Today we will discuss on everything you need to know about How to beat Malzahar as Zed in a simple and easy to follow way.
Are you a Zed main and struggling versus Malzahar? Look no further this guide will help you win this match up.
My articles are comprehensive and very specific with information that lasts across versions of the game. My goal is to help you climb in League of Legends and win more games.
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 and top. 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. My main account is in EUW. I’m a Malzahar main that peaked at top 300 Malzahar world so I know the champion fairly well.
What Items to build as Zed vs Malzahar
Some items you should be looking to build are shown in the picture below. I will start talking about them one by one and why I think they are useful for you in the Malzahar matchup. Keep in mind that there’s variations of these and sometimes you may not need all of them especially if you are ahead in the game.
Duskblade: This is the bread and butter for Zed. It gives him a lot of damage and the slow from the passive allows you to stay sticky to them. Particularly with Malzahar even though there’s no direct benefit it does give you the extra damage to all-in him. The reason this is your best start is that at the beginning you really need to gain an advantage versus him so you need to risk doing the best you can for a kill.
Mercury Treads: The reasons for these are obvious Malzahar can get slow items and this helps you a bit with that but most importantly you get the magic resist which you really need against him. If you have the opportunity to rush this item after Duskblade do it as you will get to him easier and also be able to roam in the map faster.
The collector: This item has a very important execute which is health percent based. If you combine it with your passive on your ultimate along with coup de grace which we will discuss later on this amplifies that percent and makes your execute power massive. This can make the difference on a kill for someone that was close to surviving.
Maw of Malmortius: The lifeline passive from this item is very important for surviving an all-in from Malzahar’s ult. Furthermore it gives you AD and Magic resistance which are both very important in this matchup. I highly recommend this item especially if there’s more ability power champions in the enemy team.
Edge of Night or Qucksilver sash: Here you have to make a choice one of the two they both serve similar purposes. If you are really worried about defending against Malzahar then go with QSS as it’s stronger against him and you control when to use it. If you generally want some protection from everyone else in their team get Edge of Night. I generally prefer to stick to Edge Of Night as it offers me overall protection but if Malzahar is fed then I go with QSS. Your end goal here is to have some form of defense in the late game so don’t build this item first wait for later and decide how things are going.
What Runes to select as Zed vs Malzahar
The Runes in Zed are a very important factor for your success in the Malzahar matchup but also in general. You really have two approaches a more defensive one which I’m not going to cover here as I do not believe it’s the right path and an aggressive one. If you are really inexperienced with Zed then you probably want to go with more defensive runes and get nullifying orb for some extra survivability. So lets go over the setup I propose to build with Zed.
I’m going to outline the most important runes in the page shown above and why I think they are a good choice to get.
Electrocute: This is probably your bread and butter to amplify your damage Zed is very good at landing 3 separate attacks on his target and procing the rune to deal the extra damage so I think it’s a one way street to select it.
Cheap Shot: This is one of those controversial runes but bare with me and I’ll tell you why I think it’s good. Zed has to get an advantage over Malzahar in the early game so it’s vital you deal as much damage as possible then. Cheap shot gives you that extra 10-45 AD which can make the difference between a kill or not if you combine it with ignite. Furthermore it’s good for poke in the lane if you use your w and e Malzahar gets temporarily slowed down so that proc’s on him.
Ravenous Hunter: This one for obvious reasons you get an extra heal when you are fighting him which gives you a bit more survivability against him. Zed’s cooldown is already pretty low so ultimate hunter does not make a lot of sense here.
Presence of mind: Again having more energy when you are fighting and rotating your spells along with your cooldown helps a lot you can swap this out for triumph if you want to 1v5 them.
Coup De Grace: This is one of the most important runes for zed because of the execute synergizing with your ultimate ability. Since it does 8% on top of your ultimate if you land all your abilities Malzahar will be dead.
How to lane Early as Zed vs Malzahar
If you want to know how to beat Malzahar as Zed your best chance is to win lane against him. Until Malzahar reaches level 6 he’s extremely weak and can’t really trade or go even with you. You need to find an opening here to either bait him in or try to outright all in him if he over extends or positions improperly. It’s a good time to ask help from your jungler to secure the kill because if you do get a kill against him your chances of winning the rest of the game are greatly increased.
