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Zeri Build Guide by Amberdragon

ADC [12.14] Complete Zeri Guide to Zap Your Way to Victory

ADC [12.14] Complete Zeri Guide to Zap Your Way to Victory

Updated on August 9, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Amberdragon Build Guide By Amberdragon 15 1 25,256 Views 10 Comments
15 1 25,256 Views 10 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Amberdragon Zeri Build Guide By Amberdragon Updated on August 9, 2022
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Runes: Survive

1 2 3 4
Precision
Lethal Tempo
Triumph
Legend: Alacrity
Cut Down

Resolve
Conditioning
Revitalize
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Autopilot
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Heal

Heal

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[12.14] Complete Zeri Guide to Zap Your Way to Victory

By Amberdragon
I am an ADC main in the BR server, who mains Xayah and Kai'Sa mostly. But Zeri was my most played ADC this season! I also have M7 on Jinx, Aphelios, Sivir, Miss Fortune and Ashe. Occasionally a Kindred adc player.

I have been playing Zeri since her release and I had a lot of fun with this champion! I tried a bunch of things on her and I liked her so much that I dedicated myself to getting M7 and to mastering her. I literally spent so much time with her that for the longest time she was the ADC I had the most games on.

RIOT PLEASE STOP REWORKING HER PLEASE


For synergies, ability order and matchups see sections above and their respective notes.









Living Battery


Zeri gains Move Speed whenever she receives a shield. When she damages an enemy shield she absorbs its energy, shielding herself.





Burst Fire


Zeri's Attacks are treated as Abilities and Burst Fire is treated as an Attack. Moving and casting Burst Fire stores up energy in Zeri's Sparkpack. When fully charged her next Attack will deal bonus max HP magical damage. If enemy is very low HP her Attack will execute enemies. Burst Fire shoots a burst of 7 rounds that deal attack damage to the first enemy hit.





Ultrashock Laser


Zeri fires an electric pulse that slows and damages the first enemy hit. If the pulse hits a wall it expands into a long range laser and crits.





Spark Surge


Zeri dashes a short distance and energizes her next 3 shots of Burst Fire, causing them to pierce through enemies. She will vault and grind over any terrain she touches.





Lightning Crash


Zeri discharges a nova of electricity and overcharges herself, gaining increased damage and stacking Move Speed that refreshes and gets stronger every time she hits an enemy champion. While overcharged, Burst fire becomes a faster triple shot that chains lightning between enemies.









Pros


+Mobile ADC
+Good scaling
+Fun to play
+High damage
+Strong teamfighter
+Hybrid damage
+Godlike kiting
+Flexible build
+VERY FAST
+Long range

Cons


-Easy to counter
-Gets abused in lane
-Does better with peel support
-Extremely squishy
-Gets outscaled by other hypercarries
-Extremely vulnerable to CC
-High learning curve
-Needs R to do damage







Zeri is a tricky ADC to play. She has her own unique gimmick, and it defines the good Zeri from bad ones. You need to contantly be hitting your Q skillshot - if you do and you know how to exploit her, she can destroy teamfights. If you can't pull her off mechanically, you will just be another bag of gold for the enemy team.

Her teamfight and in fact any longer trades make Zeri really scary. She can also burst squishy targets, but she gets easily deleted herself. In longer trades because of her R damage and movement speed she can whittle down the enemy team entirely on her own.


She has a flexible build, as she is able to go bruiser or crit, however, her crit build is the best in terms of damage and viability as of now.

Zeri gets countered by body-blocking from minions, towers, and champions, as well as hard CC, Silence, and Slows. Because she is so squishy she is also very vulnerable to burst, but she can somewhat peel for herself in extended trades with her R MS and with her being able to E over walls to avoid ganks and sticky bruisers/assassins.

How Independent is she as an ADC?


In lane you can't do too much on your own because you can quickly die if enemy can catch and focus you. However, after 6 and after your item spikes you will deal deceivingly high damage on R and will be harder to kill.

You can always use your E over wall to avoid ganks and anyone trying to murder you, and this is something tht makes her extra safe against ganker junglers and engage supports.

Yes she is very squishy and having a peel support to help you is one of the best things for Zeri, but I still consider her a pretty safe ADC. When it comes to making plays, while Zeri can do stuff by herself if there are few enemies nearby, for teamfights and skirmishes with more than 2 people Zeri does depend a lot on her team to distract the enemy and peel for her while she gets her R going.

How safe it is to pick her?


Zeri is an ok ADC to blind pick. Not the best, but you can find your way around it. Do remember she works best with enchanters and that Slow+CC will make your game much harder. Because of her squishiness you also don't want to be picking her into a team with many assassins.

She does however fit into a lot of teamcomps as the damage carry and she also does just fine with engage supports! You just have to play safer, behind your support. Remember to always play by your strengths - teamfighting, kiting, making picks, staying safe.






Lethal Tempo is the best rune for Zeri. It has alot of synergy with Zeri's kit because of Lightning Crash. Lethal Tempo has great mid-late game, but it can be challenging in laning phase if you are getting pressured. In lane what it can help you with is keeping distance after trading or poking. It really shines after your lvl 6 though! LT is great to help you stack your R and gives you a nice layer of safety with the extra range combined with your speed.




