Zac Build Guide by Endine
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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.
The Tank and Get Spanked
Yolo Dive Hard!
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.
Hey guys, I made this guide because I like making guides BUT THIS IS MY FIRST GUIDE, and since Zac is a new champion. I decided to make a guide on how to play him. Woot! Although most things can be extremely situation, I believe Zac should be played like a AP tank style, with the possibility of going full AP, or even the odd bruiser build.
League of legends puts Zac's difficulty bar at high, so expect lots of practice and patience as with all champions. But! I believe you will succeed! If you don't succeed the first time, Try again! You will eventually!
Anyways, My name is Endine, and I am currently a Diamond 5 level player that plays mainly mid, jungle, and support. My favorite champions are Nidalee, Taric, and now, Zac :D. I reside on NA, so if you want to search me up, or add me as a friend Please do! my IGN is also Endine. :)
Let's get started.
Pros / Cons
+Massive AoE damage
+Large amount of CC
+Quick Clear time
+Doesn't Need Buffs
-Immovable Initiator (E)
-Squishy early game
-Susceptible to counter-jungling
-Weak Single Target Damage
There are different Masteries that you can play around with, however, generally for Jungling you'd want 0/21/9. However, for Zac who doesn't definitely rely on buffs, he can run 9/21/0 just fine.
The reason why I don't spec solely into Offensive tree is because Zac's AP ratios aren't high, and thus stacking AP isn't necessarily a wise choice for a tank, therefore, 9/21/0 or 0/21/9 would be ideal.
I would recommend a variation of these masteries.
For Teams that have ridiculous CC, you'd want that tenacity so your ultimate can surely hit everyone.
On a side note, I believe masteries can be extremely situation and very much on preference. I believe for different teams and different builds you can obtain different results. Keep that in mind when using any of these mastery trees.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
I believe runes can also be extremely situational, in many cases, I believe that the AP scaling on nearly all of his abilities is at best, 70%, which isn't even much of a spammable spell. Hence nullifying the greater use of AP quints, although still viable. Hence for a damage build that aims to nullify all magic resistance and do most damage, Magic pen would be most ideal.
Another page that would prove extremely strong and make you much more tanky early game would be this one.
Like masteries, I believe that things can be extremely situation and depend on what you like best.
The Riot recommendation is also a very viable option, since its the runes that most APs originally have.
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
As for summoners, I go with Smite and Flash.
Flash can really help you control where you go, if you miss a E, you can still flash for the W and Q or the Ultimate that will help cc the team.
Ghost can really stand on when you are using your ultimate with that ghost and accelerating speed from your ultimate. It can also be used to chase down with Q so you can ensure CCs. Very viable option
In a team fight situation, having ghost can sometimes take a huge edge over flash because with ghost and the movement increase, you can surely hit your ult on everyone on the enemy team, but having flash can ensure that you could definitely flash to the person you want to get to during early and mid game. Even in team fights, sometimes taking flash can result in a better situation than ghost. Overall Flash is better in all aspects of the game, but ghost is nonetheless a viable option.
Passive: Cell Division
Each time Zac hits an enemy with an ability, he sheds a chunk of himself that can be reabsorbed to restore 4% of his maximum health.
Upon taking fatal damage, Zac splits into 4 chunks that attempt to recombine. If any of these chunks remain after 8 seconds, he will revive with 10-50% health depending on the health of the surviving chunks. Each chunk has 12% of Zac's maximum health, and 50% of his armor and magic resistance. This effect cannot happen again for 300 seconds.
Explanation: Each time Zac hits an ability on ANY enemy, there will be a random blob that generates and heals you for 4% of your Max HP. When you die, you turn into four smaller blobs that come in from North, South, East and West about 500 range from where you died, if they survive their way back to the main body, you will revive with up to 48% of your max hp, depending on how much they had.
Q: Stretching Strike
Zac lashes out with an elastic punch, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+ 50% AP) magic damage to enemies in a line and slowing them for 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% for 2 seconds.
Cooldown: 9 / 8.5 / 8 / 7.5 / 7
Cost: 4% of current health
Explanation: This is a long range nuke with your two hands that deal magic damage and slow up to 40% at rank 5, it has a relatively low cooldown later levels and is spammable. Make sure you use it to chase or to kite.
W: Unstable Matter
Zac's body erupts, dealing magic damage 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 / 100 plus a percentage of their maximum health 4% / 5% / 6% / 7% / 8% (+ 2% per 100 AP) to all nearby enemies (max 200 damage against minions and monsters).
