Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides

Zed Build Guide by Zed Marked

Middle [10.16] In-Depth Zed Build + Matchups + Jungle

By Zed Marked | Updated on August 30, 2020
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Runes: Standard Runes

1 2 3 4 5
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter

Gathering Storm

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #29 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats


Hi, guys. I'm Azmayeen previously known as GHL Outcast presenting my guide based on Zed. I won't be making a Runes part but I will be making a small itemization chapter to give you guys a general idea(didn't have one before). If you want to contact me regarding any matchups or macro gameplay, add me on Discord Azmayeen#2027.
I try to update the guide every patch so please bear with me :3
Back to Top

Pros and Cons

*Easy to farm in lane with passive
*Ability to escape from bad situations
*High Mobility
*Outplay potential
*Strong up until lategame
*Has item counters
*Vulnerable to crowd control and good peel from enemy tanks and supports
*Can't beat armor stacked champions
*Mediocre in teamfights
*Very High Skill Cap
Back to Top


Passive : Contempt for the Weak
Deals extra magic damage based on max health against enemy under 50% hp. Helps with last hitting cs making it easier to farm. Has a cooldown on the same target.
Q: Razor Shuriken
Throws a shuriken, two combined with shadow from W, three with ult shadow and W. Can be used to harass enemy and farm safely from a distance. Main damaging ability.
W: Living Shadow
Used for combos, gap closing and escaping. Hitting the same target with 2 or more than 2 of the same abilities restores energy based on levels.
E: Shadow Slash
Melee ranged damage. Slows enemy instead of doing ranged damage if the enemy is hit by your shadow's E. If Zed(not the shadow) hits the E on champions, W cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds per champs hit.
R: Death Mark
Activating Death Mark leaves a shadow behind and Zed turns up on the other side of the enemy champ. After 3 seconds, it pops dealing damage depending on how much damage you dealt during those 3 seconds as the damage of your ult amplifies based on it.
Back to Top


First things first, most newbies make the mistake of buying Caulfield's rather than Dirk. The reason why you don't buy Caulfield's first is because you're losing out on the lethality for the CDR which you really don't need because by the time your whole set of abilities is up for another W-E-Q with Dirk, your electro will be up as well and honestly the lethality is much better than the CDR.
Then again, some matchups require Hexdrinker like Fizz, maybe Diana. But, if you're a new player, I suggest taking Hexdrinker into most of the AP matchups.
Either way, on your first ideal back/recall, you should have enough for a Dirk/Hexdrinker.
In most cases, you're gonna be building Youmuus and Duskblade but which one should you build first is the question. Youmuus if you wanna roam more and Duskblade if you wanna solo kill your laner and get turret fast. But, if the enemy starts stacking armor right from the get-go, I suggest building Last Whisper second. If more than two of the enemy champs have started stacking armor, it'd be better to complete the Last Whisper into an LDR or MR based on their comp.
I suggest building full lethality with Last Whisper based items against most comps, Cleaver against tanky comps or if you're behind. Sterak's if you need a bit of HP and Tenacity. Death's Dance if you're not that behind but can't withstand burst. Maw if the enemy is mainly AP. I almost never go Guardian Angel because you really don't it because with Zed, you don't rely on dealing DPS damage, you rely on dealing burst for which you need to go in and out without getting rekt in between. If you do need something to escape CC, either go EoN if they don't have that much point and click CC or QSS if they have a lot of CC. Just remember to time your QSS and get out with your shadows fast.

Itemization completely relies on your understanding of comps and what item is the best in certain situations. I'm just here to give you a general idea about it.
Back to Top


Basic Harass Combo: W-E-Q
W-E slows the enemy champs and hitting Q deals the main part of the damage of your combo. Hitting E and both Q's will proc your Electrocute. Good combo to harass without taking any damage in return.
Improved Combo after getting R: R-W-E-Q
Ulting and enemy then using your W to get out of range or reposition yourself against champions with some kind of dash or if they have their flash up,E to slow then Q to hit the shurikens from Zed and his shadows will deal enough damage and to finish it off, the death mark proc. Ignite might be required if you miss any Q.

