Malzahar Build Guide by e7TopHat
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.
Many men have gone mad beneath the glare of the Shurima sun, but it was during the night's chilling embrace that Malzahar relinquished his sanity. Malzahar was born a seer, blessed with the gift of prophecy. His talent, though unrefined, promised to be one of Runeterra's greatest boons, but destiny plotted him another course; his sensitivity to the roiling tides of fate allowed other, unwelcome things to tug at his subconscious mind. In his dreams, where the veil of separation is thinnest, a sinister thing beckoned. For some time, Malzahar was able to resist its prodding solicitation, but with each passing night the voice grew louder, or perhaps deeper, until he could withstand the call no more.
He ventured into the desert without supplies, drawn by the lure of a specious charm. His destination: a lost civilization to the east, known to ancient texts as Icathia. Few believed such a place ever existed, and those who did were certain that the sands had long since devoured whatever remained. When Malzahar's cracked feet finally failed him, he found himself kneeling at the base of a bizarre crumbling obelisk. Beyond it lay the alien geometry of a ruined city and the giant decaying idols of dark and horrific gods. His eyes, seeing what others cannot, and what none should, were filled with the essence of the Void. His once shifting visions of the future were replaced with the immutable promise of Valoran beset by creatures of the Void. Standing alone, but not alone, amidst the echoing dunes, he noticed the familiar voice escape his own lips in a parched rasp, bearing three words whose weight trembled his knees. League of Legends. Now infused with the power of the void itself, Malzahar set off to the north to seek his fate.
''The land may melt, the sea may swell, the sky may fall... but They will come.'' - Malzahar
Hello! And welcome to my first build for League of Legends. This build focuses around one of my favourite Champions in League of Legends, as well as one of the most enjoyable to play in my opinion. Malzahar. This guide will, hopefully get on you the right track to playing Malzahar:
The first thing to note about Malzahar is that he is an amazing farmer and harasser in mid lane, and this guide specifically focuses on him being mid lane. The build itself revolves around stacking AP, armor penetration and health, helping take down those heavily stacked MR fellows.
One thing to note about this entire build just as a heads up!
This build is for the person who likes to play conservatively. This is mainly because Mejai's Soulstealer relies on you not dying at all, or dying VERY little. You CAN play this aggressively, but everything i'v pointed out in this build has been played as a conservative, sort of paranoid style!
Anyways! Keep on reading for the rest of the information!
The main issue I find with Malzahar, especially early laning can be keeping his mana from instantly dropping off the face of the earth because he has extremely high mana costs. For anyone NEW to using Malzahar, i'd recommend a Doran's Ring for the mana regeneration to help keep you in the lane longer. However, once you've learned how to best use his Malefic Vision's, Doran's Ring is just a useless item which is costing you survivability and gankability [that should be a real word!]
I set up my masteries for Spell Damage, survivability and utility. I went heavy into utility for mana regeneration, and also the 15 second cooldown on Flash which is a VERY important skill for ANY champion who doesn't have some sort of excellent method of escape.
Because Malzahar has nice AP ratio's [being 0.8 - 1.3], I like to maximize on the amount of possible damage he can do. For this I went with
9 Greater Mark of Insight
9 Greater Seal of Potency
9 Greater Glyph of Potency
3 Greater Quintessence of Potency
Now there are also a few alternatives to this. Since Malzahar does have less spammable skills, you can also go for CDR runes to help maximize damage output. However, I ALWAYS have a blue buff on, so my CDR is enough that since I don't wastefully spam my spells, I can get by with the CD I have and take the extra damage. Another great idea if you're having trouble with mana early game are some Mana Regeneration runes!
You can also stack Magic Penetration runes and avoid getting Sorc Shoes + Void staff and grab boots of swiftness + another high AP item of your choice to balance it out. These boots will give you more survivability to an extent.
Just keep in mind, whatever you want to do for runes, make sure you can compensate somewhere else.
