Zilean Build Guide

Mid Zilean, The Tactician (S4: in depth)

Uploader statikg
Updated 2 years ago
Skill Order
Time Bomb
Time Warp
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

Hi everyone, I'm statikg and I'm currently in Plat III, but I've been as high as Plat I recently. I am currently maining Zilean having over 100 games on him at mid this season. I used to want to play zilean as support because hes more commonly played in soloq there but I found he just wasn't bringing enough to the table in that position, his utility while still great late game, just wasn`t useful enough in lane phase. So since I just couldn't stand not being able to use that awesome zilean utility late game, I tried it at mid and found that although you will often get flamed for choosing him (not anymore actually), hes a great and more importantly extremely fun choice. He is extremely unfair against melee mids or short range casters who cannot avoid being bombed. What I love about zilean is how he brings so much to your team and you can really make a difference beyond just doing damage. Zilean has the ability to GREATLY speed up allies or slow enemies many times throughout a fight and his ability to dish out MASSIVE aoe magic damage is up their with any of the other great aoe champions. His single target damage is nothing to laugh at either. If you do well early, it would not be uncommon for you to be able to do 80%+ of the enemy squishies health with 1 double bomb, and if they are stacked up this can be devastating. That's without even getting into zileans amazing ultimate, helping you own tower divers in lane and able to bring back your tanks with 2500hp late game, or save your carry from an assasin and lastly his often overlooked but VERY strong passive. The zilean passive allows your allies to get key levels first (2,6) and just maintain a level advantage throughout the game. You can play zilean at top against certain champions like ryze who is awful vs zilean but I wouldnt suggest him against anyone with a gap closer and cc. Zilean is an extremely strong lane bully but he can be beat by champions who have longer range then him, syndra being the most difficult to deal with in my opinion Pros: Strong harassment range and damage in lane Brings strong global passive to team Brings extreme amounts of utility to the team Aoe damage which can be applied at range and scales incredibly well Can surprise your opponents with your extreme speed Is very good at supporting jungle ganks Once you reach level 7-9 clearing your lane for side ganks becomes extremely easy with double bomb Cons: Lack of ability to apply large instant burst damage common to ap mids Weak against champions who are able to effecitvely trade - depends on outranging/out running No dash skill - requires alot of positional awareness Worst auto attack animation and slow damage spells can make farming difficult early game Easy to forget how much mana you need to make plays - e,q,w,q,r for example is something you might want to use to dive but uses alot of mana

Early game is good and bad for zilean. With how terrible his auto attack is it can be hard to farm even for an experienced zilean, hope for a auto attack remake. This is compounded because players who know what they are doing will try to push you and force you to farm under your tower. Do your best to constantly auto attack to prevent them from doing so. On the upside, there are few champions who can outtrade zilean. Every time you see your opponent go for a last hit you should bomb and auto attack them. It is more important to get a free bomb off without any retaliation then to get off an AA so don`t let them hit you with a spell just so you can get one more attack off. If they get a good attack off on you, you may want to consider rewinding and bombing them again, only do this if you have alot of mana. At level two you are faced with a choice, rewind or time warp. I recommend looking at your enemy laner and then jungle, and if they have kill potential on you play it safe and take timewarp. You will have plenty of time to kill your opponent in lane. If they don`t have good kill potential on you, you can take rewind and go for an early kill if they let you land too many single bombs. People will often not be prepared for the dmg of double lvl 3 bomb and ignite and I recommend going for it even if you think you might not get the kill. Forcing your opponent out of lane at lvl 3 lets you just get so far ahead as zilean when compounded by you passive. Zilean is also really good at mid lane ganks. Hit your slow should allow your jungler to catch them every time and if you can add a double bomb ignite that should do the trick. Unfortunately, many junglers will steal the kill becuase they wont be thinking about your second bomb so try to ping them to back if you are sure you have it. Typcially you should have a nice gap when you have level 5,7 and 9 and your opponent is below you in levels. This is a really strong point for zilean to harass his opponent, make sure you take advantage of these moments to out trade and force your opponent out of lane. Double bomb is appropriate at this point to scare your opponent and really get them low if you have the mana.

