Malzahar Build Guide by SomaQL
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Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Me and Myself
Hello, and welcome to my first guide on MobaFire! In this guide we will be discussing Malzahar, his utility, who he counters, and how to deal with his own counters. I will also help you to master The Prophet of the Void's Massive Damage, and how to fight based on your surroundings.
But, first, I would love to be vain for a moment and talk about myself.
My summoner name is SomaQL, but I'd rather be referred to as Soma, and will be referring to myself as such (or I, of course) for the duration of this guide. My ELO isn't very high, but I would still take this guide seriously if I were you. I definitely prefer either the middle lane, the jungle, or the top lane, because I don't have anyone else to worry about protecting, and because most champions in these positions are team carries if they get fed. To show you the kind of play style and skill that I bring to you as a player, allow me to share my favorite two champions for each role.
Top: Nasus Fizz
Jungle: Fizz Maokai
Mid: Malzahar (of course!) Viktor
Support: Janna Fiddlesticks
Attack Damage Carry: Orianna Ezreal
Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or to leave a comment in the discussion section if you have any questions, or have found any typos or mistakes.
Thanks, and enjoy the guide.
Next, I will discuss Malzahar himself, and give a summary of his kit.
Malzahar is one of the only mages who can deal tons of damage to literally anyone in a fight, even the tanks. Malzahar also deals a S.A.D (S**t A** D**k) load of damage to almost anyone in a one versus one fight. Malzahar is also one of the only people able to completely shut down fed carries like Vayne or LeBlanc (who is supposed to counter him, but I'll get to that). Malzahar is one difficult bro to gank, and if you do get ganked post level six, you will probably* melt at least one of the enemies performing said gank.
His kit is highly versatile, and I HIGHLY recommend spreading out your damage in larger fights, laying your (three second, holy ****!) silence on the enemy casters, your Null Zone on the enemy tanks, and Malefic Visions + Nether Grasp on the enemy Attack Damage Carry.
Positives / Not Quite Positives
I don't believe in cons, and neither should you. However, Malzahar does have some not quite positives that are crucial to both your success and demise.
+ Adept at 1v1 Combat
+ Summon Voidling
+ One of the best at farming
+ Scales well with both level and Ability Power
+ Impressive utility in team fights
+ %-hp damage with Null Zone
+ Levitation :D
||Not Quite Positives
- No dedicated escapes
- Extremely easy to push your lane
- Almost always focused first in team fights
- Easy to get greedy, post level six
- Null Zone is not a slowing field
- Difficult to start your full combo in a 1v1.
Magical Steroids - (Masteries)
Although Malzahar has a high base scaling, and ability power scaling, who doesn't benefit from a set of masteries tailored to his needs? Well, for one, that poor Kennen you're laning against.
For the Great Prophet, I normally run a 21/0/9 setup, but I've customized it over my (many) games to enhance the effectiveness.
In the offense tree I usually run:
+ Sorcery 4/4 - Since we don't build too terribly much cooldown reduction on Malzahar until much later, any early cooldown reduction is excruciatingly useful.
+ Summoner's Wrath 1/1 - Of course, the extra five ability power and attack damage come in handy when you're both harassing with autoattacks and abilites. But, GET THIS Malzahar's Summon Voidling scales with 1.0 PER BONUS ATTACK DAMAGE (all that fonty stuff for 5 AD).
+ Blast 4/4 - One ability power per level may not seem like much, but it's actually nice to have that extra ability power, because we build none till the blasting wand for Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
+ Arcane Knowledge 1/1 - The 8% magic penetration is actually pretty sweet for Malzahar's Nether Grasp and Malefic Visions because it increases the damage dealt PER TICK to enemies.
+ Havoc 3/3 - My favorite mastery of the tree, it increases the NET DAMAGE DEALT (both physical and magical) by 2%.
+ Spellsword 1/1 - This absolutely ravishing mastery allows you easier last hitting based on a PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ABILITY POWER. This mastery also allows for harass that actually hurts. Most people don't realize that autoattacking as a mid laner is exceptionally important when harassing, since your most of your opponents have low armor.
+ Brute Force 2/2 - Since easier last hitting always a beautiful thing, having points in Brute Force allows for more potent autoattack harass (as mentioned above)
+ Archmage 4/4 - 5% increase to your ability power is crucial to your success.
+ Executioner 1/1 - If I have to explain this, you're not lifting your weight in gold (Best comeback to that line N/A).
As for the Utility tree, I run nine in here, and arrange them similar to the the standard meta:
+ Summoner's Insight 1/1 - Reduces the cooldown of flash, absolutely required, as it can save your life, more than once a game, in many cases.
