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Malzahar Build Guide by Anastasios

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Anastasios

Malignant Malzahar ~ In-Depth

Anastasios Last updated on June 16, 2012
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Ability Sequence

1
8
10
13
14
Ability Key Q
4
12
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
3
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Intro

Hello everyone, i am Anastasios, and welcome to my first guide on MobaFire.

This guide will be about my favorite caster, Malzahar.
I have played with him for about a year now, so i believe i have enough experience for this guide. I am open to any tips and advice you may have for me.

This build is perfectly viable in ranked games, and it is the one i use most of the times.


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Legend

Explanation of acronyms used:


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Malzahar, The Prophet Of The Void

Malzahar is a 4800 IP / 975 RP ranged caster. He excels at both single- and multi-target damage, with powerful, long-range nukes. I believe he is a somewhat hard champion to play, but very fun and rewarding.

spaaaace
Pros:

+ High AP ratios
+ Good range
+ Suppression Ultimate
+ Excellent farmer
+ Good AoE damage
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Cons:

- Squishy
- No escape mechanisms/gap closers
- Voidlings are somewhat lacking intelligence...
- Channeled ultimate, leaves him completely open
- Some abilities are hard to hit


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Summoner Spells

Ignite is a very useful summoner spell for Malzahar, used in synergy with Malefic Visions early game for large DoT damage, or during the channeling of your ultimate for further damage and to half any healing effects on your target, allowing you to deny them a chance of healing from a support.
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Flash is extremely useful on Malzahar, and i don't ever remember not taking it. You can use it not only to escape (remember that Malz does not have any repositional abilities), but to catch up to fleeing enemies for a last Malefic Vision, or for a surprise Nether Grasp.
space
Ghost is another great spell for catching up/escaping, although i don't feel it has the utility Flash has.
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Teleport is a decent choice, used for ganks, fast return to lane, and late-game split pushing; not my favorite, but certainly has its uses.
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Exhaust can be useful for helping you escape or gain the upper hand in a fight with its movement speed/damage reduction. However i believe Flash/Ignite is a better choice for Malzahar.
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I have never had serious mana issues with Malzahar, thanks to the mana return passive of Malefic Visions. Admittedly, however, his spells do have a high mana cost; if you are a new Malzahar player or have overall mana management issues, feel free to take this spell.
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You can take this if the enemy team is CC heavy, but i don't advise it. If you get focused, Cleanse is unlikely to avert or even delay your death.
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A popular choice in Season II, you can take it if you are a new player. There are much better alternatives, but if you like it, i'm not going to stop you.



I believe that any other summoner spell has absolutely no place on Malzahar.


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Masteries

As you can see, i go 21/0/9.

Masteries
1/5
3/1
4/5
1/1
3/5
4/1
4/
1/
1/5
3/1
1/1
3/5
1/1

In the Offensive Tree we pick:
  • Summoner's Wrath for the improved Ignite/Ghost/Exhaust if you choose one of them.
  • Brute Force (3 points) will provide us with some AD, this will help in lasthitting and harassing the enemy with autoattacks.
  • Sorcery (4 points) for the CDR.
  • Arcane Knowledge is a fantastic mastery. 10% magic penetration from this one.
  • Havoc (3 points) for some extra damage. It is not as much as you'd think, but it's ok.
  • Blast (4 points) for some more AP.
  • Archmage (4 points) for an awsome 5% increase in AP!
  • Executioner for a very nice damage increase to low-health targets.

In the Utility Tree we pick:
  • Summoner's Insight for the improved Flash/Teleport/Clarity, if you happen to pick one of them.
  • Expanded Mind (3 points) for the increased mana, something that i personally like a lot.
  • Improved Recall is a mastery i absolutely love. It has saved me countless times. However, it is not a must; you can replace it with a point in Good Hands or Swiftness if you don't find it useful enough.
  • Meditation (3 points) for the increased mana regeneration, that will be very useful while laning.
  • Runic Affinity for increased buff duration, since we will probably often wear blue.

A 9/0/21 mastery build is viable (as described in this guide), but i prefer 21/0/9. You can also put some points from the Utility Tree in the Defence Tree, for increased armor/magic resist and/or health.