Fleet Footwork is the way to go if you will be trading a lot in lane and you need sustain. It is a must against lane bullies and annoying supports as it gives you some sustain and speed to disengage from enemy bully.





Triumph is my go-to in most games since it helps you with survivablity in teamfights. Overheal is nice because of Zeri's passive but it only works if you actually get sustain runes and Shieldbow.

A lot of people like Presence of Mind but it is not necessary in my opinion. Zeri uses Q for most of her damage, W and E being completely situational - E bacause you should save it for self peel, W because it does little damage (better poke) and costs a lot of mana, so it is better used for the slow and auto resets. It is pretty easy to manage Zeri's mana even in laning phase! Plus, if you go Essence Reaver you will definately not need this rune.




Legend: Alacrity is a good option if you will not be getting any attack speed items early on and if you go Immortal Shieldbow, Legend: Bloodline is good if you plan on a Kraken Slayer and not building sustain early on. You will need the lifesteal and extra health as the game goes on. Legend: Tenacity only if enemy has a lot of CC and you are taking Resolve as your secondary tree, since you need to keep your speed going and CC directly counters that.



You can get Cut Down almost as a standard because you have one of the lowest base HP in the game. If you will be getting health ( Overgrowth, Immortal Shieldbow, health shard) or if enemy has a lot of damage, Last Stand can be taken. If you are unsure and enemy has no HP stackers, Coup de Grace.






In the Domination tree I usually take Taste of Blood for some extra sustain, you can consistently proc it if you hit your abilities.




Eyeball Collection is the best option among its peers. Ghost Poro can be taken too but it takes longer to stack, and Zombie Ward is bad because your support will usually be the one to take down wards.



Ingenious Hunter is really good because it reduces cooldown of sheen items, which adds up a lot of damage over the course of a game. It is also great if you build Shieldbow!

Ultimate Hunter is great if you feel you will be needing your R a lot. As of now it has a decent enough cooldown so this rune is not needed, but you can have fun with it.

Treasure Hunter is good on Zeri because she is extremely item-reliant to do damage when running the crit build. Any gold you can get can make a difference. You can get assists in the mid game using E to engage or W for poke!






In the resolve tree we are looking for survivability - it does really well with Zeri because she is really squishy, so I like it as a standard. Bone Plating is great in lane against champions that rely on combos to chunk you, like Lucian, Draven and Jhin, as long as you avoid getting poked. Bone plating can tank some of the damage for you to survive!

Conditioning is good if you just want to have some tankier stats. It adds up to bruiser build but also works great for Crit because of the stats it provides later on.



Take Unflinching with Legend: Tenacity if enemy has a lot of CC. This is really importanto for Zeri as she needs to keep momentum to stay alive.

Overgrowth is ok if the other options don't apply (but if that's the case I personally prefer the Sorcery tree)

Revitalize is my favorite if I have a peel support and it also has great synergy with Immortal Shieldbow and Bloodthirster. I like taking it as a standard when I plan on building Shieldbow.






In the Sorcery tree I am usually looking for late game scaling. Take Celerity to get more mobility, it has great synergy with your R and with Phantom Dancer. It adds on to your kiting especially early on.





Take Gathering Storm for late game scaling. Zeri has such bad base stats and AD that anything you can get is really valuable. Best rune in the Sorcery tree for her in my opinion.






There are two main build paths on Zeri: the Crit path, and the Trinity path. Because Trinity winrate is now atrocious and Riot is constantly pushing Zeri into a crit ADC, I will not be covering Trinity/Bruiser builds.


The Crit Build offers strong mid-late game scaling, however, it comes at the cost of leaving you very squishy. A true glass cannon, even if you have Shielbow your base stats are very low.


The Trinity Build is more focused on movement speed, kiting and surviving rather than doing damage. You can survive better but you get much less damage because your base stats are very low and scale better with crit.

How to choose between Trinity and Crit?


If you enjoy pain and you really want to play Trinity Zeri, here's the general rule of thumb regarding how you would choose between crit or bruiser.


Crit is your usual carry build. Zeri suffered many changes after her release in order to accommodate her more to the crit build - you deal so little damage that if you want to be the damage carry you actually need the crit build and reach your IE spike to melt everyone. For crit, you need to play very safe and be very aware of positioning.


With the bruiser build you want to have utility and look for teamfight and extended trades. You use your speed and resistance to slowly whittle down enemies and apply on-hit effects. It used to be a good build against teams that have too much burst, but because Zeri's damage was gutted and her Q interaction with Black Cleaver was removed, it's not worth building anymore.






How to choose my Mythic?



Kraken Slayer is always good if you want damage because it is the best mythic for DPS and a big early game spike. The downside is: you are a literal glass cannon because you are very squishy and have one of the lowest base health in the game. However, Kraken is almost a must-buy if you are against armor stackers.



You almost never go Galeforce, only take it if you really need the extra kiting or the dash to survive. But because Zeri already has both those things in her kit, you usually default to Shieldbow if you need survivability.




Shieldbow is the standard crit mythic for Zeri because it helps her with the "being squishy" issue. However, you get less damage in the early game compared to Kraken Slayer, which can make your games tough especially if you are behind.

