Malzahar Build Guide by PrototypeADB
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Example Final Build
Boots and Enchantments
Hi, I'm PrototypeADB, an EUW player, and this is my very first guide! We will be talking about Malzahar here, one of my favourite champs in the game and probably the first one I mastered. Malzahar is an AP Bruiser, a combo based mage, who excells at controlling lanes and bursting ANY enemy down. He is one of the strongest 1v1 duelists in the game, and is a quite balanced champ through the full match; and he is one of the 4 champs with a Suppression CC (being the others Warwick, Urgot and Skarner). He is truly fun to play but not easy to dominate, as his mechanics are a bit odd. So here we go! BTW, never stop liking it!!
Pros / Cons
Well as Malza DOES have some HUGE cons, his PRO's really pay off.
- Awesome Nuke
- Can destroy ANY single champ
with some items
- Extremely fast and strong pusher
- Maybe the strongest farmer
in mid lane and one of the most feared
there if used correctly
- Awesome Harrasser and Poker
- Good Peels and can cut channelings
- No one will dare to dive you alone
- His dance and joke are SO COOL
- Ridicolously easy to gank
- After full combo, he is
- Weak to champs who can dive
and go away fast
- Slow movement speed
- Hard to dominate
- None of his skins change
his particles, although the
Overlord Malzahar changes
Skill Sequence and Explanation
This is to me the optimized way to max your abilities. I feel like this way you improve your early farming and harrassing the best, and as E is the ability that damages the most, you should max it first.
This is your Passive. After u cast 4 spells, the fourth one summons a voidling that improves his stats during time and lasts 21 secs, and benefits from your stats.
--Notice that his damage is quite high if the enemie is exposed to it and it can block some skillshots for u like Brand's Sear or Nidalee's Javelin Toss, so don't waste it. If u want to create a voidling just to block a skillshot, just shoot a spell when the passive is ready between you and the shot, and it will instantly appear where u placed your spell, bloking it if you are fast, although it requires some practice. He follows a focusing pattern when he attacks, so keep this in mind: Firstly, it goes for enemies afflicted with your ult, Nether Grasp; then for those afflicted by your E, Malefic Visions; then they focus anyone or anything u autoattack, and if nothing of this happens, they will just attack Randomly.
So remember, do not underestimate their damage, because over time, it makes a HUGE difference.
Voidling Pattern= Nether Grasp> Malefic Visions>AutoAttacks>Random Target
This is your Q. After a short delay (around 0.6 secs), it shoots a beam between two points which silences and greatly damages your enemies.
--Its damage scales pretty well (+0.8 AP) and it can cut some channelings, like Fiddlesticks's Crowstorm. I give it a point at the start and max it Second. Remember that when shooting it has a delay, so try to place it just a bit ahead or behind the enemie if they are moving; and if you are faming, try to hit as many minions as possible. Two more things, it gives you vision of the Fog of War, so you can use it to safely check brushes; and it's true range is a bit larger than what the animation shows, as it goes a bit further from the 2 spots that appear.
This is your W. It almost instantly pops a purple zone on the ground that damages a percentage of the target's MAX health every second. It scales with every 100 AP, giving u 1% more damage per each.
--DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS ABILITIE. It's what makes Malzahar able to shut tanks down, by stucking them on it with ult. You can use it to push if u are under tower, but Malza is and extremely strong pusher so be careful not to over extend yourself. The ideal thing would be to max this last.
This is your E. It's a strange shaped cloud which appears on the head of enemies and damages them every second for 4 secs. It also scales with 0.8 AP, and it's base damage is damn high (320 Magic damage). If the enemie with it on dies while they have it on,it gives you mana back and it will jump to the closest enemie, priorising champs.
--Well, here it is. I've heard people calling this the "Space Aids", and I've started to do it too, as it is quite an accurate name. This is the reason why Malza is such a strong pusher and farmer. To farm, just place it over a minion and focus it so it jumps on the next one, over and over again. Enemie champs won't come close, because if it jumps on them, it is free harrass for you! Just to give you an idea, just with 250 AP and Liandry's Torment, you AFK clear any minion wave, and if your voidling is there, it will go even faster. You can take a minion wave with your voidling up and your E, without doing anything in about 10 or 12 secs. If the minion wave is big, you can place 2 "Space Aids" (the name is catchy, XD) and they will jump around like a plague. However, if they both end on the same enemie, one of the clouds will dissapear and it will refresh the other's cloud duration. As a tip, I don't usually do this, unless there are a lot of minions, because it's mana cost is VERY HIGH (120 mana at max rank) and in order to recover the mana u used to cast it, you need to kill around 6 minions, given that u didnt use any abilitie inbetween. So use it smart!
