Help Support

Our Growing Community

MOBAFire is a community that lives to help every LoL player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support MOBAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides

Zyra Build Guide by Melyn

grandmaster

[9.18] Melyn's Grandmaster Zyra Guide (Support and Mid) for

By Melyn | Updated on September 13, 2019
207,199 Views
252 Votes
18 Comments
x
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!
Vote
Comment

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Zyra
    Support Zyra
  • LoL Champion: Zyra
    Mid Zyra

Runes: Standard

1 2 3 4 5 6
Domination
Electrocute
Taste of Blood
Ghost Poro
Relentless Hunter

Sorcery
Manaflow Band
Scorch
Bonus:

+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2
Standard
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #9 in
Support Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Items

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[9.18] Melyn's Grandmaster Zyra Guide (Support and Mid) for

By Melyn
Introduction Back to Top
Hello everyone and welcome to my mega-guide, a Zyra guide including all the information to succeed whether you're supporting and/or taking matters into your own hands in the mid lane. Please use the Table of Contents to find the relevant information!

I'm a Zyra one trick player who has gotten to master in multiple seasons (peaked around 491 LP grandmaster in season 9 (19 spots from challenger) with a focus on carrying from the support role. I also mid lane Zyra as my offrole. As a math professor in real life, I enjoy educational content and improving, so if there's anything you'd like to know or anything you'd like to see, please let me know!

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 even on Youtube (I also have a secondary Youtube account that includes my stream highlights).
Why Zyra? Back to Top
Pros


+ 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 (as support)
+ 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.
Cons


- 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, as Zyra becomes a secondary carry herself.




Support - Summoner Spells Back to Top

Exhaust and Ignite are both good, although I find myself going ignite almost every game now. The only times I recommend taking exhaust are when you have very little kill pressure bot and the enemy team has a lot of assassins/divers. If you want to see what I actually do in real games against various compositions, check out my op.gg.
Support - Runes Back to Top

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!

Keystones


The main keystones for Zyra are Electrocute, Arcane Comet, Glacial Augment, 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. I plan to expand this section eventually, but the gist of it is:
  • Electrocute: if you want to burst the enemy. Can be great vs. healing lanes like Nami and Soraka
  • 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.
  • 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: Best when you want to scale and build Twin Shadows. This is more of a personal preference thing but can be great into pick compositions, like Shaco, Leona, LeBlanc, Fizz, etc... Extremely useful to both get defensive vision as well as engage when your team doesn't have much. Sacrifices a little bit of lane pressure though.
  • Aftershock: Strong into Leona. The best way to play this lane is to go QE levels 1-2, spam Q for harass, and throw your E on Leona if she engages and turn on the enemy ADC. You will be tanky and almost always win these trades as long as your ADC commits as well.

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 only currently.
  • 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.

Domination

  • I run Domination with either Electrocute or Dark Harvest and will frequently use Domination secondary when I run Arcane Comet and Glacial Augment.
  • 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 Taste of Blood 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. Ravenous Hunter: I feel like this is the most contentious rune choice.
    • I recommend running Relentless in most games but Ingenious if you're planning on building a Zhonya's Hourglass or Twin Shadows. Remember that Ingenious works on trinkets too, giving a ton more wards and sweepers.
    • I don't recommend Ravenous as its healing is so minor early game (since you aren't attacking waves much) and taste of blood already gives way more healing than Ravenous. Late game it's decent but overshadowed by the previous two.
    • 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 one of the Hunter runes.

Sorcery

  • I run Sorcery with Arcane Comet but will often run it secondary with Electrocute, Dark Harvest, and Aftershock.
  • 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 Manaflow Band to help with Zyra's mana issues (when spamming), especially into low range matchups. Do not run Nimbus Cloak as, while useful, it is overshadowed by both of the previous runes.
  • Absolute Focus vs. Celerity vs. Transcendence:
    I used to run Transcendence but since the 9.17 Zyra ult buffs, I think Absolute Focus is better. Don't run Celerity because we don't build a lot of bonus move speed (just boots and maybe Twin Shadows).
  • 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 Manaflow Band and Scorch.

