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Ezreal Build Guide by Vapora Dark

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark

Vapora's Guide To Ezreal

Vapora Dark Last updated on July 6, 2017
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-Table of Contents-

Hi friends! Before I get on with the guide, I just want to let you guys know that I've recently set up an official Discord server for readers to easily contact me if you have any questions, and to more easily communicate with readers/viewers of my stream as to when I'm live on Twitch. It's also just a kind of general hub for all conversation relating to my stream and my guides, which you could think of as a Twitch chat for when my stream is offline. Overall it just seems like a really cool way of connecting with fans of either my guides or my stream (generally both), so I've placed this at the very top of my guides to ensure anyone that's interested sees this.

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Hey guys, my name is Vapora Dark. In season 5 I was Master tier EUW on 2 seperate accounts and in season 6 I climbed to Challenger Rank 131 in 11 days on RU, as well as getting to Master on EUW and EUNE. ADC is my most played role by far.

Ezreal is actually the ADC that initially inspired me to start maining ADC, although it was so long ago that I'd almost forgotten that myself. His kit is very fun, and feels extremely rewarding to master given his high skill ceiling.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it! And if you do enjoy it, upvotes are very much appreciated!

Follow me on Twitter @VaporaDark if you wanna hear from me outside of the guide, whether about League, life, or just simply posting when my stream is live!

If you like Ezreal and would enjoy talking about him, come participate in /r/EzrealMains on Reddit.

And if you ever want to see how I personally play Ezreal, make sure to follow me on Twitch.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel if you'd like to keep up with my YouTube content.

Ezreal has a long history of being one of the best ADC's in the game. He may fall out of the meta from time to time, but it's rare for him to be considered an actually weak champion. And in the hands of a skilled Ezreal player, even at his weakest Ezreal still has as much of an impact as the strongest ADC at any given time.
Ezreal's main weakness is his early-game, where he has many losing matchups and even his winning matchups are nothing to brag about. However, as opposed to someone like Tristana, Ezreal can easily work around his early-game weakness thanks to his ability to last-hit from a long distance thanks to Mystic Shot, especially post- Tear of the Goddess when his mana pool stops being an issue. Thus while you may find it easy to form a lead over Ezreal in the early-game, it's almost impossible to actually shut him down into irrelevancy.

His biggest strength is his mid-game powerspike upon upgrading Manamune into Muramana alongside his Trinity Force or Iceborn Gauntlet, a powerspike that's generally met between 20-23 minutes into the game. At this moment Ezreal becomes the strongest ADC in the game until reaching 3-4 items, at which point he falls off slightly but still remains a strong late-game ADC.

And most importantly, as previously mentioned Ezreal is a very high skill ceiling ADC due to his reliance on skillshots. This makes him a champion that greatly rewards time spent playing and practicing him, since improvement on Ezreal generally tends to yield greater results than improvement on other ADC's (though other ADC's are easier to improve on). Time spent mastering Ezreal will never go to waste, and this is also transferrable onto other skillshot reliant champions.
AD marks give the strongest relevant stats for your role. These will help you last-hit better, allow you to deal more damage in trades through auto-attacks and spells, and increase your DPS.
You take armor because it's the most stat-efficient rune you can take through seals. Flat HP seals also give good stats nowadays, but armor is just straight up a better stat to take on bot lane. Both aim to make you tankier but armor is better for that when you're laning against an ADC.
You take magic resist here because again it's the most stat-efficient rune to take, although here you have room for a little variation, given that the enemy bottom lane's main damage threat is 90% of the time physical. On caster ADC's, it's common to take 5 magic resist glyphs and 4 mana regen glyphs. On more auto-attack oriented ADC's it's common to run 4 or 5 attack speed glyphs and fill the rest of the slots with magic resist. If you prefer one of those variations it's still good to keep a full magic resist glyph page in reserve in case you have to lane against a high magic damage support such as Annie, Brand or Sona.
The standard AD carry page consists of 3 attack speed quints. AD quints sound better in theory, just like AD marks are better than attack speed marks, but attack speed quints are just really stat efficient. Think that 9 AS marks give 15% AS and 9 AD marks give 8.55 AD, and 3 AS quints also give 15% attack speed, but 3 AD quints only give 6.75 AD, nearly 2 AD less than the marks do. AD marks are stat efficient, AD quints not so much. They're not inefficient, which is why they're good on a lot of other champions, but on champions like AD carries, who use attack speed so well, it's just more worthwhile to run AS quints as they're more stat efficient than the alternative.

