Zyra Build Guide by noiree
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, my name is Noiree and welcome to my Zyra guide. Zyra is one of the newest additions to the champion roster in the League of Legends and she has stepped up the competition! I've found that Zyra works best in mid lane as an AP Carry, but can also be viable in the support bot role. Be prepared to learn all about this exciting new champion and her sinister abilities.
As the very ground beneath you roars with wild ferocity, Zyra is ready to spring traps, plant seeds and put some painful plants in your path. With a varied set of abilities, Zyra can hold her own as a mage, combining plants and abilities to strategically overwhelm the competition. Zyra excels at planning ahead and exploiting an enemy’s weaknesses, bringing the full fury of nature to bear. Get a crash course in botany with the Zyra Champion Spotlight!
This guide is still a work in progress however since most of it is complete I have decided to publish it. Things to look forward to:
- Team fight game play
- In-depth Support guide
- Ideas? Share in the comments
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 their 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 plan 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 plant 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.
“Closer to the flower, closer to the thorns.” - Zyra
Pros / Cons
+ Excellent CC (AoE root, slow, knockup)
+ Great AoE Damage
+ Can safely deal damage from a distance using plants
+ Practically free wards with our plants
+ Great farming ability
+ Low cool downs
+ Get the last hit with our passive!
- Often focused
- Can be squishy
- Not as many escape abilities as other champions (off-set by her amazing CC)
Boots of Speed + Health Potion x3 A standard starting build. Offers amazing mobility with your boots to escape from ganks or to dodge skill shot from other mid laners. Makes up for your low HP with health regen with your health potions.
Doran's Ring Take a Doran's to provide a nice bit of AP, Hp, and mana regen. Take a second one if you are not doing so well in your lane to help with survivability.
Catalyst the Protector An item which allows your to just farm your lane for a very long time. Each time you level up, you will receive healing for both health and mana.
Sorcerer's Shoes The boots of choice for an AP Carry. Give magic penetration, and provides lots of speed to get away from ganks or for chasing someone who is running away. However, always choose your boots depending on the enemy team. If they have 4 very strong AD Champs, Ninja Tabi might be a better choice, or if they are extremely CC heavy, go for for Mercury's Treads.
Rod of Ages Grab this baby early so you can stack its bonuses. Maxing out in 10mins, this provides GREAT Hp, mana, and AP. Essential for survivability. If you don't plan on getting this item early, just skip it and pick up your Rylai's Crystal Scepter instead or a fast Will of the Ancients for sustain.
Rabadon's Deathcap The best item for any AP Carry. Get this item a little later, into mid/late game as it scales best off of already accumulated Ability Power. It is generally never a good idea to pick this up as your first core item and it offers no survivability and your just going to be a squishy gank target. As soon as you get this item, you will hit like a truck!
Rylai's Crystal Scepter We are amazingly CC heavy. Add a slow to every spell we cast? Yes please! This items is exceptional for chasing down enemies, and also provides great surviability with the extra HP.
Zhonya's Hourglass Time for some defense! Getting some armor for survivability is not a bad idea. Remember to use the passive to save yourself from a sticky situation so your team can come help, or for your abilities to come off CD. Note, even during the stasis, your plants will continue to deal damage. I recommend planting two seeds, casting a spell on them, and using this item to keep protected in big team fights!
Void Staff Once the enemy starts building MR you can make 40% of that useless. If however, they are not, then I would take Abyssal Sceptre instead.
Other / Situational
Tear of the Goddess - Archangel's Staff Now hear me out.. Zyra does not have a hard time controlling mana. However, her Rampant Growth counts towards these stacks (as of July 24th 2012, PBE). As this spell actually costs ZERO mana, you are gaining free mana! Zrya also has a great ability to just spam, spam, spam. Causing these items to stack extremely fast! Used for the AP, not the mana (although its a nice bonus ;).
Athene's Unholy Grail As a mid laner, nabbing a bit of magic resist will make laning a lot easier. Provides amazing mana regen, high in magic resist, ability power, and CDR. I dare anyone to contest the greatness of this item as a mid laner.
Abyssal Scepter An excellent AoE debuff if your team has multiple AP champions. Also provides excellent magic resist.
Deathfire Grasp The CDR is nice, however we receive plenty of that from our Rampant Growth + Blue buff. Using the Active at the start of a fight will have their tank running away in fear though.
Lich Bane Offers lots of different uses. However most of our damage can be done out of auto-attack range. I'd recommend this item if you are an 'in-your-face' aggressive player, but its not necessary.
