Malzahar Build Guide by roaringreindeer
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Malzahar vs AD
Threats to Malzahar with this build
|Yasuo||Start W and use your auto attacks to CS and pop his shield then harass during the early game. Once you hit 2, use your minion and W to pop his shield and push the wave with Malefic Visions. Late vision ult if he's in range, or harass with Call of the Void.|
"Bow to the void, or be consumed by it!"
Greetings, and congratulations for taking an interest in playing one of the coolest champions on the Rift. Malzahar is a high burst mage with medium-long range spells and a facerolling ultimate.
Malzahar is easily my favorite champion, and, with over 500 ranked games with Malzahar over 3 seasons, I figured it was time to share! Please enjoy this work in progress, leave whatever questions, comments, or recommendations you may have, and queue up as this awesome mid-laner the next chance you get!
- High burst
- Voidling passive
- Wave clear
- Mana regen
- Teamfighter & assassin
- % HP damage
- No mobility
- Very weak early game
Malzahar's passive summons a little voidling on his third spellcast. These minions will help you mow through minion waves after your first back, and can deal considerable damage to the enemy laner. Most notably, if you're voidling is out and you can apply Malefic Visions then you will deal, safely, a ridiculous amount of damage to your opponent. One of my favorite tactics is to accrue 3 stacks of your passive in the fountain, and then wait until level 2 to summon voidling. Apply Malefic Visions either immediately after landing a silence and summoning a voidling. Or, wait until the voidling grows a little bit and then apply Malefic Visions to do even more damage against the enemy laner. Use Malefic Visions and a couple auto attacks on minion waves to tap into this champion's waveclear.
Call of the Void
Malzahar's Q summons a beam of considerable length after a short delay which silences all enemies hit. This ability is typically maxed second and is Malzahar's longest range spell. It can be cast over walls to grant vision, cast on multiple grouped enemies, and is typically underrated. Due to the long range and low cooldown, this spell can be spammed late game to silence and prevent gapclosers, stop engages, silence enemy mages, steal dragon from behind the wall, or even wipe out entire creapwaves. It is especially potent when used in conjunction with ally spells that group or stun enemies such as Jarvan and Leona's ultimates.
Extremely underrated and highly valuable as a tank buster, and one of the spells that separates a good Malzahar from a beginner. Your ultimate is so much less without this ability. It does %hp damage, which means an unkillable, health stacking tank can be humbled and slain if suppressed while on top of this AOE. If I do not use my ultimate in conjunction with Null Zone then it is either a mistake or out of desperation. One added benefit and potential cherry for refraining from using the ultimate without this ability laid down first is that the short range of Null Zone will usually set you up for a mid-ult application of Ignite without worrying about cancelling your ultimate due to being out of Ignite's range.
Notoriously referred to by some as Space Aids, this single target ability is the second spell I grab on Malzahar and the first one I max. It has excellent AP scaling (like most of his abilities), and will jump from target to target if the target is slain during the duration. Using this ability effectively is the key to Malzahar's waveclear, and also forces Malzahar's voidling to prioritize attacking the affected enemy, a preference that is only superceded by the target of Malzahar's ultimate, if they differ. Personally, I find it is a waste of mana early game if used against the enemy laner without a voidling out as it is much more important to get the mana regen from the target bounce. Not to mention, this spell will often bounce to the enemy laner anyway (especially inexperienced opponents) if they get too close. One thing to watch out for is enemies with shields such as Yasuo who may intentionally let the spell bounce to them in order to slow Malzahar's waveclear and interrupt his mana regen. Because of its short range, I prefer to use Call of the Void for harass and only typically apply this spell to an enemy champion just before an ultimate, or right after or just before the end of the ultimate duration to apply the DOT to finish off a champion who may Flash or move out of range.
This game changing ultimate is rather straight forward. Note that it is on a pretty short cooldown after building Fiendish Codex. Use it frequently. This ultimate can be used in any of the combos below, and can lock down out of position squishies in teamfights, peel (or melt if used with Null Zone) diving tanks for your ADC, halt tower dives, fuddle silly ultimate attempts by champions like Zed, and secure kills either during or while initiating a gank. The best option in teamfights varies by situation, but generally you want to ultimate the enemy
ADC or mid lane enemy, preventing them from doing damage for the duration of the suppress and potentially taking them out of the fight. This being said, do not underestimate taking a diving enemy out of the fight unexpectedly. Great candidates for this are champions like Leona, Malphite, and Nasus. Each of these champions can generally be dealt with relatively quickly with a properly placed Null Zone -> Nether Grasp, typically forcing at least a retreat by the enemy team.
