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A somewhat household name amongst League of Legends players is the dreaded Blue Ezreal. What exactly is this build, you ask? It is a quirky build made popular by Taipei Assassin’s AD Carry, Bebe. Although variations exist, the original build was:
In case you don’t know why this build is so potent, the immense amount of self-peel and the cooldown reduction it provides frustrates many players to no end.
As mentioned before, as the build became more and more popular, variations arose. In OGN and recently by CLG’s Link, Blue Ezreal in the mid lane has become a favorable pick, while Doublelift showcased his variation in the NA LCS with a Tear of the Goddess > Bloodthirster build to overcome Blue Ez’s lack of pressure in lane and early teamfights. Blue Ezreal in the mid lane is great because you can rush a tear first and still be safe. Most AP Carries need some time to ramp up and produce damage, so this is where your high damage from your auto attacks and your Mystic Shot will do you wonders. Starting with a Doran’s Blade will allow you to trade efficiently with your opponent in the mid lane and you will come out ahead since your basic attacks do not use a resource, while your opponent’s form of harass will use mana or energy. The lane is also very short, so your Arcane Shift will cover most of the distance you will have to retreat, keeping you safe from jungle ganks. To top it all off, your higher AD values compared to your lane opponent will allow you to put down more damage on turrets and push faster than a conventional mid can. More on this topic will be discussed later.
Now, when is Blue Ezreal optimal?
Some people seem to think Blue Ez is great in any situation and pick it in any team composition, but what kind of team should you pick Ezreal against? Well, obviously Blue Ez is great in a poke comp with some disengage to compliment’s Ez’s own. Any short range composition will frustrate your enemy immensely. However, a team with multiple sources of hard engage will make it significantly tougher to keep your distance.
Let’s talk about the math!
With 4% CDR from the offense mastery tree, Iceborn’s 10% CDR, another 15% from CDR boots and Spirit of the Elder Lizard, you get a whopping 39% CDR without blue buff. However, use of Spirit of the Elder Lizard has declined but, without it, a blue buff will get you to the 40% CDR cap.
Moving onto runes and masteries:
There are many different mastery paths you can use. As with most AD Carry’s, the most generic mastery path is the 21/9/0. If you choose to use Ezreal for mid, 21/0/9 is more useful so you can use more Mystic Shots to compensate for Ezreal’s poor early wave clear. For runes, 2 or 3 lifesteal quints are used to get your 4% or 6% lifesteal, respectively. For marks, you can use 9 attack damage marks. You can also exchange one AD mark for a crit mark, which is my personal preference as one crit can change the momentum of a lane in the early game. The best seals are armor runes and, taking a page out of MVP Imp’s (rune) book (HA! get it?), 6 flat MR glyphs and 3 flat Mana regen glyphs are preferable. This gives you even more mana to use your skills and stack your tear.
Before your first back, Ezreal is on par with other AD carries in terms of itemization. Most start with Doran’s Blade, so you are not at a disadvantage. However, because a Blue Ezreal must spend 700 early gold essentially on mana, you have an automatic 700 gold deficit against other AD carries after your first back. At that point, you want to play passively and farm up until you get your core items. Whether you get the Tear early, or a bit later in the game, keep in mind that you automatically have 700 gold less than your opposing AD carry.
Once you get your Iceborn Gauntlet (either before or after completing Manamune), you are set to go. Although you will not do as much damage as an opponent who went for a traditional AD Carry build, you will have more kiting potential with the slow proc from the Gauntlet. Try to never use your Arcane Shift offensively and save it for an escape. Once you have max CDR, your Mystic Shot is on a 2.4 second cooldown and your Arcane Shift is on a 6 second cooldown. If you hit anything with your Mystic Shot, all your cooldowns will be lowered by one second, which will essentially make your Q spammable.
Now that you have your full build of: Muramana, CDR boots, Iceborn Gauntlet, Bloodthirster/Blade of the Ruined King, Last Whisper, and your choice of defensive item, you have reign over when you want to engage. You can slow the opposing team as long as you proc your Gauntlet passive and can keep them at bay, lest they be poked down. Even at this late game stage, you will do less damage than a traditional 6 item AD Carry but, once again, your power is in your utility. Even if the other team seems to have won the fight, you should be able to kite them to death.
Examples of Blue Ezreal in Professional Play
On to the most interesting part!
