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Zilean Build Guide by Peetoi

Support The Path of Godzilean (How to Climb Low Elo with Zilean)

By Peetoi | Updated on May 5, 2017

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LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


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Support Role
Ranked #7 in
Support Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies


Hey Guys! My name is Eden4Eternity, and I'm a Zilean main at the moment. I've been playing LoL since 2013, but only recently discovered my love for the old time traveler.

Support has always been a position that has intrigued me. In season 5, I tried to main Thresh, but could never understand what my ADC was thinking. I never made it past Bronze 2. Thus, I ended up believing that summoners who solely played support could only effectively climb by duo-ing with another summoner.

I started to main ADC (Ezreal ftw!!!), and began winning games and climbing elo (Made it to Silver 2, while being a full-time student). But I realized that low elo supports were stressing me out, and began to hate playing ADC. At the end of season 6, I got auto-filled into support position, and decided to pick the one support who was free-to-play that week --> Zilean! I immediately got flak from my teammates (people think he is a troll champ...), but in one game I fell in love with how effective Zilean is in controlling the pace of the game. I lost that first game, but I continued to enjoy Zilean in unranked mode for a couple weeks. Then, I decided to take him to Ranked.

In S7, I've played over 150 rounds with Zilean, and maintained a win rate of 65% (While I was in Bronze, it was in the 70-75% range). I firmly believe that Zilean is one of the best support champions, and that he works extremely well in solo Q. If you are interested in Zilean, I would highly recommend trying him out.

I hope you enjoy my guide, and please leave feedback if you have any thoughts!

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For Runes, I normally do:

Marks: Magic Penetration x7 & Attack Damage x2.

Seals: Flat Armor x9

Glyphs: Flat Magic Resist x9. (Recently, I've been doing Scaling Magic Resist, and it helps with late game).

Quintessences: Armor x2 & Ability Power x1.

I'd advise messing around with these, and finding something that feels really good for your own game-play.
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I go 0/18/12, with my Keystone being Thunderlord's Decree.

Here are my thoughts and justifications on the masteries I choose (In order):

1.) If you tend to roam/are playing with an ADC who is comfortable with you roaming, Wanderer works. If not, Savagery can help with securing dragons, barons, or clearing minion waves.

2.) Secret Stash is the way to go, unless you intend to play Zilean mid. If so, consider taking Runic Affinity.

3.) Meditation is preferred over Merciless, as it provides the ability to spam bombs earlier in the game. Merciless may be taken if you want to deal more damage (at the cost of sacrificing mana).

4.) Bandit provides you with a bit of extra gold throughout the game (Especially if you are poking a ton). Dangerous Game can also work, but kills and assists are not always abundant in each game, so I'd take Bandit.

5.) You want a 35-45% Cooldown Reduction late game, so Intelligence is a must. Precision will only help if the enemy team is extremely tanky.

6.) Thunderlord's gives you a bit of bonus damage, and can help secure a kill occasionally. StormRaider's Surge sometimes works on Zilean, but I haven't tried it very much. Zilean has the potential to burst through 70-90% of an ADC's max health late game, so it could save your butt in some instances. Give it a shot if you'd like, but I'd recommend starting with Thunderlord's.

7.) If you follow my item build, Recovery is the better choice, as it gives a bit of Health regeneration. If you need to build armor/magic resist (i.e. if it's a hard match-up), Unyielding will help in damage reduction.

8.) Explorer, Tough Skin, and Siegemaster are all valid options with Zilean. If you like to roam mid (like me), take Explorer. Tough skin will help if you are facing a bot-lane who is range-heavy. I'd only recommend Siegemaster if you think the enemy is going for a kill lane.

9.) Ignore Runic Armor. It's useless on Zilean. Veteran's Scars makes you slightly tankier.

10.) Insight will allow for you to use Flash and Exhaust more, which, as a support is important. Exhaust is a lane-changer, so take Insight. Perseverance and Fearless don't work very well with Zilean.

Some people prefer to go 12/18/0, but I have found that building Zilean for Utility works better for Support.
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Start with Frostqueen's, 3 health pots, and vision trinket. If you take Frostqueen's, make sure you poke like crazy in early game.

