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Ryze Build Guide by hypernewbie

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League of Legends Build Guide Author hypernewbie

Ryze Guide

hypernewbie Last updated on November 10, 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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Ryze is a tanky mage with reliable consistent damage output and ok-ish burst.

His strengths are

  • Strong late game
  • Tanky mid-late game
  • High item efficiency
  • Low cooldown burst cycle
  • Reliable CC
  • Reliable consistent damage output

His weaknesses are
  • **** laner
  • Burst is not as high as other AP
  • Low range compared to other AP
  • Heavy early-mid game reliance on blue buff
  • Reliant on core items before being useful
  • No escape

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Your Q is your primary source of damage. It is also your lowest cooldown spell. You want to max this first. Every other spell should be used in conjunction and in synergy with overload. Q scales off mana much better than AP.

Rune prison is your CC spell, and it is the only non-skillshot snare in the game. It is also your secondary source of damage behind Overload. W also scales off mana. Early Mid game Q and W are your primary sources of damage. W range is shorter than Q.

Ryze spell flux used to be his primary source of damage. After the remake, it is now a spell to support your Q. Your E can be used to get your Q off cooldown, lowering your enemy's magic resist by a ****load for your next Q. It's primary function early and mid game is usually nothing more than proccing your passive and getting your Q off cooldown. The decent AP scaling + the high magic resist reduction means that your E will eventually take over your W in both damage and importance as late game approaches. So early mid game = don't care where E goes just use it to proc passive, late game = take into account where your E is going to bounce.

Not a bad ult, not a good ult by any means. It's has three primary use cases. One is to trigger passive to bring your burst cycle cooldown down that one crucial second. Two is for a lil wee bit of AOE tickle when people are munched up in a teamfight. Third is for quickly farming creep wave and shoving lane down. Your ult is your only real method of pushing a lane, and since it's pretty useless especially early on and has a low cooldown, you can just pop it to farm creeps / push lane / take reduced damage while doing blue buff / dragon.

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Skill Cycles

This is the most important chapter in this guide.

What distinguishes an experienced Ryze player and an experienced player randomly playing Ryze is fluency with his spells. Know at all times during the fight which spells are off cooldown, which spells you need are in cooldown but can be proced off cooldown by casting other useless spells, which spells need you to kite for 2 seconds before they can be proced off cooldown. Also knowing at all times which targets you are in range for Q/E, and which targets you are in range for W.

To understand Ryze is to understand his passive. Every time you cast a spell, your reduce the cooldown of every other spell by 1 second.

Burst Combo:

QWEQ is the most standard Ryze burst spell cycle, and is the one you should start with learning. If your are completely new to Ryze, always just stick to this combo and spam it until you know the timing of it like the back of your hand.

The timing is important. There is a short delay between your 3rd and 4th spell, your E and Q. About slightly less than 1 second. During this time, your opponent is snared. You can use this timeframe to do two things, you can fit in an autoattack for that bit of extra damage, or you can reposition yourself.

If you are comitting to a fight against a single target, you want to take this time to move yourself up close to within E bounce range, so your E bounces between you and your opponent. Getting the 5 E bounces + Q vs getting no E bounce + Q could well mean the difference between kill / no kill or kill / death.

Sustain Combo:

This is your highest sustained DPS combo, and is what you should be trying to use in a fight thats going to last a while, or against a super tanky enemy. It is also what you should be using against neutrals like blue buff / dragon / baron. This is your second standard combo, and should be the second combo you want to learn get fluent with after QWEQ.

Remember not to break this combo if you are going for the full sustained damage unless you know what you are doing. Randomly breaking combos with Ryze in the middle of a fight is a dangerous thing to do, because you could find yourself without a spell to cast for a whole 3 seconds and you just walk around looking dumb. Of course that said, you'd break any combo to save a carry with a clutch W snare, they're more important and worth yourself walking around looking dumb for the next 3 seconds.

Double Snare Combo:

This combo is great if you are after someone who is hard to catch, peeling someone off a squishie, or in other situations such as when you need two instant Qs to kill someone off but if you don't W first right now he will get away (Shaco anyone?). Not often used as it is very situational, and usually used in the middle of a mash-up rather than in a combo by itself. It works MUCH better when you are CDR capped 40% (blue buff can get you that easily mid game), as your second snare comes out almost right after your first snare ends, while getting 3 Qs off on them (not as much as sustained combo, but 3 Qs is a lot of damage.)

AOE Combo:

Exactly same as the standard burst combo, but you hit ult when your first Q is in mid-flight. If you do this the mid-flight Q still gets does AOE when it lands. Replace the QRWEQ with QRQWQEQ for AOE sustained damage, depending on the situation.

Poke Combo:
( AutoAttack / )

These spells are your max-range attacks. Overload + Spell flux have the same range, with your autoattack being slightly shorter. Use any of these attacks above (Can be situation dependent, for example if you are chasing someone on low HP and your E on cooldown or no mana for E then just Q + autoattack, cancel the autoattack animation and try to chase for another Q). Can be used to finish off people running away, or to poke in lane. Since Ryze doesn't really do that much damage early, I usually just poke with a single Q + optional autoattack and nothing else. Your poke isnt that great early game, range and damage are both pretty bad.

Chase Combo:

Used for when you + teammate(s) are trying to chase and catch someone that is JUST out of range running away. Like that pesky teemo your entire team is trying to chase and kill. Best situation is to use summoner flash, but if that is not available, you can pop ult to get a mini-ghost so you catch up, you have swiftness quints + 21 in utility mastery, and you have a good chance of getting just in range for the W to go off, which may be followed up by your team.

Ryze's W range is horrificly bad and his mobility is not the best, try to lave the chasing to some other assassin champion if you can. But when you're in front or the situation is so that you must be the person leading the chase without summoner flash, this spell cycle is how to do it.

