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MALZAHAR BUILD GUIDE: Malzahar - The Blind Monk. (A comprehensive AD *Dominion* guide) by Nerdock

by Nerdock (last updated 11 months ago)

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9
Greater Seal of Scaling Health Regeneration(+0.99 health regen / 5 sec. per level (17.82 at champion level 18))
6
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction(-4.98% cooldowns)
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed(+4.5% movement speed)
9
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(8.1 Armor Penetration and 5.58 Magic Penetration)
3
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist(+0.45 magic resist per level (8.1 at champion level 18))
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

22
4
4
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
22 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
4 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
4 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Summon Voidling
QCall of the Void
WNull Zone
EMalefic Visions
RNether Grasp
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Honestly, don't bother playing Malzahar in Dominion anymore, he's still my favorite champion, but he's now officially outclassed thanks to the sustain/tank meta that's permeating Dominion. Thanks to Riot having their heads firmly in their rears, and removing the -healing aura and not replacing it with a -lifesteal aura, the sustain meta of bot lane has now become king and lifesteal is now the dominant stat which Malzahar can't use at all. If you want to know anyway, read on, and enjoy.

Hello, I'm Nerdock.

This is my first guide. I'm a Dominion player mainly, but play Summoner's Rift as well. I've played over 1200 games and 800 wins (ballpark) with Malzahar in bot lane on Dominion, and while more people have played more games with other champions, I really feel like I have the grasp of this specific gameplay style to where I'd like to make a guide about it. At one point I was invited to play for a DominateDominion team, (Join the DominateDominion chat in the LoL client, we'd love to have you! ^_^) but my schedule wouldn't allow for it, then. I'm currently on a DD Team thanks to my botlane ability wit this champion: SBT, we took 4th place in the Curse Dominion Tourney 7/27-7/28/13. I've been playing AD Malz bot in Dominion, (played him levels 1-30 in SR) since the first day of dominion beta, and since nobody knew what to do about it (back when Dominion first came out), it allowed me to win games/carry games over and over and get some freelo in the process.

I felt compelled to make a guide about my most frequently played champion, Malzahar, specifically, AD Malz bot in Dominion. Mostly because recently I had been asked about my build and why it works how it does. My goal is to eventually attach videos of myself so people can see what good opponents are, what good gameplay is etc. And not that people already don't know these things, but bot lane is a different beast, imo. But this guide is to explain why I do what I do and hope someone else benefits from it.


I recommend that you do your best to read all (no not most) of the guide, but I know that it's a TON of reading.



Not only that, I'm not going to give you alternatives. If I thought there was a better way to build this champion/lay out the runes/masteries/items, etc., then you'd be reading that build setup and not this one. You want options? Go to another guide, no problem, no questions asked. You don't see the same doctor twice for two different opinions. You clicked on this guide to find out the best way to play AD Malz. I find this is the best way, there are other opinions, other options, this is just mine. Dislike the guide all you want, I'm not going to give you every variant of every min/max rune mastery page because you're curious, either read the guide and do it, or figure a better way out for yourself.

Moving on:


This guide is not intended to make anyone feel that their build is inferior/worse/bad, but only to share information on what I feel is one of the extremely effective way to play this champion. As solomid has done well; an exchange of information is all this is meant to encourage, I saw one or two other guides about AD Malz, done in a very different style (builds etc) and I'd like to share what I've found to be effective.

You'll have to excuse the picture quality, as I took this on my phone, since computer print screen problems, and since there is no ranked dominion elo, and with Riot hiding the Dominion Elo server-side, this is the best I can do:

[http://i.imgur.com/FwWf8rd.jpg]

PLEASE REMEMBER: POINTS MEAN NOTHING. THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN AS IT IS; POINT PLACEMENT MEANS LESS THAN NOTHING, KILLS/DEATHS/ASSISTS MEANS ALMOST NOTHING


However when I go 16/8/0 it means I'm helping out the team by distracting people/pulling more people into bottom lane, but other than that, it means NOTHING how +kills or +deaths you are. How many points you have etc. Other than that, you shouldn't be getting double digit kills bot lane, if someone tries to tell you that their K/D/A means more/they're doing better than you because they have more kills/assists, then they don't in any way understand the purpose of Dominion, nor the actual math behind bot lane whatsoever. It's TWO people total in bot lane, if you get double digits in kills, you're already running them over, and probably as a team! You, in bot lane, can't physically get the amount of kills that top lane gets.

So do yourself <- the favor and leave stupid people where they belong, on the other team. Don't try reasoning actual logic and sense with them, they don't want to hear it. Just GG your team, link the bad players this guide and then simply leave, you will *never* convince stupid people or trolls. But for entirely different reasons.


For example: In a few games, I've done most of the heavy lifting in bot, and come out bottom of the point spread and a .33 K/D/A ratio, possibly less! However, I KNOW I was the reason for the win. So, again, don't worry about stupid people, GG and move on.


I posted this picture because I did carry these teams with this build, and only to show that it can be extremely effective played correctly. Don't mind the Mundo game snuck in there, but same result, wewt. :p (Later to be explained, I had garrison here for most if not some of these matches I believe, but I'm not 100%)

How I come upon the "Please don't do's" in this guide: I watch the featured games, Dominion and SR, to see what people buy, what they do when they buy it, how they play it etc, and polish my guide from there, because I'm thinking different things, but always looking to learn. So yes, I'm always spectating Malz featured games to see how they screw up, and how to help YOU avoid it.

What this guide will emphasize/focus on:


The point of bot lane in Dominion is to guard/keep/hold it and not lose it. If you need to tank up your build and sit on point to do it, because you're getting hard countered, but you'd be useless top? Do it! Your team will be glad you're not losing bot. If you hold bot, it's much better than you trying to run off point for a kill, die and lose your bot tower in the process + feed a kill + tower/minion gold + burn your revive, etc.

TAKING THEIR BOT/KILLING THE ENEMY BOT IS A BONUS, NOT THE GOAL


Holding and keeping the lane semi-controlled while keeping your bot tower (or at least one of the bot towers) secure is what Dominion is *ALL* about.


Also, don't buy overlord Malzahar, you're announcing to the team that you're horrible. I've only seen one good one. Get like...Djinn or something.

Runes

Why I chose these runes is very obvious in conjunction to the masteries, and I roughly went over them a bit in the Masteries description.


[http://i.imgur.com/o2aKtV7.png]

Quints:


The Movement speed quintessences are so important that I'd rather lose the ability to cast W than to give up the Move speed quints. If you have furor boots ( or ), MS quints and frozen mallet, its going to be VERY difficult to get away from you.

Update: 11/21/13: Our rune/mastery setup gives us an extra 6% MS. Ritopls.
Marks:


Hybrid penetration just fits with what you need from E and your Voidlings. The fact that the hybrid reds recently got buffed means even better damage from more places. The armor penetration marks also got nerfed, so now hybrids do even MORE for his kit. The differences by the way:

Hybrid red values: .9 armor pen/.62 magic pen (per rune) - total pen value 13.6
Armor pen red values: 1.29 armor pen - total pen value 12

Differences: honestly not much, however I'm sure either would work just fine for late game, but I enjoy spreading my damage out so they have less of a chance to directly build against it. I've also noticed that, since I changed my rune setup, recently a lot of people are getting MR vs. me beginning/mid game because of just how much base damage E does. Sometimes QSS, (which trololol, I HOPE and want them to get QSS) sometimes just flat out MR.


Seals:


Hp regen/Level absolutely makes the difference in lane. Your problem is sustain, and this naturally assists you in "fixing" the one part of your kit that doesnt exist. After testing them out: I LOVE THE SCALING HP REGEN YELLOWS. DO THEM ALWAYS.


Glyphs:


I've changed my glyphs to accommodate more Cooldown Reduction. I honestly kind of love it. With this new setup, you do lose MR, but you can build into that, (See Frozen Mallet. Yes I said Frozen Mallet) and honestly CDR at this point, if you need to build more MR, (since no MR you can use has CDR on it) is more important than a bit of MR, in my opinion. You can set up multiple pages with max mr/level if you want, vs. this and try it out.

With Riot's new mastery page giving us a flat 5% CDR now, you can now rune for EXACTLY 5%! Hooray! (finally) I then slotted 3 scaling MR glyphs to accommodate the newfound space.

However, this setup, with Brutalizer, Frozen heart, 4 points in the cooldown mastery, and this rune setup, gives you 40%, no gaps needed, only voidlings, all the time.


Scaling MR is still tremendously viable, I just play aggressive and want the CDR early.

Masteries (So new, so improved - other than Utility ofc)

mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
22 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
4 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
4 Utility
These points are very fluid and I've changed them a few times, but I really feel that this is the best spread of them.


I really like the 22/4/4 mastery setup, I know that other guides recommend other mastery paths leading into defense, but I personally don't feel that it capitalizes enough on the build itself to be extremely effective. Granted I'm sure it works, but i just prefer more offense, as Malzahar's kit is designed to push, get out Voidlings and get aggressive.


Offense Tree


You just do *not* need attack speed, so don't bother.

The cooldown reduction in tier 1 is also self explanatory, we need spells to get voidlings, ergo, we want spells to be casted as often as possible. Getting the extra pen out of Devastating strikes makes his spells AND attacks hit that much harder, since his entire kit benefits from that mastery. Malefic Visions' base damage is already amazingly high (higher than Annie's and she's widely known to have insane base damage, seriously, look it up) and when you give it more heft it really does a lot more work for you than might think. Especially if the enemy tries to counter your build with only armor, you then still have E, Q (W puddle does almost nothing for you unless they just sit on it) and some magic penetration from runes and these masteries to help diversify your damage a bit.

Double edged sword is awesome, the end. Brutal Force/Martial Mastery is also self explanatory, need to has more AD, so, we get more AD.

Spell weaving and blade weaving also do 100% of what we want since all our hybrid destruction benefits from this, and you still auto attack quite a bit, if you're doing it correctly, so, again, beneficial for us here.

Havoc, Warlord, dangerous game and executioner all make your damage go through the ROOF. Especially with stacking damage, its only going to increase exponentially after a point.

These are easily the most overpowered mastery pages I've ever seen in my life, always take offense, people will disappear instantly with these things. And how!

Defense Tree


Going for the compliment to our rune setup, with HP regen masteries (because our regen isn't built into the kit, gotta pick some more up to compensate for lane sustain) and +Armor/MR is just always a good thing since we'll be getting Frozen Heart, or Spirit Visage. (maybe both!) But always good when you're a squishy champ and can get free resistances like that.

Utility


Phasewalker for improved recall for some emergency mid-fight battle recalls, .5 seconds can EASILY mean the difference between life or death, especially when mobility is key for a map.

Fleet of foot should be self-explanatory, moving fast on a champion with no escapes who's already a walking tank is outstanding.

That was easy!

Summoner Spells

Primary Set
Explanation:

The 1 spell you should always use:


- Revive is non-negotiable.


Even if you are the only person on your team doing so, always, ALWAYS take Revive.

This is a case where the sheer, potential power of what Revive lets you do drastically out-weighs the long cooldown of the spell, as well as the opportunity cost of a summoner spell slot.


Revive immediately brings you back to life on the summoner platform with a huge speed boost when used, and if you are specc'd into the mastery then it grants you a massive health steroid for a few minutes as well.

Revive is an extremely powerful spell with enormous game-changing potential on Dominion:

Very strong when the teams first battle it out, also extremely useful Bot Lane, if you get jumped, or just killed early: Revive immediately and they have to contend with you AGAIN. And in the case of Bot Lane, 9/10 times you'll stop that cap. A team without revive won't be as reactive, and essentially has to kill 10 people at certain points in the game.

Allows you to make one final crazy push at the end of the game, or to counter the enemies' push.
Allows you to deal with the aftermath of a lost fight (By saving your mid or bot points).
Bypasses the respawn comeback mechanics. Dying in Dominion doesn't give the enemy much XP or gold, but it does give a lot of control on the map, especially based on your team's positioning, their Revive and their death timers.

It also counters enemy Revives.

If used at the beginning of the game during the top fight, it can quickly get you back into the action, turning Windmill into a 5v4.
If you die in a teamfight later in the game and the enemy team is pushing your mid, you can revive and hold the point while the rest of your team is dead/healing and stall for them to help defend the point.

In general, it allows you to quickly reinforce nearly any point on the map in a matter of seconds.
Since Dominion is about capture-and-hold, this lets you strongly influence events in your teams favor.


Revive can be used to keep pressure on the enemy team, relieve pressure from your own, and make game-changing clutch plays/saves that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.


Do NOT use Revive without good reason.



If your team is already in full control of the map, and the enemy team has just been aced or otherwise sent back and none of your points are in danger, save your revive.

Good times to Revive:
  • If you die during the initial top fight.
  • If an enemy is backcapping one of your points.
  • If your team just got aced and the enemy is pushing on your mid.
  • If your bot just died and the enemy bot is pushing on that.
  • If you just died and a teamfight is about to occur.

Bad times to Revive:
  • If your team just won top, but the enemy team is dead or not in a position to threaten top.
  • If your team just got aced, but the enemy team went back to heal instead of pushing your points.
  • If your current death timer would allow you to reinforce on-time anyway.
  • Because you wanted to be alive again/push a spell off cooldown.

Treat Revive like you would Flash in ranked.
Before using it, ask yourself, "what can I get out of Revive if I use it right now?"

When someone Flashes just to get to lane faster, that's a waste of a Flash, the same possibility exists with poor Revive use.


Wasting Flash is a waste of a tremendously powerful high-utility spell that won't be available to you for almost the next 4 minutes.

The cooldown of Revive is over *twice* that of Flash, with even higher potential payoff, so make certain you get something out of it.

Even though Revive has such a long cooldown, the potential dividends of Revive drastically outweigh the cost, and I have seen countless well-timed Revives almost single-handedly win games.

There is a reason why most of the people in featured Dominion games and Dominion tournaments are using Revive.
Once you experience the sheer game-changing power of this spell, it's hard to justify using anything else.

(100% credit to HaIfhearted for ^ above ^ Revive description)



The second summoner you take, along with Revive



Definitely prefer it for the champion matchup + bonus AD/AP from the Mastery. The bonus damage from ignite will easily win you trades combined with your . Those two dots, one being true damage and the other's base damage being very high also, will always be devastating together. You can cast Ignite while you are channeling your Ultimate, Nether grasp.

This spell is great vs. sustain champions, anyone with lifesteal/spellvamp, it's awesome for securing kills bot lane and bringing them down to the level of sustain you have, which is none. This is 75% of why you bring ignite to a bot lane matchup, you know the lane is based on sustain, and if you can grievous them during your engagement at any time you want, well. That turns the tide quite a bit and can shut down their healing quite a bit.


Other options



I ran this for a while, and which I definitely suggest for beginning players because you will probably die a lot getting used to the kit and how it has zero escapes, unless you main in which case, there you go. Garrison is great combo'd with revive because garrisons range is pretty big believe it or not, so when you die, probably to a 1v2, you can come running down the ramp and just be mashing garrison the entire way down to stop the inevitable 1v3 cap on your bot tower.

