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Zac Build Guide by GargoPat

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GargoPat

Gargopat's guide to Zac Jungle and Top

GargoPat Last updated on August 12, 2013
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Summoner's Rift

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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Introduction ~ About the Author

I'm Gargopat, a league of legends player with a real knack for jungling (as you can tell by my profile, which contains all jungling guides). This is my guide to playing Zac in the top lane and in the jungle. I think Zac is a fantastic and original addition to the league, with many flexible build paths (pun intended), and can work with many different team compositions. He is a great initiator, and brings a TON of crowd control to teamfights.
Please note this guide is not fully in-depth, it mostly scratches the surface of playing Zac, with a few advanced techniques. After all, the best way to get good at a champion is to practice yourself!

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+ Tons of CC
+ Great Initiator
+ Manaless
+ Tanky
+ Unique Sustain
Zac is a great top laner, able to do surprising amounts of damage even when not building damage items. He has unique sustain, and can last in lane a long time despite being a health-based caster. He can also tower dive pretty well, as long as he has his passive. He can effectively chase down a target, get the jump on an unsuspecting enemy team, or peel an enemy off an ally. He also can survive most tower dives early game, as his passive gives him a second life. If an enemy goes all in and tower dives you, your passive will activate, and they will get finished off by the turret while you live on.


- Uses health for casts
- Can be killed by Smite and Consume
- Health chunks from passive can be killed
- Elastic Slingshot can be interrupted
Zac is a health-based caster, making him weak to healing-reduction abilities and effects. He is also weak to damage-over-time spells, like Hemorrhage or Blaze, as his health regeneration is a huge factor to his sustain. Zac is also not that great of an escapist, as his Elastic Slingshot can be interrupted, and if he can't cast it, he has no way to escape a pursuing enemy. Also, since are playing the role of the tank, expect to get focused when you initiate onto the enemy team.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Magic pen marks will help us deal more damage, and scale decently well into the late game. They are the most acceptable marks for any AP champion. Flat armor seals are cheap, effective, and have to be the strongest seals for any champion right now. They reduce incoming damage and help you win trades. Flat magic resist glyphs are effective against top-lane AP champions, and any champions that deal magic damage as well as physical damage, such as Shen. Ability power quints increase our damage with our abilities to give us trading power early game.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

The only difference between jungle runes and top lanes runes is we exchange our flat magic resist glyphs for scaling magic resist glyphs. We don't need any early game magic resist, so we will be getting more late game were it will get more use. Alternately, you can swap out the AP Quints for Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed X 3, as some people claim them to be better. I take the AP Quints so that I have some damage to fall back on if I'm forced to build pure tank.

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Masteries (Top)


Tier 1: Summoner's Wrath grants 5 bonus AP and AD while Ignite is on cooldown. Sorcery gives cooldown reduction, allowing us to cast our spells more.

Tier 2: Blast grants us some scaling AP, increasing our damage as we level up more.

Tier 3: Arcane Knowledge lets us punch through some of the target's magic resist, increasing our damage. Combined with Magic Pen Marks, makes it a viable mastery.


Tier 1: Durability gives us scaling health, with is perfect for someone who uses it to cast spells.

Tier 2: Hardiness is a great mastery, further increasing survivability. Resistance gives us more Magic resistance to survive trades with AP top laners.

Tier 3: Unyielding reduces damage from enemy champions by 2, and this is damage from any source by an enemy champion. Veteran's Scars is a must-have for Zac, and almost any champion in almost any lane, increasing survivability.

Tier 4: Block reduces all damage from basic attacks by 3. Combined with Unyielding amd a Doran's Shield, and you are negating a ton of damage. Tenacious helps us get out of a sticky situation if we don't have any tenacity yet, especially if we get ganked. Juggernaut makes buying tons of health even more worthwhile, very useful for a health-based champ like Zac.

Tier 6: Honor Guard reduces all damage by 3%. Add that to the Unyielding / Block / Doran's Shield combo and we're set.

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Masteries (Jungle)


Tier 1: Summoner's Resolve will grant 10 bonus gold each time we use Smite. Perseverance is great for Zac, increasing his health regen, allowing more spell casts and survivability. Durability gives us the same health as about 6 Greater Seal of Scaling Health.

Tier 2: Hardiness further reduces damage taken from jungle monsters, and enemy champions. It's like 2 free additional Armor seals.

Tier 3: Relentless reduces slows effectiveness, tying in well with tenacity. Veteran's Scars increase our early game health for survivability, especially useful for a health caster.

Tier 4: Tenacious reduces all crowd control duration, allowing us to shrug off any CC when we use our ult. It also stacks with any tenacity item. Juggernaut makes buying tons of health more worthwhile, very useful for Zac.

