Zilean Build Guide by Wise Owl

League of Legends Build Guide Author Wise Owl

Support Zilster Patch 7.1

Wise Owl Last updated on January 31, 2017
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Ability Sequence

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


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 6


Cunning: 18

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 6

Threats to Zilean with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Karma Can poke and shield, but short ranged against your Q.
Soraka Another of my mains, XD but seriously, just will annoy the hell out of you with her heals and sustain. Try and lock her down and she's dead though.
Taric Poke, Poke, Poke ('Nuff said) Just watch out for stun.
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Hi everyone! I am Wise Owl on the Oceania Server, I am a support main and I like to play Thresh, Soraka, Janna and most importantly, Zilean , or Zilster as I like to call him.

I decided to make this guide because I love Zilean, especially in the support role, yet I couldn't find a good guide for him. Sure, you can look at the top guides and say they are great, and yes I agree, just some aspects I wanted to improve on to fulfill the support role of Zilster. I will be constantly working on this guide as it goes and improving and adding to it, thanks for being patient! :)

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Pros / Cons

  • Pros

  • Lots of poke with his Q Time Bomb
  • Very fast with his E Time Warp
  • Ultimate Chronoshift at the right moment can be game-changing.
  • Can use abilities frequently thanks to Rewind
  • Useful even when losing lane because of extra experience for you and your ADC from Time in a Bottle
  • Cons

  • Squishy
  • If you Ult the wrong person...
  • No shields or heal not counting your Ult.
  • He's old :)

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Runes on Zilean are important as it gives him the power he needs early in the game.


Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Seal of Health

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Armor

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Masteries on Zilster are pretty standard. We take the Cunning tree almost exclusively for the 45% CDR in Intelligence .





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Zilean is a support mage, so constant spell use is important in supporting your allies.

Time in a Bottle RANGE: 1000 STATIC COOLDOWN: 120

Zilean generates 2 / 3.5 / 5 / 6 / 12 experience every 5 seconds, which does not advance his own level. When he has enough to level up an allied champion and is out of combat in the last 10 seconds, he can right-click them to initiate a 1 second channel, after which he grants them enough experience to finish their level. Zilean receives the same amount. If the channel is interrupted, Time in a Bottle goes on cooldown for 2 seconds. Time in a Bottle starts the game on cooldown.

In short, when you have stored enough experience over time, you can click an ally and after 1 second you will level them up. The bonus for you is you get the same amount of experience that you give. All around its a nice passive in lane to keep you and your ADC ahead. The only drawback is that once lategame comes around, and all your allies are level 18, your passive is now useless.
Extra Info+Tips
  • Allies are marked with two circles around their feet, the inner circle represents how close the ally is to being able to be leveled up by Zilean. Once an ally can be leveled up the circle turns golden.
  • So long as Zilean is not in combat he can level up the ally by right clicking on them (the ally can be in combat).
  • Only the experience required to level the ally will be consumed. For example, if you have 1000 experience stored up but the ally is only 50 experience away from leveling, only 50 experience of your stored passive will be used.

Time Bomb RANGE: 900 / 300 / 100 COST: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 MANA
COOLDOWN: 10 / 9.5 / 9 / 8.5 / 8
ACTIVE: Zilean throws a ticking time bomb to the target location that detonates after 3 seconds, dealing magic damage to all surrounding enemies.
MAGIC DAMAGE: 75 / 115 / 165 / 230 / 300 (+ 90% AP)
If a unit is near a Time Bomb as it lands or has already landed, they pick it up and become the holder, causing it to detonate at their location at the end of its duration.
If a bomb holder picks up another Time Bomb, the first bomb immediately detonates and briefly Stun icon stuns all affected enemies.
STUN DURATION: 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4 / 1.5

This, this is an amazing ability. Besides his Ultimate, this is what makes Zilean,well, Zilean. It is a high range skillshot that will land on the ground, if an enemy or ally steps on it they will become the holder until it detonates. If an enemy already has a Time Bomb on them and another lands on them it will detonate immediately and cause the


Area of Effect stun that is not an ultimate. A Q-W-Q combo on the same target can decimate teams if you have enough AP, while leaving them to the mercy of your allies as they are stunned. It has incredible base damage, and one of the highest ability power ratios in the game. It is almost immpossible to get rid off a timebomb once its on you, save for a Zhonya's Hourglass and maybe a few other abilities/item actives such as Frozen Tomb.

