Ziggs Build Guide by Littlev
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
Not Updated For Current Season
High damage, zero sustain
High sustain, lower damage
Best items for team fights
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.
Ziggs is among the top when it comes to both poking, spamming, long range zoning and pushing towers. In this guide I hope you will get some more insight when it comes to playing Ziggs in an effective way.
If you already know how to build Ziggs when it comes to items, masteries, etc, I advice you to skip straight to Fighting Champions in the Mid Lane to see how to fight the different champions you'll face while you're playing Ziggs as a mid champion.
The first thing I need to warn you about: The playstyle I use for Ziggs doesn't involve Will of the Ancients early, so he's not going to get any forms of spell vamp.
Second: This build is a glass cannon build. You sacrifice all survivability for damage(Save Zhonya's Hourglass). This guide will therefore focus heavily on the team aspect of Ziggs.
Last but not least: Ziggs doesn't have a high skillcap, but since all his abilities are aimed / skillshots, you need a few "practice laps" just to get the hang of him. The most important ability you need to learn is Mega Inferno Bomb, and more precisely, how to aim it correctly.
Pros / Cons With Ziggs
- Has a ridiculously high damage output early and lategame
- All he does is AoE, share the pain!
- One of the safest pokers - Bouncing Bomb bounces quite far
- Thanks to Hexplosive Minefield you can escape or kill people easier
- Satchel Charge is like a second flash and also knocks back enemies slightly
- Mega Inferno Bomb truly works miracles in teamfights
- Split pushing GOD if you have Teleport, Lich Bane and Destruction
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter combined with Hexplosive Minefield = Awesome CC
- Low learning curve and also a high damage curve
- You're a tiny gremlin with two lit bombs in your hands
- Suspecible to early ganks (Unless you rank up Satchel Charge at lvl 1-2)
- Only one "hard" (knockback) CC - Satchel Charge
- It's all skill(shots)
- That obvious skull that appears before Mega Inferno Bomb hits
High Damage Build
- Unrivaled damage early on
- Allows you to beat any ADC with good aim and timing
- Early team fights are a stroll with Rabadon's Deathcap rush
- Lacking CC is made up for through slow
- Don't need to gank in person ( Mega Inferno Bomb hits ~400 early)
- Zhonya's Hourglass makes it harder for you to get dived
- You have an advantage when someone is in your face ( Lich Bane + kiting)
- Landing abilities does considerably more damage than the other build
- Doesn't fix mana problems, but may make them worse
- If you are denied blues, you will struggle hard
- You can't outsustain anyone (HP or mana wise)
High Sustain Build
- You don't really need to recall after you have Hextech Revolver and Chalice of Harmony
- After Athene's Unholy Grail you no longer need blues, and can spam at will
- Your three first items make you deal good damage and sustain forever in team fights
- You should be able to 1v1 most mids that don't run a similar build (No MR, no sustain)
- If you want, you can farm with Bouncing Bombs and still never go below 20% mana
- Without a doubt the best build to build up farm early with
- You won't ever have mana issues
- If I didn't mention it above 5 times, you won't have mana issues ever again
- Tied best spammer
- Lacks damage early on
- Giving up defensive items for sustain items
- Not getting assists or kills cripples you in team fights due to mana costs
- Not having an hourglass will turn you into a cookie in team fights
- You can't combat people in your auto attack range as good compared to the damage build
- Farm dependant early, since having a Rabadon's Deathcap is not guaranteed early
- Lacks quite some sustain and some damage by the first team fight
Team Fight Build
- Best for 5v5 rankeds without a doubt
- No one should beat you in damage and usefulness
- Similar advantages to the sustain build
- Similar advantages to the high damage build
- The most unique passives of all the builds, which again gives you the most team fight perks
- Tied best spammer
- Relies on team to peel for you in most situations
- Shines late / once you have all items
- Requires a team that can stall the game, or you have to get Rylai's before Dcap to sacrifice dmg
Single Target Build
- Split pushes and pushes better than Twisted Fate if you pack Teleport
- Crushes towers in seconds
- Smashes one face instantly if they don't have Flash or similar abilities up
- Allows you to catch people off guard and instagib them
- With an ally with CC, you can kill ANYONE on their team with correct timing
- If a lone target tries to stop you from split pushing, you can kill him in 9/10 1v1s
- Best 1v1er of all the builds
- Turns 5v5s into 5v4 if a target strays too far away
- Easiest to carry rankeds because it gives you one less target before a team fight in most cases
- Highest single target damage
- If you don't manage to hit all abilities, you won't always take down your target
- Forgetting to use DFG will cripple your damage
- By far the worst spammer
- Highest risk, highest reward in terms of hitting abilities and split pushing
- Low team fight usefulness compared to other builds, unless theire all tanks or your team has 0 dmg
Which Build Is Best For Me?
