Best Zilean build in League of Legends

"Inevitably."

Image via Riot Games

Welcome to the future, League of Legends players. Throw some bombs, speed up your allies, and take control of Summoner’s Rift by playing Runeterra’s resident Chronokeeper, Zilean.

With a plethora of different types of crowd control, utility, and a game-changing ultimate, Zilean can make the difference between a won teamfight and a frustrating look at a defeat screen. He can space out skirmishes with ease, close up choke points with bombs, send his teammates flying around with speed ups, and bog down enemies with a reliable slow.

Zilean can be played in both the mid lane and support positions, but after jumping up in win rate in the former, he has started to creep up in play in solo queue. Here is the best build for the Chronokeeper in League for season 12.

Runes

Screengrab via Riot Games

Sorcery

Summon Aery: Zilean thrives in a team composition where he can deal a ton of damage as a powerful control mage, while also boosting up his allies and giving them a ton of support from the backline. As a result, Summon Aery is a perfect middle ground rune so that you can fill both roles while in teamfights or battling an opponent in lane.

Manaflow Band: For Zilean, the more mana, the better as players get farther and farther into a game. Since the durability update, extended teamfights have become the norm, which means that Zilean’s utility and crowd control are perfect to dictate the pace of game-deciding skirmishes. Having a deep mana pool with Manaflow Band should make sure that he doesn’t find himself running on empty while trying to impact a teamfight.

Transcendence: Spamming out abilities in late-game teamfights is key for Zilean so that he can constantly keep control over areas with his Time Bombs while buffing his teammates during an extended teamfight. Transcendence allows him to scale a bit more with ability haste, giving him plenty of freedom from the constrictions of his cooldowns.

Scorch: A little extra damage doesn’t hurt, and in lane, Scorch is a great tool to continue poking down an enemy to soften them up for a possible gank from a teammate.

Inspiration

Biscuit Delivery: Since Zilean needs to be relatively close to throw out his abilities, there’s a chance that he’ll be on the receiving end of a bad trade in lane. These biscuits will ensure he stays well off in both health and mana while throwing out spells and taking damage from another champion.

Time Warp Tonic: Even though Zilean has a pretty large base mana pool, his spells aren’t cheap when it comes to cost. This rune allows players to keep the pressure on their opponents without having to pause to let his mana regenerate.

Bonuses: +10 percent attack speed, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor

Items

Starting items: Doran’s Ring, two health potions

Screengrab via Riot Games

The extra AP and damage to minions is too important to have in the early game for Zilean as he tries to clear out the waves for early levels. If he can get the upper hand early in a laning matchup, he can easily set up a gank for his jungler. If you’re playing Zilean support, start with Spellthief’s Edge instead of Doran’s Ring.

Core items: Everfrost, Sorcerer’s Shoes, Archangel’s Staff

Screengrab via Riot Games

Everfrost is the best tool for Zilean since a well-placed root ensures that he can throw an easy double Time Bomb combo on their head for a massive amount of damage. Even if he misses, the slow should make things a lot easier to land bombs so that the stun is able to activate. Meanwhile, Archangel’s Staff is a great second item to kick start Zilean’s increased mana pool for the later stages of the game, while also providing a good amount of damage and health.

Final items: Cosmic Drive, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Banshee’s Veil, Void Staff

Screengrab via Riot Games

One of the biggest pitfalls for Zilean is his lack of escape tools and overall survivability. Even though he has a revive and a speed up, these tools are usually best reserved for his teammates in a fight. Luckily, he can buy a few items to help himself, whether it’s the movement speed boost from Cosmic Drive, the invulnerability from Zhonya’s Hourglass, or the spell shield from Banshee’s Veil. Void Staff, on the other hand, is a final item that can be bought if you need a bit more damage against anyone building a lot of magic resistance.