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Malzahar Build Guide by TygoVe

Middle It is in motion - Beginner in-depth Malzahar guide [12.10]

Middle It is in motion - Beginner in-depth Malzahar guide [12.10]

Updated on June 12, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author TygoVe Build Guide By TygoVe 313 9 550,357 Views 13 Comments
313 9 550,357 Views 13 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author TygoVe Malzahar Build Guide By TygoVe Updated on June 12, 2022
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Runes: Vs AP ranged

1 2 3 4 5
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band

Future's Market
Cosmic Insight

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
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Champion Build Guide

It is in motion - Beginner in-depth Malzahar guide [12.10]

By TygoVe
Hi everyone! My name is TygoVe, and this is my guide on playing Malzahar, The Prophet Of The Void. This is my first guide on this site, so please feel free to comment and give advice! This is a beginner guide, so it is meant mostly for players who are getting started with playing Malzahar, but even if you are an experienced Malzahar player, feel free to check out this guide. Since this is my first guide, it likely is far from perfect, so sorry if there are mistakes. This guide is not finished yet, I am trying to finish it as soon as possible. This goes for the visual aspects and content alike.
Why should you play Malzahar?
Advantages Disadvantages
Easy to play midlaner
No mobility
Scales great into the lategame
Good waveclear
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
Life-saving passive
Malzahar is a mage, so of course his power lies within his abilities. Malzahar has a very original and diverse kit, I don’t think there is another champion that is very similar to him. I will dive a bit into his kit now.

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.

In short

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.

Starter items

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).

Mythic items

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.

Core items

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.

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, but also your voidlings and E will proc it, so some you might make some people spend an entire teamfight slowed. It became even better with the 12.02 changes, as it became cheaper, with a little less AP.

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.

I have not yet gotten the chance to properly test this item out after the changes, however I am pretty sure that it is very good on Malzahar, after hitting an enemy champion with three seperate attacks or abilities, you gain movement speed and AP until you leave combat. The thing is, Malzahar does not leave combat very easily, so while fighting you just casually gain 40 AP. Also, your ult counts as two abilities, so your ult + anything else will proc it.

Situational items

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.

Zhonya's Hourglass
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.

This item is either great or useless. You should only buy this if you have a lead, and already have some dark seal stacks, it will give you great snowballing potential. This item should not be built very often, as Malzahar is very immobile, and therefore is prone to dying and losing his stacks quickly.

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.
Summoner spells


Flash is a necessary summoner spell on almost all champions, Malzahar is one of those champions. Always take Flash, there are no exceptions. You can use it to get away from ganks or bad trades, to reposition yourself in teamfights, to dodge a skillshot, to Flash-Ult someone, and countless other ways. Since Malzahar is highly immobile, this is just a must.


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.


Ignite is also pretty good on Malzahar, to win early 1v1s, finish off enemies, have some antiheal etc. I personally prefer Teleport, but if you prefer Ignite, go for it. It can be very strong against healing champions, or against champions that are very weak early on, which you want to punish them for
Laning phase
Malzahars strategy early on in lane is mostly to sit back and farm, there is no need for you to act agressive. In the first few levels against melee champions you can try to poke them out, but there is no pressure for you. You will likely have some mana problems early on, so do not waste your abilities too much. Your main goal in lane is just farming and staying safe. Once you hit level 6 and get your Lost Chapter, there is more space for you to make plays. You can try to kill your opponent with your ult, and you’re also more able to poke them out. You can also save your ult for a skirmish, a gank setup or if your opposing laner decides to go for a greedy dive. Once again, there is not a lot of pressure on you to make things happen, because Malzahar does not need a lot of kills in order to scale well. Once you get your Liandry's Anguish the real fun begins. Especially your Malefic Visions will deal a ton of damage.

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.
Latest patches’ influence on Malzahar


  • 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.


  • Ahri nerf, which is always nice
  • Taliyah minirework, makes her pretty broken, I have yet to see how the matchup will go


Durability update!!
Literally every champion gets tankier, and heals and shields are getting nerfed. I see this a good thinh, as Liandry's Anguish will be quite broken, and you will have a much more safe laning phase, and more room to scale.
The End
Thank you so much for reading my guide! If you thought it was useful or liked it, please vote, it really means a lot. If you have any questions, tips, or remarks, please leave a comment. Good luck and have fun playing Malzahar.
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