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Zed Build Guide by GodlyBanana

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GodlyBanana

The Path to Ultimate Assassination, Zed, Guide

GodlyBanana Last updated on September 23, 2014
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hello, this is GodlyBanana and this is my first Zed and first ever guide on MobaFire (Constructive Criticisms are welcomed). I have played LoL for 3 years (not that it really matters how long I played), and I loved Mid-lane since the end of season 2. I retired from ranked due to my ranked buddies going away, but I was able to get to Platinum 2 in season 2 and Diamond 4 in season 3.

Now to our main champion, Zed. Zed had been nerfed (his Living Shadow speed), but is still a very strong and bursty champion that could dominate his lane. His main harass ability is his Razor Shuriken which throws his shuriken at an enemy (minions or champions) that deals quite a damage over time. His second ability is his Living Shadow. Despite his Living Shadow getting much slower due to the nerf, his Living Shadow allows a solid escape as well as a huge damage threat. His third ability is his Shadow Slash. His Shadow Slash allows any enemy close to you to get shredded. This allows a lot of damage to get stacked in a short amount of time due to its low CD. The fourth and his ultimate ability is his Death Mark that is, IMO, very OP. It makes Zed look feel a true assassin, appearing out of no where and being gone all of a sudden. It can deal tremendous damage and allows Zed to escape away stylishly.

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Pros / Cons


+ Very Bursty
+ Fast Wave Clear
+ Allows many plays to be made
+ Solid Guarantee escape
+ Top 5 Dueler
+ Death Mark
+ Dat Voice though
He has a pretty damn sexy voice. We all have to admit that. He is obviously very bursty due to him being able to destroy squishy opponents in seconds. Second, with his Q and his E, it can completely clear 1 lane in about 2 seconds. Third, his Death Mark allows him to dodge anything for about 1 second. Fourth, his Living Shadow is pretty much a guarantee your escape unless you fail to use it properly. Last but not least, Death Mark is literally DEATH mark.


-Low Health
-Made for 1 target kill
-Can't solo carry
-No W, no escape
Zed will probably have 2000 health at level 18. Very low considering tanks will have double Zed's. Furthermore, he is very squishy. You will probably not build any armor so other assassins can take you down fast too. Zed can only take down 1 champion at a time. He obviously can't solo carry since he can only kill 1 target at a time. Finally, his W is the only escape (not including flash)

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Runes (Coming Soon)

Coming Soon

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Summoner Spells




Flash is a must for just any champion in general. I have never seen a person not take Flash unless they are just trolling are forgot to. Even though Zed has his Living Shadow that allows a escape for Zed, many people tend to escape the wrong way. They might run into another enemy or just fail to use Living Shadow, which creates a tough situation for them. This is when Flash comes in to save them. This is a MUST MUST MUST for Zed, like all the other champions.

The Second is Ignite. This is one of my favorite summoner in the game as it can secure kills or deal more damage. This mixes perticularly well with our Death Mark because Ignite lasts 3 seconds, same seconds before Death Mark explodes (will get to that in the next chapter). It can also be used to kill enemies who are running away, which is very helpful. The only down side to this is that it can be cleansed by Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash. Still, I would almost always take this second.
Highly Recommended

The third summoners, an alternative to Ignite, would be Cleanse. This removes cc and allows Zed to escape. However, the problem is that this can only be used every 210 seconds like Ignite. This does not secure kills or help with Death Mark nor does it guarantee escapes. However, if you use this wisely against enemies, this might lead you to success.

The fourth summoners, an alternative to Ignite, is Teleport. The great thing about this is that it allows split push AND clean ups. DO NOT take this if another one of your ally took this. This summoners can be effectively used by Zed due to his "Butter and Bread" combo to finish a wave of minions in seconds (near end game). It is also VERY strong for clean ups/global presence. If there is a fight going on, just teleport towards their location. However, you can only clean up if your jungler has warded properly. It is useless to teleport to somewhere they can see. They will also try to run away if they can see someone teleporting to their location. You should only teleport to a ward that is hidden in a bush.

