Zilean Build Guide by M3ATL0V3R

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League of Legends Build Guide Author M3ATL0V3R

M3ATL0V3RS Capturer Zilean Guide

M3ATL0V3R Last updated on October 25, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hey guys this is M3ATL0V3R here and this is my capturer Dominion guide to Zilean. Zilean is really good at running around and capturing points because 3 of his skills benefit his movement speed and survivability so he is excellent for the job. While also capturing points he can also support his allies with his ultimate and his time warp he is primarily a point taker in this build and I will explain how you can play the best capturer Zilean you can.

> Please note this guide is still under construction so instead of down voting tell me how to improve and any tips would be helpful :) (I will credit all helpers in my guide too)

Note: 18/10/2011 - I have exams coming up and im quite busy with uni so I will probably continue writing this guide after exams are done in a few weeks

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Ok first off let’s make sure you are familiar with the basics of League Of Legends and Dominion. There are 5 main roles in Dominion:


Capturers (That’s you) run around and take points. They usually try to not get engaged in battle because they are poorly suited for this and they only take points that are undefended. Capturers are very very important because it forces the enemy team to stop you from taking the undefended points which can only be done by spreading out. If the enemy team spreads out too much or is too busy trying to stop you from taking points then you are doing your job well. If they spread out points can be taken much more easily by your team because they are away from each other so when the rest of your team attacks a point together they will always be outnumbered because they are way too occupied dealing with you.

For more information on the other roles check out This Link.

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How to play

Ok now that we know what we will be generally doing in this game mode let’s explore some tactics to maintain hold of the most points as possible. (Note that your icon in the below diagrams is a lightning bolt because you are so fast ^_^)

At the beginning everyone rushes to the points closest to their base and captures them. The most common pattern that everyone seems to follow is 3 top one middle and one bottom. Since you are a capturer you can’t really aid much with the epic battle that usually starts at the top point so I highly recommend you take bottom so the rest of your allies can go top as fast as possible and hopefully get that point. Wait till exactly 1 19 game time and activate Time Warp and right click out of your base immediately afterwards (you are let out at 1 20).

Next, After you capture that point immediately use rewind so you can use time warp again then use time warp. Now at this point the epic battle will still be raging at top and the person who went bottom usually does one of two things:

1 Defend their bottom point
2 Take your bottom point

If they are close to your bottom point then take their bottom point, if they are close to their bottom point then take their top point.

When A point is undefended and you know most enemies are far from it go and capture it Even if a point of your is being taken. Remember you are not a defender and most of you skills and items are meant for helping you taking points so you should do that as much as possible. If you do start defending your allies will start running around and capturing undefended points which is really bad because they don’t have the items or skills for this and so they will do a poor job and you will do a poor job at defending.

Though you can defend if there are no undefended points on the enemy team like in this situation above when you are close to an enemy that is trying to capture a neutral point. Use your right click attack and mobility to interrupt the enemy from capturing this point until you find a better task.

The last thing to keep in mind is that it’s better to take points closer to your base because there are usually less enemies around. This depends on distance from the point though so if it’s closer then it’s probably a better choice. So in the above situation go take point 2 instead of point 1 because its closer to your base and you are equal distance from both points. But if you are quite close to the point like the situation below then it’s better to take it instead.

As pointed out by TheHeken its best to run away as soon as an enemy comes to stop you from taking a point so try to capture points that you can neutralise or capture before the enemy gets to you. If this isnt possible partially capture the point then run away when enemies come then when they go away finish the job.

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Armor Marks

Dodge Seals

Cool Down Reduction Glyphs

Movement Speed Quintessence’s

> I get Armor Marks because you don’t need any damage and the best marks that can actually benefit a capturer Zilean are defencive ones and so armor runes are best

> Dodge Seals are great for avoiding damage and combined with dodge masteries you avoid quite a bit of physical damage and you run faster if you dodge too :)

> Your spells have high cool downs so Cool down Reduction Glyphs are very good for Zilean. Also notice they are per level because you start at a higher level in dominion so per level runes are definitely stronger runes.

