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Zed Build Guide by Dustborn

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dustborn

Zed, Fear the Shadows [S4 In-Depth Solo Laning and Jungling]

Dustborn Last updated on December 10, 2013
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Introduction

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 Isthatok's guide on Zyra!

Zed is a high skill cap champion 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!


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Pros / Cons

Pros


  • Versatile
  • Mobile
  • Good Escape Mechanism
  • Ulti will save your life(i.e. Darius ulti, Karthus ulti)
  • Passive is great for last hitting
  • Razor Shuriken deals HUGE early game damage
  • Great gap closers
  • Good positioning in teamfights causes massive damage
  • Passive/gap closers secure kills
  • Has some soft CC
  • Long ranged poke with shadow
  • Can secure kills under turrets
  • Huge burst damage

Cons

  • No hard CC
  • Squishy
  • CC is your worst enemy
  • High Skill Cap

tl;dr Many Pros Few Cons


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Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
6

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
3

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
1

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
2

Greater Mark of Attack Damage x6: Flat AD is your friend. This boosts your poke and allows more last hits. These runes can severely boost power for you pre-6 in solo lanes. Giving your Q and E more damage and using your shadow to zone the other top these runes will completely destroy the other top.

Greater Mark of Attack Speed x3: These give you a little more fighting power. Not a significant amount but more then the three Greater Mark of Attack Damage would.

Greater Seal of Armor: Zed is squishy. You're an assassin survivibility is questionable. Saying this you NEED the extra armor to survive team fights and roaming. Whether roaming down bot or helping counter gank these will give you the armor you need to make it out alive.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: As mid it is needless to say that you will be taking magic damage. To keep from getting poked to death by the ranged AP mid you will most likely be fighting you need these runes. You want to be able to stay with enough health that you can roam and help if need be.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage x2: Once again more flat AD. More zoning, more poke, more last hits.

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal x1: This gives you a little more boost to survivability. Early game this will help out quite a bit while you are last hitting minions with your passive boosting the return even more.
[Optional]


Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: Your going mid which means you will be against a squishy target, whether it is and AD assassin or an AP caster. Your job in team fights is also to burst down the squishy targets, such as the enemy assassin, mage, or ADC. This will weaken the little amount of armor they have and cause your burst to be much higher.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Combined with three points in Fleet of Foot This will give you 6% movement speed at level 1. This will make your roaming much more dangerous for the enemy as well as allowing you to get back to lane quicker. Take these if you can.


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Masteries

Masteries
1/1
4/4
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1

I take 21/0/9 on Zed to increase his mobility and roaming.

The only thing I feel that needs to be explained about the 21 in offense is the points in Sorcery . Sorcery provides 5% cdr. You will do more damage all throughout the game with this then you would with Fury . Fury is worse in all situations then Sorcery is on Zed.

Phasewalker helps you get to and from base quicker and you never know if that one second might save you when an enemy walks into the bush you are recalling from

Fleet of Foot acts as a Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed boosting your mobility greatly, especially if you are using 3 movement speed quints alongside it.

Summoner's Insight decreases the cooldown on Flash and Ignite. This means more kills secured and more get aways. Currently the cooldown on Flash is 300 seconds, or 5 minutes. Taking three points in Summoner's Insight reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds to 270 seconds, or 4 minutes and 30 seconds. The cooldown on Ignite is currently 210 seconds, or 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Three points in Summoner's Insight reduces the cooldown by 21 seconds to 189 seconds, or 3 minutes and 9 seconds.

Alchemist Causes your potions and flasks to last 10% longer. This adds a little more sustain to your laning phase, causing health pots to last for 16.5 seconds and heal for 165 overall. Not a big increase but any little bit can mean a death less in lane.

Culinary Master converts your health potions to biscuits. This adds an instant 20 hp and 10 mana that are gained instantly when used. This means your health potions now give 185 health each, an added 35 hp per potion then a normal potion. Once again this helps with sustain in lane. This 35 hp can mean the difference between getting away or dying.


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Normal Assassin Zed Build

Core Build



Numbers in Parenthesis are the total amount of AD given with maxed W



Starting Items


Long Sword and Health Potion x2: This provides an early game damage boost along with lane sustain. This gives you 10 AD and 370 potential health. This is the standard Zed start

Doran's Blade and Health Potion: This start gives you 8 AD, 80 hp, and 5 health on hit. The health potion provides 185 potential health. If you want to stay in lane for a long time, or think you will have a tough lane, this is the way to go. It is safer and you will be able to farm more.

