Malzahar Build Guide by Qwixter
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.
Welcome to the Malz Freelo!
Hey guys it's Qwixter! With his first complete guide to Malzahar! I remember my friend said "Why are you not playing Malzahar? He fits you perfectly!" Well I took his recommendation and now he's my best mid laner. In this guide I will go over all that I have learned while playing Malzahar and hopefully somebody will read this and learn something from my advice.
Before I get into the guide I would like to tell a bit about myself. I have been playing LOL for over two years. I guess you could consider myself an avid player. I am currently in bronze one running a 61% win-rate with Malzahar (32-20). I would consider Malzahar my best champion as I usually keep even the worse of teams going into late game with a decent chance of winning. I would say that I play Malzahar at a Silver level, and I am currently fine tuning my cs.
What I have noticed about Malzahar he is currently one of the strongest mid laners with a 52% win-rate yet only is pick about 3%... IMO that's very low for such a powerful champion. Hopefully this guide will change that ^U^.
So as you see from above I have the mastery tree of 24/2/4. I know that is a weird mastery tree but I love the offensive tree even more this season! The offensive tree is pretty obvious to understand. The only other note I'll make here is that I like upgrading the "Fleet of Foot" to help alleviate no boots for early game.
Rod of Ages
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Well I usually buy four red pots and four blue pots and two wards. Also DON'T FORGET YOUR TRINKET!!! lol. These are your starting items. The pots help you stay in lane longer and try to help to help your early mana issues. I'll get into Malzahar's mana issues later on. I always buy two wards because Malzahar has very little methods to escape if he gets caught out in an early gank. Thus warding the bushes on either side of lane will help prevent such drastic situations. Note that the items that are above these very long paragraphs is your final build for those very very very long games. Boots are not that important if the game becomes over an hour.
So now I will get into the items that are important to Malzahar.
Hextech Revolver- This is your first major item. Now at first you may say "Why a Hextech Revolver?" The hextech revolver has a nice passive- 12% spell vamp! Now spell vamp heals you for a % of the dmg dealt, and guess what? Your E (malefic visions) syncs with this item!. Since Malzahar is a natural wave clearer, it makes sense to have this item as you are getting some health back for your e, and it already gives you mana back too! It's basically another pot! I would sell this item around 30-35 mins in, but may vary depending on the situation.
Sorcerer's Shoes- Pretty much for all ap mid laners. Malz is no exception.
Rod of Ages- This item I always rush next! It gives you mana, health, and decent ap. The reason I build this item is because I build Malzahar a bit tankier, thus making him stronger in lane. This item has two passives btw.
"Passive: This item gains 20 health, 20 mana and 2 ability power every minute, up to 10 times.
Unique Passive – Valor's Reward: On leveling up, restores 150 health and 200 mana over 8 seconds."
Basically you need to buy this item early to mid game to get the most value out of this item. I am more of a fan of the base stats of this item as it is very cost efficient! Granting 450 health and mana, and 60ap at its base stats is great for Malzahar. This item also helps counterattack Malzahar's early to mid mana issues.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter- 80 Ability Power, 500 Health. UNIQUE Passive: Your spell damage will slow the target's movement speed by 35% for 1.5 seconds (15% for multi-target spells, damage over time spells and spells with a cooldown time below 3 seconds).
Now This item is a real beauty. Again it's granting you that health to help to make a tankier Malzahar. The ap is not that bad either. But I love the unique passive as slows are easy to come by now with your E!
Liandry's Torment-50 Ability Power, 300 Health. UNIQUE Passive: Eyes of Pain: +15 Magic Penetration. UNIQUE Passive: Dealing spell damage burns enemies for 6% of their current Health as magic damage over 3 seconds, dealing 1% of their current Health as magic damage every .5 seconds. If their movement is impaired, they take double damage from this effect. 100 max damage per second vs monsters.
Now this item I mainly buy for the unique passives. The magic penetration is great. The second passive in order to get the most use of it try to land this combo. Land your w and e on the target and then ult the target over the Null Zone. Doing this will impair the target and thus the passive is doing even more dmg.
Abyssal Scepter- Now this item I do not rush right away because it's more viable on certain champions like Fiddlesticks or Kennen. I maily get this item because of giving both ap and mg resist. The aura is nice though.
Zhonya's Hourglass-120 Ability Power, 50 Armor. UNIQUE Active: Places your champion into Stasis for 2.5 seconds, rendering your champion invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any actions. 90 second cooldown.