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Runes

For runes, i pick:

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration for the increased magic penetration, since all of Malzahar's abilities deal Magic Damage.
space
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power for the increased late-game Ability Power.
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Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for the increased late-game Ability Power
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Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for the increased Ability Power.

I decided to alter my glyphs and seals, since they help more late-game, giving a bit more AP than a Blasting Wand. Thanks to CombatJack1 for bringing up that point.




Alternative Runes:


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Skill Explanation






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 (+100% per extra attack damage).
Voidlings Grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed).
Voidlings attack the target affected by Malzahar's most recently cast Malefic Visions.



This can be either a very useful passive or a very bad passive. The Voidlings are uncontrolable, but you do have some means of "steering" them. They prioritise enemies with Malefic Visions on them, so you can mark a target for them. From some personal observations (if you can give me any extra information for this), if you turn your back on them, they retreat towards you, and if you face them, they attack.

Sometimes, they will get stuck in a position where they are far enough to return to you, but there is also an enemy close enough to trigger an attack. In such a case, they will stay in that spot, toggling between their options. To stop that, just either move a little bit closer if you want them to attack, or further away if you want them to come back to you.

You have to be extra careful when your voidling is summoned outside of battle, since they can give away your position. They tend to stay outside of brush, and hang around in the open, providing information to the enemies about your location. Also keep in mind that they always follow you, so if you flash over a wall/try to juke, they can easily result in your death with their loyalty.

However, they are not as bad as you'd think. Early game, they help a lot with farming and harassing, in conjunction with Malefic Visions. Late game, they serve as excellent meat shields, tanking turret shots while pushing and sometimes even skillshots that would result in your death, especially while you retreat, as they always stay behind you. For example, they can stop Brand's Sear and LeBlanc's Ethereal Chains. However, be careful of bouncing abilities, like Katarina's Bouncing Blades, and especially Fiddlesticks' Dark Wind. They can also hurt you by being used as "bridges" for champions like Lee Sin and his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, Katarina's Shunpo, and Maokai's Twisted Advance.

Note that summoner spells do not count for Summon Voidling.





Call of the Void


Malzahar opens two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles which deal 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+80% of ability power) magic damage and silence champions for 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 / 3 seconds.
Range: 900


This is an amazing skill, dealing nice damage early game and massive damage late game. This skill is actually composed of 2 projectiles, meaning that even if the enemy has Banshee's Veil/ Spell Shield, with proper positioning, 1 of the 2 projectiles will still hit them and silence them.
This spell also reveals the FoW, but only around the 2 portals. The projectiles will NOT show the area they pass through. Keep that in mind when checking the brush with this skill.
Call of the Void is somewhat hard to land because of the delay, so try to predict the enemy's movement. If you play Swain, you are probably familiar with this, as his Nevermove has (i think) the same delay.

This skill is maxed second.





Null Zone


Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 % (+1% per 100 ability power) of the target's max health as magic damage each second (damage to monsters is capped).
Range: 800


This is pretty self-explanatory. An AoE skill that deals % damage, great against tanks/health stackers like Cho'Gath, Vladimir, Singed etc. Try to use this skill right before using your ultimate, for maximum damage while the target is suppressed. In teamfights, try to hit the largest number of people possible. This helps in teamfights in the jungle, as there is no space for the enemies to go in order to avoid the damage.

This skill, like Morgana's Tormented Soil, applies the first tick of damage instantly when cast. Use this late game to harass enemies.
You can also use this to zone enemies, preventing them to defend their turret/attack you while doing Baron/Dragon etc.

Do not use this skill to farm. Use it ONLY when you have lots of mana, you are safe, and you want to help Malefic Visions pass on to their next target.

We max this skill last.





Malefic Visions


Malzahar infects his target's mind, dealing 80 / 140 / 200 / 260 / 320 (+80% of ability power) 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.
Range: 650


A DoT spell, and my absolute favorite. When an enemy is killed by this spell, you get back some mana, and the spell jumps on to another nearby enemy, refreshing its duration. This is your main farming spell, also used for harassing early game. It will also attract Voidling aggro.

