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A Modest Proposal: How To Fix Malzahar

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Lord Sturm

Senior Member

06-17-2010

So I've been thinking for a while about how to fix this champion. In my opinion Malzahar is really fun to play, but really not viable in high ELO play, which is a **** shame, to be honest. He's got a lot going for him, from the longest-lasting silence in the game to an amazing puddle in teamfights to (when un-countered) very powerful single-target burst potential, but he also has lots going against him. Cleanse and Quicksilver Sash shut him down hard, at this current state the Voidling really is one of the worse passives in the game and basically he doesn't bring anything to the table that another caster can't do better.

So, the goal of this hypothetical "buff" I'm dreaming up here is not only to make Malzahar better at what he currently does, but to have him bring something to the table that other casters do not.

Now, I will go through each skill and his passive one at a time, and list several changes that could make the skills better/more unique. I do not expect all of these changes to be implemented: it's more like brainstorming ideas for me, and I'd appreciate any ideas others might come up with : )

Summon Voidling: The trouble with this skill is it's free gold for the enemy team as it stands right now, and they don't last long enough to contribute to a teamfight/push/jungle session/what have you.
Ideas, ranging from less drastic to more radical:
--Make Voidlings controllable. This is basically common consensus among Mal players that we need to control the Voidling to keep it from feeding the enemy. I remember someone mentioning that it was a bug in the AI that made them uncontrollable, so if that could be resolved ASAP it'd be much appreciated.

--Lower the number of spells it takes to make a Voidling spawn to 3 or 4 casts. This would make Voidlings more of a presence in the lane phase and, if lowered, Mal could easily summon 2 Voidlings to help him push towers. Considering how good a Frenzied Voidling is at pushing a tower, this could help him in that department significantly. Only trouble with this is it'd be more food for the enemy.

--Lower amount of gold killing a Voidling nets, or perhaps have Voidlings give no gold at all on kill. Cutting the gold in half would help that problem significantly, but getting rid of a gold reward would be ideal. It's not fun to feed an enemy free gold in your lane just because of your passive. Perhaps they could give something else, like restore X amount of hp to the champ that kills it? That way it's not giving gold but it's still worth killing the Voidling.

--Have Voidlings scale better. During late game teamfights the guys are just useless. Perhaps an AP scaling would be appropriate? Maybe that would be too much, but they do need to be better for late game.

--Remove the 21-second life span on Voidlings, and remove the 7-second level-up timers. Instead, Voidlings will "level up" to level 2 after 3 minion kills, and will go to level 3 upon 5 additional minion kills. Killing a champion or turret immediately levels up the Voidling. They would also receive passive health regeneration. This is the most drastic change, but it's the one I like the best. This would make Malzahar more of a pet-based champion than before, but it would also make him not useless even after he's blown his cooldowns, which is something that could differentiate him from other casters.

Call of the Void: This skill is actually pretty fine the way it is right now, in my opinion. It's a very useful AoE silence that nukes for pretty decent damage with great AP scaling and excellent range. The tricky part about it is the delay between casting and the wall actually appearing. It's by no means as bad as Veigar's Dark Matter, but it's still very avoidable, which I suppose is the point. Nevertheless, a change to make it less powerful/worse AP ratio but make it summon faster would be acceptable in my mind.

Null Zone: Null Zone is Malzahar's most curious skill. It's the skill that definitely does the most damage late game, but it's also easily avoidable. It's also the reason why every competent Malzahar NEEDS Rylai's Crystal Scepter: the longer they're in the zone, the more damage they take, and the slower they move, the longer they stay in the zone. Which is why I think Malzahar needs this move to have an accompanying slowing effect. Here's what I propose:

--Added effect: Every time a unit takes damage from the Null Zone, it's movement speed is decreased by 3/3.5/4/4.5/5% for three seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

This effect would add tons of things to Malzahar's game that he doesn't have right now. It would give him a potential escape mechanism if he needs it, and it gives him a great form of AoE crowd control, which all of the great casters have. Of course, I think the damage and AP ratios from the skill will have be lowered to compensate for this, but I think an AoE slow would be a great addition to his skill set.

