Malzahar Build Guide by Bear Lover
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.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello, with this guide I am going to show you how to play Malzahar. Now, a big focus on this guide is Map Awareness. Malzahar is one of the strongest laners in League so pushing comes naturally to him. For you to be sucessful as Malzahar you have to be extremely map aware and smart with your play style.
For runes I focus mostly on mana regen since Malz's spells are so good and easy to spam. I take the flat magic resist for that little edge in lane.
For Masteries I also make sure to focus on mana regen. You have to always have mana as Malzahar.
Ah, the summoner spells. Flash is pretty much a must these days. After that you have a few choices. Ignite is such a solid choice, especially when paired with Malzahar's DoT. Ghost is another solid choice. Used for chasing or escaping it can be that extra edge over a kill or getaway. Cleanse Yes, Cleanse. I find this extremely situational and only to be taken when the enemy has very heavy cc or you a going to lane against someone with a hard stun and you want to be extra safe. Teleport Not a bad choice at all consdering Nether Grasp can be used for ganking. No other summoners are even worth thinking twice about on Malzahar.
Passive: Summon Voidling A very underated passive if you ask me. This is one of the things that makes Malzahar's lane phase so strong. Not only does it get stronger over time, but whenever it kills a creep you get the gold. This little guy packs a big punch once he gets maxed out. Many times I have had only enough mana for Malefic Visions and a voidling spawns off of it and helps get me the kill. This passive falls off hard late game, do little to nothing. Early game is when this shines. At level 6 with a maxed out voidling I find that Malefic Visions and Nether Grasp are more than enough to finish off or get someone low enough to finish them off easily.
Call of the VoidWhat a fantstic spell. AoE silence that at max level lasts 3 seconds. .80 ability power ratio. Use this spell to either lead off in a fight, stop a ulti or finish off someone in a fight. Mid-Late game this spell becomes an amazing poke skill. One thing I highly suggest before playing Malzahar competitevly though, learn how to lead this spell perfectly. I'm not kidding, it makes a huge difference. This spell can be the difference between getting a kill with almost no damage taken, to dying without getting any damage off. I see so many people start off with this at level 1 for the voidling and thats just not smart. Voidlings cannot be controlled, except by targeting enemies with Malefic Visions on them, rendering them useless at level 1. And besides, at level 1 all they are going to do is push your lane, leaving you open for a level 2 gank.
Null ZoneAnother great ability. Don't get me wrong, this skill is awful early game when nobody has hardly any hp pool size. But late game this thing is pure damage. Its very very important to remember that Null Zone causes damage as soon as it is put down. I have gotten many kills from finishing someone off just by throwing Null Zone down as they run away. Now, there are only a few times to use this ability. 1. When yo ulti someone, make sure its under them. 2. When you know you have a chance to free push, get it under as many minions as you can. 3. In Team fights, get it under as many enemies as you can. 4. Baron and Dragon. 5. To finish off an enemy. See a pattern here? Get it under as much as you can. Seriously, mid-late game team fights this can deal upwards of 300 damage a second. Be smart when using it though, dont just throw it out all over the place, it will waste valuable mana and opush when you dont need to push.
Malefic VisionsMalzahar's bread and butter ability. This little beauty is why Malzahar's lane phase is nearly unmatched. This is going to take a while to go over so bear with me. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS MAX THIS FIRST. Always take this ability first. The level 1 voidling isnt worth taking Call of the Void first. Now, how to properly use this ability. At level 1 only throw it do on a weak cree or on the enemy champion. Oh, an important reminder, each time the target with Visions on it dies, you gain 10/14/18/22/26 mana back, and it jumps to a nearby enemy unit. This will also help with mana issues, so long as you're smart with how you use it. If the creep you throw this on wont die from just the damage it causes, then auto attack the creep, you cant afford to lose the jump and mana gain. This ability is why you are going to push so much. Now, here is a tip that is going to help you immensely. When your creep wave reaches the enemy tower you are going to use a full combo. Throw down Malefic Visions ona a creep, use Call of the Void on the melee creeps, then throw down Null Void on as my creeps as you can an go back to about midway through the lane and wait. Keep going up to throw down Visions on creeps then go back to about midway through the lane. This ability is also amazing for harassing. There are two ways to harass with it. Option A: Throw it directly on the enemy champion. Option B: Throw it down on creeps and wait for it to make its way to the caster creeps. Once it reaches the caster creeps and kills 1 or 2 of them use Call of the Void to quickly kill the last one causeing it to jump to the enemy champion. Remember though, the enemy champion must be close to the caster minions in order for this to work.
