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Zac Build Guide by luigidragon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author luigidragon

Pants are Dragon Challenger Guide to Zac

luigidragon Last updated on December 7, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #43 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
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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: 1

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 29


Utility: 0

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... I'm Pants are Dragon, a CHALLENGER solo queue player and substitute jungler for team Reality Check Gaming in the MOBAFire Challenger Series and currently on a different Challenger 5s team as a jungler. I've been playing since the release of Nocturne, my first champion was Teemo and I grew in love with his champion select quote ("Captain Teemo on duty!") and ultimately the game. I actually didn't make my name it was given to me by Riot! My old name was jlzzdragon and then Riot changed my name to this and I feel like I was trolled to oblivion, but at the same time I grew with great power, and from that day I knew I would be the very best!

For those interested, here's my summoner profile:

Zac is a very tanky champion, and is one of the most unique champions in the game and is used a lot competitively because I think he's the hardest to kill out of every champion, you focus him he bounces away etc and has crowd control.

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Change Logs

12/7/2013 - updated to s4

11/21/2013 - ITEMS AND MASTERIES UPDATED only cheatsheet.

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Pros / Cons


  2. Best tank in the game (well Alistar is but we'll ignore that :P)
  3. % damage for late game


  1. Weak start
  2. Different style of ganking

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... Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

So 9x reds since it'll make our ganks stronger as we do a lot of magic damage. Standard yellow runes of course to survive the jungle, and for overall usage. Some people will ask why the cooldown runes on Zac? Well cooldown on Zac is really good as the more spells you do the more tanky you become as you get health off your blobs, and also this helps his jungling as the first few levels are using your Unstable Matter to clear, then later it becomes the Elastic Slingshot once you get more points in it.

MS quints are good so that you have more mobility around the map, MPEN you can bring if you want here but I prefer the MS on most junglers.

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Defense Magic Penetration:

We'll go a bunch in defense tree, Zac doesn't need 9 in offense anymore as there is no more magic penetration for him to benefit off of. Ever since season 4, there is a lot of great skills to take in the defense tree and the only one I see that's good is double-edged sword since it gives 2% damage for melee.

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x5 +

This is the standard jungle start for pretty much all junglers. Machete builds into one of your core items and the potions give you good sustain at the start. No need to change this for Zac.

Middle Game

With spirit of the ancient golem and let's bounce, crowd control will be nothing for you as you can just freely walk away with it and the cooldown reduction will help you heal up more from your passive and to do more DPS and crowd control.

Once you have reached your sorcerer's shoes, you'll feel like you will be doing damage in team fights and in ganks. As with other shoes you'll just feel like your doing kinda nothing except for the initial burst with Zac.

With the changes to the locket, this will be your new runic bulwark so try to be around your team for the active. You will be a monster to take down with all that HP and the passive plus the revive from your passive.

Also get Sweeping Lens as you are going to try to clear wards around objectives.
Late Game

Did someone say immortal or am I just a stupid blob?

Anyways, consider seeing which they have more damage of, AD or AP.

If it's AD then buy Randuin's Omen first, with Randuin's Omen the enemies AD will have a nightmare taking you down with the attack speed reduction which will cut there DPS and slow them from chasing you if your retreating from them.

If it's AP then buy Spirit Visage, Spirit Visage will increase your passive HP intake, increase your survival and make you do more DPS. This item for Zac is like GOD Tier as it gives him everything he wants for a good price, and with the buff to giving more HP like... I'm just thinking I should get this right after Randuin's Omen instead of Warmog's Armor.

Buy both in the end of course though.

Warmog's Armor will increase your survival overall from AD and AP damage as it's flat health being given, you'll be a hard tank to take down with probably 4000 HP by this point.

Alternative Items

Sunfire Cape : If you are super fed and want to do some damage, this item is what you want to be a threat in team fights.

Haunting Guise : If you feel you need more burst damage, get this item as it's got great synergy with Zac.

Zhonya's Hourglass : I've seen Insec get this, don't know if he's trolling or not but LOL yes this will increase your damage slightly but not much as Zac's AP ratios are sort of low. But the active is like the best in the game, consider it if you need more damage and armor.

Guardian Angel : I mean if you really want to be a ****, and annoy the enemy team... Well this item will endue rage on the enemy as they have to kill you 3 times to actually take you down, consider this once you have a lot of HP.

