All Guides Zed Guides Cut the last breath from them (in-depth guide)
2 years ago

Zed Statistics for TURBO INTER SUPP

Author's performance with Zed compared to the ranked average.

Games Played
Win %
KA:D Ratio
Gold Earned
Creep Score
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

  • Its true damage allows you to secure kills easier.
  • The 50% healing reduction debuff is pretty good too.

  • Why not?
  • Flash is just too good of a summoner spell to not pick it.
  • Allows you to position yourself better, which is very useful to dodge skills or just get in a better position.
  • Extremely good for both escaping and chasing.
  • Gives you the element of surprise, which is good for catching opponents off-guard.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Season 7 masteries at the moment are staple, you get a 9% damage increase (14% to targets below 40% hp) with this rune page. There isn't much variation besides taking Vampirism for a bit of more sustain in the laning phase.

Thunderlord's Decree is BY FAR the best mastery in the current patch (5.24).

Abilities Back to Top


Normally you'll want to max Q first because it gives you more raw damage, gives you better lane control and more pushing power.

8NGL1yh.jpg Passive: Contempt for the Weak

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

 This allows you to make aggressive plays even before lvl 6, Contempt for the Weak also works with Death Mark making it extremely good. It is magic damage, so even if your opponent builds a lot of armor, it will steal deal a good amount of damage. When harassing your lane opponent be sure to wait for the debuff of your passive disappear on your enemy then go ahead and strike again.


Active: Zed and his shadows throw their shurikens, each dealing physical damage to the first enemy they pass through and a lesser physical damage to enemies thereafter. 
Living Shadow: Additional shurikens striking the same enemy deal 50% physical damage and restore energy.

DAMAGE TO FIRST TARGET: 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+ 100% bonus AD)
DAMAGE TO SECONDARY TARGETS: 45 / 69 / 93 / 117 / 141 (+ 60% bonus AD)
MIMICKED SHURIKENS: 37.5 / 57.5 / 77.5 / 97.5 / 117.5 (+ 50% bonus AD)

Cost: 75/70/65/60/55 energy
Cooldown: 6 Seconds

This ability is amazing for harassing your lane opponent  last hitting creeps for a safe distance and amazing for bursting down when you land 2 or 3 shurikens, I find a couple of downsides to this ability; That it costs a lot of energy early if not maxed first and that landing 3 shurikens is really hard, it's not obligatory but it obviously boosts your damage output by a good amount, landing 2 shurikens means you'll deal 150% damage, and if you land 3 you will deal 200% damage, and that is a lot of damage.
A tip for this ability, you can use the pseudo-smart cast option from the game, or use 2 different keys for this ability like I do, one for normal cast and the other one for Smartcast, I use the smartcast one when I'm just last-hitting or going for safe harass, etc. But when I go all-in I don't use smartcast because it's way easier to land the triple shuriken. It comes down to preference, play with it and use what you feel comfortable with. 


PASSIVE: Zed's bonus attack damage is increased by a percentage.

BONUS ATTACK DAMAGE: 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25% bonus AD

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
Cost: 40/35/30/25/20 energy
Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14 seconds

This ability is what makes Zed the champion he is. You can use this ability in so many ways, when chasing, when running, you can use it aggressively or defensively in lane, this skill is amazing for juking, especially when you have 2 shadows on the field, it also works great as a gap closer in a teamfight when you want to dive their backline, the only downside on this ability is the somewhat long cooldown at early levels, but later in the game, you won't even notice the cooldown because for each champion you hit with Shadow Slash your Living Shadow's CD will be reduced by 2 seconds, if you hit 3 champions with a Shadow Slash (which is pretty easy in a teamfight because you'll have 2 shadows on the field) you'll reduce W's CD by it's half.

An important thing about this ability, is that you need to keep track of where your shadow is for maximum efficiency in harassing or escaping, lets say you're getting chased by the enemy, you use your W to make a bigger gap between you and them, as soon as the enemy passes through your shadow, be sure to use your E to slow them down.

