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Zed Build Guide by Bundif

Middle [12.2] Bundif's beginner friendly SEASON 12 Zed guide

Middle [12.2] Bundif's beginner friendly SEASON 12 Zed guide

Updated on January 21, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bundif Build Guide By Bundif 46 6 51,292 Views 0 Comments
46 6 51,292 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Bundif Zed Build Guide By Bundif Updated on January 21, 2022
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Runes: 12.2 ELECTRO

1 2 3 4
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ingenious Hunter


+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist


1 2
Bread n Butter
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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Champion Build Guide

[12.2] Bundif's beginner friendly SEASON 12 Zed guide

By Bundif
Howdy pardner, I'm gonna be real with you, I've only peaked Gold 2 and I'm playing in low plat MMR lately but I know for a fact, MECHANICALLY, I can play circles around most zed mains simply because I've played too much of our pajama prince.

And if that's not enough, I'm a teacher IRL so I'm MUCH better at explaining stuff than actually DOING it so this advice can help people of all skill ranges looking to improve on the shadowlad.

I stream on twitch almost every day so feel free to stop by for any clarification you may need!

Here I'll be talking about the main 4 (I'll toss in a sneaky 5th for those of you that actually scrolled down here) rune pages that I myself and almost every single Zed main and their cousin prefers and has seen large margins of success using personal data and data collected in the previous season leading up to this latest patch <3
I'm in love with the recent changes introduced with the preseason as it gave Zed a little bit more flexibility in his rune and item choices! Right now the main bread and butter burstyboi path would be the Standard Electrocute rune page:

Electrocute is the keystone of choice for long range poke in lane and early dominance. If you can't get up close to a target for example Azir, you can just sit back and fish for Electro procs with W - E - double Q; effectively whittling him down enough to all in with your R

Taste of Blood will help with lack of sustain in lane. The golden rule of laning against a ranged matchup is to stay as HEALTHY as possible and all in at lvl 3 when you have all your abilities. This will make sure you can still toss out a Q or two while CSing for some poke.

Out of all the options in this tier, Eyeball Collection is the the option with the least amount of brain power required. If you're new to zed, you can safely autopilot this rune to gain an extra bit of damage every time you get a takedown(kill or assist). The others are great if you a good player, unlike me, and play around vision denial.

And finally the sneaky Bundif favorite alternative of the preseason! With the introduction of Axiom Arc, we can finally opt out of choosing Ultimate Hunter for this lovely rune! Ingenious Hunter reduces the cooldowns of ALL your items. Whether they be actives or passives. For example the cooldown of Eclipse goes down from a 8 second cooldown to a crazy 4 second cooldown. Meaning if you're going for a scrappier kind of playstyle, you'll be able to activate the item, getting the extra damage, the shield AND the movement speed MULTIPLE times in one fight. This goes for ALL the items Zed loves to build such as Youmuu's Ghostblade, Edge of Night, even Duskblade of Draktharr and Prowler's Claw!

Here we go! This is where MATH comes into play. This rune gives us a great amount of haste and our boy Zed requires at LEAST 27% CDR in order to do a W + E + double Q combo WITH another cast of your Q all during the duration of ONE W. This is very important for the times you all in someone with your R but they JUST barely survive! You can simply finish them off with a final Q all the way from downtown mamma mia pizzeriaville. Provided that you have been using your Living Shadow passive to have the energy required to throw it out of course :)

I personally am in love with Scorch. This is strictly an early game rune to BEEF up the damage of your poopy early game Qs. Lvl 1 Q is VERY weak so the extra damage from the burn is a welcome addition to our arsenal. Keep in mind our Q damage is reduced when it passes through a target. RAW Qs do more damage. Cooked Qs do less. Consider yourself in a scenario where you're fighting a Diana; You have to play this as if it were a ranged matchup. Stay healthy until lvl 3 and all in later with your HP advantage. How do you get an HP advantage?? Poke with Qs. She'll most likely hide behind minions to reduce the incoming damage but this is where Scorch really helps out.
First Strike
Make way for the bigboi keystone rune page that, at least in my heart, is a huge contender for the "late game scaling Zed"! It's a tossup between this, Dark Harvest and Conqueror but let me explain why!

Alrighty! This keystone is pretty neat for our shadowlad and let me explain why: Number one: Our W + E is very, VERY easy to land and comes out faster than most projectiles in the entire game. Meaning it is VERY easy to heh, you guessed it, STRIKE FIRST using First Strike! Follow that up with any other extra damage to receive a corresponding amount of gold! But that's not all, this bad boy gives you 10%, that's TEN PERCENT extra damage the moment you activate it. This means the later the game goes, your burst will always be 10% stronger. It's a late game scaling burst rune. Think about that. Electrocute eventually falls off and caps at a certain amount of damage. This one not only scales better but helps you reach your power spikes SOONER which is perfect for an assassin. Pair it with Future's Market for an even faster item spike but more on that later.