Traditional Blue Ezreal in Week 4 NA LCS
Cloud 9’s AD Carry, SneakyCastro, showed us how powerful a Blue Ezreal could be with the proper team composition. Because the pick/ban phase is so important in crafting a good team composition, let’s talk about C9’s mindset going into this game. The first ban out by C9 was the Karthus, targeted at Crs Nyjacky. The second and third bans were Nunu and Elise. Cloud 9’s picks (on purple side) were, Twisted Fate and Thresh as their first two picks, Rumble and Jarvan IV as their next picks, and saved their Ezreal pick for last. Sneaky built his Blue Ezreal with little to no variance from the original build. Let’s take a look at the item path that Sneaky went for:
And now the fun part! Let’s discuss the bans now that we know Cloud 9’s team composition. Rumble and Jarvan need to be close to their enemies for their Cataclysm + Equalizer combination to work effectively and that is exactly the kind of thing Karthus wants. Karthus can turn on his defile and will love to stand right next to you. The Nunu ban was just to get rid of a nuisance, but the Elise ban is important. Elise’s Rappel allows her to bypass all opposing team members and pick who she wants to jump on. The Rappel combined with a follow-up Cocoon effectively shuts a Blue Ezreal down in a teamfight if done correctly. The goal of Cloud 9’s entire team comp is to lock down the enemy and allow Ezreal to do as he pleases. If by some chance the enemy gets near Ezreal, Thresh can use The Box and create even more safety for Sneaky, who ended the game with an impressive score of 12/0/6. Although Sneaky did great, the perfect Equalizers with Cataclysm follow up really won Cloud 9 that game. This is possibly the most traditional Blue Ezreal build you can use, and Sneaky has shown that, with the right team comp, it is just as effective as any other variation.
Bloodthirster Rush by Doublelift in Week 5 NA LCS
In Week 5 of the NA LCS, we saw Counter Logic Gaming’s Doublelift use his patented Bloodthirster first Blue Ezreal build against TSM. Just like last time, let’s go through the picks and bans before talking about any strategy. CLG banned Karthus, Jayce, and then Nunu. Like Cloud 9, they were purple side. CLG chose Thresh and Nocturne as their first two picks, followed by Orianna, Ezreal, and Irelia to wrap it all up. The idea behind this team comp is a little different to Cloud 9’s. If they wanted to engage, Nocturne could use Paranoia and dive to the back lines, along with Irelia, and cause so much disruption that it would divert some pressure away from Doublelift. Cloud 9 used their team comp to lock people up, and CLG used theirs as a distraction to draw attention away from, not only killing Doublelift, but keeping TSM’s carries alive. In case Dyrus, TheOddOne, and Xpecial decide to ignore Nocturne and Irelia, Chauster could use Thresh’s ultimate to keep divers at bay. With Link’s amazing ball control, I’m sure Doublelift felt safe knowing that a Shockwave would pull back any threats immediately. Now, onto the item build!
An important thing to note about Doublelift’s variation is that it requires a lot more gold to get that critical Blue Ezreal item build because of the cost of the Bloodthirster. Doublelift can do this because CLG lets him split push all game long. In this game in particular, Doublelift was left to farm bot for an extremely long time while the rest of the team defended pushes. CLG wanted to avoid starting a fight during Doublelift’s power-up stage. However, as soon as the Muramana was complete, CLG looked to make a move.
MVP Dade’s Beautiful Mid Ezreal Play
In the group stages of OGN’s Hot6ix Champions Summer, Dade gave us a quick view as to why Blue Ezreal is becoming popular in the mid lane over in Korea. Getting an early Tear of the Goddess on Blue Ezreal as a mid laner doesn’t handicap you as much as in a duo bot lane. Many AP Carries require a few items before becoming powerful and Ezreal’s constant Mystic Shot and auto attack damage can create good damage early on, even with a rushed Tear. MVP Ozone banned Vladimir, Lee Sin, and Ryze. The Vladimir ban wasn’t necessarily important to stopping their comp, but more of a target ‘OP’ champion ban, as split push Vladimir is very popular in Korea. The Lee Sin ban was to stop the possible Resonating Strike into Dragon’s Rage combo that looks so cool, in addition to being extremely effective. A good Lee Sin (as all Korean junglers are), can wreak havoc on a Blue Ez as the slow does not prevent him from flying towards you and kicking you towards his team. The Ryze ban was also an ‘OP’ champ ban as top lane Ryze has proven to be extremely strong and could have messed with their Yorick pick, as you will see below. Ozone decided to pick Ezreal on blue side as their second pick after seeing Jin Air Falcons pick Zyra and Kennen. Ezreal can Arcane Shift pretty effectively out of both those ults, rendering those both champions basically useless against him. The full team is: Homme on Yorick, Dande on Nunu, Dade on Ezreal, and Imp with Mata on Twitch and Thresh, respectively. A successful level one fight gave Dade first blood and an assist. After this fight, Ozone pushed their advantage and won the game outright. Although the game was a stomp, we can still look at how Dade would build his Blue Ezreal because all went well:
The item path past the first couple items is basically the same as a duo bot Blue Ezreal. The advantage being, that the mid Ezreal can safely rush a Tear. This team comp also proved very effective for Blue Ezreal. Nunu’s ult creates a gigantic AOE slow and allows Ezreal to kite effectively even if he did not have an Iceborn Gauntlet. Throw in Thresh’s potential to create another slow with his ult and you have a pretty safe time as a Blue Ezreal. The Yorick pick was mainly to create a clone of Twitch, since Ezreal’s auto attack damage is not as high as Twitch’s because he opted for Blue build. Hope you liked this comprehensive, albeit long, article on the background of Blue Ezreal and what the pros think are good team comps for him. Have a good day!