Ezreal Build Guide

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Wave of Devastation (AP Carry)

written by Cyrad

Ezreal Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    NOTE: THIS GUIDE IS BEING REVISED.
    I am currently revamping the guide. The new version will have a different item progression with a cost effective emphasis on magic penetration, take new items and patches into consideration, and respond to feedback.

    Please hold your ratings until then.

    Feel free to give your opinions and suggestions in the comments section.



    ------------

    I personally believe a good build benefits all abilities of a champion, rather than only one. After experimenting with AD builds, AP builds, and hybrid builds, talking with veteran Ezreal players, I developed a build I believe achieves this.

    The goals of this Ezreal style are...
    => Exhibit features of an AP carry, sacrificing early game effectiveness for a powerful late game
    => Excel in team fights, making you a decisive factor in battles that decide the fate of the game
    => Benefit all of Ezreal's abilities, fully maximizing his damage output

    The methods to reach these goals are...
    => Make farming a priority, to complete build as fast as possible
    => Rank Mystic Shot first, for early game effectiveness and farming
    => Build AP, to become a mid to late game power house.
    => Get magic penetration, for crippling damage


    This is a build that rewards patience with game-deciding power.

  • Update Log & Patch Notes

    Update Log
    September 15th, 2010
    => Revised recommendations for Quintessences

    August 24th, 2010
    => Added Deathfire Grasp, Nashor's Tooth, and Archangel's Staff to item discussions as result of user feedback
    => Added new skill descriptions since Leaguecraft erased my old one


    Update Log
    1.0.0.100
    * Base damage reduced to 45 from 47.6
    * Damage per level reduced to 2.6 from 3
    * Attack Speed per level reduced to 2.8 from 3.22
    * Arcane Shift can no longer be cast while rooted
    * Mystic Shot damage reduced to 35/55/75/95/115 from 40/65/90/115/140
    * Essence Flux mana cost reduced to 70/80/90/100/110 from 80/90/100/110/120
    * New Item: Manamune


    Wow, Riot Games must real hate Ezreal, constantly nerfing a character that "takes skill" and yet buffing a mage with even more powerful AoEs, CC, and an ultimate that can stun a mile away and do massive damage. The mana reduction seems more like a pitiful bit of compensation, but I digress.

    The patch essentially makes AD Ezreal and DPS Ezreal slightly less viable. It won't change anything to this strategy. You still need to rank Mystic Shot to farm. Otherwise, you won't get the gold to buy AP items needed for late-game effectiveness. Getting a Sheen before finishing Rod of Ages will help make up for the loss damage.

    As for the Manamune, it's pretty nice item. It's cheap enough for someone to rush. However, it probably doesn't fit this strategy much. I'm still waiting for them to make an item that gives 80 AP and 25% CDR.


    1.0.0.99
    * Mystic Shot attack damage ratio decreased to 1.0 from 1.1

    While AD Ezreals will feel the sting more than this build, any nerf to Ezreal is unwelcome. Thankfully, it won't change the strategy. Mystic Shot's usefulness will diminish slightly faster, prompting for Sheen and Lich Bane to be built more quickly.

  • AD versus AP

    Before I detail my build, let me explain the reasoning behind it. A debate between Attack Damage (AD) and Ability Power (AP) builds existed ever since Ezreal was released. I spent a great deal of time experimenting with both AP, AD, and hybrid builds, listening to the arguments of both AP and AD Ezreal players, and discussed builds over forums and personal messages.

    Finally, I came to this conclusion:

    => AD Ezreal excels early game, but lacks presence late game.
    => AP Ezreal lacks presence early game, but excels late game. In other words, AP Ezreal becomes a carry.

    Why this conclusion? Consider the circumstances for early and late games.

    Early Game
    => Mana is scarce and precious
    => Your AP is low
    => Enemies have low armor, typically 15 to 30
    => 1v1 and 2v2 fights are common
    => Team fights are rare

    Late Game
    => Mana costs are trivial
    => Your AP can potentially be high
    => Enemies have higher armor, at least 80
    => Enemies typically have low magic resistance, usually 30 unless they specifically build for it
    => 1v1 and 2v2 are uncommon as most players group up together
    => Team fights are more common and often decide the outcome of the game.