2nd Item



Phantom Dancer has great synergy with Zeri because its passive adds up with Zeri's Lightning Crash super well, and attack speed is something she really lacks early on (but needs to reduce Q and E cooldown). With Immortal Shieldbow you gain the speed to help your survivability but you can lack a bit of damage. With Kraken Slayer you get a pretty nasty combo that highly increases your DPS. In any case, this will highly help your mid-late teamfighting with Lightning Crash.


Essence Reaver is a viable item for mid game damage, it's a good item if you want a bit more burst, Ability Haste and Mana. You can even build it as a 1rst item but that is not necessary in the current meta because everyone is tankier and games last longer. Navori Quickblades out-performs this item in the late game though.


3rd Item?


Always go Infinity Edge, it's a huge item spike for you. Only reason why you would reconsider this is if enemy is very tanky and you are behind... In this case, Lord Dominik's Regards is what you should go. But really, you only do damage after this item.

Boots?


You always go Berserker's Greaves because your attack speed is VERY bad and you will not build attack speed items in most of your games. The only exception is if you go glass cannon Kraken+PD build, in which case you can go for Boots of Swiftness or defensive boots.

4th-5th item and situationals



Blade of the Ruined King is a good option if enemies stack armor and HP, this item is not that bad for Zeri. Unlike Lord Dominik's Regards it gives you MS, a stat that you really like, and true damage.




Lord Dominik's Regards is good if enemy team has armor and HP stackers. However, there are other priority purchases if you are not against heavy tanks in your games. There is also the matter that Zeri deals a lot of hybrid damage, making LDR less effective as a whole.




Bloodthirster will give you an extra layer of defense in the late game, both from the shield and the lifesteal. If you don't need armor pen, or if you are into a high damage team, Bloodthirster is a great option. The shield you get from BT actually procs your passive, Zeri is a really good BT user.




Navori Quickblades is an amazing late game item for Zeri. No matter your build, this item is great because you basically have NQ passive on your E passive... and they stack! Meaning that each time you crit you reduce E cooldown twice, and it also works for spamming W and slithly decreasing Q cooldown. Late game this item out-performs ER so this is why you don't buy ER in the late game, even if Zeri has synergy with sheen passive.

Also, because Zeri has a big auto range(+ Lethal Tempo) and likes extended fights, it is much easier for her to abuse NQ than it is for shorter ranged champions who also really synergize with the item, like Xayah.




Guardian Angel is great if you are the carry and dying could mean you lose the game. However, I advise against building this if you have not been managing to keep yourself alive or if you have poor positioning.




If enemy team has heavy AP damage, especially burst AP champions, Maw of Malmortius is your best friend. Pair it with Bloodthirster to have more chance of surviving those pesky mages.




Only buy Mercurial Scimitar if enemy has a Mordekaiser, Malzahar or any other hard CC (and you didn't take Cleanse)




Runaan's Hurricane still has big synergy with Zeri, but it is situational. It is really good in the late game if enemy team likes to clump up a lot and teamfight.






Flash is a no-brainer, good for both aggression and protection. You can combo flash with Q or W, or flash to get in range for your R, or to get closer to a wall to use Spark Surge. Use it to avoid CC as well, rather than using it after you have been CC'ed.




Heal is a good summoner for Zeri given her squishiness and weak laning. It goes well with her supports and it is really good for trades and for poke lanes. Ideally if you get caught you should pop Heal before enemy applies Ignite on you.




Cleanse is really good for Zeri too because of her vulnerability. CC is deadly for her because she is a champion that wants to kite and be on the move during longer trades, something that is impossible to do if you have been caught by CC. I take cleanse into Leona, Morgana, double CC bot lanes like Xayah/ Nautilus, Thresh... You do have to evaluate if in a given lane CC can actually kill you in one go (like vs strong laners) or if you can survive afterwards.




Barrier is an okay choice for Zeri if you have a Yuumi or a Soraka running Heal. With these champions in your team the enemy will likely build anti-heal early on, so if you do not need Cleanse Barrier becomes the smarter choice since Heal will be pretty useless. If you have a Soraka with Barrier then you can take Heal for her instead.




Exhaust is a must-have against assassins and high burst/DPS ADCs like Twitch, Vayne, Tristana and Lucian. Assassins can build Serpent's Fang and often run Ignite so Barrier and Heal can be completely innefective. Exhaust will give you more chances to survive against these types of champion.





I will not be going into every single matchup right now (because it is a lot of work) but I will give you a general overview on how to deal with the types of champions you will find in bot lane. If you want specific insight into a matchup look up the "Threats" section at the beginning of the guide!


Mages





Mages are the worst thing you will find in bot lane for most ADCs and that includes Zeri. You thrive in extended fights, most mages thrive in short burst trades. You have no way to defend yourself from their combo other than trying to dodge it and CC is really bad for you because you need mobility to stay alive.

My suggestion against them is to take Cleanse, use Spark Surge to dodge CC and practice your mouse dodging skills. If they miss their spells you will have a short window to win vs them.



