Ryze Build Guide by BlackElement
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.
Ryze is known as the "Glass Cannon." But I am here to tell you that he can be a cannon and not be made of glass. If you have ever seen me in game I will often say, "Ever seen a Ryze solo baron?" And then proceed to tare Baron to pieces. With this build your survive-ability will be immense. I will explain when an item is required for the build, why each item is chosen, and other options when they appear. Try the build, you can solo Baron too.
These runes are pretty standard for a Ryze. I choose the magic pen marks for the obvious reason, magic pen makes magic resist not so useful for your opponent. And even if they do not have that much magic resist, Ryze's Overload only gets stronger with magic pen.
You may disagree in my choice of seals. You may argue that having the seal of wardings would be more useful. However, without the seal of shielding's level 18 bonuses, you wont reach 100 magic resistance. On top of that, it takes level 8 to make the seal of shielding better anyways.
It is important to get 8 Greater Glyph of Celerity's and one Greater Glyph of Focus. With this setup and the one Greater Quintessence of Celerity you will get 40.19% cooldown reduction, 0.19% past the cap.
As far as Quintessence goes, you can vary this. The Celerity quint is required. I get one swiftness because Ryze is a slow character. Sometimes I wish I used two swiftness quints instead.
Nearly all Ryze experts tell me I'm a fool for my masteries. Why get defense? The Utility masteries are much more helpful!
This build is Steel Cannon for a reason. This Ryze is not easy to kill. He needs the defense masteries not only because it reduces damage taken, but because it compliments the heal-bait Ryze that this setup was meant for. I will explain the heal-bait part of this build later. For now, trust me on the masteries.
As far as the remaining 9 points go, you must put 4 in Expanded Mind. The rest are your choice. I choose to avoid any mastery points that increase mana regen. At the first 5 minutes the regen is nice, but after the first return to base after getting the tear (hopefully this would be the second time back at base) the mana regen is utterly useless. i.e. A character that can get 4.8k mana does not need mana regen. I also avoid the extended monster buff because after getting the Glacial Shroud for the Frozen Heart, Blue buff will be useless and Red buff was never useful from the start.
Tear of The Goddess. If you argue with this choice of first item, go play another character. Tear of the goddess takes time to build into it's usefulness. But the mana regen it gives is all you will ever need. It alone gives 1400 mana. Later when you get the archangels Staff you will have around 260 ability power as well.
Under no circumstances should you ever get Ionian boots. If you get them you cannot use Frozen Heart effectively. Instead, go for Sorcerer's Shoes. The extra magic pen is amazing early and mid game. Boots of Swiftness would also be acceptable if you are against a team that is superb at escapes. Such as Master Yi, Shen, or Tryndamere.
Here is the first fork in item-choices. You must get a Banshee's Veil and a Frozen Heart. But not quite in that order. More often than not, Banshee's will be more helpful at mid game when you can get this item. However, Banshee's Veil is expensive. If you haven't gotten any kills by the time the 20 minute mark has come, you should be considering getting the Frozen Heart first. Or at least the Glacial Shroud then finish the Veil. If you find you are against a heavy AP team, get the Negatron Cloak then Glacial.
Now finish off the other of the two (Banshee's Veil/Frozen Heart). With this item set you are now tanky. But there is still one more item before you can solo Baron like I promised earlier.
Now you must get Will of The Ancients. The Spell Vamp combined with Desperate Power's Spell Vamp brings this Ryze to 50% spell Vamp. At that rate, your Overload will heal you for around 300 a shot. If someone else on the team gets a Will of The Ancients a 75% Spell Vamp brings you up to around 450 max heal. This is the item that makes Ryze golden. With constant life coming back to Ryze he can perform multiple bursts in a single team fight. (By the way, this is the point at which you can solo Baron)
Finally finish off the Archangels Staff. It will boost your AP to around 260. Though AP is not as important for Ryze as mana, there aren't many items left that can give you a significant boost to your mana. 100 mana is 8 damage for Overload. Because of this, getting another Archangels purely because of the extra 400 mana (really 420 because of mastery) is a 33 damage difference and an additional 144AP (another 57 damage). A rabbadon's will increase your AP to about 500 an extra 111 damage. A little better than the 90 the second Archangels gives. Not to mention that all other of Ryze's skills bonus better from AP rather than mana.
Because of the previous argument, I usually decide to get a Void Staff anyways. It gives 70AP (not nearly comparable to the bonuses from Rabbadon's Deathcap) and will allow Ryze to tare through the tanks that have been giving you hell all game. If you find that the tanks are dealt with pretty easily by you or anyone else on your team, feel free to grab that rabbadon's. The immense damage increase to Ryze's Rune Prison and Spell Flux is very helpful.
THINGS NOT TO GET:
Rod of Ages. Unless you suspect this game will last 70 minutes or longer, don't even think about it. Rod of Ages takes ten minutes to build, and another ten minutes to obtain its full petential. You cannot consider getting it before the Will of The Ancients, that would reduce your survivability to late game play only.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter. 500 health? awesome. 80AP? not useful for Ryze. Slow everyone you hit with a spell? You're a burst character, if you need to chase them then you're already doing it wrong. Use Ghost or Flash to make up for any of these possibilities.
