Zed Build Guide by Stratogan

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Stratogan

Zed - Embrace The Shadows - Solo Top / Jungle

Stratogan Last updated on December 9, 2012
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Jungle/Jungle Troll/ Troll

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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WAIT-Before downvoting please take some time to read through my guide a bit. Thank you :)

Hey there. I am not a pro player, but I do have a lot of experience with Zed. I used him on PBE for at least 50-80 games I'd have to say. Anyway, Zed is an amazing champion. From laning to jungling, he excels in both! You can easily take our your opponents with Zed, if you know how to use him. If you don't, well, that's why you're here!

Zed is a very mobile champion who can easily escape/chase. If built correctly, you will dominate the entire game! Zed also uses energy, which means you don't have to worry about running out of mana since energy champs have insane regen! Overall, Zed is a very versatile champion.

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Which Build do I use??

Assasin: This build is the way Zed should be built, like an assasin. If you ever are doing bad, go for the sustain or fighter build.

Sustain: My least favorite build. It doesn't mean it sucks though. I hardly ever use this build, unless my lane enemy is dominating me or I have to keep recalling and they're getting the turrets.

Mix: This build is a mix or assasin and sustain. Use this build if you're doing ok. Like for example, if you're 1/2 or 2/2 or that sort.

Fighter: Not really the way Zed should be built, but it's great if for example, the apc on the enemy team is getting fed, and so is the adc. This build gives you some sustain, armor, mr, and damage. I started out using this build on Zed, and I still use it a lot.

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Whenever Zed auto-attacks an enemy below 50% health, he deals an additional 8% of their maximum health as magic damage. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every 10 seconds.

Zed's passive is one of the best in the game, in my opinion. It's great for farming, finishing off champions, and securing kills. So, since you have this passive, feel free to farm the entire early game.

Zed and his shadow both throw their shurikens, each dealing physical damage to the first enemy they pass through and 70% damage.

Living Shadow Bonus: A shuriken thrown by a shadow does 50% damage and restores energy.

Zed's main harass ability. Level this up first when laning, and get Shadow Slash a little bit early when jungling. Zed's Razor Shuriken is great when combined with Living Shadow (For skill combos go to the combo section).

Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 4 seconds. Reactivating this ability will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow. Also has a passive, that gives you additional damage.
Zed's shadow will mimic his spell casts. If both strike the same target, Zed regains some energy. The energy restore can only occur once per cast

This ability makes Zed who he is. This skill duplicates any skill he uses. It is EXTREMELY op and can turn the tide of a fight. This skill is always gonna be used in your combos, unless its on cd and you're in the middle of a fight spamming Shadow Slash. His living shadow can also be used as a flash, which is very useful.

Zed and his shadow both create a burst of shadow, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies. Zed's slash reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 1 second for each enemy struck. The shadow's slash slows enemies for 1.5 seconds.

His main skill in a fight. This skill is AMAZING. It is spammable, has good enough ad ratios, and helps PLENTY. This is why we max Shadow Slash second after your main harass skill, Razor Shuriken.

Zed marks the target champion for death. He then sinks into the shadows and dashes to them, dealing physical damage equal to 100% of his attack damage and spawning a living shadow beyond them, which mimics his spellcasts. Zed can reactivate this ability to switch places with this shadow. After 3 seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing physical damage equal to a percentage of all magic and physical damage dealt to the target by Zed and his shadows while the mark was active.

... Zed's ultimate. Basically you press R and click an opponent and then a few second later you hear a "BOOM" and "AN ENEMY HAZ BEEN SLAIN" Additionally, it does a percent of the damage you deal to the target while death mark is active. It also summons a shadow behind the target, so you can have 2 shadows at once!

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Skilling Sequence

In this chapter I will explain why I max which skills whenever. For example, I will also explain why I max Zed's Razor Shuriken before his Shadow Slash.


Zed's main harass skill. Now, why do I max this first out of all 3 skills? His Living Shadow's only use when maxing it is the passive of bonus AD. The passive hardly increases your ad however, so you shouldn't max it. His Shadow Slash has a very low cooldown and good ad ratios, I know. You can use 4 of them in the time it takes to use 2 Razor Shuriken's. However, do you think you can always just walk up to your opponent and use Shadow Slash? If you're top against a Darius, he can Q you and walk away, because to hit your Shadow Slash you have to be EXTREMELY close. However, if you max your Q you can harass them like hell and farm like hell. Only max your E if you are against someone like, say, Udyr, because Udyr relies on his auto-attacks. I will also include top lane match-ups and which skill you should max against each opponent :).

