Malzahar Build Guide by TygoVe
It is in motion - Beginner in-depth Malzahar guide [11.1]By TygoVe | Updated on January 10, 2021
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
++8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
- Easy to learn midlaner
- Good scaling
- Fast pusher
- Fun ultimate
- Easy to cs late game
- High cc
- Life-saving passive
- Always useful for team
- No mobility
- Can be countered by Quicksilver Sash
- Mana problems early game
Passive - Void Shift
Malzahar’s passive is rather simple, but far from useless. After some time without receiving damage or cc, you will get a shield, which will block the next attack from an enemy champion, you will take minimal damage and no cc. This can be very good in the laning phase, you will take less damage from poking and champions will have a hard time going all-in on you. In late game it can also save you from being sniped by for example an Ezreal Trueshot Barrage.
Q - Call of the Void
A nice ability for sure, the short summery is an AoE silence + damage. You basically deal damage and silence opponents in a rectangular area. Beware that this ability has a short delay, so take that into account when casting this spell. This ability has a lot of range, so it can be a nice poke. This spell is also very good in teamfights because you can silence a big part of their team, and if you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter, they will also be slowed. You will max this ability second because it is a strong poke and becomes stronger with levelling, but you are simply more reliant on your E.
W - Void Swarm
A quite simple, but useful ability. You spawn 1 to 3 voidlings that will attack for you. They live for a very short time and have very little HP, but they deal a fair amount of damage. These voidlings are an easy way to use your Summon Aery. Some opponents will kill your voidlings as soon as possible, other opponents will simply ignore them. You can make use of both situations. If your opponent ignores your voidlings you can use them to bully your opponent and to clear waves. If your opponent puts a lot of energy into killing them you can poke them with your E or Q while they are distracted by your voidlings. An important thing to note is that the number of voidlings that are summoned is controlled by the amount of abilities you used before your W. If you used zero abilities you will summon one voidling, if you used one ability, you will summon two, if you used two or more abilities you will summon three voidlings. It is important to keep track of this because summoning one voidling is just a waste of mana. You can see the amount of additional voidlings summoned in the left bar above your abilities. Another important fact is that turrets always target voidlings over chamoions or minions, you can make use of this while destroying turrets. Another useful trick is placing voidlings behind you when you are about to get hooked or shot by for example a Bone Skewer or Mystic Shot. You will max this ability last because its strength is not increased by a lot when it is levelled.
E - Malefic Visions
This ability is very important. It deals a high amount of damage over time, and if the target dies, it is moved on to a next target. It is good for waveclear, but also a great point-and-click damage source. In lane you can use it whenever an enemy gets too close. Once you’ve bought your Liandry's Anguish and Demonic Embrace this ability will burn enormous amounts of health of your enemies, and likely use Summon Aery twice. This ability is, as I mentioned, very good for waveclear, since it could be passed on through an entire wave if you kill the minions fast enough. Always focus the minion that is affected by your E. If a target dies an amount of mana is also restored. If you use E, and then W, the voidlings will target the minion affected by your E, and you will likely be able to clear an entire wave. If an enemy is out of range for your E you can also use it on a minion, and when the minion dies, the E could be passed on to your opponent.
R - Nether Grasp
Your ultimate. A point-and-click suppress with a ton of damage, who doesn’t love that? There are many different usages for this ability. In teamfights, you can ult the most important champion from the opponents, and it will be focused and killed by your teammates, you can use it when an opponent turretdives, you can use it in a 1v1. There are many possibilities. In a 1v1 I usually press Q—>E—>W—> Ignite rapidly before ulting, this is almost a guaranteed kill since your voidlings will swarm around your opponent, they will receive true damage from ignite, and a lot of magic damage from your E and R. The only problem with your ultimate is that it can easily be countered by the item Quicksilver Sash (In this guide referred to as QSS). So keep looking at your opponents’ item bar.
Sorcery is the best main rune line for Malzahar. The only situation where you wouldn’t use sorcery as your primary rune line is when you would want to go with Dark Harvest which in my opinion isn’t the best choice on Malzahar, but I will talk about that it bit later.
Okay, so as our primary runes we will use Sorcery. We have a few options everywhere and I will talk about everything.
- Summon Aery
I always take this, it is easy to proc on Malzahar and you can even proc it multiple times in one Malefic Visions if you play well and have the right items.
If you are out of mana you can also proc it with basic attacks, which can be useful to remember. It just overall provides better pokes and better trades on Malzahar.
