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Ezreal Build Guide by Optimistic

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Optimistic

AP Ezreal - The Underestimated AP Carry

Optimistic Last updated on February 11, 2012
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Ability Sequence

1
13
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
2
3
5
7
9
Ability Key W
4
8
10
12
14
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


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Liking or Disliking this guide

Guess what? It doesn't matter to me if you don't think AP Ezreal is viable or not.

What does matter to me is what you think of this guide. So please, base your decision on how informative and instructive this guide was as if you were to try AP Ezreal. If you don't like the guide, simply because it's ineffective in a large area, go ahead and dislike it. Just please inform me of it in the comments section so I can further improve the guide.

That said, enjoy the guide.


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Introduction to AP Ezreal

Before I begin anything, here's why I made this guide.

I'm a huge fan of AP Ezreal. There's no denying it. At his core, AP Ezreal is a powerful mage centered around skillshots, giving him a high skill-ceiling as missing skillshots would make you lose lots of damage. However, landing skillshots reward the player with one of the highest bursts in the game, making AP Ezreal a force of nature during mid and lategame. In this guide, not only are you shown how AP Ezreal should be built, but how to be played, since he utilizes complex positioning and skillshot-management in order to become a powerful AP carry that is very difficult to catch.

First, the pro's and con's to playing AP Ezreal.

Pro's:

    ~Amazing burst, the AOE part is capable of ripping an enemy team apart with just Deathcap.

    ~Long-ranged nukes, making him a good poker.

    ~Extreme mobility from Arcane Shift and Lichbane's passive +MS.

    ~Very fun to play, since his kit has only skillshots.

Con's:
    ~Passive is useless until AP starts factoring into damage versus towers.

    ~High skillcap - while relatively easy to pick up, AP Ezreal is hard to master due to complex positioning and trying to land skillshots.

    ~Hard to farm quickly during the laning phase.

    ~No CC to lock down a target, unless you bring red buff and/or Rylai's to the table.

(There is a section for math on AP Ezreal, skip ahead to that section if you just want to know the math behind the champ.)

(the original guide was written in the LoL official general discussion forum. Here's the thread http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1324116&highlight=ezreal and don't forget to upvote and bump it up!)

(an alternate guide was made on solomid - it will look differently and of course conform to solomid standards, but it is basically the same guide. Go to this link http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=8013 for the solomid version.)


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Runes and Masteries

Runes

It's important to get appropriate runes, so it boosts your early game power. Here's the runes you can make use of while playing AP Ezreal:

Marks

Magic Resist Penetration Marks: It is a must on AP Ezreal, because you need to lower MR on enemy champions stacking some MR to do effective damage. Also, it just makes your spells hit harder on those with average MR.

Seals

Per level Mana Regen Seals: Definitely good to keep your harass up, especially when you do miss a couple shots with W or Q. Also useful lategame when you opted for more damage instead of mana items.

Flat Mana Regen Seals: Even better for early game harassment, but scales a lot less than its per level counterpart.

Glyphs

Per level AP Glyphs: A hefty amount of AP to make your spells hit harder.

Flat CDR Glyphs: Really great for early game skill-spamming, especially since you can limit CDR items to just Ionian boots or Morello's. If you can secure blue buff most of the time, definitely great with your glyphs.

Flat Magic Resist Penetration Glyphs: Again, useful for reducing enemy MR to deal more effective damage. If you can manage to bring an enemy's MR down to zero, even better.

Quintessences

Flat AP Quintessences: Amazing boost to early game power, especially when your harassment really hurts if you prioritized leveling W instead of Q early game.

Magic Resist Penetration: Makes you hit harder at all stages of the game, very good choice for AP Ezreal. Especially effective early game when you get Sorcerer's Boots.

Masteries

With the new changes to the masteries, AP Ezreal can go deep into the offense tree to gain powerful boosts to AP and magical damage. And with just 9 points into the utility tree, you can gain full benefits of mana regen, mana, and 20% buff duration increase as opposed to the old mastery trees which allowed less benefits if you had a similar 21/0/9 setup.

I take all masteries for AP in the offense tree to boost the damage of my spells. In the utility tree, I opt for mana mastery over respawn mastery because it allows me access to the mana regen mastery, which is a boon during the laning phase. Besides, you shouldn't be dead too many times. And if your team got aced by lategame - well, the respawn mastery won't save your game. Instead of that one point in respawn mastery, I put it in the recall mastery.


