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Zoe Build Guide by Yeager

Middle Yeager's Master Zoe Guide

Middle Yeager's Master Zoe Guide

Updated on October 28, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Yeager Build Guide By Yeager 274 17 749,516 Views 17 Comments
274 17 749,516 Views 17 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Yeager Zoe Build Guide By Yeager Updated on October 28, 2020
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Runes: Dark harvest ONESHOT

1 2 3 4
Dark Harvest
Taste of Blood
Ghost Poro
Ravenous Hunter

Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Hi guys! Welcome to my master tier Zoe guide! My name is Mayu, but in the lol community i'm known as Yeager. I'm a affiliated streamer and high elo midlaner in league. I started playing league at the end of season 3. I finished in Platinum 5 in my first season of ranked, Diamond 1 seasons 5-6. At the start of season 7 i decided to take a break so i could focus on studying. 8 months after i returned to league and climbed to Master tier in soloqueue and challenger in flex.

This guide is made for the purpose of sharing what i have learned from playing against diamond, master and challenger players in soloqueue. I understand that not everyone might agree with the builds/runes, as there are many different ways you can build Zoe, but this build has given me the most success on the ranked ladder, so that's why i stick to it. Hopefully this guide will improve your Zoe gameplay and let you climb the ranks faster!

Here are my stats with Zoe. These games are all from high diamond soloqueue. Click here for


+ Long ranged CC
+ High burst
+ Free summoner spells/other actives from W
+ Fun and unique
+ Scales well

When mastered, Zoe is a S-tier pick in soloq for midlane. She has massive burst and long range pick potential. While she doesn't have an built-in escape, Spell Thief allows her to make quick get-aways if ganked. With enough items you will oneshot most squishies that gets caught by your Sleepy Trouble Bubble.

- High skillcap
- Immobile without W
- Her damage can be body-blocked
- Hardcountered by assassins
- Skillshot dependant

As per all champions, Zoe has her strengths, and her weaknesses. Her main damage and CC abilities are skillshots, and those can be bodyblocked by other minions/champions. She has no built-in escape, so she is quite weak against assassins and divers. Zoe has a very high skill cap, so it takes a lot of games before you can fully master her kit.

  • Dark Harvest: This rune is insanely broken on certain champions right now, and that includes Zoe. This is the perfect keystone that Zoe needed as a "oneshot" champion. I recommend always using this over other keystones.

  • Taste of Blood: IMO her laning phase is really weak, so she can always use that extra sustain. If you want more damage instead, then you can go for Sudden Impact.

  • Ghost Poro: As Zoe is quite the immobile champ, vision is even more important. Another good part is that this rune gives you more adaptive damage if you place it in enemy territory.

  • Ravenous Hunter: This one needs some stacks before you notice its impact. But when you do have all the stacks, the healing you get from this rune is just insane.

  • Manaflow Band: You can easily run OOM if you keep spamming her abilities. This rune gives you more mana to play with, but it also rewards you with some very useful mana regen when fully stacked.

  • Gathering Storm: Weak early, but one of the best runes for lategame. If the game goes past 30 minutes, you will start noticing the extra damage you get from this. For a burst champion like Zoe, more damage is everything.

FLASH: Pretty self-explanatory. Always take this.
HEAL: The standard summoner for most mages. It heals you and a nearby teammate, so if you are planning to skirmish a lot with your jungler, this is a viable option.
Ignite: The go-to summoner for kill-pressure in lane.
CLEANSE: Underrated spell. If you are playing against a heavy CC mid + jungler, then you want Cleanse. The benefit of having cleanse is the fact that you don't need to buy Quicksilver Sash, and can focus on buying your core items.

BARRIER: The more selfish summoner spell compared to Heal. It has lower CD and is a much safer pick against opponents with Ignite.

More Sparkles! (Passive): Zoe's next basic attack after casting a spell deals bonus magic damage.

Paddle Star! (Q): Zoe fires a missile that she can redirect in flight. Deals more damage the longer it flies in a straight line.

Spell Thief (W): Zoe can pick up the remnants of enemy summoner spell and active item casts and cast them once herself. Whenever she casts a summoner spell, she gains a burst of movement speed and 3 missiles that fire at the nearest target.

Sleepy Trouble Bubble (E): Causes the target to become drowsy, then fall asleep. The first source of damage that breaks the sleep is doubled, up to a cap.