Cost: 4% of current health
Explanation: Your bread and butter, it can be used during your ultimate, and can be spammed during your creep clearing. It is very strong when clearing global objectives and should be used on cooldown in team fights.
E: Elastic Slingshot
Zac faces the cursor and begins channeling. After channeling or after reactivating the ability he launches himself towards the target location, dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+ 70% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit and knocking them back for 0.5 seconds. The range of Elastic Slingshot increases based on how long 0.9 / 1.0 / 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 Zac channels.
Can be cancelled by moving; refunding 50% of the health cost.
Range: 900 / 950 / 1000 / 1050 / 1100
Cooldown: 24 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12
Cost: 4% of current health
Explanation: It works a bit like malphites ultimate, except you cannot move while you are channeling, and it knocks people up for only 0.5 seconds. Great for interrupts and has a huge range for initiation.
R: Let's Bounce!
Zac leaps into the air and begins to bounce on the ground, up to a maximum of 4 bounces. Each bounce deals 160 / 240 / 320 (+ 25% AP) magic damage to nearby enemies, knocks them up for 1 second, and slows them by 20% for 1 second. Enemies hit more than once take half damage and are not knocked up.
Zac gains an accelerating movement speed buff (20-50%) and 75% crowd control reduction while active (does not reduce Suppression). Zac can right-click to move while in the air. While active, Zac is unable to activate Stretching Strike or Elastic Slingshot.
Max Magic Damage to the same target: 400 / 600 / 800 (+ 62.5% AP)
Cooldown: 130 / 115 / 100
Cost: No cost
Explanation: This ultimate makes Zac beyond godlike in team fights, an moving blob that can bounce everyone up by moving around the fight while bouncing, you are able to use other spells like Unstable Matter but not Elastic Slingshot. You can accelerating movement speed for the duration and 75% tenacity. Fool proof AoE CC.
The reason why I believe Elastic Slingshot and Stretching Strike are equal in value is because while Stretching Strike gives you additional slow and more damage, being a lower cooldown. Leveling Elastic Slingshot increases the ganking viability by decreasing cooldown while increasing the range of the slingshot, which makes it a much preference option and depending on where you are ganking and what your plan is.
Move onto these items for your early game, Spirit Stone helps you clear extremely fast, while Kindlegem gives CDR and health that is very pleasant for Zac.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Locket of the Iron Solari has become a meta in S3 for jungle because of how cost efficient it is in addition to the defensive active it offers in a ganking situation. All of the starts are perfect for Zac, however, because of Zac's passive Cell Division. You can always use it as bait and it becomes less effective in terms of baiting and team fight focus target. It is still an amazing item, and if you want to rush it, it is still a very viable option especially when you gank an heavy physical damage lane such as bot lane or a Zed mid lane.
It is situational whether you should go Spirit Visage first or Locket of the Iron Solari.
Since his damage is weak, but his aoe damage makes him phenomenal, Sunfire Cape gives him not only damage, but armor and health. GO FOR IT.
Everything that he uses scales by HP, get Warmogs on this guy like you'd get it on Mundo, but you don't have to rush it at all.
Between these three items, its very situation which one you get first, although I believe that generally camping mid and getting spirit visage is good, getting sunfire cape is also a very pleasant idea. Even more, warmogs gives you the unbelieveable sustain that you will ADORE.
This item is rather good for Zac, however, for a 1300 gold difference compared to spirit stone for 10% cdr, 20% spell vamp (1/3rd because all of Zac's abilities are aoe) and 50 AP. I believe there are better options. It is a good option if you like to farm...A Lot.
This item works well with Zac's Stretching Strike. If you do decide to get Rylai's Crystal Scepter it can scale amazing with Unstable Matter.
This item can prove to be quite godly for Zac, as he scales with AP and Health it befits him perfect. Using it to chase down your opponents, even if your Stretching Strike can slow, this item won't fail you.
This item is always strong in team fights, which is where Zac shines, if your support doesn't get it. This item is STRONG.
This item has proven itself to be ridiculously good throughout season 3. If their team has a fed ADC, or their bruisers are just unstoppable, you can look into this to try stop their team while you are bouncing with that active.
If you don't get Mercury's Treads this is a good choice for the tenacity that you MAY need.
With all the magic pen runes and all the other magic pen items, you can reach 70 magic pen....Who needs AP when you can achieve 70 magic pen?! NO MITIGATION YO! Get this if you'd like that magic resistance and nobody else got it.
