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.
Threats to Zed with this build
|Veigar||Veigar is the easiest lane for Zed. He's squishy, immobile, and has relatively no escape to your abilities. Make sure to avoid his stun when you engage on him.|
Hey guys! Welcome to my Zed Guide. In this guide, I'll be going over some basic tips and tricks with Zed, as well as some general tips on how to play Assassins in general.
Just so you know a little bit about me...
I'm a Diamond 5 Assassin main. My main champions at midlane are Zed, Yasuo, and Malzahar.
My main account is Zedimental so if you'd like some more in-depth tips on Zed, please don't hesitate to ask!
Pros and Cons of Zed
Strong Laning Phase
Amazing outplay potential
Strong mix of AoE/Single-Target burst
Fun to play!
A lot of Champions and Items counter him
Hard to play
Zed is an assassin-type champion that deals primarily Attack Damage. He has a lot of single target burst, as well as a lot of aoe damage and crowd control. Zed excels at picking off a single target in the middle of a fight, and escaping to safety while taking relatively no damage in return. He is also a very good split pusher because his kit makes him a great 1v1 duelist.
Zed's Passive - Contempt for the Weak
If you Basic Attack an enemy champion below 50% hp, they will take 6-10% of their maximum health in MAGIC DAMAGE (Doesn't scale with AP so please don't try AP zed...). This effect can only proc on the same champion every 10 seconds.
This ability helps you last hit in lane and adds a large chunk of damage to your ultimate if you can proc it during your Death Mark.
Zed's Q - Razor Shuriken
Zed and his shadows (Ultimate/Living Shadow) shoot out a shuriken in a line dealing 75/115/155/195/235 (+100% bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to the first unit they hit (this includes minions and summoned creatures), and 45/69/93/117/141 (+60% bonus Attack Damage) to every unit after. A 2nd shuriken that hits the same unit will do half the damage of the last one.
Use this ability to last hit safely in lane and to poke your laner out. Try to hit the enemy champion your shurikens as the first unit hit for more damage. Try to hit all 3 of your shurikens when you ult.
Zed's W - Living Shadow
Passive: Adds 5/10/15/20/25% additional bonus Attack Damage.
Active: Sends out a shadow that will mimic your ability casts. You can swap to the location of your shadow by reactivating the ability. The Shadow lasts for 4 seconds. If both Zed's ability and the shadow's hit the same target, Zed restores 20/25/30/35/40 energy.
Use this ability to engage/disengage. It adds a lot of mobility and lane pressure during the early game. Use this in combination with your Q and E to put some damage down on your laner before you go in for the kill. Swapping to your shadow has a limited range, so be aware of that!
Zed's E - Shadow Slash
Zed does 60/90/120/150/180 (+80% bonus Attack Damage) damage in a small circle around him. His W cooldown is decreased by 2 seconds for every enemy champion hit. If his shadow hits an enemy with Shadow Slash, the target is slowed by 20/25/30/35/40% for 1.5 seconds. If both Zed and his Shadow hit the enemy with Shadow Slash, they won't take more damage but the slow will be even stronger.
Use this ability as a follow up to your W, either using it to slow the enemy for the initiation, or to slow them while running away. Using the slow effect in lane makes it easier to hit your q's. Don't forget that hitting an enemy with this ability reduces your Shadow's cooldown!!!
Zed's Ultimate Ability - Death Mark
Zed disappears for 1 second, and reappears behind his target, leaving a Shadow at his original location (This shadow functions the same way your living shadow does, meaning it uses your abilities as well). After 3 seconds, the Death Mark will pop, dealing 100% Attack Damage plus 30/40/50% of damage (Magic and Physical) dealt by Zed and his Shadows.
Use this ability to focus down one target in a fight. It adds a lot of mobility during teamfights and it does an extraordinary amount of damage. In lane, look for opportunities to engage with Death Mark for the kill. Don't forget to use your living shadow in conjunction with your ultimate to hit all 3 shurikens, dealing massive damage. Swapping back to your ultimate shadow last 6 seconds (2 seconds longer than Living Shadow) but you have to wait half a second after using your ultimate to recast it.
