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Zed Build Guide by LuclidHD

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League of Legends Build Guide Author LuclidHD

Zedidiah - Zed Will Make You Die [Detailed Guide w/ Videos]

LuclidHD Last updated on July 13, 2014
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Middle Lane
Ranked #21 in
Middle Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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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Who am I?

To answer your question, I am a low elo player (Currently Silver V) who enjoys playing Zed and plays him frequently. I found out about Zed when I was level 29, and his kit clicked with my play-style like two Legos. When I hit ranked, I relied on him to help me through my games and have been able to maintain a winrate above 50% with him. This is going to be my first guide, so any constructive criticism will be accepted and appreciated. Enjoy your read!

A Brief Summary about Zed

Zed is an AD assassin who is mainly played in the middle lane, although he can be seen in the top lane. With his ability to change locations with his shadows, his outplay potential is high and he is very hard to kill. Since he can ult an enemy and then teleport back to his ultimate's shadow from anywhere on the map, he can escape rather safely as well. Because of his high versatility, his skill cap is extremely high. You can easily tell the difference between a great Zed and a good Zed.


This is a pretty long guide, so you might want to grab some snacks and coffee before you start reading. If you want, you can go on YouTube and listen to some calming music as you read! Here is a song you can listen to: Calming Music

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Pros/Cons to Zed


+Very Mobile
+Hard to catch
+High outplay potential
+Very easy to last hit with passive
+Great duelist and split-pusher
+Excellent waveclear and roam
Zed's laning phase is decent once he hits level 3 because of his Living Shadow+ Shadow Slash+ Razor Shuriken combo. He farms very well under tower because of his passive, Contempt for the Weak. Importantly, his dueling potential is excellent. He can avoid damage for a couple of seconds by dodging left and right and into the fourth dimension, while constantly dealing damage with his abilities and item actives, all of which add more damage to his Death Mark. Since he builds armor pen, he can shred tanks as well if he's ahead enough. In the event where he won't win a fight, he can ult and escape.


-Very Squishy
-CC will destroy him
-Needs kills to be strong
-Has no hard CC of his own
-Being melee, he can be harassed quite a bit when trying to farm
-Exhaust, Zhonya's, and Mercurial really hurt his burst
Zed does have his own negatives as well. Like many assassins, he is very squishy and if CC'd by the enemy team, he will be blown up. Also, he has no CC of his own besides his slow from his Living Shadow's Shadow Slash. And like many melee vs ranged matchups, Zed can be punished early by auto-attacks when he goes up to farm. The biggest negative to Zed is that his burst can be reduced drastically by Zhonya's Hourglass, Mercurial Scimitar, and Exhaust. AP carries can use Zhonya's to avoid most of Zed's combo, effectively reducing the damage from his ult. Mercurial Scimitar will completely get rid of the Death Mark. Exhaust will reduce Zed's damage by half, which is huge.

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Runes and Masteries for Zed

These are the masteries I use for Zed. I take Double-Edged Sword and everything down the second column for extra damage. Expose Weakness is another great mastery point on Zed because he is an AD caster, meaning he uses his abilities, not his auto-attacks. Sorcery has four points into it because I prefer CD reduction for Zed; it allows me to use my Living Shadow more often, allowing me to poke more and have it handy in case I am ganked. The rest of the page is rather self-explanatory, so you can take a look at it later.


Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Mark of Critical Chance

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Here are the runes I use for Zed. I take eight Greater Mark of Armor Penetration for Zed's late game, and one Greater Mark of Critical Chance since it would do more for me than one more armor penetration mark. As for defenses, I take nine Greater Seal of Armor like most of my rune pages. My glyphs are a bit different from some Zed rune pages; I take seven Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction in order to use my shadows more, and two Greater Glyph of Magic Resist in order to handle the early game AP poke.

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Zed's Abilities

Contempt for the Weak
When an enemy is below 50% health, Zed's auto-attacks deal extra magic damage.
Zed's passive, Contempt for the Weak, is very good when farming minions under tower. When an enemy is below 50% health, Zed's auto-attack will deal an extra percentage MAX health, up to 10% at level 17 (This passive cannot be used against the same enemy more than once every ten seconds). That can be huge when trading with your lane opponent early. Since your lane opponent will most likely be building armor against you, this magic damage will not be affected. Many opponents underestimate the amount of damage this passive can do.

