Ezreal Build Guide by Khazem
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hello! I'm Khazem, a platinum Elo mid lane/AD carry player. In this guide I will be talking about Ezreal and how to build/play him at a competitive level.
Ezreal is a very strong and very safe AD carry pick. With few lane counters, a good mid game presence and probably the most reliable escape ability in the game, Ezreal is definitely one of the strongest if not THE strongest AD carry right now.
Ezreal is very versatile when it comes to item builds and has a lot of different options available to him, depending on how the game is going, who you're up against and how YOU are doing. In this guide, I will explain exactly how to adapt and build accordingly, as well as go over the basic mechanics of Ezreal.
Before we begin, I urge you to watch this amazing video to get into the mood.
Rising Spell Force: 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.
A great passive that is one of the reasons Ezreal is so effective without too much attack speed and can build a Trinity Force instead of Phantom Dancer.
Mystic Shot: Ezreal fires a bolt of energy in a line that will deal 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 (+ 100% AD) (+ 20% AP) 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.
Cost: 28 / 31 / 34 / 37 / 40 mana
Cooldown: 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4 seconds
Ezreal's main poking ability. Deals a nice amount of damage and applies all on-hit effects from your Trinity Force. Always try using this between auto attacks as it does so much for you. It increases your attack speed, reduces all of your cooldowns every time you hit and it has the potential to slow whoever you hit.
Essence Flux: Ezreal fires a wave of energy in a line. Any enemy champions it passes through are dealt 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 80% AP) magic damage and have their attack speed slowed by 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% for 5 seconds, while any allied champions it travels through have their attack speed increased for 5 seconds.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
Cooldown: 9 seconds
This ability is what makes Ezreal so good at winning damage exchanges in lane. Deals a good amount of damage and slow the enemy attack speed at the same time. When engaging in a 1v1, or when under attack by an enemy bruiser/AD carry always try and hit the ability before doing anything else. When grabbing global objectives (towers, dragons, barons) always try and buff as many of your allies as possible.
Arcane Shift: Ezreal instantly teleports to a nearby target location and fires a homing arrow at the nearest enemy unit, dealing 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+ 75% AP) magic damage to it.
Cost: 90 mana
Cooldown: 19 / 17 / 15 / 13 / 11 seconds
One of the most reliable escape abilities in the game because of it's blink nature. Unlike other AD carries, this does not get interrupted if you get CC'd at the same time you use this. (I'm sure you know how frustrating it is to get grabbed by Blitzcrank as Tristana or Corki, only to have your escape interrupted and made completely useless by his E) No matter what happens while you cast this, Ezreal will always travel to his destination.
Arcane Barrage: Ezreal channels for 1 second to fire a powerful broad energy missile that travels in a line across the whole map and deals 350 / 500 / 650 (+ 100% Bonus AD) (+ 90% AP) 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: 100 mana
Cooldown: 80 seconds
Banana! Great ultimate that can be used for many different things. Often used as a finishing move early/mid game or just to try and snipe someone across the map. Later in the game it's more often used as a poking ability/waveclear. Also a great ability to try and steal global objectives with.
With the recent changes to Mystic Shot and Essence Flux, you'll generally want to max out Mystic Shot first as main source of poke. Essence Flux has become a bit too unreliable as it's much harder to hit now and costs too much mana to use as consistent poke. Put a point in this at level 2 (or 3 depending on if you need Arcane Shift at level 2) and leave it at that one point untill last.
Max out Arcane Shift second to greatly reduce the cooldown for utility puproses and enabling more plays in the lane.
Always put a point in Trueshot Barrage when possible. (levels 6, 11 and 16)
Flash: A must have for making offensive plays, managing your positioning and escaping.
Cleanse: Against a lot of hard CC, you should always look to pick up Cleanse. It will save your life.
Heal: Fell out of favor a bit because most AD carries tend to take Ignite nowadays. I still think its subpar, but it's viable.
This is the runepage I use for Ezreal. The amount of armor penetration I use is a personal preference and shouldn't be blindly copied. You can use a little more or less depending on how comfortable you are last hitting.
greater mark of desolation: Since Ezreal likes to poke a lot and his Mystic Shot deals physical damage, he benefits a lot from having some early armor penetration.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Mainly used to aid with early last hitting. Use as little of these as possible while still being able to last hit properly.
