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Zoe Build Guide by ShokLoL

Middle [12.12] Shok's Challenger Zoe Guide - Play Like a Pro

Middle [12.12] Shok's Challenger Zoe Guide - Play Like a Pro

Updated on June 24, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author ShokLoL Build Guide By ShokLoL 97 5 166,726 Views 8 Comments
97 5 166,726 Views 8 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author ShokLoL Zoe Build Guide By ShokLoL Updated on June 24, 2022
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1 2 3
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ravenous Hunter

Biscuit Delivery
Time Warp Tonic

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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Extreme Threats
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Champion Build Guide

[12.12] Shok's Challenger Zoe Guide - Play Like a Pro

By ShokLoL
Hey guys I'm Shok, multi rank 1 challenger mid laner for LCO team Dire Wolves. I've played League professionally since 2017 and have been rank 1 in multiple seasons, as well as rank 13 on the NA ladder in season 9. Zoe is one of my favorite champions and she's very good for climbing soloq as well as being really fun to play.

I upload regularly on YouTube, and stream everyday on Twitch so feel free to follow me on either of those platforms :)

Season 10Season 9
Season 9 NA
Pros / Cons


+ Really high snowball and carry potential
+ Extremely fun to play
+ Strong blind pick
+ High burst damage
+ Can catch people out easily
+ Versatile builds and runes


- Average waveclear
- Weak in side lane
- Vulnerable to hard CC
- High skill cap
- Weak from behind
Runes Explained

Domination Primary

When playing Zoe you have 3 primary rune trees to choose from and these will also determine your secondary runes. The most standard setup for solo queue is Electrocute with Ignite. This gives you the highest snowball potential and a fair amount of lane pressure. It is very easy for you to proc electrocute with basically any combo which you can see in the combos section.

Taste of Blood adds up to a lot of extra health over the laning phase and is pretty much a must take. You can consider Sudden Impact but I find it not to be as useful.

Most of the time you will be getting a lot of kills and assists on Zoe and you should be able to stack it quite easily. You can also consider Ghost Poro but it takes longer to stack but you might find the vision useful and it's generally better in low kill games.

Ravenous Hunter isn't super good on Zoe but it's better than the alternatives. It does bring you a little bit of sustain which helps a lot in the mid game to stay healthy between fights.

When you take domination primary the majority of the time you will want inspiration secondary and you have a lot of choices here. Biscuit Delivery is the best over all for its max mana and lane sustain. You can also take Minion Dematerializer to help you clear cannon waves faster or even experiment rushing lost chapter with Future's Market. Overall I find Biscuit Delivery to be the best.

Time Warp Tonic is your default choice here for the extra movement speed from corrupting potion. This is very useful especially against skillshot mid laners and just for moving around the map. You can also take Cosmic Insight if you really value flash cooldown or the enemy mid laner doesn't have any skillshots.

Inspiration Primary

The second setup is inspiration primary. Unsealed Spellbook is useful to help you get through difficult lanes poke lanes such as Syndra or Lucian. You can do this by taking Teleport and TPing back if you get low early game. At level 6 you can swap to a different summoner like Ignite, Heal, or Barrier.

This is mainly personal preference between Magical Footwear and Commencing Stopwatch. Personally I find Magical Footwear to allow me to get to my 1 item powerspike faster which is very important for snowballing the game. Commencing Stopwatch can be very useful against assassins.

Mostly the same reasons as previously mentioned. It is worth noting that when taking inspiration primary you will most likely have Manaflow Band secondary, which makes the max mana from biscuits less important and easier to take Minion Dematerializer or Future's Market. It's also much easier to rush an item with Future's Market when you have Teleport.

Most of the time if you have inspiration primary you will be against very difficult lanes. The extra move speed from Time Warp Tonic is essential for dodging harass in these lanes.

