Ryze Build Guide
An in-depth guide to Ryze, The Rogue Magewritten by Arlando
Table of Contents
|Ryze, The Rogue Mage||3|
|Team Battle Strategy||14|
|General Game Strategy||17|
Arcane Mastery It is important to get familiar with your cooldowns and to be able to estimate cast reduction via the passive. Remember if you have Desperate Power on cooldown and Overload, Rune Prison and Spell Flux will be cast before, to realize that your Desperate Power is actually 4.5 seconds closer than the cooldown shows. Get familiar with combos that you use, try to memorize how Arcane Mastery fits into repeating those combos. Ryze is most vulnerable when his spells are on cooldown so it is best to know when to expect a recast. Overload A massive nuke. The most powerful single target spell in Ryze arsenal. This is awesome for last hitting fleeing enemy champions and harassing. For maximum damage it should be cast in your combo after Spell Flux to take advantage of the Magic Resist Reduction debuff that Spell Flux has to offer. The more your maximum mana increases the more damage you do with this spell, 10% of your maximum mana will be added to the damage.
I do not cast this on creeps unless under Desperate Power effect (more on that).
Rune Prison At low levels it is nothing more than some added magic damage and a way to close the gap to get more bounces on your Spell Flux. The stun increasing .4 seconds every level adds up quick. This spell quickly becomes your most common lead on your combo. Be careful, while an enemy champion is in Rune Prison he cannot move, he can still cast, jump, flash, et al. Think of it as a slow rather than a stun, granted the slow is a stand still, but thinking stun will get you into alot of trouble. This is also useful to aid fleeing allies from champions that you yourself do not feel a battle should be fought.
I do not cast this on creeps unless under Desperate Power effect (more on that).
Spell Flux Spell Flux is an awesome spell. There is so much to be said that I could write a whole guide on this ability alone. The important thing to note is that if a bounce hits an enemy target it adds a stackable debuff of -15 Magic Resist Reduction (-12 upcoming patch). At level 5 it is capable of bouncing the magic ball between 5 targets, including yourself. If a target is not sufficiently close to another target, it will bounce no further, stopping at that target. Some of the best times to cast this spell come early in the game, when two enemy champs are standing behind their creeps running back and forth as you approach and flee. Casting on one will cause a Spell Flux to bounce enough times between the two to lower them to at least half their health pool. This spell can also be used to lead in, if you feel the distance gap for rune prison will still be close after casting Spell Flux. Landing just one Spell Flux first, even before Rune Prison, can maximize all of the magic damage you are about to throw in your combo. Learn when to lead with Spell Flux as opposed to Rune Prison and you will have your enemies scared of you.
This is my main farming ability.
Desperate Power A very scary spell. This spell alone can allow you to create an item build with no AP items and still be a viable threat. Not only does it boost your AP ridiculously, it causes all of your spells to have an AoE effect. The cooldown is rather short, but I think you will find not short enough.
This guide has not been updated for 220.127.116.11. My limited play on test realm had me buying a haunting guise, which now makes up for the loss of ap in desperate power, along with some other bonuses. as the new patch goes live tomorrow i will test ryze more and update my guide to include twisted treeline strategies and the new "nerf". until then my advice is to play ryze on summoner's rift as before but include a haunting guise in your build after your rod. for twisted treeline i have been leveling one level of rune prison and concentrating on spell flux first. my games with ryze are very limited. its been my experience that simply theorycrafting about a champions usefulness on twisted has not served me well. therefore i have been testing a myriad of champions on this map. eventually i will make my way back around to ryze. this is by no means me thinking that ryze is not effective. my play revolves around a "complete" team and since i play more than most of the guys i play with i end up having to "test" composition. i will try to play ryze at least a few games each day on twisted treeline and play him exclusively post 18.104.22.168 on summoner's rift. if you have any questions or would like me to test something for you, feel free to ask.
Author's Note: I feel I am at the point where it is time for me to finally organize my notes I have gathered over the last few months. I am not writing this guide because I am the best Ryze player. I am writing this guide because I have tried it all with Ryze. I don't just mean testing crazy rune builds for a game or two, but rather over several games and at different stages of my experience with Ryze. My intention is that other players who devote their time to mastering one champion will do likewise and document their results for us to read on every champion. I have roughly 250 games with Ryze. Sometimes I play to win, but for the most part I play to experiment. I try to push every little bit out of my champion that I can get to give me the best edge. I hope you will enjoy this and possibly learn something from it. If I can help you in any way, feel free to contact me in game. My summoner name is Arlando. If you deem this guide worthy, please rate it. Enjoy.
I feel that it is time for me to make a much needed, advanced, and situational Ryze build. Not because I am a high elo player who gets 30-0 kill death ratio games, but because I have spent most of my 200 games with Ryze, testing orthodox and unorthodox builds. I have tried many different types of runes, masteries and items against many times of team makeups facing alot of diverse teams. You should not read this guide to find a certain build that will allow you to pubstomp, but rather to benefit from the time and experience I have using Ryze in many ways during lot's of situations. This guide is simple to follow but lengthy. Embedded in this guide is my most common Ryze build.
My Champion build is very situational. It changes based on the allies I have, the summoner spells they carry, the enemy champions we are facing, the general sway of one team or another at certain key moments in the match. I will go through alot of situations and use many strategies. First we will discuss the champion synergy on the team, then we will discuss their summoner spells. This will help us determine which spells are best for you from the selection we deem viable with our Ryze. Mostly our starting items will be the same, however, our item builds are going to vary greatly based on the team we are facing. Is their alot of crowd control, physical damage, magical damage, stealth, healing? We will also determine at certain stages of the game what items will be best suited for the game, for instance, if you counted cc as morgana and veigar, but they both suck at casting their stuns, you might want to rethink mercury treads in favor of sorc boots. you might also want to get a banshee's veil and if that isn't enough stack some treads on top of that.
I feel that Ryze is a very good golem buff candidate, however, I rarely get it. I can survive without the mana regen and cooldown reduction and there is almost always a better candidate on the team. Almost every guide I read assumes you will have a Golem/Lizard buff and I feel it is better to build and play as if you do not have one and this guide will assume you do not have Golem/Lizard buff. Having one means you are more of a target if you are seen pushing creeps. It also means you have to play safer, because you do not want to save the enemy team the time of having to do the work of getting the buff, or the risk of taking the buff on your side of the map.
My hope is to give you enough information to think about, that even if you do not play Ryze, then after reading this you will be ready to handle most anything. It will be a long, but informative journey. Rather than teaching you how to pubstomp with a particular build, it will give you insight and information on how to build your own. If you have experiences that contradict my own, please let me know, so I can include that in this guide as well. I feel there is no correct way to play Ryze, other than being situational and adapting to the game. Ryze is a very versatile champion and allows for this better than most champions. I am very open-minded and take constructive criticism well. I hope you enjoy this guide as much as I do working on it.
