Zilean Build Guide by gsimon12
Support Zilean Detailed Guide with Tips and TricksBy gsimon12 | Updated on March 17, 2018
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Threats & Synergies
Caitlyn nerfs help but even if its possible for you to trade, your adc gets zoned and tamed into a coward.
Easiest match up you will get, but since you are playing zilean support you will still have a hard time
Outdamaged, outtraded, Although you do outrange him, and you can clearly bomb where his axes are. his support will make it a difficult lane
Huge Zoning power on Zilean, one of the most unfun match ups, her W makes her impossible to bomb as well
Lucian is garbage in the current meta, but he still win vs zilean xd
Zilean's skill shots were already impossible to land, but a champion that blocks your CC and damage when you do land it? At the click of a button? XD
Most Difficult lane for zilean in the entire Game. UNFUN!
Pretty easy to outplay tbh but since you are zilean, you are at a natural disadvantage
Spellshields are fun and interactive for one of the most difficult skillshots in the game, XD
Vayne should be deleted from the game. Such a useless champion. Literally Zilean level bad. you could probably auto attack her to death without even bombing. Why is this champion still in the game? Only Vayne 1 Tricks who have mastered auto trading are a real threat.
Her and Janna are the support gods of unfun. Point and Click outtrading/Healing while you have to land a skillshot and still get outtraded. Sounds like fun to me
Woo Hoo, more point and click outtrading. Very fun and interactive. On the bright side you can punish aggressive sona's with good double bombs, but your ad carry will not capitialize and you will get zoned. I Love bot lane!
For the first time, you will get outranged! Zilean's only advantage in all of these awful match ups were his range. Without that, you will start to feel just how puny you really are
Janna 2.0. Another champion with point and click trading while have a Shield to block your damage. Fun Fun Fun! At least you have a range advantage. XD
If your ad carry can't space, your ad carry will feed alistar and you can't do much about it. your bombs dont do damage to him even if you land it. You have to constantly poke the enemy adc low enough to the point where alistar can't engage. Really annoying
Zones you out really hard and at level 6 has the most kill pressure on you. Difficult lane
He does alot of damage and his stun is annoying, punish him for going in for his poke and you can double bomb him rather easily
Braums are usually passive, but in reality, braum can play this lane really aggressively and it can be difficult for zilean. His shield guarantees your stun goes off but for a short duration and no damage.
Scary Support, her stun can be devasating along with the fact that she will always outdamage you, hard lane but you will outscale her easily
Easily zones you out in early game, do your best not to feed him kills and play safe
As long as you can dodge the hook, you will be fine, if you are hooked, you are screwed. He is easy to harass and trade
Vayne level garbage, you should not be losing to Ezreal. Your q is actually easier to land and does equal damage, that says a lot about how bad Ezreal is in lane.
Jinx is so bad in lane. Zilean should win if you land max range bombs.
A troll pick which Zil can't punish
Despite being known as one of the worst ADC'S in the game. Zilean can't land a bomb on her with Kalista constantly jumping around.
She makes it hard to trade but she can't really pressure you, she turns it into a farm lane. Do not go for trades or you will most likely die/get low
Corki adc is a troll pick, zilean support can't really punish it lel
Probably the easiest lane out of every single champion on this list except he is also the only one who outscales you with his ult.
Poke that does double your bombs, shield that blocks your bombs, a speed up that lets her dodge your bombs, a root that locks you in place, Sounds like fun to me!
Anivia support is extremely troll but tbh zilean support can't really punish her LOL
Pretty terrible pick, if you don't get hooked, nautilus can't do anything. But usually when there is a nautilus on the enemy team, enemy jungler will camp you, and zilean can't deal with early ganks...
Shen Support will take no damage from your auto trades, has an extremely fast taunt animation, difficult to dodge. if you can dodge it, it will be easy lane.
