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Ryze... what are the elusive last 2 items?

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Senior Member


Most of us know the core four items for Ryze. It is pretty well established by now. Some still take Rod of Ages first, but most have been persuaded not to (including myself) after seeing how much rushing CDR increases your offense.

Tear of Goddess
Glacial Shroud -> Frozen Heart
Banshee/Odins Veil
Boots of some kind. (usually sorc shoes, occasionally merc treads)

If you want to debate this, please do so elsewhere. In this thread we are treating this as established.

The million Dollar Question is: What are the last 2 items?

Our options:

1) Will of the Ancients - 2100gold cost. +70 AP, +25% spellvamp (plus some AP/vamp sharing)
The AP is fairly low value and shared AP/vamp is of conditional benefit. The spell vamp is pretty effective though since Ryze is one of the few mages with sustained DPS spell output. This means that he can be expected to recoup a significant amount of his health. It also synergizes somewhat with his Ult in that it always helps keep Ryze topped off out of combat and suppliments his Ult Spell vamp in combat.

However, you pay a LOT of gold for this spell vamp. Since the AP is of such low value, you effectively fork over about 70 gold per spell vamp point. Plus if you get CCed and bursted down, then you lose this potential "health". Consider how useful the Vamp from your Ult has been.. this will help decide the usefulness of this item.

2) Rod of Ages (taken late) - 3000g cost. Starts at 80% efficiency. Boosts Health which is very important, Mana which is king, and AP which is of low value.
Normally a very efficient item, the AP (normally 1600g worth) is really only worth about 600ish gold to Ryze and has a minimal effect. Hence you pay 3k for about 3k worth of health and mana...when the Rod is maxed.
Thus it barely breaks even when first bought and isn't super efficient after maxed even.

3) Void Staff - 2300g. +70 AP, which is worth maybe 500g to Ryze instead of the 1400g market value. Hence, you pay a fortune for the 45% magic penetration. Also note that if you went 9-0-21 instead of 0-9-21, it actually provides a bit less pen, due to its interaction with the 15% from mastery.
For foes with high MR, this can be a cost effective way to increase DPS.

As an example, say you deal 1000 damage. A foe with 100 MR takes 500 only. A void staff will reduce MR to 55, and increase damage dealt to 650, an increase of 30% in your damage! (not counting your flat reduction from Sorc SHoes and your bouncy..if applicable...these reduce void staff efficiency significantly)

As a last item, this is a very large DPS increase... but only against multiple foes with unusually high MR, and you pay pretty much the entire 2300g just for the Magic Pen.

4) Guardian Angel - 2700gold cost. Provides 1600gold of armor and magic resist (sadly, more armor than MR..which you already have a ton of...)

Free rez is certainly good, but consider that it usually only saves you 25% of the time. Since you are tanky DPS basically, you usually die 3rd. So if you DO die in team fight, half your team is dead and you only get saved if your team still won or just barely lost. Otherwise you get re-CCed and beat down, same as if you get ganked.

5) Aegis of Legion - 1925g cost. Provides 2k worth of health, armor, and MR giving Ryze a nice bump in effective health... and even leaning more towards the MR-side. Also gives a modest sharing benefit of armor, MR, AD which is of variable but universal value. I consider this underrated and Ryze would be a great carrier for this item.

Does absolutely nothing offensively though and your armor is already really high.

6) ANOTHER Banshee/Odins - Terribly inefficient sounding, but for 2700g, provides 2300g of exactly what you want... health, mana, and magic resistance. Kind of like a weak Rod of Ages, but MR is tons better than AP.

7) Thornmail or Frozen Heart #2 - You already have 200 armor which is a lot! But if AD is really a problem still, Frozen Heart provides 1500g of armor and 1000g of mana for 2700gold. Thornmail is probably better: If 200 armor doesn't help enough, then why is 300 much better? Well, if you can make em take 30% raw damage back while you have 75% resistance that ruins lifesteal and makes em easy to kill.

Other random discarded options:

Warmogs - Ridiculous health booster. Ryze probably better off with one of the focused armor or MR options.
Haunted Guise - health and flat magic penetration. Small DPS increase but who wants a small item to finish out with?
Abyssal - big MR and more flat magic pen, but useless AP makes it inefficient.
Lichbane - MR, mana pool, movespeed, but wayy expensive for the stats and useless proc.
Force of Nature - 1k gold worth of magic resist and some speed, but the rest is just health regen which is weak endgame.