I won't spend too much time talking about the strengths and weaknesses of individual masteries, but here's the gist of it. 18 in Ferocity is optimal because it gives you access to Fervor of Battle , the strongest keystone for the traditional AD carry.

As for the smaller masteries, it doesn't usually make a huge difference which you take and lots are viable, the ones I display on my guide are simply the ones I personally consider to be the best (and my opinion is subject to change).

The viable masteries are: Fury , Fresh Blood , Feast, Natural Talent , Vampirism , Battle Trance , Battering Blows , Fervor of Battle , Savagery, Secret Stash , Merciless and Dangerous Game .

Anything else is unarguably worse than the alternative and not worth running.

Though you could also put 12 points in Resolve rather than Cunning, in which case you'd take Recovery , Tough Skin , Runic Armor and Insight . The pros of this page is that it's stronger in lane and the decreased summoner cooldowns can make a huge difference. The downside is that it's purely defensive and thus you receive almost 0 benefit in situations where you either don't need survivability, or the added survivability is overkill.

Flash and Heal has been the standard ADC summoner spell combination since possibly mid-season 3. In fact, Flash has been the standard summoner spell to take on almost every single champion since forever. It's always been indisputably the best summoner spell in the game, so there's nothing you can replace it with.

Heal on the other hand, replaced Barrier when it got buffed in season 3 to give movement speed on the cast, which is the reason it's been standard over Barrier ever since, despite being affected by Ignite's Grievous Wounds. Aside from the small movement speed boost, which can be used both offensively and defensively, another reason why it's stronger than Barrier is it affects an ally, which is perfect for bot lane where you're laning with a support.

The reason you want a defensive summoner on ADC is that you have a lot of DPS, so the longer you can survive, the more damage you'll put out, usually out-damaging what you'd get from Ignite. And if it can go as far as to save your life, then that's even better, as ADC's are very important to have alive for both providing DPS and taking down objectives.
-Skill Order-

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Rising Spell Force
Rising Spell Force: Fairly straightforward passive. Hit a spell, you get attack speed; miss enough spells for long enough, you lose all the attack speed you stacked.

Building up to a high number of stacks makes a big difference during fights, so maintaining them is important, which just adds even further Ezreal's reliance on skillshots. You don't want to lose all the attack speed you've been building up to, nor do you want to fail to stack it up in the first place.

The bonus AS caps at 50% from level 1, 60% from level 7, and 70% from level 13.
Mystic Shot
Mystic Shot: Ezreal's main defining spell, which gives him strong poke and a steady stream of DPS if you can consistently land it in fights. Because of the fact that it applies on-hit effects, it gives Ezreal strong synergy with Sheen, Trinity Force and Iceborn Gauntlet. Despite being treated as an "auto-attack" for the purposes of lifesteal and Sheen proc though, it doesn't crit, and thus makes Ezreal a poor crit user.

Being able to land this spell consistently during fights and even during poke is extremely important to playing Ezreal since it's a huge source of his damage.

Also, every time you hit Mystic Shot all your spells' cooldowns (including Mystic Shots') are reduced by 1.5 seconds. As if you didn't already have enough incentive not to miss it!
Essence Flux
Essence Flux: After the nerfs to Essence Flux that took down the terror that was season 2 Ezreal, it's become a pretty bland spell that does very little on its own. The damage is negligible and in terms of offense the best thing it does for you is stack Rising Spell Force and refresh the duration.

