[Guide] Zen Malzahar: How to Learn Patience

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Setimo

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Junior Member

10-08-2010

mister op, please note that I do appreciate your effort of thinking outside the box while i write this:
Saying the hero with the most overwhelming burst damage in the game is actually not made to burst damage is just blindness.
If you dont like getting focus don't put yourself in that position(maybe i should make a tank Ez since he gets melted when focused).
And the difference between malzahar and annie(since you compared to her) is that she can aoe better, period... and even so CotV on its own deals so much damage you won't even care...

I have yet to come across a hero I can't kill 1v1(aside from tryn).

Melee dps die like its a joke,
Ranged dps gets melted before hitting you twice
Tankers (if they do survive your combo) are kitable/escaped from.


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concretebuddha

Senior Member

10-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by reaver99 View Post
For a poking team, I think I'd take Morgana over Malzahar since she can heal herself, poke and push very well with her pool and binding, and prevent damage with her shield. Malzahar is better for a poking team than Annie or Ryze, but I don't think he offers anything that Morgana can't do better.

On the other hand, his disable is pretty good, and I think you might be underestimating his range. For example, I've hard trouble stunning him as Taric since by the time I got close enough to fire the stun and wait for it to hit, the person he targeted is dead already. Malzahar's main strength is just in shutting someone down.
The comparison to Morgana is a good one, and I'd like to start there.

Call of the Void = Black Shield. A 3 second ranged aoe silence is effectively the same thing as an 8 second shield on one character. Morgana can save one person from spells if you are running away or initiating (but not your entire team), whereas Malz can ranged harass silence multiple enemies, which effectively gives your entire team Black Shield versus those enemies you hit. Which is super when you are about to tower dive, or you need to delay one of their OMFG abilities from hitting your team. Neither needs AP to be effective.

Null Zone > Tormented Soil. 8% of their max health every second is way more damage than (85 + .2 AP). Assuming equal AP, which they will be if Morgana is building tankish, then Malzahar deals 240 damage each tick to a 3k hp enemy, while Morgana with 100 AP is going to be dealing 105. That's double damage.

Darkbinding is a skill shot. Neither MV or Nether Grasp are. Also, you can't really initiate with Soul Shackles, while Nether Grasp you can easily pick one person and ranged initiate on them.

If we are talking tower pushing, Malz wins hands down, especially if you have staying power. (Now I'm not saying Malz > Morgana in every instance. She is better if you are using her as a support aoe champion in short timescale teamfights.) Which leads me to my next point:

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2. You should not be taking damage. Whether defending or attacking, Malzahar has sufficient range that only Kog'maw and stealth champions should have a shot at hurting you, and the latter should be putting themselves at huge risk to do so if you're positioned carefully.
If you are in range to harass them, then they can harass you. If you are the perfect player and never get harassed by Anivia, Ashe, Corki, Dr.Mundo, Ezreal, Fiddle, Galio, Gangplank, Gragas, Heimerdinger, Janna, Karthus, Kassadin, Katarina, Kayle, Kennen, Kog'Maw, Malphite, Malzahar, Master Yi, Miss Fortune, Mordekaiser, Morgana, Nasus, Nidalee, Nunu, Olaf, Pantheon, Ryze, Shaco, Sivir, Sona, Teemo, Tristana, Twisted Fate, Twitch, Urgot, Veigar, Vladimir, Zilean, then stick with a 1 minute cd on Zhonya's and a 30 second cd on Banshee's.

Personally, all of those champions have a decent shot of returning fire when I am harassing their team, because I'm not sitting behind my tower doing nothing while waiting for a cd.

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3. If you are taking life-threatening damage chances are you need a new strategy. Small amounts of damage can happen to the best of us, but taking a life threatening amount either in one go or over time indicates either you are not playing well that game or that your team is outclassed when it comes to standoffs. In either case, your current strategy of standing around a single tower probably isn't going to help you or your team.
This build cannot tank 1v5 damage. I get that. It's not a full tank build, and Malz is not a main tank like Amumu.

