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Malzahar Build Guide by Chromuro

An in-depth look inside the Void Prophet's mind [S9]

By Chromuro | Updated on September 11, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Malzahar
    Pogchamp poke-champ
  • LoL Champion: Malzahar
    Malzy the handyman

Runes: most common setup

1 2
Sorcery
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Scorch

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2 3 4 5
permapush/map presence
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #3 in
Middle Lane
Win 54%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

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






Hi everyone! Chromuro's talking! Today I'm here to share my knowledge about our void boy Malzahar. Here I'll write everything that I learned from playing with him; I'll try to cover every single aspect of this particular champion, from farming to combos and tricks.
Enjoy the reading and I'll see you at the end of the guide!
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Pros:
+ Good amount of damage in early game +
+ 2 CC, a silence and a suppress +
+ His ultimate is the perfect teamfight tool +
+ Easy waveclear +
+ Good protection thanks to his passive +
+ Not too much mana dependant +
Cons:
- Low mobility -
- Medium-to-low survivability -
- Low skill ranges -
- Really team reliant -
- Falls off quite heavily late game -
- Even his voidlings are squishy -

Generally, you are a control mage that wants to stay in the backline casting uninterruptedly your Call of the Void and Malefic Visions on everything that is alive. Your Nether Grasp is perfect to lockdown a priority target (or to give time to any teammate to catch up to your enemy); he gives his best during prolonged fights thanks to his sustained damage (in form of DoT) and distractions (in form of disposable dear voidlings). If you lose the teamfight, you will be most of the time the sacrificial victim for the enemy team (and maybe a Tahm Kench will take the "sacrificial victim" thing too seriously and will eat you).





Passive: Void shift
Malzahar receives Void Shift if he hasn't taken damage nor been affected by crowd control in the last 30 / 24 / 18 / 12 seconds. Damage from minions does not interact with Void Shift.

Void Shift phases out Malzahar, making him immune to crowd control and taking 90% reduced damage, lingering for 0.25 seconds after taking damage or blocking a crowd control effect.

Explanation:
There isn't too much to explain, it's a stronger version of Banshee's Veil that can be dispelled with an AA. The interesting part is that it nearly nullifies the damage you receive and that lingers for .25 seconds. What does it mean? If you get targeted with a skill that stuns (for example Leona's Shield of Daybreak) and immediately after you get targeted with another CC (again, for example Yasuo's empowered Steel Tempest), the passive will cancel both the stun and the airborne. It won't happen that often to be targeted by two CC at the same time, but it's nice to know that you are protected in this way.




Q: Call of the Void
After a 0.25-second delay, Malzahar summons two orbs at the target location perpendicular to where he is facing, after a 0.4-seconds delay dealing magic damage to all enemies caught between the orbs and silencing them.

Explanation:
One of Malzahar main skills, it's one of the few remaining silences and one of the strongest in the game (at level 5 it's 2 seconds like Cho'Gath's Feral Scream). It's a bit difficult to position well seen its strange (and not OCD-friendly) cast time of .65 seconds. Putting it directly on the enemy is not advised for this reason; always try to anticipate enemy movements or try to put one of the portal spawning points on him (more difficult, but this way he won't have too many chances to evade the attack). It does a good amount of damage at early levels too, it just needs a bit of practice to use.
This skill gives you vision where you cast it in an area roughly about the dimension of its hitbox, so it's a nice tool to look inside brushes if you don't have wards.




W: Void Swarm
PASSIVE: Malzahar gains a stack of Gathering Swarm when he casts another spell, up to a maximum of 2. Stacks of Gathering Swarm can be gained during the summoning, but will not be consumed.

ACTIVE: After a 0.35-second delay, Malzahar summons a Voidling at the target location plus an additional Voidling for each stack of Gathering Swarm consumed. Voidlings deal magic damage with their attacks. Voidlings deal 50% damage to epic monsters, and 300% damage against lane minions affected by Malefic Visions.

Explanation:
I won't explain too much here, there is an entire chapter about them here. This skill spawns them and it doesn't have a cast time, so you can use this skill even when moving. It spawns always at least 1 voidling, then if you used Call of the Void or Malefic Visions one or more times between a cast of Void Swarm and the other you can obtain 2 more voidlings, to a max of 3 total.




E: Malefic Visions
Malzahar infects the target enemy's mind, dealing them magic damage every half second over 4 seconds. Damaging a target with Call of the Void or Nether Grasp will refresh the duration of Malefic Visions.

If the target dies during this time, they pass Malefic Visions onto the closest enemy, refreshing the duration and restoring 2% of Malzahar's maximum mana.

