Zyra General Guide by Mynnigon
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Hello everyone, I'm Mynnigon and I present to you my Zyra guide on Mobafire. This is my first guide, so feedback is always welcome. I intend to keep this guide up-to-date and I hope you'll find it helpful when playing Zyra, Rise of the Thorns.
Zyra currently is the newest champion in League of Legends. She isn't the hardest champion to play, but nevertheless requires practice to master. Her main weapons are plants that attack for her, and, of course, her abilities. Her ultimate, Stranglethorns, can turn the tide in teamfights if used correctly. Everyone who likes playing AP champions in mid lane should try Zyra, because she is absolutely amazing and fun to play.
Pros / Cons
This is a Midlane Zyra Mastery Tree. I chose a regular 21/0/9 setup, since she is a regular AP caster (Quite obvious).
Summoner's Wrath : The 5 AP and AD bonus is always useful, since Ignite is on cooldown most of the time anyway.
Mental Force : 4 free AP. Why shouldn't you get it.
Butcher : Useful for last-hitting minions.
Sorcery : 4% Cooldown Reduction, what AP caster doesn't want that?
Arcane Knowledge : 10% Magic Penetration. 'Nuff said.
Blast : 18 extra AP at Level 18, no arguing needed about that.
Archmage : Now this is amazing. 5% extra AP? It's just... wow. Every AP caster without this is a bad AP caster in my opinion.
Executioner : Awesome for finishing off those low-health champions.
Summoner's Insight : For the 15sec Cooldown Reduction on Flash. It gives you about 1 free Flash per match, which means 1 more kill or 1 less death.
Expanded Mind : Extra Mana is every AP caster's wish.
Meditation : To regenerate that extra mana from Expanded Mind faster.
Swiftness : The only useful spell to get to Runic Affinity . 2 extra Movement Speed is always nice.
Runic Affinity : Your blue buff lasts 20% longer than normal, just freaking amazing!
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: More damage output for Abilities by crippling the base Magic Resist of your enemies. These Marks combined with Arcane Knowledge and Sorcerer Shoes give you enough Magic Penetration to get rid of your enemy's base Magic Resist (unless they decide to counter you with more Magic Resist, of course).
Greater Seal of Vitality: This gives you extra Health per Level, meaning you have more survivability and sustainability in general. I think these Seals suit every champion.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: They give you extra AP per Level, any AP caster loves this. More AP means more damage, so why shouldn't you like these?
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: This will give you a flat 15 AP at Level 1, giving you power to sustain your lane and harrass your opponent with some nice damage.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Seal of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: This will give you more Mana Regen/5, which some people might find useful early-game. Don't spam skills and you won't need them, really.
Greater Seal of Ability Power: If you like having more burst early-game, you can get these. Some people may find Zyra a bit weak early-game, when you do, these runes are your pick.
Greater Seal of Magic Resist: These Seals are very useful against champions like LeBlanc and AP Master Yi. They deal so much burst damage that Magic Resist is the best possible counter.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Same as with the Greater Seal of Magic Resists: Useful against high-burst champions like LeBlanc, AP Master Yi and Veigar.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power: More burst early-game to dominate your early-game or when you find Zyra's early-game weak.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Only get these Runes if you don't like getting any Cooldown Reduction items like Deathfire Grasp or Morello's Evil Tome. Together with Sorcery and Rampant Growth, you'll have about 31% Cooldown Reduction.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power: Will give you less burst early-game, but therefore more damage late-game. I personally like having some more burst early-game, though.
Greater Quintessence of Health: These are probably the best alternative Quintessences. This completely counters your extreme squishiness early-game. Totally worth considering using these Runes.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: To counter Zyra's low mobility problems. Swiftness should be enough IMO, though.
Best Summoner Spells
Flash: This seriously is the most amazing Summoner Spell in the game. It enables you to escape (through walls for example), avoid fatal skillshots, chase that one low enemy, help your ally faster and much more! And it pretty much works on every champion extremely well because of those reasons. Taking this is always a good pick!
Ignite: That extra damage needed to finish off a champion. This reduces healing too, so champions like Swain will hate you for this. Ignite gave me a lot of First Bloods, too. Every Carry likes this Summoner Spell. :)
Viable Summoner Spells
Ghost: It can be useful because it travels a bigger distance than Flash, so it's very good for chasing and escaping too, but I would still prefer Flash over Ghost because Flash is instant and is more efficient in most cases.
Exhaust: Now this Summoner Spell is useful in 1v1 and for escaping and chasing. It reduces Movement Speed, Attack Speed and Damage Output drastically, so it gaurantees kills in 1v1. Some people like it, some people prefer Ignite.
