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Malzahar Build Guide by Reason97

Middle A general guide to Malzahar, The Prophet of the Void

Middle A general guide to Malzahar, The Prophet of the Void

Updated on October 14, 2020
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43 0 126,708 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Reason97 Malzahar Build Guide By Reason97 Updated on October 14, 2020
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Runes: Standard

1 2
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

Presence of Mind
Coup de Grace

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
Basic Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

A general guide to Malzahar, The Prophet of the Void

By Reason97
Hello League and Mobafire. Im Reason, I'm a Mastery 7 Malzahar player, I picked him up on a whim at one point and he has since risen to my 3rd most played champ pretty easily. He's a very unique champ, especially compared to a lot of the more bursty mage's he's played alongside. He's also a very safe pick, having a shield that he can play around and a massive "stop that" ult that can completely lock down any champ in the game. While his damage isn't quite as impressive at first glance as other mages, people tend to underestimate just how much damage over time you really do, and your kit has the unique ability to snowball your damage throughout an entire enemy team rather then being single target focused. Let the enemy have their flashy champs with "high skill" gameplay, cause none of it's gonna matter when you lock them down and all they can do is watch as their health melts.

this guide is more focused at people new to Malzahar rather then experience malz players, but I hope experienced players find it interesting and clear none the less as well. This guide is probably gonna be long, so I apologize for all that in advance. I'm just trying to fit in everything I can about the champ in the hope's that it's helpful. This guide will be updated, at the very least, every patch. If you have any opinion's, advice, or question's of any sort, feel free to leave a comment, i'm here to learn same as anyone else.

NOTE: UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THIS GUIDE IS CONSIDERED "OUT OF DATE". with the mass item changes and the introduction to a new item type (Mythic's), im planning on updating and redoing a LARGE portion of this guide, but it'll take time for the dust to settle and new items to be messed around. as long as this message is on the guide, consider it old. not necessarily all irrelevant, just old. it will be updated ASAP.
Malzahar Pro's and Con's

+A safe pick in most matchups
+Able to do a lot of damage while hanging back
+A game changing ultimate
+Able to clear and push lane's extremely quickly all on his own
+A free shield on a cooldown, granting immunity to CC
+Easy to pick up and learn

-Very squishy when your passive is down
-No movement abilities
-More DOT then burst, so it take's some adjusting to get use to
-Very little hard CC, making it hard to hold off enemy engages
-Using your ultimate makes you very vulnerable to other enemy champs

Why play Malzahar?

Malzahar is one of those champ's where i feel like no one's super impressed the first time they watch him being played, but tend's to be a lot more fun and interesting when you actually give him a chance. None of his kit (besides his ult) ever really stand's out to players when they first look at him, and he comes acrossed as underwhelming. Then you go up against him, he dances circles around you while your health bar melts before your eyes, and you can't do practically anything about it between the silence on his Q and his hard lockdown ult. He's super safe, with a deceptively simple kit that all works well together more then some people ever realize. He's got a unique style, and a SUPER powerful ultimate. Despite how weak he seems, he's one of the few who can claim they have survived the Void. Maybe you don't choose Malzahar.

Maybe Malzahar chooses you.
Abilities (+Tips and Tricks)

Void Shift (Passive)

If enemy champions haven't recently damaged Malzahar, he uses the void to summon a shield around him, which will drastically reduce the next source of damage that hits him from an enemy champion or tower. Additionally, the shield make's him invulnerable to enemy CC as well.




Call of the Void

Malzahar tears open two portals to the void opposite each other. After a brief delay, both portals fire energy between them, damaging and silencing any enemies caught in between them.




Void Swarm

Malzahar summons small but deadly creature's from the void, who will seek out and attack nearby enemy units. Malzahar summons one additional voidling for every ability used before Void Swarm, up to a cap of 3.




Malefic Visions

Malzahar curses a target with cruel and deadly visions of their impending demise, dealing damage to them over time for 4 seconds. If Malzahar hit's the target with his R or his Q before the visions are finished, it'll restart the visions, refreshing the timer.

