A Challenger's Guide to Mastering Zeri
An in-depth guide that will cover EVERYTHING you need to know about Zeri.
Best Overall Runes
Best Overall Build
Hello! My name is Trieuloo and I reached Challenger playing ADC for 3 years in a row, this season peaking rank 1 with Kindred ADC in the North American Server and rank 40 with other ADCS last season
With the announcement of the Champion Zeri I decided to go on another journey, and I have just reached the rank of Grandmasters OTP'ing Zeri ADC. I want to share all the knowledge and tips that I have learned over these past few weeks.
I am just a person in college doing this for fun so if you want to support me make sure to follow me on twitch or youtube :D
My goal for this guide is to be as in-depth as possible to teach Zeri's from all different skill levels more about one of the champion that I personally love playing!
Why should you play Zeri?
Will always be relevant
Zeri will always be a relevant champion, and not forgotten about unlike other champions (looking at you shyvana) as she is coming from the region of Zaun with ties to Renata Glasc, and Ekko. Now you may wonder... Why will this make her relevant throughout all metas? And the answer is very simple. ARCANE.
There is no surprise that Zeri / Renata Glasc is 99.99% sure to appear in the next arcane series as they hail from Zaun with ties to Ekko, BUT that means that Renata / Zeri will get the ARCANE BUFF as seen from champions like Jinx , Viktor, and Jayce. They will never gut champions from their hit TV series as people love seeing the champions played, therefore she will ALWAYS BE RELEVANT.
If you are anything like me the joy to playing ADC personally is to outplay opponent's and get the 1v5 montage clip so I can share with my friends. This champion fits that bill PERFECTLY. Once you are ahead you will be able to do things that no other ADC's can do dealing TONS of damage alongside moving at the speed of light.
As Zeri is a fairly newer champion we are starting to see many people experiment with her everywhere, and it is FAIRLY EVIDENT that Zeri can work in 4 roles at a GOOD level. ADC being the most obvious one, but also working in mid, top and Jungle at fairly good success rates. I personally think that this will always be a trait of Zeri as it is fairly hard to handicap her to only bot lane, so I think the flexibility will always be a huge part to Zeri's selling point.
Zeri is quite possibly one of the most unique and interesting champions that Riot has ever released, at least in my opinion. There is no other play style of ADC that you can say works like her, and I personally enjoy that.
When you are playing Zeri it feels like you are now the cool kid on the block instead of suffering when you play champions like Kog'maw.
Cons About Zeri
Now Zeri is definitely not made for everyone, and has some HUGE turn offs that some people may not enjoy. The league of legends world often times is not all sunshine and rainbows ESPECIALLY if the champion is meant to be an adc.
Zeri is one of the squishiest champions in league with a very low base HP + scaling base HP value. This means you have to compensate for some HP value somewhere in your build to be a useful champion especially since you don't want to play backline front to back like a jinx would.
Zeri's awesome late game is returned with a very poor early game where you feel like you are just shooting rubber pellets at the enemy team. This is essentially due to having the 5th lowest scaling base AD alongside with a fairly low base.
Especially in the early game you are a more passive reactive ADC than an initiator like a Draven Samira would be.
Hand / Wrist problems
I wish I was joking when I was typing this, but if you have any sort of hand/wrist issues, sadly this champion is not for you. This champion can easily flare up preexisting problems and even incite new problems due to requiring maybe the highest APM out of any champion in the league universe.
Abilities & Their Special Interactions
Zeri's Passive (Living Battery)
Zeri's Passive gains movement speed NOT ONLY when she is stealing shields from enemies, but when she gains them as well! This means when allies such as Karma would shield a Zeri she would gain the MS from the shield + the 10% from her passive AFTERWARDS.
An interesting thing to note about Zeri's Passive is that overheal does work with Zeri's passive BUT ONLY when she gains the shield initially, and not for the full duration.
