Sunday, 8 January 2012

Just a personal update

Hey readers, GamingRoots here thinking I should make a post, make it clear that i'm still TOTALLY INTO THIS. I've just been really busy lately. I finished the general formatting for my 2nd Malzahar guide on MOBAFIRE, just gotta read it over a few times put some finishing touches on it. I should probably PLAY malzahar a few times cause I only played him twice then wrote the guide (just to refresh my memory).

I've been playing alot of WoW lately having loads of fun on my warlock. I specced him destro and with the imp talents he's absolutely devestating in bgs. The nuking capacity is incredible and sometimes you get both an instant incinerate and soulfire from your imp and you can just toss those out on somebody for massive damage. Shadowburn? Fury? The aoe stun: is such a versatile and fun spell. It makes me wish I didn't have to be affliction for arenas but I don't mind - affliction is OK.

To be honest when I made my lock my dreams were of being a master demon commander and it was all about those demons but after being affliction and later destro I can't vouch much for Demonology being a pvp spec. Maybe i'll give it another shot tonight.

I recently broke into my stash of mints I got for christmas, my family knows I love them so I get tons of them for christmas. I'm down to three left chewing on a big fat one right now, mmmm.

I've also been re-dabbling in Kassadin - On League of Legends. Very fun assassin character i'm surprised he wasnt on elementz teir list as #1 initially because riftwalk (ei extreme positional power) is so great. I played him on dominion as an AD TANK for a while and it was hugely successful but took a while to get rolling sometimes. It lead to a lot of games starting off bad and turning around once I finally got enough items to do stuff. I think AD was a bad choice on my part though. It IS pretty fun wacking them down (I had AS marks and used berserker boots to coutner early game bad AS) and being able to riftwalk in front. Realistically though lich bane would make him a thousand times better even if you lose the sustain.

Hope you're all keeping your new years resolutions. I know i'm not. Anyways, happy reading - living - gaming. Bye :)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A Long Due Essay on Trolling and Happiness

I wrote this a week or two ago and it's one two of my other blogs but I think this is relevant to my goals with GamingRoots. When I started writing I had a goal in mind that I had already been trying to accomplish. I wanted to change the way that people think while gaming. Alot of good players treat other's poorly. It's something that I believe started in the 90's with hardcore FPS games and Starcraft among elite and professional players. The problem is that it spread. I'd say Call of Duty 4 was a big explosion for this type of attitude as it was such a widely popular FPS title. So many people were on this game trying to get great scores. From there on skill was no longer actually a requirement for you to treat other people like shit. Casual players would get infected with the attitude, or suffer it and lash back because the environment was there. Either way whatever the history of it is. There's a very poor attitude going on in the world of video gaming and I want to help lead people out.

With GamingRoots I hope I can capture your attention with the lessons I have to offer and show you an example of a gamer who doesn't need to be like this. I'm anonymous to, so there is no gain for me and there is no consequence to me so I could just lose my self control and treat people like shit if I wanted to (And I have many many times) I hope you like it.

This essay is quite a variety that all winds down what I perceive as a linear thought process providing history, deductions, and results in that order. I will start with a description of my gaming experience. This is to show why I believe I have a strong grasp on the elements of game-play. Then we’ll switch gears and move into a more human nature oriented psychology lesson, closing with hopefully some reasoning that will make you feel better with every day that passes. I want to say that I am not perfect, and that I have lost my self control many times in video games and “screamed” or “yelled” at people. It’s part of this experience and my willingness to do good and not spread negativity on the internet that helped me learn what I’m presenting today

I have always been a lover of games. I was first introduced to them at my Grandmothers house with the NES. My first game would have been the original Legend of Zelda and probably Super Mario. I owned a Super Nintendo and a Nintendo 64 on which I played countless titles. I converted to PC gaming as soon as we bought our first PC. I played Lineage, and some other MMOs that I can’t remember at all, but I was taken entirely with the release of Ultima Online. How could I go back to playing games limited to a local community after seeing and feeling the vastness of an online player-base?

In 2006 I started to become captured by the thrill of gaming competition with World of Warcraft’s expansion “The Burning Crusade”. The addition of Gladiatorial arenas was fascinating, intimidating and exciting. At this time I wasn’t really anything to be taken note of but it was the start of something laden with lessons. I picked up Call of Duty 4 in 2009 and that’s where I really started to learn the formulas that churned out a win. With the help of my best friend I quickly grew to dominate fellow players with speed and strategy deduced from the slightest inferences of my opponents mindset and counter strategies. I got “good” (Good is a question of perspective, always.) at gaming there and took my situational skills to League of Legends and then finally back to World of Warcraft with the release of Cataclysm to test what I had learned against my old muse.

When I played Call of Duty I went through phases of obtaining excellent scores and having mediocre plays only getting a three to one kill death ratio. (I would kill three enemies for every one time they killed me.) I realized that there come times in advancing skills that you put aside the foundations that you’ve built solidly to expand upon new concepts and those generally distract from the old methods of success you had used, causing you to fluxuate with time. Once you’ve solidified the concept you’ve been grappling with your over-all success will rise, until you find a new concept to expand or take your new perspective to your old foundations and revise them for better efficiency.

I played League of Legends for about 7 months on and off with general success, never very seriously; but it was this game that opened my eyes to the philosophies I hope you will be able to also discover. Assuming I can retain your attention long enough to put all of these pieces together as I have. Such a lesson comes from a vast amount of experience and can’t be simplified into its basic state or it turns out to be something you’ve heard before but never felt was true. Just a cliché, a phrase used by the masses without understanding its root can never be transferred. You cannot give what you haven’t understood I believe.

League of Legends skill or success isn’t very easy to determine since winning the game can come from many different play-styles or results. I’ve read that in Europe the 5 man teams that push towards the objective of the game tend to avoid vicious player versus player interchanges and instead prefer to play a game of avoidance and strategy to break the enemy team’s Towers. On American servers, the teams use more aggressive tactics and it actually tends to frustrate European players since they are used to a completely different play-style.

One thing comes out of these statements to me. The game can be won through many different play-styles. That’s probably part of why it has been so successful is that every person has their individual thoughts, perceptions and ways that they see as effective towards breaking their enemies’ towers. Because of this, it makes skill hard to determine. A player who’s fast on the trigger with his abilities and has good skill might still lose to a slow player who is more aimed at the towers because the towers are the objective, not just to kill. This applies to many games, but the former player,  who is skilled at aggression could utterly crush the latter strategic player in confrontation, nullifying their battlefield manipulation value later in the game. As the game goes on you accumulate “points” in many different ways and so the end result is very much a boiling pot.

Now, League of Legends has a bit of a vile community. Many people will tell you this. Players will verbally attack their own team mates for anything they perceive as damaging towards the end result, because you get locked into a 20-60 minute game for that end result. A win or a loss: The result of about half an hours worth of work. Everyone wants to win when you’re devoting on average 30-40 minutes of your time towards the game. The players will call their teammates (or the opposing team) bad, unskilled, stupid, new, anything. Anything to vent their frustration or other emotions caused by their damnation to lose a game (Often a game can be decided as a win or loss within 10-20 minutes due to the many “points” that stack up against or for your team. Though not more then 20% of the time at best the game can instantly turn in the enemy teams favour no matter the current circumstances).

