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Zed General Guide by Born_on_2_Sides

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Born_on_2_Sides

Play from the Shadows - Moderate_Advanced Zed guide - User:

Born_on_2_Sides Last updated on April 30, 2014
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Middle Lane
Ranked #21 in
Middle Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Dear, All

Welcome to my Zed guide,
My user is "Born_on_2_Sides", and I am a Diamond 1 player in the Vietnamese, Garena server. Zed was my main very early on, and he's fantastic because of his potential to outplay, he's difficult, and can cause chaos when you push all the right buttons quickly :p.
I am very new to guide making, and this will probably take me forever, but what i appreciate the most is helpful comments and nicely put criticism. So if you have the time, please go do that ((:

In This Guide
I aim to teach you, how to improve mechanically and in your understanding of playing Zed. I will be referring to many video's throughout to support my claims, I highly recommend watching those videos.

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Pro's and Con's


+ Strong in Lane
+ High Burst
+ High Outplay Potential
+ Strong 1v1
+ High Mobility
Zed is a very efficient champion, both in SoloQ and in fun games. His Death Mark provides him with the high burst and his constant jumping of shadow with his Death Mark and Living Shadow gives him high mobility. Zed is an assassin champion, he goes in, get's a kill, than moves out. His abilities are perfectly designed for him to achieve this, making zed AWSOME .


+ Hard to Master
+ Fall's a Bit Without Kills
+ Landing Skill Shots are Essential
+ Hard Counter Items like Zhonya's Hourglass
The difference between a good and great Zed is landing those Razor Shuriken. By hitting three shurikens, instead of only one after you use Death Mark will make the difference between wether someone dies or not. This makes Zed very hard to master. Furthermore, Items like Zhonya's Hourglass or Mercurial Scimitar are super hard counters to Zed because they can cleanse off his Death Mark .

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Skill explanation

contempt for the weak: Basically, this passive allows zed's auto attack to do a large amount of percentage, magic damage to an enemy opponent under 50% health, only every 10 seconds. It is really effective for assasinating opponents under 50% health, and also allows you to suprise the opponent with how much damage you can actually do. Finally, it helps you kill minions like crazy, because the effect also works on minions.

razor shuriken: Razor Shuriken launches out a shuriken basically, and is a skill shot. It is important to note that the first opponent the shuriken hits (including minions), is dealt extra damage to.

Tips and Tricks
  • // When aiming at a minion to last hit with Razor Shuriken, position yourself so that your shuriken has a chance to also hit the enemy champion after hitting the minion.
  • // smartcasting the shuriken is advised

living shadow: // You get to plant a shadow nearby your current location, this shadow will copy whatever ability you use. Thus, also being able to use Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slash, without costing any additional energy. Furthermore, if your shadow hits the enemy with Shadow Slash, they are slowed.
Pressing "W" again, will allow you to swap positions with the shadow.

Tips and Tricks
  • // If you hit an opponent with a shadow ability and your own champions ability, the cooldown on Living Shadow is reduced
  • // Often people, use Living Shadow to get into range to use Death Mark, however, if you manage to save Living Shadow, than this will allow you to slow the enemy and possible hit another Razor Shuriken
  • // it is fairly hard to use Living Shadow pass a wall, make sure you practice, for when the time comes and your going to assasinate!! or run.....

shadow slash: You slash around you quickly, doing damage in a short aoe around you.

Tips and Tricks
  • // Shadow slash does not interrupt your auto attacks or movement, therefore it does not slow you down...
  • // hitting shadow slash with your shadow will slow the opponent, hitting both your shadow slash and your shadows, shadow slash, will slow them further BUT not deal additional damage

death mark: Death Mark is a gap closer, that brings you to the opponent, while letting you be "invincible" during the process, thus not being stunned or taking damage....additionally, a shadow is left where Zed was originally standing.
After the gap close, a mark has been left on the opponent that will detonate within several seconds. The damage of he mark increases, depending on the damage zed does to the opponent before the mark detonates.
Finally, zed can move back to the original shadow left from Death Mark within, around 10 seconds, from anywhere on the map.

Tips and Tricks
  • // Many zed players, use activated items, like blade of ruined king, after using Death Mark to simply help increase that damage on the detonating mark. Ignite, will also contribute.
  • // Think before fighting an opponent, about which ability you want to dodge with Death Mark, plan how the fight will go, before you simply enter.
  • // With zed you can dodge abilities with Death Mark, by moving back to the original shadow, left from Death Mark and by simply using your Living Shadow.

Video 1: The video below, is zed using his abilities effectively to dodge the opponents abilities.

Short Analysis of the Video:
What to Take from This Video

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Ability Sequence

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

Why do I get Razor Shuriken up first?
The reason I get Razor Shuriken first, is because it's the only poke zed has out of his three abilities. The other two, won't allow for a lvl1 poke.

Why do I max out Razor Shuriken first?
There is math involved here, if damage is calculated, one shuriken does less damage than Shadow Slash. However, two or even three! Razor Shuriken beats one shadow slash. The math is simple, if you are confident in hitting shurikens, max Q, if you aren't, Max E.
Furthermore, keep in mind, after you use Death Mark, hitting 2-3 shurikens will probably get a kill, however simply hitting Shadow Slash won't guarantee anything.

Why max Shadow Slash before Living Shadow?
Simply, you need the additional damage from maxing out shadow slash, rather than the extra utility from maxing out living shadow.

