LoL 12.2 Zeri Guide: Abilities Breakdown, Best Builds and Runes for LoL's newest Champion

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League of Legends 158th champion, Zeri, the Spark of Zaun is now live, meaning that players will be looking to electrify Summoner's Rift.

As the first champion released in 2022, Zeri, like Ekko, is deeply rooted in the undercity, according to her biography.

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Now that she's been released alongside Patch 12.2, we put together a quick guide on how Zeri functions, her current skins, best builds, and more.

LATEST - Zeri Nerfs Coming in 12.3

The electrically charged champion has already caught the attention of the nerf bat as although one nerf, Zeri's interaction with Runaan's Hurricane has been changed according to Riot August. Zeri's R is no longer an on-hit effect, meaning that the hurricane bolts no longer apply it.

With that in mind though, Riot has announced more nerfs to come to her in the next patch scheduled to release on Wednesday, February 2nd.

Abilities

As a vigilante who protects those in need, Zeri is looking to bring that same energy to Summoner’s Rift.

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In-game, Zeri is classified as an ADC with a very unique Auto Attack that takes advantage of her powerful abilities that dorn electricity.

Check out her abilities and passive in full below:

Passive - Living Battery

Zeri gains Move Speed whenever she receives a shield. When she damages an enemy shield she absorbs its energy, shielding herself.

Q - Burst Fire

Passive: Zeri's basic attack deals magic damage, scales with AP, and is treated as an ability. Moving and casting Burst Fire stores up energy in Zeri's Sparkpack. 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.

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 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.

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, Attack Speed, and Move 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.

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Skins

Alongside her basic skin, Zeri has one skin players can utilize upon release, Withered Rose Zeri.

Based on an alternate future/universe in League of Legends, Crystal Rose and Withered Rose are set in a world where champions attend the annual Crystal Rose Festival to form alliances and negotiate truces.

Withered Rose Zeri skin
Credit: Riot Games
Zeri's electric not just in being but in looks with her Withered Rose skin.

As for Zeri's rendition, she's filled with colors, akin to others in the Withered Rose skin line, while rocking pink hair and a purple jacket. All of the elements in the skin work together nicely, making it a perfect debut for League's newest champion.

Best Builds

As aforementioned, Zeri is a unique ADC, one that takes advantage of her unique Q ability that makes her a bit complicated to play.

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Zeri's Q has a passive mode and an active mode. The passive mode is essentially her auto-attack that deals magic damage and has AP scaling. This means that players were to level up her Q and not use its active then Zeri can fully work as an AP damage dealer.

On the flip side, the active mode for her Q deals physical damage. It scales with AD and its cooldown lowers depending on the timer of her auto-attacks.

At the end of the day, players can build her AP or they can build her AD, alternatively, they can go with a more hybrid approach.

Best Runes

Press The Attack

To start off, Zeri players will want to use Press The Attack as her Q applied on-hit effects, and it counts as if you were to auto-attack as well. It gives Zeri a way to size down enemy champions with ease while giving her a more sustained approach.

After that, you'd take the normal ADC runes, a great choice is Legend: Alacrity to gain continuous attack speed. Zeri's attack speed caps out at 1.50, but any extra attack speed turns into attack damage. Meaning, that she's a strong late-game scaler.

Press The Attack build for Zeri
Credit: Riot Games
Press The Attack suits a more hybrid approach.
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Players can follow it up with two routes, a more utility-based approach or a more defensive approach. When it comes to utility, there are few better than the Biscuit Delivery and Magical Footwear combo. The Biscuits keep her nice and healthy while the free boots ensure she can continue to focus gold on attack speed-based items. If a player does decide to go with a more defensive approach due to her being a squishy target, the likes of Boneplating and such can be of use.

Lethal Tempo with Sorcery

Similarly to Press The Attack's usage of auto-attacks, the same could be said about Lethal Tempo. The bonus attack speed given by the passive could be a huge boon in giving enemy players a huge chunk in trades, later on in team fights.