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Nexus Crawler

Senior Member


I'd probably say GA, Void, Abyssal, Force of Nature, or a Catalyst for pure raw HP/Mana (only really recommended if you're dealing with True Damage Champs like Olaf, Irelia, and Vayne. The best in my opinion combined with his high HP total, and Strength of Spirit would be FoN. With all his HP from items getting some more AR/MR would add increased value. Also I'd probably say WotA. While the AP on it is meh on Ryze it helps your teams other casters, and also provides a good chunk of Spell Vamp for you, and your Team. It's always nice to have someone on the team grabbing it even when they're (or me) are playing Casters Physical or otherwise.

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Senior Member


RoA, catalyst is very cost effective so why not buy another one when you've finished bv. Void Staff if they're all smart enough to stack MR. GA if you're focused. Another AA staff if you're dominating. Lich Bane is ok if you could actually take advantage of the sheen part, which in most cases you won't, so I see myself taking this less and less.

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Senior Member


The only problem with RoA is how long it takes to charge it up.It is very cost efficient,but the time it takes to charge up can be a big downfall when you buy 2 of them.So just get a single RoA when you can.

The final item should be a Void Staff.Will bring up your damage significantly if they got MR.Or maybe WotA if they didn't get much MR.

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Senior Member


You're looking at AP wrong. It actually has fairly significant value to him, it's just that he scales upwards much more quickly with Mana, especially in the early game (plus it supports his chain casting habit).

Q = .2 ratio (not good, sure, but enough that AP isn't totally wasted on your poking)
W = .6 ratio (this is a little low, but is actually on par with a number of secondary nukes)
E = .35x5 (here is the big deal with not ignoring AP, as with your ult running this is still some pretty serious AOE devastation)

So think of it this way, you pretty much just stack pure mana during the poking and 1v1 stages of the game - and then as you get to team fights, AP begins to gain more relevance.

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Senior Member


Well, AP isn't useless on ryze, it's just less useful than most casters. My opinion is that you're seriously undervaluing AP in your calculations.

Let's take a typical combo from ryze as the standard for his damage:

Q --> W --> Q --> E --> Q

assume the E hits twice, since it bounces. (Maybe it hits more than twice, maybe it hits once... two hits seems like a workable average and in any case it's not a huge part of his damage so this assumption won't affect the numbers too much)

Each point of ability power will increase the damage of this combo by:

.2 * 3 (Q) + .6 (W) + .35 * 2 (E), or 1.9 damage per ap.

in comparison, each point of mana will increase it by:

(.08 * 3 (Q) + .05 (W) ) * 1.05 (expanded mind), or .3045 per point.

take 1.9 and divide it by .3045...

you can see that AP adds roughly the same damage as 6.24 mana. That means that the 80 AP from rod of ages or whatever else you buy is worth roughly the same, damage wise, as 500 points of mana. Mana is generally worth 2g per point, so 80 ap is worth 1000g, even for ryze. Less than most casters but nothing to sneeze at.

(AP also adds the additional benefit of increasing ryze's damage to buildings. And mana adds some health regen if you have that talent in defensive, and is also helpful in the extremely unlikely even that ryze runs out of mana late-game.)

After he's built his core items (Frozen heart, banshee's, tear, boots), and is level 18, he should have the following amount of mana:

1465 base (including passive bonus from ult)
+500 from frozen heart
+350 from tear
+375 from banshee's
up to 1000 from tear stacks, but really it's probably not higher than 600 since this takes so long to stack up. So lets just say 600 from tear stacks.

That gives him 3290 mana.

Let's say he upgraded the tear to an archangel's staff. That would give him 50 more mana, + 45 flat ap, + 3% of his mana as ap... which comes out to 100 AP (3340 *.03)

That gives him 145 ap + 50 mana for 1860 gold (the cost to upgrade tear to archangel's ). since one point of ap is worth 6.24 mana, that's worth 904.8 mana worth of ap, and 50 mana worth of mana. If we value mana at 2g per point, and mana regen at nothing, archangel's upgrade is worth 1909.6g, which is reasonably efficient, and slightly more efficient than stacking sapphire crystals. It will only get more efficient as you get more mana, so IMO you should upgrade to archangel's after your 4th or 5th item, rather than building it after your 6th as most guides recommend, unless you absolutely need a tank item at that point.

Compare to rod of ages... assume 1 health point = 1 mana point (may be bad assumption, lol), and you get the equivalent of 1349 mana at 0 minutes, and 1854.2 mana at 10 minutes, for a gold efficiency of 2.249g per mana at 0 min, and 1.637g per mana at 10 min.

They're pretty similar. Seems like if you want to build more DPS, you should upgrade to Archangel's as your next item, but if you want more beefyness you should get rod of ages.

Next up: abyssal scepter.

if you value magic resist at 15g per point, the mr on abyssal is worth 855g points.

the 70 ap is worth 436.8 mana, or 873.6g. Since the cost is 2650, that means the aura needs to be worth about 921.4g...

