Build Guide by EmpyrealXVII
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Malzahar takes a great deal of skill to play effectively. Overall, I would prefer Ryze, but with the right techniques and team you can completely devastate the enemies
- Good Solo or Middle Lane
- One of the most aggressive pushers, however learn to control this so you won't get ganked
- Area Silence - Can be a complete game changer in team fights
- Great stunlock ultimate to pick off an enemy carry or squishy almost instantly
- A very powerful nuke when Call of the Void is timed and placed correctly
- Mana hungry early game
- No escape mechanism whatsoever
- Hard to time and place Call of the Void
- Overall a difficult skill rotation to master and adapt to various situation
Start the game off with Meki's Pendant and 2x Health Potions. This will help you manage your mana along with well timed Malefic Visions. You can almost lane indefinitely early game if done right. When you're finally forced to make a trip back or see an opportunity to go back safely when you have farmed around 2K gold or so, grab yourself a Tear of the Goddess and Basic Boots. Sorcerer's Boots are optional if you can afford them this early, but definitely grab it if you can. However Tear of the Goddess is a MUST because it will essentially solve your mana problems for the duration of the entire game when coupled with Malefic Visions. By the second trip back you should be able to afford a Needlessly Large Rod. If not, go ahead and grab a Blasting Wand. After this, take every opportunity to use Call of The Void to farm gold as quickly as possible. At this point in time, Call of the Void should be a one hit kill AoE spell against normal minions and a few of the jungle creatures. As soon as you complete your Zhonya's Ring, quickly convert your Tear of the Goddess and Blasting Wand into an Archangel's Staff. After this, you are left with two routes:
A. Rush and stack Archangel's
B. Rush a Deathfire's Grasp and then stack two more Archangel's scepter
Personally, I prefer getting a Deathfire's Grasph in between rushing Archangel's staff because it can be used to great effect in conjunction with your ultimate, Nethergrasp.
By end game you should easily have around 750-800+ Ability Power along with Death Fire's ability which does 30% of the enemies current HP + another 3.5% per 100 ability power. Thats 30% +3.5% multiplied by at the very least 6 times if not 8. A very powerful active ability in combination with your overwhelming ability power end game.
A quick break down of the item build:
1st Trip - Meki's Pendant and 2x Health Potions
2nd Trip - Tear of the Goddess and Basic Boots
3rd Trip - Sorcerer's Boots (If you didn't get it on the 2nd trip) and Blasting or Needlessly Large rod
4th Trip - Zhonya's and Blasting Wand
5th Trip - Archangel's Staff
6th Trip - Deathfire's Grasp
7th and 8th Trip - Rush Archangel's Staff for remaining available slots
I personally use Teleport and Flash for the following reasons:
Early Game - Warp back to the solo or dual lane ASAP after your 2nd trip back to base
Mid to Late Game - Warp to towers that are besieged by minions and instantly wipe them out to protect the base while at the same time earning a massive income of gold. Also great for getting to teamfights and gank faster if the situation calls for it.
Flash: As a rule of thumb, I never let myself get caught in a situation where I have to run for my life when playing as Malzahar. Map awareness and quick thinking in team fights are crucial so that Malzahar is correctly positioned and can flash over a wall when necessary for a great escape. If you need to use Ghost, chances are that you're going to die anyways or you're going to get hit by a stun or slow. Personally Flash gets the job done much better.
You can also opt to use Ghost and Flash - Ghost for getting to team fights faster or getting that extra speed boost to catch up in order to bust out Nethergrasp. Ignite would also work if you need to finish off the enemy after they are almost dead from getting hit by your ult. But keep in mind, surviving is KEY when playing Malzahar.
The ordering is already posted so I'll just explain why:
Call of the Void first - Cast it 4 times in base so the 5th cast will be your 1st cast while laning which will instantly summon a voidling to help you push and attack enemy champions (If you're that lucky early game). This is just a personally preference.
