Ezreal Build Guide by Retribution
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
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.
Basics: Introduction to this guide.
Hello everyone. I'm Retribution, and this is my second guide here on Mobafire.
Ezreal is a truly versatile champion, and widely considered to be among the best AD Carries out there. He is skill-shot based, and his damage output in a fight is amazing. Not to mention, he has a global ultimate in the form of a banana. (Well, the shape? :D)
Like AP Tristana, AP Ezreal is under-played, as well as under-rated. His AP Ratios are nice, and his full combo damage is far higher than that of AD Ezreal. His burst potential is not to be underestimated, and his ultimate would be far more devastating if Ezreal builds AP.
I bought Ezreal quite a long time ago. I remember getting beat by the enemy Ezreal, and then feeling really impressed by the global ultimate. So, of course, I bought him right after the game. When I first started, I only played him by building AP. Heck, AP Carry was my favorite role to fill! (It still is now, actually.) A while later, I began to try out AD Ezreal, after suggestions from a friend. IMO, amazing. Now, Ezreal is my favorite AD Carry to play. It's great.
I have split this guide into two main sections: One for AD Ezreal, and one for his AP Counterpart. Within this guide are my thoughts, my explanations, and my understanding of my way to play this champion. I understand that people have different play-styles, different preferences, etc. Perhaps, PM me about it! I'd be glad to accept new ideas, and who knows? Maybe they're better than my ideas!
Last thing: Don't follow the cheat sheet blindly and expect to do well! Items should ALWAYS be built situationally. I mean, what's the point of building MR against a team with heavy AD damage?
My other guide:
Lux: The Final Spark. A Comprehensive Guide.
Basics: The Goods, and the Bads.
+Amazing DPS output! (AD)
+Great burst damage! (AP)
+Global, multi-target ultimate!
+Free flash! ( Arcane Shift)
+Great for smartcasting!
+Make him dance!
+Only champion to have a "theme".
-Needs items. (Don't they all?)
-Needs a good early-game
Basics: Ezreal's Skill set.
Rising Spell Force (Passive): Hitting a target with any of Ezreal's abilities increases his attack speed by 10% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Basically, you get extra AS when you hit a target with a spell. The AS bonus stacks up to a whopping 50%, which is really nice to have. This stacks for each target hit, so mobbing targets is a great way to get AS, fast.
-Use Mystic Shot for basic brush-checking. If the stacks increase, there is a target in the brush, and you hit them.
- Essence Flux is also a good idea, as this gives you a knowledge of exactly how many enemies are present. The range and the width is somewhat less, though.
- Trueshot Barrage can give you many stacks of this, quickly.
Mystic Shot (Q): Ezreal fires a bolt of energy that deals 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 (+1.0 per attack damage) (+20% of ability power) physical damage and applies on-hit effects. If it strikes an enemy unit it reduces all of Ezreal's cooldowns by 1 second. This ability will be your most commonly used ability. The missile speed is very nice, and the damage is pretty under-rated, IMO. This stacks alongside Trinity Force, which essentially gives us a 2.5 AD scaling off this! It's got a short cooldown, and the CDR effect on target hit applies to all of Ezreal's skills.
-Very effective in brush-checking, as it only hits the first target it contacts.
-You can occasionally use this for farming, if there are 2 or more low-health minions.
-It only hits the first target! Meaning, it doesn't go through minions.
-Use this often when Trueshot Barrage is down; you can get it back a lot sooner. Don't exhaust your mana supply while doing so, though.
Essence Flux (W) : Ezreal fires a fluctuating wave of energy at a targeted area. Any enemy champions it passes through take 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+80% of ability power) 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 by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 % for 5 seconds. For AD Ezreal, this is a "Meh" ability. The AS change is good to have: You can effectively slow down your enemies' attacks, and you can increase your allies' AS. However, it's great on AP Ezreal. It makes for powerful harassing, and the AP Ratio is pretty darn high.
-Passes through minions, and hits multiple champions. Use this to your advantage.
-Use this in a fight to stack up Rising Spell Force quickly, slow down your enemies' attacks, and buff your own teammates.
-If used for brush-checking, you can know how many enemies are in the brush.
-Use this on your teammates when you're pushing a tower!
Arcane Shift (E) : Ezreal teleports to a target nearby location and fires a homing arrow at the nearest enemy unit dealing 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+75% of ability power) magic damage. This is Ezreal's built in Flash. The cooldown's not so bad, and you can use it to escape bad situations. The AP ratio is quite decent, as well. Max it second, so you can get the reduced cooldowns earlier.
-YOU MUST SMARTCAST THIS. Without it, it's targetted, meaning you have to click where you're blinking to. Way too hard to do if you're being chased. Smartcasting it makes it exactly the same as Flash, plus a damaging component.
-Use it to chase down enemies, or escape enemies!
