All Guides Zilean Guides (8.18) Zilean Guide by a Zilean Veteran (Mid/Supp)
4 hours ago

Zilean Statistics for TIoIM

Author's performance with Zilean 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

As a Support you should always run 3.png, against Soraka 14.png.

Lately People taking 7.png as a support, which makes no sense on Zilean at all, well, atleast not with my playstyle...
Please... dont do it :/

If you play in the Middle-Lane you should always run 12.pngin Teamranked.
In Solo-, Duo-Queue and below Diamond, you can also just use your prefered Summoner, i´m taking ignite for a possible snowball.

21.png Against Champs like 105.png 7.png and 238.png if you feel you need it... it´s not that usefull in the later game, but in the early, it will make you completely safe against deaths before lvl 6 ... and champs like the three i listed here, need the kills, and if you dont give them one, you are already winning. Zilean is always usefull, he don´t need kills or the most farm in game. A 0/0/0 Zilean is much more usefull than the 0/0/0 Zed

14.png good against a lot of healing on the enemy side, like Swain, Soraka, Mundo or for snowballing

Guide Informations:
-My english isn´t the best..... so please dont flame my misstakes ;)

-There are a lot ways to play Zilean, i found my way... If i find better ways, i will change the guide

-The Matchups are only easy/medium/hard in a even matchup,

 that means you can punish everyone and everyone can punish you ;)

-23.02.2016 It´s Patch 6.3 and this Guide was released in 5.24 (Preseaison) ... today my guide reached the 100.000 views and i´m rly happy about the fact, how many people want to know more about Zilean...

New Runes Back to Top

As a Zilean, you want to get as much CDR on you Ultimate as possible, and Electrocute is fine on Zilean, just 2 Bombs and one Autohit (or slow, because at the moment, that also counts on Electrocute, whats seems to be a bug), the burst can surprise enemys and they forget to heal maybe.

Actually... Electrocute is not just fine, its clearly the best... your E and your Bombhit (without explosion) counts for Electrocute... thats OP, its super easy so use *.*

Abilities Back to Top


Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Its my favourite start as a support... you got good autohit range and your bombs to use the passive, and you need no upgrade to make it usefull, like the coin.
    The best start for a Zilean midlane... safe and good ;)

Core Items

    Great, safe item but not for support
    Magic Pen or Cooldown-Boots, just look on the Itembuild, that you want to go for. (Mercury´s only if you need it, vs something like Fiddlesticks)
    These are the Items, you look for at the start
    This is a nice route to go, you got the DMG, the CDR, the MANA, and its cheap.
    +Banshee´s/Zhonyas for the CDR +Rabadons/Voidstaff for the AP/Damage Thats my standard way to go as a support
    in the Midlane, you should always try to get this item on you first back, if you dont got the money, take the tear and boots first.
    Very Expensive, bad building-path, because you got 35%CDR until you finished the Ludens... so you should only use it in the midlane. But its actually pretty good, when its finished, it allows you to go the magic-pen build after, or before the ludens. and you got a lot of damage later on.
    +Banshee´s/Zhonyas last or Ludens after Archangels. = Possible Midlane Build

Situational Items

    Bad Items for Zilean :-)
    No AP = Not good on Zilean
    Very good defensive Item
    Great Item in the early game, if you got some gold left to spend, If you should snowball hard, you can also upgrade it ;)
    I´m just gonna mention here, that in the pro-scene they are playing support zilean with "AERY"... that makes me sad :( The playstyle is completely different and its focussed on a Hyper-carry-adc... not easy to play, cannot recommend it, unless you are a high-elo-duo-botlane.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Ahri
  • Anivia
  • Annie
  • Azir
  • Brand
  • Cassiopeia
  • Cho'Gath
  • Diana
  • Ekko
  • Fizz
  • Heimerdinger
  • Karthus
  • Lulu
  • Lux
  • Orianna
  • Soraka
  • Syndra
  • Talon
  • Viktor
  • Yasuo
  • Zed
  • Ziggs




Rly annoying ult... try to dodge all Skillshot (specially her charme) and combo her down after the third jump.
Before LVL 6, Ahri got no great escape... with your jungler and your Combo you can try to get a kill early.