[Q]Razor Shuriken
Zed throws a shuriken, dealing damage to enemies in a line.
This is Zed's most damaging ability. He throws a shuriken that deals physical damage, that scales off of his AD at a 1:1 ratio, to the first target hit. All enemies hit by that shuriken thereafter will take damage that scales off of his AD at a 3:5 ratio. Razor Shuriken gives Zed the ability to both poke and farm safely at a distance. If you are being bullied in lane, stay back and get what farm you can with this ability. A great Zed will almost always land his shurikens; a bad Zed won't.

[W]Living Shadow
Zed spawns a temporary shadow at a given location. Zed can then switch places with this shadow by reactivating the ability.
This ability is what makes Zed who he is. Zed sends a shadow, that gives vision of that area, to a given location near him that will imitate him when he uses an ability. In other words, by using your Living Shadow before throwing your Razor Shuriken, you will be able to send two shurikens at one time, allowing him to have long ranged poke. If you land two of the same ability on the same enemy, Zed regains energy up to 40 at max rank. This shadow will last for four seconds and during that time period, Zed can switch places with that shadow (Only once). There is a certain range before you are unable to switch places (When you leave a shadow, an arrow below Zed will appear pointing towards the shadow. If the arrow is green/yellow, you can switch places. If it is red, you will be out of range). With this ability, Zed can close gaps easily and teleport over most walls, giving him huge outplay and juking potential. This ability also passively gives Zed bonus AD scaling off of a percentage of his AD, allowing Zed to scale decently to late game.

[E]Shadow Slash
Zed creates a burst of shadow that deals damage to nearby enemies.
This is a low cooldown ability that ability that gives Zed more waveclear. It is similar to Akali's Crescent Slash. If your Living Shadow lands a Shadow Slash on the enemy, it will slow them up to 40% at max rank; if you overlap two slows on the same enemy, the slow will be increased up to 60% at max rank. Remember, Zed's Shadow Slash will reduce the cooldown of Living Shadow by one second for each enemy hit. Use that to your advantage if you need to escape.

[R]Death Mark
Zed spawns a shadow at his location, becomes untargetable for a second, and dashes to an enemy champion, marking the enemy for death. After three seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing damage.
Zed's ultimate is where his burst comes from. The mark that Zed leaves on the enemy deals damage scaling off of his AD at a 1:1 ratio and also adds bonus damage equal to a percentage, up to 50%, of both magic and physical damage dealt to that champion by Zed while the mark was still active. Therefore, make sure you land your shurikens and deal as much damage as possible during the mark, or your mark will barely do any damage. When Zed ults to a target, he leaves a shadow from where he was when he ulted before dashing to the target. This shadow will remain there for six seconds. Unlike your Living Shadow, there is no range to the Death Mark shadow. That means you could use your ultimate on somebody who is recalling, fly to the base, and still ult back to your shadow. Since you have such an unlimited range to this shadow, you can use your ultimate on a target, deal as much damage as possible, then re-activate the ultimate to return to safety. Three seconds later, the death mark will go off, hopefully killing your target. And since you are untargetable at the beginning of this ultimate, you can dodge many skill shots such as Varus' Chain of Corruption. This is what gives Zed his huge outplay potential.

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
At the beginning of the game, you will want to put a point into the Razor Shuriken to use it to farm and poke. Then put a point in your Living Shadow at level two in order to have longer ranged poke. At level three, put the point into Shadow Slash so that you will be able to execute your main poke combo, which will be explained later on. You will want to max your Death Mark on Zed first because it takes a larger percentage of the damage dealt to the target by Zed to add to the mark as it ranks up. Razor Shuriken will be the next skill to max since it has a higher base damage and better ratio than Shadow Slash. After that, max Shadow Slash for more damage and then max Living Shadow last since it is more of an utility spell than anything, although you can put one more point into it earlier for more cooldown reduction. If you fell like you are not very skilled at landing your Razor Shuriken, you can max Shadow Slash before it since it is much easier to land. Try to get better at landing the Razor Shuriken if you can as it does more damage.