-In the case of AP Ezreal, you could use this for damage, only if you are confident you can burst down your target.
-Never use it for harassing.
-Always keep enough mana to cast this.
Trueshot Barrage (Ultimate) : Ezreal channels for 1 second to fire a powerful barrage of energy missiles, which deal 350 / 500 / 650 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) (+90% of ability power) magic damage to each enemy unit they pass through. However, it deals 8% less damage for each additional unit it hits (30% minimum damage). This ultimate works like Draven's Whirling Death, without the return. You can use this to finish off a low-health enemy, help out other lanes, and clear away minions from a low-health tower. (Don't do this so much though). It deals decreased damage for each target, so keep that in mind when you're aiming this. If you play Ashe or Draven well, you should be able to get the hang of this pretty quickly.
-It deals decreased damage for each target hit.
-EACH HIT grants stacks for Rising Spell Force.
-you can use it to initiate fights (So you'd have extra AS for the fight) or finish off fights (To pick off that fleeing target.)
-Casting it in the middle of the fight is dangerous. You are SQUISHY.
-CC does not cancel this! The only way to cancel the channel is if you die. (I once saw this video where a Cassiopeia died to Ezreal. Ezreal was stunned by Petrifying Gaze, but was already channeling Trueshot Barrage when that happened. Strange to see this come out from a cool-looking statue. ;D)
AD Ezreal: Overview.
Ezreal is one of the strongest AD carries you can choose, even more so after his recent buff. His auto attack animations are crisp, and his passive really benefits him as an AD carry. Our skills all have their usefulness, in just about any situation. Mystic Shot scales well off AD, and provides us with good poke damage. Essence Flux can slow down your opponent's attacks, or speed up your allies' attacks. Arcane Shift is essentially an improved Riftwalk. Higher damage, longer damage range, lower mana cost, at only a slightly longer cooldown. Let's not forget our Trueshot Barrage. While it does not stun your target like Enchanted Crystal Arrow does, it can hit and pass through more than one target. While being a champion of a slightly-higher skill cap, Ezreal is a strong pick for any team composition.
AD Ezreal: Rune usage.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater mark of desolation grants us a good amount of ArP. The amount is quite significant, and allows us to ignore a certain amount of the target's Armor, thus inflicting higher damage. This is a standard pick for AD Carries that do not need the ~8 AD they can get from a different mark.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage grants us 8.5 AD. Along with Masteries, other runes, and other factors, you can be dealing quite significant damage early game. This is geared towards players that find themselves not needing a Doran's Blade, although the combination of the two is also really powerful.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed grants us a whopping 15% AS. That's about the amount our Berserker's Greaves gives us! With extra AS, you can last-hit minions a little easier, and this scales well towards late-game as well.
The choice of runes are up to you, as a player. Personally, I find these three types to be the most effective on Ezreal, or just about any other AD Carry.
As you will be laning against another AD Carry, in the bottom lane, I strongly recommend Greater Seal of Armor. This extra amount of armor allows us to take reduced damage from enemies, and will definitely help you survive in lane. Towards late-game, this can help you survive longer in a fight.
As Ezreal is quite a mana-hungry champion, I think greater seal of replenishment is a good idea as well. The MP5 helps you sustain your mana pool, so you (probably) won't be out when you desperately need that Arcane Shift.
AD Carries areSQUISHY. Glass cannons. Always targeted first in a fight, yet always the biggest threat. To counter this problem, we can try greater seal of vitality. 175 extra health late-game means we can survive longer in a bad situation. Usually, it means you get that split second extra to move, and re-position.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Again, AD Carries are SQUISHY. Both Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist can negate some of this problem. Given MR, we can take less damage from enemies' spells. This is especially useful when the enemy team has a strong AP champion. (They probably will) Either the MR or the MR/lvl will work. We earn more from the MR/lvl, but it takes time to build up.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction reduces our cooldowns. This 6% decrease can possibly mean that we can escape a bad situation, because our Arcane Shift will be up *That* much sooner. However, I find it to be of more effect on AP Ezreal.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage grants us a nice amount of AD. Add that to our Greater Mark of Attack Damage, you can easily have 19 bonus AD at level 1. Quite a significant amount, because your Mystic Shot can easily hit for 100 damage. Amazing considering most AD Carries have base health in the 400s.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is one of those few runes that work on any champion. That 4.5% stacks with Swiftness , and we can have quite a lot of speed. Add on a Phantom Dancer, you'd be so mobile. I still find the AD to be more useful though, the choice is up to you.
AD Ezreal: Masteries.
The above is my standard mastery set, intended for use with Heal + Flash spells.
Brute Force gives us 3 bonus AD. It's quite an underestimated amount, and it helps with last hitting and harassing. Heck, we're playing AD Ezreal. We'll need it anyway.
