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Creativity is not Trolling (AD Malzahar)

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Senior Member



*If a forum moderator feels that this thread is out of place, then please move it to the 'Guides and Strategy' forum, which may be more appropriate. Thanks.

*I am not actively playing League of Legends at the moment, and I am also rather busy. I can't put the work into maintaining this thread at the moment, but I am keeping it alive.*

*The objective of this thread is to enlighten the community on the topic of 'creative' builds, in other words builds that are not 'normal'. I would like to make it perfectly clear that this thread is not encouraging trolling. I encourage players to try interesting builds, and to not dismiss and/or harass players who do choose to use them; however, I acknowledge that some builds are purely detrimental to one's team (such as AP caster Vayne). I don't personally believe this is 'trolling' as long as the player is using a Lich Bane and Deathfire Grasp, and is still attempting to contribute to the game, but I also acknowledge that it's far too ineffective to help the team, and is therefore an offence. It's about defining where the line between 'effective' and 'ineffective' is drawn, and trying to convince players of a more lenient point of view.*

*For those of you who are more interested to just try this yourself and are looking for my build, I will put a Mobafire-like guide at the top. Keep in mind that this is a guide for my build. There are other builds for AD Malzahar, the most notable of these is the DPS Tank build with a core of Manamune and Frozen Heart*

*I have added an essay to explain why using a creative build is not a punishable offence.*

*The Chaser Katarina build has been updated. The new build has more durability and slowing power, while not sacrificing too much damage.*

*I've made a list of several creative builds that either work, may work and I have yet to test, or that just seem interesting; this list can be found on page 18. I would welcome discussion of these ideas, and perhaps you can suggest some of your own. If suggestions become popular, I may move the list to the front page as a main part of this thread.*


There are a few other notable posts that I have made throughout this thread, but which haven't been incorporated as part of the front page post. I will make a directory here for every important post you can find on this thread. The directory will be in numerical order, with the page number first, followed by the post number is parentheses.

Page 1 (1): The core post of this thread. I will list a small Table of Contents here:
----"AD Malzahar Build Guide"
----"Precursor to the Discussion"
----"Creativity is not Trolling"

Page 1 (3): "Using a Creative Build is not a Punishable Offence: The Summoner's Code and The Tribunal FAQ"
Page 1 (5): Chaser Katarina Guide
Page 18 (5): A list of several possible creative builds I thought of while looking through the League of Legends Wiki.
Page 19 (5): A response to concerns about this thread potentially being in the wrong forum, as well as addressing the legitimacy of bumping one's thread.


~AD Malzahar Build Guide~

*For the DPS Tank build, try this link: http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=17242 (http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=17242). This is one example of a DPS Tank build, but not the only one.*

*Season 3 update pending*

Stats at full build (not including elixirs, but including the fully stacked Bloodthrister and using the Phantom Dancer instead of a Guardian Angel):

HP: 1958
HP/5: 14
AD: 391
ArPen: 26/10%
Life Steal: 20%
Attack Speed: 1.48
Crit Chance: 70%
Range: 550
Movement Speed: 433
Mana: 1060
MP/5: 18
AP: 11 (with proper runes it should be 0)
Spell Penetration: 0/0%
Spell Vamp: 0%
CDR: 15%
Armour: 74
MR: 32

Your stats may differ slightly, since I don't have a proper rune page, and your masteries may be slightly different.

Runes: Typical AD carry runes, but with an emphasis on bonus AD and armour penetration. It may be a good idea to get some cooldown reduction rather than magic resist, depending on the situation.

Purchase order: Boots of Speed + 3 health potions; 1-2 Doran's Blade + Berserker Greaves; The Black Cleaver; The Brutalizer; Infinity Edge; Youmuu's Ghostblade; The Bloodthrister; Phantom Dancer/Guardian Angel. (I sometimes finish my Youmuu's Ghostblade before getting an Infinity Edge if my lane is doing well, as it will enable me to use the speed boost to get more kills, rather than taking a larger increase in DPS).

Ability Order: E, Q, W, W, W, R, W, E, W, E, R, E, E, Q, Q, R, Q, Q

Masteries: I take 21-9-0 masteries, taking increased armour and health in defence, and typical AD carry 21 in offence, making sure to take as much armour penetration as possible.

