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Zilean Build Guide by Wise Owl

Support Support Zilster Patch - 10.22

Support Support Zilster Patch - 10.22

Updated on November 6, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Wise Owl Build Guide By Wise Owl 698 55 2,687,983 Views 68 Comments
698 55 2,687,983 Views 68 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Wise Owl Zilean Build Guide By Wise Owl Updated on November 6, 2020
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1 2
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band

Legend: Tenacity
Presence of Mind

+8 Ability Haste
+6 Armor
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

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Champion Build Guide

Support Zilster Patch - 10.22

By Wise Owl
Hi everyone! I am Wise Owl on the Oceania Server, I am a support main and I like to play Thresh, Soraka, and most importantly, Zilean , or Zilster as I like to call him.

I decided to make this guide because I adore Zilean, especially in the support role, yet I couldn't find a good guide for him. I used to look at the top Zilean guides, and there were aspects I wanted to improve on to fulfill the role of support Zilster. I will be constantly working on this guide as it goes and improving and adding to it, thanks for being patient!
Why should you play Zilean?
Zilean is a traditionally a Support Mage, and that is what this guide hopes to achieve.
There are many reasons as to why you should play Zilean, but mainly his supporting abilities encompass his usefulness.

For instance his Q Time Bomb has good range, deals a fair amount of damage and can be combo-ed for a stun and even more damage.
His W Rewind resets all cooldowns by several seconds, effectively allowing him to reset his ability cooldowns besides his ultimate.
Zilean's E Time Warp is a great supporting tool by speeding up allies and slowing down enemies.
His ultimate is truly what makes Zilean special. Chronoshift can revive any ally it is placed upon within 5 seconds of time elapsed. This can be game breaking and will save your ADC more than once.
Lastly of course there is his passive, Time in a Bottle which can give any nearby team mate XP to level them up.

These abilities all combine to produce a champion that can pack {but is not to heavily focused on) damage, has enough crowd control to keep the enemies in line, and will assist his allies all game. If you're looking for a support champion who is underrated but strong, supportive yet destructive and rocks a fantastic beard, you are in luck!
Pros / Cons
  • Pros

  • Lots of poke with his Q Time Bomb
  • Very fast with his E Time Warp
  • Ultimate Chronoshift at the right moment can be game-changing.
  • Can use abilities frequently thanks to Rewind
  • Useful even when losing lane because of extra experience for you and your ADC from Time in a Bottle
  • Cons

  • Squishy
  • If you Ult the wrong person...
  • No shields or heal not counting your Ult for your team.
  • He's old :)

Main Runes

With runes now it is best to always take the sorcery tree first. You can start with either Arcane Comet or Summon Aery, both of which provide good amounts of damage. At this point it is down to preference and I take Summon Aery for guaranteed damage.

Next in the sorcery tree we take Manaflow Band. This rune gives you a boost to your maximum mana when you hit an enemy champion with an ability. This can happen up to 10 times or 250 mana extra. Then its will change to restoring 1% of your mana every 5 seconds, which is always vital. You could also take Nimbus Cloak for extra movement speed when summoner spells, which can be quite useful.

After that we take Transcendence for extra cooldown reduction if we ever fall behind, and also for extra AP once we get enough CDR. Celerity used to be better but it has been nerfed as of recently.

Scorch will be the final thing we take in our Sorcery tree. The extra damage from our Time Bomb will burn for a heap, causing havoc in the early game especially.

For the Precision path we take Legend: Tenacity so that we can escape crowd control quicker, which is useful always.

The last choice I take is Presence of Mind for extra mana and Ultimate cooldown reduction when you assist or kill a champion.

Alternate Runes

For a more supportive rune build you can pick up the Inspiration tree. Beginning with Glacial Augment, this will give your basic attacks a slow, which can help in teamfights and trades when your Time Bomb is on cooldown.

Next take Hextech Flashtraption to help when flash is on cooldown.

Future's Market is a great option for supports, as it allows you to enter debt and buy items quicker.

The last inspiration rune we take is Cosmic Insight for bonus cooldown reduction in several areas.

To keep elements from the main rune build we take Transcendence for even more cooldown reduction.

Lastly, we take Scorch to give that extra bit of damage.
Zilean is a support mage, so constant spell use is important in supporting your allies.

Time in a Bottle RANGE: 1000 STATIC COOLDOWN: 120

Zilean generates 2 / 3.5 / 5 / 6 / 12 experience every 5 seconds, which does not advance his own level. When he has enough to level up an allied champion and is out of combat in the last 10 seconds, he can right-click them to initiate a 1 second channel, after which he grants them enough experience to finish their level. Zilean receives the same amount. If the channel is interrupted, Time in a Bottle goes on cooldown for 2 seconds. Time in a Bottle starts the game on cooldown.

