Build Guide by zlipus
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.
Greetings! This is my first guide so try to not bash it too much. This guide will cover general strategies using malzahar/in-depth information on his skills and how you can use them/my own item builds that I've adjusted to and gotten very comfortable with. But of course, don't read then and go into a game thinking you'll automatically pwn. The guide is pretty long. Eventually will have youtube videos to better describe my strats.
Quick guide note: Prior to the changes to malzahar I ran a very offensive item build. Now I am running a little more defensive oriented. The spell descriptions and what not are still the same and my basic gameplay mantra still applies. PROPER PLACEMENT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Being behind your team and holding off on your spells till the right time will mean the difference between you shutting down their team or getting wrecked yourself. So without further blabber.
Lets go over what kind of character this is.
Malzahar first and foremost is a challenging character, if you intend to do well with himYOU WILL HAVE TO PUT IN THE TIME AND EFFORT. I hear all the time that his abilities are impossible to land and that his ult is one of the worst cause it stuns you too. Well kenny downsyndrome out there saying this, you have forgotten your meds today. If you randomly throw out your spells without even thinking about it like you're anivia or annie of course people will just waltz around your void zone and avoid your call of the void. It requires a very strategy based way of thinking when using his spells properly. All this said though, when you learn how to aim his spells and where to place them at just the right time you will become an insanely valuable member of any team.
-High damage output due to very high ap scaling
-One of the best champs to take mid due to harassing/farming abilities
-Can often be the deciding factor in a team fight due to damage and silence
-Trolls the current tanky metagame with proper usage of null zone
-Squishy, no core escape mechanism what so ever. Combined with low stats.
-Can be very mana starved if played poorly early game.
-Spells have longer natural cool downs that most other nukers.
Ghost/Cleanse: Main combo that I use. Cleanse is a good spell, while its not freaking awesome 1vs1 or early game. It will be really valuable in end game when people start breaking out their big CC and snares. Considering malzahar has no innate escape mechanisms and the fact that he is one of the squisher champs this will help keep you in a fight and hopefully out of harms way.
Ghost/flash: Good combo, flash is kinda lame atm though. It won't save you on its own but its got more offensive utility than cleanse. But at any rate these 2 spells will save you from many ganks or hopefully land you a kill if you can catch someone quick enough with a well aimed CoTV.
Why no ignite? Ignite isn't a bad summoner spell for Malzahar, infact I do recommend it while you have just picked him up and are learning the ropes. But the fact is he does not need it to get kills. Most of his abilities when lined up properly will demolish someone.
Just keep in mind that if you are dead you are not contributing/gaining gold or exp and letting the other team push up and get more organized when you make the decision for spells.
-Spell pen marks is a req of almost every caster, no brainer there.
-I pick mp5/lvl Seals. Combined with Malefic visions you will be able to lane until you decide to leave and this gives you some breathing room for harassing with Call of the Void
-Cooldown glyphs, Malzahar has longer cool downs on his spells than most casters and this is a req of almost all malzahar builds/casters in general.
-AP quints for now, but this may change in the near future after some more playing around.
Nothing special here, the "standard" 9/0/21 for most casters suits him very well. Not much you could change here to be useful to him.
If you find that you are dying too easily or don't like being poked alot before the team fight starts you can put some points into prot tree for the hp regen based on mana talent. I've tried this a few times and thanks to archangel's it did provide a decent amount of hp regen that let me take a little harassment.
This is just my personal item build and is by no means the only/best build out there. I used to play a fairly aggressive build that had no survivability. However due to recent range/cooldown changes. Rylai's is now an item I'd expect every malzahar to buy. Its not quite rush worthy but its definitely something you want in your build. The slow combined with your dot almost guarantees a runner is gonna die if they get too seperated.
These are the items you should be able to get no matter how your game is going. Starting items can be either doran's ring or mana sapphire + hp pot. Doran's ring gives a little more survivability, but if you are comfortable with malzahar then the sapphire is the way to go.
-Arch Angel's staff
-Abyssal scepter/void staff
These 4 items are the ones that form up the core. I can get these most games unless extreme circumstances occur (team is super feeding and loss before 25 mins is inc. or conversely we're gonna win fast). They give him a workable amount of AP and are relatively cheap with rylai's being the most expensive. Since Malzahar is a great farmer gold shouldn't be an issue unless your team is doing poorly.
Anyhow, the item build up top is usually the exact sequence I will buy my items. Depending on situations I may build one item faster than another. EX: they're not buying one MR item to mess with your dps so i'll buy rylai's quicker. You just have to look into each situation and plan your build.
