Swagilicious' Zed Guide - UPDATED w/ notes
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Runes: First Strike setup
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order Standard Skill Path
Threats & Synergies
Play safe and farm with Q and W+E. His sustain is too good and pokes too hard to go near. Eventually he'll also be too tanky to kill. He can easily silence or Q you once you come out of ult which leaves you very vulnurable.
A matchup very dependant on both your and Irelia's skill level. A good Irelia doesnt struggle to win against Zed. Her W is good to negate the dmg from your R and her mobility can make it hard for you to hit your spells. She can also build armor which makes her hard to kill, especially late game. I play a lot of Irelia myself, and this is usually my counterpick to an opposing Zed.
Tanky and loves to build armor, nice. Play aggresive early, attempt to keep his shield down and constantly put pressure on him as it only gets harder to kill him as time goes by. His R can be dodged with our R, or our W, should we already have a Shadow sat up.
Rush Mercs and Hexdrinker for much needed MR and Tenacity.
Short trades early only. Mid-late game she will undoubtedly outscale you, especially as she builds Zhonyas. You can't swap places with your W, nor use R when standing in her W.
A good Fizz player is a nightmare to play against. His E makes it hard to hit your combo on him. He can rush Zhonyas without really missing out on much damage. To outplay fizz, you have to be patient and wait out his combo. You can rush Hexdrinker/Maw, dodge the dmg from his R with your R. Dont go throwing your entire combo onto him when you know his E is up, otherwise he'll dodge all your abilities once he see you throwing that shadow. Luckily there is a lot of players out there picking Fizz simply as a counter, but not actually knowing how to play the champion and the matchup, just pray you're facing someone like this and not an actual Fizz player or OTP.
Conqueror setup. Doran's Blade start. CS with Q or W+E. Do short trades with W+E+Q. Play off his cooldowns, especially on his W. Ask jungler for help. You will struggly killing him solo, but so will he should you play somewhat safe. His shield only blocks magic damage, good thing considering Zed does none (besides a little from Scorch and his passive), so ignore it.
More info to come..
A lot stronger post rework, havent played against Neeko as Zed that much yet so more info to come..
She is very mobile and can be a struggle hitting your combo on. She shines against champs without no hard cc, like Zed. Use W or Flash to escape when she use R, or if you have a chance to kill her, you can R her R to negate a lot of the dmg, and follow up with your combo which should be easy to hit as she stands still when she ults.
Conquerer setup. Doran's Blade start. Play safe early, throw Qs for poke and farming. Fight when his W is down. Using your ult before his is often a waste as he'll most likely use it as an escaping tool. Attempt to hit 6 before him and all in him.
Don't play overaggresive early on, focus on getting as much cs as possible and wait for lvl 4 without getting poked out of lane. Post lvl 4 you'll want to combo her as much as you can till you put her in lethal range where she either has to recall or you can kill her. Later on she'll be more difficult to kill as she have a good scaling shield on E and most likely Zhonyas. However, she is pretty immobile and therefore easy to land a full combo on.
Outscales you hard, has a lot of sustain + untargetability in his kit making it hard to put him in lethal. His only weakness is his early game where his W coldown is high and you actually have a chance at killing him. Try baiting his W before you use R, then you can easily follow up with your combo without him making himself untargetable.
Long Sword + Refillable start. Farming in lane is going to be a struggle as he can easily zone you, giving up cs is going to be necessary to avoid taking too much poke. However, Azir struggles against champions with good gap closers and all-ins, use W+E+Q for frequent trades. Avoid using W before R as you'll need a gap closer when he uses R or E.
The biggest issue dealing with Diana is her natural tankyness. Any decent Diana player will start W againsts Zed, if she starts Q you'll wanna walk in melee range and trade as much as you manage as your basic attacks + Q do more dmg than her basic attacks + Q at lvl 1. Avoid trading when her W shield is up. At distance, juke counterclockwise and inward from Diana. This will cause her to miss her Q.
He can R your R, or negate a lot of dmg from your R with his W. Yet you should be able to screw him up pre 6. You proc Electrocute easier than him, so do frequent short trades and don't let him proc his Electrocute on you and you'll win lane.
