Recommended Lane: Mid Lane
Zed Wild Rift Champion Build Guide
Zed is the ruthless leader of the Order of Shadows who unlocked the secret shadow form to destroy anything he sees as a threat to his nation. Zed is a mid lane assassin who specializes in bursting down the enemy without being touched himself. He can kill the enemy carry and swiftly move throughout the battlefield which makes him a dangerously strong snowball champion.
Zed’s attacks against enemies below 50% Health deal bonus magic damage equal to 7% of their maximum Health. (10 second cooldown per unique enemy).
Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing 80 physical damage (80 + 100% bonus AD) to the first enemy they hit and 48 physical damage (48 + 60% bonus AD) to other enemies in their path.
Passive: Zed gains 35 Energy whenever an ability strikes the same enemy twice. Energy can only be gained once per cast ability.
Active: Zed’s shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for 4.5 seconds. Reactivating Living Shadow will cause Zed to swap positions with his shadow.
Zed and his shadows slash, each dealing 70 physical damage (70 + 80% bonus AD) to nearby enemies and slowing them by 25% for 1.5 seconds.
Each enemy champion hit by Zed’s slash reduces Living Shadow’s cooldown by 2 seconds.
Zed becomes untargetable and dashes to target enemy champion, marking them. After 3.5 seconds, the mark triggers, dealing physical damage equal to 64 (100% AD) plus 25% of all damage dealt to target by Zed while the mark was active.
The dash leaves a shadow behind for 6 seconds. Zed can reactivate Death Mark to switch positions with this shadow.
Innate: Contempt for the Weak
Zed deals bonus magic damage on enemies with below half health. The damage dealt is based on the enemy’s maximum health. It has an internal ten seconds cooldown for each enemy hit.
Contempt for the Weak helps with your last hitting in the early game as the bonus damage applies to all enemies: Minions, jungle monsters, epic monsters, and champions. However, it doesn’t work on turrets.
Zed’s passive gives you a good chance to steal jungle monsters or drakes using a simple ability + basic attack combo because of the passive’s damage output.
Make sure to last at least one auto-attack when trading and going for an all-in because your passive contributes a large amount of damage to your combos.
Q / Ability 1: Razor Shuriken
Zed and his shadows throw their shuriken which deals damage to enemies in its path. The shurikens deal damage separately but it deals more damage to the first target it hits.
Razor Shuriken is Zed’s main source of damage as multiple shurikens deal a serious amount of damage.
Each Shuriken has a separate counter for the Keystone Rune Electrocute which makes it easy to proc it with Zed when trading.
When facing a ranged enemy in the lane, do not hesitate to use the shurikens to last hit the minions and try to hit the enemy champion as well. Yes, it will deal less damage but it is hitting two birds with one stone.
Some enemies will underestimate your range with the shadow’s shuriken throw. Use it to snipe down the enemy as they recall under the tower.
You can use Razor Shuriken twice in combination with Living Shadow before the shadow dissipates in the late game which can catch the enemy off guard.
W / Ability 2: Living Shadow
Living Shadow allows Zed’s shadow to dash forward and remain in place for a short duration. During this duration, Zed can reactivate the ability to switch places with the shadow.
Living Shadow also grants the passive ability to restore his energy when his ability strikes the same enemy twice.
Living Shadow is mainly used offensively to multiple your other basic abilities.
It can also be used to escape. Re-tapping the ability button will switch you with your shadow the moment it arrives at its target location.
A better way to use it for escaping is by casting it towards the opposite direction you are running to which gives you the option to switch to it if the enemy over commits on following you.
Cast living shadow in a safe location before committing to an all-in so you can kill an enemy with your ultimate then return to safety in a blink of an eye. You can potentially kill the enemy carry in the midst of the enemy team and return safely if executed well.
Since Living Shadow is your main source of mobility, do not use it offensively if you are not aware of the enemy jungler’s position.
Arrows appear beneath Zed which only he can see. It turns a different color when it is nearing its expiration.
Zed cannot switch places to his shadow if he is too far away from it. This restriction does not apply to the shadow produces by his ultimate.
E / Ability 3: Shadow Slash
Shadow Slash is a melee AoE ability that damages and slows enemies near Zed and his shadows.
Each enemy champion hit with Shadow Slash reduces W, Living Shadows, cooldown by two seconds.
Shadow Slash does not interrupt your auto attack pattern so it does not matter if you use it before or after your auto attacks.
Shadow Slash’s damage stacks unlike in LoL PC which just increases its slow amount so you can also deal a lot of damage with this ability with enough practice.