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Summoner Spells

Explanation

Flash is an amazing utility spell. Closing gaps, escaping over walls, or double-flashing with Ezreal's Arcane Shift. However, since Ezreal has a flash on a shorter cooldown, it's generally better to use E first for escapes/gap closing and Flash as a backup blink.

Despite the recent nerf, Flash is still an amazing escape in hairy situations, especially when paired with Arcane Shift. Be sure to try and use it to get over walls, as opposed to gaining a measley 400 range over an enemy.

Ignite is very useful for securing kills with low health champions. Also, it's a great counter to certain champions like Swain and Mundo, and making sure Tryndamere doesn't leave a fight alive. Early game kills are much easier to get as well.

Alternative Summoner Spells

Exhaust is great on AP Ezreal to act as a source of CC that he initially lacks with just his kit. It's both a slow and debuff in one, and often turns a 1v1 fight to your advantage. Also, ganks are much easier and more successful with Exhaust.

Clairvoyance is generally strange on an AP carry, but using it in conjunction with Ezreal's global ult can earn you kills. And since kills get you gold and closer to that Lichbane, Clairvoyance is a great summoner spell on AP Ezreal.

It also negates ganks when you call for an MIA, in case a ward isn't helping or present. It also removes the advantage of bushes for the enemy, espcialy in case of a juke/ambush. Constant use of CV on jungle creeps can allow you to counter-jungle and eliminate the jungler from the equation. It's also very nice for scaring off people, as a big eye creates a "I'm going to get ganked" feeling.

Ghost is not a bad replacement for Flash, so you can use a slot for another useful spell like Ignite. This is because Ezreal already has a low cooldown flash, which is a great advantage over many champions. So Ghost is great for chasing and running away.


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Analysis of Skills

While it is well known that Ezreal does not offer any CC beyond reducing the attackspeed of all enemies hit by his W for 40% (although you can partly remedy this by taking Rylai's Crystal Staff and the red jungle buff for the slows on spells: makes AP Ezreal an even more effective kiter), he makes up for this in terms of sheer damage in an instant. Let's begin with how he can do about that:

Points of each Skill

Passive: Rising Spell Force
(Innate): Hitting a target with any of Ezreal's abilities increases his attack speed by 10% for 6 seconds, this effect stacks up to 5 times.
    ~The one hole in AP Ezreal's kit. As Ezreal's job is to stay back and fire spells, AS on him is a bad stat. However, count on it as a blessing while pushing a tower, especially when your AA's start factoring in AP for bonus damage.

Q: Mystic Shot
(Active): Ezreal fires a bolt of energy in a line that will deal physical damage and apply on-hit effects to the first enemy it hits. If it strikes an enemy unit, all of Ezreal's cooldowns will be reduced by 1 second.

Range: 1000

Cost: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 mana

Cooldown: 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4 seconds

Physical Damage: 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 (+1.0 per attack damage) (+0.2 per ability power) with Lichbane: 1.2 AP ratio.

    ~An effective poke ability with which he can use to stay safely out of range of most champions while dealing large damage to a single target.

    ~Very important factor in dealing very high burst damage constantly over the course of a teamfight.

    ~Hits minions, so it is tougher to use while being around enemy minions.

    ~Very good for activating Sheen/Lichbane to deal damage to enemy buildings.

W: Essence Flux
(Active): Ezreal fires a wave of energy in a line. Any enemy champions it passes through are dealt magic damage and have their attack speed slowed for 5 seconds, while any allied champions it travels through have their attack speed increased for 5 seconds.

Cooldown: 9 seconds

Range: 900

Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana

Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+0.7 per ability power)

Attack Speed Buff/Debuff: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 %

    ~Ezreal's main damage spell, its AP ratio and base damage is in no way lesser compared to other mages' normal AOE spells (Brand's 0.6, 0.55; Annie's 0.75; Orianna's 0.6, 0.5, 0.4)

    ~Hits champions through minions, but has a lesser travel speed/range than Mystic Shot.

    ~Very helpful against champions that stack AD and little or no AS. Amazing for kiting melee champions as well, as you give them even less time to AA you.

    ~Using it during a tower push with teammates will make very short work of the tower.

E: Arcane Shift
(Active): Ezreal instantly teleports to a nearby target location and fires a homing arrow at the nearest enemy unit, dealing magic damage to it.

Mana cost: 90 mana

Teleport Range: 475

Missle Range: 750

Cooldown: 19 / 17 / 15 / 13 / 11 seconds

Magic Damage: 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+0.75 per ability power)
    ~A built-in flash with a much lower cooldown, albeit with very slight delay upon casting, and a slightly shorter range. Amazing for repositioning in a teamfight, ganking, or escaping a particularly bloodthirsty enemy.

