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Zac Build Guide by lithargoel

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author lithargoel

[S3] World of Goo - A jungle guide for Zac [With Video]

lithargoel Last updated on April 4, 2013
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hey there. I'm lithargoel and this is my second attempt at a guide on Mobafire. Since Zac is a brand new champion, I'm writing this as a tool for players who want to pick him up, and later I hope to expand the scope of the guide as we see the full potential of the goo-monster. Please don't down-vote just because you didn't like a rune or an item, the guide is meant to be used as inspiration, not as a strict path to follow, and I have put a lot of work into testing these things before I write about them.

As to the guide itself, I lean towards the opinion that you readers are smart enough to know what the items and abilities do, so I will focus more on the logic behind picking certain items / runes / masteries, and what to do with your skills once you have them.

Finally, since Zac is so new, this will be a work in progress. Check back later for top lane builds, mid lane builds and advice on specific match-ups.

So, without further ado... Welcome to the World of Goo!

Some Zac gameplay

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+ VERY Unique skillset
+ Fun to play
+ Percent of health damage
+ Unique gank paths with Elastic Slingshot
+ Incredible sustain and Anivia like passive
+ OP joke

- Will not be an easy champion to master
- Enemy can deny heal from passive
- Enemy can predict your movement
- Will likely need a unique rune page
- His ulti can make a team fight pretty confusing

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When to pick

At this point it's too soon to say much about what champions Zac will be strong or weak against, so in this section we will look at our own team composition. Zac has a lot of utility. He can slow, knock back and knock up - so I would consider him if your team needs more CC. His skill set also invites to build tanky, which means if your team composition is looking a little squishy, adding a Zac will help out with that. Finally, if you lack someone who can dive at the enemy back line, Zac's Elastic Slingshot is pretty amazing at getting to just about anywhere.

I wouldn't pick Zac if your team needs a jungler that can deal a lot of damage. Zac could be built damage heavy, but so far my experience is that he's a lot more efficient in a tanky / disruption kind of role.

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Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Runes are always a hot topic, and arguably many different configurations can work. What is optimal though? I have tried and tested many different options and currently keep 2 rune pages reserved for Zac, but the ones listed are what I find to be the all-round best runes for him:

Why not AP runes?

After many more games with Zac I have had to change my opinion about Spell Vamp runes. They do give great sustain, but Zac already has great sustain, and I must say I really love the ganking power that comes from swapping to Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration. The magic pen quints and marks let's Zac start out with a walloping 14 base spell pen. This is enough to completely bypass magic resistance on most targets in the early game, and it will stay that way as you will build a Haunting Guise soon enough. These runes work great for the level 3 ganks I have outlined in the "Ganking" section. Alternately, you can go with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, which I find particularly useful if I don't build Boots of Mobility, but this slightly reduces the effectiveness of your early ganking.

These are really no-brainer marks for any champion that primarily deals magic damage. I wouldn't trade these for any other mark on Zac (or any other AP champion for that matter).

I have also revised my opinion on seals. Earlier I would use Greater Seal of Scaling Health, because I felt I could clear the jungle fine without the armor, but the truth is in most games I end up with over 4000 hitpoints, and so a bit of extra HP ends up being worth less than the additional armor, both in the early game and in the late game. So, I recommend going with Greater Seal of Armor for most situations.

There are only a few options I think are really viable for glyphs on Zac. You can go flat or scaling MR to help with you tanky role, but personally I like the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, because Unstable Matter is your bread and butter skill, and a bit of flat or scaling AP won't really affect the damage it does. The CDR, however, lets you use Unstable Matter more often, which is a net damage increase already at lvl 1, and that means a faster clear time in the jungle and harder hitting ganks. If you go for CDR runes, never pick the scaling ones... they won't reach the the flat CDR runes until level 14.

