Zac General Guide by ChronoPoison
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.
Starting Items + Notes
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.
Hi and thanks for coming to my guide. My name is ChronoPoison, and my preferred role is the jungle. I've been playing for about a year and a half, and recently started playing competitively in ranked. When Zac came out he looked so unique and different that I decided that I had to try him out.
Zac is actually quite a fun champion to play. He has fast clear times, good damage output, and above all amazing ganks and crowd control abilities. If you want to dominate the jungle, Zac is the one and only way to go!
Pros and Cons
+Amazing Crowd Control
+Superb Ganks when done correctly
+Relatively tanky when he has items
+Great base HP Regeneration
+Flexible jungler (doesn't rely on blue or red)
+Fast clear times
-Squishy at earlier levels
-Can be hard to land slingshot
-Extremely item dependent for both damage and health
-Passive is annoying
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Since your abilities scale off ability power, magic penetration helps you do damage in your ganks. This helps a lot with your early game damage, and especially your Unstable Matter. An alternative is Greater Mark of Armor to be more tankier.
Greater Seal of Armor
Armor is needed to reduce damage that the jungle creeps deal to you. This is necessary. Without this, you will lack sustain and will have to go to base to recover health. It also helps against attack damage champions, such as Ashe or Renekton.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
This helps you take less damage when ganking ability power champions. I recommend taking this because you'll be more tankier. Zac is not a carry, but is instead a disrupter and peeler. He excels at disrupting the team, and to do that he needs to be tanky. If you want more damage consider taking flat AP or AP per level glyphs, but I don't recommend that.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
You need ability power to do damage. This increases your clear time, allowing you to pull off ganks faster. Alternatively you can use armor or movement speed quints.
Take 9 points in offense, focusing on cooldown reduction, ability power per level, and magic penetration. This will help your overall damage and the cooldown reduction will allow you to use your abilities slightly faster. Don't take more than 9 points in offense because Zac critically needs the other 21 points for defense. There's not much flexibility in this tree, so stay with mine.
Zac is a disruptive crowd control tank, but is extremely item dependent. Without items he has no damage or health, and will die very easily. Take 21 points in the defensive tree for extra durability. Focus on the tank and jungle masteries. This will enable you to soak up more damage in both the jungle and in team fights. Masteries that I consider essential are: Juggernaut , Honor Guard , Veteran's Scars , Durability , Tough Skin and Bladed Armor . The rest is up to you, or you can alternatively just use mine. The choice is yours.
Mandatory. If you don't take Smite then don't bother even jungling in the first place. You will need this to take down jungle creeps faster. But more importantly use this to steal buffs, or even dragon or baron if you can time it correctly. With this and Flash you can pull off some gusty moves.
You will almost always want to take this. Not only does it help when escaping, but a flash into a Let's Bounce will surprise the enemy and give you an advantage. Because your Elastic Slingshot takes time to charge it is not very good in spur of the moment situations. Take flash for a general utility spell.
I would only take this if every person on your team has some form of CC and the enemy team has some out of control carry *cough* Vayne*cough*. Flash is a better choice in my opinion. However, if your team is already CC heavy, this helps with ganking and shutting down an opponents damage.
No other Summoner Spells are viable for Jungle Zac
Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potion's are the only way to start. Hunter's Machete is essential to help Zac clear faster. His Unstable Matter deals insane AOE damage, and the 10% increased damage to monsters will greatly speed up his clear time. You will also need 5 health potions to have sustain yourself.
Boots of Mobility are my preferred boots for Zac, however Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi are also viable depending on the enemy team (get magic resist if their team is AP heavy, or armor boots if their team is AD heavy). The reason I choose Boots of Mobility and not tanky boots is because movement speed benefits Zac a lot. His movement speed is average at best, and he needs all the help me can get. Boots of Mobility allow Zac to not only chase fleeing opponents, but also get into position faster when using Elastic Slingshot or Let's Bounce.
Spirit Stone is a great sustain item. It provides moderate HP/5 regeneration, and keeps the damage bonus you deal to jungle creeps. It also builds into Spirit of the Spectral Wraith which is another great damage item for Zac. I highly recommend picking this up as you will stay healthy in the jungle for longer, allowing you to gank more lanes before having to return to base to heal.
Giant's Belt gives Zac the health that he needs early game. It is a bit expensive, but will make you tankier when you're ganking or doing teamfights. Aim to get this at level 6. If you find that you're dying often, or you need more health, save up and get this before Spirit Stone.
At this point, Zac will be sorely lacking ability power. Spirit of the Spectral Wriath is a great item because it builds off from Spirit Stone. It not only gives ability power but also cooldown reduction and spell vamp. The spell vamp will heal Zac whenever he uses an ability. This helps reduce the damage he takes from casting his abilities, which cost health. This item also increases the damage you deal to jungle creeps by 25%, and reduces the cooldown of Smite by 20%.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is another great item for Zac. It provides ability power but also gives Zac a moderate amount of health. Health is very important to Zac because his abilities cost health, his Cell Division chunks restore HP based on MAXIMUM health, and since he's melee, he'll always be in the middle of the enemy team. The passive (casting an ability will slow a target) is great for slowing fleeing opponents.