When you're using it for harass, do the following, put the shadow on top of your enemy, press E quick and that'll slow the enemy down, making it easier to land your shurikens, sometimes the enemy will be oblivious and stay on top of your shadow, if he does that, then you can use your Slash again for maximum harass.


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 2 seconds for each enemy champion struck. His shadow's mimicked slash slows enemies for 1.5 seconds.  

PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+ 80% bonus AD)
SLOW: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
LIVING SHADOW: Overlapping Shadow Slashes striking the same enemy deal no additional damage but will apply a stronger slow and restore energy based on the level of Living Shadow.
OVERLAPPING SLOW: 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60%
Cost: 50 energy
Cooldown: 4 Seconds

Shadow Slash i's an amazing harassing ability in combination with your Living Shadow, it also slows the enemy making it easier to chase/escape and landing multiple of your shurikens too. One thing about this ability that not many people know is that it doesn't interrupt your autoattack, so you don't have to worry and you don't have to wait till your autoattack is over to use your Shadow Slash.



ACTIVE: Zed becomes untargetable for 0.75 seconds and dashes behind the target enemy champion. Upon arrival, he marks the target for death, ignores unit collision, and spawns a shadow that lasts for 6 seconds at the cast location. Reactivating Death Mark will cause Zed to swap places with this shadow.

After 3 seconds, Death Mark will trigger, dealing flat physical damage plus a percentage of all physical and magic damage dealt to the marked champion while it was active

PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 100% AD + 20 / 35 / 50% of damage dealt
Cost: None
Cooldown: 120/100/80 seconds

My favorite ability in the entire game, this ability will make every person in the enemy team fear you, especially the squishy targets like the ADC. I'll tell you a few things about this ability that you may now know:

When you use it, you become intargetable for .75 seconds, meaning that you can dodge any projectile that is coming to you, like a 4_64.png's gold card, 10_64.png's Q, etc.

When you land on your target, a Living Shadow appears on the place you used your ult, allowing you to cast 3 shurikens and deal 200% shuriken damage, you can teleport to that shadow by pressing R again, it's amazing for juking and getting out of danger extremely easy (this shadow has infinite range).

The strongest thing about this ability (maybe a bit too strong) is that it works from all source of damages (items too, that's why BotRK is a must on Zed) except true damage, the "a bit too strong" part is that the Damage used for calculation is damage done pre-mitigation. 


Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    matchup dependant
    Start with this.
    get this after your first or second back, preferably with a couple of wards

Core Items

    Most important items.
    This is a full build example (obviously you should have boots). god bless zed

Situational Items

    You can go for another defensive item instead if you prefer so, you should pick any of those based on the enemy champions.
    High amounts of raw damage and a bit nicer for teamfights.
    I don't consider this a good item on Zed, Ghostblade is vastly superior in terms of build path and efectiveness. You can try this if you get a ton of gold early on, but I still dont recommend it.

Starting Items.

1036_32.png 2003_32.png
Best start IMO, provides enough regen and the AD you get from long sword is decent for trades and clearing minion waves.

1054_32.png 2003_32.png
Go Doran Shield + Potions for a standard start, it's also the safest way to start. Very good against ranged laners like Ahri and Syndra.

3350_32.png 3351_32.png
Both trinkets are good, but I suggest that you start with the ward trinket because it's the most useful for the laning phase, once the laning phase ends you definitely should buy the sweeping lens trinket, it's very good when you upgrade it because you get a free oracle for a few seconds, perfect when you're against champions like Kha'Zix or Vayne.


Buy this if you're against an AP champion that may kill you before you kill him (Syndra, LeBlanc, etc) or if you're against a double AP lineup in which case I recommend you to build this 100% of the times especially if you want to snowball early in the laning phase.

Very good item against heavy AD lineups or you find yourself taking a lot of damage from their ADC (Which shouldn't happen) plus its active allows you to catch up your targets easier.

