IntroductionZed is an assassin champion utilizing the energy system. His harass in lane is very powerful and his fairly high burst. He is very similar to Talon in role and is best played in the mid lane.
+Energy system means no need for mana regen
+Has an escape
+High burst damage
+Ranged spammable ability for harass/CSing
+Not dependent on blue buff
+Strong wave clear
+Clears jungle camps easily as mid laner
+Very easy last hitting due to damage from
-Bit difficult to play optimally
-Difficult to keep track of clones
-Very dependent on ultimate for damage
-Escape is also gap closer
-Long cooldown on
-Gap closer is a fairly short range
-Runs out of energy quick
This is the standard assassin mastery page. Getting as much damage as possible is needed for those very close kills.
This is more of a top lane Zed mastery page. Not something I suggest, but the option is there.
Armor Pen is very standard, especially for an assassin that deals physical damage.
Attack Damage (Flat)
AD is another option for additional damage early on.
Armor is great for mitigating physical damage. Even when laning against a caster, minions are still present and do a ton of physical damage.
Magic Resistance (Flat)
Magic Res is needed when laning against casters.
Cooldown Reduction (Flat)
Cooldown reduction is a viable option if laning against a non-caster. Allows you to get more spells off.
Attack Damage (Flat)
I prefer AD for the extra damage in the early levels and for the easier last hitting.
Armor Penetration scales better into mid and late game and is definitely an option.
Health is an option against scary mid laners that you know will result in close battles, mainly other assassins.
Movement speed is another option that one can take for extra mobility.
Ignite and Flash are standard summoner spells. Ignite is great for finishing off champions, standard picks here.
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 passive makes it important that you get off at least one autoattack onto your target as you're bursting them down. It also makes it extremely dangerous for a champion to stay in lane at under 50% HP as Zed can constantly chunk them for a fraction of their HP.
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.
Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy deal 50% damage and restore energy.
Similar to Kennen's Shurikens, a line nuke that goes through targets. It works similarly to Lulu's Glitterlance with Pix (something I'm very familiar with). However, it's actually not a reliable source of damage in lane due to how tiny the AoE is and the nature of skillshots in the mid lane (difficult to land).
W: Living Shadow
Passive: Zed's bonus attack damage is increased by a percentage.
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.
The clone always goes a set amount of distance unless there is terrain in the way. Living Shadow actually has a very long cooldown unless you use to lower its cooldown.
Note: It does not go on cooldown until you switch with your clone or the clone runs out.
E: Shadow Slash
Active: Zed and his shadows create a burst of shadow, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies.
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.
Shadow Slash has a very low cooldown, making it the best skill in Zed's kit. The energy cost is extremely high, making spamming it difficult.
Note: You can use Shadow Slash twice during the duration of , but you need to be quick!
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.
In most cases, you want to lead with this spell or at least use it when the rest of your skills are out. Having another clone increases the damage from significantly.
Note: True damage from Ignite is not augmented by Death Mark, unfortunately.
Skill Order> > >
Despite the champion spotlight featuring maxing the Shuriken (Q) first, the most optimal way of playing him involves maxing Shadow Slash (E). Not only is the extra wave clear stronger, when combined with , you can guarantee damage with Shadow Slash. The best part is that two Shadow Slashes clear the Wraith camp early on, allowing you to farm that camp with ease.
However, at level 1, you do want to pick up to leash any buff and to get creeps early on.
Boots and health pots are a standard start for most champions that go mid. This gives you movespeed to escape ganks and provide a bit of needed sustain for laning.
Doran's Blades for extra HP and damage is also a standard pick-up for assassins.
Brutalizer is a ton of damage and if you're laning against a champion that you know will result in kills, definitely pick one up. Otherwise grab another Doran's Blade and aim for your next item.
Boots of Lucidity is the offensive option and only if the other team lacks damage to kill you.
Mercury Treads is the go-to option against casters and lots of CC.
Ninja Tabi is the best option against multiple AD damage champions.
Note: You almost never want to upgrade your boots early as an assassin, unless you really need the extra movement speed. Saving up money for an earlier BF Sword is almost always the better option.
Bloodthirster is the most AD on a single item and gives sustain. Always pick one up and as soon as possible.
Last Whisper gives armor penetration which means more damage (a must buy eventually)
Guardian Angel is the best defensive option. Pick one up as soon as feel that your damage is adequate.
Maw of Malmortius is needed if the opposing team is overload on magic damage. However, keeping it at is an alternative.
Trinity Force is a strong item, picking one up later in the game will improve your burst damage substantially.
Bloodthirsters... Well, they give a lot of damage, so why not? Make sure you have your other core items such as Guardian Angel before grabbing another one
LaningLevel 1: Rank , your goal is to farm creeps, but harass if they are in range of Shurikens.
Level 2: With a point in , continue to farm, feel free to use Living Shadow combined with Shuriken to harass.
Level 3-5: With points in , start with Living Shadow, then use Shadow Slash and use Shuriken when they are slowed for easy harass.
Level 6+: Go in for the kill if they are low enough on HP.
- When the opponent is below 50% HP, use Living Shadow to get in close enough for an autoattack. can proc once every 10 seconds and does a decent amount of damage.
- You can also farm Wraiths very easily. Use Living Shadow over the wall, use Shadow Slash, wait a bit for CD, Shadow Slash again, swap places with clone and finish off the camp.
Team FightsIn a clustered teamfight, use and in conjunction with , but save onto your . Only when a target is low should you use .
In a scattered teamfight, single out a squishy target (AP/AD carry most likely) and proceed to burst that target down starting with your .
Final CommentsZed is a strong assassin that works best in the mid lane. Utilizing his spells properly to maximize damage allows Zed to burst down squishy targets extremely quickly. Overall, Zed is a fun champion and a bit challenging to play.