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  1. Default Champion advice: Malzahar


    Been working to learn Malzahar mid - I'd appreciate any pointers I can get.

    I generally start boots+pots, with exception of Doran's Ring vs enemy mids with little/no harassment (not common). I focus on E and Q early and don't grab W until teamfights start happening. Depending on what opponent I'm up against, I either push hard with E (sometimes Q'ing caster minions to skip the E directly to the enemy mid) so I can roam and secure kills with my ult or I focus on just last-hitting if I'm losing in farm.

    I'm having particular trouble vs mids with shields such as Orianna (shielding the E damage) and mids that can push just as hard as Malzahar to minimize the effectiveness of his E (less minions attacking = enemy minions die more slowly = E doesn't bounce as easily). Morgana's shield is especially problematic for me, though I've been able to bait it with my silence to open up my ult (if she doesn't block it, she can't shield anyway). Are there matchups where I should be focusing on Q for poking instead of E for sustain/zoning?

    As for item builds, I generally focus on 1-2 Doran's Rings and then Sorc Boots, followed by either a Rabadon's or something situational (WoTA if double AP, Abyssal if vs someone like LeBlanc, Zhonya's if the enemy team is AD heavy). I tend to get a Rylai's after Rabadon's, though none of his abilities get as much from it (E is DOT, Q/W are AOE, and I'm fairly certain his R doesn't get the full benefit).

    Anyways, I'm very open to suggestions, as well as matchup advice if anyone is knowledgeable about when to avoid choosing him (such as vs Morgana or Sivir).

  2. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Not sure if you ment this but you should get a point in W at 4 to chain into a level 6 unload if you need to do it.

    I think he works better if you have a team that can chain another hard cc as well as some sort of protection. Malz ult is too easily interrupted these days :(

  3. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Paging willdasnail!


  4. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Yeah, Janna has been particularly annoying for this. I don't tend to get W early because I usually don't have the chance to use his full combo during low level fights - either I'm not at high enough health to try, I'm too busy dodging skillshots/AOEs, the extra damage is unnecessary, or the enemy simply doesn't have enough health for it to be worthwhile. By the time I'm level 10 I have a point or two in it, since teamfights are happening more often and I've got tanks to worry about.

  5. aka ClawofBeta Straight Male
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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Do you smartcast?

  6. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Sometimes. I don't like doing it with Malzahar's Q because of how its orientation can completely screw with it hitting/missing. At any rate, his W still doesn't bring much to the fight at early levels, especially not with only 1 point invested in it and vs low HP targets.

    Yes, it's appx 200 damage vs a 1000 HP target (assuming a mage with appx 400 starting HP, 80HP per level, 2 Doran's Rings) but the extra damage on his E/Q pokes adds up to more overall and tends to do more for me while laning.

    Then again, I don't like aggressively going for kills in mid either.

  7. aka ClawofBeta Straight Male
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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    When you're level 6 the point the W might be the difference between a kill or not =/.

    If you can't do the entire combo (+ ignite) at level 6, that's the first thing you gotta practice in my book ha ha. Then I suppose Flash + combo is next, although that shouldn't be that much harder to do.

  8. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    It's not that I can't, it's that the difference of trying to fit an extra spell in there with 120-140 ping playing from Japan gives people time to Flash/blink away. It's doable, but it's not reliable.

  9. Orbital Bee Cannon
    IGN: BuffDaSnail
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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Well, here's how I see Malzahar:

    He is really easy to farm with (however, still gotta be on guard about last hitting, especially in the early levels). However, knowing what his abilities do and using it in numerous ways - basically, KNOWING the champion in and out, and playing him really well - is a whole different story.

    Introduction:

    I start off boots + 3 pots (and given how many mid AP champs are relatively mobile nowadays, this is pretty much the standard). I start with Call of the Void (Q) at level 1, spam that ability 3 times at spawn so I have a Voidling ready to go upon my next spell cast. I immediately begin to max out my Malefic Visions because that's basically his bread-and-butter ability to farm as well as (indirectly) harass opposing champions all early to part of mid game phases.

    However, do note that even though Malz has the reputation as an "easy farm champion), you still have to be on guard for last-hitting, especially during early levels. More often than not, your Malefic Visions is not strong enough to secure you the minion kill early on, and that usually results in your own creep wave taking the kill. And you lose out on CS in the end.

