Zed discussion thread, above average champ.

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Handsome Aniki

Senior Member

11-13-2012

UPDATED:
Read this post. There's no tl;dr. If you didn't read simply get out. The purpose of this analysis is to let people know the quality of Zed. Looking for a shortcut teaches you nothing, read it or beat it.

Alright, after about what is now, a dozen custom games testing builds, and about a half dozen in game pub plays, here's my honest, genuine review of Zed.

I'm sick of reading "OMG ZED SO UP BUFF PLX".
1) Season 3 isn't even here yet, enough with the whining, therefore items that are oriented towards AD casters are not here yet, meaning items that could be optimized on Zed aren't here yet, so once again stop whining.
2) This is exactly how Syndra was when she came out, she wasn't living up to her potential, and thus came some quality of life changes, and voila she's somewhat more viable and a farm monster to boot.

Zed's skill kit.

Zed's skill kit is almost identical to Lee Sin's, with a few twists thrown in to make him unique amongst our 100-plus champions. This is a major note, so remember, all his moves in his kit hits for physical damage with the exception of his 'execute' style passive. So armor heavily counters him.

His passive is basically a pre-nerf/change J4 passive, knocking off a % of their health in magic damage except this only happens below a certain threshold. Fantastic at allowing Zed to last hit in lane and in the jungle.

His Q(1.0 AD Ratio), is similar to Lee Sin's Q, in terms of range and slightly thinner width, relatively similar projectile speed. Very high energy costs at lower levels, so it makes for prioritizing skills.

His W, is essentially Lb's W, except with a reverse function, set a position, swap on command. This move is what makes Zed unique. If anything, it's kinda like quickdraw on Graves, except it gives vision of your shadow, so I think of it similar to safeguard because you can go to it without much issue. Can be used to go through some walls, the shadow falls short so prepare to be disappointed when try to make dire escapes. The passive on this W is if anything one of the best passive's I've seen yet, and may even be game breaking, end game.

His E(0.8 AD Ratio), once again, similar to Lee Sin's E, and if the shadow hits it even slows! But I personally think the slow on this is very weak since it lasts 1.5 seconds. Can be fixed with a phage in a build.

Finally we come to his Ultimate, it's a wild combination of Fizz's playful, with a god-like gap-closer, and a Vlad ult damage explosion thrown in. Once again, this is what makes Zed unique. This move late game can be a game breaker if underestimated. It has a 100% TOTAL AD ratio + 50% of the damage done by both YOU and your SHADOW. (Essentially and potentially 100% AD + 50% + 25% Shadow can't AA, and has reduced damage), the only down side is that it has no initially damage built in.

This is important.
His ultimate says ALL damage magic and physical done by Zed and his shadow. This should include(Though some items obviously not recommended), DFG, Gunblade, Blade of Ruined King, Madred's Bloodrazor on-hits, etc etc. Hopefully when we see some S3 items, we'll see more of the like, and hopefully some oriented towards Zed.

Zed's Jungling potential
By far, one of the fastest clearing jungle champions to date. Last night I had a mid having a hissy-fit and refused to leash me because I chose Zed when he wanted to mid with him. So I ended up solo'ing red, and blue, and still did it under the 3:50 mark.(Somewhere around there, I was level 4 while some lanes were just getting into level 3). Counter-jungling Zed can be very scary since when at level 4 he gets his shadow providing some very nice early game damage burst. Don't underestimate him in the jungles as others have.


Zed's laning
Earlier I tried comparing his laning to Katarina who is renowned for having a nightmarish time. Zed actually is very strong in lane if played correctly, shadow should not be spammed in lane as it's CD is exceptionally long, and could essentially cost you your life. Use your shadow to engage, but never to poke, and only do so when you KNOW you're going to win the engage harass, after your enemy laner backs out, get some free hits off E to reduce the CD, it's not the most effective method yet, but it works. Use your ult accordingly. When using your ult be sure to watch % to make sure you can burst them to death. If you're build the way I listed later you should be able to kill priority targets at~
60% ~ Level 1 Ult
65% ~ Level 2 Ult
75% ~ Level 3 Ult.