Heal: It has saved at times and gave me a kill instead of death at times. People will call you noob for using Heal at higher Level, though. Not a problem I'd say.
Teleport: Useful for ganking lanes fast, protecting turrets, stuff like that. I personally don't like Teleport, though.
Bad Summoner Spells
Revive: Waste of a Summoner Spell.
Smite: You're not jungling.
Promote: Might be useful on some champions, for example Heimerdinger, but still not recommended at all.
Surge: I don't think you'll need an AP boost.
Cleanse: Why should you get this? Might as well get a Quicksilver Sash, you get 50 MR with it.
Clarity: A Rod of Ages solves all Mana problems. Get Blue Buff and you're done.
Clairvoyance: You're not supporting.
Rise of the Thorns (Passive): I love this Passive. Imagine you were in 1v1 with a champion and your enemy barely survived. Just shoot pure vengeance at them and see them die anyway. And the best part: It's true damage. No Magic Resist or Armor will lower the damage output! Warning: Be aware of criticism like "OP ****".
deadly bloomDeadly Bloom (Q): Your damage ability. It has a sick cooldown (7 seconds at Level 1 and 3 seconds at Level 18!) and deals a nice amount of damage. Also, if cast on a seed, it summons a Thorn Splitter, a plant that deals a nice amount of damage and has a sick range. Planting seeds right after casting is possible, since Deadly Bloom has a 1 second delay.
Rampant Growth (W): Your signature spell. These are the seeds that turn into plants when Deadly Bloom or Grasping Roots is cast on them. It also provides a nice passive: 4/8/12/16/20% Cooldown Reduction! A blue buff and you got the maximum of 40%. But, since you don't have full control of blue buff all the time late-game, I recommend a Morello's Evil Tome. The Passive Cooldown Reduction also affects the ammunition time.
Grasping Roots (E): One of your two CC abilities and a good one! It's a skillshot snare, like Morgana's Dark Binding and Lux' Light Binding. The difference, however, is that you can snare unlimited enemies. It's very useful as preparation of your Deadly Bloom and Stranglethorns. And another thing: If cast upon a seed, the seed turns into a Vine Lasher that has a small range, but nevertheless has a built-in slow. Amazing is all I can think of. Tip: Place a seed in Grasping Roots' path right after you cast it to suprise enemies with a slow after your snare.
Stranglethorns (R): Your ultimate, and a good one. It can be compared with Nunu's Absolute Zero, as it deals high damage and is an AoE skill. There is a difference, however: It instantly deals the full damage! And, after a 2 second delay, enemies in the AoE get knocked up! To make it even better, plants inside the AoE get enraged and get 50% Attack Speed. Just awesome. Tip: Use Grasping Roots to snare your enemies and Deadly Bloom to plant turrets before you use your ultimate to maximize the damage output, hit more enemies with it and more chance to knock your champions airborne.
Skill Priority: R > Q > W > E
You start with Deadly Bloom at Level 1 for following reasons: Leashing Blue for your jungler, farming purposes in lane and because it's your main offensive spell. You can use it on Wolves too to help your jungler (The cooldown is only 7 seconds!), but I don't recommend it. You will become mana-hungry very early when you use it twice so early, so only use it for leashing!
At Level 2, leveling up your Rampant Growth is a must. It provides wards, Cooldown Reduction and a great farming tool and harrassment weapon. Since the plants prioritize champions over minions (unless you attack a minion within it's range), your enemy will attack the plant, denying him farm.
Grasping Roots is leveled at Level 3 for the snare and slow plant. From there on, you will level up Deadly Bloom and, of course, level Stranglethorns whenever you can. After that, Rampant Growth is better to level than Grasping Roots, even though some people might disagree with me. Maxing Grasping Roots earlier gives you a bit more burst, but the Cooldown Reduction and extra ammunition time reduce is more useful in my opinion. Try out yourself and look for your preferences I'd say.
Boots of Speed + 3 potions: These are your starting items. It gives you more mobility and way more sustainability than Doran's Ring. Just don't spam skills until your jungler gives you Blue Buff around ~7:10 minutes. In total these items give you 50 extra movement speed and +450 potential Health, which is better than the 80 Health, 15 Ability Power and 5 Mana Regen a Doran's Ring gives you.
Kage's Lucky Pick: I've heard people ask: "Why a Kage's Lucky Pick?" There's one reason for this: More gold until you transform this into a Morello's Evil Tome. It also provides you with 25 Ability Power, which is a nice boost for only 765 gold. You should get this the first time you go back; when you got a kill around Level 6, you can spend the rest of your money on 1 or 2 Doran's Ring. But be sure to buy 2 Sight Wards; they can save your life so many times and are therefore worth more than a Doran's Ring!