    ~Also offers a nuke that automatically targets the closest enemy unit upon reaching your destination.

    ~Tough to use while around enemy minions, but manageable.

    ~Punishes the target you're chasing heavily, or open a gap between you and a pursuer and nuke him at the same time.

R: Trueshot Barrage
(Active): Ezreal channels for 1 second to fire a powerful broad energy missile that will travel in a line by the whole map and will deal magic damage to each enemy unit they pass through. It will deal 8% less damage for each subsequent target hit, down to a minimum of 30% damage dealt.

Cost: 150 mana

Range: Global

Cooldown: 85 / 65 / 45 seconds
    ~Magic Damage: 350 / 500 / 650 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) (+0.9 per ability power)
    VERY high base damage, damages all enemy units it passes through (with 8% damage dealt reduced for each unit, down to a minimum 30% damage)

    ~A global skillshot; meaning, once fired it will continue to travel across the map until it leaves the map itself entirely. Very powerful in picking off low health targets half of the map away, or damaging the enemy team when they line up.

    ~Takes a lot of skill and judgement on the player's part in order to achieve a long range hit.
    Very good with Clairvoyance.

    ~It takes one second to fire, so account for this during a fight, since you'll be vulnerable to enemy attacks. It will still fire regardless of CC unless you actually die before you fire it.

    ~Using it takes intuition: farming with ult can get you your core items faster, but may not have it up when you need it. On the other hand you can save it for the possibility of sniping a low-health target but get slower farm. Again, choose your poison.


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Skill Order

Q->W->W->E->W->R->W->E->W->W->E->R->E->Q->E->Q->R->Q->Q

Skill Order for Level 1 to 6

Level 1: Really good early game harass, since it passes minion waves.
Level 2: Cheap harassing spell, also great for getting quick last hits.
Level 3: Your best harassing spell is stronger.
Level 4: With proper harassment, your opponent would have lower health at this point, so a well positioned Arcane Shift can both damage and put you in a spot to do even more damage with W and Q for an early kill.
Level 5: Your best harassing spell is even more stronger.
Level 6: Your global ult. As soon as you get it, look around the map for low-health targets and snipe him. Prioritize turret huggers over runners, since they are maintaining a static position. Take time to make judgements before firing, then pray for a kill.

Explanation

Essence Flux is a better harassment tool than Mystic Shot, since intelligent opponents would hide behind creep waves, expecting harassment from your Mystic Shot instead. Even dim players are equally, if not more, endangered since you can also include occaisional Mystic Shots for extra harassment.

An alternative build is to get Mystic Shot to rank 3 before maxing the rest, since it synergizes well with Sheen for decent early game damage for a lot less mana. This also means you're much closer to getting a Lichbane. However, this would be countered by intelligent players. On the other hand, your pushing power increases so you can create openings in the minion waves where you can exploit modes of attack.


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Item Builds

Starting Items:

1. When you are ranking W up, Doran's Ring makes you hit much harder and more often.

2. To remove mana problems for the rest of the game, get Meki's Pendant and 3 health potions then get Tear of the Goddess to build into an Archangel's Staff later.

3. Getting boots and potions lend a lot to an aggressive playstyle, as you're really mobile, which helps with last hitting, landing skillshots, and chasing/retreating.

First Back:

1. Another Doran's Ring before getting basic boots. The extra health, mana regen, and AP will help you dominate mid lane like a boss.

2. Finish a Tear of the Goddess and spam some Q's on the spawning place to get a quick mana boost before heading back to your lane. Basic boots come next.

3. Get a Blasting Wand and/or Needlessly Large Rod if you were fed. Sorcerer's boots come next.

Core Items:

Lichbane/Deathcap: All the time, every time. Lichbane offers great AP, movespeed, mana, MR, and most importantly an extra 1.0 AP ratio to your Mystic Shot, which procs on-hit effects. Deathcap for a lot more AP.

Optional Items:

Void Staff for MR stacking enemies while offering more AP as well.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter adds a slowing effect on W, E, and R which greatly boosts your kiting ability and offering some survivability at the same time.

Hextech Gunblade offers a lot of spellvamp and lifesteal to heal from the extra damage you get with the bonus AD/AP of this item. Also has an active for more kiting and burst damage as well as a great source of CC. Great stats for its gold cost.

Banshee's Viel for teams with more casters.

Morello's Evil Tome for AP, mana regeneration, and CDR makes this item a great buy for most games if you reserved the blue buff to someone else.

