Malzahar Build Guide by whitevelcro
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Highest Win Rate
+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
items by win rate
More items by win rate (50.4% and below)
About this Guide
Originally, I created this guide in patch 7.2 to document what was then an odd off-meta build. Every once in a while I notice some statistical anomalies/unusual builds on Lolalytics.com, a League data aggregation site. I made the mistake of not recording the highest win rate builds for Support Shaco before it disappeared, so that's why I made this guide, to make sure I had the information in case Malzahar support became much less popular and disappeared from the site.
Support Malzahar became quite popular for a while, but after a few different changes and nerfs to the playstyle, it is back to being a rather unpopular role.
Please note that win rate is not the same as being good, at least in the case of items and builds. Try to understand why the highest win rate items are the highest win rate items. Sometimes it's because they are better, but sometimes it's just a statistical anomaly or something else, like the item is more expensive so only winning players can build it.
You used to be able to find the statistics for this build at http://current.lolalytics.com/champion/Malzahar/Support/. As of patch 8.10 there are only enough games played on Malzahar Support to find statistics from Silver, so this is the best place to look now: https://lolalytics.com/ranked/worldwide/silver/champion/Malzahar/Support/items/.
This section was originally written a long time ago, so not all of the options may be covered. I did my best to update it in 8.10 to be more relevant.
Get Health pots if you are looking to trade very hard and win lane before your first back, or refillable potion otherwise. If you won't be harassed, you can skip pots and get faerie charm for extra mana. If you can figure out what high Elo players do with it, starting with a control ward and a potion is apparently strong.
Early in the game, buy control wards, Frostfang, and boots in whatever order you see fit.
Thanks to the change to Liandry's (it doesn't give magic penetration anymore) and the buffs to Rylai's, Rylai's Crystal Sceptre is probably your best first item most of the time. Remember that you can build components to other items situationally, or even build other items first if the situation calls for it. For example, you can buy Oblivion Orb if you want extra magic penetration and will eventually build Morellonomicon. You can get a Seeker's Armguard if you're having a difficult time vs AD opponents.
Sorcerer's Shoes have a much higher win rate than other boots for Malzahar support. Magic penetration is a very useful stat in a lane vs champions that are unlikely to build magic resistances. CDR boots might be an okay choice if you don't need more damage, since they give you the ability to use your ultimate and silence more often, which gives you more utility. Mobility boots are the current second highest win rate option and give you great potential for roaming with your ultimate to get your team ahead.
There are a few choices here. Liandry's is what you'll want to get most of the time. The extra % health damage synergizes amazingly with your E damage over time and the damage is doubled by Rylai's. However, you probably want to go more situational here than you would earlier. Morellonomicon is probably a wonderful option if you are vs strong healers, like Soraka or Sona. If you are very fed, something like Rabadon's Deathcap or Spellbinder might be the better choice.
Most of the time, you are looking to complete the other half of the Rylai's Liandry's combo if you don't already have it. You would really only want a different item if you really needed it, like Morellonomicon for healing or Zhonya's or Locket if you or your ADC are being focused by assassins or heavy burst damage. If you have both items, look for Deathcap if you can afford it, defensive items if you need them (like Locket or Zhonya's), and Twin Shadows is a nice mid-game option to help chase people down and scout out for objectives and warding.
You're in late game, so this will be pretty situational. If you don't have both parts of the Rylai's-Liandry's combo yet, finish it. Void Staff is a good option if the enemy team is buying MR. Locket of the Iron Solari is a good option now vs burst damage. Banshee's Veil if there's one spell you really need to block. Deathcap if you can afford it. Zhonya's if you need it. Redemption is a fine option, too. Just look at the list of items by winrate and decide what you could best use.
The game shouldn't have lasted this long, but if it does, you're probably going to win because now you're a full blown carry. Besides all the items discussed earlier, Redemption is the best value it can be at this point, since it scales with levels.