Ziggs Build Guide by Marsdreamer
Mastery Tree Is Outdated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.
Welcome to my Ziggs guide/build.
Ziggs is an extremely high damage dealing ranged AP carry. Other than shear raw damage, Ziggs adds a lot of utility into any fight and is suited to synergize with most team compositions. If you're looking for a champion that is aggressive, powerful in lane and teamfights, and can always offer something to the team, look no further.
This is a build I've toyed with and refined over the last month, poking out different item builds and tactics. So, without further ado, get ready to blow up mid lane with the Hexplosive Expert.
Ziggs was born with a talent for tinkering, but his chaotic, hyperactive nature was unusual among yordle scientists. Aspiring to be a revered inventor like Heimerdinger, he rattled through ambitious projects with manic zeal, emboldened by both his explosive failures and his unprecedented discoveries. Word of Ziggs' volatile experimentation reached the famed Yordle Academy in Piltover and its esteemed professors invited him to demonstrate his craft. His characteristic disregard for safety brought the presentation to an early conclusion, however, when the hextech engine Ziggs was demonstrating overheated and exploded, blowing a huge hole in the wall of the Academy. The professors dusted themselves off and sternly motioned for him to leave. Devastated, Ziggs prepared to return to Bandle City in shame. However, before he could leave, a group of Zaunite agents infiltrated the Academy and kidnapped the professors. The Piltover military tracked the captives to a Zaunite prison, but their weapons were incapable of destroying the fortified walls. Determined to outdo them, Ziggs began experimenting on a new kind of armament, and quickly realized that he could harness his accidental gift for demolition to save the captured yordles.
Before long, Ziggs had created a line of powerful bombs he lovingly dubbed ''hexplosives.'' With his new creations ready for their first trial, Ziggs traveled to Zaun and sneaked into the prison compound. He launched a gigantic bomb at the prison and watched with glee as the explosion tore through the reinforced wall. Once the smoke had cleared, Ziggs scuttled into the facility, sending guards running with a hail of bombs. He rushed to the cell, blew the door off its hinges, and led the captive yordles to freedom. Upon returning to the Academy, the humbled professors recognized Ziggs with an honorary title - Dean of Demolitions - and proposed that he demonstrate this new form of yordle ingenuity in the League of Legends. Vindicated at last, Ziggs accepted the proposal, eager to bring his ever-expanding range of hexplosives to the greatest testing grounds in the world: the Fields of Justice.
''Ziggs? Unpredictable, dangerous, yes yes. But quite brilliant!'' - Heimerdinger
Pros / Cons
+Incredibly bursty as well as sustained DPS with Bouncing Bomb
+Strong laning and mid game
+Scales extremely well with items into late game
+A very nice passive
+A lot of utility and mobility
+Strong global presence
-All skills are skill shots
-His mobility comes from a difficult to use skill Satchel Charge
-Tends to fall off late game if not fed
-Ult has a long delay and warning
-Skills can be dodged or missed readily
Early Item Build and Decisions
I will kick it off right into what the majority of viewers are looking for; The Item Build. I encourage you to read this and the following item sections in their fullest even if you don't read any other part of the build. Ziggs is a highly item dependent champion and the item sequence is important to specifically how you play.
First off, always start Boots of Speed and Health Potionx3. There is NO other starting set for Ziggs; even if your opponent has no skill shots. Boots of Speed will allow you to weave in between the lane, escape ganks, travel faster to help your Jungler or Top or Bot if need be. Potions, obviously help you recover from harass that you've received.
You may say "But Doran's Ring Gives me sustain, damage, and health!" I would say that at this point of the game 15 AP is only going to give you somewhere around 8 more damage on your Q and the overall effective health of Doran's Ring is only 80 HP! A single potion has nearly double that granting you a significantly greater ability to sustain in lane.
The Early Build
After your first back, which shouldn't be until something between 6 and 8 minutes (Either before your blue buff, or directly after to purchase wards) you need to make a decision. This decision is whether or not you want to harass and be aggressive, or sustain and just make it through the laning phase.
Consider these scenarios:
Did my lane opponent get a kill?
Is my lane opponent beating me in farm?
Is my lane opponent landing all of his/her skill shots?
