[2.3] [Challenger] Detailed Zed Guide
Best Build Guide for Zed
Item Build Description
Additional information on the items
- Long Sword is bought as a first item as it grants you attack damage which allows you to last hit easier and deal more damage to enemies with the help of your Razor Shuriken . On top of that, it is also a good purchase as it builds into your first full item
- Youmuu's Ghostblade is the first item you purchase on Zed as it grants you mobility for faster roams and returns back to lane as well as arm pen for potential takedowns.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the best boots to buy for Zed as they grant you ability haste which allows you to spam your abilities more faster. This is necessary in order to use your shadows as much as possible as well as dishing out damage with your shurikens and slashes.
- Serrated Dirk gives you enough armor penetration together with your first item to more or less kill anyone. Even tanks.
This assassin build is focused around one-shotting targets with your abilities. It grants you a lot of penetration through items, but leaves you squishy and open for crowd control. You need to be able to control your shadows if you want to use this build without getting nuked. It is hard to survive in team fights with this build, as you have low health and not a lot of resistances. Therefore, make sure that you at least kill one enemy before you get out or get killed. Keep in mind the first fighter build is focused around damage, while the second fighter build is focused around health. Use the first for when you need to assassinate, but survive damage and the second one for fighting very long battles, e.g. if both teams have 3 tanks.
- Youmuu's Ghostblade is the first item you purchase on Zed as it grants you mobility for faster roams and returns back to lane as well as arm pen for potential takedowns.
- Duskblade of Draktharr is used for takedowns. If you managed to get an early kill or two, you can buy duskblade over youmuu's for insane burst. However, going drakеtharr first is risky because if you get bullied out of the lane you will be very weak with worse ability to roam.
- Protobelt Enchant Quicksilver Enchant Stasis Enchant is what you buy for boots, but very situational. Protobelt Enchant is used for more damage and is the most common purchase to really nuke your target. However, if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control then you should go for Quicksilver Enchant or Stasis Enchant depending on how good you are with timing them. Statis is more efficient and can be used with your W and R but quicksilver is better if you are capable of pulling off a full combo and escaping.
- The last three items are situational Black Cleaver and Mortal Reminder are bought for armour penetration and healing reduction which is good against tanks. However, if the enemy team only has squishy champions then you are better off buying Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer for crit, ad, attack speed and a powerful shield from PD. For the final item you can either buy Guardian Angel against heavy burst and CC or Death's Dance for extended fights.
This fighter build focuses on critical strikes. It isn't a very popular one. Mainly due to the fact that you have to use auto-attacks in order to dish out damage. It is a good build if the enemy team doesn't have a lot of tanks and you don't need penetration in order to kill your targets. It is also a build that is strong for split pushing as you have attack speed, fast clearing, and deal lots of damage to turrets.
- Infinity Edge is a necessary crit item, as it gives you 30% more crit damage. It is also one of the few items that give both critical strike and attack damage, which you need as Zed .
- Phantom Dancer is the best item for critical strikes as it gives you a shield when you reach low hp. This allows you to get out before getting nuked.
- Death's Dance turns all direct damage into bleeds, which allows you to survive for longer periods of time. You can replace it with a Guardian Angel if you feel like you need more armor if the bleed doesn't really help and you still die.
This fighter build focuses more on having lots of health and survivability. You don't have as much damage as with the other builds, but it is still useful. Especially for split pushing. Why? Because you are healthier now, meaning it is a lot harder to kill you. On top of that, you also have some good sustain items such as Blade of the Ruined King and Sterak's Gage . You can build this path if you want to always be in a fight. It also helps you stick onto targets like Ashe and Xayah which might be hard to catch due to their abilities like Enchanted Crystal Arrow and Featherstorm
- Blade of the Ruined King allows you to get more movement speed after your Living Shadow + Razor Shuriken + Shadow Slash combo if you land both shurikens. If you don't, you can just auto-attack once to steal movement speed. On top of that, it also gives you attack damage, life steal, and attack speed which are key stats for Zed .
- Sterak's Gage gives you health, ad and a shield for when you get low health. This is a trade-off, as you get more health but instead lose out on penetration / attack speed. Useful for staying alive.