This is your R. Your Ultimate. You channel a beam of void and Supress an enemie, while higly damaging him every half second. It scales INSANELY well, with every 1.3 AP, so with 100 AP, it is 130 damage more!
--This is a very strong ultimate, but use it wisely. Enemies with Quicksilver Sash (I hate this item, every time someone gets it I go like "EUWWW, DAMMIT RIOT") or Cleanse, as they will scape; or champs with CC Olaf, Alistar, Gangplank, Tryndamere (while he doesnt break the leash, he can ult so he won't die) and Morgana, whose Black Shield will suck damage and avoid the CC. Good thing is, that they will still be damaged until they leave the leashe's range, so you still have a chance to kill them anyway. You have to keep in mind that you can activate Ignite while channeling. However, flash will be de-activated while you channel and if you move, use any other ability, or if you are CC'ed or killed, or, and I really hate this, use Zhonya's Hourglass, it will stop channeling and will cancel. OH and one more thing, use it to set up ganks, countergank, peel or surprise the enemie while fighting, so, as u can see, it's a versatile ability. Oh, and it got reworked this patch, (4.1) and now it also Stops moving enemies on place while being CC'd or dashing/jumping, so GG!
Runes and Masteries
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Magic Resist
This are my standard runes for an AP Mid Laner. It gives you right what you need: AP (27), Magic Penetration (8) and Magic Resist (8). However, you can also try Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration if you want to improve your voidling's power.
This is my Current Masterie Tree for Malza:
5 points in Utility for the movement speed (u kinda need it), and Mana Regen.
2 Points in Defense for the Health Regen
26 Points in Attack, going for Cooldown Reduction, AP, Hybrid Penetration... Some of you may ask me why I use the Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving , if Malza doesn't really Autoattack much, but I'll tell you that the game also considers the Summon Voidling voidling's AAs for the Masterie, so it increases our damage a lot.
Another way to build your masteries would be forgetting the Utility tree and going for the Juggernaut masterie, but i feel this way is better.
Well, with Malza is pretty easy. None of the other spells really fit Malza's gameplay and mechanics. Ghost could MAYBE be and option, but I just feel like Malza gains so much with Flash... Well, it's up to you, but I personally don't like it. You could also use Exhaust but... forget it, just pick Flash and Ignite hahaha.
If you go top, which is perfectly viable for Malza, you can also run Teleport or if you try to build Ganky Malzahar, or even if you are mid and you know it will be a lane where u have freedom to move and gank.
The first one is my usual start, as it provides all you need for the early laning. If you feel like you can live without the pots, get a Stealth Ward instead. The last option you have is a deffensive one, only if you are afraid of a hard lane, a champ that can insanely harrass you from safety f.e. Lux; early gankers like Amumu, Evelynn, or Dr. Mundo, for example; or champs like Fizz or Diana, even maybe Akali, that can dive and "un-dive" really fast or those who can instantly shut you down like a good LeBlanc. In this case, you should be picking this:
+ + x2
If you have picked this back, you should stay in lane until level 5 (at least) and when you go back, you get a Doran's Ring and pots. Then continue with the rest of your build.
+ + +POTS
By now you should be around 60 CS, and when you go back, this is what I usually get. If you have more gold, consider buying Amplifying Tome in order to rush Liandry's Torment. Not much to say; but if you are considering a sustain based build, with Will of the Ancients, rush your Hextech Revolver and upgrade it later, when you have more money. Nevertheless, remember that Liandry's Torment is a MUST with Malza, and in general, with any caster that has a strong DoT spell (in Malza's case, you have 3 [W,E and R], so nothing else to say)
Strong and Core Items
This are your core items.I probably build them like 95% of the times I play Malzahar. Your question may be: Why these and not others? Well, I'll try to give you some reasons why.
- First of all, they give you what you need: sustain and damage.
- Secondly, Liandry's Torment's Passive synergizes with Rylai's Crystal Scepter's Passive, doubling its damage. And, your ult will also apply this double damage from it as you are CC'ing an enemy.
- Liandry's Torment gives you Magic Penetration, so with boots, runes and this you should get 30 MPen. This is insane damage, and if you also get Void Staff, you will destroy people.
-Finally, Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives you HP, which with Malza, I assure you that you will need it, and a source of soft CC, really handy for chasing and scaping, another thing that Malza desperately needs.
OFC, it's not OBLIGATORY to get them, I'm just saying that they are incredibly strong on Malza, because they increase your strong side and compensate your weaknessess. Nevertheless, it is up to you.
