Zilean Build Guide

All You Need to Know to Play Zilean (Top, Mid and Support)

Uploader itscrabby
Updated 5 months ago
7,503
100%
Runes
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Health (+8 health)
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction (-0.83% cooldowns)
  • 1
    Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction (-2.5% cooldowns)
  • 2
    Greater Quintessence of Ability Power (+4.95 ability power)
  • 5
    Greater Mark of Armor (+0.91 armor)
  • 4
    Greater Mark of Magic Resist (+0.77 magic resist)
Masteries
12 Ferocity
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
18 Cunning
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 5
5/ 5
1/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
0 Resolve
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
Skill Order
Q W E R
Time Bomb
Rewind
Time Warp
Chronoshift
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

So to introduce me a bit, I am a Zilean one trick pony who went from Diamond V to Diamond I within 68 games of playing Zilean ending up with a 72% win chance. Since then I've only played him and I am hoping to help you all with some tips and tricks I've learnt over this period. I have a twitch and youtube channel linked here yt and here twitch . I have made this guide in other websites so you may have seen it before, hope you enjoy the read :)

So, why would you play Zilean? With Zilean you have so much utility within you E and ult that even if you're underfed you're useful. If you have 45% cooldown as long with your W decreasing the cooldowns of Q and E. Not only is that great for snowballing and comebacks the low CD's and your ult which has a 33s CD and 800 +2.0 AP scale for revive heal it's practically a 6v5. He can escape ganks without ulting simply by using his E, if you're caught out or one of your allies are caught out you can simply E them and save them, or in another scenario you can catch enemies out if they're out of position. His Q does a lot of damage and you can zone with it. In other words he helps to fix mistakes you or your teammates make by simply allowing you to escape sticky situations.

Not only that if ever you are behind (I've been in games where I go 0/5) you are still really useful if your team is equal in levels of gold with the other team. Your ult and E provide so much utility that no matter how behind you are you will provide something for your team. That's why I rarely ask for ganks from my jungler when I am mid as i know if the other lanes get going it doesn't matter how I am doing as my utility will be an integral part later on no matter how far I am behind.

Early game Zilean is very weak and based on the matchup (read above) you should either roam or just farm under turret. Try to conserve mana either case as it will let you survive and if ever you get caught out it may help you survive a gank. Placing bombs on minions may help you to cs but I discourage it unless you want to shove and back or shove and roam. This is because it depletes your mana so quickly and renders you useless if you don't back or roam. More often than not you will want to E yourself only when you roam or E the enemy only when your jungler ganks. Otherwise don't E, since again, conserving mana.

Early game support you just want to stand behind minions or in the bush depending on their team and play passivley most of the time. The goal is to make you and your ADC not fall behind as you should pick Zilean into a sclaing ADC rather than a snowbally one (e.g Draven or Lucian). If however you are playing against a weak opposing ADC or a Braum you can play more aggressive as you have the upper hand in these matchups. Ward the river bush and at your first back you should buy a pink for the tri bush (or if on red side pink the bush in the river). Typically when I get a sightstone and both me and my ADC are out of lane I E-W-E my ADC and I go roam mid to see if I can do somethign there. If I can I try to slow and stun the mid laner and if not I provide a ward for my midlaner to stay safe.

You start to scale really well here and with your double bombs you have a big burst considering the items you have. Spam your bombs when you have blue buff and if you don't only use your bombs to wave clear if needed (the items you got should give you decent mana sustain). Try to look for engages as well when you have your blue buff by constantly E'ing either yourself or your engage, or by constantly E'ing whomever is out of position on their team.

On the other side of things try to play in choke points your bombs allow crazy zoning potential and can win you the fight. Simply seperate one team member from the rest and if they want to help him they will have to get stunned by your double bombs or wait 3 seconds which is a long time. That being said if ever your team is caught out or you are a simple E-Q-W-E-Q can help you escape. You E either yourself or whomever is chasing you then Q them, E yourself and Q them again. This combo is really good for baiting as well as if you place your second E on them rather than yourself you will most likely hit the stun and allowing your team to kill them.

Late game you start to get weaker as you don't have as much of a damage output since they will have alot of MR. This is when I strongly suggest to never use your ult on yourself or your support unless you get completley caught out. Rather stay in the back line and use your E on your ADC/Jungler/Top Lane whomever is the carry and bomb the opponents or zone them out.

Prior to this section i must say if you intend to read everything there will be many recurring concepts as most things depends on the champions play style (assassin, engage, poke ....)

Ahri: Strong

Ahri is decent with Zilean since she is an assasin and again, with your E and her ult she is near impossible to kill and if she does die you simply ult her and she is fine. That being said there are other mid laners whom are better with Zilean simply because Ahri's abilities aren't always going to hit. A common combo with her would be a E-Q-W-Q-E combo. You both E and Q her and when she ults inside their team (if she does) you simply Q again to get them stunned and E her again to let her out.

Anivia: Strong

Anivia is really good with Zilean as one of her issues is mobility. With your E and your R this makes her near impossible to kill. E her to help her escape engages or skillshots and ult her when she is being focused (make sure to check if she has egg up or not). Her Q and your Q synergies really well as if you stun someone she can chain that and allow your team to kill them. Not only that your E works really good with all of her spells. E in her ult means more damage on them, E with her Q means less chance of dodging a crazy stun. This also means that she has more chances of hitting skill shots meaning the likelihood of her E passive to poke increases.

Alistar: Strong

One of the better supports to play with when you are Zilean. Your E and his engage potential will make any team scared. Constantly E him to get pressure for your team which may end up in you winning objectives. Not only that his Q-W combo is good since it allows you to hit your double stun.

