Zilean Build Guide by kajowwojak
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.
this is the first time I've ever made a guide, so bare with me. I'm actually not all that 'good' with Zilean, but this is what i've been doing with him. Every guide I've ever had revolves around him being a bombing unit that's supposed to scare the living **** out of anybody who sees him... well this really shouldn't be true in any way.
Can zilean be scary? yes. In fact, he's very scary, thanks to his bombs. However, everybody's thing is 'double bombing' with his rewind ability... well, if you're there long enough to throw 2 bombs on someone, then you're there long enough to be attacked and killed with little trouble at all. This guide is more about being a terrorist than being that freakishly OP bomberman who strikes fear into everoyboyd.
All the items I see have zilean with a LOT of VERY EXPENSIVE items. NO this doesn't work, especially early game. I start off with the lucky pick early game, because its a simple bonus to AP (Which he utilizes very well), as well as bonus gold, because early game, odds are you will be getting more assists than you will be getting kills. This includes minions.
The second thing you get should be the Hextech Revolver. Why? Spellvamp. You will get 15% of all damage done, to all beings hit by your bomb. That can add up to alot, and as squishy as this timelord is, its very helpful for letting you stay in a lane longer.
Tears of the Goddess. By this time, you're decently into a game, level 5-6, and you realize just how manahungry this guy is. You need extra mana, and the Tears do it great. added bonus to Mana AND mana regen, AND it gives you extra MP for every spell that you cast (and with this guy, you will be casting a LOT of spells)
But now you're getting to the point where you're killing minions by the hoards, but having to keep running away from that high powered champion who has some kind of fatal stun/blast/slow/stun combo or something. NOW you go for Rabadon's Deathcap. This will set you up wonderfully for the rest of the game, thanks to its sadistic bonus to AP. Seriously, once you have this hat, you WILL be feared from your bombs.
Then the Void staff. Why? Penetration. If you're fighting smart champions, they've been stacking Magic resistance to protect themselves from you. give yourself some magic penetration, and its all for naught.
Finally, the spellbook. This is really only important because of the cooldown reduction. By this time, you don't really NEED anymore AP, but the 70 + 30% can't hurt. The point at this part in the late game is speed. Why do I say that you don't need anymore? Because I rarely, RARELY get to afford this book, and if I do, I don't need to be doing just a little more damage (okay, a moderate amount, thanks to his AP bonus from his bombs), I need to be shelling out the bombs faster.
At this point, if the game is SITLL going on, you can upgrade your Tears of the goddess to the Archangel staff, for a pretty sweet bonus (Don't worry, any bonus MP you've racked up while having the tears of the goddess carry's over instantly to the archangel's staff. you DO NOT have to start over)
Just a note though: Don't go STRAIGHT for buying the items. Build up. don't go trying to buy the deathcap all at once, buy the blasting rod (or the needlessly large rod if you can afford that by the time you return to base). same with everything else. BUILD UP!
You CAN level up your Hextech revolver, but It would be expensive, and should only be saved for absolute last.
and finally, if you have thousands of gold and the game is still going, it IS okay to sell your lucky pick for something else, say... Zhonya's Hourglass. If you can afford this, and the game is still going, and you've purchased everything else, you're going to NEED all the help you can get. But usually games are over LONG before any of this is necissary, so that's why I didn't include anything else in the item list.
Notice that he doesn't have any boots. He doesn't need them. Time warp will keep him moving fast enough. Thats all i'm going to say.
How 2 Play
AVOID DIRECT CONFLICT!
You're playing the part of a terrorist and a harasser.
AVOID DIRECT CONFLICT! YOU WILL DIE!
Seriously, I can't stress enough how easy it is to kill this guy. the ONLY thing that makes him hard to kill is that he can place chronoshift on himself, and, late game, can ressurect himself with full health (or an ally with full health)
The best thing to do when playing zilean is to hide in the brush of an early game, and when the minions show up, throw a bomb at a minion and then run. Early game is going to both suck and be fun at the same time. Suck, because you probably won't be getting the final kills, so you won't be getting lots of money up front, and fun, because your attack is AOE, so you're getting lots of EXP from it.