R / Ultimate: Death Mark
Death Mark targets an enemy champion and marks them. After a short duration, the mark triggers which deals base damage plus a portion of all damage dealt while the mark was active.
The more damage you deal, the more damage the mark will deal which makes it a potent assassination tool.
Zed becomes untargetable the moment Death Mark is cast so it is a great way to avoid targeted abilities. It doesn’t mean you are invulnerable, though. You will still be damaged by damage over time effects like Ignite.
After being untargetable you will appear at the back of your enemy. Experienced players know this and they will use that window to hit you with their crowd control spell so that you’ll be unable to cast the rest of your abilities. You can outplay this by casting your W, Living Shadow, before using your ultimate. There is a delay before you can re-cast Death Mark but you can immediately re-cast Living Shadows so it is imperative that you do so.
A shuriken mark will appear on top of the enemy if the damage that the target will receive is more than their HP. It’s not a 100% guarantee that they will die, though, because of shields or healing that they may receive before the mark expires.
Basic Zed Combos:
Basic trade combo 1: W + E + Q
Basic trade combo 2: W + Q +E
Basic trade combo 3: (Melee) W (away) + E + AA + W + Q
All-in burst: W (towards the target enemy champion) + R1 + Q + E + AA + R2 (Place the W, Living Shadow beside your target enemy so you can hit them with three Q, Razor Shurikens and three E, Shadow Slash. This is best for early game 1v1s which will ensure the enemy will die even with the lack of damage items)
All-in safe: W1 (towards a safe location) + R1 + Q + E + AA + W2 (Ensures that you survive a dive. In the late game, even if you only land two Qs and Es, you’ll most likely kill the enemy champion.)
Zed Build Recommendation
Here are Item Build Recommedations that works on Zed
This is the standard build for Zed which maximizes the amount of armor penetration and attack damage he can have so he can 1 shot his targets.
- Duskblade of Draktharr – Grants bonus damage and a brief but strong slow each time you disappear for at least one second which guarantees at least one instance of the bonus damage on ganks. You can even do it twice by leaving a shadow near the enemy and hiding on a bush once you are advanced enough on Zed.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity – Provides ability haste as well as spell haste which means that this item not only reduces your ability’s cooldown but your summoner spell’s cooldowns as well. Upgrade with the Protobelt Enchant for the additional mobility which can also be used to add damage to your combos or you can upgrade with the Stasis Enchant so you won’t have to worry about burst damage when diving.
- Youmuu’s Ghostblade – This item grants bonus movement speed which helps Zed roam more efficiently and it also grants bonus magic damage on your first attack.
- Black Cleaver – Reduces the armor of your enemy each time you deal physical damage. A full combo will almost always proc the full debuff from this item which will increase your total damage output by a great margin, especially against tanks.
- Mortal Reminder – Grants the highest amount of armor penetration in the game which ensures your lethality even against tanks. The Grievous Wounds effect this item provides helps tremendously against high sustain champions.
- Guardian Angel – The Resurrect passive of this item is insurance which lets you worry less against errors and outplays and it allows you to have more margin to test your limits as well.
This is the alternate build for Zed which is useful when playing against lots of tanks, when your team lacks a tank, or when you lose your lane hard. This allows you to tank and create space for your teammates.
- Death’s Dance – The Cauterize passive from this item grants more time to react against burst damage champions because a portion of the damage you receive is converted into damage over time.
- Sterak’s Gage – Grants a good amount of HP and damage plus the Lifeline passive which grants a shield when you are low on HP which is a great advantage on cutthroat duels.
- Electrocute – Inflicts additional damage on the enemy champion dealt with multiple instances of damage in a short duration. This is easy for Zed to proc because of his W, Living Shadow. Conqueror is the alternate Keystone Rune which grants bonus damage per instance of damage he deals which also stacks up fast considering Zed’s ability to dish out his abilities fast.
- Brutal – Grants bonus damage and armor penetration.
- Hunter – Titan – Increases your HP and tenacity for each unique takedown.
- Hunter – Genius – Grants additional ability haste for each unique takedown.
Ignite allows you to play aggressively and finish off champions you won’t otherwise. You can activate Ignite early on your full combo so you’ll have a higher chance to bring down the enemy’s HP below half and proc your passive. It doesn’t increase Death Mark’s damage, though.
Flash grants flexibility to your plays. You can use it offensively to close the gap with your opponents or make your Q, Razor Shuriken cast faster and reach your target. You can also use it defensively to escape, of course.
Q, Razor Shuriken, is maxed first because it is your main source of damage. W, Living Shadow, gets a point in level 2 for better pokes and energy conservation but it is maxed last as it provides enough utility at level 1. Its duration does not scale as well. E, Shadow Slash, is maxed second as your secondary source of damage but in some melee matchup like Yasuo, you can max it first if you prefer to. Get a point in your ultimate whenever possible.