~Precursor to the Discussion~

I would like to make a distinction between viability and random builds that don't really classify as trolling. In my opinion, a "viable" build is any build in which the champion's stats and abilities can be used effectively, or to some degree. The example I use below about Xerath as an AD carry is an example of a build that is "random, but not trolling"; it can be used, but none of his abilities offer any sort of notable effect when he is building as an AD carry. On the other hand, AD Mordekaiser is "viable" because he has an incredibly damaging physical scaling ability with his Mace of Spades, an AoE DoT that adds durability, and an ultimate which does significant damage while also making an even stronger ghost than the AP Mordekaiser version.

~Creativity is not Trolling (AD Malzahar)~

Hi there.

I'm getting quite fed up with the treatment I get when I play AD Malzahar, or any other creative (but often very viable) build. I would like to explain exactly why AD Malzahar works, and defend creative builds from those who would accuse them of being troll builds.

As we all know, technically you can build any AP mid as an AD carry. Most of the time, it's really not a very good idea. For instance, if you build Xerath as an AD carry, it's not going to work so well. He does have a stun, but it's dependent upon using his abilities, which if you're building AD, are not going to do very much damage. The time it takes to cast your abilities is just taking away from the time you could be auto attacking, actually reducing your DPS. Overall, it's not worth it. On top of that, his passive armour bonus scales off of ability power, so you won't even be naturally semi-tanky, like Graves.

With Malzahar, things are different. Anyone who is familiar with the concept of AD Malzahar already knows that a lot of his damage comes from his passive voidlings. These voidlings gain all of Malzahar's bonus AD and armour penetration. Voidlings start with 20 base damage, and by level 18 they have 110 base damage. Voidlings also have three stages, each lasting 7 seconds. In the first stage, voidlings have their base stats plus their scaling from Malzahar's stats. In their second stage, voidlings gain an additional 50% base damage and armour. In their final stage, voidlings gain 100% attack speed. At the end of these three stages (21 seconds) voidlings will die. Voidlings have a fast movement speed of 451, allowing them to catch up to many fleeing enemies.

Malzahar's stats are actually quite well fit to the role of ADC. His base attack damage is actually roughly equal to Graves' (Malzahar's 51.66, +3, to Graves' 51 + 3.1), according to the League of Legends Wiki. Malzahar's attack speed is somewhat weaker than other AD carries, so this is a weakness for him, but remember that while he needs to be a damage threat himself, his voidlings are also extremely dangerous and do not scale off of his attack speed.

One common argument against AD Malzahar is that he lacks mobility. This is most certainly the case, as he does not have any sort of escape/pursuit ability. On the bright side, however, he has his own personal array of crowd controls, which most other AD carries lack, relying on their supports to supply this instead (many AD carries do have some form of soft CC, such as slows or traps, such as Caitlyn, and some even have more CC, such as Tristana's knock back and heavy slow; however, most AD carries lack stuns and suppressions).

Malzahar's abilities have high base damage, allowing him to still deal significant damage with them while lacking ability power. On top of this, Malzahar's signature combo can, if used properly, become far more deadly as an AD carry than when built as an AP caster; his ultimate also acts as a safeguard during team fights, as you can ult-combo enemies who try to attack you. The % damage from this combined with your voidlings can shred some of the toughest champions.

Malzahar's own potent AD damage, combined with his voidling damage, makes him extremely powerful. With a third stage voidling and your own auto attacks, you will be roughly doubling your damage output early on. Once you build some crit chance, your own auto attacks will cause more DPS than your voidlings, but your voidlings will still deal significant damage. Because of this fall off, it's a good idea to build for less crit chance and more basic damage. My core build consists of Berserker Greaves, The Black Cleaver, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Infinity Edge. This gives me fairly good attack speed, with a fast burst if needed, and also significant damage and reasonable crit chance via Infinity Edge and Youmuu's Ghostblade. the armour reduction from The Black Cleaver greatly increases the damage my voidlings deal, while they also gain armour penetration from Youmuu's Ghostblade. Although Youmuu's Ghostblade is not typically an item you find on AD carries, it is vital to the success of AD Malzahar, as it gives him everything he needs (cooldown reduction is useful in that it allows you to have voidlings out more frequently). Other good items include The Bloodthrister, since it gives a large amount of attack damage plus life steal, and of course the ever popular Phantom Dancer for movement speed and general DPS.

