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Zilean Build Guide by 42oL33t

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League of Legends Build Guide Author 42oL33t

Zilean Top: a Situational Guide [S4]

42oL33t Last updated on December 22, 2014
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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: 0


Utility: 9

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Hi. This is my first guide!

Hello there, thanks for reading my guide on how to play zilean top. Im actually terrible at playing zilean top, and usually end up feeding because im bad in general. However, I consider myself of higher intellect, and attribute most of my losses to external factors, therefore im still a good player in my own mind.

All that aside, Zilean top is a pretty good pick. Hes a useful counter to Champions like Jax or Wukong that can bully other champions out of lane easily. And his bombs are terribly broken, the damage is just ridiculous. They have no counterplay mechanics and are basically a death sentence for whomever you choose to apply them to.

Anyway, im not going to pretend like im a well versed, grizzled diamond 1 veteran who just came back from the LCS to write a guide on Zilean. Im just a normal, incompetent, bronze 1 player who isnt that great. But as one philosopher said a long time ago, "tis easier to give instruction than to recieve it" or something to the equivalent. That being said i hope you can at least read my guide and maybe get some tips out of it to try on your own. If it helps at least one person ill be happy!

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Pro's and Con's

- Devastating kites versus bruisers like Darius and Jax top
- Great utility late game
- Exceptional burst
- Super annoying against anyone

- Incredibly hard to farm, especially early game
- Squishy. Very squishy.

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when your talking about early game laning with zilean, mana is the name of the game. Until you get a tear, conserving your mana is incredibly difficult. I'm still not sure how to spend my mana appropriately early game (other than to save enough for a combo at level 2), but I get the feeling you should save enough mana for a full combo at any time post-tear.

But before the first back, try to make sure that you bomb just the champion, as every bomb you use is a massive investment of mana, and bombing a minion only to have the enemy waltz away is a huge mistake, and a solid downer.

Last hitting takes a lot of focus. His huge attack delay combined with slow projectile speeds means that your best bet is to get as close to your target as possible without putting yourself at risk. At higher levels it gets easier, but the first few waves are a nightmare.

By the time you hit level 2, you should have saved enough mana for a Q-W-Q combo. What you do next depends on your mmr/elo. If your playing against competent opponents, just Q'ing the champion will do just fine, however if your playing in silver 1 or below, the best course of action is to double bomb a ranged creep near the champion. This does a massive amount of damage to the enemy, equal to 2 bombs instantly detonating. This is because bombs explode when 3 different criteria are met.

1. The timer ticks down to 0.
2. Another bomb is placed on the target.
3. The target dies.

What you are doing, is first bombing a ranged creep once. This starts the timer. The next step is to rewind and re-bomb the creep again. This activates the second criteria and causes the bomb to explode. However, in doing so the target dies, causing the third criteria to be met, and the second bomb to explode as well. So you get the damage of 2 bombs faster.

If the enemy knows what theyre doing, they would be aware you probably have no more mana, and cant do that again for another minute or so. But if your playing against a scrub with no idea of the concept of cooldown timers/mana other than their own, their first reaction will be to leave the lane. This is why the tactic is only useful in lane against unskilled opponents.

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Tips and tricks!

These are things ive come to learn about Zilean after playing as him for a while.

-Try double bombing ranged creeps near a champion, rather than double bombing the champion. When the creep dies from the first bomb, the second will automatically go off, resulting in a huge amount of damage. You can use this to get the psychological edge against your opponent as well, especially at low elo where people dont understand the concept of burst and/or ability cooldowns.

-With a certain amount of CDR (around 20%) You can chain Time Shifts ("E") indefinitely. This perma-boost can be mana intensive, but during teamfights it can be crucial to have give your adc that extra movement speed during the fight, especially if theyre playing a champion like Vayne who relies a lot of positioning.

-Try to avoid using your Ultimate on yourself if you know your going to die. It may seem tempting to act selfishly and prolong your own existence, but if your getting mowed down and theres no way you can escape, its best not to waste the ability. That being said, target priority for ulting is a difficult process that can be hard to master.

-Don't forget your "E" can also slow enemies down! Many times ive seen a Gank fail simply because the friendly Zilean chose to speed up themselves or their jungler rather than slow down their opponent. Think about it this way: In relation to you and your jungler, slowing the enemy down by 55% will technically by increasing both of your movement speeds by 55%, whereas picking just one or the other will only be half as effective. Also, Movement speed increases are subject to diminishing returns, whereas decreases are not for a very high amount. On top of all that, the fact that the movement speed formula is multiplicative means that the % decrease will be more effective than the % increase.