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Zilean Build Guide by C9LemonNation

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League of Legends Build Guide Author C9LemonNation

Time to (Support) Zilean

C9LemonNation Last updated on February 12, 2015
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Support Role
Ranked #11 in
Support Role
Win 50%
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Ability Sequence

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

Threats to Zilean with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
Morgana Morgana is one of the easiest matchups for Zilean due to her short range and your ability to hide behind the creeps without her having much of an effective response. Spam your Time Bombs!
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Zilean is a very interesting support champion that does a lot of things extremely well. He is currently a bit under the radar, but he is a powerful pick if played correctly, and that's what I'm here to help you do!

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Pros & Cons

+ Global Experience passive helps out your team significantly
+ Strong early game harass
+ High ranged auto attack (600)
+ Super long and powerful slow/speed-up
+ Revive ult is game changing

- Super squishy
- loses most all in fights bot lane
- no hard CC
- no heal

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Exhaust + Flash
Exhaust will allow you to survive laning phase more effectively than Ignite does. Enemy junglers will be looking to camp your lane, as you are extremely killable. Exhaust can keep you alive in situations where Ignite would not. Flash is necessary for everyone.

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I use a 9-7-14 setup for masteries on Zilean. The 9 points in Offense provide you with some CDR & AP and the Expose Weakness mastery, which are all extremely strong on Zilean. The 14 points in Utility provide you with all of the gold generation parts of the Utility tree, which are very strong on Zilean as he is fairly item dependent. Finally, putting 7 points in Defense instead of filling out the rest of the Utility tree allows you to stay alive a little bit more, which is extremely important for Zilean.

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(Magic Penetration Marks)
Makes your bombs deal more damage, fairly important.
(Health Seals)
The most efficient yellows for tank stats. Useful for staying alive.
(6 Magic Resist Glyphs)
This is just to stop enemies from practically dealing true damage. Having a little bit of MR goes a long way.
(3 Ability Power Glyphs)
Gives you some more damage on your bombs early.
(2 Armor Quintessences)
You need to get armor from somewhere, and quints are the most efficient choice.
(1 Ability Power Quintessence)
8 armor from two quints is usually enough, so having one AP quint for higher damage bombs is usually good.

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Skill Explanations

(Passive) Heightened Learning
Certainly contends for best passive in the game. Allows your teammates to hit important levels (such as level 2 and 6) earlier than their opponents, which can have a big influence on the outcome of a lane.

(Q) Time Bomb
Cooldown: 10 seconds
This is your primary damage and nuke. Max this first and spam it on the squishiest member as much as possible. Abuse its long range, and use it together with Rewind for double damage. Note that the 1st bomb will explode instantly if you put a 2nd bomb on the same target.

(W) Rewind
Cooldown: 18/15/12/9/6 seconds
Used in combination with Time Bomb. The combo is Q -> W -> Q on enemies. Whenever you bomb someone, you should instantly be using this skill to reset the cooldown.

Once you have enough mana in the late game, you should be spamming this as much as possible whenever your Chronoshift is on cooldown to help lower the cooldown.

(E) Time Warp
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Time Warp is an extremely strong CC ability / speed buff for allies. It is extremely effective at helping ganks happen early game. Use it on your jungler to help him get onto the enemies and apply his CC, or just walk up and Time Warp an enemy to make it so they cannot escape.

Once Rewind is maxed (late game), you can have this up permanently.

(R) Chrono Shift
Cooldown: 180 seconds
This is a free revive on whoever you decide to cast it upon. You should be basically using this on whoever on your team dies first! There is basically no exception to this rule, unless that person has some other way to revive (such as Guardian Angel).

When this is on cooldown, make sure you spam Rewind to get it off cooldown as fast as possible.

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(Starting item)
Leave this at base, it's very efficient without upgrading it. Provides a lot of gold.
Core item for any support. Necessary to provide vision control for your team.
(Mana Sustain)
Necessary for spamming your abilities late game.
(Preferred Boots)
Zilean scales amazingly with cooldown reduction since his skills are effectively affected twice by it due to Rewind.
This maxes out your CDR and provides AP, and as such is a powerful item for Zilean.
Very efficient once your Tear of the Goddess is maxed. Provides a shield to help you survive during the late game.

