Zed Build Guide by Ignix0
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order Melee matchup
Threats & Synergies
Really annoying matchup. Go hexdrinker and pray you don't die to his poke. Kill him pre first back or lose lane.
Skill matchup, with for her q then go in with r. Be really careful when diving her. Always keep in mind if her egg is up (4 min cd)
Easy matchup. Just don't get hit by her e. Be careful when you dive her with her e and r.
Really easy matchup. Just wait for 3 and weq, weq and weq until shes dead
I really hate this matchup. You have to farm her pre 6 or she straight up 1 shots you. Wait for her to have no passive if you wanna go in. Go cleanse in this matchup
This matchup really depends on the skill of the fizz. His e can straight up negate your r and dodge your q. Wait for him to use his e on you then weq/all in.
Zed favored. just always keep in mind if he has q or not and you should be fine. Be sure to punish his relatively weak early game.
A skilled kat always wins against zed. Always keep in mind if she has e. DONT weq when she has her e up. She'll just dash away. If she uses r and you have w up just w away and then eq her.
Just dont get hit by her e and you'll destroy her. If youre unconfident go cleanse
Don't underestimate this guy. keep your distance from his e range. You should win this lane.
Easiest zed matchup by far. You can farm him lvl 3-5. EVERY time he walks up for a minion you fuck him up. If you don't kill this guy in lane tho and youre only ahead ~30 cs he's gonna be hell late game.
Just dodge. Her w is so dumb to play against. The second you get hit by her q you die. DONT dive if she has r, youll die.
Skill matchup. Go tabis and youll fuck her up. Wait for her to e and then use your w. Otherwise shell just dodge your weq
You should win this. No real tips for this matchup
Dodge. Theres no world in which you survive this lane. If you dont dodge only last hit with q since his ewqe combo does so much dmg.
Yasuo wins this. His w is really annoying. I recommend just setting up a freeze and punishing him for every roam/ward placement he does. Only fight if his w is off cd
Really easy matchup. Be sure to not dive if his w is up
Hes by far the dumbest champ in the game, I hate this matchup (even though you win it). Just keep your distance and weq him to death! You should really watch out if he has zhonyas.
Skill matchup. If you can wait to weq after he uses e
Terrible matchup. Be sure to never be in his e range. Also dont dive if he has w up. This is a hexdrinker rush for sure
Free matchup. If he cages you can w out. Really easy dives. If hes scared even under tower (as he should be) just place your w outside of tower range and then (flash if needed) reqw and hes dead.
Mirror matchups are reallllly boring with zed. Let the other guy r you then you r him and hes basically dead.
Just farm with q. If he has bone plating watch out for that. Kinda unwinnable, just try to get out of lane down only ~20 cs.
Skill matchup, a skilled wukong will dodge your weq combo with his clone. Always watch out for that. You wanna keep your distance in this matchup in order to land weq without getting demolished.
Good cc, be sure to save your weq for when he q's to ensure both q's hit.
Cage is really strong combined with your weq combo.
Champion Build Guide
Im a Zed/ Talon player and reguraly stream at My twitch channel.
I make this guide to inform newer players about how to zed but also to expand my knowledge about him. I have been playing zed for a while now and have managed to get 220K points on him. I can confidentally say that I know the champion inside and out. The main reason I started playing zed is because he has a high skill ceiling and a very skill expressive fun kit.
Fun to play
1 shot potential
Strong in low elo
High skill expression
Lots of counterplay
Weak in high elo
Weak laning phase
High skill floor
Falls off late game
weak against tanks
There are a couple of scenario's in which picking him can greatly increase your chances of winning:
In a heavy ap comp
Let's say my team picks:
- Maokai top
- Karthus jungle
- Veigar bot
- Alistar support
Zed would be ideal into this comp because you'll build full lethality --> people will build either mr/armor. If they build mr you can 1 shot everyone, if the enemy team opts to build armor your team will be able to pop off.
A good matchup
Even though I said zed has a weak laning phase, don't get me wrong he's not talon in early game. He can still solo kill the opponent but this will mostly be if the enemy screws up/you have an easy matchup. If you get a good matchup on zed you can farm the enemy over and over and over.
That's just how the champion works, if you're 5/0/3 you can easily dive the 0/3/1 Veigar.
You're playing in low elo
Zed's biggest weakness is the fact that he has so much counterplay. The only reason zed works in low elo is because people make a lot of mistakes zed can capitilize on. For example, if you play in bronze hardly anyone will rush Seeker's Armguard and Ninja Tabi. That's a huge mistake you can exploit (by 1 shotting them). Once you reach high(er) elo's you'll start to see more armor against zed which greatly reduces your strengh.
The enemy team has a lot of squishy's
Zed is strongest against squishy's, this is because of the nature of lethality as a stat. It negates a flat amount of armor, this means if someone has 40 armor and you're level 18 with 15 lethality he'll only have 25 armor for you, thereby increasing your damage significantly. If he has 400 armor, he'll have 385 armor, you'll do like 5 extra damage. So lethality items are best into squishy's so zed is also best into squishy's.