Resolve

  • I run Resolve with Aftershock but sometimes run it secondary into scary match ups.
  • If you're running resolve primary, take Demolish, Bone Plating, and Overgrowth. Almost none of the other runes are useful for Zyra.
  • If you're running resolve secondary, then do the above but remove either Demolish or Overgrowth. Bone plating is a must-have. 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.

Inspiration

  • I run Inspiration with Glacial Augment but sometimes may run it secondary into a poke matchup (often with Electrocute for bursting the poke champion).
  • Perfect Timing vs. Magical Footwear vs. Hextech Flashtraption:
    If I'm running Glacial Augment, I'll often take Magical Footwear because you get early MS from Aether Wisp, otherwise I'll run Perfect Timing. Remember that Perfect Timing gives a stop watch at 10 minutes, makes building Zhonya's Hourglass cheaper, as well as reducing the cooldown on the hourglass. Do not go Hexflash unless you're trolling. :)
  • 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 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.

Shards


I almost always recommend taking CDR, as Zyra support doesn't usually tend to build so much of it, 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.
Support - Abilities and maxing order Back to Top

A brief explanation on levels 1-3


Standard


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


E gives 45 extra damage and Q both gives 35 more damage, and 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 your plants slightly more health and 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.
Support - Items Back to Top

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 Frostfang and Boots of Speed, giving me more scrapping power in lane, greater Mana regen, better roaming potential, and higher gold income. I rush full combat stats (usually Sorcerer's Shoes and one of the major AP items (usually Liandry's Torment or Morellonomicon, depending on team composition) until the laning phase ends and then finish my second AP item ( Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Liandry's Torment, Twin Shadows, and Morellonomicon are the most frequent). At this point I have sorcs, Frostfang, and two AP item. I detail more choices below.

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 Warding Totem 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 and I do not recommend buying your sixth item until you can buy the entire thing at once. Do not sacrifice your ward slot for components.

Situational Items and Comments


Eye of the Watchers: This item is not gold efficient and the only useful thing is an extra ward. I don't upgrade this until the very end of the game.

Twin Shadows: a very good item that helps face-checking and prevents getting picked off, as well as picking off the opponents as well. This won't maximize your damage, but the movement speed and CDR is extraordinarily useful as well and synergizes well with Glacial Augment, although it is good in its own right. If you are planning on getting this item, I highly recommend taking Ingenious Hunter.

Rabadon's Deathcap: a solid 6th item when you really want to be a burst mage. I very rarely purchase this though because I usually don't get this much gold until very late in the game (and games don't go too long), but if I don't need a defensive item and I can afford it, I often will.

Banshee's Veil: This is a solid item when you're against a very heavy AP comp. I fit this in my build when I feel I need it. An important question when considering this item is whether you can be effective in a team fight before getting burst. If you can get everything off before dying, often a damage item is better than Banshee's, but if you are dying before using anything, less damage (by getting this item) is better than no damage.

Luden's Echo: Recently, I did a lot of experimentation as the CDR is very useful as well as getting AoE on Rylai's and/or Liandry's from plant poke. It is great for longer fights with tanks or for a very poke-oriented build (Rylai's/Liandry's/Luden's to give AoE slow burn). It's a lot of fun but will leave you extremely squishy.

Zhonya's Hourglass: I used to just get this against full AD comps or when I'm ahead against an assassin-heavy comp (Katarina, Rengar, Talon, etc...) but now I find myself buying it much more frequently. It is cheap, has an easy build path, and gives CDR, so it is very viable when the enemy team has a fair amount of AD or assassins like Fizz where the active is useful. I still usually delay getting this until after Rylai's (almost always) and Liandry's (often).

Boots of Mobility: I very seldom buy these anymore, but when I do, it's because I'm way behind and just need to be an actual support. Other Zyra players find success with this item, however, as it lets you position in lane more easily, get caught out less, and provide more vision and roaming. A good item, but doesn't synergize well with my play style.

