I made this guide in reaction to the other Zilean guides out there. I think they are missing some crucial things that make or break Zilean and I wanted to explain what those are.
Please leave a comment if you vote. Your input is always appreciated.
Your Role In the Team
You are a support
You buy wards
You buy oracles
You get assists
You don't get all of the kills
You ult your carry, not yourself
You pal around with your carry and help him
You saves lives
You deal a metric *** ton of AoE damage in team fights
You kick ***
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOU WON'T UNDERSTAND THIS GUIDE
Just because I play Zilean as a support, it doesn't mean you should play him like every other support. The only reason I don't get a gold/5 item is because early on I DO get creep kills and I DO get the occasional kill. I usually go bot like supports do and support my carry by harassing the other team so my carry can farm. Once I'm alone, or able, I double bomb the caster minions or huge minion waves pushed to our turret. You also can get kills that your carry cannot. Lets say that someone flashes away with almost no health, you can bomb them to get the kill and give your carry the assist because its better than them getting away. But this does not give you the right to kill steal by any means. I'll pretend you know your **** and understand why the term "carry" is used and why they should get the kills instead of you.
TL;DR Feel free to get creeps and straggler kills, but keep in mind that you are not a carry and so you are not the person who should get all the kills. You may do tons of damage but it is not consistent and the most game changing thing about you is your ult.
For your summoner spells, keep in mind that you're a support, not a carry. I'll say it again, you're a SUPPORT, a carry is what you are NOT. So I don't wanna see you with a billion kills and no assists. That's not how a support works.
Spells To Take:
This is my favorite escape spell on Zilean and with most characters. When people see you flash away they usually give up, or they chase and usually overextend and get gangraped by your team. Either way, its win.
I just love this spell hard. In the pants. Sorry for the wall o text. Here are some of the ways to use it:
Map Hacks You get maphacks if you understand the other team and have semi decent map awareness. Use this spell to check bushes for ganks, check to see if someone is recalling, just very obvious things you couldn't do without Clairvoyance. Oh, also at the very start of the game, wait until about 0:15 or so and use Clairvoyance on the enemy teams Summoner Pool. You'll get a look at their starting items and where they're going (top lane, mid, etc.)
Where's Warwick? You can **** up the enemy jungler pretty bad too. You don't even have to kill the him, just screw up his route. At the beginning of the game, check blue buff. If you're feeling ballsy and your team is up for it, gank the jungler at blue buff if he's all alone. That is the ultimate way to **** up someones jungle. That puts them waaaay behind. Throughout the game keep clairvoyancing whenever its up. Use your intuition and guess where the jungler is. If you see a jungler and you know its safe, go lay a bomb or 2 on him or whatever he's trying to kill and screw him up. If you're jungling you can't afford to take 2 bombs. You would HAVE to b or slow down significantly. Unless maybe if you're Warwick.
Scare Tactics This is the lowest priority use for Clairvoyance but it can save you big time. If you think the enemy team is going to Baron, or you have a ward there and you know they are going to, put a Clairvoyance down and usually they'll call off the Baron. Same goes for dragon. This is especially useful when you have no one near and you wouldn't be able to get there in time.
Spells To Consider:
Need moar mana? Love to spam? Love words that end in y? Clarity.
I would never use this on Zilean. Its just redundant. Time Warp Is enough speed and you have Flash for those "Oh ****!" moments. But if you REALLY want to...
You don't have the mastery point in defence so this will not be nearly as effective. But you're a support so if you're hellbent on using it I'm not gonna stop you.
I know, I know. You're a support, not a carry. But if your team is light on AP and you need to get some kills, this helps. Double Time Bomb + Ignite = easy kill.
This is also really nice. You can recall, heal up, and be back on the battlefield in no time. Plus once you get into lategame you can use this to defend turrets because you're bombs rape minions. Just double bomb the same minion (preferably one in the center of them all) and presto! $$$$
Spells NOT To Take:
This may sound like a good idea but you already have a slow. Time Warp. And what's even better is that you're slow can also be a burst of speed. So basically once you get some CDR you can slow someone, Rewind, and then speed up whoever you want to get to the target the fastest.
Do you even know what your ult does??
Don't be a heal ******.
Everything else is also a no. But the two biggies and the Exhaust explanation are above for emphasis and clarification respectively.
Items (Tear of the Goddess es #1)
Ok. This is where the money's made. This is where I try to differentiate myself from the other guides out there.
