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Zyra Build Guide by Melyn

[13.23] Melyn's (ex) Challenger Zyra Guide

[13.23] Melyn's (ex) Challenger Zyra Guide

Updated on November 22, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Melyn Build Guide By Melyn 1357 39 1,774,224 Views 88 Comments
1357 39 1,774,224 Views 88 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Melyn Zyra Build Guide By Melyn Updated on November 22, 2023
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Runes: Standard

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Arcane Comet
Nimbus Cloak
Absolute Focus

Taste of Blood
Ingenious Hunter

+8 Ability Haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+65 Base Health


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[13.23] Melyn's (ex) Challenger Zyra Guide

By Melyn
Hello everyone and welcome to my mega-guide, a Zyra guide including all the information to succeed. Please use the table of contents on the right to find the relevant information!

I'm a Zyra one trick player who has gotten to master in multiple seasons (peaked at challenger in season 9) with a focus on carrying from the support role. I also mid lane Zyra as my offrole. I'm a math professor as my day job, so I enjoy educational content and improving. If there's anything you'd like to know or anything you'd like to see, please let me know! Here is my opgg.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. You can ask below the guide in the comment section, or on social media. I'm on Twitch (I stream quite frequently), Twitter, and Youtube

Why Zyra?

+ Can easily snowball the game through bot lane
+ Good team fighting with CC and Zone
+ Enough damage to be the sole AP threat
+ Wins most lanes
+ Can carry as a support
+ Can easily go mid lane as well

Zyra as a support is an early game, aggressive, and damage-focused mage who can also team fight very well even when behind. With a Zyra support, the enemy team is forced to build magic resist even if the rest of your team is full AD. The best games to pick Zyra are games when you have a tank, some good CC, and an aggressive ADC against a team without too many assassins or mobile champions, although she can flourish in any game.

- Extremely squishy
- Low mobility
- Hard to position
- Lacks shields/heals/engage that traditional supports provide
- Has difficulty warding

It is very easy to feed as Zyra, due to her low health, low resists, low mobility, and naturally aggressive play style. This directly makes it difficult to ward as well. Also, if a game goes extremely late, your team composition may be hindered by not having a traditional support to buff up your ADC, though Zyra becomes a secondary carry herself.

Summoner Spells

Exhaust and Ignite are both good, but I'd say ignite is standard, especially since it provides reliable 40% grievous wounds (compared to the 20% from oblivion orb). When you don't feel like you can snowball the lane and when there are a lot of bruisers and assassins on the enemy team (think Zed, Fizz, Yasuo, Irelia, etc...), exhaust can be a solid pick. I firmly believe it's one of the most underrated summoners. Curious when I run it? Check out my opgg.

Note: tank Zyra has been updated at the top of the guide and is currently one of the best build at all elos (as of patch 12.5). I have some explanations at the top of the guide as well but I haven't updated anything below regarding this. Tank Zyra excels when you have a lot of damage on your team, are worried about getting burst in team fights, or are versus a Xerath support.

If you want to see my standard rune pages, please check the top of the guide. If you want a detailed explanation on my thoughts as well as situational choices, read on!


The main keystones for Zyra are Electrocute, Guardian, Glacial Augment, Arcane Comet, and Dark Harvest (not necessarily in that order).

The main logic for choosing a keystone is that it's situational and depends on player preference.
  • Electrocute: if you want to burst the enemy. Can be great vs. healing lanes like Nami and Soraka and longer-ranged lanes like Xerath support.
  • Arcane Comet: If you want to always be poking your enemy. Can be great versus melee supports and short range carries like Yasuo, Kai'Sa, and Blitzcrank. Also a good standard choice.
  • Dark Harvest: If you think you will win lane hard, this is the best rune. It is great for snowballing as well as if you have a very strong poke-oriented bot laner.
  • Glacial Augment: This is a great scaling rune but it's a bit greedy since it doesn't add too much for lane. Remember that there's good damage reduction, not just the slow, although the reduction does not apply for yourself.
  • Guardian: Great when you want a more supportive role and be a little more survivable. You don't always have to go full tank after, but it's usually the call.

Other slots

In typical games I will ensure that I have Domination and Sorcery as my primary and secondary runes. Sometimes, however, I will run:
  • Resolve: run this if you're very worried about getting burst. I run this secondary into Alistar or maybe Leona.
  • Inspiration: run this if you're worried about getting poked out of lane. I mostly only run this into Xerath support but sometimes into Vel'Koz as well.

Below I discuss which runes I like and when to use them.


