[Guid] Malzahar - The Mad Mage of the Void

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Melph

Senior Member

07-09-2010

Malzahar – Prophet of the void
Generations ago, the man now known as Malzahar dwelled in one of the great cities of the Shurima Desert. He was a seer, a man born with the gift of prophecy. However, something in his dreams began to call to him - a hidden place to the east, known in ancient texts as Icathia. Few believed such a place even still existed, but the dreams compelled Malzahar to go. Though his journey was perilous, he found that for which he sought, a ruined city of ancient alien geometry and giant decaying idols of dark and horrific gods. As he explored, he became filled with the power and glory of the Voidborn, shedding his mortality and becoming one with the timeless nature of the place. Malzahar's visions of the future are now images of a day when the Voidborn will once again be free upon Valoran, and all will tremble with fear before them. He has joined the League of Legends to harness its power for his masters.

The power of the Void is nigh and Malzahar's words bring madness.

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1. Introduction

This guide is a work-in-progress. It explains the way I play Malzahar and it’s probably not the only way. Malzahar is a complex champion that requires a lot practice to do well. However once you understand his strength and weakness he is a very fun and rewarding champion to play with. As for myself, I am not in high ELO and most of the time, I solo queue. If you know a better way to play him please let me know.

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2. Stats

Health 380 (+80 / level)
Mana 250 (+45 / level)
Move Speed 310
Armor 12 (+3.5 / level)
Magic Resist 30
Critical Chance 0%
Health Regen 0.9 (+0.11 / level)
Mana Regen 0.9 (+0.8 / level)


3. Abilities

Summon Voidling - After casting 5 spells, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling to engage enemy units for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200 + 50 x lvl Health and 20 + 5 x lvl Damage.

Voidlings Grow after 7 seconds (+50% Damage/Armor), and Frenzy after 14 seconds (+100% Attack Speed).

Voidling is probably the most underrated ability he as. They are almost uncontrollable but I’m pretty sure they do true (unmitigated) damage. Don’t count on them to save your ass however.

Tips:
- When out of combat they will attack the first enemy target you select even if you didn’t attack it.
- If you want to get the Voidling out of combat move away. If there is more then approx 1200 range between you and the Voidling, he fall back.
- Be careful around Towers since they tend to attack enemy champion which draw Tower aggro on you.

Call of the Void - Malzahar opens up two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles which deal magic damage and silence enemy champions.
Malzahar opens two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles which deal 80/135/190/245/300 (+0.8) magic damage and silence champions for 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6/3 seconds.

Cooldown 10/10/10/10/10 seconds
Cost 90/100/110/120/130 Mana
Range 900

Truly this is an amazing ability. The range on this spell allows you to silence enemies without getting in their range. 3 seconds silence can be devastating in team fight. The way the spell work is, when you cast the spell, two portals open and from each of them a bolt of energy quickly goes across the line to the opposite portal. Each bolt deals half damage and silence for full duration.

Tips:
- You can use CotV to scout bushes before walking in.
- Try to cast CotV (wall) diagonally from your opponent. It will be more difficult to avoid it.

Null Zone - Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy which deals the greater between a flat damage and a % of the target's max health.
Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals 4/5/6/7/8% (+0.01)% of the target's max health as magic damage each second, with a minimum of 25/35/45/55/65 (damage to Monsters is capped).

Cooldown 16/16/16/16/16 seconds
Cost 90/105/120/135/150 Mana
Range 800

This is our anti-tank spell. At max rank, with 200 AP you will deal 50% of enemy max HP over 5 second. It’s a no brainer for enemy to walk away from this. Positioning this spell is primordial for succeeding with Malzahar.

Tips:
- Null Zone can be use for scouting bushes.
- Even if damage is capped versus monster, it’s still very useful to farm tougher one (Golem; Lizard & Dragon).

Malefic Visions - Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and Malzahar gains mana.
Malzahar infects his target's mind, dealing 80/140/200/260/320 (+0.8) magic damage over 4 seconds.

If the target dies during this time, the visions pass to a nearby enemy and Malzahar gains 10/14/18/22/26 mana.

