Zac has a lot of flexibility in what he can build out of the jungle. His excellent clear speed lets him generate a lot of gold and his great ganking potential can greatly supplement your income. While there are several items that are great on Zac, his final build needs to compliment his needs. All of my Zac builds meet the following criteria:
While this one may seem like a no-brainer, several people believe that building health on Zac is not worthwhile. The reasoning for this? Zac's abilities cost more health when he has more health. What they fail to realize is that he gains even more health back from his passive when he has more health. Tanks need health to do their job and since Zac will usually be the initiator for his team and in the middle of the enemy team, health is a necessity.
2.) Defensive Stats (Armor/Magic Resistance)
Having lots of health is great but its even better with a great deal of armor and magic resistance to cut down how much damage you are taking, effectively raising Zac's tankiness and just how hard that additional health is working for him. Luckily, the items that we are going to buy have health and defensive stats so we get to kill two birds with one stone.
3.) Cooldown Reduction
Since Zac uses his health pool as his resource and doesn't have to rely on mana, cooldown reduction is amazing on him. More cooldown reduction means more abilities which means more damage and utility.
Going hand in hand with cooldown reduction to do damage, magic penetration and auras allow Zac to be a huge threat to the enemy team. Since he won't be building a large amount of ability power (if any), we depend on cooldown reduction, magic penetration and auras to do damage. Zac is one scary blob and we are going to build him like one.
Standard start for the new season 3 jungle. Zac is more than capable of starting cloth armor and 5 potions but there really isn't any reason for it. A standard red clear, for example, would take 15 seconds longer with cloth armor and leave Zac with a similar health level. The cloth armor would have to be built into a Ninja Tabi early or a Randuin's Omen later in the game. The machete will be upgraded into a jungle item anyway so there is no reason not to take it.
Zac has the option of building two of the jungle items. One is often seen as a defensive item while the other an offensive item (for AP users). Wriggle's Lantern doesn't apply because Zac doesn't auto attack enough to benefit from it and doesn't need the help clearing the jungle. And Spirit of the Elder Lizard is used more on junglers that can take advantage of the attack damage.
Preferred Jungle Item:
Quite possibly my favorite item in the game. People may shy away from buying it because it offers mana regeneration that Zac can't utilize. But this item is still more than cost efficient without that stat and gives Zac much needed early game health, health regeneration and cooldown reduction. Not only that, it gives Zac tenacity, which is always useful for a melee champion.
Alternative Jungle Item:
The other jungler item that Zac can buy. If you are looking for additional early game damage and are willing to give up on 500 health, this is the item for you. This item has ability power, cooldown reduction and spell vamp (instead of health regeneration). Many Zac players really like building this but I am not one of them. In a chapter below, I'll go over why I don't think spell vamp is a good stat on Zac and why early AP doesn't benefit him that much. Regardless, if you want to do damage this is the item for you.
Remember to buy
as you see fit. Make the most out of the gold you do get. Late game you may need to purchase a
for global objectives.
Preferred Boots Option:
I get these boots in most of my games. Early armor is very valuable to Zac and it synergizes well with the rest of his build. With the ever so popular AD caster mids, these boots are great for reducing damage taken from attack damage champions.
Alternative Boots Options:
I feel that Zac already does a great job quickly moving around the map due to his Elastic Slingshot and movement speed quints. If you feel the need to be faster, then these boots are an option.
Since we won't be building a lot of ability power on Zac we will need to rely on magic penetration to do damage. Sorcerer's Shoes are a great option for Zac since he will most likely already have tenacity from Spirit of the Ancient Golem and enough mobility from his kit to not need Boots of Mobility. Amazing choice.
If you don't build Golem, I highly recommend building Mercury's Treads for the tenacity.
I always aim to have Boots of Speed with Spirit Stone and a Kindlegem early game. I will then build the kindlegem into spirit of the Ancient Golem or hang on to it so I can upgrade it into a Spirit Visage. Boots can be upgraded at any point after these items have been purchased and additional movement speed is needed.
Newly remade, this item has become a must have for most junglers. A very cost-efficient item that is an excellent purchase in the early game. We already have Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Spirit Visage for cooldown reduction, but this item offers everything he needs for the early to mid game.
I buy Sunfire Cape every game I can. Not only is it a great source of armor and health, it offers additional magic damage through an aura that synergizes with the magic penetration that we already have in our runes and masteries and the magic penetration that we will buy throughout the game (Sorcerer's Shoes, Haunting Guise, etc). And since Zac will try to be in the middle of the enemy team, this item can translate to a lot of damage.
While we get armor and health from the Sunfire Cape, we get magic resistance and health from Spirit Visage. These two items together round out the stats that Zac needs. Not only that, but Spirit Visage's passive increases the amount of health that Zac gets back from his passive and any spell vamp that he may have (if you purchased Spirit of the Spectral Wraith).
The final item to round out the build. While the last item is optional and I very rarely get around to building it, Liandry's Torment is a great option to do even more sustained damage to the enemy team and remain a threat. Coupled with Zac's CC, the full effect of this item can be utilized.
Other Offensive Items:
As I have mentioned, I don't really like building AP on Zac. But if you need additional MR and are not going to build a Runic Bulwark, Abyssal Scepter is an option for Zac as the AP and aura are not wasted on him.
People love this item on Zac. Me? Not so much. We are already building a lot of health on Zac and we don't need the ability power or the slow. Regardless, Zac can still build this item and it wouldn't be the worst item to buy.
Other Defensive Items:
As late game approaches, Sunfire Cape may not be enough damage to survive the damage that the AD carry is able to put out. To combat this, we purchase Randuin's Omen to give us more armor, health and a great active that Zac can get off very easily due to his kit.
A 6th item option. Having a GA and passive makes it very difficult to kill Zac.
Still a great item, it doesn't offer any defensive stats apart from the health and we already have a lot of health in our build.
I listed this since Zac can use the AP and the armor. Obviously this item isn't optimal but it could be a fun item to troll with in an already decided game.
The best choice on most champions.
Since you will be diving in ahead of your team, this can help them catch up.
Extra movement speed never hurt.