3131_32.png 3035_32.png 3134_32.png
SotD Build (RIP 4.20)
This was my favorite, I found it thanks to Ganked by Mom (mid laner from CJ Frost). You should rush a Brutalizer and a Last whisper then proceed to build a SotD. I used to go with this build almost every single, in the other hand Ganked by Mom said on an interview that he builds it 100% of his games, It's more of a preference. After you're done building these 3 items, you can proceed on the natural items, like BotRK, and a Guardian Angel. If you haven't tried this build I REALLY recommend you to try it, at first I was a bit sceptical but after I used it a few games I discovered how amazing this build is.



3275_32.png 3270_32.png 3265_32.png

You have to pick your boots depending on the enemy team, if they are heavy magic/cc then go for mercury threads, if you feel pretty safe then Luciditys are great, go Mobis when you get an early advantage and want to pick up kills easily.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Ahri
  • Annie
  • Azir
  • Diana
  • Fizz
  • Karthus
  • Kassadin
  • Katarina
  • Kayle
  • Kha'Zix
  • LeBlanc
  • Lissandra
  • Lulu
  • Lux
  • Orianna
  • Riven
  • Ryze
  • Talon
  • Twisted Fate
  • Varus
  • Viktor
  • Yasuo
  • Zilean



Diffculty: [|||-------]
Somewhat easy lane, you can harass her freely if she uses her Q on the minions, don't play near the minions so you force her to either Q you or the minions. If you play around her cooldowns especially ahriseduce.png, you can force her ult and flash, just keep an eye when she goes roaming, you can do 2 things, shove the lane and try to take the tower or follow her. Don't go over aggresive with your W, because she can catch an opportunity to kill you.



Difficulty: [||||------]
This lane will be a passive lane and you should try to roam and push most of the time since she can be lethal at level 6. She can zone you fairly easy when she has her stun charged, once she hits 6 her burst if really high so be careful when you go all in, play around her cooldowns.




Difficulty: [||||------]

Kind of an easy matchup, can be difficult lvl 2-3 if he knows how to position his soldiers and poke you, but once you both get lvl 6 Zed comes on top, you can kill him fairly easy unless some crazy outplay happens, the problem comes in later stages of the game where Azir is a god when it comes to sieging.



Difficulty: [||||------]
Somewhat a difficult lane because her shield gives her a lot of survivabilty so its a bit hard to kill her post 6, plus she is a good dueler, the best you can do is push like crazy at lvl 2-3, Diana is really bad at last hitting under tower.



Difficulty: [||||||----]
You can't kill him that easily and there is no way you can avoid his ult damage (your ult wont do anything). The best you can do is push the lane, Fizz is really bad at waveclearing. Just be careful and don't get baited.



Difficulty: [||||------]
This matchup is pretty straight foward, you can easily kill him at any point in the laning phase, you can zone him out, but remember he is Karthus and you can't do anything to stop him farming. Just buy wards, use them on both sides of the river, then proceed to go all-in everytime there is no enemy around.



Diffculty: [|||-------]
Easy lane, you can freely play agressive because Kassadin's trade is considered good and effective against magic damage. Try to punish him as much as you can for every single CS he tries to get, it's extremely important to keep wards up on the river because this will basically allow you to play however you want and destroy him a lot easier. Things get different once he hits 6 because now he is a lot harder to gank and the enemy jungler can gank you, at this point it's still really easy to win 1v1 and wont get tricky until he gets Zhonyas. Be really careful when it comes to counterganks, 




Difficulty: [||--------]

This is a very rare matchup, but it's pretty easy, she has 0 kill potential on you but you can kill her easy if played right. Play around her shunpo cooldown to go in, you can also place a shadow far from her before going in with your ult so you can get away easily when she ults then go back in with your Death Mark's shadow. If you have flash then there is no way she can run away from you after you go in.



Difficulty: [||||||||--]
Ugh, this matchup is really ugly, once she hits 6 she becomes unkillable by you, not only her but all of her teammates, as soon as you ult someone she'll ult that target and will negate your ult completely. Push her early, at lvls 2-3, she is really bad at last hitting under tower and wave clearing, try to roam when possible.



