Malzahar Build Guide

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Lefty's complete guide to a decent, game-winning Zahar

written by Lofty Lefty

Malzahar Build

Starting items

Core Build

Late Game / Luxury Items

Situational Items

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Skill Order

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • Summon Voidling
  • Call of the Void
  • Null Zone
  • Malefic Visions
  • Nether Grasp

Runes for Malzahar


Masteries for Malzahar



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello, readers. I am Lofty Lefty, this is my first guide on Leaguecraft, and I imagine it to be of some interest to you [otherwise you wouldn't even have browsed for anything of the like]. Malzahar [officially named "Al Zahar" or "The Zahar" since "Al" is an arabic article] has been my signature champion since summoner level 8, when I amassed enough IP to purchase him. Over the levels I searched for new Zahar builds [most bringing crazy new concepts, discarding those that were ridiculous], and tried to learn as many different strategies as possible in order to bring forth a build of my own, one that would ACTUALLY work. On paper it's all cool. But this build, readers, I assure you, is not only efficient but also simple and affordable.
    Below is a summary of this champion's abilities [which you probably already know].

  • Abilities

    Summon Voidling
    Description: Every four abilities, Malzahar summons an uncontrollable Voidling, which lasts 21 seconds, engaging the foe.
    -After 7 seconds, Voidlings grow.
    -After 14 seconds, they frenzy [great for attacking buildings].

    -Remark: Voidling damage is VERY useful. Period. In early game, a Voidling can make the difference between a sure kill and an easy foe escape. Make sure to synchronize your abilities in order to maximize Voidling use.

    -The down side: Voidlings may make it difficult for you to hide in brush, preparing for a gank. Just make sure you accommodate the Voidling in the brush, or just wait for it to die.


    Call of the Void
    Description: Malzahar opens up two portals to the void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles that deal magic damage and silence enemy champions.

    My description: That cool silencing gate!

    -Remark: This attack can deal good damage after some AP building, and the silence makes it an epic fight initiator.

    -The down side: Beginners may have trouble landing hits, just as good foes will know how to avoid it. Just pay attention to your foe's moves - you will see it is actually very easy to land.


    Null Zone
    Description: Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy which damages enemies that stand in it.

    My description: Zoning black hole

    -Remark: This attack works in early game for small-scale zoning [landing a Null Zone where you don't want foes to walk]. It is also considered a must before channeling Nether Grasp, to maximize damage. [Which is obvious. You haven't come all the way here and read all my baloney to come to a conclusion given to you by the champion's default tips!]

    -The down side: True damage is nearly insignificant in early game, and any foe with at least half a brain will immediately get out of it once you lay it down.


    Malefic Visions
    Description: Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and Malzahar gains mana. Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units.

    My description: Essential farming/harassing tool

    -Remark: THIS IS MY FAVORITE ATTACK! Maxing it out in early game is a MUST. It has amazing minion farming power, leading to a gold advantage and a solid push. Moreover, if an unwary foe happens to be standing near a dying minion, the visions jump on to him, and your Voidling[s] will target him ASAP. If the spell is maxed out early, visions can do a whole lot of harassing! Plus, if foes try to run away, visions [possibly combined with Ignite] may be just right to get the kill! But ONLY that is not enough: it also replenishes nice amounts of mana upon jumping from target to target. Isn't it the perfect ability?

    -The down side: What down side? xD


    Nether Grasp
    Description: Malzahar channels the essence of the Void to suppress his target and deal damage each second.

    My description: A sort of intimidating, OP version of a Hyper Beam attack which causes two and a half seconds of sheer agony on the foe, while they think about how the hell they were stupid enough to let themselves get hit by it.

    -Remark: The best part of this attack is that for a whole 2.5 seconds, your allies/voidlings/turrets are free to beat the crap out of foes while they get blasted.

    -The down side: You can't do anything while channeling it, which makes you easily gankable while you're at it. Be cautious!


  • Pros and cons of this playstyle

    PROS

    -You will not totally depend on kills to play well
    -Strong lane control power in early-mid game
    -Good damage output
    -You will not be as focused as an all-out aggressive carry or mage [you won't be very squishy]

    CONS

    -Damage is not truly maxed out
    -You will not be very resistant
    [Though Malzahar is not even meant, essentially, to be a tank! So, who cares? xD]

  • Masteries and Runes: Why?

    For masteries, I use a nice alternative 15/0/15. Why? Simply because it gives me the perfect lane sustain to pick up distance over my foe as I farm more and gain more experience. In Utility, I get Improved Recall, Summoner's Insight, and 2 points in Good Hands. Afterwards, I get 4 points in Movement Speed, then one point in Gp5 ans 3 in Spell Vamp. Then I get 3 in Experience. In offense, I just spend the 15 points with the usual AP Caster damage masteries.

    For runes, I use the following:
    9 x Greater Mark of Insight - Magic penetration, later possibly combined with Void Staff, to somewhat disappoint the spell-tanks.
    9 x Greater Seal of Potency - Flat AP
    9 x Greater Glyph of Potency - Pure AP. Yes, this will turn out better than AP over level. Starting the game with a solid amount of AP can be very useful for early harassing and first blood.
    3 x Greater Quintessence of Potency

  • Summoner Abilities: The Magical Set

    - Ghost - To gain more mobility and escape possibilities.
    - Flash - To get a kill, to escape a gank, etc. Flash is considered a must for a Malzahar (or any other champion nowadays).

