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Mordekaiser rework guide: Holding your enemies in Death’s Grasp

It’s way more than just dragging your enemies into the Shadow Realm

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With Mordekaiser’s new rework, The Iron Revenant is out for blood, searching for new victims to drag into the death realm in order to claim their souls. Mordekaiser has been designed as a solo lane AP bruiser and this guide will focus on him as such. Let’s take a look at his new and improved kit.

Abilities

Passive - Darkness Rise

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The aura and movement speed granted by Darkness Rise lasts for five seconds, refreshing upon attacking an enemy champion or epic monster.

Q - Obliterate

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The damage increase on Obliterate when only hitting a single target synergises well with Realm of Death, as that will always be an isolated one-on-one fight. The isolation damage also increases per rank of the ability.

W - Indestructible

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The stored shield value from Indestructible decays while out of combat down to a minimum of five percent of your maximum health. You can store a shield size up to 30 percent of your maximum health. Damage stored by non-champion damage is only 25 percent effective.

E - Death’s Grasp

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The passive magic penetration goes up by five percent per rank of Death’s Grasp. The claw from Death’s Grasp always travels the same distance, but can be cast closer or further away from Mordekaiser. This can help you get out of some sticky situations by pushing pursuing foes away from you.

R - Realm of Death

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Realm of Death is cleanse-able, making it somewhat mandatory for enemy carries to purchase a Quicksilver Sash or take Cleanse against you. Champions such as Gangplank and Olaf can simply escape the death realm though with their crowd control removing abilities.

Skill max order - Q>E>W

You’ll want to prioritize points into Obliterate as it’s your main waveclear and damage dealing ability. Follow up with points into Death’s Grasp. You’ll want the extra magic penetration per level along with a lower cooldown on your main catch tool. Leave Indestructible to last as it doesn’t gain much with skill points compared to the other two.

Runes

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I’ve found Conqueror to be the best keystone overall for Mordekaiser. It brings a strong mix of damage and healing while being quite easy to stack and keep active with your passive aura. Grab Triumph for a boost of health after a takedown, which can be the difference between life and death in a fight, Legend: Tenacity for crowd control reduction, and Coup De Grace for additional damage on low health targets.

I tend to go for Resolve secondary, picking up Bone Plating, allowing you to trade more effectively, and Revitalize, which has strong synergy both with Conqueror and Indestructible.

Alternatively you could try out Phase Rush for more sticking power, which can be strong against ranged opponents. Grab Nimbus Cloak, Transcendence, and Gathering Storm to aid you in locking down those more annoying, slippery champions.

Item Build

Starting items

  • Doran’s Shield
  • Health Potion

Core

  • Liandry’s Torment
  • Rylai’s Crystal Scepter

Situational

  • Hextech Protobelt-01
  • Zhonya’s Hourglass
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Morellonomicon
  • Spirit Visage
  • Dead Man’s Plate
  • Righteous Glory

Liandry’s Torment and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter have incredibly strong synergy both with your passive and each other. This combination of core items can allow you to stick to your opponents easily while burning them for maximum HP damage.

You’ll almost always want to follow up with a Zhonya’s Hourglass, which can aid you in surviving amidst the chaos of a teamfight long enough to swing the outcome into your favour. Hextech Protobelt-01 is a good pickup as you have no gap closer in your build.

Rabadon’s Deathcap is a purely offensive item which should be purchased if you aren’t in need of any more bulk and would prefer more damage. Morellonomicon is a good option versus teams with a ton of healing. Spirit Visage has strong synergy with Conqueror and Indestructible, while providing you with more magic resist again more AP-focused teams.

Deadman’s Plate and Righteous Glory are items that provide you more defense versus AD-focused teams, while also granting you ways of sticking to your opponents.

As for boots choice, if you’re ahead and don’t need the bonuses provided by Mercury’s Treads or Ninja Tabi’s, then you should pick up Sorcery Shoes. They play extremely well with the magic penetration provided by Death’s Grasp’s passive and can lead to you dealing almost true damage to anyone who hasn’t build any magic resist.

Synergies

  • Sejuani
  • Braum
  • Thresh
  • Nautilus
  • Leona

Morde likes champions who can get into the thick of the fight alongside him. You generally don’t want to be the engager of the fight, so any champion with a strong engage is his best friend. Teaming up with a strong CC-focused champion who can aid you in sticking to your enemies easier is also a good idea.

Riot Games via Polygon

Counters

  • Gangplank
  • Olaf
  • Jinx
  • Lucian
Riot Games via Polygon

Due to Realm of Death being a cleanseable ability, champions and items that can simply escape the death realm will be strong picks against Mordekaiser. Other champions with the ability to kite him to death, or kill him outright will also be strong choices against him.

Consider taking Cleanse or building a Quicksilver Sash against Mordekaiser.

Conclusion

If you’ve been looking for a badass warlord in a massive suit of armor to dominate your opponents and condemn their souls to the death realm with, then the reworked Mordekaiser is the champion for you.

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