TSM Bjergsen has been one of the biggest names in the NA LCS since his debut in the region in 2014 where he joined Team SoloMid. Bjergsen has had a wide range of champions played throughout the years, but he has recently found success in one champion that nobody would ever think a pro-player would pick in his career. When it comes to pocket picks, there is no one that North America fears more than the Bjergsen’s Zilean. It’s time to learn how he makes this champion work with this Zilean Guide.
Legend of the Time Lord
Zilean was one of the few talented mages in Icathian history. During the time the great Shuriman Empire began conquering all its neighboring regions, discontent grew from the patriotic Icathians. However, Icathia made a mistake by trying to use the void to defeat Shurima and ended up dooming himself. Only Zilean, the Chronokeeper, could save the people by trapping his people in frozen time. Now, he traverses the past, present, and future to learn about the mysteries and fates of Runeterra.
Zilean hasn’t been much of a popular pick in professional play because of his awkward kit and difficult laning phase. It was only when Bjergsen used him that people started to appreciate the champion as a powerhouse teamfighter. Bjergsen’s Zilean influenced even LEC and LCK pro-players to try out this champion during the games. However, other players couldn’t find the same success that Bjergsen has on his signature Zilean. After all, Bjergsen plays it in a different way, which we’ll show in this Zilean guide.
Zilean General Playstyle
Zilean acts as a support midlaner whose full potential is unlocked only when he’s level 6 and above. When used by a laner who is very knowledgeable of the champion, Zilean can put you ahead of your opponent laner with his Passive ability. During teamfights, Zilean can control the enemy team by throwing out bombs or keep his carries safe with Chronoshift and give them a second chance to carry the team.
Bjergsen’s Zilean Guide: Skills and Rotations
When it comes to playing Zilean the right way, there’s no better person to make a Zilean guide off of than Bjergsen. The following Zilean Guide will taken from Bjergsen’s pro-game status and solo queue results so that we’ll be able to give players the experience of playing it the same way that Bjergsen does. It’s time to take your Zilean gameplay to the next level and follow the footsteps of the legendary TSM midlaner to master the art of playing the Chronokeeper!
Passive: Time in a Bottle
Innate – Zilean generates Experience every 5 seconds which he stores to be used on an allied champion.
When Time in a Bottle stores enough experience, Zilean may target an allied champion to level-up. Zilean channels for 1 second to transfer the Experience stored to the allied champion.
If Zilean successfully levels-up an allied champion, he gains a portion of the experience given as well.
Time in a Bottle allows you to help your teammates get ahead of their opponents in lane by giving them a boost in experience. This may not be as impactful in solo queue and uncoordinated games but it’s still something that you should aim to do a lot. The best targets to give your experience to are your carries or your Jungler so that he can get an experience or level lead that will help him secure objectives better on the map.
Q: Time Bomb
Active – Zilean throws at time bomb at a target area which will detonate after 3 seconds and deal magic damage to all enemy units surrounding it.
The time bomb will attach itself to an enemy or allied unit if they pass through the center of the bomb radius. The bomb radius will them be around the surrounding unit that the bomb is attacked to.
Time Bomb will detonate immediately if another time bomb is placed near its center. Enemies that are within the explosion radius when the Time Bomb is detonated this way are briefly stunned.
Time Bomb is Zilean’s main and virtually only damage source so make use of it efficiently. This skill is usually used together with Rewind to activate the third part of its ability that stuns the target. This skill is great to catch out enemies and you should always aim to spam it to threaten your enemies. It also serves as a great way to cut off your opponents from passing towards a direction by placing the bomb in an area they’d most likely pass through.
Active – Zilean reduces the cooldown of both his Time Bomb and Time Warp abilities by 10 seconds.
Rewind instantly refreshes Time Bomb at all levels so make sure to use these two skills as your primary combo. Time Warp is a great skill to refresh if you’re trying to pursue an enemy champion, slow the champion then speed yourself up so that you can easily catch them. Take note that Rewind doesn’t reduce the cooldowns of items, summoner spells, and your ultimate. Learn how to properly use this skill on certain situations.
E: Time Warp
Active: Zilean manipulates time around a target. Enemies will be slowed for a short duration while allied units will be granted bonus movement speed for the same duration.
As mentioned previously, Time Warp is a great skill to use when pursuing enemies. However, it isn’t your primary target for your Rewind spam. This is a great tool to start engages or catch out enemies who are out of position. Time Warp is purely situational and you shouldn’t spam it against your lane opponent just to get a bit of harass in. It does help you roam around the map better once you clear out the waves in your lane.
Active: Zilean places a protective time rune around himself or an allied champion which lasts for 5 seconds.
If the target dies within the duration of this ability, the champion enters stasis for 3 seconds before getting resurrected with a portion of his health points being regained.
