Ziggs Build Guide by AP WormMaW Mid
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+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
My name is AP WormMaW Mid and I am AP Kogmaw main since season 3. I was Master tier season 4 and season 5 in soloQ, ending up in Challenger in 5v5 bracket during these seasons as well. Last season I ended up in Diamond 1 on EUW and Master tier 160LP on EUNE.
My main account profiles can be found here: EUNE, EUW
In the past, I used to be AP Kogmaw one trick, but after that, I started to learn wider set of champions and one of those was Ziggs as well.
Reason, why I started to play Ziggs was mainly the fact, that he is part of the "artillery" group, which I generally love to play (simillar playstyle like AP Kog'Maw). Even though he isn't always in great spot, I feel like most of time, this champion is quite playable even at higher divisions, if you manage to hit your skillshots (which is his biggest downside, but we will discuss that later).
Pros / Cons
+ Long range abilities
+ Generally strong damage dealer
+ Ability to strategically zone opponents
+ The only artillery champion with escape
- Unreliable skillshots
- Suffers against hard-engage teams
- Not the best tank melter
So, since I am really passionate artillery mage player, Ziggs just can't be out of my champion pool, even though he is not my most favorite artillery mage. Real strengths of Ziggs are, that if you can land your skillshots, you can deal a lot of damage in any kind of fight. You have escape mechanic as I mentioned before, that you can use even as a brief stun or knockup, to stop your opponents from escaping. What I truly love though is the fact, that you are able to take things like Dragon or Baron Nashor just by zoning your opponents in a tight spots, where you simply won't let them pass. You can simply abuse your Hexplosive Minefield or even drop Mega Inferno Bomb to punish them for such act and possibly scare them away.
Each champion has his downsides though and probably the biggest one - and why he isn't my most favorite champion is that his skillshots are just really unreliable. Now I am primarily talking about Bouncing Bomb, that takes some practice to hit from longer distance and even if you have that practice, it might always just bounce over your opponent or he can simply juke it. So for that reason, sometimes your teammates might blame you that "you can't land a single skillshot" and well, yes sometimes it's just hard. For that reason, it's great to team up with champions that offer some sort of hard-CC, so your opponents simply can't move away, which means that you pretty much can't miss.
Here, I will try to explain possible rune choices for Ziggs, even though it feels like sometimes there might be multiple viable choices and the difference might be very low. I want to point out, that I will mention only those runes, that I somehow consider interesting for comparison, so there might not be all runes explained, because it would just result in incredible wall of text that nearly no one would ever read. So let's get started!
|This is probably the only decent choice for Ziggs, even though it might look a bit akward, that except for Hexplosive Minefield, you don't really have any slow to guarantee, that it hits. But still if you comparer it to Summon Aery, it still deals more damage and there isn't really any other valuable keystone, which would be worth picking up. For that reason, I would just stick with this for now.|
|Again the only possible choice on this row in runes. Main thing is, that you don't really need Nullifying Orb to prevent damage, if you can keep your distance and Nimbus Cloak doesn't really have value for you as Ziggs. In addition, you really don't like to get oom in the middle of fight or during siege phase, which is why you want to grab this, since it provides you really nice mana sustain once you stack it up, especially when combined with Luden's Echo.|
|Here it starts being a bit trickier. Elementary difference between this rune and Transcendence is, that this provides you damage even during early game, which is really valuable for you. In addition, since you are poke champion, you can stand behind quite a lot, so you can keep really nice uptime on this as well. For that reason, I prefer running this over Transcendence because it helps you to get some initial snowball and improves your early game power.|
|Very interesting rune, that might pay off later on, in order to just spam your abilities with higher frequency. Sadly you need to reach level 10 for it to start working, which in terms of soloQ, might be already game over sometimes. For that reason I don't really like this investment that much, especially because it't not really that much stronger compared to Absolute Focus in terms of what it gives you.|
|Gathering Storm is pretty much my prefered choice. It's that kind of investment that I like to take, because it increases your ability power during mid/late game a lot. In addition to that, you don't really get that much more damage when picking up Scorch, so I feel like it's fine to grab this investment instead.|
|As I said above, I prefer running Gathering Storm over Scorch even though it depends on your personal needs. This ability indeed increases your lane pressure during early phase of the game. It might actually help you to bully your opponent out of lane and maybe get snowball for your team, which is very valuable. Though I have a feeling like I can afford to give this up in exchange for some mid/late game power. But my advice here is - try both and you will see what fits your needs more.|
It might not be too obvious, what to run for secondary tree, so let's try to break it down.
At first - Precision was for quite some time my prefered choice. It was giving me some extra mana sustain from Presence of Mind as well as extra damage from the last row. Though after some time I realised, that I can pretty much play without it, because that mana sustain isn't so impressive (you don't really need it) and the extra damage doesn't provide you that much as you would like to (in early/mid game). For that reason, I gave up on it.