If the enemy unit dies while infected with Malefic Visions, the visions will jump to the next closest enemy unit instead of ending. The will spread from target to target endlessly as long as the infected target always dies before the timer ends. Also, every time an enemy unit dies while infected, Malzahar regains 2% of his max mana.




Nether Grasp

Malzahar Channels a massive amount of energy from the void, locking an enemy champ in a pool of negative energy and completely nullifying their ability to move, attack, use abilities, or summoner spells for 2.5 seconds. While only the selected enemy champion will be suppressed, anyone who walks into the pool of negative energy on the ground will also take damage from it.


Summoner Spells
Flash is pretty basic for almost every champion in league, there's only a few who don't use it. It's good for escapes, engages, etc. Honestly, with just how numerous the uses for it are, it's just too good to pass up. There's also of course how well it pair's with your R, as the Flash+R combo leave's very little time to react for anyone on the enemy team.

Teleport Is my personal favorite secondary spell for Malzahar. It help's you get back to lane faster, open's up potential ganks into other lane's, get's you in position to help your team much faster whenever you're away, etc. The biggest downside to this spell is just the length cooldown, and even then i still feel like that isn't enough by itself to not take it.

Ignite is the bread and butter ability of any aggressive laner. It add's a lot of kill pressure to you're lane and all in's, and is also unique in that you can use it while in Nether Grasp (Just be careful to make sure you're actually in your ignite range). It won't be quite as useful as some other spell's later in the game, but if you're looking to win lane and snowball out from it, you can't get much better then this.

Ghost can be extremely helpful as a discount Flash+R combo for when flash is on cooldown. Just activate ghost, let it charge up, and then run down your choice of target and R them into place. it isn't quite as effective as Flash, but it work's in a pinch and mean's you have two possible spell options to use for R combo's instead of one.

Cleanse is the best defensive choice against high CC lane's or teams. It isn't a "must take" on malz, since you already have a shield passive that blocks CC as well, but if you're super worried about a LOT of CC on the enemy team, or worried about your shield getting constantly poked down by a Lux or something, you can justify it. If you're someone who's careful and you already play around your passive a lot though, it may just be a waste of a summoner spell.

Want to play it safe, but the enemy team has little to no CC, and/or your fine with just using Void Shift instead of taking Cleanse? then Barrier is your best bet. A shield on demand for any damage coming at you, can be clutch in helping you tank big bursts or winning to-close-to-call trade's with enemy champs. It's versatile in it's uses, so it's extremely helpful for more defensive player's.

Exhaust and Heal are both uncommon, but useful spells. I never personally use them, but if you like them enough or feel like you need one for some reason, neither of them are "bad" choices, either.

Basic Combo's


Safe Poke Combo

The idea here is to hit the enemy laner with Q for just a quick bit of burst damage, and then E while they're silenced and can't retaliate to just chip away at them a little more. It isn't always the easiest thing to land, but if you can do it and you're quick about it, you land two abilities for maybe an auto or two in returning damage.


DOT Poke Combo

Just hit them with the E and then drop a W while you back up. Either they take a bunch of DOT, or they have to focus down the voidlings which distract's them from CS'ing or coming back after you. It has the potential to hurt a lot, although more often then not the enemy laner will just clear your Voidlings out super quickly. This is even more true against laners with good AOE damage, making it much less effective.


Full basic abilities Combo

Using all your basic abilities for early trades. Costs a lot of mana, but hurt's a lot too if you can land your Q. You can either start E or Q, it's more down to preference and which you're more comfortable with. Personally, i start with E because it give's just a tiny bit more damage since Q will refresh it anyway. Either way, landing Q is the biggest issue here, so be sure to wait till the enemy champ is either moving less or done moving altogether. Predicting their movement's can also work, just take's a little practice.

Full Combo

E, W, Q, R
Max Damage

This is, in theory, the absolute max damage combo you can get off on malzahar. You hit the target with visions, then drop voidlings and quickly Q+R. This order get a couple tick's of damage from E and give's voidlings a second to spawn in before you hit him with the Q+R, which reset's the E and also draws the voidlings to your target.

the issue here is that this combo needs to be done VERY quickly, as your lack of CC and the fact that they're still pretty free to retaliate means they can interrupt this if they're quick enough. It's extremely deadly when you can get it off, but should be used when you know you have a window to do so, not in a panic.