Banshee's Veil : With the changes to this item, it's proven to be good as a spell shield is nice and the extra magic resist and HP from it is cool buffs too. Only get this if you are against a poke comp (ex: Nidalee) and you need more magic resist than what's already given.

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Skill Sequence

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

Q is only good for lane zac, since it's on a lower cooldown, but in the jungle it's all about his E as it's his main ganking tool, without the range increase he'd be ****py. And the reason why we priortize W over Q is because we can use our W in our ultimate, which in a team fight mostly we'll be doing E and then W + R and W'ing through the R.

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Cell Division (Passive)

One of the best passives in a game, giving you unlimited sustain in the jungle and being overall more tanky in team fights, if the enemy team doesn't have enough damage to kill you you'll be healing more than they can output damage. This passive is why we get spirit visage later in the game.

Also this ability gives you a revive, 4 blobs which are treated like minions will crawl for 8 seconds and then you will be resurrected. This makes him even more annoying as if he actually does revive guess what? He can heal still and be more disruptive.

Stretching Strike

Jungle Zac's most useless skill, it's only use is to proc the passive and of course to slow them a bit and do AoE damage to the creeps in the jungle. It's not useful in a team fight until some points are put into it since you'll be doing your elastic slingshot and then bouncing around while using unstable matter. It's a good skill for lane Zac as it's free harass.

Unstable Matter

One of the best skills in the game, doing % damage and also having a flat base damage. Amumu's despair does more but still this has a 4 second cooldown and you can use it while your bouncing around. These skills are the best on tanks as it lets them do their own damage too.

Elastic Slingshot

Zac's initiate skill and ganking skill, really high base damage and as you put more points into it the longer his initiating ability is as the range increases. This skill knocks up the enemy opponents for about 0.5 seconds and it's AoE too. Also this skill's base cooldown is fairly low. This skill is what makes Zac really strong and when it gets stronger in later levels, you can actually initiate from the fog of war. This skill is the reason Zac has fairly good ganks.

Let's Bounce

Let's Bounce

Zac's ultimate, really good as it gives him bonus tenacity and movement speed and makes him bounce 4 times dealing full base damage and subsequent bounces on the same enemy do 50% less damage. Also the first hit on someone knocks them back a small distance. But it's not about the damage that this skill is used for, its the utility it brings to Zac as each bounce gives him 1 blob to absorb for extra health. And the movement speed and tenacity makes him really hard to focus as he can retreat to his team mates if he gets low.

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Early Game

Since I don't know how to really write this part, I'll just say what goes through my head when I'm in early game and tips.

I feel that Zac is average in all early game aspects, at ganking and clearing creeps. His clear times are mediocre but the best part of his jungle is that he has infinite sustain and can keep jungling forever and ever. His ganks bring a lot of burst damage from his Elastic Slingshot but after he hits that, he'll need to rely on his laner to bring the next set of damage as his Unstable Matter and Stretching Strike do minor damage at this point. Once he has let's bounce he can pull off more damage than usual.

Usually when I jungle Zac, I look for ganks where I can land my Elastic Slingshot without the enemy team knowing that I'm charging it up. IF I cant find good spots for this I will just farm on my creeps.

Counter ganks are easy to pull off, just have to be around the area and wait for your ally to back up and while hes backing up, charge up for your Elastic Slingshot and BOOM, the enemy team is ROASTED.

Always keep tabs on your blue buff/red buff and do them immediately or have some ward coverage so the enemy jungler doesn't steal it, he will steal your red buff (blue side) if you're ganking top and he notices you started there and it's 7:15 minutes. I may not counter jungle a whole lot but I do like to protect my own jungle.

When to do Dragon
  1. Bot Lane is dead/back. Reason: When doing dragon, it would be a 4v2 if they try to contest it.
  2. You see bot lane recall and your mid and bot lane help do dragon.
  3. Mid laner down. Reason: Mid is basically worth 1.5x of an ADC early game, because of the level advantage. So you have a clear advantage at dragon.
  4. When you have have your Spirit Stone and have allies to help you
  5. You feel confident on doing it. You feel that the enemy team won't contest, feeling more powerful, etc.
  6. Can solo it with Spirit of the Ancient Golem
You basically look at team advantages in numbers.

Ok if they do contest, and you know it's a clear advantage for your team, time for you to initiate and pick off the enemy team. Tell your team to turn, and you'll will win.

