Climbing Elo: Ezreal
Continuing with my series, “Climbing Elo,” I will be showing you effective ways to play some of my favorite champions, including Ezreal, Jhin, Ekko, Twisted Fate and Corki. I figured since Ezreal has been my favorite champion since his release back in 2010, he would be a great place to start.
With this series, I will be telling you ways that I enjoy playing these champions. I am not implying that these methods are the best, nor am I saying that these champions are meant to be played the way I play them. Simply put, these are fun builds to use in ranked that are effective and don’t force you to be a meta slave to win.
My History With Ezreal
Since I have played League of Legends since around the start of the Beta, I have had the opportunity to witness the release of nearly every champion League has to offer. Ezreal’s release was likely my favorite of all time, simply because Ezreal’s lore and theme were amazing to me at the time. Vowing to become an Ezreal main, I spent hours perfecting ways to play him.
Fast forward six years and here I am, playing well over 300+ games with the champion and constantly trying new ways to play him. By no means is Ezreal a complicated champion and by no means is he dull. He is the perfect combination of mechanics and engaging gameplay, and that is what makes him my all-time favorite champion.
Ezreal is a very mobile champion with strong poking potential due to his massive amount of skillshot poke.
Passive: Rising Spell Force - Consecutive hits with spells grant Ezreal passive stacking attack speed, stacking up to five times. With this ability, you don’t have to worry about buying attack speed items nearly as much as other carries. This ability gives you 10/12/14% attack speed per stack at levels 1/7/13 respectively, meaning that at level 13 with five stacks, you’re getting 70% attack speed, which is better than any item in the shop. You can use this tool to turn trades in your favor the longer they get drawn out, making Ezreal a strong lane bully.
Q: Mystic Shot - Ezreal fires a projectile at your cursor that deals physical damage and reduces the cooldown of all his abilities (including Q) by 1.5 seconds. This is the ability that makes Ezreal, well, Ezreal. Almost every build you will see is revolved around this one ability because its cooldown is so short and the damage is nothing to scoff at. Not to mention, this ability procs on-hit effects, meaning items like Triforce and Blade of the Ruined King synergize very well.
W: Essence Flux - Very similar to Ezreal’s Q, his W is a skillshot that fires at your cursor and deals magical damage. The difference is, Essence Flux goes through his targets to strike multiple people. If his W hits an ally, it grants them a small amount of attack speed and grants Ezreal one stack of his passive per person hit. This ability doesn’t scale very well damage wise, but it is essential to his kit because granting attack speed to allies as a carry is extremely useful in a lot of situations. However, AP Ezreal is an option and Essence Flux is your go to skill in that scenario.
E: Arcane Shift - Ezreal blinks (very similarly to Flash) a short distance and fires a projectile that deals magic damage at the nearest target when he lands. At it’s simplest, Arcane Shift is a flash with a short cooldown, but when paired with his Q and effective movement, it makes Ezreal one of the most slippery champions on the Rift. Just like Essence Flux, Arcane Shift doesn’t scale very well damage-wise unless you build AP, so you should very rarely use it in an aggressive manner. Hitting Q’s constantly makes this ability very annoying for anyone without a gap closer to deal with you.
R: Trueshot Barrage - After channeling for one second, Ezreal fires off global projectile at your cursor that will travel until it leaves the Rift, dealing massive damage to the first thing it hits and less damage for each subsequent thing it hits. Despite this ability having a hefty two-minute cooldown, you can hit Mystic Shots back-to-back to use the ability a lot more often. Trueshot Barrage provides strong burst or, in some cases, the ability to secure a kill or objective across the map.
AD Ezreal ADC
- Berserker Greaves
- Essence Reaver
- Infinity Edge
- Blade of the Ruined King/Mercurial Scimitar
Summoners & Keystone - Flash/Heal & Fervor of Battle
Yes, I am opting to put this build instead of the usual “Blue Ezreal” build simply because this build is more fun. As I stated in my “Climbing Elo: 101” article, ranked becomes a lot easier when you’re enjoying yourself. Sure, with Blue Ezreal you can just kite everyone around for ages and never allow anyone to get near you, but to put it quite simply, it’s boring.