Skill matchup slightly leaning towards Qiyana being the stronger part even with all her nerfs. Stay away from walls etc. R her R. She wins pre 6.
Try to dodge her abilities. Play aggresive after lvl 3 when you can combo. She is VERY vulnerable without her Q, so attempt to dodge it and then engage on her. Serpent's Fang is a good buy against a team with Lux.
Conquerer setup. Doran's Blade start. Get Executioner's relatively early. Pre 6 you just want to be dodging his E’s as his Q dmg is unnoticeable, especially considering its the last ability Sylas players max out nowadays. Again do not fall for the low HP bait. If you are both low, and unless you have ignite, Sylas will always win if he has his W. As for Post-6 you'll be looking to engage with your R when his E goes on cd. Should he respond with his R, you can just prep your shadows and hit triple Q as he spawns behind you and switch place with your shadow before he gets to W you.
More info to come..
In lane, as long as she has energy up, keep a safe distance and avoid getting hit by her Qs. Farm with Q and from lvl 3 play more aggresive. Post 6 you'll often want to R before using W, since it is an important gap closer for when she uses her R. Her shroud also makes it really hard to hit her, either waiting for its cd or getting an oracle lens might be handy.
Conquerer setup. Doran's Blade start. Skill matchup. Yasuo wins pre 4. Pay attention to his W cd, which is 30 sec, ie 10 seconds longer than Zed's W. Try to pop his passive shield before making trades. Using your R to dodge his tornado leads to him being very vulnurable and should lead to a kill on him.
Electrocute setup. Long Sword + refillable start. The key to winning this matchup lays in dodging her E, which is pretty much like receiving a death sentence. Should she be able to hit you, use minions as cover. Her E has a reasonably high cooldown, and besides that she has no cc and is very vulnerable to an all-in. Play safe lvl 1-3 and pay attention to her empowered auto attacks.
You'll have a hard time killing her pre 6 especially with her passive. Post 6 you'll wanna try to save your R to dodge her stun and you should be able to kill or proc her passive, should she place a wall, can you just W over. Basically if you are playing against a decent Anivia, you're going to have a hard time killing her without a gank. Also keep in mind she has to land her slow spells in order to maximize her damage.
Should be a pretty easy matchup, don't get poked out early and avoid getting hitted by charm to the best of your ability. You're gonna be frequently using the W+E+Q combo to trade.
You'll want to survive until level 6, then all in him with R first and then follow up his W with your W. You can also poke him with W+E+Q from lvl 3 and onwards, but you have to play safe without W up.
Keep distance from dying minions he has his E on to avoid getting space aids. QSS might be necessary. Keep in mind by building a QSS especially early on, you'll be sacrificing a fair amount of dmg, but crucial if you're the carry. The most important thing in this matchup is tracking the enemy jungle as his ultimate is very good for gank setup, apart from that he is pretty useless and not really a threat as he is very immobile and prone to ganks himself.
A matchup definitely in favour of Zed. Kassadin shines against mages, but struggles against AD assassins like Talon and Zed. Pre 16 is where you shine against Kassadin. However, post 16 Kassadin is a nightmare no matter who you're playing. Zone him as much as you manage in lane, if he walks up to a minion, AA+E+Q him.
Electrocute setup. Long Sword + 3 pots start. Play safe early and respect her early game damage, if she Qs you, walk back until the Sigil disappears. Her W and RW makes her very mobile, so can be a struggle to hit your abilities on. LB is in a pretty terrible state because of proplay balancing and is hence much easier of a matchup then she used to be.
DON'T BE THE FIRST TO ULT. QSS might be necessary. Try to roam as much as you can as you will have very little kill pressure in lane when she has ult up. Luckily her biggest weakness is her short range, so best win con in lane is poking her out with W+E+Q.
Nullyfying Orb might be handy if you struggle dodging her spells. Dodging her stun is crucial to win trades and avoid dying. You can use R for this, or just sidestep. Using R when she uses her's will mitigate the majority of the damage.
