First Draft done at 4:29PM PST on 3-17-10
Ezreal The Prodigal Explorer
Note: This is an AP build. I've found that, by maxing Ezreal's AP and buying Lichbane to allow Mystic Shot to capitalize on it, you can do some pretty sweet damage. By contrast, relying on increased attack speed and damage, You can do some damage, but you can't take advantage of Ezreal's abilities as well. A heal for 275 is nice, but a heal for 600 is game-changing, especially when it hits 3 of your party members in the middle of a team-fight.
Disclaimer: I make no claims that this is in any way the 'right' build for Ezreal. Ezreal, as of the writing of this guide, has been out for a single day. This guide's purpose is to give players a starting point when playing Ezreal, if wanted, based on my findings of the strongest way to play him. I've tried a number of different item builds and playstyles, and this is what works for me. Read on:
Health: 430 + 80/level
Health Regen: 6/5 seconds + .5/level
Mana: 280 + 45/level
Mana Regen: 4/5 seconds + .5/level
Base Damage: 47 + 3/level
Attack Speed: .66 + .02/level
Armor: 12 + 3.5/level
Magic Resist: 30
Crit Chance: 3% + .5%/level
Movement Speed: 300
Note: Stats were determined by looking at base stats at levels 1 and 3. They may be slightly off.
Ezreal was born with the gift of magic flowing through his veins. Ezreal, however, was also born with a much stronger sense of wanderlust. Put into school to become a skilled techmaturgist, Ezreal quickly became bored with magical studies. By the time the boy genius was eight years old, he had fully mapped out the underground tunnels of Piltover. The quality of his work was so great that the government of Piltover purchased his maps and salaried his services as Piltover's Grandmaster Explorer. This sealed the deal on Ezreal's path in life - he would eschew the arcane arts in favor of archaeology. Since then, countless of Ezreal's adventures have been written about as romanticized stories.
One of Ezreal's latest adventures, however, has brought him face-to-face with his other legacy - his latent magical power. While exploring the pyramids of Shurima Desert, Ezreal uncovered an Amulet of incredible power. Aside from the sheer size of the amulet (it was made for a being easily twice Ezreal's size), it allows the wielder to control and shape magical energy - provided a source of magic is in the vicinity. This allowed Ezreal to tap into his natural talent for magic without having to put any serious effort into it - a big win for the Prodigal Explorer. The drawback is that for some unknown reason, the amulet is attuned with summoning magic. Without warning, Ezreal may find himself acting as a champion for, as he puts it, ''a summoner hell-bent on resolving some irrelevant world-shattering League conflict.'' Still, Ezreal feels being summoned into a Field of Justice on occasion is a small price to pay.
''There's little time to study musty tomes when you're busy crawling around where the musty tomes originally came from.'' Such is Ezreal's credo.
Ezreal is known to be the skill-shot champion. Three of his four skills are skill-shots. If you don't know what this means, it means that, rather than choosing a skill and clicking on an enemy to target that enemy with the skill, you choose a skill, and then choose a direction. The skill will travel in a straight line until it hits a target, at which point it will generally affect that target and stop. Mystic Shot works in this way. Essence Flux and Trueshot Barrage are different in that they continue through the enemy to hit other enemies (or allies) behind.
Skill shots can be difficult to use if you're not used to them. For that reason, I recommend choosing a different champion if you're new to League of Legends. However, if you feel you're up to the task, read on:
Passive - Rising Spell Force - Hitting a target with any of Ezreal's abilities increases his attack speed by 15% for 5 seconds (Max Stacks: 5).
Thoughts: Useful in combination with Mystic Shot, especially when pushing a tower. Shoot a minion whenever you get a chance with Mystic shot, and keep increasing your attack speed up to a whopping 75%, with no item bonuses. In this build, that's all it's really useful for, other than bonuses to farming. Note it has a 5 second duration, so you must use another ability within 5 seconds to keep stacking it.
Mystic Shot - Ezreal fires a bolt of energy, if it strikes an enemy unit it reduces all of Ezreal's cooldowns by 1 second.
Deals 40/60/80/100/120(+0/AP) damage plus attack damage, plus on-hit effects.