However, let me draw you a diagram:

C---------------T-------------------T-------------------M

Where C is their carry line, T are the tank lines, M is Malzahar. This is the normal starting position for a standoff. With a normal full AP build, Malz has to wait in the far back until someone else initiates before he can do anything, or else this happens:

1) C---------------T------------------TM (Malz moves forward to your tank)
2) C---------------TTM (Enemy Galio Amumu flashes/ghosts and ults, enemy nuker nukes.)
3) MX) (Dead Malz.)

With my build, I can be more aggressive, and move between the front and back lines waiting for cds indefinitely. I can weave in and out of the front lines because of an increased movespeed, sustain enemy harassment with MR/armor/regen, and I never have to say "I'm b, oom/no hps." All the while I can harass with a leaping dot and two ranged aoes on a -40% cd with a huge mana pool.

When I play my build, the same scenario goes like this:

1) C---------------T------------------TM (Malz moves forward to my tank, harasses lots.)
2) C---------------TTM (Enemy Galio Amumu flashes/ghosts and ults, enemy nuker nukes.)
3) C---------------TTM (Malz Lives!)
4) CT-------------TM (My tank counters. My carries counter. Malz ults enemy carry.)
5) CX) (Dead enemy carry.)

I changed my role from ranged nuker to ranged harasser, which in my opinion, is a better playstyle for Malz, considering the options for nukers available in this game (Annie, Anivia).


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concretebuddha

Senior Member

10-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setimo View Post

I have yet to come across a hero I can't kill 1v1(aside from tryn).
Unfortunately, this game is 5v5.


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Setimo

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Junior Member

10-08-2010

as i said before, team fights are about positioning. dont wanna get focused? so dont get focused ^^


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MoogIe

Senior Member

10-08-2010

My point to you is, what makes Malzahar so different from any other caster champion? Especially one that has no escape mechanism? Why not build Fiddles part tank for when he ults in the middle of everyone? It's because you won't do damage. You'll live longER, but the damage output is just ridiculous to the point where it's not even worth building tank early on. Learn the positioning that every caster has to know, stop being lazy, and just live with their built in downsides to actually be a caster carry for your team rather than a support that's there to soak damage.


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concretebuddha

Senior Member

10-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trikitty View Post
My point to you is, what makes Malzahar so different from any other caster champion?
He can push, he can silence, he can aoe, he can stun, he can harass, he can soak up damage, and he can do all of this and live. If you'd like, we can go through the merits of each caster champion and compare them to my build.

The only caveat of course is that I am specifically looking at a ranged harass/tower pushing/defending caster that is both useful and sustainable.

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Especially one that has no escape mechanism?
See above.

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Why not build Fiddles part tank for when he ults in the middle of everyone? It's because you won't do damage.
Which has zero bearing to Malz. Am I suggesting to build tank items on Fiddle so he can harass/push? Nope. Why not? Well:
  • Dark Wind's silence is random, and more likely to hit minions than enemies
  • Drain life is useless as a harass
  • Fear is not as good as Malz's ult, especially because of the range.
  • Crowstorm is not a %hp, so not stacking AP makes it tickle, unlike Null Zone.
  • You can't spam Crowstorm, unlike Null Zone.

So Fiddle has one ranged harass ability. Malz has four. Apples and oranges much.

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You'll live longER,
Exactly. You'll live. That is what makes snowballing happen. Dying feeds the other team, which is 100% bad.

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but the damage output is just ridiculous to the point where it's not even worth building tank early on.
Not if you enabled your team to snowball past their team in gold/xp because they died and you didn't (collectively as a team), or because you are up towers, or up dragons.


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Learn the positioning that every caster has to know, stop being lazy, and just live with their built in downsides to actually be a caster carry for your team rather than a support that's there to soak damage.
No thanks. If I wanted to do that, I'd play a nuker.

...

You can keep raging at me, and that's fine. If you write a guide, I'll read it, but please stop filling up this thread with negativity. Calling me lazy, or using caps to show emphasis is generally considered patronizing, and if you aren't going to take me seriously, then I have little reason to take you seriously.


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concretebuddha

Senior Member

10-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setimo View Post
as i said before, team fights are about positioning. dont wanna get focused? so dont get focused ^^
So you can either build glass cannon Malz and sit in the back and play a less effective version of Anivia/Annie, while pretty much making your team fight a 4v5 until all the opposing CC is used up in a 6-10 second teamfight.

