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Malzahar Build Guide by Jnewbringspain

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jnewbringspain

Malzahar - Victory Beckonzzz (UPDATED FOR PATCH 6.15!)

Jnewbringspain Last updated on August 1, 2016
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0


Hello & welcome to my Malzahar guide! I'm Jnewbringspain. I'm a Platinum tier mid-laner. Mid lane is my best role and I have learned a lot on my way up to Platinum and hope to share it with you.

I am now streaming here
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Also check out my youtube page here

*I am currently unable to stream in HD due to a slow CPU. If you would like to help me stream quality Malzahar gameplay, please go to my twitch page at the link above where you can donate to the cause. Any assistance is greatly appreciated!*


+ Very powerful mage. Deals a lot of damage.
+ One of the tankier mages.
+ Ultimate has suppress. Can NOT be cleansed.
+ Malefic Visions gives you decent mana return.
+ Can take out a high-valued target out of the fight.
+ Fantastic farming/lane pushing ability.
+ Not very easy to counterpick.
+ Passive gives a better version of Banshee's Veil.
+ Counters a lot of currently popular mid laners.
+ Can kill a full HP enemy if you land the proper combo.

- No escapes, easy to gank.
- Difficult to truly master.
- Requires a few items to be successful.
- Immobile. Can't help other lanes easily.
- Heavily countered by Quicksilver Sash.
- Can struggle against quick gap closers.


This is an absolute must with Malzahar. This is your only escape, and you will also need Flash to catch & combo enemies.


Also a must in my opinion. Incredibly useful to do the damage needed while channeling Nether Grasp.

Malzahar really only needs Flash & Ignite. I see no other summoner spell benefiting Malzahar more than those two.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Ability Power

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Goes good with any mage. It is particularly good with a mage that deals % damage. Malzahar's Nether Grasp deals % damage so it's especially effective with that.

Greater Seal of Ability Power - Is an obvious choice. Almost every mage needs some early ability power to help with damage.

Greater Seal of Armor - Has become something I use. AD mid champions have been quite popular as of late, this helps quite a bit.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power - See above.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Is also a pretty standard choice for any champion, but particularly for mages because they will most likely be taking magic damage in laning phase.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Is your main source of early ability power.



- Sorcery is clear better choice as you cannot make good use of attack speed.

- Double Edged Sword is a better choice in my opinion after receiving a buff.

- Natural Talent is a better choice. Malzahar doesn't benefit much from spellvamp.

- Oppressor gives extra damage to all your abilities since you will build Rylai's Crystal Scepter.


- Savagery will help you last hit minions and benefits you more than movement speed.

- Assassin is the right choice here since you are a carry in a solo lane.

- Merciless really helps finish off enemies and is clearly the better choice.

- Dangerous Game isn't amazing, but can save you if you've taken a lot of damage during Nether Grasp.

- Precision is the better choice since Malzahar does not require cooldown to be successful.

- Thunderlord's Decree won't help you much early on, but once you reach level 6, it really gives your combo a boost.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Q - Call of the Void gets maxed last. After the Malz remake, this skill became easier to land, but took a heavy damage nerf with less AP scaling and also a shorter silence duration. This skill will mostly be used to refresh Malefic Visions.

W - Void Swarm is maxed 2nd. The voidlings prioritize enemies that have Malefic Visions on them, so these skills go hand in hand. When voidlings hit an enemy, it will proc Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Make sure this skill is on quick cast, as there's no need to be pinpoint accurate with this skill.

E - Malefic Visions is maxed 1st. When an enemy has Malefic Visions on them and they die, you get some mana return for every enemy it bounces to. Although the damage was nerfed, it can now be refreshed if you land Call of the Void or Nether Grasp while the ability is going.

R - Nether Grasp like any ultimate should be maxed ASAP. This is your only reliable crowd control ability and can render almost any enemy useless as you suck the life out of them. *Be careful NOT to ult if your opponent built Quicksilver Sash or is Gangplank, Alistar, or Olaf*

Void Shift (Passive) - This passive is a free Banshee's Veil on steroids. Because of this new passive, you do not have to build as much HP as you did before. During late game, the cooldown on this passive is very short (Only 6 seconds at lvl 18) and should be abused.

