Zed General Guide by Tei80
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.
Mid Lane Zed
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.
What is Zed?
Zed is an AD assassin who excels at killing the carries of the enemy team. He is a high mobile champion, meaning he can escape bad situations with ease, and catch up to the enemy team if they try to escape him.
What is his lore?
Zed is the first ninja in 200 years to unlock the ancient, forbidden ways. He defied his clan and master, casting off the balance and discipline that had shackled him all his life. Zed now offers power to those who embrace knowledge of the shadows, and slays those who cling to ignorance.
An orphan, Zed was taken in and trained by a great ninja master. Only one other student appeared to be Zed's equal - the master's son, Shen. It seemed Zed could never win the favor of the master, as every match between the rivals ended in a draw. Frustrated and jealous, he sought an advantage. The young ninja ventured into a sealed part of the clan's temple, where he found an ornate, foreboding box. Sensing the dark knowledge within, Zed knew he should not open it, but he peered inside nonetheless. In an instant, shadows touched his mind, revealing techniques that had long been hidden. Now armed with a secret edge, he challenged Shen, and this time he defeated the master's son. He expected praise and recognition in his moment of victory, but somehow the master knew Zed had used forbidden ways, and banished him.
Humiliated, the young ninja wandered for years. His bitterness turned to ambition, and he began to train others in the style of the shadows. As his power grew, so did his circle of followers, but he knew that without the box, his technique would never be perfect. One day, Zed looked at his followers and saw that his students were now an army. He led them back to the temple to claim his prize. At the gates, he was surprised to find the old master waiting, receiving Zed and his disciples as if they were welcome guests. The old man laid his sword at Zed's feet, declaring that he had failed Zed as his master. By banishing his former student, the master had doomed Zed to the shadows, instead of leading him to the balanced path. The old man implored Zed to enter the temple, destroy the box, and lead his followers to balance. The dark ninja followed the master inside. Moments later, the assembled ninjas heard Zed cry out in pain. Mysteriously, he emerged unscathed, and threw the severed head of the master at Shen's feet. Screaming in rage, Zed commanded his followers to slaughter the master's students and seize the box.
That day, the old ninja order fell. Though many students died, some escaped thanks to Shen's heroic efforts. Now the temple is a dark training ground for the Order of the Shadow. Zed rules as the Order's master, and his edict is simple: perfect one's technique, and kill all ninjas who refuse to embrace the shadows.
"Balance is a lie - we are the true ninjas."
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
Very strong vs squishies
Tons of mobility
Last hitting due to passiveGood ganks
Doesn't do well against tanky bruisers
Hard to get used to playing
What Items do I buy?
There are many different ways to build Zed. The build I put on here is the items I always tend to get - no matter the match-up.
I am obviously missing a few slots. These are saved for defensive items, or other offensive ones.
This is a list of the situational items, with the reasons you would need in order to use them.
Guardian Angel: You get focused/killed a lot.
Maw of Malmortius: If their AP carry does a lot of damage.
Last Whisper: If they stack armor.
Blade of the Ruined King: This one I get if I'm ahead, and I want to stay ahead. It makes your auto attacks more powerful. And the active is amazing for getting kills.
PS: Just because you aren't a support champion doesn't mean you get to ignore buying sight ward! These will stop a gank, and save a life.
How do I farm?
Overall, Zed is amazing at last hitting. His passive Contempt for the Weak and his E Shadow Slash make farming a breeze. His W Living Shadow also helps for quickly jumping over to the wraith camp, killing them, then getting back to his lane safely.
If you are having a hard time last hitting do to pressure of the enemy champion in mid, you can always stay back near your tower. Once minions push to your tower you have an easy time last hitting under the tower do to your passive and your E. Also, you can farm with your Q Razor Shuriken if you must.
What is my skill order?
In this build, maxing your E first, then your Q and lastly your W will help the most. E makes you able to have more certain poke because of how easy it is to dodge a Q.
When you go poke, you want to Living Shadow on top of them, Shadow Slash for the slow and damage, and then Razor Shuriken.
When you get them low enough, you can either Death Mark, followed by an immediate Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken. Then Living Shadow away. Or you can just Living Shadow, Shadow Slash, then reactivate Living Shadow to teleport in, and then auto-attack for the passive proc ( Contempt for the Weak)
Do NOT use Living Shadow in your combo when you are using Death Mark. The extra shadow makes you slow more, but it doesn't give you any extra damage. Razor Shuriken does 50% less damage per shuriken that hits a target, meaning if yours and your Death Mark's living shadow hits it, then the 3rd one would have no effect.
It is better to save Living Shadow for either an escape or to chase if you need.
Invulnerabilities make your ultimate, which is a big part of your damage, not go off! Make sure to keep an eye out for if your enemies have one or not!
How can I escape?
Zed is a MASTER escaper! With his ultimate Death Mark and his W Living Shadow he can escape a lot of situations!
When you use your ult, remember that it leaves behind a living shadow, meaning you can teleport to it by reactivating your ult. With this and your W Living Shadow, you can teleport all around the place and confuse your enemy!
Be aware that your Death Mark isn't just used for the mark or the shadow. It also makes you untargetable by abilities during the duration of the charge to the enemy. MEANING you can use this to dodge attacks like Ace in the Hole from Caitlyn if you time it right.
In the end...
Zed has great potential. I hope to see comments giving tips to this guide. I made it out of boredom, and it is the first guide I ever made!
As I had stated in the notes and.. well like 2 sentences ago, leave tips on either the Zed build or how I could improve the layout/wording to make it less confusing!
Feel free to ask questions :D
Just remember:"Balance is a lie - we are the true ninjas."