Firstly, I think some disclaimers are in order.
1. I am by no means a great player. I play mainly in middle elo brackets so take anything I say in that context.
2. Ryze is a bad hero. Period. He's not high tier, he's not mid teir, he's low, however with a little skill and a little flair, you can play some really fun games, and maybe even win a few. I have over 140 games played with Ryze and as of last night am 71-71 so keep in mind this is by no means a guide to super ownage.
3. I know spell damage is the generally accepted build and just the other day I was called a noob by my team for this build, even though I went positive and helped us win. So be prepared to be flamed if you use this, I'm sure I will be for this guide.
*puts on flame proof hat*
Ryze is glass cannon extraodinaire, destroyer of dreams and slayer of noobs. Numerically his damage is astounding almost to the point of being broken however his extreme squishness and complete lack of utility have earned him a spot at the bottom of the champion hierarchy. However, if you can stay on top of the pile and stay at the edges of team fights your damage can single-handedly win fights, and subsequently games, for your team.
Things to remember.
1. If you get CCed you are dead. Use flash/cleanse to move around the edges of battles and keep your team between you and the bad guys whenever possible.
2. Ryze is a position heavy hero. Being in the right place can mean the difference between killing udyr without getting touched or taking 1/2 of his HP and dying horribly.
3. You are a horrible risk to being kited because of the short range of your skills, laning early aginst a teemo or trist can be very unpleasant if they are being aggressive. Don't try and run at them to get into position because you will be dead before you get there.
4. Your job as ryze is to do massive aoe damage in team fights and to kill squishy carries. IN THAT ORDER. Don't go chasing after a low HP ashe when you could attack malphite and damage 4 heroes.
5. Movement is not a bad thing. People have a tendency to get very stationary with casters. Staying on the move while letting spell flux bounce between you and a taget will buy you time for your cooldowns and keep you out of range of their attacks.
6. DON'T RUN INTO MELEE RANGE TO SPELL FLUX. This is one of the biggest mistakes new ryze players make. An Udyr or a Tryn can kill you before you can get overload off, you're ranged, they aren't. Why do their job for them?
7. Your damage is your best defense. Just because you have 100 life left doesn't mean running from a half HP Yi is the best option, in fact he's most likely going to catch you anyway so prison him away from you and unload on him. You might get luckly and scare him away or even kill him.
Skill Break Down
Your main and really Only source of damage for this build. This spell holds massive potential. Simple and to the point you click on someone they take damage and hopefully A LOT of damage, with this build you'll have this skill hitting in the 400's by mid game and can be pushing close to 1000 late.
2. Rune Prison
Your only CC and a pretty average one at that. Remember that people you rune prison CAN STILL CAST and can use summoner skills. However it is still effective at helping you get into position or helping your allies catch up. Most importantly DON"T underestimate the amount of damage this skill does, although in this build you'll be using it mainly as a set-up early game it can change the balance of a fight.
3. Spell flux
This is pretty much the best skill in your arsenal. This is a guide to low-ap or mana ryze and it's STILL the best skill you will have. You will use it early game as your primary harasser and mid to late game as a damage multiplier. At -15 magic resist a bounce this can add 20-30% damage to your overload which is a HUGE amount.
4. Desperate power
Amazing skill, massive AP boost, low cooldown, 0 mana cost, 65% aoe damge on all your spells, with some CD redux this skill will be on about a 30 sec timer which means you will use it pretty much whenever you do anything, and why not it's FREE!!!!!
I'm sure most of you know this but for the new players a perfect situation for ryze would go something like this.
You're hiding in the bushes near a lane waiting to gank and their Ashe suddely decides to wander by your particular patch of weeds.
1. Desperate power, I mean who would wanna kill someone and not have crazy lightning around you
2. Rune prison - Hold her still and walk in close
3. Spell Flux - it will bounce between you and her putting in the neighborhood of 200-250 damage on her and taking her magic resist down by 45
4. Overload- this spell will do massive damage to her and hopefully kill her
Keep in mind all of this should happen in < 2 seconds catching people off guard with this amount of damage is sure to net you a few kills.
