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Zed Build Guide by Zethal_Na

Middle [14.1] Zethal's Zed Guide | Latest Build + Advanced Tips [UPDATE IN PROGRESS!]

Middle [14.1] Zethal's Zed Guide | Latest Build + Advanced Tips [UPDATE IN PROGRESS!]

Updated on January 15, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zethal_Na Build Guide By Zethal_Na 387 52 1,013,395 Views 23 Comments
387 52 1,013,395 Views 23 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Zethal_Na Zed Build Guide By Zethal_Na Updated on January 15, 2024
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Runes: vs Bruisers (Caster Zed)

1 2 3
Presence of Mind
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Taste of Blood
Ultimate Hunter

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


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
Hello fellow Zed gamers, welcome to my Zed guide! I've hit Challenger in Season 11 and dropped back to Grandmaster in Season 12 since I stopped playing as much. However,I'm on the come back! I'll be tryharding again in Season 13 and will be seeing where that'll take me. I have more than 1 Million mastery points on Zed (probably more than 2 million at this point) across all of my accounts and was hated by many streamers (for stealing their LP :P) Make sure to follow my socials to get the latest/upcoming content!

Zed is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, champion to play. His kit enables you to have high outplay potential with a high skill cap. If you do have any questions about Zed, make sure to let me know! I stream on Twitch so drop by and ask! I'll answer your question(s) in a timely manner.

P.S. I would highly encourage you to check out how I play my Early Game and Mid-To-Late Game. You don't have to copy what I do, but learning more styles of play can improve your current one.

If the guide was any helpful to you, a thumbs up vote would be great! I hope you'll enjoy my guide just as much as I enjoyed creating it. Remember, the only way to get better is to practice!

NOTE: I'll explain why you should take each rune and when to take something else. If something isn't clear or you have a question, you can always let me know (via Twitch, Discord, Patreon, etc..)

Electrocute Setup

Conqueror Setup

First Strike Setup

I actually get these questions alot: "When do I build prowlers... when do I build that... What's the best mythic on Zed?" So I'll be answering them below!
Which Mythic To Build?

Well, this depends on alot of things and could change during the game. For example, let's say if the enemy picked alot of tanky champs in champ select, then you would most likely build Eclipse and go with Conqueror here. However, let's say you get like 5 kills in the early game and you want to snowball that lead, you can then build Prowler's Claw for more immediate burst damage on 1 target or Duskblade of Draktharr to have more CDR and when there are many key threats.

What mythic to build also depends on your playstyle. Do you like to trade 1 for 1s? Do you like to split? Below is a general list on when you should build what.

If you like to split and go for 1 v 1s: Build Eclipse or Prowler's Claw

If enemies are really squishy: Build Prowler's Claw or Duskblade of Draktharr

Need more gap close: Build Prowler's Claw

Need more CDR to kit away from champs like Wukong, Garen, (bascially champions that can only deal damage in melee range): Build Duskblade of Draktharr

Long Sword + three Health Potion: The long sword will be built into your core items ( Serrated Dirk or Caulfield's Warhammer). Overall, this will be the best starting item and you shouldn't start anything else. (I mean if you are playing a normal game, then you can consider the starting items below...)
Doran's Shield + Health Potion: I guess you can start Doran's Shield and a potion. However, this item will be only useful against Zoe, Jayce or any other poke reliant champion. Even if you are against a poke reliant champion, I would still suggest you to buy Long Sword for the damage and it's build path.
Doran's Blade + Health Potion: I would only take Doran's Blade if you're taking Conqueror or you're against enemies that have some sustain ( Irelia).
Duskblade of Draktharr: Great item to rush. Gives a ton of burst damage and buys you time to escape or kill another champion. Duskblade of Draktharr + Axiom Arc provides alot of abilty haste and can snowball your lead quite well.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: I don't really rush Youmuu's Ghostblade anymore. Yes it provides movement speed and some ability haste, I feel like Axiom Arc can really snowball your lead with the ultimate cooldown being reduced.
Plated Steelcaps: This will be a solid choice against heavy AD comps or champions that ( Master Yi, Tryndamere, Jax, etc) are auto attack reliant. Or if the enemy team is full ad, then Plated Steelcaps would be really useful.
Mercury's Treads: This will be great for heavy AP champions or CC heavy teams. Usually, this will be my first choice due to its tenacity stats.
Black Cleaver: I wouldn't really go for Black Cleaver as Serylda's Grudge and Ravenous Hydra synergies really well with Zed's kit and enemies tanky items. However, if the enemy team is filled with tanks and fighters (meaning long extended fights), then Eclipse + Black Cleaver would be your best friend.
Axiom Arc: This item is insane lol. If you kill 4 people, you'll have your Death Mark back up. If you're up against alot of squishy champs or you're ahead, taking this item after your mythic is ideal.
Edge of Night: After you've built Serylda's Grudge or Ravenous Hydra, Edge of Night can be a great item to neglect some cc and let's you to go in and out without dying (hopefully).