A quick note on Spell pen. I tend to just get void staff/abyssal scepter regardless of enemy make up. Granted with sorc boots and runes you have close to 30 magic pen which is all some champs have at 18. The extra magic pen will really just balance out your gameplay to ensure you're doing max damage to everyone, even that one or two guys on the other team that thinks that banshee's veil is gonna save them.
When it comes to void vs abyssal. Its just a simple matter of seeing how much magic dmg you're expecting to take. If they got an AP akali and katarina with some other casters, you'd be silly to take void staff.
:Zhonya's ring. This will hopefully be your 5th item, IF you were ganking and keeping creep waves under control you should have this in a relatively quick time after end game starts. This item combined with your spell pen will turn you into a power house. Your spells will hit for a very large amount and the passive/active is a very nice addition.
Extra Tip: If you think the game will drag on long enough and don't need the extra survivability from your 6th item, build another archangel's staff for the 6th. This will boost your AP to incredible amounts and doesn't require mejai stacks. This is rarely practical, but it is very fun when the situtation presents itself.
-Mejai's soul stealer
:Mejai's soul stealer. As the standard warning for any caster, if you even think that you might not be able to keep your stacks up don't bother with this item. You will just look silly and will have wasted 800gold. On the other hand, with careful play and (again) PROPER PLACEMENT. This will turn you into a power house that will easily take down just about anyone. Obviously if you are gonna choose this item it won't be your 6th, but rather the ideal time to make it would be after you have your tear and sorc boots.
:Guardian angel is a decent choice. If you find that their carry is making it to you unhindered or recieving an extrordinary amount of assistance and going for you this will help balance out the terms of a team fight.
:Banshee's veil is usually what I'll take. The extra hp/mr are very nice and helps keep dangerous CC off you. Because you're gonna be playing smart and not getting poked like everyone else before the team fight starts... right?
:Lich Bane is unusual I know. But consider that malzahar has a larger than average attack range compared to the rest of the cast but not the longest. Then consider that with this 6th item you should have around the area of 500-600 ap. Which translates into more damage and possibly finishing off people with your high damage auto attack. Also handy for the movement speed and the extra dmg will be nice for towers.
I will be leaving out the spell descriptions due to there being numerous sources and instead giving a quick sum up. You do not have to follow the skill build too closely. The general rule of thumb is nether grasp > Malefic visons > Call of the void > Null zone.
Summons an uncontrollable pet after 5 spell casts (ignite counts towards proc). Grows stronger after 7 seconds then again after 14 seconds. Lasts 21 seconds all together
Now then, this sounds very good on paper. However while this is not a bad passive it does have current problems that prevent it from being awesome. You should have 4 stacks of it at the start of every game through call of the void. It helps you farm w/e lane you're in and if you're lucky it will stick to the enemy champ and chase them down. RARELY it can score you kills. The AI tends to make the voidling stick near you. Meaning if you're near the minions it will tend to attack them and if you attack the back ones with a champion there it tends to make a Bee line for the champ. But again it seems to be leashed to you most of the time so if you step back it will stop chasing, then again on the rare occasion it won't....
Call of the Void
Opens 2 portals that shoot a projectile at each other hitting anything between them and silences their targets. Has a short delay before it will fire.
Ahhhh CoTV a wonderful spell and your most important team vs team spell. Huge range makes it great for harassing and scoring kills on runners. Its great at picking people off that are turret humping because you're not actually targeting them and turret won't get you till you actually hit with it, giving you time to escape.
[b]Damage:[/b] It gets 80% of your AP on top of its natural high damage(Important to note that it shoots 2 projectiles that deal half the spell's stated damage, so both must hit to get full dmg). By end game this spell alone can take out a full minion wave and take huge chunks of hp from anyone hit by it.
Silence: The reason you are feared after practicing your aim. This can often be the deciding factor in a fight. It is vital to get into the habit of spotting other champion ultimates and shutting them down with this. Anything that has be to channeled/cast is vulnerable to this spell and will be shut down, thus giving your team that advantage. Just try and imagine how many champion ults fit under the category of cast/channeled and you can see how useful this is and how it can really cripple the other team.
How to use it: This is a tricky spell to land reliably but don't let that intimidate you. The icon is just like other caster wall spells only larger. It will be perpendicular to your champion when trying to move it around. Now if you're going head to head with another champion you have a very narrow area of which to hit them with. You will have to predict how they will react to it and lead the shot in order to guarantee the hit. However if you come at them from an angle it becomes much easier to hit them while leaving yourself slightly more vulnerable to them. This spell can be cast without LoS, which makes it perfect for finishing people trying to run through jungle or using it to scout bushes.