High Range ADCs





They usually aren't an issue for you because you have as much range as they have. You can't harass them (because minion block) but you can stay pretty safe at max Q range and not get harassed by them. Some have annoying slow, CC and burst that can be dangerous so be on the lookout for those, but if they miss or are on cooldown you can engage with Spark Surge and run them down with Lightning Crash once you are a bit stronger.




Melee/All-in/Short range ADCS





These champions are an issue if you stay within their range, but if you can space well you will be okay most times. Play close to walls, if they try to all-in you can jump to safety. After 6 you can kite or chase them pretty easily with Lethal Tempo and Lightning Crash. Having Exhaust is really good against them as well.



Kiters





Any ADC can kite but some are particularly good at it. These champions can be a pain to deal with because their mobility can make it hard to hit Burst Fire.

Exhaust and Ultrashock Laser can help slow them down but ideally you want some form of lockdown in your team and fight close to walls (it limits their mobility).




Hypercarries





Zeri can be considered a hypercarry but I do find she tends to do poorly against other hypercarries. They have just as much range as you (with exceptions of course) and can deal damage more consistently than you because they can have more attack speed (yours is capped at 1.5%) and they don't need to hit skillshots to kill you (while you do need to hit Burst Fire).

Against hypercarries it is always good to bring Exhaust. If you have a engage support they need to be able to easily access and lock them down, if you have an enchanter you just need to survive long enough to kill them before they kill you.






I will not be going into every single synergy here either (because it is a lot of work) but I will give you a general overview on how Zeri does with the usual supports you see bot. If you want specific insight into a support look up the "Synergies" section at the beginning of the guide!


Mages





Mages are not the best supports for Zeri because they often focus on pressuring the enemy ADC and using their CC to kill. They can be helpful at relieving pressure in lane by pushing waves and poking the enemy ADC but they still leave you very vulnerable to poke.

Their CC can work really well to make picks but you need to very carefully, if you get caught it is unlikely they will be able to save you.



Peel Supports





These are the best supports for Zeri. They often have some form of lane pressure, healing and shielding to sustain you through lane, CC/disengage and enabling abilities. They can make your laning much easier and help you survive and destroy teamfights in the late game. You do well with most of them.



Catcher Supports





They are a bit situational but they have their value. They can make picks and often have damage to help you score kills, with the downside that they often don't have sustain or a lot of tankiness early on.

If you get caught the peel they can give you is very limited and it will depend a lot on the specific champion. Rakan and Thresh are really good catch supports for Zeri because of their disengage, but Blitzcrank and Pyke can't give you that.



Tank/Engage Supports





Some work better with Zeri than others, but their CC and strong engage is always valuable to any team comp. They can soak up damage for you and keep enemies stuck in place long enough for you to hit all Qs and run them down.

However, in lane they often can't tank a lot and the peel they provide is very limited. You have to position well in order to stay alive and let them do their job. Having a melee support usually also means you can get pushed under tower but they compensate for it by offering easy ganks to your jungler.





1. Farm using Q & empowered autos


Last hitting with Zeri can be very awkward at first, but I assure you it's easier than it seems. Use your Q to farm melee minions or backline minions you can get from a diagonal angle. Since it's not easy to damage caster minions they take longer to get low so you can focus on farming the melees first. Use your empowered auto to last hit casters (if enemy won't punish you), or melees and cannon minions if walking up to the casters is too risky.

If you need to fast push you can weave Q-aa-Q-aa to get the minions low faster, but ideally you want to be using empowered autos because Zeri's autos no longer deal more damage to lower health enemies - intead it executes them. Useful to last hit very low HP minion, bad for pushing waves and taking low HP turrets.

You can also find an angle for W through a wall, and as a last resort (what I don't recommend in the early game) is using Spark Surge to get the pierce damage.

2. Practice farming under tower


It is simpler than it looks. Let all your Q bullets hit the minion and auto if necessary.

If melee minion is full health it takes 2 tower shots + 1 auto attack/Q to kill them.

If caster minion is full health it takes 1 tower shot, 1 Q and 1 auto if you are very low level.

"But wait, my minions already dealt damage to enemy minions!"

You will have to practice a bit. It's easier to handle if you hit your full Q and if you get an empowered auto.

3. Farming safely


Sometimes enemies will harass you when you go for cs. This can be deadly at times, so always pay attention to enemy and ADC movements to see if they are going to harass you. You can use W through a wall to get the farthest minions.

Zeri's Q has a really high range though, so if you stay at max range and use E to dodge abilities you can farm pretty safely. It is similar to Ezreal.

4. Farming mid-late game


As an ADC it is important to farm consistently. Around the time where the first tower falls you ideally want to go to the mid lane and farm there while your team is not doing anything important.

If your mid laner wants to stay mid, farm side lanes (top or bot) then rotate with the team to mid. If your tower is down, make sure the entrances to your jungle are warded. If you have no vision you have to stay closer to your tower. If there is nothing to farm, or nothing to do, or it is too risky to walk up to minions, farm jungle camps your jungler is not going to take.

At this point in the game your items should give you enough strength to push a normal wave relatively fast. Use your wall W as well. Runaan's Hurricane is good late game to help your solo push as well.






There are three main types of wave management and each have their usages and a way to accomplish: fast pushing, slow pushing and freezing.

1. Fast push


This is usually what low elo players do constantly, especially newer players. This is when you quickly kill minions, which results in a thin wave that crashes under the enemy tower.