Core Items


Blade of the Ruined King: This is the core item on Zed. This is a must have on every Zed build. It gives Zed everything he needs. AD, life steal, and attack speed. The passive also causes you to do 5% of their current hp as physical damage on hit. The active deals 15% of their maximum health and heals you for the same amount. It also steals 30% of their movement speed. Synergizing this with your ult means your target is going to go down. If the initial burst doesn't kill them then they won't be able to run away due to their movement speed loss and your extra movement speed.

Boots of Mobility: These are the boots you need to roam and gank from mid. The movement speed allows for you to quickly close in on a target, ult, and use bork securing your burst and keeping them from getting away. These are your boots of choice for early game. Sell these for Ninja Tabi later.

The Brutalizer: This gives you that extra early game power spike that you need. This will help deal more damage on squishier targets so it gives your burst a decent early game spike.

Ninja Tabi: Granting 25 armor and reducing basic attack damage done by 10% these are usually my boots of choice for mid-late game. I usually sell mobis for these.

The Black Cleaver: 55(68.75) AD, 10% CDR, 200 HP, 10 ArP, and a passive that significantly reduces their armor when auto attacking. This item is loved by pretty much every AD assassin from Zed to Lee Sin and Jarvin. Gives great stats and builds out of an item that you normally build as an assassin anyways.

Ravenous Hydra: Coming in at second in the most AD giving items with 75(93.75) AD this item packs quite a punch. Plus the extra 12% life steal, and 15HP5, along with a nice passive for wave clearing and team fights, this item is a great asset to any assassin, Zed included. This gives you more survivability, more dueling power, and more burst. What else could you ask for on an item?

Infinity Edge: This item is kind of an iffy. It provides the highest base AD of any items ,with 80(100) AD, and crit chance as well as a boost to crit damage. However, this is the only crit item you will have. If you are snowballing get this item. If not replace it with one of the items in the optional section of the list.

Last Whisper: This item finishes your build by increasing your bust by a ridiculous amount. This gives you 40(50) AD along with 35% armor penetration. This is a huge amount whether the target is an armor stacking monstrosity or an armor lacking carry.

Optional


Guardian Angel: If you are really snowballing and do not want to be shut down then replace Infinity Edge with this. It gives extra resistances and the revive can mean you escape or come back and mop up the fight. As long as you do not get caught out, you lose nothing by getting this item.

Mercurial Scimitar: Find yourself up against an AP-heavy, high CC team? Then this item is the way to go. Giving 60(70) AD, 45 MR, and a Cleanse effect as well as a 50% movement speed boost for one second after use this item is the answer to your "I can't do **** in teamfights" problem!

Maw of Malmortius: If you were getting bullied in lane and decided to build a Hexdrinker in lane, go ahead and finish out this item. It is a good item on zed as it gives defensive and offensive stats, and the shield is great for diving in during team fights so you don'd die to AoE. The increased AD passive is also nice, since you will be losing hp quick from diving into their team for carries.

Frozen Mallet: This item helps with staying alive and sticking to targets. Combined with Blade of the Ruined King your target shouldn't be able to get away once you've engaged on them. The HP will allow you to stay in fights longer without having to worry about dying.

Randuin's Omen: This is also an acceptable survivability item. Granting 500 HP, 70 Armor, a passive that slows attackers movement and attack speed, and an active that slows movement speed further, this item is actually pretty decent on a high burst assassin such as Zed.


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Mobile Assassin Build

Runes

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
Masteries
1/1
4/4
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1

Build 2: Mobile Assassin



Core Build


Blade of the Ruined King: As stated earlier this is a must on Zed. No matter how you are building Zed you need this item. Period. See above for details.

Boots of Mobility: Huge early game mobility boost. Roam, gank, back to mid. These boots help your laning phase tremendously. Sell later for Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

The Brutalizer: Again you want that early game power spike. This item gives it to you. You will build it into a The Black Cleaver later.

Trinity Force: Movement speed being the main stat here you are also gaining a lot of other very helpful things. 30(37.5) AD, 30% attack speed, 10% crit chance, 250 HP, and finally 8% movement speed, being one of the largest next to boots on any item. The Sheen proc is also extremely good if you can time the procs right. Rage helps you stick to your target and with bork it secures kills.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: 15% CDR is the reason you are getting these boots. This means more shadows, which means higher mobility, more ults, meaning more burst, and more combos, meaning more kills. This item rounds out the mobility assassin build nicely.

The Black Cleaver: As stated above this is considered by many to be a necessity on assassins, especially when combined with Last Whisper.

Last Whisper: Huge power spike and damage boost. With The Black Cleaver this item makes every enemy champion a squishy champion.

