Malzahar Build Guide by GamingRoots

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author GamingRoots

Malzahar - A Masterclass On The King Of The Future

GamingRoots Last updated on December 26, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Welcome to GamingRoot’s guide to playing Malzahar. Malzahar was my first 6300 champ and I’m pretty lucky that he was because I bonded with him instantly. Still to this day he is my absolute favourite champ to play. This is my first guide and I hope to do others for MOBAfire in the future. I understand that this guide is somewhat extensive reaching 18 pages in Microsoft Word text alone. I also don’t know if it’s going to actually wind up being useful to anyone. I wrote what is presented here in a day off the top of my head. You can browse over the information contained and decide for yourself if you want to learn more about Malzahar. If you are serious about learning more about Malzahar go ahead and read it. I'll probably add more details up to my gaming blog about Malzahar. You can get there at for more details on how I use Malzahar effectively. I plan on using that place to write about WoW, LoL, and probably go over some FPS concepts that I might be able to help people out with.

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Pros / Cons (Why Play Malzahar?)

Excellent AOE Damage
Can Protect Team with a well placed Call of the Void
Rediculously strong middle position
Good Farming
Lane ganks after level 6
Great Pusher
Can melt a single target down easily with spell combo

Call of the Void is often called a weakness because it can miss while other carrys have reliable targetting mechanisms.
No escape mechanism.
This build needs you to do well or you will fall behind in AP. (Item/Gold Dependant)

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I use a standard 9/0/21 masteries set-up for Malzahar.
  • Summoners wrath because I use Ignite adding 5 AP for having it on CD.
  • Arcane Knowledge provides 10% magic penetration and as mentioned in runes, Magic penetration is the best way to increase your damage out of game.
    Summoner’s Insight for Flash cool down reduction.

  • Movement speed is great.
  • Spell Vamp is very effective for healing yourself as Malzahar.
  • I choose Intelligence because I like cool down reduction. It feels like it makes the difference between life and death behind the scenes.

I tried to consider masteries but I can't validate it in my own mind to go to the offensive tree. The general opinion appears to be that utility is only applicable to support characters now. I'm fine with that but I just am not interested in what Offense has to offer in comparison to the time values in utility.

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Red – Magic Pen: Increases your damage to enemy players in the best way possible. This is the most effective choice for many if not all magic using champions.
Yellow – Mana Regen per Level: Just buffing his mana capabilities even further synergizes with his passive and farming. Arguably like the Meki pendant with proper use of MV you might need neither of these and could use them elsewhere but I like to turn it into a good strength.
Blue – Cool down Reduction per Level: I bought these for Zilean and I just stick with them because I’d feel like I was missing something if I put them elsewhere. Time shaved off my cool downs is a great thing and I’ll probably use it for a lot of champions.
Quintessences: Magic Penetration: More damage is good.

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Malzahar's Abilities

Malzahar’s passive is core to his success and knowing how to capitalize on your voidlings will earn you a huge advantage of resources (Health, Gold, Mana.) People complain that they are uncontrollable but with a bit of time and the strategies in this guide you will learn to predict your voidling’s behaviour and manipulate it to your will (Not to mention your malefic visions is basically an attack command).

Call of the Void:
This spell is just as much the bread and butter of Malzahar as MV is. I start off every game with this spell because the damage and safety of using it and to summon a voidling. This is an amazing skill in team fights often foretelling the coming of an attack as it blankets your enemies leaving them helpless to initiation. COTV is also a trap, a circular barrier around Malzahar. You bait your enemy’s behaviour so that they move into the attack, slowing and silencing them. I like to think that this spell has a greater range then its cast range when used against enemies moving towards you, and a shorter range when used against enemies moving away from you – due to the delay. This spell is the reason I buy Rylai’s as my first big item nearly every game. The fact that it’s a lead allows you to cast it before they enter a dangerous range and be moving into a new position before they become a threat.

Null Zone:
Alright, the hot tub. Deals damage based off a percent of the maximum health of anyone inside it for every "Tick". Good for high health opponents and damaging crowds of champions. When cast beneath an enemies feet it will tick once initially, so you can use it for a little bit of damage if you need to on a fleeing enemy. This spell is wide enough to fill passageways or bushes. Sometimes you won’t even be using it for damage because it is kind-of unreliable that the enemy will stand in it. Know that if they do they will regret it, always – never stand in Malzahar’s Null Zone unless his ult is down and you’re a melee character with the upper hand on him in it because it’s actually quite a ridiculous spell as far as damage goes.

Malefic Visions:
This is the first ability you level to rank 5. The reasons for this; It gives you back mana for every minion that dies afflicted by the spell. This allows Malzahar to sustain himself incredibly well. It’s your only single target spell (besides your ult) so you can rely on it landing, you don’t want to spend mana on spells that are doing nothing. It’s powerful and every rank increases Malzahar’s synergy with his play-style so much.

Nether Grasp This is Malzahar's Ultimate ability channeling for 3 seconds dealing damage and supressing both your target and Malzahar. This is mostly used in combination with your Null Zone and other uses will be mentioned later.

All of Malzahar's abilities have very high AP ratios and varying cooldown lengths to consider, making some spells more versatile then others.

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Leveling Your Abilities

Take one point in Call of the Void to begin so that you can benefit from its greater damage and summon a voidling to start the game. Malefic Visions sucks at rank one so it’s not much use to you here. After that make Malefic Visions priority one so you can eat up minion waves, get your mana back reliably, and have a decent single target damage spell. Put one point into Null Zone at level 4 during most games unless you feel your enemy is too aware of you. If you feel like they out-skill you, or wont let you get a chance to ult them dead – out farm them by skipping Null Zone and getting rank 2 Call of the Void to rip up their minion waves. Get your ultimate when you can. I usually level up Null Zone to around 3 and then alternate between Null Zone and Call of the Void so that neither one is particularly weak. Obviously pay attention to the way that your spells are turning to be effective. If you're not getting much damage out with Call of the Void but are getting really good hits in with Null Zone you might even leave Call of the Void as long as you can to level Null Zone as it's damage is beastly.

