5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar


Today I’m going to talk about 5 league of legends champions who counter Malzahar in the current meta in late 2021. This would probably be current for later years too as they have little to do with items and mainly about the ability kit of the champions themselves. Having said that Riot does rework some champions so this may be slightly different going forward if the champion gets a rework.

Let me start by saying this I have been playing Malzahar as my main champion since season 9 and have had great success with it. In season 10 I was #94 world wide which says a lot of about my understanding of the champion. Considering he is played in higher elo’s that puts me up there with high diamond and challenger/master players. You would ask how come I’m still platinum and not challenger? Simple because I do not have the game macro knowledge that these players process, also League of Legends is a multi-variable game and other things come into play besides champion knowledge and micro skill.

Now that this is out of the way lets get into some more information on the topic. I’m going to focus specifically on champions and their ability to affect you doing well in the game. This does not mean necessarily if they can kill you in a 1v1 matchup. For example if a champion manages to reduce your gold income this is also a major problem for you, or if you can’t follow them easily in the map this is again an issue. In other words this article discusses holistically in the game who is a tough match up and who isn’t.

A bit about my background on the game, I have been playing League of Legends Summoners rift since season 7.
During that time I have played all roles of the game with particular focus mid, top and adc.
I have been able to easily reach high gold elo since the beginning of playing the game and have
peaked to Platinum in several seasons. I have played in NA, EUW and EUNE servers but mainly EUW.

5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar
5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar


I’m going to start this guide with Annie who in my opinion is the hardest Malzahar counter in the game. Let me explain why I think this is the case by show casing a few things Annie does better than Malzahar.

How to Farm as Annie vs Malzahar

Both are pretty good at farming here but Annie has the advantage because her W which is a short range AOE damage spell can easily get rid of your voidlings and if the voidling swam dies then it’s harder for you to farm as you would eventually run out of manage in the early levels of the game. Having said that, Annie can’t spam W either as she will have mana problems but for her it’s less of a problem as her Q is basically a never ending mana reset if it kills a minion so you are at a disadvantage here.

How to 1v1 as Annie vs Mazlahar

As you already know Annie is probably one of the best champions in the game when it comes to 1v1 champions in the midlane. Very few can withstand her burst due to the massive amount of damage it does. Since you are a squishy mage this means if she manages to land her combo R-E-Q-W-Ignite, you are almost certainly dead even if you are full HP. There’s one saving grace for you which is your passive. The shield could prevent her stun and you can basically just back off a bit and avoid dying. Without having to say too much more on the topic just try to keep your passive up and be worried if her passive is up and she has ultimate. On the other hand if she misses all of that you may have a very small opening to kill her with your combo, make sure you are running ignite if you want to do so. Later in the game I highly recommend you get Zhonya’s Hourglass to mitigate most of her damage output.

How to Scale as Annie vs Malzahar

At no point in the game do you out-scale Annie. Annie is a scaling monster especially if she takes masteries such as gathering storm and absoloute focus which are essentially are another AP item for her. I have to stress out the fact here that a lot will depend on how well you can farm and what experience level you each are as the game progresses. But keep in mind that your window of opportunity of out scaling her is 0 especially if you fall behind in xp and gold. Try to turtle back.

How to Team fight as Annie

Annie is one of the strongest team fighters in the game. She can literally single handedly change the tides of a team fight using her powerful ultimate which has an AOE stun and damage. This cannot be matched by you in terms of burst damage so if Annie decides to one shot the enemy ADC you cannot do anything about it even if you ultimate her, her initially burst would have still gone out. Since you are more of a damage over time mage/support protecting your team your role in this case will be severely downgraded due to her powerful one shot kit.

5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar - Annie
5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar – Annie


How to farm as Kayle vs Malzahar

Kayle has a really difficult time farming up to level 6 so this is basically your opening to get an advantage over him. Since he has a short range melee attack to kill minions he’s forced most of the times to use his abilities to get farm. Eventually he will run out of mana and will have to go back which will set him behind in experience and farm if he’s not running teleport. In this case you have a clear advantage make sure you abuse it as much as you can.

How to 1v1 Kayle vs Malzahar

In the 1v1 dynamics again you have mainly the advantage until level 11, at that point the tides start to change as Kayle starts becoming powerful. If you have the opportunity to poke/abuse him up until then in laning phase do it, because after that he will pretty much be able to kill you at any point of the game past level 11.

How to Scale as Kayle

Kayle is by far the best scaling champion in the game, the only champions that comes close to him in master yi and jax and even they will struggle with a level 18 Kayle monster. Malzahar is mainly a mid game champion and you will never be able to match him so try to gain your advantages early.

How to Team fight as Kayle

Kayle is pretty much useless in the early levels of the game but the reality is that most team fights if you exclude some dragon fights do not occur then. By the team you are all team fighting Kayle will start being strong and offcourse as the game progresses in later levels he will be unstoppable and could literally 1v5 your team including you. So the advantage is clear to Kayle here.

