Zed Build Guide by Dustborn
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello, nice to see you there.
I am Dustborn, but you can call me Dust.
This is my first guide but i have helped on several guides doing item testing and such including Ishatok's guide on Zyra!
Zed is a decently high skill cap champion (which is why many people scream under powered) that takes time and practice to master. If you don't know positioning you need to learn it. If you don't know focus, you need to learn it. Zed is all about positioning to ulti in and burst down high priority champions on the enemy team (i.e. Ezreal, Graves, Morgana).
Learn these things and you will truly master the shadows. Of course I will be here to help you along the ways.
I am always open to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and will add in suggestions that I think are viable (some will be tested by me first.) Also if you want to help with testing an item please feel free and leave your results in the comments.
THIS GUIDE WILL BE UPDATED AS PRESEASON PATCHES RELEASE!
Unbanned will resume first hand testing starting with Trinity Force and ability sequences.
Pros / Cons
tl;dr Many Pros Few Cons
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor: Zed is squishy. You're an assassin survivibility is questionable. Saying this you NEED the extra armor to survive harass. This will keep you from getting pushed out of lane while allowing you to push them out of lane.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: As solo top you will be roaming when 1) You force a recall but cant clear minions fast enough to do damage to their tower 2) You drop the enemy tower 3) You need to help jungler/mid in a river battle. These runes will allow you to survive these confrontations.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Once again more flat AD. More zoning, more poke, more last hits.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: If you want to be able to use your full combo late game this is the way to go with runes. Max level with to your Youmuu's Ghostblade you are a force to be reckoned with taking these runes.
Boots of Speed and pots: You need these. The MS allows you to dodge enemy poke and the health pots adds sustain that you dont have. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH YOUR ONLY CHOICE FOR STARTERS. Now that thats out of the way lets move on.
The Brutalizer: You should be able to get this on your first back. Rush this item. This will give you complete lane dominance early game. This is what will cause you to snowball. This item is just amazing on Zed as it increases your Q and E damage tremendously as well as allowing you to spam your E.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: More ability spam. More E poke. More Q poke. More long range poke. Destroy everything.
The Bloodthirster: This item is a requirement on Zed. The AD along with your max W yields 125 AD. The 20% Life steal is also needed to stay in teamfights. You will die very fast from sheer AoE damage without this item. You can build this item based on your lane needs. If you are getting harassed hard get the Vampiric Scepter first then build your The Bloodthirster without building your B. F. Sword. If you are dominating your lane build the B. F. Sword first.
Infinity Edge: This item gives you 100 AD with your W maxed. The crit passive is also amazing. This will cause your late game domination. Securing kills becomes easier as well as farming.
Maw of Malmortuis: As i stated earlier you will be ulting into the midst of their team after high priority target. You will be blown up with AoE. You need the survivibility from this item to survive that AoE. This item grants a total of 69 AD at full hp.
Last Whisper: This item grants 50 AD with max W. It also grants 40% Armor pen. This nearly doubles your damage. This item is what synergizes your kit and your items together causing mass destruction.
Phantom Dancer: More crit. More movement speed. More attack speed. This also means: More damage from IE. More lifesteal. More kills secured. This item boosts everything you need as you already have more then enough AD to do your job.
Trinity Force: After testing and seeing the effects Trinity Force has been added to the list. It works very well and surprisingly allows you to destroy everyone in general. The mana and ability power are wasted but everything else is a HUGE advantage. Think of Zed with a Triforce the same way you think of Irelia with one. Now you get the picture.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: Cdr, Cdr, Cdr. Plus a great active for get aways and chasing. This item is for the Cdr path and is what makes you. This item isnt really all that great except on a select few champs. Zed is one of them.
Contempt for the Weak: This is your passive. This is what allows you to farm so easily. Whenever an enemy (champion or minion) falls below 50% hp you deal an additional 6/8/10% of their hp every 10 seconds. They probably will not survive another 10 seconds once you use this but its whatever. It will proc on another enemy during that 10 seconds but you still will not have it proc for the remainder of that 10 seconds.
Razor Shuriken: This is your main poke. Early game this does amazing damage and has great range. Only use this to poke and be sure to make it hit. Once you use this you leave yourself open while its on CD. Do not use it to farm. Do not use it to zone. use it to poke.
Living Shadow: This is what makes you. This allows you to zone, poke, secure kills, and escape. This causes your Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slash to return energy if hit by you and the shadow. Your Razor Shuriken will only deal 50% damage from your shadow if hit by you first or vice versa. You can use this to poke at long distances or secure kills under a turret without crossing into turret fire.
Shadow Slash: This is your AoE. This is what you use to clear waves. Grouped with your Living Shadow this allows you to escape ganks as well as secure a kill. A well placed shadow will allow you to zone your enemy laner while also helping you kill minions. Learn to master this and your Living Shadow and you will have a lot of Zeds skillcap down.
Death Mark: This is what allows you to destroy priority targets. It deals more damage the more damage you do to the target and allows you to have 2 shadows out. You will shred any target down spamming your E and Q with this then when the mark detonates its pretty much a guaranteed kill.
Your lane abilities should go W>E>Q for poking. If you want to finish the target then W>E>Q>W>E then let your passive do the rest of the work. Try to aim your shadow where they will move to so your E will hit and slow them. Also try to hit both shurikens so you get the energy return.
