Malzahar Build Guide by Phil Collins
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Hello everybody, and welcome to my third guide, this time featuring the prophet Malzahar. Personally, I mostly play Tanky DPS and Tanks, but I picked up Malzahar even since I was level 3, and I still play him today. I reckon that I have a great understanding of how Malzahar works and I would love to share my thoughts with you.
Pros / Cons
3 second long silence
Shreds tanks thanks to Null Zone
Huge area of effect damage
No escape (I solve this by taking Flash)
Somewhat reliant on Nether Grasp
No CC that does not stun himself
Passive falls off late game
Runes are pretty standard for Malzahar I take the standard rune page for mages:
9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Increased damage, when added with Sorcerer's Shoes can deal close to true damage.
9x Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration Since Malzahar has mana regen from Malefic Visions early game, getting these can help scale into late game.
9x Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction To also scale into late game.
3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power For the extra damage early game.
Some other choices are:
greater seal of replenishment Great if you want to harass a bit more early game.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction Good if you want Nether Grasp to be up a bit more often.
I take 21/0/9, standard for most mages. Why do I take the 3 AD over the 1.5% damage increase? Well, let's say Nether Grasp deals 500 damage. What's 1.5% of 500? 7.5 damage. That's not going to make a difference. And thus, I prefer to have the 3 AD to make last-hitting easier early game, when your lane gets pushed to your tower.
Plus, the extra AD benefits my Voidling. :D
An underestimated passive, that little guy is a very big help to your early-mid game. It has 3 forms: Normal, grown and frenzy. When the voidling grows, it gains half of it's AD/Armor as a bonus, and at Frenzy its attack speed is doubled. When trying to harass early game, make sure to use malefic visons on the target so that the Voidling will go after them, since Voidlings are attracted to people who have Malefic Visions on them.
Utilize this passive well, you never know when the little guy will get you a kill you wouldn't have gotten without it. Usually before I cast my spell combo, I make sure a Voidling will spawn when I use it, to maximize damage output. Sometimes the Voidling can also block skillshots. This is why the passive is of extreme importance to Malzahar.
A great spell for Malzahar, it has many uses throughout the game. I max this second because the silence and damage gets so powerful at rank 5. This skill is essential to learn as Malzahar, it can make or break fights. For example, if you see a scumbag Brand coming in to kill you, you put Call of the Void in front of him, so that he will walk right into it and become silenced, allowing you to either get away or to unleash your full combo.
Remember to use this skill wisely early game, it will cost you a lot of mana for nothing if you use it and miss. Sometimes I put Call of the Void slightly behind the enemy. A natural instinct for most people is to run backwards, thus they run right into the spell.
Don't forget, Call of the Void reveals the fog of war. If you think there's a sneaky Skarner in the brush trying to gank you, use Call of the Void in that brush to see if he is there.
A skill that is an absolute monster late game, Null Zone can destroy entire teams if enough people stand on it for too long. I max this last because Late game is when Null Zone really starts to shine, because it deals percentage of the opponents health, and thus is not that great early game. I only use this early on to combine with Nether Grasp, or to help myself pick up kills if they have Malefic Visions and Ignite on them.
Late game, try to use this right when your tank initiates. For example if Galio flash/ults, you can put Null Zone under them to deal lots of damage to their team and proceed to kill them all.
This is Malzahar's bread and butter ability. You can use Malefic Visions for a lot of uses (farming, harassing, kill stealing, etc.). I max this first because it deals a lot of damage early game, and I can farm easily because of that, due to Malefic Visions being able to bounce to another enemy if it kills the previous one.
Even though Malefic Visions is a core to learning Malzahar, I don't get it first. Why? Because Call of the Void deals the same amount of damage, but it is AoE and it can silence.
Malefic Visions is a great tool for controlling the lane. If you find yourself being pushed at, outpush your opponent back by casting Malefic Visions on the creep wave. Keep autoattacking the minion with Malefic Visions on it so that it can pass on to the next one.
Another good thing about this skill is that it also regenerates mana as well. Simply push it through a minion wave if you need some mana back.
To harass champions, Malefic Visions + Call of the Void will suffice.
One of the best ultimates out there. Mainly because it is a 2.5 second suppress and it has a 1.3 AP ratio. Need I say more? It damages enemies highly and you can easily pin down targets because of it.
When you've utilized this ultimate to it's fullest, you will become one of the best Malzahar players. The key to knowing how to play Malzahar is mastering his ultimate. First, you need to know the skill combo, which goes something like this:
> > > > .
Next, you must know that you CANNOT move during the suppression. If you do, you will cancel the suppression and lose potential damage output. Only cancel when needed. You can however, use any summoner spell except Flash.
And lastly, remember you can use your ultimate defensively as well. For example when someone turret dives you, you can Nether Grasp them so the tower proceeds to take a beating on them.
I take Flash and Ignite.
Flash because Malzahar does not have an escape, Flash will fix that for us. You can also use Flash offensively, Flashing in and doing your combo.