  • I run Domination with either Electrocute or Dark Harvest and will frequently use Domination secondary when I run Arcane Comet.
  • Cheap Shot vs. Taste of Blood:
    I think taste of blood is a much better rune almost all of the time. It heals up a lot throughout the laning phase and Cheap Shot is mostly only useful for hard trades and all ins. The only time to run Cheap Shot is when you know you will always be at full health (this never happens to me). There is no reason to run Sudden Impact on Zyra except for cheese builds.
  • Eyeball Collection vs. Zombie Ward vs. Ghost Poro:
    This is more personal preference. I currently enjoy using Ghost Poro and Zombie Ward, thinking that Eyeball Collection is too unreliable.
  • Ingenious Hunter vs. Relentless Hunter vs. Ultimate Hunter vs. Treasure Hunter: I feel like this is the most contentious rune choice.
    • I recommend running Ingenious or Relentless every single game. The cooldown from ingenious works on trinkets, item actives, AND item passives as of season 11.
    • I don't recommend Treasure Hunter because it's too greedy and I don't roam that much. You can get some extra gold and it's not bad, but not recommended.
    • Do not run Ultimate after the 9.17 Zyra buffs. She doesn't need it.
  • If Domination is secondary and you can only choose two, I recommend Taste of Blood and Ingenious Hunter.


  • I run Sorcery with Arcane Comet but will often run it secondary with Electrocute and Dark Harvest.
  • Nullifying Orb vs. Manaflow Band vs. Nimbus Cloak:
    You can run Nullifying Orb into scary AP match ups, but most of the time I recommend Nimbus Cloak. The MS from summoner's is great for running away or getting a kill. I don't think Zyra needs the mana from Manaflow but I sometimes take it in very spammy lanes (like a Braum).
  • Absolute Focus vs. Celerity vs. Transcendence:
    With the preseason 11 changes, I think transcendence is decent but I think Absolute Focus is what you want to go (both are fine). Don't run Celerity because we don't build a lot of bonus move speed.
  • Scorch vs. Waterwalking vs. Gathering Storm:
    Scorch is a small amount of damage but it really adds up in lane and is my preference. Waterwalking is quite decent if you plan on roaming and warding more, but I don't prefer it. I don't see any reason to take Gathering Storm in the current solo queue meta of short, snowbally games.
  • If Sorcery is secondary and you can only choose two, I recommend Nimbus Cloak and Scorch.


  • Sometimes I use Resolve as my secondary into scary match ups.
  • If you're running resolve secondary, take Bone Plating and either Demolish or Overgrowth. Almost none of the other runes are useful for Zyra.
    Demolish is the more aggressive option for if you plan on pushing a lot, but overgrowth is a bit safer (even though it doesn't give you that much health.


  • I sometimes run inspiration secondary into a poke matchup (often with Electrocute for bursting the poke champion).
  • Biscuit Delivery vs. Minion Dematerializer vs. Future's Market:
    Go biscuits every time and remember two things: (1) they give mana and (2) they give more HP/Mana the lower you are, so they aren't useful for topping yourself off. Minion Demat has no place as support and Future's Market is only useful if you can make use of a big power spike, but in all other cases it actually hurts you by costing you gold.
  • Time Warp Tonic vs. Cosmic Insight vs. Approach Velocity:
    Cosmic Insight is great if you have active/passive items (including trinkets) but don't underestimate the additional burst healing and move speed from Time Warp Tonic + refillable potion. This can be great into poke matchups or into engage champions where a burst of MS can save your life. There's no real reason to get Approach Velocity and we usually want to run away from people we CC, not towards them. We also don't frequently want to run towards CC'd allies.
  • If Inspiration is secondary, that's usually because we're against a poke match up. Run Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic.


I almost always recommend taking ability haste, as I think the flat AP is not as useful, then usually AP and health, although if the enemy team comp has a large amount of AD or AP, I will go armor/MR respectively for both of them.
Abilities and maxing order

A brief explanation on levels 1-3


You should almost always have W at level 2. Q start is standard, as it gives you reliable harass (though you will run out of mana if you spam) and sets you up for a nice bit of level 2 burst with a plant. E start is viable for invades (AoE root!) but not very good for lane since the root duration is so short at level 1 and it is quite easy to dodge. Make sure to abuse your passive, and try to time your harass with your passive seeds.

Getting E early?

Some people choose to get E at level 2 but I think that makes your harass much weaker (can't QW, have to rely on passive RNG), though it does protect you from potential early ganks as well as facilitating your own ganks. It's an option, though I don't prefer it unless I expect level 2 ganks from either jungler.

Additionally, against champions where you really need to fight level 2 (such as Blitz), you may wish to start E level 1 so you can EW at level 2. If you're getting a gank or have an all in where you turn level 2 during the fight, scale E as it will give you more damage in your fight.

Regardless of your decision for levels 1-2, there is no situation where you should not have all three skills at level 3 as it is vital to your damage and seed production.

There are many situational skill orders!

To visualize this, check out all of my ability orders at the top of the guide! If you want to know the in-depth reasons, read on.

Benefits to leveling each skill

Both E and Q give 35 more damage per level, but E gives you longer root duration and Q gives you a decreased CD. Maxing E sacrifices reliable damage from Q+W+Auto harass but makes your all in (especially at level 6) much scarier. Maxing W does not give you more Damage (plants do damage based on your level) but it does give faster plant recharge which, although nice, is not as important in lane as the other two skills. Use this information to choose the order you deem best for the situation. Still, I think E needs to be maxed before W in almost all situations.

