Guide to Playing Ezmo in Battlerite
Updated for patch 1.0.
Ezmo is a mid-ranged DPS champion, built to capitalize on opponent mistakes with intense burst potential. He can offer great team utility through weakens, shields, roots, AOE heals, and long-distance pulls. Ezmo has incredible control and damage, but struggles when poked from a distance and when focused with his one movement ability on cooldown.
To play to Ezmo’s full potential, you’ll need to master cancelcasting. This skill is important for playing mindgames and forcing the enemy to waste their defensive cooldowns. I have this bound to the thumb button on the left side of my mouse (because I find it much easier to hit than the default bind, which is the “C” key). Hey look, a cancelcasting guide!
Arcane Fire (M1)
Arcane Fire is a medium-range ability that fires three shots in quick succession before reloading. As you’ll see throughout this guide, the rest of Ezmo’s abilities offer a lot more utility than just damage, but Arcane Fire will be your primary damage output, typically over 80% at the end of a round.
Ezmo’s M1 has a much shorter range than most other ranged champions. As a result, good positioning must be your main focus. When attacking you want to keep enemies outside of melee range, yet close enough for your Arcane Fire attacks to land.
Exhaust: Landing 3 consecutive Arcane Fires inflicts a 0.4s Fading Snare.
At one point this was the most important battlerite Ezmo could take, but with the snare duration nerfed down to a measly 0.4 seconds, it doesn’t hold up anymore.
At 0.4s, the fading snare doesn’t even leave enough time to reload Arcane Fire charges, so you can’t get any attacks in while the target is slowed. If you’re thinking of getting this as a way to put distance versus melees, there are better alternatives.
However, against haste champions like Taya, Exhaust overrides haste completely, so you can pick this battlerite and use it almost like a dispel. This alone can turn certain matchups in Ezmo’s favor.
Chaos Grip (M2)
Chaos Grip is Ezmo’s longest range ability. It is a great tool for initiating on enemies by pulling them out of position, or for stealing and repositioning the center orb. While casting Chaos Grip, there is a long trail visible to both you and your opponent that indicates the extending range of the ability.
I like to start most matches by casting and canceling this a few times to see if anyone takes the bait and wastes a cooldown. The long visible leading trail can be used to your advantage to fake out enemies. When using it for real, hold M2 and aim at one target, then shift it to another enemy at the last second, giving them minimal time to react. Small mind games, like cancel casting and snapping to different targets, go a long way in forcing mistakes out of your opponents.
Besides pulling enemies towards you, Chaos Grip can also be used while in melee range to knock opponents back. Rather than holding the ability to extend the range, just tap the attack and it will fire immediately at a short range. This is very useful against tunnelers like Rook and Thorn. Try to wait until they’ve used their movement abilities so they aren’t able to get right back into range once pushed. The goal is to create a one-sided fight and take as little damage as possible.
Collapse: Chaos Grip deals 2-8 bonus damage depending on charge-up.
While 2-8 bonus damage is nice, Collapse offers no additional utility to Ezmo’s kit. There’s nothing wrong with a nice little damage boost, but considering this one only applies to an ability with a long 8-second cooldown, it’s hard to justify filling a battlerite slot with this.
Disruption: Chaos Grip inflicts Silence on target hit for 0.4s to 0.8s depending on charge-up.
Disruption is as essential to Ezmo’s kit as you can get. It should be included in every build. The silence is valuable in interrupting opponent casts, peeling for teammates, and setting up high-damage combos. It’s especially useful in combination with Ezmo’s ultimate ability to prevent enemies from fleeing the explosion.
Note that even though it doesn’t specifically say in the battlerite’s description, but a fully-charged Chaos Grip with Disruption guarantees that you’ll hit 3 Arcane Fires.
Warlock’s Grip: Increases the range of Chaos Grip by 25%.
The increased range from Warlock’s Grip is huge. Like, they need to fix the camera view when aiming down from the top of the map because this almost reaches off the screen, huge.
Ezmo can struggle against passive ranged comps that are perfectly content to poke at max range all match long. Warlock’s Grip helps you reach those champions and play a more interactive match.
Displace is Ezmo’s mobility spell, and it truly defines his playstyle. Much like Croak’s Frog Leap, this can be recast within 1.8 seconds. That means you have time to Space > M1 a few times > Space again. With Displace, Ezmo can travel through walls and other barriers, and he can pick up health and energy orbs along his path.
