ZED BUILD GUIDE: Jungle and Lane Zed Guide Patch 3.9 by Cinnamon Bagels

by Cinnamon Bagels (last updated over a year ago)

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration(+11.52 armor penetration)
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +12.06 magic resist)
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage( +6.75 attack damage)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
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21 Offense
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9 Defense
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0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Contempt for the Weak
QRazor Shuriken
WLiving Shadow
EShadow Slash
RDeath Mark
View Skill Order Details



mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
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21 Offense
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9 Defense
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0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Contempt for the Weak
QRazor Shuriken
WLiving Shadow
EShadow Slash
RDeath Mark

Champion Matchups


Welcome to my Laning and Jungling guide for !

This guide will be split into two sections, Laning being the first section I cover, then Jungling will be the second section I cover. Maneuver yourself using the side-bar chapters!

My overview for Zed after playing him for quite some time in season 3: He is excellent at laning against squishy AP middles/Top laners, and has even laning potential against the heavy bruisers. He has great lane clear once he gets a few levels in , and has a skill that allows him to escape from ganks easily.

  • Can 100% to 0% a squishy AD/AP champion with relative ease in lane and in the late-game
  • Energy champion - can harass for free
  • Noob-friendly last hitting with
  • Escape easily from teamfights to drop aggro from enemies
  • Very fast jungle clear

  • Energy inefficient spells (run out of energy too fast)
  • Melee Assassin (Must be in enemy team to do damage)
  • Easily Bursted down
  • Relatively high skill-cap
  • Limited variety in itemization

Intros are done! Lets Hoyhoy into the hoyhoy guide!

Gameplay Videos

Jungle Zed Gameplay

There are a few things to point out in this video, which I'm going to explain in more detail if you want to take the time to read these.
  • Other than the slight mistake in the beginning of the game (I initially bought first and forgot to buy ) the invade was not really a big deal. I started a red path instead.
  • at 2:25 I noticed the Nidalee Trap, if I stepped on it there, I was sure to be caught by either Nidalee herself or the enemy jungler. Be careful when playing against people like that. eg.
  • I got with the intent on killing but she's still annoying as hell to catch.
  • I built because of the slight hiccup at the beginning of the game. Ideally, you'd want to build your first though.
  • The reason I think we came back was because the enemy team, although pushed to our inner turrets, did not ward as much as one should. They also happened to overstay their welcome many times and were too greedy.
  • They didn't build too much armor which allowed me to skip and immediately build my
  • at 33:35, you'll notice that the enemy team has no ward coverage at all, which allows me to make a play on the enemy vayne at 34:00. The vayne was completely out of position because of no ward coverage, which gives us the victory.
  • Be aware that everyone chases it's human nature to want more kills...that is just being greedy. Try to limit that as much as possible. Chasing happened more often than it should have in this game. Global Objectives: towers, dragon, baron are far more important than the chance of getting killing gold for yourself.

Laning Masteries

Laning Masteries
is an assassin, and he benefits from the full 21 Offensive masteries because of Executioner. He has his own innate extra-damage burst with and it stacks with the last mastery on the Offensive Page. All Attack Speed is not very good on because he doesn't autoattack all that often. It's much better to get Cooldown Reduction for his . I don't invest in the critical hit damage and critical hit movement speed because Zed isn't a champion that critically hits often. You build a in terms of your "big buy", not an . You may get Destruction in lieu of Attack speed mastery if you want to push towers. The Magic Resist and Armor Masteries are interchangable, you can go 3/1 in favor of Armor, or 1/3, in favor of Magic Resist. It's really all up to who you are going against.

Laning Runes


This mastery page is very traditional: you get a mix of both Attack damage (which is very good in the early stages of the game) and Armor Penetration (which scales a little better into the late game). There are different rune choices that you can choose, depending on your playstyle.
  • Investing in all armor penetration to maximize your damage output in the late game
  • investing in all attack damage to maximize your damage in the early game

The armor seals and Magic resistance quintessences are also interchangable, depending on who you go up against. Say for instance you're up against a , Armor yellows and armor blues are not a bad choice.

Laning Summoner Spells

Laning Summoners

  • Traditional for Assassin Laners, you want the extra damage from to kill your opposing laner
  • don't go Silsol and get or instead of . Even though you have an escape, you want to have another just in case. Flash is too strong to pass up.

These are options that can be considered

This is a good summoner spell to have if you plan on ganking other lanes once you hit 6, or to save someone that's in a pinch. However, this limits your damage potential in the lane, teleport is more used for safe farming for the late game. But what allows you to do...it lets you sidepush a lane with a 100% global teleport if your team is in trouble. Think or .

I would get if I am in a pre-made 5

This summoner is good for baiting opponents into diving. You have 3 "potential play-maker" spells: including , you have to confer one or two seconds of invulnerability, and to have as an escape if things get sticky. People underestimate the slipperiness of Zed when he is at full energy and if all his skills are active.


Passive: Contempt for the Weak
Whenever Zed autoattacks an enemy below 50% health, he deals an additional 6 / 8 / 10% of their maximum health as magic damage. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every 10 seconds.

