IntroductionWelcome to my Ryze guide! The reason for this guide was because I didn't see a featured Ryze guide and considering my main AP at ~2.2k elo is Ryze, I thought I'd share my Ryze secrets. You may find this guide to be different than the typical Ryze build but I assure you that between me and my fellow high elo players who play Ryze, I have found the best possible way to build and play Ryze to maximize his potential.
Ryze is a unique champion that scales off mana, making his item build one of the best in the game! Both his mid and late game are extremely strong and many consider him to be OP in competitive play. You don't see him in solo queue much, but with the strategies and builds you are about to see in this guide you too will find success with him!
I updated this guide (FINALLY) to reflect the season 3 changes. Ryze is still as strong as before and more dynamic because his item build path is even more diverse.
Because of the changes made to Ryze in lieu of the spectator patch, I am in the process of remaking this guide. I am following Riot's influence and making Ryze a less tanky, more AP-oriented caster. The new build will still be durable but do much more damage than before!
About the Author
I have been playing this game since 2009 and have been diamond elo since 2010. I still play this game a lot and love theorycrafting. Ryze was one of my mains in season 2 and I still believe him to be a very strong pick. I am currently in Diamond 1 trying to get to challenger!
Pros and ConsPros:
+Strong mid and late
+He scales off mana AND AP
+Tanky build path
+High DPS (like Cass)
+Very good spammable snare
+High Mana pool
+Low skill cap
-Weak early (lvls 1-5)
-High mana costs
-Blue dependent early on
-Needs good farm
-Somewhat "boring" (But I don't think so :) )
MasteriesStandard AP caster 9-0-21 build
I also like to take CDR in the utility tree over Strength of Spirit because the amount of HP regen is pretty small early game/mid game and once it reaches late game you have enough spell vamp you won't need the regen. It also allows you to have max CDR without blue.
RunesI like this rune setup because it offers both early game survivability and excellent late game scaling while not sacrificing damage.
Magic pen reds- best in slot for AP
Health per level yellows(updated to armor yellows for laning survivability)- Makes you even more tanky late game. Mana yellows give you negligible damage.
Flat MR blues- best in slot for casters
Movement speed quints- Makes kiting and catching up to people extremely easy which helps maintain constant DPS. Also helps to avoid ganks.
Argument against mana runes
A maxed out flat mana page with MS quints is 216 mana.
- Q: 216*.075= 16.2 extra damage on his Q
- W: 216*.05= 10.8 more damage on his W
A whopping 27 damage increase. Compare this to 8.5 Magic Pen, 175 Health at lvl 18, and 13 MR and you will see that my rune setup is better. The mana page is only good for having extra mana at the start of the game, but after 7 minutes you will have blue buffs and tear and mana shouldn't be a problem.
Standard AP caster spells. Teleport or exhaust are the only other options I can think that will work but 99.9% of the time you will use these.
Passive: Arcane Mastery
When Ryze casts a spell, all other spells have their cooldown reduced by 1 second.
This is what makes Ryze have some of the best DPS in the game, while also use the most mana per second (MPS) in the game (lol). Utilize this passive to its fullest to do the most DPS possible (basically just smartcast and faceroll).
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 6.5% of his max mana in magic damage.
Cooldown 3.5 seconds
Cost 70 mana
His main damage ability. This spell has a super short cooldown, going as low as 1-2 seconds when you are spamming because of your passive. You will max this first. You will also want to start with this spell first because its cast animation is extremely fast and it has the highest range of any of his spells. Oh and did I mention you get a free 10% CDR??
W: Rune Prison
Ryze traps an enemy unit, preventing them from moving for .75 / 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / and dealing 60 / 95 / 120 / 165 / 200 (+60% of ability power) plus 4.5% of his max mana in magic damage.
Cost 80/90/100/110/120 mana
This skill is amazing and is what makes Ryze so threatening in teamfights. Not only does it do very good damage late game, but its one of the most spammable CCs in the game. With 40% CDR and a full rotation of spells the cooldown is 5-6 seconds. The only drawback is that it costs a ton of mana so try to not use it in lane without blue except to escape from ganks or set up ganks. This is the second ability you use when doing your combo.
