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Zilean Build Guide by Gabriex

Zilean - Tic tac, tic tac, BOOM ! [UPDATED 2 Oct. 2012]

Zilean - Tic tac, tic tac, BOOM ! [UPDATED 2 Oct. 2012]

Updated on October 2, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gabriex Build Guide By Gabriex 500 59 2,867,799 Views 210 Comments
500 59 2,867,799 Views 210 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Gabriex Zilean Build Guide By Gabriex Updated on October 2, 2012
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Zilean
  • LoL Champion: Zilean


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Clarity



Hello everyone, I think the name of this buid really sugests what Zilean is all about. That is blowing your enemies to pieces, while also supporting your mates and keeping them and yourself from suffering a painful death. Therefore, I built Zilean on AP.

Also, I must say, that while this build allows Zilean to be more like a nuker, than a support, Zilean is still a support champ, and you won't make it too far if you're soloing...

Oh, I was about to forget, because Zilean kind of depends on his mates, so you'd better make sure you're playing with skilled team mates... Try to avoid playing with strangers because there are chances they'll be noobs and you'll fail because of them...

P.S.: Even though the build was made way before Dominion was even announced, it works well on the new map. I played some Dominion matches with Zil, and even though he may not seem the best choice for this new game mode, he does his job right. You have Crowd Control, Speed Buffs, Are of Effect damage, an awesome ultimate, everything is gonna be fine !
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What's what ?

As you guys can see, I've just released the second build that you've all been asking for since... well, since I've released the first one.
This time, Zilean uses Ignite to set his enemies on fire, and doesn't rely on Clarity for mana. I've decided to include this second method of playing Zil into my guide because a few patches ago his mana costs have been drastically reduced, and then Athene's Unholy Grail came around, meaning that our beloved time warping Santa can now have Ability Power, Cooldown Reduction a lot of Mana Regen and some Magic Resistance all in one item.

That being said, I hope you guys will enjoy the addition, and won't forget to keep providing feedback in the comments section, as it won't go unnoticed.

Also, special thanks to Ashrie, who reminded me that "Athene's Unholy Grail" was a thing and pointed out that it would work great on Zilean. You're a great !
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Pros and Cons

- He is a very good support champion;
- Capable of dealing a huge amount of magic damage if you play him right ( that is, if you follow this build :D );
- It's easy to get kills;
- Really annoying champ to play against, very good at harrassing;
- Really useful in teamfights because it deals huge ***loads of AoE damage;

- Squishy champ;
- Can't handle getting ganked;
- Very mana hungry champ;
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The Runes for the 1st build are:
Greater Seal of Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Ability Power for Ability Power...
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration for Magic Penetration...
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for some more ability power !

And now for the 2nd build:
Greater Seal of Replenishment are supposed to give you some mana regen...
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration will allow you to penetrate like a porn star...
Greater Seal of Ability Power and Greater Quintessence of Ability Power are all about early game terrorism !

There you go, those are the runes ! I'd really like to tell you more about them but there's simply nothing more to say. If you have any questions, feel free to ask !
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Due to the recent changes in the Mastery Tree, the format of the masteries may seem a bit unusual. It's 5 0 25.

Despite this build being mainly about how to build Zilean as a nuker, I opted for the Utility Tree ( again ) because it helps you advance through the game. The Utility Tree will help you get more gold and level up a lot faster than the others, which fits great with Zilean's Nuker/Support Role.

Explanation for the 1st build::

Well, the Points in Utility are there to allow you to keep up with the others, both XP wise and Gold wise, amd the 4 points in the Offence Ability Power mastery are gone, and are now invested into more mana regeneration in the Utility Tree.

Explanation for the 2nd build:

Well, it's pretty much like the first build, only that in the Utility tree, we now have some more mana regen and maximum mana instead of reduced death time and increased starting gold. It's really not that big a deal. In the Offense tree, the point in extra minion damage is no longer, but instead we have an improved Ignite.
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I chose the items so that you'll have a pretty big amount of AP while still maintaing a decent amount of health. It's very important to know that while playing Zilean, you should always try to stay away from the enemy, 'cause that big clock he's carrying around is not really working as an armor ( that means you're killed really easy, if stunned ).

