Ryze Build Guide by Aurelial

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Aurelial

The Artist Of The Arcane (Updated 08/31/2012)

Aurelial Last updated on November 4, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 21

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Character Introduction

11/04/2012 - Let me just preface this guide by saying a HUGE overhaul is in the works. I'm adding in a new build which is now my PRIMARY build, and I only use what's here situationally for the time being.

Ryze has become a wildly popular character since M5's AlexIch dominated the early rounds of Intel Kiev with this mana monster. He was so good with Ryze that Team SoloMid banned him in all three games of the finals.

Since then, shows* that he has grown to the 19th most popular character in ranked play. Unfortunately, his win percentage is all over the place and currently* sits at a middling 50.45%. The purpose of this guide is primarily to help seriously competitive players add Ryze into their arsenal of effective characters.

*As of 04/07/2012

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Pros / Cons

This section will be better developed soon, but this should give you some quick bullet points.


  • Strong Late Game
  • Strong 1v1
  • Builds into Off-Tank
  • Sustained Caster
  • Unreal Synergy with Items
  • Only Needs Blue Buff Once
  • 2s Snare 1.75s Snare
  • Meta-game Adaptable
  • Not Skill-Shot Dependent

  • Generally Considered Weak Early Game
  • Item Dependent
  • Often Focused in Team Fights
  • No AoE CC
  • Doesn't Have an Overpowering Ultimate

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Summoner Spells

This is really based on the matchup, but I mostly prefer Ghost and Flash unless I'm against a healer like maybe Swain, Vladimir, or Gragas (who is seeing a lot of competitive play) and then I'll grab Ignite & Flash.

Ghost & Flash

Ignite & Flash

Exhaust & Flash

Teleport & Flash

Noticing a trend? Take Flash! The rest of this section will be developed soon.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed


spa Stacking 9 of these yields 8.55 Mpen. Extremely useful on any caster and should require no further explanation as these are the industry standard for a reason.


spa 9 of these yields phenomenal bonus mp5 and are exceedingly important for a constant caster like Ryze to thrive in the mid-game.


spa Since most characters - especially middle laners - have abilities that deal magic damage, I take a full complement of these (which yields an additional 12.15 Mres) to seriously boost my survivability early on in the game.

EDIT: These have been nerfed as of the Hecarim Patch, but they are still viable. I am still playtesting them against tougher opponents, but so far so good. You only lose 0.14 Mres per rune, for a total of -1.26 Mres caused by the patch.


spa With a base MS of 310, Ryze is one of the slower characters in the game. 3 x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed plus 4 ranks of Swiftness brings our MS to 330. Boots of Speed gets us up to 383, and Sorcerer's Shoes pushes it to 405.

With the long ranges on Overload and Spell Flux, the extra MS gives Ryze the ability to kite like a boss, further reducing his damage taken. They also help with positioning, ganking, and recovery, as well as grant you the ability to be playing Ryze on top since they help you get away from even early ganks. This is exceedingly useful because it expands the list of potential lane opponents that Ryze can dominate.

Alternative Runes

Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp

Okay, I know I just went into a whole thing about how mobility is ideal for Ryze and I stick by it because I think that the utility from the extra MS is about the best thing since Steak and a ******* Day; however, I haven't extensively tested these runes and some swear by them. 3 Quints * 2% Spell Vamp + 3% Spell Vamp ( Transmutation ) yields 9% Spell Vamp and increases sustainability throughout the match. If you are one of the believers here, comment and let me know that it's worth the 6K IP for me to invest in testing even though Ryze can typically carry 10-20 kills per game without them.

Greater Seal of Knowledge & Greater Glyph of Mana

These do... well, exactly what they say they do. 9 of each of these will yield a nice 112 MP at level 1 that scales to an additional 291 MP by level 18. They serve to increase the output of your Overload by 8.4 / 21.825 damage and your Rune Prison by 5.6 / 14.55 damage at levels 1 / 18, respectively. Yes, it lets you cast a few extra spells early on as well, but I think the reason you get these is to offset the loss of damage for when you absolutely must buy Boots of Speed instead of Sapphire Crystal to start. I still don't think it's ideal because many times when you are taking boots you need the mres too.

EDIT: The setup for Greater Glyph of Mana x 9 has had an increase in viability by default with the nerf to the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist in the Hecarim patch. I am still testing all of the various scenarios and will update ASAP with results; however, I still prefer the extra mres over the additional mp for the moment.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Taking four of these bad boys allows you to alternatively utilize your Utility tree to maximize Strength of Spirit by stealing 2 points from Intelligence . To nitpick, the 0.9 CDR from these 4 glyphs won't max you out at 40% (you'll only hit 39.6% CDR). To frankly criticize, I don't think that the extra HP regen helps late game or in teamfights when characters are typically bursted into oblivion; as the counterpoint, the extra Mres (from 4 additional Greater Glyph of Magic Resists) exactly help you stay alive in teamfights.

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Standard Masteries

Personally, this is my favorite mastery setup for Ryze.


Since Ryze gains very little from the additional AP of Mental Force , Blast , & Archmage , I steer clear of investing any points above Arcane Knowledge in theOffensive Tree. This is a fairly typical tree for casters that want to max out another branch but are still looking for that +10% Mpen.


Offensive Tree

Strictly for Improved Ghost. Mobility is KEY!

+4% CDR.

10% Mpen.

+ For last-hitting minions.