> Lastly get Movement Speed Quintessence’s for that essential speed boost you need to get to those capture points quicker.

This Guide is great for deciding what runes to get on any champion.

Dont buy runes untill you are level 20 because buying rank 2 or 1 runes is a waste of ip.

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Recommended Masteries

> Get 0/9/21 because the Offensive tree only has one thing that is useful on capturer Zilean which is Cool down Reduction so we avoid this tree. The
Defensive tree helps so much with a capturer Zilean because he is a bit squishy. We go all out in the Utility tree because it has Cool down Reduction, Movement Speed and a larger Summoner Spell Cool down Reduction than the Defensive Tree. Zilean could go either 0/21/9 or 0/9/21 but I’ve tried both and the Utility choice works better for me.

Alternative Masteries

> I only put one point to Harden skin as it gives diminishing returns with further points

> I dont get Defencive Mastery because In dominion you don’t really get hit by creeps enough for this to be worthwhile.

> Ardor would be ok for a ability power Zilean but we are playing the Capturer role so it’s not that great.

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Skill Sequence

Always get Chronoshift

First Max Time Warp

Then Rewind

Then Time Bomb

> We should max our movement speed skill Time Warp as fast as possible if we want to get to those points first. Next is Rewind so we can eventually constantly cast Time Warp and get away from pretty much anyone. Time Bomb is skilled last because it doesn’t help you much with getting away or surviving.

Chrono Shift Is A great Skill On Zilean because it makes you ridiculously hard to take down if you use it right. Activate it right before you die so enemies’ don’t wait for the effect to go away then kill you. Most of the time you should never really use it so don’t rely on this too much because it doesn’t really change the situation unless your allies are coming to help you. Get this whenever you can and don’t forget to use it on your allies before they die as well but also don’t get to involved in fights unless you don’t have anything better to do at the time.

In the rare occasion when you are in battle use your right click on enemies and Time Warp to get injured allies out of battle or to slow chasing enemies if your ally is out of reach. Try to use all your spells (except Chrono Shift) before you use Rewind so you can get the most out of your spells

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Summoner Spells

Reccomended Summoner Spells

I get Cleanse and Flash to get around the map quickly and erase enemy crowd control. Flash is better than ghost because when you increase your movement speed above 415 your movement speed between 415 and 490 gets multiplied by 80% and movement speed over 490 gets multiplied by 50%. Flash can also get you over walls which helps in some situations. Cleanse is perfect for a capturer Zilean because it makes you very slippery right from the start so you can get around wherever you want.

Good Summoner Spells

> Ghost Is nice but once you have Priscilla's Blessing and your cool downs are high enough this spell becomes ineffective for the reasons above.

> Exhaust is ok but nowhere as effective as flash and cleanse for getting away

Bad Summoner Spells


>Heal is more of a support skill and your main role is capturing points so dont get this.

> Promote Doesn’t fit your role at all. I’m hardly ever near creeps when I’m playing as capturer Zilean so don’t bother getting this

> Smite Is for jungling so avoid it like the plague.

>Clarity is ok but I’ve never ran out of mana in Dominion because of the buff to mana regeneration in this game mode so don’t get it.

>Clairvoyance is a decent spell and its ok in Dominion but you should let some other champion get this because you need the slots for other spells.

>Garrison is not that great for Zilean because as a capturer you should never be defending or attacking points where there are champions on top of it.

> Don’t get Ignite either because you won’t be killing anyone anytime soon with this build.

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Preferred build order

> Get Boots Of Mobility and Rejuvenation Bead for early movement speed and survivability. You could also get Boots of Swiftness instead of boots of mobility or cloth armor instead of the rejuvenation bead but I’ve found you are hardly in combat so boots of swiftness provide much better mobility overall and you want a Priscilla’s as soon as possible so getting rejuvenation bead is a good step towards it

> Get Priscilla's Blessing as quickly as you can because it gives you an advantage when trading points with the enemy and it helps you get away and survive. An absolute must on any capturer in dominion.

> Next we get Spirit Visage So you can use Time Warp, Rewind and Chrono Shift More Often and to increase the healing from Priscilla’s, Force Of Nature and Randuin's Omen.