Deathfire Grasp It's actually not a bad item to grab, especially when grabbing a Lucky Pick early increases your gold gain to remedy AP Ezreal's farming deficiency a little. Build it after Lichbane, of course.

Archangel's Staff provides a huge amount of mana ensuring that you'd rarely, if ever, run out of mana while on the field. Synergizes very well with Rabadon's Deathcap, providing a large amount of AP as well.

Boots:

Sorcerer's Shoes are a great item for extra damage and movespeed.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity offers a large amount of CDR when you don't have enough from masteries or runes, also stacks well with Morello's Evil Tome to hit the CDR cap. (40%) Keep in mind this would clash with CDR glyphs, so if you're planning on taking Ionian boots AND Morello's, switch out those glyphs for something else, like AP/MRpen glyphs.

Build Order #1:

I start with Doran's Ring, Sorc boots next, and then another Doran's if I didn't get fed. If fed, I get Needlessly Large Rod to build into Deathcap later. I then build Sheen first, blasting wand, then finish Lichbane. Finally, I finish Deathcap. I get Void Staff after, then Rylai's, starting often with Giant's belt first. I sell Doran rings for more gold and free slots to get Void Staff and round off with either BV or Morello's, depending on enemy team composition. If there are too much CC, I get BV. If not, Morello's. This team emphasizes early game damage, which can be extremely intidmidating. Keep in mind that getting too many rings can stall a strong early game item like blasting wand. If you really need it, get doran's rings. Otherwise, focus on getting that deathcap.

Build Order #2:

I start with a meki's pendant and three health pots. My first back as soon as possible, (getting first blood or forced the midlane opponent to the turret) I get Tear of the Goddess then spam spells briefly before running back to mid. I start building towards Deathcap, often Blasting Wand instead of needlessly large rod if I didn't get fed. Lichbane afterwards, blasting wand first, Sheen at this point isn't very useful. Finally, I get Archangel's staff, giving me practically unlimited mana to stay out on the field for longer durations. Like Build #1, I am flexible with the rest of items. This particular build starts with tear, but has a weaker early game due to not having mobility or damage to create a presence during the laning phase. This means you should play a little passively and focus on farming. Still, don't be afraid to land a couple W's.

Build Order #3

I start with boots and potions. My first back whenever I can, I get a blasting wand (or needlessly large rod if fed) then sorcerer's boots. Then I finish deathcap and try getting a lichbane next, starting with blasting wand first. Sheen, (amplifying tome first), then finish lichbane. The rest of the items, once again, depend on team comp. This build has a lot of mobility, making you a difficult target for people at mid, and harder to push away since you have potions. Because of this, starting with boots is good for really aggressive players. It's also easier for last hitting, so worrying about being in range of minions isn't an issue, since I can get in range quickly, claim a last hit, and get out.

Sample Final Builds:

Sorcerer's Shoes, Rabadon's Deathcap, Lichbane, Void Staff, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Banshee's Viel- Survivability, CC, and plenty of burst, but depends on blue buff for more CDR and mana regen.

Sorcerer's Shoes, Rabadon's Deathcap, Lichbane, Void Staff, Archangel's Staff, Rylai's Crystal Scepter- Less survivability but removes mana issues and dependency on blue buff for the entire game.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Rabadon's Deathcap, Lichbane, Void Staff, Archangel's Staff, Morello's Evil Tome- Lots of mana, AP, and CDR but loses survivability and CC.

Wards and Elixers:

Sight Ward, Vision Ward - Always get at least one in your inventory, so you're ready to re-ward your lane. Warding your lane is very important in negating ganks. Also, you can tell when an enemy laner is moving to gank other lanes. After laning, drop these wards at baron and dragon. Leave the job of warding the jungle to your support. It's only 75 gold each. Get wards. Period.

Elixers of Fortitude, Brilliance, and Agility- Kinda overkill, but provides more stats once you run out of slots for items.


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Smartcasting with Ezreal

Smartcast takes some getting used to, but in the end rewards you with greater speed AND accuracy, since you don't have to account for the time used for clicking to target.

For a long while, I've not used smartcast, since I feared it'd decrease my accuracy. I initially tried it in a bot game. I failed. But the next time, this time in normal, I've found it much better, since it gave me a fluid spell casting by eliminating the clicks out of the equation.

Firstly, let me put smartcasting in perspective:

Without smartcasting:
R-> click -> E -> click-> W-> click -> Q -> click

With smart casting:
REWQ BAM!