Greater Seal of Armor: Only real viable seal for AD carries. You need armor to trade more effectively with the enemy AD/support and even to reduce incoming minion damage.
Greater Seal of Magic Resist: Usually what you want for seals. It mainly reduces the damage you take from the enemy support, as well as the enemy AP carry if they happen to roam to bottom lane.
Greater Seal of Scaling Magic Resist: If you're not too worried about enemy support poke (usually only applies in case of a Soraka or Janna) and you're against an all-physical AD carry such as Graves, you can use these to scale into late game.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: If you're not comfortable with your mana usage, you can use a couple of these to aid you in that department. They don't make too big of a difference, but they help.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: While having armor penetration gives you more poking/trading damage, you do need some kind of attack damage to be able to last hit properly. Without these, if you were to get pushed under your turret for the first few levels, you'd miss almost every last hit. I would always recommend picking these up.
This is the mastery setup I use. The 11 points in defense are aimed at giving you an edge in damage trades by reducing minion damage by 4 flat damage, as well as reducing some of the incoming enemy poke. Using this mastery setup against someone who doesn't will always give you a huge edge in short damage trades.
Tier 1 - Summoner's Wrath Brute Force : Not much to explain here. You pick up Summoner's Wrath if you go with Ignite and the rest of your tier 1 points into 3 attack damage for easier last hitting.
Tier 2 - Alacrity : Again, not much else you can get here. Cooldown reduction is definitely a nice stat but there's simply not enough points to spare.
Tier 3 - Weapon Expertise Deadliness : 2 useful masteries for your late game damage. Not much more to say than that cause there really is no alternative.
Tier 4 - Lethality Vampirism : Only 2 points in Vampirism because we have to sacrifice a point to go in the defense tree and you really want all 3 points into the next tier.
Tier 5 - Sunder : A nice amount of flat armor penetration to increase your early game damage output.
Tier 1 - Hardiness Tough Skin : 2 points into Hardiness to get down to the next tier and because you'll be taking mostly physical damage in the laning phase. Tough Skin is a really overlooked mastery that will reduce minion damage by 2. This really adds up if you count the amount of minion hits you take in the laning phase.
Tier 2 - Durability : Some late game survivability, get this to get to the next tier.
Tier 3 - Indomitable Veteran's Scars : The reason we sacrifice 2 offensive points. Indomitable gives you another 2 flat damage reduction. Not only does that add up to the 2 flat minion damage reduction from Tough Skin , but it also helps against any other damage you might take. Again, this adds up.
Main offensive item choices
Doran's Blade: If you're going to base in the early laning phase and find yourself sitting on about 1000 gold, you can get one or two of these to give you a temporary boost in power. All the stats are very useful for your laning phase. Never get more than 2, though.
Trinity Force: Grants Ezreal a lot of damage and utility. Especially good for a champion like Ezreal cause both Sheen and Phage can proc off Mystic Shot.
The Bloodthirster: A great item to increase Ezreal's damage output cause of his good AD ratio on Mystic Shot and Arcane Barrage.
Infinity Edge: Always the item to look for if you want damage on an AD carry. Gives you the biggest damage increase of any AD item.
Last Whisper: Once people start stacking armor, you should always get this as your armor reduction item.
Phantom Dancer: Another great damage increase, especially if bought after Infinity Edge.
Main defensive item choices
Quicksilver Sash: If any form of hard CC, or a supress is causing you problems, this is the best defensive item you can get. It has a pretty short cooldown and will save you in every single teamfight, rather than once every few minutes.
Guardian Angel: If your problem is getting jumped on by an assassin or strong melee bruister, then you should probably look into buying one of these. Makes you a little less tempting of a target and a harder one to kill.
Banshee's Veil: Good against stuff like an Evelynn if you can avoid getting it popped by poke. Can also prove useful against poke such as Nidalee's Javelin Toss.
