Ezreal Build Guide by theorchero
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.
Hello, and welcome to my guide to Ezreal.
First off, let me make some things clear:
- Don't downvote my guide just to do it, try it first. It might surprise you.
- These are just my opinions and my playstle. It does not mean it is the only way.
- Champions can be built in many ways, this one in particular.
- I am not a big fan of Mobafire format; I love the site but it tends to make making guides rather simplistic. I'd rather use a regular forum, but this will have to do.
This Ezreal guide is very atypical and is not considered "meta" and as a result, it is often scorned in ranked play and regular draft mode. Do not be discouraged. Some people just cannot handle what they do not understand. Many will assume you are either gay or terrible because you play Ezreal. This is, in fact, an advantage. Many players do not face an Ezreal very often, if at all, and will not expect the level of skill, power, or damage you will present.
The point is, Ezreal is one of the strongest mid champions in the game. A lonely lux engages you pre-minion spawn? You crush her. An Annie? Easy meat. A Leblanc? She's toast. Ryze? You will love him. You will rule the mid lane with an iron fist, and shall not allow the enemy mid player to farm or gain experience. We shall strike terror into our foes and inspire our allies by claiming the first blood of the match, and you shall grow to become a force to be reckoned with, and none will dare travel alone so long as you are missing.
But that is for later. You are here to learn, yes? Then let us begin.
A bit outdated, but it's still very nice and the inspiration for this guide.
Due to new changes to Ezreal certain points in my guide are no longer accurate or viable. I will begin an overhaul and re-evaluate items, masteries, and update the format and look of the guide.
Note: I'm especially aware that I was wrong with the sheen calculations. I would like to apologize to the original person who identified this for me after I ignored it.
Additional Note: There will be inconsistencies between the current build listed above and the corresponding explanations, at least for now, until I get to that part and proceed to correct it.
UPDATE!I have been pretty busy and have not been able to update the guide as I would have wished. Fear not! I HAVE been working on it, however, and I do intend to finish this. I have come too far for it to be dropped now.
I have edited the format slightly to be more aesthetic (pleasing to the eye) and easier to organize and edit.
More improvements incoming!
This is the changelog. As it is added, It will be checked.
Note: this will all be added as the guide is developed. Click to jump.
Note2Self: Update this list to correspond with new formatting
- Ezreal Himself (Story, Skills, Pros & Cons)
- Skillshots, Tips & Tricks
- Summoner Spells, Which to Choose?
- Runes & Their Explanations
- Masteries & Their Explanations
- Items, Alternatives, & Their Explanations
- Why Middle? & Psychological Manipulation in Mid Lane
- Potential Enemies in Mid Lane (in progress)
- Early Game
- Mid Game
- Late Game
Changelog and Working-On List
-Added two new champions to the "lane against" list
-Made a couple small formatting changes
-Added notations to a couple sections
-Begin adding videos to "lane against" section
-Aesthetically update the sheen or no sheen section
-Add alternative builds, and reason why NOT to rush trinity or get manamune
-Add ability tooltips beneath champions in "lane against" section,
-Add references to abilities otherwise described as "Q" or "W", etc.
Ezreal Himself (Story, Skills, Pros & Cons)
This Prodigal Explorer is a powerful force to be reckoned with: With unexpected proficiency, he is able to deliver massive amounts of short bursts, mainly stemming from his Mystic Shot, and has a ridiculous amount of mobility, utility, and potential map control. He is largely underestimated and underplayed, but a skillful ezreal is almost impossible to defeat, shooting out powerful Mystic Shots that deal a ton of damage (with a low cooldown, too!) safely from a distance. He comes from nowhere, strikes and runs, gradually bleeding you dry. Beware standing still or recalling, for the Prodigal Explorer has a watchful eye and a long reach.
Ezreal is entirely skillshot based, so no matter the build, if you cannot land skillshots you are not going to do very well with Ezreal. His skillshots are his main advantage; combined with his high mobility and range he can harass and kite quite well, especially inside the jungle, and has the ability to hit units he cannot see, even if they are invisible.
Ezreal was born with the gift of magic flowing through his veins. Ezreal, however, was also born with a much stronger sense of wanderlust. Put into school to become a skilled techmaturgist, Ezreal quickly became bored with magical studies. By the time the boy genius was eight years old, he had fully mapped out the underground tunnels of Piltover. The quality of his work was so great that the government of Piltover purchased his maps and salaried his services as Piltover's Grandmaster Explorer. This sealed the deal on Ezreal's path in life - he would eschew the arcane arts in favor of archaeology. Since then, countless of Ezreal's adventures have been written about as romanticized stories.
One of Ezreal's latest adventures, however, has brought him face-to-face with his other legacy - his latent magical power. While exploring the pyramids of Shurima Desert, Ezreal uncovered an amulet of incredible power. Aside from the sheer size of the amulet (it was made for a being easily twice Ezreal's size), it allows the wielder to control and shape magical energy - provided a source of magic is in the vicinity. This allowed Ezreal to tap into his natural talent for magic without having to put any serious effort into it - a big win for the Prodigal Explorer. The drawback is that for some unknown reason, the amulet is attuned with summoning magic. Without warning, Ezreal may find himself acting as a champion for, as he puts it, "a summoner hell-bent on resolving some irrelevant world-shattering League conflict." Still, Ezreal feels being summoned into a Field of Justice on occasion is a small price to pay.
"There's little time to study musty tomes when you're busy crawling around where the musty tomes originally came from." -Ezreal
Rising Spell Force (passive)
Whenever Ezreal hits a unit with an ability his attack speed
is increased by 10% for 6 seconds, and can stack up to 5 times.
