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Zed Build Guide by ShadowSlayerMain

Middle SSM's Gold Zed Guide Season 10

By ShadowSlayerMain | Updated on September 29, 2020
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Runes: Most Common

1 2 3 4
Domination
Electrocute
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter

Precision
Presence of Mind
Coup de Grace
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #29 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

SSM's Gold Zed Guide Season 10

By ShadowSlayerMain
Introduction
Hello, guys. I am ShadowSlayerMain or SSM, a Aatrox main who ended up in Gold Tier during S9. On this guide I will show you everything I know about Zed to help you learn a lot for him or become a Zed main. Be sure you also read my chapters well to improve your skills better because they have explanations and more. Good luck!
Pros and Cons Back to Top
PROS

+ Good Farm in Early Game
+ Lane Bully
+ Escape easily when getting ganked
+ Poke Heavy Burst Enemies
+ Good Focus in Teamfights
+ Outplay Potential

Thanks to his high mobility and huge range, Zed can win a 1v1 if he makes a good outplay. Except of the mobility, his blinking gives him also the ability to dodge spells like skill shots.
CONS

- Not enough focus on farm in Early Game
- Wrong Items
- Get ganked when mobility spells are on CD
- Aggressive at Heavy Burst enemies
- Bad Focus in Teamfights including Stopwatchers
- Wrong Shadow Swap

An Assasin's wrong position can easily make him suicide. If they build shielding Items like Edge of Night and Maw of Malmortius, a wrong position can give them a chance to survive.
Ability Order Back to Top
(1)

ABILITY
SEQUENCE
1

Q
2

E
3

W
4

Q
5

Q
6

R
7

Q
8

E
9

Q
10

E
11

R
12

E
13

E
14

W
15

W
16

R
17

W
18

W

(2)
ABILITY
SEQUENCE
1

Q
2

W
3

E
4

Q
5

Q
6

R
7

Q
8

E
9

Q
10

E
11

R
12

E
13

E
14

W
15

W
16

R
17

W
18

W
Runes and Items Back to Top


DOMINATION
Zed's best keystone in classic games is Electrocute. If you have played champions of lower difficulty you know that Zed too can use it only mechanically. It is also useful when you stack your damage on a marked enemy champion with R- Death Mark. Its damage can be increased for a percentage of the damage stored from your build. It's not easy in Early Games because Zed will need to stay defensive until he reaches level 3 to have his 3 basic abilities unlocked.

I prefer Taste of Blood as Zed's best part because its Life Steal is optional during the Laning Phase. Some players prefer Sudden Impact because it increases your lethality after you blink with one of your shadows for 5 secs(CD: 4 secs after expiration).
There's no other rune part that is compatible with almost every League champion so you are going to take Eyeball Collection. For this, Umbral Glaive's Blackout Passive makes it such a perfect rune for Lethality champions like Zed.
Zed's R- Death Mark is his strongest weapon for outplaying and killing enemies quickly. Ultimate Hunter helps a lot thanks to the bonus CDR it gives. Some players prefer Ravenous Hunter for Spell Vamp. It works a lot during the Laning Phase. As Zed you'll build Youmuu's Ghostblade so you won't need to take Relentless Hunter. Zed's items don't need bonus CDR or the most of them don't have any active ability to take Ingenious Hunter. These 4 rune parts give you the following buffs when you takedown unique enemy champions so you will have to takedown everyone of the enemy team to reach 5/5 Bounty Stacks.
Take Armor or MR depending on the matchup.


PRECISION
Zed's alternate compatible keystone is Conqueror. Compared to Electrocute you can deal more damage in Late Game than in the Early Game and you can heal from it. Also, its stacks can make R- Death Mark deal bonus damage.
Presence of Mind is the most recommended part for Zed increase your maximum Energy. Compared to Triumph, it doesn't restore HP after takedowns but it wasn't a good choice until last year.
Legend: Tenacity is the most recommended part for Zed to increase your Tenacity. Compared to Legend: Alacrity, Zed doesn't need Attack Speed since his kit is based on Spell Cast mostly. It can also help him blink with one of his shadows faster.
Coup de Grace is the best part for Zed to deal more damage on Low HP enemies.
Take Armor or MR depending on the matchup.


SORCERY

With Transcendence, you will always have 10% free CDR when you reach level 10 and your CDR Items like Core Items, Black Cleaver and Umbral Glaive will give you an AD bonus for every percentage that exceeds the CDR limit.
Scorch will help you during the Laning Phase by putting your enemy on fire when you hit them with 1 Razor Shuriken. The flame's damage is based on your level.


