Malzahar Build Guide by TitaniumDragon
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Malzahar is a powerful AP carry. Having two powerful crowd control abilities, two highly damaging area of effect powers, a third ability which can easily affect multiple characters and which will rip through minion waves actually gaining Malzahar mana, and amazing AP ratios make Malzahar a character who can deal immense quantities of damage and turn the tide of teamfights, as well as slay most characters in one on one combat. Malzahar has immense sustainability while laning, able to use Maleific Visions to harvest an entire wave of minions cheaply, indeed gaining mana from the farming, and the power can even jump to enemy champions for considerable harassment damage. Unlike most AP carries, he is reasonably proficient at tearing down towers; his voidlings allow extra attacks to be made against towers while the things take the aggression from them, and they also deal not inconsiderable damage of their own, particularly if they manage to last long enough.
He is even stronger in Dominion due to the smaller-scale fights which occur in that scenario; while he loses some of the sustainability and farming power he has in regular games, he makes up for it in Call of the Void becoming even stronger; in a 5 v 5 teamfight, it will often silence only a couple characters, but in a 2 v 2 fight, it can often silence all of the opposition, resulting in a long period wherein whoever is with malzahar can cause considerable damage, and even potentially allowing malzahar to win a 2v1 scenario by bursting down an AP or AD carry without a tank's interference. This is especially devastating against melee characters, who are often forced to stand in Malzahar's AoE attacks and who can be suppressed under turrets for a long period of time, resulting in their probable death.
For all his strengths, Malzahar remains a squishy AP carry, but due to his long range, powerful CC, and high damage, he is harder to focus down with a single character than many such characters. This build is designed to enhance his survivability in one on one combat, as well as to allow him to remain in enemy territory after a teamfight due to spell vamp rapidly replenishing his health. The goal of this build is to allow Malzahar to remain in the field as long as possible, allowing him to farm and grow and become a power that the opposing team has no hope to stand up to.
Very strong in 1 v 1 confrontations.
Great at ganking.
Voidlings make him a greater threat to towers than most AP based characters.
High damage output.
High sustainability, especially with spell vamp items.
Extremely high damage.
Strong crowd control.
High area of effect damage.
Percentile health damage spell allows him to punish characters who stack health.
Has the option of becoming very powerful at bursting down towers if necessary.
Has a spell that reveals the map.
Dangerous at any level.
Powerful at punishing characters for engaging in melee combat or for standing stationary to channel spells.
Malefic visions requires a lot of babysitting before level 9.
If his spell combo did not kill the character he was focusing, he has a great deal of difficulty in finishing them off in a 1 v 1 confrontation.
Very vulnerable to being ganged up on.
Ultimate can be negated by quicksilver sash, making his spell combo much less effective due to lack of immobilization.
Has difficulty landing AoE effects against highly mobile non-melee characters.
Silence ineffective against characters who are not dependent on their abilities for damage or suppression.
Malzahar's passive triggers every four spell casts; this means that a full spell combo of all four abilities will summon a voidling, and return the counter to exactly where it began, and that a three spell barrage will go most of the way there. This is important when team fights happen; it is possible to prime his ability so that he'll have two voidlings active, one after his first spell combo, a second appearing after about 10 seconds or so. The voidlings become better every 7 seconds, and die after 21 seconds. They are a good distraction, they add in additional damage, they help you kill minions, and they are excellent for destroying towers and inhibitors, serving as both considerable extra damage as well as an extra creature to be attacked.
It is wise to prime this ability before the start of a match; cast Call of the Void three times at spawn to charge it up so that the very first spell you cast summons one. If you die or otherwise return to spawn for some reason, it is good to recharge it again if you have the time, using Null Zone and Call of the Void once each; be careful not to accidentally summon a voidling at your spawn this way.
It is important to note that voidlings are drawn to Malefic Visions, always attacking the target of your visions; while this is generally beneficial, this does mean that when you're pushing a tower, if you cast malefic visions on the enemy minions your voidling will attack them in preference to the tower. If you need to take down the tower as fast as possible, it is often wise to use Call of the Void or Null Zone to finish off the minions more quickly so that your voidling returns. Note that sometimes it is worth wasting a null zone or a call to the void to summon an additional voidling to bring down a tower.
Call of the Void
Cooldown: 9 seconds
AP Ratio: +80%
Silence duration: 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6/3.0 seconds
In Dominion, this is Malzahar's bread and butter power, and in normal games this is his most devastating spell in teamfights, and a great means of dissuading folk from approaching. It scales extremely well with AP, deals considerable damage, and gives vision at its ends, where the damaging portals come from.
Learning how to properly fire this power is the most difficult part of playing Malzahar successfully; it is very easy to miss with this ability, which is very bad, because not only does it deal considerable damage but it completely cripples ability-based characters for an extended duration.