Explanation:
The other main skill of Malzahar is a simple DoT: you target the victim and he loses health over 4 seconds. At level one, it does a ton of damage for its cost and it's your main tool of farming along with the W (explained here). The DoT timer is refreshed when the target is hit by Call of the Void (this way you'll do the Q damage+the refreshed E damage) and it's constantly refreshed during Nether Grasp channel (so it's damage on top of damage on top of damage). The last part is the most important one, making it the most useful farming tool: it spreads (and spreading refreshes the timer!) and it restores mana (which is a bit of a problem without Lost Chapter). An all-around nice skill.




R: Nether Grasp
Malzahar knocks down the target enemy champion. For the next 2.5 seconds Malzahar channels, during which the target is suppressed and deals magic damage every 0.25 seconds.
A Null Zone is opened beneath the target that lasts 5 seconds, dealing magic damage every half-second to both Nether Grasp's target as well as all other enemies within it.

Explanation:
And now the last skill! The most hated ultimate in LoL world! Prepare to be flamed just for using this skill once! Now let's get serious: a good source of damage and an excellent teamfighting tool. It's perfect even in the early-mid game vs. your laner since it can secure some easy kills. Suppression can be cleansed only with a Quicksilver Sash or Mercurial Scimitar or by breaking the channel; in the first case, you're obliging your opponent to invest gold into an item that maybe works only with you, but this way you won't be able to secure kills that easily; in the second case, pay attention to the enemy jungler and to your items/summoner spells: both Flash and Teleport break the channel and all active items but 6 ( Youmuu's Ghostblade, Randuin's Omen, Righteous Glory, Gargoyle Stoneplate, Spellbinder and Shurelya's Reverie) do the same. Said that remember that a cleansed Nether Grasp won't stop the channel, so you'll remain in place for the entire 2.5 seconds (or when the channel is broken).
A piece of handy information to know is that, being a suppression and being a point 'n' click skill, Nether Grasp is great even for objective control since you can stop the enemy jungler from using Smite on a baron or drake , so remember this next time your team want to contest something!

Last two things: only the ray part of the ultimate refreshes Malefic Visions and the Null Zone lasts 5 seconds instead of 2.5, so it will help even after the channel finished.



And that ends the explanation of the skills, now I'll talk a bit about skill order:

ABILITY
SEQUENCE
1

E
2

Q
3

W
4

E
5

E
6

R
7

E
8

Q
9

E
10

Q
11

R
12

Q
13

Q
14

W
15

W
16

R
17

W
18

W

So, why level 1 Malefic Visions and first max skill over Call of the Void? Level 1 E because you'll need it to farm and it is easier to punish your laner if he overextends. First max E for the same reason, farming will be quicker and with the runes set I chose, it will do a ton of damage alone. You're free to take level 1 Q or max Q first, in the end it is only a personal choice.
Never take level 1 W or max W first, only villains do that (no, seriously, you won't ever have a reason to do that).





Flash
As now it's the best summoner spell in th entire game. Flash is usefull to close distance with the opponent or to run away from a bad situation; since your Nether Grasp has a limited range, it also serves as a range extender for your ult.


For the second summoner spell, it depends on the matchup and on your preferences:

Since you don't want to waste your Flash most of the times, you need a similar solution that can help you to get closer or farther from your enemy in a less crucial situation. The simple movement speed boost from Ghost can help you achieve this goal; it's my favorite second spell.
Exhaust and Barrier serve the same objective: survive whatever burst is coming to you. While Exhaust can help you with "slower" bursts at "close" range, Barrier can save you from getting 100-0 when the enemy is too far (ex. Lux) or too quick (ex. Talon).

Teleport is the standard second summoner spell; Malzahar like to stay a lot in lane and if he wants to do a quick back to then return in lane, then Teleport can help him doing so. This helps keeping pressure in lane too and it can give you some more roaming potential.
Ignite is a finisher spell that can help you get a kill that otherwise you would miss. It's true damage, so it doesn't matter if your target is squishy or tanky, you'll get the kill in any case. Igniting an enemy during Nether Grasp (maybe during an all-in) raises the total damage output.








Summon Aery

Scorch
Both of these runes serve to one purpose only: more damage to your E (and to your other skill obviously, but mainly for your E). With these a level 1 E does between 1/6 and 1/5 of the enemy hp and aery will proc from everywhere on the map (so if you have an E somewhere in the map and it attaches to an enemy, you'll see that little fox run toward him :D), with luden even better.

Summon Aery vs. Arcane Comet
They are both vald choices for Malzahar, it's more of a personal choice since both have their advantages and disadvantages. The main differences are about precision and cooldown: Arcane Comet doesn't hit 100% of the times (it depends if he's slowed or CC'ed (thing that we can achieve with Rylai's Crystal Scepter) and on the reaction time of the opponent), but it has a fixed cooldown; instead Summon Aery hits 100% of the times, but it has a variable cooldown (it depends on the distance between your target and you, so it could take more time than Arcane Comet). If you value more damage over reliability, take Summon Aery, in every other case Arcane Comet.



