Malzahar Build Guide by Kaleenaa
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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.
I'm Kaleenaa, and this is my first guide on MOBAFire. After many days of reading and following the community, I decided to give something back.
I've choosen a champion I'm extendedly familiar with. Malzahar. I played upwards of 250 games with him, and he is one of my favorite AP champions.
I usually take solo mid, because that is the place where you are at home with him. In my opinion, Malzahar is one of the best middle champions. You can outharass and outfarm a Brand or a Karthus with ease, and get an almost guranteed first blood at level 6.
So let's get down to draining faces.
Pros / Cons
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
For my rune build I use a fairly standard caster setup. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration for Marks, greater seal of replenishment for Seals, Greater Glyph of Ability Power for Glyphs, and Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for Quints. This setup is designed to give tremondous early-game power, with the manaregen to back up harassing, but still not loose out on much endgame nuke.
I run standard 21/0/9 masteries, grabbing all the key ability power and damage points in the Offense tree, while maxing out manaregen and taking neutral buff duration in Utility. I don't feel the need to use Summoner's Wrath , since the 5 ability power it gives is pretty much nothing to look at.
Viable summoner spells:
Since Malzahar has no built-in escape tool, and relies heavily on positioning, you should grab this, even after it's nerf. It's great for escaping, switching position in a teamfight, and initiating a 1v1 duel or ambush. Also Flash+ Ignite has such a good feeling.
A possible substitute for Flash, altough I would not recommend it. Malzahar has an inherently low movespeed, even with boots, and it is just not as good for initiating and repositioning as Flash. However, if you find that you are running away often, Ghost has become the superior escape spell.
In my opinion, an absolute need on nearly any AP/nuker champion. You rely on your cooldowns and burst potential, in contrast to the AD carry's sustained damage, so this is the go-to summoner spell.
After the remake, this has actually became more viable, but still, I would not pick this, only for special hybrid champions ( Jax comes to mind). You don't benefit from the attack speed, and the ability power boost is while great, has a decent cooldown, and a short duration.
Can be viable, there are people who absolutely want to maximize their farming and lane presence, and with Teleport you can push a lane, bluepill and get back without your opponent even noticing. I don't personally favor the choice, but pick it if you like it.
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 your passive spell. Every 4 spellcasts, you will summon a little bugger, who will grow stronger as time progresses, and favor eating enemies with Malefic Visions on them. Some Malzahar players have grown to hate this passive, others are adoring it. I think it is not a bad passive, just looses out on its power lategame. In the laning phase, your frenzied voidling can rip apart a champion along with your malefic visionst so hard, that they will only see you Flash+ Ignite them, and the summoner platform in monotone.
Malzahar opens up two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles which deal magic damage and silence enemy champions.
Your Q ability. It will summon a wall of void energy at a designated position, which, if hits an enemy, damages and silences them for a few seconds. The wording is not the most clear in the tooltip. A little trivia: if BOTH components hit the target (they stand at the middle) they will take twice the damage, and be silenced longer. This is one of your main harassment spells, because of its deceptively long range.
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds, dealing magic damage per second equal to a percent of the enemies' max HP inside it.
Your W ability. This will summon a puddle of void energy at a location, about the same size as Pillar of Flame or Tormented Soil, eating away a percent of the hp of any enemy standing in it each second. This is an extremely good spell, in my opinion, much better than the mentioned two. Think of it as your built-in Madred's Bloodrazor. You can literally decimate a whole enemy team, along with their tank, if they are careless (or helpless) enough to stand in it. Most importantly, you will use your Nether Grasp to keep enemies in it in 1v1 situations. In the full duration, it's damage can rival with your ult's even on a squishy. I can't emphasize it enough, you ABSOLUTELY need to lock your target in it with Nether Grasp, otherwise it's likely they won't die.
Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and Malzahar gains mana. Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units.
Your E, and your bread and butter spell. It puts a dot on the target, ticking for 4 seconds before dissapating. However, if the target dies, while afflicted by this spell, they pass it on to the closest enemy target, reseting it's duration, and granting you mana. This is your farming and main damage tool, with a measly 7 second cooldown. Your Voidling attacks targets afflicted by this spell. You can clear minion waves in matters of seconds, and if it jumps to an enemy champion, it can eat away half of his hp bar at level 9. A feared spell, you should always have it up on people who you use Nether Grasp on.
Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to stun his target and disable summoner spells, dealing damage each second.
Your R, ultimate spell, and an extremely awesome of that. You start sucking your opponents' face dry for 2.5 seconds, supressing and stunning them, and dealing heavy damage. With CDR, it has a relatively short cooldown, meaning that you can instagib an enemy in every less-than-1-minute. The only thing that can spoil your fun are those annoying Tryndamere, but fear not, laugh, put a Malefic Visions+ Ignite on them at the end of the channel, and bathe in their disappointment.
