Situational Item Builds

Hello everyone and welcome to my post on situational item builds on Zyra. It is far too tempting to get into the habit of building the same items every game. Doing so limits your effectiveness because Zyra is capable of many different play styles. I will talk a bit about different item builds for Zyra mid, when to use them and some choices you can make, and then proceed to talk about Zyra support, which has fewer options but still some interesting things to talk about.

Zyra mid

Zyra mid has 3 very different and strong play styles: burst, damage over time, and poke. How much you succeed at any one of these depends on your item builds and how you play the game. In short, burst is great against assassins, sustained damage against tanks, and poke against squishy teams.

Burst

We’ll start by talking about burst Zyra. This is slightly weaker after the rework but is still incredibly strong. This is great against assassins because the items that give burst also give a good amount of HP so it is easier to kill them quickly and easier to survive as well. Your primary goal with this build is to get health, flat penetration, and a hextech item to maximize your burst and survivability. A typical burst build would be rushing a hextech item (either protobelt or GLP) and an optional defensive item (either zhonya’s or abyssal), and then building into sorc boots, Liandry’s, void staff, and death cap.

The main question then becomes, which hextech item to get? They do very comparable damage, but protobelt gives CDR and a small dash whereas GLP gives mana and a small slow. I’m partial to the protobelt because I usually don’t have mana issues and I don’t like to build much CDR outside of protobelt so it really comes in handy but both options are very good. Choose your heart’s desire.

Sustained damage

The next build for mid Zyra is sustained damage. This is great against tankier teams, where poke will do very little and they can survive your burst. This build focuses on building CDR, percent penetration, percent health, and peel. As you will need CDR, you have an option to build morellonomicon and sorc boots, or CDR boots and free up a slot for a situational item. Either way, I also suggest running 20% scaling CDR in your rune page with glyphs and one quint.

The question of getting morellos or CDR boots is an interesting one. I don’t like CDR boots or morellonomicon, but you need to get CDR from somewhere against a tanky team otherwise your damage will fall out throughout the teamfight. I usually end up building a morellos, but if you want a faster power spike, skip morellos and get CDR boots when you start teamfighting.

Poke

The last build for Zyra mid is incredibly fun to play because you become so incredibly obnoxious. It focuses around the holy trinity of Rylai’s, Liandry’s, and Luden’s. These three items together make one plant attack deal a tremendous amount of damage and disruption to the enemy team, as you get an AoE slow and burn, with the burn doubled since they are slowed. This build is not ideal against teams with a lot of tanks, shields, or heals, as the poke will fall off and your burst and sustained DPS is weaker than the other two builds but it excels at objective control. Just make sure that you never waste both your seeds at once in case the enemy engages.

A typical build for poke rushes Luden’s, Rylai’s, and Liandry’s in no particular order, getting sorcs when you want a small power spike, then completing the build with void staff and death cap. Rush Luden’s if you want more poke early, Rylai’s if you want more peel early (not recommended until 2nd or 3rd), or Liandry’s if you want more burst early.

Situational items (comments)

We’ll close this section on Zyra mid by talking a little more about a few situational items. You may see me sometimes build Zz’rot on Zyra mid. This is not a troll item (well not in every circumstance). It excels when you are getting split pushed and cannot deal with the one versus one. It also work extremely well to counter an opposing team’s Zz’rot. It also provides good mixed resistances that synergize very well with health items like Liandry’s and Rylai’s.

Next is luden’s. I say this very often but luden’s is not a burst item. Get a hextech item or a penetration item if you want burst. Luden’s gives great poke and the move speed is very useful as well.

Finally, a few more comments on why I don’t like morellonomicon very often. Morello’s is great for CDR but not much else. Zyra spikes from passive power spikes such as the % health damage from liandry’s, the poke from luden’s, or the slow from Rylai’s. AP helps her quite a bit, but it’s not what defines her strengths. Also, she isn’t extremely mana hungry, so you’re delaying your power spikes for an item where you only really need one out of the three things you’re paying for. It’s not bad, but I’d almost always rather have something else, unless I really need the CDR.

Zyra support

OK so that’s it for Zyra mid. The section on Zyra support will be a bit shorter because I feel there are fewer choices to make, with the basic build being an upgraded gold generation item, sorc shoes, liandry’s/Rylai’s/void, and closing with a situational item if you have an open slot.

The main things to talk about here are the situational item and which gold generation item to get. Let me preface this by saying Frost Queen’s Claim is not an awful item, it just delays your power spike and takes another slot. You can get the same CDR from EotW, and the AP is minimally important especially as a support. The reason you would want FQC is for its active and that alone. If you’re against a team where you are scared to check a brush, FQC is incredibly useful and beneficial. You buy this item for the active. If you need it, get it. If not, don’t.

If you get FQC, that’s your full build. If you don’t, you have a situational item. Common things to fill your final slot are pinks against champions like Evelynn, Wukong, Kha’zix, Vayne, etc…, luden’s echo against squishy teams to poke, morellos against tanky teams to do more damage over time, a defensive item if you can’t stop feeding, or a banner or Zz’rot for wave control. Do NOT build a hextech item as support, as you are underleveled with very little AP and it will not be cost effective. Do not build deathcap as support unless you are extremely fed.

Conclusion

I hope this post explained some things and answered some questions about when to build what. Having an adaptive plan for item builds is key in getting the most out of Zyra. Identify the best plan, get the appropriate item build, and modify your in-game playstyle accordingly and you will notice a significant improvement to your effectiveness. You can find me on Twitch, Twitter, or visit the Zyramains subreddit if you have any questions, or just ask me below! Thanks for reading and may your enemies feel the thorns’ embrace.

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