Utility Tree

Flat 15s CDR for Flash.

+12 MP per level. 'Nuff said.

+2% MS which is so important for Ryze.

+3 mp5 helps smooth out your early mana issues.

Helps lane and team fight sustain throughout.

20% more Blue & Baron Buffs.

Extra XP never hurt anyone.

Truly helps during the lane phase.

+6% CDR across the board.

Extra 15% CDR for Ghost & Flash.

In most cases, I simply find the Utility Tree too good to pass up. The extra sustain from Transmutation , Strength of Spirit , & Meditation , the ability to max out CDR with Intelligence , and having Flash & Ghost up more often makes this Ryze's tree of choice!

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Alternative Masteries

Defensive Setup: 9-9-12

This alternative setup should be used for especially difficult lane opponents. Always check the meta-game in draft and plan accordingly!



Offense Tree

Improved Ghost.

+4% CDR.

10% Mpen.

+ Last-hitting.


I still like taking 9 points in the Offense Tree for the Improved Ghost, 4% CDR, and the 10% mpen. Ryze isn't nearly as good without his CDR and mpen and this mastery setup is a good way to gain them without sacrificing survivability.

Defense Tree

+6 Mres.

+2 Armor.

Scaling HP.

Flat +30 HP.


Taking 9 points in the Defense Tree is a boon to boosting Ryze's survivability. +6 mres, an early +30 HPand +138 HP at lvl 18 can go a long way towards keeping you alive and casting.

Utility Tree

Flat 15s CDR for Flash.

Still +12 MP per level.

+2% MS.

+3 mp5 mana fixing.

For holding on to Blue Buff longer.

I feel that the first two tiers of the Utility Tree have some of the best masteries for Ryze and deserve 11 points every time. Expanded Mind , Swiftness , and Meditation are must-haves for your boy from Runeterra. Because we are lacking 6% CDR from Intelligence , I invest one point into Runic Affinity because you will need Blue Buff more often with this setup.

So we've taken points out of Transmutation , Awareness , Strength of Spirit , Intelligence , and Mastermind ; how can this still be a good setup?

While true that having 11 points in the Utility Tree costs you some survivability and CDR, this is a setup for heavier defense; adjust your play style accordingly! What you lack in sustainability you make up for in survivability.

I take the 9-9-12 setup when I know that I can get easily bursted down by my lane opponent solo; ie - champions like Akali, LeBlanc, & Cassiopeia all have tremendous burst potential and fare very well vs. Ryze early. If you are forced to face one of these in lane, starting with +6 mres and +36 HP can help scale down some of their burst until you can build up your Negatron Cloak.

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Arcane Mastery



spa When Ryze casts a spell, all other spells have their cooldown reduced by 1 second.

This is what makes Ryze into a magical machine gun. Understanding this innate ability is what allows you to continuously spam his spells and why we build Ryze using the items that I have chosen. Even though nothing about the passive changed, the reduction to the cost of Overload actually improves the functionality of his passive in the Ryze 2.0.1 era.




spa (Passive): Ryze gains 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 % cooldown reduction.

(Active): Ryze throws a charge of pure energy at an enemy unit, dealing 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+40% of ability power) magic damage plus additional damage equal to 6.5% of Ryze's maximum mana.

Damage: 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 + 40% AP + 6.5% MP

Cost: 60 MP

Range: 650

Cooldown: 3.5 seconds

This is your bread & butter. Overload is your all-purpose Range 675 poke, kiting spell, and straight damage dealer wrapped into one. Stock 3.5s CD timer with scaling 2% CDR per rank, this spell is the reason we can build 40% CDR so inexpensively, trigger Arcane Mastery as often as we do, and deal as much raw damage as we do.

I take Overload at level 1 and max it first for the extra damage and CDR.

With the stock 3.5s CD timer and your 40% CDR, Ryze can cast his Overload every 2.1 seconds! Once you have Tear of the Goddess, try to secure blue buff (if your jungler doesn't require it) and use Q to farm ALL OF THE MINIONS!

The reduced cost to cast improves your ability to spam Q's; once you have Tear, never stop casting!

Rune Prison



spa Ryze traps an enemy unit, preventing them from moving for .75 / 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 second(s) and dealing 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+60% of ability power) magic damage plus 4.5% of Ryze's maximum mana.

Damage: 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 + 60% AP + 4.5% MP

Cost: 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 MP

Range: 625

Cooldown: 14 seconds

Snare Duration: 0.75 / 1.0 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 seconds

Rune Prison is why everyone fears playing against Ryze. Range 625 snare that can't miss or be juked, RP deals its damage instantly as the prison is cast.

I take Rune Prison at level 2, maxing it out second to increase the snare duration.

At rank 1, it makes for a strong initiator for your jungler to jump in and gank. It can also lock down a pursuer as you deftly escape without needing to pop Ghost or Flash; at rank 5 it can immobilize an enemy carry and is the reason Ryze can 1v1 almost any opponent.

Spell Flux



spa Ryze unleashes a bouncing orb of magical power which bounces to enemy units or himself, up to 5 times (for a total of 6 hits). Each bounce deals 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 (+35% of ability power) (+1% of maximum mana) magic damage and reduces the target's Magic Resistance by 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24. Prioritizes enemy champions.

