Supporting has changed a LOT with Season 3
With all the new masteries and items available to support, you can literally find yourself with 4-5 active items, infinitely many wards, and more money than previously experienced! In this section I'll outline some of the strengths/situations in which certain items would be viable. However, the CORE of my build is as follows:
+ and >
From here you can get situational and respond to what the enemy team comp is based around, and what your team needs.
Starting items can vary quite a bit now with the Season 3 support changes and the introduction of
, however, due to the recent cost spike of flask, I recommend avoiding it as a starter item, as it is simply too expensive to afford right off the bat. That said, if you're having trouble sustaining in lane, this may be a good first or second back pick-up (it effectively acts as a GP10 considering you aren't wasting money buying health potions).
(Assuming you've specced into the bonus 50 starting gold), here are my favorite starts as a support:
Getting pink wards is extremely powerful in lanes which will be decided by landing skillshots. If you have vision on the enemy and they don't have vision on you, it makes it much easier for you to win trades. Furthermore, it allows you to sneak your jungler into these brushes unbeknownst to the enemy bot lane. I generally use this pink ward on the lane brushes early on, and later on in tri or dragon pit.
If possible, rush a
on the first back. If this isn't feasible, I generally opt in to buying
and 1 or 2 health potions.
If you don't have
, you MUST return to lane with at LEAST
, and preferrably
From here you want to complete either
, depending on how your first back worked out.
I've started to shy away from building
, simply because buying 3 gp10s (sightstone effectively acts as a gp10 at around 8 gold per 10 seconds if used properly) is a rare necessity for supports. I much prefer building
If you feel your team is lacking initiation, by all means, go for Kage's into a
. This is an excellent item to force engagements when combined with Shurelya.
On my second or third back, I will try to get
, as these do start to become a factor, especially if the enemy bot lane rushes tier 2 boots -- the speed difference will make it increasingly difficult for you to land your snares.
With the season 3 changes, I've found
to be INCREDIBLY useful. Buying a sightstone effectively acts as a GP10, considering you save a ton of money from the free wards it provides. This item also affords you with a fair bit of health (it essentially replaces HoG).
Even once you have
, I still recommend buying pink wards and sight wards as long as you have some spare money. Map vision wins games, plain and simple.
If you know the enemy's position, and they don't know yours, you have a huge advantage.
were originally my boots of choice. However, after experimenting with
, I've found that the additional CDR is a wonderful addition to Zyra's kit. Your snare comes up 2-3 seconds faster, which is invaluable in teamfights.
At the start of every game, you need to decide whether your team needs you to A.) PROVIDE UTILITY or B.) DEAL MAGIC DAMAGE
If option A:
Here's where I think my build takes a weird turn. The next item you'll want to invest in is
. This item is EXPENSIVE. But getting it 1 piece at a time is not so bad. WIth the introduction of
, and due to the fact that I rarely build
, I've found it exceedingly helpful to start building Rylai's with the
, which provides ample AP without breaking the bank. Finish
according to what you feel you need (either the
for added survivability, or the
for added burst/harass.
This item is invaluable, in my opinion. The peeling capability that it gives you with regards to your plants is unparalleled by any other supports, as your plants proc the slow as single-target spells (35% slow refreshed every time your plant hits it in addition to the slowing proc of your E plants).
If option B:
Will allow you to provide a ton of damage while also being able to keep yourself alive. With the introduction of
as a piece of the recipe for Zhonya, Zhonya's Hourglass has become a much more viable item in many situations, especially given the fact that you'll enjoy the added armor bonus from the item in bot lane.
NOTE FOR THIS BUILD:
This build is generally only the one you want IF your team is heavily AD. E.g. Lee Sin/Zed mid, Riven top, Xin Zhao jungle. You'll want to be dealing AP damage to prevent the enemy team from just stacking armor and effectively nullifying your team. Your goal here does become more to focus on yourself as an AP carry and less as a support. In this situation, I do recommend stealing a bit of farm here and there and maybe even "accidentally" grabbing a kill for yourself. Being able to deal magic damage on a team comp like this is paramount.
From here, it gets very situational based on a few different factors. I highly, highly, highly recommend rushing
after you finish
. These items combine on Zyra to be one of the most potent engagement/disengagement combinations I've ever seen.
At some point in mid/late game (about 25-30 minutes in), I recommend the
enchant for your tier 2 boots. This will lessen the time wasted when you have to back for more wards/oracles, etc, and is especially valuable if you're behind in a game and are needed to defend an objective in your base.
Can also be very effective if the enemy team has a large amount of CC. This item will provide something to Zyra's kit which she lacks -- namely, a Heal. This item can be very powerful if the enemy team has something like an
, or anyone with an AoE lockdown/crippling CC. It also aids when facing an enemy team with a fed AP champion, as it offers additional Magic Resistance to Zyra. Furthermore, this item builds out of
, which means it helps Zyra with mana sustain (not something she particularly needs, but certainly always helpful for sustained sieges or drawn-out fights).
This item is particularly useful against an AD heavy team comp. If they have chosen 2 AD bruisers for mid/top/jungle, definitely feel free to grab this item, as it adds to your survival capacity and prevents your team from being instakilled.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND:
: This item, quite frankly, is crap, at this point in time. Do not build it, under any circumstances.
this item has become far too expensive for a non-tank support to build with the Season 3 rework. Tell your Jungler or Top to build this item instead, as they have much more cash flow than you. Do be sure that you have an Aegis on your team, however, because the Aura it provides is substantial when teamfighting.
Note about Boot upgrade selection
Zyra's W ability passively awards her 20% CDR at rank 5. Thus, taking Ionian Boots of Lucidity, in addition to Shurelya and the passive puts you over 40% CDR (which is the maximum amount any champion can have for CDR). This means that part of the item's use is being wasted. You may want to switch to some other situation-dependent item when you get to late game, and if you have extra money lying around. However, wasting the 10% overflow CDR really isn't that big of a detriment.
What's amazing about these items, is that by the end of the game, you'll have something like 3k health, with decent armor and magic resistance, and an impressive ability to keep yourself and others alive, while dealing pretty serious damage to the enemy team.