+ Meditation 3/3 - The mana regen serves to make that Chalice of Harmony ravishingly sexy.
+ Improved Recall 1/1 - This is probably the most useful mastery in this tree. For one, it's a convenient sleeve on your ascent to Runic Affinity . Secondly, this allows you to return to lane faster than you would normally, saving your tower from those damnable Heimerdinger H-28G Evolution Turrets. These turrets aren't much of a threat to mid tower, now that Riot has changed the turret priorities (pets/supers/cannons/melee/caster).
+ Expanded Mind 3/3 - This mastery is a beautiful thing for Malzahar (henceforth known as Wangsworth); it allows him more room in the mana pool department, having almost no mana built with this specific build (a flaw I will correct, I assure you).
+ Runic Affinity 1/1 - Hopefully you'll be getting second blue, and the blue buffs after that or this mastery is totally wasted. In other words, MAKE SURE TO ASK FOR SECOND BLUES and make sure the rest of your team knows the blue is only for you.
I will continue to experiment with different setups (12/9/9) 21/9/0, etc.) so that I can post many more viable and setups.
Magical Steroids - (Runes)
Malzahar's Runes are of more importance to him than to other mages, like Annie or Brand who don't need runes quite as dearly as poor old Malzy does.
I run runes specifically designed to correct Malzahar's few flaws as best as possible.
For the Marks:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is what I would normally run, however, I find (personally, of course) that a mix of Greater Mark of Attack Damage (3 or 4) and Greater Mark of Magic Penetration (5 or 6) is the most beneficial, as they increase the damage of Summon Voidling and the effectiveness of your own last-hitting.
For the Seals:
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration is what I tend to run, although Greater Seal of Scaling Health also work quite well. I run Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration over Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
because your Chalice of Harmony keeps your mana from flat-lining, and the base mana regeneration offered by Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration only furthers the effectiveness of the chalice.
For the Glyphs:
There are a number of options I take for glyphs, like Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, greater glyph of scaling ability power], and [[greater glyph of magic resist. All three are viable, and I take the greater glyphs of magic resist when I'm laning against a hard counter (not Kennen).
For the Quints:
Three options again, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, and the more controversial greater quintessence of spellvamp. The spellvamp quints are the ones I've found myself using most often, so I'll be explaining those.
These give you the 6% spellvamp you need to truly mimic Morgana, and become immovable in lane, and while poking before team fights. While Malefic Visions and a large wave of minions will keep your health up, along with your full combo. Plus, with Will of the Ancients, you will have a massive 26% spellvamp (You will live forever if your team runs a double Will of the Ancients composition. I highly recommend the spellvamp quints if you're just looking to farm for twenty minutes and want to stay in lane and do such.
Remember to email me or comment if you have any additions to the rune or mastery sections. I'm not getting rid of the spellvamp quints, however.
The Prophet's Power - (Skill Sequencing)
Malzahar's skills are all high damage, but which one should you max first? When Should I max what skills when? In this portion of the guide, I will answer these questions, and a few more.
Call of the Void is an excellent place to place your first point. It offers you a silence, which, in a level one fight, any AoE crowd-controls are going to give you a massive advantage. An AoE team with a strong level one greatly benefits from Malzahar's silence.
+ Call of the Void may not deal the highest damage, but the silence can turn an enemy jungle engagement into a slaughter-fest. Feed the Malzahar!
+ Malefic Visions and Call of the Void both deal the same damage at level one, but, while Call of the Void deals its damage flat, and has a built-in CC, Malefic Visions deals the same damage over four seconds with no CC.
Voidlings - The Humble Hand of this Pressing Metaphor
Malzahar's Passive, Summon Voidling, summons an uncontrollable physical damage pet that grows in ferocity over twenty-one seconds, after which they die. They scale with 1 per bonus attack damage, and depending on your level. Voidlings grow in size after seven seconds, gaining 50% damage and armor, and, after fourteen seconds, double their attack speed. Voidlings benefit from Malzahar's armor penetration. In other words, voidlings make Annie's Summon: Tibbers look like a second rate handbag.
Summon Voidling's Stats are as follows:
Health:200 + (50 x level); 1100HP at level 18
Attack Damage: 20 + (5 x level) + (1.0 per bonus attack damage); 110AD at level 18; 165AD after seven seconds
Attack Speed: 0.831 by default; 1.496 after fourteen seconds
Armor: 30 by default; 45 after seven seconds
Magic Resistance: 50 by default
Movement Speed: 451 by default
Tips and Tricks:
- When Summon Voidling will proc. next spell, try to land Malefic Visions on your target so that he/she will be forced back to their tower to kill the Voidling.
