Malzahar Build Guide by ThyGriefEternal
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.
Hello, my name is ThyGriefEternal (IGN on EUNE is ThyAmaranthine) and this is my first guide on one of my favorite champions, Malzahar. I consider myself a decent Malzahar player and on this guide I'll to teach you guys everything I know about the prophet we all love. Feedback is always welcome, so if you spot anything you didn't like about the guide, please let me know through a comment!
Summon Voidling (Passive)
On every fourth ability use, Malzahar summons a voidling for 21 seconds. There is a one second cooldown after summoning a voidling where further spell casts will not increment the counter.
Malzahar's awesome and unique passive, giving him his very own pets. Voidlings prioritize targets affected by Malefic Visions. Their damage might seem like nothing special, but I dare you to use your E on your enemy laner while having a Voidling active, You'll be surprise by how much damage it will deal, and he will be forced to kill your pet first to reduce the damage. Pull that off a couple of times and he will be out of lane in no time.
Call of the Void (Q)
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.
Malzahar's Q ability and his only nuke. It is a delayed skillshot that deals damage and silences the target upon impact. It's difficult to land because of the delay, but it hurts like a truck provided you do, and the silence duration is ridiculous in later ranks. Great for zoning and denying your enemy from gold and experience.
Null Zone (W)
For 5 seconds, Malzahar damages enemies over time in target 500-diameter (est.) area. Damage to monsters is capped.
Malzahar's W ability. It's a skillshot similar to Morgana's Tormented Soil that deals continuous damage to enemies standing above it, based on their current health. Fr the love of God, please, don't farm minions using this skill! Malzahar's kit has far better abilities for farming, and your W won't even kill the waves in the first place. Use it only to amplify your damage when you land your combos.
Malefic Visions (E)
Target enemy takes damage over 4 seconds. If the target dies during the duration, the target passes Malefic Visions to another nearby enemy, refreshing the duration and restoring mana to Malzahar.
Malzahar's E ability. It's a targeted Damage-Over-Time spell that deals damage every half second, for 4 seconds. This is also the skill that Malzahar is known for (apart from his ultimate), giving him essentially infinite mana (provided that you kill your target while it is still affected by the visions) and also being a great harass tool. Casting E and then following with Ignite can deal a great amount of damage on early levels and can possibly even give you first blood if you have managed to wear down your opponent enough.
Nether Grasp (R)
For 2.5 seconds Malzahar channels, suppressing and damaging target enemy champion for the duration.
Also known as the "Laser of Doom". Malzahar's ultimate is what essentially makes Malzahar, and also the reason he's one of the best 1v1 mages out there. Not only does your ultimate deal damage per second, it also SUPPRESSES your target, making him unable to use any moves during the channeling. Because of the suppression, Malzahar sets up ganks extremely well. Keep in mind though, that it is easily canceled by you. For example, it will be canceled if you right click anywhere on the map during the channeling of your ultimate. Ignite DOES NOT cancel your ultimate, provided that you are in range to cast it without having to move.
Now that we have talked about his kit, it's time we talked about how to kill opponents chaining his skills correctly. Since Malzahar is all about speed (you don't want to give your enemy even the slightest time to react!), I highly recommend using smartcast while playing him. It might seem a bit difficult at first, but your casting speed will be greatly increased.
The basic (and pretty much only) combo on Malzahar, is the following:
Malefic Visions --> Call of the Void --> Null Zone --> Nether Grasp --> Ignite
By casting your E first, you are able to see if you will be able to land the rest of your combo without missing any skills. If your opponents backs out after you have cast Malefic Visions, there's a high chance you'll miss your Q while trying to burst him down, and then your combo will most likely not be able to finish him off. If the enemy stands to fight, however, then you're ready to cast your Q and silence them, nullifying their chances of retaliating in time. By landing W before you use your ultimate amplifies your damage, and Ignite makes sure your foe doesn't escape with low life.
Just keep in mind that level 6 is a game breaking point for Malzahar, pretty much like Kassadin. His game become entirely different and if you land your full combo, it's most of the times a sure kill. Make sure you calculate how much damage you can deal though, or else you might end up with everything blown off and your opponent still alive.
