League’s current meta is by far the least limitative when it comes to the type of champions who can dominate games, and with the recent changes to the Tank Mythics and their mechanics, Zac is one thriving champion! With some of the most iconic abilities, such as his Elastic Slingshot and Cell Division, Zac has always been a promising pick, and looking towards Season 12, that is not foreseen as subject to change.
Whenever your team comp lacks a solid engage tool and frontline, The Secret Weapon is always ready to get the job done! With a more safe and steady game style, Zac is an ideal Jungler for beginner and veteran players alike, being able to consistently deliver impactful ganks and engages.
Unlike with many trending Junglers, Zac players will be required to do a couple of more strategic pathing choices, in an effort to keep their gold and experience ahead of the enemy Jungler’s. Thus, without further to do, allow us to start our Zac guide by first talking about the essential Summoner Spells, Runes and Items, before heading into the Jungle routes and some bonus tips and tricks, all aimed at giving you an extra advantage when jumping into your next Zac game!
Flash + Smite
From Season 10 and onwards, it has become sort of a trend for players to substitute Flash with other Summoner Spells, and for some champions, the payoff is quite worth it. With Zac, however, Flash is a near essential ability, allowing him to reposition instantly once his R has been activated, leaving little-to-no room for changes.
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The Best Zac Runes
Before talking about the rather off-meta route of AP Zac, we want to first take a look at the best Runes for the standard, Tank build, which turns The Secret Weapon into a menace to any Laner.
Predictably, his core Runes can be found in the Resolve Tree, with Aftershock being the most powerful Keystone on this champion. Moving on, you’ll want to be taking Demolish, for a reason we’ll detail a bit later, then Conditioning and lastly Revitalize, staying true to Zac’s Tank nature.
For the secondary Runes, Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight are the ideal utility picks, with Magical Footwear aiding with gold efficiency.
Off Meta Runes
As with many champions with strong AP scaling, players have repeatedly taken the more obscure approach, playing full AP damage Zac, with some impressive videos circulating on the internet. Before discrediting the idea, we must say that AP Zac can indeed deal a ridiculous amount of damage, and in some cases, it could be the right way to go about the champion, but these are some very niche scenarios.
In essence, you’d be running Arcane Comet, Nullifying Orb, Absolute Focus, Gathering Storm, with the secondary runes remaining the same as with the Tank build. These choices are still subject to change depending on personal preference with AP champions, but the list above is a rather standard and consistent approach.
The Best Zac Items
Starting Items: Hailblade + Refillable Potion
Mythic Item: Sunfire Aegis
Core Items: Defensive Boots, Spirit Visage, Randuin’s Omen
Finishing Options: Dead Man’s Plate, Warmog’s Armor, Thornmail, Gargoyle Stoneplate
As with most raw Tanks, your build will be different each game, in order to match the enemy team’s damage win conditions.
Off Meta Items
For the AP build, players have the freedom to choose between plenty of ability power Mythic Items, such as the Crown of the Shattered Queen, Hextech Rocketbelt, or Everfrost, with the primary focus being utility.
For complementary items, Demonic Embrace is a core option, followed by Abyssal Mask, Shadowflame, Rabadon’s Deathcap, and so on, with the rest of your build being determined by the particularities of each game.
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The Best Skill Order for Zac
E > W > Q > R
However, the first spell point should be invested into W, as the core Jungle clearing tool for Zac. E’s cooldown and limited mechanics would leave him vulnerable to take considerably more damage than necessary, while W allows for a more comfortable clear.
The Best Jungle Paths for Zac
Before talking about the Jungle routes themselves, we first need to talk about a few essential tips to make clearing the mobs and navigating the Jungle easier. First off, always account for your Passive, as the 4% Health restoration is what makes the difference in terms of sustain. Secondly, always charge your E to the max when scouring the Jungle, and continuously use it to navigate over the surrounding terrain, facilitating your tempo.
Remember that Zac has a slightly more traditional play style, requiring players to spend a considerable amount of time clearing camps, only ganking when either nearby a lane or when there is a rather promising opening.
We are going to cover the most advantageous starts from each side, but players should keep a few factors in mind when deciding upon where their Jungle pathing should start. These are:
- Which laners are going to provide more help in clearing the first camp?
- Counter-jungle opportunities, based on where the enemy Jungler is likely to start.
- Which lane would you like to gank first, depending on both the allied and enemy champions.
Zac’s ganks rely strictly on his E + Q combo, making it of utmost importance to land at least one of these abilities correctly. The great advantage to this is that Zac can begin charging his E from very far away, and if the state of the lane changes in the meanwhile, he can simply cancel the animation and resume his farming.
Red Side, Red Clear
As the first starting position we’ll be discussing, Zac’s Red Side Red Buff clear is somewhat quicker, as it skips over the Krug camp in order to accelerate his tempo for an early Mid or Bot gank.
Start by killing the Red Buff with the help of your Top Laner, making sure to collect all of your blobs in order to regenerate Health. This may take a while but do not use your Smite yet, as both charges will be needed a bit later.
Head towards the Raptors next, clearing them slowly but surely. Do not hesitate to use your Refillable Potion if you start feeling unsafe, and remember to collect the blobs. For the third camp, clear the Wolves with a bit more ease than the Raptors, trying to save as much Health as possible.
Reaching the Blue Buff, you can now use the first Smite charge to accelerate the clear and to gain a considerable amount of Health back, before turning your focus towards the Gromp, which may once again take a bit to slay, but will also leave you almost full HP.
Finally, lunge yourself into the River and break the Scuttler’s shield, securing it with the second Smite charge once its Health bar goes low enough. Having this second charge is a safety net against possible contests, as Zac may struggle in 1v1s during the earlier stages of the game.
