Zilean Build Guide by Rick Rab
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.
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.
Welcome to my
Zilean guide. This is a support guide for Zilean, The Chronokeeper. In this guide you will find useful information on how to play Zilean and also how to play the support role in general. Lets go, as I show you all the ways Zilean can be used. DONT FORGET TO COMMENT AND VOTE! :)
Do not just look at the item build here, and down-vote without actually reading the guide. Lets remember now, THIS IS ONLY A GUIDE, nothing here is set in stone, if you feel you can do better by changing the build, by all means, do so, BUT PLEASE TRY THIS BUILD FIRST! Some items are situational, and the rest of the guide will explain all of the choices I have made. Please read before voting, all criticism is supported and encouraged, I'm always open to new ideas.
I've heard Zilean be called the worst support in the game by many, and I will fight to make him viable! Zilean IS a support, he's just a different kind of support. He doesn't have the heals and protects the others do, he has boosts, debuffs, and he revives you from the dead. He should be played on a team with more or less self-sustaining teammates that either don't require much healing or can heal themselves(he is no Sona). This build is based on giving your team an insane amount of map mobility and map awareness, which is what I think Zilean was meant for. It gives him enough CDR to spam all skills, and enough mana/mana regen to use them for very extended amounts of time. You will become...Father Time.
Important Things To Remember
Here are some important things you need to remember when reading this guide:
1) This is not an AP carry guide, this is a support guide.
2) Yes, I know Zilean does not have a heal, this does not rule him out of the support role, read this guide.
3) Do not review this guide based on the item build. This guide's focus is on the support role and usage of Zilean as a character, along with items that better him in many ways. Regardless of what this item build says, you should always build situationally to the team you are fighting or what your team lacks. I do not, for any of my characters, have a set item path that I will build exactly on every game I play. You shouldn't either. You will always have your core items that you should generally get and use as a general guide to building that character, but there are always variables that you cannot control or predict, so you must be prepared to adjust to the situation. USE THIS ADVICE
11/29/11- Deleted old sections, added new sections. Added more colors and more that help to make the guide an easier read. Updated for latest patch (Volibear).
11/22/11- Updated for latest patch (Fizz). New Summoner Spells and new Masteries.
11/1/11- Updated, added plenty new material, emphasis on the Warding chapter. Latest patch (Shyvana).
10/18/11- Updated, added new material. Most recent patch (Xerath).
9/26/11- Guide updated, most chapters added on to. New chapters added. Also updated for most recent patch (Riven).
Summoner Spells to take:
- Flash -or- Heal
These three are the only summoner spells Zilean really needs to choose from, Flash for chasing/escaping(especially over walls), Heal to have a heal in your lane/many other uses, and Clairvoyance(CV) for tracking the enemy jungler and spotting ganks.
Runes to take:
Greater Marks of Insight
Greater Seals of Resilience -or- Clarity
Greater Glyphs of Shielding
Greater Quintessences of Fortitude -or- Force -or- Insight -or- Swiftness
You will almost always want to go 9/0/21 to go in the utility tree for support. 0/9/21 is also acceptable.
1- Time Bomb
2- Rewind -or- Time Warp (situational)
3- Time Warp -or- Rewind (whatever you didn't get on level 2)
Then max in this order R > Q > E > W
1) Start with 2x Faerie Charms, one of these will become a Philosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone, and the other into a Mana Manipulator.
2) First trip, you should be getting your Philosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone and if you have enough money, your Boots of Speed.
3) Go on with the build as portrayed in the item build
Your core build is:
- Boots of Mobility -or- Mercury's Treads
- Shurelya's ReverieShurelya's Reverie
- Soul Shroud
- Banshee's Veil
Pros and Cons
Brings great mobility to the entire team
Deals decent damage for a support
Wins team fights
Denies enemy kills
Has to manage mana
No good on his own
Brief Objective List
I've recently decided to add this brief section to explain to you exactly what Zilean's role is on the team composition. Lets see if we can make this short, sweet, and simple:
Zone- Zone your enemies away from harassing your carry, farming minions, and getting experience. a.k.a. BE SCARY (although it may be quite difficult while using the "Groovy Zilean" skin, being stoned all the time)
Kill denial- you use your ultimate often to deny the enemy team their kills. Rage?
