How to Play Zeri: A Zeri Champion Guide

How to Play Zeri: A Zeri Champion Guide

Zeri Champion Guide
League’s brand new ADC introduces a unique playstyle for the role, with most of her damage coming from her Q rather than her auto attacks.

Passive - Living Battery - When she damages an enemy shield, she absorbs its energy to shield herself.

Q - Burst Fire - Passive - Zeri’s basic attacks deal magic damage, scales with AP, and is treated like an ability. Moving and casting Burst Fire stores up energy; when fully charged, her next basic attack will slow and deal bonus damage.

Burst Fire - Active - Shoot a burst of 7 rounds that deal physical damage to the first enemy hit. Burst Fire scales with AD and acts like an attack, with the first round applying on-hit effects. Its cooldown matches Zeri’s basic attack timer.

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.

E - Spark Surge - Zeri dashes a small distance and empowers her next 3 Burst Fire casts, causing them to pierce through enemies. If she dashes into terrain, she will grind along or vault over it (depending on the angle). Hitting a champion with a basic attack or ability will reduce its cooldown.

Ultimate - Lightning Crash - Zeri discharges an electric nova, damaging nearby enemies and granting Overcharge for a moderate duration. While overcharged, Zeri gains increased damage, attack speed and movement speed. Attacking nearby 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.

When playing Zeri, your primary source of damage will be her Q thanks to its very low cooldown and manaless cost. Burst Fire is much more of a basic attack than an ability, as you will be spamming it throughout the game and will be using it for trading, last hitting and in team fights. It can also be used on things that aren’t usually targetable by abilities such as turrets/inhibitors, Blast Cones, and Honeyfruit Plants.

Zeri’s actual basic attack should primarily be used whenever you have generated enough energy for an enhanced auto attack, which you can track with the yellow bar below her mana:

If you basic attack before the energy bar has been filled, some energy will be consumed so make sure you aren’t wasting your energy with un-enhanced basic attacks. However, it also deals increased damage to enemies below 35% health, so it can be useful to last hit minions.

Zeri’s W works similarly to Jinx’s W as it’s a thin skillshot that slows the first enemy hit, but its interaction with terrain makes it even stronger. Even if you aren’t in range to directly hit an enemy with your W, you can aim it at the terrain instead to increase its range and damage enemies from unexpected angles:

Meanwhile, Zeri’s E has multiple uses:

  • Dashing forward in lane to get in range and damage an enemy
  • Traverse around the map to gank enemies or escape from dangerous situations
  • Enhance your burst damage with the enhanced Burst Fire casts

Although its cooldown is fairly long (ranging from 23-17 seconds based on your level), its cooldown can be reduced by 1.5 seconds every time you damage a champion with a basic attack or ability, so skilled Zeri’s will be able to cycle through it often.

Finally, Zeri’s ultimate is one of the strongest team fighting ultimates for ADCs. Not only does it deal a ton of damage to nearby enemies, but its Overcharge steroid effect greatly increases your damage, attack speed and movement speed. However, you must hit an enemy champion with the nova effect in order to gain Overcharge meaning it’s critical your positioning is correct when you use your ultimate:

For every champion hit by the nova, you gain 3 stacks of Overcharge. Each stack grants movement speed, meaning having more stacks only increases your movement speed and not your damage or attack speed. However, the stacks are potentially infinite and have their duration refreshed by 2 seconds every time you damage an enemy champion, making Zeri even more threatening the longer a fight goes as she becomes increasingly slippery. By using your E to dash in range of enemies and land an ult, your Qs become empowered twice by the effects of your E and ultimate.

Skill Priority and Build

Ultimate    →        Q        →        E       →       W

Zeri’s item build and rune page are somewhat flexible. Burst Fire procs on-hit effects making it easy to proc Press The Attack, but Lethal Tempo can also be used for the increased attack speed to further reduce Burst Fire’s cooldown. Triumph is useful to stay topped up in team fights so you can continue to accumulate Overcharged stacks from your ultimate, while Legend: Alacrity further reduces your Q’s cooldown. Scorch is a very useful secondary rune to take as you can proc it very often with your Q.

Trinity Force and Essence Reaver are excellent items on Zeri, as you will be spamming your Q throughout the game and constantly proc these item passives. Runaan's Hurricane is another great item for a similar reason, as it will be procced by your Q and essentially increase the amount of bolts fired.

Zeri is an extremely unique ADC who is bound to have a huge impact on the Rift. Mastering her will require precise yet consistent use of her Q and the ability to capitalise on a huge damage spike whenever you land her ultimate.

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