Malzahar - Maximizing your Prophet

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King Cool

Senior Member

06-19-2010

Malzahar.
6000 ip is a big investment for a champion. If youíve seen any Malzahars, youíre probably thinking that heís a lackluster liability and hardly worth purchasing over someone like Ezreal. Perhaps. But this guide is for those of you who are willing to take the plunge and donate those many ips. Malzahar is proud of his price, because it says that only the bravest, the strongest, may even dare to control such a complex champion. This guide should help you understand MalzaharísÖ eccentricities.

The advantages of Malzahar:
Mid/Late game Malzahar is a damage machine. His AP ratios are rather good. He can reduce high HP tanks into dust, potentially silence multiple people for 3 seconds, and make sure anyone without cleanse will not make it out alive. If you have a good initiator, then a good Malzahar will clean up. His spells also make for good harassment later on, and can keep lanes from getting pushed at the start.

He can also be very fun. His malefic visions is a very engaging ability, and all of his abilities require extreme precision, timing, and awareness to pull off properly. Everyone underestimates Malzahar, and you can show them such wondrous things.

This colossal disadvantages of Malzahar:
- Malzahar is an easy target. He is extremely fragile, has no escapes, and is completely shut down by cleanse. If you want to play Malzhar, and I realize few people do, keep this in mind at all times. When the game starts you must take note of every hero with cleanse. You will most likely lose at any gank attempt or 1 on 1 fight if you do not take this into account. Malzahar is also a liability, and generally a guy you donít really want in your lane. He has some of the lowest HP in the game without a built in escape to help him. His damage at the start is pitifully low, so donít expect much until around level 6. If he extends at all without a competent lane partner, he can and will be blown away.

-Malzaharís CCís are not certain by any means. His silence is fairly easily avoided by enemies who arenít CCíd already, and his ultimate is, in a word, wonky and difficult to make the most of. This means he canít even pretend to initiate like other casters with AE stuns. So donít expect your Malzahar to carry an otherwise incompetent team to victory.

The Abilities:
My typical build focuses on Nether Grasp > Malefic Visions > Call of the Void > Null Zone, getting a point in Null Zone early then saving it for the endgame.

Most Champions abilities are fairly straight forward. Malzaharís are not. I assume you know what they are SUPPOSED to do, so I will try to tell you what they really do.

Voidling(Passive):
You canít count on the voidling, so I advise you donít. You canít control him, so all you have control over is when he comes out, not what he actually does. If you are planning to gank, make sure you have the charges to get him out on your next spellcast, but in a team fight he will probably be blown away by AEs and attack anyone you donít want attacked. His short tether ensures that he will not harass them for long, if he even does. However, the MOST important thing to keep in mind is that this voidling will attack champions and agro the tower on you. If you are not paying attention, the voidling is a huge burden. Good thing heís only worth about 12 gold.
-His best, most reliable use is to help destroy towers quickly. Just spam null zone and call of the void on nothing if you have to in order to get out a voidling.

Call of the Void(the Silence):
Ap ratio .86

This ability is very thin, to make up for the large CC it could potentially do. There is a waiting period before it shoots, about .5 seconds, but itís definitely noticeable, and because the beams are so thin, itís more than enough time for any champion to get out of the way.

The spell actually shoots 2 beams, just as it says, each doing half the damage
Both beams will only hit if the enemy is near the middle, otherwise you are dealing half the damage. So donít be fooled if your Call of the Void seems absurdly weak, it is because it is.
Secret advantage: The balls grant vision where they are summoned, so you can use it to spy inside bushes, spy on the dragon from a safe distance, and so on. Just be careful about getting too close when you do it. The vision doesnít last long, but itís long enough.

Null Zone
Exremely potent late game. Spell vamp against a tank will make it a generous heal. With Rylais, it will of course slow units, potentially making them take more damage. Positioning this ability is the most important thing you will do. This ability alone makes Mal a great tank killer, if thatís the kind of thing youíre into. Itís worth 1 point early game to do some good damage to creeps, but it mostly scales with your enemies, so save the rest of the points for later.

