Zeri Top Guide
Best Overall Runes
Best Overall Build
I'm Death1080, I'm a diamond (not rank) level Zeri player and was previously top 45 Zeri's in NA region and 261st in the world.
Zeri is an extremely mobile burst like ADC who can scale to easily 1v9 games with proper kiting and mechanics. She's not a traditional ADC who only auto attacks as her 'autos' are skill shots. her kit revolves around keeping your ultimate stacks up while also staying a safe enough distance from the enemies in a teamfights, so she can shred the enemies while still skating around everyone. She is a high skill cap champion, but lots of fun when you get the hang of it. In this guide, I will mainly be referring to Zeri Top as I believe that she is the best in it right now, although a lot of the guide will mention and apply to other roles. This reason why I chose Zeri Top over ADC or Mid is that bot lane requires too much coordination if you don't have a duo, higher chance of facing a duo, having a bad support, many more bad matchups due to high ADC damage and two people attacking you and overall, less gold/XP being gained. Basically, I just don't think it's worth, especially in solo Q where you should almost always be relying on your own ability. In terms of mid, mid assassins are much harder to play against as well as not many good E spots and just overall being harder than top.
In the current meta, Zeri is played with Lethal Tempo, but Grasp is a viable off-meta build that trades a little bit of damage early for much more survivability late. AP Zeri is not as good as AD. but is still fun and can outscale both at full build and give you burst assassin damage while also still being mobile, similar to an Akali. Jungle Zeri will take fleet for more sustain in her clears but is also viable in lanes that need sustain.
Precision Tree explanation:
Lethal Tempo - Meta Keystone on her right now, gives attack speed up to 10 stacks and 75 range at max stacks. Her q cooldown is reduced off attack speed and is capped at 1.5 making is easy to reach max attack speed on her autos relatively early. Also, the range is very useful due to her auto attacks being a skill shot allows you to pre-fire areas out of vision to keep ultimate stacks or finishing enemies.
Fleet Footwork - Fleet is a good sustain Keystone in many lanes and is good overall, but in comparison to Tempo it cannot keep up with it. That's why I think if you want to play Zeri JG then it is a good rune to help keep your clear healthy.
Triumph - I choose triumph in almost all my games over Presence of Mind due to Zeri not requiring constant mana and the issue can be fixed in an alternative build where you rush Essence Reaver for sheen and mana then into Kraken Slayer. Triumph is just a universally good rune for the Precision tree.
Legend Alacrity/Tenacity/Bloodline - all three of these runes are viable and are matchup and preference based, if you plan on building Ravenous Hydra with Mercury's Treads then Alacrity is better, if the enemy has 2 point and click CCs then Tenacity is the move. Bloodline is once again an all-around good rune into teams that may be mixed and if lifesteal/omnivamp is not something you plan on building
Coup De Grace/ Cut Down - Zeri is incredibly squishy especially without her E to escape, so cut down in top lane is highly recommended as most top laners will have higher base HP than Zeri and will invest in some type of bruiser item. It is an insanely good boost in power, up to 15% increase, adding LDR onto it will make you melt tanks. On the other hand, Coup De Grace is less damage increase of 8% on targets below 40% maximum HP, but more for tank Zeri or if you plan on building Titanic Hydra or Black Cleaver.
Dark Harvest - This is a very good scaling Keystone and has many benefits in AP Zeri as her passive Q also scales of missing health making it a good execute. Although not entirely viable in other builds
Taste of Blood/Cheap Shot - I personally really like Cheap Shot as it works well with her passive Q slow and her W slow allowing you to have very good trades in lane that have no real repercussions. Also, the true damage is good into top laners who rush armor. Taste of Blood is a good rune for Zeri as well because it helps to keep healthy in lane and gives some lifesteal in teamfights.
Eyeball Collection - Just much better than the other two unless you know how to actually use them well. Free AP/AD
Ingenious Hunter - In my opinion, the other runes just cannot relate to it due to it reducing the cooldown on items including sheen which procs with her AA and makes it proc every other time. Essentially its lots of damage over ult CD which is not really needed, passive MS also not needed and lifesteal which isn't bad, but similar to the scenario with Lethal Tempo and Fleet, just not as good.
