Zed Build Guide by Visnox

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Visnox

Zed > The all-rounder < Top- and Mid-lane Guide

Visnox Last updated on December 23, 2012
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hi guys.
First of all thanks for watching my Zed guide. It's actually my first guide ever. I wan't to show you some facts and share my experience with you and maybe it will help you to succeed on your lane.

Before judging this guide for some of my choices plz take your time to read explanations for whatever you don't understand or you don't agree with me. If you do try my build plz play more than 1 game with it. Everything needs training and maybe your team screws up your game when you play with randoms.

About Zed :

Zed is an AD assassin.
His role in a team is to get rid of the enemy AD carry or AP carry or maybe both of them.
This guide shows you how to succeed with this and do even more thanks to your tankiness. A good played tanky Zed can be very persistent and can easily pick up fights with almost every enemy after taking out the AP or AD carry. Doesn't matter if it's an other carry, a bruiser or even a tank.
Never forget... a squishy Zed can easily die in a teamfight without succeeding his role. You are just not as stealthy as a Talon for example and you just have your W to escape. Maybe a flash too if it's not on cd and you might run out of energy faster than you would expect when you are not used to play Zed.
So if you just fokus on AD you could end up getting killed by some aoe after using your ult or getting crushed in a short stun since CC is your biggest foe as an assassin.
You may succeed as an AD-Monster Zed. I don't want to say it's bad to play him like this. It's actually good too. I also play him like that from time to time but this guide and build gives you a safety to succeed your role no matter what, if you just train a bit. (except of few circumstances because no champions has a 100% chance of winning his lane against every champion + don't forget about some persistent jungler)

Zed's play style is really awesome and unique. He is definetly one of my favorite champs in the whole league. You can perform some really amazing moves with him.
Also Zed is a really balanced champion. He is not too strong and definitely not too weak. His early game is okay. His mid game is amazing and his late game is also pretty good.

One thing you should remember when you actually try my build:
Never hesitate on engaging a squishy opponent! Be the one who decides the outcome of a teamfight or even an entire Game. (But don't overdo it and feed the enemy. Wait for the right moment)
Use your Brain when playing Zed and pay attention to your energy. Distract your enemies with your abilities and try to avoid as much dmg and ultis with your own ulti as possible.

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Marks: 9 x

For marks I prefer Greater Mark of Armor Penetration over flat AD. Since you won't feel any difference in early laning phase if you have a bit more AD and armor penetration just benefits you more with your item build and your role as an assassin. You also don't need the early bonus AD for last-hitting, since your passive Contempt for the Weak and your Razor Shuriken are the ultimate early game last-hitting tools.

Seals: 9 x

For seals there is nothing to talk about. Don't take HP per lvl just because your enemy is AP. There is always a carry you will face. And please never use energy-reg seals! Flat armor is just the best to pick.

Glyphs: 9 x

For glyphs I take Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. You can also take Greater Glyph of Magic Resist but I prefer the scaling ones even when you face an AP champ. Rush for Hexdrinker and it's okay. The scaling ones benefit you more in late game.

Quints: 2 x 1 x

This is just my opinion and play style. I think it just works fine with your core item build since you won't build up to much armor early on except for Ninja Tabi. It may look a bit weird to you but it really works out for example on top lane. You can replace them with whatever you like more. In mid vs AP you can replace the 2 Greater Quintessence of Armor with 2 Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist. Also viable are Greater Quintessence of Health, Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration, Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, for example.

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For masteries i take 9/21/0. I just think a tanky Zed makes you more useful for your team especially in later mid-game. Plus... it really helps you out in laning phase.


The offense tree to get a bit moreCDR, AD per lvl which scales with the passive of your W Living Shadow and 8% armor penetration what really is awesome on an AD caster.