Finally, don't be afraid to put a few extra points in one spell and then switch to another. Far too often, players think there's a one-size-fits-all for leveling order, when it should really depend on the play style and situation. I often put 1 or 2 extra points in Q, then get 3-4 in E, and then finish E or Q as I see fit. Experiment and find what suits your need between consistent poke and longer fights (Q) and better all in and peel (E).

To clarify: possible maxing orders

My personal maxing order: 2 or 3 points in Q, then max E, then Q, then W. This gives you average poke in lane and a strong all in. Max E after laning for better utility. Can max W after E if you want more poke or team fighting. This is matchup dependent. E and Q are both great to get early.

E->W->Q: E max first gives the best all-in potential, provided you can hit it. Always make sure to Q the enemy first to make your E easier to land. QWEW is your friend. W max second gives you a lot more team fight power and poking potential mid-game which is very effective when combined with Liandry's torment, Luden's, or Rylai's, but this lowers your burst a bit by not getting Q until last.

Q->E->W: Q max is great against low-range targets, as it allows you to spam very painful harass very often. It's also great if you struggle landing your E in lane. This is great on paper until you hit level 6, where you can't ER someone unless there's additional CC. When doing this order, be extremely careful about when you use your ult so as to not waste it. Still, if the enemy is low enough, you can still EWQWR to burst them down quickly. I'll talk more about combos in the combos section of the guide. Finally, I believe you should always max E before W, as the root duration is huge in team fights and synergizes so well with masteries, Liandry's, plants, and your ult.

E->Q->W: E max first gives the best all-in potential, provided you can hit it. Always make sure to Q the enemy first to make your E easier to land. QWEW is your friend. Q max second to help with wave-clear and burst damage. You'll be low on seeds for most of the game with this build, so make sure to always keep at least one seed available for fights.

Early Game

The short answer is that it depends highly on play style and you kind of can't go wrong. The long answer is a bit more complicated. For brevity, I will tell you what I do most often. Usually I will rush Refillable Potion and Boots, giving me more scrapping power in lane and refillable pays for itself very quickly. I often rush Sorcerer's Shoes. I think the extra 18 mPen from sorc shoes is worth delaying your mythic.

Core Items

I feel that Zyra's core items are very situational and depend both on personal play style, rune choice, and team compositions. I recommend looking at the item builds at the top of the guide.

Comments on Full Build

For trinkets, I usually keep the Stealth Ward until my gold quest completes. As a support, you should always carry a Control Ward to deny vision, sweep vision, or set up a bait. Vision is important for snowballing the game when ahead or stopping the bleeding when behind, however I don't usually just "randomly" put them down. Every time I drop a control ward as a support, it's for a specific purpose, usually ganks, baits, or objectives. I think your full build should include the warding item, Vigilant Wardstone.

Good Items and Comments

Imperial Mandate is... not terrible. The main drawback is it takes a while for this build to get going because it doesn't really pop off until you have Rylai's + Mandate.

Liandry's Torment is a great item to get against tanky compositions as it really gives high DPS and CDR (as well as percent max HP burn). This is also another great "standard" mythic.

Night Harvester is a lot of fun and effective against squishy team comps but it's been nerfed so hard I'm not sure how great it is anymore. The passive gives good poke and good burst, but is less useful for sustained damage. Additionally, the build path is great for lane and the health is useful for dealing with high damage comps (which is what you're likely up against if they're "squishy").

Luden's Tempest used to be good into squishy comps but with the durability update, I don't think there's ever a time to buy it.

Everfrost is very cheap, decently powerful, and is highly effect at locking champions down (especially champions like Kayn and Ekko who want to get out of sticky situations with their ults).

Crown of the Shattered Queen is very powerful when it's used effectively and pretty bad when not. If the enemy team has a lot of ways to proc it, it may not be worth it. Otherwise it's extremely good.

Shadowflame is good but a bit overrated at the moment, I think. The health is a huge benefit but before you build this, make sure you're effectively using the penetration. If they have 50+ MR, you may want to build void staff instead.

Moonstone Renewer has some great synergy with Zyra's kit (you can proc it from long range and you can stay in combat for a long time with plants) if you want something a little off-meta. It doesn't lower your damage as much as you might expect. It's fun to build against poke or if they don't really have assassins. This is a great item in theory but I often struggle making it work in practice.

Demonic Embrace is not the best anymore but can syngergize well with tank Zyra if you need a bit more damage.

Void Staff is cheap and the percent penetration is REALLY good. This is a great item to get into tanky teams or even into teams with a lot of merc treads or other small MR items. It really increases your burst by a lot but leaves you squishy.

Morellonomicon I'm not a fan at the moment.

Chemtech Putrifier is just not really applicable for Zyra.

Banshee's Veil is pretty good. Remember when you're thinking about buying this to think both about the efficacy of buying MR AND the efficacy of its passive.

