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Malzahar Build Guide by Aqua Dragon

Jungle [14.13] Diamond Jungle Malzahar - The Void's Legion

Jungle [14.13] Diamond Jungle Malzahar - The Void's Legion

Updated on June 28, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aqua Dragon Build Guide By Aqua Dragon 313 36 3,332,463 Views 386 Comments
313 36 3,332,463 Views 386 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author Aqua Dragon Malzahar Build Guide By Aqua Dragon Updated on June 28, 2024
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Runes:

Inspiration
Unsealed Spellbook
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Approach Velocity

Sorcery
Transcendence
Manaflow Band
Bonus:

+8 Ability Haste
+2% Movement Speed
+10-180 Bonus Health

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Smite

Smite

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[14.13] Diamond Jungle Malzahar - The Void's Legion

By Aqua Dragon


Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I've been hovering in Diamond / Master with Malzahar Jungle for multiple seasons now! In former seasons, I was an AD Jungle Malzahar main.

I also play:

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Pros


  • Powerful objective taker; Voidlings tank very well.
  • Suppression makes ganking as easy as pressing R.
  • Amazing build versatility allows teching into any composition.
  • Can clear camps quickly without prioritizing damage.
  • 2-second AOE silences on a 3 second cooldown.

Cons


  • Must become adept at using Unsealed Spellbook.
  • Weak ganker until level 6.
  • Low impact until Level 11.
  • Overexerting mana can limit jungling speed.
  • Susceptible to multiple divers.
  • QSS starts limiting ult targets.

Jung-ling



Malzahar's voidlings are able to tank and deal a substantial amount of damage to monsters due to their rapid spawn rate. This makes it possible to clear very healthily and quickly while still investing in utility.

Particularly useful is Malzahar's teamfight impact. Regardless of whether Malzahar is ahead or behind, their toolkit helps provide value to any fight that they are in at any point in the game. Malzahar provides silences, slows (with Rylais), skillshot-blocks, and a suppress. The voidlings also tank tower hits, meaning any push that Malzahar is part of gets heavily accelerated.

Malzahar is not dependent on a high income to stay relevant. No matter how poorly the game is going, silences and suppresses are excellent at shutting down a solely fed enemy, providing more opportunities to get the team back into the match. It also means Malzahar can put 110% focus on objectives without losing out on too much relevancy.

Customizlings



Unsealed Spellbook

Unsealed Spellbook is always versatile and impactful, befitting a high utility jungler like Malzahar. Other keystones addressed further down. Check out the Stage of the Game section for information on how to effectively swap with Spellbook!


Magical Footwear

Magical Footwear is difficult to go wrong with for a champ that doesn't buy boots super early. Hexflash is too conditionally useful, and not useful enough even then.


Biscuit Delivery

Biscuits provide more practical gold than Future Market's theoretical gold.


Approach Velocity

Incredibly synergestic with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, which is a core item.


space


Transcendence

Transcendence matches the goals of maximizing utility, and is the largest reason for going Sorcery secondary.


Manaflow Band

Manaflow Band is necessary so Malz can even do their job without investing into Tear. If Tear was built, then Nimbus Cloak would be a good choice.

space

Ability Haste, Movement Speed, and Scaling Health

Ability haste for utility, movement speed for faster clears + better teamfights, and scaling health is better than flat in the jungle.



There are, of course, a number of other very tempting runes in the other trees. so why have I opted against using those?


I did experiment with all of these options to some degree, and the results are as follows:

space

Sorcery

All three keystones were found to be very mediocre. Phase Rush couldn't be activated at useful times readily, while Summon Aery scarcely added any more damage since Malz spent so much time in the jungle.

The slightly increased ult burst from Arcane Comet didn't meaningfully impact any kills. Worse, the scaling on the rune is so bad, that by the time it starts being used against opponents, it has lost a lot of its value.

Additionally, out of the runes in Sorcery, Malz only really heavily desires Manaflow Band and Transcendence. The rest are just alright. We have a name for a rune tree that has only two desirable runes and mediocre keystones: Secondary Tree.



space


Domination


Electrocute and Dark Harvest both might seem tempting, since alongside Cheap Shot and Ultimate Hunter, there seems promise for much more powerful, frequent all-in combos. However, testing revealed that while this burst was okay in the early game, it very rapidly fell off because Malz Jungle can't reliably prioritize damage.

