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Zilean Build Guide by 9Ball

Other Catch the Zilean! A Zilean Dominion Guide

Other Catch the Zilean! A Zilean Dominion Guide

Updated on September 20, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author 9Ball Build Guide By 9Ball 76,990 Views 4 Comments
76,990 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author 9Ball Zilean Build Guide By 9Ball Updated on September 20, 2013
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Fellow readers, welcome to the ultimate Zilean play and build guide on MobaFire. In this guide you will find:
  • Who is Zilean and what roles he is able to fulfill in a team when playing dominion;
  • A complete description about Zilean's abilities and how to best use them;
  • An effective way to build Zilean in order to lead your team to victory;
  • A detailed explanation on dominion gameplay with our favorite champion;

Many people play at crystal scar the very same way as they would be playing at summoner's rift , that means similar build and playstyle. Now ask yourself a question, why would you do that, knowing that you have different goals that require a different approach? By reading this guide, you can expect to have a better understanding of dominion as well as how to take the most out of Zilean on this game mode.

If you are looking for a guide to play Zilean in summoner's rift make sure to check my guide here.
About the Author

Now, without any more delays, let's start the guide...

Zilean is an ability power based champion with a couple of supportive skills that provides plenty of utility for his team. In crystal scar, Zilean excels at capturing turrets, being able to move from one point to another in a very short period of time.

When building Zilean for dominion, you should consider three aspects:
  • Movement speed;
  • Cooldown reduction;
  • Survivability;

Zilean is able to haste himself, moving 55% faster for a short period time, a great asset to be constantly moving around the map looking for undefended points to capture. In addition, his damaging skill, Time Bomb scales well with ability power and has enough range to damage most of the champions without receiving any back. Due to this fact, Zilean should never enter in a direct combat with his enemies. Thanks to his Rewind, Zilean can be repeatedly use his Time Warp to move between capture points and run away from undesired duels, leaving his Time Bombed foes behind.

Zilean also greatly benefits from crystal scar's experience, gold and mana regeneration boosts; Zilean does not actually need to kill minions or champions to buy items. Thanks to his passive, he also doesn't have to be in combat to level up. The purchase of mana items are not required as well, even if you are spamming your skills nonstop. On the other hand, you should still provide him minimal survivability in order to compensate for his extremely low initial defensive characteristics (For the record, Zilean has one of the lowest base health in the game and the lowest, ridiculous 6.75 initial armor).
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Pros / Cons


+ Strong poke with Time Bomb;
+ Long auto attack range;
+ Extremely mobile champion;
+ Offers great utility to his team;
Zilean's skills allow him to move between capture points extremely fast. His alto-attack range allows him to safely stop the enemies from capturing controlled points and his Time Bomb is a good poke and wave clearing skill. Although he is not a good defender himself, he is fast enough to aid his allies when needed.


- Time Bomb is his only source of damage;
- Low base health and armor;
Zilean is very vulnerable at close distances. He has no dueling potential and being hit by one stunning skill can potentially shut him down.
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Zilean's Heightened Learning allows you team to be ahead of the enemy in terms of experience. This passive is especially useful in dominion because all champions passively gain experience, as long as they are alive - That's just too powerful and there is nothing your enemies can do about it.

Fairly good range, Time Bomb scales very well with ability power. That is, even with little ability power build, you still can do great damage. Place it on an enemy before you Time Warp to escape and when your team is sieging a defended capture point or battling to capture.

Rewind allows you to place two bombs one after another. If the second bomb is placed in the same target, the first bomb will instantly detonate. In combination with Time Bomb and Time Warp, this skill can set up kills or help you chasing/escaping an enemy. You should always be Rewinding you abilities, making sure they are always available to you when needed.

In dominion movement speed is one of the most important stats for a champion, and this is one of the most powerful speed boosts/slow skills in the game. Abuse Time Warp when moving between capture points and fighting.

