Zac Guide - League of Legends
Zac Guide for Toplane
Zac Guide - How to play Zac Top
Welcome to this short Zac Guide for toplane, written by the Master tier OCE booster; Kimchimate (his nickname on our site, not his ingame name). If you would like a boost with Zac (or toplane) as your main champion, Kimchimate is a great booster to request!
In this free mini guide, we will go over runes, masteries, items, match ups and counters for Zac. Enjoy!
Against heavy AD champions (Ex. Riven, Pantheon, Tryndamere, Renekton, etc)
Mark - 9x armor rune
Seal - 9x armor
Glyph - 9x scaling magic resistance or 6x cdr + 3x scaling cdr (only if your enemy does not have AP or heavy AP champs)
Quint - 3x Armor or Magic Penetration or mixture of both (This depends on your playstyle and preference. If you plan to play safe and just farm, get armor rune instead of magic penetration)
Against AP champions (Ex. Rumble, Ekko, Vladmir, Kennen, etc)
Mark - 9x Magic Penetration
Seal - 9x Scaling Health
Glyph - 9x Magic Resistance
Quint - 3x Magic Penetration
Against Hybrids / Mixed Damage Champions (Ex. Jax, Malphite, Sion, Mundo, etc)
Mark - 9x Magic Penetration
Seal - 9x Armor
Glyph - 9x Magic Resistance
Quint - 3x Magic Penetration
Zac’s ability has fairly low AP ratio (q = 0.5, w =0.02 , e = 0.7, r = 0.4), and his W does enemy's’ ‘MAX’ health ‘PERCENTAGE’ damage. Therefore getting magic penetration is more efficient than using flat AP rune for Quint. When versing against heavy AD champions, it is hard for Zac to 1v1 or trade before lvl 3 (there are exceptions), thus making him hard to CS. Getting armor rune on Quint helps you win trade easier at at early games against heavy AD champs and overall gives you an advantage during lane phase.
12 0 18 is the best mastery for top Zac, and I will start the comparison for it.
Fury vs Sorcery – Most damage from Zac comes from spells, and Zac does not have any on hit effects, therefore, sorcery
Double Edge vs Feast vs Expose Weakness – Double edge is not useful to tank initiator because it makes you take 1.5% extra damage. No Feast because Zac already has a very high lane sustain from his passive, he does not need more sustain. Expose weakness gives your team 3% extra damage on enemies you hit. Zac is an initiator, meaning during teamfights your team will do 3% extra damage to the enemies, which is very helpful.
Vampirism vs Natural Talent – I would recommend Vampirism because Zac’s spell has low AP ratio, and he does not need AD due to his slow attack speed.
Bounty Hunter vs Oppressor – Zac has 3 spells that can proc Oppressor; his Q, E and R. This will give Zac much more advantage in early game than Bounty Hunter, and it is hard for Zac to proc Bounty Hunter because he is a tank.
Recovery vs Unyielding – Recovery is to gain advantage during lane phase. On the other hand, Unyielding is for mid & late game. It is up to you to decide.
Explorer vs Tough Skin – Tough Skin for sure. You don’t need explorer because you are a top laner not a jungle.
Runic Armor vs Veteran’s Scars – Runic Armor increases the healing amount of picking the chunks. It also increases your regenerations. This synergises well with his builds and also Vampirism and Perseverance.
Insight vs Perseverance – Insight will help you use flash R more often, and also reducing the cooldown on your TP. However, Perseverance gives you regeneration buff which is very helpful to Zac, especially during lane phase. This is upto to you to decide.
Swiftness vs Legendary Guardian – Zac does not really need much movement speed thanks to his E skill, hence he already gets movement speed buff on his R. I would instead focus on getting more tankiness and get Legendary Guardian
Always get Grasp of Undying for your keystone, it gives you huge advantage during lane phase and still pretty useful after it.
1. Always start with Doran’s Shield + 1 health potion. Doran’s Shield passive (8 damage block against auto attacks and single target abilities) along with the health regen gives huge lane sustainability to Zac combined with his passive.
2. First item:
Against AD - Sunfire Cape
- Sunfire Cape provides tankiness along with AOE burn damage. For champions like Zac who needs constant damage along with tankiness, Sunfire Cape is the best opportunity to buy when versing against AD champions
Against AP - Spirit Visage
- Spirit Visage is a must item for Zac. Unless your opponent does not have any AP champions, it is 99% recommended to get this item on Zac. The unique passive on this item makes Zac almost unkillable in 1v1 situation, and can make your health full within 30 seconds by collecting his chunks
3. Second item: Zac should focus on tankiness instead of damage, therefore his second item should also be a tank item depending on the situation listed below:
When enemy’s AD champion is big, choose from list below:
- Randuinn (AOE slow, attack speed reduction, critical damage reduction) - Great when the enemy ADC is big and has high critical rate, or when you verse against high critical chance champions which is Tryndamere or Yasuo
- Dead Man’s Plate (Movement speed boost, single target slow) - Great for roaming. Recommended when your team needs help in their lane.
