Ezreal Build Guide by Blankaex
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Introduction to Blankaex
If you've read up to here, I applaud you and encourage you to continue.
Hello and welcome to Blankaex's first Mobafire guide on Ezreal! Before we get into the nitty gritty, a bit about myself and why I'm qualified to teach Ezreal.
Actually, I'm not. I main mid lane, and only play Ezreal every once in a while. I'm in Bronze II right now, and have never played a ranked game with Ezreal. So why does someone like me want to write about Ezreal? Well...
When two people love each other very, very muc-
The reason I started actively playing League in general, is Ezreal. Being a pretty dedicated anime fan, I couldn't help but notice Ezreal's dance and how much it appealed to me. From the moment I saw that YouTube clip, I decided that I would play League, that I would earn the arrangement of pixels on my screen that is Ezreal and that I would bask in the glory of his dance.
Introduction to Ezreal
Before we start talking Ezreal, we need to understand what his role in the team is, and how not just Ezreal, but any ADC should be played.
The Role of the AD Carry
- Deal damage
- Stay alive to deal damage
- Get kills
- Focus the squishies
- Trying to "make plays"
- Trying to "get kills because I'm ADC"
Ezreal in particular is excellent at fulfilling the role of the ADC, and he's extremely underrated. His kit allows for amazing utility while still dishing out damage on par with other ADCs like Caitlyn or Varus.
His Rising Spell Force grants him free AS, whereas other champions would have to otherwise purchase items for this bonus. Mystic Shot and Essence Flux serve as harass tools in lane, as well as long-ranged damage output. Arcane Shift is a gimmicky spell that gives Ezreal an escape and gap closer, in addition to Flash - something that not many ADCs have at their disposal. Finally his ultimate, Trueshot Barrage is a high-damage, global nuke spell, giving him huge map presence and teamfight power.
Bearing these facts in mind, let's move on to how I play Ezreal, and why I build and play him in such an unorthodox manner.
Runes & Masteries
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Greater Mark of Critical Chance
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
I take Life Steal Quintessences because the additional sustain is invaluable when starting without potions. It also allows me to build my core faster since I won't need to build any Life Steal early on, and get off better in trades.
Attack Damage Marks are standard, and I use 1 Critical Chance Mark, which has been surprisingly effective. The random, unexpected crit has helped me numerous times when last hitting & trading with the other ADC. It goes without saying that 9 Attack Damage Marks works too.
Armour Seals are also standard. They're the best option to put in the Seal slot, since they allow you to tank not only the other ADC's harass more effectively, but also minion damage, which is an often overlooked factor, despite its overwhelming power in the early game.
I use Scaling MR Glyphs as opposed to Flat MR,1 following the mindset that you shouldn't be taking much magic damage early game. Sure you might be against a Sona that happens to be trigger happy with her Hymn of Valor, but the damage you take from the AP Carry outside of lane is much more deadly, and that's what you should be trying to protect yourself from. At level 18, they give you nearly 25 MR, whereas a Null-Magic Mantle grants only 20. This effectively converts to 400+ free gold by level 18.
21 points in one tree is overrated. Executioner and Havoc are not as great as they might seem to be. Suppose you'd hit 100 with an auto attack - Havoc would change that to 102. The bonus is so insufferably insignificant that the points would be better distributed elsewhere.
Following this logic, we take the main offensive masteries like Weapon Expertise , Lethality and Sunder in the offense tree, since these stats are hard to come by. Destruction is also good simply because it takes less random hits to destroy the enemy turret, and also helps when pushing with a time limit (enemy coming soon, tank about to die, etc.)
Instead of going for the defense tree with the extra points, I prefer to go down the utility tree. The low-tier masteries in the defense tree are lackluster in comparison to 3% life steal, reduced cooldown on your Flash and Improved Recall .
Skill Sequence & Summoner Spells
I go for a maxed Arcane Shift first on Ezreal unlike most people for multiple reasons.
- It lowers the cooldown so that it's more likely to be up when you need it to escape or engage.
- As an ADC, your auto attacks are your main damage tool, and therefore you should use those to harass, fight & trade. Mystic Shot doesn't crit.
- The base damage on Arcane Shift is ridiculously high - on par with your auto attacks at low levels, even. This can turn the tides of a trade more reliably than a weak, easy to miss Mystic Shot.