Is the enemy champion an early game or late game champion?
Essentially if you end up looking to be aggressive, purchase Sorcerer's Shoes some more Health Potions and at least one Sight Ward. Sorcerer's Shoes as well as your Greater Mark of Magic Penetration will mean you're doing pretty close to true damage to your opponent; shredding through most of their MR. If your lane opponent is bursty and harassing you too much, you may just want to play the passive game, farm, and sustain through lane. If that is the case, pick up a Doran's Ring or two, some more Health Potions and again, at least one Sight Ward.
Mid/Late Game Item Build
I will separate this section into different paths that you should be taking depending on some very generic, but common, situations.
Your first and core item should always be Rod of Ages, which I will discuss in greater detail below, however beyond that you again need to make some decisions in your build order.
Think of things like
How is the damage output of my team?
Is the enemy mid too dangerous for me to fight alone?
Does my team need more utility?
And here are the build orders for each situation.
The Standard Mid Game
This is the standard build that I recommend in most situations. Rushing the Rabadon's Deathcap directly after Rod of Ages will give you significance damage output and keep you bursty and dangerous throughout the game. Beyond that either Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Void Staff depending on the enemy team's Magic Resistance are good pick ups. Rylai's gives you some strong utility, while Void Staff will make your abilities incredibly threatening.
Mid Game "Dangerous Mid" build
This is the build sequence you want to turn to if the Mid is fed or just doing too much damage to you in lane phase or small skirmishes. This is right around the time that team fights and objectives will start to be taken and getting blown up by the enemies AP before you can even throw down Mega Inferno Bomb is incredibly disheartening. Abyssal's is a great utility item as it gives you significant damage reduction as well as increasing your overall damage as well as that of your team.
Mid Game "I didn't get fed" build
If, for whatever reason, you didn't get kills or your farm is sub-par you will likely be needing to provide more utility to the team instead of simply raw damage. This is generally the time I like to move straight into Rylai's Crystal Scepter after Rod of Ages. Rylai's will give you significant health and on top of Rod you'll be tanky enough to continually spam your Q and E in team fights. Also, Rylai's gives you a considerable increase to the utility aspect of your ability kit in the form of a 15% slow. You'll want to shadow your AD carry in this case and essentially keep them alive; Zigg's is incredibly helpful in disengaging bruisers from your AD carry and kiting them in the form of your Hexplosive Minefield and the Rylai's Crystal Scepter proc.
Why Rod of Ages?
It may seem silly, but I want to devote an entire mini section just to explaining and justifying taking Rod of Ages over Rabadon's Deathcap initially.
Most people will agree that Ziggs is a fairly squishy champion, and like most people, I was building him for raw damage; rushing Rabandon's, Void Staff, and other heavy AP items. Then I realized that Ziggs is not a "one hit wonder" champion. He isn't someone like Lux who can effectively only contribute to a team fight every 9 seconds, which is why straight burst works well on Lux -- you need to pack all of your punch in that opening salvo.
What sets Ziggs apart, meaning you can build him more sustained DPS is the fact that his Q, Bouncing Bomb and his passive Short Fuse both contribute a significant amount of damage to any fight and they're on a relatively short cool down; especially Bouncing Bomb. This means that being alive for an extra 3 seconds to dish out that extra Bouncing Bomb and potential passive proc will net you more damage than just building raw AP. Rod of Ages let you do exactly just that.
Additionally, I have found that Ziggs excels early game. His level 5 Bouncing Bomb does an extraordinary amount of damage even without building AP items; thus this allows you to purchase Catalyst the Protector without a significant drop in your early game DPS. Not to mention Catalyst will provide you with some much need mana sustain, since Ziggs is incredibly mana hungry, as well as some overall added tankiness; letting you stay in the fight longer and avoid getting burst down. Combine this with the fact that during mid-game you're passively getting strong every 60 seconds from the Rod of Ages passive means you will be a mid game monster when you start to actually build for damage.
Alternative Item Discussion
Like any champion, there is no set in stone build or build order. Instead you must always focus on what your enemy team has and how to counter their items. Here I will discuss some alternative and situational items for Ziggs.