Magical Footwear is the no brainer pick here simply because we can hardly make use of the other two runes effectively and it gives you even MORE move speed! Saving 300g, which is a kill's worth of gold mind you, is not bad at all! Faster item spikes! >:)

Oh boy, I have a couple of people in my streams that yell at me every time for going Future's Market because you enter debt to get a small burst of extra money to potentially buy an item sooner than you normally would. All this means is that if you have 0g and you buy a Health Potion, you'll be 50g in debt meaning your next item will IN THEORY end up costing you 50g EXTRA? Don't think about it. We're ninjas. We make money by killing people and with First Strike some if not most of the deficit is taken care of. To quote one of my wise community members, "This rune is only good if you actually go in with a plan." So let's make sure that we go in with the goal to buy an early Youmuu's Ghostblade or an early mythic and make use of that SUPER fast spike to get MORE kills and therefore money! $$$$

Again this one's a no brainer. Sure it's the only viable choice out of the 3 runes in this tier BUT the VALUE!! We not only get more haste, which Zed needs a ton of since he's an AD caster, but we also get SUMMONER haste. Meaning more Ignites and more kill opportunities!

We're playing far away and keeping our distance because we want to play around our First Strike right? So let's stay healthy until we can all in! What better way to do that than with our favorite lil' sustain rune?

While I love Ingenious Hunter, I'm still a huge fan of Ultimate Hunter. We need to have our ult up as much as possible! In 12.1 they fixed the bug where Axiom Arc wasn't reducing the ult cooldown alongside the rune properly so let's GOO!
Alrighty! In 11.24 Conqueror went back to having a tiny little bit of UMPH!

Before First Strike this keystone was my, no, THE favorite keystone for a more bruiser oriented playstyle. Even going so far as building items like Goredrinker (which I hate for the record). But your pal Bundif has you covered! Conqueror STILL has its place in the meta but for more specific matchups that require to get in there and scrap around with some RIGHT CLICKS! Heck yeah! Smeck, smack 'em! Each of your Qs will contribute to a stack along with your auto attacks, your Es, even your R pop and Ignite will add to the stacks! This keystone is for those of us that need to stand our ground in front of certain picks such as Yasuo, Katarina, Sylas, Yone and maybe even Diana just to name a few!

This is where some Zed mains differ in opinion! I value the energy return that Presence of Mind gives you in lane and in skirmishes which in turn allow for more uses of your Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken to fully stack that badboy keystone. Hopefully they don't have a lot of hard CC so we can go for some attack speed runes rather than tenacity runes! This will equal more stacks in less time and more SMACKS!

Like I mentioned above, Legend: Alacrity is something we can afford to choose only if they don't have a lot of CC. If there's a Leona and a Nocturne and a Viktor on the other team, we're better off going for Legend: Tenacity

Another wonderfully flexible pick here. If the enemy is full of squishies, we can go for Coup de Grace! If they're all going to have more HP than you, which with the preseason item changes, a lot of AP champs will have more HP than you nowadays, we go Cut Down and if you feel confident that you can win in a SMACK fight with, for example, a Yasuo, maybe you can even go Last Stand. Don't make the mistake of following cookie cutter rune pages. Use your noodle. Reading comprehension is hard I know but you can do it! We are SMART NINJAS!

Now your secondaries on conq can vary a LOT such as Sorcery's Transcendence or Inspiration's Cosmic Insight and Magical Footwear but a safe bet is Domination's Taste of Blood for the lane sustain. Which helps you dip into either Ultimate Hunter or Ingenious Hunter

While Ultimate Hunter is an obvious good pick, if we're going Conqueror, let me suggest Ingenious Hunter! It synergizes well with the bruisery items you'll want to build such as Eclipse anyway! But stay flexible and pick what you feel is best.
Dark Harvest
HERE'S A BONUS, BONUS EXTRA MAX PLUS Runepage for you guys struggling against the Yasuo or Yone matchups!
Lethal tempo right clickers got you singin' the blues? Then try this F U N alternative to Conqueror, why yes I'm referring to Dark Harvest

I've tested the Dark Harvest rune EXCLUSIVELY against the wind brothers. It's preference what you choose and to be completely honest, maybe Conqueror is just better suited for this matchup. HOWEVER! Dark Harvest is a different playstyle. It still makes us play like a caster instead of a right clicker and in my opinion CAN be loads of fun. ESPECIALLY when you catch the sword brothers off guard around lvl 4.

