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Zoe Build Guide by Moderne

Support [10.16] Zoe Pretends She's A Real Support

By Moderne | Updated on August 6, 2020
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Runes: The Most Deadly Sparkles (Summon Aery)

1 2 3
Sorcery
Summon Aery
Nimbus Cloak
Absolute Focus
Scorch

Inspiration
Hextech Flashtraption
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2
Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #51 in
Middle Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Q>E>W (Recommended)

OVERVIEW
Welcome! This is an updated version of a very old guide I wrote two years ago. Here we go:

So you want to play Zoe Support?


Great! It's not the worst thing ever, though I would not recommend it for Ranked unless you are literally a Zoe one-trick. If you have never played Zoe before, then picking her up for the first time as a Support isn't the greatest idea, but I won't be able to stop you.


Zoe, like many champions, functions depending on a large number of factors, such as where the wave is placed and how the enemy positions. Zoe's supporting abilities are also not the greatest as her only form of CC, her Sleepy Trouble Bubble, is quite lackluster for CC purposes since any form of damage immediately wakes the target up. In comparison to an AP Support such as Zyra or Brand, Zoe is a lot less consistent, lacking easy poke, and a lot less effective, lacking good CC.

Nevertheless, Zoe Support can still act as either a potent damage dealer with burst somewhat below her mid-lane self or an annoying creature with many slows and many different ways to cast them.
Overview: Pros/Cons Back to Top
PROS

+ Surprisingly Good Damage when played Properly
+ Can Safely Scout over Walls & Ward from a Distance with Portal Jump
+ Can zone choke-points through terrain with Sleepy Trouble Bubble
+ Spell Thief enables surprising flexibility
+ Thanks to Portal Jump, creative utilization of many items such as Zeke's Convergence

Zoe's kit breathes flexibility due to being able to quickly adapt to situations and play the game she wishes to play. Even as a support with less money, her damage is still surprisingly good and she has unique safety when it comes to commanding a zone around her and warding from a distance.
CONS

- Difficult to play, Unimpressive in Early Laning
- Bad against good positioning; must play against the wave
- Difficult to obtain Spell Thief from Minions
- Not a great "support" pick

Zoe herself takes getting used-to to play thus it's not something you should be picking up exclusively for support. She also suffers from good positioning as she really needs enemies to position in certain ways in order to land Sleepy Trouble Bubble and high-damage Paddle Stars. And because she can't really CS, she doesn't have that much influence on the wave and relies on her ADC to do what they want.
Overview: Summoners Back to Top
Flash: Nearly all champions need Flash as it is the most flexible summoner spell in the game. Zoe can use it especially well, such as pulling off a long-range Paddle Star when you know it'll finish off the enemy.
Exhaust: A safer pick that scales well into the game. Ideal against burst or a particularly fed opponent, alongside having a slow to help setup kills.
Ignite: A summoner spell best used for lanes you believe you are going to win as it allows you to finish off opponents after an all-in. In general, this is the best summoner for Zoe has you can get a truly ridiculous amount of damage off.
RUNES Back to Top
There are three main rune pages I believe that work best with Zoe support.
Runes: Sorcery Back to Top


