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Malzahar Build Guide by Doctor Yas

Middle [S11][Master Tier] In-Depth Malzahar Build Guide

Middle [S11][Master Tier] In-Depth Malzahar Build Guide

Updated on January 12, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Doctor Yas Build Guide By Doctor Yas 10 1 24,356 Views 1 Comments
10 1 24,356 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Doctor Yas Malzahar Build Guide By Doctor Yas Updated on January 12, 2021
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Runes: Aery Page

1 2
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[S11][Master Tier] In-Depth Malzahar Build Guide

By Doctor Yas
Hey everyone! My name is Mark, but most players know me as DoctorYas. I am a Master tier mid lane player on the NA server. I have been playing league since season 5, and decided to pick up Malzahar back in season 6. I have grown to love this champion as he is an extremely easy mid lane champion to pick up, and he works in almost every team comp. He is easily my favorite AP carry champion in the mid lane to play.

If you decide to read past this point then I hope I can answer all of you questions about Malzahar. If not then I highly recommend checking out my other channels as I go in-depth with builds, guides, and other forms of gameplay to help you improve your Malzahar skills.

Video Guides

My YouTube channel is highly dedicated to playing Yasuo, however, on streams and from time to time I do release other champion content. Malzahar is a champion I extremely enjoy playing. Most of my Malzahar gameplay is played off stream since I normally tend to try-hard when I bring out this champion in my ranked games. If you are interested in checking out my channel then it would be greatly appreciated. I do make tons of general guide content as well to help all newer players better understand the game. ( YouTube and Twitch ).
Which Lane?
+ Strong wave Control
+ Late game scaling
+ Easy to learn and master
- Easily Gankable
- Low Range

Mid Lane
Mid lane is definitely Malzahar's strongest role. Due to his insane wave clear after buying Liandry's Anguish it makes it easy to perma-push mid and look to help either your side lanes or your jungle. Even when it comes to some of Malzahar's harder match ups like Syndra or Kassadin, Malzahar can just consistently push the wave from a safe distance with Malefic Visions and Void Swarm.

+ Longer Lane
+ Easy Wave Control
+ Low threat champions
- Easily Gankable
- Not a tank
Top Lane
Most people would think that Malzahar is a mid lane only champion, but I have actually played him top before with a decent bit of success. He is more a niche pick top lane, but he definitely can get away with playing the role. Top lane has low threat targets that generally build a lot of HP items. Due to Malzahar's HP shred build with Liandry's Anguish and Demonic Embrace it is easy to shred the tanker champs that you will most likely face in the top lane.
Level Up Order

  • Manaflow Band: Malzahar is an extremely mana reliant champion. All of his abilities have very high early mana costs, so getting any help in terms of mana is crucial for keeping Malzahar in lane until he can pick up a Lost Chapter.



When it comes to primary keystones there seems to be a split amongst Malzahar players on which keystone they like to run most. Personally, I think both Arcane Comet and Summon Aery are viable options that can play to Malzahar's strengths. In this section, I will go in-depth talking about my rune choices, and why I pick what I pick when it comes to Malzahar's runes.


Arcane Comet or Summon Aery?
Both keystones are amazing choices for Malzahar. I've seen a pretty even split amongst Malzahar players on which rune they like to run. Personally, I have run both runes, and I will swap them depending on my lane opponent and the match up. Generally, Arcane Comet does more damage, but isn't always guaranteed damage. However, Arcane Comet does synergize very well items with Rylai's Crystal Scepter which is core in Malzahar's build. Summon Aery on the other hand, is more consistent with damage, but does much less in terms of DPS than Arcane Comet. Picking between these runes comes down to preference and lane opponent. I generally take Summon Aery into more mobile champions where I know the damage will be guaranteed. On the other hand, I take Arcane Comet into immobile champions as the damage will be easier to land.

