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Zed Build Guide by aloisfancy

[Plat] Death Mark [A Guide to Zed]

[Plat] Death Mark [A Guide to Zed]

Updated on March 1, 2015
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League of Legends Build Guide Author aloisfancy Build Guide By aloisfancy 25,465 Views 1 Comments
25,465 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author aloisfancy Zed Build Guide By aloisfancy Updated on March 1, 2015
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LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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Hello, I am a season 4 platinum player on the NA servers, and this is my second mobafire guide. I decided to make a guide for Zed because he is one of the strongest mid laners in the current meta. Zed excels in carrying games because of his high potential damage and high skill cap.
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Pros and Cons


+ Damage never falls off
+ Laning is easy with poke and high all-in potential
+ Extremely high mobility
+ Good roaming and assassination
Zed has impressive base damage on his abilities so his early game is great and he has incredible AD scaling so his mid-late game is even more impressive. With his Living Shadow + Shadow Slash + Razor Shuriken combo, Zed has great poke in lane and a simply amazing high damage combo for assassination. With his Living Shadow and the second activation of Death Mark Zed has extremely high mobility to provide good roaming, assassination, and survivability.


- Easily countered by Zhonya's, QSS, and Cleanse
- Difficult to master
- Early damage dependent on landing Q.
The damage from Zed's Death Mark applies 3 seconds after the initial use, which makes it easy to avoid with Zhonya's Hourglass. The item can be used just before the damage applies, therefore nullifying the burst damage. Zed's Death Mark is considered a debuff and can be completely removed through the use of Quicksilver Sash and Cleanse. Zed has different combos and a difficult skill shot which gives him a high skill cap and a high difficulty. Learning his damage potential and learning how to time your ultimate to dodge abilities can also be very difficult. During the early game, your auto attacks and Shadow Slash deal minuscule damage, therefore you have to rely on landing your Razor Shuriken to deal adequate damage which can be difficult for some people.
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greater mark of armor penetration greater quintessence of armor penetration

Zed's abilities all deal physical damage and have great base damage, therefore greater mark of armor penetration and greater quintessence of armor penetration are extremely useful for early damage (if you buy The Brutalizer first) and for deadly late game damage. Greater Seal of Scaling Health is useful because provides protection against AD and AP and helps scale into the late game. Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction are extremely useful in the mid to late game because, combined with the cooldown reduction from The Brutalizer and Ionian Boots of Lucidity, your Death Mark will have a very low cooldown (about 48 seconds). Consider going Greater Seal of Armor if you are against an AD laner or heavy AD team. If against an AP laner or heavy AP team consider going Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
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Contempt for the Weak(Passive)

Zed's passive, Contempt for the Weak allows you to deal extra damage to enemies below 50% health. this is useful for finishing blows or adding that extra damage needed for your ultimate. It also makes last hitting extremely easy.

Razor Shuriken(Q)

Zed's Q is a long range skill shot that loses damage as it passes through enemies, which is why you generally want to hit your enemies directly. You can also use this ability to farm from a distance in case you are against a heavy poke laner such as Orianna or Syndra.

In this video, at 2:03, Korea's star mid laner, Faker, demonstrates the perfect use of Zed's Q to harass and farm early game.

Living Shadow(W)

Zed's w send out a shadow of Zed which he can then switch places with. The shadow also mimics Zed's Q and E meaning you can send out two shurikens or use Shadow Slash at the location of the shadow. Zed's W is extremely essential to his kit as it provides a reliable escape, initiate, and poke. A common Zed combo that involves his Living Shadow is W(placed directing in front of or on top of the enemy target) then E(to apply a slow which will make it easier to land Q) then Q.

At 6:53 in the video, Faker demonstrates this basic combo.

Shadow Slash(E)

Zed's E damages all enemies in a small radius around him. This skill is useful in wave clear and slowing enemies. Remember that your E only slows enemies when you hit the enemy with your Living Shadow's E. A common combo for catching up to an enemy is sending our your living shadow towards them and using your E before you jump to the shadow, in order to slow them.

