The Sovereign of Seconds- the Master of Minutes- the... uh... Headmaster of Hours? Regardless of what you choose to call him, Zilean the Chronokeeper is a force to be reckoned with. Capable of both supporting his team and producing respectable bursts of damage, he is able to turn the tides of a battle and keep himself and others alive to tell the tale.

Abilities

Picture
Heightened Learning (Passive)-
Increases experience gain of all allied champions by 8%.


     Out-leveling the opposing team can make a huge impact on a game- hence the advantage of jungling, solo lanes, etc. This can also help a teammate recover more quickly if they die and fall behind in experience.

Picture
Time Bomb (Q)-
Cost: 70/85/100/115/130
Range: 700
Zilean places a time-delayed bomb on a target. After 4 seconds this bomb will detonate, dealing 90/145/200/260/320 (+0.9) magic damage to all surrounding enemies.

     This is Zilean's only ability that deals damage. With a good AP ratio, decent AOE damage, and a long range, it not only hurts but is a nuisance to deal with, especially during the laning phase. Take this at level one and max it out first. Use this to harass whenever possible- mana permitting.
     Placing a second bomb on a target will detonate any other bombs on the target, this includes bombs from enemy Zilean players. It is also important to note that as the bomb ticks down it will do 3/2/1 true damage to the target. Keep this in mind when you are near a tower, as it WILL draw aggro to you.

Picture
Rewind (W)-
Cost: 50 Mana
Reduces all of Zilean's other spell cooldowns by 10 seconds.

     This is what you use to chain together Zilean's spells. It doesn't get much more simple than that. This is prioritized over Time Warp when leveling skills because of its ability to let us use Chronoshift every 20 seconds or so late game.

Picture
Time Warp (E)-
Cost: 100 Mana
Range: 700 Time Warp - Zilean increases an allied champion's movement speed, or slows an enemy champion, by 55% for 2.5/3.25/4/4.75/5.5 seconds.

     Great for helping yourself/a teammate escape bad situations or making sure an enemy can't run away. Knowing who to use it on is the real challenge. Place  a single point in this at level 4 and leave it at that unless you have to take it.

Picture
Chronoshift (R)-
Cost: 200 Mana
Range: 900
Zilean marks himself or an allied champion with a protective time rune for 7 seconds. If the target would take lethal damage, they are instead transported back in time, regaining 600/850/1100 (+2 per ability power) health.

     This is what makes Zilean so game changing. Use it on your carry, use it on your tank, use it on yourself. Just make sure you're making the right choice at the right time. Always level this when you have the chance.

Skill order- R > Q > W > E

Runes

Picture

Marks-


Top picks: Greater Mark of Insight (+0.95 magic pen.)

             Alternatives: Not suggested
    
      Zilean's laning phase is extremely strong, mostly because of his ability to throw bombs on targets from a safe distance. The additional magic pen from marks help greatly to capitalize on this. 

Picture

Seals-


Top picks: Greater Seal of Potency (+0.59 ability power.)
                               Greater Seal of Clarity (+0.065 mana per 5 sec. per level.)
             
             Alternatives: Greater Seal of Force (+0.1 ability power per level.)
                                    Greater seal of Vitality (+1.08 health per level.)

     Once again we are trying to dominate the laning phase by taking flat AP runes to boost out Time Bomb's damage, or mana regen runes to keep us tossing them out. Alternatively you could use AP per level runes for a stronger late game, or HP runes for more staying power, but I don't prefer either of these choices due to the fact that Zilean is excellent at escaping, and his damage tapers off a lot late game.

Picture

Glyphs-


Top picks: Greater Glyph of Focus (-0.65% cooldowns.)
                                Greater Glyph of Celerity (-0.05% cooldowns per level.)
             
             Alternatives: Not suggested

     Glyphs are another area that I feel there isn't a lot of room to play around with. Zilean really needs to max his cooldown reduction in order to be as effective as he can be, both as support and as a caster. If you really wanted to switch these out, you could, but it will greatly diminish your ability to control the flow of fights until you can pick up the extra CDR from items.
     Personally I use 8 flat runes and 1 scaling runes to bring me to 40% with just a single CDR item and masteries.