- Guardian Angel gives you armor and ad, as well as a second chance at life in case you die. You mainly buy this item for the armor and the passive, but the ad you get from it is just the cherry on top of the cake. If you have a lot of gold, and you have lost the resurrection bonus, then you can sell it and opt-out for a Death's Dance or Black Cleaver
- Maw of Malmortius is used against heavy ap comps
- Sterak's Gage is a must-have item for surviving team fights with the fighter build
- Umbral Glaive is typically used in high elo where vision matters more than damage
- Blade of the Ruined King is a good purchase against tanks and for split pushing. You can also trigger it with your W+E+Q combo
Remember that everything you buy is situational. There should be no game where you always go for the same build without a reason. If the enemy has many tanks or a lot of armour, you go for armour penetration such as Black Cleaver or Mortal Reminder . If they have 3 ad carries and you are in low elo, you can just go for full lethality damage or crit in order to kill them and end the game as fast as possible. If they have 4 ap champions with a lot of CC then you can go for Mercury's Treads or [ionian quicksilver]. Think about what you need, and don't be afraid to experimentation to gain experience.
Best Runes for Zed
Firstly, electrocute is a good rune if enemy team doesn't have many tanks (more than 2) in order to one-shot squishy targets
- Brutal / Triumph
Secondly, take brutal for damage on triumph if you enemy team has less than 2 tanks.
- Hunter Tenacity / Regeneration
Thirdly, as defensive stats aren't too important, so we take hunter titan for tenacity which is best. You can also take regeneration if you have a tough opponent
- Hunter Genius / Sweet tooth
Finally, we take hunter genius for ability haste in order to use your abilities as much as possible. Sweet tooth is pretty busted right now, so take it in combination with regeneration if you think you will have a hard lane.
Firstly, Conquerer is used for extended fights when you think you won't be able to kill targets with electrocute.
- Brutal / Champion
Secondly, We take brutal for AD/Pen. You can also take Champion, but you need to know Zed to take it.
- Conditioning / Hunter Titan / Regeneration
Thirdly, we take same runes for same reason as first set.
- Hunter genius / Sweet tooth
Finally we take hunter genius for same reason as first set.
How to distribute skill points
Zed Matchups & Counters
Detailed information on how to play matchups and counters
Dodge her binding ( Light Binding ) with Living Shadow / Death Mark or side-step and engage. Very easy lane unless you get poked and hit with her abilities over and over. If you lose this lane too hard, roam to other lanes
Aurelion is currently very weak. His main damage comes from his stars Celestial Expansion . If you can dodge his Q Starsurge and R Voice Of Light then this should be an easy lane. Be careful as he can follow your roams with his E Comet Of Legend .
She has more consistant damage with her Assassin's Mark , Five Point Strike and Shuriken Flip . However, you have more burst. With that in mind, use your Living Shadow + Shadow Slash + Razor Shuriken combo to get her low, and then kill her.
AP Malphite hits like a truck with Unstoppable Force but luckily he doesn't have much health. Zed has a decent amount of health so he won't shot you with his full combo, but you need to react to get out or counterengage on him when he flies in. Generally speaking, this lane is in your favour. If you are bad with timing his ult, you can get a Stasis Enchant for use after his ult.
Decent range and easy way to stun you. Don't fight her until at least level 3 where you can proc electrocute. Remember that she can stun you after your R Death Mark and try to one-shot you before you can use your abilities. Just use the basic poke combo Living Shadow + Shadow Slash + Razor Shuriken and use R Death Mark when she is low. Highly recommend getting Quicksilver Enchant !
You can dodge his entire combo. The only problem is that he can get [stasis_enchant] which also dodges your combo. My tip is to save your [zed:ult] for when he uses his abilities and rely on your Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slash for damage.
Very hard to fight. Deals more damage and has a passive shield that regenerates. Early levels play safe and use Razor Shuriken to hit his shield. When shield is down use your combo. Post 5 you need to avoid his windwall and if you hit him with double or triple Qs you should beat him.
