Build Guide by Quackv2
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.
Simply put, this is my Malzahar build, use it as you will.
Malzahar is an epic burst mage. In 1v1 he will nuke your tits off while you simply stand there and do nothing, getting pounded by Malefic Visions > Null Zone > Nether Grasp > Deathfire Grasp (If you have it) > Ignite, AND your Summon Voidling, which CANNOT be underestimated. No one will survive this combination. BUT because he has this insane ability, he loses his effectiveness in teamfights. Unless you are sure you're locked into a 1v1, using this combination can make you a hero or zero, as using Nether Grasp in a teamfight will only result in you getting ultrafocused.
Teamfight scenarios where you may use Nether Grasp: An enemy is fed and you know that THEY MUST DIE for your team to win the fight. This is still heavy risk ... but the priiiiiiiize.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZzvvf1Sp7g&feature=related Or an enemy is attempting to zone you or follow you out of a teamfight (IDIOT). You just have to weigh up the risk yourself.
On the other hand he makes up for this (not completely) with a tank busting %hp damage AoE Null Zone, and a Multi-target 3-second silence skillshot, Call of the Void.
There is nothing more satisfying than watching someone approach your bush, then overpowering them whilst they can do nothing.
My best experiences are: Fighting a Vlad 1v1 in mid, he unleashed his Hemoplague + Ignite and his Q + E, forcing me to nuke him in retaliation, which inevitably burned him six feet under, but at the same time his ultimate finished me off. We both died at the same time.
An Olaf catching me outside of a teamfight, i as usual unleashed my wrath upon him, but he used Ragnarok to escape suppression and tried chopping me up while i nuked him.
My build focuses on sustaining Malz's his heavy nuking power, whilst keeping survivability. I personally don't like the gamble of a Mejai's Soulstealer as people get overprotective of their stacks, creating bad teamplay, and you lose more upon death.
Positioning, as with every caster is of vital importance here and will be your strongest defence.
Excellent 1v1 Nuke and Extreme damage + disable on 1 enemy when needed
Great multi-target silence skill for turning the tables on ability reliant champions
Amazing AP ratios
Great tank buster when needed
SHOOP DA WOOP
Ultimate is very risky to use, and best left out of teamfights
Whole combo can be ruined by a single enemy stun e.t.c.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: These are pretty standard runes, great for early game and all game really, they never run out of use.
Greater Seal of Defense: Great runes for buffing your Armor stats, leaving you with almost 100 Armor at level 18, whilst not buying ANY items. I prefer these over MP5 runes because MP5 doesn't feel as though it makes much difference, plus you can farm mana using malefic visions and AA. Just don't push your lane too hard or a Warwick/ Twitch/ Evelynn will gladly gank you.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: AP, what more can i say? I prefer to go for AP per level for more value, but going for early game AP is also a good decision.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power: Same here, having Glyphs and Quints will result in 50ap at lvl 18, and it's nice to watch your AP build up during the laning phase.
Offence Tree: Standard for casters, taking CDR, AP per level and 15% magic penetration, which, coupled with Void Staff, combines into 49% (multiplicative).
Utility Tree: Taking the usual, boost to movement speed and ghost increases your ability to escape and hold a good position, Expanded Mind gives a boost to overall mana, increasing usefulness of Archangel's Staff, Tear of the Goddess and Ancient Golem Buff.
Also going for CDR, Neutral Buff Duration Utility Mastery (Get Golem when you can), and reducing summoner spell cooldowns. Ignite and Ghost are detrimental on Malzahar.
As in all matches, items are situational, but everyone has a build they try stick to.
Mine is survivable mage. Malzahars job is Single Target Disable/Nuke (Excellent) and Multi-target disable (Great if you can aim and lead well with Call of the Void), plus tank buster when the time arises Null Zone + Nether Grasp.
First of course it's Doran's Ring. Last Patch made it so you can no longer buy potions if you get a doran's item, but the item's themselves got a little buff. Doran's Ring gained +1 MP5.
Next you will want mana regen, and to start building up that mana pool, so grab Tear of the Goddess, unless you need some AP fast, but i find my Runes + Ring do enough. You should be going mid anyway, and have more gold income from last hits.
Next off, some Movespeed. Boots of Speed are a must, but you can save the Sorcerer's Shoes for after other items if they need to be prioritized.
Rabadon's Deathcap. The new must have mage item. 155 Tasty AP PLUS a 30% boost. If you rush this you'll have around 270 AP.
Next is atleast a Giant's Belt or Rylai's Crystal Scepter. I much prefer to have some beef instead of relying on pure luck to win a fight, plus i hate getting focused, which is Malzahar's downfall. Only Karthus can go full AP because he lives after death and slaughters anyone stupid enough to stay around him.
