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Zilean Build Guide by Hypervenom

AP Carry Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions! (Mid/Support 4.18)

AP Carry Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions! (Mid/Support 4.18)

Updated on October 27, 2014
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hypervenom Build Guide By Hypervenom 20 8 412,784 Views 11 Comments
20 8 412,784 Views 11 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Hypervenom Zilean Build Guide By Hypervenom Updated on October 27, 2014
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Zilean
    Mid Lane Bomberman
  • LoL Champion: Zilean

Change Log

28/08/2014: Over 100K views! Thanks guys! :)

08/08/2014: Added Support Build! Will add explanation section soon.

05/08/2014: Finally, after a long break, guide has been updated for Patch 4.13!

18/02/2014: Updated situational items list to include Twin Shadows.

17/02/2014: Updated core item info to reflect changes to Athene's Unholy Grail.
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Greetings Summoners! Welcome to my Zilean guide. I have been playing Zilean quite a while now and he has fast become one of my favorite champions in League Of Legends. Iv played countless games with him since I started playing league (a few years at this stage) and so I thought Id share my playstyle/thoughts with the Mobafire community.

Please feel free to rate/comment on this guide but all I ask Is that If you downvote, please leave a comment explaining why and Il try to improve my guide. This Is my 1st guide Iv posted to Mobafire so bear with me If there are any mistakes, but Il try my best to keep this guide as up to date as possible.

All info on any changes/updates to this guild can be found in the "Change Logs" chapter at the top of this guide.

Finally, please remember this is only a guide and is by no means the be all end all way to play Zilean. Every game is situational and sometimes a change in your build order will be reqired, but hopefully this guide should give you a little more insight to Zilean's gameplay mechanics.

Anyway, with the introductions done and dusted, lets crack on with the guide shall we? ^^
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Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

For runes I like to run a fairly balanced set-up, geared at transitioning smoothly into mid/late game:

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration These along with your Sorcerer's Shoes and Devastating Strikes should provide all the early magic pen you will need.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health Seeing as we get scaling ability power glyphs and flat ability power quints we have enough damage rune wise, therefore scaling health seals will help with our sustain.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power Helps transition our strength into late game.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Same reason as your glyphs.

Other Viable Rune Choices

Greater Seal of Ability Power For more aggressive play.

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration Helps with Zilean's mana problems early game.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist For more defense against strong poke lanes.

Again runes are about preference, so mix and match to find the balance that fits your play style.
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Masteries are pretty much your typical caster set-up:

Summoner's Wrath Who doesnt like 5 extra ap?

Sorcery Even though we hit max Cooldown reduction with out core items, this helps us in the early game before we achieve them.

Butcher / Feast Help with our last hitting and lane sustain.

Mental Force / Arcane Mastery and Archmage More ability power, yes please.

Executioner Helps secure kills with our bombs, making them that bit more deadly!

Arcane Blade Gives us some more poke with our auto attacks.

Devastating Strikes More magic penetration.

Havoc More damage.



Lets not forget our utility:

Fleet of Foot So we can get back to our lane faster and resume bombing the enemy!

Meditation Helps with our early mana issues.

Summoner's Insight Cooldown reduction welcome in all forms!

I choose not to go for Runic Affinity as I find with our core items we are usually fine for mana regen not to mention capped on cooldown reduction.
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Summoner Spells


The two I use 90% of the time if not more are Ignite and Flash. But I will list some alternatives:

A Fine Choice Good Sir!

This is a great offensive spell on any champ and Zil is no exception! Great for securing a kill when your opponent is low health, preventing them from getting enough health back to survive your bomb. Also the bonus 5 ability power you get when its on cooldown (provided you picked Summoner's Wrath in your masteries) is very nice early game.

Very little explanation needed for this bad boy. The Houdini of summoner spells and an essential escape tool for Zilean.

There are many uses for Teleport including getting back to your lane faster, getting back to a teamfight, split pushing/covering etc.

If you are building down the sustain route clarity can be handy at replacing the early mana regain that you lose from not building your Athene's Unholy Grail. Also your mana using teammates will love you..long time.

Questionable Choices

Usefull spell but as Zilean you really shouldnt be in the firing range to much and when you are your Chronoshift will save you. But having said that your ulti wont always be ready so it has its uses.

Provides you with some more crowd control which is never a bad thing, but Zilean already had an "exhaust-lite" in the form of his Time Warp ability, so their are better options to take in my opinion.

Never been a fan of this myself but it definitely has its moments when it can potentially save you (Karthus Requiem for example).

Never a bad spell to take with you, but for our Zil there are just too many better options to consider.

No, Just No..

You already have a better one.

You gave up those support days to come mid, let it go dude..

You have a built in ghost on a very low cooldown through Time Warp already.

...If I have to explain this one, then you might just be playing the wrong champ :D
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Abilities / Skill Sequence

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


Passive: Increases experience gain of all allied champions by 8%
This passive is just great! not to much to say about it other than it provides your whole team with an egde! Between this and zoning your lane opponent you should easily keep the level advantage over them.

