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Zed Build Guide by moutenn

Middle Zed Season 9 moutenn guide

Middle Zed Season 9 moutenn guide

Updated on January 28, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author moutenn Build Guide By moutenn 16 0 45,157 Views 7 Comments
16 0 45,157 Views 7 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author moutenn Zed Build Guide By moutenn Updated on January 28, 2019
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1 2 3
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter

Coup de Grace

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist


1 2 3
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, I'm moutenn, and i have been playing Zed for the last couple of years. I have played him religiously, and now have just under half a milions masterypoints on him. I love this assassin so much, and decided to make my own guide on him. I know there are a lot of guides on how to play Zed already, but i wanted to make an a bit more personal guide, with tips and tricks as a bonus. Such as cheesy tactics, and ways to deal with Zhonya's Hourglass.
This is my first in-depth guide, and i decided to make it about my main. This is because i felt that he was the champion i had the most insight in.
I plan on making more guides in the future. Some meta and some not. I like to have fun with the game, other then tryharding sometimes.
If you have any constructive feedback, or questions about Zed feel free to ask, and i will do my best to answer.
I hope you fall in love with this champion like i did, but remember that there will go some time before you get the hang of him.

Zed is a mobile assassin, that can destroy single targets before they even realized what happened. Then disappear and only leave a shadow on their marksmen's corps.
Unlike assassins like Kha'Zix, Zed needs his r to kill champions early.
His damage is however extremely high.
You can get multiple kills (as in triple, quadra and pentakills), but you often have to focus one target at the time. Unless they all stand on top of each other.
Zed is an Unstoppable Force, that can destroy any matchup, if you're good enough.

Watch The Master Of Zed (LL Stylish), if you wanna observe, a guy who have nearly mastered Zed.

Here is a montage just for fun: here
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Shockblade Zed

SKT T1 Zed

project Zed

Championship Zed

Death Sworn Zed

Shockblade Zed chomas

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Electrocute is hands down your best choice in keystone. You could take Phase Rush, Arcane Comet, Dark Harvest or Unsealed Spellbook. Elektrocute, allows you to burst/poke. Lategame you can surprise-burst squishy targets. It does have a high cooldown, but it is simply too good to let go.

Sudden Impact is the next rune you should always take. None in that row could replace it. The bonus dmg, when you use your Death Mark or your Living Shadow is really good. You would for example never take Cheap Shot, because you have no cc in your kit.

Eyeball Collection is also great. It allows you to snowball harder. When you get a kill, you will do more damage and so on. Both the other runes in this row are fine. Comes down to your preference.

Relentless Hunter is my favorite, in this row because it allows you to roam more. Again you can take the other two, but i think that Relentless Hunter is best here.


Triumph is your playmaking tool. It allows you to do a lot more risky plays. For example, you can tower dive, more often. Other than that it just helps you stay healthy throughout a fight. If you get assist on their entire team, you will heal a lot.

Coup de Grace, is great on Zed since it takes effect when they are low on HP. This synergizes with your kit, in the sense that, when you ult someone, you have to make them low in order for your ult to do damage. So when it pops, {{coup de grace]] will make it do more damage.
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Why these core items:

Youmuu's Ghostblade is a must on Zed. You can buy it before or after Duskblade of Draktharr. Up to you. Youmuu's makes you able to roam more, when Duskblade is more for burst.
If you buy Long Sword, you will also get your items before your laner, which gives you an advantage.

Duskblade of Draktharr, is usually what i rush on Zed. It allows you to burst your enemy with little to no stats you will miss. Back in the day you would go Blade of the Ruined King. But now lethality is a too good stat to not have.

Black Cleaver is a nice item in Zed, and i almost always take it third. Keep in mind that even though they are core items, there are situations, where other items are accepterble.
The Black Cleaver, gives you CDR, and caps you at the 40% you are going for. It also helps shredding trough armor. The more you hit an enemy with your spells and aa, the less armor they will have when Death Mark pops. It also provides you with health which is nice, to help you survive longer.

Situational Items:

Blade of the Ruined King, is an item i almost always buys. The reason why i did not put it under core items, is because that it is not an item that is verry populer on Zed at the moment. I sometimes even go it first when i feel like having fun.
With this said, i do not recommend buying it before the first three, if at all. It might feel akward for some.

Death's Dance, is an item that is great against heavy Attack damage based teams.
I rarely go this item but it is still really usefull, and i know other players who find this item a must on Zed.

Edge of Night is an item you want to get when you want to burst even harder. It gives you even more lethality, and a nice active that gives you a spell shield, which can be usefull against targets with cc.

