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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.
Malzahar is a difficult to play but rewarding. In this guide you will learn how to aim his spells and stack his spells so you can push your lane and lead your team to victory.
-Good pusher solo mid or in a sidelane
-Good harasser with practice
-Able to silence multiple enemies during team fights
-Able to stunlock a champion with ultimate setting up for a good gank
-Amazing team fighter, especially at the enemies base turrets/front gate
-Mana Hungry early on
-No escape mechanism
-Call of the Void can be hard to aim
-Nether Grasp can be cleansed or stopped if you are stunned/interrupted
-Spell rotation can be difficult to learn
-Cooldown reduction so you can use your ultimate more, which if used correctly can almost always be a guaranteed kill.
-Magic Pen so your spells hit harder, kinda speaks for itself.
-Health because Malz needs all the help he can to survive, the early health boost will help you win early 1v1/2v2's in your lane.
First off some of you may ask why I didn't take Majai's. Well you could take it and just not get Lichbane(the game probably won't even go long enough to get near lichbane). BUT I personally don't like stacking on kill items. When you get into higher lvl/rank matches you won't have as many opportunity to get stacks. A great example of this is one time my team was down 40+kills. There was no way I could get stacks, if I would have bought mejai's it would have been a waste of gold. My team came back with an ace, pushed and won.
Some people might question why I took Deathfire first. Well Cooldown is very important for Malzahar. Lowering your ultimate cooldown is important but lowering your curse cooldown is just as important. Also it gives you mana regen which is needed becaues Malzahar is very mana hungry early game. It will let you stay in your lane longer. The active just adds another reason to take it, it does 30% of the targets current health. Thats amazing for an opener against a tank with high health or used at the begining of a teamfight to greatly give you the upper hand over an enemy with high health. Last but not least it is cheap and the items leading up to it give you ability power, mana regen, cooldown reduction, and gold all of which will help you harass and get kills early game.
So start off the game Buying Meki's and health pots. After that Pick up your 350g starter boots and start working on deathfires grasp. first upgrade the Meki's if you want to pickup that early cooldown reduction. After you get deathfire pick up Merc Treads(no you don't need to get +20 magic pen, you need to survive). After merc's start working on Rylais. Rylais will make you into a team fighting machine. You have your silences, your stunning ultimate, your tank draining AoE, DoTs, and now all of that slows them down. Next Arch angels should be your goal you need the mana and regen to stay out and push with your team. If you can get to Lichbane or Zhonya's before the end of the game then grats you are going to be hitting very hard.
Heres a quick item overview(Bold is a Core item)
Boots of Speed
Kage's Lucky Pick
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
The reason I choose lichbane is for its passive, mana, ability power, run speed, and magic resist. We will start out with the passive. When you do your ultimate rotation you will probably have the passive proc when you are in your ultimate meaning if he lives when he comes out of your ultimate your auto-attack will be doing around 400-500 damage. That should get you the kill. Also you are getting this item around the time when you are haveing alot of team fights. The resist will help you live and the run speed will give you a chance to escape a loseing team fight or stay in the back out of range of a teemo or twisted fate. The mana works well with archangels passive aswell.
Zhonya's is just for more AP and I feel like most builds that go AP should always end with Zhonya's due to its passive.
*If you want Mejai's Soulstealer you could get it before Rylai's
I went the normal caster route picking up the important things and improving flash. Don't forget if you pickup Ghost that you should get rid of your improved flash and picked up improved ghost. The cooldown reduction and magic pen is a must.
Ghost/Flash: As Malzahar you need all the help you can in escaping or getting to your target because the range on your ultimate is very short. Honestly which one you take is personal preference. I like Flash because I feel like it can set you up for ganks better. If you run in with ghost your target will turn and run and if you set down your AoE he will run out before you can catch with ultimate. If you flash in, drop your AoE and catch him with your ultimate he has alot less chance of getting out. Also flashing over walls to escape is an awesome Anti-Gank tactic. If you take Ghost grab improved ghost instead of flash in your masteries.
Ignite: You can use Ignite while channeling your Ultimate. If your ultimate will bring your target just shy of dieing you can ignite to finish off, also stacks with Malefic Visions for an awesome double dot effect.
There is honestly no other skill combos I could see being viable on him, you would lose too much if you dropped either of these summoner skills.
