It is in motion - Beginner in-depth Malzahar guide [12.08]
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Runes: Vs AP ranged
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Always
Threats & Synergies
This matchup is pretty doable for Malzahar. Make sure you always stand behind minions, even when have your passive up, because she can easily break it and charm you. Respect her early burst potential and just play safe early on. As long as you do not give her kills you outscale her easily. If you are scared you can consider taking Nullifying Orb, as it will deny a lot of her power. You can even take phase rush, because almost all her damage is based on skillshots and you can dodge them more easily then.
Pretty easy matchup, he lets you breathe and scale up pretty decently, if he is bad you can even bully him a bit in lane.
She gets the better of you in the early game, has roaming potential and will also scale well. Annoying to deal with, as long as she doesn't get many early kills, you should be okay.
This little guy is pretty strong right now. Your passive does absolutely nothing against him, if I am not mistaken it will only block the slow from his ult, meaning the damage and knockup still happen, and he can just burst you down before you even get the chance to ult him. He can also just turretdive you and E back out while taking barely any damage. Take Nullifying Orb, and buy an early stopwatch. Use stopwatch before the shark comes up, not after. you might even want to go Zhonya's first item if he is a big problem, otherwise take it second. If I am wrong and your passive does block his ult, please tell me in the comments, he would be a minor threat.
In lane you should just play safe, make sure your passive is up for her E (stun). It blocks the stun but it does not block her mark. You can pretty much deny her early threat by staying under turret and using your Q when she tries to engage. Use R on her in most teamfights. Make sure you don't let her 1v1 you early on. Ping her when she roams.
In lane you can try to bully her with autoattacks, but try to watch out for her burst with ignite. She is not a big problem for you early on, but often you will see that she will get about 300 kills at your botlane, then she becomes a problem. Build Zhonya's Hourglass unless she is very much behind. Try to stay near your carries in teamfights and ult her as soon as you can
You both have different advantages over eachother. Ryze is stronger than you in the early levels, but later on he will have to (almost) come into your ult range in order to deal damage to you, so you can easily shut him down. A problem with Ryze is though, that he can easily kill your voidlings with his EQ, and he also matches your scaling. If he buys a QSS, this might be a big problem
He is stronger than you in lane, he is stronger than you in midgame, he is stronger than you in lategame, he will always outdamage you and have a low cooldown stun. The worst thing is, he stacks his passive of your voidlings. So do not use your W unless necessary, take Nullifying Orb, buy Zhonya's, and pray your team will just kill him when you ult him.
You both don't really hurt eachother a lot, he is slippery so it is hard to ult him sometimes. Pretty even in every phase of the game. Buy Oblivion Orb after your mythic or Lost Chapter, depending on how much of a problem he is and how much other healing champs they have. Build it into Morellonomicon as a third item or so.
He can't do anything against you in lane, you outscale him and your ult does wonders against him in teamfights, basically just a free matchup. Only thing that can go wrong is that he will get a bunch of kills on his roams, but you can still easily destroy him in teamfights.
He might be able to kill you in lane because of his gap closers and easy turretdive with his E. He snowballs insanely well and can escape your ult if timed well with his E recast. Just very annoying.
Fairly annoying, you can't match his roaming potential, and he can poke you down and easily dive you in lane. Take stopwatch in runes or buy it early on. You should build Zhonya's Hourglass as a second item. Don't stay in lane low, try to make sure he doesn't hit level 6 before you do.
Champion Build Guide
Easy to play midlaner
Scales great into the lategame
Can be countered by Quicksilver Sash
Great gank setup
Mana problems early game
Consistently good in the meta
Not really a champion before level 6
Still useful when behind
Not good at punishing scaling champions
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 proc your Summon Aery or Arcane Comet. 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. Another interesting mechanic with your E is that your Q and R reset the duration of your E, which you can use in a lot of interesting ways, for example, you can use Q on a target affected by your E in the last second, and essentially deal damage for one Q and two E's.|
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.|
Many champions have one certain keystone that just perfectly synergises with their kit. Malzahar is not one of these champions. There are a few different options for his runes, there is not one of them which is clearly better than the others, it is just a mixture of situation and preference. At the moment the only viable keystones for Malzahar are (in my opinion) the Sorcery keystones and Unsealed Spellbook.