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After more testing in the field I have now updated the mastery page a bit. Since we're stacking more health than MR and Armor, it makes sense not to put points in Legendary Armor . This mastery would have very little value early on, and even at a full build would only yield 5-7 additional points of armor / MR. Also, I'm finding that it's entirely possible to clear the jungle without the use of Perseverance and still be healthy enough to gank, so I have put those points into Relentless and Safeguard .

CDR has more power on Zac than AP, let's you spam that Unstable Matter faster and reduces clear time already at lvl 1. With all the health stacking items we are getting, this mastery will net you between 150 and 200 HP at full build. Also reduces clear time, so you have more time to gank the enemy.

We mostly take this to get to Arcane Knowledge but who's gonna say no to 18 extra AP? This mastery is simply a must have for anyone who tanks. You do percent of health magic damage. Spell pen is your friend!

10 free gold whenever you use your smite, what's not to like? Bonus health fuels Cell Division and helps with your tanky role. Again, good for Cell Division and helps you out in the early jungle.

Take less damage from jungle creeps early. We take it instead of Tough Skin because it also helps vs champions. Don't really need more sustain, so this will help when we fight champions. Same as Unyielding , extra damage reduction vs champions.

15% faster movement during Nasus' wither, or across Singed's glue, can help you escape or catch up to a target. Diving in with slingshot, you will often be the target of CC, and this helps. In 3.5 towers do more damage, so this mastery is now even more effective, plus you are a diving champion! Take it!

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Item Sequence

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Warmog's Armor

Liandry's Torment

Spirit Visage

Spirit of the Spectral Wraith

Zac isn't that item reliant early on, because the bread and butter skill Unstable Matter doesn't have an AP ratio beyond the percentage increase. This means he is open to be built in many different ways, but there are some items that seem pretty obvious for him. Remember, items arealways situational! Never, ever, ever go blindly down the list of items and then wonder why it failed. You have to adapt to the enemy team composition and also to what items the enemy team are building. Don't just keep stacking health against a Kog'Maw with a BoTRK... ;-)

Different junglers have different ideas, but all junglers need to be in the right place at the right time, and these boots will help you get there. If you are being hurt badly by an AD or AP champion you can always go for Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi instead, but if at all possible you'll want to be mobile enough to always be where you are needed.

We all know Zac is made of goo, but with a Rylai's Crystal Scepter he turns into some very sticky goo. This item pretty much makes it impossible to run away from Zac. If you land one Unstable Matter and slow them, you can hit with your Stretching Strike while they're slowed, which slows them again, both from the ability and from the scepter, and now your Unstable Matter is off cooldown again. Really, once you have a few CDR items, you can continually slow the opponent and make it impossible for him to run away from you, dealing a nice amount of damage every time. Once you build your Liandry's this will grow pretty terrifying.

Zac is a health champion. He uses health to cast abilities, his passive heals based on percentage of max health and when he is "killed", he will return with a percentage of his max health if any of the goo survives. All of these factors make a Warmog's Armor attractive for Zac. If you see someone on the enemy team starting to rush a Blade of the Ruined King or if they have champions with innate percentage of health damage, such as Kog'Maw then you should consider other defensive options such as the Sunfire Cape or Randuin's Omen, as the additional armor will be more effective against such champions and builds.

With two slows and needing to build both health and AP, Liandry's Torment is a strong item for Zac. The main attributes of the item fit him well, and the Unique passive dramatically increases his damage output when bouncing on top of everyone in a team fight. It also "combos" with your Rylai's Crystal Scepter so there is really no reason in the world not to get this item on Zac.

All in all, basic considerations for Zac is that you want health, CDR, AP, and mobility, most often in that order, but advanced considerations include the enemy team composition, what type of items are they building, who is targeting you most, etc.

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

We max out Unstable Matter first, to clear the jungle, then alternate between Elastic Slingshot and Stretching Strike, and put a point in let's bounce whenever we can.

Why not max Q second?