Grasp of the Undying - This is for tank Zeri and is very fun because she is similar to Senna in that she can almost free proc this with her range. It makes her tanky too, which is exactly what we are looking in this path. Overall good lane trading, good stat gains and keeps you healthy.
Demolish/Shield Bash - Shield bash is a good secondary rune to take in full ADC Zeri Top as it works well against stealing shields and with barrier. Demolish is a good rune for tank Zeri because Zeri melts towers if she is left unattended due to her alternating between passive Q and Active Q (her auto attacks). This addition of Demolish allows her to destroy them even faster.
Bone Plating - I only like Bone Plating out of the three because conditioning is not really useful as we are building health tank/bruiser Zeri and not Armor and MR stacking. Second Wind isn't horrible, but only good if you're against ranged. Bone Plating helps to reduce damage that may come from abilities or the couple of autos the enemy may hit.
Overgrowth/ Unflinching - Similar to the legend runes, overgrowth is the overall better rune for tank, but unflinching is good into teams with high CC
- Summoner Spells
- Ability Order
- Pure ADC
Basic Attack - Zeri generates 1 charge for every 40 units she travels by any means and 10 for every burst fire she cast, does not have to hit anything. She zaps her target and applies spell effects as spell damage but doesn't not critically strike nor trigger on-hit effects. While not fully charged her attacks consume 10 charge and deal 15-40 (based on level with +4% AP ratio) as magic damage and is increased with enemies below 35% health, 300% increase. At maximum stacks of 100, her next auto attack is empowered causing her to do extra damage 90-200 (based on level with 80% AP and 3%-15% (based on level) of the target's maximum health). In addition, it slows the target 20/25/30/35/40% based on rank of Burst Fire.
TLDR: Zeri has 2 basic attacks her zap (real AA) and her Q (traditional AA), her zap scales off AP and charges up as you move and use Q, at max charge the damage is higher and slows enemy. When not fully charged it does more damage based on if enemies are low
Living Battery (Passive) - Zeri absorbs enemy shields when she damages them equal to 60% of the damage dealt. Shields stolen last 3 seconds and she gain's 10% movement speed for 3 seconds
Burst Fire (Q) - Passive: Zeri's zap slows based on level of this ability. Active: Zeri shoots 7 rounds that do physical damage 10/15/20/25/30 (+110% AD) and can critically strike and apply on hit effects. Its cooldown is reduced and cast time are reduced with attack speed but is capped at 1.5 per second. 50% excess attack speed is made into bonus AD.
TLDR: Zeri has 2 types of AA, this one is her main one and scales off AD and Attack speed and also applies crits and on-hit. Also cannot go through enemies like Graves and is a skill shot
Ultrashock Laser (W) - Zeri shoots in electric pulse in a target direction and deals magic damage 40/75/110/145/180 (+100% AD and 60% AP) and slows enemies on contact 50/55/60/65/70%. (Duration increased with abilities points 1/1.25/1.5/1.5/2 seconds) If this ability hits terrain, it becomes a laser from the point of impact and fires after 0.75 seconds. It also gives vision for 1.75s.
TLDR: Jinx W that becomes Lux Ult if it connects with a wall
Spark Surge (E) - Zeri dashes in a direction and empowers her next 3 cast of Burst Fire (Q) for 6 seconds. These empowered blast pierce through enemies dealing reduced damage after the first 80/85/90/95/100% and not applying attack effects nor life steal. If Zeri hits terrain, her Spark Surge will dash through the terrain indefinitely until the other side is reached. The cooldown is reduced by 1.5 seconds for her Q and charged zaps. Note that it resets the timer on Burst Fire (Q) and Ultrashock Laser (W) and Lighting Crash (R) can be casted while dashing as well as recalls.
