Zilean Build Guide by CoRpusCoLLoSsuM
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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.
Intro and Explanation
ZILEAN: THE CHRONOKEEPER
This guide is aimed toward the experienced player -- and the player that wants to add Zilean to their ranked arsenal. I use these builds when I want to play a serious Zilean game. Other builds can be fun in less serious games, but these all provide a sound foundation for a solid ranked Zilean.
"How do I qualify to write a build for Zilean?" ..you might ask. With Zilean in season 1, I had w/l ratio of 60% and k/d/a ratio of 6/3/10. This season (2) with Zilean I currently have a w/l ratio of 5/1 and a kda of 3/1.5/6 at 1499 elo. Also, a lot of much higher elo players build Zilean this way. :D
Zilean is awesome. He is my favorite champion, as well as my main. He plays several roles simultaneously and can fit into most teams as a mage and as support. His ultimate is undeniably one of the most game-changing, and can/should turn the tide of a teamfight in an instant. He takes some practice to perfect, but is extremely fun and powerful.
Constructive criticism is welcome, please comment and rate!! I've redone the entire guide with the introduction of new mastery pages, keeping but refining much from the strategy sections from the old guide. Some of you might miss the old builds.. if so, just PM me and I might post the old one up again. I have it all saved :)
This is my first serious guide, and I'd like to know how people feel about it. I've found the builds to work wonders, and hope others can see the light!
I have been fine-tuning my builds to accommodate both mid lane Zilean and support, bottom lane Zilean.
I'd like to dispel some common misconceptions about Zilean...
"Zilean only has one damage ability, and can't be a carry."
Time Bomb is an exceptional ability, especially when coupled with Rewind for the well-known double bomb. It has some amazing range (700) and a great AP ratio. Harassing with Time Bomb is not difficult -- just activate it and auto attack once, then lose minion aggro (you'll only take one or two ranged minion hits). Additionally, in teamfights, well placed bombs will do major damage to multiple champions, and can be cast relatively often. Zilean can hold his own in damage production, but also brings a lot of utility -- making him a very interesting mid-lane carry when built and played correctly.
"Zilean has no heal, and is not a very good choice for support at bottom."
Zilean has extraordinary ability to zone in bottom lane using the long brush. He can push enemy champions off of the experience line, providing a comfortable pocket for your ranged DPS to farm. His Time Warp allows him to forgive over-extension, and thwart ganks. His ability to buy the cheap double doran's core talked about later and the philosopher's stone allows him to give up the last hits to the carry. His ultimate needs no explanation for its supportiveness. In short, his ability to harrass and zone makes up for his inability to consistently heal. ---And if you really want a heal, summoner Heal is a viable option in place of CV for support Zilean!
"Zilean needs to build cooldown reduction to be effective."
I won't try to shoot this one down completely -- CDR is an excellent stat for Zilean to build for. However.. he doesn't need to build for it! You get 10% cdr from masteries. You should get blue buff several times throughout the game, granting a lot of CDR and mana regen. If you have extra gold, buying an Elixir of Brilliance is often a good choice for another 10% cdr and a nice chunk of AP. -- In the support build, after buying Morello's Evil Tome, you will have great cooldown reduction even without blue buff. In any build, you are open to buy any items from the Other Items section, including Soul Shroud and the upgrade to Shurelya's Reverie from your Philosopher's Stone, if you want CDR.
"Zilean shouldn't focus on building AP."
If you think that's true, you have misunderstood Zilean's role. Zilean is made to have heavy hitting bombs and high health revives. If you neglect to build AP, and rush cooldown reduction, your bombs will pose no threat to the enemy. When you don't do damage, the enemy champion has every reason to dominate the lane. Once you reach level 6, building AP is even more important -- A high health revive is much more devastating to your opponents. Building for AP won't hurt Time Warp in any way that necessitates rushing CDR, especially if you get blue buff.
Items and Builds
Build 1 - Solo Lane
Build 2 - Solo Lane
Build 3 - Solo Lane
Build 4 - Bottom Lane
User Testimonials!! (Just for fun)
"Hmm.. I might be in love with this build. After deciding to pick up Zilean for the first time today, I tried the top rated guide "Zilean- Oh No You Don't!" I didnt like it one bit, the auras are cool for support but i feel like you basically just become a flea late game and cant do anything but speed up and revive teammates. With this build I was able to still remain a threat and yet be able to support my team just as good if not better as I was still sustaining some nuke ability and high health revives. My score was 7-2-24, not bad for my third game as Zilean. You basically become unkillable late game as you can outrun ANYTHING."
"The second build works great, just went 16/1/31 which is the most assist I've ever seen..."
Something else.. :
This doesn't exactly count, but in the 5th/6th place match at Dreamhack, CLG bigfatlp uses a build similar to this one!! Check it out!