Significantly changing your build because of something you learned in this or another guide can hurt you. Even if your game drastically improves, not all of the changes may have been responsible for this change. Gradually making modifications will allow you to pinpoint which changes had the strongest effect and will allow you to discard those that did not.
Ryze, The Rogue Mage
Ryze is a unique caster that benefits alot from ability power and cooldown reduction. He has some of the highest burst damage in the game and is a formidable opponent in both one versus one and team battle scenarios. Ryze, like most casters, is not very durable and can be killed rather quickly. Some of his strenghts are that he is good farmer and pusher. He is able to 1v1 most champions as well as deal a good portion of damage to the other team in battles. He is able to defend turrets well, and with right make-up dive enemy turrets to finish a kill. Unlike most champions he can be very viable without any ability power items. His spells have very short cooldowns, with his ultimate being only 40 seconds. Ryze scares most squishy champions but can also be taken lightly, making him very dangerous. He has alot of hit points and his spells are not mana intensive. However, Ryze also has many weaknesses. His stun is a single target stun. It does not inhibit attacks or abilities and is easily escaped. While he has alot of hit points he is most often the primary target. He is a poor initiator. His physical attack, like most casters, is inherently weak. Ryze is very easy to play and is found on most teams in low and mid elo games. His spells are almost always cast in quick succession leaving him quite vulnerable and useless while waiting on cooldowns. He is not an upper tier champion. Most Ryze players will use a glass cannon approach and will either greatly benefit a team or severely cripple it. A consistent Ryze is one that not only includes survivability, but one that builds around survivability.
update: the flash nerf has made it carried a lot less. I find very few of those are using it as an escape mechanism. Therefore I have decided to carry Ignite with the mastery. I have changed my mastery build accordingly. I am missing the hp regen from [spell_text=Strength of Spirit]. I will try and keep this updated with my findings, however, I am playing less of Ryze these days.
Currently the summoner spells I use most often are Flash and Ghost. Personally, I am not fond have having to use Flash, but I have lost too many kills because of the enemy flashing away, so I carry it mostly to counter the enemies flash. I will on ocassion Ghost under a turret and Flash out. If I have the unfortunate pleasure of being on a team without a good intiator I might purchase a Banshee's Veil and Flash out afer initiating. I am most fond of an Exhaust, Ghost combination. I have saved countless lives with Exhaust and Rune Prison on chased allies. The 10 magic resist reduction is really great. I recommend only getting summoner spells for which you can get the mastery for, with the exception of Clarity and Teleport. I am not saying the masteries are not beneficial. I expect other casters to manage their own mana and do not like stacking casters simply because of Insight. I normally stay away from other summoner spells that are vastly improved with masteries but do not fit into my utility tree build. Summoner spells that are easy to apply the master are listed as useful with the exception of smite. There are also some spells listed as useful that work fine without the mastery. While most summoner spells are listed as either offensive, defensive or utility, I find it best to use spells that can be used for all three purposes. Summoner spell's make every champion versatile. I feel they make a huge difference in your game, so choose wisely.
Most useful spells:
Exhaust Cooldown: 210s. Mastery: [spell_text=Cripple] I have saved countless lives with Exhaust and Rune Prison. Having an ally fleeing from a double team, with quick hands you can Rune Prison the melee champion, while Exhausting the ranged champion. This is an offensive spell, but don't sell it short. It can be used defensively with alot of efficacy. The mastery will reduce magic resistance and armor by 10. A very good debuff to throw on a nasty tank in team battles or an overconfident attacker. I feel it is important to point out that this does not work against Twitch's [spell_text=Spray and Pray] and a good Twitch is aware of that. Right now this spell is not in my common build. I have lost far too many kills with an opponent casting
Ignite Cooldown: 120s. Mastery: [spell_text=Burning Embers] I really like the +10 ability power mastery for this spell and have tried restructuring my masteries in order to take advantage of it. It is obviously more effective damage dealing early game. If you run with this, don't forget to take advantage of its healing reduction bonus. It can also be cleansed. If you carry this mastery you will want to lead with ignite if you commit to trying to kill a champion. While your ignite is on cooldown, take advantage of the ability power increase and become more aggressive it may lead to additional kills. This combined with Ghost is what I carry most since the distance nerf to Flash.
Ghost Cooldown: 210s. Mastery: [spell_text=Haste] I first became acquianted with this summoner spell when my main was Gangplank. Combined with the mastery, this serves me well. It still does not replace a Teleport, but it can be used for almost any situation. I use it to rush to the defense of a turret, to chase down a kill quickly, to flee risky situation's, to rush to the aid of an ally, and to dive turrets. I highly recommend fitting this into every build you use and learn to master it.
Flash that I feel carrying Flash is necessary to finish most enemy champions. Currently on the test realm, Flash has been reduced from 475 to 425. If that nerf causes alot less players to carry it, I will be adding this to my common build. Right now I feel this spell is still strong with dps champions who lead off with a stun. Since Ryze only has a snare, I would suggest passing on this.
Heal Cooldown: 270s. Mastery: [spell_text=Mender's Faith] I see this more as a regen spell rather than a life saver. Using this spell to keep you in the lane longer can help your mid and late game if it is suffering. While this spell does have a scaling bonus, it is most efficient in early game. Try not to be selfish. If you are full health and can use it to save an ally, do not hesitate. However, because of its limited efficacy in mid and late game I would suggest to avoid using this if at all possible.
Clairvoyance Cooldown: 55s. Mastery: [spell_text=Mystical Vision] A well-balanced premade should always carry this spell. Talk to your allies, if no one really wants to use this you might want to consider giving up your Flash to carry it. Since most of my games are played with allies on ventrilo, I will ask them to ping the map if they need Clairvoyance. When I started using this spell, I started a thread asking for tips. Be sure to check it out, it has alot of useful information on how it can be used not only to reveal fog of war, but as mind warfare. I find that this spell is less useful in pick-up games than it is in premades.
Flash Cooldown: 240s. Mastery: [spell_text=Blink of an Eye] I am not a big fan of this spell. Unfortunately, it is very powerful and at the moment I can't see myself being too effective without it. Currently on the test realm the distance is being nerfed. I am testing to see how well Ghost closes the gap. Since most players carry it, you probably should as well. Losing a kill because of Flash can be very frustrating. You should master jumping walls, provided the nerf does not prohibit this.