Zed Early Game Guide
Like almost all assassins, Zed has a relatively weak early game compared to other mid laners. Because of this, most long-ranged AP carries will try to harass you while they can.
In levels 1 and 2, play it safe and try to last hit from a distance using Q, Razor Shuriken. If you can hit enemies while last hitting, that’s better but it is not required, you will be able to 100% to 0 the enemy’s HP once you hit level 5, anyway.
It is important to keep your health high in the early game so you can commit to an all-in once you reach level 5 with minimal risks. If you allow the enemy to keep your health low, they will be able to kill you even if you have your ultimate.
When you have reached level 3, you can possibly chunk a large portion of your enemy’s health if they overextend because you can potentially hit them with two Q, Razor Shuriken and E, Shadow Slash with the help of your W, Living Shadow. Only do this if the enemy plays carelessly. Otherwise, just wait for your level 5 power spike when you have your ultimate.
Zed Late Game Guide
After hitting level 5, immediately assess if you can kill your lane counterparts. If yes, use your full burst damage combo on them. If they have Barrier as their summoner spell, try to shove your lane and look for a kill in another lane.
The key to carrying with Zed is to repeat this strategy throughout the game. Every time you have your ultimate available, look for a kill. Do not let use ultimate go to waste by not using it.
In the later stages of the game, it will be harder to single out an enemy champion because they are always grouped up but because you have higher damage output, it is possible to sneakily kill an enemy with the safer version of your combo by putting out a W, Living Shadow at a safe location before using your ultimate.
When facing a large group of enemies, you can deal serious damage with just your basic abilities. Just time it right because using your W, Living Shadow will limit your escape options.
Shyvana has a weaker ganking compared to most champions but she is good at taking objectives. Zed can take up the role of the ganker and roam the map to try to get kills and snowball while Shyvana power farms and secure objectives for her team. She is also a scary team fight presence which can disperse the enemy team which is beneficial for Zed’s assassinations.
Wukong is a jungler with a strong team fight presence which compensates Zed’s lack of team fighting presence. Furthermore, he is a champion that also relies on deceit so a couple of clutch escapes by Wukong and Zed will surely tilt the enemy.
Orianna can be a pain in the laning phase because of her long reach. It’s impossible to burst her down if she has the Barrier passive and in the late game you’ll never find her alone and she can protect her teammate and prevent them from being killed by your mark as well.
Fizz is a skill matchup on Zed. His E, Playful/Trickster is an easy way to nullify your ultimate. Once he is fed, he can delete his enemies way easier than you can.
Here are some pros and cons if you are playing with Zed in Wild Rift.
- Zed is an amazing burst damage champion who can kill nearly any champion with just one combo.
- He has unparalleled mobility through his switching with his shadows.
- Zed has unlimited outplay and snowballing potential and he is just simply OP once he gets an early kill.
- Zed’s kit can be overwhelming and it takes a lot of time to master him because his combos can be confusing.
- He can easily die when he messes his combo especially if you forget which shadow is which and where.
- He is countered by Stasis Enchant so map awareness is a must because Zed’s killing pressure drops hard without his ultimate.
FAQ's About Zed
How good is Zed in Wild Rift?
Zed is a (Tier A) champion. Zed is capable of one of the highest single target combo damage and he also has a fair amount of mobility. But in the current meta, he is outshined by other assassins with a stronger team fight presence. But in the hands of a competent player, Zed is still a scary assassin.
What role / lane should I play with Zed in Wild Rift?
Zed is an AD assassin played in the middle lane. Zed’s role is to burst down the enemy’s priority target swiftly and safely, with little counterplay. Except if they have Stasis Enchant available, of course.
What abilities do I level up with Zed?
Q, Razor Shuriken, is maxed first because it is your main source of damage. W, Living Shadow, gets a point in level 2 for better pokes and energy conservation but it is maxed last as it provides enough utility at level 1. Its duration does not scale as well. E, Shadow Slash, is maxed second as your secondary source of damage but in some melee matchup like Yasuo, you can max it first if you prefer to.
What items should I build with Zed?
Zed’s core items are Duskblade of Draktharr and Youmuu’s Ghostblade. These items grant flat armor penetration which are potent one-shot tools against squishy targets.
What Runes should I use when playing as Zed?
Electrocute inflicts additional damage on combos. It is easy for Zed to proc Electrocute because of the nature of his combos. His other runes are Brutal, Hunter – Titan, and Hunter – Genius.