This is the essentially the last 21 mastery on the offensive page Executioner, only in passive form on Zed. 10% of their maximum health PLUS any of your attack damage is a huge boost to your damage, and it is detrimental to the enemy laners' survival. The damage that this does is very deceptive because it only activates when the target is below 50% health; The enemy is in for a real good surprise when a quarter of their life bar is missing with ONE autoattack.

This passive also works on minions and monsters, which is why this is also a very "noob-friendly" passive, for those who aren't rehearsed too well in last hitting minions. Zed's adds an extra 10-20 damage when last hitting minions, which makes it easier to kill those darn caster minions.

Lastly, this passive is good in the jungle, as this passive is one of the contributing factors to his insanely low clear time.

Q: Razor Shuriken
Active: Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing physical damage to the first enemy they pass through and a lesser amount to enemies thereafter.
  • Damage To First Target: 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 / 215 (100% bonus AD)
  • Damage to Secondary Targets: 60 / 88 / 116 / 144 / 172 (+80% bonus AD)

Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy deal 50% damage and restore energy.
  • Shadow Shurikens: 37.5 / 55 / 72.5 / 90 / 107.5 (+50% bonus AD)

This is a skillshot that is similar to Piltover Peacemaker: The more enemies it goes through, the less damage it deals. So if you are harassing, you'll want to try and use when there are as few minions as possible to get the maximum damage output of this skill on your enemy. Your Shadow will cast towards your mouse cursor, so it will be a little difficult to aim both shurikens at first, but you will soon get it. Do not try to lead the enemy TOO much because it is a fast skillshot.
THIS SKILL DOES NOT APPLY DAMAGE FROM A SECOND SHADOW. ONLY DAMAGE FROM YOU AND YOUR FIRST SHADOW WILL COUNT. For example, if you have a shadow from both and , only damage from ONE shadow will count.

The range on this skill is actually longer, if you cast , you can use the combo to pick off fleeing targets from afar, or to pick off when you don't want to towerdive.

I max this skill second.

W: Living Shadow
Passive: Zed's bonus attack damage is increased by a percentage.
  • Additional Bonus AD: 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25%

Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 4 seconds. Reactivating this ability will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.

Zed's shadow will mimic his basic abilities. If both strike the same target Zed regains some energy. Energy can only be restored once per mimicked ability.
  • Energy Restored: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40

25% attack damage is SO much on Zed. If you have a fullystacked bloodthirster, your damage will be at about 200-300. 25% of either of those numbers increases your damage by a MINIMUM of 50. Wow... a free BF sword! His W alone gives him the Attack damage steroid equivalent of about 1600 gold.

You may use this as either your gap closer, or your escape. Be careful because this skill has a very high cooldown which makes it a great farming skill, because it synergizes with , the more you cast on enemies, the lower cools down

E: Shadow Slash
Active: Zed and his shadows create a burst of shadow, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies.
  • Physical Damage: 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+80% bonus AD)
  • Slow: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%

Zed's slash reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by 1 second for each enemy struck. His shadows' slashes slow enemies for 1.5 seconds.

Living Shadow: Overlapping Shadow Slashes striking the same enemy deal no additional damage but will incur an increased slow and restore energy.
  • Overlapping Slow: 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60%

This is an AoE skill, similar to crescent slash ability. This skill slows the enemy champion/minion which makes it an excellent chasing tool. It also lowers the cooldown of by one second which makes it excellent in clearing waves, as well as clearing the jungle. This skill will be your main source of harass, which you will use in conjunction with . I max this skill first because of its variety of uses in lane. With this, you can:
  • Effectively farm, it is only on a 3 second cooldown. If you are in a pinch say, the enemy laner pushes to your tower constantly, this would be a good skill to get to farm them fast to reset the lane
  • Added slow which benefits your ganks and/or people ganking your lane, giving you easier kills
  • It's your main skill in the jungle, which allows you to skip and build your late-game
  • Reliably harass. Sometimes, you may miss your , and its cooldown is twice as much as .

R: Death Mark
Active: Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to target enemy champion. Upon arrival, he marks the target for death and spawns a living shadow behind the target. This shadow lasts 4 seconds and mimics Zed's abilities. Reactivating Death Mark will cause Zed to switch positions with this shadow.

After 3 seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing physical damage equal to 100% of Zed's attack damage plus a percentage of all magic and physical damage dealt to the target by Zed and his shadows while the mark was active.
  • Bonus Physical Damage: 20 / 35 / 50% of damage dealt

This is your main killing-machine skill. At level 6, you do a surprising amount of damage with this skill, and at at level 16, it is not only on a low cooldown (coupled with your CDR items), it does a MASSIVE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE to squishy carries. 100% of around 400-500 damage PLUS any extra damage from your skills is something worth mentioning. If you look at my gameplay video of JUNGLE ZED, you can see that I 100% to 0% a vayne in less than 4 seconds around 34:00.. However, remember that Zed is a melee assassin, who doesn't have the initiation powers to become a bruiser tank like or . so you should not use this as an initiation spell, but rather you use it much like you would use an Shadow Dash.