Nether GraspI love this ulti. It's essentially a War Wick ultimate, except you dont jump on top of the enemy. This is your mainway of nuking but we well get into that later. Use this to set up ganks, set up your nuke, secure a kill, focus a carry and even save a teammate if used correctly. Its important to remember, casting other abilities will cancle the ultimate. Now there are a few times when this is actually a good thing. If you notice that the ulti itself wont be enough to kill them then cancle it to cast Malefic Visions and Ignite if you can right before the channel ends.
How To Nuke Properly
Now Malzahar has one of the best nukes in game. I've seen many people goof up the order of the nuke. Step 1. HIT Call of the Void. If you miss this dont even bother going for the nuke unless you are fed or the enemy is very low. Step 2. Throw Malefic Visions on the enemy champion. Step 3. Throw Ignite ont the enemy. Step 4. Throw Null Void under the enemy. Step 4. Cast Nether Grasp on the enemy. Step 6. If they are still alive use Call of the Void to finish them off. Go to practice games or vs bot games to practice this combo, trust me, it is worth it. Watching your enemy melt in a few short seconds while they are supressed and cant do thing about it brings a smile to your face. Dont be afraid to Ulti the enemy when they're in your turret range also, just make sure its focusing them.
Its important you start off with a Meki Pendant and 2 Health Potions. I see a lot of people take Doran's Ring. Look at it this way. Dorin's Ring gives 100hp 5 mana per 5 seconds and 15 ability power and builds into nothing. Starting with a Meki Pendant provides 7 mana per 5 seconds and the 2 Health Potion gives a total of 300 health regeneration. The Meki Pendant also builds into Tear of the Goddess and that builds into a Archangel's Staff. The potions 300 health regeneration outweighs the 100 hp the Doran's Ring gives and provides you with much better sustain. Now, once you get 605 gold for Tear of the Goddess you need to go back as soon as possible or stay long enough to get Boots of Speed. Its one or the other go back immediatley or stay till you have enough for boots also. Aftern you buy boots your going to buy a Blasting Wand. This is going to give you much needed ap and is the first step in buying a Rabadon's Deathcap. After the Blasting Wand comes the Sorcerer's Shoess. There really is no other boots I would take on Malzahar. I have seen a few people take Boots of Mobility for ganking puposes but I dont recommend this. After your completed boots you need a Needlessly Large Rod. After your Rod build a Rabadon's Deathcap ASAP. The damage this is going to give you is amazing. The next item on the list is Rylai's Crystal Scepter. The order in which you buy the items really isnt important, so long as this is the next item you get. Now these next three items Zhonya's Hourglass Void Staff and Archangel's Staff can be made in any order you want. Make sure you buy them though, dont stray off of the item build. You need Zhonya's Hourglass for the 2 second invincibility, the Void Staff for the Magic Penetration and the Archangel's Staff for the ability power and mana regen + mana bonuses it gives. I really cant recommend any other items on Malzahar. Each of these items plays a very important role in how Malzahar is played and are too important to how he works to stray from them.
