Build Guide by M33CH
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
This is a Malzahar build that focuses on mixing survivability and AP.
Enjoy the walls of text! Please try to comment if you rate!
Quick notes for those too lazy to really read the guide:
Most of what's written in this short paragraph is explained in more detail further below.
The snowball item, Mejai's Soulstealer, is optional.
Speccing into other trees is viable, but I find that most casters, including Malz, benefit most from 9/0/21. Personal preference, really, but the move speed, CDR, Mpen, and just about everything in this spec are just pure awesome.
Swapping the second Z-Ring or the Mejai's to Void Staff/DFG/Will of the Ancients is fine.
If you have no trouble chasing and you're finding that your survivability is WAAY over the top, replace Rylai's with any high-AP or possibly magic pen items (Z-Ring, Archangel's, Void Staff, etc.). Then again, it kinda defeats the purpose of this build. I only really swap out Rylai's if our team has a huge lead, in which case I might not even have the time to build it.
Skill order is optional. I max out Malefic Visions (E) ASAP, Ult at every chance possible, but Call of the Void and Null Zone should be maxed based on your playstyle and/or the capability of the enemy team to move out of them/your capability to place them properly.
-Great AP ratios
-Massive damage (if played correctly)
-Difficult to kill (using this guide)
-Difficult to position spells properly
-Still a squishy
-Difficult to master
Here are Malzahar's skills, and what makes them awesome, as well as some tips and pointers:
Passive: Every 5 spell casts, Malz spawns a surprisingly powerful voidling. Using this pet to your advantage in certain situations can provide you with a much easier kill early-game. The voidling always targets the enemy unit who's afflicted by Malefic Visions (E), read more further down.
Call of the Void (Q): Malz summons two portals which fire in a strange sort of line formation after a short delay, silencing and damaging enemy units hit. This spell has wonderful AP ratios, but is extremely hard to place. Definitely one of the trickier parts of playing Malz. It can be used to see the inside of bushes (requires very specific placement). A bit of practice should teach you that it's range is larger than you think...
Null Zone (W): Malzahar summons an opening into the void, damaging enemy units who remain on it for a certain % of their max HP per second they stay on the portal. This spell will provide you with massive amounts of damage if you place it properly and synergize it with other spells. More on that later. In addition, this skill should be maxed ASAP after Malefic Visions (E) if you feel that you've confident in your placement ability with this spell. Unless, of course, your enemies tend to enjoy sitting in your doors (Q) instead of null zone.
Malefic Visions (E): Incredibly awesome skill. Makes you capable of laning without ever running out of mana as well as providing you with creep kills and a great damaging ability. Max this by level 9, no exceptions. Especially as mid, where you should be laning as Malzahar, you will benefit incredibly from this skill. Be sure to always auto-hit the target you hit with this spell, as it will make you more capable of killing minions with it (and getting mana back), especially as early levels. This spell jumps to the nearest enemy unit, up to a certain range, so be sure to manipulate it to jumping to enemy champions to the best of your abilities (placing it on a minion near them, using Q to move them closer to the affected minion, etc). Show them who's boss. With enough practice, you'll have your enemies running every time they hear the sound effect of this skill.
Nether Grasp (R): Malzahar channels a powerful beam of void energy to the target, stunning them and dealing damage over time for 2.5 seconds. This ability has a 1.5 AP ratio, thankfully, since you are incapable of casting while you stun your opponent. As some say, "you stun yourself as you stun your enemy." However, this ability nukes extremely hard, and when used with your Null Zone, Call of the Void, and Malefic Visions, as well as voidling spawn, you have quite a spell combo. It's insanely difficult to pull off everything at the same time, but a combination of 2-3 of the abovementioned abilities should be enough to get a kill on your opponent, depending on how much health they have when you engage.
Why so much HP, you say?
Quite simple. Malzahar is a VERY squishy caster with little to no self-defense system, especially with the changed made to his ult a while back; Malz used to be able to cancel the ult, but the stun would remain for the full 2.5 sec. duration, allowing him to freecast on the enemy or run away. My build provides you with a towering amount of HP (for a caster), while still combining a good deal of AP. Building him for straight AP is fine too, don't get me wrong, but the massive amounts of health this build includes, as well as the incredible slow (just Malefic Visions on your target, and getting your abilities off on him/her is now a million times easier) makes Malzahar very intimidating and appear not to be nearly as squishy as he is. However, beware of fed Warwicks (although you'll still crush a Warwick-he closes all the pesky distance a Malzahar usually has trouble with gapping for his more powerful abilities), Amumu's Despair, Nasus's Fury of the Sands (ult), Mundo Cleavers, etc. Also, if enemies decide that you're too powerful to be ignored, be sure to use that late-game Zhonya's to divert their attacks.
Commentary on Item Choices
The final Zhonya's is optional. I prefer it to AA staff, since it's relatively difficult to stack up all that mana that late in the game, however a CDR item such as Deathfire's is a great choice, since your AP should already be pretty high, whether or not you replaced your Mejai's with another item. I do not suggest Magic Penetration items on Malz, unless the enemy team is getting tons of it. His AP ratios are simply too good.
Enjoy, and feedback is welcome - I'l try to reply to any questions, comments, etc.
I know I'm missing a bit, and I should be updating this guide shortly. Moar Feedback! Rawr!
I'll be testing out some high-AP builds and post a new guide, if this one is liked enough :)