After noticing Fizz’s win rate dropping significantly after the 5.2 patch, I thought I’d make a handy guide to playing Fizz in the mid lane to help people transition to his new playstyle.
Against traditional mages: Against mages such as Syndra or Xerath, Fizz used to excel in extended trades from level 3 onwards, using his grievious wounds and higher base damages to win the trades, and keep the enemy laner in check as they often get a lot of harass on him before 3. However, new Fizz has a different playstyle entirely due to the changes to Q. Rather than all-inning at level 3, it’s advised to stockpile potions like Gragas, and chug them until you can finally win a trade at level 13. The best start is probably flask and potions, then back after the third wave to refill your potion charges.
Against mobile assassins: Since Q can be dodged, Fizz can no longer trade with champions such as Leblanc, Yasuo, or Zed effectively. As a result, it is recommended not to pick Fizz into these matchups, although luckily these are incredibly niche champions.
Burst Mages: Mages such as Malzahar, Annie and Zyra have a combination of range, cc, and high burst that causes you to take a lot of poke damage, and your lower base damages often won’t win you a straight trade. Fortunately for you, you can counter their kits by building straight tank and attempting to auto them to death. With the new active on W overtaking the passive when your enemy laner has approximately 150 hp, you only have to deal about 500 damage in autoattack trades (only about 9 autoattacks) in order to get value from the new W active. It’s recommended you build a Banshee’s Veil, a Wits End, and a Warmogs on your first back, but if you have to delay those items for whatever reason you can instead consider just going afk.
Laning with the advantage: There are a few lanes that Fizz stomps, and you should be able to counterpick him. These are lanes such as Doran’s Shield start or Cloth + 5 mana potions Rlyai’s rush AP Thresh, or full AP Draven. It is advised to manage your enemy laner’s ability to harass you early by stacking up on potions, or perhaps by picking a different champion- as you may still get poked out of lane even in a favorable lane.
General Laning Advice: Fizz’s primary combo is to E on top of his opponent, press W, follow their dash with a Q, and then flash out because you’re engaging in their minion wave with low damage spells and probably missed a skill to their superior mobility. When not trying to force a trade, Fizz has the ability to clear a wave by entering melee range of it and expending roughly a third of his mana bar, and he has the ability to counterplay opponent harass by pressing the item button linked to hp potions in his inventory.
Luckily for you, Fizz has great late game scaling. The first thing to do is identify all opponents with Banshee’s Veil. You cannot assassinate those targets, as the spellshield will block the fish, which is required for you to burst. Luckily, Banshee’s Veil is an unusual item and the superior Spirit Visage is often favored, so this should be easy.
Then you have to identify if your target has a QSS, as they can cleanse the fish, also rendering you useless. If you succeed on this front, you can then attempt an assassination. First, bait out any movement abilities your target has. Luckily, if you’re attacking an AD Carry, dashes and blinks are rare- the 3 most popular AD carry picks, Ashe, Varus, and Miss Fortune, have none. After that, ult and then spam all of your abilities. You may have to auto three or four or eight times, but if you’ve built your Nashor’s Tooth (more on that later) you should be able to succeed.
After that you have to pick a different target. If you’re unable to find a target without a Banshee’s or QSS, it’s advised attacking turrets. Do not attack inhibitors, as you don’t gain your 40% AP bonus (unless playing full tank Fizz of course). Even though they can’t dodge your Q, your damage is too low for these things.
Setting up a flank: Luckily, Fizz is one of the best flanking champions in the game. By throwing his fish as a zoning tool, Fizz can act as a makeshift CC tank, allowing him to manipulate his opponents so he can finish them off with his burst combo (7 auto attacks followed by a W empowered auto). Fizz should flank from the side, throw his fish away from his opponents (they won’t want to waste their banshee’s veils on a missed spell, so they’ll let themselves be contained in your make believe cc zone) allowing you to trollpole in, flash after your opponents escape and dodge all your damage, and proceed to right click them to death.
For AP Fizz, you should rush a Zhonya’s. You may think to rush Lich Bane, since it adds damage to your Q, but since the chance of you encountering a champion immobile enough to actually get hit by your Q are roughly equivalent to the chances of you winning the lottery, this extra damage is useless. Using your Zhonya’s, your primary combo is to E into the team, Q at the carry, flash forward to follow their movement, shark, zhonya’s, and then autoattack them to death with your W damage. In order to succeed, your next few items should be Nashor’s Tooth, Sorceror’s Shoes, Phantom Dancer (to avoid unit collision of course) Wits End and then Lich Bane when your AS has become too high to dodge.
For AD Fizz, you should build a BotRK, a Wits End, and then full tank. Note that there is a visual glitch with AD Fizz, in that the defeat skin will occasionally look like the victory skin if up against opponents who have forgot how to run away from you. However, the only real downside to this build is that you have to play AD Fizz.
Tank Fizz: This is like AD Fizz, but both the Wits End and the BotRK are optional, as tank Fizz’s primary damage items are a sunfire cape and his father’s disappointment. Build maximum CDR to spam zoning sharks and spam laugh to draw enemy aggro. The pros to this build is that it’s the most effective of the three builds, as sunfire cape roughly triples Fizz’s new DPS, however the cons are that you lose Fizz’s primary 7 autoattack combo.