Additionally, in mid-late teamfights, both of the damaging runes get spread out across too many targets to do anything meaningful since Malzahar doesn't get the luxury of only bursting down one target usually.

The Domination tree is too damage-focused to appeal to the utility-minded Malzahar.

Malzabilites



Q
-

-
W
-

-
Q
-

-
E

After this initial order, you will max:

Q
-
>
-
E
-
>
-
W

Call of the Void is maxed first since it mathematically offers the greatest clear speed.
The silence also scales with its rank.

Malefic Visions is preferred next because Void Swarm has the worst rank up in the game.
Malefic always adds more DPS per rank than Void Swarm per rank.
2 extra Voidling damage per level up is an insult.

Null Set



Create Item Set



Oracles is useful for checking for invasive wards, preventing ambushes.








Objectives




Support







Core


Malzahar litters the battlefield with spells which can rapidly apply slows to multiple targets. Ample experimentation found that Rylais was just always a solid choice, no matter the circumstance. It's good for peeling, chasing, confirming, backscratching; it just adds everything Malzahar cares for.


Malzahar Jungle's ambient damage is very low. Even with me testing out multiple iterations of items like Liandry's Torment and Sorcerer's Shoes, I wasn't able to deal respectable damage after ample testing. Hence, the need to double down on the utility of Lucidity Boots instead.






Situational Items



With Rylais, the Mandate mark triggers on every spell. Decent damage, decent utility, great stats; it's hard to go wrong with picking up Mandate A good all-around choice in most situations.


One of the largest sources of Ability Haste in the game. Extra speed sweetens the deal, though that's more useful for Malz than for the team. A second good all-around choice that also provides some survivability.


Spear offers the highest amount of AH out of every possible item, along with some generically useful health. Voidlings still benefit from the AD, meaning it's still also useful for killing objectives quickly. For games where you're interested in maximizing the number of silences per second.


Given the utility-focused desires of Malzahar Jungle, it is perhaps no surprise that ability haste and vision is always going to be useful, especially gathering lots of vision against ambushes. A good general choice for teamfighting and scouting.


Another support item, another item built in those same ci***stances. A good choice for adding extra engage power to a team.


Malzahar is often in the mid-to-back line, so Locket doesn't quite get value every game. Where it does excel however is shutting down AOE ultimates such as those belonging to Diana and Katarina. It also can be used to prevent resets or impair assassinations. Choose if the enemies have a massive AOE ult or have reset champions.


As long as Malz doesn't attack, the huge MS boost from Trailblazer stays on forever. This makes it useful for getting a huge surge of mobility and survivability. The speed for allies is a nice bonus, though not the main draw. Choose if you're having trouble staying in fights to do your job.


Straightforward. Grievous Wounds.


Helps keep further control of major objectives. Pop one in the very back of the Baron and Dragon pits to keep near-permanent vision of them. Great for vision when enemies are not pick-focused.






Not Recommended


Malzahar Jungle is not a damage carry.

I've tried various iterations. With Comet, with Sorcs, with Liandries, with Void Staff. There just isn't enough gold in the jungle to ramp up in damage in a meaningfully fast way, especially if trying to be objective-focused at the same time.

Additionally, the path to maximizing damage is largely mutually exclusive to maximizing utility, since the damage options don't provide much Ability Haste (and if they do, it's not that much, and it's expensive). The camp-clear difference is not that significant whether going AP or utility;

I tried a multitude of test matches: unless atrociously fed (which isn't that common), the damage builds reflected a relative lack of damage being dealt to enemy champions, even over the course of extended games. In many cases, the supports were dealing as much damage as a fully-damage-built Malz Jungle. These tests reflect a heavy disincentive on any of these options.

The Lings of War



Understanding all the nuances about your Voidlings is critical to maximizing their potential, and their damage should not be underestimated.

Here’s the details about their facets.

