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Zed/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Gameplay

By NeeksNaman [1]

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

When playing Zed in lane, Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken can both harass the enemy and rapidly clear minions, making him a powerful bully. Spamming Razor Shuriken.png 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.png 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.png Living Shadow creates opportunities for lightning-fast initiations, escapes, and even buff steals. The powerful slow from a cloned Shadow Slash.png 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.png Contempt for the Weak.

Once the team fights start, Zed's Living Shadow.png 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.png Living Shadow with Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash to blanket an area with a high-intensity slow, throwing off enemy positioning. Finally, Death Mark.png 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.png Contempt for the Weak is a great way to top off Death Mark.png Death Mark's detonation damage for surefire killing blows.

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

Champion Spotlight
Zed Champion Spotlight06:00

Zed Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items
Summoner's Rift
Starting Item
Consumables Item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Item
Consumables Item
Howling Abyss
Starting Item
Consumables Item

Tips

Playing As Zed Zed
  • Saving energy and spell cooldowns until you use your ultimate will maximaze Death Mark.png Death Mark's damage.
  • Quickly double tapping Living Shadow.png Living Shadow will teleport Zed to his shadow immediately for rapid escapes.
  • Placing a Living Shadow.png Living Shadow before using Death Mark.png Death Mark can give Zed a safe escape from combat.
Playing Against Zed Zed
  • Zed receives bonus effects from Attack Damage items he purchases, so Armor is super effective against him.
  • After Zed uses his Living Shadow.png Living Shadow, he is at his most vulnerable as his damage, slow, and mobility are both dependent upon it.
  • Zed's Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash can only slow you if his shadow hits you with it.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • Saving energy and spell cooldowns until you use your ultimate will potentially maximize Death Mark.png Death Mark's damage.
  • By quickly activating Living Shadow.png Living Shadow twice, Zed will send out his shadow and immediately teleport to it afterwards, allowing for quick escapes. This can be used to go over walls.
    • Use Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash when your enemy catches up with the shadow to slow them and prevent pursuit.
  • Living Shadow.png Living Shadow provides vision, which can be used to check bushes or scout over walls.
  • If you move too far away from the shadow created by Living Shadow.png Living Shadow you can no longer switch places with them. An arrow indicates the direction of the shadow from Zed Zed and changes colors depending on distance. If it is green then Zed Zed is close enough to the shadow to swap positions with it; yellow means Zed Zed can still switch places with it but will soon be out of range while red means he cannot.
  • Placing a Living Shadow.png Living Shadow before using Death Mark.png Death Mark can give Zed Zed a safe escape from combat.
    • The skill also may allow you to catch enemies off guard after a small skirmish. Using Death Mark.png Death Mark primarily for damage, do not forget that it places a Living Shadow.png Living Shadow at the location of the cast. Faking retreat after a kill, deceive your enemy by swapping places with your ultimate's shadow and use your Living Shadow.png Living Shadow to effectively give your Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken 50% more damage output.
  • Three overlapping Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slashes will apply a stronger slow than just two, however won't do any additional damage. If you already have a shadow up from your Death Mark.png Death Mark, strongly consider saving your Living Shadow.png Living Shadow for escaping or chasing.
  • In order, using Death Mark.png Death Mark, Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash, Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken, and an autoattack (if not, an additional Living Shadow.png Living Shadow) to proc Contempt for the Weak.png Contempt for the Weak can deal enough burst damage to kill a squishy enemy. If you're in danger and your marked target is low enough, you may be able to use Living Shadow.png Living Shadow to escape (or Death Mark.png Death Mark if it's safe enough due to its longer duration) and wait for the mark from Death Mark.png Death Mark to kill the target. Be wary of effects that can deny you the kill or even turn the tables, such as Wish.png Wish, Chrono Shift.png Chrono Shift, Stand United.png Stand United or Intervention.png Intervention.
  • With just 10% cooldown reduction, the cooldown of Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash becomes short enough to land two of them before Death Mark.png Death Mark's damage triggers. This can be used against enemies who don't consider Zed Zed's cooldowns.
  • With 40% cooldown reduction, you can get off 3 Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash and barely get off 2 Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken during a single Living Shadow.png Living Shadow or Death Mark.png Death Mark. Consider finding a way to fit it into your late game item build.
  • Both Living Shadow.png Living Shadow and Death Mark.png Death Mark come in very handy when running away from an enemy champion or two.
    • The first tactic is to place Living Shadow.png Living Shadow in a bush opposite of the direction you are running in, slow them with Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash and switch places with your shadow afterwards for a nifty escape trick. 
    • The second is to place your shadow behind you and run in the opposite direction in an attempt to have them dodge an uncast Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash or Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken, then cast Death Mark.png Death Mark to fool your pursuer into chasing you while you escape with your Living Shadow.png Living Shadow and then your ultimate's. In some cases these strategies are way better than just simply using Living Shadow.png Living Shadow as a quick flash to safety, and might even ensure a kill.
  • Death Mark.png Death Mark gives an untargetable state that lasts slightly longer than Hallucinate.png Hallucinate. Use it to avoid channeled spells such as Absolute Zero.png Absolute Zero, Requiem.png Requiem, Noxian Guillotine.png Noxian Guillotine, or with good timing, last-moment skillshots and autoattacks. (He can still be killed with DoTs or even die to another Zed Zed's ultimate during this time)
