Zilean Build Guide by Desol4tion
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.
Hello and welcome to my first mobafire guide. My aim with this is not to make just another zilean support guide- there are bound to be people better than me at that. I have recently been experimenting with very unorthodox build methods with various supports, and I think this is quite a good one.
So why build tank Zilean? Well when built like this he has a similar role to a fed Dr. Mundo, in that he can take a lot of punishment whilst dealing decent damage. He also serves in early game as a decent aggressive support for an AD carry that needs to win their lane, like Graves, MF and Urgot.
Please remember to +1 this guide if you like it, and tell me why if you don't! :)
The reason I've taken similar runes to a character like mordekaiser is so I can combine early lane pressure with survivability, whilst trying to retain as much damage late-game as possible.
Marks of Insight: These are staple AP carry marks, because they are useful AlL GAME. The penetration marks are in my opinion the best option for all high-damage characters, and tanks dps Zilean needs to do damage for people to want to focus him!
Seals of Resilience: As I have said above, these are obviously for survivability in lane. In the vast majority of bot-lanes, the main damage source will be the AD carry, so armour seals take priority over AP/level or MP5 seals.
Glyphs of Force: These are the most useful Glyphs for AP characters by a considerable margin. For Zilean specifically, they give his bombs a nice damage boost that lasts all game.
Quints of Potency: As above, in my opinion these are the best AP carry quints. They give Zilean a huge additional 14 damage on his bombs at level 1!
Not much to say about Masteries, other than they are a standard tank tree with the following exceptions;
Because you are trying to retain some damage in the late game, take 9 Points in the offense tree. Some nice Magic Pen and CDR to be had!
Make sure to pick up the CDR points in Defence as well, it's very important on Zilean: more bombs each teamfight.
CV: useful for your team to have, even if you aren't a support
Flash: really useful for getting away, getting in range of bombs on retreating enemies, generally brilliant utility.
Other viable options;
Ignite (I guess)
Items and Laning
Start with Meki pendant and a ward, remember you have to pretend to be a support for 15 minutes or so. Meki pendant is good for more bombs, which you should use when you can get away with hitting the lane opponents without taking any damage yourself. Let your carry last hit, but if you see them falling behind dramatically on Creep Score by around 10 minutes then start stealing last hits- they'll thank you later.
First B: I'm not going to tell you when because you should know when you need to/ can without harming your lane's progress. Having said that, you need to have enough gold to finish off Tear and pick up a couple more wards.
If you are losing your lane, don't panic buy Doran's Rings. Please. I have seen too many people do that, and it really messes you up as soon as you hit around 20 minutes. Just slowly keep building your Rod of Ages, making sure there is always a ward to let you know about ganks.
After getting Rod, you will want to rush Merc Treads and Guardian Angel. Then you will become a trolling machine.
(for teamfight strategy see below)
By the time you reach late game you will want to also have Rylai's and at least a second giants belt. Then get warmogs and finish by upgrading your tear to archangels staff.
Congratulations, you am become death.
This is where tank Zilean is at his best. You can poke incredibly easily with the following combo:
Speed yourself up
Run towards enemies
Place bomb on one
Place another bomb
If they take your bait, run away while they beat on you. If you do go down, wait for GA to tick then immediately ult yourself. No one ever notices because they are so desperate to kill you now that GA is gone and you are low. Your team should use this opportunity to kill the enemy carries.
There is a chance that they don't focus you, and one of your team does something stupid (Usually the overconfident carry). If this does happen, ult them instead and just stay near the rest of your team, standard support mentality.
Just a warning- don't play this is ranked. The people at any ELO above around 1.1k will recognise what you are doing immediately and will just ignore you.