From here it depends how late game goes.
All of your item sequence depends on your playstyle and what's happening ingame. Taking too much damage? Focus getting resistances and HP. Want more damage? Get More AP. Enemy Karthus is busting heads? Get a Banshee's Veil. The list goes on.
Void Staff: Good AP, plus brilliant magic penetration for countering Magic Resist stackers. This may be a little overkill as my build gets 68 Mpen, but i prefer nulling an enemy's MR.
Abyssal Scepter: The perfect weapon for Mage vs. Mage, offering MR, AP and Magic penetration, what more could you ask for?
Archangel's Staff: Finish this off to capitalize on that mana pool you've been building up all game.
Items dependent on enemy team composition/builds:
Deathfire Grasp: A great item if the enemy is heavy on tanks, instantly removing 30% of their current HP, plus it scales with AP, and at end game can remove up to 50% HP even before you lay in your nuke combination. The ultimate Tank eater and a perfect addition to the combination, plus it offer CDR.
Banshee's Veil: If you're getting chopped up too much and especially by mages that rely on one spell, get this. It has good HP, MR and Mana, and gives you protection to ultimate in teamfights. What more could you ask for?
Zhonya's Hourglass: Great for avoiding focus, and also offers a great AP and armour boost. A brilliant counter to Xin/Trynd/Olaf who won't leave you alone.
Blue Golem Buff
I cannot stress how useful this buff is. It is every caster's dream. Even if you have to get a teammate to help you take it you should, but after level 8 your voidling plus spell spam should be enough.
With a large mana pool from your Tear and % mana regen from the buff, you are free to constantly spam spells with no mana worries, all the while building your tear even more. PLUS it gives 24% CDR, equalling 33% with just that and masteries. You can bring the Cooldown for Nether Grasp to 50 seconds!
Keep an eye out for this Quicksilver Sash in enemy builds, it can be used to break the suppression on your ultimate, and leave you vulnerable in a 1v1. Luckily not many people use this item, Mundo would be uncounterable.
Summon Voidling: This is a brilliant passive and you can really harass with this thing. It may say uncontrollable, but this little beast will target anything afflicted by Malefic Visions. It works great for boosting your nuke combo, pushing down towers and harassing early game. If your voidling is up, MV the enemy and stay in range to watch your voidling rip off half his HP bar. If you spam spells enough, you can summon 2 of these things.
Call of the Void has to be one of the best Q skills in the game, IMO. A 3 second silence that can hit multiple targets and has nuke damage on a good cooldown? This has saved me many times, when a Mordekaiser (example) comes to finish me off on 200hp only to find he cant use any of his spells. It is great for teamfights and destroying enemies like Fiddlesticks, Katarina and Nunu, who rely on one channelled move, and it creates a chance to nuke down enemy casters before they get to you.
This move can also be used to reveal bushes and fog of war, and it has immense range, providing a perfect last hitter.
I leave Null Zone out until the last spell, it's main use is against Tanks and HP stackers and you should only fight them mid-late unless Morde comes to mid. It would then be worth it to get at level 5. Grabbing 1 skill point early will atleast allow you to use scaling damage.
Malefic Visions is a great DoT spell that can catch enemies off guard with it's damage output, plus it farms whole minions waves brilliantly (with Auto-Attacks) whilst returning mana every time it pops onto another enemy. Use it to control your voidling for harassment but don't push too hard and leave yourself open for ganks.
With Nether Grasp upgrade at 6, 11, 16 as usual. This spell has a brilliant 1.5 ratio, but is, like nunu's ultimate Absolute Zero, high risk, hish reward. Use it for 1v1 ownage, disabling a single target (co-ordinate with team for the takedown), and to slaughter idiotic towerdivers Kassadin.
Ignite: This spell compliments Malzahar only too well. An additional DoT spell that you can cast WHILST using Nether Grasp gives his combo that extra true damage whack. This spell equals 500 True Damage at level 18, and also reduces healing and regen by 50%, making it incredihard for enemy healers to support your target.
Malzahar must have one of these escape abilities:
Ghost: A speed boost right when you need it to either escape from ganks (shouldn't leave yourself open to them unless all enemies are accounted for) or to kite like crazy. This spell isnt the best for enemies that have gotten in close range with slows.
Flash: This spell IS the best for enemies that have gotten in glose range with slows, putting distance between you. It can also create excellent gank opportunities, and with the opportune moment will give you the first kill in mid.
I've seen a few Malzahars take Clarity, but with a Tear and Golem Buff, there really is no use for it apart from early game.