Malzahar Build Guide by NavyNadnerb
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Malzahar: The Prophet of the Void
Malzahar is a great champ if you know how to play him. First of all you have to look at his skills and how they can be utilized to melt faces. And when I say melt faces, I'm being serious. Malzahar's ultimate ability melts faces.
Before we Begin
Common League of Legends Lingo
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Farming:Push Malefic Visions through minions and use Call of the Void every once and a while
Harassing: Use your Malefic Visions while your Summon Voidling is out and then Call of the Void to deal more damage.
Combo: -->-->-->--> -->
Pros / Cons
-A lot of dot (damage over time) abilities
- Summon Voidling-The voidling is amazing and not many know of its power
-great at suppressing a single target
-amazing combo with all of his abilities
-He is the Prophet of the Void. The Void rules
-Overlord Malzahar is OP
-He is a Mage which means he is squishy
-Silence can be tricky to land
-Full combo is hard to land
-His ultimate makes him a really attractive target which may lead to an early dismissal of the ulti or a death to malzahar.
Masteries is 21-0-9. This is the new standard mage mastery page. Honestly though, for the 9 in utility, you can utilize it however you want going with either reduced death timer or faster movement speed, etc. It doesn't necessarily matter that much. The way I like it is a little less CD on flash and depending on whether you take exhaust or smite it is also upgraded a little more. Of course go for the longer buffs for the 9th point in utility. With this setup not only does Malzahar have a lot of AP and his improved ignite, but he also has mana regen ALONG WITH his E ability Malefic Visions which gives more mana which means MORE SPAMMING OF SKILLS. More on this later.
For runes its gonna be straight caster runes. I used to take Greater Quintessence of Health but I'm in the process of switching them out for Greater Quintessence of Ability Power so that with the Doran's Ring you get a nice AP boost early game to take down opponents much faster. For my build that I'm writing I suggest:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
You could also go with Greater Seal of Health or Greater Quintessence of Health but I would try to work away from that. A good caster knows how to position him/her self so that they won't get caught in the fray too much. For me I haven't noticed too much of a difference taking my Greater Seal of Health away but I'm sure I'll notice the switch from Greater Quintessence of Health to Greater Quintessence of Ability Power--in a good way...Another thing you could go for instead of the particular seals and glyphs I recommended would be the per level mana regen and ap runes: Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
So, in short I used to use clarity with my Malzahar. I'm here to tell you that this IS NOT A GOOD STRATEGY. At first, It might be helpful just getting used to spamming spells and how much mana everything costs but in short, malzahar has plenty of ways to regen mana and if it is needed that badly, you should just recall to the base because you probably have some gold from spamming spells (you should at least).
So what do I take then?
Ignite -This is a great Damage over Time (dot) ability in conjunction with Malefic Visions (another dot) that can be used to catch that enemy that is trying to escape. You can't escape 2 DOTS because I IZ MALZAHAR!!! I also improved it with masteries which gives you more ap and ad while on cooldown.
Flash -pretty standard for everyone. allows 1 escape--if well timed--every once and a while. OR it provides that extra gap closer to place another malefic visions or even a nether grasp to suppress them for a couple of seconds. Yesss! Also improved for a 15 second decrease in CD.
Clarity-I dont like this as an option. Just don't take it. It's ok at first but when you master Malzahar you shouldn't need it.
Ghost-This can be an ok summoner spell but I prefer to have Flash instead of this because it permits an instant distance closer rather than a gradual distance closer.
Exhaust-This can be a good summoner spell but I prefer it mainly on my AD champions. It can be utilized well but I just prefer Ignite on my Malzahar for the extra dot.
