I believe that Riot Games will never be able to completely kill the one-shot Zeri playstyle. And even after dozens of nerfs to the AP Zeri one-shot build, this champion can still assassinate enemies from range.
Before season 13, Riot changed a few things in Zeri’s ability kit that opened the opportunity for us to build full lethality and deal almost the same amount of damage as before.
And in this post, I’ll go over every piece of information you need to know about how lethality Zeri currently works in League of Legends and how you can take advantage of it in your own games.
Zeri is one of the most fun and flexible champions in the game and I can’t help but recommend you try this playstyle as well.
But first, let’s go over the most important bits.
Lethality Zeri – What You MUST Know!
In the past, lethality Zeri wasn’t an option because of a very crucial fact – her W was a magic damage ability and not a physical one.
However, Riot Games turned things upside down with this ability by completely nerfing the AP ratio, buffing up the AD ratio, and converting the Ultrashock Laser from a magic damage spell into a physical damage ability.
And so, Zeri’s W deals insane amounts of physical damage because of its high AD ratio. This is especially true when you’re building armor penetration and lethality because those stats will bypass the armor that the enemy team is building.
On top of this, Zeri’s Q (your primary auto-attack) also deals physical damage and has an abnormally high AD ratio. And because it counts as an ability and auto-attack at the same time, it also benefits from lethality and armor penetration.
So, by building these sorts of items on Zeri you directly increase the damage from her basic attacks and her W. And this is often enough for you to decimate your opponents and carry your team to victory.
Read Also: Lethality Varus Build Guide
The Strengths of Lethality Zeri
If you’re anything like me, your primary concern right now is whether lethality Zeri can one-shot people or not. And to that the answer is absolutely yes!
As we did in the past with the AP Zeri build, here we focus on Zeri’s W the most. We use it in combination with terrains to increase its range, damage, and overall effectiveness.
The physical damage that Zeri’s Ultrashock Laser can still do is honestly unbelievable. In the late game, you can take up to 50% HP from the enemy ADC which each cast. It’s especially powerful in combination with runes like Dark Harvest or First Strike.
But that’s not all.
Since Zeri’s Q is also a physical damage spell with a high AD ratio, it actually deals lots of damage with lethality items. After using E, you actually empower your Q even more which also scales with Zeri’s AD.
On top of this, even Zeri’s ultimate has a 100% AD ratio even though it deals magic damage instead of physical. And since the base damage is so high it will always make a big boom regardless of the items in your inventory.
With lethality Zeri, you can have the same playstyle as with the AP Zeri build. You can snipe someone with your W from long range then quickly dash in and activate your R to one-shot them.
It works like a charm.
The Weaknesses of Lethality Zeri
It’s obvious – the biggest weakness that lethality Zeri has is the lack of consistent damage.
To be honest with you, this champion was designed to be a marksman with a lot of attack speed. And it’s exactly the lack of attack speed in this build that causes you to be less consistent with your damage, even if you’re fed.
Additionally, lethality Zeri depends on aiming the W well. And if your aim isn’t particularly good, you’ll most likely end up useless.
Moreover, you definitely need some experience with all the interactions between Zeri’s Ultrashock Laser and the various terrains on Summoner’s Rift. You need to know how, when, and at what angle to cast his ability in order to take full advantage of fit.
Lastly, the build can feel a bit squishy since it doesn’t include much lifesteal. However, Zeri is a squishy champion regardless of what you build because she’s a marksman. So, this isn’t something to fret about.
Read Also: Lethality Caitlyn Build Guide
The Best Lethality Zeri Build
- Dark Harvest
- Cheap Shot
- Eyeball Collection
- Treasure Hunter
- Gathering Storm
- Absolute Focus
Even though there are plenty of rune pages that can work well on lethality Zeri (like the First Strike one), I’d recommend you run this one in most of your games.
Dark Harvest is an amazing keystone for scaling and increasing your damage against low-HP targets. It will allow you to one-shot enemies with your W+E+R combo, especially if you collect a lot of souls. Its damage is adaptive, so definitely go for that one.
Cheap Shot is great on Zeri because it does true damage to immobilized enemies, including slowed ones. It automatically triggers when you hit someone with Ultrashock Laser, so there’s no reason not to pick it up.
With Eyeball Collection, you essentially get free ability power through the course of the early game. And Treasue Hunter just rewards you with more gold when you score a kill which is definitely nice.
For secondary runes, I always go Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm no matter which rune page I’m running.
The first one increases your damage when you’re on full health, making your poke damage much better. And the second one increases your AD as the game goes on.
- Duskblade of Draktharr
- The Collector
- Axiom Arc
- Lord Dominik’s Regard
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity
The mythic item to go for here is Duskblade of Draktharr. It’s overall the best one because it gives you a bunch of lethality but also raw AD as well as ability haste. Its passive allows you to go invisible after each kill which is really important for a squishy champ such as Zeri.
The second core item here is The Collector. Besides the lethality, it allows you to execute enemies below 5% HP with either of your spells, including your Qs and basic attacks.
Next, upgrading your Tear of the Goddess should be a must. Lethality Zeri depends a lot on mana because of how much you’re going to use her abilities, especially her W. So, Manamune/Muramana is a natural choice here for the AD it grants.
Axiom Arc is a lethality item that reduces the cooldown of your ultimate after each champion takedown. It’s really important because Zeri uses her ultimate to finish off kills, so definitely get this item.
Lord Dominik’s Regard is another of my go-to armor penetration items on Zeri. It even gives you a bit of critical strike which is great in combination with The Collector.
As for boots, Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the best choice. They give lots of ability haste which will lower the cooldown of your Ultrashock Laser significantly during the early and mid game. And they’re pretty cheap.
Keep in mind that you can also go for other lethality items besides these ones.
For example, I really like using Eclipse as well, especially against tanks. Youumu’s Ghostblade and Edge of Night help me with utility while Umbral Glaive works very well as a first item.
But feel free to experiment yourself!
Read Also: Lethality Draven Build Guide
The choice of Summoner’s Spells heavily depends on the matchup and role.
For example, for mid lane lethality Zeri, I’d go for Flash + Ignite in 90% of the games. And the reason for that is these two spells give you the biggest kill potential in late possible.
However, if I’m up against someone like Zed, for example, I’d definitely swap Ignite for Exhaust or Barrier. This is because I need the extra defensiveness to survive his burst damage.
For bot lane lethality Zeri, Heal and Flash should work just fine.
One-shotting players with Zeri is one of my favorite things to do in League of Legends. I love everything about this champion and whenever I have the chance to use her AP or lethality build, I take 100% advantage of it.
The build that I explained above should work just fine in any elo. Your core items and runes should always be the ones above but make sure to adapt to every matchup by changing a few things around, especially with secondary runes and defensive items.
And good luck!