- Ryze: Champion Overview
- World Runes
- Evolved Ryze
- Champion Spell
- Deckbuilding Options
- General Playstyle
Legends of Runeterra’s World Ender expansion brought many new cards to the game, with three very potent champions included among them: Kayle, Aatrox, and Ryze. Of these three, Ryze, otherwise known as the Rune Mage, brings new meaning to the idea of spell-slinging, as he really lives up to his status as one of Runeterra’s most powerful magic-wielders.
With the number of things Ryze can do, picking him up can be a bit intimidating, so this article will focus on him, one of a handful of champions not bound to any region. We will look at how he, his World Runes, and everything else around him works, and how you can effectively build a deck that is chock-full of spells to enable him. So, let’s get right into it.
Ryze: Champion Overview
Ryze is a three-attack, five-health unit that costs four mana to play, and his evolution condition is “I see 3+ unique World Runes.” Though his mana cost-to-stats ratio is perfectly average, the fact that it favors his health (as opposed to him being four-attack, four-health) makes him harder to remove from the board. As such, it’s rather safe to play him on turn four and defend him on the following turns.
On top of this, whenever he is summoned and every round start, he creates two Delve Into The Pasts and puts them in your deck. This spell is a two mana burst-spell that lets you pick one of two World Runes not in play or in hand and create it in hand. If all World Runes are in play or in hand, you draw a card instead.
There are five total World Runes for Ryze to pull from, and they are all two mana Landmarks. They are the following:
- Shard of Violence: draw one.
- Shard of Betrayal: deal two to the weakest enemy.
- Shard of Reverence: refill two spell mana.
- Shard of Hope: heal allied Ryzes and your Nexus for two.
- Shard of Madness: create a Rune Prison (two mana fast spell that stuns an attacking enemy) in hand, or if one is already in hand, reduce its cost by one.
Whenever any of these World Runes are unique when played, they activate all other World Runes in play in addition to activating themselves.
When evolved, Ryze becomes a four-attack, six-health unit with the added benefit of SpellShield. When summoned or at the start of every round, he continues to create two Delve Into the Pasts in your deck, but he has a very crucial additional effect. When he attacks, he activates all of your World Runes, and if you have all five World Runes in play, he destroys your opponent’s Nexus, winning the game.
So, even though Ryze needs to be in play in order to level up, once he does, he needs to be dealt with immediately, otherwise, he simply wins the game. Remember that in order to level him up in the first place, you need three unique World Runes in play, so to win the game you only need to play two more from there. Easy-peasy.
If three or more World Runes are in play when you drop Ryze onto the board, he will level up immediately.
Ryze’s champion spell is Ryze’s Realm Warp. This is a three mana burst spell that draws three cards and discards any of the drawn cards that are followers. This is a pretty straightforward spell and is exclusive to Ryze, meaning it is not a regular spell you can run in your deck; you will only see it as Ryze’s champion spell.
While this is a very good source of card draw, it is also a reason to favor spells in your decks with Ryze, as you don’t want to be discarding cards if you can help it.
Ryze’s passive is The Rune Mage. First, it allows you to put any non-targeted burst and focus spells in your deck during deckbuilding, regardless of region. Second, at the start of the game, two Delve Into The Pasts are put in your deck for each Ryze that starts the game in your deck. Thus, while there’s no reliable way to draw him, this passive encourages two things: put a bunch of spells in your deck and don’t mulligan any Ryzes so that more Delve Into The Pasts can be put in your deck.
With Ryze’s passive and champion spell in mind, it’s no surprise that Ryze will want a deck full of spells to be built around him. The fact that you can add burst and focus spells from any region makes deckbuilding around him incredibly varied and powerful, considering how much potential there is. As such, you will typically want Ryze in some sort of late-game control deck so you can stall long enough for him to evolve, attack with five World Runes in play, and win the game.
Bringing along a nice chunk of defensive spells to keep him alive, along with a nice chunk of removal spells to deal with your opponent’s onslaught of minions is recommended. Furthermore, pairing Ryze up with champions that are either not reliant on followers or function well with spell-focussed decks (or both) is something to consider.
Ionia Mono Ryze (Maybe With Lee Sin)
Ryze is a champion that can work very well as the only champion in a given deck. However, if you want to do this, Ionia is one of the better regions to pair him up with due to how many defensive and stall spells it has access to (Shadow Isles and Freljord are pretty good for this too).
If you really want to pair him up with an Ionian champion though, Lee Sin is a great option, as he works well with spells and poses and very high threat all by himself, drawing some of the pressure off of Ryze or vice versa. Karma and Master Yi are good options as well since they work well with spells too.
Ryze And Norra
The logic behind Ryze and Norra is twofold. First, Norra is a great champion that can create loads of minions for you to use without actually needing to put any followers in your deck. Consequently, you can utilize Ryze’s passive to greater effect and add more burst and focus-spells. Second, Bandle City has a nice chunk of spells that are great at stalling the game, allowing you to more reliably get Ryze to his one-turn-kill moment.
More interestingly, if your opponent is focused on taking down Ryze, your Norra will likely be able to do her magic and start getting a bunch of Mysterious Portals rolling. So while your opponent is busy trying to remove Ryze, Norra is leveling up and winning the game herself.
Ryze And Twisted Fate
Pairing Ryze up with Twisted Fate makes sense because you can turbo-level Twisted Fate. Between the card-draw spells Bilgewater already has access to, coupled with all the big draw spells (that are burst-spells) that Ryze can add to your deck like Deep Meditation, Drum Solo, and Hidden Pathways, evolving Twisted Fate is a piece of cake. Once you accomplish this, he is pretty good at helping you control the board state with his Destiny Cards, making you more effective at stalling the game for the Ryze one-turn-kill.
Ryze excels in control decks that can stall your opponent long enough for him to get his one-turn-kill off. The main goal of running any Ryze deck is to get all five World Runes in play so that Ryze can destroy your opponent’s Nexus, and building a deck that can both stall your opponent and defend your Ryze is integral to making this work. As such, it’s important that you know what kind of deck you’re playing against so you know how early you can get away with playing your Ryze without having him insta-removed upon being played.
Ryze is one of the few champions that can win the game without actually touching the enemy Nexus (looking at you too, Fiora), making him incredibly scary to deal with, especially once his World Runes start coming out. So either protect him long enough to do so or pair him up with another champion that can win the game while your opponent is busy dealing with him.
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