However, one unique thing about this spell is that it increases the attack speed of any allies it hits. Of course, if the allies in question don't benefit from attack speed then this may not sound very useful, but hitting your own allies with Essence Flux also counts towards Rising Spell Force. So if you were to theoretically manage to hit all 4 of your team-mates with Essence Flux you would instantly gain 4 stacks of Rising Spell Force. This is useful when sieging down towers or taking objectives such as baron, where you'll not only increase the attack speed of your allies while they auto-attack the objective, but also instantly give you a big boost in AS.

A not very well known fact about Essence Flux is that within the past 2 years Riot made a change to it where Essence Flux can even hit Ezreal himself! If you cast Essence Flux then Arcane Shift or Flash in front of it, it'll both give you the Essence Flux AS boot and the Rising Spell Force AS boost, instantly increasing your attack speed by up to 54%. While this is cool, it's important that you only use this in situations where you want to use Arcane Shift anyway, and not just unnecessarily use Arcane Shift to give yourself the Essence Flux AS boost, since one of Ezreal's strong points is his mobility and you don't want to be wasting the cooldown to buff your AS.
Arcane Shift
Arcane Shift: This is a blink not too dissimilar to Flash. Combined with the relatively low cooldown it receives at max rank when you're further reducing that with Mystic Shot, it makes Ezreal one of the more mobile ADC's in the game.

It also less importantly deals damage to the nearest enemy after using it, but this damage can actually pack quite a punch once it gets enough levels, and especially once it begins to apply Muramana.