Be very careful with this spell early game. This can make you push the lane too far, leaving you open for ganks. Also, don't rely on it and your voidlings for last hits. Personally, i have managed to time my autoattacks correctly, getting almost all the last hits, but if you are a new malzahar player, pay extra attention to the damage and try to hit in the right moment.

A trick to harass enemies with this spell without getting in range, is to wait until a minion near them has very little hp remaining, then cast MV on it, killing it and passing on to the champion. Many people do not know how this skill works, as Malzahar is not a very popular champion, allowing some free damage on them.

We max this skill first.





Nether Grasp


Malzahar grips his target in an engulfing void of energy to suppress the target (stuns and disables summoner spells), dealing 250 / 400 / 550 (+130% of ability power) magic damage over 2.5 seconds. The damage is applied in ticks, every half second.
Range: 700


Your signature move and one of the best ultimates in the game, allowing you to effectively win most 1v1 encounters. With an amazing 130% AP ratio, this can deal over 1000 damage to squishies late game. This is a channeled suppression spell, meaning that both you and your target will be (almost) unable to perform any actions. Also, Cleanse and Tenacity will not affect its duration. However, part of it can be cancelled if one of the following happens:


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Standard Combos

And now how to use your skills...

Harass Combo:
Call of the Void--> Malefic Visions
Use CotV, instantly after cast Malefic Visions, and then retreat.

Farming:
Malefic Visions--> Call of the Void
Use MV on a minion and cast CotV on as many of them as possible.
Late game, CotV can kill all the minions it passes through, so Malefic Visions are useful only if they are spread out.

Kill Combo:
Malefic Visions--> Call of the Void---> Null Zone--> Nether Grasp
Your standard killing combo, used mostly on 1v1 situations.

Focus Fire:
Nether Grasp
If your team is nearby and you find someone out of position, use your ultimate on him. This will mark him as an easy target for your team to pick off. Do this only when you have good communication with your team and you are sure the target cannot escape.

Zoning:
Null Zone<--> Call of the Void
These two skill can be used to keep enemies at a distance. Use them when pushing a tower or doing Baron/Dragon, without necessarily aiming at a particular enemy.

Maximum Damage:
Malefic Visions--> Call of the Void--> Null Zone--> Nether Grasp--> Ignite--> Malefic Visions--> Call of the Void
This is a drawn-out combo, used if your enemy is really tough. You can use Hextech Gunblade right after your ultimate for the slow, or Deathfire Grasp right at the beginning for extra damage.


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Starting Items

Boots of Speed
Boots are my favorite starting item lately. Pick the up if you are against someone with many skillshots like Ziggs, Ahri, Cassiopeia, Karthus, etc. They help more than you can imagine. Along with these pick 3 Health Potions or 2 Health Potions and a Mana Potion.

Doran's Ring
I was never a fan of Doran items, don't ask me why. However, this is undoubtedly a very good starting item, with 100 HP, 15 AP, and 5 mana regen.

Sapphire Crystal
A decent staring choice if you want an early Catalyst the Protector. Pick 2 Health Potions with it.

Meki Pendant
Pick this if you are going for an early Tear of the Goddess. Helps a lot with mana issues early game. Get 2 Health Potions with it.


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Core Items

Rabadon's Deathcap
This is an absolute must for any caster. Gives you a very nice amount of AP, and its passive is the key to maximum damage.

Rod of Ages
I believe this is a core item for Malzahar, giving him a little bit of everything: Mana, HP, and AP. Survivability and damage combined.

Sorcerer's Shoes
Most casters buy these tier 2 boots for the MPen. We are those casters too.

Banshee's Veil
An amazing item for Malzahar, BV gives you some nice HP and mana, a good chunk of magic resist, and the Big Blue Bubble. This item will create a bubble that will absorb 1 enemy spell every 45 seconds, possibly saving you from a CC that would cancel your ultimate or lead to your death like Infuse, Shadow Dash or Charm, or a deadly nuke like Requiem, Primordial Burst, or Ace in the Hole.