SORCERY

We take the Sorcery tree because it gives the best options for Zoe to poke the enemy as much as possible during the laning phase.
There's technically a choice here between Summon Aery or Arcane Comet though Summon Aery is far superior for Zoe. The main difference resides in the fact that Summon Aery can proc off of autos, while Arcane Comet will only proc from landing abilities. Because of this Summon Aery pairs much nicer with your passive More Sparkles! and is less reliant on you landing your abilities which may be more difficult as the support. That being said, Summon Aery's offensive scaling is much worse than Comet's.
Nimbus Cloak is a powerful rune in-and-of itself, but Zoe has special synergy with Nimbus Cloak due to Spell Thief functioning identical to summoners. Because of this, she can trigger Nimbus Cloak more often than most champions by simply stealing their summoners.
All of the runes in this column function perfectly fine though Absolute Focus is arguably the best since you'll likely be either at full HP, or dead. Celerity is my personal favorite.
Usually I take Gathering Storm over Scorch anyday since, in almost every game, the amount of damage Gathering Storm will be providing is vastly superior. That being said, Scorch is much better early during the laning phase as we attempt to make the enemy laners' lives as difficult as possible. If you're going into a particularly difficult lane where you believe the extra damage isn't necessary, Gathering Storm will be a better choice thanks to its incredible scaling.
Hextech Flashtraption is truly a "secret OP" rune on Zoe simply because she can recast her Paddle Star while charging up Hexflash. In doing so, she also triggers Nimbus Cloak and Spell Thief, providing her the potential to obtain a cheeky kill especially when Portal Jump is down or unavailable.
For the final choice, there are many fairly good options. Cosmic Insight is arguably the best, however, since it reduces the cooldown of everything, Item Actives and Summoners included. This is especially relevant on Zoe.
We need as much AP as possible, so adaptive force shards are ideal though a CDR shard isn't a terrible choice if you can't reach 40% for some reason. Armor is also ideal due to its relevance against ADCs though, against heavy AP poke, MR is better.
Runes: Inspiration Back to Top


INSPIRATION

We take the Inspiration tree because it provides the best tools to add substantial utility to Zoe.
Glacial Augment is a very underrated keystone. It gives you the ability to apply a surprisingly strong slow from AAs alone while also including an interesting secondary passive which shoots a freeze ray after any item active slow, including Twin Shadows, Righteous Glory, Randuin's Omen and Hextech GLP-800. This secondary passive has no cooldown, meaning, in theory, if you had all of these items, you could literally spam freeze rays. Zoe has special synergy with this keystone thanks to her Portal Jump allowing her to auto from longer distances and utilize item actives from range.
Technically all of these runes have some sort of use on Zoe, though Hextech Flashtraption is the best. Hextech Flashtraption is truly a "secret OP" rune on Zoe simply because she can recast her Paddle Star while charging up Hexflash. In doing so, she also triggers Spell Thief, providing her the potential to obtain a cheeky kill especially when Portal Jump is down or unavailable.
Biscuit Delivery helps with your sustain in lane, essentially functioning as free potions. If for some reason you don't find a use for them, you can even sell them for a bit of additional gold.
Cosmic Insight is a rune of deceptive usefulness. It reduces the cooldown of your abilities, your items, even your summoners. Due to this, Zoe can make more frequent uses of her many active items, especially when paired with Ingenious Hunter.
The only "required" rune from the domination page is essentially Ingenious Hunter which, when fully stacked, provides a truly massive 40% CDR on item actives. With a build that may build 3, maybe even four item actives, Ingenious Hunter is easily the best.
For your last rune, there are many good options. Cheap Shot is good extra damage alongside Sudden Impact for extra penetration. Taste of Blood can help with sustain, but my personal favorite is Ghost Poro due to effectively longer wards and additional AP.
We need as much AP as possible, so adaptive force shards are ideal though a CDR shard isn't a terrible choice if you can't reach 40% for some reason. Armor is also ideal due to its relevance against ADCs though, against heavy AP poke, MR is better.
ITEMIZATION Back to Top
An explanation of the core items you may build.
Itemization: Damage Back to Top