You can use it to play aggressively if you know it's safe, but make sure it's always up for when you need it to protect yourself.
Trueshot Barrage
Trueshot Barrage: One of the few spells in the game with a global range. Its uses range from sniping low HP enemies, being a huge damage nuke to start off a fight, hitting multiple enemies for AoE, instantly generating many Rising Spell Force stacks to increase your DPS, and simply pushing minion waves.
Doran's Blade
Doran's Blade: Doran's Blade may give less AD than Long Sword, but the HP makes you tankier and more able to survive all-ins, which is invaluable. Going Long Sword + 3 Health Potions would overall give you more sustain, but if you get all-in'd and either die or get zoned away from the minion wave then it's not worth it. It's also a more gold-efficient start as Doran's Blade is a super cost-effective item and you'll be spending 50 gold on pots rather than 150 gold, and eventually Doran's Blade's HP + lifesteal will outsustain those 2 HP pots anyway.
Tear of the Goddess
Tear of the Goddess: Ezreal's a very mana intensive champion, so this item is perfect for him as it provides him with a huge mana pool to play around. Manamune upgrading to Muramana is also a huge powerspike for him. Generally you'll want to back as soon as possible once you hit 750 gold so you can start stacking it.
Sheen: Since Mystic Shot applies Sheen's passive, Sheen has great synergy with Ezreal's Mystic Shot poke playstyle. Given Mystic Shot's low cooldown Sheen also greatly increases Ezreal's DPS. After building Sheen you'll want to start building it into either Trinity Force or Iceborn Gauntlet, depending on both the situation and personal preference.
Trinity Force
Trinity Force: This item is king of mid-game, and Ezreal is all about the mid-game. It gives him both great poke and great DPS thanks to its synergy with Mystic Shot. The fact that it gives 20% CDR is also very good for Ezreal, who deals a lot of damage through spells. Of the two Sheen upgrades that Ezreal could want, it's by far the more DPS oriented upgrade, and the HP it lends offers a more general kind of survivability than Iceborn Gauntlet's armor that will only protect you from AD.
Iceborn Gauntlet
Iceborn Gauntlet: This is a much more utility-focused Sheen upgrade, which sacrifices a lot of damage in favour of perma slows, and defense in the form of armor. Its main advantage over Trinity Force is that it's over 1,000 gold cheaper so you can pick it up for a much quicker powerspike, and the early armor gives you much better trading in lane than building into Trinity Force. The downside though is that upgrading it doesn't actually give you any extra damage besides 10% CDR, and while the slows can be good, if your team needs you to shred a tank like Poppy then Iceborn Gauntlet is much far less suited for the job. However it does also do a much better job of keeping you safe from champions like Vi and Zed, so if the enemy team has enough physical damage even I'll sometimes build Iceborn Gauntlet, even though I much prefer the Trinity Force playstyle.
Manamune: Your only viable Tear of the Goddess upgrade on Ezreal is Manamune. As soon as you finish your Sheen upgrade you'll want to start building directly into this since it'll soon after upgrade into Muramana, which is when the game really begins for Ezreal. The passive can deal up to over 100 damage per auto-attack/ Mystic Shot/ Arcane Shift, so the upgrade is a very huge deal. Such a big deal that you'll be spamming Mystic Shot into space off-cooldown whenever you're not desperate for mana, just to stack Manamune up faster.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: ADC's pretty much just want whatever Boots will give them the most damage, and since Ezreal can't realistically overcap on CDR with Ionian Boots of Lucidity, they're the best boots on him as their CDR gives him more damage than Berserker's Greaves.
Blade of the Ruined King
Blade of the Ruined King: This will almost always be the 4th item you build, unless the enemy team has enough armor that you require a Last Whisper or its upgrades. A large part of your damage comes from Muramana, and there are only 2 stats this scales with; attack speed and armor penetration. Blade of the Ruined King covers one of these, and Last Whisper covers the other when you're actually in need of armor penetration. It also has the added advantage that Mystic Shot applies the % of current HP damage passive, so Mystic Shot's damage is increased by more than just the 25 AD, solidifying Blade of the Ruined King as a superior option to The Bloodthirster.
Lord Dominik's Regards
Lord Dominik's Regards/ Mortal Reminder: Almost every game the enemy team will have a significant amount of armor on at least 1 person, and you'll need a Last Whisper upgrade to cut through this armor and keep your damage relevant. Lord Dominik's Regards is the most common alternative as it greatly increases your DPS vs tanks, while Mortal Reminder is a more niche item for when you face significant sustain, such as vs Vladimir, Swain and Dr. Mundo.
Mercurial Scimitar
Mercurial Scimitar/ The Bloodthirster: After your Last Whisper item, or before if the enemies have no armor, your choices are between Mercurial Scimitar and The Bloodthirster. Mercurial Scimitar is the obvious choice if the enemy team has strong CC, but even generally I believe it to almost always be the better item, so long as you're able to make proper use of the active. Being able to cancel a CC is a very strong ability. The Bloodthirster on the other hand is much more simple to use (just continue doing what you were doing and you'll heal more), and is admittedly a lot stronger in 1v1 situations vs champions with no CC. So both items are fine and which to use is both situational and a little bit of personal preference. Also sometimes you may take both alongside each other if the enemy team happens to have very little armor.
Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel: This is a very good item when you know you're going to have a hard time surviving team-fights. Only build it as a 5th or 6th item, though you can build Chain Vest sooner if the armor is really that important. It replaces either Mercurial Scimitar/ The Bloodthirster or your Last Whisper upgrade, depending on which item is more important for you.
Maw of Malmortius
Maw of Malmortius: A very strong defensive item when you're taking heavy AP damage in fights. You start off with Hexdrinker and can build it earlier on then just sit on it if it's more important for you to finish the rest of your build. Generally this replaces Mercurial Scimitar/ The Bloodthirster, but it can replace your Last Whisper upgrade instead if you don't need armor penetration.
Early Game

You always should take Mystic Shot at level 1 on Ezreal, as your other spells aren't good at that stage. However, it's always good practice to hold off on levelling it until you actually need to use it, since if an enemy invade happens to catch you off-guard then quickly levelling Arcane Shift to get away can save you having to blow Flash, or using both spells can save you in situations where only Flash wouldn't be enough to save you.

