High Elo Zed Jungle Path – The Best Jungle Routes for Zed in Season 12

One of League’s most iconic champions has now been roaming the Jungle for a couple of seasons already, with Season 12 hinting that Assassins will continue to be meta Junglers for more time to come. Known for being the Unkillable Demon King’s signature pick, Zed has once dominated the competitive scene in the hands of Faker, and has been a popular champion ever since.

When Riot decided to open up the door for Midlane Assassins to play the Jungler role, very few champions were initially successful at clearing the camps and ganking effectively, but Zed was a complete exception. Despite completely lacking crowd control or practical ganking tools, The Master of Shadows was somehow more than viable in the Jungle, given his kill pressure alone.

Additionally, with the introduction of Axiom Arc, the latest Assassin item, Zed is expected to continue thriving in the Jungle, as he can now have access to his Ultimate near constantly, being able to one-shot squishy Laners with each gank.

The only difficulty players may face when playing Zed Jungle is finding the optimal path to clear camps and gank, which is exactly the main topic of today’s guide. We will be taking a look at the best Jungle path from each starting position, as well as at some bonus tips and tricks you can start using right now in order to dominate games, stay tuned!

Summoner Spells

Flash + Smite

And as with all Assassin Junglers, players who are comfortable enough on the champion can give up on Flash for Ignite, as Zed’s kit provides plenty of playmaking potential and escape tools to manage games without the need for Flash. However, if you haven’t played that much Zed in the past, we’d advise you to run him with Flash for the first few games.

The Best Zed Runes

As a core Assassin, Zed finds his ideal Runes in the Domination tree, where two keystones fit his theme perfectly. First off we have Electrocute, a standard option for all AD Assassins, with Dark Harvest being the other alternative. 

On Mid, Zed is best off with Electrocute, as his standard combo can easily trigger it, whereas Dark Harvest is more difficult to stack. In the Jungle, however, things change up, as Zed wants to constantly pressure lanes through repeated ganks, which make it easy to stack the keystone.

Subsequently, players want to run Sudden Impact, for obvious reasons, combined with Zombie Ward and lastly Ultimate Hunter, in order to further reduce the cooldown on his Death Mark. 

For the secondary path, Zed players have quite a lot of flexibility on their hands, as offensive options, such as Triumph and Coup de Grace, work just as well as some more utility-driven runes, namely Magical Footwear, and Cosmic Insight.

Also Check Out: High Elo Amumu Jungle Path

The Best Zed Items

Starting Items: Hailblade + Refillable Potion 

Mythic: Eclipse

Core Items: Defensive Boots, Axiom Arc, Yoummu’s Ghostblade

Finishing Options: Edge of Night, Umbral Glaive, Serylda’s Grudge

For these powerful AD Assassins, getting high amounts of flat Lethality is usually the best itemization path, as their only job is to one-shot the enemy carries, and hopefully make their escape afterwards. 

Axiom Arc is a key item, as it synergizes perfectly with Zed’s kit both in terms of sheer stats and its unique passive. After completing your Mythic and Axiom Arc, the next investment should be Yoummu’s, as a core Assassin item. Some players prefer building Yoummu’s Ghostblade second, leaving Axiom Arc for the third item, which is also a viable strategy.

Duskblade and Prowler’s Claw Builds 

Some players may rightfully be wondering why the go-to Mythic item is Eclipse and not Duskblade or Prowler’s Claw. Truth is, both alternatives can work very well on Zed, but their mechanics require players to have a more in-depth understanding of the Assassin playstyle in order to be used at full potential. 

The Best Skill Order For Zed

Q > E > W > R

The Best Jungle Paths for Zed

Heading into our main topic, Jungle pathing with Zed, we need point out a few essential aspects when it comes to clearing the camps. Firstly, always keep in mind that Assassin Junglers want only want to spend the bare minimum killing monsters, as the sole reason why they are viable Junglers is their immense kill pressure. Secondly, since Zed’s kit is not ideal for a rapid clear, more often than not you will be finding yourself skipping the Krug camp, which by default takes more to clear.

We are going to cover the possible 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.

Playing Zed, you want to constantly monitor the lanes seeking easy kills, which you can secure with a simple combo and a little bit of help from your allies.

Also Check Out: Night Harvester vs. Luden’s Tempest

Red Side, Red Clear

Starting with Q, the first Buff may take a while to slay, as your arsenal lacks any consistent clearing tools, but if your Toplane ally is kind enough to provide a bit of extra help, things should go just fine.

For the second camp, head towards the Raptors and use Smite to execute the large one, as E can now accelerate your multi-mob camp clear. From there, you want to leave this side of the Jungle without touching the Krugs and head straight towards the Wolves, using your Refillable Potion to save some Health.

For the fourth camp you are going to head towards the Blue Buff, using Smite to keep up the pace. Once all three of your abilities are unlocked, clearing becomes slightly easier given the possibilities granted by your W, both in terms of damage and movement across the map.

As tempting as it is to simply throw your abilities without aiming the Shadow’s skillshots is, always make sure that both of your Qs and Es hit the mobs, getting the most out of your clearing power. 

