Ultimate Zeri guide: Best League of Legends builds, runes, tips & tricks

Zeri in League of LegendsRiot Games

Zeri is League of Legends’ electric AD carry with some unique twists. While she dishes out big damage like your traditional marksman, it’s in an innovative way. If you’re struggling, we’ve got the ultimate Zeri guide here with her best builds, runes, and some tips and tricks.

Zeri has finally hit Summoner’s Rift as of League of Legends patch 12.2, and she’s lighting up the game. With bundles of electric energy held deep underneath her big coat, she can open it up to dish out massive amounts of damage.

If you’re trying to get a handle of the Spark of Zaun, we’ve got the ultimate guide right here with the best builds, runes, and some tips and tricks to get started.

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Who is Zeri?

Zeri, League of Legends 158th champion, hails from Zaun. Born into a working-class family, she has spent her life fighting back against the chem-barons polluting the undercity. With help from her neighbours in Entresol, she was able to harness her electric powers into a rifle ⁠— and a big jacket to try and keep it under control.

On Summoner’s Rift, Zeri is bright, bubbly, and always raring for a fight. She can be played as both a bot lane carry and a solo lane carry.

Zeri abilities & gameplay

Zeri has a unique attack pattern for marksmen in League of Legends where her basic attack is really an ability. Her Q, Burst Fire, splits her basic attacks into two: an AP scaling auto-attack which is treated as an ability, and an AD-scaling skill shot which is treated like an attack. Confusing, we know.

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This turns Zeri into a pseudo-Ezreal, where you’re constantly spamming Q to do most of your damage, while the shorter-ranged auto attacks are there for utility (it slows). Your Q cooldown is also based on your attack speed, but it caps out when you hit 1.5 attacks per second. This means to optimize Zeri’s build, you have to be near the cap as the bonus AD conversion isn’t great.

The rest of her kit thrives off her electric personality. With plenty of mobility in an infinitely-stacking move-speed gaining ultimate and a dash that would make Talon jealous on her E, Zeri can get around Summoner’s Rift fast. Once she gets into the thick of battle, she can be almost impossible to lock down without point-and-click crowd control.

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Her laning phase does suffer due to her short range. However, once she hits two items, she spikes really hard. This two-item spike makes her both a formidable solo laner ⁠— she can snowball games out of control ⁠⁠— and a bot lane carry (although she can struggle against longer-ranged AD carries late).

Be sure to use your W to lead into fights to chase enemies down, then kite around them with your E and attack spacing to melt through enemies like butter.

  • 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.

Best build for Zeri

Zeri has a few build options, but her best is her crit build. It’s the most reliable in dishing out damage game-after-game. With common staples like Galeforce and Immortal Shieldbow working just as well on her, you can build a pretty traditional marksman build. However, you don’t want to push her attack speed cap too much.

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Zeri has two different two-item power spikes for her crit build: Phantom Dancer and Lord Dominik’s Regards for tank-busting, or Infinity Edge and Essence Reaver for high-burst damage. The former is great for scaling, while the latter can snowball you in the mid game. Choose what’s best for you depending on game state.

While we’ve spoken about her crit build, on-hit Zeri build is also strong. Build Trinity Force and focus on items like Nashor’s Tooth, Wit’s End, and Blade of the Ruined King. This is unlikely to be as strong as Zeri’s typical build, but could work if you want to get massive Spellblade procs like Ezreal does with Sunderer.

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Top meta Zeri build in Season 12

  • Mythic: Galeforce / Immortal Shieldbow (if against plenty of burst)
  • Boots: Mercury Treads (if against CC) / Plated Steelcaps (if against heavy AD) / Boots of Swiftness (all other situations)
  • Starting Items: Doran’s Blade + Health Potion
  • Phantom Dancer
  • Lord Dominik’s Regards
  • Infinity Edge
  • Essence Reaver (great with Infinity Edge)
  • Guardian Angel (must-buy late game)
  • Bloodthirster (if you need more lifesteal)
  • Mortal Reminder (if you need healing cut)
Withered Rose Zeri.Riot Games
Zeri has a few flexible builds, but thrives with crit.

Best runes for Zeri

While some are torn between Lethal Tempo or Conqueror for Zeri, the latter is by far the better option.

Lethal Tempo does allow you to get a lot of on-hit damage, and the attack speed ramp-up gives her a ton of bonus AD after hitting the cap. However, the healing and true damage on Conqueror is too good to look past. That’s without mentioning it’s super easy for Zeri to stack. Conqueror is best for Zeri’s crit build, but if you want to try on-hit Zeri Lethal Tempo is solid.

The rest of the runes are pretty stock-standard ⁠— Presence of Mind is nice for the mana, Legend: Alacrity helps you near the 1.5 attack speed cap, and Coup de Grace is a marksman staple. Boots and Biscuits just give you a bit of extra utility helping you through laning phase.

Top meta Zeri runes in Season 12

  • Conqueror / Lethal Tempo
  • Presence of Mind / Triumph
  • Legend: Alacrity (if you take Shieldbow) / Legend: Bloodline (if you take Galeforce)
  • Coup de Grace
  • Magical Footwear
  • Biscuit Delivery

Example LoL rune page for Zeri with Conqueror keystone

Zeri skins in League of Legends

Zeri might take a bit of getting used to (and a few keyboards once you wear out your Q key), but when used right can turn a game on its head.

Just remember to never stop moving, be accurate with your attacks, and you’ll easily take over Summoner’s Rift.