- Arcane Comet
This is also a viable option, but I never take it. It provides some nice burst, which is good of course, but Summon Aery just simply works better. Arcane comet deals more damage but it can be dodged and has longer cooldowns, and is less easy to proc. So I take Summon Aery but taking Arcane Comet is not completely idiotic.
- Phase Rush
Just don’t take Phase Rush. It is worthless on Malzahar. It gives you movement speed, which is not really an important thing when playing him. It is significantly less useful then the other two keystones, just don’t take it.
- Nullifying Orb
Gives you a shield that absorbs damage when you drop below 30% of your health through magic damage. I would not recommend this, it can be useful but Manaflow Band is simply better. Do not take this into physical damage matchups, you could only consider taking it into heavy AP burst mages, such as Syndra or Zoe. I also would only take this if you are confident you can play around a small manapool.
- Manaflow Band
I always take this. It provides permanent mana when poking an enemy champion, until you’ve gained 250. Than you will restore a small amount of your missing mana every 5 seconds. This is very useful since Malzahar can experience some issues with mana in his early game. And it makes sure you will have little to no issues with mana in your lategame. A Malzahar without mana problems is able to destroy waves and turrets rapidly, and it will be much more easy to kill enemy champions and defend yourself. I always take this.
- Nimbus Cloak
When you cast a Summoner Spell you will gain movement speed for a few seconds. This is not very useful on Malzahar. I would not recommend this. You will usually take Flash and Ignite, with Ignite Nimbus Cloak will be close to useless, with Flash it can be useful, but it still is very underperforming compares to Manaflow Band and even Nullifying Orb in most situations.
Gives Ability Haste at Level 5 and Level 8. At Level 11 you will reduce the cooldown of your remaining abilities on takedowns. Ability haste is great on Malzahar, you will always need your Nether Grasp, so the shorter the cooldown, the better. And the shorter the cooldowns of your basic abilities, the better you can poke your enemies and destroy minion waves.
Movement speed bonuses are more effective. Just don’t take this. Movement speed is rather irrelevant on Malzahar, and you won’t be building any movement speed, aside from your boots. Just don’t take this.
- Absolute Focus
This is a fine choice. You get some AP whilst you are above 70% of your health. You will spend a lot of your time above 70% of your health, so it can be a good choice, but the amount of AP is rather underwhelming, so I would not recommend this rune.
But it is not an awful choice.
This is a good rune on Malzahar. It works very well, because it gives him some early game poking power. When you land a damaging ability (so any ability for Malzahar) lights enemy champions on fire, and deals 15-35 magic damage, depending on which level you are. This has a very low cooldown (10 seconds), so since you will poke your enemies a lot, this can add up to a fair amount of damage. But in lategame it is not very likely that 35 damage or less will make the difference in a duel or teamfight. So if you want some early game power I would recommend this rune, but if you want to scale more, I would settle for Gathering Storm.
Gives movement speed and adaptive force while in the river. You should not take this rune. As a midlaner you will spend little time in the river, and movement speed, as mentioned before, is not the most impactful thing when it comes to Malzahar. The adaptive force is also not that much. This rune is just not what you want on Malzahar.
- Gathering Storm
This is actually a very powerful rune. Every 10 minutes, you will gain an increasing amount of adaptive force, so ability power for Malzahar. At 30 minutes you will gain 48 ability power, which is quite a lot. At 40 minutes you will gain 80 ability power which is honestly a lot for a non-keystone rune. But at the start of the game the ability power this rune gives you is quite underwhelming, so if you think you will need some early power, you should consider taking Scorch instead. Personally I prefer Gathering Storm over Scorch, but both are fine.
Now we can still choose two secondary runes from another rune path. The other four rune paths are Domination, Inspiration, [[Resolve and Precision.
I will discuss al of them except Resolve, because I see no reason to take it on Malzahar. I will also not discuss the keystones, as you will take a Sorcery keystone.
- Cheap Shot
This appears to be a fine choice on Malzahar at first sight. When you deal damage to enemies effected by Crowd Control, they will be dealt 10-45 bonus true damage. This can be a good choice, since Malzahar has two types of Crowd Control in his kit. The silence of his Call of the Void, and the suppression of his Nether Grasp] can both be used to proc Cheap Shot. But an important thing to note is that the ability itself won’t proc the true damage. And since the silence of your [[Call of the Void doesn’t last that long, you will have to land another ability very quickly in order to proc your Cheap Shot. A basic attack would also work. But overall it is not that easy to proc but you could take it for some laning phase power.