While Ryze is in a much better spot due to Seraph changes and the re-introduction of ROA. He is extremely weak to all ins, especially early on, which is Zed's exact strong point. 3-4 items and he becomes a lot harder to kill. In lane, keep distance from minions to avoid getting hit by his E. Play safe and farm with Qs until lvl 3-4 when you can start to combo him.
Playing vs Xerath is mostly about dodging his skillshots, killing a Xerath can often be a difficult task considering they often positition themselves in a safe distance and close to tower. However, with a few items you should be able to pop him pretty easily, take advantage of his stun being down or use R to dodge it.
Playing vs Ziggs is mostly about dodging his skillshots, killing a Ziggs can often be a difficult task considering they often positition themselves in a safe distance and close to tower. However, with a few items you should be able to pop him pretty easily, take advantage of him overextending so you can all in him and run him down.
Playing vs Vel'Koz is mostly about dodging skillshots, and killing one can often be a difficult task considering they often positition themselves in a safe distance and close to tower. However, with a few items you should be able to pop him pretty easily, even with most of Vel'Koz mid players running Barrier. Take advantage of his E being on coldown, because that will be his instant response to your ultimate. Alternatively you can place a shadow before ulting and quickly swap to that after coming out of your R.
Pre-6 Zed has the upper hand and you should play aggresive and play for kills. Post-6 Zilean will make you rethink your life choices while he R anyone you decide to R. His R is pretty much a direct counter to yours. However, he doesnt have much kill pressure on you either as his Q is his only damage output, so dodge these to the best of your ability.
With his recent rework, the ASol matchup has changed a little. But he is still pretty vulnerable against assassins with heavy gap closers, and good all ins.
Long Sword + refillable start. Play safe early. A good TF player can make this matchup harder. Post 6 use R for his stun and he should be pretty much dead from that point onward.
One of Zed's easiest matchups. You can use both W and R to get out of his W. You can also counter his R with your R. In laning phase be wary of your W usage, as his W can be lethal when setting up for a gank. Also, dont let him get to much free AP stacks. Punish him when he uses Q on minions with W+E+Q or just a Q. Freezing your wave close to your tower also makes for easy ganks as he is very immobile.
Champion Build Guide
This is my first attempt at creating a guide. However, the reasoning for why im creating this guide is for own personal gains as I seek to get a better understanding of Zed and his matchups through writing it down and putting it into perspective.
Despite this, I still hope there is some new Zed player out there who can implement some of this information into their gameplay obviously. I'm going to continuously be adding new info and stuff to the guide as I go through the season and new patches surfaces, so feel free to stick around and join me on this neverending journey of learning Zed. After watching a lot of the great Zed OTPs, like Zed99 and Onzed, I've decided to implement some of what I've learned from them into this guide.
Click here to view my profile
|Flash is the best summoner spell in the game, about every champion takes it and Zed is no exception. Its offensive and defensive usecases are crucial to Zed's kit. It can be used as an extra gap closer, an escaping or dodging tool or a means for outplaying your opponent.|
|Ignite is equally important to Zed's kit as it offers crucial kill pressure in lane. Zed thrives off snowballing, and the kill potential it offers helps with this.|
|Electrocute is arguably one the best keystones on Zed. It adds vital burst, and procs very easy with Zed.|
|Taste of Blood offers decent sustain in lane. Optionally you can pick Sudden Impact in its place, which procs with both Living Shadow (Only when you actually swap places with the shadow) and Death Mark, and offers a timely boost of 7 Lethality.|
|While Eyeball Collection is easier to stack, the vision control Zombie Ward offers is more beneficial than a little more AD earlier on.|
|Ultimate Hunter is very befitting Zed, as it offers coldown reduction on his ultimate, his prime ability. Treasure Hunter and Relentless Hunter are also viable on Zed, just not equally lucrative in my opinion.|
|First Strike's gold and damage amp shines in the mid and late game. However, the keystone also synergizes well with the way Zed's early game trading and skirmish patterns works, allowing you proc it consistently in majority of matchups.|