You will usually want to take a Sorcery keystones, mostly Arcane Comet or Summon Aery, but in some cases Phase Rush is also decent. Besides sorcery, Unsealed Spellbook is also pretty good, but I only recommend taking it if you know how to properly use it, but if you are able to make proper use of it, it can be insanely strong.
There is not one fixed set of runes you should always take, it is mostly dependent of the situation, or just what you prefer. I will explain it in detail below here.
Why Sorcery primary?
As stated in the paragraph above, Sorcery is the primary rune tree you will be using most of the time. Sorcery provides you with a wide variety of options that can be useful on nearly all mages, including Malzahar. Summon Aery and Arcane Comet provide some nice poke which can help you in lane and even later in the game. Phase Rush is a safer option, which allows an escape from ganks and makes it easier to "kite" your opponents in teamfights. Other smaller runes give you damage, haste and mana et cetera, all sorts of things that can be useful on mages.
Recommended Sorcery runes
|All three of these keystones are viable for Malzahar. Summon Aery is the one you can use most often, you can use it to bully melee champions a bit with your autoattacks and abilities, Arcane Comet is better against ranged champions, as they usually have a lower movement speed, and are harder to bully with your basic attacks. Phase Rush is a more safe option, which i will have to test a bit more|
|You will almost always want to take Manaflow Band here, the only exception is when you are against a high AP comp, or a AP burst lane and you think you will have a hard time, then take Nullifying Orb. Never take Nimbus Cloak|
|You will always take Transcendence here, the extra ability haste is a lot, and it really helps you as a mage. Absolute Focus would be bad because you want to be diving in with your ult, and you will lose HP there. I won't even explain why Celerity is useless.|
|You will usually take Scorch, as it increases your early damage output significantly. It helps you a lot in poking, trades and fights early in the game. Whereas Scorch makes up for your lacking early game, Gathering Storm amplifies your already strong lategame, so it is mainly a matter of taste and situation. You should always take Scorch or Gathering Storm, Waterwalking is never really worth.|
Why Inspiration primary?
The rune Unsealed Spellbook is the main reason to use Inspiration primary. The ability to rotate through a set of summoner spells can be very strong when used properly, besides that Inspiration provides you with a great amount of tools which can be very useful. Unsealed spellbook also allows you to base around 6 minutes in game/level 6, teleport back to lane with a Lost Chapter and swap your teleport for Ignite. You suddenly have a great amount of burst potential and may be able to catch the enemy laner off guard or go for a roam.
Recommended Inspiration runes
|The entire point of the Inspiration tree primary is taking Unsealed Spellbook. First strike may be decent-ish but Unsealed Spellbook is simply better.|
|Hextech flashtraption is not really useful. Magical footwear and perfect timing can both be equally useful. I usually take perfect timing, because I am addicted to stasis and almost always include Zhonya's Hourglass in my build. I also like to be able to buy Boots when you have some spare gold, however this is just my opinion, and Magical Footwear can work just fine, if not better.|
|I usually do not go for the Lost Chapter rush with Inspiration primary, as you're also able to take Biscuit Delivery, Time Warp Tonic and Corrupting Potions which supplies you with more than enough sustain and mana until you buy your Lost Chapter. So I take cookies here instead of Future's Market which I usually take with the Sorcery primary build.|
|As stated above, Time Warp Tonic synergises well with cookies and corrupting pots, gaining a massive amount of lane sustain, however it is not mandatory and Cosmic Insight can situationally be a better rune.|
|A very nice item, helps you with mana problems and lets you deal more damage to minions. This item also allows you to take two potions with you, which may come in useful.|
|Starting Sapphire crystal with a Refillable Potion has become more popular on certain mages, as it helps you get to your Lost Chapter very early on, especially combined with Future's Market and Teleport this is very strong. You also do not really need the Doran's Ring, so this is actually very viable.|