Next, slay the Gromp and enter the River with near full Health, ready to contest the Scuttler if needed. Your early 1v1 potential is more than enough to fight out any potential skirmish, especially since some of you are likely to also run Ignite. If uncontested, simply chip away at the Scuttler’s HP bar and once finished, look for a gank on Mid or Bot, depending on the enemy’s positioning and escape tools.

Red Side, Blue Clear

Since the Red Side Blue clear takes place near Bot, you will now have the assistance of two allied champions when fighting the first camp. This should leave you with more Health and with a more accelerated tempo, which you want to keep going.

After killing Blue, slay the Gromp using Smite and rush the Wolves and Raptors, where the Refillable Potion may prove useful. Always make the best use of your Passive when clearing these camps, activating it on the smaller mobs whenever possible.

For your fifth camp, use the second Smite charge to secure the Red Buff, and since your tempo is slightly better than with the previous start, you can now use that extra time and Health regeneration from Red to go and clear the Krug camp.

To finish your first full clear, head into the River and secure the Scuttler, winning some additional gold, experience and vision in the process, before aggressively ganking one of the nearby lanes, following this attempt with your first reset.

Blue Side, Red Clear

Once again starting from the Red Buff, this clear will also have you skipping over the Krugs in order to avoid losing out on tempo. 

Clear the Red with the help of your Bot and save Smite for the large Raptor, clearing that camp second. Next, transition into the other side of your Jungle, killing the Wolves first, once again saving Smite for another objective.

At the Blue Buff, cast the second charge of Smite and clear it rapidly, before changing your focus towards your fifth camp, the lonely Gromp. Once both of these single-mob camps have been cleared, it is time to enter the River and secure the Rift Scuttler, compensating for the fact that you had to skip Krugs early.

From that point on, your primary focus should be securing a takedown on either Mid or Top, using your momentum and mobility to target unsuspecting enemies. Do walk the extra mile in order to get a better angle for your W, allowing you to flank enemies from where they least suspect it.

Blue Side, Blue Clear

Mirroring the opposing side’s Blue clear, you want to kill the first Buff and then use Smite to secure Gromp effectively. You should still be quite healthy at this moment, as you will now be heading towards two consecutive multi-mob camps.

For the Wolves and Raptors, allow the AOE damage in your kit to do the work for you, relying on the Potion to also keep your Health bar stable. Once again, remember to aim your Shadow’s Q so that it hits all of the smaller mobs too.

The next camp on the list is the Red Buff, which you can comfortably clear using Smite, before investing some time into killing the Krugs, in order to round it all out. 

For the seventh and last camp, step into the River to slay the Scuttler, which may take some time given that Zed lacks any hard CC to break its shell with. With the Red Buff freshly obtained and your natural dueling power, do take the fight if the enemy Jungler is on his way to contest your Scuttler. Finally, try forcing a gank on Mid or Bot, so that you can secure some additional gold for a strong first back.

Also Check Out: Best Easy-To-Land CC Abilities

The Best Tips and Tricks for Zed

  • Zed’s single target burst damage is extremely high, especially against Marksman or Mage champions, who lack solid resistances. Focus the squishier targets first, in order to make sure that your gank or play converts into an advantage, be it small or large.
  • Given that Assassins generally need an early lead in order to maintain their tempo and kill potential, do not hesitate to gank or invade frequently. As a champion, Zed was designed to kill enemies, not Jungle camps, meaning that your ideal time to farm is when there are no potential kills on the map.
  • W can get you over walls instantly, but that does not mean that every gank should begin with your Living Shadow. If the enemies are overextending, simply walk up to them and save your blink for when they try to run away.
  • Once Zed hits LVL 6, the vast majority of his ganks should convert in at least one kill, given how powerful this ability is in the early stages of the game. Using it on low-mobility targets will allow you to deal the most damage, for your R to then finish the job.
  • As with most Assassins, scattering a few wards in the enemy Jungle will allow you to spot roaming enemies to intercept, using your W to cover more distance. Very few champions can face Zed in a 1v1, so always be on the lookout for vulnerable enemies.

Finalizing Thoughts

Despite running him in the Jungle, Zed remains a flagship Assassin. His theme is all about appearing out of thin air, taking down his opponent, and then vanishing into the shadows, which is exactly what players should be looking forward to. 

Only spend the mandatory minimum time farming the Jungle camps, in order to maintain a healthy gold and experience lead, as your primary objective is going to be repeatedly killing the enemy carries. Assassins need to identify who the highest value target is, only to then lurk in the Shadows until the right opportunity arises. 

A simple combo consists of using R to mark your enemies, W to create more room for your abilities, and then Q + E + an auto-attack, being more than enough to kill virtually any Marksman or Mage. Rarely will you need more in order to take down a high-value target, and if so, shift your attention towards enemies who cannot survive your standard combo.

Later into the game, any pick will ultimately convert into an advantage to your team, and given the cooldown reduction from Axiom Arc, you might have your Ultimate up before the first victim respawns.

We hope you found this brief Zed guide useful, urging you to check back to our website, (…) where we regularly upload new League of Legends content, including guides like this one!

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