How to fight
Malzahar is one of the best duelers in the game. While his kit and lack of mobility leave little room for outplaying, his damage scaling and CC leave most champions at his mercy. This section will go over many of the most common combinations that I use with Malzahar and when to use them.
Combo 1: Pick or gank
Call of the Void -> Null Zone -> Malefic Visions -> Nether Grasp -> Ignite (optional)
You want to use this combo when you are either unseen by an approaching enemy, such as in an unwarded bush, or when ganking an unsuspecting lane. This is primarily your early game roaming combo as well as your mid to late game pick combo.
As the enemy approaches, lay a Call of the Void. You'll have to place it ahead of them because remember it has a short delay before damage. This will silence your enemy and as they're approaching you they'll have no chance to use any counter spell before you get your combo off.
Cast your Null Zone either slightly in front of them or right underneath them. This spell has no casttime so if you're doing the combo quickly enough it will be hard to miss. This will ensure they're taking % max health damage during the duration of the combination.
Place your Malefic Visions on them. This spell is impossible to miss but it does have a cast time. This is your best damage ability and will do DOT for the duration of your ultimate.
At this point in the combo, your enemy should still be silenced. If they're not, practice doing this combo faster. As they're still silenced, the most they'll be able to do is land an auto attack on you, depending on their movement speed and how far they were from you when the combo was started. Use Nether Grasp. They will take the full damage of this spell unless interrupted.
During Nether Grasp, the silence will wear off. In some instances the full combo will not be enough to finish them off. This is especially likely if you botch some of the combo. Sometimes I miss my Call of the Void, or I spam the combo too fast and don't get the Malefic Visions off before the Nether Grasp. Whatever the case, use Ignite if you're worried the combo won't be enough, as you'll be on cool downs after the suppress and only able to auto attack with your minion at best whereas your enemy will likely have their full kit up. There shouldn't be any danger of accidentally cancelling your Nether Grasp when adding Ignite mid-ult as this combo involves an approaching enemy.
If you missed Malefic Visions, which I do sometimes, be ready to apply it immediately after Nether Grasp ends and hopefully the spell will finish your enemy off before they unleash their payback.
Unseen by enemy:
Combo 2: In lane
Flash (optional) -> Call of the Void -> Null Zone -> Malefic Visions -> Nether Grasp -> Ignite (optional)
Flash (optional) -> Call of the Void -> Null Zone -> Nether Grasp -> Malefic Visions -> Ignite (optional)
This combo is best used early game once you have your ultimate and sometimes can be used without Nether Grasp. Generally I won’t use this combination against an enemy laner at full health. If it is early game, you most likely won’t have enough damage with this combo or if you do, it can easily be botched by missing a Call of the Void and if you don’t get the full combo off, you may waste a Flash. As such, I like to use this combo against an unexpecting or overconfident enemy laner that has 75% or less health and low magic resist.
After poking the enemy laner down to an appropriate level (generally <75% hp), you’ll want to move up to just out of your spell range. This usually means just behind the caster minions or to the side. Wait until your full combo is available, and have a voidling out if possible. Your enemy laner will not expect a Flash genereally and will consider themselves out of your range. Here the Flash may be optional. If you can move up while they’re CSing and land the Call of the Void, follow through with the rest of your combo. One way to do this is from the side, because many times the enemy will retreat north to south, allowing you to line up a north-south Call of the Void. If you can’t get in range to start the combo, surprise Flash into range and use the combo. Generally this will finish off an enemy laner, but sometimes an extra auto attack or two as they retreat will be needed. If you land your Call of the Void, you may have time to auto-attack while they're silenced. If the enemy does not die, your auto attacks, or a voidling may help finish the enemy off. Voidling damage oftentimes can make the difference between netting a kill and forcing a back.
Combo 3: Against gap closer
Null Zone -> Call of the Void -> Malefic Visions -> Nether Grasp -> Ignite optional -> Zhonya's Hourglass (optional)
Oftentimes this fight is one of necessity. 1 on 1 in a sidelane, a surprise encounter in the jungle, or poor positioning in a teamfight.
It is important to place Null Zone underneath you and hold on the Call of the Void. If you land the silence before the gap closer is used, you can follow through with any of the above combos. Otherwise, silence after the gap is closed, and hopefully the Null Zone, Call of the Void damage, Malefic Visions, and Nether Grasp are enough to finish off the enemy. If you're in a team fight, and you have allies attacking the dive, you may only need to use Zhonya's Hourglass, kite, or Nether Grasp instead of a full combo, leaving spells for higher priority targets like the ADC.