This is what I take 99% of the time. This gives you some mana regen and the pots you need to get back some of the harassment you're gonna take. The Meki Pendant builds into the ridiculously important Tear of the Goddess
This is the only other thing I take other than a Meki Pendant. This also builds into your Tear of the Goddess.
This is you're alternative. This gives you everything you need, health, mana regen, and some bomb boosting AP. This will set you back a ways though and delay you getting your all important Tear of the Goddess (are you seeing a trend yet?)
TEAR OF THE GODDESS
THIS HAS TO HAS TO HAS TO HAS TO HAS TO HAS TO GET GOTTEN BY YOU!!! Or, whatever... If you want...
If you started with a Meki Pendant you should recall when you have at least 605 gold because that means you can finally get your Tear of the Goddess and start pumpin up your mana as early as possible.
This is why this item makes so much sense: Once you get to level 6 you're going to be spamming Rewind every time its up to get your ultimate off of CD. This alone gives you ridonkulous amounts of mana but you are going to be spamming your other skills constantly too so you will pretty much be getting an almost constant increase in mana. The same reasoning goes for Sona. Tear of the Goddess just makes sense on her too. All this makes me nostalgic about the Innervating Locket :( R.I.P. But in all honesty Innervating Locket was OP as sin. Especially on Sona and Zilean and Udyr and anybody really. But I digress. This **** is the **** and you need this **** or your ****. I think.
After this I honestly don't care what you get. This **** makes you able to do whatever you want practically forever. And once (or if) you turn this into an Archangel's Staff you will be getting 5 mana/sec and more AP every time you cast a spell. Pure awesomesauce.
Things That Are Not Tear of the Goddess
These babys... Oh how happy I am that these were made. 15% CDR and movement speed 2? For 1050 gold? Yes please! Your only other alternative would be Mercury Treads but I've never really felt the need. You have Flash, Zhonya's Hourglass's active, Time Warp, Guardian Angel, and Chrono Shift. I think you will be ok.
I love this thing. This is what gives you health, this is what gives you a sizeable chunk of mana, this is what gives you boatloads of AP, this is what lets you stay out in the field longer, this is what you need. It has every single thing you're looking for except for a team boosting aura.
I usually get this after my Rod of Ages because it gives me 5 mana every second which, unless you're spamming 100% of the time (which you are sometimes), this will keep you topped off in the mana department. If you don't feel like you need the regen, just skip over it until you want it. Easy as that. The AP you will get from it WILL be substantial though, but the significant gold cost will set you back in the survivability department. Your choice.
Get this before your Abyssal Scepter if pesky AD carries are poundin you into the ground. Plus it gives you a very lovely active that you better use or imma kill you in the face. When **** gets heavy, use the active (i.e. Fiddlesticks's ult, Malphite's ult, Kennen's ult, etc.)
If you are fast enough you can use the active when really low on health, then Chrono Shift yourself. I've used this to bait under towers, bait into a bush while my team is on the other side, bait bait bait bait bait. Plus if you don't have Guardian Angel, or it isn't up, they won't be expecting it. Easy peazy lemon squeezy.
Get this before your Zhonya's Hourglass if you are being trololo'd by the enemy Ryze. Not only does it give you a huge boost in magic resistance (it almost doubles it) but it also lowers your enemies magic resist around you.
Winning/not getting focused > Rabadon's Deathcap
Getting focused/things are going poorly > Guardian Angel
Now that you have a solid chunk of AP, this item will be worth it. This gives you late game BOOM and puts your AP through the roof.
This thing basically makes you immortal. If you somehow manage to die when you have this, Chrono Shift, and Flash up... You might need to pick a different champion. Or maybe you just get CC'd out the yang. Maybe they have a Sion, Taric, Amumu, Ashe, and Alistar (may God help you). But back to the item. It gives you a ton of armor and magic resist and a passive **** ring which really helps deter people from targeting you.
The main reason you should get this is because then you will have at least 2 revives on your team at one time, Chrono Shift and Guardian Angel. This makes it so you don't have to worry about dying and you can focus on saving lives and dealing damage. The reason this is so important is because since this is a late game item, i'm assuming you are towards the end of the game. What ends games the fastest? ACES. You can't get aced if you have 2 revives unless you mess up somehow.
Tear of the Goddess is the ****. Nuff said.
Its a game, please don't take it too seriously and remember to have fun.
And as always, have nice day.