High Sustain Build
- Will fit most people, it's highly noob friendly with high payoff low risk
- Doesn't rely on blues, at all
- Allows you to re-engage with full health and mana
- If you get focused you are dead quickly
- Doesn't rely too much on team
- Hard to kill the tankiest of the tanks (MR stacking tanks)
The High Damage Build
- Is meant for advanced players, because it has no mana regeneration at all
- Has the most damage at any stage of the game
- Allows you to engage in close combat a lot more efficiently
- Relies on having a blue if you want to re-engage for a new fight
- Even if you get focused, you still have hourglass to keep you alive
- Relies a lot on team
- Hard to kill the tankiest of the tanks (MR stacking tanks)
- Still somewhat viable in ranked due to Lich Bane allowing for 1v1 duels with most champions
Team Fight Build
- Is best used for 5v5 rankeds
- Because it requires coordination with team, it's bad in solo queues
- Still viable, but can't face most people 1v1
- Must use ultimate in a 1v1 situation if you wish to win the duel
- By far the best builds in most cases, but lacks the best (health) sustain and 1v1 capabilities
Single Target Build
- Is the best lone wolf build
- Lacks almost all unique and useful team fight passives
- Has no survivability if caught off guard or by CC
- Might be hard to pull off due to 0 CC Ziggs
- Isn't the most advanced build, but still quite high skill cap
- Not forgiving, therefore not noob friendly in any manner
- No mana regen leaves you mana starved before and after team fights
Keep in mind, none of the cons or pros weigh the same. This means that the builds are completely equal in their own sense. Everything really relies on three things when it comes to the builds:
1. Your team!
- Are they squishy or bruisy?
- Do they have any peels? (Abilities to keep people off ADC and APC)
- Is your team AD centered, AP centered or balanced?
- Are they all complete nitwits that need to jump on your back to get carried to victory?
2. Their team!
- Same as your team basically, with a few exceptions
- Do they have any hard CC?
- Is anyone aiming for you in the team fights, if so, are they using target or skillshot abilities?
3. Your aim!
- If it sucks you can only blame yourself. Try practicing in normal games!
- If you can't hit a thing 1v1 or in team fights, go for the single target build
- If you hit EVERYTHING you can go straight for AP items and ignore Lich Bane if they lack CC
Flash! Your best friend
After poking someone for too long, you're gonna see that they all have a habit of running to the nearest tower and start recalling. To prevent low HP targets from escaping and to prevent your own death, I suggest you take Flash at all times.
Forgot to lit the fuse? Well.. Ignite it then!
One of the better summoner spells while playing Ziggs. This is a good call because it halves healing from say.. Sorakas ultimate: Wish. It also deals some damage, which is always good for when your enemy barely makes it away, and only needs slightly more damage to die (This issue could also be solved by Mega Inferno Bomb unless you already used it, or don't want to use it). This is not a 100% necessary summoner spell to use, but as said - it helps secure kills and halve heals, nothing more, nothing less.
|Hello!||Kind of useless now, used to heal more - Barrier is a much better alternative because it shields more. Allows you to stay in lane longer, but I question whether it's viable or not.|
|Hello!||If you're REALLY good at aiming Satchel Charge, you can actually replace Flash with Ghost. Due to the changes (World Championship Hotfix) to Satchel Charge, Satchel Charge is not a lot more reliable as an escape mechanic because of the increased range. Flash allows you to go 1/2 over a wall, and still get over, but Satchel Charge NEEDS you to get 100% over. All in all, Ghost is still viable, but replacing Flash with Ghost would take a lot of skill to master. Flash + Ghost however, would allow you to chase and flee better than anyone, but leave you without the uniqueness of any other summoner spell.|
|Hello!||Allows you to combat even the most fed of AD carries. Not to be underestimated; This is about the best spell to pick if you want to carry your team. In solo / duo ranked queues, this helps a tremendous deal. It allows you to take down their biggest threat alone. Only take this if NO ONE on your team has it or there are more than one AD carry on the enemy team. Versus a mid champ, the effect of Exhaust is dimnished because most mid champions deal magic damage, not physical damage. The only use for Exhaust 1v1 mid is to prevent him from escaping and to help slightly turn a battle in your favor.|
|Hello!||Ever seen a Twisted Fate with Teleport going mid? Ziggs is almost the same, but with better split pushing. Because you can combat / slow / outrun anyone in the league simply by running through jungle, you are an excellent choice for split pushing. This also allows you to recall and not lose any experience, which is a plus. This is a GOOD choice in a 5v5 premade or 5v5 ranked, because it allows you to distract the enemy team, and split push TWO LANES AT THE SAME TIME, if not ALL! How? Mega Inferno Bomb alone, allows you to push two lanes by being in one and spamming Bouncing Bombs, and then toss your ult to another lane. Teleport allows you to get to the third lane, and save your ultimate as well. Great spell with multiple advantages that are hard to exploit alone, with an uncoordinated team.|
|Hello!||If you need this summoner, I would reccomend Barrier instead. The CC time is probably at least 0,5 sec due to reaction time (might be lower), and Barrier let's you turn the fight around. It can be viable if their team is all about CC, such as Amumu, Galio and alike. Keep in mind this doesn't work against Warwick and Malzahar suppression.|
|Hello!||Leave it for supports. Keep in mind this actually gives a bigger heads up about your Mega Inferno Bombs than the skull marker from the bomb itself. Works wonders when it comes to stealing barons, dragons and buffs efficiently though, even if it still gives a heads up.|
|Hello!||With the 40% mana restore buff, this spell no longer falls off at any point of the game. If you have mana problems, please buy Chalice of Harmony instead, it helps so much more. Clarity is only good for players that are new to Ziggs in my opinion. The reason you're better off buying a chalice rather than having Clarity is because the other summoners are a lot more viable.|
|Hello!||Very viable! This is quite nice against some mids, where you know it's a stale, or when you know they can finish you off ( Lux / Ezreal / Karthus). This is actually better than Ignite if you compare the two. Barrier blocks all the damage, and then some more, making you very strong in 1v1 situations. This doesn't help you get kills, but it helps you survive, which is the sole reason I go for Ignite most of the time instead. Keep in mind that it might be good versus Kassadin or LeBlanc if you don't want to buy MR items, even though MR items probably are more efficient at that job.|
Why Exactly Those Runes?
