We all remember Ryze… one of the champions that were part of the League of Legends original roster when the game first released back in 2009. For anyone who played back in the early seasons, namely seasons 2 up till mid season 3, they’d remember how contested the rogue mage was as a pick for the top and mid lane.
Ryze’s old kit was problematic due to his low skill cap (all of his abilities were ‘point-click’) while still retaining a consistent damage output through all stages of the game. His potential in becoming a late-game powerhouse was matched only by a few thanks to his scaling damage with respect to his maximum mana, allowing players to build him primarily with health/armor/magic resist while still retaining a similar if not greater damage output than his fellow mages could do while building mainly ability power.
Ryze soon dropped from favor following a rather substantial nerf on his overload and since then he hasn’t really been able to find his way back up the ranks while more burstier and mobile mages rose to the top. The short ranges on his abilities while not too much of a problem back when he was at his peak, now cost Ryze players hugely due to the lack of damage severely impacting his early game.
But it seems Athene’s cries had not gone unanswered (I kid…) as the Riot balance team had finally decided to show some love for the rogue mage. The new Ryze is certainly more interesting than his rather bland kit from before. While his consistent damage output has been taken away, he is now given, as quoted by RiotRepertoir; “windows of power.” Sound familiar? (Insert a certain adorable little yordle that transforms into a not so adorable thing here).
Onto the updated skill set as shown in Riot’s official announcement;
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.
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.
These changes are not final as Ryze’s time in the PBE will inevitably subject him to fine tuning.
While these new changes certainly do make things a lot more interesting for Ryze players and their opponents, it remains to be seen if these changes are enough to let the rogue mage get back on the list as a viable pick. It’s a thin line the rogue mage walks as one toe out the line means he’s going back to his current state and it is a sad place to be indeed.
What do you think? Do you believe these changes would push Ryze to a manageable spot or would he return to his days as a 100% pick/ban during champion select? Share your thoughts below!