Arena of Valor (AoV) - Zanis Hero Guide

An overview and guide for Arena of Valor's Zanis, The Dragoon. Zanis fights like an assassin, killing his targets one by one with quick bursts of damage.

Arena of Valor Zanis


Zanis is a warrior who prioritizes quick kills over sustained damage. Unlike other warriors, his fighting style is similar to that of an assassin. He can quickly take out enemies on the map with surgical precision while maintaining a tanky exterior. His passive, Dragoon, increases his damage with each enemy that he kills. This, along with his naturally high attack speed, make him a fearsome foe after he racks up a few kills.


  • High Attack and Movement Speed – Zanis’ first skill is a speed boost that allows him to easily escape from bad fights. What’s more, this allows him to shake off control abilities. His high attack strength allows him to easily shred through both towers and enemy heroes.
  • Skirmisher – In a one on one matchup, Zanis can even win against tanks when timing his skills right. Dragon’s Wrath offers him true damage and thereby allows Zanis to rip through a tank’s defenses.
  • Not Item Reliant – Zanis can get all the damage he needs from Dragoon. As such, he is free to build tanky and still be able to dish out heavy amounts of damage. This allows the dragoon to maintain his effectiveness late game, which is rare for assassin-style heroes.


  • Relies on Snowballing – Given his reliance on Dragoon, Zanis has to nab kills early in the game or else fall behind. If he can’t get an early lead, Zanis will be more of a liability in team fights than a help.
  • Short Range – Zanis needs to make sure his enemies are up close in order for them to be affected by his abilities’ damage and control effects. Without anything but a speed steroid to approach enemies, quick enemies can find an easy escape when he tries to gank.

Zanis Basic Strategy

Laning Strategy

  • Zanis should be played in the jungle. He relies heavily on early kills and therefore should be roaming the map and ganking as much as possible.
  • Gank early and gank often. It cannot be stressed enough just how much Zanis needs stacks of Dragoon.
  • Help allies knock down towers in between ganks. Zanis’ strong auto attacks make him adept at destroying them.

Leveling Progression

  • Start with Tail Sweep. The attack speed it offers will be critical in farming and in maximizing Zanis’s damage with Dragon’s Wrath.
  • Blood Wyrm is a powerful ability but is more situational than Tail Sweep. It should thereby be lowest priority when leveling.
  • Take levels in Dragon’s Wrath whenever it is available, the pure damage it offers is an unmissable boost and key in quickly destroying enemies.

Battle Strategy

  • Solo Fights: Zanis needs to open with Dragon’s Wrath in order to gain an early upper hand. There are times that the enemy will retreat or try to gain distance from you, but you can use Blood Wyrm to close in and stick close. Follow up with Tail Sweep to increase your attack speed and tear through their health with empowered normal attacks.
  • Team Fights: Zanis is similar to Butterfly but with a little more defense. He cannot face his enemies head-on, but instead focuses on attacking them from behind. His priority should either be the supports or assassins. He can also peel tanks by positioning himself in between them and the damage dealers before using Dragon’s Wrath.
  • Escaping the Battle: Use Tail Sweep if enemies are near for the speed boost in order to disengage from a bad fight. Blood Wyrm will let you further run for your life with its own impressive speed boost as well as a cleansing of control abilities.


Arena of Valor Dragoon Dragoon – Passive – Each kill or assist increases Zanis’ attack damage by 12 and restores his maximum HP by 5%. Stacks up to 20 times.
  • This allows Zanis to focus on buying attack speed items or defensive items. The passive offers 240 attack when fully stacked, which is more than a free Fenrir’s Tooth.
  • The ability doesn’t offer anything if Zanis isn’t actively engaged in fights. Avoid going for too long without gagnking or fighting an enemy.
Arena of Valor Blood Wyrm Blood Wyrm – Zanis triggers his inner dragon blood to remove all debuffs and increase movement speed by 80% for 1.5 seconds. He also enhances his next normal attack, which deals an additional 200/225/250/275/300/325 physical damage to nearby targets and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 2.5 seconds.
  • Blood Wyrm can either be used offensively or to retreat. Offensively, it can help Zanis perform pincer attacks or catch up with his target. Defensively, BloodWyrm can be used to escape from enemies who specialize in debuffs.
  • Move into fights with Blood Wyrm before using Dragon’s Wrath to dive into the fray and follow with Tail Sweep to increase his attack speed.
Arena of Valor Tail Sweep Tail Sweep – Zanis strikes the ground, dealing 180/210/240/270/300/330 (+0.7 AD)ˀ physical damage to nearby enemies. If any enemy units are hit, Zanis’ attack speed will be increased by 100/120/140/160/180/200% and have 10/12/14/16/18/20%  life steal for 3.5 seconds.
  • Tail Sweep drastically boosts his DPS, especially when combined with Dragon’s Wrath. Be sure to use this to maximize the true damage you can deal.
Arena of Valor Dragon's Wrath Dragon’s Wrath – Zanis strikes the target, dealing 300/375/450 (+1.4 AD) true damage and knocking enemies into the air briefly. For the next 5 seconds, his normal attacks deal additional 70/110/150 (+0.35 AD) true damage.
  • Dragon’s Wrath serves as Zanis’s opener, allowing him to dive into the fray. This is the only method that Zanis can use to jump over small walls, provided his target is on the other side.
  • Use the ability early if the enemy has high defenses. The true damage pierces through almost anything the opponent has as defense.

