Ezreal Build Guide by TimeRuptured
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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 Ezreal guide! Ezreal is one of the safest AD carries in the game, with one of the highest skill caps due to being so reliant on skill-shots. Before that turns you away, keep in mind that his burst is great, and he's the most mobile AD carry in the game, assuming you learn how to properly play him. So, without further ado, let's begin!
Pros / Cons
|+ Most mobile ADC in the game
+ Great Poke
+ Strong Burst
+ Very safe pick
|Ezreal is the jack-of-all-trades of AD carries. He has good burst, poke, and mobility, and overall respectable damage. While not as strong at any of these roles as some other champions, he makes up for it by being able to swap between these modes at will, assuming the player is good enough to make use of it. He's also one of the safest ADC picks, not being countered by anyone due to his distance farming with his Q, and his versatility.|
|+ Falls off during late game
+ Isn't as bursty as other champions
+ Skill-shot reliant
+ Mana hungry
|As mentioned, Ezreal is the jack-of-all-trades, meaning he isn't going to be the best at everything. He's outclassed in almost all of his roles by other ADCs, though in differing amounts. He's also very reliant on landing his skill-shots, making him nearly impossible to play with lag.|
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Standard quints right now for any ADC. They help quite a bit with both last hitting and trades. If you want extra sustain, you can take lifesteal quints instead, but it hurts your trading potential (which isn't necessarily the worst thing, seeing as Ezreal's poke is very good).
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Like the quints, they help with last hitting and trading early game, more so than armor pen marks.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: They help give some survivability against AP champions, especially during early game ganks.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Flat armor seals here help with early game trades more than scaling, and if you get caught out late game, scaling isn't going to help you much anyways.
Thanks to Janitsu for alternate rune recommendations!
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: Very good for farming and/or trading early on, allowing an extra auto-attack or two when you otherwise wouldn't be able to get it in. Don't run a full set of 3, or last-hitting will be made more difficult early on due to your reduced damage.
- Greater Seal of Health: These seals are great for early game trades, and also provide more protection against mixed forms of damage (such as from any caster ADC, or just AP in general). They don't offer quite as much protection against AD, and fall off late game, so don't run a full set of 9 (the suggestion I got was 4 or 5).
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction or Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: These both help with your Q poke at the cost of a little safety against casters. If you want cooldown reduction, I prefer getting these instead of
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: While not as good early game as flat magic resist, late game they offer much more protection. It's also viable to run a mix of these and normal magic resist and/or cooldown reduction glyphs.
- Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration: As a caster ADC, if you use your full W-E-Q combo more than once, you're going to run out of mana very quickly early game. These glyphs help with this, but in my opinion it's better to run the others and learn how to manage your mana more efficiently. That being said, they do increase the frequency of your bursts, so if you're confident you can win lane, these are definitely an option. Don't run a full set of 9; run around 3 or 4. These work well with cooldown reduction glyphs.
Overall, very standard ADC masteries. I took Feast over Double-Edged Sword since Ezreal, being ranged, doesn't make as effective a use of the mastery, and Feast gives a bit more sustain in lane. Other than that, the rest of the masteries are the normal AD path. I did opt for Fury over Sorcery , though, despite Ezreal being caster based, as he works on weaving in autos in addition to his spells. His auto-attacks provide his sustained damage. Not only that, but it helps with last hitting quite a bit.
Due to the low bonus Warlord gives you (after being alerted by Emikadon-thank you!), I took a point out of it and put a point into Dangerous Game , which helps later for sustained health and mana for teamfights, and can make risky tower dives much safer.
This is your passive, which increases your attack speed by 10% every time one of your abilities hits a valid target, stacking up to 5 times, giving a maximum of 50% attack speed. This ability will be covered much more in-depth in the next section.
This ability, to go with the cliché phrase, is your bread and butter ability. It's your main source of damage early game, allowing easy poking. Keep in mind that it is blocked my minions. It can also be used to last hit when zoned, and due to its low mana cost, can do so effectively. It has an additional passive in itself that whenever it hits something (note that it must hit something), the cooldowns of all your abilities are reduced by 1 second.
This ability is a low-damage AP scaling ability that also gives friendly team members when hit (including yourself, but you have to move into the projectile somehow, such as using Arcane Shift) 40% attack speed (at max level). Use this on your team to both activate your passive (it can hit multiple targets) and help clear objectives faster, or on enemies to get a little damage and to activate your passive (more detailed notes on this in the passive section). Note that this ability does go through minions.
