Zed Build Guide by Arion Storm
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.
True Damage End Build Example
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.
To be honest, Zed is one of my most favorite champions. Why? His ultimate ability feels just like those anime fight scenes where people beat the **** out of each other and then a detonation occurs a few seconds later and kills the target.
I am going to try my best to give you a really cool build so you can poo on AD carries and champions that just drive you crazy.
Also, please understand I am still working on parts that may seem missing or incomplete.
All credit of this video goes to ShakeDrizzle.
Link to his channel: ShakeDrizzle
My History with Zed
I have played at least 100 games with Zed and I really like to get tons of kills (its hard though).
Even though I am only in Bronze Div. 1 (10/1/2013), I still try my best to level up and do well in the game.
When I first played Zed it was during the free champion rotation. I got pretty mad because I did not know how to use his "W." Over time I became decent and got a handful of kills with him.
Zed will take time to learn so be patient if you have not played him yet.
If you enjoy seeing your enemies exploding and getting cut up by ninjas, Zed is for you.
Pros / Cons
[+]Awesome late game
[+]Death Mark deals tons of damage
[+]Escape ability with "W" by casting shadow then reactivating to switch to it
[+]Slow with "E" (Shadow Slash)
[+]"Q" (Razor Shuriken) is somewhat fast and hits through minions and champs
[+]Nice CS (creep score)
[+]Energy based (NO MANA!! :D)
[-]Squishy early game
[-]Can be hard to master for some people (shadow placement)
[-]Not really effective unless targeting single enemies
[-]Team fights may be difficult due to Zed only being able to target one enemy with ultimate.
- Flash is a real beauty and lifesaver. Flashing over walls and from bush to bush is one of the most awesome things to do to trick your enemies.
- Ignite is a truely one-of-a-kind finisher. When times seem tough, send it out and watch your enemies burn to death.
Zed's Ability are very clean and straight forward. No need for extreme math and calculations.
Active: Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing 75/115/155/195/235 (100% bonus AD) physical damage to the first enemy they pass through and 45/69/93/117/141 (+60% bonus AD) physical damage to enemies thereafter.
Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy deal 50% damage and restore energy.
This will require precision and practice. Timing will be critical and it is your long-range poke. Practice and get used to it in Bot or Custom games.
Passive: Zed's bonus attack damage is increased by 5/10/15/20/25%.
Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 4 seconds. Reactivating this ability will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
Zed's shadow will mimic his basic abilities. If both strike the same target Zed regains 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40. Energy can only be restored once per mimicked ability.
The reason why Zed is a unique champion. It is almost similar to having another champion on your team (for 4 seconds :D). Practice mastering placements and timing in Bot and Custom games.
Active: Zed and his shadows create a burst of shadow, dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+80% bonus AD) physical damage to nearby enemies.
Zed's slash reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 1 second for each enemy struck. His shadows' slashes slow enemies by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 1.5 seconds.
Living Shadow: Overlapping Shadow Slashes striking the same enemy deal no additional damage but will incur an increased slow of 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60% and restore energy.
This is a godlike AOE poke/farming tool. If you use your Living Shadow correctly and spam Shadow Slash your shadow can slow and damage your target. It is a very simple tool and could be used to clear waves with just one button.
Active: Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to target enemy champion. Upon arrival, he marks the target for death and spawns a living shadow behind the target. This shadow lasts 4 seconds and mimics Zed's abilities. Reactivating Death Mark will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
After 3 seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing physical damage equal to 100% of Zed's attack damage plus 20 / 35 / 50% of damage dealt of all magic and physical damage dealt to the target by Zed and his shadows while the mark was active.
This was one of my most frustrating ultimates when I first started Zed. But actually the concept was simple: Activate ultimate, do as much damage possible, ultimate explodes.
Zed has many different ability combinations and if done correctly he can deal a ton of damage.
Zed's "Q" is a does decent poke damage early game but can be a complete monster late game towards AD Carries and Ability Casters. Be aware that it costs a decent amount of energy so use it wisely.
At level 2 you should be able to do this if you follow my ability sequence above. You can also reactivate the shadow to switch places and juke if there are any counter attacks.
Heavy/Double Poke + Slow
If you can master this combo you can deal a heavy amount of damage. Shadow placement is crucial and you only have one shot to use the combo or else it will go to waste and the Energy will be at near zero. Use with extreme caution unless you are a pro at timing shots and spamming buttons at lightspeed.
This will bring death to squishy champions, ADCs and Spellcasters (unless they build complete tank). The entire combo will destroy your Energy bar, but if you get a kill, it was worth it.
The benefits go as follows:
1. R: You will be untargetable for 0.5 seconds and the two shadows coming from behind your target may confuse your opponent for a short duration.
2. E: Slows and damages your target and gives you time to do as much damage possible before the ultimate explodes.
3. W: Sending out an extra shadow to either add another Razor Shuriken or escape will be efficient (or both).
4. Q: You now have the ability to shoot 2-3 Razor Shurikens (depending on what you used on your "W")
5. If you have the Blade of the Ruined King, use it to add damage.
Link and Credit here:
In certain situations when your creeps are pushed to the enemy tower and there is no enemy present, there are a few things you can do:
1. Jungle the Wraith Camp: It will give you extra gold and is very quick to clear late game. The distance between the mid lane and Wraith camp is much shorter than from the Wolves camp on the opposing side (a.k.a inner turret).