Sorcerer's Shoes: Your Tier 2 Boots. They provide you with enough Magic Penetration to completely cripple your enemy's base Magic Resist when you have Arcane Knowledge and Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. The best shoes for all AP casters out there in my opinion.
catalyst the protectorCatalyst the Protector: One of your most important items. It provides you with Health, Mana, and it restores Health and Mana when you level. Since it builds into both Banshee's Veil and Rod of Ages, this item is just amazing. You'll be building a Rod of Ages after this, anyway.
What do these items give me?
- 70 extra Movement Speed
- 20 Magic Penetration
- 290 Health
- 325 Mana
- 25 Ability Power
- 5 gold per 10 seconds
Rod of Ages: Your core item. It provides with a massive 630 Health, 725 Mana and 80 Ability Power, which is great for 3000 gold only. Since Zyra really is squishy, the Health is a must for her. Some people will argue over why the 725 Mana is useful. I personally think that, since you will have 40% Cooldown Reduction most of the time, spamming your abilities is useful, especially for poking before teamfights. This is why I chose this item as 2nd item, right after your boots.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: This is your 2nd core item after Rod of Ages. It gives you 500 Health, 80 Ability Power and a built-in slow for abilities. The Health makes you really tanky, since you will have around 3k Health with both this and Rod of Ages. Also, it gives a nice amount of 80 AP, like your Rod of Ages. The slow works great with your Rampant Growth, since even your high-range plants will slow your enemies by 35%, making chasing and the possibility to snare them with Grasping Roots way easier.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Your Ability Power bomb. 140 Ability Power and +30% total Ability Power is what it gives, making it like the AP caster's Infinity Edge. This will double your Ability Power from around 160 to 400! This should pretty much always be one of your items on Zyra!
Morello's Evil Tome: This is probably the item in my build that people will argue most about. Nevertheless, I'd say this is better than other items in the core build. It gives you 75 Ability Power, 12 Mana Regen/5 and 20% Cooldown Reduction. Why this item? The Mana Regen/5 and Ability Power are useful on Zyra, pretty obvious. I recommend this item because of the 20% Cooldown Reduction it gives. Together with Rampant Growth's Passive, you'll have 40% Cooldown Reduction without Blue Buff. Since Blue Buff doesn't last forever and you won't have control of it the whole game, constant 40% Cooldown Reduction means you can really spam your abilities. With a 3 second cooldown on Deadly Bloom and a 6 second cooldown on Grasping Roots you can poke hard before teamfights, too. It also has a Passive that works well against champions like Swain, because Grievous Wound counters healing.
Late-Game: 6th Item (Situational)
Zhonya's Hourglass: A nice item that's most useful against AD-heavy teams. It provides 100 Ability Power, 50 Armor and 2 seconds invurnerability as Passive. This is my most recommended item as 6th Item; the Ability Power bonus is the 2nd biggest in the game and the Passive saved me a lot of times. The 50 Armor is also useful against fed AD carries.
Abyssal Scepter: The best item against AP-heavy teams. With 70 Ability Power, 57 Magic Resist and an aura that reduces your enemy's Magic Resist by 20 it's your best friend against a fed AP carry. Warning: Don't get this item when your tank got it to counter that fed AP carry!
Void Staff: Imagine you're fed and the enemy team is getting massive Magic Resist to counter you. This will completely destroy that Magic Resist with 70 Ability Power and 40% Magic Penetration! Always get this item when the enemy is getting a lot of Magic Resist! Just shred that high Magic Resist and give them your full damage!
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: These boots are a viable option on Zyra to get to 40% Cooldown Reduction without getting Morello's Evil Tome. Riot recommends these boots, too; Riot recommends a lot, however.
Quicksilver Sash: You're up against that annoying Malzahar with Nether Grasp? This is your best friend against OP hard CC abilities. It provides you with 48 Magic Resist and a free Cleanse. But you should get this item early; the best is probably after your Catalyst the Protector or Rod of Ages.
Deathfire Grasp: The best replacement for Morello's Evil Tome. 80 Ability Power, 15% Cooldown Reduction and a Passive that deals damage based on their current Health is what it does. I didn't put this item in my main build, however; The Passive is what it makes so strong. And, from my experience, the Passive isn't used as much in teamfights. That's personal preference, however.
Will of the Ancients: Not my favorite, but still viable. 80 Ability Power and a 20% Spellvamp Aura helps giving more survivability, since you heal yourself whenever you attack with abilities. But Spellvamp is more useful for champions like Mordekaiser and Akali in my opinion.