Here are some tips for you to get accustomed to this skill if you are first time Zed player:
  • People underestimate this skill, because it has no initial damage. However, this is very devastating to squishy champions.
  • You would go for a kill right when you hit 6. If they do not have an escape, it's usually a guaranteed kill. However, it may not be enough to 100% to 0% a champion in the early stages of the game, so poke them with or to at least 50%-75% before going for the kill.
  • If you use the , try to refrain from immediately using to chase them. Your initial slow from will be more than enough for you to catch up and AA them.
  • You are untargetable during the duration of the dash from your ultimate, use it to dodge Ultimate, Ultimate, ...etc.
  • If you have played , it is exactly like his ultimate, only single target, and it does no initial damage.

Laning Skill Order


It might be paramount to level your first at level 1 so that you can cs effectively against heavy harass, or ranged targets.

The reason I max first is because I tend to favor skills that put out a reliable source of damage over skills that have a chance of damage (). This chance of damage includes:
  • Missing your skillshot
  • hitting a minion before a champion, reducing its damage

For , all you have to do is activate your right next to them, and press . There is no "leading your skillshot" or "making sure you only hit him" nonsense. It's just two buttons and you have successfully harassed the enemy laner. And since the cooldown on is only 3 seconds, you have the potential to harass the enemy laner TWICE if they stand on your shadow for too long.

also gives the benefit of clearing lanes extremely fast. is on a 6 second cooldown, while is on a 3 second cooldown. With 2 or 3 points invested into , you can clear your minion waves as fast as they push it...it is extremely beneficial against champions that push like or .

Lastly, the slow that is 60% with your shadow at max rank. 60% of anything is a super high number, they'll be crawling back to their turret with this amount of slow on them. It is both beneficial to ganking other lanes, and assisting your jungler ganking your lane.

Laning Item Builds

Starting Items: OR
  • is the traditional starting items for an even match-up in your lane...
  • take the if you need the extra health potions to sustain yourself
  • a bunch of wasted mana in my opinion, I wouldn't get this item
  • Even with the health potion and nerf, it is still a very strong item to have with you for that extra bump to not die from

Laning VS ? HM?

  • Health potions got nerfed, live with it. Play safer because you cannot out sustain his harass.

Core: ||
  • is an excellent early game item if you need the health...or you have 475g and don't know what to spend it on. However, I would only buy one or two...three Dorans items can be a bit too much and it disallows you to build your mid-game and late-game items
  • the bees knees of Season 3. You see this item on almost every AD caster and bruiser in the game. It builds into which is arguably the best season 3 buff these guys can get.
  • if you need sustain in the lane, get this item. I wouldn't get this item if you expect to teamfight soon, it doesn't benefit as much as saving the gold to buy a

Early Kills
  • is an excellent snowball item because it allows you to chase people who flash out, or to dominate your lane some more.

Vs. Heavy AP Harass
  • This item is pretty traditional if the enemy team has a or someone similar.

Boots and Upgrade:
  • VS heavy AD
  • VS heavy CC/AP
  • (very rare) get if you feel you are smart enough to avoid damage.
  • best enchantment on Zed, because the extra movespeed allows you to land your a lot easier

Damage Recommended:
  • items I would get 95% of the time...the build order of these items depends on their team composition. For instance, I would buy a if I'm against a or .
  • These four items are pretty traditional, except when you get to the situational items like
  • for High-health targets - . this item also adds to the mark explosion damage of when you activate a very good item, and can some or most times replace in your item build.

Why should I NOT build this item?
When buying , you have to consider the actual effectiveness of the item compared to other items you could buy. adds bonus AoE damage PER AUTO ATTACK. Now, as you can see from Zed's kit, he isn't really supposed to be the champion that autoattacks all that often. All you really need for autoattacking is in between your skills and to proc your passive which is on a long 10-second cooldown. So in reality...you'll autoattack anywhere between 4-5 times PER TEAMFIGHT. Now that doesn't sound very appealing to buy a is it? Heavy autoattackers like etc. would benefit from this item far better than Zed (not saying you should build it on them).

The AoE damage may seem nice at first, but your job is to target the INDIVIDUAL high priority target, so the AoE effect is not really going to affect much if the target is isolated. Another point being that you already have AoE in a skill, your ...which is very effective and is more than enough AoE damage to contribute MORE to a teamfight than the would.

Also, this is a VERY expensive item, totaling at 3500g for +75 AD. There are far better choices for itemization like buying a . Even if the enemy team doesn't have much armor, i think its a lot better than spending all your gold on AoE you already have.

So in conclusion, am I REALLY getting the bang for my buck? I don't think so because:
  • Zed does not autoattack often, totaling at 4-5 autoattacks PER TEAMFIGHT
  • Zed's job is to target the individual high priority target, not really his job to be in the team to do AoE damage
  • Zed already has sufficient AoE damage in the form of his E skill, which contributes more to the teamfight than Ravenous Hydra
  • Ravenous is very Expensive, when you can buy something else of equal or better value (Last Whisper, another Bloodthirster, Guardian Angel)

  • I don't really like anything else besides this item on Zed if you need some tankiness...because everything else (eg. ) give attack speed, something that Zed DOES NOT need. His is on a 10-second cooldown and his skills are his main source of damage, so these items with attack speed are almost a wasted stat really.
  • Your main job is to deal as much damage as possible, so you might want to get the four items listed above, and get a in lieu of .

