Ezreal Build Guide by Gramps Tewks
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Not Updated For Current Season
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A Brief Introduction
Hello there, fellow gamers! I go by the summoner name of Gramps Tewks, and this right here is my take on Ezreal's new role in the glorious Third Age of the League. A bit of background: Ezreal has been one of my favorite champions since late Season 1, and only recently have people grasped his true potential; however (due to his odd kit) he's often misbuilt and misplayed- a trend that I'd like to begin to reverse!
This fairly simple item build demolishes the unfortunate late-game slump that Ezreal players too often suffer from, and in it I seek to change our perceptions of the role that The Prodigal Explorer can play on a team. But no more introductions! Onward to the juicy stuff.
Who/What Exactly Is Ezreal?
We've all been there:
You're doing great in your lane as Ezreal, getting kills and bein' a baus, and then suddenly you do NO DAMAGE to the enemy! "WHY GOD WHY I was just... but now... I don't want to live on this planet anymore."
Ezreal's skillset can be quite deceptive. First of all, each of his four abilities have decent Ability Power ratios, which immediately seems to label him as a caster. However, while AP Ezreal is uber-fun and can be quite potent, it severely lacks the sustained damage needed to defeat the ever-present tanky DPS metagame. However, he's not a fully efficient Infinity Edge + Phantom Dancer right-clicker either, due to the inability of Mystic Shot to critically-strike.
So what's his place in the League?
+ Arcane Shift = Flash 2.0
+ Terrifying damage. He wins lanes!
+ Free AS from Rising Spell Force
+ Trueshot Barrage. End of story.
- His role is often misunderstood
- No Mystic Shot critical strikes
- No Crowd Control abilities
- Shorter AA range (550 vs. 600)
I propose that Ezreal is best-suited to an innovative combination of burst-caster and sustained auto-attacker. What does this mean? Essentially, his item build must have the capability to keep Mystic Shot relevant into the late game whilst simultaneously providing the chap with excellent right-clicky goodness!
This guide is the end result of extensive testing and experimentation, and i believe that it changes much of what we thought we knew about Ezreal. If you- dear reader- will indulge me, I'd like to share my findings.
To Be... or Not To Be. THAT is the Question!
When should you choose to play Ezreal?
This decision is influenced by several factors: 1) his lack of the ridiculous endgame Critical Strike damage of most AD Carries, 2) his lack of any Crowd Control abilities, and 3) his unparalleled combination of mobility and long ranged poke. Choose based upon your team's composition.
This build is designed specifically for Ezreal, and he should be picked for poke-heavy team compositions. However, if you need a champion who can take full advantage of Critical Strikes, then it'd be best to go with a hyper-carry like Graves or Vayne, etc.
The Champions above are especially synergistic with Ezreal because of their tankiness and Area of Effect Crowd Control abilities. While they tie down the enemy team, he's left free to Trueshot Barrage the whole group and then shred people one by one.
Ezreal can lane with pretty much any support, but his kill-potential is highest when paired with stuns, knockups, and other types of hard Crowd Control abilities; these four are particularly great!
Five Unique Abilities
In order to succeed as Ezreal, you must wield these abilities as one would a scalpel:
- Rising Spell Force: Attack Speed is among the most underrated statistics, and this Passive is worth its weight in Gold. Rising Spell Force gives Ezreal an important dueling advantage over other auto-attackers as well as fantastic farming ability!
Essence Flux and/or Trueshot Barrage can fully charge it in an instant.
- Mystic Shot (Q): AD Ezreal is BOSS because of Mystic Shot. It's the best of Overload and Parrrley rolled up into one! However, the on-hit effect cannot critically strike, which is why we stray from Infinity Edge; Mystic Shot really makes or breaks Ezreal players, because it puts his optimal role right smack in the middle of caster and auto-attacker.
- Essence Flux (W): Once disturbingly powerful, now Essence Flux is nerfed and largely neglected, despite the immense utility it can bring to an Ezreal and his team! It quickly charges Rising Spell Force and makes teams absolutely shred Dragon, Baron, and turrets.
