Malzahar Build Guide by Darkness4910
Not Updated For Current Season
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.
this is my first published guide for my favorite champion Malzahar! =)
I play Malzahar since I'm a level 14 summoner. I tested out several builds and items and even bought an extra set of runes for him, just for the purpose of testing. And I have to say - it was worth it! That is basically the reason why I'm creating a build in MOBAfire - I want to share everything with you. I hope you enjoy!
PS: I really like math, so don't be surprised if I justify my choices with a lot of math. But if you are not interested in that, feel free to skip those parts :)
Pros / Cons
+ Very strong late game, due to his Null Zone.
+ You can farm kind of well under heavy pleasure by using Malefic Visions.
+ Awesome voice and dance!
- You are very vulnerable after using your full combo.
- Stuns, etc will stop your channeled ultimate.
- His only stun kinda stuns himself, too.
After casting 4 spells, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Your Voidling will get stronger every seven seconds.
Voidlings attack the target affected by Malzahar's most recently cast Malefic Visions.
Your passive can and will scare your enemy. You can tell him to attack a target by infecting it with Malefic Visions. If you opponent isn't ready to encounter a Voidling and your Malefic Visions at once, they will most likely lose about 30% of their HP (early game!).
I tend to use my Call of the Void three times at the start of the game, s I can get a Voidling out as soon as I need one.
Your Q skill:
Call of the Void
Malzahar opens up two portals. After some time, every enemy caught between those will take damage. Additionally they will be silenced.
This skill has an awesome range and therefore can be used to harass your opponent. This skill gets deadly if you use it followed by other skills, because the silence prevents your opponent from using escaping abilities ( Flash for example).
Call of the Void can be hard to aim. Because of this, I recommend to set this ability to auto smartcast in the key bindings (you do this by unbinding Q for your first ability and adding Q as a secondary smartcast key for your first ability. Just search around in the key binding options :) ). This helps you to quickly use Call of the Void by pressing Q once, without the need of clicking.
Your W skill:
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals magic damage to enemies that stand in it for percentage of their max health each second. (damage to monsters is capped)
This ability scales very good into lategame, because everyone will have al lot of HP. I usually try to use Null Zone in combination of Nether Grasp. This will enable your Null Zone to deal maximum damage to your enemy.
The 'advantage' of this ability is the seemingly low damage against minions, because it attacks them with a percentage of their HP. Many players will see this and run into your Null Zone, thinking they will also get hit by low damage.
As with Call of the Void, I enable auto smartcast for this ability, too. You don't have to aim exactly at a target (unlike Malefic Visions for example), which makes the clicking really unnecessary.
Your E Skill:
Malzahar infects his target's mind, dealing magic damage every half seconds for 4 seconds. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass the curse on to a nearby enemy unit, refreshing the duration and restoring mana to Malzahar. Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units.
Malefic Visions is a great farming tool, which will not only guarantee last hits for 90% of the time, it will also refund some mana back to you. There is not much to say about this skill, except only a few players seem to know how this skill works. This can result in free damage to them :)
Your R Skill:
Malzahar channels an enemy unit for 2,5 seconds. The target is suppressed for the duration.
Oh, how I love Nether Gasp. It enables you easy ganking with your jungler, by using Flash and your ultimate.
It can also be used to cancel the ultimate of other people (Katarinas Death Lotus for example).
Oh, one last note: You can use Ignite while channeling your ultimate. I wouldn't suggest using Zhonya's Hourglass, moving, or using Ignite when your target is out of range. This will cancel your ultimate!
How To Kill Someone
I suggest using Call of the Void first, to disable your targets escape mechanisms. Shortly after use your Malefic Visions. This is followed by Null Zone and our lovely Nether Grasp. Always try to use Nether Grasp when your target in standing on your Null Zone. This will maximize your damage. You can also use your Ignite while you are channeling your ultimate, but don't use it if your target is out of range! This will immediately cancel your ultimate.
Pictures say more than 1000 words....
I take a 21/0/9 setup for Malzahar. I played around with many mastery setups for Malzahar and 21/0/9 seems to be fitting best on him. But since I want to share everything with you, I will also provide you with another setup for him :)
This is my favorite setup for Malzahar, as said above.
I take Summoner's Wrath in the first tier to improve my Ignite. You can put the other three pointseverywhere you like to. 3 points in Brute Force will help you to last hit minions better and it can also be used to harass your opponent a little bit better. Mental Force will strengthen your spells a bit and Butcher can also help you to last hit minions a little bit easier.
Sorcery gives me some nice free CDR and enables me to take Arcane Knowlegde.
Havoc , Blast , Archmage and Executioner will basically help you to ensure you a kill when using your full combo on someone.
My last 9 points go into the utility tree. I take Summoner's Insight and Enhanced Recall because those two masteries can save your life! The other two points go into Good Hands , because Expanded Mind is a waste on everyone except Ryze.
Swiftness is a very good mastery for chasing and retreating (and there isn't really that much else we could take). My last point goes into Runic Affinity , in case I ever get a buff.