Troll pick bot lane but of course, anything can beat zilean support in lane
Jumps on you level 2 onwards when you miss a bomb and instantly bursts you. More Fun!
Around the same range, zyra will do double the damage of both you and your adc. You will have to go for speed up bombs if you want to hurt zyra. ANother fun lane!
Woo hoo another champion that outranges zilean while doing triple your damage, fun laning phase!
Another really bad pick, but since you are zilean, of course even poppy can be annoying
Spellshield is annoying. Honestly a troll pick right now, but since you are zilean support, its not gonna be fun as usual
Introduction to Zilean(This Guide is still in construction)
The reality behind Zilean is that he needs either an engage Frontline or a reliably source of dps in the backline to shine. Without either of these things, Zilean will have a hard time carrying his games. It is highly recommended to have a duo who is either the engage(RAMMUS,SKARNER,VOLIBEAR,DARIUS,SEJUANI), tanks who have hard cc but are usually easily kited. OR an ADC main who is actually good. Zilean can't carry bad players, he makes decent ones shine. If you don't like playing around your teammates, Zilean probably isn't for you.
I am still making this guide but please leave feedback about what you think so far, it would help a great deal!
+ No Sustain/Heals
+ High Cooldowns in Lane
+ One of the most difficult skillshots in the game, have to land it twice
+ You do no damage even if you land your skillshots!
+ Huge mana hog, low damage, high mana cost. I love it!
+ Unfun Laning Phase!
+ Consistently Lose Lane!
+ AD Carries have no idea how to play with Zilean
+ AD Carries will heal off your ultimate
+ High Skill Cap
+ Zilean always gets camped by jungle
+ Zilean never gets ganks by his own jungle
+ Meta doesn't favor Zilean at all, Lol has it ever? XD
+ Dependent on 4 monkeys on your team
I love always being at a disadvantage in every match up. Its so much fun!
- Zilean and Volibear have a feud despite both of them being the most obscure garbage picks for their roles, pretty random.
- All of Zilean's skins are so bad
- All of Zilean's animations are so outdated and old. Really???
- Zilean's auto attack is a gear... A GEAR??? Really Riot?
- EKKO also bends time, Zilean isn't even unique anymore
I've been waiting for a new Zilean skin for ages. Why is it so hard to make a modern skin.
Why not a ultimate or legendary Zilean skin? His timewarp and double bomb could have ekko level animations and yet they look so old. Why make skins for Miss fortune and not Zilean??? WHY RIOT???
You have a an aoe stun, a massive speedboost or a massive slow, and a revive for a single champion. All on a VERY Short Cooldown.
Your number 1 job in teamfight is to SURVIVE. You need to position in the backline and a little further behind your adc similar to a soraka.
The longer you live, the more aoe stuns you throw out, the more speedboosts and slows you can put out, and the more revives you can put out as well. Play smart and safely as you are one of the most powerful assets on your team.
If you are going for picks, you will play much more aggressively and look to cc enemies and catch them out.
As for who you speed up and revive, that depends on the game but go for whoever makes the largest impact in the teamfight(syndra, illaoi, katarina, vayne, twitch). Don't think you can only mindlessly ult the adc.
The main point is that Zilean is amazing at peeling for an adc but you need to acknowledge that a support like Janna is Better at JUST Peeling for ADC. What Zilean does have over supports like janna is the mechanic of speed ups that can be abused with combo strategies in multiple ways and your aoe stun double bomb which can be used in a versatile manner. In other words, if you can't land your double bomb or utilize your speedboost you are better off on another support or you should rethink your playstyle.
Keep in mind that it is almost always ideal to duo with someone who plays a champion that synergizes with zilean,(the most ideal is twitch). If you can master the twitch-zilean combo, you wiil climb really fast. Its how i got to diamond. Twitch and zilean are one of the few bot lane combos capable of 2v5ing in teamfights and solo carrying games.(More information below in the botlane synergy section) Some other notable combos include, zilean-kog, zilean-syndra, zilean-kayle, zilean-illaoi. If you can get in discord chat with them and communicate your speed up and ult timings to coordinate with their planning, it would also greatly beenfit your gameplay. Also try to duo with someone that is currently at your current elo, playing with people out of your elo will distort the elo of your opponents in a bad way.