Zeri's Q (Burst Fire)
Zeri's Q is a TWO part "ability" and the thing that truly makes Zeri *Unique*
The first part of her Q ability is like an ENERGIZED ability which just charges up and when you Auto attack the enemy it slows them, and deals damage based on % missing hp. However, unlike other energized things you can still auto attack with the bar not fully charged! An interesting thing is that this is somewhat? treated as a spell breaking spell shields and banshees, BUT ONLY IF it is fully charged.
If you are having troubles csing don't be afraid to use it while csing!
PRO TIP: Make sure to use your auto more for the slow than the %Missing HP as the slow tends to be very important.
Moving onto Zeri's "Auto attacks" or her Q ability AKA her
bread and butter haha... get it?
Her Q are her auto attacks, or skill shots that fire in a 7 round burst dealing 110% of her total AD damage. These actually are treated as an autoattack applying things such as on-hit effects, lifesteal(only on first target), AND spellblade passives, BUT only on it's first pellet hit. Which is where it gets a taaaad bit weird as it will still activate sheen, but not things like tear! Also for champion's like Amumu with his Tantrum it will actually reduce on EVERY INSTANCE of pellet hitting.
The length of the ability is approximately 750 teemos long (or units), and actually has a cap attack speed at 1.5 attacks per second. HOWEVER! If you do reach the cap attack speed bonus 75% will actually be converted to attack damage so rejoice :D
Another interesting thing since it is technically an "auto attack" is you can attack wards with it! Which leads to interesting things such as being able to take down wards level 1!
PRO TIP: You can kill control wards in fog with Zeri's Q if you know the location, but you obviously can't kill stealthed wards.
Check out this short clip I made for you guys below:
Lastly... well there are two more things, but I will cover them fast.
For lethal tempo and hail of blades they both DO NOT exceed the 1.5 cap but instead count for extra AD. HOB acts a bit weirdly so I will link another clip here:
and Finally if you use Zeri's Q from a bush THEY CAN SEE YOU for 4.5 seconds IF you hit an enemy.
Zeri's W is what I like to call a Jinx W mixed with a Lux R...
let me explain.
So Zeri's W just shoots a missle which in a direction which when hit slows the enemy. HOWEVER if it hits the wall it will still slow BUT goes through everything and hits multiple targets. ALSO when it hits the wall and shoots the mini lux laser it will grant vision! If you still don't understand don't be frustrated. It honestly feels like math class all over again. Here is a video to demonstrate how it works :D
Two things to note is that the laser can NOT be blocked, but the projectile can! And the fact that it does interact with things such as Ornn q, Anivia W, ETC...
I also forgot to add this in, but Zeri's W actually acts sort of like an AUTO ATTACK. This meaning that it actually RESETS Zeri's R, and gives -1s off the cooldown of her E.
Well... This is a simple ability all it does is dash, and if it goes through a wall it goes over and after it completes your Q will do reduced damage BUT go through minions. right? haha...
nope. This is season 12 RIOT AUGUST champion so there is always more to it... I love your champions August, but its facts.
I am going to start off with the most basics of basics and that is COMBOS!!! There aren't many complex combos to know included with Zeri's E, but here are the basics! Zeri can use BOTH her W and R in the wall while she is riding! This can be used to pack an extra punch while cruising downtown.
Another beautiful way you can use Zeri E is for buffering CC. This could be used in cases where you get stunned and you buffer your E before allowing you to get out of some sticky situations. Here you can see how I buffered this Leona's E to kill ziggs easily.
Lastly Zeri's E is an auto attack animation cancel, or widely known as an auto cancel. This is the exact trick we are using to get rid of wards and is simply down by pressing Q + E + Q. Note that you can have what I like to call a true animation cancel if you are against a wall you can not wall ride over. HOWEVER it is very very impractical, and I do not think anyone will ever use it but like these walls if anyone wants to try.