Max this last. Why? I already went over why Razor Shuriken is better, so now let's compare Living Shadow and Shadow Slash. Living Shadow's only use is the bonus AD, like I said, and it hardly gives you any AD. Shadow Slash definitely will help you survive and farm better.

Max this second. I already explained why all the other skills should be maxed before/after this one. Remember, Shadow Slash has an extremely short range, so don't max it against someone like Jayce.

Max this whenever you can, which is levels 6,11, and 16. Why max it whenever possible? It's your best skill, duh. It can be used as gap closer or initiater.

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Skill Combos

At level 1, use your Razor Shuriken to keep the enemy away from the creeps so you can farm. Keep harassing him with Razor Shuriken until levels 4-6. At these levels, gaining a kill is extremely easy. First, throw out a Living Shadow and use Shadow Slash. Make sure you throw the shadow near him. After that, use Razor Shuriken and once you catch up to him, continue to harass. Once he's low, ult him throw out a Living Shadow. Use Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken, and if he's not dead, land a few normal attacks and pop ignite and Death Mark. A few seconds later, Death Mark will detonate and combined with ignite, he'll die.

Basic Combos:
Harass: Living Shadow- Razor Shuriken
Ganking: Death Mark- Living Shadow- Shadow Slash- Razor Shuriken
Ganking 2: Living Shadow- Shadow Slash- Razor Shuriken- Death Mark- Shadow Slash- Razor Shuriken

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Champion Spotlight

If you really don't feel like reading, watch this :D

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Your basic starting items for solo top. If jungling, I go . For laning, boots of speed and 3 health potions is great for just running in and throwing a few Razor Shurikens and then running out. For jungling, Cloth armor and 5 health potions lets you stay in the jungle for quite a while without having to recall.

Core Items

Your bread and butter. This baby gives you all your damage and helps you get the kills. I mean, your crits do 250% now? That is ****ing gay. 80 ad? This item is a MUST on Zed.

This is your sustain. With this baby, enemies can never escape and they never will want to come near you. After all, after buying this, you become a evil ninja with tons of hp that can instantly kill someone. Trust me, you do wanna get this item.

Now, this is your jam. This item not only lets you survive in a fight longer, it has some sweet 60 ad!! Now, if you farm enough, it can become 100 ad and 20% lifesteal. Trust me, I've survived so many teamfights thanks to this, I worship it.

Is there a Katarina who just Shunpo's in and ults everyone? Is she actually getting kills? Or is it some other random apc, like Karthus? Well, if you're getting owned by an apc, this is the item. 36 MR, 55 ad, and a shield that protects you from 400 magic damage. This item is extremely op.

So you're being ganked.. and than suddenly you die. But instead of hearing a "SHUT DOWN" you hear nothing. Instead of you lying on the floor, you are still standing, at 750 hp. I just love this item. It saves me from sticky situations all the time. Did some noob come and ignite you? Well, you have a free respawn so go tell that noob to ignite someone else.

A great item on Zed. Gives him crit chance, attk speed, and movement. Zed without Phantom Dancer= Op. Zed with Phantom Dancer= Baws.

Alternate Items

Do you keep on dying? Keep getting ganked? Well, there's a reaon Riot invented Warmogs, derp. This item just gives you tons and tons of hp to counter someone who does tons and tons of damage (Phreak).

If the enemy team has tons of cc, and are really ccing you a lot, get this. Basically, what this does is it saves your ***. Here's an example: Ashe comes in and slows you repeatedly. You try to escape, but you're too nub too. You die -.- Now let's rewind. Let's pretend you bought this item. Now let's rewing to when ashe is slowing you. You click this item, and suddenly your movement is back to normal! This item is baws.

This item gives you hp regen, armor, and health. It also has an active that is EXTREMELY useful in a fight. Nuf said.

Imagine Ashe is feeding the enemy Rammus. He recalls after getting a quadra kill and when he comes back... HOLY ****! He suddenly has 200 armor! Now don't panic kids, this is why Last Whisper was made. 40% armor pen against a 200 armor Rammus = BAM. He now has 120 armor.

Is the enemy adc killing you? Well, Thornmail is here to save teh day! Just buy this item, and 30% of the damage the adc does will go back to her. If she has 300 ad, 100 with be reflected back. And you know how squishy those adc's are.

Do you need armor AND ad? Then look no further. Just look right here, idiot. Atma's gives you 45 armor, 18% crit, and converts 1.5% of your hp into ad.