Late game, with items such as BT & Black Cleaver(LW isn't bad either, I prefer flat Arm Pen on this champion) with a Brut/Youmuu's in hand, most priority targets should die rather quickly.

Zed's role in a team fight

Team fight just broke out, you're there in person, or there waiting for the ADC to get within shadow range. You don't ult in because that means you're vulnerable the moment it's over, you throw your shadow in, hit E, land a solid double hitting or multi-team member hitting Q, and then, just as they're about to switch to target you, you hit that ult button as fast as you can, on the adc, slam that E, Q, and get that auto attack passive to proc, and wham. ADC is a pile of dust, whether you lived or died.

Zed's weaknesses

Zed is a strong all around choice but he has 2 fatal flaws and the first is the same as Darius/Jayce. He has zero sustain abilities, and relies strictly on vamp, (Hopefully in AD items in S3) and spell vamp. The second flaw is what Jayce/Darius has that he doesn't. Dependable crowd-control. Zed has very poor movement speed, and his slow frankly is extremely weak, lasting a meager 1.5 seconds.

His chasing ability, not the best.

Energy issues. The first Energy champion I've seen with this issue.

Kennen has energy refund on his lightning run(40), and upon breaking 3 storm marks(25).
Lee Sin is refunded energy upon auto attacks(15x2, 15x2) after skill use with a huge AS steroid.
Akali is refunded energy upon detonating a mark.(40)
Shen is refunded energy when landing his dash(40xC), and on Ki Strikes(30).

Not because I'm spamming skills in lane, it's because nothing refunds energy well on this champ. The only move that does refunds a miniscule amount and in addition can only be done once every time his W comes off CD.

SQUISHY SQUISHY SQUISHY. Build him a Frozen Mallet, basically it fixes his little chasing impotency, and gives him more bulk for his bite.

Because he has weak CC, this affects his jungling. If the lane he is ganking has no cc, they are either all in for the kill, or going to have to burn a summoner's or two. If I had to choose between a Nunu, Shyvana, or Zed gank, I'd probably go with the first two.

If you get silenced during your ult, your bazooka to the face turns into a punch in the shoulder.

Building Zed
I've tested out several builds for Zed, and frankly armor pen is the way to go with this Assassin.
I've done the following builds, and ranking them top to bottom, best-to-not-too-bad.
21/9/0 Masteries
3 Flat AD Reds
6 Flat Arm Pen Reds
9 Flat Arm Yellow
9 MR Scaling Blues
3 AD Quints/3 Arm Pen Quints

In my honest opinion, I believe Zed NEEDS CDR. His ult is a deal breaker when it comes to damage, and being able to spam his E in team fights with his shadow can help a-lot in terms of damage. Depending on the itemization, Randuin's is not a bad item if you want a HoG(Please don't go, I love you.) for GP10, just build Randuin's after your BT and Frozen Mallet. As for Magic resist items, I know of none besides hexdrinker, merc treads, and FoN(which will be leaving us shortly..)

Boots+3, Doran's Blade(1-2), Brutalizer, CDR Boots, Phage, BT/Black Cleaver(S3 Cleaver will be a MUST), Frozen Mallet, GA.

Boots+3, HoG(Don't leave me baby!), Avarice Blade, Brutalizer, CDR Boots, BT/BC, Youmuu's, Randuin's, GA

You want Assassin? I'll give you assassin!

Here's a build that will undoubtedly let you attack an enemy champion, and literally leave him at 50% to watch him explode from Zed's mark.

Berserker Grieves, Madred's Blood Razor, Wit's End, Black Cleaver.

Performed this on a Shen Bot with 200 armor, and 120 MR. It was fun watching him explode. 4-item build is 9735 gold.



Now, the reason I build Youmuu's is not for crit, it's the CDR and it's one of the only AD items that provide such a stat. If you're playing Zed right, you'll be getting a fair number of AA's, so BT/BC aren't bad choices.

S3 Black Cleaver will be a must, because all his spells hit for physical damage, and you should easily be able to proc 6 stacks with little to no issue.


The Verdict?