Zeri's R is the thing in her kit that many people complain about, but WE ZERI MAINS LOVE.
https://aminoapps.com/c/league-of-legends/page/blog/zeri-fanart-i-forgot-to-post-lol/vjUn_u1YrvnXa377e2QR4llebpJZ8Q Art link :D
This part of her kit is the thing that makes Zeri super speedy, and feel like you are Lightning McQueen on the rift. If you haven't watched Cars... I suggest you should. ANYWAYS her R is a tad bit smaller than blitzcrank R (scales off ap & bonus ad) and grants you bonus attack speed AND magic damage on hit. The bonus attack speed actually brings you a little over the cap attack speed based on how much bonus attack speed it grants. Lets say the bonus attack speed gives you 30% attack speed that means you would have 30% attack speed over the cap! This is because if she hits an enemy champion she becomes in a state of Overcharge starting with 3, 6, or more depending on how many champions hit. If she hits NOBODY she will not be in overcharge. This grants her 2% movement speed PER STACK and refreshes every time she hits a champion.
In addition to that her Q starts firing 3 round bursts, and now travel at a whole 20% faster cast time that is increased by attack speed. These rounds also travel to the closest enemies nearby, and if another champion is hit she will gain ANOTHER stack of over charge in addition to the first champion she hit. The rounds that travel to enemy targets can crit at a lower multiplier, and the bonus on-hit magic damage is based of 15% AP scaling. Now this is very game defining and confusing if you have never seen the ability used before so I suggest you try it out a bit first before hopping into game.
The two I have not explained yet from the video is how you can stack overcharge stacks by attacking minions and having it bounce to enemy champions. Many people think that you can only get overcharge by attacking champions, but the BOUNCE gives overcharge stacks too!
The other one being that ZERI'S R actually CRITS when it bounces! This means that every time it bounces it decreases Zeri's CD's when holding navori quickblades INCLUDING on minions.
Some more in game special interactions would be:
Spell shield blocks the R damage, but you still get overcharged.
The ulti does proc on-hit effects
You can have infinite ulti stacks
Clones like shaco / neeko DO grant overcharge!
We went through alot of material so make sure you guys stay hydrated, you beautiful (or handsome) individuals :3
From here on out there is going to be ALOT of information and less memery ;-;
Let's start going over what and why you should build certain items. A certain individual spent over 10 hours writing a spreadsheet on this topic so I will link it here. (hint... it was me)
This spreadsheet is up to date as of patch 12.3, AND the only notable change is that navori will now deal the SAME amount of damage as essence reaver. Now it is up to preference whether you prefer mobility, or a cheaper build dealing same amount of damage.
To explain the benefits / differences between both builds we have to look at navori quickblade's special interaction with Zeri. If you did not see from above here is the interaction.
Zeri's E will come up every other auto attack while attacking champions, and every 3 auto's when attacking minions with Navori's giving her insane mobility. Whether you want this, or wanting essence reaver for a faster spike is all up to you!
Starter / early items
- Skill Path
Zeri's runes are kind of one dimensional, and don't leave too much for imagination. However, there are some flexibility options you could go depending on the team
- Lethal Tempo
- Fleet Footwork
- Precision tree
- Domination tree
- Resolve tree
Summoner Spells (Loadout)
Zeri is like a regular adc where she wants heal almost all the time, but exhaust in certain scenarios. However I do not recommend really going cleanse, rather just go legend tenacity and take combat sums as you are already weak in the early game.
When I am talking about early game, mid game, and late game KEEP IN MIND every game is a different scenario, so I won't go too deep into how it plays out. If you are really curious watch my gameplay videos on Zeri on YouTube / Twitch, or look at a different Challenger player that plays Zeri.
Zeri's early game is a bit more on the passive side ESPECIALLY concerning that she is a "fighter style" adc. Your trading pattern in the early game tends to just be a short trade with your Q , and backing off to not take poke damage. This is because your autos cannot pass through minions making trading versus adc's near impossible. Zeri is definitely more of a reactive laner where if the enemy makes a huge mistake you can capitalize on it.
This makes the primary goal for Zeri to be just farming, allowing for your mid-late game powerspike to kick in. However if the enemies do stay out in the open for who knows what reason make sure to use your Q on them to deal some damage. You do not want to be E'ing in the minion wave to intiate trades. Once you reach 6 and your first back you can look for for 2v2 fights where you win if you take extended fights.
