League of Legends Champion Review: Zac, The Secret Weapon

by on April 4, 2013

It’s April; it’s Season 3; it’s a new champion added to the League of Legends Roster! This time we have Zac, The Secret Weapon who is possibly one of the best flavour characters in the whole roster. He may in fact be one of the funniest and generally most solid champions to be played in the game so far. But the question is, is he worth adding to your list of available champions? Let’s have a look and find out.

As with every champion review, let’s start by looking at the aesthetic touches of Zac. Everything from his jokes and taunts down to his dance and walking emotes are fantastic. These add in some fantastic flavour to the champion and make him a great joy to play with. Everything seems to suit him, from how he uses his gelatinous body in his animations to how he presents himself in his voice. Combining these creates a champion with fantastic personality and presence.

Okay, so with emotes and all that aside, how is Zac’s alternate skin, Special Weapon Zac? Now most of the time alternate skins have been lacking: whether it be in-game detail, lack of animation changes or even particle alterations. This time around however I was incredibly pleased to see that the alternate skin was worth every single Riot Point. The particle effects on Zac’s Passive are different, Zac’s attack animations are different, even his recall animation is different. The problem I can see many players seeing about this skin is the portrait, which doesn’t do the skin justice. By looking at the portrait you’re just looking at a different coloured Zac, when in fact in game he is so much different than his normal skin. Don’t expect everything to be outrageously different like a themed or legendary skin, but do expect changes.

Okay so that’s a look at the Aesthetic touches. Now let us have a look at the meat and two veg of the champion, the ability set.

Passive: Cell Division

(Innate): Each time Zac hits an enemy with an ability, he shads a chunk of himself that can be reabsorbed to restore 4% of his maximum health.
Upon taking fatal damage, Zac splits into 4 chunks that attempt to recombine. If any of these chunks remain after 8 seconds, he will revive with 10-50% health depending on the health of the surviving chunks. Each chunk has 12% of Zac’s maximum health, and 50% of his armour and magic resistance. This effect cannot happen again for 300 seconds.

Zac’s Passive is a combination of a unique sustain mechanic and a re-envisioning of Anivia’s classic rebirth passive. Let’s start with the sustain power that the passive entails, which is pretty awesome. For jungling with Zac, this passive is a god send, giving you the ability to keep popping off your abilities to take out creeps as you keep yourself sustained for a longer period of time Players will be able to take on basic camps without even having the need to pop a precious early health potion. However, when it comes to laning with this ability it can be both a hassle and a worthwhile mechanic. Think of it as a Draven’s spinning blades ability: if you master it you become a master of sustain in the lane. However if you don’ try to pick up your bloblets after they land on the ground then you will possibly be left wide open for a gank with huge damage dealing potential against you.

Secondly we have the ability to bring yourself back from the dead. Your bloblets take into consideration a percentage of your health, armour and magic resist upon landing on the ground. Once they are on the floor they will begin to crawl to the central bloblet so that you can return to the game with a percentage of your health back, relevant to the amount your bloblets have left. The thing that will take new players off guard with this ability is simply its cool down. Similar to Anivia’s ability, the cooldown is five minutes, meaning that you won’t be turning into bloblets every time you lose a fight. Some players might see this as a bad move, meaning that they can’t get back into the game as much as they would want to, however it is balanced so that you shouldn’t rely on it like you shouldn’t have to rely on items like Guardians Angel.

Q: Stretching Strike: Cooldown: 9 / 8.5 / 8 / 7.5 / 7 seconds, Magic Damage: 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+0.5 per ability power) Slow: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 %

(Active): Zac lashes out with an elastic punch, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit and slowing them for 2 seconds.

 Cost: 4% of current health

 Range: 550

The stretching strike is an interesting ability on paper. An ability that shoots in a small area in front of you to both deal damage and slow your opponent feels like the perfect ability if you are going to play as a top laning Zac. There is only one problem: the power of this ability is never properly realised. At early levels it doesn’t feel like a solid damage dealing ability, even if your jungling and using the ability to deal damage to minion camps. The strength of this ability is lack luster to say the least, even if you build into items like Rylais crystal sceptre and Zhonya’s Hourglass. It is a shame but if you look at it from how the champion has been made you may be able to understand why the damage isn’t recognisable. The champion is made to be a health consuming, sustaining, slowing interrupter with abilities that can help in team fighting situations more than a one versus one scenario. This may annoy some players that just want a purely AP built top laner, but you have to generally sacrifice some of the all out damage in order to give you enough sustain to satisfy your health consumption and early game squishiness.

W: Unstable Matter: Base Magic Damage: 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 / 100 Max Health to Damage Ratio: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 % (+2% per 100 ability power)

Zac’s body erupts, dealing magic damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of their maximum health to all nearby enemies (max 200 damage against minions and monsters).

