Disclaimer: This is a work in progress post, because I want to get all sorts of ideas from you guys and your opinions, and because I know that this is simply the first iteration of Ryze's rework, and changes will be coming, as they always do, with reworks. Furthermore, I'm always hesitant to jump onto the hate-train before release and giving ample effort. This post simply reflects my first impressions to the new Ryze rework in comparison to his old self.
I'll discuss both parts of my impressions, and you guys can add on or critique my post however you please. I like bulleted lists, so we'll use those. I want this to be a great feedback thread that gets attention from all comments and players, so I'll be updating this regularly. :)
In short, my first impressions, for what they're worth, are two-fold:
1. Decent/Good direction.
2. Awful feeling in its current iteration.
# Good/Decent Direction
> **Skill Rotation Variability**
I personally had a bunch of fun with the old Ryze. However, there was one thing that always remained the same: his skill rotation. Q>W>E>Q, and if you have your R up, throw that in there somewhere and add another Q to the rotation. This was the rotation that was utilized by most players to achieve the maximum burst damage in nearly instantaneous time. Of course, other rotations for a slower, more sustained impact existed, but they were more for extended fights and not when Ryze simply wanted to burst a squishy. The PBE rework version introduces a new way to play Ryze with increased variability in what you choose to do.
For those that don't know, on the 5th skill cast and for a few seconds aftwerwards, all skill casts lower the cooldowns of all *other* skills by Q's cooldown. However, Q's cooldown can only be reduced to a minimum of 0.25 seconds (will discuss later).
I like this idea. It gives him a little less wiggle room when the passive is down, because he can't mindlessly spam spells. But when his passive is up, he becomes a spell-spamming monster for a few seconds. But the icing on the cake is that *no longer are cooldowns reduced by 1 second every cast, but by 3-4 seconds every cast.* This means you can Q>E>Q>W>Q>R>Q and so on as fast as you can. The idea here is that **the most reliable damage involves casting Q directly after using any other ability, but it doesn't matter what ability comes next** because the cooldown reduction you get from hitting any spell is absolutely massive.
I was skeptical of the ratio nerfs at first, but this leaves tons of room for a much quicker live-Ryze sustained DPS combo in any order you want, until the passive timer goes out.
I'll admit it, one of the reasons I enjoyed playing Ryze originally was because of the ridiculous ease it was to blow somebody up when you got in range. Nothing makes accomplishing this easier than having super low cooldowns on spells that were ALL targeted spells. Hover mouse, push QREQWTFBBQ really fast, and run away for a few seconds. Rinse and repeat until they die. But this was admittedly not the most healthy of mechanics and made balancing Ryze a nightmare because of the innate power of his kit, not from a damage perspective, but from a counterplay and mechanical perspective.
Solution: Make Q a skillshot.
* Less mana cost
* Higher AP scaling
* Shorter early cooldown
* More spammable during passive mode allowed
* Longer range
* Easier tear stacking (FWIW)
* Significantly less reliable
* Cannot pass through minions
* Less mana scaling
Only time will tell for how well the new scaling and mechanics will pay off in the long run. I won't jump to any conclusions at the moment. But I do feel like this direction has the potential to open up a bunch of doors for both Ryze and his opponents.
While nothing else really changed in his kit other than his Q and passive, this really does add a whole new layer of interactivity with Ryze and I'm excited to see how it's all going to play out in the long run. I don't plan to make any assumptions on Ryze's overall power at the moment with these changes, but I do feel like the direction as a whole is much more healthy and can be more fun for everybody once we all learn how to use him to his maximum potential.
# Awful Feeling currently
I'm not going to hide my feelings for what I experienced during my first two (and definitely not last two) games as the current PBE Ryze. I wasn't a fan of the feeling of his playstyle. Like I stated, I'm not going to draw hard conclusions, but here is what I experienced, and I would love to hear your take on him as well.
> **Minimum 0.25 cooldown on Q feels terrible.**
On live Ryze, his Q>W>E>Q combo feels very **fluid**. No, I don't think it's super healthy. But at least it feels like I can seamlessly go from one skill into the next, and it makes his casting actually *feel* good to execute.
