Zilean Build Guide by ILikeTurtels

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author ILikeTurtels

A Conventional Guide to the Chrono-Wizard

ILikeTurtels Last updated on November 5, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Hello all,

before we begin, I would like to explain to everyone that I am not trying to sell this champion, nore make him seem any better than he actually is. I am only trying to give you the reader a good understanding of how zilean is played from my own point of veiw. If you disagree with my views on him, have any improvments or suggestions, or just a general comment, feel free to send me a message or comment below.

Also note that this guide is not a set in stone, definitive way to play , all the items, runes, etc. are subject to change based upon player preference and situations in game. This guide is only to provide a basic and general guidline to play this particular champion. I am not a pro and have never claimed to be.

A personal note and some credentials: Zilean was one of the first champions I ever played, That may sound like a generic thing you would hear on any guide, however I have been maining him since i started In Oct. of 2011, it is now May of 2012.
the idea of the chronokeeper was an interesting idea to me and i chose him to just to try him out when he was free, He grew on me during that first game. I currently have about 200 games played as zilean alone.

Anyway now that all that gobbeldy-**** is out of the way we can get down to it.

enjoy the guide and feel free comment and/or upvote


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Pros / Cons


    highly spammable
    nearly endless movement boost
    excelent support
    bombs provide solid AOE


    very squishy
    damage drops off late game
    ult requires good timing

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The runes are fairly and their reason for going into this build are as follows:

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

These runes provide you with a small amount of Magic penetration. In simpler terms, when you place a bomb on someones head, they are going to feel it a good deal more than they usually would. These runes really come in handy throughout your game. These runes, provided you with about 9 magic pen. which, combined with Arcane Knowledge provide you with a solid 19 magic pen.
this will really help you out picking up those last kills with your bombs

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration

these will give you a solid amount of mana regen, early game they give you about vitually nothing, however late game they will provide you with about 10.5 mana regen/5 secs. A fairly substantial amount that can really keep you going. Since Zilean is highly spammable with his abilities and they his bombs have a relativly high mana cost, this will really come in handy and allow you to keep going and continue to help your team through exctended fights.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

The Glyphs of force give you just a little extra Ability power that comes in handy. I dont beleive it needs to be explained that ability power (AP) is a necessity for Zilean, and since every little bit helps and can mean the difference between a kill or an escaped enemy, the 27.5 AP that is provided at lvl 18 by these runes is a good help.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Once again, AP being an essential ingredient for Zilean, an additional 15Ap is a great help to zilean, plus with, combined with the Greater glyph of force, you come out with an additional total of 43 ABILITY POWER

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My personal preference for Zilean is a 9/0/21 set for the Masteries. If you find that you take tend to play AP carry/support with him, or simply prefer the masteries in the offense tree feel free to switch them up.


the real essential part here is the extra CDR (Cool Down Reduction) and the additional 10 magic penetration. The Magic pen is going to help you out with picking up some kills and/or just dealing a little additional damage with your bombs. The CDR is a necessity to for Zilean which will be explained later on in the guide


once again the real essential piece of this tree is the CDR. Combined with the CDR you get from the offense tree, you come out with an additional 10%CDR. Once again I will explain the importance of CDR for zilean at a later point. Aside for the CDR which i keep going on about, the additional benefits of the Utilitys tree come in handy for zilean. Increased Exp. gain, movement speed, and mana regen to name a few.

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Now, lets review the items purchases suggested in the above items section.

Core Build

Dorans Ring:
This is an exceptional early game item for any AP charecter, the benifits, though rather small in comparioson to some other items, provide an excelent base for the early game portion of the game. The AP boost, extra health, and mana regen are basic needs for any AP charecter.

this item can be substituted out based upon player preference. My recomendations if you choose this path are as such, Option 1: Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. that extra bit of speed is great for early game harrasment, chasing down runners, and escaping bad situations. Option 2: Mana Crystal and 2 Health Potions. the extra mana is great early game and lets you keep up your harrasment early game, this also allows you to start building Catalyst the Protector earlier. both of these options are viable and depend upon the player and their preference.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Aside from the necessity of having boots in a build, the Additional CDR that comes with the boots is an incredible asset. A comment was made to me by a friend that Sorcerers Shoes might be a better choice, since they provide you with an extra 20 magic pen. once again this is a matter of preference on the players choice. however i have found that the Ionian Boots of Lucidity a better suited for zilean.

Rod of Ages
The Rod of Ages is a very good choice for Zilean and the earlier you get it the better since its effects grow stronger as time passes. The additional health and mana from Catalyst the protector serve to counter act Zileans initial squishyness and mana problems early game. Later on it provides a very welcome 80AP!

Morellos Evil Tome
Now you have reached a pivotal point in Zileans build. The extra CDR, AP, and mana regen finish out the basic requirments to allow zilean to funtion effectivly. Now, with all of the CDR from masteries and items, you have nearly reached the cap for CDR (which is 40% CDR).