Defense Recommended:
  • I wouldn't build silly items like and on Zed because they don't have any synergy with Zed. He is a true assassin, not a tanky assassin like ...He doesn't need the health, armor and tanky-debuff. Nor does he have the initiation power to hold such items. More damage benefits your to destroy the squishy carry, so why not do that. I would just buy for the aggro drop.

Laning Early Game

In a perfect world, your main goal is to farm up until you get to 6 and have so you can kill your laner. But, there are multiple things to worry about during the early stages:
  • Enemy Tankiness ( etc.)
  • Enemy Jungle Ganks
  • Balance between harassing and saving your for escapes

For Enemy Tankiness I would attempt to harass them as much as possible while keeping in mind your ability to farm because you want that even footing on your tanky opposing laner, and you don't want him to free-farm your lane. However, if it comes to the point where he has enough to sustain through ALL of your harass, both of you free-farming wouldn't be too bad, just ask for jungle ganks, which I'm sure the enemy team will ask for.

Be careful if you and your opposing laner are free-farming ie. nobody trading health for lane dominance, and he suddenly gets aggressive and walks towards you, this might be the warning that their enemy jungler is near. Nothing gives away a gank attempt more than sudden aggressiveness. This is by far the easiest one to avoid. Use to dash out and wait for 15 seconds so that their jungler wastes their time. DO NOT try to go for CS when there might be the possibility of an enemy jungler nearby. You being dead makes you lose any CS that accumulated...to your tower. Just be safe and wait it out.

these champions and more, are the king level 2 gankers. Whether you are mid lane, or top lane, they will try to level 2 gank you. Especially . I was tired of him in S2, and in S3, he's no different. I would invest in either for your starting items, or buy and play extreme safe in the first few minutes.

Should I harass or not?

Harassing is the biggest thing to learn in any game, and harassing while KNOWING when to harass is all about reading your opponent. If you get harassed without dealing any harass, you're bound to lose your lane.
  • The best time to go in for an autoattack, or harass, or into , is when they are attempting to try and get a CS
  • this means, you are reading your OWN minions health, while reading the movement of the opponent. If they get a little too close, they're trying to go for that low health minion they're right next to. Harass them. In this case, they choose either between getting the gold from the minion, or trading with you. In most cases, they will just back off. This is the best kind of harass because you dealt damage to them for free.
  • Your will always push the lane, but the plus-side of maxing first, is that it does a lot of harass to champions because you can potentially cast it twice, and the added slow makes it great for chasing...especially .
  • most always effectively zones the enemy away from the shadow, so you can place the shadow in the middle of the creepwave to disallow the enemy getting CS for free.


Of course, warding is paramount to your success in lane...here are some noteworthy warding positions around the map.
There are a few things to point out on this map, the ward positions are color coded based on which side you are on.
Purple Side Warding

  • Top Lane will always want to place a ward at purple 2. If you want to feel ultimate safe in your lane, place another ward in purple 1.
  • Middle Lane will always want to place TWO WARDS NO MATTER WHAT, one at purple 3 and one at purple 4. This way, you are safe, and your top AND bottom laners know if there is an enemy jungler around.

Blue Side Warding

  • For Top and Mid Lane you want to place a ward at blue 2 and blue 3, as well as the jungle entrance at blue 4.
  • Again, if you want to feel undoubtedly safe in the top lane, place a ward at blue 1.
  • REMEMBER if you in the MIDDLE LANE it is your DUTY (and your jungler's) to place wards at BOTH locations blue 3 and blue 4. DO NOT think you can get away with warding one side. You get the most gold in the game if you are in the mid lane, so use that money to keep your other laners safe.
  • place a ward at purple 4 if you feel you need to know the DIRECTION the enemy jungler is heading, whether that be toward bottom lane, or if he is camping the brush waiting for you.

Laning Mid Game

Midgame should be the point where you have maxed out and have either one or two points in . There are a couple possible situations, depending on your early game, that pan out into the mid game.

Where you completely dominate your lane and the opposing laner has no hope for coming back
  • I would roam and look for ganks in either of your lanes. The benefit of being Zed, is that he has gap closers that are extreme damage outputters; You can essentially kill your target from 100% to 0 with the help of your laner friend
  • help your other lanes push and deny the opposing laners gold and exp
  • steal jungle camps so that their team can't have any
  • ward Red/Blue Buff for the possibility of stealing that buff or ganking at that buff

Meh lane, no one is super fed, towers are still up, and you are happily farming for your late-game items
  • Still try to help your laners by ganking their lane and putting them ahead.
  • Keep farming, what are you to do when there are creeps at your tower. You'll lose more if you leave your lane and get nothing out of it.


Your Skill usage in a duel at an arbitrary health percentage (opposing laner, gank):

> > >

  • Hold onto your until you are certain you can't catch up unless you use it.
  • Autoattack in between skills so you get the maximum amount of damage output.
  • it might be smart to whittle them down first with your poke, then go for the kill at maybe 50-75% health. Makes it easier on your heart.

Laning Late Game

Late-game and teamfights, where you build stacks on your ...This is where Zed shines, assassinating the high-priority target.