Zac's passive is both unique and powerful. This is where you get much of your sustain in the jungle from, but it will take a little getting used to, to be able to both land auto-attacks on the jungle creeps, spam your Unstable Matter and move around to pick up the goo that lands all over the place. If you are laning with Zac, always remember that the goo is visible to the enemy, and if you move to pick it up they may try to intercept you or trow spells at that location, so it may not be worth the damage trade to go there. You should only pick up the goo when it's safe to do so, and never let the enemy land a skill shot on you because you made an obvious move into harms way. When you have built your Warmog's, picking up the goo becomes less pressing, but it can still save you in a pinch. The second function of Cell Division is like Anivia's egg, but under the best of circumstances it will only bring you back with 50% health. Again, the health of each individual piece is determined by your max health, so that's just one more reason to buy a Warmog's. It's great for early ganks and can cheat an enemy into giving up first blood!

This is probably the least effective ability in Zac's kit. You get it for the slow and because it let's you proc your passive faster, which will let you heal more in the jungle, but later it combines nicely with a Liandry's Torment. The range is pretty short, so be sure to use it as soon as your land a slingshot, and then after you slow your target you can follow up with the Unstable Matter spamming.

This is your bread and butter skill. It does a decent base magic damage and on top of that a percentage health damage (max 200 to creeps). Spam it as often as you can in the jungle, to clear the camps and to proc your Cell Division goo splats, so you can pick them up and heal. In ganks and team fights, try to use Stretching Strike first to slow the target down, then spam this as often as you can on top of them, and follow up with an Elastic Slingshot when it comes off cooldown.

A truly remarkable skill, the slingshot opens up whole new ways to gank in the League of Legends. This ability allows you to catapult your champion over large areas of terrain, and let you come from outside of normal ganking lanes. I've successfully ganked a mid player who pushed up a little too far, from inside my own wolf camp. I won't type out all the possible ways you can gank with this skill here, but rather include a section later in the guide with some picture illustrations of how to sling yourself to victory. Remember that this skill has a small knock-back, so try to use it to push enemies away from the direction of their towers or allies. Also, remember that the knock-back can be used in certain situations to interrupt a channeled spell (and deny an ultimate, for instance). The slingshot does have a slight charge up time, so if you use it as an escape, you have to balance how far you want to jump with how close you are to dying. A good enemy might see you start to charge up and just keep running forward, so he will be closer to where you land. Lastly, don't forget that you can cancel the skill by moving, which will refund 50% of the health and shorten the cooldown to about 5-6 seconds.
let's bounce
About one of the funniest ultimate abilities in the game!! Zac turns into a gooey blob of pure awesome and bounces around on top of the enemy team. Think of yourself as a slimy version of Brand's Pyroclasm only you can control where you bounce to, and every enemy you land on is knocked up and slowed. This is the second spell in your kit that slows the enemy, so you can see why a Liandry's Torment is a good fit for Zac! Again, if the enemy team has any kind of channeled ultimates, such as Katarina, Karthus, Nunu, etc, then it may pay to save the let's bounce until they try to channel. If not, then simply position yourself well, launch yourself at their back line and start bouncing all over it, spamming your Unstable Matter the whole time! Bounce! Bounce! BOUNCE! BOOOOOUNCE!

Remember that this is the skilling order when you jungle. If you are laning with Zac you might want to build differently and this guide does not yet cover that path, but I can imagine that the poke from Stretching Strike is a safer pick in a lane than maxing Unstable Matter. Also, remember that one of the cool things about Zac's kit is that the cost of spells is based on a percentage of his current health, so the less health you have, the less your spells will cost to cast. (Important information if you're deciding whether to fight that 1on1 or try to escape). This is also the reason you can sustain with Cell Division as the heal you gain is based on your max health, but the cost of casting a spell is based on your current health, so every time you pick up some Cell Division goo, then you gain more health than you spent to cast the spell that gave you that goo. Makes sense? xD

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Summoner Spells

As with everything, summoner spells should be picked to fit the situation, but if you are playing blind pick, the safest option is to go with Smite and Flash. If you are playing draft pick or ranked, then you have the luxury of knowing the enemy team composition and I would consider swapping Flash for Exhaust, to really max out your ganking power in the early game, and to shut down the enemy ADC when you slingshot into the back line in the late game. Your slingshot can work as a flash for a large part of the game anyway, but again it comes down to who the enemy team is bringing. If they have Jarvan IV, then you might want to keep your Flash to get out of that Cataclysm.