A wierd thing can happen as well that benefits you a bit but is definitely a bug. If they get hit from one side of the spell immediately they will be silenced, then if the other portal hits them later it will refresh the silence. Not a huge boost but its nice when it happens.
Extra: The range of this spell is HUGE. You can put the wall icon on the outside edge of your aiming area and it will fire without you having to move. This makes the spell very hard to predict/dodge for a stationary champ.
Small aoe that deals % damage based on the enemy's max HP or does a flat amount to minions.
Damage: It doesn't shine until mid-end game. People just dont have that much hp and your malefic dot will end up being more useful. Added the fact that it scales poorly with AP. But once in end game this will be the thing that does the most damage in a team fight. As it can do 12-15% of someone's max hp per second.
How to use it: This is malzahar's most under rated skill. I really think people are just trying to 1vs5 and win when I read some of the complaints. Anyhow, it has absolutely amazing synergy with team CC. If your team has a stunner/rooter of any kind you can combine this with it and really pour on the hurt for the enemy. Worse case scenario is your team has no cc what so ever (besides your nether grasp -_-) and you can only expect to get 2-3 ticks out of this at most. But even then the damage is well worth it. Additionally this is a good deterrent if the enemy is chasing you. Most people won't just run through it and will take the time to run around it.
You have to be creative to make the most out of this spell though, just try and place it where you know the enemy has to go or where they are gonna go to ensure max damage.
Places a DoT on your target that ticks every half second for four seconds. If the target dies before the duration runs out the DoT will spread to the nearest enemy available. When it spreads in this manner it restores some mana.
Damage: This gets 80% of your ap as well, so it scales nicely. Its natural damage is also pretty high. This can be an extremely annoying spell for anyone you're laning against. Great in conjunction with your other spells or putting it on someone running away. End game with zohnya's this can do over 800 dmg.
How to use it: As your strongest pushing spell its important to understand this spell. At rank 1 you won't be able to reliably kill minions with this + autoattacks so just stick with CoTV harassing. At rank 2 it gets a little better but its still not strong enough to take out minions without extreme focus on them and therefore leaving you vulnerable to harassment. Rank 3 is when this gets really good, you can easily follow the dot with your attacks 2-3 times and ensure it will jump (siege creeps will take more obviously).
With the recent buff to this spell's range and cool down its an even better form of passive harassment in your lane. The range has been increased to 650 so thats a pretty good range for it to jump. An enemy may think they're fine standing off to the side to what may seem just out of range but often times its a very decieving range and forces the enemy champ back or face more spells from you. Or even better, they know what this spell is and are not willing to chance it jumping to them and just hang far back from their creeps. This keeps them from gaining a lot of gold pretty effectively.
At ranks 4-5 you can very easily get 2 of these off into a minion wave. By this I mean start off on the front end of the minion wave, then once its up again place another near the back. You can't stack dots on one target though, having one MV jump to another will simply refresh the duration. End game this dot alone can kill minions and with 2 dots moving through the pack you can effectively push a lane without being there.
Proper usage of this spell will allow you to lane for a very long time, but will not allow you to spam your abilities while going for a kill. You will need your core items or blue golem buff for that.
Channels on your target, dealing damage every half second for 2.5 seconds while stunning them for the duration. Has recently received a range buff drastically increasing its effectiveness.
Damage: Scales high up with AP, getting 150% of your AP as well as having a high base damage. If you manage to get MV on someone, drop a null zone under them and nail them with this while they're on it. They are dead. Some tanks with MR you may have to pop them with a CoTV but generally this thing will score you a kill if you use it right.
How to use it: Sounds simple enough right? Well there are things you HAVE to be aware of to ensure this sticks. People with cleanse will get out of this (for now)and mercury treads is an annoying item for this ult too.YOU CAN BE STUNNED/SILENCED/CC IN GENERAL out of this, so picking the wrong target and having someone walk over to you and CC you will waste it.
So what is it best used on? Thats a tricky answer when you consider that your typical spell combo can kill almost anyone. Unless its gonna be a 1vs1 fight or a gank typically I use this spell defensively. Why? Because you have to bare in mind that it does indeed stun you also for 2.5 seconds. That means if you run out front and pop a null zone even if well aimed and this spell you are gonna be a grease stain. So instead, I look out for the one wholes coming after me and are rushing through my team to do it. If that situation doesn't present itself then I get to play a fun game of find the squishy and turn him into a puddle of purple ooze.