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Summoner Spells for Zed

Ignite is simply the better summoner spell for Zed, no question about it, especially when you hit level 6. Although ignite does not add extra damage to your Death Mark, you can use it to pick up kills that you otherwise would not have gotten. The Death Mark pops and leaves the enemy with just a sliver of health, but then your ignite finishes him off. Zed is an assassin, and like most assassins, he really needs kills to get ahead. Ignite will help him do so.

Flash helps Zed more than ghost. Flash is a great escape utility and adds more to his juking potential. You ult an enemy when you are low, flash over the wall, and if the enemy flashes over with you, you can just reactivate your ult and get back over the wall. It also gives you a huge range to catch up with an enemy with your ult. If an enemy is low and you are unable to get close, use your Living Shadow to get closer, flash, then ult the enemy. Flash can be used in various situations: kiting, dodging, escaping, engaging, all of which add to Zed's versatile nature.

Optional Summoner Spells for You Rebels

Despite what I said about Flash being better than ghost, there are scenarios where ghost is better than flash. You can take ghost if you really like being a rebel.

Although I prefer Ignite over exhaust since ignite can help you secure kills a lot more, exhaust COULD work, especially if you are fighting other high burst assassins like LeBlanc. I've had a game where I accidentally picked exhaust over ignite, and managed to save myself when I exhausted a Master Yi, cutting down his damage by half. I just prefer ignite over exhaust.

This could work if you think you won't be winning lane. You can use this to get to lane faster and continue farming or pull off some really nice roams by teleporting to other lanes. You can also use it to split-push, which is one of Zed's specialties.

Heal can boost your survivability, I guess. Not really preferred.

If you want something like this, take Heal. Right now, heal is better.

Take Heal if you must.

If you are doing Jungle Zed, take it. If you are laning, no.


Do people even take this summoner spell? No.


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Items to Build on Zed

Item Sequence

Ravenous Hydra

Youmuu's Ghostblade

Last Whisper

The Bloodthirster

Ionian Boots of Lucidity

Randuin's Omen
Item Explanation

The Blade of the Ruined King used to be the main core item to rush on Zed, but the nerfed active slow and damage has made Hydra the better item. The active on the Hydra adds to Zed's Death Mark just as the BoTRK did. It also gives Zed even better waveclear than he has already. Be sure to use the active as an auto-attack reset!

Since the Blade of the Ruined King so no longer rushed on Zed, you want some sort of sticking power. Instead of buying the The Black Cleaver like before, you can buy Youmuu's and use the active to give you that desired sticking power. Youmuu's also gives Zed better dueling power than the Black Cleaver, so it is a better item for split-pushing.

This is a must-buy unless the enemy team stupidly decides not to buy any resistances against you. The 35% armor penetration helps Zed shred tanks. You may be asking, why would I be focusing tanks? If you were split-pushing, they might send a tank after you to hold you off. In that scenario, it helps to have some armor penetration. Besides, it can't hurt to have a Last Whisper against an ADC who bought Guardian Angel or an APC who bought Zhonya's Hourglass.

The BloodThirster is the replaceable item in this build. You don't necessarily need more lifesteal and this could be replaced by any of the optional offensive items given in the beginning of this guide. Nonetheless, the item can be helpful as it gives Zed more sustain and damage.

Many Zeds prefer buying the Guardian Angel over Randuin's. However, my reasoning is that once Zed uses his ultimate, he has three seconds to deal as much damage as possible before the Death Mark pops. However, if you are to die before you are able to deal all your damage, the mark will have popped once you have revived. With Randuin's, you get to have more health and armor, giving you more time to deal your damage. Besides, you have an ultimate to escape with. Another bonus is that once you ult into their team, you can activate the Randuin's to slow everyone around you. If the enemy has a more AP heavy team, you can buy a Banshee's instead.

I prefer cooldown reduction on Zed since I am an AD Caster. With CDR, I will be able to use my abilities more often, thus meaning more damage dealt. It also means I can use my Living Shadow more often, which allows me to escape in scenarios where I couldn't otherwise.