> Buy Quicksilver Sash next so combined with your cleanse you will pretty much never be stunned feared or silenced which makes you a very very slippery capturer indeed. This is sort of optional and can be skipped if there is little crowd control on the other team.

> Next we get Warden's Mail to slow enemies that attack you and give you some ridiculous survivability.

> Get a Force Of Nature for some magic resist, movement speed and regeneration which will help a lot

> Last we get Randuin's Omen to max out our survivability and to give us our third active spell to ensure NOONE can catch you.

How do you pick the best items for a champion?

Read this section if you want a detailed explanation to my build.

So how do you create the perfect champion? Well let’s see what happens when we only focus on a single attribute, for example, attack damage. Let’s look at an extreme case:

Imagine you are playing as Tryndamere

Tryndamere has a passive that increases his fury and critical chance on hit.

Battle Fury

So a great item on him is Phantom Dancer because he hits more often from attack speed so he gets more fury and he critical strikes more so more fury again.

Phantom Dancer

So why not get 6 Phantom Dancers? Well it just isn’t the effective way increase his damage as you can see from this graph:

If you had 6 Phantom Dancers you would critical hit all the time for double damage which is good but you only have 150 attack damage so you will only deal a tiny 300 damage per hit. The better choice would be to balance both damage and critical chance so the graph becomes more square and product of the two sides is higher. In reality though you have to balance cost, attack speed and armor penetration and more factors so instead of a 2d graph you will have to balance a 5d or more graph. Don’t worry about this though, just remember you need to balance all your attributes and not just focus on one.

This also applies to the team as a whole. Your team has to balance damage, effective health, crowd control and mobility to win. The problem is all champions are built differently because its more effective that way so will have to cover your allies weaknesses while you cover theirs (tank absorbs damage and attracts attention while carry deals damage). Unfortunately you can’t always be with your team so you can’t go overboard on damage items or else you will be very vulnerable when targeted or alone.

Now that you understand these ideas let’s take another look at my build:

Early Game

At the start I get Boots Of Mobility and Rejuvenation Bead. At the start we need to be as fast as possible and Boots Of Mobility ensures that we will be. Rejuvenation Bead is just to work toward Priscilla's Blessing.

Ahh yes at this point you finally have Priscilla's blessing and this is where you start to get annoying to the enemy team. This item combined with your mobility makes trading point’s beneficial because you can capture way faster. The regeneration will let you hang around in the field for longer.

Mid Game

Next is Spirit Visage because we need cool down reduction to move around faster and we need some magic resistance because this is where casters start getting a lot more damage and we don’t want them to burst us down.

> Now we get Quicksilver Sash because at this point most champions have at least one point in all their spells which means a lot of crowd control abilities so cleanse by itself just isn’t going to cut it. The magic resist helps too but we have a bit too much at this point so we should probably balance it out with some armor (unless there are lots of physical damage champions of course).

Late Game

Warden's Mail is going to blow your unkillableness out of proportion and even the most mobile champs will be left in the dust once you get this item. It gives us some much needed armor, which is good because we already have too much magic resist and it also slows physical damage champions as well. The regeneration also stacks with spirit visage so it’s a great item at this point.

Last but not least, is Force Of Nature and Randuin's Omen. You can get these in either order but I prefer Force Of Nature first because of the movement speed and the regeneration which is much more benificial than the active of Randuin's. Randuins's first may be better against a heavy physical damage team. It’s up to you to decide.

Other Items

shurelya's reverie

Some of these items are cool too and may be better suited to your play style.

> Zeal is ok for the movement speed but the attack speed and critical chance doesnt help Zilean though it can still be a good item.

> Eleisa's Micacle is nice it gives you 35% shorter crowd control effects and plenty of regeneration but i prefer quicksilver sash because you can avoid them all together.

> Morello's Evil Tome is ok. It gives you lots of cool down reduction which is really good but the ability power isn’t really needed for the way I’m playing Zilean. If you prefer to play a taker/capturer hybrid stacking ability power and movement speed instead of stacking defense and movement speed that’s fine but note that your capturer effectiveness will be way less because you will be much more squishy. (If you want to play this sort of style also change to 9/0/21 masteries, get magic pen runes, ability power runes/cool down reduction runes, mana regeneration and get time bomb sooner but I don’t recommend this build on Zilean in dominion).