I max Mystic Shot second simply because Essence Flux doesn't scale off AD, and take Trueshot Barrage whenever I can since, well, it's my ulti.
|Flash is one of, if not the most versatile spell in the game, and it compliments Ezreal's kit perfectly. The distance he can cover with an Arcane Shift+ Flash combo is often underestimated, but it's great for getting out of sticky situations and catching up to that pesky Kassadin.|
|Barrier is the 2nd standard go-to spell for an ADC in blind pick. It helps you soak up a lot of damage while fighting or retreating and is generally useful overall.|
Alternative Spell Pairings
|If you're feeling confident in yourself, or you have someone like Thresh with you in lane, taking Ignite instead of Flash is a viable option since your Arcane Shift makes up for it.|
|Bringing Ignite helps you secure kills, but if you're going to bring this pair of spells, you'll need to play carefully lest you get caught without your Arcane Shift. If it's not obvious already, this set of spells is for an aggressive lane.|
|Cleanse is also a viable pick if you're playing draft pick. I usually wouldn't take Cleanse in blind pick since there's a chance it would be all but useless, whereas Barrier would always have a use.|
|If you're in draft pick and you see the enemy has a Blitzcrank, you know you want Cleanse. It's simply a situational matter, but Barrier is a more solid pick if you're in blind.|
Items: Justification & Reasoning
|Starting Doran's Blade is standard for ADC now. The extra health helps you soak up more damage and the passive along with your
and Life Steal quints gives you crazy sustain.
If you're against a heavy poke opposition and you don't have a support with a heal, starting with a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions is also acceptable. Even though Boots of Speed allows 4 Health Potions, the 15 armour is much more valuable than movement speed in the early lane.
|This is the most underrated item in the game. You heard it here first. The base AD is huge, and the passive is amazing. Your girly auto attacks that hit less than 100 suddenly turn into 500 damage crits the second you get this item. Get it. First. Always.
Infinity Edge is a core item on EVERY ADC, and yet I see all these
|A cheaper Phantom Dancer alternative, and the passive gives Ezreal the AoE to clear waves that he doesn't have. Also the fact that it builds out of Avarice Blade means you get a bit more bang for your buck. AS, more Crits, AoE - what's there not to love?|
|This item is probably the one that raises the most eyebrows. It's not even an ADC item! It gives AP and Armour, and no AD! Don't fret, this is still an ADC Ezreal build, not a Hybrid. You know how most people take boots, 4 damage items and 1 defense item? This is the defense item. I have many reasons for taking Zhonya's Hourglass as my defensive item instead of something like Frozen Mallet, Mercurial Scimitar or Guardian Angel.
|I'm pretty sure this item gives the most AD in the game, and it also gives life steal, which is a valuable stat on ADCs. Due to the runes, masteries and Doran's Blade, we could live without the Vampiric Scepter for a while, but by 5th item, this is a good pick.
The Bloodthirster is a snowball item. It is not a core item. I cannot stress this enough, and it depresses me when I see an ADC go 0/4 in lane and still grab The Bloodthirster first. By the late game, though, it's a great pick for a chunk more AD and life steal.
|Ezreal has relatively low cooldowns for an ADC, specifically his Mystic Shot and Essence Flux, as well as Mystic Shot applying on-hit effects. Throwing those out every so-often in a fight for Sheen procs is a great way to increase your damage output, and that leaves us to decide what we actually want for that Sheen proc. There are currently three items that build out of Sheen. We can rule Lich Bane out at the start, but what about the other two?|
|Iceborn Gauntlet is gaining more and more popularity with Ezreal players recently, and I can see why. Armour, CDR and amazing kiting potential. It's an overall good item, but it lacks one important thing: AD, which is why I see it as more of a defensive item. Trinity Force may seem like something old from Season 2, but it's still very strong. It gives AD, more crits, the same amount of AP as Iceborn Gauntlet and a bunch of other useful stats. I would usually go for the Trinity Force, simply because it's a damage item.|
Items: Bluezreal and AP Ezreal
This is a little subsection on other popular Ezreal builds - Blue Ezreal and AP Ezreal. It's almost completely irrelevant to ADC Ezreal, so you won't miss any important information if you're only looking for that. However if you're curious about why I don't play Blue Ezreal ADC, read on.
