Malzahar Build Guide by GatorGooch
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.
Hi guys! This is my first build so bear with me and any mistakes that might present themselves.
Can easily eliminate a carry
Very good AP ratios
Can kite all day
Very good farmer
Will win most 1 on 1s
Very good survivability
Gets CC'd hard
His ult suppresses himself
Takes practice to land his combo
Needs good positioning
This build is being made for going mid with Malzahar, and I'll tell you guys everything you need to know if you get stuck in a side lane later in the guide. Malzahar is an amazing champion who can literally win you games if you play him right. He is in my opinion one of the best "assassins" in the game, even if you don't get all of the kills you'll teammates will love you.
With Malzahar I follow the normal 9/0/21 build. The 9 in Offense gives you some really good magic penetration which will help a lot early game, which can lead to you becoming unstoppable mid/late game. You also get a little bit of CDR which might not seem like a lot, but when added to your Utility tree and runes it adds up to 15% CDR. This takes 12 seconds off of your ult which will be your calling card.
The rest of the points are delegated to Utility for the CDR, movement speed, buff duration, increased experience,and Flash cooldown. Good Hands is actually a really good spell and can save you a game. Near the end of the game when the death timer is 60 seconds, you're back up in 54. While that might not sound like a big deal it could be the 6 seconds that save your Nexus.
As I stated earlier this build is for a solo mid Malzahar. If you are in a side lane then I would recommend picking up the Ghost point.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Malzahar is a mage, and these are by far the best marks that you could get on him. They give you really good burst early game, and can add up with your Void Staff to punish glass canons late game.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration As Malzahar is a mage, he plain needs mana regen. You are only as effective as the amount of spells you can spam, and this gives you that sustainability that he really needs. Without them you are finding yourself rationing your spells which is never a comforting feeling.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction The CDR is a big topic in this build and that's just become I am a firm believer in it. The reasoning behind not getting Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction is the fact that the scaling do not catch up to the flat runes until level 13. A lot of the game is played before then and I like have the increased CDR early game when my burst isn't as high.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power These are perfect Quintessences for Malzahar they give you devastating early game burst and there is really no replacement. The only possible replacement would be Greater Quintessence of Health, but this build has enough survivability that the AP more than makes up for it.
I am a huge fan of teleport and I almost always get it when I'm going mid. It let's you stay in your lane and farm creeps and when you're playing Malzahar you will have no problem having the highest CS on your team. This spell also let's you sneak in to gank a lane or help push a tower. I also try to time when I recall based on if 1.) my teleport is up and 2.) if I have enough gold to buy at least one big item such as Catalyst the Protector early game. This let's you beef up real quick without missing any action.
Flash is necessary for Malzahar, enough said. It is an amazing set up/get out of jail free card and synergizes with your ult. I love to use this spell during a team fight. Sit back until the right moment when the carry exposes them self and either run in combo/ult and flash out, or you can hang back in and when they push up too far flash on top of them and wreak havoc.
Ignite is an amazing spell on Malzahar. It synergizes really well with Malefic Visions, and can make quick work of a fleeing enemy. I don't choose it just because I like the mobility that I have with Teleport and Flash, and it's up to you to decide what you like better.
Ghost is another good spell on Malzahar as it lets him escape from a bad situation, as he has no good escape mechanisms. I don't choose it for the surprise factor that Flash gives me with my ult while still letting me get away easily.
After casting 4 spells, Malzahar summons a Voidling for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200 + (50 x level) health and 20 + (5 x level) attack damage. Voidlings grow after 7 seconds, and Frenzy after 14 seconds. Voidlings will always attack the target affected by Malzahar's most recently cast Malefic Visions.
This is an often overlooked passive ability as people think,"I can't control this thing its stupid WTF /flip tables", but they're actually very wrong. The voidling will attack whatever has Malefic Visions on it, and that makes you an incredible farmer. It also can prevent your lane from being pushed if your voidling is taking all of the damage waiting for the next minion wave to arrive. The frenzy is a big deal though, and it can decimate enemy champions if you time it right. You never want to seriously pursue someone in a lane unless your voidling has at least grown, but preferably if it is in Frenzy.
Call of the Void:
Malzahar opens up two portals to the Void. After a short delay, power erupts from them, dealing magic damage and silencing all enemies caught between the portals.
This is a tricky skill shot to land which makes Malzahar a harder champion to get good with, as it is what you will be opening up with. It has a slight delay so make sure to lead your opponent a little bit so you can get the full damage and the silence on them. It is also really good in team fights as it has very good range so if you're positioned right you can get they're casters in the back.
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals magic damage to enemies that stand in it for percentage of their max health each second.
This is Malzahar's puddle, and its an okay spell. I'm not a terribly big fan, but definitely drop it during a team fight, and when you combo.
Malzahar infects his target's mind, dealing magic damage each second for 4 seconds. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass the curse on to a nearby enemy unit, refreshing the duration and restoring mana to Malzahar.
This spell is absolutely amazing. It is your main farming tool and one of the main legs of the combo I keep talking about. The goal is to put it on a weak minion, and if that minion dies it gets transferred to another minion and so on. This combined with Call of the Void makes farming insanely easy. You want to Malefic Visions the melee creeps in the front, and then Call of the Void the caster minions in the back. Near level 10-12 this is an instant wipe of a minion wave.
Malzahar grips his target in an engulfing void of energy and begins channeling, dealing magic damage every half second while suppressing the target for up to 2.5 seconds.
This is the infamous ult I keep mentioning and believe me it was worth the wait. It has crazy range that lets you easily catch a fleeing enemy to hold them up for you team. Once you get this at 6 you want to immediately go for a kill on the person you're laning against, because you will more than likely get it.