Now let's take a look into why I chose these specific masteries. First of all, you need to take under consideration thatyou are the AP Carry for your team. Therefore, you will need to be able to deal as much magic damage as possible during every phase of the game (Early game, Mid game and Late game). That's why these masteries, for the most part, focus on AP amplification, with Magic Penetration, AP per level, flat AP, Cooldowon reduction and increased damage to low-life enemies. This is a standard setup for AP carries, slightly increasing your damage (since you can't really get a huge boost from masteries anyway) throughout the game.
This is an alternative Masteries tree I suggest, that I have found working pretty well. Basically, here we focus on a little bit more durability for our champion, with increased health and resistances, while keeping the mana and mana regen as well as the ability power bonuses. Keep in mind that with Mental Force , Sorcery and Arcane Knowledge , your ap bonuses will only be barely lower compared to the previous setup, so you won't see any significant decrease in terms or damage.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Now that we're done with Masteries, it's time we take a look at the summoner spells that best fit Malzahar. Let's take a look:
Volibear or Dr. Mundo, who have skills to rapidly regenerate health ( Ingite reduces the healing of the target by 50%).
Flash, however, since Flash is a better escape tool overall and sometimes provides better positioning (combine Flash with your Ultimate for a quick suppression with no chances for your enemies to escape!).
I believe the spells above are the best choices for Malzahar. Some people could consider Heal too, but still, I think the utility the summoners I suggested provide, are far more important than a heal, which has to take either the place of your finisher move, or your only tool to escape/position in fights.
Arguably, there are various ways you can build Malzahar. However, there are certain items that are considered to be core items on almost every caster. Same goes for Malzahar. These items are:
: This is an absolute must for the prophet. Not only does it give a huge amount of AP, but also its passive increases your AP totals by 30%. That means that Deathcap itself effectively gives you 182 AP, and it will keep increasing any bonus AP you get by 30%, for as long as you have it in your inventory.
: Considering Malzahar has no escapes, you might want to think about getting a little bit more durable. RoA is the perfect item for that (during mid-game, especially), as it gives you HP (making you able to take some more hits), AP (increasing your damage output) and mana (enabling you to keep spamming your spells).
: This item will ensure you keep dealing tons of damage, even if your enemies start to stack magic resist. Seriously, the 40% magic penetration is ridiculous and it enables you to effectively focus even the tankiest chars on the enemy team, because of the synergy between Void Staff and Null Zone.
: Fantastic item for Malzahar. Not only does it give him CDR (his cooldowns are already too high so he could definitely use that), but also it gives him a huge amount of AP. But the again, that's not what makes this item so special. It is of course its passive, giving you an extra nuke and simply making sure you kill whoever you target.
: A very good item for Malzahar. However, if you need Magic Penetration, I suggest you pick up a Void Staff instead. Only get this item if you're being focused down by the enemy AP carry and you need to get a little bit more durable to survive their initial burst.
: Decent item for Malzahar, it gives you a good amount of AP and good mana regen. You don't really need it, however, since you will be regenerating a lot of mana from Malefic Visions anyway.
: Pretty defensive item. The only thing that's "great" about it is its spellshield and that's about it. If I want to build a bit more durable, I would prefer a Rylai's Crystal Scepter or an Abyssal Scepter over this any time.
: Pretty good, enables you to spam your spells because of the mana regen and also boosts your damage with that 75 AP. The short-cooldown passive reducing healing and regeneration is also good.
Pretty self-explanatory. You need the boots to be able to dodge skillshots and juke, and you need the health potion to stay at high HP. The extra movement also allows you to escape ganks easier.
Some people would rather start with a Doran's Ring instead of boots and potions. While this might boost your damage by a bit, it gives you no mobility and no sustain whatsoever. Since Malzahar does not have any natural heals, all the damage you take will be permanent, while the enemy laner will be able to heal through your harass.
During your first trip back, you should have enough money to afford a couple of items. My suggestions are:
Don't be afraid to buy a couple of potions and wards if you have a bit more money to spare. Now I know a lot of people wouldn't go straight for Sorcerer's Shoes but your damage will be greatly improved; you'll notice that with the first Q you land against your enemy. Not to mention your movement speed is also increased, something Malzahar desperately need since his base movement is pretty low anyway.
