Malphite is one of my go-to champions whenever I’m looking to climb in solo queue. This is a great pick to carry games from both mid and top lane, sometimes even as a support too.

But to do so, you need to build Malphite AP and replace the tank items for raw damage.

AP Malphite is a deadly build in the right hands. Ability power items significantly increase the damage of all of Malphite’s abilities, especially his R – Unstoppable Force.

And this allows Malphite to one-shot multiple enemies at once during a team fight.

But AP Malphite isn’t a broken or unbalanced build in LoL. Make no mistake, this playstyle offers a lot of damage but it can severely set you back if you make too many errors.

Luckily, I have a lot of experience with AP Malphite and will talk about all the things you need to know here in this post.

I’ll explain the playstyle as well as the runes and items you’re going to use.

So, let’s begin!

Is Malphite AP or AD in LoL?

Malphite magic damage

Does Malphite deal AP or AD damage in League of Legends?

Malphite is AP tank champion in LoL. Besides his W which deals physical damage, all of Malphite’s abilities are categorized as magic damage and have AP ratios.

Most importantly, Malphite’s ultimate ability scales with 90% of his AP, making the full AP Malphite build super effective.

But what’s interesting about Malphite is that some of his abilities actually scale with bonus armor too.

Starting with his passive, Malphite actually increases in size when he builds more armor. 

Moreover, Malphite’s W actually grants him more armor per rank and deals more physical damage the more armor he has.

In a similar fashion, Malphite’s E has a 30% armor scaling that contributes to the magic damage of the ability alongside the regular AP ratio.

So to summarize things up, Malphite is an AP tank champion that can either build ability power items or tank items.

Read Also: Volibear Full AP Build Guide

Is Malphite Tank Better Than AP Malphite?

Malphite Unstoppable

The AP Malphite and tank Malphite builds differ greatly and offer different strengths.

For example, the AP build works better against squishy enemies because you can easily one-shot them. On the other hand, the tanky build makes you unkillable and lets you protect your teammates.

Similarly, the AP build is generally better when you play Malphite in the mid lane. This is especially true if your top laner is already tanky (someone like Ornn), so your team prefers damage over survivability.

The tank build is definitely a strong option for Malphite and it counters every AD champion in League of Legends.

So if you’re up against multiple ADCs or even an AD mid laner such as Zed or Yasuo, it’s better to build health and armor instead of raw AP.

AP Malphite is good for carrying games but it struggles to win games against tanky opponents. The tank build is safer overall but it often lacks damage when team fights start to break out.

So, both AP Malphite and tank Malphite are great but they’re fit for different situations. In the end, you need to think about the enemy team composition and which one would work better.

Read Also: AP Tahm Kench Build Guide

Is AP Malphite Still Viable?

AP Malphite damage

There’s no denying that there are advantages to the tank Malphite build in League of Legends. After all, that’s the recommended build for this champion.

However, AP Malphite is not only viable but a super strong build for carrying games in LoL, especially in low elo. The raw power of Malphite’s R allows you to eliminate key targets in team fights, even if they’re fed.

So instead of tanking damage for his team, AP Malphite can win matches by himself.

But what AP Malphite offers in damage, he lacks in tankiness. The whole point of this build is to go in, one-shot someone, and try to survive as long as possible.

So you won’t be building any tanky items here, you’ll quickly realize how squishy AP Malphite really is.

For that reason, you must choose your moments carefully and only go in when you’re 100% certain that you can take someone down.

And if you’ve never tried out full AP Malphite before, here are the best runes and items for it!

Read Also: Full AP Yorick Build Guide

AP Malphite Build – Runes

AP Malphite rune page
  • Arcane Comet
  • Manaflow Band
  • Transcendence
  • Scorch
  • Sudden Impact
  • Ultimate Hunter

Arcane Comet

Despite there being many different keystones that work well with AP Malphite, Arcane Comet is the best-performing one.

The reason you want to play with Arcane Comet is that the rune allows you to be aggressive and poke your lane opponents with Malphite’s Q. 

Seismic Shard usually takes a lot of mana, but if you start the game with Tear of the Goddess, you’ll be able to spam this ability and proc Arcane Comet every time it is available. 

The damage of Arcane Comet is actually very high, especially during the early game. So you should definitely abuse it!

Manaflow Band

Manaflow Band is a rune that synergizes with Arcane Comet because it has the same cooldown. In other words, you can proc Manflow Band and Arcane Comet at the same time simply by casting Q on your opponent.

What Manaflow Band does is that it increases your maximum mana by 25 with each proc. And once you collect 250 bonus mana, it also grants you increased mana regeneration permanently.

So, it’s a great rune for managing your mana.

Read Also: Full AP Sion Build Guide


Transcendence is another useful rune in League, especially for AP Malphite.

