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I love Malzahar as a champ, as his mix of his AD from Voidlings and AP from spells allows him to be very versatile. I recently starting messing around with him in jungle and he clears surprisingly fast, as well as he ganks being generally strong if executed well. The only problem I see is countering Jungling. In the one or two PvP games I've done with this, luckily it hasn't happened to me.

How would Malzahar stand up in a counter jungle situation? I know he is a good duelist, but not as much early on. If I always had a Voidling ready after camp clears would I be able to successfully withstand, escape, or even win a counter-Jungle? And if I could, how would I go about doing so?

P.S. Would Spirit of the Spectral Wraith be a viable item to build for Malzahar?

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I applaud your effort to jungle un-orthodox champs, however; if you do this in ranked, be warned most people will report you for the slightest failure. If you don't follow the meta to a T, people will report you. not saying malz jungle is a bad idea, just saying it might be perceived as such, regardless of its viability. –  user41604 Feb 14 '13 at 12:30
    
@MarcoLeblanc Being reported doesn't matter tho, it is what happens in the Tribunal that matters. If you are not to blame, then it doesn't matter. –  Lyrion Feb 14 '13 at 15:13
    
@Lyrion FYI: 90% of people just skim through and hit punish when they go over cases, and if the reporter specifies "he was jungling malz" and the tribunal voter scrolls down and sees any kind of negative score for a malz with smite, he WILL punish. There's nothing wrong with jungling Malz, as OP has clearly figured out. What I'm saying is a warning, people won't perceive Malz as being a good choice for jungler, even moreso if he doesn't perform well. –  user41604 Feb 14 '13 at 15:14
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@MarcoLeblanc Cases still get reviewed by Riot tho –  Lyrion Feb 14 '13 at 15:36
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'm just throwing out some thoughts here.

I think when he's being counterjungled, Malzahar really needs help from his team being able to come back after when it happens. Most junglers have some sort of synergy with the hits they do, and the Lizard Blessing can slow Malzahar significally when he's being counterjungled. So make sure critical points in your jungle are warded.

That being said, Malzahar has quite some damage and a silence. With that you have a reasonable chance to escape a gank. Using that same silence, counterjungling urself can be very viable. Not only has it a large range and does it silence the enemy, but it also grants you vision in the Fog.

Thinking of the Spectral Wraith, having spellvamp really improves your capacity with Malzahar. The damage-over-time gives you a small healing regeneration, and when you use your ult you get a major health buff. Not to mention you freeze and damage your opponent.

So in short, Malzahar is a pretty good duelist, even better with the correct items (Rylai's for slow, spellvamp). Guarding yourself with wards in combination with your skillset makes it able to guard yourself from counterjungling, while the same goes for Malzahar counterjungling the enemy. But, as it goes with all champions, it really depends on your opponent choice of champion.

EDIT: Spirit of the Spectral Wraith now gains a new UNIQUE Passive: Reduces the cooldown on Smite by 20%. That makes the choice to get this item even easier!

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The update of the smite cooldown meshes well with the spell vamp. Allows you to get a quick boost of HP from jungle creeps in between roaming and team battles. –  Jonny Feb 15 '13 at 20:07
    
Isn't it true Smite triggers with spellvamp? –  Joetjah Feb 15 '13 at 21:02
    
Yup: leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Spell_vamp It does with any damaging summoner spell, so ignite would trigger it as well. –  Jonny Feb 15 '13 at 22:59
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