> Ionian Boots Of Lucidity would be great on a caster Zilean but again I don’t recommend this.

> Lich Bane is another caster/capturer Zilean item but the proc on attack effect is kind of a waste on Zilean

> Mercury's Treads are good but we need more mobility so I didn’t use this.

> Moonflair Spellblade could be another item on a caster Zilean.

> Ninja Tabi would go nice with Zilean (with dodge runes and masteries) but mobility is needed much more.

> Shurelya's Reverie Is great but Priscilla's is much better and we don’t need more activate able movement speed items.

> Warmog's Armor is great for flat health and regeneration but the passive isn’t going to be used at all.

> Zyhona's Hourglass has a great passive and armor but we don’t really need the ability power.

TheHeken's Speed Fiend Capturer Zilean

Beware you may get flamed for using this build so use with caution

Shurelya's Reverie

This build is for if you prefer to play with more speed and less bulkyness to get to points quicker. At first I didnt see it as a good build because Phantom Dancer is only used for the speed boost but If you are not getting caught then survivability does not matter.

TheHeken's Summoner Spells

TheHeken gets Ghost and Flash to max out Zilean's movement speed to rediculous levels. Slows wont stop you because your movement speed is so high but stuns will so take note of any champions that stun or suppress and use your movement speed to avoid them.

(Note that this section is under construction and I still havnt quite found the best items for Zilean in every situation)

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Is this a good build?

Yes it is and many players have commented on how annoying/pro I am but don’t take my word for it, look at how consistently high I’ve scored over the past few wins. Most games I’m at least second and I hardly ever die because I’m so fast and tanky. Notice though when I lost and didn’t place in the top 3 I was experimenting heavily with items that weren’t completely optimal like Boots of Swiftness and Frozen Heart.

TheHeken also used my guide (score is below) and placed first in two games, notice how the build isn’t exactly mine which is GOOD. Experiment and don’t stick to a formula when you are trying a new champion/mode or you will not make enough mistakes and not learn from them. Once you have played enough you will have a good sense of what is the correct way to build a champion and you can use this knowledge to modify the way you play on the fly to best play to the current game without making bad item choices. Because every game is different. different builds are better in different situations so if you want to become a better player you have to learn to adapt.

Phantom Dancer

I disagree with getting Phantom Dancer though because it only gives you one useful stat for which is movement speed. People have suggested this to me before and I give the same explanation every time, you must get items that balance your champion. Sure with a Phantom Dancer you are fast but will you survive the punishment when they catch you? It's important that you not only take points but that you don’t die as well which is why I get Wardens Mail at this point instead of Phantom Dancer because it reduces physical damage AND it slows chasing enemies. The critical chance and attack speed is a HUGE waste on Zilean and I highly suggest you get different items. Below is a graph visually showing the effectiveness of Wardens Mail vs Phantom Dancer. This applies the concept of character balance we talked about before to analyze whether Phantom Dancer is a good item.
(note that the graph isn't in any way proportional, I roughly drew it to illustrate a point)

As you can see the area is greater with Wardens Mail so you are a much more effective capturer than if you bought Phantom Dancer because the area of the graph is much larger. You have to balance both mobility and survivability to hold the most points and win the game so if you already have mobility its best to get survivability to maximise the area.