Optional Items

Remember, builds are not static. Sometimes you will want to buy an item in one game, but not another. Be flexible with your items. However, this doesn't mean buy random items for your champion; you have to know why you are buying these items. Here are the optional items:

Although I said that the Ravenous Hydra is a better item to buy on Zed now, that doesn't mean the BoTRK is bad. You can still rush the BoTRK if you plan on going split-push Zed since it gives you attack speed. You could also replace the The Bloodthirster with this item if you feel as though the enemy team is still too slippery and you want to have a bigger slow on them.

You can get the Black Cleaver instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade if you feel as though you won't need the sticking power or if you feel like you won't be split-pushing much. The Black Cleaver is more of a teamfighting item than Youmuu's because of its passive. By using your Living Shadow+ Razor Shuriken+ Shadow Slash to poke the enemy before a teamfight, you can lower their armor before going in. Since your abilities are able to hit multiple enemies, you can lower the armor of multiple enemies, which is a plus. The less seen route is to replace the The Bloodthirster with the Black Cleaver to shred even more armor, although I doubt many teams will have that much armor and often times it's better to go with a more offensive item instead.

This item can be great depending on the enemy team composition. The active can really help free Zed from any hard crowd control. For example, if you are facing a Malzahar in lane, the active can be used to remove the suppress from his ultimate, Nether Grasp, allowing you to quickly kill him.

Like the Mercurial Scimitar, this item is purely situational. If the enemy team has a LeBlanc or Ziggs, you may want to consider buying this item; it can and probably will save your life. Do not buy this along with the Scimitar. If you really need that much magic resist, you can buy a Banshee's Veil instead of the Randuin's Omen for your defensive item.

I'm not really a big fan of critical strike chance on Zed since his abilities don't apply on-hit effects and therefore don't crit, but some people like it on him because of the damage it gives. It comes down to personal preference. Buy it if you want.
Edit: As pepsiM4A1 kindly pointed out, the Infinity Edge is used to amplify the crit on the Youmuu's Ghostblade. It does indeed help out his dueling as it increases the chances of him getting a crit, which adds insane damage to his ult. Just another reason to get this item :D

This is a good item to replace Randuin's Omen on Zed if the enemy is AP heavy or if their APC is extremely fed. I prefer the Banshee's Veil over Spirit Visage because of the passive shield that blocks an enemy spell. Against most AP carries, being able to block a spell can be a lot more helpful than the passive that the Spirit Visage gives. It's also good against Rocket Grab and Death Sentence.

These boots are essential if the enemy team has loads of crowd control. The 35% tenacity can save your life.

Although these boots were nerfed pretty hard, you can still use these if you think you will be roaming a bunch during the laning phase.

Item Purchase Order

Starting Items
Doran's shield with one health potion is the usual start for Zed. Since he is a melee champion and most AP mids are ranged, he will often be punished by auto-attacks when he goes up to farm. Doran's shield will reduce the amount of damage taken by these attacks and also give him health regen to recover from them.
Long Sword with two health potions is a more aggressive start. If you are facing a champion you believe you can go aggressive on without worrying about taking too many auto-attacks, this can be a good start.
Boots of Speed with four health potions is also another start. Start this if you need to dodge skill shots in the early game (i.e. Javelin Toss). The four health potions will give you good enough sustain in the lane.
This is the best trinket for any laner, besides support. Use this trinket to ward up the side bushes in order to avoid ganks. Remember to hug the side that your ward is on!

Early Core Items
The Tiamat will be built into a Ravenous Hydra later on. For now, you will want to get the Tiamat first. Remember that the Tiamat can still be used as an auto-attack reset.
Instead of getting the Ravenous Hydra immediately after the Tiamat, you will want to build the brutalizer first. It gives you CDR and some armor penetration, which will be helpful in the early game. You can upgrade this later.
These boots give you CDR, which is really nice for Zed since he is an AD Caster.

After all of that, you can just finish up the build by looking at the items I recommended above.

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Zed's Combos

Now, after all that prep work, we can learn how to play Zed. Zed has many different combos, all of which are situational. Let's get on with it.

