Other Viable Items
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Example Build VS Heavy AD
Example Build VS Heavy AP
Not Updated For Current Season
Hey everyone, I'm Oniibaru and thanks for reading my guide on Zac, the Tanky Tarzan. I've been playing LoL for almost a year now, and made it to silver 3 last season which I'm proud of for my first season of league.
I main jungle, and I've used Zac for it quite a lot. I was sad to not see many Zac jungle guides and decided to try to make my own. My first attempt at it was quite bad, but hopefully this will be a much better version of my guide.
Hello again everyone ^-^. I'm going to leave the old intro above, but Its been about two years since i wrote that lol. I'm a support main now, but when my team needs a jungler I often find myself still going Zac and I'm going to update this guide instead of archiving it because of that =D. To be honest, I kinda forgot that I wrote this lol.
Pros / Cons
Armor, magic resist, and hp regeneration are all very useful when running around the jungle, but there are two masteries in this tree that really shine for us.
This nifty thing right here makes your blobs from Cell Division more beefy, which is always a plus. I'll go over the specifics on how much it helps later in the guide.
Strength of the Ages
This gives us two things. initially, it starts building up our hp which is great. Cant ever have too much hp on Zac. After that, it's basically a free health potion for killing most jungle monsters. This combined with your blobs means you can basically stay in the jungle as long as you want to, and even use monsters to heal without building any life steal or spell vamp.
Ferocity & Cunning
Usually, with other champions, I sink all twelve of the other points into one tree or the other. With Zac, however, I don't really see anything past Feast and Runic Affinity that we need and can get with twelve points. Feast and Runic Affinity are both great for a jungler though. So I split the points up to get some sustain and longer buffs, along with a little damage/movement speed.
Savagery - Most junglers should be running this mastery, and it may be your preference on Zac as well. I, personally, don't take it on Zac because
1.) All of your kit is AoE, so it only applies to your basic attacks
2.) I like to run around the jungle as fast as I can.
Expose Weakness - This is a great mastery for AoE champions like Zac. However, there should be someone else on the team taking this anyway and I highly doubt it stacks.
Bond of Stone - This is always a decent choice on tanks, and it takes a little bit of damage off of your carries. As you'll find out, I'm a fan of math. Click the spoiler for the mathematical reasons I take Strength of the Ages.
Spoiler: Click to view
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Health
- Greater Quintessence of Health: As Zac, you're a tank! and one with a revive passive ( Cell Division) that scales off of hp as well, so the more the merrier ^-^. You shouldn't have too much trouble staying alive early game in the jungle as is, but this small boost of hp can help to avoid those problems should they arise.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Sitting at a healthy 23.9 base armor is nice, almost 50% better than when i initially wrote this guide. That being said, more lv 1 armor is always nice for jungle tanks so I would pick these if you have them available.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Being AP based, like Zac's skills are, means your abilities are where most of your damage will be coming from. With this tanky zac build, there isn't much AP in it, if any, and just a small amount of magic resist can be a pain. This is why I find the magic penetration marks to be a greater asset than AP marks
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist At the start of the game, your base magic resist (32.1) is doing okay. By mid to late game you will hopefully have at least one magic resist item ( spirit vissage). This leaves time for the Scaling Magic Resist runes to be effective.
- Smite: A must on junglers. You can't build your jungling items without it, and farming will be extremely difficult for you as Zac if you decide not to take it. It is also your job as jungler to do things like Smite steal/secure
, and even enemy buff monsters(
) should the opportunity arise.
- Flash: This is matter of personal preference for me. I like to be able to be aggressive and flash provides a reliable way out if i cant cast Elastic Slingshot to get away. It can also be used to get into a fight as well as leave one.
- Ghost: As a champion with low movement speed, ghost is also an extremely viable option for you. Your Elastic Slingshot makes it to where you can gank from places that are often not warded, Ex: either tri-bush. Unfortunately, your still slow and if you miss your Stretching Strike it's likely that you'll be useless after the engage. Turning on ghost can help in this situation. It can also be used to escape, but can easily be thwarted with most forms of cc when used this way. Luckily its cool-down is only 3.5 minutes
Champion AbilitesZac has a good ability set for being tank as well as being jungler, though because your skills are all AP based, and we aren't building ap, your jungle clear time early game isn't the best. Also keep in mind that they cost 4% of your CURRENT HP to cast and the blobs give you back 4% of your MAXIMUM HP when picked up. Don't lose your blobs or you're losing extra hp. This excludes Let's Bounce! which has no cost to cast, but also creates the most blobs. If you're low on hp, use this to your advantage in a fight.
A good combo for a gank, or when joining a team fight is Elastic Slingshot-> Stretching Strike-> Unstable Matter-> (If lv 6+) Let's Bounce!