For damage, Domination might be another possible choice, where you can get either way extra sustain, or AP or possibly lower cooldown on your ultimate. But generally it feels awkward to pick it up, because those things are kind of huge investment, that I don't like to take, considering what I get once it works. Generally speaking, I feel like even if you stack it up, it's resulting outcome isn't too impressive for me.
For that reason Inspiration is currently my prefered secondary tree. It provides me with free item (either way boots or Stopwatch), which means free gold and in addition, I get extra cooldown reduction on my abilities and as well my summoner spell, which I find really valuable considering that I can have this bonus already from start of the game.
|Magical Footwear is my typical first choice from Inspiration tree. It gives you free boots that are having extra movespeed, which is generally pretty good. Please, be aware that you might need to change it for Perfect Timing instead, whenever you plan on building Zhonya's Hourglass against some assasin or AD-heavy team.|
|This is pretty much the second rune, that you should choose here. It provides you with extra cooldown reduction that can go over standard 40% cap. In addition to that, you have this bonus from level 1, instead of waiting for it, like for Transcendence.|
|This is my typical starting item. Reason for that is, that it provides me with decent sustain through game, while having extra damage during trades in lane. Another reason to start off with it is, that I am buying The Dark Seal as followup item, increasing my sustain even further.|
|The Dark Seal is really great item, especially in combination with Corrupting Potion. If you can position yourself well in fights, you can even stack this up to get reasonable amount of extra ability power out of this.|
|Mandatory choice in terms of boots item. Magic penetration is quite rare stat, that is really valuable, so you should never omit this in order to get a bit of extra armor/MR or possibly CDR.|
|Great first item, which will give you required offensive power and mana sustain. It's special effect will also increase your poke/siege potential. You should never try to swap this for Archangel's Staff, since that item is just pure overkill in terms of mana sustain.|
|It might not be obvious, but Oblivion Orb increases your early game power insanely much, because in combination with Sorcerer's Shoes, you can deal nearly true damage to any target, that has no item for MR (or other effect). Except for that, it gives you a bit of health, which is never too bad especially when you are up against some hard engage/assasins. Please be aware, that you should upgrade this item into Morellonomicon as last one, unless you need it for healing reduction against someone.|
|Just another mandatory mage item, that will increase your offensive power. The only thing is, that you previously need to build some AP, so it has some other items to scale with, otherwise it's cost efficiency isn't really the best. Except for that, please be aware that if you have heavy-AP composition or if you already see, that your opponents are building a lot of MR, make sure to rush Void Staff before buying this, otherwise you will deal less damage this way.|
|My favorite magic penetration item, that will make sure that you are able to deal damage during mid/late game. You should always look around how much MR are your opponents having and then decide, when do you want to buy this item. Generally when I see, that all my opponents are having around ~70 MR, I already rush it, because it makes sure, that you can still deal true damage combined with your Sorcerer's Shoes and Oblivion Orb. It might not be obvious on first look, but this item is reducing value of any MR, that your opponents purchase, so if you want to counter their MR build, just buy this.|
|First situational item, that you want to use whenever you are standing against any composition, that can easily get through your team straight on you. You should consider buying this against things like Talon, Zed, Camille and so on. Or generally when your opponents are having heavy-AD team composition.|
|Another defensive possibility against heavy-AP team compositions, where you have hard time to survive teamfights. It's another great usage is for example against things like Blitzcrank, Thresh, Malphite and such, who will have to just wait until someone shuts down your magic-immunity barrier, so you can't receive any kind of flash-hook.|
|One of my most favorite items in the entire game. With this item, combined with your passive, your autoattacks are going to hit like a truck and it will allow you to melt down tanks or possibly oneshot enemy carries. There is one huge downside of it though, which might make it a bit awkward sometimes - you need to get closer to use it. For that reason, I am not building it too often on Ziggs, because it might take you to awkward position, where you just die. You should consider this item being decent mainly against very tanky compositions or teams, where they have pretty much no engage.|
|I used to build old Liandry's Torment every single game, before they removed it's magic penetration part. Without it it's still decent item, even though it's not ideal for any situation. You should mainly consider going for this item, when you are up against tanks, where you can abuse % of max health damage to certain extent. Except for that it's not really that good anymore, even though your poke is a bit more efficient with it.|
|Bouncing Bomb is your primary damage dealing ability, that you can use for waveclearing and harassing your lane opponent. Great thing about it is it's low cooldown and quite decent amount of damage. What I literally hate about it though is, that you can miss this ability really easily and it takes practice to understand, how you should use it. When you are in lane, you should always look for moments, when your lane opponent gets near his minions, because in that case you can just throw it on that minion where he is close and blow it up, even if he tried to juke that (because trigger range is way smaller than explosion range). But if he is always staying far from them, it's really painful to hit these bombs, especially against higher elo player.|
|This ability is really great whenever you want to zone your opponents from certain point. For example you are doing dragon and enemy team is approaching. With this you can block entrance to river and in case, that they still try to pass, you will just punish them for it. It is also great whenever you are getting chased and you want to just get out from there. I generally really like this ability in Ziggs kit, because of possibilities that it provides.|
Satchel Charge is your main escape mechanic. Even though it's quite good in terms of usability, there are some downsides, where you can simply get denied if you use it in a wrong moment and your opponents predict that. Another risk is, that you use it in wrong direction, when trying to blow it up really fast, which might end up really badly. Except for it it's great tool for taking down towers and it's pretty easy to get first tower if you get some assistance from your jungler.