I’ve been called all of it. I’ve been devalued as a player, as a team-mate, as a person. Many times it bothered me because having the experiences I’ve had I know that I have something that is very good to offer to my team. With confidence I can say that I have a 80% chance of winning a skill based competition if I join a League of Legends public game. Which is where all of this discussion is taking place, I’m going to ignore the competitive side because this all revolves around the average person attacking another person they don’t know.

People will in-accurately assess others all the time. I went through phases of self doubt, wondering “Why do people attack ME? I’m doing excellent!” Sometimes you’re unlucky and a great game can turn against you and the other players opinions of you will quickly form against you as well. And sometimes people who you are beating will call you bad as well. They can be right, they can be wrong. League of Legends, being free to play has players from all over the globe. It has easily over 5 million regular players, people who play every day or every other day.

The population of earth is something I can’t tell you. I don’t know the estimated figure, and if I did it wouldn’t be true anyways. What I do know is that it’s so high that you will never meet enough people on earth, to be unable to leave your past behind. You can always walk away and start anew in a new community. Some people will instantly dislike you to your core, some people will think that you are amazing! I feel that it’s true to say “There are 10,000 people on Earth AT LEAST, who love you enough to marry you and live with you happily for the rest of your life, and you love them just the same.”  These things cannot be changed without lying or preparing your image to be something that you are not. Being de-valued by people who I knew had no assessment of what I was doing or how skilled I was constantly made me realize that people will judge you, and people will say things that are wrong. There are many examples of this in the music industry. Nirvana and Led Zeppelin are just two of hundreds of great well known acts that had problems gaining acceptance. They were told directly by record companies, by people who’s job it was to critique and assess their music that it had no place in the modern market. That is was bad. And of course, this is just the music industry. I don’t need to bring up 10 examples to make the same point. People will assess you incorrectly.

Now, since there are so many people on Earth, and there’s a 50/50 chance (I call it 50/50 since it’s not something you can control or predict) that they will either like you, or dislike you: Why are we taking things so personally? I know we’re taking it personally because I see people responding to it. The person attacking you has one or two goals.

They are either attacking you out of their own frustration and have no mind for the way it affects you, or they are attacking you because they desire to effect you in a negative way. Doing the latter suggests you are actually doing both in that you’re taking out your negative emotions and trying to make someone else feel negative emotions. Now we are getting into the subject of trolls. Generally: People on the internet trying to upset others. That’s about as concise and simple as a troll gets without just calling them an internet bully. Lots of people have tried to make an in depth description of this “Phenomenon” the rise of popularity and culture of the troll. I’m not going to get into that, because it’s pointless. All you need to know is that they are upset inside and that never changes. Why else would they need to act like this? Why would the single spark ignite for this behaviour as is always required for any action.

On the internet, people are anonymous; it’s a point that’s been made before. It’s easy to act without self control when there are little to no consequences. I believe this reveals a startling bit about what’s really going on inside the mind of humans. When there’s nothing to hold you back, how do you act? Lots of people lash out. Doesn’t that just tell you they are bullies? How do you treat a bully?

I’ll tell you how I deal with them. I ignore them, I ignore them entirely. It wasn’t easy and I don’t expect it to be easy for anybody to achieve release from the words of other people if they are currently concerned with them. It took me a long time, I’ve known that their negative spread of thought was nothing but anger and hurt for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any easier to not be upset by the sheer vast amount of people doing it or the words that they say. Humans are like birds we are very sensitive to each other, smart and observant and I think people forget this often. We are animals, basic in our foundations complex in the result, which is often tainted with deception.

Here’s why you should ignore them too. You are the only thing you have. You have your body and your mind and everything else can be taken away from you without taking away your life. You are born, and you follow a linear path of time until the moment that you die. 100% of your life is spent feeling emotions. If you spend your teenage years entirely in pain and frustration, by a rough estimate and assumption on living 100 years you have literally SPENT 10% of your life’s time being in that state. ”We only have one candle, to burn down to the handle.” I choose that I spend more of my minutes being happy so that when I die my happiness to unhappiness ratio will be weighed as much in favour of happiness as I can make it. And I think that’s one of the very few scores that you can keep in life.

When you let a bully, these dime a dozen, unoriginal, cowards who will only manifest their weakness and thirst for satisfaction off of your distress when there is no chance of consequence or loss – get what he wants. You’re lowering that ratio, and for a very silly reason. When you respond, either to play it cool so that you can show them you haven’t been upset or to tell them how much of an ass hole they are, you are showing that you care. They will capitalize off of that and can easily take control of you from that point still. They already have in a matter of speaking. So how do you truly win? By being happy.

It takes a strong person to stand up and say “Yes I am mad! You are making me angry because you are an ASSHOLE!” to acknowledge that their game is succeeding because they ARE an asshole. I think playing it cool is probably the easier option but that’s playing their game and that’s sinking to their level. And playing it cool has been done before, they know what you’re doing. It takes a master to watch with a cool smirk as their attempts to invade you fall like the feeble strings of hypocritical confetti they are.

When you respond, you’re actually sinking to their level in one of the truest forms of the metaphor. But it’s not enough to sit silent if it bothers you still. You have to work towards fully understanding the situation. The situation is this: “An upset bully is trying to make me upset.” The important part to remember is that they are just upset people who are lashing out. Cool has never existed except in the mind. They act in a position of superior coolness, but a bully is not cool. A coward is not cool. You have to have confidence in yourself alone that will serve as a barrier to their comments. People will assess you wrong all the time, but the person who knows best your objectives and thoughts is you and that’s all you need to trust. By being solitary and confident, able to trust that you are strong and intelligent the values and opinions of others will diminish into silent cries of desire. What is it they desire you can see clearly if you know how to look.

I encourage you to find trust in yourself that you have a gift for this world to give, size unimportant. I encourage you to understand that your happiness is of extreme value and that the greatest disaster may be to be discontent. Say it out loud “Fuck the posers! Fuck the haters!” let the weight of those letters F U C K bind together in heavy, loud protest. Then say this “I love myself!” and believe it because you should. Believing in yourself will help you to move forward every day, and never become suspended by the opinions of people who are just too abundant to worry about.

There are many people on planet Earth who already fully understand this philosophy, and have come to the result that I have through many different walks of life. Many people are living their lives absolutely free of what others say or think and they are living their lives quite happily. I think that being concerned with what others think is a BIG problem in the world. Lots of people pretend that they don’t care what other’s think, but are being too active in liberating themselves therefore making the entire process fairly redundant and stressful. I know that some people who are ready to make the change will read this and hopefully I can fill in the puzzle pieces that are missing through my experience but this isn’t a guide that will take everyone to freedom.

This is only the steps that I was able to identify from my own journey that lead me here. I hope that I can help some people by spreading the knowledge they need to make it to happiness. I also know, that in many places where this will be posted, there will be some “clever” fool who thinks he could soil, or taint this with any number of attack plan. Mostly I expect “U MAD?” (An unoriginal disease among the sheep of the discontent, nothing more). I mean, would you really let yourself get bothered by someone who says that? It’s like losing chess to a guy who only uses his Queen. No skill, no creativity. Nada. At least get mad to someone who understands how to really get under your skin.

