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Zyra Build Guide by Sarixis

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sarixis

A Forest of Thorns - Zyra Mid

Sarixis Last updated on September 6, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
12
13
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
7
8
9
10
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

Fury
 
 
5/
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
5/
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
1/
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 12

Wanderer
 
 
5/
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
1/
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 0



Threats to Zyra with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Karthus Karthus is not known for beating anyone straight up in lane. He will farm from a safe distance but not so far that plants can't poke him. Respect his ability to punish all-ins since his (E) will do a lot of damage over time. Roaming can be tricky since he will immediately shove your lane and possibly benefit from your roaming attempts by finishing weak teammates with his (R).



Introduction


Hello and welcome to my Zyra guide! My name is Sarixis, a 2 year member of MOBAFire and veteran League player. I've been playing League of Legends since August 2012, around a month after Jayce came out and I have over a thousand games under my belt. My main role is mid lane with a preference for utility and control mages but I do play Ahri and LeBlanc for a more assassin-oriented play style.

Since the Mage Update Zyra has become a staple of my mid lane roster even if she's a hipster pick. Her strong zoning power and adaptable usage of seeds allows for a lot of creative set ups which is highly appealing to me. Her counter engage also is fun for punishing aggression-happy players. Currently she's getting more spotlight as an obnoxious support and I think her mid lane capabilities are a bit underestimated.




Pros/Strengths:

+ Excellent zoning
+ Long range
+ Very mana efficient
+ Great objective control
+ Strong lockdown
+ Great late game damage
+ Strong counter-engage
Control Mage: With the mage update Zyra became significantly better at zoning areas with her plants thanks to her Garden of Thorns passive. Her objective control has also improved since she can keep enemies away with plants or in the case of baron nashor and dragon she can use plants to help take them faster. Since her passive's cooldown scales to spawn seeds faster with level, Zyra is very good at sieging and defending towers as well now. With the plants being her main source of damage, Zyra scales fairly well into late game since her damage will be based on plant DPS.

Zyra also excels in team fights with her AoE spells, plants, and crowd control. When played right, she should be able to safely whittle down enemies from a safe distance then catch and kill anyone who tries to get close. Her kit excels at counter-engage which lets her heavily punish bad initiations by the enemy team.



Cons/Weaknesses:

- No mobility
- Extremely squishy
- Very item dependent
- Reliant on plants for high damage
- Low early game presence
- Above average skill ceiling
- Plant AI isn't perfect
Squishy & Immobile: As far as mages go, Zyra is both immobile and extremely squishy with the 4th lowest health at level 1 and 18. This means that you are super dead if caught out as her. This makes positioning extremely crucial as even poke can make you bleed pretty badly.

Outside of extreme fragility Zyra is also heavily reliant on the plants for most of her damage and they can be killed rather easily. This means that not only does Zyra have to position well but she also needs to place her plants optimally. The plants are also pretty fragile too and AoE comps in general very easily shut them down before they can really do any damage. On top of their AI not being perfect this gives her an above average skill ceiling since proper plant utilization is a huge part of her gameplay. She also doesn't have great base damage or AP scaling so falling behind hurts a lot and can take you longer to come back.






Changing this from Zyra's old Rise of the Thorns passive was a significant buff to her overall play style. Now she has a constant supply of seeds to work with at all times which significantly improved multiple aspects of her gameplay. The seed spawn locations is RNG based but they prioritize brushes and choke points on the map so you can at least predict that.

Because of the partial randomness to seed spawn locations you need to adapt your laning from aggressive to passive on the fly. Try to take advantage of any defensive formations as bait scenarios or just freeze the lane and force your opponent to overextend a bit.



The other big change to Zyra's kit, now a Malzahar Call of the Void-esque ability. A lot of the time you'll just be using this ability to activate seeds while hitting minions at the same time in lane. Since it has a flat 60 mana cost now Zyra is even more mana efficient and can harass longer than most mages. The plant activation range is massive on this ability in that you should not have trouble creating thorn spitters as needed.

Thorn Spitters

These plants are your ranged artillery. They only have 25 less range than a tower so they're very good at controlling space. In lane they are your main source of harass fro ma safe distance and while they don't do much damage per shot it does add up and they are fantastic at proccing Thunderlord's Decree .