Teleport Cooldown: 240s. Mastery: [spell_text=Spatial Accuracy] If your team needs you to solo mid you might want to grab this paired with Revive. As with Heal, I see this as a regen spell as well. Getting across the map in a few seconds can also mean fewer lost turrets. Ryze isn't the best turret taking champion, but if the enemy is preoccupied don't be surprised if it doesn't net a few turret kills as well.
Cleanse Cooldown: 120s. Mastery: [spell_text=Willpower] One of Ryze' major weaknesses is his lack of a stun. Most people do not realize the difference between a snare and a stun, but the moment a Pantheon or Taric stun you after you've snared them, you will. This is a must on a glass cannon build, although, you rarely see a glass cannon Ryze carry this. If you have a Mejai's Soulstealer in your build you may increase your need to carry this. Flash does not break alot of stuns and is quite useless when you are stunned. Using cleanse to avoid a stun and then using Rune Prison to snare can make for an easier escape than Flash can provide. However, because I have not found an offensive use for this spell I do not carry it in my common build. If getting into trouble is a common issue for you, you might consider trying it.
Clarity Cooldown: 180s. Mastery: [spell_text=Insight] Ryze is not as mana intensive as most casters. I haven't had much trouble managing my mana. I feel that most other casters expect to have to manage their mana themselves without relying on an ally to carry [spell_text=Insight]. There is really no reason you should not keep at least enough mana for a combo. If you really feel you need this spell, consider carrying Teleport. It's not as instant as Clarity, but it can facilitate a full mana pool while offering other obvious benefits. The only reason I have this listed in useful spells is because it can be of some benefit.
Revive Cooldown: 540s. Mastery: [spell_text=Preservation] This spell is very unpopular. I could care less about popularity. I have been ruined by many a Ryze that carried a Teleport and a Revive. I feel that the cooldown is far too long to be useful to me. Having a summoner spell that I will only use 3-4 times a game is not for me. I also find that, most of the times I go down, so do my allies, so being up before them will only put me down again. Mainly because I feel it is better to lose a structure than it is to die when respawn times are long enough for a team to take out another structure. If you find yourself looking at a black and white screen quite often, you might consider this. Combined with Teleport if you are asked to solo mid, it can mean the difference in a down turret and alot of times a revenge kill in a close but lost 1v1 battle.
Spells that you should not use:
Smite Cooldown: 75s. Mastery: [spell_text=Plentiful Bounty] I was a big fan of this spell on my caster Gangplank. Mostly because of the mastery and extra gold it gave me. Ryze does not seem to have a farming problem so I do not recommend using this spell.
[spell=Fortify] Cooldown: 300s. Mastery: [spell_text=Reinforce] If you feel your team needs this spell, it is probably better for someone else to carry it. I do like the mastery, but with a utility tree build its not attainable.
[spell=Rally] Cooldown: 360s. Mastery: [spell_text=Reinforce] If you build offensive tree and no one else on your team carries this, it might help your team push turrets and in team battles. Normally the teams I play with will back off if a Rally standard is cast. The mastery can add significant bonuses to casters, but does little to aid in pushing turrets.
todo: if the flash nerf holds i will need to update this significantly. lets hope it does.. add cooldown for spells with masteries and utility tree reduction
Here is a customizable mastery build. I say customizable because there is a little bit to work with. This is what I start with the majority of the time. You can spend your 4 points however you see fit. You can take advantage of the 15% summoner spell reduction, or you can choose not to. It's not "absolutely necessary", in fact, if it doesn't increase your survivability I would say look at spending the points on something that will. For instance, Hardiness and Harden Skin. Personally I like to take advantage of my Ghost and Flash, so the majority of the time I will go with something like this. I almost always customize my mastery build during champion select to complement my allied champions. I suggest always having an idea of what you need, and practice using the time in champion select to customize your build.
Most useful masteries:
[spell=Deadliness] This is normally the spell I put one point in to get the required 4 points in tier one to reach tier two. This is only if I am not carrying Exhaust, in which case I get the following spell.
[spell=Cripple] Summoner Spell Mastery The description here differs from the one on the game client, which says it is just a reduction of 10 magic resist and armor. Spell Flux reduces magic resist by 12 per bounce. If you have another caster expect to run into magic resist on the other team. Having a magic damage heavy team changes the priority on this mastery.
[spell=Archmage's Savvy] Spend through points here if you aim for [spell_text=Archaic Knowledge]. It sums to 3 ability power for level 5, 6 for level 10, and 11 for level 18.
[spell=Sorcery] 4 points required for [spell_text=Archaic Knowledge]. The 3% cooldown reduction is definitely beneficial on Ryze and makes aiming for [spell_text=Archaic Knowledge] viable.
[spell=Archaic Knowledge] Increases your magic penetration by 15%. This is a nice mastery to have if you need some added damage. Having a tank or initiator amongst your ranks makes this build better.
[spell=Burning Embers] Summoner Spell Mastery While Ignite is on cooldown this gives you an added 10 ability power. If you get this mastery try to limit the use of ignite in finishing opponents or to reduce healing effects. Knowing which summoner spells your opponents have comes in handy here. Remember that the debuff of Ignite can be cleansed.
The rest of the Offense tree is heavily melee or physical damage dependent and not recommended for Ryze. This does not mean its absolutely worthless. Again, Ryze' heaviest weakness is his cooldowns. Having a stronger auto attack will help strengthen this area. This is where most glass cannon Ryze differ from the rest. If you decide to climb up the Offense tree...
[spell=Havoc] An added 5% magic and physical damage (can't forget about physical as you do need to make use of it). This can make a difference in team battles because of Area of Effect damage. I do believe the 5% is added on before the 65% is calculated, which will actually make it 3.25% with Desperate Power. I have not tested or confirmed this, any help on this would be appreciated.
[spell=Mender's Faith] Summoner Spell Mastery As stated in the spell discussion I like to think of heal as a regen as well as a heal. Reducing the cooldown by 30 seconds is a huge benefit if you carry a heal. Even if I get this I will normally spend 6 points at this tier.
[spell=Resistance] Even though only 4 points are required in this tier getting 3 points in this can help increase survivability alot. At 30 magic resist 6 can add up to 5% magic damage reduction (I'll come back and put in the exact figures later).
[spell=Hardiness] Armor is also a nice stat to have on Ryze. Consider putting the full 3 points here if you have the points available.
[spell=Strength of Spirit] Maxing this stat will give you 3 hp regen per 5 seconds every 1000 magic points. This can drastically improve your early game by keeping you in the lane longer. Before I started carrying Ignite I would max this spell. I strongly recommend you either have vigor runes or this mastery maxed.
[spell=Spatial Accuracy] Summoner Spell Mastery If you are carrying Teleport this mastery can be beneficial. However, Teleport should always be cast in a safe location, therefore the .5 second faster cast time is not going to save you that much time. The 5 seconds reduced cooldown time is also an amount of time you can wait on in order to have a mastery for something else.
