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Malzahar Build Guide by Talador12

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Talador12

Malzahar, The Void Master

Talador12 Last updated on April 17, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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This build is really, really, out of date.
The metagame has changed a lot, don't follow this anymore. Maybe I'll update it another time.

This is my Malzahar build. I have played Malzahar for quite a while, and this build has really worked for me.

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Magic penetration is what makes Malzahar what he is. His AP damage is great and with null zone and magic penetration coming into play, tanks drop fast and everyone else drops even faster. This is honestly the only viable choice for marks.

The mp5/lv runes (which hopefully won't be nerfed soon) have a break at level 4, in which they scale better than the flat mp5 runes.

The quints can either be magic pen or fort, but I much prefer magic penetration, since it scales SO WELL with Malzahar (and most strong casters with high AP/high Pen ratios). Rylai's will provide some help with mid-late game health and your primary defense (should not be health) is good harassment, assassinations and lane/map control.

The CDR per level is the only true variance I have seen(and toyed with as a viable alternative). It has a late break point, at level 11. Until then, the flat CDR is more valuable. However, after 11 the per level edition is much more of what you want. Early game it is not effective to have CDR before you have the mana regeneration to back it up. If you can spread properly then it is easier to harass but regardless the CDR/Level has proven to outshine flat CDR for me in many instances. Assuming your early game went well, mid game is pretty easy mode. Level 11 comes quickly in mid, and quick enough in 2 person lanes if you lane correctly.

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Simple Utility+Pen build. CDR is amazing for Malzahar, and the mp5 in masteries helps a lot. Experience gain is important period, but while leveling I actually got the mp5 before the exp. The gold per level is more valuable than 1 point in movement speed from my history with experimenting. Start with the 9 points in attack, and work your way down utility. Just because the talent at the bottom looks really good does not mean you should go to it first (the 9 points in offense are more important than getting to the bottom of utility (directed to those still leveling of course)).

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Mana regen at the beginning of the game will sustain you until you have money to go back. The 2 health potions are just the amount you can get at the start of the game. If you feel comfortable without health potions, get a mana potion to help out early game. The time to head back changes every game so if you need to go back, I always prefer to finish Deathfire's Grasp before I even start my boots (unless you can buy the +1 boots after fiendish codex).

Deathfire's Grasp
I support Deathfire's grasp. The CDR, mp5, AP, and active are exactly what Malzahar needs. The active is the *tank killer help* if you don't have enough pen early game, and is still incredibly useful if used properly on champions with more than 2/3 health(30% of targets current health in damage). I suggest learning to use it as often as possible and it will surely pay off right in front of you. Sometimes I don't even have to go back until I can buy Deathfire's Grasp and the Sorcerer's Shoes.

*UPDATED* Morello's tome is a great alternative to Deathfire's Grasp. Very similiar item but with better stats and no active. I actually use this more often now because the stats make a difference in early/mid game and tanks aren't as much as a problem late game because of the magic pen.

Get them. Best boots by far.
Magic pen>CDR>MR>+3>+2/+5>AS.
MR boots are useful against several AP champs and a lot of CC but when it comes down to it, your placement and where you place call of the void will determine the outcome of your life in a team fight.

Rylai's is a wonderful item. At the point in the game where you have it (mid game/team fights/you had a really solid early game and got it early), you gain the ability to actually chase, kite melee, and harass really efficiently. The added health is a great bonus to the beginning of team fights, or many champion battles to come.

Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff are sometimes something I interchange. I am still experimenting on which to get first, but either way rush both.

Needlessly Large Rod is a good item to get but costs a lot (AP version of BF sword). If I have 1600+ gold and have finished the first 3 items I go for Rabadon's Deathcap first. If I have anything less than 1400 and no one is about to kill a tower/dragon then I go for void staff first. As soon as you have these two items you will simply DESTROY literally anything. Dr. Mundo with 5 force of natures and a spirit visage? No problem. Your magic penetration will be through the roof, and your ability power will be extremely powerful as is.

Lich Bane is almost adding insult to injury at this point, I rarely see a game get to this point. However, the AP is high enough at this point to benefit very nicely from the damage after ability effect. Also the stats along with Lich Bane benefit well here. As always, get consumables after you finish your build (in the order above unless a player on their team has stealth or has filled your map with mushrooms).
Other Item Overview:
I will cover a lot of items and talk about their value for Malzahar. Not all of these items are *bad* choices but rather I rarely ever change builds and I'll explain why. For most characters it is a poor choice to stick to a set in stone build but Malzahar functions well with the build I described above.

Abyssal Mask
Actually a decent item for Malzahar, as the magic resist debuff is accounted for before void staff % and benefits other champions as well. Ability power is nice as well so I personally don't use this item but when playing with 2-3 other AP champions, this item is a very nice alternative. I would switch this out with void staff if I were to use it.

Aegis of the Legion
Honestly, leave this item for support/tank champions. Although the aura's are nice, let a different kind of champion get this to support (Malzahar is not a support champion).