Damage: 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 + 35% AP + 1% MP

Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 10 MP

Range: 675

Cooldown: 14 seconds

Mres Reduction: 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24

This is the lowest priority of all Ryze's spells because it's damage output doesn't scale as well with MP, but that doesn't make it bad. It bounces between enemy targets (or Ryze as a conduit with no penalty) and applies damage and reapplies Mres reduction each time it hits.

I take Spell Flux as early as level 3 (and latest by level 4), maxing it last.

I find it to be extremely useful to up the damage on my poke from Overload. Because Spell Flux also has Range 675, using Spell Flux immediately before Overload is a great way for you to increase the damage output from his Q without exposing you to a strong counterattack. In keeping Flux at rank 1 until level 14, it is also relatively inexpensive to cast which makes it a good option for triggering Arcane Mastery, activating Tear of the Goddess, and for farming large creep waves (in conjunction with his ultimate, Desperate Power).

The buff to Spell Flux makes it a much better farming tool, so I've been leaning towards a lvl 3 pick so far in the new patch.

Desperate Power



spa Active: Ryze becomes supercharged for 5 / 6 / 7 seconds, gaining 15 / 20 / 25 % spell vamp, causing his spells to deal 50% AoE damage, and granting him 35/45/55 movement speed.

Damge: No Damage

Cost: No Cost

Range: 200

Cooldown: 70 / 60 / 50 seconds

Status Effects: Grants 50% Spell Vamp, 35 / 45 / 55 bonus move speed, and all spells do 50% AOE damage.

In the pros/cons section, I listed his ultimate under the negative section; so why max it ASAP? True, his ultimate isn't a Requiem or Soul Shackles, but it brings so much utility to Ryze that it's impossible to ignore.

Like most ultimates, I take his Desperate Power whenever available.

First of all, activating Desperate Power triggers Arcane Mastery and ticks 1 second of CD off of each ability currently cooling off. This is extremely important, and increases your damage output in 1v1 and team fights alike; the sooner Overload comes back up, the sooner you can use it to activate Arcane Mastery again to get back to Rune Prison. Are you sensing a pattern yet?

Second, the active 50% aoe splash damage is great for teamfights and farming waves of creep alike. Popping DP for a jungle teamfight when the opposing team is all huddled together can make short work of the enemy champions and turn the tide of a battle.
Similarly, it is great for clearing huge waves of creep: I personally launch Spell Flux at large groups of enemy minions, activating Desperate Power mid-flight (ticking off a free second of CD from Arcane Mastery), and finishing off with a centered Overload.
This same technique can be used to pop into the enemy jungle and quickly clear their camp of wraiths.

Third, this ultimate grants bonus move speed to the tune of 35 / 45 / 55, and brings even MOAR UTILITY to Ryze in general. It's a mini- Ghost with a 30s CD! The buff to move speed while active allows you to fly kites all day in lane, run around like a boss in teamfights, pursue all of the hurt opponents, and even to just pop on your way back from the fountain! I love the changes to his ultimate. Definitely a buff!

FOURTH, Desperate Power grants 15% / 20% / 25% Spell Vamp. On top of the 3% vamp from three ranks of Transmutation and the 20% from your Will of the Ancients, Ryze will have 48% Spell Vamp in the team fights late game. On top of your defensive items ( Frozen Heart & Banshee's Veil), the extra spell vamp makes him even tougher to focus down in teamfights.

Last, and definitely not least, it has a short CD timer so don't hold on to it if you think it can help! At rank 3 with its innate 50s CD timer and 40% CDR, the timer clears every 30 seconds without even using your spells to activate Arcane Mastery. If you can spam 10 ability uses (totally doable in team fights), you can activate Desperate Power up to THREE TIMES IN ONE MINUTE. Make sure you use it often!

Ability Sequence

I find that there is a little versatility in Ryze's skill order up to level 6, depending on the goals you are trying to accomplish.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I like to start with one point in each ability: Overload, Rune Prison, & Spell Flux, in that order. Afterwards, 2 more ranks of Overload will up your damage output and give you16% CDR (10% from masteries + 6% from rank 3 Overload), and then take your ultimate, Desperate Power which passively grants 75 bonus MP, expands your damage output, and allows you to farm huge creep waves easily.

Alternatively, you can take your first six points Q-W-Q-E-Q-R (swapping the point placement of levels 3 and 4) if you just want a little extra poke at level 3. I recommend this sequence if you are taking the alternative rune page of Greater Seal of Knowledge & Greater Glyph of Mana. Squeeze your opponent when you can!

If your team is planning on invading the opposing jungle or you are anticipating a pre-minion team fight, taking your first point in Rune Prison can win you the day.

The point I am trying to illustrate is that there are several ways to begin the game with Ryze. Typically, I do not assign my first point until minions are about to pop. Use your head and do what is best for your team.

If there's no action, anticipated or actual, take Overload and help your jungler whittle down the jungle creeps (without last-hitting and from afar so as not to leech their early XP). Afterwards, report to your lane.

After level 6, your priority order should be:


At this point the skill order isn't really negotiable any more.

Desperate Power grants the most utility.

Extra ranks in Overload grow your damage output the quickest.

Additional ranks of Rune Prison increase your snare duration.

Spell Flux doesn't scale as well with all of the MP that you are stacking.

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Ryze-Mode Engage: The Items!

To make the most of Ryze's very good ability scaling, we need to get him properly equipped to deal with the perils of a solo lane. Remember that Ryze is fairly squishy early on in the game. What you lack in ability to dominate early you MORE than make up for in the mid-late gameplay.