There are a lot of combos with Zed and different Zed mains have their own combos. Watch different Zed mains to learn and improve your combos.

Zed has infinite potential when it comes to combos so figure out which combo is better in which situations by playing more and more games.
This guy has some videos which might help a lot even if they're a bit outdated.
Back to Top



One thing to note in case of top lane matchups, you need to avoid melee trading, play around your W's and farm at a safe distance since most of these champs have a way to catch you and beat you easily early on.

Aatrox: Maintain a safe distance from him in lane. Don't let him hit you with his Q's 'cause that'll hurt a lot and he'll heal a lot too. Trade using W-E-Q's and setup for all in's when he's low enough but be careful because when he ults, he heals a lot from the damage he deals. You might have to go an Executioner's Calling to reduce his healing.

Camille: The walls could be what gives the edge on her. She plays around walls so that she can easily stun you with her E. Stay away from the walls when you can't take a trade or use the walls to your advantage to bait her and kill her. One thing to keep mind is that when you triple Q her, she can dodge it if she times her ult. So, either let her ult first after the engage or triple Q her if she's not close enough to ult you.

Cho'Gath: Tank. Try to get an early kill on him or don't fight at all. This goes for all the tanks. After your first item (preferably Youmuus), rush LDR.

Darius: Avoid getting caught by his E, trade with W-E-Q's and farm at a safe distance. If you get caught by his E, W back to avoid getting damaged and do an instant E-Q as a follow up. After the mana changes, he can't afford to take bad trades because he'll be out of mana, play around that. Play around your shadows in order to avoid his Q's because if he hits his Q, he's gonna heal a lot. You could buy an early Executioner's Calling.

Dr. Mundo:Same as the other tanks. Mundo is a bit squishier tho, so you can try getting kills on him since most of em rushes Bami's and not the armor part of Sunfire. Rush Mortal Reminder after completing your first item.

Fiora: You'll almost never beat a good Fiora. Her Riposte can negate all the damage you do from a combo in lane and post 6, it can cancel your death mark or it's damage. Either way, you gotta play smartly. Early Executioner's might help.

Gangplank: He is a bit mana hungry so play around that. Stay away from the bushes if has pressure in lane because he's gonna try to get some hidden barrel damage on you. If you have pressure, play around the bushes so he can't get barrels there but it also makes you a bit vulnerable to ganks since you're not closer to your turret. Try to get him low before going for an all in because his W heal might save him.

Garen: This is just a bad matchup. It's mainly taking short trades and constantly damaging him so that his passive doesn't proc and he doesn't freakin' outsustain you in lane and also you have avoid taking too much damage. Post 6, if he tries to Q you, you can ult that and not get silenced and do your combo but you won't be able to kill him if he's not low enough because well..... he is Garen after all.

Gnar: Gnar has a range advantage in his mini form and HP and CC advantage in his mega form. Try trading before he goes mega but from a safe distance and delay your Q's a bit when using W-E-Q in order to draw out his E(jump) with your W otherwise he'll just dodge everything and you'll lose the trade badly.

Illaoi: Dodge her E, don't get poked down too much. She'll have mana issues if she doesn't go Corrupting Pot or Time Warp or Biscuits so play around that. Post 6, get her low, dodge E and play around your ult and W shadows while going for an all in.

Irelia: Dodge her E, wait out her W when you're trying to trade, ult her ult or dodge it with W post 6. You need an early lead against her otherwise she beats you hard. So, play smartly.

Jax: If you initiate the combo, dodge his E-Q with your W. If he waits out your W and then engages, then you need play a bit safer. It's all about playing around your shadows in this matchup. Utilize your shadows to avoid his stun.

Jayce: He has a better kit so you'll need 6 most of the times in order to beat him. Play around your W-E-Q's. If he gets low, go for an all in.

Kayle: She should be an easy matchup. She might rush Seeker's, so try to kill her early and end by midgame.

Kennen: Maintain range, farm with Q, trade with W-E-Q. Keep an eye on his passive stacks since at 3 stacks, it stuns you. Play all ranged matchups in a similar way.

