Howdy! It’s Zyra! Zyra the plant mage!
The biggest thing Zyra players have asked for is more play around plants, and we completely agree. Her enemies feel the plant theme strongly, especially when they’re limping away from her burst combo under a hail of thorns. Zyra herself currently experiences plants as a way to invest more in a spellcast through W; we’d like to take this further. Her broader role as a counter-initiating zone controller is awesome so we’ll be looking to heighten it where we can.
The next thing on the wishlist is the passive. Player discussion as well as our own internal investigations have shown it’s the weakest part of her kit, and we think we can do better for her passive. Rise of the Thorns provides some cool moments at a time when nothing else is going on since you’re dead, so we expect players will notice the absence at first, but we feel this ability holds Zyra back more than it helps her. The spell’s slow missile speed and long windup were required for it to be fair, but in the course of becoming fair it lost a lot of fun.
On the upside, Zyra has a bouquet of good stuff. Her E is cool, satisfying, and very planty. Her squishy, defensive zone controller thing fits “plant mage” really well. ~~We’re balancing her for the support role, but we do want to ensure that midlane stays fertile ground~~ (update on this below). Lastly, the gameplay of spawning seeds during spellcast may not be the flashiest thing around, but it *is* uniquely Zyra and provides some subtle play -- do I put my seed on their feet or where I think they’re going to go? Do I get two ranged plants, two melee, or one of each? They’re unique and they deserve to be preserved.
Here’s where we think she’s at:
Stuff that’s good
* Strong identity as a counter-initiate mage.
* Preserve her ability to catch and burst people who enter her domain.
* You feel the plant theme strongly playing against her.
* She dies quick if you catch her.
* Her ult is powerful, distinctive, and satisfying.
Stuff that’s less good
* She doesn’t have enough ways to play around plants.
* Her passive isn’t as fun as a passive should be.
* Plant behavior often feels inconsistent / buggy
Here’s what we’re trying to get out of the Zyra changes
* Zyra’s playstyle has more opportunities to play around plants.
* Players who attack an entrenched Zyra should be very afraid.
* Zyra’s strategic nature as a counter-initiator is even stronger.
That’s all the thoughts for the initial post. I’m happy to answer questions and join in the discussion, I’ll be following the thread as it develops!