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League of Legends - Ezreal, The Prodigal Explorer

by: D Lamberti ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Guide to getting started and playing Ezreal, The Prodigal Explorer in Riot's League of Legends.

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    Ezreal, The Prodigal Explorer

    Ezreal is an "advanced" champion in League of Legends, and a great choice for someone who loves skill shots. Note that Ezreal is one of the most fragile champions in the game so taking hits is definitely not something you want to do, ever. Ezreal benefits from casting Ezreal often and making sure that his abilities land.

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    Playing as Ezreal

    One of the biggest issues players have with Ezreal is that he can be played with several different focuses in mind, or a combination. You can either attempt to make him a fast-attacking, hard hitting powerhouse that can proc on-hit abilities at long range, or opt for a extremely powerful caster focusing on his powerful ultimate Trueshot Barrage which features an amazing 1:1 AP coefficient. You'll want to tailor your rune setup to cater to whichever build you've decided on. Some players opt to go for a "mixed bag" and focus on items that give both AP and damage such as Guinsoo's Rageblade but this strategy seems to fall short in comparison to the other options. Let's take a look at Ezreal's abilities.

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    Mystic Shot

    This move is essential in any Ezreal build and should be kept maxed out at all times. Mystic Shot is essentially a long range skill shot that reduces the cooldowns of all of his other abilities - essential for keeping your cooldown on Arcane Shift and Trueshot Barrage down. In a damage build, you'll focus on landing a few Mystic Shots to ramp up your haste and to land an "on-hit" snare. If you're planning on combat with enemy forces and you can't get a clear shot, feel free to fire off Mystic Shot at minions to push up your haste with Rising Spell Force.

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    Essence Flux

    Essence Flux is a short range blast that's great for team encounters - it works as both a defensive and offensive maneuver. Allies it passes through it provides a heal and a haste buff, and enemies it passes through are damaged and suffer reduced attack speed. Essence Flux Although a nice ability to round out Ezreal's depth, you should really only allocate one point in this skill till the late game as it won't be very useful until then and you have much better things to be placing points into.

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    Arcane Shift

    This is a great ability, essentially giving Ezreal the "Flash" summoner spell with unlimited use. Not only does it allow for quick teleporting around, which you'll need because Ezreal takes hits like a plush toy in the middle of a heated football game, but it also deals a good amount of damage to the closest target to him when he teleports. So yes, even his teleport is a skill shot to some extent, as you can use it for a getaway with a nasty surprise for the chaser, or to jump into a battle with a bang, or to finish off a runner - This is one of Ezreal's best abilities, so keep it maxed out whenever you can.

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    Trueshot Barrage

    Ezreal's ultimate ability is yet another type of skill shot - A giant blast that can travel the length of the entire map and deals a huge amount of damage to any amount of targets it passes through. It does lose 8% of its power for each unit it passes through, so you'll want to try and make sure it doesn't pass through creeps before hitting champions - it's very effective to let this rip in the middle of team fights or even to assist teammates across the map once you have the aiming down. AP builds will find this ability taking 50%-75% of opponents life out in a single hit with its very attractive 1:1 AP ratio and 650 base damage at max level.

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    Rising Spell Force (Passive)

    It's a simple passive but a potent one - Every time Ezreal hits a target with any of his abilities he gains 15% increased attack speed. Since this effect can stack up to 5 times and be charged to full quite easily with a single Trueshot Barrage, damage builds on Ezreal can Rising Spell Force allow him to deal a large amount of damage equivalent to many of the game's scarier carries like Jax or Yi... and he does it very, very fast. The stacks fall off quite easily unless you're landing ability hits, so again Ezreal's focus on skill shots carries over even to his passive.

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    Item Choices

    All builds should start with a Meki Pendant for mana regeneration but after that your choices will significantly change based on what you're trying to do with Ezreal. A popular and effective damage build turns the Meki into a Chalice of Harmony to allay mana concerns and then grabs Boots of Swiftness, a Sheen (Which you'll turn into a Trinity Force for the snare and dodge), and if you're landing kills like you should be - a Sword of the Occult. After that work up to carry favorites like Bloodthirsters/Infinity Edge and watch your foes drop in seconds. Caster builds summarily focus on gaining AP with Archangel's Staff, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Rod of Ages, and Zhonya's Ring.

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    Pulling it All Together

    Ezreal is a powerful, if frail, champion who is a real blast to play for someone who doesn't mind being very active with their abilities and diligent about the playing field at all times. If you loved playing Ashe for her ultimate and wished you had more skill shots at your disposal, Ezreal is the undisputed skill shot king and a treat to play.