The main idea is that you don't wanna use this spell when its gonna put you in harms way. It doesn't take people long at all to realize that you're about to kill someone in your nether grasp then come over and ruin your day. The only real time you can get a full spell combo off on someone and take them out of the fight instantly is when someone gets stupid and over extends or tries to be sneaky. In which case you should show them the error of their ways.
ALWAYS ENSURE YOU ARE WILLING TO COMMIT WHEN YOU CLICK TO USE THIS SPELL. Too many times I've seen other malzahars hit me with MV then go to use this but they are not sure if im in range so they click to back off, but I was in range and the spell fired and they wasted it. Sure I was stunned, but its a lot of wasted damage.
Theres really only one "combo" that you need to know as malzahar. The rest is up to your judgement depending on the situation of every fight you're in, one of the pitfalls of a challenging character. The most ideal combo is malefic visions > Null zone > Nether grasp > CoTV to finish if they live.
Now this is harder to pull off than it looks, first off people see you and your dot, they either run and you cant really get this combo off without blowing ghost. Or best case, they immediately go for a kill on you in which case dropping the nullzone/nether grasp is a simple matter. You will not be able to get all 3 spells on who you're going for all the time. But if you see someone at 60% hp don't hesitate to go for a simple null zone + nether grasp combo and probably score a kill with a MV dot for a finisher.
This is mostly 1vs1, team fights get a little more dynamic and depending on how focused you're getting you shouldn't have much trouble getting all your spells on the target you're after. Or if its too hectic to be focusing, you can chip away at everyone in a group fight while throwing MV out on anyone extended.
Analyze your opponent. Look at their spells(remember who has cleanse), how many ranged or melee they have, try and figure out the champ you'll end up facing. Also pay attention to your team and be aware where the enemy is at all times. Remember you are ******ed squishy (anivia? ha shes got 2 life bars and a wall + natural slows) do not get sloppy and fall prey to a dumb gank.
Claim mid if at all possible, Malzahar is a very dominate laner and should be mid not because he farms well but keeps constant pressure on his enemy and is very good at either getting early kills or setting up ganks. If anyone on the team really wants mid and are putting up a fuss just let them have it Mal performs well in all. Unless its ashe, don't give it to her :P she needs to learn shes best in side lanes!
Put a point into your CoTV skill. Start building up summon voidling stacks up to 4, buy your doran's ring/sapphire crystal and health pot then head for your lane.
This is where you set the pace for the rest of the game. You need to establish to your enemy in mid lane that you:
1- Know how to aim CoTV and are going to use it every chance they give you
2- Will be very aggressive with your malefic visions.
If you can do this, you will have them behind their turret (as in out of your CoTV range) keeping them from gaining exp/gold in large amounts. Its important to gauge how they react to your spells. Find out of they're aggressive or defensive by throwing out CoTV on them. This will help you in nailing them later on when it really matters and possibly score that first blood or an early kill.
As tempting as it will be, don't use Malefic visons until its at least rank 2(even then dont use it if theres a siege creep in the wave). You don't want to be too commited to the creeps because this will just encourage them to run at you and hit you with their stuff then run away. Ideally you should only have to hit a creep 2-3 times then ignore it if it has Malefic visions on it. Letting Malefic visions passively harass for you while having that CoTV rdy to fire at all times makes you a very dominate force while laning.
Closing thoughts on solo mid early game. Never underestimate a well aimed CoTV. I've scored many kills on enemy casters who over click past me to move in while having their spell rdy to fire only to run straight into a silence then eating what ever I throw at them. And for the love of god PAY ATTENTION TO THE MAP. You will be ganked if you keep them pushed to their own turret too long, its not a what if situation, it is.... inevitable...
In the unfortunate event that you're not able to get mid you have to look at who your team is. You want to get a partner that has a snare/stun/charge. If not possible then just pick w/e lane and go with it. Same deal here as solo, keep MV up as much as possible and harass from range with CoTV/autoattacks. If MV jumps to them and they are not running with it on, attempt a kill with your partner (unless they're near turret). Coordinate with your partner to have them hit your dotted target. This helps your mana and keeps insane pressure on the enemy. Be extra cautious when taking side lanes as well. One stun on you can easily result in a early death if you are too far up.