Malphite: .....yeah I don't really do well against Malphites so can't really help that much. All I can say is try to bait his ult and dodge it with your shadow or time your ult but it'll take good reflexes to do that.

Maokai: Just be careful of his W and E. Rest is the same for tank matchups. Early Mortal Reminder will help.

Mordekaiser: Dodge his E and try to trade when he doesn't have W or his bar is low meaning he'll get a low shield. If he ults you after you put your shadows, then you're ****ed because the shadows get left behind and you won't have anything in his realm. In this case, try to get him as low as possible while maintaining range before going for an all in.

Nasus: You'll only beat him till he hits 6 and gets a sheen or an armor item.

Pantheon: Do delayed combos to bait his E otherwise it'll negate everything. Don't get to close or he'll stun you and you won't be able to do damage due to his E. Post 6, you can do your combos in a lot of ways. Easiest way to beat him post 6 is to let him try to stun you because you can ult and dodge the stun. After you ult, wait till he uses his E. If you're in front of his E, your ult won't do damage(obviously) so use your W to get behind him and then Q. Your ult damage will go through and easy win. Try to be a bit safe early because he can beat the **** out of you.

Poppy: Tank. **** tanks. Specially with shields and CC. Try to get an early kill with the help of your jungler and get an early LW.

Renekton Don't be the one to initiate a trade. He'll dash in so W back then E-Q. Post 6, get him really low before using ult because his ult can save him from getting executed by your ult.

Riven: Don't stay in melee range. Combo when she doesn't have E.

Rumble: Combo when his shield is down. Don't walk up to his face. His shield has a really low cooldown. so you need to be really patient with your combos and all ins.

Sett: **** this matchup. Just farm and play safe and try to skirmish with your jungler or roam. Conq into this matchup for better trading.

Shen: Dodge E and combo. Don't trade with autos because you'll definitely lose. Early LW will help.

Singed: There isn't tip required for this matchup lol

Sion: Tanks. **** him. Go for an early kill with the help of your jungler if needed, rush LW.

Teemo: Same as Kennen.

Tryndamere: Try to get pressure early and bully him. Post 6, wait out his ult in a fight or get him very low and then bait it out or do an instant burst so that he doesn't have time to react.

Urgot: If he lands his full combo, you're ****ed. He deals a **** ton of damage and you won't deal damage to him at all. You need to play safe in this matchup and play around your shadows.

Yorick: Two things to worry about in this matchup. His E being one because those little things jump on your *** if he hits his E and they deal a LOT of damage. Second, his ult because his ult can passively cuck you or take turret. Otherwise, this should be an easy matchup.


Some of the champs here have targeted dashes like Diana and Ekko's E. You can take advantage of that if they play aggro by shadowing back followed up with and E-Q with the shadow left behind. Easy trade, least damage taken, overall completely worth.

Ahri: Dodging her E is key in winning the matchup. Should be easy pre 6. Post 6, try to ult then follow her ult with W but do it fast otherwise she'll dodge everything. Or you could W-E-Q and if it gets her low enough, R-E-Auto after that to finish it.

Akali: She's easy to beat since she's really weak after all the nerfs. She's practically a minion. Don't try to take extended trades because her W gives her the advantage there. Short trades into an all in later.

Anivia: Play aggro early and try to get her egg without dying. You need an early lead in order to snowball hard. Ask jungler for ganks. Don't let it go to lategame.

Aurelion Sol: Pretty sure you won't find one in your matches. Even if you do, it's easy to beat him. Avoid getting hit by his Q and maintain a safe range.

Azir: Play safe and don't get poked down. Post 6, ult first because then he'll ult you away, giving you a window to W to him and get 3 Q's in.

Brand: Squishy, easy to beat.

Corki: He's a pain in the ***. Try not to fight till 6 if you don't understand the matchup. Post 6, ult first and then follow his W with yours.

Diana: Her W shield makes it a bit hard to trade so play around it's cooldown. Post 6, try to counter her ult with yours. I prefer going Hexdrinker if the enemy Diana is good.