Anivia got so much AOE, a annoying wall and rly hard burst...
the laning phase is not rly difficult if you can dodge her skillshots, but in Teamfights, this bird will do a lot more dmg than you... 

Anivia got no Escape... Try to get a lead with your jungler and win the game before she´s going to be OP ;)

In Teamfights try to focus her... she´s a rly easy combo-target for you. Just use your ult fast, if she is targeting you :D




If she can oneshot you, you lost... If she´s behind = still annoying

Try to roam early cause, she´s not fast... also try to catch her in the early game with your jungler ..
if she is behind, there is no oneshot combo, your ult goes out and you should be fine.
If tibbers is on CD, she isnt a big problem...

A support Annie is not that hard... cause you should survive the stun and thats her only cc ... you got much more ;) (btw: A good Q W Q of Zilean, got the same effect like Tibbers :D )




Azir Changes in every Patch... so hard to balance this Champion... well... the currently Matchup against him is not a big Problem...
Yes, he do a lot of dmg... but he has to stand still for his solier-autohits... your Q W Q combo is rly easy to hit there.
A Azir never build mutch defense... so your combo makes him already low-life and your team will do the rest...
You just need to surve 2-3 of his soldier attacks to land your combo.
In the lategame, Azir is OP anyways... so much range, so much burst and so much damage over time...




Rly annoying Matchup... his Q does so much dmg and is not easy to dodge.
His ult got soooo much Value in a teamfight.
Try to catch him solo... Take 1 or 2 teammates, dodge his stun, combo him and kill him as fast as possible.
Brand got no escape try to get a early lead with your jungler and your Combo




Not that hard.... She will do a lot of dmg, if you cant hit your stun... but she got no escape or jump... so your slow makes it very easy.
Focus her in teamfights.
In laning phase poke her.  And try to get a lead with your jungler.
(she got no escape ;) )




He can oneshot you... but its hard for him to get closely enough with your slow, speedup and stun... Try to dodge his Q.
The only reason why this guy can be a true Pain is his Silence...
You should got Vision in the Late... cause A facecheck into a AP-Cho is your instant death ;)

This guy got no escape and is very easy to hit with your bombs... try to beat him in laning phase with your jungler... care his lvl 6 flash combo.




Try to beat her early with your jungler.
Cause later you cant kill her anymore but she can kill you twice in a stupid situation.
In teamfights instant stun her after her jump, this should be rly easy.
Dont feed her... cause a fed Diana is tanky and oneshot every squishy ;)




He thinks he can conrtol the time... but you are better :D
... lets be honest, his complete combo is insane, but his Field is hard to land, his Q is with your speed up easy to dodge and his ult is more a defensive tool... only his passive and his e is bad for you, cause he can stand instand in front of you and his autohits do much dmg. After his E, just slow and bomb him if you´r out of autohit range.
If Ekko dont get fed, he´s not a big problem in the lategame.




My most hated laning-opponent.... -.-
He´s fast, got 2 jumps, his playfull trickster blocks your bombs und if he gets fed, he can hard carry the game...

In laning phase play hard defensive. Dont get caught, and farm on max range... dont even try to kill him, focus farming. If he dont get fed, he´s not that hard, cause Fizz is a oneshot champ... he Jumps in, burst someone down and run away...
Your ult is the perfect counter...
If he jumps in, ult the Fizz-Target, wait for his trickster, and after that combo him.




You cant realy kill him and your jungler maybe die in a early-gank cause of his turrets...
Try to don get hit by his stun and Ulti-Rockets and throw bombs on his turrets before teamfighting, specially in the late game... just farm and start roam early.