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Viable Items

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
A very nice item that i often get, it gives you a good amount of HP and AP. I feel the passive synergises well with Malzahar's skillset, allowing you to more easily escape enemies, or stick to them once you catch up to them.

Zhonya's Hourglass
An amazing item, gives a nice chunk of AP and some armor. The main reason we buy this, however, is the active. Using it can save you when you get focused in teamfights, and in an 1v1 situation it can give time to your teammates to come for help or get your spells off CD. However, you must be careful not to use it prematurely and waste it. Also remember that you can't use it while stunned/knocked up etc, so don't hold on to it for too long when in a tight situation!

Will of the Ancients
The spell vamp is extremely useful for sustain early game and survivability late game. I have walked out of 3v1 situations with double kills, only thanks to spell vamp. This will give you an advantage in the laning phase, with mana return from MV and health regen from this item. If you do take it, make sure your support won't.

Archangel's Staff
This will give you an endless mana pool, and 2% of it will be converted into AP. Not a bad item at all, although it will make you a bit squishy, especially if you stack them. If you intend to buy it, make sure to get a Tear of the Goddess early to charge it up, and buy the full item at least after RoA + Rabadon.

Void Staff
Pick this if your enemies are stacking a lot of magic resist. With your runes, shoes, and Arcane Knowledge , they wont be such a problem anymore. I don't always get this, since most times the game finishes before i get the chance to buy it, and also carries usually don't buy resistances high enough to justify it.

Abyssal Scepter
A nice alternative to Void Staff if the enemies have increased magic resist, but not enough to justify a VS, also gives you a good bunch of magic resist. The downside is that the aura doesn't have a range equal to your spells.

Deathfire Grasp
After its partial remake it remains a very powerful item, but i don't find it having a particular synergy with Malzahar, as there are much better alternatives.

Morello's Evil Tome
After its change, i don't see it fitting Malzahar too much. It is still a decent item, but now much more suited to supports, due to its active and the Kage's Lucky Pick in the recipe.

Mercury's Treads
A very good alternative for Sorcerer's Shoes, pick these for some Tenacity and a little bit of magic resist if the enemy team has a lot of CC.

Guardian Angel
An awsome defensive item for any champion, take this if you are getting focused first, without even having time for Zhonya's Hourglass. Especially useful against assasins and champions with huge burst like Talon, Kassadin, LeBlanc etc.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
A viable option, however i don't feel that Malzahar is CDR dependant enough to buy those. You can swap Sorc Shoes for them if the game drags on too long and they start to lose effectiveness.
Ninja Tabi
A pretty straightforward choice, get this if the enemy team has a lot of physical damage.

Frozen Heart and Thornmail
Take one of these if the enemy team has a whole lot of AD and you can't handle it. Not something you will usually get, but both offer a significant armor bonus. Take Frozen Heart only if your tank/support hasn't.


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Full Builds

Let's discuss some of the item choices before showing some finished builds.

-Q: Should i pick Will of the Ancients or Hextech Gunblade? Why?
-A: After its nerf, Will of the Ancients now offers the same spell vamp with Hextech Gunblade. Hextech Gunblade has just 10 AP less, but also offers AD, lifesteal, and most importantly the active. AD and lifesteal are completely useless for you (even though the voidling benefits from estra damage), and i think that its price is extremely higher than Will of the Ancients just for the active, which also has a very small range compared to your spells. Will of the Ancients also has an aura that benefits your entire team. In short, go for WotA.

-Q: Should i buy Mejai's Soulstealer?
-A: In short, no. Mejai's (and other stacking items) are a big risk. You instantly turn in a number 1 priority to the enemy team, and if you can't keep your stacks high, it's just wasted gold. Pick it up only if you had an absolutely incredible early game and you know you will continue that way.




Build #1: Main Build

This is your standard build against a balanced team. Offers great offensive and defensive stats, allowing you to dish out some serious damage while remaining alive throughout the fight.




Build #2: Maximum Survivability

1st build: AP heavy team
2nd build: AD heavy team
These builds are preferred when you are having trouble surviving. They offer a whole lot morehealth and resistances, depending on that the enemy team is having. There is a slight damage dropoff, but it's better doing little damage than being dead.




