How To Play Malzahar In League Of Legends
Last Updated: October 8, 2021
Looking to play a steady mage who can carry games with very simple mechanics? In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing the Prophet of the Void, Malzahar.
Sitting at a 51% win rate, Malzahar has proven that he can run with the best mages in the mid lane. His incredibly simple kit makes him a solid AP carry and a very underrated champion. Although he is a bit weak early on and his roams aren’t anything to write home about, he becomes progressively stronger as he builds more items and hits his power spikes. Malzahar may not be the flashiest champion but he gets the job done.
Malzahar’s kit is more focused on single target damage. A core part of his kit are his damage over time abilities. He can’t really zone enemies in a team fight but he is great for setting up picks on high priority targets and rendering them useless.
Passive – Void Shift
When he hasn’t recently taken damage or been crowd controlled recently, Malzahar gains 90% damage reduction and crowd control immunity, lingering for 0.25 seconds after taking damage or blocking a crowd control effect. Damage from lane minions is not mitigated by this effect, but it does not trigger or reset its cooldown either.
Since Malzahar is a pretty frail champion, this passive is super invaluable. It helps with your survivability all throughout the game. A spell shield that can block both damage and crowd control goes a long way in keeping Malzahar alive so he can deal damage.
Q – Call of the Void
Malzahar opens up two portals to the Void that fire projectiles inward, dealing magic damage and silencing enemies.
Not the fanciest ability but it’s still some reliable poke. This ability has a pretty big range so make sure you use this to help whittle down your opponent’s health. It’s also good for clearing minion waves.
W – Void Swarm
Passive: Casting Malzahar’s other spells gives him Zz’Rot Swarm, increasing the number of Voidlings summoned by Void Swarm (max 2).
Active: Summons one or more Voidlings. Voidlings deal additional magic damage each hit. Voidlings deal 300% damage to lane minions affected by Malefic Visions. Voidlings deal 50% to monsters.
Apart from Call of the Void, Void Swarm is another ability that adds to your pushing power. It’s also great for poking enemies when used in conjunction with your E ability.
E – Malefic Visions
Malzahar inflicts terrible visions, dealing magic damage over 4 seconds. Applying Call of the Void or Nether Grasp to the victim during this time refreshes the visions. If the victim dies, Malzahar gains Mana and the visions spread to the nearest enemy.
This is Malzahar’s main source of damage. It deals a high amount of damage over time to a single target. If the target dies, it moves to the nearest enemy making it a great way to harass your opponent when they try to last hit.
R – Nether Grasp
Malzahar suppresses an enemy champion and deals magic damage over 2.5 seconds. A zone of negative energy is created around his target dealing magic damage over 5 seconds.
Malzahar’s ultimate is a big reason why he is great at setting up picks. It’s a single target ability that locks down your enemy. It can be used to set up kills on a high priority target or to protect yourself when enemies try to dive you.
Runes and Item Builds
When it comes to item builds, Malzahar should be focused on stacking ability power and increasing his damage over time. Items with persistent effects as long as the ability lingers are very powerful on him.
Malzahar’s starting items are pretty standard for a mage. Start off with a Doran’s Ring and a couple of Health Potions. Doran’s Ring gives you everything you need in the early game. You get health, mana regeneration, a bit of ability power, and some bonus damage against minions. It’s the best starting item and should help you get through the early game.
In theory, all Mythic Items that give ability power would work on Malzahar. However, some of them synergize better with his abilities. The best Mythic Item you should go for should always be Liandry’s Torment. It has mana, ability power, ability haste, and passive effects that burn your target over time with damage based on their max health. The other two Mythic Items that would work well are Luden’s Echo or Everfrost. But they aren’t as good on Malzahar as Liandry’s Torment.
After buying your Mythic Item, you should buy a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter next. It helps you gain more survivability thanks to its bonus health and it adds a passive slow to enemies affected by your abilities. For boots, go with Sorcerer’s Shoes for more magic penetration. Next, buy a Demonic Embrace. Like Rylai’s, it gives you health but it also adds more damage over time to your abilities. Buy a Void Staff next for even more magic penetration and finish your build off with a Morellonomicon for its anti-healing effects.
Other Viable Items
Items you can interchange with your core build should be to address Malzahar’s vulnerabilities. Depending on the situation, you can swap out certain items that can help increase his survivability while also adding ability power. Zhonya’s Hourglass is a great choice for its Stasis active. Banshee’s Veil is also a solid item that can grant you another spell shield. If you’re ahead, you can find a way to include a Rabadon’s Deathcap on your full build to deal more damage. If you need more movement speed to help you position better, a Cosmic Drive would be a worthwhile purchase. Try to mix and match items to see what works best for you.
For runes, go with the Sorcery path as your primary and take Summon Aery as your keystone. It adds additional damage whenever you use a damaging ability on your opponent. Next, take Manaflow Band for mana regeneration, Transcendence for reduced cooldowns on your abilities, and Scorch because it synergizes well with all the damage over time you deal. For secondaries, take Magical Footwear for free boots and Cosmic Insight for more ability and item haste. For rune shards, take double Adaptive Force and either Magic Resist or Armor depending on your matchup.
- Try to avoid damage in lane so that you’ll always have your passive, Void Shift, up when enemies try to close in on you.
- Malzahar’s ultimate, Nether Grasp, can be cancelled by Quicksilver Sash so be careful when you use it. Since it is a channeling ability, it can also be disrupted by hard CC so keep these in mind before using it on an enemy.
- For your summoner spells, take Flash and Teleport. Since Malzahar has no form of mobility, these two spells help keep him safe and give him a better presence when roaming around the map. If you don’t want to take Teleport, you can swap it out with Ghost.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Malzahar in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!