Zac Build Guide by KingStix
[10.15] Let's Boogie! Zac Jungle Guide - KingStix - ChallengBy KingStix | Updated on July 21, 2020
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Runes: Tank Man
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Always
Threats & Synergies
Ivern has great peel for his teammates to keep them alive which can make it hard for you to engage
Poppy can displace you and can deal a lot of damage to tanks
Olaf can deal a lot of damage, slow, and avoid CC with his ultimate
Graves is really strong right now. He deals a lot of damage and can dodge your E with his.
Zac way outscales Lee Sin
Fiddle won't be able to do much damage to Zac and Zac can CC him.
Zac has a very high win rate against Eve. She is not able to kill him.
Not Vayne jungle, just Vayne in general. She will kill you in 5-6 autos late game. BAN.
Zac has a lot of knock ups, great for Yasuo.
Tons of CC
Champion Build Guide
A Challenger Jungler (NA) and Youtuber
Hello, I'm KingStix. I'm a challenger jungle main and I play a variety of jungle champions. Zac has always been a staple pick for me because he is fun to play and a safe pick while also being able to hard carry. Many games I have the most damage dealt and most damage taken, that's pretty hard to do with any other champion. This season I'm doing another climb to challenger and playing primarily Zac because he currently has a great spot in this meta.
I hope you enjoy this written guide and if you'd like to see an informational video commentary as well you can view that below-
If you interested in more educational League of Legends content from a challenger jungle main, you can find it on my YouTube channel .
Zac is tanky while still dealing a lot of damage
He has a lot of CC that can't be cleansed
You don't have to manage mana or energy
He can peel or engage in teamfights
His ganks are sub optimal before level 4
He cannot 1v1 enemy junglers early game
E is a super long cool down early, if you miss on engage- you could be in trouble!
You are forced to max E first in order to gank
Standard full clear- start with bot lane which will change depending on which side of the map you're on either:
Red > Smite golems > raptors > wolves > blue + Smite gromp simultaneously OR
Blue > Smite gromp > wolves > raptors > red > Smite golems
Defensive clear options- if you are playing against a strong early game champion that likes to invade, you need to play accordingly. Try to get your Warding Totem out by the 0:55 second mark to see where they are starting. You can recall immediately after to get pick up your Oracle Lens for ganking.
Level 1 invade- If you see the enemy jungler trying to start your buff level 1, you can just solo start either wolves or raptors.
No level 1 invade- If you see the enemy jungler is starting on their own buff, but it's a champion like Lee Sin or Graves and you're worried they will invade you, you can start on the OPPOSITE side of the map solo so they don't know where you started.
Invading on Zac
You can invade to take the enemy's camp IF you know for sure they are on the opposite side of the map AND you know for sure that the camp is up. Do not waste time to go check if you're not sure. For the most part, invading the enemy jungle on Zac is only DEFENSIVELY. Meaning if you see the enemy jungle walking into your jungle, you can go to theirs instead to avoid them and still get a camp.
Generally, you don't want to start ganking on Zac until level 4. This way you will have a second point in your E Elastic Slingshot which will increase its range and improve the engage for your gank. Make sure the area is not warded first with your Oracle Lens. Jump in with your E Elastic Slingshot to knock up the enemy/enemies. Once you land, you'll want to use your W Unstable Matter immediately while you are on top of them for the damage since this has less range than your Q. You will want to quickly use your Q Stretching Strikes while the enemy is still in range. The closer the better since it is easier to land a skill shot in closer range. You can then auto anything to displace the enemy (don't forget--> this includes other enemy champs, minions, monster camps, turrets, inhibitors, blast cones, or anything you can auto!) Once you are level 6, you will have your ultimate Let's Bounce!. This will knock back enemies and slow them. It's a great CC tool! You get 4 bounces so you can knock back multiple enemy champs. Note: Each bounce deals damage but each enemy can only be knocked back once from this ability. This mean level 6 is a great time to gank bot lane. It is also awesome for counter ganks and team fights. Also, Zac is great at defending towers with his ultimate. If an enemy or 2 are attacking your turret, you can go alone with your E Elastic Slingshot then ultimate Let's Bounce!. Especially with turret aggro, you should be able to kill squishy champions this way.