I take skills in this order:

E, Q, W, W, W, W, E, W, E, E, E, Q, Q, Q, Q, and ultimate at 6, 11, and 16. Your E is useful as harassment, but has an incredibly high mana cost when you're not building AP. It's most useful as a targeting system for your voidlings, as they target ult > E > auto attacks, in that order. I max W first to maximize my ult combo damage. Maxing E after that adds to your damage output. Q is only useful for the short silence, and should be left until last.

I will now try to guide you through a typical lane phase with AD Malzahar.

Before you even begin the game, you should be aware of which champions work well with AD Malzahar. Two supports are brilliant with him. Those two are Nunu and Soraka, with Nunu being the better of the two. Nunu is amazing with AD Malzahar because he can buff your voidlings, which greatly increases their damage output, and makes it so the enemy can't simply kite them. Also, Nunu's slows help to increase your voidling DPS, and to top it off, he can use Absolute Zero as you suppress your enemy to almost guarantee a 1-combo kill. Soraka works well if you're looking to run a poke lane. Soraka's E can give you limitless mana, and therefore limitless voidling spam, which will give your opponent nightmares. Other supports can work as well. AD Malzahar generally works well with any support that can lock down an enemy and allow your voidlings to deal maximum damage. Knock ups and knock backs are NOT the way to go, as it will just mitigate your voidling's damage. Avoid Alistar.

When you're playing as AD Malzahar, you never want to waste a voidling; always have a purpose for using it. Malzahar's spells have a high mana cost, and unless you have Soraka as your support, you will not want to be spamming your spells. Try to keep yourself at one or two spells until a voidling, so you can quickly summon one when you need that extra damage. This opportunity may be when you want to go for a kill, scare enemies off, or to simply push the lane very quickly (keep in mind that voidlings also deal damage to towers, making Malzahar extremely good at quickly destroying towers).

Play fairly passive until you have your ultimate. Your attack speed is slow, and without your voidlings, you will be out damaged early on. Once you hit 6, it's a completely different story. Remember that your voidlings are not invincible. If you're playing against an opponent with half a brain, they will try to kill them before they become too much of a threat. As AD Malzahar, your voidlings are an important part of your damage output. Unless you're just trying to harass, don't let your opponent go after your voidling. Attack enemies who try to kill it, as this will often force a fight when you have your voidling up, which is exactly what you want to happen. If you can protect your voidling for 7 seconds, or even better, for 14 seconds, you will be able to make magic happen with your ultimate.

Because your ult-combo is based on max health and uses an ability with a high base damage to begin with, your ult combo at level 8 will be doing 8% of your enemy's max health per second, plus 140 damage from your E, plus 250 magic damage from your ultimate, and your voidling will have all of that time to attack your opponent freely, dealing a moderate amount of damage if it is at stage 1, noteworthy damage if it is at stage 2, and amazing damage if it is at stage 3. If your Nunu has buffed your voidling during this time, the damage will be as if it was roughly 1.5 stages higher than its current stage.

That is a lot of damage, and during that time, your opponent will not be attacking you back at all. The only thing you need to watch out for is their companion. For this reason, it is often best to go after the support, particularly if it is a squishy support. The enemy AD carry won't have any way to interrupt your ultimate, and that's a death sentence for their support. Meanwhile your own support can be protecting you from the enemy AD carry.

Assuming you build The Black Cleaver as your first item, you will want to auto attack your target three times before unleashing your ultimate, reducing their armour by 45, and maximizing your voidling damage. Once your ultimate has finished, you can quickly destroy them as they flee by activating Youmuu's Ghostblade to land several more auto attacks... this is assuming they aren't dead already.