Annie: Strong

Zilean is pretty good with Annie as your E allows her to go in, engage and leave unharmed. Also if ever she goes in and gets caught out your ult will prohibit her from dying and this may allow your team to still have a good engage. Not only that if she lands a good stun your double bombs stacked on top of that will mean the enemy are stunned for +/-4s which is a crazy amount of time and also a crazy amount of burst damage.

Bard: Medium

This combo is pretty bad. Sure your E can help Bard get in a better angle to stun someone but his ult combined with yours is really bad. On one hand you both ult the same person meaning your ult is useless, or on the other hand you ult someone and he ults the enemy meaning your ult turns useless again. This being said if he ults for engages it can be good as it allows you to hit your stun really well. It depends on his ult, make sure to have a good communication with your Bard or this can easily be a bad synergy.

Braum: Weak

Although he is alright with your E as he can engage easily with a Q-R combo there isn't much to it. Your stun synergies well with all his cc's however again he inst the best since his engages aren't as good as Alistars or Malphites. His W and E doesn't work really well with you and may even be poor since if you ult a carry and he W-E's the same carry then your ult is pretty much wasted.

Caitlyn: Strong

Caitlyn is a scaling champion and relatively safe early game with her poke. She is a kiting champion and combine that with your E means that she should always be safe unless engaged heavily on. Early game you can play slightly aggressive as Caitlyn still provides some lane pressure with her poke. if you both slow the enemy and speed her you can provide her to cause a lot of damage on the enemy team. Later on in the game she will deal so much damage while staying relatively safe with your E providing kiting and with your ult providing her a second life if she gets engaged or caught out of position.

Draven: Medium

This is quite weak since Draven is an early game champion and with Zilean you don't really dominate the early game, that being said, if Draven snowballs the game with Zilean it is near impossible to die as your E renders Draven more mobile adn your ult gives him a second life quite literally. The issue is to get Draven snowballing. Zilean and Draven isn't that good since one of you are early game and the other is mid/late. The only good thing is when Draven starts to go off you can E the opponent for Draven to deal massive damage, however since most ADC in this meta are mobile your stun has such a low chance of hitting most of the time the opponent will end up surviving,

Ezreal: Strong

One of the two champions that tilts me when I see the other team selecting. Ezreal with Zilean is stupid. Early game you are both weak yet can stay relatively safe due to all your utility you have to offer and Ezreals E. This means you should survive early game with ease and no kills for the enemy. Later on when Ezreal gets his iceborne this gets crazy. Ezreal is already hard to chase and catch but combine that with your E and Ult later on in the game (where both you and him get more and more CD) the enemy team might as well give up on killing Ezreal. Even if Ezreal is caught out of position the fact that your ult is there and with a relatively low cool down means he can either E or flash or both) out to safety along with your E and your team can restart. This is crazy and I'm not sure but I think with this i have a 80%+ win chance.

Fiora: Strong

Not only is she a bruiser and is relatively tanky while doing a lot of damage. Your E provides her with some sort of engage and gap closer making the enemy really susceptible to taking alot of damage and dying. Not only that since she deals so much damage and will usually be in the middle of the fight your ult is really useful on her and it makes her even more powerful as they will practically have to go through killing her twice while your team and your carries (mid and adc) deal plenty of damage. Also within her time of revival you can place a stun allowing her to have time to attack or escape (with your E and hers).

Fizz: Strong

Fizz whom is an assassin is good with Zilean as his low cooldowns with his spells making him extremely mobile and your E making him even more mobile is a hassle to deal with. E him when he is going in and then simply do a Q-W-Q-E combo where you stun them and E Fizz again to let him out of the fight. Even if he does get caught your ult will provide enough time for his cooldowns to come back up and your E to comeback up to help him escape once more.

Graves: Strong

Graves is a burst champion and combine that with your E as a gap closer and your stunning a large radius causes Graves to be really strong. Your Q works well with him as its radius is similar to the size of his Q meaning its a reliable source of damage. Your E is also good for him as it allows him to go in, deal all his damage and leave with his ult relatively safe. I also tend to not ult Graves as I said he is a burst damage and if he has dealt his combo you may as well ult your ADC/Mid/Jungler (if they deal more damage).

Hecarim: Medium

Hecarim is a pretty good pick with Zilean as his speed combined with your E means his engages are super reliable and his damage is even greater. Not only that simply Q-E-W him before he engages and as he ults E yourself to Q his ult and you will get everybody he ulted stunned allowing your team to deal massive damage to their squishy carries most probably (as this is what Hecarim should be focusing).

Janna: Weak

This is so poor and really sucks. Not only is Janna squishy meaning your team is relatively squishy Janna is seen as a support that helps kiting or disengaging, something you already have. This means you have little to no engage meaning your team should be a poke based comp. Your stun sucks since if she ults while you try to hit a stun it means that you'll certainly miss, her Q although provides disengage is useless considering you have an E. Her shield may seem fine however can sometimes screw up your ult if it saves a teammate or gives the enemy enough time to stop attacking him.

Jarvan: Strong

Again not a great champion in this meta since most ADC picked nowadays can simply leave his ult with one of their spells. That being said your E helps him engage and probably catch out their squishy carries and his ult is really good with your stun as you are guaranteed to stun whomever is within his ult radius. Also your E provides him even more of a gap closer and can cause your team to catch people out really easily. A Zilean with a Jarvan kind of makes him an assassin in a way.

Jinx: Strong

An ADC that is being seen more and more recently. Your E provides her with some much needed utility and since a Jinx needs to be really well positioned to be good it means only a hard engage will work well agaisnt you guys, however with a Zilean there a hard engage is hard to do as your two bombs give zoning potential and your ult allows her to survive such things. Constantly E her and she will provide massive damage. Once she goes off and gets an objective or a kill it is easy to clean up a teamfight with your E as her speed goes off the charts.