Zephyr: 25(31.25) AD, 50% attack speed, 10% CDR, and the highest amount of movement speed on any non boot item, 10% movement speed. The tenacity is just an added bonus. The CDR bonus from this item, with your points in Sorcery , and Ionian Boots of Lucidity means you are now at 30% CDR. This means you can unleash a longer combo then before. The movement speed allows you to get around quickly and get to your targets faster and stick to them, along with Rage from Trinity Force, and the active from Blade of the Ruined King. The AD and attack speed add more sustained damage to make up for the burst you miss out on with higher AD items.

Optional


Along with the defensive options above, here are some other items you can swap out with this build.

Zephyr -> Youmuu's Ghostblade: Slightly more AD and added crit chance, as well as armor penetration. The movement speed and attack speed are replaced by an active with a 45 second cooldown that gives 20% movement speed and 40% attack speed for 6 seconds. The tenacity is given up for the added AD, Crit, and Armor Penetration


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Skill Sequence

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.

Lane


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.

Team fights


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 mobility path and W>R>E>Q>E with the other build. This will do maximum damage while returning a lot of energy from your E and Q hitting the same targets as your shadows. Use your passive and your E to finish off targets.

Escaping Ganks


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 aren't dead auto attack them.


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Summoner Spells






Flash: This is pretty much the strongest summoner spell in the game. It can be used in any scenario for a multitude of things. Escaping, kiting, dueling, engaging, dodging, you name it, Flash does it.

Ignite: This helps you secure kills if by some miracle they survived your unnatural ability to secure kills. Combined with your ult, kills will pretty much be secured at all times.


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Optional Summoner Spells

Teleport: If you think you might have a tough lane, take this spell. It will help you get back to lane quicker or backdoor a low tower if needed. This spell has a lot of utility and can be used in a lot of situations.

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: Want more mobility? This is the answer. I believe that Ghost is just as strong as Flash in many scenarios. While it may be weaker in some it is also stronger in others. This is based on 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

Barrier: This will boost survivability. You can pretty much take this spell as any role and do well with it. It is a jack of all trades. If you feel like you will do fine with this, by all means take it.

Do Not Take These!




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Jungling Introduction

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.


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Pros / Cons

Pros


  • Fast Clear Times
  • Decent Ganks
  • Passive is OP in Jungle

Cons


  • Low Survivibility
  • No Hard CC
  • Ganks are high skill cap
  • Lower income then solo lane


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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 Hunter's Machete/ Health Potion x5 and go to red buff. Grab your E first and ask mid and bot for assistance in killing it.

Begin spamming your E when your teammates get there 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. Clear Wraiths and head to Blue buff.

Get in front of blue and throw your Living Shadow right on top of it. Shadow Slash and wait for it to come forward a few steps before engaging it, continues to spam Shadow Slash whenever it is up. After killing Blue buff you should be level three and then have a few options open to you.

[*] Gank a lane
[*] Grab wolves and golems
[*] If no lane needs ganks head to golems and continue jungling as camps respawn. Use your Smite on small golems if you need to.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3

Flat attack damage and armor. These help your jungling tremendously.


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Masteries

Masteries
4/4
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
2/2
2/2
3/3
1/1
1/1

Simple AD jungling masteries with defensive points for better clears.


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Items

Hunter's Machete: This is the best path to start with on jungle Zed. It gives sustain and extra damage to jungle monsters so your clears are better. It also builds into Wriggle's Lantern which you will be building.

Wriggle's Lantern: This provides you with added sustain, clearing speed, and an extra 40% gold from monsters. It also gives 20 armor and 25% attack speed. Mediocre stats but still the item eventually pays for itself and you can always sell it later.

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.

Blade of the Ruined King: As stated before this is also a must on Zed. No matter what your doing. This will greatly help your ganks combined with the slow from your Shadow Slash.

The Black Cleaver: Prime assassin item as well as a huge stat boost. This item gives a lot of great stats and you will be combining it with Last Whisper

Last Whisper: This item combined with The Black Cleaver will allow you to destroy everyone. No one will be able to stand in your way. The enemy might as well /ff.

Ravenous Hydra: The extra damage, life steal, and sustain needed to finish the game. The passive and active are both good with extremely short cooldowns. This item adds a nice roundness to your build. Prepare to kill everyone.


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Skill Sequence

Jungling Explained in jungling section.

Ganking



W>R>E>Q. This allows you to slow them and burst them. If your laners have hard CC, the focused target will die. Practice this combo and you have won half the battle of zed jungle.


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Summoner Spells




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.


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Hall of Fame

Here I give thanks to all those who help me with the guide.

  • Isthatok- For help with coding and inspiring me to write this guide.
  • jhoijhoi - taught me everything I needed to know to make this guide


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Things to Come...

  • Making the guide prettier
  • Updating with preseason changes
  • Adding more depth (when exactly to do what and what to do in what scenario)


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