Berserker's Greaves: Usually the boots you're going to want. While Ezreal has some nice damage in his abilities, his main damage will be coming from auto attacks, so you're going to want to increase your attack speed.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: If you're going for a more poke oriented build or teamcomp, you can get these.
Mercury's Treads: Useful against very high CC teams. Because of Ezreal's passive, not having Berserker's Greaves isn't THAT big of a deal.
The Brutalizer: This can be a great snowball item if you get an early lead by getting an early kill. Will give you a lot of damage early on and it will allow you to come out ahead in every early trade.
Important note: ONLY buy this if you get an early kill and you feel like you can snowball your advantage. Not worth delaying your Trinity Force otherwise.
Executioner's Calling: Very underrated item that is very cost effective if you need more lifesteal and can't afford a Bloodthirster.
Scenario: Your current build is Berserker's Greaves, 2x Doran's Blade, Trinity Force, Infinity Edge, Vampiric Scepter. You have 1600 gold and a teamfight is coming up. This item will give you a really decent amount of lifesteal for a cheap cost, as well as grant you some very nice extra critical chance. You buy this ONLY if you don't have enough gold for The Bloodthirster and you already at least have Infinity Edge and Trinity Force or Phantom Dancer, so you actually benefit from the critical chance. It gives you some very nice temporary stats untill you can afford The Bloodthirster, where you just sell it and only lose about 300 gold in total.
Overall this item is just very cost effective and worth getting if you can't afford The Bloodthirster yet but are looking for a little edge in the next teamfight.
Item build FAQ
--- What big item do I get first?
This is something that's asked and discussed very frequently, so let me clear this up.
Trinity Force: This is an item you use to keep control of your lane. It grants you a lot of utility and will allow you to keep an advantage if you've already built one up. If you're behind and you rush this item, you'll be behind on damage and it can hurt you. Always rush this item if you're ahead of your laning opponent.
Infinity Edge: If you're already behind on your laning opponent, you're going to want to match his damage output to have an impact on the game. If the laning phase drags out, you're also gonna want to get as much damage as possible. Get this item if you're behind on your laning opponent or if the laning phase drags out past 20 minutes. (by this I mean if ALL lanes are still in the laning phase by that time)
The Bloodthirster: Good item to get first but only if you can get this early on. If you can get quick stacks while still in the laning phase, an early The Bloodthirster can be very strong. It's also usually rushed when your team has a lot of poke. Never get The Bloodthirster first if you're behind.
--- Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster after Trinity Force?
Again, this depends on the situation/enemy teamcomp. If you find yourself auto attacking a lot and have a lot of champions on your team that can peel for you or defend you, get Infinity Edge cause it will always give you the biggest damage increase.
If the enemy team has champions that can easily jump you and you just want to try and survive teamfights and kite, The Bloodthirster is a better second item.
--- When do you get Phantom Dancer?
Whenever I rush Infinity Edge, the next item would be Phantom Dancer. Going for a Trinity Force after Infinity Edge is often not worth it anymore because it's mainly a midgame item. Phantom Dancer will give you more damage after an Infinity Edge than a Trinity Force will for a much cheaper cost.
Gameplay - Laning
Attack moving is a technique used by a lot of AD carry players when last hitting or choosing their targets in a fight. What it does is send a command to your character to move to the spot you're clicking on, but instead of just moving there it will attack the nearest target as soon as you're in range of it. You attack move by either holding shift and right clicking, or by pressing A and left clicking to your location.
Why is this useful? I know you've had this problem where you're trying to last hit a minion and accidentally missclick on the ground next to it, causing you to move there and put yourself in a very dangerour position. (as shown below)
Attack moving prevents this entirely. If you happen to missclick, your character will attempt to move to that location but stop moving as soon as there is something in range to attack, making sure you can never get into that bad position by accident.
The attack move command has a red indicator, so it's pretty clear when you're doing it right.
In this picture I attempt to move past the creepwave using attack move, but instead of moving there I actually attack the minion near me. It also clearly shows the red attack move indicator.
Other instances where attack move is useful:
- If you're chasing someone who's running through brushes, often they'll attempt to juke you by running out of it into a different direction. If you enter the brush using attack move you'll follow the person automatically, regardless of what direction they are going.