Fast pushing is easy - you auto attack frequently and use your abilities.

Ideally you want to fast push when you want to quickly crash your wave on the enemy tower to recall, fall back and/or make the enemy laner lose cs.

Fast pushing has the disadvantage that it can actually create a freeze (which I will get into) if you don't push fast enough or at the wrong times, which makes you lose cs instead. When trying to push the wave too fast you may end up losing a lot of minions as well especially if you lack attack speed.

2. Slow push


Slow pushing is when you create a big minion wave that slowly pushes to the enemy tower.

You can create a slow push by keeping the enemy minion wave smaller than yours, but not killing them too quickly. You can achieve this by killing caster minions since they deal more damage, and last hitting melee minions. If the enemy allows this to happen you will have bought enough time to stack 2 minion waves. Once that is done you usually want to fast push to crash them or wait for another wave to stack and then crash.

Slow pushing has a few advantages.

You can use it to set up tower dives since it gives you more time to position for the dive. Your minions will also aggro enemy champions once they hit you and you are close to your minions.

You can use it to trade. If the enemy trades with you and your wave is bigger, the minions will deal a huge chunk of damage in the trade. In early levels this is especially important!

It is hard for the enemy to freeze a massive wave especially if you have the pushing power to kill the enemy minions and crash the wave.

You can zone the enemy away from cs when you have a bigger wave to back you up.

The main disadvantage is when you are away from your push. If the wave is slow pushing into the enemy tower and you cannot get close to it, your minions will kill the enemy minions too fast and deny you xp and gold. Likewise, enemies can use the advantages of slow push against you.

3. Freeze


A freeze is when the wave is stuck and doesn't push to either one side or the other.

Freezing is the hardest to get the hang of because it depends on the position the wave clashes and how healthy minions are. In laning phase ideally you want the freeze to happen just  outside of your own tower range so that it can be beneficial to you. Having a freeze happen in enemy territory is extremely dangerous for you and puts the enemy in a safe position.

To freeze the wave outside of your tower range you need to have around 3 or 4 healthy minions on the area of the closest bush to your tower. To keep the freeze you want to last hit minions, but if you see the freeze is turning into a slow push (into your tower) you will have to thin the wave by killing caster minions (since they deal more damage they will kill your wave faster and cause the freeze to break). If the wave is becoming a slow push into enemy tower, just let it happen so that you can keep denying enemy gold and xp. The enemy will stop this from happening if they auto the wave.

To freeze the wave in the middle of the lane you need only to keep an equal amount of minions on both sides.

A freeze in enemy territory usually hapens when you try to fast push, but your wave clashes with the upcoming minion wave just outside enemy tower range. This type of freeze is good for the enemy as it leaves you vulnerable, and if you recall during such freeze you will possibly lose an entire wave of gold and xp.

Freezing allows you to zone the enemy away from cs, set up for ganks and keep you protected from ganks. If you manage to freeze the wave in the middle of the lane you give more room for your support to engage or catch the enemy from the bushes or the alcove. Keep in mind the enemy support could do the same.


To break a freeze in middle or enemy territory you need to get close and fast push. If that's too dangerous, ask your jungler for help. If the enemy fights it's a 3v2 in a best case scenario. To break the freeze close to your tower you can just let the enemy wave stack and crash or you can thin it and begin a slow push towards the enemy tower.


As you can see freezing is the one that requires the most practice and attention so if you are still new to this just start by trying to avoid freezes from happening and learning fast push & slow push. Once that's more settled on your mind try to practice creating and keeping freezes!

Golden tip #1:


If the enemy fast pushes to recall, watch to see if their wave is going to crash. If you or your support can hold 3-5 minions and the enemy recalls you will naturally create a freeze on your side and you can safely recall as you will only lose about 2-3 minions at most while the enemy will lose an entire wave. If you do it correctly the wave will not crash on your tower.


Golden tip #2:


This goes beyond laning phase. If your team is playing the neutral game and there are no objectives to contest, seek to keep a freeze on your side of the map once your tower is down. This is especially good if you are behind and needing to catch up on cs and xp. Many people just fast push at this point, but it is not always the best choice as if you have a frozen wave deep into your territory the enemy team will either
1: lose a ton of cs and xp
2: go there to stop the freeze (which puts them in perfect spot to get collapsed on)


Golden tip #3: Cheater recall


A cheater recall is basically when you create an early slow push with a cannon wave, crash it and instantly recall. This allows you to get an item advantage in early levels as the enemy will have to stay to farm under tower and then crash their wave on your tower. If they don't do this they will have to take a bad recall... and while they are forced to choose the lesser evil, you can seek to punish them using your item lead.
To have a cheater recall you need to get lane prio (ideally you want jungler to start top or leashless) and let the wave slow push into enemy tower in a way the third minion wave will crash and you can recall. You need a cannon wave to crash because this will give you more time to get back to lane and not lose cs & xp.


Golden tip #4: Immediate level advantage


For this you need your jungler to start top/leashless and the enemy bot lane to leash.
Sit in the bush closest to the enemy tower, and when minions arrive, exit the bush and hold the wave there until your minions catch up.
What happens is that because the wave did not meet in the middle, your minions will focus on an enemy minion and kill it faster. So when enemy laners return, they will lose a melee and thus lose their level 2 spike. Get your level 2 earlier and pressure them!