Mobility- Get mobile. You need to be able to be everywhere as fast as possible, and so do your teammates. You can make that happen. Shurelya's Reverie, Time Warp + Rewind, and Mobility Boots. Yes.
Ganking- Zilean is a very nice ganker/roamer. He floats in the lane, slows down, throws a bomb, watches him get jumped on, and floats away. AN ENEMY HAS BEEN SLAIN
I will start first just by saying that the runes are preferential, and these are not the only viable rune choices on Zilean.
Main rune set
Reminder: these are all interchangeable with runes of choice.
I've invested 9 points in the Offense tree to get some Ability Power, Cooldown Reduction, and Magic Penetration.
I put the other 21 points into the Utility tree, finishing off the Mastery CDR at 10%. You want to grab all 4 points in Greed and 2 in Wealth. Sage and Scout can also be useful. Why Scout you say? Hey, that 5% can be the difference between being in your turret range away from a deadly gank or being dead.
ally, enemy, or minion. First, I'll start off with the mechanics of the bomb, which some people are not familiar with. When you set a bomb, it takes about 4 seconds for it to explode, damaging the target(if set on enemy), and all surrounding enemies. If the target is killed while there is a bomb on it, the bomb will explode, dealing full damage regardless of the time left for it to explode. EXAMPLE: If a melee enemy is farming your minions and you're too scared to go close, target the minion they are attacking with a bomb, and the second they kill it, a bomb will explode in their face. The bomb will also explode prematurely under the condition that another bomb is set on the same target before the first one can explode...hence the double bomb combo, essentially your bread and butter for fighting. EXAMPLE: If an enemy decides to mess with your carry, pop out of your bush and Bomb>Rewind>Bomb to remind them of their place, away from the minion wave. The bombs will NOT damage allies or allied minions under any circumstances. There is also one more mechanic that can only happen in blind-pick games: If there is a Zilean on both teams, if a Zilean sets a bomb on your teammate, your team's Zilean may place a second one to cancel it out.
That is epic. On the latter, you can also increase you and/or your ally's movement speed for that full duration for the same amount. With this build you can spam this skill to have yourself and 2 allies running at this insane speed indefinitely when done right(this also includes Shurelya's Reverie). The usage of this skill will separate the good Zileans from the bad ones. I have seen Zileans ignore this skill all together, only using it for their own benefit when they are trying to get away. You can imagine the other uses for this skill, chasing, fleeing, and all of the above. I've heard discussion of who to use this ability on in certain situations. Remember that this skill can be classified as a debuff and its duration can be decreased by Tenacity. So take Tenacity into condsideration before choosing whether to slow your enemy down for a reduced duration or speed up your ally for the full duration. (Time Warp is great for melee characters.
The order in which you should Chrono Shift your team is as follows:
-Any other teammate
-Tank (only on the tank if he has the ability to live and make use of himself other than being a meat shield no one will focus)
-You (you shouldn't be in this kind of danger anyway)
STOP USING THIS SKILL PRIMARILY ON YOURSELF!
These are your core items or items that you will always get, no matter what.
These will be your GP10 items that you are required to get as a support, usually I tend to grab 2 DIFFERENT gp10 items to stack my gold income up, and sell the Heart of Gold later.
This item is a necessity for all supports in my opinion. It is one of your gp10 items. This is your source of income, along with your choice of the other gp10 item, besides getting assists from your carry. This is great because of the mana regen and the hp regen it provides as well.
These are the optional items that I would recommend to finish your build with. Please note that these items should regularly be built after your core items. You will only choose one of these items, as you HAVE to keep at least one spot open for wards. I cannot stress the importance of wards, especially as a support. WARDS WARDS WARDS!!!