The defense tree for sure is to keep you alive.
I take Unyielding and Block to lower the dmg taken from harass. Relentless because it really sucks to be slowed as an assassin and Tenacious so that i can freely choose between Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads.
Perseverance can be good too but since you have to drop really low to get full use of it and you don't want that to happen i don't really like it. Just buy some Health Potion whenever you recall in early game. Some people also use Defender but i can't get myself to like it. I just think Legendary Armor fits this build much better. Reinforced Armor is really awesome but it won't help your lane much except if you play vs. Gangplank. Though it can help you later when you face the AD carry. If you like it... take it!
Durability , Veteran's Scars , Hardiness and Honor Guard are just pretty good defensive masteries. There is nothing more to talk about.

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Your item purchase order is pretty simple and can be changed easily so that you are able to face almost every enemy.

Core items: or and and and

The best core items are Ninja Tabi / Mercury's Treads , The Black Cleaver , Frozen Mallet and Maw of Malmortius.
This will give you a lot of AD , durability, cooldown reduction, armor penetration, plus a slow and a shield against magic dmg!
In fact... everything you need.

Enemy is AP?
You should purchase these items first: and and then your other core items.

Enemy is AD?
You should purchase these items first: and and then your other core items.

You have problems with your sustain?
You should get a when you recall the first time. But build it into AFTER you finished your core items.

No matter which order you choose you should always complete first!

You finished your core item build?
Now it's up to you and what's best against your enemy team. There are a lot of viable Items to choose. For Example or or or or or or or or or .

Normally I rush for after I finished my core build. With this you have more than enough AD if your enemy team isn't too tanky. If they are very tanky you should now buy . If not go for a defensive item.

This one I don't really like on Zed but it's still not bad .

Some of them may be really situational but they can at least benefit you or your team in some way.

Also not so good but still viable for any reason are and .

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Skill Sequence

Your skill sequence should be.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
I start with Q -> W -> E from lvl 1 to 3

I max Q Razor Shuriken first. E Shadow Slash on lvl 13 and W Living Shadow last. The ultimate Death Mark on 6, 11 and 16.

I know some people max Shadow Slash first but I would say this benefits you more when jungling.
Also some people skill their Q Razor Shuriken 3 times and then max. E Shadow Slash. Well.....since the dmg of your E isn't increasing when both you and your shadow hit the enemy with it (It's just the slow that is increased) I don't see the point why maxing this first. The higher slow will neither help you to chase nor to escape an enemy because in both situations it's just your shadow that will hit your enemy. Shadow Slash has a lower CD, so you can use it twice in the 3 seconds of your Death Mark if you have a bit CDR. But I can tell you if you max Razor Shuriken first and both you and your shadow hit your enemy with it, you won't feel a difference. Razor Shuriken is also better for farming in the early game because it's SAFE! and you don't have to use Living Shadow to hit minions if you need to hold a little distance between you and your opponent.

Anyways. Your W Living Shadow should be maxed at last. The passive of it is pretty amazing but it's not really helpful in early game since it won't give you too much AD without having some items. So maxing your other skills first will give you more dmg for now. So all that's left to benefit you when maxing your Living Shadow first is recuding it's CD. But I think that's a real waste. Just use your brain when using Living Shadow and everything is okay.

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For summoner spells i pick and .


It's pretty simple to explain. Flash as an other tool to escape or to close distance and Ignite to secure kills.

Also viable on Zed:

I really do like this spell. It's nice to perform some cool strategies to surprise the enemy or just to get back to your lane as quick as possible. You can also prevent backdooring.

Is really good for chasing but I prefer Flash. If you like Ghost more. Take it.

Can be good if your enemy team has a heavy amount of CC.

Can be used as a defensive tool.

is for jungling so it won't benefit your lane. You don't need that to last hit minions.

All other summoner spells are not really of use to him.

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Pros / Cons


-Good mobility when nothing is on CD (can escape ganks pretty easy)
-High amount of burst with few Items (when ulti is up)
-Very entertaining to play
-Good initiater
-You can almost consider him as a neutral pick when you play him like me since almost nothing can really counter him + you can go top and mid (and jungle but plz not with this guide!!!)
-Very hard to outplay him (since you can play him safe)


-No real CC
-When his W is on CD he has nothing else to escape (so use your brain when using it)
-Can have problems with enemies that have high sustain and harass
-weak to CC
-needs training to get to his full potential!