From this position, try finding an angle to gank either Mid or Bot from, using your Elastic Slingshot to flank the enemies from behind. This should convert into either a takedown or a burnt Summoner Spell, allowing you to reset with a successful first clear.
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Red Side, Wolves Clear
As one of the more obscure pathing routes, Zac does not need to clear the Blue Buff first. Similarly to how Kayn can solo-clear the Raptors, Zac can also handle the Wolves on his own, allowing his Bot to dictate the state of the lane from the beginning.
Clear the Wolves without Smite and navigate the Jungle towards your Blue Buff. While this duel could feel difficult, the regeneration from Zac’s Passive combined with Smite works amazingly together to ensure success. This route focuses more on slow gold piling, which is why it also leads players towards the Krugs, but more on that later.
For your third camp, slay the Gromp in yet another slow duel, before making your way towards the Raptors. Keep your Smite for the Red Buff, which is your next camp following the Raptors.
From Red, instead of heading directly for the Scuttler or a gank, slingshot yourself into the Krug camp and clear it with haste. Zac’s natural sustain allows him to exit that fight with plenty of Health, enabling him to fight some more.
From the Krugs, head for either the Scuttler or a Top gank, depending on which seems more likely to convert. Regardless, Zac players will also want to gank mid afterward, using E to advance rapidly from the River.
Attempting two ganks instead of one before the first reset gives you a better chance of securing some extra gold, especially if you can also land a Demolish hit on a Turret Plate, adding up to a very strong first buy.
Blue Side, Red Clear
Switching over to the Blue Side, Zac players are met with a mirror route for both starts.
However, the Blue Side gives a slight tempo advantage as there are now two allies assisting with the first camp, accelerating your pace a little bit.
From Red, proceed towards the multi-mobs as usual, skipping over the Krugs entirely. Again, save both charges of Smite for Blue and for the Scuttler, only using the Refillable Potion if feeling unsafe.
After clearing the Wolves, secure your second Buff and fight the Gromp for some extra healing, before lunging yourself into the River to break the Scuttler’s shell, which you’ll be securing with the second Smite.
This accelerated tempo opens up the path for an early Top or Mid gank, even more, so make sure to get the most out of your pacing by flinging yourself onto either lane, hopefully securing a takedown for some extra gold.
Blue Side, Wolves Clear
Finally, the Blue Side Blue clear is once again replaced by what is essentially known as the “Wolves Clear”, mirroring the Red Side’s route perfectly.
Follow the same path, going for Blue second and securing it with Smite, then the Gromp and the Raptors. Saving your second Smite charge for the Red Buff, slay it, and then use E to start the fight with the Krugs.
Again, this leaves you in the position to go for either the Scuttler or a bot gank, a decision which should be made according to the likelihood of successfully killing an enemy champion on Bot.
If you prefer taking the safer route and securing the extra gold and vision from the River, try finding a proper ganking position for Mid, attempting to further extend the gold lead which you should’ve accumulated through the full clear.
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The Best Tips and Tricks for Zac
- Zac is thirsty for early gold leads, as his overall build is made up of rather expensive Tank items. For this reason, make sure to at least try to get one gank done in-between Full- or Side clears, as the bonus gold from the takedowns and extensive farming will pile up towards the mid game, allowing you to turn it down a notch on the farm.
- Besides ganks, remember that we’ve encouraged players to run the Demolish Rune, promising to explain the motives behind our thought later. In essence, it is quite difficult for any Jungler to consistently land successful ganks in all games, and in order to give players more room to extend their gold leads, we brought you this strategy. After a successful gank or simply when the enemy Laner recalls, use E to launch yourself towards the turret and eat a plate or two. Doing this multiple times during the game will slowly add up, unlocking you much sooner.
- An ideal gank for Zac takes place on lanes with multiple enemies, where he can land both E and Q on two champion targets. The countless angles Zac can gank Bot from allow him to camp that lane while still staying out of enemy vision, similarly to how Shaco is near impossible to spot when approaching.
- Although the standard build requires Zac to build Tank items exclusively, he is still strong when it comes to dueling. Consistently collecting the blobs in skirmishes can make the difference between a strong and a mediocre Zac player, as that 4% Health margin extends into the late game, so does its value.
- Fun Tip: Zac can cast Smite while flying over terrain using E. Stealing Drakes and Barons using this trick is very satisfying, and surprisingly not that hard to pull off!
The Secret Weapon is one of those solid, consistent champions which are worth adding to your roster, as anytime your team needs a solid frontline or additional teamfighting power, Zac can be your go-to pick. Focusing solely on resistance and Health, topped with a unique Passive to get him out of trouble, Zac can easily lead his team to victory through utility and alone.
Similar to Volibear, his kit enables him to soak up extreme amounts of damage, even while under enemy turrets. The simplicity behind his E and the fact that it is relatively short on cooldown may actually rank Zac higher up the tower dive scale than Volibear.
When a late game Zac manages to land an E onto multiple targets the fight is essentially over, as his Q and R can keep the enemy carries from reuniting with their allies for a seriously long time. That is the key to winning late fight with Zac, separating the high-value targets from their guardians, while still soaking up tons of damage for your team to end the fight.
As a last tip, do not look at your revival Passive as an expendable gadget, as it can be very valuable later on. Always make sure to have your Passive ready for major objective fights.
This concludes our guide on Vi, The Piltover Enforcer, as we hope you’ve found it useful. Our website is all about content relating to League of Legends, including similar guides, so keep an eye out to make sure you don’t miss any of our new weekly uploads!