I use smartcasting for QWE, but not for R. I like to use the arrow for R to judge my shot for more accuracy. Smartcasting R in skirmishes are better, though, since you're given less time to use R, and it's usually a point-blank ultimate in the face.


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How AP Ezreal functions

Any mage needs AP to do damage. Ezreal is no exception. However, AP Ezreal is unique in requiring a specific item to make a normally worthless spell into one of the best spells in the game, just for Ezreal. But before I go further, AP Ezreal's lategame is legendary - but it requires farming/getting fed, a luxury AP Ezreal does not have all the time. But in reality, the goal's not as far as you think. In order to achieve god-status AP carry, Ezreal needs just Lichbane and Deathcap. These add up to a total 7k gold, which is perfectly possible to get in most games rather quickly, unless your teammate feeds and forces a 20min surrender, OR you/teammate forced an enemy 20min surrender; either way, can't be helped.

The thing is, AP Ezreal is still a powerhouse before then. Rushing Lichbane gives a decent Q for early game (Sheen), and plenty of AP to do respectable damage on the rest (blasting wand). Another way you could build is rushing parts of a Deathcap, which makes your W, E, and R do large amounts of damage before trying to get Lichbane. In short, AP Ezreal isn't useless before these two items. It's all about the stats you get WHILE building towards these items.

It is well known that the base damage on Q is physical, AND has a measly 0.2 AP ratio. However, it is able to proc on-hit effects. This one sole feature is what makes AP Ezreal's poking power godly - he can activate Lichbane with Q, effectively making his Q a 1.2 AP ratio spell. At rank 5, Q has a 4 second cooldown before reduction, 1000 range, uses only 50 mana points, and has a relatively fast travel speed. And at the same time, the built-in CDR brings up his W faster, effectively doubling or even tripling his damage output during teamfights.

The most important thing to note about Q is its ability to reduce CD of all spells by a second. This is the sole factor that puts AP Ezreal one step further than most mages in terms of sheer damage: while dealing massive burst damage instantly (best with smartcast), with constant hits with Q he can bring his next combo up in mere seconds (check the math section for more information), also making Ezreal's combo one of the fastest in the game.

Along with W (0.7) and R(0.9) with above average damage for AOE spells, Ezreal is a huge presence in teamfights. With E (0.75) now an effective nuke, Ezreal can use it to punish survivors fleeing to their base, or chasers pursuing Ezreal's teammates or himself.

In short, AP Ezreal is able to make use of all his spells. The only hole in his kit, of course, is his passive which offers boosted AS (attackspeed) with every target hit by a skillshot, a stat that AP Ezreal does not need.

There are more downsides to being AP Ezreal. While other mages can happily burst down waves of minions for some quick gold for that new Deathcap, AP Ezreal has the option of blowing his ultimate spell on minions or kill each minion one by one with Q, E, and autoattacking. Use your ult on minions and probably not have it up when a teamfight occurs, or take the time to clear a minion wave, at the risk of being ganked.

Choose your poison.


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How to lane with AP Ezreal

First of all, you are NOT helpless during the laning phase. Far from it.

The Rules of Laning as AP Ezreal

1. You do not talk about laning as AP Ezreal.
2. You do NOT talk about laning as AP Ezreal.
3. Never, EVER use your Arcane Shift to harass or kill a minion. An exception to this rule is quickly taking out a cannon minion, but that's just about it.
4. Try your best to take mid. Every time. You need the farm and level advantage, period. Negotiate, persuade, WHATEVER it takes to get mid. At least be polite when you do so.
5. Always begin with an item with mana or mana regen over damage, if you're not going boots/pots. No exceptions. You do more damage over time with more spells than just getting ~15 extra damage on your spells.
6. Have fun!

How to Farm and Harass


Farming

This is pretty much standard knowledge for any summoner. Last hit but only go crazy killing minions when the enemy is pushing. And by crazy, autoattack those with full health and try to switch attention to the ones with low health so you can secure the kill and gold. Otherwise, just focus on last hitting and harassing the enemy. You have the option of last hitting in safety using Mystic Shot. This, however, should only be used when you're last hitting one minion and another is about to die. Autoattack then fire a quick Mystic Shot to claim both kills. This works especially well when you get Mystic Shot to rank 3 and leave it there PLUS getting an early Sheen.