It is common knowledge that Summoner's Rift is a very perilous place to the average adc player. Nowadays you can get one shot even by tanks. Even the enemy enchanter support can solo kill you.

This is why this section of the guide exists. Hopefully you will be able to last longer following some of these tips!

Know your limits


You can only do so much when you have no summs, when you have had a stressful day at work/school and you can't move your fingers because it’s too chilly outside. On top of that you could be playing against your personal counter - like for instance, maybe you just can't play against Twitch with any champion because he always wins regardless of what you do and you tilt so much.

It's important to be real and understand your limits as a player - whether you are against a champion you cannot stand, how much BS you can take before tilting and running it down, how many buttons you can press at once to survive a teamfight, how aware you are of your cooldowns. Play safe/cool when you know you are at a personal disadvantage.

Know your champion's limits


You can only do so much on Zeri without your E or R - so pay attention to your champion's limits. Don't go to a teamfight or position aggressively when you don't have the tools to defend yourself.

You can be 10/1 and still lose to the average assassin player if your self peel is down and you are surrounded by 3 enemies.

Recognize the biggest threats


This is both champions as a whole and specific champion abilities. Malphite may not be a huge threat himself, but his R is, so you want to be ready to react accordingly when his R is up. If you know you can't outplay a Zed then track him on the map and keep your distance. On champion select, instead of waiting for the game to start, stop and think about what abilities in the game can kill you and plan how you can avoid getting hit by them.

Example...


The enemy team is: Malphite top, Yasuo mid, Warwick jungle, Ezreal and Yuumi in the bot lane.

Step 1: List what can kill you in a game/teamfight

Malphite R+ Yasuo R combo
Yasuo Q+R
Ezreal combo + R
Yuumi R
Warwick R

Step 2: List how you can survive those threats

1. Bring Exhaust for Warwick and Yasuo

2. Or bring Heal to not die from Ezreal combo

3. Time your Spark Surge to dodge Warwick R, Yasuo Q, Ezreal R, Yuumi R, Malphite R

4.Build Immortal Shieldbow if you think you can't dodge abilities (this goes back to knowing your limitations)

5. Position close to walls so you can easily disengage from an ambush.

6. Time your Flash to avoid enemy abilities

7. Stack you Lightning Crash early in a fight to kite Yasuo, Malphite and Warwick or to run away with your movement speed

8. Build a Quicksilver Sash for Warwick R or Yuumi R (not as worth it considering enemy also has 2 knock ups you can't get rid of once you're caught).

Step 3: adapt to your game

Maybe warwick and Ezreal are not fed but Yasuo is. What do you do? Well then your priority should be holding your E, Exhaust/Heal/Barrier and Flash to dodge Malphite R and Yasuo Q+R. You can also avoid being in the same lane as Yasuo and keep an extra eye out for him during teamfights. Maybe get a Mortal Reminder for Yuumi if your team doesn't build anti-heal.

Go into the game with a game plan on how you will survive each and every threat.

Position well in teamfights


Zeri is a squishy backline carry which means you should be positioning fairly back in teamfights and hitting the closest enemy to stack your Lightning Crash on their frontline and then use the speed to chase their backline.

You have a really high range so use it well and only use E aggressively if you know you can survive being closer to the enemy. You can E in and R if you see they used all their engage/CC for example and your team is still alive to fight.

You don't want to be the one going into fog of war to ward. Use your W through walls to get vision and Q to not face-check.

Position well on the map


Stay away from enemy threats (usually assassins or fed bruisers, but it can also be mages or enemy ad carry). Don't sit alone in lane and avoid pushing too far into enemy territory without vision. Be in position to rotate to baron/drake skirmishes.

Use blue wards, vision plants and control wards


Adcs have to ward too. Be mindful of your wards since you don't have many - every time you want to stick to one side of the map, use vision control to make sure you are not getting flanked.

Good recall timing & Greeding


If you are sitting on a lot of gold and your team is not around, recall. You are usually a key member of the team to take objectives so it's important you are there for your team when they need you - sometimes staying to push one extra wave or take a few jungle camps will cost you a baron because you had a late recall. Sometimes you will die for being too greedy!

Try to have your recall aligned with your support in the early game. Recall when you have a lot of gold, when you need full mana/hp and when the enemy gives you an opening to do so (when you are not getting pressured/ when they are not looking to make plays on the map). Good recall timing is extremely important so that you don't fall behind and so you are not alone/mispositioned.






Here I will go into each of her abilities and tell you some of the things you need to know in order to use them properly and deal damage. Zeri has a high learning curve and part of that is learning to pull her kit off and do damage consistently. She is very mechanically challenging and it can literally hurt to spam her Q.

If you have a lot of lag (inconsistent ping) or inconsistent framerates consider this a word of caution: You can't play Zeri if you can't hit skill-shots. Mouse accuracy and fast responses are important to consistently hit Burst Fire.





Your passive is pretty simple and straightforward: whenever you damage an enemy who has a shield you absorb their shield (% of the damage you deal), and whenever you have a shield active you gain a burst of movement speed for a few seconds.