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The Potential Of Voidlings

Taking Advantage Of Your Passive.

Using your voidling as an Opener
I start every game with Call of the Void and charge it at my fountain so that my next spell cast will summon a voidling. This is an asset in the early game I find adds up against my opponent in many ways and is the most reliable way to score a kill at level one. Starting with a voidling begins the game with a force your opponent can not outmatch. I always try to use Call of the Void on a line of three minions at the time I expect my opponent to be in line with them, either passing through or retreating. When the game opens you will hurt three minions with Call of the Void, summon a voidling that will cause more damage then your Call of the Void did to those minions, and hopefully shave a little bit off your opponent’s health bar. Getting the first hit is often hugely psychological and vs. an inexperienced opponent can immediately make them feel like they have to be defensive. This is a big advantage for you as you can now move forward a bit and last hit minions (This opens up a lot of other opportunities but we’ll discuss those in “How to Win Middle”)

Voidlings Do Damage
From levels 1-7 voidlings play a huge role in killing my enemy. I think it’s believed that Malzahar only begins to kill in mid once he gets ult, that’s a big misconception. You can kill your enemy from level one by getting them in a bad position and combining Malefic Visions, auto attack, and a voidling (You won’t have Malefic Visions at level one but you can still get the kill if your enemy underestimates you). Ignite is helpful too. Believe me those things are insane. If your enemy is overextended, or is say Kennen, who just rushed at you through your minion wave and is closing in fast on your face. Malefic Visions, a frenzied voidling, auto attacks and Ignite are enough to kill him with surprising speed. I can’t tell you how many people underestimate what’s going to happen to them when my voidling has the chance to sit still and auto-attack them.

Leash Length and How To Use It
It’s important to pay attention to and “abuse” the length of the leash on your voidlings. If you ever notice your voidling is targeting your enemy for whatever reason, Malefic Visions or simply luck; make sure to move forward quickly and always keep close enough that your voidling doesn’t pull back to you. This will force them to their tower where you can decide to let your voidling die for another hit or pull back and keep him. This will severely damage their health bar.
It’s a point that not many Public game Malzahar’s capitalize on that really REALLY add’s up.
If you have a voidling and you want to press an attack on an enemy, casting Malefic Visions and auto attacking but then following and letting your voidling auto attack for you is devastating because the enemy will most often just retreat, taking damage while you are free to auto attack minions along the way or you know, not take damage.

Protect Your Voidlings
Protect your voidlings. Some players will attack your minions very aggressively and I think that’s a good strategy on their part because leaving it wild is going to demolish their minion wave. Make them pay. VS some champions you won’t want to get too close so you might just walk in and throw an auto attack and back out, but don’t underestimate the value of simply right clicking your opponent and waiting. A lot of players expect you to just take pot shots at them and won’t even back up allowing you to land two to even four auto attacks just for your voidling’s life. It’s a lot like Heimerdinger’s turrets, your enemy has to attack them but the numbers don’t really add up in their favour if you protect your voidlings aggressively.

Regarding Mana and Voidlings:
If your mana pool is full and you’re not regenerating mana, just cast a spell or two. Attempt to fit in as many charges of your passive in every game as you can unless you’re waiting for a strategic moment to pop out your voidling.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you find that you’re running low on mana it might be a good idea to save a voidling to attack your opponent’s next minion wave very aggressively with Malefic Visions, and auto attacks to recharge yourself. If there’s two to even three enemy minions left (That’s 9 minions total we’re talking about jumping through) and a new wave is coming a voidling + Malefic Visions can easily take you from 5% to 30% of your mana and that my friends is something I consider a bit ridiculous.

Blue Buff is very good for Malzahar, often allowing you to have two voidlings (Which is ridiculous by the way, two voidlings and your ult is enough to kill someone from half hp), spam more spells and charge up your Tear of the Goddess faster. It’s not something he needs like Anivia might but if you can get it you’ll have a fun time. Using Your Leash Length To Last Hit From Afar
If you feel there’s a reason you don’t want to move too close to the minion wave you can move back and forth with your voidling at its leash range to hit minions for you and still earn gold without putting yourself in danger. At higher levels (and with experience)you can do this with Malefic Visions and Call of the Void to destroy minion waves alone in the faces of up to three opponents.

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Slice And Dice (Call of The Void)

Lead Shots, Initiation, and Bush Checking

Rylai's Makes This Spell.
The 15% slow goes very – very far in increasing Malzahar’s manipulation value and team fight potential. You might think this isn’t that great because in a 1v1 situation 15% slow isn’t going to do much vs. someone closing in on you. You’ll realize why in the next paragraphs discussing techniques using Call of the Void but we’re going to start off with the beginning of the game strategies and uses first. It’s important to know that you don’t always have to use this spell at its max range; you always want to be aiming to be landing it on as many people as possible or to utilize its silence in protection. Some people might tell you to try to silence specific characters, I don’t agree with cutting back your damage and silence potential. Hit as many people as possible, and if you have to, move beside the fight to land it down the middle of the enemy team.

Safe Spending:
So you’ve picked your Q, charged up your passive at the fountain and you’re headed towards middle. The minion waves pass your turret and you follow out in between the second and third minion. This is big because you want to get to the middle early so you can stop your enemy from crossing their caster minion line. When I use Call of the Void at low levels, I always try to make the most of the mana I’m spending by combining a minion wave attack with an attack on my opponent. They need to cross their rear wave in order to auto attack your minions. When they start to move towards that rear line cast Call of the Void so that it lands on them and their minions. Just as you can predict them moving forward you can predict them moving backwards, and eventually the use of Call of the Void won’t rely on the passing through minion waves.
You will learn to feel when your enemy will move.

