Zyra Build Guide by Rekkoning

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Rekkoning

Zyra - The Thorns Embrace (After Nerf)

Rekkoning Last updated on August 24, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 22

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 8

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Welcome to my guide build guide for: Zyra, Rise of the Thorns!

In the short time Zyra has been around she has shown to be a quite powerful character. Although, many players have thrown her away since the last patch, where they decreased all of her damage done, Zyra is till a very deadly character if played correctly.

Now, I have played Zyra since her release and although she used to be OP, she has become an equal competitor against the usual champions. My build with Zyra has changed since the nerf patch and everything I recommend is what I use, not me telling you what is necessary.

Before we dive in, I want to introduce myself. My summoner names Rekkoningg and, although I have only been a member of the LoL community for just over a month I have become addicted and can't get enough. As of now, I only play Zyra online and I do consider myself very good with her. I'm constantly getting compliments for my skill with Zyra. This bit of background is just for you to understand I'm not a random scrub posting random information :)

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Here I will explain the runes and the reason why I chose each rune. Remember, this is personal preference and I only choose what suits me, which may suit you as well.

- Mark of Insight (x9)
- Seal of Force (x9)
- Glyph of Potency (x9)
- Quintessence of Insight (x1)
- Quintessence of Potency (x2)

Now, those choices aren't typically seen on any other Zyra builds. I don't always agree with many builds saying that you need replenishment runes for all casters. With Zyra, you typically only have mana problems at lower levels. With that said, let us dive into the reasoning for each rune set.

I have chosen the 9 Marks of Insight because spell penetration is VERY helpful late game when players have increased their defenses. With the additional boost from these 9 runes you start the game with 11 magic pen. Most characters start with 20-30ish magic resist, so you're already cutting through almost 50% of their resistance. With that extra power, you will surely cut down your foe's defenses.

When choosing the 9 Seals of Force I was thinking in terms of a late game domination, which Zyra is very powerful for in this patch. This was an easy choice over the mana regen, since late game mana regen and consumption have leveled off and it makes your late game ability power much higher.

The 9 Glyphs of Potency are added for that solid boost in AP, which is very helpful at low levels. This will give you a nice boost when starting a match, keeping you from being forced to play defensive by being very offensive.

The Quintessence runes are added to simply boost the desired stats described above.

These choices directly affect Zyra's ability to hold her own in early game and dominate late game.

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This is a basic AP mastery build but moving into the support tree is very helpful for buff duration and mana bonuses.

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These are the items I used every single game and I highly recommend following this item guide in a very similar way.

The reason for stacking AP as high as possible is because Zyra will become a hard hitter late game. With most damage coming from her turrets and her Deadly Bloom (1st ability) you really want to get those hitting hard.

Early Game Items

Boots of Speed - You will want to start with the typical boots in case you are in need of a fast get away. Eventually you will want to upgrade your boots into Ionian Boots of Lucidity to reduce the wait for your roots/seeds.

Healing and Mana Potions - If you are comfortable with Zyra take 1 Healing Potion and 2 Mana Potions. Otherwise, follow this guides instructions.

*These early game items will grant you +50 Movement Speed, +15% Cool Down Reduction, +150-300 Health and +100-200 Mana.

Mid-Game Items

Rod of Ages - This item will grant you +450 health, 525 mana, 60 AP and +18 health, 20 mana, 2 AP every minute for 10 minutes. This gives you a huge boost in stats that will add up to help greatly End-Game.

Void Staff - +70 AP and 40% magic penetration. This item adds a small AP boost with a big magic pen boost. I can't stress enough how helpful magic pen is in late game, this item is the most effective item for late game.

*These items will add up to +640 health, +725 mana, +150 AP and 40% magic pen. This will be very helpful Mid-Game since you're gaining a fair amount of health and mana.

End-Game Items

Rabadon's Deathcap (x3) - Now having 3 of this item is VERY important to me. Each Deathcap grants +140 AP and 30% more AP. That means, stacking this item 3 times would give you +420 AP (an ironic number for some people) with an ADDITIONAL 30% increase (the 30% stays since the percentage increase is a unique passive, meaning it doesn't stack). Grand total from all 3: +456 AP.

*Sometimes, if the game is long enough, I go balls to the wall and replace all items with Rabadon's and then buy elixirs. My all time high for AP is 1123 and yes, I hit like a truck.*

Elixirs - When you're maxed out you will always want to use elixirs. Make sure to get an Elixir of Brilliance and an Elixir of Fortitude to increase your health and mana.

*If you come against a hard physical damage team or you have trouble fighting melee, grab a Thornmail, which returns 30% of all physical damage taken to the attacker and grants you 100 armor.*

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Skill Sequence

I have chosen the skill sequence of:
- The basic idea is to get your hard hitter, Deadly Bloom (1) to ensure your damage and minion farming.

- You will then want to grab Rampant Growth (2) so you can start putting up your turrets, which is your main source of damage when going for a kill.