Karthus got a rly rly weak early game... but you are not a lane bully to use this advantage... you need your jungler to take him out of the game... Karthus is full lategame so if you cant kill him start roam early and win the game, cause in the late he got much more value with all his AOE and great scaling.




One of your biggest enemys...
Hard slow and damge in one skill, and her ulti is a little bit like yours...
Rly situationally which one is better.
But the biggest problem is her polymorph... if you get polymorphed in a Teamfight, you are dead.
In lane she got the same escape tools like you, so you cant rly fight her.
So start roam early.
Lulu is, like you, a team-champ, she will do the same.




Annoying champ... so much range, her E is one of the easiest skillshot in the game, her shield can block much of your damage and if she buy mejai´s and get fed, you got a big problem.
Focus farming and roam much. Don feed her and ping you teammates if she is missed.
Lux isn´t a hard damage-dealer if she not get fed.




A Teamfightchamp with a great late-game.
Damage, slow, shield, speedup, AOE, autohit-dmg, knockup-AOE-Ulti... she got everything except a stun.
You cant rly kill her in the early game without your jungler.
Focus roaming and farming. Your roam should be better.




EXTREMELY ANNOYING and maybe the biggest counter for Zilean-Supp, depending on
the adc´s. 
If there is a 67.png on your side, and a 119.png on the enemy side... you are fucked... 
She will heal all your poke away and just play aggresive... 
In other way, if you got the early game adc, you can also play aggresive and kill Soraka or the ADC so fast, that her heal isn´t enough.
In the later game, Soraka can put her Silence-Field on your revive and you are just dead (most time)

This matchup is RLY RLY HARD depending on the adc´s... aggresive, defensive, good adc, bad adc... Soraka is a pain, or just a annoying Unicorn.




Syndra is a lane bully with her oneshot ult... but you are the perfect counter for this kind of champions. Dont get caught by her stun, dodge the skillshots, farm, roam, dont feed her and you are more effective in the whole game. And if you get caught and
wombo-comboed, you can just use your ult and make her cry ;)
A not fed Syndra got not much damage.







AOE and Single Target Damage of doom... you will never do that much damage in a even Matchup... so... why this guy is Medium...its medium cause you got he better Roam Potential, and he will never go tanky in the most situations... he is also easy to hit with your combo.

In laning phase try to catch him with your jungler, he got no realy escape.




A little bit between Medium and Hard... but if he just get fed a little bit, or he got a hard knock up in his team like 54.png or 61.png you got a rly rly big problem...
Try to focus him out in the early with your jungler and dont get caught by him... he does got damage already at lvl 2.
And the stupid windwall is one of the most broken skills in the game... it can block your bombs and destroy your whole damage and your stun, so care.
In laning phase also be carefull of your own minions cause he can use them to jump in your face. Try to dodge his knockup.
Just annoy him with your slow and your ult... if he starts roam throw bombs in the minion wave and follow him fast with your E-W-E... counter gank and babysit other lanes... he can always come back from behind with a good ult, so never laugh about him ;)




My absolutely favourite lane opponent ;D
Throw bombs on him, dodge his shuriken, if he shadow between you slow him and walk away and  you make his whole combo useless with your ulti.

A champ like Zed just NEED feed to carry a game or he just go splitpush the whole game.... and Zilean is the anti assassin... if you are lvl 6, you cant feed anymore in the laning phase...

But stay carefull... he´s still strong, and if he got ignite, he will try to kill you rly early. And if this works, he can start roam and you maybe throw the game for your team... please dont do this :-)

21.png is rly fine in this matchup, so it´s harder for him, to kill you before 6.




Much range, good damage, and good late game, also a nice escape.
But his early damage is weak and you got a much better roam.... just stay carefull in the late game and dont let him push too hard in your roaming phase.