Since we're not using Summoner's Wrath because we don't have Ignite, we can replace that with Butcher . The bonus damage makes farming a lot easier, and allows us to assign points in the next level of the tree.
I place points in Alacrity , because it grants us AS. As a DPS champion, we want to deal constant damage, and this helps us improve that damage. 4 points into this mastery also allows us to place a point into Weapon Expertise , which grants us 10% ArP.
I max out Deadliness , as the AD/lvl bonus is pretty nice to have. At max rank, it grants us 9 bonus AD. Not a bad value, actually.
3 points into Havoc , for the bonus damage. You could replace this with Vampirism for the bonus Life Steal effects.
A point into Lethality , which grants us bonus Crit damage. It's kind of like an Infinity Edge, too.
Now, I like to place points into Sunder , which gives us even more ArP. Always nice to have.
Executioner is a must-have for any damage-type champion. The bonus damage effects allow us to finish off enemies easier. This also applies to minions as well, so it makes last-hitting a lot easier.
I like to put a point into Summoner's Insight , for the Flash cooldown reduction. Why? That 15 seconds might just save your life; I don't know how many times it did for me. Despite having Arcane Shift, having 2 blink effects is always a good idea.
Ezreal is mana hungry. I like placing points into Expanded Mind for some extra mana, helping us with that small mana pool. Another possible choice is Good Hands , which let us revive sooner.
I like to put points into Swiftness , for the bonus MS effect.
Finally, Runic Affinity . This helps us keep that Red buff, blue buff, whatever, longer. You could replace this point with something else, although I think you'd need the Red buff all the time.
Alternatively, you could go with a 21/9/0 mastery, if you find that you'd need the extra survivability. Summoner's Resolve can grant us bonus effects from Heal, which is quite nice to have. As you'd be in the bottom lane, you will usually be against another AD Carry, which makes the armor from Hardiness good to have. Alternatively, Resistance gives us MR. It's useful against someone like Teemo. Durability will grant us a nice amount of extra health by late game, and the 30 flat health from Veteran's Scars is great for early game usage.
AD Ezreal: Summoner Spells.
*The above are the summoner spells I consider viable on Ezreal.*
The current Meta runs on the AD Carry running Heal bottom lane. Why not? As an AD Carry, you'd be very vulnerable to attacks. You are, essentially, a "glass cannon". This allows you to survive that extra bit of damage, and is also useful for baiting tower-dives from enemies. During team-fights, you can also use this to help your teammates out.
You might ask why I recommend Flash, when we already have Arcane Shift? There are quite a few reasons. Arcane Shift has an 11 second cooldown at max rank. There's also the mana cost: Say, you're running away, and you have NO MANA. What would you do then? Flash away! Using this in conjunction with Arcane Shift can put a great distance between you and your persuers. It's like combining Flash and Riftwalk. (Well, it's the same thing, but ok)
Exhaust is a great spell to have. When cast, you reduce the target's MS, as well as their damage. You can use this to save teammates, or catch up to that running enemy. When paired with Summoner's Wrath , it also reduces the target's Armor and MR. Usually, the support will take this for you, but you can take this if you want to.
Ignite is one of the most commonly picked spells. The true damage, along with the reduced healing effect, hurts. By level 18, it will deal over 500 damage! You see that low-health enemy under tower, trying to recall? Casually walk in, Ignite them, YOU HAVE SLAIN AN ENEMY! The 5 AD/AP bonus from Summoner's Wrath is also really nice to have, as well. I take this almost all the time on AP carries, but not so much on AD carries.
Clairvoyance on Ezreal??? True, this spell is usually only viable on supports. IMO, Ezreal is one of those exceptions. It's great to have on teams where no one else brings it, and it's devastating when used correctly, in conjunction with Trueshot Barrage. Also OP on Lux, Draven, or anyone with those global ultimates. Oh, and maybe Ziggs too :D
Ghost is a great alternative for Flash, and is (usually) fail-safe. The bonus speed for 8 seconds usually allow you to escape a bad situation, and you probably will end up covering more distance than if you Flashed. However, I personally find blinking through walls to be really effective, so I still prefer that. It's nice to have, if you're not used to using Flash yet.
The others are a no-no.
AD Ezreal: Suggested Skill Sequence.
Starting off with Mystic Shot is a good idea. This skill scales off 100% of your AD, and applies on-hit effects, like life steal. As your main skill for AD Ezreal, we like to max this out first.
Arcane Shift is my second priority. At higher ranks, we get a reduced cooldown, which can prove vital in a situation. I put a point here at level 2, and prioritize this after Mystic Shot.
For AD Ezreal, Essence Flux really doesn't do much. I put a point in this early, because the AS effect is not bad, but I don't usually improve this skill until last. Don't bother with a QW combo, because the W costs too much mana, and doesn't do enough damage without some good AP. Just a Q is enough.