Zhonya's Hourglass is super cheap, good stats, and a great active. Same comment as with banshee's veil. Zhonya's specifically is solid to get 1st/2nd/3rd item on Zyra support now.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter is the best with Imperial Mandate. It's still gives good stats, but we're paying a lot for the 30% slow (we already get 25% or 50% from our E plants). Remember to be smart about using your plants if you buy this (for example, you would almost never want to use a single E plant if you have Rylai's). If you go mandate, you can build these two items in either order.

Dark Seal is OK. The only problem is we tend to run out of item slots pretty easily in this season.

"Interesting" Items and Comments

Rabadon's Deathcap is a greedy flex item. I won't say I never build it but I don't see almost ANY situation where you SHOULD buy this as support.

Riftmaker Is this item still in the game?

Hextech Rocketbelt is not the worst item, but it's not worth it unless we're cheesing hard (which I love as much as the next guy). Remember the MS after the active only works TOWARDS enemy champions.

Cosmic Drive is a bait (and I love move speed). We don't need the ability haste, and the MS is a bit underwhelming. There are many better items to get.

Horizon Focus can trigger with your E and R (at any range) or your Q that hits an enemy at 750 range (it has a cast range of 800 for the center of the Q, for comparison). The reveal is mostly wasted but the 10% increased damage is decent for one shots (and it has good stats which is nice) but still probably niche at best. Note that plants don't proc it.

Nashor's Tooth No.

Lich Bane No.

Archangel's Staff: Zyra doesn't need the mana, and you're spending too much money and too much time on this item for what it gives. It's great once it's finished though.

Mejai's Soulstealer: There are a ton of reasons to get Dark Seal and almost no reasons to upgrade to mejai's (unless you're full build or really want another legendary item for your mythic). I don't recommend.
General - Zyra Combos

Some Preliminary Notes

The most important thing about combos as Zyra is that you want to use your spell first and THEN plant the seed. This gives you much more flexibility with plant positioning (since the plant doesn't spawn until the end of the animation anyway) and telegraphs your move as well. I call this a QW combo or EW combo. Check out the video below for more information and explanations. It is quite old, but all of the combos are the same, though the skills are slightly different. Additionally, click the spoiler tags after the combos to see clips of me using these in actual games.

Combos for poking

Here, I will list all the combos that are useful for poking the enemy. Note that I will abbreviate your basic attack ("auto attack") with A. The other letters represent your skills: Q, W, E, and R.

Main poke (QWA)

Your main harass will be a QW combo into an immediate auto attack. This forces your plants to attack the enemy, even if the Q misses.

Early poke against shields (QWW)

You very rarely want to poke with both seeds, as it leaves you vulnerable for a while afterwards. Still, this combo can be very good against champions with shields so you can actually break through the shields and deal more damage. Make sure to only do this if they don't have much pressure to commit afterwards.

No dash simple burst (EWW)

As of 10.1, if you have two E plants, the slows stack, so this is a great burst combo against champions without dashes (or if dash is on CD). If they have a dash, they can easily leave threat range of the plants (making this not very good). Be very careful that if you're using it on a melee, to make the E plants outside of their auto range, or they will kill them while rooted.

Combos for all-ins

Here, I will list all the combos used to try to burst your opponent in lane or in a team fight.

Pre-6 All-in (QWEW)

This is my favorite combo to all-in someone in a normal lane. QW (A if possible) and if they commit, you unleash your EW for full damage. It can be tempting to throw your root before your Q, but throwing Q first is very useful as it makes it easier to land the root after, as the enemy will often predictably try to dodge the Q.

Pre-6 all-in alt (EWQW)

This is your best bet if the enemy has low mobility and is predictably moving towards a cannon minion (as an example). Don't QW until you know the E lands otherwise you leave yourself vulnerable.

Standard level 6 all-in (QWEWR)

Same comments as with the Pre-6 all-in. QW as normal, then EWR if they commit and your root lands. This is especially good if they have a mobility spell, as they often dodge your Q which lets you EWR for full damage. Make sure to ult over the enemy AND your plants whenever possible. This is also the best all-in combo if you have Rylai's.
Spoiler: Click to view

All-in when they can't escape (QWREW)

This is a great combo if the enemy dashes into you. Create some Q ulted plants, then either R to zone them from an escape (if you're far ahead and can win without the knockup) or on top of them (if they have used all their mobility spells). You then use your E afterwards, to either chain the CC or lock down a different target. Again, often the best use of your E is to hold onto it and wait for the perfect moment.
Spoiler: Click to view

Greedy all-in / burst from fog (EWRQW)

Same comment as with the EWQW combo. If you're maxing E, I think it's best to R ASAP and then QW afterwards to give you the highest chance of getting a knock up and still be able to Q a rooted target (and the plant will still be enraged if done quickly). EWQWR is OK too but often times it takes too long to cast the ult and it doesn't hit them.
Spoiler: Click to view