A very strong item for any champion, it provides health, mana, and some nice magic resist with a very good passive. I tend to not build Banshee's veil because other than defense it offers little to no other value and building two catalysts on most champions is a waste of time. Generally I find Abyssal Scepter to be sufficient magic resistance however if you are phasing a strong poke comp where you're taking significant amounts of damage from a single spell or the enemy team has strong initiating abilities you may want to pick this up after your Rod of Ages.
Champions you may want to use this against:
A very strong burst item that can add a lot of potential threat to your presence in any team fight. Generally you want to pick this up when you're going up against a strong bruiser line or the enemy has a significant amount of tanky champions. Just don't forget to actually use it!
A strong utility based item also granting you a good amount of armor and AP. Phasing yourself out in a team fight is often very effective as you can take lots of aggro and then immediately remove it allowing your team time to get into position to save you or allow your abilities to come off cooldown and deal that extra burst. I tend to not need this item since Ziggs is far from the middle of the fight anyway, however combining this with something like Abyssal Scepter and your Rod of Ages will make you an incredibly tanky AP magic that can dish out a constant stream of sustained DPS.
To be honest those are the main 3 items I consider "Alternate." The only items that remain absolutely core are your Sorcerer's Shoes, Rod of Ages, Rabadon's Deathcap, and Void Staff. From there you have two slots you can fill with utility based items such as Abyssal Scepter, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and Zhonya's Hourglass
Essentially, your build should look something like this:
Remember, you don't always have to get a Utility item after your Rod, if you find yourself not needing defensive stats or you're far enough ahead you just want to continue your damage output go straight into your deathcap; I simply find more often than not I need to build some sort of utility based item and it also helps out your team a lot.
I won't spend to much time discussing masteries because as you can see it is a pretty standard page.
Summoner's Wrath for the improved Ignite, a standard AP sequence in the offense tree as well as Summoner's Insight to reduce the cooldown on your flash and some increased mana/mana regeneration for increased sustain. Nothing really fancy.
My runes are fairly standard however I will discuss them anyway.
For Marks, in my opinion the only real viable choice is Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. This will cut through your opponents MR and allow you to deal more damage throughout the game. Most people these days are building MR Glyphs, so we'll want to counteract that as much as possible.
I guess this is where my rune build differs from most. In general going straight up Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration is a strong choice, but I found that after level 6 or 7 when I have my catalyst and the jungler is feeding my blue buff I don't particularly need the mana regen anymore. I was finding however that my early game (pre 6) mana was struggling if I was trying to be incredibly aggressive and harassing in lane. I switched to splitting the difference and getting 4x Greater Seal of Replenishment and 5x Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration and the results have been pretty successful. The flat Mana regen Seals mitigate early mana problems and the per level mana regen seals generally help my sustain post laning phase.
Glyphs I generally like to run Per Level MR. Greater Seal of Scaling Magic Resist provides you with some nice MR throughout the laning phase and they start to beat out flat MR glyphs at right around level 6 giving you the added protection you need when everybody's ults start popping up. You could swap these out for Mana Regen glphys, but I wouldn't recommend it simply because you'll start to lose early game trades and the opponent will be able to bully you out of lane.
Standard AP quints here. Greater Quint of Potency gives you some added AP at the early start of the gaming. It's not a significant boost, but it will help you last hit better and give you a good edge. Alternatively you could start with Magic Pen quints, but it's not something I've attempted so I won't recommend it here.
Your passive is a very strong tool that you can use to harass your opponent in lane. It does extra damage ever 12 seconds, that time being reduced by 4 seconds every time you cast a spell, and it scales with levels and AP. Primarily this ability is used in lane and falls off late game, however it can still net you some nice auto attack kills and people tend to underestimate the amount of burst a simple Short Fuse and Bouncing Bomb can do.
Your primary damage source and spammable nuke. This ability is somewhat finicky to use at first, but trust me, you'll get the hang of it and grow to love it. It has a very low cooldown, a fairly high AP ratio (.65) and allows for some fun mechanics with it's bounce. When cast, your bomb will travel in a straight line to the point where you selected, from there it will bounce up to a maximum of 3 times before exploding. The bounce is perfectly linear from the cast location and the speed of the bounce (as well as distance) is dependent on how far it was thrown. It sounds complicated, but boot up a bot game or a Normals and try it out a few times. You'll get figure it out.