Rather odd item, but if your team has heavy on ap, its not a bad item to get, and synergizes well with Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
This section will focus primarily on stats so you can understand how to prioritize your situation in building your Zac.
Attack damage: 54 (+3.375)
Health regen: 12.5 (+0.55)
Attack speed: (+1.6%)
Armor: 14 (+3.5)
Magic res: 30 (+1.25)
Mov. speed: 335
Health is one of the most important stats that Zac wants, he casts his spells off his current HP, a bit like how Dr. Mundo casts his spells, except, he does it off Current Health 4% on each and every single spell, except his ultimate, let's bounce.
However, the best part of Zac is his passive Cell Division which gives him unparalleled sustain as a health based champion. While his spells cost Current Health 4% he heals by Maximum health 4% which increases to 4.8% with the item Spirit Visage.
So imagine a scenario where you just died, divided in 4 blobs, and they enemy has flee'd for his life away from the tower. Now, you don't need to back as it was a direct engage from a previous back. What to do? Well! You can directly enter your jungle and start clearing, why? Because everytime you use a spell that costs 4% of your current hp, really only costs you 2% of your maximum hp. Meaning you are effectively healing for the spells you are spamming. 4% - 2% = 2% healing on your spells. Don't forget, Unstable Matter only has a 4 second cool down, effective sustain at any stage of the game.
Wait, wait, wait, health. Let's put things into actually prospective. Let's take a mid game active health for Zac around 3000 HP. Let's throw him a Spirit Visage, since its one of his core items. In a initiation, he goes into the fight at full HP, pulls off his full combo, which effectively costs him 4% of his current health 3 times, which results in 0.96^3= ~88.5% = 2655 of his health left, excluding all the regen that he might have gotten since. Then he pulls off his ultimate, let's bounce which costs nothing to cast. Say he was hit to 50% = 1500 HP after casting all these abilities, and did not pick up the 7 blobs, 3 from the basic spells and four from his ultimate, during this time. He starts picking them up, which heals him for 7*4.8% = 33.6% = 1008 HP. Instantly, Zac is healed back up to 88.6% = 2658 HP in just a few seconds. WHAT IS THIS SUSTAIN, BURST HEAL?!
Cool Down Reduction
So after learning about how health works in general, you realize, God! Cell Division gives Zac SO MUCH SUSTAIN! So what if in clearing and team fighting, you were able to use more spells, have more blobs to heal off of, and most important do MORE DAMAGE. Well guys, that's I'm here to tell you. Spirit Visage is a Godlike item because everything about it, is ridiculously good for Zac. Not only does it give the desirable abilities of health, but magic resistance to increase the effective HP against magic damage. Increase healing capabilities such as Cell Division and spell vamp. Most important, it gives you cool down reduction to increase the amount of damage output you can do, and increase sustain during these team fights!
For this section, we'll focus more on your primary spell throughout the game, Unstable Matter. It has a base cool down timer of 4 seconds, and can be changed by cool down reduction 40% to 2.4 seconds. Compared to my current primary YOLO DIVE BUILD, which you are looking at either 34% with an elixir, or 39% with blue bluff, and doesn't waste any effective cool down reduction. Since you have 4 points in socery getting anything beyond 15% cool down reduction item decrease it's gold efficiency by a quite a margin.
Let's do some actual comparisons.
With 0% cool down reduction, you will be looking at this
Cool Down 0% 20% 24% 30% 34% 39% 40%
Seconds 4 3.2 3.04 2.8 2.64 2.44 2.4
Cast 40s 10 12.5 13.2 14.3 15.1 16.4 16.7
While the difference indeed exists, I believe it is minimal and cost ineffective to buy cost inefficient items just to increase 1 or 2 more Unstable Matter
Let's take 24% vs 34%, which 10% additional cool down reduciton is the most ideal choice without wasting any effective gold around buying. The typical choices Zac has are Spirit of the Spectral Wraith and an additional Kindlegem for Locket of the Iron Solari, which matches a respective 1300 gold compared to Spirit Stone and 850 gold for Kindlegem. Take solely cool down reduction, you will only gain 2 extra hits if you use Unstable Matter on cool down within a 40 second team fight, which is extremely unlikely, so most likely 1 more at max. Which makes rushing that extra 10% cool down reduction seem meaningless, although this doesn't factor in the health, spell vamp, and clearing speed and sustain from Spirit of the Spectral Wraith and Kindlegem.
Armor and Magic Resistance
Armor and Magic resistance are splendid stats for any tank, off tank, or even carries that just want that extra efficiency within a team fight, or a simple engage. Armor and Magic resistance works like this.
