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Ryze's long-awaited update is finally here

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It’s character update time, folks! What an exciting time it is too — especially if you’re a Ryze player. Lets face it: We’ve all been waiting for him to get some love, and this is one heck of a rework.

Ability breakdown

via Riot Games

Passive: Arcane Mastery

NEW ability: Ryze’s spells deal additional damage based on his bonus mana, and his maximum mana is increased by a percentage of his ability power.

OLD ability: Ryze gains Arcane Mastery for 6 seconds every time he uses an ability, stacking up to 5 times.

At 5 stacks, Ryze becomes supercharged for the next 5 abilities casted, gaining a shield that blocks 25 - 110 (based on level) damage and causing his ability casts to reduce his other ability cooldowns

Difference: Completely re-worked passive granting greater late-game presence.

Q: Overload

NEW ability:

  • Passive: Casting Ryze's other spells resets the cooldown of Overload and begins charging a Rune. Cast another spell (not Overload) within this window to fully charge the Rune, or cast Overload to cancel the charge.

Active: Fire a runic blast in a direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy struck. If Ryze has a Rune fully charged when he casts Overload, he is shielded and gains a temporary movespeed boost.

OLD ability:

  • Passive: Arcane Mastery's supercharged effect gains increased duration.
  • Active: Ryze throws a charge of pure energy in a line, dealing magic damage to the first enemy it hits.

Difference: Instead of charging Ryze’s Arcane Mastery he gets additional movement speed and shield from the active ability itself (removed from his passive).

W: Rune Prison

NEW ability: Instantly root a target and deal magic damage.

OLD ability: Ryze traps the target enemy in a cage of magic, dealing them magic damage and rooting them for a short time.

Difference: Unchanged. Stats damage may vary.

E: Spell Flux

NEW ability: Deal magic damage to a target and marks it with Flux. Ryze's next spell on targets marked with Flux will deal bonus effects:

  • Overload deals bonus damage and bounces to nearby enemies marked with Flux.
  • The root duration of Rune Prison is doubled.
  • Spell Flux applies Flux to all nearby enemies.

If a target marked with Flux is killed by any champion, Flux is applied to all nearby enemies.

OLD ability: Ryze unleashes an orb of energy upon the target enemy, dealing them magic damage and reducing their magic resistance for 5 seconds, stacking up to 3 times. After striking the target, the orb splits and bounces to Ryze and enemies near the target, dealing the same damage to each enemy hit, capped at 6 targets. The secondary orbs then bounce back to the primary target, dealing half of the initial damage.

Difference: Completely reworked ability. Instead of debuffing magic resistance Spell Flux is given more of a team-fight presence and augments his other abilities.

R: Realm Warp (new ability, was “Desperate Power”)

NEW ability: Open a portal to a location a short distance away. A couple of seconds later, all allied units within the portal's sphere are warped to the target location. It cannot be self-cast, because warping to your own location would be silly.

OLD ability:

  • PASSIVE: Ryze permanently has cooldown reduction. For 6 seconds, Ryze gains spell vamp, 80 bonus movement speed, and causes his abilities to deal half of their damage to all enemies around the main target for the duration.
  • ACTIVE: For 6 seconds, Ryze gains spell vamp, 80 bonus movement speed, and causes his abilities to deal half of their damage to all enemies around the main target for the duration.

Difference: Everything. Ryze’s new ultimate has the devastating effect of being able to re-position a team mid-fight. When paired with his other team fight abilities it makes him formidable in the late-game.

Design changes

via Riot Games

Ryze has a spiffy new look to accompany all these flashy new abilities. It’s not dramatically different from his design in the past, but his proportions have been set in line with other champion re-works so he looks less like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

The big area where you’ll see a difference in Ryze is his abilities. Riot has re-worked his animations so they feel more cohesive and less confusing — especially to newer players.

Did they get Ryze right this time?

The Rune Mage has been difficult for Riot to fix and has undergone a lot of changes over the years, but this version is very promising. It keeps the core feel of Ryze as a damage-dealing mage, but gives him much-needed team fight abilities that border in the realms of support. It will be fascinating to see how he’s used in play, but things look very positive so far.