TBH The Caitlyn nerfs make her much weaker than before. I now ban caitlyn if i have a hypercarry adc just so i give them more room to breathe. Every support is a bad match up for zilean and I only have 1 ban so i usually just opt for caitlyn at this point.
One of the most diffcult targets to bombs in the game due to how fast she moves, Very annoying and frustrating to play against. Most jannas are braindead monkeys so you can usually abuse their mistakes to win, but a good janna will make you want to leave the game. Shield + damage makes her superior to you in trades. You must land double bombs consistently to win this lane.
Blitzcrank is one of the most stressful lanes in the game. you miss 1 bomb and you can expect him to run point blank and pull you. If he misses a pull, you get lane pressure on him but its clearly in his favor. A good blitzcrank will fake out your bombs and keep you on your toes.
Rewind is what enables your combo. You lower the current cooldown of your Timeb Bomb and e by 10 seconds
Speed an ally champion or slow an enemy champion by the same amount.Favorite Ability in the game, Hands down! This move can enable so many champions to surpass their limits and perform extraordinary feats. Such a powerful speedboost while also being an extremely powerful singletarget slow which can be used to easily land your double bomb stun.
This ability is Zilean's most iconic move for sure. You mark an ally champion and for 5 seconds if they die, they will be revived in the same spot. Arguably one of the most powerful ultimates in the entire game.
Slow Double Bomb/PICK COMBO
The main basic combo you will be using is eqwq. This will be used for getting picks on targets IN RANGE. USually when any champion uses their dash ability, they have no way of avoiding your slow double bomb. Really strong in skirmishes and fights.
This is known as your "slow double bomb". You slow them with your time warp then you rapidly throw your timebomb behind the enemy(or towards wherever they are approaching) then rewind and throw another timebomb around the same spot and stun them!
Speed up Bomb or Speed up Double Bomb
Once you have a tear of the goddess built, you will have mana to spare. In tough lane match ups like caitlyn,sona or caitlyn zyra. Where if you get in range of the enemies abilitys you will instantly die, you need to stay at max range when chucking bombs. It is difficult to land this so you can speed yourself up to QUICKLY get a better aim for your bomb and QUICKLY get out. You need practice zig zaging and dodging while you shoot your bomb for this to work. Very nifty strategy.
Flash Double Bomb
Basically your jungler ganks and you are not in position to double bomb and you MUST follow up. You can flash double to secure the CC for the kill. There are only a few scenarios where you do this, and I DO NOT recommend doing this always. IT is a situational occurence you should generally avoid, speed up bombs are generally much less risky. If you mess up your bomb during a flash double bomb, you are committing to a scenario where you are out of position. Just be aware of what you are doing.
Cutting Enemies Off/Zoning Bombs
If enemies are in the jungle in a cut off path, bombing behind them can trap them for good. They won't even be able to flash backwards without running into your bombs. Its important to realize that while your bombs are technically a skill shot, a rather difficult one at that. you can creatively use your bombs as zoning tools that do the job for you. Even during lnaing phase if you bomb behind enemies, the enemy adc cannot move back so your adc can get free autos on them.(Generally you should aim to hit your bombs during lane though)
Support Utility Build
|Rest in Pieces|
|Zilean's mana costs are unbearable. This fixes that problem. I say rush it every game.|
Used to like this a lot in season 7, season 8 doesn't favor it much tbh.
