Voidlings.

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scrimbul

Senior Member

07-04-2010

So I've been tooling around with Lich Bane on Malzahar lately in an attempt to up his DPS in a more general fashion than DFG. Lich Bane offers the same cumulative benefits as Rod of Ages sans the HP, but with how expensive it is versus the length of a game, you have to choose between it, RoA or Rylai's first.

The interesting thing about the Lich Bane is that while most of this is true for any spellcaster that picks it up, Malzahar in particular is encouraged to spam Q and W to proc it. Which brings out the voidlings faster.

Riot obviously doesn't want the voidlings to be controllable, but at this point the cons of the passive vastly outweigh the pros. Players who are more the type to be last-hitting instead of autoattacking in a lane don't need to be playing Malzahar as the passive is useless to last-hitters. The voidling doesn't do enough damage to make it worth timing the proc with your ultimate to burst someone down.

Suppression will be a big help to Malzahar, but I often find because he lacks an escape mechanism, if I get ganked my reaction is to do as much damage as possible before I die. Frequently this involves ulting the nearest squishy in the hopes that if my team is about to walk into a bad fight as a result, they can at least score a kill. Kamikaze essentially, because running is a waste of time.

Instead, I think he would be better served like this: At all levels, the duration of the voidlings is bumped to 30 and about level 15, 45 seconds.

Since Riot doesn't want them controlled, (and I believe they shouldn't be controllable either due to the passive and the precedent of bugs that it will introduce) they need to loosen the leash on duration and number of voidlings. At level 1 the passive remains as it is, except they remain small. At level 6, Malzahar can potentially produce up to two voidlings with spell spam, and this needs to be viable with his mana pool and cooldowns, not a gimmick where you hit max CDR and have blue buff. At level 12 the voidlings spawn in the larger state with the frenzy buff rather than acquire it halfway through their duration where it's useless, and at level 18 he can control up to 3 of them, dependent on CDR. Ideally, unless you specifically build to take advantage of the passive, you won't see more than the small buff of a single voidling that lasts 30 seconds and starts with it's frenzy buff.

If the above tweak is made to the passive you open up an interesting new gameplay angle for him. He's still squishy and he has no escape mechanism, but he can be built to gank/1v1 or built to push. I envision the horde of voidlings being a pack of mini-tanks, or they will chew most enemy heroes to pieces that fail to burst him down. It gives an incentive to do something besides stack AP on him, and instead trend toward CDR and survivability. Both his AP stacking and his horde-DPS should be centered around Sheen/Lich Bane, and this should be reflected in his reccommended items, removing DFG or Void Staff. People new to the champion don't need to have to think about actually proccing DFG item anyway on him. He will be in a position to tear down turrets quicker of course, but some of his nuking burst is sacrificed for the utility of having the larger voidlings around and in bulk, with constant spam necessary to keep the army up. The fact that the voidlings will tear through turrets at the mid-levels is a fair tradeoff for the fact that the stupid turrets keep shooting Malz whenever any of the voidlings look at his opponent funny, and/or his Malefic Visions is triggered on a champion which basically excludes him from any sort of proximity to the tower. This is already exacerbated by the fact that he is more useful near a tower spamming W and Q for zone control than trying to actually autoattack it.

Rather than saying 'lol you're a burst nuker with a void theme' you open up options for the hybrid items for instance, going pure DPS, taking locket even instead of/in addition to Sheen/Lich Bane since you're going to be spamming anyway. The tradeoff is it will never be viable to build any sort of survivability item on him except for Warmogs because he can cap it so ridiculously fast with his farming skills. Other options for the voidling army include aura items, and Stark's Fervor so that his voidlings not only lifesteal but heal him based off of their current percentage of lifesteal.

As the above playstyle is based off of constant offense and/or holding a lane without a nearby creep wave to tank for you, one will need to tweak summoner spells/manual item activations to also proc his voidling stacks. This tweak here in particular makes Clairvoyance an interesting summoner spell on him with it's low cooldown, which is good because he has no escape skill. It fits right into the motif of a relentless offensive pusher with his own personal creep bodyguards that will attempt to consume whoever he attacks/ults.

TL;DR: More voidlings with longer duration and late-game where champions can actually handle it, spawn fully frenzied. Base playstyle off of proccing Lich Bane and Autoattacking which in turn spams more voidlings.


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Iaw

Member

07-04-2010

I like it, Malzahar really needs help, as is there really isn't much of a use for him.


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Lethal Loki

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Senior Member

07-04-2010

Malzahar is a great champion, but I agree with you his current passive is best left forgotten (or maybe not or else you will get turret aggro and be noticed very easily in bushes) I would like for this suggestion to go through, or the passive just be completely changed honestly.


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scrimbul

Senior Member

07-04-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iaw View Post
I like it, Malzahar really needs help, as is there really isn't much of a use for him.
Well, he's fun to play, and he's awesome for pushing a lane during a teamfight. He has plenty of zone control during a teamfight but it's pretty much either you pick off the stupid people/stealthers during the teamfights, gank or suicide/tower dive with your ult, malefic and ignite.

