shrine of Metal somewhere...
I prefer Mordekaiser best in a 2v1 lane. However, he does wonderful in solo middle, as well as protecting a weak-farming lane partner. I'll discuss each in due time.
Requires further testing to reevaluate solo middle viability.
One of the best places to stick this meat grinder of pure polished steel. The strategy is simple. Be aggressive. Hit the enemy with Siphon whenever possible. For this particular position, I will often prioritize Siphon over Creeping Death, specifically for the harassment. Keep your shield up to absorb any counter harassment, but be careful. Back off if your skills are on CD and you have no shield, then come back and hit them again. You want them to play your game - don't tuck tail and run every time you get hit.
Skilling order in this lane should be typical, R>W>E>Q. If by chance you're facing a melee opponent, you may want Q over E. Use your best judgment of how you can get the most effective harass.
Your goal is to push them right up to the tower, then back off and farm the Wraith Camps. I start doing this at level 3 if possible. Their tower will be stealing last hits from them, and you will be gaining a huge gold and xp advantage. Farm the Wraith Camps every time they are up. They are gold. You are greedy. Greedy is Metal.
In the event you have a jungler on the enemy team, try to snag their wraith camp first if they haven't made it there yet. This will screw up their Chi and give you a little counter-jungling. As soon as you clear a camp, head back to lane and push it right back up to the tower. Once you hit 6, which you might before they do, stick around and try to harass them for an ignite/ult combo - you may have to back off pushing to get them to come out from the tower, so don't be afraid to run off and do some more jungling. In fact, running over around 7 with Sorc Shoes will allow you to take down Lizard fairly easily after you've charged your shield off of the Wraith Camp. This will give your laning enemy plenty of time to push while you run around behind him, ghost, and slow him with the red buff.
Of course, this isn't always the case - but your goal is to get that ghost and take down the tower. If they don't push your tower and they've gone MIA - they've probably gone to gank themselves. You can either A) Counter-gank, or B) Push the tower. It's a judgment call, but here's the deal: If one of your lanes are over-extended, he's probably gone to gank that lane. If one of their lanes are over extended, you'll be in a good position to gank them.Gauge the situation intelligently.
You being the one, naturally.This is my favorite scenario to lane with him, and it should be yours too! The early game here is delicate. Remember that you have no escape moves, and you are far from invincible for the first few levels, so play it safe. Your goal is simple: Last hit/harass with Siphon, farm with Creeping Death, and most importantly - STAY ALIVE. If you die, well, there goes your level advantage, and the game, and your dignity (your significant other will probably leave you as well, even if they're imaginary). Mordekaiser has fantastic lane control, no matter where he is, so you want to keep the creeps just outside of tower range. This is easy, whack them with Siphon, and stand in the middle of the wave nearing your tower with Creeping Death. This will make you difficult to harass, and put you in a position to harass in return. You'll get plenty of gold, and get yourself at an advantage by level 6 (they should be around 4). Just be mindful of where the enemy is, and that they can probably burst you down to dust if you step out just one iron foot too far without your shield. Always keep a healthy fear of that.
Skilling order is dependent here on your enemies. If they have a melee champ that is really excited about auto-attacking everything, take Q over E. For everything else, R>W>E>Q.
Once you hit 6, the fun begins. Now is when you start testing the limits, because you have ignite and an ultimate at your disposal, and you WILL get a kill. Start pushing out, harassing whenever you get the chance. Once one of them are near half HP, wait for a minion wave, and put yourself out from your tower in the middle of the fresh wave, so they think they've got you. Hit the weak one with Siphon, toss on W, Ignite & Ultimate. [It is scenarios such as this, that I prioritize W over anything else but R] Take your ghost and ALT+Click the remaining foe. He'll either run, or try to kill you and fail. Mow down any remaining minions, and run straight for their tower - you should be able to take it completely, or at least **** close if you sent the other to base or got yourself a double kill. If not, zone him out with your pet, and do whatever damage you can until his partner gets back. From here on out, it's YOUR lane, but keep tight map awareness. You have a level advantage, but you're still not invincible.
If you haven't taken the tower yet, don't worry. Go jungle (if you can), or shop. Let them push back, and try to pull the same trick twice and ask for your jungler to help gank. Choose a target, ult & ignite, and send the ghost at the tower. This will kill it, and you can go help other lanes; the laning phase has ended. Don't forget about your tower though!