Manaflow Band

Malzahar is a mage and he obviously needs the mana, moreover during the early game. Thanks to the fact that Malefic Visions is a point'n'click skill, we can stack the rune pretty quickly, this way we can benefit from its increased mana regen early (plus this way we have two ways of regenerating mana, both with the rune and with Malefic Visions' "passive"). It won't regenerate crazy amounts of mana, mind that, but it's enough to survive the early to mid game.



Transcendence

With Luden's Echo and Ionian Boots of Lucidity you'll get only 30% CDR. With this, you will be capped already at 10-15 minutes! CDR is useful both to your Nether Grasp and your Malefic Visions since the last one will have a 2.7 seconds CD.



Presence of Mind
One of my favourite runes: with some early ganks (or even early kills) you have your mana back, helping you with your mana sustain problem before Lost Chapter and resetting partially your ultimate cooldown (specially usefull while in the teamfight phase, since it could reset almost half your ultimate); an all-around nice rune.



Coup de Grace

We're already in the precision tree, what could we take? The Legend branch is pretty useless for Malzahar and you won't be able to use Last Stand at its full potential, so it remains Coup de Grace and Cut Down. Since most of the times you'll be vs. people with the same amount of health (mages and assassins don't have too much health and often they don't build health (at least, assassins)), the only possibility remaining is Coup de Grace. This rune will amp up your damage when your enemy has less hp, helping you killing your opponent during an all-in o gaining AP with assists during a teamfight.

Rune stats
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18) You have some early CDR to have your skills off CD more often and a bit later you start to get additional AP thanks to Transcendence.

+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP) Hey, you are a mage, why not take AP? Your Malefic Visions this way will do even more damage in the early game. This way it compensate for the lost AP in case you go with the Sapphire Crystal+refillable potion]] start.

+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18) You need a little bit of more health in case you get ganked/all-ined early or for just trading. You should change this to A/MR vs. burst champions ( Zed, LeBlanc, those sort of guys)




Unsealed Spellbook
Unsealed Spellbook lets you take a one-use summoner spell when out of combat. With this, you can have a bit more flexible playstyle, taking a Teleport (if you want to roam) or an Exhaust (maybe before a teamfight) when you need it. You can take this path when you want to be more a support than a damage dealer, since you trade damage for utility.



Magical Footwear

The idea here is simple: you don't have to worry about boots and you can focus more on building other items. Moreover free boots! Who doesn't want free boots? Oh, you? Ok, maybe they were being worn by someone else, but at least you save money!

Magical Footwear vs. Perfect Timing
This inspiration build is made around the concept of "save gold as much as you can", this is why I choose Magical Footwear. But Perfect Timing is excellent when you are vs. some dangerous matchups like Syndra or Vel'Koz, a "get out of jail" card to not be bursted down (or for some other dangerous situation). The safety is never enough for this type of things!



Biscuit Delivery

Biscuit Delivery is a great choice since it gives consumables that restore health and mana. This gives more room to mistakes in your laning phase and can help you if you get OOM too early. You can even not buy the starting health pot and wait only for the biscuits, this way you save some starting gold. A nice boost to your survivability with some more additional permanent mana.

Biscuit Delivery vs. Minion Dematerializer
Minion Dematerializer helps you control the wave and it helps you clear it even faster, giving you the opportunity to roam more to the side lanes. It can be a nice choice when you are vs. an easy matchup when you don't need the extra sustain from Biscuit Delivery. It can be a good choice for the new Malzahars since it can help getting the cannons when you are not accustomed to his AA.



Cosmic Insight

CDR, CDR, CDR and... wait for it, CDR! There isn't too much to say, additional CDR is always nice. The fact that gives item CDR too synergizes with all the active items that you will probably build (maybe not all 4, but at least one or two).



Ghost Poro
Ghost Poro rewards continuous warding by giving you a ghost poro (something that pings you whenever someone get near him) and some additional AP. Being midlane vision control is important both for you and your jungler (to not get ganked by the enemy jungler and to keep track of his movements), so using your wards correctly (both Warding Totems and Control Wards) is key to obtain an advatange on your laner.

Ghost Poro vs. Eyeball Collection
After the last change, you could replace Ghost Poro with one of the other two runes without problems. They all give the same AP boost (30), but they stack differently, with one giving you AP by clearing wards ( Zombie Ward) and the other giving you AP by killing/assisting someone ( Eyeball Collection); imo the second best rune for Malzahar is Eyeball Collection, but you can choose whatever you want here.