As far as items, if you have been farming well, you should have at least . Ideally, you'd want to build your after this.

The high-priority target would be the one who has most influence on the team, most usually the AP CARRY. Now, the AP carry might have , so he's not a very good target to use on?

WELL, either you bait out the Zhonyas or you target whoever is alone on their team, OR THEIR AD CARRY.

  • If theyre separated, go for the lonely one, but make sure you dont have to do excess work to get that target. Try not to blow everything on him otherwise you won't have anything left for the rest of their team
  • In a full 5v5 engage, use your to your advantage. You become invulnerable during the duration of the dash, so its a great skill to bait stuns and snares.
  • use 75% as an escape, and 25% as a chase. It is your only escape spell, so don't buttonmash and hope for a kill, use it effectively.
  • Poke with your skills before you commit to an engagement with . You are a glass cannon remember that. Any stun on you means you're dead. Think of it like being or . You don't commit until you can get at least 1 or 2 kills from it. hoy.

Your support should be rolling around in money by now. Ask them to light up the enemy jungle like a christmas tree. One of Zed's benefits is that he can kill a squishy target extremely fast, which is quickened by surprise attacks.


As always, teamfights are essential to your victory in League of Legends. Thankfully, Zed plays a role perfectly in teamfights: targeting the highest priority target and bringing them down as fast as you can. However, there are precautions to take, as well as prerequisites to consider before you jump in with .

You have to ask yourself a few questions before you consider latching yourself onto the enemy carry:

  • Is the enemy carry heavily protected by his fellow teammates? Which leads to: how many crowd control effects does the enemy team have? etc.
  • Does the enemy carry have any innate escapes or summoner spell escapes?

Enemy carry protection

By far one of the most difficult to manage and weave yourself around...stuns, snares, and general CC is the main contributing factor of a failure attempt at killing the enemy carry. However, there's a catch -- if you wait long enough when a teamfight erupted, the enemy team might have used their CC on other members of your team. WHICH IS PERFECT! This allows you the freedom to finally walk yourself towards the enemy carry and land your . This separates the good Zed players from the great Zed players. Knowing WHEN TO GO IN is all about reading the abilities of your opponenets and knowing when they use them. Once they use them all, you can go in for the kill.

Enemy carry escapes

Not so much of a problem for Zed, although carries who have TWO escapes may be a little more annoying to deal with (). This is why you have your which gives you the chance to chase them and land the killing blow. For instances of champions who have TWO escapes, if they use both to get away from you, then you have done a job that usually bruisers would do: chasing the enemy carry away. This would be a good time to allow yourself to apply the bruiser rule: Kill the enemy carry, or Assist peeling for your teammates. Since Kill the enemy carry is out of the question because he just used two of his escapes, help your team fight the rest of the enemy team. DO NOT JUST MINDLESSLY CHASE FOR THE KILL, YOUR TEAM WILL NEED YOUR HELP. Your slow does a lot of peeling and your makes a high-health target not so high-health anymore.

Your skill usage in a teamfight

  • Poke with
  • DO NOT engage with . Use this as your escape
  • Engage with on the enemy carry, then Autoattack, then another autoattack. Your mark should have detonated around this time. If you need to chase, use into then activate to switch places with your shadow to deal the killing Autoattack that procs your passive.
  • Space out your skills, Zed runs out of energy really fast, and if you don't manage, you'll be walking around doing nothing waiting for your energy to regenerate.


Hereon out will be sections concerning jungling with .

You see jungle Zed less often because of the amount of farm he requires to be "good" but he can be a beneficial asset to the team nonetheless.

Jungling Masteries

Jungling Masteries
  • Instead of using your points on Attackspeed and Ignite buff, use them for more damage on minions and Tower Damage.
  • Defensive Masteries, you should get the extra gold on Smite, and Armor for more defense against monsters

Because I'm jungling, can I afford to take a mix of Offense and Defense?
Yes, most mastery options are viable...except Utility. Utility does not offer anything to Zed that helps him through the game. For example...


This mastery page is 14/15/1, taking all of the health increase masteries in the defensive, and just enough in the offensive to still help him clear the jungle really fast. One thing to note however is that Zed is not meant to be played as a tank. Investing in more points than health in the Defensive tree defeats the purpose of a true assassin. Think about it before you spend your points.


I would not recommend 9/21/0. He is absolutely MEANT to be played as an assassin. Playing as a bruiser (building or or ) will make it so that you will be the least focused on the team...which is beneficial to the enemy team because you won't be doing any damage. Your main job is to eliminate the high-priority target of the enemy team so investing anymore points other than what is needed to the defensive mastery tree other than health is detrimental to your damage.

Jungling Runes


As with the laning runes, these give Zed a balance of Attack Damage, Armor penetration, Armor, and Magic Resist. However, you may change these runes to fit your playstyle:

  • Switching Marks and Quintessences to ALL ARMOR PENETRATION or ALL ATTACK DAMAGE, armor penetration benefits the late game, while attack damage benefits the early game
  • Switching Seals and Glyphs to ALL ARMOR or ALL MAGIC RESISTANCE, depending on the team matchup you go against.

