Zilean Build Guide by Mikuroo
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Hey everybody, this is Mikuroo, with a random guide I decided to make. Note that this guide will only be a short guide explaining cheat sheet stuff, masteries runes, as well as skill. Of course, I will also explain the things you need to know. However, if you are looking for an in-depth game play guide, don’t look here. I will be covering in this guide: Cheat Sheet, Skill explanation and skill ordering, and a bit of game play. I will not be going too much into the lane phase, or what to do exactly in team fights, but I still will be covering important Zilean news.
How come I am not writing a complete guide?
I am not writing a complete guide for personal reasons, because I cannot spend too much time on mobafire. However, I still find writing these guides to be fun. Even though I have quit mobafire I will still be posting some small guides like this.
Without further ado, let the guide begin! I hope you enjoy reading it, and maybe that it will help you win some games. However, do not get mad if you don’t, this build fits my playstyle, and you may have to experiment around with builds to find yours. This is MY Suggestion. Also, Zilean takes a certain amount of experience to use, and even though he doesn’t have the highest skill cap, it’s still there.
I would like to thank jhoijhoi for the lovely banners, and also for her guide on how to make a guide, which taught me how to code, and how to make my guide look nice. If you are having those kind of issues I suggest you take a look at it!
Full Support Role?
I play Zilean as primarily a support, only buying several ap items. Here is my logic to this: Zilean does not really belong in middle lane, because he only has his Time Bomb. After he double bombs someone all he can do is run away. This would be somewhat excusable early game, because of nice harass, except for the fact that there are so many better harassers then Zilean in mid that it’s not even funny. You may say he gives a lot of utility with Chronoshift late game by going mid, but it really does not contribute too much that you have to pick Zilean.
Zilean cannot play solo top for sure, he has no sustain at all, and is squishy as heck. Zilean cannot jungle either, because as mentioned he is squishy as heck, and his Time Bomb is his only clearing tool. Zilean cannot ad bot unless you go AD Zilean, which is just bad. So that leaves him with the Support Role.
Hmph. I hate support. Why can’t I just go ap? By going full ap, you cannot buy the items that your team needs. Even if you go AP, your damage will be so little late game, because you had to buy wards the whole game. There can be no argument, or reason, that you could support your team without sight wards. It would only lead to disaster, and free double kills for the jungler in bottom lane. So don’t do it.
However, the problem with full support Zilean late game is that all he has is Time Warp, Rewind, wait for another time warp, and then Chronoshift to save one ally. And that ally won’t even come back with much health, because the base healing is pretty low when it comes to late game. If you wanted to play a support, there would be a lot better picks then just 2 slows. Janna has an aoe knock-up and knock-back. Taric has a stun and a ton of great auras.
The solution is to build Zilean with AP, but only enough so that he can still fulfill he role as a support. His time bombs really hurt in a team fight, and even though you do not have all those AP items that AP Carries have, your bombs explode in aoe damage, and you can instantly explode one for the next. Your ultimate heals for a lot more also.
So there we have it, the basis of this build. Once again, have fun reading it; don’t forget to leave your comment below for any criticism! This is kind of a work in progress, and help is appreciated. Enjoy!
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: With 0.9 AP scaling on bombs, the extra damage in the laning phase from these quintessence’s do not go unnoticed. You may not consider it much, but the harass really adds up in the long run. I do not see myself running Avarice because the gold gain from it is nothing.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: The 0.95 magic penetration per rune from these gives your bombs more damage early game, penetrating that base magic resistance they have. It won’t go through all of it, but it will help. I really cannot see myself running anything other than these runes.
greater seal of replenishment
greater seal of vitality
Greater Seal of Armor: Both these rune choices are really great, but personally I go with replenishment because they allow you to stay in lane longer. The more creep score you zone your opponents from getting the better, and early game is when this really counts. Not to mention, more mana equals more spamming of Time Bomb. Resilience is because you will be laning against an AD Ranged, it may help if you feel you need it.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist:There are tons of great choices for glyphs, it honestly does not matter which ones you use, because the bonuses granted are so miniscule. However, the magic resistance glyphs do stand out for me, so I will use those ones. I would also like to point out that CDR glyphs are so bad on Zilean, as well as AP Per level. Just take magic resistance, whichever one you prefer. Per level/flat.
