Zhuper Zhonik Zhpeeds!: The Deathball Build by ZhpooN
Zhonik - Lv.120
10m+ edps aura, 1100+ movespeed, 20k+ spell pierce, 89%+ resist all, 50%+ status resist
Core Concept: Zhonik was made to go fast, so I wanted to create a build that basically never stops moving and just absolutely blisters through content. Focusing on buffing our Tachyon Shell, minimizing stuns/slows/silences, and maximizing our movement and edps allow us to achieve exactly that. This build has become my "go-to" hero for item farms and nuking challenges quickly and easily, so I have decided to share it with the world. You know that scene in episode 1 of "The Boys" where A-Train runs through Robin and she just explodes into a misty cloud of blood, bone, and sinew? Playing this build is a lot like that, except A-Train is purple and spiky, and Robin drops loot, and there are more particle effects.
Gear: Our gear is pretty much set. You do have a few budget options for your gloves, but extensive testing has led me to personally find this exact set-up to be optimal.
Weapon- Diamond Gloves of Disorder is our choice here, thanks to the guaranteed Temporal Damage % and Movespeed lines. For the other two rolls, aim for any combination of Int/Str/Q1/Q3/BAD%. Your BiS rolls are probably going to be Q1/Q3.
Chest- Sorcerer's Regalia is a great fit here for a number of reasons. ~10k spell pierce, 40 points to Q1, ~70% Base Ability Damage, and 460 Int makes this a no-brainer. You may be thinking to yourself "what about Outland Stone Cuirass?", to which I reply "blech." People love to mention OSC for Zhonik, but it's actually really bad and I'm going to spend (probably too much) time explaining why. OSC drops our spell pierce from over 20k, to under 10k. It also makes us self-stun and stand completely still for 2.7 seconds every 25 seconds, and that's only if you time it PERFECTLY and recast Q on the exact moment that it ends. This means that AT BEST we're moving and clearing 11% slower. Being slower is the antithesis of this build. We don't do "slower" here. We do "holyshitwhatwasthatpurpleblurthatjustexplodedallmyfriendsintochunks?" here. Realistically, you'll probably be recasting Q with 5-10 seconds left, which would mean you're standing completely still ~16% of the time. No thank you. "But SpooN, just use an Amethyst in the OSC." Nope, doesn't work. For whatever goofball reason, the Amethyst doesn't apply to OSC's built-in stun. Nor does the status resist from our boots or Spirit. You're sitting still for 2.7 seconds every ~15 seconds, and there's nothing you can do about it. Which means despite the ~350% BAD (2.1m a tick to 2.7m a tick on my current set-up) you gain from OSC, you actually clear content significantly slower. Not worth it. Do not use OSC on Zhonik. It's not a good idea. If you're looking for a real alternative, you can use Vermillion Dream Robes to great effect. They are arguably comparable to Sorc's Regalia for this build, the downside being that they are significantly more expensive/harder to farm. Roll Q1/Int/Int.
Gloves- Wraps of the Grand Arcanist give us ~200% BAD, ~94% Elemental Damage, and ~10k spell pierce, which easily make them our BiS. Some viable alternatives to use until you get some WGA's are Heavy Echo Gauntlet and Swiftspike Bracer. Roll Q1/BAD%/BAD%.
Trinket- A RoN here is the obvious choice, because of the 130 points it enables us to stuff into Q1, as well as buffing all our other T1's and T4's. The hidden beauty is that the stats from it allow us to double dip into the effects of both our chest AND our gloves, giving us ~5k spell pierce as well. Roll Q1/Q1/Q1.
Helm- Our goal is to buff our Q to the point that we can blaze past enemies without even looking in their direction while they disintegrate into embarrassed little piles of ash and soot. Excavator's Focus Cap gives us 158% BAD and ~100 points into Q1, as well as a great buff to two T3's of our choice. There is no better option in this slot for this build, not even Val'dun's. Roll BAD%/Q1/BAD%.