Nimbus Cloak is insanely broken on Zoe, you get so much use out of it with all the summoners you pick up and it allows you to chase people down or reposition in fights really effectively. Since you have no dashes on Zoe has no it also makes it a lot easier to avoid ganks. If you have trouble managing your mana you can also take Manaflow Band but if you use your mana well you won't need it.

Transcendence Is your default choice on Zoe here as it gives you a lot of ability haste which allows you to poke more often. Another good option is Celerity. Combine Celerity with Nimbus Cloak and Time Warp Tonic and you'll have a ton of extra movespeed which is very helpful in the early game.

Sorcery Primary

Finally a less common setup is sorcery primary with Summon Aery. This doesn't scale very well but it gives you the maximum lane pressure. If you can proc Summon Aery a lot and snowball your lane you could take this, but it requires a high level of execution. I wouldn't recommend taking this unless you're playing against a weak melee champion like Kassadin or Kayle.
If you are playing the Summon Aery playstyle you need to take every rune you can to make your lane phase stronger. Manaflow Band is the best choice here to allow you to cast a few more spells.

Absolute Focus will give you a bit more power in the early game which can make the difference between getting a solokill or not. Only take this with Summon Aery and Scorch.

Scorch synergizes well with the rest of the early game power you are bringing to the table and adds up when you can proc it often.

Again with Summon Aery early game power is the name of the game and Biscuit Delivery can provide you with a little bit more mana.

Cosmic Insight is a very attractive choice to allow you to all in with flash and ignite more often to push your lead. If you take sorcery primary in the right situations it will probably be vs a mid laner without skillshots and you won't need Time Warp Tonic.
Summs Explained

Summoner Spells

Not much to be said here. You will be taking Flash every single game. It helps both defensively as Zoe is vulnerable to hard CC and also offensively to chase people down or extend the range of your Paddle Star.

Ignite is the standard rune for Zoe in solo queue and should be paired with Electrocute. It allows you to snowball your lane and pick up lots of kills in skirmishes that you otherwise wouldn't.

Teleport is required in difficult lanes where you will be taking Unsealed Spellbook. Especially when you play against poke champions it will essentially give you two health bars in the early game. It can also be used to pick up some early kills in side lanes if they push up too far.

I very rarely take Cleanse but you can take it against mid jungle combos with really high CC such as Elise and LeBlanc, Fiddlesticks and Syndra etc. Just look at their mid jungle champions and evaluate if you need Cleanse to allow yourself to play the game.

Another summoner I rarely take is Heal. If you're confident on Zoe you should be able to reliably snowball the game with Ignite. However, Heal is also a very powerful summoner for the mid jungle 2v2 so it does have some use cases. Overall I would prefer Teleport if I were taking a summoner to try survive a difficult lane.
Items Explained

Starting Items

You have a couple viable starts on Zoe. The most common is Corrupting Potion because it gives you a lot of sustain in terms of mana and HP. It also synergizes really well with Time Warp Tonic. Zoe's lane phase isn't super strong so in most matchups this sustain will be important.

If you're in an easier lane where you won't take much damage you could opt to go Doran's Ring. This works well in lanes you are taking Summon Aery in since you won't be taking much damage anyway.

Early Game

You almost always want to pick up a Dark Seal as soon as possible in the early game. It's really easy to get stacks in solo queue and it makes the item insanely gold efficient.

Slightly lower in priority to Dark Seal are tier 1 Boots. Boots make a big difference in early game for dodging skill shots, chasing people down and avoiding ganks.

If you didn't start Corrupting Potion I would highly recommend picking up a Refillable Potion on your first base to help sustain you through lane.

Ideally you want to buy one of these every base, but if you can't get an important item because of it don't do it. Control Wards help a lot with surviving ganks early which is important for an immobile champion like Zoe.

Lost Chapter is arguably the most important item for your early game, but because of its cost you generally won't be able to pick it up on your first base and will instead opt for Dark Seal and/or Boots. That being said, if you do base with enough gold to outright buy a Lost Chapter I'd highly recommend doing so.