Ok, so first, you should get Doran's Ring, it gives 15 AP, 5 Mana Regen per 5 sec., and also 100 HP. Some would've gone with Amplifying Thome, but I think Doran's Ring is a better choice because of it's Mana Regen and HP boost ( you really don't wanna go there with only 466 life ).

Then, the next thing I get are the Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you have to buy them second because Zilean is pretty slow, and even though you can use your Flash to get away, you'll need the extra speed to catch that dude and place that last Time Bomb on him. The Enhanced Movement Speed 2 hat the boots give you plus your Time Warp ability should be enough. But what makes these boots really awesome is the cooldown reduction effect which comes in really handy.

The third item I usually get is Rod of Ages, because of the much needed HP and AP bonus. It's important that you get this item early so that you can take maximum advantage of it's passive.

The next item I usually get is Morello's Evil Tome. It gives you 75 more AP, more mana regen per 5 seconds, and very important, 20% more cooldown reduction, which is awesome, because it stacks with the Ionian Boots, taking away a pretty big portion of your Ability's Cooldowns.

If you choose to get Ignite instead of Clarity, you should now but Athene's Unholy Grail, as it will provide with Cooldown Reduction, Ability Power, Magic Resistance, and some extremely useful passives which will greatly increase your mana regen.

At this point of the game, you should probably be able to deal a lot of DMG with your Time Bomb, and also revive your mates with a truckload of health. Still, there is place for improvement. Therefore, I recommend you go for Rabadon's Deathcap, because it gives a stunning amount of AP, allowing you to litteraly blow your enemies apart with Time Bomb.

Now, if the game is still going, go for a Void Staff, because along with AP, it will give you some more Magic Penetration, and at this point, that is what you really need the most.

In the end, you should have enough AP and Magic Penetration to be able to do your job pretty well... However, you can sell Doran's Ring and get whatever item you think suits the gameplay situation better ! My recomandation is Zhonya's Hourglass, because it gives alot of AP ( which is necessary, considering the fact that when you buy this, it's late-game already, so the oposing team had time to get some more MR/or life ), some Armor, and it has a really cool active ability which can save your *** in some situations.

Oh, on last thing about the items: if you're having trouble with some fat-*** dude with lots and lots of life, you should consider getting Deathfire Grasp early. I know the item may not seem like alot, but it's a tank-shredder ! If the fat dude is not on your lane, you can get it when you see the team-fights are starting to happen, but if the dude is on the same lane as you, try getting it as fast as you can, before Morello's Evil Tome, but after Rod of Ages ( it's important to get Rod of Ages really early because of it's passive and because Zilean really needs that little HP boost ).
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Skill Sequence

So, I know the skill sequence might seem a little straight forward and noob-ish to some of you, but believe me, it's the best one you can have with this build. I'm not going to write it down again, since you can see it in the cheat sheet, but I'm going to explain my decisions about the skill order.

So, first, we get Time Bomb. That's because THIS IS YOUR ONLY SOURCE OF DAMAGE and even at level 1, you do need do deal damage.
Then, the next thing you should get is Rewind, because it allows you to place two bombs on one enemy, using the sweet Time Bomb- Rewind- Time Bomb combo.
At level 3, the appropiate ability to get is of course Time Warp because this ability allows you to support your allies ( and yourself ) very-early-game.
From here, all you have to do is try to max your Time Bomb first, then your Time Warp, while still putting skill points into your Chronoshift at level 6, 11 and 16, and that's pretty much it. Follow the skill sequence you see in the cheat sheet, and everything should be fine, 'cause the experience tells me that there's not much need for variation with the skill order.
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Summoner Spells

When it comes to summoner spells, there is a number of them that would work out well on Zilean, but I think that the best are Clarity and Flash. Here's why:

    I chose
Clarity because Zilean runs out of mana really, really fast. And this problem doesn't show up just early game, like some people say. It affects Zilean the whole match, especially with this build, because you have to spam your abilities in order to survive. Clarity is definetly the best summoner spell to be used with this build ! Trying to replace it with some mana-stacking item just won't do it, I tried, and it's not the same.

