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Zed Build Guide by NocUout

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Assassin at it's finest: 9.6 Zed Guide (WIP)

By NocUout | Updated on March 21, 2019
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7 Comments
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Runes:

Domination
Electrocute
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter

Sorcery
Transcendence
Scorch
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #29 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Welcome

Updating for patch 9.6 WIP
I apologize for not updating this guide in a while, somewhat forgot about mobafire for a while but decided to update my guide again now that Zed has changed quite a lot since my last update somewhere around mid season 8.
Hello and Welcome to my Zed Guide. A little about my history with Zed: I was wondering what champion to buy next, and chose Zed without even playing him because he looked pretty cool, but found that he was actually quite fun and he ended up becoming my main. I also like the challenge of high skill cap champions and Zed fits that category fairly well.

I am still fairly new to guide making, and if you have any suggestions please leave a comment so I can make this guide best as possible. The visuals of the guide aren't the greatest, but I will try and make the content as best as possible.
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Pros/Cons

Pros

+ Great Splitpusher
+ Good laning phase
+ Extremely Powerful 1v1
+ Easy to CS with Contempt for the Weak
+ Great outplay potential
+ Decent teamfight with blue buff energy regen and tons of AOE damage
Cons

- Squishy
- Can only be played 1 lane
- Vulnerable to CC (like all assasins)
- Vulnerable without Living Shadow
- Hard to come back if you fall behind
- Can't carry easily as mostly single target elimination.
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Abilities



Contempt for the Weak (Passive)

BONUS DAMAGE: 6%/8%/10%
COOLDOWN: 10
Deal bonus magic damage to enemies below 50% health, cannot activate on the same target again for a few seconds.

This a great passive for csing as the bonus damage makes it so you can kill minions much easier. The bonus damage is also great for bursting down enemies, and is even better for tanks. Even if there is a full armor stacking Rammus this adds some nice magic damage into your combo, chunking even the most armored Rammus.



Razor Shuriken (Q)

COST: 75/70/65/60/55 ENERGY
COOLDOWN: 6
RANGE: 900
DAMAGE: 90/125/160/195/230 (+100% bonus AD)

DAMAGE AFTER INITIAL TARGET: 60/86.25/112.5/138.75/165 (+67.5% bonus AD)
Throw out a razor shuriken that deals physical damage in a line, dealing less damage after the initial target is hit.

This is your primary poking ability, that has great ad scalings for the late game. Pre-level 3 though you should be using this to last hit caster minions if you want to avoid getting poked down. Be wary though, early game the damage after the initial target is low, so try to aim it so it hits the minion you are trying to last hit. Recently, Zed received a nice buff though making it so multiple shurikens hit will not have the damage reduced, making it very powerful if you land a triple Q.



Living Shadow (W)

COST: 40/35/30/25/20
MAX RANGE: 650
DURATION: 5
MAX BLINK RANGE: 1300
COOLDOWN: 20/18.5/17/15.5/14
ENERGY RESTORED: 30/35/40/45/50
Throws out a Shadow that stays in place for a few seconds, mimicking all basic spells cast by Zed. Zed can recast this ability while within a certain range and duration to switch places with the shadow. If Zed hits two abilities of the same type, he restores some energy.

This ability is your primary way to get off your Electrocute proc, as throwing out W,
then using E, then throwing double shurikens will proc Electrocute and deal massive damage (That is if you hit your abilities). But be careful, this is your only escape, do not poke enemies unless you know you are safe or you are in a safe spot.



Shadow Slash (E)

COST: 50
RADIUS: 290
COOLDOWN: 5/4.5/4/3.5/3
DAMAGE: 70/95/120/145/170 (+80% bonus AD)
ENERGY RESTORED: 30/35/40/45/50
Zed and his shadows slash around, dealing physical damage. If one of Zed's Shadows hits an enemy with Shadow Slash, they are slowed. Hitting an enemy with multiple Shadow Slash's will not increase the damage but increase the slow.

This ability is sadly your only form of cc, being a weak one as well. This ability helps you CS under tower and mainly just some extra damage, while also slowing enemies for your WEQ combo allowing you to hit your Razor Shuriken more easily. It's also good for escaping as you can W away and when the enemy catches up to your shadow, you just E and slow them.



Death Mark (R)

COST: No Cost
RANGE: 625
COOLDOWN: 120/90/60
DAMAGE: 100% AD (+25/35/45% Damage Dealt)
Zed becomes untargetable for 0.75, leaving behind a shadow in his place. Zed then appears behind his target, leaving a mark that will trigger after 3 seconds, dealing flat damage plus a percentage of damage dealt to the target while the mark was active. Zed can recast this ability to switch places with the shadow he left behind.