Cooldown 16/14/12/10/8 seconds
Cost 60/75/90/105/120 Mana
Range 600

This is our farming tools. Initially it’s our cheapest spell. It will refund itself by killing from 5 to 6 enemies. Try to cast it when minions are lower on life and attack the infected one to help spread the Visions.

Tips: When you are close to your tower try to cast Malefic Visions on the same target as the tower. Most of the time the Visions and the Tower will keep the same enemy target resulting in maximum mana gain / benefits for you.

Nether Grasp - Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to stun his target, dealing damage each second.
Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to stun his target, dealing 250/400/550 (+1.5) magic damage over 2.5 seconds.

Cooldown 120/100/80 seconds
Cost 150/150/150 Mana
Range 575

Our ultimate but the range on this spell makes it situational. All by himself, it’s not too impressive but combined with our other spells (->Null Zone), it’s devastating. Currently, this spell can be cleansed but Riot confirmed they are working on a Suppression mechanism preventing the opponent to use his Summoner’s spell during the channelling. Until it’s done you should take note of which opponent have Cleanse. Note since it is channelled, it can be interrupted by enemy damage. It’s not recommended to initiate team fight with it.

Tips:
- Before going in range casting Nether Grasp, make sure you will come out of the outcome alive.
- Bushes can give you time to ambush an unprepared enemy walking in your grasp.
- You can cast summoner spell while channelling.

4. Pros / Cons

Pros:
- Awesome ganker – Malzahar deal a lot of damage
- One of the best farmers / pusher -> Thanks to Malefic Vision
- AP Ratios are very good
- Good Solo/Mid abilities

Cons:
- No survivability / escape make you prone to gank.
- High mana cost for spell.
- Short range on ultimate can get you in trouble.
- Tough learning curve.

5. Masteries:

I used to play with the Mage classic 9-0-21 but recently I discovered a different build that really help the early game and make it just easier later on.

I use a 0-9-21 build:

Defence
3/3 Resistance
3/3 Hardiness
3/3 Strength of Spirit

Utility
1/1 Haste
3/3 Perseverance
4/4 Expended Mind
3/3 Meditate
2/2 Utility Mastery
1/1 Greed
3/3 Quickness
3/3 Intelligence
1/1 Presence of the Master

Key Masteries are:

- Strength of Spirit (SoS): This will provide nice health regeneration. It will help you stay in line much longer.
- Expended Mind: It increase effectiveness of SoS and make Archangel’s Staff even better.
- Meditate: More mana = more spell = more money.
- Quickness: Movement really helps for positioning casting your spell. You will learn that positioning is primordial.
- Intelligence: 6% cooldown reduction is very welcome.


Rest is up to you. If you don’t like some abilities your welcome to take something that fit your needs.

6. Runes

This is the current set of Runes I use:

- 9 x Greater Mark of Inside (+8.55 MPen)
- 9 x Greater Seal of Clarity (+0.9 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (16.2 at champion lev 18))
- 9 x Greater Glyph of Force (+1.53 Ability Power per level (27.54 at champion lev 18)
- 3 x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness (+4.5% Movement speed)

You could replace any set by the following if it fit you play style:
- 9 x Greater Seal of Force (+0.9 AP per level)
- 9 x Greater Seal of Vitality (+9.72 healths per level)
- 9 x Greater Glyph of Focus (-5.85% cooldown)
- 3 x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude (+97.2 health)

Marks of Inside are in my opinion a no brainer. They have the best immediate return to deal magic damage. Malzahar is very mana hungry so Seal of Clarity really help get some mana back when most need it. The choice was difficult between the Glyph of Force and Focus. The first one give your spell a little bit more punch while the later help you cast them more often. Quintessence of Swiftness helps you a lot chasing and escaping from enemy. If you took the swiftness mastery you will start with 333 movements instead of 310. That might not seem much of a difference but unless some champion bought boots to start with, you will be the fastest around and let you easily get in and out of combat.

7. Summoner Spells

These are the Summoner’s spells I recommend:

- Ghost: This will give you even more speed. Get you in and out of trouble when needed and sometime allows you to finish that poor scrub that try to escape.
- Ignite: I wasn’t sure at the beginning but the more I use it the more I like it. It deals unmitigated damage, can be cast for distance and reduce healing. Riot mentioned they might make it unaffected by Cleanse!

