When I originally, made Zakayza, I made a whole mess of unnecessary mechanics along with 2 miles of text, trying to explain what each second of an ability's effects does, even though the abilities were really broken. Some of that was fixed though, mostly the text, but I think her uniqueness as a melee bruiser with magic damage shouldn't just be passed by with a kit that somewhat resembles AP Yasuo/Swain mix with Teemo's E, and the only good abilites were her OP as hell Innate Passive and a broken as hell Q. I feel that I need to change a few things, and make her actually feel interesting gameplay-wise. In her current state, she is good at poking and pissing the enemy off, and scales somewhat well into late game with tons of potential to be either kited or killed due to her squishyness and low mobility or high chances to solo-carry the team depending on how dumb the enemy top-laner was.
This is the champion that I like most out of my champion concepts, and I want her to special, so in short context I'm changing the Q to be more interactive with her abilites, and not just be a damage amplifier with no real gameplay, I'm nerfing her passive, making it deal more damage the more she fights you (will reduce base damage) and I'm also giving her an ultimate that really feels ultimate, not a negligible heal with stupidly toxic dueling potential.
I've said all I need to so let's go on with the concept.
Zakayza is a melee bruiser who utilizes the burn of her eternal torture to scar and smelt opponents, and then execute their spirits in a painful fashion. Winning a fight against her is rare, due to her incredible durability in all kinds of fights and strong dueling potential when all of her rage is unleashed upon her opponents.
Her native area is the top lane where fighters thrive to succeed, while Zakayza endures her hellish afterlife by stealing energy through her Scorched Touch to end her tortured soul. When her opponent makes even the simplest mistake, Zakayza has the option to end them in a moment when her utility is used to its maximum.
Zakayza is a durable melee bruiser that focuses on dealing magic damage and applying pressure to her enemies due to her on-hit damage and her ability to heavily amplify that damage. She is excellent when dueling because of her attack speed, ability to outlast her enemy and she is extremely potent when the team is fighting in groups. The intention with her is to make a pure bruiser based completely off of ability power, with capabilities to either shine brightly or flunk badly, depending on the skill, timing and execution of the summoner controlling her.
She has a variety of options when it comes to fighting, from damage to slows, dashes and even a shield, she is able to survive anything the enemy throws at her, but only once every now and then. Fights must be carefully picked out, and carefully carried out in order to bring out her full potential in a duel, and that is to control it and win it. Once she has access to all her abilities, she becomes a nightmare for almost any lane opponent - her stacking attack speed allows her to almost always win, and her sustain triples while within minion waves.
All good things must be equally mirrored with bad, so that's why Zakayza doesn't have the best early game, and if she fails here, it becomes hellish climbing back up - her squishyness in teamfights will have her quickly taken out. Either that, or she will be kited to her own death, due to her lack of mobility.
If a team is in need of both damage and durability at once, Zakayza is the perfect pick to dominate the enemy team.
Zakayza has a lot of utilities mixed with good and sustained damage and sustain for fights. Her area-of-effect damage makes her exceptionally strong in teamfights, and only a small portion of that strength is lost when fighting in a duel. Her mobility makes her a good chaser and she can possibly burst down a target with an offensive build. Maximizing her sustain in teamfights along with utilizing the right items is key to success, therefore, Zakayza must choose between the obvious ability power items mixed with items that provide reliability, tankyness and sustain.
- The best starting items for Zakayza are a
and a for an equal matchup to maximize sustain and durability along with good on-hit pressure or along with a and a when Zakayza has the advantage to maximize poke and lane pressure due to the increased damage.
- Alternatively, if Zakayza has the disadvantage, she can start a or , depending on the enemy. If the enemy deals heavy physical damage, is a good option.
- The bread-and-butter to Zakayza's build is , which should always be bought and rushed as a first item. It gives Zakayza all of the needed stats in order to function properly: ability power, attack speed, even more on-hit magic damage and cooldown reduction. Due to its low price and high effectiveness, it is the core item for any Zakayza build.
, Zakayza may choose a defensive or an offensive item, depending on the outcome of the lane.