Of course, add Trueshot Barrage whenever possible.
AD Ezreal: Starting Item Choices.
|Starting with Tier-1 boots and 3 Health Potions will give you decent speed, and should give you a reasonable advantage against any opponent that starts with other items. This allows us to build our Tier 2 shoes earlier, as well as gaining sustainability with the health potions. It's effective in dodging skill-shots, and you can reduce the chances of you dying as a result of a gank.|
|When you are with a support with a heal ( Soraka, Sona, or Taric, perhaps), this could be a good idea. A 10 AD bonus is great to have early, and the lifesteal helps you stay in lane longer. You will be lacking potions, so don't start this item unless your support can keep your health high.|
AD Ezreal: Core item set.
|If on my first recall, I can't afford a B. F. Sword, I'll usually get this along with my boots. The 10% lifesteal helps a lot during laning, because you can sustain and heal yourself in lane by attacking. I typically keep this until later, when I usually build The Bloodthirster.|
|This is always my first full item. It's like the AD counterpart of Rabadon's Deathcap, really. 80 AD, 25% Crit, and a passive that makes our critical hits do way more damage. It's an amazing item, and one of the best items you can get as an AD Carry. Mystic Shot can deal critical damage, and you will be using your auto attacks a lot, too. Start off this item with a B. F. Sword, it will grant you quite a lot of damage.|
|This item is essentially a bit of everything, a Jack-of-all-trades. While the stats aren't too high, we will need everything we get from this, from the health, to the AP. Ezreal does scale off AP! However, what makes this item so amazing, is its Unique Passive: Your auto attacks deal an extra 150% AD if you have used an ability. This procs off Mystic Shot as well! Meaning, we can use Mystic Shot, and have it deal huge damage!|
|An item that gives good lifesteal, a huge amount of AD, as well as a built-in Sword of the Occult. When you kill an unit (Minions and monsters count), you get bonus AD and Lifesteal. When it's maxed out, we can get 100 AD, exceeding even Infinity Edge! If you have this item, you will want to be somewhat careful. You lose stacks when you die. Of course, with the maxed out lifesteal, you'd be healing back to full health in a few auto attacks anyway.|
AD Ezreal: Situational item choices: Offense.
|Phantom Dancer gives us an amazing amount of AS, Crit chance, and a nice amount of MS as well. It's a great item on any champion that relies on auto attacks. It is the item that gives us the most AS and Crit rate possible out of any item. Remember how our Mystic Shot procs on-hit effects? Critical strikes are part of that. Along with our Infinity Edge, watch your auto attacks melt your enemies. :3|
|An item that gives us a good amount of AD, some AS, as well as a passive that shreds the target's armor, like Corki's Gatling Gun. Although not a standard pick, I consider this to be an amazing item. It's a bit expensive for its stats, but I think the passive makes up for that. Again, Mystic Shot procs on-hit effects, right? We can apply the armor reduction with that, as well!|
|This item gives us decent AD, useful MR, as well as a passive shield. I typically get this item when the enemy team has heavy Magic damage, or if their AP Champion is really fed. Possibly both. The shield can save your life in a pinch, and the cooldown isn't even that long. For this item, you'd want an early Hexdrinker. It's always fun to see Karthus waste Requiem. :D|
|While this item is among the most expensive, we get a decent amount of AS and some armor. The passive allows us to deal 4% of the target's health as extra damage. It works so well on champions who rely on auto attacks. Ezreal included. I get this item if the enemy team is tanky, or if you're in need of some armor. Also OP on Warwick.|
|This is a great item for any champion that scales off both AD and AP, such as Akali and Katarina. Ezreal included. This item gives us another chunk of lifesteal, as well as some spell vamp, which is like a bonus lifesteal effect for our abilities. Although this item is somewhat expensive, it's the best hybrid item we can get our hands on. I'm not even going to consider Guinsoo's Rageblade.|
|This item grants us 40% ArP. Along with our masteries, we'll be hitting the %-based cap of 46%, allowing us to deal high damage even to tanks. This item is, IMO, cheap for its price, but the AD value isn't that good. Consider getting this item when the enemy team is building a heavy amount of armor; along with The Black Cleaver and some flat ArP runes, you'll shred them. :3|
|Remember how Ezreal is mana-hungry early game? Buying an early Manamune will solve the problem. According to League of Legends Wikia, this item takes at least 10 minutes to charge, which is a long time. The AD values are also quite low. While this item has a cheap price, it's not really worth it IMO. Only buy this if you are actually having trouble controlling mana throughout.|
AD Ezreal: Situational item choices: Defense.