Starting Items
- Doran's Ring is a very typical starting item for a mage and it is no different here. I take this and x2 Health Potion in every situation unless I get unlucky and a Pantheon or Riven appears middle. Then I may go Cloth Armor and x5 Health Potion. Even against Zed or Yasuo I would still take Doran's Ring first.

Item Importance - 5/5

First back/Boots

- I put boots here because I don't have an exact time where I buy them. If I have enough gold at first back, I'll buy Tier 1 boots & Tear of the Goddess. I typically just buy the Tier 2 boots when I have excess gold, or if the enemy has a lot of magic resist.

Item Importance - 5/5

- You shouldn't have any problem getting this on your first back. This item will help with mana, and more importantly, builds into Archangel's Staff.

Item Importance - 5/5

Mid Game/Core Items

- With Malz's new passive, you don't need to build as tanky as before. In my opinion, Rod of Ages is no longer the best choice. This item gives you a ton of AP (About 145 after Seraph's and lvl18) and once it turns into Seraph's Embrace, you also get a shield. With the changes to Malefic Visions, you will also likely need more mana. This item provides plenty.

Item Importance - 5/5

- Rylai's Crystal Scepter has become a more important item for Malzahar because of Void Swarm. His voidlings now apply slow on hit with this item. This is very powerful and allows you to secure many kills on fleeing enemies.

Item Importance - 5/5

- Very standard mage item. Obviously this will dump a ton of AP into your stats and really gives your damage the boost needed for mid/late game kills.

Item Importance - 5/5

Late Game/Final Build

- This is usually my 2nd to last item. With this, you will shred almost anyone you attack. Especially get this if you have the misfortune of laning against a Galio or a Kassadin. If the enemy team just isn't building magic resist, take Luden's Echo instead.

Item Importance - 4/5

- This is usually my last item. Although it is not as valuable to Malzahar as it used to be, it is still an effective item. Works great with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, or with Void Staff if you need to kill tanks.

Item Importance - 4/5

Situational Items

- I build this every once in a while over Void Staff if you have a poke team or if the enemy team isn't building magic resist.

Item Importance - 3/5

- This item is great against bursty mages like Veigar or LeBlanc. I would buy this if you need to get extra HP, or need to block certain skills.

Item Importance - 2/5

- I don't like building this item with Malzahar. If you build it then use it.... then what? Malzahar has no way of escaping after activating hourglass. The only time I build this item is if the enemy team has an AD mid, top, and jungle, or your laning against Zed or Karthus.

Item Importance - 2/5

- I also don't like building this item, but if you are going against LeBlanc, Annie, or Brand I would consider it. If the enemy team has mostly AP its also a decent choice. You don't want your enemy to be able to burst you before you can react.

Item Importance - 2/5

Difficulty scale 1-5
These matchups are based on my experiences against these champions. I did not listen to what the general population thinks is a counter or a difficult matchup. If a champion was not listed, I did not play against them enough to make a decent judgement. I will be adding video/.GIF examples periodically showing how to play against these champions.

(1 being an easy matchup that you should always win, 5 being the opposite)


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I wasn't going to include this section, but then realized that farming with Malzahar takes more practice than your usual champion. Although Malzahar has great farming ability, it can be difficult to do at times. You will have to account for Malefic Visions damage and often times Void Swarm as well. It will take practice knowing when to auto attack to finish off a minion. You should always assume that Malefic Visions will not kill the minion, so you should always try to last hit. Remember that Void Swarm will prioritize enemies that have Malefic Visions on them.

At level one, don't even worry about using Malefic Visions on minions. Even if you use it while auto attacking the minions constantly, it probably won't die. You are better off using it against the enemy champion, or just saving your mana until level 2. Once you hit level 2, you can use Void Swarm & Malefic Visions on the next wave of minions that come your way. The combination of these spells with autos should be enough to clear out the Melee Minions and bounce to the Casters.

As you continue to gain levels, you should try to occasionally hit the enemy. You can use Malefic Visions followed by an autoattack for some extra damage. Use Call of the Void if you have enough mana to do so. Generally if you can get the enemy champion to 50% health by level 6-7, you will be able to go for the kill. If you get them low, but they are playing it safe, go for the Flash > Malefic Visions > Nether Grasp > Ignite combo. You should be able to get that combo off before they have time to react. Keep in mind that you CAN use Ignite while using Nether Grasp without it interrupting as long as its in range. If they are too far away, Nether Grasp will be cancelled so be careful.

