Send Them to the Death Realm: an In-Depth Mordekaiser Build Guide (2024)

Ever since the buffs to Top Lane back in Patches 10.5 and 10.6, Bruisers have been the kings of Top Lane. Most of this renewed Top Lane strength is due to the buffs to AD items like Blade of the Ruined King and Death’s Dance. But despite this focus on AD, one of the best Top Laners in the game is an AP Bruiser. Even before the rise of AD Bruisers, Mordekaiser was near the top of the Top Lane food chain; but this power was increased even more with the buffs to AD Tops, as those are some of Morde’s best matchups. So, if you’re looking for a carry Top Laner who wins most Bruiser matchups, with a low skill floor but a relatively high skill ceiling, look no further than Mordekaiser!


Like most Bruisers, Morde’s item options aren’t too expansive, but there is some room for game-to-game innovation.

Doran’s Shield:Doran’s Shield is the perfect starting item for Mordekaiser, mostly because all of the AP starting items have a focus on Mana, which Morde obviously doesn’t have. And D-shield’s early Tank stats help Morde out in the early levels, which is his weakest point in the game.

Ninja Tabi/Mercury’s Treads:These two Boots are the classics for every Bruiser, and Mordekaiser is no different. You’ll want to finish your Boots after your first completed item but before your second completed item, choosing which of the two you want depending on if the whether enemy team is more CC or auto-attack focused.

Liandry’s Torment: This item is perfect for Mordekaiser, you should be buying it every single game. Liandry’s provides the stats Morde loves and its two passives synergize perfectly with his passive and his strength in drawn-out fights. It is the ultimate item for Mordekaiser and you’ll want to always have this as your first completed item.

Nashor’s Tooth: This item is an excellent pickup on Morde, specifically if you’re looking to do a lot of split-pushing. Nashor’s is best against melee-heavy enemy teams as it gives you some really great stats, but isn’t as useful when you’re being kited. You’ll usually want to finish this item second if you’re going to be building it.

Hextech Protobelt-01: Like other Juggernauts, one of Morde’s main weaknesses is how immobile he is, making it hard for him to get on top of ranged Champs. Lucky for you, Protobelt is a great option for adding a bit of mobility to your kit, while also giving you the stats Mordekaiser loves.

<img class="lzyPlcHld lzyTrns lzyLoaded" src="'s_Hourglass_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171222002747" alt="Zhonya&amp;#039;s Hourglass" width="30" height="30" data-image-key="Zhonya's_Hourglass_item.png" data-image-name="Zhonya's Hourglass item.png" data-src="'s_Hourglass_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171222002747" />Zhonya’s Hourglass:Zhonya’s is another item you can’t really go wrong with on Morde. Hourglass provides some much-needed armor to supplement Mordekaiser’s HP-heavy build, and its active is great with his passive. Seeker’s Armguard is also a great first buy before you get Liandry’s in any AD matchup, as the amount of Armor it gives you early on is super strong.

<img class="lzyPlcHld lzyTrns lzyLoaded" src="'s_Crystal_Scepter_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171221231531" alt="Rylai&amp;#039;s Crystal Scepter" width="30" height="30" data-image-key="Rylai's_Crystal_Scepter_item.png" data-image-name="Rylai's Crystal Scepter item.png" data-src="'s_Crystal_Scepter_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171221231531" />Rylai’s Crystal Scepter: As I mentioned earlier, getting kited is something Mordekaiser struggles with, and Rylai’s is another great option for remedying that weakness. Usually, you’ll want to build only one of the two, choosing between Protobelt and Rylai’s, because buying two items that serve the same purpose is a bit redundant and takes away a slot from other potential items, but if you’re feeling especially sluggish, you can go for it. I personally tend to prefer Rylai’s over Protobelt, as it synergizes with the Liandry’s burn passive being increased from CC, and is a lot better in teamfights and 2v1 situations.

<img class="lzyPlcHld lzyTrns lzyLoaded" src="'s_End_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171222002310" alt="Wit&amp;#039;s End" width="30" height="30" data-image-key="Wit's_End_item.png" data-image-name="Wit's End item.png" data-src="'s_End_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171222002310" />Wit’s End: Wit’s End isn’t a very popular item option for Morde, but that certainly doesn’t make it any less effective. Despite Wit’s End not providing any AP, the auto-attack power it gives is not to be underestimated, as Morde actually relies a lot on auto-attack damage. The healing Wit’s End provides is also insanely good with the consistent damage of Morde’s passive, and his W shield allows you to stay under the HP threshold for longer. You’ll only want to build Wit’s End against AP-heavy teams, but if you are, it’s a great choice.