But with revive and garrison early in your Malz gameplay it'll let you save your team from coming bot also. (90% sure I had garrison in those wins in the picture above) And teamwork is 100% about what Dominion is about. So definitely not a bad option whatsoever, I've just found myself not needing it bot anymore.

Highly recommended for beginner players.



Get this if you think that you might go up against some AD bot. Best in draft pick, since know thine enemy, but expect to get sat on by an AD if you're laning against an AP and vice versa, best for top lane, but still above average here.


Don't get:


The rest of the available options.



is worthless beyond compare, especially thanks to the self-healing debuff from the map itself.


is decent but you'll get more effective HP from ignite.

?
Just die and revive and come back instead. Just *don't* do this. Please. Not getting this summoner is the defining reason you build hp. You want to be able to take a hit and not have to sacrifice your build for it.


In General:


Ex: You need cleanse? Just get Scimitar. Need a heal? Buy Elisa's Miracle. Now you have cleanse/heals AND true damage (assuming you brought ignite). Don't sacrifice your build for some crappy summoner that doesn't benefit your kit whatsoever, and changes your build to shape around some summoner spell that doesn't even help you in the first place.

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Summon Voidling
QCall of the Void
WNull Zone
EMalefic Visions
RNether Grasp
-> -> ->

R -> E -> Q -> W

Explanation of the various skills and why level them this way, below.

Skills

Summon Voidling
Passive: Summon Voidling

After casting 4 spells, Malzahar summons a voidling for 21 seconds. Voidlings have 200+(50*level) health and 20+(5*level)+(100% bonus AD) attack damage. After 7 seconds, the voidling grows, gaining 50% increased armor and base attack damage. After 14 seconds, the voidling gains attack speed.

Armor: 30 (45 after 7 seconds)
Magic resistance: 50
Attack speed: 0.831 (1.496 after 14 seconds)
Movement speed: 451

Voidlings prioritize the target of Nether Grasp, then enemies suffering from the most recent Malefic Visions. If there are no targets affected by Malefic Visions, it will attack Malzahar's target.


Explanation:

His Voidlings are just outstanding. Just OUTstanding. I'm sorry for all of those of you who wanted to see the math on this, I'm awful at math and don't want to plagiarize another guides math.

Beginning warning: When your passive is ready to be activated, there is a bug, yes Riot knows about it, clearly low priority, but it is this: When you cast a spell to activate Summon Voidling, if you cast any spell(s) in the next .5/.6 seconds, you will NOT get more stacks of your passive. Cast the 4th spell to get your Voidling out, wait, do an auto attack, then continue casting. There is NO situation where spamming more spells without getting your passive stacks is worth it. (exception to every rule, I know, let's deal with the general for the time being)

Hopefully this made sense, but I'll try to shorten it anyway: Cast a spell to get your voidlings out, then stop casting for .5 seconds. The moment your Voidling comes out, there is a bug that prevents you from stacking your passive.

However I can tell you that I did do rough math and they do far and away more than his with a full AP build. They did more damage in a few seconds than his ult did all the time i casted it combined, I think the total damages were something like 20x more than specifically the ult, not magic damage in general, also that's a LOW estimate.

They also now respond MUCH better to target aquisition. But you'll REALLY need to keep an eye on them. They classically responded to whatever Malz' was affecting. And they still do, they also now respond to his and auto attacks from Malzahar himself. EXTREMELY handy. The most recent of those used will be where the voidlings attract, even though and the are easily the best ways because you don't need to change your spell casting routine for it.

Every 7 seconds an action happens with your voidling, keep that in mind. Their lifespan is 21 seconds, (MUCH longer than most reality TV stars) and all the while getting more attack damage and attack speed over that time, in 7 second intervals. If you can time your spells, just count to 7, watch 2 stacks of your tear; do whatever you need to do to keep track of them, especially if the enemy starts attacking them, be aware of how they're being affected by gameplay and compensate. But mostly just be aware, sometimes you can't follow up/respond.

Or listen for the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"static\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" or zapping style noise they make when they level up, if you're more auditory.

They scale 1/1 with Armor Penetration and Attack Damage. Yes. And they grow and do more damage and attack quicker with every growth, and are quite durable. If you can get them out in a champion battle and need to sacrifice a few stacks of tear to do it, GO for it. EVERY time. Especially if you can get 2 out almost at the same time, DO it. It's exponentially powerful. with max CDR you can get 3 out for about 4-6 seconds depending on timing. That is the absolute kiss of death for any champion, I don't care who they are/how much armor/HP they have, they're toast.

Factors to watch: growth, time until death, time until next growth, how many you have out, how many you can get out with the mana you have now. Just to name a few. They are the LIFEBLOOD of your damage, make sure you always have the ability to pump them out. If not, just push the wave a bit and B to base, nothing wrong with that, plus no doubt you'll pick up a new item while most of the time the enemy champion is still dealing with your wave.

Fun fact, they also apply stacks of just like your auto attacks do, oopsie!
Call of the Void
Q: Call of the Void

Active: Malzahar opens up two portals to the Void. After a short delay, power erupts from them, dealing magic damage and silencing all enemies caught between the portals.
Cooldown: 9 seconds
Range to center of wall: 900
Wall width: 400 (estimate)

Cost: 80/90/100/110/120 mana
Total Magic Damage: 80/135/190/245/300 (+0.8 per ability power)
Silence Duration: 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6/3 seconds


Explanation:


Landing this spell successfully is what will win you the lane no question about it. Check my videos section for examples of this. I cannot overemphasize this enough.



This is where we start to get to the real meat and potatoes of this guide. The silence duration is THE longest in the game at 3 seconds. You thought it was bad when you got hit by crows (yes the fear is still idiotic), or sigil or Q, which admittedly is about .4 seconds less than Malz Q (2.6 at max rank), and Cho'gath recently being nerfed to 2.5 on Feral Scream is hefty, too. But still making Malz Q the longest silence in the game! If you thought those guys were bad, you haven't had the pleasure of being hit by this bad mammajamma yet. It's AoE AND it reveals terrain!

And by pleasure I mean the polar opposite.

The delay of Q threw me off at first, but its AWESOME for baiting people. What I mean is that in Dominion, for those unfamiliar with it, 90% of the matchup is skill, the other 10% is the champions kits, in my personal opinion. Moving with that thought in mind, if you can pretend to run away and cast q behind you where you know the champion will be running (not like this is new info) ta-daa, you just got THREE FREE seconds to set up part of your combo/the whole darn thing on them. That's a Malefic Visions and/or an auto attack and possibly an Ult setup. More often than not it's stupifyingly effective in one of those ways.

Most of the time I'll let the champion hit me with their combo, if it's , I'll usually set up scatter the weak FOR her. (remember their CD's if you can, basically count to 6-8 for most AP casters with any cooldown reduction, unless its and her Q is on a ludicrously low CD, like 2 seconds w/o CDR) And then if I'm feeling sassy, cast q while I'm stunned, to prove I can do it, but that doesn't help me whatsoever, so I wait until I'm not stunned to capitalize on all 3 seconds of silence, assuming I land it.

Main idea: This lets you set up the rest of your combos, stops them from casting important things while theyre combo'ing you, eg. casting your Q when an enemy will Ult you (you just gotta..know it/let him set up the obvious combo on you) and stopping his Ultimate with your Q while you're suppressed in the enemy's Ultimate. And let's you turn a fight that you might otherwise have lost. Eg. you're being chased by a low HP mage, 3 seconds of silence = not what they wanted.

It's excessively satisfying to pull off.

One other thing that recently made this skill amazing and a half is the fact that the hitbox is bigger and that it now reveals terrain. Think some fancypants is hiding in a bush? Make 'em pay for it! in bottom grass you'll ALWAYS want to throw your Q parallel to the grass itself so you hit the whole thing.

Max it by 13.
Null Zone
W: Null Zone

Active: Malzahar creates a zone of negative energy for 5 seconds. The zone deals magic damage to enemies that stand in it for percentage of their max health each second. (damage to monsters is capped)
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Range to center of AoE: 800
Radius of AoE: 250 (estimate)
Maximal damage vs. monsters: 130 (estimated)

Cost: 90/100/110/120/130 mana
Health To Magic Damage Per Second Ratio: 4/5/6/7/8% (+1% per 100 ability power)
Total Health to Magic Damage: 20/25/30/35/40% (+5% per 100 ability power)


Explanation:

Yeah it does % damage and that's great and all, but it's the same concept with havoc, its % is horrible overall, even more so without AP. And nobody who's not forced to be in it will ever just sit in it unless you cast it mid battle in which case, that helps you maneuver how you want because people think as soon as they step on it, that it's so powerful that it'll uninstall their copy of League of Legends. But as for positioning, if you dont want someone to hit a health pack, just slap it on there with a and you just made them regret that decision entirely.

The main point I want to bring out about this is that it is NOT a necessity when setting up a combo with AD Malz. It's semi-effective for pushing lanes, but its BEST use by far is the ability to cast it while moving. The other thing it's decent for, is finding out where people are. If you do damage to someone it'll show up on your screen that you're damaging a champion, top left for myself, so that's semi useful also since you don't need it for much else.

I mainly use it for stopping champion captures of towers, since takes just a second to do damage, and since you attack slowly, depending how close they are to finishing the capture, that's also not a great option. works for that, but remember that delay can hose you there.

Max it dead last, but put 1 point in it early in base, only to assist stacks. Otherwise, its a completely non-essential skill.
Malefic Visions
E: Malefic Visions

Active: Malzahar infects his targets mind, dealing magic damage every half seconds for 4 seconds. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass the curse on to a nearby enemy unit, refreshing the duration and restoring mana to Malzahar. Malzahars Voidlings are attracted to affected units.
Range: 650

Cost: 60/75/90/105/120 mana
Cooldown: 15/13/11/9/7 seconds
Total Magic Damage: 80/140/200/260/320 (+0.8 per ability power)
Magic Damage per Half Second: 10/17.5/25/32.5/40 (+0.1 per ability power)
Mana Restored: 10/14/18/22/26


Explanation:

Pretty much his flagship skill other than . When using this, just as AP Malz would, just slap it on an almost dead target and let it do the work for you because of its high base damage and assist from runes and masteries. If you can, excluding mana issues, slap it on enemy champions and then hit them with an auto attack about 1/2 of the times that you meet them at the creep wave. You pushing the wave while drinking lemonade out in the back yard will be enough of a nightmare for them, let alone them eating extra harass from you, your e, and a voidling chasing them out of lane.

Voidling magnetism is the main reason this exists, other than pushing waves. About to ? Slap and count to 3, wait for your Voidlings to show up and THEN , *yoink* gg. 1 of your lings grew at this point, hands down, or you just made a new one by the time the others showed up.

Max it by level 9
Nether Grasp
R: Nether Grasp

Active: Malzahar grips his target in an engulfing void of energy and begins channeling, dealing magic damage every half second while suppressing the target for up to 2.5 seconds.
Cost: 150 mana
Range: 700

Cooldown: 120/100/80 seconds
Magic Damage per Half Second: 50/80/110 (+0.26 per ability power)
Total Magic Damage: 250/400/550 (+1.3 per ability power)


Explanation:

As much as I've mentioned this skill, its also not necessary. I know that sounds weird.


Work with me on this one:


Necessity doesn't mean not handy, it's excessively convenient, but again, alongside , does next to no damage. View this as a massive utility spell more than anything else. It's only use is to let the voidlings catch up to the target, that's IT. That's why when people buy I laugh all the way to the bank, because I don't need the ultimate at ALL. serves the exact same purpose, but in a different way. If they're close enough, I'll just keep auto attacking them, to keep up, (plus, with mini-ghost PLUS Frozen Mallet, your voidlings are perpetually on them )and then 2/3 times they don't get away/live to tell the tale of AD Malzahar.

As a joke, ult someone in a custom game or something with this build with no voidlings out, heck even cheat and put your under them while you . You'll be amazed at how bad the damage is even with how good the scaling is and that's in addition to all the help you're giving it with runes and masteries.

Also, a personal philosophy of mine is that when you see a champion at maximum 40%-45% (yes that specific) of their max HP, (depending on the resists/amount of hp your enemy has, how big your Voidling is) this, with minimum one semi-grown voidling, and and an E/Ignite + auto will do the trick 99% of the time. Obviously the lower on HP they are the better, but I usually call time of death at a max of 40%, personally. Most people (specifically most Malz players) don't view this as a finisher, because they want to derp you onto a puddle and kill you without doing work for it. wrong-o. This in every comprehensive way is THE finishing move in the game in my personal opinion. (Yes, I'm including Karthus, people cant DO anything when you're ulting them, people can hourglass a Karhthus ult) Prepared correctly it will be one of the best ways to turn a bad situation in your favor.

I am without explanation of number of how many times I have double/triple/quadra'd teams by simply using Voidling manipulation to dispatch 1 champion, then Ult the next on that dives at me, Q the next etc. ALL because your ultimate lets you do your damage while you're not taking a lick of it, unless they blow Ignite or something in which case: oh no. watch out. They're suppressed and you probably have about 2.5k hp.

Also don't be afraid to use your ult even if you won't kill the champion? why? Why, to lull them into a false sense of security of course! Probably 95% of the time, I'll choke my ult on purpose, do about 1/2 their HP in damage and then back off like \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"oh noes i used my ult too early.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" But what they don't know is that I don't need it. They'll usually get all cocky and confident and start to chase me, in which case I'll turn right around, auto them, making me faster, them slower, and my voidlings are already behind me, meaning closer to them, and that's usually it for most decent/bad players. (again, i have plenty of videos of this, I just need to figure out how to upload-zify them)

However BIG note. Be careful doing this in tower range. The tower just gets to *pummel* you while you do it, so be sure to kill your target or know that you won't get killed while you do it or you will seriously regret it. I've gotten greedy I don't know how many times and died to this, and it upsets me every time, so I've stopped doing dives that I don't know if I will win or not. Why is that ok? just push the wave! You're Malzahar! And partly/mostly why I swapped out that Safeguard mastery in the Defense tree.


Level it at every opportunity as usual with ultimates even though the overall damage isn't amazing, and be sure to have any voidling(s) out when casting it or you're just letting them know that you don't know the kit at all.

Item Builds

Here's where you're going to spend time deciding. But not much, there really aren't a lot of options. (for good players) I'll lay out the options, but it's a classic case of circumstance:

Core items

/


Boots

/


Always start with these.


Start with this, most of the time: , OR this if you're expecting early harass and want to trade better:

Crystalline Flask removes the need for garbage like Vampiric Scepter and saves you 800 gold in the process. It provides HP AND Mana regen in one active, it's absolutely excellent for lane sustain.

Do --> NOT <--- start with just Tear and Flask.


