Ryze Build Guide by drewsy888
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Hello, I created this guide to show a fun and effective way to carry your team to victory by playing Ryze. This guide is all about being aggressive and being the most feared member of your team. This guide is not meant for team play but a helpful guide to winning in solo queue. This guide is not about maintaining a high KDA but dealing as much damage as possible to high priority targets. This guide is intended for experienced AP carry players who understand the moves of other champions you might be facing. Many times you will need to understand the enemy champion's cool downs and play style to play effectively.
I will usually start with a Sapphire Crystal unless I am fighting a skill shot dependent champion like Brand, Lux, or Gragus. With champions like these it is important to start with Boots of Speed and three Health Potions.
As with most Ryze builds the highest priority item is Tear of the Goddess. Unless I absolutely need to back I try to stay until I can purchase my Tear of the Goddess (many times this is impossible if you started with boots). If I have enough money to buy one I will back even with full health. If you are not depleted of mana at this time use it all to push the wave and then back.
After you have Tear of the Goddess make sure you always have two wards down. See the section on warding for more information.
If you want more damage or need more mobility, but do not need more survivability, buy Sorcerer's Boots next. If you need more survivability and are facing a team with a lot of CC first buy a Catalyst and then buy Mercury's Treads. In many games I end up needing survivability more than mobility. In these games I wait to buy tier-two boots until after I buy a Catalyst or sometimes even until after I buy Banshees veil.
Catalyst the Protector
This is Ryze's second most powerful item (next to Tear of the Goddess). It gives health and mana as well as some sustain on level up. It is one of your main damage items as well as on of your major survivability items. This will build into ROA if you choose to get one later or Banshee's veil.
Third and Fourth Items:
This is almost always my third item. I get it instead of ROA because MR helps Ryze a lot more than ability power in almost every case. Since Ryze has more sustain damage than most AP carries survivability is more beneficial than damage. Ryze needs to be able to survive long enough to do two full combos in a team fight mid game and also survive your opponent's burst mid lane. In most cases if you can survive the burst you can sit there with low health and kill the enemy while they sit helpless on their cool downs. The amount of MR you get from Banshee's Veil is really good for the price and is the perfect early/mid game item for Ryze. The only time I do not get it third is if I am facing an AD champion mid. I would instead buy Glacial Shroud and possibly Frozen Heart before buying Banshee's Veil.
This is another great item made for Ryze. It gives a massive amount of survivability as well as damage and CDR; Ryze uses every bit of it. The only time I do not get this item fourth is if the enemy team has next to no physical damage. In which case getting more health and saving armor for later would be more beneficial.
Fifth and Sixth Items:
This is a relatively cheap upgrade for your Glacial Shroud that increases your CDR and gives more armor and mana. It is a great value gold wise for Ryze and should be bought before your next health item unless the enemy team has low physical damage.
At this point you will have decent resistances. If the enemy team has mostly magic damage and only one source of pysical damage I will get a health item before I buy Frozen Heart. In almost all of my games I get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter instead of a ROA. This is mostly personal preference. It is a trade off between damage and utility. My Ryze build will already do a ton of damage and I feel that I somewhat lack the ability to lock down an opponent at this point in the game. Rylai's Crystal Scepter will make sure as long as you hit a Q you will hit your snare. It also means that once the target becomes unsnared you still have something to keep them from getting away. Even if they flash you can keep up with them with an offensive flash and gain on them due to the slow. Ryze has low enough cool downs that they will be slowed for as long as you are targeting them. If you choose not to get Rylai's then make sure you get a ROA for the health.
At this point you should already feel like a monster and be aggressively carrying your team. These next items are to help you get even stronger as your enemies are finishing their builds.
This is a fantastic item on Ryze and fills my last slot in most of the games I play. Only get this item if you feel like you can get a full combo off during a team fight without dying. This item should then allow you to get off a second combo or help you recover from a team fight in the jungle. Ryze does a lot of AOE damage and WOTA scales really well with that damage. You also already get some spell vamp from your . While your is active this will bring your spell vamp from 25% to a whopping 45%. If the enemy team is low on CC you can stay in the fight at full health as long as you want.
If the enemy team is stacking MR a void staff will dramatically increase your damage. Also, if the enemy team has a lot of CC, a WOTA will not benefit you as much as a Void Staff.
If the enemy team is mostly magic damage the survivability this item gives is invaluable. I do not get this item often but sometimes it is just too good.
If the enemy team is wearing you down with auto attacks or the enemy Ashe is ridiculously fed this item is a must have.
If you need more armor and you feel like a 2 second stasis would be beneficial while you are waiting for your two second Q cool down this item will work great. You will be paying a lot for AP that you will use rather poorly but it is still a good item for Ryze.