I used to build Malzahar like this. I will explain my thoughts on it in the next section, but I won't repeat the stuff I already explained in theOffense section.
Some of you might ask themselves now, why I am taking Greed over Transmutation and Strength of Spirit . Well, let's look at some facts:
Since Malzahar has two AoE skills and one DoT skill, Transmutation will only offer 1% spell vamp (3/3=1). This results in 1 HP per 100 damage, which isn't worth those tree mastery points in my opinion.
Strength of Spirit will add 0,4% of your maximum mana to your life regeneration. This equals to about 12 HP per 5, if you have ~3000 mana. This isn't worth either.
Greed on the other hand offers 2 gold per 10 seconds. This equals to 12 gold per minute. This doesn't sound much to you? Well, you can buy yourself a brand new Amplifying Tome, if the game lasts longer than ~36:30 minutes. In my opinion, those 20 AP are worth more than spell vamp, which is lover than your base HP regeneration, or 2 bonus HP per second (assuming your build is complete).
Next up is Awareness . It helps you to stay at the same level of your opponent, if you have a hard time to get your last hits, but it also helps to extend your advantage if you are doing well.
Intelligence gives you some nice free CDR (= 10% in total, just because of your masteries!) and Mastermind helps you to use those summoner spells faster.
Those two mastery pages are very different, aren't they? Please feel free to change some mastery points. You also don't have to take what I offer you, if you disagree. Feel free to experiment, I did that too =) Eventually you will find something which fits your own play style.
Let's have a look on my rune setup, shall we? =)
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
I use Greater Mark of Magic Penetration to give me some early game advantage. Together with your boots you will have 28,5 flag magic penetration.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration are better than Greater Seal of Replenishment at around level 5-6. I take there, because I literally never had mana problems before level 5.
I take Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for my glyphs on Malzahar.
I take Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, to get a nice early game advantage. It's as simple as that :)
In this section, I will show you some alternative runes for Malzahar. Those runes are not awful on him, but if you happen to not have the ones I showed above, but you have some of the below, feel free to take them instead :D
No, there aren't any 'good' marks for casters except Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, sorry =(
9 Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power will give you ~16 AP at level 18. Decide for yourself if it is worth for you. You can take these if you have no mana problems at all.
Greater Seal of Armor provide you with some armor. They can help you if your mid opponent is a Miss Fortune or if you get ganked.
I used to go all out with CDR on Malzahar: I used take Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction on him along with my utility setup. But after some time I managed to get used to longer cooldowns on Malzahar, so I don't use them anymore.
But from what I can tell, 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction will shorten your cooldowns for your Q, W and E for roughly 1 second each, and your ultimates cooldown by 6 seconds.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist / Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist lower the damage of other casters, which means you will be able to stay in lane longer.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed gives you more movement speed. I hope I don't have to explain that much for those runes :D
I prefer to take Ignite and Flash on Malzahar. Ignite helps to kill opponents in the early stages of the game, but it also helps you against those annoying self-healing champions.
If you don't like Ignite, you can easily exchange it with Teleport.
Viable Builds And Items
Both builds should provide you with some survivability and a lot of AP. Banshee's Veil is essential in my opinion, because it can deny your opponents from interrupting your Nether Grasp. Oh and you shouldn't encounter too many mana problems if you use one of those builds.
Please remember, there is no straight up perfect build which will work in every game. Always buy for the situation!
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you choose to use Abyssal Scepter, it can sometimes happen that you nuke someone outside of your items range!
Other Viable Items
The items listed below are not bad. I just prefer other items over them.
Will of the ancients provides you with 20% spell vamp and 80 AP. It will help your allies, too! But note that your Q, W and E will only have 6,7% (=6,7 HP per 100 damage) spell vamp. Consider this if you plan to get this item.
This item provides you with a nice chunk of CDR (20%), mana regeneration and some AP. The AP is decent and we don't really need more mana regeneration. But the CDR is still nice :)
This is a slightly weaker version of Morello's Evil Tome, but it gives you a really nice active which can help you to destroy those annoying tanky opponents. I would take this item, too, but I don't want to change any items from my build and it seems like my brain is not able to handle two item actives X.X
You are addicted to CDR? Take these and your spells cooldown will be about ~2 seconds shorter, but you will have less magic penetration.
The enemy team has too much CC or even another Malzahar? Just take this item and you will be save.
NOT Viable Items
I don't recommend taking any of the items shown below.
This item sounds good on paper, but it isn't that great actually. It's effect doesn't stack, which means you would have to stop casting after every spell (which you shouldn't as Malzahar).
If you get to the point where there is a really fed AD champion, you should probably go with Zhonya's Hourglass instead. You are squishy, the 30% reflected damage won't do much, but the AP, DEF and active of Zhonya's Hourglass will.
Archangel's Staff vs Rod Of Ages vs Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Those three items are very similar to each other. I felt like I should explain those items a little bit more in detail:
Archangel's Staff provides you with: 350 to 1350 mana, 25 mana regeneration/5 and ~75 to ~130+ AP. It costs 2855 gold.
