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Zed Build Guide by A Express

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League of Legends Build Guide Author A Express

WRECK AS ZED (TOP AND MID) COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE!

A Express Last updated on June 10, 2016
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

5/
Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
5/
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 12

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
1/
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 0



Threats to Zed with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Twisted Fate This my friends is what you call torture, for TF of course. Dodge Gold Card Stun with Death Mark and GG win lane ez.
1
Veigar Match-up is easy if you wait for your moment and dodge E. Once his E is on cooldown go ham. A hexdrinker nullifies his ultimate and since he's an immobile mage, this lane is very easy to win.
1
Karthus Free lane anybody? Go ham, go aggressive!
1
Kassadin Oh, hey buddy! Would you mind if I popped your shield then killed you?
1
Vel'Koz A simple lane because you're mobile and he is literally a sitting duck, or whatever he is. Vel-Koz is all skillshots making him a hard champion to master. This lane will be determined by how well you can dodge and how your ultimate is used. Honestly though, if you dodge his knock-up you will be golden in the skirmish.
Guide Top

Introduction

HI everyone, I am Arabalet Express and I play on OCE. Currently, I am Gold rated in solo-queue with an intense interest for the game. This is my first guide so feel free to offer me some constructive criticism on how to improve my guides. Hope you guys enjoy this guide on one of my favorite champions, Zed the Master Of Shadows.


Zed is an attack-damage based assassin who has received massive amounts of popularity in professional and solo-q play. He is suitable to both mid,top and sometimes, even jungle. Zed is thoroughly rewarding with a ton of tricks and combos at your disposal meaning he never gets boring!


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Pros / Cons

Pros

+ Best ninja in the game
+ Energy User
+ Easy farming champion because of Contempt for the Weak
+ Huge Burst
+ Decent wave clear for an assassin
+ One of the best splitpusher's
+ One of the most fun and rewarding champs
Zed is an amazing champion with tons of reasons to play him. He has a plethora of tricks and skills at his disposal coupled with an enjoyable kit. One of the most rewarding champions to play who is not that hard to pick up (It was a Zed free week a couple of years ago, and I decided to play him, in that astounding game I went something like 28/7 .
Cons
-First times will not be perfect
-Easy to miss spells
-Lack luster damage without Death Mark
- Death Mark damage countered by Zhonya's Hourglass
-Consumes energy fairly quickly if spells are spammed
- Razor Shurikenis easy to miss
-Dynamic abilities like Living Shadow make him hard to play
Not everything is luscious and green on the other side, this includes Zed! This ninja has drawbacks as well such as not being easy to play at first. However, the Pros outweigh the Cons and if you can get past these pesky problems you will enjoy success on Zed!


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Summoner Spells


Flash
Must Take Summoner Spell//This summoner is a necessity on Zed, it allows him to avert a dangerous situation or to create one by flashing in to gain extra ground for Death Mark.
Ignite
Let them burn
//Extra bit of damage to ensure that Zed can definitely assassinate the target. Really good against self healing champions such as Dr. Mundo and Swain.
Teleport
Take for Top Lane
//Take this summoner spell for Top Lane. You do not want to cop the blame when your team mates get caught out for a 4v5 and you're stranded top laning solely farming. This spell is essential for split pushing as it allows you to join a team fight from anywhere.
Exhaust
Situational
// Exhaust is situational for a ranked game while in champ select. If you're facing up against another assassin such as Talon or Fizz I can definitely recommend this summoner spell as it nullifies their damage when they commit to an all in against you.


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Masteries

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/1

The masteries I have chosen after further examination is 12/18. Having 18 points in the Cunning tree unlocks Thunderlord's Decree which right now is one of the best keystones available right now. The extra bit of burst really helps and I think these masteries are the most optimal.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
My Runes are fairly generic, nothing too special. Unlike my masteries, these are the standard in the current 4.21 meta. Most other mid laners are Ability-Power based thus making MR glyphs very beneficial. Scaling health allows you to survive that extra auto-attack more and since I didn't invest any points into the Defensive Tree, it allows for a niche pick-up. Armor-Pen marks allows Zed to stay relevant mid-game when all the mages start getting a Seeker's Armguard, and Attack Damage quints because, Zed is Ad based.

