Zyra Build Guide by Graser26
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Hey guys, this is my first guide that I am doing. I decided to make an APC guide for because I feel like she is an underrated champion when it comes to playing her mid lane. Im not ranked high, but I have mained since she was released and have had much success with her. In S2 I had about a 73% win rate with her in ranked in around 150 games and currently have around a 70% win rate in S3. You mostly see her at the support role, which is understandable because of her great CC and ability to zone the opposing teams ADC, but I hope to show that if you take that CC to mid lane, you can become a huge damage threat mid-late game.
Rise of the Thorns (Passive)
This passive allows you to shoot a seed after you die that deals huge true damage and passes through anything it hits, allowing you to chunk down opponent's health even after you have died. A well placed shot makes trading in lanes easier and can really change the momentum in a team fight. The true damage increases as you go up in levels.
deadly bloom (Q)
This is Zyra's main damage in lane. It has a pretty short cool down and is AoE, allowing damage on multiple enemies. Great for farming as well. Max this first always for the most damage output during the lane phase.
Grasping Roots (E)
In my opinion, this is Zyra's bread and butter. This is her snare and is great for anything from 1 on 1 fights to catching over extended opposing champions in team fights. Max second for more damage and burst.
Rampant Growth (W)
This skill is what allows Zyra to zone so well. Her plants deal steady damage to opposing champions in range, and are also useful for farming. The slow allows you to catch enemy champions during ganks and makes it easier to land your Q. I always take this level one because it useful for defending invades and when invading as well. Max this last.
This is one of the most useful, OP ults in the game. It has huge damage, has a huge area, and knocks up any enemy inside of it after a short delay. This ult can completely change a losing fight into an easy win. Always take a point in this when you can, just like any other ult.
are pretty standard for a mid lane champ and that doesn't change with
can also be used though, as it allows you to gank over extended lanes and help your team pick up kills, provided your team has wards down.
I have tried a few times, it helps with catching your opponent off guard early game when you're OOM and suddenly use it and burst them down, but late game it becomes virtually useless.
Any other summoner spell doesn't really fit well with APC and doesn't benefit her in any way.
There are a few ways to start off your lane. I almost always start with Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potion, and 1 Mana Potion. Depending on the other team though, you can start Doran's Ring. I only start Doran's Ring if the opposing team doesnt have a jungler with an early gank threat, and if I'm going against a champion that I counter (champion matchup section later in guide). I try to get catalyst the protector on my first back, if you can't, just buy its components. I rush Rod of Ages because it helps with Zyra's squishyness early and scales well into mid game. The next items depend on how well laning phase is going.
If farming well and winning lane
Sorcerer's Shoes --> Rabadon's Deathcap ---> Liandry's Torment ---> Zhonya's Hourglass ---> Abyssal Scepter ---> tier 3 boots, usually I go with the homeguard upgrade.
If losing lane/ behind
Abyssal Scepter ---> Sorcerer's Shoes ---> Zhonya's Hourglass ---> Liandry's Torment ---> Rabadon's Deathcap ---> tier 3 boots
Always buy wards, I buy at least 1 every time I go back, wards are extremely useful to protect from ganks, give your team vision, and help for setting up your own ganks. Map visibility is a key part to winning games, and your team will love you for warding.
That is my ideal build I aim for during a game, obviously not every game will be ideal though and you will have to learn to adapt your build. I used to not build the Liandry's, but after they tweaked its passive, it is now a must build on Zyra. The duration isn't affected by AoE anymore so Zyra's spells are always doing the max damage of the passive. Along with the slow of her plants, this item is very powerful. These are some other useful items on .
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - This is a great item for Zyra, it adds a good amount of health and ability power, but also gives a slow. I usually build this item against AD mid lane match ups and build it instead of Abyssal Scepter.
Deathfire Grasp - I think the changed they made to this item were great. It gives you a great activate nuke and gives you a huge power increase to the target you choose to nuke. This item actually outpowers Rabadon's Deathcap when it comes to 1v1 fighting and the cool down reduction helps a lot with Zyra's snare. However I choose to stay away from it most of the time for that exact reason. It can only be used on one enemy in team fights which only helps to a certain extent. I get this item when I face a tanky mid lane champ. It excels when facing someone like Swain or Cho'Gath.
Void Staff - This item is extremely good. The magic pen it gives is outstanding and really makes your spells hurt. However, through countless games I found that most of the time it is not needed. This item should really only be bought against teams stacking MR. Zyra has such a strong burst that if the other team isn't stacking MR, then you won't need a Void Staff to do heavy damage to them.