My Blue Ezreal Build Order
> + + + > > > > >
Getting Tear of the Goddess early is quintessential to stack it up and have it ready for Muramana as quickly as possible. I also take Vampiric Scepter and Spirit Stone because Blue Ezreal is overwhelmingly weak in the early game, so he needs these to keep his farm up to par. Iceborn Gauntlet is the core item, so naturally we get that next. Not the Spirit of the Elder Lizard - that boosts damage, and is not core. Afterwards we finish off The Bloodthirster and assuming you're doing well enough, your Tear of the Goddess should be fully stacked and ready to turn into Muramana. As the name implies, Last Whisper is the last item since this is the point when the enemies would have the most armour.
My Thoughts on Bluezreal
Blue Ezreal is a popular build originating from Korea, and named after the majority of his items being the colour blue. Since the League community comprises 95% sheep, we've been seeing a lot of Ezreal players build like this over the past several weeks. They just look at the 6 items and build them however they please, without actually thinking about what goes where and why the professional players actually use this build. With my face resting on my palm, I decided to look at the build in depth and test it in about 10 or so games, mixing and matching items to find the best build order, and I ended up with what I have up there.
Now that that's all said and done, why Blue Ezreal?
- The build is cheaper than a standard ADC build, letting you get 6 items faster.
- High cooldowns = more readily available Arcane Shift.
- Readily available Arcane Shift + Iceborn Gauntlet = kiting all day.
- All the on-hits = poke and harass.
And what do I think about Blue Ezreal?
Blue Ezreal is subpar compared to a regular ADC build, and even more below my own build, if I do say so myself. His damage output is miniscule by the late game and he simply can't keep up. He can stay alive a tiny bit better and throw out slightly more annoying Mystic Shots, but that's about it. He doesn't properly fulfill the role of the AD Carry, and so he is only suitable in some situations. The only time that you would play him is If you have another source of high, sustained damage like a Vayne top or Ryze mid, as well as a poke-heavy team.
Otherwise, play Blue Ezreal as an AD Caster in mid lane and let your team have a proper ADC. It's an unexpected pick and is strong as a mid laner - I'm not going to deny that. Playing it as ADC has too many drawbacks for the team, but it works fine as a mid laner, and that's where I play him.
My AP Ezreal Build Order
+ x2 >Kage's Lucky Pick+ > > > > > > sell >
Now that you can start Doran's Ring with space for potions, there isn't really a reason not to. I grab Kage's lucky pick first because I'm going for Rabadon's Deathcap early, and the price for such a big item is relatively high. Kage's lucky pick helps close the gap to getting the Needlessly Large Rod quickly so that you're not behind in damage with 1400 gold in your pocket. kage's lucky pick also builds into Twin Shadows, which is great for you to check for ganks and slow down your lane opponent to land Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage when going for a kill.
Lich Bane is another core item on AP Ezreal due to Mystic Shot's ability to proc on-hits, and the fact that it gives a hefty chunk of AP. I get a Void Staff at this point regardless of how much MR the opponent has because it will always beef up your damage, a lot. And when the enemy notices that, they'll be reluctant to build MR because 35% of it would be useless! I wrap it up with Zhonya's Hourglass since it's great on AP Ezreal too - 120 AP and invincible mode! If the game really does go on long enough, it's okay to sell Twin Shadows for a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, making you tankier for the late game and making your spells slow.
My Thoughts on AP Ezreal
The current meta for AP Carries is high, sustainable damage or strong burst with survivability and CC. AP Ezreal is a short skirmish/small burst AP caster and simply doesn't fit the bill anymore. That's not to say he isn't playable anymore - he still has great potential.
I wouldn't recommend AP Ezreal for high ELO ranked or serious games, but he still works as an unexpected pick and he plays well against Mid Laners that don't handle poke well. The decay on his Trueshot Barrage is waaaay too much for him to be a high-tier mid laner, though. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but overall, Blue Ezreal may be a stronger pick for mid.
Playing Ezreal: How to do it - In Lane
When Ezreal (person) designed Ezreal (champion), he was made to be able to be played as either an AP or AD carry. As such, his kit doesn't reflect the giantesque damage output that Vayne or Draven have. To put it bluntly, you are probably weaker than the other ADC, but, you also have more utility. What this means is that you can't out-damage the other ADC, but you can out-play them. Bear this in mind in lane, understand it and abuse it.
I play Ezreal in lane very passively, and only auto-attack the minions for the last hit, and take the time it gives to harass the enemy champions with my auto-attacks when I have the freedom to. Don't rush to clear waves and let the enemy push, as this gives your jungler great opportunities to gank, and Ezreal is great at receiving ganks due to his amazing follow-up. The mindset to play by here is: "don't try to win - try to not lose", because in the end, if you didn't lose, chances are you've won.
