Build Guide by Knightfox
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.
First a little about myself
my game name is Knightfox and I play Zilean exclusively. I'm currently lvl 19 but i'll update it as I go. I feel like i've taken this build as far as I can my win/lose ratio is almost perfectly 1:1. But I know that this build can be taken further and would probably be better with an arranged team. I'm open to ideas and comments and decided to make this so I could improve my build and to show gank Zileans they aren't Shaco on speed.
Zilean is a support character.... SUPPORT
He can be a nuke early on in the game but by lvl 10 unless you focus purely on AP his time bomb is pretty weak on many opponents so if you or your team mates are looking for damage or nuking power go for someone else.
After you and everyone on your team have gotten that into your heads we can begin.
First things first most people don't know much about Zilean because no one ever plays with him. Many people have no idea what his ult looks like or does so first thing you do is ask the people on your team and inform those that don't know ( #1 cause of Zilean deaths are from teammates ditching me)
Play defensive and wait for an opening your greatest strength is surprise (I don't mean gank)many don't know that you can revive at first and you can catch them by surprise.
Playing as Zilean you only have 1 attack so unless you hit them with an ally or they are too stupid too run with low health many opponents will get away with little health but not die (don't worry this will change after you've farmed some minions and gotten your gear). Yes this sucks but it gives you time to push the tower. Even end game you will find that the majority of the time you will have many more assists than kills ( also if your playing with ganks this is actually good since your supporting them by building their Soulstealer up). Also Zilean has the potential to be THE fastest character on the map. With timewarp and no boots your as fast as shaco with boots. Add ghost to that and its an 80% increase in your speed. So with that I like to build my Zilean for hit and run tactics. Pop into the lane full of minions timebomb+ rewind+ timebomb = 14 dead minions easy and your gone before your ghost spell wears off. Same with allies, your bot and ally is getting ganked by twitch in mid BOOM timewarp your there in less than 10 sec, toss time warp on enemy, chronoshift on ally, and timebomb on enemy, rewind, timebomb, timewarp. Zilean is so fast that end game I have kept top and mid clean by myself while allies respawn, gather, or whatever.
get all cooldown runes would be my choice of runes at lvl 30 but it would different at lower lvls. The beauty of this rune build is that when combined with the masteries build gives it almost 25% cooldown rate from the very beginning which helps Zilean since he only has one attack. Of course your free to do what ever you want maybe replacing the marks and seals with AP runes and you still keep a pretty good cooldown rate.
you only have 1 attack the reason I choose the skill order I did should be obvious
A FEW THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT TIMEBOMB*********
1.) You can strap it to your minions to carry it
2.) strap to ally early to make enemies avoid him or so he can carry it to enemies
3.) Strap to yourself they avoid you
4.) You can put it on sight and vision wards so you have something the enemies can't see that you can hook to, kinda neat.
Zilean just profits most from utility you can't fight it.
Hmm I've played with a lot of spells
1. Heal- great for staying in the lane and great for helping allies
2. Fortify- great for defense which becomes more difficult if your partner dies and you are laned alone for awhile.
3. Flash- great for escapes but the range isn't great and most enemies don't just let you run without a stun/slow/fear so its not my favorite choice. Although it can be great for getting someone by surprise early in the game that is trying to stay right outside your range.
4. Teleport- another great option however you lose the 32% speed buff from ghost which can be used in pursuit, escape, and travel and ghost has a shorter cooldown as well.
5. Smite- hm one minion kill vs 3-6 minion kills with timebomb
6. Ignite- great 3rd option, gives Zilean an extra attack he badly needs but the mana and speed are both more important
In the end Clarity and ghost are my choices because the extra mana you need and the speed boost.
The goal of my item build is in this order
2.) Cooldown rate
5.) Extra Defense
My starting items are always Sapphire Crystal, mana potion, and health potion which perfectly uses all of your starting money. No matter what make sure you use your Clarity before the mana potion so that it has longer to cooldown so you can use it sooner later on in the game.
Next you need to upgrade that sapphire crystal to a Tear of the Goddess which will provide the bulk of your mana later. Alright here is where it gets tricky, I would recommend that if you are not yet lvl 30 you get Glacial shroud next. It gives excellent mana, some armor, and most importantly a 20% cooldown rate.
If you have reached lvl 30 or are pretty close you can choose to forgo the Glacial shroud and make a Soul Shroud instead which still gives you 38% cdr, gives you more hp and gives cdr+ mp regen aura
By this point in the game your mana will probably be around 2100-2500. If your mana is 2800-3100 your tear of the goddess has possibly topped out or its really close. I recommend you getting Zhonyas ring before Archangels staff since it gives more ap (150ap with zhonyas passive). The Archangels staff will give you 116 AP at 3100 mana with zhonyas passive.
Now is the time to pick you boots. I personally don't like many of the choices but here is what i say.
Boots of Mobility- if you have to cover a lot of the map
Boots of Swiftness- if you need reliablity
Boots of the Sorcerer- if you want to do a little more damage
HOWEVER do not get the Mercury's Threads. Yes its great at getting you out of stuns sleeps and whatnot but it only reduces the duration not the effect and so even if it doesn't last as long the enemy still have plenty of time to get to you before a.) the boots work and the stun ends, b.) your timewarp cools down, c.) theirs or their partner's stun cools down and they use it on you again, or d.) they simply kill your squishy self before the duration ends (ps if your stunned/ feared/ sleeped/ taunted/ or silenced you can't use chronoshift to stay alive).
Tear of the Goddess is almost a gift from the developer gods for Zilean. He uses many skills quickly which means he gets the max mana out of the item quickly and that blessing can be continued in its upgrade and turned into AP so its all purpose. But its fatal flaw is when it comes against Veigar his ult does its normal damage plus 25% of his targets max mp. Needless to say its more than enough for a 1 shot kill.
Here is my total Item option list for you
boots of swiftness----boots of mobility*/ sorcerers boots*
rylais crystal scepter
The strength of this build relies on its amplifying ability. Zilean can't carry a team. So if your already down 1 person early on it can feel like your down 2 simply because Zilean can't carry his share of the split burden at times. If hes alone hes a great defender but must turret hug or he will likely die....a lot. However if you lane with someone anyone really thats good with you (remember Zilean is fine with many people but they might not be fine with him). Those that do get laned with him normally have more kills, better pushs, and die less.
Tanks, ranged, and fighters will stick to the lane and can be the driving force while you clean up the mess around them, keep them alive, and make them fast enough to catch an enemy/ slow their enemy down.
Assassins and gankers that rely mostly on stealth abilities ie twitch, shaco, akali normally aren't great since when their health is low they run even after you put chronoshift on them. Then their fast selves escape with 1/32 their health left, your wasted buff and leave you to die without any help.
Enemies not to lane against
2 tanks vs 2 squishies- its never good when your enemy can just ignore the turret damage long enough to kill you hugging it and escape.
veigar- he can 1 shot you endgame many many many times, and each time he gets stronger for it
Fiddlesticks- he can silence and steal your very limited health
Fiddlesticks & Ashe combo- silence, fear, slow, stun ah you quickly get used to those words when you fight this combo and most of the time you see them all within 3 sec
Garen- tank that can silence
thats kinda the jist of who not to go toe to toe with
please leave comments and suggestions for me and thank you