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Zed Build Guide by C9Hai

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League of Legends Build Guide Author C9Hai

Death by the Shadows

C9Hai Last updated on February 12, 2015
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R


Threats to Zed with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
4
Ahri They recently changed Ahri's gameplay in a sense that she has to land her Charm to be able to 100-0 champions early game. During lane phase your poke is easier to land than hers and is resource less so you'll eventually be able to poke her down, under the assumption you aren't eating her poke. Play the lane safe and wait for the easy harass opportunities either through using your W E Q combo or waiting for her to Q minions and then W'ing on top of her. Once you both hit 6, if you ultimate her she will almost always immediately Dash away after you land, so if you save your Q and shoot it to where she dashes, you should be able to win the fight. Otherwise if you use Q right away and she jukes it with her ultimate, she should be able to win the fight. Basically, don't eat charms and she shouldn't ever be able to kill you.
4
Riven I personally think Riven is a relatively simple match up to play verse as all the things Riven can do are very straight forward and linear. She has no poke, so if you keep distance she can't hurt you. You have the outplay potential against the Riven as there isn't too much she can do that is different. During lane you can literally just spam Q Riven all day and she'll get harassed low enough for you to be able to fight her. Once you guys hit 6, I don't recommend ulting her at full HP otherwise she should be able to beat you. You get free poke on her, and you can push/harass her under turret where she can not do that to you. The only thing you need to watch out for is pre level 3 where she can do A LOT of damage to you and force you out of lane. Play Safe early and get your harass out and slowly take lane control.
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Introduction

Zed is a bruiser-assassin Champion that can go Mid or Top Lane and even in the jungle in rare cases. He is a very fun champion, forgiving in the fact he doesn't have mana and has escapes in case you're in a bad position. It's hard to become a master of Zed but easy to be a good Zed.


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Pros & Cons



Pros
+ No mana
+ Can poke
+ Insane damage
+ Strong all game
+ Gap-closer/escape
+ High skill cap
+ Flexible item build


Cons
- Weak burst when behind
- Loses to many tanky tops
- Death Mark is countered by
escapes / Zhonya's / QSS


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Runes

//NOTE// Flat Armor Pen scales better into late game and allows Zed to do more damage to champions but not minions. Do this if you rush 1st item The Brutalizer or want to focus on lane dominance.

Flat AD helps you wave clear, last-hit and clear jungle creeps faster.

You decide which fits your play style better, both are viable and good.

greater mark of armor penetration
VS AD
Flat Armor Seals
Flat CDR Glyphs
EX:
greater mark of armor penetration
VS AP
HP/lvl Seals
Flat MR Glyphs
EX:


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Abilities

(Passive) Contempt for the Weak
Zed's passive causes his first attack on low health targets to deal a big chunk of bonus magic damage. It's great for last-hitting minions under your tower and it can help finish off low champions after your full combo. Make sure you fit in autoattacks when fighting champions so you don't miss out on the bonus damage.

(Q) Razor Shuriken
Cooldown: 6 seconds
If you’re killing someone, aim for a double or triple Q and DON’T MISS as they will usually survive if you miss. This can mean you save your Q until after you slow them with Shadow Slash or Blade of the Ruined King and/or they Flash. Keep in mind that Death Mark has a small window for how long you can hold Q until you use it.

Be patient with Razor Shurikens as most people will usually move into a position where they can't dodge it anymore.

As an example with me not being patient with Q because I was almost dead, here is me dying valiantly trying to 1 v 2.

(W) Living Shadow
Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14 seconds
No details.

(E) Shadow Slash
Cooldown: 4 seconds
No details.

(R) Death Mark
Cooldown: 120/100/80 seconds
This is what makes your champion extremely strong, with your ultimate you can kill most people.

With the changes to Death Mark, Zed is a pretty strong team fighter now. Before he would ultimate in and basically suicide for whoever he was killing, but now he can go in do the damage and port back to the point where he first casted his ultimate.