Ultimate Hunter

The old The Ultimate Hat, it's the only reason I'm considering domination as a secondary path. Since your ultimate is really powerfull, you want it with the lesser cooldown possible; now that is a kill-stacking rune, you have to be more aggressive with your plays to have the same benefit that you had with the old rune. The thing I hate about this row of runes (the "hunter" row) is that you will find yourself a lot of times with only one bounty remaining that you will have difficulty to get since: a) this enemy is incredibly feeded; b) you won't encounter him until later stages of the game. If it wasn't for the ultimate cooldown, I wouldn't even consider taking this risk.

Rune stats
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18) CDR is always welcome, the more you use your Malefic Visions the best.

+6 Magic Resist The central point is: you have not to die. Resistance early are a blessing, change to armor if the matchup is AD.

+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18) You need a little bit of more health in case you get ganked/all-ined early or for just trading. If you want you can go double A/MR to reduce the incoming damage to the minimum.






Luden's Echo will be your first item to build. It comes from Lost Chapter, that is the first uncomplete item that you will buy. Why? Because with it, you'll be farming very easily without worrying about depleting your MP. Luden's is the finishing touch to that: you'll gain a ton of mana AND you will do more damage by only moving! Moreover, it procs both at every tick of your Malefic Visions and when it is transferred from a unit to another. And don't worry if there is only one unit in the area, Luden's Echo will proc every time; maybe it's a bit wasted this way, but hey, you will move a lot, so no problem.

Luden's Echo vs. Archangel's Staff
Archangel's Staff is a more defensive item compared to the other two and it's more oriented to a utility build than an offensive one. When it becomes Seraph's Embrace it gives protection (it can be paired with Rod of Ages too) and it gives the mana that Malzahar needs. Take it if you want to be more "mid support" than a "mid let me take all the kills".

Luden's Echo vs. Hextech GLP-800
In the current situation, Hextech GLP-800 is the worst for Malzahar. Stats wise is the balanced item between the three branches, but its active effect is counterproductive: yes, Malzahar would benefit from sticking to its target, but there is too much burst potential right now and he can't survive any of it. The farthest you stay, the better is for you.




You are a DoT mage and what's better than adding DoT on your DoT spell? Liandry's Torment burns your target whenever you hit a spell and it will trigger at every tick of Malefic Visions, constantly refreshing its duration. The best part is the second passive: the more you stay in combat, the more damage you'll do and yes, when Malefic Visions is active, you are considered in combat until it expires. This was made specifically for mages that want to stay on the battlefield for long times (a thing that Malzahar doesn't want too much), but you can do a ton of damage safely from the backline. This is your second item most of the times.




The nice thing of Rylai's Crystal Scepter? It procs on everything you have in your kit, even voidlings attack and Luden's Echo. It helps to get to your opponent and for running away from him (just leave some voidlings and they will attack him, see here). Paired with Liandry's Torment it becomes deadly, since Liandry's Torment will do double burn damage and the slowed enemy can be hit more times. Normally is your third purchase.




Magic Penetration route
For when the Needlessly Large Rod isn't enough ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Defensive route
For when the enemy has the Needlessly Large Rod ( ͡° ͟ʖ ͡°)
Morellonomicon is a good item to have when the enemy team isn't building that much MR, the flat magic pen has more value than %based magic pen (in something like Void Staff) when the enemy has less than ~70 MR, so everything that isn't a tank should die a lot faster. Even if the magic pen is good versus squishier targets, the grievous wounds passive makes this item good even for those tankier champ that can heal an absurd amount of hp ( Maokai, Illaoi, Vladimir ecc.), making this item an all around good purchase.

If the enemy team starts to build too much MR (>70 MR), then maybe it's better to build Void Staff. You lose obviously the ability to reduce the healing power that certain champs have, but if they aren't in your game, why should you need it? :D
You do more damage, there is nothing particular to explain, you take this when Morellonomicon isn't a good purchase.
Assassins unfortunately exist and their only objective is to make you suffer terribly. Being an immobile mage means that you don't have any mean to escape, moreover you don't have any meaningful hard CC out of your ult. And that's why you should take Zhonya's Hourglass when facing this kind of foes. Luckily it gives some AP too, so you don't lose too much power, and you can build it at the same time with Luden's Echo (since Seeker's Armguard gives you a bit of armor to survive with). This item is not good only vs. assassins, but vs. every burst-based champion.

We were talking about burst-based champions before, but what if your enemy is AP-based? Then you should think about building Banshee's Veil instead; unfortunately the only component that can give you some MR is Null-Magic Mantle (and it gives less MR that its armor counterpart), so you'll struggle a little bit, but after completing it you can benefit from a spell-shield thaaaaaat, unfortunately, doesn't stack with Malzahar's passive. At least you don't explode immediately if a fed enemy mage decides to look at you.