    Skill ranking:


    Q-E-E-W-E-R-E-Q-E-W-R-Q-Q-Q-W-R-W-W

    By level 6: 1 point in Call of the Void, 1 point in Null Zone, 3 points into Malefic Visions, 1 point into Nether Grasp
    By level 11: 2 points in Call of the Void, 2 points in Null Zone, 2 , maxed Malefic Visions, 2 points into Nether Grasp
    By level 16: Maxed Call of the Void, maxed Malefic Visions, maxed Nether Grasp, 3 points into Null Zone

    Brief overview of Malzahar's abilities and what they do:

    Summon Voidlings (Passive): You basically summon an uncontrollable, AI bugger after you cast your spells for the 4th time. While they're out, they autoattack any targets that you "command" it to go after. After 14 secs, their HP and base attack points increase, which increases their survivability and damage output. After 21 seconds, their attack speed increases from 0.8 AS to 1.4 AS, and this is the stage in which Voidlings becomes extremely scary.

    The nature of Voidlings is that they go after any target that you autoattacked, infected with Malefic Visions, or targeted with Nether Grasp (prioritizing target order for Voidlings is Nether Grasp > Malefic Visions > autoattacks). With that said, while Voidlings are out, make sure you use your abilities - notably Malefic Visions and Nether Grasp - and autoattacks to help with farming and/or harass your opponent (when the opportunity is right, of course). And don't forget to utilize your Voidlings to help you secure the kill, if at all possible.

    Also, another use of Voidlings is that you can use them to brutally push enemy towers hard (when it's safe to do so). If you see the opportunity to push a tower without getting yourself killed in return and have Voidlings out, go for it. Preferably, you want to use your Voidlings to start attacking the towers when they're in the 18-21 seconds period of their lifespan. And if if you get a cannon minion to draw tower aggro, that's a major plus

    Call of the Void (Q): A horizontal-line AoE nuke that also silences anyone that gets caught in the radius. This ability complements Malefic Visions for farming purposes during early to mid game phases. However, aiming this ability on enemy champions is not easy. Call of the Void is a static ability (stays in one place upon casting from start to finish), and if you want to hit an enemy, you will have to "lead" the target (and I think you should be familiar with this term since you're serving in the U.S. military ;D). Using this ability as the main form of harassment during early game is strongly not recommended, mainly because you will go oom really fast from constantly spamming this ability. However, Call of the Void can be used to poke/zone the enemy team during mid to late game. And in teamfights, this ability has quite a bit of utility (i.e. silence a couple of key enemy players, nuke/silence carries and force them out on a short-term basis). Also, you can use this ability to check bushes or areas shrouded in fog of war, as the portals and the AoE will reveal the targeted area.

    Through practice, it'll become second nature on when to use your Call of the Void ability in numerous, different scenarios.

    Null Zone (W)
    : A round-shaped AoE + DoT ability that deals a percentage of the target's maximum health as magic damage per second for any enemy units sitting within AoE range (and % max health damage increases by 1% per 100 AP). The ability lasts for 5 seconds. At first this ability may seem underwhelming early on. More likely than not, you may use it occasionally for farming purposes. However, Null Zone serves as a complement to Malzahar's other abilities, as well as play significant roles for the team later into the match (notably teamfights). And most notably, Null Zone is chained with his ultimate, Nether Grasp, to deal tons of damage. Due to the nature of Null Zone, you can use this ability - along with Nether Grasp - to completely melt champions with lots of HP and little MR peresence. Or zone the enemy out while you're poking them. Or in the chaotic atmosphere of teamfights, use Null Zone as an stand-alone ability during teamfights to get a couple ticks of damage off on enemy champs.

    Malefic Visions (E): This ability is Malzahar's bread-and-butter for everything and anything for his farming needs. And not to mention, this ability keeps him in lane for a long time by regenerating mana per enemy unit killed with Visions (and managing your mana responsibly, of course). This is the ability that you'll be maxing first. And Malefic Visions will be your primary, yet indirect, harass ability. With that said, use this ability whenever possible to farm up minions. And during the early game phase, try to apply this ability to the nearest, weakest enemy minion located within or near the main enemy minion wave to maximize the chances your Visions kill the unit and enable it to hop onto another nearby enemy unit. However, since this is your primary farming ability and the fact that it deals quite a bit of damage, you'll inevitably push your lane quite hard. Be aware of this fact, and be very wary of your surroundings (map awareness).