All others aren't necessary for Malzahar
For items I like to dominate right from the start I take a Doran's Ring. Mana items are NOT essential to a good Malzahar or a good Malzahar build. Why? Well if you have Greater Seal of Replenishment and Malefic Visions as a skill then you shouldn't need it. Plenty of mana right there. So, after the Doran's Ring if I seem to be doing well I like to take Sorcerer's Shoes for a bit of Magic Pen to give my spells a boost in mid lane (where you should always be). After I get some kills in mid and possibly the tower and then maybe ganks, I like to get a Needlessly Large Rod to build into Rabadon's Deathcap. Or you could get the Needlessly Large Rod and then get a Blasting Wand and build Rylai's Crystal Scepter first or get a Mejais Soulstealer. It all depends on the game you are in. If you are having a tougher time you might want to go for a Rod of Ages or Rylai's Crystal Scepter first or even a Zhonya's Hourglass. Maybe you should get some defensive items too...It all depends on the game that you are in and the opponents you are playing. Also factored into this equation is how well you are doing as a player with Malzahar. I tend to do pretty well so as I've gotten progressively better I buy more and more straight AP items or items that give more AP. I've listed the core mage items though.
One note: DO NOT buy Mejai's Soulstealer if you are doing bad, are new to Malzahar, or are a relatively inexperienced player, etc. It is a risky item and I usually only buy it if I am confident in my team's ability to position themselves in front of me, their skill, my skill, my ability to position myself, and my current standing in middle lane (ie how many times have I killed the middle champion, did I take the tower without contest, did they try to gank, etc).
I've been looking at some other builds and seeing what they suggest for items. I realize maybe Rylai's Crystal Scepter may not be ideal but I like the health and enemy slow. Perhaps one day I'll see the use of Deathfire Grasp but I always forget to use the active and the combo is hard to land as it is. Another good item you can get if you have the money to just throw down would be a Void Staff which is never a bad pick.
One thing I don't like that a lot of other builds suggest is Archangel's Staff. Yes the mana and mana regen is nice but It takes a while to build into that and in my opinion you don't need that much mana (especially if you can get a blue every once and a while) to do well in the game. The extra AP is nice but it takes a long time to actually build it up. For me it's not ideal but for others it might be. Basically when I get into a game I determine how well I'm doing and how good the other team is. Based on this I will either build straight up AP from the start going for a Needlessly Large Rod, Blasting Wand, and maybe an Amplifying Tome or if the game is a little harder I might build into a rod of ages with Ruby Crystal + Sapphire Crystal--> catalyst the protector or more for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter with a Giant's Belt along with the corresponding AP items for that ( Blasting Wand + Amplifying Tome)
Here are some recommended builds considering the difficulty levels of the games.
EASY GAMES-->Build LOTS of Ability Power and get a Mejai's to reap the benefits
CHALLENGING GAMES-->Build into more health items and consider getting some Armor or Magic Resist. These are going to be more situational items and as the games get tougher, you will have to start building more defensively.
TOUGH GAMES-->You are going to have to stray a little from the mage path if you want to stay alive. Half mage items and half defensive items are recommended if you are having a lot of trouble.
As you can see progressively (depending on the difficulty level of the game) you will have to buy less and less AP oriented items and more Health, Mana, Armor, or MR oriented items. The items I have put as "builds' for certain difficulties are not necessarily the ones you should get per se. Take for instance the last TOUGH difficulty. Maybe the enemy team doesn't have a great deal of AD/AS champions to worry about. This would mean that thornmail wouldn't do much to help. You basically have to be the judge of what items you should get by looking at the enemy team composition. This will happen through experience and will make you a better player and in turn, a greater asset to your team and a better mid AP carry.
You can see good examples of item builds from my pictures in the section "Harassing and Combos." As I get more deaths I build progressively more defensively and they are almost exactly my item recommendations but a lot is situational as I always say.
Here is a game I just played today (10-18-11). Pay special attention to my items and I will explain after:First I want to talk about the scores. I did the best on my team (and I would argue in the game.) I had the 2nd most kills (to a fed master yi) least deaths, most creeps, and 2nd most gold. I played well that game and positioned myself well as you can tell by this score. The other thing you can see is that our team has more kills than the other team and more assists. Toward the end of the game if we didn't have towers pushing I could have been in some team fights and helped us push back out but it just wasn't happening. I can only carry so much. No one did noticeably good on my team but we did well AS A TEAM. On the other team they were not a very good team as in they didn't play extremely well together...they won but we could have beaten them easily if yi wasn't so fed.
