How to Zac
Zac is primarily seen as a disruptive tank with AoE damage and self-healing skills. His high sustain makes him an excellent frontliner in teamfights who can easily dive into the action and be a nuisance to the enemy team. His flexible kit gives him the choice of different lanes in the current meta. Preferably, you'll see Zac in the jungle or top lane.
His Stretching Strike and Unstable Matter make him an excellent toplaner.These AoE abilities allow him to push out lanes quickly and give him the opportunity to roam, using his Elastic Slingshot to its full potential. Cell Division gives you a lot of sustain in lane. When low on hp, picking up blobs will make you survive sticky situations. Because of Cell Division, you will be able to win trades even though you may have lower health. This way you can catch many enemies off guard and win small skirmishes you aren’t supposed to win.
Zac can hold his own in the jungle as well. The healing from Cell Division keeps him up and running without using too many Health Potion’s. Because Zac’s abilities use no mana, you are free to give blue buff to your AP carry without suffering too much from it. An early point in Elastic Slingshot makes him able to put out some very early aggression. The range on his Slingshot also opens up different paths to gank, making him a refreshing champion to play in the jungle.
In teamfights, your main purpose will be to disrupt the enemy team as much as possible. A well-timed Elastic Slingshot followed by Zac’s ultimate Let's Bounce can catch enemies off guard, making it almost unable for them to react before the teamfight is over. Because Zac has a great kit for engaging and disrupting enemy teams, it is often preferred to build him tanky enough to survive these battles.
Zac attack at the LCS EU Playoffs
Getting a lot of vocal support from EG’s jungler Snoopeh, it was only a matter of time before the Geniuses picked him up in competitive play. However, it was not Snoopeh to take control of the Zaun Amorphous Combatant. Instead, EG found it in their best interest to put Zac in the toplane, where the Wickd is often found.
Game 1 of the quarter finals between EG and CW.
Wickd proved that Zac is a champion worthy of competitive play, picking him up every time he was available. This did not go unnoticed as sOAZ, Alex Ich and Diamond were also eager to try him out for themselves. During the finals, and every time EG had to play, Zac was either picked or banned. At the end of the playoffs, we saw Zac in 8 matches, being on the winning team 5 times.
Although Zac is built in different ways, Wickd defined what one may call a basic Zac setup. Going Sorcerer's Shoes and Liandry's Torment for damage items, and filling the rest of the slots with defensive items like Warmog's Armor or Sunfire Cape makes Zac a solid frontliner who can take a beating while giving one at the same time.
Wickd showed the world how well Zac works in the toplane. One of the most remarkable things is how easily the blob can go 1v2. Because of his passive Cell Division, it is very difficult to dive Zac. Like Anivia, Zac will be reborn if you aren’t able to destroy his 4 blobs within a few seconds. This makes diving Zac a risky operation as you will need to stay and finish off the remaining blobs as well. A good Zac knows how to abuse his passive, forcing the other team to call in the help of the jungler and removing the pressure on other lanes.
Game 1 of the semi finals between Fnatic and EG.
But not only Wickd was able to use the amorphous creature to its full potential. Impressed by Wickd’s plays, sOAZ took him away from his rival and went on a rampage, going 8/2/11 against the Geniuses. Instead of the setup Wickd likes to run, sOAZ opted for a full tank build; being almost undestroyable in teamfights and using his cc to control the outcome of the teamfights. Keeping the entire EG team covered in Zac’s slowing goo, Yellowstar’s Corki was able to tear through the Geniuses and bring home the victory.
The best of 5 between Fnatic and Gambit BenQ proved itself as another highlight for Zac. When Fnatic did not ban him, Gambit picked him up, one time by Diamond in the jungle, another time by Alex Ich in the midlane. Diamond’s aggressive play style suits Zac perfectly. If Diamond would have abilities of his own, one would definitely be Elastic Slingshot. Circumventing popular ward locations, Diamond was able to launch himself in the midst of every fight without Fnatic even expecting it. An early teamfight in the river showed Zac’s prowess as he flung himself into the fight using Let's Bounce to destroy Fnatic, forcing their surrender.
Alex Ich wanted a piece of the cake as well and went with Zac in game 4. Building him a bit more damage oriented with items like Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Spirit of the Spectral Wraith made Alex Ich pick up several kills. However, the Russians were no match for xPeke’s Kha'Zix and eventually lost the game. Nevertheless had they demonstrated the power of Zac and forced Fnatic to use one of their bans on the blob in game 5.
The EU playoffs showed the world how Europeans prefer to play Zac. Because of his cc abilities, he is able to still have an impact in teamfights even without proper items. This is why he was usually seen at top, where we nowadays regularly see a 1v2 lane. The inability to easily kill him under tower only makes Zac an even more viable pick in competitive play.
The green mean fighting machine shows a lot of promise for the future. It was refreshing to see a new champion replacing the old go to picks of the competitive teams. Let’s hope this was not just a one time thing and that Zac will see the light of day again soon, as he brings a new and unique set of abilities to the rift.