((Also, before people cry OP, I wanted to make it so that Null Zone can keep people inside of it longer WITHOUT increasing the circle's radius. The stacking debuff helps with that. And if you increase the circle's radius it makes Morgana's Tormented Soil and Anivia's ult obsolete, and we don't want that.))

Malefic Visions: Ah, Malefic Visions, or Ignite on Steroids. When I first started playing Mal I realized how awesome this skill is. It's Ignite on a 6-second cooldown that jumps from unit to unit and refunds mana. Sweet.

I think this skill is fine the way it is. Great AP ratio, great effect, awesome harassment tool in lane, good for baiting Cleanses, it's got a lot going on for it. The main complaint about Malefic Visions is more of a complaint about Mal in general: his main nuke (dropping Null Zone, stacking MV, ult and Ignite on someone) is nullified by Cleanse. That's not really a problem with this skill in my opinion, it's more of a problem with his ult. This skill is great the way it is, and besides, lots of champions have Cleanse-able skills; that's why Cleanse is around in the first place.

Nether Grasp: So here we are. The part you've all been waiting for: The ultimate. The skill that makes Mal useless in competitive play. Problems with this skill include that it stuns Malzahar for the same amount (usually longer, thanks to Merc treads) as the target, that the range is stupid short (shorter than Warwick's), and that it leaves Malzahar a VERY open target in a teamfight (at least Warwick has passive lifesteal to keep him alive :/). And I haven't even mentioned Cleanse yet.

So where to begin with this thing? For starters: It cannot, repeat, CANNOT be a channeled stun in order for his ult to be useful. Mal's burst is tricky enough as it is, and to have to stop for almost 3 seconds in a teamfight is just asking to die. He can't jump in like Warwick can because he doesn't have passive spell vamp, so using his ult in a teamfight is like giving the enemy team a kill usually. In addition to that, Cleanse and Merc Treads nullify most to all of the damage this ability can actually do, which is just wrong in my opinion, moreso the Merc Treads lowering damage by 40% than Cleanse. Some possible solutions, along with some craftier ideas later:

--Increase the range. Come on. Malefic Visions out-ranges his ult. That's just lame. The range needs to be at least as long as Malefic Visions, if not just a little bit longer. That will certainly make it more useful in a teamfight.
--Make the ability a snare instead of a channeled stun. Kind of uncreative, as it sort of turns it into a superpowered version of Ryze's W, but it's an idea.
--Make it a burst-damage ult, with a stun that follows the burst damage. Also uncreative, but it solves the fact that Cleanse and Merc Treads completely nullify the damage caused by his ult, and it gives him a window to cast his other DoT spells.
--Make the channel uninterruptable. I guess this just means make Mal immune to disables while channeling this spell. That way Cleanse still breaks it but a stupid **** Dark Wind crow doesn't stop it. >.>
--Give Mal 100% spell vamp on this skill. If you still want it to be a channeled stun, spell vamp would certainly help to keep him alive. The amount of spell vamp is variable, but I could easily see it being 150% or more, considering how everyone targets Mal while he's ulting.
--((if still a channeled stun)) Added effect: The channel is uninterruptable, and whenever Malzahar takes damage while channeling this skill, 50/75/100% of that damage is redirected at the target. This would make this skill MUCH more interesting in my opinion. That way if you decided to target Mal while he's ulting you're just targeting your teammate instead. Would add another layer of strategy to teamfights with Mal, but might be a bit too much to consider.

Other changes: I personally think his base stats are fine. Except for movement speed. Riot always makes casters so **** slow... Especially my Anivia... :'(

Well, that ends my wall of text. Just some ideas about how to make Malzahar more viable. I personally think he's really fun to play, it's just he can be frustrating to play when there are so many better alternatives on the table, and I feel that some of these changes can help him become a more viable champion in this game.

Comments/thoughts would be appreciated. : )


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Squeen

Senior Member

06-17-2010

All they really need to do is make it so his ult cant be cleansed and make his pet controllable to an extent


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Lord Sturm

Senior Member

06-17-2010

I wanted to avoid the "this skill can't be cleansed" fix because then that opens the floodgates of "oh, well then why can my ult be cleansed if his can't? Fix my champion too plox!!"

Meaning, if one skill can't be cleansed, then why can't another skill be given the same treatment?