If you are one of those people who think you can jungle without smite, then I'm afraid you and I don't see eye to eye on how the jungler is played, and this guide will likely be useless to you.

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This section is still a work in progress. I will try to update with some youtube video of a standard jungle route and early gank, so this is more general jungler information. Where to start? What to do? Where to gank? I will outline some basic routes for Zac here. If you have jungled with any other champion most of it will be familiar, but Zac has different options for ganking, because his Elastic Slingshot allows him to pass terrain like no other champion.

One good tip to jungling with Zac though, is to draw the creeps away from walls. If you fight the creeps inside the camps, your goo will often land annoyingly close to a wall or underneath the creeps you are fighting. Instead, get the jungle creeps a few units out in open terrain, so you can move around them and pick up the healing goo that will sustain you.

Standard blue path is: wolves -> blue (smite) -> wraiths -> wolves -> red (smite) -> golems.

Zac doesn't need the mana-regen, but the CDR from blue can really help with clearing times and is also valuable in ganks. If you have a mid-laner that is blue buff dependent, such as Nidalee, you should start red instead and give the blue buff to your AP carry. Sometimes your ADC and support will want to take the golems, and in that case simply go back to the wolves after you've cleared red buff, or start moving towards ganking whichever lane is pushed out the most. Use your Elastic Slingshot to move across areas that are typically warded, such as the various tri-bushes, to get into ganking position without being spotted.

Standard red path is: wraiths -> red (smite) -> double golems -> wraiths -> wolves -> blue (smite)

If you start red you have two options. If your team knows how to help the jungler without stealing all your XP, you can go for a level 2 gank in bot lane. Put a point in Elastic Slingshot at lvl 2 and move towards bot lane. Depending on how far the minions are pushed you can gank from your own tri-bush, from the lane bushes or from the river. I would not recommend trying to dive from the enemy tribush area at lvl 2, especially after they increased the turret damage in patch 3.50. You will look foolish if you launch yourself into turret fire and die for no reason.

If you don't feel like ganking that early, or the lanes aren't open for it, continue the route into wolves, and blue buff - and again consider giving the blue buff to your mid-laner if he needs it.

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The power of Zac's ganks lie in the slingshot and it's ability to land him right on top of the enemy, but this is not gonna help you one bit if you always gank from the same direction. The enemy will quickly learn to ward there, so try to alternate between regular gank movements and the slingshot. It will force the enemy to put down their normal wards, and will make them unsure of where you are coming from next. If they try to ward against your slingshot, the lane might even be completely ward-free from just walking into it.

This spot is shown in the champion spotlight for Zac, and it works really well. If you do it from your own side of the map, this place will rarely be warded, and if you do it at the enemy side, you can stay out of the tri-bush ward range until you are ready to dive, then quickly rush in and slingshot into position. The knock-back followed by the slow can secure a kill before they reach the tower.
When ganking mid, instead of sitting in the bush which is often warded, try and stay on your own side of the map, in the small lane between mid and river, and outside of vision of any nearby enemy minions. From here you can launch yourself onto any enemy that pushes out too far. If you want complete obscurity, you can try to do this from your own or the enemy wraith camp, but this will only work if the enemy mid laner is pushed all the way to the relevant tower.
This third gank lane takes a little while to set up, but is very useful for suprise tower dives when your team has pushed the lane pretty far. To set it up, you can slingshot yourself from the river or baron pit and into the enemy jungle, and then taking care to avoid the tri-bush ward, position yourself behind the wall facing the enemy turret. Slingshot, dive, take the tower damage for your team mates and if necessary reassemble yourself after you've secured a nice double kill for your team ;-)

