The Bigger The Clock - VS AP
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.
Threats to Zilean with this build
|Teemo||Look, man, I am doing this at 5am, I will come back to this. If you in the meantime have any questions about any matchup, post it in the comments.|
Hello, I am QWERTYkeys, a Gold IV Udyr jungle main with 130k+ (and counting) mastery points on him. I play on the Europe West -server and I live in Finland. I'm by no means good, so don't be fooled into thinking that I know what I am talking about. Please leave any angry comments or complaints in the comments-section, so I can fix the many mistakes I have inevitably made.
If you're looking for a diamond level guide then there's the door, feel free to leave. If instead you are bronze, silver, gold or even platinum tier: Welcome! This guide should help you climb the ladder.
Any questions can be left in the comment section of this guide, I'll try to keep it up-to-date as much as possible, but right now I'm just making a short guide where I'll be telling you how to play Zilean (or The Flying Time Man). I hope you enjoy this guide as much as I enjoyed making it and will find it useful.
Pros / Cons
-Great utility that scales hard
-Counters Zed that is strong now
-Has no really bad matchups
-Can snowball the team with experience
-Makes dives happen
-Is a flying old man
-Damage falls off lategame
-More team reliant than many other mages
-Hard to learn and master the bomb placement
-Terrible auto attack damage and missile speed
-Cannot ult while under hard CC
Skills and Combos
Zilean's Q is his bread and butter and all of his combos revolve around it. One basic combo is QWQ, where you throw a bomb, refresh the cooldown, then throw another one. If both land, they result in area of effect stun and damage. Do this if you're hanging back in a teamfight or a skirmish, where enemies will focus you down if you get too close.
The lane combo/The countergank combo is to choose which target you want to hit 100% surely and then use EQWQE to slow that person, stun them, and then either speed yourself up or slow the enemy down after the stun ends. This has great synergy with your masteries too, since you have bonus damage against crowd controlled targets. With this you can out-trade any laner (remember to auto attack them if you land both bombs) or escape any gank just as long as you don't miss. If you manage to get your R off before going down, it is beneficial to try and stun the enemies around you with QWQ and then use E to try and run away.
Skill Leveling Sequence
Zilean's passive lets him level up allies that are close to leveling up, receiving the same amount of experience as he gives to the ally. Use this absolutely whenever you can. Prioritize champs that scale with ability levels. AD carries don't need the levels as direly as maybe a Warwick or a Diana. You will usually end up using this on your jungler in the earlygame.
Zilean's Abilities revolve around his Q (Time Bomb) where he throws a bomb that explodes after 3 seconds on a target or on the ground. Stacking two of these on the same target causes all of the targets in the area to get stunned. This is maxed out first since he doesn't do anything at all with his other spells without this one.
Zilean's W is a spell you use when either one or both of your basic spells are on cooldown to reset them and make the Q's stun combo possible. Nothing much to it. It is a cheap spell, but I wouldn't use it excessively in lane if you have no need for it.
Zilean's E is a beautiful spell for juggernauts, ally and enemy alike. When you give your friendly AD carry or Garen 99% movement speed, they suddenly become terrifying. And when you slow the enemy AD carry or juggernaut by 99%, they are no threat since they cannot get to you or kite you. With W you can use this twice to slow and enemy and speed up yourself or slow two enemies or slow a single enemy into oblivion. To be honest during ganks you either cast this on your laner, on the jungler, or yourself, depending on a few things:
-Does the enemy mid laner have a dash or a way of sticking to you without walking? If not, use it on them.
-Does the enemy jungler have a dash? If so, don't slow them, they'll just dash instead of walk.
-If both enemies have dashes, use it on yourself. Additionally, you should use it on yourself if the enemies are out of range since you avoid the confrontation altogether that way.
Zilean's R is a Guardian Angel on wheels. It revives an ally, has a low cooldown and should be casted early-ish, since the ally might get popped faster than you think, leaving you feeling like the women after a night with me. The amount of health the ally has after getting revived is dependant on your AP. Cast this on carries and squishies since the amount is flat, not percentage based. If you get killed and use this on yourself, you can try to use QWQE when you get up to stun anyone around you and to speed yourself out.
As with about 99% of champions at mid lane, you take flash as your first spell. I then suggest you take either Barrier to mitigate all-in burst from rage (for example against Lux), exhaust to mitigate assassins' burst damage (for example against LeBlanc) or Teleport if the enemy is prone to poking you (someone like Jayce).
I don't like offensive spells since Zilean is not that kind of a guy, he is not a burst mage, really.
Your auto attacks are very weak and the missile speed is abominable, so go into a custom game to get the hang of it and learn to farm minions without getting poked down. In the earlygame throw a bomb on the middlemost ranged minion every- and anytime it's up. The key to winning as Zilean is to get a CS lead in the mid lane and then turn into a glorified support in the lategame if the game goes that far.
After you get your Tear of the Goddess and your Chalice of Harmony, you don't need your auto attacks anymore: you can just QWQ the wave. Rinse and repeat.
I take Flat AP Quintessences to push the waves under the enemy's tower early on and get a CS lead and take mana regeneration Seals so I won't run out of mana when spamming my bombs on the waves in the earlygame. For lategame purposes I take Magic Penetration marks (with one critical strike chance mark for $wag) and some flat magic resist for my Glyphs.
They may not be optimal, but damn do they work for me!
So I have this weird support-esque Zilean mid playstyle where I prioritize cooldown reduction and helping my teammates while denying the enemy mid laner farm, so I take some pretty standard ferocity-tree's masteries like increased ability damage, feast and damage to targets under crowd control etc, since all of these fit well with my kit and with any mid lane mage's kit.
Then I go into the cunning-tree and pick mana regeneration, biscuits, thunderlord's decree and cooldown reduction etc. To provide more utility. Last time I checked, with 45% cooldown reduction your ult in on a 36 second cooldown. If your marksman has a Guardian Angel, they are pretty much invulnerable. I pick thunderlord's decree so that if I land my bombs (which I always do when utilizing my ability sequence of EQWQE), I can smack the enemy in the back with an auto attack and when the second bomb blows up, thunderlord's decree triggers.
I build what I need to build in order not to die and/or run out of mana. Your number one priority in lane is to bomb the waves as hard as you can, so cooldown reduction, mana regeneration and ability power are the most important stats, though you might want to invest in some potions and have a pink ward on the map at all times. Build reactively and try avoid fighting unless you know you can hit your bombs 100% (in other words, if your enemy laner has no dashes up or cannot kill/crowd control you and trade favourably). Keep getting a CS lead and shoving, but never overstep your boundaries. Enemies will always try to gank a squishy mid lane mage who walks up to the enemy tower, so ward well and push those waves and stand back while you wait for the next one. Item sets are shown at the top of the page and I build those items for the reasons stated here.
Zilean is a great utility pick for mid lane that can shove hard and save your carries in a fight while being the most annoying old man out there. I definitely suggest him in this metagame even though he doesn't have the damage to kill the tanks later on, he has the ability to make his carries last and kill them for him.