This is a death sentence, absolutely NEVER do it. You NEED the mobility. If you go into lane like this, you WILL be killed. We have MS quints for a reason. Here's a scenario: a Fast pusher with some poke (maybe Diana, idk) gets in your lane, you can't back because you wont make it back in time before they cap, even with boots. So you have to stay in lane and hold the lane. Why is that not optimal? You don't have ANY MS and you forgot that the HP relics (alone but even + flask) sustain you VERY well early game!

People ask me if it's worth it to get flask, DO IT for this build. The sustain it provides is beyond a necessity, and you can get it with starting gold!

Why ?


Your kit needs mana, like humans need blood, to consistently heap out the damage, end of story. While adding AD thanks to the Passive - Awe, you also get a bonus to your autos, which, who cares. You need the mana pool and increased AD for your Voidlings. Turn it off when laning, with no enemy champions around, so that you dont suck up your mana pool in a few autos on minions. Remember, the lower your *current* mana, the lower your bonus damage from "Awe" will be. Feel free to stack your passive right on up with muramana, the faster you get the stacks for voidlings up and out, the better. However always make sure you have at LEAST/bare minimum about 1/3 mana before you fight anyone, especially if you decide to leave Muramana on during the engage. Unfortunately it doesn't activate with Malzahar's Ult, because Nether Grasp is technically a DoT, even though it IS single target. Muramana doesn't proc off DoT's, so good information to know there.

One other note: when you have / :

CAST SPELLS EVERY TIME YOU CAN.


While walking out of the base, on the side of the minion wave, on the minion wave, ANYWHERE keep casting them. If you don't get Muramana as soon as reasonably possible, your damage will be much less mid game and mostly late game and you can NOT have that. With Riot's new tooltips for Manamune Tear of the Goddess, it makes it MUCH easier to see when you are able to get another stack. Auto attacks will also trigger this item's cooldown. If there is a wave to be cleared, you don't need to cast Q + W + E for 3 minions. You really don't. Your auto's plus the Q OR E will be plenty of damage to get the wave where you need it to be. Thus when Manamune is cooled down, you'll have a to put down on the next wave, and keep your stacks steadily increasing.

*IF YOU'RE NOT --> *ALWAYS* <-- CASTING SPELLS, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG*


Against AD:

And/OR Also: . Very helpful.


However I recommend one *OR* the other between Guardian Angel and Frozen Heart. I've gotten both and found it effective at times, but it does nothing for your damage and the CD on GA is 5 minutes and you cant afford to keep selling it/buying it every 5 minutes. I had so much money however, that I could do that, but it's only happened once and "exception to every rule", blah blah blah, it's not great, try to avoid it.

(Go GA only if you *know* you have the 1v1/1v2 matchup in the bag, because fun fact, those sneaky little voidlings don't go away when GA activates, they keep attacking! oopsie, time to abuse that mechanic)

When building Frozen Heart do [title]*NOT*
start with a Warden's Mail. It just doesn't do anything for you by itself. Starting Glacial Shroud is much more effective for these reasons: armor + CDR which you need badly early game + mana <-- BIG reason.

Why am I not putting more items for against AD? guess what? Your build already includes 2 items that do nothing but utility for you: you NEED damage. You want more defense? Do what everyone else does and go RoA/Rylais defense AP Malz and sit on your tower. Well have fun doing that, because I'm too busy getting kills and outplaying people. Yes I realize everyone has boots, but it needs to be factored in that thats a useless item other than movement speed. If you're going to die, guess what, you're going to die, no two ways about it. At this level of gameplay its "outplay or die", not "What items can I build to make me invicilol?". Doesn't work like that with this kit.

If you include in your build you're getting it SOLELY if the other person has lifeteal, or high burst AD, eg. Riven. The CDR from Frozen Heart will serve you better if you have to choose between items. (because you're getting ganked by AP or something stupid)

TM won't have enough time to make it cost effective (in most situations). You're building one HP item, MAYBE.


What do I mean by this? Buying it early will sacrifice your HP AND damage, both of which you need to even maintain lane presence. Buying it mid game will mean you're also sacrificing damage that you could be getting, Black Cleaver etc., in order to get armor that doesn't even have CDR on it. Or again, sacrificing Frozen Mallet, which is also stupendously helpful for staying alive AND securing kills.

It's good vs sustain champs, so consider it if your opponent has a gangload of lifesteal, but it's just not AS effective for your overall kit and build strategy. Remember item slots here are more valuable than the item itself.

You're essentially building Urgot, but your range isn't nerfed into the ground like his is. This to give you an idea of overall build. However where Urgot has some flexibility for his build goals, you really don't.

Against AP:


I'll start this part by saying 2 things:

1) If you can afford it on the first or second back, just buy an early and shut them down. It's so cost effective it's SILLY.

2)
is absolutely atrocious for Malzahar's build, kit and overall life ambitions combined. Never buy it EVER.


NO champion that is doing magic damage (other than like...or) will be standing next to you, so that automatically eliminates the active portion. Oh you're taking 10% less magic damage? Neato, but just get HP instead and hard counter them while actually doing something useful for your build. Odyn's is a soggy Band-Aid in my opinion.

BUT I CAN ACTIVE ELISE INTO NEXT WEEK. Didn't read Odyn's did we? It's got a cap on the damage stored and any non-moron will mouse over how much you've saved up and hang back. Which btw, you need to take 4000 damage to get the max damage return from Odyn's. And that is the duration of about 2-4 fights/engages/skirmishes, at *least*. Not only that, your voidlings and 1 of your auto attacks will do more than 600 damage (which by the way you have to wait to use, you aren't a bob-omb from Mario, you don't get the max active every time you want it) in under the time it will take you to press the button for Odyn's active.

Oh, think I'm kidding/full of malarky etc? TONS of logic to follow, because blowing smoke isn't my style.

Buckle up: If you're already attacking them and you're at 3/4 HP with frozen mallet, and the'yre lower than you? 10/10 times they're running away, no range for veil actiive. And on the other hand your Voidlings don't have a cap on damage. They look like they don't care about caps on damage because they truly don't care. Yes, you get 14 more MR, and that's not bad, the item is, but the MR isn't. However remember the item goal is to compliment this very specific kit, and Odyn's Veil does not do that in any way shape or form. I understand it on , zero questions about that for him, but not for this build.

Odyn's with the passive is SURELY better than Frozen Mallet, Nerdock, you don't know what you're talking about again!

[http://i.imgur.com/cjxpWyz.jpg]


If you have 2k HP and 0 MR, BFT burns you for 100 damage, Odyn's makes it 90. CALL THE PAPERS.
I'd rather have the larger health pool in the first place. For a Malz at level 11, Odyn's Effective HP is 2600. Frozen Mallet's is 2700.

Not ONLY all of this, BUT if they rush BFT, idc who it is, + Void staff, you're going to have a bad time. Void staff will do literally NOTHING against Frozen Mallet, consider that if they build high pen, which you have to do since it's Dominion.

The ONE and only time I would recommend this item is against heavy heavy AP that you're having a problem living against, but since we've already established that around mid-game, Frozen Mallet gives more effective HP than Odyn's, you'd need to buy them tandem. HP + resistances IS awesome, since the value of QSS is even lower than negatron cloak, unfortunately your best bet is Frozen Mallet + Odyn's Vs. Heavy AP. If you can still get scimitar and aren't totally pressed for gold, try it, but otherwise, just tank up.


Generally speaking?:

It's GARBAGE, please don't buy it. Why? Look no further!


Why are the premium items for Malz' kit: (since MR items are currently a joke)




This should be your Go-To for a first MR item.

Building it out of an early Negatron Cloak will do you wonders, since NC is so cost effective as it is. The CDR + massive effective HP alone makes this item awesome, but it now also gives you sustain! Way too good. This combined with your HP regen runes/masteries and possibly Elisa's Miracle can get you past 100 HP/5, yes I've done it, it's like you have a passive Mundo ult going off, it's INSANE.

This item will be a core MR item on EVERYONE for MR, but especially on Malz, it'll amp up our sustain in a huge way. Not only that you can actually itemize CDR in MR now, it's a beautiful thing.

View this as Frozen Heart but for MR.



Maw is phenomenal. Not only are you getting MR and a free shield, but you're getting bonus AD, and yes, you guessed it, that means your Voidlings get it, too! Low on hp? That's the best time for them to get greedy! You have about 2.5k hp and are willing to let it go to 14 to bait your opponent into diving you. BIG mistake. Maw is absolutely excellent for this kit in every way, there is NO downside other than it not giving health, but Warmog's doesn't give AP, so there you go, same concept.

3.9 Patch


Maw of Malmortius

Attack Damage increased to 60 from 55
Magic Resist increased to 40 from 36
Passive now grants 1 Attack Damage for every 2% of missing Health, up from 2.5%
Passive now capped at 35 Attack Damage, down from 40
Fixed a bug where the cooldown was not properly resetting when upgrading from a Hexdrinker on cooldown

WOOT!

Why ?


People are puzzled by this one, but if your opponent get's void staff early and you don't want to throw away money, but still need defense AND damage (refer to Odyn's veil description), look no further! The damage got buffed by 33%, which is already ridiculous, let alone the fact that it's the highest HP item in Dominion, not only that, the auto's let your voidlings stick to your target excellently. Not only that % Magic Pen doesn't affect HP pool, booyah!



Also a good item, but something I would only get if I was getting hard CC'd. Eg. Veigar, Malzahar,(didnt see that coming after i ragged on qss, huh?) Lux, Syndra,(only helps with her stun) Kennen(but he explodes instantly anyway since he has no defense) More on these in matchups. Also, fun fact, its only 5 MR less than Odyn's, which we can all agree, is an enormous waste of life, time and money.

Quick math with Nerdock!


+ = 50 hp/5, hooray lane sustain!

SV you're getting ANYWAY, and elisa's miracle is 1100. Like why wouldn't that happen lol? You become plain unkillable in lane, and essentially immune to magic dmg, in tandem with say, maw and frozen mallet.

General items that rule for AD Malzahar: (in no particular order, but coincidentally GA would be last on the list)




(this is fine to keep "as-is", if you need to go to a defense build, don't underestimate the damage, like Negatron Cloak it's extremely cost efficient)


OR and/or /


Since people haven't figured out yet that Boots 3 gives basically more tenacity*. It's also handy to have the extra movement speed, but real tenacity vs stuns and snares is also good, and the MR never huts. It's up to your discretion. Per my situations, if I'm fighting snare champions, I'll normally get Swiftness + , because I'm always looking at the champion, always looking where they will put their snares and roots. If I can bait it out, boots 3 gives me 2 advantages: 1) I will run faster from my bait point, 2) I will then run faster TO them/where I want to start my play from. Just my preference. If i can get them to waste a Lux Light Binding (Q) by out positioning/baiting it, then the tenacity I would have had is now wasted, because I'm not snared, and I'm moving slower for it. (yes Merc Treads gives MR and that's definitely not to be discounted at all)

Again, personal preference, I'm really REALLY enjoying boots 3 for multiple reasons. Not only that, why have less of a stun/snare, when you can just avoid it alltogether? Assuming skillshot champions, Brand, Lux, Xerath, Zyra. If you can successfully avoid their skillshots, 100% guaranteed they'll start to focus on the wave. why? Because they can't hit you!



Again, situational for the inevitable 1v1 / 1v2 /1vTheWholeTeamIsSavingTheirUltsForOnlyYou engagements. The resists are minimal in my opinion, for a solo bot lane, and with NO other redeeming qualities. The cost nerf, means utility nerf, and lo, the nerf was great, and the sorrow went out throughout the land. It's a 5 minute cd for 50 armor and 30 mr, just get +, problem solved.

Yes, it's still average/decent, I'm just not a fan, but it's an option. *shrug*


And yes is also viable. But I'd only do that with , or champions that I HAVE to out-position vs am able constantly harass with Furor enchant, personally. which I've been getting more and more thanks to tanky champions that I need to kite (Urgot, Singed, Trundle) and do much more poke to before I actually go all in on.

Yes, It's a short list of items.

Other probably viable items that I prefer to not get:



(I'm completely kidding, its still atrocious)

/ (Grez' being the more preferable option)
(idk, against like or something if you're getting shroomed into next week and want to wring his little yordle neck for it, or eve, or ganks in general.)


I feel that Athene's could be semi-viable if you *absolutely* NEEDED MR and not armor, I *COULD* see myself sacrificing this, if 4/5 people on their Team were AP, and including it in a build with + . Probably the least bad of all the other "semi-viable" options, but definitely not a "must have", for your kit at all.

These items are good overall. Again, we want to compliment our kit to the best of our ability. To that end, the only one or two I'd REALLY endorse would be Iceborn Gauntlet or Randuins Omen. And that's a huge maybe. In fact, I already take that back.



Why I don't like Iceborn Gauntlet:


It gives 1/2 the CDR of Frozen heart. It has AP on it. It requires you to auto attack/use your mana/cast spells, INCESSANTLY to get the benefit. It takes up a valuable item slot. It's only a 20% slow Vs. Frozen Mallet's. BUT NERDOCK ITS AOE. You're fighting ONE champion 75% of the time. *facepalm*

Why I like Iceborn Gauntlet: It has the sheen passive. THE END.

Why I don't like Randuin's:


Randuin's means you need to/get to/have to <-- stack more resists (you don't even get to stack HP, yes I know Randuin's has a tad of HP, other than that no utility, its the equivalent of 1/2 a Warmog's on dominion for all intents and purposes) or again, like Odyn's Veil, the active means nothing/is somehow more worthless, than Odyn's, for your kit. And if you build TOO tanky, you won't even be able to kill your aggressor. eg. Randuin's + Frozen Heart + Iceborn Gauntlet = Their Kassadin will come gank you and make your life miserable. Balance your build out.

So, decent, but Frozen-Heart does the job way better thanks the 20% CDR and extra mana you get, which both mean extra AD.

could be good splashed into the build against champions like
or who you need to just not be around and instead harass. This item actually makes your a bit more viable. Get it if you feel you're having to really get through a tanky champion with more difficulty than expected, and use more poke with your spells than harass from your autos. But overall MUCH more valuable on a full AP build and I wouldn't straight recommend it in an AD build.


Pls stahp. Dunt do it evar.


Regarding Banner, I have yet to try it. Apparently the overall damage increases by 15% for Malzahar's minions, since the item does not specify that it does not affect Champion pets/minions. I resolutely believe that the item slot is too important to give up for now, but again, I have not played with this item as an option. I fully intend to try this item at some point (probably in a custom) and see if I notice a change in gameplay. (faster/slower kills etc) However I would almost guarantee that Last Whisper would be more damage overall based on Dominion's penetration based meta.

Items to plain NEVER get:




You get CDR elsewhere, cleaver, frozen heart, masteries etc. So don't buy these for this particular build, even though viable elsewhere.

Ditch this garbage.


I've seen a few people get these items and you do NOT need lifesteal or crit, you don't auto attack ever. If you are auto attacking, you're doing it for the frozen mallet utility, or because you're out of spells to cast for some reason. (cd's/oom) However you get to wait at least 1.33 between attacks, because your auto attack speed is awful (and rightly so, you're an AP caster at heart) you JUST don't do it often enough to warrant other on hit effects.You need raw damage, gunblade is *decent* because its such an overall good item, but it doesnt compliment your kit as well as something else you could be getting.