The level 3 gank

So, after many games and extensive testing, I believe one of the strongest ganks with Zac is abusing the magic penetration runes early. Ideally, what you want is going from wolves, to an assisted smite-less blue, then wraiths and finally clear the red buff. Once you use your smite to kill the red buff, you will be level 3, and have a point in each of your 3 basic abilities. Now preferably, you want to gank the closest lane, depending on which side your team is on that can be bot or top, but if that lane is pushed up and there's no opening you can also try mid. Just remember mid is harder to gank, because the distance from minions to tower is pretty short. Move as fast as possible into position in the lane you have chosen and wait for an opportunity to slingshot on to an enemy. Try to use the knock-back effect of Elastic Slingshot to push the enemy in a favorable direction, and make sure to land 1 auto-attack on him to proc the red buff and get a slow down. Then follow up with your Stretching Strike for more slow and damage. Keep hitting the auto-attacks and land as many Unstable Matter as you can. The 14 magic penetration from your runes, combined with the 8% spell pen from your masteries pretty much ensures that you do full magic damage with all your abilities, which makes this a pretty strong early gank - high damage and lots of CC in the form of slows and knock backs, so if your team isn't completely asleep, this can often land you first blood or at least burn 2 flashes. If you went with Exhaust instead of Flash, then you can throw that down as well, to lock down the kill.

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Team fights

I have now won and lost enough games with Zac to give a little advice on team fighting with our friendly flubber. Team fighting is one of the hardest things to do with any champion, as you have to consider your own position, enemy zoning ability, what enemy champion you have to focus on and a number of other factors, and you often only have split seconds to make the right decision and carry it out.

  • Zac is a great initiator with his Elastic Slingshot and let's bounce combo, but your combo can be interrupted if the enemy team lands a stun or knock-up, so try to come from a surprising angle (from behind a wall for instance).
  • If you build more damage heavy and your team is on the ball, you can always try to dive for their carries, use let's bounce and pop a Zhonya's Hourglass to survive until back-up arrives. The level of co-ordination required for this tactic means you need to communicate what you will do before the fight breaks out, instead of complaining about it after it is over.
  • Remember, there is a big difference between defensive and offensive team fighting. If you are fighting offensively, then you are often diving on a team that is grouped closely together and the enemy team will be inclined to dis-engage and run away, which means you can benefit greatly from landing right on top of them and start bouncing.
  • On the other hand, in a defensive team fight, you are often grouped together, around a tower or objective and the enemy team is coming at you in formation with tanks first and ADC + APC in the back. If you slingshot in here, you may be able to reach the ADC or APC, but you will be very far from your team and looking two of the scariest champions on the enemy team right in the eyes. So, in a defensive teamfight you are often more useful if you stay in front of your own carries, in a protective role and maybe even use your ulti on their front line. If you built tanky, you can soak up tons of damage from their carries and if you built damage heavy, then you should have an hourglass that can keep you alive after your initial combo.

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Zac is a fun and different champion and we haven't begun to scratch the surface of what he will be able to do out on the battlefield. This guide is meant as a source of inspiration for players who want to pick up jungling with Zac, but I could easily see him go top lane or even a bursty and annoying AP mid. There's a ton of potential not yet explored in this champion!

If you found my guide useful, feel free to press the little green arrow ;-)

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  • 3/30/2013 - Guide published
  • 3/31/2013 - Adjusted masteries and runes sections with more detailed explanations
  • 3/31/2013 - Changed the boots of mobility from core to optional.
  • 1/04/2013 - Added a team fighting section to the guide.
  • 4/04/2013 - Modified runes and items - added Rylai's Crystal Scepter to core items
  • 4/04/2013 - Added a lvl 3 gank description
  • 4/04/2013 - Added some pretty pictures :-)
  • 5/04/2013 - Added some video footage of Zac in action.