Other useful spells:

- Clarity: Malzahar is very mana hungry and this spell just gives him his fix when most needed.
- Exhaust: Could replace Ignite to provide additional crowd control the problem I found was it more situational since it doesn’t prevent opponent to cast spell.
- Flash: Get in/out of jail in a blink but since all the changes, Ghost seem to be superior unless you want to jump over walls.

Spell that shouldn’t be required:

- Cleanse: If you feel like a Crowd Control magnet, that’s because you are too aggressive. Malzahar is all about taking calculate risk and stay back the rest of the time.
- Clairvoyance: You already have two spell to scout bushes and other area.
- Teleport: This wont help you kill of get away when needed.
- Heal: If you need healing your probably dead.
- Rally/Revive: You must be trying to tell someone to queue dodge.

8. Skilling Order

1. Malefic Vision
2. Call of the Void
3. Malefic Vision
4. Null Sphere
5. Malefic Vision
6. Nether Grasp
7. Malefic Vision
8. Call of the Void
9. Call of the Void
10. Malefic Vision
11. Nether Grasp
12. Call of the Void
13. Call of the Void
14. Null Sphere
15. Null Sphere
16. Nether Grasp
17. Null Sphere
18. Null Sphere

So basically Nether grasp> Malefic Vision >Call of the Void > Null Sphere

Malefic Vision is our farming bread and butter while Call of the Void is good to harass and team fight. Null Zone is not a bad spell but the benefits of putting more then one point in it is lower then the other spell.

Depending of your team composition and game play, you may want to change the skilling order as you see fit.

9. Items

Starting Item:

Sapphire Crystal
Health Potion x 2

You remember Strength of Spirit and Expend Mind? Now you have 510 mana providing a nice + 8 Health / 5 sec. It’s like getting a free rejuvenation bead.

However, if you feel you need more survivability, I recommend:

Doran Ring
Health Potion x 1

Boots:

- Sorcerer’s Boots: Those are the best you can get. With them you will have a nice 408 movement speed and +20 magic penetration.
- Mercury’s Treads: Against heavy crowd control or magic damage user these might be life saviour. But even in that situation I usually take the Sorcerer Boots since 35% reduced crowd control won’t be enough to save me.
- Boot of Swiftness: If you didn’t slot the Runes of Swiftness you might be tempted by these for good reason.

Typical Build

Sapphire Crystal -> Tear of the Goddess
Boot of Speed
Mejai’s Soulstealer
Boot of Speed -> Sorcerers Boots
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
Tear of the Goddess -> Archangel’s Staff

Mejai is situational and not recommended if your team is behind in Kill / Death ratio. Rylai’s should be rushed as soon as possible since it provides crowd control, ability power and additional health. They are three stats you really need. The only reason I take Tear of the Goddess before is to get stacks for Archangel. Archangel will turn you into a monster. Suddenly you will have a huge mana pool that regenerate really fast.

This is a core item build that should be modified depending of your team composition and your enemy.

If your enemies are staking magic resist:

- Void Staff
- Abyssal Scepter

Your enemies are attack damage oriented:

- Frozen Heart

Your enemies are magic damage oriented:

- Banshee’s Veil
- Abyssal Scepter
- Lich Bane

If your team is filled with Crowd control, feel free to replace the Rylai’s by something that will help you deal more damage like a Zhyona’s Ring.

As you shop for item, you should always be aware who’s doing great on your team and the opponent team and who they itemise themselves. It’s not because you’re not a tank that you should die every time that the opponent Ryze sneeze in your direction.

