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General Guide by LunarFlare13

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League of Legends Build Guide Author LunarFlare13

How to Play an Effective Zyra Support

LunarFlare13 Last updated on October 30, 2016
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Introduction



Hello and welcome to my first League of Legends guide! I am a Gold V player and I have a very good understanding of how to play in the bottom lane, be it the ADC or the Support role. Zyra is my favourite support to play and she has everything to offer in her kit... except mobility! This guide is for people who are familiar with the basics of the support role that wish to give Zyra support a try.


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Pros / Cons

Pros
- Very versatile kit in general
- Above average base movement speed
- 575 attack range, easy to harass with in lane
- Tons of CC with Rylai's Crystal Scepter
- Excellent engage follow-up and disengage
- Excellent at defending objectives and zoning
- Never falls off, always a relevant threat
- Residual damage from plants adds up quickly
- Decent burst, can delete a squishy champion
Cons
- No mobility outside of summoner spells
- Plant DPS is very limited against AoE and DoT
- Skill shot based abilities with long wind-ups
- Below average AP scaling on abilities
- Very squishy due to her absurdly low base HP


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Runes


greater mark of hybrid penetration
marks


seals
  • Greater Seal of Armor: These seals will reduce the enemy's basic attack damage against you, and are therefore the best choice overall for laning in the bottom lane.


glyphs


quints


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Masteries

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/1

When I play Zyra in the mid lane, I use Deathfire Touch because of its better scaling and her plants' ability to constantly apply it. When playing Zyra support however, the up-front burst of Thunderlord's Decree is much better for winning those early game trades, especially since Thunderlord's has a better base damage value than Deathfire that also scales with level. You'll build three, maybe four AP items every game (one of which is your support item, Frost Queen's Claim) so you will have much less AP available to help Deathfire scale into the late-game.

The other mastery choices are fairly straightforward. One of your goals as Zyra is to be able to provide massive amounts of damage in teamfights. Zyra scales incredibly well with Magic Penetration which is why I opted for Precision over Intelligence . Oppressor is the natural choice to invest the remaining mastery points towards because of Zyra's innate cc and because one of her core items is Rylai's Crystal Scepter.


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Items

Core Items



This item is your best option for gold income in lane as Support Zyra. It will proc on plant attacks, basic attacks and your abilities. Use Thorn Spitters to proc it safely. Also, start with 3 biscuits alongside this item to help your early lane sustain.

Start with this trinket and use the wards to ward the river when you push the lane. Use the wards to keep vision in the lane bushes when the enemy support tries to abuse these bushes.

Warding with a Sightstone is a key part of playing support. Buy this right after upgrading Spellthief's Edge to Frostfang unless you got enough gold to be able to afford Haunting Guise. Swap out your trinket from Warding Totem to Sweeping Lens when you buy your sightstone so that you can also clear enemy wards.

This item gives you every stat you could ever want on Zyra. Build into it after Sightstone. Buy Sorcerer's Shoes before this item if the enemies have dangerous skillshots like Rocket Grab or Death Sentence. Rush buy this if you got a double kill on the enemy laners and have the gold for it.

These are your core boots. Do not buy any other type of boots or you will be losing out on too much damage to perform your duty of zoning the enemy ADC with your damaging abilities and plants. In most cases you'll buy them after Frostfang, Sightstone and Haunting Guise.

Build a Haunting Guise but do not upgrade it into this item until you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter to proc the bonus burn damage on the passive. This item is wonderful on Zyra because her plants can constantly apply its burn damage. It allows her to shred enemies quite quickly.

Build this item as soon as possible after Sightstone, Sorcerer's Shoes and Haunting Guise. The slowing passive makes it much more difficult for enemies to escape your Stranglethorns while also giving thorn spitters and Deadly Spines the ability to slow enemies as well.

Finish this useful support item when it is convenient to do so since you're mostly only paying for the active and the unconditional extra gold procs. The active allows you to more easily land your otherwise easy to avoid skill shots. This item's active is also great for scouting jungle paths!

This will be the very last full item you build. I'll even buy Elixir of Sorcery before this if I do not have quite enough gold to buy this.

Situational Items



Buy this if you are against multiple mobile assassins or one fed assassin. Since Zyra lacks mobility, she is a sitting duck when assassins jump on her. To counterplay an assassin that dives on you, throw up Stranglethorns with all of your other abilities to create a mass of buffed plants around you, then activate Zhonya's Hourglass quickly. Your plants will destroy any assassin that sticks around to try to kill you after stasis expires and the CC from your abilities will serve as an extra nail in the coffin.

Buy this if you are against at least two champions that deal large amounts of magic damage. It will mitigate their damage dealt to your entire team while also providing you with much-needed survivability. Upgrade this into Locket of the Iron Solari when it is convenient to do so, but finish your core items before upgrading this.


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Abilities

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Zyra needs to get to level 3 before she can really start dishing out damage in trades through reliable plant placement. In the early levels you'll be using your Q - Deadly Spines on the seeds that spawn from Garden of Thorns and Rampant Growth to poke the opposing laners. Keep in mind that Thorn Spitters outrange every ADC's base attack range and that you can shift the focus of your plants with your basic attacks (they will attack whatever you attack as long as they are in range!)

