Zyra Build Guide by Commercialized
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Not Updated For Current Season
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"Longing to take control of her fate, the ancient, dying plant Zyra transferred her consciousness into a human body for a second chance at life. Centuries ago, she and her kind dominated the Plague Lands, using thorns and vines to consume any animal that set foot in yhrit territory. As the years passed, the animal population steadily died off. Food became increasingly scarce, and Zyra could only stand by helplessly as the last of her kin withered away. She thought she would perish alone, until the appearance of an unwary sorceress presented her with an opportunity for salvation...
It was the first time in years Zyra had sensed a creature wander so close. Hunger drew her to the sorceress, but some other, deeper instinct compelled her. She enveloped the woman in thorns with ease, but as she savored this final meal, foreign memories invaded her thoughts. She saw great jungles of metal and stone where humans and animals thrived. Potent magic surged through her vines, and she devised an elegant but risky pan to survive. Using the woman's memories. Zyra poured her newfound magic into the creation of a human-shaped vessel. She didn't know what sort of world awaited her, but she had nothing left to lose. When Zyra opened her eyes, she was overwhelmed by the raw power ready at her fingertips. It wasn't until she noticed the shriveled remains of the pant she once was that she realized how vulnerable she had become. If this body died, there would be no network of vines to retreat through, no roots to regrow her... but she felt truly alive. She beheld the world for the first time as animals did, and a dark smile crept across her lips. She was reborn, and there was so much now within her grasp.
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Pros / Cons
+ Can either jungle or lane
+ Many crowd control abilities
+ Farms w/ Rampant Growth
+ Usage of AoE abilities
+ Uses Rise of the Thorns after dead
- Easy to gank
- Has low mobility
- Hard to jungle without a leash
- Turrets & minions target your plants first
- Weaker against gap-closing champions
improves ignite and exhaust
Brute Force increases attack damage.
Butcher Deals bonus attack damage to basic attacks on monsters/minions. This is good for when you are farming, as well as granting you more last minion kills and more gold.
Sorcery increases cooldown reduction. Good to use so that Petrifying Gaze does not take as long to cool down.
Demolitionist increases the damage done to enemy towers. This can be useful throughout the entire game, rather than other masteries that are meant to aid you in early or late game.
Arcane Knowledge will increase magic penetration, a key aspect to being a successful Zyra
Blast increases ability power. Because you are building Zyra through AP, this is important, because it will also allow you to add masteries to Archmage
Archmage increases ability power, to add on to your AP build.
Executioner helps to finish off weak enemies
improves flash and teleport
Good Hands reduces the amount of time dead
Expanded Mind increases mana
Swiftness increases movement speed
Meditation increases mana regeneration
Ignite is one of the summoner spells that I would take with me no matter what character I chose. It is perfect for if you weakened your enemy to almost zero health, and ignite will get you the kill. Also, I have found that is works well as a defensive tool. When enemies are losing health (and ignite rapidly decreases health when at level 18) they tend to back off then come back in.
Exhaust, just like ignite is another spell that I can take with any character. Just like ignite, it can be used either offensively or defensively. With Zyra, you can use your exhaust in addition to Rampant Growth so that major damage is dealt. However, if you need to escape, exhaust can slow down an enemy giving you a chance to run back towards a turret (or far enough that you can recall safely)
Once again, flash is a summoner spell that I can take with any character. It is a preference option on whether or not you chose flash. It helps to make an escape from enemies, or can be used to draw closer to an enemy fleeing. However, it also allows you to pass through walls, or trees. It is a good choice for Zyra because she is squishy, while for other characters such as Lee Sin I don't prefer it because of his attack that dashes towards an enemy. Overall, flash is situational towards which character you choose.
Teleport is one of those spells that I take based on whichever lane I am taking. I do not prefer it if I am midding, but I do if I am going top or bottom. If the top is about to lose a turret because both allies died, it is very helpful in teleporting to a turret. Also, it helps to achieve ganks in certain situations.
Smite is only acceptable for Zyra if you are taking on the role of a jungler. I personally find no other use for it besides that, but if that is the case, then it can be a life saver.
Although many other people always say to avoid using revive, I have found that it can also be a life saver. If the enemy team scores an ace, or close to one, it is very possibly late in the game that no one from your team will be alive for another 60 seconds, and a lot can happen in that time. For all you know, the game could be over. Or, you could be needed when your team scores close to an ace to help push, and revive can be your ticket back into the game.