Additionally this ability can be cast over enemy champions, for example a bruiser in a team fight, to hit the squishies behind. It IS easy to dodge after the first or 2nd bounce so try to hit your target without bouncing, but if you need the range, lead your target and aim where they must travel.
You would think that Mega Inferno Bomb would be my favorite ability, right? It's big, it explodes, it's a F***ing nuclear bomb. Well it's not, Satchel Charge is though. This is, what I think, the bread and butter of Ziggs. This is an incredible disengaging tool. When thrown on the ground it will bounce any enemy champions as well as yourself and the farther you are from the center, the farther the bounce. This skill lets you peel bruisers and junglers off of you as well as hop walls, travel greater distances, protect allies, and bounce enemies into turrets. It is VERY difficult to use, however once you get the hang of it, it is a powerful tool in your arsenal. Keep Take this ability at level 4 and max it last; reserve it for escaping ganks and saving allies as the damage is not super significant.
Another one of my favorite abilities is this one. Each individual mine doesn't do significant damage, however when enemies rune through several, it adds up quite nicely. This ability is a fantastic zoning tool, allowing you to essentially cut off a zone of the battle or use to kite enemy bruisers hungry for Yordle blood. Use it sparingly as the cooldown is somewhat long, but it's a great tool in team fights for protecting other squishies on your team or cutting off the escape route of enemy champions.
Mega Inferno Bomb
Your ultimate, the big boom. A great ability that does tons of damage. With a .9 AP scaling ratio, this ultimate scales extremely well into late game. It allows you to pick off running champions during skirmishes or the laning phase, netting you a kill your team would have otherwise lost as well as turn the tide of any team fight. The range is semi-global, meaning you can have map presence from almost anywhere. Proper use in team fights is a sill you'll acquire; don't just throw it down right away as the warning is long enough that people will probably just walk out of it. Instead wait until about halfway through the fight when the enemies are all grouped together and then unleash it; you'll be pleased with the results and so will your team.
Laning Phase Ziggs is an absolutely monster. He is capable if some incredible harass as well is very quick burst damage that can take down your opponent.
The key to winning the laning phase truly is your passive. At level one it will be hitting for close to that of an ability. In fact it isn't until somewhere around level 3 that your Bouncing Bomb will start to out damage your passive, so use it as often as you can when you're harassing your opponent.
Before your first back and without wards or blue buff you really don't want to push your lane and you don't really have the mana to spam your Bouncing Bomb and Hexplosive Minefield willy nilly. Only use your Q when you're trying to harass your opponent and always follow up your Q with an auto attack. Chances are your passive will proc, but even if it doesn't, the added damage is nice. If you get proficient in comboing Bouncing Bombs and Short Fuse on your opponent, the early laning phase will be cake. Phew champions can take that much damage early game and I often find myself burning through my opponents 3 Health Potions rather quickly.
Quick Tip: If you're facing a champion that needs to get close in order to auto attack or spends their time around their minion waves, chuck a bomb at them when they move to close to their own creeps. The explosion radius of Bouncing Bomb is bigger than the actual hit radius, so a lot of times you can hit your opponent by hitting their mage creeps for example. Ziggs is a powerful zoner early game, so use this to your advantage and punish your opponent for every last hit they attempt.
Late Laning Phase
After level 6 when you have bought and come back to lane you should have your early game items. IE, Sorcerer's Shoes Health Potions Sight Wards and maybe a Doran's Ring. This is when you're able to really abuse your lane opponent. If it's not 7 minutes in yet, it should be so you should have a blue buff coming your way. Don't just assume, politely ask your jungler if you can have it. This is something you should make your jungler aware if before the game even starts and after you give them a good leash for their blue or red, politely ask them if you can have the second. Ziggs NEEDS blue buff to dominate his lane, but with it I can assure victory.
Once you have your buff and you've warded (hopefully) both sides of your river it's time to start shoving your creep wave into the enemy tower every time. Ziggs is an amazing farmer, and early on a Bouncing Bomb Hexplosive Minefield combo will take out the mage creeps in one fell swoop. From there a second Q and some auto attacks will shove your lane in under 4 seconds. This is a rather effective tool once you have blue buff and you're significantly warded because you can safely harass the enemy at their tower while they miss creeps and you don't need to worry about running out of mana.
