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Zyra Build Guide by Sneeuwuiltje

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sneeuwuiltje

Dominating the jungle with plants ~~ Zyra jungle guide (S3)

Sneeuwuiltje Last updated on April 16, 2013
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 12


Utility: 9

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Hi and welcome to my first guide on Mobafire.
I am quite new to this game (started in october) and I play on EUW server with the account "Sneeuwuiltje". When I played with Zyra for the first time, I liked her ability set immediately.
I considered that Zyra would be a viable jungler because of her AoE damage, decent cc for ganks and plants to tank neutral minions. I tried to find a jungle guide for Zyra on Mobafire but the only guide I found was outdated. So I decided to test it out myself and eventually make a build for jungle Zyra.
I have to point out that this guide isn't intended to be used in ranked games, but more for normal games or even bot games, because most jungle champions like Lee Sin are just better junglers. This build can be used for fungames or if you want to risk it even ranked games.

SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

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Pros / Cons


+ Massive AoE damage
+ Decent cc for ganks with stun, slow, knock-up
+ Not really mana dependant after you build Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
+ Plants tank most of damage from jungle
+ Fast clear time mid + late game

She isn't tanky but her plants can tank most damage from neutral minions, this makes her quite sustaining in the jungle.


- Squishy jungler, vulnerable to counter jungling (especially early game)
- Has to cooperate well to do a succesful gank
- Can be focussed
- Rather slow clear times and blue dependant early game
- Needs good cs/kills to function well late game

Only pick Zyra when you have at least 1 tank in your team, for example:
When you have Malphite as top and Leona as support, you can pick Zyra.
When you have Teemo as top and Sona as support, you shouldn't pick Zyra.
Another option to pick Zyra is when you don't have an AP carry, for example:
When Lee Sin or Zed is mid, you can pick Zyra.

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With cooldown reduction you can spam your abilities more often.
With more AP your abilities will deal more damage.
Magic Penetration will ignore some % of armor. This is effective against a tanky enemy.
When you use Smite you get 10 gold.
More health will keep you in jungle longer.
Jungle minions will harm you less.
More sustain in jungle and team fights.
Armor against AP carries.
More sustain in jungle
Reduces cooldown of Flash with 15 seconds, which can save your life or secure a kill.
A jungler needs movement speed to roam and to get to jungle camps faster.
Reduces cast time of recall by 1 second which can save your life!
Even more cooldown reduction on Flash and Smite.
You will keep buffs longer.

The reason why I don't go for a full AP/ tank mastery build is simple: Normally you already have an AP carry and a tank, you wan't to be a hybrid of both: dealing high AP damage while being able to sustain in the jungle/ teamfights. Ofcourse, you can choose to build full AP or tank and take other masteries.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

I choose Greater Seal of Armor for more sustain in jungle and teamfights. Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is usefull against the enemy AP carry. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is great for dealing damage to tanks. Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is really useful for junglers. You will get faster to jungle camps, to help your teammates, ganks ...
I am still trying out different runes for Zyra jungle, but I feel these runes should do fine.
Other possibilities are Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, Greater Mark of Ability Power, ...

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Summoner Spells

Flash: Zyra has no in-build escapes so it is necessary to take this spell. It can and will save your life! You can also secure a kill with Flash but try to keep it for emergencies.

Smite: Every jungler should take this. Try to use it to kill buffs, dragon and baron to prevent the enemy team from stealing it.

Other posibilities are:

Ghost: If you feel really confident, you can replace flash by Ghost.
I wouldn't recommend it though since Flash is better to escape most of time.

Exhaust: Your ganks will be easier but now you have no way to escape.

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Ability explanation

Ability Explanation

Deadly bloom

  • Rise of the thorns: Upon death, Zyra returns to her plant form. After 2 seconds, she can press any ability to fire a Vengeful Thorn towards her cursor, dealing 81 + (19 × current level) true damage to each enemy it strikes.

    This passive is quite useful after you die in a teamfight. After 2 seconds you can fire a thorn which deals 423 true damage to everyone it passes through at level 18. You have 8 seconds to shoot, so take your time if no one is near by. Try to make the most out of it by hitting as much champions/creeps as you can!

