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Lore

Zed, the Master of Shadows
ZedSquare
vd
Zed Render
Gender Male
Race Ascended Human
Birthplace Ionia
Residence Ionia
Occupation Master of The Order of Shadows
Faction Independent
Friends
SyndraSquare Syndra
Rivals
ShenSquare Shen AkaliSquare Akali KennenSquare Kennen

Zed is the first ninja in 200 years to unlock the ancient, forbidden ways. He defied his clan and master, casting off the balance and discipline that had shackled him all his life. Zed now offers power to those who embrace knowledge of the shadows, and slays those who cling to ignorance.

An orphan, Zed was taken in and trained by a great ninja master. Only one other student appeared to be Zed's equal - the master's son, Shen. It seemed Zed could never win the favor of the master, as every match between the rivals ended in a draw. Frustrated and jealous, he sought an advantage. The young ninja ventured into a sealed part of the clan's temple, where he found an ornate, foreboding box. Sensing the dark knowledge within, Zed knew he should not open it, but he peered inside nonetheless. In an instant, shadows touched his mind, revealing techniques that had long been hidden. Now armed with a secret edge, he challenged Shen, and this time he defeated the master's son. He expected praise and recognition in his moment of victory, but somehow the master knew Zed had used forbidden ways, and banished him.

Humiliated, the young ninja wandered for years. His bitterness turned to ambition, and he began to train others in the style of the shadows. As his power grew, so did his circle of followers, but he knew that without the box, his technique would never be perfect. One day, Zed looked at his followers and saw that his students were now an army. He led them back to the temple to claim his prize. At the gates, he was surprised to find the old master waiting, receiving Zed and his disciples as if they were welcome guests. The old man laid his sword at Zed's feet, declaring that he had failed Zed as his master. By banishing his former student, the master had doomed Zed to the shadows, instead of leading him to the balanced path. The old man implored Zed to enter the temple, destroy the box, and lead his followers to balance. The dark ninja followed the master inside. Moments later, the assembled ninjas heard Zed cry out in pain. Mysteriously, he emerged unscathed, and threw the severed head of the master at Shen's feet. Screaming in rage, Zed commanded his followers to slaughter the master's students and seize the box.

That day, the old ninja order fell. Though many students died, some escaped thanks to Shen's heroic efforts. Now the temple is a dark training ground for the Order of the Shadow. Zed rules as the Order's master, and his edict is simple: perfect one's technique, and kill all ninjas who refuse to embrace the shadows.

"Balance is a lie - we are the true ninjas."
Zed

Quotes

Upon select
  • Play "The unseen blade is the deadliest."
Movement
  • Play "Without a sound."
  • Play "No technique is forbidden."
  • Play "Brave the shadows, find the truth."
  • Play "Do not fear the shrouded path."
  • Play "Balance is a fool's master."
  • Play "Secrets kept are weapons wasted."
  • Play "The shadows have enlightened me."
  • Play "Balance is weakness."
  • Play "The truth lies in darkness."
  • Play "Tradition is the corpse of wisdom."
  • Play "What I have done... cannot be undone."
Attacking
  • Play "Only the worthy will survive."
  • Play "I am the blade in the darkness."
  • Play "Cut the last breath from them."
  • Play "The shadow is within."
  • Play "Punish restraint."
  • Play "Do not deny me."
  • Play "They follow the wrong master."
  • Play "None escape their shadow."
  • Play "Ignorance is fatal."
Joke

Zed plays rock, paper, scissors with his shadow. On loss: Zed kills his shadow. On victory: his shadow bows, and disappears.

  • Play "Forbidden shadow wins."
Taunt
  • Play "Embrace the shadow... or die in darkness!"
  • Play "The merest shade of me... is enough to defeat you!"
Taunt while near an enemy  Shen
  • Play "Challenge me, Shen... you shall not be an orphan long!"
Laugh

Development

  • Zed concept
  • Zed sculpture
  • Zed model
  • Shockblade Zed concept
  • Zed sketch 1

Champion Sneak Peek

Announcement made by NeeksNaman [1]:

Zed Teaser

Zed sneak peek artwork

Since early antiquity, shadows have long been a subject of fascination. If you're a scientist, your shadow is probably a simple projection of light. If you're more spiritual, your shadow might be a reflection of your more shady whims. And if you’re following a forbidden path filled with dark techniques and even darker motives, it's possible that your shadow is a sinister companion ready to help you pull off a vicious assassination in some dark corner of the Fields of Justice.

While we're delving into the forbidden ways, allow us to introduce Zed, a relentless ninja master who'll leave your enemies scared of their own shadows.

Zed, the Master of Shadows Revealed

Announcement made by NeeksNaman [2]:

A forbidden new champion stalks the Fields of Justice in the upcoming patch: Zed, the Master of Shadows. Deadly in many roles, including mid lane and jungle, this dark assassin's energy-based gameplay revolves around conjuring and commanding shadow clones.