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Mid Game

Mid game you should have Spirit of the Ancient Golem Ninja Tabi Locket of the Iron Solari and really be a force to be reckon with.

Time for you to lead your team to push towers, maintain control over dragon/baron and win. So always have a Vision Ward on dragon. And if you feel real confident, do it on baron and try to secure it and estimate whether you should do baron or not.

This is where also the best team fights come alive, since everyone is around level 13 and multiple variables happen instead of late game where it's peel for carries.

Assassinating the enemy Carries

Do this when your carries are behind their carries, also Zac is a really disruptive front line.
  1. Coordinate with your assassin (zed/diana/irelia)
  2. Ask if you are going for the ADC or APC
  3. If you guys do not focus the same target the target will live that is why you'll need coordination
  4. Initiate with Elastic Slingshot and then Unstable Matter and then let's bounce. While bouncing spam your W button and keep being annoying and bouncing around.
After you have initiated analyze the situation.
  1. Target dead? Alright help your carries and make sure they live!
  2. Target still not dead and you and your Assassin friend used all your cooldowns? Uhhh... RETREAT and peel!

Do this when your carries are ahead of enemy carries.
  1. Anyone who is on your carry, use all neccessary cooldowns to assist in killing the anti-carry.
  2. Do not dive straight into their back line, stay as a meat shield for your carries and be in front of them. Zac is an initiator but can counter initiate on the enemy front line if they initiated.

I can't emphasize this more, I see this happen in lower ELO. People will just go rampage on the enemy carries and just die. He will then say "I just tanked their whole team and died, how did you guys not win?" Well the other team just raped your carries because you weren't protecting him and instead tried to 1v1 their carries. That's why you need coordination with someone to assassinate them. You can disrupt them though as Zac is really disruptive but just make sure when you soak in the damage to bounce back into your team mates, this will help you peel on whoever is trying to kill your carries and you have done your job as you distracted the enemy backline.

  1. Turtle and farm.
  2. Wait until other team throws (baron attempt, tower dive)
  3. Kill any over extenders if you can
  1. Keep tabs on dragon, baron and when they are up. Always try to get them or coordinate around them.
  2. Group and push mid.
  3. Do some really hard split pushing.
  4. Pink baron, and try to do it.
  5. My cheese tactic, send top lane bot and make him push really hard so the enemy team tries to kill him and let your team stick around baron so you can get it.

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Late game

Zac is one of the best tanks late game as he has maximum health % damage and he has a revive, along with recovering himself from his passive making him really hard to take down.

Baron is essential this time in the game, so always have a ward on it or pink it and whatever you can do to have some security over it. This point is also where 1 team fight or baron can change everything. If played wrongly you could lose the game.

You also will want to tell your team to group and push/defend and not to get picked off as baron is easier to do late game.

Alright, so your carries are now who do the real damage, and you do some damage. Still try to protect your carries though and stay in the frontline.

You should have a Randuin's Omen at this time as the enemy ADC should have a The Bloodthirster/ Infinity Edge + Phantom Dancer and will do tons of damage.

REMEMBER IF YOU ACE THEM, TELL YOUR TEAM NOT TO RECALL AND END IT (Maybe?). Death timers are extremely long at late game and gives a team an ability to end it.

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Creeping / Jungling / Counter Jungling / Ganking

Always get a leash, and no smite. This means you save your smite for the 2nd buff holder, why? Because it opens up an opportunity for a fast gank where you are 1 level ahead of every laner, and having all 3 of your skills available with red buff also so that you're ganks will be true terror.

How to effective do jungle creeps:

Use Elastic Slingshot to get to the creeps, then use your Unstable Matter and then Stretching Strike the creeps. Then just spam your Unstable Matter.

Blue Side Route:

Red-Wraiths-Blue-Gank. This route is the most efficient on this side for ganking top, since you do this route you will be 1 level ahead of every lane giving you all of your skills in your kit.

Ok so 3 tips to analyze when your about to gank for top directly after your 2nd buff.
  1. You will meet the enemy Jungler at top. So you can sit in your top lane's bush and wait for a counter gank (tell him to push) and go on the enemy Jungler or whoever is closest/most vulnerable and burst down. Zac is a strong counter ganker as he has strong burst and has 2 lives, so if they focus you then you'll just come back.
  2. Analyze the enemy top laner, did he start with a sight ward? Is it still in his pocket? If he did start with it and you see its gone, chances are he warded the baron pit. So what you want to do is go around through Tri-Bush.
  3. If no ward, just walk straight from blue and gank him.