Active Items route
You're more a top laner than a mid laner ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
"Passive" Items route
You're more a bot laner than a mid laner ( ͡° ͟ʖ ͡°)
Fast as fucc boi. A good amount of AP passively and with the active you get even more, with a sprinkle of movement speed on top of it. Since late game you'll find yourself spamming a lot of skills, you'll be able to stack it quickly getting the most out of it. Your teammates will help you since it counts their skills too, the only difference with the crown is that Spellbinder gives you more raw power and decaying movement speed, while Shurelya's Reverie is more balanced stat wise and the movement speed is not decaying.

This time, instead of speeding you up, you slow down your enemy from afar; this is a middle ground between Shurelya's Reverie and Spellbinder stat wise, but regarding to when to buy it, it's more similar to the first one: both Shurelya's Reverie and Twin Shadows are items that can be built during mid game (since they give more a utility boost to your kit), while Spellbinder is more of a late game item (since gaining stack early is a slow process).
Rod of Ages is a very situational item, but that works wonders in the more utility-oriented build (since it will be the first complete item that you'll buy). It gives more survivability (thanks to the health and heal of Catalyst of Aeons) and it synergizes perfectly with the Seraph's Embrace shield (thanks to the bonus mana). 100 AP is not a bad number too on a 2700 gold item, but obviously before you buy it the better (it needs time to stack up).

You can finish your build with a really late game power spike thanks to Rabadon's Deathcap. This item is nothing special (other than being the most expensive mage item existing), but the fact that it gives a brutal amount of AP lets you do... more damage. Just that. Wow, it's really difficult to make an explanation to this item that it isn't "you do more damage".






With this build, you get to 30% CDR; the shoes let you get to the cap fairly quickly, so it's my standard choice. If you build some other CDR item, you can choose to take the Ionian Boots of Lucidity anyway and obtain some AP from Transcendence or swap them for Sorcerer's Shoes.

It gives some easily accessible magic penetration, useful to ignore the already low enemy MR (or, at least, low at early levels). Paired with Morellonomicon it gives you a lot of flat magic pen.





The midlane role is important since it dictates the tempo of the game. Whenever you destroy turrets or roam to other lanes, you can have a great impact on other lanes too. Do you get the first tier turret? Now the jungler can pass between the two halves of the enemy jungle safely, without being damaged or seen (minions vision excluded), making his invasions more impactful; your opponent is occupied with minions and you can roam? The other lanes will be happy to receive your help, making them snowball faster and harder. How can we manage to have an impact on the game? With wave's management. "Just farm your minions" isn't the only option here, there are 3 kinds of wave management and, for all of them, I'll list the possible ways for Malzahar to achieve these perfect waves.

Freezing


Freezing a wave means that, instead of you pushing the wave towards your enemy, you make sure that the wave is slowly pushing towards you. This way you can control the amount of gold and exp that your enemy laner can get since he'll have to overextend to last-hit minions. This situation permits you to farm more safely (maybe when you are a little behind) nearly without the worry of the jungler ganking you. Freezing a wave is helpful to your jungler too, since he has the possibility to gank you or other lanes, and can stop possible roamer champions to... roam, since they would lose too much experience and gold. You can freeze the lane even when you are backing and the wave is pushing towards you, this way you won't lose too much exp/gold when you get back to lane because of the turret.

The easiest way to freeze a lane is to only last-hit minions (so no skills or more than 1 AA), this way you ensure that the enemy minions can live as long as they can. When playing Malzahar, when you want to freeze a wave, you have the possibility to punish overextensions with Malefic Visions or Call of the Void since you won't be using mana to farm. This is especially useful in early levels since Malefic Visions can do quite the damage. Another good point towards freezing a lane is the gank factor: thanks to Nether Grasp a possible gank can transform into a kill pretty easily.

The only negative side of this is that, if you can't last-hit really well minions, you'll end up getting behind in gold, thing that is the exact opposite of what it should happen. You need to get accustomed to Malzahar's AS and AA damage, thing that happens after a lot of experience. My suggestion is to go into a training room and start to last-hit minions until you get the hang of it. It isn't immediate, but after some training you'll understand when it's the time to AA something.

Slow push


Slow pushing a lane means that the wave is... slowly pushing toward the tower. You didn't expect that right? This tactic is a bit more complicated of only "it's slow". The main way to achieve a slow push is by clearing only the caster minions of the enemy wave; since melee minions have a good amount of health, but low damage, your minions will take a while to clear them. This way the wave will get bigger and bigger over time, making an unstoppable siege force (or, at least, unstoppable for the enemy minions). It's a good time to slow push when you or your team want to rotate toward an objective at the opposite side of the map; this means that a slow push is effective mostly on the side lanes (since you are a midlaner, think about slow pushing in late game) and only when your team succeeds to take an objective (it could be baron, drake or even a tower thanks to the minions), else you just gave for free a ton of gold to the enemy team.