At first when I made this thread I believed he was a mildly weak choice because he has some issues, but to be honest he's a pretty balanced champion. I personally believe he'll be slightly OP, because of his W late game. 25% Free Passive AD, no charge. But for now I think he's pretty good, despite all the players that have no clue what they're doing experimenting and whatnot -- and complaining, let's not forget complaining--.

But as of now, from what I see, he has poor chasing potential, excellent dueling ability, decent zoning in lane, and fairly safe laning phase, but lacking a sustain. I think he's pretty balanced, could use a TINY tweak here and there for maintenance issues.
What do you guys think of Zed so far? Thumbs up or Thumbs down?

Edited for hilarious typo removed, and small updates in Skill kit, and build area.
Edited again for my horrible English, and auto-correct is a nightmare.

Interesting notes made about Zed;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highdark View Post
His R should do something more;
semi-global(would be epic),
Think about it, a Shen counter ult, I mean he did beat Shen in a fight, this would be pretty epic, but pretty broken, still interesting nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highdark View Post
make the damage at the end become true damage instead of physical(would make it an actual scary thing to be marked).
I found this tidbit a bit hilarious. Mind you I'm not laughing at this guy, but believe me when I say, anyone marked with this would undoubtedly die 100% of the time applied because late game, this is really god damned strong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoboLoL View Post
if you toss out your W ahead of you and reproc it to get a gap, you have already made half the distance to the shadow since it's seemingly cast-able while moving. Therefore you don't make much space between you and any champ with a gapcloser, and you're forced to sit there and get beaten down as you wish for those 15 seconds of shadow downtime to tick by faster.

Since you fully rely on your clone to regenerate energy, and the CD is massive early, you'll find that not pacing your shurikens or actually missing the occasional one here and there (additionally, the AOE for his E is relatively small and it's easy to fluke it) or even not having a clone to dish out E's and Q's alongside you in a fight leads to OoE when it matters most. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to an assassin.
This was interesting, and true as I've faced this issue in the fields, for an energy champ he doesn't seem to efficient in keeping it up.


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IonDragonX

Senior Member

11-13-2012

Here's an interesting idea about his R: Item damage. The new Ravenous Hydra will add another 100% of his already formidable AD. Blade of the Ruined King is a flat 150 +50% AD and Bilgewater Cutlass is flat 150. Not to mention any more activate-able items that might come out in the future. These (and his passive) can make that +50% damage of his R really awesome!


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TheRandomJoe

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Member

11-13-2012

How about building him similar to kennen, in terms of utility masteries and energy runes to spam more often, and spell vamp for sustain. I don't know im just throwing out some ideas, I know his skills don't scale with ap at all so that probably wont do him any good. No sustain, and pretty squishy, what can you do in lane phase vs sustain champs who poke at you?


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SerratedBlaze

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Senior Member

11-13-2012

I like him so far having done a lot of dominion and some SR. Good damage burst but not autokill, low cd on his casual moves but long cd on his crutch move and ult plus reasonable energy is all fine by me (though he really should have a shorter ult cd)

My only real issue is how unresponsive his moves are. R takes so long to get the animations over with and then W too that I'll be spamming the E button and nothing ever comes of it. (have this issue with sej's E as well, and previously xin's R).
Other minor issue is that shadows are just slightly faint visually so i have a hard time seeing them if opposing zed or if i dont track them mentally i wont know where they are while playing him.

Items are kind of a pain. I don't want to bother with crit attack speed or lifesteal. it'd be nice if there were an armor equivalent to hexdrinker. hopefully the new s3 items will fix this. I do appreciate the frozen mallet AD variant on dominion. spellvamp would be good.

dueling talon showed me that his damage and health is pretty good for the role but needs to be dedicated for 4 sec before backing out and talon can choose to not allow it.


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ArchlordCevic

Member

11-13-2012

First off love the utility of his W. So much fun. That being said I feel his dmg is a bit low and his R is problematic. I say his dmg is low simply because comparing to other sins he just doesn't have the same burst. His R is the biggest culprit here as it isn't initial damage, and without a ton of follow up attacks does next to nothing. You end up in your enemies face (even in the middle of a team) and you have 3 secs to do as much damage as you can and not die. More often than not even if you kill your enemy you are going to die in the process.
Right now I just dont think his R fits a sin, and doesn't compare to talon,kat or akalis.