Why Zilean? Back to Top

Zilean got one good damage skill (300 + 0.9AP), thats not enough to mess with the most other mages like Viktor or Brand... his Skillshot is not that easy to hit like a Lux-E, specially the double-bomb-stun.
But his E-Q-W-Q-E-Combo is INSANE.... no other Champ got so much CC ... and if you got 45% Cooldown Reduction
you can do it again and again and again... Zilean is the biggest late-game-nasus-counter in the whole game (if your teammates are good enough to kite a 99% slowed Nasus xD)
Your Ult is game-changing. If you revive the main-damage-dealer or the good Bruiser of your team, its a big problem for the enemys...
They have to kill your Mundo twice ;)

Zilean is also nice if Teammates making misstakes.

But in general, Zilean is a Team-Champ... so the midlane zilean is better in teamranked than solo queue... cause you are not a solo carry...


Zilean is the best friend and also a big counter for the most bruisers and juggernauts.
Specially for 75.png122.png77.png82.png72.png58.png23.png106.png (Champs like that)
The 82.png--26.png--Botlane is/was Insane. With your hard cc and your speed up and your LVL-UP-passive Morde will come ahead fast.

-Hard CC
-One of the fastest Champion in the Game (E-W-E-W-E-W-E-W)
-Game Changing Ultimate (if it hits)
-A big One-shot-counter (If you are fast enough)
-A big Juggernaut Counter (for the most)
-Great waveclear and hard defensive combo against super-minions
-biggest Nasus Counter in the game (if you can focus him) ;)
-You can support the dumbness of the stupid fed Guys in your Team (Zed/Talon/Riven etc.), if they run into the Enemys for a 1 vs 5 and are throwing the game xD

+/- So much possibilities: Your Bomb can hit EVERYTHING (All Minions All Champions)

+/- your E is a Slow OR  a Speedup, you need to find the right Target for the right Situation.

+/- The hitbox of your bombs is most enemy champion focussed... its more easy to hit enemy champions... 
 BUT: Enemy champions are also more preferred  than enemy minions... thats cool, most at the time, but sometimes you WANT to hit the minions for waveclear -.-
Bomb-Logic: 1.Enemy Champs 2. Friendly Champs 3. Enemy Minions 4.Friendly Minions

-Need much more practice than most other champions
-Stun is not easy to hit (without the slow)
-Ultimates HAVE TO work in the late-game
-Not that much burst in a even matchup (if you are fed, you can one-combo squishys)
-No Solo Carry
-Squishy, also with 3027.png

How to play Zilean?????? Back to Top

Zilean got one big Combo:
Its the E-Q-W-Q-E + 1 Autohit, Combo (Slow - Stun+Damage - Slow + Thunderlord) or (speed up - Bomb - W - slow - stun + Thunderlord)
The slow will help you a lot to hit the enemy.
You should stay away from Fights before you are lvl 3.
And you should try to dont get caught before lvl 6.
So stay rly carefull against Assassins 238.png55.png and Grabs/Hooks 412.png53.png
If you got your Ultimate, you can laugh about the most Assassins like 238.png91.png107.pngCause they can only onecombo ONE of your team ( if they are not hardcore fed ;) ). And you got the right Ultimate for that Moment ;)
Also Champions without a jump (75.png106.png33.png77.png...) are no problems for your 99% slow. So you do well against a lot of junglers. And if the enemy-jungler got a jump, like 59.png, just speed up you (and your ADC if you support) and try to run away. All in All 26.png deals rly good against the most Ganks

Your only way to deal RLY HARD BURST is to throw 2 Bombs on a low life Minion between a enemey Champion. so you got 600 + 1.80AP Damage. But better dont try it, cause its rly hard ;)
After your Ultimate, the Target got 4 seconds to die... you should better use it exactly in the right moment...
The most people never play with a Zilean in their Team so they will still run away or flash... that´s a little bit sad.
And it´s the main reason why Zilean is better with TeamSpeak or Skype.
But everyone will LOVE you, if you safe their butts from getting raped :D
And the enemys will HATE you for that. (great feelings)

The hardest time for you is LvL 1-6 ... you got not much damage, your slow/speedup is not strong enough to deal with every Champion and you got no Ult to safe your butt. So stay defensive and farm, dont risk too much.