- Cell Division (Passive): This passive is practically the only reason anyone plays Zac. Most people see it as a revive, but it is also what gives him the healing blobs on the ground. Early game, its good for a little bit of sustain and some protection when ganking. Late game, picking up those blobs is what makes zac the tank that he is. With
providing 8% to regeneration, and Spirit Visage providing 20% each blob is worth 5.12% of your MAX HEALTH. Most of your kit, however, costs 4% of your CURRENT HEALTH. So, you're always getting back more hp than you spent, and the lower your hp bar is, the larger this gap between hp spent/received becomes. It's worth noting, however, that if enemy champions step on the blobs you lose them. Spoiler: Click to view
- Stretching Strike:in team fights and ganks we mainly use this for it's 2 second slow. With the introduction of chilling smite it shouldn't take much of a slow, until late game, to be able to take out the opponent with the help of your laners. We won't put any points into it past lv 2 until late game because of that.
- Unstable Matter: Many people believe that this skill should be maxed first because it is Zac's main source of damage, but keep in mind that in this build we aren't trying to do all of the damage. Our goal is to get into lane or the middle of a team fight, and we have a perfect skill for that in our set. You'll be able to jungle just fine without the extra damage and your teammates will thank you for it later.
- Elastic Slingshot: This is the whole reason that Zac jungle is even a thing. At later levels you can jump from places like tri-bush right into the middle of Bot lane, and that is why we will max it first. Nobody expects a lv 9 zac to be flying in from their own jungle to block their exit with a knock-up/ slow combo followed up by % damage and more knock-up.
- Let's Bounce!: Ahh lv 6, such a refreshing stepping stone to dominating in team fights and ganks. This skill lets you get a knock-up and slow on the enemy champions. At the same time, it gives you a movement speed increase. When you activate this, bounce straight for their carry and watch their whole team fall back to focus you as the carry flees for its life. A very effective way to use this is to Elastic Slingshot onto their carry to give you the .5 second knock up and then bounce on them again for an additional 1 second knock-up and follow them down the lane. In a really bad situation, it does damage monsters and could be used for some extra *umpf* at dragon and baron
Zac works quite well as a tank jungler, but the early game can be hard because his base stats leave something to be desired in a tank. This is why we have items! For this section I will go over the items in my Example VS AP&AD Build.
- Stalker's Blade - Cinderhulk Thanks to this nifty item, we don't have to build Sunfire Cape anymore! The hp that this gives, the passive, and access to chilling smite are all great for your placement in the middle of a fight. Plus, because of chilling smite, if you're ganking bot lane and cant hit the support and adc with Stretching Strike you can just smite the one you missed and still apply a slow!
- Spirit Visage: This is s must have on Zac, even worthy of being rushed second if the enemy team/jungler is AP. Its passive increases the effectiveness of your Cell Division passive by making your blobs give your more hp! it also adds more cdr to your kit, which is good considering most of your damage is from your abilities. The extra 400 hp is always welcome, and +55 magic resist is a great amount for one item. Even if their APC is shut down, they can still pull out some damage late game and this gives you protection from that.
- Guardian Angel This item is great for Zac in general. When your having to worry about large damage output from both AP and AD in a team fight, this combined with Cell Division can help you stay alive throughout the fight, or even tank a tower if needed. Keep in mind that having this item doesn't mean go in guns blazing to every fight. Yes you have a good engage kit, but you cannot solo their team just because you can revive twice. Also, it does have a 5 minute cool down. Because of this, I often find Warmog's Armor or Randuin's Omen to be more beneficial, but i cannot ignore the usefulness of Guardian Angel.
- Randuin's Omen: This one isn't that hard to figure out. It gives a great amount of armor, a great amount of health, and slows your enemies attack when they hit you and has an AoE slow active. *Note* This item is good without it's active, but don't forget to use it! It can help your team close the gap between them and the enemy carries, or help you all escape a failing team fight. It only has a 60 second cool down, so you might as well use it.
- Boots of Mobility: This is something that many people do not agree with me on. Yes, both Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads are viable options, and as a tank you might find them more useful in some situations, but as a jungler you need the movement speed to get to where you're needed most! You're not that fast, and you might find yourself ganking top only to have to leave to help bot and +105 movement speed is quite helpful in this situation.
- Abyssal Scepter While this item doesn't grant you any hp, it does add some damage to you kit. As a tank, you shouldn't be doing all of the damage your self. This does not mean that your damage output should be ignorable. The 70 AP gives you enough damage to make you useful to the team, it also gives 45 magic resistance on top of lowering the enemies magic resit. This item is here to help you and the team! When building it, decide if their APC is doing enough damage for you to want the magic resist first or not. If you cant stay alive the damage you're doing wont matter anyway. It's not in the AD&AP example build, but its worth considering if you need some more MR. Swap this for the Guarding Angel if you need it
- A thanks to Emoriam for giving me this idea.