This item is almost Un-Skippable. Any offensive AP always has to consider getting this, as it makes your damage go up a lot. It is also one of the 2 "Needlessly Large AP" items. Nothing special to say here. Get this if you need pure damage, usually in mid/late game.
In this case, we also have a strong damage item. BUT, it heavily synergizes with Liandry's Torment and Sorcerer's Shoes ,as you will hit around 50 MPen, which, to carrys means that you will be dealing almost TRUE damage to them, which is HUGE. Get this if you need MPen, usually mid/late game too.
This is one of my favourite items for AP casters, and I highly recommend it on NON-Combo-Relying AP champs, but in this case, you are actually quite combo based. So,Why do I reccomend this item then?. Thing is (just in case you hadn't noticed yet XD) Malzahar is an AWESOME pusher and harrasser, and this item can get that going hard. Allowing you to easily take turrets down, farm or just poke and kill, is an overall good item for an offensive Malzahar. Plus, movement speed and more mana are always welcome!You can get this item at any game stage, but its effectiveness is extreme in late game.
With the changes of Season 5 on this item, it is now actually an extremely good item to pick, really gold efficient, gives you a lot of AP and insane Mana Regen and CDR. Plus, the Grievious Wounds passive is quite nice. Get this in mid game.
In today's Meta-Game, Malza doesn't need purely deffensive items. With this I mean he won't be buying Sunfire Cape, Warmog's Armor or Banshee's Veil (well, this last one is quite situational, and I've actually found me buying it from time to time). He needs items that provide some deffensive stats without sacrificing much damage. You will be getting, at least, ONE per match, at any stage of the game, and whenever you feel like you need it, rush it To me, these would be:
Well, this is the second "Needlessly Large AP" Item, and some people will say that is offensive, and I agree, but its utility is purely deffensive away from the insane amount of AP that it provides. You should always buy this when the enemy team is AD based or the laner you are going against is. If you are winning lane, but you are worried about their damage, get Seeker's Armguard and don't finish the item until you want the Active.
This item is a miscelanea of really good things. It gives you nothing more than AP, MR, CDR, Mana Regen, and 2 passive ways of regaining mana. Actually, his second unique passive (Mana Font) is Veigar's innate passive Equilibrium, so you can figure out its usefullness. It counters your lack of mana pool without RoA and AP casters.
I actually think that this item is quite good on Malza, however, with the changes on Morellonomicon, I find this item not that neccessary as before, so get it if you want to go Tanky. In any case, it is a really good item to pick, but if you want to take it, make sure to pick it as first or second item.
This item is an standard Anti-AP item, so get it if you need to protect yourself from them. Quite simple right? Also, the passive is in your Nether Grasp's range and in all your abilties's range, so it is even more damage!!
Boots and Enchantments are explained on the top, as well as trinkets, and, as they have not much more to talk about, I won't repeat them here, so we will be passing to our next section, the Debated items.
Debated Items and Alternatives
Well, a lot of my friends asked why did I include this items here, as they are not really common in Malza and in most pure AP casters, but the thing is that if u are willing to try something new, these can really pay off.
In this case its not a weird item, but it's just not common on this champ. However, it is a cheap and strong item, gives you Mana Regen and CDR, and some AP in an Aura too. But the thing is the sustain. For just 2000 gold you get an INSANE sustain in lane, I've even managed to buy it early in a hard lane and stay in lane for 8 levels, taking his turret down when I was losing lane, with no more help than this item, a Stealth Ward and 2 Mana Potions. SO, pretty good,huh? Well it is an early situational item, and I do get it when I'm facing a hard lane, tipically when against melee AD, specially Pantheon or Zed, which can easily harrass you untouched. SO it's a powerful lane item at cheap prize, and I've found me buying it a lot of times. You should get it early and keep it until the end, only sell if you are POSITIVE that you can sustain without it.
Well, you may think that AD is completely useless on Malza, but you are quite wrong! As his abilities don't scale with AD, his Voidling's stats DO scale with Malza's total AD, so if you get this item, your voidlings DESTROY enemies and help you farming a lot. Besides, you get damn a lot of AP and AD, Spell Vamp and Lifesteal, so a lot of sustain and damage; and aditionally you get a nice Active boosts your combo a bit, as now it scales with AP too. To build it, reccomend gettin' Hextech Revolver and upgrading it later, when you know that you can benefit from the active or you see your voidlings are a important part of your damage. Now, I really don't reccomend building it over another item, unlike Will of the Ancients, it's very situational, but you should actually try it. However, if you reach full build with Will of the Ancients, and you have enough money, sell it and get this, as the AP that gives is higher, and the spell vamp, the same, along with some characteristics that are quite nicer, although that you will lose your aura, mana regen (anyways, you should not have mana problems late game) and your CDR.
