Ryze Build Guide by Hap800
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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 the second guide I've written for League of Legends Champions. This guide is for Ryze. Ryze was the first Champion I every played in a real match and still stands as a Champion I fall back on quite often when I'm not sure what to pick. Ryze is unique in that he scales off of Mana, and because of the nature of items that offer Mana in League of Legends, his build makes him naturally extremely tanky, which lets him be one of the few off-tank Mages in the game. Hopefully, this guide will educate you on this simple, yet deceptively effective Champions.
What is a Ryze?
Ryze is an Offtank-Caster. "But what does that mean Hap?" It means that you take damage, and dish it out as well. While you can't full-to-zero someone quite like Annie, Brand, Veigar, or a fed Nasus can, you are so much more durable and your combo is so long that you end up doing just as much damage as, or even more damage than, the squishy nuke Casters (aka. Glass Cannons).
Your best time as Ryze is mid-game. This is simply because there are only five items that give you significant amounts of Mana, and because you scale off of Mana, not getting any more Mana means that you stop gaining significant damage. Ryze's AP Ratios are deplorable, and any item you build last will not be sufficient to make up for that fact.
Ryze is also a very strong laner. Your Q is excellent for poking at your lane opponent with, and your non-existant cooldowns allow you to be available to burst down your opponent whenever someone has the good sense to come gank for you. Your Ultimate gives you a nice little burst heal when fighting an opponent, making you a pretty good duelist as well. When I play Ryze, I prefer solo top or solo mid simply because I feel that Ryze handles them much better than other champions. Duo lanes aren't bad for Ryze or anything, it's just that they should be reserved for a champion on your team who needs help a bit more than you do.
Ryze's Ultimate is strong mostly because it is spammable. You can use it whenever you like, mostly because with your Passive knocking off a second from each of your Cooldowns whenever you cast a spell. Because of this, it will be up almost constantly if you are doing what you should be doing and harassing your lane opponent. Like with Irelia's ultimate, you are free to throw it out to kill creep waves, because 99% of the time it will be back up before you even knew it was down. It also makes you a big threat against teams which are bunched together, so keep that in mind for later.
I don't have an ideal Ryze Rune Page, but I know what works. While the Mana Per Level on one and the flat Mana on the other may seem a bit odd, my logic is that it gives you a boost early to make you a bit more dominant, and still has a nice impact lategame as well to help you deal some damage even when you fall off a bit. Mana Glyphs aren't really worth it, and Magic Penetration Marks give you better stats than their Mana counterparts, so you should take them instead.
On the new tree, I go 0-9-21 for Ryze. Yes I know the Magic Penetration is important in the offence tree, but your damage is going to fall off no matter what you try, and I'd rather get the health in the defence tree to make myself more durable than get more damage when it will fall off anyway.
I used to go all the way down the defense tree, but now I take Utility instead. I do this because of the Mana mastery at rank one and the Strength of Spirit mastery further up the tree. You can take Greed if you want, and I would usually, but I like the experience better because Ryze can last hit so well, and his build is so inexpensive, that Gold won't really be a concern for you.
Basic buying order:
Boots 1 > Tear > Boots 2 > Catalyst > Revolver > Glacial Shroud
Boots 1 are self-explanatory.
Tear of the Goddess - Ryze stacks up the Mana passive extremely quickly, and since he scales with Mana, this is an exceptional item for him. Don't rush anything else.
Boots 2 are also self-explanatory
Catalyst - Gives you Health, Mana, and some sustain, and also builds to Rod of Ages. Makes you more durable and gives you more damage at the same time.
Revolver - This is to help with your midgame power. You will be able to vamp around as much as an AD Carry with a Vampiric Scepter, except you will have more Health and Resistances, making you an exceptional duelist.
Glacial Shroud - Cooldown Reduction, Armor, and Mana, there's not a lot more you can ask for as Ryze.
Basic Buying Order:
Rod of Ages > Banshee's Veil > Frozen Heart > Void Staff / Will of the Ancients / 1 Tank Item > Archangel's Staff
Rod of Ages - Gives the biggest bank of Mana and Health in any single item. The AP is useless, but the other stats more than make up for it. It also retains the Catalyst passive, which makes it a very strong item for Ryze. It's also better to get this early so you can let it stack itself up.