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Contempt for the Weak
// Whenever Zed autoattacks an enemy below 50% health, he deals an additional 6 / 8 / 10% of their maximum health as magic damage. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every 10 seconds.
// You can use this ability to push lanes very hard. It takes effect on minions too, which allows you to last hit it in early game when the minions have about quarter of their health left. However, try not to do that because you want to freeze your lane (perfect last hitting).It can also be used on champions, but I don't really feel that it is very useful for in team fights.

Razor Shuriken
// Active: Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing physical damage to the first enemy they pass through and a lesser amount to enemies thereafter. Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy deal 50% damage and restore energy.
// This is your main damager. You should try to spam this as much as possible since it only costs energy. Q can also be used for wave clears and can be effectively used in team fights. This is also very effective against other ADs to harass them and just farm safely.

Living Shadow
// Passive: Zed's bonus attack damage is increased by a percentage. Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 4 seconds. Reactivating this ability will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow. Zed's shadow will mimic his basic abilities. If both strike the same target Zed regains some energy. Energy can only be restored once per mimicked ability.
// This is your escape and should be used wisely. In lane, you can also use this to constantly harass in lane by using W then quickly using E and Q. Remember that it deals extra damage when the Q and the E is hit by the shadow and you. You should also remember that by using W again, it switches place with the shadow. It can be used to escape, harass, and dodge enemies skills.

Shadow Slash
// Active: Zed and his shadows create a burst of shadow, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies. Zed's slash reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 2 seconds for each enemy champion struck. His shadows' slashes slow enemies for 1.5 seconds. Living Shadow: Overlapping Shadow Slashes striking the same enemy deal no additional damage but will incur an increased slow and restore energy.
// This is your AOE, allowing huge flexibility to Living Shadow and making you a big threat. If Shadow Slash is hit by your shadow, it deals damage AND slows them down. If there are 2 Living Shadow from Death Mark, it won't deal additional damage, but it allows stronger slow which should allow you to get away. Also remember that every champion hit by your Shadow Slash reduces CD of Living Shadow by 2 seconds. In team fights, this can allow you to dominate the fight by making a Living Shadow then spamming Shadow Slash in the middle of the pack. But only do that if there is a big cluster and you are not alone. If you are alone, that is suicide.

Death Mark
// Active: Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to target enemy champion. Upon arrival, he marks the target for death and spawns a living shadow at his starting position. This shadow lasts 6 seconds and mimics Zed's abilities. Reactivating Death Mark will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow. After 3 seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing physical damage equal to 100% of Zed's attack damage plus a percentage of all magic and physical damage dealt to the target by Zed and his shadows while the mark was active.
// This skill is what makes Zed, Zed. It allows you to dodge basically anything while you are gone for about 1 second. For example, you can dodge Fizz's ult or Malphite's ult. This can also deal INSANE amount of damage. If you use Death Mark correctly, it can deal around 5000 damage on a single champion. You should be able to take out just anyone with that kind of damage. You can also use this to insure your get away. While your W can only switch places with you when you get away from the shadow for X distance, Death Mark's shadow allows you to travel as far as you can to switch places. Remember that you only have 6 seconds.

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There are a couple of combos you can perform with Zed. Here are a few:

The Butter and Bread combo:
Living Shadow -> Shadow Slash -> Razor Shuriken

The "Get away from me" Combo:
Living Shadow -> Shadow Slash

The Simple Harass Combo:
Living Shadow -> Razor Shuriken

The Raper Combo:
Death Mark -> Ignite -> Blade of the Ruined King/Cutlass -> Living Shadow -> Shadow Slash -> Razor Shuriken -> AA -> Shadow Slash again, if CD is down.

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Laning Phase

Your main objective is to farm as much as possible before mid game starts. Farm is vital for Zed as he needs to rush cutlass AND brutalizer. As a mid laner, YOU should always be the highest leveled champion out of your team composition. If your level is lower or same as the ADC, that means you failed your job.

If you got killed by the enemy mid laner during the laning phase, don't try to start trading. If they were able to kill you once, they can kill you twice. If you dumbly trade, you will die again, feeding the enemy mid laner AND falling off the game.