On level 5 and level 8, Transcendence grants you 5 ability haste (10 in total). Additionally, the rune refreshes 20% of the remaining cooldown on your basic abilities with each champion takedown.

In other words, your Q, W, and E, abilities will be available for use much more often during a team fight. And this is incredibly important for AP Malphite.


Scorch is an early game rune and it has a perfect synergy with the whole AP Malphite playstyle.

So, each time you go for Q and Arcane Comet poke in lane, Scorch will burn your target for additional magic damage.

This will put even more pressure on your lane opponent, so the rune is a powerful tool for dominating the laning phase against any opponent.

Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact seems like a rune made specifically for AP Malphite.

What Sudden Impact does is that it grants you bonus magic penetration each time you use Malphite’s ultimate (a dash).

And simply by having this rune selected on your rune page, you’ll deal more damage throughout the game.

Ultimate Hunter

Ultimate Hunter is a must-have rune for playing AP Malphite because he depends on Unstoppable Force for nearly everything.

This rune gives you a bunch of cooldown reduction and allows you to use your R more often. This is really the key for carrying as Malphite because you need your ulti to one-shot enemies or make something happen on the map.

The only thing you need to do is slay all 5 of your opponents for the maximum cooldown reduction (5 Bounty Hunter stacks are needed).

Read Also: Top 15 Best Off-Meta Top Laners

AP Malphite Build – Items

AP Malphite items
  • Sorcerer’s Shoes
  • Luden’s Tempest
  • Horizon Focus
  • Archangel’s Stuff
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Void Staff

Sorcerer’s Shoes

Starting with boots, the best ones to get on AP Malphite are Sorcerer’s Shoes. And you want Sorcerer’s Shoes for the bonus magic penetration they give besides the movement speed. 

This will be incredibly important if you’re playing top lane and your opponent is building magic resistance early on.

Luden’s Tempest

Luden’s Tempest is the best-performing mythic item for AP Malphite. There are tons to choose from, but this one is my personal recommendation for 99% of the games.

So, what Luden’s Tempest offers is an increased burst due to the bonus magic damage from its Echo passive. This damage has an AP ratio and it’s helpful for clearing waves too.

Besides this, Luden’s Tempest gives you magic penetration per legendary item. This is helpful regardless of your enemies, so the item is perfect for Malphite.

Read Also: Top 15 Best Off-Meta Junglers

Horizon Focus

Horizon Focus is one of the most broken items when it comes to one-shotting enemies in League of Legends.

The way Horizon Focus works is by increasing your initial damage and allowing you to deal 10% more damage to your target after casting Malphite’s R.

All of this happens passively, so it fits perfectly into your general playstyle.

Archangel’s Stuff

Archangel’s Stuff, or Seraph’s Embrace, is the third item you’re going to need. And since you’ll be starting the game with Tear of the Goddess, this is the best upgrade for it later on.

Archangel’s Stuff will give you bonus AP, mana, and health. Its passive gives you ability haste equal to your maximum mana, so it’s a great item overall.

Rabadon’s Deathcap

Rabadon’s Deathcap is the single most powerful item you can buy on AP Malphite. This is because RA grants you a lot of bonus AP as well as an increased ability power by 35%.

In other words, the item will pump up your damage and will allow you to always one-shot your target, no matter who that is.

Read Also: AP Yone Build Guide

Void Staff

And lastly, we have Void Staff.

Void Staff is here to maximize your magic penetration and make sure your damage is lethal. Once you put this item in your inventory, you’ll be able to take down even tanks in a couple of seconds.

So, always buy Void Staff in the late game!

Situational and Optional Items

I’ve found that Night Harvester is another great mythic item for Malphite. It’s similar to Luden’s Tempest, but it lacks the mana that you desperately need.

Zhonya’s Hourglass is one of the most helpful items you can buy on AP Malphite. Besides its life-saving active, the item also grants bonus armor which in turn improves Malphite’s abilities.

Also, Winter’s Approach can help you stay tanky if you don’t need the excess ability haste from Seraph’s Embrace.

Read Also: Full AP Fiora Build Guide

Skill Order and Summoner’s Spells

When it comes to maxing out abilities, AP Malphite is really simple. You want your Q maxed out first because it’s a ranged spell and it does the most amount of damage early on.

However, here’s a full skill order path for AP Malphite.


And for Summoner’s Spells, the only combination I’d recommend is Flash + Ignite. This gives you a huge potential to dominate the early game and secure each champion takedown. 

Flash + Teleport can also work, but only in certain matches.

Read Also: AP Gangplank Build Guide


AP Malphite is one of the most fun builds I’ve played in the mid lane. I’ve also played it in the support and top lane roles, and it’s equally strong.

The runes and items above give you a huge advantage when it comes to one-shotting, so I definitely urge you to try them out.

That said, check Runetarium for a similar guide on your favorite champion. 

Good luck and have fun!

Last Update: March 2, 2024