Build Guide by silverraptor
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.
Malzahar is tricky and difficult to use, but has so many uses in fights with his team. Like every other spell caster, he relies on his teammates quite a bit. However, his reliance is much less so than to have your teammates call out mia. He can effectively solo any lane by himself, so if you have a jungling warwick, offer to solo top or bottom if someone else has called middle. The trick is now to show your opponents the true darkness of the void.
The items you should start out with is Doran's Ring and a health potion. The ring's mana regen plus the regen from the runes and masteries is enough for you to almost never run out of mana all game. The trick with Malzahar is the enemies minions. This is your lifeline, your fuel supply. How do we extract this rich fuel source? Well, that's why we pick "Malefic Visions". When the minions start fighting, hold off for a little bit until you see an enemy minion down at around half health. If you regular attack the minion, you'll get it down faster, of course. Then use the Malefic Visions on the poor minion and keep attacking it. After the minion dies, the Malefic visions will bounce to a nearby minion and you'll focus on that minion next. Each times the visions bounce to a nearby target when it kills the original target, you'll recover a little bit of mana. This is how you can avoid running out of mana most of the game, by playing what I call "Musical Mind Break" (Named because the vision sounds like wind chimes when it bounces to the next target).
Now keep in mind, this is the most trickiest part of the early game. You'll have to split your attention to not only where the visions will bounce to next, but where the enemy champions are and what they're doing (After some practice, you'll be able to predict where the spell will bounce to next, so this will get easier). At the very beginning, you're better off at harassing the enemy champions with your visions spell until the spell is strong enough to take out minions by itself with little help from you. Play very defensively, keeping a certain distance from the enemy champions. Focus on the minions closet to your tower instead of the enemy champions hiding behind them. The visions like to last hit alot and that's extra gold for you. The health potion is for some healing if the enemy has been taking a few potshots at you.
When you get "Call of the Void", then you can really harass the enemy champions. THe void spell has quite a bit of range, yet a bit of a delay when activated. The trick is to deploy the void spell behind the enemy champions. Most players when they see the spell getting activated, they run immediately backwards, and thus, into the spell. Later on, they'll most likely adapt to this trick and then you'll have to figure out where they'll go next to place it. The Void spell is also a mini check device. When you deploy it, you'll get a half second vision of the area around it. Even bushes. When your hovering past some bushes and you're suspicious that an enemy might be in them, it wouldn't hurt to check.
Once you get "Null Zone", then the true harassing can begin. This spell does damage to enemies not on actual damage, but as percentage of their health instead. This means, more health equals more damage done. When to use this zone to harass is quite simple actually. Place it right at the dead center of and enemy champion or slightly between them or you. Most players will try to avoid this obsticle and the ones who don't are stupidly taking on quite a bit of damage. Using this with Call of the Void spell regularly when retreating is a sure way to slow down your enemy champions while dealing quite a bit of damage to them as well. Should you be the one at the enemy's tower, drop these spells quickly around the tower where the champions are and retreat. When the enemy moves out of the zone, then fire a few basic attacks at the tower before falling back.
Grab the Sorceror's boots and Hextech revolver when you're suffieciently low on health and your health potion is gone and your minions are pushing the enemy back.
Once you get "Nether Grasp", then you can finally go in for some real kills. Keep in mind, its entirely possible to get to this point of the game without buying any other items. This is alright because this means you've been doing your job properly. YOu don't need to rush back and grab the boots and revolver anytime soon unless you find a good breaking point or are really low on health.
Now to earn the kills, you must focus on the enemy champions and decide which one you want. Aim for the one with the less health, but if he's too far, grab the one who comes in close. Feint backwards a bit to draw them in before you unleash the void's might upon them. If the enemy is melee DPS, use your exhaust spell to make them useless temporarily. This gives you about a second to use all your spells before the enemy knows what's happening. Place Ignite on them immediately after exhaust, for the mastery will increase your ability power by ten as well as do damage to them. Use the Call, Visions, and Null zone in that order on the enemy as quick as you can. Using the shortcut keys are essential for this. For the final blow, use your Nether Grasp on them while they are still in the Null Zone. The result will most likely be your target is dead.
Suprisingly, this combination is also the best way to play defensively. If the enemy has an assassin character, mainly Twitch or some other ganking character, you can survive against them with this combo. I can't count all the times where I was ambushed by Twitch, Kennen, Eve, Katrina, and even Jax, and yet instead killed them. If your allies call mia on a champion that is often used for solo ganking, then get ready and let them try to gank you so that instead the ambusher is now the ambushe. Please note, this combo won't save you if two or more champions try to gank you at the same time. You may be able to take one down with you however if your lucky.
Keep an eye on the mini map at the enemy minions. Remember, the minions are still your fuel source, even into the mid to late game. So a quick trip over to an over run tower will be really beneficial to both the tower and you. Otherwise, stick with your team most of the this time. Make sure they are between you and the enemy. Use your spells to harass and damage the enemy, until you see one low enough for a Nether Grasp.
For Items, getting Sheen, then updating to Lich Bane is the next thing to focus on. I've been questioned on why a Malzahar would get a Lich Bane, and I've always been confused by this. The Lich Bane grants Mana, Ability power, Magic resistance, and allows you to hover faster, allowing you to grab any fleeing opponents. Also, Malzahar has two area of effect spells. Using them in moderation allows you to have the Lich Bane's passive effect (convert ability power into basic attack damage) regularly. When attacking a tower, this will greatly reduce the time it will take to take it down by just using Call of the void and Null Zone randomly for no reason and then attack the tower immediately afterwards.
At this point, you should be the first to level 18, or close to it. With all the minion farming you've been doing, you'll have acquired quite a bit of experience and gold as well. To play late game is really not that different from mid game. Harass, damage, support, and staying with teamates is the way to go. Hold enemies down with Nether Grasp to allow your allies a kill is also a wise thing to do. Pretty much, focus on getting the rest of your items bought.
Buy a Void staff for alot of Ability Power and alot of spell penetration. Save up for the needlessly large rod and then upgrade that to Zhonya's Ring. Sell the Doran's ring for a Rylai's Crystal Scepter if you get the chance. That Null zone is now a slow zone as well as your visions spell. Plus the extra health wouldn't hurt either.
In short, this is a basic summary of Malzahar. Some results may vary, but this is primarily an effective build. So go out and walk that chibby voidling pet you have.