Tier 6: Honor Guard reduces all damage by 3%. Best mastery in this whole tree. Make us even tankier.


Tier 1: Summoner's Insight reduces the cooldown of Flash, so useful. Wanderer isn't that useful on Zac, but Meditation is useless. Improved Recall is very useful for making quicker escapes.

Tier 2: Mastermind further reduces the cooldown of Flash, and Smite, allowing more casts. It stacks with the cooldown reduction on Flash from Summoner's Insight .

Tier 3: Runic Affinity makes blue and red buffs last longer. Not as effective on Zac as it is on other junglers, but still very useful.

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Summoner Spells

Flash Is useful for any scenario, escaping, closing gaps, etc. You can cast it during let's bounce, to increase the number of targets you hit with it. It adds the element of surprise to your playstyle.

Ignite is great for champion killing, in case you just can't land that last auto-attack needed to finish them off. Cast it on a champion turret diving you, and even if they kill you, they will die to ignite afterwards, assuming the turret didn't get them first.

Smite is a must-have for jungling, securing buffs and increasing clear speed. Take only when jungling.

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let's bounce

CELL DIVISION: If Zac dies, he splits into 4 little bloblets that try to re-form over 8 seconds. If successful, he will revive with health based on how many blobs survived. It makes you able to survive a normally-fatal tower dive, assuming you can land at least 2 blobs put of range of the turret, and if you get tower dived, you will survive will the turret picks off the fool who tried to kill you. It has a 5-minute cooldown, so take caution when diving if it is on cooldown. (CDR does not affect this passive). It also helps you survive Ignite, as the damage does not carry over to your blobs once it kills you. If you have a Guardian Angel, then it will proc before your passive, saving it for later. Same with Chronoshift, but Omen of Death will proc AFTER Cell Division.

Spoiler: Click to view

STRETCHING STRIKE: Zac's main damage tool, it has decent range, and slows any target it hits. We max this ability first when in the top lane and last in the jungle. In the top lane, it offers good poke damage, and the cooldown lowers with each rank. It can also be used for effective farming. Max it last in the jungle, so we can rank Elastic Slingshot second to improve the range.

UNSTABLE MATTER: Deals AOE magic damage around Zac, with bonus damage based on the hit unit's maximum health. Max this first in the jungle, for the health % shred, and second top lane, to help with trades. With a static 4 second cooldown, this ability can be spammed to generate more blobs from our passive that we can pick up to heal.

ELASTIC SLINGSHOT: Zac's engage ability, I usually max this last for its utility, but in the jungle I max it second to add increase range to your primary ganking spell, because the more points you put into it, the longer the range gets. Remember that the channel starts based on the direction Zac is facing, kind of like Nidalee's Pounce. You can walk away to cancel the channel, placing it on 50% cooldown, and not costing you any health. This ability also interrupts any channeling champions he lands on, disrupting them.

let's bounce LET'S BOUNCE: Zac starts bouncing, up to 4 times, dealing damage each time he lands. This Knocks up enemies he hits, but only 1 time, no matter how many bounces they are hit by. It grants Zac increased movement speed for the duration, and 50% additional tenacity. You cannot use basic attacks while bouncing, but you can Flash, Ignite, use active items, and cast Unstable Matter. Elastic Slingshot -> let's bounce is a great initiation combo, and can engage a strong team fight. Each bounce also drops a bloblet for you to pick up afterwards, restoring up to 16% of you max health from just this one cast! (Assuming you pick up all four of them).

Spoiler: Click to view

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Spirit Visage: Zac's core item. It gives a large chunk of health, a ton of magic resist, and it increases all healing effects by 20%. This increases the heal from Cell Division, and his health regeneration. I buy this for Zac no matter what my buidl requires.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Tons of health, and ability power. Adds slows to all your spells, and increases the slow on Stretching Strike. A solid pick for any build.

Liandry's Torment: A bit of health for durability, some AP for damage, and a passive that helps take down tankier opponents. This passive DOT effect works well with Stretching Strike's slow effect, and any spell if you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter. The magic penetration is also great for shredding through high-MR foes.

Zhonya's Hourglass: If you need some armor in lane, then this is a great item to take. Once you build Seeker's Armguard, don't upgrade into this until you've nearly completed the rest of your build. You only get an additional 5 armor, so finish the rest of your build first.

Sunfire Cape: Health, armor, and AOE magic damage per second aura. Good for any build.

Abyssal Scepter: More AP, MR, and an aura that reduces enemies' MR. Good for facing a heavy-AP team, or heavy MR team.

Will of the Ancients: Pick up an early Hextech Revolver if you want more sustain, and then upgrade it into this. The spell vamp can be boosted by Spirit Visage. You can also upgrade a Hextech Revolver into Spirit of the Spectral Wraith for more stats it offers instead.