Difficulties when playing Zed
Items that counter Zed (Removing/Negating Deathmark):
Champions that counter Zed:
Other things that make Zed's life miserable:
Suppresses (Warwick, Malzahar, Skarner)
Hard Peeling supports (Tahm Kench, Janna)
Beware of the Faker effect. Don't kid yourself into thinking that by playing Zed, you will be able to 1v3 and take no damage starting Game 1. Pros do crazy things with Zed because they are pros. They have experience, and they know what they're capable of. So please, think twice before 1v5'ing at Baron.
A Typical Zed Game
Phase 1: The Laning Phase (0-10 min)
As Zed, your early goal is clear: zone your laner off of as much CS as possible, while not missing last hits yourself. There are a few ways this can be accomplished. If laning in a dominate lane (A lane where you have the advantage between levels 1-3), stand on the "curve" of the minion wave. The curve is the general area where the enemy laner has to stand in order to cs. If you can pressure them off of last-hits with Q's (and maybe a few auto attacks), they'll be more scared of last hitting. However, in most cases, the enemy champion will be trying to do this to you as well. In order to avoid damage, use your shuriken to last hit. Try to position yourself in a manner where you can get a last hit and hit the enemy laner for some free poke damage.
By the time you're level 6, the enemy laner should be between 50-75% hp. Hopefully, you've zoned them off enough xp so that you are lvl 6 and they are lvl 5, therefore, without their ultimates. If this is the case, engage immediately, either by swapping positions with your living shadow to get into position to ult, or by doing your standard W-E-Q combo, and then swapping to your shadow when your cooldowns are back up, using deathmark for the kill. Now you want to back, get your items, and get ready for the Roaming Phase.
Phase 2: The Roaming Phase (10-15 min)
By this point, you've completed your first damage item, and you have your boots. Now, you want to shove your lane in, and look for opportunities to gank other lanes. If no other lanes are gankable, you can continue zoning the enemy off of CS, or you can work with your jungler to secure objectives and vision. Vision control is very important when playing Assassins because it allows you to sneak up on people when they don't expect it. Generally, I like to roam bottom lane, get myself a kill or two, and then take dragon as a team, before returning midlane to pick up some more CS. Don't forget to buy a pink ward at this point in the game. I also recommend buying the Farsight Alteration for your warding totem so you can have more map control.
Phase 3: The Objective Phase (15-25 min)
Around this time, your team has probably taken at least 1 outer turret, and will most likely want to group middle to push down the other tower. Sometimes, this can be hard, especially if the enemy team is ahead in gold. If a fight breaks out, look for opportunities to put some damage on the backline with your Living Shadow before jumping in for the kill. If you can kill the enemy midlane or adc (or both), the teamfight should be an easy clean-up. Take down the mid outer, and get ready to split push. Before rotating to a sideline to split push, make sure you put some wards in the enemy jungle so you can see the enemy team if/when they come for you. By this point, you've finished your ghostblade and cleaver, and you're just about ready to grab your Blade of the Ruined King for some serious split-push madness.
Phase 4: The Teamfight Phase (25-35 min)
At this point in the game, you've hopefully knocked down an inner turret, and you're ready to pressure an inhibitor or an epic monster (Generally Baron). Unless your team is really far ahead, DO NOT CONTINUE SPLIT PUSHING!!! Be a part of the fight and take out the backline. Look for moments when the supports crowd control abilities are on cooldown, and jump the carries right away. Even if they use their defensive items (QSS/Hourglass), swap back to your ultimate shadow for safety, and put some damage down with your abilities. If you manage to take down the squishies, work with your team to clean up the frontline, and take down that Nexus!
How to Ward
By now, you should have an understanding of Zed's capabilities, his strengths and weaknesses, and how to play him. However, in order to successfully win your lane, you need to make sure you've properly warded. You don't want to be caught out with a cooldown on your shadow when the enemy jungler is nearby. Here are a few places you should ward.
Red = Red Side
Blue = Blue Side
X = Pink Ward
O = Blue/Yellow Ward
If the enemy jungler has a big movement spell they can engage with (Rek'Sai tunnel, Zac jump) and your lane is pushed up, it's never a bad idea to place a stealth ward inside their raptor camp!
Good Luck on the Rift!
I hope you've learned something while reading my guide today, and I hope it helps you win your future games with Zed! If you have any other questions about Zed or other Assassins, please add me on League (Zedimental ~ NA Summoner) or email me at Shadi12389@hotmail.com.