Zeri’s development over her first weekend has been rapid and wild, with players searching for the best way to utilize the 158th champion’s unique kit. The core build that high elo players and analysts seem to have settled on so far is Trinity Force, Runaan’s Hurricane and Titanic (or Ravenous) Hydra. But only one of those items is actually built for marksmen, so why is this her best build?
The Spark of Zaun is a champion best suited for weaving in and out of fights. She is mobile and slippery, and makes great use out of kiting her enemies. However, she’s not the best at just deleting someone while standing still — though her crit build does still hit pretty hard.
Zeri isn’t Kog’Maw, Vayne or Caitlyn, though. She has to move around and continuously pump out chunks of skillshot based damage, so her overall damage per second in a team fight isn’t quite as guaranteed as a traditional bot laner.
Furthermore, because her main damage is a medium-range straight line skillshot, her effective range is shorter than it may appear when her enemies are actively trying to kite her. What that means is she won’t get quite as much mileage out of building items like a standard bot laner. But Zeri will get mileage out of items that others typically don’t.
Zeri’s synergies with Triforce
The trifecta of Trinity Force, Runaan’s Hurricane and Titanic Hydra allows Zeri to pump out a bunch of area of effect damage and synergizes incredibly well with her ultimate, which gives her additional AOE and movement speed boosts, as well as making her a bit tankier when she gets up close and personal.
Zeri the carry has a winrate that's scary
The hurricane build looks very unfairy. pic.twitter.com/LCE1OxEcpH
— August (@RiotAugust) January 24, 2022
All three together are great, but by itself, Triforce is an awesome item for Zeri. It gives her attack damage (AD), attack speed (AS), movement speed (MS) and ability haste, all of which she needs. Additionally, Trinity Force has a perfect passive that gives Zeri movement speed on every attack she lands, along with increasing her base AD up to 30% in a fight.
Triforce also builds out of sheen and retains the Spellblade passive, which is incredible for Zeri in both teamfights and in laning phase, since her Q applies the extra damage all by itself.
But of course, it doesn’t stop there. When players add in a Runaan’s Hurricane, they not only pick up some nice AS, they also get an additional 7% MS. The real kicker, though, are the two bolts that Hurricane gives for basic attacks. These bolts deal 40% of her physical damage to targets nearby her main target, and they benefit from Triforce’s increased base AD, too.
Furthermore, the bolts add another chain lightning effect from her ultimate. Usually, her ult applies a single chain of lightning, but since the bolts apply on-hit damage, each of them start their own lightning chain, too. (Although, August Browning, the creator of Zeri, said on stream that he may need to nerf this interaction.)
But that’s not all. Those two bolts also synergize incredibly well with the third item in the group, Titanic Hydra, which adds huge explosions behind her autos on-hit. Those explosions deal a decent chunk of damage to every single unit behind her target.
Not only will her main target explode with a cone of damage, but her secondary and tertiary targets will have their own cones of damage, too, creating three cones of damage. (If players happen to hit additional targets with her Q, those will get their own explosions!) When added together with her main Q damage and both of the bolts, she’s dealing a ton of extra damage.
But wait, there’s more! Both the Hydra cone and the Hurricane bolts stack her ultimate MS gain faster, because each count as an additional attack. So instead of getting roughly 2% MS per attack, players can get upwards of 30% MS per attack if there are enough people in the area.
XDDD this champ is so fun pic.twitter.com/JPWIqg61mb
— TL Honda Yeon (@Yeon7lol) January 23, 2022
If players replace Titanic for it’s brother, Ravenous Hydra, they’ll get the same effect, but with smaller circles of damage rather than the big cones. Players gain a bit of life steal but lose out on Titanic’s health boost and damage to the backline.
Altogether, when players add in Triforce’s Sheen passive, 30% additional AD and the MS boosts, plus the bolts, plus three cones of damage, plus the two extra lightning chains and all of the ridiculous ultimate passive stacks, Zeri becomes a super-fast, AOE monster with additional wave clear that she was otherwise lacking.
Finishing the build
From there, Zeri has a lot of options to finish her build. She can continue the trend by adding on a Black Cleaver, which will steal her opponents’ armor and give her even more MS, along with increasing her tankiness and the Titanic damage.
Or, Zeri could instead build a Wits End for a bit of magic resist, plus additional on-hit damage that would apply to her autos and both of the bolts for better AOE teamfight damage and survivability.
She could get a Navori Quickblades to help her reset her Q and E, to give her even more speed and mobility, along with more uptime on her Q passthrough for even more AOE.
Or she could build Zhonya’s in case she gets jumped on, or a Bloodthirster, or a Rapidfire Cannon, or a Sterak’s Gage or pretty much any other item she pleases (just don’t build ability power).
The one big question is whether or not Riot Games will continue to allow Zeri to use the build or if they’ll change how some of these items work in her kit. Her creator said on stream that he’d, “fix it on Monday,” but it isn’t nerfed yet, so don’t sit around, get shooting!