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League of Legends - Zilean Guide and Build

Updated on January 31, 2015

League of Legends - Zilean Guide and Build

Are you looking for a Zilean guide or a Zilean build? This page covers the basics of playing Zilean effectively including skills, runes, masteries, tips and includes custom skins.

Zilean offers great utility and damage to his team and is incredibly fun to play. He has considerable early-mid game damage but drops off in the later stages of the game due to his reliance on one damage ability.

His main form of support comes from his ability to revive fallen allies but he also packs a powerful slow or speed up ability. Zilean can be played either as an AP or support champion.

This Zilean guide and build aims to be a basic and simple introduction on basic strategy that should be adopted when playing Zilean, it is recommended for people just starting to use Zilean.

Don't own Zilean? Or want to get one of the many Zilean skins for free? Learn how to get free League of Legends skins.

Guide current as of: Release Notes v1.0.0.148.

This Annie guide is also available in quick summary format (thanks to

Images on this page are sourced from the official League of Legends website and the game client. They are used for review, commentary and educational purposes.

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Zilean Skills

Zilean Skills
Zilean Skills

Heightened Learning (Passive) Zilean's passive is helpful and effects all allied champions on the map. It is great for countering any deaths and recalls that your team makes.

Time Bomb (Q) Zilean's only damage ability, which can be placed on any target (ally, enemy and minion). It hurts a lot early game and has nice scaling. This is an incredible lane harassment ability and great for finishing off flee-ing enemies. The damage does drop off a little late game.

Rewind (W) Reduced cooldowns at the push of a button, this allows Zilean to pull off a painful double Time Bomb combo and also helps to keep his ultimate off cooldown.

Time Warp (E) Gives Zilean and his team a strong speed advantage over the enemy. Don't forget that this ability can either speed up an ally or slow down an enemy, different situations will call for a different use of this ability.

Chrono Shift (Ultimate) The ability that your team loves you for, revived allies spawn with HP based on your Ability Power making some Ability Power very important on Zilean. Selection and timing of this ability will separate the good Zileans from the great.

Zilean Skill Order

Zilean Skill Order
Zilean Skill Order

As Zilean, level your skills as follows: Ult > Time Bomb > Rewind > Time Warp

Time Bomb is maxed first to capitalize on its amazing early-mid game damage, allowing you to pick up kills early. One point in Rewind should be taken early to allow Time Bomb combos and to generally allow you to double cast all your abilities and to bring your ultimate off cooldown quicker.

As a default you should max Rewind second to give you great cooldown reduction capabilities, allowing you to harass heavily and constantly speed up allies or slow down enemies. Time Warp is also a strong choice to max 2nd if your team lacks crowd control and you need the increased duration it offers.

Old Saint Zilean

Old Saint Zilean
Old Saint Zilean

Zilean Runes - Best Rune Choices For Zilean

Zilean Runes
Zilean Runes

Red (Marks) - Magic Penetration

Yellow (Seals) - Mana Regeneration Per Level

Blue (Glyphs) - Ability Power Per Level // Magic Resistance

Purple (Quintessences) - Health // Ability Power // Movement Speed

Standard caster runes work best for Zilean. Magic penetration Marks to hit harder (combined with Ability Power Per Level Glyphs), Mana Regeneration on Seals to cover his hefty mana costs early game and Flat Health on Quintessences for added lane survivability. You can also use Movement Speed Quintessences, to allow for easier harassment early game.

To learn more about making effective rune choices, visit the Rune Page Guide.

Zilean Summoner Spells
Zilean Summoner Spells

Zilean Summoner Spells

Best Summoner Spells:



Flash and Ignite should be considered your core summoner spells, Flash allows you to escape or secure kills while Ignite just adds to your strong burst damage.

Other Good Summoner Spells:



Exhaust and Teleport are two other potential summoner spell options. Exhaust is a good option if you are playing Support Zilean to shut out the enemy carry while Teleport can be used to boost your map presence.

Zilean Masteries

Zilean Masteries
Zilean Masteries

Zilean wants to boost his early game strength with a 21/09 setup focusing on maximising his damage potential. Combined with the utility tree for the extra movement speed and buff duration.

To learn more about masteries and your mastery options, visit the LoL Masteries Guide.

Zilean Build
Zilean Build

Zilean Build

Final Item Build:

-Sorcerer Shoes

-Rod of Ages

-Rabadon's Deathcap

-Athene's Unholy Grail

-Banshee's Veil

-Void Staff


-Starting with Boots of Speed & Potions is your best opening for the movement speed and sustainability it offers.

-Building some early Doran's Ring are a great way to offset your early mana costs and boost your damage.

-Your first build priority is full boots which should Sorcerer's Shows to boost your damage output.

-Your first core items should be Rod of Ages and Rabadon's Deathcap but an early Chalice of Harmony is also a good choice. These core items give you the survivability and early game damage output you need on Zilean.

-From here you'll want to consider Athene's Unholy Grail and match it with Banshee's Veil for survivability or Void Staff to boost your damage even further.


-Deathfire Grasp (For some extra burst damage).

-Abyssal Scepter (Extra magic resistance and damage).

-Zhonya's Hourglass (If you need some armor).

LeagueTopTen: Zilean

Zilean Tips

General Zilean Tips

  • Your damage combo involves placing a Time Bomb on an enemy, using Rewind and then placing another Time Bomb on the same enemy, this triggers the first bomb to explode.
  • It is important to consider the situation you are in before casting Time Warp, is the speed or slow up effect more useful. This will generally depend on the number of allies and enemies around you.
  • Activate Rewind whenever possible to bring your ultimate off cooldown quickly.
  • Some teams will ignore the person you cast your ultimate on and some will target them, use this to your advantage.
  • Don't forget you can Time Bomb minions and your allies, these can be very effective to zone the enemy during laning phase or deal damage in team fights while staying out of range.
  • Watch for enemy runners in team fights and place a Time Bomb before they can get away.

Early Game (Level 1-6)

  • You are at your strongest (damage-wise) now, try gain early kills to transition you and your laning partner into a strong mid game.
  • You are also very effective at zoning the enemy, stopping them from last hitting and gaining experience. This also lets your lane partner farm minions safely.
  • Be aware of the massive mana costs of your spells early game, use your mana wisely.
  • If you push your lane back, you can cast your Time Bomb on allied melee minions, as they reach the tower they will be destroyed by the tower and blow up, forcing the enemy back away from their tower, this is a powerful zoning technique.

Mid Game (Level 7-12)

  • Always have mana in reserve for your ultimate, there is nothing worse then having an ally die simply because you didn't have enough mana.
  • You can start to 1 hit entire minion waves at this stage, farm up as much as possible while you can (this should also be appropriate, do not leave your team when you may be needed).
  • Push and support your allies in the various lanes, you are a powerful pushing force with good escaping abilities.

Late Game (Level 13-18)

  • Your role late game switches to more of a support character. Concentrate on speeding up allies/slowing down enemies and reviving your team-mates.
  • Only use your Time Bomb on squishy characters, your role is not to destroy the tanks, you want to harass the squishy mages and carries at the back.
  • Your ultimate should always be off cooldown, use Rewind whenever you can.

Groovy Zilean

Groovy Zilean
Groovy Zilean

What Do You Think About Zilean? - Was This Guide and Build Helpful?

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    • tcorsonk profile image

      tcorsonk 7 years ago

      Great guides!