It almost feels like it wouldn’t be Worlds for League of Legends without Ryze. However, Riot are refraining from making the troublesome mage meta, confirming they aren’t buffing him in Patch 10.18 despite being underpowered.
Ryze is inevitable — or at least it feels that way. Every year, League’s hyper-scaling hallmark mage has always weaseled his way back into the meta right around Worlds.
No matter how many reworks or nerfs he goes through, right around the end of the year, everyone at pro level is playing Ryze. While he’s always sat at a low win rate in lower levels of play, he’s been prone to dominating higher levels in the right hands.
In Season 10, things will be a bit different. Riot have already buffed Ryze three times this year, but he’s still struggling at all levels of play. In solo queue, his win rate sits at 48.72% in the mid lane according to op.gg. This drops to 46.83% in the top lane — the lowest in role.
Despite Ryze trending dangerously near Riot’s guidelines for buffs, they aren’t ready to pull the trigger just yet citing one big thing — Worlds.
“Ryze is currently trending slightly above thresholds, though he is definitely weak,” developer Phlox admitted on Reddit. “I expect we would have buffed him again (see three small buffs this year) if it wasn’t so close to Worlds.”
While they have pushed changes to other champions like Caitlyn in previous patches to deliberately shift the meta ahead of Worlds, Riot aren’t willing to pull the trigger on Ryze this time around. If they wanted Ryze to be meta for Worlds, they would have buffed him earlier.
“Multiple buffs on a pro-facing champion when they’re still not getting picked up generally means the meta is really poor for them or pros are slow to adopt, but both of those things can change fast, and if the champ isn’t an emergency then it can be best to be safe around Worlds and look into changes after.”
Riot aren’t leaving Ryze completely off the table for more buffs in Season 10 though. Once the Worlds patch goes out — likely to be September 16’s Patch 10.19 — Riot will look into buffing the mage again. They want to give Ryze players more power to enjoy the game, and not force players into picking him just because he’s strong again.
“Ryze is also still considered, sitting just below pro-presence thresholds but not out of the game entirely in the last few patches. The champion is bound to professional play and when he isn’t seeing it, we like to give him some more power so that Ryze players can actually, like enjoy the game and stuff.”
League Patch 10.18 is set to release on September 2. Riot have already revealed mini-reworks are on the way for Kayle and Ahri to make them more viable in high elo, with more changes to come out later this week.