Its all about shields and heals, which is redemption/Locket and mikheals provides good anti-CC
FULL AP BUILD
Why are you even playing Zilean support if you want to build full AP. Go Mid Lane
If you ever see an opportunity to catch someone out, use your talisman of ascension active, approach said enemy and use timewarp on them to slow them, double bomb them(which will stun them). Your team will proceed to kill said champion. The full combo is eqwq(slow, doublebomb). A good example of when you should do this is, say the enemy brand is moving close to your team so he can poke you. you can dodge his w and get close to him and stun him with the combo! This has high risk as obviously he could potentially kill you. But if things go south you can at least ult yourself, if it works out you got the enemy brand killed. If you aren't confident in your ability to dodge skill shots, don't go for picks and just focus on peeling. Getting picks is a GREAT way to solo carry the game on Zilean, but everyone has their own playstyle. See what you like
+Peeling for ADC
If you are going to peel for your adc, you need to constantly speedboost your ad carry so they can kite for themselves, if they get bursted or assassinated, DOUBLE BOMB YOUR AD CARRY, stunning on your ad carry will save them big time and its not much of a skillshot if you know where they are targeting. You need to ult your ad carry AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND, if you ult too early, the enemy team will switch focus and target another player(in higher elo at least). ULT right before they die. This takes a lot of understand of how every ability in the game works but it pays off if you want to play the Zilagod.
If your ad carry is stunned or knocked up, use Mikheal's Crucible active on them and then speed boost them. It is a ridiculously strong combo that helps your ad carry turn the tables on their pursuer. It will cleanse the cc and with your speedboost on top of that, they will zoom back. Also use the locket of the iron safari active to shield them either before or after you use your ult. As you can probably tell, you have numerous tools to protect your ad carry with(provided you build Mikheal's Crucible and Locket of the Iron Safari), have a gameplan on how you are going to use these. Bind these actives to whatever keys you want so you are comfortable with using them when you have to.
+Saving your Frontline
This is a bit more situational but in the case you have a Riven or a Katarina iniating teamfights or playing suicidally, it is in your best interest to ult and save them as well as speed them up. They may be playing moronicly, but you can turn their stupid play into an actual combo just be sure to coordinate and ping your team you used ultimate. Your ad carry should be aware. Usually you don't ult your frontline tank but if they are the only ones dieing, you should ult them.
+Aiding your Bruiser/Assassin
You will get games where your adc is mediocre or bad or just falls extremely behind while your Xin Zhao Jungle or Jax Top is doing extremely well. In games like this it is in your best interest to ABANDON your ad carry and focus on helping your said bruiser to stick to their targets by constantly speeding them up or slowing their enemies, it is also very easy to double bomb on that bruiser when they fight multiple enemies for a good aoe stun to assist them. When the enemy team is forced to burn all their abilities on said jax/xin zhao, you must ult them. When they come back to life, the fight should be in your favor if you played it properly. Be sure to use crucibles if they get chained stunned or use locket if enemy mage is bursting them. In low elo games you may find yourself in a situation like what i stated above. It is just fine, just help your bruiser carry the game. On Zilean you should ALWAYS BE ABLE TO ADAPT TO THE GAME YOU ARE PLAYING. That is super crucial. Don't play the same way every game. A flexible champion should be played in a flexible manner
+Help Tank Initiate the Fight
Zilean can aid tanky teamfight iniators like Malphite, Nautilus, Ammumu, Darius in iniating teamfights. His speedboost will give these champions the gapcloser they need to effortlessly land their cc and lock down the enemy team. So if both teams are having a standoff in mid lane and your team is struggling to initiate, speed boost your Ammumu(any tank) and ping for him to go in, and ping for your team to follow!
Zilean might not seem like it, but he has the power to help fulfill several different roles in teamfights. When every game starts, it is a good idea to look at what champions are on your team and have a gameplan on how your speedboost can help them in teamfights
This is where things get tricky and you will need some quick reaction timing.
If you are getting focused by an enemy assassin or bruiser, you need to assess a few things.
They include the following:
-Where is my adc right now? Do they need my ult right as of this moment?
