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The difference between the casters isn't staggeringly huge when you compare him to Annie and Anivia. These 3 are still really close imo, Annie has the best burst on a single target, and the best disable. Anivia has great AoE slow while her stun is so short it's not much of a factor, and shes also really hard to kill. Ryze has a decent single target snare and quite possibly the best AoE damage with his ult up compared to the other two.
The big big problem for Ryze is fiddles, aka that champ who has the AoE ultimate that melts teams while ALSO having two insanely good CC abilities and the ability to jungle. So basically, any time you want a huge damage AoE monster on your team you're better off just picking fiddles instead. If fiddle was nerfed down a bit we might see Ryze a lot more.
Also IMO he's already on par or maybe even better than heros like karthus, kassadin, and veigar.