At first back, I'd highly recommend purchasing the Tear of the Goddess. Investing in this early will allow for you to expend mana freely later in the game. If you have enough gold, I'd also recommend buying boots, or a ruby crystal. Buy the crystal if you are planning on rushing a Sightstone; get boots if the Sightstone can wait.

On second back, you have options. You can get a Sightstone, upgrade Frostqueen's into Frostfang, or finish the Ionion Boots of Lucidity. I'd prioritize in this order: Sightstone,FrostFang, and then Boots last.

3rd back: Eye of the Watchers (Gives CDR, extra ward, and helps with gold income) or finish Ionian Boots (Gives CDR, spell CDR, and speed).

4th back: At this point, you start building based off of what is happening in the game. I normally go Morellonomican for the 45% CDR, which is hugely advantageous; however, if the enemy is building tanky/MR, I'd recommend Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter.

Late Game: Upgrade the Tear of the Goddess into Archangel's Staff (Its Active gives you a massive shield, at the cost of mana). Luden's Echo is nice for wave clear and extra magic damage. Also the 10% movement speed is really nice. Only the fastest of opponents can catch you, so you have plenty of kiting ability. Rabadon's Deathcap is an item that will make you be able to nuke enemy ADC's, so it's an option. Optional items should all be listed under the "Items" part in the earlier part of the guide.

As always, the more you play, the more you will understand what items work with Zilean's kit, and which are not as helpful. Experiment and find out what works for you.
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Skill Sequence

Some Zilean Supports prefer to max Time Warp first, but I have found that maxing Time Bomb first allows for you to deal more poke damage to the enemy team, which is helpful. Max Time Warp second, and Rewind last. Obviously, get Chronoshift at level 6,11,and 16.

The only time I would max E first is if you are facing a team of highly mobile champs, or if you can't land stuns effectively. Additionally, if you are supporting a champion who relies heavily on skill-shots (Think Varus or Ezreal), E could be highly useful.
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Skill Combos

Since Zilean is mostly utility, I'd advise playing passively (reactionary) until you get used to him. Once you get comfortable with the range of all his abilities, then turn on quick cast and start playing a bit more aggressive. Ultimately, Zilean's abilities all revolve around his bombs, so practice hitting targets, predicting movement, etc...

Quick note: Time Warp is an ability than can be used on allies or enemies. On allies, it gives a massive speed boost late game, while on enemies it basically completely stops them. Use it to speed up allies to secure kills, save allies from enemies who are chasing, or engage enemies who stray too close.

So, how can you use Zilean's bombs to engage even the toughest of enemies? Below, I'll provide a short list of combos that are useful in disabling opponents:

Q --> Throw a sticky bomb onto enemy. Damage them.

E --> Slow down enemy, speed up ally.

W --> Reduces the cooldown of Q and E by 10 seconds.

E,W,E --> Speed up yourself twice, back to back. Very useful for returning to lane after recalling, or running away from pursuers. Make sure you spread it out over a couple seconds, as the speed boost doesn't stack.

Q,W,Q --> If you land two bombs on any single unit, the first bomb will instantly explode, simultaneously dealing damage and stunning any units in the blast range.

Q,E(on a tank)--> Using the bomb on an allied tank who is charging at the enemy can provide that extra bit of damage to ensure the kill (Garen, Darius, and Maokai are my favorite bomb-carriers). Just toss a bomb on them, and then speed them up. Easy.

E(on enemy),Q,W,Q,AA,E(on yourself, ally, or enemy) --> If an enemy is solo lane, or just overextending, punish them. When they are within range of your E, use it, and then throw a bomb on their slowed body. Rewind, and throw another bomb. Auto Attack once to proc Thunderlord's, and then E on yourself (or ally) to run away. The final E can also be used to slow the enemy once more after their stun, which can be useful if your ADC is nearby (To prevent the enemy from fleeing). Easy kill, just takes some practice.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Peetoi
Peetoi Zilean Guide

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The Path of Godzilean (How to Climb Low Elo with Zilean)
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