Lohpally's 12.5 guide to Zyra
Zyra is a great character if you like poking people out and doing tons of raw ap damage while on a low budget. Her greatest strength is her incredible range and ability to do tons of damage despite being in the support role just with items like Liandries. Some of her weaknesses do include being a bit squishy and immobile but when positioned properly she can be a menace for the entire enemy team. One other great strength she has is CC, her snare and ultimate providing so much crowd control for potential divers makes her a great pick against any team with melee champs as it becomes pretty easy for you to shut them down. The main mechanic you need to know how to do to use her to the fullest is make sure to cast your Q or E before spawning the seed (w) because there is no animation to cast the seed.
January 1st, 1 ⸱ 27 min read
Hi my name is Derek "Lohpally" Abrams. I've been a streamer/content creator for about 7 years and played professionally for multiple games including League of Legends! I was on teams like complexity, curse (now liquid), and winterfox. I mostly make in-depth content about support so if you are looking to get better as support you should check out my other stuff too at twitch and youtube! This guide will help you get up to speed on everything Zyra.
The primary two pages I'm going to introduce you is poke vs all in. In games where you feel like there's going to be lots of diving onto you and you want to frontload damage electrocute pages will do best. However if you prefer poking/harassing and slowing whittling down your opponents which is my preference in most pages you will be running a sorcery comet page.
For sorcery comet I prefer to take resolve secondary but inspiration is okay too if there is a lot of poking back and forth maybe you are against a karma or another mage champion. Also you want to take the ability haste over adaptive force on top tree since Zyra doesn't do well with ap anyway and having shorter plant cd will end up giving you tons of extra power later in the game.
For electrocute this is mostly a secondary page if the enemy team is diving into you, you want to potentially frontload damage and kill somebody in a snare+ultimate combo. This page is great in combination of double penetration pages that I will be going over in builds further down.
- Comet poke
- Comet poke
Summoner Spells (Loadout)
Only really two options here which is going between flash and ignite vs flash and exhaust.
You will find yourself taking flash and ignite in most matchups since you want the extra damage to score kills early on and Zyra plays pretty well with it since you usually off snare will be moving forward to score kills and be in range to use ignite to secure kills.
The main times when you will be taking exhaust instead is when there are lots of assassins' you are concerns about killing you or your teammates, examples of this can be Evelynn, khazix, talon, zed etc. It's also a good alternative to take if you think you won't be the aggressor/can't kill your lane with ignite.
Skill build early is to get your Q then plant and snare by level 3 so you don't consume to much mana in laning phase. Thing to note though is if you are positioning well especially out of lane, you will mostly use your Q to spawn ranged plants but you won't be hitting enemy players with the ability often. For this reason I max W second and max Q last since the damage doesn't matter and your plant damage scales with your character's level.
As stated above the difference in rune pages will reflect what builds are strong for you.
-The build I use is Comet+Resolve and the primary page will be what I suggest using as I use it almost every game and feels incredibly strong. Main things to think about is spell penetration is stronger the closer you get somebody to 0 so since Liandries is what you are building as your mythic which has no spell pen I found that I prefered Lucidity boots over sorcs. The reason behind this is you are spawning plants on cooldown as much as possible to just constantly debuff people with your liandries, this combined with the fact that lucidity boots are cheaper and give you an early spike for laning phase makes them my preference. After that you are just stacking more poke burn damage, so demonic becomes second afterwards. If you are struggling vs asssassin or diving champs you can go Zhonya's but I found often if you are jumped on people are just sitting on you to kill you again. After that getting void staff will be best since it gives cheap powerspikes of the 1250 blight jewel. Also some will probably wonder about Rylias, haven't been convinced this is a useful item since anytime you need the slow they are in range of your E root or slowplant so it feels like a waste of gold almost every time.
-The other optional build for frontloading damage with electrocute. Main difference obviously is your mythic is ludens so it is amplified by sorc shoes to stack spell pen. Main question most people probably have is why voidstaff second? It's because of buy path, gold, and thresholds. Usually anybody who isn't stacking mr is going to be low enough from Ludens shadowflame isn't necessary. Also another thing to note is buy paths, its 1250 for blight jewel so you can get instant power from this short purchase, where as shadowflame doesn't give you any spell pen till it's fully completed at 3,000 gold. This makes the build just cost too much and power up too slow. After that you have options of going shadowflame later and then opting into either healing reduction, defensive options, or more damage from demonic embrace.