So far I've been talking a lot about ultimate combos. That's because AD Malzahar plays a lot like AP Malzahar in that way: his ultimate is how he gets most of his kills. Despite this, AD Malzahar is considerably more useful than AP Malzahar when he does not have his ultimate up. His auto attacks will be doing just as much damage as the enemy's auto attacks (assuming equal farm and kills), and he can also use his voidlings in engagements not involving his ultimate. What you need to watch out for as AD Malzahar is commiting to a fight you do not have the upper hand in while your ultimate is on cooldown. Malzahar has no escapes besides a silence (which mostly just helps against gank attempts that will want to lock you down with an ability, such as with Skarner or Warwick). Be very careful about positioning to make sure you don't get jumped on without your ultimate to turn things in your favour.

That concludes my explanation of AD Malzahar. I didn't include a late game description, since it would make this more cumbersome to read than it already is. Needless to say, his late game is much like other AD carries, where positioning is vital. It helps that he can send his voidlings after one target, while attacking a separate target simply by placing his E on the first target. His ultimate is best used late game as a way to protect yourself from off-tanks and tanks that try to push you out of the fight. Although it's not likely to protect you from a full tank, it should suffice to let you bring down an off-tank DPS such as Riven.

As my intro and title suggests, this thread was not only about AD Malzahar, I simply used him as a favourite example. There are a lot of unusual builds that you can use in League of Legends, and many of them are viable. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to use them and have a good time, since you will get flamed in 95% of your games.

Using an unusual build is not trolling. Trolling, or Griefing, is the act of intentionally doing something that significantly damages your own team or ruins the game for others in general. If you are using a build that has no viability at all (such as AP burst Vayne) or if you sell all your items and place wards all around the map for no reason - that's trolling. Using something that is unusual, or even slightly less viable than usual is not trolling. It's not going to guarantee that your team loses. It's simply someone that has become bored with the regular routine way of playing the game, and wants to try something different. It's not "ruining the game" for their team, so why not let them have some fun in peace? I can tell you one thing that most certainly does cause teams to lose: arguments between team members.

So if you see a build such as AP Nasus, Jungle Twisted Fate, AP on-hit Annie, Bruiser Lux, and many more... these are not troll builds. They work, either to some degree, or to the point of complete viability. Flaming your team for using it is what will cause your team to lose, not the builds themselves.

Open your minds to new possibilities and ask them why it works. Show interest in it, even try some of them yourselves. I guarantee it will make that game a better experience.

Your peer and friend,


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Most people build AD malz with manamune.

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~Using a Creative Build is not a Punishable Offence: The Summoner's Code and The Tribunal FAQ~

In this section, I will be commenting on each section of The Summoner's Code and related Tribunal FAQ sections, while using AD Malzahar as an example. In the interest of making this less of a block of text, I will not be using full quotes for much. If you intend to get the most out of this analysis, then please open a copy of The Summoner's Code and the Tribunal FAQ yourself, and follow along with my comments. Also, while I do go over every point of the Summoner's Code here, the points which are most relevant to the issue of whether or not using creative builds is a punishable offence are #1 and #4.

I will begin with The Summoner's Code.

1. Support Your Team

This part of the code states that a player should try his or her best to create a team composition that will be successful. It also states that players should communicate with their team by means of pings and calling "mia"; the usual kind of communication we're probably all familiar with.

Playing AD Malzahar certainly doesn't upset the concept of team composition itself, as you will still have the role of AD carry filled if you choose to play AD Malzahar. It upsets people personally. Those who believe that AD Malzahar is not a viable build will believe that it's ruining their team composition. I think they would be more accurate if they said that they thought it weakens the team's chances of winning, not the composition itself. The team composition still has its AD carry, so the composition is not the problem. The problem is personal: that specific person believes that it will lose them the game, but it's not a fact that it will weaken their team or lose them the game, only their opinion.

The issue of communication is mostly irrelevant to this argument, as we're assuming every player on the team, including the AD Malzahar, is perfectly capable of communicating with their team. The only relevance communication has here is that communication may break down between team mates if there is a conflict of opinion over the use of AD Malzahar, but more on this later (#4).