You have a couple options here. My personal preference is to go with either:
Ghost / Flash
Exhaust / Flash
Ignite / Flash
The huge, HUGE disadvantage that Malzahar has compared to other Champions is he has NO mobility. He's got no slow, speed, stun or suppress [his ult doesn't count because he ALSO has to come to a complete stop]. This makes him VERY easy to gank if you don't play cautiously and smart. I usually run Exhaust / Flash myself because I am usually really cautious with Malzahar, and a single flash is enough to keep me out of trouble. For anyone who likes to play aggressively, I would suggest Ghost / Flash, because you WILL need it unless you want to play conservatively.
The last option is basically if your entire team is running exhaust. Then you can run ignite for team fights.
The first, most notable thing about Malzahar is his Call of the Void. It's a very unique skill that is often the first thing people think of when they think of Malzahar. It takes timing, precision and a great deal of trial and error to become efficient to maximize the damage that it can cause.
However, this is not the reason I love him. Below I will list skills lifted directly from the LoL website and give my own personal views on them:
Call of the Void - Malzahar opens up two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles that deal magic damage and silence enemy champions.
Malzahar opens two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles that deal 80/135/190/245/300 (+0.8) magic damage and silence champions for 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6/3 seconds.
Cost 80/90/100/110/120 Mana
This spell has a few good uses. In tightly packed team fights you can drop it in the centre to nail a few enemy champions for some nice damage and giving them a silence so your team has a small window to put out damage without worrying about damage.
This spell is also amazing for last hitting enemy Champions. After a E, W, R combo, a Q is almost guarantee'd to land you the final kill, and it's easy to position it on a runaway enemy who is fleeing for their life that they just walk right into it and die.
This skill get's maxed out second.
Null Zone - Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy which damages enemies that stand in it.
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone damages nearby enemies for 4/5/6/7/8% (+0.01%) of their max health each second (damage to Monsters is capped).
Cost 90/100/110/120/130 Mana
This is a skill I am sure everyone is aware of to some extent. A black puddle on the ground means move and all [but the most nooby of the nooby] Champions will move out of the way of this.
This skill is best used in conjunction with your Ultimate because of the Suppress effect your ult gives. This forces the enemy to take atleast half the duration of your Null Zones effect.
Asides from this, Null Zone can be used for zoning and keeping enemies squared away while you farm. The only other time this seems useful is during team fights when people aren't paying attention to ground targeted AoE spells and tend to stand on them for most of the duration of it.
This spell get's maxed last.
Malefic Visions - Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and Malzahar gains mana. Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units.
Malzahar infects his target's mind, dealing 80/140/200/260/320 (+0.8) magic damage over 4 seconds.
If the target dies during this time, the visions pass to a nearby enemy and Malzahar gains 10/14/18/22/26 mana.
Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units.
Cost 60/75/90/105/120 Mana
This, as far as I am concerned, is Malzahars greatest ability, and there are a few reasons for this.
The first is the general fact is that this is an absolutely amazing skill for farming creeps. The second major thing I love about this skill is when it's gotten to approx. level 3, the mana return on infecting creeps who die is high enough that you can usually restore most, if not all, of your mana with just a single cast of Malefic Visions, and at level 5, it will almost always return more mana that you spent to cast it.
The third reason I absolutely love this skill is the range of the jump that Malefic Visions uses, because more often that naught, your opposing champ in Mid is desperately trying to get some farming in and this can jump to them without them noticing it, and it just starts eating away at their health. This coupled with your W and Q make EXCELLENT harassing combinations to keep your opposing champion underfarmed.
Nether Grasp - Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to suppress his target and deal damage each second.
Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to suppress his target as well as deal 250/400/550 (+1.3) magic damage over 2.5 seconds.
Cost 150/150/150 Mana
There is nothing to really say about Malzahars ult. It's got a few good uses and can easily kill a single enemy. The best part of it however, is the AP ratio. Coupled with 20 stacks of Soulstealer and your full gear + Baron makes your ult almost guarantee'd to insta-kill anyone who isn't stacking MR like a madman.
Summon Voidling - After casting 4 spells, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200 + 50 x lvl Health and 20 + 5 x lvl Damage.
Voidlings Grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed).
Useful early game for harassing a champ, but pretty useless late game to be honest.
Now we get to the most important Aspect of LoL! How to build your Champion! As is with all games, everything is situational. So most of your gear will be situational as well. However, my main suggestion goes as followed for any Malzahar!