- Arcane Shift (E): Having a second Flash really sets Ezreal apart from most other champions. With it, he can teleport over virtually any wall in the game and/or initiate suddenly for a terrifying nuke! However, only commit to an attack with Arcane Shift if you're certain that you won't need it to escape. Many an Ezreal has died from hubris.
- Trueshot Barrage (R): This ultimate is the blue-piller's bane. It's actually quite difficult to anticipate where low-HP runners will be, though, and skill with this ability really sets the eztraordinary Ezreal players apart. Always keep in mind that the damage is reduced DRAMATICALLY by hitting enemy units, but never be afraid to throw it down over the other team when a fight begins! Massive AoE damage if you've got enough AD.
Weapons of Choice
Now, with the introduction of Season 3, significant item changes have taken place. We're currently in a period of experimentation and discovery where new items are tried, reacted to, buffed/nerfed accordingly, etc. The weapon that has most Ezreal players excited is the Iceborn Gauntlet, which allows Mystic Shot to kite an entire team! That's absolutely fantastic utility.
However, my focus is this guide is to maximize Ezreal's capacity for DAMAGE, as I believe that it's much higher than most people give him credit for. This is why I was most excited for Blade of the Ruined King and its insanely powerful Passive, which deals damage equal to 5% of target's current HP on-hit!
However, Blade of the Ruined King has far too little Attack Damage to be a first item, and the Passive is more effective when people actually have decent Health pools, which takes a while. What to rush, then?
During the course of my S3 Ezreal experiments, I began to see patterns emerging in regards to what he needed in order to be combat-efficient/effective:
- 70+ Attack Damage as soon as humanly possible
- 200+ Health Points to survive burst
- 60%+ bonus Attack Speed to duel with auto-attacks
- Some form of over-the-top damage (Critical Strike, %HP, Armor Penetration, etc.)
I tried everything I could think of (even Sword of the Divine) and formed the following build around the parameters above. There's quite simply nothing that compares as far as insane Ezreal damage goes!
: This is a wonderfully aggressive start made possible by Season 3! When you return to base, snag Vampiric Scepter, Boots of Speed, and Doran's Blade.
: The Bloodthirster single-handedly fulfills the 70+ Attack Damage requirement; it's put to great and terrible use by your 100% AD ratios ( Mystic Shot and Trueshot Barrage) and passive ( Rising Spell Force). Accept no substitutes.
: Mini- Zeal for 550 Gold? You bet!
: Hammer Time. Phage keeps you alive long enough to fulfill your burst-sustained-damage role and get out in one piece! In addition, Mystic Shot can apply the Passive slow. CC = giggety.
: Now that you've got amazing AD, why not satisfy all of the remaining damage-dealing requirements with one incredibly powerful weapon? Attack Speed, Attack Damage, the second coming of Madred's Bloodrazor (but with everything good about it and nothing bad), a ludicrous Active ability, and Life Steal that stacks with The Bloodthirster.
You now regain 1/3 of the damage you deal as Health... it's rather disturbing.
That's the core build! With it, you can melt pretty much everyone besides that Rammus with Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen, and there are three more items to go yet.
The order in which you buy these depends on the game state.
Rule of thumb: if you're ahead or even, grab Guardian Angel first to severely demoralize your foes! If you're having trouble with tanky opponents, Last Whisper is your go-to. Trinity Force is generally best saved for last, as it offers literally everything you want, but is not game-breaking in any sense of the word.
Flash: Add Arcane Shift to insta-warp 875 units away! This is your tool of aggression, security, mobility, and is plain ridiculous all-around.
Ignite: Lighting people on fire secures an absurd amount of otherwise impossible kills, wins lanes, and helps Ezreal dominate!
I see Flash as indispensable on Ezreal, but Ignite (while the sexiest option by far) ain't set in stone. I've run Barrier, Cleanse, Heal, Ghost, Teleport, and even Clarity on him, with varying degrees of success. Kill-power in lane seems like the best option by far, but do what you love :3
Max Mystic Shot first for burst and sustained damage, then Arcane Shift for a dramatically reduced Cooldown. Some people don't even level Essence Flux until Level 13, which I find ludicrous. It has the potential to secure Dragon/Baron/turret(s) for your team, secure a kill on a runner, give you up to 50%+ Attack Speed from Rising Spell Force, win duels, etc. Get one level early on, for goodness' sake!
