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[8.19.1]The Thorns of The Rift

by Hoshea_Tiang

(Last updated on October 8, 2018)

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Builds

Summoner Spells

Hide Notes
  • Ignite
  • Flash

Ignite helps your kill pressure a lot especially in the laning phase due to your high damage combo. Flash is extremely important for you to set up your plays and also to escape as you have no other movement abilities.

Runes

  • sorcery
    SORCERY
  • Arcane Comet
  • Manaflow Band
  • Transcendence
  • Scorch
  • domination
    DOMINATION
  • Cheap Shot
  • Ravenous Hunter
Bonus :

+12 Attack damage or +20 ability power, adaptive

Arcane Comet gives you a lot of poke and you can also easily reduce its cooldown by landing your spells on the enemy. Manaflow Band helps your mana problems while Scorch gives you a lot more trading and laning power due to the increased damage. For your secondary tree, Cheap Shot is taken from the Domination Tree as both your E and R can immobilize enemies. Ravenous Hunter also allows you to heal by landing abilities on the enemy.

Items

Starting Items

  • Spellthief's Edge
  • Health Potion
  • Health Potion

Spellthief's Edge is the support item chosen due to Zyra being a AP mage support. The 2 Health Potions are extremely important as the you generally want to stay in lane as long as possible to poke down the enemy turret along with your ADC. If you fall low, it becomes very hard to walk up to land your abilities on the enemy because Zyra is a very squishy champion and can be bursted down if caught with any crowd control.

Core

  • Remnant of the Watchers
  • Boots of Mobility
  • Liandry's Torment
  • Void Staff
  • Oracle Lens

You should upgrade your Spellthief's Edge to Remnant of the Watchers and trade as much as possible to complete the item quest for the ward charges. Once you have completed the quest for the item, you should change your Vision Trinket to Oracle Lens and constantly sweep the bushes for enemy wards. If the enemy has champions that can have kill pressure on you if they manage to land their skillshot such as Blitzcrank's or Thresh's Hook, you may consider to buy a Boots of Speed to help you dodge the spells. Liandary's Torment gives you useful health stats and ability power along with the passive which procs every time your plants hit the enemy. Void Staff is also very efficient on Zyra as it gives you ability power along with magic penetration that procs everytime your plants hit the enemy too.

Other Items

  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter
  • Redemption
  • Twin Shadows
  • Mikael's Crucible
  • Locket of the Iron Solari

After completing your core items, you can buy some of the items here next according to your preferences and the enemy team. The Rylai's Crystal Scepter is very efficent as it allows your plants' attacks to slow the enemy too, making it harder for them to dodge you or your allies' spells. Redemption allows you to heal your team in teamfights while Twin Shadow allows you to scout out enemies with the Active effect. Mikael's Crucible is useful if the enemy has a lot of crowd control as it can be used to remove the crowd control effect on your carries while Locket of the Iron Solari can be used to give a shield to you and your allies but is not that effective as it scales on your bonus health.
Altogether, I would rank the items' effectiveness:
1) Rylai's Crystal Scepter/Redemption
2) Twin Shadow
3) Mikael's Crucible
4) Locket of the Iron Solari

Ability Sequence

  • Garden of Thorns

    Garden of Thorns(Passive)

  • Deadly Spines
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Rampant Growth
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Grasping Roots
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Stranglethorns
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Deadly Spines
    Grasping Roots
    Rampant Growth
    Grasping Roots
    Grasping Roots
    Stranglethorns
    Grasping Roots
    Grasping Roots
    Deadly Spines
    Deadly Spines
    Stranglethorns
    Deadly Spines
    Deadly Spines
    Rampant Growth
    Rampant Growth
    Stranglethorns
    Rampant Growth
    Rampant Growth

You want to unlock your Q first as it is the easier to land than your E. However, if your team is planning to fight at level 1 such as invading, it is advised that you do not unlock any abilities first as getting your E to root enemies in level 1 fights can be extremely helpful. Generally, you want to max your E first because the root duration increases as you level it up, followed by Q and then W last. You should level up your ultimate whenever possible.

Vs. Champions

  • Janna
  • Morgana
  • Karma
  • Sona
  • Bard
  • Blitzcrank
  • Alistar
  • Gragas
  • Leona
  • Thresh
  • Braum
  • Soraka
  • Brand
  • Shen
  • Rakan
  • Difficulty
  • Champion
  • Notes
Easy
JannaJanna

She has very little lane presence compared to you because of her low damage abilities. You should try to dodge her tornado as it can knock you up and allow the enemy ADC to follow-up. When trading in lane, she will most likely use her shield after you manage to root her or her ADC so try to wait out her shield before using the rest of your damage abilities or aim the target she did not shield as she can only shield one ally with her E.