Get your Call of the Void on level 1. Cast it on the summoner platform 3 times, so you will get the extra harass of your voidling at your first cast.
Then level Malefic Visions every time you can, this is your bread and butter skill.
After that I tent to leave Call of the Void on level 1, and max Null Zone second, for two specific reasons.
When you ult, you will do so while casting FIRST Malefic Visions then Null Zone, and then Nether Grasp, to keep them in the zone. You can start with Call of the Void but they can easily avoid it, because it has a fairly long delay. But from midgame on, you can drop a squishy in just e-w-r combo. ( Ignite if needed).
Second reason is, it has a much larger area of effect. In a teamfight, you will mostly use your Call of the Void to silence high damage channeled ultimates, like Idol of Durand and Death Lotus. You can't hit all enemies with it, unless they stand in a perfect line, which is a very rare scenario.
However, drop your Null Zone under the piled up enemy, get an Amumu or Vladimir ult on it, and watch it work magics.
Usually I start with a Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion. This will give you the ability to outsustain your lane opponent.
Many argue for Doran's Ring, but I think that even after the pot nerf, the 450 effective health is worth much more than the 100 health and 15 ability power. (The manaregen is nearly useless on the Doran's, because of masteries, runes and Malefic Visions)
If I do good, maybe rack in a kill or two, I get Needlessly Large Rod and Sorcerer's Shoes on my first trip home. If not so good, I still try to stay in lane until I can get my Needlessly Large Rod.
If you are getting stomped by a pesky Cassiopeia or Lux, get Sorcerer's Shoes.
After getting my boots and Needlessly Large Rod I work my way toward an early Rabadon's Deathcap. It will make Malefic Visions hit like a truck, and you can safely bully out your lane opponent multiple times (or kill them if you favor this option).
After getting the hat, let's get going towards a Rod of Ages. It will give you a bigger margin of error, by adding more health and mana to your arsenal, and of course, the constantly flowing ability power.
The next major item is Rylai's Crystal Scepter. If this baby is ready, people will find it much harder to avoid the Null Zone and Nether Grasp, while you will be beefier with the extra health. With this, your core is finished.
The next item choice is debatable, I favor Morello's Evil Tomefor the CDR and the manaregen. With it and blue buff + masteries, you will hit the CDR cap, which means more ults, and more crying faces.
However, against heavy AD teams, Frozen Heart is also a good option, substituting the Banshee's Veil for a Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter if they are building resists
Zhonya's Hourglass is an excellent item if you are getting focused, it can and will save your life countless times.
Deathfire Grasp is not such a good option as it used to be, since you are not able to use it mid-ult anymore.
Will of the Ancients can be a good choice to round up your build too, however if you position well, you won't ever need the spellvamp, and the other items are better statwise, unless your team is extremely AP heavy, and noone else is getting this.
Archangel's Staff... Most other Malzahar guides consider this a core item. I do not. I use it on numerous champions, Malz is not one of them. He doesn't have the mana needs to justify the early Tear of the Goddess, and all his mana problems vanish by midgame. The mana bonus is too long to rack up, and it only shows its power so late in the game, that problaby you won't even play that long. Get it if you are a fan of it, I think it doesn't worth an item slot.
If you see a teamfight is about to occur, judge the situation. If you don't have Elixir of Brilliance up, and you have the time to bluepill and get back before the fight starts, get one.
Make use of your long range. If you see they are about to initiate, drop down a Null Zone right in the path, and cast Call of the Void in the middle of them. You can poke away half of their hp before them even making the first moves.
You don't want to initiate the teamfight. Let your tank or tanky-DPS do that, it is their job. When you see that most of the cc and cooldowns are blown, unpack your whole combo on their carry, if in range. She will blow up if they don't interrupt you.
If not in range, focus out a squishy, high-threat melee dpser or assasin, like Tryndamere or Akali, or a mage who has to get to the thick of things, like Kassadin or Kennen.
Remember, you have Null Zone, but you rarely want to waste it on the tank. If he is caught in it, its okay, but never aim for the tank, keep the priorities. AD carry > AP caster > squishier melee > offtank > tank.
If there are high-threat channeled ultimates, you should keep your Call of the Void in store to interrupt them.
Gameplay, tips & tricks
On Summon Voidling:
This little companion can dish out serious damage when frenzied. If the enemy is on low health, get it out, wait until ~12 seconds, pop a Malefic Visions on your opponent, and start moving closer. He will start backing to his turret, and like all pets, your voidling will loose target if you are too far away from it. While he is backing, throw a Call of the Void behind your enemy, so that he will walk right through it, and if you harassed him low enugh before, pop an ignite, and cash in the kill.