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 80/90/100/110/120 (+35% of ability power) (+1% of max mana) magic damage and reduces the target's Magic Resistance by 15.
Cost 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120mana
After the patch I think this is his highest damage spell late game, especially with some good bounces. I almost consider maxing this second but since the cooldown doesn't go down with levels, it is still a one point wonder (for now).
R: Desperate Power
Ryze becomes supercharged, passivly grants 75 / 150 / 225 mana, also gaining 15/20/25% spell vamp and causing his spells to deal 50% AoE damage for 5 / 6 / 7 seconds.
Cooldown 70 / 60 / 50 seconds
Ryze's ult is the cherry on top of his already extremely strong kit. On top of passive free mana (which equals damage), he gets AOE damage and spell vamp. At lvl 16 with a Will of the Ancients (or two!) You will simply be an absolute spell vamp TANK. You will be spell vamping for way more than you can take. This ult can be used in many different ways.
1) Farming. Clearing a wave is as simple as QRWEQQWEQRWERQWEQRWERQWRQWEQWREQWREQWERQWRE!!!!!!11111oneoneoneone
2) Sustain in lane. Turn on ult for a quick burst of life. Remember to use the QRWEQ combo to get the most spell vamp possible and try to aim your spells at the center of the wave. Using it on cannon minions waves=even more health back.
3) Teamfight AOE damage. Turn it on as soon as you see the enemy grouped up and watch the red bars grow larger in a giant show of sparks and spells.
This skill order is essential for maximum damage and to utilize your passive.
At lvl 3 sometimes I opt to go for a point in E instead of a second point in Q because it provides the QWEQ combo that does pretty insane damage early on. But be prepared to lose all of your mana.
There are two main spell combo options with Ryze. You can either do QWEQ for quick burst damage(good early/midgame) or you can do QWQEQRQ(etc) which is basically using Q in between all other spells as they come off cooldown. The first option will burst down a target very quickly with no delay in between spells and is good against squishies. The second option is for more sustained damage (vs tanks or drawn out fights). I tend to prefer the QWEQ but that's just me.
Thank you everyone who has pointed this strategy out to me (you know who you are).
ALWAYS get tear first. You need to charge it as early as possible. Get a before your Rod if you are against a tough early matchup like
Late game possibilities:
Frozen Heart is almost mandatory in my opinion. You need the CDR and armor to kill those pesky AD top lanes, junglers, or ad carries. WotA is still good after the nerfs but I would only buy it if you think your team will benefit from it as well. Spirit visage or Banshees are my go-to MR items now.
Now there are many choices for the 6th item. 99% of the time you will not need a final 6th item but here are some choices to consider.
Good for the slow if you need one on your team and gives you alot of health and AP.
Very strong late game item to duel the AD carry with. This is highly recommended if their AD carry is out of control late game.
-Finish/Build this last..you don't need the AP that much until your item slots are full.
- Great last item if you are getting focused.
- This item is pretty lolz if you get it with 5k mana. You get a ton of AD, combine it with a green pot and you will have some pretty funny laughs when you start critting for 500s as AP ryze.
- Good item normally but I never build it on Ryze. With Sorcerer boots and the magic pen mastery I dont find this item that useful. Ryze will do a ton of damage even if they have 100+ MR. Plus, you should be focusing the squishies not the people stacking MR. If they stack MR vs your team, your AD carry should tear them up. You can get it, but I don't recommend it.
- With the AP ratio buffs to Ryze this item is freaking amazing on him. With 40% CDR and 400 AP, you will be doing so much DPS it's not even funny.
Good item to get before finishing your FH if you need early MR against teams with 3-4 champions. The extra stats it gives you are very good. This item works very well on Ryze.
If they have a lot of high HP champions.
