After the League of Legends (LoL) Worlds semifinal match between T1 and JD Gaming last Sunday (12 November), which ended in a dominant 3-1 upset by the South Korean powerhouse, one LoL champion has been so high in demand that the option to buy the champion in-game broke down on Korean servers.
This was the aftermath of Lee “Faker” Sanghyeok’s game-ending Azir ultimate that took down JDG’s star player, Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk, allowing the rest of T1 to clean up JDG in a clean ace.
Since then, Azir’s pick rate skyrocketed globally, being the 10th most picked champion in the mid lane, with everyone wanting to emulate the LoL G.O.A.T.’s moves in the mid lane.
However, with new Azir players trying out the champion, his win rate plummeted to dead last in the mid lane at 46.64%. After all, Azir is classified as a highly difficult champion, but pulling him off on the Summoner’s Rift can be extremely rewarding.
If you want to improve your Azir gameplay and play a bit more like Faker, here’s a little guide on how to win with Azir.
On the Summoner's Rift, Azir's passive, Shurima's Legacy, is often used to create a new Disc of the Sun out of the wreckage of an enemy or ally turret, giving it the same health and damage output as a standard turret.
Use it to lure your foes into a battle beneath the Azir tower, where you will inflict additional damage if you succeed in drawing them in. Because the tower does additional damage, it may also be used as a defensive mechanism in case of a side lane gank. It's also useful for split-pushing, since it may join in your attacks against minions.
His W, Arise sends a soldier immune to damage to the selected spot, instantly attacking adjacent enemies. Due to its cheap mana cost and AOE damage, Arise can be used for wave clear.
You can use this to chase enemies out of Azir’s range—and since it does AoE damage in a straight line, you can use it for attacking groups. On top of this, it can also be used to face-check over walls and provide vision.
Make sure opponents can't see your soldiers since it will disclose your position. To avoid detection, manoeuvre out of range so troops vanish early.
Azir can relocate his sand troops to damage and delay adversaries with his Q, Conquering Sands. Use this to poke distant adversaries. It's another amazing wave clear tool that hits as many minions as possible. Try hitting champions while they're gathered.
To do dependable damage, use W closer to an adversary, auto-attack, then promptly use Q and auto-attack again.
Azir's E, Shifting Sands, has him dash to chosen Sand Soldiers, shielding him and injuring all foes he passes through. His dash is interrupted when he strikes an opposing champion and gains an Arise charge.
This is your main gap close, escape, and playmaking tool. Use it over walls for a higher chance to chase and escape. However, this has a long cooldown, so only use it to escape ganks or close a kill—especially during the laning phase.
Azir can also cast other skills during his dash, which opens up the potential to perform multiple combos.
His R (Ultimate), Emperor's Divide, launches a wall of troops before Azir, damaging and knocking back all adversaries. The wall serves as terrain for five seconds. Your allies may pass through it, but enemies cannot.
This excellent peel tool protects Azir against threats. It even partially covers his back, making landing easier. The knockback may push adversaries over thinner barriers. It may be utilised aggressively for damage and the ability to sweep adversaries into your team.
Here are some of the best combinations you can use to execute some great Azir plays:
Chase and Escape Combo: W-E-Q
Utilize this technique effectively over walls by extending the distance with W. You can also jump over multiple walls in specific areas using this method. It's excellent for chasing, escaping, and executing outplays.
Poke: W-Q-Auto Attack
This is a potent combination for trading with long-ranged champions. In particular, Arcane Comet, Summon Aery, and First Strike runes are optimal for this.
Full Ult Combo: W-E-Q-R-W-Auto Attack
Initiate with E, Shifting Sands, followed by Q, Conquering Sands, to close the gap. The follow through with R, Emperor's Divide, to sweep the enemy backwards.
Position a W, Arise, soldier on the swept enemy and continue with auto-attacks from your soldiers. Apply this combo to multiple enemies, effectively sweeping them into your team—and they’re best to sweep squishy carries into your team.
Shurima Shuffle: W-E-Q-R
Timing is important for this move. Place your soldier such that he is facing the enemy or behind him. During your dash, spam Ultimate and Emperor's Divide. While difficult to pull off in-game, this strategy puts you in far less danger than your prior combination.
Best Item Build
For the most consistent build, pick items that increase AP and Magic Damage. Some of the best items are Luden’s Tempest, Sorcerer’s Shoes, Shadowflame, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff, and Zhonya’s Hourglass.
If the enemy team has a ton of burst damage—take an anti-burst build, combining Crown of the Shattered Queen, Morellonomicon, with Sorcerer’s Shoes, Rabadonn’s DeathCap, and Void Staff. You can also go for Liandry’s Anguish instead of Crown of the Shattered Queen.
Add Mejai's Soulstealer, Nashor’s Tooth, Cosmic Drive, and Horizon Focus for an AP Power Spike and combine this with Shadowflame, Rabadon’s Deathcap and Void Staff.
A new build some players are looking into during the most recent PBE is the Split Push Build, where you can use items like Statikk Shiv, Nashor's Tooth, Lich Bane, Hullbreaker, and a mythic item for mana. Lethal Tempo and Legend: Alacrity is the best runes for this build.
Azir has an interesting ideal rune combination—as it takes over 4 major runes: Conqueror, Electrocute, Summon Aery and Arcane Comet. Conqueror will help in extended trades and fights, while Electrocute is for quick bursts of damage and short trades.
Meanwhile, Summon Aery is best taken for constant harass in the laning phase and can take advantage of weaker laners. Finally, Arcane Comet is the best choice against very long-range champions.
Other options you can consider are Lethal Tempo, Hail of Blades and First Strike—but check this on PvP to see if you’re comfortable with them.
So, if you're consistently losing on Azir for now, don't lose heart. Follow these tips get a bit of practice, and take some time to experiment (and not on Ranked!). In no time, you'll master the champion too.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.