This will convert all of your mana that you have been stacking into even more damage. This item is not worth buying until you have filled all of your slots because Ryze really doesn't use AP very well. It doesn't cost a slot so make sure you purchase it once you have filled the rest of your slots if the game is still going and you have enough gold. It is very rare that the game lasts long enough to purchase this item.
Skill Sequence and Combos
Max your Q first as this will be your main damage skill and you want the cool down as low as possible. Next I max W. This gives your snare a lower CD so that you can use it twice in a single chase and also gives you huge harass early game.
NOTE: Maxing E second is viable, but in my experience, it is not as strong and a bit too passive for my liking.
Q -> W -> Q:
This is your main harassment combo. Your snare will allow enough time to hit a second Q. And this has a greater damage/mana usage ratio than the next combo.
Once you get spell flux at level 4 you can do a quicker harass with Q -> W -> E -> Q. With this combo you can lay down all of your damage very quickly and avoid taking as much damage yourself. This combo is best used to burst a wounded champion or quickly take blue buff when your junlger is giving it to you (to prevent him from accidentally taking it).
Q -> W -> Q -> E -> Q:
This is your main damage combo. Use then when killing blue buff, dragon, or baron. Also if you are fighting a target from full health or starting a team fight this is your highest sustain damage combo. Using your after the last Q will set you up to use this combo again giving you spell vamp and movement speed for the second run through. When starting on a team fight use your R after you Q once. This allows you to combo like this with aoe damage the whole time: Q -> R -> Q -> W -> Q -> E -> Q
Ryze is generally considered weak early game. This is true in the sense he gets much stronger late game but Ryze can still do a lot of hurt early game. When I play Ryze I usually get first blood or force my opponent out of the lane once I hit level two. Ryze is capable of some serious plays early game due to high mana regen runes and low cooldowns. Before you attack with Ryze you need to let your opponent use his longer cool downs.
It is important to note that you should only be aggressive with Ryze early game if you are well practiced at dodging skill shots and baiting. It is also important to understand how much damage you can do with Ryze. Try playing a really aggressive early game in normals before trying it in ranked.
Generally if I am playing against a skill shot champion I will keep dipping out from behind my minions until they fire a shot. During this time I am purely dodging and last hitting. Once they use a skill I hit them with a Q -> W -> Q combo or if I have blue buff I will use Q -> W -> E -> Q. Make sure you are auto-attacking them early game as this makes a significant difference in damage done.
Rinse and repeat until you are able to kill them with a single combo and ignite. Keep your health up with your health potions. Usually I will usually hit them once; back off for a second or two, until my CD's are back up; then flash in hit them with the combo + ignite and get first blood. It is important that you understand your enemies damage potential and never take more than one tower hit until at least level 6.
At level 4 or 5 you will usually be stronger than your opponent. You do not rely on for single target damage whereas your opponent usually does. Once the enemy mid lane becomes level 6 back off until you have your banshee's veil.
It is crucial that you practice last hitting with Ryze and can do this without focusing on it. Without farm you can't get tanky. If you are new to Ryze or are not as good at last hitting focus on staying away from your opponent and farming. Mid and late game is when Ryze really shines.
Mid game for Ryze begins once you get your first two resistance items. Usually after you get banshee's veil and glacial shroud. At this point you will be strong enough to roam and fight whenever you can. Blue buff helps enormously so ask your jungler for it. At this point you should be pushing you lane with and then roaming and ganking. Whenever is up use it to push and take jungle camps. When you keep using your main combo on creep waves, jungle camps, and enemy champions will be available every 30 seconds or so. Blue buff helps keep your mana from getting depleted and keeps up for team fights. During this time you will just keep getting stronger as long as you keep farming. Normally I start getting quite a few kills around this time and begin to snowball.
My philosophy with solo queue is this: You must rely on your own skills to gain ELO. There will be many games which you cannot control the outcome of but as long as you make sure you feed yourself and carry you will win more often than not. See my section of Solo Queue Philosophy for more about this.
At this point you will likely be tankier and have more damage than everyone on your team. Your ad carry should be the only teammate that can out damage you. As long as you keep on during team fights and avoid some CC you will be able to get more kills than you give. But do not worry about dying at this point. Every kill you get will be more valuable than one kill any enemy may get from you. The damage you put out will out-way your death as long as you can get two combos off. At this point you should be in the fight targeting the carries. This is what Ryze does best; you have the damage to burst them and the tankiness to survive. Once you get Rylai's Crystal Scepter you can completely lock down an enemy carry and kill them swiftly. Make sure you lay down your snare quickly even if you have to sacrifice a Q or else the carry may flash away.
While you are not fighting make sure you use to farm wherever you can. At this point you will have ever 15 seconds or so if you keep using your skills.