Extra Info+Tips

If the bomb lands directly on top of multiple units, it has the following priority system for whom to stick to:
  • Units already carrying a bomb.
  • Enemy champions.
  • Allied champions.
  • Enemy minions.
  • Allied minions.
A ticking bomb does not grant an assist if the target dies before it explodes. Dammit, no fair. :(

Rewind COST: 35 MANA COOLDOWN: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6
ACTIVE: Zilean reduces Time Bomb's and Time Warp's cooldowns by 10 seconds.

Zilster's W Rewind is a useful ability especially when you have enough CDR and Mana to constantly use it. This ability forms the core of your combos, it allows you to double bomb, speed up two allies or slow two enemies while double bombing them. This sounds really good to level first but only the cooldown reduces if you level it, so extra damage from Time Bomb or extra slow/speed up from Time Warp is much more valuable.

Extra Info+Tips
  • Rewind cannot be ranked at level 1, as it is an essentially useless ability at that point.
  • Rewind can only be cast when either Time Bomb or Time Warp are on cooldown.

Time Warp RANGE: 550 COST: 50 MANA COOLDOWN: 15

ACTIVE: Zilean bends time around the target champion, slowing them if they are an enemy or granting them bonus movement speed if they are an ally for 2.5 seconds.
MOVEMENT SPEED MODIFIER: 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 / 99%

This is your core supporting ability. It will speed up your allies to chase down enemies, or escape from trouble. It can also be used to slow down enemies, virtually stunning them at max rank. A 99% speed up at max rank.You or your allies will have their movement speed virtually doubled!

Extra Info+Tips
  • Movement speed cannot be reduced below 110, and slows that would reduce it below 220 are modified. To put it another way: a reduction of 99% will not reduce you to 3 movement speed, but rather it will reduce you closer to 110 than a weaker slow would.
  • This also means you can not double slow someone as well.

Chronoshift RANGE: 900 COST: 125 / 150 / 175 MANA COOLDOWN: 120 / 90 / 60

ACTIVE: Zilean places a protective time rune on the target ally champion or himself for 5 seconds. If the target takes fatal damage during that time, they are instead put in stasis for 2 seconds and are revived with a set amount of health.
HEALTH REGAINED: 600 / 850 / 1100 (+ 200% AP)

This. Ability. Is. awesome. Most people think it is pretty bad as it is just a revive, but think about the impact if you put it on your fed Master Yi or Katarina for instance. Thinking the biggest threat is finally dead, the enemy will be surprised when (with enough AP) an almost full health champ reappears to pick up the penta and win the teamfight. You can also use it on your ADC or yourself as with 45% CDR and max rank it will be on a 33 second cooldown.

This shows Zilean without and with his Ultimate on him(looks the same as on anyone)

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Skill Sequence

With Zilean we want good damage and utility, so we go -


Your Time Bomb is your bread and butter with damage, and leveling it when you can is really important for poke in lane.

Time Warp is almost as important for supporting your allies in kills and escapes, so we level it next.

Zilster's W Rewind is useful but his other abilities are much better to level first for lower cooldowns and effect.

And of course take your Ult Chronoshift when you can at levels 6,11 and 16.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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Summoner Spells

Flash is essential on almost all champions, and Zilster here is no exception. He needs it to escape tight situations where his Time Warp or even Chronoshift won't save him. By the way, say what you will, but


Exhaust is what I prefer to take on Zilean as being a support. It acts as an extra E to the power of 100, reducing movement and attack speed by a massive amount. It can be used to help escape, or to slow down near-dead targets. Take it in most situations.


Otherwise I would consider ignite as an alternative to exhaust in some situations. Its best when you have a Crowd Control heavy champ, or more importantly a CC heavy ADC. (CC=Crowd Control-(Stuns, slows etc))
These ADC's are generally considered CC heavy, so pick ignite when with these champs botlane.