When to not pick Zed
Too much ad in your team
This might seem insignificant and obvious because you always want a good ap/ad ratio right? Well yes ofcourse but even more so with lethality champions. To really know when to pick zed you gotta understand lethality.
Lethality cuts off a certain amount of armor based on level. For example: Duskblade of Draktharr has 21 lethality, this means you negate 21 armor at level 18. This is very effective into a lot of squishy's because if an opponent has 40 armor, you cut off 21 and he only has 19 left. Boom all of his armor gone, but when you're in an (almost) all ad team people are gonna build armor, a lot of it. So -21 armor is gonna look like this: 400 --> 379 armor, very ineffective.
Too many tanks in enemy
This is similar to: "you're in an (almost) ad comp", people are gonna build armor, lethality is gonna be ineffective and you aren't gonna deal damage.
We take this rune standard because not only does it work perfectly with your weq combo but the domination tree is also really good for Zed. This really is a must for your laning phase, I myself have experimented with zed runes a lot and I have noticed that you just lack a lot of laning power without Electrocute. Definitely a must!
Some people opt for Sudden Impact but you just don't get too much out of it. Taste of blood however you definitely notice, a really good rune to 1v9 with.
This rune makes you snowball harder, it's not the best rune for zed but it still is very nice. Definitely the weakest rune in your kit, if you want to switch it out you can change it into Zombie Ward
This is extremely strong, a no brainer. Death Mark is definitely the strongest part of your kit and having a lower cooldown on it allows you to roam more, make more solo kills, better teamfights and etc. The rune is just incredibly good overall.
This is by far the best rune on Zed you could ever take, whenever I see another zed player on the enemy and he isn't running this rune I legitimately get mad because they're just grieving their game. You thought energy management was hard in the early game? Well get excited for teamfights in which you can only use 3 abilities unless you have the amazing rune. It's my favorite rune you could ever take on zed and anyone who doesn't standard run this doesn't understand this champion.
Gives you more kill pressure in lane, really good for diving and those Death Mark's which barely kill.
Flash as with every champion is just really powerful, you can escape death, secure a kill, chase further. There are even some fun combo's you can do with flash, one of my favorites being f-w-e-q. It's just weq but with flash. When both you and your opponent are low (in laning phase) he won't see this on coming :D.
Ignite Is a really powerful tool especially into good matchups, it just adds a bit of a better laning phase. It works as a really good tool to secure kills (especially tower dives with your r). It's a summoner which really increases Zed's lack luster early game, providing him with kill pressure.
Cleanse Is something you can consider into heavy cc teams so you wont have to build Quicksilver Sash. It's very strong but just situational, keep in mind that if you get cc'd in teamfight you're ****ed. I'd recommend this into stuff like Sejuani + Lux or something similar. Be sure to not do this into winning matchups tho. If you go Cleanse you might lose some kill pressure you would have with Ignite, if you take this rune you're playing to not die.
This ability is really good for extended trades and all ins, it does a lot of damage since your enemy is probably building armor and it deals ap damage.
This ability is your bread and butter, 90% of your damage comes from this ability. It's good harrass in the laning phase when your Living Shadow(w) is of cooldown. When you're fighting make sure to have as many shadows as possible before using Razor Shuriken(q)
Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for a few seconds. Reactivating Living Shadow will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
This ability is used to gap close, land 2 Razor Shuriken's (q) and slow with your e. It's the big cooldown you'll be playing around. When this ability isn't up you can't trade in lane. If it's up try to land your weq combo (see combo section)
This does relatively low damage compared to Razor Shuriken(q) but is still an essential part to his kit. Its main use is slowing and dealing a bit of damage while you're at it. In your weq combo if you hit both shurikens it will also proc electrocute making this ability ALWAYS necessary when you trade.
Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to an enemy champion, marking them. After 3 seconds the mark triggers, repeating a portion of all the damage Zed dealt to the target while they were marked.
This ability is what zed is known, loved and hated for. When you make an all in/dive with this ability be sure to have your w up for maximum dps. A mistake I often see with new zed players is they just use r --> e --> q. This is really wrong! Always have 2 shadows available when you use q (in an all in)
We take Razor Shuriken(q) level 1, level 2 depends on the matchup, into ranged you take Living Shadow(w) into melee you take Shadow Slash(e). Then level 3 you take whatever you haven't leveled yet. Max q first cause it does the most damage, then max e cause then w. We max e over w cause the lower on cooldown on w is just not worth more than the extra damage that e provides.
What you should try to maximise dps is not have any minions between you and your enemy, if your q goes through a minion it will deal less damage to the enemy.
take this when you have a losing poke matchup. A small exception = zoe, she doesn't proc the doran's shield passive a lot.
