Malzahar Strategy Guide
Malzahar is a fantastic mid-lane mage. He is very useful in team fights, combining massive DoT damage with great crowd control. We hope this Malzahar guide will help you make the best of this awesome champion!
What makes Malzahar special?
Malzahar’s unique kit allows him to rapidly clear waves during the lane phase, safely deal large amounts of damage from the backline during team fights, and lockdown a priority target with Nether Grasp who could otherwise wipe out your whole team. Malzahar’s voidlings and E Malefic Visions deal large amounts of damage over time. He’s not able to burst someone to zero quickly like an assassin can, but he excels at poking and dealing a large amount of damage over the course of the entire fight.
- Passive Void Shift provides immunity to crowd control
- AoE silence from Q Call of the Void can shut down multiple enemies in a team fight
- Un-dodgeable ultimate Nether Grasp can lock down the enemy’s best champion
- Excellent wave clear
- Vulnerable while using ultimate
- Poor mobility
- Easy to counter ultimate with items
- Voidlings can be killed en-masse by AoE, significantly reducing your DPS
Void Shift (Passive)
- Be bold when your passive is up, especially in a 1:1 engagement. You will be immune to at least one of their abilities, while your targeted abilities can’t miss. Likewise, if your passive is down, play back a bit until it recharges.
- The protective effects of Void Shift last for 0.25 seconds after taking damage, which can protect you from multiple CCs.
Call of the Void (Q)
- Call of the Void grants vision to you and your allies. Use it to scout bushes or over walls without putting yourself in danger.
- Unlike Malzahar’s E Malefic Visions, Call of the Void is not guaranteed to land and can actually be a bit tricky to hit with. For that reason, it is recommended to max this ability last unless you really need the long silence duration and are very good at predicting your enemies movements.
Void Swarm (W)
- Although the turret will prioritize your pets, you should use the large damage of your voidlings to take down turrets. You can add another voidling spawn by casting Call of the Void before casting Void Swarm, even with no minions present. Try not to stack voidlings with Malefic Visions, as it will cause your voidlings to focus the minions instead of the tower.
- Make sure you have at least one wave of voidlings active when you begin your ultimate to maximize your damage.
Malefic Visions (E)
- Try to apply Call of the Void on enemy champions affected by this ability. It will reset the timer.
- Comboing with Rylai’s Crystal Scepter will apply a low duration slow on your opponents. Adding Liandry’s Torment can significantly increase the damage dealt.
- The DoT will continue after Malzahar has been killed.
Nether Grasp (R)
- In addition to locking your enemy down, it also locks you down. Be careful to not use it in an exposed position.
- QSS can negate this ability easily. Don’t use it on any enemy with QSS.
- Combing with Rylai’s Crystal Scepter will slow other enemies passing through the Null Zone, increasing your damage to other members of the enemy team.
As a starting item, I would recommend Doran’s Ring for the added AP, health, and mana regen.
For the best late game item builds, check out our Malzahar build guide, which contains the best item builds versus a variety of team types (i.e. tanky, CC heavy, AD, etc…). The data there is built entirely from real match data and is updated often.
Focus on getting CS. Prior to level 4, you don’t deal enough damage with Malefic Visions to really make it worth the mana expense to poke the enemy champion. Target minions with both E and your AA to ensure it spreads. If the DoT transfers to the enemy champion after a few minions die, that’s great, follow it up with a Call of the Void to reset the DoT timer, but don’t pick them as your first target. If you do, you will lose the opportunity to have it spread, earning multiple CS per cast.
After level 4, try to poke the enemy champion down to at least half health. Don’t dive them or go all in unless you can obviously win. Wait for your giant level 6 power spike from Nether Grasp. If the enemy is low, as soon as you get your ultimate, jump on top of them with your E-W-R combo (throw in a Q before your ultimate if you’re sure they can’t Flash away before your ultimate locks them down).
Mid and Late Game
As your kit grows, focus on buying high AP items or items with CDR to maximize your damage potential. You will want to be able to make use of multiple voidling waves in combat. You E-W combo will allow you to clear entire waves of minions without having to stick around, allowing you to quickly pass through the lane, grab CS, and roam to help your teammates.
When facing off for a team fight, try to get some poke in with Malefic Visions. You don’t have to directly engage enemy champions, you can use the fact that it will travel from minion->minion->champion to damage your targets. During team fights, get your voidlings and DoT started, apply your silence on the most important target(s), and then lock down the highest priority target on the other team.