Alright ladies. This is my first guide so PLEASE provide any feed back you feel is necessary. Using this build I've had VERY successful games with Zeus.
Zeus is one of the heaviest nukers in the game, and if given a level advantage he can out-DPS most heroes. He's a bit on the tankier side of the spectrum despite being an intelligence hero. He's a suitable pick in almost any lineup.
Generally speaking, you should be going mid-lane with Zeus. The only exceptions to this rule I have found are when you have an experienced Shadowfiend on your time and there's some stealthy enemy hero in another lane (i.e. Riki, Bounty Hunter, Broodmother) since your Thunderbolt grants temporary True Sight around the area when used. Suggest teammates to choose Keeper of the Light or Crystal Maiden as a support hero to aid you in mana regen if they have the option. If you have to go Side Lane or Offlane, fight to be in a lane with them. (Not as much Crystal Maiden as much as Keeper since her mana regen buff is global),
As far as items go, the rule to follow is GET THAT MANA REGEN. I've listed items that I personally recommend but note that some items work better with different lineups and whatnot so watch out. I'll do my best to mention substitutes for different scenarios.
You starting items should be along the lines of Tango, some Clarity, a Magic Stick, and a couple Iron Branches. Tango is a given. You might throw in a health pot if you notice your potential mid opponent is especially able to dish out early game. I recommend getting 3 Clarity for the sole purpose that you have really small cooldowns and a lot of damage potential early game if you have the mana for it. Continue to buy Clarity until you are able to purchase a bottle. Zeus is pretty tough to keep up with in the mana game until pretty late so always make sure you have a solution. Your Magic Stick (hueh hueh) is again for a solution to your mana troubles early game. You may consider passing this up for more Clarity early on if your mid opponent is not a heavy spell user (i.e. Tiny). Its up to you to balance the amount of Clarity and Iron Branches to make you advance the fastest. Iron Branches are used for the buildup to your Magic Wand but keep in mind that if you did not get a Magic Stick you probably do not need them for long past the early stat bonus.
For your Early Game items I recommend grabbing Arcane Boots, a Bottle, and a Magic Wand (if you needed to get a Magic Stick ). The Bottle should be first on the list as it will serve as a good substitute for any future healing and mana replenishing items. Be sure to keep an eye out on the bounty runes on your side of the map, as well as the major runes, to help maintain a constant charge on your Bottle. Arcane Boots are the next logical step and will provide major mana issue resolutions. All other boots this early in the game will cause your mana game to suffer and when you are as mana-driven as Zeus is, choosing other boots will be a death sentence. Keep in mind that since Zeus' intelligence scales very fast, your mana pool will grow to be extremely large. After the mid game point you'll notice that your boots and bottle won't replenish enough to be extremely useful so don't hesitate to sell as needed. If you plan on building Guardian Greaves you'll want to hang on to your Arcane Boots.
Once you've hit the mid-game, its time to start dishing out insane damage. In order to do this, you'll need mana regen out the wazoo. Pick up Force Staff to help out with mana regen as well as give you a bit more mobility. Mobility is one of Zeus' weaknesses so an item that helps with that as well as grant some mana regen and intelligence is always a smart buy. Veil of Discord is usually a smart pickup if you want your spells to do damage. It doesn't help a ton in mana regen but if you can make your spells do more damage, you shouldn't need to cast as much. Veil will also give you some decent health regen and all around better stats so its worth the pickup. If you struggle to remember to cast it in team fights, consider skipping it. Aghanim's Scepter is different for Zeus in 7.0 than before. Instead of a damage boost to your global damage ultimate, it gives you the Nimbus ability that allows to cast an AOE that will cast Thunderbolt to enemies. It has global range and late game it can really dish out the mad damage, especially if combined with Veil of Discord. Scepter will also give you some decent stats, more mana, and more health so it is definitely a wise buy. The last item you'll want to look at grabbing is Aether Lens. More mana, more spell damage, farther cast range, and better health regen. This item will give you a bit more distance to cast your Thunderbolt on weenies that are running from the fight. Consider getting this item earlier in the game if you are laning against a ranged hero to give yourself an extra bit of safety distance.
Hopefully by the late game, the cash is just flying at you because you are just taking the enemies to pound town. Zeus is dangerous at just about any level, even with mediocre items. But just in case you a little extra help, you'll want to grab Scythe of Vyse, Refresher Orb, and/or Octarine Core. These items will change the game for you. Scythe will give you a great disable that will grant you more than enough time to do insane damage safely. It will also give you a ton of intelligence and mana regen to keep you casting spells one after another. Refresher Orb is a common item for Zeus as it allows to you cast your Ultimate back to back. With the INSANE mana regen it gives you, you should be more than able to use your ultimate, use the item, use your ultimate again, and have mana to spare to cast other spells to finish off the few heroes that can withstand the constant barrage. It'll also give you some decent health regen to make you a bit more durable and able to stay in the fight for longer. Octarine Core is seriously meant for Zeus. You get some nice intelligence and a ****load of health and mana. On top of that you get smaller cooldowns on your spells AND 25% spell lifesteal against heroes. You should be able to keep your health at a decent level if you can keep popping off spells with this item.