Ghost is another spell that if used successfully, can save you in the end. However, make sure that if you do take ghost, you partner it with the right second spell. If you take teleport and ghost, you may not find it as effective as if you were to match up ghost and ignite.
I have never found much usage for cleanse. It is a situational spell, but overall it does not aid as much as the other summoner's spells.
Although this spell is not necessarily bad, I just do not find it useful. It is much easier to buy items that either increase mana or mana regeneration, and you have to remember that you can only take 2 summoner spells with you, so make sure that you don't waste them.
Once again, this is one of those spells that is completely situational. However, it could be completely useless if used the wrong way, which is why I prefer to stay away from it, and use those spells that I know can help me in the end.
The skill sequence that I have chosen for this guide is one that I have found successful in many games that I have played to date. However, there are also many other builds that I have seen in other guides that work just as well. The reason why I choose to max out Grasping Roots first is because it will ensnare enemies longer, and slow them for larger periods of times when plants are created by it. In addition, it deals massive damage based on however much ability power you have. Next, i choose to try and max out Deadly Bloom because it is an important AoE spell and its plants help to deal damage. Whenever possible, I always upgrade Stranglethorns because its crowd control abilities aid in stopping escaping enemies while dealing damage as well. Finally, I leave Rampant Growth for last because no matter what, you will always be respawning seeds, but it does not have as much of a time reduction until its higher levels.
|space space||deadly bloom||space space||space space||space space|
Wondering why I chose the items listed at the top of this guide? When I picture the utimate Zyra I can see a fast attacking AP dominated character that can outlive everyone else in the game and has an endless supply of mana.
Although you can switch these out for any of the other boots, I still prefer to use these for magic penetration just because it helps early and late game.
OPTIONAL. I like this item because it grants you mana regeneration, and ability power, which are both very important to successfully using Zyra. Also, I like having the little bit of extra attack speed for when you are attacking turrets and/or minions
Gives you SO much ability power. If it weren't for this item, I don't know what I would do whenever I play Zyra. You will also do major damage with all of your attacks.
This will increase health and mana, which are both very important to using Zyra, as well as granting you 50 magic resistance.
This is one of my favorite items in the game, but it is also optional. I like the idea of cheating death, but it is situational because perhaps it is better in a game to have this, while in a different game, it would be better to prevent death in the first place.
I mainly choose this just to upgrade Kage's Lucky Pick. I love the extra gold which is why I upgrade this item towards the end of the game. However, the ability power it adds, cooldown reduction it gives you, and damage it can do gives huge contributions in battle.
The reason why I like this item is because it gives you a lot of extra health, in addition to ability power. For Zyra it helps because you can use the slowing ability with your plants from deadly bloom as well as additional slowing from your Grasping Roots plants.
This is an optional item. I would only take this item in a build where Zyra had built her magic penetration a bit more. However, I do enjoy the extra ability power it gives you and the magic penetration boost does work well when you choose the Sorcerer's Shoes
This item is a life saver. It gives you extra health, but also a lot of ability power. Overall, you want to build Zyra as an AP character since her plants will be dealing most of the damage. Also, since her plants will also attribute the slowing passive effect from this item, it is very useful.
The reason why I like building this item towards the end of the game is because you mainly use it for mana regeneration. However, you get the same early game for just building the first step to this, so build that earier, and wait until you have build everything else to upgrade this.
For each of my runes, I tried to pick out the 4 things that I find most important to Zyra that would help her to thrive in battle.
The reason why I choose the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is because it is being paired with other items and boots that increase magic penetration by percentages. If you take those items with you while having a magic penetration level of 1, then odds are you won't get it much higher than 3. By adding runes that will increase you magic penetration from the start, you can successfully play in the beginning of the game until the end of the game.
The reasoning behind picking the Greater Seal of Replenishment is because you want to build up fast mana regeneration. Since you are not making your Athene's Unholy Grail until the end of the game, you want to make sure that you have increased mana regeneration for Zyra because as time goes on, and you level, you are going to realize how much your plants can take a toll on your mana levels.
The reason why I chose the Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration is because ability power can either make or break you as soon as the game begins. Overall, all of the spells and abilities that Zyra uses are significantly effected by ability power, and many of the items chosen for her build will increase it by a percentage, in which case more is better. The reason why I chose to gradually gain more as you level is because in the end, you have significantly more ability power than you would have if you had taken other glyphs granting you all the ability power right away.