When you get into lane, you should spam auto-attacks and Mystic Shot to push as fast as possible to beat the enemy bot lane to level 2. If you see any good opportunities to hit Mystic Shot on a champion then take them, but for the most part these will be rare this early on and you should just focus on shoving.

Whichever bot lane starts losing the push should begin to back off once they've clearly fallen behind in the push, to avoid trading against the bot lane with the minion advantage. As Ezreal you're one of the faster level 1 pushers, but depending on the enemy ADC and the support matchup, you may find yourself losing the pushing war, in which case you should back off when the enemy bot lane is approaching level 2.

Should you win the pushing though, and the enemy bot lane backs off to prevent being engaged on, at this point you don't want to keep pushing, but rather begin to freeze by only auto-attacking the minions to last-hit. This is for two reasons: The most obvious reason is that when your minions get low from being auto-attacked by the minions you're intentionally leaving alive, the enemy ADC has to walk towards you if they want to last-hit it and take free poke in exchange, and rather than do that they will instead choose to miss that CS, placing you at a CS advantage.

The second reason is that while you want to push for your level 2 powerspike, your level 2 powerspike is useless if you push the enemy bot lane safely under tower. You want the minion waves to stay as close to the middle of the lane as possible, so that when you hit level 2, if the enemy bot lane don't let themselves be zoned far enough away you can just all-in them for a kill, or at least chunk them for a lot of damage.

At level 2 you should always skill Arcane Shift as it's both your strongest offensive and defensive spell at that stage, and can also keep you safe from early jungle ganks.

Throughout laning phase you'll usually want to avoid directly trading with the enemy ADC since Ezreal has very weak trades if he can't hit Mystic Shot (such as when the enemy ADC is hidden behind minions). Instead you'll want to consistently get a push advantage that'll reduce the amount of minions in your way so you can get better Mystic Shot... shots. Ezreal is also great at harassing enemy ADC's under tower thanks to Mystic Shot, so you should be looking to shove in the enemy bot lane whenever possible. If you can't actually out-shove the enemy bot lane, either because they push faster or they're strong enough to zone you from the wave, you'll simply fall back into a more defensive playstyle of last-hitting with Mystic Shot.

Whenever you're shoving under tower and can't poke anyone with auto-attacks or Mystic Shot, you should be auto-attacking the tower whenever possible to make sure it goes down ASAP, since it's a +650g boost in power for you if your team allows you to take full local gold (as they should, especially the support).

Out of Lane

Outside of laning phase, your objective is to destroy the nexus. No I'm not kidding, that's literally the best way to describe it. Every action you take in laning phase is to set you up for mid-late game, every action you take outside of laning phase is to bring you one step closer to destroying the enemy nexus. The way you do this is by performing actions that will make killing the enemy team easier (acquiring gold, dragons, barons) so that you have less resistance, and destroying towers as a way to acquire gold, have better control of the map, and open up routes to the nexus.

At this point you should be grouping with your team as much as possible to teamfight and siege down towers. Ezreal is mediocre at actually sieging towers due to his fairly average auto-attack range, but one thing he's great at is poking enemies away from defending a tower, and if nothing else he's a very safe sieger thanks to Arcane Shift. Overall I would rate him pretty decently as a sieger mainly because of his poke.