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21 OFFENSE 9 into Defense or Utility
sp M
// Notice no points in Butcher or Feast, this is because butcher is a complete waste on zed, since his passive Contempt for the Weak already helps a lot with last hitting minions. Secondly, Expose Weakness + Spell Weaving + Blade Weaving are all included in my mastery page. These masteries simply maximize zeds damage when he uses Death Mark, since Zed relies a lot on both auto-attacks and his abilities. The rest is fairly self explanatory, any questions feel free to comment and ask.

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Generic Runes


Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Consider these runes perhaps too

Alternative Runes

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Item Description


Item Sequence

Blade of the Ruined King

Last Whisper

Mercury's Treads

Youmuu's Ghostblade

The Black Cleaver

Guardian Angel

Starting Item choice
This item gives health and auto-attack sustain, great against opponents like Fizz, where you can get lot's of auto-attacks in on the minions and also help survive his burst.

Even after the patch this item is still used, when against champions who use auto-attacks and who have high poke, so you can't last hit minions. For me, this mainly is when i'm against an Orianna, since her passive strenghtens her auto-attack

Simply get Long sword and pots when the above information does not apply :)), so for example a LeBlanc

Core items
I prefer getting this over, life steal on my first back most of the time. The Brutalizer provides a huge early game spike, so good once you reach 6, because it gives cool down reduction, armor penetration and lot's of damage. Get sustain from cutlass, only if your doing bad in lane.

Get this for sustain and damage it provides, additionally the early slow can be very useful after you use Death Mark. Furthermore, 100 additional dmg, can translate into more becuase of Death Mark

Boots are no vital on zed, since he already has high mobility from his shadow. This is why we are getting it so late in the game

At this time in the game, attack speed starts becoming important. Furthermore, the additional damage from its active, and the speed it gives you, allows you to fully chase your enemy after using Death Mark

As mentioned earlier, armor penetration is very important on zed, because he already has plenty of damage. So an early last whisper is recommended.

The main reason this is my chosen boot choice most games is because the passive " Tenacity is so helpful. This is because to shut zed down, you disable him after he uses Death Mark, tenacity is like damage control in this case.

This is a fairly recent item choice, developed in Korea. Again, it enables you more speed and damage for when you enter with your Death Mark. Furthermore, it gives cooldown reduction, which is pretty awsome on Zed

Simply, armor penetration is AWSOME on zed as mentioned earlier, and it gives cool down reduction too, there isn't much else Zed wants tbh.

This item is seriously situational for me, I often change my defensive item on zed, depending on the game a lot. GA is good because it allows you to go all in with your Death Mark and not waste time trying to get away, every second of damage counts! other possible, situational items will be discussed below.

Situational Items You May Consider

Situational Items

Boot Choices, If your Interested

Alternative Boot Options

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Champion Mid Lane Match-ups

I consider Champion match-ups really important for the mid lane, it tells you pretty much how to play. Therefore, this section will be really detailed, so expect lots of details.

Average Match-up

Somewhat Good Match-up

Very Hard Match-up

Pretty Good Match-up

Pretty Good Match-up

Pretty Good Match-Up

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Zed "Combo"

Zed's Combo

Basically, there are several combiniations of abilities you can use with Zed and they vary in effectiveness, depending on the situation. Here is one brief way of using zed's combo efficiently, this can be very useful.

Combo 1: Outplay them hard :D
- Use this when in a bad situation, if they catch you offguard, dodge an ability quickly with your Death Mark, as soon as your on the earth again, use Living Shadow and quickly dash away! follow this with Shadow Slash, in which case that shadow from Living Shadow should hit them, and slow them. Now throw your Razor Shuriken, and try and hit all three, if you hit enough and the enemy is low, return to your original shadow, left from Death Mark, and simply finish him off, with your passive auto-attack and Shadow Slash. If you succeed, this is a fairly hard outplay!

I know this is hard to get from just reading, this video below, is simply a montage of Zed outplays, but many of them use that same technique. Especially, when bjerson kills the Lucian, thats just SICK!! (Note, I do not think all these Zed's are "great, some are)

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Frequently Asked


Q: I can get fed with zed! but I often cannot carry the game! // This is the problem I get in soloQ before, people don't realize, but Zed needs a good team that corporate well. Zed isn't one of those champions that can carry hard for your team, because after using Death Mark, he is limited in what he can do. If your team is total balls, and you want to make the best with what you got, I recomend go split push, and tell your team to take objectives if more than one guy comes down/up to get you. This sort of forces your team to cooperate, and at the same time your taking advantage of how fed you are. Since, if only one enemy comes down, you can tower dive and kill him, since Zed is simply like that :))

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Additional Last Minute Remarks

There are several large points that Zed players should know, however I do not have the time to fill this guide up with stuff, people might not be interested in. If you want to study Zed further and become better with him, I've listed below some bullet points on what else Zed players should know, and resources where they can learn to play Zed. So maybe it'll make it easier for you to do additional research, if your still interested.

- Learn how to split push, and how it works (i mention it briefly in FAQ section)
- Learn Mid Lane gank paths, and more importantly, how to take wraits and use that to help gank too (any questions, you can comment)
- Go watch the NA LCS, and watch Bjergson in action, here's the link if you don't know it already:

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Thanks to all!

If you read my whole guide, your fantastic and I hope you reach challenger one day! This is my first proper guide, using codes and stuff, I never knew I needed to use coding before this.... And it took me forever! If you liked the guide, please give it a vote, so others can get the chance to see it to.
If you didn't like it, comment, please tell me why, i'll be fixing whatever the issue is as soon as possible. Thank you again, if you got all the way down to this section, may the shadows be with you!


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