Q - Deadly Spines: Use this ability to create thorn spitters around the enemy laners. If you can land this ability on the enemy laners the plants will focus them until they move out of range. If this ability does not connect, then the plants will only attack the enemy laners once (if they are in range) before switching to minions.

W - Rampant Growth: This is how you pick where your plants go! Try to always keep at least one seed at the ready. These seeds grant vision in a small radius and can be used to temporarily ward bushes if no other wards are available. Place these seeds during your ability wind-ups/travel times so that they do not get stepped on before they grow into plants. If you are insanely good at timing your abilities you can use Rampant Growth and Grasping Roots to block abilities such as Rocket Grab and Death Sentence with a plant! This is very difficult to do and I still have trouble doing it consistently.

E - Grasping Roots: Do not just throw this ability out as extra poke. It moves extremely slowly for a projectile so it is very easy to dodge. In lane, use it when the enemy laners move out of position or use it as a disengage/counter-engage tool. This ability has a fairly long cooldown and the opposing laners will be able to play much more aggressively against you while it is on cooldown. Since Grasping Roots is maxed first to maximize its CC duration and damage, it is almost always a won trade if the enemy laners get caught by it.

R - Stranglethorns: Use your ultimate when the enemy engages on your team but after you have set up some plants with your other abilities to enrage them (they get 50% more attack speed and their durations/HPs reset back to full). The knock-up is quite delayed but this ability will start popping flashes once it gains the benefit of the 40% slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Proper placement of this ability is key. Its AoE is huge so it can completely turn a fight around in the jungle where there are less escape paths for your opponents. A well-placed Stranglethorns with plants has arguable more effect on the outcome of a teamfight than even Unstoppable Force or Command: Shockwave.


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Summoner Spells

This summoner spell is for the more aggressive Zyra players. It will secure early kills quite handily. Use it when you land your Grasping Roots on an enemy that can be killed. Use it before the enemy ADC uses Heal to mitigate the amount of healing that your target receives.

Exhaust is as good as you can time it. Use it in lane on the enemy ADC when both sides are committed to the fight. ADCs lose a catastrophic amount of their damage while they are exhausted. This summoner spell turns fights around completely when used correctly in the bottom lane and its impact as the game goes on scales much better than Ignite. Once teamfighting starts, Exhaust can be used to effectively shut down assassins that dive onto your ADC.

This is the best summoner spell in the game and absolutely mandatory on Zyra. It is your only escape so position yourself correctly in order to avoid having to use Flash defensively!


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Why Pick Zyra?

When you pick Zyra, you are picking her for her amazing poke and zoning in the laning phase. You are picking her for the huge amount of teamfighting power that she provides to your team. You are picking her because you want to play one of the best zone control mages available in the entire League of Legends roster!

Zyra can fit into almost any team composition as a powerful counter-engaging mage. It is more important to consider the enemy's team composition when picking Zyra because she is countered handily by several champions (both ADCs and Supports) in the bottom lane.

While playing Zyra you have to always pay attention to the positioning of your opponents (ALL of them!) and your ADC! I cannot stress this enough. Your cc gives you the ability to peel very effectively. You have to ensure that both you AND your ADC stay alive during fights so position yourself accordingly. I like to be near enough to my ADC so that I can use Grasping Roots on any Assassin that jumps on them and follow up with the rest of my abilities. It's better to remain slightly behind your ADC because your abilities outrange your ADC's basic attacks by a fair margin and your threat range is substantial when you factor in the reach of your plants. The absolute maximum threat range is 850 for Deadly Spines + Rampant Growth plus an additional 750 for the Thorn Spitter that spawns from the seed (1600 total range).

Remember: Use every ability you have available when the enemy commits to a teamfight. It will ultimately fall on you to keep as many of your teammates alive as possible with your cc while also catching out and deleting as many of your enemies as possible. You have a very powerful kit at your disposal while you are playing this champion so fully abuse it in the environment that Zyra shines the brightest in: teamfights!


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Do Not Pick Zyra Against...

Lucian can out trade you early and abuse your low base HP by bursting you down. He has a dash that allows him to minimize your plants' damage while also dodging out of the way of your skillshots. Excluding Flash, you have no way of reliably preventing his damage when he uses The Culling unless Stranglethorns tosses him into the air while he is using it. Hiding behind a minion wave is the best way to mitigate The Culling since plants alone cannot block enough shots from it.

Miss Fortune is THE counter to Zyra right now as evident from her being picked in the support role against Zyra during Worlds 2016. Miss Fortune's damage is huge and plants provide her more means through which to land Double Up. Your plants will melt almost instantly when she uses Bullet Time in fights. Do not pick Zyra against this champion!!

Though Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab can be blocked by placing a plant in its path, this match-up is still unfavourable for Zyra because of the difficulty involved in successfully blocking Rocket Grab in this manner. You're a goner if you get pulled while your Flash is on cooldown.


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