Sieging towers is pretty simple, but you need to be careful about it. When both teams are alive and your team is trying to take a tower, it's your job to do as much damage as you can to the tower without dying. You need to do as much damage as you can while remaining safe. This means you can't just walk up to the tower and stand there auto-attacking until it dies; this leaves you open to get engaged upon, unless there's no resistance from the enemy team. Instead you have to repeatedly poke the tower. Walk up to it, attack it a bit, back off if someone dangerous is walking up to you (then fire a Mystic Shot at them once you've left tower range). Now you might think "but what if they never stop protecting their tower? Doesn't that mean it's never safe for me to auto-attack it?". If they're constantly standing in a defensive position in relation to their tower, then they're in range for your team to poke them and force them back. They need to be in a place where it's safe for them to sit and look for a good engage, where your team has no way to attack them besides tower diving them, which only works when you're super ahead. And if they advance, that takes them further out of safety, so if you match their movements to stay safe from an engage, they'll be forced to move back for their own safety again, as they don't want to get engaged on either, nor poked down to a point where they need to recall to recover their HP.

So you should think of sieging as slowly whittling down a tower. It almost never takes a single minion wave to destroy a tower (unless you have baron buff), it can take many, many waves, but slowly but surely, the tower will go down if you can siege it properly.

When you're attacking a tower with enemies nearby you always want to be positioned at max distance from the tower while you auto-attack, and in between auto-attacks you should move backwards then forwards, so that while your auto-attack is "on cooldown", you're not spending any more time closer to the danger than necessary. It's also good habit in case they start to try an engage and you're already automatically moving backwards the moment you finish your auto-attack, meaning you'll often protect yourself from an engage faster than you can actually react to it, so long as you notice in time to not move back towards the tower for your next auto-attack.

Against teams with very high wave clear (hello Anivia), it can be very hard if not impossible to siege down towers, especially inhibitor towers that actually recover HP all the time. Your options in these situations are to engage on the enemy team under their tower, which only works when you're reaaaaaaaally far ahead, get another lane to slow push then rotate to it when the wave is reaching the tower, or go get baron. The enemy team won't usually just give up baron for free though, and so you can use this to bait them into a fight. They'll need to constantly have vision on baron to make sure you're not doing it, which can be hard to keep up if your team places Control Wards and uses Oracle Alteration to clear their wards (and Mystic Shot poke will help zone them further away), so at some point they might have no choice but to face check baron to make sure you're not doing it. Even if you are, you can take the opportunity to turn around and team-fight, so long as your team hasn't become too low to fight.

Ever wondered how pros can get 300 CS at 30 minutes before? No, it's not completely down to "insanely good last-hitting mechanics". You can do it too, just by using a simple wave control technique. Watch this video to understand how minion waves work (it'll also go through lane freezing again).
So when 2 minion waves collide on bot lane, in the middle of the lane, you should be there to push those 6 minions. And then you leave bot lane. No, you don't stay to push the 2nd minion wave too and force your wave to hit the tower. Aside from being at risk if you do that, it's also just not smart to do it. Because once you clear the first wave and your minions advance to crash into the next minion wave, your minions will be on the enemy's side of the map, and as you just learnt from the video, that means that the wave will slowly but inevitably start to push towards your side of the map.

After clearing that first wave you just go pressure mid or teamfight or whatever, then you just return bot lane in 2-3 minutes when the enemy minion wave has finished pushing to your tower (and make sure to get there before the minions start dying to the tower). At that point it'll be a 15-20 minion wave. Assuming it's 20 minions, and you've been off of bot lane for 2 minutes, you'll be getting 20 minions for the 2 minutes you've spent off lane, keeping with the 10 cs per minute rule you always want to aim for (though won't always be able to achieve).

But even if it isn't quite 20 minions, the time that you've spent off of bot lane, you'll have spent farming mid lane, and maybe even jungle monsters. You'll essentially be farming 2 lanes at once, keeping you easily above the 10 CS per minute rule so long as you can consistently get to the bottom lane wave in time before the minions start dying to the tower. This won't always be possible, as CS isn't the most important thing in the game. Sometimes you'll be busy teamfighting, or making sure you're around in case a teamfight starts. But in general you'll want to go farm the wave as much as possible, then push the wave onto the enemey's side of the map to restart the push, both to get ahead in farm and to avoid having a huge minion wave destroy your tower.