The key however is Malefic Visions and must be maxed out as soon as possible. It will completely dominate your lane when timed right. Use Malefic visions initially on a weakened minion to ensure it will kill it and jump to another one. Also, try to use it only when there are multiple minions around and not just one or two to maximize the amount of mana regained. When used correctly your mana pool should remain static and mid to late game it can easily increase it. Use Malefic Visions to also harass early game. Great for taking down champions little by little early game because all you need to do is land Malefic Visions and watch their health die little by little. Also great on champions like Tryndamere who can survive death with Endless Rage. If Malefic Visions is on Tryndamere, he'll drop instantly right after Endless Rage wears off. Also applicable to any other enemy champions that are running away with low HP. Malefic Visions is a very powerful and flexible DoT skill. Mastering it will greatly increase your efficiency as Malzahar.
Null Zone is the lowest priority and is barely used except when you want to do the following:
1. Scare off enemies from the tower
2. Area Denial
3. Use in conjunction with Nethergrasp to maximize damage
4. Kill strong jungling creatures faster
5. Hold off and kill superminions endgame long enough for a turn around
Call of the Void is the 2nd priority next to Malefic Visions. In order to do well with Malzahar, you MUST learn to time Call of the Void. With high AP, Call of the Void can devastate and silence a single enemy or an entire team. Because this skill has a semi-long cool down, it is crucial that you make ever cast count. Everytime I cast Call of the Void it either takes out 1/4th, 1/3rd, or almost the entire health bar. In same cases even an instant kill if they are already a bit weakened. Do not underestimate an area silence with powerful damage. It can completely wipe out the enemies in a team fight when used correctly. Learn to use this Call of the Void right and your team will absolutely love you in team fights. Note, Call of the Void can be used to give vision in wherever it is casted so use it to check bushes or areas you suspect enemies may be hiding or getting a buff.
Nethergrasp is your best ganking ability. Nothing says uber gank like a 750 ranged stunlock nuke powered skill like Nethergrasph. Since the latest patch, 1.0.100, Nethergrasp finally has suppression so guess what? Cleanse won't work anymore.
Use this skill to pick out the carry or DPS squishy on the enemy team. Do not initiate with this skill unless you are absolutely sure your team is there to back you up immediately or its 100% chance kill and you can get away with it. As said before, if you can get an enemy champion to stand on Null Zone while stunlocked in Nethergrasp, the damage is exponentially increased and will almost always grant you a kill if not an enemy champion with less than 20% of health left.
Early Game - Use Call of the Void sparingly and a well time Malefic Visions as much as possible to push, farm, and retain/regain mana. Null Zone rarely while tower hugging to scare enemy champions, though this is hardly ever needed early game.
Mid Game - Look for good opportunities to gank with Nethergrasp. Other than that, use your now upgraded ability power to insanely farm gold to rush Zhonya's Ring and Archangel's staff.
Late Game - This is basically where all the teamfights are if it hadn't started mid game yet. Time your Call of the Void as fast as you can to hit the majority of the enemy team to nuke them with a huge amount of damage while silencing all of them for 3 seconds. Now they're left with nothing, but basic attacks in the team fight while your teammates have 3 seconds to let all hell loose on them with every skill in their arsenal. By the time 3 seconds are over, you should have casted a null zone over the area where the enemy champions are standing and spamming Malefic Visions on every weak enemy champion you see around you or that's running away to finish them off. Use Nethergrasp to quickly eliminate their carry or any squishy DPS/dangerous champions such as Ryze, Annie, Ashe, Yi, etc.
IMPORTANT - As Malzahar, you MUST learn to time Call of the Void and correct map positioning, and have good map awareness. Without this, you will become a contributing factor as to why Malzahar is hated or ranked low in tiers. In my opinion Malzahar can be ranked as a tier 2 champion when played right. Learn to position yourself correctly and you'll find that an escape mechanism isn't badly needed as you would've thought.
I hope whoever reads this guide finds it to be useful in following or creating their own guide/build. I have tried both a flexible and survivability build with Rylai's and Lichbane throw in to the build and this build, a nuke build, and have found that in my experience, the 3 Archangel's Staff and Zhonya's coupled with an elixir makes for a force to be reckoned with in any game.
Good luck, have fun, don't die.