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RYZE BUILD GUIDE: [S3] PROfessor Ryze by JJJNigel

by JJJNigel (last updated over a year ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration( +7.83 magic penetration)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed( +4.5% movement speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
9
14
7
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
14 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
7 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Arcane Mastery
QOverload
WRune Prison
ESpell Flux
RDesperate Power
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
14 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
7 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Arcane Mastery
QOverload
WRune Prison
ESpell Flux
RDesperate Power

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Ryze is a noob OP champ that has the potential to roll the other team if you have competent teammates and do well in lane. Generally he should be sent solo mid or solo top. His main strengths are an instant, lock-on snare and the ability to be a tanky burst/dps caster. His main weaknesses are a lack of mobility and a lack of pushing power (when his ult isn't up, anyway). Learn to compensate for these weaknesses and learn how to use smartcast and you will be Ryzerolling bads in no time.

Much of this guide is tl;dr, so you may just want to take a glance at the general overview above and then skip straight to the Skills, Combos, and Early/Mid/Late Game sections. If you really want my meticulous explanations for why I chose everything, though, read on.

This guide in the process of being updated for Season 3.

Changes

Since the initial authoring of this guide, the following changes have been made that affect Ryze (reverse chronological order):

Season 3
LOOOL

Oh boy. Season 3 brings a slew of changes that are essentially huge buffs to Ryze. They nerfed him slightly to compensate but it hardly matters. The Boots nerf makes Sapphire start more viable for increased damage and a larger mana pool from the start. Tear is cheaper and stacking it high is actually important/useful as it builds into 2 items that are pretty OP on Ryze. Frozen Heart got nerfed kind of hard, but there is now a much more outrageous item in the form of Iceborn Gauntlet. Heck, even Rod and Catalyst are a bit cheaper to obtain.

DFG Nerf
Since Ryze never bought DFG anyway, a nerf to it means an indirect buff to Ryze. Ohhh yeahhhh

Ryze "Nerfs"
LOL

I am not sure how they think these constitute nerfs or a motivation to build less tanky mana and more AP. The biggest actual nerf is a range nerf on Q, which makes it a bit harder to harass with without getting hit. Everything else is either a minor nerf or a significant buff. I would expect at least a flat ~5-10 base damage drop on Q if I were you... but of course I could be wrong, just like I was wrong about WotA (oh wait, I wasn't). UPDATE: Apparently I am wrong ;_;

Anyway, this change makes Boots + 3 an even stronger start on Ryze.

MR Rune Nerfs/AP Rune Buffs
This hurts Ryze slightly because MR is very useful for him, but AP is not. Not a huge deal, though.

Masteries

I like 9/14/7 on Ryze, just like in Season 2. Much like Season 2, the later Offense tree is not that appealing to Ryze and while the middle of the Utility tree is improved, it is more useful on supports than on Ryze. You might consider going for Artificer for improved item cooldowns if you're planning on getting Seraph, but it's probably not necessary. The points in Defense should reinforce Ryze's role as a ranged tanky DPS mage tank support carry. Obviously, swap the points in magic resist out for armor if against an AD lane.

Runes

The runes are straightforward and again reinforce Ryze's role as the team's ranged tanky DPS mage tank support carry. You want magic penetration reds for damage, armor yellows for AD lane opponents and ganks, magic resist blues for AP lane opponents, and movespeed quints for chasing, running from ganks, kiting, etc. I can't imagine that you'd want to change this up too much other than maybe magic resist yellows or armor blues to counter your lane opponent. Some people like to use mana per level, but I think this is mostly a waste. For example, I think having an extra 12.7 early armor in your yellow slot is more useful than having an extra 190 mana lategame on top of your 3500. This would be equivalent, at lategame, to something like 75 extra damage on a full combo with Muramana or an extra 50 shield with Seraph. Not terrible, but not amazing compared to having extra early game power.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:
Pretty standard and obvious choices for a mage. Flash is a definite must. In addition to its potential use as an escape, Ryze has an instant snare that prevents enemies from flashing away for its duration. If you can flash in and unload your combo, you can sometimes score an easy kill. Even if your opponents are too smart to let you do that, the mere threat of it will let you zone them. Ignite will of course add to your burst combo and secure kills, so it's also a pretty obvious choice.

