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Malzahar: My Peeps Call Me Malz
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Choose Champion Build:
In this guide I have included 2 builds; 1 straight Offense, the other primarily Defense. Both builds use the same Runes/Masteries more or less (Seals and secondary Mastery trees differ slightly based on personal play styles) so the idea is to fall somewhere between the 2 builds during any given game depending on how well your team (and often you in particular) are doing.
I will also assume most players understand the shorthand I will be using in this guide. I will edit if people become confused by things like AP or Malz but I'd like to credit my audience as relatively intelligent.
Call of the Void Malzahar's Q - Opens two portals to the Void which after a short time deal damage and silence all enemies caught between the portals. Pick this up first and cast it 3 times on the summoner platform to have your Voidling charged for early lane control (I suggest the 4th cast on the caster minions). It is extremely important to note that Call of the Void is actually two separate projectiles that fire from the portals. If positioned with an enemy off to one side as opposed to right in the middle, you can pop spell shields and still get the effect.
Null Zone Malzahar's W - Often overlooked, this ability creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds that deals damage to all enemies in the zone for a percentage of their maximum health each second. This damage is increased by 1% per 100 AP and is great in combination with Malzahar's Ultimate. I tend to max this by level 13.
Malefic Visions Malzahar's E - Puts a DoT on target enemy which deals damage over 4 seconds. If the target dies while afflicted by the DoT, it jumps to a nearby enemy and Malzahar regains some mana. This ability is what gives Malzahar great sustain in lane and should be maxed immediately.
Nether Grasp Malzahar's R (Ultimate) - Malzahar channels a "face laser" suppressing the target for 2.5 seconds dealing magic damage each 0.5 second. As this can interrupt other channeled Ultimates, you can use this defensively (but 9 times out of 10 you should be using Call of the Void to interrupt instead). Also, try to combo this with Malzahar's other abilities. And beware Gangplank only using this after he's used Remove Scurvy otherwise he can just eat an orange and be k.
As with almost any champ, you will want to level your Ult at levels 6, 11, and 16.
With the introduction of Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp, you can increase your lane sustain by replacing Greater Quintessence of Ability Power but you will lose out on some early game damage which I've found to hinder the transition to mid game. I don't dislike this set up, I just prefer Potency to Transmutation.
Masteries are also fairly standard. Grab everything you can to buff your AP. Depending on your Summoner Spells, you can take a point in any of the buff abilities. If you take the Utility buff, feel free to grab Runic Affinity for the increased neutral monster buffs otherwise I might suggest going Defense for the extra resistances and health. I skip out on Executioner from the Offensive tree because you can usually burst an enemy down without it. If you feel the need for Executioner, feel free to drop Summoner's Wrath (depending on Summoner Spells) or a single point from Mental Force .
As I've mentioned, more often than not you'll fall somewhere in between however you should usually aim for an early Catalyst of the Protector (which can be rushed into Rod of Ages or turned into a Banshee's Veil later) and completed boots ( Sorcerer's Shoes over Mercury Treads if the enemy team lacks strong CC or you're decimating your lane) and of course Rabadon's Deathcap.
Fiendish Codex is a great early-mid game item as it's relatively cheap and gives decent AP and CDR and can be built into either Morellos' Evil Tome or Deathfire Grasp if you're facing a tankier team. If you do go for the Deathfire Grasp, it is advised to get Kage's Lucky Pick before the Codex for the small increase in gold which can help finish off the piece faster (if you die, wait to purchase the Deathfire Grasp until you're about to respawn to squeeze every bit of gold out of the Pick). Two important notes about Deathfire Grasp before we move on; first its active ability damages the opponent based off their CURRENT health (and scales with Ability Power) and as such should be used before the Null Zone+ Nether Grasp combo, and second, the active ability has a minimum of 200 damage (affected by Magic Resist) so it can be used to pick off fleeing enemies as well.
I also like to get a Lich Bane if I'm farmed but having trouble pushing a lane as it can devastate a turret if you properly time your skills.
Void Staff can be situational if the enemy team isn't stacking Magic Resist in which case Abyssal Mask is a much better choice (with runes and Sorcerer's Shoes you effectively negate 48.55 of your target's Magic Resist).
Rylai's Crystal Scepter will give some decent AP and health along with a 15% slow (since all Malzahar's abilities are either DoT or AoE) which is nice but sometimes you'll want to got for a Will of the Ancients for the 50 AP plus an aura that gives an additional 30 AP and 25% Spell Vamp. Usually you'll grab WotA if you have another AP champ or need the sustain in lane. Also, WotA is significantly cheaper than Rylai's and as such is arguably better if you're doing poorly in lane.
If you are forced to go defensively, I suggest rushing Glacial Shroud for the armor and CDR and following it up with a Negatron Cloak which can be built into several different items. These two items will quickly increase your survivability.
You can also build an Archangel's Staff if you have your heart set on it. without any other mana based items, a fully charged Staff increases your AP by 73.8 with its Passive alone but does take a while to charge up. If you do go this route it is advised to rush Tear of the Goddess but wait until mid-late game to complete the Staff.
If you do not have a jungler, you can easily solo the Wraith and Wolf camps between waves for extra gold/experience as well as the small health regen you get from killing the big wolf/wraith. This can allow you to easily out level your opponent but also requires your lane to be pushed.
In all honesty, at this point in the game you shouldn't need me to tell you what to do.
While the mana regen from Blue is nice, you really benefit from the CDR however donate Blue if another teammate will get more out of it (maxing CDR isn't impossible and your mana regen should be fine if you use Malefic Visions properly).
Cycle through your abilities to keep a Voidling summon on hand (much like Annie's stun). Try to save your silence in team fights for channeled ults (like Kat or Nunu) and always focus other squishy targets. As your abilities let you stay out of the fray, your goal is to stay on the back lines of a fight but be aware of enemies that can quickly close the gap (like Wukong and Xin Zhao) because if you are too far back, they can quickly pick you off. I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that positioning is key.
Most importantly, have fun and dance often especially if you have Zhonya's Hourglass (because the enemy Can't Touch This). Hopefully you learned a little something or at least had a little chuckle. Please leave any questions or comments below.