Overall great item for most ap mages. For Malzahar it's not as usefull though compared to champions like kennen, Fiddlesticks, and Morgana. Think of this item as a possible get out of jail free card. or just 2.5 seconds prolonging your death DX
Rabadon's Deathcap- Well this guy is the big Kahuna! The KING of all items! The one and only deathcap. However, A common mistake that I see players do is rush Deathcap on any ap mage. There is no point to do this since you HAVE no other ap items, thus makiing it's passive worthless til later on. This is the last item you build. But do not rush for this item. Honestly, I don't care about this item as much for Malzahar, it's not a core item.
Spirit Visage- Not a horrible item for Malzahar, but I would not prioritize this item. Probably build this if they have a lot of ap champs on their team. You could possibly try to sync this with the hextech revolver.
Banshee's Veil- Similar to Spirit Visage, this is very situational to build on Malzahar. This is more for champs like Ryze.
Guardian Angel-Viable on every champ
Morellonomicon- This item is very underrated. If you are worried about mana issues and such you can buy this item, but I don't recommend it. It's passive isn't that bad, but that depends on what champ you are facing against
Do not buy
Lich Bane- The stats are not worth it for Malzahar.
Deathfire Grasp- I may receive a lot of hate for this, but just hear me out. Malzahar isn't a bursty mage. He's more of a dmg over time. Deathfire Grasp is more for the bursty mages like Viegar, LB, Syndra, Katarina.
Hextech Gunblade- I tried this once, it wasn't fun lol. It's not the worst item, but it's a waste of slot for Malzahar. more like for those assassin champs like Katarina and Akali.
Call of the Void (Q)-Malzahar opens up two portals to the Void 400 range from each other. After a short delay, power erupts from them, damaging and silencing all enemies caught between the portals
Here's the pros and cons with this ability. It has a .6 delay which then shoots the projectiles. Note that this is a slow ability and is very hard to hit!!!! There are two pros to this ability though. It reveals the fog of war and at max has a silence for 3 seconds!!!! IF you can land your q in a late team fight you have turned the tides son.
Null Zone(w) Active: Malzahar creates a 250-radius zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. Enemies that stand in the zone take magic damage every second equal to a percentage of their max health. Damage to monsters and minions are capped at 120.
This baby does tons of dmg only if you combo this with your ult. Using your W is kinda like using Morana's pool. You can use it to farm minions, put a buffer between you and the enemy ap mid, or use it in your combo.
Malefic Visions (e):Active: Infects target enemy's mind, dealing magic damage over 4 seconds. If the target dies during this time, the target passes Malefic Visions to the closest enemy, refreshing the duration and restoring mana to Malzahar.
This is your main spell. You must learn this skill efficiently so you can push your lane! A good thing to note is that if your e kills a minion or champion it will grant you mana! This is a nice passive mid game.
Nether Grasp (r) Active: Malzahar channels an engulfing void of energy for up to 2.5 seconds, suppressing and dealing magic damage to a target enemy champion while the channel holds.
Suppressing your target can be good or bad. You have to make sure that you will not get cc'd when you are suppressing your target. It's also better to land this in your W and E is on the target.
I am not going to talk about the voidling that much because that would be more of an AD Malzahar build then. Just make sure you know that it targets mainly the target affected with malefic visions.
So if you wanna focus one champ and bring them down to about 100 to 0, you need to land this combo e, w, r, ignite. That combo will destroy most squishies.
Pros / Cons
So after all of that, lets do a quick Pros and Cons list
Has some of the best AOE in the game.
Good cc, although it may be a bit tricky to pull off
Can go tanky and still do tons of dmg
Can easily take out the apc or adc in team fights
Very susceptible to ganks
Mana hungry early game.
Requires blue buff for the early to mid game.
Very hard to use Q to full potential
Hard cc will eff him up
Mana Issues Early Game
I forgot to put this section in the guide XD. But yes Malzahar does have early mana issues. I did mention to make friends with the jungler so you can get that second blue and not worry about mana issues for the most part since Malzahar won't run into much mana issues past the 15 minute mark since you should have most or all of your rod of ages completed if you owned your lane.
So when you start to farm, try not to use any of your abilities at level one. You usually cannot continue your Malefic Visions because it is too weak. Just last hit until you hit level 2. That way you are not wasting mana. Once you hit level two you can at least start a chain with you e since you are strong enough to complete a chain of 3 minions or more if you time it properly.