Ezmo doesn’t have any other movement abilities so being caught in a bad position with Displace on cooldown can mean instant death. I try to be as noncommittal as possible with Displace, especially during the early stages of a round. Because you can recast the ability, try to harass the other team early by Displacing towards the target, unleashing a burst of Arcane Fire shots, and then using Displacing back to a safer position.
Chaos Barrage: Displace grants 1 extra weapon charge when used.
Arcane Fire is your main source of pressure, often making up over 80% of your total damage per round. An additional charge with every Displace can really add up over the course of a round, and this bonus is even more evident when combined with Tome of Destruction. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense battlerite to reliably boost damage output, this is one of the better options.
Whizz: Using Displace grants a 60% Fading Haste that lasts for 2s.
Ezmo’s greatest weakness is his susceptibility to being focused when Displace is on cooldown. Whizz offers Ezmo the ability to use Displace more aggressively by not leaving him totally stranded after the second jump.
The 2 seconds of additional movement speed is exactly what Ezmo needs to maintain that perfect positioning: outside of melee range but within Arcane Fire range. I find this Battlerite to be more useful against melee opponents. Most ranged opponents put themselves at a disadvantage trying to collapse on Ezmo after he uses Displace, making Whizz less important in those situations.
Wreak Havoc: Displace increases your Arcane Fire attack speed by 30% for 2.5s.
Extra attack speed on your main source of damage is a very nice perk. The goal of Battlerite is to cause true damage (as opposed to recovery damage) so that enemies lose max health. Wreak Havoc helps deal that damage before the opponent can get a chance to heal it back up, especially when used in combination with additional weapon charges.
I only like to take Wreak Havoc in combination with Chaos Barrage. I feel that is the best way to reap the maximum potential from both battlerites. Unfortunately, that means you’re unable to take Whizz, which is a tough call to make.
Arcane Barrier (Q)
Arcane Barrier is a 180-degree directional barrier that absorbs all damage from projectiles and melee attacks. It’s very good for blocking high-damage abilities like Snipe and Shadowbolt. Note that absorbing attacks gives you weapon charges, up to a maximum of 6 (whereas the normal reload for Arcane Fire is 3). Try to take advantage of these extra charges by comboing with Tome of Destruction.
I tend to use the EX version of this ability more often (Arcane Ward). Read below for further details on that ability.
Arcane Barrage: Recasting Arcane Barrier consumes all weapon charges to fire a projectile. For each weapon charge consumed, the projectile deals 4 damage and heals you for 4 health.
Arcane Barage can be useful against an all-DPS comp where you know survivability is going to be the key to victory. The recasted projectile has a fairly long range (longer than Arcane Fire). This adds some usefulness against comps where it can be difficult to engage, and it can also be strong against enemies who have multiple quick attacks (e.g. Jade, Ezmo, Iva) because that will charge the extra projectile faster and deal more damage (24 max).
Imp Rush: Arcane Barrier increases your movement speed by 40% and cooldown is reduced by 1s.
I’m not a big fan of Imp Rush. Much like Whizz, the extra movement speed can be very valuable, but you can’t attack while using Arcane Barrier so you can’t make full use of that speed. It does help with Ezmo’s survivability, but Whizz is a more adaptable option for that.
Shackle is a small AOE target ability that roots and inflicts a small amount of damage. Since it targets the ground, Shackle does NOT trigger counters. It’s best used when combined with other abilities to burst down targets, but it can also be used as an escape (hold an enemy in place while you reposition).
One of the tricks I like to use is to bait enemy counters by canceling Chaos Grip. I then directly follow up with Shackle so that Shackle is already casting as the enemy attempts to counter. If Shackle lands, you can follow up with a lot of damage.
Bolted: Landing Shackle on an enemy grants 1 weapon charge and increases your Arcane Fire range by 50% until your next recharge.
Bolted offers a lot of utility in certain situations. Ezmo can struggle against ranged champions that are able to poke from afar, forcing Ezmo to either land a long-range Chaos Grip or use a defensive cooldown in order to get in range to do damage. The increased M1 range alleviates some of this struggle and the additional Arcane Fire charge is a great bonus.
Worth noting, using Displace does NOT count as a reload. It simply replenishes Arcane Fire charges, so if you land Shackle, hit a few Arcane Fire shots, then use Displace, you’ll have more shots with the increased range.
Face Melt: Arcane Fire deals 2 bonus damage to enemies rooted by Shackle.
It’s been said multiple times throughout this guide, but Arcane Fire is Ezmo’s main source of damage. Any battlerite that can increase the effectiveness of Arcane Fire is going to be a strong choice. Face Melt is great in combination with Tome of Destruction and any other ability or battlerite that increases Arcane Fire charges.