With two to three items on Zeri you are going to be dealing alot of damage, alongside with an insane amount of mobility. Before taking on fights make sure to track what CC abilities they are using, so you know if you can play more aggressive or not. You want to play a more traditional ADC style where you get peel from your team, and front to back hitting all the tanks and bruisers on the front line.
That's what your teammates look like, dont depend too much on them. This will help charge up your ultimate stacks for extra movement speed, and grant bonus attack speed from lethal tempo. This is where in fights if you went Navori's quickblade you can easily maneuver around the enemies styling on all of them. Make sure to ultimate in the beginning of fights, and posture in a somewhat aggressive manner so you can deal the most DPS possible.
Late game / Teamfighting
Once you reach late game on Zeri it is time to establish that this is YOUR WORLD, and they are all living in it.
If you get this valorant joke, well 1v1 me bro... jk I hate viper AND im hardstuck gold... life sucks. This is when you want to play very confident, but while ALWAYS maintain a good distance away from the enemies. Try to always maintain your ulti and lethal tempo stacks during a fight, and do not be too scared to E on the enemy backlines EVEN THOUGH you are an "ADC". And please do not forget that if you auto attack with a FULL YELLOW BAR it slows the enemies! This is a HUGE tip for kiting out enemies that people tend to forget when team fighting on Zeri as they are too focused on running around.
A fairly hard matchup where as the Zeri you can easily get caught out when mispositioned. You have to make sure you play conservatively in the early game not E'ing forward unless its a guarantee kill or you will get kited out. As the game progresses however, you will just start outranging her, but the early game is very hard, and you should not take her for granted.
Miss Fortune 7/10
Miss fortune when paired with the right support can definitely make Zeri's life miserable, and you can easily get one shot before you are able to react. If she takes comet make sure to take doran's shield and play backwards due to how strong miss fortune's early game is. Just be very cautious about support engages, and taking early trades pre 6.
A matchup where you can easily outscale if you play back, and not try to be too aggressive in the early game. If she ends up jumping on you just E backwards, and kite the fight out and you will win the fight. The only way you will lose this matchup is if she catches you out with her support and one shot's you.
Another doran's shield matchup where it really is all up to the ZIGGS to make the mistake rather than you being proactive. In elos where Ziggs tend to make more mistakes this matchup becomes a lot easier, and more manageable to play against.
A matchup that I initially thought was hard, but when I played more if it became very easy. A lot of the times when Caitlyn's try to pressure they step out of the minion wave to punish you, but it is not possible with Zeri. This makes it so a lot of the time in lane she can't freely punish you and you get to outscale her. Make sure you either take dorans shield or long sword 3 pot depending on the support matchup.
I think this is probably one of the hardest matchups Zeri can deal with ESPECIALLY if the twitch gets fed. The twitch can easily just gap close the distance with his Q and instant one shot you before you are able to react. The biggest thing I recommend for this matchup is just to go tabis to live if he snowballs.
The hardest Zeri matchup you will ever face, and you will get DESTROYED if you are not confident on Zeri. Make sure you play safe and wait for jungle intervention is the only possible way to play this matchup if they are good on Draven.
One of the easier Zeri matchups where she actually has autonomy over the wave for once. Try to play in the minion wave and E the wave to shove and get the waves under tower. Once you get into team fights Ezreal has nothing to stop you.
A harder matchup for Zeri as Samira tends to be able to pressure very hard early game, and if you get caught out once you are doomed forever. You have to play very cautiously to not get engaged on, and you will always win if you dodge their engage.
One of the easiest Zeri matchups as the feathers are very easily dodge able with your high movement speed and your dash. Just take long sword 3 pot and you win post 6.
Senna can punish you very hard in the early game when she is running fasting, and can easily push a lead. This is more of a skill matchup where it depends alot on team compositions, and who gets a big lead first where it gets super snowbally.
Sivir actually funnily enough really screws over Zeri due to how fast she can shove in waves, and forces Zeri to permanently be under tower. You also have to be really cautious about sivir ulting and engaging on you before you can get ulti stacks. You can easily dodge her spells, but she is a really good enabler to have the enemy team CC you, and eventually kill you.
