As Gabrielle once sang:
"Just look at my hopes
Look at my dreams
I'm building bridges from these scenes
Now I'm ready to Ryze again."
ANYWAY. Let's look at the reworked Ryze...
As part of an explanation as to why Ryze is getting a makeover again Riot noted:
"the last gameplay iteration of Ryze just didn't hit the mark we wanted. He is either WAY too strong in an experienced player's hands or struggles significantly in a inexperienced players hands. We have tried multiple iterations of "Machine-gun Mage" that “does tons of damage,” and we felt it might be time to try something a little different.
"While we still want to preserve the iconic feeling of a "Machine-Gun Mage" we thought we could take this opportunity to add something more unique Ryze’s kit. By giving him something more unique we could tone down the “does tons of damage” bit. We also wanted to make a Ryze that had more interesting decisions in his kit and was less reliant on how fast you can push all his buttons in the correct order. On the surface Ryze’s kit can look very simple but he was deceptively hiding one of the highest mastery curve kits in the game."
There were other factors too but that one feels like the most significant. So let's have a look at where this has left the Rune Mage.
Looking through his new skillset his passive is no longer about building stacks by casting spells, it's about bonus mana boosting the damage of those spells and his maximum mana increasing in relation to his ability power.
His Q (Overload) lets you charge runes by casting other spells as the passive component. You activate it to fire a blast of damaging magic in a direction. If you've charged up a rune through the passive component you also get a shield and a move speed boost.
W is Rune Prison which works the same as before, rooting and damaging the target.
Spell Flux is his E. That one used to be about sending out an orb whose magical energy passed between targets dealing damage and applying a decrease to the enemy's magic resist stat. Now it's about marking targets and using particular spells on that marked target according to the situation. So if you use Overload on the marked enemy it deals bonus damage to the target and it bounces to nearby marked targets. Rune Prison lasts twice as long. Casting Spell Flux again applies that mark to all nearby enemies. Basically it's a way of amplifying spell effects.
His ultimate has changed entirely. It used to be this thing where you got cooldown reduction for spells and then you could activate it for movement speed, 50% additional damage to nearby enemies and so on. Now it's changed to something called Realm Warp.
Realm Warp makes me think of the transporter in Star Trek. It lets you open up a portal to a point a short distance away and then it takes anyone within that first portal to that nearby-ish location. Good for a GTFO or a GTF In.
What I'm mostly getting from this rework is that combos are still mega important. I mean, that's what the Spell Flux stuff is about and also how you get the most out of the Overload ability. But it's more about short term memory for the spells you're casting and less about counting stacks.
The screed on the official site explains that E>W>Q will be useful for waveclearing. Chucking out E twice might also help you mark your lane opponent and prime them for some of your other spells. Rune Prison, for example. That'll be really annoying. Then using all of these spell casts to ensure your Q has been charged up for that damage boost. There's also a whole bunch of other proposed combos for various situations on the site.
I'm a bad Ryze player so it will be interesting to see if this actually improves matters for me or not. The most interesting thing from my POV is that I didn't realise that the Realm Warp applies to minions as well as allied champions so the theory is that when you're trying to break the enemy base you can actually use it to move minions from one lane to another as you pressure those tier 3 turrets. That is Very Interesting.
I wonder if this kind of creep manipulation/pulling/redistributing will ever make it out of the Public Beta Environment or whether it'll prove horrible and OP within the context of League. Will be really cool if they start to experiment more with manipulating minions and I'm not just saying that as someone with a Dota background.
So he's on the Public Beta Environment at the moment in this reworked form and, barring disasters or another rework I think he's going to be headed to general play in the 6.14 patch.