- Thornmail (Damage return) - Great against auto-based champions like Tryndamere, Fiora, Yasuo and against ADCs. KEEP IN MIND that getting thornmail against Jax is a very BAD idea. Yes, Jax is an auto-based champion whose 99% of damage comes from his auto attack, but 50% of his damage is magic damage. Thornmail gives armor but no health, then this will make Jax still do lots of damage. But this is only when you are trying to buy thornmail ‘just’ for Jax (when he is fed), Thornmail is great against all ADC (Except Corki) so please do not misunderstand.
- Zhonya’s Hourglass - Not really recommended to be bought early/midgame (Good at late game though). Unless you are quiet fed or your team doesn’t have any AP champions, it is an item that should be considered before buying.
When enemy’s AP champion is big, choose from list below:
- Locket of the Iron Solari (Passive AOE magic resistance buff, Active AOE shield buff) - Only when your team does not have or plan to buy one (usually negotiate with your support). Zac is an initiator, so it can be hard to be in the range to give buffs to your carries. But having Solari in the team is still effective despite this reasons, so it is recommended when your team does not have one.
- Banshee’s Veil (High magic resistance, Spell Shield) - Not really recommended, unless your enemies have lots of AP champions. To be honest spell shield isn’t that necessary on Zac.
- Abyssal Scepter (AOE magic resistance reduction) - Recommended when your team lacks AP damage and/or your team needs the debuff. Never buy this item if you think you are gonna melt to the enemy team unless you have another tank in the team.
4. Next items - Choose from the list below (Choose the orders depending on the situation):
- Zhonya’s Hourglass - If you think your team lacks some damage or if you want to have more aggressive initiation.
- Abyssal Scepter - If your team has more than 1 AP, or if you think you need the debuff for your mid.
- Rylai’s Crystal Scepter - If you think your team lacks CC’s or damage.
- Thornmail - To counter enemy ADC and/or auto-based champions like Master Yi, Tryndamere, Yasuo.
- Liandry's Torment - Good against tanks. When your enemies has more than 2 tanks it is worth considering to buy. You can also consider buying this item as your first or second item when you are versing against tanks.
- Guardian Angel - Just like Zhonya, if you want more aggressive initiation, it's worth it.
- Zz’Rot Portal - Good for lane pressure or prevent split pushes.
Top 3 Unfavourable Matchups:
- Riven - Although I have listed Riven as no. 1 counter for Zac, there are some exceptions. This all depends on the player. If you meet a very very good riven player, you will feel like you want to ragequit for the first 10 minutes. However, if you meet a bad or normal Riven, the lane will be quite easy.
- Yasuo - Yasuo is exactly same as Riven, it all depends on the player. Good Yasuo players will never let you hit your E, and kite the hell out of you. Bad Yasuo players on the other hand is easy to lane against just like Riven.
- Poppy - Unlike Yasuo and Riven, Poppy is hard to lane against in general. Her Q does max percentage of your health, which is critical to Zac, and also her W can easily block your E, and her E can also cancel your E when charging.
Top 3 Favourable Matchups:
- Malphite - Malphite is literally the most easiest champion to play against. One Spirit Visage will make it impossible for Malphite to out damage Zac’s heals.
- Ekko - Similar to Malphite, once you get Spirit Visage, it is almost impossible for you get killed 1v1 (unless Ekko goes full damage). Just focus on not dying early and on your first recall try to get Spectre’s Cowl, and you will win your lane 70%, and once you get Spirit Visage it is almost impossible to lose your lane. Zac also outscales Ekko by heaps due to his supreme initiation along with crowd control and tankiness.
- Dr. Mundo - From the list above, you should probably figured out that Zac counter’s all ‘tanks’. And yes, you are correct. But Zac counters ‘most’ tanks and not ‘all’, there can be some exceptions. Just like the list above said, it is almost impossible for tanks to kill Zac 1v1 when he gets his Spirit Visage. Therefore, it is almost impossible for Mundo to kill Zac, however, it is also almost impossible for Zac to kill Mundo when he hits lvl 6. That being said, then why does Zac counters Mundo when he can’t kill him? It is because when you face Mundo, you will have a hard time until your first recall, but after that it is fairly easy. Although Mundo scales better than Zac when it comes to tankiness, Zac outscales Mundo in general due to his initiation and crowd controls. So to summarise this point, early game: Mundo = Zac, late game: Mundo < Zac.
Champion list that counters Zac:
- Thresh - Thresh can easily cancel Zac’s E mid-air, making it very difficult for Zac to initiate/gank, and to pick off the enemy ADC if Thresh peels them.
- Janna - Just like Thresh, Janna’s Q and R can easily cancel Zac’s E mid-air.
- Draven - Zac’s main role is to initiate by using E on the enemy carries. However Draven’s E can cancel Zac’s E mid-air without much effort, thus making it very difficult for Zac to pick-off the enemy ADC.
That's the end of this free mini guide and I hope it was helpful for you! If you would like to see more like this, or if you want me to create an indepth guide about Zac, with videos, commentary and more content, please leave a comment!
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