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Even though you already have Magic Penetration through both Sorcerer's Shoes and Void Staff, it never hurts anyone but your enemy to have more. Without a doubt best in slot, unless you're up against an AD mid, but even then you should have armor runes in any other slot but this one.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration - The immense drain of mana shows its impact really early on, but in my opinion, you do not need to spare it a thought before mid / late game. Having these increases your total MP/s by 2 by lvl 18, which turns into twice that with a Chalice of Harmony, meaning that you have an even bigger resistance to ever going out of mana 100%. These can be avoided for AP/lvl instead in my opinion, but I prefer using them for mid and late game impact.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - Does not give an early game advantage, but will give you more oomph than flat AP will after mid game. I would take these over flat any day, due to Ziggs being a weak finisher untill he actually has his ultimate, when the flats by then are only 1 AP ahead of the AP/lvl ones. This makes them the best obvious best (AP) in slot for Ziggs.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Gives you the extra AP at the start, which usually makes or breaks the average midgame. These break even with AP/lvls by lvl 12, which is TOO LATE in my opinion. These have an impact from early to late-mid game, which make them worth it more in my opinion. If you know your team is a late game team, I would reccomend going AP/lvl instead though, but it's all about taste.
Other viable options:
Marks: There are some options that you could go for, but sacrificing the spell penetration just does not make me feel like it pays off at all.
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration is a good option, because it provides you with spamability early on, but flats out after mid game.
Greater Seal of Armor works if you are not the spammer-type Ziggs player. Use these if you are against a counter such as Talon or Pantheon.
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power give you a 16 AP increase at lvl 18, so this is not a bad option if you itemize mana or feel like you don't need regen.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, a valid option if you get chewed up by AP casters late ingame, but Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is better for your early game advantage, because it gives you better trades.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power works nicely early game, but flattens out slightly before mid game.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is adviceable if you got the excess mana at all times, but with Ziggs I personally feel excess mana is a luxury and not a common thing.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power is a great option lategame, but you tend to need the extra AP early on.
If you feel an extra need for armor, MR, CDR, gold, MS, you name it; you can always replace the Quints, but I highly advice you to stick with AP quints.
Possible Alternatives to Masteries
Total mastery rework as of 05/12/2012 with the new patch.
In the utility tree: If you don't build a Tear of the Goddess, there is no need for the extra mana from Expanded Mind . Mastermind however, reduces the CD of Flash down to 255 seconds like it usually was before 3rd season patch, which is quite neat. Ignites cooldown also goes down to 189, which is 9 seconds more than it was pre patch.
In the offense tree you can choose to sacrifice points from Mental Force or Havoc or Sorcery to use in either Destruction or Spellsword . I find Sorcery and Havoc slightly less useful than Mental Force , Spellsword and Destruction , due to the mere 1% to CDR, 0.66% dmg loss (the gains are greater than the losses in terms of damage).
Some might argue that Ziggs hardly needs Spellsword , but even as a long range caster, you'll find yourself in situations where you need to face your opponents quite close. Short Fuse also compliments this mastery, as well as it helps last hit and harass early.
I can understand some of the hate on the itembuild, but this is only one of many combinations for Ziggs. This guide is centered to players whom excel at early game and become the greatest damage source late game.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity as a viable option, because you don't want to overspam before you get any MP/5 or mana. Sorcerer's Shoes however, are viable through the entire game because they help remove your greatest enemy: MR.
Ziggs. This is because you will be the biggest threat in teamfights, and Zhonya's Hourglass can save you from multiple ultimates at a time.
Deathfire Grasp helps tremendously in fights to kill off that fed Olaf jolting for your carry (seeing as slows and stuns don't do anything). Rylai's Crystal Scepter is an item you should consider because it gives great CC and allows you to slow their entire team at once.
Because of the Deathfire Grasp nerf, Rylai's Crystal Scepter is now better in 9/10 situations. Only pick up Deathfire Grasp if you know you'll be going 1v1 all the time / they have an Olaf that only goes for you / your carry. CDR re added to DFG, but they removed even more of the damage. It now deals 15% of max health instead of 15% of current health however, and has a 20% amplification AP damage debuff for 4 seconds on target. This has made it a "so-so" item which as mentioned, is meant purely for 1v1 fights and tankbusting.
Ziggs's passive, you really shred towers when you combine Lich Bane with Short Fuse. This item also synergizes extremely well with Ziggs strong point; Spamming. You dish out about 400 extra AP damage because of Lich Bane, which can make you even rival AD carries because of the combo of your spells and massive autoattack AP damage. Combine this with Nashor's Tooth for an extremely potent combo (and unorthodox).
As Ziggs is quite the squishy type, you may want to get Zhonya's Hourglass first. This is simply because it yields a huge advantage when people try to towerdive you as early as you'll have it. However don't even think of this before you die or before you're feeling toyed with.
With the rest of the build, you can change the order pretty much as you like. Even though this build focuses on an early game advantage from excessive AP, always look at what you're facing and what the enemy team is purchasing.