Kalista: Weak

Kalista is generally op but with Zilean she doesn't benefit as much as with other support. Your E although making Kalista even mobile isn't as efficient as her passive already makes her quite mobile and makes her able to escape skillshots nonetheless. Sure with your stun it allows her to stack up and cause more damage with her E, however your stun is unreliable and she benefits much more with champions with more reliable CC (Braum, Alistar etc). Also her ult is quite useless on you as you can't engage as Zilean. Only part useful would be to ult you out of a sticky situation but even then you need to consider that as Zilean you should be staying in the backline and not the front line so you shouldn't even be in a sticky situation.

Kog'Maw: Medium

Most of us has seen this guys potential, although your early game is relatively weak your late game is so strong it can change the tide of the game. Unless you get snowballed or camped early you should be fine for the rest of the game and win it as your ult should keep Kog'Maw relatively safe. Your E also provides some much much needed ability meaning he is quite strong. Only issue is early game don't play too passively.

Le Blanc: MediumShe is an assassin and she is quite good with Zilean as your E allows her to go in teamfight and out with being relatively safe. Just like Fizz your ult can save her and allow her to leave the teamfight again being unharmed. However her CD isn't as low as Fizz's meaning she isn't as good as the synergy you have with Fizz.

Lissandra: Weak

She has a good reliable engage yet you can'[t do much to help or benefit her. Your E is rendered useless considering her E length and time to activate and your stun is pretty poor if she ults herself. That being said your stun is good on her W's and if you time it right you can provide a good chain of CC on whomever she ulted (hopefully a heavy damage dealer) making him/her useless in the teamfight.

Lucian: Weak

Lucian is alright with Zilean. Although your E allows him to deal more damage as it can be a gap closer or slow down the enemy and help snowball a lane. Your other spells are quite bad in laning phase and Zilean is a scaling champion. This with an early game champion within Lucian means the synergy is quite weak. With that being said if you do somehow manage to snowball the lane Lucian becomes quite powerful considering he always has your ult as backup and can go in on fights with your E as well.

Malphite: Strong

His ult is literally one of the few reasons most people ban him it's crazy strong. Imagine his engage potential with the likes of your E their carries are practically dead. Not only can your E make his engages even better your stun combined with his ult is really good as you have enough time to place double bombs during his ultimate. Your ult is also saved as most of the time you don't need to ult the Malphite as he would have used his ult already before dying.

Master Yi: Medium

Master Yi is quite strong later on in the game when he has sated and your E allows him to completely go off on the other team a simple E allows him to catch up or engage on their team and your stun allows him to do even more damage. You will be able to stun as most of the time the enemies will focus the Yi rather than focusing you. Not only that once he has done enough damage and he dies your ult just lets him revive and does the whole process again. He is also relatively tanky dealing so much damage meaning that your ult is even stronger on him.

Talon: Strong

A good synergy with Talon as your E allows him to engage assassinate someone and go out relatively safe. If ever they plop down a pink ward a simple W-E can help him leave the teamfight or a simple ult will allow him to survive most engages. He will only die if he gets hard focused and even then with your ult allowing him a second chance to assassinate it also allows your team to come in and not get focused themselves meaning both you and your ADC can deal alot of damage.

Thresh: Medium

Just like Braum your E is good with Thresh as you apply some better engages if he hits his Q or his E. That being said unlike Braum your stun also goes well with Thresh's ult as his ult zones and slows and your stun is the same radius as his ult.

Tristana: Strong

She is really good with Zilean as her shoving potential combined with your E allows you to escape ganks which you are susceptible of since you'll constantly shove. Later on in the game she is so strong with you as she becomes a beast late game and your E allows her to deal so much damage by kiting and staying safe and your ult allows her to be given a second chance.

Trundle: Medium

Trundle doesn't have as good of an engage as the others meaning he isn't as good with Zilean as some other champions. That being said if he survives the early game he becomes quite strong. Not only is he tanky but he also deals massive damage meaning your E is relatively strong on him. Your E allows him to chase and even catch someone out with his pillar. I tend not to ult him as typically Trundle will have died after he ulted meaning he isn't as useful as say your ADC or your Mid laner if you aren't Mid.

Varus: Strong

Varus deals alot of poke damage yet his issue is that he is immobile and weak because he can be easily punished by his positioning. Your E allows him to escape sticky situations and your ult also helps him escape these sorts of situations.Your stun is also really good with his ult as whatever order it goes it guarantees the next skillshot to hit (if of course the first one hits). It also allows him to deal damage with his AA and also his Q's.

Vayne: Good

Vayne is really good with Zilean. Although you have a weak laning phase if you play passively and stay safe you should be fine. Not only that if in laning phase or early/mid game you get caught out or ganked your E can save both you and Vayne considering you are both mobile. Later on in the game Vayne is unstoppable, combine her late game scaling with your late game scaling and your ult, even if she gets focused it will be near impossible to kill her and she will deal plenty of damage to the team while being relatively safe throughout it all.

Yasuo: Medium

Yasuo is relatively strong with Zilean as your E allows him to be even more mobile and his ult with your stun allows your team to deal massive damage as it is a ~3s stun which is a massive amount. Not only that since Yasuo does alot of damage but is also relatively squishy your ult is super useful and once he dies and revives you can stun the team surrounding him again allowing him to escape and deal damage while doing so and also allows your team to deal so much damage to them, really punishes them.

Zed: Medium

Zed is an assassin which is relatively strong. Just like the other assassins your E allows him to go in and out of fights being relatively safe, even if he gets caught out your ult will allow im to be safe.Your stun isn't that good with Zed as he is more of an all in champion where he is always close to the enemy meaning that he isn't really ever gonna miss his skill shots.