All-in with a gank / Cornered opponents(RQWEW)

This is one of the most underused Zyra combos. If you absolutely know you can win (for example if you have a gank coming, enemies are cornered at baron or dragon, or are very far ahead), you can just R on top of / behind them (or on top of yourself if YOU are the one getting ganked) and then they will either run out of the ult (in which case your QW ulted plants will hurt them) or they run away and get knocked up. This is a great way to force a fight, although the positioning of your ultimate sacrifices some power.
Spoiler: Click to view

All-in against no dash (all the above, but two E plants)

All of the above combos should be slightly adjusted to include two E plants (no Q plants) if your enemy has no dash. Be very careful that if you're using it on a melee, to make the E plants outside of their auto range, or they will kill them while rooted.

Miscellaneous/advanced combos

Max range seeds (QWW)

There's a trick to spawn a plant as far as possible, which can be really useful for finishing off low health enemies or just if you want to get some gold from spellthief's. First off, Q at max range. Then, walk forward and use W or WW (also at max range) immediately after the Q goes off. You have more time than you might think.
Spoiler: Click to view

Ult to disengage / escape ganks (R)

This applies to many situations, but I often find myself using it when I'm getting ganked by Rengar. Once he's near, you can just ult on top of yourself to escape.
Spoiler: Click to view

Block hooks and other skill shots (EW)

This is definitely the most difficult Zyra trick; it's one that separates the good from the great (and I often mess up as well). Zyra plants can be hit with any skill that hits minions. Plants are extremely useful for blocking hooks (such as with Blitzcrank, Thresh, and Pyke), Lee Sin Qs, Gragas body slams, Illaoi E, Ivern root, and many more). Note that plants do not block things that go through minions, such as Ashe ultimate, Leona E, and Fizz ult.

Anyway, here's how to do it. I recommend trying to predict the skill shot instead of react unless you are on low ping and have very good reflexes. When you think they're going to use it, E in their direction, and W immediately in front of you. You must do it right in front of you for two reasons. First, plants don't spawn until your E passes over them (has travel time) and second, it takes longer for the skill shot to reach the plant the further it is from the enemy champion, so this gives you slightly more time.
Spoiler: Click to view
General - Strategies, Tactics, Tips, and Tricks for Zyra and League

Chapter table of contents

There are a LOT of things in this chapter. Here's a table of contents just for the chapter:

Zyra throughout the game

Laning phase

As Zyra, your main goal in the laning phase is to poke with your QW combo (see Zyra Combos for more information). It is great if you can catch someone with your E and then use Q + W + auto on them. This is especially easy when the opponent is moving in for a minion (always watch the cannon minions especially). At level 6, use your ultimate as a counter engage mechanism or as a quick extra burst of damage. Always buy a Control Ward whenever you can, they are underutilized and extremely effective.

Make sure to not be too predictable in lane. Don't walk forward solely with the intent of using QW or EW or else they will always be able to dodge it. Sometimes it is best to walk forward just to scare them, focusing on dodging any incoming trades. This is also one of the best ways to bait out enemy spells (much harder to dodge while you're actually attacking yourself).

Mid/Late Game

Your role is to group the team up and take control of Red/blue and dragon/baron. Make sure you always have a control ward in your bag, it's a really powerful item and can help you get objectives. Also make sure you check your opponents items and team composition to see which items you should buy. You are not going to rush that Rabadon's when they have 5 assassins in their team!

Objectives, team fights, and playing around towers


Objectives ( turret , dragon , baron , rift herald , and inhibitor ) are always the best way to win the game. That being said, they can be hard to take 5v5. One of the best ways to push an advantage is (assuming you have enough vision in one quadrant of the jungle) to push up two waves and commit to the turret that is less defended. If the enemy runs through the (warded) jungle, you can collapse and make a pick, turning it into an objective.

Whenever a kill happens (anywhere on the map), make sure you capitalize on it. If their jungler dies top in the early game, take the opportunity to counter jungle (if jg or mid Zyra), ward deep in the enemy jungle (known as deep warding, good for any role), or go aggressive on your opponent knowing it's a true 1v1 or 2v2. If a kill happens in the mid game, take an objective. Depending on the strength of the teams, this could be a turret (usually best), a dragon/baron, or at the very least vision and jungle camps (still very good). Do not just recall immediately after. The best thing about a kill is not the 300 gold, but the experience and pressure it gives your team.

Team Fights

This is where Zyra shines. Often times you want to E incoming enemies with W to slow them down. You can either peel for the other carries in your team or attempt to burst enemy carries. Usually I prefer the former, using your ult and plants to zone the enemy team away. Use your ultimate at the right time when the enemy engages or when (for example) your teammates land some hard CC, so that you can follow up with your ultimate.