Do The Freak Out:

In a situation where you’re defending your tower, for example – middle. You have 3-5 teammates with you and they have an equal (or even greater amount. Malzahar can destroy minion waves from a distance easily making it possible for him to stave off 2-3 un-coordinated players). This could be a team-fight at any moment, and you’re the one who’s going to make it a success.
Both teams will be doing their dances of death as all members constantly shift positions to be ready to support, attack, but more importantly for you – advance. Most often if you’re defending the enemy team is parading around middle crushing your minions and moving forward with their minion wave. You have to predict the advance of the enemy team and throw out [call of the void]so they walk into it. If you can land this, during any pre-team fight positioning this is what happens.
  • A. Infrequently, some players will react and move backwards and some will move forwards still getting hit. This is still useful if your team is ready to quickly swoop up on their altered positioning, but mostly is just a good poke.
  • B. You hit 3-5 players silencing them and slowing them down. Your team moves in on the silenced and slowed enemies. This is good because you probably hit tanks and champions who wanted to be able to reach your players in the back of your formation, such as Malzahar. The 15% slow can make all the difference in the 0.5-1.0 seconds more it would take them to reach your rear line. That’s all the time it takes for one of your team-mates to cast a CC, for a melee champion to get too close for comfort and force those enemies to call off their advance – a huge team-fight changing event that can lead to them falling apart instantly.
  • C. You hit 3-5 players silencing them and slowing them. Some choose to keep moving forward and some panic being silenced and feeling their character moving slower then they are used to and instantly pull back. Positioning ruined once again. Your team sweeps upon the lack of unison in their ranks and tears them apart.
This is why I use Rylai’s crystal scepter, there are a lot of other uses for it on Malzahar, but this is the selling factor is seeing the enemy team’s unison ruined in a split second and being able to slow 3-5 players at the beginning of a fight with a silence. Timed right it’s like a smoke screen that allows your team to just move in with no consequences until the silence wears off. The slow itself is fairly decent in every situation having all of your spells slow someone by 15% is enough for a friend to catch up.

Slice! :
This move has gotten me so many killing blows on fleeing enemies, putting it in their path as they run it closes in on them spelling death. This technique is both a discussion of general use and a little bit of tips. As you probably know by now the aiming system of Call of the Void lands a wall that is based off of Malzahar’s position. I’m not sure how to describe the mechanic literally. Your positioning when using this move is therefore incredibly important. You can cast it in front of you, causing a “vertical slice” or you can cast it to your left and right, a “horizontal slice” and then you can cast it in any number of imaginable diagonal attacks. You can also cast this spell over walls on fleeing enemies to slow or even kill them blindly with practice.

Bush Checking:
Always use this spell on a bush before you check it. Sometimes I like to expose myself and dance in and out of range of the bush to see if any attacks come from it first. Sometimes I like to rush up to the bush and cast COTV so that as it lands I enter gaining the maximum effect of the silence. Sometimes I just cast it on the bush and then walk in from max range. All of these uses are situational and depend on your power vs. the potential power that’s inside the bush. This is also a great use for your team before they check a bush of course. Always use this spell on bushes once you start getting a large mana pool before you enter them. It’s a very powerful dynamic of this spell that you shouldn’t ignore.

Let’s talk about the varying levels of damage on this spell and how that defines how we’ll use it.

Rank One: At rank one this isn’t really that great for doing champion damage even at level one. It’s decent but since it’s not a reliable hit it’s not something you want to be using for the purpose of harassment. Use it for hitting multiple minions. When your mana pool is full and you aren’t recharging mana, use it just to progress voidling charges and get the most out of mana regen.

Rank Two: Well what did you expect? The spell gets a little better. At rank one it will usually do aprox 15% of the minion’s life that it hits, at rank two it will do 20-25%

Rank Three: Here Call of the Void starts to become a very powerful farming tool if you ignore Null Zone to level it. Again you want to use it on as many minions as possible but landing it on your enemy is going to be a viable damage option so you might want to try saving it for when he crosses his minions more. Since generally (before team fights begin) Call of the Void is landed without your enemy being able to fight back this is pretty devastating.

I don’t see the point in discussing the next two ranks in detail but rather the choice to level them up. If you’re leveling up Call of the Void early that’s where its damage will shine. Without damage items leveling it early can allow you to do great damage to enemy minion waves. Rank 4 and 5 are often instant kills on the minions it hits. The times I choose to advance Call of the Void specifically are when I’m not gaining any ground on my opponent. If I can’t get in and put Malefic Visions on them without getting hit back, or if I don’t think I can use Null Zone to combo them dead (at level 6) I’ll opt for the farming power of ranking up Call of the Void to 3 or 4 before I even pick up Null Zone. This will push anybody in to their tower.

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The Null Zone

Uncreative Hot Tub Joke

General Placement and Use
Let’s get into it. When aiming this spell you want to consider where your enemy is going to be in a few seconds like Call of the Void. What options do they have? What direction to they want to be going in this situation? You can place it so that the outer circle is just on or in front of them, forcing them to walk through more area covered by it. This gives you more room to ult them or for someone else to stun them. I wouldn’t rely on getting two ticks even if they had to walk all the ways across it so don’t worry about that.

Lastly, don’t use Null Zone to kill minions; it’s a waste of mana. I see a lot of Malzahar summoners using it to kill minion waves faster. You don’t actually want to kill minion waves faster. The speed Malzahar pushes is already a disadvantage to him in some respects and is already pretty fast with Malefic Visions and auto attacks alone.

To Kill One Person:
If you have a target you want to kill, you will most of the time need to use Null Zone in conjunction with Malefic Visions and your Nether Grasp. Putting it under their feet and holding them on it does a lot of damage. You can use it to shut out or kill an AD carry in a team fight. There’s a lot of criticism on the use of Malz’s alt because it forces you to stand still and makes you a target. It’s true, but it’s still viable to use in a reckless fashion, as long as you take a few precautions. Wait for the right time; make sure everyone has gotten distracted with another problem in the team fight. You can either kill that person or in the least, shut down an asset for the enemy team and damage it greatly.