- If the lane was equal (no clear winner) a good option is to choose
, because it adds more burst and damage and very good sustain in a fight and additionally, helps with chasing squishy targets, thus applying pressure during the mid-game, where Zakayza starts to spike in terms of power.
- Alternatively to , the second option is , which boosts ability power significantly along with amplifying sustain and durability. The extra cooldown reduction it provides makes her more reliable in fights.
- If the lane was lost, Zakayza may choose either
(the ultimate still deals damage even if Zakayza is in stasis) or a . Both increase defensive stats, but also buff durability, which is one of Zakayza's main strengths. Zhonya additionally grants ability power and prevents Zakayza from being focused while still dealing damage.
- Instead of the above mentioned, works exceptionally well against a fed magic damage dealer, such as or .
- A won lane will surely focus Zakayza towards increasing her damage, thus the most optimal option is a for insane AP boosts, or a for increased burst. Any item that significantly buffs damage will also work when Zakayza is ahead.
- If the lane was equal (no clear winner) a good option is to choose
- Once mid-game comes, Zakayza should have at least 2 items in her inventory along with a tier 2 boot.
- The best choice is magic penetration. Alternatively, boosts DPS, if the enemy has low resistances. , due to its increased
- crowd control. will function well if the is a fed physical damage dealer or if the enemy team has a lot of physical damage. Additionally can be bought if the enemy has a lot of magic damage or a lot of
- Mid-game is where Zakayza's build starts to change directions depending on her performance. She can choose to be a high DPS mage, tanky mage, a mobile assassin or just a pure durable fighter.
- The best option after the first 2 is , which significantly boosts all of Zakayza's damage, and it also eliminates any resistances the enemy may have. Its low cost makes it super effective and very reliable.
- is an excellent choice after her optimal build. The extra health and mana improves her durability, while the extra damage buffs her DPS.
- is a good choice if the enemy is fed, and also has incredible synergy with Zakayza's ultimate Inner Wrath, buffing the AoE damage that Zakayza deals while also providing good tankyness and durability.
is a very powerful choice if the enemy stacks a lot of health, but must be used effectively to maximize its potential, as it is more of a long-ranged mage item while Zakayza doesn't have a lot of poke. It's % health damage is excellent if the enemy has a lot of tanks and the bonus magic penetration nibbles down their resistance. It also provides some durability for Zakayza.
- If Liandry's Torment was purchased, a good option is to buy after it, or even as an independent item without . It provides CC if your team doesn't have it and synergizes exceptionally well with 's % health damage. It also boosts DPS and durability along with tankyness.
is a good option if you find yourself spending too much mana. Additionally, the shield it provides when fully stacked, gives an incredible boost during teamfights while also turning the focus off of you, allowing for more sustained damage.
- Alternatively, provides a resistance boost along with increased mana regeneration. Both of these factors help in Zakayza's reliability.
- helps with toning down the focus towards Zakayza while also providing a good resistance boosts. Helpful against fed assassins.
- should be considered if the enemy team has a or or similar champions that have the potential to one-shot anyone.
"The gate is open, princess Zakayza" - said the guard. "Well hurry on then, we don't have a lot of time" - said Zakayza, Pathaya's most profound and greatest queen; famous throughout all of Valoran for her righteousness and loyalty, no matter the situation.
As she had ordered, her along with a few guards left the fortress on a quest to the mysterious forest, where not many have been, and of those that have been, not many had returned. No-one had known that this particular day would be the worst of all of the days not just for Pathaya, but for all of Valoran.
It had been a very bright and sunny morning, just like any other. Birds were chirping, the ocean was singing and the people were happy, until word came of a powerful magic hidden beneath the crust of this nearby forest, speaking of control over the human mind and body. It first began as a rumor, and soon it became widespread news which eventually reached Zakayza, who along for greatness was also known for greed and ruthlessness.