2. Gank other lanes: This will enable you to get more gold if you earn a kill or assist. Be weary though that their jungle or mid lane may be coming up soon after you grab a kill.
3. Continue to push the tower: Be careful though. Make sure you have sight wards ready and a good escape route. Unless you have very good map awareness or allies calling MIAs (missing in action) take much caution.
Creep Scoring (Farming)
Zed is a very well built lane pusher and freezer. the W>E>Q combo can clear waves in an instant.
Be careful when you want to use your "W" to clear a wave. If you used your "W" and the enemy jungler is charging towards you, you only have your ultimate as a backup shadow (unless that is on cooldown then you're screwed).
Angling your "W" and "Q" is essential to clear the wave in under 4 seconds and farm all six minions (plus 7 or 8 if there are super or cannon minions)
Teamfights: Your Role
Zed is mainly the assassin. Very rarely is he the AD Carry unless he is fed early. In teamfights your main priority is to take down the enemy AD Carry or pick and peel off low health champions.
Always be aware of your health and your teammates' health in case you notice you need to dive in more to the fight to help out or eject and flee with your team.
Counter: Common Mid Lane Champions
Since this guide is meant for mid lane, I will give you the most common champions you will face.
Aatrox can be a bit annoying due to his passive and CC abilities. The key here is to use your shadows as an advantage. Since Aatrox is a melee champion (with one ranged ability), you can easily keep poking him from range and "teleport" with your Living Shadow in case he hits you with his Blades of Torment.
Akali is a bit difficult due to her Twilight Shroud. She can escape easily and also burst you down. When she actives Twilight Shroud, Send a Living Shadow (W) into the shroud and spam your Shadow Slash (E) to force her out.
This guy is a big pain in the butt. He has a real annoying stun and can fry you like a pancake due to his skill-shot and AOE-damaging abilities. To survive him you must have a very fast reaction from his abilites. Sear is all he has to do to stun you and from then on he can do a ton of damage from his other abilites. Play safe and poke.
If you ever face this guy its like having fun. All of his abilites except his Ultimate can really hurt you. Simply use Zhonya's Hourglass to make yourself immune to his ult.
I get scared whenever I face Kat near late game. I remember she bursted me down from full health within 7 seconds, 1v1. My best advice to you is to have a MR Item ready in case you face her. Guardian Angel and Merc Treads are great items.
Kha'Zix has a very strong mid and late game. He does have mana problems though so take advantage of that. Killing him as much as you can early game will benefit you greatly later on. Attempt to kill him when you see his mana bar (blue) low. He may still have a little left to jump away but its worth a shot.
Lux is delicious. Unless the Lux you are facing is a pro player, chances are that you will eat her once you hit level 6. I killed her almost every single time from full health due to my ultimate. Just be aware of her stun and ultimate which will deal a ton of damage late game.
Morgana is simple: Don't get caught in her snare and you will be safe. She has a shield and can melt you down quickly late game if you aren't careful. Use your ultimate once she has used her shield and snare to ensure no retaliation.
This will be an intense matchup. It will be fun if played well. His Rake can slow you decently so watch out for that in case you are running away from him. He can also use cutthroatCutthroat to catch up to your Living Shadow escape tactic.
Teemo is relatively easy. Just be aware of his mushrooms and passive camouflageCamouflage which allows him to become invisible. Using your Shadow Slash will force him out of his passive if you can find him. Overall, very easy champion to lane against.
Veigar can become annoying once he recieves his Event Horizon which causes him to stun you. If maxed out first, he can possibly buy enough time for the enemy jungler to gank you, resulting in death. His Ultimate near late game is devastating and deals tons of damage if he has the correct items.
All Credit of this video goes to FlyingPanda1990.
Check out his channel here
Mastering Jukes and Escapes
In certain situations there will be times when you find yourself outnumbered and weak. In times like these, the Living Shadow is your best friend.
Juke: In order to dodge an enemy killing blow, simply cast your Living Shadow (W) in your desired direction you want to "teleport" to. Right after the shadow appears smack Living Shadow again and you will switch places with your shadow, resulting in a clean-cut juke.
Escape: This technique I am about to show you is one of my favorite things to do with Zed. I sometimes find myself baiting the enemy team (all 5) at mid. USING YOUR SURROUNDINGS IS KEY. If your team is down and you are the only one left, rush to the bushes and buy your team some time. Having them chase you is better than having towers taken down..
1. Run into a bush and make sure all 5 enemy champs are following you in one line and not trying to curve around and cut off your escape.
2. Quickly cast your Living Shadow into a nearby bush
3. Before the enemy can smack you with tons of CC, spam Living Shadow again and you will switch places with the shadow you casted.
4. Pray the enemy is not smart enough to know you are within the other bushes.
Living Shadow is useful to get through thin walls. Use it to make escapes before getting hit with CC or more damage.
That's it! I hope the guide was not that bad. If you have any questions go ahead and shout it out in the discussions section. Also it would be awesome if you can give me some ideas of what champion I should do next for a guide.
A little bit about me:
I am currently maining Mid and AD Carry, with some jungle experience. I also plan to start a Youtube channel soon.
Hope you guys enjoyed and have fun playing Zed.