- Attack move can be used while sweeping for wards with an Oracle's Elixir. Simply move around the map using attack move and you'll attack any ward nearby, ensuring you don't miss any.
- When kiting, attack move is almost essential. Instead of having to move your character, then move your cursor all the way over the enemy you're kiting, then back to where you want to go, you simply alternate your normal move and attack move commands while running away. This will cause you to run away while still getting auto attacks off if you're in range.
There's a couple of possibilities here. First off, either you're on the blue side or the purple side. If you're on blue side you either have a jungler that will start with blue buff or red buff. If your jungler starts with red buff, simply defend the jungler at level 1, help them with the wraiths and leash the red buff/do some damage to it, then go to your lane.
If your jungler starts at blue buff (or doesn't need your help with red buff), you and support can kill your double golems to give you an edge over the bottom lane starting on the purple side.
Now you obviously can't tank them and neither can your support cause they'll actually do a lot of damage against a level 1 target. Kill them by kiting them. Here's how you effectively kite the double golem camp.
First, get into position a little bit to the left of the center of the golem camp. Have your support leash them as soon as they spawn and kite them to the left while you start attacking the smaller golem and killing it off first.
Once the golems hit the end of their leash range, they will agro onto you and start chasing you. The small golem should be about dead here. Simply kite the big golem to the right, trying to get some attacks in while keeping your distance and while your support tries to get some damage in.
From there, it will once again switch onto your support and it should be pretty low on health. Just tank it out and kill it, because if you run out of its leash range one more time, it will hard reset back to full health.
Don't use too much mana, but make sure they die quick enough. 2 Mystic Shots on the big golem should be about enough.
When laning, knowing how to control your minion wave is one of the most important skills to have. Knowing when to push up to their tower, when to freeze your lane and when to let the wave push to your tower is very important. Here are some tips to help you in that regard.
In the early game, ideally you want to keep the creepwave somewhere in the middle. Keep an eye on how big your wave and the enemy wave is and try to keep it even. If your wave is bigger, focus on only getting the very last hits. If your wave is smaller, try and quickly kill off some of the enemy creeps to make it even again.
If you're feeling confident in your match up and your safety from ganks, you can attempt to push up the wave to the enemy tower to make them miss last hits.
If you feel you're stronger in a 2v2 all-in, you can try and freeze the lane near your own tower by stopping the enemy minion wave from getting in your tower's range while your support controls the nearest lane brush and keeps the enemy AD carry on a distance.
If you want to go back to buy items, make sure to push out your lane as hard as possible before you go. Always try and kill off the last wave that comes in as quickly as possible with the help of your support, so that you have enough time to make it back before the next wave hits your tower.
When the enemy bottom lane goes back to buy, try and shove your lane up as hard as possible so that your own creepwave can hit the enemy tower as fast as possible so the enemy AD misses out on a wave or two, again with the help of your support. Don't worry if this causes you to miss some last hits. While your goal is to get as many last hits as possible, in the end all that matters is having more farm than your opponent.
The laning phase
In the laning phase, your main goal will always be to get more farm than your opponent. Be it through aggressively forcing them out of lane, or smart lane control. Depending on the match-up, you can choose to aggressively poke your opponent when they go in for a last hit on a caster minion. Try and position yourself so you can land Mystic Shots on your opponent without the creepwave blocking them. Always make sure you're aware of where the enemy support is and know what they're capable of.
If you're on blue side and you started off by killing the double golems, you'll have an experience advantage and you and your support will hit level 2 before them. This gives you a small window where you're much stronger than them and you want to look for an all-in fight as soon as you hit level 2. Coordinate a play with your support if possible, but always make sure not to put yourself in too bad of a position. Minions hurt like hell.
On the other side, if you're on purple, you'll often be at an experience disadvantage. Pay CLOSE attention to when your opponent hits level 2 and play very safe untill you also hit level 2. Try and stay at max range from the enemy support and last hit at a safe distance untill that disadvantage diminishes or untill your jungler comes in for a gank. Try and outplay your opponents by poking them with your Mystic Shots.