To Completely Obliterate A Team:
This doesn’t happen that often but you should always keep your eyes out for bunched up teams. If there’s a team-fight that’s going on in a bush toss it in the middle. They will either have to move or lose the team fight (assuming it was even as you came in). Combined with Call of the Void Malzahar is a massive threat to any team bunched up. You can build team comps around this with characters like Galio or Kennen because it’s so devastating it’s unreal. You know that feeling when you’re on Ashe fully fed watching your arrows quickly tear apart your target and you can say to yourself “Yeah, that was me tearing them down!”? When you get a team bunched up, stunned and Null Zone, Call of the Void'ed by a decently itemized Malzahar, you get to watch the entire team’s health melt away rapidly and laugh. Again, it’s rare so just try to land it on as many people as you can who don’t want to move or can’t move. If this was the only purpose of this spell we’d be better of playing Annie because she holds them in place while doing all the damage upfront.

To Slow People Down:

Yeah it’s still only a 15% slow but the size of Null Zone makes this somewhat useful. As you’re running away or in front of a running enemy team it will catch all that pass through it and make the difference between life and death. This isn’t THAT reliable but it’s still applicable just because it’s a non-target spell that you can leave behind you or place in front of them before hand. It stays around a while so if you’re running through a jungle path you can throw it down a bit before they’d pass through it and it will fill the whole space.

To Force People to Move:
In team fights you can’t rely on this spell to be a main damage source because most of the time people are going to move out of it. But that’s not actually that bad! Think of it like this, if you throw this down it happened instantly on preferably 3 people who are in the middle of fighting. If their target isn’t going to die very soon, they will probably choose to move. This stops auto attacks, this ruins positioning yet again, this slows them, and this damages them. It’s not the best use but if you have a spell, use it, and try to manipulate as much “pressure” in favour of your team as you can. Another instance of making people move is in all bushes (preferably little ones). If you know someone’s in there you can make them come out my placing a Null Zone on the floor, or shepherd them to a part of the bush that isn’t covered by Null Zone and follow up with Call of the Void
You can also use this spell without your ult to fight champions. Most of the time they will move. It’s situational but if you have a good health advantage on a melee champ (Preferably without exhaust up), you can drop this, Call of the Void, Malefic Visions, and kite him with a voidling and come out on top. The damage is just that great when an enemy stands in it. I think I should mention that sometimes you will want to auto attack instead of kite, and sometimes you will want to kite. If the melee champ chasing you is snared by something better then your silly 15% snare, you can kite him around in the Null Zone without taking any damage and by this method, make a melee champ regret trying to kill you or die.

As far as ranks go I don’t like to neglect this spell till last. It isn’t terrifying until its 4th or 5th rank, which ruins a lot of the manipulation value in it and your ability to 1v1. Sometimes I ignore this spell at level 4 for Call of the Void, and very rarely I’ll ignore it until rank 3-4 or Call of the Void. I make Null Zone 2nd priority because every rank is a big buff to your ulti combo, important in middle. Malz’s ult combo is said to be overpowered, and the only time that he’s really that strong. It’s true you don’t want to engage many champs without your ult to suppress them in your Null Zone, but when you do you want it to crush them.

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Malefic Visions

Malefic Visions:

This is the first ability you level to rank 5. The reasons for this; It gives you back mana for every minion that dies afflicted by the spell. This allows Malzahar to sustain himself incredibly well. It’s your only single target spell (besides your ult) so you can rely on it landing. You don’t want to spend mana on spells that are doing nothing. It’s powerful and every rank increases Malzahar’s synergy with his play-style so much.

Choosing where to cast Malefic Visions:

During the farming phase of the game if I’m on my own in middle I choose to use this spell on minions 80% of the time. It’s very important to know a good balance of using this spell. When it reaches rank 2 or 3 I use it on almost every minion wave starting with the first minion who gets to low health and just follow it around with last hitting (auto attack if you need to support it through a minion’s life). I use it on minion waves for a few reasons:

1. You regenerate mana and kill your opponent’s minion wave forcing them to move back and lose CS to their tower. 2. It forms a pattern and keeps Malefic Visions out of their mind(They don’t know when you’ll just walk up and cast it – and they don’t know if you’ve ranked it up so they don’t know the real damage that’s going to come out of the next 4 seconds). It also gives the pattern that Malefic Visions comes at the start of the wave. This can be misleading to it's short cooldown.

If you use Malefic Visions and Call of the Void on the wave and farm you can look pretty passive with your only agression being when they pass the minions. (Wether they realize they are being targetted or not is sometimes up for debate) Even if you’re aggressive with auto attacks keeping Malefic Visions for the right moment has its value. If you use it once on them, A LOT of players seem to think you won’t use it again on them, but will expect a Karthus to constantly Lay Waste on them.