Without considering the Mejai’s Soulstealer, here is some build to use in different situation:

Full Offence

Sorcerer’s Boot
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
Archangel’s Staff
Zhyona’s Ring
Void Staff

Total Gold: 12920

Health 2320
Mana 2137
Move Speed 408
Armor 81
Magic Resist 36
Critical Chance 0%
Health Regen 9.7 / sec
Mana Regen 8.3 / Sec
AD 106
AP 495

With this build your best defence is the offence. You better count of good teammate to save you otherwise you will probably be fire focused by your opponent resulting in quick death. However if you manage to survive or stay away from the heat, you can load a lot of pain on the unaware enemies

Vs Attack Damage Opponents

Sorcerer’s Boot
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
Archangel’s Staff
Frozen Hearth
Void Staff

Total Gold: 12140

Health 2320
Mana 2656
Move Speed 408
Armor 180
Magic Resist 36
Critical Chance 0%
Health Regen 11.2 / sec
Mana Regen 8.3 / Sec
AD 106
AP 289

With this build you get less offensive power but opponent carry might have more problems getting through your armor while you load spell in is face.

Vs Magic Damage Opponents

Sorcerer’s Boot
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
Archangel’s Staff
Banshe’s Veil
Abyssal Scepter

Total Gold: 12410

Health 2770
Mana 2552
Move Speed 408
Armor 81
Magic Resist 150
Critical Chance 0%
Health Regen 10.9 / sec
Mana Regen 8.3 / Sec
AD 106
AP 286

You could replace the Sorcerer’s Boots by Mercury Threads if you feel the need to. This build provide a lot of Health, Mana and Magic Resistance while still doing great damage. If you get cough by Ryze you might just turn around and give him something to think about until he resurrects.


10. Game play

Early Game (Level 1 to 6)

No matter if you go solo mid, are in a lane or even solo lane, you should play defensively. You have **** health and your armor is made a wet paper bags so you should play accordingly. Most opponents will try to harass you as they should do. Be careful and let them over commit. If someone gets to close for your liking, just load a spell or two up their head and back up. Cast your spell judiciously since with a depleted mana pool you’re useless and pretty much harmless. Farm, farm & farm, that’s what you do best.

Mid game (Level 6 to 12)

This period is all about ganking, pushing tower and group fight. Watch carefully how your opponents itemize so you can adapt. Against, play defensively and you should always hide behind the tank. You are not an initiator and try to aim at the opponent carry instead of their tank. With Malefic Vision you can push lane very easily, so do it. Grab Golem when it becomes available.

Late game (Level 13 to 18)

This is all about team fight and pushing up to the Nexus. You shouldn’t be caught alone. Even if you build up some survivability you can’t survive a one versus many opponents. In group fight, your three second silence is amazing and you can load up good damage. You have the movement, regeneration and spell range to kite and harass enemies if you need to.

After the game

You should review what work and what didn’t work. Sometime you win, sometime you lose. There is always something you could have done better.

Here is a list of good champions to lane with:

Alistar, Amumu, Blitzcrank, Cho Gath, Kayle, Nunu, Pantheon, Rammus, Shen, Singed, Sion, Taric: All these champion are amazing laning partner. They are tough have crowd control, two things you are really lacking off and they will help you farm without farming all your minions. At the same time you will provide them some range damage to keep your opponent away and Malefic Vision will help them farm some gold.

Morgana, Zilean, Anivia, Annie, Ashes, Dr Mundo, Fiddlestick, Garen, Gragas, Janna, Jax, Katarina, Malphite, Nasus, Nidalee, Olaf, Poppy, Ryze, Soraka, Shaco, Twisted Fate, Twitch, Udyr, Veigar, Warwick: All these champions make decent partner but lack some of the benefice the previous one provide. Still, you can do well with them.

Sivir, Mordekeiser, Heimerdinger, Tristana: these are farmer like you and you will end up fighting over minion kill while not providing any benefits.

Corki, Evelynn, Ezreal, Gankplank, Kennen, Master Yi, Teemo, Tryndamere: While they are not bad champion they pretty much has the same weakness as you do being class canon without any reliable crowd control to save the day. Laning with them might find you pressed on by your opponent resulting in more Tower hugging then you would like to.

No matter who you lane with I always prefer someone who knows how to play with his champions then some who’s still learning.

11. Frequent asked questions

Q. Wow this guide is seemed amazing but way to long for me to read. Can you please resume it?

A. TL.DR blablabla… I took the time to write the guide and if you don’t want to read it to improve your game play with Malzahar, then don’t do it and keep sucking with him. It will just make me shine even more.