This ability is essentially a second flash. You blink to a location, and you fire a missile that homes in on whatever is closest to where you land at, and deals some magic damage. It's typically better to use this to reposition, kite an enemy, or simply run away. It's also good for bursting and activating your passive, but use this carefully.
A huge damage ability that goes all the way across the map (global range). The damage is reduced for every enemy unit it travels through by 10%, doing a minimum of 30% of its normal damage. Try not to hit minions if using this to snipe enemies that are backing or running away. Throwing this down in clumps of enemies in teamfights deals a good chunk of damage, which might be enough to turn a fight around. Keep in mind that his also activates your passive for every enemy unit it hits (more on this in the passive section). It's also a good method of waveclear if need be.
This, for the most part, is the standard ability sequence for ADC Ezreal. You max Mystic Shot first for poke, cooldown reductions, and overall damage, then Arcane Shift for mobility, and finally level Essence Flux for reduced cooldown on it for utility. And, as you do for most champions, level your ultimate ( Trueshot Barrage) whenever possible.
The only real discrepancy with this leveling order with most other leveling orders is my choice of leveling Essence Flux at level 3 instead of Mystic Shot, and delaying it to level 4.
Either is quite viable, but they have different purposes. Leveling Mystic Shot allows for better poke early game, but leveling Essence Flux allows an extra stack of your passive, which is better for trades, and allows you to use your full burst. It's also nearly another auto-attack at that level. It's also better if there's an early teamfight (for whatever reason).
The Long Sword is an item that should be your first buy (unless you go for a second Doran's Blade for more sustain), as you can't last hit caster minions under turret without it (unless you manage to get a Mystic Shot off on every single one of them, or your support helps). The other three items can be flipped around in order.
Build Phage if you're fairly even or behind in lane, as it'll help last hitting and your mobility. Take Sheen if you're ahead in lane, or want extra poke. It'll give you more mana, and also give you Spellblade, making your Mystic Shots do a significant chunk of damage. You don't get the extra auto-attack damage from Phage if you do this, however. Zeal should never be your first buy, as it provides no damage if you don't get a crit from its (low) critical strike chance. Instead, buy it second if you went for an early Phage, or buy it last if you went for an early Sheen.
One of your biggest items. Trinity Force provides a little of all the stats you need, but the thing that really makes it stand out is the Spellblade passive. Essentially, every time you cast a spell (with a slight cooldown), your next attack does extra damage based on your attack damage. Good, right? Well, it's even better than you think, because Mystic Shot applies on-hit effects. This means that simply pressing Q and hitting something with it does the Spellblade damage in addition to its normal damage. Yep, it's very good. This item marks your first power spike, at which point your burst really takes off.
The choice of boots here really comes down to preference and/or what your team needs more of. Berserker's Greaves give you more sustained damage and help with waveclear, but Ionian Boots of Lucidity give you more poke, and help you be a bit more mobile due to the reduced cooldown (and Q passive) on Arcane Shift. Either is fine, but I prefer getting Berserker's Greaves just due to the attack speed.
Do NOT buy any components of either of these boots aside from Boots of Speed until after you've completed Trinity Force (or if trying the experimental build, until after you've built Blade of the Ruined King and Youmuu's Ghostblade). Your damage overall will be greatly reduced until you get it, and you'll hit your power spikes later than you need to.
This item marks your second power spike. Due to its passive, it helps you shred tanks, ultimately helping your damage overall, but it also allows you to burst squishies with its active. The attack speed helps with the shred significantly, and the lifesteal gives more sustain. If behind in lane, you may want to grab a Vampiric Scepter before working toward your Trinity Force, which will later build into this.
Last Whisper is your second shredding item, allowing you to work through tanks with relative ease due to its armor reduction and damage. If the enemy team is stacking armor or is very tanky, build this before getting Infinity Edge.
Your third power spike item. Once you get this item, things begin to melt. If you've learned how to manage your passive correctly (more on this in the passive section), squishies will melt to its might. The base damage that it provides is nuts, but keep in mind that your Mystic Shot cannot critically strike, meaning that for its passive to be effective, you must auto-attack. Buy this before a Last Whisper if their team doesn't have any armor and/or is fairly squishy.
One of the three recommended defensive items. Buy this either as your 5th or 6th item (depending on if your team is behind or ahead respectively) if the enemy team has something that bursts you down (such as Veigar's ultimate, Ryze's Overload, etc.), or an ability that can easily catch you out of position (such as Thresh's Death Sentence or Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab).
