In this series we will be making an in depth guide for Zed, each patch. So, let’s get to it. Hey guys, Haze Community here with our Zed guide series. This is going to be the first guide in the series, which will be improved on each patch to give you up to date information. If you have any questions, or thoughts on improvements, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We love to help people with League, so if any of you need personal help that this guide doesn’t cover don’t hesitate to send us a message right here on YouTube.
Here’s a table of contents for those of you that only want to know a little bit about Zed. If you’re completely new to Zed, or just want to learn more about every part of him, stick around. We’ll eventually go through every part of him, including team comps. You’ll always be able to come back to this part of the video by clicking the button in the top left. (10 second pause) With that out of the way, let’s get right into it. Zed is an AD, or attack damage assassin. Most of time he’s seen played mid but can also sometimes be played top. Unless you know him and your team to a large degree I’d suggest staying away from Zed top. Zed is one of those champs that is moderately hard to play at a basic level, but becomes increasingly hard as you move up in divisions. A great part about Zed is he can win almost any matchup, even counters, if played properly.
He’s got a lot of unique interactions in his kits that allow for a lot of outplay potential. With this in mind, it’s essential for players to utilize that outplay potential to their advantage. As with all champions, Zed is a tool to be used in the right situation. With this in mind let’s get into his strengths and weaknesses. Thanks to his passive, he’s really good at getting CS, even under his turret. He’s a great split pusher because of his outplay potential, and ultimate ability. He’s a very mobile champion thanks to his shadows. His shurikens allow him to farm safely in bad match ups. His ultimate is amazing for all-ins, leaving not many champions able to compete. Both of his basic damaging abilities are AOE, so he has pretty high wave clear. Despite being an assassin, Zed scales pretty well into the late game. Last but definitely not least is that he uses energy, so he can outsustain mana reliant champions. Although Zed is good at many things, he does have some down falls. Hard CC is disastrous to Zed.
There are some match ups that are almost specifically made to stop Zed in his tracks. His ult can be taken off with QSS, or his damage can be completely ignored by Zhonya’s. He is melee so unless you want to use abilities he’s going to need to put his neck out to get CS, or do damage in team fights. His skill cap is insanely high, with some saying he has yet to be mastered. Zed’s summoner spells are fairly easy to discuss. While there’s perhaps certain occasions to take something other than one of these, I’ve personally never needed to. I think you should always take both flash, and ignite on Zed. Flash allows for greater mobility, and outplay potential. Ignite allows you to get just a bit more damage in with your ultimate. It also helps to secure kills so you can get back to safety. Like I said, there’s never been a time where I’ve wanted any other spells, so I highly suggest taking both of these every game. Next up is where the diversity starts coming in. First things first, let’s go over runes.
First I’ll go over standard runes, then we’ll talk about diversity. Most of the time you’ll want armor pen marks, scaling health seals, magic resist glyphs and attack damage quints. If you’re going against an AD laner you’ll want armor seals and CDR glyphs. Also it’s good to take flat health seals if you’re against burst champs such as LeBlanc or Fizz. For masteries I suggest taking 12 points in the first tree, and 18 in the second tree. These will be the same masteries as most AD assassins. You’ll want five points in sorcery, one point in Feast five in vampirism, and one in oppressor. For the second tree, you’ll want five points in wanderer, one in assassin, five in merciless, one in dangerous game, five in precision, and lastly one in Thunderlord’s decree. Zed’s skills are some of the coolest in the game to me, having small but impactful interactions that some players don’t even know about. With that said, I think it’s important to talk about them. Your first ability is Razor Shuriken.
It can be used to cancel auto attacks making your damage output even higher. Your second ability is Living Shadow. It can be used for a large variety of things, from escaping to gap closing to even finishing Razor Shuriken’s animation early by swapping. Another good note to keep in mind is that your shadow will mimic all abilities you do aside from your shadow and ultimate.
This can be used to allow you to hit multiple shuriken, or multiple slashes. Your next ability is Shadow Slash. Shadow slash is a short range circular AOE ability that can be copied by your shadow. When this ability hits an enemy it deals damage, but if it’s hit by your shadow’s copy it will also slow your enemy. This slow is increased dramatically if the enemy is hit by both slashes. This move doesn’t cancel auto attacks, so you can use this while auto attacking. Your last ability is Death Mark. Death Mark can only be used on an enemy champion, but when used, it makes you disappear into the shadows for a time, before appearing on top of your marked target.