[spell=Perseverence] Total health and mana regeneration by 4% will dramatically improve your entire game. Since this is a percentage of the total it will scale the entire game. Regeneration is an important stat for Ryze. Strongly consider this and it should definitely be 3 of the 4 points required for the second tier.
[spell=Haste] Summoner Spell Mastery In my opinion, the best summoner spell mastery in the game. The speed and duration increase is a very noticeable difference. I consider Ghost not worth carrying without the mastery.
[spell=Awareness] This is where I spend my points to reach the next tiers. I never max this stat and only get what I have to. In my opinion, being behind a level or two is not a bad thing anymore since the inception of the experience level system.
[spell=Expanded Mind] 5% mana increase will not only give you more mana, but it will also increase the damage of your Overload.
[spell=Meditation] This is definitely a master you want if you build a utility tree Ryze. Keep in mind that maxed this is an extra 1 mana per second. When I forget to change my masteries after switching back to Ryze after playing another champion, mana regen is what tells me that I forgot to change my masteries. I find that any caster is practically useless without this mastery.
[spell=Quickness] It's important for Ryze to get in, perform his combo and get out. Movement speed is very important to achieve this. 3% speed increase may not seem like alot, but it is. This is also another stat that is painfully obvious to tell if I do not have it.
[spell=Blink of an Eye] Summoner Spell Mastery There are times when your flash could have helped you greatly and is within 15 seconds of cooldown. However, I feel 15 seconds is not significant enough to be a must-have. Consider a mastery point in something else.
[spell=Intelligence] Probably the most important stat on Ryze is cooldown reduction. 6% is amazing. This should always be what you build to at the very least.
[spell=Mystical Vision] Summoner Spell Mastery While the cooldown reduction of 5 seconds isn't alot for Teleport, it is a significant amount for a 55 second cooldown. The increased 4 second duration can also reveal alot and gives you alot of grace in not timing your cast perfectly. If you use Clairvoyance you should strongly consider getting this mastery.
[spell=Presence of the Master] This is a mastery that for a long time I felt was such a waste to not get. My reasoning was if that I were to spend 20 points in this tree, I might as well invest another point and get the 21 point skill. My opinion changed when I started carrying Ignite. In fact, consider that the added 10 ability power for [spell_text=Burning Embers] lasts longer without this mastery (of course, you could immediately cast Ignite again if it cools down and you want the 10 ability power). Don't make the mistake I made of thinking you have to have this if you spend 20 points in utility.
Masteries to avoid:
[spell=Plentiful Bounty] Summoner Spell Mastery
[spell=Willpower] Summoner Spell Mastery
[spell=Reinforce] Summoner Spell Mastery
[spell=Insight] Summoner Spell Mastery
todo: add justification for my mastery build. possibly add more mastery builds based on user feedback. add justification for masteries much like rune section.
The flash nerf has changed my build significantly. Because I am now carrying Ignite and [spell_text=Burning Embers] I have had to sacrifice [spell_text=Strength of Spirit]. Currently I am carrying 2xGreater Quintessence of Vigor to compensate for this. I tried playing without much hp regen for a while after I modified my summoner spell build, but I found myself to be severely crippled early game. I am liking my current setup alot better and seem to have found a niche. I am adjusting the amount of vigor runes I carry each game to find a good build. When I have something concrete I will update this section accordingly.
The following is my most common rune build and justification as well as my thoughts on several other types of runes.
After patch 22.214.171.124 I feel Ryze is one of the most versatile champions when it comes to rune builds. The reason being rooted in the Spell Flux debuff. He really does not "have" to have the Greater Mark of Insight like most casters.
Red: 9x Greater Mark of Insight
Yellow: 9x Greater Seal of Vitality
Blue: 9x Greater Glyph of Focus
Purple: 2x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness, 1xGreater Quintessence of Insight
On occasion, I will use 3xGreater Quintessence of Swiftness
as odd as it may sound using Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Mark of Alacrity can make for very effective harassing, pushing and finishing (more on this in team strategy). If you want to be an effective pusher, you will need better 1v1 skills. Ryze is very vulnerable after his first combo, increasing your melee effectiveness gives Ryze something to do while waiting on his second combo. Don't forget that leading with Spell Flux will already reduce their magic to zero if they do not have magic resist. If you are in a higher elo bracket you will see alot of [item_text=Mercury Treads] and you will almost always want Greater Mark of Insight.
You may find that 9xGreater Glyph of Celerity works well for you if you have a Zilean or spend your "extra" 2 mastery points in Awareness for 5% increased experience. Remember that it is level 8 before you are at .72% reduction and they start to improve on Greater Glyph of Focus, which is at .65% reduction.
My reasoning behind Greater Seal of Vitality in survivability is better than Greater Seal of Evasion because health is beneficial against both magical and physical damage. Also, if you have 10% dodge, this means you will dodge roughly 1 out of 10 attacks, surviving 10 melee attacks late game is not something you want to gamble on. However, mitigating damage on every attack is viable. Using Greater Seal of Resilience and Greater Seal of Warding will add 4.23 armor and 4.44 magic resist will increase your physical and magical health by 19.2 and 20.16 respectively and is also viable if you want to play aggressive early game. Using 4xGreater Seal of Defense and 5xGreater Seal of Shielding will add 86.72 physical health and 72.27 magical health at level 11, and 206.93 physical health and 172.44 magical health at level 18.
Having Boots of Swiftness with 2xGreater Quintessence of Swiftness will increase your speed from 400 to 412, and with a Movement Speed 2 boot will increase your speed from 380 to 392 and start game from 310 to 320. This allows Ryze to get in, perform his combo, and get out. Most times I will not 1v1 a champion unless I am sure I can kill him without sustaining more than 25% hp loss. If you kill a champion and have to recall you come out ahead, but not as much as if you were able to stand around and kill a second and third champion that came to avenge him or to stop the push their ally could not. Most times a counter pusher will show up to kill one wave of creeps and head to where his team is and you can duck into the bushes and wait for him to do so before you continue pushing (more on this in the pushing section). I have tried playing without Greater Quintessence of Swiftness quite a few times and learned that my effectiveness is drastically reduced. I would suspect this is true for most champions with high burst damage.
This is by no means the most perfect rune build. I have experimented with most of the other runes, even those not commonly used for casters. I will list a few of what I have tried. Please remember that the best rune build is one that fits with your playstyle. A good rune build fitted with the wrong playstyle will rarely turn out well. Believe it or not, I have tried many physical damage marks. Seeing as how marks benefit physical attack the most, and Spell Flux takes care of alot of magic resist for you.
