Not Updated For Current Season
Malzahar is an AP carry with great scaling and is underrated atm in the NA LoL. His unique skills can change a team fight completely.
I use 9-0-21 as standard for pretty much every AP caster. The CDR in both the offensive and utility tree helps skill spam, the movement bonus helps harass, the mp regain is self explanatory, the buff duration for longer blues and the summoner spells CDR for more flashes and ghosts.
Marks: I take the magic penetration marks to do more damage to enemy champions.
Seals: I take the mp regain per level seals to keep my mana from being depleted in team fights.
Glyphs: I take the ability power per level glyphs to help my late game damage output.
Quints: This is based on personal preference and is up to the user. Fort quints, flat AP quints and magic penetration quints are all good.
I take flash to help initiate and get out of tough spots.
I take ghost to catch up to enemy champions and to help my kiting ability.
Passive: Summon Voidling
After casting 4 spells, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200 + 50 x lvl Health and 20 + 5 x lvl Damage.
Voidlings Grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed).
This passive is amazing, in my opinion, during the laning phase. It provides voidlings that contribute to your burst and may be the difference between the enemy champion dying or getting away with a sliver of health. It also serves its uses by tanking neutral buffs, turrets, and adding to your overall damage in team fights.
Q:Call of the Void
Malzahar opens two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles which deal 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+80% of ability power) magic damage and silence champions for 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 / 3 seconds.
Cost 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 / 130mana
This skill has a lot of uses, but the best part about the skill is probably its aoe silence. It's fairly long ranged and because it's an aoe skill, it is very devastating in team fights. If you throw this skill at the enemy carries you can prevent the ap carry from throwing out their burst and the ad carry from flashing away. Moreover, it also has decent damage and good ap ratios.
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone damages nearby enemies for 5/6/7/8/9% (+0.01%) of their max health each second (damage to Monsters is capped).
Cost 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 / 130mana
This skill is very underrated but is absolutely devastating in team fights. It is the only aoe caster skill that does percent damage. Combined with your ult, malzahar can even ohko tanks.
E: Malefic Visions
Malzahar infects his target's mind, dealing 80 / 140 / 200 / 260 / 320 (+80% of ability power) magic damage over 4 seconds. If the target dies during this time, the visions pass to a nearby enemy and Malzahar gains 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 mana.
Cost 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120mana
This is malzahar's farming and harassing skill in lane. It does quite a lot of damage and helps your laning tremendously.
R: Nether Grasp
Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to suppress the target (stuns and disables summoner spells), dealing 250 / 400 / 550 (+150% of ability power) magic damage over 2.5 seconds.
This is malzahar's ultimate, and it is absolutely amazing. It allows for easy first blood the second malzahar hits 6. Combined with your jungler or a stun from an ally and it is a guaranteed kill. Moreover, it is amazing in 5s because it is easy to exploit the other team's bad positioning with it. If their carry is out of position or they have a wandering champion, you can flash in and ult them while your team tears them apart. Generally, it is hard to land malzahar's null zone, malefic visions, and his ult in lane. You have 2 options to get that quick kill. You can use your malefic visions followed by a flash-pool-ult. This is easy to avoid since your enemy can flash away if they react fast enough. The other option is to use zone-ult, and then use malefic visions slightly before your ult ends, canceling your ult. This is a lot harder to avoid and still does a lot of damage. When using malzahar's ult, never forget to have enough stacks on your voidling so that your voidling will summon and attack the enemy while they're suppressed. Also, make sure you dont use other skills during your ult or try to walk or else your ult will cancel.
I get call of the void at level one for the level one team fights. Then I max malefic visions for harass in lane. Getting nether grasp at 6,11, and 16 is self explanatory. I prefer to max null zone instead of call of the void because I like using the null zone+ nether grasp combo on any enemy out of position. This almost guarantees me a kill. Moreover, call of the void is a lot harder to land.
I start off with mana crystal and 2 pots . I like starting with this instead of dorans ring/shield because it builds into catalyst and the 2 pots help against harass. It also lets me trade hits with the opposing carry in mid because they usually start with dorans blade/shield. I build the mana crystal into catalyst for lane dominance and I get sorcerer's boots to deal more damage. I prefer sorcerer's boots over mercury treads because as a carry, I always stay in the back. The banshees I get is usually more than enough for anti-carries and i also have flash to jump over walls. Then I build a rabadon's deathcap for high ap and a banshee's veil to survive against annoying AP casters and/or warwick. After that, the build is really up to you. I generally get a void staff for more magic penetration and then a Zhonya's hourglass to help my survival. My last item is either guardian angel or rylai's scepter . Don't forget to buy wards to avoid ganks and elixer of brilliance before important fights.
Level one fights happen frequently in ranked games in order to establish jungle control or an early lead. Malzahar is decent at level one because of his aoe silence and his little voidling. Voidling damage is highly underrated. When you spawn, level up call of the void and start using it in fountain. Use it until your next spell summons a voidling. Then go and defend your jungler, or invade the enemy jungle.
In team fights, you generally want to silence the opposing team's tank before they get a chance to initiate, which may cause the other team to lose their guard. After initiation, try to silence the opposing caster so that they cannot spam their spells. Use Null Zone on as many targets as you can and only ult if you can pull of a kill or its full duration. Primarily, your goal is to stay alive, or kill the other carry if he is doing really well.
I play really passive until level 5. At level 5, I harass the enemy champion with malefic visions every time they try to last hit. When I hit level 6, I try to have an ally gank my lane. If the ally lands a stun, I drop down null zone, use malefic visions and then ult. If my ally doesn't have a stun, I either drop null zone then ult, or just ult. Use malefic visions after your ult is almost done. If I cannot get an ally to come to my lane, then I harass with malefic visions until I can pull of both null zone and nether grasp on the enemy. It usually gets me a kill. Don't forget to not overextend. Harassing an enemy at their tower will lead to you getting ganked and possibly dying. So, always watch the mini map.
If you've did your job and farmed up, you should be a monster right now. With a rabadon's deathcap, you can pretty much ohko anybody. Try to not use nether grasp unless you can keep it up for its full duration. Do not use it on tanks unless that tank is the reason why you may be losing (gragas, singed). Always stay back and just spam your skills. When most of the crowd control has been used, you can run in and start wrecking the other team. Malzahar is really good with champions that have aoe stuns like malphite. Use your null zone and call of the void where malphite ults for massive dps. A lot of ranked games are won during mid game, when dragon fights occur, so be sure to not get out of position. Don't be scared to initiate with your ult if you see an enemy out of position, even if it's the tank. Just don't get baited.
Malzahar is one of the best AP casters, imo, late game because of his high scaling and multiple aoe skills. Malzahar can dish out a lot of damage and is a great bulk-killer. He can even protect the ad carry with his nether grasp. If shaco or warwick is always wrecking your ad carry, just stand behind your ad carry and null zone+ nether grasp, when they attempt to kill your carry. Malzahar can also carry a team quite easily with protection. However, be sure to not get caught at the start of the fight, as chances are, you will be a priority target. If you catch the enemy out of position you can easily make it a 4v5 and come back to win the game. Malzahar is a great dragon/baron killer because he has null zone and can summon up to two voidlings. Remember to not get arrogant and running around recklessly as you can let the other team come back if you do so.