Malzahar Build Guide by ThisBeDumbness
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
Introduction to the Prophet
Malzahar is by far my most favorite mid lane champion for his harassment. He can push back most mids before they come into basic attack range. He's also very efficient in pushing back minions and playing a very aggressive mid game (though this is more of a negative, will be explained later). Fed late game, Malzahar will be the foundation of team fights if the opposing team isn't careful.
The Ups and Downs
· Great harasser in lane
· Manipulative passive
· Incredible crowd control in lanes and team fights
· Pure AP allows very sufficient damage late game
· Can eat a tank rather easily
· Relatively slow to most other mids
· If targeted, it will most likely end in death, depending on your cooldowns.
· Requires a large amount of gold to build his items
· Not going to land many kills compared to most mids
· Ultimate can be negated by good players ( Tryndamere's Undying Rage can be casted, Quicksilver Sash can counter it)
With Malzahar, you're going to be pushing the lane through creep score, not through ganks (though if you can land them, land them!) This can be very simple. Probably too simple as you hit about level 3. You're going to be at the opponent's turret, unable to attack the turret because your opponent is still there defending, if they hit you, you're going to get chunked, you can't farm, and you're probably going to get set up for a gank by their jungler.
At level 6, you have plenty of power to start taking names in your lane. (JUNGLER: "Hey Malz I'm gonna come down and help y- OK I guess I'll go get blue buff then) The problem with this is you need a good portion of your mana to pull off the combo. This is why I suggest building Tear of the Goddess as your first item after your Doran's Rings.
Your job in team fights is to merge the team into one area, or sort out the tanks from the squishies through Malefic Visions or more specifically Null Zone. Malzahar's abilities will tend to spread out a concentrated enemy team and allow for skill shots to pick off the strays.
In my opinion, there's only 2 stray points in Malzahar's build. Being pure AP, his Offensive tree is pretty right-sided.
You're obviously building his mana and mana regen in his Utilities (you'll be flying through your spells in team fights and possibly in farming), a point in Summoner's Insight because Flash is your only escape mechanism, and a point in Runic Affinity is where i put one of my 2 spares; it's desired for a longer blue buff, which means a longer cooldown reduction and mana regen, which adds up to a more successful team fight or even a solo fight.
I put the last spare point in Good Hands over Swiftness because .5% movement speed isn't too advantageous to me on Malzahar; it's not a large enough difference.
You're obviously avoiding the Defensive tree. No matter what you do, if you're being hit, you're not going to be around for long without assistance.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
The Seals: The cooldown reduction @ 18 allows for more spells to be cast in late game team fights when they're needed most; more silences, more dots, more tank nom-noms, happier team!
The Glyphs: The ablity power @ 18 allows for harder hitting in late game team fights, paired with shorter cooldowns only wrecks havoc on the opponents, and adds up to drawn-out team fights to be quick skirmishes. If you can place your Call of the Void and Null Zone effectively.
The Quintessences: I've seen some guides suggest putting 2 Quintessence of Ability Power and 1 Quintessence of Magic Penetration for Malzahar, but I believe that the extra AP for Malefic Visions allows for much easier farming which is more essential to him than those early ganks for champions like Fizz.
: I consider Flash an essential Summoner Spell, no matter how you play Malzahar. It is your ONLY escape mechanism if you are to get into the situation it's needed, and it allows you to get that perfect angle on Call of the Void to silence 3 or 4 of the opposing team champions.
: I also roll Malzahar with Ignite for that extra burst damage. It CAN be used while channeling Nether Grasp if you see that it's not enough to secure the kill.
: I used to be very happy with Teleport on Malzahar. It allows you to backdoor very quickly which is very nice for your expensive build. I rank Ignite and Teleport equally, their only real difference being playstyle choice of Malzahar (mine being very aggressive so I choose Ignite, and for lower levels Teleport would probably be better).
: Suitable for Malzahar since he CAN be played as a chaser. Though I wouldn't recommend it often, Flash shows to be more useful for getting away as well as gap closing and lining up skill shots.
: Clarity isn't bad, but your mana will be sufficient enough in team fights and laning, but if it's truly necessary for you to have the extra mana, make an agreement with your jungler or someone on your team to get the blue buff. There's much better choices for Malzahar as far as Summoner Spells.
I can't think of anything else that would be of interest to a Malzahar player, so if it's not listed here don't even think about it.
Being a glass cannon, I choose to play Malzahar as such and build absolutely no defensive items whatsoever. This may sound noobish at first, but by the time team fights are going on, everyone is going to be able to do damage to pick you off. You just have to position yourself safely and fire off those CCs.
Building Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions is your defense against pretty much any mid no matter how passive they happen to be, because most anything will put a bruise to your HP early game.
Building a Kage's Lucky Pick before your Tear of the Goddess is perfectly viable if you see you're having trouble with farming.
End game, I start to focus on cooldown reduction heavily. The benefit to these items is I have two weapons that allow even greater harassment which could be a problem end game, such as life steal champions and tanks, as well as having more spells to keep the opponents on their toes.
YOUR FINAL BUILD:
Morello's Evil Tome
Sorcerer's Shoes: Magic Pen is the only boot given ability that is useful for Malzahar.
Archangel's Staff: This gives you a lot of mana for mid game and a good amount of AP so that you're not only good for your silence in the early team fights.
Rabadon's Deathcap: I build this next so that you can start strong with your AP, and your next items have additional benefits to higher AP, which makes them more useful the second you get them (except for Morello's Evil Tome but it's not even going to be build unless you have one of those games that drag on for about 45-50 minutes)
Void Staff: By the time this is being built, your opponents' tanks are going to start building defensive and this is what you want to counter that.