Easy
MorganaMorgana

Morgana does not have as much damage as you and is extremely reliant on landing her Q. You should always keep minions between you and her to avoid getting hit by her Q (Root) and do not stay inside her W (Tormented Soil). Try to use your E on her or her allies from bushes so she will not have enough time to react and cast her E (Black Shield). As with Janna, she can only shield one ally with her E, so you can aim for the ally that she did not shield after she uses her E. You can also damage the shield enemy with your auto attacks, which also procs the passive of your support item as Morgana's Black Shield only affects magic damage.

Easy
KarmaKarma

She does have a decent amount of damage with her Q and empowered Q but is a squishy champion and can be killed if you manage to root her especially at level 6 with your full combo. Always try to keep minions between you and her so you do not get hit by her R-Q. If she walks up to use her E on you or your ally, snare her and either follow-up with your other damage abilites if your ADC can follow-up or just back off.

Easy
SonaSona

Sona is quite weak in the early game and laning phase, so try trade aggressively with her in lane. You should be able to kill her at level 6 if you have played out your laning phase well but watch out for enemy jungle ganks as Sona's ultimate can stun both you can your ADC.

Easy
BardBard

Bard does not have much damage and range, so it should be relatively easy trade for you in lane. If Bard uses his Magical Journey to gank you along with your allies, you can time your E properly to root them as soon as they exit the tunnel. Watch out for his Q as can pass through 2 targets and can stun you if it hits a target before or after hitting you. If he uses his ultimate on you and your ally and you can spot enemy champions diving towards you, you may consider to use your ultimate under yourself before becoming invulnerable as it can knock-up enemy champions, slowing their engage down and allowing you time to escape once the invulnerable effect of Bard's ultimate ends.

Normal
BraumBraum

You should be easily able to walk up and poke him in lane, but try to dodge his Q to avoid getting slowed and having his passive stacked on you. Try not to waste your abilities on him when he has his wall up. The wall has especially long cooldowns at lower levels, so look to trade aggresively with him once he has used his wall.

Normal
SorakaSoraka

Soraka is a very squishy champion but does have decent sustain and poke if she manages to land her Q, which is an ability that you and your ADC definitely want to dodge in lane. Most people think that you should only aim for Soraka but not her ADC as she can quickly heal them up, but her health costs for her W heal is quite high in the early game and can make her low enough for you to kill if she keeps using it, so just aim to poke either her or her ADC whenever you see an opportunity.

Normal
BrandBrand

You should be able to trade fairly well with him as long as you dodge his Q by keeping units between you and him and avoid getting stunned. Try to dodge his fire pillar as it has a slight animation on the ground before damaging you. Watch out for his full combo with his ultimate as it might be able to kill you too if you do not have much health.

Normal
ShenShen

You can harass him easily in the early game as he does not have any ranged abilities. However, watch out for his E (Shadow Dash) as you may die if you are taunted by him. If he leaves lane with his ultimate to help his ally far away on the map, push in quickly with your ADC towards the enemy turret.

Normal
RakanRakan

Rakan is quite squishy in the early game, so look to trade aggressively with him in the laning phase. Try to dodge his Q even though it does not deal much damage as he can heal himself and his ally if he hits an enemy with it. Try to use your E on him only if you can surprise him from bushes or if he has uses both charges of his E or W. Every time his passive shield appears, you can auto attack him easily as you have far more range than him until the shield is gone before using your abilities. Watch out for his engages especially if the enemy jungler is coming after he hits level 6 as his R-W combo can charm and knock you up.

Hard
BlitzcrankBlitzcrank

You should be able to poke him fairly well but watch out for his hook extremely carefully as you are very squishy and can be bursted down immediately if you get hooked. Always keep minions between you and him if his hook is on cooldown but once you see him use it you can walk up aggressively to poke him. If you see him rushing towards you, there might be an enemy jungler coming so you might want to flash to avoid his knock-up into hook combo. There is a plant mechanic for Zyra to dodge hooks that I will cover later on.

Hard
AlistarAlistar

He is decently tanky while his passive also has a heal, so he might be able to brush off the poke that you give him. Once he gets his W and Q, he can do his W-Q combo on you, so keep that in mind before getting too close to him while poking him. However, during levels 1-2 before he gets his full combo, you can definitely trade aggressively with him without fear as he cannot engage on you. Both his engage abilities also has a relatively high cooldown in the early game, so once he uses it, retaliate with your full damage combo (which I will cover later on). Try your best to draw out his ultimate by constantly poking him before using your ultimate. Also note that although he is a tank, his combo deals a decent amount of damage especially if he brings Ignite as his summoner spell.

