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[Guide] - The New Ryze, A Low AP Build

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Senior Wrenchman


Guide to the New Ryze

Updated 7/17/12 for .141 patch.

Ryze is one of the only characters in the game who specially complements the cooldown mechanic. His passive is the only skill in the game that effectively lets you utilize cooldown to go "over the cap" This build focuses on optimizing that connection to create a chain casting damage dealer who doesn't fit the build of the standard glass cannon. With the recent changes, his range is a bit shorter, but his AP ratios have gotten a little better.

Basics - Skills

Q: http://leaguecraft.com/spell/Overload (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fleaguecraft.com%2Fspell%2FOverload) – Ryze throws a charge of pure energy at an enemy unit for heavy damage and additional damage based on his mana pool. Blasts enemy unit for 60/85/110/135/160 magic damage (+.4 per AP) plus 6.5% of his maximum mana in magic damage. Additionally, each level adds (2/4/6/8/10%) cooldown reduction.

About – Overload has become the new Ryze's bread and butter skill. With a fixed and extremely short cooldown and mana cost, leveling up this skill early provides Ryze with a cheap and devestating hit that continues throughout the game.

W: http://leaguecraft.com/spell/Rune%20Prison (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fleaguecraft.com%2Fspell%2FRune%2520Prison) – Ryze traps target enemy unit in a cage of runes, preventing them from moving for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds. Traps an enemy unit, preventing them from moving or attacking and dealing 60/95/130/165/200 magic damage (+.6 per AP) and 4.5% of has maximum mana in magic damage.

About – While this skill hasn’t changed significantly, there are a few points to note. First, it has a slightly longer cooldown and it doesn’t last quite as long as it did before and enemies are allowed to attack. Second, it does all of it's damage up front, making it more of a DD with a root component rather than a disable+damage over time. Finally, this skill also complements your mana pool, making mana an even more important stat.

E: http://leaguecraft.com/spell/Spell%20Flux (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fleaguecraft.com%2Fspell%2FSpell%2520Flux) – Ryze throws an orb of pure magical power which bounces to other enemy units, or himself, up to 5 times. Any enemy unit struck is dealt 50/70/90/110/130 (+.35 per AP) and 1% of his max mana in magic damage. Spell Flux applies a stacking -12/15/18/21/24 Magic Resistance debuff to every enemy target it hits with a max stack of 5. Costs 60/75/90/105/120 mana.

About – This skill remains basically the same with a number of strength reductions. The cooldown time has been raised, the damage has been lowered and the overall MR debuff went down slightly as well. Still a somewhat strong skill, this is no longer the highlight of Ryze's abilities.

R: http://leaguecraft.com/spell/Desperate%20Power (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fleaguecraft.com%2Fspell%2FDesperate%2520Power) – Ryze becomes supercharged, gaining 55 movespeed and causing his spells to deal 50% AoE damage for 6 seconds while gaining 25% spell vamp.

About – With the changes from the last patch, Ryze's ult is still a little lackluster. The addition of movespeed gives some bonus to allow for chases and escapes and the low cooldown means this spell will pretty much be available non-stop. The AoE damage and spell vamp, allow Ryze to efficiently clear waves and gives him some measure of sustainability, but the loss of AP/mana from previous iterations means he does do a bit less damage.

Passive: http://leaguecraft.com/spell/Arcane%20Mastery (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fleaguecraft.com%2Fspell%2FArcane%2520Mastery) - After casting a spell all other spells have their Cooldown reduced by 1 second.

About – The passive was unchanged and remains simply amazing. It stacks with cooldown reduction making Ryze one of the most cooldown capable heroes.

Basics - Character

Base Statistics
Health: 446 Start (+86 per level)
Mana: 305 Start (+52 per level)
Movespeed: 310
Armor: 14.9 (+3.7 per level)
MR: 35
Health Regen: 4.9 (+0.11 per level)
Mana Regen: 4.9 (+0.08 per level)
Attack Range: 550
Attack Damage: 52


Why This Build
This guide focuses on Cooldown Reduction to complement Ryze’s new passive and mana to complement his cooldown reduction. This build helps to maximize his DPS output by matching cooldown with AP allowing you to put out a continuous rapid-fire stream of AE damage that’s more suited to his new abilities while still maintaining the ability to stay alive.

http://leaguecraft.com/builder/Ryze/?items=76,5,29,7,18,70&runes=97,97,97,97,97,97,97,97,97,51,51,51,51,51,51,51,51,52,90,90,90&masteries=1003400000000000000000000000003104032031301&level=18 (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/redirect.php?do=verify&redirect_url=http%3A%2F%2Fleaguecraft.com%2Fbuilder%2FRyze%2F%3Fitems%3D76%2C5%2C29%2C7%2C18%2C70%26amp%3Brunes%3D97%2C97%2C97%2C97%2C97%2C97%2C97%2C97%2C97%2C51%2C51%2C51%2C51%2C51%2C51%2C51%2C51%2C52%2C90%2C90%2C90%26amp%3Bmasteries%3D1003400000000000000000000000003104032031301%26amp%3Blevel%3D18)