|This item gives us a good amount of armor and MR, as well as an effect much like Zilean's Chronoshift, albeit lesser. This is a great finishing item, and useful if you're focused down by the enemy team. You're only going to be a liability if you get killed 2 seconds into a team fight. The one thing I hate about this item is how you can't control the passive. It's kinda sad when the enemies swarm around you while you're trying to resurrect.|
|This is an item that gives us a huge amount of MR, as well as being a Cleanse in item form. This CAN release just about all de-buffs, including Ignite, and the slow portion of Exhaust. Like Cleanse, this works on all CC's, including slows, suppression, etc. For a detailed list, check out League of Legends Wikia: Quicksilver Sash. It's basically Remove Scurvy, minus the heal.|
|This item gives us some good health, mana, and MR. We also get a passive spellshield. It's an amazing item, when you're up against a team with CC, or if they have someone like LeBlanc. Do be careful though, the spellshield could be disabled if you get hit by something like Volley. This item does not block Ignite, and Brand's Blaze passive.|
*Consider some other items if you find it necessary, but these 3 are what I consider to be the best choices.*
AD Ezreal: During the Laning phase.
During the laning phase, you have objectives that you want to fill.
1. Farm up!
During the laning phase, your most important goal is to farm up. Outfarm your opponent, and gain an early gold advantage. How do we do this? "Last-hit" the minions. Don't auto attack them, as you'd end up pushing your lane, exposing you to a risk of being ganked, as well as reducing the chances of you getting those vital last-hits. You can walk around while you wait for your minions to whittle down the enemies' health, and hit them when they have low enough health that you can kill it in 1 hit. You could also try the "stop" command. It's easier to pull off, but makes you vulnerable to skill-shots and enemy harassment.
When farming, you don't want to use your skills. They cost mana, and can prove fatal if you are ganked while having a depleted supply. The only exception to that would be to use Mystic Shot when there are more than one minion with low health, and would be otherwise impossible for you to hit.
2. Harass your opponents!
As per before, we want to get more farm than our opponents, right? Other than farming up ourselves, we need to reduce the amount of CS your opponents get. Attack them when you get a chance, and bring them low enough so that they back off, or recall. Ezreal is quite suited to this, because we have this amazing poke skill Mystic Shot! We can also get in a few auto attacks if they get within range. You won't usually be aiming to kill your enemy, but if you get the chance, do so. Killing them reduces the CS they can achieve.
Don't get careless while harassing. You could be losing precious gold, taking minion aggro too much, and putting yourself under unnecessary risks.
3. Help out other lanes!
You are one of the few AD Carries with a global ultimate. Use this to your advantage! Whenever you see that one of your allies need help, send that Trueshot Barrage flying. If an enemy is retreating, fire it and try to finish them off. The cooldown isn't that long, so feel free to use it often.
Occasionally, you could try ganking the mid lane. Before leaving your lane, push your minion wave (As to allow our turret to not take too much damage). When the enemy overextends, Arcane Shift and defeat them. Even better if you have a Red buff active. Don't do this too much though, as you will be losing some CS.
Whenever you kill your enemy, push their lane! Ultimately, towers are more important than kills. Your team can be leading by 30 kills, but if the enemy pushes to your Nexus it's all over. Just make sure you get away from the tower before your opponent comes back, or you could end up dying to a gank because you've overextended. Your support should be keeping the river area warded, but you might want to consider getting a few if your support doesn't. While you're at it, make your support get some wards too.
AD Ezreal: Team-Fighting.
When in a team-fight, you want to stay at the very back. Put yourself out of harm's way, but deal as much damage as you can to your enemies if possible. You have range! Use it! You're just going to be useless to your team if you end up dying 2 seconds into the fight. Your support should be trying to keep you alive, but don't bet on it. I mean no offense to support players out there, but not many people actually know how to support.
Using your skills:
Mystic Shot should be used whenever it's up. The damage is amazing, especially when paired with Trinity Force. The CDR effect also mean you can use your spells a lot more. What you want to be doing is auto attacking most of the time, throwing in the Mystic Shot when it comes up. Essence Flux should be used either on the AD-reliant members of your team (Such as Xin Zhao, Tryndamere, etc.) OR on the opposing AD Carry. If possible, aim at both. The AS change effect will give your team favor. Arcane Shift should never be used during the fight. Use it after! It's like a Flash. Use it to chase down enemies after the fight, or escape from a bad situation. DO NOT CAST Trueshot Barrage DURING THE FIGHT. Cast it before, or after, but never during. Using it before the fight allows your team to start off with more of an advantage in terms of health, and you will probably be having Rising Spell Force fully charged. After the fight, it can be used to finish off that one fleeing enemy. Casting it during the fight, however, will place you under unnecessary trouble. That 1 second casting time can be enough for the enemy to finish you off. You will be wasting damage, as you will be doing more damage if you constantly auto-attack. From my experiences, that is usually one of the biggest mistakes an Ezreal player can make.
A new way to dominate. AP Ezreal.
