*If a forum moderator feels that this thread is out of place, then please move it to the 'Guides and Strategy' forum, which may be more appropriate. Thanks.
*I am a university student, and classes have resumed. Although I will still play League of Legends and I will still care for this thread, I will be busy and therefore less active on the forums.*
*The objective of this thread is to enlighten the community on the topic of 'creative' builds, in other words builds that are not 'normal'. I would like to make it perfectly clear that this thread is not encouraging trolling. I encourage players to try interesting builds, and to not dismiss and/or harass players who do choose to use them; however, I acknowledge that some builds are purely detrimental to one's team (such as AP caster Vayne). I don't personally believe this is 'trolling' as long as the player is using a Lich Bane and Deathfire Grasp, and is still attempting to contribute to the game, but I also acknowledge that it's far too ineffective to help the team, and is therefore an offence. It's about defining where the line between 'effective' and 'ineffective' is drawn, and trying to convince players of a more lenient point of view.*
*For those of you who are more interested to just try this yourself and are looking for my build, I will put a Mobafire-like guide at the top. Keep in mind that this is a guide for my build. There are other builds for AD Malzahar, the most notable of these is the DPS Tank build with a core of Manamune and Frozen Heart*
*I have added an essay to explain why using a creative build is not a punishable offence.*
*The Chaser Katarina build has been updated. The new build has more durability and slowing power, while not sacrificing too much damage.*
*I've made a list of several creative builds that either work, may work and I have yet to test, or that just seem interesting; this list can be found on page 18. I would welcome discussion of these ideas, and perhaps you can suggest some of your own. If suggestions become popular, I may move the list to the front page as a main part of this thread.*
There are a few other notable posts that I have made throughout this thread, but which haven't been incorporated as part of the front page post. I will make a directory here for every important post you can find on this thread. The directory will be in numerical order, with the page number first, followed by the post number is parentheses.
Page 1 (1): The core post of this thread. I will list a small Table of Contents here:
----"AD Malzahar Build Guide"
----"Precursor to the Discussion"
----"Creativity is not Trolling"
Page 1 (3): "Using a Creative Build is not a Punishable Offence: The Summoner's Code and The Tribunal FAQ"
Page 1 (5): Chaser Katarina Guide
Page 18 (5): A list of several possible creative builds I thought of while looking through the League of Legends Wiki.
Page 19 (5): A response to concerns about this thread potentially being in the wrong forum, as well as addressing the legitimacy of bumping one's thread.
~AD Malzahar Build Guide~
*For the DPS Tank build, try this link: http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=17242. This is one example of a DPS Tank build, but not the only one.*
*Season 3 update pending*
Stats at full build (not including elixirs, but including the fully stacked Bloodthrister and using the Phantom Dancer instead of a Guardian Angel):
Life Steal: 20%
Attack Speed: 1.48
Crit Chance: 70%
Movement Speed: 433
AP: 11 (with proper runes it should be 0)
Spell Penetration: 0/0%
Spell Vamp: 0%
Your stats may differ slightly, since I don't have a proper rune page, and your masteries may be slightly different.
Runes: Typical AD carry runes, but with an emphasis on bonus AD and armour penetration. It may be a good idea to get some cooldown reduction rather than magic resist, depending on the situation.
Purchase order: Boots of Speed + 3 health potions; 1-2 Doran's Blade + Berserker Greaves; The Black Cleaver; The Brutalizer; Infinity Edge; Youmuu's Ghostblade; The Bloodthrister; Phantom Dancer/Guardian Angel. (I sometimes finish my Youmuu's Ghostblade before getting an Infinity Edge if my lane is doing well, as it will enable me to use the speed boost to get more kills, rather than taking a larger increase in DPS).
Ability Order: E, Q, W, W, W, R, W, E, W, E, R, E, E, Q, Q, R, Q, Q
Masteries: I take 21-9-0 masteries, taking increased armour and health in defence, and typical AD carry 21 in offence, making sure to take as much armour penetration as possible.
~Precursor to the Discussion~
I would like to make a distinction between viability and random builds that don't really classify as trolling. In my opinion, a "viable" build is any build in which the champion's stats and abilities can be used effectively, or to some degree. The example I use below about Xerath as an AD carry is an example of a build that is "random, but not trolling"; it can be used, but none of his abilities offer any sort of notable effect when he is building as an AD carry. On the other hand, AD Mordekaiser is "viable" because he has an incredibly damaging physical scaling ability with his Mace of Spades, an AoE DoT that adds durability, and an ultimate which does significant damage while also making an even stronger ghost than the AP Mordekaiser version.
~Creativity is not Trolling (AD Malzahar)~
I'm getting quite fed up with the treatment I get when I play AD Malzahar, or any other creative (but often very viable) build. I would like to explain exactly why AD Malzahar works, and defend creative builds from those who would accuse them of being troll builds.