Main thing to note about all matchups is really understanding how the AI works for your plants and abusing this. Your plants will auto target an enemy player if you have met any of the conditions: if you hit them with a spell such as q or e, if you have auto attacked them even despite hitting a spell, and finally if there are no minions in range but a player in range. The third one is the most important one to understand because then you don't always have to be hitting your skillshots to still create pressure in the lane with good positioning of both you and your plants. Thing to note is Zyra struggles the most against other mages usually because she is outranged and therefore cannot poke, but doesn't have any sustain to weather the storm of barrages.
These matchups are broken down out of 10 assignments so 0/10 is an auto loss, 10/10 is auto win and everything in between is varied on advantages!
0/10 Auto lose for Zyra
You are outranged and so poke on you can be very devastating. Recommend taking biscuits for the extra sustain and even opting into potentially double magic resistance runes on your page to weather the storm through this matchup. Outside of that pay attention to where Lux is and do your best to at least bait out the E before being aggressive. Fight for brushes often and if Lux takes any make sure to spawn plants into it to just force her out of those locations so they cannot harass your adc. A lot of this lane unfortunately is dodgeball of avoiding skill shots as best you can and controlling brushes. Don't be afraid to cheese brushes and try to look for snares whenever you believe they don't have vision of you.
7/10 Decent advantage for Zyra
Pay attention to what skill Lulu goes for first and make sure to take brush control early. If she has Q play the range and try to bait it out before going in for pressure since the Q thrown well can outrange your Q early lane. If she goes E you can trade a lot harder especially if your passive spawns seeds where you can trade, make sure to push those with autos if you have a plant hitting them too. Once you hit level 2 pay attention to your own minions and stand in the wave to contest minions. Even if Lulu is shielding that is good because you are generating income and the shields aren't being pushed aggressively on you to trade. After level 3 you can start taking brush control and looking for snares but it isn't as important and if you cannot reach them or zone them from minions in the brush retake position into your minion wave so you can get harass off. Even if you miss your q make sure to auto attack to turn your plants to attack the player. If the enemy gives up the wave and is really far away you can use the open space to spawn a plant and have it target them since they shouldn't be close to minions, this is a great way to get some extra poke and generate income and cycle your comet, scorch, and manaflow. If you are winning the lane and building big waves to the turret make sure to not harass until you have about 2/3 ranged minions left, uptime on the turret and getting those plates is important and if you are constantly spawning plants and harassing you will have to run away from the turret a ton and lose a lot of uptime farming plates.
6/10 Slight advantage for Zyra
Entire matchup is played around Soraka Q, if she cannot hit this she cannot recover hp and your poke will stick really strong, but if you or your adc gets hit by this it can erase a lot of your pressure. To do this early on avoid facing or being near the Soraka and just try to push the wave early to get access to brush control. Once you've done that anytime you force Soraka off the minion wave spawn ranged plants to just get comet scorch damage on her, it will compound if you are making sure you aren't sitting on 2 W stacks. Anytime you do connect with any snares make sure to ignite and push the damage as hard as possible since you wanna get their sums and score kills. You can buy an early oblivion orb if you are trading a lot but don't recommend it since you should be outranging and just poking and only all ining if you have ignite. Anytime the Soraka is greedy and tries to Q from super far range if it misses make sure to step up, create pressure and get that space since she is incredibly weak if she doesn't have the free heal for herself and her teammate. Anytime post 6 you hit a snare should basically be an auto kill too. Out of laning phase I would recommend getting oblivion orb too after your mythic is complete.
8/10 Very advantage
Main thing to watch out for is getting constantly poked down by Sona q, the level 1 just depends a ton of where your passive seeds spawn on, it's okay to give pressure level 1 because it swings heavily once you are level 3 with snare because it gives you kill pressure. Make sure to get push after level 3 and take brushes often to look for snares on either Sona or the adc. A lot of the times Sona will move forward to Q harass or potentially power cord, these are the best times for you to be throwing your snare, since she's slow and her hitbox is huge it should be quite e asy for you to hit these skillshots. Main thing to really think about is when you trade, if you are trading with autos and she's hitting you back it better be a huge trade or an all in attempt, don't trade poke for poke you aren't outranging because then she will just sustain up and you will get worn down.