When the wave that you're pushing is a cannon wave, that messes with this technique a little bit. Because you'll be killing the enemy cannon minion and letting your own cannon minion push uninterrupted, the enemy minion wave won't slowly push up to your tower. Instead your minions will continue to push forwards, very slowly. When it's a cannon wave, you should either push the 2nd wave too (if it's safe to do so, not at all safe to do when the enemy team is ahead in towers and enemy threats are unaccounted for on the minimap), or just recognize that you won't be able to get the wave to push back to you in this specific situation and settle for creating a slow push instead, rather than trying to create a farming opportunity for yourself later on.

The video also explains how to create a slow push, but this technique is very rarely useful in solo queue with how uncoordinated everyone is outside of very high Elo. Keep it in mind in case you ever think it could be useful, but most of the time it just ends up creating a huge minion wave for the enemy AD carry to farm, getting him ahead in farm instead of you. It's better suited for ranked 5s assuming your team understands the strength of a slow push, or if you're a high Challenger player and for some reason reading a MOBAFire guide.

In some situations, notably when you expect to be sieging for a while and especially sieging towers that are really close to the enemy base, such as inner towers and inhibitor towers, it's really not ideal to have to force yourself to go back bot lane to farm every 2 minutes. If you do the technique and you can't go bot you'll essentially have just created a slow push against yourself, causing the enemy minions to die to tower, wasting gold, damaging your tower, and possibly even destroying it. Rather than putting yourself in that situation, this is when you want to create a slow push against the enemy team, as they'll hopefully be too busy defending against the siege to send someone to clear bot. This way they'll be the ones losing minions to the tower, taking tower damage, and possibly losing a tower if it's already low. And if they do send someone to clear it, you'll either have an easier time sieging or your team will be able to dive the enemy team 5v4 under tower.

When it comes to team-fighting as an ADC, there is one golden rule which is the most basic team-fighting rule of all, and yet makes you an infinitely better team-fighter if you start following it; attack whoever's closest to you. If you stand at the back, behind your frontline, and just auto-attack whichever enemy is absolutely closest to you, you have the best possible positioning, as you'll only be in focus range of whoever's diving you, or whoever you're attacking. It's recommended in general to take down the enemy carries before the tanks, but as the ADC if you try to attack a carry then you're in range of every single member of the enemy team, and if they all focus you then you'll go down in under a second. By keeping your distance and attacking just whatever's closest, you'll be hardest to kill, and can therefore output maximum DPS by just staying alive and being able to auto-attack all fight long. The only time you should attack the enemy team's carries is when there's no other enemies standing between you and them, or if they are horribly positioned.

The best players of all know not only when to follow that one basic rule, but also when to take even further measures to stay safe. Before you ever even get into a team-fight, you should have already analyzed what all the threats to you on the enemy team are, and play more safely or aggressively accordingly. For example, if a Shyvana is the one trying to dive you, you'd want to follow the rule of attacking whatever's closest, and just kite her while your team also hopefully tries to peel her.

But sometimes you need to turn the safety notch up another level and straight up walk away from someone that could be a threat to you. For example, if you're playing vs Zed, you cannot be one of the ones trying to focus him down while he still has enough cooldowns and HP to be a threat. Even if he's the only person in range of you, and you have 3-4 team-mates around you, you still can't be auto-attacking him until the threat he presents has been neutralized ( Death Mark goes on CD, or he gets so low that he'd die before he could burst you. All the skill and mechanics in the world won't stop him bursting you down in half a second if he gets near enough. And you not only need to stay out of his Death Mark range, you also have to account for the extra distance he can cover with Living Shadow, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Flash, and how quickly they can help him close the gap.

No, when you're playing against Zed and you see him running in your direction, you stay as far the f**k away from him as you can get. Don't help your team kill him, that's not your job. The assassin's job is to kill you, your job is to not die to him, and your team's job is to protect you from assassins by killing them. If the assassin commits their cooldowns onto someone else when they realize they can't get to you, that's when it's safe for you to walk back into the fight. Or if the assassin gets CC'd and blown up uselessly before they get to do anything, then it's also safe!