Undermine: Shackle reduces target’s damage and healing output by 50% for 3s.
Don’t underestimate the power of weaken. Undermine is a great support tool that can help your entire team, especially against rushdown comps. Undermine can stymie burst damage and can often hit multiple targets when there are more than one melee opponents attacking the same ally.
Siphon Life (EX-M1)
Siphon Life is a short-range cone-shaped channel ability that drains health from enemies in its line of fire. This ability pierces directional barriers and does NOT trigger trances. The healing aspect also stacks for each target hit. So if you catch two enemies for the full duration, each takes 32 damage and you heal for 64 health (until you hit your healing cap).
This ability is especially useful against summoned objects like Pestilus’s Queen and Blossom’s Tree of Life. Siphon Life can actually destroy Blossom’s Forest Sanctuary in a single use if you hit the tree and Blossom (whose damage gets absorbed by the tree), which ends up dealing 64 total damage to the tree.
If I’m caught in a bad position and being focused by multiple enemies in close range, I like to throw on an Arcane Ward and then start to Siphon Life. By the time the Arcane Ward is broken, I’ve shielded some damage, drained some health, and left myself with 6 total Arcane Fire charges for retaliation.
Siphon Life can also be used to steal health from the center orb. This is important to know, especially in 1v1 situations or when you can’t rely on a support champion for healing.
Arcane Ward (EX-Q)
Arcane Ward is a targeted shield that absorbs a moderate amount of damage and provides bonus Arcane Fire charges to you if broken. It can be used on yourself or teammates in danger. I tend to use this more often than the regular Arcane Barrier.
With the exception of high burst damage abilities like Snipe or Shadow Bolt, Arcane Ward usually ends up absorbing more damage than Arcane Barrier, while allowing you to keep attacking (which you can’t during Arcane Barrier). It’s a really good idea to combo those additional charges with your Tome of Destruction for extreme burst damage.
Be intentional when you apply Arcane Ward. Don’t cast it on an ally who just used their own defensive cooldown to get out of harm’s way. Don’t stack it with other shields because they both absorb damage at the same time. Don’t stack it with other temporary health buffs, because by the time the shield is broken, the temporarily health duration will run out and the shield will have been wasted.
Also be mindful of dispels. When Lucie uses her Crippling Goo ultimate, for example, wait until she uses Clarity Potion (or make sure it’s already on cooldown) before shielding. You don’t want to put up Arcane Ward and have it instantly dispelled!
Tome of Destruction (R)
Tome of Destruction is Ezmo’s most important ability. For the cost of 25 energy, this ability creates a totem that mimics your Arcane Fire attacks and fires its own projectiles toward your mouse cursor.
This may cause some trouble if you, like me, prefer to aim your ranged attacks through the target instead of directly on top of them. Regardless of where the tome is summoned, make sure both lines of Arcane Fire (yours and the Tome’s) are hitting the enemy. This is best done by adjusting your aim directly on top of the target.
Another useful trick: the Tome has a small knockback effect when it’s summoned, which can be used to put a bit of distance if a melee enemy is attacking you. This can also be used to move the center orb, sometimes knocking it out of the path on an enemy Jade’s Snipe or forcing an enemy Taya to miss the tip of her X-Strike.
The bonus damage from Tome of Destruction can not be overstated! The duration is long enough to copy 9 Arcane Fire shots. At 8 damage a piece from M1 and 4 damage a piece from Tome, that adds up to 104 total damage. In 3.5 seconds. And that’s not taking into account any extra damage you could squeeze from extra Arcane Fire charges or battlerites like Face Melt, Chaos Barrage, or Wreak Havoc.
Tome of Restoration: Tome of Destruction leashes on to nearby allies, healing them for 4 health per second.
Tome of Restoration adds excellent team support to an ability that you should already be using all the time. It requires no change to your playstyle and doesn’t even need to be aimed. Tome of Restoration is free value with no effort whatsoever! The added heal further assists Ezmo’s aggressive playstyle and pushes most damage trades further in Ezmo’s favor.
Grimoire of Chaos (F)
Grimoire of Chaos throws a large AOE on the ground that pulls enemies toward its center over 2 seconds, then explodes and inflicts 55 damage to every enemy within its radius.
Although strong, I find this ultimate to be very situational. You need to pay very close attention to the enemy team’s energy and cooldowns before dropping it. For example, Sirius has a lunge and Lucie has a roll, both of which are long enough range to flee the radius of the ultimate. Another example, hitting Rook’s counter provides him a speed bonus and he can simply walk out of the ultimate. Every champion has some sort of ability to escape the pull of Grimoire of Chaos, so be sure they don’t have it up before investing all of your energy.
