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Ryze Build Guide by Axis the Dragon

AP Offtank Season 3: The Rise of Ryze

By Axis the Dragon | Updated on May 5, 2013
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Ryze
    Balanced Offence
  • LoL Champion: Ryze
    VS. Magic/CC
  • LoL Champion: Ryze
    VS. AD
  • LoL Champion: Ryze


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Middle Lane
Ranked #59 in
Middle Lane
Win 45%
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Guide will probably no longer be updated.

Now that Muramana has changed from Magical to Physical damage, it's no longer as strong as before. If you want Muramana to do any decent damage now, you need to itemize for Armor Pen, which is wholly useless on Ryze. Seraph's Embrace is now the better option (unless you're really facerolling, in which case it doesn't matter what you build, really...)

Season 3. A Build Guide.

I remember back in the days when Ryze's Spell Flux was his all-powerful, team-breaking ultimate. I also remember when they remade him into a burst caster that could nearly 1v1 anyone if he caught them off guard. Finally, he became the spell-machinegunner we've all come to either love or hate.

Season 3 has brought a slew of changes that heavily benefit Ryze, of particular importance...


... which this entire build revolves around. You may be asking yourself, "But that's an AD item!" Fret not, it will be explained later, if you don't know why it's OP on Ryze already.
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Why Ryze?


    - Amazing Late Game Damage
    - Can build very tanky while dishing out good dps
    - No skillshots, no missing


    - Vulnerability to kiting, since he has no gap closer
    - Very susceptible to CC
    - Expensive build and often very late-game centric
    - Short (625-675) range on spells
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Summoner Spells

So yeah.

Ignite is the main offensive summoner spell on Ryze. While Exhaust works as well, nothing beats the offensive potential of a well-timed Ignite.

Teleport is also a good spell to use if you want to forgo Ignite's offense for a more passive farm lane.

The second spell is interchangeable.

Flash is an awesome summoner spell for a quick assassination, catching up or escaping across a wall, while Ghost is simply awesome for chasing.
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Sorcery is an awesome Mastery that gives you up to 4% CDR.
Blast grants you up to 18 Ability Power at level 18.
Arcane Knowledge gives 8% Magic Pen. Now that %-based magic pen works before flat, it's an amazing combination with any and all penetration.

For the Utility Tree, I won't go over everything - only the important parts.

Wanderer is mainly used for chasing before you receive or give any damage. It's good for one quick Q and then backing away.
Expanded Mind grants a total of 180 Mana at Level 18. 'Nuff said.
While it's not really apparent early game, the sustain from Vampirism can become quite the lifesaver lategame - any and all free spellvamp is amazing for Ryze.
Where can I start with this? It grants you 3 Health/5 for every 400 Mana you have. Ryze at level 1 with a Sapphire Crystal can go up to 500+ Mana. Can you say lane sustain?
Intelligence grants you 6% CDR. While it doesn't sound like much, together with Sorcery that's a total of 10% CDR, which is a pretty awesome amount.
Finally, we have Nimble. 3% Increased Movement Speed is no joke, especially on someone so movespeed-oriented like Ryze.
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Nine of these runes are needed to maximize magic penetration. Pretty standard stuff on most magic dealers.


These are also pretty standard on most Champions; you can't really go wrong with Armor seals. 9 of these will cover your needs. Alternatively, you can also use


Both of these runes are pretty decent on Ryze, as he scales mostly off Mana. Finally you can also use


These two runes can be used if you think you'll be needing mana regeneration in order to farm better in lane.


Two useful glyphs. The flat ones help you survive early game trades and poke fests, while the scaling ones help better in a late game scenario. Of note is that the scaling MR Glyphs even out with the Flat ones at level 6 - until then, to begin with you don't really fight the enemy as Ryze, unless you're sure to get the kill.

Alternatively, you can grab

These are also to help increase Ryze's overall damage output.


Widely considered as Ryze's best Quints, this helps Ryze throughout the game for chasing, escaping, dodging skillshots, poking, etc. If you want to forgo movement speed for other Runes, you can always try...

Good if you think you're up against a heavily poke-based Champion (Cassiopeia comes to mind). The extra health will help you survive in lane. Alternatively you can get...

This is more of a situational pick, though it still works. I can't really give a straight opinion on this as I've never used it before.
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Abilities and Skill Sequence


(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.

This is Ryze's bread and butter skill. It is your main source of damage output, and should be maxed as soon as possible.


Active: 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.

This is Ryze's main utility/burst spell. It deals a lot of damage and also snares the enemy in place, allowing Ryze to unleash his wrath upon the poor soul trapped inside. It should be maxed second for maximum snare time and damage.