Ahri: Medium

Early game against Ahri is just like Annie, no real kill pressure. However always stand behind minions, if you’re in that awkward spot where there are no minions fall back to your turret and wait for the next wave. This is because if she hits one charm she can do a lot of damage and will probably cause you to lose lane pressure if you’re shoving and you will need to back meaning losing both xp and gold.

Mid game Ahri is when it starts to get difficult. She is really mobile so it’s hard to hit your stun on her. The only success you can have when stunning an Ahri is when she has no ult or if she has ulti you Q-E-W-Q her but even then it doesn’t work all the time if she has ulti. This is why I tend to not focus her unless she has gotten hooked or CC’d by a teammate. Mid game is when you tend to start grouping and since Ahri can easily catch any one of your teammates out with her charm always hover a finger above your E to help them juke it.

Late game is the same as mid game. Always hover your E as it will reduce the chances of her hitting a charm. If ever she hits a charm and ults forward, Q twice between her and her team (as she will be split). This will make her team get zoned and if they want to fight with Ahri they will have to go through both bombs ending up getting stunned. Make sure not to sack the two bombs on top of each other but rather side by side as this takes up more space than just two bombs on top of each other.

Alistar: Easy

Alistar is quite easy to verse. His in lane is harder than out of lane as it is harder to control him since of you low cooldowns. Early game you want to find a balance in aggresivness and passiveness, don’t be too much of either. Try to make the lane not hit your turret but not theres either. This is because you don’t want to fall behind and at the same time with an Alistar you are easily prone to a gank. He will probably stay in the bushes so constantly ward the bush. If ever he goes up to you and you feel that he is going to combo you or your ADC just E him considering it takes little to no mana. Also you don’t want to poke them down with your bombs as they have some self sustain with Alistar’s E.

When teaming up Alistar is quite simple to play around. He may be one of the most common and op champions atm but I feel that he is quite easy to play against. Simply E him to prohibit him from all ining. Not only does this save your team but it also causes you to poke him down quite a substantial bit if you have your team around you. Since Alistar’s combo causes to go up to you simply double bomb (don’t stack them to make the most of the area) them to zone them or to stun the rest of the team if they try to help him out.

Anivia: Hard

This is a hard matchup since you do little damage early AND she ahs her egg passive meaning any sort of kill pressure from you 1v1 is lost already. Only hope is to have a jungler gank and even then it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the kill. What you should do is shove the lane pre level 6 as much as possible and try to roam to other lanes as this will help you alot. Once she is level 6 she will have a good wave clear meaning you can’t roam. That with her blue means that you’ll be the one constantly shoved. Thankfully with your mana sustain you can simply double bomb the wave, but only double bomb the wave if you see her roaming around. If she isn’t roaming simply farm or try to farm under turret. This is a matchup where you need to trust that your other lanes have won otherwise it’s going to be really hard.

Later on Anivia scales really really well and it’ll be hard to do anything if she isn’t dead. Try to hit your stun on her, ignore the top, ignore the ADC (unless Anivia is like 0/6) and try to kill her ASAP as she can really change the tide of a teamfight. Your E can be used to help either you or your teammates to juke her stun and can also help when your team will be slowed by her ulti. Your ulti is really important against her as if ever a teammate gets stunned by her Q they will most likely die. If it isn’t the support try to ult them and it will most likely save their lives. It’s even better if they have low health inside the Anivia ult radius as it pretty much guarantees a revive for your team.

Annie: Medium

Against Annie early (level 1-3) is pretty straightforward since neither of you can all in. Just farm the lane and from time to time poke her with your autos. Make sure you use your Q the least possible as it quickly depletes your mana and if ever your jungler comes you need the mana to secure kills. Once you both hit level 4 she will start to poke you down as if she reaches 6 she can easily all in you. This is important, you don’t want to be behind in xp against Annie because if she hits 6 before you and she all ins you, you won’t be able to ult yourself and it would cause you to die. Make sure to back the least possible and if you need to back, if you believe there is no kill pressure stay in lane as long as Annie stays in lane.

Mid game Annie is also difficult since she can still all in you during the duration of her stun. This is also the time of the game when you get your blue buffs, what I tend to do is shove my lane and try to roam where possible. This prohibits her from all-inning you and also with your E you are really quick and can get back to lane with maybe missing one wave if you go to top/bot lane. If there is nothing to do in the other lanes just shove the lane and place deep wards in your jungle so you are less susceptible for ganks and your team will also be less susceptible to them.

Late game you want to group the whole time. An important item to have is Banshee’s against an Annie as if she gets a good engage with her ult and you are the focus you will instantly die without using your ult. By having Banshee’s you make her ult your ADC or focus someone else instead and all you have to do is ult whomever she focuses and she’ll be useless for the next 5 seconds (which is a lot in a team fight).

Bard: Medium

Bard is quite a good champion and can really punish you as Zilean with his Q. However with your E you should be fine all the time as the extra movespeed should allow you or your adc to juke every single one. In lane Bard provides a feasible amount of sustain with his W so any sort of poke damage with your Q will turn out negligible and will cause you to spend mana unwisely. Therefore I suggest not to poke with your bombs but rather poke with your auto attacks and if ever you and your adc want a fight all in them. Bard has some disengage with his W speed up and his E however if you slow either him or his adc and simply Q-W-Q them they should be dead if you take ignite. If they have their summoners down constantly pressure lane as a summonerless Bard lane imo is quite easy to kill especially as Zilean considering your E and Q stun duration.