Boots- Zhonik has no innate source of healing. There are times when you are going to HAVE to absorb some damage, and need to have a way to sustain (Fire Spirit, Queen Azalea, Draugrs, etc). Our boots are the perfect slot to address this thanks to Rooted Feet. It gives us worthwhile healing, armors, and damage resist that stacks with our Q4, allowing us to hit 89% resist all. "But SpooN, you have to stand still for Rooted Feet's benefits!" Quiet you. This is MY build guide, so let me teach you the forbidden secrets. Stick a Ruby into your boots, which makes the effect linger after moving. Now you have the ability to "stutter step" using your S key and right clicks, which will give your Rooted Feet ~100% up-time when you need it. It will also kick in automatically any time you recast Q or E (which you should be keeping activated literally 100% of the time). The first line of Rooted Feet can only roll 2100 Armor or Magic Armor, but lines 2 and 3 can roll 180 stats or 63% BAD each. If you want more dps you can roll the 126% extra BAD, but if you know my builds then you know that I believe, say it out loud with me: "A dead hero means zero dps.™" 10m+ edps is WAY more than enough, so I opt to stack some Str here for survivability. Roll them as you see fit. Tranquil Boots are a viable alternative, but their stats and gems aren't as good as RF, and they also don't help you at all if you catch a stun.
Glyphs: Glyph of Albedo is a must. Beyond that, you have a few options. Grand Strength and Grand Intelligence are great since we benefit so much from stats. You can opt for Glyph of Acceleration in case ~1200 movespeed just isn't fast enough for you. Or any of the 3 Glyphs of Resistance if you just wanna tank it up.
Gems: This build can absolutely get by using only 2 Pristines (for the RoN) and then a handful of Ordinaries, but to get the most out of it, you'll really want 5 Pristines (2 in gloves/trinket, and the Amethyst in chest). The boots you can use any combo of Ruby, Emerald, and Amethyst. I strongly recommend the Ruby, but both the Emerald and Amethyst are completely acceptable as 2nd options.
Runes: Our core runes are Q1, Q4, E2, E4, R2, and R4. This leaves you 3 flexible runes. For this build Q2, W1, R1, and R3 are essentially useless, which leaves Q3, W2, W3, W4, E1, and E3 as options. Q3 helps our edps a lot and i highly recommend it. W2 is a very niche option that only benefits us by killing magic-immune mobs faster, but it does have its uses. W3 is a worthwhile nuke/stun combo in case you ever get stunned, and you can also use it by self-stunning with R. W4 is a GREAT source of pure damage, and highly useful against Ancient God. E1 is a great, easy source of movespeed, but you can hit 800+ even without it. E3 used to be terrible, but recently got a buff and is now a very worthwhile source of magic armor. Mix and match as you see fit. My personal preferences are Q3, W4, and E1, while letting the Emerald in our helm give us enough points into W3 to benefit from its utility.
Gameplay Pro Tip: Zhonik's R has no maximum cast range, so you can use it to close the gap on any visible enemies at 1700+ movespeed from any distance. This is especially useful on Draugrs or The Widow, so that you can quickly get inside of their damage aura and drop them without sustaining too much damage to yourself. It is also handy for smashing into annoyingly slippery bosses, like Neverlord or Crimsyth Corruptor.
Pros: LOOK OUT WHEN HE STORMS THROUGH, ZHONIK THE HEDGEHOG. DON'T DOUBT WHAT HE CAN DO, ZHONIK THE HEDGEHOG. ZHONIK, HE CAN REALLY MOVE. ZHONIK, HE'S GOT AN ATTITUDE. ZHONIK, HE'S THE FASTEST THING ALIIIIIVE. Fast as all hell, tanky like whoa, huge edps, easy to build, and can handle all content short of challenges with Q/W/E disables with extreme speed and ease. What more could you possibly want?
Cons: The one and only thing in the entire game that can make Zhonik slow down is, you guessed it, those damned Golden Skullbones. Thanks to our R4, we CAN kill them, albeit very, very slowly compared to what this build is used to. You'll likely spend ~2 mins in the Treasure Room of Winterblight Caslte, just Mach Punching those annoying spawns of Satan in their stupid faces over and over. Additional downside, still no sign of Miles Prower anywhere.
Note: edps is "effective damage per second". I test ALL of my builds on dummies that have 7k armor and 7k magic armor, so that you're seeing real world combat numbers on boss level armors, and not just some inflated "100m+ dps!" build that actually only hits for 2m dps on anything not naked and asleep.