Will of the Ancients Amazing when working in a team fight with multiple other AP champions . One of the few items which offer spell vamp, and gives it to other champions around you! Only take if you have other really strong AP champions on your team.
Some builds to try out
As one build will never be the perfect build for every game, I suggest you try different combinations of items to find which build suits your play style, and which work well against different opponents.
Athene's Unholy Grail
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Will of the Ancients
Will of the Ancients
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Now here is a role which many people don't agree with. But if you take a close look at Zyra's kit, you'll see she has amazing potential to become a great support!
Lets take a look at her abilities
From a support perspective ;)
Rise of the Thorns Not very effective for a support, but it does have its uses. As a support you should be trying to protect your Carry as much as possible - blocking skill shots, initiating fights during lanning, protecting from ganks, etc. If you end up dead because you were saving your carry, you are doing your job right. The longer they can stay in lane, the more gold they get. SO if you do happen to die, well your massive blast of true damage will probably be enough to get your carry a nice double kill and you some assists!
Deadly Bloom An excellent defensive move. Playing the support role, its not your job to get creep kills so use this ability to zone your opponents. Every time they come in for a last hit on your minions, make sure you punish them for it. Careful not to waste too much mana though, you don't want to be OOM when it comes time for a kill.
Rampant Growth As you have probably noticed already, this ability cost ZERO mana. These are literally free wards. However, this does not mean you should not buy Sight Ward or Vision Wards. They should still be used to ward dragon (you don't want to be running over there every 30 seconds to seed). This ability is also what makes you a very scary support. Plant seeds at the far end of your enemy's creep wave to zone them out! Your opponents will be too scared to get close to last hit. If they aren't scared, make them scared! As soon as they get close to one of your seeds, use either Deadly Bloom or Grasping Roots to keep them back. Make sure to communicate with your lane partner so that they don't push too hard, the last thing you want is to die to a gank from their jungler.
Grasping Roots When its time to go in for the kill, make sure to snare the enemy for your Carry to get as much damage in. At the least, it will force them to use their Flash and then they will be playing too defensively to pose much of a threat. Did your Carry over extend and get themselves into a sticky situation? Use this to save them! Root the enemy to prevent them getting chased down. Does your enemy think they can tower dive you? HA, think again - root them under your tower and watch them take a beating.
Stranglethorns Not only does this baby pack a massive punch, it is also a powerful CC. Make sure to take advantage of the knockup every time you can. Works wonders on stopping channeled ultimates like Karthus' Requiem, Nunu's Absolute Zero, even Galio's Idol of Durand. It does have a 2 second delay however, so make sure to time it right by trying to predict the enemy's moves.
then priority sequence
Stranglethorns - Grasping Roots - Rampant Growth - Deadly Bloom
Rise of the Thorns (Passive)
Upon death, Zyra returns to her plant form. After 2 seconds, she can press any ability to fire a vengeful thorn, dealing 99 (+25*level) true damage to each enemy it strikes. Lasts 8 seconds.
A decent passive, not useful while alive however.. BUT as you will often be focused in a team fight, make sure you aim your skill to hit as many enemies as possible for a massive chunk of true damage to help your team!
Deadly BloomDeadly Bloom
Thorns shoot from the ground, dealing 75/115/155/195/235 (+0.6 AP) magic damage to enemies within the area.
Rampant Growth: If Deadly Bloom hits a seed, a Thorn Spitter grows, dealing (+0.2 AP) magic damage. Lasts 10 seconds.
This ability does quite a deal of AoE damage. If used on your seeds, they will become ranged assassins! However be careful, turrets tend to target them first and they don't attack the turrets back! Try to plant them while defending a turret or closer to the middle of the map to push while backing.
Passive: Grants 4%/8%/12%/16%/20% cool down reduction. Active: Plants a seed, lasting 30 seconds. If an enemy steps on a seed, it will be destroyed but they will be revealed for 2 seconds. Zyra stores a seed every 17 seconds (max: 2 seeds stored, 4 seeds planted).
Rampant Growth: Spells cast on seeds grow plants. Plant damage is based on Zyra's level. Extra plants striking the same target deal 25% less damage.
This is essentially your bread and butter skill. While it doesn't do any damage by itself, all your other abilities affect your seeds. Also note that they work as wards and can be placed on parts of the map which you don't have view of (on cliffs, over walls, etc). Use them to protect from ganks, granting view within bushes, and of course to deal massive amounts of burst damage. Using Deadly Bloom on them will create ranged plants, while using Grasping Roots will create a melee plant which slows.