Death Mark(R)

This is Zed's bread and butter. Zed marks a single target and deals damage after six seconds. The damage dealt depends on the amounts of damage dealt DURING the 6 seconds. It's common to quickly dish out all your damage on your target during the six seconds to deal the maximum amount of damage. When you ult you also create a shadow at the position at which you ulted. This shadow also mimics your skills and can be teleported to by reactivating your ultimate. This mechanic is very useful is escaping dangerous situation. Zed's ultimate also acts a gap closer and places him behind his target. Zed is also invulnerable for 0.75 seconds when he initially ults, which is useful in dodging any skill.
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Long Sword along with 3 health potions is the perfect start for zed in any lane matchup. The long sword provides him with a good amount of AD for last hitting and harassing and is extremely cost effective as it builds into every item that you should consider buying next, such as The Brutalizer, Hexdrinker, Bilgewater Cutlass, and Tiamat. The potions also provide great sustain against poke champions such as Ziggs or Ahri.

First Buy Options

The Brutalizer is a very strong item to pick up first on Zed. You should especially prioritize this item if you are using greater mark of armor penetration because it will add to the 10 flat armor penetration that The Brutalizer provides. The cooldown reduction is also very useful on Zed.

Tiamat provides very high early damage and wave clear. The active of Tiamat allows you to deal a substantial amount of damage which can be useful in adding that extra bit of damage before the activation of the Death Mark. Tiamat also builds into Ravenous Hydra which provides adequate sustain as well. This should be bought over brutalizer as you first buy if you are running Greater Mark of Attack Damage instead of greater mark of armor penetration.

Bilgewater Cutlass is also a good early pick up because of the sustain and damage it gives in the early game. It also builds into Blade of the Ruined King which is helpful is burning down tanks and taking Baron and Dragon. The main reason to buy Bilgewater Cutlass over Tiamat is because it can be used immediately after you initially ult which will slow the enemy and allow you to land your Razor Shuriken's more easily. If you have no trouble landing your Q's then build Tiamat for the better damage and wave clear.

Hexdrinker is a useful first buy if you are in a difficult lane against an AP champion such as Fizz or Orianna or simply a heavy AP team.

Build Sequence

Tier two boots should be built after your first completed item. Ionian Boots of Lucidity provides cooldown reduction which brings your ult cooldown very low (as low as one minute). Considering your ult is your main source of damage and main tool for playmaking, it is important that it is on a low cooldown. The high cooldown reduction will also allow your Living Shadow to be on a short cooldown which will make you a lot more mobile. If the enemy team is heavily AD then consider buying Ninja Tabi or if the enemy team is heavily AP or has a large amount of CC then consider buying Mercury's Treads.

Youmuu's Ghostblade will be your third item. I prefer Youmuu'g Ghostblade over Black Cleaver simply because of the extremely useful active of Youmuu's Ghostblade. The movement speed from the active can be used to escape, chase, or quickly move through the enemy front line to assassinate the carries. It also provides extra attack speed which allows you to deal more damage after the initial use of your ultimate.

Last Whisper should be your fourth buy. It is a good item on most AD assassins because it provides percentage armor penetration which will heavily increase the damage on all of your abilities. It also allows you to cut through teams that are stacking armor. The percentage armor penetration is extremely effective when you buy The Brutalizer due to the flat armor penetration that it gives. It is also highly recommended that you buy this item if you are running greater mark of armor penetration.

Bloodthirster should be built fifth. It provides substantial life steal and damage and a defensive shield that will provide survivability.

Guardian Angel should be your last buy as it provides overall good defensive stats (armor and magic resist) as well as an extremely useful passive that allows you to revive after death. This will allow you to go in with less fear and deal as much damage as possible.


Consider buying Mercurial Scimitar in place of The Bloodthirster if the enemy team has a heavy CC spell that will mean death if you are caught in it such as Veigar's W(stun), Ahri's E(charm), Thresh's Q(hook), etc.

If you are not very good at using the active of Mercurial Scimitar then don't buy it in the place of The Bloodthirster and simply pick up a Banshee's Veil in place of Guardian Angel.
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At level 3 Zed can easily out damage and out harass Kassadin with his W-->E-->Q combo, thus making laning against him relatively easy. The only worrying think about Kassadin is his Q poke which can be countered by simply buying a few potions.