Once you get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter their damage potential significantly increases since they apply spell effects as AoE abilities. Overall they are your zoning plants of choice thanks to their huge range.



Proper usage of this ability will define your Zyra play. Average Zyra players will just use them during combos but they have so many uses beyond that. As seeds they function as mini-wards since they grant vision and also work as set up tools. Once you get some CDR the recharge time will be lowered enough to really make use of them for objective control.

Once you get used to the recharge time you can easily get 3-4 set up around objectives before the enemy team gets there. This makes for potent ambushes and team fighting. If you're really clever you can use seeds as a mind game against opponents and zone them out with just the possibility of spawning plants.



Completely unchanged from the rework but now it's Zyra's most damaging basic ability. Being able to land this will make or break your ability to play Zyra overall. With mobility being so commonplace, good prediction is key to landing the root. Because it holds enemies still for up to almost 2 seconds it indirectly increases the amount of damage your plants will do.

Vine Lashers

Vine lashers are important to Zyra particularly in the laning phase. Something people occasionally forget is that they inflict a 30% slow for 2 seconds which is a great way to get more plant damage off. Unless it was changed, if you have a thorn spitter and a vine lasher out they will both do full damage because they are not the same type of plant. This is very significant for Zyra's combos to maximize her damage potential.



Like everything else in Zyra's kit, her ultimate also has multiple applications. At first it just feels like a large AoE with delayed knockup but that's only the tip of the iceberg. The real power of this ultimate is how it affects your plants. It refreshes their duration, makes them bigger, and they do 50% increased damage. Also keep in mind that it refreshes the health and duration of plants within the AoE which can make for savage turns.

When used optimally you can create a lot of chaos with this ultimate and good plant set ups. And don't feel pressured about setting seeds before using this since you have 2 seconds to set up seeds and spawn plants as the thicket grows so they can be enraged. Once the knockup starts then you can get anymore plants enraged.

One its own this ultimate is powerful for counter-engage and covers a huge area. Don't just use this strictly for counter engage however. Because the AoE is massive you can use this as a zoning tool if you have multiple plants up. If you're pressured to rush Dragon or Baron you can use this to buff your plants for a fast secure and have enraged plants if a team fight ensues.




Combos are an important part of League of Legends and knowing which combos to use when is a basic skill. For clarity purposes I will be using Doran's Blade to indicate an auto attack.

/ > > >

An important thing to know with Zyra's combos is to never set seeds down first. It gives away your intentions and quick opponents can easily step on the seed before it can become a plant. Because of how her Q and E function you can easily set a seed in their path and mask them to an extent while ensuring a plant or the opponent taking damage.


> > > > >

Your main burst harass combo. Having one of each plant means they do full damage and with Thunderlord's Decree the burst is very solid. Be sure to use an auto attack to ensure the plants prioritize your lane opponent and for a pinch of extra damage.


> Knockup > > > >

This is your melee turn around combo. You won't get enraged plants but you will lock down your enemy pretty well and get plenty of plant damage.



> > > >

This is your all-in combo when you're not doing an ambush. This becomes easier to pull off when you get Rylai's Crystal Scepter but before then it takes practice to land.



> > > >

Your all-in combo when you are able to ambush an enemy. Hitting an enemy with this from the brush is devastating and more than likely will kill them if they're squishy.



> > > >

Another all-in combo with Zyra (she has many ways to do it I know).





Proper usage of seeds and plants is very important to playing Zyra effectively. For starters, you can use plants to trigger traps from champions like Teemo or Jhin so your allies don't take the damage. Understanding how the plants prioritize targets is key to maximizing their effectiveness as well.

These are the following factors that influence who your plants target:

- The closest target within 350 range.
- Enemies (prioritizing champions) who have been damaged by your abilities.
- The most recent enemy you hit with an AA.

Knowing this, you can effectively manipulate your harass and zoning patterns in lane. This is also highly effective for minion wave manipulation to keep pressure on your opponent without putting yourself in a dangerous position or pushing the wave too far.



