Build Guide by speshbun
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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.
I have not yet found another Ryze build that I like and I find that most Ryze user's really do not know how to maximize the potential of his massive damage output. Because Ryze is a button-masher's favourite character, most who use him eventually move on to more sophisticated and survivable champions, or get tired of being ganked or killed 1v1 against melee DPS champions such as Jax or Yi. This build focuses on damage but also increases the survivability of Ryze.
The primary requirements in terms of experience and skill are timing and general game sense and awareness. Camping, ganking and passive-aggressive lane style are rewarded almost every time when using Ryze properly.
Though labeled an assassin, Ryze is only effective one-on-one against certain champions and even then relies heavily on the element of surprise and setting.
The extreme damage inflicted by Ryze while his ultimate Desperate Power is activated easily makes him the most dangerous champion in initial or burst damage output.
With the basics out of the way I will briefly explain the build in terms of lane style: Ryze is as effective in top or bottom lane as he is in mid. Spamming Spell Flux early can force the opposition in your lane to recall or tower-hug before you even shake hands. Some may find it odd that this build does not focus at all on Ryze's excellent snare ability Rune Prison, which I do acknowledge as effective and useful. I find however that because of his great potential early game to get quick kills and deal greater damage in terms of the influence of his AoE, Overload is much better for ganking and soloing especially when coupled with flash and exhaust. That having been said, it is suggested that Mejai's Soulstealer be purchased as a replacement for Deathfire's Grasp since an experienced player can nearly guarantee first blood and a level 6 gank-a-thon. Other viable replacements to specifics in this build include Quintessences of Force to further stack AP, as well as Ignite in place of Exhaust. These are suitable choices, but are much less effective late game. Using heal is always a good choice, even without the mastery buff, because it does two things: it ensures your endurance in a lane early game and also gives you the edge in one on one fights in the early game. Oppoents who go all in will be quite surprised when you pop heal and ignite when they seemed to have an edge.
Many players prefer items like Lich Bane and Archangel because of their mana boosts. I will say outright that Ryze does not need them. I have included Lich Bane as a possibility because of its passive ability to further increased damage. Mana potions at first spawn will provide you with more than enough mana until your Rod of Ages and the occasional Ancient Golem buff mid-to-late as mana. Archangel is a great item for pure mana and AP but can be avoided completely. Another way to go is Rylai's Sceptre for its slow, health and AP.
Purchase: 2 Mana Potions; 1 Health Potion and boots
Upgrade: Spell Flux
Being quick out of the gate can mean an effective early harass with the use of Spell Flux and possibly an Ignite.
The name of the game until you reach level 6 is to harass and focus champions to almost complete ignorance of the creeps. Remember that surprise and timing are your best assets with Ryze, so use cover and try to be unpredictable.
Once you reach level 6 you should have a strong Spell Flux, a decent Overload and at least your Sorceror's Shoes. This means it's time to gank.
If you are playing mid you should call a replacement to your lane while you travel across the map towards any unsuspecting or otherwise stupid enemy champions. If playing in a lane it might be wise to go back, recharge and shop before heading out to the mid or opposite lane. Once your ganking spree begins do not linger in a spot for long and move from lane to lane keep your opponents guessing. Also, do not waste your mana on creeps or neutral monsters since you are not yet capable of sustaining extensive use of youre spells.
Once at around level 13, the Ancient Golem is fairly easy for you to solo with Ryze without the need to go back to recharge, at this point you should think very hard about how your time should be spent - killing enemy champions or laning? I usually take time to lane at around level 10 since I like to be ahead the curve and find the Quintessences of Wisdom incredibly underrated when it comes to laning.
Ryze does incredibly well in tandem with certain support and DPS champions as a kind of hit-squad since all it takes is a minor stun or finishing blow to knockoff up to three champions at a time using Ryze's ultimate ability. (Ganking with Evelynn or Shaco guarantees easy kills)
Late game there will be more team battles and faster tower pushes. Since Ryze is targeted quickly in group fights and is poor at pushing towers alone, there are a few simple strategies to play by when reaching the 30 to 40 minute mark that will keep you alive and busy. In group battles rely on your teammates to initiate and use hit-and-run tactics to help guide your team to a decisive win. If you are in reasonable position it may also be wise to pick off an opposing teams champions that are coming away from an ineffective tower or inhibitor push: your Rune Prison will prove invaluable in such situations.
If behind, and you find that the opposing team is just too difficult to handle on your own or even in small groups, do your best to lane solo and even jungle in order to maintain gold and experience income.
Once you have achieved the full build, no opponent is safe. Stick to your hit-and-run style and avoid being focused in team fights and you will end the match in victory.
Consider this build for Ryze if want you want are kills, wins and bragging rights.
End Notes: DON'T FORGET TO USE ZHONYA'S ACTIVE ABILITY
Kill or be killed, just dont LEAVE.