Zed hasn’t been the most popular champion in League of Legends for a very long time. A couple of years ago, it was really rare to see a Zed player in high elo. And it was nearly impossible to climb with this champion when the LoL meta was all about control mages and tanks in every role. But that was until season 12. Now Zed is super OP and broken…
How did this happen? And why is everyone using Zed now to climb solo queue and smurf divisions?
Zed’s design as a champion has always been great. He has always been able to outplay opponents and carry games if you win early. His strongest points are mobility and high single target damage. However, season 12 introduced mythic items and a lot of lethality and cooldown reduction to the game, making Zed’s job of carrying a lot easier.
In other words, Zed became one of the best assassins, and mid lane picks in League of Legends. Not only is he able to win the mid lane, but he’s also great in the jungle role. He can roam, gank, get kills, and one-shot his enemies.
So, here are the top 5 reasons why Zed is OP and broken right now!
5 Reasons Why Zed is OP and Broken
1. Safe Laning Phase
If you’ve never played against Zed in the mid lane, then you don’t know how difficult it actually is to kill him. If Zed doesn’t want to fight, he’ll never get caught either. His ability kit is brilliantly designed for surviving the laning phase, especially against ranged AP mid lane picks.
Zed’s safety mainly comes from his W, Living Shadow. When he activates it, he spawns a shadow of himself. And if he reactivates the ability, Zed swaps places with his shadow. In other words, whenever the enemy jungler comes for a gank and Zed is in trouble, he can simply blink away with his W.
But there’s more to it.
Zed’s Living Shadow also replicates his other 2 basic abilities. This means that Zed can also cast his shurikens through his shadow. And this makes it extremely easy for him to poke his opponents in the lane but also farm from a distance. Unlike Fizz or other assassins in the mid lane, Zed doesn’t need to walk to the minions in order to kill them.
All in all, you can easily survive any matchup in the mid lane with Zed if you’re careful enough and don’t waste your W.
2. Bulletproof Build – No Counter to Lethality
Before lethality was added to the game, there was only armor penetration and magic penetration. And these stats work in a simple way – the percentage of armor penetration you have is the percentage of armor your abilities will ignore from your target. But since lethality is flat, it bypasses your target’s armor.
For example, if Zed has 100 lethality and Ahri has 100 armor, Zed will do damage to Ahri as if she has 0 armor. This isn’t too much of a problem if you’re playing tank with 300 armor. But for anyone who isn’t building tanky, lethality is deadly.
In season 12, all of the core and situational items for Zed grant Lethality. Starting with his mythics (Duskblade of Draktharr, Prowler’s Claw, Eclipse), they all grant 20 lethality. And by the time most mid laners and ADCs have 40 armor, Zed has 20 lethality.
In other words, if you aren’t a tank and you don’t buy 6 items that grant armor, you’re likely to not survive Zed’s burst. Zhonya’s Hourglass is the only counter to Zed’s ultimate, but not his entire damage. The armor that the item grants is nowhere near enough to block his damage, so you can’t really counter him with itemization.
3. Highest Single Target Damage in the Game
Without a doubt, Zed has the highest single target damage in League of Legends. And that’s all because of his ultimate, Death Mark.
When Zed activates his R button, he disappears for a second and then reappears behind his target. He also marks his enemy, and after a few seconds, the mark detonates, dealing 100% of Zed’s AD plus up to 55 percent of the damage he dealt while the mark was applied.
This means that if Zed activates his ultimate on the enemy ADC and throws one or two shurikens at them, they’ll always end up dead. It’s one of the best ways to eliminate targets from the team fight, and Zed is a master at it.
Because Zed focuses all of his damage on one enemy, he’s also great at dueling. There are a few champions in the game that can really counter his ability kit, but not too many. Lissandra, for example, is a great counter to Zed because she can root him in place and freeze herself to dodge Zed’s ultimate. However, Zed is great against most other mages, such as Syndra or Lux, because he can dodge all of their abilities.
4. Zed Can with Games with Split Pushing
The fact that Zed can deal so much single target damage and duel most champions in the game also makes him one of the best split pushers in the LoL. In the late game, Zed can quickly clear waves with his W, allowing him to pressure the side lanes very easily.
On the other hand, Zed’s AD usually gets to 300+ in the late game. With so much damage, Zed can push turrets in just a couple of seconds. True, he doesn’t have much attack speed, but the flat damage is enough to shred through these towers.
But Zed has one more thing that makes him a great split pusher in League – his mobility. It often happens that the enemy team sends 2 or more players to deal with a split pusher. And unless you have ways to escape them, they’ll likely slay you.
Luckily for Zed, his W reaches a 7-8 seconds cooldown in the late game. You can use it all the time, either to escape your enemies or to duel them. All in all, Zed can deal with his opponents alone.
5. Zed Can Solo Carry Games
All of the reasons why Zed is OP and broken that I listed above come together in one – Zed can solo carry games in League of Legends. This isn’t an easy thing to say since LoL is a 5v5 game and can’t always win when you’re team is losing. But if any champion can do it, then that is Zed.
With so much mobility, damage, and outplay potential, Zed is the ultimate champion for solo queue. No matter if you’re playing him in the mid lane or the jungle role, you’ll still be able to carry games with him. True, Zed is a somewhat difficult champion to master, but because he is so good in the current meta, you can definitely make him work!
Even in team fights, Zed doesn’t really rely on his teammates to do the job for him. He often engages first, jumps on the enemy carry, assassinates them, and comes back to safety. So, that’s why this playstyle is ideal for solo queue.
Those are the top 5 reasons why Zed is OP and broken in LoL!