6/5.5/5/4.5/4 second cooldown.
Mana cost 30/35/40/45/50.
Thoughts: The bread-and-butter to this character. Useful for farming, harassing, and in general supplementing your physical attacks. It has a huge range. We're talking, hit-people-hiding-behind-the-turret range. At a measly 30 mana (at level 1, which is where I recommend leaving it until level 14), you should be spamming this every chance you get. Your first skill point should go here.
Additionally, this skill reduces the cooldown of all your abilities by one second every time it hits an enemy. That means, when you're spamming it every 4 seconds, you can potentially reduce the cooldown of your ultimate by 20 seconds. If you shoot it twice, you've reduced the cooldown of your Arcane shift by two seconds. It's a very nice bonus.
Essence Flux - Ezreal fires a fluctuating wave of energy, damaging and reducing enemy champions attack speed, as well as healing and increasing allied champions attack speed.
75/125/175/225/275(+.6/AP) damage/heal and 20%/25%/30%/35%/40% haste/slow.
10 second cooldown.
Mana Cost 80/90/100/110/120.
Thoughts: Useful for healing your allies fairly substantially, as well as providing an additional damage skill. It can also be game changing in a team fight to slow the enemy while simultaneously hasting your own. Unfortunately, this skill DOES NOT slow movement speed, only attack speed, but it does so to a fairly large amount. It slows and hastes for 5 seconds. Note that this skill does not stop on the first target it hits. The trick with this skill, since it has a shorter range than Mystic shot, is to line yourself up to hit as many people as possible. Luckily, while mystic shot has a rather narrow blast, Essence Flux is wider, so may be easier to hit more people.
Arcane Shift - Ezreal teleports to a target nearby location and fires a homing arrow which strikes the nearest enemy unit.
17/15/13/11/9 second cooldown
Mana Cost 100.
Thoughts: This is Ezreal's all-in-one awesome skill. It's a mini flash (I believe flash has a slightly longer range, but still), combined with a 280+ damage homing missile. This is the single one of Ezreal's skills that is not a skill-shot, but still does require some experimenting with in order to hit your target.
See, the homing missile always hits the target closest to the point at which you flash, whether that's minion, champion, or neutral monster. This is the skill you will want to use to get last hits on enemy champions, and the first skill you want to max (for the damage and decreased cooldown).
This skill will save your butt so many times, it's uncanny. Just think of how annoying it is to finally corner an enemy, when they flash over a jungle wall and lose you. The downside to flash is that it has a ridiculously long cooldown, so you need to save it for occasions when you really need it. You don't need to save this skill. It has a 9 second cooldown by the time you turn level 9 (further reduced with cooldown runes and masteries). If you see a gank attempt in the works, Arcane Shift away and run. In 9 seconds, Arcane Shift even farther away. If they haven't caught/stunned you before your second shift, you're home free.
Trueshot Barrage - Ezreal channels for 1 second to fire a powerful barrage of energy missiles which do massive damage to each unit they pass through (deals 8% less damage to each unit it passes through).
100 second cooldown.
Mana Cost 150.
Thoughts: This is an AMAZING ultimate. Think Ashe's Crystal Shot meets Twitch's Spray and Pray. After a 1 second channeling period, it releases an arc-shaped blast, roughly two champions wide, that travels in a straight line through everything until it reaches the edge of the map. If you line this up correctly, you can turn the tide of a team battle from base, while farming up tons of creep kills. It hits enemies in a wide swath.
I've found that it's easiest to shoot down the lane, rather than cross-lane, and hit two or three champions at the same time. With +1Damage/AP, this skill can deal some SERIOUS pain. It can easily last-hit groups of enemies, or soften up the majority of their team before a team fight, making them run away (which, many times, leads to your team getting 2-3 kills as they run).
I recommend levels 1, 2, and 3 to be
1: Q, Mystic Shot
2: E, Arcane Shift
3: W, Essence Flux
Trueshot Barrage > Arcane Shift > Essence Flux > Mystic Shot
R > E > W > Q
Runes will largely depend on what you already own. I've listed my personal rune page, with the reasoning underneath. Runes are largely a matter of personal preference, so go with whatever you feel like.