This item is good for when your team is winning. When you have no other support items to bother with, or really just dont need them anymore, you can buy this and finish the game. If I even get to finish the core build before the game ends, this is usually my next item.
Items to Avoid
These are items commonly gotten by Zileans that either should not be gotten in this build, or not be gotten in general.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
I don't feel Crystal Scepter is a viable option on Zilean. He has a nice amount of HP already(with the rest of the build), so he doesn't need it for the HP. Zilean doesn't even need the slow that it provides as he has his Time Warp to slow them enemy down if he needs to.
The laning phase is one of the most important times for Zilean. It is where he and his carry shine. I feel he is built to get major assists in kills, setting up the opportunity entirely himself. Throw a bomb and speed buff on ally, rewind bomb and speed debuff enemy. That should be your killer combo, provided you have a decent lane partner that can capitalize on a great opportunity. I recommend being in voice communication or quick typing to apply this maneuver correctly. BE SURE TO KNOW HOW TO PLAY AGAINST THE CHAMPIONS IN YOUR LANE. It is imperative that you know who is in your lane, where they are, how they play, and how to counter them. It is quite easy to predict a player's moves after only a few minutes and many games of facing, playing along side, and playing with a particular champion. It's all about experience, if you don't have that much yet, do not fret, there is much time for you to learn, just play safe until you can formulate the proper strategy to destroy your enemy. Always capitalize and punish the enemy for their mistakes, but don't give them the opportunity to do the same to you.
This is where Zilean starts to come out of his shell, if he hasn't already. You should be nearing the purchase of, if not already bought, Shurelya's Reverie and Soul Shroud. You will start to become very tanky, so you can be a little bit more risky when trying to support your teammates in team fights that should be starting soon. You can take more of a hit when being focused down by the enemy team who will hate you for everything you do. Zilean can be quite annoying, especially when unreachable behind carrys and a tank all moving at 100 mph(slightly exaggerated).
Late game is a great time for Zilean, you, by this point, have a lot of mana and great mana regen, so you can just spam Rewind to recharge your ult if it is down. You can push lanes very efficiently, double bombing a minion wave, and Time Warping your allies down the lane into the tower. By this point, you're probably having to throw down your ult every team fight, and throwing bombs every which way. Just remember, with you by their side, your team has superior mobility and survivability.
>>>MAP AWARENESS WINS GAMES<<<
THE SUPPORT SEES ALL!
Sight Ward Sight Ward Sight Ward
You must always keep an eye on your mini-map. ALWAYS! You have to know whats going on around the map at all times. You have to be where you are needed. You need to know if someone on the other team has gone missing and if no one has said anything, let your team know. Its hard to play the game while also looking at the mini-map, I know, but you HAVE to make a habit of it. It wins games. As the support, you are in control of seeing everything on the map.
Did I mention that you need to be buying wards constantly? Map awareness is one of the most vital parts of winning a game. As the support champion on your team, you are in charge of buying and placing wards/using Oracle's Elixirs/using Clairvoyance. Everyone else should also be buying wards, too, but..chances are, they probably won't (especially in solo queue). So this leaves you setting all the wards. Your main concern is to keep dragon warded all game and baron warded when he comes up. With Zilean, warding should be absolutely no problem, seeing how fast he will get around the map. I am working on posting a map for vital warding spots, coming soon!
Baron and Dragon should commonly be warded with a Vision Ward instead of a Sight Ward. The only differences between these 2 wards is the purple one costs 125g instead of 75g and the purple one reveals invisible units(Evelynn, Twitch, >OTHER WARDS<, etc.). When placing a purple ward, it will immediately reveal any stealth units in the area, mainly other wards placed by the enemy. This puts you at a good advantage, as they no longer have sight, you gained it, and they are out of about 100g, or close to it, depending on the type of ward you destroyed. Wards take 3 hits to destroy.