With the Disruption battlerite, you can follow up your ultimate with a quick Chaos Grip to silence the enemy and leave them unable to escape. Even without that battlerite though, you may be able to Chaos Grip fleeing enemies and bring them back into the explosion radius.
Lastly, there are times when Grimoire of Chaos can be used for zoning. For example, if there’s a melee trying to take the center orb, throwing your ultimate at the orb will force them to run away, ensuring orb control and allowing you to regain positioning while putting out pressure.
Grimoire of Death: Grimoire of Chaos has 40% increased pull force and deals 10 additional damage.
The additional pull force from Grimoire of Death can really catch opponents off guard when they think they’ll be able to escape from the edges of the attack. The 10 bonus damage adds up quickly if you can hit multiple opponents — 65 damage (multiplied by the number of targets) can totally flip the momentum of a lost round.
Grimoire of Death opens up a legitimate strategy that Ezmo normally doesn’t have: playing defensively long enough to farm energy for an ultimate and relying entirely on its effect to end the match.
Ezmo relies heavily on Displace. Sometimes you need to use it aggressively to punish opponent mistakes, but it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and enemy cooldowns because you are easily punished.
Ezmo capitalizes on opponent mistakes better than most champions. Using Tome of Destruction with extra Arcane Fire charges puts out some of the highest burst in the game. The long range on Chaos Grip coupled with the silencing Disruption battlerite is excellent for forcing enemies into making mistakes and punishing them for it.
When stuck in a bad position, don’t panic. Arcane Ward and Siphon Life both offer great protection while allowing you to continue pressuring targets. Ezmo does a lot of damage even when he’s caught off guard — just try to continue applying pressure while escaping. Often times, especially with team support, you will be able to force the opponent to retreat.
Chaos Grip offers the unique ability to push/pull enemies out of position. This can force defensive cooldowns that you and your team can capitalize on. It’s also very useful for repositioning the center orb, which is crucial for winning rounds.
Ezmo offers a lot of damage and utility. To truly excel you will need to adapt your playstyle during the match based on team composition, strategy, available cooldowns, positioning, and numerous other factors. Don’t get stuck playing the same way every round. Adapt to your opponents and punish their mistakes.
Ezmo has a lot of strong battlerites so choosing a loadout can be somewhat difficult. I personally feel like Ezmo should be changing his build every match based on enemy comps and your own team’s comp.
There is no “best” build for every situation. Pick the battlerites that best fit your playstyle, support your team’s strategy, and/or maximize your ability to take advantage of enemy team weaknesses.
Below are the two builds that I most like to play, along with a brief explanation of the reasoning behind them.
- Disruption (M1)
- Whizz (Space)
- Face Melt (E)
- Tome of Restoration (R)
- Grimoire of Death (F)
This is a pretty balanced build that doesn’t push heavily into playing overly aggressive or defensive. It offers solid team support with Disruption and Tome of Restoration, plus added mobility from Whizz to help stay alive and continue pressuring opponents. Face Melt and Grimoire of Death help increase burst potential to deal more permanent damage to enemies.
Against particularly passive opponents, I may trade out Whizz or Face Melt for Warlock’s Grip in order to break stalemates and force the enemy team into even worse positions.
Machine Gun Ezmo
- Disruption (M2)
- Chaos Barrage (Space)
- Wreak Havoc (Space)
- Face Melt (E)
- Tome of Restoration (R)
This is the much more aggressive build that I like to play. The Chaos Barrage and Wreak Havoc choices put a lot of emphasis on using Displace aggressively, so being aware of all of your opponents cooldowns is extra important. Do NOT jump in just to get yourself killed.
The combo potential with Tome of Destruction in this build is insane — it’s basically like having a 25 energy ultimate. But whatever advantage this setup gains in damage is offset by the loss of survivability. Using Displace for extra damage is a good way to end up focused on and killed by the opposing team, so you have to know when is the right time to attack.
Face Melt is sort of the flex spot in this build, and I will sometimes switch it out for Warlock’s Grip, Bolted, Undermine, Arcane Barrage, or Grimoire of Death depending on the opposing team.
True to his theme, Ezmo causes lots of chaos on the battlefield. You pull enemies out of position, you zip in and out with Displace, and you can cause tons of damage within seconds. No other champion plays like Ezmo, and you have to embrace the high-risk/high-reward mentality to succeed.