Sends forward vines dealing 60/105/150/195/240 (+0.5 AP) magic damage and root enemies for 0.75/1/1.25/1.75 seconds.
Rampant Growth: If Grasping Roots hits a seed, a Vine Lasher grows dealing 24 (+6*level)(+0.2 AP) magic damage and slowing enemies by 30% for 2 seconds. Plant lasts 10 seconds.
Fantastic! An AoE root! Use this in team fights to prevent any melee from getting close to you or your AD Carry. You can also very effectively use this to poke during the laning phase, however it may be quite mana intensive. Also doubles as an great farming ability as it will damage and root all minions and champions in its path.
Summons the Fury of Nature, growing a twisted thicket at target location which deals 200/300/400 (+0.7 AP) magic damage to all enemies in the area as it expands. After 2 seconds, the vines snap upward knocking enemies into the air.
Rampant Growth: Plants within the thicket are enraged, increasing their attack speed by 50%.
Being our ultimate, this is a very nice ability. Level it as soon as possible. It deal huge AoE damage and is another CC to add to our arsenal (knockup). In team fights, try to use this on your plants and the enemies at the same time for the attack speed boost AND damage/knockup.
Want to deal some massive damage? Zyra has multiple combos to make your enemies flee in terror!
Get off my lawn!
Plant one Rampant Growth within melee range of the enemy, follow it up by hitting both your seed and the enemy with Grasping Roots. Quickly plant a second Rampant Growth close to the enemy and hit them with your Deadly Bloom. Finish with Stranglethorns and a second Grasping Roots if they are still alive.
How it works: By using your root on a seed, it will create a melee fighting plant that slows the target. While slowed, using your Deadly Bloom on another seed will create a ranged plant to continue dealing damage as the enemy runs away. Use your ultimate while the enemy is slowed to ensure they get hit and to enrage your plants to deal faster damage.
Oh, were you going to run away?
2x Rampant Growth BEHIND your target (who should be facing you), follow this up by a Grasping Roots (aim to hit both your plants and the enemy), cast a quick Stranglethorns, and finish it up with Deadly Bloom. If the enemy is still running, snag them with another Grasping Roots.
How it works: By planting seeds behind your target, it will force them to run into them as they retreat. Using Grasping Roots will keep them from running and create Vine Lashers which will also slow the enemy. Keeping them slowed, use your ultimate to deal massive damage and knockup to keep allowing your lashers to hit them.
You thought you had me?
Try to bait your opponent into chasing you (this works well when running into bushes). Plant 2x Rampant Growth followed by a fast Deadly Bloom, into your ultimate Stranglethorns, and hold them in your ultimate with Grasping Roots.
How it works: By baiting your opponent into a bush, they will not see your seeds. Make sure to plant them ahead of time or make sure you have 2 stored up. As soon as they get close, hit both the enemy and your seeds with your Deadly Bloom. This will do nice damage and create ranged plants. Using your ultimate will give your plants more time to deal damage with the knockup affect, and snaring the opponent with your Grasping Roots will ensure you actually hit your ultimate.
As a support, it is your job to lock down the enemy AD Carry and hopefully give your AD Carry a kill. I suggest maxxing Grasping Roots quite fast for the extra long root, followed by your Rampant Growth to provide excellent ward coverage (as well as a slow if you use Grasping Roots on them).
Provides an desperately needed escape, allows you to jump over walls and out of many CC abilities. I ALWAYS take this spell regardless of my 2nd choice.
Getting an enemy to low health is a pretty easy task, however most people will carry a Health Potion, Heal, or have an health regen ability. This spell allows your chase a little without having to worry about them escaping with 5 hp.
A nice way to defend yourself against a gank or to focus down an AD carry in a team fight, the slow can also be useful when an opponent is trying to escape. However as we will mostly be focusing another AP Carry during the laning phase, I prefer Ignite. However, I also love to take this as a support role when your AD Carry takes Ignite. It provides an excellent slow to help your carry get the kill or to protect them in a bad situation.
If you find yourself being the target of early harass or ganks, take this spell to ensure your survivabiltiy. Also ensure you use it in team fights to provide a heal for your entire team! This is also a decent choice for support as Zyra lacks both a heal and a shield to help your AD Carry.
This spell is mostly taken on support champions. Talk with your team if the support is not willing to negotiate. If you are playing support Zyra, this is a good spell to have to give your team more map awareness. It has a very short cool down which will let you see into any bush and save you from a horrible face-check.
Ghost - While it allow you to run faster and gank more easily, the CC from our -insert ability- will stop the enemy from moving, roots are more efficient than running faster.