2. Drive Constructive Feedback

This part of The Summoner's Code isn't relevant to this discussion, but for the sake of explaining it, I will point out that this thread is an example of constructive feedback. I am not raging on this thread, I am discussing things logically. By the same principle that raging on the forums doesn't help Riot gather feedback, I would also like to point out that raging on this thread will not help me gather feedback. I am more than glad to answer both positive and negative views, but try to keep your arguments logical. If you continue repeating the same points over and over after I have attempted to refute them, then I will stop paying attention to your arguments. If I refute one of your ideas, then it's your job to either show why my argument is false, or to come up with a new point; don't just keep on saying "AD Malzahar is bad because of 'X'", over and over again.

3. Facilitate Civil Discussion

This point goes with what I mentioned in #2. I would also like to draw attention to the second paragraph of this point of the code, which I will quote here:

When you choose to participate in a discussion with the rest of the playerbase, always try to be receptive to another player’s point of view. If you keep an open mind, you’d be surprised what valuable information you can glean from your fellow players. Also, be mindful of how you present your point of view. If a player feels strongly on a subject, don’t get caught up trying to have the last word. Just state your side and exit the conversation gracefully rather than give them the opportunity to pick a fight.

This is exactly how most arguments start. When I call AD carry and choose Malzahar in queue, I'm usually bombarded with negative comments and the forceful opinion that I should play mid. This is not an effective way to start a game, as my team is instantly going to give me a negative view of them. I take very well to people who politely ask how it works, and why I'm playing it. I try to answer to the best of my ability (given the lack of time) and often point them to this thread. I'm usually quite willing to give up playing AD Malzahar if someone politely asks me not to play it, and gives me a good reason why. I feel strongly about the topic of creative builds (hence why I made this thread), so keep that in mind. You're welcome to state your opinion, or even to try to change my mind, but don't try to force it if you've obviously hit a roadblock in your persuasion.

4. Enjoy Yourself, but not at Anyone Else's Expense

This is a very interesting point for this topic. Those who would argue against creative builds would likely say that by using such a build, you are making the game less fun for them, and are therefore breaking point four of the code. This is undeniably true. However, this is also a two way street: can you not also say that by attempting to force someone not to use their build (and in my own experience, usually insulting them while doing it), you are making the game less fun for them? This is also undeniably true... so we have a bit of a stalemate here. Neither person's opinion can fairly trump the other's, so where does that leave us? To be honest, I really don't know... but certainly not at a conclusion.

Point number four also speaks about communication between players. More important, and with more far-reaching consequences than who is using what build, is the effect of bad communication on a team. As I mentioned in #1, the conflict of opinion over the use of creative builds can very quickly lead to a break down of communication. If an argument starts, it will cause your team to lose focus on the game. If the players on a team start fighting, "good communication and teamwork become nearly impossible. Once communication breaks down, the likelihood of victory is drastically diminished." (The Summoner's Code, IV) This break down of communication is the more likely culprit for losing the game, not the build that one person used. When I am faced with a team that begins to flame me for using AD Malzahar, or some other creative build, I will quickly mute them. It's unfortunate that I won't be able to see any important messages, such as MIAs, but the alternative of arguing is worse.

I would like to clarify though: AD Malzahar does not directly cause such an argument (and is therefore not causing the break down of communication). The cause of the argument lies with the players themselves. One person likes AD Malzahar, one person doesn't. It's tempting to blame the build itself, but the reality is that the build is just the catalyst. The two players had the same opinions before the match, but seeing someone actually choose AD Malzahar sets off the person who dislikes creative builds.

5. Build Relationships

This point isn't relevant to the discussion.

6. Show Humility in Victory, and Grace in Defeat

The only thing I feel is necessary to point out here is that it is never alright to blame your team. You may feel that the use of a creative build lost you that game, but it is more likely that you were simply outplayed. Perhaps not you specifically, but your entire team lost that game, and as the code says: "You had five opponents in that game ... chances are they had something to do with [your loss]."

I should also mention that just because someone using a creative build loses their lane, it doesn't mean the build is terrible. Everyone has bad games, everyone loses - no matter what build or champion they're using. I'm very familiar with teams that are either negative towards or somewhat accepting of AD Malzahar, but at least they aren't flaming me. But then they fall into flaming if I lose my lane. You really have to think: 'If this guy was using a champion that I consider a normal AD carry, would I really be flaming him right now?'

