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Zed Build Guide by LightningTemplar

Middle Swagilicious' Zed Guide - UPDATED w/ notes

Middle Swagilicious' Zed Guide - UPDATED w/ notes

Updated on June 28, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LightningTemplar Build Guide By LightningTemplar 22 4 63,127 Views 0 Comments
22 4 63,127 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author LightningTemplar Zed Build Guide By LightningTemplar Updated on June 28, 2023
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Runes: First Strike setup

1 2 3
First Strike
Magical Footwear
Future's Market
Cosmic Insight


+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+65 Base Health


Summoner Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Swagilicious' Zed Guide - UPDATED w/ notes

By LightningTemplar
Hi, I'm Swagilicious and this is my Zed guide!
This is my first attempt at creating a guide. However, the reasoning for why im creating this guide is for own personal gains as I seek to get a better understanding of Zed and his matchups through writing it down and putting it into perspective.

Despite this, I still hope there is some new Zed player out there who can implement some of this information into their gameplay obviously. I'm going to continuously be adding new info and stuff to the guide as I go through the season and new patches surfaces, so feel free to stick around and join me on this neverending journey of learning Zed. After watching a lot of the great Zed OTPs, like Zed99 and Onzed, I've decided to implement some of what I've learned from them into this guide.

Click here to view my profile
Flash is the best summoner spell in the game, about every champion takes it and Zed is no exception. Its offensive and defensive usecases are crucial to Zed's kit. It can be used as an extra gap closer, an escaping or dodging tool or a means for outplaying your opponent.
Ignite is equally important to Zed's kit as it offers crucial kill pressure in lane. Zed thrives off snowballing, and the kill potential it offers helps with this.

Domination Tree

Electrocute is arguably one the best keystones on Zed. It adds vital burst, and procs very easy with Zed.
Taste of Blood offers decent sustain in lane. Optionally you can pick Sudden Impact in its place, which procs with both Living Shadow (Only when you actually swap places with the shadow) and Death Mark, and offers a timely boost of 7 Lethality.
While Eyeball Collection is easier to stack, the vision control Zombie Ward offers is more beneficial than a little more AD earlier on.
Ultimate Hunter is very befitting Zed, as it offers coldown reduction on his ultimate, his prime ability. Treasure Hunter and Relentless Hunter are also viable on Zed, just not equally lucrative in my opinion.

Inspiration Tree

First Strike's gold and damage amp shines in the mid and late game. However, the keystone also synergizes well with the way Zed's early game trading and skirmish patterns works, allowing you proc it consistently in majority of matchups.
Magical Footwear: Gives free boots with extra movements speed, which is always pretty convenient on assassins, as it further increases their mobility (which is their strong suit) and lets you put that 300g into offensive items instead. The boots are very advantageous in games where you have potential for snowballing and/or you know you'll be roaming a lot. Since kills and assists reduces the time of where you receive the boots and the bonus movement speed the boots offers makes your roaming capabilities better by a slight margin.
Future's Market: Allows you to enter debt with a limit while purchasing items, essentially allowing you buy items you don't have enough gold for yet. This can allow you to hit power spikes before an opponent or not being forced to stay for another wave to afford your item.
Cosmic Insight: +10 Item haste and +18 Summoner Spell haste is nice. A lower coldown on your summoner spells, means that your Flash and Ignite are up more frequent allowing for more frequent plays. And furthermore, the item haste reduces the cooldowns of items with cooldowns, including passives and actives, for example Youmuu's Ghostblade active and Edge of Night passive spellshield.

Precision Tree

Conqueror: Good keystone for lategame teamfighting, when you can spam your abilities more and easily stack it. Otherwise its good into melee enemy midlaners like Sylas, Irelia or bruisers and tanks mid to help in more extended trades.
Triumph: With Presence of Mind no longer increasing the max energy cap, its kind of useless on Zed and energy users in general. Also with the correct combo you should not have energy issues. This makes Triumph the superior choice, being often decisive on whether you live or die after a dive or being ignited when killing your opponent and left with low HP. Also great when fighting longer fights, as the healing from kills often surprises the enemy or is not taken into consideration in fights. The 20g bonus is also decent as it racks up.
Legend: Alacrity: The go-to legend rune when playing Conqueror setup and enemy doesn't have that much cc, if they do, you can pick Legend: Tenacity instead.
Coup de Grace: Making your job, assassinating, a lot easier with the bonus damage it gives against low HP opponents.

Sorcery Tree

Transcendence: As an AD assassin caster, Zed loves ability haste as most of his damage comes from his abilities and not basic attacks. The lvl 11 bonus also enables Zed to get easier get multi-kills with the reduced cooldowns upon takedowns for his basic abilities.
Scorch: As Zed, you should frequently be poking your opponent with your abilities, which is where this rune will offer extra bonus damage and furthermore help the laning phase. Swap with Nullifying Orb against hard hitting mages for a safer laning phase.

Resolve Tree

Demolish: While you take the Resolve tree secondary to primarily get Bone Plating or Second Wind, its a decent option when combined with the defensive playstyle you're going for when taking Resolve and you can't match your opponent in skirmishes, so you can push for tower plates instead.
Second Wind can be taken to mitigate poke from an enemy laner and offer better sustain, especially combined with a Doran's Shield, when facing tougher matchups where you want to play defensively. Swap with Bone Plating when your opponent has to get on top of you to deal damage like Irelia or Fizz.

