Malzahar Build Guide by sh0ulderangel
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.
so this is my tested and proven Malzahar build, it's based upon his high ability power ratio, and also, the early game mid, mid game ganking capabilities, and late game carry when done properly. If you're new to Malzahar and looking to this build to get easy kills, you may not want to get mejai's soulstealer as early as shown in the item build. start instead with finishing your rod of ages in the same place as you would mejai's.
a quick final thing, to avoid dying with this build you may want to use heal only when being ganked or when your opponent seems to be winning a fight, heal in this will be explained more detailed later.
to make up for the lack of sorcerers shoes, the marks are placed there for the penetration benifits, but seeing that every ability this champion uses is based highly off of ability power, it is extremely nice to be able to have an early game 30 AP that builds per level with the seals as well. The seals defense is usually used with malzahar as magic resistance, but with being a high damage character, i thought from the start that he needs to be more offensive than he does protective, a catalyst protector makes up for his squishyness and will be explained later in items.
A lot of people don't see the capabilities of the 5% AP boost on the offensive side. Once you start playing, that becomes extremely useful! the deathcap isn't priced highly for sheer base AP, percentages rule. Also bringing utility up to an extra gold every ten seconds will bring you ahead just enough to get an early game deathcap or needlessly large rod in slower games. I call this masteries page offensive magic, it works for about every AP mid champ, best results are seen with Malzahar and Xerath.
Main focus: AP
Secondary: safeguarding yourself
Third: a little cooldown for the ult
I start with boots of speed to enhance my dodge of skill shots as well as hit and run techniques used in early game to poke your opponent because Malzahar doesn't have as much range as some champs. The boots also allow you to doge skill shot champs such as Ahri, Xerath, or Karthus. The health potions are for laning longer as always, and the manna potion is just in case you're not doing so well with your e.
My first trip back to base i usually can have around 2k plus/minus 500 depending on if my opponent is aggressive and dies or aggressive and runs. The first thing i get there is catalyst for it allows you to bee extremely less squishy and lane longer with the level up boost. Also by this point in the game, you will start being more aggressive yourself so you need a little AP. Go for the amplifying tome or if you have enough, Mejai's. This will bring you to around 50 AP with your runes and your ultimate gets a good 80 bonus.
The next time i head back to base I've either killed someone twice or been ganked and got one but haven't died, thanks to heal for saving me and ignite for not letting them be saved. Your opponents will be getting damage started, so its nice to have yours up as well, go ahead and get a needlessly large rod which really gives you around 90 bonus AP with your 5% increase from masteries. Follow that up with Ionian boots of Lucidity to be able to use your ult much more, as well as your W which is beginning to become potent.
Death cap now costs about 2k go ahead and get that with a blasting rod and you'll be dunking your enimies even when they look at you funny, you can then turn that blasting rod into Rod of Ages to remove even more of your squish and add AP as well.
If your opponents haven't surrendered yet from your terrifying greatness, or your team is allowing the game to go on longer than needed, your next item is the archangels staff for its boost in manna and manna over time. This gives you more ability power once again, and allows you to stay out longer and be more potent with your new found bonus manna that will grow over time as well. Also team fights have started by this point so it will be important to have that back up manna to save you and your team with AoE from your Q and W. (see skill sequence for advice on these abilities)
Finally you may retreat to base after baron or team fight and need more power, your second needlessly large rod is available and at your disposal. If you have enough money, finish with Zhonya's hourglass for a boost in AP again and also a safeguarding active ability to nag at your opponents with if they try and focus you. (if you are on a losing team, you may consider Ryali's Crystal Scepter to aid in running away with the slow, or helping out escaping team mates.)
Your final AP should be around 8-900 if done right, the math on this website seems to forget some %'s and stacks, but yup, those are your items and when to get them.
By knowing how to use the skills, in turn you will be able to understand why i place the points in them where and when i do.