<img class="lzyPlcHld lzyTrns lzyLoaded" src="'s_Plate_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171221062439" alt="Dead Man&amp;#039;s Plate" width="30" height="30" data-image-key="Dead_Man's_Plate_item.png" data-image-name="Dead Man's Plate item.png" data-src="'s_Plate_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171221062439" /> <img class="lzyPlcHld lzyTrns lzyLoaded" src="'s_Omen_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171221230256" alt="Randuin&amp;#039;s Omen" width="30" height="30" data-image-key="Randuin's_Omen_item.png" data-image-name="Randuin's Omen item.png" data-src="'s_Omen_item.png/revision/latest?cb=20171221230256" />Spirit Visage,Thornmail,Adaptive Helm,Dead Man’s Plate,Randuin’s Omen (Tank Items):After finishing either three or four of the damage items listed above, depending on how squishy you’re feeling, you’ll want to grab one or two Tank items. Spirit Visage and Thornmail are your two bread and butter Tank items on Morde; you should be building one or both of them almost every game, depending on the enemy team's damage profile. Where Spirit Visage and Thornmail are the two items you build when in doubt, Adaptive Helm, Dead Man’s, and Randuin’s are the more situational Tank items for you to choose from. These items don’t have any special interaction with Mordekaiser, you’ll just be building them in the same situations every other Tank or Bruiser does: Adaptive Helm against AP DoT. Dead Man’s if you need more mobility, and Randuin’s against a lot of crit builders. The only special suggestion for Morde I have with these items is if you’re planning on building Randuin’s, I wouldn’t recommend building Rylai’s. Because with Rylai’s will already be giving you an AOE slow with Morde's passive, making the Randuin’s active pretty useless. Bramble Vest is an excellent early buy against certain AD Tops like Fiora, Tryndamere, or Quinn.

Void Staff:If only one Tank item gives you all the beef you need, then Void Staff is a very solid last item option if the enemy team has a fair amount of Magic Resist. In a lot of instances, Liandry’s should provide you with enough Tank shred where you can forgo Void Staff, but if the enemy team has multiple Tanks, or is stacking MR, then Void Staff can be a very clutch item choice.


Your Rune options on Mordekaiser are far from expansive, but that’s because the best ones to take are so effective on him. As far as Keystones go, you’ll always want to take Conqueror with the same set of Precision Runes, with a choice between Domination and Resolve for your secondary tree.


You should always be going Precision with Conqueror as your Keystone along with the same lesser Runes. Conqueror is the perfect Keystone for Morde, it gives him some much-needed healing as well as a healthy amount of AP; and you can stack it up incredibly fast since each tick of his passive adds two stacks. In close 2v1 situations, Triumph is great with Morde’s ult as once you kill one enemy in your ult, you’ll get a good bit of HP back in order to finish off the other guy. The other reason for taking Triumph is that Mordekaiser gets no use out of the other two runes in that slot. Morde has no resources; so Presence of Mind does nothing, and you won’t be healing enough to use Overheal. You have two options for your second slot; usually Legend: Alacrity is best, but against CC heavy teams Legend: Tenacity is a great option. For your final slot, Last Stand is your best option. Coup De Grace works fine, but Last Stand synergizes really well with Morde’s W shield, giving more damage for longer. And for your stat Shard Runes, always take two adaptive force Runes with the resistance of your choice depending on your matchup.


This is my personally preferred page on Morde. Domination has great scaling with Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter, but it is a bit more exploitable in the laning phase since Ravenous Hunter won’t be online yet.


Resolve is best as your secondary page when you’re looking to have a stronger laning phase while sacrificing a bit of scaling power. One benefit of taking Resolve as your secondary tree is that you have plenty of options to choose from depending on your playstyle. You have five different Runes to choose a combination of two from here: Bone Plating is a good all-around Rune for trading and surviving harass. Second Wind is good against Champs who look to push you out of lane. Revitalize is another great pick for lane sustain, and also scales quite well with Conqueror healing. And finally, Overgrowth if you need extra tankiness in the late game and are willing to sacrifice laning power. Any of these lesser Runes are good in any combination, but if you’re in doubt on what combination to take, I’d recommend Bone Plating with Revitalize.

Skill Order

->-><img class="" src="'s_Grasp.png/revision/latest?cb=20190527181258" alt="Death&amp;#039;s Grasp" width="50" height="50" data-image-key="Death's_Grasp.png" data-image-name="Death's Grasp.png" data-src="'s_Grasp.png/revision/latest?cb=20190527181258" />->

Your skill order on Morde will be the same every game. Take your Q level one, E level two, then W level three. Then max out Q, then E for the magic penetration, then W, putting a point in your ult whenever you can. Simple as pie.

Summoner Spells

Like most Top Laners, Mordekaiser’s best option for Summoner Spells is Teleport and Flash. Teleport is good in the early levels as Morde will often be on the back foot pre-6, so it’s good to get a recall off to get items and Teleport back for a level 6 all-in. However, in certain matchups, Ignite is very potent on Morde. Against Champions with a lot of either healing or dueling power, Ignite gives you that little extra bit of damage to tip the scales in your favor. Champions like Fiora, Jax, or Irelia will often be able to barely out-duel Mordekaiser, but with the damage and Grievous Wounds from Ignite, you should be able to make translate those fights into 300 more Gold.

Parting Words

If you’re looking for a Top Laner with great scaling and very few bad matchups, who can either solo-carry or play weakside, look no further than Mordekaiser. Morde is a great solo-queue pick due to the fact that he has very few matchups he gets smashed in, making him very blind-pickable. He’s also been one of the best Tops in the game for a very long time now, but not to the point of being overpowered; meaning that you can play a very strong Champion without worrying about him getting nerfed to the ground anytime soon. I hope this guide helped you enter into the wonderful world of Morderkaiser, good luck on the Rift!

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Send Them to the Death Realm: an In-Depth Mordekaiser Build Guide (2024)
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