Seed Planting


Rampant Growth seeds are also valuable scouting tools that act as mini-wards for you. Never feel obligated to sit on both seeds while waiting for the opponent to mess up, be proactive and stick one in a bush for free vision.

Planting a seed in a bush does the following while laning:
1. Gives a free 60 seconds worth of vision.
2. Grants true sight for 2 seconds if stepped on.
3. Can be used to stop/slow down a gank from the enemy jungler.
4. Allows you to better help track the enemy jungler.

As you can see, planting a spare seed in a bush around lane is quite beneficial given how limited vision is. Rampant Growth has 850 range which means you can safely place a seed to check a bush without getting jumped on most of the time.

Don't restrict yourself to just the side bushes, Garden of Thorns often prioritizes getting a seed in each side bush. This means it's better to place a scouting seed or a ward further in the river so you can see whether or not the jungler is coming sooner so you can surprise them with the plants in the bushes and keep them away.

Below are the bushes around mid lane Zyra can place seeds in and how far away she can place them from.

Mid Lane Side Bush Seeds


River & Jungle Entrance Seeds


The river locations become more important mid game for Dragon and Baron control. With CDR you can do some handy set ups by picking 2 nearby bushes and placing seeds in them. Try not to clump them together too much and moderate how many you place based on how quickly the enemy team is approaching.

When done correctly you'll have a nice surprise factor on your side and zone the enemy team away from a choke point when successful. This is a great way to buy time while your team takes Dragon or Baron, or weakens the enemy team enough that they would be more likely to lose the ensuing team fight.





> > >

OR

> > >


Zyra's skill sequence is a choice between Deadly Spines and Grasping Roots first. Q is better for waveclear and pushing while E gets a longer root duration with ranks. Personally I tend to put 3 ranks in Q before level 6 then either finish maxing it or start maxing E based on the situation. Rampant Growth is maxed last because it offers no extra damage and the amount of plant health gained would only be significant if they didn't have ward-style health and took modified damage.




Runes a big part of pre-game optimization to get the necessary stats a champion needs before they get any items. The optimal rune pages for Zyra are a touch pricey because of the primary stats she scales with. I have put the total price for each rune page below along with the prices for sets of runes.

Standard

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
1

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
2

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x 9 =1845
Greater Seal of Scaling Health x 9 = 3690
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction x 9 = 3690
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction x 1 = 1025
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration / Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x 2 = 2050
Total IP: 12300

This is the default rune page for Zyra that gives her plenty of useful stats and guarantees 20% CDR. The choice between penetration or AP quints is based on whether you plan to bully hard or want better waveclear and farming. I personally run AP quints for a smoother early game and laning phase so I maximize my CS.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Standard for every mage but incredibly important on Zyra since she scales hard with magic penetration. Every mage wants some magic penetration but Zyra really wants it because her AP ratios are not very good.



Greater Seal of Scaling Health: Very standard on mid laners because they are very cost efficient and help mitigate some squishiness. Because Zyra has the 4th lowest health in the game they are extremely vital on her. +12 Health per level doesn't sound like a lot but it adds up.



Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: While Zyra scales hard with magic penetration the most, cooldown reduction is the second best scaling stat on her. With it she can use her abilities, particularly her ultimate, Stranglethorns, more often. CDR also greatly affects Rampant Growth's recharge time so you can plant seeds more often.



Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration: These quints improve your harass and plant damage and should be taken when you plan to be a major bully. Zyra scales very well with magic penetration and it amplifies her burst damage.


Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: I personally take these quints for better waveclear and last hitting with the plants to ensure a smooth laning phase. After the Q buff in 6.15 Zyra actually can be considered to have decent AP ratios now so there's no harm in taking these quints.


Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: You want 1 of these because Zyra doesn't always build a lot of CDR so you're ensuring you get at least 20% CDR. Having 5 less AP isn't a huge detriment early game since Zyra can play far enough back while laning and multiple hits from her plants will make up for it.