Another, maybe not that obvious usage is, that you can reposition your enemies into your skillshots. For example you can use your Mega Inferno Bomb and if your opponent tries to escape it, you can just throw him back into it, which isn't really easy to do, because you have to be fast and quite precise, but it's definitelly possible. Or you can just use it as a brief stun, in order to land followup Bouncing Bomb.
|Really great ability for teamfights, which can deal insane amount of damage, especially if you manage to hit your target in center. Usually it's great if you have some teammate with hard-CC, so you can chain it with him (for example if he is your duoQ partner). From my own experience, I used to play it with Vi and whenever she casted ultimate and pinned down target, I just threw that ult on that place, which was most likely free kill, if it was any kind of squishy target.|
In this section, I will try to generally describe how to play with Ziggs in different game phases.
In this game phase, you should primarily focus on your farm. Never ever harass your opponent in a way, in which it would cost you last hits. So first always make sure, that you can last hit and then do something extra, obviously unless your opponent is too agressive - then you have to punish him for that and create your "personal space" in lane.
In terms of harass, you shouldn't really throw your Bouncing Bomb randomly, thinking that you will hit him. You need to somehow predict his position, which can be done in quite simple way - last hitting. You always know, when your minion is low and he would like to go for that autoattack/ability. In that point you are able to predict, where will he go and he has to either way give up minion (which is benefit for you as well) or get hit by your Q.
What you should always look for as well is, that whenever your opponent is standing next to his minions, you can throw it on those minions in order to have guaranteed hit and since explosion range is higher than a trigger range, you should as well hit your opponent with AoE.
Except for that, sometimes it might be beneficial to use your Satchel Charge to either way set your opponent up for gank or possibly get guaranteed hit for youor Bouncing Bomb or possibly if you want, you can drop your Hexplosive Minefield as well.
Sometimes you might get zoned from minions, especially if your opponent is good at juking and he keeps on harassing you - simply things like Cassiopeia, Ryze, Viktor and so on. Against these kind of champions, you should always utilize your Hexplosive Minefield in order to trade back and possibly be able to kite back without getting hit. But generally these lanes are most annoying and you should try to get some help from your jungler.
During mid-game you should always be ready to start sieging enemy base and try to get some free towers. Whenever you are trying to push towers, make sure that you utilize your Short Fuse properly by simply using 2 of your abilities between attacks in order to reset it's cooldown and obviously be ready to finnish off tower using your Satchel Charge.
Except for that there aren't too many interesting things here, just try to poke down your opponents and get objectives. Though, in case that you are behind, you will most likely spend this game phase by stalling the game in order to buy your team some time to farm up and catch up a bit, which is the thing that I love about Ziggs as well - that you can simply extend game duration with your waveclear.
This game phase is usually very tricky, because you can mostly get killed very easily. For that reason you should be aware of position of your opponents, in order to not get randomly killed. You shouldn't really overextend in terms of position, because sometimes any kind of Flash-burst might be lethal for you.
At this point it's great that your bombs are actually real threat and if you manage to pick up some fight and drop Mega Inferno Bomb on entire team, then you have probably won the game by that. Except for this, it's very easy to take down towers, because with this amount of AP, your Short Fuse will tear them apart very easily. If you manage to get Lich Bane as well, you can mostly even oneshot towers on a single autoattack + Satchel Charge combo.
Is this the end?
Making guide is continuous work and I am not sure, whether or not I will not add new parts into it. Right now I think, that I said probably the most important part, that should be always included here. But no matter what, you might still expect some updates, whenever I find something new or in case that I would figure out something, that I want to share with you guys.
In general, I wish you good luck blowing up entire Summoner's Rift and don't forget to throw your bombs away in time because...
Additional questions? Wish to support me further?
If you have any additional questions, if I wouldn't explain something here properly, then feel free to visit me and ask me on my stream.