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Crolda

Senior Member

06-17-2010

Quote:
Lord Sturm:
I wanted to avoid the "this skill can't be cleansed" fix because then that opens the floodgates of "oh, well then why can my ult be cleansed if his can't? Fix my champion too plox!!"

Meaning, if one skill can't be cleansed, then why can't another skill be given the same treatment?


Because it's his ultimate and he has to stay still while casting it anyhow. Just like WW's ult, the reason it's worthless is because it's a double stun that only hurts you if someone cleanses.

Really, both WW's ult AND Mal's ult should have the damage component separate from the stun, and WW in particular needs to be able to get out of his ult if it gets broken.


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Burning Rose

Senior Member

06-17-2010

I was really hoping the way to fix Malzahar was eating babies. Your modest Proposal, sir, isn't modest or proposal-y enough.

That said: Voidlings need to be controllable, and Nether Grasp needs about 200 more range. The slow on Null Zone would be nice, but I don't see it as absolutely necessary.


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Lord Sturm

Senior Member

06-17-2010

Well, Crolda, what about Mordekaiser's and Morgana's ults? Both are very vulnerable to Cleanse, and Morgana's entire combo is perhaps more vulnerable to Cleanse than Malzahar's is. The only difference between the two is that Morgana doesn't have to be so **** close to her target, and therefore is much less vulnerable.

I think part of the problem lies with Cleanse itself, and it needs to be less of a get-out-fo-jail-free card than it is, but that's a discussion for another time.

But yeah, no baby eating here. XD I always just thought that title was catchy, and that's why I used it. In comparison to Jonathan Swift my proposal is probably a thousand times more modest. >.>

But I agree that those changes you listed are absolutely necessary, and some of the changes I listed more than likely won't happen, but they're mostly just ideas. I also agree that he doesn't need too many changes because he's really fun to play the way he is, so a remake is definitely unnecessary.


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BigDaddyDelish

Senior Member

06-17-2010

The difference between Mordekaiser's and Morgana's ults are that even if they are cleansed, they aren't left completely out in the open.

They can still move around and take other actions, while the only real thing Malzahar can do while doing his combo is ignite.

Cleanse completely warps Warwick's and Malzahar's ultimates, but Malzahar much more so than Warwick. Warwick can move around much faster around the map, has a wider range with his ult, can bait cleanse/quicksilver sash more easily, and has a LOT of spell vamp coming from his ult and his natural attacks.

Malzahar has none of those things. His movement speed sucks, his range is way too short so he has to put himself more out there to begin with, and pretty much all his damage comes from those precious 2.5 or so seconds of ult time he is sitting there with a "Please kill me or cast a disable on me" sign.


I really like the idea of if Malzahar takes damage, the channeled person takes damage too while being unable to interrupt it with silences and stuff. That way, you are more likely to at least get a kill off and contribute to a fight. It seriously sucks to watch a crow bounce around and then rape you in the butt, letting the person who would have otherwised die run away free.


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sildan

Senior Member

06-17-2010

He's fine for the time being. If you are using his ultimate in a team fight, then you aren't doing it right. I tried out Mal around the time he came out and he's pretty easy to use. He has 3 powerful spells that could be used to finish them off without having to use your ultimate at all. He's already powerful as he is, but takes skill to use. I'm not saying anyone is bad at playing him, but he takes some patience to fully be able to use him. If you are going into a team fight, then don't use your ultimate unless you are safe from being hit by everyone blood crazed champion on the other side. He is like a lot of other champions, which have a counter for their ultimate skill. Karthus can be countered by Sivir's spell shield, Shaco's Illusion or a simple Zon. Nunu's ultimate can be avoided by simple walking out of it or flashing out. Heimerdinger's ultimate can simple be avoided by destroying his turrets first. Anivia's ultimate can be countered by simple walking out of the swirling vortex of frozen doom. The point is that every champion has a counter to their skills, but it's the player's job to think of how to avoid them or know how to prevent them. It's not like people will stop whining about how useless or overpowered a champion is to them, but it would be nice if they would take the time to understand their champion, rather than whine about how useless they are at times.


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Excorsism

Senior Member

06-17-2010

Wish you could rotate his Q...


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eSPee

Senior Member

06-17-2010

Try This (http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/5864/dpsmallmao.png). Should fix ur problems.


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