Split build with the new masteries setup. Since no line really provides Ryze with any major bonus, I build a little wierd with a 12/15/3 setup. The 12 in offense builds up through Magic Pen and grabs Havoc for the extra damage. I usually pick up Summoner's Wrath to buff Ghost and Exhaust (if used) which is a far greater benefit than 1 more AP. The 15 in Defense builds up through Veteran's Scars adding 3 in Armor and 2 in Magic resist, 3 in Evasion and 2 in Enlightenment. The final 3 in Utility go to Expanded Mind for the obvious mana bonus.

With Frozen Heart, Masteries and Overload you have 20%+9.4%+10% to 39.4% which means you only need to account for a tiny bit more cooldown. For seals, whatever you find yourself needing most, not that you can switch them out per game unless you buy lots of rune pages, but just get a feel for what you do better with. Marks are best for magic pen. While late game Knowledge(per level) quints and glyphs will have a slightly greater advantage (227 mana or obo 18 dmg on OL) the new masteries have nerfed Ryze's early game, causing him to have a greater need for flat mana. If you're playing Dominion, the quicker leveling makes Per Level runes more cost effective.

3 – Greater Quints of Intellect (Flat mana, 37.5) 112.5 mana

1 - Greater Glyph of Focus (Flat cooldown, .65%)
8 – Greater Glyphs of Intellect (Flat mana, 11.25) 90 mana

9 - Greater Seals of Resilience (1.41 AC) 12.69 armor, or
9 - Greater Seals of Shielding (1.8 MR at 18) 16.2 MR, or
9 - Greater Seals of Intellect (Flat mana, 6.89) 62 mana

9 – Greater Marks of Insight (Magic Penetration, .95) 8.55 Magic Pen

Summoner Spells
This has really become more of a personal choice. I tend to use Ghost and Exhaust, sometimes replacing exhaust with Cleanse or Teleport now since they give the most utility + survivability. Cleanse can be a great skill for both escapes and clearing silence when you need to keep spamming your abilities, Mana Restore is an ok choice.

Flash is still an ok if nerfed option, Heal and Mana are a little more viable now with the boosts but not great, Revive still sucks, Surge really doesn't gel with Ryze's skill set.

Ability Path
Overload, with its fixed cooldown and mana cost has amazing early game scalability as your mana pool increases. This, plus it's status as the shortest cooldown ability makes it a must have primary focus. Early on you should also be grabbing 1 rank of Rune Prison and Spell Flux in order to make use of Ryze's passive. After that prioritize Overload -> Rune Prison -> Ult -> Spell Flux.

1. Overload
2. Rune Prison
3. Overload
4. Spell Flux
5. Overload
6. Desperate Power
7. Overload
8. Overload
9. Rune Prison
10. Rune Prison
11. Desperate Power
12. Rune Prison
13. Rune Prison
14. Spell Flux
15. Spell Flux
16. Desperate Power
17. Spell Flux
18. Spell Flux

This one is a biggy, the focus here are on three main objectives. Cooldown Reduction, Mana Pool and Survivability. Cooldown Reduction allows you to maximize the effectiveness of Ryze’s passive while getting the most out of your skills. Having a large mana pool makes continuous casting possible which is crucial to this build late game. And survivability is huge because even without crazy spike DPS, Ryze can put out some of the most overall hurt to an enemy team and will be focused.

Start out with a Sapphire Crystal and 1-2 health potions, just a basic setup, gives you mana to start, bit of added damage to your first level of Overload and lets you build towards Tear of the Goddess. Once you’ve gotten a Tear, build towards Boots and Catalyst the Protector. Note: This first build order can be reversed depending on your playstyle / lane, if you're solo, it's best to start with catalyst. If you're facing a physical damage heavy team, you may also want to consider placing Glacial Shroud earlier into your build for the added cooldown and armor.

Boots – Mercury Treads are the default here, gives good added magic resistance and the 40% disable reducer is FTW. If the enemy team really has NO disables or casters, then looking into something else could be warranted but otherwise I’d stick with the treads. Sorcerer's Shoes aren't a bad option for the early flat magic pen, but their usefulness diminishes somewhat into late game.

Eventually you should be looking to build your Tear and Catalyst into an Archangel’s Staff and Banshee’s Veil respectively. The staff will give you great mana and bonus AP and getting the Veil early is big for survivability. If you're playing against a team with no magic damage you could also build your Catalyst into a Rod of Ages.