Active: 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.

This is an underrated spell that enhances Ryze's damage output by a lot. Simply casting it at a target decreases their magic resistance by 24 instantly. This should be maxed last as it is used mostly for utility.


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.

Oh my lord, the one spell that makes Ryze a teamfight monster. Imagine Ryze's raw damage output. Now imagine it in pure AOE form. Yeah, this is what this does. It also increases his movement speed and spellvamp, making him even harder to kill and escape from. This should be leveled up whenever possible, namely at levels 6, 11 and 16.

On the Muramana-Desparate Power interaction, Rioter CertainlyT says: "Desperate Power doesn't change the core function of Ryze's spells, it just causes them to also deal spell type AOE to all units near the target in addition to the base effect."


Spellcast Order


When harassing in lane, a simple Rune Prison -> Spell Flux -> Overload combo should suffice. With enough mana, this will leave a dent in your target's health.

Pre-6 Chain Combo

If you're able to stay near your enemy, your ability sequence should be Overload -> Spell Flux -> Overload -> Rune Prison -> Overload for maximum damage output.

Pre-6 Chasing Combo

If you're chasing an enemy, it's best to open with Rune Prison -> Overload -> Spell Flux -> Overload in order to make sure that they don't run away.

Post-6 Combo

In a straight up brawl, your main combo should be Overload -> Desperate Power (remember to use this while Overload is travelling, and before it hits your target) -> Overload -> Spell Flux -> Overload -> Rune Prison -> Overload.
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Now that Muramana has changed from Magical to Physical damage, it's no longer as strong as before. If you want Muramana to do any decent damage now, you need to itemize for Armor Pen, which is wholly useless on Ryze. Seraph's Embrace is now the better option (unless you're really facerolling, in which case it doesn't matter what you build, really...)

The full item build:

Early Game

Start with either

and .

Whichever you choose depends on your matchup.

When first returning to your base, make sure you have enough for and maybe a few Sight Ward. If the enemy jungler is good, you'll need the wards to make sure you don't get caught off guard. After buying Tear of the Goddess and returning to lane, farm it up!

As soon as you can, get a Catalyst the Protector. Your lane sustain will jump through the roof, and as long as you aren't getting dominated in lane, you should be tanky enough to survive the enemy mid's harassment.

Next, finish your . You'll need the Magic Penetration, since you won't be building any. Alternatively, you can get or if the enemy team is very CC-heavy/AD-heavy, respectively. You can get Enchantment: Furor any time you want in between your items, or if you want, you can get it last; it's up to you. Though the movement speed bonus per spell thing is pretty cool to have early...


Ah, the infamous Rod of Ages. Long time to be considered THE item that all Ryzes must rush, it has the strongest balance of offence and defence that Ryze needs early-mid game, and because of its scaling passive, it stays relevant all game long. Depending on when you get this will tell you how well you're doing. If you get it any time between the beginning of the game (rofl) and around 12-15 minutes, you're doing extremely well. Keep doing whatever you're doing. If you get it past the 20 minute mark, it's not so bad, but you'll need to really farm to keep up. Anything past 26-28 minutes and Rod of Ages loses some of its influence - you might as well get a Banshee's Veil instead.

The next items on the list are and . You can get these before Rod of Ages if you want, actually, depending on how the game is going, but essentially, you'll want to keep these items as they are before finishing them. Now, why these two items?

Glacial Shroud grants you everything you need (namely Armor, CDR and Mana), especially against AD Champions. So if you're against a mostly AD team, get this before Negatron Cloak.

Negatron Cloak gives you a nice chunk of Magic Resist, so get this before Glacial Shroud if there's a lot of magic damage on the enemy team.

But why not rush Frozen Heart/ Frostfire Gauntlet or Banshee's Veil? Well, mostly because they're expensive, but the main reason is because of the next item you need to get as soon as possible... You guessed it! It's the core item of this build...

Manamune is the single most important item of this build. Now why build an AD item, Manamune, instead of Archangel's Staff, on a Magic-based Champion? It's simple.

The very first reason is because they both grant the same amount of Mana, Ryze's most important stat. But that's not the main reason.

The main reason is actually the toggle active of the upgraded version of Manamune, namely...

What does the toggle do? When casting a single-target spell, or autoattacking, it consumes 3% of your current Mana and deals 6% of your current Mana (double the mana cost, basically) as bonus Magic Damage.

Let's look at the items individually in terms of raw damage output.

grants you 1000 Mana, 60 AP and 3% of your Maximum Mana as AP. So this item alone gives you 90 AP and 1000 Mana.