Warmog's Armor: This makes you super tanky, but it means you won't be able to do as much damage. If you're going for pure tank, this is for you. The passive health regeneration is boosted by Spirit Visage.

Mercury's Treads: Early Magic Resist and some tenacity. Solid boots for Zac. But if you already have Spirit of the Ancient Golem get different boots instead.

Ninja Tabi: Early armor and reduced damage from basic attacks. Adds onto our Doran's Shield/ Unyielding / Block / Honor Guard combo.

Boots of Mobility: Boots of ganking.

Sorcerer's Shoes: More magic pen for a damage-orientated build.

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Gameplay (Top)

When in the top lane, Start Boots of Speed + 4 Health Potions as a norm. You can start Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions if you want extra armor against an AD top laner. If you start with the Cloth Armor, you can build it into an early Seeker's Armguard for extra armor and ability power using the Cloth Armor you started with.

Be sure to ward your lane, to prevent ganks from the enemy jungler. If you can afford to, but pick wards to clear out any wards the enemy top laner might have. It will make ganking a lot easier for your jungler.


If you feel you are not sustained enough, pick up a Hextech Revolver. The spell vamp will heal you when using spells to farm, and if you have a Spirit Visage, the spell vamp heal will be increased. It also builds into Will of the Ancients, but if you have no AP carry on your team, (AD mid such as Talon), and no other AP champion on your team, then you can upgrade it into the Spirit of the Spectral Wraith, so the aura is not wasted.

Max Stretching Strike first in top lane, for the poke and trade damage. Unstable Matter has less range, making it less optimal for poking.

If the enemy laner is out of lane, say, back at fountain, take advantage and continue to farm. Don't push the lane, you will lose exp from creeps being under the enemy tower, unable to farm them. If you see them heading towards another lane, then follow them, and work with your team mates to engage and kill them. Don't stand around farming like an idiot while your allies are dying a little ways away from you.

If you win a fight past the 15 or sometimes even 10 minute mark and you feel you need to get the turret, then push the lane. Use all your spells and push creeps to their tower, and take it down quickly before they return to lane. Don't push it to early though, you don't want to miss out on farm.

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Gameplay (Jungle)

Start with a Hunter's Machete + 5 Health Potions and start at the Elder Lizard Camp. Clear it with Unstable Matter, but try to save Smite. (Don't hesitate to use it if you have to). Then go straight for the Blue Golem Camp. You will be level 2, so put your second point into Stretching Strike. Clear the Blue Golem, and Smite it off. You will now be level 3, put another point in Unstable Matter. Clear wolves, wraiths, and then small golems to hit level 4, and put a point into Elastic Slingshot. From here you can keep farming, or start ganking.

When ganking, initiate with Elastic Slingshot. Remember it goes over walls, and offers some truly unique gank paths.

Spoiler: Click to view

Spoiler: Click to view

Spoiler: Click to view

IF you have extra gold, feel free to pick up some wards and go plant them around the map. It will help your team mates out by letting them save money on wards if you ward for them. Its also important to keep vision of the enemy team.

If you can keep track of the enemy jungler, then you can easily counter-jungle and steal some of their buffs. If you can set them behind, it will give a huge advantage to your team.

If you have a successful gank on the bot lane, where you force both of them to recall or have kiled them, then try and take dragon with the help of you bot laners. Assuming the enemy jungler is not nearby and mid is still occupied, this is a great opportunity to claim dragon for your team, where the enemy bot lane cannot contest it. Try ti plant a Vision Ward there first, to clear any wards they have. With no vision, the enemy jungler cannot steal it with Smite. Don't fight over dragon if it turns into an uneven teamfight against your team.

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This is the basic engage combination. Elastic Slingshot into the middle of their team, pop Unstable Matter for some damage, slow them all with Stretching Strike, and then let's bounce. Remember to cast Unstable Matter while bouncing for extra damage. Remember that in a teamfight, as the tank, you want the enemy team focusing you, not your teammates.

If you need to flee, you can cast Stretching Strike behind you to slow enemies chasing you. It doesn't turn you around, and you can keep running after casting it. You can also use Elastic Slingshot to sling over a wall and escape without burning Flash. You can also use let's bounce to knock back enemies and run. It grants movement speed and tenacity, making it very hard for them to catch you.

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Thank you all for reading my Guide to Jungle/Top lane Zac. Please remember that like all champions, Zac takes practice to master. Don't expect to do great with him on your first try! It takes a bit to get used to him, and even longer to master all his tips and tricks. If you have any questions or requests about this guide, please leave a comment for me. If you enjoyed this guide, then check my profile or Signature for more jungle guides.