 Cost: 4% of current health
 Cooldown: 4 seconds

Zac’s W is a must focus and a must use for any and all Zac players. This ability is a great addition to the champions move set. Early game you will mostly be using the ability to either clear minion camps in jungle or clearing out groups of minions in lane. When it comes to mid and late game the true strength of this ability arises. Not only will the base damage rise but you will also be dealing a percentage of your opponents maximum health as damage. This means you will be dealing crazy damage to squishy champions as well as pretty solid damage to tanks and bruisers. With some great clearing potential and damage dealing potential, this ability is a great add on to the champion as your sustainability is put to the test.

E: Elastic Slingshot: Cooldown: 24 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12 seconds Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+0.7 per ability power)
Charge Time: 0.9 / 1 / 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 seconds Range: 900 / 950 / 1000 / 1050 / 1100

Zac faces the cursor and begins charging. After charging or after reactivating the ability, he launches himself towards the target location, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit and knocking them back for 0.5 seconds. This ability can be cancelled by moving, refunding 50% of the health cost.
 Cost: 4% of current health

Elastic Slingshot, along with Zac’s Ultimate, are the abilities that make this champion unique. With his E, Zac is able to jump into fights and either disrupt enemy attacks or surprise attack enemies that are out of position. The ability is a scary sight to behold as most of the time you will never see it coming. The trick to mastering this ability is that you have to charge it up in order to utilise its full range. Failure to do this could result in not reaching the desired location or not even being able to leap over walls. There is a learning curve to it can be used as a straight up damage ability and a ganking tool. The versatility that this ability entails gives Zac the unique touch that he really needed, making him a fantastic ganker and jungler.

R: Let’s Bounce: Cooldown: 130 / 115 / 100 seconds Magic Damage: 160 / 240 / 320 (+0.25 per ability power)

Maximum Magic Damage to the Same Target: 400 / 600 / 800 (+0.625 per ability power)

Zac leaps into the air and begins to bounce on the ground, up to a maximum of 4 bounces. Each bounce deals magic damage to nearby enemies, knocks them up for 1 second, and slows them by 20% for 1 second. Enemies hit more than once take half damage and are not knocked up.

Zac gains an accelerating movement speed buff (20-50%) and 75% crowd control reduction while active (does not reduce Suppression). Zac can right-click to move while in the air. While active, Zac is unable to activate Stretching Strike or Elastic Slingshot.

The ultimate in Zac’s ability set is Let’s Bounce. The name is literally what the ability entails as Zac bounces three times in succession both dealing damage and knocking up opponents. Now although the knock up effect isn’t consistent and doesn’t occur again after the first infliction, the damage and awesome animations of the ability are a fascinating site to behold. The ability is great in team fights or even a good ability to be used to potentially score a last minute kill from an escaping weak foe. However there are some things to keep in mind. One of those to keep in mind is the movement speed buff will not mean you can use this ability to catch up to running foes. This ability has to be used preferably after an initiation from a teammate or your own E in order to be fully effective. Again there is a learning curve with this ability but when you perfect the timing, this is one devastating ability to use against your enemies.

Before summing up the review allow me to bring up one last thing about Zac. Although the new champion does look fantastic and plays excitingly, he can be summed up in one word: difficult. If you are not used to playing with health consuming champions like Mundo or Mordekaiser you will find the experience tough and maybe even non enjoyable. The need to balance out your damage output with your sustainability is essential for both an enjoyable and effective experience so that narrows down the possibility of turning Zac into an all out AP user. Many players I have spoken to have complained that Zac is too good with his ganking potential and as a result must have his E nerfed so that it is something you can see coming. The problem with this however is if it is put into consideration by Riot Games, a nerf could end up killing Zac as a champion. The whole point of Zac is that he brings a new sense of careful planning into the battles and using his abilities to both slow down and interrupt enemies to benefit the team. Take that away from him and what do you have exactly? A giant pile of useless goo quite possibly.

So let’s round up League’s newest champion. Zac, The Secret Weapon is great and fun to play as, with some great personality to back him up on the fields of justice. Although his damage output can be lacking at times and his difficulty could be a turn off for most players, with some dedication and practice Zac can become a very powerful force and teammate. Overall I would recommend that if you are interested in purchasing Zac, try him out first. See if you can cope with his abilities and damage output before you use your valuable Influence and Riot Points to purchase this guy.

So there you go, Zac reviewed for your viewing pleasure. But what do you think of him? Do you think he is a bouncing ball of gelatinous fun or do you think he is a pile of goop that needs flushing down the toilet? Be sure to leave your opinions in the comments below and be sure to give Zac a try when he is available in free weeks.

Final Decision: TRY!

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