Ekko: Ekko is easier to beat considering his dash and pre 6. Post 6, you have to play the matchup by drawing out his ult before using yours or getting a good setup with shadows so that he'd still be in a bad position after ulting.

Fizz: Fizz has the upper hand because of his E since it negates your ult damage, can dodge your Q's or even stop your death mark animation from being applied. If the Fizz is good, then there's not much you can do in lane. Try to trade with him using E and autos until he uses his E. If he uses E first, he's bad. You can ult him to dodge his ult but if he E's your ult, then both of your combos gets negated.

Galio: Absolutely cancer. Try to get a kill or two on him early on with/without the help of your jungler because after his first or second back, he might get armor and that's just ****ing ****ty. Play around your W and don't walk up too far.

Heimerdinger: Maintain a safe distance, play around your W's, use your shadows to dodge his E when you're going for an all in for instance, place your W shadow first so that you can jump to that after ulting in order to dodge his E.

Karthus: Overall, an easy matchup since he's a squishy and 0 mobility mage. You can ult to dodge his ult that is if you get too low.

Kassadin: Kassa gets hard countered by AD champs even if he rushes Seeker's. You should be able to beat him pre 6. Post 6 tip, ult him when he uses his Q on a minion or you, he might ult during your ult or after it, either way follow his ult with a W shadow and do a quick combo.

Katarina: Generally, Zed has an upper hand on Kata due to having better burst early game if played right. You can try to predict her E based on where she left her W dagger. Post 6, ult her first and follow her E with your W. If she's patient enough to not E away after you ult, place your W shadow in such a way that you'll still be able to get her with your Q's.

LeBlanc: Annoying matchup. I'd suggest to go Hexdrinker to withstand her burst. Try to follow her W with yours. If she Q's you, put your shadow right beside her before she W's and go to that shadow to dodge her W damage and then combo. Getting hit by her E means you've already lost the trade so try your best to dodge it. Post 6, try to get her low before you all in so that you can kill her before she escapes. Try bursting her with W-E-Q and ignite, then follow up with ult to finish it. This is a tricky matchup so be sensible and play smartly.

Lissandra: Has a lot of poke damage from Q since it got buffed recently, so avoid being behind the minions she's in front since her Q deals damage to enemies behind the target it hit but doesn't slow tho. She can setup a gank with her W stun pre 6 and ult post 6. Post 6, get her low enough so that she ults then finish it with your ult. If you ult first, she'll just stun you with W and deal an insane burst and maybe kill you with her ult, kinda like getting perma cc'd to death so DON'T ult first.

Lux: Ughh. Her Q is ****, her W is ****, her E is super ****. If she has barrier, then this whole matchup is just full of cancer. Maintain range and have good movement in order to dodge her Q and maybe juke her E's around a bit. Post 6, get her low, all in. She has no mobility so ask your jg for ganks. If you ult her, both of you get a free all in if she hits you with her Q cause it roots you which means you can triple Q her and she can E and ult you.

Malzahar: It's not as bad as everyone thinks. There are tons of ways you can play this matchup. He can permapush and keep you under turret which one thing. If he does stuff like that, that means he's trying to play safe and farm up till he gets some items. In case of trading with him, you can do it in different ways like getting his shield down with a Q first then combo because it's cooldown is 30-12 seconds scaling and your Q obviously has a lower cooldown. Another way is to W-E to get his shield then jumping to that W and melee trading with autos and Q's. This is much better and deals more damage if you do it properly but a but risky if there's a possibility of you getting ganked by the enemy jungler. Post 6, ult him first, he'll ult you, after his ult ends triple Q his ***. Now, this might not always be good if he has barrier or Zhonya's or armor, therefore get him low enough so that none of it matters.

Neeko: Her E is the ability to look out for. She might use her W to confuse you when you try to W-E-Q so play around that carefully. You can counter her ult and it's damage with yours but time it right. One thing to note is that a lot of Neeko players take Glacial Augment and if they know how to use it, it's gonna be hard to deal with. Like she might auto first to get the slow on you which makes it easier to land E and Q. In order to deal with that, be more aggressive when she tries doing that by shadowing to her when she autos so that she misses her E and you get a good trade in.