Ezreal is one of those champions that are viable, both as an AD Carry as well as an AP Carry. Like AP Tristana, Ezreal is rarely seen building AP. But...Why not? All of Ezreal's skills scale off AP. His damage with a full combo is greater than if you build AD. However, with the lack of auto-attacks, you will be relying on your spells for damage.
Ezreal has a decent amount of burst damage, but is constrained early by his mana-hungriness. He also has cooldowns longer than the average AP Caster. However, once he unlocks Lich Bane, his Mystic Shot will begin scaling off 120% of his AP, summing up to a fearsome amount of damage. His Trueshot Barrage scales off 90% of his AP, meaning it'd hurt a lot more, too.
Don't listen to people when they say "AP EZREAL IS FOR NOOBS AND IS VERY U-P". Not true. AP Ezreal can carry a team if played correctly and well. He is quite item dependent, and will start destroying the enemy once Lich Bane is purchased.
Dominating the Mid lane: Rune usage.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
As with most other AP Carries, I like to use this rune set-up. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration grants us a good amount of MP, and is one of the best marks you can get out there. Remember how mana-hungry Ezreal can get? greater seal of replenishment solves that issue for us. As long as you don't spam your skills whenever they are up (Or waste them), you should have no trouble keeping your mana at a decent rate. Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction gives us late-game AP, which will benefit our late-game very well, while Greater Quintessence of Ability Power will provide us with some early-game AP.
*If you prefer, you could try exchanging Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction for Greater Glyph of Ability Power. You'd gain more early-game AP, but it falls off towards late-game.*
Dominating the Mid lane: Masteries.This 21/0/9 setup is my favorite to use on AP Casters, Ezreal included.
Since we are taking Ignite, we will want to have Summoner's Wrath , so we can get that 5AD/AP bonus while the spell is on cooldown.
AP Casters are heavily constrained by their cooldowns. Placing points in Sorcery help solve that. While 4% only reduces a fraction of a second in cooldown, that minuscule period of time saved could allow you to escape in a bad situation. This also allows us to place a point into Arcane Knowledge , which will grant us 10% MP.
I like to place 3 points into Havoc , for that extra bit of damage. However, you might find that the 1.5% bonus is unnoticeable. You could try exchanging this for various other masteries, such as Butcher .
Blast essentially gives us 1 AP per level. While the change may not be apparent, more AP is always good to have.
Archmage gives us 5% extra AP, which stacks alongside the 30% bonus of Rabadon's Deathcap. By lategame, you could be getting hundreds of AP in bonus!
Executioner is a must-have for any offensive champion. The increased damage on targets below 40% health allows you to farm easier, and enjoy increased damage to low-health targets. You can also pick off a kill with Trueshot Barrage easier!
I use Summoner's Insight for the cooldown reduction on Flash. We already have Arcane Shift, that's true. However, you'd never know when you are low on mana, or have to use these skills in rapid succession. I have no idea how many times those 15 seconds have saved my life.
Expanded Mind gives us increased mana, which is great to have. Although the bonuses don't stack so well early game, this also allows us to place points into Meditation , for increased Mana Regen.
I like to place a point into Swiftness for the extra bit of MS. If you find that the bonus doesn't help you, you are welcome to try some other masteries.
Runic Affinity is a must have on AP casters, because you should be having the blue buff all the time. (Well, unless your jungler's being an ***) This allows the buff to last longer, which is quite nice to have throughout the game. Does not apply to Baron buff!
Dominating the Mid lane: Summoner Spells.
Flash is the most widely used Summoner Spell in the game, despite it going through several nerfs. Although we already have Arcane Shift, you'd never know when you will need another blink. Having 2 flashes makes you very mobile, and enables you to escape nearly any situation. It's also multi-purpose, and doesn't deal damage. Why is that part good? Let's say you have 50 health left. You Arcane Shift across a jungle wall, and hits a jungle minion. The minions kill you. Awkward.. (Or...Maybe that's just me. xD)
Anyways.. Ignite is a great pick for mid lane. This helps you finish off an opponent, and adds to your already-high burst damage. The 5AD/AP bonus from Summoner's Wrath is also nice to have. While the AP won't benefit you much, the AD will allow you to last hit minions a lot easier.
Clairvoyance is a must have spell in high-leveled games. If your support's not taking this spell, you could consider using this. You can use it to prevent ganks, and check various locations throughout the map, all at a fairly short cooldown. But...Why on Ezreal? When you pair this with Trueshot Barrage, you'd hit your target a LOT easier. It works even better on Lux.
Teleport is a good alternative to Ignite. If you think you will have trouble in lane, I suggest using this instead of Ignite. I mean, you're hardly going to use it if you're playing passively, essentially wasting a slot. Teleport allows you to recall more often, as well as make ganking side lanes more achievable. You can use this to teleport to sight wards, and even Noxious Trap.