They seem to think we need it to sustain ourselves but it’s very much the opposite. We don’t need to cast Malefic Visions on minions to sustain our mana pool, Malefic Visions fills our mana pool so that we can use more spells. It’s not a need it’s a benefit. It’s a very psychological weapon to keep as well because it drains away life. Like Teemo’s poison darts it can make many players retreat scared of what their health bar might look like when the duration is done.
Planning and Malefic Visions:
Again! Another one of the Prophet’s spells require you to look into the future for its greatest effect. You can plan Malefic Visions for sneak attacks that crawl through the ranks to sneak up on even the weariest of its jump distance. You also need to plan in order to avoid Malefic Visions being stopped by tanks by preparing the minion wave and then the tank.
When you get a wave with a tank I like to try and time the tank’s progression past the caster minions much like with a player and Call of the Void all 4 of them. When you cast Malefic Visions, you need to pay attention to where your minions are attacking, and how much damage it will do depending on rank, so you know you can leave it alone. If there are 3 half dead front wave minions and a full health tank minion in between it and the casters, you want to cast it on the front wave minions and auto attack the tank as much as you can. You can also soften up the tank before you cast Malefic Visions but the main point here is that you can use your auto attacks to prepare tanks before your Malefic Visions has to encounter them (and once it lands on them but you only have 4 seconds for it to die).
Sneak attacks are a vital part to using Malefic Visions offensively and pushing your opponent away from last hitting your minions. When you cast Malefic Visions it bounces once the initial target dies to the nearest viable target. If your opponent is aware of this, as his wave comes to an end he will generally back off to avoid giving you a free hit on him. The way you get around this is to prepare his minion wave, then cast Malefic Visions possibly followed by Call of the Void to instantly force the bounce. At rank’s 3 and up Malefic Visions will kill quarter health minions in about 2 ticks. If your opponent is past his rear wave of minions you can prepare them by casting Call of the Void and backing up – to hide further intentions, and possibly get another Call of the Void in time for an instant bounce of Malefic Visions. When his first line of minions is near dead, and within range of Malefic Visions (you don’t even need to cast it on the first line, you can cast it in the rear on those half dead minions even if his front line is healthy to be honest) quickly cast it and it will travel quicker through the minions and leap on the enemy champion.
With practice you can make the process faster by bringing their health bars down, being creative with the paths you create for Malefic Visions to bounce through, and by using Call of the Void right after you cast Malefic Visions to kill the wave and make it bounce instantly to him if he’s close enough. Also note you can obviously use auto attacks to prepare minions to low health for a sneak attack chain on your enemy. Versus Malzahar it can be deadly just to be standing near a pocket of low health minions.

Malefic Visions is not a weak dot. If you are within range and have a frenzied voidling you can make a kill (not from full health obviously) just by casting it and your ultimate. The times I choose to skip Null Zone this is the alternative method if I get the chance. Make sure to have the voidling though as it will contribute greatly to the overall effect and benefit from your ultimate holding him in place. I might even argue that this could be used at 75% health simply because of the bad position it’s going to put the enemy in. After suffering the damage you put out on them. They don’t want to move close because your Call of the Voidis scary, they don’t want to stay near their wave because of Malefic Visions, and they most definatly don’t want you to simply walk up and cast Malefic Visions on them because that’s just as bad. Most champions can’t endure 3 Malefic Visions cast on them at a decent rank and keep fighting.

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Your Ultimate and You

Nether Grasp:

Finally your ultimate. Try and use it wisely as it immobilizes you while you use it. The most common use is in combo with your other abilities to nuke one target down without him fighting back. You can also – and should use it to hold a fleeing enemy in place if your team will be able to catch up and make a kill. You can use it as nothing but a stun, sometime people get mad that you didn’t ult combo someone dead but there are situations where you’re going to just want to suppress an enemy champion. To protect a friend, to stop an event from happening at the time the enemy team wanted it to happen, to protect yourself – simply canceling out another player. It’s up to you how you use it but don’t be afraid to experiment and think for the greater good of the next few minutes.

Another use for Malzahar's ultimate is to be the anti tank. Since Malzahar's Null Zone deals damage based off of the max health of anyone inside it's radius if a tank is trying to initiate on your team and you know that there's enough time to safely pull off this maneuver, turn him to ****. Call of the Void, [malefic visions]], [null zone]], Nether Grasp will kill any tank without Force of Nature. It really helps to only do this with your team, so that they can help clean up anything left. Using this in conjunction with Deathfire Grasp is a great way to instantly counter a tank, or tanky team. This takes practice to gauge how effective it's going to be all the time, but I used to be very gunslinger with this technique. My team-mates would get mad and I would look at chat with a furrowed brow thinking "Uhh yeah he didn't die but that tank had to book it back with 10% health just because of my Nether Grasp". Think about how people queue dodge when they dont have a tank then think about that. It's an option, lets say that.

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Building In The Early Game

Building in the Early Game:

I have always started off with Meki Pendant and two health pots since I started playing Malzahar with a few exceptions. The mana regen could be argued as un-needed, but I think it serves to make him that much more oppressive in the way he is. It’s a good item too because any time before you pick up your items for Rylai’s you’ll probably wind up buying a Tear. Also it makes him never go dry, if you find yourself dry you can easily recover by using Malefic Visions on a well timed minion wave or waiting for Call of the Void to assist a Malefic Visions roll. The health pots are just generally decent, I don’t really need them these days because Malzahar is a very defensive and yet dominant middle player but they do help.

Malzahar is slow so if I go back to base I usually buy my Sorcerers Boots or at least Boots of Speed as my 2nd item. You can go immediately to tear if your opponent isn’t buying boots or you find you aren’t needing the mobility to keep them at bay. With some champions like Vayne, Teemo or Caitlyn – you’ll probably want the boots.

VisionWardsare ESSENTIAL
I recommend you buy wards as Malzahar more so then any other champion. First off you’re going to be pushing their wave back and in order to keep gaining and gaining footing (Health, Gold, Tower damage) you will often be too far away from your tower to be protected from a well set-up gank. You will also probably have a CS advantage due to Malefic Visions and your voidling. It’s Malzahar’s nature to dominate in CS vs. most champs. So buy wards, protect yourself, keep pushing and drop that tower without dying by 10 minutes.

Mana Potions are also very viable on Malzahar. They can allow you an incredibly offensive return to the middle that can throw your enemy right off balance and once you’ve burned your pot you just resume gaining mana through Malefic Visions.

I choose boots, mana pot and health pot vs. very few champions that I feel rely on fast moving skill shots. I feel it’s a risky play so you have to be confident and keep your focus in order to use these starting items but it can pay off when you’re not getting pegged by Caitlyn’s Q and you can dart back and forth a little bit more to drop that Call of the Void or land a Malefic Visions that kills their minions for you.

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Some Thoughts On Boots

I just want to make a little section for boots here to talk about some different boot choices. Generally I think you’ll want to go for the magic penetration from Sorcerer's Shoes. The timing that you get the item is why I can’t advocate the other choices unless you’re getting super fed. Sorcerer’s gives you a needed damage boost to your spells that will make Malefic Visions so much more deadly. Usually once I have Sorcerer’s shoes that’s when if there was a resistance by my opponent, it ends. Your spells will do fine damage with just your masteries and their ranks but Sorcerer's Shoes is a great way to get some more damage while getting the movement speed you need.