  • Contempt for the Weak.png Contempt for the Weak makes him very good at last hitting/stealing important monster kills especially in the jungle, but be careful when laning as if you abuse the bonus damage too much you might end up pushing the lane to your disadvantage.
  • An effective way to guarantee kills is to have deception as your ally. Letting a bruiser (an ADC/APC as a weaker bait might work occasionally) initiate on the enemy can ensure an advantage, often providing a good 'clearing up' for a shutdown kill or even an ace.
    • This tactic becomes extremely potent in late-game teamfights, as even though Death Mark.png Death Mark's damage is primarily single-target, Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken's damage remains AoE, being able to shred through carries and groups of champions with ease.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Zed Zed plays as an AD caster, making attack damage, armor penetration, and cooldown reduction more valuable than critical strike chance and attack speed.
  • The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver is another excellent item on him since it builds out of Caulfield&#039;s Warhammer item.png Caulfield's Warhammer and all of its stats benefit him greatly. Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade is another good upgrade from Caulfield&#039;s Warhammer item.png Caulfield's Warhammer; this item does more overall damage than The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver, and complements Zed Zed's mobility and DPS, as well as making him take towers even faster and giving him even better assassination potential.
  • When playing on Twisted Treeline, a Lord Van Damm&#039;s Pillager item.png Lord Van Damm's Pillager can be a very useful item due to the fact all the bonuses apply to Zed Zed's abilities.
  • Due to the passive effect of his Living Shadow.png Living Shadow, Zed Zed can benefit from every AD item like an AP champ would with Rabadon&#039;s Deathcap item.png Rabadon's Deathcap, and thus can obtain very high amount of AD come late game.
  • Getting Maw of Malmortius item.png Maw of Malmortius can be a good choice if you are being bullied by opponents with large amounts of magic damage.
  • While not the most viable option, Zed Zed can purchase critical strike items and still be a dangerous threat. When building critical strike Zed Zed, a great item to get is Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge. This makes Zed Zed's autoattacks do huge amounts of damage should they crit, and potentially killing targets below 50% life when combined with Contempt for the Weak.png Contempt for the Weak. While this item has the potential to make Zed Zed extremely bursty, keep in mind that Zed Zed still relies more on his abilities than his autoattacks for damage, and on many situations, items like Maw of Malmortius item.png Maw of Malmortius or Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra may prove to be better choices, with Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge being an option only if Zed Zed is ahead and dominating.
  • A Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King allows Zed Zed to duel extremely well, as it adds extra single target damage that allows him to keep on top of his opponent as well as increasing the total damage when his Death Mark.png Death Mark pops. The extra attack speed also allows him to take down towers quickly, and the active allows him to split push, knowing you'll be able to kill most of the things thrown at you.
  • The high AD and active from Tiamat item.png Tiamat/Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra can add significant damage to Death Mark.png Death Mark, since Zed Zed starts basic-attacking his target automatically. After the first hit, use the active to deal more damage, reset the attack timer and attack again. The combination can be as much as 300% of Zed Zed's AD in a very short time. This item also includes a lot of extra wave clear for Zed Zed, increasing his split push potential further.
  • If Zed Zed's opponents have high amounts of crowd control, and he finds himself being locked down, a Quicksilver Sash item.png Quicksilver Sash/Mercurial Scimitar item.png Mercurial Scimitar can be effective, not only reducing magic damage on him from his opponents, the upgrade gives him a considerable amount of AD.
  • As some games go, it is relatively more cost efficient to rush a Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel as the enemy players will be quick to focus on Zed Zed in a team fight. 
  • Randuin&#039;s Omen item.png Randuin's Omen and Banshee&#039;s Veil item.png Banshee's Veil are two good defensive items, but since they don't provide any offensive stats for Zed Zed, they are situational. Either of them are a good option to buy if Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel is on cooldown, though.
Countering
  • After Zed Zed uses his Living Shadow.png Living Shadow and Death Mark.png Death Mark, he is at his most vulnerable as his damage and mobility are both dependent upon it.
  • Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shurikens deals less damage if they pass through other units before hitting your champion.
  • Escaping laterally, rather than directly away, from Zed Zed when he uses Death Mark.png Death Mark will slightly limit his ability to slow and pursue your champion.
  • Be aware of Zed Zed's Living Shadow.png Living Shadow as he can use it to mimic Shadow Slash.png Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken.png Razor Shuriken even when he is out of sight, giving him deceptively long range.
    • On that note, be very careful when tower hugging at low health, as he can easily kill you while only taking a minimal amount of damage from the tower.
  • Beware that with a full build, Zed Zed can 100-0 even full tanks. However, he is extremely reliant on Death Mark.png Death Mark to do so; even against squishy targets, he relies on his ultimate to get a kill, as it's his ultimate that deals the majority of his damage. He will most likely use all of his abilities and autoattack a lot to do as much damage as possible.
  • Zed Zed is surprisingly dangerous, especially when assassinating low-health champions due to Contempt for the Weak.png Contempt for the Weak, so beware.
  • Lissandra Lissandra is probably the best counter to Zed Zed for two reasons. First Lissandra Lissandra can outpoke Zed Zed in the laning phase thanks to Ice Shard.png Ice Shard and second, Lissandra Lissandra can use Frozen Tomb.png Frozen Tomb to negate the damage from Death Mark.png Death Mark. It could be even worse if Lissandra Lissandra has bought Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass to render Zed Zed's ulti even more useless.

References

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