Picture

Quints-

Top picks: Greater Quint of Focus (-1.64% cooldowns)
                   Greater Quint of Celerity (-0.13% cooldowns per level)

                Alternatives: Not suggested

     As previously, CDR is ultimately the most important stat you'll be getting on Zilean. I suggest using the flat Quints for their immediate benefit. All things considered you'll be getting 1 CDR item whether you go flat or scaling, so it makes more sense to have a bigger advantage right from the start when the end result is the same. If you decide to go with anything else, make sure you pick up the extra CDR from items here also.

Summoner Spells

Top Picks: Flash, Ghost, Ignite, Clairvoyance
Alternatives: Teleport, Cleanse, Rally, Clarity, Exhaust, Fortify
Not recommended: Heal, Smite, Revive

    As far as Summoner Spells go, they are often interchangeable with your different styles of play and what your teammates pick. I would suggest taking at least one defensive spells, as Zilean is very squishy. If you decided to take Ignite, make sure to take the corresponding mastery as the extra AP and damage help Zilean during the (you guessed it) laning phase.
    My personal choice in most circumstances would be flash and clairvoyance.

Masteries

Suggested build: 9/0/21

     Standard caster build, but dropping a few points of MP5 to pick up improved summoner spells. This can be changed to match whichever spells you're using, or you can put those extra points in Meditation for a few MP5, or Utility Mastery if nobody else is going to be needing the golem buff, though this is unlikely.

Items

Starting build: Doran's Ring > Boots 1 > Rod of Ages

     This is the basic framework of our build. From here, we need to assess how the game is going and decide whether we are going for a more offensive or more defensive build.

Offensive build: Sorcerer's Shoes > Morello's Evil Tome

     From here you will build based on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team.

-Radabon's Deathcap: If there is a lack of MR on the other team, pick this up for a huge boost to your Time Bomb and Chronoshift.
-Void Staff: Pick this up if many enemies are stacking MR.
-Banshee's Veil: When you are getting focused or there is a lot of CC that may be coming your way, this is the best option. Mana, HP, and Magic Resist are always welcome on Zilean.
-Zhonya's Hourglass: A large chunk of AP, extra armor, and a 2 second invulnerability. There is a pretty steep price on this though, but if you can afford it, you'll definitely find use for it, but I'd pick up a Deathcap first.
-Will of the Ancients: AP and a nice AP + Spellvamp aura. I wouldn't recommend this though unless a majority of your team uses AP.
-Abyssal Scepter: AP, Magic Resist, and a magic resistance reduction aura. All useful stats, grab it if you need it.

Sample Offensive build:
Doran's Ring > Sorcerer's Shoes > Morello's Evil Tome > Radabon's Deathcap > Banshee's Veil > Void Staff

Defensive build: Mercury Treads > Frozen Heart

     Since we're building defensive, our aim is going to be to stay alive as long as possible while assisting our team in getting kills and staying alive.

-Banshee's Veil: MP, HP, and MR. This has exactly what you're looking for in a defensive item, especially as a caster. You will probably want to grab this every game.
-Guardian Angel: Armor, MR, and the ability to keep you from having to use Chronoshift on yourself in a bad situation. This is an excellent choice.
-Abyssal Scepter: If you're facing a lot of AP champions, you can get a good chunk of your survivability right here, while adding to your offensive capabilities as well.
-Aegis of the Legion: A decent item all around. It doesn't give huge numbers in the way of resistances, but the aura helps keep everyone alive. This wouldn't be my first choice, but it definitely has it's uses.
-Haunting Guise: AP, HP, and Magic pen. This sort of feels underwhelming to me, but if your aim is to toe the line between offense and defense, this may have a spot in your build.
-Chalice of Harmony: MR and Mana regen. This is not an item you will probably need, but if you find yourself constantly low on mana, a chalice will go a long way to solving your issues without having to head back to base.

