ADCs in Season 12 have gone through a lot of changes, and these changes brought about meta changes. But there are some champions that seem to power their way through any meta and remain relevant picks in the bot lane. The best example of this is Zeri, the champion that you should main if you play ADC.
Zeri is a mobile ADC that depends on her charge auto attacks and short range Q to slowly but consistently deal significant damage to the opponent. Her W can critically strike when thrown at the terrain and her E allows her to travel long distances over terrain. She is a great teamfighting marksman because of her movement speed.
Zeri is a very demanding champion to play, as far as mechanics are concerned. Her strength lies in her ability to run around the battlefield with unmatched movement speed, all while whittling down HP bars using her small but frequent damage. Zeri is a short range ADC so we should first learn how her kit works to get the most use out of her.
Zeri stores charge each time she travels across 40 units, and when she casts her Q. Her basic attacks consume this charge to deal increased damage. Zeri’s auto attacks become non-projectile, apply spell effects and spell damage, and trigger on-cast effects. Her basic attacks cannot critically strike nor trigger on-hit and on-attack effects.
When Zeri is not at maximum charge, her auto attacks consume 10 charge to deal magic damage, increased against targets with low HP. At full charge, her next attack consumes all charge to deal a massive amount of magic damage. In order to get the best DPS value out of her, players must weave in charged auto attacks between her Q spam as it deals a large amount of damage.
Passive – Living Battery
Whenever Zeri deals damage to a shield, she gains a shield for herself equal to 60% of the post-mitigation damage dealt to the shield. Additionally, Zeri gains 10% bonus movement speed each time she receives a shield for 3 seconds.
This anti-shield mechanic works on most shields and can be a useful tool against champions that rely on shiels to mitigate damage. You can even steal the shield from the Scuttle Crab before a dragon fight to increase your effective health.
Q – Burst Fire
Cooldown – 1 second (decreased by Attack Speed)
Zeri fires 7 rounds in the target direction. It is treated as a basic attack and deals physical damage, applying on-hit and on-attack effects, and is able to critically strike. The cooldown scales down with Attack Speed up to 1.5 attacks per second, with 60% of excess Attack Speed converted to bonus Attack Damage.
This is Zeri’s main source of damage. It is an ability that has a short range and tickles the enemy in the early game. But once you gain enough items, this ability can hit like a truck and allows you to constantly refresh your bonus movement speed to keep up with your target.
W – Ultrashock Laser
Cooldown – 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 seconds
Zeri fires an electric bolt in the target direction. If it hits an enemy, it deals magic damage and slows them down. If it strikes terrain, it converts into a laser with a large hitbox. It fires with a small delay, but will critically strike against champions.
This ability might seem weak at first, but is a strong poke tool for Zeri. Recently, this ability got buffed and is able to critically strike now. In the mid to late game, Zeri will position her W through terrain to strike her opponents with a W crit, dealing massive chunks of damage to their health bars.
E – Spark Surge
Cooldown – 24 / 22.5 / 21 / 19.5 / 18 seconds
Zeri dashes in the target direction. She can dash a long distance over terrain if the ability is cast near the terrain. For the next 6 seconds, Zeri empowers her Q to pierce through enemies (dealing reduced damage to secondary targets and not applying attack effects and lifesteal).
Zeri reduces the cooldown of this ability by 0.5 seconds when she hits a target with a charged basic attack. It is reduced by 1.5 seconds if she hits an enemy champion with her Q or Critically Striking W. Zeri resets her auto attack timer and Q Cooldown upon casting her E. Her R and W can be cast during her E.
This is Zeri’s only escape ability. Alternatively, this can also be used as her only gap-closing ability. You have to keep in mind that it has a long cooldown in the early game and should be used sparingly unless you want to get caught off guard.
R – Lightning Crash
Cooldown – 100 / 85 / 70 seconds
Zeri releases a burst of electricity around her, dealing magic damage and gaining 8 stacks of Overcharge for each champion hit. While having Overcharge, her charged attacks and abilities grant her 1 charge, and her critically striking abilities grant her 3 stacks.
For every stack of Overcharge, Zeri gains 0.5% bonus movement speed and 30% bonus Attack Speed. Her Q has a shorter cast time but fires 3 shots instead, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit, chaining up to 4 enemies close to the original target that are dealt reduced physical damage.
This ability is what makes Zeri such a strong teamfighting ADC. Her ability to consistently strike her opponents and maintain a large amount of bonus movement speed makes her a menace to deal with.
- Lethal Tempo
- Triumph/Presence of Mind
- Legend: Alacrity
- Last Stand
- Taste of Blood
- Treasure Hunter
- Immortal Shieldbow/Kraken Slayer
- Phantom Dancer
- Infinity Edge
- Lord Dominik’s Regards
- Guardian Angel
- Mortal Reminder
Flash is a pretty standard summoner spell. It can either help you finish off a target or save your life when your E is down.
Ghost is usually the best option available for Zeri. This is because her Q is very short range and requires her to kite to perfection if she wants to maintain her DPS and survive at the same time. It also allows her to use her ultimate better with the increased movement speed.
Heal is a common spell used by botlaners because it serves as a ‘duo’ spell. It can heal both you and your support and give you movement speed to escape (or chase). Overall, this spell does not provide as much value as the rest.
Exhaust has become the standard as Heal dropped in priority. Slowing down an enemy and reducing their damage allows you to position without care and survive getting targeted.
Zeri does not have the strongest early game, but she is also not strong when behind. Keeping this in mind, you should play the lane in a safe manner. Try to save your E to escape tough situations (like ganks) or to dodge skillshots. Zeri can use the terrain to poke the enemy with W. You can also combine your W with your support’s CC, or use your W to allow your support to land their CC.
At Level 6, Zeri unlocks her ultimate which is a very strong tool for all-ins. Try to fight near clusters of enemy champions to maximize the value you get out of the initial burst of electricity. Make sure to use the increased movement speed to kite properly, and stay in range of your opponents as your Q is very limited in range (and damage).
Death Timers are no joke at this point, so be careful while casting your E over terrain as it can carry you to places you might not have intended. Having completed your Mythic item, you should be on your way towards more critical chance. This allows your Q to deal substantial amounts of damage, while also allowing your W poke to critically strike.
Since you will have maxed out your Q at this point, keep alternating between charge attacks and Q, and make sure you stick with your team. Your support should still hover around your lane (after the lane swap), so make sure to not overextend with your E. Staying alive and constantly dishing out damage with your Q and charged auto attacks is vital at this point.
At this point of the game, you are going to be the main carry of your team. When setting up objectives, try to set up your W behind terrain where it has the maximum chance of striking the enemy, instead of sitting behind your teammates and having a staredown. One large W crit can chunk a large portion of someone’s HP bar, allowing you to start the fight with a massive advantage.
Try to land a large ultimate, because the initial blast will deal much more damage now. Using your E aggressively becomes an option, but make sure you think twice before jumping in. If you use your only source of mobility aggressively and don’t have an escape planned, you can end up losing the game for your team.
- Miss Fortune
It hasn’t been long since Zeri was released, but her presence in Ranked Solo Queue and Professional Play have made her a staple pick for any ADC player. Her high APM playstyle is extremely fun and rewarding and she is able to 1v9 games with enough items. With enough experience, anyone should be able to dominate Solo Queue with this pick.