Your weakest level is level 1. I feel that Zed's Razor Shuriken is dependent on Living Shadow and Shadow Slash. If the enemy mid laner tries to trade with you, just back off because you will probably lose. The second you hit level 2, this is where you come across two paths: Living Shadow or Shadow Slash. I tend to get Shadow Slash first because enemies tend to be especially aggressive and tries to trade with me a lot. However, if you want to play extra safely, you can get Living Shadow first.

In level 3, you get your 3rd ability, which is a cue saying that it is time that you role. If you think that the enemy jungler won't gank you, use your Razor Shuriken, Living Shadow, and Shadow Slash to rip through the enemy's health. If everything hit them, they should have about 1/4th or more of the health down. Rinse and repeat!

The second you hit level 6, you should look for a kill. Hopefully, you have dealt enough damage during the time before you hit level 6, that they have lower than half of their health. You shouldn't have gone back yet unless you got a kill. You don't have your cutlass right now so what do you do? Death Mark -> Ignite -> Shadow Slash -> Razor Shuriken -> AA. That should be enough to get a kill. Do not perform this unless they have lower than 3/4th of their health.

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Team Fights

This is when you have to prioritize 1 champion. Before you go on killing just a random champion ask your self these questions:
1. How much health does that champion have?
If they have low health, do not even bother using Death Mark on them

2. Do you have enough skills to kill that champion?
Do you have Death Mark? Can you use Blade of the Ruined King, Ignite, Shadow Slash, or Razor Shuriken? Death Mark is your main assassination attack. If it is not on, retreat back. Are the other skills on to support your Death Mark?

3. Are you fed/not fed/underfed?
If you are fed, you should be able to destroy anyone with your Death Mark. If you are underfed, wait until the champion your are prioritizing to have lower than 3/4th of the health. If you are underfed, just KS or try to at least get an assist (lol).

4. Do they have Quicksilver Sash or Zhonya's Hourglass?
If they have Quicksilver Sash or Zhonya's Hourglass, especially, try to prioritize someone else because they will probably use it if you attack them.

5. Can someone else on your team kill that champion?
This is the most important question. If you are the only one who can kill that champion, do it right away. However, if you think someone else can kill that person, you are wasting Death Mark so don't do that. But what do you do when there are 2 champions that your team can't kill and they are both equally important? ADC>Mid-laner>Top-laner/Jungler>Support

6. How many champions are around the target?
You can fail an assassination if there are too many body guards around the target. If you Death Mark a target with 4 champions around, you are probably going to get bursted down before you can burst someone else down.
2 or less champions around = safe!
3 or less champions around = dangerous
4 or less champions around = Impossible

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Item Explanantion


Item Sequence

Blade of the Ruined King

The Black Cleaver

Last Whisper

The Bloodthirster

Mercurial Scimitar

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
// This is the standard start for Zed. It gives huge sustain in lane, somethign Zed needs to farm as long as he can, pre-6. Furthermore, this will help you win trades. I will usually take this against most mid lane champions, but there are exceptions when other items are better for that situation.

// There are times when Boots of Speed and 3x health potions is a better choice than Doran's Shield. It is when you want to move around and dodge skill shots. An example of when this is useful is against Karthus. Karthus relies on his Lay Waste. Another example would be Nidalee's Javelin Toss / Takedown. But do not take it if it is impossible to dodge it.

// This is for someone who is very confident with Zed. I would rarely take it if I'm playing in low Elo. This puts too much pressure onto me. Remember that this has a 3 minutes time minute. I think this item makes me more bloodthirsty, as I want to get as much as off this item. I would often die while using this item because I am so bloodthirsty to get more kills. You also have to find the right time to use it. In early game, if you accidentally use this item because you were going for a kill and failed, you just wasted a Doran's Shield start.

// This is a MUST for Zed. This supports his level 6 Death Mark by tons. You might be surprised by how much it helps you. It also slows down the target, so it secures them from going anywhere for 2 seconds. This can make you an early game monster if you use this wisely with Death Mark. I usually becomes fed after I take this item. I get around 4 kills using this item, and roam around with Mobility Boots. This will become Blade of the Ruined King, making it even more important. I hope you can also use this wisely to become fed.