Chronoshift is Zilean’s signature ability and is the reason why he’s such a great teammate to have. Your primary targets when using Chronoshift should be your carries. Avoid using this on your tank, support, or on yourself since they play supportive roles which have served their purpose once they are dead anyway. Remember to only use this ability once your ally’s health becomes low enough, otherwise your opponents can just wait out the duration of the skill before continuing to deal damage.
Bjergsen’s Zilean Guide: Items and Builds
Bjergsen has a pretty standard Zilean build that he uses when he uses this champion. We’ll take a look at some of his items in this Zilean guide by referring to his previous games on the champion. While most of these items are already on the recommended list of Zilean’s champion shop, it’s still productive to know why these items are chosen and which situations best fit your choice of choosing these items and why you should buy them.
Corrupting Potion – Zilean is an incredibly mana hungry champion since he spends most of his time spamming Time Bomb and Rewind to CS or harass enemy champions. This why he usually follows up with items like Catalyst of Aeons to solve this problem.
Rod of Ages – After building Catalyst of Aeons, Rod of Ages provides Zilean a bit more mana and increased survivability in battle. He plays a supportive role so rushing to get your AP items isn’t much of a priority unless you’re extremely ahead in the game.
Hextech GLP-800 – The GLP provides Zilean an additional damage source as well as slowing multiple opponents so that you can help your team pursue them. This item also increases Zilean’s mana pool since we’ve mentioned in this Zilean guide that he is incredibly mana hungry.
Rabadon’s Deathcap – Rabadon’s Deathcap gives Zilean the damage output to make him a real threat. Once Zilean is able to get this item, he’ll be able to clear waves and efficiently harass opponents to discourage them to go for teamfights.
Mejai’s Soulstealer – This item is great to have when your team is ahead or opponents have a hard time to get to you. The ability power that Mejai’s Soulstealer gets is incredible especially if you combine it with Rabadon’s Death Cap. However, it can easily become useless once you lose most of your stacks.
Twin Shadows – Good support item to help your team find where the enemy team is hiding. Slowing enemy units also help you pursue them and get a kill or assist which will help you stack Mejai’s Soulstealer faster.
Zhonya’s Hourgalss – Another survivability item, useful when enemies are trying hard to get to you and burst you out. This item allows you to focus your Chronoshift on someone else other than you because of the extra layer of survival.
Luden’s Echo – Trying to deal more damage against enemy champions? Luden’s Echo provides an excellent way to damage multiple enemy units alongside the AoE damage from Time Bomb.
Void Staff – Use this item when your enemies are stacking some Magic Resist so that your spell damage becomes more efficient and you don’t get countered that much by defensive items from the enemy team.
Zilean Guide: Runes
Keystone: Glacial Augment – Glacial Augment allows Zilean to have a more supportive role by slowing enemies with basic attacks or making terrain dangerous to pass through by using active items like Hextech GLP-800. This makes Zilean the perfect support mid laner and initiator which gives such high value to the team.
Magical Footwear – This rune provides such high value to champions that want to get their items completed quickly. Saving 300 Gold by having free boots is really good for any champion. Zilean won’t need that much movement speed during the laning phase since he has his Time Warp ability to help him move around.
Biscuit Delivery – As stated previously in this Zilean Guide, this champion is extremely mana hungry. Having additional resources to help restore your mana or help you through aggressive lane opponents will benefit you greatly.
Cosmic Insight – Increasing the Cooldown Reduction capacity is extremely valuable considering his ultimate ability is such a great thing to have in teamfights. Shortening the time of your Rewind ability also ensures that you’ll be throwing out bombs all the time.
Manaflow Band – Mana hungry Zilean means that he needs to increase his mana pool to make sure he can spam his abilities regularly against the opponent. This also helps you restore your mana faster once you reach the cap for this rune.
Transcendence – Zilean doesn’t tend to build that many CDR items as his first few items. Transcendence will help him have that much needed Cooldown Reduction to help him spam his abilities faster after he reaches Level 10.
Bjergsen’s Zilean Overview
Looking at past performances from TSM games where Bjergsen chose his signature Zilean pick, it is safe to say that this is definitely a champion that’s worth mastering. Not many people face against Zilean in professional play so being able to play such an uncommon champion can leave your opponents off guard. It’s time to watch some Bjergsen Zilean montages, you won’t regret what you’ve learned from this Zilean guide seeing how exceptionally this champion performs even on the professional stage.
What is a pocket pocket?
Pocket picks are champions that players are comfortable with using on stage because of their knowledge and experience in playing that specific champion no matter what the circumstance is.
Who uses Zilean on professional LoL games?
Bjergsen is the most notable esports player to use Zilean on professional esports games. Players like Jensen, Bwipo, and BDD also recently tried to use Zilean on the big stage but with little to no success at all.