Why did I pick the skills in the order I did? Well people might tell you to level Null Zone and Malefic Visions first. Well I disagree. It is right to max Malefic first so you can stack curses and stack with your ultimate. Call of the Void is a very high damaging spell. It will get you killing blows and it silences. It can be used to Harass and do alot of damage early on. Null Zone is too avoidable. If you come up to an enemy with cleanse all he is gonna do is cleanse off your ultimate and walk right out of null zone, or what if he gets out of Null Zone before you can get your ultimate off. Null Zone could be used for farming minions but thats why you have Malefic Visions and auto-atack. Now if you have a harder hitting Call of the Void you can open with Call of the Void, Ultimate, and if he cleanses out he will be silenced for another second and you can chase him and hit him with another Call of the Void. PLUS Null Zone does damage on the percentage of max health heres how it scales.
Percentage Damage: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 % (+1 per 60 Ability Power)
It is going to take you 3 skill points to double the damage of Null Zone from when you first get it. And that is if they are standing in it for the entire 5 seconds, which even your ultimate doesn't last 5 seconds so don't expect them to hang out in the purple circle of death because its fun to watch your health drain. Here is how Call of the Void Scales.
Magic Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+0.8 per ability power)
First off your Call of the Void will do almost double damage after 2 points, and it scales with ability power MUCH better then Null Zone. you need to get 60 Ability power to make null zone go up 1%. Where whatever ability power you have will make Call of the Void do more damage, even if its 10 or 100. Overall you will do more damage early on with Call of the Void then you will Null Zone. Null Zone is a waste of mana if you use it to farm creeps because Malefic does more damage and returns mana.
(Passive) Summon Voidling - (Innate): After casting 5 spells, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200 + 50 x lvl Health and 20 + 5 x lvl Damage.
Voidlings Grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed).
How to use Summon Voidling - At the start of the game you get Call of the Void first so you can setup for a summon right away. Start casting your Call of the Void at the begining of the match while sitting at base. Cast it Four times so that when you get to your lane if you are going for an early gank you only need to cast Call of the Void to summon a voidling which will help you get First blood(on a side note I don't recommend trying to get an early gank in mid-solo, if you are in a side-lane try to lane with someone who has a snare or stun remember you are squishy and you could end up being killed instead). I don't really pay attention to my voidling. If i'm going for a gank I do try to set it up so he will be summoned but because of your need for mana early on it might be a waste to pre-cast to setup for a gank without a way to get back mana. He does help tank turrets, he is targeted over you by turrets as long as your dots aren't on an enemy champion.
Call of the Void - (Active): Malzahar opens up two portals to the Void. After a short delay, power erupts from the portals, dealing damage and silencing all enemies caught between the portals.
Cooldown: 10 seconds
How to use Call of the Void - Use it to harass the your lane enemy. CotV makes you lead your target because of its short delay, the only way to get better at it is practice. Remember that how you are standing in relation to your target is how you have to hit them with void, meaning that if you are coming at them from a side lane you have a better chance of hitting them with a CotV thats parallel to their escape route. Use this to your advantage! When there is an enemy hiding in one of the corner bushes stand so your CotV will hit the whole bush, don't make it so your CotV only hits 1/4 of the bush. CotV is also cast-able over trees in jungle and even over some walls in the lanes. If an enemy is running away from you in jungle lead him and cast over the trees, I get alot of finishing blows this way. Also when you're team is pushing at their base gates this spell is very valuable to cast over the wall or just out of range of a turret to silence multiple enemies that may be sitting around the turret trying to guard it. If you can setup and silence and have your tank rush in and your team follow you might even be able to down the whole team and turret(also great for defending your own gates). CotV will also kill minions instantly when you hit lvl 12/13+ great for taking out a line of creeps.
Null Zone - (Active): Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals magic damage to enemies inside it. Damage is based on either a flat damage value or a percentage of the target's max health, whichever is greater.
Cooldown: 16 seconds
How to use Null Zone - Null zone is a pretty basic AoE. It will help you stack curses(a trick I will teach later in the guide) and is great on tanks with high HP. This will also be in your rotation when you throw down your ultimate. Don't rely on it too much to kill creeps tho, casting this can be a waste of mana because you want to rely on Malefic Visions as your pushing spell. Also is great to throw in Akali's stealth bubble and when you think your about to get hit by Warwicks ultimate. Later on you can use it to keep enemies away from certain areas during a team fight, kinda like throwing it under your tanks feet or under your healers feet to scare off enemies.
Malefic Visions - (Active): Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their own demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass the curse on to a nearby enemy unit and restore mana to Malzahar.