In short, when you have stored enough experience over time, you can click an ally and after 1 second you will level them up. The bonus for you is you get the same amount of experience that you give. All around its a nice passive in lane to keep you and your ADC ahead. The only drawback is that once lategame comes around, and all your allies are level 18, your passive is now useless.
Extra Info+Tips
  • Allies are marked with two circles around their feet, the inner circle represents how close the ally is to being able to be leveled up by Zilean. Once an ally can be leveled up the circle turns golden.
  • So long as Zilean is not in combat he can level up the ally by right clicking on them (the ally can be in combat).
  • Only the experience required to level the ally will be consumed. For example, if you have 1000 experience stored up but the ally is only 50 experience away from leveling, only 50 experience of your stored passive will be used.

Time Bomb RANGE: 900 / 300 / 100 COST: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 MANA
COOLDOWN: 10 / 9.5 / 9 / 8.5 / 8
ACTIVE: Zilean throws a ticking time bomb to the target location that detonates after 3 seconds, dealing magic damage to all surrounding enemies.
MAGIC DAMAGE: 75 / 115 / 165 / 230 / 300 (+ 90% AP)
If a unit is near a Time Bomb as it lands or has already landed, they pick it up and become the holder, causing it to detonate at their location at the end of its duration.
If a bomb holder picks up another Time Bomb, the first bomb immediately detonates and briefly Stun icon stuns all affected enemies.
STUN DURATION: 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4 / 1.5

This, this is an amazing ability. Besides his Ultimate, this is what makes Zilean,well, Zilean. It is a high range skillshot that will land on the ground, if an enemy or ally steps on it they will become the holder until it detonates. If an enemy already has a Time Bomb on them and another lands on them it will detonate immediately and cause the


Area of Effect stun that is not an ultimate. A Q-W-Q combo on the same target can decimate teams if you have enough AP, while leaving them to the mercy of your allies as they are stunned. It has incredible base damage, and one of the highest ability power ratios in the game. It is almost impossible to get rid off a timebomb once its on you, save for a Zhonya's Hourglass and maybe a few other abilities/item actives such as Frozen Tomb.

Extra Info+Tips

If the bomb lands directly on top of multiple units, it has the following priority system for whom to stick to:
  • Units already carrying a bomb.
  • Enemy champions.
  • Allied champions.
  • Enemy minions.
  • Allied minions.
A ticking bomb does not grant an assist if the target dies before it explodes. Dammit, no fair. :(

Rewind COST: 35 MANA COOLDOWN: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6
ACTIVE: Zilean reduces Time Bomb's and Time Warp's cooldowns by 10 seconds.

Zilster's W Rewind is a useful ability especially when you have enough CDR and Mana to constantly use it. This ability forms the core of your combos, it allows you to double bomb, speed up two allies or slow two enemies while double bombing them. This sounds really good to level first but only the cooldown reduces if you level it, so extra damage from Time Bomb or extra slow/speed up from Time Warp is much more valuable.

Extra Info+Tips
  • Rewind cannot be ranked at level 1, as it is an essentially useless ability at that point.
  • Rewind can only be cast when either Time Bomb or Time Warp are on cooldown.

Time Warp RANGE: 550 COST: 50 MANA COOLDOWN: 15

ACTIVE: Zilean bends time around the target champion, slowing them if they are an enemy or granting them bonus movement speed if they are an ally for 2.5 seconds.
MOVEMENT SPEED MODIFIER: 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 / 99%

This is your core supporting ability. It will speed up your allies to chase down enemies, or escape from trouble. It can also be used to slow down enemies, virtually stunning them at max rank. A 99% speed up at max rank.You or your allies will have their movement speed virtually doubled!

Extra Info+Tips
  • Movement speed cannot be reduced below 110, and slows that would reduce it below 220 are modified. To put it another way: a reduction of 99% will not reduce you to 3 movement speed, but rather it will reduce you closer to 110 than a weaker slow would.
  • This also means you can not double slow someone as well.

Chronoshift RANGE: 900 COST: 125 / 150 / 175 MANA COOLDOWN: 120 / 90 / 60

ACTIVE: Zilean places a protective time rune on the target ally champion or himself for 5 seconds. If the target takes fatal damage during that time, they are instead put in stasis for 2 seconds and are revived with a set amount of health.
HEALTH REGAINED: 600 / 850 / 1100 (+ 200% AP)

This. Ability. Is. awesome. Most people think it is pretty average, but with enough AP and the full build it will be a full health revive on a 28 second cooldown. Saving an allies life or your own, regardless its a game changer.

This shows Zilean without and with his Ultimate on him(looks the same as on anyone)

Skill Sequence
With Zilean we want good damage and utility, so we go -


Your Time Bomb is your bread and butter with damage, and leveling it when you can is really important for poke in lane.

Zilster's W Rewind is useful, and levelling for cooldown time is important for double bomb combos.

Time Warp is important for supporting your allies in kills and escapes, but the change isn't huge between levels, so we level it last.

And of course take your Ult Chronoshift when you can at levels 6,11 and 16.

