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Is Zed Still Playable in League of Legends?

Zed has been one of League of Legends’ most iconic champions ever since his release back in 2012. With his high-mobility kit allowing for flashy plays and stylish assassinations, Zed became a fan favorite. However, after years of nerfs and meta shifts, many wonder if Zed is still a viable pick in League of Legends today.

Zed’s Kit Rewarded Skilled Players

When Zed first arrived in League of Legends, his kit brought something entirely new to the game. With abilities like his Living Shadow and his unforgettable ultimate, Zed rewarded players who truly understood movement and mechanics. 

As one of the first champions focused on fancy footwork and outplays, a highly skilled Zed could single-handedly turn around team fights. His unique ability to temporarily split into multiple shadows gave creative options to juke opponents and deal massive burst damage. 

This high-risk, high-reward playstyle made Zed extremely popular among players looking to showcase their skills.

Zed’s Early Dominance and Famous Plays

In his early years, Zed saw tremendous success, often completely dominating games in solo queue and professional play when mastered. There’s a reason that what is considered one of the greatest plays in League of Legends history featured two Zeds duking it out in a close 1v1.

Zed’s overwhelming damage and elusive abilities let great players pull off amazing highlights. For a while, getting to play Zed felt like an instant win, provided you had the skills to truly maximize his potential.

Zed Fell Out of the Pro Meta Over Time

However, as new champions were released and the meta shifted, Zed slowly faded in priority in the pro scene. The tankier team-fight-focused metas of later seasons didn’t favor Zed’s pick-focused playstyle.

While still a solo queue menace in the right hands, pro players moved toward picks with more reliable crowd control and durability. Zed fell completely out of favor in pro play.

Item Reworks and Nerfs Hit Zed Hard

In more recent years, systemic changes to items and direct nerfs left Zed in a weak state. The Season 11 item rework hit Zed hard, removing core items for his playstyle. On top of lacking item synergy, Riot purposefully nerfed Zed’s abilities like Living Shadow, citing his frustrating solo queue dominance.

In late 2022, Zed hovered around a 45% win rate, among the worst mid-laners in terms of performance. Once a high ban rate champion, Zed slipped in priority.

Zed Seen as Unhealthy for the Game

Riot devs have suggested they intentionally keep Zed weak because his mobility and burst damage feel unfair to play against. Especially for lower-skill players, Zed’s ability to instantly delete enemies offers little reaction time.

The developers view Zed’s low counterplay assassination pattern as unhealthy, regardless of his actual power level. Even when weak statistically, his play pattern breaks their rules for what makes the game fun.

Small Buffs Point to a Brighter Future

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Master of Shadows. 2023 has seen Riot return some power to Zed in an effort to bring him back to relevance. While far from his former dominance, a series of buffs have made him viable once again.

The developers have mentioned looking for opportunities to modernize Zed’s kit rather than leaving him perpetually weak. There is hope that with more adjustments, Zed could return as a strong situational pick rather than a universal ban.

Zed Mains Still Love the Champion 

Regardless of his power level over the years, Zed remains one of the most beloved champions in League. His exciting and technically demanding playstyle means he always draws dedicated mains.

Players argue that while Zed can feel oppressive if fed, his difficulty curve and outplay potential bring excitement to matches that shouldn’t be lost. There is an appeal to mastering difficult champions that keeps his player base passionate.

Our Final Take

At the end of the day, Zed represents what players love about League of Legends. His kit, while contentious, provides opportunities for game-changing highlights and flashy plays no other champion can provide.

For those willing to spend the time mastering Zed’s combos and mechanics, he can be an incredibly potent and fun pick. Hopefully, future adjustments restore Zed’s viability so dedicated mains can once again reap the rewards of their practice without needing to be pros.

Written by
I am an award-winning professional Freelance Writer with over 2 years of experience writing for Content Creators and Companies. My work includes SEO, Copywriting, Blog Writing, Content Writing, and Scriptwriting. Also, I just love strategy, MOBA, and FPS games like Valorant, Total War, and League of Legends!

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