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Highdark

Junior Member

11-14-2012

His R should do more damage(a dot would be nice), slow, reveal, stun(would be a little mean), haste, stealth(less wanting), semi-global(would be epic), OR(not all just something added) make the damage at the end become true damage instead of physical(would make it an actual scary thing to be marked).


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Scoteecopter

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Senior Member

11-14-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by OdiIon View Post
2 fetal flaws

Completely off topic, but I can't stop laughing at the typo.


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AutumnDawn

Member

11-14-2012

I totally agree with you about Zed. Almost everything really. You know what you're talking about. Here I thought I'll be seeing somebody raging or being totally upset about Zed but yes, he has his weakness and his strengths.

And in the future, he would be played more effectively once people start to master him. He's one of the best champions to juke with. So if he gets fed and focus, and you pull off jukes with him then, that could mess up team fights late game.

Honestly, that's all I can add that you haven't covered. He might get nerfed just a little bit in the near future. Currently, not a lot of people know how to use him. I already see threads and complaints about him being underpowered. That makes me laugh.

He's a pretty balance character. No hard CC makes sense for a character with high burst and nice jukes. And sometimes when you initiate an attack, you don't really have skills to use to get away. So when Zed goes in for the kill, a smart Zed will go for the kill. And if he gets away with it, awesome.


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Handsome Aniki

Senior Member

11-14-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchlordCevic View Post
First off love the utility of his W. So much fun. That being said I feel his dmg is a bit low and his R is problematic. I say his dmg is low simply because comparing to other sins he just doesn't have the same burst. His R is the biggest culprit here as it isn't initial damage, and without a ton of follow up attacks does next to nothing. You end up in your enemies face (even in the middle of a team) and you have 3 secs to do as much damage as you can and not die. More often than not even if you kill your enemy you are going to die in the process.
Right now I just dont think his R fits a sin, and doesn't compare to talon,kat or akalis.
His W disappoints me in some points of the map, because his shadow actually falls slightly short of the cast arrow, meaning you can't jump over some walls.

I agree, the fact his ult does no initial damage baffles me. I mean he triangulates on the target, and converges in a big explosion of shadows and no damage is done, to be honest I'd like it if this ult applied some form of CC rather than do damage initially, such as a snare or heavy slow, maybe a potential AS exhaust. A stun would be too strong as it would remove any chance of denying his ult's free damage at the end.

Honestly, I don't know where Zed belongs just yet. His outstanding jungle clear speed makes for easy early level 4 ganks.When he hits 6, his ganking potential becomes enormous. In laning, his poking is pretty good. His last hitting is made easy by his passive, and his sustain is the only true issue.


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BoboLoL

Member

11-14-2012

My only irks with him are kind of personal, though maybe not.

I play a lot of Dominion, and without constant minions to spam his E on, the shadow CD doesn't drop substantially unless in a team skirmish. So it takes a bit more planning: if I use my shadow now to harass them on their tower, will I not have it if we engage/are engaged on? This also leads into a problem with escaping: if you toss out your W ahead of you and reproc it to get a gap, you have already made half the distance to the shadow since it's seemingly cast-able while moving. Therefore you don't make much space between you and any champ with a gapcloser, and you're forced to sit there and get beaten down as you wish for those 15 seconds of shadow downtime to tick by faster. This is something I will slowly adapt to and work around by juking with my shadows, however, though it will still be tricky.

The other problem I have is related to energy. Since you fully rely on your clone to regenerate energy, and the CD is massive early, you'll find that not pacing your shurikens or actually missing the occasional one here and there (additionally, the AOE for his E is relatively small and it's easy to fluke it) or even not having a clone to dish out E's and Q's alongside you in a fight leads to OoE when it matters most. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to an assassin. This is definitely something that requires practice, champion know-how, and one day I'm certain I'll have it locked down. But it always hurts me to have someone I burst get away with a sliver of HP and I'm sitting there mashing Q to no avail.

Again, a lot of this is Dominion. Burst is much more powerful in Dom then the sustained damage output that Zed seems to apply. I love his style, kit, character, everything though. A high skill ceiling assassin that seems to have endless possibilities is alluring to me.