One of the best pokers in the game. Keep your distance only farm with Razor Shuriken until 5. After 5 try to roam top/bot or into enemy jungle or play safe. If Orianna plays exhaust she will be impossible to kill as you will deal 40% less damage from all your abilities and you will also be slowed by 20%, making it harder for you to walk to her while exhausted. Focus on other lanes and objectives if you are not sure on killing her.
Gameplay wise you are both equally as strong. If she hits you with her Charm , you need to quickly disengage or try to shot her before she shots you. If she uses her ult Spirit Rush after your ult Death Mark you can follow it up with a Living Shadow + Shadow Slash + Razor Shuriken + Death Mark to pop her and disengage from other enemy champions.
Highly skill oriented because both of you can dodge all of the opponents abilities.
Pushing VS. Team Fights
Teamfighting is pretty simple. You typically want to participate in 5vs5 team fights if you feel like your team is ahead, you have control of dragons or barons, or you believe that the enemy team is lacking coordinations.
In such scenarios, you want to group with your team and try to force a fight as you engage onto the backline (e.g. an adc like Jinx or a mage like Lux ) in order to assassinate them before they manage to dish out too much damage. However, this is quite risky. Getting caught can be the turning tides in a fight.
First and forest, my biggest tip is to take a good position before the fight starts. If a fight is about to start near dragon, you should walk behind the enemy by going through the jungle. This will allow you to instantly engage onto the enemy carries instead of trying to get through the front line such as e.g. Vi or Alistar .
Secondly, Zed is a champion that wants to get in, get a kill, and get out. With that being said, if you feel like you won't be able to get another kill - Get out. It is better to retreat, reload your abilities, and then get back in than it is to try to win a 1v1/2v2+ duel with no abilities.
Finally, make sure you abuse your Death Mark and shadow on your Living Shadow to kite and juke enemy abilities. This will allow you to assassinate multiple targets without getting crowd controlled to death. If you lose a team fight, don't keep forcing them. Try to split push, and group with your team before the next fight starts.
The only time you want to split push as
is when you are certain that your team can not win a team fight and when you have teleport. This could include that you or your team have fallen behind, you have lost baron or dragon or you know that your team is lacking coordination.
In such scenarios, you want to split push on the opposite side of the objective with the shortest timer. If baron is spawning soon, go to the other side. If dragon is spawning soon, go to the other side. This makes it difficult for the enemy team. Let me explain why.
First and foremost, when you are split pushing you are creating a threat. If the opposing team do not react by recalling or forcing a fight, they will either lose a lot of gold, experience, and towers due to you. In these cases, usually, a team member recalls while the remaining team fights a 4vs4.
Secondly, as you are pushing with teleport, you are capable of teleporting into an on-going team fight to turn the tides in a 5vs4 battle. The opposing laner can not do so, because they have recalled to stop you. If they haven't, you've lost an objective but won 2 to 3 towers.
Finally, split pushing also puts a lot of stress on your opponents. While they may not do very stupid mistakes, like stopping a baron to recall, they will do more smaller mistakes such as missing one ability or flashing into a wall. This is because they have to think about you at the same time as they have to think about their team and your team.
- Zed's basic attacks against low health targets deals bonus Magic Damage. This effect can only occur once every few seconds on the same target.
- Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens. Each shuriken deals damage to every enemy hit. The first target hit recieves 100% damage and all remaining targets recieve 60% damage
- Passive: Zed gains energy whenever he and his shadows strike an enemy with the same ability. Energy can only be gained once per cast ability.
- Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for a few seconds. Reactivating Living Shadow will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
- Zed and his shadows slash, dealing damage to nearby enemies. For each enemy champion hit with Zed's Shadow Slash , cooldown of Living Shadow living shadow is reduced by 2. All enemies hit with zed's shadows are also slowed for a short duration.
- Zed becomes untargetable and dashes behind an enemy champion, marking them. After 3 seconds the mark triggers, repeating a portion of all the damage Zed dealt to the target while they were marked. Reactivating Death Mark will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.
- Your bread and butter and used to proc electrocute. Commonly used in early/middle for poke and for shutting down low health targets.
TIP: If you use your W to the left or right, enemies run the opposite side.