The second of the three recommended defensive items. This item is typically good if the enemy team has a mix of AD and AP, or if you're carrying your team, and your death means the loss of a teamfight (and eventually the game). Even if you aren't carrying, your revival may mark a small spike in damage that'll be enough to win a teamfight, or may even keep you alive.
The third of the recommended defensive items. This item is good if the enemy team has quite a bit of AP damage, but you don't want to sacrifice damage output to deal with it. It's also good if they have roots or stuns (such as Morgana's Dark Binding, as its active removes them). Just remember that it has an active in the first place, as does Quicksilver Sash, which is one of the items that builds into it.
This is one of the items that I don't particularly like on Ezreal, but it can work. If you're (very far) behind in lane, you may want to buy this instead of Trinity Force as your first completed item, as the sustain it adds is insane. It will lower the damage of your Mystic Shot, and isn't as well rounded an item as Trinity Force, so build with care.
Laning is one the key concepts to winning the game, especially as an ADC. A strong laning phase easily sets you up for the later game, and doing well enough during the laning phase can even cause you to carry the game. But how in the world do you lane?
NOTE: A few things will be repeated quite a bit. This means they're very important, so take note of these.
One of the most important aspects of the laning phase, and usually its main goal, is farming. All throughout the game (unless you get incredibly fed), killing creeps (or 'CSing' for those unfamiliar with the term) is your main source of gold (and by direct extent, power). While killing the enemy champion(s) is definitely a huge gold boost, it's also very unreliable, depending on you both getting the last hit on a champion, and outplaying them in the first place. So instead, focus on farming. This consists of getting the last hit on as many minions as possible. There are a few common mistakes of CSing that are made, though.
- Constant auto-attacking. This is something you only want to do when you want to push a minion wave to the opponent's tower (reasons for this will be discussed later in this section). Auto-attacking over and over again will cause you to lose CS because you're not as focused on getting the last hit on minions, and instead just doing damage. It also puts you in a position where you're easy to gank, leading to many unnecessary deaths. So please, only attack minions to get the last hit on them.
- Never using abilities to last hit. Keep in mind, every CS you miss puts you behind your enemy laner. It's very permissible to use abilities in order to last hit (especially as Ezreal, because you have your Q). The only thing to remember is to not use your abilities to last hit all the minions. Use auto-attacks whenever possible, but if you'd miss a CS without using an ability (say two minions are going to die at nearly the same time), just use the ability.
- Running into the enemy to get CS. Please, do not do this. If you'll take damage from getting CS, it's not worth getting that CS. Taking too much damage will lead to you being pushed away from the minions entirely (this is called being 'zoned'), and eventually miss all the CS. Punish overly aggressive players by attacking them if they get too close to you and backing up, and eventually you'll poke them down enough that they'll either have to back off or die.
Another extremely important aspect to laning, positioning plays a key role in how well you do, and ties directly in with farming. (Please keep in mind that many of concepts I'll talk about are exclusive to the bottom lane, as it's the only duo lane in the current meta.)
Typically, you want to position yourself alongside (or directly behind if playing against skill-shot based stuns, grabs, or roots, such as Morgana or Blitzcrank.) either your line of caster minions or melee minions. Wherever you may place yourself, you ideally want to be in range of minions who are currently closest to dying to get the last hits from them. Your position here also puts you in a more defensive or offensive stance.
- Defensive: Defensive stances simply want to farm, and are positioned further back in your minion wave. If the enemy comes near, they poke them to keep them away. Typically you go into a more defensive stance whenever you're behind or whenever you have a weaker laning phase. Ezreal's is fairly strong, so I'd only recommend being more defensive against lane bullies like Draven and Lucian, or unless you're behind. When behind, try poking the enemy with Mystic Shot, auto-attacks, and even occasionally Essence Flux (though do this more rarely due to its higher mana cost) whenever you get the chance to keep pressure on your enemy laner so they don't walk all over you.
- Offensive: Offensive stances typically want to win the lane by denying the opponent farm ('zoning'), or securing kills, which set back opponents a huge amount. Ezreal is quite capable of both due to his burst and poke, and offers quite a bit of versatility in this regard. Whenever you want to be more offensive, position yourself toward the front of your minion wave, or in extreme cases (if the opponent is very far behind) even alongside their minions. With your Mystic Shot, try to poke them whenever they get into a position you can. Remember to poke the enemy support as well, as it makes them less likely to engage on you for kills, and makes them go down faster if they try. If you feel you can get away with it, Arcane Shifting into a better position (as a lateral movement; not directly into them) to throw out your Q is possible, but be very cautious if doing this, and make sure the enemy jungler isn't anywhere near you. Otherwise, just run alongside your minion wave and poke them down.