As we all know, technically you can build any AP mid as an AD carry. Most of the time, it's really not a very good idea. For instance, if you build Xerath as an AD carry, it's not going to work so well. He does have a stun, but it's dependent upon using his abilities, which if you're building AD, are not going to do very much damage. The time it takes to cast your abilities is just taking away from the time you could be auto attacking, actually reducing your DPS. Overall, it's not worth it. On top of that, his passive armour bonus scales off of ability power, so you won't even be naturally semi-tanky, like Graves.
With Malzahar, things are different. Anyone who is familiar with the concept of AD Malzahar already knows that a lot of his damage comes from his passive voidlings. These voidlings gain all of Malzahar's bonus AD and armour penetration. Voidlings start with 20 base damage, and by level 18 they have 110 base damage. Voidlings also have three stages, each lasting 7 seconds. In the first stage, voidlings have their base stats plus their scaling from Malzahar's stats. In their second stage, voidlings gain an additional 50% base damage and armour. In their final stage, voidlings gain 100% attack speed. At the end of these three stages (21 seconds) voidlings will die. Voidlings have a fast movement speed of 451, allowing them to catch up to many fleeing enemies.
Malzahar's stats are actually quite well fit to the role of ADC. His base attack damage is actually roughly equal to Graves' (Malzahar's 51.66, +3, to Graves' 51 + 3.1), according to the League of Legends Wiki. Malzahar's attack speed is somewhat weaker than other AD carries, so this is a weakness for him, but remember that while he needs to be a damage threat himself, his voidlings are also extremely dangerous and do not scale off of his attack speed.
One common argument against AD Malzahar is that he lacks mobility. This is most certainly the case, as he does not have any sort of escape/pursuit ability. On the bright side, however, he has his own personal array of crowd controls, which most other AD carries lack, relying on their supports to supply this instead (many AD carries do have some form of soft CC, such as slows or traps, such as Caitlyn, and some even have more CC, such as Tristana's knock back and heavy slow; however, most AD carries lack stuns and suppressions).
Malzahar's abilities have high base damage, allowing him to still deal significant damage with them while lacking ability power. On top of this, Malzahar's signature combo can, if used properly, become far more deadly as an AD carry than when built as an AP caster; his ultimate also acts as a safeguard during team fights, as you can ult-combo enemies who try to attack you. The % damage from this combined with your voidlings can shred some of the toughest champions.
Malzahar's own potent AD damage, combined with his voidling damage, makes him extremely powerful. With a third stage voidling and your own auto attacks, you will be roughly doubling your damage output early on. Once you build some crit chance, your own auto attacks will cause more DPS than your voidlings, but your voidlings will still deal significant damage. Because of this fall off, it's a good idea to build for less crit chance and more basic damage. My core build consists of Berserker Greaves, The Black Cleaver, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Infinity Edge. This gives me fairly good attack speed, with a fast burst if needed, and also significant damage and reasonable crit chance via Infinity Edge and Youmuu's Ghostblade. the armour reduction from The Black Cleaver greatly increases the damage my voidlings deal, while they also gain armour penetration from Youmuu's Ghostblade. Although Youmuu's Ghostblade is not typically an item you find on AD carries, it is vital to the success of AD Malzahar, as it gives him everything he needs (cooldown reduction is useful in that it allows you to have voidlings out more frequently). Other good items include The Bloodthrister, since it gives a large amount of attack damage plus life steal, and of course the ever popular Phantom Dancer for movement speed and general DPS.
I take skills in this order:
E, Q, W, W, W, W, E, W, E, E, E, Q, Q, Q, Q, and ultimate at 6, 11, and 16. Your E is useful as harassment, but has an incredibly high mana cost when you're not building AP. It's most useful as a targeting system for your voidlings, as they target ult > E > auto attacks, in that order. I max W first to maximize my ult combo damage. Maxing E after that adds to your damage output. Q is only useful for the short silence, and should be left until last.
I will now try to guide you through a typical lane phase with AD Malzahar.
Before you even begin the game, you should be aware of which champions work well with AD Malzahar. Two supports are brilliant with him. Those two are Nunu and Soraka, with Nunu being the better of the two. Nunu is amazing with AD Malzahar because he can buff your voidlings, which greatly increases their damage output, and makes it so the enemy can't simply kite them. Also, Nunu's slows help to increase your voidling DPS, and to top it off, he can use Absolute Zero as you suppress your enemy to almost guarantee a 1-combo kill. Soraka works well if you're looking to run a poke lane. Soraka's E can give you limitless mana, and therefore limitless voidling spam, which will give your opponent nightmares. Other supports can work as well. AD Malzahar generally works well with any support that can lock down an enemy and allow your voidlings to deal maximum damage. Knock ups and knock backs are NOT the way to go, as it will just mitigate your voidling's damage. Avoid Alistar.