Good Hands : I pick this skill over Swiftness because Zilean has Time Warp, and you shouldn’t really need speed that badly. However, the time that Zilean is dead, the whole team suffers because of the global loss of his passive. That experience gain is vital for letting your team take the early game.
Greed : A 0 cs support will need as much gold as he can get his hands on. This is a very little amount, but it still helps you get going, to buy your philosopher’s stone. I do not get Greed because it is a small amount for 2 points. Most supports will get it in order to start with an extra potion, but mana potions should not be needed if you are using mana regen seals.
Awareness : The extra experience gain added onto your passive will allow you to level up faster than your opponents. This won’t do anything late game, but early game, getting to level 2-4 faster makes just so much of a difference, and getting level 2 Time Bomb is vital.
Veteran's Scars : I take these 9 points in the defense tree just for this honestly, because if you are squishy, and you feed the other team then you are a useless support. The base health of Zilean is pretty ****py, and I feel like I need to take this.
Some people may say: If you are planning on going AP, Take those 9 points in offensive tree. I say: No, 10% magic penetration is only effective late game, and it’s early game where I need it. 9 points in offense for something that’s only useful late game, are you kidding me? The 9 points in defensive tree is definitely more worth it. Also, Hardiness is great because you will be laning against AD ranged.
These are quite self explanatory; however there are some options you can take based on your own playstyle! The main ones I use:
Heal to back you up. This also allows you to turret dive for that clutch kill.
Time Warp runs out.
I use a different skilling order then many would use. This is because leveling up Rewind is almost useless, and you won’t have to rewind too many times if you are using it correctly. Max Time Bomb whenever it is possible, because it is your poking skill.
At level 2, take a point in Time Warp. The 55% speed buff/decrease for a level 1 skill is just so good, and Rewind is kind of meh. People usually take rewind second because they will gain the ability to double bomb, but if your opponent is stupid enough to get double bombed by you this early in the game, they are probably going to lose the lane anyways.
At level 1,3,5,7 and 9, we will take time bomb. This is because with its insane zoning skills, you can give your AD Carry easier time farming, and make the other AD Carry useless.
I then go on to max Time Warp because the time that the duration increases is very important. It allows you to set up great ganks for your team, and also gives your ad ranged an easy target.
Your ultimate is maxed at level 6, 11 and 16 for the obvious reasons, that it is really good, and the heal increase per level is pretty high. Also, all your other skills aren’t even necessary, because they all hit their potential (except time bomb) at basically level 1, just slight buffs as the levels get higher.
sight wardsight wardsight ward
: This is the preferred starting for every support champion really, and builds into a quick philosopher's stone. This allows you to sustain mana for harassment, the most important thing while playing as Zilean Support. DO NOT START WITH DORAN’S RING. It doesn’t allow you to buy sight wards, which will lead you to get ganked. Also, doran’s ring doesn’t give you any health sustain, which you need because you are going to be taking some harass.
kage's lucky pick: Buying this early will allow you to gain gold off of it, and you will be building this into a Deathfire Grasp, so do not worry about buying too many GP5 items. There is really no explanation needed about buying this.
: I know, I said earlier that CDR is pretty bad on Zilean, but I think the item explains itself. In combination with Rewind, you will be able to use your skills on such a low cooldown. Your Chronoshift will always be available, and your harass will increase. You can also buy sorcerers boots, however, my personal opinion are these. That is because they are useful late game, whereas sorcerers, not so much.
: this item is not really that great in this build but there are no other valid choices. We need to buy some kind of item that gives us HP, and the only two choices are RoA, and rylais. However, Rylai’s slow only triggers 15% because Time Bomb is an aoe. Therefore, RoA is the only other reasonable ability. It also gives a nice chunk of AP which we will be carrying into the late game for damage and support.
: This item make zilean less of a worthless support. It will give him another damaging component of his burst, so that he isn’t useless after he has used his double bomb. Though it does not do that much damage after magic resistance, it still does quite a lot of damage for a support. This item is also cost efficient on Zilean because of the buying of kage’s lucky pick earlier.
shurelya's reverie: An item that almost every support needs to buy because of the really good speed boost it gives your teammates. However, if you are not yet having too many team fights, you can buy this maybe a tiny bit later, it really depends on what is going on during the game. If you are not used to using this item, I wouldn’t advise you buy it unless you are playing a normal game. I have seen too many people buy it but not use it because in the heat of the battle they forget.That is the core build for this guide, and the items above, on the cheatsheet do not show a primary build, they just show a probable build. Use your common sense to complete your own build based on what is going on during this game. You can also ask your team what item they want built / what aura they need.