The main idea is just to get more money than the other ADC. Kills are overrated, and farm is underrated. Assuming minions give 20 gold each, 15 CS is equivalent to 300 gold - 1 kill. If your enemy ADC is 2/0/0 and you're 1/1/0 with 30 more CS, you're still effectively ahead. So:
- Focus on farming
- Don't take big risks & make mistakes
- Take advantage of the enemy's mistakes
Playing Ezreal: How to do it - Teamfights
As previously mentioned, the primary role of the ADC is to deal damage. Everything else is secondary or tertiary. In order to output tons of damage, you also need to stay alive. In order to do that: positioning, positioning, positioning.
Ezreal is one of the easiest ADCs to get good positioning with due to his Arcane Shift. In layman's terms, positioning is just where you are. As a simple rule of thumb, always think the following while playing and you should do fine: "Will I die if I stand here?"
As an AD Carry, your job in team fights is:
- To deal damage
- To aim the fed guy
- To aim the squishies
- To aim the other ADC
- To aim anything
- To tank
- To dive
- To initate
- To do anything but attack something
To elaborate, the AD Carry has the highest sustained damage of his/her team. Therefore, you are a priority target for the enemy team. In team fights, figure out where it's safe to stand - understand the enemies' zone, and stay out of it. Stay out of Darius' Apprehend range and Taric's Dazzle range and you're good to go.
Once you're standing somewhere you feel is safe - and only then - start attacking someone. Don't rush to jump into the fight - let your tanks tank. They do this to give you time to position and start fighting. When you start attacking, don't try to focus priority targets. Leave that job to your assassins and bruisers. Just attack whoever you can from safety, even if it's Shen or Malphite. They may be tank, but if they're dead, they aren't going to be tanking anything.
Naturally, if there are multiple targets in your zone, it would be advisable to attack a higher priority target, but don't risk yourself and to try to kill the Cassiopeia if that gives Talon a chance to gib you. Just keep peeling the Nasus until the enemy formation changes and you can attack other targets safely.
As for the whole attacking thing, that's just it. Attack. Auto-attack. Don't spam your abilities everywhere, they don't crit, auto attacks hit more. Use your Trueshot Barrage at the start of the fight to build up Rising Spell Force stacks, and try to hit as many people as you can. And attack. If the fight lasts long enough, you might want to use your Mystic Shot to keep your stacks up, but generally it should stay up when you use Arcane Shift to reposition.
Quick recap: find a good spot and right-click the closest person.
Tips & Tricks
- Don't go in with Arcane Shift unless:
1. You are sure you won't need it to escape, or
2. You have Flash and are confident you can use it in time and it will save you.
- Use Trueshot Barrage at the start of the fight to instantly gain 5 stacks of Rising Spell Force.
- Get used to smart casting (Shift+Q/W/E/R). It helps you pull off combos like a quick EQW to burst down a low HP champion running away.
- Don't change your key bindings to smart cast, though. Sometimes you might want to regular cast and you can't change those in the middle of a fight. It also messes with your other champions.
- I cannot stress this enough: your auto attacks hit more than your Mystic Shot. Keep calm, don't button mash and use your auto attacks. Unless you're blue - in that case, welcome to New Zealand!
- When behind, split push. Go find an empty lane and push it - it's a great way to farm up, and when you rejoin your team later, your score will be the same but you'll have a bunch more items which means a bunch more damage!
- Janna is arguably the best support with Ezreal and my personal favourite. Their unique traits compliment each other perfectly.
- Try not to get carried away. Just because you're winning doesn't mean you've won. Stay true to the play style until the very end and don't let the enemy make a comeback.
- Don't be a ****. Following my guide may have won you the game, but maintain a gentleman's etiquette: "humble in victory, graceful in defeat". Taunting your enemies by talking **** or using your champion's laugh is frowned upon by educated players.
The long-awaited conclusion.
I actually don't have much to say here, apart from thanking the readers who have respected the effort put into writing this guide and reading it 'til the end.
If you have any comments, feedback, suggestions, discussion topics, constructive criticism, anything of the like, go ahead and drop a comment and I'd be happy to receive them.
Good luck on the Fields of Justice, and remember to show your enemies a true display of skill!