This is a fantastic passive for a pure AD Ezreal. It isn't as helpful in this build as it might be, but it still is important to note that this ability can be triggered multiple times by the same spell. If your ultimate strikes 5 units, it will immediately trigger all 5 stacks of this passive for a whopping 50% attack speed boost, making this ability a powerful steroid for 1v1 encounters and teamfights.
Mystic Shot Q (Active, Skillshot)
Ezreal fires a bolt of energy that deals (base damage) * 1.0 AD and * .2 AP physical damage. Applies on-hit effects (such as lifesteal or wriggles) and if it hits a unit it reduces the cooldown on all of Ezreal's abilities (including Mystic Shot itself) by 1 second. 1100 range.
Bread and butter of Ezreal. This ability is going to be the main source of your damage and poke, and has the most ridiculous early game damage possible. This makes you hit like a truck; it has a massive range, a very low cooldown and low mana cost. Spam this ability to harass in lane, but do not use it to farm. Does not pass through units.
Essence Flux W (Active, Skillshot, Champions Only)
Ezreal fires a fluctuating wave of energy at the targeted area. Any enemy champion it passes through is dealt (base damage) * .7 AP magic damage and have their attack speed slowed by (up to 40%), allied champions it hits have their attack speed increased by the same value. Does not damage or affect non-champions.
This ability isn't very useful for this build, apart from the debuff, because it relies on AP instead of AD. If you were to build AP, this would be your main damage source. It is important to note that this ability can cause your passive to be triggered multiple times, and passes through units without losing effect, but does not touch non-champions. With this guide, you should not get this ability until level 13.
Arcane Shift E (Active, Targeted)
Ezreal teleports to the targeted location and fires a homing arrow on the nearest enemy unit, dealing (base damage) * .75 AP magic damage.
This ability is what makes Ezreal, Ezreal. It's a built in flash, and easily one of the best E abilities in the game. It has a fairly long cooldown early game but reduces later on. One little known fact is that the homing arrow this ability produces currently does not prioritize enemy champions, so it often hits minions instead of the other champion. Also, its range is actually longer than the summoner spell , and can jump across areas that it cannot; so long as Ezreal is over halfway through the object, it will push him to the other side, making this ability an almost foolproof escape mechanism.
Due to the delay between casting time and actual teleportation, this ability has a habit of letting you dodge effects otherwise impossible: say a Blitzcrank grabs you, if you pressed E just before being "grabbed," it will teleport you out of the grab halfway through, making this ability a hilarious addition to your escape and mobility arsenal.
More importantly, however, it can be used to detect invisible units such as Twitch, because its homing beacon can and will hit nearby invisible units (not wards) so it is invaluable against champions like Twitch and Evelynn.
Trueshot Barrage R (Active, Skillshot, Gobal)
Ezreal channels for 1 second to fire a powerful barrage of energy missiles which deal (base damage) * 1.0 bonus AD * .9 AP magic damage to each unit it passes through, but each additional unit takes 8% less damage, minimum damage is 30%. Gobal Ultimate.
A powerful ability, and with the fairly recent buff, it now has a 1.0 AD ratio, so it makes AD Ezreal more viable. Due to it being global and passing through units, it is very potent in teamfights, even from across the map. What few know, however, is that this ultimate is indeed not "channeled," but has an animation time of 1 second. The difference being is this ability is Impossible to interrupt or cancel, even from suppression or silence effects; the only way to stop it is to die within the 1 second casting time.
I was really happy :)
Pros and Cons
+Long Ranged Q, Heavy damage
+Cooldowns lowered by Q
+Built-in Flash, with longer range
+Passive is a powerful AS steroid
+Gobal Ultimate - Can't be interrupted
+Very fun to play
-Hard to Master
-Vulnerable to CC
-DPS drops dramatically if silenced
-Often targeted first in teamfights
-Useless if you can't land skillshots
-Q falls off hard really late game
-No escape if E is on cooldown
Skillshots - Tips & Tricks
Ezreal is a pure skillshot-based champion. Meaning that all of his abilities (with the single exception of Arcane Shift) are ranged projectiles that can: miss (causing no effect), be intercepted or affect multiple units (depending on the ability), and (typically) will hit invisible units (fog, invisibility, bush) if it lands.
The reason why skillshots are called skillshots, is that it takes skill to land them because champions are constantly moving, and by the time your missile gets to where it is going doesn't necessarily mean your target will still be there. To prevent this, we (to borrow an old adage) Lead the Target. Meaning, we "shoot where he is going to be, not where he is."
That is why these abilities take skill.
You have to be able to estimate:
- The speed of the projectile
- The distance of the target in question
- The distance between you and the target
- The speed of the target
- The direction the target will move
- The approximate angle of interception
*meaning, being able to predict unwanted interceptions with different targets
It sounds harder than it actually is. Once you know the principals, It just takes practice. It isn't like math class, in fact it would probably take you longer to calculate than it would to just eye it and take a gut shot, and I doubt that the enemy champion is going to stay still for 5 minutes while you get out your calculator.
(highlight answer under question)
- If I am within range of Q
No, not just yet. I need to move a bit diagonally.
- The speed of Olaf
He has boots, but no other modifications.
- The speed of Q projectile
It's very fast, enough that only a 1-2 seconds of movement needs to be estimated
- The angle necessary to intercept
About a 60 degree angle (see below)
- The Green line is my movement, the box is in approximate range of Q
- The Blue line is Olafs line of movement
- The Red line is the direction in which Q should be cast
- The Orange circle is approximate area of interception
The reason I chose to go deeper into Mystic Shot and Trueshot Barrage instead of the other ability( Essence Flux) is because those are the two most important ones: Mystic Shot will be your main source of damage, and your ultimate Trueshot Barrage is important because it will help you deal either damage to their entire team (granting you 5 stacks of your passive, I might add) or to snipe runaways.
- The Blue line-bracket is hit-box of mystic shot. It's actually larger than the mystic shot.