Alternative Runes


Greater Seal of Armor Instead of Greater Seal of Scaling Health you could also use armor seals. These are useful to reduce the painful auto-attacks from mages. Another good way to use these runes is in ranked, if you're facing a fellow ad based laner for example Talon, it would be very ideal to use these!


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Items

Time for my favorite section, items!



Why My Core Item's Are Relevant To Zed?



I like Mercury Treads because they give Zed something very valuable, tenacity. League is a game where everyone second counts, and Zed being unstuck from CC for just that one extra second could be decisive in the game winning team-fight.

Blade synergises so well with Zed. The attack speed is really nice late game however getting the daggers is certainly a drag :(. Many Zed players purchase this item mainly because of its active which amplifies ] by a lot. Ever since the price increase to Bilgewater Cutlass I have been purchasing multiple Long Sword, completing them into Youmuu's Ghostblade, then going into second item Blade of the Ruined King.

Ever since the preseason, it is now beneficial to purchase Youmuu's Ghostblade first rather than the Blade of the Ruined King. Ghostblade active is pivotal to catching up to enemies and the item provides Zed everything that he possibly needs. It gives CDR and Armor Pen, blade can certainly be pushed back a little in favor of this item.

I think Lord Dominik's Regards is a good item for it's price. Zed shines most during the mid game and this item has some really niche build paths, which includes the famed Last Whisper having that invaluable armor pen. Having the trio of Blade of the Ruined King Youmuu's Ghostblade Lord Dominik's Regards, no squishy will be making it out alive once Death Mark is set.

Both these items are really good on Zed and mesh well, while both providing something different. Ideally, if I am insanely fed, then Infinity Edge will help solidify my damage, however if I'm not the leading force of my team then the shield/lifesteal offered by The Bloodthirster is amazing. Most of the time I go with The Bloodthirster since I prefer split-pushing however if I had an abundance of gold late game I would definitely go with Infinity Edge for the absurd damage a crit would do on a squishy, potentially game-winning.

This item causes me so much relief while also adding even more pressure on myself. Being caught out split-pushing with this useful item means that I have now lost an invaluable item active, while having that second life gives me that reassurance that I may live to end the final fight in my favour. I'll gamble and hope the latter pays off. I prefer this item over Banshee's Veil because I like to take risks thus hoping that I look like a superhero winning the game!

As an assassin, Zed needs to disappear off into the shadows catching enemy squishes off-guard. However, trinkets can easily reveal assassins resulting in reinforcements by the opposition. With the Sweeping Lens ensure that the area in which you are about to kill the squishy is concealed for a smooth kill.

Situational Items


This item is a very situational and niche pick. Having that shield is amazing and could be the difference between life and death. Whenever I am facing a burst mage, I like to grab a Hexdrinker because that shield really comes in handy during the laning phase. Late game if I purchase a Hexdrinker I normally do not finish to Maw of Malmortius and instead grab a The Bloodthirster since the shield is more reliable.
The reworked The Black Cleaver is actually pretty good on Zed. The health and damage are a nice added bonus but the real selling point is the 20% cooldown reduction. Mix this item in with Youmuu's Ghostblade and you will have a quicker spell rotation to not only assassinate carries, but also clear waves. The move speed after autos helps too!
I do not like this item on Zed nor do I dislike it. It has its uses such as a nice wave clear mechanic, however Zed already has a decent wave clear mechanic innate in his kit. The active is useful but is it really worth giving up a 400 health shield The Bloodthirster provides you, or a potentially 2000 damage auto attack crit Infinity Edge can give you? The item is a good first buy against immobile teams who have to sit through the auto attacks, however, definitely not recommended for late game.


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Zed's Abilities

The Arsenal Of Abilities Zed Obtains


Q

Razor Shuriken is Zed's 'bread and butter'. Since Zed is not restricted by mana, don't be afraid to hold onto it, when an opening appears go for the poke/kill. Use this ability to
  • Farm
  • Poke/Harass
  • Intimidate
  • Spam this ability, don't be afraid!

