Why the Ryze Rework Failed, and what Riot can do to fix him.

http://img03.deviantart.net/a723/i/2016/137/f/2/ryze_by_zippo514-da2v37l.jpg #Intro Ryze is famous for being constantly reworked over and over, to the point where his reworks have become a meme. Because of this rework fatigue, people really don't want to see more Ryze changes. They'd rather put other champions in the rework spotlight. While that's fair, I think we should evaluate a champion that has consistently some of the lowest winrates in league history. With Ryze's rework, Riot attempted to move Ryze out of constantly being in the LCS, and they tried to lower his skill floor so he doesn't perform abysmally in lower ratings. However I believe that Riot has failed the rework in this regard, as well as bringing several other problems that Ryze has to light. I think its time to evaluate what went wrong here. #Passive: More Mana, More Problems Ryze has always had a mana scaling on his passive. This rework brought it one stop further by giving his mana an AP scaling, meaning that building AP gives you more mana which is more damage. Let me list the problems with this passive: 1. This passive allows Ryze to build tankier items while not losing out on damage because a lot of them also give AP {{item:3027}} 2. This passive gives Ryze a double scaling on AP, as well as a scaling on mana. Ryze gets more out of building AP than other mages, and items that give both AP and Mana become really strong on him. {{item:3027}} {{item:3040}} 3. Ryze is a mage with high mana costs, like say Anivia. But unlike Anivia, he is not punished for building mana because of his passive scaling. An Anivia has to decide whether or not they want to have more mana so she can use more spells more often, and so her R can last longer. If she wants more damage, she will have to build ap, but she won't be able to spam her spells constantly. Ryze can just build a lot of mana items early without losing on damage, and then late game build AP which scales off of his mana pool and gives even more mana. #Uninteractive Laning This is a problem that Malzahar, both new and old, has. Basically because of his root+shield combo, and his incredible waveclear, Ryze can play the lane incredibly safely by farming up and constantly shoving. His early damage isn't anything to laugh at either. His shield combo lets him get free trades as he still does damage and stops any retaliation with own shield. His all ins are also really strong, with his cc to lock you down and burst you down with his strong combos. Couple that with a really good late game, and you have a monster of a champion. #Instant Root is really good Point and click cc is something that is being phased out of the game simply because of how strong it is. While it is good for countering mobile champions, it beats immobile champions just as hard. This leads to this form of cc being really good and reliable, especially in higher elos and pro-play where players rely heavily on ganks to get kills. A good ryze snare can guarantee a kill if coupled up with a strong ganking jungler like {{champion:154}} or {{champion:64}}. This means that Ryze is a really reliable pick in these higher ranks. Not to mention the lack of counterplay that comes with a point and click root. The only thing the opponent can do is stay out of range, or attack Ryze while they're snared. But because of how his shield works, he will usually get it after a root making that option weak. #Ultimate Woes Ryze has always had a problem with his ultimate. His old ultimate was good but it wasn't very exciting to use. It just gave Ryze spell vamp and made his spells AOE. It had a really low cd, and gave him some free cdr, so you basically always had this up on every fight. It just was not a very exciting ultimate to use outside of using it in a teamfight when you were fed to get a pentakill. This new ultimate is not much better. While its cool on paper, in practice it is not a very well designed spell. Basically this spell is 100% better when you have voice comms. When you don't have voice comms, its basically a shitty tf ultimate that you can use to troll teammates, manage waves (something that low elo players won't do.), or accidentally take your ADC into the enemy backline when you meant to take your tank back there. With voice comms, however, this is one of the strongest ultimates in the game. It can be used to make epic rotations, put your fed Darius on top of the enemy ADC, assist your jungler in flanking the enemy, or even in solo lane outplays. Because of this, the ultimate makes Ryze incredibly good in pro-play, and really bad in solo queue, which is what Riot was intending to fix with his Rework. Speaking of being good in high level play... #Good for the Good, Bad for the Bad Ryze has always been a difficult, yet rewarding champion to master. This rework is no exception. With his incredibly hard to use properly ultimate combined with his intricate combos and different ways to play the same situations, Ryze is one of the highest skill cap champions in the game. While some players claim he is really easy to pick up and learn, his winrates tend to disagree. Ryze is currently sitting at 40% winrate. Even when he was considered pick-or-ban, he