Build Guide by cheesejaguar
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.
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 guide should not be viewed as a single build that you use for every game that you play Malzahar in. Always build situationally, but follow the core to ensure late game positioning. This build is best for mid, but also works extremely well in the side lanes.
16 May 2011: Version 0.1 - Build started
-Flesh out guides
Pros / Cons
Very strong against ranged characters with limited reach (TF or Teemo), or melee characters
Very strong late nuker
Early game health regen helps you stay in lane
Weak against characters with longer range, like Caitlyn or Ashe
Sub-par early game nuker
The only part of the skill sequence I'm going to discuss is my defense for why I build E first. E is a farming tool. You cast it on a minion, and focus fire on that minion to allow it to spread to the next. Generally speaking if you can time it right you should be able to kill all 6 minions in a wave very quickly if you do this right, netting you a majority of the last hits thanks to the DoT and +60 mana regained from the passive. Be very careful about using this so as to not push your lane too early. If done right, there is no reason you shouldn't finish every game with 200 to 250 minion kills. This combined with the starting choice of two gold per 10 items, and the fact that you're going to be getting a lot of kills as an AP nuker will make you a very fed champion.
As mentioned in the skill sequence, be sure to use your E to farm waves ensuring all last hits in early and mid game. For late game, you can farm 20 minion waves in the span of about 15 seconds if paired with a well placed W and or Q. It is very important with this build to focus on farming, and not get distracted with too much roaming. The build is expensive and you do not get much survivability besides the health regen from Philosopher's Stone and the health from Rylai's Crystal Scptor.
Starting with two gold per 10 items makes the cost Rabadon's hurt less. You will be getting kills, but you will not be getting 40+ like a over-fed twitch. Philosopher's Stone is an especially strong choice because the increased health regen helps you stay in lane and farm even more.
Rod of Ages is a situational item. Personally I go with Mejai's Soulstealer more often because I know that with even as little as 7 stacks you get 56 additional ability power, putting it on par with Rod of Ages for 1/3rd the cost. If you know you're gonna get kills, get Mejai's. If your team is feeding or you aren't a very good Malz, stick with Rod of Ages. It's by no means a cop out, in fact it's a great item choice, but it's expensive and will cripple you by delaying your maturing into a deathcap wearing H bomb.
Build your defensive items as you see the need for. I build the Abyssal Sceptor and the Zhonya's Hourglass because they give you ability power AND defense.
You're going to be primaried in every single team battle. Because of this, be sure to get off your Q W and E as soon as possible in a team fight. Stick with your team and don't lag behind, you'll only be picked off by Warwick. I've found most teams try to deal with you by waiting until they can jump you and then engage the teamfight 5v4. If you're on the defensive and you get jumped, just try to focus on the squishiest target as you may be able to get a kill off before you die.
On the offensive you should definitely drop an E on a squishy, then while you cast your ultimate you can add a Q and a W for good measure. Don't forget to drop ignite if it looks like he won't go down before your ult is finished channeling.
Try not to die.
I pick flash because it's both an offensive and defensive ability. Great for escapes, and great for chasing someone down to get in range of your ultimate.
Ignite is a great choice as well, because it gives you the ability to pair with your E for extreme damage over time. This gives you ultimate harass-ability.
Hit any enemy who comes in range of your E. Always. Keep them hurting. Teach them that they are not allowed to have more than 50% of their health and that if they come near you, you will hurt them. If they stay near you, you will kill them. The best defense is a good offense, and by making them more cautious they are going to give you the advantage.