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Zed Build Guide by overfl0w

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League of Legends Build Guide Author overfl0w

A Beginner's Guide to Zed

overfl0w Last updated on November 13, 2014
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Middle Lane
Ranked #20 in
Middle Lane
Win 49%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Zed with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
Lux Super easy matchup. Lux has really low base health and armor so you can usually just chunk her without worrying about much. Same goes for xerath and other poke based champs
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Hi everyone. I'm overfl0w and this is my guide to Zed. Zed is usually considered to be one of the hardest champions in the game, and because of that many players are reluctant to perfect him. But personally I don't think that's completely true. While Zed may have possibly the highest skill cap in the game, his skill floor really isn't as high as people think. When I first started playing Zed I was absurdly bad at him and fed nearly every game, but when I learned a few basic skills he quickly became one of my strongest mid laners and carried me up a whole division in rank. This is a guide written from a beginners perspective so I'll only be going over the basic techniques for Zed. If you want more complicated techniques your best bet would probably be to learn from observation of pros.

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Pros and Cons

-Strong at all stages of the game
-Can win nearly any lane
-One of the safest assassins in a game
-Tons of mobility and burst
-Good duelist

-Countered stupidly hard by Zhonyas and qss
-Heavily reliant on snowballing
-Often denies your team magic damage if you pick him

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This is a pretty standard rune setup for ad casters. Gives you good damage early and scales well into late game.

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The items here are pretty standard for zed. The choice between BORK and Hydra is usually a difficult one to make. Hydra does more damage and is better for laning, roaming, and teamfights. Bork has more pick potential, split push power, and assassination pressure. The main reason for this is that the bork slow allows zed to land his triple q more easily. Because of this bork is usually the better choice if the enemy tristana is 4-0 and you need you make sure you can 1 shot her. Usually if you get bork you should get ghostblade and if you get hydra you should get cleaver. This is just because of the way these items inherently synergize. Hydra applies cleaver stacks to targets hit and ghostblade is good for the same things hydra is good for. You can occasionally grab an IE if it suits your fancy against all ad teams; otherwise maw or mercurial scimitar are musts. Often this isnt as good as buying the last armor pen item, but it is fun to see 1k damage crits.

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Skill Sequence

You should max q in all matchups. It gives you most of your poke and damage through all stages of the game. Sometimes however you should take e first against champs like riven and yasuo who can otherwise beat you in melee range.

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Zed is a very strong laner AFTER LEVEL 3. A common misconception is that zed has a strong levels 1-3. If you dont want to get pushed out by harass you will usually have to use q to farm and likely have to chug a pot if you extend too far trying to get cs. After level 3 this changes though as you gain access to your basic harass combo. Whenever the enemy gets in range slow them with a W-E combo. This should make landing a double q very easy and you can chunk the enemy. If they are low enough you can reactivate w to proc your passive and go for a kill.
Once you hit level 6 you can 1 v 1 anyone if you play it right. If you're not against another all-in champ just use your ult off cooldown. A good combo is to ult someone, place a living shadow further behind them, active item-e-q-auto. This should get them fairly low if you hit even half your stuff and if you want to chase for the kill you can reactivate w. If you want to retreat just reactivate r. If nothing else you'll force the enemy laner away and get free farm.
When you clear a wave, see if there is any lane you can easily gank. If not clear a wraith or wolf camp. This will allow you to gain a nice cs lead over your opponent even if you can't roam much.

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Q- This is your basic damage tool and most of your assassination attempts will boil down to whether or not you can his a double or triple q. not much else to say about that.

W- This is the skill that separates the Fakers from the Ryus. Managing and using you shadows is usually the hardest thing about zed. Its like if orianna had to control 2 balls and could teleport to them at any time. While this skill is great for outplay potential it also has a few more uses. Don't underestimate the AOE it gives you. You can deal aoe comparable to ziggs if you position your shadows right in a teamfight. This goes for your ult shadow too. The best response when someone zhonyas or QSS your ult in a teamfight is usually just to retreat and use your shadows to become a decent aoe AD mage for the rest of the fight. Another nice trick is to lead chasers away from your shadow. if they follow you you can just port back. If they dont you'll get away anyway. This is pretty nice for escaping sticky situations.

E- Remember to apply the slow wiht this whenever possible. Never port to a shadow before using it to slow. W-E-W is a much better gap closer than W-W-E

R- Don't hesitate to use and ult to dodge key spells even if it doesnt mean youll get a kill. Dodging a dark binding or charm late game is definitely worth an ult cooldown.

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A lot of people always just go ham for the adc in teamfights. While that may work if you're fed a good assassin will bide his time. Wait for the enemy to use important ccs and then go in. This greatly increases you chances of killing a carry. If it becomes evident you failed and could not kill your target, don't tunnel. port back to a shadow and group with you team. Try to use your AOE to win the rest of the teamfight.

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Conclusion and final tips.

Zed is a champion that is easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master. Or in faker's case approximately 6 months. Don't be worried if you do badly a couple games, once you get him down you will be glad you did.

-Zed has the best spammable laugh in the game. He flaps his hands like a chicken. Its a better taunt than his taunt. Use this to taunt your enemies to do stupid things. Laughing between every cs or missed skillshot can also throw your opponent off. It may sound dumb but it actually works. I've rebinded laugh to my 'A' key just for this purpose.
-Zed is a champion who amplifies the skill difference between you and your opponent.SO if you're a tad better than your opponent, you will likely end up ****ting on them. Conversely if you are a little worse, you will likely get shat on.