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Zed Build Guide by FortuneHe

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League of Legends Build Guide Author FortuneHe

Zed - There is strong shadow where there is much light [S4]

FortuneHe Last updated on August 1, 2014
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Middle Lane
Ranked #21 in
Middle Lane
Win 49%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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I. Introduction

Hello Summoners,
i´m FortuneHe and the author of this guide :)
I´m currently in Gold 3 on EUW and I used to play midlane.
Zed is my favorite Champion in Ranked because you can play him Top, Mid and jungle while he has a very high burst and a decent mobility. If you do right, you can also do some really cool outplays with him by using his shadows correctly.

If you find any grammar etc. mistakes or have any suggestions for this guide it´d be nice if you´d contact me via pm :)

So, Zeds role in the game is to burst down the enemy carry as fast as possible in a teamfight, while be still usefull for the team after. Unfortunately (or not) it needs some skill and knowledge to do this correctly. In this guide I will show you Tipps, Tricks, how you survive the laning phase succesfully and how to play late game as Zed.

My promise to you is that you will have the knowledge to becaome a good Zed player after you will have finished to read this guide. This champ can be really hard to master, so don´t give up when you fail sometimes at the beginning :)

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II. Pros / Cons


+ High Burst
+ Nice Mobility
+ Very good Outplay Potential
+ Easy Farming (with Contempt for the Weak)
+ Safe ranged poke
+ Can 1v1 almost everyone
+ Very good splitpusher
+ Can dodge skills with Death Mark
+ Almost no counters
+ Really fun Champ!
So, these are the reasons why you should pick zed in soloQ. Beside the amazing 1v1 strengh, he can be still usefull when you lost your lane by splitpushing. However, if you know how to play him he is a safe pick.


- AD-mid champ
- meele
- needs to go all-in
- hard to master
- difficult in teamfights
- almost no cc
- squishy
- cc is poison for him
Even if the it looks that there are too many cons to play Zed you can avoid 50% of these if you play well. You can´t just go into the middle of the enemy team and kill someone instandly, you need to have a good timing when you do yor full combo on the enemy carry (every assassin has this problem). Try to pick Zed if you hnow that the enemy team has not that much cc.

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III. Runes


Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor

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IV. Masteries



- Double-Edged Sword
- Sorcery
- Brute Force
- Spell Weaving
- Martial Mastery
- Executioner
- Blade Weaving
- Warlord
- Devastating Strikes
- Havoc
The offense build synergizes really well with Zed. Beside Double-Edged Sword , Brute Force , Spell Weaving , Martial Mastery , Blade Weaving , Warlord , Devastating Strikes and Havoc that increases your damage output, gives you Executioner even more damage for your passive and Sorcery a very nice CDR for your poke. In my opinion Fury is not necessary on Zed because you don´t need attack speed to oneshot someone.

- Block
- Recovery
- Unyielding
- Veteran Scars
- Juggernaut
Well, the defensive tree doesn´t synergize on Zed as good as the offensive tree, but it still gives you some nice stats to have. Block and Unyielding gives you a nice defence against the annoying autoattacks from your opponents, while Recovery gives you a slidely better sustain and Veteran Scars and Juggernaut gives some health that is just good to have.

Question: Are there also other mastery trees that work on Zed?
Lorem_Ip//To be honest, Zed is not that versatile, so yes you can also go far a 21/0/9Tree, but I would Lorem_Ipsrecommend that you focus on 21 in offense, because it synergizes too well on Zed to ignore.

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V. Summoner Spells

This is a nice spell for an assassin like Zed it helps you to have a better opponent controll and it gives you a better kill potential. However, it DOESN`T synergize with the second part of Death Mark.

This is a must have spell on Zed it allows you to repsition quickly after you killed the enemy carry in a teamfight or you can use it as a gap closer to cast your Death Mark and kill the opponent.

Teleport is also an option for Zed, you have a better map presence and it helps you to split push while you can still fight with your team. It also helps at roaming by making surprise ganks on bot or top.