- The Red line-bracket is the width of the actual mystic shot.
- The Orange circle is the actual area it will hit, which is slightly longer than the line.
Once in a while you might encounter an epic Ezreal. He is god, no matter where you are, he will kill you if you are ever low on health. So many people who try Ezreal get really frustrated because they are not good at aiming their ultimate. The secret isn't hard, really.
- Use better angles.
- The Green lines represent impassable terrain, missiles can pass through.
- The Red dot represents the enemy champion and the red arrow his direction of movement.
- The Blue dot represents you, and the blue arrow your direction of movement.
- The Orange arrow represents the direction of your ultimate, taking into account movement of the enemy champion (at that distance the hitbox would still land.)
Your favorite angle. Very effective with a high chance of success.
It is place slightly right of the target to anticipate potential movement. Effective short-range for runaways.
This is the hardest angle possible and you should avoid it if able, lowest chance of success.
- Know the speed of your Ultimate
plus the actual "casting time" of the ability. Knowing this, and using the best possible angle, will improve your odds.
Tip: Try to use your ultimate in short to mid range as much as possible, it will help give you the feel for your ultimate, net you more kills, and improve your angle positioning.
- Be able to predict their movements
Tip: practice the "half off, half on" method. For your Mystic Shot, set the target line only half on the target. If they stay still, they will still be hit, but if they move it has a greater likelihood of landing.
Summoner Spells, Which to Choose?
There are several summoner spell choices that you can choose during any one match, but for most of them you will not want them for Ezreal. The summoner spells I chose is designed to maximize on Ezreals already incredible early game damage while curbing other AD threats against him.
Chosen Summoner Spells
Ignite (Active, targeted)
You ignite the target, dealing 7-410 True damage over 5 seconds and reducing healing effects on the target for the duration. 180 second cooldown.
You get this ability because it and Exhaust combined is incredibly potent early game, pretty much guaranteeing you First Blood early on, which makes a big difference in-lane and for morale.
Exhaust (Active, targeted)
Exhausts the target champion, reducing their movement speed by 40%, attack damage dealt by 70%, ability and item damage dealt by 35% for 2.5 seconds. 210 second cooldown.
This is one of the best summoner spells in the game, and is very popular because it shuts down enemy AD champions who are chasing you. Excellent for 1v1 duels, especially early game because it can help net an early kill/first blood.
Alternative Summoner Spells
A good alternative spell for Ezreal. Get this if you find yourself in trouble a lot because of poor Arcane Shift CD management, or if you find yourself the target of a lot of ganks, you can use this and Arcane Shift to "OUtta here LOL" the enemy champions. Either way, it is a solid replacement for ignite if you don't want to get it, preferring additional mobility over damage.
Another solid spell for Ezreal. Not a personal favorite, but it is good for long-term chases or escapes. Provides high mobility, but very little combat capability because you are already an excellent chaser.
Good for AP sniper Ezreal because it can help you find your target. Bad for this guide, but it is your choice and some people prefer this spell because they like to help out their team or for assistance during chasing. Again, Ezreal has plenty of chasing capability.
Solid choice for Ezreal, but not my personal preference. Good for ganking, defending, or getting back to lane, but it provides little combat use and ruins the element of surprise.
A favorite of passive Ezreals everywhere. It's not a bad spell necessarily, but you should only get it if they have a heavy-CC team.
Summoner Spells to NOT Get
Despite its recent buffs, I don't particularly like this spell, with this build you get lifesteal early for sustain, this takes up a summoner spell, and isn't very useful for you. Decent enough choice for a support, but not for you.
NO. Of all the spells to get, this is the one not to. I would rather see an Ezreal with old-fashioned Rally than this. All this does is let you feed more after you die. If you die too much, work with easier champions to learn the game. Favorite spell of noobs and feeders.
You are not jungling, and you should not have this spell. I remember seeing a jungling guide for Ezreal somewhere, but not here. And do not consider getting this for lane. That would be dumb.
Not a bad spell, but not for Ezreal. Takes up a space and the attack speed buff isn't as good as your passive, and you would be better off for ignite. Decent for AP carries, but you're AD.
You should not run out of mana as Ezreal very often, using this guide and some common sense. If you tend to run out of mana, try getting the blue buff early, improving on your mana conservation, or getting a bit of mana runes.
You are not a General. This is not Lord of the Rings, and we are not sieging Mordor.
Just don't even go there.
Runes & Their Explanations
Runes are a powerful assortment to any champion. Being purchased with influence points earned through the game, they provide passive bonuses to your summoned champion when equipped to your used rune page.
Ezreal's rune setup is designed to maximize his damage early game - especially from both his auto attacks and his Mystic Shot, and to curb on his exceptional squishyness, especially early game, which adds to his already amazing early game to the point where no one can touch you, even lopsided ganks where you are outnumbered.
Recommended Rune Choices
greater mark of desolation X 9
for the flat armor penetration. This helps counter
the base armor early game. If they do not increase
it with runes or masteries it can surmount to you
doing True damage, and if they do, it cancels it
and a little bit more, increasing damage output.
Greater Seal of Armor X 9
for the flat armor bonus. This helps tremendously because
it reduces overall physical damage (like auto attacks)
damage that your enemy in lane will do. Very effective for
curbing Ezreal's innate low health and armor disadvantage.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist X 9
for the flat magic resist. This helps tremendously.
