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Zyra Build Guide by procrastinasian

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League of Legends Build Guide Author procrastinasian

Death Is In... Spines? - Comprehensive Zyra Guide [Season 6]

procrastinasian Last updated on August 29, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
8
10
12
13
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
Mordekaiser Uncommon. His abilities are extremely short ranged, and you can kite him for days with Rylai's. Stay out of his range and abuse your never ending poke.
1
Teemo Uncommon. This matchup is super easy, as blinds don't matter to you and you can remove his mushrooms with your plants.
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Introduction

Hi everyone, I'm procrastinasian and this is an in-depth guide to Zyra: The Rise of the Thorns. I have always been in love with the idea of control mages, and Zyra's unique zoning style is by far my favorite thing about her. Being able to turn a gank or even a teamfight around by simply pressing R is hilarious, and the consistent plant damage contributes a lot to Zyra's incredible damage output at the end of the game. This guide will cover all the little tricks you need to play Zyra, both in midlane or as a support.


If you end up taking the time to learn how to play Zyra, I can promise you that you'll be rewarded. I put a lot of effort into making this guide, so thank you so much for taking the time to read it.


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Pros / Cons

+
She starts the game lane dominant, and only gets stronger from there. Zyra has some of the strongest early game damage in the game. At level 3, hopefully with some seeds already down thanks to Garden of Thorns, your full combo does ~220 + 140% AP damage, along with Thunderlord's Decree and a few autos, hopefully.
+
Plants have huge DPS. People will often try to ignore your plants, which is a big mistake, as four plants (two from Garden of Thorns and two from Rampant Growth) deal 60 + 30% AP every second they stay in range.
+
Good anti-gank potential. Zyra's burst potential, while lower than before the rework, is still surprisingly high, and if a low jungler makes the mistake of walking into your lane, you can easily turn a gank around.
-
One of the squishiest champions in the game. Zyra's base health pool is miniscule, so taking flat health is necessary when going bot. Never dedicate yourself too hard to an engage, because before you get your health items, you need to be extremely careful.
-
Inconsistent CC and Immobile. Zyra's root is one of the slowest projectiles in the game, and your ult is designed for counter-engage, so don't expect to consistently get the knockup. Along with a pitiful 0.75 second snare, she's also extremely immobile, making Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Hextech GLP-800 mandatory on her.


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Runes

Magic Pen Marks
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greater mark of hybrid penetration
Hybrid Pen Marks
Marks:
Magic pen marks are the best marks to take on a mage, as they end up contributing more to your overall damage output than Ability Power would.
greater mark of hybrid penetration Hybrid pen marks can also be useful if you know you're going to trade autos in lane. Zyra has a relatively high attack range, so the extra armor penetration also helps. Hybrid pen runes fall off in the late game however, because you won't be using basic attacks after the laning phase. These runes are similar to Ignite, as they are used to help you win the laning phase, while providing little usefulness anywhere else.
Seals:
Armor seals will help you in auto-attack trades during the laning phase, as they compensate for the general armor nerfs everywhere. Whether you're in mid or bot, taking less damage from basic attacks is always helpful.
Seals of health or seals of scaling health make up for Zyra's terrible health pool, so they can also help you survive the laning phase, especially in midlane, when auto attack trades are less frequent. Health is the counter to true damage, so taking these runes could protect you from your enemy's Ignite.
Armor Seals
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Scaling Health Seals
Magic Resist Glyphs
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Magic Pen Glyphs
Glyphs:
Magic resist glyphs will protect you from a lot of magic damage, which is necessary when going mid. When playing support Zyra, you will always end up taking magic damage from the enemy support, so unless they have a Soraka, and an AD mid and top, you should stick with magic resist.
If you're feeling cocky or there's little risk of burst magic damage on the enemy team, you can take magic pen glyphs instead.
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Ability Power Quints
Quints:
Quints are utility based, so it's actually your choice as to what you want to take. I usually choose AP quints, as it helps your early game burst. Magic pen quints are also helpful, and they scale really well into the late game. Armor quints can also be taken when going support to protect yourself from the enemy ADC, as Zyra has some of the worst base defensive stats.
Magic Pen Quints