A shadow will be left at the location you were when you marked the enemy, and you can swap back to it after a short delay if you wish. After a short time marked targets will take a certain percent of damage dealt to them during the mark again. Now that you know the basics of his abilities we can move on. There will be much more to learn later on though, so stick around if you want a more advanced guide to his abilities and combos. Next we’ve got starting items. The traditional sword and three pots is all well and fine, except when you’re in matchups where the enemy intends to auto attack you a lot. Take for instance, Zed into Orianna. In these matchups, you’ll want Doran’s shield and a pot. Here’s where the real fun starts, first recall purchase options. Your first item is insanely important on a champ like Zed.
Your options include Hexdrinker, Serrated Dirk, Caulfield’s Warhammer, Bilgewater Cutlass, and Tiamat. You should always be getting the red trinket on your first back as well. Although most of these items will be pretty self explanatory, I’m going to cover them all. You can click on which one you want here, or just wait to watch them all. Jumping right in with Hexdrinker. Not only is Hexdrinker good against teams with a lot of magic damage, but utilizing it’s passive is also insanely useful. In light of these things, Hexdrinker is a good buy if you haven’t killed your laner solo yet, or if they can beat you if you all-in. Diana and Annie are good examples. Now it’s time for Serrated Dirk. This is a great item to pick up if your laner has bought a cloth armor. The damage and armor pen gained from this item is really good. I’d pick this item up if you don’t know what else to pick up. Caulfield’s Warhammer is really good if your laner doesn’t pick up cloth armor.
Without needing the additional armor pen, you can benefit off the added CDR. This would be a good pick up if you don’t know what to grab. Bilgewater Cutlass is an amazing pick against laners that stack health. This is a really good pick into laners such as cho’gath, or annie. When you’ve finished the item, it’s pretty good for split pushing, as well. Tiamat is what you want to get against laners that have wave clear. It’s also really good if you need to take out a large number of squishies. This is a great pick against Viktor, or Anivia. Lastly, a very important pick on Zed. Sweeping Lens is amazing for roaming, because you can disable the wards before they even see you. Not only that, but with this item even if you can’t get the gank off immediately you can gain vision control for later ganks. Next up we’ve got Zed’s defensive items.
These are the item’s you’ll want to pick up if you’re continuously dying before getting to assassinate your target. Some of these items can be picked up early game if you can predict you’ll need them later on. First on the list we’ve got Mercurial Scimitar. This item is amazing against teams that focus on CC. This is one of those items that, under certain circumstances, is good to pick up early. This is the item you’ll want to start if you’re laning against Malzahar. Maw of Malmortius is a godly item on Zed.
He can use all of it’s stats, and actives unless the enemy team is full AD. It passively gives him AD, armor pen, and MR which will help in all aspects of the game. It’s active is what makes it a really good pick up. If you drop below a certain amount of health, this item will instantly give you a shield, along with attack speed, lifesteal, and spell vamp until you leave combat.
Guardian Angel is a good pick if the enemy team has assassins. It’s also good against mostly tank teams where you might die to AOE before you can kill your target. With this item you can also afford to make more risky plays, assuming your team follows you up. Next up is one that isn’t used as much as it should be. Banshee’s Veil is an amazing pick against laners that can kill you before you can react. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Annie is going to combo you? Nope. Not with this. Last on this list is an item I don’t personally like, but I do admit it can be very useful in some situations. Randuin’s Omen is a great pick for those times where your team doesn’t have proper peel for your ADC, or if the enemy ADC is just too strong. Definitely a good pick if you find yourself in the late game, and the enemy ADC can kill you with proper peel. Now it’s time to look at boots.
This section will be pretty short, because I’ll be leaving out the boots I don’t suggest you pick. With that said, let’s start with the best boots first. Mercury Treads are definitely the best pick on Zed. Tenacity is a must have on Zed assuming the enemy team has some CC. Additionally it gives MR which is great in lane too. Boots of Mobility are a good pick if you intend to roam a lot.
If your lane opponent is just too much for you to handle, or you can’t get a kill on them, these are what you want. If you buy these make sure to use them as much as you can. Boots of Lucidity are a great pick if you want to snowball early game. CDR is a great stat on Zed and will allow you to use your ultimate more, but keep in mind that this removes the tenacity you’d otherwise have. A fed Zed is great, where as a dead Zed is not.