Dominating the Mid lane: Suggested Skill Sequence.
This is my standard skill sequence. I max Essence Flux first, because it will be our main harassing spell during the lane phase. Arcane Shift is next, because we will be wanting the shorter cooldowns, as well as the increased damage. Despite being our strongest damage source late game, I don't max Mystic Shot until last, because it's practically useless on AP Ezreal until we buy Lich Bane. Of course, points into Trueshot Barrage at 6, 11, and 16.
At level 1, you get to choose whether you want Mystic Shot or Essence Flux first. Mystic Shot is a faster skill shot with a longer range, with a built-in cooldown reduction effect. It has low cooldown, as well as a really low mana cost. Essence Flux scales off AP better, and can pass through minions. Depending on the type of opponent, you will want to choose between one of the 2. Generally, it's better to get Mystic Shot, as you won't be running out of mana as easily. However, it's a good idea to get Essence Flux against enemies like Fizz, as the AS reduction will make it harder for him to farm.
An early point into Arcane Shift at level 2 is absolutely necessary, because you'd never know when you'll run into trouble. Opponents like Talon and LeBlanc can begin bursting you down as soon as they get their abilities. You could also receive an early gank from the opposing team. Therefore, you will need this for escaping bad situations.
Dominating the Mid lane: Starting items.
|Starting Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions is just about the most viable set you can get on any champion, and will grant you a significant advantage against your opponent if they build otherwise. The speed allows you to dodge skill-shots easier (As most AP mids utilize skill-shots), and the potions allow you to stay in lane longer. Catching up or running away from opponents is also easier with this, especially when combined with Arcane Shift.|
|This item gives us the most AP possible for a starting item. With this, we can also get one Health Potion. This is for aggressive laning only, and gives us great harassing potential early game. This item also builds into Sheen, which has a passive that procs with Mystic Shot. I don't usually start with this set, because we will be lacking survivability, and I'm more of a passive player myself.|
|Starting with Sapphire Crystal and a few Health Potions grant us some nice early game mana. This allows us to harass more freely, especially when we choose to start with Essence Flux. Controlling mana usage is also vital, as Ezreal is extremely mana-hungry early on. We can build this into Sheen or Tear of the Goddess.|
Dominating the Mid lane: Purchasing boots.filler
|Since we will be relying solely on our spells, CDR is a vital stat. The 15% rate is quite significant, considering there is a cap at 40%. This essentially reduces around 15 seconds off our ultimate, as well as a few seconds off each of our other abilities. However, you will be lacking the damage you can get with Sorcerer's Shoes. Choosing between this and the previous is purely up to personal preference.|
Dominating the Mid lane: Core item set.
|This item is a standard pick on most, if not all, AP carries. While this is one of the most expensive items out there, it grants us the highest AP a single item can give us. (Other than a stacked Mejai's Soulstealer.) A whopping 140 AP, as well as an Unique Passive that grants us a 30% bonus, which stacks with our Archmage mastery. I always rush this item after boots and Sheen, as to allow for maximum damage potential.|
|Building on from our early game Sheen, this item is the sole reason why AP Ezreal is so amazing. A decent amount of AP, some nice mana, a chunk of MR, as well as a bit of MS. The Unique Passive of this item essentially makes our Mystic Shot scale off 120% AP instead of 20% AP, an amazing amount. With the already-short cooldown and our CDR items, we will be able to cast the spell a LOT. Pure melt. GG.|
|THIS IS ONLY FOR NEWER Ezreal PLAYERS. It gives a massive amount of mana, and helps control usage. However, Ezreal's mana pool by lategame should be enoguh to use. Only even consider this item if you find you're having trouble with mana late-game.|
Dominating the Mid lane: Finishing the set.
*The following are some possible choices for finishing items. Build situationally.*
|While the AP on this item isn't optimal, we get a whopping 40% MP. This is essentially the AP-counterpart of Last Whisper. This also stacks alongside Arcane Knowledge , to hit the cap of 46%. Getting this means you won't have to worry much about the target's MR. It's especially useful against tanky teams, but it can work in just about any case. Since the recent nerfs to Abyssal Scepter, I usually take this all the time.|
|This item gives us a good amount of health, AP, and slowing effects. The 500 health is really significant, because it may save your life in a pinch. 80 AP is a healthy amount, and the slows from the passive are actually used, as opposed to on champions like Lux. While it doesn't scale off Trueshot Barrage, our other spells do proc the slow, making it easier to chase down opponents.|
|This item grants high AP, as well as a good amount of armor. We also gain an Invulnerability Active, which if used correctly can save your life, by removing tower aggro, waiting for that 1 second cooldown on Arcane Shift, or letting your teammates come cover you. For its price, I think it's a really good deal. Get this right after your core build if you're taking heavy AD damage; otherwise, get this later.|
|By late-game, Ezreal's only constraint is cooldowns, since his late-game mana pool is more than enough for us. Thus, this item will negate a lot of the problem. If you choose the Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you will get really close to the CDR cap of 40%. If you choose to get this item, I suggest an early kage's lucky pick, for the extra gold income.|
|As Ezreal scales well both on AD and AP, Hybrid items work really well. The AD Value's not bad, and neither is the AP Value. We also gain a healthy amount of Lifesteal and Spellvamp. While the item is quite expensive, it's a really good item to get on champions that scale hybrid, such as Akali, and Katarina too.|
|While I have not personally tried this out personally, this is a must-have on any AP-heavy team, when no one else on your team is carrying this. The item grants a total of 80AP and a good amount of spellvamp, allowing us to heal ourselves during a fight. The aura bonus to allies also helps them, as well. However, there are other better items for AP Ezreal.|
Dominating the Mid lane: Rod of Ages: NO.