It curbs the initial magic damage you take and counters their
inevitable magic penetration from those sorc shoes they
are going to eventually get. Very effective against
casters early game, and that's exactly what you will be facing
in the Mid Lane.
greater quintessence of desolation X 3
for the very nice flat armor pen. This, in combination
with your Marks, provides you with a gigantic
total of a whopping 22 armor pen. Since Ashe has 15
base armor (excluding runes) you would deal True damage to her with all
of your physical attacks (or abilities *cough* Mystic Shot)
you would out damage your lane mate massively.
greater mark of desolation
greater quintessence of desolation
Alternative Rune Choices
These rune choices are good/somewhat-decent replacements for any runes that I recommended but you don't want to/cannot use. You can mix and match these but the most effective rune setups involve all or the majority of a rune category occupied by a single rune type.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
It's a nice alternative choice if you don't like
the massive armor pen build for some reason. Handy,
and it still adds a nice chunk of damage early game
and helps compensate for Ezreals lack of base damage,
and it even helps out his Mystic Shot slightly.
Overall, a solid choice for Ezreal, if not my favorite.
Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage
It's okay, but it's not exceptional. It doesn't
really help you out early game, and that's when
runes really count. Still, if you have
a really big "thing" for Per Level runes, it
isn't a bad choice, but not my preference.
Greater Mark of Health
A decent-enough choice for Ezreal, if you find
yourself taking a lot of damage early game and
finding it hard to survive, it's a decent option,
but you would be better off getting some form of
damage boost because that's what Marks are
designed to do.
greater seal of defense
Same with the per-level damage, it's good, but it
doesn't help you out much early game, and that's
when runes really help out. If you refuse to buy
defensive items (even when you should) and want
a bit more defense late game rather than early,
it's a solid choice.
greater seal of vitality
For a bit more health late game. Not recommended.
It will count much less (relatively) when it gets
to its full capacity than if you got flat health
or armor. Remember, runes help most early.
Greater Seal of Magic Resist
For a bit more magic resist. You should get these in
glyphs for the most efficiency, but if you still
need more MR against a AP-heavy team, it's not bad.
greater seal of replenishment
If you find yourself constantly running out of mana you
might find yourself wishing for a few of these. Use these
until you get the hang of mana conservation. Or better yet,Don't use these and actually learn mana conservation.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Great alternative. The items that are in a standard
AP-carry build will eradicate your MR mid-game, and
this helps keep up to reduce the damage at least some.
Greater Glyph of Armor
For a little bit more armor. You should get these in seals,
but if you need the additional armor against a heavy AD
team, go for it, but it's a risky trade-off, and it isn't
greater glyph of knowledge
For a little more mana. Ezreal shouldn't be mana starved
due to his masteries and good conservation, but it's
all in your playstyle.
Masteries and Their Explanations
Masteries are a crucial addition to any champions arsenal, providing bonuses that far outstrip that of runes, they are earned by gaining levels on your summoner, so the more levels you have the more potent your champion.
Ezreals rune setup is a fairly standard 21-0-9, specializing in maximizing damage output, but unlike runes, they also take care of early mana exhaustion, while adding in a nice touch of utility.
Summoner's Wrath 1 point
For the bonuses of Ignite and Exhaust, giving
them both an extra kick early game.
Brute Force 3 points
For a bit of extra damage early game, helps
with last hitting minions and giving your
auto attack pokes an extra bite.
Alacrity 4 points
Adds a bit of attack speed. Helps a bit
with farming and pokes, but the main reason
we spend 4 points is to unlock:
Weapon Expertise 1 point
For 1 point, it adds an awesome buff of 10%
armor penetration. Gives your early game a
bit more of a kick. Must have.
Sorcery 4 points
For that 4% cooldown reduction. Helps a little
with your cooldowns early game. It unlocks:
Arcane Knowledge 1 point
For just 1 point, it'll add a nice bonus
of 10% spell penetration. Handy boost to
your Trueshot Barrage for runners.
Havoc 3 points
Adds a nice 1.5% damage bonus.
Great for Ezreal.
Sunder 3 points
Adds 6 armor penetration. Gives a nice boost
to your early game. If you do not like it, you
might consider Vampirism
Executioner 1 point
Get this or I will find you.
It adds a really nice damage bonus to
champions who have low health.
Expanded Mind 3 points
Adds a little mana bonus that is useful
early game. Helps curb Ezreals mana issues.
More importantly, it unlocks:
Meditation 3 points
Adds a little mana regeneration. It
may not seem much at first glance, but
it makes a world of difference in-lane
where Ezreal has no mana items or runes
and spams his Mystic Shot.
Improved Recall 1 point
More handy than you might think, if someone
interrupts you recalling this might help you
get away instead of them BBQing you.
Swiftness 1 of 4 points
Adds a very slight movement increase,
because after all, time is money. Adds a little
bit of mobility to Ezreal.
Runic Affinity 1 point
Very valuable selection. Gives a bit more
buff duration, which is good because Ezreal
is very suited to having both Red and Blue buff.
Items, Alternatives, & Their Explanations
Ezreal's AD build isn't technically AD, as most AD builds just typically boost auto attacks. This build is designed to optimize your Mystic Shot, making it deal the maximum amount of damage, coupeled with a bit of survivability because this Ezreal is not a panzy. He's a badass. He goes toe to toe with the biggest guys he can find, often times outnumbered. Gone are the days with the squishy Ezreal. Bring in the Ezreal that makes your enemies cry "EZREAL BROKEN OP WTF HACKS."
So what, there's a couple items that aren't strictly AD. Big deal.
With this build your Mystic Shot shreds the enemy. Your auto attacks pepper your lane enemy, while your long-distanced Q blows them to pieces.
We achieve this a number of ways: we introduce survivability, damage, and armor penetration as early in the game as possible; we are a champion that is adept at snowballing, so let's create one hell of an avalanche, eh?
Core Build Explanations
Doran's Blade is a very useful starting item for Ezreal. It provides a little bit of health, attack damage, and more importantly, lifesteal. The lifesteal is small, true, but each attack you do would recover a couple of health, and early in the game (the laning phase) this helps immensely for lane sustain, and curbs a bit of Ezreal's squishyness.
