Ryze Ionia has been one of the most played decks since Patch 4.1 went live. Ryze decks were considered a meme until Shard of Reverence was buffed. The additional spell mana played a vital role in Ryze’s early and mid-game strategy, giving more room for players to commit additional plays with less mana restriction.
Ryze Ionia operates on Ryze’s World Runes win condition. Throughout the game, you’ll work on casting Delve into the Past and playing your World Runes. Once five world Runes are on the board along with a Ryze, you’ll be able to win the game immediately if you commit an attack with Ryze.
Each of your World Runes has a unique ability that helps you keep up with your opponent. Shard of Reverence and Shard of Betrayal are great picks early game to make sure you’re not behind against aggressive and midrange decks.
Since your win condition with this archetype is Ryze and his World Runes, the list runs a lot of tools to help you prolong the game until you manage to set everything up. Steel Tempest, Homecoming, and Unworthy Soul are essential cards to keep key units on your opponent’s side of the board from ending the game.
Additionally, Eye of the Dragon is an important unit to keep your opponent from pushing an insane amount of damage. The summoned Dragonling can block and heal your Nexus, buying crucial time to carry on with your game plan.
Your opponents want Ryze dead as soon as possible. Here is where your Deny, stun, and recall cards come to play to keep Ryze safe.
Techs and Options
The current list is refined for the meta, there isn’t much room to tweak it except for the number of copies of the cards in the list.
Health Potion: Can be used as a cheap method to activate the Flow keyword while also offering Nexus or Ryze healing. Don’t run more than two copies, you can cut Tasty Faefolk for Health Potion.
The right World Runes to pick. Different matchups will dictate which World Runes you’ll prioritize first. Against aggressive decks, you’ll be looking for Shard of Reverence or Shard of Betrayal to help you keep up with their early aggression. Shard of Violence is an important early pick against control slow decks to start looking for Ryze and Delve into the Past.
Play Ryze as early as possible. You’ll shuffle two Delve into the Past for every Ryze in your deck. That means at the start of the game, you’ll have a total of six copies in the deck. You’ll need to play Ryze on the board to start shuffling more copies and increase the odds of finding five of them sooner.
Activate the Flow keyword at the right time. Flow can be activated by playing spells or activating your Shard of Betrayal. Your deck runs spells and units that benefit from the Flow keyword. Cards like Eye of the Dragon, Drum Solo, Deep Meditation, and Unworthy Soul have the Flow keyword. Identify the upcoming turns you’ll need Flow active so as to not overplay spells without taking advantage of them.
Recall or remove landmarks. Homecoming can be played on one of your landmarks instead of a unit. This allows for less counterplay and the ability to reactivate your landmarks’ abilities when replayed.
In some cases, you’ll find yourself forced to remove a landmark to have a blocker on the board or to activate their abilities. In the late game, you’ll have a lot of Delve into the Past shuffled in the deck, it shouldn’t be too difficult to draw another one.
Activate your Runes wisely. For example, make sure to use up your spell mana before activating Shard of Reverence.
Don’t immediately play Shard of Betrayal if your opponent hasn’t dropped a unit on the board yet.
Use Rune Prison before you reactivate Shard of Mandess to create a new one.
Jax Ornn – favored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Eye of the Dragon, Ryze
- Your opponent wants to work on leveling up their Jax and Ornn and start pushing Overwhelm damage.
- Eye of the Dragon can buy you a lot of time needed with the Dragonling she summons. Your opponent will most likely play either Fish Fight or Entrancing Lure to deal with her.
- Ryze can be a blocker to kill a weak unit, but be wary of Sharesies. Additionally, Fish Fight or Entrancing Lure can be used to kill Ryze, so keep a protection card ready like Homecoming or Unworthy Soul.
- If Ornn is leveled, it’s important to not allow him to attack. An attacking Ornn will summon a Spirit of the Ram with Overwhelm keyword. Play Homecoming or Unworthy Soul before your opponent gets to commit their attack with Ornn.
Annie Ezreal – favored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Eye of the Dragon, Claws of the Dragon
- You’re playing against a slow control deck that has the ability to kill your three Ryze before you commit your attack.
- A Lord Broadmane on the board will enable them to kill Ryze easier with ping spells. Try to have a spell like Homecoming or Unworthy Soul to recall Lord Broadmane and shut down their ping spells kill.
- Letting a Ryze die is fine if you have another one in hand and want to save important protection tools for the late game.
- Your opponent wants to level up their Ezreal as soon as possible to start burning your Nexus down. You can make it more difficult for them to level him by not throwing all your units on the board and relying more on your Shard of Betrayal to pick off pesky units.