This ability is probably your biggest play maker, having many parts to it. You can combo it with your abilities in many ways, such as setting up a triple shuriken to deal massive damage. This ability is also great for dodging abilities, so use it wisely in a fight. This also gives you a lot of lane pressure against your opponent, so just before you hit six try to get ready and all in at level 6, usually catching enemies off guard and letting you pick up a free and easy kill.
(Tip, a shuriken appears above an opponents head if the Mark from Death Mark will kill them.)


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Runes

Electrocute The new runes were intended to give champions a variety of runes to take, but for Zed, Electrocute is the only keystone you can really take. It just adds so much damage to your combo, and scales decently well into the game unlike the old thunderlords. It can also get you kills with your ult that you otherwise might not get, as the damage mark of your ultimate counts towards Electrocute proc.

Sudden Impact Sudden impact gives you lethality, obviously you want lethality. You can also proc this with your R and W, making it so your damage on people not building armor is practically true damage. Definitely the best choice of the three.
WIP: Currently, I actually prefer Taste of Blood. For just hitting your Q's you get a bit of health back which is great for sustain in lane considering you are melee, and the lethality of sudden impact is not as beneficial as one might think considering when you WEQ you fire your abilities usually before you dash, meaning they are not affected by the bonus lethality.

Eyeball Collection Here, pretty much any of the three runes work. I just prefer eyeball collection as it's more raw damage, but all of them work. If you splitpush a lot, I would take ghost poro as it's pretty much an extra ward, giving you time to run if you are about to get ganked, and zombie ward just gives your team more vision overall.

Ultimate Hunter Zed relies a lot on his ultimate, it gives him a ton of damage, more shadows to outplay, and is also an ability that can burst even tanks, provided you do enough damage while the mark is still charging. With ultimate hunter, your ultimate cooldown goes down to about 30 seconds, letting him ult in every teamfight, and even to pick off squishies before the teamfight and still have it up in time.


Transcendence Zed is very effective once he gets a lot of CDR, and since now Last whisper is usually better than Black cleaver, you want to get Transcendence in order to help get CDR faster. If you also end up building Black Cleaver in the late game and overstack CDR, you get some bonus AD from it which is always nice.

Scorch
There are plenty of options here, but I prefer scorch as it gives you more poke in lane and the damage eventually adds up. It can also be used during your ultimate to give your mark a slight damage buff, even though it's not much. If your up against a hard ap matchup, I would recommend Nullifying Orb or if you roam a lot, Waterwalking is also a good rune.


WIP: Some secondary rune page, Precision (any two combinations of these runes, Triumph, Coup de Grace, Legend: Tenacity)
Inspiration: If you want to hop on board the meta train inspiration is quite good, essentially you can make use of majority of runes, such as biscuit, time warp tonic, free boots, perfect timing, minion dematerilizer. Recommended for tought lanes as you can get some extra sustain, free stopwatch, or some minion dematerilizers in order to farm easier.
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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Obviously, you add a point in your ult whenever you can at 6, 11, and 16. Then you max Q first as it's your main poke and deals more damage. Then you want to max E next as it deals damage, but not as much as your Razor Shuriken. Then you want to max W last as it's mainly for utility. In URF, you can also max E first as you spam it more than your Q.
I prefer taking your Living Shadow at level 2, but if the enemy is pushing fast and you need to cs under tower or you are having a hard time csing, your Shadow Slash at level 2 is perfectly fine as well.
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Combos

- W, E, Q: This is your main trading combo, and will deal quite a bit of damage early game. If your enemy gets low enough, you can dash to your W and AA and Ignite.
- R, W, E, Q, R: This is for when you want to all in, you initiate with your R, W away for additional escape route and land triple shurikens, and if you did it right and ulted a squishy, they should be dead. This is Zed's main combo and what you will be doing most of the time.

(Will be adding more combos soon)
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Summoner Spells

Flash

This should be one of your main spells on zed, as early game your Living Shadow cooldown is high, making you vulnerable to ganks when its on cooldown. Also, this can be used offensively in many different ways, to dodge cc and if your confident in your ability to burst someone and hit a triple Q, just to get close enough to r and catch them by surprise.

Ignite

This should usually be your second spell, as it will help you get ahead in lane, and secure kills.


That's pretty much the only spells I ever take on Zed, but every once in a while, you could take other abilities if you see fit. (e.g. Use Cleanse if against someone like Twisted Fate to break his stun, as he relies on mainly his stun to land his Q, (although you should be able to dodge his gold card with your r since it has the travel speed of an aa)
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Item's

This is one of the most important items to get on Zed. Everything on it Zed uses; Damage for abilities and aa, lethality for more burst and armor pen, and the out of combat movespeed for roams, not to mention the active to get in and out of fights quickly.

This item is also pretty much what you should build every time. It is one of your core items, and you benefit from all the stats. This is usually my first item, but if i'm a little bit behind I will build [Youmuu's Ghostblade] first instead. Just a tip, if you are roaming to another lane and you spot a ward with this, don't clear it. The enemy will see you if you clear it, but if you don't aa the ward, your icon won't show up on their minimap and the enemy 9/10 times will just think the ward expired if they were watching the minimap in the first place.