Seeker's Armguard is necessary in some matchups but you don't want to buy it vs every AD mid. With Seeker's Armguard you will have massive mana problems and won't be able to pressure the lane, but you probably won't die. I'd recommend it against AD mids with insane all in like Qiyana, Zed or Talon.

Boot Options

Sorcerer's Shoes are your go to tier two boot option on Zoe. They provide the most damage and gain even more value if you are the only AP on your team.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity give you added summoner and ability haste. They're especially good when you really need your flash up to fight for example against champions like Jarvan IV. They can also provide more damage overall if your team is heavy AP and you know the enemy team will stack a lot of MR, making the flat pen from Sorcerer's Shoes less valuable.

It's important to buy Mercury's Treads if you're vs double AP mid jungle or if they have a lot of CC. Playing against a double AP mid jungle like LeBlanc and Diana will make you much harder to kill and it's less committal than buying a Verdant Barrier which will slow down your build a lot. If you're vs double AP but low CC you can instead just sit on a Null-Magic Mantle and build different boots instead.

Core Item Order

After your items in the early game section you will want to complete Luden's Tempest and your tier two boot option as soon as your gold allows it. Most of the time you will want to go with Luden's Tempest over other mythics such as Liandry's Anguish. This is because of the insane value of magic penetration on Zoe as well as the damage proc's synergy with your burst. There are some cases where you should build Liandry's Anguish which will be covered in the situational items section.

Complete your tier two boot option either before or after your Luden's Tempest, it mainly depends on what gold you base on but both are really good items.

For your second and third item you want to pick up both Void Staff and Rabadon's Deathcap (assuming you aren't picking up any of the situational items). Both of these items are insanely broken and should be picked up every game. The order you buy them will depend on a few things but most of the time you will want to get Void Staff before Rabadon's Deathcap. This is because it's much cheaper, spikes earlier and is a strong item even if the enemy team doesn't have much MR, but becomes absolutely godlike if they do.

If you have gained a lot of AP from other sources Rabadon's Deathcap becomes very efficient, a fully stacked Dark Seal or Mejai's Soulstealer or even a stacked Eyeball Collection can push Rabadon's Deathcap over Void Staff as a second item. Ultimately just try make an informed choice between Void Staff and Rabadon's Deathcap as to which one you get first, but since you will be buying both it isn't the end of the world if you get it wrong.

Situational Items

With preseason now out, Shadowflame looks to be a really strong item even if the enemy team doesn't have shields, as long as they are relatively low hp targets. This combined with Luden's Tempest and Sorcerer's Shoes gives you a ton of flat magic pen. I'd recommend trying it out as a second item in the preseason, but it definitely needs more testing before I can guarantee it's the best.

Crown of the Shattered Queen is probably the best items mages have gotten in the preseason, it's extremely cheap and very worth buying against any assassins or diver champs on the enemy team. You will do less damage but makes you virtually unkillable if you don't let your shield get popped before the engage.

At this point in your build you will probably be wanting to round it out with some situational items (if you haven't bought any already). Zhonya's Hourglass is quite effective against AD heavy teams or teams that have lots of hard engage. Most of the time if you do need a Zhonya's Hourglass you will need to buy it straight after your Luden's Tempest and then proceed normally into buying Void Staff and Rabadon's Deathcap after that. However if you didn't need it early and mid game it can still be a good buy later in the game.

Similar to Zhonya's Hourglass, if you are buying a Banshee's Veil it's likely that you need it as your second item before building Void Staff and Rabadon's Deathcap. Banshee is good against AP heavy teams or teams that rely on an important ability to win the fight.

I generally don't like to buy this item on Zoe because you don't apply grievous wounds very well and instead poke. If you are forced to buy grievous wounds it's normally better to just purchase an Oblivion Orb.

Mejai's Soulstealer is an insanely overpowered item. I almost always buy this no matter where I am in my build if my dark seal gets 7 or more stacks. If you do buy it you have to be careful not to die but with Zoe's long range normally you can stack it all the way to 25 making it insanely gold efficient.

