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Introduction to Malphite
Malphite's description declares him to be hard-hitting and tough destroy which is a good way to start thinking about this tanky champion, but there is more to him as well. His Seismic Shard makes him great for chasing down or crippling enemy heroes and his Brutal Strikes active allows him to work extremely well as a DPSer as well. Malphite's ultimate, Unstoppable Force, is perhaps the best initatior in the game - it allows you to close with, damage and disable an entire team. Followed up by Ground Slam, Malphite can deal a powerful first strike that will let his team finish off the opponents. Whether you build him as a tank or a carry, Malphite is a powerful asset to any team.
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Malphite - Masteries and Runes
Malphite mastery choices are varied, as most champions' are, and depend largely on how you intend to build him. Filling out the defense mastery tree is never a bad choice, since many of the bonuses you receive synergize well with Malphite's passive and his Ground Slam. Pick the physical talents from the offense mastery tree if you are planning to follow the DPS route - the top teir talents are most important with Malphite. Going down the utility mastery path is never a bad choice on any hero, but Malphite does not benefit as directly - though picking up mana regen talents will help, as Malphite has many mana-intensive spells that will quickly eat through mana, especially early game.
As for runes, the choices are pretty standard for tanks and carries. If you are building Malphite as a tank, pick up health, armor, health regen and especially magic resistance, since Malphite has so little. If a carry is more your taste, pick up armor penetration runes, critical strike, critical damage and possibly move speed runes. As with many champions, putting scaling cooldown reduction runes in your glyph section can be extremely useful, especially with how powerful Malphite's ult can be.
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Malphite - Abilities
Granite Shield (Creates a passive buff that will absorb up to 10% of his health from one attack. Recharges after ten seconds of not being hit)
Seismic Shard (Deals [80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300] damage and steals [10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30%] move speed from the target for five seconds)
Brutal Strikes (Deals [30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50%] of his attack damage as AoE. Can be activated to boost damage by [30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70%])
Ground Slam (Deals [60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220] damage plus 70% of Malphite's armor and reduces enemies' attack speed by [30/35/40/45/50%] for four seconds) and
Unstoppable Force (Charges into an area and deals [200 / 300 / 400] damage and knocks enemies into the air for [1.5/1.75/2] seconds)
The order in which you choose abilities varies on how you intend to build Malphite. If you think you will be involved in an early pre-creep lane fight or early-game harassment, pick Seismic Shard, otherwise pick up Ground Slam. If you are making Malphite into a tank, prioritize Ground Slam, then Seismic Shard - this will allow you to mitigate damage by being faster and by reducing attack speed. If you are building Malphite into a carry, get Seismic Shard and Brutal Strikes, since the damage boost from Brutal Strikes is incredible for a DPS hero. No matter what you pick, you should try to get one rank of each early in the game - Seismic Shard for running and chasing (One of the largest speed shifts in all of League of Legends), Ground Slam for farming and tanking, and Brutal Strikes for pushing and taking down towers.
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Malphite - Items
Whether you intend to turn Malphite into a tank or a carry, there are some items that work particularly well no matter what your choice. Atma's Impaler, Phantom Dancer and the Frozen Mallet are all items that will benefit either playstyle - if you are unsure of what to choose, these are safe fallbacks. As a heavy DPS champion (like Sion, Nasus or Kayle) it is possible to take the middle road and still be useful to your team. If you are a LoL beginner or new to Malphite, consider following the tank build or this one over the DPS build.
For tanking, you will want armor the most - to boost the damage of Ground Slam, one of your most potent abilities - and health, to improve Granite Shield. A great way to start is to buy a Health Gem and build it into a Heart of Gold. This will provide health, armor and a constant stream of gold. Ninja Tabi's are excellent boots on Malphite, but if the other team has many disables and slows, Mercury's Treads may be better. Other good items are Warden's Mail, the Aegis of the Legion, Warmog's Armor, Frozen Heart and Soul Shroud.
If building Malphite as a carry, it is a good idea to start with a meiki pendant and build that into a Philosopher's Stone - the mana regen is more important and the cash flow is always helpful. Items are similar to other carries: Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer (Possibly more than one), Black Cleaver and Stark's Fervor. Berzerker's Treads and the most useful boots to a DPS Malphite.
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Malphite - Laning and Ganks
Try to get a lane with a good damage dealer, like Twitch, Teemo or Ashe (These heroes are also great champions for beginners). Your slow, knockup and damage reduction will work well to protect squishier heroes and possibly get an early kill. If you're feeling aggressive, or if you've decide to play Malphite as a carry, consider laning with a good pusher, like Sivir, Alistar or Zilean - with Ground Slam and Brutal Strikes, you can easily push to a tower and with the help of an early game pushing ally, even possibly take one.
It's time to start using your powerful combo to push towers and initiate ganks. Regardless of how you've build Malphite, you should be opening fights with the following combo: Unstoppable Force -> Ground Slam -> Seismic Shard (Aim for a caster or soft carry) -> Brutal Strikes. If your team is quick to follow this combo (or if you have another AoE hero like Amumu, Gangplank or Morgana), you can end the fight before it starts. Use Ground Slam to push creep waves back and push towers hard, using Brutal Strikes on the towers themselves to kill them quickly.
Malphite is a great farmer, so you should have many of your better items by now. Continue using ground slam and Brutal Strike to grind large waves of mobs and keep them away from your base. Malphite gets stronger toward the end of the game, especially if you've built him as carry. Continue to iniate attacks the same way - this becomes more important late game, when battles are decided in a matter of seconds - and continue to push towers, being more aggressive as the game wears on.
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Final Thoughts and Heroes to Watch For
Though Malphite is neither as good a natural tank as Alistar or Rammus, nor as good a natural carry as Jax or Master Yi, his ability to farm effectively and excellent CC make him a viable contender in either role. Somewhat complicated for a beginner, Malphite is underplayed, but certainly not underpowered.
Casters - Due to a low magic resistance and the need to be aggressive to get kills, Malphite is vulnerable to powerful casters like Annie and Veigar. Against powerful nukers, consider putting Banshee's Veil early in your build and use your Unstoppable Force combo to burn them down quickly.
Poppy - Poppy's Devastating Blow will eat through large chunks of your health at once, removing your advantages as a tank. Avoid fighting her one on one and use Seismic Shard to avoid being in melee for too long.
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