Zilean places a time delayed bomb on a target. After 4 seconds this bomb will detonate, dealing 90 / 145 / 200 / 260 / 320 (+90% of ability power) magic damage to all surrounding enemies.
This is Zileans signature ability and what makes enemy champions fear getting anywhere near you! It has a nice range, high damage and the best part is you dont have to stick around after you plant it meaning you can retreat back to a safer distance! This along with Time Warp makes kiting your opponent easy and is also why you can afford to build very agressive with minimal defence if you can position yourself well and keep aware of enemy positions during a teamfight. Dont forget you can place bombs on Allied champions and minions as well as enemy minions and summons such as Heimerdingers turrets!

Reduces all of Zileans other spell cooldowns by 10 seconds. Cannot be learned at level 1.
This ability really shines mid to late game but dont neglect it early game. It has a high cost/cooldown early game but the cooldown decreases with each rank. The cost stays the same but this is fine seeing as once you have a few items behind you, you wont even notice the cost after a while. You can use this ability in a number of ways. you can double Time Bomb an opponent or even double Time Warp letting you speed around the map, speed up two allies or even slow two enemies, etc. There are many ways to combo this skill with your others so play around with it! It also lowers the cooldown of Chronoshift meaning more revives!

Zilean slows an enemy champions movement speed or increases an allied champions movement speed by 55% for 2.5 / 3.25 / 4 / 4.75 / 5.5 seconds.
I love this move, such an underrated ability in my opinion. need to slow down an enemies escape? Pop this ability! Need to make a hasty retreat? This bad boy got ya covered! Need to save an ally running for his life mere moments from certain death!?..You get the picture.

Marks an allied champion or himself with a protective rune for 7 seconds. If the target takes lethal damage within this time, instead of dying, they will become untargettable and remain in stasis for 2 seconds, then return to life, regaining 600 / 850 / 1100 (+200% of ability power) health.
This is the money maker right here. This is what makes you God worthy! Because when used right, you essentially have 2 health bars they have to get through before they take you out (or 3 If you get an Guardian Angel and watch them go "AWW COME ON!! ><" ). Use this to bait enemy champions into over extending, place it on a dying ally champion or use it to plain troll the enemy team. BE CREATIVE! :D


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Core Items

These are the three main items I will always get. Between them you will have all the cooldown reduction, mana regen and damage you will need with also some nice magic resist which is always nice seein as every team will usually have at least one ap champion and on top of that most likely be in your lane. Also early game, the order you build your Athene's Unholy Grail in can be changed to suit how your lane is going. Getting hit hard? Get your Chalice of Harmony first trip back for some sustain and early magic resist. If on the other hand your doing well then alternatively you can get your Fiendish Codex instead for some cooldown reduction and ability power and both come with some welcome mana regen.
Also feel free to rush your Rabadon's Deathcap after if you are doing well in your lane. This will keep the pressure on your opponent to carry you into late game where you can finish your build.

Athene's Unholy Grail has been buffed with an extra 5% CDR (from 15% to 20%) meaning that with just this and your Morellonomicon you will have max CDR which is great news for us! I still recommend using the above mastery set up as even though the four points in Sorcery may now seem unnecessary, we wont notice the max out in CDR until we build our two items mentioned above, meaning the 4% we get from Sorcery will still benifit us early game. Feel free to take those four points into something else though if you really prefer, again its all about preference.

Situational Items

Any of these items is a fine purchase depending on the team your against:

Mejai's Soulstealer Only advise to get if you know you can snowball your lane. Thankfully your ultimate helps with keeping the stacks.

Guardian Angel Makes you all that more annoying to kill, also makes it safer for you to use your ultimate on another teammate while retaining the same effect for yourself. Be sure to sell this item while its active is on cooldown.

Rod of Ages If you are building for sustain then this item is a must. Get it early though to give it time to charge up to its full stats.

Abyssal Mask If your facing an ap heavy team then this is what I would get rather than a Void Staff. Still has some nice damage and magic pen but also brings some needed magic resist to the table.

Deathfire Grasp If your playing against a hefty team of health stackin mofo's then grab this puppy instead of your Morellonomicon.

Twin Shadows Provides some nice stats for Zilean although the cooldown reduction is wasted. Provides more utility for your team.
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And Finally

Thanks for taking the time to check out this guide. Hopefully It has given you some useful insight into the boss which is Zilean. Dont forget, If you have any questions please leave a comment and Il be sure to get back to you.

Thanks to Jhoi Jhoi for all the information provided in her " making a guide" guide, really helped a lot!

As I stated at the start of this guide this Is the first guide I have done and will be updating/correcting and adding more chapters to this guide over time.

And remember, cool guys dont look at explosions! ;)


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hypervenom
Hypervenom Zilean Guide
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Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions! (Mid/Support 4.18)

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