had around a 45% winrate which is really low, especially for an overpowered champion. While new players can use the same simple combos, those combos are not going to be effective and they are going to end up in bad situations a whole lot more than a good Ryze player. Ryze is also a mage that needs to be close to the fight, and that a lot of his teamfight damage relies on him casting a spell twice on a target that is in the middle of the enemy team. Because of this, it is very difficult to learn positioning on Ryze. Once you learn him, however, he becomes one of the strongest champions in the game. With tons of options, high damage, and really good safety, he becomes a monster in the right hands. This becomes especially true in pro-play, where players can communicate with their team and set up insane plays with his ultimate, which allows Ryze to become a top-tier champion whenever he is decent. #Fixing Ryze Ryze is a champion that needs a lot of work to finally become balanced, and while I don't claim to be a great game developer or champion designer, these are my ideas for fixing Ryze. #Give him more clear weaknesses Ryze is a champion that lacks counters or weaknesses. His only true weakness is that he is short ranged, but that is countered by his high tankiness, really good shields, and movespeed buff that allows him to gap-closer. He also doesn't have any real moments of power. Because of his low cooldowns and the fact that he doesn't need an ultimate to kill you, he will always be ready to fight. Perhaps removing his mana scaling passive and forcing him to think more about spamming his spells will help in this regard, since there would be actual repercussions to using them. #Give him a better ultimate This one is tricky. Ryze has never really relied on his ultimate, and I don't think he should. But despite that, his ultimates have consistently been poorly designed. I think Ryze should have an ultimate that helps him equally in low elo, and high elo, without buffing his damage to insane levels. But that will be difficult to implement. Because of that, I feel like riot should experiment with giving Ryze 4 basic abilities, like a Udyr. It would fit thematically, since Ryze is a mage with several spells that he can use on demand, so this would be one of them. It would also make his combo game more complex since he has new tools to play with. #Weaken his laning phase, and remove his insane early waveclear Old Ryze used to have really good waveclear, but he would need stacks of his passive and his ultimate to clear a wave. This meant that there were drawbacks to his insane waveclear. New Ryze gets really good waveclear from level 1, and he is one of few champions to have really strong waveclear pre-6. Champions that have waveclear like this include {{champion:90}} when he was good, and {{champion:74}}, both of whom are pretty toxic champions that are in need of changes as well. So we can conclude that having insane waveclear before getting an item or an ultimate is not very healthy for the game. He also has really high damage during the lane phase. I think increasing the mana cost on his Q, but having it refund on minion kills would decrease the urge for him to want to fight in lane, while not punishing him for using it to farm. #Give him basic combos for basic situations, and then advanced combos Right now Ryze has several combos that you need to learn before you can do well with him, this gives him too much of a high skill floor, making his winrates in lower ranks plummet. By giving a few basic bread and butter combos, new players can rely on and learn those combos, and then learn some more advanced combos as they get better at the champion. Ryze will always be hard to play, but making his skill floor more simple will go a long way towards helping him become balanced #Give his root more ways to be played around Right now, his root has to be nerfed because of how strong of a tool it is. If the root had more ways to be countered, it could be a more healthy ability. Perhaps making it work like a Karthus Q, where you place it on the ground and it triggers after a half-second may help, although that may make his combos less fluid. Maybe making his snare be mainly used for starting combos and not as useful in the middle of combos would be the way to go (this is where my 4th spell would come into play. With his snare less potent for comboing, Ryze would need a fourth spell in his combos to make him more useful.) #TL;DR Ryze is a champion who is in a really bad state right now. He is way too safe in lane, has too much early waveclear, he gets too much power from mana which allows him to stack mana without sacrificing damage, his ultimate is really good in coordinated teams and pro-play, but really bad in solo-queue, and he is way too hard for new players. He should lose some of his safety and waveclear from his lane, he should get a new ultimate and passive, and his skill floor should raised without sacrificing his skill ceiling. #TL;DR TL;DR rito fix ryze. ult gives me an aneurysm he has too much free push and is too hard in wood 10 plz fix : ^) PS: don't look up ryze on google images edit: i'm really bad at spelling aren't I
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