Q, E, W, R

Not getting many window's of opportunity to all in, or to trade much in general? Q's silence give's you a small window to make a move, and make's it a much more practical opening maneuver in many cases. Hit them with silence, then quickly E, W, R. you won't get quite as much damage out of E this way as you would with max damage combo, but the difference is small, and this combo is a bit safer, so it's in general more useful and practical. This combo also get's the full number of voidlings out without having to stack it prior, so it's also more useful in that regard.

E, W, R
Quick Use

While your Q is useful and the silence is nice, sometimes you need to just get someone locked down ASAP. While sometimes you will just need to R someone by itself, if you can get E and W out as well, it'll substantially increase the DOT of your ult. since E and W both have little to no cast time, you can drop them both plus R pretty quickly, so even in situations where you're rushed for time it can be useful.

When most players first join league and compare Summon Aery to Arcane Comet in game, they tend to find Aery underwhelming. It's an understandable feeling, but doesn't change the fact that it's easily the most popular, common, and easy-to-use keystone for Malzahar, as well as being HIGHLY effective with a bit of practice. While it doesn't do quite as much damage as Arcane Comet, it can be procced multiple times thanks to Malz's DOT heavy playstyle. It's reliable and also works great at low levels too for poking down the enemy laner with auto attacks. It take's some practice to get use to, since you have to wait for Aery to come back to you before you can proc it again, but with some practice and experience it's a highly reliable and effective rune.

Arcane Comet

Manaflow Band is a simple rune which can help out with early mana issues once it's fully stacked. Malzahar burns through mana fast with his spammy spell style, so the sooner you stack up the 250 Bonus mana on this and start getting the bonus mana regen from it, the better. Other then that there isn't much else too it, it's very much one of those "slap it on, forget about it, and reap the benefits" style runes.

Nullifying Orb

Nimbus Cloak

Between this rune and Luden's Tempest (your first item buy]], you're already at 30% CDR the moment you hit level 10. A lot like Manaflow Band, it's a "slap it on, forget about it, and reap the benefits" rune, so while it doesn't seem all that impressive on it's own, its extremely helpful for getting you more of that sweet sweet CDR a spammy champ like Malzahar needs, especially since most of your main core item's (mainly Liandry's Anguish and Rylai's Crystal Scepter) will take up a lot of your early gold and don't provide any CDR themselves.

Absolute Focus

Gathering Storm is pretty straight forward. Simply just gives you more AP the longer the game goes on. It's simple but effective, especially since on malzahar you've usually gotta get 2-3 item's to be full build anyway. So by the time you have them all, you'll be into a game enough to be getting a decent amount of power from this as well. Not really much to it past that.



Dark Harvest Is an amazing option for malzahar if you're in an option where you can get a few early stacks of it. It stacks forever, increasing in damage every time you proc it. On top of that, it reset's if you get a kill on the target it procs on. So, in theory, you kill someone, causing your E to jump to the next nearest enemy. This then reset's Dark Harvest, which then proc's again, killing that target, causing E to bounce again, etc etc etc. Does it always work like that? no of course not. But it's still an incredibly strong rune, adding a decent amount of burst to low health target's to make up for the otherwise lack of burst in your kit.

The only major issue here is stacking it early. Into ranged matchups, like let's say, Xerath, getting early stack's of this rune can be really tricky, making it very underwhelming in fight's after laning phase ends. This is pretty much the only reason this rune isnt the standard rune for malzahar. So, take this rune into matchup's where you can potentially stack it early. This usually mean's melee matchups ( Akali- Talon- Sylas, etc etc), or into matchup's where they're gonna come into your range often and make it easy for you to farm stacks.



Cheap Shot Add's a bit of true damage to any damage you do on an enemy champion with impaired movement's. works SUPER great with your R, and after you buy Rylai's Crystal Scepter, it'll then proc on ALL your abilities. Useful in pretty much all situations, never a bad choice.