This build gives you the opportunity to do insane damage you wouldn’t be able to get with Blue Ezreal, along with the ability to actually contribute to fights with constant damage on all fronts as opposed to trying to weave Mystic Shots around tanks and running in circles while the cooldown comes back.
Sure, you could argue that Ezreal doesn’t have a lot of good AD scaling on his abilities that could take advantage of the raw stats you’re building, but his passive gives him 70% attack speed on top of BotRK and Triforce, making you hit hard and fast with just basic attacks. Weave in some Q’s for cooldowns and E’s to kite/push, and Ezreal can play right along with the best of carries.
Laning phase will be just as easy as any other Ezreal build. Just poke with Q whenever your opponent oversteps his boundaries, and peel yourself from supports to make the most of lane. If you’re with a playmaking support like Braum or Leona, you should have no issue following them to secure kills. Laning with ranged supports like Janna or Sona means you can farm as safely as ever, with the only threat being if the jungler ganks you by surprise.
If the fight turns south, you have Arcane Shift and Summoner Heal to ensure you get out alive. Come late game, if you find yourself constantly getting locked down by CC, grab a Mercurial Scimitar to save precious health and give you an opportunity to escape with your life.
AP Ezreal Mid
- Sorcerer’s Boots
- Dark Seal/Mejai’s Soulstealer
- Luden’s Echo
- Lich Bane
- Rabadon’s Deathcap
- Void Staff/Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
Summoners and Keystone - Flash/Ignite/Barrier & Thunderlord's Decree
Probably to the surprise of many of newer players, AP Ezreal is a thing, and boy does it hurt. Taking advantage of his 80% AP scaling on Essence Flux, 75% AP scaling on Arcane Shift and 90% AP scaling on Trueshot Barrage, AP Ezreal is probably one of the most bursty burst mages of all time. Unfortunately, his burst isn’t as easy to land as the burst from a champion like Syndra or Annie, so it will take some getting used to.
Laning phase for AP Ezreal is simple, just spam W. Since Essence Flux goes through minions, you can use it to poke very efficiently and quite often. I have seen some people build Archangel's Staff in order to give you the ability to spam whatever ability you want, but I feel you lose too much raw damage to make good use of it, so instead I take Mejai’s. If you manage to get a kill or two in lane with your Dark Seal, feel free to upgrade it to a Mejai’s and take advantage of the power spike you get from it. If you find yourself dying, sell Dark Seal and start building for Luden’s.
Your basic combo after you hit level six will be R>E>W>Q assuming you can take your opponent by surprise. Standing in the middle of the lane and ulting won’t get you anywhere, so hide in a bush or behind a wall to make sure your opponent won’t see it coming. Immediately after you fire your ult, you want to make sure you Arcane Shift towards your opponent, so the projectile hits them, then buffer your Q and W so they fire off instantly. Assuming you hit all of your abilities, your opponent won’t know what hit them when their health bar instantly depletes to zero.
Very similarly to AD Ezreal, you can kite very effectively. However, you have to be careful not to use your Arcane Shift willy nilly. Despite it being an easy way to secure kills or do a lot of burst damage, it is your only escape outside of Flash. The way you have to play this build is very feast or famine, meaning if you don’t get ahead early, it is very likely you’re going to lose the game.
Be on the lookout for any “all-in” mid laners because they will make laning phase a living hell. Anyone like Zed, Yasuo, Ahri or LeBlanc make it extremely hard for Ezreal to do anything, leaving you to constantly have to outplay your opponent to get anything done.
Overall, Ezreal is a fairly simple champion, as long as you can land your abilities. In the right hands, Ezreal can destroy teams without them being able to touch him, making him a force to be reckoned with.
Did this guide help you? Is Ezreal one of your favorite champions? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @GAMURScom.