Banshee's Veil - One of the best defensive items in the game, and it also gives you Mana. You do need to get this even if they have all AD because there aren't any other good Mana items, however you can get Frozen Heart first if you need the Armor.
Frozen Heart - CDR, Mana, and Armor makes you a very happy Ryze. The only reason I get it so late is because Glacial Shroud is good enough on its own until you have some money to spare, and by lategame you should really have some money to spare.
Will of the Ancients / Void Staff / A Tank Item -
[*] Void Staff - If you need to do more of a damage-dealing role or if the other team has ridiculous MR, go ahead and take this. You won't be doing amazing damage by the time you get this, but this should help you a bit. Sell your Revolver if you want this and rely on your Support to heal you.
[*] A Tank Item - If you have good damage dealers then you can stack more resistances instead. Force of Nature, Thornmail, Guardian Angel, and Randuin's Omen are all good choices for this. Better resistances can help you more than Spell Vamp because the effective Health you gain from a Force of Nature or other Defensive option similar to that is more than the Vamp alone would have given you in that amount of time.
[*] Will of the Ancients - A good middle-of-the-road option. Take this if your Support is not a healer or if your team benefits from the Spell Vamp (i.e. a double AP team). This option is both offensive by offering AP and defensive by giving you Spell Vamp. The Aura is nice if your team can make use of it.
R > Q > W > E
R: Your ultimate will deal large amounts of Damage in Teamfights, it will be off Cooldown a lot, and it will help you farm like a maniac. It's very much worth maxing as soon as possible.
Q: Your main source of damage. Max this skill first as the low Cooldown and large range will allow you to harass, last hit, and kill from a distance. Scales with Mana.
W: Ryze's "Click to Snare" spell, infamous for being stupidly easy to use. Max this skill second and take a point at level 1 for the CC in case of early aggression or jungle invades. Try to save this skill for stopping tower dives if possible. Scales with Mana.
E: Ryze's weakest spell. The AoE it gives is only good in conjunction with your ultimate, and the MR lowering is not very high, but still fairly good. While not a useless skill, it does low damage compared to your other skills and is mostly used to refresh the Cooldown on your Q during a spell chain. Max this skill last. Does NOT scale with Mana.
Casting order: Get ready, this one's a doozy...
Q > W > Q > E > Q > R > Q > W > Q > E > Q (For stationary targets)
W > Q > E > Q > R > Q > W > Q > E > Q (For mobile targets who can threaten you with Gap Closers)
Explanation: This rotation allows for Ryze to output maximum damage. Doing this will allow his spells to come off of Cooldown just when you need them to to continue to output damaage. Do this in a Teamfight and I would bet that you won't be done before the fight is decided. If you don't have the Cooldown Reduction to maintain this at a constant level, feel free to use your Ult early to get your next Cooldown faster than normal.
Your main spells are Teleport, Ignite, and Exhaust for options, and Flash as Mandatory.
Teleport: Allows mobility around the map to make up for Ryze's lack of Movement Speed, and also allows you to back more freely, great for laning against Udyrs and still having enough poke to harass him down, or any sustainy champion like that. The drawback is that Ryze makes less use of it Lategame because he is unable to backdoor due to his abysmal damage to towers rooted in his non-use of both AP and AD, making the only use for this spell to catch up to teammates and stop opposing Backdoors. Take this spell if you are laning top, but consider other options if you are going Mid.
Ignite: Good for going aggressive on your lane and to stop massive healers. This spell is strong all game due solely to the fact that it does True Damage, and is a strong choice on any Mage-type Champion. This spell, however, is only useful for offense, and if you want to play more defensively, this may not be the best option. This spell also has less utility than Teleport, so always think before chosing Ignite. Ignite is best suited for laning Mid or for lanes where you want to be very aggressive.
Exhaust: A situational pick for Ryze. If you are facing a kill lane like Wukong or Renekton, this is probably your best hope for survival if you fail to zone them for whatever reasons. Also strong against teams with many good duelists as you can choose to negate a lot of their damage output with this choice, and even with the advent of Cleanse, this is a strong spell for those situations. If these circumstances come up, or if your team does not have an Exhaust, then you will find this spell more useful.
This guide is under Construction.