Today we venture into a classic mid lane match-up. This is How To Counter Zed With Diana.
Zed is one of those mid laners who almost always does well in lane. He’s another one of those champions with big play kits, attracting players looking for 1v5 pentakills. There are ways to take advantage of both Zed’s vulnerabilities and the weaknesses of those who play him.
A good Zed will always be troublesome to lane against
Diana’s kit serves her well in putting up a fight in the early game while scaling as the game goes on against Zed. To counter Zed with Diana all you need is the right laning mechanics, build and late game strategy. Before we get down to business, make sure you know what’s crackalacking with Zed’s kit here.
Diana vs Zed: Laning
Identifying Zed’s weaknesses
Zed’s greatest weakness is his skill cap. It takes hours upon hours to be able to get enough damage out as Zed, and even more to be able to continue to do that as the game goes on.
On top of his skill cap, Zed needs a lead in lane to snowball and help his other lanes thrive to look for an early win. If the game goes on too long, Zed begins to weaken, no matter how strong he started. Your goal is to prevent him from gaining that early lead by staying safe in lane and stopping him from getting fed through other lanes.
The level 3 all in
Doing your part in all this starts in lane. Zed has crazy early damage. By level 3 he already has all the abilities he needs to all in you and delete you if you’re below 50% HP. He has to get you to 50% HP first. He does that by poking you down with his Q. To reduce Zed’s poking ability try to dodge as many Qs as possible. Staying behind your minions will reduce the amount of damage Zed can do to you with his Q, since its damage reduces for each enemy unit it hits.
Reducing Zed’s early damage also depends on playing around his W, which is his ability which makes shadows. Any abilities Zed activates will be activated by his shadows as well. After creating a new shadow Zed can switch positions with it once until it disappears. Zed can use his shadows to harass you in lane, then blink towards you and finish you off.
To reduce damage from his shadows, keep minions between you and them, and don’t get too close to them. If minions are between you and his shadows, their Q damage will be reduced just like it normally is. His E will activate in a circle around the shadow, so you need to be far enough away to avoid being caught out by that.
The long shadow cooldown
Zed’s W has a long cooldown. He won’t be able to harass you with it often. It’s also his only form of escape, besides the disengage he gets through his ult. This means a Zed who abuses the W harass is a Zed who is vulnerable to ganks. If Zed continues to harass you with his W, call your jungler in for a gank. He won’t be able to escape and you could pick up a kill.
The level 6 all in
At level 6 Zed will start his infamous all ins. After he has ulted, there is a tiny gap between his animation and his respawn. Wait for him to spawn to activate your abilities to avoid just hitting shadows. Once he’s upon you activate your W to avoid the high damage that’s about to come. It’s a good time to consider activating Zhonya’s if you have it.
Max Q for poke and damage then W. Use wards to stop Zed from roaming and picking up kills in the side lanes. Ask your teammates to make sure they’re aware of the Zed presence and to put a few wards along the river, and you can do so as well. Don’t forget to SS, even when you aren’t in lane!
Zed will only be valuable to his team if he can snowball through an early lead. He can’t do that if you don’t feed and you make sure he doesn’t find opportunities in the side lanes. Go even or better and you’ve done your team well. You outscale Zed.
Items and runes
For runes run Conqueror. It won’t help you much early game but it will scale well as you start to pick up some damage and get into teamfights. The alternatives would be Electrocute or Phase Rush. They’re both OK options, but Conqueror will do much more for you as the game goes on. If you doubt your early game chance against Zed and you hate getting all ined run Electrocute instead of Conqueror.
You need to rush a Seeker’s Armguard in this game. Zeds will always opt for lethality and the armor it gives you will counter that well. If you’re planning on running Rod of Ages, which is a good option for a bit of lane sustain and tankiness, get Seeker’s first, then RoA, then finish Zhonya’s. Using Zhonya’s when Zed has ulted you to prevent receiving the death mark. It can also prevent the death mark from popping if you use it when the ult is about to end (3 seconds after activation of his ult).
After buying Zhonya’s build what Diana normally does. If you don’t know what that is have a look at this mobafire guide.
Diana vs Zed: Late game
Zed only has one function in the late game and that is to delete squishies, most likely your ADC. You have the damage to prevent that from happening. When you see Zed rush to your ADC, do your best to kill Zed and keep your ADC alive. Don’t use your ult unless there are more enemy champions around you besides Zed. If you can catch him grouped up with his teammates it’s worth going for an ult on them, and if Zed doesn’t have the cooldowns to escape, punish him.
That’s all you’re going to need to counter Zed as Diana. Most of these tips will help you regardless of what champion you’re playing against Zed. Hold him back in the early game and you will be doing your part.
If you are having trouble with other mid lane match-ups, you should have a look at the rest of our articles.