Good alternatives is the classic Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions, if you feel that you would rather have the additional mobility other than a little extra health and lifesteal. Good for the short term, but it looses its advantage when on the way to mid game, besides, chances are you will get First Blood and you can use that 400 gold to go back and buy your boots ^_^
Berserker's Greaves is the standard AD carry boots, giving a nice boost to attack speed. If the other team has a lot of CC or magic damage grab Mercury's Treads, or if you feel that you would rather have even more mobility grab Boots of Swiftness for a huge MS boost.
Sheen is critical to your build! I don't care if you are AP or AD, as Ezreal you need Sheen! It is a massive DPS boost for both AD and AP! For AD Ezreals it makes your Mystic Shot hit like a truck. Why? It's because your Mystic Shot triggers the Sheen effect itself. To clarify, so long as your sheen effect is available, whenever your Mystic Shot lands, it adds your base damage to the total damage of Mystic Shot, and since it has a 1.0 AD Ratio, it deals up to 115 + TWICE YOUR DAMAGE!
The Brutalizer is a really strong mid-game item. It proves a bit of damage, armor penetration, and cooldown reduction. All of it is very nice for Ezreal, and it's pretty cheap. The perfect mid-game item. With this your auto attacks and Q will be given even more bite.
Wriggle's Lantern is an awesome item for Ezreal and junglers alike. It provides a very nice bit of lifesteal, damage, armor, and has an on-hit effect (chance to deal bonus magic damage to creeps) which makes baron, dragon, or farming easier, which is to the good because farming isn't one of Ezreal's strong points. Plus, it gets a free ward every 3 minutes, which is (most of the time) going to be your anti-gank ward while laning, or for baron/dragon otherwise. This curbs Ezreal's squishyness some while providing some much needed sustain and utility. Fitting for Ezreal, considering he discovered the item.
Note: If you are doing well you can add a Bloodthirster here either instead or before your armor penetration, depending if you need it. Don't build unnecessary armor pen. If they are not stacking armor, it will be wasted stats. It's better to deal more damage than penetrate armor that isn't there.
the Black Cleaver is the preferred armor penetration method. It provides a nice damage and attack speed boost, plus it reduces their armor by 45 (triggered by you or your Q hitting them), and does not have diminishing returns as with normal armor penetration.
Last Whisper is the armor penetration machine. This is for heavy tanks. Only get this if the majority of the team (or their most troublesome member) has 120+ armor. It adds a nice bit of damage, and a massive amount of armor penetration.
Phage is for the little bit of health, and more importantly, the on-hit slow effect that is also triggered by your Mystic Shot. If you need help chasing the enemy down and they are not currently stacking armor, pick up this before the Black Cleaver. It's especially useful because it upgrades to Trinity Force.
Trinity Force is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades item. It provides a bit of damage, ability power, attack speed, critical chance, health, mana, and movement speed! A very nice collection of things for Ezreal to use, plus an improved slow and more damage from your "sheen effect" (+150% base damage for 1 attack after casting a spell.)
The Bloodthirster, ah the typical "I'm an AD Carry and I'm about to eat you" item. Very potent, it proves a maximum effect of +100 damage and +25% lifesteal if fully stacked, and they stack with each other! The only weakness of this item is that once you stack it and die, it can take a while to get the stacks back. Sell older and weaker items for this ( Doran's Blade, The Brutalizer) as necessary. Don't sell two to get one.
Thornmail is a very potent defense item. Provides a massive amount of armor and a handy 35% return damage effect, causing nicknames such as "Trynmail," plus it lets you say "I'm too thorny for you bro." Get this against those heavy AD carries such as Tryndamere or Master Yi.
Banshee's Veil is a really good defensive item against magic damage casters. Proves a bit of magic resist, health and mana, and more importantly a "bubble" that stops the first unfriendly spell in your direction. Very effective against chain casters like Brand or Ryze.
Quicksilver Sash is really handy versus magic damage combined with a lot of CC, especially suppression effects. It provides a passive bonus of 55 magic resist coupled with an active that removes all crowd control effects. A highly underrated but useful item. Get this when either a particularly troublesome champion has a suppression ( Malzahar, Warwick) or their team has a lot of magic damage and light CC (slows, short stuns.)
Frozen Heart if an enemy heavy-AD champion is quickly becoming dangerous (like a Tryndamere getting fed) get this. It helps you out more than other alternatives, with the bonus mana and cooldown reduction, plus the armor and attack speed reduction helps out against those pesky and particularly potent AD carries.
Maw of Malmortius is a highly underrated item. It is rarely purchased in lower elos, but it is more commonly found in the higher tiers. It provides a nice bonus to magic resist, as well as an awesome shield that stops 400 magic damage. That basically cancels out the damage of one AP carry ability mid-game. Handy if an AP carry tries to burst you down if you are running away or trying to kill them. Additionally, it has an interesting passive: it gives you more damage as you lose health. This is handy if it's a close 1v1 fight, but don't count on it. It's a bonus, but not a dependable one.
Guardian Angel is an item that I have begun to become attached to. I tend to get fairly fed most games, but I tend to get focused down hard by both AP and AD alike. Get this item if you are fairly fed (about 4-8 kills with 1-3 deaths), do well in teamfights, but get bursted or focused down by a combination of AP and AD. If it's one or the other, purchase a or banshees veil instead.
My favorite thing about this item isn't its tankyness (don't get me wrong, I love that it boosts both Armor and MR) is its passive. Every 5 minutes it will revive you. Typically, this will let you live if you accidentally moved out of position or over-extended and died. It'll allow you to resurrect and get back into the fight. Conversely, it might also just let them kill you again if all of your teammates are dead or retreated. It's hard to escape 5 people surrounding you just waiting for your GA to pop.
Sheen or No Sheen?