As soon as she learned of what the magic can do, within the next hour, she arranged the trip, and so they were off, without even themselves knowing what could happen or when. The path wasn't exceptionally lengthy, rather it was pretty short, as the forest was nearby. When they finally reached their destination, the sun rays and cheeriness from near could no longer be heard, as a different atmosphere engulfed them. The forest had almost been completely roofed by thick trees, all overgrown with many, many leaves. It had also been really dark and gloomy, almost like a dead wasteland. It had seemed that there was no life for miles.
The guards and their queen gathered their wits and courage and marched within the trees' grasp. After what seemed like hours, they finally found a clearing completely covered with thick green-ish fog. This definitely was the place, as magic could even be smelled and not just felt. Curiosity indeed does kill the cat, but in this case snooping is definitely not recommended. Nevertheless, Zakayza's personality demanded that she found out what the source of this fog was. After careful treading, they managed to go even deeper, deeper and deeper until there was no more to go. The forest seemed to just stop at a wall of tree stumps seemingly millenia old. But, going back was not easy, as the thick fog completely reduced their vision, and some of the soldiers even started to panic, that is, until they saw a faint shimmer. No, not a shimmer. It was a man, a human just like them. A faint silhouette of a man.
"This way, please" - he whispered. "Who are you, reveal yourself" - said Zakayza with a rough tone. "I am..." - the man paused for a second - "Redemption, clarity, divinity, your cleanse, eternity and infinity."
Noone understood a word, but the man seemed to vanish after saying whatever that was. Zakayza's temper started to kick in, and then she went on to pursue the 'man'. Like monkeys in a pit, her guards followed, not knowing the terror ahead. After a minute, they stopped, looked around, and saw... nothing. Not a voice could be heard, not a light could be seen. It felt like hope was gone, like they had no more to tread.
The fog closed in, it was thicker than ever, and that's when they saw him again.
"Careful not to upset the peace"- he said - "Pause for a second and enjoy the purity"
After his final words echoed, the guards fell down, dropping dead in an instant. Zakayza panicked and the shade dissapeared. She struggled for a way out, but to no avail. She was trapped here, possibly forever. She fell to her knees, and started to grieve, loudly. She screamed for help, she tried to gather courage, but no, she accepted that this is her final destination, this is where it ends. After these thoughts passed through her head, she saw a hand that was being offered. It was bony, lifeless and cold, like the grip of death. She grabbed it, and in an instant, saw the dead, horribly terrifying gaze of evil. It was a lone skull, with no spine, a pair of hands and feet, controlled by a powerful spell.
"What do you want" - she asked in fear. "I want... you" - said the abomination.
The words froze Zakayza, and she instantly got up and started to run as fast as she could, but then she thought about something. What if, the magic she was searching for was that, that thing. It had been controlled by a spell, symbolizing magic. Walking death controlled by life. Yes, that had definitely been it. She then turned around, found the last piece of hope and bravery she had in herself and faced the creature which also pursued her. She drew her sword, and attacked its head, breaking it in pieces. It then fell down, dropping as dead as ever. Little did she know what would happen next, she thought it was over, but then she saw the magic rise up from the body, and come closer and closer, until, within the blink of an eye, went inside her nose and within her body. The next minute she felt excruciating pain, hellish torture, as her body seemed like it had smashed by a mountain. She struggled, as scratches, burns and marks started to appear all over her body. She started to scream, struggle, she tried to escape. No, the magic continued. It hurt her, tortured her until it finally killed her, transforming her into a burned, wounded and hellish abomination, a cross between life and death. She found what she was looking for, she had full control over her mind and body, and she had some of the most powerful magic she had ever felt, until she used it. A single spark send electricity down her spine, hurting her just as hard as she had felt during life.
After realizing what had just happened, she went into a violent rage, somehow igniting the fog around her. The fog then expanded, first throughout the forest, then reached the town and the fortress, killing everything in its path or transforming them into a deadly monster. Eventually, it engulfed all of the land, and finally the entire island system before it stopped. Life seized to exist and death overtook.
This was a mere 1500 years ago, and now Pathaya is just a myth. What it is now known by is the Shadow Isles, ruled by hellish death and a hellish queen of eternal torture. To this day, noone has seen or heard from Zakayza's soul again.
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