-Can I escape without ulting myself? Will my speedboost be enough?
This is situation based on the game you are playing but usually, it is a good decision to ult yourself if you are about to die. Try to reposition and escape the enemy team. Once you are out, immidiently get back to your adc. If your adc is also dieing at the same time you are, you should ult them and let yourself die.
While Retreating if you are slowed or snared, use your mikheal's crucible on yourself and speed yourself up as well for an EXTREMELY fast get away. Not many champions can chase you through that. Locket of the Iron Solari can also be used to save your life when it gets really close.
Another trick for when you are being focused by a melee champion(like Kha Zix or Rengar), put a double bomb on yourself after they jump on you. You will stun them and you can easily speed yourself out and escape. Remember the versatile nature of your Double Bomb, they can be used in every scenario.
+Hit Level 2 First
The first step is hitting level 2 first. At level 1, bomb the caster minions in the back so your adc can clear the wave faster.
When you hit level 2 first, IMMIDIENTLY move up and go for a double bomb on the enemy support/adc. Your adc should also be level 2 and will move up to burst the enemy. This is a good opportunity to either burn enemy summoner spells or kill them. This is a bit of a difficult skill shot since you don't have your slow but it is very rewarding if you land it. This is the easiest trick to winning lane from the get go.
+Auto Attack Trading
This applies to every ranged support not just Zilean but is extremely important if you want to improve at the game.
Stay Parallel with your adc. When your adc moves up to trade with the enemy, you also move up and auto attack the SAME enemy champion. Preferably you will do a double bomb combo and auto after for your thunderlords proc.
You might not believe it but your autoattacks are a huge part of your damage output, if you don't do this, you become unbelieveably useless in lane
The exception to this are autoattack trading gods like Draven, Jhin, and maybe Lucian. If you are up against these champions, it is smarter to play passively and avoid trading.
+Watch Jungler Rotations
Pre-6 Zilean is extremely fragile to jungle ganks the same way a Kog-maw would be. He is very squishy and doesn't have a good escape(level 1 speed boost isn't much).
It is extremely critical that you watch the map for the enemy jungler and watch pings for his location. Always keep your river warded as well. Also equally important is to check if the enemy mid is missing. Zilean does not fare well against mid lane ganks(Ahri,Annie,Zed) especially when you are still pre-6.
Just remember that map-awareness is your best friend.
+Conserve your Mana
Lets face it. Zilean has horrendously high mana costs. His time bomb does little to no damage in the early game. Don't just throw a single time bomb to achieve nothing. Save your mana for a double bomb combo when an opportunity arises.
Some of these opportunies include:
- a jungle gank
- you hit level 2
- you are trading with your adc
- enemy support burns their cc spell(thresh hook, nami bubble)
The point is, if you waste your abilities, you won't have them when you really need them. Other supports can get away with a few mistakes since their kits are a little more decent in laning phase, but this isn't so for Zilean. If you screw up and waste your abilites, you can easily get both you and your adc killed if the enemies capitilize on your mistakes. So just be aware!
This is also situational. When you are level 3 or level 6 and if you see an opportunity to leave your lane, it is an extremely viable option to gank your mid laner. Go from behind them. If the enemy mid laner has an immobile carry(brand,annie,syndra), this will be very effective. Just slow double bomb the enemy laner once you catch them by surprise. They will flash away and your laner should burst them
+Bombs as they Last Hit
This should be obvious and yet noone actually does it. Your bomb is no longer a skillshot if you know where the adc is going to be. If an ad carry is watching the health of your minions and is looking to last hit, it is MUCH more difficult for him to also watch for your bombs. In the interval at which the adc moves in last hit, you place your bomb at the area he approaches. Preemptive predictions is what you will need to exceed at when you play Zilean support.