I realize this is alot of "core" items, but all have their very amazing uses for Malzahar. From here on out it's situational. If you're noticing you're being focused down alot, try to grab something to give you survivability.
As far as i'm concerned, this is probably the only item you HAVE to have end game. Malzahars AP ratio's are to nice to not have Deathcap.
Everything else is up to you. If the enemy team has alot of AP carries, I'd suggest grabbing Lichbane for the MR that comes with the AP.
Farming and Teamwork
I am combining both these sections for the sole reason that the farming section on Malzahar is really small.
Farming will Malzahar is pretty simple. It revolves almost entirely around inflicting the most targeted enemy minion in your lane [targeted by YOUR minions] and casting Malefic Visions on it. The rest of the farming continues as you auto-attack the creep enough that Malefic Visions won't wear off before the creep dies. As Malefic Visions get's higher in level, it will do more damage and you will have to auto-attack less and less so the skill keeps spreading.
While your Malefic Visions does it's work, it's an EXCELLENT time to start harassing the opposing champion. If you can keep their best carry under farmed, it's going to tip the scales heavily for your team late game.
One of the most major things I noticed since I started using Malzahar, the opposing mid-lane champion gets frustrated from being under farmed and tend to try and get you ganked AND try to go gank your team because they are looking to make up for the lost farming you've been causing. It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that you call out EVERY missing-in-action call you can. Because Malzahar can essentially farm without actually doing anything, there is no reason you can't call out a single Missing-in-Action.
As well, at the start of your game, make sure you let your team know that you NEED to know MIA calls. Once you get Rod of Ages, it becomes alot harder to get ganked, but for extra security, putting down a couple wards during laning phase is a better idea. You never know when 2-4 Champs will be called MIA as they are falling on you with so much CC and damage that being next to a tower WITH a flash still open won't help you.
One of the other great things I love about Malzahar is he's free to gank another lane because, more often than not, you force the enemy to recall to heal up. This gives you an excellent advantage to throw down a Malefic Vision so you're still farming, run to another lane, drop your E, W, R, Q combo for a kill and then get back to your own lane.
Once you get mid-late game, you start becoming a rather large part of team-fights. With high AP ratios, you're going to want to get in to throw down your E on a squishy, your W whereever the tank and carries are gathered, and a Q to nail whoever you can with it, preferably a support or a few carries. You can even use your R [if so inclined] to help suppress an enemy for a few seconds to keep them out of a fight. This works EXCELLENT on supports or really dangerous carries.
This is all you need from the jungle, and all that is worth getting for Malzahar. The cooldown reduction AND mana regeneration kill two birds with one stone, and by level 6-8 depending on your gear you can start grabbing blue buffs then. Just be wary of getting ganked or having your lane pushed while you do this.
The Ups and Downs.
Malzahar has good and bad things going for him. Both of which you can read below!
-Good AP ratio's
-Multitude of different skills which make him capable of dealing with different situations
-Blue Buff helps with Mana AND CDR for him
-Self-sustain spell once it levels up
-Excellent in team fights
-Has NO mobility except summoner skills
-Very long cooldowns, especially early on
-High mana costs
-Low mana pool
-Requires his ult to win any 1v1 fight
-Passive becomes relatively useless late game [voidlings die almost instantly]
-Low survivability outside of stacking items
My personal experiences with Malzahar have been good ones. Even if my team decided to surrender 20 minutes in because they were losing, each game is just more and more Practice with Malzahar.
He is absolutely amazing at holding his lane, and can EASILY 1v2 , and he's fun to play.
He is an amazing and fun farmer.
He's a great harasser, against ranged OR melee.
He's interesting to play. He's unlike alot of other champions and for me that's a huge plus.
The best part of him....
I'v never ONCE been called a noob for using an "OP" champ while on him.
I hope this guide helped you guys, atleast a bit in getting accustomed to Malzahar. I'd appreciate any feedback, ideas or changes you guys have and will consider adding them after testing them myself! This is my first guide, so any form of criticism is welcome, as long as it's constructive! If there is something you don't like, please give me a reason why!