One of the better matchups as you can just play for extended fights while he plays for short bursts. If he tries to fourth shot you keep stepping back and just Q him to get some free damage. One of the matchups where you can apply alot of early pressure, and still outscale him in the mid - late game.
A very easy lane to deal with as Zeri, and one you can pressure very early. As always when playing against kai'sa just be careful about the enemy support engaging and you will win. Alternatively if you play safe early you will always win in the mid-late game as well.
Never personally played this matchup, but I imagine it can not punish you early game due to your high range, and you easily win at all points. I will update it if I see any changes.
One of the more dangerous matchups for Zeri as he can definitely punish with alot of early aggression, and with a point click CC that you have to be very cautious about. Try to fight him if he chooses to have a short range combo like red grey due to your longer range Q's.
A champion where you have a lot of reign over, and you are going to permanently shove him under tower. The problem is if you ever get caught inside his cage you will die due to your low HP / resistances. If you are really having bad troubles against Veigar just take Cleanse, or take mercury treads + tenacity. Mercs + tenacity will allow you to escape the cage and the W will not land in time.
One of the strongest champions against Zeri where if she gets one kill you can get snowballed upon. You have to play passive in the early game and get pushed in, and play for mid - late game fights.
Another one of the hardest matchups where you get shoved in, and can't really do much. The lethality build in general makes life fairly hell for Zeri as you get poked out, before the extended fight happens. A matchup where you actually want to get blood thirster third FOR SURE.
I think Lucian Nami is the most dangerous pairing you can play against in the bot lane, as you can easily just permanently die from any point of the game. You also have no priority ever throughout all points of the game. Try to live, and get to 2-3 items if possible.
Vayne is a very even matchup in the early game, where whoever Tumbles, or in Zeri's case E's forward loses. Zeri can't really play aggressive against vayne, but the thing is if you guys both go even Zeri does out scale, and screw over Vayne. A HUGE thing that you need to take into consideration is that you can't play aggressively and E out. If vayne condemns you, you instantly get knocked out of the wall.
I personally love playing with blitzcranks as I am a more aggressive player by nature. However, I can't really say that Zeri fits very will with blitzcrank, as people usually live once they get hooked due to her bad burst pre 6.
If you have a good support matchup with taric, this pairing is going to be a menace. In teamfights you can play aggressive as you want, alongside in lane you can dash forward for the stun. However this is NOT BLINDPICKABLE due to how punishable this combo is.
One of the best engage supports you could be picking alongside with Zeri as she does alot of damage early game to compensate for zeri's bad early game. This will allow you guys to freely scale while still playing aggressively that other supports don't normally allow.
With Alistar you can't commit like he normally does, and you have an EXTREMELY PUNISHABLE level 1. When playing Zeri I tend to not like alistar's too much as their playstyles are very different, one being all in, and the other liking kiting.
Thresh is an interesting support to play with as he really is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Due to how safe he is there is a BIG tradeoff in the damage department which doesn't fair too well with Zeri. Alongside that Zeri already being a safe champion makes it very weird to play with thresh as his W is useless.
Tahm Kench is a full send champion which is not very flavorable with Zeri. Not exactly the worst, champion due to his damage but one of them. His ultimate is also fairly useless in fights as well.
Zeri alongside with trundle is a fairly good pairing as trundle pillar allows you to catch up to people, and just shoot them to death. In addition to if you W trundle's pillar it acts like a wall and extends giving good chase potential. He has good base damages which compensates you very well in the early game.
One of the worst pairings alongside Zeri, as this combo really doesn't get online til 6 and can easily get poked out. At that point you are already so abused it is a tad bit hard to play. There are just in general alot of better options that you want to be playing.
Rakan is one of the greatest universal supports you can play alongside Zeri as he can engage, play safe, alongside with his great scaling capabilities. This is a great reactive lane that can be picked 100% of times due to both's insane scaling, and flexibility.
