Zed Build Guide by Scorched Heavens
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.
Before we begin, there is a disclaimer for those who did not read the full title or people in general expecting a large in-depth guide. This is not an in-depth guide. It is rather short with nothing aesthetically pleasing. I am simply offering my take on playing Zed. A view similar to many others. Frankly, I think the only thing is different are the masteries. "Why not just make a post or thread then?" You might be wondering. That is an excellent question and my answer to it would be this: "I like the item build layout. I'd rather not figure out how to post my item build, masteries, etc when I can just make a guide that already has it all setup for me." I'm a kind of lazy guy. Okay onward to the guide.
Hello fellow summoners! My Summoner name is Scorched Heavens and I hit Gold III in Season 3. I'm pretty much a no name guy. Just an average LoL player who just wants to share his take on playing Zed, the Master of Shadows. This is a guide solely focused on mid lane Zed! That is all for introductions.
A very standard setup of runes. AD marks and quints for more damage and easier farming. Armor runes to reduce damage from AAs, physical damage, and minion and turret aggro. Magic resist glyphs to reduce magic damage since most mid laners are magic damage-based champions.
Other rune options:
You can take MS quints if you would like more ms which has become an important stat in LoL. You can take scaling magic resist glyphs if you only need the MR later on in the game. You can take life steal quints if you think you'll have a hard time staying in lane without them.
Blade Weaving and Spell Weaving are amazing on champions like Zed. The 1% damage increase may not seem much, but it actually adds up over time. As Zed, you want to make sure that you deal as much damage as you can, which is why I take a point in Double-Edged Sword . The points in Butcher and Feast help sustain you in lane.
Most of the items have notes next to them, and do not need a more elaborate explanation. In the next two chapters, I will cover offensive and defensive options when building Zed.
Get this if there is a ton of cc on the enemy team, need the extra MR, or the enemy team has suppression ultis focused on you such as Warwick's Infinite Duress.
If you are snowballing and don't need defense, get this. It gives the most flat AD when fully stacked, and gives you more life steal. Honestly I would build a Ravenous Hydra opposed to this though, since Ravenous Hydra offers more burst and AoE for roughly the same price.
Maw of Malmortius
A great item that builds out of Hexdrinker and provides a balance of damage and defense against magic. The shield is life saving and the bonus damage from it's passive is good too.
The situation to get this is similar to that of The Bloodthirster. This will provide you with more burst and AoE. Zed is already an amazing split pusher, so getting this item isn't as worth it but if you're that fed more burst is great!
Get this only if you are completely annihilating the enemy team. Doing crits when Death Mark is active is amazing.
Like Infinity Edge, only get this if you are insanely fed. The unique active is great along with all the other stats that this one item offers (except the mana and AP of course).
If you need health and/or to keep the enemy from running away, this is the item to get.
If you need armor and health or if the enemy adc is fed, get this item. It will do wonders and the slow is great for keeping the enemy's in range of you abilities.
If you need MR and health get this. I prefer Banshee's Veil or this though. CDR is great and all, but it's useless if you spam all your abilities and have no energy left.
If the enemy already has penetration and/or true damage, you are better off getting flat health.
Get this if you need the MR and health. The spell shield is a great bonus. As stated before, I prefer this over Spirit Visage.
I love this item, and it's great for a good balance of defensive stats. The few seconds of invulnerability you get from reviving can also get you a kill(s) or save your life.
If the enemy team is mostly AD or if the enemy ADC is fed, please consider getting this item. The passive damage also contributes to Death Mark.
Get this if the enemy has a lot of CC, or if they have suppression ultis such as Warwick's Infinite Duress or long duration cc moves like Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow focused on you.
Maxing Razor Shuriken first will give you more poke and harass. Shadow Slash is maxed second to further improve your burst and wave clear. Living Shadow is maxed last, and Death Mark is leveled up whenever possible.
If you have energy management problems you can max Living Shadow second.
If you are having problems clearing waves because of the enemy or something you can max Shadow Slash first and Razor Shuriken second.
Basic level 2 harass
Living Shadow-> Razor Shuriken
Basic level 3 harass
Living Shadow-> Shadow Slash -> Razor Shuriken
Landing your Shadow Slash first will slow down the enemy and increase the chances of hitting him or her with Razor Shuriken.
Level 3 melee harass
Living Shadow-> Shadow Slash-> Razor Shuriken-> AA-> Living Shadow
You are in melee range of the enemy champ. Place your Living Shadow either behind you or anywhere away from the enemy. Then Shadow Slash immediately followed by Razor Shuriken. AA then press W to transfer positions with your Living Shadow. This will allow a quick burst and get you out of there quickly to avoid taking damage. It is best to position your Living Shadow so that you can hit multiple enemies and get some energy returned.
Going for the kill
Death Mark-> Living Shadow-> Bilgewater Cutlass or Blade of the Ruined King-> Shadow Slash-> Razor Shuriken-> Ignite
This is one of many variations to going for the kill, but this is a standard sequence. The other variations will depend on the situation and your positioning. Since the Death Mark shadow spawns at your starting point, use Living Shadow to position it near the enemy and use Shadow Slash to get an increased slow. Ignite is used at the end because using it too early won't help. Enemy heals usually come near the end of your combo to minimize the effect of Death Mark so Ignite is crucial at that point.
Playing as Zed
- Harass the enemy when you can with the spell combos mentioned in the previous chapter.
- Kill the enemy when you can. Early kills are important! If you aren't getting any early on, focus on farming and getting kills later on in teamfights.
- Farm with your skills and harass at the same time if possible. It's all about positioning!
- Roam and gank other lanes if you have bullied out the enemy mid. You need to help out your teammates so that they can snowball or recover in lane. Even if you are super fed, if your teammates get melted instantly in teamfights you can't do much against 5 people if they are all full health and about as fed as you.
- Split push when possible. Zed is amazing at split pushing, and this will help not only your cs but also your teammates if you get a turret. It can also open up opportunities for your teammates to kill dragon as the enemy team focused on you.
- In teamfights, focus the enemy ADC or APC depending on whoever is more fed or is closest to you. Or focus the most fed and dangerous person to your team.
- Manage your energy properly! You will need it to escape or get kills. Watching a 50hp Teemo getting away, because you managed your energy poorly is frustrating especially if he laughs as he runs.
- Wards please. Even if you have a trinket, you still need to help out your team by warding the map. Your trinket active will not be up all the time, so one or two wards are needed every now and then.
Weeee Zed Games
Well that's about it for the guide. A single guide can't help you completely master Zed as it takes time and experience, but I hope it gave you some help in playing him. Goodbye.