If you haven’t read up on the 6.14 update yet, now’s the time to get informed. One of the oldest and appreciated champs in League of Legends is finally getting a much-needed update, and Riot intends to push it out in a way that will fundamentally change the champion yet keep him somewhat similar to his origins. Ryze is often considered one of the most important champions in the game. Korean mid-laner Faker promoted Ryze as being an essential champion for learning the art of positioning within the game. Many pro gamers believe that mastering Ryze is the key to mastering all of the important lessons in combat that LoL has to teach.
What’s interesting about Faker is that he’s never lost once with Ryze in a pro game, so he knows what he’s talking about. Ryze is, in many ways, the champion by which all other champions in the game are measured. He’s been available to play since the game’s original 2009 release, and he’s received some pretty crazy overhauls over the years that have been nothing short of controversial. Even with various tweaks, buffs, and nerfs to his toolkit, he was still considered an outdated champion that no one with a good sense of the meta would ever pick up and play.
Because Ryze had an ability toolkit purely focused on damage, he seemed anachronistic in a much more complex meta which emphasizes diverse abilities and strategic options of all sorts of different varieties. Like Taric, Ryze has been the butt of many jokes for being an outdated champ pick, and if you ended up picking him in a game, you had better have been a master with him to make that pick justifiable. Champs like Veigar almost always outshine these old-fashioned champs, that is until the latest update being pushed out.
In addition to updating the mechanics of Ryze, they’re also giving him some improved lore to give his character a bit more flavor and a distinct identity. Players conscious of the lore didn’t really have much to say about him, other than the fact he was blue, old, grumpy, and had a massive magic scroll. Thanks to the new update, we now know that he is centuries old and he’s always on a journey to find new sources of power in order to improve himself. He’s fundamentally disconnected from other beings, and he’s looking to protect these ancient sources of magic from people who would use them for far less noble purposes.
I encourage all of you to pick up and play Ryze this patch and see how much he’s been changed for the better. After playing him recently, I’ve fallen in love with the old champ I knew and loved in 2009. He’s different but he fits much better contextually in 2016 LoL, and I think he will be a shining example of a champ with a great comeback. He’s definitely worth trying if you liked his original playstyle, and his toolkit has been improved massively.