Serylda's Grudge: Often times, I would have my Serylda's Grudge 3rd or 4th item. If there's not alot of cc, I would build Serylda's Grudge over Edge of Night

Serpent's Fang: If there's a Lulu, Karma, Sona, Sett or any champion that uses shields on the enemy team, make sure to get Serpent's Fang. It can help you deal with their shields early (however, as the game progresses, I really feel like this item falls off since the shields gets very obnoxious).

CONTEMPT FOR THE WEAK (Passive): When Zed auto's an enemy below 50% hp, he deals an additional 6 / 8 / 10% of their maximum HP as magic damage. The amount is increased at level 7 and level 17. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every 10 seconds.

IMPORTANT/TIP: This passive is really useful for your trades at early levels. It is important to proc this passive every time you are in a 1 v 1 fight to ensure maximum damage output. We will go over this later down in the combos section and what you should do at every level section...

RAZOR SHURIKEN (Q): Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, dealing 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies they pass through, reduced to 60% against units beyond the first. Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy restore energy.

IMPORTANT/TIP: Landing your Qs on the same target restores the energy! This will be really useful in 1 v 1 matchups to ensure that you can use abilities without having energy problems.

In the earlier levels, your Q is on a very low CD. It will be your best interest to use them wisely. If you are in a harder matchup where the enemy is zoning you, you should try to farm and last hit minions with your Q. However, if the matchup is easy, you should use your Q to hit the enemy and then last hit with your autos.

LIVING SHADOW (W):Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 5 seconds. Reactivating or repressing this ability will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow. Zed's shadow(s) will mimic his basic abilities (Q and E). If both shurikens strike the same target Zed regains 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 energy Energy can only be restored once per mimicked ability.

IMPORTANT/TIP: This is your engage/gap closer and "get me the f*ck outta here" ability. This is the ability that makes outplays possible. Since the CD for Living Shadow is really long in the early game, you should use to wisely. If you don't see the enemy jungler, then you shouldn't use your W. However, if the enemy jungler is far away from you or very low HP, then use your Living Shadow to combo the enemy mid laner. Do this several times and you'll get a free kill.

SHADOW SLASH (E):Active: Zed and his shadows create a bust of shadow, dealing 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 / 170 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to nearby enemies. Zed's slash reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 1 second for each enemy struck. His shadows' slashes slow enemies by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 1.5 seconds. Living shadow: Overlapping Shadow Slash striking the same enemy deal no additional damage but will incur an increased slow of 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60% and restore energy.

IMPORTANT/TIP: If Zed hits the enemy champion with Shadow Slash, that reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 1 seconds for each enemy hit! By knowing this, you will learn advanced tips and tricks in no time.

DEATH MARK (R): Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to an enemy champion, marking them. After 3 seconds, the mark triggers, dealing physical damage equal to 100% Attack Damage + 25/40/55% of all damage dealt to the target by Zed while the mark was active.
The dash leaves a shadow behind for 6 seconds. Reactivating Death Mark causes Zed to switch positions with this shadow.

IMPORTANT/TIP: With patience on the usage of Death Mark, you are able to outplay, dodge and basically do whatever with this! This ability and Living Shadow is 1 of the reasons I love to play Zed: outplay potential.

If there's alot of people requesting for a specific type of matchup guide, I can create a video (you can always let me know on my twitch livestream, tiktok, etc...) If something isn't covered in the video, please comment on this guide or on my YouTube video to let me know! I'll try my best to answer your questions as fast as possible.
Watch the guide on YouTube. If you have any questions about this match-up, please let me know! You can message me here, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch or YouTube!
VIDEO UPLOADED @ 01/01/2020
Watch the Zed vs Diana match-up on YouTube! This video will include some advanced combos and one of the most common combos (W+E+Q). You'll learn about how to trade with Diana and how to be a better Zed player!
VIDEO UPLOADED @ 01/09/2020
For this video, you'll learn what to do in laning phase vs Yasuo and what you should do after laning phase. You'll also learn some tricks and a combo on how to deal with Yasuo dashing in and out.
VIDEO UPLOADED @ 01/20/2020
For this video, you'll learn how to carry teamfights as Zed, with three important questions to ask yourself in figths.
VIDEO UPLOADED @ 02/06/2020

(against immobile Mages... Syndra, Veigar, etc...)

Important note: There are many ways to play a lane. For example, your opponenet can be way worse than you (or way better than you). Your team may be running it down, etc... What I'm trying to say is, yes, you can copy what I do word for word, but you'll be more successful if you adapt to each game and implement your own playstyle (which will come from experience and watching my Twitch stream :)

>> If your opponent is good, you should be pushed into your turret until the 3rd wave (cannon wave). Focus on farming until you get level 3. Of course, if the opponent is really bad and their movement is really linear and robotic, you can always use Qs to chunk them. You shouldn't really push on Zed even if you're against easy matchups. Ideally, you would want the wave on your side so you can have a longer lane to work with.

>> Once you hit level 4, you should be looking for your W+E+Q combo off cooldown. However, make sure to ward one side of the lane so that you can "hug" it and use your combo without dying.