Amplifying Tome
Amplifying Tome is used to build into some of the items above so this is used often. However, this is not the item to start the game out with. Even with 2 mana potions, this will cause mana issues early game and not a satisfactory amount of damage increase to be worth the effort.

Archangel's Staff
Big debate here. Archangel's staff is a good second or third item, and some builds rush tear of the godess and finish it after boots. Archangel's Staff is a great item for Malzahar honestly, and before the Zhonya's Ring change I used it in my build. After the change I tried working it into my build several ways and preferred other builds to this one. There is plenty of AP and mana regeneration in the suggested build and not enough CDR in most of these Archangel builds. If you choose to go this route I will respect your decision if you execute it well. However, a Malzahar who doesn't have good CDR and doesn't play well will struggle.

Atma's Impaler
Intended for high health AD champions (not Malzahar).

Avarice Blade
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

B. F. Sword
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Banshee's Veil
Banshee's Veil is a great defensive item choice if you need more survivability. It does provide the benefit of MR/health/mana so all of it's aspects help your stats. However, it is often not a good idea to build too defensive as Malzahar. His natural MR and armor stats are low (AP DPS, not a tank). The passive is excellent and counters some champions well but I would not suggest to go defensive as a dps. A tank/initiator should get some defensive items instead of having you take them. Malzahar can 1v1 very well but is not an initiator.

Berserker's Greaves
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).
Also most AD champions shouldn't get this anyways for various reasons but I'll let another guide explain that.

Bilgewater Cutlass
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Blasting Wand
Used to build into several suggested items above. When choosing which items to get when building up, this an excellent choice to choose first if you have the gold to get it.

Boots of Mobility
You will need/benefit more from the spell penetration boots.
You will spend a lot of time either harassing or being in combat.
Although I support switching lanes to gank (Do it and execute it well with teammates of course), it is more important to pick up spell penetration boots. Fifth choice for boots.

Boots of Speed
Get it, simply as a build up to Sorcerer's Shoes.

Boots of Swiftness
The speed is nice but the spell penetration is much better still.
Fourth best choice for boots.

Brawler's Gloves
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Catalyst the Protector
See Rod of Ages/Banshee's Veil.

Chain Vest
Tank item, but see Zhonya's Hourglass.

Chalice of Harmony
Support item. Your Malefic Visions spread and Morello's mp5 should cover your mana expenses in the first place.

Cloak of Agility
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Cloth Armor
Don't buy it, tank item.

This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Deathfire Grasp
In the suggested build. I currently value Morello's Evil Tome over this item, but both are valid as a first built item in this build.

Doran's Blade
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Doran's Ring
Doran's Ring is another subject of controversy. I think it is a good item just not for malzahar. Mana regeneration is imporant early game, and the 2 health pots will cover any damage taken early game (the extra health shouldn't be necessary). Rather early game should be focused on harassing champions so they can't last hit (DENY DENY DENY!) and farming minion last hits yourself by spreading your dot and timing the last auto attack. Meki pendant to tear of the goddess to archangel's staff is a better choice than doran's ring (that build performs better than doran's ring but not as well as the suggested build).

Doran's Shield
Doran's Ring is better, see Doran's Ring.

Elixir of Agility Elixir of Brilliance Elixir of Fortitude
Brilliance is interesting when bought mid game, it seems to help a lot and get that extra edge. However it is important to finish out key items in the suggested build and I do not recommend buying any of these until the build is finished.

Targon's Brace
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Executioner's Calling
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Faerie Charm
Builds into non suggested items, don't buy this.

Fiendish Codex
This item embodies Malzahar early/mid game. Builds into either suggested starting item and the AP/CDR/manaRegen is very effective throughout the game. With blue buff and CDR from these two starting items, your CDR should be at cap but not too much over.

Force of Nature
Tank item. Don't buy it.

Frozen Heart
Tank item. Don't buy it.

Frozen Mallet
Counterpart to Rylai's for auto attacks. Don't buy it.

Giant's Belt
Build's into Rylai's. Only use IMO.

Glacial Shroud
Tank item. Don't buy it.

Guardian Angel
Hilarious, but not worth it. You will get focused often but almost all players know to finish you off after you come back. Also another defensive item so it will hurt your damage/farming capabilities.

Guinsoo's Rageblade
Great hyrbid weapon for some champions. You are not a hybrid.

Haunting Guise
Not a bad item choice, however there are better choices. If spell penetration boots and void staff were not in the game I would look into this item more, but from my experience this item isn't really worth it. Often my magic penetration has already hit what I would call a soft cap, or at least after void staff, ability power becomes more important.

Health Potion
I suggest getting two at the beginning along with the meki pendant. However, after level 6 it becomes almost negligible. You have too much health for 200 health regenerated to have any value. Rather, it is more important that you extend only when appropriate and harass/farm well.

Heart of Gold
Don't do it.

Don't do it.