W

Living Shadow is what makes Zed 'unique'. This skill allows him to stay relevant in the meta because it is his 'mobility spell'. Coupled with mobility is the extra enhancement it provides to and . This ability helps with
  • Gap Closing
  • Running Away
  • Zoning
  • Double Shurikens
  • Second Shadow Slash
  • Allows creative ways to collaborate with Death Mark e.g. Living Shadow behind the target

E

This ability is so severely underrated. Most people will purposely run through shadow because they believe after there is no threat, however. has plenty of meaning full utility even after the damage.
  • A really underrated slow allowing for easier
  • Does a decent amount of damage
  • Is good to get in the mage's faces
  • Not the best but decent range to zone coupled with W.

R

This is what makes , . This ability, in my opinion, separates the good from the mediocre ones. Knowing when to back is crucial to the success of the Zed player. This vital ultimate provides with
  • 'Meh' damage early game, however mid-game it starts to hold its weight
  • Is countered by items like
  • Very good for extra mobility
  • Duplicates effects of regular abilities aswell
  • Collaborative ways to use with
  • Good timing with invulnerability allows key dodges e.g.
  • Shuriken hovering over targeted head indicates imminent death for enemy. Port away at last second to look cool like a real ninja, unlike of course!


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Skill Sequence

Firstly, I scale my Zed skills like most Zed's do which is

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

Maxing allows for a higher amount of burst damage compared to maxing , I mean . I max second because it's slow is really niche and last since it's my main utility move.


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Skill Combo>Burst Squishy>Profit $$$

IN LANE



What I like to do in lane is poke. is a really good zoning tool so use it to the best of its ability. There are many tricks to Zed such the E+W however I'm going for the simplified, simple version

>>
BACK OFF, WAIT FOR A FEW COOLDOWNS THEN

TRY AND behind the opposing laner AUTO ATTACK finishing with

POP THAT LONELY SQUISHY!



OH LOOK, A WILD BOT LANE BY HERSELF. Lets kill her with full utilization of our combos,item actives and summoner spells to create free split push pressure.

FIRSTLY, POP for the speedup THEN > forward > > > > > > Auto Attack

How The Utilization Of This Combo Works?

The passive from Youmuu's Ghostblade allows us to catch up towards the enemy Ashe. Then, in the case in which she starts running away and there is still too much distance, we Living Shadow to close even more space, until we can Death Mark. Once we're able to Death Mark then we shall utilize the full combo for an amazing burst. Starting off with the active of Blade of the Ruined King to amplify our ultimate damage, then Ignite to have constant dps (damage per second) ticking. After this we use our regular abilities, Shadow Slash for the niche slow and Razor Shuriken, finishing it off with an auto attack just in case, then porting back to original Death Mark shadow to look cool!. With Blade of the Ruined King it allows us to keep up with our enemies, this is why it's such an important item on Zed, for the sticking potential given by the active effect (slow them down, speed you up).

Q&A Why Did You Living Shadow In? You're not able to shadow behind them now and that shadow's shuriken will most likely miss!

Well normally, this assassination would occur somewhat pass laning phase but still early in the game. We would like to do this combo during the mid-game before the enemies start grabbing counters to our Death Mark. Most of the time, since you were in a solo lane and bottom lane not. The ad carry should be behind you in levels, thus creating an advantage already. A lvl 11 Zed will definitely kill the lvl 9 Twitch. Zed's mid-game power is strong with everything up including item actives and summoner spells, he will definitely pop the squishy even if he uses his Living Shadow as a gap-closing tool.


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Why Zed Isn't Preferred Top

top is okay in general however, he just isn't as optimal there as he is mid. Taking Zed into mid lane means he probably has a squishy to kill there. The lusciousness of the grass fades when going into top lane facing most likely a rugged hybrid beast mixed with damage and tank stats. The standard top laners I see in this meta the most are Riven, Irelia, Malphite and Gnar. Zed struggles against almost all of them mainly because they all have that mix of survive-ability and damage to kill Zed in the laning phase before you can kill them.

Another Weakness In Zed Top


Another glaring weakness in Zed top, is that taking him there deprives your team of a tanky member. Honestly, junglers just do not receive enough gold, or as much as the solo laners do to carry the game unless they afk farm or get the majority of the kills. I'll tell you one thing, that Lee Sin you see every 3 games, at least 2 of them will not get rolling thus, being deleted like how a fly swatter swats flies. This means that now you have possibly 5 eggs waiting to hatch but no basket to in-case them in.