Mid to late game the same concepts surface. E your team if Bard tries to stun them and E them if you try to engage. This goes with most champions really. However what can be tricky is Bard’s ult. A good Bard will most likely hit their ults on 2-3 people and considering you can only E one it is quite a sticky situation. E your adc or midlaner (whichever is less mobile if both are in the ult radius) and plop two bombs between Bard’s ult and his team. This should give your team a feasible amount of time to disengage and if ever their team engage on you, your Q will zone them or if they are unwise they will run straight into it and get stunned allowing either a fight favoring your team or more time to disengage.

Braum: Easy

Braum is the easiest matchup in my opinion with Kalista. Whenever I see a Braum or Kalista I get happy. His stand behind me (W?) and shield causes him to eat all your bombs at a bigger radius than the original radius. This means its easier to stun both him and whomever he W’s into. Early game though play passive as his passive does provide a lot of lane pressure and can stun. You can start going aggressive at level 3 or 4 since you’ll have at least one point on each ability.

After laning phase simply E him when he tries to engage or double bomb him ONLY IF HE W’s A TEAMMATE. This really screws over there team and it allows your team some crucial time to kill the enemies carries.

Corki: Hard

Corki is really hard to play against both when he is their ADC or their midlaner. This is because he deals both AP and AD damage meaning it’s hard to itemize efficiently against him. He will continuously shove your lane with his Q so all you have to do is learn to cs under turret. Just like most matchups you need to play passively as he can easily 1v1 you.

When both teams start to group I would advise not to try and stun Corki since he has double bombs meaning it is very rare for him to actually get stunned by you, instead try to stun there other carries. If ever he W or packages into your team, just like with Ahri, you want to bomb between both him and his team as it will cause them to be zoned for a couple of seconds and if they want to help they will need to get stunned causing them to lose precious time in a teamfight. These couple of seconds may allow you to kill Corki.

Darius: Easy

The only champion where I would willingly go top instead of mid. Darius is super easy to play against. His low mobility combined with your E pretty much makes him useless. Not only that early game you can poke him down with your auto attacks and he won’t be able to heal up without using his potions as you can simply slow him. This also allows your jungler to gank him alot since he is relatively immobile and at the same time your E makes it even worst for him. You can constantly shove lane since your top build tends to have alot of mana built into it.

Later on when both teams start grouping the same concepts come to play. You can simply constantly slow him prohibiting him from dealing damage to your team and from landing his pull. I rarely speed y teammates up against a Darius. I only speed them up when we are chasing.

Draven: Hard

Draven is a champion I hate playing due to him being able to punish you early and being a snowball champion. You need to play really passively against him and you can’t poke him down as if ever you try to poke him down he will out trade you. He is one of the champions where you do nothing in lane wait for your jungler to gank and all in him. This is why I highly advise ignite against him as it will secure kills for you and reset his stacks hopefully.

Mid game or when you are out of laning phase you have a bit more freedom. Due to Draven not having any escapes and his only mobility altering spell is his W it is really easy to stun him and he is vulnerable for getting caught out. Simply Q-W-Q if confident or Q-E-W-Q him if you want him to get stunned. Draven also has quite short range imo so it’s easy to stun him during fights.

In brief, if you survive early you’re fine for the rest of the game.

Ezreal: Hard

Ezreal is quite weak early game so you can provide lane pressure to him by Q’ing and poking him down with your auto attacks. You and your ADC should constantly shove lane in order to delay Ezreals peak as once he gets his three items it’s really hard to shut him down due to a low E cooldown meaning you can’t stun him as easily as other champions.

Mid Game is when it starts to favor Ezreal. If he E’s in this is when you need to act and make the most of it as it’s the only realistic time you can stun him. Q-E-W-Q him to try to make the most of it. If Ezreal however doesn’t screw up with his E then if ever you hit a bomb on him there is a general trend for them to E back to where either another ally champion is to save him or to E directly backwards or to E over a wall. Simply place your second bomb there and pray that he E’s in there to try to catch him out. Another tip would be even if his E doesn’t escape you guys and your team is outnumbering theres constantly E him so he can’t escape.

Fiora: Hard

Early game you don’t verse a Fiora since you really don’t want to lane against her so I’ll simply explain the later parts of the game. Fiora, one of the most broken champs in a game. She counters you really hard as she can simply riposte your stun and it’s quite easy to know when you will try to double bomb since most of the time when you hit one you have the urge to stun them. Fiora will constantly try to engage against your team and may try to flank, what you have to do is E her whenever she is in range (make sure you don’t go towards her or you can get caught out). If she does end up catching up to you somehow try to zone her team off from you guys. I try not to stun her as she can simply riposte it like I said before. If however, she ahs her riposte on cooldown feel free to stun her as it will allow your team to either kill her (in an all in) or it can provide enough damage that she and her team wont want to engage. I tend to pick exhaust against her as she deals massive damage and it also gives that extra bit of slow to help your team.

Gangplank

Gangplank is not a matchup you want when you are Zilean. Against a Gangplank you want him to have a horrid early game yet with Zilean you don’t have enough kill pressure to have this. With that being said constantly shove the lanes and roam to other lanes until both you and your team group. If Gangplank starts pushing up you should ask your jungler for ganks and although he has a W to cleanse one ability you can do your E-Q-W-Q-E combo where if you don’t kill him you’ll most likely cause him to back. He will most likely cleanse your slow allowing you to stun, that’s why you don’t start with the bomb. I tend to take exhaust against him as it will reduce his damage output by alot and it will cause him to have less mobility providing your team with more chances to kill him. Later on in the game you need to focus Gangplank. If not focused he will completely destroy your team especially if he lands a good E. Try to stun him, and if he W’s all it does is allow your other teammates to CC him with most likely killing him. If he stands to far back don’t do anything and don’t force it, wait till he is out of position. If however he is out of position and you catch him out he may use your ult. Simply E yourself or your teammate to give you the extra speed which inhibits the effect of his ult has on your speed.