I did research on items such as Sanguine Blade, Phage, etc. and the voidlings do not activate the on-hits for those items. The Black Cleaver/Last Whisper only requires you to do physical damage in some way to your enemy (Our way is voidlings, of course). The items like Sanguine Blade, Trinity force, Executioner's Calling, etc. require and specify YOU to do the basic attacks necessary for the item's effect. As you know, minions don't count as your basic attacks, but clearly they are physical damage and part of Malz' kit. A Sanguine Blade with no stacks on it is a Last Whisper with no armor penetration and just about as much flat damage. Sanguine is 65, LW is of course, 40. Oh and when you ult? Yes, the stacks vanish, sounds like a good time, where do I sign?

The point of this?: The point is you aren't Xin Zhao, you don't auto at 2.04 attack speed. Don't bother with Sanguine Blade, bother with Frozen Mallet or Iceborn Gauntlet (which still does almost nothing for you) instead. Almost anything is better than Sanguine Blade.

On that note, I've seen people waste money on Vampiric Scepter. It's worthless for your kit. Remember if you want sustain, back and get a Crystalline Flask, it will heal you for more GUARANTEED, and also gives you mana. This is a mini-catalyst and a very good item to keep all the way until you're ready to get your 6th item. It's hugely underrated.

Lane Matchups

This is primarily what I made this guide for. I'll do my best to be comprehensive, but again, this is only in my experince, which is considerable, and I've had people disagree with some of the matchups, which I'll list, but I believe these are all fairly accurate.

However the biggest *disclaimer I can put up is: THESE ALL DEPEND ON SKILL LEVEL 100%.


I will also not say this under every matchup, but mean it for every single one:


Read. the. lane. opponent.


If they suck and you can harass them for free? DO IT. If you can't, then don't and just focus on pushing the wave instead, no harm done at all by doing that. Addressing item building specifically, if you notice you're out trading them, decide whether to out tank them (if they're AD, I usually (try to) make life miserable for them and go Frozen Heart or Frozen Mallet second item) or out damage them if you see fit. Build accordingly. This is where you have some freedom, if you need the defense, you tank up instantly and very well, especially with Glacial Shroud early. You're not locked into a specific item build order.


On a champion, will indicate, from my experience, rarely seen in lane.



Do little to no work easy


And you're asking yourself "Nerdock. Come ON. Now you're just listing champs because you can/want to pat yourself on the back." NO. These are all champions I've seen start bot lane either regularly or on occasion at some point, I won't exclude their viability.

Also, 90% of bruisers in most of the game you will destroy played correctly. Mid game they MIGHT beat you, depending on their build and depending how many of them come down to kill you, minimum 6 will come kill you when they realize you don't suck at this, and will sit on you bot and sit on your point.

This isn't me being a jerk. Whenever I see any of these champions bot, no matter how good the player is, I know that they're toast. Your kit just smacks them around.

Mages




A good fiddlesticks STILL won't beat you. I had one in a lane outplay me, because I was feeling lazy, and I still won. Sometimes it's just the lane/kit matchup. But get MR early; second item Scimitar, screw that guy's fear up.


All these AP casters just evaporate. You'll have a mildly harder time when they build some HP, but it really won't matter in the long run at all.


Just dodge the skillshots which are ridiculously easy to do. He can push, but not until late game and by that time its over because you dominate mid game. Boots 3 and read the brand, don't get hit by his stuns if you can help it. If he all-in's you? sure, get merc treads, the MR always helps. Also skip the middleman of tenacity and just get boots 3 + Spirit Visage. Avoiding the skillshots = 100% tenacity.

too squishy to deal, even if she gets catalyst first, which means her damage will also suffer early game, whereupon you can take advantage of both 1v1 matchups and of pushing the lane. Build:Early Negatron Cloak into Brutalizer straight into Spirit Visage. Also Merc treads. She'll hit you with the bear and her Q is targeted, or I'd call for boots 3.


If Graggy Ice is played right and gets tanky enough he will trade with you, but you can still easily outskill him.



To cover the carries: They're hyper carries on a map designed for quick gameplay. Yeah they push the wave and you might not be able to dive them on tower. You're holding your tower and have a member of their team pinned who is doing the most damage for their team, probably, thanks to their farm, etc. oh. no. However 6 items vs. 6 items they can/most likely will out-trade you because of their sustain and the fact they kill your main source of AD: Voidlings R.I.P. Consider an EARLY Thornmail here if this is the case, but 9/10 games, a hyper carry's build is so expensive that they won't normally get all of it. Again, gauge the lane, and if you decide to go AP against them, since they can shoot your Voidlings instantly, decide EARLY. Because setting up AD vs one then transferring TO AP will be considerably harder to do, but overall, you can snowball them early, try to take advantage of that.




You just sit on his early game like it's your job. Dude's got NO range, and your Voidlings ignore his Block passive, oopsiee!


Weird I know, but he can oranges all he wants, remember, we no longer care about his Citrusy escape antics. His wave clear is terrible and dueling your minions for him ends in disaster.


I'm not going to even bother clarifying how brainlessly easy this lane is.

(1 disagree)
I've *ALWAYS* said Ezreal is a "get out of fail free" champion. Oh I failed and got caught out of position? Sec. Arcane Shifting. And I always will, but you can still get your mitts on him. While he may be mobile, he can NOT push the lane at ALL like you can. using that to your advantage, most times you dont need to even land kills on him, just push him, zone him, and let your minions do the capping.

You can also go AP here to push/harass ez a bit better with E, but your hybrid base damage overall is just nasty, but more AP focus will help you win duels, AD will keep the lane pushed harder, but he can hit your minions from extra range, so that's why the recommendation for AP here.

Most Fizz players are horrible, which works out for you awesomely, but a good Fizz is rare and also dangerous, I've only seen one, but he's still killable. Don't really worry about the matchup, remember that landing your will win you that lane, especially instantly after he uses his Playful/Trickster. (Hop/Trollpole) When Trollpole is gone that's it for him, he has ZERO defense and you can easily capitalize all over that. Because he needs Trollpole for 3 things: to push the lane, to escape you, or to do damage to you. He can't use it for all 3, nor will a good Fizz try to do so.

Easy Lanes Until about mid/Late game:


Cassi is difficult late game because she can push waves MUCH faster than you can, and I know that's hard to believe, but it's the case. However early and mid game is yours for the taking since she has to buy all of her sustain and you've since thrown yours out the window and gone for the correct build of all damage/not caring about living. Not only that, her range is atrocious, and your Q can hit someone halfway across the map, so your range is also something you have going for you in a big big way. It's also easy to get boots 3 with cassi and just dodge her skillshots; when cassi players see you dodge their skillshots effectively, 9/10 theyll stick to pushing the wave, since they know they wont be able to poke or trade with you.

A good cass will actually land the stun ults. Decide if you need Maw or Scimitar here based on how often you're stunned. You're getting scimitar? Don't bother with merc treads, you're already shaking off the stun, why make it a quicker stun that you're dismissing? Get boots 3 and avoid her aoe instead, which by the way, is her entire kit.

Swain for the obvious reason that he just sustains like a champ. your ignite will take care of him most of the time, but most swains will sit back on their tower and just Ravenous Flock the wave as it comes in to prevent your push, easier than cassi for SURE, because he doesn't push lanes as quickly, but still can be difficult to score kills on late game because of how tanky/sustain-y he gets.

Medium difficulty lanes:



Backstory: This is a lane that I didn't think I was going to have a problem with at all. BIG MISTAKE. So, NewbV3, (real good DominateDominion player) absolutely demolished me to pieces under his unstoppable truck of pain, misery and bad decisions, and tore me asunder, on my Malzahar. (thats probably an understatement) And I was completely ok with that. Why? Because. I. Learn. I wasn't upset in the SLIGHTEST. (If anything I was happy!) My team was horrified/shocked that I lost a bot lane and were a bit down that we lost, understandably. But no problem, I got into the next game, saw the riven pick, knew EXACTLY what I was going up against and played it differently:

Tactics: At any and all costs DON'T let riven ever get CLOSE to you. That includes forgoing bush control, you push MUCH harder than she does, and you can keep the wave where you want it. At level 3 you're at such an enormous disadvantage is disgusting. You can do one of two things here: You can start AP heavier and harass with E + W (Q is almost impossible to land unless: A) they suck / B) you know Riven's Q+E is on CD), OR... you can do what I did and just play smarter. (always my preferred option) ONLY focus on pushing the wave. The rest will work itself out without you trying.

Riven attacks your voidlings? Great! Put all your spells down on her, since 100% she will use abilities to activate her passive to try to destroy them quicker/push the wave simultaneously. While that's the correct tactic for Riven, it also sets her up for complete failure since she'll be standing completely still and that will let you land spells on her all day and night. Some of which being, oh, I don't know, Q. Q to stop said Riven ability activating. If close, she will run directly into brush hoping you'll follow. DON'T DO IT,
[http://i.imgur.com/yAcEujm.jpg]


That being said, Start with: along with your tear and boots. You won't need the sustain, since it won't help you if you misplay and let her get close, since you'll just get bursted down idiotically fast, anyway. Push the wave, harass with E where you can. *Important: Also, at mid game/after your first item, if she DOES manage to come up on you, you can trade with her, NO problem, even with one Voidling out and an E on her.

End of that sad tale previously mentioned? I was driving the pain truck the next game. ;)

Build: and/or (I did "and") . You can also build if you're afraid of the inevitable lane swap, instead of Frozen Heart. However, I preferred the CDR from FH.


Here's another bruiser who needs late game to do something against you. His gap closing and random stealth moves are just SUPER annoying. Without the benefit of pink wards, and since you're not stupid enough to get lightbringer, your only real recourse here is wait until mid game (or oracles if you're staying alive). Yes I've ulted the clone, (less than 5 times, ever) sue me. There is NO warning when he stealthclones away, so it might happen, again not a HUGE deal since you don't need your ult, but also you don't want this idiot hitting you and your voidlings at the same time. Depending on his start items, he may be in the lane to harass and try to push, or just do what most do and just go for the 1v1 matchup.

Originally I thought that wukong would be a problem early game and he *can* be but, first, gauge your opponent's playstyle, see how well you trade with him/if he even tries to trade with you. But if you're getting out-traded on, just try to push out the wave, run back for HP relics etc. But if you can see that you're out trading him, he can't out push you anyway, in any way shape or form, and you can freely harass him with Q+Auto's and just E the wave.

Most will usually go for the standard: Merc treads/QSS/Phage/Black Cleaver/Yomuu's. You're not worried, Build: Frozen Heart/Thornmail and a bit of damage (Manaumne/Brutalizer) is enough to deal with this monkey man, believe it or not.


So this a lane I underestimated since her kit is so incredibly weak at the moment. Yet it's still in Medium, why? I didn't notice her building BFT. BFT is surprisingly good on her thanks to her Q being so spammy. The Lissandra I fought didn't do this, BUT watch out that as its good for your voidlings to be between you and Morgana, the opposite rule applies here. Your Voidlings are a catalyst for her Q aoe spread to hit you. Just watch for that. Also, hang WAY back in general, her kit is short range, your poke + push can overcome it.

Tactics: Land your Q, if you can, or as much as you can, parallel to the claw line, so that when she warps along it, no matter how far she decides to end it, she meets a nice big open section of the void when she does. Watch the Frost Nova (yes i know that's not the real name) aoe, which is just pathetic, but just watch where you stand, positioning is huge with your kit, but its necessary for hers.

Alternate tactic: She beats you late game, no matter what, honestly. Her kit is long-er range vertical nuke, yours is zone focused. It's just different styles which dont favor you. Try going AP vs her, that should let you put down more harass and trade better.

Build: Frozen Mallet like immediately after: Tear -> Manamune / Brutalizer -> FM. Also, Merc Treads. With alacrity over furor this time, 100%. Also early Negatron, perhaps first or second back.


Early game is yours to push, try not to engage early, her base dmg is higher than yours on your spells, her q hits like a train, and she gets natural spellvamp. But mid game here (and ESPECIALLY late game) is yours, concerning the matchup. Just dodge Q and late is yours too, it's disgusting how easy this lane is. I put it in mid, because if you can't dodge her Q and you don't have any MR, then it's your own fault for losing such an easy lane. (more to come, tired atm) Not as tired now, let's continue: She Black Shields, and you don't care. Oh, and neither do your Voidlings. Black shield will stop your entire AP kit, but just put Malefic Visions on her and force her to use it, freeing her up for 15+ seconds to be Q'd into eternity. Also, we only care about putting visions on her to magnet the Voidlings there.

One more thing: With morg Q, its a blessing and a curse to get your Voidlings snared. Know when to sacrifice your Voidlings to it. You're low on hp? you probably shouldn't be fighting/are trying to disengage, turn around and E her, or auto attack, and keep running, that will put the lings directly between you and her. Of course the best is just dodging it, the missile speed is 1200, its slow enough to dodge, but if you can't, it's not bad to have a mobile shield for that, if the situation calls for it. Otherwise, dodge it/take the hit, and get 1 more voidling out, wait for the Black Shield to drop, wait for her ult to finish (she has to stay close to you, so LOL to her, because your voidlings dont care about Morg Ult) then just cast 1-2 more spells (if your HP can take it, if not IMMEDIATELY ult her) and then Ult for the finish. She won't build armor unless its wooglets so thats 100% of her defense, she can't afford to go off build to randuins or maaayyybe frozen heart. Either way, this lane was over for her before it began. Especially because your E push > her W push.


Easy lane until he gets some items, then its super easy because you out tank him and out minion him. why the medium difficulty? If he tanks up, your lane is over. eg. Frozen heart, Multiple ROA, Wooglet's. Yes ordinarily that build would be laughed out of the LoL forums, but it works and it stops you, because he can live through your damage and can push just as hard as you can. Essentially it becomes a standoff until you get a few Voidlings out and if you need/want a gank, then he's done. But otherwise an easy lane, most of the time they rush Blackfire Torch making the mistake that this will save them, and when it gives them no defense for offense they won't be able to use, since they're being 'd.


I'm putting her in "medium" matchups for now, I'll relocate when I lose/win more matches against her, but bot in general she's strong. A champion gaining more popularity for good reason. Played well she can be very formidable, but otherwise, I have yet to lose a matchup here. Haven't fought many, but again, she can't out push you, her Q range is 650 and yours is 900. gg. You can ult her during her ult, which is hysterical, because you don't care about the damage that your ult won't be doing, you just don't want to let her do damage for free/do whatever she wanted to set up in the first place. Or just do what I do and go out of line of sight when she busts out ult, who cares, take the damage, then ult her while your voidlings turn her into mud. She's melee for goodness sake, what's she going to do vs you? She can heal and run away from your tower pressure, but if you have frozen mallet to keep her around, this matchup is over, honestly.