    Also, this ability will be your primary harass method vs your opponent, though in an indirect way. This is mainly achieved through Visions hopping from one enemy unit to a nearby enemy unit (within a certain radius). Which means if your opponent is within range of an infected unit and that unit gets killed, Visions will hop onto your opponent and gnaw away at their HP. Directly applying Visions onto your opponent is not only a waste of mana, but making that move is extremely predictable and your opponent will react accordingly (counter-attack, maneuver out of range, etc). Instead, using the hopping capabilities of Visions will (and keep you safe at the same time).

    During mid to late game, whenever a teamfight breaks out, try to place Malefic Visions on an enemy creep wave positioned near enemy champs. This way, you can "creep" your Visions onto the enemy team. (However, do note that this tactic does not work if the enemy team is spaced out).

    Nether Grasp (R): This ability is Malzahar's signature ability. It deals a LOT of damage over time, and the familiar Null Zone + Nether Grasp combo will fully melt a squishy as well as deal quite a bit against a light or medium-built brusier or tank champions. However, the usage of this ability is very, very tricky because of the nature of Nether Grasp. When you use this ability, you're unable to move or use other abilities, which means you're basically a sitting duck while the ultimate is channeling. Combined with being out of position, your ult could possibly get interrupted and be easily killed.

    This ability has dual uses. You can use Nether Grasp as as a stand-alone ability, using it as a long-duration hard CC to keep your target down while your team takes that opportunity to help you kill the target. Or in a 1v1 situation, combo Null Void and Nether Grasp (and to a certain extent, Malefic Visions) to deal tons of damage and kill your target.

    My advice when using this ability is to be patient. Wait until you find a perfect opportunity within a teamfight, then go in and ult your target. Last thing you want is to use your ultimate on a wrong target, use your ultimate too early, or have your ultimate interrupted. When you use Nether Grasp correctly (on the right person at the right moment), you will be able to shut down and/or kill a key member of the enemy team, and turn the tides of the fight in your team's favor. Also, do note that Nether Grasp can be broken with certain items or abilities. Notably Quicksilver Sash (QSS) or Gangplank's Break Scurvy. With that said, do be careful in your choosing of your targets if those items or abilities are around. And having that ult broken by those items or abilities could dramatically change the situation in a split second.

    You can use the summoner spell Ignite while channeling Nether Grasp, if you're within Ignite's casting range.

    Do note that understanding the "when and where to use this ability?" takes a lot of practice. Mastering the usage of this ability - i.e. creating big/clutch plays with your ult - is not easy to carry out, especially when there's so many scenarios that could happen.

    I don't follow any set build when using Malzahar. However, these are the items I commonly use on Malz (certain items are situational):

    - Sorcerer's Boots: Standard tier 2 boots for many AP champions. Self-explanatory.
    - Rabadon's Deathcap: Another standard item for AP/mage champions. Gives a large chunk of AP, as well as amplifies your AP by 30%, which boosts your damage by a LOT. Pretty much the first or second item to grab for Malzahar due to its importance. If I'm really ahead (kill + CS-wise), I may rush this item immediately.
    - Void Staff: Pick up this item if certain members of the enemy team get significant amounts of MR. More often than not, I find myself picking up this item often on Malzahar so I can - at the very least - still be able to deal significant amount of damage come mid to late game phases.
    - Abyssal's Scepter: This item serves Malz really well. Not only does it come with nice amount of AP and a bit of MR for a bit of survivability against magic damage, it also comes with a 1000 range MR debuff on enemy champions (this will increase the magic damage dealt vs enemies)
    - Zhonya's Hourglass: Besides offering generous amounts of of AP and a bit of physical damage mitigation, its statis active can be used to keep yourself alive in tight situations.
    - Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Not only does this item gives you a bit of survivability (+500 HP) and a nice amount of AP, it also. Even though a majority of Malz's abilities are AoE and/or DoT (and therefore, only triggers the 15% slow), this item is quite useful during teamfights by applying a bit of slow to multiple number of enemies and limiting their mobility a bit.
    - Will of the Ancients: This item offers a nice amount of AP + spell vamp. Recently, I found myself using this item more often because it all came down to this simple fact: This item allowed me to sustain in lane (using Hextech Revolver), as well as increase my survivability during teamfights. And naturally, Malz does not have any form of sustain. With that said, do consider getting this item for sustain and survivability purposes.