An easier time for malzahar to shine, no one has a lot of AP yet (neither do you) but since your spells scale so well they hit harder than the average caster. You should focus on getting the turret down in what ever lane you ended up in then going to assist your team with theirs. You are very vulnerable to ganks at this stage, so extra care when traveling to each lane will save you a lot of grief. You are also not at the point where your mana is sustainable, if you are going to commit to a fight be aware that you will not have much staying power and will be oom reletively quick so its important to make your spells count and have the blue golen whenever possible.
Work on getting that turret down. If your team is having trouble with their lane go and help them. As I said above if you ride in solo and they know you're coming they can very easily turn it around on you. So always try and finish creeps off first then move on. This way they know you're not there but not sure where you're going. But at any rate malzahar is a great ganker. Nether grasp on someone over extended and your teammates waiting for it is almost always a kill.
Understand as a general game rule that TURRETS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN KILLS. So many times I've seen teams with a lead in kills end up lossing cause they chase that one kill and completely neglect their defensive. Turrets defend those inhibitors, inhibitors down wins you the game. So what does this all mean? If you go up to top and help kill the 2 champs their PUSH THE LANE and KILL THE TURRET. Don't run off somewhere else cause you see another potential kill.
Persistance on their turrets is something malzahar excells in as he can place to MV dots on a creep wave then CoTV the biggest bunch he can then just leave. This clears the wave and moves your creeps up thus adding more and more into an overall victory.
Deserves a short mention. Instead of you being the one doing the ganking the guy who took mid should be focusing on who ever you can snag with nether grasp, you may get the kill but an assist is just as good (I KNOW ITS NOT! TEAMPLAY PEOPLE! /cry). Turret wise you should be at the point where people cannot flat out murder you just by looking at you and can afford to be more aggressive on their turret if your partner is competent at all.
This is it, where having that great early-mid game will pay off. You have your core items. You got your important skills maxed and team fights are breaking out everywhere and you got (hopefully)most of their outter turrets down. Whats next?
Aggressively push empty lanes with your dot/cotv. This only take a few seconds and unless you get really predictable or they have twistedfate/clarivoyance they can't really just come and immediately gank you before you get back to your team. If you are actively doing this every chance you get you will have a lot of gold :P. And the minion waves will apply a constant pressure to the enemy team or else they face losing even more turrets. To make it worse for them, they're losing them passively. All it takes is a malefic visions on the front minions and a cotv on the back. If theres a huge crowd you can stick around and put another dot up to speed it up and help your creeps.
Remember Malzahar's strengths and weaknesses. He can drop an incredible amount of damage on someone and very decent aoe damage to a chaotic fight. You are also one of the squishiest characters there. So do not initate EVER. In fact you should be a little behind your group so you can look at the situation and see how the enemy wants to fight. Only time you should be in with your group is if theres a stealther present in the game.
Hopefully by this point of the guide and the game you should have an idea of what to do in a team fight. Look for channeled ults getting cast and peg them with a CoTV asap this will save your team some serious damage (I do love silencing karthus charging up his ult as a fight starts hehe). Remember to abuse the synergy null zone has with CC every chance you get. Planting it on places you know where the enemy is gonna go will ensure its max dmg.
Don't forget your dot. I have actually been seeing this a lot from other malzahars in big fights. Your dot end game will do 800+ dmg to everyone but high magic resist champs. If you're sneaky enough you can get it on a group of champs by pushing the dot through creeps with your other spells. Just part of the pre poking game before people commit to a team fight.
Choose well who you nether grasp. Saving it for a squishy whos gotten too cocky or going after you is usually best but never underestimate your own damage. A full spell combo will either kill a tank or get him to the point where he will die really quick. Malzahar trolls the tanky meta game, he doesn't care how much hp/mr you've stacked. Or those kind of tanks that stack sunfire capes and think they're gonna suicide bomb your team.
REMEMBER your spells have longer than average cool downs, most of the other casters by end game can practically chain cast their spells. You on the other hand have to be careful and drop your stuff on the same target to score kills and you will have a few seconds of just not being able to do anything.
And this deserves another mention. PLACEMENT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Always pay attention to where you are and where you want to be when the enemy commit to a team fight. If you can be in the right place all the time your team should be there to save you if you are in a bind.
High burst build characters such as anivia/akali/master yi etc etc. 1vs1 you should be killing these types as long as your ult is up and in team fights they should be a top priority unless you are certain you can eliminate a disruptive tank. They just cannot have high survival with high dmg meshed into one character and the high dmg ones are the ones who will fall to your spell combos. And most of them don't have something to keep you from dpsing them. Silences are the only thing that will really cripple you. Stuns on you are not a huge concern cause all you have to do is drop MV + null zone on someone then get nethergrasp on them asap.
