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Ryze Build Guide by Schweppes7T4

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Schweppes7T4

The Rogue Mage of the Crystal Scar

Schweppes7T4 Last updated on October 19, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hi, my name is Schweppes7T4, and this is a Dominion guide for Ryze, the Rogue Mage. Ryze is a unique mage who I find to be a bit weak on Summoner's Rift, but excels in the Crystal Scar. Unlike most mages who can potentially devastate you with their high cooldown, high power nukes, Ryze functions more like a spell casting machine gun. Also, whereas most mages are "glass cannons," Ryze is substantially tankier, something that is extremely beneficial in Dominion.


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The Meta Game: How to play

For those who don't know, the term "meta game" can loosely be defined as "the game inside the game." This concept doesn't relate to the functions of the game or champs per se, but is more about how the game is played, including things such as champs banned, champs selected, roles in the game, itemizations, etc. Dominion is still very new, and the meta game is very volatile.

For now though, it's pretty standard to have a 3/1/1 split at the beginning, with 3 rushing top (Windmill), 1 grabbing mid (Factory/Drill) and then helping top, and 1 grabbing bottom (Quarry/Boneyard). Beyond that, you typically have one champ playing bottom defender (bot D) all game, three holding top/mid (sometimes referred to as takers or disruptors), and one person who floats around or wanders (the capturer, or capper). Zemiazas has a pretty decent guide on the basics of how to play which can be found here.

In my opinion, though Ryze is a decent defender, he isn't a strong enough pusher/sustainer to hold bot. Instead, he should go top at the beginning and stay there. Ryze can put out a lot of damage over a short period of time, but really excels when he has someone else there. Because of his strong snare, he and a team mate can destroy most 2v2 situations.

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The Meta Game: Bans

Currently, there are a number of common bans in draft mode. I wanted to take a second to comment on them, and give an idea of how to handle these champs if they make it through.

  • Rammus: Banned because of his insanely high mobility and ability to defend a point extremely well. For Ryze, fighting him isn't really all that hard except that he'll usually have a ton of HP. Bring a friend if you want to try to cap the tower he's holding. I honestly think Rammus is an over rated ban at the moment, since playing pure capturer doesn't always work.
  • Jax: Banned because... well... he's Jax. Dodges AD champs, gets bonus health for building damage making it harder for mages, deals a stupid amount of damage and life steals/spell vamps through everything. Wait for him to Leap Strike before using Rune Prison to give yourself some distance. Jax is a hard person to fight, but if you can kite him you can kill him. DON'T push a point against him unless their turret has a friendly Garrison on it.
  • Akali: Banned because of Twilight Shroud and good damage output. The easiest way to fight her as Ryze is to engage her on your own terms. As soon as she puts down Twilight Shroud back away. If she jumps to you, nuke her. If she runs back into shroud, hang back. She's a handful, but if you play smart she's pretty easy to manage.
  • Heimerdinger: Banned because he is extremely strong at holding and pushing bottom. Focus him instead of his turrets at low levels and avoid his ch-1 concussion grenade. At higher levels you should be able to kill each turret with an Overload and Rune Prison combo. As Ryze, you shouldn't be bottom very often, but if you go down there to help, come from behind him and have you and your ally pincer him.
  • Shaco: Banned because AP shaco is OP. DON'T CHASE HIM... you will be Jack In The Boxed to death. Let him come to you. Rune Prison him after he comes out of stealth. When he uses Deceive watch what they do. A good Shaco will send in the clone first and hang back himself. Focus accordingly, using Rune Prison on the clone if it's about to blow.
  • Poppy: Banned because her Heroic Charge is extremely easy to land the stun on, and her Diplomatic Immunity occasionally glitches and doesn't fall when her target dies *note: I believe this glitch was fixed in the Graves patch*. She deals a lot of burst, and there's really no good way to stop that. Try to avoid engaging her in the jungled areas, don't let her get a line on you with a wall, and make sure to kite using Rune Prison.
  • Gangplank: Banned because of his stupid damage output, move speed buff, ability to orange out of EVERYTHING and ult being able to disrupt captures from across the map. For Ryze, he can be a handful since Rune Prison isn't as effective as it should be. Unless he's building atmog's, he's generally easy to kill, but he may kill you in process.
  • Singed: Banned because he can hold a point very well... almost too well. DON'T CHASE HIM. You need to avoid being hit with Fling as he'll just run you down from then on. Wait until he uses Insanity Potion and/or Mega Adhesive before dropping Rune Prison to let you kite him.

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Pros / Cons

  • Strong, damaging snare
  • Tanky
  • Good damage output
  • Fun to play because you can spam spells

  • Annoyingly slow compared to many other champs in this mode
  • Sacrifices burst DPS for more sustained DPS
  • Has what can be a tricky cast sequence

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There are only two real ways to build Ryze, 9/21/0 or 9/0/21. Ryze is a tanky mage, so the 9/21/0 build is definitely viable, however, I find 9/0/21 to be much more useful. This is mostly because Haste , Expanded Mind , Quickness , Blink of an Eye , Intelligence , and Presence of the Master all being extremely beneficial to Ryze and/or this build.

Quickness helps a little bit with him being slow. Intelligence combined with Sorcery, Overload and a Frozen Heart gives him 39% CDR without the need for runes.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana

Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Mana

These runes will give Ryze his highest damage output from runes.
Between these runes and your catalyst the protector, you start Dominion with a total of 722 mana... that's a bonus 58 damage to your Overload to start.

