Malzahar Build Guide by cappiz

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 cappiz

Malzahar by Zippac (+Jungler)

cappiz Last updated on September 7, 2013
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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: 15

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 15

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Hello folks! My name is Zippac and I welcome you to my little discovery.

A couple of months back I discovered my love to the champion Vladimir.
It all started when I read a guide here on mobafire that introduced me to the Spell Vamp Quintessences. To utilize this concept you also spent points in Utility which was very favorable to Vladimir since he craves experience and Cool-down Reduction more than any other champion.

I'll never forget that day. I was on top lane where I was facing Cho'gath. I actually managed to zone him out (which has been rare for me at the time). But then a tidal wave hit me! Gank after gank after gank. My tower was lost. I was furious. Long story short: I went from 0-6-1 to getting a Pentakill at Baron by 35min into the game. I've never been happier with a game ever.

So after a while I was looking for any other champion with the potential of these Runes, and there he was: Malzahar! The one of few Caster (also Annie, Kennen, Ryze) champions that not only has a single target Direct Damage spell but a sustainable one. It was perfect! (Muahahahaha!). Now I see champions getting QuckSilverSash quicker than QuickSilver. Ha....ha.

And now without further delay, welcome to my guide! I hope you'll have as much success and fun as I've had!

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As stated before Malzahar with Spell Vamp is very underestimated. I can't think of any champ, other than possibly Vladimir with enough sustain. Cause that's what this guide focuses on; Spell Vamp.

Malzahar's spells are overaly expensive. To pull a combo off it costs him a wooping 530 mana!
To counter this Riot gave him his Malefic Visions(E) which not only gives mana back if a minion dies while being under it's effect no matter what source it's killed by, it jumps to infinity, or until there are no more minions close-by. That combined with Spell Vamp is the greatest sustain of any champion in the game right now.

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Pros / Cons


+ Awesome nuker
+ Good AoE dmg
+ AoE Silence
+ Anti-tank (Null zone)
+ Fairly good CC (Silence, Suppress)
+ Excellent farmer
+ Great Harasser
+ The greatest sustain in the game so far.
+ Auto-Pushes lane (Malefic Visions)

- Squishy
- Usually focused first
- Vulnerable to CC
- Can't control lanes. Pushes a little bit too good.
- No escape

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GLYPHS: These starts to pay off by level 6 and with a sustain to withstand 3 ganks without getting any ganks yourself you have nothing to worry about.

SEALS: You can go either Health per level or Mana Regen. If you go Health I'd compensate by buying 1 Mana Potion at start.
If you jungle it's optional to take Armor instead of HP/level.

MARKS: No alternatives.

QUINTESSENCE: The core of this build. If you can keep your Malefic Visions(E) up on minions at all times you'll have the greatest sustain of any other champion in the game. A well timed Ulti before the enemy hits you with ignite, or after the ignite runs out, also adds to your success.

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EXPLORER: When you feel like you are pushing (too) much it's wise to place 1 ward by the water-bush closest to the lane, and closest to the enemies RED buff (Red Jungle). I noticed that it's rare for a jungler to gank from his Blue Buff Jungle (Blue Jungle). OR you can use it to counter invades. Choose wisely.

Stay close to the warded bush in case the enemy jungler does gank from blue jungle anyway. Then you can safely run through your Red jungle. If the are very persistent you can always wall flash from the water bush which gets you between waters and Wraiths.

As a mid to late-game note, and especially in SoloQ, you'd be advised to ward BOTH bushes since towers may start to fall causing bot and top lane to gank mid as well.

VAMPIRISM: This is the core to this build. Malzahar fits very well with spell vamp(SV) thanks to his Malefic Visions(E). And the more SV you can get without exploiting yourself to the enemies through buying a hextech revolver, the better.

WHY NOT DEEPER INTO OFFENSIVE?: Cause of Archmage (5% AP at Rank 5). This synergize with Heavy AP champs like Lux, Orianna, Morgana, Vladimir or Veigar since they have Stuns, escapes and more importantly: Shields. Malzahar survive solely by his SV and a well aimed Call of The Void(Q) but against assassins it's useless, some can even disable his Ulti. Especially if it turns into a teamfight. So by avoiding these I give myself space to buy tanky Health items like Rod of Ages, Rylai's Crystal Scepter and the brand new Liandry's Torment.
If I could replace all the CDr I'm forced into I would as well but as a caster who might go Offtank, Cool-down Reduction can really turn the tide late-game.

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Most of the time I start with Call of The Void(Q) in case of an invade AND it does more damage when you help Jungler with Wolves/Wraiths and Buff rather than your Malefic Visions(E).

Use Q 2 times at Spawn so that you're only 2 more spells away from pulling out your passive. That can either be used in case of an invade OR for easier farm at start once you hit level 2 for Rank1 Malefic Visions(E).

Pay attention to that I go Rank2 Null Zone(W) before I start maxing out my Q. The reason for this is how it synergies with Nether Grasp AND the upgrade basically gives you the same % damage as 100AP would!