Zed's Poke Combos

This combo gives Zed enormous range to poke an enemy from far away, or land two shurikens on the same enemy near you. Remember, ALL of your shurikens move toward your cursor.
This is Zed's CC. It's only a slow, but it can definitely help Zed catch up. If you are running away, it may be more worthwhile to slow the enemy with this combo to save a teammate than to use your Living Shadow to get away.
This is Zed's main poke combo. You throw your Living Shadow near or on top of an enemy champion, use your shadow's Shadow Slash to slow the enemy, which makes it easier for you to land both Razor Shuriken. This combo can do a lot of damage, especially early game. If you have enough CDR from your runes, you can even add an extra Shadow Slash to the end of that combo for more damage and slow.

Zed's All-In Combos

R+E+Q+ Ravenous Hydra+ Ignite
+++ +
This is the simple combo for Zed's ult. You use your ultimate on an enemy champion, use your Shadow Slash, Razor Shuriken, hopefully landing an extra one from your ult's shadow, and Ravenous Hydra for damage and throw in some auto-attacks while you are at it. If you think the enemy will survive, use your Ignite. Then you wait for the death mark to pop. If needed, you can ult back to safety (i.e. you tower dived the enemy and needed to get out of tower range). If the enemy is out of range of your ult, you can use your Living Shadow to catch up. This usually only works if the enemy was on low health to begin with.

R+W+E+Q+ Ravenous Hydra+ Ignite
++++ +
This is Zed's most damaging all-in combo. You use your ultimate on an enemy, place a Living Shadow near him, then use your Shadow Slash to slow, throw the Razor Shuriken (With two shadows out, you can potentially hit the enemy with all three shurikens, dealing massive damage), and finally, use your Ravenous Hydra for more damage. If the enemy still needs to be taken down more, use your Ignite to secure the kill. The death mark will then pop, dealing massive damage if you landed all your shots. Once again, you have your ultimate's shadow to escape with.

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Zed in the Early Game

Now that you've learned the different combos for Zed, time to apply them in the different phases of the game. This section will go over early game Zed, which include levels 1-9.

Levels 1-5

At level one, you will most likely have your Razor Shuriken. Use this ability to both poke and farm from a distance. If you are being bullied hard or if the lane is difficult, you don't have to poke the enemy, you can just stay back and get what farm you can with this ability (This rule applies through the whole laning phase). Remember that this ability does less damage after hitting its first target.

At level two, you should have a point into your Living Shadow. At this point, you will be able to use the first combo given to you in the Zed's Combos section. Use this combo to poke the enemy at far range or land two shurikens. Beware using your Living Shadow recklessly since it is your only escape ability against enemy ganks. Remember that hitting the same target with the same ability twice will give you energy back.

At level three, you will begin doing a bit more damage. You can now use the third combo given to you in the Zed's Combos section. If you manage to land a nice combo, your laning opponent will eventually have to recall. At this phase of the game, your combo can deal quite some poke damage. Once again, remember that without your Living Shadow, you will be very prone to enemy ganks. Don't throw this combo out recklessly since it does reduce your energy pool quite a bit.
During these early levels, focus on farm. It's good to poke the enemy, but don't go overboard and neglect your farm. You can do all the killing you want later.

Levels 6-9

Once you hit level 6, your kill potential skyrockets if you haven't been feeding the lane. Now that you have your Death Mark, you can begin pressuring your lane and start roaming. If you've kept up with your farming and poking, you should have some offensive items and the enemy should be pretty low on health. Once you see an opportunity, use your ultimate and Ignite to secure a kill (Granted, this doesn't work in all scenarios). Since Zed is so mobile, he is a pretty good roamer. You don't have to get your first kill in your lane; you can get it somewhere else. If the enemy bot lane is pushed up, you can head down there to give a hand. You have two gap closers, so ganking won't be too difficult as long as your bot lane offers some crowd control. If your bot lane is pushed up, you can still roam down there if the enemy is low enough. After all, Zed is an excellent tower diver.

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Zed in the Middle Game

The middle game, which includes levels 9-16, is where Zed shines the most. Make use of that.


Skirmishes are small 1v1/2v2/3v3 fights. This is where Zed shines the most since in skirmishes, the CC is minimal and he has a lot more room to execute all of his abilities. During the middle game, skirmishes are a bit more common. Start pushing other lanes and contesting objectives such as Dragon . Make sure to use your ultimate on a priority target such as an ADC or APC.