Vs. AD

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
4

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
5

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Armor
1

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
2

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x 9 =1845
Greater Seal of Armor x 4 = 408
Greater Seal of Scaling Health x 5 = 2050
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction x 9 = 3690
Greater Quintessence of Armor x 1 = 1025
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration / Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x 2 = 2050
Total IP: 11376

Lots of different runes on this page to get the most stat optimization on Zyra. 1 Quint and 4 Seals of Armor will give enough armor for early game without sacrificing too much scaling health. Scaling CDR glyphs are still needed even though you'll likely buy Zhonya's Hourglass.

Greater Seal of Armor: You want at least 4 of these with 1 quint to reduce the damage your AD opponent does. I mix some scaling health with them since you'll rush Seeker's Armguard anyways and the extra health helps deal with Ignite damage. You can run full flat armor but I find 4 is enough given how far back Zyra tries to play.



Greater Quintessence of Armor: Just 1 of these is enough with 4 seals to have a decent amount of starting armor. That combination with scaling health will give you the best endurance against your AD opponents.



Vs. Hard AP

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x 9 =1845
Greater Seal of Scaling Health x 9 = 3690
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x 9 = 918
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration / Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x 3 = 3075
Total IP: 9528

This is for laning against difficult AP matchups and also the cheapest rune page of the three. You do have to sacrifice scaling CDR which sucks but not dying is more important. This actually makes for a solid page for just starting to learn Zyra given how much cheaper the page is and the relative safety it brings.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: These are best taken against a lane opponent with heavy burst or poke. Matchups where these are effective include Ahri, Annie, Azir, LeBlanc, etc. many of them you'll be inclined to buy an Abyssal Scepter to bring your total MR to 102.





Like Runes, Masteries are important for pre-game optimization to enhance your champion’s strengths and help mitigate any weaknesses. Typically mastery pages are less variable compared to rune pages since it’s mostly specing a couple of points differently.

Zyra wants Thunderlord's Decree most of the time since Deathfire Touch only shines in the late game.

With Season 6, Zyra benefits from both the Ferocity and Cunning trees.

Ferocity Tree

Sorcery : A pretty simple choice that you should be taking as a mage. 2% increased spell damage is excellent for any mage, Zyra included.

Double Edged Sword vs. Feast : This is really a preference choice. Taking Double Edged Sword is great for extra damage and the increased damage taken isn't too awful since you're really squishy anyway. Feast helps you sustain better and is solid for when you want to play safer in lane.

Natural Talent : What Natural Talent offers outstrips Vampirism and helps with early game harass and waveclear.

Bounty Hunter vs. Oppressor : Oppressor is better early game but the damage bonus from Bounty Hunter scales up to 5% which is twice the value. The mastery sounds like it’s designed for snowball champions but as a solo laner you should be doing a lot of damage to help your team and likely will get a high kill count. Personally I take Oppressor because of its consistency and because Zyra has a fair amount of CC in her kit.

Piercing Thoughts : I wanted to run Battering Blows but I was told this is better. Just kidding, as an AP champion you should run this mastery if you're going deep into Ferocity like I sometimes do. The extra % magic penetration is good to have especially in a meta that favors tanks like right now. With a Void Staff you'll get a total of 40% magic penetration (multiplicative stacking).

Deathfire Touch : This isn't a bad mastery on Zyra but it's meant for those who want sustained damage during team fights with a late game focus. Since you will get Liandry's Torment at some point and the synergy becomes obvious for burning health off your enemies. On average though Thunderlord's Decree is more useful for a longer portion of the game.



Cunning Tree


Savagery : Zyra takes more risk than your average mage by trying to roam so Wanderer isn't particularly good on her. Savagery on the other hand makes it easier to last hit which is something you will be doing throughout the game. This makes it the preferred mastery.

Secret Stash vs. Assassin : This choice comes down to how confident you are in your ability to bully your lane opponent away or not. If yes, feel free to take Assassin for extra damage. If you would prefer to harass passive-aggressively then Secret Stash is a better option.

Merciless : Zyra is very mana efficient so Meditation is unnecessary on her. As a mage doing damage is important and being able to do more to finish off someone is excellent.

Dangerous Game : You should be taking this since Bandit is meant for supports. The healing can make for clutch saves against DoTs and even Ignite after a successful gank or roam.