Ignite because it is a damage over time spell, which stacks well with Malzahar's abilities since Malzahar has a lot of damage over time spells.
Ghost Take this instead of Ignite if you want to really make Malzahar's weakness of having no escape completely disappear.
Exhaust If your team has none of this, take it.
Teleport Not the best spell, but take it if you're going top, or you think you'll be roaming a lot.
This build focuses on maximizing damage throughout the game, while having two defensive items late game to prevent yourself from being blown up instantly.
I take For early sustain against harass in mid, and to dodge skillshots/jungle ganks.
I get two of these to maximize my early game. These items are just way too cost efficient to be ignored. Malzahar has high AP ratios, high mana costs, and bad survivability early game. Doran's ring will help solve all those problems. However, if you're fed enough you can skip one of these and build a Needlessly Large Rod if you can afford it.
Get these boots to deal near to true damage against your lane opponent, since most mages have base 30 magic resist only.
Essential to almost all mages. Without it, you can't carry as hard as you're supposed to. I rush this after my two Dorans and boots. By the time I get it, I usually have around 300 AP already.
Next, I build this item. Some of you may ask "Why do you build this on Malzahar? It is only a 15% slow on all of his abilities". Well, that is true, but Malzahar also lacks CC outside of his ultimate, so I get this to help solve that problem. The health is also nice for survivability since Malzahar is a mid-ranged caster.
By now the enemy offtanks/tanks should be starting to build magic resist to counter your unstoppable spree. However, this item will help you keep that spree going on. I build it almost all the time, unless they aren't stacking MR, in which the case I build Abyssal Scepter instead.
Now, it is getting late into the game and you will need some survivability. Sell one Doran's Ring for this. It will help your survive very well, because of the active. Activate it when you are being threatened by the enemy, or when a monster ult comes on ( Crowstorm/ Requiem). The AP and armor is also a nice bonus as well.
Sell your last Doran's Ring for this item. I don't care if you lose some damage output, 15 AP is nothing late game, and some damage is better than no damage when you die. Replace this with Guardian Angel if they have dominant AD/no threatening abilities/you can't afford to die anytime soon.
If for some reason the game hasn't ended in 50 minutes, sell Sorcerer's Shoes for this, since Void Staff will do most of the penetration, and more survivability always helps.
Great item if you need some extra MR, or when the enemy has no magic resist items.
If for some reason Null Zone doesn't wipe out their tanky DPS/tanks, take this item to nuke them down (the active).
This is an okay item, I just don't get it for Malzahar since his mana regen will be insanely high late game already, and the fact that you're not Karthus or Cassiopeia so the mana will take forever to stack up. However, get this item if you just want it for pure power/maximum mana sustain.
A good item if you're going top or if you want the extra sustain against some heavy harass champions/Using the double WoTA
Not that great on Malzahar, simply because it needs to be rushed, and will hamper your early game by a bit. IMO it's better on Tanky AP's like Singed or Cho'Gath, but if you plan to build it for more survivability don't build double Doran's Rings and rush catalyst the protector.
When I was experimenting with builds, I found CDR Malzahar to be really effective. I would build this item and Ionian Boots of Lucidity. My ultimate would be up everytime I get into a fight.
Needless to say, this item is very effective for what it gives you. Take it if you want.
This item is not good for Malzahar. You already get enough Mana regen from Malefic Visions, and it does not give any sort of damage, which is the core of Malzahar's early game.
Only a good item on offtanks/tanks. You will have lots of wasted gold/stats. Getting this purely for the MR won't save you, you're still squishy with it.
Get this if they have lots of CC/deadly ults.
Early game you have damage on your side. You beat most laners, but you depend on farm as well. Try to balance out the two, so that you will have a higher advantage over your enemies.
Despite most guides would tell you, DON'T PUSH WITH Malefic Visions ALL THE TIME! I see so many Malzahar's doing that and they end up getting ganked by the enemy jungler. You should only push if your lane is close to pushed/pushed to your tower. That way you can even out the lanes and you won't be in danger of being ganked. Malzahar is a great lane controller, so try to utilize that.
When going in for harass, Call of the Void + Malefic Visions should work.
Malzahar has a great mid game. You now should push and roam to gank. Malzahar is a great ganker thanks to his ultimate, and also a great pusher thanks to Malefic Visions. Usually I go gank top lane because bot lane is usually warded by their support.
When your team is getting ready to fight, always stay near the fight and nuke people from afar. Nether Grasp the threatening damage dealer. Try to silence whole teams with Call of the Void too. Remember to grab the blue buff often and brush-bait enemies to your entire spell combo.
During the late game, play very cautiously, because Malzahar is a carry and thus is one of the most important champions to stay alive. Always stay behind your team for protection and NEVER go somewhere solo. Ward Baron and when the teamfights start, put down Null Zone and use Call of the Void on the part where enemies are piled up. Do your entire spell combo on one of the squishies if you can.