Greater Mark of Vitality A very good rune, although expensive at 820 IP. Because of my reasoning with not needing Greater Mark of Insight I decided to try these runes. The success was limited. I found that stacking more hit points only kept you in the fight longer by a short time. I found that they were best stacked with Greater Seal of Resilience and Greater Seal of Warding.
Greater Mark of Alacrity Unbelievably beneficial, however, I feel that it is not the best fit for my playstyle. A player that likes to harass and farm could benefit greatly.
Greater Mark of Desolation Amazingly effective. One of Ryze' worst weaknesses is his cooldowns. Being able to improve his physical attack damage by 18 armor penetration really helps. Before you dismiss this, let me throw some numbers at you. My Ryze Career has roughly 12.3m damage dealth, with 3.2m from physical. Be sure to check your damage ratio for magical and physical, if the physical is less than a quarter of your damage dealt, these runes will more than likely not benefit your playstyle. However, if your physical damage is more than a quarter, you might want to look into this. Remember that I am unable to separate physical damage done to minions and champions, so the figure is not a true justification.
Greater Mark of Malice This mark is no stranger to my Ryze. I have found that double damage in roughly 1 out of 10 attacks is probably less than an extra attack for every 8 (Greater Mark of Alacrity).
Greater Glyph of Celerity I have tried stacking only this rune, as well as mixing them with Greater Glyph of Focus. I find that because I only put two points in Awareness and my leveling is normally behind, that i do not benefit much from this rune. Your mileage may vary, try it out. Pushing a little extra out of your cooldowns helps out on that major weakness Ryze has.
Greater Quintessence of Avarice I think there is a reason this rune is only 510 IP. During team battles if you can get away to throw your combo and melt three or four waves of creeps before the enemy shows up, then you have by far eliminated the need for using these runes. Maybe before his physical damage buff they had a use. Probably best if you avoid these.
Greater Quintessence of Vigor I have tried these, as well as the seals and glyphs. If you do not have Strength of Spirit masteries maxed you may very well benefit from these types of runes. I have tried using these runes as to spend my mastery points in something other than Strength of Spirit and I find that because of mana being one of the stats I like to increase to take advantage of Overload that Strength of Spirit is probably the most important mastery for Ryze. Definitely worth using if you want to spend those non-utility tree mastery points in something like Archmage's Savvy.
Greater Quintessence of Wisdom The game changed alot when the player experience system was implemented. Now I feel that Ryze is more poweful a few levels behind everyone than if he is ahead. He is a strong player throughout the game and does not have any real need to carry. At 2050 IP this rune is probably better left alone.
Greater Quintessence of Potency, Greater Glyph of Potency, Greater Quintessence of Force, Greater Glyph of Force Saving the best for last. Let's look at some numbers. Having 9xGreater Glyph of Potency (obviously the flat AP runes will do even less damage), at level 18, Spell Flux will do an extra 12.6 damage, Rune Prison will do an extra 33.6 damage, and Spell Flux at 3 bounces will do an extra 95 damage. At 23% damage reduction (30 magic resist for most champions) is about 109 extra magical damage per combo and an extra 70 for every target hit by your ultimate. Most guide writers would then counter with an "extra combo per 20 combos" for Greater Glyph of Focus, but it is not likely at all that you will throw 20 successive combos and if you did, the ability power runes would come out ahead. I feel that comparing ability power runes with cooldown reduction runes is very difficult. When I have used these runes I have felt more like a glass cannon. The truth is this runes are probably the best for Ryze in glyphs and quintessences. The reason I do not use them is because it does not suit my playstyle as well as the others. You probably can not go wrong with these runes, even though Ryze does not have the greatest AP ratios in the game. You are better off with Greater Glyph of Force and Greater Quintessence of Potency.
First, some discussion about what I feel Ryze benefits from most. I will list several items and how well Ryze uses them before I start with the builds.
Ryze is a very dangerous champion, because of Desperate Power he is able to have alot of burst damage without any ability power items. This does not mean you can neglect ability power items, but it also means that you should not be devoted to them. Any item can be useful, buying a phantom dancer on Ryze, while not recommended, will provide some benefit. Item builds are one of the most important aspects to playing well. A bad item build in the hands of a good player will almost always be outdone by a decent player with a good item build. Do not feel since you have gold you must spend it on something. Purchase the items you need to progress your team to victory. If you know what item you are putting in your fourth slot before the game starts, you will benefit most from this section. If you purchase one item at a time and find yourself unafraid to sell an item that has become ineffective, you may still find some use here, and can probably teach me something. Feedback is much appreciated.
The stats that will be looked at are mana points, ability power, health points, magic penetration and bonuses (although they are hard to but a value on).
We will look at some base items in each of these stats to get an idea of what gold value to assign an attribute, give it a ratio of attribute per gold to give an idea of the value of the item. Also, if the item has mana the damage to overload will be added, and damage to each spell will be added for AP.
Elixir of Brilliance Highly Recommended. Best item for your gold in the game. After an early death you can purchase one instead of boots or catalyst and use it to get a kill to make up for your lost experience and gold. After level 10 or so, depending on how the game is going, you will want to keep one of these. Be sure to only use it just as you engage the enemy. If your whole team is present and full hp, you might want to wait until a better time to use it, like when you are 3 with 50% going against 5 after you caused them to wipe. Do not feel you bought it and its in your inventory so you have to use it.