- Taste of Blood
Damaging an enemy champion will heal you for a bit. It sounds good but in my opinion it is not that great with Malzahar. An important thing is that it has a 20 second cooldown. This is very long. So this will likely only be used in pokes every once in a while. It doesn’t give you any more lane pressure, and likely will not make a big difference in duels nor in teamfights. So personally I would not recommend this.
- Sudden Impact
Malzahar does not have dashes, you will literally use this 0 times in your games. Do not take this.
- Zombie Ward
Killing wards gives adaptive force. You won’t kill many wards so do not take this.
- Ghost Poro
When your wards expire they leave behind a Ghost Poro which grants sight for 60 seconds. This is only when the ward expires and not when the ward is killed by an enemy. But the interesting part is that every Ghost Poro spawned gives 2 AP, up to 10 stacks, when you will gain an additional 10 AP. So you could be able to gain 30 AP with this rune. Which is quite a lot. You will have to be careful for enemy Control Wards though. It also will likely take some time before it is fully stacked. But it could be worth taking for some snowballing.
- Eyeball Collection
You will collect eyeballs for enemy takedowns. Up to 10 eyeballs. The amount of ability power you will gain is the same for the expired wards from Ghost Poro’s. So this can be fine, but you have to look at the matchup and think if you will place more wards or get more kills early game.
This will be updated very soon!
- Cheap Shot
- Liandry's Anguish
This is just the best mythic for Malzahar in this meta. It gives mana, AP and ability haste, and on top of that it gives a strong burn, which synergises with your E. Always take this
- Luden's Tempest
This is not a bad pick, it gives some nice burst damage. It just is definitely a worse item than Liandry's Anguish on Malzahar, so I would not recommend buying it ever.
- Sorcerer's Shoes
Magic penetration. I take this almost always. If you are unsure just buy these.
- Plated Steelcaps
Buy these into heavy AD teams, or when an AD opponent is very much fed. In all other situations take Sorcerer’s Shoes.
- Demonic Embrace
I personally love this item. It gives some HP, and also a lot of AP. And, what I like most about it, another burn!! If you have Liandry's Anguish + Demonic Embrace, your E by itself will already burn a big chomp of your opponents health of. I almost always buy this after my shoes.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter
There are very little games where I skip over this item. It gives you a lot of AP, and another bit of health. But another great thing about it is its slow. When you deal damage to enemy champions they are slowed, this is a very good thing, so you can chase your opponents, or help your teammates to reach the enemy. You can also use it to run away from the enemy. This item synergises very well with your Q, since you will have an AoE slow.
- Void Staff
Not a lot to say here, just plain AP and magic penetration. I love it. I often build this as a 5th item or something.
- Rabadon's Deathcap
I usually take this as a last item if our team is on the winning hand. Sometimes I buy it a bit earlier if I am having a big gold advantage. If you manage to buy this item you will be much stronger, because of the AP and scaling.
This is the situational pick I have to take most often. It is a nice item by itself, since its base stats are very nice. Take this into teams with a lot of healing, since the passive applies grievous wounds. Take this into high healing teams, or against fed champions with lifesteal builds. Think of Aatrox, Dr. Mundo, Samira, Yasuo, Yone, Soraka etc.
- Zhonya's Hourglass
Another fine item by itself, but its true power lies within its active. You should consider building this into high burst assassins such as Zed.
- Mejai's Soulstealer
This item is either great or useless. You should only buy this if you have a lead, it will give you great snowballing potential.
- Cosmic Drive
I don’t take this item often, but you could consider buying it because it gives a lot of AP. It also has a lot of ability haste. This can be strong if you need to use your R a lot.
- Banshee's Veil
I personally would not recommend building this item on Malzahar in most cases. This item gives you AP, ability haste, magic resist and a spell shield passive that blocks an ability. I dislike this item on Malzahar since its passive is almost the same as Malzahar’ passive, making it almost useless. I would only recommend this item if your opponents have an almost full AP comp, because of the magic resist.
Flash is a necessary summoner spell on almost all champions, Malzahar is one of those champions. Always take Flash, there are no exceptions.
I take ignite 9/10 times, it is great to finish champions off, apply grievous wounds, or add up to your burn combos.
Teleport is a fine pick. You can use it to roam, get to teamfights early, and to get back to lane quickly. It is a fine pick, but I prefer Ignite on Malzahar, because it is much more iseful in laning phase.
I rarely pick Exhaust on Malzahar. It can be a good pick if you have to play against burst assassins such as Zed.
There are rarely any games where I pick cleanse, though it can be a good pick if you have to play against a team with champions with much cc such as Ashe or Leona.