When ganking:
  1. If he flashes and has no other escapes, it's best to flash with him and go for blood as long as you have the distance to kill him (half a lane maybe?) you do have red buff.
  2. Try to gank the enemy in the fog of war, Zac's strength is initiating and charging up from the fog of war.
Reasons why I don't like starting blue golem on blue side / starting red lizard on purple side.
  1. Bot lane is always warded when I'm done red. So the only other lane I can gank is mid, which at most I will make them burn a flash and since I can't flash with them to their tower, they will basically hug there tower until they have some security. I only come if they are past the river at some extent.
Purple Side:

Blue-Wolves-Red-Gank: Basically the mirror image of blue route, and going to top.
  1. You will meet the enemy Jungler at top. So you can sit in your top lane's bush and wait for a counter gank (tell him to push) and go on the enemy Jungler or whoever is closest/most vulnerable and burst down.
  2. Analyze the enemy top laner, did he start with a sight ward? Is it still in his pocket? If he did start with it and you see its gone, chances are he warded the baron pit. So what you want to do is go around through Tri-Bush.
  3. If no ward, just walk straight from blue and gank him.
Ganking Mid

Since mid is a short lane, it's a hard lane to gank for and is one of the lanes in which most Counter Gank's occur. To me this lane is a farm lane and should be more cautiously planned.

Mid is kinda fun with Zac, as you can gank behind your cliffs if your Elastic Slingshot is long enough and it's enough burst since your mid laner is probably bursty to take them out too.

I'll only gank for mid most of the time if:
  1. Enemy is over extended: It is easier to kill someone who is in your side of the map.
  2. Flash is burnt: This means you can use everything on him and you and your mid can take him out.
  3. Ally mid has some form of CC and is reliable: Kills are easier secured.
  4. Has a reliable burst combo: The faster we can kill him the better we can get out of there without the enemy team coming.
Example champions I like to gank for: Ahri Diana Twisted Fate
Reason: They provide reliable follow-up and crowd control so that I can rely on a for sure kill.

Example champions I don't like to gank for: Vladimir Anivia Nidalee
These champions are a bit slow on the follow up and do not provide much crowd control.

I'm not saying you shouldn't gank for these champions, but it's a tad hard.

There are champions I really do not like to gank and would rather leave them alone, as they are really hard to kill and basically the only way you can kill them is to make them commit.

Champions I do not like ganking unless escape is burnt.

Ahri at Level 6, can spirit rush away.

Kassadin at Level 6, can Riftwalk away.

Kha'Zix can leap away.

Morgana is immune to CC.

Zed can warp backwards.

These ganks will simply not be kills unless they have fully committed to a fight or hardcore crowd control.

You can set up a counter gank easily if you see the enemy jungler going to gank mid, inform your mid laner that you are here and you want him to bait something so you can come in and kill the squishiest champ there.

A counter gank with Zac you can pull off from your own tower and set up behind fog of war.

Ganking Bottom

The hardest lane to gank, this lane is probably the trickiest to pull off as everything is warded most of the time. I will be talking about this from blue side perspective.

So what do you do? Well, you can gank them at most by going through river at 4-5 minutes, and they are over extended. Sometimes this could happen, other times they see you and run so you decide to back off. It works only half the time.

You'll also have to ask your bot lane where wards are, if they don't know it's best not to waste your time with it as maybe the other team could bait a counter gank or they just go back.

Another option is going for a lane gank where your support initiates and your about 5 champions back to follow up on a champion. This option is tricky to pull off but when experienced is really successful in a lot of situations but you can set up behind the wall or something with Elastic Slingshot and wait a bit.

The final option is to wait for their Jungler to come in and you wait behind your team and for him to initiate and his team to commit to something they do not want to fight. While you come in to counter gank. This option can be a game changer.

I'd rather not invade with Zac as I think his best skill for invading is Elastic Slingshot, but once you go back to jungling if you started this then you'll need a big strong leash as you might die to a buff 1v1, the other skill to consider is Stretching Strike although I don't know how useful it would be.


Knowing when to dragon is key, remember its every 6 minutes.