Taste of Blood

Eyeball Collection Is simple but useful. Anytime you get a kill or assist, you get a stack of Eyeball Collection. for every stack, you get 2 ability power. this stack's up to 10 time for a total of 20 bonus ability power. However, once it's fully stacked, you get an additional reward of 10 more AP, meaning once fully stacked Eyeball Collection will give you a grand total of 30 AP for free. It's simple, since pretty much all you have to do for it is play as you normally would, it can just be tricky to stack if you aren't getting kills and assists early on. Still, it's easy, and isn't something you have to consciously think about to use, so it's great in a pinch.

Ghost Poro

Arguably the best rune for Malzahar in the last branch of Domination. Since malzahar's ultimate is so strong and is the single biggest playmaker in your kit, Ultimate Hunter will help you have that up as often as possible, giving you more freedom of use and more uses of it. Stacking it is the hardest part, and even that isn't something you need to actively go out to do all the time, since you'll naturally get the stack's throughout fight's as long as you participate in kills.

Ravenous Hunter


Token 1

Token 2

Token 3


Other Secondary Tree Options


In the end, Runes are meant to be experimented with, so if you find something totally out of Meta, but it works and you life it, try it out.
Core Item's

Early game

  • Doran's ring+health pot's
    This is a pretty basic start for almost all midlane mages. It give's you a bit of everything you'll need for laning phase, and you still have enough afterwords to take 2 health potions as well, adding to your sustain in the early laning. Just try not to chug them down super early, cause ideally you don't wanna back for the first time until you have 1300 gold.
  • Alternate Start
    A more sustain focused and snowball heavy start. The extra healing from the Dark Seal will help you out, and with this start you can get a refillable right off the bat which is super nice. The biggest downside to this start compared to a basic one is just the lack of mana regen you'd be losing by not taking Doran's Ring. This start is also nice if you're in a matchup you're confident you can win, cause then you can snowball hard off stacking you're Dark Seal. If you get enough stack, you may even consider upgrading it to a Mejai's Soulstealer.
  • Lost Chapter
    The sooner you can buy a Lost Chapter, the easier your lane will be. It'll help sustain your mana, making it much more forgiving to use your abilities to farm. It also gives a bit of AP and 10% CDR, which will both help you a bit too. The biggest use for it is just the bonus mana and the mana regen you get when you level up. This will allow you to stay in lane a lot longer, and should help a lot in both trading and farming. This is even more forgiving on Malzahar then most mages, since not only will you get mana back on leveling up, but you also still get mana back whenever your E kills a minion as well.

    The refillable is a personal purchase, and is not necessary, especially if you have close to or exactly 1300 gold. in that case, just buy the Lost Chapter. However if you have a bit of extra gold, a refillable is just nice so you have a little extra sustain that will refill whenever you go back to your fountain.

Mana Item Options

  • Luden's Echo
    The standard mana item for Malzahar. It give's a decent amount of AP, Mana, CDR, and it's passive Echo. The passive charge's up as you move around, and when fully charged your next spell will deal bonus damage to both the target you hit and a small amount of damage to nearby targetable enemies. This add's a bit of burst to your damage, and also strengthen's your already significant waveclear. It's a pretty standard item for malzahar, and give's you a decent amount of pretty much all the stat's you could need.

    While Luden's Tempest is pretty standard and work's well, there are a couple other mana items you could choose between depending on the situation, listed below. also, while it's totally optional, if you did pick up a Refillable Potion at some point, you could upgrade it to a Corrupting Potion if you'd like as well.
  • Archangel's staff
    Archangel's Staff is a situational item on Malzahar. 9 times out of 10, you'll want Luden's, as it gives a bit more burst to your kit that Archangel's does not give. However, if the enemy team has a bunch of tanky people (like if 3+ of their team build's on the tanky side), then instead of building Luden's Tempest you'll build this instead.