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Masteries

Ferocity Tree
Zyra is designed as a damage dealer in whichever lane you're sent to, so 18 points in Ferocity will help capitalize on her damage potential. In this tree, I take: Deathfire Touch vs. Thunderlord's Decree is a huge debate, but as a midlaner, your main role is damage, and Deathfire Touch , although it has garbage base damage along with AD scaling for some reason, has fewer drawbacks than Thunderlord's Decree ’s 30 second cooldown. Zyra’s consistent DPS makes Deathfire Touch the better choice.
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alternate ferocity masteries (support)

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Cunning Tree
Midlaners almost always go 18/12/0, and Zyra is no exception. Some standard ones to take are:
  • Savagery helps you with last hitting, and the on-hit applies to your plants’ attacks as well.
  • unless you’re duoing with someone and they’re going jungle and you know that they’ll give you every buff, just take Secret Stash .
  • Merciless is a good mastery, replacing Executioner from Season 5. Only passive supports take Meditation , and since you’re an aggressive mage, the answer seems obvious.
  • Dangerous Game is possibly one of the best masteries in the game, as it can directly save your life.
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alternate cunning masteries (support)


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Summoner Spells


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FLASH
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Flash is the best summoner spell in the game by far, and it's mandatory to take it on almost every champion. It can serve as a gap-closer or an escape, and it's a versatile spell that's usually taken by all 10 players. On a champion as immobile as Zyra, Flash is invaluable.

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IGNITE
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EXHAUST
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If you're against someone squishy / someone with a mediocre laning phase, Ignite is a good option. Otherwise, Barrier and Teleport are better options, as they scale better. As a support, I almost always take Ignite unless my ADC is someone who just needs to farm up like Kog'Maw.
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Exhaust should be taken on Zyra if your ADC needs peel against a hard engage botlane. It should also be taken if there is an enemy assassin like Zed on the enemy team. Exhaust outscales Ignite later, so it can also be taken if you're not sure you can snowball the midlane and there is someone like Kha'Zix on the enemy team.


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Midlane Items

Core Items:

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Morello-
nomicon
Morellonomicon is now the standard mage rush item, as it gives you 20% CDR and the old Athene's Unholy Grail mana on kill/assist. If you need to rush a different item first, grab an early Lost Chapter to fix your mana issues. BLANK SPACE
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a great item that synergizes well with Zyra because her plants apply spell effects, enabling her to peel for herself, or a team member if need be. The extra health it gives you also benefits Zyra, partially making up for her innate squishiness.
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Cheaper Rushes:
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Sorcerer's Shoes
Sorcerer's Shoes provide a huge damage boost for Zyra because of her reliance on flat penetration instead of AP because of her mediocre ratios. The extra movement speed is also extremely useful for dodging champion abilities or just repositioning in a fight to land a good Grasping Roots. BLANK SPACE
Haunting Guise
Haunting Guise is a very useful purchase because it gives you both health and flat magic penetration, increasing your damage against squishy champions by a huge margin. If you finish both of these items, feel free to roam down bottom for an easy double kill against ~30 MR targets.
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Defensive Items:
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Abyssal Scepter
Abyssal Scepter grants Zyra a good amount of magic resistance, as well as magic pen against champions that dive on her, making it a good rush item against champions like Fizz, LeBlanc, and Diana. BLANK SPACE
Zhonya's Hourglass
Zhonya's Hourglass needs to be rushed against Zed and Talon, or if the enemy team has an AD assassin jungler. It can also be used against champions with telegraphed burst (i.e. Lux) or if the enemy ADC starts snowballing.
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Penetration:
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Void Staff
Void Staff provides some of the best burst in the game and should be your second/third item in the game when even/ahead. Because of Zyra’s low AP ratios, Void Staff will provide almost the same amount of burst as a Rabadon's Deathcap but for more than 1,000 less gold. BLANK SPACE
Liandry's Torment
Liandry's Torment doesn’t need to be bought too early, as the most important stat on it is the magic penetration it provides. If there is an enemy Volibear or Dr. Mundo however, this item combined with Morellonomicon allows a single plant’s attack to reduce their healing for 11 seconds: the entire duration of Chosen of the Storm and all but one second of Sadism.
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Other Options:
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Rabadon's Deathcap
Rabadon's Deathcap can be bought if you’re obscenely ahead or if you’re already full build with gold spilling out of your pockets. You’ll get more burst for your gold with a Void Staff or Hextech GLP-800. BLANK SPACE
Luden's Echo
Luden's Echo gives you movement speed to dodge slow projectiles, as well as extra burst. This is a good item to buy against Lux, Zyra, and Anivia. Most of the usefulness of this comes from the combination of a Luden's Echo proc, which activates Rylai's Crystal Scepter's slow as well as a doubled Liandry's Torment DoT, all from one plant attack, making it extremely valuable for poke against squishy teams.
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Hextech GLP-800
Hextech GLP-800 is a really fun item to buy, as it gives you a nice slow for an easier Grasping Roots as well as extra burst damage. It can be invaluable against an immobile champion, and it is especially useful for stopping Wanderer or Boots of Mobility users in their tracks. BLANK SPACE
Tank Items
Banshee's Veil and Randuin's Omen are both items that give strong defensive stats with a little utility as well. Banshee's Veil can help against strong engage abilities like Unstoppable Force, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, and Rocket Grab, as well as champions like Katarina and LeBlanc. Randuin's Omen is helpful if your team has a weak or nonexistent frontline to help you get your burst off without dying.


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Support Items

Core Items:

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Frost Queen's Claim
Frost Queen's Claim is almost always my go-to item of my two options. Zyra is both immobile and squishy so face-checking a bush midgame will be the end of you. That, and it provides some utility that, as a support, you definitely need. It costs just over 2k gold and ends up paying back for itself through the tribute passive. Since Rylai's Crystal Scepter is usually a long ways off (you buy it after Sightstone and Haunting Guise), the slow will be invaluable when chasing away incoming jungle ganks. BLANK SPACE
Eye of the Watchers
Eye of the Watchers can be a replacement for Frost Queen's Claim if you know that you’re safe from bush camps all game long. It gives you another item slot, and although you lose the Spoopy Ghosts, you still get the unrestricted tribute passive.
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Situational Rushes:
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Sightstone
Sightstone is anything but optional on a support, but I typically only buy it if the midlaner is roaming or will roam early ( LeBlanc or Katarina), if I’m losing lane and I need the bonus health, or if a bot tower has been destroyed. BLANK SPACE
Haunting Guise
Haunting Guise’s usefulness can’t be understated in botlane. Flat magic penetration becomes more useful the lower the enemy’s MR is, and when an ADC and support both have ~40 MR even at 20 minutes, this combined with your runes gives you near true damage. Take it when ahead to start the snowball with ~30 magic pen with runes. BLANK SPACE
Sorcerer's Shoes
Sorcerer's Shoes are your other option for flat magic penetration, but, if you take my support runes, having 50+ magic penetration is overkill. Take Haunting Guise when you’re ahead to keep the snowball rolling, as the enemy support will most likely have to purchase an Aegis of the Legion for you. Take boots when even or you need the movement speed.
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NON SITUATIONAL RUSH:
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Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rylai's Crystal Scepter gets its own section. Why? Because it gives you the one thing that Zyra needs: utility. Your ADC has one job: auto attack the enemy as much as possible and don’t die. Guess what helps with both? The fact that your plants constantly refresh the slow, the fact that you’re doing more damage to the enemy team because of the 100 AP this item provides, and the fact that you probably survived that last fight because this item gives you 400 health. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is the one item that you buy EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. If you’ve ever been against a Zyra with Rylai's, you know just how much work this item alone puts out in teamfights.
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Splitpushing:
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Banner of Command
Banner of Command should be bought if you lost your tower early to help your ADC push to their tower and pressure mid. BLANK SPACE
Zz'Rot Portal
Zz'Rot Portal can be bought with Banner of Command to constantly pressure a lane of your choice while you teamfight at mid.
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Fancy Things:
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Rabadon's Deathcap
Rabadon's Deathcap gives you 35% more AP. You know what you don’t have as Zyra support? Lots of AP. Don’t buy the fedora. BLANK SPACE
Luden's Echo
Luden's Echo (the Fancy Stick) costs 3200 gold and, like the Fancy Hat, is Too Expensive. Don’t buy the Fancy Stick.
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I’m a Support™:
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DON'T BUY
Locket of the Iron Solari has bad stats for Zyra and a weak active that would be more useful on more traditional babysitter supports. Don’t buy it, or Mikael's Crucible, no matter what your team tells you.


