Malzahar Build Guide by M002
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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.
EDIT: Just look at build 2
After playing Malzahar for a great deal more, I realize how ****py my original build was. Well, it wasn't that ****py, but it wasn't that great. My second build is a much better build that has worked timelessly well for me in normal and ranked games. Most of the techniques still remain the same, except that I have come to my senses with switching Heal for Ignite. I used to use Heal to bait enemies to tower dive me and then I would ult and Heal on them. Of course, this is very risky against nukes that can dive/kill you faster than you can heal and kill them (i.e. annie/leblanc/vlad etc...). Ignite is a much better summoner spell because it allows you to be the aggressor in the fight. Build 1 also incorporated Banshees Veil, which is still a great item, but my second build accounts for everything. With RoA and Rylias, you will have a lot of health, 3000+. Abyssal gives you the MR you need, while Zonyas give you the Armor. This allows you to be the all-around champ that I crave, so you can handle any situation, while still having 600+ AP so you can dish out a lot of damage. Depending on the other team, feel free to switch the order of Abyssal/Rylias/Zonyas to suit your needs. If they're AD heavy, get Zhonyas first, AP heavy, get Abyssal, if they're cc heavy, get Rylias first and use your Q and W to slow down all chasers, if they're is one fast chaser like vayne, put an E on her, and flash away over a wall or something. If they're still CC heavy, switch your sorc boots for Merc treads, Or, sell Rylias for the Moonflair Spellblade.
Malz's nerfs suck, but, he's still a fantastically strong champion in almost every way.
Malzahar is not a beginning champion. At 6300 IP, you have to be sure that you can handle so much power. I tried him when he was free one week, and realized how awesome he was and bought him when I saved up. He quickly became my Main. This guide is geared towards beginners, who want to learn to play Malzahar well without all the work of an advanced guide. I will also admit that I am currently only level 25, so my runes are not filled out nor are my masteries, but I can theorize the ideal tree.
1. Fantastic Pusher
2. Great in team fights
3. Can 1v1 almost any champion
4. Super balanced abilities:
a. Uber Silence
b. Massive AOE
c. One of the Best Suppresses
5. One of the best Harassers in the game
6. Can defend towers from nearly the entire team... and can harass enemy towers when defended by the entire team, without taking tower damage
7. Voidling can act as a tank/dps character early/mid-game
8. Great Dancer
9. He's from the VOID!
2. Not great against other AP spell casters
3. If targeted.... you will die
4. Few escape mechanisms
5. Stupid uncontrollable Voidlings can give away your position
1. Always start with Doran's ring, it will give you a nice health boost and mana regen and some AP off the bat
2. Depending on how much money you have, I recommend getting the sorcerers shoes immediately, however, if you are up against a squishy opponent in mid, like Ashe, then the Blasting Wand can give you some early umph to get an early kill
3. Either way, Blasting Wand comes before Tear of the Goddess, followed by Archangels Staff
4. IF you are a pro player with Malz, you can insert a Mejai's Soulstealer instead. However, I prefer to start Building Rylia's, this is a fantastic item mid to late game. It's passive will win team fights to come.
5. Assuming the other team has a tank, start the Void Staff afterwards, with this and sorcerers shoes, you will be set to deal with any opponent. If they do not have a clear tank, then you can replace this with Rabaddons DeathCap.
6. Zhonya's Hourglass will give you armor to deal with any melees that decide to rush you in team figths, and it's Active can be great while tower hugging and being dived.
7. If the other team is AP Heavy, I highly recomment Banshee's Veil to finish the build, it will make you a well rounded character. However, if you CRAVE MORE POWER, build a Rabaddons Death Cap, or if you already did, get another Archangel's staff.
Focusing on Malzahar's weakness: Survivability. I recommend spells that will increase this
1. Flash (MUST HAVE)- This is a must have, when pushing mid, if your team does not alert you of Mia's and you get ganked, the game will take a turn for the worst. Flash is a free get-out-of-jail card. It also becomes invaluable in getting the first kill on your opponent in mid, or, it can be great for early ganks on the other team, positioning yourself just right.
2. Heal - Malzahar is very squishy early game, there are a few enemy mid champions who can out range you, such as Anivia, Lux, Karthus, and Especially Urgot. Heal can keep you in the fight longer so you don't miss out on experience if you are struggling. You should be able to keep distance and not take too much damage, but having Heal is great into fooling the enemy about how much health you have. If you have your ult up, and the enemy feels like tower diving you since they have high health, let them get withing tower range, place down Null Void, and Suppress them within tower range with your Ult. While channeling the suppress, you can heal if you think they'll survive. However, watch as your ult and the tower pounces their HP and they usually always die. If they don't, throw on an E, and watch them fall.
3. Ignite - If you are very good at positioning, this is a great offensive spell for finishing off the competition. Perform the same ult combo, throw on the E and the Ignite at the end, and it's almost a gaurenteed kill. This will destroy people like Enemy Tryndameres.
4. Ghost - I don't use this ever, but if you like this over Heal to get out of more sticky situations, then take it.
Do NOT Take:
1. Revive - umm. duh.
2. Clarity - Definitely not Clarity. You WILL NOT Need it if you are using your E ability correctly.
When in the lobby, immediately 'shotgun' mid.
