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Zed Build Guide by Vapora Dark

Middle Vapora Dark In-Depth Mid Zed Guide Season 11

Middle Vapora Dark In-Depth Mid Zed Guide Season 11

Updated on September 22, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark Build Guide By Vapora Dark 3454 197 12,136,662 Views 109 Comments
3454 197 12,136,662 Views 109 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark Zed Build Guide By Vapora Dark Updated on September 22, 2021
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Vapora Dark's Featured Video

-Table of Contents-

Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles including mid and Fizz. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.

I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.

Zed is the classic assassin champion in LoL. He's extremely good at taking one champion out of the fight, but then loses a lot of his power once Death Mark is on cooldown. He also however has a great laning phase in most matchups and can easily snowball in the early-game, making him stylistically a great champion to play in solo queue.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it!

Domination & Precision

Electrocute: Zed is a burst champion and Electrocute gives him more burst, so they have great synergy.

Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact: Zed will almost always begin comboing someone with Living Shadow or Death Mark, both of which are gap closers, so Sudden Impact's lethality boost will always be perfectly timed.

Eyeball Collection
Eyeball Collection: The other 2 alternatives in this branch are fairly lackluster, so we'll take Eyeball Collection for the increased damage.

Ravenous Hunter
Ravenous Hunter: Death Mark does a lot of damage which in turn heals you by a lot, which can be pretty useful.



Coup De Grace
Triumph: This can be a life saver in close fights, and the 20g per takedown actually adds up to quite a bit in bloody games.

Coup de Grace: Anyone you can possibly assassinate will be low HP at one point or another, making it the perfect rune for an assassin like Zed.

|| FLASH || This is the best summoner spell in the game, almost every champion takes it and it's completely irreplaceable. It's the best defensive summoner and the best offensive summoner all at once. The fact that you see all 10 players take this in 99% of games just goes to show how strong it is. Zed is no exception. ||

|| IGNITE || This is the second best summoner spell for Zed. It'll add even more kill potential to him pre-6 and post-6, and increase the strength of his burst in team-fights. ||

-Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Passive: Contempt for the Weak
Contempt for the Weak: Deals extra magic damage upon auto-attacking an enemy below 50% HP. This passive makes it extremely easy to last-hit on Zed, and strongly increases your burst against low HP enemies.
Q: Razor Shuriken
Razor Shuriken: This spell is amazing for both harassing and farming from a distance, given its range and spammability. When combined with Living Shadow or Death Mark's shadow, you can hit an enemy with Razor Shuriken multiple times, increasing its damage by 75% per shadow shuriken. Potentially you can hit an enemy with 3 Razor Shurikens, making its damage 525 +225% bonus AD.

Early on vs ranged champions you usually can't safely auto-attack minions to last-hit them, so you'll want to use Razor Shuriken to last-hit.
W: Living Shadow

Living Shadow: This spell functions as both a gap closer and a way to extend the strength/range of Zed's harass, since the shadow mimics Zed's Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken. You only want to use it to harass however if you know you're safe from ganks.
E: Shadow Slash

Shadow Slash: This spell creates an instant melee range burst of damage that doesn't interrupt your auto-attack animation, meaning you can fluidly insert it into basically any part of your combo. While it's also mimicked by Living Shadow the damage doesn't stack like with Razor Shuriken. Instead, hitting an enemy with a ranged Shadow Slash will slow them.

You'll generally want to take Living Shadow at level 2, but you can take Shadow Slash instead if you're shoved under tower and need the help last-hitting, or if you're in a melee matchup where you can actually hit Shadow Slash on your enemy, which you can't without Living Shadow against ranged enemies.

R: Death Mark

Death Mark: This ability is Zed's main form of assassinating enemies. Death Mark makes Zed untargetable and makes him appear behind his target. After 3 seconds the target takes damage based on how much damage Zed dealt to them during that time. The damage resulting from this is often very overkill and thus almost impossible to survive as an ADC without the aid of Exhaust or lots of shielding/healing.

Death Mark causing you to become invulnerable allows for a lot of outplay potential as it can allow you to dodge skillshots or even to dodge usually undodgeable targeted damage, like an auto-attack.

Re-casting R will take you back to the point where you initially casted it, allowing for clean exits once you've gone in and done sufficient damage.

Remember that once a mark pops up over your target's head, that means that you've done enough damage for the pop to finish off your enemy (not counting shields or heals that happen afterwards), so at that point you're either doing some extra damage to ensure that an unexpected source of healing/shielding doesn't save them, or you're free to disengage with your second R activation and let the pop kill them.

Harass combo: W -> E -> Q
Basic harass is just throwing Q at an enemy, but the full harass combo, when you feel it's safe to use your W offensively, is throwing Living Shadow on top of your enemy, pressing Shadow Slash while your shadow is mid-air so it instantly casts once your shadow reaches its destination, which then slows your enemy for 1.5 seconds, and then you have these 1.5 seconds to aim Razor Shuriken towards your enemy. If you hit even one Shuriken that's nice, but optimally you'll want to hit both, since not only will you get the 75% extra damage, but you'll also proc Electrocute from just one quick, fluid harass combo.
Basic burst: W -> R -> E -> AA -> Q
This is your most basic kill combo. You open up with Living Shadow to get into Death Mark range, then naturally use Death Mark, then when you land you use Shadow Slash and auto-attack the enemy.