If you get in close its gg for her, but she can zone MUCH better than you can, its all a matter of outplaying, not even the item build, because she NEEDS Athene's Unholy Grail and other such non-tanky items in order to establish any sort of item base. You should be ok just pushing the wave, but it will stalemate at a point, like .


This lane is free. Elise doesn't push the lane NEARLY as fast as you do, and that's the sure fire way to win the matchup, just outpush and harass with E (ideally to spiderlings) a bit, eventually you'll wear her down, dodge the homing spider bombs and the snare in human form, and as per usual, wait till about 40% hp and you should be able to take her down.

*Update(3.04): Elise's human form has been nerfed slightly. the range on her q. which is now 625, and the damage is reduced overall, and for us? good news, she wasn't hard to begin with, let's keep it that way! Again, outpush her, and you DEFINITELY have the range advantage now with her most important weapon, her human form Q, being the one that got hit. Tactics unchanged, except watch out for Venomous bite, and spider form in general a bit more now, since she's more dangerous there. However, you like it when champions get close, because your range is ridiculous. And your voidlings don't have to run as far to chew on people. Bait her hp at/until 35% if she's tanky, or if YOU are at 25% HP.

Build: Early Negatron into Brutalizer or Manamune, then finish off Spirit Visage.


Haven't fought a lee sin that i lost to yet, but i wanted to list it here anyway because I'm told its frequently in Lee Sin's favor early game.


Difficulty level: Boring. Like I mentioned earlier, the lane will be easycakes if you can out- the other guy. If he goes any AP you already won. Your damage will exceed his even with his % shred from Liandry's Torment, but again, he just wasted 3,000 gold and he got 300 health for it. WATCH OUT. But do watch out for his it's doing more damage than yours by a LOT, especially if he does go AP, which most do.

Edit: Most AP Malz players are just beyond frightened to fight you, because funny story, you push harder than they do. They'll sit and camp tower. Get a gank real quick and take tower control from them, after that the enemy team will need to send 2-3 to retake it and it's going to be a TOUGH slog for them to do so because their defense is nonexistent.

Best part about this matchup? While they ult you, your voidlings chew on them. When you ult them? Same process.

Build: After your first damage item; either Brutalizer or finishing Muramana.

(+1 disagree)
He just gets tanky most times and can dish a fair amount of damage, but again, thanks to Maw Of Malmortius, you still don't care. Just land your and keep the harass up. They have two options: build tanky and do no damage, or build ap and die instantly, either way, you win. This lane is also 100% dependent on skill, but after playing more of them, I might put it in the "easy" category.

Build: Whatever you want, but mostly damage items ASAP. If he's getting a higher HP pool, just splash Frozen Mallet in there, you'll be fine. That's after all why it's listed as core. Screw with him more and get Last Whisper, too, if you're snowballing.


AP Yi is really not hard. Same principle as with Fizz, just save your for when he meditates, literally don't use it otherwise unless he's full HP. Also note where he begins his alpha strike if you can, and just look for that minion, because if you land there, he is also mostly dead. He will take some dmg and be forced to meditate, knowing your to be down, he will think he can get away with meditating. WRONG. Don't even bother with , you're wasting precious time. Yes, you ult him and ult him hard. If you brought /any offensive summoner, GeeGee.

AD Yi on the other hand *can be hard"er" to fight. You'll need to get Frozen Heart directly into Frozen Mallet and tank up (after Manamune). People underrate his passive, and that's a mistake, it hurts a lot. But with Manamune and your tanky status it will be much harder for him to kill you since his Ultimate doesn't stop yours.

Build: Early , do this before finishing Manamune, in fact, i highly recommend it. Doing that with a brutalizer will give you time to rush Frozen Heart and still give you a really good amount of damage, to boot.


When you see mord just build AP, there's no reason to build AD vs him, I've won as AD, but the mord's have been horrendous. Decide for yourself after getting manamune. (Yes I'd still get it, because you can gauge the opponent, plus you can always sell it)


I almost put this in hard, and I probably should, but honestly, again, its skill level. However, Urgot is not countered by many things. You happen to be one of the things that *can stop him dead in his tracks. Almost always they'll start tear, and go into brutalizer/manamune (depending on their gold), its just a proven fact. You, however, can go into 1 of 2 things to stop this: Frozen Mallet, Frozen Heart. I really really prefer Frozen Heart over F. Mallet first in this case. BUT BRUTALIZER SHREDS ARMORZ. Oh hush, it shreds like 10 armor. that still leaves you with like 70+. Gimmie a break, yeah BC shreds armor, guess what, it's your only option other than Randuin's which doesn't give you cdr (which you need badly) or mana. Randuins also has less armor, so vis a vis, Frozen Heart is better here.

Moving on: Tanking up vs. urgot early is the best way to go. Getting manamune will be all the damage you need, why? You won't be dying to him, remember, we're essentially cloning an urgot build, for Malz, so the same thing applies, tanky champs are his downfall, well then, lets get tanky! After that, you can go into your brutalizer, and he will then go into his Frozen Heart, it's the circle of life. His ultimate, again, similar to yours, but gives him a little more oomph, with the effects it applies. Recently I found, that timed correctly, you can land your Q on him during this time, and stop his ultimate, it's a VERY good time. Most urgot's I've noticed will drop you a bit, and then from about 50%-30% theyll use it, similar to how we will use ours on them. try to see when his cooldowns are all going, shield is up, E is used etc, and then check your health, you can pre-empt a Q and catch him if you guess right!

Build: Boots 3 vs this guy, you can get Alacrity if you want, or Furor, depending on what you need/how they're playing. I like alacrity, because its annoying as heck for the urgot to land anything, especially if you're already reading them like a bedtime story, then it's 100% impossible.


I have yet to have a problem with a Xin, he has absolutely zero defense early game, and like Annie, if he builds offense, great! Zero defense. If he builds defense, great! Zero offense. Like you win either way.

But again, read the lane opponent, judge how strong his early harass is, how much he's focused on you vs. wave clearing, just how he plays in general. If you E him, does he run, attack minions, attack YOUR minion, does he dive in on you? all important things to watch for. USUALLY however, theyll run when you E + auto them. its an idiotic amount of damage that they don't want to take. This lets you push the wave, scoop up the HP relic, and continue on. Your first item vs him should be either Black Cleaver or Frozen Heart. I like to be a jerk and go frozen heart, since Manamune is a ton of damage, and IF he gets damage and can kill you in the knockup duration from three talon, that CAN be a problem. Otherwise, just gauge his dmg and build accordingly, overall not a hard lane, since you can hard push the wave/him with minimal effort.

Build: Early with Brutalizer, same start as against Yi, or any early AD, really.


Really not a challenge, and a well played Karma might hold her own, but your kit just trumps hers. If she roots you with W, that's literally the beginning of the end for her. You want her to get close so your lings can chew on her ankles. When I see Karma use W: Oh noes, I'm rooted...DURING MY SUPPRESS. Her needing to get close, sets up your combo for you, and with q's missile speed being idiotically easy to dodge, predict that she will try to push the minion wave. You push it MUCH faster than she does. Letting her burst you down a little doesn't hurt your lane, and allows effective baits for your ultimate: UNLESS your team calls some mia from top, in which case you can be assured you'll get ganked. Since by this point you've already been destroying their Karma and if not killing her, at MINIMUM neutralizing bot lane frequently. Watch for when she uses her mantra. And don't bother looking at the champion for the effect, watch the red circle from Q on the ground/the nuke go off from it, because that's the ONLY thing that a Karma will mantra these days since her damage is currently pathetic without items.

Oh and then count to 2,846 since that's when her Mantra will be ready again.

I personally believe Karma is an easy matchup, but I put it here because, again, if you're derping into her mantra'd q's you deserve to lose the lane.

Thing with karma is: She has to get through the minions to hit you with spells, you don't have that restriction.

Build: For MR? Just get Brutalizer (and if you can afford it, Neg cloak) into Frozen Mallet, its ridiculously abusive. That and boots 3, don't bother getting hit by Q in the first place. It takes 1.5 seconds to detonate! That's double the length of brand's pillar of fire! BUT NERDOCK IT SLOWS YOU! Yes, but that's why boots 3 is glorious, my dear reader. More MS + - The slow's effectiveness? Sign me up.


I'm also going to list Yorick here because if the Yorick has any idea how to play its not easymode, but it's not hard. Word to the wise, he won't stick around his ghouls unless hes right next to you trying to wail on you, because he knows youll cast on them and just put a stop to his entire kit. If he DOES stick around, gg you just won the lane without trying. Theyll build trinity force and Manamune, you already don't care since that means their defense is gone and they have no utility since you can sneeze and 100% of it goes away (the ghouls are his entire utility kit).

If he is only harassing with ghouls, and not all-inn'ing, get merc treads for the MR and Elisa's Miracle for the sustain. That and HP relics will be sufficient, since one E on his ghouls kills them all instantaneously.

Build: If he goes Spirit Visage, you can just finish manamune, and start your frozen Mallet. He went for sustain, which means he won't be doing damage, and you build it faster than he does, you win the race by being a more dominant sustain in lane, which is ironic, since you have none and your sustain is kicking him out of lane. Also 100% build: .


Late game AP will destroy you if you don't buy HP (AD isn't any kind of joyride either). Mid-game however is no problem, just don't "let" it get to late game. Try to capitalize on the early game, similar to Susan, here --> , but a little worse since his burst damage is higher. Your goal here is to capitalize when you have your core build, probably about early mid-game. Early game Sion will be rushing offense, similar to Talon, and his defense will come into play much later in the game, if at all, since most build glass cannon regardless of item path.

However, living through his stun with any HP = you win the fight. Your voidlings are already chewing on him at this point and he's telling you to FEEL THA CHAPPAH, so you're taking the abuse while suffering no damage loss. Oh, he blew ult? Just E and back away. Go back in, poke him down, out push him, ult only after he stuns btw, you don't want Sion stun hitting you during your ult. (hasn't happened to me yet, thank goodness, but thats because I wait for him to use that first, before I ult) Building Brutalizer into Giant's Belt will kind of win you the lane instantly.


He's just annoying. I'll stay away from the imba talk, but for the purpose of this matchup, early game you will just get sat on. Don't bother harassing, he will harass you 4x as much back from doing no work to accomplish that. Eg. I'd use he runs in with Leap Strike and W, which resets his auto, and will chunk you for a good third of your hp, while you sort of tickled him a bit. Late game he can NOT stand against you though. 5-6 items vs 5-6 items you win 100% of the time, because you have all your utility. "But Nerdock 5-6 items?!"

See, your build costs WAY less than what Jax needs to build, fun fact. Don't worry, just hang out at bot tower until you see you're out damaging him, (mid game) then it's your turn. Frozen Heart for sure against him, not for the armor necessarily, which helps of course, but for the Cooldown Reduction, you need to compensate for his idiotically short CD's, by getting some of your own. Also, Merc treads here will be good for the stun, which 7/10 times he will land. Unless you're me and you like to bait the stun, and then run the other way with boots 3 and then OOPS. He's out of his q range and his stun is down. Doesn't make him invincible, but it gives you an opportunity.

Build: Early Glacial into Brutalizer then Frozen Mallet. Just live until late game.


You dominate the early and mid game, but as soon as it gets to late game, you better hope your team is crushing top, because if not, you're dead. Regardless of how much farm he got, he got what he needed and all this lane is is a time bomb, and you better hope you can capitalize early on it. Look into going more % shred + grevious wounds, AP here, during the Late Game.

*Update: Played against Susan as AP, instead of just suggesting it, and turns out my suspicions were correct. BFT + Chalice + Frozen Heart will compLETELY shut him down. His sustain is much less than your harass. Definitely look into morello's if you snowball hard enough after BFT + Chalice/Frozen Heart.

And now we get to the...

Hard Matchups:


I'm going to talk hard counter kits and skill level. For this we will assume equal skill level even though I've beaten many of these matchups multiple times. Why? because it hasn't been equal skill level.


Shes horrible for you, since her stun completely disables you and she scales harder than you'd ever like to imagine. I almost put this in medium, but a good anivia vs a fairly competent AD Malz will win every time. Your kit doesn't allow you to escape, and guess what, her kit will capitalize on that too, in the worst possible ways for you! With a well placed wall + ult + stun, doesn't matter how much HP/MR you have, you're either dead or so close to it that you'll wonder why you got out of bed this morning. It's even worse when she gets tanky, like Rod of Ages or something else like that, Rylais Crystal Scepter etc. Because then not only are you walking through an ult that's slowing you to a crawl, by the time you get to her you're 1/2 hp and probably about 2/3 mana from just trying to keep your wave pushed, since she also pushes waves faster than you do with enough items at her disposal.

Build: Boots 3 + Alacrity + scimitar or maw here, honestly. Just do your best to stay away from the stuns.


Late game he's just as annoying as early and mid game. Only way to beat this matchup is to go in close and bait the Apprehend. Guess what, you'll get caught doing it, so that'll happen. Option 2, the wave and push it, he can't stop that as fast, but as SOON as you think you have him, 5/6 times you don't. THE GUY DOES SCALING TRUE DAMAGE. You have him when he is at about 20% current HP. Don't ult before then or you're dead. However, somewhat manageable with more and more items.

Build: Early Frozen Mallet + boots 3 + Alacrity. Keep him off balance, Glacial Shroud rush afterwards.


I would rather swallow a rusty knife than play this matchup.
Her range just triples yours, and her Luminous Circle garbage is MUCH better than your for pushing or doing damage to champions. She also has a built in Lich-Bane which is unreal, however she IS squishy, this is what I was talking about for bringing . Generally if you're doing draft that's the only way I'd recommend bringing Flash, like you KNOW you'll need positioning advantage bot vs the Lux/Zyra. Other than that, you can't lose the lane, but it's a complete tossup if you will win the 1v1, but keep in mind her kit DIRECTLY counters yours. However again, skill is the factor, if you can bait out the Light Binding, you're basically home free, eat the inevitable E + laz0r combo and try to ult her if you KNOW you have it. You'll walk all over her shield, Voidlings don't know it exists because E burns through it before they even get there.

Build: Boots 3 + alacrity. If you're finding it hard not to get caught by Q+E, swap it out and get Merc Treads, again, great option thanks to the flat MR on it. Scimitar is also great against Lux snare, get Maw, however, if you're finding it easy to get close to her.


Again, get the rusty knife. I can't explain in correct/enough accurate language how much I hate this matchup. His Q + Acceleration Gate range is just Ridiculous. He can literally get you, early game to about 1/4 of your HP with 2-3 spells while MAYBE changing stances. Jayce is hideously tanky and has an unreal amount of offense at the same time. They will always max Q because of how fast it clears waves, you can do the same thing and clear just as fast, but WAIT until late game to engage because if he jumps you with gate and then uses the equivalent of Lee Sin's ultimate on you which just says "shoot you don't need that HP", and just chunks you into next week, then you're beyond dead and just feeding him and making late game harder. Because again, like Jax, his build takes MONEY to finish. Your's doesn't really, which is where you have a small advantage. Wait for them to get sloppy, harass, then IMMEDIATELY leave the area as he will return it in kind x3 and possibly kill you on tower with random Q's.