If your opponent starts getting aggressive with you, just back off and use Malefic Visions > auto attack > Call of the Void as soon as they turn around. This will almost always prove to be an even trade.

For the most part your opponent will have to stay in lane due to your lane pushing ability. In the case that your opponent leaves lane, it is often more helpful to just push to the turret and make sure you do your MIA call. If the path is decently warded and your not facing LeBlanc or Talon it may be possible to just follow. Be wary, Malzahar has no escapes so if you get caught in the jungle between their mid-laner and their jungler you are probably dead.

Malzahar especially excels mid-game, like most AP carrys do. As you gain levels and have your Archangel's Staff built, you will wear down your opponent with your constant lane-pushing and mana sustain. Stay on the offensive mid-game. Make your opponent sit under their tower and punish them anytime they are out of position. (Just make sure you ward)

Malzahar also does quite well in teamfights if positioned well. During teamfights it is more important to be able to land Call of the Void on multiple opponents. When teamfights start, you should be quite powerful and Call of the Void should be able to really chunk squishies. I miss the days of 3 second Call of the Void, but it is still effective and actually a little bit easier to land.

It is often a good idea to SAVE your ultimate during teamfights as it is easily interrupted, but it depends on the opposing team's comp. For example, if the enemy team has a Wukong, or an Alistar, I would definitely save your ultimate.

Another strategy is to disrupt the enemy team's initiator. For example, if you see Jax twirling his stupid stick running at your team, you can [nether grasp him before he can jump, or it will at least stop his jump halfway. Your team would then jump him and you would then have a much better chance at winning the fight.

Remember... most of the time you want to save your ultimate until most of the crowd control abilities have been used. The end of the teamfight is when Malzahar thrives. At this point most of your enemies will be low and your Malefic Visions will shred them. You may even get lucky and it will kill an enemy, bounce to another, and kill them too!

Lastly, Malzahar is very strong helping kill dragon/baron, or grabbing blue buff without needing any help from your jungler. The damage from Void Swarm is great against dragon/baron. Your Void Swarm allows you to grab blue buff without ever taking damage from it.

Make sure to use your Call of the Void and Void Swarm when you are at fountain to get mana stacked quicker for Archangel's Staff

My favorite trick to do with Malzahar is to wait for Malefic Visions to bounce to the caster minions, then use Call of the Void on them if the enemy champion is nearby. If you have a couple items early on, it will clear the entire caster minion wave and your Malefic Visions will automatically bounce to the champion.

Void Swarm helps with turrets if you time the skill correctly. Turrets will prioritize your voidlings first, so make sure you use the skill after it starts attacking a cannon minion.

Malzahar is the master of the turnaround burst kill. Maybe you misplayed a Call of the Void and are on the run. You'd be surprised how many people are stupid enough to follow you until its back up. If they are running at you predictably, Call of the Void > Void Swarm > Malefic Visions > Nether Grasp > Ignite. It won't matter if you have a sliver of HP, if you pull off this combo, chances are they will die.

Malzahar can also do excellent against ganks if played properly. Landing Call of the Void + Malefic Visions and using Void Swarm on an injured opponent is often all you need to secure a kill. Then you can focus your Nether Grasp on the enemy jungler. This is difficult to do, but can certainly be done.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't necessarily have to use Malefic Visions directly on an opponent to do your combo. If your Malefic Visions have traveled to the caster minions and there's 2 or less of them and your opponent is near them, you could then Call of the Void > Void Swarm > Nether Grasp > Ignite. Malefic Visions will kill the two minions before Nether Grasp is done channeling and will bounce to your enemy at the last second.

Here's my last 10 ranked games as Malz. I did not pick and choose which games to include, as I feel it defeats the purpose. Last 10 games including losses.

Malzahar is a high damage mage that takes some skill to perform at a high level. Hopefully my guide gave you some information on how Malzahar can be successful. Now go dominate that middle lane and take over the game!

Thank you to all who viewed my guide and found it useful. Please feel free to comment & vote.

Special thanks to Emikadon (She made the introduction banner) Also thanks to ILLBRED & lHyPeRiOnl for helping with the video examples.

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