A fairly aggressive support that I personally enjoy playing with therefore the high number. With your ultimate dealing alot of splash damage, it gets many people low that helps with Pyke's execute ranges. I don't think they have fairly high synergy, but it is very fun to play with.
A full aggressive engage support that is overall ok with Zeri, but honestly hell to play against. Again there is just better options than nautilus that you can pick almost all the times.
The tree in the support role in general isn't a good champion, and one of the worst pairings with Zeri as she can't really poke them down when maokai is trying to sapling spam them. Also the fact that she cant follow up on his CC or do enough damage before they run out.
A good mediator that helps Zeri scale to the maximum and gets you out of many sticky situations. In many situations you can actually find lethal with his stun as your Q does apply braum stacks through minions. Always a good dude to play with.
Enchanter that gives speed, attack speed, alongside with great scaling is always good when you are playing Zeri, and she is one of the better ones at the moment giving everything you want. In addition to her shield giving you EVEN more HP makes this a GREAT scaling combo once it reaches later in the game.
Another great enchanter that you can play alongside Zeri which has no weak point throughout all points of the game. The benefits of karma is that she has a stronger early game allowing early wave shove, but worse scaling overall than lulu. You also become super fast with Karma shields so it's pretty fun :D
Janna is not that good synergy with Zeri, but at the moment she is just so strong that it doesn't really matter. Once she gets hit a bit their synergy will drop a bit. She has good peel, but Zeri already being a safe champion doesn't need it too much.
A really good synergy alongside with Zeri, but the problem being that if the enemy bot laner picks something like samira nautilus you will not be able to play the game. Otherwise your laning phase is fairly safe if you stand near walls allowing you E both laners out to safety.
I personally prefer not having two weak scaling laners in one lane, and that is what this is. If you do not get punished you will just win the game, but you can easily just lose it as well.
I personally hate playing with Senna's in general, but with Zeri it really is not good. You can't even poke when the senna is trying to play aggressive. They both really are just operating separately in the game, rather than being a "synergy"
Good scaling champion, and in general a busted one. Problem is you can easily get tower dove, and the speed is kind of redundant at a certain level. Makes playing zeri fun as hell though.
An early game enchanter doesn't really fit well with Zeri, and Nami typically wants an adc with very high burst which you don't really provide. Also since you have no setups like slows / snares it will be very hard for Nami to land her bubble.
Zeri generally perfers shielding enchanters over things like soraka due to her passive. But in general soraka is not too bad of a pick to be combined with Zeri as she likes sustained fights.
Seraqueen is not that hot of a champion even with her shield, as she does not give that much pressure when paired with Zeri. However if you are playing with one make sure to AUTO when she E's so it can immediately snare. Overall a fairly mid enchanter pick.
I just personally don't think morgana is that good of a champion, so I can't rate her too high. Granted she is fairly decent when she has a counter pick though, so she does have her uses making sticky CC spells disappear.
Not good cause you have no poke to go alongside with making your laning phase really really weak.
Never played with, but i'm assuming brand is not the HOTTEST to play with.
One of the better mages as she has setup and good disengage tools alongside with her kit that allows for Zeri to start ramping up.
Better than other mages due to her bind setup, but still not great as Lux typically wants to pair with stronger early game ADCs so she scales better.
Never played with but it seems like it is on the same wavelength as Xerath, and that doesn't really serve Zeri justice.
I actually think Swain Zeri is not that bad if you slow them with your auto attack setting up a free swain e. This makes swain able to kill them due to his high base damages. Also his ulti really serves well to serve as a Pseduo tank.
Not the biggest fan of bard, and Zeri can't really handle 1v2 situations in the first place.
I hope you guys all liked my guide, and learned something new about Zeri in the process. I will be updating this guide as soon as I get an editor / more avaiable time for myself, and try to keep it as updated as I possibly can. I tried to keep it as lighthearted/funny as possible while packing a ton of information in. Thanks and check out my other guides I will be releasing in the future! Have a great day!
0 relevance i just thought this puppy was cute
Hello I am a Challenger ADC player for 3 years that really enjoys playing Offmeta picks, but dabbles in everything nowadays :D
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