Update: I played as Jayce vs an AP Malz, and it was harder than fighting AD Malz. The same situation as with in this case, build AP so that your E does more work for you during Jayce's combo.

Update 3/14: played vs a jayce swap as AD Malz, and wrecked him. Why? Zero tank. That, again, is the main trend, if they have tons of damage, you're fine, if not, you're done. whoever it is, Irelia, Jayce etc.

Build: Start AP items, or keep tear, see how you do, you'll have to judge harass + skill level on him, but overall, starting AP will do you more effectively, you can still pick up a Brutalizer since its so ridiculously cost efficient.


If he's good, you're dead every time you go into lane *early* game. Mid game is yours on this guy every time because of your ult and silence, and 100% you'll build HP/small amount of armor if you can also afford it, while he goes for damage immediately. Late game? you just end up doing whatever you want to him most times, however he scales just as well as you do, if not better in some ways. only way to win this one is predict movements and ONLY focus on wave clears. If he buys HP, also, your game just got way harder, but you can still outposition him and bleed him down a tad. Once he goes in with E, that's it, that's his whole trick. He silenced you and ate a frozen mallet shot + voidling attacks for it. However play it safe for this one, too.

Build: Early Glacial into Frozen Mallet after Brutalizer or Manamune.


A matchup that I never thought would make this list. I fought one and it was like I had never played a game with Malzahar in my LIFE. SIT on tower and push the wave until you get fed, because his ult just ruins your life, but not as bad as if he gets items from feeding off of you early game, again, just play it save, push the wave, and just keep the tower, that's your only job anyway, getting their bot tower and outplaying/outpushing their bot lane is just a plus.

*Update: I recently walked all over a Zed bot lane, who I'm told is like one of the better Zed players in the DominateDominion community. How did I do this/why bother to mention it? Zed is melee, which auto screws him to a wall against you. I mention this because when you see the riven section, play the Zed matchup like the riven section, don't let him get close AT ALL. If he uses q to harass/try to harass, you win the lane. If he uses q to push, you also win the lane. Zed's push is his E, which is also his aoe utility to lock you down, so guess what, his entire lane is going to be deciding: "Do I want to kill the Malz", or "Do I try to push the wave and take ENDLESS harass while doing it?" Either way, just hang back and poke/harass all over this guy.

Build: along with your tear + boots start, also an Early Glacial into Frozen Mallet after Brutalizer or Manamune.


Also someone who I just hate playing against. Same playstyle (not playing AS them, just vs them) as heimerdinger, TONS of burst, minions etc. If she gets tanky its all over but the crying, again, with equal skill, she SHOULD win the matchup because of her insane range kit and the fact she can position her damage where she needs it instantly, your kit is more delayed, or its and we've been over the fact that a)its bad, b) people run out of it like its sucking their bank accounts dry. Just get MR and try to outpush the lane. She pops plants? E them, have your Voidlings do some work for a change, don't be afraid to auto attack and throw a imgsmall=skills/malzahar/q.png] on those plants, get them OFF the field. Minions are your game not Poison Ivy's. You can auto attack her until you get caught by her E and then you'll regret ever having harassed. You'll have early and mid game, but it'll get MUCH harder when she gets more Premium items.

Mid game she SHOULD die pretty quick, depending if she buys hp/what your items are/what % you ult her at, etc. But properly played, her defense should be lower than her offense, which again helps you because of Nether Grasp. Farm until mid game then push it. Spirit Visage is good, Frozen Mallet is also a big one here because catching up to her and controlling her MS is vital for chasing and lane control.

Get lane trades for these lanes that's how infuriatingly hard they are:



To clarify why I moved Diana from Easy to Hard Matchups (because that's a big move):
Recently I got 1v2'd bot about until level 13 by a Heimer and Diana, the Heimer died instantly, but Diana just got fed off of my kills and the tower caps. In this ONE and ONLY one scenario, I could have gone Odyn's veil, because of obvious reasons. However, that would have delayed hexdrinker, so its really 6 of 1, this Diana happened to get fed, but for the record, Odyn's for Diana SEEMS like it might be decent, I just don't prefer it since all it does is soak 4000 damage to get 400 back out of it. Still highly consider for 5 less MR than Odyn's. However, its going to be a LOT of money to upgrade scimitar. Your best best here is Frozen Mallet + Odyn's (even though it gives me a stroke to say it) because of the resistances + HP = massive resistances.

Her early/mid game is formidable but her late game is good/great, it's Diana after all. She doesn't need to build HP or MR or Armor at all in order to win. It's pathetic how cheesy Diana is. Dodging the Q is your only recourse here. Dodge her Q AT her. When you see Q come out, just run towards her and miss it completely. Odyn's against her is the "generally recommended strategy", (which i say who cares what people generally think) however it's going to be a tough slog no matter which way you go, since you don't get to use your ultimate twice, nor do you have two renewing shields. Stay back and focus on the wave, only build MR here, Scimitar to cleanse moonlight isn't a bad option either, again its only -5 MR from Odyn's Veil.

Focus on stalemating the lane and surviving.

Recently I played as Diana, and mashed my fingers on qwer in a fight, aimed my mouse in the general direction of the enemy team, built stupid items on purpose, and completely got away with it. This is not a champion to fight in a straight up 1v1.

She got nerfed recently, it made close to no difference, since the only way you can fail that champion is building incorrectly.

Update (patch3.8): She got a shield nerf and NOBODY plays her anymore. Complaints? Not here.

Build: A train station so you can leave.


This champion makes me want to quit bot lane alltogether if that gives you any indication of how much i hate this matchup. If i see this champion it just makes me upset. This lane is a living hell. Nunu will build EVERY kind of sustain and spellvamp to completely stop/counter you add to his build strength naturally. There was one who I absolutely destroyed, which made NO sense at all, but I'll take it, so again, its possible, however: I'm talking: Athene's Unholy Grail, Frozen Heart, Odyn's Veil, Will of the Ancients, Wooglets Witchcap, Spirit Visage.

Garbage like this just gets me angry because he does even less work than you do for kills! And at least you need to position your spells and gauge kits, skill level etc. He just eats your damage with no problems at ALL. (literally. Snorlax- er. Nunu consumes your Voidlings since these people max Q first like the horrible people they are) I even buy Executioners Calling to try and deal with him and use , and even then, since you don't rely on auto attacks, it's SUCH a crap shoot if even with all that if you even scratch his HP. Get a swap if you start to experience my sadness even a little.

Update: Talking with a premier, main bot Nunu player, I noticed that AP also does fairly well vs nunu. Get and yesterday when going vs Nunu, and just, again, like Mord, go full AP, should work out better than AD.

Update 7/3: WOOT. His yeti legs were recently hit by Riot's baseball bat, and you just NEVER see this dude bot lane anymore, and it's a BEAUTIFUL thing.


Again: I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is Malz' hardest counter in the game. If she builds tanky it does NOT matter what you build and what you do and how you play, you're dead. Her true damage sustain and movement speed is by far worse than The Dunkmaster, because of how much CC/Gap Closing power she has over you, who is playing a champion with zero <-- escapes. HOWEVER if she builds damage its game over. The same rules apply, she has no defense with an offense build and you'll take every kind of advantage over this broken chick as you can.


I really shouldn't even need to explain this champion. I honest to goodness believe that Riot needs my billing information/Street address so, that if I ever bought Singed, they'd know where to send the helmet.

He's the only champion that doesn't actually need to use q/w/e/r in order to succeed.
Against him build: Boots Of Swiftness+The Alacrity Enchantment. There is no other option for boots. However if you overextend even a LITTLE he will just take you TO 1/3 hp. yes you can recover with the HP pack at your base and a flask charge or 2, but its better to just wave harass, or if you get items faster than him early game to do what you can to bait a voidling combo and let him flip you. The WORST thing that can happen to you, yes it's happened to me before multiple but not many times, is you ult, however the Flip animation continues and it flips you out of your ult. I just get sad at this point. You can also try building Twin Shadows but just know that your damage will be in the toilet at this point, and the 2 minute cooldown on the item is BARELY worth it, depending on how you play. However, again, you won't lose the lane because you can clear faster than he can.

*Update: Build: Start with . I'm 100% NOT kidding. Immediately after, go into . After that, get Spirit Visage + (if you find he catches up to you at ALL). Finally for core for this build: Twin Shadows. AWWWW YYYEEEAAAHHH! Add Athene's, Maw and possibly GA (that's preferable for me if multiple are coming bot to sit on me, but 5 minute CD just turns me right off to that mess, so its a meh item) This build is SO funny against Singed, it's unreal.

This build was invented to beat Zythonn, a shameless Singed and Teemo spammer, I hope as many people read this as possible.

In Soviet Russia, Singed chases you! (he really does, its freaking hilarious)


This was one that I didn't see coming as a threat, to be flat honest. Since Dominion automatically snowballs her, it's a very difficult lane. Her ultimate is more versatile than yours for sure. The sad part is it doesn't really matter what you do if the Akali plays aggressive. If she's always running after you, q+r etc, she will have no problems bursting you down. Her base dmg is much higher than yours at that level and she can pump out more damage faster. thanks to her w its almost impossible to e harass and as stated before, your W, is essentially worthless. If you CAN, focus on the wave push, and just try to get items. But again honestly, if you've found an aggressive Akali, just swap, she'll zone you. Plain and simple. Or try to bait a kill on the tower, etc.

However, if the Akali is passive and runs from your harass etc, you should have the lane no problem. Also, her E hits your voidlings. Not cool, man. Not cool.


She, like Snorl- Nunu, can pick up and just toss your damage utility around like it's what she was designed to counter. The only advantage you have is that her kit is like yours, it has no escapes at all. And you're TECHNICALLY better at all-in'ing. However if you don't have the MR and you cant keep voidlings out, you'll be stepped on immediately and easily. A good Syndra will end a fair fight with like 3/4 hp at the lowest. It's silly how much damage she can do with a well prepared ult. However I have only lost lane to one Syndra, and then came back late game because he, like most Syndra's build MINIMAL HP, if any at all and I made sure to get near 200 MR and 2.5+k HP. Plus the placements there made the difference also. Doable but still not actually fun.

Fun if you win, though!

Build: Early , after , finish off , and pick up Maw, Scimitar and Frozen Mallet.


Another lane that is a time bomb. It's horrifying to see Olaf build the one item that synergises with his kit WAY better than yours: Maw Of Malmortius. As soon as he hits 6 which p.s. is almost instantly your game just got a LOT harder. If you don't get any kills early/don't avoid Undertow/Axe Chuck, that's it. He can just pre-ult you and run up to you and true damage you into next week. He also will not ult until you ult, that's the WORST part. I build similar to the anti-singed build if I HAVE to fight an Olaf, mobility + pushing is key, NOT winning the 1v1 matchup. If it gets to late game, there will be NO way to win. By the time he is low on HP, your voidlings are dead, you're at the same level of HP he is but he actually gets something for it, your ult is down and you're probably slowed to a crawl since he has Undertow/Ace Chuck and Frozen Mallet+Ghost ALL over you. Just swap out since he will get MR, and let a/the bruiser top swap your spot, that will make most of his MR he built especially for you, useless.

Update: Again, I think around patch 3.7(?) Voyboy used him way too well in tourney, and Riot broke his kneecaps (Riot is immune to the effects of Ragnarock) and so you, again, never see him bot anymore.


By far the worst lane in any game I've ever faced ever and I'm including and that's also calling the Nunu lane a "living hell". If she starts with anything other than obvious AP items, your game is already over. AD bruiser Nid is another horrid matchup that you MIGHT win late game, assuming you didn't feed the entire game. But honestly probably not. Again, assuming equal skill level, only played against this once, but it was even worse than the Zed matchup, SOMEhow.

Do yourself a favor and ONLY focus on the wave and completely ignore harass, and just sustain in lane and don't lose tower, because she can't out push you but she will decimate you in a 1v1 even with Frozen Heart. Again, get a swap early, there is no reason to even ATTEMPT this lane. In fact, don't take my word for it, go ahead, try it, if you beat it, tell me what you did and how good/bad the other player was. Yeah. Go ahead. Do that. See how it works out for you. As my dear ol' Dad says "Well, good luck to ya." *hand that dismisses you as he knows that person is off to fail*

Update (3/3): Nidalee also recently had her kneecaps removed. All four of them. Her ultimate no longer grants her bonus defense mechanics, so cutting through bruiser Nidalee SHOULD be easier, but I'm still unsure of the matchup as of yet. The AP ratios on her attacks however got increased, wait. Malzahar don't care. The patch just came out and I haven't been able to test against this new Nid yet. However, I'm sure most of them lost their drive to go bot lane after the nerf, which essentially forces Nidalee to go AP.

Update 3/14: Fought an ap nid bot, no problems killing her, just none. thing is you have to catch her first. i went boots 3 with alacrity enchant, seemed to do fine. my main goal was dodging spears, which i really didnt get hit by a lot of them anyway. Definitely recommend going Frozen Mallet first against AP Nid bot. If you get hit by spears, the hp pool will definitely be big enough to make it a minimal hit. Another option: boots 5 + shuryelias. im not kidding, kill this chick.

Wave mechanics: Decent nidalee's will just kite and kite, auto minions in human form, try for Q harass etc, etc. Good nidalee's will realize youre not trying to kill them/ignoring their presence completely since they *cant kill you, (and they know you cant catch them) and they'll go for your other bot tower while you push the wave/assault their tower. Why is this both awful and fantastic? Because you can push the wave without even being there and nid other than her E in cat form has nothing even close to your kit in that regard. However, you need to make sure you have the minion wave to do it. It's all about timing. Even if you have 1-2+ waves with your current wave, and you see nid dart up to top mid, no problem. Lay down all your spells on the minions and start to back. by the time you get 1/2 of the way back, she JUST started to cap. your e will hop the waves and your minions will most likely neutralize thereby letting you keep 1 tower and achieve a neutralize on the other, all while not dying.

Summary: Push the wave, watch for a back cap, get a ganker bot who has cc. You don't need the help killing her, you need the help catching up to her, make that happen for yourself.

Lanes That Have a High Potential to Stalemate


Countering AD Malz

Any champion with tons of range and - just play the champions in the "get a lane swap" section. Exhaust works decently well against him, but not amazing, Ignite would serve you better so in case he does kill you and he's low enough, the dot might tick hard enough for you to trade. A tanky Diana -> played well, works also. Jayce works too, but any decent Malz will swap to AP at this point.

Really any kind of massive sustain or tanky champion is the worst to play against. Olaf, Nunu and AD Nidalee (though thank goodness all 9 of her lives are gone now) have the market cornered on irritation, however. Diana is also an effective counter since she doesn't require skill to play.

A well played can also hold you off and zone you, while clearning waves, extremely well, even though I overall put her in the medium matchup difficulty section.

