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Zoe Build Guide by Yeager
Yeager's Master Zoe Guide
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Runes: Dark harvest ONESHOT
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Threats & Synergies
After level 6 DO NOT use your portal jump when she has ult up, because she will all-in you. Stay behind your minions so you don't get hit by her charm and focus on clearing the waves so you can roam faster.
You can bully him a lot pre 6 and sometimes get kills with ignite. Don't use your sleep when he has his E up. When he gets level 6, he can all-in you whenever he wants to. Stay far back and rush banshees veil second item. You don't want to fight him when he has ultimate up
You should not push the wave at all because he will run you down. He can block all your damage with wind wall and there is almost no CD on his dash. Let the lane push towards you and attempt a freeze outside turret range. Melee champions can't do much to you when you manipulate the waves like that.
Take ignite or cleanse. The new Leblanc maxes her W, so it is her waveclear AND damage ability. The way you play against leblanc is by shoving her in over and over, because she will be forced to use her W to waveclear. Be careful of not over-extending because she's really good at setting up ganks with her chains.
He can shove in faster than you, he has a spellshield and voidlings that can block your damage. Always keep his passive shield down, and try to hit all his voidlings with a paddle star so he can't waveclear as fast. After level 6 you want to stay safe until you have quicksilver sash.
Take cleanse. Her only way to kill someone is by flash+comboing. If you are fast at reacting, you can cleanse it fast and run away, then she will be useless for the next 5 minutes. She has no mobility, so it's really easy to hit her with bubbles.
In laning phase you should avoid pushing after the first 2 waves because she has a really strong level 3. The moment you use E, she will jump on you, so don't waste it until her jump is on CD. Lategame you will oneshot her if you hit E, but if you miss it, you are dead.
Rush seekers armguard to counter his armorpen build. Don't get poked by rake lvl 1. Talon usually sets up a kill level 2-3 by poking level 1. If he can't find a kill in lane, he will roam to other lanes and find kills there. Get good vision so you can let your team know when he roams.
If you have trouble dodging skillshots, i recommend rushing boots ASAP.(Then you swap out secondary runes with domination). He has long range poke and strong waveclear. You can go for a portal jump + E when he's charging his Q because he will be slowed. Otherwise do not waste it or you will eat his entire combo
Start cleanse. He is super immobile so hitting him with skillshots should be easy. If you rush banshees second, he has to use 1 of his 2 damage abilities to get rid of the shield. You want to keep shoving him in to stop him from roaming.
You can start corrupting potion and bully him a lot pre 6. After 6, save your E till he used his blink. His waveclear is really weak, so you can shove him in super fast and roam.
Avoid trading level 1! His q will give him extra damage and a shield. Viktor wants to farm for his 1250g hexcore, so if you can force him to back by making favourable trades after level 1, you win the lane and he becomes useless.
Seekers armguard rush. You can also get tabis because they will most likely have 2 ADCs. Don't get cheesed lvl 2 by his ability to proc PTA super fast, and save your bubble till after he used his dash.
Pre 6 he will try to poke you with his Q until you are low enough hp for him to all-in with flash. Get boots fast, and recall whenever you are low hp. Post-6: Watch out for his E+Flash into ult. Farm towards your second item banshee's veil and you are safe.
Lane can go either way. Focus on dodging her Q skillshot. If she misses that, she won't be able to run you down. Get boots early if you struggle and cleanse if they have a jungler with hard cc as well. She needs to base for a tear and stack it, so she will lack damage at the early stages of the game, so you can abuse that. Basically, you can win trades if you dodge her Q as her damage will be nonexistant early. Focus on farming and getting out of the laning phase, where it will be much easier for you because she has short range, so you can easily poke her down.
Her CC and engage makes her good at setting up her other teammates. Take cleanse so you can survive. Her q waveclear was nerfed as well, so she can't hard shove the wave early on. Laning phase is quite easy. The only thing you have to watch out for, are ganks. If the lissandra suddenly starts moving up to you for no reason, it probably means the jungler is nearby so back off.
A good jayce is difficult to deal with in the laning phase, especially because they have ignite midlane. Rush early seekers armguard so you have some defensive stats against his lethality build. Always stay behind minions so you don't get chunked by his Q poke. It's AOE, so keep your distance from the minions. If he doesn't have cleanse, then call for your jungler and set him up. Jayce players have a good laning phase, so they have to play aggressive.
Laning phase is really easy but he outscales you hard later on. Actually he outscales every champ bg =) His waveclear sucks early on, so you can shove him in and poke him under turret. Get morellonomicon second item to counter his healing. Keep your distance when his empowered Q is about to come up. RESPECT his damage when he's level 6 and have flash + ignite up. It's really difficult to counter vlad in lategame. You HAVE TO time his flash cooldowns and play around that. If he ever manages to close the distance, your team is dead.
Mobile champions are pretty good against Zoe because most of her damage are skillshots. Don't go near her when her passive is stacked because she will run you down. Don't stay near low hp minions because she can reset her Q with it and close the distance. If you avoid the pushing wave and let it stay at your side of the lane, she can't engage on you.
AP Cho Gath: Poke him a lot with autos and aery procs. In the laning phase you have to focus on dodging his Q ability which is a knockup + slow. If he hits you once, he will combo and oneshot you. Get banshee's after luden's echo so he can't catch you off-guard. He is a immobile melee champ, so if you manage to dodge his Q, then it's easy from there. Respect his burst though after 6, especially if he has flash and ignite.
Pros & Cons
Tips & Tricks
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 op.gg.
+ 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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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!
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