When Zoe was first released, she tilted everyone. Only a handful of people liked her one shot playstyle, but most players hated her.

And even though Zoe has been nerfed multiple times over the past few seasons, she’s still considered an OP pick in League of Legends.

But is Zoe really broken? Or is it all just “int” talk?

In my own experience, Diamond+ mid laner since season 3, I’ve seen both sides.

I’ve chatted with high elo Zoe mains that defended her playstyle.

And I’ve talked with exceptional players that gave reasonable arguments why she is the most broken champion in the game.

So, for a player in the lower elo, it might not be perfectly clear why Zoe is regarded as an OP pick, even by professional players.

Sure, it’s not fun getting a random one shot, but Zoe is not the only champion that can do that. Annie, Kassadin, Varus, Kha’Zix, Evelynn, Zed… they can all one shot you!

And so, why is Zoe, out of all champions, particularly hated and considered broken?

Well, let’s dive deep into the analysis, and I’ll explain my honest opinion on the matter.

Zoe’s Initial Release

Zoe splash art

Zoe’s initial release wasn’t received the best by players. She came out when the meta of League of Legends was a lot more boring, with tanks occupying every role.

And even though Zoe’s playstyle was something new and cool and exciting, players didn’t like the idea that she had so much damage.

And they weren’t wrong!

Riot Games launched Zoe with incredibly high damage numbers and ratios, making it almost impossible to survive her Sleepy Trouble Bubble + Paddle Star combo.

This, of course, was only fun to Zoe players, so that’s where the hate started.

However, players often forget that every new champion that Riot releases is mathematically broken too. And that’s a fact!

Just take a look at some of the champion releases we had in the past: Yone – he could 1v5 at launch; Aphelios – broke the pro scene; Samira – almost ruined the entire game; Viego – literally a raid boss… you get the point.

But none of these champions actually received as much backlash as Zoe did. Most of us only laughed at how broken they are and memed around the 200 years game design joke.

After this initial launch, Zoe was nerfed a couple of times until she found her niche within the mid lane.

Nowadays, she can rarely bring someone from 100 to 0% HP only with her E+Q combo. Sure, Zoe does a lot of damage, but is he actually broken?

Read Also: 7 Reasons Why Zoe Is Such a Good Champion In LoL

Is Zoe Actually Broken?

Zoe one shotting Gankplank

Zoe has one of the best burst damage combos in League of Legends, but she is NOT broken. Her playstyle revolves around setting up kills with her E, Sleepy Trouble Bubble.

But you can easily counter this ability with Zhonya’s Hourglass, QSS, and Cleanse.

Without her Sleepy Trouble Bubble, Zoe may be one of the most useless champions in the game. The damage of her Q – Paddle Star is not low, but it’s still magic damage.

And any amount of Magic Resist you have will help you survive it.

Here are the main reasons why Zoe is not broken in LoL:

  1. Zoe depends on skill shots to deal damage.

Yes, Zoe’s playstyle requires skill. You have to be at least decent at mechanics to make proper use of her kit. This doesn’t mean that everyone can’t play her.

However, only players like Faker can turn her into an OP pick.

And I see it way too often – people in low elo pick Zoe only to go 1/9/2 and lose the game.

That’s because not only do you have to practice how to play Zoe, but also you have to perform on Zoe every time you lock her in!

And that’s not always possible nor easy.

  1. Zoe’s initial burst damage is significantly nerfed.

Like I mentioned multiple times already, Zoe’s damage was not as serious as it once was. You simply can’t one shot someone nowadays as you could in the past.

And you often need the right keystones, Ignite, and an active item from your W to bring someone to 30 or 20% HP.

  1. She is a squishy champion.

Yep, any stun or root effect is a death sentence for Zoe. Once caught, she’s easily eliminated in 1 or 2 seconds.

Why Does Zoe Seem Broken?

Zoe one shotting Kayn

Although Zoe is statistically not a broken champion, she isn’t an easy opponent to beat either. In fact, playing against Zoe often feels stressful because of how dangerous her ability kit can be.

I mean, Zoe can use your Summoner Spells and active items, as well as put you in crowd control from miles away.

And all of this combined fuels the general opinion that Zoe is simply broken.

So, here are the top reasons why Zoe seems OP to so many LoL players.

  1. Zoe can one shot you if she’s is fed.

Of course, the whole idea of Zoe is one shotting. Her damage is still incredible to this day, especially if she’s ahead in gold and levels.

However, almost any champion that gets fed early on can one shot you, no matter the role. Zed, Kha’zix, Fizz, Katarina, Darius… they all need 1 or 2 kills to become monsters.

  1. Zoe is great in the laning phase.

One of the biggest strengths that Zoe has is the early game. She’s exceptional at controlling the pace of the laning phase.

Her Q is a super useful tool for both poking her lane opponent and quickly clearing the minion wave.

True, you can counter Zoe with champions like Ekko, Gankplank, or even Veigar. But she still does alright against most mid lane picks. 

  1. Zoe can steal your Summoner Spells and items.

Zoe’s W – Spell Thief is one of the most valuable abilities in the game. It gives Zoe so many opportunities by letting her use random active items and used Summoner Spells.

I admit it’s tough to stop Zoe from using her W all the time, so it’s the closest thing to a broken design she has!


Honestly, there are many champions in LoL that are far more broken than Zoe is (if she really is). I’ve mentioned some of them in this post, but League of Legends is full of such characters.

And I can’t tell you how many games I’ve lost in Master elo while being 10/0/10 on Zoe. And you know why?

Because my opponents on the same rank all purchase Mercury’s Treads, use Zhonya’s Hourglass, and take Cleanse as a Summoner Spell.

On top of that, tank players often act as walking shields and block all of my skill shots to protect their own teammates. They know Zoe’s weakness, and they exploit it!

So, I hope this post helped you understand Zoe just a little better too!

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Guides, League of Legends,

Last Update: April 27, 2024