Zac Build Guide by Splorgagorf
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.
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.
Zac, the fearsome Balloon Animal
I like playing tanks. I've liked playing them since the days of Force of Nature Singed & early 1200hp warmogs. I played Shen in S1, Blitz in S2, Tankwick in S3, Shyv in S4 and now Zac in S5 because they play to the strength I enjoy the most; being in everyone's face and not having to give a **** about it.
Lately Riot has been ****ting all over tanks. They take out items that make them playable and replace them with damage because what Riot hates the most is the character who is 'in everyone's face and not having to give a **** about it'. Any champion who can reach a point of invincibility where the other team can't do anything about it. So, just remove the tank items and give them damage instead.
Hence, Tanks are now a choose 2 scenario: HP, Resistances, Damage. Choose 2. If you go HP & resistances, the other team ignores you. There isn't enough continuous CC on any champ to make that team pay attention (Unless you count some of those challenger league skarners). HP & Damage? either the enemy mid or bot takes you down. Damage & Resistances? The enemy bruisers whittle you down no problem.
I like Zac because this season, he still has all three. You build resistances & HP, and your W does percent damage. This is also true for a bare few others: singed, rammus. But that's it. 3 champs total who hit all 3, and then only Rammus and Zac have the CC and mobility to make real use of it.
Now I know some of you are thinking: What about Udyr? Olaf? Shyv, Aatrox, etc etc etc... I'm not talking about those. I mean real tanks; who soak up the damage of the whole team. When you look at the grid at the end and select 'damage taken' you've died twice, everyone else has died 4 - 5 times and you've still taken 5 times the damage they did over the course of the game. That's a *******ed tank.
That's why I play Zac.
Zac is very multipurpose and a lot of people are confused at how to be good jungles in the new format. It's easy to get off the right track, so here's some tips.
Zac clears the jungle very, very quickly once he gets ranger's trailblazer. For the early part of the game, farm through the jungle (every single camp) then go back. Pick up Trailblazer & boots (level 1). Then hit one camp near mid, bot or top then go gank.
After gank: if you succeed, go back & pickup mobility boots. If you don't, go through one more farming run, (3 camps) then gank again.
If you continuously do 2 to 3 camps at a time between ganks, you'll be omnipresent in the game and won't miss out on early money. The trick is to keep farming a secondary goal until you can grab a spirit visage.
Once you have Spirit Visage, you can use the jungle to heal up from engages and prevent yourself from having to go back until you have enough money to buy a completed item. Using this strategy, you will find yourself approaching 100 farm (not stealing any lane minions) at around 22-23 minutes, at which point you'll have your core:
Juggernaut Trailblazer, Mobility Boots, Spirit Visage, Thornmail.
We now approach the lategame
Thanks to having the core items, you can now customize your build. For heavy AP teams I'll pick up a banshee's veil (heavy AP meaning at least 2 ap carries). For heavy AD teams I'll pick up a randuin's (heavy meaning at least 2 ad carries). For everything else, my next item is Warmog's armor, followed by ZZ'rot portal.
The portal is important for the late game. Zac lacks the ability to take down towers by himself. His basic attacks are too weak and even with dragon buff it's still a slow process. Rather than make that mean that he can't split push, pick up the portal. When your team wins a fight, instead of pushing with them, split off to another lane and take down a tower yourself. It will happen much more quickly than the enemy team will expect.
Use the portal to strategically take down and push other lanes when the enemy team is unlikely to initiate, then relocate to your team's lane while the portal is on CD.
Other than that, make sure to capitalize on Zac Jumps. Jumping into a fight followed by your ult creates a pretty much 3 second time period when the other team cannot do anything. It breaks from the initial CC you get when you land, then even enemy tea members that aren't likely to be hit by your ult are going to have to move away. It functions as a scatter and three second cc on basically all champions that can't attack mid-motion (looking at you Kalista)
If you keep up with farm, you'll hit full build at avg the 30 minute mark, 160 - 200 farm-ish depending on your skill. Don't forget, if the enemy team specializes again late game, you can always sell the juggernaut to invest in a specific resistance item (Randuin or Veil), but if you do, remember to switch out mobility boots for merc treads.