Deathfire Grasp: More tank eating on Malzahar is always good, and now that you have more Magic Pen from Void Staff this item's Unique Active is more useful to you.
Morello's Evil Tome: To help end those torturous Xin Zhous and Warwicks that might be the nuisance of a very drawn out game (but don't target them first! Stick to the squishies!)
Summon Voidling is a semi-automatic casted spell that summons a voidling after your fourth casted spell (the first three create a little "sparking" animation that show you're "charged up"; the next spell will summon the voidling).
YOUR CROWD SILENCER
Call of the Void is one spell in your arsenal of crowd control. This spell is a skill shot area of effect silence that deals pretty good damage to whoever lands in its casting area (which is horizontal, and always longside against Malzahar).
YOUR TANK CHUNKER
Null Zone is a very massive spell for team fights, especially against teams that think standing in one massive group is intimidating. Skill shot your Null Zone directly into the middle of the crowd to start ticking away a PERCENTAGE (not calculated damage, PERCENTAGE) of their health. It also ticks automatically as soon as it's cast, so keep that in mind.
YOUR SQUISHY ANNIHILATOR
Malefic Visions is Malzahar's star spell (aside from his ultimate). This spell has the ability to chain off of its dead victim to another nearby opponent, whether monster or champion. This can pull of a very quick change in a team fight if placed on the right champion.
YOUR STUN/ ENDER/ INITIATOR/ "/all wtf was that"
Nether Grasp is the spell that makes Malzahar what he is. It's what makes him the ultimate harasser. This spell does unreasonable damage for what it does - which is to stun the opponent in place for 2.5 seconds. Ignite can also be casted during this channel, as I mentioned previously.
Your Malefic Visions is your key to harassment AS WELL AS your farm. Maxing this spell out first is by far the most beneficial to you early game.
"Then why do you choose Call of the Void as your first spell?"
Call of the Void is chosen as my first spell for a variety of reasons:
- Your Malefic Visions won't be powerful enough to chain from one minion to the next.
- Call of the Void can be spammed before minion spawn to get your Summon Voidling prepared for early farm.
- Call of the Void can ward off your opponent with a silence if they so happen to try to come kill you before you can land damage.
Call of the Void is also more prominent than Null Zone because it increases the duration of its silence as you level it. This more effective since opponents won't be stacking as much armor and magic resist early game as compared to late game that Null Zone will just shred through.
A Day in the Lane of Malzahar
- Buy your Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions
- Choose Call of the Void
- Cast Call of the Void three times
- Go to lane or leash for jungler (though your solo top should most likely do this instead since your attack damage is kind of low and if you can't leash well then you're going to get hit and cry in your lane)
LEVEL 1 and 2
- Last hit minions
- Save your first Call of the Void in lane for either the opponent closing in on you, your opponent is pushing harder than you, or if the caster minions are low and it could give you 3 easy creep scores.
- Don't initiate champions.
- Seriously. Don't do it. But harass IF you happen to have a good amount of mana (by "good" I mean above 50%) with Malefic Visions, or hope that they don't learn and stand next to a minion as it transfers.
- This is when your Malefic Vision starts to make your lane go crazy, but try to keep the minions around the middle of the two outer turrets.
- Avoid getting ganked. (you could buy Sight Wards, but I'm cheap scum and don't like to help my team. That's not even sarcasm :D)
- Honestly, if you hold minions where you should be then there is no reason to buy wards for your mid bushes and you can save every golden penny for your next item. Your Flash will get you out of range of ANY jungler if you're not too far extended.
- This is probably when Sight Wards aren't a bad idea
- You can start dominating most mid lanes in a one-on-one with all of your cooldowns on them. Chances are, though, you'll be pretty low on health and the jungler might be close enough to finish you off.
- Start ganking other lanes IF your lane is well pushed (which it will most likely be after a Malefic Visions or two).
- Team Fight
- Don't die while backdooring
- Get Blue Buff
- Team Fight
- It's also good to make sure your team is pushing turrets, if backdooring isn't doing enough to take them down.
Tips and Tricks
- Put Malefic Visions on a minion and it will chain onto a champion in team fights
- SPELL ORDER FOR ONE ON ONE FIGHTS: (Q if they're close enough)->E->W->R->( Ignite if you see that the ticks won't be enough damage)->(Q if you didn't use it before or if your Ignite is on cooldown)->Your E should be off cooldown, depending on how built you are and your level, and if you have blue buff.
PEOPLE decide to lay down Null Zone before landing Malefic Visions. Why's that?
The only positive i can see coming from this is that it starts ticking the opponent before you have to land your Malefic Visions, and this would be more suitable EARLY GAME.
Though later into the game, it would be much more beneficial to use Malefic Visions because your opponent won't run out of Null Zone as fast or easier. Also, because you'll have a chance to land your Malefic Visions again.
- Null Zone and Call of the Void (ESPECIALLY your Q) allow for checking bushes (and slightly encourages you to not buy Sight Wards)
- While on the topic of Sight Wards: BUY THEM IF YOU'RE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO Malzahar. If you don't know what your spells are capable of or haven't eased into his skill shots, you're going to have some slip-ups early game that can cost you. So play it safe, buy wards and a kage's lucky pick.
- LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY USE YOUR ULTIMATE. Malzahar is 4800 IP now, which makes him slightly more common (though he's still a needle in a haystack), players are starting to be more aware of his ultimate. Quicksilver Sash is infamous to Malz players, as well as Tryndamere for his counter-ultimate, Undying Rage. Learn what champions you can channel your ultimate on; it's almost always going to be squishies, or LOW tanks that initiated the team fight.