Precision : Intelligence is nice but Precision is too good on Zyra since she scales hard with magic penetration. Personally I don't go this far into Cunning but if you choose to definitely get this.

Thunderlord's Decree : A very strong mastery at the moment and great for early game damage. With all of your penetration this will do some solid damage. The choice between this and Deathfire Touch is based on whether you're mid or late game focused. Personally I prefer Thunderlord's Decree since Zyra procs it very easily and it helps her early game.





You will always take this summoner spell for its sheer versatility. It's your get out of jail free card and lets you make plays if need be too. Considering you have zero mobility this is a godsend summoner to have for getting out of bad situations.

The only question you should ask about taking Flash is whether to bind it to D or F.



Very common choice for mid laners and not a bad one on Zyra. It's great for securing the kill and snowballing a lead and the healing reduction is handy too. Often the best time to take this is when you're against a team with a lot of healing. Because the damage scales with level it's not very impressive early game so it will mostly make the enemy a moving campfire. Though as a campfire they are revealed for the duration of the summoner which is very handy.

Personally I don't take this summoner as often as I used too. My reasons being that against tanks with healing the DPS build with Morellonomicon typically does the job and getting within 600 range during a team fight to ignite them is very dangerous as Zyra.



Your best option vs. assassins to reduce their burst potential. This also has great synergy with Zyra since it weakens her target and the slow keeps them near her plants longer to take more damage. The utility is excellent throughout the game and is devastating if the enemy team has two auto attackers. Overall an excellent summoner that pairs extremely well with Zyra's counter engage play style.



Lately I've become fond of this summoner spell. Zyra is extremely immobile and this helps her cope with ganks without having to always use Flash. The movement speed increases with levels which makes it handy throughout the entire game. Because it lasts for 10 seconds I will sometimes use it to hurry to a lane if I'm following my lane opponent or pre-emptively if I think the enemy team is going to try and dive the back line. I recommend this summoner to people who prefer to play safer in lane or if you're against a team with high mobility. Zyra already has a lot of damage in her kit and scales very well so it isn't detrimental to take Ghost over a more offensive summoner.



A very handy summoner for getting across the map. If you're having a hard time early on you can base, buy stuff, then Teleport back to put your opponent in a worse position and make it harder for them to leave lane. It also helps remedy some of Zyra's trouble with roaming and can set up devastating ganks with a bush teleport ambush.

The high utility of this summoner also lets you use it to quickly get to a tower to defend it or warp to a ward before your team takes an objective.



Cleanse is taken against teams with lots of hard CC and it can also be taken against some assassins since it removes Ignite. What makes it shine against hard CC comps is that you have the chance to break out instead of having every CC piled onto you helplessly.





Proper itemization is big part of League of Legends since having an item that does nothing for is extremely bad and a waste of hard earned gold. Zyra's build path is relatively straight forward since there a multiple high priority items she desires.

Starting Items


This is the cookie-cutter start the majority of mid lane mages take, giving you a good mix of stats and sustain. This will be your start almost every game to make laning phase go as smoothly as possible. If you have to prioritize a defensive item like Abyssal Scepter or Zhonya's Hourglass then it's recommend to pick up a second Doran's Ring for extra sustain.



Lane Items



Double Doran's Ring is a great combination to have if you don't plan to build Lost Chapter. This ensures that you won't have any mana problems in lane and improved waveclear overall. Getting Boots of Speed is important since Zyra is immobile and easy to gank.

With the removal of Stealth Wards, Vision Wards are extremely crucial and you should be getting one every time you shop unless you still have one on the map. They're dirt cheap and last indefinitely unless they're found by the enemy team. It's not a bad idea to carry a spare on hand however if you think your current ward will be found and destroyed soon.




Assuming you don't get Lost Chapter, if you're against an assassin then you want to build one of these 2 items based on their damage.

Against an AD opponent you need the armguard to reduce their damage output against you. In this situation you'll be inclined to rush Zhonya's Hourglass which is a very effective item against the likes of Talon, Yasuo, and Zed. With 2 Doran's Rings you should have enough sustain against them to survive and not get bullied back too far.

