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Ziggs Build Guide by eemmbbeerr

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League of Legends Build Guide Author eemmbbeerr

Ziggs, the Tactical Nuker

eemmbbeerr Last updated on March 30, 2012
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Team 1

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Middle Lane
Ranked #4 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
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

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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You are reading my first guide. This one shows how I build Ziggs, The Hexplosives Expert.
He's an Ap caster with long-range abilities. He is devastating in teamfights due to his all AOE damage.

I will try to update my guide as often as possible.
If you downvote please leave a comment on the aspect you found incorrect.
Seems like some people didn't notice the comment above and downvoted without saying a thing.
So I must repeat: If you downvote, tell me what you found bad or I won't be able to correct it. Before you downvote a guide because you don't agree with the cheat sheet, TRY IT....... G T F O trollvoters

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Pros and Cons

+ Great harass and poke
+ Magnificent in teamfights-> massive AOE damage
+ Next to global ultimate ability
+ Has slow and knockback
+ Escape ability can hop over walls
+ Reminds me of Mythbusters

- Squishy
- Any enemy who is over 60 IQ will focus on you
- No hard CC
- Escape ability is on a rather long cooldown
- Vulnerable if all skills are fired off in a short succession

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What is the reason behind choosing these runes?
The AP per level ones give more in the endgame but in my opinion when you have 474.5 AP (basic item build) it is only a tiny difference and having extra Ability Power in the beginning helps more.
If you are experienced you can try taking

Magic Penetration Marks are basic on any AP caster. If you use magic damage you'll want Magic Penetration for sure.

This time I took AP/level Glyphs as they're more effective around level 6 than flat AP Glyphs and you can reach level 6 fairly quickly.

Greater Seal of Replenishment Ziggs is quite mana hungry so I take flat Mana Regen Seals to help in early game. The bonus from Mana Regen/level Seals is not too significant in late game.

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If you want to know why I chose these masteries then you should read the chapter. But if you aren't very interested you can skip it.

I went 21-0-9 with Ziggs. Why?
The points in the Offense tree can be explained easily. All the things we need for our damage output are there: a little Cooldown Reduction, Magic Penetration, and most importantly: Ability Power
Also, the last point put there can improve Ziggs's ultimate ability use by making it easier to execute enemies with low health.

We don't need any points in the Defense tree as we don't make Ziggs a tank, nor tanky. We actually will take a defensive item and one with Health but that's only for making escape easier/possible.

In Utility we get Mana/level and Mana Regen. The reduced Cooldown on Flash can help us escape more from certain death situations. I took Improved Recall to make Runic Affinity abvaliable but that point can be spent on Swiftness .

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Summoner Spells

Best Spells
As I already mentioned in the Pros-Cons section, the cooldown on Satchel Charge is long and you might get caught even if you use Hexplosive Minefield so Flash is a must.
Heal can

  • Help you stay in the lane
  • Turn a teamfight's tides when you heal all your teammates
  • Save you from certain death and towerdivers
I took Heal over Ignite because if you stay alive you can dish out a lot more damage than Ignite and the long range of your spells usually get you the kills therefore you don't need the Damage over Time thing either.

Viable choices

Ignite help the most against champions with massive Health Regen or heals like Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Sona, Sion when he uses his ultimate, ...

Teleport can improve your staying-in-the-lane capabilities as you can make a quick trip time-to-time to the shop without risking that the enemy gets much more farmed or destroys the turret. You should take this over Ignite or Heal as it provides no escape mechanism.

If the team has no you can take it, else don't.
If you know that the enemy team will be heavy on CC, take else don't.

Not recommended spells

It can help you escape more efficiently on longer distances, but when you get focused you die quickly. You benefit from Flash more, believe me.

When you can't aim your skills and you miss a lot... well... Maybe. Otherwise it's a waste of summoner spell slot in mid/lategame.

It does give ability power but only for a short time. You can get out 3 Bouncing Bombs one Satchel Charge and one Hexplosive Minefield and maybe a Mega Inferno Bomb in the given 12 seconds. If you are good you might even get out 2-3 Short Fuses. It's simply not worth it even if you can hit all your burst because it will make you extremely vulnerable.
Doing the MATH
Let us say that Ziggs is lvl 18. Surge will then give you 78 AP.
If you hit with all the abovementioned burst it'll give you:
78*3*0.65+78*3*0.35+78*0.35+78*0.9+78*1.8=471.9 extra damage (counted on one target due to Short Fuse).
All damage of this burst without Surge(excluding Attack Damage and calculated with 400 AP for an average)=400*.35*3+400*0.65*3+400*0.35+400*1.8+400*0.9+840+139*3+210+500+471.9+255= 5113.9
You can see that the boost from Surge is a little less than 9.3% of the whole damage and while it's not that bad if you fling another Bouncing Bomb then it will be about as damaging as without Surge. With a well used Heal you can prolong your life for more than 3 seconds I think. Of course the damage might be a little more because the spells are AOE but that doesn't change my opinion about the spell.

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Skill Sequence

I will explain the usage of skills in the chapter: Using your abilities

Basically every single guide here on Mobafire uses this skill sequence, but I also think that it's the best. I don't want to sacrifice goodness on the altar of originality.

Bouncing Bomb

Your bread-and-butter skill. It allows great harass, deals tons of AOE damage, scales well with AP and has such a range that it can bounce out of your sight.
We max it out first for the improved harass.

Hexplosive Minefield

This ability is harder to harass with but will often net you a kill by slowing and dealing a high amount of damage to the enemy.
For these reasons, we max it out second.

Satchel Charge

Leveling this decreases the cooldown and improves the damage by a little amount. As we can't level anything else, this gets maxed out third.

Mega Inferno Bomb

Every champion levels their ultimate when it's abvaliable, Ziggs is no exception. Improve it at lvl 6, 11 and 16.

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First of all: don't believe all the numbers you see.
The cheat sheet doesn't calculate Passives in so the +20 AP from a fully charged Rod of Ages and the + AP*0.3 from Rabadon's Deathcap isn't counted in.
Items here are written in suggested purchase order. For special item choices please visit the Countering certain enemies chapter.

or and potions.
Option A will help you stay in the lane longer. If you happen to have an opponent based on skillshots like Ezreal, Brand, Ziggs or anyone like that, buy Boots of Speed first instead of Meki Pendant. Dodging enemy skillshots is more important than some mana because if they hit a lot they will force you to recall or in extreme cases, kill you

After this you have 2 paths to take, their price (cheat sheet items) is about the same:

Path of Ages:


Our first item will be Morello's Evil Tome. In case you're very skilled you might want to get Rod of Ages first as the sooner you get it the better. Going for it will allow less skill use but if you don't spam or your jungler is kind and gives you blue then it's great. If you have ever played Ziggs you know that he's very mana hungry, especially at the beginning. Morello's gives Mana Regen, a good amount of Ability Power and a thing that makes it perfect throughout the game: 20 % Cooldown Reduction.

Doing the MATH:
Masteries=4% Cooldown Reduction
Morello's Evil Tome= 20 % Cooldown Reduction 20% + 4% = 24%
Bouncing Bomb's Cooldown at level 5 =4 seconds 4-4*0.24=3.04
You can be flinging your Bouncing Bomb every 3 seconds if you have the Mana.

Rod of Ages gives Health, Mana and Ability Power. It also adds a little to your sustainability restoring Health and Mana every levelup.
Sorcerer's Shoes Speed and Magic Penetraion. Enough said.


Rabadon's Deathcap is a must buy for any AP reliant champion. Not only it gives 140 AP it also increases all your AP by 30% which is pretty awesome.
Banshee's Veil If someone wants to kill you they will try to open with CC to prevent escaping. With Banshee's Veil we deny this opportunity and might protect ourselves from a very high damage spell like Requiem or even an enemy Ziggs's Mega Inferno Bomb.
I took Banshee's Veil over Zhonya's Hourglass in this case because I always forget to use items. Always. Zhonya's is just as good or better with the AP for this defensive use but not for those who can never remember item actives.
Void Staff with its 40% Magic Penetration plays an important role against opponents who have Magic Resistance.
boosts your damage output by a massive amount however take into account that it requires you to get into autoattack range and expose yourself. Only take this if you have Banshee's Veil and Rod of Ages in case someone tries to kill you.
I'd take this over Void Staff in most cases when I have the money.

Path of the Archangel:


For the ones who like Archangel's Staff, the build is here. The core items are all about AP and Mana Regen (only after you fully build your staff though). Still, for charging up that Archangel's you will want to get blue buff, it makes you so much better in the lane.


Morello's Evil Tome is a great item for boosting your overall damage. You won't need the Mana Regen as much as in the first build but the 20% CDR and AP is just too much to miss.
Void Staff comes with a huge Magic Penetration and you'll need that if the enemies have common sense and build against your damage. Its' AP is not too bad either. If they build absolutely no Magic Resist, you might want to switch it for an Abyssal Mask for defensive usage.
Banshee's Veil is valued for the spell shield. The other item you can get here is Zhonya's Hourglass which has an active panic button. I prefer Banshee because I very often forget to use actives and using Zhonya's will make you unable to move. Your choice, again.

Counterpicks and optional items
If you totally devastate them get a Mejai's Soulstealer. Keep in mind that getting 10+ charges on it puts a big flashing neon banner on you that says: TRY TO KILL ME IF YOU CAN!
If you dont perform too well because:
The enemy has too much Magic Resist -> Keep Void Staff.
The enemy always kills you with Magic Damage -> Get Abyssal Mask for its Magic Resist and AP. The aura will not help you at all times because all your abilities can go beyond its range.
The enemy kills you with Physical Damage -> Get a Zhonya's Hourglass.

The Rod of Ages build has a little less AP but is tankier than the Archangel's Staff build. You have to decide which one you prefer more.

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Tips and Tricks

General tactics about what to do and what not to do

  • ALWAYS try to get a blue buff.
  • Farm and last hit. You need money for the build.
  • Help your team all around the map with Mega Inferno Bomb.
  • Try to cast Mega Inferno Bomb when the enemies are CC'd.
  • Stay back in teamfights, never run at the front.
  • When the laning phase is over, try to stick around with teammates.
  • If demolishing a tower after an ace, cast your skills often to make Short Fuse's cooldown shorter. It triggers on buildings.

  • Expose yourself. You have no sustain save for the Rod of Ages's restoration on levelups.
  • Jungle. As it has been told you have no sustain and Spell Vamp only applies 1/3 on your AOE spells. And for what reason would you jungle with Ziggs anyway?
  • Venture alone when there's a possibility of a gank. You might get stunlocked my multiple enemies.
  • Harass ranged AD champions with Short Fuse.
  • Facecheck brushes. Use Satchel Charge and Hexplosive Minefield instead. When there's a Garen in the enemy team, this is Rule Number One.

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Using your abilities

Usage of Short Fuse

Short Fuse is your passive ability. It add a nice extra damage to your autoattacks every 12 seconds which even scales with Ability Power. Very useful at harassing because of the great extra damage for no Mana cost. You can boost your damage output in a normal fight too, in lategame it is nearly as powerful as an active ability.
  • Harassment! Don't use autoattack on minion but on enemy champion and you get nice damage without a chance to miss.
  • Farming! It enlarges the treshold where you can last hit minions.
  • Boosting damage! Just use an autoattack between abilities in fights and you'll be much stronger.

Usage of Bouncing Bomb

Bouncing Bomb is your main harassment and damage dealing tool. It has a great range and a good mechanic that makes it possible to hit enemies even behind minion waves.

Main uses:

  • Hit them right on the head! The chances of dodging it are very low and aiming it is easy.
  • Bounce it! If the enemies are too far away just toss it in their direction. If they aren't aware of your range they will surely get hit. You can kill recalling enemies at the towers without getting hurt.
  • The harassing toss! It's the hardest to carry out but will suprise them greatly. Bounce it once between the caster and melee minions and watch as they think you try last hit but you actually hurt them. A lot. Watch out, if any minion is in the circle it shows it will explode there.
Also, always try to throw it where enemies are grouped up. It's AOE.

Usage of Satchel Charge

Satchel Charge is primarily an escape, secondarily a reposition and interrupting tool. Its damage can be used if all other skills are on cooldown and you have to execute an enemy, but it's weak and doesn't scale too well with AP.
  • Wall hopping! Place it close to a wall but far enough to have some space for the charge to blow you in the right direction.
  • Escaping ganks! Place it between you and the incoming enemy and blow it up. It'll knock them back and fling you in the opposite direction. You can also utilize the knockback to save allies from ganks.
  • A little disruption! Toss it into the midst of enemies and detonate. The knockback functions as a mini-stun as they'll have to click again to get moving. It can also stop channeled abilities.
  • Chasing! If you are close to the enemy enough, throw it ahead, blow him/her back and use Hexplosive Minefield where they'll want to go. This combo can guarantee you the kill.
  • Brush check! It reveals the area of its blast zone while it's active.

Usage of Hexplosive Minefield

Hexplosive Minefield's capabilities:
  • Blocking entry areas! Make it impossible for them to initiate without taking damage and getting slowed.
  • Catching! Throw it ahead of them and watch as they take heavy damage and get slowed down. The kill is yours. Best used alongside Satchel Charge
  • Damaging! If you activate it into the middle of the enemy team the most possible individual targets will take full damage from it. Otherwise it's just half for every mine after the first (on one target).
  • Brush check! It briefly reveals the area it is thrown on and enemies who step on them.

Usage of Mega Inferno Bomb

This ability is extremely powerful and has a massive range. If you stand in the middle of the map you can hit both mid lane Inhibitor Turrets.
  • Bombardment from afar! Are you too far to help your team and you know that they'll all be dead when you arrive? Send a Mega Inferno Bomb in there and someone will get multikills for sure. You can also help in a gank while staying in your own lane.
  • Catching fleeing enemies! Did that Corki you brought down to 100 health run away with Valkyrie? Fear not! Send a Mega Inferno Bomb in the way he'll flee and if you aim it well, you get the kill. It has room for error with its huge Area of Effect.
  • Simply Damage! Hurl it into the teamfight and laugh as their health goes down by a considerable percent.

Basic combos

The creep farmer
+ or when there are less minions,

The going-in-for-the-kill
to knock them towards you, to slow and make it easier to hit, if you can then try to throw a then and to finish them off if needed.

The maximum damage
+ + + + + + . Rinse and repeat.
Use when and where you can do the most AOE damage, there's no set place for it in the combo.
Short Fuses are only to be used if it doesn't bring you into the heat of the fight. Keep your range, it's your biggest advantage.

Ziggs Champion Spotlight

You should watch the video as it can show you some of the mentioned techniques. Though don't take the quick kills for granted, Phreak is a little fed after a point.

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Countering certain champions

Here are the champions that have caused me some trouble at laning so far:
Graves can harass you with Smoke Screen that can hardly be dodged or with Quickdraw+ Buckshot. He may slow you with Smoke Screen and devastate you with autoattacks.
Be extremely cautious, buy Sorcerer's Shoes for increased mobility and call for a gank as soon as possible. Switch lanes with someone if needed.

Ziggs Well... if someone plays the same champion you'll have to outsmart them. Use Short Fuse when they can't. Buy at least Boots of Speed to dodge Bouncing Bombs and try hitting him with yours.

LeBlanc She's incredibly annoying and hard to kill. You can try to harass her but she will be more damaging than you. Get a Banshee's Veil immediately before any other item.

Heimerdinger Harassment will be ineffective due to the Techmaturgical Repair Bots.
He will push you hard with turrets. Don't expose yourself to Hextech Micro-Rockets and CH-1 Concussion Grenade. Focus on last hitting and call someone (best results if he/she has a stun) to burst him down.

Nidalee Harassment won't do much good here either as she has great sustain. Buy Boots of Speed first and Sorcerer's Shoes early to dodge her Javelin Toss / Takedown at all costs (it can do up to 67% of your health in late laning phase - personal experience).
Focus on last hits and get somone who can stun not to let her run away with the Aspect Of The Cougar + Bushwhack / Pounce combo.

Shaco You're dead. Change lanes or towerhug all the way. If you extend by the least bit he can stealth and catch you with his slow. He can deal massive burst damage to your not-so-big health.
If you have to stay in the lane try having a Hexplosive Minefield or a Satchel Charge between you and Shaco at all times. Buy wards and place them in the side brushes.

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Ziggs is a really powerful AP caster who is great troughout the entire game. You can easily dominate a lane against (almost) all champions.
He can assist the team well with AOE slow, (though not as powerful as Gragas's) reposition and damage.

Thanks for reading.
I hope you liked it! I put a lot of effort into it.

If you have any pictures of good Match Histories that you got with this guide I'd be glad if you sent them :)
This is my first guide so I'd love to receive any feedback on how it can be improved.
If you know any champions who have beaten you in the laning phase please let me know so I can develop a strategy against them.

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Resources used

I was too lazy to take a picture just for showing Ziggs's ult range so the credit for the picture goes to a moron ( user).
BBcoding and other guide advices are from jhoijhoi's Making a guide
Pictures were taken with Fraps except for one (the Satchel Charge jumping).