Warmog's Armor is another great item for Zac. Simply put, it makes him an unstoppable terror. He already has a considerable amount of ability power thanks to Spirit of the Spectral Wraith and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Warmog's Armor makes Zac super tanky, allowing him to go into the middle of the enemy team and spam Unstable Matter while using his ultimate Let's Bounce and survive to tell the tale. The longer Zac can survive to disrupt the enemy team the better.
If the enemy team has reasonable AP damage, pick up a Spirit Visage. The health that this item gives isn't great, but it also has CD reduction, magic resist, and a unique passive that increases healing effects on yourself by 20%. This helps getting more health back from spell vamp, as well as picking up chunks of yourself from Cell Division.
Sunfire Cape is a great item to pick if you need health and armor. It gives a reasonable amount of health, allowing you to stay in the middle of teamfights for longer, and the armor helps you against attack damage champions. The passive effect of the Sunfire Cape pairs well with Abyssal Scepter, so it would be worthwhile getting those two together.
Jungle Route + Tips
Zac has a very flexible jungle route since he does not depend on red or blue. His jungle route depends on which color side you are on.
You can choose to either start at red or blue. For me, I like to start at whatever buff is at the bottom (for the blue team it's red, and for the purple team it's blue). This is because you will have 4 (ADC, Support, Mid and You) team members defending the buff, as opposed to 3 (Mid, Top and You) if the enemy chooses to invade. This also allows you to gank either mid or top after you complete your route (the two important lanes to gank early to give an advantage).
The standard route is (depending on what team you're on):
Wolves > Blue > Wraiths > Wolves > Red > Gank
Wraiths > Red > Wolves > Wraiths > Blue > Gank
If Your Jungle is Invaded / Is Being Invaded
The enemy team might decide to invade your jungle. If this happens, you have to react quickly, or just let it slide completely. The safest option would be to just leave them and go to your other buff (if they are invading blue go to red and vice versa).
You might feel brave and try to fight them. Do this ONLY if you have your whole team with you, and if you have a better early game team (eg. people with CC and early game damage are good, such as Soraka (heals), Leona (general CC) and Caitlyn (high range) are good to have when attempting to fight early game invasion). If their team has lots of CC don't even consider attempting this.
Another counter play you can do is to steal THEIR jungle. This requires help from your team, and fast reaction time. Go to the enemy buff and have your team do a hard leash for you. When the buff is down get the hell out of their jungle before they find out. This is also risky, but can pay off big time.
Abilities and Explanations
Zac has many unique and fun abilities. Three of his four abilities have some sort of crowd control, making him very good at ganking.
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.
Almost like a free guardian angel. This is a great passive to have. Sometimes people make the mistake of tower diving you only to find out you would just turn into these blobs that join together. I've survived countless tower dives because of this passive.
The activate part of this passive (when your ability hits an enemy a blob will spawn which can be picked up to return health to you) is both helpful and annoying. Helpful in the way that you can regain health back since your abilities cost health. Annoying in that you have to physically pick them up with Zac himself. In the jungle it provides good sustain, but can be troublesome at times to pick up blobs while monsters attack you.
A good trick I found to help in the jungle was to use Unstable Matter and Stretching Strike, then use Elastic Slingshot on the monsters to knock them up. While they're knocked up pick up your three blobs to regain health.
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 by 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% for 2 seconds.
Not a very good ability. The damage is mediocre (can be useful though for low health opponents). The range on this ability is not that great (550 range), so you'll mostly be in melee range when using this ability.
One good thing about this is that it also slows opponents that it hits, and it passes through minions. An Elastic Slingshot to Unstable Matter to Stretching Strike can give good burst damage while knocking up and slowing your opponent. Pretty convenient when ganking.
Zac's body erupts, dealing 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 / 100 plus a percentage (4% / 5% / 6% / 7% / 8% (+ 2% per 100 AP)) of their maximum health to all nearby enemies (max 200 damage against minions and monsters) as magic damage.
Very high damage output ability. Has a very short cooldown so can be spammed while in team fights or in the jungle. This is the ability that gives Zac insanely fast clear times. Because the damage scales off maximum health it's very effective against certain champions who stack health.
Remember that this can be used while in Let's Bounce form, so spam this while using your ultimate for extra burst.
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 Zac channels.
Can be cancelled by moving; refunding 50% of the health cost.