 It’s important to remember that just because someone acts a certain way doesn’t mean that that’s their core, or the standard of how they wish to act. I say this because if we assumed everyone who treated another person like crap over the internet over something petty was a bad person – you would probably wind up losing faith due to the sheer amount of the act. It’s just a loss of self control and I think some time in their life they will realize their errors. Some people don’t, but we can’t tell the future. It will always unravel itself at it’s own pace and no amount of asking “Are we there yet” will get you there any faster. I’m releasing this without a whole revision. I’ll read it once or twice a week after the initial copy was hammered out in 30 minutes but there’s no way I’m going to try and boil the elements down to their purest form.

I think it’s interesting that as children we’re taught how to deal with bullies, but that the problem persists through-out life and the name just changes from being a bully to being an asshole. Suddenly we had to give everybody else equality in the subject of intellect because we were all adults.  I don’t respect everyone’s opinion and I think that’s a great way to be. Sometimes people are innately stupid.  Hand in hand with ignoring negative opinions, you can ignore different opinions. Opinions you don’t agree with. They would get you frustrated just to argue that yours is correct. What a worthless cause.

Any piece of opinion, writing, philosophy, can be reverse engineered and turned upon itself. If anyone does, I’m writing this footnote as a universal ward. When I choose to do something like this, I consider my decision to be good trusting in myself that I am trying to generate something positive. In a world where bad and good are pushing from opposing sides, and some people are stuck in the middle faithless wondering “Why would I do good when there’s just so much bad and it wont make a difference”, the only answer for me is to push on the side of good, because that can’t be wrong. That’s how I know how to trust in my decisions. Again, I’m not perfect – but I try my best when I’m in a good mood.

So you want to learn to play Malzahar eh?

Well I might be able to help you if you're able to get through the material. This blog is all about gaming insights and advice. I'm not a professional gamer and I can be wrong but read over any material that interests you here and if you have any questions feel free to ask and i'd love to help you out.
The following is an 18 page document I wrote on League of Legends Champion Malzahar and how I like to make use of him. Here is a link to the guide on MOBAfire it's good because it's more organized for comprehension but I didn't spend time encoding it.

I'm not a professor. It's not my job to teach you. It's not my job to entertain you. I teach you because I enjoy sharing what i've learned that I know other's don't have under their belt. That's my gaming roots. I don't do this to get popular. That's why you'll see my Malzahar guide isn't fully coded. Because I dont give a shit what people think. If you want to learn how to play Malzahar well, sit the fuck down and study the material. Otherwise too bad so sad. I wrote 10k words on it I don't need to make it pretty. Like I said, It's not my job and if it was maybe i'd make it easier for you to digest but it isn't. I value all of the people who want to learn from me incredibly but I don't believe it's my responsibility to take it any further then I already have.

Without further hesitation - My Guide on Malzahar Copied and pasted from word

Welcome to GamingRoot’s guide to playing Malzahar. Malzahar was my first 6300 champ and I’m pretty lucky that he was because I bonded with him instantly. Still to this day he is my absolute favourite champ to play. This is my first guide and I hope to do others for MOBAfire in the future. I understand that this guide is somewhat extensive reaching 18 pages in Microsoft Word text alone. I also don’t know if it’s going to actually wind up being useful to anyone. I wrote what is presented here in a day off the top of my head.
And most importantly I want to thank you for taking the time to read my guide! I hope you enjoy what I’ve written so far.

  1. Skill set (Passive, QWER)
  2. Skill Order
  3. Item Building
  4. How to Bush Gank Hard
  5. How to Win Middle
  6. Adding Pressure to the Game
  7. Summoner Spells
  8. Runes
  9. Masteries
  10. Summoner Spells.

Passive: Malzahar’s passive is core to his success and knowing how to capitalize on your voidlings will earn you a huge advantage of resources (Health, Gold, Mana.) People complain that they are uncontrollable but with a bit of time and the strategies in this guide you will learn to predict your voidling’s behaviour and manipulate it to your will (Not to mention your malefic visions is basically an attack command).

I start every game with Call of The Void and charge it at my fountain so that my next spell cast will summon a voidling. This is an asset in the early game I find adds up against my opponent in many ways and is the most reliable way to score a kill at level one. Starting with a voidling begins the game with a force your opponent can not outmatch. I always try to use CoTV on a line of three minions at the time I expect my opponent to be in line with them, either passing through or retreating. When the game opens you will hurt three minions with CoTV, summon a voidling that will cause more damage then your CoTV did to those minions, and hopefully shave a little bit off your opponent’s health bar. Getting the first hit is often hugely psychological and vs. an inexperienced opponent can immediately make them feel like they have to be defensive. This is a big advantage for you as you can now move forward a bit and last hit minions (This opens up a lot of other opportunities but we’ll discuss those in “How to Win Middle”)

From levels 1-7 voidlings play a huge role in killing my enemy. I think it’s believed that Malzahar only begins to kill in mid once he gets ult, that’s a big misconception. You can kill your enemy from level one by getting them in a bad position and combining MV, auto attack, and a voidling (You won’t have MV at level one but you can still get the kill if your enemy underestimates you). Ignite is helpful too. Believe me those things are insane. If your enemy is overextended, or is say Kennen, who just rushed at you through your minion wave and is closing in fast on your face. MV, a frenzied voidling, auto attacks and ignite are enough to kill him with surprising speed. I can’t tell you how many people underestimate what’s going to happen to them when my voidling has the chance to sit still and auto-attack them.

It’s important to pay attention to and “abuse” the length of the leash on your voidlings. If you ever notice your voidling is targeting your enemy for whatever reason, malefic visions or simply luck; make sure to move forward quickly and always keep close enough that your voidling doesn’t pull back to you. This will force them to their tower where you can decide to let your voidling die for another hit or pull back and keep him. This will severely damage their health bar. It’s a point that not many Public game Malzahar’s capitalize on that really REALLY add’s up. If you have a voidling and you want to press an attack on an enemy, casting MV and auto attacking but then following and letting your voidling auto attack for you is devastating because the enemy will most often just retreat, taking damage while you are free to auto attack minions along the way or you know, not take damage.

Protect your voidlings. Some players will attack your minions very aggressively and I think that’s a good strategy on their part because leaving it wild is going to demolish their minion wave. Make them pay. VS some champions you won’t want to get too close so you might just walk in and throw an auto attack and back out, but don’t underestimate the value of simply right clicking your opponent and waiting. A lot of players expect you to just take pot shots at them and won’t even back up allowing you to land two to even four auto attacks just for your voidling’s life. It’s a lot like Heimerdinger’s turrets, your enemy has to attack them but the numbers don’t really add up in their favour if you protect your voidlings aggressively.

Regarding Mana and Voidlings:
If your mana pool is full and you’re not regenerating mana, just cast a spell or two. Attempt to fit in as many charges of your passive in every game as you can unless you’re waiting for a strategic moment to pop out your voidling.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you find that you’re running low on mana it might be a good idea to save a voidling to attack your opponent’s next minion wave very aggressively with MV, and auto attacks to recharge yourself. If there’s two to even three enemy minions left (That’s 9 minions total we’re talking about jumping through)  and a new wave is coming a voidling + MV can easily take you from 5% to 30% of your mana and that my friends is something I consider a bit ridiculous.

Blue Buff is very good for Malzahar, often allowing you to have two voidlings (Which is ridiculous by the way, two voidlings and your ult is enough to kill someone from half hp), spam more spells and charge up your Tear of the Goddess faster. It’s not something he needs like Anivia might but if you can get it you’ll have a fun time.