Marks - Magic Penetration
Thoughts: You're a mage. You want to hit HARD. Magic penetration is best on Marks.
Seals - Dodge
Alternately Mana Regeneration
Thoughts: I stick with dodge runes because they seem to be the best bang-for-your-buck for playing multiple characters. You can get 6-7% chance dodge with no other items or masteries, which means, overall, you take 6-7% less melee damage. That sounds almost like a free 21th mastery point in the defensive tree to me.
I've heard of people putting mana regeneration runes here, but I don't. You shouldn't be having mana issues (with no mana regen items), except at the very beginning of the game, and that can be managed by conservation of your mana-expensive skills.
Glyphs - Cooldown Reduction
Thoughts: This brings your Arcane Shift cooldown close to 8 seconds, your Trueshot Barrage down to ~90 seconds, etc. Coupled with the cooldown reduction from Mystic Shot, your cooldowns will be far shorter than they sound.
Quintessences - Health
Alternately, perhaps Magic Penetration?
I'm personally a fan of flat health runes. 2 of them (I haven't bought my 3rd yet, but I will), give you an extra 65 health at the beginning. When you start with <500 health, it's nice to have a little bonus to survive that first blood attempt.
I haven't experimented with anything else yet.
Summoner spells are, I've found, more than any part of the game, user preference. That said, I will comment on my preferences.
Flash - While Ezreal already has a flash skill, I still like Flash. Why? First, because of times when you get stuck/stunned. Having a flash flash allows you to flash away after being stunned, and then when you're able to use abilities again, you can flash away again. If you only had one flash, they could catch up to you while you're stunned and you'd be dead before you know it.
Second, because of the chasing abilities. There have been many many times I've been chasing someone and they've been at 2% health, and I just couldn't get the final hit. With Ezreal, his Arcane Shift homing arrow is a mini nuke, so if you can target the enemy with it, they are likely dead. That said, if there are minions around, it's likely the shot will hit one of them, and be wasted. The enemy champion gets back behind the turret, and the opportunity is lost. With Flash and Arcane Shift, you can flash to get close, then Arcane Shift for the kill, or Shift ahead and then blast your other shots at him (or her) for even more damage.
Teleport - You're squishy. You're likely to take a few hits and be at half-health. If you stay out at half-health, you're just asking for someone with a nuke to take you out. So go back to base, get your next item, and heal up. Then teleport back to the fray.
You can also use teleport to change lanes quickly, Arcane Shift in, and get a quick kill.
Other Summoner spells worth mentioning:
Perhaps Exhaust, for slowing pursuers or slowing the guy you're chasing. Not to mention, it effectively disables any melee dps for 3 seconds (blind is awesome). I haven't tested this yet.
I'll update this section if people post reasons for using other summoner spells.
Ideally, at level 30, you will probably want to go a 9/0/21 build to capitalize on all the reduced cooldowns, sacrificing the 5% bonus damage for all the other goodies in the utility tree. Most of the offensive spells (except for Archaic Knowledge, Sorcery, and Archmage's Savvy) are more-or-less useless, as we'll be relying on abilities and ability power to kill stuff.
Spatial Accuracy (1/1) (or Good Hands if you don't choose Teleport)
Expanded Mind (4/4)
Utility Mastery (2/2)
Blink of an Eye (1/1) (if you didn't choose Flash, pick something else)
Presence of the Master (1/1)
Archmage's Savvy (3/3)
Deadliness (1/3) (or Cripple if you chose Exhaust)
Archaic Knowledge (1/1)
However, at lower levels, you don't have enough points to reach the bottom of the utility tree and halfway up the offensive tree, and since the 15% cooldown reduction on summoner spells 21th utility mastery is of limited use to us (we're accepting that flash and teleport have long cooldowns, and we vary our playstyle accordingly), it may be more beneficial to push up the offensive tree first. I'm at level 25, and I've been playing most of my games with a 21/0/4 build, putting points in Spatial Accuracy and Perseverence. I've been able to handle my mana issues. I will experiment with a 4/0/21 build and update this guide if I find the extra mana and mana regen bonus to be helpful.
The part you've all been waiting for ...