Hextech GLP-800: Don't buy this, even with Glacial Augment. It's too expensive for the stats in provides and Twin Shadows is much better for applying the slow.

Spellbinder: This is a fun item and I believe it is undervalued, but I can't figure out when to buy it or how to use it effectively... If you have success with it, let me know!
Mid - Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash and Ignite have long been the staple for the aggressive mid laner and Zyra is no different. However, there are many different ways to play Zyra and she can make excellent use of other summoner spells. Below I'll write when I use each summoner.

Exhaust: Exhaust is a great summoner spell and is a life saver against assassins. Run this against Yasuo, Talon, Zed, sometimes Fizz (though I sometimes run Barrier against him too), and anyone else you are afraid of. Then, when they commit, you can exhaust their combo and launch yours. The slow will help keep them in your spells and you can unleash your full power.

Teleport: I mostly run teleport when I don't think I can do anything mid lane and think I will just be farming. If I don't run Ignite to win hard against Twisted Fate, I will run TP to help counter his roams. I may also run TP against long-range, super safe, or heavy wave-clear mid laners like Xerath, Morgana, and Malzahar. I don't run this as frequently now that you can no longer cancel TP.

Barrier, Heal, and Cleanse: In general, I don't run these often, but there are situations where you may with to use them. Remember that cleanse does not cleanse suppression. Run Barrier if you need a pre-emptive defensive spell (think Fizz, sometimes LeBlanc), Heal if you need a retroactive defensive spell (or movement speed or 2v2 ganks, though I don't use this often), and Cleanse if you have good reaction timing and are worried about their CC (very good against Ashe, Twisted Fate, Varus, and Veigar).
Mid - Runes Back to Top

The two main keystones for Zyra mid are Electrocute and Arcane Comet. I will usually get MR/Armor depending on my lane opponent, and may even get armor/MR on the second row as well, especially with 9.2 buff to MR and nerf to adaptive. The full rune pages can be found at the top of the guide.

I do not think Dark Harvest is a great choice for Zyra mid. Mid laners often go Corrupting Potion and/or Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation and it is very difficult to get procs until late in the game, so electrocute and comet are better for damage.

Note: I plan to expand this section in the coming months.
Mid - Abilities and Maxing Order Back to Top

I recommend maxing Q -> E -> W as Zyra mid.




A brief explanation on levels 1-3


Standard


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.

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.

Comments on my recommended ability order


I really think you need to max Q as Zyra mid. Wave clear is very important as a mid laner and Zyra is reliant on her E to keep her save, as it can root, slow, and block skill shots with an EW combo. This leaves Zyra's Q as her wave clear tool. Next up, I believe maxing root (E) second is important to make yourself a strong team fighter, as it increases both damage and root duration.
General - Zyra Combos Back to Top

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.


Noob combo (EWW)


There is almost never a good time to do this combo. Whenever possible, try to only use one slow plant as the slows do not stack and these plants are very short ranged. One time you might do this is if you are out of mana.

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



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 Frostfang. 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 Back to Top

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


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%.


Try to use both plant types!


It can be tempting to E -> Q them and place two plants on your E, but the slows don't stack and they have short range, so it is best to place your second seed on the Q for the extra range. On the other hand, it can be useful to place two Q plants depending on the situation (especially in a big team fight or if you have Rylai's). The main point is to not use your plants thoughtlessly and to get into good habits on deciding which kind of plant to place.


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 Back to Top

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™ Back to Top
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 September 13, 2019. My goal is to update the guide every 2 patches or so and/or when there's a big change.
  • Detailed runes for mid (like I did for support) Zyra.
  • Clean up the rank border in the overlay.
  • I've added most of the things I wanted, but maybe when I have time to spare I'll try to clean up some of the format. Tell me if there's anything you want added!
Notice something not listed here that you want to see? Let me know in the comment section!
Conclusion Back to Top
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.