Malefic Visions
Ap ratio .86
Fun ability, makes laning a game of Whack-a-Mole. The relatively high AP ratio means this can quickly ramp up in damage, and itís hitting multiple units over the course of its lifetime. Very good for farming. This is the most important ability you have for the first 10 levels or so, because itís extremely reliable, grants you plenty of mana and plenty of gold. Later on it loses its potency because it wonít bounce much or at all in a team fight, so level it first to have a chance early game.

Nether Grasp
Ap ratio 1.57

You know how Warwickís ult is really buggy and potentially suicide in a teamfight? Well, now itís on a character thatís fragile and doesnít have a built in heal component. Donít get me wrong, itís not a bad ability. After all, itís near instant CC, but itís Malís one shot at success, his one chance to be a truly viable caster, and it misses a lot.

This ability does not function the way you will expect it to function. In fact, I canít even begin to describe how it functions. Every time I use it itís like a new adventure. It will require some extensive testing with every ability to see how it responds to each.
-Sometimes it interrupts channeling, sometimes it doesnít. I currently have no idea why it stops or doesnít stop abilities at the moment. I have stopped spinning kats, and I have watched in helpless awe as ezreals ult me during the grab.
-It appears to keep the damage component and channeling through cleanses.
-If you die in the process, the enemy stays stunned.
Iím not sure right now how it works against mercury treads, if it destroys the stun and keeps the damage going or stops them both.

Runes: Just stick to whatever your caster page probably has. Magic penetration is always best and most important, cooldown runes are great, HP is very helpful, and mana regen doesnít hurt.

Masteries: 9/0/21

Summoner Skills: Ignite is a must. You can cast it during your ultimate. It slows down heals, it might even waste the enemy cleanse. Itís just good.

Ghost is my second pick. Itís a good escape and good chaser. I find it to be more reliable than flash.

Cleanse is also always a safe pick.

I do not recommend most other abilities, because having no way to escape can be very crippling, especially if your team isnít very cohesive. Donít bother with smite or clarity, your visions do the job fine. And never bother with revive.

Items:
I recommend starting with Doranís ring, otherwise your lack of HP is all too apparent at the start. Magic pen boots are a good default if you arenít too afraid of enemy CC. From there, you are going to want an item to add survivability. Rod of Ages is my personal favorite, but you could make the case for Rylais. From there your options are open. Void Staff, Will of Ancients, Zhonyas Ring.


Playstyle:
-Early game:
Farm, farm, farm. Malefic Visions is your best friend, and should generally keep your mana up. Level 1 Visions probably wonít get you many/any bounces, but itís worth a shot if your partner helps out, and the later levels pretty much wipe out a wave on their own. If you can get a bounce onto the enemy heroes, all the better, but donít bother harassing with it unless youíre really shutting them down.

The second you get your ult, you can think of ganking, and you can do it fairly well. With some boots and a summoner spell like ghost, you should be able to get the drop on an enemy champion.

Do not overestimate your 1v1 abilities because of your ultimate. Your damaging spells can be easy to miss or outmaneuvered, and once the ultimate is over you are a sitting duck. Most other casters can also obliterate you with your low hp and their higher damage and better CC. If their CCs can come out faster, and they probably can, then youíd better take that into account.

Mid/Endgame
-Be afraid of everything and never be near the front line unless you are at a tremendous advantage. Blow everything youíve got when you see the opportunity, and then make yourself scarce until the cooldowns are up. Donít feel compelled to use malefic visions if it will bring you too close to a dangerous enemy. Itís good damage, but being alive is more useful. And for the love of god donít initiate or check bushes with your face, just harass as you can.

-Donít be afraid to use your ultimate in situations where enemies will otherwise likely escape. If you can secure a gank, DO IT. Youíre almost always better off using the ultimate before a team fight than during it. If you use your ult in a team fight you are in close enough range to get hurt, and you will get hurt. Itís better as a finisher on a good escaper or as a prefight gank, then as an interrupter/support, and last as straight damage in a big fight.

Closing:

Ok so maybe this hasnít been the most optimistic guide, but really, Malzahar can be fun. I think most people get discouraged by a lot of their own teamís trash talking and his unforgiving early game. Heís definitely 6000 points for a reason, not because heís good, but because if you arenít, then you wonít hear the end of it. So if youíre up to the challenge, try or buy Malzahar and discover his mysteries for yourself.