Build #3: Maximum Damage

This is recommended for games that you are doing very well and you are in no significant danger. Your damage skyrockets and you can burst anyone down, but be extra careful, since your overall defence is very, very low. You have your Zhonya's Hourglass to save you in emergencies, but that is no excuse to recklessnes.




Build #4: Against tanky teams

When the enemy team is very tanky, with a lot of HP and Magic Resist, these item choices will allow you to tear through their defenses, with ~30 flat and 50% Magic Penetration, plus a percentage based nuke from Deathfire Grasp.


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Early Game Phase

As the game starts, pick your starting items, and put a point in Call of the Void. I do not charge my passive on the fountain, except if i expect a level 1 teamfight in the jungle. Go to the Blue Buff/Red Buff/ Wolves/Wraiths and pull for your jungler (if there is one, and if he wants you to). Now head to your lane, preferably mid (according to the current meta), with 1 charge in your passive. Last hit the minions, and try to harass your opponent with Call of the Void.

When you reach level 2, put a point in Malefic Visions. You should now have your voidling ready to spawn, if you used CotV to harass (this is why i don't charge my passive on the fountain, the first voidling would have gone to waste, and your first malefic visions would run out before the minion's death). Use your malefic visions on a minion, and start farming.
Be careful for ganks! You are a hard pusher!

You are now level 6. Is your enemy low enough?

-Yes: Flash in and execute your Kill Combo, using ignite is necessary. Recieve kill.
-No: Harass with CotV/MV, ask for a gank. With the help of your jungler and your suppression your enemy will likely die quite fast. Recieve kill.

After you have farmed enough, go back and buy a Hextech Revolver, a Needlessly Large Rod, or a Catalyst the Protector.



-But! My enemy is beating me!

-Fear not.

You can safely farm under the turret and harass, due to the long range of Call of the Void. When you go back, prioritise defensive items, and ask for help from your jungler. Worst comes to worst, you can ask for a lane swap.


A farming tip: When minions come down the lane, wait for all of them to engage in fight before casting Malefic Visions. Sometimes, one of the melee minions will attack the caster minions, resulting in your malefic visions not jumping to another target due to the great distance.
Don't forget to call MIA/ss if the enemy is missing! Keep an eye out on the map for other lanes having missing enemies!
Dont forget to ward! Wards are essential to your safety!


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Mid Game Phase

Now things are getting serious.

Your jungler has probably given you Blue Buff. if not, that's ok.
Time to push and gank. Start taking out the enemy minion waves with Malefic Visions and even Call of the Void if you need to. Push the turret with the help of your voidlings, and then start roaming around looking for ganks. With you skillset it won't be hard to set up kills for your teammates, using your silence and suppression.

Start assembling with your team for the first skirmishes. In those small fights, try to eliminate the easier target from a safe distance; just sit back and bombard the enemies with the power of the Void, and wait for the opportune moment to disable their carry with your ultimate, crippling their damage output.

Dragon starts to become a target around this time, so keep an eye on it. A pink eye, preferably.

You should also have some of your core items ready by this point. When you are not ganking, pushing, or fighting, farm. Farming is very easy for you, take advantage of that fact as much as you can.


Don't forget/neglect to buy wards! Wards are even more importand now, protecting Dragon, Baron, and your back while ganking! You might even want to invest on some pink wards in order to deny vision from the enemy.


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Late Game Phase

Now you have a nice amount of AP, but you start to become squishy. This means you have to be very careful from now on, since one mistake could cost you the game.