    Since Mystic Shot is mana efficient and deals physical damage to a single target, it is the favorable spell for early game. However, it loses its effectiveness as team fights become common and armor values become higher. The chaos of team fights will make it difficult to focus Mystic Shots on particular targets, limiting your overall presence in battle.

    Essence Flux is the opposite. It's extremely mana inefficient and lacks power early game, but becomes powerful and practical late game since it can do decent damage to multiple targets while buffing allies, ideal for team fights.


    This build takes this information into account, turning Ezreal into a carry. The key is to rank up Mystic Shot for early game farming and effectiveness, only using Essence Flux for pushing towers with an ally. Once enough AP is built, Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage will deal crippling damage to the entire enemy team.

  • Skills

    Rising Spell Force
    A nice innate that encourages accurate and frequent shots. Use this mainly to farm and push towers. Constantly shoot Mystic Shots at enemy minions while you're attacking a tower. Remember that Arcane Shift will also contribute to the stack and Essence Flux/Trueshot Barrage can give multiple stacks for hitting multiple targets.

    Mystic Shot
    While AD Ezreals use this ability as their main form of attack, this build uses it mainly as a tool. Use it to last-hit minions to farm nonstop. You also want to spam this on any possible target to reduce the cooldown of your ultimate.

    If Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage are the meat of your assault, this is the bread. In team fights, spam it while your other abilities are cooling down.

    Essence Flux
    This is one of the abilities that makes Ezreal an awesome team fighter. It's essentially a moving AoE, so try to hit as many targets as possible with it, including your teammates.

    However, avoid using it early game until you have the AP and ranks to make it worth using. Its mana costs are high, so using it too early will cripple your offense and exhaust you. Instead, reserve it for buffing ally attack speeds while pushing a tower.

    Once your AP is around 200, Essence Flux will become viable and valuable spell.

    Arcane Shift
    A short-range teleportation ability that also shoots the nearest target for surprising amounts of damage.

    The key to using Arcane Shift is to know when and when not to use it. Don't use it at the start of a fight. Instead, reserve Arcane Shift for quickly backing up in case you overextend into the range of the enemy carries. At the latter end of the battle, Arcane Shift to flee or chase as needed.

    Arcane Shift also makes an excellent finishing move. Flash ontop of a foe to ensure a kill.

    Trueshot Barrage
    The wave of devastation, AP Carry Ezreal's contribution to a team fight. Open every fight with this, ensuring you hit as many targets as possible.

    Early game, don't rely on Trueshot Barrage to get kills. Its damage is reduced for every target it hits, so minions can dwindle its power and make you underestimate your damage. Because of this, I discourage attempting to snipe weakened foes in other lanes. If it misses or fails to kill the enemy you end up wasting it. You would have done better to shoot it up a lane to farm minions.

    Early game, don't be afraid to use it for farming minions. If you have to recall to base, shoot it up your lane to clear a minion wave or two to hinder your enemy's push. When you return, your Trueshot Barrage should be off cooldown.


    Fighting
    In a team fight, position yourself behind your tanks and melee DPS. Step towards the fray, unleash your Essence Flux and Mystic Shots. Then, step back and repeat. If you overextend while stepping in, quickly Arcane Shift out of the range of the enemy carries.

    Try to open the fight with Trueshot Barrage rather than wait until the end. The massive damage to all enemies will boost the confidence and morale of your team, encouraging them to continue fighting rather than run away. Also, enemies tend to scatter towards the latter end of the fight, reducing its efficiency.

  • Skill Order



    This is where my build significantly differs from most AP Ezreal strategies. All AP Ezreal guides rank Essence Flux first. This is generally a bad idea. Ezreal won't have the AP and mana to justify aggressive Essence Flux usage.

    You can't get AP unless you farm. You can't farm with Essence Flux. Thus, you must level up Mystic Shot to farm and give you effectiveness until later in the game. Then, you will be able to reap the benefits of being a carry.

  • Summoner Spells

    If I expect to solo a lane, I typically pick Clarity and Heal. However, let's look at some at them individually.

    Clarity is excellent on Ezreal. With any AP Ezreal build, there's no reason to not have it. It saves you gold for having to buy a mana item and allows you to stay in the field longer. Combined with the improved mastery, it can play a support role as well.

    Heal combined with Catalyst the Protector's passive will you to stay in your lane for very long periods of time. In one game, I didn't go back to base until I was level 17! It's also handy after a team battle as it'll give you the health to keep pushing.