5/10 Even matchup for Zyra
You have the range advantage and more damage at level 6, but Senna is significantly stronger in short trades where both players are in range, and she has sustain. Level 1 is all about where your plants spawn, if they spawn in the wave where you can spawn them on Senna trading you, you can have a neutral trade most of the time so opt into that if you can get wave control off this. If your plants are bad or you are late to lane, do NOT trade auto for auto with Senna you will always lose. Majority of the lane is playing around both your and her snare. Whoever hits it will most likely win the lane or have tremendous pressure. So when you get level 3 and have access to all your skills move around often to be evading Senna throwing her W (snare). Also if Senna takes a brush over you, spawn plants into it make it really hard for her to maintain that position, since you want to be the one in the brushes. If either lane gets kills or a huge summoner advantage early it becomes difficult for the other to recover since both have pretty similar ranges, so make sure to abuse it once you have established a huge hp lead controlling brushes and throwing out plants. If they ever stop standing in the minion wave remember your plants auto target players with no minions around, keep your W on cd by spawning ranged plants with your Q just to cycle comet and scorch and get that extra poke in.
2/10 Very bad matchup for Zyra
Main problem Zyra runs into in this matchup is Leona is so tanky that the return damage you deal isn't high enough to kill her and Leona unlike hooking champions isn't limited by a minion wave blocking her engages, it gets even worse for Zyra once Leona hits 6. The timing where you can build pressure and create an advantage is level 1 where Leona doesn't have both her E and Q together. Play aggressively and get that push going first, actively look for poke especially if you get passive seeds nearby you and put all of your harass into the Leona. If you can get a big wave and start wearing down Leona and burning her potions it will make it a lot easier for you to continue looking for poke. If you do end up getting jumped on your best bet is to never use your spells on the Leona, and instead when the adc is moving up to follow up on the engage and your stun wears off you throw your snare+q onto them in hopes of doing trade kills or pressuring them off trying to kill you. If you position behind your adc and he gets jumped on you should do the same thing, since Leona is just too tanky and your damage won't be meaningful enough to execute trade kills unless she is engaging way to far ahead of her adc that cannot follow up. Also post level 6 if you are managing your spacing well and staying out of Leona E, be mindful of her ultimate coming out first, don't be afraid to flash it if it's gonna hit you it is better than dying.
6/10 Slight advantage for Zyra
The difference between this one matchup vs Leona is Alistar isn't nearly as tanky pre level 6 as Leona, especially outside of aftershock. Also Alistar to actually chain CC you needs to auto, which means even if you or your teammate gets comboed (w+q) you can snare Alistar and kite away not allowing him to get his E ramped auto attack, abuse this interaction the most when it comes to pressure. Also Alistar's actual all in damage is much lower so you have a lot more time to either kite him out from his E ramping or pressuring the adc when he comes forward. Ideally you look for snare scenarios where it can go through the Alistar who is trying to auto attack you while also hitting the adc but this is most likely not the case. Early stages take advantage of your poke and get that push and pressure going as much as possible and be greedy on your snare. Main thing to be concerned about early lane is getting flash+q'd and pushed into the turret so manage your spacing well and don't play too hard for the turret if you don't have a huge hp lead that they are scared to engage on you. Anytime you do look for snare it should be on the adc and from brushes so it's difficult for them to dodge. Anytime you do end up using your snare if the Alistar starts moving, give ground you don't have the tools to stop them from all ining you now. Post 6 level this matchup gets pretty easy because even if Alistar is tanky and gets an engage off you can snare him and ultimate and zone the adc from following up quite easily. The main way you struggle in this matchup is flash combos or jungle ganks so just be mindful of that while playing aggressive and poking.
7/10 Decent advantage for Zyra
The majority of this lane is the dynamic of minion waves. If you have push and can settle into the wave then it's incredible hard for Blitzcrank to pressure you so abuse this factor the most. The biggest mistake people make in this matchup is leaving the wave, when Blitzcrank moves down and around at you standing in the wave, throwing out your E and trading in the wave is ur best bet to pressure him back. Most inexperienced players will give ground anytime Blitzcrank moves forward and because of that you are now in open area where there is nothing to block and it is just whether or not you dodge the hook which can be tricky. One other mechanic you can do is spawning plants infront of you to block hooks but this is incredibly difficult and not reliant, it mostly only manifests when you throw your E and put a plant and it connects to Blitzcrank and he turns to throw hook in response. The majority of your trading pattern should be trying to save 1 w and sit on your E for anytime the Blitzcrank tries to pressure you as you need it as a disengage tool, and then you are just mixing in W plants and ur Q while on minions to keep harassing and grinding down the enemy adc as he goes for last hits.