You can take other spells if you like.

Probably a decent choice if you're going solo top, or even want to teleport gank from mid.

Trololol along with Seraph, I guess?

The rest are mostly not worth it or downright silly. Feel free to use Ghost or Revive on the Crystal Scar, I guess.

Skills

Passive: Arcane Mastery
When Ryze casts a spell, all other spells have their cooldown reduced by 1 second.

Explanation:
This is a cool passive that will let Ryze pump out continuous damage. Make sure to start your combos with Q to get the maximum benefit out of this.

Q: Overload
Passive: Ryze gains 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10% cooldown reduction.

Active: Ryze blasts enemy unit for 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+40% of ability power) plus 6% of his max mana in magic damage.

Cooldown 3.5 seconds

Cost 70 mana

Range 650


Explanation:
Your combo opener, combo sustainer, and harass skill -- essentially, Ryze's bread and butter. Max this first for increased CDR and damage. The base damage increase per rank may not look so hot, but keep in mind that you will likely get to use it a minimum of twice in any combo.

W: Rune Prison
Ryze traps an enemy unit, preventing them from moving for 0.75 / 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 seconds and dealing 60 / 95 / 120 / 165 / 200 (+60% of ability power) plus 5% of his max mana in magic damage.

Cooldown 14seconds
Cost 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140mana
Range 625


Explanation:
As previously mentioned, it's a ranged, instant, targetable snare. This is actually pretty nice. Use it to make sure enemies don't get away during your combo (ideally start with a Q first). It's pretty mana hungry, though.

E: Spell Flux
Ryze unleashes a bouncing orb of magical power which bounces to enemy units or himself, up to 5 times. Each bounce deals 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 (+35% of ability power) plus 1% of his max mana in magic damage and reduces the target's Magic Resistance by 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 / 24 for 5 seconds.

Cooldown 14seconds
Cost 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120mana
Range 675


Explanation:
This skill gets a lot of flak and is commonly derided as a filler skill only good for cooling down Ryze's Q. It has a couple of things going for it, however. It reduces MR, which makes your other spells hit harder. Additionally, it is Ryze's best AOE/pushing spell and is quite decent when combined with his R, especially if you have a bit of AP. Don't let the low ratio and low numbers fool you; this thing can hit up to 5 times, and if you unload R+E into a closely packed enemy group, the damage and AP ratio is better than Tibbers. Even without R, this spell can be good to unload into a minion wave just to soften it up so the wave isn't being pushed into your turret so hard.

That said, the bounce range is miserable and it seems to prefer minions or yourself rather than enemy champions. If you are helping out with Dragon or the like, make sure you are standing directly next to it before you use your QEQ combo on it.

UPDATE: Now it has mana scaling for improved damage, increased bounce range, and increased preference for enemy champions. Unquestionably extremely nice now.

R: Desperate Power
Ryze becomes supercharged, gaining 15 / 20 / 25% spell vamp, 35 / 45 / 55 movement speed, and causing his spells to deal 50% AoE damage for 5 / 6 / 7 seconds.

Cooldown 70 / 60 / 50 seconds


Explanation:
Ryze's ultimate has a pretty low cooldown that is further reduced by his passive, so don't be too afraid to use it. Clearing a creep wave, especially a giant one backed up near a turret, is a good use for it. Remember that it gives spell vamp so you can replenish your health as well. A teamfight is another obvious use for it, for the AOE damage. For smaller skirmishes, such as 1v1s, you should consider its use carefully; you may want to save it to bait an enemy or cool down your skills at a critical juncture, or you may want to use it right away to maximize the spell vamp to prevent you from prematurely dying. Definitely don't activate it as part of your initial combo in a 1v1 where you are starting with full or near-full health.

It's not a bad ultimate, but it isn't going to give you a sudden spike of damage or CC like many other mages, like Annie, Malzhurr, Cass, or Karthus. Try to take advantage of its strengths and play wisely.

UPDATE: The newly added movespeed can help you close in on a fleeing enemy or run away in a tight spot. You might as well use it in any Desperate situation.