This item is a good item to continue snowballing on Zed, and helps with many late game picks as it allows you to block an ability. I usually go this third if I'm ahead and enemies are not building armor, however I go last whisper third if they are building armor (Then get this fourth). The lethality is nice and provides some more AD and a bit of health for more survivability.

This item is situational, if the enemy team has a lot of burst it could be useful, but now a days it's not as useful of an item anymore for Zed. It has a good amount of AD for your abilities, but armor pen is more important for Zed. I only really recommend it if the enemy has some burst threats and you need to live for a bit longer in order to kill.

Definitely a great buy on Zed. Adds some tankiness, movement speed, AD, and armor shred for Zed. Now it's more of a tank shredder, and unless the enemy team has a lot of tanks, you should go a Last Whisper item first. It's a good lategame choice however.

Nice damage and good magic resist. If your up against heavy ap or your ap laner gets fed, definitely buy this. If you buy it during lane, only get the Hexdrinker
as it's more beneficial to finish other items before finishing this one.

I no longer really think this item is that useful on Zed, as an AD caster Zed wants more AD and armor pen, not on hit damage. With recent attack speed buffs he doesn't really need much more attack speed, and even if he did Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer is a better buy.

If you are snowballing hard and fed, or it is late game, just get this item. Damage, armor, and a free revive for very cheap. One of the most money efficient items you can buy on Zed

It's somewhat of a niche buy, but I somewhat like it lategame due to the amount of AD this item provides, some nice waveclear for splitpushing, and you can cast the active at the same time as your E making you do some insane burst. It's more of a late game item however, and I only recommend it if you are splitpushing a lot.


(Video showing Tiamat and E being used at the same time.)
This item is essentially just another version of duskblade, and with the new changes not very good on Zed anymore if you already have duskblade. Don't really recommend it much anymore.
Just adds armor pen for when everyone builds armor boots and enemy mid laner builds zhonyas. This item is much better now that it gives armor pen based off total armor and not additional armor, making it good against all targets. I would go this third if enemies are building armor, (otherwise go edge of night third).

Now that this item gives bonus AD instead of base AD, it is godly on Zed as most of your abilities scale with bonus ad. Definitely a great lategame buy when guardian angel is on cooldown (sell GA for steraks), as the passive lets you survive a ton of damage, and it gives a decent amount of ad and health as well.
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Early Game

For the first three levels, just use your passive to last hit melee minions and Q to last hit caster minions. Your poke isn't too strong until level 3. You should also be trying to let the enemy push into you so you can poke him with your WEQ combo without worrying about getting ganked while your W is on cooldown. Once level 3, start playing a bit more aggressive unless your matchup does not allow it. They will try to punish you when you go for caster minions, and that should be when you hit them with full WEQ combo to proc electrocute, more often than not taking half their health bar away. Once level 6, all in them. If they do not have high mobility or cc, they are pretty much dead. Try to get a few kills, then take the snowball to other lanes.
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Mid Game

This is when you should have your first item, and be roaming to snowball even further. Bot lane is usually where you would be ending up, although top is definitely viable if they are pushed out and you can dual them. You can also clear scuttle to deny enemy jungler and even go into their jungle if you have vision and you see the enemy jungler. Mid lane at this point is more just push out and roam, not much left to do. If you are behind, Zed can still come back, just try and roam but with your jungler, or ask for assistance and try killing your enemy laner.
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Late Game

This is probably the hardest point in the game for you. The current meta makes it so games don't usually last this long, but lower elo (bronze/silver) games still last around 40 minutes. It's tricky in this phase for zed, as it's hard to get on the enemy carry without support or cc top laner peeling for them, and with full build there are a lot more champions that can 1v1 you so splitpushing is decently hard. You have three main options that you should do.
1: Have your team bait baron or dragon, and splitpush in whatever is the furthest lane from the objective your trying to bait (if drag, go top, if baron, go bot).
2: Try and get picks onto enemy carries. With ultimate hunter and level 3 ult, your ultimate should be up in time for you to fight while the carry is dead, leaving an easy 4v5.
3: Teamfight, not really the most ideal option but if you are fed enough and skilled enough, you should be able burst down enemy carries. I would recommend stormrazor if the enemy has a utility support such as [janna] or [nami] as with the bonus damage you should be able to w, e, q combo the enemy support to one shot them, then still have your ult to kill a carry.
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Summary

I hope you enjoyed my guide on Zed, the master of shadows. Currently a WIP and perhaps someday I will make the guide more visually attractive and easier to navigate, but for now I hope you learnt something from this guide.
League of Legends Build Guide Author NocUout
NocUout Zed Guide
Assassin at it's finest: 9.6 Zed Guide (WIP)

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide