Tanking with Morgana in League of Legends

People always laugh or scoff when I tell them I tank with Morgana. They say she’s a tanky mage but needs to be built with a lot of AP in order to work. Well, I disagree! In fact, I’m terrible with her as a mage, so building her as a tank just makes sense.

“Why build Morgana as Tankgana?” you may be wondering. Well, let’s face it. She’s not the best character to go pure AP with. In fact, it’s actually a better idea to build her as a tank with an AP item or two.

Assuming no items, runes or masteries are given to any of them, let’s observe the following:

  • Alistar has 14.5 base armor and 442 base health.
  • Amumu has 18 base armor and 472 base health.
  • Galio has 13 base armor and 410 base health.
  • Leona has  base armor and  base health.
  • Mordekaiser has 15 base armor and 421 base health.
  • Morgana has 15 base armor and 403 base health.
  • Rammus has 21 base armor and 420 base health.
  • Shen has 18 base armor and 428 base health.
  • Singed has 18 base armor and 366 base health.

Now let’s look at them at level 18 (without items, runes and masteries)!

  • Alistar has 77.5 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 2286 health.
  • Amumu has 74 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 1984 health.
  • Galio has 85 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 1940 health.
  • Leona has 73.8 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 1996 health.
  • Mordekaiser has 78 armor, 52.5 magic resistance, and 1861 health.
  • Morgana has 83.4 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 1951 health.
  • Rammus has 89.4 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 1968 health.
  • Shen has 90 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 1958 health.
  • Singed has 81.7 armor, 30 magic resistance, and 2098 health.

Just looking at this, Morgana fits right in with the tank label… but wait! There’s more!

Morgana’s passive is Spell Vamp, which is at 35% at level 18. At level 18, that means Tormented Soil (Her W which is an AOE) restores her health by 9.81 HP for each target there, every second. So if that’s three minions, she’s getting 29.45 health every second, or 147.26 health if the minions last the five seconds. That’s almost a quarter of her health. Dark binding would give her 105 health, putting her at almost 13% of her health restored by a creep wave.

Now, let’s throw some items onto her: Doran’s Ring, Guardian Angel, Mercury’s Treads, Abbysal Scepter, and Thornmail.

Morgana now has 2051 health, 85 ability power, 251 armor, and 150 magic resistance. Tormented Soil does 102 damage a second to each target for five seconds, and if there’s 3 targets that’s 306 damage a second, totaling for 1530 damage after five seconds. In addition, Dark Binding will be doing 376 damage. That means you’d be restoring 178 health for Tormented Soil and 131 health for Dark Binding, totalling for 309 health restored after standing around for five seconds, which is 15% of her total health.

Okay, you think. She can farm well and keep her health up. So what? Why give her those items?

Doran’s Ring is to give her some AP and extra HP early on. Taking Clarity and Teleport with this build is actually a good idea (gasp! Clarity!?!! Yes; you’re not focusing on building mana) so that you can stay in lane longer.

Guardian Angel is for when she hits level 6 and takes up Soul Shackles. “What does one have to do with the other?” I’m glad you asked! If you start Soul Shackles and die during its duration and Guardian Angel is up, Soul Shackles will continue to tick off. At Soul Shackles level 1, that means you deal 199 magic damage initially, slow those in range by 20% for four seconds, and at the end of the four seconds they’ll take another 199 magic damage and be stunned for 1 second. 398 damage, about 46 HP restored to you thanks to spell vamp. Then you can throw Dark Binding and Tormented Soil on them, dealing 93 damage and 56 damage assuming they get off that Tormented Soil as soon as the Dark Binding’s ended. That means you’ve just hit them, total, for 547 health and restored 84 health to yourself, at level 6. If you’re still near death, that gives you time to run away or for your lanemate (assuming you have one!) to jump in and kill that person who just dropped 547 health.

Mercury’s Treads. If you’re not against a CC-heavy team, go for Sorceror’s Shoes. If you ARE against a CC Heavy team, this is a great pair of boots to get. Black Shield prevents disables and absorbs 95 magic damage at skill level 1. It’ll stay up for 5 seconds or until the shield’s been popped from absorbing the 95 magic damage. If you throw that on a team mate while trying to escape, they’re likely to get away and be alright.

Abyssal Scepter. It has magic resistance and gives you ability power, along with having an aura that lowers the magic resistance of nearby enemies. This is great if you’re running in to use Soul Shackles, and even better if you have another team mate who uses AP-based attacks.

Thornmail will save your butt and maybe even snag you a kill. If you’re against Caitlyn, Ashe, Xin, Tryndamere, Twitch, Sivir, Irelia, or AD Twisted Fate, you’ve just found a way to stand around and let them kill themselves. It’s even better if you’re able to attack them back at the same time.

Still, building Morgana as a Tank can get even better… and stranger. Give her a rune page with Greater Seal of Force x 9, Greater Glyph of Celerity x 9, Greater Mark of Insight x 9, and Greater Quintessence of Swiftness x 3. What a mix, right! Well, you could probably use different runes with mixed results.

Well, now, with that same item build from above, you now have, at level 18: 2051 health, 101.2 ability power, 251 armor, 150 magic resistance, 9 magic penetration, 387 movement speed, and 8.1% cooldown reductions. But let’s now give her some masteries.

