Mordekaiser is one of the forgotten top laners in League of Legends that can still carry games if left uncontrolled in solo queue.
He has plenty of tools to deal with bruisers, tanks, or ranged champions, making him a flexible pick in the top lane. In teamfights, he becomes a menace due to his Realm of Death (R) ultimate, which allows him to single out a squishy target and kill them without issues while their team is stuck waiting for them to come out of the death realm.
While Mordekaiser can become a nuisance as the game goes by, he does have weaknesses you can exploit in both items and champions. Here are the best counter picks to beat Mordekaiser in the top lane.
Mordekaiser has a predictable playstyle, which relies him on landing multiple abilities to activate his Darkness Rise (P) passive. After three attacks or spells against champions, he gains an aura which deals a lot of damage and grants him movement speed, making it hard to kite him. A lot of power is tied to his passive, so by kiting him or avoiding his abilities and leaving him with no passive, you can easily take him down in fights. If he does activate it, however, you’re in for a ride since the damage he does with it is high, especially when he has a lot of ability power.
If you’re a ranged champion, you need to be wary of his Death’s Grasp (E), which can pull you towards him and set up his other abilities such as Obliterate (Q), which deals a lot of damage if you’re isolated. Since it has a high cooldown early on, you can then go on the offensive if he misses the ability. Picking ranged champions or melee ones who can keep up with Mordekaiser’s sustain and damage is crucial in winning this matchup. If you go for a tank, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stop him from snowballing.
Kayle is a great counter to Mordekaiser since she can keep a good distance from him and slowly poke him down. A good combination of ranged damage, movement speed, and healing makes Kayle a great pick in the top lane.
The best part about Kayle against Mordekaiser is even if you get caught by his Death’s Grasp, you can just use your W to heal yourself and sprint away. He won’t be able to do anything and then you can turn on him to fight from a safe distance, where he can’t activate his passive. Radiant Blast (Q) can stop Mordekaiser’s advancement and give you more than enough room to breathe and fight him. Just make sure not to waste the ability if Mordekaiser has his gap closer off cooldown, since he could use that opportunity to engage on you when you can’t run away and chunk your health pool.
Once you get to level six and get your ranged form, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with Mordekaiser since your increased range will allow you to poke him down and force him to back or risk dying and losing valuable experience and gold.
If you survived the laning phase and farmed up while outtrading Mordekaiser, you should have a nice gold lead, which you can use to invest in more items. With this in mind, look to split push and pick up towers in the mid to late stages of the game. Only look to group with your team for objectives and use your ultimate on the most fed carries, be it you or your teammates. Don’t greed and hold it until the end of teamfights since it can be the difference between a won and a lost game.
Sylas is one of the toughest matchups to deal with for Mordekaiser. His low cooldowns, sustain, and high base damage make him a huge threat for the scaling AP top laner.
Look into using your Petricite Burst (P) early on to damage Mordekaiser when he attempts to last-hit any creep. On top of that, use your Kingslayer (W) to bait Mordekaiser into trading with you before healing back most of your health. Work towards Everfrost, which will boost your power by a lot and will give you easier access to your combo due to the slow or root active on the Mythic item.
Once you reach level six, you’ll get access to Hijack (R) to steal Mordekaiser’ ultimate and match his dueling power post-six. You can easily take him down during his ultimate if you manage to do it outside the ultimate as well. The stats he steals will be given back to you after you use the copy of his ultimate, making you much harder to kill.
During the mid game, use your ultimate to steal crucial abilities from the opposing team and create plays. Avoid sticking in lane and matching Mordekaiser since he’ll be able to just farm up and avoid trading with you. Keep up a teamfighting playstyle and look towards picking up kills on the opposing team, but don’t forget to also farm up and clear waves so Mordekaiser doesn’t get free time to split push. If he does, he will become a huge teamfight menace capable of taking down any member down from your team.
Vayne is one of the most annoying champions to deal with in the top lane as a melee champion. She counters Mordekaiser’ tactics perfectly with her ranged kit and has the possibility to knock him away even if he gets too close.
During the laning phase, use Vayne’s auto-attack reset from Tumble (Q) combined with the damage from Silver Bolts (W) to poke Mordekaiser’ health down. Avoid going into close proximity to him to not get hooked into him and possibly killed if you’re low health. Keep an aggressive playstyle and poke Mordekaiser down every time he tries to go for a last-hit. By doing so, you can build a significant gold and experience advantage and set up the lane for a freeze.
While most players will push the lane and give their opponents time to farm back up, it’s better to stop the lane near your tower and focus on last-hitting while it’s frozen. This will allow you to win the laning phase without exposing yourself to too much risk by going for constant aggressive trades. Since you are a squishy champion, every small misstep can cost you the laning phase and eventually the game if you’re not careful enough.
If you froze the wave or played aggressively and kept forcing Mordekaiser on the defensive, you should be ahead in gold and experience. Look to help your teammates to secure Rift Herald, Scuttle Crabs, and dragons early on to snowball your lead. Avoid sitting idle in the laning phase and use your gold advantage to help teammates. If you stay in lane with a huge gold lead, you will eventually lose it.
During teamfights look into killing the frontline of the opposing team and avoid diving into multiple enemies. It’s better to spend more time killing the frontline instead of risking it to quickly eliminate the backline and get killed in the process as well. If you get ulted by the Mordekaiser, invest 1,300 gold into a Quicksilver Sash to deny him his ultimate.
Items to build into Mordekaiser
This is the boots option when facing Mordekaiser on various champions due to the magic resist granted early on. Since he won’t be building a lot of magic penetration early on, these boots can make you hard to kill.
This is a great anti-sustain item against Mordekaiser if you are finding yourself in melee range against him too often and want to stop him from sustaining too much. The build path is cheap and you can sit on this item for prolonged amounts of time until you can upgrade it. While the armor is not that useful against Mordekaiser, it can be against his teammates, so don’t avoid this item just because it doesn’t give you magic resist early on.
This is a great anti-sustain item if you’re ranged and can poke him down before you get into a close range against him. It’s cheap and has great build paths along the line, making it an amazing early-game investment, especially in the current sustain meta. It will pay off in the long-run since it has a great upgrade path as well.
Goredrinker is one of the strongest Mythic bruiser items. It allows you to turn the tides against Mordekaiser if you get caught by regaining a huge amount of health. While you won’t have a huge window to turn against him, the heal gained should aid your escape if you can’t kill him.
This Mythic item should help you escape Mordekaiser’s engages if you’re not careful with your positioning. It gives you great stats and a movement speed passive to kite him and chip his health away.
Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.