Combos

The key to using Ryze is to know how to use his skills. If you don't know how already, you should learn how to use smartcast. Smartcast allows you to instantly cast your spell on the target under your cursor. I believe the default keys are Shift + QWERDF, but you can set them to whatever you like. Some examples of skills that are always smartcast are Flash and the Q skills of Urgot, Cass, and Karthus.

The key to making the most of Ryze's passive, Arcane Mastery, is to try to make sure that you cooldown his Q every time you use another spell. This will make Q come off cooldown faster, which will let you use it again, which will let your other spells come off cooldown that much faster.

First, your harass "combo":


Q

This is what you will generally want to use to harass. You may NOT want to use smartcast for this one; you can lock onto your target and then walk away to avoid/dodge retaliation as soon as it's cast. Often during laning you will want to try to time this right as an enemy is trying to lasthit to make them pay for their CS. Its apparent range may surprise you, as often you will be chasing a retreating target and then turning and moving away, creating the illusion of a very long range spell.

Next is your basic damage combo:


QWEQ

You need to use smartcast to make the most of this, so get used to using it. Take care because Rune Prison's (W) range is shorter than your other spells, so make sure you're in range for it so you don't miss your combo and look like a fool.

(In case you're wondering, QEWQ is generally not as good an idea in part due to this reason; the enemy can easily run away out of W range during your QE. The other reason is that W is instant while E has travel time, meaning that your W will likely hit before your E does, which defeats the purpose of trying to shred the enemy's MR before W. This combo will also cool down your W less, and W is a skill you never want to have on cooldown in case you get ganked or whatever. Only consider using QEWQ if the enemy is really close to you.)

Next is your execute combo during laning:


FQWEDQ

When your enemy is somewhat low health you can use this combo to finish them off and ensure a kill. However, if they're really low and you're afraid they'll flash away the exact moment you flash in, you can lead with W so they can't escape. The combo will then look something like this: FWEQD.

When you want to AOE burst combo a minion wave or the enemy team, or when you are dueling someone at low health and need a spellvamp combo immediately:

----------
QREQW-Q

The R button should be pressed after you have thrown your Q but before it has hit the enemy. This will allow R to cool down Q but still let Q have the AOE/spellvamp effect. The E will then bounce around and do AOE damage while reducing MR, followed by a Q which should be off cooldown around now, then W which will cool down Q, then another Q after a short delay (represented by the dashes).

Just play around to get used to how it works, and remember to always lead off with Q unless you REALLY need to snare someone RIGHT NOW.

Item Builds

Before I begin, I should mention that you should be buying !!! !!! throughout the game whenever you have spare gold and item slots. No, warding is not something you should just leave to the jungler or support. Buy 1-2 wards every back if you have 75-150 gold remaining, unless your teammates are illuminating the hell out of the map for you already. Ryze in particular can build very incrementally and derive benefits from every little piece of his build, so there's really no excuse for not spending your leftover pocket change on wards.


Starting Items:
OR

Explanation:

is back to being a good start with the Season 3 nerf to Boots. It gives Ryze improved damage and extra mana to make sure he has enough spells to pressure the lane opponent.

gives more health sustain and mobility but less damage and mana sustain. You probably need this if kiting, dodging skillshots, running from ganks, etc. is more important than the pros listed for the Sapphire start above.


Early Build Priorities:
tear-of-the-goddessboots-of-speedruby-crystalcatalyst-the-protectorsorcerers-shoes
(catalyst-the-protectornegatron-cloak vs. heavy AP harass/burst)
(catalyst-the-protectorchain-vest vs. heavy AD harass/burst)

Explanation:
For Season 2, I recommended that you build Catalyst first before Tear. This was because stacking Tear didn't really accomplish anything and so the Catalyst stats and sustain would be much more useful in lane. Now, in Season 3, Tear is significantly less expensive and builds into OP items, so it is in your best interest to start stacking it early. Against heavy harass/burst, you might want to prioritize being able to keep up and not being killed or pushed out of lane, so go for Catalyst and the appropriate resistance item, Chainmail or Negatron. When building Catalyst, get the Health Crystal first because the added health will let you withstand more burst and stay in fights longer. You might also consider Merc Treads vs. heavy CC/AP burst, especially if you want to delay your Negatron.