Hextech Gunblade
Spell vamp is actually an underpowered stat. The ability power is nice but the attack damage is poor. Also, there is already a slow on rylai's (which wou should get).

Hextech Revolver
Build up to spell vamp items. Spell vamp is underpowered, often you either play your cards right and don't take too much damage or manageable damage. Spell vamp honestly makes you even easier to shutdown due to the lack in other more valuable stats.

Infinity Edge
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
I have played with these boots some. They are a great item for several AP champs. However spell penetration still is important to keep up (and spell penetration boots help to maintain this very well). With CDR runes/masteries and Morello's Evil Tome/Deathfire's Grasp you already have plenty of CDR and go slightly over cap with blue buff.

Kage's Lucky Pick
Build into Deathfire's grasp. If you are choosing items to build into prior to deathfires's grasp, get fiendish codex first.

Don't do it.

Last Whisper
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Bravery! Just kidding. Not recommended at all. Malzahar actually is not a good champion for bravery and his toes are not that hairy.

Lich Bane
Suggested item. The extra hit from Lich Bane is amazing late game (thus why I get this very late). The added MR is useful to an extent too but primarily the extra damage and lich bane proc.

Long Sword
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Madred's Bloodrazor
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Madred's Razors
This item is intended for AD champions (don't buy it ever for any reason).

Hybrid item. Attack speed is a poor stat for Malzahar of course.

Mana Manipulator
Leave this to the support champions. Also MF should cover most of your mana issues if you spread it well.

Mana Potion
Decent item at the start of the game, but Malzahar doesn't have any healing early game so health pots are more valuable (and cheaper).

Attack damage and mana. Archangel's is better in every respect.

Mejai's Soulstealer
Mejai's is a cocky item. Often it results in a win that you would have gotten with or without mejai's soulstealer or a terrible terrible loss. My build above provides AP needed and already enough CDR (Especially with blue buff, which you should be trying to get as often as possible and honestly as soon as possible without hurting a jungler on your team if one exists).

Meki Pendant
Awesome starting item, the mana carries you to mid game if you can spread your dot well.

Mercury's Treads
Magic resist is nice but the strength of this item is the CC reduction. Rarely I actually get this item. When learning Malzahar I got this
Morello's Evil Tome

Nashor's Tooth

Needlessly Large Rod

Negatron Cloak

Ninja Tabi

Null-Magic Mantle

Oracle's Elixir


Phantom Dancer

Philosopher's Stone


Quicksilver Sash

Rabadon's Deathcap

Randuin's Omen

Recurve Bow

Regrowth Pendant

Rejuvenation Bead

Rod of Ages

Ruby Crystal

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Sapphire Crystal


Shurelya's Reverie

Sight Ward

Sorcerer's Shoes

Soul Shroud

Spirit Visage

Zeke's Harbinger


Sunfire Cape

Sword of the Divine

Sword of the Occult

Tear of the Goddess

The Black Cleaver

The Bloodthirster

The Brutalizer



Trinity Force

Vampiric Scepter

Vision Ward

Void Staff

Warden's Mail

Warmog's Armor

Will of the Ancients

Wit's End

Wriggle's Lantern

Youmuu's Ghostblade


Zhonya's Hourglass

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Skill Sequence

Malefic Visions is the 2nd most important thing after your ultimate. Call of the void is VERY potent, and the silence is strong if placed correctly (you should get better at this over time). Null zone is good, and wonderful if timed with your ultimate. The problem is that it doesn't gain much strength from each rank compared to the other skills, and its percentage damage vs flat damage is great but honestly scaled for tanks. The idea behind null zone is team fights, using your ultimate on people standing in it, and for controlling the space in a lane. Call to the void is a better and instant damage control of a lane, which doesn't require an inexperienced player to sit in a circle glowing on the ground. Play with what you want, but it if you doubt CoV>Null Zone, try and see for yourself.

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Summoner Spells

Ignite is awesome damage added, cuts healing 50% (all support characters, life steal champions, and especially VLADIMIR). Ignite destroys Vlad by the way, if you mid against Vlad, always use this to take advantage and get a kill. Dots always tick even though Vlad is pooled. Also (and almost more important), ignite can be placed on targets during your ultimate if you realize you need just a little bit more damage to finish someone off. Keep in mind the range on ignite will sometimes command Malzahar to move towards the target to ignite them. This will cancel the ultimate, and generally mess you up terribly. DON'T mess the range up on your spells, they have nice range circles for a reason.

Flash is simply amazing. Great for escape, chase, everything. In combination with Rylai's and +2 boots you can escape most issues and flash ahead and slow down the enemy champion (Kill them or if you can't, your team can catch up). Great for punishing champions who overextend and think they are safe as well.

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One thing of note: Always stack your spells at the beginning of the game so you can spawn a voidling. This damage is INSANE at level 1. Makes the first kill easier than you would think (and gains lain push advantage etc etc).

To be continued. This is a work in progress but should cover some misnomers about Malzahar and correct some bad habits.