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Summoner Spells

Ghost is pretty much a necessity in Dominion. Lets you get around the map.

Flash is another good mobility spell. I use it for escaping and gap closing. That guy capping the tower at low health may see you coming but doesn't expect you to Flash in and Overload him to death.

Ignite can be taken instead of Flash if you want. An extra bit of damage is always nice.

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Skill Sequence

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

> > >

I start by putting two points in Overload and one in Rune Prison. The reason for this is that by the time you get top you will hit level 4, but just in case you don't get the point right away, your Overload will hit just a little bit harder. It's important to get a point in each skill early to get your spell rotation going and to get maximum use of Arcane Mastery. Maxing out Overload first has two benefits: 1) it's your main damage spell, 2) increases your CDR. After that, Rune Prison deals the most damage and has its snare time increased. Finally Spell Flux is capped since it's generally the least useful because of the unpredictable bounces. Take Desperate Power whenever able (6,11,16).

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These are the items I get every game.
  • catalyst the protector: After a lot of play and some number crunching, I've changed my starting items. I used to take Tear of the Goddess, and still feel it is a good item on Ryze since it will increase his mana more than any other item. However, it is very hard to get it stacked in this mode, plus it leaves you more vulnerable in the early fights. For this reason I've started out with a Ruby Crystal and Sapphire Crystal and combine them into a catalyst the protector on my first trip home (usually after the initial capture of top).
  • : These are the standard boots for casters.
  • : Ryze benefits from every stat on this. Build it early to give it time to stack as much as possible.
  • : This item has a number of benefits. High armor + a debuff to enemy attack speed helps keep you alive, mana for damage, and 20% CDR. Build the Glacial Shroud first.
  • : Replaces Banshee's Veil in this mode. gives MR, health and mana, and a fun little active.
  • : I've been making this item as my 5th item (and usually last built) since people have started to realize you can't build straight damage with no defense. I usually wait until there are at least two negatron cloacks in play or I've built my other core items first.


These are items I get depending on how the game is going. These are 6th items which you will rarely, if ever, actually build.
  • : If you start with a Tear of the Goddess, you will eventually want to build this. I've honestly never had a game last long enough to make it really worth it though. Don't rush this as the mana from Tear of the Goddess is more beneficial and upgrading it will normally cause it to stack more slowly because of how Ryze plays. Ryze's AP ratios are terrible, so only consider upgrading once you have 500+ mana stacked on it.
  • : This item is great if they have 2+ AD carries or 3+ AD heavy champs. Ideally you want to be kiting champs and not have them wailing on you, but when you anti-kiting champs like Xin Zhao (frozen mallet permaslow) or Tryndamere ( Mocking Shout spam), etc., it helps out a lot.
  • : This item has its benefits, but I generally think it's unnecessary on Ryze. It does however allow you to permakite someone since you have such low cooldowns, and the extra health is always nice.
  • : This syncs nicely with Desperate Power, but is also good all around as it helps you live through 1v1 fights. Also it's hilarious to see someone dive you only for you to spell vamp through the fight. Unfortunately it's lack of bonus mana makes it a negligible item.
  • hextech sweeper: Pesky Evelynn, Twitch, Shaco, or Akali on the other team? Consider this item if no one else on your team has it or the AD equivilent The Lightbringer.

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To most effectively fight as Ryze, you have to follow one of two skill rotations. These are the same whether its a 1v1, 2v1, 5v5, or any other situation.


- - - - - - - - - -

This rotation will maximize your DPS, and allow you to deal a large amount of damage.


- - - - - - - - - -

This is an alternative rotation to help you survive a fight if you get an Akali or Xin Zhao or similar on you. You take a small hit to your DPS for the benefit of having Desperate Power up sooner to give you the spell vamp.

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What to do as Ryze

Ryze is a decent defender, but what he excels at is small skirmishes.

At the beginning of the game, you CAN take bot, but you are generally much more useful using Ghost, hitting the top right speed plate, and rushing top ASAP. In the ensuing fight DO NOT get separated from your team mates as YOU WILL DIE... QUICKLY... Hang close, interrupt capture attempts, and rotate through your spells. Rune Prison an enemy if they're chasing a team mate. Focus on melee champs since ranged champs can still give you issues when snared.

From then on, I typically hang out with a team mate around top, holding off the other team from going for it. I'll go down to our mid to defend it if need be, and focus on capping quest nodes when they come up. Ryze is also a great option to grab the Storm Shield buff in the middle since he can trigger the nuke easily (which benefits from his spell pen) and the shield helps keep him alive.

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Ryze is an extremely powerful, tanky, versatile champ. He's one of the few pure mages that I feel are really viable in the Crystal Scar.

I hope to keep this guide current as the meta game changes. Please vote and leave comments so that I can improve this guide.


10/19: Minor changes to phrasing throughout. Updated Masteries and Items in the cheat sheet. Re-organized Metagame: Bans chapter to prioritize more common bans first. Removed Tear of the Goddess from starting items. Added Void Staff to core items.
10/12: Updated items to reflect heavy negative comments on Will of the Ancients. Moved Void Staff into primary build. Also commented on some common bans. Updated runes.
10/4: Guide published. Thanks to jhoijhoi for their guide template!