So I ended up midding with Karthus which wasn't too bad but I didnt end up getting any kills either. After laning phase, I was 0-1 dying to Master Yi once when he Q-ed me out of nowhere...anyway. So our team starts feeding Yi and the rest of my team isn't holding their own lanes AT ALL. But just look at Yi's score; he is a SERIOUS threat especially to AP Carries. So I build pretty much straight survivability with my Rod of Ages and Sorcerer's Shoes. I then go into Thornmail to try and counter Master Yi. The problem is (as I have found out multiple times in other games where I get Thornmail) is that mages have so little health so the ad carry usually lifesteals that damage back anyway and can still tear you apart. So I'm debating in my mind what I should do. The thing is, I think the only champ I died to that game was Renekton and Master Yi so I figure if I get health not only will I be more tanky, it will also give opportunities to do more Thornmail damage. So as Jarvan fails at being a tank and initiating, he talks about how I have no damage at all (whilst I am getting kills). So this is like 35 mins into the game about and they have one of our inhibitors and our pushing a base tower. Karthus holds off their shaco from the base tower and gets a kill while I back (from baron) to keep the superminions away. So I watch as my team dies at baron inevitably (but you have to defend the base if you want to keep the game going). So they come rushing at the other remaining base tower while I stand guard. I end up killing the 3 that pushed because they each come at me one at a time. For the first kill I used Malefic Visions and Ignite on Renekton while he had hardly any health. I used Nether Grasp on Akali under the tower and as Master Yi comes running after me I just spam spells and watch his health drain a little bit faster than mine(Remember I was spamming spells, had a thornmail, and had a warmogs)...he also had tower aggro which meant a kill for me. So... triple kill for me plus I got rid of baron. Granted we still lost but sometimes you just gotta carry your team a try a new strategy based on what you know DOES and DOES NOT work.
Every 4 spell casts summons this little devil from the VOID. Every 7 seconds he upgrades (at 7 seconds and at 14 seconds) and he gains damage and attack speed respectively. He is uncontrollable unless there is a Malefic Visions on somebody and then he becomes attracted to that target and begins to attack it.
Call of the Void
Opens up 2 portals on either side and then shoots a void beam from those in a line which silences enemies it hits. This can be great for a group of enemies or to clear a wave of creeps
This is an AoE skill that does nice % damage based on health.
This skill does dot and will also attract your Summon Voidling
Your ultimate ability. It suppresses the target (holds them in place and doesn't allow them to use most abilities except cc controlling abilities) and deals dot for 2.5 seconds.
Skill Sequence and Farming
SKILL SEQUENCE IN A NUTSHELL
MAX Malefic Visions FIRST!!!! This is essential to my strategy
MAX Null Zone SECOND!!!! I used to hate this skill and would save it for last. Truth is, with your malefic visions on your target, your voidling out, and your ultimate on and this skill under your enemy, HE WILL DIE!!!!
MAX Call of the Void last always. But don't forget to at least grab it at level 4 for the silence.
ALWAYS GET Nether Grasp WHEN AVAILABLE! Most of you should know to do this but I'm just mentioning it for good measure. I will detail combos and etc later.
A lot of other guides suggest Call of the Void as the first skill. I absolutely hate getting this skill first even though A VAST MAJORITY of builds suggest it (for the minion from level one) The problem with getting this skill first to spam it in base and get your minion is that you can't tell it to get onto an enemy champion (There is, however, one benefit and that is for level one fights. I never get into these in normal or ranked games and so I've never had this problem of choosing between the 2 skills before). Voidlings are my favorite and I like them so much that I just can't deal with that.I don't even get Call of the Void until level 4. Call me crazy right now. What I learned is that I like to push my Malefic Visions through the creep wave from the very start and get the mana back while also getting some farm. At level one you don't need to be spamming skills anyway unless you go into a level 1 fight...Regardless, I always stand by getting my FAVORITE skill Malefic Visions first.