Core Items:


OR



Explanation:
This is how your items should look around midgame. I know the second one is a lot of item slots, but it provides Ryze with a bit of everything he needs: health, armor, and MR for tankiness, and magic penetration, CDR, and tons of mana for damage.

The first one is probably my favorite route, as Rod gives you tons of damage and durability. Just make sure to grab your blue buff and you should be golden. You can pick up Negatron and Chainmail as needed to defend against enemy threats.


Late Game Item Choices:
muramanaseraphs-embracerod-of-agesbanshees-veilabyssal-scepterquicksilver-sash
mercurys-treadssorcerers-shoesenchantment-furorenchantment-homeguardfrozen-fistfrozen-heartwill-of-the-ancientsvoid-staff

Explanation:
How you proceed from your Core Items is up to you and should depend on how you think the game is going. Personally, if things are going well, I like going for a Rod of Ages, Iceborn Gauntlet, and Muramana, in that order. (Don't bother upgrading your Tear until it is fully or almost fully stacked.) This provides plenty of health, damage, armor, cooldowns, CC, and did I say damage? If the game is not going so amazingly, or you don't really need the OP slowing field of Fist because someone else already has it/your team is getting wrecked/etc., you might consider other item picks from the list above; whatever is most useful for the current situation.

As for Elixirs, Blue Elixir might be useful if you don't have blue buff. You might also consider Oracle's if you are an unstoppable Ryzerolling machine and no one else on your team is more suitable.


Example Build Order:
sapphire-crystaltear-of-the-goddessboots-of-speedruby-crystalcatalyst-the-protectorsorcerers-shoesrod-of-agesnegatron-cloakchain-vestglacial-shroudfrozen-fistenchantment-furormuramana

Resulting Build:
muramanarod-of-agessorcerers-shoesfrozen-fistnegatron-cloaksight-ward

Early Game

Your goal early game is to lasthit minions with your autoattacks and harass the enemy laner with Overload (Q) while avoiding enemy harass. Remember, Ryze Q is a noob non-skillshot nuke, which means you can lock onto them with it (don't use smartcast!) and then run away the moment you cast it to try to avoid retaliation. It's on a low cooldown, so you can harass with it often. Try especially to use it when the enemy's harass skill is on cooldown or when they're about to go for a lasthit.

Make sure to learn to dodge common harass skillshots. Skillshots are often more powerful to make up for the possibility that you can miss and waste mana with them. If you dodge their skillshots and successfully harass them, you should be able to pressure them.

Sometimes, you may want to combo the enemy for some extra burst instead of only harassing with Q. This is a good idea if their retaliatory skills are on cooldown, if they have good harass but poor burst, or if you are worried about their sustain over time. For example, Vladimir may feel more pressured if you are bursting him when he moves in to use his Q instead of only harassing with your own Q every time. You will generally want to unload your burst quickly and then back off, so the best way to do this is generally a fast QWEQ.

Generally speaking, in the early game, you should not be wasting your mana on minions. However, if the enemy is good at staying out of range and not letting you harass (e.g. Lux, Cass), or you're just afraid because they have OP skills up the wazoo that they can harass you better with (e.g. Brand, Xerath), don't feel bad about using Q a few times to secure lasthits that you would have otherwise missed. If they're also pushing the lane hard, don't feel bad about autoattacking the hell out of the wave (as long as you don't miss lasthits) or using Spell Flux (E) to push it back. Just make sure you aren't using too much mana on this, because you'll need it for the enemy laner. (Unless you're getting blue buff or are going B thanks to jungler cover or something.)

If the enemy jungler ganks you, or if your jungler calls for a gank, Rune Prison (W) is a decent instant CC to either hold them off or hold them still for a bit while you and your jungler pound on them (and hopefully, it will give your jungler enough time to get there and apply his own CC). Do try to remember that you shouldn't just stand there casting; whenever you're not casting, walk up closer to the enemy if you're chasing or away if you're running. If you're chasing, this can often keep you in range of the enemy until that one last Q you need to finish them off comes off cooldown.