If you feel there’s a reason you don’t want to move too close to the minion wave you can move back and forth with your voidling at its leash range to hit minions for you and still earn gold without putting yourself in danger. At higher levels you can do this with MV and CoTV to destroy minion waves alone in the faces of up to three opponents.

Call of the Void:
This spell is just as much the bread and butter of Malzahar as MV is. I start off every game with this spell because the damage and safety of using it and to summon a voidling. This is an amazing skill in team fights often foretelling the coming of an attack as it blankets your enemies leaving them helpless to initiation. COTV is also a trap, a circular barrier around Malzahar. You bait your enemy’s behaviour so that they move into the attack, slowing and silencing them. I like to think that this spell has a greater range then its cast range when used against enemies moving towards you, and a shorter range when used against enemies moving away from you – due to the delay. This spell is the reason I buy Rylai’s as my first big item nearly every game. The fact that it’s a lead allows you to cast it before they enter a dangerous range and be moving into a new position while 2-5 of the enemy team is slowed and disoriented.

The 15% slow goes very – very far in increasing Malzahar’s manipulation value and team fight potential. You might think this isn’t that great because in a 1v1 situation 15% slow isn’t going to do much vs. someone closing in on you. You’ll realize why in the next paragraphs discussing techniques using COTV but we’re going to start off with the beginning of the game strategies and uses first. It’s important to know that you don’t always have to use this spell at its max range; you always want to be aiming to be landing it on as many people as possible or to utilize its silence in protection. Some people might tell you to try to silence specific characters, I don’t agree with cutting back your damage and silence potential. Hit as many people as possible, and if you have to, move beside the fight to land it down the middle of the enemy team.

Safe Spending:
So you’ve picked your Q, charged up your passive at the fountain and you’re headed towards middle. The minion waves pass your turret and you follow out in between the second and third minion. This is big because you want to get to the middle early so you can stop your enemy from crossing their caster minion line. When I use Call of The Void at low levels, I always try to make the most of the mana I’m spending by combining a minion wave attack with an attack on my opponent. They need to cross their rear wave in order to auto attack your minions. When they start to move towards that rear line cast COTV so that it lands on them and their minions. Just as you can predict them moving forward you can predict them moving backwards, and eventually the use of CoTV won’t rely on the passing through minion waves. You will learn to feel when your enemy will move.

Do The Freak Out:
In a situation where you’re defending your tower, for example – middle. You have 3-5 teammates with you and they have an equal (or even greater amount. Malzahar can destroy minion waves from a distance easily making it possible for him to stave off 2-3 un-coordinated players). This could be a team-fight at any moment, and you’re the one who’s going to make it a success. Both teams will be doing their dances of death as all members constantly shift positions to be ready to support, attack, but more importantly for you – advance. Most often if you’re defending the enemy team is parading around middle crushing your minions and moving forward with their minion wave. You have to predict the advance of the enemy team and throw out CoTV so they walk into it. If you can land this, during any pre-team fight positioning this is what happens.
  1. Infrequently, some players will react and move backwards and some will move forwards still getting hit. This is still useful if your team is ready to quickly swoop up on their altered positioning, but mostly is just a good poke.
  2. You hit 3-5 players silencing them and slowing them down. Your team moves in on the silenced and slowed enemies. This is good because you probably hit tanks and champions who wanted to be able to reach your players in the back of your formation, such as Malzahar. The 15% slow can make all the difference in the 0.5-1.0 seconds more it would take them to reach your rear line. That’s all the time it takes for one of your team-mates to cast a CC, for a melee champion to get too close for comfort and force those enemies to call off their advance – a huge team-fight changing event that can lead to them falling apart instantly.
  3. You hit 3-5 players silencing them and slowing them. Some choose to keep moving forward and some panic being silenced and feeling their character moving slower then they are used to and instantly pull back. Positioning ruined once again. Your team sweeps upon the lack of unison in their ranks and tears them apart.

This is why I use Rylai’s, there are a lot of other uses for it on Malzahar, but this is the selling factor is seeing the enemy team’s unison ruined in a split second and being able to slow 3-5 players at the beginning of a fight with a silence. Timed right it’s like a smoke screen that allows your team to just move in with no consequences until the silence wears off. The slow itself is fairly decent in every situation having all of your spells slow someone by 15% is enough for a friend to catch up.

Slice! :
This move has gotten me so many killing blows on fleeing enemies, putting it in their path as they run it closes in on them spelling death. This technique is both a discussion of general use and a little bit of tips. As you probably know by now the aiming system of COTV lands a wall that is based off of Malzahar’s position. I’m not sure how to describe the mechanic literally. Your positioning when using this move is therefore incredibly important. You can cast it in front of you, causing a “vertical slice” or you can cast it to your left and right, a “horizontal slice” and then you can cast it in any number of imaginable diagonal attacks. You can also cast this spell over walls on fleeing enemies to slow or even kill them blindly with practice.

Bush Checking:
Always use this spell on a bush before you check it. Sometimes I like to expose myself and dance in and out of range of the bush to see if any attacks come from it first. Sometimes I like to rush up to the bush and cast COTV so that as it lands I enter gaining the maximum effect of the silence. Sometimes I just cast it on the bush and then walk in from max range. All of these uses are situational and depend on your power vs. the potential power that’s inside the bush. This is also a great use for your team before they check a bush of course. Always use this spell on bushes once you start getting a large mana pool before you enter them. It’s a very powerful dynamic of this spell that you shouldn’t ignore.

Let’s talk about the varying levels of damage on this spell and how that defines how we’ll use it.

Rank One: At rank one this isn’t really that great for doing champion damage even at level one. It’s decent but since it’s not a reliable hit it’s not something you want to be using for the purpose of harassment. Use it for hitting multiple minions. When your mana pool is full and you aren’t recharging mana, use it just to progress voidling charges and get the most out of mana regen.

Rank Two: Well what did you expect? The spell gets a little better. At rank one it will usually do aprox 15% of the minion’s life that it hits, at rank two it will do 20-25%

Rank Three: Here CoTV starts to become a very powerful farming tool if you ignore Null Zone to level it. Again you want to use it on as many minions as possible but landing it on your enemy is going to be a viable damage option so you might want to try saving it for when he crosses his minions more. Since generally (before team fights begin) CoTV is landed without your enemy being able to fight back this is pretty devastating.

I don’t see the point in discussing the next two ranks in detail but rather the choice to level them up. If you’re leveling up CoTV early that’s where its damage will shine. Without damage items leveling it early can allow you to do great damage to enemy minion waves. Rank 4 and 5 are often instant kills on the minions it hits. The times I choose to advance Call of The Void specifically are when I’m not gaining any ground on my opponent. If I can’t get in and put MV on them without getting hit back, or if I don’t think I can use NZ to combo them dead (at level 6) I’ll opt for the farming power of ranking up CoTV to 3 or 4 before I even pick up NZ. This will push anybody in to their tower.