Zed can be good in teamfights as well since he can target and hopefully kill a carry, then still be able to get out of the fight safely where he can continue doing more damage. Just make sure that you don't immediately use your Death Mark at the beginning of a teamfight. If you do, you will be hardcore CC'd and blown up before you can even get close to killing the carry. As Zed, you will want to keep track of the CC blown and the enemy carry's positioning. If you've see a Leona blow her Solar Flare, that's one less CC ability to worry about. Check that off the list. Lee Sin used his Dragon's Rage? Check that off the list. Once you think that there is a small enough amount of CC remaining, you can then use your ultimate. However, you don't always have to wait for the enemy CC to be blown. If you notice that the enemy carry is in a position where none of his teammates can peel to save him, hit that R button and kill.

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Zed in the Late Game

Zed's late game, which includes levels 16-18, is pretty decent because of his built-in AD version of the Rabadon's Deathcap. His teamfighting ability will probably have slowly declined since many others will be building defenses against him and items such as the Mercurial Scimitar or the Zhonya's Hourglass. Nonetheless, he can still be extremely strong.


At this point of the game, towers will have become extremely valuable. Zed is an excellent split-pusher because of his top-notch waveclear and his great dueling potential. He also takes down towers relatively quickly with the correct build (i.e Blade of the Ruined King/ Youmuu's Ghostblade). Tell your team to hold the enemy off and try to stop them from recalling. In that time, go to your desired lane and start pushing. If the enemy sends one person after you, you will most likely be able to kill him unless he is extremely tanky. In that case, just escape using your abilities and rejoin your team. Since you are so mobile, there will be a small time period where the enemy is fighting a 4v5 before their teammate catches up. If the enemy sends two people after you, stall those two people out for as long as possible while your team forces a 4v3 fight.

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Zed Tips and Tricks

What I have given you so far are only the basics for Zed. In order to become a great Zed player, you will have to know the little tips and tricks to Zed. This section will go over the different things you can do with Zed that will separate you from the good Zeds. (For each example, I will try to insert a video clip showing me demonstrating the trick. Hopefully I can get some in-game examples for you).

The Unseen Shadow

Often times the laning opponents will forget about your Living Shadow, especially in the lower elo. What I mean by this is you will execute your poke combo and the enemy will then think they are safe since you just used your cooldowns and energy. They will start to linger around your shadow, and if they are low enough and if you have your ultimate, you can just switch places with your shadow and then mark them for death. In this video, you will notice how I throw in my poke combo at the Yasuo, then continue to farm. The Yasuo, thinking he is now safe that I used my abilities, begins to slowly move toward my shadow. Seeing the opportunity, I switch places and use my ultimate on him.

Can't Hit Me

In this trick, you use your Living Shadow or your Death Mark to dodge an enemy ability. With your Living Shadow, wait for the enemy skill shot to pass your shadow and then switch places with it to dodge the skill shot. You can also use your shadow to move to the side quickly to dodge an ability such as the SUPER MEGA DEATH ROCKET. With your ult, you can even dodge point and click abilities such as the Sigil of Malice from an enemy LeBlanc. Here are videos showing both dodge an enemy ability with a shadow and the ultimate. In the first clip, I use my shadow to poke down the Yasuo, and when he throws his tornado at me, I switch places with my shadow to dodge it.

In this second clip, I dodge the enemy Lux Light Binding with my ultimate and then kill her.

Away and Back

With this tip, you can juke and waste the flash of your opponents. The concept behind this is to use your ultimate and run away from your ultimate's shadow, either using Living Shadow, Flash, or just simply moving out of the way. As the enemy chases you further and further away from your shadow, re-activate your ultimate and go the opposite direction. If the enemy decides to stay at your ultimate's shadow, just keep on running and don't go back. In this clip, I use my ultimate on Varus, kill him, and then flash over the wall to get away from the enemy Ahri. She flashes after me, so I switch places with my ultimate's shadow and run to safety. The clip is also a great example of the The Unseen Shadow tip.