First Item

Boots of Speed

space or space

Sapphire Crystal


There is a reason that most of the top players start with Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potions. The additional mobility not only makes it easier to escape early ganks, but also helps with your positioning and last-hitting.

If I do not get Boots of Speed, I get Sapphire Crystal instead. This is when I want to play the lane more aggressively. Believe it or not, this is one of the most crucial gear decisions you make all game. So in order of importance, the determining factors to look at when determining your first item are:
  1. How hard does my lane opponent hit? If you are going to get bullied, make sure you take boots so you can stay away!
  2. How many skill shots and / or how much CC does my lane opponent have? If they have a few CC spells like a Swain (with snare and slow) or have a bunch of skill shots like Brand or Kennen, take boots!
  3. What type of jungler did the opposing team take? Very few junglers have both spectacular clear-time AND strong level 2-4 ganking-capability; so if they have a Lee Sin, Nocturne, Riven, Jax, or other strong early ganker, make sure you take boots!
  4. How long are the cooldowns on your lane opponent? If they are long and your opponent cannot use abilities very often, you should be able to harass effectively and should strongly consider taking Sapphire Crystal to boost your damage output. Get in there and [Q]-poke away! Your short CD timer should let you bully around your helpless opponent.

As you can see, almost 75% of the time you should be taking Boots of Speed as Ryze. Make sure you take stock of their team composition before making your decision and, remember, having extra damage means nothing when you're dead. Make sure you have the capability to farm up and buy your items because, otherwise, you will be under powered.

Early Game

Tear of the Goddess

sp Ryze is not Ryze without his Tear of the Goddess! Try, try, TRY not to go back to base without 1000 gold to finish out your Boots + Tear. This is Ryze's most important item. Every time you cast a spell, your damage output grows! Make sure you get this item as early as possible or your damage output may be lacking by mid game.

Sapphire Crystal x2

sp Once you have boots and tear, 800 gold will get you double crystal, which is very beneficial for Ryze. This is exactly what I mean when I talk about stacking mana - this move bumps your damage output and allows you to use abilities to farm, which builds tear, which gives you more mana, which increases your damage output... the cycle of domination thus begins. These are your 2nd and 3rd Crystals, and, unlike AP carries stacking Doran's Ring, Sapphire Crystals upgrade into all of Ryze's best items: Tear of the Goddess, Catalyst the Protector and Glacial Shroud.

Negatron Cloak

sp This is an optional order for this item that you should slot into your build early on if you need to seriously beef up your mres. If you've been getting successful ganks, take it after Crystals. If you haven't and you're against an AP powerhouse, get it before them. 740 gold has never saved your life more times than this will. On the other hand if you don't need the mres, just pick it up when you upgrade to Banshee's Veil.


Sorcerer's Shoes

sp These do everything a growing Ryze needs; extra mobility for starters is nice, but the mpen is where the value is! Now that we're building into some serious damage output, additional magic penetration is the way to make those abilities hit hard! They are pretty standard for a caster, and, logically, they are very good for Ryze. This upgrade costs 750 gold and makes it so that you do TRUE DAMAGE to most mid-lane characters at this point in the match. If you are doing well and can afford Sorcerer's Shoes + Sapphire Crystal on your 2nd trip back, I don't hesitate to reach a bit for these.

Glacial Shroud

sp This item builds straight out of a Sapphire Crystal and a Chain Vest. Along with the additional 225 mp and 45 armor Shroud provides, the biggest benefit here is that it provides 15% CDR! With Overload, Intelligence , and Sorcery , the 35% from addition of this item has Ryze almost maxed out on CDR. 700 gold for the Chain Vest, 425 gold to combine them, or just 1125 gold to upgrade straight away.

Catalyst the Protector

Catalyst the Protector sp Finally turning the last of those early Sapphire Crystals into even more useful items, Catalyst the Protector gives a nice bump to HP and MP while increasing your sustainability as you level up. The Ruby Crystal will cost 475 gold, combining the two crystals another 450 gold, and upgrading all at once will run you 925 gold.

Upgrades Complete

Banshee's Veil

sp BV is just amazing on Ryze. The extra HP and mres beef him up, while the additional MP allows him to hit harder. If that wasn't enough, it comes with a nifty passive that blocks an incoming spell. It's great 1v1 when it can seriously mess up a combo-chaining champion (like vs LeBlanc) or allow you to escape from a greedy Veigar's Event Horizon.

Frozen Heart

sp This item just flips on BEASTMODE for Ryze. This finishes off his 40% CDR, pumps 500 MP into reserves, protects with 99 Armor, and has an aura that slows down the attack speed of all nearby enemies (1000 range). Even if your tank is building this, BUILD IT AS WELL. 1250 gold to upgrade from Glacial Shroud, with 650 gold for the recipe and 300 for each Cloth Armor.


Void Staff

sp This is now the part of the game where you should be trying to put the opposing team away for good, and the cost efficiency of this item is paramount. Sorcerer's Shoes are fine for bursting through your mid-lane opponents' mres, but the boots alone can't handle the scaling Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist when stacked by 9s. Not only does Void Staff bump your damage output on every ability, it gives you that extra punch with a whopping 40% mpen. 2295 gold to build it from scratch or build it in pieces: 860 gold for the Blasting Wand, 435 gold for the Amplifying Tome and 1000 gold for the final upgrade.