Portal Jump (R): Blink to a nearby position for 1 second, then blink back. Zoe may cast and attack, but not move, during this time. She can also see over walls.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Paddle Star is Zoe's main waveclear and damage ability so it makes sense to max this first for more damage and to lower the cooldown.

Sleepy Trouble Bubble is Zoe's long-range CC ability. We max this second to lower the cooldown, so we can use it more frequently. Another benefit of maxing this second is the fact that it gets higher base damage, and it "lifts" the damage cap, so we deal more damage to the sleeping target.

Do i take Sleepy Trouble Bubble or Spell Thief level 2? If you poked the enemy a lot level 1 and he is within kill range, then you can take Sleepy Trouble Bubble. You can also take this if your jungler is planning to gank you early. For most other scenarious, i suggest getting Spell Thief level 2.
Note: Sometimes you have to take E level 2, or some champions with super-mobility will run you down if you don't have CC. (They can see if you skilled Spell Thief level 2)

Portal Jump is maxed third. Putting points into this ability only lowers the cooldown of it, but that's all we need! With 30% CDR and 3 points in this spell, the cooldown of Portal Jump will be 3.5 seconds. That is enough for us to constantly spam Paddle Star with Portal Jump and nuke those squishies.

Spell Thief is maxed fourth. Its main use is for picking up summoner spells, so putting 1 or 5 points into that won't change anything there. However, it does offer some decent damage and movement speed when maxed out, which will help Zoe kite incoming threats at the later stages of the game.

Doran's Ring
  • Doran's Ring: Is the standard starting-item for most mages. In patch 8.9 the item no longer returns mana on minion kill. We now get 5+ mana regen per 5 seconds and +5 on-hit damage vs minions. Basically, we have to be more careful with how we spend our mana. CS'ing with basic attacks will be easier now though.

Corrupting Potion
  • Corrupting Potion: This can be a decent purchase when you are against melee champions, that you can abuse a lot with enhanced auto attacks. Examples could be Galio and Kassadin. When starting this item, you should be looking to get a Dark Seal on your second back.

The Dark Seal
  • Dark Seal: It rewards you for getting kills/assists by giving more AP stats, and it increases the healing from potions by 25%. The 100 bonus mana is really useful for the early game but it's mostly bought with a Corrupting Potion because of the synergy.

Control Ward

Core items
Luden's Echo: The first big purchase on Zoe. It offers 20% CDR, 90AP and 500 mana. The passive is good for waveclearing, but it also counters things like Banshee's Veil or Void Shift.
Morellonomicon: Increases your burst damage and helps you shred squishies with the flat magic pen. The passive also reduces also healing which is great into ADC's and other champions that have some sort of heal in their kit, or as summoner.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Is a very powerful lategame item on mages, especially those who build Lich Bane for additional burst. This is usually bought as the 3th or 4th item. If enemies have lots of MR, you need Void Staff first. Since we use Gathering Storm we will have an insane amount of AP lategame.
Void Staff: When you do well in a game, the opponents will usually stack MR. Buy Void Staff to counter that.

  • Ninja Tabi: Is the standard buy into AD heavy teams. It offers armor and 12% damage reduction on autoattacks(Yes it counts magic damage from autos too). This is a good buy against champions like Jayce, Irelia, Tryndamere, Riven, Gangplank and so on. If the enemy team lacks CC, and has a fed ADC, Ninja Tabi is still a decent buy.

  • Sorcerer's Shoes: Gives a big early-midgame spike with the flat magic pen. I often buy this when i'm not against a heavy CC team.

  • Mercury's Treads: Offers magic resist and 30% tenacity. If you are playing against hard CC, these boots are a must-buy. Zoe is very vulnerable to ganks in lane, so these boots will give her that extra bit of safety. Here are some examples of when you should buy Mercury's Treads. When you face Ryze + Sejuani or Syndra + Elise or LeBlanc + Skarner. Basically you want mercs, when you are up against any combination of mid+jgl, that has some form of hard CC.

  • Morellonomicon: Buy this against heavy healing opponents like Swain, Vladimir, Soraka and so on. This is also really good against ADCs lategame because you can deny their self-healing from lifesteal items.

  • Banshee's Veil: Provides some some CDR and AP which Zoe loves to have, but it also gives MR and a spellshield for "flashy" champions. I buy this against for example AP Gragas and Annie, because they rely on catching people off-guard with Flash+combo. This item counters them completely.

