Zed Build Guide by
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Zed Solo Top Domination
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 a very powerful AD assassin, one of the most powerful in my opinion. He deals a LOT of damage and is very strong throughout the entire game. I've tried many different builds and I have found that build a bit tanky (situationally) is best. Zed has a lot of AoE damage and has strong harass. I had a difficult time playing him at first as I wasn't sure how to play him or even what to max first. I tried maxing his q first which was a HUGE mistake. It takes time to get good with Zed. If you follow my build and get in some practice, you SHOULD consistently do GREAT with him.
Pros / Cons
High damage output (mostly AoE)
Highly mobile (Good at escaping ganks)
Has cc (slow from his e, normally not utilized or underestimated)
Straight up awesome champion!
Not many cons!
Squishy early game
Short range on his clone
I don't take anything complicated on my runes. I take simple armor pen quints, AD reds, armor yellows, and scaling MR blues. I like the damage from quints and reds and the tankiness of the other runes. It will increase your survivability, allowing you to deal more damage.
For the masteries, I just keep a simple 21-9-0. I would do 9-21-0 masteries, but the bonus 5% damage to targets below 50% health is too hard to pass up on Zed. It syncs perfectly with Zeds ultimate, making it more likely to get the killing blow. I pass up the crit on the offensive tree because it really doesn't benefit Zed. I take the health and armor in the defensive tree because its just simple tankiness.
This Passive is very good and should be utilized. It adds nice damage to Zed's combo when enemies are lower health. When my enemy is at about half health, I like to throw my shadow at them, hit my e, then w (switch places with shadow), and basic attack them, and q them. It is a VERY strong combo and will likely leave your enemy at little to no health.
This Q is great for last hitting creeps at a distance in the laning phase. I don't typically use it to harass because of its high energy cost and its small path. It is likely to miss the enemy. However, I do use it after my w > e > w > AA (Auto-Attack) combo. You are much more likely to hit it because your enemy is slowed from your e. It is good for securing kills on enemies who are getting away from you or your team.
This W is what really makes Zed fun, and VERY strong. It gives Zed more damage, a slow, a gap closer, and an escape. I use it for all of these. It helps you get close enough to a weak enemy to land your ultimate on them instead of letting them get away and helps you kite enemies who are chasing you with both the distance it puts between you and them along with the slow on them. There are various different ways in which it can be used, just play around with the W and enjoy!
Shadow Slash is Zed's strongest ability. When used with Zed's W, it will slow enemies in addition to damaging them. It has a very low cooldown allowing Zed to use it multiple times in a fight. It will also lower the cooldown on Zed's W. Always max your E first. A lot of the time, your enemy won't even think about this ability and will walk next to your shadow, allowing you to use it and do some nice damage to them. This ability is amazing for clearing minion waves.
Zed's ultimate is great for helping him pick up kills on weak enemies, and even assassinate enemies from full health! It marks your enemy for 3 seconds and will deal extra damage based on the damage you deal during that time, making it very strong against enemies who stand there trying to fight you while they're marked. It can also be used defensively, such as to counter a Nunu ultimate. Use it right before his ultimate goes off and it will dodge all of the damage from it.
I normally take Mercury's Treads for the tenacity (the magic resist is a bonus). The boots are very situational though. Ninja Tabi are a strong alternative to Mercury's Treads against a team very heavy with AD. Black Cleaver gives AD, CDR, and Armor Pen. It is a great Item for Zed. Frozen Mallet gives health, AD, and a NICE slow. The slow is very useful for Zed, allowing him to get in more attacks. It makes it very difficult for Zed's enemies to escape him. Randuin's Omen is one of my favorite defensive items on Zed. It gives him health, armor, and a great effect. It slows the attack and movement speed of those who his Zed with basic attacks. It helps Zed to escape enemies and even catch people who try to kite him.
There are various different situational items that I like to use, both offensive and defensive. If you and your team are doing very well, I'd recommend using more offensive items along with a guardian angel. However, if you or your team seems to be doing bad, or just alright, defensive items will help out quite a bit. I don't recommend any on hit items (other than the Black Cleaver) because most of Zed's damage comes from his abilities.
Last Whisperer increases the damage from your harass. It is a great item against a team with a lot of armor, and is still good against teams without much armor. It will also increase the damage on your entire combo.
These items give you survivability along with additional damage. Great items against AP champions.
Gives you a Lot of AD, some lifesteal (sustain), and more AoE damage. A great late game item for team fights and even 1v1 battles. If you can remember to use it, its active just adds to your damage.
This items gives some extra MR and an amazing active ability. If you are facing a team heavy with cc or AP, the Mercurial Scimitar is a GREAT item to add to your build.
Guardian Angel gives you an EXTRA LIFE! Who wouldn't want that? It also gives some armor and magic resist, making Zed harder to kill. I recommend this item only if you are doing good or are getting focused down in team fights.
Other items on Zed can be good and work, but I found that most others aren't the best for Zed and his abilities. He is an assassin that does mostly ability damage. Tankiness helps him survive through team fights in order to deal more damage. A glass cannon (pure damage) build can work, but can leave Zed defenseless. If you can kill the other team's carry, but then you die, you really aren't helping your team much. If you can kill the other team's carry (a little slower with a tanky build) but then live, you are able to kill more people and benefit your team even more.