Back and Forth

This tactic can be used to dodge enemy skill shots when using your ultimate. For example, let's say you are facing an enemy Swain. You use your ultimate and know beforehand that the he will use his W, Nevermove, to snare you in place and combo you. So what do you do? You use this Back and Forth trick. Right after you use your ultimate, immediately place a Living Shadow behind the Swain. When you see the snare coming up, immediately ult back to your previous location. Then you can return to your Living Shadow when you see that the Swain has returned to human form. After that, kill him.
There is no "forth" part of this, but it is a good example. I use my ultimate on Katarina, and since I was low on health, I immediately returned to my ultimate shadow, using my shadow's abilities to finish her off.

Can't Touch This

This idea is very similar to the Can't Hit Me idea. With this trick, you place your Living Shadow at a location, then move away from it. When the enemy comes after you, use your ultimate (You can also use your ultimate and then place your Living Shadow away from the enemy), then switch places with your Living Shadow. The enemy will then have to go after you. As the enemy approaches you, switch places with your ultimate's shadow. During this time, continue using your abilities on the enemy. Your opponent will lose valuable time trying to catch you while you are dealing damage. I don't have a video of this myself, but for now, just look at this Bjergsen play against the enemy Lucian. He places a shadow in the bush by the wraiths, then leads Lucian away from it. He uses his ultimate on Lucian, then switches places with his Living Shadow. He deals damage with his abilities from a safe location, then ults back and auto-attacks Lucian before flashing away. The Death Mark then kills Lucian.

I Follow You

With this trick, it is possible for you to follow a Twisted Fate as he teleports away with his ultimate, Destiny. The idea is to use your ultimate the same moment an enemy uses his gap closer or escape ability. Since you follow the enemy with your ultimate, you can go with the enemy if you time it correctly. For example, if the enemy ADC grabs a Thresh Dark Passage, you can follow the ADC by using your ultimate on him right after he grabs the lantern. If needed, you can always use your ultimate again to return to safety.
*No video at the moment. Will try to get a clip of this.

Free Farm

This isn't really the awesome-looking, man-mode, ninja-style trick you may be thinking of. This is a very simple tip that can still give you quite a lead in your lane, especially early. The idea is to clear out the enemy wave as quick as possible, then use your Living Shadow to get over your wraith camp wall and kill the camp (Please don't be a douche and take it while your jungler is doing so). The moment you have finished the camp, quickly head back to lane and you should make it in time for the next minion wave. By clearing this camp, you can get a bit more experience and gold than your enemy laner, hopefully allowing you to hit level 6 before he does.

May add more tricks that I have forgotten while typing this.

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Lane Matchups and Counters

Let's go with all the lane match-ups for Zed! Opinions on lane match-ups vary from person to person, especially with the more skill-based ones, so don't be afraid to voice your opinion!
Remember, just because a champion counters you doesn't mean you will lose lane.

Item Counters

Before we get started with the champion, let's talk about item counters to Zed. Let's start with the most popular, Zhonya's Hourglass.

This is what the AP carries will most likely get to counter your ultimate. The active stasis can be used to either negate the damage dealt by your abilities or to negate the Death Mark pop. What do you do in this case? Use the Back and Forth trick. Return to your ultimate shadow and just farm, making the opponent feel safe. The moment the stasis ends, return to your Living Shadow and land as many shurikens as possible. Hopefully the stasis did not absorb the Death Mark. In some cases, you won't want to do this if you know the opponent is stronger than you.
If the enemy is AD, they might buy this item. The active will completely cleanse the enemy of your Death Mark, meaning there won't be any delayed damage to finish them off. You can't really do anything about this other than hope that you do enough damage in your initial combo to either kill them or get them low enough to take them out of the fight.