- Once all World Runes are set, play Ryze on the board if you’re able to protect him. In this case, Deny is critical to shut down an attempt to kill him with Disintegrate.
Norra Veigar – favored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Ryze, Deny, Drum Solo or Deep Meditation
- You’re playing against a deck that has multiple tools to deal with Ryze, like Darkness and Vengeance.
- Shard of Reverence, Shard of Betrayal, and Shard of Violence are the World Runes you’ll be looking for early on in the game.
- Use Shard of Betrayal to eliminate Norra before she continues to plant Mysterious Portals.
- Veigar can be a problem; he’s difficult to kill and will buff up Darkness until it’s capable of killing Ryze and leveling Veigar. Ruthless Predator can be a method to pull and kill Ryze.
- Ixtali Sentinal’s Darkness can speed up Veigar’s leveling and damage the opponent’s Nexus. It can be rendered useless for that one turn if you don’t have any units on the board.
- A leveled Veigar will start burning down your Nexus with Darkness. Keep your Nexus’ health from dropping into Darkness range.
- Once all World Runes are on the board, have a Deny ready to counter any removal cards the opponent will play to shut down your Ryze’s attack.
Seraphine Ezreal Viktor – even
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Ryze, Drum Solo, Deep Meditation
- Don’t help your opponent level Ezreal by slamming units on the board mindlessly.
- Have Ryze on the board as soon as possible, but keep enough mana to protect him.
- Your opponent either burns you down with Ezreal before you set up your win condition or kills all three Ryzes.
- Viktor can become a problem if he gains a lot of keywords. Recalling him will reset his keyword progress, but watch out for Puzzling Signposts that could shut down your play for the turn.
Teemo Tristana – unfavored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Eye of the Dragon, Claws of the Dragon, Trinket Trade, Jury-Rig
- Eye of The Dragon is important in this matchup to deal with your opponent’s aggression. Your opponent might commit a Buster Shot or Hate Spike to kill her.
- A Tristana attack can be stopped by using Rune Prison from Shard of Madness.
- Your opponent can kill Ryze with a Vengeance.
- If your Nexus’ health is in the range of a Tristana + Atrocity, have a recall or Flash Freeze ready to counter it as long as your opponent is holding on 7 mana.
Kalista Nocturne – unfavored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Claws of the Dragon, Rastey Faefolk, Ryze.
- Eye of the Dragon will be of no use against Fearsome units. The Dragonlings can heal you up on offensive turns but will be useless on defensive turns.
- Use Rzye as a blocker. Your opponent could play Mark of the Isles to kill Ryze, and that’s fine.
- Frenzied Skitterer and Nocturne can render some of your blockers useless. Use your stuns and recalls to preserve your health.
- Kalista Nocturne relies on unit damage to win the game, most lists don’t run any burn tools to end the game.
- Have a Deny ready to shut down The Harrowing play.
Kayle Leona – unfavored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Eye of the Dragon, Claws of the Dragon, Trinket Trade, Ryze, Jury-Rig
- Eye of the Dragon is crucial in this matchup. Your opponent will try killing her with Leona.
- Your opponent can stun your blockers with Solar Sunhawk and Leona.
- Watch out for Shunpo. A Rally attack can be too much to handle, keep mana for Deny if you’re expecting a Shunpo.
- Shadow blocking is important. Use Eye of the Dragon as a blocker and play Homecoming to recall another attacker. Keeping Eye alive will be helpful for future turns.
- Have a Rune Prison ready to stun buffy units like Kayle.
Miss Fortune Twisted Fate – unfavored
Mulligan for: Delve into the Past, Eye of the Dragon, Claws of the Dragon, Trinket Trade, Jury-Rig
- Miss Fortune is the main threat. You don’t have reliable tools to deal with her. She’ll make blocking extremely difficult, so you’ll have to challenge and kill her with Ruthless Predator.
- You can catch your opponent off guard with burst summoning Claws of the Dragon to block an attacking Miss Fortune.
- Keep your Nexus’ health above 7. You don’t want to die to a Decimate + Noxian Fervor.
- Shard of Betrayal is powerful in this matchup to pick off units and weaken their attacks.
- Shard of Hope heals up your Nexus. Attacking with a leveled Ryze provides additional healing. Sacrificing your Ryze is fine; your opponent will eventually run out of gas and will lose any ability to impose a threat on you.
Although Ryze Ionia doesn’t hold a high win rate, it is shaping up the meta, forcing an aggressive meta to keep Ryze under control.