Regardless of whatever stance you position yourself in, you want to try poking the enemy champion as much as possible, typically with auto-attacks, as long as you don't lose CS doing so.
As another much smaller, though not any less important note, you also want to position yourself parallel to your support in lane (unless your support is incredibly out of position), as it allows each of you to follow up on the other's moves. This thread on the League of Legends forums explains this much better than I ever could, and also has pictures, so please look at it whenever you get the chance.
These two concepts go hand-in-hand in many cases. Zoning is when you deny your opponent CS by harassing them and positioning yourself so that they cannot last hit without taking significant damage, or even dying. If done correctly and for long enough, it puts them extremely far behind you in gold, giving you an early game advantage, which in many cases can lead to a late game advantage as well. This is accomplished first by harassing.
Harassing, simply put, is attacking the enemy whenever possible. As a normal ADC, this essentially means attacking the enemies whenever they get in range, but in reality it's a bit more intricate than that. There are three times you would want to attack the enemy when laning as normal. Keep in mind that you only want to do these things if you will NOT lose CS from it.
- They overextended. If the enemy is pretty far out (either near the front of their creep wave or past it), feel free to attack them. Punish them for being too far out, and you'll either force them back and zone them, or you'll get a kill. Be wary of them doing this, as sometimes it's an indicator of a gank.
- They're last hitting. Every time the enemy laner goes for a last hit (unless you're going to lose CS or get out of position doing it), attack them. It gives you free damage on them, whittling them down for an eventual burst to kill them, or to force them out of lane.
- They're in position for an ability. This is very similar to being overextended. If the enemy laner is in position for you to throw a Mystic Shot at them, do it! Your Q does quite a bit of damage, and repeated hits with it will knock their health down significantly. Doing this against aggressive laners can make them less likely to engage and/or force them to back off, giving you some breathing room to farm. You can also poke enemies behind minion waves with Essence Flux, which does about as much damage early game as an auto-attack. It costs more mana than your Q, so use it sparingly.
Creep Wave Manipulation
Creep wave manipulation is controlling how your lane pushes and when your lane pushes. This is integral to staying safe in lane, as if your lane pushes too much, you're open for ganks, or if you let it push to you, you may lose CS to the tower. Therefore, you typically want to freeze your lane by keeping both minion waves in the center of the lane.
To control your lane, you simply have to realize that every time you auto-attack a minion, the enemy's minions die faster, leading to your lane pushing. This means that unless you want your lane to push, only attack minions to get last hits. And yes, there reasons why you want your lane to push. They are as follows:
- Applying Pressure: Due to your good amount of poke, pushing the lane is a great way of applying pressure to the enemy. Their turret will take a small amount of damage every time the wave goes to their tower, allowing you to get a shot or two on it as well, allowing an earlier turret, which puts pressure on their whole team, and also giving your team gold.
- Reduce CS: Whenever the minion waves push to their turret, it makes it much harder for them to last hit. This is particularly effective against Tristana, but can work well against everyone, especially early game whenever you can't last hit caster minions without an additional damage item.
- Enemy Laners Recalled: Unless you know that the enemy jungler is nearby (and even then, if you know you're stronger than the enemy jungler), push your wave as soon as the opponents recall. This one simple act means that they'll miss all the gold and experience from your last minion wave to the turret. Note that if you aren't also going to back, only push one wave, as any more than that will allow the enemy laners to farm safely (though not necessarily effectively) under turret.
Managing Your Passive and Bursting Them Down
This ability alone is probably the single thing that separates good Ezreal players from great Ezreal players. Because managing the passive goes hand-in-hand with your burst damage, I'm lumping this together in one section.
Ideally, when playing Ezreal, you want to weave auto-attacks between Mystic Shots after opening with a full burst. Optimally, you want to use Essence Flux, then Arcane Shift into it to hit yourself with the attack speed it gives you, and hopefully also hitting the enemy with Essence Flux. Please, DO NOT DO THIS IF IT MEANS YOU'LL BE OUT OF POSITION. Arcane Shifting directly into the enemy team, more often than not, is a very bad idea. Shifting near them is enough for your burst. Keep in mind that you don't have to use the ability at all, and it may be better to save it to reposition.
After this, immediately use Mystic Shot. This will reduce your cooldowns (assuming you hit) on all your abilities, and give you, if everything landed perfectly, 80% attack speed (40% from hitting yourself with Essence Flux, 20% from hitting you and the enemy with it, 10% from Arcane Shift, and 10% from Mystic Shot). From there, weave auto-attacks between more Mystic shots, assuming they aren't already dead.
