You might be surprised to know but the latest meta shift in League of Legends sees Malzahar support reporting in the bottom lane.
News regarding his new role began arriving only last month, with many professional Korean teams picking Malzahar support in their compositions. This includes Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon from Longzhu Gaming and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan from SK Telecom T1.
Shortly after, professional players in North America began experimenting with the Prophet of the Void as well. The way he’s being played right now, it wouldn’t even be a surprise to see him make his support debut in the upcoming Spring Split of League Championship Series (LCS).
Why Only Now?
Malzahar support became a legitimate pick with the new changes to his W (Void Swarm) that were introduced with Patch 6.23 a couple of months back.
Voidlings no longer spawn upon slain minions. Instead, they recharge through an ammo system much like Zyra’s W (Rampant Growth). Additionally, they multiply by hitting enemy champions or canon minions.
In short, Malzahar support revolves entirely around his new W (Void Swarm) which now also does increased damage.
How Does It Work?
Malzahar can store a maximum of two Voidling-charges at a time. At level 2, inflict an enemy champion with E (Malefic Visions) and double tap W (Void Swarm) to unleash both charges.
Do so, and simply walk away. The Voidlings will keep chasing and attacking the inflicted enemy champion, shredding through his/her health bar.
Zyra operates similarly by unleashing her plants behind enemy targets. However, the massive advantage that Malzahar has over her is the fact that he does single-target damage. The Voidlings will forever chase down the designated enemy champion until they expire.
There’s simply nothing else for the enemy champion to do except retreat, giving the ally AD Carry to land a few blows for free.
Another advantage of spawning Voidlings is that they act as a barrier against skill-shots. An enemy Morgana support, for example, will find it nearly impossible to land a successful Q (Dark Binding). Karma, on the other hand, may have to use Q (Inner Flame) to clean the lane.
The overwhelming presence of a swarm is only accentuated by Malzahar’s passive (Void Shift). The immunity shield allows him to escape the clutches of Thresh’s Q (Death Sentence), Blitzcrank’s Q (Rocket Grab), Leona’s Q (Shield of Daybreak) and E (Zenith Blade), etc.
Every time his passive is up, he has the opportunity to approach the enemy duo and land his combo.
At level 6, Malzahar becomes even a greater threat in-lane. His R (Nether Grasp) suppresses a target for almost 2.5 seconds. Combine that with Voidlings hacking away at the immobile champion while his other abilities do damage-per-second. Time it right and the enemy support will not be able to disrupt the channeling due to the passive shield.
Lastly, the suppression also allows an ally jungler ample time to get into position. There’s no simply escaping this lane.
What’s the Skill Order?
There are multiple ways through which you can level up a Mazlahar support but we’re going with what the Koreans usually opt for.
The leveling prioritization should be as follow: W (Void Swarm) > E (Malefic Visions) > Q (Call of the Void)
As mentioned above, Malzahar support thrives on his W and which is why you need to level it first.
What’s the Rune Page?
Players can decide between a cheaper or more expensive route.
- x9 Magic Penetration / Precision
- x9 Armor
- x9 Ability Power
- x3 Ability Power
Since W (Void Swarm) deals both magic and physical damage, taking Precision brings great benefits to the lane. However, they are extremely expensive. A full set will cost you 7380 IP. Hence, the other alternative is to simply go with Magic Penetration.
What’s the Mastery Page?
It’s essential that you take Thunderlord’s Decree and Precision. Meditation will help you with mana issues which you’ll eventually face since W (Void Swarm) is extremely mana-hungry.
Insight is the only reason to invest points in the Resolve tree and not Ferocity. Summoner spells are extremely important for support players. In the case of Malzahar, Flash needs to be back up as soon as possible to catch opponents by flashing in and locking them down with R (Nether Grasp).
What’s the Item Build?
Begin with Spellthief’s Edge and finish into Eye of the Equinox. Next, rush Ionian Boots of Lucidity and get Rylai’s Crystal Scepter as soon as possible.
Riot Games recently nerfed Rylai’s Crytal Scepter by reducing the item’s bonus Health and Ability Power. However, the item is now also much cheaper, allowing support mages like Malzahar to gain an early power-spike.
By the time Liandry’s Torment is added to the mix, the game should be ending. However, if not, opt for defensive measures like Banshee’s Veil. That’s two immunity shields when combined with his passive (Void Shift). Either that or Locket of the Iron Solari to negate damage from ally members.
Any Lasting Notes?
Enjoy Malzahar in his new support role while it lasts. Riot Games is going to sooner or later notice his growing popularity and overwhelming presence in lane. The developer is probably going to tone down W (Void Swarm) in future patches. Make sure to climb a few tiers in the ranked ladder until then.