Warding Tip: Always know whats in the bush in front of you. When out placing wards, your going to have to check a lot of bushes, so always throw a Clairvoyance into that bush before running into it. I have seen too many people(including myself) run into bushes merely to place a ward and being brutally murdered.
I've already gone over the use of Clairvoyance, but it can't hurt to restate a few things. As the support, your should most likely be bringing Clairvoyance. This alone gives your team a great advantage. Click to reveal any spot on the map for a few seconds? B-E-A-utiful. Using this at the very start of the match also provides good intel on the enemies' starting items and where they are all headed to. Early game, you should be using this to spot the enemy jungler and keep tabs on him to be aware of when he is going to attempt a gank. With the recent nerf to Clairvoyance, you cannot spam it nearly as much, so you have to use it more sparingly. You should be able to track the jungler and time his camps easily to know about where he will be.
Oracle's Elixir is a great little potion to have. Being the Support, you should be the one to carry this, unless someone else who has the money for it volunteers. This little concoction turns you into a purple ward! So the deal is, you get to walk around and blow up all the enemies wards, so long as you don't die. This also lets you see invisible enemies such as Twitch, Evelynn, and Teemo and his little irritating mushrooms. Cleaning the map of enemy wards and replacing them with your own can essentially win you the game(if your team is competent enough to do so).
Usually you would want someone who will not die to use this, such as a tank. Using this one the tank, will put a target on his head (good team strategy). The good thing about having a target on the tank's head is that he is the one person that the enemy DOES NOT want to focus.
Zilean should be at every team fight your that your team is involved in. If he is not present, he is a dead weight. Zilean has to be around others to be effective. He can set a bomb on your melee carry, speed him up, and send him into battle with lightning speeds as they blow up the enemy, then he can Rewind and do it again. Going into a team fight, if you decide not to buff any of your carries, you can effectively take their carries out of the fight with a simple Time Warp debuff on them, Rewind, then hit another one with it again(while using bombs in between if needed). This way, they are unable to move very much, thus, they deal less damage and can't get away. you have to learn when to use Zilean's ultimate effectively. If you use it too early, it can time out, if you lose it too late(technically not using it), you just lost a teammate and now its a 4v5.
Don't be afraid to use his ultimate either, because you can easily reduce the cooldown on it. Keeping one of your carries from dieing can make or break a fight for your team. You should keep your teammates exceedingly mobile throughout the fight, especially the melee fighters. Please make sure your allies know that they are being affected by your ult so that they do not attempt to retreat from the fight when they are about to be re-raised.
Sadly, this section must be added. How to counter Zilean, the Chronokeeper. Its very important to know how to counter a Zilean if someone else gets him before you.
1) Get Soraka, she can harass him back and restore most of the damage he causes.
2) When he bombs you, instead of running away from everything to avoid causing additional damage, wait until the bomb is about to explode, and walk into your minion wave and blow it up. This will do 2 things: 1) push your lane into your tower, getting them in great position for a gank ~ 2) piss off their carry by doing what they don't want to do (pushing) and have Zilean "steal" their minion kills
-Example videos/tutorials (still need a decent program to record with)
-Game Scores (personal scores, and send me your scores I'd be happy to post them)
-I will look into and maybe consider adding a Zilean AP Carry guide. I will only do this if I find that it has potential and is not completely useless. I simply feel that the role of AP Carry should be filled by an actual AP Carry.
I think Zilean is a great support if used correctly and on the right team composition. I think that he should be added to a team with less mobility, adding a Zilean using this strategy will move your team around the map in seconds.
Please COMMENT AND VOTE, I'd love to hear any criticism you have, and anything you think this build needs. Please actually try it out before you criticize it, though. I will try my best to reply to all comments and I will try to start uploading pictures and videos. I will also change the text up, add more sections and try to make it a bit easier to read. I am constantly updating this guide, and support is appreciated! Thanks!