Build Guide by Mortire
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.
I realize now that the way I have Ryze built currently looks like its an AP build. This is not meant to be an AP build. It is arguable that my throw in of Lich Bane and Void Staff are too heavy on the AP. The problem I had was each time I faced an enemy and tipped the 15 kill mark, enemy champions started itemizing against me. All the spell spam in the world wouldn't get me through a enemy with massed magic resist. When I bought Void Staff, my spells started getting through their wall again. As far as the Lich Bane goes, its mostly last resort for taking towers when my team is having a hard time doing so. I honestly like Banshee's Veil a fair amount of the time for the amazing shield and the additional mana.
ITEM EXPLANATION (Please read before posting)
My first few comments all point out that I appear to be heavy on AP for Ryze. I'm sorry to say that in my mind this is mildly inevitable since so many good mana and passive items have at least a little AP wrapped into them.
Utilized for the INCREDIBLE mana you generate per ability use. Makes for some amazing 1400 points of mana after enough ability casts, and Ryze has more than enough casts.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter:
Useful first and foremost for its 35% slow, on ability cast. With Ryze this should be a permanent slow until death. The health boost is nice, but I know when I mentioned that people said I should just take Rod of Ages, which I specifically don't utterly rush it, for reasons explained later.
Rylai's specifically replaces Rod of Ages because of its incredible passive. If I could get the passive on a mana item, I would. Since that's not an option, Rylai's Scepter is the best the game offers
Cooldown Reduction means you can cast spells faster, Ryze greatly appreciates when he can cast Overload every 2 seconds. The mana is always nice with Ryze, and there's a fair amount of armor in there too, so you become a tougher caster. All of Ryze's spells are pretty close range which means he doesn't have the leeway that some other casters have with their non-target spells or longer distances, he needs to be pretty close to the fight while not dying of letting life-stealing enemies feed up.
I'm sure most people are wondering "Why is this idiot buying Void Staff? Ryze doesn't do AP anymore" I respect and realize this. But by the time I usually have passed the Frozen Heart mark, people have started to itemize against me.
I played versus a Rammus once who totally gave up on armor and started getting pure magic resist. He had at least 200 magic resist on, including Leviathan Armor and Banshee's Veil purely because I had 10 kills at that point. This meant that it would have take a ton of spells to kill Rammus solo. Instead I bough Void Staff and started tearing through his MR.
Additionally, I compared the numbers on Abyssal Scepter and Void Staff. Void Staff becomes more efficient once the enemy surpasses 70 MR. The MR on Leviathan alone is +76MR.
70MR - 20 boots - 20 Abyssal = 30MR
70MR - 20 boots -> 50MR - Void Staff (20) = 30 MR
100MR - 20 boots - 20 Abyssal = 60 MR
100MR - 20 boots -> 80 MR - Void Staff(32) = 48 MR
I know Lich Bane seems like a totally backwards item of Ryze as well. But it has a very specific purpose if you need it. Ryze has the problem that the only thing he can hit towers with are his physical attacks, which are ****py and a bit like an appendix because you never use it when fighting anything other than a tower. So when it comes to fighting a tower, you realize the creeps are doing all the work, and that's just not quick enough.
Lich Bane allows you to keep you autoattacks on the tower while spelling the creeps that approach and dealing 300-400 damage to the tower every 3 seconds or so. This is much better than waiting for 100 damage a shot to finish it off.
Additionally, this makes that AP that Ryze hates so much come in handy. Now it gets added to your attacks to deal more tower damage. Don't get me wrong, AP on Ryze is still terrible, but so many items come with it that its really hard to get around.
At this point the only thing that might give you trouble is an enemy spell caster which is where the extra mana of the Veil and the bubble every 45sec is a nice factor for safety to be carrying around.
Lich Bane, Void Staff, and Banshee's Veil are highly dependent on the situation at hand. Rotate to whichever two of three you think will help you win the game. Via tower pushing, enemy MR, or enemy Casters; whichever are in your way.
This is my build for my personal favorite character and harasser Ryze. The biggest issue I see with a lot of opposing Ryze's is the tendency to push AP like all other AP carries. Personally, Ryze is much more of a spell spam character than anything else. The best part is you don't have to sacrifice overall power for Ryze in turn for survivability. Whatever makes Ryze survive, usually Mana and CDR helps the most of all.
In this build the main point is to maximize the mana pool of Ryze to increase the effectiveness of Overload and Rune Prison. Of all Ryze's skills, I feel like people underrate Overload, which may be a biased opinion on my part, but I feel its impossible to underrate it. As follows is the guide. I'm hoping to keep updating this regularly for refining and what not. Please let me know what you think, and do please give it a shot. It feels awesome when you can stand in the middle of a lane and constantly cast spells without running dry and dealing more and more damage every second.