However that said, I really enjoy Boots of Swiftness on Malzahar. After a few games of practice it began to feel like it almost increased the range of his Call of the Voidexponentially. It allows you to close in on someone inside your Null Zone faster and generally mobility is a great thing. Back up from attacks. Etc. etc.

Boots of Mobility are another possible boot choice. Since Malzahar is such a strong pusher you can solo push a lot better if you can run away with +5 movement speed. With proper warding these boots are just as good as Sorcerer’s shoes on Malzahar but fill a different role. The benefits of the movement speed are definatly still felt in PvP fights but open up a better emphasis on pushing towers and escaping from a defensive gank. When using these boots I would change the build around a little differently and probably include Lich Bane for tower breaking.

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Core Build

Tear of The Goddess: Malzahar has to predict a lot with CoTV and that can lead to inefficient use of the spell. This is the best way to increase your mana pool and increase it you shall since you don’t really slow down casting with MV mana regen. Having a huge mana pool lets you be experimental and sustainable with all of your spells. I have barely played a game without getting this and I’m not sure I should. Malzahar could benefit from getting AP instead of this, getting AP early in the game makes him quite oppressive but I’d simply rather not.p

Sorcerer’s Shoes: Like I mentioned before there are many different boot choices but this is part of the core build and required for Malzahar to function properly unless fed.

Rylai’s Crystal Scepter: This is for ability power, health and the slow. I always get this after boots and Tear of the Goddess. It does feel slightly limiting because you could again focus on more AP and damage but every time I do I regret not having that slow. The slow MAKES the way I play Malzahar effective and without it I feel like it’s a completely different class. Health is also pretty decent on Malzahar.

Rabadon’s Deathcap: Alright here we go, we can’t wait any longer for this. Rabadon’s provides some much needed ability power so your AoE damage puts out the pressure that will allow you to be a team fight carry. This is your second big item and the last one that you absolutely need to get. Without Rylai’s and Deathcap Malzahar won’t be effective as the game progresses.

In the comments you can see arguement that Rabadons might be a better early choice to get the damage first. Malzahar does need ability power to fulfill his role effectively so i'll leave that as a point of choice. I don't feel that I need it. Less ability power will equal less devestation from your spells there's no doubt about that but Malzahar is generally ahead of the game and I feel that the 80+ from Rylais initially serves the purpose well enough until you can get the Rabadon's.

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Viable Items

Void Staff: For obvious reasons void staff has its place as a viable item to counter magic resist. If you notice 3 or more of the enemy team grabbing Magic Resistance be sure to grab one of these after or before Rabadon’s depending on how well funded you are.

Banshee’s Veil: Well, being Malzahar you’re probably pretty fed so you’re going to be a target. Banshee’s Veil I would rank 2nd tier situational. If you’re getting targeted by CC you might want to grab it but I find if you’re getting out-positioned again and again a BV isn’t going to save you that much. Stacking damage on Malzahar is just so devastating that I would have to say this is a secondary choice for me but can become vital depending on the enemy team’s CC.

Warmogs Armor: I’m not sure how people are going to receive this one but I read it in a guide once. I’ve tried it out a few times when I had the gold to do it and it’s not actually that bad. Warmogs fills up very fast because by the time you can buy it you can destroy minion waves nearly instantly. It enables you to fight some melee champs just by standing in your Null Zone while they attack you because it buys you time. On the topic of how it buys you time, Malzahar is a lot like artillery. He doesn’t come up front very often so when one or two of the enemy team is either forcing their way through your ranks, or working their way around to get an ok shot at you here’s how it pays off. They are trying to focus a guy who has 3500 health in a position that isn’t optimal for them. This is very costly and you will most likely be able to handle at least one of them on your own. Your health can buy you the time to survive, or even if you die – they just pumped so much into you that your team will clean them up. If they send a much fed member after you, so fed that 3500 hp won’t make much of a difference to him or her, then this item is a bad choice – but it’s good for solidifying your position and making them pay for thinking of targeting you.

Philosophers Stone: It’s pretty nice on him if you can get it. It’s good on a lot of champions but again since Malzahar gets a lot of free shots, having health regen for the times they do get you can make it a completely losing war for them.

Archangel’s Staff: After Deathcap I usually get this, it’s more ability power and its efficient use of the potential in Tear of the Goddess. You don’t get this far often and if you do you probably want a more defensive item but after Malzahar’s core there’s not much reason to do anything other then buff his damage since he has very good ratios.

Abyssal Scepter: Viable as Hell Dog. You can use this sometimes when you believe that it is viable.

To be honest there's a lot of different items and opinions regarding items. I can see why someone might want to go for ability power early and that will give you some enjoyable aspects to Malzahar. If you ever get the chance try buying a Rabadons before a tear, or getting a Needlessly Large Rod as early as you can think of putting it in your build. It is pretty fun and you will do great damage. Make up your own mind on this I prefer Rylai's early for the slow because I strongly believe in the manipulation of movement with long ranged attacks. If Malzahar's Q was not a lead I wouldn't use it.

Lastly this is hardly a comprehensive list of viable items on Malzahar all items benefit all champions, and situational building goes further then identifying that a majority of the enemy's team is AD based or is stacking MR to counter you. Sometimes the items you choose will be items you've never used before because they fit a particular moment. Always be scanning and trying to spot the moment for new combos as they can sometimes succeed extra-ordinarily. I play Kassadin as a health trinity force tank and the first two weeks I did it I didn't get scores lower then 13-17 kills 0-3 deaths and 13-21 assists.

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How to Bush Gank Hard

Summary of the Following Gibberish:
Malzahar’s spell combo needs to be thrown out very fast to be startlingly effective so practice the process cleanly for the best results. Try to make it as fast and clean as you can.