With your voidling out, you can safely down turrets, It can deal good damage to them, and soak up suprisingly numerous tower hits.
Try to have your voidling out every time you ult someone (it will be pretty easy to get him out using your full combo) for the added damage.
On Call of the Void:
Always try to place it BEHIND your enemy. If they see you coming in for harass, most players will start to run backwards, and because of it's range, you can safely hit them meanwhile.
If you see a low HP enemy bluepilling behind his turret, you can use Call of the Void without even taking a tower hit, possibly resulting in a kill.
You can scout brushes with this ability, it reveals a fairly large amount of terrain, and saves you from facechecking to your death. You can also scout Baron and Dragon from above their perch.
On Null Zone:
Just like your Call of the Void, try to place it a little behind the enemy. In this case, they can choose running through it, taking damage, or getting your full combo while they try to avoid your Null Zone.
ALWAYS use it under people who you are about to Nether Grasp, the damage really adds up.
On Malefic Visions:
Most opponents on higher level will be aware that it bounces around. You see an enemy near a low HP minion get careless, thinking they are out of range? Toss in a Malefic Visions on the creep, and laugh as it instantly jumps to your opponent.
It is very easy to push your lane with this spell, always be careful, don't overextend, and ward always, or you risk getting yourself pwned by their jungler.
On Nether Grasp:
You want to unload your spells before using our ultimate, so that it gurantees a kill.
You can no longer cast Ignite or Deathfire Grasp while channeling your ult, it will end the effect prematurely. If possible, use them BEFORE you Nether Grasp for the maximum possible damage output.
Refrain from using it on champions like Olaf Alistar or Gangplank, since they can clear the supress and cease taking damage.
Quicksilver Sash is your worst enemy, if you see someone getting it, use the same caution like the mentioned champions.
Nether Grasp has a funny little synergy with Skarner. If you see him dragging someone out with Impale, right before the effect ends, ult them, so it is a perfectly free kill, likely at the beginning of a teamfight, which puts you in a huge advantage.
Familiarize yourself with smartcasting, it helps SO much. Because of human reaction times, an enemy can flash out of your perfectly placed combo if you execute it too slowly. However with reliably using smartcast, you can place your whole combo down in just fractures of a second. By the time your opponent realises that something is not right, you are draining their helpless faces.
(For common information, smartcasting is when you use SHIFT plus the ability hotkey to cast spells. This way the spell will be cast on the enemy your cursor is hovering above. Think of it like Karthus or Cassiopeia Q.)
Against experienced opponents, they will be aware that as soon as you hit level 6, you will thirst for blood.
If they are not at full HP, they will start bluepilling as soon as they see you ding 6. Again, fractures of seconds separate a kill from a long time of farm and harass. This time you want to Flash and combo on them.
However, if you loose the time while you level your Nether Grasp, they can laugh at you under their tower. So simply use CONTROL+R to level it instantly, withouth any needless clicking. Then Flash+ Malefic Visions+ Ignite+ Null Zone and Nether Grasp asap with smartcast, and rack in your well-deserved kill.
Use sight ward! They only cost 75 gold, and can save your backside numerous times. There is nothing more annoying, than when you are owning your lane, a jungler comes in, turns it into a 2v1, and you have to waste Flash or even die.
Remember, your support is at botlane, babysitting your carry, you can't rely on him to ward for you.
Most junglers rarely gank mid, because its the most risky place, for the likely proximity of your jungler, and the relatively close turret, but better safe than sorry. And junglers like Shaco or Rammus can really give you a bad day with their ganking potential.
Always be aware what kind of champion you are up against.
Is it a melee like Kassadin or Fizz? Ruin their lasthitting and their hp pool from your impressive range.
Are they skillshot-based like Ezreal or Morgana? Stand behind the safe cover of your creep, and shrug off their harassing attempts.
Do they have low range like Annie? Asess when are they coming in for harass, throw a Call of the Void in their path, and laugh at their autoattacks.
Against burst assasins like Talon or Akali, try playing safe, because they are just like you, if you miss some HP when they turn 6, it all comes down to reflexes and reaction times, and the better bursts down the other.
In my opinion, Malzahar is one of the best champions teamplay and 1v1-wise in the game. He is well-rounded with cc and damage, the only thing he is missing is an escape tool. Play carefully, and may your enemies fear the Prophet of the Void.
Please rate and leave your comments below, I am very open to constructive criticism, so if you downvoted my guide please tell me why. If you upvoted, thank you. :)
I would like to give credit to jhoijhoi, and his awesome guide to Making a Guide, thanks for the help, and keep up the good work.