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The short, pro guide to dominate as Zed in mid lane. Learn the builds, masteries, counters, and special fighting tactics to carry as him in LoL.

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Lane Strategy

  • Abuse your mana-free abilities. Farm with your abilities if you’ll be worse off from a poke trade
  • Light poke comes from Razor Shuriken. Look to reposition yourself so you get a last hit and harass with one Q
  • Heavy poke comes from W > E > Q > W > autoattack. The Shadow Slash (E) slows to set up your Razor Shuriken (Q). Get close enough so Zed and his Shadow each deal Razor Shuriken. Swap with your Living Shadow and auto attack only if the target is below 50% health so it procs your passive. You have to be in melee range to harass with two Shadow Slashes making it an unlikely strategy
  • Your passive is perfect for last hitting minions. When establishing an ideal minion position to freeze the lane or zone the enemy, still let the minion health get low
  • When a melee champion like Gragas or Fizz engages you close, cast Living Shadow and activate it to your retreat location then use Shadow Slash (so your shadow slows) combined with Razor Shuriken for added punishment
  • Quickly push a lane by casting Living Shadow in the middle of the caster and melee minions then E and Q. E again when it’s off cooldown

Team Fight Tactics

  • If you get safely within range of a squishy enemy, cast your ultimate before your Living Shadow. You want your Living Shadow to close the distance on an enemy’s dash (or flash) common for AD carries or for your escape. The added damage from a nearby shadow during your ultimate is minimal, not worth the risk, and allows a likely escape for the enemy
  • Cast your ultimate when the enemy target like Vayne uses Condem to knock you away or dashes away like Corki with his Valkyrie. You will avoid CC or transport to the enemy’s location
  • Ult a tank if your AD is getting soloed by him and the enemy carries are not a deadly threat. This allows your carry to re-target dangerous enemies
  • Some cooldown reduction is synergistic with your ultimate. CDR lets you cycle abilities for maximal Death Mark damage

Sneaky Tactics

  • Only your shadow slows from Shadow Slash. When dueling, if you can shadow within auto-range, instantly Shadow Slash to help you stick to the target. When running, use Living Shadow to create distance then Shadow Slash once the enemy gets near your shadow
  • Ward over a narrow wall then catch out a squishy target by initiating with your ultimate. Once you get the kill, press R again to safely retreat
  • A similar combo is done to juke when caught. Ult the side you’re caught on, shadow across, then swap back to your shadow if need be
  • Count the time since you cast Living Shadow and Death Mark. Know how long you have to swap places
  • Blade of the Ruin King gives added damage to your ultimate
  • Living Shadow provides vision to check brushes
  • Death Mark makes Zed temporarily untargetable so you can use it to dodge tight moments like Karthus’ ultimate
  • Become like Faker
  • Zed has a unique taunt when in-front of Shen: “Challenge me Shen…You shall not be an orphan long!”

Warnings

  • High skill cap. Takes time to master

Zed is Countered By

  • Cho’Gath
  • Irelia
  • Kayle
  • Lissandra
  • Lulu
  • Ryze
  • Soraka
  • Udyr

Zed Counters

  • Karthus
  • Katarina
  • Taliyah
  • Twisted Fate

Counter Mechanics

  • Burst negation. Kayle’s ultimate, Jax’s Counterstrike, or a silence when Zed ults. Cho’Gath with this tankiness and crowd control is cancer
  • Tanky champions work against Zed’s burst reliance
  • Zed relies on minimal enemy CC or ally threats to enter fights so he cannot get crowd controlled. Against low quality players, this doesn’t matter as they may burn such abilities before you ult in
  • Track Zed’s Living Shadow. It has a high cooldown that when wasted, makes him vulnerable to ganks or no damage
  • Strong split pusher as he can clear waves fast, escape, and 1v1 nearly anyone