Laner? What Laner?
Simple. You silence her ult, she has no damage, no range and no utility. Go on and take a **** on her face.
Why do people go Teemo mid? He's as squishy as ****. Basically when he goes in to farm, harass him hard. He can't take that much harassment. When he tries to Blinding Dart you, unleash your combo.
Champions that you beat easily:
Fizz is so easy to beat. SO easy. You can outrange him with your Call of the Void, and he won't be able to harass you that way. When he jumps on you, immediately unleash your combo to show him who's the boss around here.
TL;DR I hate Fizz.
She's a dominant laner for most matchups, but not for Malzahar. Her skillshots are easily dodged, and she has low base movespeed, so you can harass with Call of the Void and Malefic Visions easily. Be sure not to stay around when you're low though, because she can kill you.
You beat Karthus. Karthus is extremely slow and he can't live against your high burst damage. Whenever he comes close, lay a Malefic Visions on him. And make sure to alert your team when Karthus hits 6.
He can't really return harass if you stay behind minions, so do that. Make sure to silence him when he rushes in, because you might just have saved yourself from his ultimate thanks to the silence, and you can proceed to kill him easily.
Joke of a lane. Lux can't farm very well under the tower, so just push all day and make sure she doesn't harass you by attacking her when you see the opportunity. Remember to dodge her easily dodged skillshots, and avoid finales funkeln
Ryze has a horrible early game, you can expand on that by ****ting on him with your harass. Don't let him farm though because late game he beats you. If he rushes a Banshee's Veil in lane, just push to make last hitting harder for Ryze.
Simple. You outrange him, and your DoT's last even when he's Sanguine Pool'ed. However when it hit's mid game he just heals everything you throw at him, so farm when that happens.
Just silence him before he puts a bomb on you, and you're fine. Call for jungler ganks on this champion because he's as squishy as a wet noodle (11 Armor at level 1 LOL)
Easy lane. Push hard, and remember to harass Morde since he's melee. Don't engage him at 6 though. And if you need to break his shield, use your autoattacks + Call of the Void. After that's done, use Malefic Visions on him.
Champions that can go either way:
He outranges you and can push at the same rate you can. You have more burst damage on your side, however be wary because he can stun you mid-ult if you don't time it correctly.
He only beats you if you don't dodge his skillshots. If you do, you beat him easily. Just silence him when he tries to use Conflagration, should be fairly easy to do so since Conflagration has bad range.
You beat Annie easy, she can't return harass because she has no range. However, be wary of ganks as she can throw her Tibbers stun at you, and then you're done for.
The new buffs have made Veigar really good. You can harass him early, but don't focus on farm too much or he'll one shot you. Be cautious though, you never know when he'll pop the stun and a Lee Sin comes from behind and kills you.
He's really underrated. Trust me. He's got a godlike poke. Don't engage in fights with him, but merely silence him first since he has short range. After doing so you can **** on him.
He has short range, so harass him early. However when he hit's 6 don't bother hitting him, he has too much sustain. Don't get caught in his snare or else you'll be harassed hard. Swain can be difficult if you're new to Malzahar, since he deals more damage than you do early on.
Good Morgana's will prevent fighting you. So this lane is just a push fest, nothing special.
About the same range as you. You can't win this lane in harassment, but just push hard.
He pushes harder than you do, so call for jungler ganks often. Just try to outpush him and stay behind 3 minions to prevent his rockets (They HURT).
She beats you if you don't dodge her Q's, but you can outharass her. Just don't fight her at 6, because most of the time she can stun you before you ult her. Also, when retreating from her Twin Fang spam, silence her before running away.
His harass can be annoying, but try to farm because you won't be able to reach a good ziggs. But if a Ziggs DOES come close, you can eat him alive.
Champions that beat you hard/you simply cannot beat:
This damned bird has pissed everyone off since the beginning of this game, I swear. You can kill her, but thanks to her egg you won't be doing so often. Good Anivia's also pick up on your mistakes and immediately unleashes the stun > Frostbite combo. Try to farm passively, Anivia's only weakness you can capitalize on is that she can't farm well under tower. So push hard.
You will get raped in lane. Trust me. You HAVE to push however, Kassadin doesn't farm well under turrets. And if it's pushed, he can't go gank other lanes. Try not to engage against him because he will always beat you throughout the game.
Anti-fun. Just, are you kidding me? Why can she do SO much damage early game? You really need to switch lanes because you can't win this lane. Either that, or you push hard, since LeBlanc can't farm as well.
This assassin will instagib you the second you make a mistake. You can't really do anything against him, switch lanes.
Notice how most of the champions who counter you can't farm well? This is why you must pick Malzahar strategically. If they have people who can't farm, Malzahar is a great pick to counter them. If they have a lot of CC to stop your ult, don't pick Malzahar.
Thanks for reading my Malzahar guide. Please leave any feedback or comments below and check out my other guides if you have spare time.
~ Phil Collins