This is very important when playing Malzahar just because of the fact that he is such a good pusher. Always be aware of where top and bottom lane champions are. Always call your mia's to help your team out. Be aware of the enemy jungler also. If they are a champion that doesnt run off mana be aware of a level 2 gank and play it safe until you see them pop up in another lane. If you see the enemy mid leave lane to try and get their blue ping them and tell your team and try for a steal or kill. Counter gank of mid goes for a gank on another lane. Gank whenever you can, if you have the hp, level and mana.
Farming is natural to Malzahar. For the first few levels you will need to help Malefic Visions by throwing some auto attacks so it doesnt just drop off. By the time you get your Needlessly Large Rod your Call of the Void will be able to wipe out a creep wave, atleast the caster minions. Malefic Visions will also be able to wipe out a creep wave by its self at this point also. You should be the most farmed champion at the end of lane phase.
Use Call of the Void and Malefic Visions as your primary forms of harassment. Make sure to lead Call of the Void and throw down Malefic Visions when you will take little to no damage. You Visions will bounce to the enemy champ from time to time and that provides a lot of harass. By level 6 a full combo should be more than enough to kill the enemy champion.
I suggest atleast 30-50 matches with Malzahar before you go into ranked games as him. You need to know how to lead Call of the Void perfectly before you do anything. Second comes his nuke. If you cant lead Call of the Void well or mess up his nuke combo go back to normals, vs bots, or custom games before you get into serious games as Malz. Make sure you are familiar with all the mid champs and know how to play against them. If you havent playd against an Kass or Talon as Malzahar make sure you do. They are two of the biggest threats to Malzahar mid.
Champs To Watch Out For
Kassadin: You have to be able to harass him when he harasses you. When he goes to Null Sphere you throw Malefic Visions on him or cut him off but hitting him with Call of the Void and then using Malefic Visions. You have to have a somewhat better hp amount than him by time you hit 6. Only go for a nuke on him if you get a silence off, otherwise he will ulti out and you will have wasted time and man. Focus on out farming and harassing him.
Talon: Boy is he good mid. You have to use your range here. Focus on just farming with Malefic Visions and hit him with Call of the Void whenever you can. Again, you have to make sure you have more hp than him by time level 6 comes around. Stay out of his harass range. If he jumps on you you have to make him pay when that silence wears off. Focus on out farming and out harassing him.
Swain: Man is he annoying. He is most likely going to beat you at the harass game. The only thing you can really do agaisnt him is out farm him. If you are going to ulti him MAKE SURE THE COMBO WILL KILL HIM AND HE ISNT IN Ravenous Flock. He will just heal out and you will have wasted mana and your ultimate.
Veigar: Just punish him whenever he goes to Baleful Strike. Avoid his stun and harass him heavily. You should be fine against him.
Ahri: Her high mobility at 6 makes her a pain. Make sure to minimaize the hits you take from her abilites. When she misses go in and make her pay. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wait until you silence her after 6 before you nuke her, she will just dash out. Focus on out farming and harassing her.
Mordekaiser: He is only a problem because of Iron Man. Harass him when he has little to no shield. Dont let his Siphon of Destruction hit you. Focus on out farming and harassing him.
Morgana: Her Black Shield and passive Soul Siphon make it hard to out harass and push her. Just make sure you silence her and throw Malefic Visions on her. Focus on out farming and harassing her.
I suggest putting Call of the Void and Null Zone on Smart Cast. Haveing Call of the Void on smart cast is incredibly useful and can be the difference between a kill and a death. Never Nether Grasp tanky champs, unless its certain that they will be killed and you wont need it in the near future. Use Call of the Void to poke mid-late game. If the enemies have Champions with channel ulti's save Call of the Void to cancle it. Nether Grasp will leave you in a vulnerable state while you channel it, be aware of your positioning when you use it.
All in all Malzahar is a great champ that offers some very good utility. Be smart when you play him. Dont blow all your mana unless you are positive that you can obtain a kill. I find he has a place on most teams. He does take some practicing to learn how to fully use him to the best of his abilities. I hope you have learned how to better your Malzahar game.