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Abilities

GARDEN OF THORNS
Zyra plants 1/1/2 Seeds every 13/11.5/10/8.5 seconds in her vicinity (1250 range), up to a maximum of 8 planted at any one time (this total accounts for Seeds planted both by Garden of Thorns and Rampant Growth) with the oldest one being destroyed after Zyra plants a new Seed.
Seeds planted by Garden of Thorns last for 45 seconds and briefly grant sight of the spot Zyra planted them in. Enemy champions can destroy Seeds by stepping on them after 1 second of having been planted, but doing so will grant Zyra true sight of them for 1.5 seconds.
Casting Deadly Spines or Grasping Roots causes Seeds to bloom into Plants, which last for 5-7.5 seconds, have 4-6 health, and deal 24-109(+15% AP) magic damage. Plants beyond the first deal 50% damage.
Seeds prioritize bushes and places away from walls, and they will not spawn too close to another plant. Zyra does not plant seeds while in brush.
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Tips and Tricks:
There’s a lot of stuff in this paragraph that basically boils down to: you get a free Plant every 10 seconds. This passive is infinitely times more useful than her old one, and it alone is the reason why Zyra is the in-meta lane-dominant support she is right now. In lane, the Seeds will aim for bushes to provide vision for you as well as zone of your lane opponents. The Seeds also act as great bait, because the constant threat of plants draws them into stepping on your passive seeds, leaving them open and vulnerable.
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DEADLY SPINES
Zyra sprouts thorny vines at the target location after a 0.625-second delay, dealing 60/95/130/165/200 (+ 60% AP) magic damage to enemies within the area.

