Malzahar Build Guide by Kalixin
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.
BEFORE WE START - This guide primarily focuses on Malzahar helping the team in more ways than just bursting down one opponent. The item build helps your AP users a lot because of the MR reduce and spell vamp/AP aura. More of an explanation on the advantages to Will of the Ancients on Malzahar will come later.
Hey there everybody. This is my first guide, and I assume you already know a bit about malzahar so it is not explaining every single little detail. Please don't knock it until you try it. Malzahar is a very powerful champ and is somewhat easy to get the hang of, but I personally think he is hard to master because in team fights: you need to know when to use you ult, who to use it on who, and when to use it so you wont get CCed out of it.
You also have to be good at solo laning, because Malzahar is typically a mid-lane champ. Malzahar has amazing pushing and farming abilities but you can't overextend too much because he has virtually no ability to escape.
This guide will mainly focus on specific builds, runes, and strategies, because I often find that most guides give too general of an idea of too many different paths to go.
So let's get started shall we? I knew you would say yes. You didn't? Ah well, I don't care :p
Malzahar is one of the best mid champions in the game, only outclassed by a few harassers such as orianna and mordekaiser. Basically what you want to do is get the three melee minions low on hp, and then malefic one of them. Your minions should be able to do enough damage for you to focus the tank minion so your malefic kills it also. If there is no tank minion, then simply focus your auto attack on the malefic minions. I rarely use malefic on a champion unless I use my ultimate, as it wastes mana fairly quickly.
Sometimes I will use call of the void or null zone to make sure my malefic transfers so I can better push the middle lane. It might make my mana go down a bit faster, but that is why I bring clarity. Make sure you get as many minions in one Q or W as you can to save as much mana as possible because you early game ult combo takes A LOT of mana. We are talking 350+.
Another important part of being mid with Malzahar is your voidlings. Voidlings are incredible for pushing and damage towers and champions both early and late game. They are highly under estimated. Basically what I do is use my malefic when my voidling first comes out, so by the time the minion wave is cleared he is either full grown or freznied. Then I try to get a malefic on the enemy champion so my voidling chases him and does some extreme damage for early game. The tick to this is to stay out of the turrets range, yet close enough where your voidling can get to the champion and not lose focus. I have instantly halved some enemy HP using this strategy. Be careful when near a turret though when that lil guy is out. Turrets WILL attack you sometimes if your voidling hits and enemy champion. Every one in awhile the game might bug and you wont get hit, but i would count on 80-90% chance of getting auto targeted.
Another great thing about the voidlings are their ability to make sure an enemy dies. if you WER a champion and they have 40 hp or so, your voidling can chase and net a kill sometimes. Also, if you WER when a frenzy voidling is on the target, they usually have no chance of surviving early game.
Using your silence, then flashing, then using E W R is a great way to instantly ruin somebody.
Your skills/abilities are extremely situational with malzahar. As I said before, you need to know when to ult, who to ult, and where to stand to avoid CC knocking you out of your ult.
Your standard combo is Q (to stop flash or counter silence) E (malefic for soem damage) W (null zone as it is the easiest to doge... you want to do it last) then R (your ult. if this combo arises. its good game for that one on one).
This combo is easily one of the deadliest in the game and can instantly kill nearly any champions, even tanks, seeing as your W does a % damage off of HP.
A very good time to use this combo in a team fight is when an area of effect stun goes off. I absolutely love galios or amumus on my team because their ults go with my spell set so well. They get them all stunned into a small area, so I can easily get my W (null zone) and Q (call of the void) off for massive damage. Plus, when they come out of the mass stun/taunt, they are all silenced with lowered hp.
So the question might arise.... I have a very powerful 1 shot combo... who do i use it on?
I typically choose the highest DPS or the person with the most CC that might counter my ult.
Typically I use my ult after the most CC is over with and I tend to not use it on tanks. you cant go in and instantly ult because i guarantee if they have a decent player with CC they will instantly cast it on you and you will go down like a fly, and your team will charge in right after thinking it will be a 5 on 4 in their favor. They are sadly mistaken.