One thing you should keep in mind is that, while Malzahar is very strong in the laning phase, he kind of falls off late-game compared to other AP carries, because he is weak in teamfights. The main issue for that is that, after he uses his spells and starts channeling his ultimate, not only is he unable to provide further assistance to his team, but he is also left completely open and defenseless until the channel ends.
Let's compare that to a few other AP carries, for example Ahri, Cassiopeia, Ryze, and Kennen. All of them remain mobile during the teamfight, constantly dealing damage and being able to reposition themselves to switch targets / disengage. Malzahar is unable to do that.
During the teamfights, use your spells from the back, as you are likely to be focused. Your main target is the AD carry. First, cast Call of the Void on as many people as possible, preferably including the enemy AP carry, in order to damage and silence them (this helps not only to prevent the AP carry from doing damage, but also stops the supports and any AD casters ( Pantheon, Talon, Yorick). After that, lay down your null zone under the middle of the enemy team, to deal as much AoE damage as possible. Cast Malefic Visions on the AD carry, if able to, otherwise on the second most importand target. Finally, Nether Grasp the AD carry to completely deny him any damage to your team, while heavily damaging him.
While your ultimate is channeled, your team must keep you safe from any CC or damage. After the end of the channel, cast CotV and MV again, as they should be off CD, and back off. If your team is winning, chase any survivors. If your team is losing, start retreating, lay a Null Zone behind you to discourage any chasers, and try to win the next teamfight.


Otherwise, keep farming and pushing, keep the times on Dragon and Baron. Never go alone, as you can and will die very fast. Buy Sight Wards.

You can steal Dragon/Baron! With your CotV you can get vision of the area, if you don't have a ward, and Null Zone will deal some very heavy damage! You might even pick up a kill or two!
By now some of the enemy team will probably buy Quicksilver Sash. Be extra careful about that. Try to force them to use it before using your ultimate, for example by using Malefic Visions+ Ignite on them.
If you have completed your build, dont forget to buy Blue and Red elixirs, and maybe even Oracle's Elixir. Green Elixir is no use to you.


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Lane Match-Ups

Kassadin
This guy is the ultimate anti-caster, and your lore nemesis. With unmatched mobility, a silence, a slow, and some very heavy burst damage, he is probably the most often banned champion. However, his early game is weak. Try to exploit that with many ganks from your jungler and long-range harass. If he is beating you badly, perhaps you should switch with your AD carry, since his passive makes him really effective against magic damage, but doesn't mitigate physical damage.

LeBlanc
Everybody hates LeBlanc. Like Kassadin, her high burst damage and mobility can destroy you before you have a chance to unload your combo. However, her early game is weak too; take the same route with Kassadin and get a lot of ganks.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia can farm just as good as you, if not better. She has better harass, better mobility, better DoTs, and will generally beat you. Start with boots, play defensively, dont push, as she also gets a whole lot stronger when she gets her ultimate. Buy an early Negatron Cloak if you have to.

Ahri
For this one you just have to dodge her Orb of Deception and counter-harass with Call of the Void. Try to delay her from level 6, as her ultimate will make it hard for you to position properly for a good Nether Grasp. Start with boots here too.

Viktor
This guy is good, but very underplayed. He has good range with Death Ray, and a shield through Power Transfer. At level 6, whoever initiates wins. If you unload your combo fast, you can burst him down, but if he gets you with Gravity Field and Chaos Storm, he wins.

Anivia
Start with boots. You HAVE to start with boots. At level 2, a Flash Frost and Frostbite can take out half your hp. Try to harass her a lot, since she has one of the lowest starting health pools in the game. Also, be careful of her passive. Try to get her low from harassing and kill her fast while in her egg form, otherwise just try to trigger her passive and immediately back off if you know you don't have enough damage.

Mordekaiser
This guy is easy early on. Harass him in bursts, while his shield is down, and force him to recall. Once he gets his Hextech Revolver though, be careful. Wait for his shield to drop, then quickly combo him without allowing him to use Children of the Grave.

Swain
Get boots, since if he catches you in his Nevermove he will deal some heavy damage. At level 6 try to harass him a lot to make him waste mana to heal. Ravenous Flock costs more the more it stays on, so a silence in his bird form will hurt his mana pool. Dont stick around for a long fight, go in and out fast. Ignite will also hit him pretty hard.

Kennen
Kennen can be a tricky opponent. He has no mana, meaning he only needs to back off for health, and most Kennens will buy a Hextech Revolver very early boosting their sustain to the max. Try to dodge his Thundering Shuriken and hide behind minions, always keep an eye on how many marks of the storm are stacked on you, as well as the counter for his Electrical Surge. Try not to activate your ultimate along with his, as you will most probably get stunned before finishing the channel.