But what is the aura worth?


If ryze has 3290 *1.05 mana and 0 ap, Ryze's combo, Q -> W -> Q -> E -> Q, discussed earlier, should be doing the following damage: (140 + 3290*1.05*.08 )*3 [Q] + (200 + 3290*1.05*.05) [W]+ 130*2 [E])

which comes out to 1881.8 damage by my calculations. as already discussed, each point of mana will increase this damage by .3045 before magic resist is factored in.

How much magic resist reduction will increase it is harder to say. Assume that the opponent has an average of 70 magic resist already accounting for sorc shoes, ryze's e, runes, etc (so probably upwards of 100 magic resist base):

Each point of mana will now add only .1791 damage (.3045 / 1.7)

and the damage from his combo is now 1106.94 damage. (1881.8 / 1.7)

but let's say the opponent had 50 magic resist instead (reduced by a further 20)
it comes out to 1254.53 damage (1881.8 / 1.5)

So the -20 magic resist aura increased his damage by 147.59

To increase his damage by that much through mana, he'd need 824 mana. if we value mana at 2g, the aura on abyssal scepter is worth 1648 gold (heavily dependent on how high the opponent's magic resist is... the lower the better).

That brings the total value of abyssal scepter to being worth way more than you payed for it, by my calculations. with 873.6g worth of ap, 855g worth of ap and 1648g worth of aura, or 3376g worth total, for 2650g.

Actually, abyssal scepter is a chronically undervalued item, so it doesn't surprise me that it's underrated on ryze also.

Heck, after doing that calculation i kindof want to buy haunting guise.

eyeballing it void staff is also a good option if they're stacking stupid amounts of magic resist but i'm too lazy to do any more math right now.

Honestly though, if you're getting abyssal scepter AND banshee's on the same build, with frozen heart, your armor+mr is going to be stupidly high with hardly any buff to your hp. So you'd probably want rod of ages as your 5th or 6th item regardless of any earlier math.. (i'm probably greatly undervaluing health in my above calculations, but i'm too lazy to do any more math right n ow)


So i'd say something like this would be a good ryze build:


Sorc shoes
Frozen Heart

then in no particular order:

ROA (if you expect the game to go on a while)
Haunting guise (if you expect the game to end quickly.)
Banshees (overrated. It's worth 2250g + the bubble. pick it up if you need magic resist and want the bubble but i don't see how this is core and it's simpler to just buy a negatron or two then upgrade later if you just need MR.)
Abyssal (if nobody else took it)
Archangel's (pick up once you have like 4k+ mana or run out of inventory spots)

Get void staff if they're all stacking stupid amounts of magic resist (150+) which seems extremely unlikely to me.

As for will of the ancients, it would be nice if someone besides ryze would buy this, all you need is the aura...

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Shattered Clock

Senior Member


This might seem a bit out in left field here, but I actually gave Ryze the Manamune and Malady as items. It really worked out in my favor because my spells hit harder and the extra physicality really took the guys I was laning against by surprise when I all of sudden started blasting them for huge damage off my auto-attack.

Edit: Huge physical damage for Ryze anyway. They had done nothing, but stack MR so my increased AD made pretty short work of them in conjunction with my spells.

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Senior Member



Wow, and I thought "I" was verbose... ;-) Solid math. I was valuing AP at 40% of true market value, whereas you value it at about 60% of TMV. I can live with that.

I will say that the E rarely seems to bounce for me, and that the "R" part of the Q, throws off calculations slightly in "my favor" so to speak if you go Q,W,Q,E,Q,R,Q...pause, Q,W,Q,E,Q, for example. But those are minor points at best.

Interesting point about Banshee not being core. I hadn't thought about it like that, but I can see the logic...sort of.

Since Ryze will have magic pen runes, sorc shoes always, an E debuff, I can see the argument for Abyssal and even Haunted Guise.

I am still not seeing a clear cut winner, but good discussion. Heck, even more Archangels staves are looking tempting. If you upgraded Tear to AA, then got 2 more AA, it would exponentially increase your AP. The first one adds +50 mana, and the next 2 add 400 each.

That gets mana up to 4500ish, with a 9% coversion factor thus getting 405AP or 8100 true market value (and we take 60% of that), plus the other stats...including 55AP x3, the extra 800 mana.

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Senior Member


With 9/0/21 and void staff it goes to 49% magic penetration.

Which is very good lategame if opponents are stacking MR(because any more mana item will not give you as much boost to damage) and you can switch to merc treads.

And as one of the above post said: AP is still good on Ryze(though it is obviously not what you should focus on building).

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Senior Member


Manamu and Phantom's Dancer