Malzahar Build Guide by Lykideus
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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.
Heya everyone. This is my first build, for the first champion I got good at: Malzahar. I apologize if the formatting is a bit odd.
Malzahar's passive is the reason for the focus on CDR that this guide has. Every 4th spell, he spits out a Voidling, which generally runs around and causes mayhem. Sadly, they are only controllable in the most basic way: your Malefic Visions. Whoever is infected with them is who the Voidling attacks.
Pros / Cons
- AOE Silence
- AOE % Health damage
- Damage over time
- General Nuking power
- Looks like a boss
- Dances like a boss
- Only CC forces him to stay still, and has long cooldown
- No escape mechanism
For Runes, I take MPen Marks (cuz who doesn't love magic penetration?), flat Mana/5 seals (with this heavy of CDR, you are mana hungry, always), and flat CDR Glyphs and Quints, with one AP/level glyph. This setup gives you just over 10% CDR (10.15%, I think), just from your runes.
I don't take CDR/level runes because late game, you purchase Morello's Evil Tome, which brings you up to the CDR cap.
I would not change the seals and marks for anything. You could run Flat AP or AP/per level runes and quints, though.
9/0/21 is a pretty normal set up for masteries.
The key masteries for Malzahar in this build are the four ranks in Sorcery (CDR in Offence tree) and three ranks in Intelligence (Utility tree). These grant you another 10% CDR, bringing your total starting out to 20%.
You can also have 21/0/9, if you are going for a stronger AP build.
The items are a jumbled mess of things.
Getting the Fiendish Codex early gives you a nice punch, while bringing your CDR up to a strong 30%. This is comparable to the current meta's style of double Doran's Rings early game.
Hextech Gunblade helps you with sustainability. You'll build it into Will of the Ancients later.
Rabadon's Deathcap is an absolute must on every AP carry. Get it.
Giant's belt is a good way to bulk up a bit; Malzahar is very squishy. This helps a bit.
Sorcerer's shoes are my go-to for AP charater's boots. Mercury Treads is also acceptable, if you are having issues with CC.
Tear of the Goddess early-ish sets you up for a strong Archangel's Staff, while eliminating your mana issues. Tear and Giant's Belt can switch places, if you so desire.
At this point, you have a pretty full list of incomplete items. Now is when you start building them up into their full versions. Start with Morello's Evil Tome (bringing your CDR to the 40% cap) or Rylai's Chrystal Scepter (can you say "double AOE slow"?), then grab your Archangel's Staff and Will of the Ancients.
Abyssal Scepter is a good item if you are running into issues with another caster.
Some people swear by Deathfire Grasp. It gives you CDR, AP, and a kick-*** active. If you decide to go with it, I would suggest adding in in the place of Morello's Evil Tome.
Moonflare Spellblade is an interesting item; you can grab it if you are having issues with CC and already finished your boots.
Rod of Ages is a solid pick, if you grab it early. The sooner, the better. If you go for it, I'd suggest getting it instead of Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and finishing it before your Rabadon's Deathcap.
Void Staff is amazing. I don't have it included by default because in non-ranked games, people don't tend to build MR much. If they are doing that, then by all means, get this.
Zhonya's Hourglass is a solid pick. It fills the same role as Abyssal Scepter, but with armor instead of MR. It also has a great active, if used properly.
Your priorities when leveling up your abilities should be R, E, Q, then W.
I'll give a description of each ability, and how to use it.
Passive: Summon Voiding
After casting 4 spells, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200 + 50 x lvl Health and 20 + 5 x lvl Damage. Voidlings Grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed). Voidlings attack the target affected by Malzahar's most recently cast Malefic Visions.
This is the reason that I stress CDR so much. Voidlings add a fair bit of damage to Malzahar's toolkit, and while not being directly controllable like other pets, you still have some rudimentary control of them. They also like getting in the way of opposing champion's skillshots.
Q: Call of the Void
Malzahar opens up two portals to the Void. After a short delay, power erupts from the portals, dealing damage and silencing all enemies caught between the portals.
Cooldown: 9 seconds
Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 Mana
Magic Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+0.8 per ability power)
Silence: 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 / 3
AOE Silence is golden. It's a bit hard to land at times, but is incredibly satisfying. Try and land this on as many enemies as you can each time. It will reveal fogged areas, so you can use it to scout a suspicious bush. Late game, this will take over from Malefic Visions as your primary farming tool.