|I like this item on itself because you can regain HP as well as mana 3 times, which can be very nice if you're taking a lot of early trades, since Malzahar has quite high mana costs early on. Also, while under effect of a Corrupting potion, your abilities will apply burn, so also good for early trades, but Malzahar is not a champion known for his early trading, so I don't usually recommend it, but maybe into matchups where you might get the upper hand early it can be good, or in games with good communication, such as clash, so you can participate better in early plays. This is also an item worth taking when you use Unsealed Spellbook, as you will be taking biscuits and Time Warp Tonic, and in this way you will have a lot of sustain.|
|I don’t like this item that much as a first item because it is good for snowballing, and Malzahar is not a champ that will get an enormous amount of kills early on, most of the times. And on top of that, he has no mobility at all, so chances are that you will die to a gank or slight mispositioning in a teamfight, and lose all your stacks. But if you are very confident you could start this item with a Refillable Potion. Nevertheless this is a very good item to buy later on!|
First back counter items
|This is a very strong item to buy on a first or second back if you're faced against an AD matchup, you will notice you're opponent dealing much less damage to you. Buying this can be very impactful, do not underestimate it. You can build it into Zhonya's Hourglass later on, but you don't need to. Buying this does have disadvantages, as a consequence of buying this item you will miss out on your early Lost Chapter, and reach your Liandry's Anguish powerspike much later. It also received some nerfs this season, so I would rather recommend buying it after your Lost Chapter or buying Plated Steelcaps. But if you are really hard losing, you should still buy this.|
|Exactly the same as Seeker's Armguard, but against AP champions, also same disadvantages. And obviously it doesn't build into Zhonya's Hourglass, but into Banshee's Veil (which I by the way, do not recommend building, see below).|
|This is just the best mythic for Malzahar in this meta, and probably always. It gives mana, AP and ability haste, and on top of that it gives a strong burn, which synergises insanely well with your E. Always take this|
|I actually think this is a very good item, it synergises well with Malzahar's playstyle, however Liandry's Anguish is just too strong on Malzahar, so it is mandatory to build. But if that item will receive nerfs, this might be a viable option.|
|This is a pretty strong item, the active does not help you a lot if you are alone, but it can be strong to engage or disengage a fight. The base stats are also quite good, especially with the changes in which they added Kindlegem to the building path. So building this is not a bad choice, but due to how well Malzahar synergises with Liandry's Anguish, I still would not buy this.|
|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.|
|Magic penetration. I take this almost always. If you are unsure just buy these.|
|These boots can be very strong, as they give ability haste, which allows you to spam your abilities more, as well as your gamechanging R. They are also a tad cheaper than Sorcerer's Shoes, so that can also be a reason to build them.|
|Buy these into heavy AD teams, or when an AD opponent is very much fed. This won't be very often, but do not underestimate the difference this item can make.|
|Buy this into high AP comps, or when they have a lot of opponents with cc, think of Lissandra, Ashe, Amumu, Leona, etc. Once again, this will not be often, but you still will want to build it sometimes.|
|I personally love this item. It gives some HP, and also a lot of AP, another burn and it will also give you AP based on your bonus HP after the new changes. 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. After the changes, this item is (arguably) stronger than before them. However, you should keep in mind that you do not get the extra resistance from burning enemies. If you build this item you might want to try to take a slightly tanky build, try to also fit Rylai's Crystal Scepter in your build.|
|Interesting item, it gives you AP and Magic penetration. This item is better to build as a fifth or sixth item, or just not at all. Often it is best to choose between this item and Rabadon's Deathcap. You will usually have to choose Deathcap, but if the enemies are stacking magic resist, or if you are just poor, you should go for Void staff.|
|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. 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. You can also just buy an Oblivion Orb, but sooner or later it is best to upgrade it to Morellonomicon.|
Another fine item by itself, but its true power lies within its active. You should definitely be building this into high burst assassins as Zed, Katarina, Qiyana and such, but even of they do not have assassins, it is still a great item, you can even consider it a core item and build it every game. The stasis will save your life so many times if you use it correctly.
