How To Play Zeri In League Of Legends
Last Updated: February 24, 2022
Zeri is one of the latest champions to showcase her unique blend of talents and abilities in Summoner’s Rift. This electrifying marksman has a very interesting kit that makes playing her an experience to behold. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Spark of Zaun.
As often is the case with Riot, they have wowed us once again with their impressive champion design. Zeri is a very unconventional ADC that shakes up how the role is traditionally played. Over the years, the ADC/Marksman playstyle has evolved from the typical auto-attack based hyper carries like Ashe and Vayne to the caster/combo carries that mix basic attacks in between spell casts like Lucian and Ezreal. Now, we’re at the epitome of this philosophy because Zeri takes the best of both worlds. She’s still a late game hyper carry but she also likes to weave in combos using her abilities. She’s a little challenging to play at first but once you get used to it, you’ll find that playing this champion is fun and incredibly rewarding.
Zeri’s kit is super overloaded. She literally has everything an ADC needs to survive and deal damage. At first glance, you’ll immediately see that this champion is meant to be played in a fast paced scenario. She likes to be aggressive. Her high mobility and excellent burst makes her a dream to kite with. Couple that with her insane damage plus incredible teamfight potential, and you have a champion that can almost do it all.
Passive – Living Battery
Zeri gains 10% bonus movement speed whenever she receives a shield. When she damages an enemy shield she absorbs its energy, shielding herself for 60% of the shield’s amount.
You may think that Living Battery is a useless passive because it requires a shield to be activated. While that’s true, you have to consider that shields are actually prevalent in the current meta. Almost all the meta support champs are enchanters that give shields to their teammates and nearly all ADCs use items that give them shields. This passive gives Zeri a distinct advantage over her enemies and using their own strengths against them.
Q – Burst Fire
Passive: Zeri’s basic attack deals bonus magic damage, scales with AP, and is treated as an ability. Moving and casting Burst Fire stores up energy in Zeri’s Sparkpack. Against enemies below 35% health, the attack deals 6x damage. When fully charged, her next basic attack will slow and deal bonus damage.
Active: Burst Fire shoots a burst of 7 rounds that deal physical damage to the first enemy hit.
Burst Fire scales with AD and is treated like an attack, with the first round applying on-hit effects. Its cooldown matches Zeri’s basic attack timer.
This ability basically changes Zeri’s basic attack as you’ll be using Burst Fire as your auto attack. This is a very interesting ability since it also functions as your primary method of attacking enemies. This also ensures that you’ll get the spellblade procs from items like Trinity Force and Essence Reaver. Be mindful of your positioning and targeting when using this ability as it can miss and when you miss this ability, you’re losing out on a huge portion of your damage.
W – Ultrashock Laser
Zeri fires an electric pulse that slows and damages the first enemy hit. If the pulse hits a wall it fires a long range laser from the point of impact.
Ultrashock Laser is a pretty simple ability. If you’ve played Jinx before, then you’ll notice its similarities with her W ability, Zap! There’s not much to say about this ability except that it gets significantly stronger when used through a wall. Be creative with the angles and you’ll find some pretty surprising burst from this ability.
E – Spark Surge
Zeri dashes a short distance and energizes her next 3 casts of Burst Fire, causing them to pierce through enemies. She will vault over or grind along any terrain she dashes into, depending on the angle. Hitting a champion with an attack or ability reduces Spark Surge’s cooldown by 1 second.
Spark Surge is a huge reason why it’s so fun to kite with Zeri. This allows her to remain mobile at all times; especially since its cooldown will be reduced whenever she hits a champion with an attack or ability. It also lets her essentially dash through terrains making her even harder to keep up with. The best part is that it empowers your next 3 casts of Burst Fire making them a sort of mini Twitch ult that can pierce through enemies.
R – Lightning Crash
Zeri discharges a nova of electricity, damaging nearby enemies, and overcharges herself for a moderate duration. While overcharged, Zeri gains increased damage, 30% attack speed, and 2% movement speed. Attacking enemy champions refreshes the overcharge duration and adds another stack of Move Speed. While overcharged, Burst Fire’s damage concentrates into a faster triple shot that chains lightning between enemies, dealing 25% damage.
Lightning Crash is an amazing ability to use in a teamfight but not because of the initial damage it causes. While the damage from this ability is pretty good, what we’re more interested in is the Overcharged buff it gives to Zeri. When Overcharged, Zeri becomes an absolute team fighting monster that can easily mow down enemies without breaking a sweat. This also increases her Move Speed so she can effortlessly reposition and kite enemies when they get too near. The buff will keep on going as long as Zeri keeps attacking enemies. Remember to use this ability as soon as you can in a team fight to ensure that you’ll have the buff for its duration.
Runes and Item Builds
If we haven’t mentioned it enough before, Zeri is a very unconventional champion. As such, her build paths can feel slightly off. But, rest assured that these item builds are tried, tested, and tailored specifically around Zeri’s strengths.
For your starting items, you start like any typical AD focused champion. I mean, there’s not a lot of choices when it comes to starting items for everyone. So, we’ll go with the one that makes the most sense on Zeri which is Doran’s Blade. This gives her everything she needs to survive the laning phase including health, attack damage, and a bit of omnivamp as well.
Zeri is a champion that focuses mostly on dealing damage through her basic attacks. But in this case, her basic attacks are also kind of her abilities. With this in mind, the best Mythic item for her is definitely Trinity Force. With this item, you will literally have tons of damage when using Zeri. It has everything she could possibly want from a Mythic like damage, attack speed, and health. The best part is definitely the spellblade passive which imbues your basic attacks with bonus on hit damage whenever you use an ability. Another viable option would be Immortal Shieldbow since it syncs perfectly with Zeri’s passive. Apart from that, it doesn’t offer the same amount of damage and utility that Trinity Force provides. So, you should be going with Trinity Force 90% of the time but you can choose to go Immortal Shieldbow if you feel like you’ll need it more depending on your matchup.
After purchasing your Mythic, the next item you should buy is your tier 2 boots. Since Zeri is a marksman, you’ll go with Berserker’s Greaves for the attack speed. Next go for Runaan’s Hurricane and Titanic Hydra. Both these items increase Zeri’s multi target DPS while also increasing her overall damage, attack speed, and health. Afterwards, go with Black Cleaver to help you further mow down targets with your abilities and basic attacks. All these items together should be enough for you to easily take down enemies whenever you find yourself in a team fight. Top it all off with Guardian Angel to give you a bit more survivability and some bonus attack damage.
For runes, your focus is to give Zeri more attack speed to increase her damage output. To do this, go with Precision as your primary tree and take Lethal Tempo as your keystone. This allows you to bypass the attack speed threshold and with all the attack speed buffs you’ll get from your items and abilities, this keystone will greatly improve your DPS. Next, take Presence of Mind for the mana regeneration, Legend: Bloodline for the lifesteal, and Coup de Grace to help you deal more damage to low health targets. For your secondaries, take Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter from the Domination tree. These will help you sustain and increase your lifesteal. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- It’s important to constantly stay on the move when playing as Zeri. Apart from helping you develop your repositioning skills, it will also let Zeri stack additional charges that will allow her to deal more damage and win trades more often.
- Don’t be afraid to use your abilities defensively. While Zeri is definitely geared more towards being aggressive, don’t hesitate to use abilities like Spark Surge or Lightning Crash to save your life.
- For summoner spells, always take Flash and Heal. This will go a long way in keeping you alive and increasing your survivability. Other viable alternatives for Heal include Cleanse and Barrier. Cleanse is great when against high crowd control opponents while Barrier is good against enemies with high burst damage.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Zeri in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!