Same as always, you want to play back and realize that in a fair fight, you lose to Yasuo and Yone. Dodge, poke, sustain and survive. You want to whittle them down and win the "HEALTH GAME" if you're gonna be able to burst and surprise them.

The autopilot rune for extra AD per takedowns! If you feel like the other runes are better suited for you and you focus on vision denial, then choose those by all means. Me? Autopilot.

Ultimate Hunter is still our favorite child even though we lie and say the other ones are okay. Whether we go Axiom Arc or not, we'll still favor this rune for the value it gives us!

The rest of these runes will be standard as with Electrocute! The more CDR we have, the better. We NEED that 27% and we NEED to be able to burst. The only difference in playstyle is the lane phase and how you play around resets in teamfights!

I love this rune. I love love love love it. That extra lil burn helps compensate for how poopy Zed Qs are when they pass through minions. The name of the Dark Harvest game is to whittle them down and Scorch helps you do JUST that. Stay healthier than them and all in with Ignite when they're around 50% HP.
OK so this is the sneaky secret runepage for those of you that want to be a GANK HEAVY jungle Zed!! I know what you're thinking: "BUT BUNDIF, PREDATOR GOT NERFED YOU BALD IDIOT" True! You would probably be better off with first strike but hey, if you WANT a rune page that can help you get from top lane to bot lane with the speed of a thinning hairline, Predator is for you!

Alright here we go: All you need to know about Predator is BUY BOOTS DAMNIT! Buy them on your first back, HOPEFULLY with a Serrated Dirk. It takes a second to ramp up in speed and most importantly remember that the range at which the speed boost is activated is SLIGHTLY bigger than the square (that's your camera) on your minimap. So hold spacebar, if they're slightly outside of the square, you're in range. Pop that baby and ZOOM!

Sudden Impact is fairly self explanatory since we won't be needing the sustain of Taste of Blood! It simply means we'll be doing more damage to people when we finally hit 'em with our first SMACK or ability.

Honestly as a jungler, your vision control should be better than usual imo so maybe Zombie Ward or Ghost Poro would be better options but Eyeball Collection is definitely the low effort pick.

Remember this bad boy rune from before? Remember how it reduces the cooldowns of your items? Well guess what, it reduces the cooldown of your BOOTS too! More opportunities to activate Predator = more ganks = more kills = more wins! ...usually.

SINCE they nerfed Predator's move speed, let's compensate with celerity! This is 100% personal preference but since we're already trolling by picking Predator instead of First Strike in the jungle anyway, we may as well go balls to the wall looney bananas and commit to the ZOOM. Remember Youmuu's Ghostblade for maximum F A S T

For the same reasons as [celerity], we're gonna pick this rune for the S P E E D! Fighting in river is also nice but remember scuttle crabs aren't as important as they used to be so prioritize them KILLS!
OKAY let's talk about the REAL useful part of any guide: The combos!

Here I'll try to explain AND show you how to execute the combos zed can do. No worries, I'll limit myself to the useful ones and not the FLASHY ones you can find on youtube compilations.

The importance of CDR

Let's start fof with a quick explanation for OPTIMAL CDR on Zed. He NEEDS at least 27% CDR to effectively Q twice within the duration of one W! This is useful for when you all in on a target with your R and don't quite kill them but you end up being able to toss out a final Q from downtown with your CDR!!

Level 1 Electrocute trades or

So this combo is something you'll probably only be able to pull off in melee vs melee matchups! You auto the enemy, Q , and auto again to proc Electrocute! We always play around our electrocute early game as that is the bulk of our damage. You will almost never go E lvl 1 but if you DO, the premise is the same!

Level 2 Electrocute trades with W

This combo happens when you go W second. When do you go W second? It can change based on where you are, where the enemy laner is, where the enemy jungler is, where YOUR jungler is, where the stars are aligning; basically if there is a danger to you and you're extending in lane, go W. In this scenario let's imagine it's a melee vs ranged matchup. Your enemy laner just used cooldowns to hit you and missed. You W -> Q -> W -> auto for Electrocute.

Level 2 Electrocute backwards W +Q

This combo is useful if you go W lvl 2 and they have a gap closer/you get ganked and they're on top of you. You W backwards, auto attack them, press your Q button on them and swap to your W that you previously threw! If done correctly, both your shurikens will hit the target + your auto will trigger Electrocute!