When you're playing as AD Malzahar, you never want to waste a voidling; always have a purpose for using it. Malzahar's spells have a high mana cost, and unless you have Soraka as your support, you will not want to be spamming your spells. Try to keep yourself at one or two spells until a voidling, so you can quickly summon one when you need that extra damage. This opportunity may be when you want to go for a kill, scare enemies off, or to simply push the lane very quickly (keep in mind that voidlings also deal damage to towers, making Malzahar extremely good at quickly destroying towers).
Play fairly passive until you have your ultimate. Your attack speed is slow, and without your voidlings, you will be out damaged early on. Once you hit 6, it's a completely different story. Remember that your voidlings are not invincible. If you're playing against an opponent with half a brain, they will try to kill them before they become too much of a threat. As AD Malzahar, your voidlings are an important part of your damage output. Unless you're just trying to harass, don't let your opponent go after your voidling. Attack enemies who try to kill it, as this will often force a fight when you have your voidling up, which is exactly what you want to happen. If you can protect your voidling for 7 seconds, or even better, for 14 seconds, you will be able to make magic happen with your ultimate.
Because your ult-combo is based on max health and uses an ability with a high base damage to begin with, your ult combo at level 8 will be doing 8% of your enemy's max health per second, plus 140 damage from your E, plus 250 magic damage from your ultimate, and your voidling will have all of that time to attack your opponent freely, dealing a moderate amount of damage if it is at stage 1, noteworthy damage if it is at stage 2, and amazing damage if it is at stage 3. If your Nunu has buffed your voidling during this time, the damage will be as if it was roughly 1.5 stages higher than its current stage.
That is a lot of damage, and during that time, your opponent will not be attacking you back at all. The only thing you need to watch out for is their companion. For this reason, it is often best to go after the support, particularly if it is a squishy support. The enemy AD carry won't have any way to interrupt your ultimate, and that's a death sentence for their support. Meanwhile your own support can be protecting you from the enemy AD carry.
Assuming you build The Black Cleaver as your first item, you will want to auto attack your target three times before unleashing your ultimate, reducing their armour by 45, and maximizing your voidling damage. Once your ultimate has finished, you can quickly destroy them as they flee by activating Youmuu's Ghostblade to land several more auto attacks... this is assuming they aren't dead already.
So far I've been talking a lot about ultimate combos. That's because AD Malzahar plays a lot like AP Malzahar in that way: his ultimate is how he gets most of his kills. Despite this, AD Malzahar is considerably more useful than AP Malzahar when he does not have his ultimate up. His auto attacks will be doing just as much damage as the enemy's auto attacks (assuming equal farm and kills), and he can also use his voidlings in engagements not involving his ultimate. What you need to watch out for as AD Malzahar is commiting to a fight you do not have the upper hand in while your ultimate is on cooldown. Malzahar has no escapes besides a silence (which mostly just helps against gank attempts that will want to lock you down with an ability, such as with Skarner or Warwick). Be very careful about positioning to make sure you don't get jumped on without your ultimate to turn things in your favour.
That concludes my explanation of AD Malzahar. I didn't include a late game description, since it would make this more cumbersome to read than it already is. Needless to say, his late game is much like other AD carries, where positioning is vital. It helps that he can send his voidlings after one target, while attacking a separate target simply by placing his E on the first target. His ultimate is best used late game as a way to protect yourself from off-tanks and tanks that try to push you out of the fight. Although it's not likely to protect you from a full tank, it should suffice to let you bring down an off-tank DPS such as Riven.
As my intro and title suggests, this thread was not only about AD Malzahar, I simply used him as a favourite example. There are a lot of unusual builds that you can use in League of Legends, and many of them are viable. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to use them and have a good time, since you will get flamed in 95% of your games.
Using an unusual build is not trolling. Trolling, or Griefing, is the act of intentionally doing something that significantly damages your own team or ruins the game for others in general. If you are using a build that has no viability at all (such as AP burst Vayne) or if you sell all your items and place wards all around the map for no reason - that's trolling. Using something that is unusual, or even slightly less viable than usual is not trolling. It's not going to guarantee that your team loses. It's simply someone that has become bored with the regular routine way of playing the game, and wants to try something different. It's not "ruining the game" for their team, so why not let them have some fun in peace? I can tell you one thing that most certainly does cause teams to lose: arguments between team members.
So if you see a build such as AP Nasus, Jungle Twisted Fate, AP on-hit Annie, Bruiser Lux, and many more... these are not troll builds. They work, either to some degree, or to the point of complete viability. Flaming your team for using it is what will cause your team to lose, not the builds themselves.
Open your minds to new possibilities and ask them why it works. Show interest in it, even try some of them yourselves. I guarantee it will make that game a better experience.
Your peer and friend,