Archangel's Staff

sp AA is the logical conclusion for Tear of the Goddess. When you build this, it should yield for Ryze 1400 MP and 87 AP. Ryze now can cast forever and hits like a truck when he does. Seldom will you need anything more than this.

Optional 6th / Alternate Build Items

Rod of Ages

sp I can already hear the criticisms; "why are you getting RoA as your last item? you can't even build up its stacks!" Trolls. All of you. Find me a single item in the game that provides more than 525 mana. Go on. I'll wait...

That's what I thought. Even without its stacks, Rod of Ages STILL provides the single greatest bump to your mana reserves. Now add in 60 AP and 450 HP (all of those its unstacked yield), and you've got yourself a solid last item. It's expensive but it's also the MOST EFFICIENT use of remaining space, and, should the game continue for a few minutes, it continues to get better. Because it provides better utility than FoN or Thornmail against a mixed damage opposing team comp, this is my go-to 6th more often than not.

EDIT: It's also had a pretty big bump in effectiveness with the increase to your the AP Ratios. Now both Overload and Rune Prison both bump up by roughly 60 additional damage each, while the revamped Spell Flux now hits for an extra 26 damage per bounce because of this.

Haunting Guise

sp This item is beginning to see a LOT more action in competitive circles. It's probably better on other casters (as Ryze's abilities don't scale as well off of the AP), but I include it an optional item if you want to pursue an early advantage but your opponent just bought a beefy Negatron Cloak or a Null-Magic Mantle or two - 200 HP and 20 MPen can't hurt, and (with your 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration & Sorcerer's Shoes) grants you almost a flat 50 MPen. If you get this, you probably won't need the Void Staff listed above. I'm just starting to play test this, so it's NOT automatic like your Frozen Heart - it's listed here as an optional, and I've been picking it up along side the Sorcerer's Shoes because it can really pack a punch in the early game.

Quicksilver Sash

sp Essentially Cleanse in a can, I feel that QSS is drastically underutilized by the LoL community as a whole. For a mere 1440 gold, you can escape CC and force your opponents to change focus. This allows you to pop Desperate Power and AOE / Spell Vamp yourself right back into the fight, while crippling the other team. Yes we have Banshee's Veil, but Quicksilver Sash is just an amazing complement item, especially playing against a heavy CC team. Because it's so cheap, if I need this earlier, I won't hesitate either. If the opposing jungler has a suppressing / stunning move, I will typically build this out of my initial Negatron Cloak to make sure their ganks fail on me.

QSS removes ALL OF THE DEBUFFS! <---Thread. If you use it, +Rep Keels, for reals.

Will of the Ancients

sp Few characters can benefit from WotA like Ryze can. Being able to cast Overloads in rapid succession with WotA and Transmutation (23% Spell Vamp) allows you to quickly replenish missing HP. Once you pop Desperate Power, Ryze jumps up to 48% Spell Vamp! That's some sick sustain. Probably the best choice if the opposing team doesn't have much CC, but since that doesn't happen too often, I relegate it to my optional section.

Force of Nature

sp Really useful against a double AP setup from your opponents, FoN wins you poking exchanges against their casters and allows you to survive team fights despite being focused.

Since most AP carries are squishy and do not build much Mres, I prefer getting Force of Nature with Will of the Ancients (over Void Staff) as it makes you nearly unkillable. Since most AP carries don't build Mres, against a double AP setup (or triple with jungler), the extra survivability against their nukers outweighs the ability to burst down a tank.


Oracle's Elixir

sp This is a great item against any character with Stealth ( Twitch, Akali, Shaco, etc) because they typically rely on the element of surprise to get in a few bursty hits before being noticed. This is a great way to blow up their spot, as well as sweep for wards and set up strategic objectives if your support is flat broke.

Elixir of Fortitude

sp I prioritize the Fortitude elixir as #1, as 235 HP is always good and you can't gain anything in the CDR department from Elixir of Brilliance. You're liable to be focused a lot, so extra HP is literally FTW sometimes.

Elixir of Brilliance

sp I just bashed it when talking about Fortitude, so I'm not too keen on it, but 40 AP is still 40 AP. Helpful if you took the 9-9-12 mastery tree because it finishes your 40% CDR. Even then, I prioritize this as the second-best elixir to take.

Although I tried to cover several permutations of the items purchased and the optimal order to take them, the build is always situational. Always be aware of the needs of your team and the actions of your opponents. I strongly recommend that you get the first 5 items to their conclusion - Sorcerer's Shoes, Banshee's Veil, Frozen Heart, Void Staff, & Archangel's Staff - before building your final item.

I also suggest playing it through several times this way before you make your judgement on this guide.

Guide Top


In order to understand why I have chosen the masteries, runes, and items that I did, it is important to understand how I intend to play Ryze.

Hands-down a late game dominator, Ryze should be played as such. In the middle lane, last hit your minions, buy wards, and support your jungler when he/she comes in for a gank. To be honest though, a good Ryze player is perfectly fine with a game that has 10 minutes before first blood because it means he has time to farm & gear up. What Ryze has in terms of his slow start is more than accounted for by the 10-12 minute mark. With Tear of the Goddess starting to generate bonus mp, your damage output should start to be a serious force around this time in the mid-game and can easily snowball you into an unstoppable juggernaut by the end of the match.


During the first few minutes of gameplay, there are very few opponents that Ryze should be playing aggressively against. Make sure you practice last hitting by your tower because common middle lane champions like Brand, Mordekaiser, Morgana, Cassiopeia, and Galio will have no trouble shoving you right up underneath it.