Brand
Brand is very combo reliant, so you just have to be alert. He is also a very good farmer, on par with you. Get early boots to dodge Pillar of Flame and Sear. Don't get too close to your minions if they are under Blaze, since he han harass you with Conflagration. Note that this tactic is similar to your way of harassing with MV.

Karthus
Tricky guy. Watch out for his Lay Waste. Stay next to minions if you are getting harassed a lot, in order to avoid the double damage. Keep in mind that he too has mana return from Defile. Inform your teammates when he hits level 6, and if you see him channel Requiem, try to silence him or suppress him to save your teammates from a big chunk of damage. If you kill him, don't stick around, since his passive is not to be underestimated.

Morgana
A very dangerous opponent, gets free farm with her Tormented Soil. Her Dark Binding deals tons of damagetm, with a 90% AP ratio, and one of the longest CC in the game, a 3 second snare at rank 5. Her passive, Soul Siphon, is pretty much infinite sustain. Her biggest problem, however, are her high mana costs. Try to bully her a lot in order to keep her mp low. Also, be careful about her ultimate; it is a delayed stun, so it can interrupt your ultimate.

Orianna
Not a common pick, but definately not an easy opponent. Keep an eye on the position of the ball and try to bait her Command: Attack, since if she spams it, she will be out of mana very soon. Her sustain is very low, but she can shield herself from MV with Command: Protect. In an early brawl (level 1-4), she will win, since her autoattacks deal a whole lot of damage, so don't commit to the fight.

Ryze
Early game, you can totally wreck him, since he has low hp and damage compared to you. As the game progresses though, he gets stronger, with an infinite mana pool and spammable, high-damage abilities. If you don't take him down under your ultimate, he will probably recover with his spell vamp from Desperate Power and kill you. Try to take him by surprise, and maybe get Banshee's Veil a bit earlier.

Xerath
This guy has so much range it's not even funny. Boots are an absolute must. Try to always be on the move, running in unpredictable directions to dodge his Arcanopulse. If he hits you with Mage Chains, he will probably unleash the full skillset. If he is in Locus of Power, try to run towards brush of FoW to deny vision, since he will probably use Arcane Barrage to trigger the stun. Don't hesitate to use Flash too. For ganks, try to bait him to use Locus of Power to immobilise himself for an easy target.

Veigar
This guy is evil. No joke. Try to deny him farm as much as possible, because you will regret it late game. Never underestimate his damage. His AP ratios are through the roof, with 60% on Baleful Strike, an incredible 100% on Dark Matter, and an unbelievable 120% + 80% of your on AP on Primordial Burst. Try to bully him a lot pre-6, but when he gets his ultimate, he will probably get offensive right away. If he gets you in his stun, he will either insta-kill you or get you way to low. Mercury's Treads are probably a good idea, as well as an early Banshee's Veil.

Vladimir
His early game is weak, with high cooldown on Transfusion, but his sustainability gets just more and more insane as the game progresses. Ignite is an absolute must. Try to bait his Sanguine Pool, and remember that even if he is untargetable, DoTs still aply; many times you will cans MV on a Vladimir and see him waste hp by casting his pool. Like Ryze, if you don't take him down at once with your ultimate, retreat; he will likely regain enough health to kill you.

Twisted Fate
Seeing a TF mid means he will probably go AP. His main damage spell, Wild Cards, is quite easy to dodge, so he won't be much of a problem to you. Keep an eye out for Pick A Card and keep your distance until it runs out. When he gets his ultimate, alert your teammates and be careful for ganks. He is fairly squishy, so if you just avoid his Gold Card, he is all yours.

Nidalee
Again, we assume it is AP Nidalee. Like TF, her main damage spell is easy to dodge (even easier than Wild Cards), but hits pretty hard. Just stay behind minions and harass her to burn her mana for Primal Surge. Like Veigar she will probably get aggressive at level 6, but she shouldn't be a problem to you.

Ezreal
Once again, we are talking about AP Ezreal. He is NOT to be underestimated. His Essence Flux is a pretty heavy nuke, and very, very easy to hit. He can dodge your Call of the Void with his blink, and has infinite harass with Mystic Shot. His ultimate is also a global hypernuke with a 90% AP ratio. He has several weaknesses however. He is a very poor farmer, burns through mana quickly, and is very squishy, so he shouldn't be that big of a problem.