Janna: Easy

Janna isn’t seen much in SoloQ at least not here in China. With that being said your matchup against her goes slightly towards your favour as your Q does just a tad bit more damage than her shield provides. Just constantly poke her and her ADC down with your bombs and Auto attacks. If her shield is off cooldown try to land a Q as it will allow you to take quite a bit of damage on her or her adc and can give you the lane pressure. Janna is also quite easy to all in. Yes she has alot of disengage but with your E you can either juke her Q or you can slow either her or her ADC down a lot to provide a gap closer. This is really good as she is relatively squishy meaning she will probably die if you Q-E-W-Q-E her.

Later on when your teams start to group just constantly E your engage as it takes little mana and with your items you should have enough sustain. When they finally go in try to stun whomever (not necessarily Janna unless she is alone) and get the kill. If however you haven’t thrown your two bombs out by the time Janna ults just stun Janna (which is easy since she isn’t moving) and you’ll be guaranteed a kill.

*Kalista: Easy *

Kalista is quite the easy matchup at all levels. This is the only matchup when I start E. This is because when you slow her her jump passive is slowed and it causes her to be very very immobile. This is one of the lanes where you can be slightly aggressive in the early levels (1-3), I go E-Q-W and then max Q or E depending on how many AP damage dealers I have on the team. Maxing Q with a lot of AP damage dealers isn’t as efficient as maxing your E against Kalista as your E at max rank will cause her to be 99% slower while your Q will deal damage however considering if you have 2-3 AP dealers already then she will probably have a mercurial causing it to be less efficient.

Mid to late game when they start grouping if ever in range E her as she is relatively squishy and without her passive really easy to catch out. If ever she engges on your team with her ult just place two bombs between your team and hers and it will zone out her support (the person she is ulting) causing a similar effect with Ahri’s ult. It causes them to be zoned out or they will have to go in and get stunned.

If your ADC is getting focused and your ult is down E him/her rather than Kalista as you really want your ADC to live and your low E CD with W means you can just slow Kalista a couple of seconds later.

Le Blanc: Medium

Le Blanc is a skill matchup. In the early game she may try to poke you out and it will be hard to stun her since she is incredibly mobile. If you sense that she is going aggressive Q where you think she will hit her W (most likely directly infront or on you) and then W-Q her original spot, she will most likely have no time to react and W back to her spot causing her to be stunned. Le Blanc also has little wave clear so constantly shove the lanes and look to roam. If however you are getting poked out substantially don’t be afraid to back, you don’t want the Le Blanc to start getting fed as it will cause you and your team to get bursted later on.

Mid Game and late game you should start focusing her and try to do what I said before. If her W is off cooldown just Q where you think she may jump and then her original position to try and stun her (or if she is really aggressive just Q whomever she is attacking twice as she may ult W onto them). If her W is off cooldown simply E-Q-W-Q her to stun her and since she is relatively squishy you can probably kill her.

Lissandra: Easy

Lissandra is an easy matchup past laning phase. During laning phase she will constantly shove you meaning you’ll most likely be behind in CS. This however does mean your jungler can gank you and it’s really easy to stun her if you’ve landed your first Q. If you land your first Q and Lissandra sees your jungler she will try to E out, simply W-Q where her E is and she will most likely get stunned allowing you to kill her.

Later on after laning phase it is really easy to counter her ult. If she ults herself simply put one Q over her and wait for her ult to die down to W-Q her and stun her. If she ults an ally, Ult them as it’s really hard to see your ult over the Lissandra ult, meaning most likely that whomever got ulted by Lissandra will die and if you ult them you will simply revive them, at the same time you can Q their team as they will most likely be grouped around her ult WHILE your teammate is being revived (make sure you don’t stun them during Lissandra’s ult as it may cause your ult effect to be turned off). In other scenarios simply do what you do in lane and if you land a Q and she E’s somewhere Q wherever she E’s to. This can stun her but also zone her off from safety if she decides to not use her max E range.

Lucian: Medium

Lucian is really strong early game and falls off late game. This combined with your weak early game means that you and your ADC should play really passive until your jungler comes to gank if he does. Don’t use your mana, only use it to E your ADC or Lucian to escape damage. This will allow you to keep a good amount of mana and give lane pressure from a gank.

Mid Game Lucian starts to fall off which is good. His dash makes it hard for you to stun him so instead of instantly Q-W-Q see if you’ve hit your first bomb and then if you have slow him with your E and W-Q him. This will cause him to probably get killed. This is however if he is positioned poorly as most times he won’t be in the front line, unless he fucks up hard. If ever he ults and it will kill someone simply give your ult to his focus or if you’re low health ult yourself and go in the line of fire. This causes you to regen your health and save an ally.

Lux: Medium

Lux is pretty difficult to deal with early on since her poke and range is huge. She can cause you to back alot and don’t be afraid to do so as you can simply E yourself or tp back into lane. Her skill shots although hard to dodge if she plays Lux right can be juked using your E on yourself or allies later on in game. Since she will constantly shove lane, your jungler has the possibility to gank and with your E and Lux’s low mobility a kill is pretty much guaranteed.

Later on Lux is squishy yet will most likely stay in the back due to her range so you can’t really focus her. If however she is within your Q range try to stun her with the main combo Q-W-Q. Another tip would be if she CC’s someone with her Q and her ult will kill someone simply ult whomever will die and everything should be fine.

Miss Fortune: Medium

MF is another champion which you can put lane pressure on. Constantly poke her with your auto’s (even if it does little damage the damage adds up). Although her passive makes her fast, your E completely ignores that meaning Zilean is quite good against her. During laning phase constantly shove her lane to prohibit her from getting a decent amount of CS. Also unlike other ADC’s she has no dash’s meaning you don’t necessarily need your Q-E-W-Q combo to stun her, sometimes a simple Q-W-Q is all that’s needed. This conserves a lot of mana in the long run and allows you to sustain in lane and provide a consistent amount of lane pressure.