The real trouble with AP Ezreal is that he can't farm quickly without his Trueshot Barrage. However, keep in mind that during laning phase, this isn't really the issue as you should not be pushing too hard and focusing on harass/last hit. Mid/lategame, however, you should have a decent amount of cooldown reduction(CDR) from any source (runes, masteries, blue buff, item) so your ultimate should be up most of the time. Consider saving your Trueshot Barrage when a tower is getting pushed hard. Otherwise, visit each lane individually and farm using Mystic Shot, Arcane Shift, and autoattacking.



There is something you should consider. Ezreal's ultimate has a special function - while champs like Yi can push lanes by going to each, Ezreal can push lanes from his base, without actually attending the push in person. This is very effective with a CDR build, as you can constantly pressure the lanes to divide their attentions and potentially weaken their numbers for an eventual teamfight. This is not always the case, though. You can simply save your ultimate when an enemy gets away with low health for an easy kill, or for teamfights to shift the team health advantage to yours

Harassing

Harassing is a finer art, however. You have a choice on how you want to harass. If you rank Mystic Shot up to three first, you have the option of being able to harass the enemy gradually and then swoop in for the kill. All for cheap mana costs, of course! The downside is Mystic Shot will hit minions if you aim improperly.


However, you'll simply hit harder with Essence Flux if you bring AP/MRpen runes to the table AND hit the enemy through his minions. But, while you can hit the other guy much harder, you will definitely lose damage over time if you miss sometimes. So, here's a few tips on harassing...
    ~The other guy isn't gonna sit around and take your harass. Most people will try to harass you back. But most people has less range than Ezreal. Even Caitlyn is manageable if you position yourself out of range and swoop in with Mystic Shot and/or Essence Flux when she fires her Piltover Peacemaker (Q) or tries to last hit. Firstly, there are signs that the guy will try to damage you. This is often indicated by moving towards you, or closing the gap by subtle back and forth movements. Either way, anticipate his movements and fire a spell. Ezreal can instantly fire a spell while running, so ALWAYS run back while firing something when the enemy is getting closer to harass you.

    ~Study the enemy movement. Most people are just randomly pacing back and forth, and move in a certain direction when they think they will get hit. Test your observations with Mystic Shot first, if you will use Essence Flux later. For example, an enemy Malzahar has a pattern of going up-left when I fire a Mystic Shot. After a couple more shots, I can start taking advantage of him by making it obvious I will fire at him, making him move as predicted, and then proceed to fire exactly where he would go. More Essence Flux's landed, I've forced the enemy Malzahar back to his turret or base.

    ~It's a very neat trick to imagine a block between you and the enemy. If the block gets smaller, he's too close. If the block's too big, you're too far away to do effective harass. Stay within optimal range (around 1k~1.3k, about the range of a Mystic Shot). Most people will not be able to touch you, but you can do quite the reverse.

    ~Gap closers are harder to lane against, but not impossible to do so. You can time your Arcane Shift to blink out of safety and damage the harasser. Then, fire Mystic Shot/Essence Flux to reverse the harassment to your advantage. Keep in mind, though, that gap closers use mana (with the exception of some champs) so if the enemy is using gap closers to try and harass you, you're doing your job well. Getting an early red buff works great with kiting enemies with Mystic Shot, while also being effectively an enemy's shadow while he attempts to retreat.


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Teamfights, skirmishes, and ganks with AP Ezreal

Teamfights

Ezreal generally relies on QWR for teamfights. Leaving E for later has its benefits:
    ~you have it up when you need to escape or close the gap AND damage a runner.

    ~you can instantly reposition to dodge a particularly lethal skillshot.
And consequences when using it in a teamfight:
    ~you may be too close to an enemy for your liking (at least 750 range for E to fire)

    ~you just used it up and may not have it when you really needed it (escape or killing/closing the gap on a runner)

    ~you just got grabbed by Blitzcrank and now you're dead.
So, basically, AP Ezreal does best by poking with Q and dealing team-wide damage with W and R from afar while keeping E to either burst down a squishy out of position or to escape.

Keep in mind that you're not exactly forbidden to use E during teamfights - consider using it to leap over a wall and rain skillshots on the enemy team, quickly secure a kill, or attempt a trick like hopping into a bush full of allied traps and have enemies follow you. Just a few examples. The point is, E is a tool of opportunity. Use it at the best moment, not everytime it's off CD.


Skirmishes and Ganks

AP Ezreal plays differently for ganking and skirmishes. In skirmishes, Ezreal can use his full combo, EWQ and begin or end with an R, with less consequences. There are, however, some things you must keep in mind while functioning in skirmishes and ganks.