While in mid lane, I like to wait until the melee minions get low enough to where I can put Malefic Visions on them and then auto attack to get the gold. Then I constantly auto attack minions to push it through as best as I can. There are a few problems I have noticed with this that I will now point out to you:
1. Auto attacking in the same spot leaves you vulnerable
2. It is very predictable to do this
3. Cannon minions are HARD to push through
My solutions (or suggestions) are as follows:
1: Move around a bit when auto attacking and try to stay out of range. Don't feel you have to auto attack if it might harm you while doing so. Try to have at least one ward on one side of mid lane so that you can lean toward that side of the lane and auto attack. This will set you up better to avoid ganks or even taking some pot shots.
2: Try to make your presence known in the lane. You are a Malzahar. Push the lane hard and harass them as best as you can when mana permits. Don't spam your spells so that you run out of mana. Balance Malefic Visions and your other spells to create a powerful and tough lane.
3: If it is necessary to push it through, you may have to try and line the enemy champion up so that you harass them and hit the cannon minion with either Call of the Void or Null Zone. You shouldn't have mana problems to do that. Otherwise, you can always cast another Malefic Visions on the same cannon minion to take him down for sure.
Last Hitting: A lot of the time I don't pay attention to this enough because I just want to push the Malefic Visions through the creep wave. However, more recently I have begun to try and time my last auto attack so that I have a greater chance to kill it (along with my Summon Voidling and receive the extra gold.
Harassing and Combos
Oh yes. Now we are getting into the good stuff. Let's see how Navy Nadnerb likes to harass and kill as a Malzahar.
Call of the Void- This skill will hurt either a line of creeps or a line of champions. Not only does it have a large range (which makes it that much more unexpected) but I have also used it many times when chasing champions as the killing blow which is why I use it last in my combo. When you are in the lane, if your opponent is daring enough he/she will be in range of this skill. It is generally easy to land if they are auto attacking and starts getting tricky when they start moving around (most upper level players move around because of this). It takes a bit to get used to but usually if I have a Malefic Visions pushing through the creep wave I like to harass or even zone the enemy with this ability just to show the lane dominance. I like to do that only when I have near full mana though. Also, if you are ever getting chased by anybody this is great if you can lead the target (especially when they are super fast) and silence them to safely reach your tower or put off enough time so that you have just enough health to avoid a gank or something.
Malefic Visions-Oh my. This is the best section of ALL TIME. So not only can you just place this on an enemy and walk away or follow them as they run toward the tower in fear trying to get this off of their face, but you can also use it in conjunction with an amazing passive ability Summon Voidling. After 4 spell casts you get a little voidling with a 21 second lifespan. Every 7 seconds that this puppy stays alive (at 7 seconds and at 14 seconds), he gets a little bigger and badder. Not only does this add to the complexity of Malzahar, it also adds to the complexity of the timing of your skills. I tend to find that the best way to kill someone in middle lane OVER AND OVER again is with the extra help of my little Voidling!!! My favorite thing in the world to do is to have a voidling already out and to confidently walk near an enemy champ in mid lane, have them approach me as if they can 1v1 me, then watch them cower as my Malefic Visions turns my Summon Voidling onto them. Pre-level 6, this combo is devestating as Malzahar's minion does a TON of damage. If you have them at half health, they will surely die. Any chance you get you want to drop a few skills on them (mainly Malefic Visions so that your voidling constantly is biting them and ripping their health apart. If executed correctly, you could possibly get first blood or just start domming mid lane. The minion facilitates getting kills in mid lane and to master it is to master the workings of Malzahar. Now, the fun stuff comes when you finally get your ultimate. For now, I will leave this for the later "Combos" section.
Null Zone-This ability is a nice AoE (area of effect) skill. It doesn't do a ton of harassing damage, but when used in conjunction with his other combos to maximize the time spent on this little booger, it all adds up to a lot of damage over that amount of time. It can be used to zone a bit or control laning position which is nice.