Zed can follow Kassadin by using Death Mark right before Kassadin uses Riftwalk whereas most other champions would have to have to flash or use some other means of inefficient gap closing.

One of Kassadin's strong points is that he roams very well will his ultimate and snowballs off of other lanes, but Zed can counter gank Kassadin and roam just as well with his high mobility due to Living Shadow.

Ahri's damage output is heavily dependent on landing her Charm because it amplifies the rest of her damage, therefore you can dodge most of her damage by avoiding the charm which can be done in many ways with Zed ( Flash, Living Shadow, Death Mark).

Ahri's long range poke may be annoying in lane which is why starting with potions is important. Don't forget that as Zed you have poke too, so try to counter her poke with your own! You should try to all-in her as her poke is superior to yours and will simply kill you with poke alone.

Try not to go all-in until you have had your first back. Once you come back try to poke her down and then go all-in. Make sure your health is not much lower that her's when you go in. To kill Ahri, you can use your W as a gap closer and then Ult (avoiding the charm in the process) or simply Ult (if she is in range) and use W for extra damage/escape/dodge. Don't forget that, similar to Kassadin, Ahri can be followed as she uses Spirit Rush if you use Death Mark before she ults.

Yasuo has very low base health compared to before making his early laning weak. A very effective way of harassing Yasuo as Zed is by using your W-->E-->Q combo whenever Yasuo goes to CS with his Steel Tempest.

As Zed you can easily avoid Yasuo's knockup with your Living Shadow or Death Mark which makes this matchup very much is Zed's favor.

Zed is dominant in this lane from levels 1-5 because Akali's poke is extremely weak compared to Zed's. Try to take advantage of this by getting her very low and calling for your jungler to gank.

At level 6 Akali's damage skyrockets because of her [shadow dance]. At this point Zed still has more damage potential than Akali. To kill you have to try to dodge some of her damage by possibly using Death Mark right as Akali ults, or right before she uses Crescent Slash. Even if you don't dodge any of her damage you can simply out damage her by landing all of your skills after you initially ult.

IMPORTANT: Always buy a pink ward to counter her Twilight Shroud.

Orianna is very hard to poke during early levels due to her low cooldown shield. Her poke also makes it hard to last hit with auto attacks, therefore try to farm using your Razor Shuriken.

At later levels she can easily out damage Zed if she able to land all of her abilities. In order to kill her you must be able to dodge her Command: Shockwave which is difficult but much easier with practice. Her shield also makes it hard to all-in her but with Zed's damage it is still possible to kill her.

This lane is fairly even during the early levels because both Fizz and Zed are melee and have decent early poke. You may be able to out damage him but you must keep in mind that he can dodge your abilities with Playful / Trickster which makes things very difficult.

You will have to avoid Fizz's ultimate using either Flash or Living Shadow, or by using Death Mark on him right as he sends it out.

IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that you cannot dodge Fizz's ultimate damage with your Death Mark once is it attached to you.

I recommend buying a Hexdrinker in this lane to give you some defensive stats and a shield if things get too close.

This matchup is rare but extremely difficult, although the early levels are fairly easy due to Zed's superior poke. Riven may be able to withstand the harass from levels 1-5 using her Valor shield.

Once she has level 6 she can all-in you kill you with ease. In order to prevent this you must be able to dodge both her Broken Wings knockup and Ki Burst stun. Dodging her Broken Wings knockup is easy because it is a relatively slow skill whereas Ki Burst has a short cast time and is not a projectile stun which makes it very difficult to dodge. It takes a lot of practice with Zed in order to win this match-up.
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I hope this guide helps you get better at Zed. If you have any suggestions on how to improve this guide or making guides in general, please leave a comment. Also, if you enjoyed this guide, check out my guides for Irelia Top, LeBlanc Mid, or Azir Mid!
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aloisfancy Zed Guide
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[Plat] Death Mark [A Guide to Zed]

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