Elixir of Fortitude If you find yourself fending off an inhibitor offense or starting to group push this elixir can help you out alot. I see alot of people advising to use it as an instant healing pot, but I would rather take advantage of the added damage as well. If you wait til you are on cooldown before you use it you might can do both. situational
Health Potion No matter what you start with at the beginning you will want one or two of these. Staying in the lane means more experience and not falling behind, which can have a snowball effect. If having to recall costs you a level, which costs you a death and another level, you can easily see what I mean. This item really starts to lose its effectiveness mid game. The only reason I might buy one after that early game is to keep a poison from finishing me off as I flee and at end game its rare that a healing pot can out tick a damage over time debuff. mandatory, early game
Mana Potion I don't feel this potion is worth its value. I rationalize this based on how many last hits it can provide to minions. However, if you find yourself playing on an empty mana pool early game and losing kills that a rune prison could have netted you, try one out. I think you will find though, that if you have mana management problems before using the pot, you will not save the mana it gives you for a last hit. The exception to this rule is if a champion is using a Wit's End you may want to keep a couple of mana pots on hand to counter that. not recomended, early game
Doran's Ring Although I hardly every buy this item, I do not think its a bad idea. They are three stats that are most important to Ryze, health, ability power and mana regen. If you find your early game weak, you should consider starting off with this item, more so if you are soloing middle. not upgradeable, situational, playing style, early game
Blasting Wand You will not find a better valued ability power item in the game (Mejai's Soulstealer not included). This item is upgradeable into several late game items you might want to have. If you are having trouble finishing and not doing enough damage (that being after you have stacked some magic penetration), you will want to get this. You could stack up to three of these items if you plan on getting a [item_text=Zhonya's Ring]. upgradeable, mandatory, mid to late game
Abyssal Scepter There are actually a few situations where this might be useful. It is useful as a late game item if you have several casters and the enemy team is stacking alot of magic resist. I always buy this after a Void Staff. The reason being, in team battles your spell flux should reduce enough magic resist for you to make your expected portion of damage and most other casters worry about their own magic penetration and reduction. If you have been farming well and like your fellow caster you may want to drop for this, otherwise let them. It is useful as a mid game item if the enemy team does not have much crowd control, but lots of magical damage. However, its synergy with Sorcerer's Shoes and Void Staff will probably be highest if they stack magic resist. Otherwise, choose one or the other. situational, mid to late game
Catalyst the Protector This is always a good early game item no matter the enemy team makeup. It upgrades into a Banshee's Veil, which is good for anticaster builds, and also a Rod of Ages, which is good for almost any build. While restoring the 300 health and 250 mana might seem too situational for a timed heal, which it is, try not to think of it that way. Look at it as a regen item. If it takes you 4 minutes to gain a level (which is very conservative) its a 6.25 hp/5, 5.2 mp/5 item as well as adding 32% more hp 60% more mana at level 6 also adding 32.5 damage to Overload. You do alot of leveling in the first 15 minutes of the game, so I think this item is worthwhile even if you aren't upgrading it, which should never happen.
Damage added: Overload 32.5, Rune Prison 0, Spell Flux 0
Chalice of Harmony I have used this item only in anti-caster builds. I feel like it is a crutch for alot of players who do not want to bother managing their mana. I have had to break down and buy it when being held against my turret, a situation where you have to spam spells and do not have the luxury of recalling. It is probably most useful against a team with a majority of casters, where you want to spam and have extra magic resist. If they have alot of crowd control and you are buying a Banshee's Veil and Mercury's Treads do not tell yourself you need this item because of its magic resist as having more than 100 or so magic resist will not benefit you as much as increasing your damage output. You generally should avoid this item. not recommended, very situational
Deathfire Grasp Now that Leviathan gives two stacks on assists, it is being carried by more champions. It is not surprising that it is being carried by alot of non-tank champions. If you do not use its active, then do not bother with it. If you find yourself on a team where you are pushing solo, this might be something you look at buying. Another situation is if you find yourself with 5 or more stacks on a Mejai's Soulstealer. Probably the best time for this item is when you have a Dr Mundo, Rammus, Cho'Gath or another equally annoying tank that is almost impossible for your team to kill, but only if that tank is effectively pushing his entire team. I find that moving away from the group and pushing will more times than not break up that group (more on this in pushing). Shen is a champion I find very annoying. If there is a Shen in the game, I will buy this item as my second major item other than my boots.situational, playstyle, late game
Fiendish Codex The item is expensive for the bonuses it gives. If you are building a Deathfire Grasp you may want to grab this item before [item_text=Kage's Lucky Pick]. This is an item you should buy only if you plan upgrading to Deathfire Grasp, and even that is situational with Ryze.
Damage added: Overload 13.5, Rune Prison 12 every .4, Spell Flux 11.4
Haunting Guise I have tried many times to work this item into my builds. I had alot of success using this item with Gangplank when parley was magical. The regen is nice on this item, though overall I do not think it out-performs Catalyst the Protector. If it does, its important to note that it is not upgradable. The magic penetration, while nice, is pretty much overkill with Spell Flux, especially if you are buying Sorcerer's Shoes. It is because of that you will probably not have much use for it.
[item=Kage's Lucky Pick] I am not a big fan at all of gold per 5 items, most especially on a caster. The only time you should buy this item is if you buy a Deathfire Grasp, and even then you should buy a Fiendish Codex first. not recommended unless upgrading, crutch, play style
Mejai's Soulstealer Potentionally the highest AP item in the game. It could also be the most gold you ever spend on 20 ability power. This item can be very deceiving. Most Ryze players will grab this, however, I think it is best to stay with a more consistent supply of ability power. Ryze does not have a sustainable or mutli-target stun. An offensive Ryze will find himself not only the primary target, but also on the end of some pretty nasty ganks if the enemy team sees his stacks getting out of control. All that being said, there are situations where I buy this item. If my kill death ratio is high and I seem to be dominating a lane I might buy this item before I upgrade to tier 2 boots, but after I have a Catalyst the Protector. It is also viable to purchase after you have upgraded your Catalyst the Protector and bought tier 2 boots. Buying it later than that will probably not benefit your game very much. Be very wary of having a static build involving this item. This is most often the root of a glass cannon build and will lead to very inconsistent games. It only becomes a better value than Blasting Wand at 4 stacks. The ability power increase is a UNIQUE Passive and you will not benefit from stacking more than one of these item's.
Damage added at 0 stacks: Overload 9, Rune Prison 8 every .4, Spell Flux 7.6
Damage added at 1 stacks: Overload 12.6, Rune Prison 11.2 every .4, Spell Flux 10.6
Damage added at 5 stacks: Overload 27, Rune Prison 24 every .4, Spell Flux 22.8
Damage added at 10 stacks: Overload 45, Rune Prison 40 every .4, Spell Flux 38
Damage added at 20 stacks: Overload 81, Rune Prison 72 every .4, Spell Flux 68.4
Tear of the Goddess
Void Staff This is a must have item if the enemy team begins to stack magic resist. Remember, when magic penetration percentage is calculated last in magic resist reduction, after flat magic penetration and magic reduction spells or items (Abyssal Scepter). The item cost is fairly cheap for what it does. A good caster is always playing, while dead he will examine the magic resist of visible enemy champions. He will alert other casters on his team of champions with high resist. If while examining the enemy champions you find that 3 or more champions do not have more magic resist than what you do with your items and runes, then you should probably pick up another item and leave this alone.
Damage added: Overload 31.5, Rune Prison 28 every .4, Spell Flux 26.6
[item=Zhonya's Ring] As of patch 126.96.36.199, this item has been changed. It no longer requires a [item_text=Sage's Ring] and does not give a mana bonus. However, losing the added damage on Overload is not all bad. We have a new passive, which is quite interesting. When casting, it makes you invulnerable to attack for 2 seconds. It also makes you unable to attack, cast, or move, while under the effect. I was only able to test a few games on the test realm before its release and have limited play with it live. Until I have tested it further I will refrain from making speculative remarks. I will point out that there are some new changes to keybindings in the game client now. You can go into more options and change your item slots to letter keys. Right now I am moving items with actives to slot 1 and binding the 'a' key to it.
