Build Guide by Cozalt
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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.
Zilean – Chronokeeper
~ This guide is intended for new and veteran players alike.
~ This is my first guide, following my unique play-style with Zilean.
~ All feedback/questions/comments are appreciated.
Table of Contents:
4) Runes/Masteries/Summoner Spells
7) Tips and Tricks
8) Countering Zilean
Zilean is a do-it-all hero, a jack-of-all-trades, sorta speak. If only he could tank, he'd quite literally be considered every tag. That said, his official tags are as follows: “support, slow, haste, pusher, farmer, flee, nuke, ranged”
Truthfully, this does not give true justice to what Zilean can do. He can accomplish all this and more, as a solo laner or with a partner. Depending on how you play Zilean, you can change the course of every team-fight, of every game truthfully. I will go into basic detail of each of his tags:
Support: Zilean is one of the most capable supports in the game, right next to Soraka, Taric and Kayle. Although each of these heroes have the significant job of keeping allies alive and out of harms way, Zilean gives you offensive/defensive support as well as fierce damage output. Needless to say, it's never wise to ignore a Zilean.
Slow/Flee: Zilean's Time Warp drastically slows an enemies movement, and with high cooldown reduction and a max level Rewind, you can almost keep a constant slow on the enemy. It's great for keeping a fleeing enemy slowed for continual bombs, escaping an engaging enemy or keeping them slow enough to stay out of melee range while you drop bombs.
Haste/Flee: Just as Zilean's Time Warp slows enemies, it can also be used to haste an ally or yourself. Rewind also allows you to almost keep a constant haste alive. Very good for helping allies escape without getting into danger yourself.
Farmer/Nuke: Zilean is a major nuisance to deal with. He can harrass and deny better than most heroes due to his range and damage. With Time Bomb and Rewind you can severely damage enemy heroes or slay an entire wave of creeps.
Pusher: Zilean can destroy entire creep waves with double Time Bombs. On top of that, because of his amazing ability to escape harms way, he can push a little farther then normal if you have good map awareness. Also, with my item build, you can actually do decent damage to towers mid/late game.
Ranged: Nothing like watching a cowering enemy bear-hug their own tower while you feed on exp and gold. Zilean can make this happen often due to his range and high damage.
Damage: 48.6 (+3 / per level)
Attack Speed: 0.64 (+.01 per level) [<-- Would like this double checked]
Health: 380 (+71 / per level)
Mana: 260 (+60 / per level)
Armor: 6.75 (+3.8 / per level)
Spell Block: 35 (+0 / per level)
Health Regen: 0.92 (+0.1 / per level)
Mana Regen: 0.89 (+0.09 / per level)
Passive – Heightened Learning: Increases experience gain of all allied champions by 8% (excludes Zilean)
Q – Time Bomb: Places a bomb on any unit, allied or enemy, which deteonates after 4 seconds, dealing area of effect damage.
Zilean places a time-delayed bomb on a target. After 4 seconds this bomb will detonate, dealing 100/155/210/270/330 (+0.9) magic damage to all surrounding enemies.
Cooldown: 10/10/10/10/10 seconds
40% CDR: 6/6/6/6/6 seconds
Cost: 60/75/90/105/120 Mana
W – Rewind: Zilean can prepare himself for future confrontations, reducing the cooldowns of all his other abilities.
Reduces all of Zilean's other spell cooldowns by 10 seconds.
Cooldown: 18/15/12/9/6 seconds
40% CDR: 10.8/9/7.2/5.4/3.6 seconds
Cost: 50/50/50/50/50 Mana
E – Time Warp: Zilean bends time around any unit, decreasing an enemies movement speed or increasing an allied units movement speed for a short time.
Zilean slows an enemy champion's movement speed or increases an allies movement speed by 55% for 2.5/3.25/4/4.75/5.5 seconds.
Cooldown: 20/20/20/20/20 seconds
40% CDR: 12/12/12/12/12 seconds
Cost: 100/100/100/100/100 Mana
R – Chrono Shift: Zilean places a protective time rune on an allied champion, teleporting the champion back in time if he takes lethal damage.
Marks the target with a protective time rune for 15 seconds. If the target would take lethal damage, they are instead transported back in time regaining 500/750/1000 (+3) of their health.
Cooldown: 180/160/140 seconds
40% CDR: 108/96/84 seconds
Cost: 200/200/200 Mana
My personal skill order:
4) Runes/Masteries/Summoner Spells
I use the following:
+5 mana regen per 5 seconds.
