Zyra Build Guide by Mooninites
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Hello my name is Mooninites and welcome to my support Zyra guide. I consider myself a support main and I've been playing the support role for probably about a two years now. I've been playing support Zyra for a while now and she's still potent despite her fall off from competitive play. She has only gotten stronger since the Spellthief's Edge changes.
Why play Zyra?
I suppose you are wondering why you should play support Zyra over more traditional supports such as Leona or Annie. Zyra is an aggressive utility mage turned support. She is one of the more aggressive supports with incredible kill potential at virtually every level. With the consistent nerf of traditional sustain supports and tanky supports through Spellthief's Edge, a number of mages and various other champions have become a strong selection for support. Aside from very strong, ranged harass, Zyra's Grasping Roots and ultimate Stranglethorns are very strong forms of CC that can affect multiple targets and easily win a teamfight.
First in this guide we are going to examine Rune choices, as there are many different options. On a champion like Zyra I like to be aggressive and take aggressive runes, however you may choose otherwise. For example, if you find yourself new to Zyra support or support in general I might suggest totally different runes.
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration are my personal choice for Marks. Zyra has one of the longest and smoothest auto attacks out of any champion in the game. You should be using your auto attack fairly frequently. If you don't have Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetrations I would run Greater Mark of Magic Penetration.
Greater Seal of Armor are pretty much standard on every support. I don't really think there are many viable options aside from this. You could choose to run Mana Regen in place of armor, but you really open yourself up to dying very quickly. For me personally this is the only option because I run 21/0/9, if you're running 21 in defense you could get away with running mana regen, but I still would probably run armor yellows.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power are my personal choice of blues. I want to dominate the lane and flat AP blues will allow you to do that. The other option would be to take Magic resist, those are generally very good against Morgana and Annie. But I find that if I get hit by a stun by Annie or a binding by Morgana I'm likely dead, even with Magic Resist glyphs so I prefer to go with harass.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power are my personal choice. 5 Ability Power per rune (15 total) is quite strong at level 1. The only other option would be Greater Quintessence of Health.
This is the particular rune page I run. It's a very aggressive set up and scales very well into the late game. The other options are 0/9/21 which gives a good amount of utility with some survivability. The other options are 9/21/0 or 0/21/9 which give superior survivability .
This is the skill sequence that focuses on leveling Grasping Roots first. I prefer to max Grasping Roots first because it increases the duration of the root, which I find to be more valuable for picking people off or peeling. The reason Zyra was initially played as a support was for her peel. The difference between a Rank 1 Grasping Roots and Rank 5 is a .75 second snare versus a 1.75 second snare. After Grasping Roots level up Deadly Bloom and finally Rampant Growth. Deadly Bloom gives more effective harass and Rampant Growth really provides nothing except more passive CDR. Plant damage scales off your level, not the level of your Rampant Growth so there's really no reason to put points in it until the end.
The other option is to start and max Deadly Bloom first. I personally don't really like this route. Deadly Bloom is an effective harass tool, putting points in it increases the damage and lowers the cooldown, whereas points in Grasping Roots does not lower the cooldown. You get more damage per point in Deadly Bloom than Grasping Roots but as I mentioned above you don't have the utility. It comes down to personal preference, but even if I were to max Deadly Bloom first I would never take it at level 1 because Grasping Roots prevents you from getting engaged upon, can stop invades, and can help you invade. There isn't a huge difference in the base damage between Q and E at rank 1 either, so I choose the option of more utility. Additionally, the biggest problem I have with taking Deadly Bloom first is that it delays your Grasping Roots. If you take Deadly Bloom at level 1 you cannot get Grasping Roots until level 3. At level 2 you almost always wants to take Rampant Growth for harass. If you take Grasping Roots at level 2 you lose out on a lot of harass and what would be the point of starting Q in the first place? Not having Grasping Roots until level 3 makes you extremely vulnerable in a build in which I'm already vulnerable; not putting any points into the defensive tree nor taking Magic Resist in my glyphs. That is why, even if you are to max Deadly Bloom first, I highly recommend you still take Grasping Roots at level 1.
- This is core to any support build. Just because you want to pick up damage on Zyra does not mean you can ignore this item, you still need to place wards. Think of it as a form of g/10 because you won't be spending gold on wards and it also provides a good amount of health
- Health, Ability Power, and Spell Penetration are all so good on Zyra. It's also under 1500 gold and build's into another core item Liandry's Torment which is so effective on Zyra. It's not necessary that you upgrade Haunting Guise to Liandry's Torment immediately but you should generally buy Haunting Guise after your Frostfang and Sightstone are completed.
- I consider these core because of the recent Boots of Mobility nerf and how effective Spell Pen is on Zyra. You can get Merc Treads or Ninja Tabi if you prefer, but I personally rather focus on damage. Ionian Boots of Lucidity aren't bad, but they aren't great. Zyra isn't like Morgana in that she's focusing on getting off more spells in a team fight. Your Thornspitters scale off Spell Pen very well, because every auto scales of spell pen which is a lot more effective to me than getting off another Deadly Bloom in a team fight.
- The only reason that this isn't listed as core is because you aren't going to need it every game. Some games you won't have to peel, even still this is a very strong item. The main problem I have with this item is the components are terrible. Giant's Belt, Amp tome, and Blasting Wand are all pretty clunky to sit on. But if you need to peel than this item is core.
- The active isn't as strong as Talisman of Ascension but the rest of the stats are better for Zyra including the Gold generation. The active isn't that bad, it's another effective peel tool and it provides a pretty good amount of Ability Power and CDR.
- A good amount of Ability Power and Armor, but obviously the main reason to purchase this item is for the active Stasis. It can help you if you get caught out or are getting focused. It's a good item, but there are other more important items in your build before picking this one up. A good item if you can afford it though.
- I rarely buy this item, mainly because I usually don't have a spot for it unless it's incredibly late game and I am selling my Frost Queen's Claim just for more damage, even then it's just hard to fit into a build and most games won't last long enough to find room for it.
- One of the best actives in the game, the active is so broken that the relatively inferior stats are totally nullified by it's utility. Generally it's better to get this than Frost Queen's Claim even though I prefer the stats and peel on FQC.
- Very good against teams with a lot of magic damage or an extremely fed mage. I don't really like getting this item on Zyra because it takes up an item slot that I would rather put towards damage, but at times it's necessary to purchase this item. The active is pretty good which is nice, but this item appears to be changing so that it only provides magic resist, as opposed to armor as well. Stay tuned.
- A good item for catching people also provides a nice amount of Ability Power and Magic Resist for very cheap. It's an underrated item, but it has the same problem that Deathcap has in that it's hard to find a spot for it. If you're looking for an Ability Power Item with Magic Resist Athene's Unholy Grail is usually better.
- A great item with Ability Power, Magic Resist, Mana Regen, and CDR. This item provides a lot of what Zyra needs, but again it's hard to find a spot. It's sitautional.
- Only worth picking up if you need to dispel hard CC or suppression. It's got a long cooldown and relatively poor stats so I don't really like this item unless I have to get it for my ADC.