    Teleport is an excellent substitute for Heal, allowing you to leave your lane and return quickly. Even late game, it can incredibly useful.

    Ignite is a good choice if you feel like being aggressive early game. Late game, I personally find it less useful as its range is fairly short compared to Ezreal's abilities. If I'm in range to Ignite someone, I'm better off using my other abilities, which are faster and more powerful.

    Ghost is excellent for fleeing and ensuring you stay alive. Combined with elegant use of Arcane Shift, you should be able to escape most ganks. It might be handy for chasing as well.

    Exhaust is useful against DPS champions that are targeting you. Use it and then obliterate them with your spell combo. However, I personally prefer Ghost.

  • Runes & Masteries

    Overall, I try to prioritize cooldown reduction, magic penetration, and mana regeneration in order to keep Ezreal hitting hard and often.

    The final Mastery and Rune set up will grant:
    14.85% Cooldown Reduction
    15% + 8.5 Magic Penetration
    15 Ability Power
    5 Mana Regen/5 + an additional 0.9 per level

    Masteries
    Instead of tailoring my masteries to specific champions, I made a general-use one for all my champions. I typically play all my champions as casters. However, there are four things specific to this Ezreal build:

    1. Cooldown Reduction
    Intelligence (Utility) for 6% cooldown reduction
    Sorcery (Offense) for 3% cooldown reduction


    2. Mana Regeneration
    Perseverance (Utility) for 4% mana and health regeneration
    Meditation (Utility) for 1 mana per second. That's almost like a free Meki Pendant!

    3. Magic Penetration
    Archaic Knowledge (Offense) which will grant you 15% magic penetration since you already have Sorcery

    4. Summoner Spells
    Try to get the improved versions of the spells you use. While working for the above masteries, improved Ignite, Exhaust, Heal, Teleport, Clarity, Flash, and Ghost are all easily reachable.

    Quickness for movement speed and Greed for additional gold will also benefit this build.


    Runes
    I use a fairly standard caster rune page that will synergize with the masteries.

    9 x Greater Mark of Insight for 8.5 Magic Penetration
    9 x Greater Seal of Clarity for 0.9 mana regen / 5 sec. per level
    9 x Greater Glyph of Focus for 5.85%
    3 x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude for ~100 health

    I used to roll with Greater Quintessence of Potency, but the extra health can often be the deciding factor of recalling at low levels or not.

  • Items

    Summary

    Start: Doran's Ring and a Health Potion.

    Final: Doran's Ring Rod of Ages Sorcerer's Shoes [item=Zhonya's Ring] Lich Bane Haunting Guise


    Explanation
    Doran's Ring
    Doran's Ring will supply enough mana regeneration, especially if you have Clarity and the right masteries and runes. Ezreal has very low health early game, so the bonus HP will greatly make him more durable.

    Rod of Ages
    Aside from the growth aspect serving the foundation of a carry, Rod of Ages performs 4 very useful functions for Ezreal.
    1. It grants health, making Ezreal much more durable.
    2. It grants mana, which Ezreal will always need in abundance.
    3. It grants AP, serving as a firm foundation for the AP build.
    4. Catalyst the Protector, an ingredient of Rod of Ages, will allow you to stay in your lane and keep farming with the help of its passive ability.

    Sorcerer's Shoes
    Grants magic penetration, maximizing your damage.

    [item=Zhonya's Ring]
    A staple item for any AP build. Not only does it give AP and buffs AP item bonuses by 25%, but its active can protect you in case an enemy shifts its focus on you during a team fight.

    Lich Bane
    The problem with AP Ezreal is that AP does not benefit Mystic Shot. Lich Bane changes that by directly adding your AP to your Mystic Shot. It also grants movement speed and AP. Get a Sheen while building your ingredients for Zhonya's Ring and Rod of Ages. After Zhonya's Ring and Rod of Ages are finished, build the Sheen into Lich Bane. By then, your AP should be high enough to make Lich Bane's passive more viable than Sheen's.

    Haunting Guise
    It's relatively cheap and gives magic penetration. With this, Sorcerer's Shoes, and runes, you will have about 50 magic penetration. Considering that most champions will have only 30 by level 18, you'll be dealing crippling damage to them.