I would not advise investing in Attack Speed Runes for Zed mainly because his autoattacks don't offer much other than the 10-second cooldown which doesn't cool down faster the more you autoattack.

Jungling Summoner Spells

  • This trumps all other summoner spells for jungling. A free 1000 damage at level 18 to secure dragon, baron, and your buffs, it is an important asset to your success in the jungle.
  • Again, if you are counterjungling, I'd take this rather than or becuase neither of those will allow you to escape from a countergank, counterjungle, or mis-play.

However, there are benefits to each different summoner spell that would be good on Zed...others not being so "beneficial".

If you've ever played or seen someone play , sometimes you see them take exhaust. This is mainly because they have an innate escape that they can use so they can afford not getting . This goes the same for Zed...he can use his to escape counterjungling or a bad gank. However, this is on a 22 second cooldown at level 1, and Lee Sin's W is less than half of that which makes it more reliable. The only time I would get instead of would be if I'm up against hard-to-gank laners. Zed's ganks are pretty mediocre before level 6, and helps a lot.

Eh....I wouldn't suggest this summoner mostly being the fact that most laners take anyways. The ignite damage doesn't stack, it just gets refreshed...I think it's much better to take .

Zed doesn't really benefit from this as much as , but there are some good points to note for this summoner spell. First, you can land more of your in a given period of time because you'll have the movement speed to catch up incase they use to try and escape. Second, if you have trouble ganking lanes because enemies juke you all the time, is a good asset because it allows you to be right up in their grill all the time, which lets you tag them with .

Jungling Skill Order


For jungling, you'll want to prioritize because of the slow it gives, it beneficial to ganks as well as your insane clear times. Maxing out is not the best way to go when jungling Zed because his deals less damage the more it hits enemies, which includes jungle camps. Another good thing about is that it actually gives you the option to skip and to build your laner items. Most junglers have to build either one, but Zed has the option not to do so. Think of it like building (. However, I would buy and just leave it there. Extra damage to jungle creeps is good because it affects your skills as well.

Now as far as skilling in the first four levels, you can go one of two ways:
  • Level 4 gank, you would follow the picture above and get your at level 4. However, if you decide to gank at Level 3 instead,
  • you would skill up then then .

Jungling Item Builds

Starting Items:
  • Traditional start, his clear time is among one of the fastest in the league, so make use of it!

First Back Items: OR OR
  • The farmer's item, get this if you intend to farm to 6 with minimal ganking.
  • This item is more of an early game investment. You go balls deep with this item, or you fail and have a really expensive item to farm up and complete. I would get this if I am ganking a lot, because ganking = more money, and you need a lot to complete this item
  • Would get this vs. heavy counterjunglers ...extra wards do help against them, and the added sustain from your health potions also help.


Zed has the ability to outright skip and to get an earlier headstart on your late-game items, starting with . Less experienced junglers will want to take though, for the benefit of lifesteal and extra monster damage if you don't know how to manage your health or you are new to the jungle in general. You may leave as it is until the late-game, when you sell it for something else.

This item is for those who are more experienced in the jungle.
  • The benefits of Zed's is that he can skip the upgrades for and instead build a in lieu of . You don't need to build a or all the time. Sometimes it is just better to go for your late-game items and forget about middle-game jungle items completely
  • You will be a little bit "slower" in the jungler toward the middlegame, but that doesn't really matter if you're far ahead of the enemy team now is it?

  • Great item in the jungle, allows you to gank from lane. I find myself getting these more often in the jungle.

  • build this if you feel like your team is not buying enough wards or you need to protect your laners and jungle from this fcker . This item is a very good investment, but I would replace it at the end-game and leave it to your support to ward places

  • Truth be told, I don't really like any of these items on Zed, but since you're a jungler, you'll have to do with the minimal farm you get an grab these slightly lower-tier items
  • I wouldn't rush these items first...I'd much rather get a first then build the or later. The early helps a lot.

The endgame items for jungling and laning are relatively the same, however it might be a little harder for you to get your items. It is natural since you are the jungler. Remember to buy in small increments, and try not to buy a straight up . Smaller items are so much better on junglers than expensive one-trick-pony items. Keep this in mind.

Jungling Early Game

Jungling will be a fairly short section in the game...the main goal for you in the early game is to farm as fast as you can to level 6. His ganks pre-6 are very mediocre at best as he doesn't have any form of hard CC (Stun, Fear, Snare), and his gap-closer acts as his only escape, so if you are counterganked, you might have to burn your .

A Blue Buff Path is fairly common amongst all junglers, and Zed is exactly the same. However, most junglers skip the double golems because they do a little too much damage. can handle these perfectly fine...

Blue Buff Route

  • Wolf Camp (1:40 and respawns 60 seconds after the camp is CLEARED)
  • Blue Golem Camp(1:55 and respawns 5 minutes after the camp is CLEARED)
  • Wraith Camp (1:40 and respawns 50 seconds after the camp is CLEARED)
  • Red Lizard Camp (1:55 and respawns 5 minutes after the camp is CLEARED)
  • Double Golem Camp (1:40 and respawns 60 seconds after the camp is CLEARED)
  • Wraith Camp
  • Ganking Opportunity at level 4 goes here, if there is nowhere to gank, then continue on
  • Wolf Camp

There probably won't be places to gank so early on in the game, so if you can't find a clear gank advantage, then just back and buy your first items, or...if you have some leftover , keep clearing the small camps.