"Bad-mistake-kill!": This is pulled off when your opponent is showing vulnerability to your E by standing too close to his minions so when one of his minions dies, Malefic Visions jumps to him. That's when you (flash) W->R him.
Versus more experienced mid laners you can pull this off when there is only 2 of his Ranged minions left. Quickly (flash) W->R him and by the time your R runs out he'll have Malefic Visions on him from the last Ranged Minion. It'd be safest to pull it off when the 1st out of the 2 Ranged minions is at 25%hp.

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Abilities Jungler!

As a jungler you start with Null Zone(W). Use it 3 times at base before going to blue buff. It's 1 spell to take 20% off of the big guy. Plus the Passive tanks for you with the new aggro system of Jungle Monsters.
Once you hit Level 2 go for Malefic Visions. Don't forget to go for the weaker minions first else Malefic Visions(E) won't jump and you have to wait for the Cool-down instead.

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Items vs Assassins (core)

SIGHTSTONE: The sooner you can ward both sides of your lane without regular Sight wards the more gold you savor from it.

THIS BUILD: focuses mainly on withstanding Assassins such as Nocturne, Twisted Fate, Shaco, Akali or Diana. In other words: champions with powerful gap-closers, or overall a heavily fed enemy team.

It's also a good build for beginners who hasn't yet grasped the importance of positioning with a Mage late-game.

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Items vs less than 2 Ignites and NO Assassins (rare)

With this you're going Straight AP and SV. If by now you can position yourself well, thus staying safe, they can't do anything to reach you so blast away. Go get that pentakill!

DEATHFIRE GRASP: You're supposed to sell Mejai's here if they, against all odds, are turning the game.

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Items vs NO Assassins

Will of the Ancients or Morellonomicon?: Depends if they have heavy healing champs like Mundo, Vladimir or anyone at all with Life steal or Spell Vamp. In which case you'd pick either one up last.

They have no Assassins, why the HP from Rod of Ages?: They still have ignites which ,at level 18, does 410 true damage. So an extra 630 HP should do the trick for any unpleasant surprises. And no assassins means no threat so you'll be laning longer and you'll need a little mana boost.

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Items Jungle

NO wards?: Nope! You'll have Spell Vamp and a lot more HP vs unpleasant bush-surprises, plus with blue buff you can check bushes with Call of the Void(Q).

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The only tip I could give here is that you should pay attention to the melee minions. At level 1 or 2 where your Malefic Visions(E) is very weak until Rank 3 and you have close to no AP cause of the per level runes so you should auto-hit all the melee minions so that they ALL fall below 50% before using you low ranked Malefic Visions(E) to ensure that they die while under it's effect.

Quite often times I notice that at least 1 of the enemy melee minion tend to attack your ranged minions. If you wait for about 5 seconds you'll know when it's safe to push with Malefic Visions(E), starting with that particularly taunted melee minion. If not there is a chance he'll get too far away from his buddies so the Malefic Visions(E) can't make the jump.
If you want to push the lane immediately you can also start with the Range Minions but then you'll most likely make yourself vulnerable to harass or even worse: Gank. Other than that: Patience is a virtue :P

When there is a Siege Minion present I start Auto-hitting it immediately or let it fry in a Null Zone til it's his turn for the Malefic Visions(E) jump.

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Stay calm and farm. Don't harass even the slightest unless you can take it. An example would be either if you're up against Le Blanc or Kassadin. What all mid champs with mana have in common is their mana dependency. Even more so on early levels. All spells cost more mana/dmg dealt at early levels. So you'll pretty much WANT to be harassed since you'll just heal yourself up again while your opponents mana is drained, and yours is sustained. So be semi-aggressive, but not with intent to kill until...

You now have your Ultimate. If you've read what I wrote in the Abilities Chapter there is nothing for me to add. So as a reminder: Ward, stay safe and abuse people who doesn't dodge your (E). Other than that, for those pesky escapists, just hide in a bush and go Q->E-W->R OR while outside a bush (Flash) W->R->E->Q and hope that your team will do the rest.

By now the team Tanks are tankier, OffTanks offtankier and Carries Crispy with a hint of honey.
So consider thoroughly when to use your Nether Grasp(R) and Null Zone(W) combo. Only harass with your Q, and ,if minions or a weak champion is present, with your Malefic Visions(E). If your team is "helping" to kill minions the Malefic Visions(E) harass will only travel faster :)

Another thing to pay attention to by now is their items. Wether you should buy Void Staff and Deathfire Grasp (versus Magic Resist and HP) or not really.

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The only counters I can think of is either people who can match his sustain (Vlad), prevent his heals (Fizz) or just nullify his Malefic Visions(E) such as Orianna, Morgana, Galio and Lux. All they really have to do is to stand next to a minion and take that Malefic Visions(E) on purpose with their shield on. And so ends the reign of ultimate lane sustain, then you might want to get an early Tear of Goddess but your late game is very challenging.

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Final comments

Sorry for the lack of fancy shmancy pictures and colors. I've got games to play that are more important than that stuff xP

And if you want to commend or rebuke any of this content feel free to leave a comment.

For a replay on my Pentakill with Vladimir:

For a replay on a successfull Malzahar Jungler you can go here: