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Zilean Build Guide by Cryniu

Middle Zilean Mid Diamond-Master (In construction)

Middle Zilean Mid Diamond-Master (In construction)

Updated on March 26, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Cryniu Build Guide By Cryniu 3,711 Views 0 Comments
3,711 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Cryniu Zilean Build Guide By Cryniu Updated on March 26, 2023
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Runes: General

1 2 3
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Champion Build Guide

Zilean Mid Diamond-Master (In construction)

By Cryniu
Hello! I am Cryniu and welcome to my first English guide about Zilean!

First of all I want to say English is not my native languaje I speak mostly Spanish but I will try my best writing this guide for you :D

Zilean is one of my favorite champions in League of legends and one of my mains even in Diamond-Master (Max league Master 200LP)

I love playing Zilean in Mid and occassionaly as a support and I think is a champ with a great potential when you master him so... I want to invite you to discover the Clock World with my first guide in English :D

I will be writing and updating it throughout this month so be patient please

I hope you enjoy it!
Knowing Zilean

Zilean ''The Chronokeeper'' is a very particular mage whose main role is Support (Role, not lane) and mage as secondary role. This means Zilean is more appreciated because of his utility than his damage or harmful abilities and you can note this when I say that Zilean has only one damage ability xD

Zilean was designed as Support/Mage champion with mainly Magic damage with his Time Bomb and a very special ultimate Chronoshift which can revive an ally.

Although Zilean is a champion with a veeeeeeryyyyyy old play style and people don't like him that much I think is a great champion with a lot of potential.

As you can see in this image (which you can found in lol client) Zilean stands out because of his utility.

Utility: High
Damage: Medium
Movility: Medium
Crowd Control: Medium
Toughness: Low

Let's see his Strenghts and Weaknesses!


One of the best revive abilities in lol

Powerful crowd control with stun and slow

One of the best slow abilities in lol Time Warp, 99% at the max level!

You also can speed up your allies with this ability!

One of the few champions that can level up allies with his passive Time in a Bottle

Very decent waveclear with his bombs

Exotic pick (people don't play him so much)

In general he is a very useful champion to have in your team


Zilean has only one damage ability, if you are looking for a champion with great damage, choose another champion.

Although you can use your ultimate to revive yourself, Zilean is very squishy

You can't use your ultimate when you are stunned, remember that!

Zilean is very team dependent to take kills, turrets, drakes etc...

Zilean's basic attacks are very slow

In my opinion he is a hard champion to learn and master
Abilities and tips
This section will be dedicated to Zilean's abilities and tips about them!



Passive - Time in a Bottle

Zilean stores time as Experience and can grant it to his allies. When he has enough Experience to finish an ally's level up, he can right-click them to impart it. Zilean receives as much Experience as he gives.


1. This ability is very useful to power up your allies and help them to get strong power spikes. Try to level up them when you know that they will be very strong because of them max leves. Example: Kayle lvl 16 Kassadin lvl 16 Ornn because his masterwork items and lvl 13

2. Try to level up your allies when it's worth it. Example it's not worth when your ally is about to level up with 1 or 2 minions left. Remember that you can see a white circle around your allies that means experience amount they have and this circle will be yellow when you can level up them.

3. Level up your allies is very useful in key moments like 5 to 6 because your ally get his ultimate or 10 to 11 because his ultimate gains level 2

4. Remember that this ability levels up both allies and yourself.

5. It's a little annoying missclicking while your passive is available and your allies are fighting. This ability will stop you meanwhile you are leveling your ally, try to level up them out of fight.



Q - Time Bomb

Tosses a bomb to target area that sticks to units that come near it (prioritizes Champions). It detonates after 3 seconds, dealing area of effect damage. If a Time Bomb is detonated early by another Time Bomb, it also stuns enemies.


1. This will be your only damage ability. Use it wisely to poke your enemies or clear the wave.

2. It's my first maxed level ability because you can poke your enemies a lot during laning phase.

3. Remember that detonate first bomb with another bomb will stun enemies in the damage area. One of the basic Zilean's combos (Q+W+Q) uses this ability two times to stun.

4. It's a difficult ability to target in my opinion. This is because Zilean does a little animation before throw the bomb and this warns your enemies to dodge it. Try to practice and predict where your enemies will be.

5. You can detonate two bombs at the same time for double instant damage! (it will be explained in combos section)

6. You also can put it on an ally or yourself!. Example you can put a bomb on a minion to damage your enemy if he kills that minion.

7. Be careful when you are against enemies that can put shields on themselves. If you put a bomb on someone with shield, they will negate the damage and you will waste mana.



W - Rewind

Zilean can prepare himself for future confrontations, reducing the cooldowns of his other basic abilities. Zilean reduces the current cooldowns of Time Bomb and Time Warp by 10 seconds.