- Dead Man's Plate Also not really included in this build, but deserving of mentioning. I've always been a fan of being a very mobile jungler. This item provides just that, extra mobility. Its good for ganking multiple lanes in a short period of time, and chasing down low hp stragglers after a team fight. It has just as much armor and hp as the other generic tank items, and isn't an item that should be underrated.
- Enchantment Alacrity: I choose Alacrity not as an add on to the +105 movement speed from Boots of Mobility, but rather for the constant +15 to movement speed even when in combat. This makes the boots more effective, but if you cannot afford them then by all means don't worry about it. There are more important things for Zac at this point in the game.
Jungle Path / Gameplay
A few things first. Despite what team you are on, I always start bot lane for faster & better leashes. Now, depending on if this puts you at
, there is a place you should ward at around 1:00-1:30ish. If you're starting at Krugs, ward the bush beside the red buff camp. If you are starting at Gromp, ward the bush on the other side of blue that is close to the river. The later you ward, the longer after your leash you have vision. Warding earlier makes you more likely to catch an invade.
General path for Blue Side.
Ancient Krug -> Lizard Elder -> Greater Murk Wolf -> Ancient Golem -> Gromp
If you would rather take wraiths than go for wolves, feel free to. Wolves are just a personal preference to me. I skip one of these two camps though, regardless, also to get me to blue buff and level three as fast as I can.
General path for Red Side
Gromp -> Ancient Golem -> Greater Murk Wolf -> Lizard Elder -> Ancient Krug
This is just the Blue side path in reverse. Again, wolves or wraiths are up to you in both scenarios. It may be worth it to take wraiths instead here, so that you can ward red as soon as possible.
After you take your second buff or finish the path, check around to see if the lanes you are near could benefit from a gank. If not, then decide if you have enough hp to continue taking camps or if you need to hit up the base.
When taking the jungle camps. Try to use your Elastic Slingshot sparingly. I know that early game it might be tempting to cast it again for that little bit of extra damage, but it is more useful to have it up if you have to make an emergency gank, or for an escape if their jungler decides to pop up while you're low hp. It has the longest cool down of your abilities (excluding Let's Bounce!). For example, you just took Red buff on blue side with it and your bot lane gets pushed to tower. You'd like to go help them, but by the time you can make it to lane you were just a little bit too late to save the ADC. Now you're just trying to deter them from taking a tower, instead of getting kills from a gank or farming minions. It sounds a bit pessimistic, but its better safe than sorry in these situations. It happens more than you'd think.
One really useful thing about Zac is that the character physically gets larger on the screen as you build more hp! This both makes you look more intimidating, and easier to click. This is a good thing because as the tank, you want them to focus you so use this to your advantage. Try your best to save your passive for team fights/ potential tower dives.
You also want to create enough blobs to stay alive as long as possible before elastic slingshot]ing out or [[flashing away from the fight. DO NOT FORGET TO PICK UP BLOBS! I cannot stress this enough! Your Abilities are costing you hp, and missing the blobs means losing more hp. The exception to this rule is when the fight is moving, obviously as the tank you need to be between your team and their team. If the fight is moving away from the blobs just use less abilities and wait for a better chance. A good option is to use your Stretching Strike to cause 1-2 of their champions to fall behind the group so you can create a 5v2 rather than a 5v5. This can also force the enemy team to stand their ground rather than fleeing.
Check for invades religiously early game, your passive wont save you here.
Ward around your buffs, and pink in areas that are high traffic for both teams.
Pick up all the blobs you can safely get. The HP you recover is worth more than your AAs
If you grab Liandry's, try to slow the enemy with chilling smite/ Stretching Strike before you use Unstable Matter to get the most out of its passive.
I'm planning to write more guides in the future, and your feedback will make this guide and future ones that much better. I hope you guys enjoy tank jungle Zac, and good luck on the Rift!
Specical Thanks To
JhoiJhoi, for the wonderful guide on how to make a decent guide. Link Here
Emoriam, for giving me some tips for the guide, and a link to JhoiJhoi's guide. This page would be pathetic without that help.
January 26, 2014 - Completely re-did the guide. Will be updating more later today, but i need some sleep. I've been up all night working on this ^-^
January 26, 2014 - Added in Items and Gameplay / Jungle Path info. Added a little more info to other sections. I will add in more colors and organization to the new sections at a later time. I could use some help with the names for the jungle camps used by the database if anyone knows them.
January 10, 2016 - Complete overhaul of the two year old guide.
March 4, 2016 - Added some minor things.