Difficulty: [||--------]
Easy matchup since you deal more damage than Kha'Zix unless you're isolated. One of the weaknesses of Kha'Zix is that he most of the time buys Tear as his first item, that gives you a big advantage when it comes to items, use that advantage and try to kill him early.




The most skilliest matchup for Zed in my opinion, used to be a bit on LB's side but since the silence nerf I think it's a way more balanced matchup now. The important thing is to play around her W and R cooldowns.



Difficulty: [||||||||||]
She has everything to make your laning phase hard, she can waveclear, she has a really long escape mechanism, 2 hard cc, and she can make herself invulnerable to make your ult completely useless. Try to farm from a safe distance, take your wraiths, if you manage to get level 6 before her, use it as an advantage and try to kill her, don't get greedy.



Difficulty: [|||||-----]
You can't kill her, She can't kill you (Unless big mistakes are made). You should try to focus on farming and pushing then looking for a good gank on the other lanes, Lulus generally pikc Exhaust when going against Zed which makes it even harder to kill her.



Difficulty: [|||-------]
Somewhat easy matchup, your W allows you to dodge her skill fairly easy, she can safely farm from distance and she has CC to stop you from killing her, and her shield is annoying. Most of the time it's a farm fest, your roaming is a lot better than hers so you should abuse that.



Difficulty: [|||||||---]
Skill matchup, both champions rely on mechanic skills, she can harass you early levels and play very safe, you can attack her mana by staying away from the minions because Orianna has high mana cost spells and you force her to choose between CSing or harassing. Try to find a good opportunity to kill her, that'll happen when she runs OOM. You can also shove the lane and go roam if you see her with low mana.




Riven mid gained popularity when Faker started to pull her off in many games because Riven is a Zed counter by nature. I would say this is one of the hardest matchups for Zed, she can be stronger than you at any point of the laning phase except maybe level 3 if you can poke her safely which is hard to do, try to avoid any type of combat before level 6 except if you have your jungler with you. After level 6 it all becomes a skill matchup but Riven still has a bit of advantage because she simply has a better kit when it comes to this specific 1v1. Last Zed nerf actually hurt this matchup a lot because you used to be able to dodge her stun after your ult with your R shadow which is no longer possible.



Difficulty: [|||||-----]
Ryze has a weak laning phase, but he gets armor items really fast and when that happens it becomes really hard to kill him, try to harass him early levels and ask your jungler for some ganks. Keep in mind that Ryze is a powerhouse late game.




Difficulty: [||||||----]

This matchup can be difficult if the enemy is a good Talon player, most Talons will try to get help from the jungler so he can get lvl 6 first, be very careful with this because a lvl 6 Talon can easily kill you if you don't have ult. Try to poke him while he goes for the CS and don't understimate his lvl 4-5 and obviously lvl 6 damage. I highly suggest running armor yellows in this matchup. I insist, be careful against a Talon because if he gets any advantage/kills it'll very hard to come back form that situation.


Twisted Fate

Difficulty: [|||-------]
It's a really easy lane before he gets to 6, once that happens he'll roam most of the time, and he is the king of roaming, There is this (bug?) thing you can do if you are really good at timing, if you see TF ulting and you ult him right before TP out, you'll follow him with your ult and land with him, it's very hard to do so, but if you manage to do it, you'll destroy him because your lvl 6 is stronger than his. (only do this if you sure you and your team can take a 3vs3 or 2vs2 or so)




This matchup can be considered easy as most matchups for Zed, if you can get early help from your jungle then you are set to go because if you kill Varus before he gets 750 gold to buy 3070.png then he 100% lost the lane and there is almost no chance for him to come back. Make sure to play as agressive as you can once you set up proper vision, Varus still has a decent wave clear even if he is behind so try to play around his mana pool and his varusq.png and varusr.png cooldown.




This matchup is a bit better for Zed than Viktor, you may have trouble at lvl 1 and 2, where viktorpowertransfer.pngstart Viktor has a really strong trade potential. Once you get to lvl 6 the room to outplay grows, and you have a lot of power to snowball the lane. There may be problems if you start to fall behind, because Viktor has 10 times better teamfighting capabilities than you and can easily one shot you or any carry in your team.