Red Buff Route

If you've read my Guide on Nocturne, I don't really like starting red unless you want to do a level 2 gank or you are counterjungled. That being said, here's the path you take starting with red buff:

  • Wraith Camp
  • Red Lizard Camp
  • Double Golem Camp
  • Wolf Camp
  • Blue Buff Camp (If you are nice enough, you can even give the Blue Buff to your mid laner, but you might need the experience early on. The choice is yours)
  • Wraith Camp
  • Ganking Opportunity with Red and Blue Buff goes here
  • Double Golem Camp

Main Points for jungling early-game
  • you'll want to help your laners ward in the designated spots, Dragon Pit, Baron Pit, and all jungle entrances
  • gank possible lanes, but do not wait too long for a gank when you could be farming to level 6 so your ganks become more effective.
  • Counterjungle if you see the enemy jungler on the map, take all of the monsters in the camp, or leave one so it doesn't respawn, the choice is yours.


  • Don't be tempted to use all of your skills at once. The best option would be to walk up and tag them with Red buff. Once they use or their escape, THEN...use into .
  • You can then activate again to switch places with your shadow to land an Auto Attack.
  • This is where maxing comes into play...the slow is immense.

Jungling Mid Game

The mid game for a jungler is most usually the same across jungle champions, and is no different for .

Jungle Control is your biggest priority. That means Buffs, Dragon, and Baron. Keep them warded.

Ward Placements, WARD PLACEMENTS!


Best time to go for a dragon attempt?
Don't think you can solo Dragon, you have no innate sustain and potions won't really be enough to keep you up. Look for opportunities:
  • Enemy Bottom/Mid lane had to back or was killed
  • Enemy Jungler is at top lane, thus making a potential 3v4 teamfight in your favor at dragon
  • You have on your team. He solo shit all day hoy.

As with any dragon attempt, gather your whole team minus maybe the top laner(s) to do the attempt. You can ask your mid or bot laner(s) to Zone the enemy team which means placing skills in the choke-point entrances which disallows the enemy team from further venturing on to steal dragon. I wouldn't try a dragon attempt if your is on cooldown. You can get it stolen, which puts the blame on you...and you don't want that do you?

Jungle Pressure in all lanes. try your best to not be seen on the map. If they see you, then they know where you are. For instance, if you are seen top, then the enemy knows that they can pressure bot more because there is no jungle pressure at bottom. It's just simple movement around lanes. Nobody really thinks twice about it though...unless you are smart. :o.

Mid-game Tips
  • Ward Red and Blue buff so you can potentially gank them while they are attempting it.
  • If you are ahead, force teamfights, pressure towers. Do not let them farm. If you do, they will have the chance to get back into the game, and all of your snowball efforts in the beginning of the game will be to waste, but don't do something stupid like 1v3 towerdive against stunners. That's just plain dumb.

Jungling Late Game

Refer to the Laning Late Game section for details on teamfighting and lategaming with Zed in general. This section will put heavy emphasis on your biggest late-game responsibility as a jungler: Baron Nashor

When should I baron?
  • I wouldn't do it if against heavy AoE Team: . You're just asking to get wrecked in that little Baron cove.
  • Even if you kill ONE champion, I wouldn't say 100% Baron. Teams can win 4v5.
  • and for the Love of god, DO NOT SPLIT YOUR FOCUS IF YOU ARE ATTEMPTING BARON. Meaning, half attack baron, half attack enemy contesting team. It never works out because (a) you are taking damage from baron, which intensifies the longer you fight him, if you split your focus thats more damage youre taking and less damage youre dealing and (b) you are also being pressured by the enemy team, that in itself is already a disadvantage in a teamfight.
  • Have The whole baronside jungle warded. Lit up like a christmas tree. Wards make a successful baron attempt so much easier

What if the enemy team is doing baron and I can potentially steal it?
This is relatively easy with Zed because remember, gives him that invulnerability to get close to Baron and possibly SMITE STEAL it. Go in when Baron is at about 3000-4000 health, which gives you the time to cast some of your own damaging spells and finally cast for 1000 true damage. However, you must watch the rate at which the enemy team is damaging baron. If they're doing it too slow, then 3000-4000 health would be too much for you to go in at that time. You must adjust your entrance according to the rate at which your enemy team damages baron.

What should I do after acquiring baron, or if the enemy team has acquired baron?
If you have acquired baron, if all of you are too low to push, then back, buy then DECIDE which lane to push. Don't simply farm the jungle and waste baron buff time. Pressure enemy lanes so they don't get an advantage. However, if you are healthy enough to push, do it. Your baron buff will add regeneration that gets you back to full in no time. Steal their jungle camps, and clear all lanes so that they are pushing towards their towers, then decide to push ONE LANE. Splitpushing is only for the teleporters .

