Zed Build Guide by ForeverKID
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.''
Pros / Cons
Zed is a pretty awesome champion if you know how to use him right. He doesn't have Immediate burst, but if you're up against someone like Darius who will just stand there taking damage and damaging you, you're ulti will do the trick. here are some pro's and cons of This champion.
Great in any lane
Good escape mechanism
Can solo basically everyone
Use's energy instead of mana
This Champion is a flippin ninja
No natural sustain
Not very good in early game
Takes a long time to master
There is not much to know about Zed in team fights. Just know that you're most likely going to have to bait but don't worry, remember you can always cast living shadow and swap places with it and slow enemies with your "Shadow Slash" to take the least amount of damage possible during a bait. After you bait the enemy team into a team fight try to lurk around behind your team and be as aware as possible for enemies with low health. You're passive "Contempt for the weak" allows you to finish these enemies off more quickly than most other champions could.
When trying to escape a team fight or gank, you have to be quick and think out where you are going to position your living shadow. Your Living shadow can do for the best jukes you could possibly think of. You usually have 1 of 2 options for escaping a major gank or a lost team fight.
1. Cast your living shadow towards an allied turret, swap places with it following up with a cast of Shadow Slash to slow your enemies.
2. Cast your living shadow behind your enemies (preferably in a bush) get your enemies to chase you a little, swap positions with it and try to go undetected from there. (NOTE: If the enemy team catches on to this escape mechanism, remember it's your choice to swap with your living shadow, so if they stay by your shadow, better for you)
You'll find yourself using the first option a lot more than the second. The second option takes a lot of timing and skill with Zed to perfect the total distance you need to perform that juke. But once it's mastered, you're likely to get away every time.
Solo / 1 v 1
When using Zed, try to avoid early solo's and 1 v 1's against enemy champions. However, once you're in late game with your phantom dancer, take anyone on 1 v 1. When engaging in a 1 v 1 with Zed, use your ultimate (Death Mark) as your starting move, followed up by casting living shadow, and Razor Shuriken right after. If your enemy decides to run, use your shadow slash to slow them. How do I know that they're going to be hit by a shadow? because your ultimate spawns a living shadow behind your enemy after marking them for death. this also means that you just hit them with not 2, but 3 Razor Shurikens. If your enemy decides to stay and fight (Usually people like Darius, Jax, Xin, or Olaf) you will still want to cast Shadow Slash, then just sit back and watch your basic attacks do all the work for you and then laugh when death mark does around 2k damage.
These are the people you would Most likely want to avoid with Zed. Even though they are your counters, you can take them down in 1 v 1's occasionally. Usually Teemo is the easiest one to go against in 1 v 1's even though he's your counter. Teemo's ability to blind you is the only way he can actually keep you from killing him. But Jax and Xin are able to do immense amount of damage and stun/knock you air born and away. Xin's ability to knock you air born can disable you from hitting him for a few seconds, then his ultimate "Crescent Sweep" also knocks you back, stopping you from hitting him even more. The less you can attack your enemies, the less damage your ultimate does. Jax has an ability to dodge and after he's done doging, it goes into auto stun and you're not able to do anything for a few seconds. you should always try to avoid 1 v 1 with these champs unless you're really fed, or you can tell that they have little experience with that champion.