Regarding skill sequence, put your first point in Call of the Void. Use it to harass but be careful since it costs a lot of mana. Since it already difficult to land, I suggest you lead your opponents. A common trick is to place Call of the Void slighlty behind your target. Their natural reaction when they see your spell is to move backwards, and they will end up walking in your spell and getting silenced. Its level 1 damage is pretty high so if you land a couple of those, you can effectively zone your enemy from a very early stage in the game.
Put your second point in Malefic Visions and use it replenish your mana and farm the waves. Be careful, however, because this is the skill that makes Malzahar a natural pusher. If you push too ward, you're susceptible to enemy jungler ganks and you don't want to give up a kill.
To make sure you get almost every lasthit in the wave, it's a good idea to farm with Malefic Visions when you have a Voidling active. Since they prioritize the targets affected by the visions, they can make lasthitting a lot easier. You can also land a Q on the minion wave first, and then follow it up with Malefic Visions.
Put your third point in Null Zone and keep it there. DO NOT USE IT TO FARM MINIONS since it only deals damage to minions up to a cap, and this damage is not enough to kill them. Use only to amplify your damage when you unleash your full combo.
Once you reach level 6, it's time to look for opportunities to score a kill against the enemy. Pay attention to his reactions: if he's being aggressive, it's the perfect chance for you to land your full combo and burst him down in a matter of seconds. Most enemies don't take under consideration the fact that you have TWO forms of hard crowd control; your silence and suppression is enough to prevent them from even the slightest retaliation.
If the enemy is playing defensively, chances are you won't be able to successfully land all your skills, therefore you might not be able to kill them. However, please keep in mind that even if you don't score a kill, you're forcing your foe out of the lane, thus making him lose gold and experience. That means that grabbing kills is not the only way to take the advantage.
Grabbing Rod of Ages during mid game is extremely important, since you need more damage and durability. Malzahar also needs the extra mana, since his mana costs are very high already. If everything goes well, and depending on how good of a game you're having, you will be able to grab an Amplifying Tome or a Needlessly Large Rod, which you can -and will- later turn on a Rabadon's Deathcap. You need to get Deathcap as soon as possible after you get RoA, since the damage boost you get out of it is too good to neglect.
Regarding laning, focus on farming and observe your enemy carefully. Every time you see an opening, go ahead and burst him down using your combo. The more kills you grab, the bigger your advantage against your enemy. By keeping the enemy AP carry underfarmed and behind, you do your part protecting your AD carry from burst damage.
Finish your build by adding Deathfire Grasp (one more nuke!), Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Void Staff for extra crowd control and magic penetration, as well as more durability. By that time, your damage output will be huge, so it's time to see how you can use it in teamfights.
Your job as the AP carry is to either target the enemy AP carry or the AD carry and burst them down. Choose the target which is closer to you and unleash your full combo, quickly turning the fight in a 4v5 in favor of your team.
BE CAREFUL: Don't rush in the fight and start using spells. Wait until the hard CC's have been used, since a single stun, silence or even knockback will cancel your ultimate and then half of your damage is gone. If possible, try to stay behind your tank line, so the enemy can't easily reach you.
Make sure you put down as many Null Zones as you can, since the enemy should have started getting tankier and tankier. Keep in mind that Null one damages enemies based on the maximum health and you can effectively deal huge damage to them if they don't notice.
^ This here, is the ultimate counter for Malzahar. You have found an isolated target and you're already casting E, Q, W and R in sequence. As soon as the suppression starts, you suddenly notice the enemy is not suppressed anymore and is instead attacking you, and you die as a result.
There really is no way around this. The only thing you can do is to observe the enemy's items and avoid targeting those with Quicksilver Sash in their inventory. If yo do the mistake of targeting one of them, you are essentially just wasting all your spells on them, so they can simply "cleanse" them off.
NOTE: Gankplank's Remove Scurvy also cleanses the suppression, so if possible, avoid targeting any GP's.
"Come, mortal, witness your demise!" - Malzahar.