- Followed by Grasping Roots (3) to grant you the ability to root your target in place for some time. This will allow your to CC and possible land a kill at low levels.

- You will then increase your Deadly Bloom (1) followed by your Rampant Growth (2) and your ultimate Stranglethorns (4).

*The reason why I have you grab your Seed/Rampant Growth twice before your ultimate is because when you are going for a kill, having your 2 turrets up will almost guarantee hard burst.*

- You wont have to worry about your seeds for a while since you have it set at a steady regenerative speed for now.

- Increasing your Deadly Bloom (1) and Grasping Roots (3) will help your damage significantly throughout the game.

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Summoner Spells

Ignite - This spell is a DOT (Damage Over Time) spell and is very useful when your target is trying to escape with low health or even to down an enemy faster when going hard. This spell does 70-410 true damage based on your level.

*True damage is damage that is unaffected by magic resistance and armor.*

Flash - There are a couple ways to use this unique spell. My favorite is getting that last hit in on an enemy escaping with under 100 hp. If the somehow manage to out-range you, just Flash to them and auto attack or apply ignite! The other commonly used way to Flash like a pro is to use it as an escape method. If you're dying and close to a friendly turret, just Flash to it.

*Flash can be used to go through thin walls, such as the walls surrounding the nexus base in a 5v5 match or a thin tree line in a 3v3 match.*

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Pros / Cons

Last but not least, the Pros and Cons!


    Hits hard and fast
    Has a root (cc)
    Ultimate is a knock up (cc)
    Seed turrets can distract minions
    Ultimate is an AoE (Area of Effect)
    With high AP
Zyra doesn't need defense
Melee is simple to kill

    Very easy to kill at low levels
    Root is a line ****, don't miss!
    Silences are deadly
    Must have opener 75% of the time
    Ranged is difficult to kill

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Lane Preference

I personally prefer to play the middle lane alone. This allows me to get ahead in levels, since middle is easier to kill and focus minions.

Middle Strategy

Step 1: Lowering the Opponent - In mid, you want to get ahead of your opponent in kills and turret damage. To do this, wait for your opponent to get comfortable and move in with the minions. You will then want to drop a perfectly placed Deadly Bloom (1) on him and the minions.
REPEAT *This will help you get ahead on minions and make him use his pots first.*

Step 2: The Recall - Once you have emptied your opponent's inventory of healing pots you must make him/her recall. By now you should have your first 3 abilities. What you will want to do is let him hit minions to get him to stand still.

Once you know he won't move, act fast by hitting him with your Grasping Roots(3) and as soon as you click that spell on him drop 2 Rampant Growth(2) seeds right on him.

Now instantly after dropping the seeds you will want to hit him with Deadly Bloom(1) which, while being hit by your 2 turrets, will cause a ton of damage. This will force your opponent to run to their respective turret.


*You must drop the seeds almost instantly after casting your roots. BE FAST!*

Step 3: Capitalizing - Now that your opponent has fled, make haste and drop those minions so you may now push and damage his tower. Get as much damage as you can before you run out of minions then run back and recall (if necessary).

Step 4: Mid-Game Kills - Once you've got the minion farming and enemy potion consumption down, try for a kill. By now you should have your ultimate, Stranglethorns(4).

**This is how all kill shots should go for Zyra**

The Kill Shot:
Follow these steps exactly and I will guarantee a kill (NO room for delay):
- Hit your target with your Grasping Roots(3), the roots must hit.
- Instantly place 2 Rampant Growth(2) on him before the line of roots hits him.
- Instantly place your Deadly Bloom(1) on top of him and the turrets.
- Instantly place your Stranglethorns(4) on top of him.
Now he will have been stunned, hit for a burst, be taking constant (fast) turret damage from your seeds and the burst + knock up of your ultimate. Keep up the Auto Attacks for a kill.

This is my play style that I have developed after the nerf. I have found this to be EXTREMELY effective.

-If you have questions, comments or want to see it in action message me or add me in game-

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So with everything I have shared with you in this guide, the most important thing to remember is that Zyra is very offensive now. Though, other guides have been saying Zyra won't work after the recent nerf I guarantee she does.

Be sure to build as much ability power as possible, follow the rune guide and item guide as closely as possible, and be sure to get that kill shot down. Try it in a custom game if you need practice or come play a match with me and I will walk you through it.

There it is guys and girls! This guide has shown you how to build your runes, masteries, items and even a hardcore killshot. I hope this guide was helpful and I plan on updating and fixing it constantly. If you have any tips or help for me I'd gladly take them into consideration.

Now go out and remember to have fun, it's just a game! :)

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Champion Spotlight (pre-nerf):
There are many other videos of her post-nerf but the players have yet to understand how to play her. On YouTube, most videos are something like: 8-9-12 or 8-7-12. If this is average, what I've taught you will make you look like a pro.

My personal experience before the nerf: 34-7-6 21-9-8 19-3-2 (Best 3 matches)
My personal experience after the nerf: 29-7-11 22-7-7 5-0-4 (Last 3 matches)