-your main combo ("one-hitting")
-running away... (outnumbered)
Starting off: you want malefic visions (e) because it allows you to use creeps to regenerate your manna and also often last hits the creep before it passes on. This is the most important ability because it allows you to remain in combat longer, and also provides high damage to creeps and a poking opportunity. When you see a large amount of creeps with low/med health begin a malefic visions (e). This will regenerate all the manna you use and more, and if done right, you can make it jump to a champion. This is an extremely long range poke when done right, it has almost the full distance of the original cast from the creep to a champion and does much more damage than the average poking ability. (avoid directly hitting a champion with your e early game because it is truly a waste of manna for small rewards)
Call of the Void (q): This ability provides a wall style offense, though it doesn't stop enemy movement, it silences them, and this allows it to be either offensive or defensive. By starting with this ability, your opposition will not be able to use any defensive abilities to protect themselves from a deadly combo. On the defensive side, this will stop an opponents own combo dead in its tracks. A perfect example of using this to counter an enemy is with Ryze. When you see him coming for a combo, stop him right after the rune prison with your Q and start your own combo to waste him. Finally this ability may be used to demolish tanked creeps. once you reach Call of the Void (5) and have over 250 AP this ability will be able to one shot most creeps, destroying entire lines of caster minions.
Null Zone (w): Regarded highly as the best tank killer in the game, over time this ability can do up to 40% of an opposing champions health. Like I have said, percentages rule. This ability is maxed last because it may be just as potent low level when used in a combo as it could high level, only difference is how fast it does it. That is why i max it last. Unlike people like to think, a lot of people know this damages by percent, so they avoid it like they should. Early game i use it rarely and only for intimidation, because it is much more powerful in a combo. (see combo's for details.)
Malefic Visions (e): Already explained earlier in this section, Malefic Visions jumps from creep to creep if they die in time while it regenerates manna to you. If done properly this will allow you to regenerate tons of manna very rapidly. A combo you may use this with is your passive, when you're about to "give birth" to a voidling, go ahead and start a malefic visions on a creep. Your voidlings like to attack creeps and champions that have been tagged by malefic visions.
The Main COMBO!:
The combo itself is Q-E-W-R:
your Q takes the longest time to show up, starting with this ensures it hits, follow with the E because its hard for opponents to notice fast and does massive damage. Your Null Zone is extremely obvious and must be saved until right before your Ultimate that will lock them in place and they will take the full damage of all your abilities as well as a voidling taking cheap shots at them while they're stunned. Also by having Ignite, you may cast this while they are being ulted, increasing your damage by just enough to kill them early game. This combo can melt even the strongest tanks down to 1/5th their health. And will one shot most other champions with my build.
Early game: Q-E-IGNITE (heal if your scared) what do you do when your opponent tries to kill you before you guys have your ults? You kill him of course, never run in that situation, with the summoner spells you have you can outdamage anyone. silencing them with your Q will piss them off, then do 400 damage or more with e and ignite, if they stay, bring out a voidling with another e or q and heal yourself to finish them off
AoE: Q-W will do massive damage to a lot of champions and minions and is easy to drop and run, this is used to deter a chase after a team mate as well as to kill off creep waves then scare tanks.
going to the hospital?: E-R (maybe with ignite), this combo late game will take out AD DPS and AP champs no doubt, if it doesnt, they'll be running away with 1/10th their health or less.
In a team fight, remember, you melt tanks, thats a first priority. A tank starts a fight, what you need to do is unleash your full combo to get them dead fast, every one else can be killed with your basic abilities and team mates.
No tank?: kill the highest damaging opponent, your combo stops them from damaging anyone with both your q and ult (r), but still remember to use the full combo.
No ult?: stay back a little and go for AoE damage on as many champs as you can while starting your e on minion waves to regen manna and still hit their champs with it.
Soloing?: Congratulations, you found me, Malzahar, the prophet of the Void, by the time you've said that to the opponent that showed up, your combo is complete, and its a matter of seconds until they are dead. (this is why i named this build/guide what i did)
Finally running away... (we all know it happens)
when you get outnumbered, use your q to stop people from catching up with abilities, and your W to attempt to scare them off op pick at their health bars as they run across the entire null zone.
Jungle bonus optional
want the blue buff? Malz can do it.
Start with your q instead of e, and use it 3 times at the summoning platform to get your voidling ready. get a dorans ring for AP and health, then go to where the blue buff spawns. Use your q to start it, and go after the smaller golems to get your voidling away from them and attacking the golem, use your q as much as possible, and as your health goes down, back off and wait for the big guy to go after your voidling, from there you can finish him off while he's distracted. Malz is one of the few mages who can get the buff, but its one of the hardest champs to do it with.