You may have noticed I have not mentioned Rod of Ages at all in this portion of the guide. I have my reasons.
First, it's common practice to start off with Catalyst the Protector when building this item. You can get your Sheen for less than the 1325 cost, and Needlessly Large Rod is only a bit over that. Essentially 1325 gold gone into the wrong direction.
Secondly, Rabadon's Deathcap is only a few hundred more gold than this item. This means, you will have far less AP than you should have by this point in the game. Rabadon's Deathcap grants us a total of 189 AP, not including the bonuses applied to other items, because of the percentage based bonuses of this item and Archmage . On the other hand, you will only have 63 AP from Rod of Ages, which is 1/3 of the AP you could have had if you rushed a Deathcap. Compare.
Third, Rod of Ages takes 10 minutes to fully charge. That's actually a really long time, and you won't be able to do any damage until you get another item, since the bonuses from this item are so low. You're supposed to be a carry, but it's kinda hard to pull off if you start with no damage.
Finally, the other bonuses don't benefit us much. Ezreal is a really squishy champion, meaning the extra health doesn't do much. It'd just take an extra attack to finish us off, which has no point. By late-game, we will have no trouble with mana, since Ezreal doesn't consume much towards late game. While the AP is nice, consider that it takes a while to fully stack up, reducing the usefulness of this item. In that sense, Rylai's Crystal Scepter is better, since the AP bonuses are instant, and you can actually use the Passive.
Due to the above reasons, I almost NEVER purchase this item on AP carries. Maybe champions like Orianna or Gragas, but never on Ezreal.
Dominating the Mid lane: Teamwork.
As a mid champion, your job in lane is to beat your opponent, both in CS and in kills. When you get the chance, go help your side lanes whenever you have your lane pushed. They could use your help. If you can't leave, no worries. You still have Trueshot Barrage. If your opponent ever leaves lane, follow them. You don't want your bottom lane to fall into a 2v3 (Or worse, 2v4) situation. Same goes for top lane.
If your opponent recalls, push their tower! Ultimately, objectives are more important than kills. You can have a 30-kill lead, but you still lose if they push to your Nexus. Ward often! You're not helping your team if you were to be ganked while attempting to break a tower.
During team-fights, you want to use Essence Flux whenever it's up. The AS bonus/debuff can change the outcome of the fight. This can be used for damage, as well as shutting down certain opponents for the duration. Mystic Shot will be your main source of damage, since the cooldown is very short, and you have the Lich Bane passive. This also reduces the cooldowns on your other skills. Arcane Shift shouldn't be used for damage, since you'd be putting yourself at risk. Unless you have Flash ready. Don't bother casting Trueshot Barrage unless it's to initiate, to clean up, or if you are covered by your tanks. The 1-second casting time renders you extremely vulnerable (You already was really vulnerable, but you can't even escape while casting.) While the skill cannot be cancelled by CC, you're not helping your team if the only damage you deal is through one Trueshot Barrage.
Ezreal is a really powerful pick in both recreational and competitive gaming. Widely considered as one of the top AD carries in the game, he can single-handedly carry games, if farmed and fed. As an AP carry, you have a highly underestimated burst potential, and you have a strong presence in your team. You can also support your teammates with Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage.
2012/10/31: Minor updates over the month (Too lazy to log in every minor change, since most are really trivial) Added new cheat sheet for The Bloodthirster build.
2012/10/2: Updated some items. Changed cheat-sheet so that they actually reflect my guide content, as opposed to displaying various build options. Special thanks to tehAsian!
2012/9/25: Renamed AP Ezreal section into Dominating the Mid lane. It looks REALLY repetitive on the table of contents.
2012/9/20: Guide published.
Guides are always works in progress. You never know when the champion would be nerfed, buffed, or anything. There might be a new metagame introduced. I will try to update this as often as I can, and think of possibilities to include into my guide.