Difficulty: [||--------]
Zed counters Yasuo by nature, with your high mobility and poke/burst you can easily destroy him in lane, try to poke him pre-6 and as soon as you get 6 you can pick up an easy kill in the right circumstance, keep and eye on his wall and your minions so you have an idea where he might try to run (because he will try to).




Difficulty: [||||||----]

This CAN be a very difficult matchup if Zilean gets help from his jungler, he has a lot of early kill potential and you should be careful, after 6 it becomes really difficult for you to kill him, the best you can do is try to farm and ask your junlger for help. Also really focus on split pushing after laning phase because Zilean will make your life impossible in teamfights with his ult.

Note about Matchups. Back to Top

  • You have to keep in mind that I am assuming that both players have equal skill level, the descriptions are to help you in case you don't know how to play against such champion. One tip I can give you is to play these champions, when you learn these champions you'll have a much easier time playing against them because you'll be able to somewhat predict what they're going to do.

Strategy and Tactics. Back to Top


Zed's Play style

Zed as an assassin excels at killing the most important targets on the nemy team, such as the ADC, their mid laner and sometimes their top laner.

In the early game there isn't much you can do besides farming from a safe distance, unless the enemy makes a big mistake you wont be able to kill him before level 6. If your jungler comes before level 6, the way to initiate is W+E on top of the enemy, that'll slow him down and let your jungler be able to catch up on him.



Zed's strongest capability is assassinating, once you reach 6, your killing potential is very high, you have 2 gap closers which allow you to get to any target easily, and once you have done your job and killed an enemy target, your shadows give you the chance to get out of the danger zone really easy, that's why you have to keep an eye on your shadows' position.

There are a few things you have to keep in mind when you're looking for a target to kill:
Check his inventory: It's almost impossible to burst down someone who has a 3157_32.png unless he makes a mistake (NEVER assume that), also you have to remember one thing, 3157_32.png 's cooldown is 90 seconds, your ult at LVL 3 has 80 seconds, you can try to bait the item the first time with or without your ult, if you use your ult then you have a 10 seconds window to go again (you'll obviously have more time because you'll have atleast 10% CDR from Brutalizer). Try to get him in that window but don't put yourself in a dangerous position.

Another item that may screw you up is 3140_32.png / 3139_32.png which at some point in the game their ADC will get one, there isn't much you can do to be honest, unless you are really far ahead you won't be able to kill him if he has any of those items. Try to coordinate with your team to shut him down, maybe one of your teammates can force him to activate it even before the teamfight starts.


Zed is god-like when it comes to splitpushing, his pushing potential is amazing once you have a few items, your W lets you escape from bad situations fairly easy, what makes him a really good splitpusher is his 1v1 capabilities, the only way to stop you is to send multiple people or send a REALLY strong opponent. 

For splitpushing I recommend you 2 items:

For obvious reasons, it allows you to wave clear even faster, its lifesteal will keep you full HP all the time and it also resets your autoattack timer when you activate it, which is a nice bonus. With this item you'll be able to clear the entire wave in a second with just activating it + your Shadow Slash.


Living Shadow

Living shadow is one of your most important abilities, it can be used in so many ways offensively and defensively. 

You can use it offensively on the lane by using your W+E combo for harass or if you want to go for a kill. You can use your W+Q combo for only harass but it deals more damage if you land both of your shurikens. Remember than once you use your shadow to go in you wont have any other escape, so be sure there is no enemy around.

Living Shadow is an exceptional defensive tool, you can use it to position yourself in a safer place or simply use it to run, what makes it so good is that you can use it to jump over many walls.

Pros and Cons. Back to Top


  • Insane burst.
  • Your laning phase is extremely safe and can harass the oponent at the same time.
  • Amazing split pusher.
  • His roaming potential is top notch.
  • His shadows allows him to make high level jukes/plays.
  • Good at tower diving.
  • His W allows him to easily dive a target in the backline.
  • When mastered, Zed becomes a completely different champion.