Hard
GragasGragas

Gragas support isn't common, but is quite hard to deal with due to his crowd control, poke, damage reduction and his ultimate's displacement. He will usually use his W to reduce damage dealt to him after you root him with your E, so try not to spam your spells immediately after managing to land your E, as you can auto attack him first before using your W and Q after your W's duration ends. Don't stay in his Q area for long as the damage and slow increases over time. Try to keep minions between you and him to avoid his body slam into ultimate combo. Also, be mindful of his flash-E into ult combo. Due to the Gragas nerf previously, his ultimate has a fixed cast time so you should have time to flash away before his ultimate lands even if he is directly in front of you.

Hard
LeonaLeona

Like Gragas, Leona also has a huge amount of crowd control and damage reduction in her kit. Don't waste your mana on her when her W (Eclipse) is up. Keep your trades short by weaving in auto attacks or Q whenever possible. If she manages to land her E (Zenith's Blade) on you, root her with your E and immediately walk away to create distance between you and her as she can deal a decent amount of damage if you stay within melee range of her.

Hard
ThreshThresh

Similar to Blitzcrank, Thresh also has a hook so try to keep minions between you and him at all times in lane if his hook is not on cooldown. Thresh is also a ranged champion, so don't get too close as he can auto attack you although you generally outrange him. Land your poke abilities on him whenever possible but watch out if he lands a hook on a minion near you even if it does not hit you as he can use it to get near and use his E (Flay).

Early Game- Plant Usage

Zyra is a lane bully due to her large amount of poke and damage, which means your early game is extremely important for your overall game plan. In the beginning of the game, your setup is either:


1) If your jungler is starting on your side- You should walk directly to the camp your jungler wants to start so your passive Garden of Thorns can place down seeds at the camp. Once the monster spawns, you should use your Q to hit as many seeds as possible to help your jungler leash the camp. 


2) If you do not need to leash for your jungler- You should walk up to the outer brush of the lane closest to the enemy turret. Note that your passive Garden of Thorns does not place down seeds when you are in the bush, so walk out whenever your passive is off cooldown. Once the enemy walks into lane, try to hit both the enemy champions and the seeds with your Q to get some poke with your plants. 

Early Game- Trading

For your laning phase, you generally want to keep poking the enemy champions even if your abilities are on cooldown as your auto attacks does deal a decent amount of damage along with your decent range. 


1. Normal Poking Combo (W-Q)
You generally want to use this combo against harder matchups as you might have to save your E to root them when they engage on you as a counter-attack such as Leona Leona and Blitzcrank Blitzcrank or if you are low on mana. For this combo, you should place one charge of your seed down with your W Rampant Growth near the enemy and use your Q Deadly Spines to hit the enemy champion and transforming the seed into a plant. 



2. Full Poking Combo (E-W-W-Q)

For this, you want to snare the enemy champions first with your E Grasping Roots and then placing one charge of your W Rampant Growth seed while your E Grasping Roots is travelling so a plant will form. After this, immediately place another charge of your seed down with your W Rampant Growth and use your Q Garden of Thorns to turn the seed into a plant. 


3. All-in Combo (E-W-W-Q-R) 
This combo is used when your team is doing an all-in and looking for potential kills. You should start of the combo exactly like the Full Poking Combo above and but following-up with your ultimate Stranglethornsbelow the enemy as it enrages your plants, deals a lot of damage and knocks the enemy up after a short delay. 


** Important tip: Always remember that your passive Garden of Thorns will always continue to place down seeds, so keep your eye out closely to watch where they are placed down and try to do your combos especially when the enemy champions are near your passive seeds so your abilities will form more plants and increase your damage.

** Also note that you are quite vulnerable once you have used all your abilities especially your E, so watch the enemy champions once your abilities are on cooldown to avoid being engaged upon.




Using your plants to dodge skillshots

One of the features that is less known about Zyra is that her plants also act as units and can block skillshots such as Blitzcrank's  Rocket Grab or Thresh's Death Sentence hooks or Gragas's E Body Slam. If you notice them starting to dive forward and act aggressively to land their skillshots on you, you should  quickly use place down seeds with your W Rampant Growth and converting them to plants with either your E Grasping Roots or QDeadly Spines (preferably your Q as it has a lower cooldown than your E). The plants will then block any incoming skillshots. Remember that your plants are also ranged, so when walking up for your combo you can also place the seed in front of the enemy champion so the plants will also block any skillshots that the enemy might throw at you. 

Teamfights

In teamfights, if you are engaging first on the enemy team, you should carry out the All-in Combo

mentioned above. Finding a good time to activate your Redemption can also make the difference between a won or lost teamfight. One of the tips to find a good Redemption usage is to not hold your Redemption for too long but use it as the fight starts. During the fight, you generally want to deal as much damage as possible to the enemy team with your plants and Q Deadly Spines , proccing Liandry's Torment Liandry's Torment and Rylai's Crystal Scepter's Rylai's Crystal Scepter passive over and over again. You should also use your E Grasping Roots to lock down enemy carries and also to peel for your carries too but preventing the enemy team from engaging upon them. 

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