I’m making a section on this because I myself have had troubles with the most effective procedure in absolutely destroying someone as they come towards you waiting in a bush. It’s one of Malzahar’s well known strengths but it has to be done right to reach its full potential. Recently as I don’t play that often I’ve found I miss one of my spells my Null Zone drops and my ult goes off but no MV so my opponent gets away. Or maybe it’s my Null Zone that doesn’t go down and MV comes up. Either way the best method is practice.

What is required of you when bush ganking is to wait until your target is less then two steps from the bush. Then repeat the following as fast and cleanly as possible. Q > Click > E > Click> W > Click > R > Click. If you don’t practice the procedure you’re liable to mess up by losing flow. I would say more so then other champions it’s very important to be able to do this in less then a second. If you want to practice, I’d say put on some music or if you have a metronome use it, and just practice the procedure as a musician would practice a music procedure. It’s just a set of motions. Follow through to the beat slowly at first, so slow that you can’t enjoy it. Then slowly increase the tempo and follow the 8th or 16th notes. You won’t reach the speed you want to perform it at in game until about 170 BPM with 16th notes but it will probably go a long way in making the process clean.

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Team Fight

The positioning of Malzahar is variable, but you always want to be within range of another team mate when a team fight, and out of range of the enemy team's members when a fight is imminent. Reason being you have no escape mechanism so you rely on others to allow you to attack from afar.

The Fencing Technique:

I can often be found at the front of a confrontation (before the fight breaks out) doing what I call fencing with Call of the Void until I get my hit. I move back to avoid champions who are advancing, and forwards to bait them. I move side to side to angle my [call of the void]] so that it lands with the greatest effect. Because of this you might say that Malzahar’s role changes often. A good [call of the void]] initiates silencing and slowing 3-4 enemies, damaging them and disorienting their ranks. This can result in initiation from your team, or end by doing AoE damage to the enemy team before the fight even starts (Which can stack up and defuse a fight if you hit them enough times, sending them back to their tower or base to heal.). Rylai's is important to this style as well. Having Rylai's and 300-400 ability power can allow Malzahar to literally fend off up to three opponents (champion situational but this happens often enough) in one direction.

Sometimes you want to be a piece of hidden artillery. Like Fiddlesticks you hide until the moment is right and unleash your influence. Since Malzahar’s range is so great and your biggest teamfight damage dealers can be cast over walls you can hang in back of a group. Always in range so that you can instantly cast Call of the Void where a team fight might emerge but scouting and keeping an eye on the rear of your team.

And other times it’s not so bad to be in the midst of your own team so that you can easily get Malefic Visions into the fray often and ult if need be. I’ll let you make your own styles of positioning because that’s more of a Meta-game skill then a Malzahar specific thing to teach.

Your job is to make the enemy team regret ever coming near you and your team. To drop a wicked Call of the Void across them. Put down Null Zone to make them move, to kill a carry with your ult or someone else’s stun. Put Malefic Visions on anyone you can easily reach except the tanks because it has a low cool down and you want to do as much damage as you can. You might be mindful of the enemy team’s front line forces and save Call of the Void for when they’ve engaged. Silencing the enemy team from using their abilities in the first seconds of battle can make them panic as their health bars drop with no ability to retaliate.

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How to Win Middle

This is the chapter that all of this has been building up to. Using the techniques and concepts described of his abilities Malzahar is one of the most powerful champions that can be put in the middle position (IMO). There are a few champions I might consider equal when played at the same skill level but the ability set that Malzahar has is just a little powerful for mid.

To start off get your first point in Call of the Void and use it to prepare your voidling so it can be summoned on your next cast. Buy a Meki pendant and two health potions and head out to middle. When the minions spawn and pass your tower, head out in between the 1st and 3rd minions so that you can cast Call of the Void on the opposing team’s rear minion wave when your enemy advances past them. You go out early in case they are behind their rear minion wave as many players are. If they are in front then don’t bother getting yourself in range for it. You might be able to make them back up into your [call of the void]] attack.

Consider casting Call of the Void instantly, to summon your voidling now and get your mana regenerating if your enemy isn’t too offensive. Vayne or Kennen are two champions who are commonly played very offensive. If they are offensive champions like this, and you think the player might try to be aggressive with you move forward a little bit, try and bait him to make his attack. Expect the extended position of their ability. Vayne will roll forward a certain distance, you want to land the Call of the Void on that location she will end her roll on, the same goes with flashes and other quick advance techniques. Once you drop the Call of the Void back up. If your voidling goes on them follow it but without Malefic Visions it can be dangerous to follow Call of the Void with auto attacks instantly on some champions. Be aware of their summoner spells as well when deciding to pick a fight or not. If they are more aggressive, they might push the attack any number of ways. Sometimes winning the initial confrontation is a battle of confidence. Be confident in your voidling’s ability to do damage and you might even consider flashing towards the enemy if they are low on health retreating just to extend the leash on your voidling to land a kill. It’s a rare situation but when the opportunity arises you need to quickly make the decision if it will be able to make the kill.

Assuming both of you are playing passively, as most games go: Focus on getting last hits and using Call of the Void when your enemy passes through his minions. Don’t spam it, but do use it if you have full mana because more voidling production is better. Keep your distance and try not to engage in an auto attack fight unless your voidling is already targeting the enemy champion. Auto attacking is an art between levels one and three on Malzahar. You can use Call of the Void to silence them as you move forward to follow up with an auto attack. Once you get Malefic Visions rank use it on the enemy champion if you have full mana. Or in the rare situation that he’s standing beside nearly dead minions so you know you can just make it jump. It does 10 damage per tick (I think) at rank one and you can’t rely on it to refund you much mana but it still hurts a little bit.

Level up Malefic Visions to rank two when you can, it’s getting a little bit better now but still use it and Call of the Void in much the same way. Always be aware that you can combo your voidling on an overextended opponent with Malefic Visions and lead their retreat with Call of the Void. This combo gets stronger as time goes on but I only really start using it once I have rank 2 or 3 Call of the Void. Choose to get Null Zone or Call of the Void at level 4 depending on if you’re evenly matched in health at this point in time. If you’ve been getting the aggressive advantage then you will probably be confident to grab Null Zone and use it when you get your ultimate. If not you might opt for the better farming capability of just getting Call of the Void to its 2nd rank.