The easiest way to set up a slow push is, as I said, to kill only the caster minions. As Malzahar, you can easily do that with one or two Call of the Void, thanks to its narrow hitbox and high late game damage. Malzahar is good to take objective too, drakes above everything else since your voidlings can tank all the damage that you or your team would take. Just be wary that to do a damageless drake you'll need to burn quite a lot of mana and you could find yourself without during a teamfight.

Fast push


In the end we have fast pushing, the most "natural" way of pushing a wave. A fast push works pretty much the same as a slow push, your goal is still to build a good wave to crash into the tower, but this time your main objective is to siege the tower and to deny exp and gold to your laner. Obviously it's a good time to fast push when your enemy isn't in lane (maybe roaming or backing) or when your team is grouped up and you want to push toward the nexus (maybe after baron).

We could distinguish two ways of fast pushing: clearing only the melee minions and clearing the entire wave. In the second case, we can normally refer to it as just "pushing" the wave. To fast push with Malzahar, the easiest way is to use Malefic Visions+ Void Swarm on the melee minions. In the early levels, this will assure you to kill only the melee minions since voidlings' damage output is pretty low. If you want to clear the entire wave, add a Call of the Void on the caster minions, this way your Malefic Visions will have an easier time to pass from minion to minion. In late game, visions+voidlings will be enough to clear the entire wave.

The main problem with fast pushing is that Malzahar eats through mana pretty quickly. Trying to push the wave in early levels too many times could end up in getting OOM; wait until you buy Lost Chapter, then you can push whenever you want.







Pretty easy harass combo. Malefic Visions early does quite the damage and that could be already enough to punish an overextending laner. If on top of that we add the voidlings from Void Swarm, the enemy will have a hard time. If the enemy isn't used to confront Malzahar, he won't know that the voidlings can die with only one auto, so he will be zoned from his minions and probably will start to waste mana for nothing trying to clear your beautiful void spiders.
Pros of this technique:
+ quick combo, a point-n-click and a casted ability +
+ potential zoning +
+ high damage early +
Cons of this technique:
- if the enemy knows how to deal with voidlings, you'll be wasting mana -
- very mana expensive pre- Lost Chapter if spammed too much -
- needs a bit of prior skill setup if you want the most amount of voidlings -



A lot of times, after the wave is cleared, the Malefic Visions will pass to your enemy laner (since he wasn't paying attention to his wave, take this always to your advantage) and the voidlings (if still alive) will start to follow him. This is already enough, since it will push him under the tower most of the times, but if you can put a well placed Call of the Void, you'll do more damage, refresh the Malefic Visions timer and silence him in case he's trying to trade back or if he's trying to kill the voidling without retreating under the tower. If you already have Rylai's Crystal Scepter even better, some AA are always welcome.

Pros of this technique:
+ mana neutral (more or less) if the Malefic Visions are coming from minions +
+ Can do a good amount of damage pretty safely +
Cons of this technique:
- Q timing -
- Q range -
- Q hitbox -


( )

This is a shorter version of the all-in combo that I will explain later. It's pretty easy: your jungler is ganking, you need to get to your opponent (by Flashing or Ghosting), put down the Malefic Visions and lockdown your opponent with Nether Grasp; if you can, try to put down your Void Swarm before your ultimate too: it will always have at least 2 voidlings and every bit of damage helps a lot. A good 90% of the time, it results as a kill for you or your jungler.

Why do I have to put down Malefic Visions? I could just Flash/ult and let my jungler take the kill
Even if it seems a stupid question, there is a bit of truth in this words: Malefic Visions has a cast time, a really small one, true, but since Nether Grasp range is really limited, this small amount of time could cost you your summoner spell(s) or the entire gank. Don't always put all on your jungler shoulders, he could be a little behind and he could need help for the kill, there is no such thing as overkill. Better safe than sorry.

Pros of this technique:
+ Can easily get a kill for your team +
+ Reliable +
+ Mana friendly even at lower levels +
Cons of this technique:
- Needs external help to get the kill -
- You have to burn your ultimate -
- Prone to key ghosting if you decide to use your Void Swarm too -



This is the final Malzahar combo, the one that will do the most damage and can get an easy solo kill. It's easy to explain, difficult to pull off: Malefic Visions on the target, Void Swarm in front of you, Call of the Void on the target and at the end Nether Grasp. The problems: the shortest skill in terms of range is your ultimate and you need to do all of this in less than a second or your target will walk away from you, you need to position perfectly your Call of the Void (the hitbox is smaller than you think) and key ghosting is a real problem. If you are not quick enough or you miss one of the skills, run away before your laner kills you in a more effective way. I have to add this for legal reasons: after the continuous nerfs to his Call of the Void and Nether Grasp (above all on their AP ratio), without even a small lead of CS or one or two items more than your opponent you will never (or nearly never) be able to kill your opponent. I know, it's frustrating, for this reason try to do some AA before leaving if it is safe to do so.