Later one when you start to team fight she will stand at the back and ult you guys. Due to her standing still try to go up to her and stun her ASAP, if you don’t she will change the tide of the fight causing your team to probably lose, so by all means try everything you can to stop it ASAP. If there teams peels for her too well or have too much CC for you to get to her simply E your teammates so they leave the ult ASAP and if they can’t ult whomever can’t make it. Also try to communicate to your team to not fight.

Riven: Medium

You don’t face a Riven in lane much but when you do the match up is actually relatively easy, sort of like Darius. You prohibit any sort of aggressiveness on her part by simply E’ing her. Since it costs so little mana you can do it a lot! In lane simply farm up and poke her down with your autos. If she tries to go on you E her, and if she somehow catches up just W-E yourself. Second time you E yourself since she has no more gap closers (all used in CD). I tend not to poke her down with your Q as it will waste a lot of your mana and her E will simply neglect all the damage done.

Same things go for out of laning phase. If she wants to engage, constantly E her. Not only that since she is relatively squishy if you E her and she is out of position you can probably double bomb her (E-Q-W-Q) and stun her. If landed she will probably die (if your team is around)

Tahm Kench: Hard

Tahm Kench is an annoying champion and he can go top, jungle or support. Here I’ll talk about his support early game and then generally in the later parts of the game. Tahm Kench is hard to play against considering his Q is so long range and imo a relatively low cooldown, not only that you can’t all in him as his W provides him pretty much double health. What you do is play passive and wait till your jungler ganks and completely ignore Tahm Kench. Slow their ADC first, this will cause Tahm Kench to run back to him and eat him. Once this happens quickly do your Q-W-E-Q combo to try and get the kill secure. This is because if you hit your bomb on him AND slow him both him and his adc are slowed and if you hit your second they are both stunned giving quite alot of time for your team to get the kill.

Later on in the game I tend to ignore him, he is stupid and you can pretty much not kill him unless he is really really out of position. The only attention I give him is when he tries to save his ally, I simply E him so it takes more time for him to help and also allows us more time to kill his ally. If he does get to eat him I do the same combo of Q-W-E-Q to try and give our team more time to kill them.

Talon: Hard

I hate this matchup since unlike Zed his ult doesn’t have a pop per-say. Early game you have to poke him down with both your autos and your Q as it will prevent an all in at level 6, however you need to make sure you are out of his W range as that deals quite a bit. At level 6 he will try to all in you with his ult and your ignite. Since his ult is a lower cool down than yours at early levels this is hard to play around. If ever he is going to you try to E-W-E so you can escape the all-in. E him first then when you have some distance E yourself so you are safe from his E range. If however he E’s you and is going to all in you just ult yourself. No risk is necessary and he will probably ignite anyway so 90% of the time you’ll revive. This is when the matchup gets hard since the next time your in lane he will have his ult and you won’t. When you don’t have your ult play super safe (that means farming with your Q or roaming). Once you have your ult up you can play a bit less passive.

When you start grouping Talon will either ult you or your ADC to try and assassinate them. This means you need to stick by your ADC at all time so you can ult whomever he ults. Make sure you hover your mouse over the champion icons as sometimes you can ult the wrong person. If you get the upgraded red trinket it’s quite simple to kill him if he goes in. Simply ult whomever he ults and then E-Q-W-Q him for a kill. Even if you don’t hit the stun the fact that your sweeping lens detects him and he will be slowed by your E allows your team to probably kill him. The stun is there just to make sure.

Thresh: Medium

Thresh isn’t the hardest matchup but also isn’t the easiest. With his hook and CC he has massive lane pressure. Make sure you stand behind minions AT ALL TIMES! If you get hooked once you or your adc will die. What I do is I try to poke Thresh down with your Q during laning phase, I completely ignore their ADC. This is because it prohibits or inhibits his all in potential.

Once you are level 6 the match up skews to our favor as if ever he hooks someone on your team and they are going to kill him you can simply ult them and they should be fine. Not only that during team fights with your Q its easy to zone Thresh off from his teams or to stun him. If Thresh lands a hook try to Q him and if he clicks Q again (that means he goes to your teammate) then Q your teammate and Thresh will get stunned allowing you and your team to either take the fight or disengage if you don’t believe you can win the fight.

Twisted Fate: Easy

Don’t really mind this matchup. Both of you have low kill pressure early on meaning you can farm in peace. Poke him down with your autos and make sure you conserve your mana as with a gank TF can easily kill you with his gold card. Once he hits level 6 you want your TP to be up and you want to have a frost queens completed. This will inhibit any pressure he has on other lanes. If ever he is MIA just use your Frost Queen’s active to detect him and help out your other laners. If he’s already ulted into another lane, if your team isn’t getting destroyed already TP in as your ult will help. I tend to look at the other lanes when I see the eye ontop of me and need to make a decision in the first second since the longer you wait the worst it will be for you and your team. Frost Queen would replace Zhonyas in this build

Later on TF is quite useless to be honest. He is really immobile and with your E and stun its easy to kill him. He does however tend to be at the back so E your engage for a fight and either try to stun him or his ADC. If he isn’t fed I tend to just focus the ADC as TF won’t bring as much to a teamfight as the ADC will.

Vayne: Hard

Vayne is quite weak early which allows you to put lane pressure. Also since her Q doesn’t have much of a change in distance it’s really easy to Q-E-W-Q and stun her. Early game you awnt to shove your lane and poke her down with your Auto’s and from time to time your bomb. Make sure you keep at least 200 mana at all times. This is because by constantly shoving you are prone to a gank and even warding may not help. With 200 mana you can do the E-W-E combo which speeds either both you and your ADC up or slows there jungler down (depending where their botlane is).

