The last few months I main Zed. I believe that I'm good with him when it comes to mechanics but when it comes to the build I use, I just a find one on solomid, or mobafire and run this. So I would like to take understand a bit more the runes and masteries I'm using for him. For now I'm wondering which runes are better to run on Zed? Armor penetration or Attack damage?
Usually your choice is Attack damage since it makes lasthitting a lot easier and you also get some other benefits from it because your abilities scale off AD.
Armor penetration can of course also be used but it's not as good as flat AD in most situations. It's a good thing though to always have 2 runepages. Armor pen is better in general when you're playing top vs bruiser like champions but most of the time you're mid you won't be facing off tanky guy.
Personally I run:
- Reds - Flat AD
- Yellows - Flat Armor
- Blues - Flat MR
- Quints - 1 Flat AD 2 Lifestal
This makes Lasthitting easy while giving you a lot of sustain in lane. You can of course also replace the LS Quints with flat AD. This is just a personal preference.
For Zed, you can last hit VERY easily with your passive. You don't need a full AD rune set. You get maximum killing potential at level 6 which is when you start building items, and this is also the time when armor pen runes start becoming effective. Therefore you should use some armor pen runes. Example setups:
9 Armor pen marks, 3 AD quints
9 AD marks, 3 Armor pen quints
I would not recommend running a FULL armor pen setup because you don't want to be too weak in the early game.
I would refer you to this answer as to why you should prefer Armor penetration in runes and masteries.
Attack damage is easier to get with items and usually, items you are going to run in most Zed's build will have attack damage and few or no armor penetration. Unless you run more than 1 or 2 items with armor penetration in your build, favor armor penetration in your runes and masteries.
Related links :
Wish those links help you better understand the difference.
Attack Damage is better in the current meta. Attack Speed Quints are really popular right now among the high level players. Lifesteal quints got nerfed and aren't as useful. So definitely AD out of the two.
I personally like to run: Armor pen quints, Flat AD Marks, Armor and/or Health seals and mr blues :) been working for me