Q. Can you jungle with Malzahar?

A. I wouldn’t recommend jungling from beginning. In fact it would be a bad idea. You don’t have the survivability and damage to survive in the jungle. Once you get some level it will become much easier to grab the necessary buff.

Q. I keep dying from <insert champion name here> what can I do?

A. There is many possible issues. The best recommendation is play defensively, learn your spell, buy items to counter them and go play some game as that champion; you will learn his strength and weaknesses.

Q. I am using <insert item name here> and it’s been working great for me why don’t you propose it?

A. Any item in proper condition can be good. What I did is recommend some item build to adapt to your play style. If it’s working for keep doing it!

Q. Can I contact you ingame?

A. Sure just send me an invite.

Q. Mondo was here!

A. Of course, Mondo goes where he please!

Q. Man! LoLz th2t’s WOOT Phz l00t AmAziNG. L00k Bro, Im so PRO !

A. Hum… Grats !?!

Q. Have you seen FidCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAWCAW

A. …

12. Helpful links

League of Legends Database

Phreak Malzahar Champion spotlight

GiRLSTAR’s Malzahar guide with video and graphic explanation


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Melph

Senior Member

07-09-2010

Reserved for future.


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xXxFr0StxXx

Junior Member

07-10-2010

CAN u imbrove it with some photo plz ?


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Maugrim Faustus

Senior Member

07-18-2010

I'm glad Mondo goes where he pleases, but he might run into trouble with Mundo


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Spider BOB

Senior Member

07-18-2010

iv been playing malz similarly, i find him a good mid, if you use vision properly you will kill every minion unless they move out of range so it cant jump to another or there is a big minion which will stop it early on.

Even though he is a little squishy, i find he can handle himself 1v1 in an "even" fight(how feed each of you are), except against tanks/stuns . He can even do decent damage even when running away.
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As well, you can start team fight using his ult to easily let your team take out one of them, usually the unlucky one who moves a little too close lol, or call as the silence will usually hit at least 2, giving a nice advantage.


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Kharn Skyshatter

Senior Member

08-12-2010

I liked your guide more than the others. Tested it in a practice game and turned out pretty fun. Might start playing Malz more since Ignite, Malefic visions, and ult together usually results in a dead target. His move speed did result in a few deaths, but his tool set did give me the utility while doing damage.


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peyo

Senior Member

08-12-2010

Good Hands > Perseverance ANYDAY


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Sykomyke

Senior Member

08-12-2010

Generally speaking getting void staff AND abyssal scepter is a waste. Abyssal is great if they have around 60-100 MR, any higher then that and you are better off just getting void staff to penetrate that. Void staff penetrates a PERCENTAGE of their MR. So it's actually highly reduced in it's effective penetration when you get abyssal scepter.

Also, you wont' find yourself always in range of the enemy with abyssal scepter. In fact with the recent range upgrade I find it to be nearly a waste on Malzahar. I reserve it for other hybrid casters/tanks that want the MR and the aura to help out their teams casters (like Amumu or Kassadin for example).

You are much better off getting a RoA for more survivability early on

My general item build with him goes something like this...

Initial Items:
Boots, 1xHP pot, 1xMana pot

Catalyst (first trip back)

Farm for first 15 mins, getting kills as necessary. Use judicious use of visions to regain mana and push on creep waves.

(Shop, First trip)
Boots>Sorcerer's Shoes
Catalyst>RoA

At this point the game will undoubtedly go in many different directions but generally speaking I then build the Rylais, then Zhonyas. At that point the game is usually over but if it isn't I'll either get a Banshees for spell shield, or more AP.

Archangels may seem nice, but overall I find it to be a waste on him. If you can farm the RoA along with the Archangels Early, then sure it'll be nice and further boosted with Zhonyas, but I think the archangels is extremely situational.


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Kharn Skyshatter

Senior Member

08-12-2010

Believe the Archangels is more for being paired with SoS for increased health regen. It adds up over time.


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Sykomyke

Senior Member

08-12-2010

Yea but the health regen is mainly needed for the laning phase. Late game I'm worried about my health pool max, not it's regen. And that's where hes building it, is late game...If he's using it for SoS then just build the tear early on, then sell it for something else late game.


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