Mejai's Soulstealer: When you know you won't die (or maybe once or twice) and will get lots of kills, get this item. Otherwise, don't. This item can cripple you! With champions like LeBlanc you get tons of kills early- and mid-game, but when late-game comes and they haven't surrendered... They'll start focusing you and once you get under 8 stacks this item is a waste. Very situational.
Archangel's Staff: This should replace your Rod of Ages. This item is only useful when you get it early-game and when you really spam abilities! When your mana is really high by stacking it, however... It will give you tons of Ability Power. You may spam skills, but this item is for champions with 1 second cooldowns, like Karthus.
Athene's Unholy Grail: This is like a permanent blue. When you like having tons of Mana Regen/5, get it. It also has the 3rd biggest Ability Power boost (90 Ability Power!). When you get this item, replace it with Morello's Evil Tome.
Frozen Heart: The enemy is AD-heavy and your tank didn't get this item? Then you should consider getting it. 99 Armor, 500 Mana and -20% Attack Speed Aura will cripple the enemy AD Carry. This item is meant for tanks, but if your tank didn't get it anyway, you should.
Banshee's Veil: A nice item against CC-heavy and AP-heavy teams. It provides you with 375 Health, 375 Mana, 50 Magic Resist and a shield that blocks the next ability (45sec cooldown). Amazing against abilities like Enchanted Crystal Arrow and Nether Grasp.
Any other ideas for Alternative Items? Please tell me!
Get your Boots of Speed and Health Potions and go to your blue buff to leash and defend. Leash with Deadly Bloom, then go to your lane and farm. Don't go offensive this early, you'll only risk being ganked and becoming First Blood. Zyra is a good pusher, so be careful with accidentally overpushing. try and freeze your lane right in front of your turret (the turret shouldn't attack the minions; freezing your lane means you should ONLY last-hit the minions). Once you reach Level 3, start harrassing. Your main harrass combo is E > Q > W (be sure to let your seed transform into a Thorn Splitter!). Your enemy will kill the plant. That's not a problem at all, you did damage to him and you denied him farm.
You're losing and you want a gank? Ask your jungler. Be aware that a jungler can only gank when your lane isn't pushed to their turret, otherwise it might end in a double kill for your enemy.
Ask for blue buff around the 7-minute mark. Normally, you get it (there are bad junglers out there, however). You should be Level 6 now. When you got enough mana and your enemy isn't full health, you can try and go for the kill. The best combo is E > W > Q > W > R (2 seeds means double damage!). You can Ignite your enemy to guarantee the kill.
Mid-Game: Roaming and Dragon
Laning Phase is over and you should start roaming to gank top and bot lane. Always try and farm up in your lane if possible. This is when Teleport comes in handy; Teleport makes ganks unexpected, adding an element of suprise to them. You probably got some kills and assists by now, maybe even a death (**** happens.). Around Level 8-9 you should try and kill Dragon. It's Respawn Time is 6:00; try and kill him whenever he's up. 190 gold for everyone is just amazing! It's good to get a Vision Ward for Dragon so you can destroy the enemy's Ward. This normally is done by your support; if he doesn't ward it, then you just should.
You can go back to your lane and farm, destroy enemy turret and get a kill. Be sure to protect your lane with Sight Wards!
After a while, you will start getting into teamfights. No more laning. As AP caster, you shouldn't go in and be in the middle of the fight! Stand outside a little. Try and hit your Grasping Roots once your initiator started the fight. Then plant some Thorn Splitters with Deadly Bloom. After that, your ult, Stranglethorns, will decide the fight. try and hit as many as possible enemy champions as well as your Thorn Splitters! Try and land your Grasping Roots again so they can't escape the knockup after the 2-second delay! If you managed to succeed in all of this, you should normally get at least a double kill and assists and win the teamfight (unless your team is terrible). When the teamfight is over, there are four options:
- Get Baron Buff
- Go back, buy items and kill Dragon
- Push a lane to the Inhibitor if possible!
- Just finish the game
Zyra is really fun to play and strong over the whole game, unlike other AP casters. If you have any questions, feedback, queries or anything else, please tell me!
Please upvote if you liked my guide, if you want to downvote, only do it when you think it's really necessary! And if you do downvote: Tell me why so I can rectify any mistakes.
Have fun playing Zyra!
I also wanted to thank jhoijhoi for putting so much effort in her guide Making a Guide. It helped me a lot!
Wall of Fame
If you have any good (or even great) games using this Zyra guide, send me a screenshot of that game! I'd be pleased when you do to show people reading this guide that it really is a good guide. Thanks!
Here are some of my results: (I'll add one or two more soon)
- List of Enemy Champions and how to play against them
- Adding some more pictures for Warding, Gameplay, etc.