Another important thing to keep in mind is when your opponent goes back to buy, you want to go back as soon as possible as well just so you don't fall too far behind in items. If your opponent goes back to buy 2 Doran's Blades for example while you choose to stay in lane to farm, you'll be at a big disadvantage and it will cost you if you get caught.
If you're on blue side, everytime you and your support go back to buy and your lane is pushed up to the enemy tower as you're running back, it can be very beneficial to quickly kill the double golems before getting back into your lane.
Laning Partners and Counters
Leona: Definitely one of the best supports to go with Ezreal. Everytime she jumps in and stuns someone, she sets them up to get hit by all of your skillshots. This allows for some very high burst combos and very strong all-in potential.
Taric: Has a very strong stun that sets people up to get hit by your entire combo. Taric himself also has very high burst so this makes for some very strong all-in potential if Taric lands all of his abilities.
Blitzcrank: With his Rocket Grab he can put a lot of pressure on the enemy laners. Ezreal also has great follow up for when he does land a Rocket Grab as he will keep them in place after that using his Power Fist. Ezreal generally synergizes very well with aggressive, high damage supports like this.
Sona: Has some very high poke of her own that goes well with yours along with some very nice sustain. Allows you to go in for trades more effecively and come out ahead due to the auras Sona provides. Also has some great all-in potential everytime her Crescendo is up.
Draven: Ezreal's biggest strength is his ability to always come out ahead in damage trades, using his low cooldown abilities to chunk and debuff his opponents. Draven is the one champion who is stronger in these longer drawn out trades as he just dishes out a lot more damage with his Spinning Axe. Against a Draven, you want to stay at a safe distance and poke with Mystic Shot whenever he goes in for a trade.
Leona: Your biggest friend in lane, but also your biggest enemy. While Ezreal is generally very safe against aggressive supports, Leona is the only one who can actually keep him in place. Against a Taric for example, Ezreal can get targetted by the stun and Arcane Shift away while the stun is in the air and be safe from any follow up. Against Leona, when she Zenith Blade's in, Ezreal will Arcane Shift away, be stunned a little further away and while against anyone else he'll be safe at that point, Leona can simply follow up by landing her ultimate and this time you're a sitting duck. Ezreal is still one of the stronger picks against Leona but that doesn't mean she isn't effective against him.
Teamfighting as an AD carry can be pretty difficult and revolves around one thing, positioning. Positioning is key as an AD carry and it shows the difference between a good AD carry and a bad one.
So here's the start of an avarage teamfight. A few things to note. As an AD carry, I'm positioned way in the back. If any threats (in this case Darius, Morgana) want to get to me, they'll have to go through 3 members of my team (4 if you count the Shen about to come in with his ultimate).
You can see my tankline consisting of Irelia and Shen holding off anyone trying to get to me and my support being right next to me keeping me from harm. I am completely safe in this teamfight and can dish out my damage freely.
However, Darius (and the Evelynn not on screen at the time) are making a move towards me. As they approach, my goal is to stick close to my support, while trying to kite the enemy Darius and Evelynn. There is no point in running off on my own because when I'm alone I'm a sitting duck. When threats get on to you, it's important to stay near people who can peel for you, while staying away from any other threats that aren't currently in a position to get to you.
Also very important, I cut off the enemy Vayne with a black line. This means I'm COMPLETELY ignoring her for now. She's also positioned behind her entire team so I cannot realistically get to her without getting myself into a really bad position.
The number one rule of doing damage as an AD carry is to attack whoever you can while staying in a safe position. In this case, I'm attacking Blitzcrank. I'm completely free to do so in the current scenario because it puts me far away from any possible threats and I can keep my damage up as high as possible. The next target would be Darius as he approaches me to try and kill me. I kite him away while doing as much damage to him as possible.
As an AD carry, you don't have any target priorities. Always remember to do damage to whatever is closest to you. As long as you're in a safe position and still attacking something, you're doing good.
Scores, Credits and Final Comments
Thanks for reading this guide! To finish out, here's some of my results using this guides in 1900+ Elo games. (as proof that this build actually works)
If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! If you liked the guide, please leave a vote. If you disliked the guide and feel like downvoting it, please leave some feedback telling me exactly what you didn't like so that I can improve the guide.