- Okay Harass (early)
- Fast traversing (mid)
- Short cooldown (late)
- living Jesus! (late)
- AoE burst (late)
- Squishy (early)
- Mana issues (early)
- low sustain (early)
- Difficult farming (early)
- Susceptible to ganks (mid)
This build is intended to combat all those properties Zilean has that make him a weak late gamer, whilst retaining those traits he has at the start of a game that make him so formidable. He is seen by many as to be a weak support by many, my own twin even saying that he
; however, those who play Zilean properly will know his capabilities for surprising amounts of damage, replayed with similar tactics again and again. Even when you see that his ultimate has a relatively large cooldown, it is easy to set it up so that you have it ready again within 15-20 seconds of the previous use, without centering the build around this unique niche. If you read this, you will understand why I chose to set him up this way.
would normally prefer Janna
on his lane
. I have had many complaints from team members before a match that say this is an inadvisable choice, yet in all those games that I've used it with him (I've been using for a few months now), it has been a game-changer. Zilean's time-bomb is always going to be wasted on farming minions, simply because it starts off with a high cooldown and takes a large amount of mana: this would be much better spent on taking chunks out of the enemy health, either surprising them with the damage and getting the kill, or setting up your team-mate.This is where Promote is so useful; you can use it to farm your minions for you, whilst you focus on last hits (remember, your auto-attack as Zilean is futile against the flurry of hits you will receive from a group of minions in return), with the added benefit of being able to do the pushing for you-none of Zilean's moves are set up to do this kind of damage himself.
: this is an incredibly important SS, as you will be able to pretty much double your duration in lane (if you have the selected masteries), which is easily enough to pick up the kills. Then in the late game, it will allow you to be popping bombs whilst acting as a necromancer for your allies, and still retain the mana to escape should you need to.
An added bonus of using these two SS's that they allow for one extra mastery, which gets us our 10%
added magic pen.
Masteries and runes
These are set up in such a way, that combined together, you will achieve very high stats in cooldown(40%), AP increase at base to max and lastly, an increased experience gain(19%). Not only this, but the runes will allow for a quicker recover in your mana near the start of the game. This build allows you to place 2-3 more bombs at level two than you would normally, which is a massive increase against any laner. It also means that whilst you are running into rejoin a battle, you can spam without having to worry about conservation, meaning at least one more ally can be saved.
This is simply ordered so that you have at least 1 in your by level 3, meaning you can escape if a situation gets bad, but is ultimately set up so you can power the bombs onto your enemies quickly, with a higher damage output. Make sure that if you are laning, you don't get too frivolous with your ult; you will want to make sure it is a time-accurate revival of an ally, rather than a cocky suicidal blunder (remember-a Zilean/ Rammus combo can take on any gank, UNLESS the Zilean ults himself, not Rammus, in which case Zilean will be hunted and killed quickly anyway, whereas if Rammus was alive, at least you would have taken their whole team).
These are items that will hold you steadily throughout the game, but will be relatively hard to get. Shurelya's Reverie is useful straight away for long-standing lane fights, and then combined with Ionian Boots of Lucidity to help you and your team-mate escape the difficult situation that may come after. Rod of Ages is a very good item to get here, as it will excessively boost Zilean's bomb storage, and then Archangel's Staff combined with that for the added bonus, especially in long games; Rabadon's Deathcap is not for the amount of bombs, but their power, and also subsequently the power increase of your E and R.qt this point you may decide that instead of Rabacon's Deathcap, you want to get Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the CC versatility you get, but only do so if the rest of your time is strong AP/AD and haven't got many slows on their own-this would make gangs at this stage more effective. Guardian Angel will always be a hit and miss option, so you could replace it with your own if you want, but it does give you your protection in team-fight, as well as mean that you can more easily concentrate in reviving team-mate rather than yourself.
This item build will ultimately allow you, Zilean, to change to any lane and thrive, with or without(preferably with) a partner, instead of being stuck to middle. It is a lot more fun playing him with a friend, believe me.
All of this was written on my
(to edit this build for improvements,I've used the computer), so if there are any mistakes, I apologize for them now and would be happy for you to tell me them. Alternatively, if there is anything in this build that you think could be better, reply with that instead (however, this build should work for anyone playing Zilean