     

    Why not Ignite? Simply because we don't need it. Malzahar's damage, with my build, is truly over 9000.

    Why not Clarity? Simply because after my last edit I started to build a Tear of the Goddess early in the game for Mana Regen, and later building it up into an Archangel's Staff.

  • Lefty's Item Build

    This is where most players differ.

    My item build is separated in the following stages:

    1) GETTING MY GOLD MACHINE

    I start off with an Amplifying Tome. This causes my initial AP, already boosted by my runes, to rise significantly.

    Usually, when deciding lanes, teammates tend to spam their bothersome "orders" as if you were their slave, and knew nothing of your champion. "MALZ MUST MID" they say, as if it were the only viable possibility, and as if we knew nothing of the champion we've played for a long time with. Although I agree Malzahar is an excellent mid-laner, if laning with a good partner in bot or top he may perform even better. I usually end up soloing mid anyways, as my team whines on about not being able to go mid, or "Malzahar being better". To this extent I hate the Meta. And its blind followers.

    Edit: Caitlyn is the third best mid champion in League of Legends, after LeBlanc and Kassadin. The Meta is wrong in this aspect.

    I hold mid lane for some time, while avoiding as much damage as I can and throwing visions on low-health minions to begin my farming early. My real harassing begins at level 2, when I get Call of the Void. I then throw visions on minions, and consistently aim Call of the Void on the enemy.

    After some time, I go back for my [item=Kage's Lucky Pick] and hold on to it forever and a day. [This will later come to build Deathfire Grasp]. This will generate some extra gold while I hang on to my lane.
    If the game is too easy, you might want to consider buying Mejai's Soulstealer. However, this is only worth it if you can afford to keep the stacks, so it's not a common occurrence.

    2) BUILDING THE BASICS

    This is where my build effectively begins.

    This part of my build consists of three things: Absolute mana/HP [and a little AP], Boots, and Mana regen/More mana.

    I separate this build in ranks, too. The elementary items [low rank] are the following:

    For mana, I get a Sapphire Crystal
    For movement, I get Boots of Speed
    For mana regen, I get a [item=Meki Pendant]

    The elementary items then rank up with the following priority:

    A) The Sapphire Crystal will build into a Catalyst the Protector, which after combined with a Blasting Wand will max out into my Rod of Ages.

    B) The Boots of Speed will build into Sorcerer's Shoes, or if the enemy has too many CC effects, Mercury's Treads. However, I always come to get Sorcerer's Shoes.

    C) The [item=Meki Pendant] will build into a Tear of the Goddess, which will build our Archangel's Staff for massive Ability Power.

    At this point, the basics are complete. You would imagine that a Deathfire Grasp is our next item, but I'd rather hang on to that [item=Kage's Lucky Pick] a little longer.

    3) BUILDING INITIAL ABILITY POWER AND BECOMING A TANK MELTER

    While hanging on to that [item=Kage's Lucky Pick], I build my famous Rabadon's Deathcap, in the usual installments: Needlessly Large Rod + Blasting Wand. Afterwards, I will have some significant AP already, thus shelling out that gold for my Deathfire Grasp. At this point, I am more of a threat, because I have an extra attack that deals a whole lot of *percentual* damage to a targeted foe, with a shorter cooldown than Nether Grasp.

    In all my experience, it's about here when games usually end, with foes on their knees begging for mercy, or whining about lags, or leavers, or bad teams. In harder games, however, you will need to build this item, and the next item, which is situational.


    4) THE SIXTH, SITUATIONAL ITEM

    At this point, you can go several ways. If your foes invest heavily on Magic Resistance, consider buying a Void Staff. If not, but you still crave for more firepower, go for Lich Bane. If you want to look tankier, and get even less focused, build Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the HP and AP. If you really need more defense, you can buy Banshee's Veil or [item=Force of Nature] for Magic Resistance, or Thornmail to counter AD. This last one's on you! Maybe that Quicksilver Sash to counter that fed enemy Zahar!

    My usual sneaky trick is the following: I build Zhonya's Hourglass. With Zhonya's Hourglass, I merely press "4" instantly before a gank, and watch many of my foes get Rick Rolled as they waste their abilities on a statue. If needed, instantly afterwards I Flash out. Problem, enemies?

  • The Full Build

    This is what my full build looks like:



    and situationally,

    or or or or or [item_icon=Force of Nature] or or

  • Farming

    Malzahar is one heck of a minion farmer with Malefic Visions. In later game, you can target the three mage minions [which come in the back] with Call of the Void which should instantly convert them into gold, and simultaneously throw visions on the frontal minions.

  • Working in the team

    This is, by far, the most important part. Not only for Malzahar, but for every champion. League of Legends is about knowing yourself, knowing your enemy, and above all knowing your role in your team. Malzahar is a powerful caster, thus recommended to stay behind a tank. Let the tank go out ahead and take the blows in a team fight, while you throw Null Zone where it will bother most enemies, aim Call of the Void on enemy casters, to prevent them from taking immediate action, and try to focus your burst combo Deathfire Grasp + Nether Grasp + Malefic Visions on an enemy carry or caster, a crucial damaging element which is easily overpowered by your combo.

  • Conclusion

    This is my guide to Malzahar, basically describing my game. It obviously requires practice; play a game or two against bots until you are confident with the build. Any constructive comments will be great. Criticism has improvement as a sole purpose - so if you criticize, please justify. Thank you.



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