Level 1 Spell Flux
Level 2 Rune Prison
Level 3 Overload
Level 4 Overload
Level 5 Overload
level 6 Rune Prison
Level 7 Overload
Level 8 Desperate power
Level 9 Overload
Level 10 Rune Prison
Level 11 Depserate power
Level 12 Rune Prison
Level 13 Rune Prison
Level 14 Spell Flux
Level 16 Desperate power
Level 17 Spell Flux
Level 18 Spell Flux
Things to note:
I do not get my ult at 6 mainly because the Aoe isn't that useful in a lane with only 2 people and generally ganking has not started yet. Also the damage you get from the bonus AP is less than leveling overload again. But feel free to get it, it doesn't make that much difference. Especially if you're ending up aginst 3+ people this early
Starting items: Doran's ring + health pot
1. Tear of the goddess = 400 + 580 = 980
Sapphire x-tal = 400 Farie Charm = 180
2. Boots of Swiftness 350 + 650 = 1000
3. Catalyst of the Protector = 450 + 875 = 1325
sapphire x-tal = 400 Ruby x-tal = 475
4. Glacial Shroud = 1275 + 400 = 1675
Ring of sages = 975 cloth armor = 300
5. Archangels staff = 860 + 1000 = 1860
Blasting Rod = 860
6. Zonya's Ring = 2680 + 1000 = 3680 (ouch)
Ring of sages = 960 Blasting rod x2 = 1720
7. ..... If the game is still going on you've most likely lost anyway so buy whatever
This should put you at about 3800 mana and 350 + Ap which means your overload will be hitting for 500-900 damage depending on resists.
Notice : Item builds should NEVER be set in stone, adapt to the situation. If you are dying too much make your protector into a veil early instead. If they are stacking magic resist to stop you get a void staff. and for the love of god if they have a veigar build spell power, or the first time he nukes you for 2000+ damage you'll wish you had.
Early game: level 1-7
harass, harass, HARASS!:
Spell flux is one of the best harassers in the game.It costs practically nothing and does great damage and on a lucky or well timed cast it can do A LOT of damage. When coupled with another source of magic damage from an ally it's VERY hard to deal with. You're keeping it at level one to keep the mana cost down so spam away.
Early game objective's
A. Keep them away from the creeps so they can't farm
B. Whittle their Hp down so you can make a move to kill them
C. Amplify your overload and your allys damage to burst them down
Things to remember:
1. At early levels your auto attack does just as much damage as everyone else's. Don't be afraid to get in a punching match with someone. They don't have a 250 damage spell combo up their sleeves and baiting them into a fight early will get you some easy kills or run them out of a lane.
2. Making them leave the lane is just as good as killing them, and tower diving and failing is going to really set you back. So make SURE you are going to kill them if you are going to dive, the FB IS worth the death but you have to kill them, otherwise it's a pretty steep hill to climb back.
3. Hold onto your overload. Use it only to get kills or to try to scare them out of the lane. Most people are aware that overload does alot of damage and keeping the enemy in the dark is to your benefit. If they overestimate it will push them out early or scare them into playing conservative and if they underestimate it will get them killed. Showing them how much damage it does will give them an edge on you and it costs A LOT of mana that you do not have at early levels.
Mid game: level 7-13
This is where if you have done a decent job early game Ryze really shines. By now you should have your tear and maybe half of your protector if you've gotten a few kills. Your spell combo will be doing 500-600 damage which is about 1/2 of most heroes Hp especially if you've got some levels on them.
Your main objectives mid game will be to:
A. Help any lanes your allies are doing poorly in.
B. Keep their carries DOWN.
C. Pick up cheap kills and get really fed.
Things to Remember:
1. Finding people alone in the woods is usually a kill, however running around by yourself is NEVER a good idea. If the ashe you caught creeping has friends nearby you're most likely going to die.
2. Don't forget Ryze's passive, Keep casting!!! Just because your inital burst didn't kill malphite doesn't mean you should give up. Keep running alongside him until your prison cools down again and you can get some more damage on him.
3. In team battles make sure to cast all your skills at max range. You want to be creeping along behind your teammates waiting for them to group up so you can Desperate power and Overload into their team. However a single stun from Sion or running into a dark binding WILL GET YOU KILLED so stay away until the moment is right.
Late Game Level 13-18
By now the game has degraded into constant team fights and battles for tower and map position. The other team is most likely going to have the HP to withstand your spell combo now so it's IMPERATIVE you don't try and solo people unless you are REALLY REALLY fed. At this point your main job is to not die, followed closly by doing as much damage as possible in every scuffle.
A. STAY ALIVE, You will die almost immediatly if anyone gets some attacks on you so play super scared.
B. Aim for the middle of the pack in team fights, Taking 1/3 of all the enemy's HP is far more important than wasting everything to kill teemo. You have four other team mates, Use Them.
C. Don't KS your carries. By late game your overload will be hitting for an Absurd amount of damage so you will have an opportunity to KS pretty much every single kill you are around for. Your Master Yi needs the gold a lot more than you do. You can't kill 2 towers and a nexus in <12 seconds.
Things to remember:
1. Don't get close to enemies if you can help it.
2. You're one of the main sources of your team's damage, you need to be around for team fights.
3. Don't be afraid to just walk away from a bad situation. If your tryn is being an idiot, it's OK to leave him to die even if you could have gotten a kill. With your Aoe damage your team will be able to mount a much better defense 4v5 than they could 3v4 without you.