  • Deadly bloom Deadly bloom (Q): Zyra grows a bud at target location. After a brief delay it explodes, launching damaging thorns at all nearby enemies dealing 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to enemies within the area. If cast on a seed, Deadly Bloom grows a Thorn Spitter plant, which fires at enemies from afar dealing magic damage. Lasts 10 seconds.

    This is your main burst damage in the jungle or fights. Max this first for more damage, and if you have blue you can spam this spell.
    When you get aggro from neutral minions after your plant(s) died, try to stand in middle of the camp. If you do this, you can hit all the minions with 1 bloom. If you don't, the boss will come in melee range and you can't hit them all with 1 bloom. Try to hit as much enemies as possible.
    Tip: If you have placed a seed in a camp over a wall, you can place deadly bloom over the wall too to speed up your clear time.
    Another tip: When you have vision of an enemy camp, you can use this to steal the buff.

  • Rampant growth (W): (Passive): Grants 4 / 8 / 12 / 16 / 20% Cooldown reduction.

    (Active): Zyra plants a seed, granting vision of an area for up to 30 seconds. Other spells cast on seeds will turn them into plants who fight for Zyra. They do 26 + (6 x level) (+20% of ability power) damage. Each plant attacking the same target does 50% reduced damage.

    Zyra stores a seed every 17 / 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 seconds and can hold up to a maximum of 2. Zyra can plant a maximum of 4 at a time.

    This ability will make your jungle clear times very fast, and are essential for ganks/teamfights.
    Always keep 1 seed for emergencies. On the other hand, if you have 2 seeds and you won't use it in the next 10 seconds, place it somewhere to be used as a 30 seconds ward. When you want to grow a plant in ganks or teamfight, try to use this ability in the right spot after you placed Deadly bloom or Grasping Roots, this will make it harder for enemies to dodge. When you want to slow enemies down, use Grasping Roots on the seed, if you want to harass them, use Deadly Bloom. Another tip: Because of your plants you can leave the camp before the minions are dead to make the plants finish them off. This will save you time!

  • Grasping roots (E): Zyra sends forth vines through the ground to ensnare her target, dealing 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+50% of ability power) magic damage and rooting enemies they come across. If cast on a seed, Grasping Roots grows a Vine Lasher, whose short range attacks reduce enemy Movement Speed.

    This skill is essential for ganks. Miss this ability and your gank will probably fail. Try to predict the path of the enemy, or get your teammates to stun them to make it easier for you.
    Tip: When you have placed a seed over a wall, you can use this ability through the wall to grow a plant there to speed up jungling time.

  • Stranglethorns (R): Zyra summons a twisted thicket at a target location, dealing 180 / 265 / 350 (+75% of ability power) magic damage to enemies as it expands and knocking them airborne as it contracts. Plants in the area are enraged, increasing their Attack Speed by 50 %.

    You should only use your ultimate when your gank is failing, or in teamfights (if you can atleast hit 3 champions). Your plants should be in the region of your ultimate for more attack speed.
    Try to first stun your enemies with Grasping Roots so it's harder for your enemies to avoid the knock-up.

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Ability sequence

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> Deadly bloom > >
I always put a point in [Grasping roots] at lvl 1 because if you would be invaded, this ability can immobilize all enemy champions. You can take [deadly bloom] at lvl 1 when you are sure you won't get invaded. We want to max out deadly bloom first because it's our main AoE damage and it gets more spammable as the cooldown reduces. Then we max out Grasping Roots for more damage. Take a point in Rampant Growth at level 2 but max it last. You need it at level 2 for clearing minion camps, but you will only need the cooldown reduction at late game. Always put a point in Stranglethorns when you can (6/11/16). If you're not planning to do a gank at lvl 3 you could consider to put a 2d point to deadly bloom first for more damage and less cooldown.

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Ability combos

Ability combos

Now you know how the abilities work, I'm going to explain how to use them in combos to maximise your damage. First you have combos you should use when clearing jungle camps, then you have combos for ganks and at last you have combos for teamfights.