Ninja Tabi are good against AD laners, or a full AD team. Pick these up against Yasuo or Talon, and your lane will be much easier. Zed is one of those champions that scales insanely well with damage items. With that said, it’s important to note that the items you buy should be targeted against the enemy team even more than on other champions. Let’s look at your options. As said previously Maw of Malmortius is a great item on Zed. So much so, that it’s considered core. It gives your armor pen, damage, and enhances your survivability. Mercurial Scimitar is more of a defensive item, than it is an offensive item but has a little bit of damage and lifesteal.
Ravenous Hydra is a great item on Zed. Not only does it give an autoattack reset with the active, but also passively gives your sustain and wave clear. As stated previously one of the items in this build path, Tiamat, is a great early game purchase so this could potentially be your first full item. Death’s Dance is a really good second item on Zed. The stats you get from this item are really cost effective. This item gives you lifesteal on all of your damage, CDR, and survivability. This survivability will allow you to last longer in team fights, and have great synergy with other items like Guardian Angel. Blade of the Ruined King is still an okay item on Zed but because of the nerfs to it, it’s much more situational. Lord Dominik’s Regards is an amazing item for when the enemy tanks are ahead, and you need a little bit more to take them down. This item has great synergy with Blade of the Ruined King in that high health targets will be just as easy to take down as squishy targets.
Mortal Reminder is a very situational item, but when used in the right situations can be very effective. Using this item against champions such as Vladimir, Cho’gath, Swain, and even Dr. Mundo is good at removing a large part of their strength. The Bloodthirster is a good snowball item that gives very good stats. This item is best picked up when the enemy ADC is hitting you before you can do your damage.
The shield will help mitigate damage taken, as well as the lifesteal and damage to regain any additional lost health. Youmuu’s Ghostblade is A very close second to being the best item on Zed. I put this second only because the first best item is overall the better item. However, it’s important to note that Youmuu’s is much cheaper, thus is probably what you want to get first. Second to last, we’ve got Duskblade of Drahthaar. This is a brand new item coming out in that will allow you to get additional damage off for your ult, and can even help you get kills if your ult is down. It has great damage, and also armor pen. Pair that with the movespeed that it gives, and this is a pretty damn good item. Building this off your first back Serrated Dirk can leave your opponent in a world of hurt.
Last but not least, we’ve got The Black Cleaver. This item is hands down the best item on Zed in my opinion. This item will apply on all of your abilities, including your shadow’s shuriken and slash. With a proper auto attack cancelling with your Shuriken you can get all six stacks off in less than a second into your target. This makes your ultimate a LOT more dangerous.
With this out of the way, we’re down with items. Getting CS on Zed is as easy, if not easier than on an ADC. His passive makes last hitting easy, even under turret. Zed’s combo can be used frequently enough and without a cost to be considered good wave clear as well. This wave clear makes Zed an overall really strong champion at all stages of the game, even later in the game he can split push.
Here’s the part where we make the good Zed players into the gods. His combos what make him such an amazing champion. We’ll start with his poke combo. Although it’s not the strongest it’s pretty strong. Zed should be able to poke most of his opponents out of lane assuming you can get your Thunder Lord’s to proc consistently. Zed’s full combo is insanely strong at taking someone out. Assuming you can get level 6 before your opponent, you should get a free kill with it. The combo consists of using your ult, and when you land use any active items you may have bought. After that you’ll want to throw a shadow behind your enemy, then use shadow slash. Using that slow to hit them easier, use your Shurikens and ignite. Zed’s full combo can be used in a multitude of different ways. We’ll be making more videos to show you different ways of using your combo, and why.
Be sure to check those out for more effective ways to use your combos. Positioning can be very different on Zed from other champions, and even slightly different from other assassins. You’re going to skip the follow up phase of a team fight. The reason for this is you’re trying to wait for all of their CC to be blown on someone else, so you can go in without anyone stopping you.
Before the teamfight happens, you can use your W to poke them while you wait for the fight to start. It’s important to note that your strength is when team fights aren’t happening. With this in mind you should be trying to pick off stragglers before the fights can happen. If you can successfully kill someone before team fights happen your team will win the game by having a numbers advantage. You can also split push as Zed to give your team a numbers advantage but it’s not nearly as effective as outright killing someone. Zed is an all-in champion, so he synergizes well with all-in comps. Things such as Malphite or Alistar are really good examples. A good comp would be Malphite, Elise, Twitch, and Alistar. Now you know all about Zed, and should be able to play him very well. If this guide helped you out, or if you have any questions comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
As found on Youtube