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Pros / Cons


-Good Farmer
-Energy regens fast
-Spammable skills!
-Epic Harass
-Built in flash


-Very vulnerable to cc
-Uses energy up very fast
-Very vulnerable early game
-Very hard to master

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I prefer flat ad marks, and since all his skills scale with ad, this makes them even more useful. He already has his passive that deals extra magic damage, and now he has runes that give him more ad. :)

These are a must. With the flat ad marks already, Zed has enough ad. Now he needs defense. It took me a while to decide between these or Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. But in the end I decided to go with these, since they help you early game through late game. Great Glyph of Shielding only help you late game.

Again, Zed needs defense. I prefer to make my champions well rounded, instead of only good in one area. As i mentioned for Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, I prefer runes that help you early game through late game, not just late game. Plus, you don't always make it to late game.

Great Quintessence of Strength + Greater Mark of Attack Damage = Epic ad. I don't see any reason to not get this item. I used to get Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, but I used these in game and found them more useful.

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*All credits go to Trixi for the picture!!*

Usually when jungling I start out at wolves, and then commence to Blue Buff. After wolves, I head to wraiths and then Red Buff. Around this time I should be level 3/4, and I usually start ganking at level 6, because of my ultimate. The combo for ganking is in the skill combo section, so there's no need for me to repeat it. But when ganking, make sure your teamates actually know you're coming. Sometimes I'm too busy focusing on myself to see my jungler coming, or hear him pinging. Make sure to always read chat and coordinate with your team. Good Luck!

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Summoner Spells

Anyways, it's time to discuss summoner spells. =)

This spell is pretty much a finishing touch. Pop it on an enemy with Death Mark, and BOOM. Insta-kill.

This is your escape and chase skill. So, you might be asking wait, Zed already has a built in flash! Well son, its better to be safe than sorry. After using living shadow to get away, the enemy could always just flash over to get you. But, if you have 2 flashes, no one can touch you :D

Alternate Spells

This is also a very useful spell! Great on jungle Zed when ganking. Just slow em with your Living Shadow's Shadow Slash and pop an exhaust! In terms of summoner spells, this is my favorite after Flash and Ignite.

Ghost. Better for chasing than flash, so you could get this if you were jungling. If you're gonna be top though, you probably shouldn't get this, unless you know you will dominate your opponent.

Heal is one of my favorite spells too. Very useful for tricking enemies and then beating the **** outa dem. Take it if you feel that you'll need it.

You can get this if you want, but I personally prefer to just get Quicksilver Sash... It still is a very useful spell. Only get this if the enemy team contains heavy cc.

If you're solo top and you know you're gonna have to recall a lot, get this. Still, I don't recommend this spell. Since it has such a high cooldown, you'll end up not using it that much in game.

Forbidden Spells

Well, you know how Zed says no technique is forbidden? **** that. Only get these for the lolz and trollz.

Leave this to the support, unless you're supporting.

Only get this if you're ap Master Yi.


You won't need this much. If you do, then you suck.

Zed uses energy you ****tard.

No. Just no. Unless you're jungling.

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Well, you see, Zed isn't that hard to master. Just follow my simple instructions :).

Top Lane: (About to add a video here, be patient guys! I will also include jungling, mid, and bot lane videos)

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Early Game

So start out with your boots of speed and hp potions, and go whichever lane you are going to. If you're solo top, do not go into the bush and just help the jungler/ turret hug.

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Mid Game

(Not Started yet!)

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Late Game

(Not started yet!)

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Top Lane Match-Ups

One of the most OP champions in the game. Riot should really make his passive only work for auto-attacks. When Top against a Darius, max Razor Shuriken to keep him away so you can happily farm. Do not let him enter a bush, cause he always just pops out and starts his combo. Do not push too hard, or you're just asking to get ganked. Keep poking him with Razor Shuriken throughout the entire early game, until you're sure you can finish him off with your Death Mark + Shadow Slash + Razor Shuriken + Auto Attack combo.

This is one of the hardest top laners EVER. You just throw your Razor Shuriken and he heals with Bloodlust. So annoying. Do NOT max your Shadow Slash, cause if you do engage him, you're ****ed. Keep harassing him and ask your jungler to gank as soon as possible. When he ults, throw out a shadow and run away, then change positions with your shadow. If you also plan correctly, you can ult him and throw out your combo, run away, and change places with your shadow. If you did plan right, your ult will go off with when his Undying Rage ends. :)

Irelia isn't that hard to beat, just make sure you get her before she starts offtanking. Mid game-Late game she's so annoying. Remember to keep throwing your Razor Shurikens, but do not get too close, or she'll start her combo. Irelia's Q is a gap closer, if you're not aware. I usually wait until she's used her Q and poke her while it's on cd.

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Mid Lane Match-Ups

(Not started yet!)