    the idea here is that while Luden's give's you a bit more burst, burst isnt gonna help you if the enemy team is tanky enough to just soak it up. So instead you'll build Archangel's Staff, which will give you more mana and more mana refund so that you can spam your spells more. This will help you deal with the tanky champs more then Luden's would, so as a general rule when you first start the game...
    - if most of the enemy team is squishy, build Luden's Tempest.
    - if most of the enemy team is tanky, build Archangel's Staff.
  • The Rod of Ages
    The Rod of Ages isn't especially common currently, but it's not a bad item on malzahar or anything, just not the best in the current meta. It gives decent AP, health and mana, but it take's time to stack those stats up, making it a very late game oriented item. The current meta is very "fast game" focused, so a late game item like Rod is currently not popular.

    while you won't be building it a ton, if you have a game you expect to last awhile for any reason (maybe you have a late game team or something like that), Rod will be a great item for you to build for the added beefiness and damage it gives. It also has a tiny bit of built in sustain, since you'll heal off all the mana you spend. A very rare item for you to build, but one to keep on the back shelf for those few game's where it can be used to it's full utility.

After your mana item

  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    This item fit's very well with Malzahar's Kit. It gives a decent chunk of AP and some health, but what make's it so good for you is it's passive. While a slow for 1 second doesnt sound impressive, it's important to put that in the context that that slow will keep resetting as long as the enemy champ in question is affected by a spell. So, instead of a 1 second slow, anyone hit by your E will be slowed the entire time the E is on them. Same goes for your Voidlings, the slow will affect the target every single time a Voidling hit's them, making it great for giving you a tiny bit more suitability while you're on the run, or easier to keep up with target's if someone tries to run away from you.
  • Liandry's torment
    One of my personal favorite item's in the game, and an AMAZING item on Malzahar. Liandry's Anguish has a few part's to it, and while many people don't care for the specifics ill go over them anyway just so it's easier to fully understand the item.

    1. The unique passive Madness increases the damage you deal in combat the longer you're in combat with champions. it goes up by 2% for every second you're fighting a champion, up to 10%. this is great for big teamfight's, and will add some serious hurt to all your abilities as long as you don't disengage for too long.

    2. the second unique passive on Liandry's, Torment, burn's enemy chamions whenever you hit them with a spell. This burn last's for 3 seconds, and deal's 1.5% max health damage for the duration. This mean's you'll cut down people with lot's of bonus health much easier, and the burn will affect target's the entire time they have your E on them, the entire duration of your R, or every single time a voidling hit's them, giving a LOT of potential to keep reseting the burn endlessly.

    3. The max health damage dealt by Torment is increased to 2.5% against any enemy champion who is movement impaired. This obviously mean's it'll work well with your R, but what's really worth noting here is that that mean's this affect proc's of off the slow you get from Rylai's Crystal Scepter. this is a large part of the reason these two item's are built together, as you'll constantly be burning down 2.5% of a champion's max health as long as you have both of them on ALL of your spells.

    overall it's an AMAZING item, and the burn will seriously hurt pretty much anyone. it just work's so well with malzahar's DOT playstyle, and essentially just make's every single spell you have hit that much harder for that much longer.
  • Boot options
    Malzhar has two standard options for boots.

    Sorcerer's Shoes are standard for most mages, and are never a bad choice. magic pen will help you cut down enemy champs easier, and is never a bad thing to have for pretty much any mage.

    Ionian Boots of Lucidity are a bit less helpful for mages in particular, but are a decent option for malz depending on your team. If your team already has a lot of AP, then you're small amount of AP over time damage won't significantly help your team. So Lucidity boots will help instead by increasing the up time of both your Summoner Spells and your R with the cooldown reduction. your R is your big playmaking ability, and having it up more by building the extra CDR will mean more opportunities to make plays. Same goes for the cooldown on summoner spells, since Flash+R is such a formidable combo, the extra cooldown on your flash will be a big help.

    so, in general...
    - if you are the only AP and/or the main source of AP damage on your team, build Sorcerer's Shoes
    - if your team has multiple AP threat's and/or you are the weakest source of AP damage on your team, build Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
Other Damage Item's
  • Morellonomicon
    Not part of Malzahar's core, but a definite item you should keep in your back pocket. Morello is extrmley useful for it's Grievous Wounds passive. This passive cut's down the healing affect's of all healing on an enemy champion by 40%. this make's it a item you should definitely build against any champion who either has a lot of sustain built into their kit, or is building a lot of sustain item's. This can include (but is not limited to) Aatrox, Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Maokai, Vladimir, and many more. Pretty much any champion that self heals, heal's other's, or has a lot of life steal will be seriously hurt if you build this item.
  • Void Staff
    A must buy item anytime the enemy team is building a lot of Magic Resist. Void Staff will help you cut through the protection's of people stacking MR. You should build it pretty much anytime...