Notice the 80% attack speed from the combination of your passive and Essence Flux. This is surprisingly crucial to your damage. Many people make the assumption that since Ezreal is a caster ADC, his damage comes mostly from his spells. While this is true to a certain extent, especially with his burst, his sustained damage comes from his auto-attacks. Getting your passive fully stacked in addition to hitting yourself with your Essence Flux gives you a whopping 90% attack speed bonus, not even considering any items (such as Blade of the Ruined King).
Learning how to stack your passive is crucial. That said, please understand that it's not necessary to hit yourself with Essence Flux every time, and attempting to do so will actually be detrimental. Its mana cost, especially early game, is quite high, and trying to do so will cause you to quickly run out of mana and/or jump right into danger, and most certainly not farther from harm.
Most of your passive stacks will come from your Mystic Shot in most cases, and fully stacking your passive is only really necessary for bursts or teamfights, so don't feel as though it must always be fully stacked, especially when laning.
To conclude my rant, please practice stacking your passive, and actively work on it in order to fully unlock Ezreal's potential. If you manage it, your experience with him will be much better.
For every ADC, the general gist of teamfights is this; attack. Lots. The more damage you do, the better. Usually, it's best to attack whoever may be in range at the time. Even if it's a tank, it's a better idea to try to kill them than to jump into their back line and die instantly in an attempt to take out their ADC. Usually, this means sitting at the back line of your team, with your tankier members between you and the enemy team, constantly outputting damage.
The first part specific to Ezreal is to use Mystic Shot frequently. Pretty much every time this is off cooldown, throw this at a high-priority target. But whatever you do, don't miss with it. Even if you don't hit what you're aiming for, it's okay, since its passive will reduce its cooldown.
The second part is that the use of Arcane Shift is very important. In teamfights, it normally has two specific purposes: to reposition, and to run. The first is simply getting in a better position as to not die and do more damage. If you're not doing damage, you're useless, so using this to get into a spot where you can safely throw in some Qs is a good idea. The second is if one of their team is coming directly for you. Use this to get away from them and maintain damage output. That said, if possible, don't use this to remove yourself from the fight entirely. Try to move off to the side to kite the charging member around while still in a good spot to attack some more.
Finally, remember that you have Trueshot Barrage, and don't be afraid to throw it out in just about every teamfight. Because of your Q passive, its cooldown is very low, and in teamfights, it puts a huge chunk of damage on whoever you may hit with it.
In addition, remember that Trueshot Barrage also procs your passive, so throw it down at the beginning of the fight to get more sustained damage going, and throw down Mystic Shots whenever possible in order to keep the stacks of your passive from going away.
NOTE: This build is entirely experimental and my musing. Try at your own risk (or perhaps reward?).
So, you might have noticed the giant Youmuu's Ghostblade in the box by itself in the items at the top of this guide. What's going on? Well, let me explain.
After watching the LCS for a while and seeing the Infinity Edge into Youmuu's Ghostblade build on Lucian, I wondered how something similar to that would work on Ezreal. Due to Ezreal not having Lucian's passive, however, it didn't go so well. Ezreal's damage on his autos was nice, but he lacked the double-shot of Lucian, and this lowered his overall damage. So instead of rushing Infinity Edge, I rushed Blade of the Ruined King. This solved the problem. After trying the build against bots (not an accurate representation of builds, I fully realize), I determined that the build might actually work.
The way it works is this: You focus on stacking your passive, and activate Ghostblade. You then throw in some Mystic Shots, but for the most part, your damage comes from your auto-attacks. With my full build, I was getting just over 2 auto-attacks per second (with maximum attack speed bonuses and the Ghostblade active), and constantly critting. Not only that, but the Armor Penetration provided by the combination of Last Whisper and Ghostblade meant tanks melted. That said, this was a bots game.
Therefore, I have a request/challege; try this build. The (approximate) build order is Blade of the Ruined King, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Berserker's Greaves, Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, and a defensive item (like Banshee's Veil. I have no idea if this actually works or not, but I'm curious. If it does, it might change the current Trinity Force meta build. If it doesn't, it's just a random musing on my part.
Thanks for reading my guide! With any luck, it's been educational, and has spurred anyone reading to play this amazing ADC.
If you have any questions or comments, please send me a message or let me know. Also, if this guide can be improved in some way, I'd love to hear how.