Unlike other champions with illusions, Zed's shadow clone is the lynchpin in his kit. With a shadow clone active, Zed's abilities are duplicated, allowing him to deal more damage, apply additional effects, or even engage an enemy from an unexpected angle. Zed can even switch places with his clones to perform surprise initiations or quickly head off a fleeing enemy. This ability to strategically reposition combined with some hefty bursts of both physical and magic damage to make Zed versatile across multiple roles.

When playing Zed in lane, Razor Shuriken can both harass the enemy and rapidly clear minions, making him a powerful bully. Spamming Razor Shuriken allows Zed to shove the lane and keep pressure up, buy time to roam, or stifle a push to drive enemies off his tower. Meanwhile, using Living Shadow to set up creative angles on your lane opponent can complicate juke attempts and allow you to land full damage nukes.

Zed's ganking and pursuit power also makes him an ideal jungler. Switching places with your shadow clone via Living Shadow creates opportunities for lightning-fast initiations, escapes, and even buff steals. The powerful slow from a cloned Shadow Slash can also lock down an enemy champion, leaving him vulnerable to execution from a heavy hitting attack charged with Contempt for the Weak.

Once the team fights start, Zed's clone enables him to alternately deploy his abilities from a safe distance or deal even more damage when he charges into the fray. He can also combine Living Shadow with Shadow Slash to blanket an area with a high-intensity slow, throwing off enemy positioning. Finally, Death Mark is an excellent cleanup ability to chase down and finish off fleeing low-health champions. The bonus magic damage from Contempt for the Weak is a great way to top off Death Mark's detonation damage for surefire killing blows.

Managing this clone-and-combo kit is crucial to dominating with Zed. Strategically positioning Zed and his clone for a two-pronged assault before deploying your skillshots will ultimately make or break your success on the Fields of Justice.

Patch History

V4.10:
  •  Death Mark
    • Bugfix: Zed will no longer teleport to a random location when he uses Death Mark on someone who is in the middle of a dash.

V4.5:

  • Base armor increased to 21 from 17.

V3.13:

  •  Living Shadow
    • Missile speed reduced to 1500 from 2500.
  •  Death Mark
    • Tooltip updated to clarify that the shadow lasts 6 seconds.
    • Travel duration increased to 0.75 seconds from 0.35.
    • Zed now spawns the shadow at the cast location, instead of behind the target.
    • Increased the range at which Zed can switch places with his Death Mark shadow to any range from 1100.

V3.7:

  •  Razor Shuriken
    • Damage dealt to secondary targets reduced to 45/69/93/117/141 (+0.6 bonus attack damage) from 60/92/124/156/188 (+0.8 bonus attack damage).
  •  Living Shadow
    • Vision radius of the Shadow reduced to 700 from 1300.
  •  Shadow Slash
    • Cooldown increased to 4 seconds from 3.

V3.6:

  •  Living Shadow
    • Cooldown reduced to 18/17/16/15/14 seconds from 22/20.5/19/17.5/16.
  •  Shadow Slash
    • Hitting minions and monsters no longer reduces Living Shadow's cooldown.
    • Hitting enemy champions reduces Living Shadow's cooldown by 2 seconds, up from 1.

V3.03:

  •  Razor Shuriken
    • Damage increased to 75/115/155/195/235 from 75/110/145/180/215.
  •  Living Shadow
    • Fixed a bug where Living Shadow would sometimes cast in a random direction.
  •  Shadow Slash
    • Damage reduced to 60/90/120/150/180 from 60/95/130/165/200.

V1.0.0.152:

  • Base movement speed increased to 345 from 320.

V1.0.0.151: Added

  •  Contempt for the Weak (Innate)
    • Whenever Zed attacks an enemy below 50% Health, he deals an additional 8% of their maximum Health as magic damage. This effect has a short cooldown.
  •  Razor Shuriken (Q)
    • Zed and his shadow both throw their shurikens, dealing physical damage to any target they pass through. Each Shuriken deals less damage to targets beyond the first.
  •  Living Shadow: (W)
    • Passive: Increases Zed's bonus attack damage by a percentage.
    • Active: Zed's shadow dashes forward, remaining in place for a short duration. Zed's shadow will duplicate his spells. Activating Living Shadow again while his shadow is active will cause Zed to switch positions with his shadow. If both Zed and his shadow strike the same target with Razor Shurikens or Shadow Slash, Zed re-gains some energy and the target suffers an additional effect: Razor Shurikens deal additional bonus damage and the slow from Shadow Slash is dramatically increased.
  •  Shadow Slash (E)
    • Zed and his shadow both create a burst of shadow, dealing physical damage to nearby enemies. Zed's Shadow Slash slightly reduces the cooldown of Living Shadow by for each unit struck. The shadow's Shadow Slash briefly slows enemies.
  •  Death Mark (Ultimate)
    • Zed sinks into the shadows and dashes to his target, dealing physical damage. He also spawns a Living Shadow beyond the target, which duplicates his spells and marks the target. After 3 seconds, the mark will detonate, dealing physical damage based on the damage dealt to the target by Zed and his shadow while the mark was active. Zed can reactivate this ability to switch positions with this shadow.

References

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