>> If you are able to land 3-4 combos, your oppoppent should be in kill range with ignite. If you are missing everything and feel like you aren't able to land anything, focus on farming and take a base at leel 5.

>> Since Zed's R is nerfed abit, you'll need to land 1 or 2 W+E+Q combos to poke the enemy down before all-inning. Once you landed a combo or two, you should be able to kill the enemy if you are able to land everything.

>> I would be looking for solo kills and taking advantage of every miss play of the enemy. For example, if the enemy walks up to take the cannon, I'll make sure he loses 40% of his hp to do so.

>> If your opponent is camping in the turret and not coming out, perma push and start to roam after level 6.

(against Bruiser mids... Sett, Irelia, etc...)

>> This depends on if the enemy is good (although, it kinda doesn't matter if the enemy is hardstuck iron. They can miss everything and they can still kill you pre-items. I'm talking about conqueror Talon, Irelia, Sett, Renekton)

>> I would play the lane just like what I said in "Easy Match Ups". Farm up and if opponent miss steps, make sure to punish. Losing hp in these matchups is really bad since you won't be able to farm, so I would ONLY trade if it will 100% benefit me and I lose little to no hp.

>> After your first base, look for roams. If you are able to, perma push your lane and just roam. If you get a lucky kill or two before your first base and you have a decent amount of gold advantage, you are able to win the 1 v 1s if you play the fight correctly (ie. dodging Irelia R with your R and dodging her stun with your W).

Important note: Just like laning phase, there are many ways to play the mid-late game. Make sure to implent your own playstyle and adapt to your current game situations! I'll be explaning 2 ways to play mid-late game (from behind and when you're ahead)

>> As Zed, it is very punishing to be down in EXP and gold. If you are very behind and you don't have any kills, meaning that if the enemy has 20 kills on your team, it's probably not winnable. However, I would still play it out by sitting in bushes and trying to 1 shot their support or squishiest member on their team.

>> If you alittle behind, I would perma stay in a side lane and focus on farming while pressuring that lane. If you are confident, you can always ask your jungler to "hover" your lane so that you can potentially get a free kill or just farm safely.

>> If you aren't able to 1 v 1 anyone on the enemy team, ask your support / jungler to help. Often times than not, the enemy will overextend and you are able to get huge shutdowns.

>> Again, if you're behind, EXP and GOLD from minions/turrets/jungle camps is a must. Don't fight at dragons if your team is weak. Taking the top turret is always better than a dragon (at soul point, meaning, if enemies are getting their 4th dragon, I would still split top and tell the jungler to flip and try to steal the dragon).

>> If you managed to more items and your team recovers alittle bit, look for "spicy" plays. By spicy, I don't mean you going in 1 v 9 and trying to outplay everyone. I mean lurking in bushes and looking to assasinate someone. Keep splitting and pressuring sides. There should be a point where you can start 1 v 1ing their fed player (if you itemize correctly of course) and you'll be able to start taking over the game.

>> I feel like the best/most important advice when playing Zed when you're super fed is not to give your shutdown. Back in days, dying when you're 10/0 doesn't really make a differnce since you'll still be able to 1 shot people. However, in season 12, people are able to get tankier items so 1 shotting them again can be harder.

>> Even if you are able to 5 v 5, I would still go in a side lane and completely sh*t on the enemy. Pressuing side lanes is very important and if done correctly, you'll climb more consistently and increase your winrate on Zed.

>> It's very hard to control the temptations of going in 1 v 5 when you're ahead. Even I can't control myself since I really do want the montage play sometimes. Just ask yourself if it's worth losing your diamond promos 10 times in a row X)

>> Ideally, 1 player on their team shouldn't be able to play the game (since you're in a side lane with them). That makes taking dragons and baron easier since it's a 4 v 5 (which will turn into a 3 v 5 after you 1 shot someone with your combo and then a 2 v 5 after you ult another person). Make sure to have solid vision so that you are able to do this!

If you've made it this far, make sure to give a thumbs up to this guide! It would really help me alot!
This is a MUST HAVE for Zed (yes, this means your ghost/cleanse Zed doesn't work...). If you don't run this spell, you will probably die to ganks, miss out on ALOT of kills and 100% get flamed by your teammates.
I take Ignite for 99.9999999999% of my matches. Zed snowballs really hard from early kills and ignite helps you to secure kills and have more lane pressure. Ignite is also strong against champions that heal or use Heal.


If you want to have some fun and try out the 14 seconds Zed ultimate at level 16, watch the video here


Yes, there's corona virus... but that ain't stopping me from making these plays :P


Thanks for reading my Zed guide! If you enjoyed reading and took something away from the guide, I would really appreciate an up vote! If you think I've left something out, please let me know via the comments below or my stream if I'm live :D

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zethal_Na
Zethal_Na Zed Guide
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[14.1] Zethal's Zed Guide | Latest Build + Advanced Tips [UPDATE IN PROGRESS!]

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