25 magic resistance → ×0.8 incoming magic damage (20% reduction).
100 magic resistance → ×0.5 incoming magic damage (50% reduction).
−25 magic resistance → ×1.2 incoming magic damage (20% increase).
A unit with 60 magic resistance has 160% of its maximum health in its effective health, so if the unit has 1000 maximum health, it will take 1600 magic damage to kill it.
This means, for someone like Zac who stacks health, the more armor and magic resistances you obtain, the more powerful and effective hp you have. That is why items such as Sunfire Cape and Spirit Visage are core items for Zac because they help improve his tankiness whilst offering him incredible stats. If you feel that the enemy team has some over powered ADC, feel free to obtain that Randuin's Omen to tank him further, or even that Thornmail so he kills himself.
Ability power is the stat that effects how much damage your spells do throughout all of Zac's spells. However, since Zac does not have any significant AP ratios, with Elastic Slingshot scaling highest at only 70%, which isn't even a highly spammable spell. Hoarding lots of ability power is often a heavily wasted cost inefficient item.
However, for Unstable Matter 100 AP increases the health damage it does by 2%, which is quite effective. Compared to the effectiveness of a item such as Liandry's Torment it is only an insignificant number. Therefore, we have to conclude that it is not very effective.
So obviously you are looking to Jungle Zac in this new Season 3 meta. Zac, is very closely like Amumu in terms of CCs, Ganks, and even in items and survival. He is scaled off AP, offers a % hp and offers tremendous CC. What can be offered can be compared to Amumu, as both team fights are beyond godlike, and similarly, they are both AWESOME.
As you read from the above, you generally want to start with Unstable Matter, Hunter's Machete and 5x Health Potion. Unless you are invading or counter invading, sometimes you would go for Elastic Slingshot.
To start, you could either choose to start at Red Buff, or Blue Buff, either can be okay, but generally you'd want to start at Blue buff for the slight edge on Cool down reduction.
By spamming Unstable Matter you can easily clear wolves/wraiths and smiteless blue/red with the help of your team mates and generally 1 health potion. Move onto the other buff directly after obtaining one of your buffs.
BE SURE TO USE ALL YOUR SPELLS WHEN CLEARING, you gain health back from the spells, and you don't use mana, so USE IT. It actually heals you.
This is when you gank, with one point in each of the three skills, Stretching Strike, Unstable Matter and Elastic Slingshot you can easily pull off a level 3 gank just 2:30 minutes into the game.
If you feel that lanes are pushed, and you can't gank anything, move onto wolves/wraiths then golems, then back and buy. Ready to either clear more jungle, or gank a lane.
The best part about Zac compared to said Amumu or other junglers is Elastic Slingshot. Though you cannot move during the charge duration, the huge range on it makes his initiation invisible without wards. It is HARD, to see a Zac coming in and if the lane is not warded, the gank will occur 100%.
You can hide in brushes, use walls and terrain to make the opponents not see you, in fact, because of the ridiculous range in later levels, they can't even see you coming in their screen!
Refer to the picture above to see gank angles and directions you can gank from a harder to see angle.
Zac's best chances are winning a game are his ridiculous strengths during a team fight. He is a tank, correct, but his aoe damage is consistent and extremely Deadly.
He is an awesome engage, that can be compared to Amumu and Malphite's Unstoppable Force.
With his Elastic Slingshot he can initiate a team fight and use let's bounce to CC everyone that he needs to CC as well as do ridiculous amounts of damage through let's bounce and spamming Unstable Matter. Make sure you use Stretching Strike to either peel, or help your bruisers and divers get to the fed ADC.
Zac's team fight is quite simple, like Amumum's, but in an actual initiation, it could be hard to perfectly land a Elastic Slingshot followed up by let's bounce
Most importantly, because of the ridiculous range Elastic Slingshot has to offer, make sure you don't completely disengage your team and feed a free kill to the enemy.
This section will talk primarily on Matchups. Zac doesn't do amazing damage compared to same really strong early game champions such as Vi or Xin Zhao. However, he makes it up by becoming a strong monster late game.
Amumu is frightening alike Zac, which means, you guys are closely alike. But! You do more damage than Amumu.
He stacks health, you stack health, but hey, you do health % damage. WTF. GG WP MUNDO
Lee sin is one of those strong early game champions that is can duel most people, and win. As long as you don't engage him early on, he isn't much of a threat with his kit. As he can't interrupt, you can easily Hop away.