At rank three Malefic Visions you will be using it more often but its success in a minion wave still depends on you. Rank three needs support from auto attacks or a voidling and you need to start softening up tanks at least to 40% health before Malefic Visions lands on it. Even with sustained auto attacks unless it's at 40% health it's liable to not bounce. One important note about Malefic Visions is that it can spread towards your own minions. For this reason I will often target and weaken the furthest progressed enemy minion for my MV so it can’t spread backwards. If you cast it on a minion that isn’t in front that’s still fine but you have to be able to auto attack the minion in front dead before it bounces to ensure its spread towards the enemy.

Make your way to level six, go to the bushes or even further behind near their tower and do a flash in from behind combo for an easy kill. Most champions will have no way out if you can force their flash early and that’s and get your Null Zone Malefic Visions Nether Grasp out quickly. This can also be done from directly in front of them if you can get in range for the flash in to be effective. Try not to do it on full health champions it isn't a one hit KO all the time. If you didn't kill them it's fine you will probably have sent them packing and can now go buy wards. Which you need to buy now because you'll be ganking middle alot with your Nether Grasp and pushing the tower down.

When you’re moving towards an enemy tower you know that you’re going to be auto attacking start spamming all the spells you can so you have more voidlings to hit the tower with you. Blue buff and Elixer of Brilliance help with this.

That’s a somewhat generalized guide towards winning middle as Malzahar watch some of the videos to see what I do and feel free to ask me any questions on my blogs I’ll do my best to explain any details and help you out. I'm thinking about writing basics for common mid champions since I found as I was writing this I kept thinking certain tactics can't be described without certain champions in mind but are required for certain champions.

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Adding Pressure to the Game

Malzahar is an excellent pusher, a decent ganker, team-fight controller and damage source.
There is always a job to be done as Malzahar.

If you’re in middle you probably have a lot of gold, and I mean a very decent sized pot of gold. Why not spend that gold on wards? Especially as later farming becomes so easy for him, I feel responsible to buy wards for my team. Not to mention in public games you honestly can’t rely on others to ward themselves but do it for them because you want to win and you have the money they might not have.

Pushing creates pressure. Sometimes it can be beneficial just to consume minion waves and clear the way for your own minions. If you know there are two minion waves on the field and the enemy team is busy (All accounted for, or you have wards in the jungle beside you) kill the first wave and rush ahead and kill the second and leave. It gets done so fast the return attack doesn’t usually get you and somebody has to clean up the mess, usually taking longer then it took you and getting less gold out of the deal. Maybe losing tower hp if they let it sit. I’ve seen it happen. Just running to a position and casting two spells and walking away costs you so much less time then it does the enemy team.

If you want to, you can use this with wards to bait the enemy to attack. Usually if they just send one person Malzahar will kill them with his ult combo so they might try two. This can open up an opportunity for the other 4 of your team-mates.

Even when you’re with your team you can make it your responsibility to quickly clear the enemy minion wave. It gets done so fast the enemy has to retreat or fight you and your minion wave. It also makes your minions have more health then if you hadn’t.

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Summoner Spells

]Flash: Pretty much essential as Malzahar because of the options it opens up with his ultimate. Nobody is going to let you walk up to them and cast your ultimate combo on them so you want this to flash in and combo them as fast as you can. It’s also great for getting away over walls and any other creative need you can find.

Ignite: I take ignite with me in most games. You can score level one kills with the extra damage and your voidling. You can use it with MV to get a “super dot” killing blow. You can use it while channeling your ultimate if you’re close enough. The range on ignite is a little bit shorter then your ult so if you plan on using it make sure to move close enough first or you might was your ultimate.

Exhaust: Exhaust is great for kiting melee champs around in your Null Zone if you don’t have your ult up. Exhaust can counter exhaust if you use it instantly to stop your enemy’s damage then follow up with your ultimate combo once their exhaust wears off you. Exhaust is generally a very sexy Summoner spell.

Teleport: Teleport is cool on Malzahar for a few reasons. He’s a pusher and a great defender because of his ability to destroy minion waves by glancing at them. So you can teleport for a quick push or a strong defense. In middle and laning phase this spell is great because Malzahar generally earns more gold then his opponent. Going back and buying then teleporting back can lead to a huge gold advantage. This also helps him get wards early if they have a jungler.

I don’t really think any other Summoner spells are great enough for Malzahar to be picked over these ones so I’m not going to mention them.

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Laning - Notes

Malzahar is a decent laning character and a good choice for solo due to his sustainability and minion killing capacity. As solo he’s weakest at lower levels and in danger most between levels 4-5. Once you get your third rank of MV soloing gets a lot easier. Once he has his ult anyone foolish enough to attack him under his tower will probably die.

When laning I really enjoy playing with Leona because of her synergy with my W and Q. Being held in place makes landing the shot a lot more reliable and if you’re co-coordinated you can line up two hits more often. Leona also protects Malzahar during his ult very well. I don’t prefer to be in lane as Malzahar just because if we have Malzahar on the team I want to know why he isn’t shutting down the enemy team’s middle.

Anybody with solid crowd control is a great match for Malzahar. Most tanks have an ability to make use of your Null Zone more effectively. Leblanc and other bursty champs are also fun laning partners. If you can pull it off the damage is quite devastating.

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Malzahar is good and I hope I don't see a million Malzahar's in middle as a result of releasing all this to the community. These techniques have won me 95% of every middle game i've played (as far as outplaying and supressing the enemy's mid. You can get ganked and lose middle after).

I don't play ranked games. I'm not interested in it. I think the whole scene is pretty ugly looking. So take this as public gaming advice in some points.

Depending on how this goes i'll be considering doing a few other guides but in a bit. The coding business is a little bit much just for putting guides up on the internet.