Doran's Ring. The AP it gives is not helpful. The 100HP defeats the purpose of heal-baiting entirely. Mana Regen is only useful in the first 5 minutes. Don't base the first 5 minutes on the rest of the game, especially since the tear you just pushed back 5 minutes by purchasing this ring could have significantly increased your mid game play.
Always Overload. The only thing that beats Overload is Desperate Power. Otherwise if you can stick a point on Overload, do it. Overload is Ryze's main damage attack and it also reduces cooldowns. With Overload's low cooldown already, you can quickly spam it and all other skills just by maxing this skill.
Aside from Overload, Rune Prison is the next one to focus. After getting one point in Rune Prison, get Spell Flux to level 2. At level 1, Spell flux is not very useful. Besides, you'll like that extra little burst of damage. Focus Rune Prison because the longer the hold is the easier it will be to use Rune Prison on the same character again.
Ryze is supposed to be squishy. But with this build, he is quite the contrary. This allows Ryze one of the easiest Heal-bait opportunities ever. When Ryze appears killable the enemy will focus him down. Just before they get the drop on you, drop that Heal and light them up. If ever this can be down by the opponent turret diving, take the chance. Once you use Heal, they will run. Hopefully you haven't used Rune Prison yet, or have gotten it back (if they dove the turret, you should have prisoned them already!). Use that hold and chase them down for the finish. If they are out of your reach, use the flash.
For Ryze to heal-bait you must use this combination. The only alteration I have been able to pull off is Heal/Exhaust and Heal/Ignite. Play around with the combinations to see which of the three suits you best. (For heal-bait purposes, exhaust is the most useful. However, Ryze is not very good if he is outnumbered since he can only burst once in that situation. For that reason, I generally get Heal/Flash)
The purpose of this build is to make Ryze the most focused character possible and live to tell stories to his grandchildren. It is possible to solo Baron with this build (Explained in Items section after obtaining Will Of The Ancients). Because of the survive-ability this build gives, Ryze becomes tremendous at one vs. one battles (not that he is bad in any other case, just not as good). This build also supports an amazing Heal-bait opportunity described in the Summoner Spell section. In team fights Ryze can easily knock out any single character and continue to pound whichever of the remaining champions refused to run in fear of the cataclysmic Overload spell.
And here is where I explain my face-rolling skill order:
Always start a battle with Overload. A lot of people will argue to start with Rune Prison. I tell them they are all scrubs and need to be real men. But the real reason in starting with Overload is that it is a terrific poke. If your opponent starts running you can chose to back off and wait for another opportunity to poke or chase them down like the scared little ferret their incorrectly metaphor-ed selves are. If you have followed the rest of my build then you will realize you probably run faster than your enemy anyways and will have little trouble getting that rune prison on them next. After dropping the hold, consider who you are facing. If the character is long ranged, run right up next to them and fire that spell flux (just make sure to fire any overloads that may have popped up since the last time you used it). Hopefully if you are close enough, the spell flux will bounce between you and the opponent and drop their magic defense significantly. If the opponent is close ranged, then ask yourself, "Are they a tank?" If so, do the previous action anyways! They cannot dish out enough damage to kill you before you kill them. If they are Tryndamere, then you picked the wrong person to face. Chances are, he will destroy you (unless you are terrific at kiting him with run prison!!!). When facing these kinds of champions, use spell flux at any distance. If you are close enough to get hit by their melee, then back up a litle but let the spell flux continue. Before the prison drops, use that Overload and run like Cho'Gath is trying to nom your face! Now fire that Overload again! If you have already used your Desperate Power ultimate, then you weren't following my face-mashing guide. At this point all of your abilities are on cooldown except for the ultimate. Fire it off! Now the Overload or the Rune prison should be ready to use again. Use them both. Hopefully the opponent is dead by now since if you were facing an opponent that had no magic resist then that was the equivalent of about 3500 damage in around 10 seconds. (4-5 Overloads, 2 Rune Prisons, 1 Spell Flux, and 1 Desperate Power). As for when to use summoner spells, check the Summoner Spells section for more information.
Pros / Cons
Hard to kill
Can solo Baron
Very strong late game
High Magic Pen
If you can't get a kill before 15 minutes, you have already lost
Runes/masteries are built for late game
Builds Ryze partially AP
Cooldown Reduction early game is low
If you notice an opponent is attempting to push a turret, save your ult for the minions and focus the minions, not the champions. Hopefully they will not dive to destroy the turret. When ulting to destroy a minion wave, always focus the cannon minion. He is generally in the center and skills will hit most of the minions. If the wave has built for awhile, use your ult and fire the spell flux near the center. Then fire an Overload to one side and the Rune Prison to the other. Most minions will have died from this already. Use auto-attacks and overload to finish the rest off.