7. Be Resolute, not Indignant

Not relevant to the discussion (The AD Malzahar is presumably not flaming or harassing your team; if he or she is, then keep this part of the code in mind before reporting them).

8. Leave no Newbie Behind

Not relevant.

9. Lead by Example

The main thing here is the ending: "Stay positive, remain calm, and keep to the code!" If you do these things, you will handle difficult situations with a clear mind, and you may find yourself in less difficult situations to begin with.

So that concludes my comments on The Summoner's Code. So far I haven't said much about punishable offences. Now I will be looking at two key parts of the Tribunal FAQ: "When should I be voting to punish?" and "When should I be voting to pardon?", and linking them to the comments I made in on The Summoner's Code.

"When should I be voting to punish?"

According to the Tribunal FAQ, you should be voting to punish any players who are in clear violation of The Summoner's Code. Additionally, the offence "must be a deliberate, malicious act that is intended to spoil another player's experience." There are two key words here: "deliberate", and "malicious".

The second term is the easy to do away with. Do I seem like a very "malicious" person to you? Are people who use creative builds doing so just to be malicious to their team? Maybe a few of them; the ones who are intent on trolling and choose to build AP Burst Vayne, without even taking a Lich Bane, just to annoy their team. But the average player who just likes to play the game in the way they enjoy is certainly not doing so just to be malicious; they're simply trying to enjoy themselves. In fact, most people who are flaming that person for using a creative build aren't even being "malicious" - they're just frustrated because they honestly believe, in their opinion, that it is going to cause them to lose. So choosing to punish someone for using a creative build because it's a "malicious" act is certainly not logical.

How about it being a "deliberate" act? Well, their choice of build is certainly deliberate... but are they deliberately choosing a creative build and, in doing so, spoiling another player's experience and violating The Summoner's Code? To answer the first part of this, we need to go back to point four from The Summoner's Code. I pointed out that it was certainly true that it spoiled another player's experience; however, I also pointed out that by not allowing a player to use their own build, you are spoiling their experience as well. In this case, both parties are equally guilty, but does it make sense to report and punish both of them? It doesn't make any sense to me... so it seems the only option remaining is to pardon both parties. It's a difference of opinion, and it's the players' job to make sure they don't break the Summoner's Code by being rude and inconsiderate to each other because of that difference of opinion. So until one of them breaks the Summoner's Code in another way, the stalemate remains.

Next we come to the second part: is deliberately choosing a creative build a violation of The Summoner's Code in itself? The first point of the Summoner's Code states that you must support your team. In this case, you must support your team composition. But simply using AD Malzahar in his proper role does not break the team's composition, and it is therefore not violating the Summoner's Code on point one; it's only violating the personal opinion of those who disagree with the concept of AD Malzahar. Using a creative build also does not deliberately violate the fourth point of The Summoner's Code: 'Enjoy Yourself, but not at Anyone Else's Expense'. This takes us back to the "malicious" act refutation. The player using the creative build is doing so because they want to enjoy themselves, not because they want to deliberately use that build to ruin the game for others. The other points of The Summoner's Code do not directly relate to the issue of using creative builds being a punishable offence and are therefore not present in this particular part of the argument.

So what else is left to make the use of creative builds a punishable offence? The Tribunal FAQ gives us a few examples, but none of these have anything to do with creative builds. In fact, the examples they have given on the FAQ tend to be quite similar to the response you can expect when you try to play a creative build. You will likely be sworn at, insulted, teased, and some players will even as far as to give up on the game and start to participate in true acts of trolling, such as intentionally feeding and deliberately damaging their team. It is also common to see someone getting harassed for using a creative build, and then reported for starting to argue and insult those who harassed him or her. As part of "When should I be voting to Pardon?", the FAQ specifically states that you should pardon anyone who is only responding to initial harassment.

I think that I have made my case quite clear. Using a creative build is not a punishable offence under the Summoner's Code, nor under any special Tribunal regulations. The only punishable offences in this situation are those which stem from the frustrations of those who disagree with the use of creative builds. I would rather not see anyone get punished for their response to something they believe to be wrong, so I hope that this thread will work to change the minds of some of those who would harass the players of creative builds.