Champion Match-Ups


10 Ouch. This is a hard lane; her kit counters yours pretty hard. Her Q, Ice Shard, is very good poke and can chunk you quite a bit. Her W, Ring of Frost, will freeze you completely in place when you try to go in and all-in her. While you are frozen in place, she can use her E, Glacial Path to get away. And most of all, her ultimate is basically a Zhonya's Hourglass, but better since she can also freeze you in place. My advice? Just farm what you can and hopefully you can beat her with pure skill. When you use your ultimate on her, immediately ult back so that you don't get ulted (Better she ults herself than have her ult you). When she has ulted herself, use your Living Shadow to get back up close and hopefully deal as much damage in the .5 seconds you have before your Death Mark pops. If she builds a Zhonya's, don't even try to kill her; it's not going to work. This is an extremely hard lane; try roaming to get kills and don't feed her.
9 Some of you may be thinking, why don't you give this a 10??? Kayle is like, the most known counter to Zed. It's because I think that Lissandra is a harder lane. With Kayle, just farm safely till level 9-ish and you should be able to kill her. Her ultimate, Intervention, only lasts two seconds at first rank. That means you have one whole second to deal damage, which is quite a bit. My favorite tactic is to use the The Unseen Shadow tip. I bait the ultimate, then kill her. However, the hard part is staying in lane. With her E, Righteous Fury, she can constantly poke you in lane. Her Q, Reckoning, can deal quite the damage and the slow allows her to hit you more with her E. Any poke you deal against her can be healed up with her W, Divine Blessing. However, the difference between Lissandra and Kayle is that you are stronger than her at level 9. At level 9, she won't have the attack speed to deal the damage she does late game, so you can finish her off then. Just focus on farming with your Razor Shuriken and stay alive until then.
7 This is a pretty hard match-up for Zed since Lulu can constantly poke and slow with her Glitterlance. Her ultimate, Wild Growth, drastically increases her chances of survival against your ultimate. With Whimsy, it becomes easier for her to dodge your Razor Shuriken. My advice? It's not impossible to kill her. Even if she uses her ultimate, it won't be as effective if she was low on health to begin with. Just make sure you take the bonus health into account. Keep poking her when you can to keep her low.
6 Slightly in Akali's favor. However, it could also just be a skill match-up. Pre-6, you are a lot stronger than she is. Just don't allow her to auto-attack you after she has landed her Q, Mark of the Assassin, on you. Once she hits level 6, she becomes a lot stronger and can deal a lot of burst damage. She also is very mobile if she has multiple stacks of her ultimate, Shadow Dance; she can easily move from one location to another by ulting your minions. What do you do? Buy pink wards. If you use your ultimate on her without placing a Vision Ward right after, she will just place her W, Twilight Shroud, and go invisible. Then she'll just wait for the Death Mark to wear off before killing you. Start roaming as well. Your wave clear is much better than hers, so push the wave and go help out another lane.
5 This is a skill match-up. I have won lane against Yasuo almost every single time, but that's because I have so much experience with Zed. A good Yasuo can dodge your Razor Shuriken by using his E, Sweeping Blade. However, your level six is stronger than his. You can dodge his tornado using the Can't Hit Me tip. Just make sure that when you use your full poke combo, take down his passive shield with your Shadow Slash before throwing your shurikens. Also, when you use your ultimate on him, don't immediately throw your shurikens; he can easily dodge them if you are in a minion wave with his E. Aim carefully.
5 This is another skill match-up. If you engage with your ultimate, he can just Playful / Trickster/ Playful / Trickster away on his pole. On the other hand, if he uses his Chum the Waters on you, you can use your ultimate right before the shark comes up to dodge the damage. Luckily for you, he is also melee so you don't have to worry about ranged harass. However, beware of his level three power spike.
4 After the removal of her silence, Leblanc is no longer a problem on Zed. Your level six is stronger than hers. However, because of her W, Distortion, she can be a bit hard to catch. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about being silenced when ulting her now.
4 Pretty easy lane. Her base armor isn't the greatest, and once you hit level three, your poke combo will chunk her pretty hard. Just remember that when you ult her, she can ult away with her three dashes. Stay behind minions so that you don't get charmed and you should be fine.
2 One of the easiest match-ups for Zed. You have better poke, and if she jumps on you, you can just use your Living Shadow to get out of the way and then use your Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken. Also, you can use your ultimate to dodge most of her ultimate's damage. This is an easy match-up for you so have fun.


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Thank You!

This guide took me quite some time to make and it's rather long and drawn out. If you read all of it, or even just a part of it, I thank you for taking the time out of your day to do so. If this guide helps out even one person get better at Zed or want to play Zed more, I would be happy. Any comments are very much appreciated, so please comment what you think of this guide! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed your stay!


A big thank you to Jhoijhoi for making a guide on how to make a guide on this website. Without it, I probably would have made a guide that was all over the place and unreadable. If you are wanting to make a guide yourself, I would highly recommend taking a look at it. Here is the link: Making a Guide