Max channel time: 0.9 / 1.0 / 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 seconds
Max range: 900 / 950 / 1000 / 1050 / 1100
One of the best ganking spells in my opinion. You can surprise the enemy by jumping over a wall and knocking them up. The range is slightly lower than I would have liked, so careful positioning is key to using this ability. Be very careful when timing this, because this does require a charge time to reach the full distance. Use this to gank when the lane opponent is near you. An ideal time to launch is when he/she is going in for a last hit.
Another use for this for when an enemy is fleeing. Slow them with Stretching Strike, and then as they are running away use Elastic Slingshot to propel yourself to them and knock them up.
Zac leaps into the air and begins to bounce on the ground, up to a maximum of 4 bounces. Each bounce deals 60 / 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.
Maximum magic damage to a single target: 400 / 600 / 800 (+ 62.5% AP)
Very powerful ultimate with the potential to disrupt a whole entire team. In a teamfight try to use this to knock up as many people as possible and stick to the carry. Spam Unstable Matter while bouncing to do extra damage. This can also be used as a chasing tool as this gives 75% crowd control reduction and extra movement speed.
To perform this you will need a lane with either a stun, or for the person you're ganking to be overextended and close to the bush where you are in (needs to be in range of Elastic Slingshot)
First, land an Elastic Slingshot on the person you're ganking. Follow up with Unstable Matter for damage, then hit them with Stretching Strike for the slow. If you are level 6+ you could also use Let's Bounce if they attempt to run or if you think they might have a chance to escape. If you have color=red]red buff[/color] it also helps. Get your partner to stun to make landing [[Elastic Slingshot easier. Be sure to time Elastic Slingshot correctly, so that the opponent doesn't go out of range before you finish charging and targeting their position.
Close Quarters Gank
This is harder to pull off due to Zac's short range, but is viable if you can't land Elastic Slingshot. To do this your lane partner must have some form of CC (slow is viable, but stun is even better), and you must have good position. If the enemy has flash or an escape skill this won't be as effective.
When the enemy is engaged on by your partner or is overextended, charge them and land Stretching Strike to slow them. Assuming they don't flash, charge up Elastic Slingshot and hit them while they are still slowed to knock them up. Follow up with Let's Bounce to knock them up again and slow them while your partner catches and up. Spam Unstable Matter while you are bouncing for extra damage output. This is harder to pull off but could potentially work better depending on the situation and positioning of the enemy.
Full Burst COMBO!
This delivers pretty good burst to squishy targets. Also provides good CC. Use this when the enemy team is bunched up together or you need to 1v1 someone.
Start off with Let's Bounce. Bounce in their faces and spam Unstable Matter while bouncing. If you stayed with them the whole time they should still be slowed by 20% by the time your ultimate ends. Use Stretching Strike to continue slowing them. Charge up Elastic Slingshot and hit them while they are slowed to knock them up again. Continue spamming Unstable Matter until they are dead.
Timing and positioning and quick reaction is required to charge up and fire Elastic Slingshot while the enemy is running away from you, so be sure to always use Stretching Strike to slow them before you attempt to jump on them. The burst delivered from this is huge. Use this to stay on carries in teamfights. If possible, disrupt the whole team by knocking them all up with Let's Bounce.
*Warning: This won't be effective against tanks with high health or magic resist. If the enemy has flash or an escape skill this may not work.
Thank you for reading my guide. Zac is a very powerful jungler with the ability to disrupt the enemy team with his ultimate Let's Bounce and cause considerable damage with Unstable Matter. He is also adept at ganking with Elastic Slingshot and Stretching Strike. His ability kit is very unique and fun. I strongly suggest you either try Zac when he's free or buy him to see if you enjoy him. Not many people are playing him right now, but I'm sure that will change.
Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to read my guide. I've spent a lot of time making this guide so I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you become a better Zac player.
If you would, please take the time to up vote my guide so other people can see it. I'd appreciate some comments and feedback too!
Have fun dominating the jungle with everyone's favorite blob.
April 9th, 2013
-Added a few more items to the Items chapter.
April 4th, 2013
-Changed the masteries slightly. Instead of Crowd Control Reduction, have reduced time spent dead, reduced critical strike damage, and 1 armor and magic resist for each nearby champion. This will allow you to be more tankier, and respawn faster when you die.
-Removed "Guide is under construction" part in the introduction chapter
April 3rd, 2013
-Added some items to the "Items" chapter.
-Redid the entire summary.
April 2nd, 2013
Guide was published! Some chapters are not complete yet, but the guide is about 80% finished. I still have to test Zac out some more and change the graphics a bit, but the basics are completed. Enjoy :)
*Also redid the abilities and explanation to be easier to understand.
March 31st, 2013
Guide started. Some credit goes to IWillDominate's guide on http://www.lolpro.com/. His guide helped me get a basic understanding of Zac.
Times are based on Australian times (since I do live in Australia!). 6+ hours of blood, sweat and tears have been put into making this guide (not including testing).