Malzahar should only be played in mid (unless you're one of the 5 people who know how to Jungle with Malz (I'll save that for another guide... or just watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aQnb1ZeV78 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpBMrJmgoio&feature=related)
Why? Malzahar, if played correctly, can win the game early without having to do significant amounts of work. Here is my general strategy when in mid:
1. Push minions by harassing them with your E. This will replenish your Mana, so you can keep spamming it. Work with your voidling to push Malefic Visions through entire waves, and pass it on to the enemy champ.
2. Keep harassing the enemy champ, make them recall, or if, they're weak, flash in and finish them off by auto-attack/E. If they are tower hugging with low health and won't recall, your Q should be able to reach them, if they dodge it, they'll at least feel unsafe and recall anyway.
3. Now is your chance to take down the tower, push E through minions, get your voidling into action, even if you have to waste spells on nothing, he is an extra minion that can take up to 5 tower hits if he grows correctly. If a new wave of minions arrives, get the voidling to take them down, while you and the minions focus the tower. WARNING: Make sure your team is calling MIA's, you are at your most susceptible when this close to the tower. If the enemy mid champ has Teleport, you will have to harass them a little more to keep the pressure on the tower.
4. It should take 2-3 trips depending on the minion wave timing/positioning, try to kill their wave while your minions are out of tower range. If they have teleport, it should take 4-5 attempts to take down the tower.
5. Once it's finally down, the laning phase for you is basically over. With your Ult up, it's time to gank it up, and push the other towers down, occassionally going back to mid and defending. What you can do, is tell a weaker champion to cover mid, so they can catch up in experience, this is ideal for a melee character like Yii or Tryndamere.
6. If done correctly, the other team will have lost all of their outer towers, and your team will have lost none of them.
I touched on this earlier. But the ideal way to fight with Malzahar involves silencing them, and harassing them.
I always start with a good Q, it's range is fantastic. Mid to late game, if you Q on the back wave of minions (the ranged spell caster minions), it will kill all of them instantly, giving you some nice gold, this is great for farming and pushing. E on minions is always great too.
When in Mid, you should never use your W unless there is one or more champions in the middle of a farm wave, or your opponent is a melee character trying to farm.
With your ultimate up, this is the Ideal Kill, also great for ganking:
1. Q - Silence them so they can't flash or run away
2. W - Lay down your Null Void underneath them
3. R - Immediately Ult, this in combo with NV will do roughly 80% of their max health every time (given not tank), if not kill them
4. E - If they're still squirming, finish them off with an E. If you are ganking and they are running away, upon a successful kill, this should transfer to the next champ, and may result in a kill-stealing finish, but hey, a Fed Malzahar is great. E is such a great ability, I've gotten Double Kills when I've died first in a 5v5 team fight because it keeps carrying over. My only Quadra-kill resulted from a team fight where we heavily damaged their entire team, but they retreated but not before I through an E on one of them, and it killed all of them one by one.
5. Throw down another Q for ***** and giggles
When in mid, follow this Ideal sequence, if they are keeping a distance, don't be afraid to flash in and perform it, you can heal if the minions/turrets are hurting you hard, but ALSO keep good watch of your voidling count. The extra dps provided could be the difference between a kill and a death. If you've ever found yourself in one of those auto-attack fights point blank like against a tristana/ashe/yii, where both champs are low health and think they can get the kill, the voidling can make a 1v1 a secret 2v1, and give you the kill.
Mid to Late Game
By this point, you should be strong offensively, but still week defensively. Since their towers are down, you wouldn't want to push to far by yourself. So don't be afraid to go jungle. Getting Blue Buff is fantastic for team fights. Null Void is great for dealing with all neutral monsters.
Defending towers: If they're pushing, Malzahar is great for keeping things protected. If it's ever late late game, and it's whoever can dive inhibitors better, Malz is one of the best to leave behind to defend. If they're tower diving the tower, just Silence them, and throw down a W, if they stay, massive damage will be dealt, but most likely, they'll back out unless they're incredibly determined. If you're teammates are on the way, hold your ground, and when they're low on health, engage, try to pick off the weakest one with your ult and then E.
Offensive: If you've played Malz before but haven't noticed how great his range is, consider checking out his capabilities. Malz's Q and W and go beyond most jungle/forests. Positioning can really annoying people defending towers. For example, the Second Mid Tower, you can go from either side of the jungle (wolves or wraiths) and use your spells through the forest. This is a constant source of damage, if they decide to come after you, you can quickly retreat through the jungle, or setup an awesome gank. Have your dps come with you into the nearest bush, when they come searching, throw down your spell combo with ult, and you'll get at least 1 kill. Many players underestimate Malz and his abilities. As long as you have your ult, you can turn the tables on any character. If you're being chased because you are low on health and it will be a 1v1 fight, get to the nearest bush, perform combo... get a kill, then swiftly recall. It's that simple.
In conclusion, following this build will hopefully be easy for beginners with Malzahar. There is a lot of damage output, and good survivability come late game. With the Ult combo at the end, you can output roughly 2500 damage, more than enough to seriously injure any squishy. This was my first guide, so I'll definitely be editing some things as I get more experienced and get enough IP to buy and see which runes work best. Leave feedback, and thanks for reading :D