Zed has been a champion present since the early days of League of Legends. While it didn’t have high pick priority at first, one of the League’s Legends, aka Faker, reminded us how skill-reliant Zed actually is.
Unfortunately, not everyone is like him, so Zed’s learning curve can admittedly be a pain to master. The more mechanically gifted you are, the better you will perform. However, you can also follow certain micro and macro guidelines to increase your rank in soloQ.
For starters, Zed is a champion intended for harass-based gameplay. You dump your entire combo on the enemy as a form of poke. However, your W and shadows can also help you escape from enemy ambushes and ganks. The same can be said about your ult as well.
Needless to say, Zed isn’t really geared towards a hit-or-miss playstyle. The more your attacks connect, the more damage you do. However, there are certain methods of getting good at him that you should pick up in order to increase your rank. With that said, let’s go through them!
Also read: Yasuo climb tips
Best Tips For Playing Zed
Zed is one of the few OG assassins LEague of Legends has possessed since its early days. His poke and all-in combos are tuned to cater toward a more aggressive playstyle. However, you do not have to be extremely good with him to achieve success.
Simply follow the tips mentioned below, and you’ll be good to go!
Tip #1: Slow Before Hitting
Hitting your Qs on moving enemies is troublesome, especially when their movement speed exceeds your projectile speed and vice versa. Luckily, your E comes with a built-in slow that can be landed pretty easily as long as your shadows are placed correctly.
This, in turn, will not only slow the enemy down but will also lower their defenses, thereby making it easier for you to hit them with your Qs. Alternatively, you can also use the passive from your Deathblade of Draktharr to slow them down with an auto attack.
Since your E is a rotation-based non-projectile ability, you will ideally be aiming it at multiple targets. Plus, there’s always the option of auto-E-ing with your original self and then shadow morphing the heck out of there unless the enemy is close to dying.
Once the target has been slowed, simply aim your Qs by moving the cursor directly on them and pressing Q. This will not only make it hard for you to miss but will also ensure you land every part of the combo without much effort.
Since fights are generally tuned to be slow, you will have ample time to ‘make it right’ instead of missing your entire combo and spectating the remainder of the fight. Besides, Zed is not a character that’s supposed to go in first.
Tip #2: Track Your Energy Bar
This is extremely important, especially in the early game. While energy is a resource that’s restored five times as fast as mana, you will still run out of it pretty soon due to the small energy bars. You’d need it to cast your abilities and land your hits.
Therefore, always double-check if there’s anything missing, or if you’re going to be able to land enough of your combo that the energy running out is completely fine. Try to track it as much as possible while committing your pre-6 combos.
This is also extremely important in team fights since every hit counts. You can’t just go in and expect a balanced fight to go in your favor even after missing half of your combos. At the same time, you had the ‘option’ to miss them. Running out of energy isn’t an option; it’s a process that’s bound to occur.
Therefore, you need to make the most of what you get. Besides, there are a lot of ways of restoring energy aside from the normal passive regen. While they fall in the ‘advanced’ category, you will be good to go if you make the most out of what you have in your energy bar.
Besides, you’re a champion that does not need mana to function. Therefore, you can just wait for your energy bar to fill up before dishing out high-damage combos. Pair all of this with the electrocute rune, and your damage will be a pain to deal with.
Tip #3: Zed Follows The Anti-Gank Union!
Receiving Ganks from the enemy jungler is annoying and can serve as a huge set-off from the balance that’s generally maintained in the early farming phase stages. Luckily, you have your W to escape most ganks by using it as an alter-flash.
However, your enemies are aware of this as well, so they will do everything in their power to either stop you from using it, or gank after that particular ability has gone on cooldown. Unfortunately, not a lot of people account for the slow present in Zed’s E.
You can be the smart one and slow any enemy chasing you down by Eing them while running away. Once the enemy has been slowed, it’ll become pretty difficult for them to catch up to you. This can also be useful when getting dove under the tower.
Simply use your ultimate to retreat into the shadows for a couple of seconds and then W out to safety while E Qing them for extra damage and slows. If you’re lucky, the tower might kill more than one enemy for you. Unfortunately, getting dove is pretty bad in itself. Therefore, try to play the lane as perfectly as possible.
You can use your WEQ combo on the minion wave to clear it instantly. However, in most cases, it might be a good idea to hold onto your W since it’s your bail-out card against most enemy ganks and ambushes.
Tip #4: Your Weakness Is Your Strength
Zed is generally considered a mid to late-game champion. He has no power pre-level six, and his energy consumption impairs him in teamfights. Surprisingly, the strongest point in Zed’s laning phase is his pre-level 6. The health bars are shorter here, so you can harass as openly as you want.
Plus, grab an ignite, and wait for your combos to make the target reach a near-death state. Finish everything off with another combo and ignite. What can they do? It’s not like they have their ultimates to answer back. This almost always blows the lane open and allows you to proceed with your snowball.
Zed can go pretty far once ahead. Therefore, you almost always need to find advantages in your lane. Since your kill threat is pretty high, we’d recommend you place vision correctly to ward off any junglers trying to shut you down.
Once you’re sufficiently ahead, it’s also possible to kill both the enemy laner and jungler to show off your superiority with the help of Riot’s balance team. Unfortunately, you need to know the ins and outs of Zed before trying anything aggressive. Therefore, we’d recommend you don’t play too daringly unless you’re convinced of your damage and vice versa.
Zed’s level 1 is extremely weak, so participating in grouped invades isn’t very advantageous for you unless you can snag the first blood with your shurikens or slow the enemy with your W for either you or your team to kill.
Tip #5: Your Ultimate Isn’t Your Main Damage
Zed mostly works on the WEQ combo in order to harass the enemy champion until they die. The ultimate acts more like an enabler than the actual focal point of your combo. The less you use it, the more efficient you get with Zed’s base combo.
The main point is to prevent yourself from getting impaired if you don’t have your ultimate. You need to learn how to use your combos to perfection. The better you get at it; the more rewarding Zed becomes as a champion and as an assassin.
Since all his abilities are reliant on attack damage, you just need to focus on landing them. Leave the remaining part for Zed to figure out. If you’re using your ultimate in the mix, then make sure to use it the earliest for extra shadows and bomb damage.
It is an ability that ranks up in damage in accordance with the damage that has been inflicted from the start to the end of the ult’s activation. Plus, you’re getting an extra shadow that replicates your abilities. Therefore, it’s always good to engage with either your Ultimate or a W followed by your ultimate.
Due to this, you’re not really suited for the sidelines. While, yes, your job is to assassinate solo targets, you’d rarely get the chance of dealing against ADCs on the sidelines since it’ll mostly be tanky top laners. Therefore, all the action will happen during the laning phase with the help of roaming.
All in all, becoming a good zed player isn’t something that can be done overnight. However, it’s possible to improve step by step by eliminating the major issues in your gameplay and strategy. This, however, can be tough if you’re new to League of Legends.
In such cases, we’d generally recommend you stay away from high-skill champions. However, if you have ample League of Legends experience, then it’s all about learning all the combos as your muscle memory, and just playing the lane effectively.
Needless to say, Zed performs well against some champions and performs terribly against others. While his counterplay options are rather limited, they are, in fact, present. Therefore, you just need to be vigilant and aware of your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.