  • Voidlings always die in one hit to tower shots and champion autoattacks
  • Malefic Visions causes them to deal 300% damage to minions (not to monsters)
  • Voidlings deal 50% damage to Epic monsters
  • Every rank-up, their damage increases by 2
  • Every two ranks, their duration increases by one second (8/8/9/9/10)
Voidlings will aggro anything close by, regardless of whether the target can see the Voidling or whether the camp has been aggroed (even when you're trying to hide in a bush...). They will chase until the target gets out of range or until another target gets closer. They also have no hard leash range, meaning they will not teleport to Malzahar no matter how far away they chase (in contrast to something like LeBlanc's clone). However, if the Voidlings are not currently chasing or attacking a target, they will attempt to move close to Malzahar.

But Voidlings don’t just wander aimlessly. You are able to control them by understanding what they decide to target. In order, Voidlings prioritize:
  • Targets hit by Nether Grasp
  • The nearest Malefic Vision on a Champion
  • The nearest Malefic Vision on a minion
  • The nearest enemies next to the Voidlings
Voidlings will not chase targets they cannot see or that they lose vision of, through stealth or bush.

When Voidlings attack champions, any nearby enemy minions will be aggroed toward that Voidling (not to Malz). Voidlings give Malz experience upon killing anything, even if Malzahar is not nearby.

Additionally, when you are pushing a turret and there are minions nearby, turrets will always prioritize the Voidlings over the minions. This is useful because so long as there is one minion left alive, the turret will not gain back its Reinforced Armor damage reduction; the Voidlings can tank nicely for minions.

Voidlings do not work with everything.

Voidling damage procs:

Voidling damage gives one stack once per Void Swarm, not per Voidling:

Voidlings do not proc:

space

The Path is Clear



Malzahar's voidlings tank camps quite well, meaning Malzahar has a healthy full clear regardless of what side you're on.

Because you want to rush for dragon right after the first clear, you should always start with the Buff that is furthest from dragon.

  1. Kill the Buff furthest from Dragon with Smite

  2. Kill three camps.

  3. Kill the other Buff

  4. Kill the dragon pit Rift Scuttler. Only Smite if needed!

  5. Kill the last camp.
With a small leash, Malzahar clears the camps just in time to reach Scuttle as it spawns. Only Smite the scuttle if necessary, but you can usually use your superior range to fight off the enemy jungler if they dare try to contest it. It's important that you secure the dragon pit scuttle, as it allows you a much easier time later going after the dragon.

Keeping Swarm When Camp



The four biggest takeways for effectively clearing camps:
  1. Start a camp by casting Call of the Void at mid range.

  2. Hit every monster with Call of the Void with every cast.

  3. Keep autoattacking the large monster at the camp.

  4. Voidlings are positioned to swarm the large monster
If the enemies are doing a Level 1 steal, your bet is to use your excessive range advantage on Call of the Void to whittle them down and force them away. However, if your team has abandoned you, then take the loss and just go for your other buff instead.

Malzawar on Objectives



After finishing the first clear, your usual order of operations is:
  1. Head over to the dragon pit and kill the Dragon (50 seconds). If you didn't smite Scuttle, you will have two Smites. Immediately use one, and the second will be ready shortly after.

  2. Recall, and swap a summoner to Teleport with Unsealed Spellbook.

  3. Teleport over to either the mid or top tower

  4. Head over to the Voidgrubs and kill them all (35 seconds).
This order is designed to try killing the objectives shortly after they spawn, setting up for more of them later.

Sometimes, depending on the state of the lane or the scuttle vision, it may be necessary to adjust the plan, delay the start, or even just abandon an attempt partway through

All of this is to say that Malzahar's win condition is killing objective relentlessly, and while this is the ideal relentless scenario, it's equally important to be ready to adapt on the fly.

Ganks For the Memories



Ganking before level 6 is fairly tricky. Without Red Buff, it's often not worth the effort unless the enemy is particularly extended.

The most useful things to keep in mind for the ganks:

  • If possible, enter with Void Shift ready to go
  • Call of the Void's silence will disable Flash
  • It also provides vision inside bushes it is cast inside
  • and its range is way longer than you think it is
  • Voidlings will not chase targets they cannot see
  • You will need Malefic Visions to direct Voidlings toward the target
Keep all this in mind, and it's possible to pull off an early gank. Still, be wary of spending so much time trying to gank that you lose time for objectives.