If Deadly Spines hits a seed, a Thorn Spitter sprouts from it, attacking enemies within 750 range.
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Tips and Tricks:
This ability appears simple at first glance. And second glance. Yeah, it’s simple. Decent-ish waveclear, and decent-ish poke, the strength in this spell is its ability to spawn many Seeds at once, due to it’s large spawn box.
It has a low mana cost and cooldown, making it very useful for poking. The low AP ratio on the ability encourages penetration over stacking ability power.
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RAMPANT
GROWTH
Passive: Zyra’s plants get increased maximum health and she stores a seed periodically, up to a maximum of 2 stored at once.
Active: Zyra plants a seed at the target location up to a maximum of 8 planted at any one time (thiis total accounts for Seeds planted by both Garden of Thorns and Rampant Growth with the oldest one being destroyed after Zyra plants a new Seed.
Seeds planted by Rampant Growth last for 60 seconds and briefly grant sight of the spot Zyra planted them in. Enemy champions can destroy seeds by stepping on them after 1.5 seconds, but doing so will grant Zyra true sight of them for 2.
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Tips and Tricks:
Basically: Seeds from Rampant Growth last 15 seconds longer than ones from Garden of Thorns and have a half second more of invulnerability when placed. Use them in a fight at botlane if an enemy takes bush control to let both your ADC and your Plants to continue attacking uninhibited. In lane, never use both stocks at once, because you will almost always create a Plant via Garden of Thorns. Later in the game, spreading Seeds throughout choke points is a good way to zone out enemy carries.
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GRASPING ROOTS
Zyra sends a surge of vines in the target direction, dealing 60/95/130/165/200 (+ 50% AP) magic damage to enemies hit and rooting them for 0.75/1/1.25/1.5/1.75 seconds.
If Grasping Roots hits a seed, a Vine Lasher sprouts from it, attacking and slowing enemies within 400 range.
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Tips and Tricks:
Because it can theoretically root everyone on the enemy team for more than a second, it deserves its slow projectile speed, but that also makes this ability quite hard to land, thus making it better as a counter-engage tool than anything else.
Use this ability in lane for two things: amBUSHes to assassinate squishy targets and counterengage. The first is self explanatory: an ADC is coming up to your bush to ward it? KILL THEM. The second isn’t much more complicated: poke down your lane opponents until they get mad enough to walk up in a straight line into you and you can say goodbye to their health bars.
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STRANGLE-
THORNS
Zyra summons a monstrous thicket at the target location, dealing 180/265/350 (+ 70% AP) magic damage to all enemies in the area as it expands. After 2 seconds, the vines snap upward, knocking up all enemies caught in the thicket for 1 second.
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Tips and Tricks:
Stranglethorns’ damage spreads out with the particles, meaning that enemies in the center of the ultimate will receive the damage before enemies on the edge of it, and fast enemies can theoretically “outrun” the damage. If you’re using it as a burst ability against someone with a gap closer, make sure you either put it on top of them or have them cc’ed while you cast it.
Not only does it increase the attack speed of the plants inside the ultimate, it also heals them back to maximum health as well as refreshing their duration. Admiteddly, this doesn’t really do much late game when plants melt in a second because of Sunfire Capes and splash damage everywhere, but in a 1v1 or even in a midgame teamfight, that comes in handy a lot.
Lastly, the attack speed bonus applies to every plant in the AoE created before the knockup, which includes plants spawned during the period where your ultimate is ‘growing’


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Trivia

A standard plus an autoattack will proc Thunderlord's Decree , as well as earning you 27 gold ( Spellthief's Edge and Bandit )

If your opponent has a clear, obvious skillshot that starts their combo (i.e. or ), you can 'block' it by casting directly towards them and placing a seed right in front of you, spawning a plant to block the skillshot for you and briefly turning the tables around.

If someone tower dives you, but you know where they'll end up (i.e. , , or ), a well-timed into will force them to disengage. If they don't, you probably just got yourself a free kill.

As long as you cast before the knockup from , the plants will still become enraged.


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Thanks! (and credits)

Thanks for reading my guide, but special thanks to:
NorthernRedStar for their amazing guide!
as well as MrMad2000 for their useful advice and great guide!


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Change Log

11/12/15:
Moved to this guide from Choke the Life From Them
11/14/15:
Updated the items guide for Season 6, updated the Runes chapter, updating the Items chapter.
11/16/15:
Fixed up Runes Chapter and Skill Sequence Chapter. Renamed Skill Sequence Chapter to Abilities Chapter. Updating Items Chapter.
11/18/15:
Finished Midlane Item Build.
5/18/16:
Haven't updated in a long time, updated abilities and items for the gigantic mage update. Added Jungle Path and fixed a few mistakes.
8/26/16:
Who do I think I am? I come back 3 months later and all I have to show for it is an updated Items section?? Well, yeah.
8/29/16:
I fixed the rest of the Items, redid the Abilities chapter, and removed the chapter "Your Plants: Their Perks and Their Quirks". Replaced with "Trivia".