How to use Malefic Visions - This skill will be your main pushing spell you will also use it in your rotation right before your ultimate. I don't start useing Malefic Visions on mobs until level 3+ because your ranged attacks are enough to get last hits and push. Wait until a mob gets low in health and hit him with MV start auto attacking him and when he dies watch it jump to its next target and just follow it with auto attack. If your lucky the next wave will walk up and your MV will jump to them or maybe even an enemy champion. Now there is a special trick that I like to call stacking curses.
The first way I thought you could stack curses does not work, But I found another Tactical way to stack curses in groups. When you are at a stand off with the enemy team don't stop putting your curses on enemy minions. When you do place your curses space them. One on the front minion and one on the back. After you get two curses in the enemy mob try to lay a third curse on one of the enemy champions that are farther back in the enemy team. If your curses jump right you could get 2 to 3 champions with curses on them doing 1/4-1/3 of damage to an enemy champion. It doesn't sound like much at first but it could be the difference when the stand off turns into a team fight, or in picking off an enemy champion with focus fire. Also if you have Ryali's you'r slow effect along with the curse can help your team get a gank.
Another way to use MV late game is to run to a lane cast it on a group of minions and leave. MV will do the work for you while you go back to help your team push another lane, it is great way to push without having to stand there worrying about getting ganked. Also a good tool to harass but can be costing on your mana if you don't get jumps.
Nether Grasp - (Active): Malzahar grips his target in an engulfing void of energy, dealing damage each half second while stunning for 2.5 seconds.
Cost: 150 mana.
How to use Nether Grasp - Nether Grasp is your tool for ganking. When you are at the loading screen make sure you take note of what champions have Cleanse. You do not want to gank a champion that has cleanse unless they have recently used it. Now how I setup for my first kill is harassing my lane enemy. Hit him with a CotV once or twice to lower his health, maybe even a MV. Try to get him below 70%/60% health. If I'm in the corner I try to go into the bushes and wait. If you have Deathfire grasp try to put it in your first slot, its active is a must use when ganking and you can use 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 on your keyboard to activate skills from items depending on what slot they are in. Make sure you have at least 350+ mana because you will be throwing down alot of spells to make this work. Wait until your target walks within range of your CotV. Hit him with CotV, Flash in close or walk out if he is close to you, hit your deathfire grasp which if you have it in your first slot should be 1, drop nullzone, hit him with malefic visions, then nether grasp and finish off with ignite while hes in nether grasp, if hes gonna live after all of that get lined up with a call of the void while you channel nether grasp and hit him on the way out then try to get another MV on him. If you don't have alot of mana don't use null zone.
So your rotation should something like this:
This is a long rotation and you can substitute certain skills out depending on mana and health of the enemy. For example maybe hes so low you don't need to hit him with a CotV to start out with or even drop Null Zone. You might not need to waste your ignite even. It all depends on the situation but that rotation will get you kills. Now if they cleanse it off they will either run or start to attack you. If you think you can pull off a kill try to hit them with CotV and run while throwing skills over your shoulder. Now when you get to team fights Nether Grasp is a great way to focus a enemy champion. Tell your team that you are going to use your ultimate on the first champion that gets in range and you need your team to focus that champion. Or you can even try to focus certain champions, but I have found it easier to hit whoever comes closest because you should be sitting further back then other champions. Also if you are getting ganked you can turn it around by throwing down Null zone, Malefic visions, then Nether grasp. I have killed many Eve's this way. Don't forget your Deathfire active, it does 30% of the enemies current health with only a minute cooldown.
Early Game(levels 1-6)
Mid-Solo - As soon as you load into the match cast Call of the void four times to setup up a summon. Buy your items and get to your lane. I suggest waiting at the turret but if you wanna go out and check who you are laneing against it is worth it(On a side note if you have a healer suggest to them to pick up the summoner skill Clairvoyance and have them cast it on there spawn at the start of the game and see how their team is laneing and you can counter them). Last hit minions with your auto attack for gold and harass the enemy with CotV. If you are laneing against someone with a stun be careful and play a little more defensive, the whole goal of middle is to outfarm and level your opponent if you die you are not accomplishing that.
