Zed Build Guide by OTGBionicArm
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I know I'm probably going to get a lot of downvotes for this, but PLEASE LISTEN
AP Zed is actually VIABLE. Here's how it works:
Shadow Slash is on a really short cooldown, so you can constantly proc Lich Bane.
Contempt for the Weak deals magic damage and uses the magic pen from masteries well, making it deal more damage to fuel your Death Mark proc.
And finally, Death Mark does extra damage based off how much damage you do in total while it's active, meaning you don't have to buy a lot of AD! Awesome!
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Since Zed doesn't do much magic damage until he gets items, don't run any magic penetration runes.
Instead, run flat AD so you can be stronger early game and bully around your enemy laner.
Flat Armor is for in case you're against an AD assassin mid, but otherwise it's still good for mitigating auto-attack harass. Zed is prone to this because of his melee attack range.
You can switch out the Quints for Move Speed quints if you think you can abuse your mobility to bully certain lane opponents, like Syndra or Nidalee.
Take hybrid penetration in the offensive tree. Taking Spellsword is a MUST.
Anything else is up to you, really.
Boots of Speed and 4 Health Potions. These let you bully around those noobs who dare fight you in mid lane because you have the mobility advantage.
Doran's Blade is good too, but you're AP Zed and you don't need AD.
Doran's Ring is stupid because Zed has no problems and no ap scaling.
Next, you want to rush a Sheen. It synergizes very well off Shadow Slash, and it's good for harass since it basically doubles your AD for one attack.
Your next item is Berserker's Greaves, because it gives Attack Speed and Zed doesn't benefit off Spell Penetration. With increased movespeed and attack speed, you're able to bully the other laner with your Sheen procs more easily.
The first big item is Nashor's Tooth. Not only does it give attack speed, BUT the passive that converts 15% of your AP into bonus on-hit damage is OP. I mean, if you do the math, 2000 AP gives you 300 damage! Who needs AD when you can go AP?
Next items: Lich Bane, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Rabadon's Deathcap.
Lich Bane first, because you can constantly proc it with Shadow Slash for a lot of damage. Also, with the S3 change, it has a base value, so you don't need to stack 1000000 AP before it starts doing damage.
Zhonya's Hourglass next, because you can Death Mark > Living Shadow > Shadow Slash > Razor Shuriken > Zhonya's Hourglass > Shadow Slash for a super trolly 5 second untargetability. Talk about unkillable!
Rabadon's Deathcap is last, so your Lich Bane and Nashor's Tooth procs will start to hurt a lot!
Liandry's Torment - If the other team is stupid and they keep letting you pull their tanks into the wall, then buy this so while they're slowed you can shred their health really really fast :D
Twin Shadows - Are people still getting away from you?
Tear of the Goddess/ Archangel's Staff/ Seraph's Embrace - If there's a lot of burst on the other team, consider buying an early Tear and charging it so that you have an available shield to protect you from burst. Zed also charges it quickly because of the short cooldown of Shadow Slash, plus Zed's abilities cost no mana!
Iceborn Gauntlet - I don't like this item, yeah the stats are nice but IMO it's better on tanks and Zed has enough chasing power already. I guess this can replace Lich Bane if the other team is 5 AD.
Guinsoo's Rageblade/ Hextech Gunblade - These aren't good because they're hybrid items, but buy Guinsoos if you want more AS and Gunblade for more chasing power + damage + lifesteal/survivability.
Deathfire Grasp - You don't really do magic damage but the stats are nice. 120 AP is a sizable amount, and CDR to be an annoying shadow ***** is nice too.
In mid, make sure you're against a champion who
1) Can't gapclose very well,
2) Has a lot of skillshots, or
3) Is controlled by an unskilled summoner (preferably Bronze or unranked)
Zed's main strength is his mobility, so if you're against a Nidalee you can just Living Shadow away from her Spears then counterattack.
If you're against someone with all targeted abilities like Ryze, you're ****ed you might as well bend over and ask your jungler to camp.
Which he won't do, because you're AP Zed.
You want to play passively because you aren't that strong early on, but if you see them commit to CS, Shadow Slash towards them, resetting your AA timer, and you're able to get a free hit on them.
At level 6/7, your power spikes tremendously because you have obtained your ultimate. If you see them out of position, you want to Death Mark > Shadow Slash > Razor Shuriken them, then keep auto-attacking them while trying to avoid their skillshots and spam your Shadow Slash, and hopefully you force them out of lane via death or them being low on health.
Late game, remember that you're AP Zed and your only real strength is being annoying with shadows + mobility, slight damage, and tank shredding Death Mark. Use Shadow Slash to peel for your ADC, or you can use it to pull down priority targets to walls and hopefully you can finish them off with your team.
This is just a quick guide on the unconventional. I'm sorry if I didn't go too in-depth with stuff, but I only had about a quarter of an hour :/
REMEMBER TO TRY IT BEFORE GIVING FEEDBACK K THNX
Zed has a 300% AP ratio on his Death Mark BTW. It's just hidden from the tooltip. You have to try it to know it ;)
Huge shoutout to tehAsian's amazing AP Vayne guide for inspiring me !!!1!1