- Try not to use Malefic Visions against minions in-lane when Summon Voidling will proc. on the next spell. This will push your lane as your Voidling is UNCONTROLLABLE!
- When taking Baron/Dragon, spam your skills as MUCH as POSSIBLE! You want as many Voidlings as you can to deal even more damage to those monsters.
Call of the Void - A Knife to Butter the Bread
Malzahar's Q, Call of the Void, is a skillshot Gate that silences enemies for up to three seconds and deals massive damage after a short delay. It scales with .8 per ability power, and can easily shut down enemy casters in a team fight. His Q is not a great harassment tool early game, because we max it second, but the silence can help you engage on your opponent and prevent them from poking back or flashing out.
If you understand the metaphor in the title of this chapter, then you can guess that Call of the Void is a great skill to initiate fights with, and help set up your poke, combo, or to defend yourself from an incoming poke.
Tips and Tricks:
- Attempt to prevent ganks by silencing the person ganking as they run into the lane. This is your only defense, so master it , and don't push without wards! I cannot stress this enough, as Malzahar has no escapes what-so-ever. ( Rylai's Crystal Scepter would help, if you went with that build, but still, don't push without wards).
- When Malefic Visions is at a low level, use Call of the Void to take the enemy minion's health down so that Malefic Visions can kill those minions and refund your mana costs.
Null Zone - The Bread of this Metaphor
Malzahar's W, Null Zone, is an AoE pool that deals % health damage to anyone in it's radius for 5 seconds. It scales at 1% extra Health per second per eighty ability power. His W is not a great harassment tool either, because it is not a slowing field and it is maxed last. It is most useful when you use your full combo, as the zone will continue to deal damage while your target is suppressed by Nether Grasp, and in team fights, when you place it underneath the enemy tanks.
Tips and Tricks:
- Note that Null Zone has no cast time, and does not interrupt movement when cast. It also deals its first tick of damage as soon as you cast it, allowing you to help finish off low health enemies.
- Keep in mind that Null Zone is not a slowing field, and as such cannot be used to escape from a gank unless you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter
- Use Null Zone when taking Baron/Dragon because it deals %HP damage. This will kill it extremely fast (no, you can't solo Baron) and help prevent the enemy team from stealing it.
Malefic Visions - I can't believe it's the Butter
Malzahar's E, Malefic Visions, is a targeted spell that deals high damage over 4 seconds, and scales with .8 per ability power If the target dies while Malefic Visions is still active, it will jump to a nearby enemy and refund Malzahar's mana (26 at rank 5). This spell prioritizes minions because it refunds mana, but do not underestimate the damage potential of Malefic Visions, both as a poke and as part of your full combo.
Tips and Tricks:
- Use Malefic Visions as your main poke, mostly because of the huge damage over 4 seconds. However, do not use this as a poke if Malefic Visions is rank 2 or lower, because it does not deal enough damage.
- Use Malefic Visions in con-junction with Summon Voidling to deal maximum damage to your opponent, and force them back to their tower, which makes them miss out on experience and gold.
- Malefic Visions is your main farming tool, but you must use it wisely to avoid pushing your lane. Try not to use it on minions while Summon Voidling is active, the Voidling is uncontrollable and will attack whomever is affected by Malefic Visions.
- Malefic Visions requires at least 5 minions to die while it is active to refund the full mana cost. Remember that you won't be able to kill siege minions with Malefic Visions unless you are auto-attacking it, have Malefic Visions at rank 3 or above, and have at least 50 ability power.
Nether Grasp - Witness your Demise
Malzahar's R, Nether Grasp, is a targeted suppression that deals intense damage over 2.5 seconds. It scales with 1.3 per ability power. It is your main source of damage in a 1v1 fight, and can absolutely shut down an enemy carry or caster in a team fight. Nether Grasp is also adept at shutting down fed carries, like Vayne or Master Yi because they are unable to do damage to you while your full combo withers their health down to 0.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can use Ignite while Nether Grasping, but Zhonya's Hourglass and Deathfire Grasp will cancel your ultimate. Ignite counts toward your Summon Voidlingas well.
- Use Nether Grasp as a way to set up your opponent for a gank. If time permits, lay down your full combo, and have a blast melting your opponents.
- Be careful not to Nether Grasp people who have a built-in cleanse (Cleanse WILL NOT interrupt Nether Grasp) as they will just use it to break Nether Grasp.