Orianna: Comparatively, easy matchup since she has no CC besides her ult and almost no mobility. You can counter her ult with yours. Just remember that during laning phase, she has more poke so keep an eye on her ball placement.

Qiyana: Has a targeted dash so you know what that means. Dodge her Q's since it deals a lot of damage. Try to dodge her ult with W or R.

Ryze: Stay a bit far from the minions since his Q bounces on targets with flux. His early game is weak so take advantage of that.

Swain: Avoid getting hit by his E because then you'll surely lose the trade. Also avoid getting hit by his W since it heals him and gives him soul. Try to get him low before you all in because his ult healing might cuck you hard.

Sylas: Play around your W, farm safely, don't let him hit his E and try not to get to close during trades as his W heal will gives an advantage in every trade. If he takes your ult, you can actually turn it around easily. If he ults you first, place a shadow behind the place he ulted from then ult him when he comes out and triple Q. If you ult first, you can do it in a couple of ways like letting him ult you after you ult so you get him in a fixed position to triple Q, or you could R back when he is in the animation to take him to dangerous territory and **** him up.
Just play smartly pre 6.

Syndra: Has good poke and burst and cc. Try to sidestep her E. You can ult her ult which makes her ult completely useless.

Taliyah: Honestly, no one plays Taliyah anymore. She's easy to beat anyway. Just don't get poked down to much.

Talon: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH the champ that deals 1 million damage compared to Zed. His passive deals a **** ton of damage so he just ****ing kills you if he hits both parts of W. That's the thing you need to dodge during lane. Post 6, try to get him low if you wanna all in. If he ults, wait for him to come out of invis to Q and time your ult in order to avoid his damage.

Twisted Fate: Weak early on. Easy to beat. Post 6, engage if his W is on cooldown. If he picks gold card, he's either trying to stop you from engaging or he's trying to setup a gank. Either way, you can dodge the card with your ult and turn on him.

Veigar: You kinda counter Veigar because his cage won't do much as you can shadow out of it. You can also counter his ult with yours. Try to all in him after his cage is down because he can position himself in such a way that when you come out from ult, you might get stunned.

Vel'Koz: You counter Vel'Koz because of your burst and mobility. Stay in between minions to avoid his Q's and sidestep his E.

Vladimir: It's important to land your W-E-Q because he has sustain and you can't afford to waste your abilities for nothing. Your full combo will deal a lot of damage early on. The Vlad might pool to dodge your W-E-Q so delay it a bit. Post 6, try to get him low so that his pool and ult won't do much to save him.

Xerath: The range on his poke is just too much to deal with. You're gonna have to farm safely and try to dodge his Q and E. Try to take advantage of his zero mobility with ganks.

Yasuo: You'll never beat a good yasuo if you don't get a lead. Do E-AA-Q trades with him to proc electro. Don't use W to combo if there's a wave for him to dash through and dodge everything or if he has windwall. Try to get him low before you all in because his windwall will most definitely cuck you.

Yone: From what I've learnt, you lose trades pre 6. Take short trades pre 6. Don't take extended trades even if you have conq because he'll outdamage you. Post 6, your hopes of beating him relies on you having ult. Your ult can dodge his ult if you time it during his channel duration. I don't think you can ult his ult if the channel is finished and he's dashing but it might be a frame perfect thing. Either way, you need to play a bit safe since he outtrades you. If you have item advantage, you should beat him straight up.

Ziggs: No mobility, ranged poke. Should be easy to deal with.

Zoe: Dodge her E. Her ult can be used against her because you'll know where she'll pop up so set up a triple Q on her.
Back to Top

Complete Jungling

Your ability start and max order will be the same as lane.

Hunter's Machete start:
Starting from Red with bot leash, make your way through Blue and Gromp for lvl 3 then gank if possible or do scuttle. Zed has good initial burst but no cc, so he lacks the cc in a gank but can dish out good damage.
Hunter's Talisman start:
Red - Raptors/Krugs - Blue.
You're most likely not gonna be in a good condition to gank after this, so just use this pathing for an early power farm.

