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|“||Feel the thorns' embrace.||„|
|“||Thank you for the lovely garden. You tended me well, but we need more sustenance. To make the soil here more... fertile.||„|
|~ Zyra taunts Hatilly in "With the Flowers"|
Zyra, also known as Rise of the Thorns, is a villainous playable character in the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends, who serves as the main antagonist of the short story "With the Flowers". A carnivorous plant born from the magical catastrophe of the Rune Wars, Zyra wanders the world in search of prey and sustenance.
The 101st champion added to the game, Zyra was released on July 24, 2012, and is most commonly played as a support.
She is voiced by Karen Strassman, who also voices Cassiopeia in the same game, as well as ARIA in Killer Instinct, Mileena in Mortal Kombat, Poison in Street Fighter, Rouge the Bat in Sonic the Hedgehog, Suigintou in Rozen Maiden, and Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri in Fate/Zero.
Long ago, deep in the Gardens of Zyr, a carnivorous race of plants known as Night-Blooming Zychids devoured its way through the jungles of Ixtal. The stranglethorns did not care about the creatures that lived there or the mortals fighting their wars; all they knew was they had to consume everything.
As the Rune Wars raged, a small band of soldiers led by a sorceress traveled through the jungles in hopes of finding a powerful artifact, though the details of this prize have long been forgotten. This company was noticed by the the predator, who made their way to leech the life from every soldier with tendrils of vines and thorns. The sorceress tried to save her soldiers, but the magical explosion destroyed everything in sight, including the sorceress, her comrades, the vines, and the Gardens of Zyr themselves.
Centuries later, the energies of the zychids pulsed once more in the depths beneath the lifeless husk of land. From the magic of the sorceress, the thorns took on the form of an unnatural humanoid creature. The thorns were puzzled with their new form, their conflicting memories, as well as what their new purpose was. The creature knew only two things: its name was Zyra, and she wanted to consume to satisfy centuries-worth of hunger.
Zyra made her way from her birthplace, paying little heed to other beings, seeing them as unpleasant to be around. Zyra grew angry at the disregard that mortals gave to their natural environments, and automatically grew new poisonous plant life wherever she set foot. Zyra was pleased with the vicious tendrils and kept them fed across the strange world, feeding on farmland, settlements, and any victims stupid enough to get in her path. As her plants spread across the rivers of Shurima, Zyra hopes to cover the entire world to the west, much to the dismay of the human inhabitants.
In game, Zyra is a catcher-type champion, a defensive mage that locks down areas and opponents with her vines and plant turrets. Zyra's passive, Garden of Thorns, makes it so seeds spawn around Zyra automatically over a period of time, which can later be grown into plants with her other abilities. Deadly Spines creates thorny vines that explode and summons Thorn Spitters from seeds, which shoot at enemies from long range. Similarly, Grasping Roots summons a vine that ensnares enemies and summons a Vine Lasher, which impairs movement speed from a short range. Zyra can also use Rampant Growth to plant seeds manually. Zyra's ultimate, Stranglethorns, grows a twisted thicket under enemies, which knocks them upwards and deals damage, as well as enraging plants inside the stranglethorns.
As a carnivorous plant, Zyra doesn't care much for human interaction, seeing mortals as unpleasant and destructive to the environments around them. Thus, the creature lives a lonely existence of wandering and eating whoever she comes across. Zyra is single-minded in her pursuit of consuming all the fertile soil and humans across Ixtal and the Shuriman rivers. Since she does not like humans, Zyra has no problems with mocking her prey, luring them into her vines before strangling the life out of them. Zyra is also shown to be very territorial, claiming areas as her garden by planting her vines in those areas.
- A common joke among players of League of Legends is that Zyra is essentially a parody of Poison Ivy from DC Comics, given the strong resemblance between the two characters.
- Zyra also bears resemblances to Jessie from Pokémon, and was inspired by the Sadida from Dofus.
- The quote "This land is mine" is a reference to Sarah Kerrigan from StarCraft, another character who is very similar to Zyra.