Zyra Runes Guide: Pros, Cons, and Matchups

Zyra Runes Guide: Pros, Cons, and Matchups

Zyra’s Best Runes: How to Adapt to at Champ Select

Zyra is a really versatile champion that can take a ton of different rune setups. In this guide, I will break down each of the core rune pages that I recommend you’d take when playing her.

The rune pages we provide at the time of publishing will be up-to-date and optimized, but if you’re reading this in the future be sure to head to our dedicated Zyra builds page to see her best rune setups for the current meta.

Before we begin, let me introduce myself. My name’s PicklePants and I’m an on-again-off-again Zyra main. I am currently a Diamond 1 Support main on the EUW server, and I play a ton of her on my educational Twitch stream. Come along if you want to learn more about Zyra.

coven zyra

There are 5 main rune setups I would recommend on Zyra. These are: Electrocute, Arcane Comet, Dark Harvest, Guardian, and Aftershock. I personally do not play or recommend Glacial Augment at all as I feel that it delays her core item spikes too much.

When I look at casual Zyra players, I usually see them take Dark Harvest, Electrocute, or Arcane Comet regardless of the matchup they’re in. This is not strictly a bad thing to do, but you can increase your ability to get kills and increase your survivability when playing in certain matchups by taking an alternative rune setup.

I’m not going to break down everything as I’d assume you know what each rune is and does, but I will provide extra detail such as when I would take this rune and who it’s good and bad against.

Also, before we begin, I would like to make it clear that you can take multiple runes into different matchups. Lastly, when we suggest that a rune is “bad” into somebody, it doesn’t mean that you cannot take it period. It might be “bad” as there is another (better) option to take against the enemy.

Electrocute

Zyra Elec Comet

Keynotes:

  • You can switch Ultimate Hunter for Relentless Hunter.
  • You can switch Sorcery for Inspiration secondary.

Why it’s good

  • Good in matchups where the enemy has sustain as you will out damage their healing potential.
  • Gives you tons of burst damage to help you win lane.
  • Good in all metas- in particular, Ardent meta

Good against:

Nami
  • You need to deal enough damage to make her heals less useful. This can be achieved by taking Electrocute.
Soraka
  • Will reduce her ability to heal consistently as she will need to use her mana and health more often to heal back after a trade.

Why it’s bad

  • Cannot easily proc it before level 3/4, unlike Arcane Comet.
  • You need to commit to trading and staying close to the enemy which could leave you for dead.

Bad against:

Vel’Koz
  • Will be very difficult for you to get 3 abilities/autos off in a row before he lands his E and out trades you.
Brand
  • Will be able to poke you down and stun you before you can get Electrocute off.

Arcane Comet

Zyra Arcane Comet

Key notes:

  • If you don’t like Domination secondary, you could go Inspiration instead.
  • Taste of Blood will offer you extra sustain. The bonus movement speed will make disengaging (if you’re out of combat) easier.

Why it’s good

  • Good in matchups where you can constantly poke but may lack kill threat early.
  • Helps with trading in lane to slowly weaken the enemies health bar.
  • Good in all metas and against a variety of matchups.

Good against:

Janna
  • She will be unable to out trade you. She also lacks sustain which makes this a nice rune to take.
Karma
  • Can help match her damage output in lane. She also lacks consistent sustain.

Why it’s bad

  • Not very good against healing champions as they will out-heal any damage you deal.
  • Not very good against hard engage as they’ll engage as soon as you walk forward to harass (like Leona with her E).

Bad against:

Soraka
  • She will out sustain the damage you deal and any damage from Comet is basically useless. Soraka is hard to exploit in lane with Comet.
Pantheon
  • As soon as you try to poke him, he will just W you and take you down.

Dark Harvest

Zyra Dark Harvest

Key notes:

  • You can switch Relentless Hunter for Ultimate Hunter if you want extra cooldown reduction on your Ultimate.
  • You can switch Sorcery secondary for something like Inspiration with Cosmic Insight and Biscuit Delivery.

Why it’s good

  • Good in matchups where you can abuse the enemy and get kills.
  • Very strong when paired with an early game ADC who can also play aggressive like Lucian or Jinx.
  • Good in all metas and in a variety of matchups.

Good against:

Braum
  • He has low base stats. He is melee and abusable.
Janna
  • She is a squishy champion with low range. This makes Dark Harvest easier to proc pre-6.

Why it’s bad

  • Not very good against sustain as it will be hard for you to get them low enough in order for you to get a Dark Harvest proc.
  • Bad when you’re in a matchup you cannot abuse early on.

Bad against:

Yuumi
  • She will out sustain your damage. If you are able to get stacks, you will only be able to get them from the ADC.
Leona
  • Unlikely you will get her low enough in casual trading. You’ll also put yourself in range of her E whenever you want to play aggressive.

Aftershock

Zyra Aftershock Rune

Key notes:

  • Opt for Inspiration secondary so you get extra sustain in lane. You could go Biscuits and Perfect Timing instead.
  • Take Unflinching so you get extra tenacity to reduce CC.

Why it’s good

  • Good when the enemy has a very strong all-in and tons of CC.
  • Offers you tons of protection.
  • Good in tank meta’s where tanks run rampant in the bottom lane

Good against:

Leona
  • When you walk up to poke, she will be in range to E you. Offers you some protection from her all-in damage.
Pyke
  • Lets you trade back before he blows you up with his follow up damage. Should be easy to proc as he is slowed when channelling his Q.

Why it’s bad

  • You cannot max E when taking Aftershock as you need your E to proc it. Maxing E will leave you vulnerable to all-in
  • You can only use your E defensively. You cannot throw it out to start a trade or to poke.

Bad against:

Xerath
  • Will be difficult for you to proc it as he has the range advantage.
Annie
  • As soon as you walk up she will burst you down with Tibbers before your E can connect and protect you.

Guardian

Zyra Guardian Rune

Key notes:

  • Opt for Inspiration secondary so you get extra sustain in lane. You could go Biscuits and Perfect Timing instead.
  • Take Overgrowth so you increase your total health.
  • Please note: I am still testing this rune page.

Why it’s good

  • Will shield you against poke damage and all-in damage in lane.
  • Will help protect you in the laning phase in the toughest of poke matchups.
  • Good in damage heavy metas in the bottom lane.

Good against:

Brand
  • You will get a shield if he commits to a fight which will block his damage. Will give you more sustain against a poke matchup.
Vel’Koz
  • Will protect you against rouge Q’s from the Vel’Koz. Will help you when he casts his Ultimate.

Why it’s bad

  • You will lack damage in the early game.
  • Have to stand close to the ADC at all times.

Bad against:

Soraka
  • She has limited kill threat in the early game which makes taking Guardian not too valuable.
Janna
  • She will not deal enough damage to proc it when poking.

Closing Thoughts

I feel very strongly that there are possible alternatives to the standard rune pages many players go to. I would recommend giving them a go if you want to have a better chance of getting kills and surviving in the toughest of matchups. However, I do know that some matchups favour different rune choices and you shouldn’t always go against the grain when playing Zyra.

Want to watch a high ELO Zyra player and learn how to improve? Check out my stream below!

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