W: Null Zone
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals magic damage per second equal to a percent of the enemies' HP inside it.
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Cost: 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 / 130 Mana
Percentage Damage: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8% (+1% per 100 ability power)
Because this does damage equal to a percent of the target's maximum health, it is incredibly useful, particularly late game. Because it has more utility late game, you should level it last. If you can, cast it under enemies that have been CCed. It is also golden against melee champions. You can drop it under yourself, forcing them to take massive damage to attack you. You can drop it under a turret, giving them the same quandary.
E: Malefic Visions
Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their own demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass the curse on to a nearby enemy unit and restore mana to Malzahar.
Cooldown: 15 / 13 / 11 / 9 / 7 seconds
Cost: 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120 Mana
Magic Damage: 80 / 140 / 200 / 260 / 320 (+0.8 per Ability Power)
Mana Restore: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26
Early to mid game, this is your bread and butter skill. It does a lot of damage, does it over time, and gives you mana each time it jumps. This is your primary farming ability early game. Land it on a minion, then auto attack that minion, making sure to kill it before your Malefic Visions expires. It jumps, gives you mana (and probably gold), and does more damage. I've gotten double kills before by landing this on fleeing enemies, who die to it and pass it on to their injured comrades. Late game, its damage falls off a bit (comparatively).
R: Nether Grasp
Malzahar grips his target in an engulfing void of energy, dealing damage every half second while stunning and suppressing them for 2.5 seconds.
Cost: 150 Mana
Cooldown: 120 / 100 / 80 seconds
Magic Damage: 250 / 400 / 550 (+1.3 per Ability Power)
Now, just look at that sexy AP ratio. 1.3. This is a nuke, for sure. Your target is suppressed and takes a lot of damage. The caveat with this is that you can't do much of anything while it is active. If you do, you will interrupt it before it has done all of its damage. You can use some Summoner Spells (Ignite (if they are within range), Heal, Cleanse, and Clarity.
You can't move, attack, Flash, or much of anything else. No casting other spells while it is active.
Your skill combo should be Q (silencing them), E (landing your DOT spell), W (right under them), then R (trapping them on your Null Zone and insuring that they take maximum damage). With the as low of cooldowns as this build gives you, when you are done with your R, your E and Q should be up for more damage, if you need it. You probably won't.
Ignite: It's boss. It gives you a second DOT spell, and can be cast while your ultimate underway.
Exhaust: I don't know why you would want this. It lets you slow an enemy, but your DPS is pretty low. This isn't a great choice.
Smite: Wha... NO.
Flash: Malzahar's only escape method. Get it.
Ghost: It's not as good as Flash, in my opinion. You can play it, if you want.
Teleport: Good for getting around the map quickly. If you want it, it is playable.
Clarity: You should be able to play without this, because your E (Malefic Visions) gives you mana.
Heal: Not terribly useful on Malzahar.
Cleanse: Well, CC is bad. This can be useful.
Clairvoyance: Hey, map awareness is good. If you want it, you can have it.
Creeping / Jungling
One thing that not many people know is that Malzahar is actually a capable jungler. Kind of.
The key element of his ability to jungle is his Voidlings (in case you have been ignoring me, I really like the things). Voidlings follow Malzahar, but at a distance. This is important.
Each creep in the jungle has a certain point where they decide "F___ it, I'm not going to get this guy," at which point they return to their spawning location. If attack a creep, and you have a Voidling out, then go just outside of their range, they will chase you to the edge of it, then turn around... only to find your Voidling. They attack it, leaving you free and (more importantly) undamaged, able to throw your spells at them. This gives you what amounts to free buffs.
If you don't have a jungler, you can use this to your advantage, as soon as you hit level four. Cast a spell or two, so you have a Voidling ready to pop soon. Run to Blue buff, and cast your 2-3 spells to spawn your Voidling, while retreating to outside their range. They turn, attack your Voidling, and you cast away until they are dead. Because Blue gives you 20% CDR, you will reach your cap (assuming you are running my runes and masteries). The mana regen means that you can cast spells basically continuously, while not running dry. Basically, it is amazing.
TL;DR: Q->E->W->R->Ignite, and CDR is bueno. Blue buff at level 4 if you don't have a jungler. Solo mid with a rocking dance and easily spammable skills.