So basically. make sure you use your Q (it takes a lot of practice to aim it well) and W (small area covered) at the right moments, and malefic whoever you ult so the malefic jumps to the next person because the person you ulted is probably a goner.
Also, this skill set makes ganks very nice because you can simply hide in a bush, and use your nice range to silence and null zone them, then ult them right away.
BY THE WAY: I get malefic first to keep my mana up and get some quick gold. malefic is also good for harassing because nobody wants to be too close to the infected minions as it transfers and packs a bunch, especially with a voidling out. my W only need one rank before lvl 6, and my Q and W after lvl 6 kinda go back and forth. They are both very useful, but the W per lvl does only 1% more damage yet costs a good bit more mana. I don't know, its all about your play style. Q or W. silence + burst or High hp killing dps that makes them scatter.
Also if somebody has a banshees veil (many do), then make sure u silence that whole group or malefic the one with banshees to quickly take care of that problem. Try not to ult people such as Gangplank, who can remove scurvy, or people who have a quicksilver sash.
This will be short and to the point. I use flash for escape or instant in-range for my combo and ult. I use clarity because malzahar runs out of mana very quickly in prolonged team fights and if his malefic doesn't keep transferring to minions in early game. Also, your teammates will really appreciate the random burst of mana from you. Also, when you have no mana and somebody thinks you are defenseless and attacks you, simply hit clarity and Nullzone+ult them. JUKEJUKE
So basically: Clarity --- Great for my team, great for me to spam spell like crazy and perhaps malefic two seperate targets in team fights, CotV a lot, and not be manaless after my ult combo. I have saved so many teammates with clarity or kept them going longer to push - you have no idea.
Also, i have a clarity spell yet a mastery point in exhaust. Why? Crit and smite doesn't help malz at all, and some might decide to use exhaust in this build, so its just a failsafe for those people.
Masteries (and a little more spells)
Standard caster masteries; but you might wonder why I have exhaust chosen. Well, malz isn't a jungler and malz doesn't need crit. Also, some people might play more defensively and not spam so many spells so they might not want clarity in their build. Also, some don't see a need for or don't like to use flash. Anyways, flash + exhaust + your standard combo is probably the most deadly thing you can do to a person. or you can carry exhaust and ignite to go overkill on somebody. I personally like the escape, instant in your face flash, and plentiful supply of mana that can help my team. and let me spam my lower CD spells.
Also, you might want to try to get blue whenever the chance a rises (you don't need it right away at early game.... especially if you have a jungler on your team). Regardless, the blue buff is amazing for mid and late game as your spells are easily spammable with the CDR fro mthe blue buff and you go through a lot of mana using your ult combo. This is why i have the neutral buffs mastery - to make sure i can spam my high power/utility spells through the team fight.
I take Mpen quints and Mpen marks. I do this because many people see Malzahar and say oh **** i need magic resistance so I am not 1 shotted by that damn ult.
For glyphs I use AP per level because Malzahar has some incredible AP ratios for his Q E and R. its somewhere around .8, .8, and 1.3.
Also, by level 6, AP glyphs pretty much break flat AP glyphs. This also gives you ult a better punch.
For seals I take hp per level. My reasoning behind this is simple. I buy one item for armor, and one for magic resistance. The Hp makes that armor and MR go a bit further and with the spell vamp in my build, you will easily get full hp back to make it harder to bring you down fully. Also, getting another 9 hp or so per level is great because it keeps you in the front lines a lot longer. For me, this works, but for others they might want to change it to flat HP or mana regen, which is fine. With clarity and a blue buff i rarely ever need mana regen. Plus my malefic gives me plenty mid-late game. It makes runes unnoticeable.
BEFORE YOU READ - YES YOU DO HAVE ENOUGH AP TO ONE SHOT EARLY GAME WITH WILL OF THE ANCIENTS (WotA). You just have to combo them with your EQWRE and they die. You need to be quick, and sometimes (I do not use) SHIFT+HOTKEY (smart casting) helps. keep in mind this WotA rushing makes your survivability and ability to stay in your lane to farm much better. Infinite mana and hp. This build is all about getting gold as long as possible to get fast items while being able to dish out damage while heavily helping your team.