The Cruel Start
|Hello!||Why cruel you may ask? Due to the preseason patch, you no longer have a real need for boots as a starting item. Even against people you need to dodge against ( Karthus, Gragas, Cassiopeia) you can totally ignore boots. Starting with Crystalline Flask allows you to use the last 130 gold for what you wish (more pots, wards, Faerie Charm if you buy potions instead). This build is better against "Equal" champions such as Ziggs, Lux or Xerath due to similar range. If you are bad at dodging, this start is without a doubt the best. This is also the best start if you know you're going to push, as the extra ward will help you out. The reason I don't run this most of the time is because you don't gain much from it, unless you chug a lot of potions throughout the game (Which you will, if you build 0 sustain). This works wonders against Ryze and similar champions however, because you can't use boots to dodge their spells. Then again, you shouldn't be anywhere near them, and if they attempt to zone you; your jungler can come in for an easy kill.|
|Hello!||Due to the changes made with Zhonya's Hourglass, it now needs Cloth Armor to be completed. It also contains Seeker's Armguard, an item that stacks 30/30 AP/armor, which is quite decent, and with the added passive armor it has, even better! This means that even if you don't go for Zhonya's Hourglass late game, you still get an item which is useful for the entire duration of your laning phase, and probably even further. Against Talon, Kha'Zix, Lee Sin, Pantheon, AD-casters / AD-assassins or AD mid champions in general, this is without a doubt the best strategy to stay one step ahead in farming. It prevents you from getting bursted, as well as giving you a neat advantage, without really sacrificing too much.|
|Hello!||Lich Bane is a perfect item if you find yourself swarmed by MR stackers, as well as giving you an edge in 1v1 thanks to Lich Banes proc and its statincreases. I hardly feel getting anything except Lich Bane is useful, but it all comes down to what your enemy decides to do, not what you do.|
|Hello!||If you need extra survivability, stick with either of these items, but keep in mind Banshee's Veil usually does the trick. It gives you more hp, mana and MR - as well as the biggest combo breaker passive in the game. Brand and LeBlanc are two of your biggest enemies, which this item works great against.|
|Hello!||Athene's Unholy Grail fits perfectly into the role of ANY AP / Galio type champ (Pusher/Roamer). It offers an immense MP5 because of its unique passive that grants you percentage mana back on assists / kills, while still giving the X increased MP5 for X missing mana percentage. This item is THE BEST if you're having problems with mana and casters at the same time. An early Chalice of Harmony is good to have early because it solves mana problems and helps you combat the stronger AP casters. I would deem this a very fitting replacement for Lich Bane if you want to increase your sustained damage and lower your burst potential. Keep in mind this is only SOMEWHAT situational, but most of the time you are stuck with an early Chalice of Harmony you can't risk selling. 9/10 times it's a lot better getting this over Lich Bane, because it allows you to spam forever.|
|Hello!||Quicksilver Sash is an uncommon item, but it's an item that shuts certain champions down 100%. Examples: Nether Grasp from Malzahar gets negated and Cassiopeia may have problems defeating you, because you can make her Twin Fang go on a longer cooldown and you can get out of the Petrifying Gaze stun.|
|Hello!||Nerfed beyond recognition in terms of aura range. 600 range doesn't compliment ANY of your "reccomended ranges". By reccomended; I mean that you shouldn't ever be in auto attack range of your target, unless you are out of mana. That said; This is a good item, but it's useless for any long range mage such as yourself. Ask someone on your team to pick it up, because it still benefits the entire team if the tank stays in the cluster of enemies. If you like being up close and personal (going for Short Fuse and Lich Bane procs), you can get this item yourself, but being that close it not what Ziggs was designed for. Even if he still has the high damage (higher with his passive and Lich Bane), he was not meant to take too much damage, and is better left behind everyone while chucking tons of bombs at his targets.|
|Hello!||The only item I've ever used is Zhonya's Hourglass because it fits perfectly into the role of anti-AP and anti-AD skillshots. Zhonya's Hourglass, if used correctly, allows you to dodge several ultimates at once and therefore it's an unique and priceless item to have.|
|Hello!||Guardian Angel is a good choice if you don't posess quick fingers or forget that you have Zhonya's Hourglass. Also good if the enemy team is mixed with AP and AD, as it provides both armor and MR.|
|Hello!||Good against that fed Tryndamere, but you aren't the best carrier of this item, seeing as you don't have enough HP. A Rammus for example has both enough HP, and has abilites that synergize with this item. This means that enemies that only auto attack will commit suicide. On Ziggs, you have the potential to deal 0,3*1800=540 damage. This can turn the tide on a 1v1 fight, don't get me wrong, but other items give you AP, which this guide is all about. Also, this item is inferior to Frozen Heart, because it ONLY provides tank beneficial stats (You DON'T want to be in the line of fire, hence the passive is wasted on you).|
|Hello!||Costs slightly more than Thornmail, with a lot more beneficial stats. If you are being shredded by AD champs, this item will do just great. CDR is never wasted on Ziggs, and neither is mana. The passive is just an added bonus if no one on your team already has it. Personally, I would prefer Guardian Angel over this item, just because of GAs passive. Frozen Heart however, increases your damage output.|
Close combat items
|Hello!||Lich Bane is far from weak, but if you combine it with Nashor's Tooth, it's devastatingly effective. This combo used to be a lot more potent, but because of recent nerfs (preseason 3), you no longer deal AD damage, but instead deal AP damage while using Lich Bane. However, it's still viable due to Ziggs's somewhat spam-related nature, and boosts his weak close quarters abilities.|
|Hello!||Nashor's Tooth is an item that you rarely see anymore, but combined with Lich Bane you get both lowered cooldowns, and also an amplified attack speed. These items synergize quite well because of that. Getting Nashor's Tooth is a highly reccomended and fun sidestep from my guide, as it really helps your damage output, no matter what the enemy goes for. With this as well as your passive Short Fuse, you can hit 100+400+200 damage, which consists of 100 AD and 600 AP. Because both the passive and Lich Bane benefit from spamming, this is truly an unique combo and a very powerful one too, however this leaves you oom very quickly and makes you rely on burst. This is the only reason why it doesn't work too good in ranked, because you need to hit all the time and you need to have a good amount of tanks / CC to allow it to work.|