When the enemy is low health, make sure to zone them out by walking at them and Q'ing them when you can. (Be cautious of jungle ganks though; it helps if you warded the two river bushes.) If you see an opportunity, Flash in for the kill using your execute combo, FQWEDQ.

Once you hit level 6, you can use your ultimate to near-instantly clear one (1) minion wave with QREQW-Q every minute or so. Make sure to make it count so that you can Recall to buy items, gank another lane, prevent the enemy wave from being pushed into your turret, heal up, etc.

If you get the chance because your wave is pushed up or your enemy laner is missing or dead, try to go help gank the side lanes, as your burst damage and snare can make for surprisingly decent ganks. Alternately, if your enemy laner is missing, this might be a good time to push the turret. Ryze is incredibly bad at pushing turrets, so the best way to do it is to time it so that you wipe out the enemy minion wave with your QREQW-Q combo and lead your full minion wave into their turret before the next enemy wave arrives.

Take note of what enemies are getting fed and who you are having problems with, and build accordingly (see the Item Builds section).

Finally, be smart with your Tear of the Goddess. It charges up every time you use a spell, and one of your goals should be to try to charge it up quickly. However, this should not be at the expense of your ability to maintain sufficient mana to harass or kill the enemy laner. Generally speaking, you shouldn't spam magic on minion waves to charge Tear unless one of the following is true:
  • You have two mana items (e.g. Tear and Catalyst)
  • You have blue buff (or are positive your jungler will give it to you in the near future)
  • You have over 75% or so mana
  • You are sure you will need to Recall soon anyway

Lane Opponents

In this detailed, possibly tl;dr section, I will expound upon what to expect from various enemy laners and what you should do in the early game to roll them as Ryze. You may want to skip ahead to the mid game and late game sections and then come back if you want tips vs. specific champions.

Generally, there are a few main categories, and each enemy laner may fit into one or more of the categories:

  • The Punching Bag: This laner lacks a strong poke and/or will be punished heavily by you if they try to use it. This doesn't mean they aren't dangerous, just that they're at a disadvantage as long as you play smart.
  • The Skillshotter: This laner has a straight line skillshot that cannot go through minions. Try to keep a (healthy) minion between yourself and the enemy laner so you can approach to harass them with relative impunity. Examples include Ezreal and Morgana. To summarize, stay near your minions.
  • The AOEist: This laner has an AOE ability that can be useful for farming minions and harassing you at the same time. Solution: try to stay away from your minions somewhat so they have to choose one or the other. Examples include Morgana and Mordekaiser.
  • The Sustainer: This laner has a lot of sustain, and your goal is to keep the pressure on them such that they still feel unsafe, but without running out of mana. You should be using your mana almost entirely on harassing them. Try to stick to Q (which is what you should be leveling) for optimal mana usage, but also throw in a burst combo or two if you need to outdamage their sustain. Just watch that mana meter -- remember, the moment you run out of mana, you are powerless. You need about 250 mana to do your burst combo. Often, it will come down to a successful gank and/or a decisive execute combo (see Combos section) -- if they live through that and manage to stay in lane with their sustain, you will probably have to give up and recall. This shouldn't be too much of an issue once you get a Catalyst or Tear, though. Some examples of Sustainers are Vlad and Warwick.
  • The Pusher: This laner loves to push your lane like crazy so you lose gold to your tower and so they can go off to gank some other lane. Make sure to call MIAs, try to push back using your autoattacks and Spell Flux (E), and ask your jungler for ganks when they're overextended. Also, use your burst combo on them when you get a good chance to drive them off -- the best time is if they've just blown their cooldowns on pushing the minion wave. Examples include Morgana and, sometimes, Malzhurr.
  • The Butterfly: This laner loves to annoy the heck out of you while staying out of your harass range. Usually this involves the use of some sort of skillshot. Try to dodge their skillshots (learn how to sidestep) and then, during the window when their skillshot is on cooldown, harass or zone them. Examples include Ziggs and Lux. Cass is an especially dangerous example.
  • The Bee: This laner does TONS OF DAMAGE even without a Trinity Force and possibly also has scary CC. Try not to get hit too much and call MIAs if they leave lane. Wait until you can farm up a Catalyst and Negatron as your first two items (assuming they do magical damage; if physical then get a Chainmail instead, though I can't think of an applicable AD champion at the moment). Then go ahead and face them head on. You should come out ahead, as long as they haven't fed off you or other lanes. Examples include Leblanc and, at least prior to his nerfs, Brand.