Mordekaiser brings in a bit of a conundrum to a 2v2 lane, and as such, you should probably choose someone else. That's not to say it doesn't work. Lane with someone who isn't incredibly item dependent to do well, because they're not going to get a whole lot of farm with you there.
The most important thing for Mordekaiser to do in this lane is to exercise lane control. Do not spam your abilities whenever a creep wave comes through, you're only hurting your lane. You'll get your last-hits, just be patient - the waves aren't coming any faster. Focus on last-hitting just like any other champion, using your abilities only to charge your shield when needed, and to harass when possible. The best use of Siphon will be when you can get a last-hit, and harass at the same time. Otherwise, take your last-hits, and use Siphon to harass... your only goal here is to safely farm. If your teammate has some CC, you can attempt to punish over-extenders, but keep in mind you are NOT a burst champion... the chances of you getting a kill against a smart enemy without your ultimate is pretty slim. Protect your lanemate by absorbing hits, and just keep up harass while last-hitting. That's really all there is to a 2v2 lane.
Skilling order in this type of lane should be R<W<E<Q, with a point in each at level 3. If you're laning with someone like Janna, who can give you an AD boost - you might want to consider leveling Q over E.
So laning is over, and teamfights are breaking out about the map like acne on a 13 yr old. What's your job? Well, what's any DPS or tanky DPS's job? Kill the squishy. Ideally, you want to find a nice, ranged, AD carry to stick to like glue. Let your team know that if that carry dies, the teamfight will go much smoother. 1) They've lost their main source of DPS. 2) That source of DPS is now fighting for you. You're not to initiate, but come in right behind the tank. RIGHT behind him. Choose your target, and start spamming. You MUST keep spamming everything as it comes off CD if you plan to survive by keeping that shield up. Once you get that carry down to something manageable, throw your ult on them. Your team should home in on them like Rosie O'Donnell to cupcakes. Watch the item builds of your enemies. Do they have QSS? If so, save your ultimate for the execute, or use it on someone else.
Keep in mind you have no escape. If you're getting focused, Ghost is not going to save you. KEEP fighting. KEEP spamming. Throw your ultimate on the highest HP target with the lowest MR if you absolutely must (it's much more valuable elsewhere). Once you're in, you're in it until either you die, or they die. The more damage you deal, the longer you live - position yourself accordingly. There's always the chance your ultimate will not get that kill, and it's a fairly high chance - stay useful without it. This is why building damage items is so important. A single heal will negate your ultimate, but if you're built offensively, as well as defensively, you'll be able to continue to hurt with or without the ghost. The ghost is just really tasty icing on the cake... yea... cream cheese frosting... mmmm.
X. CLOSING NOTES
I'm NOT a pro. I do NOT play ranked games. Why? The general attitude of the highly competitive community in LoL is not to my liking, and my ignore list is long enough, thanks to the degenerate chromosome deficient morons who get their jolly's off trolling the internet. So, before you go off checking my account as your blood temperature slowly rises to a boil because you disagree with my opinion, and you feel the internet is such serious business… I am not you. I will never be you. I’d rather chew on flaming poisonous cacti than be you.
Ranked games are not for everyone, and they do not define one’s understanding of a character. Please present your argument with more than juvenile responses that reflect little to no knowledge of your personal understanding of Mordekaiser. If you can’t accomplish that, and you’re losing sleep at night over this request… there is no hope for you, and may whatever you believe in have mercy on your soul.
Tweaking as necessary!
THANKS FOR READING!!!
I hope you learned something new about Mordekaiser, and hope it helps you on the Battlefield!
5,000 views! I have to go ahead and thank all of... me, and my hard work and dedication. No but really, I'd have 0 views if it wasn't for the community here. On the other hand... I'd have no views if I never posted the guide... paradox?
10,000 views! Holy shmoke and a pancake! I'd like an analysis of the accurate percentage of users who view threads to those who actually read... uh you know what... I'd hate to deflate my ego. View on! I hope those of you viewing are finding my thoughts here helpful
+100 Votes! Thank you all for the support!
Mordekaiser is not for everyone. Some terms and conditions may apply. Your mileage may vary. Side effects include: nausea, vomiting, surprise, rage, depression, humiliation, deceit, loss of self-esteem, and death. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects, as he has had a long day, and needs a good laugh.
You’re lazy and skipped to the bottom to read a summary. Uh… my advice to you? Nashor’s Tooth, Archangel’s Staff, and Frozen Heart! Go get ‘em tiger!!!