But (specifically) tanky and just in general are far and away the worst people you'll ever fight as any type of Malzahar.

General Dominion strategy (relevant to Malzahar/bot lane in general)

When pushing someone, push them, get in their face, unless youre taking an idiotic amount of damage and aren't trading well (see matchups). Your voidlings follow your lead either if you're harassing or if you're falling back. Get your damage to work for you, put an E on them, W the wave, auto the wave a few times while they deal with your Voidling(s).

Also, at ALL times be looking to take the Health relics, they have a short respawn (30 seconds) try to always be grabbing them, even if you're full health. Why? that means your enemy is low on health, and why give them something you don't need to? cast a high mana cost spell and just pick up some free mana in the process.

Die for the sake of keeping a tower under your control. It's a matter of your team needing them to stay bottom rather than you giving up the tower for free and letting them rush top, regardless of travel ult () etc. In Dominion, people get gold quicker passively than they do for kills. Kills in Dominion are 100g. You realize that you can sit at base and get twice that in less time it would take to kill someone, just by standing there waiting for your item(s). If it's a 1v4 on tower, then leave, no questions asked, I've only held that off a handful of times and mostly because they were bad players and let me do it.

If youre on tower, sit behind the spots that are hidden by the fog of war. Your range is just stupid and can take advantage of anyone who doesn't know you haven't left that tower yet. Again, always be sitting on the Health relics, its free health AND mana.

If you're at base waiting to buy an item, BE STACKING TEAR! ALWAYS BE STACKING!

Advanced tactic:


Gauging when your opponent died/if their revive is up/position of the enemy team, you can in 14 seconds, EASILY go from killing them at their bot tower, to running to the bottom middle health relic, get that, cast a few spells along the way, come back and re-aquire the other health relic that you just picked up. You just got 3 health relics for the price of 1-2.

This build revolves around how efficient you can be with your time, not necessarily how much dmgz you do lolz. AD Malz is powerful, yes, but you need to very much know how to use it and most importantly WHEN to use it.

Also, when you see someone buy Negatron Cloak, 7/10 times they go for Quicksilver Sash. We've discussed it already however, and important note: QSS when, activated will keep you channeling your ult, but will only remove the suppress mechanic from your opponent; same thing with Gangplank oranges. You'll be locked onto them channeling, while they can move, attack etc. QSS only removes the suppress now, but the damage will still be done. If/when this happens two things to do: count to .5 (Riot made it so that when you cast your ult, you cant move for .5 seconds so people like me don't screw it up) and then start moving around. Get -> yourself <- out of your ult channel. Remember it does no damage and your spells are MUCH more important to start casting and if those are on Cooldown because of your whole combo, auto attacks will still be doing more anyway.

Bonus points: How long is Revive's cooldown in minutes? Something good to know.

Early Game

Early game is not *as* crucial for Malzahar as for other champions perhaps. I mean this in items alone, you can still be crushed early game because of your low defense, but you do NOT lack in the offense department whatsoever.

I take this time to max tear stacks (WATCHING MY TEAR CD, don't just afk farm/stack and count to 2.5, be aware LOOK at the CD on it), circle my opponents movement as much as possible and read how they play. Most of the time they, if playing Jax or some other such bruiser, early game heavy champion, will come right at you and try to harass you, thinking that will mean something.

Another note of importance, if they're at 1/2 hp or so, maybe 2/3, are coming at you, perhaps you're in bottom grass, and its level 4-5, do NOT be afraid to use your ignite. It WILL save you. At this point, you should have at least one Voidling out, your auto attacks and/or E depending on E location on wave (sometimes if you're good enough, you dont attack them with auto attacks, you poke minions down to get your E onto them faster. Most enemies see you cast E and THEN dive in. Fool them by pushing the wave and standing close to it. Melee champs especially lose track since they want to get their rotation out, not bothering to check that you have a wave, they don't and that your e is already on them, without you doing work for it. Usually you'll hit 6 in a fight which is just terrifically satisfying, because it means no matter their ult, even Olaf's (since he doesn't have items who cares?), they're most likely done for.

Transitioning into mid game, you ideally want Manamune + Frozen mallet or Black Cleaver, and boots. And by mid game I'm talking level 10-12. Have those items. You have a few ways to get money, some discussed earlier: Kills (obviously), Tower captures (same amount of money as kills, so same incentive to push the wave > greedy kill diving on tower), Minion wave pushing, kill all 3 minions, surprise, one guess how much it is? just about 100g. same incentive to do ALL of these things, you want to focus on the TEAM. what does your TEAM need?

Losing lane? just hang back, dodge their skillshots and just push the wave and do your best to last hit, definitely always a viable strategy in a sticky situation.

Useful/Useless info: Health relics spawn at 2:01, You hit level 4 at 1:55. For those who might want to know that kind of thing.

Mid/Late game

Into mid and or late game, depending on how the situation develops. How much you'll get sat on in bot lane, essentially. (This, my dear reader, is NOT an "IF" scenario, its a when.) Assuming your team struggles top a bit, not a lot, but a bit, and we assume its a 1v1 for the time being. Remember to watch these things:

Your team

  • Who is alive on your team # count, not tank/dps etc.
  • How many revives your team has up.
  • How many members of your team are top, mid, bot and who are capping and who aren't etc.
  • How many Ultimates are up for your team. (mainly for top + ganks for bot)
  • When to rush their mid (which is almost never, but can be extremely helpful if played correctly.)

Enemy team

  • How many of them are up?
  • How many are down?
  • How many of them are running top?
  • How many revives does the enemy team have, and who have them/other summoners?
  • Based on the last revives you saw, (its no problem, you can't see everything, however helpful to have Skype or Mumble open to hear your team tell you) How many can you ballpark have revive up?
  • When you are capping NEVER look at your champion like its break time, it is NOT. Be looking at the access points, the enemy steps most importantly, see who is running out from where, how many of them, and what can you tell your team about that that will help them, etc.

*Update: With new smart pings, be looking to inform your team as much as possible about what you see, or what you'll need, it's a fantastic tool I've found so far!


This, when in late game, is not that great, yes I've done it plenty, but TBH it's very advanced Dominion strategy:

You need to time your pushes correctly. You need to apply pressure to bot lane all of a sudden, when your team is either losing or about to lose top, especially, or even better, when your team is winning top. NOT when your team HAS top, because here is what WILL happen:

  • You push and neutralize (lets say you win the 1v1 for it so its a 5v4, but he Revives. (It happens)
  • Your team top needs to back and really, so do you, you're at like 1/3 hp, but a relic is almost up.(to be generous)
  • 2-3 WILL come bot to retake it. You now decide to commit to the tower (neutralized still) or run. you've done your team a disservice both ways. It SEEMS like you helped, but you didn't. Why?
1) There are 3 enemies bot while you're weak, and probably either trying to disrupt tower cap, backing or even worse, dying/dead.
2) They can easily push the minion wave into next week while your team is top, backing, or buying making the overall game now a 4v5 since you have yourself dead and people at home. This tactic made it so that you split push your team *FOR* the enemy team. You've just helped them focus their attentions and resources!
3) While 3 easily overwhelm your bot the remaining 2-3 (depending on how many go bot essentially after taking theirs back) go top and overwhelm the ONE teammate you have that will be there while your team struggles to respond to both a 2-3 man bot cap and a 2-3 man top cap with only 4 people, 1 top and the rest ALL of whom are at base and possibly at least 1 are slightly underfed.
  • ^ doing the reverse of this will get you a 4-cap (almost guaranteed minimum 3 cap) without you even trying to do it and only mildly relying on your team to do their part. *Your* timing is what is critical.

*Update* I captured a video of my team capitalizing on this exact mistake, it's good to actually SEE this mistake, instead of just picture it or assume it's just super situational. It actually happens all the time. For when I DO find a way to post it/Link a download for it etc, the timestamp is 9:30. Watch the J4/Diana.

However it is not bad to always push and get kills etc, but map awareness is what is critical about knowing *when* to push. ALWAYS be looking/asking for where the enemy "X" is, if you see your team top and its a 4v3, guess where their last member is coming? You guessed it, right for a gank, back up and defend the tower. But open tab, see if the enemy you're worried about is dead or not, if they're just mia top, but are still up top, etc, FIND OUT where they are.

As explained before, now more than ever, the late game is defending the tower. This is much more important than getting kills. Pushing their wave and punishing/harassing/killing their bot 1v1 successfully is ONLY a bonus.

Picture Time! (Screenshots)

Q positions:

[http://i.imgur.com/JBlG3Bx.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/adNLVhF.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/IBLre31.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/RF58IZy.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/0k2X9K5.jpg]


W positions:

[http://i.imgur.com/H2LBwn3.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/N3qCkc1.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/1SVoMbW.jpg]


These are all pretty self explanatory, however: You can cast your Q (900 range) from these locations, while still being in the fog of war in order to disrupt chapion captures on your towers. W being a tad faster damage with slightly less cast range at 800, still makes it very effective, seeing as how it's also instant damage to stop a cap there as well.

Is going AP bad? / Go AP vs. these Champions

No, but most of the time it will not win you the lane. If someone built RoA on their AP Malz, you can get out the diapers and talcum powder, because it's now time to babysit bot lane.

I'd like to clarify what I mean by go AP. What I mean is, go AP if when you engage the other champion, and you're taking a ton of harass and not trading well. The ONLY. ONE and ONLY reason to go AP is your E. Malefic Visions (and if you don't suck at landing Q) will be your only real harass power, which is what you're looking to do: trade effectively.

So when you're looking here in this section for a:

"Oh, so build these and then I'll faceroll to victory?"


No, stop it! Bad player! *whaps you on the nose with newspaper* No, the -> reason <- we go AP is to trade more effectively. Knowing the REASON why we go a certain build, is the cornerstone of the build, imo. Realize WHY you're building X items, and then execute the proper lane presence/response for said item build. Eg. "Push" vs "harass", "push" vs "hang back because you know you'll be getting ganked, even though you CAN outpush the champion you're against".

Ex. Going ap vs nunu? great, good call, but the idea is to out push him, and harass a LITTLE bit with E, but the focus is to push, so what do you do? You focus on the wave push, and harass with E when you can, if the wave is taken care of, since he will just Q a minion and NOM up to full hp or 3/4 hp and negate some of your harass, so then you can E + Auto attack. (more in section, but not much)

Again, knowing why we build a certain way is the key to using it, and vice versa.


Go AP vs these champions, and SPECIFICALLY BUILD: / / at SOME point, depending if you need armor, the harass etc, --> but,

I rush personally, but see what works best for you. The early debuff and the CDR (the main reason) + the amount of AP and Mana Regen, is great, plus it's pretty inexpensive.

If you're going to start AP, forget about tear, Archangel's/Seraph's is just not worth it. Let terrible Nidalee and Swain players get it, you need for multiple reasons, all of which it does excellently.





(this lane is idiotic no matter which way you slice it, but AP/hyrbid seems to work)




JK. <3

"I don't know how it'd work for these champs" section.


But again, you *can* go AD here, but I imagine that with their range that your E as an AP build will trade more effectively (especially with BFT), but I haven't tried it since I'm stubborn and would rather outplay than go what I believe to be an overall inferior build. Which doesn't mean that that's even a better idea, it's just how I operate.


If you go AP here, rush HP first, Zyra's who rush BFT do more damage than you expect. If you go AD, get Brutalizer -> Frozen Mallet. Keep the tear as a tear, you'll need the hard damage first from Brutalizer.




With his kneecaps being replaced recently, AP *could be good vs him again, thanks again to % shred and the insane harass from just landing E. Idk, but I assume not great overall, thanks to the fact that AP NEEDS it's ult and AD just doesn't at all. Plus Olaf eliminates most/a hefty portion of the AP kit's damage by just pressing his ult to stop yours. That's bad because of reasons. However if you land Q and keep your poke high, while dodging his Q, you'll stand a better chance. But his sustain. Ugh. Dat Lifesteal.


You can try, but I mean she's just a jerk champion, but try something like WoTa (since its more cost effective now), and DEFINITELY BFT/Morellonomicon. Same principle as Nunu, but get Frozen Heart instead of MR and sit on your tower, keep the wave pushed and sit until 6 items.

At this point for these champions, just hold the lane.

Videos! + My Stream

http://www.twitch.tv/Nerdock

This is my Twitch stream, most of the time I'll be playing Malz on it, because that's whats in demand!

There are videos already on it and some highlights too, to showcase some of my AD Malz gameplay.

But I need to learn other champs too, but stop by if you get time! ^_^

Summoners Rift Application of the Guide (by request)

Meat and potatoes:


Summoner's Rift is an entirely different beast, you can't/don't start with + right out of the gate.

Instead, let's start with this:


x5 + + +


Solomid is listing Rejuvenation bead as costing 250. That is grievously incorrect, it costs 180.

Edit: Riot limited you to 5 HP pots and 5 mana pots. Alternate start: Boots + 3 pots. Let's you focus on last hitting, and not pushing the wave anyway. *shrug* Riot hates your early game, what can I say?

Looking to maximize your lane presence and sustain is key here. Malzahar as AD or AP can go in really any lane. His kit is that versatile. If I do go on SR with this build, I prefer going bottom with a partner (kill lane or classic meta support style is fine), or top lane, because it's just you and the top laner. Ofc you'll get wards for the jungler, not what I mean.

Runes and Masteries can easily still apply here from the Dominion page.

For other options:


Quints: Flat Damage
Marks: Armor Penetration
Seals: (Top and Bot lane) Flat armor. (Mid lane) Scaling HP or flat HP Regen. HP regen per level is inadvisable.
Glyphs: (Top or Bot lane) Magic resist/Level or Cooldown Reduction/Level. (Mid lane) Magic resist/Level or Flat Magic Resist.

Masteries:

Offense Tree: Get 2/2 Butcher over 2/3 Havoc.
Defense Tree: Move the 1 point from utility into Veteran's Scars.

The rest will stay the same.

Item build, and items will stay the same. I will however provide an order:


First back: (this should be a cake walk to accomplish)

After that: then finish into . Relatively the same gold, but the order here isn't INSANELY important, unless your opponent rushes armor, in which case, Brutalizer takes priority.

Next item spread:

Start Against Heavy AD: .

Start Against Heavy AP: Hard CC: .

Start Against Heavy AP Damage: OR . (if you find the AP unable to kill you thanks to a bit of MR and the HP from this item) When going Frozen Mallet, try to start with Giant's belt, it will assist your kit more effectively for the time being.

Final items are of course the same. If you're getting focused, and if you have a Frozen Mallet, Guardian Angel might be an effective tool here. Why specifically with Frozen Mallet? So that you get more HP from the GA rez, thereby making it more effective.


Your goals in lane/Laning Phases


Early game:


Farming. That's it. You do nothing impressive until mid-late game. Buying wards? BUT ITS MONIES. It's also a total of 3 minion kills or 1 wolf camp. You'll get over it, buy wards.