And now, individual champion pointers:

Ahri: Part Sustainer, part Bee. Try not to get caught by her Orb or especially her Charm, and play conservatively once she hits 6. Try to keep track of her passive charges and Ignite her before she can use it if you're going for the kill.
Anivia: Bee if her stun lands too often, Pusher once she hits 6 (especially with blue buff). If you can avoid her slow-moving stun (sidestep), you should be good to go. Don't dive her under her turret; forcing her rebirth isn't THAT useful.
Brand: Butterfly, Skillshotter (Q), AOEist (W). If he misses a Pillar that was aimed at you, harass/zone him. Careful of his full combo when he hits 6.
Caitlyn: Butterfly --> Punching Bag. At first, her attacks and Q's will be deadly and the traps will zone you out. As you gain a few levels and thus gain some armor and ranks in your spells, you should be able to outtrade the hell out of her.
Cassiopeia: Butterfly. She is very dangerous because her Q is on such a short cooldown, so you have almost no time window with which to punish her for missing a Q. If you get hit, don't try to attack her unless you want multiple Twin Fangs to the face and another Q. You will likely want to grab an early Negatron (after Catalyst) against her.
Fiddles: Dark Wind is annoying, but Drain is worse. Don't get too close unless you're going for the kill and you've Ignited him so he can't get back all his health all of a sudden.
Fizz: You'll need to change up your harassment methods a bit against him. If you lead with Overload (Q), he can simply Playful/Trickster to completely avoid it, and if he lands his R and full combo, you could be in real trouble. Instead, lead with Rune Prison (W); he can't use Playful/Trickster while snared.
Heimerdinger: Pusher, Butterfly. Kill his turrets with autoattacks for the bonus gold when you can. Harass with Q, and don't be too afraid to dive his turrets for a kill; they die when he does. But be aware that he can use R to fully heal them and add a slowing effect to their attacks for some time, which can be deadly for you if you were expecting to catch up to him to finish him off.
Kayle: Try to harass and possibly combo her but don't overstay your welcome; being hit by Q and then multiple E autoattacks is not a good idea.
Kennen: Skillshotter. If you get hit by a Mark, try to stay out of range until it wears off. Don't get chainstunned or you will die.
Kog'Maw: Be very careful about committing to a fight. It's tough to run away from him due to huge range on W and R and his slow, and he does a lot of damage. If you are standing next to him, you better be sure he will be the one that will want to run away, or else you are probably dead.
Leblanc: Bee. Avoid her combo until you get Catalyst/Negatron, unless you like dying.
Lux: Butterfly, AOEist. Avoid her slow and especially her snare, then zone/harass her while they're on cooldown. Don't let her proc her passive without eating a spell to the face.
Malzhurr: Pusher, AOEist, Bee (once he hits 6). Try not to let his Void STDs pass from your minions to you (don't stand next to a minion with it when they're about to die), don't stand in his pool, avoid his silence, and don't challenge him to a duel until you have Catalyst/Negatron. If you are standing in his pool, suppressed, without survivability items, you are in trouble. If he ends up getting fed, consider a QSS to stop his ult.
Mordekaiser: Sustainer, AOEist. Pretty much just don't let him Siphoning Strike you and your minions at the same time. You may need to focus on comboing him so you can take out his shield and actually deal him health damage. Consider a QSS to cancel his ult if he gets fed.
Morgana: Pusher, AOEist, Skillshotter, part Sustainer. Don't get snared and don't stand in her AOE. Other than her pushing ability, which far surpasses yours, you should do better than most AP mids against her, though.
Nidalee: Skillshotter, Sustainer. Damaging her is rather hard due to her heal. Don't underestimate her cougar abilities, either. (I mean her ultimate, in case you had the wrong idea.)
Ryze: Presumably you read this guide and he didn't, so you will come out on top. This is especially true if he has silly runes like mana per level in every slot or if he's unclear as to how to combo effectively. If he is also a PROfessor, then this will be an epic battle of the gods -- good luck.
Sion: Be very careful if he has his shield up: if he stuns you he will be able to land the shield explosion. If he tries to stun first before using the shield, you might be able to burst him through his shield before he can explode it, canceling it, dealing him damage, and lowering his pushing power. It will cost you a chunk of mana, however. When the shield is on cooldown, harass/zone him.
Soraka: Sustainer. Oh, god. The horror. You better pray your defenses will hold up against her MR shredding on Q, and/or that she runs out of mana before you do (now that her E has been changed to not provide herself with infinite mana).
Swain: Sustainer, AOEist. Don't get caught by his snare, or you will be in for a world of pain. Make sure to run away from his crow leash if he gets it on you. Ignite when going for the kill, as is usual for people with lots of healing.
Talon: Turn away at the last second to avoid his W. If he missed with that he's a big softie just waiting to be harassed with Q, pretty much. If he dives you with his blink, combo him once the silence wears off.
Tryhardamere: Bee, Sustainer. Try to harass him and not get caught by his spin/slow. You might need to rush a Chainmail or Glacial Shroud, I guess.
Twisted Fate: Butterfly. Don't let him stun you with Gold Card and dodge his Wild Cards (head away and weave in between them). Then harass/zone with Q.
Badimir: Sustainer. Oh, Badimir. Don't let him Transfuse you, punish him when he uses it on a minion with a Q (or even a combo), and try not to get hit by E. When you go for the kill, Ignite him before he can pool, and try to snare him before he can pool away as well. Don't stand in the pool.
Xerath: Butterfly/Bee. Try to dodge his Q, and watch out once he hits 6 for his E/R/Q combo (which I hear has been nerfed with a delay). Catalyst/Negatron might be a good idea. Also call MIAs because his through-wall ganks can be quite powerful.
Ziggs: Butterfly/AOEist. Dodge his Q and punish him with Q for missing with it. Try to force him to choose between trying to harass you and farm minions with it. Also watch out for his charged autoattacks, especially at level 1.