    Alternatives
    Mejai's Soulstealer
    An obvious choice for an AP carry. Personally, I'm cursed. Everytime I buy this, I rarely get kills and only get a few assists. When I don't buy it, I do extremely well and wish I did bought it (especially one game when I went 11/6/30). If you don't have this curse and feel confident, I highly recommend this item.

    Abyssal Scepter
    A good alternative for Haunting Guise if you have the gold for it. It won't benefit long range Trueshot Barrages, but it will serve a supportive role in team fights. It also grants AP and some magic resist to round out your defenses.

    Void Staff
    Get this instead of Haunting Guise and finishing your Lich Bane if the enemies are building magic resist.

    Frozen Heart
    Frozen Heart is great for any squishy mage. It gives you mana, cooldown reduction, and great chunk of armor. Its ingredient, Glacial Shroud, grants the same benefits on a lesser scale and price. Frozen Heart's underlooked passive synergizes with Essence Flux's debuff, giving 60% reduced attack speed. Combined with buffing an ally's attack speed, you can easily give your team a 100% attack speed advantage! Build it if the game lingers on.

    Deathfire Grasp
    Get this if the enemy is stacking health or likes to 1v1 you. Otherwise, I don't recommend it. It's useful for nuking an enemy tank or against an assassin that catches you by surprise. However, it doesn't give very much AP. If you want to build it, get [item_text=Kage's Lucky Pick] early or get a [item_text=Meki Pendant] instead of Doran's Ring and build it into Fiendish Codex for quick AP, mana regeneration, and cooldown reduction.

    Not Recommended
    [item=Rylai's Scepter]
    It only slows for 15% with Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage, so its high price isn't worth it. If you want health, Frozen Mallet would be a better choice. It grants a massive 700 for only an extra 185g. Combined with Rod of Ages, this will bring Ezreal to nearly 3000hp! The Frozen Mallet slow effect only works for normal attacks and Mystic Shot, but the spammable Mystic Shot will ensure you can keep your enemies slowed.

    Nashor's Tooth
    I love Nashor's Tooth, but I found it doesn't work well on this build. With this strategy, you should be weaving in and out of the fray, spamming your abilities and being out of range when they're on cooldown. You shouldn't be close enough to use normal attacks. It will be more useful early in the game, but building it that soon will hinder your AP building. As for the cooldown, Frozen Heart is a better choice as it will keep you alive and stack with Essence Flux's debuff for 60% reduced attack speed.

  • Early Game

    Buy a Doran's Ring and a Health Potion. Get Mystic Shot and go to your lane.

    As a carry, farming gold from creeps must be your priority. Weaken creeps with basic attacks and then finish them with Mystic Shot. Keep ranking Mystic Shot to increase the speed of your farming, stopping only to get a rank of Arcane Shift and Essence Flux when it's not available.

    While you want your early game to be passive, your enemy must not know this. If you give off a submissive aura, your enemy will become increasingly aggressive. This is more true for good farmers like Ryze and Sivir. They'll harass you and try to force you away from their creeps. You can't let this happen.

    To counter this, pace from side to side to give the illusion that you're looking for an optimal position to harass them. Shoot warning shots to keep them on their toes. Harass them, but be mindful of your position and mana. Never use Essence Flux to harass them. It wastes mana and its weak damage will make them feel more confident.

    Once you reach level 6, a kill will be possible. Harass the enemy's health down and wait until the enemy has only a few minions left in the wave. Then Arcane Shift in, unload your Mystic Shot and basic attacks. Then when they have 2 or 3 ticks left on their health bar, blast them with a close-range Trueshot Barrage.

    On your first shop visit, you should be able to buy a Catalyst the Protector and a pair of boots.

  • Mid Game

    Keep farming in your lane and try to push towards the enemy tower, being mindful of how your teammates are doing and where enemies are.

    By the time Mystic Shot is maxed out, you should be almost done with your Rod of Ages. Typically, you want to finish it after at least two towers on either side are down. If you have plenty of gold and think the game will last awhile, you may opt to keep using Catalyst the Protector for its passive and buy a Needlessly Large Rod.

    Once you have at least 150 AP, Essence Flux will start to become a viable source of damage in champion battles. Start using it in your offensive combo, but still maintain farming as a priority as long as possible. You likely won't be able to farm late game, so do it while you can.