Ziggs
Not too much to say here. Stay close to your minions, so that they tank the damage from Bouncing Bomb, and don't step on his mines. He has much lower damage than you in all of his spells, and no sustainability. He can zone very well with Satchel Charge and Hexplosive Minefield, but so can you with Call of the Void and Null Zone. Nothing too hard.

Talon
Talon may seem a bad choice for mid, but he is actually a good anti-caster. His high mobility and invisibility won't let you land a good Nether Grasp, and his silence will hurt you a lot. He will tend to to his damage in bursts, with Cutthroat--> Noxian Diplomacy--> Rake--> Shadow Assault. However, he is squishy, and tends to have mana problems. Some early armor and general tankyness will help a lot (Zhonya's before Rabadon, early Catalyst the protector etc). When he gets close to level 6, you can invest on a pink ward to negate his invisibility advantage.

Annie
Everybody fears this little girl. The most importand thing here is to always know her Pyromania stacks. Harrass her with your (by far) superior range. The main threat on annie is her stun; your Malefic Visions have more damage than Disintegrate, with roughly the same range. Your Call of the Void, however, has an absurd advantage over all of her spells, with a 900 range, while all of hers are at 600-625 range, and a much higher AP ratio.

Lux
Lux has a very nice skillset, with a huge burst damage. Her main damage comes from Lucent Singularity, an AoE that slows you before detonating. Her main intiation combo is Light Binding--> Lucent Singularity--> Finales Funkeln. Try to doge her snare, and most importantly her ultimate. It has a 0.5 second delay, so if you have fast fingers, you can flash away; don't forget that it has a relatively short cooldown (at 40% CDR it is 48/36/24 seconds). Be careful of he passive proc, as it allows for some decent damage after you are hit with one of her spells. Her main problem is that she remains very squishy throughout the game, is a bad farmer early on, and is often mana starved. Your higher sustain should beat her early game, and later on, jump on her from the brush or FoW to deny her the opportunity to stop you with her extremely long range.

If you are having too much trouble with a certain champion, i suggest you start playing with him. That way, you will realise his fundamental weaknesses, and you will be able to take advantage of them the next time you face him. If you don't own him / he is not on free rotation, read some of the top guides here about him, as they will give you a general idea about his playstyle.


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Dominion

From my presonal experience, Malzahar is not as effective in Dominion as he is in Classic. That is because in Dominion you are locked in a constant teamfight, with low respawn times and fast-paced action. In order to win in dominion, you have to keep constant pressure on the enemy team, and Malzahar relies more on a single burst, a decicive teamfight that concludes the game.

Also, the effectiveness of his skillset falls off as well; the farming potential of Malefic Visions is pretty much wasted, and Voidlings are practically useless.


My preferred build for Dominion is the following:


I don't think you can deviate much from it, with the exception of Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Shoes are, well, an obvious choice; Same goes for Rabadon's Deathcap.
Odyn's Veil and Zhonya's Hourglass are our standard defensive items; we probably won't need Will of the Ancients, since all healing effects are diminished and we have health relics all over the place. Odyn's Veil is actually a fantastic item, allowing for defense and offence in one neat package.
Void Staff is an absolute must in dominion, or at lesat some sort of magic penetration ( Abyssal Scepter), since with the increased gold gain, it is easy to build up some early defenses negating most of the damage ( Force of Nature, Odyn's Veil, Wit's End).


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Conclusion

I hope you liked my guide. Any mistakes you find (typos, item-related, skill-related etc), leave a comment and i will fix it as soon as i can.
Also, leave a comment with what you liked, so i can have more of it!
Leave a comment for what you didn't like, so that i can have less of it!


Thanks to:
jhoijhoi and her Guide on Guides!
IceCreamy and his guide on how to use columns!
CombatJack1 for his suggestions and help!

Other guides by me:
A Cruel Twist of Fate
Singed: Chemical Chaos
A Short Guide To On-Hit Builds