Punching Bags, mostly. You should be able to dominate these guys or at least easily maintain the status quo as long as you play smart. (i.e. don't get full combo'd or jungler ganked)

Mid Game

Mid-game, make sure to try to keep the map warded and secure objectives. As usual, warding Dragon and Baron is important, as is warding jungle bushes that you wouldn't want to be surprise ganked from. Also, you'll want to continue farming and charging your Tear -- use wards to get advance notice of ganks if you want to push out into enemy territory to farm minions. Do group up to take turrets, but leave the split pushing to someone else -- Ryze is pretty bad at taking down turrets.

If your team is going to take Dragon, make sure the enemy team's approach vectors are warded. If you're on the blue team, this usually means the bush between the enemy's mid tower and their blue, as well as their blue ramp or blue bush. If you're on the purple team, this means the enemy wraith ramp and bottom river. Pretty much the same thing applies to Baron, but in reverse. If you're blue team you will also probably want to ward up the cliff behind the Baron arena. To help with either objective, stand very close to it and use QEQ; for Baron, also move around a bit to dodge green bubbles under your feet. Do not waste your W on an objective and put it on cooldown; you never know when you might need it to escape.

If you are still unsure of how to effectively use wards, please see Xpecial's excellent support guide and scroll down to the Wards and Oracles section:
http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=6097

Consider letting someone else grab blue buff since you should have ~35% CDR with Glacial Shroud and maxed Q, not to mention tons of mana. You should start getting pretty tanky (for a mage, anyway) with your Core Items completed. Check the enemy team again using the Tab key -- if someone is getting really fed, or the enemy team is overwhelmingly AP or AD, try building to counter them (see Item Builds section), and encourage your team to do the same.

Team Fights

Once you have your core together, Ryze is fairly decent at teamfights, with tankiness, single-target burst, and some AOE damage potential. He can usually be counted on to either survive for a fair amount of time in a balanced teamfight or tank a good amount of focused fire before dying (and probably letting your team win the fight, if they're attacking while you're getting annihilated). Just remember, you are NOT a tank, only a tanky mage. You can be on the frontlines of a fight, but not alone, and a good amount of your tankiness comes from being able to get off at least your AOE combo before dying.