On PBE Ryze, a MASSIVE chunk of burst is lost if you opt to do his skill rotation in the very possible Q>W>E>Q combo, due to the fact that because his cooldowns during passive time are now reduced by 3-4 seconds (his entire Q cooldown) instead of just 1, his Q cooldown is effectively entirely reset after each skill cast. However, if you opt to interlace Qs between Ws and Es and Rs, there's still a delay added with the minimum cooldown floor of 0.25 seconds on Q that creates a very notable, awkward, and honestly, terrible feeling pause between hitting W and hitting Q again. It's so awkward, in fact, that sometimes I opted to forego that burst in my games to do the current live Q>W>E>Q combo, only to find that **I _still_ had to wait a tenth of a second to cast Q again.** That fluidity that live Ryze has is completely gone in this iteration. I'm not saying it makes Ryze an awful champion, but he definitely feels miserably painful to play with that delay as high as it currently is.
As stated plenty of times though, I won't jump to any conclusions because this is iteration #1, and I'm sure many changes will follow before his release. Plus, no idea as to how he will fare once in the wild live servers.
> **Q Damage at Level 1 is horrendous.**
My gosh, it feels like patch 4.19 all over again. Maybe this is just my naivety as a player who hasn't explored many build paths yet with Ryze having only a few games on him, but the Mana Crystal start seems incredibly lackluster now. 2% of mana scaling reduced on his Q has seriously hurt his early game to an incredible extent, arguably worse than his 4.19 gutting.
For reference, with no mana runes on Live Servers, I was getting about +35-40 damage from mana scaling with only a Mana Crystal (200 total bonus mana w/o Masteries) at level 1 on Q. **On the PBE, with 176 mana from runes and 200 mana from a Mana Crystal (376 bonus mana w/o Masteries), I got +15 damage.**
I'll put that in perspective.
Starting with TWO Mana Crystals on Ryze, if that was possible, STILL has roughly an effective -20 damage output from mana scaling on his Level 1 Q.
Here's another perspective. I was dealing about 20 damage more with my Q on minions than I was by simply auto-attacking them. 20 damage. (Read: 75 total damage).
Again, no comment on how he'll ultimately fare, but regardless of his passive and regardless of his ability to spam faster, **his early levels feel absolutely nonexistent.** His reliability is decreased in conjunction with a god-awful level 1 ability. Sure, his mana costs are super low, but the ability is so bad early on with these mana scaling changes that it hurts my very soul.
> **E particles are tiny and stupid fast.**
The speed I don't care about. The visual clarity, I do.
I have not been able to keep track of anything past the second bounce. The particles of the actual E are minuscule and travel so fast I simply haven't had a chance to keep track of them. I don't even know if it bounces a full 5 times. Maybe this is just me looking through my Silver eyes when I can only see such detail if I had my Diamond lense glasses on, but this is just my humble opinion.
> **His range doesn't feel cohesive.**
This was a big one for me. I forgot to mention this originally. But in my opinion, it feels very awkward to have one single long-range skillshot while maintaining very short ranges throughout the rest of his kit. The reason for this is two-fold.
* A single Q doesn't do a whole lot of damage.
This is obviously a necessary power gating, since during his passive he can easily shoot of 2-4 of these, so a single one not doing much is okay. But this, in conjunction with the following, makes him a bit strange to play.
* While the range is higher, it seems like a moot point because in order to actually do loads of damage, he still has to get in close range like he used to. Ergo, his passive is totally wasted if he opts to stay out of range
Engages are still super short range. That said, the only use for Q is medium range, medium speed, and mediocre damage poke, and there are many many better champions for this type of playstyle.
I'll type this out more later, and edit this post some more. But overall I stand by this: I like the direction, but the feeling of playing him is less fluid and not so much fun anymore.
The real problem I see isn't necessarily his power, or his scaling, or any specific part of his kit. **My problem is that right now, his kit feels incohesive,** like nothing flows well together, even with his passive up. Maybe that's just me, who knows?
Feel free to add what you want! I know it's a wall, but I feel passionately about Ryze despite having relatively little experience with him (I picked him up shortly before his gutting, so I didn't get to enjoy everything).