Melee that have charge ins or knock ups/knock backs. They mess with your ability to aim casts and potentially make you miss your null zone. In these cases, be patient and prepared to eat a little damage. Once they're where you want them, drop your spells and go for the kill.
Those who have invuln shields, blitzcrank is a particular problem along with rammus ( i know its not invuln but the magic resist will shoot through the roof for a few seconds) These abilities allow them to tank your nether grasp and gives them the freedom to do w/e they want to do should you miss your CoTV. In these cases you have to play conservative and avoid blowing all your spells at once. These types of characters you should avoid putting your damage into until you are certain their cool downs are gone. Which at that point the fight will probably be over with and hes the last one standing anyhow.
Stealthers, if they're built properly and are gunning for you, they can easily take you down before you can react with any significant damage. STICK WITH YOUR TEAM. If you do manage to survive the inital salvo/stun then skip the MV and just go for a Null zone + nethergrasp. Every second counts after that point. You will probably want to Ghost away after hitting them with MV and hopefully a CoTV. Oracles is a good way to keep them in check and harass them to the point where they will be behind in gold. And in end game if you catch oh say twitch trying to come in from behind and hit your whole team with his ult, you are the PERFECT character to absolutely shut him (and other stealthers) down.
These characters have earned a special place in my heart for hatred. They have the tools to harass you as much as you can to them. This generally applies to 1vs1 mid lane situations. In rank of easiest to worst:
Karthus: He isn't too bad, if hes good with the lay waste you will be moving around non stop. But you should also be getting him pretty easy with CoTV and MV cause he'll be focused on your movement. Extremely annoying but if you stay calm and focused you can possibly score a first blood depending on how aggressive he is.
Annie: Shes a bit rough, shes got a very long range for auto attack and a good annie will not aggressively push you but rather let you kill minions then attempt to harass you from the safety of their turret while focusing on last hitting. The key here is to not get too extended. If their minions are fighting yours at the turret try and push the dot through them all and nail her with CoTV as soon as she makes a dash for you. Ideally you can keep her back due to the threat of malefic visions. Thankfully shes also squishy so if she eats a MV and you got your ult up, it shouldn't be too hard to knock her out. Cleanse is a vital must when going up against her 1vs1. No annie is gonna charge at you going for a kill without stun and tibbers ready. So be ready to cleanse that tibbers stun and get your stuff on her asap.
Sivir: Odd hero to make it here? Not so much, the riccochet ability she has will constantly chip away at you if you get sloppy. Be far off to the side from your minions to avoid that and just pay extra attention to her thrown special. Again, setting the pace with CoTV and MV will determine how well you do against her. Probably best to passively push the lane with MV if she keeps hitting you.
Vladimir: This guy. I honestly am greatly disappointed by how riot made this champ. No thought was put in the balancing of his abilities and it was just a bad combination to turn this guy into an auto pilot champ. Now then whining aside. He poses the greatest threat to your mid game if played right due to your starting squishy status. But with proper knowledge even malzahar can put him in his place.
His Q ability has decent range and a good vlad is gonna start off with speed boots so he can run up and get this off on you then run away. The key to keeping him back and second guessing if its worth going in for that Q is run away and hit him with CoTV as hes trying to catch up. This keeps him from using it and if hes smart he'll back off and just drain your minions. After that fact you should be making sure MV is up at all times on at least something so that it will more than likely jump to him. The key to making the game hell for vlad is just to play really defensive and keep him from using his Q on you as much as you can, thankfully with practice CoTV should do just that. Another easy way to shut him down is to rush an early negatron cloak for your abyssal scepter. This really does cripple how much dmg he can put out on you.
An important thing to note on this champ. If hes super aggressive and uses his blood pool to keep you still after rushing in, do not let up on the pressure you're putting on him. Blood pool costs 20% of his current health and at low lvls in the laning phase he simply cannot get it back quick enough for you to worry about it. In turn you should be really trying to make your dot get on him if hes been doing this. If he keeps up in this fashion you will kill him long before he can kill you.
Malhazar is sadly one of the most under rated champions in the game. This is not to say that he doesn't need some help in certain areas. But he is indeed a HIGHLY under rated champ that deserves more praise than hes been getting. Especially with how fun he can be to play. Hopefully this guide has helped you understand the character and even come up with your own little play style with him.