If you go top lane OR mid lane, adjust your opening buy to include 2 wards instead of one. Why? Mid because you want to know from which direction their jungler will approach. at around 7 minutes? guess what, he's going to be coming from blue side. 3-4 minutes? probably from red, unless he needs to back. Position the wards appropriately, to where you can view most entrances and exits, while giving yourself enough of a warning. Don't be afraid to drop a ward by wraiths, or by small bush in river, if you have to burn flash early? no problem. It'll be up again soon. your only goal, again, early game is to just farm.

Top wards should be one in the bush, if your lane opponent is hiding there consistently, and one in river bush, or by baron pit, depending if you're on blue or purple side. Either way, the farther down the river you can go and ward, do that. Lane wards also deter lane ganks.

If you go bottom lane, just pretend like you're playing a carry, because essentially, you are. Just make sure you have a support that will compliment your kit, Leona perhaps, or maybe even pantheon. For the other direction, Sona, Soraka or Nami, are also very helpful here. Same start, all potions, maybe a ward or two, help your support out. You don't want to/need to harass right now, if you can, great. Only do it with E, don't push the lane, remember you have zero escapes.

Mid game


Just stay back and survive, if your team doesn't have peel you WILL need Guardian Angel, because you will most assuredly be the target focus.

Just focus on the squishies, or, if you have a Last Whisper, and your team is getting held up by the tank, just drop him into the ground real quick. Your W+R combo is still designed to bust up tanks, even without the AP.

-The End.


A well put together AP guide for Summoners RIft

http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=52904-zestyyy-malzahar-build-guide

Change Log

Initially I wasn't going to do a change log, but I realized that I've already edited a ton of stuff, and I appreciate patch notes and change logs, so then I don't have to go swimming through walls of text to find the changes, so I hope you find it valuable, too! Also, I will be perpetually and consistently looking for grammatical errors and punctuation changes, thought re-organization, so assume that I'm doing that every update as well.

1/28

  • Added a change log! :P
  • Items section updated with Do Not Buy and Probably Viable item options
  • Items section updated with Muramana explanation
  • Items section updated with Manamune explanation
  • Items section updated with glacial shroud start explanation
  • Updated voidling skillset a bit to include effects from The Black Cleaver
  • Updated Diana and Gragas matchups
  • Updated Anivia matchup to be more specific
  • Added "General Dominion strategy" chapter
  • Updated starting items to include rejuvenation bead
  • Updated why Vampiric scepter is horrible
  • Updated Summoner spell chapter

1/30

  • Added Early game/Late game
  • Changed Masteries sections
  • Removed 90% item icons and replaced with text mid-sentence (<3 Slater)

1/31

  • Updated General Dominion strategy to include anti-QSS strategy
  • Updated Maokai matchup
  • Updated Summoner spell section to be clearer
  • Updated Starting Items to be clearer

2/2

  • Updated Mid/Late game section
  • Updated Items section, removed Ghostblade from other viable options
  • Neatened up the items section a bit, re-organized thoughts
  • Updated final comments

2/4

  • Updated introduction final paragraph
  • Removed a ton of icons in an attempt to get my guide approved

2/5

  • Approved! :D
  • Made a more in-depth summoner skill explanation
  • Updated Sion matchup
  • Updated potentially viable items section to include Banner of Command
  • Updated Muramana description

2/7

  • Updated Countering AD Malzahar
  • Updated Jayce matchup
  • Updated Item build section
  • Updated starting items to include more options
  • Added Elisa's Miracle description in item build section

2/14
Patch 3.02


  • Elisa's Miracle nerfed/changed, description of item edited

2/15

  • Annie and Cassiopeia matchups elaborated upon
  • Added Wukong matchup
  • Moved Diana matchup to Hard and updated

2/19

  • Changed Cleanse description
  • Updated Crystalline Flask description in Item Builds
  • Updated Thornmail description

2/20

  • Updated and moved Wukong matchup to medium
  • Changed guide name for obvious reasons

2/24

  • Updated Nunu matchup
  • Plans to add "Go AP vs these champions" section soon

2/25

  • Replaced Videos section with Is going AP always bad? section (I guess it WAS soon!)
  • "Guide focus" sentences/conclusion added in Introduction, --> PLEASE READ IT. <--
  • Updated item build section to explain why to never buy Sanguine Blade and most other on-hits
  • Added to Spirit Visage description
  • Updated Boots description
  • Soon will add detailed item buys + more champions for the matchups in the "Is going AP always bad?" section
  • Added Morgana matchup and will elaborate on later

2/26

  • Updated voidling skill section; added a paragraph in the middle about timing and about a bug with them
  • Added Runic Bulwark to Never Buy section
  • Updated introduction; added paragraph on info gathering
  • Added a few paragraphs of appreciation to Final Comments ^_^ (yes its for you!)

3/2
Patch 3.03


  • Updated/finished Morg matchup
  • Updated Havoc mastery. Yes, it physically hurt to do it.

3/3

  • Revamped the ENTIRE layout and neatened up the guide, made it much less wall of text.
  • Added more detailed skill descriptions for Malz' abilities. (the generic numbers for each skill)
  • I'll try to roughly put when the newest patches come out, here on the updates section.
  • Updated Nidalee matchup with extreme prejudice!

3/4

  • Removed Odyn's Veil from MR options

3/14

  • Added Akali matchup
  • Added Urgot matchup
  • Added Xin Zhao matchup
  • Updated Nidalee matchup
  • Went through most of the guide and neatened up the sentence structuring

3/16

  • Massive overhaul of item builds section: many, many more items explained, format neatened up
  • Moved Irelia matchup to Lane Swap section
  • Summoners Rift section partly done (by request)
  • Pictures added!

3/18
Patch 3.04


  • New Bulwark stats added, description unchanged
  • No new changes for 3.04 other than Elise matchup update

3/20

  • Plans to add "build x item first vs this champion" under matchups

3/21

  • Re-Worded Diana matchup, added notes on Elisa's Miracle + Crystalline Flask

3/23

  • Added a few paragraphs to introduction section
  • Updated Hyper Carry matchup

3/28
Patch 3.5 (R.I.P. Karma)


  • Update Blackfire Torch description
  • Updated Susan matchup
  • Updated go AP vs these champions to add Susan

4/2

  • Updated Runes/Rune explanation
  • Small update on Diana matchup (mostly thought restructuring)

4/9
Patch 3.5 ("balances")


  • Matchups unchanged. Karma to be added soon.

4/14

  • Sion matchup elaborated upon and moved to medium
  • Karma matchup added

4/23

  • Riven matchup added
  • Summoners Rift Synopsis section finished
  • Begun adding specific items to champion matchup sections
  • Updated Zed matchup

5/4
patch3.6 (Karma Buffs!)


  • Added Lissandra matchup

5/8

  • Added Stalemate Lane section

5/11

  • Updated Malzahar matchup
  • Added many Build: tags to champion matchup section

5/16
Patch 3.7


  • Updated Lissandra matchup
  • Added Lissandra to "go AP vs these champs" section

7/1 (I'm semi-emplyed now, so less time to update but will do very soon)

SCARIZARD SAW MY GUIDE. WINNING.

7/3

  • Updated Nunu matchup
  • Updated everything relating to Starting Items
  • Updated Thornmail description
  • Updated Against AP section in items

7/9

  • Updated runes: +1 more Scaling MR and -1 Flat CDR Glyph
  • Updated Defense masteries: +1 more point in Resistance and -1 point in Hardiness
  • Updated Maw of Malmortius

8/9

  • Added Videos! section + twitch stream

8/11

  • Updated Singed lane matchup section
  • Updated Lightbringer into Grez'
  • Updated items based on general Dominion item changes

9/3

  • Updated Runes: Changed Seals to scaling HP/5

11/5

  • Neatening up a *LOT* of the guide, finalized rune/mastery setup to what it is now
  • New, much better, more detailed, revive description courtesy of HaIfhearted
  • Rune and Mastery pictures!
  • Neatened up lane matchups (visual + text layout; phrasing)

11/21/13

  • THIS NEW LAYOUT SO CONFUZZLING. PLSHALP.
  • Editing what I can, trimming a lot, will probably miss things, but wanted to update masteries ASAP at least
  • WELP Elisa's Miracle is gone, so that's garbage, but such as is. Ty Rito
  • I just do NOT have the patience to reorganize this right now, but you get the idea, more touch-ups later

12/3/13

  • I'm officially done with league. Had a lot of good times with the blind monk. Riot outwardly hates Dominion, and I them, I hope you enjoy this guide.

Final Comments

These are just some of the things that I've come across, please feel free to comment below, and I hope the guide helped you see something differently or taught you something you didn't know before! :)



The guide will never *truly* be done. As I experience more and see more matchups, see how others play it, good, bad, better than me, then it's new information and I'm consistently updating it. Unemployment lets me do this kind of thing.


I also plan on neatening up the guide in time. By just making it look nicer/neater/not wall of text in areas, as I get time, and polishing it and refining it, adding more things etc, so please bear with me!


A note for those who got through the whole thing (somehow):


Hey Readers, its 2/26 and literally overnight (2/23-2/24) my guide went from 8k to 26k views, and from 6 likes to 10... all in under ONE month! It's SUCH a great response, I'm glad/hoping that people are getting something from this.

7/8/2013 Update* 400,000 views! ^_^ Please leave comments if you like/dislike something, have questions etc, its one of the many ways the guide will get better!

3/17-3/18: Broke 100K views, 4k in one night! You guys rule!

4/10 - 200k views! Exciting stuff. Hope you guys are getting something informative from this, if so, share it with your friends who like Malz, I'm sure they'll like a new perspective, or at least a more in-depth one!

Thank You a *TON* <-- for the support!


Going to keep updating as much as I can, again, the guide will never truly be finished. (Especially with tons of re-works and the new champions always coming out)

Credits: HaIfhearted for helping me with picture uploads. ^_^

If you do choose to dislike it, no problem, I completely and totally get it, we all think differently, but hopefully the guide is put together and presented well enough to fend off the dislike button, if nothing else. (I'm not going to ask/tell you not to dislike it, because that's just stupid for a reasons.) But if you would please put in the comments section why you didn't like it, so at least I can include that in the guide in some way, I'd be appreciative.

Thanks so much for your time!

Comments

January 20, 2014 - 09:48 PM #1

http://sh.st/cM6P

October 21, 2013 - 04:01 PM #2

Hey Venom, I also have, in this time, picked up quite a few other champions. I've been debating doing a Cassi guide, since she's now my second main bot laner. As for top SR builds, if it's not already in the SR section (by request) chapter, I'll look it over and re do it.



As for other champions, I'll take requests I guess, perhaps start on a Cassi guide and see what people want from there. Hope you enjoyed the guide, thanks for the comment!

October 12, 2013 - 12:53 PM #3

Will you do any other build of any champion?

Is there any good build for AD Top Malzahar for SR?

June 21, 2013 - 09:28 PM #4

Hey, theabcs,



Good question, I believe Captain boots *could* be useful against AD Carries if you can afford to drop ninja tabi, because you really dont want your voidlings getting kited around (as you clearly know). However, the stick power, ofc is just sticking to you, when I just want them on the enemie's ankles faster. If they had boots for outbound speed id buy that in a HEARTBEAT.



Malz going top is a rough situation IMO. Most of the champions that go up there, since Dominion is a control based map, either have gap closers, or some kind of teleport/assassin mechanism and or long range cc (talon/leblanc/lux/zyra/leona), and with Malz having zero escapes (and taking flash revive is a waste of a summoner), he's just more apt in bot lane. Mostly because his kit relies on pushing waves, and fighting 1v1 (suppress ultimate, specifically) and thats ALL that bot lane is.

June 15, 2013 - 10:05 PM #5

What do you think about captain boots on ad malzahar? They add around 50 ms to voidlings, which helps them stick better. Also, is he worth playing top lane in dom?

April 28, 2013 - 07:47 PM #6

It's difficult to beat! The tankiness of the build, Frozen Heart/Frozen Mallet, or just Frozen Heart + daaaamages is just horrific to overcome for the enemy team.



So glad you enjoy it!

April 27, 2013 - 04:29 PM #7

Played this build for the last 30 games and it is great with a 90-95% win rate. It can be such a tanky build with frozen heart and BC it is great.

March 24, 2013 - 03:38 AM #8

Hi Arcades,



Yeah, maybe about Exhaust, but I think its flexible. I also mention 100% of what you said in the guide, so I'm not sure if those were points you enjoyed or thoughts of your own that you were looking to share, but I agree. Especially with CDR cap, which is why I've swapped to 6 -cdr/level blues + glacial early.



As for people "knowing how to play better vs AD Malz", I believe you underestimate, as I do, solo. queue. Like I say in the guide, I've beaten every matchup I listed because the people lacked the skill to overcome it. So where I agree a higher caliber of player catches onto the playstyle, I frequently find that most people don't know what to do other than rush QSS since it was so popular a few tournaments back and highly publicized.



Thanks for the feedback!

March 24, 2013 - 03:00 AM #9

Definitely a good, comprehensive guide. The only problem with AD Malzahar these days, I've found, is that players are getting smarter about killing your Voidlings almost immediately upon spawning. I used to prefer AD Malz over AP, but due to this shift in improved opposition, I tend to play AP these days.



Regarding summoner spells, I think you sell Exhaust a little short. It's not only for AD champs. It reduces AP spell damage, but more importantly, it slows the speed of gankers, which can make all the difference on escaping and is one of Malz weak points (being ganked).



Since you're AD, you won't be building Twin Shadows, so Exhaust isn't a bad option for having a ready made slow that doesn't require you to stop moving backwards and auto attack to apply it.



I consider Glacial Shroud core since getting close to CDR cap is very important for outpacing an opposing Quicksilver Sash, plus the mana adds to your damage once you upgrade Tear -- but I can see it being a matter of choice if you get your CDR elsewhere.



Lastly, it may seem insignificant, but which mob you apply Malefic Visions to can speed up your push or factor into a Malz mirror match. I've seen many Malz players toss it out on the cannon minion only to watch its duration die before the mob, whereas if it was applied to a caster mob while you toss a few auto attacks on the cannon mob you can get all 3 with with Malefic without any other spell casts. Sometimes, this helps when you are pushing the bot tower and want to spend your Null Zone and Call of the Void attacking the enemy champion circling his own bot tower. With Malz mirror matchups, if you try to Malefic a fully formed Voidling without more damage it will run out before you kill the Voidling and you lose the bounce effect (and mana regen from the kill).



Anyhow, great guide!

March 18, 2013 - 05:02 AM #10

Right, I get that it can be for rift, but for the time being, I have no plans to do a duplicate guide for SR. The same principles for Dominion, also apply in the Summoners Rift section, I just havent had the time I'd like to finish it up yet. I'm doing a mini SR guide inside of this guide, with the necessary/important information. I don't see the need to type duplicate info about it. For example the skills section and the matchups section. Those remain unchanged, as most of the guides principles apply to both maps.



There probably could be an SR guide for AD Malz, but for now, this is what I'm willing to put toward that; a mini-guide.

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