You'll then just want to keep auto-attacking as much as you can while you temporarily hold your Q, and watch how your target reacts to the situation. Are they running away in a straight line for an easy Razor Shuriken? Are they trying to juke it? Are they just going to immediately Flash after your Death Mark and leave you to try and land a max range Razor Shuriken?

If they're just walking in a straight line, use your Q and continue outputting as much damage as you can. If they're zig-zagging trying to dodge the inevitable Razor Shuriken, simply keep walking with them landing more auto-attacks, since your effective movement speed is faster than theirs as you're walking in a straight line, and you can then either try your luck with Razor Shuriken right before Death Mark pops, or if they're low enough that they know for sure just getting hit with Razor Shuriken would kill them, you can just hold on to it the entire time to keep them zig-zagging like an idiot while you auto-attack them to death.

Naturally if they instantly Flash you should try and hit them with Razor Shuriken, but unless they were really low or you can Flash after them to continue the process uninterrupted, you're probably going to miss out on the kill, which is fine since Death Mark has a lower cooldown then Flash.
The Line: R -> W -> E -> AA -> Q
This is the combo that will most reliably do max damage (easiest way to hit triple Razor Shuriken). The conditions in which you perform this combo are when you can get in Death Mark range without using Living Shadow, and when your target has no dash and you know their Flash is on cooldown, since you'll be using Living Shadow to position for damage rather than to potentially chase. If the target has a dash or Flash up, you'll just want to do a normal combo and save Living Shadow to chase if they try and escape.

Open up with Death Mark, then place your Living Shadow right in front of you so it's in a line with you, your target and your Death Mark shadow. Use Shadow Slash which should hit the target twice and cause them to take the increased slow, and with the help of the slow, line up a triple Razor Shuriken onto the target, which will then be further amplified by Death Mark, practically guaranteeing a kill on your target.

Later on in the game once your damage becomes a lot stronger, this combo becomes overkill, but early-game this might help you pick up some kills.

This chapter is currently under reconstruction following the Season 11 items rework, apologies for the inconvenience.
Early Game
At level 1 you'll be taking Razor Shuriken to begin harassing your enemy and help you last-hit minions you can't move up far enough to auto-attack, such as ranged minions. The best time to cast this when harassing is when your enemy is going for a last-hit, as they'll have to stand still as they do it and will have to choose between getting the shuriken.

At level 2 you take Living Shadow. You'll continue laning the same, but you have the option of trying to harass with a double Razor Shuriken.

At level 3 you'll usually want to put a point in Shadow Slash and really begin to put out some damage with the harass combo mentioned earlier. Typically if your enemy drops below 50% HP, if you land a good harass combo (both Shuriken's hit) you can turn it into an all-in and kill your enemy with Contempt for the Weak + Ignite.

After level 6 is when you're at your strongest as it unlocks your full burst combo. From this point onward you should be applying as much pressure over your lane opponent as you can. If they're bad enough to die to you, take the kill and snowball. If they play too safe for you to kill them, look out for good roam opportunities as you should have an easy time shoving the lane whenever you please.

The most common lane you'll want to gank is bot lane, since both enemy bot laners will be 1-2 levels below you at all times, making them easy pray. However, never discard top lane if the enemy top laner is over-extended and is a champion that isn't too hard to kill; top lane tends to have far less wards than bot lane since it doesn't have a support with Sightstone to light up the top side of the map.

During ganks you have the option of opening up with Death Mark if you can reach them, or if you can't just walking up with Living Shadow (while also slowing them with Shadow Slash if possible). If you're already in auto-attack range after Living Shadow, you don't want to immediately use Death Mark; hold it until you either can't auto-attack them anymore, or they Flash out of your range, at which point you can use Death Mark to catch back up to them. Then simply blow your load all over them and watch them pop.
Out of Lane
Outside of laning phase, you'll either want to group with your team or split push. Split pushing works particularly well if you're ahead and can 1v1 either of the enemy solo laners that'll go to contest your push. However, it requires a lot of coordination with your team and so I honestly wouldn't advise doing it regularly in solo queue; the only exception is when you know for a fact you can't win team-fights but you know you can 1v1 anyone who comes to fight you.

In team-fights your job is to assassinate one of the enemy carries. You don't want to initiate though, you want to wait for the fight to start and wait out the important CC cooldowns. You want to make sure that once you go in they can't just lock you down and make you useless.

Usually you'll want to go after the ADC, but sometimes an enemy mage can also be an ideal target. Just make sure that they either don't have Zhonya's Hourglass, or that it's on cooldown by the time you use Death Mark, since the active can be used to completely block your ult damage.
Hopper is Bae

That's it for my Zed guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Zed as well as you want to.

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding.

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