Scorch or Gathering Storm?
Scorch and Gathering Storm are both amazing secondary rune options for Malzahar. I find that they both synergize very well in his kit, and should be used in different situations. I find that Scorch is much better in lanes where you can poke and apply more early game damage. Gathering Storm, on the other hand, works well if you intend to play a slower lane and would rather scale into the late game. Both runes are viable options, and the choice comes down to what you are looking for in the current game.

Cosmic Insight or Biscuit Delivery?
I know these two runes are not in the same row for rune choices, but these two runes are the ones I swap between the most. I almost always run Magical Footwear, so the last secondary rune slot is up in the air. Normally, if I am in an even or winning match up I run Cosmic Insight. This rune allows me to flash more often, and use Malzahar's flash combo as much as possible. However, if I am in a poke heavy match up with longer range than Malzahar, or I am in a losing lane, I will run Biscuit Delivery. Biscuit Delivery helps Malzahar stay healthy during the laning phase while also making sure that he maintains his mana early on.

Domination or Inspiration or Precision?
Malzahar's primary rune page is a no-brainer. However, when it comes to secondary runes, Malzahar has a few options. I've seen tons of other Malzahar players run either Domination or Precision for their secondary rune slot, but I find that Inspiration is a much better fit for Malzahar. The reason I like running with the Inspiration tree is because it essentially provides you with a free 300 gold thanks to Magical Footwear, and it has options for either lane sustain with Biscuit Delivery, or a more aggressive play style with Cosmic Insight. The Domination tree may have rune options like Taste of Blood or Ravenous Hunter for HP sustain, but due to Malzahar's high early mana costs it makes it very hard for him to stay in lane against harder match ups without some type of mana sustain as well. The Precision tree may offer Presence of Mind as an alternative to biscuit delivery's mana regen, but Malzahar is not a champion that will get early kills or assists without some type of help from the jungler, and sadly, solo queue is not a place where you can effectively rely on teammates. That is why I run a rune that I can use immediately to keep Malzahar effective during lane.
When riot reworked their entire item shop I immediately knew that Liandry's Anguish was going to be Malzahar's primary mythic item of choice. It provides him with everything he could ever need! Liandry's Anguish has ability haste, ability power, and mana. The build path for the item is also amazing as Lost Chapter is a must buy early for Malzahar. Now you're probably wondering why I haven't put Luden's Tempest on the list since the item also gives all of the same stats that Liandry's Anguish provides, and it gives an added bonus of magic penetration. The reason that Liandry's Anguish is a must buy for Malzahar over any other mythic item is becuase of its passive, torment. This passive causes enemies to burn for (+6% AP)(+4% target's maximum health) total magic damage over 4 seconds. This passive synergizes perfectly with Malzahar's E, Malefic Visions. Each tic of Malzahar's E, Malefic Visions, applies Liandry's Anguish's torment passive making Malefic Visions extremely deadly on both tanks and squishy targets.

Demonic Embrace
Demonic Embrace is amazing on Malzahar for the same reason Liandry's Anguish is. Both of these items have a DOT that synergize extremely well with Malzahar's E, Malefic Visions. The combination of these two DOT items make Malzahar an extreme threat especially into team comps that have tankier champions.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is an amazing item on Malzahar. Malzahar may already have amazing CC with his Q, Call of the Void, and his R, Nether Grasp, but there is always room for more! With Rylai's Crystal Scepter Malzahar can easily slow his opponents making it easier to kite them, or to catch up and ult them. Overall, I love Rylai's Crystal Scepter on Malzahar due to the soft CC it provides.

*Keep in mind this is just an example build. Every game presents new problems and threats, so builds should be changed based on game state*

Mid Lane Build

This build is extremely basic. Malzahar's core items are Liandry's Anguish and Demonic Embrace. From here all other items are situational. I find that items like Rylai's Crystal Scepter are also important, but can still be replaced in certain situation if needed. I find that Malzahar's boot options can vary between Sorcerer's Shoes, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Plated Steelcaps, or Mercury's Treads. It all depends on the game state, and lane match up. Finally, Malzahar's last two items can be replaced with anything from Rabadon's Deathcap, Zhonya's Hourglass, Morellonomicon, or even Void Staff. It really depends on what you want, and what is happening during the game.