Alternatively, you can level E before W if you want to go for a more passive approach.
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Summoner Spells

Flash is essential on almost all champions, and Zilean here is no exception. He needs it to escape tight situations where his Time Warp or even Chronoshift won't save him. By the way, say what you will, but


Exhaust is what I prefer to take on Zilean as being a support. It acts as an extra E to the power of 100, reducing movement and attack speed by a massive amount. It can be used to help escape, or to slow down near-dead targets. I used to take it in many situations but its constant nerfs have caused Ignite to be a better alternative.


Otherwise I would consider ignite as an alternative to exhaust in some situations. Its best when you have a Crowd Control heavy champ, or more importantly a CC heavy ADC. (CC=Crowd Control-(Stuns, slows etc))
These ADC's are generally considered CC heavy, so pick ignite when with these champs botlane.
Now to get stuck into one of the deciding core aspects of any champion, their items in-game.
Zilean's item build consists mostly of CDR and AP so he can use his abilities more often and make them more effective.

Starting Items

Spellthief's Edge is what you almost always start with, as out of the gold income items Spellthief's gives you 8 AP, +10 Health and +2 Gold per 10 seconds,25% Mana Regen, plus a passive that gives you gold whenever you poke with your Time Bomb. Sounds great! Otherwise there is Relic Shield which is useless on a ranged poke support.

This is a staple on all champions. It will help your sustain in lane and can help you in some tight situations.

Don't forget this, so important especially since most people will expect you to ward as a support. Upgrade later to Oracle Lens if you think the enemy is warding effectively or just for searching for enemies and stealthed champions.


This comes with its own quest, where damaging spells or attacks against enemy champions or buildings generates 15 gold, occuring up to 3 times every 30 seconds. Once you have earnt 1000 gold with this quest, it will upgrade next time you visit spawn into Shard of True Ice.

Tear of the Goddess is a staple on Zilster as constant spell use with Rewind and the other abilities fills up the passive incredibly quickly. It gives a heap of mana in general and mana sustain in lane.


These are your preferred boots for Zilean as the out of combat movement speed allows you to speed around the map especially in combination with our other items.

These are the second preferred boots as they are cheap, give you CDR and cooldown reduction on your Summoner spells.


Alternatively you can take these if ahead for some more magic penetration on your foes. They are more expensive though so I wouldn't recommend it.


Take these if the team has really heavy CC and AP, as it can be a big help.

Pick one for later on...

This is useful, cheap and will lead into Shurelya's Battlesong later on which is an awesome support item.

Forbidden Idol is our last option that can lead into Redemption which is an incredibly useful item with lots of utility. Only drawback is no Armour or Magic Resist.

This one is the best for a good combo of stats that will help you throughout the game, and leads into Zeke's Convergence.

Aegis is a great for defence and will
lead into Locket of the Iron Solari which is a formidable support item.

Upgrade that Mana

Upgrade Tear of the Goddess into this item when you want, but I advise doing it after your core build. Archangel's staff which will evolve over time into Seraph's Embrace is a important item that gives you all the mana you need to play Zilster. This allows you to cast spells freely without worrying about mana. Since Zilean also has a high natural, endgame Mana pool you can get upwards of 80 AP easily from the Archangel Staff passive alone. Once it evolves into Seraph's Embrace it also has a small shield as the active for yourself, once you drop below a certain HP.

Main Damage

Rod of Ages is a item that builds AP, Mana and Health over time, and is relatively cheap, proving a useful item that is essential to the core build of Zilean.

Morellonomicon is a fantastic item that allows you to have a good amount of health, AP and magic penetration. Its grievous wounds passive stop enemies from healing as much when you do damage so it is useful in lane too.

Twin Shadows is relatively cheap, provides AP, CDR and movement speed, quite useful as a cheaper alternative to the other two, or even used later on if you need more cheap AP.

Upgrade that defence

From whichever defence item you chose earlier on, upgrade it to the corresponding item below.

Shurelya's Battlesong is cheap, has mana regen, CDR, Movement speed and health so it is a fantastic combination of stats in an inexpensive package.

Redemption has a lot more support orientated stats, with health and mana regen. But its active and CDR are not to be shrugged of lightly either.

Zeke's Convergence is a great item with a mix of stats, giving everything a zilean requires. Its passive you can bind to your ADC or another close ally, and when you cast your ult, a frost storm will surround you two and chaos shall ensue.

Locket of the Iron Solari is a fantastic item you that has a lot of armour and magic resist specially, plus an active shield that spreads to your nearby allies.

Situational Final Item

An option is Zhonya's Hourglass which is best when the enemy has a huge burst, AD or you just keep being caught out. Its famous active is incredibly useful for saving your life in teamfights and other situations.

This adds some more health and AP so another defensive AP item like Zhonya's, and its passive is useful for chain bombing champions. Rylai's Crystal Scepter]

Void Staff has a good amount of AP and does not particularly worry about enemy magic resistance.

Lastly Spellbinder has the most AP out all these items and is what you choose if you are wrecking the enemy team. Fantastically fun item.

Make your own fun builds with items, there are so many ways to take Support Zilean, this is just one of the many. Experiment and have fun!
Looks like we are outta time...
Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this guide please leave a vote up top ^^^ any questions or feedback would be appreciated and happily answered!

-Wise Owl

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