There are a few items that I recommend getting if you find yourself in various scenarios, but are typically not always need. Guardian Greaves are a good upgrade if you need a little more help with health and mana for your team. Generally speaking Boots of Travel are a better replacement for your Arcane Boots in the late game as these will give you high mobility in replacement of a mana boost. Usually by the late game, though, the mana boost your Arcane Boots give you is small enough that its worth the sacrifice. If you find yourself being targeted by spells fairly often consider Linkin's Sphere as it will give you spell block and really good stat boosts and health/mana regen. For more extreme cases go for Black King Bar instead so you dont get shut down in the team fight. Zeus is a pretty extreme threat so do not be surprised if you get targeted in the team fights. You wont get the nice stat boosts or regen, but you'll certainly last longer before getting disabled or pwnd by spells. Rod of Atos is good for the huge intelligence boost and with the cripple ability you will be able to chase down slippery heroes with ease. Shadow Blade is good if you find yourself getting targeted or ganked often. It doesn't give you the stats that you benefit most from, but the getaway stealth can save your godly skin. Bloodstone is one of those items where if you find yourself just overflowing with money, you get it. It'll give you incredible stats and regen and you'll also have a decreased respawn time, which considering if you play Zeus well and are getting a ton of kills its especially useful.
Arc Lightning is a great harassment tool and great for last hits. It has decent range and damage when you consider it can bounce across 15 units at its last level. Late in the game it can be used to flash farm creep waves as its mana cost is relatively low and its cooldown is a mere 1.6 seconds.
Lightning Bolt is your main damage dealer outside of your ultimate. It is the first spell you want to max out and it does incredible damage as well as grants True Sight in a fairly large area for 4.5 seconds. If you are lucky enough to lane against a squishy hero, feel free to take them to pound town with this spell. Easy 1/3 of a squishy heroes health per hit at max level. Even more damage if you combine it with Veil of Discord. It does a bit of a shorter range, hence the Aether Lens recommendation and the eventual level 25 talent for extra cast range.
Static Field is a great passive that does damage based on the unit/heroe's current health. Its cast range is larger than Arc Lightning so as long as they are in range to cast Arc Lightning, you can be sure they will be affected. At its last upgrade it will deal 10% current health as damage per instance so be sure the spam the **** out Arc Lightning to rack up damage between Lightning Bolts.
THUNDERGOD'S WRATH is the infamous ult that brings whole teams to their knees. Deals global damage to all enemy heroes. It does have a hefty mana cost so early game use it EXTREMELY wisely. It does have a 90 second cooldown which considering it does anywhere from 10,000 damage to 20,000 damage spread across a whole team its totally worth it.
HOW TO USE THEM SKILLS YOU GOT THERE
Use your Arc Lightning for last hits, flash farming, racking up damage via Static Field, deactivate enemies' Linkin's Sphere. Also use it to chase down fleeing heroes. Use Thunderbolt to just completely pimp slap your enemies into submission. It has great damage and will reveal that sneaky Riki thats running around. Good for de-warding as well. FOR YOUR ULT ---- DONT BE TOO QUICK TO CAST. A common mistake is to use it first chance you get in every fight whether 1v1 or 5v5. Especially in the early game, you dont have much mana to spare on a misused ult, so think twice before using it. Ask yourself the following questions before using that lovely ult of yours.
1. Will this change anything in the fight?
2. Will this affect more than one hero?
3. Will this kill a hero?
4. WILL THIS STEAL A KILL FROM A TEAMMATE?
As Zeus, you have a civic duty to your team to not intentionally steal kills just because you can. It's one thing to finish off a hero that is escaping, but if your teammate Tusk is about to land a gorgeous WALRUS PAWNCH!!! on a low health enemy, let him get the kill.
As mentioned above, don't be the douche canoe that steals kills with your massive burst damage or global ult. That being said, communication between you and your teammates to coordinate when to use your ult will land you some kills. Let your team know when your ult is ready so they can tell you if someone is low health and is escaping so you can finish them off the right way.
You are also one of the biggest damage dealers in the game. So if you notice a teammate being chased down, dont hesitate (usually) to hop in and save their hide. Zeus is relatively tanky and can out dps most heroes so you can really be the grace from heaven (get it? because you are a god?).
If you find yourself up against a cloaked hero or notice warding happening, make sure your team keeps an eye out for where they might be placed so you can go and de-ward with your Thunderbolt.
- Crazy amount of spell damage
- Tanky for an intelligence hero
- True sight from one of your spells
- Very good support-killer
- Finish off escaping heroes with ult easily
- Mana problems in the early game
- Literally the worst auto attack in the game I swear
- Easy to be a douch
All in all, Zeus really is a terrifying hero to go up against. Does insane amount of damage. Just be sure to always have mana at your disposal and *drum rolllllllllllllll*.............PREPARE TO BRING THE WRATH OF HEAVEN DOWN UPON YOUR FOES.