First and foremost, knowing how to farm properly can easily be the difference between winning your lane and losing the game. As Ryze, you almost never shove the lane while your opponent is present. That's a fact. It makes you too vulnerable and susceptible to ganks. Simply last hit your minions with an basic attack or an Overload (after acquiring Tear of the Goddess) to farm up about +20 gold per minion. Remember that Ryze is INCREDIBLY SQUISHY until you start stacking up his gear. The best way to get the gold you need to buy your gear (without opening yourself up to ganks) is to only last-hit the minions.


[coming soon]

Countering Your Opponent's Roam

[coming soon]

Coordinating Ganks

You shouldn't expect your jungler to be able to gank your lane every minute, but Ryze IS geared for a slow, defensive early game; don't be surprised when your opponent pushes the lane and creates an opportunity for your team to counterattack. Alert your jungler that your lane is getting pushed an keep map awareness for your man (or woman) in the forest; keep poking safely with Overload and when your jungler comes into the side bush or starts to dive around behind your opponent, get ready to secure the kill!

If your jungler has a dash or quick-move mechanic (like Shadow Dash, Powerball, Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, or Paranoia), typically your job is to get in close enough to lock down your opponent with Rune Prison; now the gank is on! Know your limits here: you want to stay and do enough damage to secure the kill, but you do not want to die yourself. If you have to settle for an assist, so be it! Just do your job here and your team will benefit from the exchange.

I prefer using Ghost to get close enough to initiate. To accomplish this, I typically let my lane opponent push the lane past its natural midpoint. Then when your opponent advances to continue last hitting, pop your Ghost-mode and sprint on up to land that Rune Prison! Remember that Ghost enables you to ignore unit collision so that you can sprint right for your target instead of maneuvering around the creep wave!

There are times when you must Flash into battle as well. Let your jungler know of your intentions and use your better judgement as to how to initiate. Try not to blow both summoner spells because a failed gank under those circumstances severely limits your escape options when their jungler decides to come for you.

Dodging Ganks

Ryze has only Rune Prison as his escape mechanism, and that just won't do against all of the flanking, dashing, stealthing, stunning junglers and roamers that will be trying to kill you! There are several champions (like Jax, Shyvana, Akali, etc.) that can all jump right onto you to burst or DPS your fragile hit points away. Thus, I took the liberties of building in some more!

Rune Prison should still be your primary escape tool, but Flash can be used to get you out of a tight spot that additional MS simply can not. It can be used to jump over the edges of Event Horizon, sidestep that charging Alistar, dodge Glacial Prison, get out of the reach of Unspeakable Horror, Drain, or Soul Shackles, or to simply jump under your tower and keep running if necessary! Remember, Ryze is very squishy early on and only toughens up with the items we give him.

No armor? No mres? No chance! Play it safe early on unless you have some help!


[coming soon, but for now: LoL Warding Thread]

Strategic Objectives

[coming soon]

Buffing Up

[coming soon]


[coming soon]


[coming soon]

Team Fights

[coming soon, but, for some video, check out the Collapse clip in the HoF Chapter]

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This section should assist you by allowing you to place yourself in beneficial situations from the get-go. By predicting your lane opponents from the character select screen, you can influence the game before a single attack is shot and before the first spell is cast.

If you see the opposing team reach for a character that Ryze can dominate, simply select the Rogue Mage and win your lane. Similarly, try NOT to reach for Ryze too early as several characters can hard-counter him; you'll be doing poorly at an almost 80% rate against that LeBlanc or Cassiopeia they took because you 1st picked Ryze.

The 6th item is ALWAYS situational based upon team comp, opponents' team comp, and the current status of the game (winning, losing, push, etc), and the 5th item might be as well; for this reason (and to save space), I will only be listing the item order through the core build.

Great Matchups

These are the matchups that you should have very few problems playing against. These are the laughers that your opponent, no matter how mad, will graciously admit afterwards that he/she got outplayed.

spacespacespace space space space space spacespace


sp What can I say? This is just about as easy as a matchup gets. You win in poke, combo damage output, AND sustainability. What's more, most Singed players end up zoning themselves right out of the game because you're so bully, you might as well be Franklin Roosevelt!

How to play the matchup:

You beat Singed in every respect, so set the tone by intimidating your opponent. Start with Sapphire Crystal + Health Potions, help your jungler, leash or do damage, blah blah blah... then go to lane and hit Singed with an Overload right away. You probably won't deal too much damage yet, so do it again to let him know that this is your lane and he's just visiting. Don't be afraid to auto-attack him, either; get damage on him any way you can. After getting rank 2 Overload, hit him again. Remind him that this is your living room and his feet do NOT belong on your couch!

When he tries to assert his dominance, he'll try to bull-rush you and Fling you over onto his Poison Trail. TO COUNTER THIS just throw him in Rune Prison and walk away. Simple, yes? Hit him with Overload to discourage him from trying that again.

Now your opponent should be entirely fearful. He can't touch you, he can't damage you, he can't win exchanges, and he can't farm; all he can do is try and stand close enough to the minion combat to gain some XP. Push the advantage! This is where that E --> Q combo comes in handy for further harassment and Singed should now be either always be very low in HP and ripe for the killing or pretty much zoning himself out of the fight by level 6.