Other AP options
|Hello!||Only buy this item if you are TRULY doing well, and you are adept at dodging death, which most Ziggs players are constantly haunted by.|
|Hello!||Used to be a much better item in terms of passive bonuses, but Morellonomicon has been reworked to be useless, to being slightly more useful since. Now it functions as a somewhat hardcounter vs Swain and Dr. Mundo. It's not a bad item, but the problem is that other items are better. Using it against say Vladimir or Ryze isn't all that bad either, but against any mid laner who doesn't have regenerative abilities or Will of the Ancients / Hextech Gunblade its passive goes to waste. Against any of the four champions listed, it's highly adviceable to get it unless you go Ignite or never have the cooldown up.|
|Hello!||Archangel's Staff works pretty well because of its mana solving aspect. The only reason I don't get this is because of the lost AP and the lost stats from other items, but it's definately worth a thought / a try to test it out if you feel low on mana 24/7. Second note as of preseason 3 patch: Turns into Seraph's Embrace after you fully stack it up to 750 extra mana. Whether or not the activate function (25% current mana as shield) is worth it or not, is completely up to you to decide. IMO it's only worthwhile to get Archangel's Staff if you intend on getting Tear of the Goddess very early, and if theres a say; Karthus on the other team. 25% of your current mana is quite a small amount after a teamfight, say 400 max, 100 shield - so there's a small chance Requiem will not kill you. This is VERY situational indeed, but just the passive stats you gain are quite good, and with a neat lifesaving activate.|
|Hello!||Deathfire Grasp has been reworked and is now very.. weird in my opinion. They first had a very cost efficient item, build from a GP5 item, which was kind of ridiculous. Then Riot decided to nerf it by removing almost all the damage and up the AP scaling, so a 1k AP veigar would get more out of it. At the same time they removed the CDR which made it useless. Now it deals 15% flat max HP of your enemy, instead of the usual "current" hp. This is quite good, but because it has a 20% increased damage for 4 seconds, you should still use DFG before anything else. This item is sadly not as viable for Ziggs anymore as it was. It works miracles in 1v1s, don't get me wrong, but because it has such a low damage compared to what it had before, you actually have to land way more of your skill shots to actually kill a target. Nonetheless, you should consider picking it up late, but if someone on your team already has it, don't. The 15% max hp dmg is neat, but the 20% damage amplification works for everybody. You should pick up Rylai's Crystal Scepter instead of DFG, even if DFG has considerably higher damage output. I don't buy this much anymore because of the cost: 3k gold (before it was around 2,5k, as well as having a GP5 item in it to lessen the burden of gaining gold) and because of the low damage it does compared to what it did before. If you want to have this, consider the following: Would you like to have 15% max hp removed from your enemy, 20% amplification of magical damage for a short time for your team, OR do you want 500 hp and a unique slow that helps your entire team at all times?|
|Hello!||Rylai's Crystal Scepter works miracles because of its slowing passive and has no real downside. The scepter is good, but because you already have Hexplosive Minefield, you can rely slightly on chokepoints to make your slow work. Unfortunately, Ziggs has no singletarget spells (except Short Fuse passive), which would've made the slow slightly more useful 1v1. This is the one of the better choices in most situations, without sacrificing any passive AP.|
|Hello!||Will of the Ancients benefits Ziggs a huge lot, but the problem with this item is that it most likely won't benefit you as much late as it would've early. With this build I tend not to favorize spell vamp at all, because you have better alternatives such as Lich Bane. It would also have been more ideal if Ziggs had one ability that was a single target spell, because AoE spells have reduced spell vamp. However, this item fits well into a high sustain build, but my main build favorizes damage over health and mana sustain. The secondary build focuses on keeping both mana and health high at all times.|
|Hello!||See what I wrote in MR items (It's a neverending source of mana in fights, as well as having MR and some AP as well).|
|Hello!||You get what you pay for, this item is hard to describe because it has all the stats you need, but it's not unique once you hit lvl 18 (losing the "level up = mana + HP" unique). It's underestimated early, but there are items with lower survivability and higher damage to swap it out with lategame, which is the only reason I don't use this. I find it better to use it on high risk / up close and personal champions such as Malzahar.|
|Hello!||This item got overhauled by a huge margin! It now deals 6% damage, regardless of the spell cast being AoE or single target. Back when it was half damage on AoE spells, this was completely useless (IN MY OWN OPINION) on Ziggs because he couldnt take advantage of it without Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Void Staff. With those two items, Liandry's Torment deals significantly much more damage. It deals aproximately 11,5% of the current health your enemy has (12%, but by each tick, health is reduced by 2%, resulting in a lower number), if the target is slowed. I personally still don't like using this item on Ziggs, but ONLY because he lacks a damage over time spell. It is in no manner a bad item for him, but this is a personal preference like I said the last time I reviewed this item. A normal build you go is: Boots, Dcap, Void, Rylai's, then you can decide the last two items. Athene's Unholy Grail is usually my second last item, then you can pick between these four: Lich Bane, Zhonya's, DFG or Liandry's. I often land on Zhonya's because I feel it helps me more than Liandry's. This is because most quick witted enemies will try to engage as quickly as possible, and not stand idly watching bombs hit then in the face. Cassiopeia and Malzahar are two champions who can really abuse this item in my opinion, because they both have DoTs, which makes them benefit a lot more from Liandry's compared to other casters.|
Skill Explanation & Order
Short Fuse (Passive) - Every 12 seconds, Ziggs' next basic attack deals 13 + (7 x level) (+35% of ability power) bonus magic damage. This cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds whenever Ziggs uses an ability.