1/10 Incredibly disadvantage
Biggest issue in this matchup is that unlike other hook champions, Pyke is difficult to poke down with his passive and has gap closers he can use to get ontop of you very easily. Majority of this lane for Zyra is just trying to avoid dying. Anytime Pyke goes onto the side try to spawn a plant in front of him to block his path and get some poke on him, but make sure you are always sitting on an extra stack to use with your snare. Anytime Pyke looks and starts channeling hook you have to be pretty fast by throwing out your snare not to really stop the hook but it's just the fastest way to spawn a plant in their path to stop hooks from coming in. You can also while running if he is too far away spawn plants in front of yourself in your path and then walk through them and leverage them like minions to block hooks. Outside of this really the only way to win is to kill an extremely over aggressive Pyke where you snare and can blow him up, especially once you are past 6. This is an incredibly hard matchup and you are just doing your best to survive and try to get to teamfights.
7/10 Decent advantage for Zyra
Only real way this lane can turn difficult is jungle ganks so early on it's important to use your pressure to secure vision in their jungle before being too aggressive in lane. Like Blitzcrank, Thresh struggles with waves being pushed into him since it gives you the ability to block hooks with minions so focus early on establishing control of the wave by autoing and pushing it. If you do not know where the jungler is then always save your snare and wait for the lantern in so you can get a double snare on whoever is coming to assist Thresh. Outside of this make sure you get good push going and are playing in the minions, one thing to watch out for though is Thresh walking up and forcing a fight via flay, this is a good time to snare and pressure him as you scoot back since plants should be on him it will be quite difficult for him to hook. One mistake a lot of Zyra's make in this matchup is spending a lot of time in the brushes, this creates opportunities for Thresh to hook you since there are no minions in your way, so unless you are quite confident you can dodge them avoid that as much as possible unless the Thresh is standing so far back he cannot hook into the brush.
4/10 Slight disadvantage for Zyra
Main thing about this matchup is Karma does a better job poking and pushing, but you have kill pressure since you have snares. Early level 1/2 you just want to try to avoid facing the Karma, since it makes it too easy for you to get mantra Q'd. A lot of the lane should play where Karma has brush control and you are on the opposite side (near the topside of lane) where you focus on pushing and putting plants into the brush to harass Karma and potentially push her out. Anytime Q is down it gives you small windows to step up and look for snares, if you hit any it becomes quite easy for you to score kills, especially if Karma doesn't have mantra+W to heal herself up. If you manage this lane till 6 you are at huge advantage because Karma gets not extra power and you have very easy kill ways with your ultimate that you are trying to get to. Don't be afraid to opt into MR runes and potentially biscuits if you trade a lot or wanna avoid getting poked out of lane early.
8/10 Very advantage for Zyra
Only way this matchup can be difficult is you reach too hard and get tornado'd pushing a trade too hard, or getting full channel tornado'd and then all in'd. In early stages of lane make sure you pressure with long range Q so that you aren't in range of getting tornado'd by Janna early on, if she solo Q's you then as long as you hit your Q and auto, especially with a passive seed you will at least even the trade. Make sure you are never stacked on minions in this matchup since you don't want the tornado to go into your wave so take brush control early on and don't let it go unless dodging full channeled tornados. Once you hit level 3 if the Janna ever moves up to hit you, respond with snare and a W plant, this way even if you end up missing you are slowing them and can back off and use your Q too without missing it since they will be slowed. You outrange this matchup so once you get control of brushes just maintain them and look for snares.
2/10 Very bad matchup for Zyra
Plays a lot like Lux but a bit lighter on poke with some options to counterplay. Main thing to note about this one is that Xerath lightly roots himself while channeling his Q, making his poke more telegraphed so you can evade, but also gives you opportunities to look for snares on him when he goes for this. In early stages wherever your passive seeds spawn just spawn Q and immediately start trying to use it to get push in the lane. Afterwards just make sure you are constantly moving in and out of brushes to attempt to bait out Xerath abilities so they aren't used on your adc.
5/10 Even matchup for Zyra
Most of this matchup is positional, if you are too close and Nautilus hooks you when the adc can follow up you'll die, if he's too far away and Nautilus goes in, you have a lot of room to return damage especially on to Nautilus and kill him. Level 1 and Level 2 are the most dangerous, make sure you play defensively and just hit minions when you can outside of getting lucky seed passives on the wave. The majority of the poke you have will need to be on the adc, since Nautilus can just W shield off the majority of it. Hold onto your snare until Nautilus comes in and throw the root across him and into the adc and slowly start kiting backwards. If the enemy adc begins to back off push harder for damage on the Nautilus, if the adc pushes forward scoot back and slowly start adjusting your focus onto him. Use your hp pots early to keep yourself as close to full hp as possible, and if the adc is following up on the hook onto you flash out early so you can start returning fire across the lane, if you don't die in the all in you should be at advantage chasing across the lane. Anytime your adc is the one who gets hooked make sure to walk past the Nautilus and throw snares and damage at their adc, if you push him off there is no damage, then you can start putting your attention back into Nautilus. Once level 6 comes you do this again from a defending position, there is a high chance with hook+ultimate you can get locked out and die without ever casting a spell so play back and throw plants in the way of Nautilus if you are trying to kite backwards and he has a hook angle on you. If for whatever reason it seems like Nautilus is super far ahead, don't be afraid to root+ultimate and dump all your damage onto him, you can kill him and your ultimate can act as a preventative measure for the enemy adc diving in to follow up.