To start, buy a sapphire crystal and two health potions. Then go beat up some minions.
Try to stay out long enough to purchase an amplifying tome (20 AP) and turn it and the sapphire crystal into sheen. If you have enough gold, buy two health and two mana potions. Buy one of each if you don't have enough.
1) Sheen - this synergizes incredibly well with Mystic Shot, which you should be spamming at 30 mana per shot. Since Mystic Shot procs on-hit effects, this adds major bonus damage to your Mystic Shot. The mana from this item should be all you need for the rest of the game, if you learn to conserve mana.
If you were forced back to base before you have enough to buy Sheen, buy the amplifying tome and first-tier boots, and any potions you are able.
If you did get Sheen, try to stay out long enough to afford Sorcerers Boots. In a game heavy with stuns, it may be smart to opt for Mercurial Treads instead, but in general, Sorcerers Boots give you the 20 magic penetration that will make your attacks do much more damage.
2) Sorcerer's Boots - Bonus damage for casters.
After this, I like to go for Mejai's Soulstealer. The biggest trick to using this is to NOT DIE. Even if all you can do is get assists in team fights, this will ramp up and give you huge AP bonuses by the end of the game. Also, it only costs 1235 gold.
3) Mejai's Soulstealer - More damage output.
At this point, you should be working with your team on ganking enemy players. This will begin to give Mejai's a nice little bonus, whether you get the last hit or not. While AP gives bonuses to your W,E, and R abilities, it does nothing for Mystic Shot. But wait, Mystic Shot procs spell effects on hit. Well, then we should probably upgrade Sheen to Lichbane, to increase the damage done per shot of mystic shot to our AP total.
1) Sheen -> Lichbane - Major damage increase to Mystic shot, magic resist, and AP bonus
We want to capitalize on our AP as much as possible, so at this point, we want to start working towards a Zhonya's Ring.
4) - Zhonya's Ring - 120 AP + increase our AP by 25%, WOW. Plus, the new active ability, to turn Ezreal into a gold statue for two seconds (taking no damage, but not allowing him to do anything either), is amazing for surviving gank attempts where everyone launches their ult at once. You can simply not take the damage, then flash away once it's over.
At this point, you should have so much AP you should be taking off large chunks of the enemy's life bar every hit. Don't get too careless though, you're still majorly squishy. So, lets add a little AP, a lot of health, and a little slowing ability.
5) Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Health to help you survive, even more AP, and a slowing ability on each of your abilities. Since they all (minus your ult) have relatively low cooldowns, you should be able to slow-chase any enemy at this point.
6) Your Preference - Based on how the game is going, get Banshees, Warmogs, whatever you want. You could even get another Zhonya's if you want to max out your AP (although the 25% bonus doesn't stack)
Thoughts: This is an AP build, and as such, we want to maximize your AP as early as possible. That may mean getting Mejai's before Sorcerer's boots. Alternately, if your team isn't doing too well, Mejai's may not help, so you could build Rylai's as item #3 to give you more survivability. You are going to be probably the squishiest character on the map, so be prepared to duck and run if someone starts targeting you. That's what Flash + Arcane Shift is for. You should perfect this maneuver, as it's the only thing that will keep you alive. Your job on the battlefield is to stand behind your teammates throwing blasts into the fray, healing allies with Essence Flux, and occasionally bumping up to throw a harassing Mystic Shot at the milling enemy team.
The strategy I propose is not an aggressive strategy. While I give what I get, I don't usually try for first blood or champion kills until later. That said, if they present themselves, I don't hesitate.
At level 1, put one point into mystic shot and grab your items, and head to your lane. Ezreal can take mid just fine, although I haven't tested him against all possible opposing champions. His huge range on mystic shot can allow him to harass the enemy, and his attacks are ranged, letting him farm decently. One of the things I've noticed, is that, compared to a champion like ryze, the time between when you click to 'attack' a minion and when the champion actually throws the attack is relatively small on Ezreal. That makes it much easier to last-hit minions, something that is vital to playing almost any champion well.