If for any chance you can’t get an early kill on him as he’s playing very defensively look for opportunities to contest scudle and invade the enemy jungle with the help of your jungler. Malzahar cannot follow you there and if he tries that then go all in to him flash if you have too.
Another good alternative is to harass him so he doesn’t get farm. At level 4 Malzahar starts getting a bit more pushing power with his ewq combo but he’s still fairly mana dependent at this point so if you clear his void swarm he cant push the lane and he will be forced to use more mana to clear the wave. Keep doing this as you are not dependent on mana.
No matter what you do play aggressive towards him and try to deny him in one way or another. He will not be able to respond and he will fall back either in kills or minions which is an advantage you can use to further your dominance in lane.
Once you both hit level 6 or if one of you hits level 6 (obviously if you are first all in him after you pop his shield), then the game starts to become even with a slight advantage for you if you land your wq combo with the shuriken’s. If you seem him still playing passive and not letting you trade or fight then you need to start adapting and switching strategies.
This is the point where you need to start paying attention to bot and top lane for over extensions. Basically since Malzahar still can’t follow you for the most part you need to be rotating in the pushed lane if any. The ideal scenario is bot lane as you can easily kill the AD carry at this stage of the game.
How to play in Mid game as Zed vs Malzahar
Moving into the mid game things start to change in the negative against you. At this point Malzahar if he knows what’s doing he will probably get seeker’s Armguard to counter and mitigate most of your damage. That item is extremely powerful for him as it gives him scaling armor along with some AP to still be able to damage you. If he’s greedy and goes straight for Lost Chapter you need to start looking for openings again to kill him.
While Luden echo gives him more lane sustain and farm ability it will not save him from your all-ins. You will have enough damage along with ignote to kill him in one combo even if he’s full hp. Just make sure you land all of your abilities. If you miss your Q then you need another trade before you can all in him and it’s better to back off to avoid a retaliation attack with his ultimate. It’s very likely that Malzahar will save his ultimate for your ultimate but don’t let that deter you too much as it may slow down the passive of your ultimate but it will not be sufficient to protect him. At the worst case you will be sending him back to base making him fall further behind in farm and experience.
Again like in the early game after level 6 you need to start looking to roam in the map to help your jungler or top/bot lanes if there’s an opportunity. Your damage now with items is higher so you should be able to one shot the AD carry without too many problems. Just remember if you get locked down from CC to back off and not continue trying to go for the kill as Malzahar will likely follow and ult you to death.
How to fight as Zed vs Malzahar late game
As the late game approaches Zed generally falls off and when he’s facing a Malzahar on the other side which scales fairly well the gap increases. At this point if you have managed to built a lead and semi-carry the game you should be in a good spot if your team is decent to close the deal and end. If this drags into really late game there isn’t much you can do other than rely on items such as edge of night and quicksilver shash. Those two will save you from the ultimate of Malzahar which at this stage of the game is very strong and mitigate some of his damage but you will still be very vulnerable to his burn effect items.
I don’t want to go into too much detail here because after all this is a guide on how to beat Malzahar as Zed and in the late game there’s more team fighting involved than individual one versus one.
Your goal now should shift from trying to kill Malzahar to avoiding or trying to survive from him. You should be focusing directly into killing the AD carry of the enemy team or any other squishy champion they have. If you accomplish that and can get away from the team fight then it’s mission accomplished for you. Your next rotation would be to do as much damage as you can with your wqe combo to their entire team. Even though Zed does not scale much in the late game your damage is still very high. The only time you will be struggling is if there’s a lot of tanks and CC on their team. Always look for openings and trying to catch someone as you have your ultimate as your escape route.
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My personal favorite when I am playing against Malzahar as Zed is to force him into a mistake early in the game.
If you have any questions, comments please post them below I check periodically and try to answer them in the priority they come in.
Also if you have any corrections please do let me know and I’ll update the article with new updates or mistakes I did.
What strategy you like to use against Malzahar as Zed?
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