Negatron Cloak is for when facing AP assassins or opponents with a lot of magic burst. Not being able to get a more offensive item early on sucks but surviving early is huge in a snowball-centric meta. With just a Negatron Cloak however you can trade pretty effectively with most of these champions. Thankfully Abyssal Scepter is a solid item on Zyra and the MR reduction aura is basically magic penetration which means you do more damage.



Core Items


These are the items to prioritize every game and should be in your final build as Zyra. Sometimes you will find situations where you need to delay an item for something like Abyssal Scepter and that's okay.

As far as itemization is concerned these are Zyra's priorities in order:
1. Spell Effects
2. Magic Penetration
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. AP

There's a reason AP is so low in priority for Zyra is because her main power spikes are from passive effects from items like Liandry's Torment. This means the earliest you should be getting a Rabadon's Deathcap is no sooner than a 3rd AP item. Instead focus on getting at least over 20% CDR then maximize her magic penetration since Zyra scales hard with it.

A crucial item to let Zyra scale into late game. I don't recommend delaying this item any longer than as a 2nd AP item. The DoT passive gets a lot of mileage with Zyra's plants for stronger DPS and the penetration improves her burst against squishies. Buying this gives Zyra a very significant power spike, increasing her overall damage and letting her be a threat to tanks.



The classic shoes of choice for mages and very critical to Zyra for maximizing her damage. 15 flat magic penetration is excellent for making her plants hurt more and allowing to better burst squishy targets who have inherently low MR.


The staple item for mages to crank up their AP values. On Zyra this item is best with Deathfire Touch to boost her sustained damage but it's fine with Thunderlord's Decree too. While Zyra does benefit from AP, she scales better with passive item effects so you won't ever get this item earlier than as a 3rd AP item.

Once you get this item though Zyra gains significant burst damage on her abilities, particularly Stranglethorns with its 70% AP ratio. If the enemy team tries to engage and you drop your ult, it will hurt.



This item will be bought 95% of the time. The 5% is if you're against a squishy team that can't build a a lot of MR. Regardless it's a very cost efficient item and against squishies this functions as another pair of Sorcerer's Shoes giving between 10.5 - 14.7 magic penetration depending on whether or not they have MR glyphs. Cutting a 3rd of the enemy's effective MR when doing damage is great to have and getting this item completes our magic penetration needs. At this point you should be decently bursty.



Situational Offense


Zyra has 2 major play styles for how she will deal damage to the enemy team. These are DPS and Poke; and they require different offensive situational items to start off your build. The following items are core based on which play style you're aiming for:

Morellonomicon = DPS
Luden's Echo = Poke

Situational Offense


Situational Defense


Situational Defense






Zyra's early game isn't very good but she can still annoy her opponent. Adapt your play style based on how seeds spawn from Garden of Thorns. If they keep spawning closer to your opponent, use Q or E to make them plants to harass your opponent but don't blow through your mana. Your bullying tactics should be focused on poking rather than constantly fighting since Zyra excels and harass from a safe distance. When they spawn closer to your tower you should play more defensively and focus on freezing lane to CS.

Because you're major source of damage for your team, farm is super important so don't be sloppy. A solid average is at least 70-75 CS by 10 minutes and 140-150 CS by 20 minutes. Kills are nice but solid CS is a must to reliably get gold for your items. Take advantage of custom games to practice last hitting so you can get a consistently higher average. Also take advantage of plants being able to last hit minions too.

Trading


Trading is important as a secondary goal in lane to deal damage. Zyra has good trading thanks to plants providing sustained damage. Your common method of trading will be Deadly Spines > Rampant Growth to get spell damage and have the thorn spitter do extra damage. Another way is to catch an opponent with Grasping Roots > Rampant Growth, having the opponent rooted briefly means the plant will do more damage (that extra smack makes a difference).

Keep in mind that longer trades will typically go in Zyra's favor, especially if the opponent neglects any plants hitting them. Use this to your advantage by making the opponent chase you, standing further back, etc. anything that keeps them in range of the plants but takes them longer to get to you.





