Malzahar Build Guide by Bossieboy
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.
Malzahar is a pure mage that excells in 1v1 combat. He can outfarm most champs, harrass from a distance and has fantastic sustain.
Sit back and enjoy while I try to cover as much as I can.
The runes I have set are mainly to be able to harrass your opponent as much as possible.
He doesn't really need mana runes, since his Malefic Visions gives him all the mana he needs.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Marks & Seals
These will increase your harrassing power.
These will give you some more sustain, because Malzahar is usually played mid where you'll find yourself against an AP champ 9/10 times.
These quintessences might be a weird choice, but you will find they will come in handy for closing that gap just a litle bit faster, because Malz doesn't have any gap closers. Getting that Malefic Visions on the opponent is crucial to your harrassing if you're not quite experienced with him yet.
Feel free to change the Quintessences if you find you're skilled enough with Malefic Visions and think you're able to get it to jump from minions onto the opponent.
This is pretty obvious: Mage = AP so the offensive tree is all-out AP.
In the defensive tree I chose for defense from minions in stead of armor though, since as Malzahar you'll likely go mid and are probably not gonna fight an ad champ in laning phase.
Everytime Malzahar casts a spell, he gains a charge. After getting 3 charges, his next spell will summon a voidling, which will deal quite some damage.
!! You can trigger this spell faster by casting 3 spells on the summoner platform, so that your next spell in the battlefield will already summon the voidling!!
!! If you aren't gonna fully follow this guide, and want full CD reduction (40 %) you are able to have 3 voidlings at once (even though this will only last a few seconds)!!
Call of the Void
Malzahar creates two portals in a line, that will each individually fire a beam towards the other portal. If you can hit an opponent (even with only 1 beam) he is silenced for 1.4 - 3 seconds.
!! Try casting this spell 3 times after starting the game, so your first spell will spawn a voidling !!
!! Always try casting this on opponents who need to cast their spells to be usefell eg: Kassadin or Brand !!
!! Only level this skill second if you think you won't be able to get close enough to do a Null Zone Nether Grasp combo !!
Malzahar lays down a circle on the ground that ticks off 4 % - 8 % hp for every second a champ stands on it. For every 100 AP this percentage goes up with 1.
!! Try using this skill in combination with Nether Grasp and Ignite !!
!! This skill is great for teamfights, as it doesn't do instant damage, players will often underestimate the potential damage from it even if he only stands long enough on it for it to do 2 ticks !!
!! Don't be affraid to engage a tank with this skill, as his hp will go down faster than you think !!
Malzahar curses the targetted enemy, dealing damage over time. If the enemy dies while Malefic Visions is still on him, the curse will jump to the closest enemy and start dealing the full damage again. Malzahar gains mana everytime the curse jumps to a new enemy.
!! This is Malzahar's main harrassing skill, throw it down on a low hp minion, so it will jump to the opponent champion or just hit the opponent if you can reach him !!
!! This skill will give Malzahar great sustain if he gets the curse to jump a few times !!
!! If you plan on making a kill with your ult, make sure you're in close enough range to throw a Malefic Visions afterwards, as it might just finish the opponent off !!
This is Malzahar's ult. Malzahar Suppresses the opponent and himself for 2.5 sec dealing a lot of damage during the process.
!! The range of Nether Grasp is a little bigger than Malefic Visions so try getting a little closer than max range so you can throw a Malefic Visions afterwards !!
!! Look out for following champs: as they have skills that break the suppression (but not the damage, for this they need to get out of range) !!
!! Look out for opponents with Cleanse and/or Quicksilver Sash, These will also break the suppression !!
!! Don't use the suppresion if you're fighting 1v2 and the champ you're not targetting has a CC (stun, silence, interrupt), this will completely shut down the skill !!
!! You can use Ignite during this spell, just make sure you're in range, because if you cast Ignite out of range, you will stop the ult and walk closer to cast it !!
PROS / CONS
- Easy Farming;
- Sustain thanks to Malefic Visions;
- Great ganks with his ult;
- Anti-tank, thanks to Null Zone;
- Has a stun: Nether Grasp (Though he is stunned himself as well);
- Able to harras from a distance;
- Can be built AD and AP, because his Voidlings benefit a 1.0 AD ratio;
- Low Cooldown on ult.
- Very squishy;
- Vulnerable while using ult;
- No escape mechanism;
- Pretty much always needs his ult to make a kill.
