Zeri Is Finally Gone From Professional Play – What's Next… | RiftFeed
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Zeri Is Finally Gone From Professional Play – What's Next For The Zaunite Marksman?

Champions 04-07-2023 17:55
Zeri, the Spark of Zaun | © Riot Games

It took nearly one and a half years, but Riot have finally done it. They have nerfed Zeri so much she dropped out of professional play. Pro teams are a lot more hesitant to pick her up after her nerfs on patch 13.12.

Zeri and Yuumi, Zeri and Lulu, Zeri and Milio, Zeri and Yuumi again – it felt like a never ending fever dream. Whenever Zeri was hit by nerfs, top tier players would come up with another item build that would cause Zeri to retain her stranglehold on the bot lane meta. 

After dominating the professional scene in all of 2022, she was hit with nerfs so substantial that she was thrown off her throne temporarily – only for Trinity Force to reemerge as a strong mythic item following its buffs in patch 13.10. Consequently, the zooming Zaunite immediately stormed back to the top of the meta. 

Patch 13.12 aimed at taking a lot of power off her hands, and now that the LEC as the last of the major region leagues has moved on to this patch, her reign of terror has finally ended. On the new patch, her popularity dropped from almost 60% to less than 5% in major regions, and it seems like Aphelios has already crowned himself the new king of the bot lane.

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Specifically, Riot removed Zeri's Passive entirely and instead moved her Q passive – the part where her basic attack is turned into an ability and her Q is turned into an auto attack – to the passive slot. The possibility to trigger Spellblade – that is Trinity Force's passive that enhances your next auto attack with bonus damage after an ability – has also been removed from her Q. 

It seems that these changes are bearing fruit, as Zeri's solo queue win rate with Trinity Force as her mythic item choice has plummeted to 45%. Her popularity in higher-tier solo queue has also been reduced by a substantial margin. But what do the professionals think about her current state? Is it still worth it to pick her up?

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Ocean Song Zeri and Ashe
Zeri and her new best friend Ashe. For reasons we struggle to figure out, Zeri does not zoom as much around Ashe as she does around everyone else. | © Riot Games

Despite Zeri traditionally being much stronger in professional play than in solo queue, she seems to do somewhat fine in our average ranked games after her nerfs. Patch 13.12 has been released about three weeks ago, in the middle of June. It seems like the League of Legends player base has made good use of this time to figure out alternative item builds that help Zeri thrive after her loss of Trinity Force.

In particular, we have seen a rise in popularity of Navori Quickblades and Infinity Edge, two of the items promoted to mythic tier amidst the mid-season item changes. It seems like her players are decently successful by utilizing these options, underlined by an average winrate around 50%. Zeri players still find decent levels of success. While Zeri might not be entirely dead following her latest nerfs, she is now at least opting into crit-based builds, which make killing her a little easier. 

Manuel Hirsch

I'm currently studying journalism, and when I'm not busy working on uni projects, I get into all kinds of content creation. This is what eventually led me to EarlyGame and Riftfeed!

I'm a long-standing fan of all kinds of Nintendo...