Rod of Ages provides you with 725 mana, 630 HP and 80 AP. Additionally it keeps the passive of Catalyst the protector. It costs 3035 gold.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides you with 500 HP and 80 AP. The passive slows your enemy by 15% (your Q and W are AoE abilities and your E is a DoT ability) for 1,5 seconds. It costs 3105 gold.
As you can see, Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rod of Ages have the same amount of AP. Note that a Needlessly Large Rod provides you with 80 AP, too, and it only costs about the half.
But let me explain why Rylai's Crystal Scepter isn't even in the viable item section. The 500 HP sound nice, together with it's passive and the 80 AP. But let's be realistic, how long do you need to activate your full combo? Two seconds maybe? A 15% slow for 1,5 seconds won't help, and the effect doesn't stack. To get the full potential out of the item, you would have to stop casting after every ability for 1,5 seconds. But we don't have the time to ;-) In short words: Rylai's Crystal Scepter is bad on Malzahar.
Well, now there are only Archangel's Staff and Rod of Ages left. Let's compare those items! Let's say you would take a Rod of Ages instead of an Archangel's Staff. You would have 625 less mana, 630 extra HP and about ~45 AP less.
In general you won't need extra 625 HP, because you should stay at a distance to your opponents and you will still have your Banshee's Veil. But sometimes you need those HP badly: You might have a stealth enemy, who can kill you really fast ( Shaco, Talon,...). There could also be a burst / anti AP champion who can kill you in a matter of seconds (hi Veigar).
Early Game Tipps
Here are some tipps for the early game:
- Your Malefic Visions refunds some mana, but this doesn't mean you can just spam your abilities. You will bite your own a** if an enemy gets away with low health, because you didn't have enough mana for another ability.
- Malzahar is a weak early game champion. A Lux can easily deny your last hit on minions. In such cases, you might want to ask your jungler for a gank before you end up with 13 minion kills at minute 12 ;-)
- Place a ward in one of the two bushes around your mid lane. This bush will now be your 'save' bush. This means you should stay in the direction of that bush. You will see when you are going to be ganked and you will have enough time to retreat if you get ganked from the other bush.
- Don't take your Sorcerer's Shoes too early. Take them in the mid game instead.
- There is nothing wrong with stacking up to three Doran's Ring if you have problems in your lane.
- Only push your lane if you want to be ganked and killed.
Items / Champions You Don't Like
This item will cancel the suppression of your Nether Grasp. Avoid nuking someone with this item.
This is a 'weaker' version of Quicksilver Sash.
Spell shields can also make some of your abilities useless. Morgana, Sivir and Nocturne have such spell shields for example. Oh and don't forget about Gangplanks annoying Remove Scurvy.
Veigar is a very strong anti-AP champion. He can nuke you down in a matter of seconds. You might consider taking an early Zhonya's Hourglass and Banshee's Veil.
Your Role In Team Fights
Your role in a team fight is pretty easy: Kill the opponent with the highest damage output and try to survive. Remember that you are very vulnerable when all your skills are on cooldown. When you survive long enough after your 'nuke', focus the next guy who is making your team trouble.
Dominion Build / Skill Order
You can either to top or bottom. Start off with a Prospector's Ring, Boots of Speed and two potions of your preferred kind.
If you go top, take your Sorcerer's Shoes earlier, but if you go bot, you can deny them for a bit.
Sometimes it's also worth taking a catalyst the protector. Since you will level up very fast, you will have a nice advantage all game long.
Please note that I don't get a Tear of the Goddess in dominion. You will have enough mana regeneration and you will most likely die before your mana gets low. If you really need that mana, take a catalyst the protector instead.
NOTE: The Prospector's Ring is not shown in the build above, because it will somehow convert my whole guide into a Dominion-only guide. I'm really sorry for that!
I think it is better to maximize Null Zone kind of fast, because everyone will get stronger very fast and the extra levels help me more than Malefic Visions.
Thanks For Reading!
Thank you for reading my guide! :)
It took me about 15 hours in total (viewed 126+ times), because I wasn't satisfied with some things I wrote and I recreated them from scratch. If you find a grammatical mistake, feel free to write it down in the comments. My native language is not English (as you might have noticed by my poor English) and I appreciate any help I can get =D
Oh and please, don't troll downvote without even reading and trying the whole guide, thanks.
Hey, this guide works!
One big "Thank you!" goes to jhoijhoi, who made a guide to create a guide. It really helped me with that confusing BBcode.
Another "Thank you!" goes to the forgotten Malzahar player who crushed me so hard when I was playing as Kassadin. I wouldn't have bought Malzahar without you =)
And my final "Thank you!" goes to my friends, who encouraged me to reinstall League of Legends =)
Well, that's it from my side, I hope you enjoyed reading!
13. March 2012: Guide released.
14. March 2012: Change log added, fixed some grammatical issues.
16. March 2012: "NOT Viable Items" added.