- Easily countered with Cleanse & Quicksilver Sash.
There are multiple ways to build Malz, but the ending items should always look quite similar. I find using Boots of Speed & 3X Health Potion a very good way to start, since he gets mana regen from Malefic Visions.
Try farming (or making kills of course) untill you get enough gold to buy 2 Doran's Ring's. This is situational, if you find you're farming very well and you don't need to go to base yet, farm untill you can buy a Needlessly Large Rod.
If you're going back to base, make sure to get a sight ward as well.
catalyst the protector
After this it's up to you really. You can rush Rod of Ages from her out, or get Catalyst the Protector, leave it there and get Sorcerer's Shoes first and then get Rod of Ages.
If you're playing a bad game (underfarmed, died a few times) Don't rush Rod of Ages, but try stacking Doran's Ring a few times. This is a waste of gold, but it might help you catch up with the opponents for a while.
Now get a Rabadon's Deathcap, this will help you deal the damage malzahar deserves to deal. It will also enhance the AP gained from Rod of Ages.
In the basic build I've taken Void Staff & Banshee's Veil & Rylai's Crystal Scepter. If you find yourself in a situation where you get obbliterated by an AD every teamfight. Get Zhonya's Hourglass in stead of Banshee's Veil. If you find the enemy team too Tanky, get an Abyssal Scepter to also lower their MR. A more specific explanation down below.
Against tanky team
Against very high AD team
==>Here you can pick 2 items to end with: Thornmail OR Void Staff
This is for you to decide. It's simple really: Do I deal enough damage, but die too fast or am I already sustainable enough and have room for another damage item? (You will normally have enough hp thanks to Rod of Ages and Rylai's Crystal Scepter for Thornmail to be effective)
Against very high AP team
(This usually also means high CC team)
==> If you find yourself CC'd down too much, don't be affraid to get a Quicksilver Sash in stages of early game.
You should always try to take this spell, you can use it to finish off an opponent that's gotten out of range, or escape with it. You can also catch an opponent by surprise by using following combos
==> can easily finish off a low hp champ or is very viable as well.
For me this is best for Malzahar since he can use this during his ult.
This is a good alternative for Flash, though Flash can often get you out of thight spots, where ghost can't get you out of.
This is on the edge between 'maybe-spells' and 'good spells', but if you see an enemy team with much CC, this might be a better decission than Ignite
I've never really picked this on malz, but it might be good to gank other lanes faster or get back to your lane faster.
I'd say only pick this if no other player in your team did. But since your usually gonna try to get your opponent down with 1 combo, it's not really viable in my opinion.
This is good in combination with your voidlings, but i've only tried this on AD malz. Though I think this is a waste of spell, it might be good for pushing.
This might be good as well, but if you start this spell, it might trigger the opponent to back off before you were able to do a single thing.
Haven't ever really needed this, but if you feel you want this, go ahead and take it. It's not a waste of summoner spell, but other spells will probably be better.
Not really a fan on this, in my opinion it's only good on tanks.
Just no. Malzahar has enough mana sustain, so he really doesn't need this.
This is a spell the support should take, not the mage.
Malzahar is useless as jungler and has enough capability for farming, so he won't be needing this.
Now here is what I was waiting for to explain!!
The weird thing you might notice is that I take only 1 point in Call of the Void and max Null Zone as second skill.
It's true that by leveling Call of the Void before Null Zone, you can do more damage from a distance, BUT as i mentioned earlier, using the best of your ult will grant you most kills. Your ult works best in a combo with Null Zone, Just drop it under the opponent's feet and hit him with your ult. Ex: On level 12 you flash towards an enemy darius with 50 % hp left. You throw a rank 4 Null Zone under his feet and ult him meaning: 2.5 sec stun + 0.5 sec to get off of the null zone= 21 % hp only from standing on a certain spot. I can't imagine a Call of the Void doing this much damage.
So to summarize:
Skill sequence in my build:
Another viable Sequence
!! You won't be a bad Malzahar with this sequence. You will be perfectly capable of dealing out decent damage. If you find yourself against a very squishy team, don't pick the sequence in my build, as your W is best against opponents with high hp !!
I've been playing Malzahar as my main mid champ for quite a while now, if you find I've forgotten to mention something, or am completely wrong, let me know!
This is my first guide and I'm curious to see what people will think of it ;).
I hope it helps!
09-06-2012 EDIT: changed the lay-out on Runes, Masteries, Skill Sequence, items and a bonus.