Optional (reccomended) Items

these remaining 3 items in the build (at some point Dorans Ring should be sold to allow for a better 6th item) are sitauational and again, depend upon the players preference in item and playing style as well as the situations that they find themselves in, in individual games.

Will of the Ancients
this items provides excelent support auras. aside from giving you both AP and Spell vamp.
(note: spell vamp takes damage dealt by the player in magic damage and returns a portion of it to the damage dealer.) it also provides a small amount of both of those attributes to your allies. placing zilean even farther into his support role.

Banshees Veil/ Zhonya's Hourglass
both of these items are situational and are due consideration for survivability. banshees veil provides a sheild that blocks 1 incoming harmful spell/ability and recharges every 60 seconds. it also provieds a modest health and mana boost as well as a solid amount of Magic resist.
gives the user an exceptional amount of armor as well as a fairly large quantity of AP. It also has a unique active effect that allow the user to become "inert" for 2 seconds. when i say "inert" i mean that it prevents the user from taking any action but also makes it so thay wont take any damage. it is exceptionally useful for survivng bursters.

Rabadons Deathcap
This provides an exceptional boost to your ap, not only in raw ap (i.e 140 straight ap) but also boosts your total ap by 30%. you will notice after aquiring this particular item, that your teamates tend to be revived with a noticably larger amount of health after your ult, and that a rather larger portion of your enemys health bar is missing after a bomb goes off..

Guardian Angel
I only include this item as a troll peice (not to downplay the true value and use of this item) since essentially has this items passive as an ability, it is somewhat counter productive to rush into a battle die, get revived by die again and be revived again by and than possibly dieing a 3rd time for good...

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Skills and Abilities

Heightened Learning
His passive may not seem exceptional at first, however you will notice that you are lvl slightly faster than your opponents are that your jungler seems to be able to ganker earlier because of the EXP buff.

Time Bomb
zileans bread and butter, max it out ASAP. since it scales so well off of ap and has a rather large initial damage, it provides an exceptional harass and means of damageing your oponents.

This is another one of Zileans key skills. It instantly takes off 10 seconds from all other abilities count downs. this is what makes zilean so spammable, since your timebomb has an initial cooldown lower than that, it allow for Double Bombing it also makes it so that your other abilities are ready for whenever they are needed

Time Warp
this ability has one of the highest speed buffs in LOL, a 55% speed buff lasting a few seconds can get you and your team into and out of a fight incredibly fast. If this extrodinary escape mechanism wasnt enough, it can also be used on oponents to slow them for the same percentage and time. It makes it so that Zilean is virtually impossible to be ganked.


Zileans ult... Personally i find it to be the best means of support available. His ult makes it so that if the person is used on dies within 7 seconds of its activation they are revived with a certain amount of health. This ability is just withouth the other personal buffs that come with it.

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Game Play

Here i will finally explain why i have been gabbing on about CDR this entire guide.
but first lets start with the basics
The game has 3 main phases and zilean transitions through all of them differently, so i will break up this section by each phase

Phase1: early game

If you followed this guide and focused your skill sequence on his bombs, than you will notice that no one has yet to build up any magic resist to counter the excessive amounts of damage that your bombs are doing. This makes zilean an exceptional AP carry and harasser early game. also note that zileans bombs have an exceptional range, thus making him a great candidate for mid if no one else is willing to take it.

since zilean isnt always viewed as the serious threat that he becomes, enemys in lane occasionally feel its acceptable to extend themselves farther than usual. big No NO... if your laning with an ad carry than enjoy first blood. as your ad carry hacks away at him, your enemy will eventually flee with little health left, as they rejoice thinking they just escaped, it slowly dawns on them that they have a floating above their heads. they proceed to "T_T" as they die. even though zilean is a support charecter early game is a great time to pick up kills and assists and to get a head start on your build

Phase2: Mid game

This is a major transition period for Zilean, in the beggining you will find that your bombs are absolutly decimating their squishys. as time progresses however you will find that even with your Magic pen. your bombs damage begins to drop off and that as you continue with leveling, you spend a great deal of time speeding players up/slowing them down and reviving a lot more allies.

around now is normally when you would begin to finish the core build in the affor mentioned chapter Items . now you see which champions you are facing and what items will best help your team and to defeat your opponents/ survive their attacks.

phase3: Late Game

Now you fully take on the role of a support, the damage from your bombs isnt what it used to be, however if you manage to use your ult effeciently, you will come out ontop in every team fight and very few, if any members of your team will die.

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Abilites: effective use

Double Bombing

If you only read one part of this guide, than read this.

double bombing is an essential a crucial part of zileans attack. It is simple to use and even simpler to do.