Crush Or Be Crushed


There is so much pressure for top lane Zed to go off. And when I say "go off" i mean like explode in the laning phase. Many top lane champions like Maokai and Singed scale into the late-game really well by being indestructible beings with stacks from Rod of Ages. If you're content with just 'laning' with them, you have lost the laning phase. It's already bad enough that your team doesn't have a sturdy, durable team member, but also that your rival laner will just scale into the cliffs of Everest.


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Zed In Patch 6.9

Overall, I think Zed is in a great spot right now. After my last review on Zed in patch 5.4, Zed was definitely not in the best spot but now, the assassin has come back. With Quicksilver Sash now ineffectual against Zed, run rampant on those AD carries! Remember however, landing Razor Shuriken has become even more instrumental now in landing the kill.


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Creeping / Jungling

Creep Killing



is an amazing creep killer. This is mainly because his full combo entices easy wave of farming, ++=$ Profit. Another reason why is such an awesome wave-clearer is because of , this extraordinary passive allows easy shred of minions's health below around half. Really healpful and neat passive which I believe is one of the best in the game because of its regularity of use.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.

Jungling



jungle is not as optimal as it may seem. The new jungle really sucks for clearing and I haven't even dared taking him there. Before, back when all the jungle camps didn't receives steroids I would start Red but I guess now for the new patch, start golems,red,wolves (the ex-wraiths deal a lot of damage now} back/buy, then gromp and finish with blue.

ganks are hard to pull off unless the enemy laner is REALLY overextended. At best you can land one , is your only form of crowd control, and the only way to hit it is with which has a decent range but not decent enough to pull off ganks.

Item Builds For

Jungle


> > > . If your team needs a tank grab a GA, finish your build like you would normally do just go that one extra defense item instead of offense.


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Team Comp For Zed

A Preferred Composition For Zed



A team composition like this would be perfect for Zed. Zed is an assassin and excels at picking off unsuspecting enemies with Death Mark, a team built like this allows easy catches with initiates such as Assault and Battery and Frozen Tomb. Another plus side with this team is decent waveclear, while you're forcing/applying pressure else where, you need to trust that your team will be able to clear the minions/stop the recalls. Enemies trying to initiate 4v5's will be stopped dead in their tracks with champions like Nami, and also be chased down by champions like Lissandra!


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Zed's Role And Death Mark Counters

role in a team fight is to burst the enemy squishy (the champion which is weakest under fire however strongest when able to fire freely) for example, Corki. Your job as Zed is to divert all attention to you, kill them and run away safely.

However, not all super powerful things in league of legends have no counter play. Zed, late-game is easily countered by items such as Quicksilver Sash which renders your Death Mark damage use less (disregard this, since it is not the case anymore, Riot has changed qss meaning that it no longer denies Death Mark damage). Once this happens, look at the scoreboard and aim for someone else to target, with a Zhonya's Hourglass on the enemy mage, don't give them first priority. It is possible to even peel for your Lucian instead of going for their Tristana, thus eliminating their front line more quickly than yours.


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Keep In Touch/Follow Me/twitter

Twitter Follow



Want to keep updated on my work? Then PLEASE :) Follow

HERE

to be linked to my newly created twitter account. Thank you for the support :), appreciate it.


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Thank You

Thank You to jhoijhoi and the rest of the 'beginner help guides' crew for making incredible guides on how to make a guide! Tt certainly helped my one with an abundance of things like coding and templates.

If you enjoyed this guide, I run a few blogs on blogspot where I will be posting most of my mobafire work. You can also follow me on google + :)


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Thank you everyone for reading my first ever Mobafire guide which certainly is very sloppy. I am going to continue writing more of these for some of my other favorite champions. Please feel free to message me and see you guys soon!

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1 Million Views!!!!!

Thank You Everyone For 1 million


First of all, I would like to thank everyone who read my guide. I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to comment and help me out with the making of this guide. I made this Zed guide a little over a year ago and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences. Building this guide was certainly no easy feat, I recommend anyone who wants to create one to have a lot of patience and dedication. Once again, I really appreciate everyone who took the time to read my guide and all the plethora of facebook likes and upvotes that this guide received, it's been a long journey but we finally made it!

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Thank you to everyone again for the support, here's to better things, aye :).