  • Liandry's Anguish: If you are playing against a tank-team, you want this. It deals increased damage the longer you are in combat(10%max). The TORMENT passive deals damage based on 1.5% of targets maximum health. If the target is immobilized, the damage will increase to 2.5% of targets maximum health, so if you hit a tank with Sleepy Trouble Bubble you will shred them fast!

  • Quicksilver Sash: This is a must-buy against Malzahar and Skarner, as it is the only item that cancels Suppression. I only buy this item to counter Suppression - for everything else you should get Cleanse, so you don't have to use up a item slot.

As Zoe you usually want to push level 1 so you can take control of the lane. Execute the caster creeps first by hitting them with long-ranged Paddle Stars and enhanced auto attacks.

It's really important to shove in the first wave ASAP. Zoe hates getting pushed under her own tower. Why? Because her main abilities are skillshots and they can be body-blocked by minions. Smart opponents will always take advantage of that, and stay behind minions so they avoid taking damage from your abilties.

Early game as Zoe you're pretty safe because the chances of getting ganked by a jungler before ~2.20minutes is minimal(Unless its cheese junglers like Twitch and Shaco). Use this opportunity to put as much pressure as you can. Either by hard-shoving and forcing the opponent to farm under tower, or making favourable trades.
While Zoe does have good waveclear, there are some champions she can't compete with.(For example Azir, Aurelion Sol and Taliyah. That's why we have Minion Dematerializer, so we can manipulate the waves without taking too much damage.

Your most effective way of trading in lane, is to throw a quick Paddle Star, hit them with 2x enhanced auto attacks, when your opponent is going for a last-hit on a minion. This forces him to either, get the CS and take free damage, or give up the CS to trade back. It's a win-win situation for you if played correctly.

Combo: 1st cast Paddle Star > Auto-attack > 2nd Cast Paddle Star > Auto-attack

Trading with long-range Paddle Star will do more damage, but against a good opponent it's not worth trying because they will see it coming, and punish you when Paddle Star is on CD.

At level 2 you put a point in Sleepy Trouble Bubble if the enemy is within kill range/positioning poorly or your jungler is coming for a gank. Else i suggest leveling Spell Thief because it can give you strong summoner spells earlier. For example if you get Ignite or Exhaust, you will be set for a all-in at lvl 3. If you get support actives like Redemption, use it on your other laners and help them out!

At level 3 you point a point in the ability you didn't take level 2. The cannon minion-wave will arrive and we can execute it fast with Minion Dematerializer so we still have lane priority, or at least match the pushing-power of the opponent. When you have lane priority, use the chance to place some good wards that will keep you safe.
When to use Minion Dematerializer: I suggest using it on cannon minions so you can push the wave super fast and roam to other lanes. For the non-cannon minion waves, use it on the melee creeps as they are the tankiest ones.

At level 6 you can start making plays with Portal Jump. It makes it easier to land your Sleepy Trouble Bubble since you can "teleport" and hit it from different angles. When playing against opponents who for some reason didn't take Cleanse - Call for your jungler and set up some easy kills with Sleepy Trouble Bubble.

If you can't find kills in lane, i suggest shoving in ASAP and invading with your jungler, or ganking bot/top. Zoe is really strong in jungle-skirmishes because there are lots of walls she can use to extend her Sleepy Trouble Bubble, and catch people off-guard.

Your main goal for the laning phase is to farm towards your powerspike. Zoe gets a massive powerspike when she has Luden's Tempest, Morellonomicon and Sorcerer's Shoes because of how well these items synergize with her kit. CDR so she can use her spells more frequently, AP for more burst, flat magic pen to shred squishies and a "sheen" effect that "buffs" your passive.

Powerspike is a state where your champion becomes significantly more powerful, so it's very important that you abuse it! Keep looking for opportunities and make sure to take down objectives when you get kills, because that's how you win games!

Zoe is a burst-mage, so it's only natural that she can't teamfight as well as Azir or Viktor. She is great at small skirmishes and sieging because it's easier to hit priority targets with your spells.

Your job is to try and create picks for your team by landing Sleepy Trouble Bubble through walls. Zoe relies on picking off targets from fog of war, so it's really important that you carry a Control Ward to deny vision. When ahead, it's a good idea swapping the trinket to Oracle Lens so you can clear ALL nearby wards, and make it easier to plan your next move. Zoe truly shines when the opponents can't see her.

When you hit someone with your sleep, you need to react fast and unleash your oneshot combo IF it's safe for you:

Combo: Sleepy Trouble Bubble > 1st cast Paddle Star > 2nd cast Paddle Star > Portal Jump > Auto-attack to proc More Sparkles!

