How to Counter Zyra (7 Tips)
Zyra is one of the strongest Supports in the current meta. She has benefitted heavily from item changes for Season 11 which has shot her up in terms of pick rate and enjoyment (for me at the very least).
With Zyra’s play rate increasing and her lane dominance ever-growing, you must learn how to play against her.
Understanding how to counter Zyra, and any champion in general, is the first step to improving and becoming a better player.
How to Counter Zyra:
- Counter her in champion select
- Choose magic resistance runes
- Make the most of levels 1 and 2
- Step on her Seeds whenever possible
- Be prepared for ambushes
- Respect her level 6 all-in
- Do not fight in the jungle or around objectives
1. Counter her in champion select
First things first, champion counters. The best champions to pick against Zyra are champions with long-range poke or hard CC/all-in. Pick champions who have these assets or play style to have a much easier time during the laning phase. Avoid champions who are squishy, immobile, and lack range.
These champions are not good against Zyra as you’ll put yourself in a position where she can harass and kill you whenever you try to poke or secure minions for your warding quest.
Champions such as Xerath and Vel’Koz are good counters to Zyra thanks their long-range abilities which makes it hard for her to land poke in return.
Using your range advantage, you can bully Zyra down from afar while remaining safe. This will reduce her early damage output and poke in lane which subsequently decreases her chances of winning the lane.
If long-ranged mages aren’t your thing, maybe you’ll do better with a Hook champion or someone who can all-in like Pyke, Leona, Pantheon or Nautilus.
If she wants to poke you down in lane, she will come in range of your abilities (which you can use to take her down). She will often overextend to poke too which makes it easier for you to all-in and kill her.
As Zyra is pretty squishy, if you’re able to burn her Flash in the early game, you can constantly look for kills and abuse her vulnerability to kill her and over and over again which is something that engage champions can do.
If you want to see what champions Zyra counters or gets countered by, check out Zyra’s champion page.
2. Choose magic resistance runes
In most cases when playing against Zyra, she is the biggest threat in the laning phase. This is why it’s recommended that you opt for magic resistance runes in your minor rune section to protect you against her poke.
While armor will help against the ADC and enemy basic attacks, magic resistance is more impactful in the early game as it reduces her damage output which will increase your chances of staying alive in lane.
Depending on the champion you’re playing, you may wish to go double adaptive damage and then magic resistance (which is one of the common setups you’ll take since it works on all Supports like Janna, Lulu and Morgana).
You may also wish to go one adaptive, 1 armor and 1 magic resistance. Alternatively, there’s always the option of one adaptive and double magic resistance.
There is a variety of ways you can take magic resistance, but as long as you take it- you’ll be set!
If you’re not sure what runes your champion should take, check out our champion pages. We have a variety of builds and rune pages for every champion in the game.
Get your favorite champions runes and build directly imported into your client with the Mobalytics app.
3. Make the most of levels 1 and 2
Now it’s time to get into the game. At level 1, make sure you’re auto-attacking the minions so you can hit level 2 at the same time or before Zyra. If she hits level 2 before you do, she may look for a favorable trade. When playing champions with hooks like Thresh, Blitz, or Nautilus, hitting level 2 first will allow you to look for an early all-in.
To hit level 2 in the bottom lane first, you need to make sure you stop leashing for your Jungler at 1:38, then make your way to lane. You will need to secure the first 9 enemy minions.
This is the first minion wave followed by 3 melee minions on the second wave. It has to be the next 3 melee minions to give you enough XP to level up.
If you’re in a position where you’re not able to hit level 2 first, reposition and play safer until you’ve hit level 2. Playing disrespectfully or walking too close to her will enable her to land poke and force you to burn through your health potions.
4. Step on her Seeds whenever possible
It’s common knowledge that Zyra will be unable to spawn flowers or plants when there are no seeds nearby.
She can place seeds manually with her W, but her Passive periodically spawns seeds nearby. To decrease the number of plants she can spawn, make sure you step on every seed you can so it dies.
Whenever it’s safe to do so, step on Zyra’s seeds to destroy them. They spawn periodically every 30 seconds and will always be near her.
Take note that they do not spawn when she is in a bush (but that doesn’t mean there is not any inside a bush).
Good times to step on her seeds are when:
- When she is out of range to use her Q or E. This means she will be unable to bring them to life.
- When her Q or E is on cooldown. This will make it impossible for her to spawn a plant.
- When she is nowhere nearby. Obviously, if she is nowhere nearby she will not be able to spawn them.
Destroy them whenever possible so she is unable to use them to her advantage to poke you down in lane.
5. Be prepared for ambushes
Zyra is one of the best all-in champions at level 6. If she is ahead, she can often cheese you while you walk back to lane. I’ve done it plenty of times when I’m ahead on Zyra, and it’s quite easy to do. All the Zyra needs is to be able to sneak into one of the bushes that are in the bottom lane (either the first bush in the middle of the lane or the bush behind your tier 1 tower).
Once she is there, she just needs to wait for you to walk past her before unleashing her full combo and bursting you down. To prevent this, do the following.
- Do not walk close to the jungle walls when walking back to lane. This way, she will be unable to land her E easily. Walk in the middle or to the outer side of the lane.
- Do not AFK or tab out on your way back to lane. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to react and dodge her E or retreat if necessary.
- When recalling, watch the minimap to see where Zyra has moved. If she has gone missing and was last spotted heading into your jungle, she might be trying to ambush you.
However, Zyra isn’t just good at ambushing people who are walking to lane. She can abuse people who are walking around the map alone in the later parts of the game.
Always keep an eye on the minimap so you know where she is at any given time. If you’re the Support, avoid warding alone in the mid or late game as Zyra can often blow you up when you attempt to ward.
6. Respect her level 6 all-in
Zyra’s Ultimate is an incredibly strong tool that offers burst damage and CC. It can be used in a variety of ways but it is most commonly used as a tool to one-shot the enemy. Whenever she hits level 6 and when her Ultimate is up, you need to play respectfully and do not underestimate her damage output.
When playing as a squishy champion whose Ultimate is more of a utility tool rather than a damaging dealing Ultimate like Janna or Soraka, you should play very safe once both teams have hit level 6.
7. Do not fight in the jungle or around objectives
Try and avoid fighting the enemy inside the jungle or around major objectives like Baron or Dragon as these areas of the map are usually where your team will clump together. This allows her to land a multi-person root with her E or a multi-person knock up with her Ultimate.
If you can, try to disengage and reposition so you’re not in these tight areas of the map. Preferably, you should look to fight in the middle of the map and in the open. This will limit how many people she can root or knockup at any given time.
If you do happen to fight inside the jungle, try to not huddle up together as a team. Try and stay somewhat apart and not in line with one another so she is unable to land a multi-person E. Disengage or reposition if she activates her Ultimate so she doesn’t knock your whole team up.
Also, if your team is attempting to take the Baron, she can use her Q and plants to bully your team and force you off the objective. So try not to take these objectives if Zyra is in the area.
Facing Zyra can be daunting. She has a lot of damage and can be super frustrating to play against. We hope these tips will make dealing with her slightly easier.
If you are interested in learning how to play as Zyra, check out my Twitch Stream!