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How to Counter Mordekaiser with Garen

Countering Morde with Garen: Quick Tips 

  • Max E 
  • Doran’s Shield
  • Wit’s End
  • Mordekaiser can spam his abilities so you must work around his cooldowns when farming
Playing against Mordekaiser with Garen

Mordekaiser can be painful throughout all stages of the game. A high damage tank with an ult that can take carries out of the game. If only there was another champ who did the same…

Of course there is! There are tonnes of bruisers in League. First you have to know how to find them, then you have to know how to play them. Now you’ve found Garen, but you’ve met your match with Mordekaiser. Do not worry young apprentice, Champion Counters is here to guide you this matchup, and any others giving you trouble. 

Garen is best from early to mid game when he can deal and take large amounts of damage. In terms of scaling, Morde has a slight edge on Garen as the game tends towards its later stage. Morde’s ult is better for team fights and he can provide CC which is absent from Garen’s kit. 

While you won’t be useless late game, it’s best to take advantage of your strengths while you can. The aim of this matchup will be to help around the map by gaining an early lead and/or getting lane prio before looking to gank other lanes. 

Garen vs Mordekaiser: Laning mechanics

Basics

Both of these champions run without mana so both are free to spam their abilities. The trick to playing against champions without mana is just being mindful of cooldowns. Secondly, Mordekaiser’s resource bar is an indicator which you need to understand in order to improve your odds against him. Simply put, Morde stores damages that he deals and takes as a potential shield which he can activate using his W. If he reactivates early he will restore a portion of it as health. It’s best to trade when this bar is low.  

An Extended Trade Favoring Passive

Morde’s passive is simple. If he lands 3 attacks on champions he will damage enemies around him until his combat with the champion is over. It also grants him extra damage on his basic attacks. This passive allows him to stack Conqueror and maintain long trades while stacking his shield up. Even though Morde holds his own in extended trades, you should be able to win trades which start with a Q and an E and end with you walking out as soon as your E finishes. Morde may try to prolong the trade by pulling you when it ends rather than at the beginning. Keep in mind that you might have to dodge an E after a trade. 

Mordekaiser’s Q (The Smash) 

Early game this ability is a large source of Morde’s damage. It’s the first ability he will max, and has a cooldown order of 9 / 7.75 / 6.5 / 5.25 / 4. It has a short range, and a cast time of 0.5 seconds. Dodging this will help keep you healthy in lane. Seeing as it’s the closest thing to ranged poke Morde has in his kit, avoiding it will allow you to maintain your passive and heal up. If you can keep your Q up and dodge a Q from Mordekaiser, you can take the opportunity to go in for a Q E trade and chunk out his health. Without his Q he will be short on damage and need to land 1 extra hit on you in order to stack up his passive. 

Dodging Es and Qs. 

Whenever Morde Es he will almost always Q as well. Being hit by this combo is deadly. The easiest way to dodge these abilities is to dodge to the side rather than walk backwards. The hitboxes are much longer than they are wide. Ideally you should trade when his E is down. It has a fat cooldown (24 secs) so if you can dodge it you’ve got a long time to look for trades. Also keep in mind that it doesn’t matter which part of Morde’s E you get pulled by, you will always be pulled the same amount. Remember that before you try to get too cheeky under tower.  

Pesky Ults

Mordekaiser is harder to fight in the death realm because he steals 10% of your stats. Once you’ve got a Wit’s End it will be much easier to take Morde on in straight up 1v1s. Until you’ve got decent MR you have to be careful where you’re positioned relative to your tower while his ult is up. If you’re caught too far away you won’t be able to run back to tower and Morde will take you down. 

Be careful when asking for ganks. Morde can turn a 2v1 gank into a double kill with ease. If he kills the enemy he takes to the death realm he keeps the stats until they respawn. Mordekaiser will try to ult you if your ult is down so make sure you use your ult right and are careful when it’s down.

Take ignite and try to gain an early lead with clever trades and deft footwork. Use your maxed E to gain lane priority and look for ganks around the map.

Countering Morde: Itemization and Runes

Conqueror is the best rune for Garen in the current meta. It will help you survive the death realm and scale well into the late game. If their team hard scales because of late game champs like Veigar, Vayne etc take Sorcery secondary. If your team is slacking on tank patrol take Resolve. 

Wit’s End is great for Garen into Mordekaiser because of how much it does for you in 1v1s. Extra MR, healing and attack speed are perfect for this situation, combined with a maxed E which applies on hit effects and you’re doing business. 

Don’t stack Black Cleaver and Tri Force, or Phantom Dancer and Sterak’s. You only need one of each. 

More info on how to build Garen.

Final Thoughts 

As the game goes on your focus on Mordekaiser will ease off while your concentration on enemy carries will sharpen. Morde will be doing a lot less damage than their ADCs. You might not want to waste your ult on Morde.

Follow these tips and tricks and you will conquer the death realm in the name of Demacia. 

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