Overload deals 160 Base Damage, +36 (40% of 90 AP) and +65 (6.5% of 1000 Mana), for a grand total of 261 Magic Damage. Archangel alone, then, gives Overload 101 Damage.

Rune Prison deals 200 Base Damage, +54 (60% of 90 AP) and +45 (4.5% of 1000 Mana), for a grand total of 299 Magic Damage. Archangel alone, then, gives Rune Prison 99 Damage.

Let's look at the alternative item.

grants you 1000 Mana, and that's all you basically need to know about its passives. Its toggle active, however, grants a total of 6% of current Mana as bonus magic damage.

Overload deals 160 Base Damage, +60 (6% of 1000 Mana), +65 (6.5% of 1000 Mana), for a grand total of 285 Magic Damage. Muramana, with its toggle active, on the very first spell, gives Overload 125 Damage.

Rune Prison deals 200 Base Damage, +60 (6% of 1000 Mana), +45 (4.5% of 1000 Mana), for a grant total of 305 Magic Dmaage. Muramana, with its toggle active, on the very first spell, gives Rune Prison 105 Damage.

According to the math, then, Muramana gets the edge in pure item statistics. Of course, if your mana is very low, Seraph's Embrace will do more damage. But what's the point? You just killed your target; you don't need that Mana anymore, really. As another bonus, if not overkill, each of Ryze's autoattacks also gain that 6% current mana bonus damage. As if he wasn't an amazing caster already, if your opponent is STILL alive at the end of your cooldowns, 200+ magic damage every auto attack will ensure that you put the nail in the casket for your opponent.


Next up, assuming your enemy team is AD-centric, is . It gives you a nifty 90 Armor, 400 Mana and 20% CDR. It also slows down the attack speed of nearby enemies by 20%. With this item alone, the damage output of AD champions decreases dramatically. Furthermore, with Overload's 10% CDR, Sorcery's 4% CDR, Intelligence 's 6% CDR and Frozen Heart's 20% CDR, you hit the cap of 40% CDR. Pretty awesome right?

Alternatively, you can get instead. While granting only 15% CDR (thus being 5% shy of the 40% CDR Cap), and 60 Armor (30 less total armor), it gives you 40 AP, and after every spell cast (with an internal item cooldown of 2 seconds), your next autoattack will slow enemies in an area around your main attack target by 35%. This, in conjunction with Enchantment: Furor or Enchantment: Alacrity, causes Ryze's chasing potential to skyrocket.

After Frozen Heart comes , assuming the enemy team had a bit more AD-based damage than magic-based. If they had more Magic-based damage, take Banshee's Veil before Frozen Heart/ Frostfire Gauntlet.
This item grants Ryze 300 Health and Mana, 45 Magic Resistance and a spellshield that blocks the next spell that hits Ryze and nullifies its effects, occurring once every 45 seconds. This is an amazing item for Ryze, increasing both his tankiness and his damage output. What's there not to like? Alternatively, you can get Abyssal Mask, which grants 70 AP instead of Health/Mr, the same amount of magic resistance and decreased the MR of nearby enemies by 20.

Situational Items

The last item slot of Ryze's can be used up for a number of items.

I see get a lot of use on many Ryze players, and it tends to get built at any time, sometimes before Rod of Ages, sometimes as the last item. It grants a nifty amount of AP and Spellvamp, two very good stats on Ryze. It's especially useful if your top-laner is an AP-based champ that can utilize spellvamp, like Vladimir, Kennen or Rumble.

is also a viable item, further increasing Ryze's tankiness and damage output. The -20 MR aura is no joke, either.

is also a really good item on Ryze, granting him a truckload of Damage output through Mana and AP, and also gives him a powerful shield that's almost as strong as a lategame Blitzcrank's Mana Barrier.

Although more of a support-oriented item, Mikael's Crucible grants Ryze some crucial stats: Magic Resist, Mana, Mana Regeneration and a free Heal+Cleanse.

Suggested by A Pinguin, this item is actually quite interesting since it gives Ryze some nice stats, namely Health, AP, and Magic Penetration, which this build lacks outside of Sorcerer's Shoes. Its main selling point, however, is its passive, which burns the target for a % of their current health over a small duration. If their movement is impaired (e.g. snared by Rune Prison), this effect is doubled.
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Who is Ryze good against?

The fox lady is an extremely powerful AP Carry whose strength lies in the fact that she can dodge your spells while wailing on you with her own... you can already see the hitch, right?