Null Zone:
Alright, the hot tub. I find there are generally four times that I’m using this spell. When cast beneath an enemies feet it will tick once initially, so you can use it for a little bit of damage if you need to on a fleeing enemy. This spell is wide enough to fill passageways or bushes. Sometimes you won’t even be using it for damage because it is kind-of unreliable that the enemy will stand in it. Know that if they do they will regret it, always – never stand in Malzahar’s Null Zone unless his ult is down and you’re a melee character with the upper hand on him in it because it’s actually quite a ridiculous spell as far as damage goes.

 Let’s get into it. When aiming this spell you want to consider where your enemy is going to be in a few seconds like CoTV. What options do they have? What direction to they want to be going in this situation? You can place it so that the outer circle is just on or in front of them, forcing them to walk through more area covered by it. This gives you more room to ult them or for someone else to stun them. I wouldn’t rely on getting two ticks even if they had to walk all the ways across it so don’t worry about that.

Lastly, don’t use Null Zone to kill minions; it’s a waste of mana. I see a lot of Malzahar summoners using it to kill minion waves faster. You don’t actually want to kill minion waves faster. The speed Malzahar pushes is already a disadvantage to him in some respects and is already pretty fast with MV and auto attacks alone.

To Kill One Person:
If you have a target you want to kill, you will most of the time need to use NZ in conjunction with MV and your ultimate. Putting it under their feet and holding them on it does a lot of damage. You can use it to shut out or kill an AD carry in a team fight. There’s a lot of criticism on the use of Malz’s alt because it forces you to stand still and makes you a target. It’s true, but it’s still viable to use in a reckless fashion, as long as you take a few precautions. Wait for the right time; make sure everyone has gotten distracted with another problem in the team fight. You can either kill that person or in the least, shut down an asset for the enemy team and damage it greatly. 

To Completely Obliterate A Team:
This doesn’t happen that often but you should always keep your eyes out for bunched up teams. If there’s a team-fight that’s going on in a bush toss it in the middle. They will either have to move or lose the team fight (assuming it was even as you came in). Combined with CoTV Malzahar is a massive threat to any team bunched up. You can build team comps around this with characters like Galio or Kennen because it’s so devastating it’s unreal. You know that feeling when you’re on Ashe fully fed watching your arrows quickly tear apart your target and you can say to yourself “Yeah, that was me tearing them down!”? When you get a team bunched up, stunned and NZ, CoTV’ed by a decently itemized Malzahar, you get to watch the entire team’s health melt away rapidly and laugh. Again, it’s rare so just try to land it on as many people as you can who don’t want to move or can’t move. If this was the only purpose of this spell we’d be better of playing Annie because she holds them in place while doing all the damage upfront.

To Slow People Down:
Yeah it’s still only a 15% slow but the size of Null Zone makes this somewhat useful. As you’re running away or in front of a running enemy team it will catch all that pass through it and make the difference between life and death. This isn’t THAT reliable but it’s still applicable just because it’s a non-target spell that you can leave behind you or place in front of them before hand. It stays around a while so if you’re running through a jungle path you can throw it down a bit before they’d pass through it and it will fill the whole space.

To Force People to Move:
In team fights you can’t rely on this spell to be a main damage source because most of the time people are going to move out of it. But that’s not actually that bad! Think of it like this, if you throw this down it happened instantly on preferably 3 people who are in the middle of fighting. If their target isn’t going to die very soon, they will probably choose to move. This stops auto attacks, this ruins positioning yet again, this slows them, and this damages them. It’s not the best use but if you have a spell, use it, and try to manipulate as much “pressure” in favour of your team as you can. Another instance of making people move is in all bushes (preferably little ones). If you know someone’s in there you can make them come out my placing a NZ on the floor, or shepherd them to a part of the bush that isn’t covered by NZ and follow up with CoTV.

You can also use this spell without your ult to fight champions. Most of the time they will move. It’s situational but if you have a good health advantage on a melee champ (Preferably without exhaust up), you can drop this, CoTV, MV, and kite him with a voidling and come out on top. The damage is just that great when an enemy stands in it. I think I should mention that sometimes you will want to auto attack instead of kite, and sometimes you will want to kite. If the melee champ chasing you is snared by something better then your silly 15% snare, you can kite him around in the Null Zone without taking any damage and by this method, make a melee champ regret trying to kill you or die.

As far as ranks go I don’t like to neglect this spell till last. It isn’t terrifying until its 4th or 5th rank, which ruins a lot of the manipulation value in it and your ability to 1v1. Sometimes I ignore this spell at level 4 for CoTV, and very rarely I’ll ignore it until rank 3-4 or CoTV. I make Null Zone 2nd priority because every rank is a big buff to your ulti combo, important in middle. Malz’s ult combo is said to be overpowered, and the only time that he’s really that strong. It’s true you don’t want to engage many champs without your ult to suppress them in your Null Zone, but when you do you want it to crush them.

Malefic Visions:
This is the first ability you level to rank 5. The reasons for this; It gives you back mana for every minion that dies afflicted by the spell. This allows Malzahar to sustain himself incredibly well. It’s your only single target spell (besides your ult) so you can rely on it landing, you don’t want to spend mana on spells that are doing nothing. It’s powerful and every rank increases Malzahar’s synergy with his play-style so much.

Choosing where to cast Malefic Visions:
During the farming phase of the game if I’m on my own in middle I choose to use this spell on minions 80% of the time. It’s very important to know a good balance of using this spell. When it reaches rank 2 or 3 I use it on almost every minion wave starting with the first minion who gets to low health and just follow it around with last hitting (auto attack if you need to support it through a minion’s life). I use it on minion waves for a few reasons:

1. You regenerate mana and kill your opponent’s minion wave forcing them to move back and lose CS to their tower. 2. It forms a pattern and keeps Malefic Visions out of their mind(They don’t know when you’ll just walk up and cast it – and they don’t know if you’ve ranked it up so they don’t know the real damage that’s going to come out of the next 4 seconds). If you use MV on minion waves and farm, and use CoTV on the wave and farm you can look pretty passive. Even if you’re aggressive with auto attacks keeping MV for the right moment has its value. If you use it once on them, A LOT of players seem to think you won’t use it again on them, but will expect a Karthus to constantly Lay Waste on them.

They seem to think we need it to sustain ourselves but it’s very much the opposite. We don’t need to cast Malefic Visions on minions to sustain our mana pool, MV fills our mana pool so that we can use more spells. It’s not a need it’s a benefit. It’s a very psychological weapon to keep as well because it drains away life. Like Teemo’s poison darts it can make many players retreat scared of what their health bar might look like when the duration is done.

Planning and Malefic Visions:
Again! Another one of the Prophet’s spells require you to look into the future for its greatest effect. You can plan MV for sneak attacks that crawl through the ranks to sneak up on even the weariest of its jump distance. You also need to plan in order to avoid MV being stopped by tanks by preparing the minion wave and then the tank.

When you get a wave with a tank I like to try and time the tank’s progression past the caster minions much like with a player and CoTV all 4 of them. When you cast MV, you need to pay attention to where your minions are attacking, and how much damage it will do depending on rank, so you know you can leave it alone. If there are 3 half dead front wave minions and a full health tank minion in between it and the casters, you want to cast it on the front wave minions and auto attack the tank as much as you can. You can also soften up the tank before you cast MV but the main point here is that you can use your auto attacks to prepare tanks before your MV has to encounter them (and once it lands on them but you only have 4 seconds for it to die).