Rush Tear of the Goddess, get Boots of Speed, double up on Sapphire Crystals, and build into your Glacial Shroud, followed by Catalyst the Protector. Get shroud first because it puts you up to 35% CDR, which increases your damage output, and provides 45 Armor to help protect you against the ganks that come with the top lane territory. If Singed counters by rushing Force of Nature and/or Quicksilver Sash, don't build into your Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil until AFTER you get Void Staff.

Be smart about it, but you SHOULD just pummel him into oblivion. Remember that HE has to come to you in order to deal damage; wait for it before you commit to the whole combo. In the meantime, just keep dealing out your rope-a-dope jab (aka Overload); when he get frustrated - they always do - he'll commit to an attack. Sneak in the hook ( Rune Prison), and an uppercut (( Spell Flux --> Overload) while he's dazed. If you think you can put him down, pop Desperate Power to reduce your CDs and do it again. Try and get him in another prison asap, and he'll be down for the 10-count.

"Float like a butterfly; sting like a bee." ~ the greatest fighter to ever live, Cassius Clay.

Ward the river, farm minions, continue zoning your opponent, and win your lane. Congrats; you are well on your way to winning this game.

Typical results of Ryze v Singed:


sp To be honest here, this is a pretty sweet matchup. Kennen can build up either AP OR AD, so make sure you pay attention to his itemization; it will make your job that much easier.

AP Kennen's main attack is going to be his Thundering Shuriken, which is a skill shot. If you can dodge a wrench, then you can dodge a Thundering Shuriken.

How to play the matchup:

[work in progress]

Typical results of Ryze v Kennen:

[image pending]


sp This matchup is similar to the fight with Kennen in that all you really have to do is dodge his main harassment move, Lay Waste. It only has a 1 second CD so he'll make you dance, but you should absolutely come out on top in this fight.

How to play the matchup:

[work in progress]

Typical results of Ryze v Karthus (post- Spectator Patch... 10 kills, 6 ***t, 0 deaths, 25+1/2 min):

[More Coming Soon]

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So since this guide is brand new and I obviously have not received any questions as of yet, I have decided to implement this section to reveal my logic behind some of my concerns that I have seen in other Ryze guides. This should save everyone time from scouring through all of the other Ryze guides searching for my comments addressing these very same issues.

Q) Why not Greater Seal of Replenishment?

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
9@LVL 01 +00.585 mp5
9@LVL 06 +03.51 mp5
9@LVL 12 +07.02 mp5
9@LVL 18 +10.53 mp5
Greater Seal of Replenishment
9@LVL 01 +03.69 mp5
9@LVL 06 +03.69 mp5
9@LVL 12 +03.69 mp5
9@LVL 18 +03.69 mp5

As you can see, the two runes are essentially equivalent at level 6. Before level 6, you really shouldn't be spamming abilities yet because you don't have the mp5 sustain to do so. The flat runes won't provide that for you, believe me; I've tried. At and after level 6, you should have tear and WANT to spam abilities; every time you cast a spell, you gain MP and your spells get stronger. Which rune is better for that?
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration.

Q) I take Meki Pendant to start. Why would you take Sapphire Crystal instead?

A) To be fair, Meki is technically the second item I get in 95% of my builds (& 100% of builds that start with Sapphire Crystal). I use maths to show why you would want to take Crystal first:

Since Ryze starts with 250mp +55mp/level

spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaceOverload w.
58.75 dmg
62.875 dmg
67 dmg
96.125 dmg
125.25 dmg
spa Sapphire Crystal
73.75 dmg
77.875 dmg
82 dmg
111.125 dmg
140.25 dmg
spa % Change

spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaceRune Prison w.
Rune Prison
75.25 dmg
78 dmg
80.75 dmg
83.5 dmg
spa Sapphire Crystal
85.25 dmg
88 dmg
90.75 dmg
93.5 dmg
spa % Change

Seriously for a second, I think that Boots of Speed are the go-to initial item for any competitive Ryze player; however, when I know I can win my lane outright regardless of the opponent's skill level, I prefer Sapphire Crystal over Meki Pendant for the increased damage output that it affords you. I find this especially comes in handy when your jungler comes in for that level 2 - 4 gank. With a little bit of harassment from Overload beforehand, Q --> W --> Q + your jungler's damage output (and CC) should be plenty to secure first blood or force a flash.

Q) Everyone I see playing Ryze takes Mercury's Treads; why do you prefer Sorcerer's Shoes?

A) I understand why you'd get Mercury's Treads, I really do; however, I believe that Sorcerer's Shoes are the optimal choice for a reason. Most mids have 30 MR; with 10% mpen from Arcane Knowledge , they now have -3 and drop to 27 MR. Now your 8.55 flat mpen from 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration reduces them to 18.45 MR. Sorcerer's Shoes are not only 100 gold less expensive, but allow you to deal true damage early on to most mids. With Arcane Mastery, short CDs, and the CDR that you have, you can blast most mids into oblivion with this item, provided you can survive the exchange.

Even more, they allow you to go toe-to-toe with a beefy Galio; since you punch through most of his MR, he'll basically be a weaker-bursting version of a skill-shot dependent AP carry. Having one fewer hard counter is never a bad thing.

The only character that I would get Treads against is Cassiopeia, and you should be getting blasted in that matchup regardless of boots.

Q) Why do you get Void Staff, even though you get Sorcerer's Shoes?

A) If some is good, then more is better! This idiom is seldom truer than with mpen. The major justification for this item is the immense popularity among junglers, top laners, and tanks of all sorts to take 9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, which provide +24.3 Mres at level 18.