Zilean's signature. It doesn't have the same impact as it has in summoner's rift , but it is still a very powerful skill. To chase and kill you, your enemies must invest precious time they could be using to capture your controlled points. By staying alive and running away, you have just made them waste their time, giving your allies advantage on fighting and capturing points.


When it comes to leveling up your abilities, please follow these guidelines:
3 points on Time Warp gives you 4 seconds of haste/slow, enough to be way faster than your enemies. Next you max Time Bomb so your enemies will still think twice before entering in a fight with you around. Rewind means more Time Warps and Time Bombs, so you should also get some early points on it.
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As said before, movement speed is one of the most important stats on dominion, especially if you want to focus on capturing points. Having lower cooldown compared to Flash, Ghost is a must have to increase Zilean's map presence.

Your get-out-of-jail card. Cleanse will assure that no one will stop you with a single crowd control spell. If you can't be stopped, you can't be killed.

Other Options
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x9 As Zilean, you will still use your Time Bomb to harass the enemies. Marks are offensive runes, and these provides you the best offensive stats.

x9 Since you have the mana regeneration provided by the crystal scar map, you no longer need the Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration, leaving the slot free to compensate for your low armor base stats with Greater Seal of Armor.

x3 In crystal scar you already start at level 3. Since Zilean levels up faster due to his Heightened Learning, we take scaling magic resist over flat magic resist runes.

x6 Since you will not be getting much CDR from items, the 5% cooldown reduction from these runes comes in handy.

x3 These runes are essencial for the role Zilean is playing on dominion. Combined with your masteries, Ghost, Time Warp and the speed shrines... well, do it and you will see what is being talked about.
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Offense Tree

Utility Tree
  • You will be often out of combat, therefore you want to be even faster with 3 points spent in Wanderer . Improved Recall also improves your mobility when recalling.
  • Mastermind means more Ghosts. Artificer is also taken since your essential items have an active effect.
  • Runic Affinity is essencial on dominion, Zilean greatly benefit from the increased duration of the speed shrines.
  • With Awareness , you will level up 13% faster than your enemies. Don't forget that, in crystal scar you receive experience passively.
  • Intelligence and Nimble improves cooldown reduction and movement speed respectively, taking the most out of Time Warp.
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Starting Items

Boots of Mobility
Most of people start with one of the Prospector's items in crystal scar. By starting with Mobility Boots you become faster than most of your enemies, allowing you to bove between capture points without being disturbed. Enchant it with Enchantment: Alacrity when your enemies buy their 2 tier boots.

Health Potion
Two health potions is the standard choice to increase your sustain. It leaves you with about 300 gold left, that might be used to purchase more potions. I recommend you to save it to purchase your next item, though.

Essential Items

These items increase your speed, ability power and survivability at the same time. They also have an active that should be used constantly. Usually, you will only need these items to fulfil your "capturer" role. For longer games, you will have to pick offensive/defensive options, according to the situation of the match.
Prospector's Ring
On your first trip back to base, if you can't buy any of the next items, you should leave base with a Prospector's Ring. This item gives you AP, health and mana regeneration for a very cheap price. Although you be mostly running from turret to turret, you have to be ready to fight eventually, hence the AP.

Twin Shadows
Zilean benefits from all stats provided by this item, but you will build it for mainly it's movement speed increase and it's amazing active. It allows you to scout surrounding areas before starting a capture, slows down whoever is chasing you among other usages.
hextech sweeper Hextech Sweeper
AP, Health, Movement speed, Cooldown reduction, and a active that allows you to check bushes and find Noxious Traps. A must have.

Offensive Options

These options increase your power, giving you more killing potential. Go for these items after you get your essential ones and/or you need to be fighting often with your team.
Blackfire Torch
This item gives you extra cooldown reduction and increases your burst damage against tanks. This active is especially useful when sieging a turret defended by someone like Alistar or Malphite.

Wooglet's Witchcap
This item is a combination between Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass, two of the core items of Zilean in summoner's rift . A must have if you are getting yourself in to fights very often.