Pro tip: if you want to spawn your Passive quicker wait at base and level your q first instead. That way you can have your Voidling ready to go. I honestly think it makes very minimal difference because the voidling will have no target affected with malefic visions to attack.
Here's a general game of when I play Malzahar in ranked. 8/5/13 with over 200 cs.
Now how do you get scores like that?
Well first of all, you need to make friends with your jungler right away. Make sure you are nice to them, if you're nice to them they will generally help you out more often and even give blue buff for second spawn at 7 mins.
Don't worry about the mid laner that they pick as much as the jungler. A good jungler for the enemy team could be deadly for you. If you feel that their jungler counters you too hard, maybe reconsider playing Malzahar for that match.
Make sure you always ward your lanes, because you have no escape other than your flash.
If your opponent leaves their lane, punish them for that. Push your lane hard and get their turret. Make sure you focus on cs though more than kills.
For when team fights break out, your Q is actually easier to hit! If you land that at max it's a 3 second silence. and that's devastating to the enemy. Focus mainly their adc, sometimes their apc. Don't worry about their tanky champs.
Try not to get caught out! If you do you are very vulnerable! Try to stay near your tanky top or jungler.
REMEMBER YOUR COMBO! E>W>R>IGNITE!
K so this section is going to be about your match-ups that you may go against.
Lux 8/10- Very hard. Lux is kind of a soft counter to Malzahar since she has better range than you and if you get stuck by her q, then she will follow up with e and ult. That will make you fall b or get you killed. I tend to struggle against a decent lux. If I get stuck against Lux, I need to have great rapport with my Jungler to have a decent chance.
Ahri 5/10 Average- This becomes more of a skill matchup, but you should do okay against an Ahri if you dodge her Q and E, if she tries to ult you or does her combo, you can disrupt it with your ult! Plus her recent nerfs help out a bit.
7.5/10?- I'm not too sure about this matchup because Kassawin is usually banned. I would imagine Malzahar having some trouble against this Void Dude. However, Kassadin likes to roam a lot, and thus you can punish him for doing that!
5/10 Average- This matchup woulda been harder in season 3;however, Zed has been nerfed. You can really get aggressive against him since you can outfarm him now and you can disrupt his ult combo with yours. Pretty decent matchup.
3/10 Easy- This is a favorable matchup for you. She has a horrible pre-six. Thus you can bully her. If she gets too close to you make her pay.
2/10 Very Easy- This is even easier than Akali! Seriously Kat cannot do anything against you. Enjoy the free lane.
4/10 Moderately Easy- Kennen is a favorable matchup because he is very squishy! His combo burst will be tricky at first. But really you can melt him once you get your ult. Also you have a better wave clear than him. Just cc the yordle for the win.
5.5/10 Average- Even though most people play her bot support, she can still be good in the mid! You can push your lane better than her and you have better range for the most part. My advice is don't get too close to her unless you know you can melt her completely.
5/10 Average- This is more of a skill matchup. Both champs have no escape methods, and thus will have to use their abilities to outdo eachother. Could go either way, but I would say Malzahar could pull out the win here.
5/10 Average- To be honest I haven't seen many good Cassiopeia's. But her potential can be deadly in lane. Again YOU can force her into a farm fest where you'll eventually win.
7/10 Tough- Diana can be a tough cookie for you since she can get really close to you and waste you. Luckily Diana's nerfs have left Diana players soulsearching!
7.5/10 that eventually goes down to 4/10. What I mean by this is that Fizz is going to be nasty early game. But once you get some meat on you, you can trade fairly well with him.
6/10 Somewhat difficult. You have to make sure you don't get caught in his ult. That could really mess you up. I would turn this into a farming lane and just cs all day.
2/10 Very easy. You can easily do well against Karthus since you can just farm better than him and poke better too if done properly. You can really bully him out of his lane.
9/10 Very very difficult. At all costs do not lane against her. She can easily counter what you do. IF you do get stuck up in this matchup for some reason. Farm farm farm and pray that your jungler will help you.
9/10 Very difficlut. Whoops you ulted the wrong one!
Anyway.... ya I don't recommend Malzahar here. She will burst you down and laugh. But I would rather go against LeBlanc since she can't farm her lane than a good Morgana or Lux.
Well I hope this Malzahar guide is good enough for you! I had fun writing this!
"Bow to the void, or be consumed by it!"
Pic by djinnborn