Don't let them prevent your pokes from that beastly, Tear of the Goddess-fed Overload! Ryze can deal out so much damage so quickly that you don't want much of it being circumvented; even a Ryze combo-chain will eventually need to cooldown and you want to make sure you melt away your opponents before that happens. I had this in my situational 6th spot for a long time until I realized that I hardly ever lose with Void Staff in my grip. I looked deeper and I realized that I was losing games while saving up for a Rod of Ages and Will of the Ancients can only keep you alive so long when the whole team focuses you down.

Along with Sorcerer's Shoes and Spell Flux, Void Staff means you're dealing out copious amounts of damage; basically true damage for anyone that doesn't have Force of Nature and really hurting the ones that do! Void Staff costs about the same as Will of the Ancients, but I feel it does more in team fights to be able to melt away a few opponents like a traditional AP carry than to have the extra sustain.

Void Staff is the reason I call the category of items, "The Finishers"; if you're into baseball, think of these items as your closers. When Ryze has these, he can put the other team away for good. Your team will thank you.

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Hall of Fame

This section is for simply epic performances. I'll start off with the video from Voidward (aka Collapse), which was the entire reason I picked up Ryze in the first place. What can I say? I'm terribly nostalgic about the MegaMan cartoon and FantomenK is a great chiptune artist. The outstanding Ryze plays were icing on that cake.

Recent Ryze Victories:


My very 1st game with the reworked Ryze. As you can see, he's still totally viable. Using the extra AP provided in Void Staff may even be a wash with all of the other nerfs.



Your screenshots belong here!

Simply black out the names to protect the humiliated and send me a private message with the details!

[Do NOT click on this link if you do not want to hear profanity.]
"Remember, man; you gotta put the team on your back. No matter what you do in life, you gotta put the team on your back."


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Changes / Updates Log

05/18/2012 - Updated the info on Sorcerer's Shoes in the Items Section and added a Q&A regarding the Boots as well.

05/15/2012 - Updated a typo for Spell Flux. Upgraded my descriptions to Rod of Ages and Spell Flux in the Items Section. Added more info to the Q&A on Void Staff.

05/10/2012 - Edited the build order (up top) to better reflect the overall stats of the most common build. Alternatives are now in their own section under the Items chapter.

05/07/2012 - Split up the images between two accounts in order to keep the images viewable for a greater duration of time.

05/04/2012 - Made additions to the Matchups section: finished vs Singed, started vs Kennen and vs Karthus.

05/03/2012 - Adjusted the ability information to match the patch tweaks.

05/01/2012 - Major changes implemented in the Spectator-Mode patch. Changes to all of Ryze's (non-passive) abilities:

Range: 675 --> 650 ............... v_v
Cost: 70 --> 60
Damage: 40 + 25/rank + 20% AP + 7.5% MP --> 60 + 25/rank + 40% AP + 6.5% MP

Increased: Base Damage, AP Ratio
Decreased: Range, Cost, MP Ratio

Rune Prison
Damage: +5% MP --> +4.5% MP
Snare Duration: Flat 0.25 second reduction in duration of effect

Increased: Nothing
Decreased: MP Ratio, Snare Duration

Spell Flux
Damage: +0% MP --> +1% MP
Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 --> 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100
Now "prioritizes champions" when bouncing, though I haven't seen it too much.

Increased: MP Ratio
Decreased: Base Cost, Additional Cost per Rank
Status Change: Prioritizes Champions when bouncing

Desperate Power
Passive MP: 75 / 150 / 225 --> 0
Active MS: 0 --> 35 / 45 / 55

Increased: MS when active ....... :D
Decreased: MP passive

Summary: Ryze has had some tweaking, and I'm not talking about too much coffee; however, not much of it is too bad. His early game got a bunch stronger with the increase to base damage and decrease to cost of Overload, while his late-game got a bit weaker with the full 1% decrease in MP ratio. I think that change was a bit extreme, but I can see them settling around 7% in a further patch. The base snare duration on Rune Prison got chopped by 0.25 seconds, but not too extreme if you're coordinating well with your jungler and teammates.

To be honest, the ONLY nerf here that I think truly affects his gameplay is the decreased range on Overload. I would like to see that buffed back to 675 to restore the quick E --> Q combo, but all-in-all, Ryze is still beastmode.

04/28/2012 - Started preparing guide for a forced-overhaul, because the Varus patch is going to change up a lot of this, although I build more AP than most Ryze players, so maybe not TOO much. I suspect rushing tear and building 40% CDR won't change, but maybe the gear order and masteries might change some.

04/18/2012 - Added QSS, Updated the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist runes information following the Hecarim patch debuff to them, Updated the aesthetic layout of the Runes Chapter, 1st contribution to the Matchups Chapter (added Singed)

04/08/2012 - Published Guide
03/14/2012 - Started Creating Guide
01/25/2012 - Started Playing Ryze

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Thanks / Props

First and foremost, many thanks go to jhoijhoi for putting together JhoiJhoi's Guide to Guides. This mess would be illegible if not for her. Please give her some +Rep love!

I gotta give a shout out to Keels for starting the QSS Thread.

Next, I'd like to thank Collapse for making that outstanding Ryze highlights video.

Last, I'd like to shout out to my friends, wpScraps, wpSmash, wpAZK, & cpMoney over at for talking LoL strategy with me ad nauseum.