Zed’s Best Skins in League of Legends, All Ranked

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There are few assassins as iconic as Zed.

From the countless outplay montages to the cool shadow ninja aesthetic, the dude is incredibly hype.

So in this ranking we’re going to make him even more hype by looking into his best cosmetics. Specifically we’ll be ranking his entire catalogue, based on each skin’s design, overall appeal, and price point, to decide which look suits Zed the best.

 

8. SKT T1 Zed

SKT T1 Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: May 4th, 2014
Price: 750 RP

Considering Zed mains frequently call this skin “McDonalds Zed”, you can kind of already see their stance towards it.

The character model is just an “oof” at best – because it completely destroys your badass ninja vibe and replaces it with bright colors and unintimidating weapons.

Like seriously, are they just made out of cardboard?

The fact that this is also the only Zed skin without any new animations or particles puts the final nail in the coffin here, and solidifies it as the weakest out of the bunch.

You can definitely do better than this.

In fact, you’re better off with the base model.

 

7. PROJECT: Zed

PROJECT: Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: September 7th, 2015
Price: 1350 RP

Although this skin felt like some top tier design back in the day, I think it kind of fell off over the years.

First, the PROJECT skin line pumped out so many new skins that they all kinda feel bland and unoriginal.

Secondly, newer skins showcased just how epic Zed can truly be.

I’m not saying this skin is terrible, in fact I have seen a lot of people really dig the Prestige edition. But it’s just a bit too loud for my taste.

The splash art could be literally anyone in League. Plus the sound effects make you feel like a bull in a china shop, not an assassin. And the character model here feels slightly bulky.

Even the backing animation feels too static by today’s standards!

If this was a 975 RP skin, I would have placed it a bit higher. Because honestly, the blades do look cool and there’s a certain charm to it all.

But 1350 RP feels like too much for what you’re getting.

 

6. Death Sworn Zed

Death Sworn Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: October 25th, 2017
Price: 1350 RP

People seem to be slightly torn on this skin.

It is extremely cool, but it also makes some questionable changes to Zed.

On the positive side of things, I like that Zed has Wolverine claws. Plus the splash art is pretty epic, the E feels really nice to use, the backing animation is solid, and all of the particles are pretty clean.

On the negative side of things, Riot took away your shurikens and replaced them with swords – which feels like a sin.

In both your ult and your Q, you’re going to see two crossed swords. And even the character model has done away with them completely.

As if this weren’t heresy enough, Zed’s new mask makes him feel like a truly different character.

Overall, if you’re not a Zed Purist, this skin can be a really solid choice. But if you main the dude, you probably want to keep looking.

 

5. Championship Zed

Championship Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: September 25th, 2016
Price: 975 RP

Championship Zed feels like a very safe choice overall.

The ability animations an particles here are basically just recolors of the base skin, so there are no surprises there. And the character model doesn’t exactly push the boundaries either.

It does feel a bit bulkier, but you still get that same feeling when you’re playing with the base skin.

Also the splash art is really cool and the Golden chroma is surprisingly badass – and I should note that I’m not a chroma man usually.

So how come it’s ranked here?

Well, because that backing animation is the most Zed thing I have seen in my life, and I want it. Also because the price is low, but mostly that first part.

 

4. PsyOps Zed

PsyOps Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: September 17th, 2020
Price: 1350 RP

PsyOps Zed is one of those skins that you either love or hate.

On the one hand, both the ult and the backing animation are some of the best that I have ever seen, with the ult mark leaving three knives that strike you from all sides when time runs out, and the backing animation just feeling like an action movie.

On the other hand, this skin runs into a similar problem as Death Sworn: it changes Zed a bit too much.

Both the character model and the splash art feel more like Master Yi than our lovable assassin. And just like I pointed out with PROJECT, this one feels a bit too loud for his overall theme.

Honestly, I lean more towards liking this design more than hating it.

But I will admit that it doesn’t feel Zed enough to be crowned his best skin.

 

3. Shockblade Zed

Shockblade Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: November 13th, 2012
Price: 975 RP

Even though this is Zed’s oldest skin that came out when he was released, it’s still top material to this day.

First off, the character model is simple but brilliant. It really emphasizes Zed’s ninja aesthetic.

Plus you can get a pink chroma that just looks incredible.

Secondly, the thunder sound effects are both very easy to make out, and give each ability a sense of weight and power – which is something you always like to see.

I will say it’s a shame that your Death Mark doesn’t have lightning smite someone down where they stand. But considering this is a decade old skin, I can’t ask for too much.

Overall, Shockblade Zed is a skin with a long legacy that somehow managed to only be outdone by legendary skins.

 

2. Debonair Zed

Debonair Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: December 9th, 2021
Price: 1820 RP

Is this the perfect Zed skin? No.

But does it give me a sense of confidence that I haven’t felt since I was seven? Absolutely.

Debonair Zed has equal parts class and terror.

You’re in your best white suit, with a literal red carpet being rolled out for you whenever you go to base, and enough voice-line brags to boost your ego into Challenger.

And then there’s also the whole tentacle monster aspect to the skin, which is honestly terrifying.

I have never felt more scared while laughing than while looking at this skin.

The ult looks like a demonic curse, the dance is funky as all hell, the special interactions include a JoJo reference, and that’s not even half of the cool features this skin brings to the table.

All of that being said, Zed’s base walking animation does look incredibly weird with this skin. And the theme is definitely way less ninja than one would hope.

 

1. Galaxy Slayer Zed

Galaxy Slayer Zed Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: April 18th, 2019
Price: 1820 RP

Galaxy Slayer Zed did everything that Debonair attempted, but in a much better fashion.

You want some lowkey horror? Now your crit animation and passive proc have you go all Doctor Octopus and stab with a tendril of some sort.

Do you want some references? Well, Zed now quotes the broadcasters when killing another Zed, alluding to the Faker vs Ryuu outplay.

You want cool new emotes? How about making lunch for your shadow and then bringing out a boombox and jamming out.

The skin even does a face reveal quite a few times, which is completely unique.

So overall, Galaxy Slayer Zed just feels incredibly smooth and keeps everything you loved about the original design, while also introducing new features that make you feel like a literal god in a world of mortal men.

Note: this content was created under Riot Games’ “Legal Jibber Jabber” policy using assets owned by Riot Games. Riot Games does not endorse or sponsor this project.

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Alec P.

Fight me @BumpDonal