Will of the Ancients – Great if your Ap carry is doing good
zeke's herald – late game, AD Carries really excel, so if your team’s ad carry is doing well, buy this.
Abyssal Scepter – similar to WoTA, base which one to buy on how much magic resistance your opponent has. Spell Vamp isn’t very useful when you’re doing 70% less damage.Those are the main aura items you may want to consider, however there are also some defensive items you can take a look at. These are if your team is pulling off good damage, but maybe you are dying too early to use Chronoshift wisely, and end up using it on yourself.
Guardian Angel – very annoying on Zilean
(Innate): Increases the experience he and all allied champions gain by 8%. This is not in effect while Zilean is dead.
- This is Zilean’s passive. It is quite a good aura for a support, and allows your team to have a slight advantage on levels. It also gives your jungler a bit of slack, and gets rid of that fear that he may get underleveled!
- Keep in mind you must be alive in order to have your passive in effect. This means that once you die, your passive will disappear, and will reappear when you respawn.
- Use this to keep lane advantage, you take less of a penalty when you are forced to recall. Do not worry if the enemy gets off a great gank, just spam your skills a bit to push the lane and recall. You usually won’t be underleveled, and they may just have broke even.
(Active): Zilean places a time-delayed bomb on a target, whether ally or enemy. The bomb will detonate after 4 seconds, dealing magic damage to all surrounding enemies. The bomb will detonate immediately if the holder dies or if another bomb is placed on them. The holder will take 3,2,1 true damage as the bomb gradually counts down.
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Explosion radius: 330 (estimated)
Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana
Magic Damage: 90 / 145 / 200 / 260 / 320 (+0.9 per ability power)
- This is your main harass skill, and it is so good early game. You just need to get in ranged, plop one of these on your opponent and run away, they then take unavoidable damage.
- Do not forget that placing a bomb on your opponent gives you turret aggro. Do not go thinking that you will only get aggro after the 3 second explosion timer.
- Beware of Supports like Janna, who have a shield that can cancel out your Time Bomb with Eye Of The Storm. However, you can also fake out these supports by running towards their carry, then back tracking as janna wastes her shield.
- A major problem many zilean players do is they accidently push the lane with their bombs. After you place a bomb on your enemy, unless it is dangerous to do so, continue pressuring them so that they get away from their own creeps. If you take too much cs you won’t be doing your job.
- Double bombing with a Rewind may be fun, but only do it when you are sure you can zone the opponent. Here’s a secret that not many zilean players think about. Don’t double bomb if you don’t have to. Zone them with your bomb that is on cooldown. If you only put one Time Bomb, they will be forced to stay away from your creeps. However, if you place both of them right away, (and if your opponent is smart), they will push your lane, causing you to overextend.
- Hide in the bush and then run out to use this. At one point, it may become predictable, but as long as they cannot target you then you will continue to zone them. If they put down a ward, that’s one minutes worth of gold wasted for their support.
- During a team fight, this does a lot of damage. Even though you aren’t an AP Carry, with a 0.9 ratio and aoe damage, this can help your team win fights. Remember; place your bombs according to the situation. If you spread them out, you will have to wait three seconds for damage. However if you double bomb a single target, you get instant damage.
- Only use the bomb/rewind combo when the opponents are being completely zoned from any last hits, and far away from their creeps, or if you are trying to kill a target. A support who pushes the lane is bad.
- Do not attempt to bomb your opponent’s every time this is off cooldown. Look for opportunities where you take less harass back so that you do not have to waste your Health Potions.
Cost: 50 mana
Cooldown: 18 / 15 / 12 / 9 / 6 seconds
- know when to wait for your skills to come off cooldown. For example, do not use this before you are planning to use Time Bomb, use it right before just in case you cannot pull it off. This will save mana a lot of times.
- Read what I said in the time bomb section. Only double bomb when needed. Sure, damage is cool, but getting ganked by their jungler is not.
- This skill works on your ultimate, so if you really have nothing to spend your mana on, just press this skill.
- This skill allows you to avoid two people at the same time. You can Time Warp them both, and run away.