Damage added (without the 25% bonus): Overload 54, Rune Prison 48 every .4, Spell Flux 45.6
Leviathan Anytime I play with a Mejai's Soulstealer, I will use a Leviathan as my survivability item. I feel like I am giving away a secret sauce by saying that, but I really feel like no one will buy this on Ryze. This item is also a good survivability item if you are playing decent, but have had limited farming. As with Mejai's Soulstealer, this item can be very misleading. While the 20 stack bonus is nice, do not expect to get it. I have had many 15-0 games were the other team was making fun of me for carrying this item. I often wonder what the logic behind criticizing a player on the other teams build that is dominating you. This was before assists gave you the same amount of stacks as kills. Now the item is even more viable. I am working my way around testing this again.
Guardian Angel Normally this item is associated with tanks. However, if you carry a Mejai's Soulstealer and have built up a significant of stacks you may consider getting this as your survivability item. The armor and magic resist will also make you a great initiator. Make sure not to make it a habit to think of its passive not as an active. What I mean by that is, do not think you can get into situations simply because you will come back to life. Most times its very easy to die a second time because you took a fight too deep and far.
Philosopher's Stone Now it's time for me to contradict myself. While I am not a fan of gold per 10 items, this item has very nice regen bonuses on its on. If a Catalyst the Protector, does not suit your build because you are not building a Banshee's Veil or Rod of Ages you may consider this as your early game item. You can hold it until you need the slot available before you sell it. The item completely pays for itself in 19 minutes (if sold back, about 38 minutes if not).
Thornmail If the team has 4 or 5 physical damage champions you may consider this item. The bonus is not nearly as nice as it sounds because 40% returned damage will not make much of a dent in a tank or heavy dps that is beating down on you. This item is very situational and will probably be best avoided.
Earlier I mentioned that Cleanse is too limited in its defensive only use that it isnt worth getting. However, if a team is heavy in crowd control AND that is leading to alot of deaths on your part you may consider this item. However, getting this item before Mercury's Treads and Banshee's Veil is probably a bad idea. Only consider it if after obtaining those items you are still dying because of crowd control.
[item=Rylai's Scepter] One of my favorite items in the game and an awesome item for Ryze. Alot of my builds make it difficult for me to finish an enemy champion on my first combo, this item helps keep further away from allies or turrets as you wait for your cooldowns to come around. The survivability is awesome. If situations in the game have forced you to bypass a Rod of Ages, consider getting this item after your first or second big item to keep you from being so squishy. As a Ryze player this is definitely an item you will want to experiment with to see if it suits your playstyle and team.
Damage added: Overload 108.5, Rune Prison 32 every .4, Spell Flux 30.4
Archangel's Staff Hands down the best regen item in the game. The passive with only base mana at level 11 will give you an additional 24 ability power (see [item_text=Kage's Pick] for damage). The UINQUE Passive will keep you adding damage to your Overload for the rest of the game, precisely .4 damage each 3 seconds you cast an ability. When you get this item you want to make sure you are constantly procing this UINQUE Passive. It can mean the difference of 50-150 added damage to overload on this alone, depending on the game length. The mana regen will ensure that you are able to constantly spam. This item is a must have for every build.
Damage added: Overload 60.25, Rune Prison 18 every .4, Spell Flux 17.1
Banshee's Veil A Catalyst the Protector is almost always my early game item. For survability and regen. Having a Catalyst the Protector in a Banshee's Veil, means being able to adapt to the game and opt for it rather than a Rod of Ages. I cannot tell you how many times I have abandoned getting a Rod of Ages and opting for this item. The item itself is probably the best magic resist item in the game. Not because of the resist it provides, obviously a [item_text=Force of Nature] has it beat there, but because of its passive. 30 seconds may seem like a long time, but it really isn't. It will protect you from stuns, snares, slows and so much more. When the passive is active it puts a blue ring around the champion. Try not to forget that if an enemy champion has this ring, not only will Rune Prison not snare, but your magic damage to the champion is significantly reduced.
You are probably wondering why I am listing this. In a lane where I am facing an Alistar, I always have trouble (who doesn't?). This item can provide part of the survability of a Rod of Ages as well as part of the mana regen of an Archangel's Staff. The one thing it does lack however, is ability power. You have to consider though, that it is also providing regen for your allies. If you are laning against an Alistar with another mana champion, you may consider giving this a try. If you get it, you may want to bypass a Rod of Ages and an Archangel's Staff and start stacking Blasting Wands for a [item_text=Zhonya's Ring].
Normally I purchase a few Blasting Wand's anyway. I think one thing that separates a good Ryze player from a decent one, is the effective use of autoattack. But a Lich Bane does bonus damage based on ability power you say, the item you will carry for a while before making it does not. It is called a Sheen. Most Ryze players do not grab a Lich Bane because of this. This item should always be in your anticaster/anti-magic resist build. I will tell you also, the time you spend holding a Sheen is not so bad either. In fact, consider picking it up before you do your Negatron Cloak, but only before a Blasting Wand if you are having mana problems.
Rod of Ages Almost always a good item to build around. This is probably found in 80% of my games and is built early, most likely the first item after my boots. First, I would like to clear up some misinformation I read in another Ryze guide. The bonuses are permanent on this item, you do not lose them on death. This item provides survivability as well as ability power. It scales over 15 minutes to become a powerful item. If you have a static item build, this should be in it.
Damage added at purchase: Overload 65, Rune Prison 20 every .4, Spell Flux 19
Damage added at 5 mins : Overload 75, Rune Prison 24 every .4, Spell Flux 22.8
Damage added at 10 mins : Overload 95, Rune Prison 28 every .4, Spell Flux 26.6
Damage added at 15 mins : Overload 108.5, Rune Prison 32 every .4, Spell Flux 30.4
I cannot express how important it is to try different boots. Movement items are the one item you can bank on every champion having. If you are a static item build player, you should at least experiment with different types of boots. The "enhanced movement speed" bonus is sort of vague. +1 "enhanced movement speed" is 50 movement speed, +2 is 70, +3 is 90, +5 is 125.
Sorcerer's Shoes Most Ryze builds will include these boots. If you get the 10% from Greater Mark of Insight this will balance out to 30 magic penetration, which is the base magic resist for most champions. I try not to stack more than 30% magic penetration until the enemy starts countering with magic resist. It is hard to compare a boot that does an offensive bonus with a boot that does a passive bonus. Most Ryze players and guides will say that this is the only boot that is viable and I couldn't disagree more.
Mercury's Treads If you are facing alot of crowd control and magic users, this will be the boot of choice. Remember though, they are situational. These boots are purchased because you think there is a high chance of you being hit. There are some games where you have to initiate or be exposed. Those would be the games you want these.