If the enemy has acquired baron, the best you can do is ward your own jungle and turtle out 5 minutes for the baron buff to wear out. Since they have extra damage and protection from the buff, it might not be advised to fight unless under the influence of your tower. Farm as much as you can and try to get as much out of the enemy baron buff as possible. Cocky teams tend to splitpush three lanes often because they're ahead. They also seem to overextend, and underward. Take advantage of this and use all you can to outsmart the enemy team. That means either knowing where the enemy team is, but if you can't do that, then look for advantages:
  • Enemy splitpush at top and bottom, however, their team is split which makes it a teamfight advantage in favor of your team.
  • You notice the enemy team has not warded a key "facecheck" area on the map. Hide there and hope that the enemy team stumbles upon surprise buttsex.
  • Enemy team "overdives" which means they overstayed their welcome under your tower, and they are taking massive damage from it. You would engage with your team here.

Late-game Tips
  • Try to catch the enemy team offguard, whether it be them trying to ward their blindspot, or just plain out of position. Therefore, you have the upperhand and can engage on their carry, who probably pooped their pants at the sudden vision.
  • walk around as a team, therefore if you ARE caught out of position, your whole team will at least be there.
  • Push all lanes just enough so that you have the creep-wave advantage, then decide with your team which lane you should push as 5. Therefore, you will be megapushing in one lane, and slightly pushing in the others. The enemy laners will have to clear the creep-waves, so the fight could potentially be 4v5, or 3v5.

Change Log

1/08/2013 - Vi Patch - Guide Approved
7/12/2018 - 3.9 Patch - Small Items Update

Final Comments

Thanks for taking the time to read my guide!

If you like it, give it a thumbs up!

I respond to questions and comments -- so put your opinions, suggestions, and comments below!


September 3, 2013 - 06:41 AM #1

Assume 2 auto attacks during deathmark, 1 E and a double Q (if you dont hit both Q's you lose out on some of the dmg advantage of bloodthirster). The math would be +25 AD with fully charged bloodthirster (assume max W so 1.25*25 = 31) so for the full combo it adds 62 for 2 auto attacks, 46 for a double Q hit, and 28 for an E. This adds to 136 flat plus the 50% bonus from deathmark and the 31 extra from deathmark itself. 136*1.5 + 31 = 235 dmg. The dmg addition from the hydra cast will be at least 60% + 50% of that from deathmark (60*1.5 = 90%) so if 90% of your AD is more than 235 (if you have 261 AD or more) then the hydra cast will always be more dmg output on single target. More likely you'll be on top of you target making the hydra do more like 90%AD then 90*1.5 = 135% meaning you only really need 174AD for hydra to be worth it. Since most zeds are smart enough to go BotRK first, the dmg by the time you have a hydra will be more than 261. At 400AD and close enough for a 90% hit 1.35*400 = 540 - 235 = 305 more dmg from hydra.

September 3, 2013 - 05:09 AM #2

The issue I have with ruling out the hydra is the bonus for your ultimate. Being able to cast the hydra during the deathmark will add more dmg than having the extra 25 dmg that a bloodthirster gives.

August 30, 2013 - 10:48 PM #3



August 30, 2013 - 09:55 AM #4

That Build Guide its just too bad i think... Also at first the masteries are just bad nothing to say about that... Then that we the Skills why for christ i have to Level Up "E" 5 times and then Q ? Also if im jungle yes but you have 2 Build Guides: For jungle and for Standart also that with the Masteries and Skills level up its dont very good. Also thats better http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=61033-prayer-zed-build-guide

August 22, 2013 - 04:39 AM #5


I never get Frozen Mallet on Zed. I put it there for the sake of build options, but it should really be left for the day the world ends.

August 20, 2013 - 10:43 PM #6

Nice build, good guide. I find that if Frozen Mallet seems a little much since the slow proc from R -> E is usually enough to burst high-priority targets down and doesn't really provide much more damage that Sunfire is a sure way to get more health, more effective hp from armor boost and passive that stacks more damage on R.

July 27, 2013 - 05:58 AM #7


lifesteal is not the only stat on blood thirster that makes it a good choice. It has the second highest Attack damage fully stacked (100 AD), the only highest one is Sword of the occult at 20 kill stacks (110 AD). You don't really buy BT for the lifesteal, but it is there as a bonus to the AD.

July 26, 2013 - 03:25 AM #8

i dont buy a blood thirster for zed cuz i just feel life steal is useless on him , even u say in your guide that he do not autoattack often , so why buy life steal !?

July 22, 2013 - 12:35 AM #9


does a hydra give extra damage to kill your high-priority target? Sure, but I feel the active is wasted because, in a serious game, you won't really be trying to AoE the enemy team down. gnome sane? The ad carry is probably going to be trying to kite you anyways, so they will most likeley be away from the whole team, which essentially means he's alone. so does the hydra active really work now? not really. I mean, if you're lucky that he happens to be ontop of a group of minions for you to lifesteal off of, but really. what are the chances of that happening, and would you really rely on that to win your game?

I might be leaving stuff out, but that's my two cents on Ravenous hydra. You can build it for shits and giggles, but in a more serious game, i'd leave it out.

July 11, 2013 - 02:43 PM #10

yes now i get that this is your opinion but the hydra just with it you get more area damage and you get the lifesteal so you could get another bloodthirster but the stacking of the hydras lifesteal with the area damage it gives you a faster way to kill them

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