Lich Bane is very underrated as a late game Zoe item. It provides a decent chunk of move speed (which increases damage from your Paddle Star) some AP and also the spellblade proc for your auto attacks which you can get a fair amount of use from.

I very rarely build this item on Zoe because it's mainly good into tanky teams, which Zoe isn't very good against in general so I don't pick Zoe in those situations. However if you're a one trick or plan on playing Zoe every game you may need to build this item. If they have lots of tanks or if your team is heavy on AP (so the flat pen from Luden's Tempest means less) you can look to buy Liandry's Anguish instead. Some people do just prefer this item all the time because of the ability haste, but I think playing for a stronger one shot is generally more effective.

I think Horizon Focus is an overrated item on Zoe. Most of the time I think if you're after a pure damage stat Rabadon's Deathcap is better and I don't like delaying my Void Staff to buy it. It can be useful as a late game stat stick if you're after even more damage than you already have with your core items.
Combos + Tips
Combos on Zoe are fairly simple but there are a few combos and tricks that you may find useful so I made a quick 3 minute video below:

If you're interested in seeing them in actual games, I made a montage of some of my best Zoe plays from competitive games below:
Laning Phase
Zoe with Electrocute and Ignite has plenty of ways to pick up solokills in the lane phase. Simply hitting a Sleepy Trouble Bubble and going forward with Paddle Star and Ignite will often allow you to pick up a solokill. Your basic trade combo will come with using the Paddle Star, passive auto and then hitting them with the Paddle Star to proc electrocute. Even if you don't hit the Paddle Star just hitting them with your empowered autos normally allows you to get good trades. Pre 6 you can hit Sleepy Trouble Bubble by fishing for them as a creep is about to die, or if you pick up a good item with your Spell Thief sometimes you can just run them down.

After level 6 Zoe's lane gets even better when you can reliably one shot the backwave with your Paddle Star. This allows you to hit Sleepy Trouble Bubbles on them really easily since they will have no creeps to hide behind, and even if they do you can often Portal Jump forward and look for a Sleepy Trouble Bubble on them. One thing to be careful of is your mana usage, before you have Lost Chapter and blue you will need to use your abilities carefully so it's important not just to waste them on cooldown.

Laning with Unsealed Spellbook and Teleport is a bit different. With this you can afford to be much greedier with your health and man, you will want to trade your HP for theirs and TP back. If you can force them out of lane and TP back often you can make them miss a lot of CS. You can also use them setup to rush a specific item such as Lost Chapter.
Mid Game
Generally in the mid game you want to be able to pick up as much farm as possible. Normally the mid laner does this by pushing the side waves in mid game but it's a bit harder to do on Zoe since she's quite weak at side laning.

On Zoe I would recommend just trying to pick up side waves when they hit your towers and try push them just to the river, don't worry about pushing them all the way. Zoe excels in the solo queue ARAM but the most important thing is that you are at the important objectives fights like dragon or rift herald so pay attention to these timers.

To become really good you need to balance this with farming which will take some practice. If you are near the objective first and get a good chunk with Sleepy Trouble Bubble or Paddle Star onto an important enemy target you can often secure it without even having to fight for it.
Teamfighting and Skirmishing
In teamfights and skirmishes you want to be looking to Sleepy Trouble Bubble the enemy team through walls and getting some Paddle Star poke onto them. To avoid getting engaged on finding a wall to poke from can be quite useful. If you can, try get poke and bubbles on the enemy teams carries as opposed to just poking their tanks, but if you can't then just poke their frontline down. Zoe's main weakness is getting hard engaged on so be careful where you Portal Jump forward from.
That's pretty much it. Thank you for reading my Zoe guide and I hope you guys learned something from it. If you have any questions you can ask here or message me directly.

I upload regularly on YouTube, and stream occasionally on Twitch so feel free to follow me on either of those platforms :)

If you're interested in individual coaching contact me on discord Shok#8163.

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Teamfight Tactics Guide