Runes are fairly straightforward. These increase your survivability from the more annoying ranged AP opponents and abilities that other enemies try to hit you with when you are harassing them. All of the runes center around MR and a little CDR. Most of the runes are chosen due to the strength and favor I have felt them perceived. There is at least one good guide on rune choice if you are interested in more detail. However, to put it simply the runes are meant to insulate you from the enemies that try to harass you back with ranged spells, particularly other AP characters, you know who you are.
The Masteries are where you pick up some early CDR and make sure that all your spells hit home, even when the enemy starts to realize they might want to start stacking magic resist to block your continuous barrage of painful spells. Most importantly on the offense side are Sorcery and Archaic Knowledge giving you MR penetration and CDR. The utility is there to keep you in lane longer and longer as you level. Even though Ryze's spells are fairly short ranged with a bit of perseverance and quicker leveling you end up on the winning end of the battle with half your enemies snared and the other half limping away with a spell flux bouncing between them.
What you should always be working towards with Ryze is a mana pool to rival the health of many other characters.
Firstly, you absolutely need a Meki Pendant plus some potions for the health that your enemy will inevitably manage to sneak from you as you kill all their minions and guard all their prospective XP.
Tear of the Goddess
Lich Bane/ Banshee's Veil/ Abyssal Scepter/ Deathfire Grasp
Last Hit with Q. It resets you natural attack allowing you to get in two quick successive attacks to last hit the creeps that you need the gold on, everybody likes gold. Try not to spam E just yet as it can start eating mana faster than you might want it to, but its up to you.
A nice one-two punch is to hit them with spell flux(E) and then overload(Q) due to the resistance lowering of spell flux.
E > Q > Q for the rear minion wave. Kills creeps and keeps the enemy champion harassed and afraid of a rune prison (W).
Before level 8
E > Q > W > Q > E > Q
This should weaken them before they scare completely out of your range. Until you have a lvl 5 rune prison (W) they aren't held in place long enough to scare them with it off the bat.
After level 8
E > W > Q > Q ~ R > W > E
Spell flux again weakens defenses, rune prison locks, two overloads should put a big dent in their health and take R seconds off your spells on cooldown, not to mention the aoe if you time it right is refreshed at least once. The R should pull the last second off you W and E to make for a nice final splash in the event you need it.
Late Game Creeping:
E > R > Q > ...
Really as long as you keep all that going and throw a spell in wherever to farm amazingly well, all of you spells will be off of cooldown in a matter of moments, always.
I always take clarity. It will help you through all the mana issues that come with spamming spells and dramatically increase overall in-lane time. In my mind, clarity is non-negotiable.
I would say this is an amazing spell especially when no one else on your team takes it. Especially with presence of the master, and the mastery point you can use this spell to inform yourself of ganks that would otherwise be on their way to find you. If you have very good map awareness and don't want to have to keep replacing wards, no questions. Additionally, this helps compensate for Ryze's weakness with respect to brush. When you can see into brush, you can use your skills again.
Masteries as they are, Clairvoyance takes little more than 40 seconds to cool down. If you are letting your enemy into brush more than every 40 secs, you are either doing something wrong, or getting pressed by multiple enemies constantly.
Allows quicker return to lane or aide to friendlies. The main reason I don't take it is because I find 9 times out of 10 the fight is coming to you, not the other way around. Everyone thinks Ryze is extremely squishy, which I agree with before Rylai's and Frozen Heart. But if you are pushing your lane as far as you can, people will come to you.
Ghost is nice but has a fairly long cooldown for a spell that grants you running ability and collison avoidance. Its a really good spell and if you happen to not like clairvoyance or have an ally that doesn't mind scouting brush, its a very viable option.
Please let me know what you think. This is my first build, so I would greatly appreciate if you were able to play this build and provide feedback as well as comments and ratings, if you feels like I have the right idea. If not, would appreciate that as well, as I am always trying to be a better player and a better Ryze.
Wards & Ryze's Weakness
The biggest strength and weakness of Ryze is how all of his spells require a target. Unlike Morgana, Lux etc. he does not have a spell that can just be fired off without first clicking an actual opponent. This is where brush proves a problem.
You can know exactly where an opponent is and be entirely unable to harass them in the slightest, with the possible exception of an extremely lucky Spell Flux. This is why Ryze needs wards. He is extremely powerful in that anything he can reach he can hit with perfect accuracy, but only if he can see it.
As Ryze you need to keep a ward in any nearby brush at all times. If you are as strong as you can be, and you should, people will want to take you down. Ganks being imminent you need to keep an eye on the map and be able to target inside a bush at any time. I strongly recommend clairvoyance if there is more than a little brush that you need to monitor but down want to waste 75 gold every couple minutes on.
Once you can see inside bushes, there is nowhere for you opponent to hide.