First of all, May I start this by saying: ZYRA IS FREAKING AWESOME. I've only had a bit of experience with her so far and already I can feel myself practically falling in love, all the signs are there; the burst of joy I get whenever the whole enemy team simply lines up for my ulti, the butterflies in my stomach as she easily gives me a third kill on that Teemo whose been calling me a 'Fook noob' all game, and the way everyone seems to have sudden glorious bouts of amnesia every time my passive pops.
Zyra is what I like to refer to as a ; Sharteemer , that being a champ who draws influences from Teemo (seeds used as wards), Shaco (seeds used as turrets), Heimer (see previous bracket) and Karthus (her passive) .I guess her passive has echoes of Kogmaw's also, due to the fact it does true damage, but ,to acknowledge that fact would require the merging of five champion names into one... a feat that is far too great for me.
So this Zyra chick...She any good mid?
Zyra is in fact an Awesome midder. But how should you play her to get the best out of her high burst damage, ranged cc and innovative seed mechanic? Well...
When playing Zyra mid, make sure you put 1 seed in each bush flanking the river if you haven't had time to go back for wards yet, this will give you brief vision if an enemy champ unwittingly walks on it. I recommend that when your next two seeds generate (this will take around 30 seconds) you save them for your burst and when the time is right ,rattle off this combo as fast as you can into the unsuspecting face of the enemy champion;
E+W+W+Q (+R if you've hit six)- making sure they all land on the rooted enemy champ.
Why do I think this is best strategy for burst? Well, E is your initiator, Zyra is a mage and comes with all the squishy side effects that title implies, E will allow you to root at long range and set off your seeds from a safe distance. This root will also ensure they cannot escape as your fire off your double W combo (the global cool down on your W is about half a second or less, so this can be done very rapidly) then pop your seed with Q for a hell of a lot of my favourite kind of burst; the inescapable kind.
This combo alone without ult should do around half their life, give or take depending on the runes they've taken/ hero choice. You should follow this up with basic attacks (your plants will be helping you out in this, and boy, they do a considerable amount of delicious chunk) and an ignite, this should be enough to finish them off, with maybe the help of another Q if they're ruining your fun and using they're summoner spells to try and survive (some people are just inconsiderate like that).
As far as seeds are concerned my personal view is of the four you can have up at any one time; 2 should be used for pseudo wards, and the other 2 for your burst. I’m sure other people will have various other ideas on the best way to utilise the seeds that my tiny brain hasn't even considered yet, but so far this way has worked for me so I'm sticking to it.
Important note: WARNING,You are not Shaco neither are you Heimer, your seeds can be squashed like little annoying bugs on a balmy summers eve, if not activated in time. To add insult to injury, when activated they only last about six seconds before dying miserably in a flaccid heap.... and they don't even have a fear. So, WARNING, by all means feel free to bush camp that Shocking Xin who claims to have 1200 elo but is clearly lying ...but beware of the pitfalls of bushing it with Zyra.
You see The key to surviving fights with Zyra is keeping your enemies at a distance with you E and melting them before they've even had a chance to think 'Hey, my flash is off CD'.
If you sit in a bush surrounded by your badass seed posse, or charge in all guns blazing thinking your plants are the boss (which by the way they are- if used correctly) your going to get popped too quickly to complete your combo, and not completing your burst combo on Zyra is UNACCEPTABLE .
Team fighting with Zyra like the boss you are
In team fights your damage is vital, your well timed cc critical, and your ulti able to deal lots of damage and cc to the entire enemy team.
So yeah you’re pretty good.
Being the sqiushy you are, make sure to position yourself behind the tankline in team fights. Do not be tempted to blow your root and plants on the Alistair that’s just had the nerve to run in and head butt you in the face. He wants you to focus on him he's the tank, he can afford a little burst or two, don't let him get his way.
Instead focus down the damage dealers, the ad carrys and aoe mages. Try to Place your root on them as soon as you see them (remember it's not a full skill shot, in the sense that that is goes through minions so the enemy team can't hide behind them like the cowards they surely are) effectively stopping them from even getting to the team fight in the first place and doing any damage, then..Burst them down for half their life using your standard combo.
Make sure throughout the fight you always have at least two plants up chunking away merrily at any champion you decide to attack, and try t o resist the urge to ulti when there are no plants in the area, as your ulti gives them a pretty sweet buff and you'll do a lot more damage over all when you ulti on plants.
Your ulti can also be a great initiator, if you manage to root a few members of their team who foolishly grouped up, fire off your combo and get that team fight rolling.
Of course if all else fails, everything goes horribly wrong and you die, remember your passive and aim that skill shot for some almighty true damage chunk from beyond the grave.
Building Zyra for maximum meltage
Start with boots of speed (later build into boots of lucidity to make full advantage of you W’s CD passive) and your choice of three pots. This is so you can chase effectively when the enemy attempts to run from your might, and also useful for escaping any nasty ganks from uppity junglers. Your standard item build should always include;
1) A Zhonya's hourglass, so you can sit and watch as a glorious invincible golden goddess as your plants continue to rain down death on the foolish lesser beings around you
2) A Rylai's crystal sceptre , this will not only give you a bit more survivability , it will slow all enemies who get hit by your spells, meaning your plants shall be free to mercilessly attack the enemy champ as they hobble along, too slow to get out of range in time.
The rest of your build can depend on the champs your facing on the opposing team, but after you first two key items going for ; Void staff, Rabadon's death cap, and Guardian angel is a pretty safe bet for most games.
For masteries I like to go all offensive as my build is reasonably defensive with the Zhonya’s, Rylai’s and GA so I can afford to be more aggressive in the department. Runes are pretty self explanatory, Zyra’s a mage so go for- magic pen, ability power, and magic resist etc try to focus more on damaging runes considering their recent buff and the slight nerf made to magi resist runes.
A few last tips
Resist the urge to blow your ulti first just because it's has a big scary looking aoe circle template. Remember the knock up cc doesn’t happen straight away like the damage, you need to root the enemy first and then whip those plants out for some tasty damage which you can then go on to buff with your ulti.
If playing against another Zyra (Everyone loves a mirror match right...right?) make sure to annoy her as much as possible and psych her out. Confused annoyed players, who feel they need to prove they can play the character better than you can, make mistakes. If she sprouts a plant in lane but doesn’t spring them yet, wait until she has walked slightly out of range and step on those cheeky bastards, killing them, so she can't spring them at all.
If you’re feeling a bit bored as you farm like a pro, make sure to harass the enemy champ with your Q for some fabulous poke fun.
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