Try to follow up on your teammates when they initiate using your root and E plants right behind them. Make sure to CHAIN the CC (one CC after the other as opposed to all at the same time) to get the maximum effectiveness. Often times I will use my initial seeds (one E plant, and one Q plant) and ult between the front line and the back line, which deals a large amount of damage, makes it difficult for their tanks to get to your back line, and scares their back line away. After that, try to always have a slow plant near your carry while not dying yourself. Although Zyra's damage can obliterate squishy targets on the enemy team, you will likely die before succeeding, so it is most advisable to stay in the back with your other carries. However, if a squishy target presents itself, go show them why they should not have done so!

It is also extremely important to be aware of where your passive seeds are spawning in longer team fights and position yourself around them. Try to save your ult for the maximum zoning potential and/or maximum DPS with enraged plants.

Protecting Towers

Often times, people get overconfident while sieging. If you can land your root, or at the very least get some plants on them, you can then lay your ultimate down behind their tanks which will allow you to either focus their tanks down (if their back line retreats out of your enlarged plants) or kill their back line (if they don't). Tip: throw your root from behind the tower (especially if on red side) so it's harder for them to see it. Zyra is extremely strong in objective-focused fights (sieges, siege defense, baron/dragon defense) as you can set up seeds with your W and your passive, making it extremely difficult (or extremely punishing) for the enemy team to dive you.

If they do decide to dive you, place your seeds by the tower and use your ult. They won't be able to continue the dive without taking excessive damage and this will usually involve a few flashes as well, provided you aren't extraordinarily behind. Zyra has wave-clear too, so protecting towers is something she excels at. Much of the same can be said about dragons and barons, since they are in small enclosed areas.

Using seeds optimally

Abuse your plants!

Many players forget how much damage your plants do. At level 18, your plants do (109 + 15% AP) each attack, compared with your Q (200 + 60% AP) (5s CD) and your E (240 + 50% AP) (12s CD) and last for 8 seconds (health and time refreshed if you use your ult on them). If an opponent stands in your plants for the full duration, they will take a lot of damage. Depending on your AP, 2-3 plant attacks are roughly equivalent to one Q in damage. Note that multiple plants attacking the same target reduce the damage of the second (and additional) plant by 50%.

Knowing when to use which seeds!

As of 10.1, if you have multiple E plants, the slows stack (up to two times). Does your enemy have a dash? Use two Q plants most often to maximize DPS. If they don't, two E plants can be very effective. Where are your passive seeds? If your E is already hitting passive seeds, then make sure to save your W for Q plants.

Have more than two seeds

W Seeds last 60 seconds on the ground and with your passive you can have up to 8 seeds on the ground. Although most opponents will not let you do this and will try to step on them to eliminate the plants, this can be a great thing to do to set up ambushes or all-ins in brushes, or when preparing sieges / objective control.

Let your plants tank dragon, rift herald, and baron

Each plant can tank 2 hits before dying. Just remember that some dragons do a cleave attack and don't place your two plants too close to each other or else they will both die. This trick can save your jungler/tank a fair amount of damage.

Detonating traps with plants

You can use a QW combo to detonate Teemo shrooms, Shaco traps, and Jhin lotuses. Very useful if your trinket is on cooldown.

Using seeds as vision

W seeds last 60 seconds, making them great defenses against incoming ganks. As a support, you should always have either a seed or a trinket in the brush (potentially in both if you don't have a pink). As a mid laner, you can have seeds protect you from one of the brushes, but as there are so many ways to gank mid, this is not often too reliable. The best way to get defensive vision for a mid laner is to have pinks near the "pixel brush" in the river or by the wraith camp. Always cheat (hover on the side) towards where you have vision. Often times (even in grandmaster), people will either not see the seed or not know it gives vision. This can be very useful as seen below (starts at 14 seconds)

Make the most of your passive

Passive seeds prioritize bushes and will sometimes spawn two seeds at once. Always be aware of when a seed will spawn and position yourself accordingly, potentially walking back a bit if you want more gank defense and up a bit if you want to harass more. Your opponent will always try to step on your seeds, so try to figure out their tendencies and exploit them. As a support, it is often very good to pressure from the brushes (unless you're against a Vayne, Poppy, or some other champion that can stun you against walls). If you are playing around brushes a lot, make sure to still walk out for 1-2 seconds every once in a while to spawn your passive plant.

How your plants attack

Zyra plants naturally attack the closest target. If Zyra attacks an enemy with an auto attack or a spell, her plants will switch to attack that enemy.

It is very important to attack your lane opponent while harassing on Zyra!

More comments on laning

Be a lane-bully (but don't die!)

Your plants can be an incredible harass tool in lane, but be careful not to waste them. I often try to rush level 2 and then zone them with plants. Afterwards, try to charge up two plants, and then use one for harass. If they continue trading with you, use your other spell (Q or E depending on what you used for harass) to lay another seed down. This will likely drop them pretty low.

If you use your seeds too aggressively though, they will likely take advantage of you and force a trade. As Zyra, if you have no plants you have almost no sustained damage early on with the high cooldowns of Q and E.