Caution! Wall of Text ahead!
will reformat to be.. less like a wall of text and more like simplified math
Let's say your current base damage is 100, and your current AD is 120, and your AP is 0.
I recently got some comments about miscalculations of the damage dealt by Sheen. It is in fact NOT miscalculated, I merely added two separate things to simplify the math.
Without Sheen, the damage of a level 5 Mystic Shot is
115 + 220 + 0 = 335 total damage.
With Sheen, the damage of a level 5 Mystic Shot is
115 + (220 (AD value) + 220 (Sheen adds Base Damage (including AD) ) = 440) + 0 = 555 total damage.
(if it lands with sheen buff)
What if you have a Trinity Force?
Since Trinity Force "sheen" buff is 150% instead of 100%, we'll do this:
115 + (220 * 2.5 = 440) + 0 = 665 total damage.
So, the Potential damage difference is 665 - 335 = 330 extra damage!
for this part, let's assume the following:
That your base damage is 100, and that your AD is 0, and your AP is 300.
Without Sheen, a level 5 Mystic Shot deals:
115 + 100 + (300 * .2 = 60) = 285 total damage.
With Sheen, a level 5 Mystic Shot deals:
115 + (100 * 2 = 200) + (300 * .2 = 60) = 385 total damage.
Wait, didn't you say to get it with AP, too?
Yes, I did. You see, with AP Ezreal his Q is not his main source of damage, in the beginning.
But, once you get Lich Bane (Sheen upgrades to Lich Bane), his Q deals a massive amount of damage.
(referencing same variables as above)
115 + 100 + (300 * .2 = 60) = 285 total damage.
115 + 100 + (300 * 1 = 600) + (300 * .2 = 60) = 575 total damage.
That's a 202% increase in damage.
And that's with just 300 AP. It's entirely possible to reach 500 AP, so your Q, which was once doing very little damage would now deal 815 damage! That's freaking INSANE!
Why Middle? & Psychological Manipulation in Middle
Ezreal is a very versatile champion, he has a long range and can be built both AD and AP. Ezreal is particularly suited to going middle, and to hell with the current meta. You are going to go middle, and you are going to destroy the enemy champion.
Still, most people do not like Ezreal, he has a reputation for being terrible, and for being homosexual. You know it's true. So let us fix that. They are not going to like you going middle, and they will probably protest. So claim it early, and if they persist tell them to piss off.
If you are middle you can:
- Level Faster
- Reduce enemy experience
- Free Farm!
- Get first blood!
- Gank ally lanes
- Carry, Carry, & Carry some more!
- You get to Troll.
Psychological Manipulation in Middle
Manipulating your enemy is essential! We want them to do what we want. No, this isn't going to let you take control of their champion, but it will allow you a measure of control and prediction of the player behind the champion.
This may seem a little confusing, but let me explain further:
Fear is one aspect we, ourselves, cannot control very well. As such, the same can be usually said about the enemy. In the Mid lane, if you are not dominant, the aggressor, then they will be. You want to push them around, make them off balance. Every time they come up to whack a minion, hit them. Hard. Teach them pain. They should never be allowed to get a free hit on you or a minion, make it cost them.
With this build, you are going to get ahead in practically any engagement. Your Armor Pen is going to shred them, their health bar is going to dwindle, and soon they will realize they cannot keep it up.
They will begin to realize that they are going to be outfarmed, and may try to become aggressive. Put down the upstart, and teach the pup a lesson. Kill them, and claim the mid lane yours! Doing so will give you a nice bit of gold and a few minutes to free farm.
If they don't, then the better for you. They will begin to fear you, and your power. A good test to determine if they are scared of you is to simply charge them (before you even think about it, don't charge them into their tower...) and if they back away, you have the advantage and can proceed to farm while denying them succor. If not, give them a bit of a beating to teach them who is boss.
This is the goal of your manipulation.
What is good to remember is that most people will underestimate you. Ezreal has a reputation for sucking, and to most people, he does. They don't know how to use him, and think he is a squishy source of gold and experience. Exploit this. They will try to kill you early on.
This is a huge mistake. You are virtually the strongest early game champion in the entire game. You are going to enjoy informing them of their mistake. You hit like a truck, and in combination of your ignite and exhaust, there is no escape, and you can thank them for the 400 gold.
This is the first step of your manipulation.
If you are lucky your enemy is stupid. Believe it or not.. It's usually the case.
Most people do not learn their lesson the first time. They keep the image in their heads that Ezreal is a squishy source of money, and think that you were lucky (or some other excuse) and when they talk sh*t, reply: "Lol k come at me."
And they will. You'll kill them. Again.
After the second time they died to you (usually in as many minutes) they will start getting flamed by their team and get angry with you.
This is good because:
- Angry people make mistakes
- It's hilarious
- If they keep yelling at you, it gives you a warrant to troll
- The more mad, the more persistent they are
- They'll end up feeding more
Plus, you get to feel like a complete badass and bask in the envy and praise from your team.
Eventually, they are going to get tired of feeding you, and they will try to ruin your party by asking for a gank (or someone will come of their own volition, but the result is the same) and you'll find yourself being attacked by two. Or three. Or Four. (that happened to me before, lool.)
There just is nothing to match the warm fuzzy feeling you get from being unsuccessfully ganked by four people.
Usually they'll just get a visit by their jungler to hold their lane after you killed them or to gank you. By this point, you usually have been fed enough to handle them both (assuming you are not extremely low health) so by kiting you can usually kill one, or maybe two.
If you manage to kill both you are definitely going to be low on health, so zip back to heal and shop. Besides, if you do you can say "B*tch please, I'm ezreal."
