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A general guide to Zed

Last updated on June 11, 2014
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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

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Pros / Cons

    Excellent Lane dominance if even slightly ahead
    Very hard to shut down unless playing recklessly
    Extremely mobile
    High skill cap
    High skill cap
    Needs at least one or two items to really be effective
    Teamfights rely on being able to instagib someone and get out again
    Not mobile enough to escape Lee Sin

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Introducing Zed

Zed is a fairly strong mid or top lane AD assassin, fairly mobile (Not Lee Sin mobile, but who is?) And with the potential to instagib enemy carries with just a few items built. He can also be an effective split pusher, thanks to his immense waveclear, and can use his W to escape a lot of ganks when still in the laning phase.

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Farming with Zed is extremely easy due to his passive, which allows for excellent last hitting. Under tower, it's very hard to miss cs, and he has enough waveclear to simply outpush his lane opponent if he so desires. His Q is on low enough of a cooldown that last hitting with it is a possibility if you're being zoned.

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Honestly, you should be farming until level 4-5. Zed has low-ish kill potential pre-6 unless the enemy is just blatantly overextending for CS and other such things, in which case punish them. But once you hit 4, start doing your harass combo- Toss your W shadow right on top of them, E for the slow, and land the double Q. Rinse and repeat while farming, and at level 6 they'll probably be low enough for you to kill with your ult. Lanes with Zed have Zed being either extremely dominant or getting dominated- There are exceptions of coutrse, such as a lane with a Fizz. Contrary to popular believe, Fizz isn't a counter to zed. It's a skill matchup. If you can bait out his E, or if he uses it to engage, then you win. Wait for him to ult you, then at the last second you can use your ult to cancel his ult.

Either way, unless you get matched up with a hard counter, as Zed you'll probably be in control of the lane- Unless you throw control away and give them a kill, that is.

Remember that you're in the mid lane- You're gonna get ganked, and if you start dominating lane you're gonna get camped. Be careful, ward both sides of the lane, and if you extend past the center of the lane don't use your W to harass anymore, save it to avoid potential ganks. You'll get less damage off, but you'll be a lot safer, and after the fourth or fifth time their jungler comes in only to have you shadow away and laugh at him, the ganks will be less frequent.

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Zed has one job in a teamfight- Kill the strongest enemy carry. He's an assassin with two gap closers, three if you count flash, and an ult that will allow him to kill the enemy carry then be gone before the front line even realizes what happened. In my games as Zed, I prefer to not be in the actual lineup, but rather try to flank like you would when playing eve, as it allows easier access to the enemy carries in the back line with less effort.

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Ranked Play

Zed in Soloq is wonderful, thanks to the lack of communication that is generally in soloq that
allows him to slip out of lane when his laning opponent goes back and possibly kill someone
before the enemy laner even pings the MIA. He's especially effective in lower elos, where the positioning of carries is usually quite bad and Zed is able to capitalize on it easily. In team 5's, he can also be useful, but it will be more as a split pusher than a teamfighter
in most cases, unless their team lacks hard AOE CC.

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Biggest problems for Zed (Lane counters and other things that just generall

Kayle. She is a Zed's worst nightmare. As the enemy laner, or even just a Kayle being in the game in general. It's just bad for business.

Leona. She has two forms of hard CC and her E immobilizes you. If she jumps on you before the fight or ults the carry that you ult, she'll stun you and probably stop you from getting a kill- And get you killed.

Thresh. The peel from Thresh is hard for Zed to deal with. Just a flay and a hook can mess up your ult and timing, and probably ruin the kill.

Yasuo. I honestly believe this is close to a skill matchup, but the edge in the lane is definitely in Yasuo's favor- Not to mention, he might get his shield from his passive up just in time to make your ult not matter.

Sivir. The spellshield when you ult her. Nuff said.

Zhonyas. I can't stress it enough, Zhonyas is a huge deal against Zed- A must buy for most AP champions against him.

Nidalee. She can heal up the damage from your ult.

Teammates. You have a gap closer that is likely taking you into the middle of the enemy team- If your team doens't follow up with some hard engage, or if they disengage before you've done your job, you're screwed.

Greed. There are a lot of times when you'll use your ult to tower dive someone and they'll have just a TIIINY sliver of health left and you'll want to flash/q in for the kill. Don't. Let them B, farm the lane as hard as you can, and push on the tower. when the laner comes back, you'll probably be up a level and might have even taken your tower- Which means you'll get the kill next time.

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Creeping / Jungling

I don't care what junglers say, if you pushed the lane out and you're gonna go base, take the wraith camp before you do. He won't complain when you kill your lane partner because you came back with a bloodthirster rather than a BF Sword and Vamp scepter, so he'll get over it. You need the money as an assassin.

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This is all just my personal playstyle as Zed, there are of course many different ways to play him, many different item builds, many different skill orders, and many different rune pages. Most of this is just what works for me.

That's all for now. Remember: wards save lives!