Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I ended Season 4 at Master 1 with AD Jungle Malzahar, among others, and am also the co-creator of www.bestbans.com !
This build is part of a series of guides that is given a playstyle and then optimizes it. The guide does not give an opinion on whether the build is good/strong/viable/competitive, nor whether the playstyle is the optimal way to play a champion. Other guides will provide why you should play a champion that way, but this one will not.
The guide only answers: regardless of strength, if you are playing X, how should you do it?
This guide was brought to you by LordKira00.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive guide. It is meant to outline the basic principle, items, runes, and playstyle. As such, I won't be delving into why certain customization choices were made. However, my hope is that I will have explained this build enough that my rationale will be a self-evident extension, and to also allow you to make personal customizations as well.
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Pros and Cons
- Longest ranged AP Burst mage
- Global-range ultimate easily exceeds 1,000 damage
- Can flank with burst from across walls
- Great harass over minion waves with Essence Flux
- High escape power among burst mages
- Late-game sustain and kiting power against immobile tanks
- Burst damage is all skillshots, making it inherently less reliable
- Low waveclear without the ultimate
- Maximum burst requires giving up the escape
- Susceptible to champions with targeted dashes
- Mediocre first few levels
What is AP Ezreal?
AP Ezreal initially appears to simply be a mediocre version of AD Ezreal, with the Mystic Shots having much less impact compared to the AD counterpart. But in reality, AP Ezreal fulfills a completely different purpose as AD Ezreal: an high-mobility Burst Mage.
What AP Ezreal lacks in sustained Mystic Shot poke they make up for in sheer burst.
Ezreal's AP scalings total up to a very respectable 2.85. While Mystic Shot may not be as strong for the general poking case, Q's synergy with Hextech Revolver, Lich Bane, and Luden's Echo makes it a potent addition to the burst combination.
Cooldown reduction is also not an absolutely pivotal stat within the build order. Having around 25% CDR by level 14 is sufficient for what AP Ezreal will want to do, making it a low priority purchase.
But many AP Ezreal guides already exist. What set this guide apart is the use of a gold/dmg analysis. The idea behind a gold/dmg analysis is that raw damage output does not tell us enough. While a Rabadons gives the absolute highest damage, it is also 3800 gold. What if Sorcerer Shoes gives half of the damage, but for only a quarter of the cost? A gold/dmg analysis tell us the most efficient build order.
This analysis was run for every purchase over an extensive number of situations. QWER combo, Level 9, Level 18, WE, QW, over 40 seconds, with multiples of spells, with the ultimate hitting multiple targets, with runes, without thunderlords. Almost every situation was tested and provides us the build path outlined below.
From the Museum
The Dark Seal is the preferred option since AP Ezreal does not have significant mana issues during the laning phase. However, against assassins, Doran's Ring is preferable since its flat health provides better protection against their burst.
Build in any Order
These three form the absolute best gold/dmg possible for AP Ezreal over just about every situation and build into excellent components later on. They can be built in any order. Consider Sheen for safety, Sorcs for roaming/dodging, and Revolver for aggressiveness.
If very ahead during the laning phase, skip Sheen or Revolver to the next tier. Otherwise, finish all three items before moving on.
Build in any Order, Again
These next two items are roughly the same gold/dmg efficiency making them the next clear choices. Lich Bane is superior for overall bursting power while Void Staff is superior against early magic resistance and teamfighting power. If bursting remains valuable, choose Lich Bane. If skirmishes are beginning to occur extensively, choose Void Staff.
In any case, build both before continuing.
Build in any Order, Again, Again
Same as the previous tier, these two choices excel as the best gold/dmg choices at this point in the build. And just as the previous tier, Gunblade is superior for burst while Rabadons is superior for skirmishing and teamfighting. Choose based on that criteria.
Finish both before reaching the final situational tier.
One Last Item
With one slot remaining, a couple of choices stand out. For absolute damage, Luden's Echo can't be beat as the final choice. Ludens also allows Sorcerer Shoes to be sold to open up one extra slot for the other purchases.
If raw damage is no longer as high a priority, the utility and survivability granted by the other options is excellent as well. They're more suited for skirmishing, especially with the healing synergy provided by Hextech Gunblade, and should be picked up within those parameters.
Morello is more valuable for its Grievous Wounds than its cooldown reduction, so consider it primarily in that situation.
Stage of the Game
- Bully with Essence Flux over minion waves
- Tag with Mystic Shots whenever a chance arises
- Hit with the all-in burst when the opponent is low
- Aim ults at other lanes to provide support
After sufficiently whittling an enemy down, hit with the all-in. Don't neglect your autoattacks!
Champion hitboxes are a little bit bigger than the minions. Try to land Mystic Shots onto champions who are standing in their minion wave by abusing the larger size of their boxes.
Try to avoid using Arcane Shift for solely harass too much; it eats up significant mana to be used regularly for that purpose unless it's putting an enemy into the critical-health threshold for a followup burst.
The ultimate is excellent for executing low-health enemies in other lanes, but try to the ult while a fight is currently in progress. It's much easier to land that way and is less likely to be mitigated from a recently-off-cooldown shield or heal.
Try to cast Trueshot Barrage outside of enemy vision to catch them off guard for a significant health hit.
As the laning phase winds down, you must start making some item choices
- Choose between further burst or further skirmishing power
- Roam with pink wards in the jungle for picks on squishies
- Go guerilla style during teamfights
If an enemy is particularly close, you will want to increase the gap on them while still hitting with burst. WEQ is your friend here if you Arcane Shift away while still doing damage.
Teamfights are not AP Ezreal's specialty, but it's possible to contribute by well-timed Essence Fluxes into multiple enemies. Try to avoid getting into autoattack range outside of necessity.
The range of Arcane Shift is much larger than it initially seems. Practice to get a feel for its maximum range potential to amplify burst.
When clearing minion waves, use Mystic Shot and Arcane Shift regularly, though not excessively enough to run out of mana.
Use Trueshot Barrage to clear whole minion waves that are upcoming through the wave, but only if it seems a teamfight is not about to break out.
By casting Trueshot Barrage while in bushes, the ultimate will remain invisible until its fully outside the bush. This takes a moment longer, reducing enemy reaction times, which is often just enough. Abuse!
The burst mage has arrived
- You should now be strong enough to burst tanks
- Hextech Gunblade provides significant teamfighting sustain to kite with
- Land Trueshot Barrages before teamfights begin to cripple carries
Don't forget to use the active of Hextech Gunblade to amplify the burst. It takes a little getting used to, but the slow even makes followup shots easier.
Trueshot Barrage can easily be doing over 1,000 damage, halfing the health of carries before a fight even starts. Aim it regularly, though be careful if they have sustain to return to full health.
The damage on Mystic Shot is very respectable at this point. Before teamfights begin, try to land some good hits with it.
I hope you will have found this useful! If you have any questions, leave a comment or drop a line over at twitch.tv/aquadragon33 and reddit.com/r/AquaDragon! And be sure to check out www.bestbans.com !
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