If you adjust for a style of spewing out as many spells as possible, you will be controlling zones more at the cost of your nuking, but you will have an army of voidlings following you around. If you get lucky and ult someone, the voidlings will start chewing him to bits which will account for the loss of your AP and stack better with hybrid items. If you are going to spam voidlings, you will be able to justify building around Lich Bane AND Warmogs as well as Nashor's Tooth/soul shroud/DFG/Frozen Heart, without so much concern for your AP totals beyond Lich Bane and some CDR. Aura items for the voidlings also become much more appealing, along with locket to heal them.

Consider that, in the build I'm detailing above with the related changes, you have an excuse to put levels into Null Zone first. You normally would level this skill dead last because the burst damage and/or harrassment range of the Q is far more important. Well, if you're focused on spamming voidlings with aura items and lane control, the level 5 8% chunks of people's HP become vastly more important to his playstyle than the burst damage assassin nuker bush-humper playstyle. In short, your levelling order becomes E(Q), W, Q(E), W, E, R, E, W...

Essentially building like this becomes a more fluid and fun offensive version of Heimerdinger. He is perfectly viable as a solo nuker like Annie once suppression is added, but the passive should snowball into so much more at the cost of not eating faces Annie and Ryze style. He *can* turtle, but not as long as Heimerdinger, and it's more likely he will be able to, along with an appropriate tank, facilitate a push outward even with no creeps.


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scrimbul

Senior Member

07-04-2010

bump before I sleep, as I'd like to see more thoughts from some other higher level players. I have a feeling this sort of playstyle won't elict the same complaints Heimerdinger's does because it requires him to mix it up at medium range instead of Heimer's long range pushing. Happy 4th of July folks.


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Pregnaloons

Senior Member

07-04-2010

Not a high level player, and probably not high ELO, but I do main Malzahar and reckon this is a pretty good idea. Unlike most people though I've not really had a big problem with the voidling, It does get in the way sometimes and is often just plain useless, but as passives go, it CAN be very effective, and the DOT it puts out against a tower (when it's not targeted, or causing you to be) can be immense, it's just never for sure.

Having 3 of them then, could be worryingly powerful against towers, but if it was it could be easily fixed with a damage reduction (like Heimers turrets). The more I think about the more I like it, having 3 voids would be very dangerous, but the difficulty in maintaining them would be considerable, spamming spells out like that would use an epic amount of mana, for what is possibly no payoff at all (ie; noone tries to gank you while all 3 are up).

As you said, there isn't a lot of flexibilty in Malzahar, you stack AP and you do what you can. This fundamentally weakens him, as in certain situations it just doesn't work. Having another build option would make actually flexible, using his voidlings as damage and his spells as support (silencing and stunning could let them do some serious hurt) means massive stacking of CDR and MP Regen, and leaves NO room for stacking AP. One or the other, as it should be.

Sounds interesting!


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scrimbul

Senior Member

07-04-2010

bump


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Forcepowa

Senior Member

07-04-2010

I agree Malzahar doesn't have the flexibility of alot of other champs. With that said I dont think there was ever meant to be a focus on voidlings. They are just a passive not the main focus of Malzahar. They dont scale like dingers turrets. They dont last very long. They are not the cure to Malzahar inability to escape. One thing though they are what makes Malzahar a unique caster. If they were made useful then maybe there would be a reason to pick him over annie or Mr. CAWCAW.

Do I think his passive needs some work? Yes I do, but changing them into a whole new play-style would be too much for a passive. I think decreasing the number of spells require to spawn one. or allowing them to last longer(until killed maybe) would be the way to go. Malzahar has some of the highest costing abilties so I dont know if spamming skills would work out. Also his cd aren't the greatest.

Do I think suppression will fix his ultimate? Yes and no. Malzahar is way to squishy to use said ability without an increase to range. It still isnt viable in team fights which most champions ultimates are used for.

Malzahar is being looked at. Hopefully once his is out of the Riot Champion rehab center he will come back as a viable mage that can bring something unigue to the table.


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AnAnarchist

Senior Member

07-04-2010

Really love the idea.

I don't think his voidlings need to be changed as much as you suggest however. Just switch it up so he gets a voidling every two casts instead of five.

That'd pretty much have the effect of having multiple voidlings up at all times. Would make him in to an incredible pusher. I don't think it'd be OP however as like you said the voidlings draw tons of aggro and are also a hazard while going through the jungle. Not to mention the fact that with multiple voidlings up at all times you'd be giving your opponents some nice extra gold. You'd also need to spec for much more mana / mana regen / survivability then you would if you just wanted to go pure nuker which would still be an option.

Overall A++ idea. I hope RIOT take notice.


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chaito

Senior Member

07-04-2010

I agree with the multiple voidling idea. I would say make it so that the number of voidlings is upgraded with your level, 1, 6, 12 and 18 would 1 through 5 voidlings, and then make it so that their health is equal to a % of your mana pool, and their phisical damage stack with your ability power. If this ends up throwing malzahar in the wrong direction then i sugest to rework his passive entirely. but yeah making voidlings sapawn like that i would think that allot of malzahars would get aegis just for their lings to get the extra damage.


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