Boots of Swiftness These are also good against teams with high damage or crowd control, with a little different approach. The emphasis is on not getting caught rather than mitigating the stunlock time and damage if you do get caught. These boots also allow you to move around alot faster, both in battle and out of battle. While just a +3 (90) movement bonus looks rather bare, but rest assured they are very worthy.
Boots of Mobility Before we discuss these boots, lets remember that movement speed has diminishing returns. What that means is, for every movement speed point you have above 415, each of those points is reduced by 20%, also, each movement speed point above 490 is reduced by 50%. If a slowing effect brings you below these thresholds, the diminished returns are not calculated. These boots add a staggering +125 movement speed. The drawback is that while you are in combat you will be reduced to tier 2 boots until 5 seconds after you exit combat. This can really hurt your attempts to flee. Also, if you have the unfortunate luck of being stunned, you have lost your speed advantage. It is because of this I try to stay with the definite speed increase of Boots of Swiftness. That does not mean these boots aren't viable. On the flipside, if you are the aggressor they can almost guarantee your victim is not getting away.
Berserker's Greaves I have tried berserkers greave's to help me farm. I have only listed them because I have experimented with them. The 1 extra attack every 4 does help with harassment. I would not say it helps much with farming since the majority of farming comes from Desperate Power combined with the other spells. These boots do not provide great synergy with any of Ryze's builds. I would recommend in grabbing something else. I write down alot of things on paper, damage calculations, battle theory, however, most things never turn out as I expect. Therefore, I felt it necessary to test these boots at least a few games.
Ninja Tabi Ryze is pretty squishy. I had read about some Ryze players having success with dodge runes. I decided to try dodge seals and a few quints, stacked with the masteries and even the speed buff mastery. I figured I should see how well getting my dodge up with these boots worked. I played 5 or so games this way. I didnt notice a significant increase in survivability. A reduction in damage obviously, but no more than when I mitigate damage with armor. In fact, I would say the best attribute for Ryze from these boots was the +23 armor. This is my opinion and I didn't record the actual damage and length of games. If anyone decides to test this please document better than me.
todo: complete all item descriptions. Include in descriptions countering information. add tags for each item. add stats for items such as damage increase, etc. possibly add more items based on user feedback.
First, some discussion about what I feel Ryze benefits from most. I will list several items and how well Ryze uses them before I start with the builds.
todo: add situational item builds such as anticaster, antiphysical, bad start, good start, anti crowd control, etc
I really wanted to avoid this section, but I figured if I included several situational skill builds it would dissuade people from using a static skill build. Again, I build my champion according to what the game needs. This is not just for items but also for skills. It is important to become familiar with ability power ratio and per level increase of damage, mana cost and duration.
Multi-Target Skill Build
Single Target Skill Build
Laning with Ranged or Caster Skill Build
Laning with Melee Skill Build
Alot of times, the entire team will push a tower. If you have four strong teammates you can get away and push another lane. This almost always relieves pressure off the turret. If you continue to see four enemy champions on the minimap you should be able to know who is coming for you and when they should arrive. especially if you have Boots of Swiftness,
todo: add my thoughts and general strategy on farming and pushing mid to late game.
*WORK IN PROGRESS*
*WORK IN PROGRESS*
*WORK IN PROGRESS*
Team Battle Strategy
*WORK IN PROGRESS*
who to lane with, who not to lane with.
*WORK IN PROGRESS*
I see too many "Ryze is OP" threads, where people are telling others the best way to counter Ryze is to buy magic resist. This couldn't be further from the truth. Ryze is probably better than Fiddlesticks, who is very effective, at dealing with magic resist. Spell Flux has a debuff that reduces magic resist by 12 with each bounce. At a maximum of 5 bounces, this can easily negate a Negatron Cloak or other magic resist items. Combined with an Abyssal Scepter, Void Staff, Sorcerer's Shoes and Greater Mark of Insight Ryze can really put a hurting on you regardless of your magic damage reduction. I think the reason you see more "Ryze is OP" threads rather than Annie or Veigar, whom I feel are both much more dangerous, is because people assume a Banshee's Veil will ensure that they are able to solo Ryze with the greatest of ease.
In order to understand the most effective counters, let's think of Ryze' biggest weaknesses and how he is played most effectively.
The first being his uselessness while his spells are on cooldown. Ryze is a burst dps champion. The power of this burst, comes from his use of Desperate Power. A good Ryze will wait until he snares before casting his ultimate. However, alot of times a Ryze player will jump the gun. When Desperate Power is cast, electricity will run through his body. Desperate Power lasts for 8 seconds and can be seen as a buff icon as well as the animation. If you can bait Ryze into casting Desperate Power without being snared, you can slay him without much damage taken. Done effectively, you could easily defeat a Ryze without much magic resist at all.
The second weakness is that he has a snare and no stun. The difference is that you can still perform abilities and attacks while snared. If you have effectively made Ryze waste his Desperate Power, do not feel the need to run after escaping his snare. Close the gap and attack. Most times Ryze will run, with Rune Prison now on cooldown he will be unable to flee without suffering alot of damage. Ryze is an oppurtunity killer. Shut him down once and you will most likely not have to worry about him trying to take you after that.
Another way to counter Ryze is to know how he is played most effectively. Ryze is a high priority target. Most Ryze players realize this. They will wait until well after the initiation of a team battle before they show their face. Think of Ryze as an Evelynn, always assume he is nearby his team in the bush waiting to pounce. Even if you do not see him, do not feel safe. Use wards, use clairvoyance. Before initiating have your tank check around the lane to see if Ryze is lying in wait. Other powerful casters such as Annie, Veigar and Fiddlesticks have effective crowd control and are capable of stunning. Do not think that because they are great initiators that Ryze is also. He's there, he's just not letting you know.
This is not to say you can negate having magic resist while facing Ryze. I am sometimes misunderstood to be implying that just because I say something is viable, that I am saying it is how it should be done. Ryze does sizable burst magic damage. If you are caught, you will suffer. I am just trying to point out that stacking magic resist is most times not all it will take to defeat a good Ryze. Just because he is squishy, doesn't mean you shouldn't run, at least for those 8 seconds you see lightining shooting through his body. A bad Ryze will chase you, let him think you are scared, stop and kill him.
I am betting that I will be patient. That I will penetrate your magic resist and catch you with my combo with Desperate Power active. I have also found that people do not listen to me when I give them an effective counter, therefore, I do not mind one bit telling you how to stop the champion I play. Just remember that I am not showing you all my cards, just the cards most Ryze players have.
General Game Strategy
some redundant information.
*WORK IN PROGRESS*
Submitted by Arlando
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