Mid game is when Vayne starts to get strong and if she isn’t shutdown early it will be difficult. That’s why you upgrade the red trinket ASAP and always have a pink ward in your item slot to detect her when she ults. In team fights when the team gets dispersed constantly slow her. Not only will this allow you to stun her but it allows your team to catch her and kill her and prohibits her from kiting around your team.

With exhaust not only do you slow her and reduce her damage, that with your E means that she will get stunned 100% of the time unless you screw up really hard. She tends to stay behind her team and becomes the clean up crew persay later on. So beware of her and constantly slow her with your E or zoning her with your Q’s.

Viktor: Hard

Viktor is a difficult matchup as his waveclear matches yours so you cant really roam around and have to stay in lane most of the time. He can also poke you down in the other levels so play passive and just farm up. From time-to-time poke him down with your Q so that if your jungler does decide to gank you can E him and maybe get a kill and most likely his flash as well.

Later on Viktor deals massive damage and since he is immobile I strongly suggest you focus him in fights. If out of position a kill will be guaranteed since your E-Q-W-Q combo will allow your team a feasible amount of time to kill him. If however he isn’t out of position simply E-Q your engage and then a W-E-Q combo where you E yourself so you go in the fight and Q your engager to stun whomever is in the radius. Hopefully your engage goes on their carries, but even if he doesn’t then there tanks will be stunned and your team has time to kill the squishy carries.

Yasuo: Hard

Yasuo is pretty hard to play against and the only champions I use exhaust against outside of support. At level 1 (which is 2 waves) poke him down with your auto attack while csing with your AA as well. Don’t ever throw bombs in this matchup since you don’t want to push as you can easily get killed. Your chances of stunning him are really really low due to his windwall. If ever your jungler ganks E Yasuo with a Q, he will then windwall. His windwall may or may not block your Q (depends on his reflexes) and then W-E-Q yourself so you can quickly go on the other side of the windwall and hit your Q on him. In short do a E-Q-W-E-Q combo. If your jungler doesn’t gank then let him push. You have little to no lane pressure and he can kill you.

Later on in the game it actually gets a bit easier. Your E will allow you or your carries to escape his ult and if every you get away from it a simple Q-W-Q to wherever he ults will make him stunned and a vulnerable target. Not only that, Yasuo is melee and your E prohibits a lot of his potential. So you can E him. In short early is hard and later on the matchup goes towards your favour.

Zed: Easy

Zed is regarded as a counter to Zilean. This is somewhat true, but imo he isn't the best champion vs Zilean. Early game he will beat you. This is why pre-level 4 you should try and poke him down because between the level 4-10 the matchup favors him somewhat. Early on let him apply lane pressure and since you have TP if ever he roams you can counter his roam with a tp. That being said it does have a 5 minute cooldown so spend it wisely. Once Zed reaches level 6 he will try to all in you if you aren't level 5. This is why I recommend that if he is level 6 before you play super passivley and use your bombs to CS or try and give your passive xp to a teammate (preferabbly jungler since he will more likely be the closest to you). His ult has a lower cooldown than yours so if you spend your ult during one of his all ins you can play normally for 40seconds but after that start playing passive again as he has a 20-30s (idk Zed ult CD) where he can all in you. Later on Zed is hard to play against. His W makes him super slippery so landing bombs are hard and your ult is only used to counter his ult meaning it makes your pretty useless. One tip i have would be, if you land a Q on Zed prior to his ult and he ults during the fight, W-Q his initial shadow as he will most likely go back there.

  1. Early game Zilean csing is trash and really mana dependent. Don't be afraid to miss cs as once you have blue buff you can cs alright by q-w-q. However again this takes up a lot of mana so I advise you to practice csing with Zilean in a custom game to get used to it and later maybe adding bots in your games. I generally end up having less cs than my laner.

  2. Group a lot and make sure to stay next to your carries (adc or top lane if it's a Fiora, Gangplank, Ryze or Riven). This allow you to ult them and it will blow the opposing teams cooldown.

  3. You should not always ult your adc. It depends, if your adc is underfed than probably not. Who you should ult should generally be influenced by these factors. Who's the most fed and who'[s getting focused the hardest. If your support is getting focused you shouldn't ult them as they won't deal as much damage as your carries, if they haven'[t blown their CD you should consider it though as it may win the fight. Also try to keep your ult for the longest time so that they don't stop the focus, if you ult the person in the middle of the team fight the better as it'[s harder for the enemy to spot the ult.

  4. When ulting, use the icons above your map it's happened a lot to me in the beginning that I wouldn't use the icon and it caused me to ult the wrong person. oops.

  5. Chain your CC. When I say things like use your combo Q-E-W-Q I mean don't do it all at once. Hit your Q and your E and right as your E or Q (depending when you hit it) run out Q again. This gives them the least mobility possible and the best chance for your team to get a kill.

The Mejais item is a controversial pick and I don't use it every game. The reason I do buy it the majority of the time is due to Zilean being hard to kill and since you will be a low econ champion gold will not be funneled towards you. Other items I would suggest are:

: Gives extra tankiness, cdr, AP and an escape everything ideal for Zilean. Onyl issue is that you'd have too much CDR so teplace the lucidity with magic pen boots. I only buy this on top or a tanky mid build.

: Again gives you mobility and more AP this is when you want to burst the champions however you need to have gold funneled towards you as it is quite costly.

I hope all of you learnt one or two things (or more) about Zilean and why he is coming to the meta recently. He has so much utility (just like Karma) and can save you so much LP as it allows your team to do some mistakes from time to time and still be saved.

Comments coming soon!
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