Lord Dominik's Regards / Mortal Reminder are great against tanky teams, or just if they have one tank who is a problem. This is almost always the case. Therefor you almost always get one of the two.

Maw of Malmortius is an item you often buy if you want to be safe. You never firstbuy it since it no longer gives armor penetration, you can buy a Hexdrinker early because it helps you survive against ap matchups.

Mercurial Scimitar you have for the effect. You remove all cc on you. This helps you survive in fights and helps out in surtain duals.

Ravenous Hydra you buy if you are ahead and want to get more kills, it basically gives you more damage. You can burst more without r, and it helps with r. To the point where you can use Death Mark and then Shadow Slash and Ravenous Hydra at the same time, they will get low enough to die to Death Mark

Sterak's Gage, you have if you're afraid of being dualed by DPS champions late game.

Trinity Force you only get if you are really far ahead. It works fine and you get really strong.

Dead Man's Plate is a great item, for the armor, movement speed and health. It helps get around and surviving team fights. Don't buy it against to much magic damage.

Guardian Angel is an item i sometimes go. Its nicer now when it also gives ad, but i rarely use it. I think when i die i should die, because i got cought. Its not really usefull in duals, because if they prop it, they will be low, and by the time you have revived they have ran of, or gotten help from teammates. After it has been propped you will have a useless item for 5 min.

Phantom Dancer is often a replacement for your boots lategame, because it still gives you movemenspeed. It also gives dualing potentiel, which is good later on.

Infinity Edge gives you high damage, and can be good with Phantom Dancer. You should get it if you also get Infinity Edge

Stormrazor works pretty good on Zed, since your ult allows you to instantly get an auto attack in, which props the Stormrazor crit.
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Skill Sequence

Skill Sequence for Zed:

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

On Zed you want to max out your Q: Razor Shuriken as soon as, because its your primary damaging ability. Then you want to max our your E: Shadow Slash because it gives you more damage. Then your W: Living Shadow because you dont really need to upgrade it much early do to it just being a utility-ability
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Summoner Spells:

Flash is always a must. Its great gab closer, and will help you in every game. No argument always take flash.

Ignite is usually always your best option for secondary spell. In some cases others can replace it. But Ignite is your best option most of the time.


Cleanse is used against, champions or teamcombos who have heavy crowd control. If you are against champions such as Lissandra or Ryze, cleanse is a good option. Keep in mind that suppress can not be cleansed. So don't go cleanse against Malzahar.

Exhaust you can go against assassins that you fear. It's fine against Fizz and champions like so. I rarely go it, but it is a possibility.
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Pros / cons


Good laning phase
Strong dualist
Last hitting is easy with Contempt for the Weak
Great splitpusher
High mobility
High skillcap - you can always learn new things
Can snowball hard
Not mana dependent
Really fun (my opinion)


Limited to midlane
Hard to solo carry
Can be bullied hard until level 3
Like all assassins CC is a hard counter.
Zhonya's Hourglass negates Death Mark
Many champions have Abilities that negate Death Mark
Before level 6 his Living Shadow is his engage and escape.
If you fall behind, its hard getting back.
Often weak teamfighter.
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Contempt for the Weak

Zed's basic attacks against targets below 50% Health deal 6-10% of the target's maximum Health as bonus Magic Damage. This effect can only occur once every 10 seconds on the same target.

Razor Shuriken

Cost: 75/70/65/60/55 Energy
Range: 900

Zed and his shadow both throw their spinning blades forward, dealing damage to any targets they pass through.

Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing 80/115/150/185/220 (+90% bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to the first enemy they pass through, and 45/66/87/108/129 (+54% bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to each additional enemy.Additional shurikens that hit the same enemy deal 25% less damage than previous shurikens.

Living Shadow

Cost: 40/35/30/25/20 Energy
Range: 650

Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 5 seconds, and mimicking his spell casts. Zed can reactivate to swap places with the shadow.

Passive: Whenever Zed and his shadows strike an enemy with the same ability, Zed gains 30/35/40/45/50 energy. Energy can only be gained once per cast ability.
Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 5 seconds. Reactivating Living Shadow will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.

Shadow Slash

Cost: 50 Energy
Range: 290

Zed and his shadow spin their blades, creating a burst of shadow energy. The shadow's spin slows.

Zed and his shadows slash, dealing 70/95/120/145/170 (+80% bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to nearby enemies.Each enemy champion hit by Zed's slash reduces Living Shadow's cooldown by 2 seconds.Enemies hit by a Shadow's slash are slowed by 20/25/30/35/40% for 1.5 seconds. Enemies hit by multiple slashes take no additional damage but are slowed by 30/37.5/45/52.5/60% instead.