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Zabedisi

Member

06-19-2010

decent guide, albeit a little too deterring of actually using Malzahar. :P

If you're gonna take Malzahar, you should try your utmost to take mid imo. Malefic Visions does an amazing job of holding the lane and farming at the same time and will allow you to get your core items quick so you can make your presence known in team fights and other lanes. Once you hit lvl 6, there are few champs that can withstand your W+E+R+Ignite combo (given they don't have cleanse or have used it beforehand), especially so if you manage to land Q before hand or inbetween.

A tip for landing your Q is to NOT MOVE before using it. It actually has a pretty good range and if you position yourself close enough so that the very edge of the targetting circle is near the enemy and it just seems like you're farming creeps, wait till he steps in circle then fire away.


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King Cool

Senior Member

06-19-2010

I agree that Mal can be good choice for mid. Like fellow caster Karthus, Mal is able to farm from a safe distance and he needs that little boost to be truly viable. It is possible to play safe and even kill an opponent in the middle, and it has good results.

My hope with the guide is that someone will try mal and not fall flat on their face, and then we can hopefully discover the strange nature of his abilities.

Some negativity comes from the fact that people see mal's skills and expect to pull off the mighty all spell ult combo for massive damage, when the truth is that most teams will have more than enough ways to interrupt it, destroy you, or simply cleanse. Outside of a gank or two, the ult is dangerously overestimated in my opinion. It can leave you more dead than your opponents and you have to take everything into account to have a real chance.

Another tip I have found useful: If you forgot to check who has cleanse, type in the all chat that cleanse sucks, and whoever responds is likely to have cleanse!


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xDiamantx

Senior Member

06-19-2010

I like ur guide name.


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Cyst

Member

06-19-2010

Okayish guide

disagree with a bit of it

sure you are squishy but dorans isn't the solution .... it never is never has been never will be.

I don't understand why ppl try to compestate for being squishy...

just live with it you are squish .... you could get a warmog and do 0 dmg and you will still be squish

His abilitys are fairly spammable giving you the advantage to use a early tear... followed by a RoA or Ryakis

On him ryakis > RoA imho


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Kikhan

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Senior Member

06-19-2010

I disagree with most of this guide it would be simpiler just to make a new one. I agree with the above poster Rylai's is a must b4 RoA AoE SLows on the entire team is beast in team fights whether they go your way or theirs.


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Vuther

Senior Member

06-19-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by xDiamantx View Post
I like ur guide name.
This.


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radica

Senior Member

06-19-2010

Mal sure can handle mid well but he's a poor mid because he doesn't provide enough for the risk of playing a squishy and not carriable character. His biggest problem which you really don't mention are that he has long cooldowns for his abilities. Mal requires a good team to be good. He needs a tank initiate and then some to set up Zone and Void. Really you don't even have enough time to cast Visions since he so slow and have to Ult after to help your team. I compare Mal to Blitz where Blitz pulls then knocks up and sorta can't do much after then do weak auto attacks but Mal is even worse.


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King Cool

Senior Member

06-19-2010

Let's be honest here, if Mal is in the game, the damage is already done. Mid just makes the best of a bad situation, but if there's a more valuable mid by all means don't make things worse.

I should probably also mention that Malzahar's ultimate has absurdly short range and requires you to get in melee range to even use it. This on top of the millions of strange bugs that come with it. A nice advantage - silence does not seem to interrupt it. Even when the silence is cast by the enemy being ulted. Why this is even possible i do not know.

To those saying no survivability because its not his strength - you are delusional.
To those saying dorans items are terrible - you are insane.
To those saying rylais is better, this, as I said, is arguable. I have tried both and the rylais slow has never made a noticeable difference. Rod of ages is a tried and true item with very useful components, more hp, and a nice boost to your mana. In the end either one should do alright.

Yes, Mal is objectively worse than most other casters. Everyone knows this. But he's not useless, and in the right circumstances, can be ok.


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I AM FROM CANADA

Senior Member

06-20-2010

I don't play Mal, but +1 for thread title.


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