Maokai is a time bomb that explodes after a certain amount of time like his ultimate and his saplings. He really can't do much against you, although his mobile wards will stop you from constantly counter-jungling him. He isn't a threat... At all.
Nocturne is an annoying pest that will probably follow you right after you Elastic Slingshot into a lane for a gank. He also posses his spell shield to block one of your constant spells that will PROBABLY proc his increased attack speed. Quite annoying.
Hecarim's kit has nothing on you. Tends to lack magic resistance items until much later in the game. Usually stacks armor which is easily countered by Zac.
Volibear stacks hp. What else do I say?
Jarvan's kit in itself has nothing on you, but he can easily peel for his team by using his ultimate on your team mates, while you ultimate their team. ANNOYING. Notice you can bounce out of his ultimate, but whether its worth it or not, think about it.
Xin Zhao's early game is ridiculously strong, where your weak early game will suffer, get away from this guy!
Vi's kit brings so disgusting things to Zac Not only does Vi rape early game, her damage to health percentage means disturbing things to Zac. Her ultimate also can disrupt you and let's bounce.
Early Game Plays
Early game can be very difficult for Zac, although his clearing speed are spectacular, his early game damage just isn't up to par for the miraculous level 2 and 3 ganks without a strong kill lane.
As you've read in the previous jungle chapter, Zac can easily clear buffs then head to gank quickly at level 3, which is an advantage most junglers can achieve with a smiteless blue. However, his early game damage is quite insignificant during a gank that makes his initial gank quite weak, unlike Lee Sin or Vi.
You have a few choices. For team games, blue buff isn't always a spectacular buff for you in the early meta, 15% Cool down reduction is the only thing that you will recieve, therefore, if you consider ganking mid at level 3, you could consider giving level 1 blue to your Middle Lane, proceed to take red buff, than head on towards wraiths and hit level 3 for a fast gank at mid, giving your Middle lane a huge advantage.
The same can be done if you start at red buff, since you have a slow Stretching Strike, you can start at red, give it to your TEAM ADC, so that early game champions such as Caitlyn can easily win lane and proceed to winning bot, as long as they properly ward.
Gimmicks that allow your team to take a huge advantage over your opponent team can be very decisive, since Zac can clear fast, but his initial ganks are quite weak without a kill lane, it can be beneficial to give away first buffs.
The moment you hit level 6, you can combo your Elastic Slingshot with let's bounce to create a hell of a ride for either a double CC bot lane, or a clean mid fight. Free kills!
Mid Game Plays
Zac's Mid game is relatively strong, his ult and initiation in ganks become phenomenal, and even more his team fights are unstoppable with let's bounce.
At this stage, with your Unstable Matter maxed you should be clearing minion camps extremely fast, looking into either counter jungling, warding, and using your level 2 Elastic Slingshot to find blindspots to gank.
You should be looking to get dragon and global objects as much as you can as you are able to tank objects with your ultimate sustain, using your spells and healing off the blobs on the ground to sustain your health to the max.
Constantly be warding dragon, baron, and look for ways to initiate team fights, as that is where your strength is at.
Late game Plays
Late game is where Zac really shines through the windows. His initiation and team fight capabilities is what will put him in the competitive scene in the future. In many ways like Amumu and a mixture of Malphite, Zac wants to position himself properly to ensure he engages at the proper time, proper amount of people, and most of all, surprise them!
With the use of Elastic Slingshot, Zac can easily hide behind terrains, walls, and brushes in order to initiate a team fight. While the other team may not know he is there, think he is out of position, noo, he is everywhere with his Elastic Slingshot.
The ideal component of initiation for Zac is that you want the element of surprise, but it is also Extremely Important not to surprise your teammates as well. You want them to be near, close enough to instantly engage. You'd want to engage on their carries, able to directly Elastic Slingshot combo into let's bounce. Then move into bouncing onto the people who are hopping onto your carries, as a fast peel for them, all the while spamming Unstable Matter and slowly chipping down the health of their entire team, including tanks!
When you are done with your ultimate, make sure to use Stretching Strike to start peeling for your team. That is very important, by then, your enemies should be dead anyway. Most important of all, do not be afraid to die. Your passive has 4 blobs in 4 directions, and is extremely hard to focus and AoE down within a teamfight. If they do decide to start hitting them, they are losing downtime on who they should be focusing, you team, which is awesome :D.
Zac is really strong.
If you have questions, ask please! If I am missing anything PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I will be thankful. I am a noob though :)