+22 AP at level 18.
+6.08% cooldown reduction
3 Greater Quints of Focus
4 Greater Seals of Focus
5 Greater Seals of Replenishment
9 Greater Marks of Replenishment
2 Greater Glyph's of Replenishment
7 Greater Glyph's of Force (optional, just what I use)
The mana regen is nice, especially early on. You gain an extra 1 mana regen every second. The CD reduction is necessary to hit the 40% max with my mastery/item build. The AP is optional, switch it with whatever you feel is more appropriate for the extra rune slots.
I use a 10/0/20 build. Gives you the 9% CD reduction needed to hit 15% from runes/masteries, +1 mana regen per second, +3% movespeed, +4% mana pool, a mild extra health/mana regen, slight AP/spell penetration gain, and Burning Embers goes nice with Ignite (+10 AP when Ignite is on cooldown.)
3/3 Archmage's Savvy
1/1 Archaic Knowledge
1/1 Burning Embers
1/3 Good Hands
4/4 Expanded Mind
1/1 Blink of an Eye
I use Ignite and Flash.
Many variations work with Zilean. I've seen very successful Zileans with Ghost. Some like Teleport. Clarity seems popular. Heal also seems popular, but I've never tried it. Personally, I love Ignite. It helps finish off Heroes and works great against Heroes that heal. Flash has been important for me in avoiding ganks and getting close enough to drop that final bomb for the kill. I notice myself using it more offensively then defensively.
What everyone wants to know. “What items should I use with Zilean?” When I made my Zilean builds, I must have gone through atleast 10 different builds before I stuck to my current build. Many people have said things to me like, “Never get THAT item again on Zilean.” Truthfully, Zilean is my favorite hero and although I'm not the best Zilean player by any means, or even a pro at that, I'm very consistant with him and this item build has helped me greatly. These items aren't in a precisely true order, although this is commonly the order in which I purchase them.
At game start: 2 Health Potions, Sapphire Crystal – This gives you healing and a nice bonus amount of mana to work with. You should be starting the game with decent mana regen due to your runes/masteries.
Tear of the Goddess – It's cheap, gives you a nice mana bonus, mana regen and every cast increases your mana pool. The earlier you grab this the better. When you purchase this, unless you're out of gold, feel free to snag a few more potions. Later, you turn this into an Archangel's Staff (see below.)
Boots of Mobility – Some people don't like this item compared to Mercury's Treads or Sorcerer's Shoes. I like all three, but BoM's have saved me too many times to count. Up to you, really.
Nashor's Tooth – Another item people constantly bash me over. Here's why: +55 AP. +50% attack speed. +10 mana regen per 5 seconds. -25% CD reduction. Out of these stats, the only one that doesn't seemingly make sense to me is the +50% attack speed. But once you get it and start attacking a tower, you'll know what I mean. I love it for last hitting creeps, makes it so much easier. Compare it to the other -25% CD item, the Frozen Heart. Nashor's Tooth is only slightly more gold (2885 to 2800.) Frozen Heart attempts to transform Zilean into something he's not and should never be doing, tanking. Zilean is ranged and squishy for a reason, he is not intended to be in the action taking hits. Although the 500 mana is nice, it's unecessary once you complete your....
Archangel's Staff – The completion to your Tear of the Goddess. Fantastic item for Zilean as it gives you tons of AP, very high mana regen, and an ever-growing mana pool.
Zhonya's Ring – Another fantastic item for Zilean, but very expensive. I always aim for getting this, but for some games it's not vital. Consider how you're doing after completing your Archangel's before determining if this is what you need.
Will of the Ancients – A great substitute or combination for Zhonya's. In comparison to Zhonya's, it's much cheaper, gives AP, spell vamp, and a nice ally bonus of AP and spell vamp. Sometimes I get this instead of Zhonya's, in combination with...
Haunting Guise – Another cheap, effective item for Zilean. AP, magic penetration and health for very little gold.
In a long enough game, my final items usually look like:
Boots of Mobility
Will of the Ancients
If beyond this point the game continues, I usually sell the Haunting for a Banshee's Veil or Rylai's Scepter.
Other items I get based upon enemy team layout:
Banshee's Veil, Abyssal Scepter, Rod of Ages, Rylai's Scepter
I feel with Zilean, I can take any lane and be successful. Whether I'm soloing mid, with a partner or soloing a side lane (jungler on team) as long as you play smart, you can tackle any heroes.