Death Mark

Cost: No Cost
Range: 625

Zed leaves a shadow behind and dashes to target Champion, marking them for death. After 3 seconds, the mark will trigger, dealing a percentage of the damage Zed has dealt while the mark was active. If the Champion dies under Death Mark, Zed can gain a portion of their attack damage.

Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to an enemy champion, marking them. After 3 seconds, the mark triggers, dealing physical damage equal to 100% Attack Damage + 25/35/45% of all damage dealt to the target by Zed while the mark was active.The dash leaves a shadow behind for 6 seconds. Reactivating Death Mark causes Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
Reaper of Shadows: Zed reaps the shadow of the strongest foe slain under Death Mark, gaining 0 attack damage. ([object Object] + 5/10/15% of the victim's attack damage.)
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Without R


Zed's Q Razor Shuriken is used to harass the enemy laner and last hit minions that are out of your reach. Since Zed uses energy, spamming is not an issue on Zed. Remember that Zed's Q does less damage if it passes through minions. Therefor if possible hit without hitting minions. This should not discourage you from using Q's. It still does damage, and it does not have to big of an impact, do to you spamming it. You are going to get them low ether way.


This combo is rarely worth using. You use a lot of energy and it wont prob
Electrocute, unless you reactivate to get in an aa. This is risky because they will almost always get more return damage. Do to them auto-attacking you on your way back to your minions. You need your Shadow Slash to slow the target so you can hit everything which, makes it worth, and you will have this level 3. You take W level 2 to help escaping from early ganks or bad situations.


This combo is your main damage combo. You use it in laning phase every time your Electrocute is up. It does a lot of damage, with your Electrocute. Lategame this will oneshot Squishies. You have to get used to how long your combo can reach, because if you dont hit everything, you will open up for your opponent to get free damage. Most players know that after Zed has used his combo he is an easy target.
So if you don't hit, back of and wait for your cooldowns. If you gain a lead, it will not be too punishing, because you will most likely still be able to kill them.


This is if you find a target that is not really ahead. You open with your W-E so slow, then you take your W and start hitting them. They will panic because they dont know what you are gonna do. (This is really effective against champions such as Orianna) Use your Q's when you are on them, because they wont be able to juke. Keep hitting them or Flash for the kill if necessary. If it is a champion like Orianna, they will wait with their ult, until you ult. This is the good part, because you will get them to well under full HP. At one point they will have to ULT, and then you can easily juke it with your ULT. (This also works on Lissandra's and Fizz'es and those champions).

With R

These are harder to write down because it has a lot to do with the situation, which is partly why Zed is hard to play. It all comes down to knowing what to do and when to do it.
But here are some comboes that are effective.

The line:

This combo has gotten it's name because of the way it looks. You use it to create distance between you and the opponent. This is if you are not too low, but know that you will loose if you fight them head on.
The combo goes: R-E-WW-Q-R.
There are ofcouse variations of the combo, because again there are different situations, where othere variations are better. Sometimes you Q before you W, and other times you dont have time for E, and have to W-W instantly, but mostly do as it's written down.


Combo: R-E-W-Q
With this combo, you have to stay on the target. You R and w to one of the sides. This is to fast hit all 3 Q's. Don't use this combo against champions with escapes, or wait for them to be on cooldowns.
You should try to send out the shadow behind them, so if they try and get away and your 3 Q's aren't enough, you can take your W Living Shadow, and get the kill.
A variation of this combo that LL Stylish uses often. You R, and just AA and AA, until deathmark is about to pop. Then you instantly W-E-Q. You do this because players will try and juke the second you R. If you hold on to it, they will try and juke, but you will get in free AA's. It also makes them use their escape before you W.

The LL Stylish

Combo: W-R-E-Q-(W or R)

This combo is used against champions with impactfull skillshots, that can matter in or not you get the kill. This is mostly stuns, and other crowd control.
Ever since the chance to his R Death Mark (you have to wait at least 0,5 seconds before reactivating your R), you had to send out your W first. This is because it allows you to instantly reactivate your W and in that way juke the skillshot.