Additionally Don't forget about the wraith camp!. You should, in between lanes shoving, be farming the wraith camp every time it pops up (Or even the enemy wraith camp) to increase the farm schism between you and your opponent even further. Simply throw your Hexplosive Minefield in the middle of the camp and then immediately after throw a Bouncing Bomb. They should hit at exactly the same time leaving only the blue wraith left. From there just attack it with your passive to finish it off.
While you have blue buff just constantly shove your lane, harass at tower if possible and farm your or their wraith camp. Your farm will shoot up extraordinarily fast. Additionally you can effectively roam during this time and pick up some nice ganks on top or bot.
Keep in mind your ult is semi global! So if you don't need it in your lane, give it to another! Always keep an eye on engagements that are happening top or bottom, your ult can turn the tide of a fight or pick you up an unexpected kill.
Avoiding Jungle Ganks
Honestly, ganking Ziggs is one of the hardest things to successfully pull for a jungler except for Ahri and Kass. If you know how to use your Satchel Charge and Hexplosive Minefield you should ideally never get ganked. Remember to ward frequently, but if the jungler splits your coverage simply throw down your satchel and boost away. You can jump over the junlger if they come from behind or if they're on you too quickly, disengage them with the satchel and throw down Hexplosive Minefield right behind you. If they chase through or around the mines, punish them with a Q and passive. Remember, you don't have to run straight back for your tower. If the jungler comes from one side of the brush, try and run into the opposite side's brush, drop your satchel and leap the ledge. From there you can generally find safety in your own jungle.
Your role in Team Fights
The laning phase is only one part of the game and empires have been crumbled or risen from the ashes after the laning phase ends.
The time has come for team fights, luckily, Ziggs excels at this as well. All of his abilities are AOE based, therefore this allows you to damage multiple opponents at any given time and since Ziggs does massive amounts of burst damage, you are ripe for plucking victory.
The key to learning Ziggs is positioning. He is incredibly position dependent as his Q moves based on his moment to moment location. Try to shadow your AD Carry and stand behind the support for protection. Remember are fairly tanky, so if you need to get up in someone's face to blow it off, feel free to do so; just don't overextend!
As mentioned above in previous sections, you offer a significant amount of utility to any team fight. Bruiser charging your AD carry? Throw down your Hexplosive Minefield to slow him down and give him a Bouncing Bomb for his troubles. Don't focus too much on the bruisers however, your main goal is the squishes that are behind them; luckilt Ziggs' Bouncing Bomb can bouncing over the bruiser defense line and land right on the enemy carries.
Using your ult in team fights is all about learning the flow of how each battle is going to go. You need to watch for where large engagements will take place before they actually take place. In general waiting for the middle of the fight is a safe bet in giving you the best 'bang for your buck' as you'll likely hit the most enemy champions once they're not paying attention to their positioning and instead trying to eat your team mates alive.
Ziggs excels at poking from a safe distance, he also excels at creating a safe zone for him to deal his damage. Take advantage of his kit, fight in tight corners, block off zones of the battle with your Hexplosive Minefield and never stop spamming your Bouncing Bombs. The AOE damage and zone control should net you a clear victory, and your ult is always a fantastic way of scattering the enemy, allowing your team mates to clean up.
Author's Notes and Change Log
Thank you all for reading this far down. If any of you have read my previous Ziggs' guide, I appreciate that as well. This guide functionally replaces the old and I will be removing it from the available builds.
I hope to add videos and screen shots as I have many hours of recorded footage of my Ziggs play, however I'm smack dab in the middle of Final's week, so it will probably have to wait awhile.
I will note any changes to the build here and I always appreciate comments and criticism!
No changes as of yet.
Testimonials and Success:
Ziggs: An In-Depth Nuclear Apocalypse
S3 Carry Your Team Ft. Ziggs
Ziggs - Poking & Prodding (Detailed 1v1 Mid Guide)
Ziggs (In-Depth Guide) - Here comes the BOOM!