Sidelane - As soon as you load into the match cast Call of the void four times to setup up a summon. Buy your items and get to your lane. In my comp I generally will lane with Morgana. I recommend a teammate with a snare or stun. When I'm with Morgana we have her stun, her aoe, my aoe, and my dot. If someone has a snare you can cast your spells without worry of CotV not hitting or them running out of Null Zone. Again wait by your turrets in case the enemy team is trying a group gank(Where the whole team goes to a sidelane to get two early kills). If you do want to risk it walk out into the open parallel to the bush closest to your turret and hit it with CotV then have your teammate rush in. If your lucky your teamate will walk into two damaged champions that are silenced. Auto attack and throw out Call of the void and Ignite to score a possible First blood. Try to harass them with CotV. If you get target for a gank flash out and run to your turret. If your teammate gets targeted hit them with call of the void and if you have Nullzone drop it to scare them away. Don't forget that Call of the Void silences and can really save you or get you a kill. Use it to stop a soraka from getting a heal off or pantheon from throwing his spear and killing your teammate. Use it to your advantage. With a little harrasing and a couple of good CotV's you should be able to pull off a Firstblood, BUT NEVER TOWER DIVE TO DO IT. If you can get an enemy to 25% health or less and he runs to his turret theres a chance you can do it again. Just wait you will get your kill don't put your life on the line for a kill. Don't forget use flash to get out of danger!
Mid Game(levels 6-12)
Mid-Solo - If the enemy is not at your turret port back to base and buy your items and get ready for a gank. Tell a teammate(try to get one with a stun/snare or high dps) to come to mid and wait in the side bushes. Make sure your teammate is not seen going to mid by his laneing enemies. Have your teammate use their stun/snare and when they do run up and start your Ultimate spell rotation. If you have a teamate their all you need to do is make sure you get Null zone, Malefic Vision and Nether grasp off. don't forget ignite during your ultimate and possibly Call of the Void if they live. If you kill your mid lane oppenent have your teamate help by pushing mid turret hopefully doing some good damage to it. Keep setting up ganks against the person you are laneing against. Always try to have a teammate help so they can get stacks of mejai's if they have it or some gold for an assist. If the side-lanes are getting pushed hard setup a side-lane gank with your team and push back. You need to watch all lanes and decide where you can get kills and help your team push, just don't head for a side-lane right infront of an enemy or enemy minions. You don't want the enemy to know your comeing so back up a little bit then head to a side-lane for a quick gank. If your mid-lane enemy is a fast pusher like teemo, sivir, or twisted fate you might want to have a teammate from a different lane go farm middle while you go gank and push a side lane. Don't forget to finish your Deathfire as soon as you have enough gold too and grab Merc's and Rylai's ASAP. Try to keep mid on lock down and your goal is to get that first mid turret down.
Side Lane - Port back at level 6 and buy as many of your required items as possible. When you get back try to setup a gank with your lane partner. If your lane enemies are playing too defensively because you are pushing very hard or if mid lane is getting pushed hard you should head over to middle to help gank the enemy mid player. Remember to communicate with your team what you are doing, and make sure they know that your ultimate is a stun and who you are going to be targeting with it. Pull off your gank and push whatever lane you got the gank in. Keep setting up ganks with your ultimate and if mid lane or the other sidelane is haveing trouble try to setup a gank and help them push a little bit leaving your lane partner to keep pushing in your lane. Don't forget you are a pushing champion and you need to use your AoE/Curse as effective as possibly to help your team get to turrets and down them.
End Game (Levels 12-18)
Team Fighting/Pushing - At this point you need to stick with your team, you are too squishy to go out on your own and you will most likely get jumped by 3+ enemies if you are trying to push by yourself. Use the tactics I explained in the skill section to get kills and keep your enemies away. Use CotV to silence multiple enemies and kill a group of minions for some extra gold. If your team is at a stand off against the other team at their gate dive into another lane quick and get some Malefic Visions off to help push another lane. Don't stay in a side lane too long or away from your team. Push enough to get your minions line moving closer to the enemy base then get back to safety, don't hand out kills to the enemy team. Remember if you die your team has one less person to go against the enemy team. 4v5 is going to be hard missing an important dps. At this point the games gonna come down to your team pushing and winning or being pushed and losing. Win or Lose remember what you did wrong and what you did right take it into the next game and improve.
-You are a pusher, if your team is having problems getting past the enemy gate and downing an inhibitor try to push a different lane solo, just be very cautious and don't stick around for more then 2 or 3 waves of minions.
-Watch for backdoors your strong AoE's can help push a twisted fate out of your base and keep him at bay.
-Don't forget to stack curses when you are at a turret faceing off with the enemy team.
-Don't Be Stupid the more you die the less you are in the game, which is less time getting kills and gold.
Malzahar is a very effective character and if used properly can help your team win. This is my first time writing a guide and I would love feedback on what you think about it. What should I include, takeout, or change. Tell me what you think.