Zed Build Guide by Kurishiasu
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The W.T.F. Off Tank Zed
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Not Updated For Current Season
Picking Zed Top and using this build can lead you to several advantages as early as the champ select begins.This build will be usefull for carrying most of the ELO leagues however,since you won't be dealing as much damage as a ''classic'' Zed would be doing,using this build will require some practice in order to utilize your combo in full potential as missing a single skill can mean your target will be escaping(a lot different then it would be for an usual Zed that deals so much damege it doesn't quite matters if he hits all the skills).Anyway,baits and initiations will come as very common oportunities since your tankiness and mobility are the most efficient part of this build.
Pros / Cons
An early Zed pick in any champ select will divide opinions,specially if your mid/their mid haven't been picked yet.Even though your teamates know you'll be going top,the other team doesn't,what will give a HUGE advantage to your whole team probably meaning that their mid lane will be picking something like a Kayle or an Orianna,thinking they'll be having an easy lane,leaving them open for counters in the middle lane meaning that not only you will be able to most likely win your lane but your middle too since he will have the oportunity to pick a counter to the kayle or ori(example).
+The enemy team will be having an unpredictable champion select wich will lead them to some wrong decisions on champion picks
+A lot of potential in mid game teamfights as a non-comunicative enemy team will have a ''hard'' time realizing what you are building opening up for some focus-related bad choices by them leading to easy wins in mid game teamfights,which can really change the tides of a match
+Really able to help the team get back into a game making use of all the slows and MR reduction you can provide while still letting them have the kills
+Pulling out some great baits due to the takiness/mobility
+Can still assasinate a target really easy due to all the mobility,CC and built-in damage
+Will win almost any lane matchup after 6 against the most common top laners.
-Heavily Player skill reliant
-Essentially needs to make plays happen
-Will get really prejudiced if countered in lane(although it will only happen in a few cases or if mid and top have good comunication in order to switch lanes)
-Relies in player skill in order to regenerate energy
-Can get crushed in some pre-6 matchups
Pre-lvl3 Skill Sequence
The abilitie maxed by 9 is really up to the player's playstyle. Maxing Q first is really useful since Zed's laning phase isn't strong against most of the champions you'll be facing top and using Q for farming/poking will make it a little easier to keep up in the very early stages of the lane.
Also,your first 3 skill sequence can define how the game will go for you from the first gank on
->->: You should pick this if you are really sure not to get ganked or to lose in very early skirmishes
->->:A quite safe pick that won't open many oportunities for a lvl 2 kill since you won't have that CC but it's still recomended as you will be able to get out of early game ganks pretty easily(and follow up if your jungler comes too)
->->:Only start this if you are really getting countered in lane(refer to ''hard matchups'' in ''matchups'' section)almost every ''hard matchup'' has a really high chance to kill you if he gets lvl 2 before you do(or even if its at the same time).However you will most likely lose a lot of farms and get zoned.
->>:IMO starting E is just wrong since you won't have the escape or Q to farm safely(just start E if you REALLY know what you are doing)
After several matches in experimentation i've got to the ''Optimal Build'',it will work in most of the matches showing the Tank Zed true potential.Obviously,in some cases(full AD/AP teams)the item order should differ or the items themselves.Here are the considerations on all listed items:
''Optimal build'' items
-Core item,essential due to all the lifesteal/AS/mobility it can provide.Great for chasing,escaping,setting up you combo and securing kills,one of the main reasons you will be winning against almost all the tanks in top lane(by sustainig their damage while dealing a lot and,later on,having resistences
-Not core(you can go against a full AP team i.e.)but definitely important for the whole build working together.Using either your or your to initiate a fight will synergise incridibliy well with this item,specially if you manage to get yourself in the middle of the team with one of those abilities to use its active as it will be a fairly decent MS/AS slow for several seconds(6 seconds of 35%MS/AS slow due to having ~400 resistences).Having a devastating effect in any teamfight.
-Core item,the huge chunk of hp it provides will make you tanky to any AD/AP carries while the slow won't allow them to kite making it almost impossible to run away due to tenacity,BOTRK MS leech and his built-in mobility,also helping to set up kills for your allies.
-Not Core,maybe the most controversial item in the build although it is,IMO,the best MR item to fit the build,simply because it gives AS,magic damage on hit,25 raw MR and 25 more by taking it away from your target.
The AS is great for providing more damage,paired with its magic damage on hit,and huge sustain,due to BOTRK lifesteal.