I chose the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power because usually the first kill happens before minions even spawn, so it is important to make sure that you have the ability power to either defend yourself against an oncoming enemy or to be the one drawing first blood. The reason why I choose this time to take all of the ability power at once rather than get more gradually as Zyra levels up is because there is not as huge a difference between force and potency when it comes to the quintessences.
Choosing Your Lane
Abilities & Combinations
Rise Of The Thorns lets you have one final shoot of a high damage thorn by returning to her plant form after death. By doing so, it is possible to get that final kill if you were chasing a weak enemy and got either ganked or killed by some other way. It does require you to aim and have good judgement because it does have a short delay.
deadly bloomdeadly bloom Deadly Bloom will deal AoE damage, and relies heavily on ability power. If it is cast on a seed, it will create a plant that deals magic damage. Using these two effects together can severely hurt enemy players.
Rampant Growth will place a seed that will reveal enemy champions if stepped on, but will create a plant if one of Zyra's other abilities is cast upon it. It is very useful for farming and causing damage.
Grasping Roots shoots out a vine that will ensnare targets, as well as do major damage based on ability power. In addition, it will create a plant minion if cast on a seed, which will slow targets.
Stranglethorns will deal major damage to enemies caught in its area, as well as knocking them airborne. It is useful when plants are in the target area because they will then attack 50% faster.
I have found through many different tests and games that there are a few combinations that work well for Zyra. The following will include an early game combination for when your abilities are not all reached or just weak, a mid game combination when your q and e are starting to get powered up, and a later game section for when your ultimate ability is unleashed.
Early Game Combination - At this point, your first two abilities should have been your "e" and then your "w". By placing a seed at the feet of an enemy champion while they are away from a turret, you can quickly use "e" at a distance, allowing you to ensare your target, slow them, and increase the amount of damage you do to them. Match this up with an ignite and you can have your first kill before any minions even spawn.
Mid Game Combination - This is pertaining to after all of your abilities are unlocked except for your ultimate. By this point, if you have been following the suggested skill sequence, you would have done "e" "w" "q" "e" "e'. giving your "e' quite a powerful boost. By increasing that, you can now use the following combination: "w" "w" "e" "q". By doing so, you are able to place two seeds (preferably at the feet of an enemy champion, but still spread out) as well as attack them with two abilities, slow them, and have a plant minion aiding your attacks. This can do massive damage, and ultimately either kill your enemy or force them to recall. Just watch out for any possible ganks because they may alert other players to come cover your lane.
Late Game Combination - By this point, you have all 3 of your basic abilities, as well as your ultimate ability: stranglethorn. There are two possible combinations you could use, but each is very similar so I am only going to explain my favorite one. It goes as follows: "w" "w" "e" "r""q". While many people would prefer to use their ultimate first in order to stop enemies, that ruins the effect that it has on nearby plants. By planting one plant first, you can slow your enemies, while also ensnaring them, and knock them airborne when they try to get away, followed by your final plant being able to attack them to finish of their health. This paired up with ignite can guarantee a successful kill.
Like I have been saying throughout the entire guide, everything that happens is completely situational. While some tactics may work more often than others, it is impossible to tell when every single game you play is different. One factor that contributes to the major diversity is the idea of a team. This guide is mostly geared towards if you are playing PVP, which means that you are playing with 4 other players, and the other team is 5 other players. That being so, it is important to first check to see what other characters your team is choosing before you lock in your choice. The following model is an example.
You realize that every single other player is a ranged mage. Is Zyra really the best choice then? So just always double check before you rush to lock in. However, if all of the precautions are taken care of, and the game has started, it is also important to work to your team's advantages. If you are playing the mid and you know that the two people playing the bottom are extremely squishy, then maybe you should go in for a gank when the time is right. If you see that someone in your lane is getting chased down and is about to die, then throw back a Grasping Roots in order to entangle them.