Luden's Echo

Oblivion Orb

Hextech Protobelt
Luden's Echo is usually a core item on most mages due to the burst the passive provides, while also giving 20% CDR, a lot of AP, and a lot of mana. This is no different than Zoe who really appreciates the extra damage and CDR, allowing her to spam her abilities more, and do more damage.
The quickest summary ever on Oblivion Orb is that it's cheap while providing you flat magic penetration. When combined with Sorcerer's Shoes, enemies who have built no MR will have effectively 0 magic resist, allowing your spells to essentially do true damage. You can also just as easily finish your orb into Morellonomicon for the Grievious Wounds, or you can sit on it until you finish it as a last item.
Hextech Protobelt-01 is virtually never built on Zoes and I always wondered why. Isn't it just free extra damage for your Paddle Star on top of your Portal Jump? Now personally, I love this item so I build it on a lot of different characters partially as a joke but I always thought it had great synergy with Zoe and I build it anyway even though no one else does.
The only really reason I could muster is the fact that, if you are trying to utilize it as part of your full combo, as in you have already slept a target with Sleepy Trouble Bubble and are thus sending a paddle-star right to their face, activating Hextech Protobelt-01 at the wrong time will instead cause the missiles to awaken the target rather than your Paddle Star, causing less damage overall. If this is actually the reason, it seems like a terrible reason since it's not particularly difficult to time it so Paddle Star collides right before your protobelt missiles, thus doing even more additional damage which may otherwise be out of your Paddle Star's range. It's also cheap, and sometimes I build it instead of Luden's Echo considering my reduced income.
Itemization: Slows Back to Top

Hextech GLP-800

Twin Shadows

Oblivion Orb
Hextech GLP-800 is basically a budget Luden's Echo being cheaper, while providing slightly less AP and a different active/passive component. That being said, GLP's active combos exceptionally well with Glacial Augment, allowing additional ice beams to shoot out from the keystone, and is an effective way to spread slows around which Zoe can do very well.
Twin Shadows like GLP has good synergy with Glacial Augment while already being an exceptional and cheap AP Scouting item for Supports everywhere. All of the stats and even the active are utilized well on Zoe.
The quickest summary ever on Oblivion Orb is that it's cheap while providing you flat magic penetration. When combined with Sorcerer's Shoes, enemies who have built no MR will have effectively 0 magic resist, allowing your spells to essentially do true damage. You can also just as easily finish your orb into Morellonomicon for the Grievious Wounds, or you can sit on it until you finish it as a last item.
GAMEPLAY Back to Top
A summary of the gameplay you can expect for Zoe support.
Gameplay: Laning Phase Back to Top
Laning Phase for Zoe Support is fairly underwhelming due to your reduced control over the wave. Good positioning practically eliminates the ability for you to land your Sleepy Trouble Bubble though you are able to curve Paddle Star around minions for reduced damage.

Because of this, your best poke will likely be to Q->Auto->Q->Auto the enemy ADC or Support when they overextend or attempt to last-hit in order to circumvent the minion wave and trigger More Sparkles!. Zoe has a fairly good auto range of 550 which is plenty to poke.

It's best to lean towards the top side of the lane, nearer to the river as it gives you more opportunities to utilize the terrain for Sleepy Trouble Bubble and to curve your Paddle Star. It may, however, also be worthwhile to use the lane brush if the enemy does not respect your presence since you can simply throw out abilities from out of vision.

Now one would assume the easiest way to land your Bubble is by tossing it through one of the walls from the Fog of War at your enemies. From my experience, however, doing so is generally ineffective for an engage since, by your positioning alone, you'd in theory be too far away from your ADC to really help him after he wakes the sleeping target, making it a 1v2. Even the one second romp back to lane would waste the majority of the time Sleepy Trouble Bubble sleeps the target, a result of Sleep being a weak "Supporting" CC.
Gameplay: Team Fighting Back to Top
Team Fighting as Zoe is a really weird mix. Typically, you should try to catch out an important target through the wall with your Sleepy Trouble Bubble, most often a squishy like the ADC, which would then allow your team to engage. During the fight itself, you should try to sleep someone your team probably will not touch purely for the sake of taking an enemy out of the fight for a good 2 seconds before you smack them for massive damage with your Q. If applicable, using your Hextech GLP-800 within a team fight is how you really spread your slows, crippling an enemy team's ability to move or kite while also doing good damage.
CONCLUSION Back to Top
Does Zoe support work? Sure. If you already know how to play Zoe. It's not the best, but it can be sufficient if you work it well.

tl;dr: don't die

If you want, you can check out my youtube channel here.

Thanks to This Guide by jhoijhoi for some code. Otherwise this guide would look ugly as hell.
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