|Magical Footwear: Gives free boots with extra movements speed, which is always pretty convenient on assassins, as it further increases their mobility (which is their strong suit) and lets you put that 300g into offensive items instead. The boots are very advantageous in games where you have potential for snowballing and/or you know you'll be roaming a lot. Since kills and assists reduces the time of where you receive the boots and the bonus movement speed the boots offers makes your roaming capabilities better by a slight margin.|
|Future's Market: Allows you to enter debt with a limit while purchasing items, essentially allowing you buy items you don't have enough gold for yet. This can allow you to hit power spikes before an opponent or not being forced to stay for another wave to afford your item.|
|Cosmic Insight: +10 Item haste and +18 Summoner Spell haste is nice. A lower coldown on your summoner spells, means that your Flash and Ignite are up more frequent allowing for more frequent plays. And furthermore, the item haste reduces the cooldowns of items with cooldowns, including passives and actives, for example Youmuu's Ghostblade active and Edge of Night passive spellshield.|
|Conqueror: Good keystone for lategame teamfighting, when you can spam your abilities more and easily stack it. Otherwise its good into melee enemy midlaners like Sylas, Irelia or bruisers and tanks mid to help in more extended trades.|
|Triumph: With Presence of Mind no longer increasing the max energy cap, its kind of useless on Zed and energy users in general. Also with the correct combo you should not have energy issues. This makes Triumph the superior choice, being often decisive on whether you live or die after a dive or being ignited when killing your opponent and left with low HP. Also great when fighting longer fights, as the healing from kills often surprises the enemy or is not taken into consideration in fights. The 20g bonus is also decent as it racks up.|
|Legend: Alacrity: The go-to legend rune when playing Conqueror setup and enemy doesn't have that much cc, if they do, you can pick Legend: Tenacity instead.|
|Coup de Grace: Making your job, assassinating, a lot easier with the bonus damage it gives against low HP opponents.|
|Transcendence: As an AD assassin caster, Zed loves ability haste as most of his damage comes from his abilities and not basic attacks. The lvl 11 bonus also enables Zed to get easier get multi-kills with the reduced cooldowns upon takedowns for his basic abilities.|
|Scorch: As Zed, you should frequently be poking your opponent with your abilities, which is where this rune will offer extra bonus damage and furthermore help the laning phase. Swap with Nullifying Orb against hard hitting mages for a safer laning phase.|
|Demolish: While you take the Resolve tree secondary to primarily get Bone Plating or Second Wind, its a decent option when combined with the defensive playstyle you're going for when taking Resolve and you can't match your opponent in skirmishes, so you can push for tower plates instead.|
|Second Wind can be taken to mitigate poke from an enemy laner and offer better sustain, especially combined with a Doran's Shield, when facing tougher matchups where you want to play defensively. Swap with Bone Plating when your opponent has to get on top of you to deal damage like Irelia or Fizz.|
|Long Sword: Allows us to buy 3 Health Potion or a Refillable Potion as well, giving us more sustain in the earlier levels where Zed is weak. It also allows us to get our core items faster.|
|Doran's Shield: Combined with 1 Health Potion, offers us a safer early laning phase with increased sustain, normally bought against tougher matchups where you get poked out (Like Zoe, Jayce or Lucian.)|
|Doran's Blade: Combined with 1 Health Potion as well, offers more sustain and health, and synergizes well with the Conqueror rune setup.|
|Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Offers Ability Haste and Haste on your summoner spells, so that your Flash and Ignite are up more frequent allowing for more frequent plays.|
|Mercury's Treads: Offers Magic Resist and Tenacity, just buy against teams with a lot of cc and not just buy it for the Magic Resist.|
|Plated Steelcaps: Offers primarily armor and some basic attack reduction. Buy against heavy AD comps or in cases where you struggle with an AD opponenet.|
|Mobility Boots: Offers great roaming potential. Nonetheless, it is rarely the best choice of boots.|
|Eclipse: Offers all the crucial stats for Zed, it also enchances Zed's burst with extra damage and a shield + some movement speed. Most common mythic into bruisers and tanks with the percentage max health damage and percentage armor pen mythic passive.|