How to Counter Zanis

  • Control the number of disables you cast on Zanis – his Bloodwyrm ability cleanses a disable he’s been inflicted with. It is best to force him to use Bloodwyrm then follow up on another crowd control ability to stop him in his tracks.
  • Zanis is usually played as a jungler – be on the lookout when going through the jungle. If you encounter him take note of his HP: if he has low HP, try your luck and kill him. Otherwise, head back to safety.

Hero Item Build

SG Recommended Build
Arena of Valor LEVIATHANLeviathan Arena of Valor GILDED GREAVESGilded Greaves Arena of Valor Frost CapeFrost Cape
Arena of Valor GAIA'S STANDARDGaia’s Standard Arena of Valor SHIELD OF THE LOSTShield of the Lost Arena of Valor Fenrir's ToothFenrir’s Tooth
SG Recommended Build
Arena of Valor LEVIATHANLeviathan Arena of Valor GILDED GREAVESGilded Greaves Arena of Valor Frost CapeFrost Cape Arena of Valor GAIA'S STANDARDGaia’s Standard Arena of Valor SHIELD OF THE LOSTShield of the Lost Arena of Valor Fenrir's ToothFenrir’s Tooth

More Zanis Item Builds

Hero Arcana

  • Zanis can either be built offensively or defensively when it comes to arcana. Offensivvely, he should take Onslaught, Guerrilla, and Skewer to maximise his damage.
  • When going for a more defensive approach, Indomitable, Benevolence, and Mythril can be good choices for the dragoon.

Hero Counters

Arena of Valor Tank Tank

Zanis shouldn’t often fight against tanks. As a finisher, he relies heavily on burst damage. Tanks such as Taara and Arthur can easily absorb the damage, mitigating Zanis’ skills. His skills are not made for long battles which usually prevents him from fighting back when they soak up all the damage from his skills. That said, the true damage from his ultimate along with Fafnir’s Talon can allow him to shred through their defenses given the proper lead.

Arena of Valor Warrior Warrior

Warriors come in multiple varieties. For Warrior/Tanks, players will need to think twice before attacking. Their tanking ability prevents them from being easily killed, hindering Zanis’ role as a finisher. Warrior/Assassins, on the other hand, can match his DPS. As a counter measure, they can generally be easily stunned before they are able to deal any of this damage. When facing one, he has to be the first to initiate an attack.

Arena of Valor Assassin Assassin

Assassins are squishy and thereby easy to burst down. What’s more, since Zanis can build defensive items and still pack a fantastic punch, he has a high chance of surviving their burst damage.

Arena of Valor Mage Mage

Never fight mages early game; their skills deal too much damage for Zanis to endure. However, Zanis can gank them from behind and render many of them useless. He can further use Blood Wyrm to chase, but don’t get too greedy and die chasing the kill.

Arena of Valor Marksman Marksman

Marksmen like to hide. They fire from the bushes and some of them are able to hit multiple units at once. Zanis doesn’t have any defensive skills but will immediately have an advantage over any if he can get close to them. Use Blood Wyrm to quickly close the distance and attack.

Arena of Valor Support Support

Supports are easy prey if caught alone, but become a much larger problem when with team mates. Pick them off early if you can, as their control and defensive spells can lead to Zanis having a lot of trouble in fights. Blood Wyrm is a great way to get around their control effects in fights.

Heroes List
Arena of Valor WarriorWarrior Arena of Valor TankTank Arena of Valor AssassinAssassin
Arena of Valor MageMage Arena of Valor MarksmanMarksman Arena of Valor SupportSupport

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