Sneak attacks are a vital part to using MV offensively and pushing your opponent away from last hitting your minions. When you cast MV it bounces once the initial target dies to the nearest viable target. If your opponent is aware of this, as his wave comes to an end he will generally back off to avoid giving you a free hit on him. The way you get around this is to prepare his minion wave, then cast MV possibly followed by CoTV to instantly force the bounce. At rank’s 3 and up MV will kill quarter health minions in about 2 ticks. If your opponent is past his rear wave of minions you can prepare them by casting CoTV and backing up – to hide further intentions, and possibly get another CoTV in time for an instant bounce of MV. When his first line of minions is near dead, and within range of MV (you don’t even need to cast it on the first line, you can cast it in the rear on those half dead minions even if his front line is healthy to be honest) quickly cast it and it will travel quicker through the minions and leap on the enemy champion. With practice you can make the process faster by bringing their health bars down, being creative with the paths you create for MV to bounce through, and by using CoTV right after you cast MV to kill the wave and make it bounce instantly to him if he’s close enough.

Malefic Visions is not a weak dot. If you are within range and have a frenzied voidling you can make a kill (not from full health obviously) just by casting it and your ultimate. The times I choose to skip Null Zone this is the alternative method if I get the chance. Make sure to have the voidling though as it will contribute greatly to the overall effect and benefit from your ultimate holding him in place. I might even argue that this could be used at 75% health simply because of the bad position it’s going to put the enemy in. After suffering the damage you put out on them. They don’t want to move close because your CoTV is scary, they don’t want to stay near their wave because of MV, and they most definatly don’t want you to simply walk up and cast MV on them because that’s just as bad. Most champions can’t endure 3 MV cast on them at a decent rank and keep fighting.

Nether Grasp:
Finally your ultimate. Try and use it wisely as it immobilizes you while you use it. The most common use is in combo with your other abilities to nuke one target down without him fighting back. You can also – and should use it to hold a fleeing enemy in place if your team will be able to catch up and make a kill. You can use it as nothing but a stun, sometime people get mad that you didn’t ult combo someone dead but there are situations where you’re going to just want to suppress an enemy champion. To protect a friend, to stop an event from happening at the time the enemy team wanted it to happen, to protect yourself – simply canceling out another player. It’s up to you how you use it but don’t be afraid to experiment and think for the greater good of the next few minutes.

Leveling Your Abilities:
Take one point in CoTV to begin so that you can benefit from its greater damage and summon a voidling to start the game. MV sucks at rank one so it’s not much use to you here. After that make MV priority one so you can eat up minion waves, get your mana back reliably, and have a decent single target damage spell. Put one point into Null Zone at level 4 during most games unless you feel your enemy is too aware of you. If you feel like they out-skill you, or wont let you get a chance to ult them dead – out farm them by skipping Null Zone and getting rank 2 CoTV to rip up their minion waves. Get your ultimate when you can. I usually level up Null Zone to around 3 and then alternate between Null Zone and CoTV so that neither one is particularly weak.

Building in the Early Game:
I have always started off with Meki Pendant and two health pots since I started playing Malzahar with a few exceptions. The mana regen could be argued as un-needed, but I think it serves to make him that much more oppressive in the way he is. It’s a good item too because any time before you pick up your items for Rylai’s you’ll probably wind up buying a Tear. Also it makes him never go dry, if you find yourself dry you can easily recover by using MV on a well timed minion wave or waiting for CoTV to assist a MV roll. The health pots are just generally decent, I don’t really need them these days because Malzahar is a very defensive and yet dominant middle player but they do help.

Malzahar is slow so if I go back to base I usually buy my Sorcerers Boots or at least Boots of Speed as my 2nd item. You can go immediately to tear if your opponent isn’t buying boots or you find you aren’t needing the mobility to keep them at bay. With some champions like Vayne, Teemo or Caitlyn – you’ll probably want the boots.

I recommend you buy wards as Malzahar more so then any other champion. First off you’re going to be pushing their wave back and in order to keep gaining and gaining footing you will often be too far away from your tower to be protected from a well set-up gank. You will also probably have a CS advantage due to MF and your voidling. It’s Malzahar’s nature to dominate in CS vs. most champs. So buy wards, protect yourself, keep pushing and drop that tower without dying by 10 minutes.

Mana potions are also very viable on Malzahar. They can allow you an incredibly offensive return to the middle that can throw your enemy right off balance and once you’ve burned your pot you just resume gaining mana through MV.

I choose boots, mana pot and health pot vs. very few champions that I feel rely on fast moving skill shots. I feel it’s a risky play so you have to be confident and keep your focus in order to use these starting items but it can pay off when you’re not getting pegged by Caitlyn’s Q and you can dart back and forth a little bit more.

I just want to make a little section for boots here to talk about some different boot choices. Generally I think you’ll want to go for the magic penetration from Sorcerers Shoes. The timing that you get the item is why I can’t advocate the other choices unless you’re getting super fed. Sorcerer’s gives you a needed damage boost to your spells that will make MV so much more deadly. Usually once I have Sorcerer’s Boots that’s when if there was a resistance by my opponent, it ends. The pressure of being able to cast MV and voidling kite is too much, it’s too unfair if you can get in and out cleanly covering yourself with CoTV on the way in.

However that said, I really enjoy Boots of Swiftness on Malzahar. After a few games of practice it began to feel like it almost increased the range of his Call of the Void exponentially. It allows you to close in on someone inside your Null Zone faster and generally mobility is a great thing. Back up from attacks. Etc. etc.

Boots of Mobility are another possible boot choice. Since Malzahar is such a strong pusher you can solo push a lot better if you can run away with +5 movement speed. With proper warding these boots are just as good as Sorcerer’s shoes on Malzahar but fill a different role. The benefits of the movement speed are definatly still felt in PvP fights but open up a better emphasis on pushing towers and escaping from a defensive gank. When using these boots I would change the build around a little differently and probably include Lich Bane for tower breaking.

Core Build:
Tear of The Goddess: Malzahar has to predict a lot with CoTV and that can lead to inefficient use of the spell. This is the best way to increase your mana pool and increase it you shall since you don’t really slow down casting with MV mana regen. Having a huge mana pool lets you be experimental and sustainable with all of your spells. I have barely played a game without getting this and I’m not sure I should. Malzahar could benefit from getting AP instead of this, getting AP early in the game makes him quite oppressive but I’d simply rather not.

Sorcerer’s Boots: Like I mentioned before there are many different boot choices but this is part of the core build and required for Malzahar to function properly unless fed.

Rylai’s Crystal Scepter: This is for ability power, health and the slow. I always get this after boots and tear of the goddess. It does feel slightly limiting because you could again focus on more AP and damage but every time I do I regret not having that slow. The slow MAKES the way I play Malzahar effective and without it I feel like it’s a completely different class. Health is also pretty decent on Malzahar.

Rabadon’s Deathcap: Alright here we go, we can’t wait any longer for this. Rabadon’s provides some much needed ability power so your AoE damage puts out the pressure that will allow you to be a team fight carry. This is your second big item and the last one that you absolutely need to get. Without Rylai’s and Deathcap Malzahar won’t be effective as the game progresses.

Viable Items:
Void Staff: For obvious reasons void staff has its place as a viable item to counter magic resist. If you notice 3 or more of the enemy team grabbing Magic Resistance be sure to grab one of these after or before Rabadon’s depending on how well funded you are.