// This is also a MUST for Zed. Why? With this 10% CDR, and my masteries, you can use Shadow Slash twice with Living Shadow. That is right my friend. Twice with Living Shadow. This item can also make you a big threat, although not as core as the Bilgewater Cutlass. It also gives you 25 attack, great early steroid for Zed. This will become The Black Cleaver, a core item for Death Mark

// If you can become fed wisely using the Bilgewater Cutlass (which I do most of the time), you can get the Blade of the Ruined King early! Unlike the Bilgewater Cutlass hitting 100 damage on champions, you will now be able to get 15% of their health off of it. This can help you break down tanks and shutting them down for the rest of the game. It also gives you that 15% life steal for HUGE sustain in lane.

// This is what Zed will mainly depend on to roam. It gives you that massive 435~ mobility to travel to other places so much faster. With this you can even get MORE kills with Zed. The potential Zed gets when he gets this is massive. It can also help you will clean ups after team fights or even small top lane fights.

// Your Zed will become a monster once he gets this item. The health, armor penetration, and CDR Zed gets from this is insane. The armor penetration stacks with the runes, so you can crush tanks even more easily. It helps you with your Living Shadow dealing Shadow Slash twice. Your DPS becomes way higher from just this single item. Although not as important as the Blade of the Ruined King still the second most important for Zed.

// Penetrate, decimate, and eliminate. This is what you will do to your enemies. If there is a champion that is constantly staking defense, rush Last Whisper instead of The Black Cleaver. It will penetrate the enemy so hard, that they are going to get bursted (TWSS). But seriously, it helps a lot! It also penetrates even more with The Black Cleaver. Another must to take down heavy defense champions.

// Once you get this item, you get so much attack from it that it increases's Zed's burst by a ton. I mean, you get so much sustain too, from the 18% life steal once it is stacked. To those of you guys who do not know, The BloodThirster gets stack from champion and minion kills, each kill giving 1 attack and X life steal. You can get up to 30 more attacks and 6% more life steal. In lane, you can probably not even go back when you have 33% health left. You can just farm up to heal yourself. Seriously, get this item after core (if you are doing well obviously).

// This is Quicksilver Sash but the evolved version. Costs about 1500 more than the QSS. However, this can save your life. Furthermore, this is the 60 second cool down Cleanse. Get this if the enemy team has a lot of CC. Furthermore, if the other team enemy is Zed (Blind pick only), rush this item or Quicksilver Sash, because it even removes Death Mark.

// I never really take this item, but I know it is effective for split pushing. When you are losing the game, try to split push to victory. And if you are split pushing, this item is highly recommended. The AOE it gives is amazing but I really like The Bloodthirster more than this item because of the huge sustain The Bloodthirster gives. However, always take this item for split pushing.

// I would take this item if I want some magic resist and attack damage. This is a really good item if you are ready to die. Every 2% of missing health is 1 attack. If you have about 30% health, which you will have after going through small fights, you will get a total of 95 attack. That is immense. Furthermore, if you could get this item early, although not as powerful again AP as Banshee's Veil it would work just as fine. I love this item!

// Countless time it saved my life, now it is your turn to be saved. This is THE item against AP champions. The shield will allows you to escape stylishly. If Kassadin uses his Null Sphere and he is packed with AP? No problem. Your shield will save your day. It also provides that extra magic resist against AP champions. This is just a really great item in general.

// This is for pure health, which is not really good for Zed. He is an assassin, not a tank. However, I sometimes do take it against teams that can't effectively damage you. You should also pick this up if the team is made up of AP and AD and you can't choose if you should pick up AD or AP.

// Never took this item because I would never be able to escape. I would have to die under towers so enemies can't dive me. Remember that you won't be able to escape in team fights. The enemy will hang around you until you are revived and killed. However, this is great for the AD and AP if gives. I also think that this can save you in a 1 v 1 situation. Furthermore, this could give time for your team mates to escape.

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Zed is an amazing champion and you should try him out. He is very well worth the money as he feels like a true assassin. Although he may be hard to control in the beginning, you can become an expert through this guide. However, that doesn't mean this is the ONLY way. Some people have their own way of controlling Zed and that's cool with me. If you had enjoyed reading this guide, please give it an upvote, and if you do not like this guide, please do not just downvote and leave, but tell me the reason WHY or WHAT you don't like about this guide. Have a nice day :3 .