Time Bomb~ Rewind~ Time Bombis the sequence.

to do this, put a bomb on an opponents head, use rewind to get the ability ready again, than immediatly put another bomb on the same opponents head, this detontates the first bomb for instant damage and primes the second with the 4 second countdown.
it is one of the most essential abilities possesses

Time Bomb AOE

(AOE = Area Of Effect)
foolish opponents will stand near eachother with bombs on their heads and your bombs will just damage the both of them. however since this does not frequently happen at high ELO's you will have to be more creative with their uses. your bombs can take out entire minion waves later in the game, however that is a simple use for the AOE of your
defensivly: if you place a bomb on an ally or your own head, an opponent will have to think twice about coming near either of you for a tower dive, since that bomb is going to go off, they must consider whether or not they can survive the encounter. this is an excelent means of escape as it provides you with an small window of oppurtunity in which your opponent may be hesitant to come near you.
offensivly: if your Master Yi is using Highlander to chase down an escaping opponent and you have no means of catching up, than place a bomb on Yi's head, so that the AOE catches the fleeing opponent to either finish him off, or just help yi to kill him. garrunteeing you either a kill or an assist.

now since Zileans bombs have such a long range, he is exceptionally suited for early game harrasment as i mentioned in the skills segment of the guide, Mid lane is a great place for zilean to be for a multitude of reasons. some of which i will explain a bit later. for now his bombs a great for making short work of their squishy vieger or whoever happens to be your opponent.


spam this as often as possible. thats really all thier is to say about it. it will be far easier to do this later game, both becuase of cooldown and mana cost,.

Time warp

Alright, this is essentially Ghost turned into an ability. Using it on an ally allows them to chase down opponents, escape bad situations, or to join a team fight sooner.
using it on yourself is not only kinda funny but also useful. once at lvl 18, your timewarp has a duration of about 6 seconds, and your rewind has a cooldown of 3 seconds, its possible to essentially permanantly buff your speed. with boots you can go just over 500!
now, doing this does have practical uses, for example, if you were just respawned, and you notice your jugler was raiding but got caught and is being chased and may not make it, you can speed yourself up to get their in time to save his/ her life.

Defensive: this is not only good for speeding your allies up, but also slowing enemies down. its another reason zilean makes an exceptional mid lane. If an enemy jugnler suddenly emerges fromt he jungle, intent on nuking you, just slow him down and move back. the slow is so excessive that it makes it impossible to catch
on a personal note it is extrememly funny when an enemy jungler gives up trying to kill the squishiest charecter on the team because of this.


Chronoshift is zileans most difficult move to get right. even though you have 7 seconds before it goes out, a smart enemy will simply wait for it to go out before dispatching your ally and wasting your ult. Try to time as close to the moment your target is going to die as possible so thtat the enemy has no chance of stopping.
It is worth noting that if timed close enough to the point of death, enemy's will not realize what you have done and your newely revived carry can proceed to chase them down and eliminate them from behind.
though it may be somewhat challenging in the midst of a teamfight, try to hit your ad carry with your ult, that extra time your Tryndamere has is going to be a deciding factor in the outcome of a teamfight.

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Summoner Spells

Finally we get to summoner spells.

I personally find that
Flash and Teleport are best suited for my play style. however here are some other choices

even though your timewarp will get you out of most situations, it is usually good to have this for a backup to get your through a wall

an excelent tool to get to where you need to be fast. either to a ward placed in a bush for a gank (your slow lets you do that) or to an ally's aid at a turret. anywhere you need to go

this is a solid choice as for any support, especcially if someone else on your team has or . or if their is a jungler on the opposing team and you need to keep an eye on him.

another good choice, though many players refer to it as "Noob Heal", I will include it becuase it does its job well. Its a life saver and a good support tool, whether a player chooses to use it or not is thier choice.

Take this if youv got a mana hungry team, itll help keep your abilities at the ready early game as well as late game. an AP charecter isnt any good without mana.


A good choice if your going mid, or just in general, however the killing should be left up to your carries and settle for the assists.

Exhaust/ Ghost
good, both are rendered a bit unecessary however due to timewarp slow and movement buff


though the idea of jungle zil is very ammusing, its not how he was meant to be played (atleats from my point of view) thusly its not a very good choice

seriously? how much revive do you need
Troll note: zil ult + guardian Angel+ revive = endlesss life
serious note: as troll as this move is said to be, I personally have seen it effectivly used before in a serious game

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Yup finally explaining it, though I beleive that most of the readers who have actually read the guide understand why its important
Zilean is HIGHLY spammable
its just how hes used. More CDR means more Timebomb, , timewarp, and lastly . one thing leads to another as well, less cooldown on Rewind means you use it more which means Chronoshifts 100second cooldown (which is brought to abuout 70 seconds with CDR) is done in about 20 to 30 seconds instead which means you can revive your team faster. essentially if you do this enough no one on your team ever actually dies.