Potential Enemies in the Middle Lane
This section is dedicated to displaying potential enemies you may encounter in the Mid Lane and how to counter them. This particular section is going to be big. Additionally, I have not played LoL since (roughly) a little while after Naut was released. As such, there may be champions that can go middle that are not covered here. I might just lay down the framework for this section, then come back and more-completely flesh it out.
Note: I will do my best to create some kind of order but there is no guarantee.
This group of champions will, in almost all cases, go middle. If there are multiple ones on the same team, prepare for either. This group of champions is composed pretty much all AP casters. They do especially well in Mid, but, lucky for you, you are their counter.
Ah, Annie. Normally, she isn't that much of a threat. Normally. In typical cases you do not need to worry about her, especially early game, because she is weak and her Q is not going to be able to touch the damage you can deal out. Plus, she's even squishier than you! That's a bad combination for her, so you will dominate her.
However: do not engage her when you see her stun is up. If she's good, the threat is going to be high. If not, it's going to be moderate. Do not let her stun you. If she does, use your Arcane Shift and get the hell out before she summons her Big Bad Bear to rip you to shreds for trying to "comfort" her. Chances are, she will
summon the bear the moment you are stunned.
Thanks to your handy magic resist, it isn't going to completely wipe your health bar. Use this opportunity to kite her. Hit her. Hard. Her last spell is going to be a weak shield and a small flamethrower. So stay out of range and avoid that overpowered teddybear, and wail on her from a distance and she'll die pretty fast.
Laning: She's squishy, bully her and kill her as much as possible. Do NOT let her farm with her disintergrate! It will restore her mana AND build her passive (her stun) so every time she tries, punish her with a few whacks and a mystic shot or two. If she can't get her stun, she's no problem.
Ahri is a kind of special case. She has her annoying passive that gives her good sustain, but, like Annie, she has to charge it with her spells hitting things. Don't let her charge her passive. Keep her from using her Orb of Deception as much as possible by keeping the pressure up, so she can't stay in lane; her sustain < your damage.
Her Orb of Deception can really hurt. Not so much at first, but combined with the fact that if she's good she'll be able to almost always hit you twice, it deals that first bit of magic damage (not a big deal, we have runes for a reason) then it deals true damage. That's where it hurts. If you are hit both times it will knock a particularly unhealthy bit off your HP bar.
She also has that homing BS (kind of like the missile from your Arcane Shift, but it targets champions) and she jumps like a rabbit in a bramble, and those shoot off little bits that home in on you. Her jumps let her dodge some of your spells while providing a great amount of mobility and damage. Not good.
Plus, she has a habit of throwing kisses at you that make you want to walk, oh so slowly, towards her so she can stick a big fat Orb of Deception in your face.
The only real counter is a technique called "dancing." Never stay still. Ever. Always move and only stop long enough to cast a spell or to perform an autoattack. I'll explain more about this in the Karthus section.
Dancing will let you dodge the majority of her skillshots, especially that god awful Charm- Orb of Deception combination. The only way you are going to win your lane is to just pummel her. Your Arcane Shift- Mystic Shot combination is far more potent than the damage from her Charm and Orb of Deception if it lands fully. Abuse this. You have the higher amount of mobility when her ultimate isn't up, so use this to your advantage to quickly weave in and out of combat, dealing periodic burst damage.
So, early game she is going to be a piece of cake waiting for your portal-loving hands to eat. However, once she has her ultimate, it's a different story. She is going to have a higher amount of mobility than you, and it's going to hurt. So, kite her. A lot. Make her use her ultimate to catch up to you, instead of zooming around you to dodge your skillshots and damage you.
Plus, when she is trying to catch up (or running away) you can say "Run Ahri Run!"
Laning: The laning phase is going to go easy for you, if you are good. If she's good too, she can make it a bit irritating, but due to your build and champion design you are going to have the advantage. Keep the pressure up! Do not let her farm her Orb of Deception! Her main source of sustain is going to be that bonus spellvamp from her passive. She will try to use it on a line of minions to regain a portion of her health. Every time she tries to hit a minion, attack her. Poke and harass. When she tries to regen with her Orb of Deception, cost her much more health than she gained, killing her if possible.
This will choke her off of experience if she died, give you gold, and time to free-farm. If she lives, possibly even better. She has to choose between going back to heal or hugging tower to inch by in experience. If she does the latter she is denied a lot of experience and you can still kill her with your awesome banana-like ultimate.
Brand is a heavy-duty AP Chain-Caster. He can deal a high amount of burst damage using his combos. It makes him very potent, but if his chain is interrupted, it reduces his effectiveness massively. That's the reason his difficulty level is Medium not High.
He is going to try to Conflagration you, then hit you with his Sear to stun and Pillar of Flame to deal a huge amount of damage. It is a dangerous combination. The moment he casts his Conflagration, cast your Arcane Shift to move quickly, then land the rest of your spells - if you are lucky he over-committed, and will have wasted his spells.
Avoid going close to allies in teamfights, his ultimate will bounce between you and your allies and will massively increase its damage output. If you are hit by one of his spells, move as quickly as possible and reposition yourself to avoid being victim to a chained group of spells. Your magic resist is going to be put to the test with that nasty DoT passive he has...
Laning: Brand isn't that hard to lane with. He is a good farmer, so you have to put him down. You have the advantage early game and out-damage him a ton, especially if you can dodge his spells (which have a measurable mana cost to him) which will result in you bullying him in-lane easily. Don't let him use his Pillar of Flame or Conflagration to farm the minion waves.
If he tries to harass you with his [pillar of flame, it has (roughly) 1.5 seconds of delay between the casting (the circle appearing around you) and the damage happening. Plus, it will not affect you if you are on the very edge of it. Use this to avoid his attacks and counter-harass.
