Build Guide by Shelmar
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Not Updated For Current Season
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I am making this build because Malzahar is an extremely deadly champion who can turn the tide of the game. He is not hard to play, and yet he has a high skill ceiling. I've also played him for awhile now and I have done very well with him so I figured I should make at least one build for this site, since I visit here pretty often.
Let me make one thing clear. Malzahar is not an extremely good champion. You can rape with pretty much any champion in pub stomps (hell, in normals I can consistently carry with champs like Urgot; anyone can) but generally, in ranked play he does not have much utility or survivability making him hard to place on a ranked team. Well, an exception to this would be low-ELO solo queue but that's about it.
Having said that, it still holds true that Malzahar is a decent AP carry and is very fun to play. And if you follow my guide and get some experience with Malz then you can have a seriously good time just owning everyone in normals.
Pros / Cons
-Good in middle lane AND as a laning partner. (Not recommended solo 1v2 lane.)
-Amazing damage output early-mid game.
-Can harass the entire enemy team with silence.
-Good at disabling the enemy carry.
-Good at farming.
-Quite squishy throughout the entire game.
-Very little late game utility.
-Other champs do his job better (Annie).
-No innate escape mechanisms.
The items are pretty simple and straightforward other than the Ionian Boots of Lucidity. I get Ionian Boots because the build is already quite AP heavy and you get a bunch of mpen from runes. I like the extra CDR for your ultimate, which if used correctly is always a guaranteed kill. The build is based on giving Malzahar as much health as possible while still giving him a lot of AP.
This build actually has more AP than the information above accounts for. For example, it does not consider the extra AP you get after you get mana stacks from Archangel's Staff. I usually end up with over 700 AP.
If the enemy team is heavy stacking MR, you can simply switch out either Archangel's Staff or Rabadon's Deathcap for Void Staff instead. I didn't put it in the core build because most enemy teams only have 1 or sometimes 2 champs heavy stacking MR. But some teams will have a lot of tanky champs that will get MR to counter you once they see you racking up the kills. Zhonya's Hourglass remains a must because of how squishy Malzahar is.
Flash is a staple for this champ, because without it you will die many times from being focused.
I take Clarity in order to stay in the lane longer and to pull off some kills that I would not normally be able to get because of low mana. You can take Ignite instead if that's your preference, but I think Clarity makes Malzahar really strong in a lane and allows him to continually harass his opponents. You could also get Ghost or Exhaust instead for some extra survivability.
Early game you should be harassing your opponent with Malefic Visions. Malefic Visions lets Malz take middle against many champions, with some exceptions (Vlad). If you know what you're doing (whether you've started in middle or top/bot), you should be able to get a kill with your ultimate by level 6-8. You just have to whittle your opponent's health down a little beforehand with some good old Visions. Keep harassing until you get your opponent's health down to about 30% (in time you will learn how much health your opponent must have in order to get the kill). When it is, flash in, use Call of the Void, Malefic Visions, then your ultimate all in a 2-3 second time frame.
Whenever you are not putting a point into Visions or your ult, level Call of the Void. Keep in mind, though, that Call of the Void is not as reliable as a harassment tool as Visions because a smart or skilled opponent can easily dodge it. Plus, you can use Visions to farm creep waves early-mid game. Don't start harassing your opponent until Malefic Visions is level 2; its damage output at level 1 isn't worth it.
However, around level 12-14 you can use Call of the Void to take out the caster wave of minions in 1 hit. If I see a huge creep wave coming down that I need to push up, I use CotV and then Malefic Visions to clean up; that leaves them all dead in a matter of seconds.
Note that you should not use your AoE, Null Zone, to farm creeps. It is far less effective than both Malefic Visions and Call of the Void.
Your sequence o' death(tm) on a single opponent is as follows:
0) Flash in if you deem it necessary.
1) Lead target with Call of the Void; it's important that you hit with this.
2) Malefic Visions.
3) Null Zone but only if you think you can land your ulti with him on it.
4) Nether Grasp.
5) Another Malefic Visions to finish him off if needed.
Your sequence in team fights is pretty much the same but use Call of the Void and Null Zone so that they affect as many opponents as possible.
Early-mid game you will want to use your ultimate to get kills but later on you should use it to suppress their carry or to allow your teammates to get a kill on a fleeing enemy.
Positioning is important. Make sure that you are close enough to mete out some serious pain with your spells but at the same time not close enough to get caught in AoEs or to give an opponent the opportunity to quickly switch to you.
The great thing about Malzahar is that if you play him carefully then you can have awesome scores whether your team wins or loses, or whether your team is great or terrible.
One important aspect about Malz is knowing when to fight or when to run away. He is very squishy with no native escape mechanics at all, unlike other caster champs like Morgana who can use Dark Binding on chasers and so forth. You need to learn when to recognize losing fights when it isn't a full on team fight. For example, a 2v2 with you and your tank vs a couple of dps which will probably kill their tank then chase and kill you. In that situation, you can merely put down Call of the Void, then Malefic Visions a weak one, Null Zone if you have it, then back up a good distance without completely running away. Not too far to be completely removed from the fight, but far enough so that your opponents will definitely not be able to catch up when they start the chase if the fight is lost. So, even if your tank dies, he can't say s*** to you because 1) you were still able to access the fight even if you were backing off a bit and 2) you used the spells that you could. No use standing right next to them auto attacking and whatnot. My point is: you need to be selfish, to a degree. Stay alive and stand and fight when it matters.
As Malzahar, your only line of defense is Flash and Zhonya's Hourglass. Use them wisely.
If you liked this build, please rate it up. If not, go ahead and rate it down, and in that case I would appreciate it if you commented saying why you voted it down.