9-0-21

OFFENSE: 3 points in Archmage’s Savvy, 1 in Deadliness. 4 in Sorcery. 1 in Archaic Knowledge.
UTILITY: 3 points in Perserverance, 3 in Good Hands. 4 in Expanded Mind, 2 in Awareness. 3 in Meditation. 3 in Quickness. 3 in Intelligence.

Let’s take a look at Morgana now at level 18.

Items: Doran’s Ring, Guardian Angel, Mercury’s Treads, Abbysal Scepter, and Thornmail. (total cost: 8925 gold)

Health: 2051
Health Regen/second: 3.22
Mana: 1386
Mana Regen/second: 4.18
Attack Speed: 0.729
Damage: 115
Ability Power: 112
Magic Penetration: 9
Critical Chance: 0.66%
Armor: 251
Magic Resistance: 150
Spell Vamp: 35%
Tenacity: 35
Cooldown Reduction: 17.1%
Movement Speed: 397

– Magic Resistance of nearby enemy champions reduced by 20.
– Revived upon death, restoring 750 health and 375 mana.
– On being hit by standard attacks, returns 30% of damage taken as magic damage.

Dark Binding
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Mana: 120
Magic Damage: 400
Health returned by Spell Vamp: 140
CC: Snares the target for 3 seconds.

Tormented Soil
Cooldown: 8.29 seconds
Mana: 150
Magic Damage: 107.4 damage per second per target for up to five seconds. (One target for five seconds = 537)
Health returned: 12.53 per second per target for up to five seconds. (Three targets for five seconds = 187.95)
CC: None

Black Shield
Cooldown: 12.43 seconds
Mana: 50
Shields for: 444.6 magic damage
Magic Damage: None
Health returned: None
CC: None, but protects from CC for five seconds or until the shield’s been destroyed.

Soul Shackles
Cooldown: 99.48 seconds
Mana: 200
Magic Damage: 529.2 magic damage per target initially, another 529.2 damage per target if still in range after 4 seconds.
Health Returned: 61.12 health returned per target initially, another 61.12 health returned per target if still in range after 4 seconds. (Maximum possible health returned: 611.2)
CC: Slows each target’s movement speed by 20% for four seconds; after four seconds are up, those still in range are stunned for two seconds.

Skill order: Q->W->E->W->W->R. Then prioritize R>W>E>Q

Item Order: Doran’s Ring -> Cloth Armor/Null Magic Mantle/Chain Vest -> Boots of Speed -> Guardian Angel -> Null Magic Mantle -> Mercury’s Treads -> Blasting Wand/Negatron Cloak -> Abyssal Scepter -> Cloth Armor/Chain Vest -> Thornmail -> ???

Worried about how few items there are? Well, I have good news for you: you can build an extra item after Thornmail and even sell Doran’s Ring for ANOTHER item. I’d suggest Shurelya’s Reverie for a sixth item. If you feel the need to replace Doran’s Ring first, I’d suggest Rod of Ages after having Guardian Angel, Mercury’s Treads, Abyssal Scepter, and Thornmail first.

Now, how does this work out?

Imagine: everyone’s at mid, nobody’s moving forward to do any real attacks. Plenty of love taps, but no real fighting. As Tankgana, you can just waltz forward after having those 5 items I listed above, start Soul Shackles, throw on your shield, and stalk the enemy a bit. An important tip: Don’t attack anyone during the duration of Soul Shackles who’s shackled or it’ll cut off the shackle. Now, in this example, there’s a good chance you’d die. HOWEVER. There’s a good chance that if your team is playing smart they’ll seize this opportunity to pummel the crap out of the enemy team and take a few kills, and then push while you’re in the process of reviving.

Why did I tell you to take port is another question, right?

If your minions are pushing a lane, and there’s one minion left at the tower and more about to get there, you can port to that minion. The tower cannot kill that minion when it’s being ported to. Neither can the other minions or anybody else. Throw down your W and work that tower a bit.

Overall, this is actually a very fun build and allows you to play a ranged tank, along with being pretty awesome. As a tank, be prepared to die at least once each game.

That’s my piece on the Morgana I like to call “Tankgana”. Thank you for reading, and I hope you give her a shot before begging the RIOT Team to change one of my favorite champions!

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2 Responses to Tanking with Morgana in League of Legends

  1. Pingback: Counterpost to my Tankgana Post | Myrkr's Blog

  2. Caleb Shih says:

    Hi, I myself also play morgana as a tank.
    Many times people laugh at me at the beginning. But after every game they all loved my tank morgana. I myself call her “The Iron Angel”. I see your build but I must say there are a few things I would like to change. I usually don’t go with Mercury’s trend because I play her as a utility tank. Hence, I believe cooldown reduction would better benefit her. Hence I take Ionian boots. I agree with Guardian’s Angel with Tank Morgana build. But I would like to also advice Zhonya’s Hourglass into the build. Which gives you more Armor, AP, and gives you the ability for invulnerability every minute. A GA and a zhonya’s early game, assuming you use zhonya’s appropriately, you can prob have no death in each games.
    If you would like you can contact me and we could discuss the different builds for tank morgana.

    My Name is Caleb Shih and you can contact me by facebook

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