Then I chose Flash because it's just such a great spell ! There are thousands of ways you can use it, it's great when you try to get away, it's good when you try to ambush someone or catch him. Some people told me to go with Ghost instead, but I think this is better, since Zilean can already dramatically increase his movement speed using Time Warp, therefore eliminating the need of using Ghost.

Other Options:

In the patch the Hekarim patch ) Time Warp mana cost was reduced to 80 from 100 and the Chronoshift mana cost was reduced to 125/150/175 from 200 at all ranks, which means that replacing Clarity with Ignite or Clairvoyance and taking Greater Seal of Replenishment and Greater Mark or Replenishment is a great and awesome ideea.
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Some things you should keep in mind while playing...

1. AVOID GOING ALONE!!! It's so cool to run towards an enemy and plant a bomb on him, 'cause he is low-life, but this maneover will often get you killed. That is because most players go back to their base when they are low-life. If they don't, there are two reasons for it:
a) They've got their heal spell, and their trying to get squishies to attack them so that theycan then heal and beat the filling out of the atacker's doughnut, or
b) They're a BAIT ! They're trying to get you to run towards them full speed, so that then their team mates can jump out of the bushes and beat the cream out of your 7-Days croisant !

2.ALWAYS CONTRIBUTE IN TEAM FIGHTS!!! Zilean, is a MONSTER in team fights ! That is because, during a team fight, most enemies are kind of close to each other so you can bomb different persons and deal a ****load of damage to the entire enemy team, therefore making it alot easier for your mates to beat the ketchup out of the enemy's bottles !
Also, Zilean is a SUPPORT character so you should always be there to revive mates, or help them escape and supporty stuff like that ! Never EVER EVER miss from a team fight ( unless you're dead, in which case, shame on you ! ).

3.YOU ARE FREE TO MODIFY THE BUILD IN ORDER TO BETTER FULLFIL YOUR NEEDS ACORDING TO THE GAME SITUATION!!!. That means, don't be afraid to get other items instead of the ones I mentioned, or other spells, or other ANYTHING ! Just be careful when you do it ! I can't make a build that suits everyone's needs, so you should adapt to the game situation. I mentioned one situational item you should get, but I can't think of them all... That's up to you !
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Update Log

I added this section to the build in order to better keep track of the updates and all the cool new stuff that is added to the build. Enjoy !
- 22 Jul. 2012:
* Fixed the runes for the second build. Special thanks to Adh5252 for pointing out that there were 9 quintessences instead of 3.
- 24 Jun. 2012:
* Updated Masteries for the second build.
- 21 Jun. 2012:
* The biggest change so far ! Added a second build !
- 22 Apr. 2012:
* Rewrote the second part of the "Summoner Spells" section.
- 07 Jan. 2012:
* Added another Doran's Ring, it's really recommended if you can get a good farm. It gives some more AP and survivability.
- 27 Nov. 2011:
* Tweaked the masteries a little. Special thanks to FadedShadows who gave me some very good sugestions in the comments section !
- 19 Nov. 2011 :
* Updated Masteries to the new tree !
- 22 Oct. 2011 :
* Fixed the rune section ( the runes in the text weren't matching the runes at the top of the page... Special thanks to Dalin for pointing this out ! ).
- 28 Sept. 2011 :
* Corrected some typos and grammar mistakes... I'm not a native english speaker, so please don't kill me for my bad english, I'm working on it.
* Updated the "Introduction" chapter.
* Changed the tags to include "Dominion".
- 26 Sept. 2011 :
*Updated masteries to better suit the build. There's no going over the Cooldown Reduction Cap now. Hurray !
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So, in the end, I'd like to thank you all for reading my build, and I hope that you'll give me some feedback in the comments section, or by PM. Once again, thank you for reading, I hope you found this useful and that you'll PWN those n00bs !

Oh, and please remember that, even if this is published, it's still a work in progress ! As you can see, I update this pretty often, improving it, and that wouldn't be possible without your feedback, so thank you again for commenting, AND voting. Without you this wouldn't be the highest rated Zilean build out there. Thank you all for taking your time and looking over this !

Also, don't forget to check out my Mundo build, here
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