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Azir, the Emperor of the Sands, Revealed

An oft-repeated legend stirs in the desert of Shurima. The swirling sands carry rumors of the ancient emperor Azir Azir, somehow returned. [2]

Abilities

Shurima's Legacy
Shurima&#039;s Legacy

Will of the Emperor: Cooldown reduction increases Azir's attack speed.

Disc of the Sun: Azir raises a Sun Disc on the base of a destroyed turret (enemy inhibitor and nexus turrets are immune to this effect) Azir's Sun Disc behaves like a turret, except that it deals increased damage and grants Azir gold on minion or champion kills. The Sun Disc lasts for a short while and if Azir is killed or moves too far away, it loses armor.


Conquering Sands
Conquering Sands

Azir orders all Sand Soldiers to rush at the target position. The soldiers damage and Slow icon slow all enemies they smash through as they rush into the fray.


Arise!
Arise!

Azir summons an untargettable Sand Soldier - a memory of a Shuriman warrior - from the ground. Azir uses his basic attack as a command, ordering soldiers to attack for him, piercing through their target and dealing damage in a line. Sand Soldiers attack even if Azir himself isn't in basic attack range. The soldiers fade back to sand after a short while or when their emperor leaves them behind.


Shifting Sands
Shifting Sands

Azir feints, rushing to the target Sand Soldier. If Azir collides with an enemy champion, he stops, Airborne icon knocking them up and gaining a shield.


Emperor's Divide
Emperor&#039;s Divide

Azir calls forth a phalanx of shield-wielding soldiers who press forward, Airborne icon knocking back and damaging enemies. When the soldiers finish their charge, they stand as a wall, blocking enemy champion movement and dashes. Allies can pass through the wall and gain a speed boost when they do. These soldiers cannot be ordered to move or attack.


Gameplay
Azir Screenshot

Azir is a mage who summons Shuriman Arise!.png soldiers to control the battlefield and basic attack for him. The soldier's piercing basic attacks furnish most of Azir's damage potential, making him an outlier amongst mages as a right-click-focused champion. Azir's spells, on the other hand, manipulate his and his soldiers' positions to keep him safe and establish dangerous no-go zones for his enemies.

Azir establishes shifting zones of power through soldier placement, gaining control of the lane and farming with their assistance. For instance, a soldier placed near the enemy's caster minions dares a lane opponent to harass or farm through the piercing spear. When the opposing laner missteps, Azir commands the attack, repositioning soldiers with Conquering Sands.png Conquering Sands to make the most of the opportunity. Once a favorable trade or two unlocks kill potential, Azir utilizes Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands, knocking the enemy champion up and setting himself up to compel a Conquering Sands.png Conquering Sands and finish them off. When the Ancient Coin item.png (ancient) coin is flipped, a quick Arise!.png Arise! and Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands rushes Azir out of danger.

Add Azir's Emperor&#039;s Divide.png ultimate to the mix and the Shuriman leader exercises even more zone control. To go for the kill, start off with Arise!.png Arise! and Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands to position Azir behind his opponent. From there, Emperor&#039;s Divide.png Emperor's Divide drives the foe deep into Azir's side of the map. Pushed so far into Azir's territory, the opposing champ's sure to meet their end at a spear's tip. If offense proves temporarily unwise, Azir's Emperor&#039;s Divide.png ult provides safe passage from a fight, building a wall between Azir and his pursuers.

Teamfights

As in lane, as in teamfights: Azir shines in battles tied to one physical location, where he can safely order his soldiers around and dispatch adversaries from afar. In that vein, Azir dominates Baron Nashor Baron and Dragon Dragon fights, using his Emperor&#039;s Divide.png ultimate to lock enemy teams into (or out of) the pits. If teamfights take a roadtrip, Azir must be judicious with Arise!.png Arise! and Conquering Sands.png Conquering Sands, moving his zone of control along with the combatants. Post-initiation, Azir's an expert at punishing uncoordinated enemies. Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands - combined with Azir's Emperor&#039;s Divide.png ultimate - separates enemy front-liners from their damage dealing dependents, dividing the enemy team for methodical conquering. With the baddies split, Azir charges his soldiers in for the kill, pumping out marksman-level sustained damage until none challenge his rule.

In jungle skirmishes, Azir sets up nasty ambushes with Conquering Sands.png Conquering Sands, transforming convenient exits into spear-guarded gauntlets. Similarly, Emperor&#039;s Divide.png Emperor's Divide wholly closes a jungle entrance, sealing Azir's foes in with him. Trapped, they’re surely short work for Azir, his soldiers and their allies. If a fight goes south, Azir reliably disengages with his Emperor&#039;s Divide.png ultimate or beguiles baddies with Arise!.png Arise! and Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands, spiriting himself over a jungle wall.

Shurima&#039;s Legacy.png Disc of the Sun doesn't raise a turret quick enough to be of much use in teamfights, but sieges are a different story. When attacking enemy inhibitors, Azir can resurrect their inner turret, trapping the enemy team inside their crumbling base and making counter-engages a dangerous proposition. Conversely, when Azir's base is under assault, Arise!.png Arise! and Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands help him jump the base wall and sneak around the siege to rebuild his own inner turret. Caught between the inhibitor turret and the Shurima&#039;s Legacy.png Sun Disc, the enemy team can either scatter or be crushed.