If you have the opportunity, feel free to poke with your Q leading up to the teamfight. Don't use your damage combo unless you can catch someone out of position or you want your team to rush in. If you see a closely clustered group of enemies and/or if you need healing, remember to use your AOE burst combo as detailed in the Combos section.

Your primary focus should be squishies -- heavy damage dealers who are relatively easy to kill due to lack of health or lack of MR. You should be using the champion info screen (press TAB) periodically throughout the game to assess the squishiness and threat level of each champion and prioritize targets accordingly -- prioritize targets with lots of kills and damage items but few survivability items. Or even if they have good survival, if they are the star player on their team, you need to shut them down ASAP. Do NOT target the tank or any highly tanky enemy! That is what your autoattack characters are for.

Another thing to keep in mind, however, is that threat levels can shift during a fight. Enemy characters with high burst but long cooldowns don't deal that much damage once they've used up their burst. It may be more prudent to instead direct your fire to a character who is still putting out significant damage at the moment, such as the AD carry or the tanky DPS, instead of a character who is squishy and is generally a huge threat but cannot do much of anything for the next 5 seconds. If you can overpower the other enemies, you will be in a much better position to deal with that burst character 5 seconds from now.

To summarize, your role in a team fight is to pick your targets wisely and then Ryzeroll the opposition. Come On, You're Ryze.

Late Game

Pretty much the same as mid game; just don't get caught out of position, keep warding, buy awesome items, secure objectives, and Ryzeroll your opponents. Note that Ryze is one of the poorest turret pushers in the game due to a lack of attack speed, AD, and/or AP, so it may be better to die for your team if it means your AD carry can survive and kill two turrets and an inhibitor while the enemy team is aced.

Additionally, Baron is of pretty high importance at this stage; don't let the enemy team take it unopposed because it wasn't warded and you just AFK farmed while they're all MIA. Make sure you keep it warded, and if you suspect they're at Baron, don't just walk in with no vision; have your support CV (somewhat rare these days) or drop wards in the bush in front of you along the way to ensure you aren't walking into a trap.

I did mention wards are important, right? Don't initiate on their tanky characters only to be ambushed out of nowhere by their squishies while your team's abilities are on cooldown. You can avoid this situation by warding and thus knowing where they are. There's nothing like having a general idea of how their team is laid out due to a stray ward catching one or two of them, having your support CV their whole team, initiating on your terms, and scoring an ace lategame. Make sure your team is the one doing this rather than having it done to them.

There is a reason why these images are repeated so often in this section. Never underestimate the power of information. It is important all game, but even more so now when one slip-up could lead to your team getting aced and losing three turrets and possibly the game.

Final Comments

With this, you are ready to take your first steps onto the Fields of Justice as Runeterra's resident academic badass, PROfessor Ryze. As a final note: make sure you don't type in all caps to your team. Your Caps Lock will be turned on very frequently when you faceroll your keyboard to perform a combo. The ability to keep your Caps Lock turned firmly off and to keep your cool even when your teammates blatantly disregard your sage advice to buy wards and buy MR against that Kat that got fed bot lane somehow is what will distinguish mere amateur Ryze players from the true PROfessionals.

Take this guide and stick it... somewhere safe, and have fun!

- JJJ Nigel

(Guide last updated January 2013.)

Comments

March 6, 2012 - 08:11 PM #1

Knowing what to do and who to focus in team fights is important, so write up a section on that and I'll approve your guide.

February 21, 2012 - 08:10 PM #2

@PhoenixKami:

I personally don't think forcing alternative runes and masteries really helps a guide, it gives it a lot of depths in those sections, but you don't always need more than one type of rune build or mastery. Perhaps against certain AP Mids, but I think Greater Glyph of Warding and Resillience covers quite a lot of the champions you will go against. But he did mention the possibility of other runes. I'd suggest providing pictures of the runes that you go against when it's a certain type of champion.



I always seems to mention this in guides, but I would like to see champions you go against. What champions seem to be easy for you and those who prove to be challenging? What should you do against them?

February 19, 2012 - 09:16 PM #3

Try to give more alternatives runes and masteries, and i will aprove your guide

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