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I totally agree with AD malz, I recently got into him from when i watched SivHD's guide on him. Props to you for explaining it +1

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Senior Member


~Chaser Katarina~

*Season 3 Update pending*

Due to the recent rework of Katarina's abilities, she now has more options in terms of the role she can play in a game. This post will explain my Chaser Katarina build, and why it works.

Katarina's new W ability, Sinister Steel, deals damage that scales off of both AD (0.6 Bonus AD) and AP (0.25), while granting her +44% movement speed for 1 second at rank 5. This may not seem like much, since the buff has a very short duration; however, Sinister Steel also has a base cooldown of 4 seconds. Additionally, Shunpo grants Katarina 15% damage reduction for 3 seconds, while dealing moderate damage on a short cooldown at rank 5. These two abilities make it very difficult to escape from Katarina, especially if she focuses on these two abilities. Because this build mostly ignores her Bouncing Blade, it's not a great choice for laning, due to her lack of harass and weak early game. For this reason, I choose to play this build in the jungle, where focusing Sinister Steel will make my jungle speed amazingly fast. Despite this, her very early jungling is weak, and you will want to get your team to damage the wraiths/wolves, and then give you some good damage on Red/Blue (you can start at either buff). Once you get some life steal, you will no longer need any health potions to jungle effectively.

After some further testing, I've found you can also run this build in the mid lane if you go for the Hextech Gunblade first, since it plays very similar to the regular Katarina early on. The difference will be that you will always want to be counterattacking instead of initiating. You lack ranged harass with your Q, but you have a lower cooldown on your E, and very good dueling capability with your W. Dodge an enemy ability, then Shunpo in and pop Sinister Steel. Depending on the enemy's cooldowns, you may want to either immediately run away with the speed boost from Sinister Steel, or to keep on attacking them. I don't recommend running this against an enemy mid lane that can't be juked, since you will not be able to win trades by dodging abilities, and you will have no way to harass from a distance.

As a chaser, Katarina will need more durability, while not sacrificing too much damage. My build is as follows:

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Hextech Gunblade
Trinity Force
*Rylai's Crystal Scepter (previously Guinsoo's Rageblade)
Randuin's Omen
Youmuu's Ghostblade

This build will give you 39% CDR at full build (including the 4% from offensive masteries). This will allow you to remain in an almost permanent state of +44% movement speed and -15% damage taken. With the +12% movement speed from Trinity Force, +50% movement speed from the active effect of Youmuu's Ghostblade, the slow proc from Trinity Force, Rylai's, and Randuin's Omen, your Shunpo, and Ghost (if you choose to take it... I usually do), you will be just about impossible to escape from in the late game, and you will be very difficult to fight in a 1v1 situation. You will have fairly good damage (similar to a bruiser), but you sacrifice some durability for your ridiculous mobility.

Here are some examples of how I progress through the game:

Jungle: I start with a cloth armour and 5 health potions, as you will need these to clear your jungle. The cloth armour will build into your Randuin's Omen, so it's not inefficient. After this I buy Boots of Speed and then I go for my Trinity Force, making sure to pick up a Bilgewater Cutlass for life steal and the active slow. I usually finish my Ionian Boots of Lucidity before finishing my Trinity Force, but exactly when depends on how much you feel you need the Sheen and Phage procs. After this, I buy a Heart of Gold, as it will build into my Randuin's Omen and I will get a nice gold per 5 bonus. Once this core is done, you can either go for more damage via The Brutalizer and Hextech Gunblade, or you can go for some faster durability through finishing your Randuin's Omen, or picking up a Giant's Belt. Remember that Katarina doesn't have a damage increase ability (like Hiten Style), so if you cut back on your damage too early, you may find your damage becomes insignificant.

Mid: Since the middle lane is shorter and allows your enemy to get back to the safety of their tower very quickly, you'll want to start off building as the traditional AP Katarina, going for the Hextech Gunblade very quickly. I still prefer to focus on my W and E, as relying on your Q for damage leaves you completely vulnerable to harassment when it's on its fairly long cool down. It may be better to focus on your Q though, depending on who your opponent is. After the Gunblade, I go for my Trinity Force, and I follow that up some more durability through Warden's Mail and I sometimes even finish my Randuin's Omen.