|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's passive, making it almost useless. If you really need more magic resist than Mercury's Treads you could even consider buying an Abyssal Mask instead of this.|
|Teleport is a great pick. You can use it to roam, get to teamfights early, and to get back to lane quickly. Also, it is very strong if you take Future's Market, so you can just farm a bit in lane, rush Lost Chapter, Teleport back, and poke the enemy a lot. I recommend taking Teleport on most mages, especially Malzahar.|
How to position
One of the most important things in teamfights is your positioning. Malzahar is a mage who does not have a lot of extra survivability except for his passive, because of this you will want to mainly keep yourself at the backline, and move forward to throw spells whenever it's safe. When your passive is up, or you have Zhonya's Hourglass or a Stopwatch ready, you can move forward a bit more freely. You can also try to position yourself around your ADC and try to peel for them a bit.
Who to focus
Your focus is very dependent on the game, but usually you will either want to focus their ADC or Midlaner. Since the ADC is squishy they are fairly easy for you to kill, and they also tend to deal the most damage, this is usually your main focus. But let's say the opponent has a fed Yone who can just dive into your team and kill all of you, you will want to focus him. As a general rule of thumb you will usually want to focus either the biggest threat, or the easiest to kill. This is not always the case though, for example if your team is (except for you) full AD, and the opponent has an armor-stacking tank. It might be worth to focus them,
How to use your Q
If possible, it is the best to hit as many enemies who are stacked on top of eachother, but this is not always possible. If this is the case you can either just use it to spam damage, or you can use it to silence champions who are very reliant on using abilities. Think of mages, enchanters and assassins. This can shut down all their threat temporarily.
How to use your W
In a teamfight, you basically just want to spam your W. It is best to do it if you have 2 stacks, usually after you cast your E. Just make sure there are a lot of them running around, so they will either deal a ton of damage, or waste a few seconds of the enemies' time.
How to use your E
You want to use your main damage spell as often as possible. So usually you can just use it when it is up and someone is in range. It is of course best to have a proper focus, but as a mage you can also just put your spells onto anyone. Often you will stay out of range of enemy spelles, shortly walk in to E-W someone, and quicky walk out.
How to use your R
The toughest one, there ar many ways to use your ult in teamfights.
One way is to ult someone who is very mobile, like a Yone, Katarina or Irelia, so your team can land damage more easily on them. Bruisers are also a great choice, so they can't heal themselves back up again. And of course the damage dealers are always great to ult. A lot of the times you will just want to ult anyone in range of you, to get a free kill and create a numbers advantage. In some cases you can't really ult someone, because it will leave you too vulnerable, this is fine.
Basically, you're a mage, so just spam your abilities onto people of your liking. As long as you don't step too far forward and consider the opponent's means of engage, you should be fine.
A very small patch, not really anything important besides a slight Ahri nerf.
- HUGE healing nerf, almost all sources of big lifesteal will be nerfed, amazing, you will see less Yone
- New bounty hunter rune which gives you gold on first takedowns on champions. Might be interesting but I think inspiration secondary is just too good on Malzahar too take anything else.
- Azir buff, chad champion so I'm not complaining
- For some reason they're nerfing Ryze, but i'm not complaining.
- Yone and Yasuo ult cooldowns are becoming shorter, which can be slightly annoying, especially in Yone's case.
- Slight Neeko buff but it does not really matter
Quite a big patch, and not so fortunate for Malzahar.
- Swain had a minirework, which should make him stronger in the midlane, I do not know exactly how this matchup would go, but I suppose that you will outscale him, and you will need to save your R for him in teamfights as he is a very strong battlemage.
- Kassadin Magic shield is buffed, which is annoying, and his E damage is also bigger now, so that is unfortunate.
- Sylas ult cooldown decreased, does not hurt you a lot to be honest.
- Vel'Koz's poke AP scaling is slightly increased, may be annoying later on in the game.