Azir Build Guide by raistinitachi
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Azir (S4.17 last updated)
Magic resist options (choose 1)
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Azir with this build
|Teemo||teemo and zilean represent mid lanes with medium range poke. your zoning will drive then crazy and you will clear waves faster if you want to. or you can place soldiers past their wave and behind yours allowing you to keep them of the wave wile you last hit. having a soldier back to retreat to with E and nashors making it easyer to last hit with your auto attack. you should win lane against them push if your in a position to with wards and you can force them to back. otherwise just deny farm for win.|
In this article i will be focusing on the various build strategies for playing azir and mostly the items involved. i will not be going into great depth on how to play him just the build.
Azir is an incredibly difficult champion to pick up and play the only similar champions are maybe Zed, oriana, and heimerdinger.
HOWEVER for someone willing to take the time to master him he is probably one of the best in the game he truly has an Infinite skill cap.
Pros / Cons
- Great range with his Q
- great farm (his soldiers auto attacks are area of effect)
- great zoning
- one of the best and most versatile ultimates in the game
- late game damage per attack with soldiers is a ridiculous .7 AP
- low cooldowns
- absurd splitpush with his W
- creates his own TOWER
- decent CC with his Q
- decent poke with his
- passive is great because most builds max CDR anyway
- has an escape/chase move built in
- Soldiers are untargetable (champions cant kill them)
- has INFINITE skill cap
- is a bird
- is the freakin EMPEROR
- is realllllllyyyy slooowwwww
- VERY item dependent (needs his core 2-3 to be a real threat)
- is probably the most unique and difficult champion to master
- SQUISHY (if you face assassins or get hit by hard CC you are likely DEAD)
- has some of the lowest base stats in the ENTIRE GAME
- soldiers are untargetable (so you draw minion/monster aggro not the soldier)
- is a bird (if you dont like birds)
Azir is a new Champion which means people have tried him just about everywhere he could possibly fit. i have seen and attempted to play him everywhere except for ADC because well he is AP duh lol. so in this section i will go over the good and bad of him in each position and they build strategy for him in any place.
Azir top has one large problem HE IS SO SQUISHY! after a wile you can get enough tanky items to be relevant but the if you are early game against a fast champion with burst or CC (assassins) you are DEAD and USELESS.
HOWEVER you can use azir as a top lane counterpick. top laners who are slow and need farm to get going azir is good against his zoning can alow you to dominate lane and force your poke can force your opponent out of lane. so he is great against champions like nasus top lane.
your build top lane will usually be tanky but you can still go damage if you want.
Azir has the same problem jungle as top but magnified. he is SQUISH and your soldiers are untargetable so they wont soak jungle monster damage. it is still possible to jungle with the correct kiting and combo's but to top it off your mana is terrible early game as well. his ganks pre-six and his ultimate are almost nonexistant. to be honest jungle is in my eyes the second worse place for azir after ADC.
Here is where he is most commonly played that i have seen and it is definitly a good place for him but there are some champions (yasuo) and also champions with good CC and burst damage (assassins) who if you try to lane against you will die ALL THE TIME! so again here he can be a good counterpick but if chosen first he is easy to counterpick.
here is the place i have seen azir shine. i believe that when we see him in pro play this is the main place he will be. he fits the bill as a utility mage. he has a great ultimate that is great for disengage like nami or jana but is flexible enough to be good for engage if used wisely. his zoning is at its best effect here where you can deny farm of ADC or punish them with his soldiers auto attacks. and because they are damage over time by auto attack not burst you have a chance to use your escape when needed. instead of being obliterated instantly.
based on the roles it is safe to say Azir will USUALLY be mid or sup with the occasional top.
they ways to build him that i have seen are
Glass Cannon- good for mid (and sup depending on play style)
Tanky mage- good for top (and sup again depending on play style)
Auto attack focused- good for support (and top lane depending on play style also the only method i think is viable for jungle on azir)
3 way hybrid- i personally opt for a hybrid of the three. and find it to be good in any position that azir himself is already good.
the glass cannon obviously is full AP poky mage build but i feel this does not do azir's flexible utility kit justice. also if you want a glass cannon tons of mages fit the bill better.
the tanky mage is workable with his E's HP scaling shield but azir has some of the worst base stats in the game, this makes being an effective tank hard. yes it gives you some benefit in allowing you to stick around longer for team fights but i feel that full tank agian there are better mage tanks then Azir.
Auto attack focused is a rather unique build i have only seen it and tried it a few times. in this build you know you will already be building attack speed and CDR (for more attack speed) but you also ad 1 AD item blade of the ruined king. why? because its on hit 8% can make even a mage have some kick to his auto attacks combine this with nashors bonus AP to your auto attacks and if you want you can even go with wits end for a flat 42 bonus on hit and steeling magic resist. in addition the attack speed from all of these items will make your soldiers do massive damage from the perspective of more attacks made instead of higher AP and means when they get out of soldier range if you cant Q the soldiers to them you basic attack does respectable damage. and has a high speed.
as i said i attempt to take the best of each in my build and i think that the hybrid is by far best.
Team Work/Unique Skills
TEAM WORK IS NECESSARY!!!!!!!
and yes it is always needed but especially on azir. and the time you need that communication most is when you use the 2 skills he has that make him incredibly unique. these are his passive (the sun turret) and his ultimate.