This is a helping hand to your poking and last hitting. This is an underestimated passive, but it really works well with Ziggs's extensive spamming, because its cooldown is reduced every time you cast a spell. It should also be taken into account that at lvl 18 and you're maxed out with this build; you're landing at 282 EXTRA damage for a single autoattack. This might not seem like much, but it sure helps to both last hit and poke before teamfights. Combine with Lich Bane if you like combining AP and AD into a violent mixture.
Bouncing Bomb - Ziggs throws a bouncing bomb that deals magic damage.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
Range of First Bounce: 850
Cooldown: 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4 seconds
Magic Damage: 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255 (+65% of ability power)
This is your main tool to dish out damage and about the safest poke ingame. Because of the low cooldown and the rather high mana cost, I advice you to get the blue buff as soon as possible if your intentions are to spam this spell.
Satchel Charge - Ziggs flings an explosive charge that detonates after 4 seconds, or when this ability is activated again. The explosion deals magic damage to enemies, knocking them away. Ziggs is also knocked away, but takes no damage.
Cost: 65 mana
Cooldown: 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 seconds
Magic Damage: 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+35% of ability power)
This is both used for utility and for damage, but mostly for utility because of the Flash effect Satchel Charge has. If placed correctly, it can also hinder enemy movement and knock them slightly towards their inevitable death. Remember to use this spell to get away and to keep enemies off you and your friends. Also keep in mind that advanced Ziggs players also use this to charge at their enemies, often combined with Hexplosive Minefield to prevent escaping.
Hexplosive Minefield - Ziggs scatters 11 proximity mines in a circular area nearby. Each will detonate on enemy contact, dealing magic damage and slowing them for 1.5 seconds. Enemies who have already hit a mine will take 40% damage from additional mines. The mines are visible to all players and last for 10 seconds.
Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
Cooldown: 16 seconds
Magic Damage of First Mine: 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+30% of ability power)
Magic Damage for Additional Mines: 16 / 26 / 36 / 46 / 56 (+12% of ability power)
Slow: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 %
If you use Hexplosive Minefield, make sure you have enough mana for two additional spells. Namely: Bouncing Bomb and Mega Inferno Bomb. A combo of E, Q then R is usually devastating to any enemy when you hit lvl 6. If this doesn't kill your enemy, you didn't poke them hard enough.
Mega Inferno Bomb (Ultimate) - Ziggs deploys his ultimate creation, the Mega Inferno Bomb, hurling it an enormous distance, Enemies in the primary blast zone take more damage than those further away.
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 120 / 105 / 90 seconds
Primary Magic Damage: 250 / 375 / 500 (+90% of ability power)
Outer Area Magic Damage: 200 / 300 / 400 (+72% of ability power)
As stated before; This ultimate is truly unique and is about the best ultimate when it comes to heavy hitting AP in a huge radius. If you aim Mega Inferno Bomb correctly, you will see people losing up to half their life if you hit them dead center. You should practice using this ultimate, and it requires you to have a certain insight when it comes to figuring out how people tend to dodge. Due to a patch - hitting dead center is a noticeable, but kind of "meh" damage increase. Because you only lose 20% dmg from hitting at the outer edges, the center is no longer as important as it used to be.
Teamwork - A Crucial Part
Ziggs potential only comes to light if you have a good team around you! The jungler is the main source of help through your game, but because you have Zhonya's Hourglass it's also a huge advantage to have a few teammates hanging around to scare people off. If you don't plan on using runes that give mp/5, you're going to need your second or third blue because of your expensive poking.
Mega Inferno Bomb can also be a pain to aim at certain times, all depending on how close you are and how twitchy / alert your enemies are. Therefore it's a huge advantage if you time your ultimate with your allies's CCs.
Ziggs is about useless without his team, so you need your team with you as the mid game starts. Staying behind your team is the keyword here.
Also, remember - The jungler is not the only person that is allowed to gank! Pushing out mid and then running bot or top, can really help them overcome challenges in the laning phase. Whether you use your ultimate or actually show up, it still helps - in most cases the outcome is an alert lane if you fail, which allows your allies to farm more efficiently. Any gank that results in your team burning their Flash or ultimates, is a successful one. Getting a kill or assisting in a kill is an added advantage, and keep in mind you should try to ultimate gank at least once a game, unless you play against a good pusher that can clear, then chase you. Having pressure on the lane by minons pushing is critical for not being seen or chased by the enemy mid.
Ziggs has three possible ways to farm (as I see it):
The first is to simply last hit creeps, which is the most mana efficient way to farm. Short Fuse will aid you quite a lot when it comes to last hitting, but keep in mind that you can always click the creep and check their HP, and attack when theire below the amount of AD you have.