At this point the first towers are starting to fall and people are running around the map. Many mid laners like to roam and while Zyra can she isn't the best at it. What she is good at however is pushing like a pregnant woman. Use this to your advantage to make it very hard for the enemy laner to roam since they will lose CS and their tower will take damage. As Zyra it's easy and safe for you to do so since you can stay relatively far back to avoid being ganked.

A good player in these situations will often focus on trying to kill you so they can roam and you need to be prepared for that.

Try to have these parts of the map warded as often as possible:



Having vision of those areas gives you enough time in advance to react to an approaching jungler. Your opponent may call them to gank you so they actually can roam and warding those areas is an important defense. If you see the jungler coming you should pull back closer to your tower and set up seeds where you think they will approach from. Try to also place these seeds in a way so that the plants can whack the enemy laner too.



Ambushing


Zyra isn't much of a roamer but her ambushes are vicious and great for getting picks. What helps this is that Garden of Thorns tries to prioritize placing a seed in each nearby bush. With good vision control this gives you great capacity to set up prior to an enemy's arrival. If your passive is finicky then just use Rampant Growth on the bushes. Be sure to check if the area for your ambush is warded or not otherwise your fun will be spoiled.

Using Grasping Roots from the brush is very effective as well since it's less telegraphed. This means on average the unsuspecting enemy will suddenly get rooted and watch as the plants assault them. If you do your entire rotation and the enemy isn't tanky this will very likely kill them. Getting the jungler this way is huge since it relieves map pressure from them for your team and allows you to freely take objectives like Dragon.



Late Game


Late game as Zyra is focused around providing sustained damage in team fights and massive zone control. At this point she'll have enough CDR to freely place Rampant Growth seeds and recharge them quickly. Both teams will be roaming the map at this point for picks and objectives to take. You'll be focusing on being with your team and controlling zones and choke points around objectives to discourage enemies from coming through. Avoid being close to the front-line at all times since you are squishy and will die very easily.

A fantastic thing about late-game Zyra is that she has ridiculous kiting power once she builds a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Even though she's immobile, her plants still apply a 40% slow since they apply spell effects as AoE. Combined with Liandry's Torment and the fact plants apply spell effects as AoE and this becomes a sneaky way to wear down enemies. It won't save you if an enemy jump on top of you but from a decent distance away and landing Grasping Roots consistently you can put the entire enemy team on a chase.

A similar technique can be applied with your plants in bushes for baiting. Set up seeds in an area and try to appear alone and vulnerable to lead in greedy enemies. Once they get close enough or attempt to gap-close, root them down, place Stranglethorns, and activate your seeds to unleash the forest against your enemies. This doesn't always work but it's a potent option when it does.





During a team fight these are your priorities:
- Predict where the enemy team will move during a fight
- Lock down the appropriate zones and chokes points
- Peel fellow squishies
- Use plants to zone out enemies
- Pick off an enemy squishy if it's not too risky
- Deal damage from a safe distance

This is tricky to get used to as it requires a lot of prediction to maximize your effectiveness. Zyra s actually a great team fighter because of how applicable her kit is and what she brings to the table. Expect to have more difficulty against AoE heavy teams who can easily disarm your plants with two abilities so good positioning is more crucial than ever. Because Zyra builds a lot of penetration, you should do a fair amount of damage to the enemy front-liners which is great when you need to kite them.

There are times though where you can easily get a pick on an out of position opponent that decides a team fight. This is devastating since you can definitely burst a squishy easily late game but the plants will also help cover your exit. You need to be careful about making picks since Flash is your only way out and if you used it to catch them you may very well be screwed.

If the games comes to a halt where both teams are moving back and forth looking for an engage, take advantage of it by regularly using plants to poke the enemy team and try to zone them back. Seeds will be on a low enough cooldown at this point that Zyra can reliably win wars of attrition. Being in one area for a longer time also gives Zyra the edge because she'll get more seeds in the area thanks to her passive.




Thank you for reading my guide! I made it as a labor of love and hopefully it ingrains an interest in playing Zyra or helps you better understand how to play her. If you really like this guide feel free to upvote! Please give me any comments, feedback, or suggestions as well, I handle criticism very well.

I plan to update the matchups with time since I haven't gotten to face all of them yet. Good luck on the Rift!