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VI. Skill Order

Ability Sequence Order

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

> > >
You should level Razor Shuriken at level 1 to have a poke and a way to farm minnions safely from far away when needed. At level 2 and 3 you skill Living Shadow and Shadow Slash to be able to use your poke combo (more informations in the combo section). From that on you always max your Q to have less cooldown and much more damage on it. Once you have your Ultimate Death Mark you will kill your opponent almost everytime when he engages on you or you use it right. Max e Shadow Slash as second and your w Living Shadow after. The reason why I max e before w is because you don´t need the passive extra ad early.

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VII. Skill Explanation


Whenever Zed autoattacks an enemy below 50% health, he deals an additional 6 / 8 / 10% of their maximum health as magic damage. The amount is increased at level 7 and at level 17. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every 10 seconds.

This is one of the best passive in the game, this is the reason why you win almost every trade with Zed. You can use it after your w - e - q - e combo (see combo section) or to give the last necessary autoattack after your
all-in kill combo. However, the most Summoners forget about this passive and try to duell you, use this to your advantage.


Active: Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (100% bonus AD) physical damage to the first enemy they pass through and 45 / 69 / 93 / 117 / 141 (+60% bonus AD) physical damage to enemies thereafter.
Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy deal 50% damage and restore energy.

This is not just a poke abillity at level 1, you can also use it to farm minions safely from behind (which is sometimes necessary against someone like LeBurst). Remember that it deals more damage to the very first enemy it hits, so the most opponents will hide behind their minion wave, if they do this, try to throw a shadow behind them and use you Razor Shuriken after.


Passive: Zed's bonus attack damage is increased by 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25%.
Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 4 seconds. Reactivating this ability will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
Zed's shadow will mimic his basic abilities. If both strike the same target Zed regains 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40. Energy can only be restored once per mimicked ability.

Well, this is your bred and butter abillity it gives you a high mobility and a safe poke. However, this is also a abillity you shouldn´t spam, a good jungler will wait until you have used this abillity and then start to gank you, so just use it when you feel safe and don´t forget that you CAN change the position with the shadow to harras the enemy even more. The right use of this abillity is shown in the combo section below. This abillity is also the reason why Zed is such an AD-monster late-game.


Active: Zed and his shadows create a burst of shadow, dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+80% bonus AD) physical damage to nearby enemies.
Zed's slash reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 2 seconds for each enemy struck. His shadows' slashes slow enemies by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 1.5 seconds.
Living Shadow: Overlapping Shadow Slashes striking the same enemy deal no additional damage but will incur an increased slow of 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60% and restore energy.

This is the only abillity with cc you have, NOTE: Just the Shadow Slash of your Living Shadow slows the enemy, but if you AND the shadow hit the same target, the slow is increased. However, Shadow Slash gives you a nice wave clear and it reduces the CD of Living Shadow by 2 seconds if you hit an enemy champion.


Active: Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to target enemy champion. Upon arrival, he marks the target for death and spawns a living shadow at his starting position. This shadow lasts 6 seconds and mimics Zed's abilities. Reactivating Death Mark will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
After 3 seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing physical damage equal to 100% of Zed's attack damage plus 20 / 35 / 50% of damage dealt of all magic and physical damage dealt to the target by Zed and his shadows while the mark was active.

Ok, this was maybe not easy to understand so I make it easier: With Death Mark you "teleport" to a near enemy, then you should deal damage to the enemy with autoattacks and abillities, beacuse after three seconds, a percentual part of the damage you dealt will hit the enemy again plus 100% of your AD.

This is a really amazing abillity, with it, you can oneshot every squishy target in 3secs (really!!!). However, this abillity allows you to dash into a teamfight from far away, deal some damage to the target, and go out (by pressing r a second time) before the enemy team can react; the target is usually dead after 3seconds because of the second part of Death Mark. Never forget that you can change the position with your original shadow wherever you are.
One last trick with this ulti is that you can dodge abillities, just like Requiem or Chum the Waters if you time it correctly.

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VIII. Combos

This chapter is very interesting, because Zed has only a high damage output if you use his spells right and combine it with his other abilities correctly. Before you jump into your first game with Zed I would really suggest that you try these Combo's in a custom-bot game before.