Level 2 Electrocute trades with E

Just like above, in this scenario we instead take E because the matchup is melee vs melee or because we're safely under our turret/our jungler is around us. Keep in mind all these combos can be combined with your Flash to close the gap in case you dont have W and your jungler wants to commit!
Here we simply walk up Auto -> Q -> E . OR more realistically: Auto -> E -> Q because the enemy will likely be running away by the time you auto + E . Keep in mind zed's Shadow Slash doesn't have a cast time! This means you can press the button while other buttons/actions are taking place. You can and SHOULD cast it during your autos or during your Q if they're in range or for later combos: during your W which we will cover next!

Level 3 Electrocute combo! THE BREAD AND BUTTER!🍞🧈

THE basic combo you need to learn on Zed! Just like in the video: W and AS the shadow is midair, immediately press E followed by another IMMEDIATE Q . There are two versions of this combo: the FAST combo and the SLOW combo. The only difference is, as you can imagine, the speed at which you press your final Q . You'll decide which one is best for each scenario. If they sidestep A LOT as soon as your shadow comes out, (this means they're familiar with the Zed matchup) try throwing out the slow combo to make them mess up!

Level 3 BACKWARDS Electrocute combo!

This is the same as the lvl 2 W + Q backwards combo from before but MUCH easier and less risky to land because your E has a wider range than your auto attacks! Perfect for that pesky Ekko matchup for when he uses his E ! In the video, I throw in an auto attack but you don't have to! As long as we get Electrocute, we're happy.

The basic short range R combo!

This is the combo that will have the most amount of variance; Long range, short range, engaging with W , saving your W etc. In this situation we are within the R range so we use our W + E + Q ensuring that every single shuriken from all 3 of our shadows hits the target. Toss in an Ignite for good measure 😈 Like I said, remember this quote forever: "If you're not playing the piano on your keyboard while playing Zed, you're playing him wrong"

Delayed swap R to proc Electrocute

So here's an example of a variation of the R combo: We R + W + E + Q but as soon as you're done the combo, you immediately press R to swap back to your shadow creating distance from your enemy. This will either confuse them or just force them to follow. They'll be slowed by your shadow's Shadow Slash so you'll have time to think about your next move. Before the timer on your initial W runs out, swap to that shadow and go for the auto + E for the Electrocute! This is especially useful when you're trying to pick off a target that can potentially kill you if they manage to get on top of you foricng us to create some space! This is one of the many creative ways you can kite people. Use your imagination and experiment. This is what makes Zed so much fun!

Safely diving under turret/engaging on champs with CC!

Ever thought you could kill Malzahar under turret but you're scared he might have his R ? He presses it, the turret hits you, you die. THIS is the combo for you: W to a safe distance (hopefully close enough to land its shuriken though!)->R ->IMMEDIATELY spam that W button to swap back to your initial shadow and finish the combo with E -> Q and if you're quick, maybe even an Ignite. This has to be done incredibly fast so that they can't react to you with their smelly CC abilities! Keep in mind this can work for risky teamfights as well!

Input buffering with Flash!

You can do a few neat things with Zed and Flash like casting your Q followed by a Flash to get on top of someone and hit them with an auto + E for Electrocute! In this example I show you that you can just press your R on a target, flash and Zed will do the rest! Input buffering, even without Flash, in general is very useful for dodging key abilities like Malphite R with your R !

Using Death Mark to gap close and kill the real target!

This trick is used when the target you want to assassinate is hiding behind a big chonky frontline! Keep in mind you can only do this if you're 100% sure the true target will actually die from your basic combo! R onto the frontline, combo the squishy!

Safely picking off priority targets in a teamfight AND escaping?!

This is one of the many things you can do to pick off a high priority target that is being protected by big chonky tanks and scary bruisers. Keep in mind there are myriad ways you can approach this. In this video we can assume they either A) use all their CC on my team or B) I use my R to dodge key CC abilities! We then use W , immediately use E WHILE swapping to it to gain some distance and finishing them off with our Q . The enemy team will either flock to you, or to your ult shadow: worst case scenario you can swap back to it and Flash away to safety!
Final Thoughts

I'd like to thank you guys for making it this far!

Thank you for upvoting and commenting on the guide and thank you to the people that pushed me to write this even though I felt like I wasn't good enough to put out the information. Let it be known this is a guide for beginners BY a noob. I hope we can learn and improve being better players together ❤️

If you guys DO want to learn together, I stream every week from Sunday to Thursday at 4PM Italy time! And I'm always chilling in my Discord with the rest of the community where we play games and hang out with players that are (MUCH) better than me!


Take care and have fun! 👁️👄👁️
League of Legends Build Guide Author Bundif
Bundif Zed Guide
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[12.2] Bundif's beginner friendly SEASON 12 Zed guide

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