Athene's Unholy Grail - I've never been much of a fan of this item, and I don't know why because it is a great item. I almost never build this item, but I found that it works extremely well as an item to build first if you need early MR and are finding yourself spamming your skills constantly during the laning phase. You mostly see it on champs like Swain and Anivia, who have toggle ults that drain mana per second, but can be useful on Zyra if you find yourself in the situation I explained.
I take 21/9/0 masteries, focusing on AP damage output and some survivability. Pretty standard, nothing new here. One thing to note is that you can take out the one point in Summoner's Wrath and put it into Archmage if you want. Either set up works in my opinion.
The set up I gave is the one I always roll with. It gives magic resist for help in lane, magic pen for better early game damage, and AP for self explanatory reasons. I take flat AP quints over scaling because its gives you more damage early, but those can be swapped for scaling AP if that suits you better, or you just don't have flat quints but do have scaling. I have seen people use health quints to help with
's early game squishyness. I haven't tried it but I advise staying away from it because late game you will be tanky enough to survive fights no problem.
If you know that you are going to be against an AD champion mid, I would replace your AP scaling seals, with armor seals. This will help you survive the lane, you just will lose out on some damage.
This is just the set-up I am comfortable with and used to playing with. If you have your own AP caster set-up that you use, feel free to stick with it and experiment with your own ideas.
Pros / Cons
- Great burst potential
- Excellent zoning ability
- Great Pusher
- Great farming
- Seeds can be used as short length wards
- Decent spell range
- Epic passive
- Plant damage scales with champion level, along with some AP scaling
- Prone to ganks if snare is on cooldown
- Slow movement speed
- Snare reliant for burst in lane
- Very squishy early
- Will get focused in fights
- Difficult to master
- Mana hungry early game
During the laning phase, you want to focus on harassing your opponent, but farming well at the same time.
is very good at being able to do this. If you land a snare, make them pay for being foolish enough to get into your range. I almost always plant a seed with a snare so not only are they snared, but the plant slows them as well, making it easy to land your Q. At level 6 is when your burst shines. If you land a snare at level 6, it is almost always a kill. Do not hesitate to go all in if you land a snare at 6. have your seeds down when you are snaring, hit your Q while ulting, use your ignite, and watch their hp melt away. Another tip is to always keep your lane warded. You want to have as much safety from ganks as possible and wards are a huge help. Dont be afraid to roam as Zyra either. She is slow but if you see a lane over extended, go for it. Just keep in mind that roaming is not always the best option, I try to limit my roaming to when my lane opponent is base.
By the time the game gets to team fights, you should have a good amount of damage and survivability. During team fights you want to focus on the opposing teams ADC if you can. Try to land your snare on anyone over extended and if you do catch someone you can ult behind them to block their escape and to stop the other team from rushing in to help. Keep warding and farming as well into late game, farming becomes increasingly easy as the game goes on and can really put you ahead of the other team with how well Zyra can farm.
Other Champions and Zyra
has counters like any other champion, I have laned against almstt every other mid lane champion and have had both success and failure. This part of the guide is to try and help you adapt to who you are playing against and help you win the lane. This is in alphabetical order, feel free to just scroll to the champ you are facing =D
- Ahri is a very tough lane. She has great mobility and damage. You will be able to bully her pre level 6, but when she hits 6 you want to play more passive. Make sure to save your snare for ganks and if she ults.
- Akali can be a very annoying champ. This lane will depend mostly on you landing your snares pre level 6. If you can kill akali before she hits 6, you will be able to bully her the rest of the laning phase. When she hits 6 you want to play patiently. Don't try to snare her unless she ults to you because if your snare is down she can do whatever she wants. Let her make the first move and then take advantage of her being close to you. Don't be afraid to blow everything if she ults to you, it might keep her wary during later lane play.
- I haven't played versus Anivia much, but when I have it wasn't very difficult. You want to focus on bullying her, just be careful about her egg passive.
- Laning versus Annie isn't too hard. Mostly just be wary when she has her stun up and when she hits 6. In my eyes, Annie is one of the few champs whose burst is as dangerous as Zyra's.
- Laning against Brand is easy, just don't get hit by is AoE fire thing and it should be a cakewalk.
- Have never laned against a Cass with Zyra, if you have any tips on it please let me know =D
- Cho is easy to beat, bully him pre 6 and you will win the lane. Just be careful from ganks because of Cho's knockup, you could get caught if you aren't careful.
- Diana is just annoying, pre 6 you will be able to trade with her, but when she gets her ult it is her lane. My advice is to play passively, save your snare for when she rushes in on you and DO NOT be afraid to ult when she does.