This is Zoe's main combo and will oneshot most squishies. Even if you don't end up killing the target, it will force them to base. You should use this chance to take objectives or force a 4v5!

The one you target in teamfights depends on the game. Sometimes going for the enemy fed carries can open up their base. Other times you should opt to peel your fed ADC from assassins, divers and so on, so they can carry the game.

- Auto-weaving is important when playing Zoe. Essentially your passive is like Lich Bane, but it does not have a cooldown, so it's going to work with both activations of your Paddle Star. This is also essential for winning trades early game because the opponent often underestimates the damage you can dish out with the passive.

- Deals more damage the farther it traveled. That's why you will see Zoe players throw it behind them while walking forward, to extend the range.

- Be creative and use it from different angles to confuse your opponent.

Zoe can only pick-up items that are fully built and not components like Stopwatch. She doesn't gain any of the stats from the obtained items, but only the actives.

- You must last-hit minions with balloons over them to get the shards.

- If you already picked up a shard, you can swap it with another shard by walking to it, and hovering your mouse over the shard.

Here is a list of summoners/actives that can drop from champions and minions:

- Every summoner spell could previously drop from minions, but due to a nerf, you can now only get Teleport by stealing it from a champion.
- Predator (From champions only)

- Blade of the Ruined King
- Youmuu's Ghostblade

- Zhonya's Hourglass
- Hextech Rocketbelt
- Everfrost
- Twin Shadows
- Hextech Gunblade (From champions only)

- Frost Queen's Claim
- Timeworn Talisman of Ascension
- Turbo Chemtank
- Randuin's Omen
- Locket of the Iron Solari
- Redemption
- Shurelya's Battlesong

- Can move through terrain indefinitely, but will fall short if it enters terrain a second time.

- If you already have experience playing champions with a lot of skillshot-abilities, then you probably already have quick-cast enabled. Basically, quick-cast lets you use the spell immediately without having to "left-click" it. As Zoe's E rage gets extended through walls, it's really important knowing the exact range at all times. For starters, I suggest you bind a key to "Quick-cast with indicator". This lets you hold in the ability to see the range, but as soon as you release, it will activate.
For experienced players: I have quick-cast(WITHOUT indicator) on Q,W,E,R and then normalcast when i press SHIFT + Q,W,E,R. This is the method used by pro players.

- Tell your teammates to NOT attack when you hit someone with the sleep. It happens way too often and can be really annoying if the enemy survives because of it. Be sure to let your teammates know in advance so they don't accidentally attack the sleeping target.

- Zoe can attack, use summoners/actives but can't move during the Portal Jump.

- Zoe gets vision over walls when using this ability.

- Zoe will always blink back, even if CC'ed.

- Portal Jump can be used to dodge abilities, but should never be used as an escape-tool.

What does it mean to freeze and how do i do it?

Freezing is a advanced technique that lets you deny your opponent exp and cs if done correctly. Freezing a lane means that you kite/tank the minions without letting your tower hit the creeps. You need to make sure the enemy minions always beat yours. After the enemy killed your entire wave, you let 2-3 of the enemy creeps live, and kite them until the next wave is here. When the next wave arrives, the wave will freeze right outside of your turret range.

By doing this, you are safe from jungle ganks, while your opponent takes a big risk everytime he overextends for a cs.

When to freeze the wave

You can Freeze the wave when you and the enemy are even or ahead, and it can be used to help you win back the lane after you screwed up and died. You can attempt to freeze the wave already from level 1, leaving your opponent vulnerable to jungle ganks or be within your kill range, if you are able to kill them. When you get a lead, and you can solokill an overextended enemy laner, that is exactly when you want to freeze the wave. You force the enemy midlaner to either be in your kill range, or miss a ton of cs and exp, putting them further behind.

Freezing a wave is a great way to snowball a lead, if you have no objectives to fight for, such as dragon, herald or towers.

Here is a youtube video that explains wave management very well. I recommend watching the entire video. All credits for this video goes to Blitz Esports LoL

That's it for my Zoe guide. Thank you for reading guys - I hope you learned something! If you still have questions, feel free to post them in the comments, or on my stream and i will get back to you ASAP!

The titles and custom table coding are made by Jovy. You can check out her signature shop here. Thank you so much for helping me out<3

If you don't mind:
- Voting on this guide would really mean a lot to me and help me improve it.
- Leaving a comment with feedback/comment is also very much appreciated.
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