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OpticalFlash's Zilean: A New Way To Support.
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Now a big thing to remember is that he's a support champion and should be played as such because supports are supposed to support the team, right? Right!
Unlike some other support champions I find that Zilean can do more then just be a team supporter, he can also make up for that extra burst of damage your team needs while still maximizing your teams support needs. Of course, some of you may be curious on how Zilean is able to do both considering he only has one offensive ability other then his basic attacks. That my friends is all in the build, playstyle and of course the experience of the player himself however I know once you have tried my build you'll agree that this is not only extremely viable, but extremely fun to play as well.
The marks and quints are set up so that you get some early magic pen.. which.. well come on have you seen a Zilean hit you with a double time bomb early in the game? It hurts, a lot.
The seals are set up to give you an increased mana recovery as you progress through the game, now a lot of people say that flat runes are a lot better then per level runes. They are right to an extent however the flat runes get outclassed by the per level runes around level 8 or so.. and if you're game doesn't go past level 8 well you may well.. you may want to go back to bot games for a bit longer.
The glyphs are under the same rule as the seals, however these are cool down based. Being able to spam your spells is a must in team fights and it will help your harass early game so that your AD carry(If your bottom. I love going Zilean middle with this build too) farm like mad while you harass the enemy champions.
21/0/9 on a Zilean.. or on any support champion would be a rare sight indeed. I'm pretty sure that the masteries don't need to be overly explained. I suppose that only real change that I would make is if you're just unlucky getting kills with this team but tons of assists, swap out the runic affinty mastery for one point in the Greed so you get a little bit more gold throughout the game.
Start out by grabbing a Dorans Ring, these are amazing AP items in my opinion and they will let you harass a bit better early game they give you an extra 100hp! How could you not like that, right?
The second item tends to vary.. if I'm doing well I will grab a second Doran Ring however if I find that my lane is getting ganked a lot.. or I just may need the movement speed to avoid skill shots or other attacks easier then I will grabs Boots of Speed as my second items and another Dorans ring third.
After that you'll want to get your Kages Lucky Pick, this item is great because it gives you a faster gold rate and some ability power. The build is designed to hold on to this items as long as possible to make getting your few core items easier.
The next item you'll want is Tear of the Goddess, this item is great to get early on.. even more so on Zilean! If you're having to run around and stuff your mana will just keep increasing, giving you a higher and higher mana pool which will rock for you. One of my favourite tricks to do is when you're either just reviving or had to go back to base to shop but you want to get back out into the fight as soon as possible to is use time warp then wait a couple seconds then use rewind. That's two shots on your Tear of the Goddess just for moving a bit quicker on the map. It pays off, trust me.
The next item on the list is the Movement 2 Boots.. which are highly important. The reason as to why I listed both Mercury Treads and Sorcerer Shoes is because it's all based on the enemy team composition. If they have a lot of CC you will want to get those Mercy Treads.. howevever if they don't have a lot of CC or just one enemy with CC I find it better to go for Sorcerer Shoes because the extra damage it will cause is the main point of this build.
The next item you'll be working towards is your Archangel Staff, I hope you were spamming your Time Warp/Rewind as much as possible! Grab a Blasting Wand and wait until you got that 1000 gold to get that Archangel and watch your Ability Power spike!
Next off you'll want to grab a Needlessly Large Rod, this will give your AP a huge boost and it'll be ready for when you want to get your Deathcap.
The next item that's ready and waiting for you is your Deathfire Grasp, a great item. Although you need to be used to using item effects in a fight.. but this item is really great. It's like having a third time bomb on Zilean! This item will do 30% of the targets health before also adding an extra % from your ability power to the damage! You alone will be able to rip chunks out of tanks and tanky enemies.. or.. you'll just be able to three shot their squishy AD carry. >:D
After that you'll want to snag your Deathcap, I really hope I don't need to explain why you would want this great item.
The next item is chosen out of a few reasons, that item being Zhonya's Hourglass. First, it gives you some armour which is great since we ourselves are squishy. Secondly, it gives you ability power.. Deathcap say what? Thirdly, this late into a game the enemy team will start focusing you hard because they will be sick of your time bombs beating them into the ground. The active ability of the Hourglass makes you invulnerable for a couple seconds which will make the enemy team waste their spells and abilitys on an invulnerable Zilean, if they keep focusing you after it wears off just Chronoshift yourself and you'll be alive and they will be dead.
The last item is just another Archangel Staff for the passive stack which will boost your AP to insane levels.
NOTE: If you had to get Mercury Treads over the Sorcerer Shoes then grab a Void Staff instead for more magic pen.
I will be posting more guides for other champions that I do play, Zilean isn't even my main champion but I just had to do one for him since I love playing him so much.
Take care all and let's keep the League of our Legends going!
The AP which the guide says is wrong. It's much higher then 390. It's closer to the 750AP mark with a finished build.
Edited the guide, noticed a mistake in the skill sequence and updated the items to include a new one. This helps with the cooldown, mana regen and stil let's you hit like a truck.