Mash-up Combos:
Although a player just starting to play Ryze should stick to the standard combos, one should remember that LoL is not a turn-based game of combo vs combo. Things happen and you need to react. An early W may be needed to save somebody from dying, a situation may force you to pop ult early, you could get stunned and a spell comes off cooldown...etc. Sometimes you are on cooldown for the next 3 4 seconds, sometimes you need two instant Q damage but don't have E up. Always know which skills you have up and which you need up, and adapt to the situation.

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Early laning is Ryze's weakest point in time. Your spells hit for no damage, your last hitting autoattack animation is slow as hell, your are squishy, very low base movement speed, run out of mana in 2 seconds, and have no escape mechanisms. At around level 4-5-6-7, you will become o.k., but still relatively weak. Your QWEQ will do a decent amount of damage, but your range is still trashcan and you are still squishy and slow with no escape.

You need a solo lane, because you scale off level. You also want to lane against a passive laner. Any free farm lane such as is good. Avoid long-range aggressive poke lanes.

Your goal in lane is to farm without getting killed. You have ****py sustain, will run out of mana, need a good dose of blue buff from jungler, and you will do very little damage. Lane control is key here, push forward when you want to base (to get your tear / catalyst or to refill your mana bar), dont push so you dont overextend, and proper warding; early game Ryze isn't exactly the best champion for escaping from ganks.

When trading hits, take advantage of the instant-cast natue of your burst cycle QWEQ. This means run up QWEQ as fast as your fingers can do it then back way off and hope you dont recieve more damage than your QWEQ did. If you're having trouble, catalyst + rushing early resists is a good way to turtle your lane out and farm.

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Around early midgame levels 9-13, Ryze really starts to pick up. How strong you are really depends on your farm and how well you are fed. When you get your tear + catalyst + boots, thats when you start to pick up. Ryze matures when you get your first resist items, negatron / veil + glacial shroud.

When you get your resist items, you will do a pretty decent amount of damage while being relatively tanky.

Late mid game, when everybody starts approaching level 18, is when Ryze really starts to become a monster. You will be tanky as hell while having very high damage output and low cooldowns. 180 Armour Ryze with 1.5k burst. Sup.

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As everyone's build approaches 6 items, Ryze's power falls off a bit, but stays very strong, one of the strongest AP mid champs in fact. While mana + tank items mean you scale with items really well and is very efficient, you aren't quite as efficient as some fed dude who is warmog atmas and has been farming warmog for the last 40 minutes.

Stay behind your tanks, don't get caught out of position, and play like a normal AP carry rather than a tank. An AP carry that is tank enough to solo baron with and stupid ******ed amounts of spell vamp, that is.

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During laning, you are going to have to make two important item decisions:

  1. Catalyst or Tear
  2. RoA or not RoA

1. Early Laning

Catalyst the Protector or
Your first decision is to first item Catalyst or Tear. Catalyst first normally, Tear if you are really ahead or super passive boring lane or both.

2. Core Laning

Catalyst the Protector AND AND
Your core early-mid game items are merc treads, tear and catalyst. At this point you're sort of like a low-range AP, still pretty squishy.

3. Core Midgame

Once you get the 3 laning core, it's time to get resists. Get armour first or MR first depending on situation, enemy team composition, laning opponent, whos fed...etc.
Second decision is to turn your Catalyst into RoA or Banshee's Veil. RoA if you are ahead, building for stronger lategame, farming well and/or dont need extra MR.

4. Late-Midgame

or or
When you are finished with your core items, usually mid game to late-mid game, you are faced with another decision: what item next? Choose between spell pen (void staff), HP + CC (rylais) or spellvamp (WotA), or even some extra MR / armour.

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Common Item Mistakes

Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels. Don't rush or stack Archangels.

Ryze's AP scaling is jack ****. This means AP on Ryze does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Ryze's damage increases with his mana. Archangels gives mana, but so does tear. Just leaving it as a tear of godess will give you 90% of the damage of completing it early into an Archangels staff, while NOT wasting 1800 gold and leaving 1800 gold for tanky items. You'll get 90% of archangels staff damage while being MUCH MUCH more tanky.

Stacking / rushing Archangels is a level 15 / 800 elo build. It's stupid. If you dont take care of the fact that you can build full tank items that also give you mana, thus buying damage + tank at the same time, Ryze will be a completely useless mage with no range **** aoe **** burst not even any hard CC runs in and dies in 0.0000001 seconds by a single Annie Tibbers.

Leave completing Archangels from tear to last; when you've got all 5 other items, stacked high on pots, bought oracles, and still have 2k gold left.

SickMotion (7:45): bv>roa

While it is not bad at all, it is not a core must-have item for Ryze. With the recent patches buffing RoA this is not bad at all, although still sort of situational. RoA is situational, good when the enemy has basically no casters and no heavy CC.

One really bad thing I've seen lower level players do is stacking Rod of Ages. Ryze shines in being super tanky while getting damage from tank items for free. If you stack RoA (which forever to buy) and build Ryze non-tanky, he will be a completely useless mage with no range **** aoe **** burst not even any hard CC and dies in 0.0000001 seconds by a single Annie Tibbers.


You're really going to be autoattacking for a petty 180 damage late game, on a 250 armour Rammus, with no armour penetration or attack speed?

And yes, it can let Ryze push down towers 2% faster. Wow. How about you DON'T push down towers 2% faster, you rip the enemy team apart instead and let your AD carry take care of the tower pushing? Better plan.

As bad as Archangels is on Ryze, it's still heck tons better than Manamune.

No. Not really for you. You have much better items than this; the AP increase % doesnt really do as much for you as your dont have THAT much AP anyway even end-game.