Using E: Arcane Shift
    ~blink over a wall and lay down a full combo on a single target before he could react.
    It can be used to blink into a bush your enemy just ran into to surprise and damage him. Most players who are simply trying to get away often gets demoralized since your blink just dealt a huge nuke. Keep in mind you shouldn't chase too far, lest he runs back to his teammates and you're the one who's dead.

    ~Keep in mind WHERE you blink to. Blinking next to a melee carry is not the best idea, but blinking next to a ranged carry with little or no escape ensures that you got the maximum range gained and at the same time make it much easier to land your skillshots. Even then, a ranged carry is still dangerous. Be sure, before deciding to shift in, that you will finish the carry off quickly.

    ~A very fun aspect is that Arcane Shift can target stealthed champions - so if Teemo/Twitch/Eve/Shaco/Vayne/Wukong managed to stealth with a small amount of health, a well-positioned Arcane Shift can damage and also potentially kill the target, or at least tell you where the stealthed enemy is. Keep this in mind while playing against stealth champions.

    ~Try saving Arcane Shift to confuse attackers. Juking around to avoid Brand's or Xerath's skillshots, blinking behind a Rammus/Singed intent on ruining your day, blinking into a nearby bush for a couple seconds of free hits on your target, hopping over a wall during a teamfight when you get focused, and so on. Be flexible and creative.



Using Q: Mystic Shot and W: Essence Flux

Essence Flux is best fired after E because of its shorter range. Mystic Shot is best after W because of its longer range just in case the enemy managed to react fast enough to try and run. Spam Mystic Shot to bring up your next Essence Flux and Arcane Shift to punish runners.



Using R: Trueshot Barrage

Trueshot Barrage is often great to begin with to weaken an enemy before flashing in to burst his health down. The downside is it often gives away your position. However, since it is a global skillshot, the enemy may or may not assume that you were only lucky to hit him from half a map away. On the other hand, if you start your burst right after your ult, you can still retain the element of surprise.

Saving it after a combo is great, since an enemy often sticks around if he has enough health (but not for long) so the time comes to run when he has low health. That is the prime opportunity for an ultimate. The downside of this is the enemy is now aware of your position (and that you will most likely fire your ultimate) and will probably move to dodge your ultimate.

Bushes

Utilizing bushes to your advantage is a great factor in staying alive and dealing damage to the enemy team. For example, as you are being chased by someone, you run into the bush, giving you a couple of seconds before the enemy catches up. What do? Since the enemy is now running in a static line towards you, AND now doesn't know what you're up to, you channel an ultimate spell to fire point-blank into the enemy's face. By using a bush, it basically gave you a free shot at the enemy.

Bushes are amazing in nearly garen-teeing accuracy on skillshots, since enemies are not aware of you (unless there are wards) and what you would do. Using bushes to your advantage can ensure a perfect combo.


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The math behind AP Ezreal

A calculation of Ezreal's lategame damage output


At the core of any AP Ezreal build, Ezreal needs Lichbane and Deathcap in order to do effective damage on all of his spells. End game, though, AP Ezreal of course needs Void Staff to do even more damage and counter enemies building one or two MR(magic resist) items.

So, a typical build of an AP Ezreal would be:

Sorcerer's Boots
Lichbane
Deathcap
Lichba- Just kidding, Void Staff.
ROA(Rod of Ages)
BV(Banshee's Veil)

(A more durable build, I personally found better performance out of glass cannon builds since I am in relative safety, so BV is often all I need to absorb a CC in order to escape but even then, BV is only nice if there's an abundance of casters on the enemy team. Instead of ROA and BV, I take Rylai's and Archangel's Staff or Hextech Gunblade instead.)

Adding up the total AP out of this setup:


80 + 140 + 80 + 70 = 370 + (370*0.3) = 481 AP

Q: 110 base damage + 101 (1.0 AD ratio) + 0.2 (AP ratio) + 1.0 (Lichbane) = 788 damage before reduction. (being on a 2~4 cooldown and has 1k range)
W: 280 base damage + 0.7 (AP ratio) = 616 damage before reduction (AOE based)
E: 275 base damage + 0.75 (AP ratio) = 635 damage before reduction (amazing to punish runners and chasers)
R: 650 base damage + 0.9 = 1082 damage before reduction. (huge teamwide damage, especially great with Rylai's)

- 8% damage reduction per target, so if you hit all five enemies without hitting minions:
1st hit = 1082 damage before reduction.
2nd hit = 1082 - 87 = 995 damage before reduction.
3rd hit = 1082 - 173 = 909 damage before reduction.
4th hit = 1082 - 260 = 822 damage before reduction.
5th hi t= 1082 - 346 = 735 damage before reduction.