How important is the skill activation order of Void Swarm?
Really important. You have to mind this: the voidlings need to walk to your opponent before they can attack. Let's make a simple table and let's see the pros and cons of the various possible activation orders.

With a scale from 1 to 3, with 1 being the least and 3 being the highest

Void Swarm first Void Swarm second Void Swarm third
TIME TO GET TO OPPONENT
1
2
3
N. OF VOIDLINGS (on average)
1
2
3
TENDENCY TO KEY GHOST
1
3
1


So, using Void Swarm first makes it possible to the voidlings to reach your opponent earlier and to do the max amount of damage before they expire or die, but they need some prior skill usage to have the max amount of them; using Void Swarm third ensure to have always 3 voidlings on the field, but they will have less time to attack your laner; using Void Swarm second is an average between the two and it is a little bit quicker to use and that's why I use it. If you feel that maybe that's not your style, feel free to change the order. In my opinion:
2nd>1st>3rd
Pros of this technique:
+ It has the most amount of damage possible +
+ Possibility of solo-kill +
Cons of this technique:
- Needs a good amount of practice -
- Needs an external help a good amount of times to kill the target -
- Possible counterattack (and death) since you have to overextend -
- High possibility of key ghosting -





What are those... things?
...you know that they have feelings too, right? They don't like to be called "things", they are fierce voidborns ready to feast on your corpse with their... 6 teeth and ready to swarm Runeterra with their tiny legs.
... Malzahar likes spiders, ok? He's a spooder lover and he will conquer Runeterra with his love. Our duty is to help him to achieve his dream through every game in the summoner's rift.

Small talk about the stats
General stats: all of the voidlings values are based on Malzahar level, not on his W level. They grow with you.
Health: the voidlings will always be killed with one turret shot or with an AA, so spawning less than two voidlings is not recommended. Remember that turrets prioritize pets like the voidlings, so if you want to shred the turret with their help, wait for a cannon wave. In any case, their health is not enough to survive any kind of situation at any level, so try to spawn them when you know that they will survive more than 2 seconds.
Damage: first of all, they are the only thing that scales with AD and that's why Malzahar jungle was a thing (that's why the modifier for epic monsters). Increasing their skill level gives a little boost to their attack, but it's nothing that spectacular (that's why you should max W last), and a little boost to their lifespan. The modifier on the minions is the thing that makes Malzahar's wave-clearing so fast and so good and that's why you put first your Malefic Visions, then Void Swarm.
Timing: Void Swarm doesn't have a cast time, but it has a summon time (.35 seconds, as seen in the tooltip) and this applies for every summon during the skill (so, for three voidlings, the total summon time is a bit more over 1 second). This factor, along with the distance that the voidlings have to do to get to your opponent, determines if the all-in combo will kill your opponent: does it take too much time for the voidlings to get to him? Then the probability of killing him will diminish by a lot.

Priorities
(All the times that I will say "minions" inside this paragraph, I always intend every type of unit that is an AI, such as jungle monsters, epic monsters, and towers, too)
The first step to use the voidlings is to understand how they think. Their target priority is driven by both Nether Grasp and Malefic Visions and it's pretty simple to remember (from highest to lowest priority):
  1. Nether Grasp target
  2. enemy champion afflicted by Malefic Visions
  3. enemy minion afflicted by Malefic Visions
  4. the nearest enemy champion
  5. the nearest enemy minion
( Call of the Void and AA do nothing in this aspect)
With Nether Grasp there isn't any kind of problem: the skill has a long cooldown and it can target only one unit at the time.
Some type of managing problems start with the Malefic Visions priorities: since it has such a low cd, you can put more of this on the same wave of a minion or on multiple enemies. At this point, the priority is managed by a simple queue: they start from the first target with E on them, then when Malefic Visions expires on that target they move to the following one and so on. The champion's queue and the minion's queue never mix up.
When both of the queues are empty, they start following the nearest enemy unit. The NEU (from now on I will shorten it) is continuously checked and the voidlings will start to follow the nearest enemy in a 900 unit radius (the same radius of Call of the Void). NEU follows the same rule as before: champions before any other unit. That means if they find a champion while attacking a minion that is closer than its actual target, they will switch target to the first one. Since NEU is distance-driven, it could happen that the voidlings group divides: one or two could start following an enemy Ekko just passing by, the other one could still play with the cannon minion. There is no way to control NEU algorithm, once they stick to an enemy champ the only way to make them change target is for the enemy to exit their vision range (pretty difficult since they have the same movement speed as a level 18 Cassiopeia).

(This is a simplified schematic about voidlings priority, both of NEU should have an arrow pointing to both E queue and everything should have an arrow pointing to Nether Grasp, but it would have been a mess and I'm not a master painter as you can see. Open the image in another tab if you can't read the words.)