Early GameEarly game is Ryze's weakest phase. You can either start for better damage and more mana to last hit with or + 3 pots. Sapph crystal is better if you are against a weak opponent and want to rush tear early. But mostly I go boots. You want to focus on getting as many last hits as possible to get as fast as possible. Ward both side brushes in mid as Ryze is very vulnerable to ganks. Ask your jungler for blue once you get tear so that you can spam Q to get as many tear charges as possible. It also makes farming much easier. Once you have your tear, don't be afraid to push and spam your spells a bit so that you can get charges and stack your mana up. Make sure you have wards if you do this.
If you can learn to do well during Ryze's early game, you will find yourself winning alot more games with him.
tl;dr Get tear and these always your first back.
Mid GameMid game is when you should have your core items. By this time you should be play more aggressive vs your lane opponent and winning trades with them. Ryze is a great ganker and you can easily gank bot by just waking through the lane to avoid wards. With the MS quints you should easily catch up to them. Once you have a kill or you've forced them to back, do dragon with you team. Try to take every blue available at this point and max out your tear. Ult to clear a wave whenever it is up if you have blue.
Late GameBy this time you should have your 5 items and be a huge presence in team fights. Try and focus their AP/AD carry while being a huge meat shield for your AD carry. Don't soak up all the damage, but definitely put yourself out there so that you will soak some damage for the squishier people on the team. With frozen heart, you will be able to kill their AD carry pretty easily until they get Last Whisper. You don't absolutely need blue late game because of your 40% CDR (unless you don't have the CDR utility mastery) and huge mana pool, but it helps if you are doing a sustained push or siege.
At this point in the game you should have your full core build . With the last item slot you will want to look at the enemy team to see who is strongest and who you will need to be fighting. If it is the AD Carry or an AD top lane, generally is a good pick as well as . If it is a double AP comp, Abyssal Sceptre or Force of Nature are good.
If the game reaches 50+ minutes, you should have max items with your tear turned into a . You should have 300+ AP and max CDR. Make sure you also have a WotA. At this point it is usually the better team comp that wins or the better AD carry. The AD carry will be doing the most DPS in the game at this point and they are the key player on both teams. The death of an AD carry will most likely mean game over at this point, so your primary job is to either assassinate their AD carry, or protect yours, depending on which team gets the better initiation.
Team FightsRyze can have many roles in a teamfight.
1) First and foremost, he is a damage dealer. He can do extremely high amounts of damage to low MR enemies. Look for opportunities to snare these targets and take them out. With max level snare you should have enough time to burst them down along with your team.
2) A tank. Ryze's unique item build makes him extremely tanky, especially with he can be a spell vamp MACHINE.
3) Initiator. Look for low range AD carries like or to walk up in front of their team and snare them, even flash to snare if you need to. You can change the game by doing so. This also works on any squishy though. If their AP is fed, kill them first.
4) A guardian. If you see some fed or or anybody jumping on your squishies, don't be afraid to hang back and protect them. You may be strong, but without your AD carry, you will most likely lose the fight. However, do not blow too much on them as you will need the majority of your burst for their squishies when they get in range.
Mid game it is usually essential to kill the AP carry first as he will have the highest damage output. However this will change from game to game.
Late game however, it is almost always important to get the AD carry. That's your job as Ryze. If you are having trouble against the AD carry get a . But generally until the AD carry has 5-6 full items you should be able to burst them down 1v1. A good snare on them will generally mean death if your team follows up.
Gameplay VideosNotice in this clip that I know exactly how much damage I can do while knowing I would not die to tower. Also notice that even though my Q was on cooldown when I flashed, I knew that Ryze's passive would bring it back up by the time I used Rune Prison. It is important to use smartcasting on Ryze for quick situations like this.
In this next clip, I burn my flash for TF's flash because I know he is over extended, but unfortunately I didn't calculate my mana. He gets away, but later on, since Trynd was close and TF didn't back, we get an easy first blood.
I just included this next clip cause I laughed pretty hard when I thought he got away but I ended up with a blue buff a couple seconds later.
This clip shows why Movement Speed Quints are king on Ryze. Without them I would've lost a free kill.
-Always buy 2 wards everytime you go back.
-Play safe early game
-Coordinate with the jungler
-Get the second blue if possible to farm and harass more effectively
Ryze is possibly the best counter to Ahri. He has superior range harass with his Q and his stun can lock her down from ulting. He has very good sustain and if you get early MR she doesn't really do damage. Just avoid her charm like the plague.