Spells and You - Securing Kills, Protecting allies, and more
As Malzahar, you have many options open to you in the way of summoner spells. I will mention all of the viable spells. These are the only spells I (and you) should EVER take on Malzahar.
Why? Ignite is a great spell on Malzahar (any mage, really) It compliments his combo, does not cancel Nether Grasp, and deals massive true damage over five seconds.
Why? Teleport is my second offensive choice for a summoner spell (I consider Flash defensive). It allows his team breathing room, and allows for snowball Malzahar. If coupled with the Rylai's Crystal Scepter build, Teleport has great ganking potential.
NOTEWORTHY: I take Teleport on the Rylai's Crystal Scepter build to show viability, Ignite + Flash are still great on Malzahar.
Why? Cleanse is not the best option for Malzahar, but it is quite a good one if you know that the enemy team has enough CC to lock you down. These types of games are where you save your Nether Grasps for one on one encounters rather than team fights, because it'll be interrupted almost immediately. Cleanse is for games where you know your main role is going to be poking and utility rather than nuking and nether grasping squishies. In layman's terms, super cc enemies = cleanse supporty Malzahar. Comprende?
Why? Flash is an absolute must-have with Malzahar. It gives him his only escape, and gap closer. It can help him to set up his combo, or to reposition himself in team fights. I will NEVER NOT take Flash when I play Malzahar.
Malzahar's Maleficent Misfits - (Your Counters, and how to Deal with Each)
This will be one of the last sections to be completed, because it will take forever to do so. Sorry!
The Heart of the Void - (The Build in Depth)
So, you've read the guide to this point. "But Soma", you say to yourself, "why aren't you being my sexy friend and explaining your item choices?" Well, dear reader, I must preclude that I thought the "Item Sequence" parts of guides were useless. Then, I just so happened to make a guide. Now I've been told multiple times to create this, so boom, there you have it, lads (and lasses, if you will), the items!
- First off, the reason i put Blasting Wand and other lesser items into the cheat sheet is so you get an idea of which items you were supposed to build first (I.E. a Giant's Belt first, after Sorcerer's Shoes).
- Secondly, This build is meant to give you sustain in the laning phase, using his base damages to carry him to the mid game, with ~150 cs @ 20 minutes. Then, the build tapers into some major damage, with sustain being a primary goal as well.
Boots of Speed + Health Potion times three. There is nothing that suits As Malzahar better than Boots of Speed. Doran's Ring is uneeded, as Chalice of Harmony and Giant's Belt give more of the stats As Malzahar needs.
DO NOT START WITH ANYTHING ELSE when playing as Malzahar
Malzahar's Requim (Ending Notation)
To sum it all up, Malzahar is one of the most difficult casters to play, but his damage output makes it worth your time and your IP/RP.
Notice: I'll definitely be expanding on this guide as soon as I have time, but, for now, this is what I have for you. Make sure you leave a comment and try out one or more of the builds.
Videos and High-Scores
If you use this build, and find it to your liking, submit your best game (The scoreboard, of course) with the build, I'll post it here. I'll also post my own tutorials on The Prophet after I finish building my computer, because this one will not run League at 30 frames above very low settings. So this section may take quite a while.
Bibliography - (Citations)
+ Thanks to JhoiJhoi for the guide on making a guide! (And for the Line dividers!)
+ Thanks to all my voters! (Up or Down, thanks for the input!)
+ Thanks to BloodRaine for reviewing my guide!
+ Thanks to Phreak for playing Malzahar as a jungler!
(Adding more as I cite more people :D)
+ Added the Changelog!
+ Added blank chapters that show you what's "in the works"
+ Updated Runes, Masteries, and Builds; Thanks to BloodRaine for recommending these!
+ Added "Voidlings - The Humble Hand of this Pressing Metaphor" tips and tricks; Thanks to Emerald M for the recommendation!
+ Remade Rod of Ages build. Replaced it with a Banshee's Veil build. Thanks to LordPhip for the idea!
+ Removed Herobrine!
+ Added "Bibliography - (Citations)"
+ Removed the section in the Nether Grasp chapter about people who can
easily break his ult.
+ Finished the Mastery Section
+ Removed the second build. Wasn't viable at all, and it didn't suit him. So... until I get a better build up, you'll just have to use the Rylai's Crystal Scepter build. (Which is probably the best I've seen.
+ Changed masteries, runes, and the build accordingly.
+ Removed exhaust from the list of viable spells
+ Added the Runes Section!