Wall Combo

The combo: W-R-W-E-Q

Use this combo over a wall. You W over a wall then R a target. When you reapear instantly take your W and Q and E them from the other side. If they survive, you can take your r back, to get in one last AA before flashing away (if there are more)

You should try these comboes out, and find out which ones you like, and when to use them. I do recommend having them all in the back of your head, to pull out and amaze your team by outplaying everyone.
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Team fighting

Teamfighting with Zed can be difficult, and is one thing new Zed's often avoid. This is understanderble, and if you are more of the splitpush kind of guy that is mostly fine. You should train your teamfighting skills. I will say im not much of a teamfighter, but there are some things you can do.
If you are ahead, it should be easy, getting a pick before a fight. Then use your combo to poke. If you hit a squishy target, they will most likely get blown up. Then pursuit with your team, and clean up.

If you are behind, you want do as much damage. Therefor your poking is going to do a lot less. But you should still be able to kill their ADC. If possible do this. If not stay with you team and help them, or splitpush instead. Splitpushing will get you a lot of gold, a lot of solo XP, and their team can not ignore you. If they do you will get ateast one tower, and free gold. If you a in the game (not behind nor ahead), you should be able to 1v1 mostly anyone. Unless they are really ahead. In this case just run, they cant catch you. If they are not ahead. Try and kill them then get the tower. It is best if they need atleast 2 to kill you. Then your team will be fighting a 4v3.
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Tips and Tricks


Zeds Q Razor Shuriken has a casttime, so you can Q then Flash. If done right your Q will go of after you flashed. The longer you wait flashing the less reactiontime the enemy has.
Your E Shadow Slash, does not have a casttime so you can E while doing other things, such as Q or AA.
Your W Living Shadow takes a short time before appearing. Therefor you can W-E insantly, and it will look like you E, and then you send out your shadow, but then the shadow also E's.
(Not really casttime), but remember that Zed can't jump back to your ULT's shadow before 0,5 seconds. Your R Death Mark first cast is casttime-free, so you can use it instantly.


Exhaust is not fun to be against as Zed. However it can be countered in lane. Exhaust has a long CD, and can only rarely be used in lane. Now im not saying to just wait for them to use it.
Remember that in lane, you can all-in in to ways. Open with R or open with W. Here is the trick: just send out your combo (open with W), and land it. They want exhaust you here, because you have been sending out comboes the entire time. Therefor if you land it and you decide to try and all in, just take your W and R. At this point they should be low enough that their exhaust want even matter. Ignite does what it does, and Death Mark is still gonna pop and do a lot.

Zhonya's hourglass

Zhonya's Hourglass, is one of the hardest thing to deal with as Zed. It's just soul crushing to do the sickest outplay, but then they just negate 45% of your damage. Therefor am here to let you know how to counter this item.
There are usually 4 different ways people will try and use Zhonya's Hourglass.
Remember, that after you have found out which your enemy uses, they will most likely keep using that for the entire game. Thats usually how it works.

1): They will Zhonya's Hourglass when you ult (while the animation is on they will use it)

Counter: This is the hardest because it simply removes your R. However when they hourglass, just position yourself, to be ready with your shadow your R shadow and yourself. Time your Razor Shurikens so they land the second they appear. Basically you can use their hourglass to guaranty that you hit your Q's.

2): They will use Zhonya's Hourglass to negate the pop of your ult. (After the 3 seconds)

Counter: In this case you should be fine. Just burst them as much as you can, then when they use hourglass they will be so low it wont matter, unless their team is around.

3): They will use Zhonya's Hourglass to juke your Q's Razor Shuriken.

Counter: If they do this you will most likely get surprised the first time. Its rare that people do this but if you are against a person who does this, just ult and keep AAing. They will have to use hourglass at one point, else they will just die of of Death Mark and your AA's.

4): They will screw up and take all the damage.
You dont have to counter anything here, except dont use your Q's and E's when they are in
Zhonya's Hourglass. But i hopefully dont have to say that.

Remember you can juke stuff with your R. You should try and do this when fighting.
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"The Zed syndrome"

"The Zed syndrome" is something i have noticed over such a long time of playing Zed. It does not only apply to Zed, but also to other Champions like Yasuo.
Essentially, the syndrome is that people will try and for example juke your Q's at any cost. This allows you to ult a target. Then they will panic and start sidestepping like mad men. Back and forth and to the sides. However they dont create any distance from you. While they are sidestepping you are just AA'ing and E'ing them. They only respect your Q's, but when you Death Mark pop's. They will die.
In other words sometimes you should hold your q's for a while. A variation of this, is where you just wait with your Q's to right before deathmark pop's. This is usefull in the fact that you get a lot of free damage of before your Q's that they wont respect.

"The Zed syndrome" also works with your R. If you engage on lets say a Fizz with W Living Shadow, he will almost always keep his E and wait for your R. Therefor you can almost always just AA Q E E AA, and keep going.
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