Zilean Build Guide by Xelight
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Zilean Support - the Pros and the Cons
-Fun to play
-Good endgame support
-Ultimate is hard to master
-No hard cc
-No sustain, shielding or healing ability
-Pushes your lane
-Very weak at lvl 1, 2 and 5.
-No reliable escape.
In short : Zilean falls a bit short compared to many other supports these days. Many other supports have a way of healing and/or buffing their adc like Nami, Janna, Nunu, Nidalee or Soraka while other supports like Leona, Blitzcrank and Thresh have a nice CC and engage kit that will make great for initiating fights or protecting their adc.
All of these things puts a great advantage to their adc and except for and the occasional skilldodge by your speedboost, any straight-up fight is a lost one without your ultimate.
Zilean wins his lane by harassing the enemy adc and support out of the lane. This is why I personally concider Ezreal currently the best adc to go with Zilean. definetly if he manages to Trueshot Barrage that getaway champ that survives your Time Bomb combo!
Zilean Skill Overview
Time Bomb : deals alot of damage after a few seconds and is therefor vulnerable to shields. The bomb will instantly explode if you put another bomb on the same target with Rewind. Time Bombs are AOE explosions and good for farming or pushing minions later in the game. Time Bomb is very weak on lvl 1 but will quickly become stronger.
Rewind : Lowers the cooldown of all other spells, keep casting this so that your ult is up sooner. use QWQ with smartcast to quickly combo bombs on someone.
Time Warp : Your only CC ability. Time Warp will speed up an ally or slow an enemy, it is a very strong slow on the enemy and its often better to slow an enemy Udyr or Vi or whatever then it is to speed up your adc. It is pricey early game so don't spamn it. End-game you will be able to speedboost two champs at the same time with Rewind. Try to learn using this ability on the enemy in chasing scenario's.
Chronoshift : Works just like a Guardian Angel, use it on your ADC and avoid having to use it on yourself. to save his life once he is low hp and in danger of dying. Chrono Shift takes priority over most enemy revival passives such as Anivia's Rebirth or Aatrox's Blood Well. It can quickly turn the tide on any battle if you don't use it on yourself.
Cooldown, Gold and Mana regen
I take 9-0-21 or 18-0-12 as masteries with a key on the gold per 5, mana regen, magic pen and cooldown reduction and standard magic support runes.
for summoner spells I usually go for the default Flash and Exhaust but play with what you prefer. You can skip the mana regen build and go straight for Rod of Ages or even Rabadon's Deathcap if you take Clarity like some other guides prefer. However I just find Exhaust to important to put away.
This build focusses mainly on building up that cooldown reduction so you always got your ult up while also focussing on mana regen so you can keep spamning spells ( Zilean is very mana hungry).
Once you got Rod of Ages AND Athene's Unholy Grail you can keep spamning all your abilities for almost indefinetly during the endgame. And believe me, it's pretty handy to be able to perma speed boost two guys and having your ult back up each 30 seconds.
As support you get very little gold, its important you take as much gp5 you can get in your runes, masteries and items. It really helps getting that endgame rod of ages or even rabadon there.
The level 3 BONANZA
At level 3 Zilean is at its finest, try to save some mana at lvl 1 and lvl 2 so you can go crazy at lvl 3. dont use rewind if its not necessary and when one of the enemy has to recall at lvl 4 or 5. go quickly back as well and buy those extra wards that you didn't take at the start of the game.
The level 5 CONFLICT
Don't be fooled by Zilean's passive Heightened Learning, you are level 5 when the enemy ADC, jungler or MID is already 6. An engage start and you will not yet have your ultimate Chronoshift which would otherwise have turned the tide greatly. Think for example about Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole or Karthus's Requiem that will snipe your adc or yourself and you will be unable to prevent death. Instead you can only place two bombs and do a speedboost and will feel useless for about the next 13 seconds. I have seen this happen so many times it made me sick. And there is little you can do about it other then to ward carefully and avoid that engage. Try to sit back, relax and let time do its work untill your level 6.
Mid-game on DRUGS
You are between lvl 12 and 16 and your build starts to take shape, your cooldown reduction will be 35 or 40% and you are fast and your Chronoshift is always up. Not only is the cooldown of your ult lowered but the cooldown of your rewind is also lowered which in return lowers the cooldown of your ult again.
Chronoshift cooldown : 180s * 0.6 = 108s
Rewind cooldown : 6s * 0.6 = 3.6s
(every 3.6s you can lower your ultimates cooldown by 10s if you cast rewind.)
108s / 13.6 * 3.6 = 28.6s
In case you use your Chronoshift early in a teamfight, theres a chance you might be able to Chronoshift again within the same teamfight.
Who to ult?
avoid using Chronoshift on feeders or fulltanks in your team in case you expect more people to die in your team during this teamfight. Your key priority is to ULT YOUR ADC!!! if you do not do this, you are essentially useless as cooldown zilean, this is because your Time Bombs doesn't deal that much damage. If you have a fed assassin on your team like a Talon, Zed, Akali or Katarina, reviving them instead of your adc might not necessarily be a bad idea. They can combo for tons of damage within the few seconds they come back alive before they might die again. Don't forget you will revive the same amount of hp for any character. Therefor reviving a tank is usually a bad idea. Also, don't revive that feeder that engages the teamfight.
Now lets say you are beeing focussed within the teamfight and will die first, try to always Chronoshift someone else if you expect them to die shortly after you (like the adc or assassin that is standing next to you). They might have an escape and they will deal more dmg then you. Only Chronoshift yourself if no one else is around you that would die within the next 7 seconds.
WQ-WQ-WQ or QWQ-QWQ?
QWQ : Time Bomb Rewind Time Bomb
WQ-WQ : Rewind Time Bomb- Rewind Time Bomb
Your initial combo is ofcourse a QWQ. But after that the rewind cooldown of 3.6s is shorter then the 6s cooldown of your bomb. It is important to know how you proceed in this scenario.
If your Chronoshift is on cooldown, then the WQ-WQ-WQ will allow you to place a bomb each 3.6s, this is very mana hungry, deals less damage then waiting for QWQ but will bring your ult back up alot quicker, maybe even during the same teamfight.
If your Chronoshift isn't on cooldown, then just wait for Q to come up unless you have to speed up your teammates for chasing or running scenario.
Extra : Fun Times!
Zilean combos with Yorick, You can Time Bomb the ghouls that walk to the enemy explode for massive poke and with your Chronoshift and Yorick's Omen of Death, it's almost a 4v2 in this lane! Yorick is already renowned for beeing able to handle tough 1v2 lanes and has his own sustain which makes up for your lack of!
Zilean also combos with Syndra. It's a bit hard to pull off but you can Time Bomb the enemy minion and let Syndra Force of Will it against the enemy champ for MASSIVE DAMAGE.
Zilean and Twitch is a silly one, You can bomb an invisible Twitch and harass the enemy team this way! Twitch is atleast an adc if anything...
If you're a very good player, then taking Teleport as support zilean can be interesting. Chronoshifting other lanes out of nowhere might look really pro and make for some awesome plays. But your adc will hate you for doing it, believe me!