W - E - Q - E

-> -> ->

This is your main harras combo in the laning phase because it´s really safe and deals a lot of damage if you do it right. You throw your shadow right onto your opponent and cast your E ( Shadow Slash) to slow him and throw your Q ( Razor Shuriken) to damage him. If your opponent is unaware you can cast another E ( Shadow Slash) if he still stands near your shadow. However, be sure that you have enough energy to do the full combo, otherwise you´d just waste your W ( Living Shadow).

W - E - Q - W - E - AA* (PASSIVE)

-> -> -> -> ->

This combo looks maybe a bit difficult, but it´s really easy if you did it some times. The first part of this combo is just like your W - E - Q - E combo, but before you do your last E ( Shadow Slash) you can press W to change the position with your ( Living Shadow) to be in autoattack range to your opponent. Then you can Autoattack him to proc your passive ( Contempt for the Weak) which deals a lot more damage. However, just use this combo if your opponent has just used his main harras skill and when he is (or will be) under 50% of his max. HP, otherwise your passive won´t proc.

*AA = Autoattack

R - W - E - Q - W - Botrk (Active) - AA (Passive) - Hydra (Active) - AA - E

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> AA ->

This is your all in combo to any target you want to kill. It might looks that you need much time to do this combo, but in the you can do this in 2.5secs (if you practized it ;)).

You ult your target then you will appear in his front after that you have to throw your W ( Living Shadow) behind it to slow it with your E ( Shadow Slash).
After the slow you can easily hit your Q ( Razor Shuriken) then you press W ( Living Shadow) again to change the postion with your shadow, which you have thrown behind your target, to be still able to autoattack.
Use you Blade of the Ruined King active after to slow your target again. Now you can autoattack him to proc your passive ( Contempt for the Weak) (if he is under 50% of his max. HP) and finish him with the active of your Ravenous Hydra and a last autoattack.

If this doesn´t kill him, you have still the second part of your Ulti ( Death Mark) which deals 50% of the dmg you dealt to your target a second time.
However, this is your combo if there´s no other opponent than your target near, because you´ll otherwise be cc'ed or killed. A squishy target will usually be dead already after the first third of this comb :D.

Please Note: This combo is variable you can also do it in another order. This is just the combo how I use it to get the greatest amound of dmg.

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IX. Itemisation


This is my usual start, it gives you nice early damage but also sustain with the 3xHealth-pots. I would recommend to buy this against someone like Ahri, champions, who have long cooldowns early.

This is also a good start on Zed, it gives you a very good sustain early on to farm safe into the midgame, it´s a must against lane bullies like LeBlanc. However, I would more recommend this start the higher your ELO is, because you will mostlikely be harrassed by autoattacks from your opponnents.

I´d just recommend this start, if you are against a ranged poker just like Lux who can just poke you with skillshots out of the lane as you will need the extry movement speed to avoid those spells successully.


This Item gives you really great early-stats, beside the 25 attack damage it gives you armor-penetration that makes you deal almost true damage early on, while you get more CDR to poke even more. Overall this item gives you so many necessarily stats to a very cheap price, buy it!

If you are going for build 2 you rush this item, it gives you a fast clear which helps you at pushing your lane and roam afterwards. It also gives you nice stats and an autoattack resetter.

This item gives you the early sustain you need and you will build your first core item ( Blade of the Ruined King) of it, the active is also very helpful at chasing your opponent, however, I would still buy The Brutalizer first and then go for this item.

If you didn´t start with this item you will need it at least now! Unfortunately the most summoners get these boots at their first back, which is why you now have to buy it either to be as fast as they are to being able to autoattack them while chasing.

This is an item I usually never get. I would just recommend to buy this item if the enemy team has 3 AP Champions or more and you lost your lane hard. If you need magic resist in a usual game you should buy Mercury's Treads, and this should be enough MR. If not, you can of course go for a Hexdrinker and later on an Maw of Malmortius.