Whether you take mid or not, the strategy should be basically the same. Sit behind your minions and farm. When you get a chance to harass the enemy, give them a Mystic Shot to the face. You out-range pretty much any champion, so you can stay pretty safe. If they're hiding in the minions, don't worry about it. Use Mystic Shot to help with last-hits. It does considerably more than regular attacks, for only 30 mana, and has a super-low cooldown. Just don't waste it if you can't get a last-hit or a champion hit off it.
At level 2, put a point into Arcane Shift, so you can run or chase as needed (more likely, so you can run, but you never know). Keep harassing/farming
3rd level, one in Essence Flux. Don't heal your lane partner unless you're in the middle of a gank attempt (them ganking you), and he's about to die. He bought potions (or should have). You have limited mana. 30 mana per Mystic Shot lasts a while, but if you start casting Essence Flux or Arcane Shift, you will run out FAST. That said, if you get into a hard team fight, it will be nice to have a 3rd skill to do damage with/heal your partner, so get this one now.
Dump as many points from here on into arcane shift, eith the exception at level 6 for Trueshot Barrage. If you hit 6 and an enemy is less than 350 hp, charge it up and let it loose. At best, you'll get a kill. At worst, you'll get a bunch of minion kills and force the champion back to base (you did line it up to hit minions too, didn't you?). If they stick around their turret after that, use Mystic shot to get the kill. Don't tower dive for it. Stay back and use Mystic Shot. The tower will make VERY short work of you.
You should be able to stay out until around level 6, longer if things are going well. When you get enough gold for Sheen, go back to base, heal, buy it, and teleport right back. Don't stop farming and harassing for more than 15 seconds. Plus, you don't want to stop getting XP. You hopefully have some health and mana potions now, which lets you be a little looser with your W and E attacks, but not much. You're still sitting on a low mana pool.
With the harassing you're doing your team is hopefully pushing their turret down in health little by little each time, even if you (and your lane partner, if you're top or bottom) don't really get a chance to hit it. Once their turret is gone, start teaming up with other lanes to try to get assists and kills. You should have your Sorcerer's Boots now, and be working on Mejai's. If you're low on health, but not mana, run back to base and kill some neutral monsters on the way back for more gold. Once you get Mejai's it is critical that you NOT DIE. Stand in the back and harrass the heck out of the enemy, trying to get assists. If you see an enemy close to death, feel free to run in and Arcane Shift to get the kill, but only if you can get out again. Once you have mejai's, 5 assists gives you 40 AP. That's enough you're going to start wanting Lichbane to make that AP bonus affect your Mystic Shot too.
You should be level 10-14 now, with a few stacks on Mejai's, maybe ~100 AP.
Stay at the back of the pack. Throw an Essence Flux in to heal/damage as needed, but only if people get close. Otherwise, just keep throwing mystic shots in and wait until you can Arcane Shift in for a kill. If you can Ult, try to line up to hit multiple champions and a long line of creeps. If you hit one enemy, they'll run back. If you hit 3 enemies, they'll all run back, and you'll get to chase with Arcane Shift (which should do a nice punch by now), hopefully getting a kill.
When you hit level 11, you get your level 2 Trueshot Barrage. This is when it starts getting good. From your spawn, a shot directly at their spawn, will hit every enemy minion on the middle lane. At 500 Damage + 100 Damage from AP This will rack you up a couple hundred gold easy. If there are enemy champions in the middle lane (most team fights happen on the middle lane), even better. You take out a HUGE chunk of their health. If you can teleport to the middle of the map afterwards and capitalize on the minions that survived at 50 health, you can rack up another couple hundred gold. Plus, if you're spamming Mystic Shot all over the place (you should have plenty of mana to sustain everything now), your ult will cooldown way faster. A 100 second cooldown is long, but if you bring it down below 90 seconds with masteries and runes, and mystic shot 15 times, that's a 75 second cooldown. That's pretty fast for how powerful it is. If you don't have a shot at champions, but there's a huge creep wave, go ahead and get the creeps. You'll have your ult back before you know it.
From levels 14-18, you want to make sure you stay way back in team fights. You're the heavy artillery on your team. You've got range and damage, and a kick-erm-butt escape mechanism if they start coming your way.
Hope you liked the guide.
First Draft done at 4:29PM PST on 3-17-10