- No one likes Eve, except people who play Zyra. If you can snare Eve, go all out. Punish her everytime you land a snare. If she starts to roam like Eve tends to do, you can push the lane extremely fast and make her pay for it. I wouldn't call Zyra a counter to Eve, but you can usually keep her in check with Zyra.
- This is an extremely easy lane, land a snare and he is probably dead =)
- This is another lane that comes down to patience, let fizz make the first move and you should be fine. If he lands an ult on you don't be afraid to use yours to help get away and potentially catch him off guard and kill him.
- Screw Galio and screw his MR.
- I seem to always lose to Gragas, and I don't know why. If someone has tips on how to play versus gragas please let me know! =)
- Land a snare on Karth and burst him down. Karth is a relatively easy lane for Zyra, you just have to be aggressive and you should be fine.
- This lane is a lot like laning versus Akali. Pre 6 you can bully her if you land your snares, but once she hits 6 play more passively. Save your snare for after she uses Shunpo and if you land it, ult and make her pay!
- Kayle is very powerful, I have't laned versus one with Zyra but I imagine it sucks. If you have any tips please let me know!
- You can bully Ken pre 6, but save your ult and stun for when he ults and rushes in.
- Kha is another strong champ when it comes to one on one play, he is melee though. Harass and if you land a snare feel free to Q as well. Early game Kha isn't usually tanky and you should be able to control him pretty well if you poke and harass from a distance.
- Never laned versus a LB as Zyra. Let me know if you have any info please!
- Lux is a good match up for Zyra. Both can poke well, and both are deadly if they land a snare. This lane is usually a skill match up. The better player will win the lane. One tip I do have tho is at level 3 if you can land a couple snares and get damage on Lux, you should be able to control the lane. Her shield is very annoying though if she takes it early.
- Pre 6 you can harass Malz all you want, be careful when he has his ult though. At level 6 it comes down to who hits first, if you get your combo he will most likely die, if he gets his, well you know how that goes.
- AP Yi is very annoying, he has a stupid poke and extremely good sustain. you will mostly likely not be able to kill him until you have your ult. When you get your ult, poke him so he has to heal and then go all out when he starts to heal because your ult's knockup will interrupt it.
- This lane for me was almost always a wash and just turned into a farming lane. Her shield is what saves her from being dominated.
- Ori was always another wash lane for me, if you can land a snare or two tho and poke her down, don't be afraid to go all in when you have your ult. You can usually burst her down pretty well if she doesn't level her shield early.
- If you are lucky enough to play versus a Ryze as Zyra, then congrats because you just won the lane. You can burst him down so easily, just land your snare and roll your fingers.
- Swain is a pain. He is difficult to kill pre 6 and even harder once he has his ult. Your best bet with this lane is to just outfarm him because you are unlikely to get any kills unless you have some good ganks from your jungler.
- I have only played versus a Syndra once, and she dominated me. I don't know if that was a flaw or what, but if anyone has any tip please let me know!
- This is another easy lane for you. Land your snares, burst him down. If he lands a stun on you don't be afraid to turn and fight because you can out damage him easily.
- Veig is a bit tricky. He is vulnerable early game, before he gets his ult so take advantage of the time you have pre 6. When he gets his ult be careful of his stun. If he stuns you, you will probably die, depending how far into your build you are. What I found works best is if he lands his stun, immediately when you are free from it snare him and unleash your burst, you can usually at least trade a kill with him if not make it out alive completely.
- Vik has really good early game burst. You need to take advantage of him before he gets his augment and can just poke you to death all game. If you can get your 6 before he has his augment, don't be afraid to initiate a fight and go all out.
- Vlad has good sustain, but if you can jump on him early, you should be able to win the lane pretty easily. Make sure you keep pressure on him so his sustain doesn't just get him back to full hp and then you're left with no mana.
- Who plays Xerath? (tips?? =D )
- Ziggs is very good at zoning and lane control. This lane will probably come down to who is the better player. At 6 if you go in he will most likely stay and fight and you will trade kills, unless you can flash out of his ult radius, then you're good! =)
is a very versatile champ. She has huge burst and amazing CC. She can control her lane with ease and make over aggressive opponents pay with her snare. Her ult is game changing and really helps your team control fights.
Feel the thorn's embrace!
Hope this guide helped you guys. Please give me feedback on the guide, it was my first one and I would like any pointers to help make it better. I just ask that you choose to down vote, just let me know why so i can fix the problem.
2/5/2013 - Updated build section to give more info on alternative items.
4/10/2013 - Updated item build to include Liandry's.