Also, be careful about pushing too hard without wards. On top of that, make sure not to let the lane get frozen at the 3/4 mark (where they are under tower but minions are not). If this is the case, you cannot harass with plants AND they don't lose CS. If this happens, push it all the way out to tower.

How to facilitate a gank

Your jungler is sitting in the brush waiting to help. How do you best go about accomplishing it? It really depends on the situation, and you have to react differently depending on it. If your jungler has CC and can come from behind, the best thing to do is move forward at the same time (don't scare them off but don't be too far for followup) and layer your CC after theirs. This is usually the best. If this isn't the case, it becomes much more difficult. The best way is to try to trade aggressively (and hope your jungler doesn't jump the gun!) with a QW+auto. If they run away, wait a few seconds and try again. A lot of times, the enemy will start trading in return, which is the prime time for a gank. If you can land an EW combo, this is best, once they have committed. It is incredibly important to not waste your E when getting a gank. The other important thing is learning the balance between going "too soon" (can lead to death or scaring them away) and "too late" (can lead to a jungler 1v1 without you).

What to do after laning phase (support first, then mid)

I classify "laning phase" as the time until the first turret falls in your lane (whether it's yours or your opponent's).

As support

If the enemy top laner isn't too fed, lane swap top and pressure their turret and rift herald. This allows you to start taking over their jungle and push safely or rotate mid to pressure. If I'm losing, I prioritize vision in the river and entrances to our jungle. This lets your ADC safely farm near your second turret while you can impact the map elsewhere. Always try to make plays around your strong members. Do not try to help weak/behind teammates unless you have a very clear numbers advantage.

As mid

As a mid laner, if you're winning, it is much the same as support, except you don't have as much access to vision. Still, try to get what vision you can for either top or bot side jungle (usually whichever one is doing better) so you can push the wave and help them take tower. Sometimes this means roaming for a gank and sometimes this just means showing up to lane to 2v1 (making sure you aren't losing minions or your tower mid, sometimes you should ask your jungler to cover). If you're feeling particularly nefarious, you can freeze the lane near your turret and have your jungler gank (much much easier without their turret to back them up. Just make sure you don't let your opponent out-roam you and snowball other lanes. If you're losing, make sure not to over-extend as you are incredibly vulnerable. Furthermore, be aware your opponent will be attempting what I wrote in this same paragraph and try to prevent them from doing so.

Tips on losing lane - lose gracefully or go for a comeback?

It happens to everyone. Sometimes you just lose lane. It is extremely important to (correctly) make the decision of whether to lose lane gracefully or to try to get the advantage back.

Lose gracefully

We'll start with the general better choice, lose gracefully. If I'm 0/2 against a mid lane Fizz, I'm not going to be more than 2 Teemos away from my turret. It's OK to be down CS, just try to stop the snowballing as best you can. Control ward your jungle so you can be warned of dives and tell your team so they can counter them. Zyra is also pretty good at pushing the wave, so feel free to shove hard and roam (making sure the presumably stronger enemy isn't following). This can often lead to getting other lanes an advantage and sometimes, depending on who the matchup is, you can set up a very good ambush and get a kill on a following mid laner. To summarize: if you think your team can win if you stop the bleeding and there's not much you can do to save your lane, choose to lose gracefully. Focus on warding, farming under turret (beware of dives), and roam when you can. Also, build for utility rather than pure damage, trying to help those on your team who are doing well.

Go for a comeback

However, sometimes you may not be OK with losing. If your entire team is losing and you get outscaled as well, sometimes you may wish to go for a comeback in lane. This occurs mostly (for me) when supporting, but can happen in mid lane as well. Just because the enemy Lucian/Bard gets two early kills doesn't mean you can't still fight. In choosing to go for a comeback, first identify why you are losing in the first place and then come up with a solution. Are you getting camped? Get better wards, ask your jungler for a counter gank, and only go aggressive when you have support. Did you just lose your brain for a few seconds and miss all your skill shots? Focus on outplaying them. Did they reach an earlier power spike? Get your item to equalize and then make them pay. In summary, if your team can't carry and you can easily identify (and fix!) why you're losing, you may choose to go for a comeback. Identify the issue and take steps to prevent its replication.

More miscellaneous tips

Know your identity

Did you build for poke? Tank busting? Pure burst? Every game you play, you make a choice in your build path and you should play accordingly. If you build for poke, make sure you (and your team) get some poke in before a fight happens (whether you're poking around towers on dragon/baron). With a poke build, one QW can deal massive damage, even to the tanks. With Rylai's it can also lead to an engage from your team (as Luden's+Rylai's is an AoE slow on a plant attack). If you build for tank busting, don't dive into their team! Kite back and try to do a long fight, cycling your spells to best help your team. If you built for pure burst, don't waste all your spells early! Save (at least) an EWR for the perfect situation. It's extremely important to know what kind of play style you are using and commit to it.

Ambush in the jungle

Once you get even one item (or double penetration items with ), you become powerful and are able to ambush squishies extremely well. Even if you're losing lane, if you get the jump on them and EWRQW + ignite them, you will likely get their flash or their kill gold. Try to learn your capabilities.