INSPIRATION



Inspiration rune parts are other parts that can give Zed free items and some CDR from the start. Magical Footwear gives you free boots with bonus MS at 12:00 min. Takedowns reduce the time Slightly Magical Boots are given. Cosmic Insight exceeds your CDR by +5 for every Basic Spell, Summoner Spell and Active Item. Zed is an Assassin that can blink with his basic spells and needs to start building his Boots quickly (1st or 2nd back) so they are not recommended for him.

This is the item you start with as soon as a classic game starts. As Zed you will buy it as often as it builds into many AD items. At your 1st back it will build into Serrated Dirk for you to start penetrating Armor.
3 of them are bought with a Long Sword as soon as you start a game. Some players build Refillable Potion instead of 3 Health Potions. The difference between these 2 items is that Health Potions which can hold up to 1/5 leave an empty slot in your inventory after you spend them all and you have to buy them again and Refillable Potion holds 2 charges but it doesn't leave an empty slot in your inventory and the charges restore after you return to the base. It's more recommended for you to buy 3 Health Potions than a Refillable Potion.
As Zed you should start with this as your trinket. Thanks to Umbral Glaive's Blackout Passive you won't have to change it to Oracle Lens or Farsight Alteration.
Long Sword should build to this at your 1st back for you to start penetrating Armor. If you plan on roaming on bot lane, it is optional against ADCs that don't have mobility or Flash to escape from you because Lethality deals true damage against Non-Armor enemies.
These should be bought at your 1st or 2nd back to start building mobility. If your Laning Phase is difficult you will have to upgrade them before building Core Items except if you build Hexdrinker instead of Mercury's Treads against AP enemies. Ninja Tabi are alternative against AD enemies.
You got it. Don't forget to buy Control Wards! If you have enough Gold when you do your 1st back you should buy one and place it to the bush that you haven't warded and use a Warding Totem charge for the opposite one.
If you have a difficult Laning Phase with a Heavy Burst AP enemy this can be an ideal buy for MR and shield. A mistake Cons make with Zed is building it into Maw of Malmortius before they even build a Core Item. Well, Hexdrinker already gives a MR shield so you don't have to build it into Maw of Malmortius before you build your Core Items.
You can often buy it when your Laning Phase isn't over and after you are out of Health Potions for not wasting too much Gold.
This was always a Core Item for Zed. After Duskblade of Draktharr's update during s7, its MS buff was left on this item. As Zed, building it 1st is a big mistake because his kit can't trigger the Nightstalker Passive like other Assassins while it needs spells that grant invisibility such as Talon's Shadow Assault and Kha'Zix's Void Assault. This item can also give you easier the chance to roam a lane without leaving you forced to cast Living Shadow to move quickly.
This is your next Core Item for better trading. Its Nightstalker Passive can also help your R- Death Mark with a slow on your target's movement and as other AD based abilities, your damaging spells deal Nightstalker's damage.
These are the most common built Boots on Zed. You should build them against AP or Heavy CC enemies.
These are the alternative built Boots on Zed and are bought against AD enemies like Talon and Yasuo.
This is an ideal continue after your Core Items but it requires Good Early Game. Its CDR buffs reach the limit thanks to your Core Items synergy.
This is an alternative choice for Good Early games. Its Veil Passive ability can help you against Heavy CC enemies.
This is the best choice against Heavy Burst AP enemies and an optional 4th purchase for Bad Early Games.
This can be optional because of its Life Steal Option and Bleeding Passive. It can be bought in a not so Bad Early Game and it's alternative of Maw of Malmortius against AD enemies. A mistake many might do in older metas is building Ravenous Hydra instead of this. Well, Ravenous Hydra isn't compatible with Zed's style which doesn't have to do with his Auto Attacks except his Passive- Contempt for the Weak. For that reason, Death's Dance was the only good Life Steal Option for Zed.
This is an item that is often bought as 5th. Zed is a champion that can easily die if he has wrong position so it is optional for Bad Early Games and can give you a chance to win a game that you can't win easily.
Another MR Option and the best choice against CC enemies. If you get to a wrong position and get CC-ed it can help you a lot thanks to its active ability. A mistake many may do is building Tenacity items like Sterak's Gage on Assasins that are based on Positioning. Well, Zed isn't a tenacity champion so Mercurial Scimitar is one of the best defensive choices for Positioning champions.
This is an Attack Speed and Offensive Life Steal Option. It can be useful on taking out squishy enemies quickly and can restore your HP by using your auto attacks.
A rare Lethality Option that reveals wards and traps thanks to its Blackout Passive. It should be built rarely because it doesn't grant any Defensive Options.
If the enemy team has a lot of carries that can easily die like ADCs without mobility, this is an optional purchase since it gives you +35% total Armor Penetration. Mortal Reminder can be an alternative choice.
This acts very similarly to its counterpart, Lord Dominik's Regards since its one of the two Passives it gives is +25% total Armor Penetration. It's a bit less than the one Lord Dominik's Regards gives (+35%) but its Grevious Wounds Passive can be useful against champions with healing abilities like Soraka and Dr. Mundo so you will have to think about which Last Whisper upgrade is better for a Teamfight.
After you full build, you can build this for Spell Vamp and more AD.
Laning Phase Back to Top
As Zed you can farm from both short and long range thanks to his W- Living Shadow. At level 1 you'll be starting with Q- Razor Shuriken, the only ability that can poke enemies and last hit low HP minions from distance. Most of Mid Lane champions can trade you from closely so you'll have to stay defensive and farm by last hitting the enemy minions until you reach level 3. This will give you the advantage of applying Passive- Contempt for the Weak or even last hitting them using your other basic spells. Some others can also deprive you farm so you should freeze the lane against those big threats. After you reach level 3 you'll have the advantage of being more aggressive to place your W- Living Shadow near the enemy and trade them with E- Shadow Slash and Q- Razor Shuriken. They also can deal damage to minions as well but you should remember that Q- Razor Shuriken, deals less damage after it penetrates one enemy. More about W- Living Shadow:

-NEVER be aggressive when it's on CD.
-It can save you from ganks because the blinking acts very similarly to Flash.
-Shadow's E- Shadow Slash mimic slows enemies so after you blink with it you can slow your enemies with your E- Shadow Slash

What is roaming? Roaming is leaving your lane for one moment to gank another one just like a jungler. Top Laners rarely do that using their Teleport.

When and how to roam?
-Top Lane: hide from your opponent and Teleport on bush.
-Mid Lane: hide from your opponent and use mobility spells (there are also some Mid Lane Teleport users).
-Before you leave your lane, make sure your minions were pushing it and then start roaming.

Zed's blinking with his Shadows gives him the chance to approach enemies very fast. Before you roam a lane, you should make sure the enemy has every mobility and CC spell on CD because if not it can stop you or worse, cause you death. If you get stopped don't try Flashing on them because you'll have almost nothing to continue. You can use your R- Death Mark to dodge CC and follow your target wherever they go. If they use their Flash before your R- Death Mark stops the dash on them, you can continue by approaching them with W- Living Shadow and then finish or just deal damage to them with a use of E- Shadow Slash and a Q- Razor Shuriken. Then your mark will detonate draining enough of their HP and forcing them to go back. Youmuu's Ghostblade's mobility buffs can help you reach the lane you want to roam without leaving you forced to cast any mobility spells.

Something difficult with Zed is pushing the enemy tower alone because you'll have to farm during the start and you won't have any Attack Speed. For that, you can help your team take the 1st tower by asking them for roaming or passing by their lanes and hit the tower with them when the enemy laner(s) are dead.
Late Game Back to Top
Zed can easily take out a squishy enemy from a Teamfight but he can't start one without a CC-ing ally and will probably not take them out if they use spells like Playful / Trickster or Zhonya's Hourglass. For that, you should make sure your target is CC-ed by stun, silence or knock-up so he can't use any kind of these abilities. A use of Mercurial Scimitar can free you from any CC that tries to stop you chase your target. After you takedown your 1st target, keep focusing from the squishiest to the tankiest enemies. Some of your spells will be on CD and your energy will be down for a bit but you can still do Passive- Contempt for the Weak on them, heal thanks to Death's Dance, Sanguine Blade or Elixir of Wrath and reduce your W- Living Shadow's CD by E- Shadow Slashing them with your team's help. If you don't have enough HP or your team has most of its abilities down don't keep fighting.
Mechanics Back to Top
Before I show you some Mechanics of Zed, I will show you an example trick: Some players tap E- Shadow Slash after the Shadow appears. Well, casting an ability before it appears, will make it mimic the following ability after it appears. Look at this example:

W,E Common Mistake


Correction:


Let's continue with the Mechanics:

Q,E


Q,


W,E,Q


W,E,Q,W2, ,


On any other Mechanic you will see, there will be 2 things:
-(Nightstalker) means you can apply Duskblade of Draktharr's Nightstalker Passive.
-(E) means that you can cast E- Shadow Slash for a 2nd time in Late Games because it won't have much CD.


W,R,(Nightstalker),(W2),E,Q,(E)


R,(Nightstalker),W,W2,E,Q,(E)


W,E,W2,(Nightstalker),R, Auto Attack,Q,E,(E)


R,(Nightstalker),E,W,R2,Q,W2,(E)

In Conclusion Back to Top
That's it for my Zed guide. I hope it helped you improve. If you want, feel free to ask me any questions by commenting and don't forget to vote!
League of Legends Build Guide Author ShadowSlayerMain
ShadowSlayerMain Zed Guide
SSM's Gold Zed Guide Season 10
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