  • If you use your W aggresively in lane you are somewhat vulnerable to a gank.
  • Lacks of hard cc.
  • Keep in mind your enemies can build 3140_32.png or 3139_32.png to nullify your ultimate.
  • Zed's ultimate can be countered to a degree by invulnerability such as 3157_32.png10_64.png and 127_64.png.
  • High skill cap.
  • People cry on Reddit about how broken Zed is.

About me. Back to Top



Hello! I'm a professional LoL player from latin america currently playing as the mid laner for Havoks Gaming who is currently participating in the LAN Cup (LCS).

Summoner Name: DCStar
Server: NA/LAN
Main Position: Mid lane
Favourite Champions: Zed, Diana, Twisted Fate.
Rank: D1/Challenger
Facebook FanpageDCStarLoL
Twitch: DCStarLoL

Zed balance changes. Back to Top


-Living Shadow

Significantly increased the time it takes for the Living Shadow to reach its destination (missile travel speed reduced to 1500 from 2500)

Sadly after the patch 3.13 I don't enjoy playing Zed like I used to.
This change may look insignifcant to many, but this change made Zed feel super sluggish. I actually liked the changes on Death Mark, you can make some cool jukes and what not. Zed will keep being one of my favorite champions, but after this I'm not going to play him that much.

I'll try to update this guide if any other major changes happen.


Blade of the Ruined King
ACTIVE ABILITY: Maximum health damage now 15% ⇒ 10%
ACTIVE ABILITY: Active ability now steals 30% movement speed ⇒ 25% movement speed
PASSIVE DAMAGE:Current health damage per hit now 5% ⇒ 8%
LIFESTEAL: 15% ⇒ 10%

This makes BotRK significantly weaker on Zed.

4.10 as a whole I think is a buff for Zed because Randuins got nerfed, consider the new BT better over BotRK, LB got nerfed, the meta is switching back to like when Zed was a god, we may actually see Zed rise in competitive, I don't know because I haven't played him in a really long time, have to keep an eye on this.



R - Death Mark Now has a 1 second cooldown before it can be reactivated to return to Death Mark's shadow.

This kills the zed.

Jokes aside, I feel like Riot at this point is nerfing Zed for no reason, I didn't mind the 5.2 nerfs (ASPD nerfs) because those didn't have much impact on Zed anyway, but this R nerf was totally unneeded and undeserved, Zed had already fallen out of place in the competitive environment and this only gutted him.
I'm honestly hoping for Riot to just throw a random QoL buff to him or revert this nerf (not gonna happen), still waiting for the "invulnerability" bug on his ult to get fixed.

It's not like Zed is unplayable or can't be used at all, but he is now a complete niche and can only be picked in VERY very specific scenarios, I don't see myself playing him in competitive again soon. Still updating the guide if there are any other major changes occuring.



Living Shadow
Fixed a bug where casting at the same time as his other abilities would avoid the cast time.

This is a bigger deal than what it looks like, i'll explain this a bit. 
Before this change you used to be able to cast WEQ instantly with no cast time on his W, basically you could cancel the animation (not the shadow traveling time) and throw both shurikens at the same time, this isn't possible anymore. 

Now you'll throw Zed's shuriken first then after a fraction of a second the shadow's shuriken will come out, this makes the combo overall feel a bit sluggish. 

This makes it so it's better to use W - E then wait a bit (less than a second) then use your shurikens, so both come out at the same time and it's harder for your opponent to dodge em, considering that he will be slowed.



Living Shadow
Range increased to 700 from 600.
Missile speed increased to 1750 from 1500
Minimum range lowered to 350 from 400

Death Mark
Stored damage increased to 30 / 40 / 50% from 20 / 35 / 50%.

A quite nice set of buffs for Zed, increases the damage overall. The W changes aren't that significant, these are definitely a buff but aren't that great. The R buff is nice but not that big.

At this point I feel that Zed needs some changes to his mechanics and how the champion works in terms of his speed, casting times, etc. I think that if Riot keeps increasing his damage this will lead to some drastic nerfs in the future.

Send Feedback