TheHeken Said "Reason for Phantom Dancer (incase people might find it more viable): To me, the point of Zilean as a capturer is either to drop the turret to neutral AND/OR get it green. Most of the time I only have enough time (with a constant 677 movement speed (speed buff + E)) to get to the turret and neutralize it but not convert it to green. Because I think like this, I hardly ever get into conflicts unless they random run into me in the jungle. I keep an eye on the minimap while i'm channeling and if i know i can't cap it all the way to green, i neutralize it then speed away and go "poke" at another turret they aren't defending, then hopefully work my way back and "poke" the first turret just to keep at least one player on their team from joining the fight. I use Ghost and Flash along with items (i replaced ur spirit visage) Priscilla's Blessing, Shurelya's Reverie. So I have 2 EVEN MORE extra speed boosts, so unless they can actually stop me in my tracks, I'm never caught. Keep in mind with Boots of Mobility + Phantom Dancer + Force of Nature my constant speed (speed buff + E) is 677+ and then on top of that I hit 1 (Priscilla's) then 2 (Shurelya's) then in a worst case scenario Ghost, my speed is untouchable no matter how many slows I get on me. So for me survivability = speed. Got number one on my team again last night and went 0/0/0. I got flamed sooo hard xD.
Well, that's just a little clarification hopefully showing the good side of a Phantom Dancer if you know how to play and watch the minimap very well. While running around my eyes are only off the minimap to right click a turret, constant vigilance of the enemy champions is like M3ATL0V3R said the key to either being a complete and utter failure for your team, or the highest scoring player in the entire game."

It seems that a pure movement speed build does work if you have killer map awareness and if you are smart and stop capturing when the enimies get too close. Ive rethought this and I see it now as a viable way for playing Zilean. This build is great if you have sharp map awareness so if you dont mind sacrificing survivability for when you do get caught then go with this build.

Im thinking about whether It would be more effective to get some ability power instead of overkilling with defencive items late game so If you get a chance to check this out, discuss your thoughts on this in the comments below :)

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Tips To improve Your Gameplay

> Use shift + qwer to activate your skills because you will be able to use your combo faster and it will be easier on your fingers. Also use the number keys to activate Priscilla's and Quicksilver Sash (move the items in you inventory by holding the left mouse button and dragging the item to another slot if you want to change the number)

> Constantly look at the map and keep in mind where you allies and enemies are at all times, League Of Legends is a team game so if you master map awareness you will always be in the right place at the right time and always win. Pro tip: use the mouse click on the map to where you are looking then use spacebar to quickly get back to your hero.

> Don’t forget to use Your Items!!! Use quicksilver sash whenever you are stunned and Priscilla's whenever you are not time warp is on cool down or you are running from enemies and you need that extra boost.

> Don’t forget to right click when your spells are on cool down!!! You may be a mage but your damage is still significant. I see too many players only use their spells and run around like idiots afterwards just because their spells are their main source of damage, don’t be like them, maximize your damage. Also when you shoot your with your right click, issue a move order straight after it, this lets you get in a better position as you fight and it cancels your backswing animation which is a waste of time and slows you down.

> Know your role in the game. Your role in Dominion is to capture points. You should change what you do depending on where you are, where your allies are and where your enemies are.

> In Dominion the most reliable way to win is to hold the three points closest to your spawn point but if there are no enemies at another point and its quite close to you then go for it.

> To win all you have to do is take points and not die, your points will be defended and the enemy champions will be killed by other members of your team.

> My item build is not absolute, you can exchange a couple of masteries or runes to suit your individual play style or change the items when the enemy all Physical damage (get frozen heart instead of Force Of Nature) or all magic damage (get a second force of nature instead of Randuin's Omen.

> Because of League Of Legends matchmaking system its guaranteed that you will lose and win games so if you lose don’t worry, next time your allies won’t be as bad and you will win.

> Play more champions, especially those you don’t know well. Know your enemies and you will win so many more games.

> Read some more guides and ask me questions, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

> The best resource for improving your Dominion game play is definitely so check it out, your mind will be blown, if it hasn’t already been blown.

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Zilean is best played as a capturer and heavily influences the game outcome if played correctly. He should stack movement speed and defense items in the form of cool down reduction, magic resist, armor and health regeneration to best aid him in his role. If you master Zilean you will really enjoy playing him. Goodbye, good luck and most of all, have fun.

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Thanks To

Zemizas - For making such a great dominion guide so soon after dominion was released and then putting my guide as his reccomended dominion fiddlesticks guide :)
Jhoijhoi - For making a guide on making guides, it helped me alot.
TheHeken - For submitting his awsome score and pointing out to me that Phantom Dancer can be a good item if you are never caught.
You - For reading my guide :)