On the other hand, Cass is the best counter to Ryze. Her constant harass and insane range and DPS are better than Ryze early game and possibly mid game as well. It's a good idea to ban her if you first pick Ryze.
Gragas has a pretty weak early game as well, but his range and huge nukes allow him to farm from a distance and steal jungle. He can be very hard to shut down and he will out damage you mid game.
Similiar to Gragas, he has long range and is hard to shut down. His massive Aoe and range can annihilate your team before you have time to react. Your best bet is to coordinate with the jungle to get constant pressure on him. Get a early if you are getting combo'd. Your snare has no effect on him as well when he is in his artillery mode.
Ryze is a good counter to sion because you can QW him which blows his shield before he can stun you. Your spells will be up again before his shield is up, so you will be able to deny him farm and snowball the lane in your favor.
Ryze is a good counter to Kass if you get BV before FH. This will knock out most of his damage and you can just zone him mid game. Early game use auto attacks + to harass and he will only be able to Q you. If he uses his spells on you he will most likely be missing a lot of farm. Make sure you farm better than him and once you get blue just start zoning.
TF is a pretty common pick. Generally people play him wrong and he's easy to beat, but it depends on the skill level of the player. If you are vs a good TF he will just farm from a distance and push lane all day and gank your other lanes. It is important to ward the side bushes to see if hes going to gank so that you can ping and counter gank. Mid/late game you can easily stomp him 1v1. If you get a snare off on him hes dead as long as he doesn't have MS quints.
Another champion that Ryze can match up well against. He loses in the early lvls to him, but once you get tear and blue buff he cannot trade with you, unless he gets an early advantage. As long as you stay even with him in CS and kills, you will win. Ryze's snare will stop vlad from moving while pooled which is excellent if the vlad doesn't know what he's doing and tries to pool out of the snare. Late game if you let Vlad farm he might out damage you because of his ult, but if you aggressive enough mid game you should be able to shut him down. He doesn't have a lot of CC but he can dive you if you are low due to his pool.
Pretty easy champ to beat. He is slow and it's pretty easy to dodge his Q with boots and MS quints. Kite him and move in between spells and you will easily kill him while taking minimum damage. Just make sure your team realizes he can ult and Ryze has no way to stop it. However, if he gets blue early and you do not, he will just out push you and will snowball with more CS than you. If you take control of both blue buffs he will lose horribly.
Almost impossible to beat early on in lane (if Kennen plays right), but Ryze is very good against Kennen in fights. He can snare him while Kennen uses his lightning rush so that he can not get in position to ult and sometimes you can make him waste his entire ult with a well timed snare. Farm as best you can and aim to outplay him in teamfights. Also, once you have your core items, you can easily 1v1 him.
Brand is a somewhat difficult matchup for Ryze if it is 1v1. He has very long range spells, a long stun, and can clear waves very fast. His weakness is that he is vulnerable to ganks if he misses his stun. Try to coordinate with your jungler to gank him. If not, play passive, farm and you will outscale him late game.
Morgana is a very strong laner due to the fact that she has a lot of CC, sustain, and AOE creep clear. However, Ryze can do well against her once he gets blue buff. She has no answer to his low cooldown bursts. Ward both sides of the river to watch for ganks, but you can play this lane pretty aggressive once you reach mid game and you have some items.
Very hard champion to beat if played to her full potential. She has so much harass and utility. With experience you will learn when her ball is out of position and can trade with her effectively. Her auto attacks HURT so do not trade autos with her. I would play this lane pretty safe unless you see yourself with an advantage. This lane varies according to the skill of the Orianna player.
If you need more help with matchups feel free to add me in game or leave a comment below.
Final CommentsOverall Ryze is a great champion that everyone should know. He is not hard to play and has a unique build that is fun and extremely strong. I have had great success with him in my elo and honestly think he is a bit too strong right now. Abuse him while you can!
Let me know in the comments what you think and what I can improve in this guide! I will constantly be updating it. Thanks for reading!