This works really well with tower diving as well as it allows you to get in and out of tower range safely. It lasts for a whole 6 seconds which is longer than your Living Shadow and it also has no limit on how far you can port back to it.

The change basically means you can use your W aggressively during your ultimate and still have an escape to get out of sticky situations by porting back to your ultimate's shadow.


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Starting Items

There are a few starting items you can choose to do on Zed. Depending on who you're vs will determine which item you start off with.

(Recommended)
Long Sword + 3 Health Potions is the usual start for Zed, I will always start this no matter what.
(Vs Skillshots)
You can go Boots of Speed + 4 Health Potions in the case you are vs like, Ziggs or something that is very reliant on skillshots to do damage.
(Trinket)
Start with a Warding Totem for level 1 wards and early protection against ganks.

//NOTE// You will want a Sweeping Lens by the time you can afford wards and start controlling vision around mid. Switch when you're able to!


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First Buy

Generally speaking, when you first back, what you buy entirely depends on how much money you have and what you're trying to accomplish. Buy the most expensive item out of these options that you can afford and use the rest of your gold on potions and wards.


(950g+)

(1400g+)

(1900g+)


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Final Items

For your final items you want to have:

Ravenous Hydra
Youmuu's Ghostblade
Last Whisper
Maw of Malmortius
Ninja Tabi / Mercury's Treads / Boots of Mobility
Guardian Angel / The Bloodthirster / Blade of the Ruined King


(Newer Zeds)
Blade of the Ruined King

As far as the argument of buying BOTRK on Zed, I think it's still a fine buy on him but not as efficient as before. It does help IMMENSELY with landing your Q's though so I do recommend it in the case you aren't great at skillshots.
(Experienced Zeds)
Ravenous Hydra

If you can get away without buying BOTRK, get a Ravenous Hydra instead as your damage is much higher and you clear much faster.
(Roaming / Snowballing)
Boots of Mobility

Boots of Mobility are useful for extending your advantage to other lanes by quickly roaming around the map for kills and objectives.
(Vs AP)
Mercury's Treads

Mercury's Treads are good against heavy magic damage compositions and reduce CC effects on you. You'll want to consider these against 2-3 mages and/or really long CCs.
(Vs AD)
Ninja Tabi

Ninja Tabi give you some extra armor against heavy AD compositions. Buy these boots if the enemy team has a lot of physical damage.
(Standard)
Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel is usually your best bet as a defensive item. It gives a mix of resistances and can revive you if you die after killing an enemy with your combo to make the fight a 5v4.
(Vs Auto-attackers)
Randuin's Omen

Randuin's Omen can be a better alternative if the enemy team has a lot of autoattackers. It slows enemy DPS and gives a lot of raw defensive stats to help you survive focus in team fights.

I go for Youmuu's Ghostblade over The Black Cleaver because every time you ultimate, your Youmuu's will be off cooldown and you can use it in combination. It's also cheaper and allows you to crit.

You do not need Maw of Malmortius in the case they don't have AP damage, feel free to substitute it with The Bloodthirster or another defensive item.

Another situational item you can have is Mercurial Scimitar, it's very useful against teams with infinite CC and or suppressions.


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Matchups

(Easy)
They recently changed Ahri's gameplay in a sense that she has to land her Charm to be able to 100-0 champions early game.

During lane phase your poke is easier to land than hers and is resourceless so you'll eventually be able to poke her down, under the assumption you aren't eating her poke.

Play the lane safe and wait for the easy harass opportunities either through using your W E Q combo or waiting for her to Q minions and then W'ing on top of her.

Once you both hit 6, if you Death Mark her she will almost always immediately dash away after you land, so if you save your Q and shoot it to where she dashes, you should be able to win the fight. Otherwise if you use Q right away and she jukes it with Spirit Rush, she should be able to win the fight.