Jungling combos

> deadly bloom >
When you reach a camp, place a Rampant Growth as soon as you can (you can place it over walls. It saves time and you can check if the enemy is counter jungling). Then use deadly bloom on the minions and the seed. Your plant will tank most damage and if it's necessary you can use a second seed. When you have blue buff you can use Grasping Roots but if you don't and are low on mana, try to only use deadly bloom.

Ganking combos

> > Deadly bloom
This is your pre-level 6 gank. Ask your teammates to initiate and possibly stun the enemy (like Taric, Riven), then you should try to stun at least one enemy with Grasping Roots (focus the carry!), try to predict their path. When your roots are reaching your enemy, place as fast as you can atleast 1 Rampant Growth in its path. This will grow a slowing plant which deals decent damage too. When the enemy is stunned in your roots, place a deadly bloom and finish them off with more Grasping Roots and deadly bloom if necessary. Use both of your seeds if you think you won't get the kill with only 1 seed.

> > >Deadly bloom
This is the combo you can use after you reach level 6. It is exactly the same as pre-level 6, only you place Stranglethorns right after you stunned your enemy with Grasping Roots and you placed Rampant Growth. If you do this, your enemy will get knocked up 90% of time (only not when they use escape utlities like Flash), this will make your teammates reach the enemy sooner and it will be easier for you to place deadly bloom. Try to use it when you can hit 2 enemies (for example bot ganks), because it may not be worth it for only 1 champion.


> > >Deadly bloom
In teamfights you use exactly the same combo as in ganks. Important in teamfights is to know when and where you should place your abilities. When your enemy is initiating, try to root as many enemies as you can and try to hit all 5 champions with Stranglethorns. Don't start a teamfight without 2 seeds. You can initiate with Grasping Roots when you see that someone of their team is out of position. Jungle Zyra should try to protect her AD and AP carry, if that means you have to die then die. Don't forget you can use your passive Rise of the Thorns and hit as many champions as you can.

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Jungling route

I use this route almost every game I play on solo queue. Zyra is very squishy early game so I ask help for ancient golem from top and mid when on blue side, bot and mid when on purple side. Use one Health Potion while tanking the golem. Save smite for the last hit in case the enemy should invade. When you killed the ancient golem you should be level 2 and put a point in Rampant Growth. When you reach wolves camp place a seed in the camp and use deadly bloom to grow a plant to tank some damage. Use your second seed after 10 seconds you placed your first. In first clear route you should use 2 seeds for each camp. After wolves go to wraiths and use your plants again to tank some damage. You can place your seeds over walls to save some time! After wolves go to lizard elder , your smite should be up again after 10 seconds. After this camp you should be level 3 and look if there is a gankable lane. If you can, you should put a point in Grasping Roots and go gank. If not, put a second point in deadly bloom and go back to wolves.


When you are in a premade team you can ask to do wolves first, but let someone else tank or try to kill it asap. Zyra is very squishy early game so you will need every HP in first clearing route. You have 15 seconds before ancient golem spawns. After the golem go to wraiths, then wolves again and then lizard elder .

If you want to go for first blood you could put your 2d point in Grasping Roots and gank top/mid/bot. Only do this when your enemy doesn't have Flash or you are 100% sure you will get the kill. If not you lose a lot of time, experience and gold!

Spawn times

Small Camps:
1) Wraith : Spawn time - 1:40 || Respawn time - 0:50
2) Giant wolf : Spawn time - 1:40 || Respawn time - 1:00
3) Golem : Spawn time - 1:40 || Respawn time - 1:00

Buff Camps:
1) Ancient golem : Spawn time - 1:55 || Respawn time - 5:00 This means blue buff will be up again ~ 7:00.
2) Lizard elder : Spawn time - 1:55 || Respawn time - 5:00

River camps]:
1) Dragon : Spawn time - 2:30 || Respawn time - 6:00
2) Baron nashor : Spawn time - 15:00 || Respawn time - 7:00

Try to be aware when a buff or dragon will be up. You can call it in teamchat so your teammates will know too. When you group up at dragon 5 seconds before dragon will spawn the enemy team will probably not have the reaction to be there in time. After 2 or 3 blue buffs ask your AP carry if he needs blue buff as he needs it more than you do.