Now is the time you all have been waiting for, the combo to make me destroy with Malzahar. Its actually a very simple sequence, but landing all of the spells can be tricky even if you have practiced a lot with Malz. If you're used to playing casters like Annie this might seem backwards to you, buy you want to drop Nether Grasp last. That will you give you the highest possible dps.
The order is as follows:
Call of the Void -> Malefic Visions -> Null Zone -> Nether Grasp
You open with Call of the Void for the silence as you will more than likely be fighting someone depending on some sort of spell. After you silence them you want to hit them with Malefic Visions as this is you DoT it will have insane DPS with the other 2 spells. The next spell you want is Null Zone, they don't have to be in the middle of it, just try to get them somewhere in it. Then immediately hit them with Nether Grasp, and all 3 of your DoT's synergize into an incredible nuke that will kill, or seriously hurt, any champion.
You might be wondering why I build Malzahar the way that I do, it just doesn't seem like I build that much AP or that I would be constantly running out of mana. I have just found through various builds that survivability is key for Malzahar. His ult demands that he gets close to the entire team and suppress himself, and that is a scary scary thought when you have no defense. I just think that you should be able to get in suppress their biggest threat so you or your team can mop them up, and also live to fight another day. Building Catalyst the Protector first gives you an incredible lane presence. You have much higher health/mana than the person in your lane, and you're leveling up fast enough early game that you will be constantly getting the passive. This makes you seem invincible, and once again let's you get more CS. Rushing Rod of Ages let's you build up the passive, which will go a long way early game. After that I just finish my Sorcerer's Shoes. Now comes the most criticized item in my normal build, the Banshee's Veil. You're probably wondering, "Why are you not getting more AP?", well this item is just so good for what you're supposed to do. The bubble is amazing for getting in close without eating a Finales Funkeln or a Parrrley. It also gives you more mana, which has also grown from your Rod of Ages. After that you get the best caster item in the game, Rabadon's Deathcap, this item needs no explanation as it is by far the best AP item in the game. After the Deathcap I build Rylai's Crystal Scepter for even more durability, plus the slow from spell damage. After that I usually build Void Staff to counter any magic resist that anyone has built up.
So why no Mejai's Soulstealer? I just don't believe in the item as it can vary from game to game. One game you might have 20 stacks and be wrecking, or you might have 2 and you just wasted gold on a near useless item. It's a matter of personal preference and it could be substituted in before the RoA.
Early game can be kind of rough for Malzahar if you are overly aggressive. Just sit back in your lane while still putting Malefic Visions on creeps for the gold. If you have someone who is also weak early in your lane, play more aggressive. Always be harassing with Call of the Void just to let them know that you're there. It will prevent them from out farming you. Once you hit level 6 things change as you are now the aggressor no matter what. Try to get their health down to about 50% through Call of the Void, Null Zone, and auto-attacks. Once you have an opportunity do the combo that i mentioned above. It should be a very easy kill, and establish lane dominance for you.
This is where this build shines. You probably at this point have more HP than their tank, and yet you are probably going to be the main damage dealer. Go looking to gank, and if you are successful push the turret. If you have your Rod of Ages and Catalyst the Protector by level 10-12 you will be able to fight anyone you want. (Except for the occasional fed Tryndamere, Jax, and Master Yi) Keep looking for fights as this will be the main time that you are going to get your kills.
This is where Malzahar's role changes from an AP Carry, to more of a support/assassin. You won't be doing nearly the damage you were mid game, because their tanks are probably smart and bought MR and are protecting their Ashe. When a team fight arises, however, get ready to win it for your team. Your job is to go and pick out their biggest threat, it could be anyone from Ashe, even to a fed Tryndamere. You want to drop your combo and if it doesn't kill them just hold them there until your team catches up. Your job is to eliminate the carry from the team fight, yes you can drop AoE all you like, but it will not help nearly as much as taking out their damage dealer. Prepare to get a lot of assists late game, which is not a big deal as long as you get a victory in my opinion.
It is actually very effective to ult Tryndamere right as he goes into his ult, it will waste half of his Undying Rage, lets your weak teammates get back to base, and lets you kill him after it wears off with your Malefic Visions.
I'm just going to make a brief chapter on how I side lane with Malzahar, as it isn't much different, but I have a slighty different build order.
For my first item I completely skip Doran's Ring and get a Sapphire Crystal, Health Potion, and a Mana Potion. Since I will not have a lane all by myself I just save 475g, and instead try to rush my Catalyst the Protector as soon as I can. After that the item build is the exact same.
When I side lane I will also mix and match the summoner spells I listed above. Ignite and Flash is a really good combination to have if you and your laning partner are going more aggressive. It all depends on what type of player you are really.
If you do choose to play Malzahar you need to know what will make your game a living nightmare.
Moves such as Monsoon, Cryptic Gaze, and Cyclone can cancel your ultimate making you pretty much useless in a team fight. If you can avoid ulting around them, or wait until you see them use it. If your ult gets interrupted then you're in trouble.
Items can also derail you're ultimate. Items like Banshee's Veil and Quicksilver Sash can block or remove your ult altogether. So always look at who you are about to ult before jumping the gun.
Malzahar also has really bad sustainability, which can make it challenging trying to keep up with someone like Nidalee in mid. If you are facing her, then either ask for a switch, or play extremely conservatively. She will be harassing you, and she will be harassing you hard.
Thanks for checking out my guide on Malzahar.
If you have any questions/comments/concerns feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Try it out before you rage at me and please keep it nice.