Okay, here is where the money is made boys and girls.
Before level 6 your combo is going to look like one of these options:
It really doesn't matter as long as you can get a Malefic Visions and a Summon Voidling on them because it is pre level 6. I'm just showing you a couple to try and guide you in a certain way and strategy that I prefer.
Once you reach level 6 you unlock your full combo.
Ideally Your full combo is going to look like this:
This combo could also have an ignite in it and in turn look like this:
Now to do this requires great placement and fast fingers. This will definitely take some practice and you are not always going to land every single part of this (I'm talking about you two Null Zone and Call of the Void but it never hurts to try and if you are fast enough you will most likely land it. As long as your Summon Voidling is out, you will DO WORK AND MELT FACES if you can land the Malefic Visions on them and suppress them with your Nether Grasp. To write this in words here is the lay down:
You are in mid lane closely behind an enemy creep wave. Your enemy is doing the exact same thing you are. You notice that your minion is out and is pushing the lane hard (because he is pro). Out of nowhere you close in on your enemy, landing a Malefic Visions as your Voidling runs toward him/her. You then place a Null Zone in front of him a bit so that he/she will run right into it giving you time to land your Nether Grasp while he/she stands hopelessly in the center of the AoE damage. Your voidling dies leaving you with 2 possible skills left. You decide to Ignite him/her but for safe measure, lead in from of the enemy champion with a Call of the Void. The Call of the Void doesn't kill the champion but with hardly any life left the ignite leaves you with the kill.
This is exactly how a Malzahar should function and play. Other scenarios might involve the enemy champion rushing toward you instead of away. This is perfect for you as you know for a good 2.5 seconds there will be nothing this person can do to you giving you a major advantage if you are able to land all of your skills and then suppress him before taking fatal damage. If my full combo is ready along with my Summon Voidling, I am never afraid to take a champion 1v1 mid lane if I have been able to harass that person while in the lane. His combo renders the target still for 2.5 seconds with so much damage output. Until the enemy champion knows about all of that damage, they will continually run right into the combo again and again and again. I had found a video on youtube that showed the combo perfectly that I use but the user deleted his account. So I went searching and found another pretty good compilation of killing and combos. Really the way you use the combo is up to you and depends on the situation. But feel free to watch this video if you are new to Malzahar or want to see how another person plays him. This is not my video. All credit to the User on Youtube. I will link it up in the credit section.
Here are some games where I utilized this combo perfectly in middle lane:
Here is another:
More pictures as I get them.
I hope you guys enjoyed the guide. I worked very hard to complete this to the best of my knowledge and ability. First I want to say a special thanks to JhoiJhoi and His guide on how to make a guide. Also a special thanks to EVERYONE who created a Malzahar full guide. I looked through about 50% of them...most being the top rated ones to help me decide how to approach this process (as it is my first guide). I also want to say that any criticism or comments about this is encouraged but I also want to say that this is my opinion of how Malzahar should be played. Everyone has different play styles and thats what makes League of Legends unique and fun. If you want me to explain something a little better or talk about something I haven't mentioned please feel free to tell me as I will most likely get around to it. I love this champion and I want to help people who want to learn to play him. Because MALZAHAR IZ VOID AND VOID IS AMAZING. Thanks for reading this guide and I hope you learned something! Happy Malzahar-ing! Be careful of his Voidling though...he bites!
I'm donating this mini-section to the owners of the video. They aren't at all my content or videos and if you feel the need to let them know you like their video, please do so on YouTube =)
For the Zoning tutorial: Shurelia
For the Malzahar montage: TheLoLSoul
9/28/11-Draft 1 Finished
9/28/11-Added Credit Section
10/14/11-Added another photo from today. Edited items section to refer to my in game pictures.
2/3/12-Sorry for not updating for a while. I kinda stopped playing league for a few months =P. Updated Mastery Page, summoner spells to reflect new masteries. Updated rune page for the per level seal and glyph runes. Update Youtube video in Harassing/Combo section.