Revive - You save 20-60 seconds per death. You should not be dying very often if you play safe so you will not benefit from this extra time.
Surge - The extra attack speed is not very useful for an AP Carry. The AP is nice, however with the long cool down and for how low it actually gives, there are better options.
Smite - You are not a jungler.
Teleport - Not a horrible choice, allows you to get into lane a little faster. However if you plan on going back to base, just try to push your creep hard to give you the extra time.
Cleanse - Pick up a Quicksilver Sash instead if you are facing a mid like Malzahar. Being a ranged AP Carry, you can still deal a lot of damage while caught in a root/snare or slow.
Clarity - We have plenty of mana regen from our runes and masteries. If you have sacrificed any of my recommendations for mana regen, you should be confident enough to not need this spell.
Promote - Super minions? You can get those without using up a summer spell slot by killing an inhibitor!
Greater Glyph of Ability Power x9 - As an AP carry, glyphs offer the best boost. I choose the flat AP glyphs over the AP/level glyphs as I believe that both runes and masteries offer the best advantage in early game and lose their efficiency in late game.
Greater Seal of Replenishment x9 - Although Zyra can do just fine if you are good at managing your mana, getting these increases your ability to spam spells and increases your ability to poke your opponent.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x9 - Marks offer the best magic/armour penetration. As an AP carry build, these are the best choice to nullify any early magic resist your opponents may have.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x3 - These offer an amazing boost to our early game. You'll be hitting so hard, your opponent will have to take a double check on their hp! Once they see how much damage you are doing they will spend more on hp pots meaning less gold for their core items.
Greater Mark of Ability Power For a MASSIVE kick in our Ability Power early game.
Greater Seal of Ability Power Again, a huge boost to our Ability Power, but only use if you have no mana issues.
Greater Seal of Armor Some nice armor will mitigate auto attack damage or help you survive ganks, however I'd prefer mana regen or Ability Power as a mid because our mid counter will likely also be an AP Carry and not have much Attack Damage.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist An excellent choice if you decide to take a more passive role in your laning phase. Against another AP Carry, this will definitely help with early game survival.
These are your basic support choices. As a support, you should be able to take a few hits. Therefore I have chose a solid pick of defensive runes. For our Quints, take either depending on your preference. For Marks / Glyphs, I recommend lots of armour, as a support you will be facing an AD Carry. Take whichever you feel comfortable with.
Greater Mark of Magic Resist / Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Replenishment / Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Gold / Greater Quintessence of Health
A pretty standard AP carry build, but lets take a closer look at the reasons why I chose these:
Summoner's Wrath This boosts our Ability Power while Ignite is on cool down. If you do not take Ignite, take the last point in Mental Force instead.
Mental Force Flat Ability Power boost, whats not to love? The reason I only take 3/4 is that the 1 point in Summoner's Wrath , and our last point in Runic Affinity , are worth a lot more than 1 Ability Power.
Sorcery Although Zyra already has pretty low cool downs, more CDR doesn't hurt in the least. Honestly, at this tier, there isn't much else to chose.
Arcane Knowledge Magic Pen. is one of an AP Carry's more important stats. This will help you bypass any mid/late game magic resist the enemy may build.
Havoc While this mastery might not be great on single-target champions, you may have noticed that Zyra has quite a few AoE abilities. This mastery can scale very well with the more AoE damage you can put out.
Blast 18 Ability Power at level 18 is great! More than we can receive from runes without losing our early game edge.
Archmage This is a late-game treat! On average, you will have around 500 AP during the late game. 5% of 500 is a 25 point boost in our damaging potential.
Executioner Mostly used in team fights or an "all-in-one-on-one". If you happen to be losing a one-on-one (if you are you should gtfo, but..) with our passive you can land an extra hard hit even if you end up over-confident.
Summoner's Insight Flash is our last resort escape. Any CDR on an escape is a point well used.
Expanded Mind Really experienced Zyra players will know how to manage her mana quite well, however I prefer a little wiggle room when it comes to mid lane so extra mana is very nice and also leads to..
Meditation 3 mana regen is quite a bit for this low tier. It helps ensure you can get off a nice combo incase of an unexpected gank or face-off!
Swiftness Zyra isn't the fastest champion, but she's not the slowest. I prefer to only take one point here to open up for our next mastery. However if you prefer movement over mana regen feel free to mix and match.
Runic Affinity Being a mostly mid lane champion, your jungler should be giving you any subsequent blue buffs after the first. The extra duration is very helpful and also affects Baron Nashor's buff once your team starts facerolling.