Zed Build Guide by GunningHigh
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Zed is the first ninja in 200 years to unlock the ancient, forbidden ways. He defied his clan and master, casting off the balance and discipline that had shackled him all his life. Zed now offers power to those who embrace knowledge of the shadows, and slays those who cling to ignorance.
An orphan, Zed was taken in and trained by a great ninja master. Only one other student appeared to be Zed's equal - the master's son, Shen. It seemed Zed could never win the favor of the master, as every match between the rivals ended in a draw. Frustrated and jealous, he sought an advantage. The young ninja ventured into a sealed part of the clan's temple, where he found an ornate, foreboding box. Sensing the dark knowledge within, Zed knew he should not open it, but he peered inside nonetheless. In an instant, shadows touched his mind, revealing techniques that had long been hidden. Now armed with a secret edge, he challenged Shen, and this time he defeated the master's son. He expected praise and recognition in his moment of victory, but somehow the master knew Zed had used forbidden ways, and banished him.
Humiliated, the young ninja wandered for years. His bitterness turned to ambition, and he began to train others in the style of the shadows. As his power grew, so did his circle of followers, but he knew that without the box, his technique would never be perfect. One day, Zed looked at his followers and saw that his students were now an army. He led them back to the temple to claim his prize. At the gates, he was surprised to find the old master waiting, receiving Zed and his disciples as if they were welcome guests. The old man laid his sword at Zed's feet, declaring that he had failed Zed as his master. By banishing his former student, the master had doomed Zed to the shadows, instead of leading him to the balanced path. The old man implored Zed to enter the temple, destroy the box, and lead his followers to balance. The dark ninja followed the master inside. Moments later, the assembled ninjas heard Zed cry out in pain. Mysteriously, he emerged unscathed, and threw the severed head of the master at Shen's feet. Screaming in rage, Zed commanded his followers to slaughter the master's students and seize the box.
That day, the old ninja order fell. Though many students died, some escaped thanks to Shen's heroic efforts. Now the temple is a dark training ground for the Order of the Shadow. Zed rules as the Order's master, and his edict is simple: perfect one's technique, and kill all ninjas who refuse to embrace the shadows.
"Balance is a lie - we are the true ninjas."
For Zed, you want an early Brutalizer to give you an edge against other Assassins and mids, but don't hold on to it for the rest of the game since Youmuu's is a pretty useless item. It will give you the CDR from a blue that hopefully you won't need. This makes for a deadly Combo with high damage items. as you can poke constantly with your Q and spam abilities. After that you want to get a Ninja Tabi/ Merc Treads depending who you are laning against. Follow up with a Blood Thirster, a Last Whisper, a Hexdrinker into Maw of Malmortius if you are laning against AP, another Blood Thirster, Youmuu's Ghostblade and then finally GA. This will maximize you're damage output from your abilities and give you amazing lifesteal for those one-on-one encounters.
For Jungle Zed I recommend starting Cloth 5 Pot so you can jungle as long as possible. Then grab a Madreds Razor and Boots of Speed following with a Wriggles Lantern, then Ninja Tabi. from there on you can build from the usual build and sell your Wriggles for either your GA or IE depending on the enemy team's team comp.
For runes I recommend building Armor Penetration Marks, Armor Seals, and Magic Resist Glyphs. Take damage Quintessences to boost you're abilities early game.
Try to max your Q as soon as possible and max your E next. As usual max your Ult as soon as possible and follow up with maxing your W. For early game domination and roaming, max your Q first and then your W for high poke damage (The passive on his W increases your attack damage).
Take AD Masteries and get the increased health from your Defensive Masteries. For jungle take the same.