    In team fights, weave in and out of fights to shoot off your attacks at a safe distance. Keep your tanks and melees between you and the enemy. Only use Arcane Shift if you overextend or if the battle will turning towards one side's favor. You should be dealing quite the amount of damage.

    As teammates begin to group up, buy a Sheen as Mystic Shot's effectiveness will diminish. By then, you should have the ingredients for Zhonya's Ring and Sorcerer's Shoes complete. Then, you'll gradually transition to the AP power house that you spent the game developing into.

  • Late Game

    You're now one of your team's heaviest source of damage. Your team will always be grouped up, and team fights will be common.

    In a fight, stay on the outskirts of the battle. Wait until the enemy clusters up and open your assault with Trueshot Barrage and Essence Flux, unleashing a wave of devastation upon all enemies. The huge burst of damage will tip the battle in your team's favor. Try to aim your Essence Flux towards your Melee DPS's target, ensuring both him and the enemy is hit with it. When Essence Flux is on cooldown, spam Mystic Shot.

    If focus gets turned on you, Arcane Shift away or towards an ally to prompt them to kill them. While you should be cautious, don't be too flighty. Only run away if your team's tank and melee DPS's are running away. Keep attacking, even when running away. You're useless to your team if you won't commit to a fight.

    Once an enemy team is aced, immediately push a tower, using your Essence Flux on any allies that push with you. Don't go back to base while an enemy team is aced. Winning a team battle is useless if you don't take advantage of it! Keep an eye on the respawn timers. Once the enemy starts to respawn, then head back to base.

    You should never go out on your own. Carries are prime targets for ganks. If you push a lane into unsafe territory, have at least one tough ally with you.

    Try to build a Lich Bane and a Haunting Guise to complete your build. If you think the game will end before getting Lich Bane, get Haunting Guise instead or get a Sheen and a Blasting Wand instead. Doing the latter grants you immediate AP while opening the possibility of getting a Liche Bane or Haunting Guise in case the game takes longer than estimated.

    In the end, all of your patience should pay off with the decisive battle victories your wave of devastation will bring.

  • Tips & Tricks

    Focus on positioning
    Positioning is everything with Ezreal. You have to position yourself so your shots will hit while keeping yourself safe from the enemy. In skirmishes, keep yourself behind or parallel to your tanks. Pay close attention to your tanks' movements so you'll never find yourself out in the open.

    Always accompany a tough ally
    Never go out on your own. Ezreal is very squishy and moves surprisingly slow. Arcane Shift is his only escape mechanism. Unless you have Ghost, you're not going to be able to escape a gank. Unlike DPS carries, you can't keep yourself alive by stacking attack speed and life steal (at least with this build). You don't have stuns like Twisted Fate and Annie, slows like Ashe, movement speed buffing abilities like Teemo and Master Yi. Even Tristana's blink ability is better than yours. You have Arcane Shift and whatever summoner spells you took.

    Instead, try to accompany a tank or a tough melee DPS, especially one with life steal. They will keep you alive by tanking damage while you keep them alive by weakening all the enemies at once and buffing their attack speed. I've kept Xin Zhaos and Jaxs alive by buffing their attack speed to enhance their life steal. Having a partner also helps pushing towers since you can buff your DPS's attack speed.

    Use forests to your advantage
    With Arcane Shift, you can easily confuse enemies by teleporting over certain walls in the forest.

    Try setting your spells to smart cast
    At the start of the game, change your key bindings so Mystic Shot, Essence Flux, and Arcane Shift will automatically fire towards your cursor. It reduces your firing delay, allows you to focus on better positioning yourself, and makes Arcane Shift work more like Flash. Overall, it makes for a much more elegant and aggressive Ezreal game.

    You can set your spells to smart cast by going to options and key bindings during a game and scrolling down to "Smart Cast Spell 1, Smart Cast Spell 2," etc.

  • Summary

    => Build Ezreal for AP to make him a carry.

    => Maximize Mystic Shot first and use it to vigorously farm early game.

    => Don't use Essence Flux until mid-game when your AP is higher.

    => Mid to Late game, dominate team fights with your crippling multi-target Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage.

    => Core Items: Rod of Ages, [item=Zhonya's Ring], Lich Bane, and magic penetration items

    => Build masteries and runes for cooldowns, magic penetration, and mana regeneration



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