Hunter's Machete start:
Blue - Gromp - Wolves - Red - Scuttle or Gank.
Should be a healthy clear.
Hunter's talisman start:
Blue side - Red side full clear.

Post level 3-4, you need to gank more often and you have to gank lanes favorable to your Zed, for instance, ganking a tank might not be as fruitful as ganking a squishy mid/bot. It all depends if you wanna get a certain lane ahead or countergank or whatever lane has a good setup for a gank. But it is absolutely necessary to have full control because if you mess up, you're gonna fall behind fast and lose mid-game
and you won't have prio over drakes overall being ineffective throughout the whole game(trash anyway because **** zed).

Tanks : You'll most likely lose everytime unless they're literally walking around with 10 hp.
Ekko, Diana, Qiyana, Wukong : Treat these matchups the same way you play against them in lane.
Elise, Evelynn, Kindred, Shyvana : This matchups are relatively easier pre 6. Kindred's Q and Elise's E(Rappel)are the abilities to watch out as they might determine who wins. Post 6, doesn't make a difference for elise, kindred's ult is problematic so you either suddenly burst her or keep your abilities and draw out her ult. Shyvana goes AP mostly so just dodge the E with your ult. You can beat evelynn in a lot of ways but it's better to burst her with a W-E-Q then to follow her ult up with yours or start with ult then follow with W.

Some junglers like fiddle and karthus are easy to deal with since they're squishy. Others like Kayn and Nidalee can be beaten easily if you invade em early.
Some like Gragas, Hecarim are a bit hard to deal with so be it'll good tracking and counterganking.

Still an incomplete chapter since I'm not well versed with Zed jungle yet.
Back to Top

Early, Mid and Late-Game

Zed is dominant till midgame like most assassins. Assassins struggle in lategame because it becomes easy to be locked down.


Your main aim in early game is to dominate lane so you can be most effective during midgame. Play the lane optimally. Farm safely in case of poke matchups and aggressively in case of comparatively easier matchups. Ask for ganks if you need to get ahead. Try to roam when you're pushed in and the laner is not there. If it's pushed in, try to roam in the enemy jungle if you can't roam bot. Get vision in the river whenever you can. Be proactive.


Roam with your jungler. Setup for objectives by applying pressure through kills and getting prio. Your main job is to assassinate the squishies and win early skirmishes and fights. Try to roam bot most of the times, try to roam with your jungler, getting prio around bot is important than top because the game is more drake oriented. Rift is also important and it's good to secure both rifts and end the game fast too. Everything is situational.

Late Game

Try to get picks in late game. In teamfights, target their main carries. It is crucial to time your engage in a teamfight because a bad engage means you're gonna have no impact whatsoever. You can't be the one to engage because you'll surely get cc'd and die unless they don't have vision on you and you can get out. Try to engage after your frontline engages and keeps their peelers busy. You can also splitpush since you can easily escape.
But going for a pick is not the only thing you can do lategame. Your job in teamfights is not just to assassinate the carry but it sure is a priority. Your job is also to deal as much damage as humanely possible in a teamfight.

Overall, it's very important to try to end the game by midgame because assassins aren't always effective in lategame. Do your best to get ahead in lane and snowball your advantage.
Back to Top

Summary and My Thoughts

Overall, Zed is a pretty tough champion to master but it can be very rewarding. If you are able to learn Zed properly then it will be very fun to play him. As a Zed main, I love one-shotting xD. He might be hard to learn and even harder to use in different situations but through playing more games, you can do it. It is hard to climb since he is not the type of champion to be really effective against good tank or bruiser-ish comps and certain midlane champs are just way better at teamfighting compared to him. But, I wouldn't discourage climbing with Zed.
I hope my guide was helpful and has given a general idea about Zed.

Ba Dum Tss
League of Legends Build Guide Author Zed Marked
Zed Marked Zed Guide
[10.16] In-Depth Zed Build + Matchups + Jungle
Help Support Our Growing Community

MOBAFire is a community that lives to help every LoL player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support MOBAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free