- use this skill wisely! you will run out of mana very quickly if you always use this off cooldown and spam it.
- It would be smart to save this skill in case of an enemy jungler or ganker.
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Duration: 2.5 / 3.25 / 4 / 4.75 / 5.5 seconds
- This is your most useful skill once late game arrives. it has huge cc ability, and combined with Rewind it gives your team the ability to kill stragglers.
- Do not let your enemies escape alive . Slow them down and let your teammates kill them. Remember, it lasts a wooping 5.5 seconds when maxed.
- Decide whether to use it on your teammate or on your enemy, depending on the situation. If your teammate has a slow, it would be smarter to use it on your teammate, however, if the enemy is almost getting away, or going to the safety of his turret, it would be wise to put it on him.
- Combined with rewind and cooldown reduction you can almost slow two enemies at the same time.
- This skill is quite effective against melee AD Champs because they need to be within autoattack range to deal maximum damage. Also, you can try to combine this with skills like blitzcranks grab, or jannas knockback to exclude an enemy champion from the fight for a while.
Cooldown: 180 seconds
Cost: 200 mana
Range: 780 (estimated)
Health Gained: 600 / 850 / 1100 (+2.0 per ability power)
- Know when and who to use this on. You have to survive long enough so that you don’t waste this skill. Remember, if you use it on yourself you really don’t contribute much, because once you come back to life you can’t do much damage.
- Using this on a carry can turn the tides of a fight because it may confuse the enemy and mess up their focus. However, please know that the opponent can see when you use this skill, lights surround the target in a very obvious manner.
- Do not be afraid to use this skill a lot, it has a really short cooldown, if you use Rewind once and a while.
- Do not waste this skill however, if there are 3 champions surrounding you as you are about to die, don’t try unless your team is coming very soon. You are probably going to die anyway unless you are planning some crazy juking skills.
Laning Phase and A tad bit more
This is probably the most important part of the game, but not necessarily, depending on your team compositions. During this time, your goals are:
- 1. Allow your AD Ranged to farm. These champions are the ones who will carry you late game. If they do not get the early farm they need, chances are they cannot and will not get fed during the roaming phase, and will end up useless in comparison to the other team.
- 2. Deny your opponent farm. This is the second most important thing, but has lower priority on the list, because if you are wasting all your time denying your opponent, your AD Ranged may fall back. However, if you get any chances to zone your enemies without disturbing your AD Ranged, go ahead.
- 3. Map Awareness. Be sure to ward the common zones needed, if you are new to the game you may go find a guide on warding, and where you should ward. However, do not spend all your money on wards. I would advise usually only keeping permanently one ward near dragon/lower then dragon so that you can see jungler ganks. What I mean by map awareness is calling out missing champions, and showing your team what they could do. I take this role highly as a support because I do not have to farm, and most of the time I’m just standing there. It is easier on your team if you help with this.
- 4. Take as little farm as possible. However, when I say as little as possible, you may ask me why take any farm at all. First of all, taking some farm when your ad ranged isn’t in lane will help your build greatly. And it doesn’t hurt your team because they wouldn’t have got it anyways. Another thing I would like to point out is that Zilean is pretty good at pushing a wave with double Time Bomb, and if the turret is taking cs, feel free to clear the wave.
There are of course other things you can do, but these are the ones I find important, and take a higher priority in my mention. Something I would briefly like to touch on however, is Do not walk around ALONE, you are incredibly squishy, and if anyone were to catch you off guard you would probably have to burn a flash or Chronoshift, then regret it later. Play by your instinct, and try not to do anything risky. Some champions you are allowed mistakes, but Zilean is not one of those champions.
Thanks for your time to read this guide, and I hope it was worth your time. I am sorry if the guide does not have enough pictures or anything, and when I’m not feeling too lazy I will definitely add some. Feel free to vote however you like, but I would respectfully ask you to comment or criticize my guide.
I would like to once again thank everyone’s favorite veteran, jhoijhoi for the banners, and her guide that taught me all I know about coding.
If you are looking or were looking for a super in-depth guide, sorry, that really was not my intention. I will lay out your foundation, but for the good of learning (and also for the good of not wasting too much of my own time) I would like to allow you to learn how to really play and understand the champion you choose.
So if you ever use this build, All I can really say is, Good luck!