Zeri's passive is one of the reasons why she loves enchanter supports. Even the enchanters who don't provide a shield like Nami or Soraka often take Summon Aery which actually procs your passive. Going against said enchanters also means you can get a free shield from them, which all in all helps a lot in trades and running down immobile ADCs.

What you need to know about your passive is that the movement speed only lasts for a few seconds after you receive a shield, even if the shield is constantly on you. That means that if you have a shield from Bloodthirster for example, you will NOT sustain the initial movement speed for as long as the shield is active.

Use your movement speed from shields to kite, run away faster or to trade.





Zeri's Q has two parts, an active and a passive. What it boils down to is that your Q counts as an auto and applies on-hit effects while your normal autos don't.

Your normal autos deal magic damage (which costs some charge) and that damage increases once you are fully charged. It used to deal more damage to lower HP enemies, but that was removed and now they are executes when at really low HP.

Unfortunately that means your autos are much less useful in close fights, pushing waves and taking turrets, so it is much better to only use your normal auto once it is fully charged.

If you are not in range to auto you can E+aa or aa+ Flash to finish them off. If enemy is full health you ideally want to only use your charged auto in a trade to deal a burst of magic damage and wait until you are charged for your next trade.

Your autos used to slow enemies as well but this was removed in order to give Q more AD power. I know right, it sucks.

For the active part of your Q, that is your effective auto atack, you fire an array of bullets that deal individual damage. This means you can partially hit your Q, translating to not delivering its full damage potential.

To hit Q and do damage you need accuracy, ideally hitting all bullets. Thankfully its area of effect is actually cone-shaped which means it's a bit easier to hit than a fully linear skillshot. This also means it can be harder to hit the closer the enemy is, but you deal more damage because it's harder to not hit all bullets. Because of that and it's really long range, you want to fight in your max range whenever you can.

Lethal Tempo increases your Q range, this is why it is the best keystone for Zeri. During a teamfight with Lightning Crash active you gain absurd range to easily stack your R from safety and chase enemies trying to run away.





Zeri's W slows, deals magic damage, and if it pulses through terrain it becomes an AoE effect and always crits. This ability is mostly used for its utility and poke damage late game.

It's range is shorter than your Q range, so in lane you mostly use its damage for poke, harassing enemies behind towers, push waves and in trades. The slow is good for for kiting/chasing to help with ganks. It does decent damage in the early game but it costs a fair amount of mana, so ideally you should hold it to be used in trades you know you can hit it.

Late game it does decent poke damage to squishies even if you max it last, and it is still great as utility/self peel, especially in the jungle when you can easily use it through walls to slow down enemies. When it is used through walls it also gives vision, so you should use it to avoid face-checks.

With the slow on your autos removed, using W to kite is more important now. And with crit being added to it, late game it can be effectively used to poke enemies and play the neutral game.





Spark surge can be a free out-of-jail card if you use it right. It is a short dash that can extend infinitely through walls and it gives your Q the ability to pierce through multiple enemies. It's cooldown is reduced by criting and hitting Burst Fire.

Zeri is squishy and requires good positioning, so ideally you should hold Spark Surge to dodge skillshots or disengage. It is tempting to use its pierce damage aggressively in teamfights, but it is also very risky if you are not careful.

Early on it has a long cooldown and you don't have enough crit to be spamming it, so hold it for self defense. Mid-late game you can use it more aggressively in teamfights if you are safe to do so, as you get more reduced cooldown from levels, items and crit.

Vs engage lanes I like to play close to walls because if I see something funny I can easily get to safety from the walls. It is also great to run away from ganks.

I use it to trade when the enemy has used their CC or another important ability and missed, in these cases I know I can take a more aggressive E forward and try to hit W and charged auto, followed by Qs.





Lightning Crash is the most fun ability in Zeri's Kit. You deal an initial burst of AoE damage around yourself and gain stacking MS each time you hit an enemy. You also deal magic damage on each Q, more AS, and you get charged more quickly.

It is your main way of amplifying damage so you always want to have it for teamfights or important skirmishes - luckily it has a low cooldown.

You should use Lightning Crash when the enemy commits to a fight and hit the closest enemies possible, always kiting, in order to get the damage and the movement speed going. If you are against enemies that can gap close to you you want to use it early to start to get your MS going so you can kite them even if they jump on you.

Your R is a very powerful tool and enemies know they won't catch you easily while it's on - they might avoid fights if they see you, or focus you. So what I like to do in teamfights sometimes is wait behind a wall while the enemy burns their important cooldowns on my team, then I go in with Spark Surge and then Lightning Crash to turn the fight to my team's favor.

Thanks to the hybrid damage you deal with your R it is great to help deal with tanks, ideally you avoid their CC with Spark Surge or MS and your high range, then get charged autos on them whittle them down with magic and max HP damage.

Your main concern with this ability is getting CC'ed or the enemy disengaging. When you have some MS stacks and Ultrashock Laser you can chase enemies easily, but if you don't have enough MS you will not be able to catch them most times. This means that if you use Lightning Crash too prematurely you run the risk of enemies disengaging, wait for it to go off, then coming back in while you have no damage to fight.