Banshee’s Veil: Well, being Malzahar you’re probably pretty fed so you’re going to be a target. Banshee’s Veil I would rank 2nd tier situational. If you’re getting targeted by CC you might want to grab it but I find if you’re getting out-positioned again and again a BV isn’t going to save you that much. Stacking damage on Malzahar is just so devastating that I would have to say this is a secondary choice for me but can become vital depending on the enemy team’s CC.

Warmogs Armor: I’m not sure how people are going to receive this one but I read it in a guide once. I’ve tried it out a few times when I had the gold to do it and it’s not actually that bad. Warmogs fills up very fast because by the time you can buy it you can destroy minion waves nearly instantly. It enables you to fight some melee champs just by standing in your Null Zone while they attack you because it buys you time. On the topic of how it buys you time, Malzahar is a lot like artillery. He doesn’t come up front very often so when one or two of the enemy team is either forcing their way through your ranks, or working their way around to get an ok shot at you here’s how it pays off. They are trying to focus a guy who has 3500 health in a position that isn’t optimal for them. This is very costly and you will most likely be able to handle at least one of them on your own. Your health can buy you the time to survive, or even if you die – they just pumped so much into you that your team will clean them up. If they send a much fed member after you, so fed that 3500 hp won’t make much of a difference to him or her, then this item is a bad choice – but it’s good for solidifying your position and making them pay for thinking of targeting you.

Philosophers Stone: It’s pretty nice on him if you can get it. It’s good on a lot of champions but again since Malzahar gets a lot of free shots, having health regen for the times they do get you can make it a completely losing war for them.

Archangel’s Staff: After Deathcap I usually get this, it’s more ability power and its efficient use of the potential in Tear of the Goddess. You don’t get this far often and if you do you probably want a more defensive item but after Malzahar’s core there’s not much reason to do anything other then buff his damage since he has very good ratios.

How to Bush Gank Hard:

Summary of the Following Gibberish:
Malzahar’s spell combo needs to be thrown out very fast to be startlingly effective so practice the process cleanly for the best results. Try to make it as fast and clean as you can.

I’m making a section on this because I myself have had troubles with the most effective procedure in absolutely destroying someone as they come towards you waiting in a bush. It’s one of Malzahar’s well known strengths but it has to be done right to reach its full potential. Recently as I don’t play that often I’ve found I miss one of my spells my Null Zone drops and my ult goes off but no MV so my opponent gets away. Or maybe it’s my Null Zone that doesn’t go down and MV comes up. Either way the best method is practice.

What is required of you when bush ganking is to wait until your target is less then two steps from the bush. Then repeat the following as fast and cleanly as possible. Q > Click > E > Click> W > Click > R > Click. If you don’t practice the procedure you’re liable to mess up by losing flow. I would say more so then other champions it’s very important to be able to do this in less then a second. If you want to practice, I’d say put on some music or if you have a metronome use it, and just practice the procedure as a musician would practice a music procedure. It’s just a set of motions. Follow through to the beat slowly at first, so slow that you can’t enjoy it. Then slowly increase the tempo and follow the 8th or 16th notes. You won’t reach the speed you want to perform it at in game until about 170 BPM with 16th notes but it will probably go a long way in making the process clean.

Team Fight:
The positioning of Malzahar is variable. I can often be found at the front of a confrontation (before the fight breaks out) doing what I call fencing with CoTV until I get my hit. I move back to avoid champions who are advancing, and forwards to bait them. I move side to side to angle my CoTV so that it lands with the greatest effect. Because of this you might say that Malzahar’s role changes often. A good CoTV initiates silencing and slowing 3-4 enemies, damaging them and disorienting their ranks. This can result in initiation from your team, or end by doing AoE damage to the enemy team before the fight even starts (Which can stack up and defuse a fight if you hit them enough times, sending them back to their tower or base to heal.).

Sometimes you want to be a piece of hidden artillery. Like Fiddlesticks you hide until the moment is right and unleash your influence. Since Malzahar’s range is so great and can be cast over walls you can hang in back of a group. Always in range so that you can instantly cast CoTV where a team fight might emerge but scouting and keeping an eye on the rear of your team.

And other times it’s not so bad to be in the midst of your own team so that you can easily get MV into the fray often and ult if need be. I’ll let you make your own styles of positioning because that’s more of a Meta-game skill then a Malzahar specific thing to teach.

Your job is to make the enemy team regret ever coming near you and your team. To drop a wicked CoTV across them. Put down Null Zone to make them move, to kill a carry with your ult or someone else’s stun aPut MV on anyone you can easily reach except the tanks because it has a low cool down and you want to do as much damage as you can. You might be mindful of the enemy team’s front line forces and save CoTV for when they’ve engaged. Silencing the enemy team from using their abilities in the first seconds of battle can make them panic as their health bars drop with no ability to retaliate.

How to Win Middle:

This is the chapter that all of this has been building up to. Using the techniques and concepts described of his abilities Malzahar is one of the most powerful champions that can be put in the middle position (IMO). I haven’t met any champion who outright defeats Malzahar in middle. There are a few champions I might consider equal when played at the same skill level but the ability set that Malzahar has is just a little powerful for mid.

To start off get your first point in CoTV and use it to prepare your voidling so it can be summoned on your next cast. Buy a Meki pendant and two health potions and head out to middle. When the minions spawn and pass your tower, head out in between the 1st and 3rd minions so that you can cast CoTV on the opposing team’s rear minion wave when your enemy advances past them. You go out early in case they are behind their rear minion wave as many players are. If they are in front then don’t bother getting yourself in range for it. You might be able to make them back up into your CoTV attack.

Consider casting CoTV instantly, to summon your voidling now and get your mana regenerating if your enemy isn’t too offensive. Vayne or Kennen are two champions who are commonly played very offensive. If they are offensive champions like this, and you think the player might try to be aggressive with you move forward a little bit, try and bait him to make his attack. Expect the extended position of their ability. Vayne will roll forward a certain distance, you want to land the CoTV on that location she will end her roll on, the same goes with flashes and other quick advance techniques. Once you drop the CoTV you can auto attack them with your voidling until they retreat. Some champions will beat you, that takes time and experience to know the extent of Malzahar’s power versus other champions is a flat out level one fight. Sometimes using Ignite will force them into retreat instantly. If they are more aggressive, they might push the attack any number of ways. Sometimes winning the initial confrontation is a battle of confidence. Be confident in your voidling’s ability to do damage and you might even consider flashing towards the enemy if they are low on health retreating just to extend the leash on your voidling to land a kill. It’s a rare situation but when the opportunity arises you need to quickly make the decision if it will be able to make the kill.

Assuming both of you are playing passively, as most games go: Focus on getting last hits and using CoTV when your enemy passes through his minions. Don’t spam it, but do use it if you have full mana because more voidling production is better. Keep your distance and try not to engage in an auto attack fight unless your voidling is already targeting the enemy champion or you know you can get shots for free. Auto attack is damaging until at least level three when you have 2 ranks in MV and don’t need to take the risk to get offensive gain. Once you get MV rank use it on the enemy champion if you have full mana. Or in the rare situation that he’s standing beside dying minions so you know you can just make it jump. It doesn’t do that much at rank one and you can’t rely on it to refund you much mana but it still hurts.