In team fights first identify the highest priority target. Try to do this before engagement. in the team fights your combo should be W>R>E>Q>E>Q>E with the CDR path and W>R>E>Q>E with the other two builds. This will do maximum damage while returning a lot of energy from the excessive same target hitting from your E and Q. Use your passive and your E to finish off targets.
When you get ganked because you weren't paying attention to your map (happens to everyone) or your jungler didn't buy you a ward (Many don't because they don't know how to play) you need to know how to get away. Throw your W towards your turret and immediately hit W again. Immediately after swapping hit your E. This will slow them. Throw your Q at them. run towards your turret and escape. So the rotation is W>W>E>Q.
If they tower dive you then W>W>E>Q. If they keep coming while you kite them in turret fire right before they kill you ulti. This will make you untargetable for 1.5 seconds in which time your E should be off cooldown. Use your E let the tower hit them. if they arent dead auto attack them.
Teleport: You aren't Singed you don't run 500 mph. You need to get back to your lane fast if you die or go back. You don't want your lane being pushed. This helps you get back quicker.
Ignite: This helps you secure kills if by some miracle they survived your unnatural ability to secure kills. If this doesnt kill them for some odd reason the extra AD makes sure they are for sure dead. Unless its a Yorick. Then he will get back up and proceed to kick your ***.
Optional Summoner Spells
Flash: If you havent really gotten the hang of Zeds Living Shadow this is the spell for you. If you want more mobility this is also the spell for you. I prefer Teleport over this but its always an open option for any champion.
Exhaust: This is kind of an iffy. You really need Ignite to secure kills but I guess you can always take this. Ive accidentally taken this a few games and didnt do too bad with it.
Ghost: I dont know why you would take this but I guess using it with your Living Shadow can make great escapes. Would take Flash over this but its personal preference
Heal: Meh not the greatest choice. If your new to League or maybe top I would suggest this. other then that I dont really recommend this spell
Do Not Take These!
Ok so Zed isn't the best jungler in the game. BUT I have jungled with him quite a bit and once you get the hang of it he is a force to be reckoned with. Hes not the master of shadows for nothing.
Below I will explain jungle routes and builds.
Pros / Cons
Creeping / Jungling
Jungle Zed is not the best if you dont know how to use it. But once mastered it can be deadly. Here I will tell you how to go about jungling.
Start off Cloth Armor/5 and go to red buff. Grab your E first and head to red buff. Have your mid leash.
Begin spamming your E the moment your mid pulls. Try to keep the 2 minions with the lizard so you can drop them quickly and get rid of that extra damage. Use a health pot when you reach 70% hp. Smite and use your passive to finish red off and level up your Living Shadow (W).
Throw your Living Shadow into the middle of the Wraiths and use your Shadow Slash being sure to hit with you and your shadow for the energy return. Continue to spam this being sure to hit all 4 wraiths to reduce the cooldown on your Living Shadow. Clear Wraiths and head to Wolves.
Us the same combo for Wolves as you did Wraiths. They should die quickly then head to blue.
At blue throw your shadow at him and stand back. Use your Living Shadow to pull him and kite back a little. Begin attacking when your Shadow Slash has around 1 second on its cd left. Continue to spam Shadow Slash and smite before your passive procs using it to finish him off. (Faster clear times) Level up your E again.
Here you have a choice:
[*] Gank bot or mid
[*] Grab little golems and gank top
[*] If no lane needs ganks head to golems and continue jungling as camps respawn. Use your Smite on small golems if you need to.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Same basic runes as for solo top. These are pretty much the only runes for Zed.
Cloth Armor/5: This is a must. I have tried other jungle paths with no success. This is the only way.
Wriggle's Lantern: This provides you with the needed life steal you need as well as some extra AD and a nice proc for clearing. It also provides a free ward so your top can stop complaining about not having a ward. It is a must on jungle Zed.
Ninja Tabi: More survivibility in the jungle as well as on ganks. This helps greatly and you should be able to clear with no problems by this point.
The Bloodthirster: As stated before this is also a must on Zed. No matter what your doing. As your the jungler this shouldn't be hard to stack up. You will turn into a complete monster with this item and their team should fear you.
Phantom Dancer: Gives you everything you need. Allows you to gank more often and allows you to gank more efficiently as well as faster clear times.
Infinity Edge: This item will allow you to destroy people in your ganks though laning phase should be ending by this point. This is where this item comes most into play and will allow you to shred priority targets.
Last Whisper: This item will allow you to be a force to be reckoned with in team fights. This doubles your current damage and you should be feared by all. Even your team should be scared in case riot decides to turn on friendly fire that you dont one shot them.
Jungling Explained in jungling section.
Pretty much W>E>W>Q. You have about 1.5 seconds to do this combo. This will keep them from escaping. If your top has any hard CC now is the time to use it. Spam your E and finish them off.
Smite: You're jungling... nuff said
Exhaust: Your laners should be getting the kills not you. Yes I know your Zed. Yes I know you;re an assassin. But your laners need the kills. This secures it for them. If they cant get it you can secure it.
Hall of Fame
Here I give thanks to all those who help me with the guide.
- Ishatok- For help with coding and inspiring me to write this guide.
- jhoijhoi - taught me everything I needed to know to make this guide
Things to Come...
- Making the guide prettier
- Adding in S3 changes
- Adding in pictures of successful games
- Adding in video plays and tutorials