Together with Brute Force and Sunder , these Runes start you off with a sweet 14 bonus AD and 11 Armor Penetration (plus 8% from Weapon Expertise ). Armor Seals are unrivaled, but some might wonder about the 5/4 split of Flat and Scaling MR; since you're likely in lane with either a support or an AP mid, 90% of the time you'll be facing Magic Damage early on, but will also need to scale into late-game.
The 5/4 split is what I've found performs both roles best!
However, Runes are totally up to you- no two players are the same. :)
Because you won't be itemizing for Critical Strike, forego Lethality in favor of Butcher , which is a sleeper-powerful farming tool that'll help you snowball like a sirr. The Defensive Tree is amazingly powerful in Season 3, and the benefits of these 9 points are especially visible on a champion as squishy as Ezreal!
Phew! That was a lot of dense information. Now let's discuss how to actually play Ezreal! A Summoner's skill is measured not only by their preparations, but also by their deeds on the field.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Harass, deny, and kill your opponents with Ezreal's BONKERS early-game damage! Make sure to farm as much as possible; you need items to dominate later. Try and acquire Doran's Blade, The Bloodthirster, Berserker's Greaves, and Phage by the time teamfights are starting to break out.
Ezreal brings the best of the worlds of both burst and sustained damage, and therefore is capable of taking down all types of targets (if piloted correctly). However, his inherent fragility means that there is very little margin for error- one mistake generally means that you're dead!
To vaporize an opponent, one might follow this 4-step process:
- Harass them with attacks and Mystic Shots until they're under 3/4 HP
- Engage with attack + Mystic Shot + attack
- Chase with Arcane Shift, attacks, Ignite, and Mystic Shot
- Finish with attacks, Mystic Shot, and Essence Flux (if necessary)
If they STILL haven't bitten the dust, follow up with a carefully-aimed Trueshot Barrage!
- Know WHEN to Fire: Ezreal's Ultimate can be used to finish off mortally-wounded foes, to clear minion waves and/or pressure on your structures, to deal AoE damage during teamfights, to steal Baron/Dragon, etc. Because Mystic Shot lowers your Cooldowns by 1 second when it hits, the effective downtime of Trueshot Barrage is actually much lower than the flat rate. However, you have to decide if you'll need it in the near future before letting fly.
- Know Your Enemy: You can often predict the location of a wounded enemy through the Fog of War based upon their previous playstyle (aggressive vs. defensive), the area of the map they're in, and general player behavior that you've observed in the past. People are likely to try and Recall in bushes or just behind their turrets; trial-and-error is the best way to learn!
Trueshot Barrage is used to excellent effect in this video:
Positioning, positioning, positioning! A mistake that most Ezreal players (including me) make is thinking that Arcane Shift is a Get Out Of Jail Free card, which it isn't. Always be aware of where you are in relation to your allies and enemies. In teamfights, be patient and wait for the bruisers to engage and lay down their Crowd Control, then focus down the high-damage targets one at a time. Kite and keep auto-attacking!
In addition, be conscious of Dragon, Baron, and open turrets. Rally your teammates to secure these objectives and defend your own. Remember to make yourself scarce after an assault- staying too long will most likely mean the end of you!
Winning the game is quite an important goal. THE Goal, if you will! Farming and kills and assists and items and objectives are all necessary parts of a game of League of Legends, but they are merely means to an end. Never lose sight of the fact that destroying the Nexus is the only way to win the game!
The teams that win are the ones who figure out the most efficient way to reduce the Nexus to rubble. Always put this one goal and the good of the team over your own Ezreal-tasmic glory. :D
To The Fields of Justice!
That's the end of this particular Ezreal guide! Thanks for your support, everyone.
I hope you had as much fun reading as I had writing; may it carry you to victory.
Best of luck!