The best thing you can do in the midgame is to roam. You are fast, got much cc and great counterganks.

Zilean Support:

Zilean works rly great against ADC´s with no jump/dash/etc. like 96.png29.png21.png...

All in all:
Zilean works great with every good ADC... you just have to look on the Enemy team:

Zilean got big problems in laning phase with: 16.png53.png117.png119.png you shouldn´t pick Zilean into these Champions

In Laning phase stay more defensive before lvl 6.
If you reach lvl 3/4 (when you got your slow), you can start a engage with your jungler, or a rly aggresive adc like 236.pngor119.png
Just try to catch the enemy target with your slow and your stun, after your stun your Teammates attack him and after the stun you can slow your enemy again or you can speed up your adc or jungler.

(I´ve started the game from the support position.... and yes, i´m not buying sighstone very often on Zilean :P )
(Also, this is the PERFECT Matchup for Zilean... the only thing that can kill you, is the cho´gath - Silence and the Rammus taunt... thats not rly much... they also got not even ONE jump, that means, your combo is very easy to hit... The game would be a dream, if you replace the Top157.png with a Tanky-Damagedealer 58.png2.png75.png36.png for more Zilean Synergy )

(That´s "Damage dealed to champions", i´m using the german
client, because i like the german voiceover of Zilean more :D )


Zilean Midlane:

Just stay more defensive and farm before lvl 6... throw some bombs at the enemy without using your w to safe mana.
If you got lvl 3, you can call your jungler for a gank, cause you got your little cc combo now.
But all in all dont die... Zilean got much tools to survive ganks and run away, you should use them.
Cause the most midlaners will punish your whole team, if you feed them, specially champs like 105.png7.png
Yes, Zilean got only one damage skill... but this one is powerfull. If they should feed YOU, your damage-output is rly rly hard.
Zilean got a great roaming potential, you travel fast with your E-W-E.... and also if you are not fed, the most enemys should be dead after you catched them with your combo if your team is around. You can also roam to safe lifes with your ultimate.

About me Back to Top

TIoIM              (EUW)

I started LoL at the ending phase of Season 3.
I played the Warcraft 3 Mod "DotA" before.
The first champion i played in LoL was Zilean... cause of my DotA Experience i played rly rly well for a beginner.
I also loved Zilean and his skill set up... As i started ranked in season 4, i was surprised that Zilean is one of the Champions with the lowest pickrate and also one of the champs "I dont want you in this team" just like Teemo.
But i still played him... I´ve mastered the old Zilean and carryied me to Platin.
I´ve got over 300 Zilean ranked games in Season 4.
But than in Season 5....

There was a little rework of Zilean... his timebomb is a skillshot, his slow/speedup is harder but shorter and his w doesnt work for his ultimate anymore....
Now Zilean is a rly rly hard champion to master.
I play him rly often but i´m still not a god.
I spam him at the moment to get better and better... but if you want to play a champ in every single game... you have to choose support very often...
And in ranked, i look at my team and at the enemys before i pick Zilean, because i´ve got also some other champs for supp and mid.

My Season 4 Ranked Zilean:
                      Won   Lost                                   Kills                           Deaths                           Assists                 

207 131 61.2%
6.1/game 5.3/game

Season 6 Ranked Zilean:

Rushed Dia pretty fast this season. Only like 200 Ranked games this season, because there was not enough motivation for playing much more after most of my friends stucked in Gold and low Platin and i couldnt play with them in dia... i played to Dia4 and just stopped after loosing my first Dia 3 Promo.
Maybe Season 7 give me more motivation, with 2 queues (Spoiler: It does not). ;)

Season 7:
I´ve played not much League at all this season, there were a lot of other games this year and i´m rly not that good anymore, atleast i think so. 

Season 8: i´ve returned to LoL, after playing a lot of HotS.
My Solo/Duo Placements went pretty well :-)

Open for feedback and questions :-)
TIoIM         (EUW)

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