The second way is the least mana efficient way, which consists of wasting all of your spells, save your ultimate. This way is if you really need to get farm fast, and you're in range of a big enough crowd of creeps. I advice you to use this method ONLY if you plan on a recall or ganking, because this will lead to a push. Make sure that you've got enough mana to actually perform a gank, before wandering either bot or top. Your ganks are pretty potent, and with your Mega Inferno Bomb, you work a lot like Twisted Fates Destiny gating or a Karthus's Requiem, because you have the ability to pick up and assist in kills. However your presence in the lane is not as easily noticed as any of those two, so you are a lot stealthier ( Requiem gives a heads up, Destiny too, but your ultimate gives only 1.5 sec to spot), giving the enemy no time to think.
The third is actually not too bad when it comes to mana, but is not adviced to do unless you really have to or you really have nothing more productive to do. Mega Inferno Bomb at rank two deals enough damage to clear an entire group of caster creeps, but not melee or siege creeps. Using this farming tactic is not going to be anything but frowned upon, because you litterally throw away the most important cooldown at your disposal.
Early, Mid & Late Game
If you're playing solo, you should immediately ask for the second or third blue from your jungler. Run down to protect him against any possible invades aswell.
Bouncing Bomb is your main poking source, so you should start poking as early as possible, but you should retain at least over half your mana, so you're always ready for the jungler to come in and gank mid. Remember that Hexplosive Minefield has a too big delay for you to just "lay it on top of him". Get the jungler to notify you of when he's coming in for a gank, so you can setup a Satchel Charge in order to close the distance between the target and you, THEN lay down Hexplosive Minefield to prevent him from escaping. The more you've harassed him before your jungler comes in, the more likely it is that you're going to get a kill.
Just as you get enough gold, recall to get your Needlessly Large Rod. It's very important that you rush it, because Ziggs relies on AP heavily, even though he has the slow from Hexplosive Minefield and his slight knockback from Satchel Charge.
As a side note; You may want to purchase some Sight Wards to prevent ganks, but this depends on your map awareness and the jungler.
As mid game starts, you already have either Zhonya's Hourglass or Rabadon's Deathcap depending on what champion you came up against. You'll also have your Sorcerer's Shoes that yield spell penetration and additional movement speed.
When the teamfights start, you should always stay behind your team and spam Bouncing Bombs. The first thing you do is use Hexplosive Minefield in a location you see fit; Either in chokepoints in the jungle, or between you and the enemy team. Remember that you should always start poking before the teamfight erupts, but keep in mind that you're useless when you have less than half your mana, so keep a safe threshold. Mega Inferno Bomb can be used in three ways in a teamfight:
1. Use it as the teamfight starts, to maximize the damage when the enemy are clustered
2. Use it on 1 or more fleeing enemies, to ensure they wont escape
3. Use it slightly before the teamfight, to push a lane
The first choice is the most safe and gives your team some leeway / makes it easier for your team to fight a team with less health.
The second one is best to use when you need gold yourself, but is seen as an egomaniac move, unless you're sure that your team will win the teamfight.
The third alternative is extremely risky, but it pays off if you know that your team will win the teamfight with ease. It's by far the worst and most stupid of the three alternatives however.
Remember that Satchel Charge is your best bet of escaping from the enemy, combined with Hexplosive Minefield, you should have no troubles escaping. However, if you are escaping when the enemy are already at your toes, your best bet is to use Zhonya's Hourglass to give you and your allies time to think / for your allies to come to your rescue.
Depending on what the enemy team are stacking, you have or haven't gotten Lich Bane and / or Void Staff. Late game either makes or breaks you, depending on if you have balanced your items properly with what the enemy team are getting. There is not much new things to add late game because Ziggs doesn't evolve too much from early --> late. This is because AP simply makes him stronger in every way, but doesn't make his role any different, his role is always to deal damage.
The last thing you need to remember, is that if your carry is being focused and killed every team fight, get Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Deathfire Grasp is good if you have few tankbusters and your team lacks damage, but Rylai's Crystal Scepter keeps the enemy team off your carry.
Fighting Champions in the Mid Lane
You should check out which your enemy bought, because Doran's Ring means you can harass freely, unless the champion has any sort of regenerative abilities or items such as: Doran's Shield (Oddchoice) or Vladimirs constant life drain. Boots of Speed + Health Potions however means that you have three options:
1. Poke through the Health Potions over time.
2. Have one solid burst where you just kill the enemy champion, or force him to back.
3. Get the assistance of your jungler to down him quickly without any issues from the Health Potions.
The latter is the best and most effective way to cripple the enemy champions leveling process and it will make your enemy more passive, and less suspecible to poke you, because they become afraid to overextend. Because Ziggs is a poker before he gets all his abilities, I advice you to only poke with auto attacks, with excess mana or when the enemy champion decides to poke you.
If their mid laner decides to start with 9 potions and two wards, you can't really do much without your jungler. Either passively farm, or poke if you know your jungler is prioritizing mid, but keep in mind 9 Health Potions are equivalent to 1350 health, so it takes a very long time to burn through them all. Same about the Faerie Charm + 6 pot + ward start, it's also quite hard to force someone out of lane with that build. Against both builds I can really only give one good advice if you want to force them away: Wait for level 3 or 4, (When you have Lvl 2 Q, lvl 1 W and/or E), then start poking hard with Q, and try to go for a kill using Ignite. Even if you don't get the kill / have no chance at getting the kill, it will most likely burn a Flash, allowing your jungler to get a "free" kill for the downtime of the Flash. If you know your opponent wins 1v1, this however, is not even close to an option. Harassing however is a valid option, but it's just a lot less effective before level 6, because your Q's start to hit 150 dmg by their 3rd level.