Overall, I only recommend these items in extremely situational matches, although Will of the Ancients has proven to be really powerful in defensive lanes.
Here is when Malzahar gets unique. You have different ways of laning. You don't really change the build, so it allows you to swap your gameplay during the match. However, if you are planning to do one of them for the whole match, you may want to rush some specific items.
1) Da SafeMode: Push&Farm->Retreat
2) Da Ganky Malza
3) Da Extreme Aggro
4) The Pro-Prophet (Godmode Omnipresent Mode)
This is the usual Build. The first one, and the essential. Here, you will concentrate on farming, and after that, you'll try to be useful for the team (I also call it " NasusMode", but a bit more aggresive). This is what you have to do. You will be farming the whole game. Get that on your head. You will be passive in lane, farming. The lane will push itself really fast, because you are Malza, not Kassadin ;). When the minions are ahead, run to Wraiths. Then go back to lane. Do this until your E is Maxed. When it is, do Wolves after Wraiths too. You should have no ploblems to end up the match with around 250-300 CS and very itemized, even if losing. It's the safest way to lane, good for defending yourself; although it may be a bit boring if you want some heavy action...
Here you want Movement Speed. Weird, but true. You will be gettin' Boots of Mobility, with Enchantment: Alacrity or Enchantment: Homeguard, in order to be effective. Also try to go Lich Bane between Liandry's Torment and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. A good choice is picking Teleport too. Now, here is what you have to do. Stay safe with "SafeMode" until lvl 6. Then go to other lanes as fast as you can, and gank. And get the kill. Go back to lane, farm until you have ult back and go to other lane again. Every time you have ultimate, roam. This is a risky and less farmy build, but it can go really well if you manage to snowball. Moving at 450, you can go back to lane in no time. However, your opponent may try to take your turret down, so keep that in mind.
Extreme Aggresive Malzahar
Well this is just like the normal build, BUT, your play style will be completely different. You will stay in lane, and just leave to STEAL their jungle. You will completely dominate your lane, being just constantly harrassing your opponent, damaging him non-stop. In order to do that safely, you should get one Stealth Ward every back, and place it in a side brush, and placing your Warding Totem on the other side. Why? To avoid ganks. I usually place a Vision Ward in the little brush in the middle of the river, where nobody looks, and constantly check minimap so you don't get caught. You should be extremely farmed here, no matter the matchup, although it is a risky playstyle.
The Pro-Prophet or God Mode Malzahar
Just mix the playstyles constantly to achieve this strategie. Farm as hell, gank from time to time and not lose your lane. Hard to get, but yet so strong! I reccomend getting Enchantment: Alacrity
Well, every character has his "Weirdo" Build. Urgot can be a tank, Lee Sin can be a support, Malphite Ap carry etc. Well, in Malzahar's Case, it would be the AD Malzahar, which basically consists in getting a lot of Flat AD damage and armor pen, and focus on keeping your voiling alive while you ult people. Its viability as an adc is not that good, but it is decent.
Well, Malzahar's brightest side is that, out of those with CC breakers (the ones i mentioned before) he doesn't really have a TRUE COUNTER in lane. The only ones you should care about are:
(Note that Akali is not included, because she is not as dangerous, but a good one can be seriously annoying)
-- Thing is, that Fizz, can dive you and harrass you withouth even having time to react, and that hurts a lot. Here, you should try to play safe, don't all-in him unless you are possitive that you will kill him, and, if you COULD (I know it is difficult); COULD dodge Chum the Waters, you could win the lane.
--With Diana, you should try to Dodge the Crescent Strike and if you can do that, you can win the lane. I know it is difficult too, but with early boots you will be able too.
--Againt a LeBlanc, which for me is your HARDEST COUNTER, you should play really passively and don't go for her. Ask for a lot of ganks and farm Wolves and Wraiths whenever you de-push lane. Try to stay behind your creeps so you don's get hit by her Ethereal Chains, because if she Snares you, it is most likely GG. :/
Against any other mid laner, you should do just fine, play safer of more aggresively depending on how you feel the lane, and remember, farming is the key to success!
Some of my Matches
As I already said in the introduction, my summonner name is PrototypeADB so you can check my history in case I have played with him recently and you want to check it out. Although I have no pics from any match, I will bring you some of them soon!
Well, here it ends. As Malzahar said, "I have seen your end..." and here it is... I REALLY hope you find this useful, and for sure I will respond ANY question you have for me if you ask, you can place them in the debate forum of the guide, opening a thread of direcly contacting me via Twitter or E-Mail:
E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Thanks again for reading it, and, if you don't mind, give it a like ;)))