MSroka's incredible illustration of Zyra defeating the devil

Zyra Support: Grow Your Own Botlane

Jun 8, 2016
MSroka's incredible illustration of Zyra defeating the devil

Tired of babysitting your marksman through a treacherous and cumbersome laning phase? Fed up with enemy assassins diving you while trying to heal your teammates, helplessly calling for help? I’ve got the homegrown solution for you!

Get ready to plant your seed deep into the loins of your opponent as you bring Zyra support into your next game!

The Stats

First off, Zyra’s win rate across all champions, across all regions is at 55.0%, netting her the 4th place. Some of you may be ready to offer the counterpoint right away: “she’s a midlaner too!” Upon deeper examination, she holds a 54.8% win rate at the support position, which is almost just as high!

Zyra’s return to viability came with the Midseason Mage makeovers, where her plant interactions, passive, and Deadly Spines (Q) were changed. If you’d like to refresh yourself on her changes, check out the patch notes. However, in essence, her zone control and defensive play was improved, base damages increased, and overall mana usage reduced.

Building Support Zyra

Tons of professional players have been experimenting with this plant’s biology. The build of choice, by most of them (and Hylissang here), is as follows:

Zyra Runes

Zyra Masteries

Her runes and masteries follow any mage setup put into the support role. Take Hybrid Penetration and Health for the majority of your runes. For masteries, Thunderlord’s Decree trumps all. It gives you the additional burst needed to cheese the enemy marksman (and support). The burst damage is much more valuable than the high scaling Deathfire Torch, especially given the build path detailed below.

Zyra Build

Even if you are a disgustingly powerful mage in the botlane, you still need to adhere to some support principles. Before anything else, consider how many pink wards are bought in the above game. Hylissang expended a total 1050 gold on Vision Wards alone; they are not optional. Run Ignite on one summoner to augment your cheesy burst abilities; Flash is pretty much essential for all the normal reasons.

The build emphasizes base damage more than anything. Eye of the Watchers is an incredible addition to Zyra’s arsenal, as it gives you the wards needed while still having an awesome gold efficiency of 85.32%, much better than Ruby Sightstone’s 66.69%. Liandry’s Torment and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter benefit your passive plants and active skills incredibly, giving additional crowd control and base damage. Not only will you burst carries within seconds, but you’ll also shred the tanks that are so prevalent in this current metagame.

If you somehow manage to muster up the gold for a 5th and 6th item as support Zyra, look for a Zhonya’s Hourglass, Locket of the Iron Solari, or a Banner of Command as options to round out your build. 99% of games won’t get there though, so don’t worry too much.

The Play

Her actual play style is the best part about picking Zyra support. Your enemies will hate you right off the bat for being so damn annoying in lane phase, offering base damages that are unfairly high.

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In early laning, aim to get as much poke off as possible, abusing the spawning of plants to harass the enemy marksman out of lane. Zyra thrives as a defensive support, paired with similar-minded marksmen like Ashe and Sivir. That being said, you can definitely help out immensely in the offensive 4v2 dives that often happen during this phase of the game by loading on your area of effect spells.

The midgame is what separates great Zyra supports from mediocre ones. Remember that you will be incredibly squishy through the majority of the game (until 4-5 items), so your defensive spacing will be key. Look to peel your own backline off of diving assassins by dropping the plant pain, discouraging attackers. I would highly recommend against aggressively Flashing most of the time, unless it’s for a game winning/changing play. The defensive options that Zyra keeps with a Flash up are too much to give up.

Her team fighting is pretty self explanatory, as it is for any area of effect mage. Unlike other supports, opponents do not have the choice to ignore you, otherwise you’ll be doing as much damage as your midlaner. Drop the area of effect in as big an area as you can, but don’t be afraid to use it all to save your friendly carries.

Final Thoughts

Zyra support tends to become stronger each year right before World’s, like Corki. Unless the metagame shifts to become highly poke and mobility oriented, Zyra will continue to be exceedingly strong.

Make sure you become extremely familiar with her range capabilities, damage limits, and most importantly the opponents’ burst potential. If you’re dead, you no longer even have the old passive to offer up. You’ll just be a trampled plant.

Played right though, Zyra currently is a flower in bloom. Her kit is both incredibly potent and stupidly annoying for enemies. No longer just a thorn in your side, Zyra has now evolved into the most invasive of weeds. Get out there now and whip your team into shape.

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Jungroan "Jezie" Lin is a Challenger League of Legends player, former top lane player for Complexity Gaming, and former jungler for Team Green Forest. He spent 6 months of his life playing only Renekton, Shyvana, and Dr. Mundo while failing to qualify for the LCS. Jungroan is currently pursuing his M.A. in Political Science at UBC.
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