Basically, don't eat Charms and she shouldn't ever be able to kill you.
(Dangerous)
While you lane vs Fizz be careful of him going all in on you as he can win that fight, to ensure he isn't able to you need to harass him down with your Qs and your W-Q combos.

If uses Playful / Trickster aggressively at you, you can use your W to juke away and then harass him back. Be careful using this aggressively as it uses your escape and if he goes on you, you can't get away.

With the recent changes to Fizz's E, if he Es during the last second of his ultimate, you aren't able to use your ultimate to dodge his anymore. You more or less have to juke his ultimate entirely either by Flashing or porting to a shadow.

Late game, Fizz should be able to beat you in a fight assuming he has Zhonya's Hourglass as he can hourglass your entire ultimate and beat you. Be careful fighting against him end game as you still also need to poke him down before fighting him.
(Easy)
Kassadin is a harder match up then you'd expect, he goes Crystalline Flask + 3 Health Potions normally and can spam Null Sphere and Force Pulse on you to harass you. He can farm under turret pretty well with his Nether Blade in the case you push on him.

To beat him, you need to be able to land your poke on him and also kill him as Kassadin outscales you.

A lot of Kassadins nowadays max Force Pulse instead of Null Sphere and when they do that, they have more burst and consistent damage since you use a lot of spells frequently that charge up his E.

Once he gets Riftwalk, if he ever uses it aggressively on you, feel free to Death Mark him instantly as he will now have no escape and you should be able to kill him. If his ultimate is not on cooldown, he'll just port away if you ultimate him and your ultimate will now be wasted.

The reason the difficulty is so high versus Kassadin is because he's not a hard laner to do well against, it's just you need to completely dominate him and stop him from snowballing or becoming an unstoppable force end game.
(Easy)
I personally think Riven is a relatively simple matchup to play against as all the things Riven can do are very straightforward and linear.

She has no poke, so if you keep your distance she can't hurt you. You have the outplay potential against Riven as there isn't too much she can do that is different.

During lane you can literally just spam Q Riven all day and she'll get harassed low enough for you to be able to fight her. Once you guys hit 6, I don't recommend ulting her at full HP otherwise she should be able to beat you.

You get free poke on her, and you can push and harass her under turret whereas she can't do the same to you. The only thing you need to watch out for is levels 1-3 where she can do A LOT of damage to you and force you out of lane. Play safe early and get your harass out to slowly take lane control.
(Dangerous)
So the thing with Ori is, while it's kind of hard to kill her if she goes Heal and plays passively, she won't really kill you. At the very least not pre 6.

Once she gets blue buff and hits 6, you might need a gank or attempt an all in otherwise she will just poke you down slowly.

The only issue with this is that, if you Death Mark her and the jungler is nearby, you might as well be dead and if it snowballs in her favor, you're kind of screwed.


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Playstyle

With Zed, you mostly want to split-push past lane phase as you should be able to 1v1 most mid laners, junglers and ADCs. In the case there is a tanky top laner, just avoid the lane he is in and split push the other one until you gain enough items to kill him.

You want to catch people out of position, you can do that by hiding in brushes where people want to go farm, warding up their jungle, camping their buffs and basically just play on their side of the map trying to find someone by themselves.

When you use Death Mark and the person is staying to fight you, feel free to use W and try and land a triple Q on that person. Usually that is enough damage to beat people who you normally wouldn't be able to. Just keep in mind, doing this basically means you're fighting to the death unless you have Flash.

During the game, you'll be looking for people to solo kill, it's normally easiest to kill the ADC or support so try and find where the ADC will go. They normally go to where the biggest amount of farm is on the map, so head over there and hide in a nearby brush and then play the waiting game for them to come. If they show up else where, push the lane and try to get the turret.

An important thing to note during lane phase is when you're about to hit 6, if you can hit 6 before them and engage it'll almost always guarantee an advantage for you in some way.


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Conclusion

Hey guys, thanks for reading over my guide and checking everything out!

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Be sure to check out my other guides over at Cloud9.gg and good luck on the fields of justice!