The MR and MR leech are great to,obiviously,give you more resistences and to help your ally AP carry get kills,even if he is behind.Although the damage for you won't be that high(even though it amplifies the damage your passive and the item's deal)
-This item is not core but its a personal favorite.I like having the sensation that,by having two lives,and being tanky,any effort/cooldown used to take the GA away will be a ''waste''(also gives,by itself,1 more second of slow for the Randuin's Omen).Can be repalced by any of the ''Tank Situational items''
''Damage dealing''Situational items
/ / -Pretty straightforward,If their team is mainly of one atribute(AP/AD) and you are already suficiently tanky This becomes a valid item for more damage.
-This item should be mainly picked against a top laner that won't be dealing the majority of his damage through basic attacks and will also let you farm to keep hp sustained
/ -If their team is mainly AP and they deal more sustained damage go for spirit.If they deal mainly burst damage go for banshee's as blocking a single spell can be really significant.
/ -If their team is mainly AD and they ADC is being a problem go for thornmail.Sunfire is good if you need damage and tankiness against an AD that doesnt rely on basic attacks to deal a lot of damage.
Team Work/Mid Lane Synergies
One of the larger advantages of using this build is essentially helping your team with whatever means you have.Making full use of the ''optimal build'' you'll be able to initiate fights,gank,follow up ganks,save teamates,set up kills,pull of baits and assassinate squishy targets.
In this section of the guide i'll be explaining some of the most common matchups you'll be having on top lane.They'll divided in EASY,MEDIUM and HARD matchups meaning in general:
-EASY:Playing against this champions is relly easy for the tank Zed,you will be easily killing,zoning and winnig the lane against them.They maybe ''safe picks'' for some people therefore being picked if you get an early Zed(1st/2nd picks) as they will think you are going mid.
-MEDIUM:Some of this champions can have an early advantage but post-6 fights are gonna go your way if you play it right.Dodging a single spell may result in them being dead
-HARD:Very unfavorable matchups.This champions have a high chance of killing you in the very early stages of the game and can also win fights post-6 making a 1v1 almost impossible.For winnig against this champions you will need skill,luck,mechanics and good tactics(wich ill try to explain some here).
:Even though he can escape you using his and his he wont be able to duel you neither farm because of your poking,having to heal himself everytime to stay in lane,therefore not stacking his crit chance passive.If you can manage to bait him using his towards you,he is pretty much dead.
:In the pre-6 lane she won't be able to put out any damage if you start and after 6 her mobility won't save her because you can chase pretty easily.You'll only have problems if you cant dodge her spear but that is not hard since you have your and .Easy kills all day.(she will also get out of mana if she tries to sustain you poke w/ her heal)
Pre-6 the lane will be somewhat even,as you should try keeping his passive down using your.Any early skirmishes will require you dodging hisdue to it's AS reduction but as soon as you get / and he will have no chance to fight you back as you will be outstaining his damage.A move that he may try to pull out is to drag you to his turret using right as you ult him,what will be useless since you can simply reset back to your shadow.Also you should use your active AFTER he's used his so you can steal the movespeed back.
In early laning you may be able to win trades if you can dodge his skills.Getting him to low hp early can be an advantage since he'll have to hit minions in order to get hp back,leaving him open for ganks.Grabing an advantage in early game is really important since it'll make incredibly hard for him to get back to the game and duel you(as soon as you get armor).You should also be always walking and kiting with your and since a straight up 1v1 with him hitting you all the time will be a problem as he'll be regaining a lot of HP and could potentially outstain you.Similarly to Malphite he can drag you to his turret using and,just like you do with Malphite,simply switch back to your shadow.
Playing against Pantheon will be tricky since he will be able to bully you pretty hard pre-6 but,if you manage not to get killed in early laning,after you reach 6 he won't stand a chance if you can dodge his with your as it is probably the skill he will be maxing out(for using it on you he'll most likely engage with his ,not being able to use the twice which can be decisive in a 1v1 against him).
Even though you won't be seeing Quinn top unless you'r really high elo(Plat I and up).If you do it will prove to be a problem.In lane you won't be able to do much as she can poke you for some serious damage with her proc,having a high chance of killing you early on due to .It will be almost impossible to get to and kill her in lane as she got a lot of mobility comming from her , passive and tag team opening up for some great kiting capabilities(as she also gets a free ''blind'' from if you finally get to her).If you can't avoid going against her on lane you'll have to bet everything in your mid-game/late-game teamfight presence as you will most likely fall severely behind in lane.You can win teamfights because she doesn't stack really well with them and you can use a teleport strategy to help the others lanes as you won't be able to win your own.
This is a work in progress please don't say the guide is incomplete or got low ammount of information...
Im already accepting feedback and it is really important for me.
Brb in no time to end the guide
Tnx for the patience