Suppressing Your Luck



Ganking with Nether Grasp becomes a lot more feasible. You still follow the above principles, but now you have a few more things to keep in mind.
  • Don't just suppress immediately. Silence first, suppress right after.
  • If an ally CC's during the suppress, let go of the suppress! Then silence!
  • Voidlings prioritize suppressed targets above all else
  • Both Call of the Void and Nether Grasp will refresh Malefic Visions
  • However, Malefic Visions is only rank 1. Silencing takes priority.
  • With the ult, Malzahar is a scary counterganker. Anticipate.
Additionally, make use of Unsealed Spellbook to accentuate the gank. Ghost paired with a Control Ward is almost a certain success.

It's tempting to just gank nonstop once the ult is available, but that is not Malzahar's win condition. Their main power comes from their powerful objective control. Kills are not the end goal, they are just the method to secure objectives. Therefore, you should ideally only gank with the ultimate if there is an objective to secure immediately afterward.

Staying Objective



It is pretty normal for me to play a Malzahar Jungle match and say "Okay, I finally can jungle again for the first time in 10 minutes." If you are not in the process of taking an objective, then you should be in the process of preparing to take an objective. There should be very little downtime.





Voidgrubs are incredibly impactful if you are able to acquire them, which Malzahar is readily able to do. You should be around the entrance of the pit as soon as they spawn, as Malzahar (like most junglers) can kill all the grubs in a little under 35 seconds.

Make sure that you don't just enter the pit immediately, but instead get off a quick auto and have the grubs form a line, so that every Call of the Void hits every grub every time.

Due to the importance of grub control, it is fairly normal for the enemy jungler to be there to contest back. This is why you need to make good use of the scouting and harass power of Call of the Void to secure the area. A well-placed Control Ward can also stave off the opposition. Remember, you only need about 35 seconds to secure the grubs, and your voidlings can tank the damage that the grubs would normally be whittling you down with.

However, if you find yourself getting outnumbered, then don't be greedy and die needlessly. Concede the grubs and move on; there will be more opportunities for objectives later.






Dragon on Spawn


Malzahar's voidlings are uniquely able to tank the dragon, making it much less risky to do so than for most other junglers. It is a little on the slower side however, taking about 45 - 50 seconds alone, so it's usually only worthwhile if you can sneak it or if the enemy jungler shows their ugly face at top.

The two biggest pointers. First, keep casting Void Swarm even if it's not at max charges yet; the extra damage taken from waiting an extra second hurts much more. Second, the biscuit heals based on missing health. You must use the biscuit when you are as low as possible because its healing is dictated at the time of its usage.

Dragons later in the match are a more nuanced affair. The ability to take them is highly dependent on how many of your teammates are available to contest it near the pit. Fortunately, with Nether Grasp, you're in a strong position to potentially ambush a target with your allies and secure a numbers advantage.






Rift Herald at Spawn


Rift Herald hits pretty hard when the jungler is alone. Thankfully, Malzahar is never alone. While other junglers must suffer the 50% damage debuff that Herald can apply, this is instead given to a voidling volunteer.

Notably, every one of the voidlings' autoattacks causes the eye to open more rapidly, allowing you to proc the eye burst damage every two seconds if you're quick on your feet. You can kill the Herald in about 35 seconds if you're really skillful about it.

Start off by using Call of the Void on the herald from outside the arena so the Herald crashes into the wall. Make sure you stagger your autos enough so that you're not winding up an auto at the wrong time for an eye proc.

Avoid using Malefic Visions. The mana cost is too high for the low amount of damage it adds. Of course if the Herald is below the critical health range, feel free to blast away with full force.




space

The Stage is Set




Early

In the early game, your goals are to
  • Complete your first clear.
  • Rush farm for level 6.
  • Take grubs and the dragon.
Objectives are the win condition: Kills are cool and all, but the games where you get all the grubs and all the dragons and the herald are the games you are most likely to win. All thoughts should be focused on how to secure the objectives no matter what, often through securing a lane kill through a gank.