Stay in your plants!

If you're getting ganked or if the enemy is chasing you, it can be tempting to just run away, but especially early game, your plants do a ton of damage, and it can often be the best course of action to kite inside your plants' attack ranges, especially if there is also someone behind you. This goes for being turret dived as well.
Spoiler: Click to view

Farm the jungle

Unfortunately, it is possible to lose lane as Zyra. If you are getting zoned hard and can't fight, go to the wolves or the raptors (or gromp/krugs if bot lane) and place a plant. The plant tanks all the damage and you won't suffer anything. Just make sure your jungler is OK with this...

Don't be afraid to wait a bit to use spells

A lot of times it is very natural to press buttons as soon as they're available. This is not always ideal. Sometimes an ultimate is better a few seconds later. Sometimes your E is much easier to hit if you wait for them to dodge your Q. Of course this is not always the case, but you should be aware of it. Often times, especially when I'm ganking or trying to facilitate an all in, I will Q first (most people dodge the first skill predictably) and save my E for when they commit to a trade.
Healthy tips for getting the most out of your League experience

Here are some general tips for the getting the most (elo, fun, progress, etc...) out of your League of Legends experience.

Be willing to lose

Never queue up for ranked when you are not willing to lose (or else you will be disappointed about half of the time!) Play to improve or have fun, not to win. This is one of the best ways to help your mindset and happiness when playing League. Too many people (myself included, especially when I started) think of a "win" as a success and a "loss" as a failure. Don't ever keep on playing "until you break the losing streak". Even if you play at your best, sometimes games are just not winnable and if you're losing a lot, your mind is most likely not working to optimality. Don't be afraid to get off for the day or take a (potentially long) break. Remember that this can have very real consequences on your person and that you need to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.

Accept Responsibilty

When a play goes bad, accept responsibility whether it's yours or not. This makes others more likely to be aware of their mistakes as well. Also helps keep things positive. It's not about what your teammates "deserve", it's about realizing two things. First, that your primary goal for your teammates is that they play their best. Second, that you will most likely never come in contact with them again, so don't be a jerk.

Make decisions based on what is, not what should be

When someone does something really stupid and you lose something for it. Don't think how stupid they were, analyze what you should have done given their stupid action. You cannot control the actions of your teammates, you can only control yourself. Sometimes you get awful teammates, sometimes it's you that does awful. Focus on being aware (if they're jumping in 1v5, don't follow them if you're alone!) and analyze the best response to poor play. Also, don't blame. Finally, remember that even though you can't control what somebody does, you can help them make the right decision. If someone is consistently overextending and refusing to group, try to get vision to protect them or get your team to group around the problem player. If an ADC (or jungler) doesn't follow you up when you engage, make sure to be obvious with your pings next time. If it happens consistently, just know it will happen again and maybe play more safely. Only worry about what you can control.

Don't tolerate flaming

One flame = one mute. Don't argue with or tolerate annoying people. Just mute them and move on (and don't be one of "those guys" that always tells people they're muted). If they aren't bothering you, you can keep them unmuted for team communication, but under no circumstances should you ever respond to anything rude. Often times people think they are helping when they try to mediate conflict. Especially online, (and especially when it doesn't directly involve you) responding to something just prolongs it. An angry person will type MUCH less if there is nobody responding to them. When in doubt, don't type.

Don't give advice unless asked

Do not give people advice in League unless they specifically (and unsarcastically) ask for it. People are defensive in general and don't appreciate strangers giving advice. Usually this just results in them defensively pointing out your mistakes and devolves into too much typing and not enough winning. Under no circumstances should you ever say "You should have done ____". There is no point and you should focus on the future. That being said, if someone genuinely asks you what they should do, tell them your opinion politely. Treat people like decent human beings.

Focus on improving, not LP

Don't play with the sole intention of gaining elo (LP). Winning and losing a game is a semi-random event that will reflect your skill in the long term. If you improve, you will eventually climb. If you don't climb, it's because you aren't improving (and that can be OK as long as you're aware of it). You cannot always win. Playing with the intention of only winning (especially in promotional series) can be very damaging to your mental well-being.
Coming soon™
This section is partially for me and partially for you. It's a list of things I'm planning on adding to the guide, as of April 11, 2023. My goal is to update the guide every 2 patches or so and/or when there's a big change.
  • Add more picture/video/gif examples in the tips & tricks section and other encyclopedia-like chapters...
  • Clean up the rank border in the overlay.
  • Update matchups/synergies.
Notice something not listed here that you want to see or something appears out-of-date or a likely typo? Let me know in the comment section!
Wow, you finished! Or at least skipped to the end :). Thank you for reading and please let me know if you have any thoughts, ideas for ways it could be improved, or anything else. I read all guide comments and you can ask me on my stream as well if you want a quicker dialogue.

May your enemies feel the thorns' embrace.
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