Defensive Options

These options increase substantially your survivability making you even more slippery. Get these after your essential items and/or you are being caught often on the run.
Randuin's Omen
The number #1 defensive item for Zilean. It's passive slows down any marksman who is trying to get you; it's active slows everyone else. They will need 3 or 4 champions to stop you, and even if they catch you, you'll have extra 70 armor and 500 health.

Odyn's Veil
The Banshee's Veil offensive version. Got caught? Send the damage back to the attacker. Get it when the majority of your enemies are ability power based.
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Unlike summoner's rift , the crystal scar doesn't have any well-defined game stages, such as pre-laning, laning phase, mid game, late game, etc. There is no wards or neutral monsters as well. The objectives are very clear and the match revolves around capturing and controlling turrets for longer than your enemies.

When playing in crystal scar as Zilean, please follow the guidelines below. They are listed in priority order:

1 - Always look for undefended capture points to neutralize/capture.

This should be your main objective through the match, as you are the fastest champion in your team. At the beginning of the match I usually rush to the Windmill (or top turret) using Time Warp, Ghost and getting the speed shrine on my way. That, combined with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Wanderer , Nimble and Summoner's Wrath gives you exactly 129,5% increase on your movement speed before the diminishing return is applied (for more in-depth explanation, see movement speed ). By the time you get there, you enemies will arrive together with your allies. You should be already at level 4; place two bombs, do a couple of auto-attacks and move to the next undefended capture point.

You should always be looking for points to neutralize. In case the enemy team don't send anyone to stop you from capturing, proceed with the capture a move to the next one. Also, before you start neutralizing/capturing, be sure to scout with the active functions of hextech sweeper and Twin Shadows.

2 - Stop the enemies from neutralizing your captured points.

Your second priority task; whenever a champion tried to neutralize your controlled points, you should stop them from doing so with an auto-attack and leaving a Time Bomb on them. The reason you start with an auto-attack is because your Time Bomb will only stop the capture after it explodes. If they insist on capturing, just auto-attack and retreat until you get their attention. That's when you should run away the faster as you can. The defensive set of items will increase your chances to survive in case you are ambushed. This tactic is useful to take the focus of your enemies out of your controlled points to you - remember, your controlled turrets cannot run, but you can!

This also includes assisting your teammates on defense. Remember that you shouldn't take long by doing so. Clearing minions and Time Bombing the enemy champion should suffice.

3 - Siege enemy controlled turrets until your team is able to claim it by themselves.

Some champions excel in defending turrets, such as Heimerdinger, Alistar and Nasus and they might give a hard time to your allies. When the opportunity arises, you should go for their aid and use your Time Bombs and Chronoshift. You should also hold the turret when they are fighting, so no turret damage is caused to any of you. Your offensive items actives are very useful on these situations, as they either increase the magic damage caused to them or protect yourself for a short time.

4 - Push minion waves

Minions are very important in dominion, since they can hurt a turret way more than they could in summoner's rift . In case they are on your way, you should always clear a wave with your Time Bomb> Rewind> Time Bomb combo.

5 - Defend your controlled turrets from enemy attacks.

Your last priority, you should do that when you have conquered all the capture points of the map. Be aware that this doesn't mean you can't throw some bombs and slow your enemies to help your teammates on your way to a capture point.

As said before, the list above is sorted by priority. All in all, you should be able to get a better feeling of when to do what after a few matches with Zilean.
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Final Comments / Credits

I hope you enjoyed the reading and found this guide to be helpful. If you did, I invite you to upvote it so it can be seen by more people. Leave a comment, I would like to hear what you think about Zilean, and your great performance at crystal scar!

Now, if you dislike the guide and plan to downvote it, I kindly ask you to leave a comment too. If I think you have a valid point, I may change the guide and give you proper credits to the change.

Also, don't forget to check my summoner's rift Zilean guide!

Special thanks to:
League of Legends Build Guide Author 9Ball
9Ball Zilean Guide
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Catch the Zilean! A Zilean Dominion Guide

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