1. Essential ability for Zilean combos like Q+W+Q or E+W+E

2. This ability only reduces Q and E cooldown, remember that it doesn't affect your ultimate.

3. You only can use it when your Q or E are in cooldown. Remember that because you can make a mistake using W when your Q or E only have 1 or 2 seconds left and it's not worth it.

4. I prefer level up E before W because the powerful slow of 99% but level up W is a great option too.



E - Time Warp

Zilean bends time around any unit, decreasing an enemy's Move Speed or increasing an ally's Move Speed for a short time.


1. One of the most powerful slow/speed up abilities with an amount of 99% (almost a root)

2. You don't have to target it and this ability doesn't have cast animation so... miss it is impossible.

3. Remember that you can use it on enemies to slow them or allies to speed up them and you can use it on yourself too!

4. If you want to use it on yourself I suggest you to use ALT + E quickly.

5. Use it when you are leaving your base to reach the lane faster.

6. Great synergy with Celerity because lots of movement speed!

7. Great synergy with champions with speed boost like Hecarim or Master Yi

8. Great synergy with other cc tools like Everfrost or Exhaust



R - Chronoshift

Zilean marks himself or an allied champion with a protective time rune for 5 seconds. If the target would take lethal damage, they are instead transported back in time, regaining Health.


1. Mainly try to pay attention at the moment to put it. The key to make this ability work is use it when you know that your ally will be in extreme danger or dead.

2. You can use it on your allies or yourself, remember use ALT + R (default) to use it on yourself quickly.

3. This ability recovers health based on your ability power, so items with a lot of ability power like Rabadon's Deathcap or Archangel's Staff are very strong.

4. Great synergy with immortality or protection items like Zhonya's Hourglass or Crown of the Shattered Queen

5. Great synergy with champions with: immortality, revive, protection. Example Tryndamere Ekko Zac Lulu Taric

6. Great synergy with Ultimate Hunter to revive a lot of times!

This section will contain my favorite runes and explanations about them. Remember that this guide is about Zilean in mid so I'm not going to recommend Guardian or Summon Aery because I think these are better runes as support.

My favorite runes page in this patch (13.5):

In this page you will find:

Movement speed

Everything that Zilean needs to damage, run and revive allies.

I choose Arcane Comet because you can do a very strong burst damage with this combo: Q+W+Q + Luden's Tempest and your enemy will be stunned so fail Arcane Comet will impossible. Summon Aery is good but I prefer strong damage and Phase Rush is useful to play a safe lane.
There is no secret, we will need lots of mana. Besides you activate it with your bomb in laning phase.
Celerity offers us a great synergy with Time Warp. You will be able to move very fast around the map (remember that you are mid). Transcendence is a great option but you will have enough haste with Luden's Tempest and Zhonya's Hourglass in my opinion and Absolute Focus is viable if you want to poke.
This rune gives us a lot of AP in the mid-late game. I choose it because when you use Scorch the enemy tends to play safe and you decline in mid-late, this doesn't happen when you have better AP with this rune. Waterwalking could be cool to move other lanes but my favorite is Gathering Storm

Zilean needs a lot of mana and this rune is a great combo with Manaflow Band because both recover mana when you poke the enemies.
Very important most of games because your enemies will try to stun you so you will can't use your ultimate. Tenacity is extremely important to move and use your ultimate freely.

Other viable options!

Unsealed Spellbook is a cool rune to be very useful but is pretty complicated dominating it and Glacial Augment is great to create a powerful cc chain with bombs, your E or Everfrost. What ever I only recommend these two runes if you are playing as support.

Ultimate Hunter is an excellent option if you want to revive more allies. I suggest you take it only if you will build Crown of the Shattered Queen because both have synergy of mutual protection. If you will take Ultimate Hunter my prefer rune is Taste of Blood for laning phase sustain but Cheap Shot and Eyeball Collection are great options.


Attack speed to kill more minions with your basic attacks.
Ability power to more damage
Take armor against ad champs like Zed and take magic resist against mages like Ahri
Summoner spells

Flash is the primary option to escape and doing fast movements. There is no other spell like this so take it always.

My preferred option as secondary spell is Teleport. Taking Teleport in mid lane is a great option as safe/control spell because you can comeback to your turret or other turrets. I love to use teleport with Zilean because you also can go to other lanes and support your allies. Naturally that includes you can use teleport and revive your allies in dangerous moments.

Exhaust is a great option too, especially if you are against assasins like Zed Fizz Qiyana. This spell counters hard to assasins and you will help your allies to live more.

Ghost is very viable if you like to run a lot. Remember that we can use E Time Warp and Celerity to run faster!

I don't recommend any other spell


This section is about my recommendations about items with Zilean. I'm going to include my favorite mythics with legendaries and smaller items like starters and boots.


Luden's Tempest
Luden is my favorite Mythic playing as Zilean mid. It offers us burst damage, movement speed, waveclear, magic pen, mana, ap etc... I prefer this item because when you have Luden and Sorcerer's Shoes (+24 magic pen with both) you can do a very strong burst damage with Q+W+Q combo.