Here is a checklist of when to dragon.
  1. Bot Lane went back?
  2. Enemy Jungler is top?
  3. Killed enemy ADC
  4. Killed Mid?
  5. Vision ward on dragon, and pressure on bot/mid.
Here is when not to do dragon.
  1. You don't have smite and enemy jungler is around.
  2. Any time it could be an even fight. 4v4/5v5
  3. Soloing it, unless you got a lot of health items then you can solo it, Zac can use his Unstable Matter to do it quickly.
BARON NASHOR aka Dragon V2, comes up every 7 minutes

If you attempt this you probably want to attempt this when you have some armor and are at least level 11 and its 25+ minutes, and depending on how far ahead you are.

Alright I have a trick for doing Baron Nashor and saying it will probably be exploited and people will probably never fall for it.

If I'm ahead, I'll tell our top to push bot really hard to make the other team chase him, even if he has to die for it. once we see the enemy team heading for him we will start Baron and get a free baron.

The reason this works is because in solo queue most of peoples' priorities are set on kills, and I play for team objectives. So since an opportunity to get an advantage by killing an over extender, this opens us to do Baron.

Other than my cheese tactic, your going to want to do Baron when:
  1. The enemy team does not know
  2. 2+ members are at bottom
  3. Won a team fight.
  4. ADC has Bloodthirster/Infinity Edge + Zeal
Counter Jungling

Yeah I never really counter jungle, I just don't like its high risk high reward play.

The only time I counter jungle is if I'm far ahead, or I know I can take there buffs with team coordination.

Other times I take their blue/red if I see the enemy Jungler far away from his blue/red buff at 7:05 (Which ever he started at.)

Zac shouldn't counter jungle as his dueling ability is weak. Since he only brings burst damage and after that once the enemy and him are in a straight up duel, he lacks sustained damage to kill the enemy jungler and is very weak early.

Counter Ganking:

Find your enemy jungler, then set up in a place where he will come and you can come kill the enemy jungler or whoever is squishier with your allied laner.

The ally should stall for enough to run back to you so that you can set up in range for an Elastic Slingshot and that you can hit both the enemy and his jungler. Doing so will result in the enemies had blown all there **** on your ally so you can come in and burst that low person.

How to Spike Objectives

Spiking basically means you put all your power into 1 strike so that you can get the most burst damage out of it, this means that you can smite objectives easier with more power than just using smite.

Zac's spiking ability is either if he's already in melee range then use Unstable Matter + Smite, if he's going say a baron steal then it'd be an Elastic Slingshot + Unstable Matter + Smite when it all lands.

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Ganking Points

These are some points that Zac can gank from, this is level 1 elastic slingshot but as you grow in levels these initiating points get longer.

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Team Work

What is your role in a team fight? : The tank, peeler, diver, and disrupter.

The tank, is the one who soaks in all the damage and still survives it all.

The peeler, is the one who crowd controls and attacks anyone on his carries and stays with them.

The diver, is the one who dives onto the back line and possibly tries to kill the squishies.

The disrupter, is the one who disoriented the enemy and causes havoc in the lines of the enemies.

What do you do with your skills?

Stretching Strike is used to hit anyone in sight when off cooldown but mostly to proc your passive so you get a blob to heal off of.

Unstable Matter is used to damage anyone around you while you are using let's bounce or just around enemy personnel.

Elastic Slingshot is used to disrupt someone that you need to disrupt or to initiate fights from a long distance.

let's bounce is used to initially disrupt the enemies and briefly knocking them up while positioning yourself to keep diving or to retreat back to your allies and wait for further cooldowns.

What positioning should you have?

You will initiate the fights, meaning you should be all around the enemies and hitting each person once with let's bounce while deciding whether you're still full health so you should keep doing DPS to the enemy or if your low to retreat to your allies.

You can be the one guarding your ADC and keeping him alive and staying next to them as a meat shield and guarding him from any skill shots, while knocking up anyone who wants to kill him with your skills.

Once your HP is low, flash out if you need to or bounce back to your team and wait for your passive to heal you up a bit.

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Zac is a very tanky champion, with a lot of sustain during team fights and can even revive himself even after he dies. I think he's one of the best late game tanks, and even he can build damage by building magic penetration so he's got a lot of base damage too.

Check me out on youtube, I make challenger guides on champions and there will be stream highlights along with montages and random other stuff!