You go Long Sword 60% of your games, you take it into melee matchups and preferable range matchups. To see if your matchup is preferabble check the "counters" section of the guide.
Now the question is, you have Long Sword, but are you gonna buy Refillable Potion or 3 Health Potion's? I usually go Refillable Potion into farm matchups where you outscale, it just saves so much gold (~300). If this is not the case/you're new to zed just go 3 Health Potion's
So, you probably already know this but I'll say it anyway, lvl 1 you upgrade Razor Shuriken(q), level 2 you take either Living Shadow(w) or Shadow Slash(e), against ranged you go w and into melee champions you go e. Level 3 you just upgrade the ability youre still missing. Then go r-q-e-w max.
Zed has a very weak lvl 1/2, during this time you wanna just get poked the least amount possible and farm with q. Level 2 you either do the same thing as level 2 (melee matchup) or you go for a wq combo trying to hit both shurikens.
Only do this combo once otherwise you can't use weq on lvl 3.
During the first 3 levels you don't wanna get pushed in if possible q the whole wave if enemy is pushing.
Level 3 is when you start to become a champion, Zed's deadly weqcombo comes in play a lot here. Whenever you have enough energy (around the 170 mark) and your w is up use weq! Check the combo's section to know how to effectively use/land this combo.
Into some (easier) matchups you get kill pressure level 3 when you start chipping away their hp (with weq and q's). When the enemy is low enough you can do this combo: w-e-q-w-aa-ignite. Once again, check the combos section.
Aight, let's say you just hit level 6, this is around the time you want to have your Serrated Dirk ready for extreme kill pressure. This is when Zed really starts to become a threat. If you know you deal enough damage you can look to all-in/dive the enemy. My favorite combo for this is: w(behind)-r-e-q-(ignite/aa?)-w. Again, check combo section but what this does is place your w out of tower range and you can just walk up, r and e/q if that's not enough throw in ignite/aa keep in mind your passive does a lot of damage. When you know r will kill just w back and you'll be safe.
Something I haven't covered yet is roaming. Zed is a very strong roam champion, I'd recommend primarily ganking bot lane because: most bot laners include at least 1 squishy (lethality good into squishy's) and botlane is always down 1/2 levels compared to you, this makes ganking when you get 6 very effective, just get 6. Push in the wave and roam to bot with your ultimate advantage. I wouldn't really roam pre 6, if you're gonna roam a lot be sure to buy Boots of Mobility.
How much you roam depends on how ahead you are, if you are behind you shouldn't roam often since your lane opponent can just follow you and win the teamfight. If you're ahead a kill or 2, GO ROAM. Use your small lead to establish lane prio/crash into tower (preferabbly a slowpush into cannon wave crash). Then see what's gankable, if you can't gank to any lanes. No problem! You now have enough time to reset or get some deep wards. If you're ahead even more (4+) kills don't even bother slow pushing, just PUSH PUSH PUSH and constantly roam with your Boots of Mobility.
In the mid game as Zed you're constantly looking to split push. This is why I love building Sanguine Blade. When you splitpush you put pressure on the side you're pushing, in order to stop you from taking tower the enemies are gonna send 1/2 people to stop you and/or catch the wave. If you draw 2 people to you your team can just 4v3 teamfight and win. If only 1 comes you can try to dive him if he's squishy. Try to group with your team when an enemy is busy catching the wave you pushed. This creates favorable 5v4 fights. So always keep in mind your goal is not (always) to get towers while splitting, it's to create favorable trade.
Now I hear you asking, Ignix what do I do if the enemies don't rotate? Well it's simple, you ping your team not to fight and just take the tower.
In teamfights as Zed you're trying to assasinate the dps dealer. This isusually the adc. Cause of the nature of lethality these dps dealers will be really easy to deal with if you're not 0/7. Just w-w to a squishy dps dealer/healer and then r-e-q-aa and they should be dead. Then you can r back and you'll be all good ready to assasinate the next target.
When your r is of cooldown you're looking to hit weq combos, favorably to multiple squishy targets. If both your r and w are off cooldown, back down or just poke with q (unless you're really fed)
Zed doesn't fall off as hard late game as people make him out to. You can still secure a lot of objectives (mostly inhibs). Cause of your amazing splitpush power you can just take inhibs. If there are any open and the enemies are mid I usually vroom my way to the inhib, take it and then regroup with my team.
The same rules for teamfighting applies to the late game. You might wanna change your build around in the late game for maximum dps. You ALWAYS wanna have either Lord Dominik's Regards or Mortal Reminder in this phase of the game. Even if they build 0 tank items the base armor champions have around this time is so high it's still cost effective.
I really enjoyed making this guide and I feel like I greatly increased my knowledge about Zed when I did research for this guide and created a deeper undestanding of the champion for me.
If you want to thank me for this guide, the best way to do that is to check out my social media, click one of the pictures to go there.
My main platform is twitch, I stream daily for ~5 hours usually starting 1 pm CEST - 6 PM CEST