TLDR: Graves dash that becomes Talon jump if it hits terrain and is reduced by her Q like Graves dash
Lightning Crash (R) - Zeri shoots out a blast of lighting around her dealing damage 150/250/350 (+80% AD and +80% AP) and becomes Overcharged. She gains bonus attack speed 30/35/40% (which can exceed the cap of 1.5) and on-hit magic damage 10/15/20 (+15% AP). While overcharged Zeri gains stacks of overcharge that grant her 2% bonus movement speed every stack INFINTELY, and her attacks chain up to 4 targets dealing physical damage (25% AD) and can critically strike. Zeri will become un overcharged if she hasn't hit an enemy in a while and the duration of Overcharge can be refreshing by 2 seconds by hitting an enemy. Also, her shots go from 7 rounds to 3 rounds (doesn't really matter)
TLDR: Blitzcrank ult on click. Her ultimate is like a built in Statikk Shiv or similar to Hextech soul where she does chain lightning damage to enemies around the original enemy she hits with her aa. MAINTAIN STACKS AT ALL COST
- New Group
- New Group
Charged AA - Q - Q - Q: This is the standard trade/all in combo. IIf the enemies are still high in HP or running away try to stack up your charge, if they are low then alternate between q and basic attacks because they scale off missing health.
E - charged AA - Q - Q - Q: similar to the first combo but should only be used to burst down a weak enemy or for a short trade as without E, you become extremely vulnerable.
E - W: This combo is good for engage/disengage but also to try to snipe weak enemies. W can be casted while Zeri is dashing through a wall and in addition to this the slow makes it a good tool to either engage on an enemy or run from a possible gank or someone chasing you. Note that its best to W right before you exit the wall if you trying to snipe someone to get maximum range, for running its best to do it right away and aim at the path that they will presumably take and for engage do it mid-way through the wall to ensure that they don't see you entirely and the slow isn't dodged.
E-W-R-Charged AA - Q - Q - Q: This is your engage combo and depending on whether the enemy is weak/you're ahead should determine where and how you use your E. If enemies are weak or you are ahead and are confident in your skills then dashing into all the enemies and getting as many stacks of your ult is a good option, on the other hand if you just want to engage in a team fight say drag or baron, then you want E in a way where you can hit the most enemies and be near a wall to get your W to go through a wall and hit the maximum amount of people. Make sure to alternate between charged AA and Q correctly, i.e when you have charged for high hp or uncharged for when the enemies are weak, you'd be surprised how much the missing health damage on your non-charged AA can do. Also note that ultimately you want to maintain your stacks, so if popping ult immediately will give you better value, especially into high burst teams, then go for that.
https://kapwi.ng/c/i7otoZQoUi <--- Here is an example of me using all the tricks I've mentioned above, I apologized for the video quality and no sound, the best I could get.
Tips and Takeaway
- When playing Zeri don't get discouraged if you miss shots, she is not a traditional ADC and skill shots come with practice. Although this comes with pros, which are to make sure to ABUSE her range and the fact that it's a skillshot, poke under tower by kiting back and forth, check bushes, maintain ult stacks through walls with no vision or kill enemies with no vision. In my opinion, there are more benefits than disbenefits of her unique style.
- Don't underestimate her damage, but also don't overestimate her tankiness. Even though playing well enough can lead to numerous kills, clean plays and even PENTA kills, you need to understand that she is still an ADC and can get one shot.
- Be unique with her, currently she has the ability to play essentially every role in the game and she has several builds, don't be afraid to play off-meta if it works for you.
- One thing I highly recommend is going into practice tool to practice using her E in base and getting back to lane much faster, also this includes the pockets in top and bot lanes where she can slide back to the turrets.
- Slows are your friend, what I mean by this is make sure to utilize your slows for everything and anything, want to start a gank? SLOW! Need to escape or make sure the enemy can't catch you? SLOW!
- Early game dominance and Skirmishing potential. Zeri into melee matchups can have very, very good dominance, especially into champs with no gap close. Also, level 6 makes Zeri a skirmishing machine because she gains everything she needs to win and survive these fights.
- Q spam may be hard to do, what I mean by this is that since Zeri relies on spamming the Q key to auto attack it may be hard to pick up and feel weird as well as even cause hand/wrist problems.
- Lastly mana is a weird thing with Zeri, I personally don't think it's needed because of the fact that she loses less charge every empowered AA meaning lower mana= more charged AA. Essence reaver is not a bad item if you want the sheen and crit for full ADC, but for top and mid and the Tri force build in general I don't think its required.