After the initial bomb toss, RUN THE HELL AWAY! Stay away from the front lines. The best thing you can do is throw bombs onto YOUR melee minions as they run past you and into conflict with opposing minions/champions, or throw the bombs onto friendly melee champions as they rush into battle for an extra bonus in damaging enemies for them.
IF there are NO champions around, you're free to run up to minions and throw bombs at them, just try to be efficient with them.
Now, as I said before, you're goal is to just push your lane. mid to late game, your bombs will obliterate mobs of minions and can actually be rather scary to champions who are not prepared for fighting a zilean. Combine this with someone who knows how to push a lane, and you might actually be the first group to push all the way. Do NOT underestimate your bombs, but for the love of god, do NOT overestimate them. These things can NOT bring down a champion from full health, unless they're squishy, un-prepared, and were double bombed.
However, that's not to say that being assistance is bad. More than one time i've thrown a bomb on an enemy who was fleeing, and, while they escaped with little health, I here a few seconds later "An Enemy has been slain".
Rewind. This is an ability you should love to no end.
This is what lets you double bomb. This lets you use Time Warp repeatedly for faster getaways. And, during all this time, lets you keep lowering the high cooldown of your chronoshift. In fact, if you've got a cooldown on your chronoshift, and you're not going to be in combat for a little while, go ahead and use it anyways, to help try to build up mana on your tears of the goddess. With enough mana, you won't even notice how power hungry he is!
Time warp: This is hard to explain. When is it better to cast time warp on an enemy (Slowing them down 55% for X time), or on an ally (speeding them up by 55% for X time) Who's either trying to run away, or trying to chase down an enemy. Really, either is good, but its generally better to slow down an enemy, because then YOU can catch up to them too, to throw a bomb at them, or to let the minions get a hit at them too, and what not. What this is really best for is quick escapes from champions hunting you down.
Chronoshift: OH SWEET JESUS ABOVE! This makes zilean something to be feared. When an ally dies, they are ressurected (transported back in time to before they were died), and are healed a set amount (Based on the level of the spell), AND healed two times your AP (near end game, you can res a tank to near full health). Careful though: This only has a 7 second time limit. be careful when casting it, and make sure that neither you, nor your allies, waste this gift of time. This will allow a warrior to finish off a fight that would normally kill them as well, and then get back up and keep fighting with VIGOR!
At this point, I'm going to explain the alt key. pressing alt + a quick key for a spell automatically casts it on yourself. so if you're running away from an enemy (or four), its much more productive to press alt + E for Time shift on yourself rather than clicking on yourself, or, if you know you're going to die, alt + R for chronoshift on yourself. This can shave of precious fractions of seconds.
Ghost is chosen because it is excellent for escaping, and running away. This is just the cold hard truth of the spell and shouldn't be substituted for anything else. Sure, flash is 'nice' but its got way too long of a reload time, and the distance it can teleport you is WAY too short.
Clarity: THIS GUY HEMMORAGES MANA! Seriously, bomb, rewind, bomb. time shift, rewind, time shift. This guy will use a lot of mana, and early game, clarity can double the time that you're in a game.
Heal spell! "This guy is squishy, i really need to be able to heal him!" No. You don't. A heal spell is for someone who is in direct conflict and needs just a couple more seconds or just a little more health to kill an enemy. Zilean needs to run away, and then place bombs and let his Hextech revolver heal him thanks to spellvamp. He does NOT need a heal spell.
Masteries and Runes
Honestly, You can use your masteries however you want. I went for cooldowns, Mana regen increase, and a bit of greed because the money REALLY helps in game. Oh, and speed because I'm not giving him boots, so the little bonus really helps.
If you like different masteries, be my guest. I won't judge you.
Runes... Yeah, you can do whatever you like. These are the runes I use, because they work well with mana regen, and ability points (and a little bit of coodlown)
if you wanna go pure mana regen, or something, that's fine.
Finally, an apology
Yeah, again, this is my first guide, so I'm probably going to get like... a LOT of hatemail about how much this sucks. So I'm sorry if this hurt your brain, or you're a pro Zilean-ist and see that everything I say is wrong...