Most of the time, you will be soloing the middle lane. Here is a list of champions who usually mid:
There are many more, but these are 4 of the ones that I see frequently. If you are facing Annie then make sure to be careful. In the beginning it is easy to kill her, unless you let her cast too many spells, in which case she can stun you. Later on in the game however, watch out for Tibbers, and any possible ganks. She does have a long range, which is another precaution to worry about. Ashe is a frequently used character, and can be built either through AP or AD. However, if you can read the movements of the opponent player, then you can take over the mid. If they are midding, they will most likely take Volley as their first ability, in which case you want to make sure that if they move in, move back, and then go in and use one of the combinations already listed. When you are facing Cassiopeia make sure to watch out for her Noxious Blast. It does have a long range, and the poison can do major damage early in the game. If she begins to dominate, then call in for a gank because she is extremely squishy. When you are facing Ryze, just be aware that he has combinations that can deal major damage. He does have crowd controls as well. If you can dodge those, and avoid any ganks, then you should be just fine against him. Morgana is one of those champions that is not hard to beat, but is just annoying because of her poke and farming ability. She will either choose her snare or AoE attack first. Once you know which one she chooses, make sure to wait until she uses it, dodge it, and then go in. If she gets both of them, then be cautious for the upcoming combo to snare you on top of the acid dealing damage to you. Like I said, there are many more possible mid champions, but these were the ones that I have seen most frequently. If you have any more that you want me to add, feel free to comment or send me a message.
Zyra was born to farm. Early in the game, farming is made easy using this guide starting at levels 2 and 3. I prefer to farm using Deadly Bloom because it costs less mana and deals much more damage than Grasping Roots when it is leveled up. By using plants to farm, you can easily push a lane or use them offensively/defensively against enemy champions.
Precaution #1 - Do not place your plants next to turrets. If your plant minions from Rampant Growth are placed close enough for a turret to target it, then it will be targeted right from the beginning. That seems like a waste of not only your "w", but also whichever ability you used to create your plant, which also wastes mana, and may cause you to recall sooner than recommended.
Precaution #2 - Since Zyra can be considered "squishy", it is important to watch out for any potential ganks. Like stated earlier, sight ward is one of those items that I do not always take, but I will at times in order to be extra safe; ESPECIALLY if you are playing a ranked match and cannot afford a loss.
Tips / Tricks / Things To Know
•If you set off a plant in a brush, it acts as a sight ward allowing you to see in that brush, while also attacking minions or enemy champions that are close enough to it.
•Do not rush in at levels 1 and 2. At level 1, all you have is one ability, and at level two you are only adding a seed. If you wait until level 3, then you are sure to be able to confront an enemy without losing too much health.
•Don't fall trap to ganks. If you are being ganked, you can send back your Grasping Roots into a seed. Not only will your attack make a seed that will slow enemies giving chase, but it will also ensnare those enemies, allowing you a chance to get away.
•Be careful. Since Zyra is still the newest character, odds are that many champions will target her first. Don't fall victim to this by playing smart and not trying to rush into enemies.
•Always check to see how much longer your guardian angel will take to respawn. If you are getting low on health, but your team is pushing, you will most likely be targeted by enemies. If you know that your guardian angel will bring you back with more health than you had before, then why not try and stick it out another 20 seconds?
•Focus on items that will increase cooldown reduction. If you can get your ultimate with a small amount of cooldown time, then you can find yourself running the game.
•When facing enemies that have an advantage on you such as Akali and Fizz make sure to play much more defensively. After that first death, its hard to come back strong.
Results From This Guide
Summary & Credits
Overall, if you are looking for a great ranged pusher, then Zyra may be the champion for you. Just remember to take into consideration that she can be squishy, but if used correctly, can do a gigantic amount of damage, and own the lanes or jungle.
Her abilities matched up with the right runes, masteries, and items can end up leading you superior over the other 9 players in your game.
Zyra does have her weak points, but she is still the newest champion. More and more combinations and updates can still come, and it is important to remember that just because she is the newest character, don't try and rush into enemies over-confidently.
In times of need, make sure to take reign of her crowd controls, and remember that you aren't just playing for yourself, you are playing for a team.
Once again, thank you guys so much for reading. This was my first guide so I hoped it helped some people out. If you found this guide helpful, be sure to vote it up. If you have a guide you want me to check it, make sure to send it to me. Also, make sure to send me any scores you get from using the guide so that I can add you to the Hall Of Fame/Results page!
Thanks to the following people for making this guide possible:
*jhoijhoi - I would have never known where to get started if it weren't for your guide!
*GraveDohl - For helping me with the final items and making sure that in the end, Zyra had a well balanced build
*IceCreamy - I would have never known how to use columns if it weren't for your guide... and many of the artistic design for my guide was inspired by yours.
Enjoy playing with Zyra!