Avoid Using Malefic Vision on Most Camps: Until later in the game, Malefic Visions costs so much mana and deals such little damage that it's often better to just wait. The missing-mana regeneration from the jungle item will keep Malz topped off without Malefic. Though, Krugs and Raptors are still worthwhile to use Malefic on due to all the potential bouncing.

Gank Wisely: Refer back to the Ganking section of the guide to get good tips for a successful gank.

Use Call of the Void to Scout: Many unscrupulous fellows will try to kill Malz in the jungle. Since Call of the Void provides such strong vision, it can be used regularly to check around bushes or corners in case of a threat.

Unsealed Spellbook has an Overwhelming Variety: For early summoners however, you should primarily be replacing Flash with Ghost. In certain circumstances, you can consider Clarity or [[teleport] if either will help you set up for an objective in the near future.

Biscuits Regenerate Based on Missing Health / Mana: That means they should be used when low on either. Additionally, they restore based at the time of consumption. That means eating a biscuit, followed by spending more mana, will not increase the regeneration.

Keep a Control Ward Handy: Malzahar is not as dependent on gold as many other junglers, so there is no excuse to be lacking a control ward at pretty much any point. They are the ultimate objective securer.







Mid

As the laning phase ends, the raw utility in the build shines
  • Disrupt at critical moments
  • Keep control wards handy
  • Stick with teammates
Objectives Win Games: this is difficult to overstate.

Focus on Picks and Peel: Malzahar Jungle effectively plays like a second support, and every spell should be focused on maximizing disruption through silences, suppresses, slows, and skillshot-voidling-blocking.

Silence then Suppress: It's often preferable to start with a silence instead of ulting immediately, because a silence can always be followed into an ult but not the other way around.

Preserve Void Shift Against Monsters: At this point, Voidlings can do almost all the tankin against camps. Try to avoid taking a monster hit too quickly before a gank, or you won't have Void Shift up in time for it.

Let Voidlings Finish Off Monsters: Where possible, let the Voidlings just clean up the camp while you move onto more important things. Voidlings are particularly ravenous against Scuttle. There's no need to overkill the monsters. This skill takes practice though, and you'll likely start off accidentally letting Gromp live with one hp at times. Not that I'd know...

Unsealed Spellbook Continues its Usefulness: Big candidates for swapping are Heal, Exhaust, and Barrier which can largely be used interchangeably. Clarity and Teleport also continue their overall usefulness for setting up objectives. Largely avoid swapping to Ignite or Exhaust outside of some very specific situations.

Void Shift Stops the Honeyfruit Slow: Malz is one speedy fruit eater! Gorge up!

Smite Has No Unsealed Spellbook Swapping Cooldown: This means if, for example, you have Smite replaced with Heal, and you use Heal, Smite will immediately be available to use rather than having a 10-second lockout like all the other summoner spells!

Check Regularly for QSS: If you've ulted the same person at least twice, be sure to regularly check for an incoming QSS purchase. It feels awful to ult someone, only to suddenly be punched in the face anyway. However, a QSS is not helpful against your silences since it's difficult to time, so you still have one disable on hand.

Enemies Cannot Use Smite While Suppressed: However, you still can! This is one of the things that makes Malzahar so good at securing objectives because they are in such a strong position to win the smite duel.






Late

In the late game, it's more of the same, but better.
  • Peel for fed members on your team.
  • Dance around the outskirts of teamfights.
  • Cast a nonstop barrage of inhibiting spells.
  • Save your flash-ult when possible for when you absolutely know that it will gain your team an inhibitor, baron, or nexus; Avoid using it just to get kills.
More of the Same: However, in the late game, every pick and every death is more impactful. Be on guard and adjust itemization to stay alive.

Don't be Afraid to Let Go of Your Ult: It's on a relatively short cooldown, and survival is more important than the extra damage. You also can let it go early if a teammate combos their own hard CC on it.

More Control Wards: Many teammates will start having trouble fitting control wards into their inventories. However, Malzahar Jungle often has ample inventory space to keep purchasing more and more.

Unsealed Spellbook Practically Replaces Smite: Any of the summoners are good at this point besides Ignite and Cleanse, which tend to be really situational. Be careful with Exhaust however because you can't discard it on a whim.

This guide was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you all have learned everything you would have liked.

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