Malzahar counters - Kayle
Malzahar counters – Kayle


How to farm as VelKoz

Vel’Koz is one of the best farmers in the game based on his kit. Not only that his kit counters your kit when it comes to farming. He can stay completely safe at a distance and basically kill your voidlings which are always going for other minions along as helping him mine his own. So you will have a difficult time here staying current with a decent Vel’Koz when it comes to farming, I recommend taking teleport and doing an early back with a pot or mana items. Out of the 5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar VelKoz is the easiest to bully Malzhar in lane as he can spam his abilities from range and be safe while still outfarming.

How to 1v1 as Velkoz vs Malzahar

This is a tough one, I don’t think anyone has the advantage here it really comes on how you play the fight and how well you connect your abilities. If Vel’Koz however decides to take barrier you will have a very difficult time killing him as your burst is simply not strong enough to take him down he will likely survive and your only opportunity window would be between his barrier cooldown. Inversely he has more chances to kill you if you position yourself incorrect or you make a mistake and get stunned from an incoming gank. His true damage kit is just too strong for you to sustain and will likely die.

Malzahar counters - Vel'Koz Ultimate
Malzahar counters – Vel’Koz Ultimate

How to scale as Velkoz

No one of you has the advantage when it comes to scalability. It’s very important to understand here that if you happen to fall behind in farm he will have an item advantage on you which means he may scale faster to his potential and you may be delayed. However this will eventually balance out and I am not expecting any of the two of you to differ a lot here.

How to team fight as Velkoz

As part of team fighting Vel’Koz ultimate is stronger than yours simply because of his true damage potential and the AOE combined with the range of his safety. If somehow he lands a good one the team fight winnability odds will be against you as you can only do single champion burst which by the way he can interrupt with his knockup ability. I’d say you lose the team fighting due to range and him having a better kit. If you are feeling left behind you can try as an alternative to split push the lanes as weird as this may sound and quickly get back to your team with a teleport, Vel’Koz cannot match you up there some of his allies would have to do it.

Malzahar Counters - Vel'Koz
Malzahar Counters – Vel’Koz


How to farm as Xerath

Similar to Vel’Koz, Xerath’s kit benefits him with farming while countering yours. A lot of his abilities basically kill the minions crediting him while at the same time killing your voidlings. This means you will be running out of mana fairly easily when you’re facing a Xerath while he will be fine to sustain in the lane with his q. Since Malzahar relies on mana refunds a lot on the minions dying while his e/w is active and since your w voidlings will be dying you will not be getting back any mana.

How to 1v1 Xerath vs Malzahar

Again Xerath is very similar to Vel’Koz when it comes to the 1v1. No one necessarily wins this but he does have the advantage to kill you from distance if there’s more champions involved such as the junglers. If the Xerath decides to take barrier it will be very difficult to kill him for the same reasons I described with Vel’Koz in the previous section. However there’s a slightly difference here that could actually win you the matchup, if Xerath misteps and has his stun on cooldown you do have the opportunity to kill him just by walking up to him and using your abilities combined with ignite. If he’s full HP and has barrier like I said above this will not happen but at least you will get him to back and push your advantage.

How to Scale as Xerath

Both of you are mid game champions mainly but Xerath depending on his build path can scale fairly well in the late game too. Since that’s very reliant on build and him landing his abilities I wouldn’t say he has a clear advantage over you but he does have the potential to do so if he’s very good (or scripting his abilities). In any case the advantage will be minor and probably not game changing.

How to team fight as Xerath

This is where Xerath is better than you. Xerath has a very powerful kit which goes in cooldown later in the game. His ultimate if played well can do AOE damage and kill those running champions from a lost team fight. If that happens and he cleans up it allows his team to go after objectives or push the lanes. You on the other hand have to be very close to enemy champions to do anything meaningful. Play your cards well and try to outright kill him with a flash ultimate-e-w-q-ignite combo, otherwise your team will receive a lot of poke damage if he’s good at aiming. Xerath is one of the 5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar but also performs better than him in the entire game especially team fighting. The one thing to remember is that he’s hard to pull off as he’s very reliant on skillshots.


Malzahar is a good first pick champion but he can get countered as outlined above. The real question is if you are first picking and have no opportunity to counter pick which champion do you counter? In this case I would single handedly say Annie. Why Annie you ask? Besides it being a personal opinion I believe Annie is generally a strong pick and you can’t really do much against her even if she falls behind. Her team fight is very powerful and she will for sure do better than you in one of them. Furthermore she is very easy to play and doesn’t require a skillcap so it can be played in lower elo’s too very successfully so if you try to outplay her (which is very possible) you can still lose even to a bronze player if he lands everything. Today we discussed about 5 League of Legends champions who counter Malzahar if you would like to see a bigger list or more of a variety in different roles please let me know below.

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Which champion you think is the hardest to counter as Malzahar?

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