Or...

You can play a longer term strategy based around ranged harassment, where you whittle away their hps over multiple exchanges while blowing up their towers and snowballing to their nexus.

I am suggesting you win the war, not focus on 1v1 battles.


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NecBromancer

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Junior Member

10-08-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setimo View Post
as i said before, team fights are about positioning. dont wanna get focused? so dont get focused ^^
So, what you're saying is that while your team focuses one player, the other 4 on the team have no way to come to you? You position yourself halfway across the map, because that is the only guarunteed place you won't be hit in a team fight? Shen\Blitz\Rammus\Urgot\Amumu all have ways of making your awesome positioning not so awesome anymore, not to mention any hero with flash, or a way to disable mobility inhibitors.


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concretebuddha

Senior Member

10-08-2010

Quote:
I play a VERY high HP Ryze, so this is right up my ally.
I started this build on Ryze, and I found that Malzahar was a better fit. A high hp Ryze sounds neat, just as long as there isn't a Kog'Maw on the other team.

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Gtfo the community only wants "QWER = Dead" champions, not ones that require more thinking D:
i no rite

dps is srs bsns

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I would be willing to try this. Sounds fun. I'll let you know how I do with it. =D
Haven't heard back. Not a good sign.

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So, what you're saying is that while your team focuses one player, the other 4 on the team have no way to come to you? You position yourself halfway across the map, because that is the only guarunteed place you won't be hit in a team fight? Shen\Blitz\Rammus\Urgot\Amumu all have ways of making your awesome positioning not so awesome anymore, not to mention any hero with flash, or a way to disable mobility inhibitors.
Malzahar's passive should read:

Cthulhu Aggro - Malzahar has a giant tattoo of the Old Gods on his forehead that makes people rage and attack him. Taunts every opposing champion every teamfight until either Malzahar or they are dead.


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survient

Senior Member

10-08-2010

Any other champ I didn't spend a decent amount of time playing I'd say go ahead, such as a tank fiddle or something to that effect, but I don't think Malzahar can work with this(unless the enemy team is completely incompetent or you have another champ on your team that carries so hard that you're more like a bystander, both situations where I think an AP Malz shines much more)

He needs AP to be worthwhile, especially considering malefic visions needs a decent amount of ap to drain a minion down enough to be dropped with only one or two auto attacks to help it out. Otherwise you need a lane partner to help it along. This spell is critical to successful farming. Call of the void drains too much mana to be useful farming, and besides, malefic visions was basically designed for this.

Call of the void is easy to dodge so it is NOT equivalent to morgana's black shield, not by a long shot. Her shield scales with AP, a silence does not.

Null Zone does a **** ton of damage on it's own, respectively considering it's an AOE and the mana cost, but it is also extremely easy to avoid, slow cast time and small area considering similar spells.

If you really are going with a survivability build then rylai's is one I can't argue with. Rod of ages is questionable only because it basically has to be your first item unless you get oober fed, and as I stated, malefic visions needs a good amount of AP to farm successfully, so this is important early game. If you have a buddy you're queued with laning with you and they are well coordinated in helping you with the farming process, then go for it. Otherwise you'll need the AP. I love RoA on other casters who can farm early without a **** ton of AP, but Malzahar isn't one of these. Generally speaking people I know who play malzahar love to gank uncoordinated teams, especially in solo queue, so mejai's is almost a must. Personally I go mejai's, sorc boots, zhonya's and then a guardian angel. Play smart as you get stacks and defensively until you have a guardian angel. I usually have 20 by the time I get my GA. This works but isn't always reliable, sometimes the other team is just impossible to gank.

I love Malzahar but he definitely has his weaknesses, and honestly I have to tip my hat to morg as the better overall mage in terms of what she brings to a team. 1 v 1 I'd say Malz takes the cake but as the OP admits, this is a team game. This is why she gets banned in ranked and not Malzahar.

TBH if null zone and call of the void were sped up in terms of cast times, and the ult gave health back or made malz have some more survivability while casting it(screw spell vamp it doesn't work effectively for this, besides it's an ultimate and shouldn't be used if it needs to be cancelled), I think he'd be a hell of a lot more viable. This is just my two cents though, do what you want.