    Strategies - early and mid/late game - will be provided, hopefully, in a few days max. I have so much to share with you. I apologize if you were waiting for this for too long. :(
    Last edited by WillDaSnail; 2012-08-13 at 05:13 AM.

  10. Orbital Bee Cannon
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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Post reserved for later use

  11. Water

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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    If you can't chain his pool/suppress reliably, especially while it's instantly cast now means that Malzahar isn't the champion for you. It's like Picking Veigar without being able to reliably stun/meteor. It's an intrinsic part of their kit that needs to be mastered in order to be succesful. Ofcourse this is all void if you just play for fun, but keep in mind that you'll need to be able to do this if you want to play more seriously.

  12. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    I will likely master this on the korean server next year if I'm not back in the US at that time. While I'm overseas I will not be attempting to play competitively with the intent of being tournament-quality good. The same argument you made for why I shouldn't play Malzahar also applies to AD carries (last hit timing being less forgiving, kiting being more difficult), anyone with a skillshot (nead to lead targets more, predict, etc), any Jungler (smite timing being less forgiving when stealing/defending buffs/dragon/baron), anyone with the ability to shield teammates (timing being less forgiving) or even anyone with a shield of their own (again, having less time to react to skillshots/CC/etc).

    Again, it makes it less reliable but not impossible. I'm not going to ignore a champion simply because ping makes them slightly less reliable. I wasn't saying it's even as bad as a 50/50 chance, I was saying that every now and then something of the sort will fail even if executed properly. I'm still going to practice it to mimimize that occurence, but until I master it as best I can under the circumstances I'm not going to implement it in normal play.

  13. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    If I can combo at 90-110 ping you should be able to at 120-140 considering I have the crappiest fine motor skills compared to anyone that's ever approached a computer.

  14. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Being able to combo on worse people =/= being able to combo on better people.

  15. Water

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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Well there are still champions that are a bit more lag friendly like Soraka support for example. Hehe I know that sounded kinda lame... I'm just trying to help! :( For actual advise, watch out for Quicksilver Sash? I don't play Malzahar really...

  16. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    I sometimes intentionally bait Malz ults, so later on my team has the advantage when we want to jump in. That is, if I intend to get QSS in the first place.

    Also, if anyone's curious about how good you can get WITH yellow ping, I know someone that used to be in the US and got to 2k elo. Now he's in London, gets 170 ping, and still maintains 1800-1900, while playing mid and ADC champs.

  17. Orbital Bee Cannon
    IGN: BuffDaSnail
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    Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Updated my first post with info. Mas, let me know if you have any questions :)

  18. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Thanks for the post Will. A lot of that was the baseline information that I expected, but it's good to know that I was on the right track. I'm mostly working on perfecting my E bounces, especially in conjunction with Q to quickly skip it past caster minions onto an enemy champion. I've gotten it to work a handful of times and it's pretty satisfying when it works, even more so than comboing someone to death.

    Next in line is working on saving up minion stacks to save myself from skillshots like Morgana's snare - a bit trickier, but important to his dueling/gank survival, I think.

    Last hitting, of course, is always important too, especially without blue buff.

    I'll try out Q first and avoid E'ing minions unless I'm harassing until lv 3 or so, as well as the minion prep on the fountain that you mentioned - I honestly had not thought of that. He seems really solid in a level 1 teamfight as a result of the free pet + AOE nuke/CC.

    Overall I feel like he's got a lot of room for skilled/experienced players to seperate themselves from the players who use him solely for his ult. That's why I'm interested in him - I enjoy champions with good CC (AOE silence, 2.5 second suppress) and his kit leaves lots of room for strategy. He's also pretty rare to see, so if I can do well with him I can feel good about not using one of the same 3 mids that I tend to see every game (Ahri, Zyra, Morgana).

  19. Default Re: Champion advice: Malzahar


    Hmm... my advice when laning against Orianna is to time your attacks to when she doesn't have possession of The Ball (she doesn't get the passive Armor and MR bonus from her E if she doesn't have The Ball).

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