Champion Update: Ryze heads to PBE

By fizzNchips

One of League’s original 40 champions, Ryze’s gameplay has been largely left alone over the last five and a bit years. Welp, time to change “has” to “had”, because the champion update crew just finished creating a Rogue Mage fit for 2015’s champion aficionados. Alongside his new ability and sound effects, a couple of Ryze’s abilities have undergone some pretty hefty changes. But before we get into how new Ryze plays, here’s a quick look at his shiny new kit:

WIP

Passive: Arcane Mastery

Ryze builds up stacks of Arcane Mastery as he casts his abilities. After reaching max stacks, Ryze becomes temporarily supercharged and gains a couple of powerful buffs: casting an ability significantly reduces the cooldown of his other abilities. Ryze also gains a shield based on his max mana.

Ryze’s damage dealing abilities scale in part with his maximum mana.

Q: Overload

Ryze fires a ball of rune energy out in a target direction, damaging the first enemy struck.

W: Rune Prison

Ryze traps a targeted enemy, damaging them and rooting them for a short duration.

E: Spell Flux

Ryze targets an enemy unit, blasting them with a slow-moving ball of energy that, after striking the target, splits to damage all nearby enemies before returning to Ryze’s original target, dealing increasing damage based on the number of bolts.

R: Desperate Power

Passive: Ryze passively gains cooldown reduction.

Active: Ryze channels immense power, gaining significant spell vamp and movement speed and turning all of his abilities into area of effect abilities.

While Ryze’s general role has stayed consistent (he still absolutely has the potential to be a late game powerhouse), our update brings both the blue man and his opponents sizeable windows of power to play around. It’s a term we introduced with Gnar, and basically means that, where old Ryze was largely consistent with his damage output, new Ryze alternates between moments of relative weakness and power. For both Ryze and his opponents, learning to play around Arcane Mastery is crucial: Ryze’s power spike is colossal as soon as it’s triggered, so he’ll likely start to move in to engage as his passive stacks near completion. Once Arcane Mastery kicks in, Ryze can quickly cycle through abilities which, in turn, help reset the cooldown of the spells he's already slung. Provided he has the mana - and this is important - Ryze will at least win the trade, and at best, utterly destroy his target.

Aside from his passive, some of the biggest changes have hit Overload and Spell Flux. Overload is no longer targeted, so while there are benefits to his new Q (its new range is much longer, for example), it’s much harder to land against targets who sit within or behind their minion wave. On the other hand, Spell Flux now works best on targets who’ve buried themselves amongst friends. Essentially, Ryze’s opponents now have to decide if they’re best off hiding behind their minions and dealing with Spell Flux’s potentially brutal damage, or moving off to the side and hoping they can dance around multiple Overloads.


Champion Insights

Ryze, gameplay by RiotRepertoir

Old Ryze had a number of problems, but first and foremost, he just wasn’t all that interesting. His damage output was predictable and his damage windows were pretty much always open. He’d build a tear and catalyst as early as he could, then pretty much sit back and hope to reach his final late game hypercarry form. This turned him into an all or nothing champion in competitive play - he was either 100% pick/ban or never seen at all depending on where his numbers were - and while consistency isn't usually a bad thing, Ryze just ended up flat and predictable. Changes were needed.

Which brings us to the update. As we mentioned earlier, the update revolves around the notion of windows of power. When his passive is down, Ryze will actually be notably weaker than old Ryze, but by giving him that period of weakness, we’re able to really amp up his power when his passive triggers. These windows give both Ryze and his lane opponent(s) a bunch more to think about, and can even dictate the outcome of entire late game teamfights. We still want Ryze to get into the thick of things and melt faces from his limited range, but now he has to judge his timing and make sure his team fights when he’s good and ready to ramp up.


Ryze will hit PBE soon, so give the new blue man a spin and let us know your thoughts!


2 years ago

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