Starting Items

Long Sword: Allows us to buy 3 Health Potion or a Refillable Potion as well, giving us more sustain in the earlier levels where Zed is weak. It also allows us to get our core items faster.
Doran's Shield: Combined with 1 Health Potion, offers us a safer early laning phase with increased sustain, normally bought against tougher matchups where you get poked out (Like Zoe, Jayce or Lucian.)
Doran's Blade: Combined with 1 Health Potion as well, offers more sustain and health, and synergizes well with the Conqueror rune setup.

Boots Options

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Offers Ability Haste and Haste on your summoner spells, so that your Flash and Ignite are up more frequent allowing for more frequent plays.
Mercury's Treads: Offers Magic Resist and Tenacity, just buy against teams with a lot of cc and not just buy it for the Magic Resist.
Plated Steelcaps: Offers primarily armor and some basic attack reduction. Buy against heavy AD comps or in cases where you struggle with an AD opponenet.
Mobility Boots: Offers great roaming potential. Nonetheless, it is rarely the best choice of boots.

Mythic Items

Eclipse: Offers all the crucial stats for Zed, it also enchances Zed's burst with extra damage and a shield + some movement speed. Most common mythic into bruisers and tanks with the percentage max health damage and percentage armor pen mythic passive.
Duskblade of Draktharr: The untargetability on takedowns is great in teamfights for escaping after killing a carry. The recently buffed damage on the passive also makes this a very compelling choice with Youmuu's being nerfed. The mythic passive offering ability haste is kinda whatever since you already get plentiful of that from the other legendary items.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: Offers all the crucial stats for Zed, in addition it offers a pivotal active ability which increases movement speed and permits you to get closer to your opponents, or for defensive usecases, further way. Its a decent mythic, even after nerfs it still offers great one-shot potential into squishies.

Legendary Items

Ravenous Hydra: Currently a very good item on Zed, offers good stats + sustain. Most importantly it enchances Zed's waveclear, making shoving into roaming easier.
Black Cleaver: A very strong item atm. Offers all the stats you could want on Zed, AD, Armor Reduction, Ability Haste and HP for survivability.
Guardian Angel: Doesn't offer the best stats, however the passive it offers is superb for Zed as an offensive squishy assassin whom often has to position himself in scenarios leading to his death in order to take out the enemy carry. Best built as a 5th or 6th item.
Edge of Night: Good when playing vs squishy teams. Also viable vs champions that are forced to use their main abilities in order to get rid of the shield, for example Twisted Fate.
Serylda's Grudge: The downside of Lethality is that armor renders it useless, that when some percentage armor pen becomes neccesary. The stats + the slow this item gives, makes this the best Last Whisper item on Zed.
Chempunk Chainsword: Builds from Executioner's Calling which you'll want to build against comps and champs with a lot of healing, like Vladimir and Fiora. Normally you want someone else on your team to build antiheal items anyway. So dont build this item unless you absolute feel the need.
Maw of Malmortius: Situational item against heavy AP comps or when building from Hexdrinker when facing strong AP midlaners like Syndra or Fizz. No longer offers Ability Haste so item is a little weaker on Zed now.
Silvermere Dawn: Normally you only upgrade to this from an Quicksilver Sash as your last item, as its very expensive and provides somewhat lacking stats. Build against champs with heavy cc like Malzahar, Skarner or Lissandra. Not worth it solely against Warwick anymore now, granted you are able to dodge his ultimate Infinite Duress.
Death's Dance: Indeed a viable item on Zed. Offers a decent amount of AD, Ability Haste, Armor and a passive which can be benefitting against champs with high burst.
Serpent's Fang: Built only into comps with a lot of shielding.
Axiom Arc: Bait item, not worth actually buying outside ARAM.
Prowler's Claw: No longer being a mythic this item is not as lucrative on Zed anymore. Its still a viable option into squishies, but usually there are better items available, atleast until this gets buffed or other items get nerfed I would steer away from it.
Umbral Glaive: Good early-mid game item as it offers decent stats + vision control for an affordable price, however it does fall off lategame compared to other items. Not really worth building in its current state for Zed.
Spear of Shojin: A viable and a really fun item on Zed as your coldowns are really low making it good in extended fights, only problem then being having enough energy. Normally you have enough CDR already from the other items and your E Shadow Slash reducing your highest cd basic ability W Living Shadow coldown to basically 0 as long as you can hit 2 enemies with your E. If you decide to buy, its best as a 5th or 6th item.

Tips that will seperate you from the casual Zed player

  • A lot of your fights is determined by how you utilize your R Death Mark. The untargetable state it offers can be crucial in dodging your opponents key ability.
  • Your Q Razor Shuriken deals decreased damage after hitting an enemy, hence why you want to position yourself so you have a clear projectile path to your target when throwing Qs.
  • Hitting the same target as your Shadows restores energy.
  • Hitting enemies with your Shadow's E Shadow Slash slows them and allows for easier success of hitting your Q Razor Shuriken.
  • Furthermore, hitting enemies with your own E Shadow Slash decreases the coldown of your W Living Shadow by 2 seconds with each champion hit.
  • Keeping track of your energy is important to see whether you have enough energy for your next move, it is recommended that you turn on "Show Spell Costs" in the settings as it allows you to see how much energy each of your abilities costs.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LightningTemplar
LightningTemplar Zed Guide
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Swagilicious' Zed Guide - UPDATED w/ notes

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