Next you should focus on building towards a Frozen Heart, by now, you should be probably around mid-game and the need for cooldown reduction should start coming in. Frozen Heart is amazing for Ryze now because it offers every single part of what we’re looking for in this build – mana, big cooldown reduction and armor + slow aura for survivability. Note: If you want to do more damage or if you're playing against a physical damage heavy team, it's probably best to get Frozen Heart (or at least Glacial Shroud) before Catalyst.

After the Frozen Heart, the last items are really up to you. If you want to do straight damage, adding another Archangel's Staff will give you a strong boost to both AP and mana, While a Void Staff may be a better option if you're facing strong Magic Resist, or (rarely) Rabadon's Deathcap for pure damage. For survivability Rod of Ages will give you a decent HP boost while adding decent AP and mana stats. A Zhonya's Hourglass may also be a good option here for the stasis ability as well as heavy armor if you're facing a physical team. Guardian Angel may also be a decent option since you're already a bit more tanky then a standard caster and AP carries tend to get hard focused in team fights. Two other options to consider would be Lich Bane for the move speed + mana/ap or Abyssal Scepter under special circumstances where you need more MR and magic pen.

Game Strategy

Early Game
Last hit minions with your ranged auto attack harass with Overload. Don’t get to close to the enemy heroes, since you’re pretty squishy, but this isn't as much of a problem with your increased casting range. If you’ve got a competent lane partner with a disable, save a little mana at all times to participate in a gank if the opportunity arises. Starting with a Sapphire Crystal combined with runes and masteries, you should have about 710 mana in your starting pool. With the changes to Rune Prison, that means at level 2 with care, one quick nuke + root and you can hit someone for 118 (OL) + 93 (RP) + 53 (auto attack) for ~264 damage without retaliation. If someone's running away, open with Rune Prison, otherwise try to always lead with OL, since the short cooldown will benefit from your passive.

After you hit level 6 and have your Tear, you should be burning Desperate Power every time you're back in base (buying, death, etc.), the low cooldown will have it back up by the time you need to use it and it lets you get an extra "stack" on your Tear.

Mid Game
Use your ulti to push with AE damage, participate in team ganks. For harassing only use Overload, it does strong damage and uses less mana than any of your other skills. Save RP and Flux for ganks. Every time you go for a gank you should be burning your ult, the cooldown is so low, there's no reason not to have it up. For creep waves, you can start burning through them very quickly with Spell Flux and your Ult, just hit E and immediately afterward tap R as your ulti will affect the already cast Spell Flux. You should pretty much be using your abilities full time now. Use overload and spell flux to last hit, build up your Tear/AA Staff if they're not maxed out already. With 2k+ mana, you should have no problem spamming your skills, especially with the lower level of Overload at this point.

To get the most out of Spell Flux, you want to try to lure and gank. Overly aggressive heroes will sometimes chase you into bushes where you're too far to bounce SF on their creeps. Use this and rune prison to your advantage to get all 3 potential hits on them. This also applies to the jungle where you don't have to worry as much about creeps.

Now that you've got a bit bigger mana pool, start using some of it to burn down minions with Overload. Each cast will help you build up your +1000 limit on Tear and make you do more damage overall while at the same time increasing your minion kill count.

Late Game
You have all your spells, so figure out what the best combination of firings will be to best utilize your cooldowns.
If your masteries and runes are setup correctly and you have Frozen Heart (you should) then your cooldowns will look like this:

Overload: 2.5 seconds
Rune Prison: 9.8 seconds
Spell Flux: 9.8 seconds
Desperate Power: 35 seconds

If the enemy is not running away, open up with Overload (this will cooldown super fast)
Follow up with Desperate Power -> Overload -> Spell Flux -> Overload -> Rune Prison -> etc. etc.

If they are running away, open up with Rune Prison.
Follow up with OL -> DP-> SF -> RP -> OL

If you’re going into a team battle, focus on 1). your team’s target (not enough people do this) else, 2). the squishiest DPS, or 3). groupings of enemy heroes

Open up here with Overload, followed by DP, Spell Flux, Rune Prison and OL, repeat ad nauseum as skills refresh.

With ganks and teamfights, most players are used to Ryze firing off one line of spells and then fleeing like a spent flintlock rifle before Godzilla. Use this to your advantage. Your survivability lets you go toe to toe for much longer while the chain DPS that you can put out especially while your Ulti is still running is more than a match for pretty much anyone.


Auto-casting is your friend! If you're quick enough to skill+click that's fine, but holding down shift and having the mouse positioned over the enemy champion when you hit your skill allows you to insta-cast without having to worry about a misclick or accidental movement change.

With max cooldown plus your passive, using any other skill should refresh Overload. Refreshing and recasting Overload allows you to refresh your other skills much faster, effectively allowing you to chain-cast. If you're fighting solo, there is almost never a reason to break your chain.