Sample Defensive build:
Doran's Ring > Mercury Treads > Rod of Ages > Frozen Heart > Banshee's Veil > Guardian Angel

Tactics

     Zilean's skills are fairly straight forward, but he still has a few tricks up his sleeve to give him am edge on the battlefield.

Double bombing-  This is accomplished by placing a Time Bomb on a target, using rewind, and immediately placing a second bomb on the same target. What you end up with is a pretty decent chunk of immediate damage, and then a similar amount 4 seconds later.

Bombing minions- If you are unable to safely get in range of a champion, you can place bombs on your own creeps near the enemy. This can also help you zone enemies, as they normally will not want to stand there and intentionally take damage. With the right timing, you can also bomb minions that melee opponents are about to kill (or just double bomb, mana permitting) to essentially force them to take the damage.

Bombing allies- Just as above, you can place time bombs on allies and allow them deliver the pain for you. This works especially well with stealth allies, such as Eve and Twitch.

Setting up for ganks- You can use your bombs to help set up for ganks. If you place a bomb on an enemy they will, 90% of the time, move away from their teammates to keep them out of AOE range. You can use this to your advantage by forcing  one of them to back off or recall before your team moves in for the kill. Even a few seconds of damage prevented by the opponent not being in range can be the difference between a successful and a failed gank. This works especially well on melee champs.

Haste vs. Slow- It can be debated whether it is better to haste an ally or slow an enemy, but the fact of the matter is, it depends on the variable of the situation. Though, as a general rule, my opinion is that it if there is a single enemy: Slow them. If there are multiple enemies: Haste the ally.

Perma-slow- Using max CDR and rewind, it is possible to keep 1 and sometimes 2 allies/enemies hasted/slowed almost indefinitely. The ability to do this can many times ensure kills, and works really well for soling champions. Try using the combo of Slow > Bomb > Rewind > Lather > Rinse > Repeat to give you the advantage in 1v1 situations.

Ulti rewind- You should be using rewind every chance you get while your Chronoshift is on cooldown. This will allow you to have it ready about every 20 seconds, and at least once every team fight. This can get very mana intensive, so it is advisable to return to base and spam rewind on the summoner platform if you are low on mana.

Phases

Early game- Farm, farm, farm! It is very important to last hit. You do not want to push your lane any further than you have to while you are at your most vulnerable. Zilean can push a lane like a boss, but doing so right from the start only makes you prime ganking material and eventually robs you of gold and exp.
     You will need to maximize your laning phase in order to make sure that you have the gold to get you where you need to be before the team fights begin. All things considered, Zilean can be quite an asset to his team with little to no items, but it helps if he has enough gold to at least get to the point where he can start building towards his CDR item.
    If you absolutely must push, or are partnered with someone who has the mentality of a bloodthirsty mob, try and remember to grab a ward to help protect yourself.

Mid game- This is where the team fights start. Your main objective is to keep your team mates alive. Toss bombs on the opposing team, especially those in clusters to contribute some nice AOE damage. This is also a great time for catching runners who would otherwise get away. Farm while you can, but do not abandon your team to do so. If things get slow, you can try pushing a lane, as your bombs should clear waves of minions fairly quickly.

Late game- Pretty much the same as mid game, but your damage will have probably become less of a threat. Make sure to conserve your mana for Time Warp and Chronoshift, but don't be afraid to get your hands dirty if you're able. You should have your CDR maxed now, and can really put the hurt on teams that choose to initiate poorly. From here on out, you will be doing more damage control than actual damage.

Summary

     Zilean is a support champion with considerable harass and early/mid game damage. Maxing your CDR is your ticket to victory. Play safe, play smart, and always take advantage of his ability to control the flow of a battle. Whether you're building him strictly as a support champion, or as an caster/support hybrid, you will always bring something to the table when time is on your side.

Notes:

6/03/2011: First draft. This is a work in progress and will be edited/updated accordingly.
 


Comments

Chase
06/03/2011 3:33pm

Looks good! This is a great Zilean guide and I look forward to seeing more to come.

Reply



Leave a Reply