Lethal Tempo build for Zeri
Credit: Riot Games
Lethal Tempo is more of a traditional marksmen build.

To follow it up, players can go with Celerity and Gathering Storm. Celerity ensures that she's mobile, making her an even bigger threat while helping keep herself safe, while Gathering Storm adds to her possible late-game power.

Lethal Tempo with Domination

Akin to the build with Sorcery, you'd look to take advantage of Lethal Tempo's Attack Speed bonus while looking to keep healthy with Domination aside. You'd still be weaving in and out of team fights, being an absolute bother.

Lethal Tempo Zeri 2
Credit: Riot Games
This Lethal Tempo build takes the lethal out of the build but makes up for it in other ways.
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With a short effective range, her ability to kite enemies is crucial and important.

Items

Depending on which build you'd like to choose, there are a few ways players can go about picking Zeri items.

If utilizing the Press The Attack build, players can aim to use items such as Trinity Force, Nashor's Tooth, Guinsoo's Rageblade, Blade of the Ruined King, Sorceror's Shoes, and the like. They all synergize well with Zeri's hybrid kit, giving her the boost in AP while making sure that attack speed stays high.

If utilizing the Lethal Tempo + Sorcery build, players would go with a more traditional AD route. Items, like Kraker Slayer, Essence Reaver, Berserker's Greaves, and Infinity Edge come to mind. Her already built-in auto-attack speed with some of it being gained from items as well as crit can make her a menace for any squishy on the Rift.

On the other hand, the Lethal Tempo + Domination build takes full advantage of her "speedster kit" with a trifecta of items. This is the build that is dominating the high Solo Q ladder according to u.gg. First in line for items should be Triforce as it gives her attack damage, attack speed, movement speed, and ability haste. Additionally, Triforce's passive of giving Zeri movement speed on every attack she lands while increasing her base attack damage is a nice plus.

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Following Triforce, you'd want Runaan's Hurricane. Not only does this item also give attack speed and additional movement speed, but the bolts it lands count as two of her basic attacks. They each deal 40% of her physical damage to targets close to her main target and they make usage of some of Triforce's benefits.

Lastly in the trio of items is Titanic Hydra. Adding a surge of explosions of damage on each of her autos, they deal a good chunk of damage to not just her main target but the others behind it. If you happen to hit other targets with your Q, they will also be afflicted by Titanic Hydra's damage.

Past this you'd look for a more traditional marksmen build when it comes to surviving, items like Bloodthirster and Guardian Angel come to mind.

Playstyle & Tips and Tricks

As stated previously, Zeri plays completely differently than most other ADCs on the League of Legends roster. She is highly dependent on movement. This is due to her Q having a third unique aspect. When Zeri moves, she keeps storing passive energy. Once the passive energy is full, her next basic attack deals a substantial amount of damage.

That's why we've suggested the items we did. The more items and levels she gets, the stronger she becomes. Players will want to stay constantly on the move during team fights to not only dodge enemy attacks but to charge up her damage.

Apart from two main pillars, Zeri can keep herself mobile with her E ability, dashing or jumping over terrain.

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There's no standing around with this champion.

READ MORE: League of Legends 12.2 Patch Notes REVEALED: Janna Rework, All Nerfs & Buffs

Synergies & Pairings

As an ADC, a squishy one at that, Zeri will want to be paired up with champions that can be helpful to her and keep her alive. Enchanter supports that can shield her are the perfect candidate. She'd also benefit from champions that give movement speed to make sure she can stay mobile and on target for her Q passive mode if need be.

The perfect candidates for this would be the likes of Lulu or Karma. Both provide hefty shields, while also giving Zeri her needed movement speed increases. Alternatively, there are the likes of Rakan who can shield her while knocking up enemies to ensure that Zeri can keep utilizing her Q auto-attack, or Lux, who can do the same with her binding.