A lot of Zeri's damage comes from the steroids you get from your Ult so be careful about wasting it.









Zeri is at her weakest in the early game so you want to tread carefully. Use your E for self peel and hug the river wall in case there is a gank or engage from the enemy support.

If enemy has wasted their CC or an important cooldown you can E in aggressively for a trade on the enemy ADC or Support as long as they are isolated and can't focus you. You want to use your charged auto, Q and W if you can, then step away. Short trades is the way to go before level 6. If enemy has strong trading combo like Jhin, Draven, Caitlyn or Senna then you should NOT be doing that until their important abilities are down (like Senna Q/W, Jhin 4th shot, Caitlyn headshot+E+Q)

Farm from max range and poke enemy with Q if they have lower range and you can find an angle. Use W for poke when you can too.

By the time you reach 6 you should have already based with a Noonquiver or Pickaxe and you should have tried to get small burst trades off and force enemy summoners, so that after six you can all-in with Lightning Crash and they can't escape.

To use Lightning Crash it's best if the enemy is pushing in, because they will be farther away from their tower and you will have more time to run them down.

This is all considering you are ahead or even in lane and considering support matchup as well. If you are behind or in a weaker support synergy/matchup you should let enemy push in so that you can farm safely close to walls and ask for mid/jungler gank, to which you again can easily follow up with Ultrashock Laser slow, Spark Surge and Lightning Crash.







Mid game generally starts when the first tower falls. It is also the point of the game that you start to get strong.

If you are ahead, focus on farming and snowballing your lead by chunking enemies, taking towers across the map and making picks on mispositioned targets.

If you are behind, focus on farming and avoid making rotations unless it is absolutely necessary. As long as you are not too behind you can seek to finish off low health targets to get yourself ahead. Be on the lookout for taking shut downs with your team, but don't kill yourself needless for them as your main source of gold is still good farming.

Before making any plays or rotating you will want to shove any lane you are farming, be it bot, mid or top.

A good rule of thumb for choosing when to rotate with your team or not is: is there something worth fighting for, and what do I lose for this play?

If your team can get something out of a skirmish, like drake, baron, or tower, then you can look to shove the wave into enemy territory and rotate. If your team is outnumbered, you probably shouldn't go as it is a losing fight. What you can do is use Ultrashock Laser from afar to slow enemies and help your teammate escape.

If you think your team will get caught, spam ping them off, or farm as quickly as possible for good rotation or to allow a disengage.

If you don't shove your wave, you and your team will lose many minions either because your tower will kill them all, or because the wave will slow push and take longer to reach the enemy tower before crashing. You will lose a lot of gold and xp, which you still need to get your core items. If your team gets a few kills and you didn't crash the enemy wave, the amount of gold you will get shall still not make the play worth it.

Don't ever share farm with solo laners or jungler. If a solo laner is in your lane, move to another lane or farm jungle. Ask your support to set up vision control for you to safely side lane or be at easy in mid lane. When an objective is about to come up, shove and recall, or recall and shove. If you have nothing to farm, then look to roam with your support or join with your team, but you do not always want to be doing that as you will eventually start to fall behind. Look at your minimap and see which waves are going to bounce back into your territory and jungle camps about to spawn, so that you can recall and get there before your teammates take everything.

Also avoid ARAMing mid. If either your team or the enemy team arams, farm jungle or side lane. Sharing xp with 2+ people will do nothing to set yourself further ahead, 3 people mid is often enough to hold the tower so if you see an ARAM forming tell your team to not fight and have someone pressure side lanes. If the enemy doesn't rotate to stop your side lane pressure, they will lose gold, xp and probably towers as well, while you will get far more gold than your teammates in mid. Mute teammates to not get tilted. ARAMing = relying on coinflip fights to win the game, and you don't want that.





This is where you should already have your core items. Most of the time you will keep the same playstyle as in the mid game - farm waves, get gold and get strong to contest objectives or force plays. At this stage it is very important that you do not die, as spawn timers will skyrocket and your team will be at a great disadvantage if outnumbered and without your damage.

Zeri likes to teamfight when her R is off cooldown soo you can look for Tfs or skirmishes. If you are on cooldown then you can try to catch a mispositioned enemy with your team but avoid teamfights.

Look to always be on the same side of the map as the objectives your teams want to contest. Don't split push bot if baron is up. Don't be top when soul is about to spawn. Play around your R and Flash cooldowns to safely contest objectives. If your team wants to get top tower, hover around mid or top to be there for them. Let the top laners be on the opposite side of the map, as they usually run Teleport.

This is the point of the game where you want to be the carry. You will deal the most damage to towers and monsters, and in teamfights you should also do a lot of damage as long as you are positioning and building properly. Focus on having good positioning to keep yourself alive.

Play around your cooldowns - when Spark Surge and Flash are on cooldown, position more defensively.






That's all I have for now. Thank you for taking interest in my guide! I hope it was helpful.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to let me know. I will keep updating this guide and maybe I will keep adding things to it.

Last updated: Patch 12.14
Last changes: Updated for current patch. Riot please stop reworking her PLEASE. Added matchups and synergies sections.

Planned updates: Thinking about it


Good Luck & Have Fun playing Zeri!




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