Champions that present such a large threat to you aren't just limited to assassins ( Talon, Zed, LeBlanc) that can burst you down within a second. Other champions, mostly if fed, can just out-duel you so brutally, that even if you have 2-3 team-mates helping you in an effective 1v3/1v4, you're still going to die if they can get in range of you. Champions that can commonly do this when fed are bruisers like Irelia, Jax, Renekton, etc. Champions tanky enough to qualify as tanks while still dealing huge damage to a squishy target like you, especially when fed.

Against champions like these, it's really necessary for you to watch out and keep your distance. You can try poking at them with Mystic Shot and the occasional auto-attack, but you can't fully commit to DPS'ing them down until again, they either fall so low at your team's hands that they're no longer a threat, or realizing that they can't get to you, they commit their most important cooldowns (mobility and/or CC) onto someone else. In Irelia's case, it's safe to commit onto her when she's used either Bladesurge, as she won't be able to gap close to you or burst you with it (though Flash may still pose a threat), or Equilibrium Strike, as it'll prevent her using her deadly 2 second stun on you. And if she's used both then until they come off of cooldown she presents almost no threat at all, so long as you maintain good positioning and kite if she tries to walk towards you.

When following the rule of "attack whoever's closest", often you'll have to choose between two champions that are at a more or less equal distance from you, and it'll be optimal for you to attack one or the other, but it's hard to be completely certain about who the right target is. That being said, here are some things for you to consider which will hopefully lead to you making the right choice:

1) Which is the bigger threat?
You'll want to take out whoever's the biggest threat not just to yourself, but to your team as a whole, and disregard the weaker enemy. Sometimes it's not very clear cut, others you have to choose between a fed Riven and a 1/1/5 jungle Sion, in which case it's a very obvious choice which you should focus.

2) Who would die faster?
When the targets are equally threatening, you'll want to focus whichever one is squishiest/lower HP, as the sooner they're out of the fight, the sooner your team gains a numbers advantage. Sometimes even if they're the lower threat, it's still worth focusing them down first if they're going to die significantly faster, but only sometimes, and it depends on how big a threat the other possible target is.

3) Who's least likely to get away from you?
The less mobile one is the least likely to walk away and succeed in getting away. You'll want to focus the least mobile one as they're the ones most likely to die if they get low. A tank with gap closers like Zac (and let's just say his passive isn't up so you don't need to worry about that) may get low, then just leave the fight with Elastic Slingshot before you can finish him off. If your other option is an equally tanky Sion for example, he's less likely to be able to get away alive when he gets low, so it'd be smarter to focus him in a situation where it's just as easy to auto-attack both.

Generally, from top to bottom those would be the most important factors to take into account respectively, but sometimes one factor, if it's big enough, can over-ride a generally more important factor. For example, choosing to DPS down a negative KDA, full AD Lee Sin, over a fed Riven, because you can kill the Lee in about 2 seconds while the Riven is both tankier and more mobile, so takes a fair while longer to kill.

Hopper is Bae
That's it for my Ezreal guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Ezreal as well as you want to. He's been one of my favourite ADC's for a long time and hopefully you'll find him equally fun!

If you enjoyed this guide you may also enjoy Vapora's Guide To Tristana, my guide to my favourite ADC. They have very different playstyles but I find Tristana equally if not more fun to play. Otherwise you may still want to read it if you're wanting to improve your ADC skills because it's kind of like a general ADC guide as much as it is a Tristana guide.

Special thanks to Hopper for doing the banners and most of the coding. (Go check her shop out!)

If you're interested to see me play, follow my stream! I'll usually be playing Twitch or Tristana by default but if you would like to see me play Ezreal or anyone else, let me know in the chat!