Combo 2: Flash+Q (Flash + Razor Shuriken )
- Fancy method to last hit a champion if your other spells are on cooldown
Combo 3: Flash+AA+E (Flash+AA+ Shadow Slash )
- Another fancy method to last hit a champion if your other spells are on cooldown
- Safe way to delete someone with your ultimate. You cast your W to a side or behind you which you teleport to after using your ultimate. After going back to your W with a second activation, you use your E to slow down the target and Q to land a tripple shuriken for your ultimate to finish them off
- Used in order to kill a target from a far with the help of your shadows
- Known as the "tripple shuriken" combo. If you don't land your Qs this combo will not work.
- Combo is used to throw enemy off guard and bait out their abilities. You flash instantly after your ultimate to dodge potential spells. Then you use W on the target and Q them with a tripple Q. Finally you take the W to get close to them and E+AA before using your R to dodge spells for the second time.
- The first three spells are used in order to burst the enemy, which you then follow up with your ultimate in order to finish them off. Remember that you only used your W to place it, meaning you can teleport to it right after you use your ultimate to dodge enemy spells and CC.
- This is combo is used for taking down multiple low health targets. You engage with a Flash+AA+E and then use your W to reposition yourself to the next target which you also E+AA. If the target is not dead, you use your ultimate on a third target and finish the last target off with your E while focusing the third target with your E+Q which should give you a tripple kill and enough reduction to use your W for the third time.
Levels 1-5 (0-3 Min):
- Easy Matchup (You won lane)
- Hard Matchup (You lost lane)
- Play safe until level 3. Take as little damage as possible
- If the enemy is pushing into your turret, use your abilities to kill the enemy minions to avoid getting poked to death or dived
- Call jungler for help, or recall and start roaming at your power spike
Levels 5-9 (3-6 Min):
- If you are strong, stay in your lane. Two alternatives
- Push the lane with your auto attacks and dive the enemy laner
- Stay behind the enemy minions and only last hit them. If enemy laner walks up, you punish. If they don't, they miss gold+xp and you win.
- If you are weak (died in roams), roam to other side or play safe
Levels 9-16 (7 Min+):
- Playing from ahead
- Force team fights. You are fed and powerful. Tell your team to take dragons, herolds and invade enemy jungle. If they don't listen, roam. Kill your mid laner, go bot lane and get a double kill. Recall, kill your mid laner again and go top lane. If all laners are playing very safe, go into enemy jungle and try to kill the enemy jungler. Worst case scenario is you have to dive a lane. Make sure you don't die so you do not fall behind
- Playing from behind
- Avoid team fights. Splitpush. You have fed and you are weak. Go to an empty lane and farm. Don't focus on killing enemy champions. Kill minions, get xp and get back into the game. If you are 0/3, went top and you see a weak ad carry then you can try to kill them. Even if your team is losing team fights near dragon, you can take pressure off them by pushing the opposite lane.
- Imagine: Enemy team is taking baron. Your whole team goes to contest. You are farming bot lane near your turret at this time. You decide to splitpush. Your enemy jungler engages before your team has caught up to try to steal the enemy baron. Smite fails, jungler dies. Your team runs back to base. You have taken the second turret. The enemy team push mid to try to end the game. They take two turrets very fast. You have taken the third turret and you are moving in to their nexus. The top laner decides to recall to stop you. You see this and recall out of vision. The enemy team is now fighting a 4vs4 under your nexus. They attack and try to end the game, but take too much damage from the nexus and your team. you end up taking 3 shutdowns and 1 enemy escapes. Your jungler is now alive, and your team is stronger. You push down bot lane - you win the game.
questions & answers
Question: Why should I play Zed?
- Zed is a high-skill mobile assassin which means that you need to play him a lot of games to get the hang of him, but when you do then you will be an unstoppable killing machine. He is arguably one of the most mobile champions that are currently in the game, meaning you can do sick outplays in order to amaze your and the enemy team. He is honestly a lot of fun. Give him a try!
Question: Do I need to know all combinations to play Zed?
- No. Zed is a champion that requires a lot of adaptation and experience. You need to know when you can kill a target and when you can not kill a target. What combo you use to pursue your target doesn't matter as long as you get it done. In higher elo, you will probably need to know a certain amount of combinations to make sure you don't fully burn everything after a fight.
Question: How do you win against zed?