Take your abilities in this order: W, Q, E, W, W, R, W, W, E, E, R, E, E, Q, Q, R, Q, Q. If you want to try a level 2 gank after starting at Red, you can take Shunpo as your second ability, but it will make your jungling a little bit slower. I usually don't even bother using my Q during a gank unless my target is CC'ed and I won't lose ground on them by throwing it. It won't deal a lot of damage at a low rank, and it's not very useful with a hybrid build. It also has a fairly long cooldown.

I take mostly offensive masteries, with just enough defence to cover jungling (increased armour and returning damage to minions/monsters). I take double penetrations in offence, then I get life steal and Executioner.

The main weakness of this build is its lack of MR. Seeing as you're Katarina, you're going to want to avoid as many abilities as you can by abusing the ridiculously short cooldown on your Shunpo. If I'm trying to solo gank an enemy skillshot/semi-skillshot AP carry, I'll usually run at them like an idiot to bait them into using their skillshots before I get to them. At this point I'll Shunpo behind them to dodge the ability, and then counter with my own ultimate usually. On that note, remember that Katarina's ultimate actually has a 3.0 Bonus AD ratio, along with a 1.75 AP ratio, so her ultimate is still deadly with a hybrid build. One thing I love about this build is how difficult it is to counter. High ELO players often claim that Katarina isn't viable because it's so easy to interrupt her ultimate. If you interrupt this build's ultimate, you'll certainly reduce her damage output, but you won't shut her down. Also, with 39% CDR, you're easily going to be able to use your ultimate twice in a team fight anyways, since you'll get at least 1-2 kills/assists.

One other fun fact: after you lay down your burst with Shunpo and Sinister Steel, you will instantly auto-attack as well. That auto-attack will have the extra damage from the Trinity Force proc, so this build actually as substantial burst, which is why it can actually work against AP casters.

Give it a shot and tell me what you think!


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Lykios The Great



AD malzahar is a lot more viable in teamfights than AP in my opinion, but Riot needs to make voidlings continue to attack enemies even while you are running.

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Senior Member


Yeah. Watch out about telling flamers that it's viable because of SivHD's guide though. Although most of his guides are viable builds, a lot of people tend to view his videos as trolling videos. When I pick AD Malzahar in queue, people often say "Oh, SivHD, trolololol, noob!" and then dodge the queue. His videos are absolutely hilarious, and have given me some cool ideas. I recently bought Lux and have been looking for a chance to try Counter Bruiser Bruiser Lux.

Most people build AD malz with manamune.

I've tried building AD Malzahar in several ways. I started out following a guide for a tanky Malzahar who does almost all his damage via his voidlings (Manamune and Frozen Heart as his core with some HP via Warmogs or Frozen Mallet and then an item such as Maw of Malmortius, which punishes enemies for attacking you instead of your voidlings. This is a viable build, but I've found it gets shut down very easily. Until you make it to late game and have enough mana to spam spells and get 2 voidlings up at all times, you really don't do any damage. I have only won the lane phase twice with that build, and both times my opponents were pretty hopeless. Perhaps I'm just bad with the tank build, or maybe there were issues with the build I used, but I have had a whole lot more success building him as an AD carry. You can go ahead and play him in whatever way you want though .

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Senior Member


saw this on siv HD's channel im assuming?

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Senior Member


I originally tried it because I started looking up odd builds on YouTube. I did watch SivHD's rather amusing guide, but I also watched a few other, more serious guides, chiefly the "Illegitimate Legends" series by Ahrtimmer.

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Senior Member


AP nasus and AP leona are both under this category. one of my 3 quads in ranked this season are AP nasus.

Also old AD Kass fell here. had two quads with that in season 1.

people need to get over themselves and let stuff happen. if they do bad then report them for unskilled or intentional if they are really bad. its not different than if graves in bot lane goes 1 10 or jungle udyr does the same. people arent trolling if they are serious. there not just gonna random something. they are gonna play it out first and test viability. then play ranked and win with it.