Crown of the Shattered Queen
The Crown is my second favorite choice, especially when I want to use Ultimate Hunter and play most like a secondary support. The Crown offers us an anti-burst shield in the first 1.5 seconds, that means we will be confortable to use our ultimate before the enemy kill us. I see to Crown of the Shattered Queen like a defensive alternative and it's great in combo with Ultimate Hunter and Zhonya's Hourglass to revive a lot!

Everfrost is cool to create CC chains with your bombs, your E and Glacial Augment. I prefer burst damage of Luden but is a viable option if you want to cc.

Liandry's Anguish
Liandry is viable against bruisers and tanks with lots of HP. I prefer burst damage and let my allies doing DPS but burning with your bombs could be cool, buy it only if you need to do more DPS.

Rod of Ages
ROA is cool to play a solid laning phase with sustain and a free level. Remember that this item doesn't offer haste like the rest of ap mythics.


Zhonya's Hourglass
Zhonya is my favorite legendary item because offers us a great synergy with our ultimate. Remember that if we use our ultimate on an ally, we will be exposed so this item is great to survive with the active of invulnerability.

Banshee's Veil
Banshee is great against magic comps and avoiding a spell is great to survive more and use your ultimate freely. Buy it when you are against champions with powerful CC and damage spells like Malphite Fiddlesticks Amumu

Rabadon's Deathcap
There is no secret, Rabadon offers us a lot of AP and our abilities scale with strong AP, especially our ultimate which heals more with more AP.

Force of nature
I love this item because when I buy Luden+Zhonya I want to buy magic resist and HP and this item offers both. Its excellent against powerful mages (most of our enemies in mid). I like to buy one or two defensive items and Force of nature is very strong to survive against mages and use more your ultimate!

Randuin's Omen
Buying Randuin is the same concept of buying Force of Nature except that this is against AD and critical strikes champions. Buy it in mid-late game and only if you are against at least two critical strikes champions. Examples: Yasuo mid and Vayne adc or Kindred jg and Yone top.

Gargoyle Stoneplate
Gargoyle is great as fourth or fifth item, you know, when the entire team is trying to kill you to anulate your ultimate. It offers us a lot of armor and magic resistance when we are surrounded of enemies and we can active it to shield us.

Archangel's Staff
Arcangel is a great scale item which offers a lot of mana and a shield. Buy it if you want to play more like a spammer mage and overscale more to your enemies. Its excellent with Liandry's Anguish to burn a lot and Crown of the Shattered Queen to have a protection combo.

Shadowflame is an alternative poke option, especially against enemies with shields. Remember that Shadowflame offers a lot of magic penetration when the enemy has a shield. I don't use Shadowflame but is a very viable option to poke more with your bombs.

Morellonomicon it's not one of my favorites but grievous wounds are useful against heal comps. Buy it only if your team are not buying grievous wounds and start with Oblivion Orb so you can update to morello later.

Cosmic drive
Cosmic drive is a very special item because offers us 30 ability haste! and its passive and stats turn us into a more slippery Zilean. Buy it as fourth or fifth item if you want to use more spells.

Demonic embrace
Don't take it, I think Liandry is better option. This iteam works better being an AP bruiser like Mordekaiser or Swain

Horizon Focus
Horizon focus is viable if you want to do more damage but I think you have enough with Luden and boots. I prefer defensive options in the mid-late game.

Void staff
Buy Void staff only if the enemy has a lot of Magic Resistance and you want to do more damage. I don't like it so much because Zilean is not good doing DPS in late game but Void Staff + Liandry's Anguish is a decent combo against bruisers and tanks.


Sorcerer's shoes
These boots are my main recomendation because I love the burst damage with their magic penetration. Think about it, +18 magic penetration of boots, +6 of Luden, +5 of your second item, you will have +29 magic penetration with 2 items.

Mercury's Treads
Second but very important option, remember that Tenacity is very important because enemies will try to stun you so you can't use your ultimate. Buy these when you are against a lot of CC and magical damage. Examples: Ahri + Sejuani or Vex + Evelynn

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Ionian boots are great and really strong but I prefer the magic penetration to do strong burst damage. Whatever, Ionian boots could be a great option if you will use their haste. A very good option is use them in combo with Rod of Ages which doesn't give us haste.

Boots of Swiftness
These boots are great against slow spells and you will be faster. Zilean runs a lot with Time Warp so these boots are okay.

Starter items

Doran's ring
Doran's ring is my main option because Zilean suffers in the early game to survive and poke. It will help you to face the first minutes with HP and mana.

Tear of the Goddess
The tear is great to have stable mana but I don't recommend it as first item because you would be very fragile without the HP of Doran's ring. If you want more mana I suggest you buy it as second item in your first back.

Dark Seal
Dark Seal is cool but I don't recommend it because it doesn't give us mana.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Cryniu
Cryniu Zilean Guide
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Zilean Mid Diamond-Master (In construction)

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