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Now to get stuck into one of the deciding core aspects of any champion, their items in-game.
Zilean's item build consists mostly of CDR and AP so he can use his abilities more often and make them more effective.

Starting Items

Spellthief's Edge is what you almost always start with, as out of the gold income items Spellthief's gives you 5 AP, 25% Base Mana Regen and +2 gold per 10 seconds, plus a passive that gives you gold whenever you poke with your Q. Sounds great! Otherwise there is Relic Shield which is useless on a ranged poke support, or sometimes a viable option can be Ancient Coin. Ancient Coin gives a lot of gold from just standing around and quite a bit of mana regen. Since it has no AP it does hit your damage output severely. I would only ever take it in a passive lane where you know you are gonna have a hard time.

This is a staple on all champions, take them with the Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation mastery. It will help your sustain in lane and can help you in some tight situations.

Don't forget this, so important especially since most people will expect you to ward as a support. Upgrade later to Oracle Alteration if you think the enemy is warding effectively or just for searching for enemies and stealthed champions.


Tear of the Goddess is a staple on Zilster as constant spell use with Rewind and the other abilities fills up the passive incredibly quickly. It gives a heap of mana in general and mana sustain in lane.

Most importantly for a support, you need to take a Sightstone after the other early items to ward, and the extra health is great for some defence.

Surprisingly you preference this 3rd as the mana and vision is more important then the upgrade, but don't delay Frostfang too long.

Core Item #1

Eye of the Watchers is a the first main item you build as its stems from your gold income item you got first.

It gets you
  • +200 Health
  • 100% Base Mana Regen
  • +25 Ability Power
  • +10& Cooldown Reduction
  • +2 gold per 10 seconds

    It also gives you a the Spellthief's Edge passive but upgraded, and just as importantly holds 4 wards that refill upon visiting the store.


These are the preferred boots as they are cheap, give you CDR and cooldown reduction on your Summoner spells.


Alternatively you can take these if ahead for some more magic penetration on your foes. They are more expensive though so I wouldn't recommend it.


Take these if the team has really heavy CC and AP, as it can be a big help.

Core Item #2

This is where you complete your midgame power, with the Zeke's Harbinger. It is an awesome item for supports and should be considered more often.
  • +30 Armor
  • +50 Ability Power
  • +10% Cooldown Reduction
  • +250 Mana

It also has an amazing active that grants 50% critical strike chance AND 20% Ability Power for 8 seconds when fully charged (100 charges) to you and the bonded ally. Connect this to your ADC preferably, and you can switch allies on a 60 second cooldown. It gains one charge passively per second, 4 for a basic attack and 8 for a spell cast. From a Q-W-Q combo thats 24 charges in 1 second. Since Zilean casts spells so fast like the afore mentioned combo you will build the charge up incredibly quickly. If your ADC has over 50% Critical Strike Chance change it to your AP carry for a massive bonus, or switch between teammates who use either stat.

Final CDR Item

My personal preference and the most flexible. With Health, AP, 10% CDR and a awesome active that shoots missiles from you after dashing, this is a very good choice for most situations.
This is very good for a Thunderlord's Decree proc as well.

Another option is Zhonya's Hourglass which is best when the enemy has a huge burst, AD or you just keep being caught out. Its famous active is incredibly useful for saving your life in teamfights and other situations.

When the enemy has a heap of Magic Damage, you can take this to keep you and your allies safe while you split-push with the minion steroid active.

Upgrade Tear of the Goddess into Archangel's Staff

Archangel's staff which will evolve over time into Seraph's Embrace is a important item that gives you all the mana you need to play Zilster. This allows you to cast spells freely without worrying about mana. Since Zilean also has a high natural, endgame Mana pool you can get up to 80 AP from the Archangel Staff passive alone.

Choose 1 (Defensive Item Priority)

The best item for endgame, gives huge resistances and a free Ult for yourself, allowing you to use it on others.

The alternative to Guardian Angel, just depends on personal preference really.

If you are feeling fed, or just want to have fun, take this or a Rabadon's Deathcap ;)

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Looks like we are outta time...

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this guide please leave a vote up top ^^^ any questions or feedback would be appreciated and happily answered!

-Wise Owl