Synergy
Works well with: Struggles against:
YasuoSquare
Yasuo - the Unforgiven

Picks are easy with this pair: Azir uses Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands, knocking up a foe, setting up Yasuo's Last Breath.png Last Breath and positioning himself between the thoroughly-screwed baddie and the rest of the enemy team. A timely Emperor&#039;s Divide.png Emperor's Divide pushes the rest of the enemy team away as Yasuo safely slices and dices. Kill secured.

ZiggsSquare
Ziggs - the Hexplosives Expert

Ziggs simply outranges Azir with Bouncing Bomb.png Bouncing Bomb, giving the emperor loads of trouble in lane phase. Azir shouldn't expect to do much besides stand near his turret and farm against the diminutive demolition expert.

SejuaniSquare
Sejuani - the Winter's Wrath

When Sejuani crashes into a teamfight, layering Permafrost.png Permafrost on an enemy team, she grants Azir all the time and safety he needs to set up soldiers for maximum damage output.

KassadinSquare
Kassadin - the Void Walker

With plentiful Riftwalk.png mobility and a potent Null Sphere.png shield, Kassadin's equipped with tools to work around Azir's Conquering Sands.png zone-controlling, Arise!.png sustained-damage fighting style and bully him out of lane.

SivirSquare
Sivir - the Battle Mistress

Sivir's Ricochet.png Ricochet and the soldier's piercing attacks dish out a withering amount of AoE damage and break teamfights wide open. With the speed boost from On The Hunt.png On The Hunt, Azir and his soldiers can chase down any champs before putting them to the spear.

MaokaiSquare
Maokai - the Twisted Treant

Azir thrives on his ability to move around fights with Shifting Sands.png Shifting Sands. Between Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance, Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash and the damage reduction of Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom, Maokai enables his team to lock down and depose the emperor.

Champion Insights
Azir Azir, game design by ZenonTheStoic
Azir Champion Insight

What does it mean to be the Emperor?

More than anything, an emperor has subjects. An emperor does not act; he commands. With that in mind, it made sense to focus gameplay on controlling the might of Shurima!

Internally, we call these champs 'minion-mancers'. Once we knew Azir would take on this kind of kit, we knew it was time to look at what does and doesn't work for these often-problematic designs:

Heimerdinger Heimer taught us that auto-attacking, stationary minions tend to lead to defensive play. From the likes of Elise Elise, Malzahar Malzahar, and Yorick Yorick, we learned that players do not appreciate minions that run off and do their own thing. Spider Queen.png Spiderlings ended up on a short leash and Void Swarm.png Voidlings follow Malefic Visions.png Malefic Visions relentlessly. Finally, minions the player directly controls aren't a great fit for League's control scheme and lack the counterplay of 'stay outside of this zone'.

Awareness around these problems allowed us to introduce appropriate trade-offs to Azir's kit. With these weaknesses in place, we could make the soldiers very strong indeed; imagine if I told you that, given the right setup, your basic attack has 1200 range and hits units in an AoE.

Here's how we approached the core loop of soldier generation and manipulation:

Arise!.png Arise! creates a sand soldier at a target location, from which the soldier projects threat in a circle - so far, so Heimerdinger Heimerdinger. However, soldiers require an active input. Azir must right-click and go through a basic attack animation for soldiers to do anything. This makes both Azir and his enemy understand that a conscious command was given to the soldier. This also means that if Azir is stunned or running away, soldiers cease to be a threat. All of a sudden, Azir's opponent can comfortably aggress.

Conquering Sands.png Conquering Sands orders all soldiers to charge toward a target location, damaging and slowing enemies they pass through. This forces Azir to think carefully about when and where to send soldiers. Can Azir afford to use the spell for damage and slow or (Counterplay incoming!) will this allow the enemy to engage on Azir while his soldiers are temporarily unable to move?

Taken together, Arise!.png Arise! and Conquering Sands.png Conquering Sands form a minion kit that gives enough control to make the emperor feel in control while leaving enough weaknesses to make enemies feel that aggression is an option.

Happy minion-mancing!

Media

Azir, the Emperor of the Sands - Login Screen03:27

Azir, the Emperor of the Sands - Login Screen

Azir's Theme
Related Music


Shurima Rise of the Ascended03:30

Shurima Rise of the Ascended

Related Videos


  • Azir Ascending
  • Azir Ascended
  • Azir Concept 1 (by Riot Artists Gem 'Lonewingy' Lim and Charles 'Yideth' Liu)
  • Azir Concept 2 (by Riot Artist Christopher 'Skeeziks' Campbell)
  • Azir Concept 3 (by Riot Artist Christopher 'Skeeziks' Campbell)
  • Azir Soldier Concept (by Riot Artist Charles 'Yideth' Liu)
  • Azir Model 1
  • Azir Model 2 (by Riot Artist Charles 'Yideth' Liu)
  • Gravelord Azir Concept (by Riot Artist Charles 'Yideth' Liu)
  • Gravelord Azir Model (by Riot Artist Maddy 'MissMaddy' Taylor Kenyon)
  • Gravelord Soldier Model 1 (by Riot Artist Duy Khanh Nguyen)
  • Gravelord Soldier Model 2 (by Riot Artist Duy Khanh Nguyen)


References

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