That's 3121 total damage from a full combo, 1698 damage AOE-based.





Now, let's calculate how fast he can BRING UP W and E.

Q is 4 seconds, or 2.4 seconds with blue + CDR glyphs. W has 9, or 5.4 seconds. E is 11 seconds, or 6.6 seconds.

A scenario in which I gank Annie. I lay down my full combo, amounting to 3121 total damage before MR.

Theoretically, she would have 80 MR with just a BV. The damage calculation is: 100/(100+80)=0.56, or about 35% damage reduction. Then sorcerer's boots + runes kicks in (34 flat MRpen) and Annie has 46. That's now about 32% damage reduction. Then Void Staff + mastery kicks in. 46 - (46*49%) = 20 MR. That's just 20% damage reduction.

I pop her veil with E first - a loss of 635 damage. I proceed to use smartcast to instantly land R first, then W and Q. That's 1989 of her health gone in an instant. And my E wasn't even factored into the combo's total damage. My Q comes up again in two seconds and I do 631 damage after reductions to her. That Q also lowered my CD on W, making it 4 seconds. Another Q for 631 damage in two seconds, while W is at 2 seconds, and reduces W's CD again and brings it back up for 616 damage.

Now, taking the above combo (after my initial combo) into calculation: 631*2+616 = 1878.

I just did 1878 more damage over five seconds after my initial combo. This little scenario shows how much damage he can actually do lategame, debunking a stupid myth that AP Ezreal does not do damage lategame. And let the math tell you this: AP Ezreal is one scary carry.


Please note that the above scenario is unrealistic - it's simply a given just to show how much damage AP Ezreal is capable of. However, it isn't farfetched to say I caught an Annie by surprise and bursted her down.





A base comparision with another popular AP carry

Brand:

Okay, let's start with one thing: I think Ezreal demolishes Brand in terms of single target damage but loses to Brand in the game of AOE damage. Let's see if I'm right...

240 + 255 + 210 + 350 base damage = 1055 base damage before reduction. Let's assume Brand sets up a combo for maximum damage on a single target, which is EWQR, which in math is: 210 + (255 + (255*0.25)) + 240 + 350 = 1119 base damage before reduction versus Ezreal's 1320 base damage.

Now let's put their AP ratios together: 0.65 + 0.6 + 0.55 + 0.5 = 2.3 damage per AP versus Ezreal's 3.55 damage per AP.

Part of my hypothesis has been proven correct: AP Ezreal will outburst Brand any day in terms of single-target burst. But what about AOE damage?

Assuming Brand uses the combo WER, he would have 255 + 210 + 350 = 815 AOE before reduction versus Ezreal's (280 + 650 = ) 930 AOE base damage before reduction. Wait, what? Now let's calculate the AP ratios into the AOE damage: Brand has 0.55 + 0.6 + 0.5*5 = 3.65 AOE damage per AP before reduction versus Ezreal's 1.6 AOE damage before reduction. Impressive AOE damage for Brand!

Let's just calculate total team health damage...

Brand's 255(5) + 210(5) + 350(5) = 4575 base damage before reduction.

Ezreal's 280(5) + 650 + 598 + 546 + 494 + 442 = 4130 base damage before reduction.

Conclusion: Ezreal is again the superior single-target damage dealer but steps down to let Brand take the crown for AOE damage.


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Conclusion

AP Ezreal, in my opinion, is just as viable as AD or Hybrid Ezreal. That is, they have different strengths and weaknesses that sets them apart as individually viable AND fun builds. For example, AD Ezreal has an advantage in Summoner's Rift with the presence of the laning phase, since AD Ezreal can effectively garner kills and snowball into a scary carry. However, AP Ezreal shines in Crystal Scar since farming is not an issue, meaning AP Ezreal can get his core items and shine within minutes of the match. Hybrid, of course, has the best of both worlds while not having the best damage of either. On the other hand, Hybrid makes for a fun build as you utilize everything Ezreal has to offer.

Ezreal in general is one of the most fun champions in the game due to a challenging and rewarding gameplay while offering the ability to be flexible with many builds, so Ezreal mains can find the perfect build that "clicks" for themselves.

AP Ezreal, for me, is an amazing burst caster with tons of mobility while possessing an ability to "snipe" people across the map with a large, powerful missle. Those are the best. I can honestly say after hundreds of games with him that he is my favorite champion and will continue to be so for even more games.

With this post, I hope I showed at least one person how awesome AP Ezreal really is. I had a blast making this guide. I also hope you do, reading my guide.