Level up MV to rank two when you can, it’s getting a little bit better now but still use it and CoTV in much the same way. Always be aware that you can combo your voidling on an overextended opponent with MV and lead their retreat with CoTV. This combo gets stronger as time goes on but I only really start using it once I have rank 2 or 3 MV. Choose to get Null Zone or CoTV at level 4 depending on if you’re evenly matched in health at this point in time. If you’ve been getting the aggressive advantage then you will probably be confident to grab Null Zone and use it when you get your ultimate. If not you might opt for the better farming capability of just getting CoTV to its 2nd rank.

At rank three MV you will be using it more often but its success in a minion wave still depends on you. Rank three needs support from auto attacks or a voidling and you need to soften up tanks. One important note about MV is that it can spread towards your minions. For this reason I will often target and weaken the furthest progressed enemy minion for my MV so it can’t spread backwards. If you cast it on a minion that isn’t in front that’s still fine but you have to be able to auto attack the minion in front dead before it bounces to ensure its spread towards the enemy.

At level 5 there is a decision to be made. Do you want to force the enemy champ to go back to heal so you can either buy or – reach level 6 and go support a lane that’s having troubles or wants a gank. If you do want to, all you have to do (assuming you’ve already gotten some shots in at them) is walk forward and cast MV and back out. Do it one more time if the following combo won’t kill or put them beyond fighting back: Go to your tower and circle around to either left or right flank bush with a voidling prepared for summon. Walk out halfway, (either CoTV or flash first depends) flash, CoTV on top of them (because you’re coming from the side directly behind them wont matter as they turn to run), MV, and ignite, auto attack once or twice then follow them letting your voidling do damage. You burned your Summoner spells, you might have gotten a kill but you forced them out of lane which as Malzahar is something I really like to have by level 5 (If I haven’t already killed them once or twice). Reason being you’re probably rich and soon you’ll have your ult and wont need flash if your team snares or stuns a target for you, you can just combo them dead. If you decide to go back to buy, the reason you did it at level 5 is because you absolutely need wards now because you’re going to be killing the enemy champion in middle if he doesn’t keep backed up.

If you don’t want to do either of these things, then make your way to level five, go to the bushes or even further behind near their tower and do the flash combo for an easy kill most champions will have no way out if you can force their flash early and that’s an easy kill.

When you’re moving towards an enemy tower you know that you’re going to be auto attacking start spamming all the spells you can so you have more voidlings to hit the tower with you.

That’s a somewhat basic guide towards winning middle as Malzahar watch some of the videos to see what I do and feel free to ask me any questions on my blogs I’ll do my best to explain any details and help you out.

Adding Pressure to the Game:
Malzahar is an excellent pusher, a decent ganker, team-fight controller and damage source.
There is always a job to be done as Malzahar.

If you’re in middle you probably have a lot of gold, and I mean a very decent sized pot of gold. Why not spend that gold on wards? Especially as later farming becomes so easy for him, I feel responsible to buy wards for my team. Not to mention in public games you honestly can’t rely on others to ward themselves but do it for them because you want to win and you have the money they might not have.

Pushing creates pressure. Sometimes it can be beneficial just to consume minion waves and clear the way for your own minions. If you know there are two minion waves on the field and the enemy team is busy (All accounted for, or you have wards in the jungle beside you) kill the first wave and rush ahead and kill the second and leave. It gets done so fast the return attack doesn’t usually get you and somebody has to clean up the mess, usually taking longer then it took you and getting less gold out of the deal. Maybe losing tower hp if they let it sit. I’ve seen it happen. Just running to a position and casting two spells and walking away costs you so much less time then it does the enemy team.

If you want to, you can use this with wards to bait the enemy to attack. Usually if they just send one person Malzahar will kill them with his ult combo so they might try two. This can open up an opportunity for the other 4 of your team-mates.

Even when you’re with your team you can make it your responsibility to quickly clear the enemy minion wave. It gets done so fast the enemy has to retreat or fight you and your minion wave. It also makes your minions have more health then if you hadn’t.

Summoner Spells:
Flash: Pretty much essential as Malzahar because of the options it opens up with his ultimate. Nobody is going to let you walk up to them and cast your ultimate combo on them so you want this to flash in and combo them as fast as you can. It’s also great for getting away over walls and any other creative need you can find.

Ignite: I take ignite with me in most games. You can score level one kills with the extra damage and your voidling. You can use it with MV to get a “super dot” killing blow. You can use it while channeling your ultimate if you’re close enough. The range on ignite is a little bit shorter then your ult so if you plan on using it make sure to move close enough first or you might was your ultimate.

Exhaust: Exhaust is great for kiting melee champs around in your Null Zone if you don’t have your ult up. Exhaust can counter exhaust if you use it instantly to stop your enemy’s damage then follow up with your ultimate combo once their exhaust wears off you. Exhaust is generally a very sexy Summoner spell.

Teleport: Teleport is cool on Malzahar for a few reasons. He’s a pusher and a great defender because of his ability to destroy minion waves by glancing at them. So you can teleport for a quick push or a strong defense. In middle and laning phase this spell is great because Malzahar generally earns more gold then his opponent. Going back and buying then teleporting back can lead to a huge gold advantage. This also helps him get wards early if they have a jungler.

I don’t really think any other Summoner spells are great enough for Malzahar to be picked over these ones so I’m not going to mention them.

Laning – Notes:
Malzahar is a decent laning character and a good choice for solo due to his sustainability and minion killing capacity. As solo he’s weakest at lower levels and in danger most between levels 4-5. Once you get your third rank of MV soloing gets a lot easier. Once he has his ult anyone foolish enough to attack him under his tower will probably die.

When laning I really enjoy playing with Leona because of her synergy with my W and Q. Being held in place makes landing the shot a lot more reliable and if you’re co-coordinated you can line up two hits more often. Leona also protects Malzahar during his ult very well. I don’t prefer to be in lane as Malzahar just because if we have Malzahar on the team I want to know why he isn’t shutting down the enemy team’s middle.

Anybody with solid crowd control is a great match for Malzahar. Most tanks have an ability to make use of your Null Zone more effectively. Leblanc and other bursty champs are also fun laning partners. If you can pull it off the damage is quite devastating.

Red – Magic Pen: Increases your damage to enemy players in the best way possible. This is the most effective choice for many if not all magic using champions.

Yellow – Mana Regen per Level: Just buffing his mana capabilities even further synergizes with his passive and farming. Arguably like the Meki pendant with proper use of MV you might need neither of these and could use them elsewhere but I like to turn it into a good strength.

Blue – Cool down Reduction per Level: I bought these for Zilean and I just stick with them because I’d feel like I was missing something if I put them elsewhere. Time shaved off my cool downs is a great thing and I’ll probably use it for a lot of champions.

Quintessences: Magic Penetration: More damage is good.


I use a standard 9/0/21 masteries set-up for Malzahar. Summoners wrath because I use Ignite adding 5 AP for having it on CD. Arcane Knowledge provides 10% magic penetration and as mentioned in runes, Magic penetration is the best way to increase your damage out of game. Summoner’s Insight for Flash cool down reduction. Movement speed is great. I like the new spell vamp mastery on Malz because he will easily replenish small wounds through MV on minion waves with it. I choose Intelligence because I like cool down reduction. It feels like it makes the difference between life and death behind the scenes.