Soloing Mid: This is my favorite lane. Very few heroes give me serious problems when soloing against them. The top 3 heroes I struggle against are Katarina, Veigar and Kassadin. Focus your last hits on creeps while tossing a bomb (or 2) at your lane enemy as often as you can. When you feel confident that you can finish off your opponent, wait for the right moment and haste yourself in (or flash if necessary) and drop both bombs and your Ignite. It usually works like a charm. Just be aware of your enemies Summoner Skills, any missing enemies, and escapibility your enemy has.
With a partner: When laning with a partner, I usually focus on farming and ensuring I'm getting experience for every kill. Always be weary of opponents hiding in the bushes. Be careful when harrassing because more times than not when an ally sees you dropping a bomb, they assume you plan on killing them and sometimes dive into action. Always keep an eye on your ulti cooldown and always have it ready for yourself or that dying ally. Use Time Warp to help an ally with a finishing blow, whether hasting them or slowing the enemy.
Soloing against 2 enemies: This can be tough. I usually try to keep my distance, even if that means missing a few creep kills to stay safe. I try to target ONE enemy mostly. Always have Time Warp ready if they tower dive, to either speed yourself or make them take extra tower hits. If you play it safe, you should be fine. Especially once you hit level 6.
Ganking: Zilean is an expert ganker. Time Warp is a great way to initate a gank or a fight. I usually Bomb, Time Warp (to slow enemy), Rewind, Bomb, Ignite, then auto-attack until the next available skill is ready to use. Always ping when making your way to the gank spot to ensure your ally is aware of your presense, unless you don't need the help.
7) Tips and Tricks
There's many things to consider when playing Zilean. Every situation can be handled differently, just pay close attention to your surroundings.
~ You don't always have to put bombs on enemy units. Dropping a bomb on an allied champion before he charges in does extra damage to the enemy. Dropping a bomb on allied creeps allows them to carry the bomb to the nearest enemy and blow them up, whether it's a hero or a creep wave.
~ If you notice an enemy hero near a low health creep, you can double bomb the creep to instantly kill it, which in turn instantly maximizes the damage to that hero from the AoE damage of the bombs.
~ If you auto-attack a creep once/twice then double bomb it, usually you can kill it instantly and all the surrounding creeps too.
~ You can also instantly kill some jungle mobs with double bomb. The wolves and Specters are good examples.
~ Take advantage of Zilean's very long auto-attack range. You'll be surprised how much extra damage you can deal to heroes with his attack range.
~ Sometimes using your ulti on an ally while sacrificing yourself is the best choice. Zilean isn't always a K/D ratio important hero.
~ Always save enough mana to use your ulti. Time Warp allows you to quickly get back into the fray if you have to back up and heal.
~ Don't always immediately ulti a low health ally. Some heroes like Kayle, Tryndamere and Anivia might not need the ulti right away.
~ Communicating early with your teammates who your priority to ulti is may allow that hero to be more aggressive in team fights, which allows your team to be more success.
8) Countering Zilean
Zilean is not unbeatable, like many people think. After he drops his double bombs, he has a 4-10 second delay before he can do any damage, except auto-attacks, Ignite, or casting Time Warp. He is extremely squishy and easy to drop. Keep this in mind when facing Zilean:
~ Force him to ulti himself. Usually when this happens, it's a waste. He's much better off saving it for the tank or the carry then himself.
~ Be aggressive with him, force him to ulti too early then back off until it wears off. Zilean's tend to push hard and stay too long with their ulti active, allowing an easy kill when it wears off.
~ Gank him often. Zilean dies very fast before he hits level 6. Try to ignore his lane partner early to keep him backing up often to heal and staying below level 6.
~ Save disables for him. Zilean can easily be dropped in 3-4 seconds, and many disables last nearly this long alone. He cannot use his ulti when disabled like Tryndamere.
~ Understand that unless he overlaps his bombs, that they are time-based. If you have a shield, count a few seconds off before proccing it to ensure you soak up the damage.
~ If you are playing as Kassadin, Veigar, Pantheon, Poppy, Annie, etc (basically, any high burst damage heroes) you can instantly kill Zilean before he pops his ulti. Wait until an ally disables him then jump in and finish him quickly.
~ If you are laning against Zilean and you are low enough to possible die to double bomb, you should just heal. Chances are, you will die. He's a very tough lane opponent that can insta-kill you from high health.
Feel free to add anything I missed in comments so I can add to the guide.
Again, all feedback/questions/comments are appreciated. Thanks, enjoy!