Normally your support is the one to place wards, but if you are ahead or have some money left when recalling (or you just want to help him) you can buy some wards and place them as in the image above. Don't counter jungle when you don't have vision of the enemy jungle, Zyra is a weak counter jungler without escapes!

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I'm still testing these items out and working on new builds. This build is a guideline and in many cases you have to swap some items or build some items earlier than I mention in my build. I will try to explain which items you have to take in what situation and I will update this section when I tested out other builds/items.

Starting items

This new item is a must have item for almost all junglers in S3. It builds in Madred's Razors and Spirit Stone. We want to build this into Spirit Stone and Spirit of the Spectral Wraith. Your damage against jungle monsters will be increased with 10% and your basic attacks will deal an extra 10 true damage.
You will need 5 of these to sustain in the first jungle route.

First back

Roaming around the map will be faster and your ganks will be more efficient.

You get more sustain in the jungle because of the mana and health regeneration and your damage against jungle monsters will be increased with 20%.

Sight ward Buy this when you have some spare money and you want to counter jungle or the enemy is counter jungling you.


Your normal pick for second tier boots. You get 25 magic resistance and the passive Tenacity is awesome: all CC effects are reduced by 35%.

Take these when your enemy team exists mainly of AD damage or if the enemy AD carry is fed.

Only pick these when your enemy is very tanky and AP and AD carries are underfed.

Bonus movement speed is always nice for junglers to roam faster. Buy these whenever you can.

Mid game items

More ability power, cooldown reduction, mana regeneration, 20% spell vamp AND 25% more damage to jungle monsters. These stats are perfect for jungle Zyra. Rush this item as fast as you can and you will be able to sustain in the jungle as long as you want. After this you don't need blue buff anymore if you don't spam your abilities.

This item gives you more AP, more health and the passive will help you in ganks and teamfights thanks to its slowing effect.

This item is usefull against AD enemies and when you get bursted down in a teamfight you can place yourself in a invulnerable statis for 2.5 seconds. If you use this after you used all your abilities in a teamfight, your cooldown will be reduced with 2.5 seconds after you come out the stasis.

Late game items

With this item your damage in teamfights will raise significantly. I'm still testing this item in my build, because this item doesn't give you any tankyness. When you are losing you shouldn't buy this item and swap for something like Guardian Angel. When you are ahead , this item will make you even dominate more.

Giving you magic resistance while your drain the MR of nearby enemies with 20, this item will give you some adventage in late game.

Situational items

Normally you shouldn't take this item because you don't want to be the tank, but when your tank is underfed you could consider to buy this item instead of Rabadon's Deathcap. You won't get any AP, but you will get alot of armor, cooldown reduction and some mana. Its passive reduces attack speed of nearby enemies with 20%.

This is an alternative for Frozen Heart, take this if someone in your team already has Frozen Heart. You get some armor and MR, and upon dieing you revive with 30% of your health.

Take this item instead of Rabadon's Deathcap when the enemy is stacking MR and is tanky overall.

Take this item when the enemy is very tanky and you want to have 300 more health. Your spells will deal 5% of the enemies health per 3 seconds and 10% when they move!

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You have made it to the end of my guide! I hope you enjoyed it and will try jungle Zyra out with this build. I don't claim Zyra to be the best jungler and I know she is probably better in mid lane or even support bot.
But I think she is a nice alternative for jungling and she is very fun to play with.
I am still working on the item build to play with different builds so this can be updated once in a while.
I will make a change log to let you know when I update this guide and where. Please leave a comment if you have questions or you want more information. If you see any spelling errors leave a comment please, English isn't my first language so there may be some :p. Don't downvote for no reason or because you think " Zyra can't jungle, end of discussion". Try the build in a game and take conclusions afterwards. This build may not work the first times and I recommend to try it out first in a bot game. Happy gaming!
~ Sneeuwuiltje