Final item should be Rabadon's Deathcap / Zhonya's Hourglass / Banshee's Veil (depending on what you need).

//NOTE// For trinkets, start with a Warding Totem and exchange it with a Sweeping Lens once you have a Sightstone so you can start controlling vision around the map.

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Annie's very strong early laning phase and kill potential makes it so she can very effectively bully and kill you. Play like a ***** and try to use your long range Time Bombs to harass without being retaliated upon.
Janna can shield a lot of the damage that Zilean deals, but since she is such a weak laner Zilean can still very effectively bully her and her laning partner.
Karma is a hard matchup for Zilean during the laning phase as she can shield the Time Bombs very easily and in doing so heavily mitigate the damage done. She is also an extremely strong laner and her Inner Flame damage will be quite difficult to avoid as Zilean.

Use the creeps to your advantage, much as you would versus Thresh. Try to harass her down as she is also quite squishy, but don't do it if it means you will take one of her Qs in retribution.
Leona is a hard matchup for Zilean early game, as she can kill him very easily if he is at all out of position. She will also be heavily looking to ult on to him post level 6, and if you get caught out you WILL die.

The way to play against her is to avoid harassing her at all (she is far too tanky, and can cast her Eclipse to mitigate the damage of the bombs). You sit around the creeps and attempt to bomb and harass down the enemy ADC as much as possible, basically ignoring Leona with everything except your auto-attacks. Always save your Time Bombs for the enemy ADC.


Post laning phase, you should stay in the backline until after Leona initiates. Usually she will target one person with her CC, and that person will be bursted. You need to be ready to revive that person.
Thresh is difficult for much the same reason Leona is. If he is ever able to catch you, he will kill you due to your terrible tank stats. You should hide behind creeps and harass the ADC as much as possible. Thresh is significantly less tanky than Leona, so it is more viable to focus him down, but 70% of the time you want to be focusing the ADC during laning phase.

Use your long auto attack range to your benefit.
Braum is an easier matchup since you can spam bombs and auto attacks on him or his ADC, and he does not have that much of an effective response. If he ever hits a Winter's Bite on you, you can speed yourself away without having much risk of them ever full-on engaging.
Morgana is one of the easiest matchups for Zilean due to her short range and your ability to hide behind the creeps without her having much of an effective response. Spam your Time Bombs!

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Early Game

Zilean has a fairly weak early laning phase. Basically, you should try to harass down the enemies with your long range auto attack and long range Time Bombs as much as possible without dying yourself. Against most lanes that are common right now, Zilean has a lot of trouble, as he's not able to harass enough to make up for his lack of sustain and his squishiness. I recommend trying to harass as much as possible, but you need to make sure to avoid dying at all costs. Zilean's main strength early game is that he makes your lane get to level 6 much earlier than the enemy laners, and he can use this small window to zone your enemies. If you die, you lose this benefit as the enemy lane will catch up in experience.

Zilean also makes you level up a few creeps before the enemy each time, watch your experience bar and use this to your advantage. Being level 2 first gives you a small window to bully the enemies off the creeps before they catch up.

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Mid Game

Once you have Tear of the Goddess and Forbidden Idol (builds into Morellonomicon), you should have enough mana to sustain yourself. Use your Time Warp + Rewind to move yourself around the map and ward up. You should be mostly sticking with your ADC, but if you have a strong ganking jungler you could wander around with him and speed him up to make plays.

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Late Game

Once you are level 13 you have gained PERMA SLOW AND PERMA SPEED UP. SPAM THAT **** MAN.

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Stay in the back, your Time Bombs don't deal enough damage to risk your own squishy life. Slow whichever melee is attempting to kill your carries. If you cannot slow an enemy, you should be speeding up your ADC (or your most fed carry) so that he can kite the enemies. Use your Time Bombs on whoever is closest, don't worry about hitting their squishy members too much. It is generally optimal to just throw the bombs on the divers of your team so that they can bring the bombs to the enemy back line.

If your team is ahead and looking to initiate, speed up the initiate of your team to make it easier to catch the enemy team.

Use your Chronoshift on the FIRST ally to die, basically no matter what. The only time you should be saving it is if you have one EXTREMELY fed ally who needs to be kept alive at all costs.

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