A gold Ryze main with 100 games understands his combos. He doesn't need his basic abilities dumbed down in order to play him. The combos are not what separate high elo from low elo, they are what separate people who have experience with the champion from those that just picked him up 5 games ago and haven't done any homework on the kit or matchups.
The true issue separating Ryze players of various elos from one another, and to an even greater extent separating high elo from pro play, is his ultimate. Ryze's ultimate is the truly problematic thing you should be targeting, period. His base kit would've been just fine with some number tweaks if he just got a new ultimate.
It reminds me of when high elo Nidalee was a terror while low elo Nidalee was bad. Riot decided that removing her AA resets was the best way to bridge the gap, when in reality the reason Nidalee was so divisive is how wide she can tear the whole goddamn early game open with high elo game knowledge and macro sense.