|Duskblade of Draktharr: The untargetability on takedowns is great in teamfights for escaping after killing a carry. The recently buffed damage on the passive also makes this a very compelling choice with Youmuu's being nerfed. The mythic passive offering ability haste is kinda whatever since you already get plentiful of that from the other legendary items.|
|Youmuu's Ghostblade: Offers all the crucial stats for Zed, in addition it offers a pivotal active ability which increases movement speed and permits you to get closer to your opponents, or for defensive usecases, further way. Its a decent mythic, even after nerfs it still offers great one-shot potential into squishies.|
|Ravenous Hydra: Currently a very good item on Zed, offers good stats + sustain. Most importantly it enchances Zed's waveclear, making shoving into roaming easier.|
|Black Cleaver: A very strong item atm. Offers all the stats you could want on Zed, AD, Armor Reduction, Ability Haste and HP for survivability.|
|Guardian Angel: Doesn't offer the best stats, however the passive it offers is superb for Zed as an offensive squishy assassin whom often has to position himself in scenarios leading to his death in order to take out the enemy carry. Best built as a 5th or 6th item.|
|Edge of Night: Good when playing vs squishy teams. Also viable vs champions that are forced to use their main abilities in order to get rid of the shield, for example Twisted Fate.|
|Serylda's Grudge: The downside of Lethality is that armor renders it useless, that when some percentage armor pen becomes neccesary. The stats + the slow this item gives, makes this the best Last Whisper item on Zed.|
|Chempunk Chainsword: Builds from Executioner's Calling which you'll want to build against comps and champs with a lot of healing, like Vladimir and Fiora. Normally you want someone else on your team to build antiheal items anyway. So dont build this item unless you absolute feel the need.|
|Maw of Malmortius: Situational item against heavy AP comps or when building from Hexdrinker when facing strong AP midlaners like Syndra or Fizz. No longer offers Ability Haste so item is a little weaker on Zed now.|
|Silvermere Dawn: Normally you only upgrade to this from an Quicksilver Sash as your last item, as its very expensive and provides somewhat lacking stats. Build against champs with heavy cc like Malzahar, Skarner or Lissandra. Not worth it solely against Warwick anymore now, granted you are able to dodge his ultimate Infinite Duress.|
|Death's Dance: Indeed a viable item on Zed. Offers a decent amount of AD, Ability Haste, Armor and a passive which can be benefitting against champs with high burst.|
|Serpent's Fang: Built only into comps with a lot of shielding.|
|Axiom Arc: Bait item, not worth actually buying outside ARAM.|
|Prowler's Claw: No longer being a mythic this item is not as lucrative on Zed anymore. Its still a viable option into squishies, but usually there are better items available, atleast until this gets buffed or other items get nerfed I would steer away from it.|
|Umbral Glaive: Good early-mid game item as it offers decent stats + vision control for an affordable price, however it does fall off lategame compared to other items. Not really worth building in its current state for Zed.|
|Spear of Shojin: A viable and a really fun item on Zed as your coldowns are really low making it good in extended fights, only problem then being having enough energy. Normally you have enough CDR already from the other items and your E Shadow Slash reducing your highest cd basic ability W Living Shadow coldown to basically 0 as long as you can hit 2 enemies with your E. If you decide to buy, its best as a 5th or 6th item.|
Tips that will seperate you from the casual Zed player
- A lot of your fights is determined by how you utilize your R Death Mark. The untargetable state it offers can be crucial in dodging your opponents key ability.
- Your Q Razor Shuriken deals decreased damage after hitting an enemy, hence why you want to position yourself so you have a clear projectile path to your target when throwing Qs.
- Hitting the same target as your Shadows restores energy.
- Hitting enemies with your Shadow's E Shadow Slash slows them and allows for easier success of hitting your Q Razor Shuriken.
- Furthermore, hitting enemies with your own E Shadow Slash decreases the coldown of your W Living Shadow by 2 seconds with each champion hit.
- Keeping track of your energy is important to see whether you have enough energy for your next move, it is recommended that you turn on "Show Spell Costs" in the settings as it allows you to see how much energy each of your abilities costs.