7/10 Decent advantage for Zyra
Main thing to note about this matchup is where you are standing in relation to Bard. Getting stunned off minions or walls can cause the matchup to become much more difficult to brush control is good but just be careful how close you get to Bard. Anytime you hit a spell and have plants hitting them you can push trades with auto attacks. Make sure to not push too hard because Bard setups ganks really well with portals. Main thing to focus on is when you first establish a push into the turret try to get wards in places where it's easy for the Bard to portal his jungler over to gank you. If Bard goes missing be a bit conservative with your snare because you might need to deflect ganks with the ability via the portals. Outside of ganks this should be a pretty advantageous matchup as long as you know where the jungler is, push to turret often once you establish vision and play for those plates to get ahead. Only other thing to be mindful of is the healing chime Bard puts down, walk over those and clear them whenever possible or punish by pressuring on them if the enemy botlaners try to get them.
8/10 Very advantage for Zyra
Biggest way to lose this matchup is to be constantly bound. The way you play around this is constantly autoing the minions and sitting in the wave. If you have a big minion wave infront of you they can block bindings and you don't have to do very much. Just use plants+q to poke the majority of the time especially when the adc is going for last hits since you should be in minion wave. Outside of that try to save your snare until it's an easy time to pressure, best time is often the cannon. Other way to die in this lane can be when morgana hits 6 and you get too close and she flash+ultimates you or your adc. If this occurs you use your ult first to break the blackshield then snare afterwards to then start kiting out or at least focus on putting a plant in the binding way as it ends so she can't snare off it. This matchup should p[lay itself out though, stand in minions waves and pressure so they cannot bind you and just be mindful of spacing for the ulti+flash combo.
6/10 Slight advantage for Zyra
Main thing to note is that your snare is a bit slower than the Rakan W, but you can harass from further away so managing your spacing is really important. Also you want to avoid giving Rakan any q's to sustain back up. To avoid this either stand in minions to contest the wave and make it difficult for Rakan to q you since minions will be in the way, or constantly move to the opposite side of the lane of Rakan so he is never facing forward on you to hit Q. Primary interaction you want to recreate is be at a safe distance but when Rakan is running forward you throw out your snare so it can deny his engage, if you do this consistently it should be an unplayable matchup for him.
6/10 Slight advantage for Zyra
This matchup is just about who is poking who better. Don't be afraid anytime Brand is away from minions to spawn a ranged plant just to poke away at his hp. Your positioning should be in brushes anytime you can, and use your plants to push him out of it. Pay attention to anytime Brand throws out spells, if they hit minions remember he can E off them and poke you pretty easily off the wave (this is why being away from it and being in brushes is super helpful). Anytime he misses his fireball, he has no stun so make sure to walk forward and potentially look for snares in any position you can. Outside of that is just make sure post 6 to not stack up and manage your distance well, it's a war of attrition so just get any poke you can on Brand while avoiding being harassed yourself off the minions or just getting hit by W (which you should outrange if you are just spawning plants and not trying too hard to hit Q+plant damage)
9/10 Incredibly advantaged for Zyra
You outrange this matchup so you should be able to abuse this matchup a ton. Only way this matchup can go bad is you over reach and don't abuse you range advantage and get hooked and pulled into the enemy team. Anytime Renata takes brush spawn plants there to push her out and take them over yourself. You can abuse this matchup under the turret a ton, so make sure to auto minions and maintain brush control the entire time and be patient with your snare. You can poke the adc or the support in this matchup the shield for the most part won't stop most incoming damage especially if you summon the poke with a plant. Anytime Renata misses her hook play aggressively and look for snares. Since you should have brush control you can also pressure a ton with your snare on the minion wave whenever the adc goes for last hits. Make sure to get push early also and play around wherever your plants spawn, don't be afraid to use your first q on the wave if it spawns a plant and gets you that push, because once you get that you maintain the push and pressure the entire time.