Zed General Guide by
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Zed top or mid guide
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.
Why play Zed?
Zed is a difficult character to master but extremely rewarding. He is a very versatile champion who can do several roles. He excels in mid lane and can handle most characters in top lane.
Counterpick to: Darius, Rumble, Most Mid Lane champs.
Counterpicked by(Top): Rengar(top), Jax(top)
Using your skills properly on Zed is vital. You don't want to throw out your shadow all the time as it is very important to save yourself from ganks. If you see the enemy jungler in another lane, throw your shadow out, use your E to slow, and use the slow to easily hit someone with two shurikens. Also try to land an extra E if they stand nearby the shadow. This is one of the best harass tools in the game but you have to be careful of using it if you're unaware of where the enemy jungler is.
On ganks use your shadow to jump away in a straight line from your pursuers and trigger E immediately to slow them. This makes Zed very difficult to gank. If you get tower dove after this and you have your ultimate ready, it can buy you a few extra precious seconds. Try to lure them away from your ultimate's shadow and warp back to it for a few extra seconds under tower if you are getting dove. Your shadow can get across most walls also so it is a very potent all purpose escape/chase tool.
Use your shadow and double Q/shadow E a minion wave especially late to clear fast if your tower is being pressured and you wish to preserve it.
Using your ult properly is also key. When using your ult you generally want to throw out your W shadow and connect with 3 shurikens and three E hits. This will do amazing damage once it triggers. You have to be aware of a character who has escapes/flashes/invulnerability skills (elise/kayle/zhonyas ect) Skills like these can ruin your ultimate. Choose your targets wisely and time it properly.
For runes I always take flat ad+mark quints. I want very high damage for my Q early on so people won't get away with ranged harass+getting in my face without hurting for it.
As a personal preference I fill out the rest of my page with flat ad runes. This isn't neccessary however, but what you should aim for is getting at least 20ad total and then mixing and matching armor+mr where appropriate standard stuff.
In ranked allies and enemies will not know how to treat Zed since he is so new and so many people have not mastered him yet. Even westrice sucked at him in one game I watched of him playing it.
Picking Zed as early pick is ok. Many people do not know whether your Zed will go top or mid, try to make your team understand this when picking and help them to pick accordingly. Zed can counter most mid characters. Be wary of top lane picks such as Rengar/Renekton/and especially Jax. Zed can handle bruisers contrary to popular belief, but you can't be in their faces constantly you have to wisely use your Q harass to get them near half and then you can widdle them down with your tremendous passive.
Boots 3 pots, on return dorans+longsword+a ward+2 pots(if you can swing it, don't skip on the ward though) if you're in mid lane ward the wraiths side of the enemy jungle, ward tri bush if you're blue(bottom half) or river if you're purple(top half.) Always try to buy 1 ward on every trip back and a pot or two for keeping your health up.
Rush brutalizer then do your boots. Finish cleaver asap afterwards.
The typical builds after this you see involve bloodthirster and then GA. This is the wrong imo. You get more out of the ruined king blade than bloodthirster in my opinion and warmogs is so much better for your survivability. If you have a warmogs then you are going to be able to handle rushing the ad down and fighting bruisers especially with your ruined king blade. Bloodthirster is an inferior choice from my experience. My stats have risen exponentially with changing bloodthirster to ruined king and rushing warmogs before GA.
Boots of mobility because Zed can clear a lane then roam and get some easy high dmging ganks. Replace these late game depending on the enemy teams composition(lots of cc mercs ect) Take homeguard as an enchant if your base is being pushed up heavy. This can save you the game, otherwise save your enchant for alacrity til very late.