Fighting enemy champions in their minions is an effective way to add to your survivability. Your ult AE damage counts all damage done to minions toward your spell vamp and every bounce of your Spell Flux does AE damage to the enemy champion.

In Dominion Ryze is generally most effective on bottom, but can easily hold his own in the 4v4 teamfights top. When bottom, you should be casting almost continuously. This allows you to push a minion wave, gain CS gold and build up your Tear for additional damage. Keeping a minion wave pushed also allows you to farm the hp/mana rune and sustain your laning.

In Dominion, don't be hesitant to port back when you've got a minion wave pushed all the way. Although it's better to cap (or at least uncap) the enemy turret, porting back allows you to refresh, buy and also covers against overextending, especially if you see someone missing up top.

Other Things to Look At

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Senior Member


Great guide. Agree 100%

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The skill build, I can understand. The rest, not so much. Rune prison used to be the main focus for old Ryze because one of his skills requires him to auto attack. Now that he's more like a burst caster(aka Annie), Prison's importance is lessened.

While -CD is a relatively good stat to shoot for for casters, in Ryze's case, it is pretty redundant because of his passive and the low CD of his spells. I can safely say that you don't need -CD as much as you need survivability and damage. Moreover, getting Frozen Heart as your core item is strange to me. I think more of an item that is specialized for tanks against dps. If you really want more survivability as a caster, you should just get more hp via RoA and/or Banshees and/or Rylai's.

As for the spell rotation, you should never start with DP. Why? Its instant and it has a long cooldown. You can always mash it while a spell (overload/flux) is in flight. Also, if you start with Overload/flux, if you cast all the rest of your spells, you can probably cast overload/flux again.

Lastly, it should be noted that if you get your early kills, considering Mejai's and/or Leviathan would be nice.

Nice work on getting the numbers and writing the guide though.

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Senior Wrenchman


I see your point about DP. I was thinking just to get as much damage off per spell in the shortest period of time. But that's a good point, I'll take a look at changing around that lineup.

While -CD is a relatively good stat to shoot for for casters, in Ryze's case, it is pretty redundant because of his passive and the low CD of his spells. I can safely say that you don't need -CD as much as you need survivability and damage.

In theory I agree that it's generally better to use items, masteries and runes to shore up weakspots rather than using them to overpower an already existing strength of a champion, but in this case I have to disagree.

With the changes, the old (damage=AP) focus of Ryze is just no longer the same. Every one of his abilities had a nerf in AP ratio.

Because Ryze's passive stacks with cooldowns, it effectively gives you the ability to go over the cap, just by using your skills. Instead of focusing on expensive damage through AP, this build focuses on maxing your cooldown cap and building a huge mana pool so that you can literally chain spam all of your skills continuously in a fight.

This gives you the chance to spend money on more survivable items, for example, if you look at the Leaguecraft link at the start of the Build section, that build has 3700+ hp and over 50% resist to physical and magic damage.

As for Frozen Heart, the reasoning behind that item is this. First off, it has 25% cooldown, tied for the most of any item. That means you can max your cooldown without taking any additional item slots. It also has 500 mana which is a ton. For survivability, it adds 110 armor - which is the most for any item and significantly increases Ryze's physical defence. Coupled with the 35% attack speed slow, it's great defence against any non-caster. Even if you're fighting all casters (which is pretty much a win anyway) Frozen Heart will add bonus defence against minions and towers for chasing down champions behind enemy lines.

Thanks for the feedback, I hope that sort of explains the reasoning, behind those choices and the build.

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Junior Member


Sorry, noob questions here, but you say that getting the 200 mana crystal is better because it gives you 20 damage. Where does that result from? Am I missing a passive rule that people get 10% of their mana as damage? Or am I missing some property of Ryze?

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Senior Member


Sorry, noob questions here, but you say that getting the 200 mana crystal is better because it gives you 20 damage. Where does that result from? Am I missing a passive rule that people get 10% of their mana as damage? Or am I missing some property of Ryze?
Overload gets 10% of your mana as damage

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Junior Member


Oh, now I see it. L2Read I guess for me

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Senior Member


BTW your name reminds me of someone I used to play WC3 with... did you play with a bunch of guys from Clan GM?

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Senior Member


Sorry, noob questions here, but you say that getting the 200 mana crystal is better because it gives you 20 damage. Where does that result from? Am I missing a passive rule that people get 10% of their mana as damage? Or am I missing some property of Ryze?

Q: Overload – Ryze throws a charge of pure energy at an enemy unit for heavy damage and additional damage based upon Ryze's current mana. Blasts enemy unit for 70/105/140/175/210 magic damage (+.45 per AP) plus 10% of his maximum mana in magic damage.

There ya go

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seems pretty good, i'd recommend a lichbane, even with your low AP its still a bonus to your attacks in the range of 150, plus the MR and movement speed are survivability