    1. Someone on the enemy team has multiple MR item's.
    2. Multiple people on the enemy team have an MR item or two.
    3. If someone on the enemy team has MR built into their kit and is also building an MR item ( Dr. Mundo is a good example of this).
    % magic pen VS Flat MR pen
  • Rabadon's Deathcap
    While building straight up AP doesnt help Malzahar as much as it does some other champs (since he's less bursty), it's not inherently bad for him either. Rabadon's deliver's on this in a BIG way.

    it give's 120 AP straight out the gate, on top of increasing your total AP by 40% of however much AP you have. Strictly damage wise, it's the single strongest AP damage item in the game, hand's down. The only issue with that is, as i said, flat out building bucket's of AP doesn't benefit Malzahar in the same way it benefit's more bursty mages. That's why most of his core damage item's are built more for the passive's on them that enhance his DOT (like Liandry's Anguish) rather then the amount of AP they give.

    None of that is to say it isnt a good item on malzahar. it give's your damage a noticeable amount more punch, and more damage is hardly ever a bad thing. it's just an item that's so expensive that you really need to be hard stomping a game to justify buying it on Malzhar. if you're ahead, hell yeah. if you're behind or even? not so much.
  • Spellbinder
    A bit of an unusual item pick, but an effective one if you play around it. it give's a lot of AP, and also give's an active that increases your move speed and AP briefly after you activate it. This can be great as an option to get a burst of speed to catch someone with R, and the added damage from the active can catch people by surprise.

    there's only a couple downsides to this item. as discussed above with Rabadon's, pure AP doesn't benefit Malzahar as well as it benefits some other mages due to the nature of his kit. so a breif burst of damage is, ok, especially if combined with your powerful ult and full combo, but other then that it's just "eh". on top of that, stacking item to get the full use out of the active isn't hard, but it can be easily forgotten, causing you to activate it early and not get the full possible use out of it. Not a fan personally, but something you can try out and decide if you like it for yourself.
Defensive Item's
  • Zhonya's Hourglass
    The standard go to item for mages when you need Armor. it give's you armor while still also giving you a bit of damage. More important then that though, it give's you one of the strongest item active's in the game. Stasis make's you completely invulnerable for 2.5 seconds. you can't be hurt or touched by anything for the duration, but also can't move, cast spells or use summoner spells. It's a highly useful active, with a lot of potential uses defensively, and can completely change the tide of a fight. It's easily the best armor item for a mage if you need to build armor.
  • Banshee's Veil
    the MR item of choice for mages. Give's you a decent chunk of MR, as well as still giving you a bit of damage. it's also nice for the passive on it Spell Shield creates a bubble around you that blocks the next ability that hit's you. On top of blocking the ability damage, it also make's you unaffected by any CC or impairment caused by that ability. It's a nice passive which can be extremely useful usually, however since malzahar basically has this passive for free, and it's easy for certain champs and runes to pop both of them one after another if you stack them, it isn't always as useful as it could be. it's not bad, just not worth building for the passive alone on malzahar.
  • Other boot options
    Normally you wanna stick to the two boot options above for either the magic pen of the CDR. however in the extreme situations where you seriously need the defensive stats, you can build either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads.

    Ninja Tabi give only a little armor, however they also give a passive where auto's hurt you less overall. This can be very helpful against enemy team's with lot's of auto attacked based champs.

    Mercury's Treads only give a tiny bit of MR, and a lot less MR then Banshee's Veil, but they also give a nice passive that decreases the duration of most CC affect's on you. very useful if you're against a team where CC is a serious issue, although also not as useful on you as it could be on other champs wince your passive blocks CC affect's that hit you altogether.
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