I'll list the oddchoices / items that are special to each midder. When you are going mid: expect two of the above combinations of items, unless it's for example Ryze, because he will most likely start out with Sapphire Crystal + 2x Health Potion. If I don't write an oddcombo, then it's one of the normal combos (I can't predict which). All the details are in the spoilers, only the names and pictures are visible.
There are also some tactics here, which aren't listed in the next chapter, so you should read carefully, and pick up what you can. Remember that most mid champions have the same goals / abilities that do about the same, so I don't mention things over and over again.
Second thing to keep in mind: Because this is pre-6, I assume you'll be standing close to farm with auto attacks. If you get a Chalice of Harmony fast, you can literally just farm using Bouncing Bombs, making more than 90% of the champions easy like hell. However, because you want to stay in lane a long time, you will more than 90% of the time farm with auto attacks instead. The only times you should ever farm with Q is versus Lux, LeBlanc, Xerath or Ziggs if you are losing heavily, or you get bursted too fast (pre-6). Farming with Q is also good as a second, quick auto attack, but it obviously leads to pushes.
I'll keep filling in more details and champions as they are changed and added. There will be rough descriptions on how to fight them however. There might be some bad info, because I can't say I've played 100 games against each and every one of them. This leads to loads of personal opinions; So please tell me if there are some wrong info above!
(Also tell me if you feel I've missed any champions!)
Why so few easy champions?
Ziggs is not able to do good without farm, compared to others *COUGH* ( Ahri, Kassadin) champions early on. He relies heavily on hitting his pokes to do well. Others have high damaging pokes that only need to be hit once to do significant damage. Some also have pokes that line up a second poke (stuns, immobilizes, charms, taunts, CC in general). The last, and perhaps best reason, is that the build I use gives you a MASSIVE advantage after level 6. Rabadon's Deathcap allows you to easily get tons of quick farm because of the increased damage, and also allows you to 1v1 most people on your level. In general, Ziggs scales massively with farm, which is why he can be considered semi-hard. If you die often early game, you will be lagging behind most of the time, but in the end you are still going to finish your build and catch up with massive damage. The biggest advantage Ziggs has is that he's not easy to deny farm, and whether or not you like it, when he gets his Rabadon's Deathcap he becomes an instant threat to everyone.
This chapter will describe some situations you might face as Ziggs in any of your games, and their solution! Take note that some (mana problems) problems may occour ALL your games, in which case, always take that into consideration.
There are also TL;DR for lazy people like me.
To start off with the most common problem:
I'm out of mana...
My item build doesn't fit you?
$.$ It's raining money? (You're getting fed and/or have a huge CS lead) $.$
I'm losing my lane
Help me improve this section by commenting if you think it lacks something, and I will try to add it in the near future.
Finishing Up - Strategies & Clever Tricks
There are pictures in the spoiler boxes with descriptions in them - related to the headlines of course.
All pictures shown in the spoiler boxes are PURELY taken in custom games with only me in them; they are there to help people understand HOW to do or WHERE place things.
The spoilers are added to decrease the total length of the guide, and make it easier to see this chapter as one, rather than having a cluster of pictures.
Being Harassed Out of Lane?
Where to ward for both teams and sides.
Useful places to deploy your Satchel Charge for jumping from mid lane
Escaping from baron / dragon
Hexplosive Minefield Ambush
Teamfights In the Jungle
Preventing people from reaching dragon and stealing baron from the jungle
Bomb Vision - BV
Useful locations to use BV
Ziggs, the sheep herder!
Stealing buffs safely
Aiming Mega Inferno Bomb at an immobilized target
Interrupting Charge? Satchel Charges "hidden" aspect
Ganking with Mega Inferno Bomb
Where to stand in advance of ganks
Helping other lanes
Satchel Charge slightly ahead of yourself, you can Flash into it and immediately explode it after you use Flash to effectively jump 400 (Flash) + 700 (Satchel) range; Meaning you can catch people off guard by instantly jumping 3x Flash lenghts. This works exceptionally well if your enemy thinks he's safe when using recall by his own tower. It can also be used defensively, but in most cases you find yourself putting it close to yourself, so you can knock the enemy back up to 500 range (slightly more than a Flash lenght) and yourself forwards by up to 700 range. In most defensive cases, it's most favorable to use it close to yourself while keeping Flash unused. For agressive uses however, this tactic works like a charm.
Good or Bad Guide?
Leave a comment on what I should improve please! Negative or positive critics are welcome, as long as you give me feedback. I do realize that this is probably not the best Ziggs guide, but it is a guide that teaches people that are new to him, how to play properly. The item build shouldn't be followed too strictly either, because it would leave the already fragile Ziggs in shattered pieces.
Remember to point out anything you feel like I'm missing at the discussion page. If there's something that's missing, I will try to add it to the guide.
Thanks for your time!
Ratings and comments are appreciated, whether negative or positive!
Wardning, huge wall of text
My changelog is VERY overdetailed, therefore it is only useful to read if you are looking for something very specific in the log. Keep in mind there are actually some explanations to some of my item choices, champions and etc in the log.
Small grammar changes will not be listed here, because they don't impact the guide in any meaningful way. Any patch after 29/7/2012 will be reviewed shortly here, if it has any huge impact on the mid lane.