How to use them
Now that we know how they work, we must know how to use them at their best. They are the most important part of farming, so using them without a grain of salt could cost you heavily.
Always try to position them INSIDE the wave, this way they'll take less time to get to their target and, in case Malefic Visions expires, at least they won't automatically follow your opponent; target first melee minions: if they are the first to go, your caster minions will have a much easier time to help you clear the wave. Always wait for your opponent to use their AoE spell (if they have one), this way they won't die instantly. A quick note: in case the AoE is really big and it lasts too much time (ex. Anivia's Glacial Storm), you have to be wary of where it has been placed too. Target first the caster minions, this way at least you get some CS and you won't be heavily behind.
When a cannon wave arrives, always prioritize the cannon minion: try to kill it the fastest possible, don't worry about your opponent literally hugging you to take your cannon. Before you get it, before you can return to focus on your enemy laner that is proxy farming your next wave for god knows which reason (I'm looking at you Singed). Jokes aside, now cannon minions are worth from 36% to 46% of the entire wave gold, so it's pretty important to get it.
A cast of Void Swarm normally last enough to clear the wave, so don't worry if they can't get to your opponent, it's not their main purpose. It becomes their main purpose when you're all-ining your opponent or when you are "kiting" away from the enemy: voidlings can proc effects like Rylai's Crystal Scepter, helping you in your escape if they hit your enemy; just hope there isn't some minion lying around or they will be distracted and they won't go directly to your chaser. About the all-ining and how to use them, read here.





Early game
So, your early game will be really passive: just focus on farming and punishing your opponent when he overextends. This phase is really important since it will determine if you'll win or lose lane. To understand how we are doing, we must see at which time we buy Lost Chapter, your first core item: if you buy it around level 6/6 minutes, you are doing good and it's probably an even lane (obviously it depends on the opponent laner farm/KDA and your KDA too, but here we're assuming that he knows what he's doing), if before 6/6 you're probably gonna win lane, if after 6/6 you're probably gonna lose lane (buying Lost Chapter at 4-5 minutes is excellent, buying it at 10 minutes is the worst case scenario). Go for the kill only if you have poked enough with your Malefic Visions (like if he has only 1/4 of his health left with no Health Potion left), if your jungler helps even better.

Mid game
Your mid game starts when you buy Lost Chapter. At this point, you have all of the mana sustain that you need and you can go berserk in lane: start to farm heavily with this and harass your enemy until he starts roaming or your jungler comes to help to kill him (if you kill him without help even better, you establish dominance in lane). If he starts roaming, obviously be aware and ping MIA whenever possible (you don't want him to get fed in other lanes) and you can choose to roam too or push the enemy tower; I prefer the second option, since it can result in a tower falling @13 minutes, opening this way the enemy jungle to your jungler. After the mid first tier tower, you have to choose again: roam or second tier tower, but at this point, we're entering the last phase.

Late game
Now the game has become an ARAM since everyone on the team doesn't want to lose another tower in mid, so the lanes will start to rotate to stop everything that you are doing. This is the teamfight phase, that means that you have to demonstrate how good you have been doing until now. If you are chunking down the ADC help with only Malefic Visions, that means that you have enough power to be active in teamfights. Your role now is to:
  1. use your Nether Grasp to lockdown the priority target (most likely the enemy ADC); After this, there is a high chance that a teamfight will happen since, after the enemy team loses their main damage source, your team will ideally start to kill everything in its sight without being destroyed
  2. stay in the backline and silence everything in range of Call of the Void; you have probably Call of the Void at level 5 now and a 2.5 seconds silence is pretty powerful, try to aim at their support (cutting down their healing power if there is someone like Soraka) or at their tank (avoiding to be counter-CCed). Liandry's Torment here helps with the damage since its second passive will amp up your spell damage and the burn effect is always nice
  3. use the enemy minions to your advantage and hide some Malefic Visions here and there; there will be a lot of confusion and nobody will notice that some minion died near them with Malefic Visions active, dealing additional damage from the backline and proccing effects like Rylai's Crystal Scepter's slow or Morellonomicon's grievous wounds. It helps even the fact that Malefic Visions, with this build, has a 2-second cooldown, so spam it on everything that moves

The game now ended, you now have only to say "gg" in global chat and move on to the next game!





And here we are at the end of the guide. I hope it was helpful and I'll try to keep it updated with all the new stuff that will roll out in the future. Every kind of feedback is always appreciated (even about grammar/syntax mistakes!) and I'll try to answer every type of question you have, don't be shy!
But for now, I'll see you in the rift!

If you want, you can check my other works!
CODING
LAB


sources:
Changelog


League of Legends Build Guide Author Chromuro
Chromuro Malzahar Guide
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