I have a bit more of a step by step way I buy items in my itemization, and it pretty much works for all games and all scenarios because it is well rounded. and it lets you have an incredible early game, so long as your have map awareness and a good team to counter ganks.
You want to try to buy your items in this order every time, simply because it gives you the best early game and it keeps you getting a good bit stronger every single time you go back to buy.
This is what I do. I start with the amplifying tome, then when I farm about 800 gold whether I'm nearly dead or not, I go back regardless.
*****I DO NOT USE POTIONS BECAUSE I GO BACK FOR SPELL VAMP AND MALZ CAN FARM WHILE BEING DEFENSIVE UNTIL THEN...same goes for dorans ring-I don't need it...and neither do you....if you know how to chain your malefic while not getting harassed.*****
Also, the potion makes me wait for another 2-3 minions to get my build going. I get my spell vamp right away so I can stay at the front a long time and have 20 more AP for my ult. I usually get a kill easily this way and I don't leave the lane for a long time. With clarity, spell vamp, and my malefic giving me mana, I am pretty much untouchable.
Once I leave the lane again I usually have enough money for both my Mpen boots AND WotA (Will of the ancients). I get the will of the ancients because my W hitting 5 enemies in team fights (especially high hp tanks) heals my hp quite quickly. Also, in a 1 on 1, if I am about to die and have my ult up, I throw every last bit of spells and mana I have at them because the spell vamp will heal my to at least 1/4 which is enough to finish them off if they aren't dead already for stupidly going 1 on 1 with you. Another great thing about WotA is the aura it gives. It gives YOU 50 AP then it also gives YOU AND YOUR TEAM 30 AP and 25 spell vamp. If another teammate gets this (please try to convince them to) you an your teammate will have 110AP, and 50% spell vamp, and the rest of your team will have 60AP and 50% spell vamp. It really is an incredible combo. ALso, if you are at the nexus with low hp and you still want to push with your team, simple malefic the minions coming out. Your hp goes up very fast.
Depending on champion kills and farming I can usually get a rabadons rather quickly (as I am usually 4-0 by the 15 minute mark). This gives me a good bit of AP to keep me going throughout the game and allows me to get kills easier to make further buying of items go more smoothly.
After my rabadons I keep up my AP rolling with the hourglass. The 100AP + rabadons passive is awesome! Also, it gives me a bit of armor that goes nicely with my spell vamp and hp per level runes. Also, malzahar is targeted A LOT, so that two second active of the hourglass is amazing for screwing the other team up, letting your team get free hits, and giving you the time to get past the other team's CC so you can ult freely.
After this item I get the abyssal scepter. Another amazing item for team fights as it lowers all magic resist of enemies by 20. This also gives you a decent amount of AP and gives you some MR to further make you spell vamp and extra hp irritating to deal with. It also makes your teammates spell vamp work a lot better.
My final item (because by now the other team probably has some magic resistance) is the void staff. SURPRISE! I just ripped right through that magic resistance with my runes, abyssal scepter MR reducer and high magic pen from void staff. Too bad, you died. You are a dead carry. Your team loses the fight. Good Game.
I will update this guide and make it a bit more attractive to the eye by adding pictures and fixing any spell or grammar mistakes. Thanks for taking the time to read it all.
Summing up this strategy: Why the title fits the build
* Spell vamp + mana giving malefic visions. Clarity and spell vamp/Ap aura for team fights
aura reducing passive for team fights
* Tons of AP early game and mid game, and a good amount late game (648AP, 1.3 ult scaling, .8 Q E scaling, and an extra couple % or so hp per second on your W) so you can still do a lot of damage 1 v 1 or in team fights when you land your QW.
* A decent amount of armor and MR to go with your HP per level to give you survivability that is hard to beat with your spell vamp.
* An annoying stasis that can ruin the enemy teams CC and focus causing them to lose.
Malz is one of the best 1 v1 champs to use already, and this build only helps him with that.
* This build has a great balance of AP, Magic pen, team fight utility, and survivability if you use it correctly. I hope this helped you out in learning the powerful champion, Malzahar.
As for the other team? Oblivion awaits.