Zac is super slow at soloing objectives. I would recommend ganking & killing the enemy bot lane first with your ultimate before heading to dragons early so that you can get help from your bot lane & it doesn't take 10 years. You can also do the same thing top lane with killing the enemy top or mid laner then heading to Rift Herald with a pal. However, I'd rather sneak Rift Herald (just make sure it isn't warded and preferably know the enemy jungler is not near). This way I can gank top or mid right after Herald and use it right away for some sweet, sweet turret plating. Cha-Ching! $$$
You have 2 options on Zac. Engage or peel. This will just depend on what your team needs. You may have a carry that is instantly dying to a fed Riven diving your back line. In this case, you'd want to stay by the carry and just peel. This means using your CC abilities (which is 3 out of 4, dang Zac is OP) whenever enemies try to attack your carry. As mentioned below, you can build Locket of the Iron Solari for games like this. Other times, you may be the only engage that your team has and that is what is needed from you. Zac has great engage as well. However, if you miss your E Elastic Slingshot, you could actually be in trouble if you aren't very far ahead. Especially if you are behind, landing your E is essential. Of course, if enemies are CC'd, they can't attack you. And if they aren't CC'd, welp... now you're in the middle of the enemy team getting ripped apart by everyone. So, I hear often that people have trouble "inting" on Zac. If you're behind... well, you really might be as squishy as you look if you aren't sticking your landing. In this case, you might want to just peel or counter engage only when the enemies are already attacking, focused on the fight, and using their abilities.
BUT KING... When Do I Go IN?
Some champions can knock you right out of your jump Elastic Slingshot like a Thresh flay or Janna tornado, for example. You will want to make sure that either these abilities have already been used or that you are not engaging near that champion. Many champions have dashes, especially trying to go in on the enemy ADC like Ezreal, Lucian, or... no, not Vayne- We BAN Vayne. In this case, if you can you'll want to go in as soon as their dash is on cool down if at all possible. Especially if the carry is fed, you don't want them to dash your E landing then destroy you! Just make sure that you are ready and in position to go in if you're not sitting back to peel. You should be waiting behind a wall or in a bush like a Fiddlesticks waiting to ult.
AP Zac is fun but it's very situational and in order for it to be optimal and not a troll pick, this isn't 100% AP. You should still be tanky. This is a legit option when your team is already tanky and could use more AP damage AND when the enemy team isn't mixed damage so you only have to build 1 type of resistance along with your AP items. Above you will see the ideal item build for AP Zac which includes Liandry's Torment and Spellbinder but still includes tanky items like Stalker's Blade - Cinderhulk and Bramble Vest. AP Zac can go either rune page- Conqueror or Aftershock. Conqueror is higher risk, higher reward and Aftershock is safer. You can view how to play AP Zac here:
Conqueror Zac can be played with traditional full tank items or the AP Zac. If you go Conqueror and/or AP Zac, please note that landing your E becomes far more essential. With this play style, you should be using your E to counter engage because that makes it far easier to land your E. (Let the enemies use their gap closers to go in first). You can view how to play Zac with Conqueror here:
Oracle Lens is free, of course, but also a staple on Zac. While you're chilling behind a wall waiting for the right time to engage, you will never find the right time to engage if the enemies know you're there. Pick this up to make sure you aren't waiting in a warded area. You can get it after your first back/first clear or you can drop a ward in the enemy jungle at the 50 second mark and back in time to get it before your first clear.
Bramble Vest is what I always pick up after my jungle item because it offers a lot of value for only 1k gold. It reduces enemy healing, gives you more damage, and makes you more tanky.
An upgrade to Thornmail is optional. Buy this if the enemy team is auto attack reliant.
Spirit Visage is a great buy on Zac because it increases his healing by 30% but if the enemy team is full AD, I'd skip this.
Dead Man's Plate is awesome for heavy AD teams. It also gives movement speed which can be very useful for chasing down to use your Q. This item also gives you a slow on your auto attack which you can use after you E in to CC the enemies even longer.
Adaptive Helm is something you buy against champions with damage over time. This includes champions like Malzahar, Brand, Zyra, Teemo, and Heimerdinger.
Locket of the Iron Solari is a purchase for when you need to sit back and peel for your carry. Engaging is not always the right choice. Sometimes your best shot at winning is keeping your carry alive.
Ninja Tabi is good for auto based champs and heavy AD comps. If enemy team is mixed damage, you could go the combo Spirit Visage with Ninja Tabi.
Mercury's Treads is good for comps with heavy CC and AP. If enemy team is mixed damage, you could go the combo Dead Man's Plate with Mercury's Treads.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity gives you cool down reduction on abilities and summoner spells. I'd only choose this if the enemy team doesn't have a lot of damage.