+Punish Enemey Support Aggression
Many supports are overly aggressive and move up without their adc, this is a chance moment to land a double bomb and land a free kill. Basically think of you max bomb range as "THE ZONE" of control you have, and if anyone steps into it, you need to land your double bomb consistently to exert pressure over your zone. To excel at Zilean you need to learn how to create pressure in your lane this way. Your adc will control of the minion wave while the enemy adc will be in constant fear of your bombs and zone himself.
- Your Timebombs give vision wherever they are placed. Use them in bushes when you are unsure if enemies are nearby instead of facechecking!
- When enemy teleports to a turret, you can bomb directly behind the turret to guarantee a stun when they spawn. When a Twisted Fate ports in, just stun on his ult spot before he shows up. When enemies are respawning in the enemy nexus, you can easily double bomb the spawn platform to BM. When Ryze ULTS behind or around you, simply double bomb the middle of the ryze ult, same with tahm kench ult,etc. Basically if you know where an enemy's position is going to be, it is relatively simple to punish them with a slick double bomb.
- When your adc is stunned/slowed/snared use your Mikheal's Crucible's active on them immidiently and speedboost them right after. Your adc will get a massive speedboost which will allow them to reposition away which they will be grateful for.
- Always Ult your allys right before they die at the LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT
There is a reason for this. If you ult a player too early, the enemy team will simply shift their focus to other champions and wait till your ult runs out to kill them(at least in higher elo). Ulting them at the last possible second will prevent this. A good example is on the cast animation of a bursting abililty like Syndra ultimate or Veigar ultimate, ult your adc right before it hits them. Keep in mind this is extremely difficult to do for inexperienced Zilean players. You need to understand how much damage every ability in the game does as well as understand if your adc will survive on their own or not(their summoner spells, protective spells, etc). This takes a lot of practice so don't sweat if you mess it up. If you do mess it up other players will harass you, Don't sweat it! They don't understand the difficulty involved.
- When an ally you ulted dies, and they are currently respawning, you can double bomb the spot they are at. This may stun all surrounding enemies who may be waiting to kill your respawning ally. Proceed to speedboost them out(Keep in mind this is extremely risky and you may end up just dieing with your ally, be aware of your limits)
- Your slow-double bomb combo is extremely lethal to champions without mobility(Brand,Syndra,Annie,Darius,etc) In teamfights, it can be extremely helpful to your teammates to keep some of these targets locked down so your allys can chain cc them.
May be wiser to hit a sure target rather than a mobile champion like Ahri.
- Use your Slow-double bomb combo to PUNISH enemy champions for using their dash move. Mobile champions such as Fizz or Zed tend to only have 1 or 2 dash moves in their kit. If you see enemy champions use these kits, you need to IMMIDIENTLY slow double bomb them so your team can kill them. Saving your combo for when enemies use their dashes in fights can make your job much easier to stun them.
- If you are having a hard time double bomb on a mobile ad carry in lane(Lucian or Caitlyn for instance), try double bombing the minion wave when they are close to it. It will stun them and create a good opening for your ad carry to all in them or at least poke them.
- If you need to stun an enemy champion that both you and an ally champion are chasing(lets say you are helping your Master Yi chase an enemy Leblanc), put your first time bomb on master yi then speed him up and wait till he closes the gap with leblanc, once he is within range of leblanc put your second time bomb on Master yi to complete the stun on Leblanc. Of course this needs to be done quickly within a 3 second span but its very effective to stun enemies outside of your range without using your slow.
- Never Surrender a game on Zilean, he scales so amazingly that if you make it to level 18 and have 45%CDR your ultimate is on just a 33 second cooldown! If your team is losing, stall out the game best you can. Zilean is great at comebacks.
- Zilean is great at waveclearing alone when he is forced to defend a turret. Just doublebomb the middle of the wave and auto the minion you bombed. Zilean is one of few supports who can clear waves decently well.
- Buy Plenty of Control Wards whenever you can. Having vision control of bot lane is so critical since junglers gank bot so often. These will save your life so many times over.
To Be Continued