This is your first core Item you should always rush it after the first back Items if you are going for the bork build . It gives you sustain, damage, attackspeed, a passive that works especially well on the top lane and an active, that helps you at chasing and roaming. However, once you will have bought this, you all in combo will instand kill someone if you´re doing it well because the active works with the second part of your Death Mark. To see how you should use it in a combo see the combo section.

This Item gives you a bit attack damage but an op passive. The reason why I get this so early is because I want to deal almost true damage in the midgame even if the enemies have still not bought armor. I have of course tried also other options but I feel like this is the best opion after Blade of the Ruined King.


Most Zed players don´t know if they should go for this item or The Bloodthirster. The reason why I always get Ravenous Hydra is because you have a higher burst (if you use the active), a better teamfight and a very good splitpush potential. I really tried both, but if you are an experienced Zed player, you usually buy this item unless you go for build 2 where you just want the flat ad.

This item is very good on Zed BUT I usually upgrade The Brutalizer after I have my full build, because other Items have a higher priority and you already have Last Whisper in the midgame. I would suggest to buy this before IF the enemies have really a lot of armor already, then go ahead and buy this before you get your tank item or even before Ravenous Hydra.


This is the usual tank item I get on Zed. As an assassin you have mostlikely to dive the whole enemy team to kill their carry. It can happen that they peal their ADC so much that you get killed while you assassinate him. To prevent this, is this a great item.

This is an item I usually get on Zed when their team is heavy ap and they don´t have much CC. The magic resist and the magic shield work well if you want to have a sustained damage output. However, for a teamfight oriented strategy i´d recommend Mercurial Scimitar more.

This is a great Item on Zed if you are teamfight oriented. You don´t just get attack damage and magic resistance, you also get a real nice active that removes every CC from you, which is very nice when you want to kill someone and the enemy team has a lot of CC.

I would recommend to get this item if you are far ahead and the enemies haven´t CC or burst.
It´s overall an item that gives you a nice sustain in 1v1s and teamfights.


These boots give Zed magic-resistance and 35% tenacity. Both are stats that work well on him because you sometimes need the MR for your lane and the tenacity for the teamfights. However, I would recommend these if you aren´t ahead in your lane and you can´t splitpush midgame (for some reason).

These Boots are so good on Zed! For real this item helps you at roaming so much. Also splitpushing is so safe with these boots. However, always buy this shoes if you are very far ahead and you can invest 475g to help the other lanes.

Well, I only get these boots sometimes when I am against an AD opponent mid or they have something like a real fed Jax etc.


This item gives you very much Ad and lifestal I don´t usually get this unless I have a more crit oriented build. I see no real reason to buy this instead of Ravenous Hydra (see on top).

More content coming soon...

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X. Laning/Early-Game

In this chapter you´ll get a detailed way how to win your lane as Zed.
The tips and tricks I give here can variate from opponent to opponent, for a detailed look how to lane against spezific champions, you can read the matchup section.

You usually help your jungler by throwing at least one Q over the wall. I do this every time, because you won´t miss any farm if you time it right and you help the jungler a bit.

Once you are on your lane, you can start to poke your enemy with your Q ( Razor Shuriken)
or you can play a bit more passvie and last hit with your Q and of course your autoattacks.
I wouldn´t suggest to harras your opponent with AA's because the enemy minions will usuallly hurt you too much.
Once youhit level 3, ouy have skilled all your abilities exept your ult (of course).
After that you can start to harras the opponent with some w - e - q - e combos.
If you are good and you hit your Q ( Razor Shuriken) man times, your enemy will usually have less hp than 50% of his max. hp.
From that on you can easily start to hurt him even more with your w - e - q - e - AA ( Contempt for the Weak). Remember that your passive will just proc if your oppnent have less than 50% of his max. hp and also just every 10seconds on the same target.
But have in mind that your w ( Living Shadow) is your only escape spell and it has a very high cooldown so you should usually just use itz when you are safe or you know where the enemy jnungler is.

Once you hit level 6 you are something like a lane bully, because you can kill instantly target below 50% hp.

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More coming soon...