Top Lane Build

When it comes to top lane builds, you will notice that it is identical to mid. Mid lane generally has a little more flexibility with items as you can run items like Zhonya's Hourglass before even picking up Demonic Embrace. Top lane, however, will most likely be filled with tanks or health stacking champions. This means that Liandry's Anguish and Demonic Embrace are a must buy early on. The combination of these two items make Malzahar extremely deadly into tanks in the top lane. After picking up your two core items, you can continue on with a regular build path such as grabbing Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Morellonomicon, etc. These items can provide either soft CC to help kite out most top lane champions, or it can help with healing reduction as most top lane champions have some type of lifesteal in their kit or item build.

VS Heavy AD

Against super heavy AD comps I tend to build items with a little more armor and HP. Items like Zhonya's Hourglass are amazing as they provide you with both offensive and defensive stats. Also, depending on my lane match up I may even rush a Seeker's Armguard. Generally, if I am facing a Zed I will almost always rush Seeker's Armguard before my Lost Chapter. In this build you can also replace Sorcerer's Shoes for Plated Steelcaps. If you feel like they have a lot of auto heavy AD champions like Yasuo then Plated Steelcaps will be more useful than Sorcerer's Shoes. Once you get your core items and a few armor items the rest of the build should consist of AP items with some HP. This way you are tankier than most squishy AP mages while still being able to dish out tons of damage.

VS Heavy AP

Unfortunately, AP mages do not have a good MR item they can use like they can into heavy AD comps with Zhonya's Hourglass. So, if you are ever in a heavy AP comp as Malzahar I recommend grabbing Mercury's Treads over Sorcerer's Shoes since you can get a bit of MR and tenacity from it. From here you will have a ton of HP stacking through your item build which should keep you a little healthier than most squishy mages. If you are wondering why I didn't include Banshee's Veil into my build, as it gives MR and AP, it is because Malzahar already has a built in shield thanks to his passive, Void Shift.
Play Stlye
Malzahar's early game isn't very strong in comparison to a lot of other mid lane picks. He has extremely high mana costs, low damage, and long CD timers on his abilities. Malzahar is an extremely item reliant champion. The only way you can have an impact in the mid/late game is to farm up early and make sure to not die. Once you hit level six and grab your ult, Nether Grasp, you can start asking for ganks as this ability is amazing for gank set ups. Once you have farmed up early game and prevented you lane opponent from snowballing off other lanes you should be golden. I would recommend grabbing Lost Chapter on your first back and work towards rushing your Liandry's Anguish as soon as possible.

By now you should have your Liandry's Anguish completed and a few components to other core items on the way. With just one item, Malzahar can out push most champions. A simple E, Malefic Visions, into a W, Void Swarm, should be enough to push a whole wave. Keep your waves pushed and look to help out either jungle or other lanes. Malzahar is amazing at setting up for picks with his R, Nether Grasp, and if you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be very hard to get away from if he lands even one ability. Use your consistent wave pushing and pressure to apply it to other parts of the map.

Late game is where things start to get fun on Malzahar. You should have three or even four items completed by now. Thanks to all the HP items you have been stacking, Malzahar will be slightly tanky, and still be able to dish out huge amounts of damage. In team fights, your job is to either look for a good ult on key targets such as the ADC or APC, or to peel for your own carry by ulting the tanks/assassins looking to dive your back line. It really just depends on the situation. For example, if the enemy team have a Camille that is fed then you are most likely going to try and ult that target. Be sure to look out though for targets who have bought Quicksilver Sash as ulting these targets will be a waste of your ult, Nether Grasp. In most cases, you will be spamming your abilities on whatever target you can hit, and only ulting if you get in rage of a carry, or are trying to peel off any threats.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Doctor Yas
Doctor Yas Malzahar Guide
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[S11][Master Tier] In-Depth Malzahar Build Guide

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