Cassiopeia (going to be referred to as Cass) is a potent AP carry that is adept at harassing and dealing AOE DoT (Area of Effect, Damage over Time) damage. She has a bit of periodic burst with her Q (which refreshes if you are poisoned) and a powerful AOE stun if you are facing her. Her abilities have the ability to slow you significantly, making her have several sources of slow and a stun, however all of her abilities rely on combos, because they are much more effective if you are poisoned.
Laning: Cass is very squishy early game. If she's good she will get her Miasma (It's a circle of venom that deals continuous damage to a gradually expanding area) first and use it to harass you and to farm. Don't hide behind your minions, be very aggressive during the early laning phase, you massively out-damage her and will come ahead in exchanges. Be careful to avoid her abilities as much as possible, while one will not do much damage, it will put a passive DoT on you that will make her other abilities more effective.
Simply, the easiest way to win your lane in mid against her is to "dance", Seriously, go do a Waltz or two. Well, not literally dancing. Just keep moving continuously, never stay still. You will easy see what area she will hit with her AoE poison and if you keep moving you can dodge most of her Noxious Blast. Keep poking while she attempts to farm and her health bar will wane, offering up an easy Arcane Shift- Mystic Shot (and possibly ignite / AA) for a kill.
Gragas is a pain. He is one of the most annoying champions to face against in the Mid Lane. He is a heavy-duty AP burst champion, which makes him particularly hard to deal with.
However, he is hard to manage and difficult to use. His Barrel Roll is powerful, but unwieldy. It has a slight delay from when it is cast to when it can be used, and a long cooldown. Because you can see the slow projectiles from both his ultimate and his Barrel Roll, he is Medium-High not High. He can be dangerous, but he is manageable.
Use your Arcane Shift to stay away from his Barrel Roll and his Explosive Cask. He may try to combo his Barrel Roll and Explosive Cask, do not let him hit you with this. Even with your magic resist, it will be devastating. He has a built-in flash as well (if in a weaker form, but dealing more damage) but you still have more mobility than him. Abuse this. Dodge his skillshots and land your own, and even if he has his Drunken Rage up you will out-damage him, if with effort.
Laning: Using psychological manipulation with Gragas is very important to dealing with him. He is fairly tanky with his Drunken Rage, and he farms well with his Barrel Roll. This results in a rough lane partner. Put him down, hard. Every time he tries to farm with his Barrel Roll, lay down nearly all of your spells (not your ultimate, do not waste unless you can get a kill) and deal huge amounts of damage when possible. Do not let him live, unlike other champions, he has a insane amount of sustain with his Drunken Rage because it restores some health and mana and gives him a buff to increase his physical damage (and thus his Body Slam, too) and reduce damage taken. He is vulnerable when he channels his Drunken Rage, so throw out a few spells and a couple whacks, hopefully he will cancel his channeling.
Leblanc is a very annoying heavy-burst AP caster. She is dangerous, and can be difficult to handle. She has a high amount of mobility, and it can be difficult to deal with her because not a lot of people know how she works. Luckily, she isn't often used, let alone by those who know how to use her.
She is another chain caster, avoid getting hit by her spells if possible. One, in particular, is her ability to jump. If she casts it again, she will reappear where she originally was. Remember this, because she will often try to dodge your spells by using that, so do not aim at her, but her original location.
I have not often encountered her in the middle, but she deals a huge amount of damage through burst, but with your runes (magic resist) you can typically avoid dying to her. You can out damage her if you are careful, but be wary of her combos.
Lux is a squishy AP carry designed to deal high but periodic AoE burst damage. She has more utility than most AP carries, due to both her ultimate and her E lighting up the areas they hit and her shield which can help both herself and allies. Her typical spell combination ( Lucent Singularity-> Light Binding -> Finales Funkeln) has the potential to deal a massive amount of damage in a very short time in a small AoE, making her one of the best teamfight AP carries in the game.
Laning: I LOVE going against a Lux mid. She just has virtually no chance in hell against you early game. She is incredibly squishy, even a couple auto attacks really hurt her at this point. Your Ignite/Exhaust Arcane Shift -> Mystic Shot -> AA will absolutely destroy her health.
The thing about lux is she isn't really a threat if you can dodge her Lucent Singularity and ultimate. Both are easy to dodge, her ult creates a red line where it's going to be (if you see that E the hell out of there) and her E shows where it is going before it lands there. Her bind doesn't really do anything because your range on your Q will be able to hit her even if you fail at dodging it, and chances are she will be in auto attack range anyway.
Ryze is an interesting champion, he doesn't actually rely on Ability Power, but mana. This allows him to still deal damage but be fairly tanky, for a mage. His Q is similar to yours in the fact that is a spammable ability with the potential to deal heavy damage. If he's in the game, 95% of the time he is going to be Mid. This is ok, some people think he counters Ezreal. That isn't my opinion, personally, because I tend to be able to handle him because he's really weak early game and that's when Ezreal shines.
Laning: Early game Ryze is an easy kill. He is incredibly squishy, so harass as much as possible at level 1 and 2. His Overload will deal moderate damage, but with your magic resist and range on your Overload you will come out ahead in the damage exchanges. Just be careful to avoid standing behind your minions, it won't accomplish anything and will let him E and minions and damage you at the same time. Make him choose, farm or harassing. Avoid just charging him. This is where most Ezreals make the mistake and end up dying to a Ryze. There is just no excuse. If you charge him, it better be when he is low health and you are about to kill him. If not, he will use Rune Prison and Overload combo on you to immobilize and deal a significant amount of damage.
Since he is weak early game, he shouldn't be all too aggressive, just keep poking him with your Overload whenever he tries to last hit, if he can't farm, he can't kill you. Or if he tries, you get First Blood.
If you can shut him down in lane, he isn't going to be very dangerous to your team, and that's the goal when you go mid: shut down the enemy AP carry, and get fed.
Doing so is doing what you are meant to do: carry that noob team on your back like a boss.