I would say midgame for zilean starts at level 5 and thats because at level 5 you can begin to heavily harass your opponent with the double bomb on the caster minion technique (see q explanation). At this point in the game you want to try to freeze the lane and either zone your opponent or try to harass him down to the point where you can kill him with a double bomb ignite. If they decide to back then place one bomb on each minion type and roam after your clear the lane. Often your opponent will be so scared of you by now that you can`t harass them easily. If you have blue buff be sure to use E to get speed and then just double bomb them. Pretty much nobody can outtrade zilean once you are level 5+ without using their ult. If they use their ult you just ult and try to get off double bomb before you die, then you can go back to out trading them with ults down and force them out of lane. Once your level 9 with a auto attack or two on each melee minon you should clear the lane with double bomb and roam. Zilean is one of the best champions for roaming top because of the ridiculous amount of slow and tower diving ability he brings to the table but he of course also does just fine at ganking bottom and he can get there very quickly thanks to his speed. Only use one E when roaming because the CD on your rewind is too long at this point for it to be back up when you arrive. Be sure to manage your mana carefully before you roam, you may not want to use speed to roam if you are low on mana as casting all your spells rapidly uses a ridiculously large amount.

In the late game your job is to provide utility, poke and try to land some big aoe damage if the enemies clump up. Zilean can really help his team make picks avoid getting picked in the late game with E. He can easily farm any size group of minions by placing two bombs and heading off to do something else in the meantime so you should have plenty of time to be near your team. Zilean can use the double bomb harassment trick even on melee minions in the late and this provides him with unbelievable poke damage at long range. When an enemy gets hit with 1500 poke damage at quite a range they are going to be pissed.

In team fights zilean wants to look for opportunities to help his tanks initiate while keeping his eyes peeled for poke opportunities if an enemy stands too close. Be careful you do not try to poke someone who can initiate on you. You can ult yourself but if thats the opening to the fight you are going to be coming back to life deep in enemy lines and probably going to lose the fight unless you are already ahead. Once the fight starts zilean wants to quickly lay down a double bomb on whoever he can, preferably squishies but since all your cds are pretty short just put them down quickly if there is no way you are reaching the back line. Do not put yourself in a vulnerable position, late game zilean has short cds and can put out alot of damage over the course of a fight even on tanks. You can also provide a ton of speed and slow so make sure you are doing so. Each fight is really dynamic so its hard to say exactly what to do with your e in a guide. Typically I prioritize speeding my tanky initiator and slowing the other teams bruisers, but if they hvae alot of gap closers it might be better to speed up your carries. I also spend alot of Es speeding myself up so I can zip in and lay down two bombs and then escape before I can be caught. Throughout the fight you need to keep your eye on your teammates health so that you can save your friends. Typically I save anyone who is clearly going down way ahead of everyone else except a support who I only save if its clearly a winning fight. If everyone is dieing at the same time, save your most fed carry. Don`t waste your ult on someone who is caught unless your team can follow up quickly. Lategame will really show how well you have mastered zilean. Your CDs should be so short at this point in the game that you have the opportunity to put down many bombs and timewarps throughout a teamfight. You want to try to double cast both spells as much as possible but this is not always possible, sometimes you need to recognize that you desperately need a second cast of one or the other and just rewind immediately.

Zilean is a champion who is a ton of fun and can make huge plays. He is a big lane bully and can roam effectively. He transitions into more of a utility role in the late game where he fits in best with teams that can do aoe damage to benefit most from his big aoe damage. He's not someone who carries by killing everyone himself but instead carries through poke and play making. If you really want to master zilean, you must master the self cast using Alt, I never used it before I played him but its really important for quick self ults especially.

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