Ryze has no skillshots. Furthermore, Rune Prison locks her down in one place, reducing her mobility during Spirit Rush. While Charm might stop you from casting spells, as long as you stay behind your minions she can't CC you. Orb of Deception can be dodged, and Fox-Fire isn't really a threat compared to Overload and Rune Prison.

On the flipside, her range is much longer than Ryze's (most of them being 800+). If she pokes and backs out, she can play safely and stay healthy with Essence Theft while whittling down your health with Orb of Deception. Obviously, getting hit by Charm means a Combo is coming, and you can't do much about it.

1. Fizz is melee
2. Fizz's Playful / Trickster aka trollpole is on a relatively long cooldown compared to Ryze's Overload
3. Rune Prison stops Fizz in his tracks, causing him to be unable to use Urchin Strike.

On the flipside, Fizz has an extremely powerful early game. An aggressive Fizz can severely outdamage a Ryze, depending on setup. Seastone Trident is especially potent, since it deals damage based on missing health. Also, getting hit by Chum the Waters is almost a surefire kill for a Fizz if Ryze doesn't have Banshee's Veil.

Veigar has massive burst late game, but is very weak early on, and needs to farm to ramp up his damage. Baleful Strike and Overload both have about the same amount of damage early on, but the latter is on a 3.5 second cooldown, while the former starts at a long, dragged out 8. Furthermore, Veig is often mana-starved, having to choose between harassing or farming up his Q.

Also, Primordial Burst is known as the AP-Killer, basically removing over 60% of an AP Carry's health in one blow, since it scales off of Veigar's own AP as well as his opponent's. Guess what Ryze doesn't focus on? That's right, AP! He also tends to become very tanky, with a decent amount of Magic Resistance, cutting down Veigar's damage output. Ryzes also usually get Banshee's Veil, which severely hurts Veigar's damage combo.

Who is Ryze bad against?

Not only does the serpent lady outrange Ryze, she will win most trades as well, since Ryzes tend to stand still or move very little while casting their spells, which is just what a Cassiopeia wants in order to land her Miasma and Noxious Blast. Moreover, Ryzes tend to face Cass while unloading their spells, giving her good opportunities to use Petrifying Gaze, stunning Ryze, which is something he really does not like. She also clears creep waves like no other, and while Ryze is busy killing minions at his turret, Cass can be ganking sidelanes.

How to play against Cassiopeia

Try to dodge as many Noxious Blasts as you can, and don't walk into Miasma. If you're poisoned, Twin Fang's cooldown is reset if she hits you with it. Organize ganks with your jungler in order to pin her down, since Cass has no inherent escapes and cannot actually stop either you or your jungler from attacking her before she gets Petrifying Gaze.

Range, range, range and more range. If Ryze wants to harass Brand with Overload, a nice Pillar of Flame at the Rogue Mage's feet followed by Sear puts him in his place. Because of Brand's passive, Blaze, Ryze's health will quickly whittle down to nothing if constantly hit by the Burning Vengeance's spells. Brand, too, clears creep waves quickly.

How to play against Brand

Stay far from him, farm as much as you can and don't overextend. Only harass him if he's in range of Overload or Rune Prison (alternatively, Spell Flux, although the damage might be lackluster), but don't be too overzealous to damage him. If possible, bait and dodge Pillar of Flame so that he wastes his mana, and organize Jungler ganks once Brand's mana is low.

Again, it's all about range. Except this time, this Champion can also give herself a shield through Command: Protect, decreasing your damage output. Command: Attack can be launched from far away into Command: Dissonance, dealing a hefty amount of damage. Again, Orianna's creepwave clearing abilities cause Ryze to cry in a corner.

How to play against Orianna

Oh dear. This one's a tough one, since her main damage combo, Command: Attack into Command: Dissonance can come at you extremely quickly if you're not careful, unlike Noxious Blast or Pillar of Flame, which have a small delay. After harassing you a bit, she can zone you out by placing her ball near your caster minions, essentially gaining an entire lane's presence. Try to bait her spells if you can, since Orianna burns through her mana like a hot knife through butter if she doesn't have the Crest of the Ancient Golem buff.
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Early Game

Last-hitting is your best friend when in lane. If you're against any one of the lane matchups mentioned above that Ryze is bad against, this is doubly true. If you're hard-pressed to survive by turret hugging, don't be afraid to last hit with Overload either, if your autoattacks lack the damage - as I always say, it's better to be Mana-starved than Gold-starved. Regardless, by the time you get Tear of the Goddess and Catalyst the Protector, mana shouldn't be that much of a problem as long as you use your spells right.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Axis the Dragon
Axis the Dragon Ryze Guide
Season 3: The Rise of Ryze

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Teamfight Tactics Guide