His ultimate summon the spartan phalanx from 300 i mean from shurima. and knock back enemies along the path it travels. This is in my opinion the BEST utility ultimate in the ENTIRE GAME. it can be used to disengage, give your team a speed boost, block of a jungle rout for your OPPONENTS ONLY, lock your opponents team into/out of the baron or dragon pit, it can be only passed by a telleport like flash not a dash, it can be used to win a smite fight by knocking back the enemy team (or just the jungler if that is all that is needed) it can be used to push an enemy team under a tower, split up an enemy team, push squishys you flash or E behind into your team, and as a generally great engage as well. and it is up at max CDR fully leveled once a minute!
but as with everything in azirs kit it come at the price of skill needed to use it is HUGE. the basic use to disengage is the only easy use of it. and if you try an advanced maneuver and place the wall poorly you can destroy your teams chances at a team fight. or be just plan useless. so make sure you plan ahead with your team how your ult will be used and make it clear to them with ping when you will be using it.
His passive sun disc is another amazing move. it makes it easier to split push because you bring your defense with you, it CAN be used to help win a teamfight, and it can be up 1/3 of the time if played all the time. of course with a 3 min cooldown and only a 1 min duration at most you will probably want to use it less and at more strategic moments.
his sun disc has a big disadvantage if used poorly because its 1 minute timer is in the form of doing damage to itself. that makes it VERY easy to kill if used poorly. to top it off your opponents CAN get gold from it. don't be the player that feeds them tower after extra tower make sure they are used well and that your team know when you are placing it so they can rally around it if there is a teamfight.
So the summoner spells available for your first pick are FLASH, FLASH, FLASH, and guess what FLASH. so always take flash as azir ok? lol
but in all seriousness. flash gives you the usual escape and gap closer but with azir it is something much more important. it is a way to position yourself to use your ultimate. and as i discussed above his ultimate is amazing and should be used to its maximum potential.
for your second spell there are options
if mid exhaust, and ignite are good options.
if top (and tank) exhaust, ignite, and heal are good
if support exhaust and heal are good
exhaust- will reduce the damage you take, great for defending yourself or your ADC, also will slow for help on escapes or chases.
ignite- good for that last bit of damage and against people who heal alot
heal- gives you a speed boost good for escapes and chases, heals you and nearby allies which can keep an ADC or yourself alive and in lane longer.
my personal favorite on azir no mater what role is teleport
azir is a champion who needs to be present for teamfights especially baron and dragon because his ultimate is game changing and even his passive sun turret can be as well. also he requires lots of gold to get going meaning that teleport keeps him in lane and headed toward that goal.
To start as usual you will put 1 point into QWE each so that you have your full kit W is required to be first then take Q your poke and then E your escape/chase. take the ultimate at the normal 6, 11, 16. and then max your Q next as it is your poke and has a slow in it and you need it up as often as possible to re-position your soldiers.
then you can either max W or E next depending on your play style. if you are building tank max E next as it scales with health. otherwise max W next because it lets you have your soldiers up more often and allows better split push because you can damage towers more often.
Personally i prefer 21-0-9 but i have seen 21-9-0 for tanks and 9-0-21 for support.
i take fury and sorcery for 5% CDR and 11.25% attack speed.
double edged sword gives your soldiers 2% and you take 1.5% extra.
arcane blade combined with nashors gives you 20% ap damage on basic attacks. this makes you a TERROR against towers. the rest are the usual for attack masteries
in utility meditation is great for early in the game it makes your ability to manage your manna and stay in lane allot easier. other than that the rest of utility is pretty flexible choose what you prefer.
at the very least in runes you will need to take AP (flat or scaling) and magic penetration (flat or scaling) from there you can go full offence and choose more of the same. you can take CDR if your build items don't reach 40% on their own. you can take defense but i find that defensive runes only help if your whole build is defensive. manna is another good choice, it can help your early game. however my preference is rather unorthodox i like taking gold seals and XP quints with my AP and magic penetration. Azir is very item reliant so i find that the gold is important, and the XP is probably the most important just like the 8% from zilians passive can be a game changer. the 6% from XP quints can as well. (sometime if you want a fun game play a team where everyone takes XP quints and 1 person plays zilian, that is 14% XP for everyone lol)
Core Items (why this not that)
Ok in this section i am going to explain why i chose the things i did for his core and also cover why some items that other people see as great on him i don't think are needed as much.
so first the items i did choose
rylai's crystal scepter
This item is core on him because he needs the additional health badly also the slow stacks with with Q to make the slow more potent and procs with every soldier auto attack and if you have nashor's tooth with all your auto attacks period. it also has a sizable amount of AP. Overall it is definitely a great item because it keeps people trapped in your zone longer if they dare enter it.
This is basically needed on any AP champ the amount of AP is just absurd. the only thing that can supplement it is void staff if your opponents build lots of magic resist.
This is probably the most controversial item on Azir i have seen people argue it both ways convincingly. It does depend on your strategy weather or not you NEED to take it but i think that even if not NEEDED it is the best item for the job. ok so arguments against it first then i will explain my reasoning for why it is still worth it.
-Azir has such low attack speed there is no point in building it as a focus on him because he will never have good attack speed. this is because attack speed changed as a percentage and with only .556 base attack speed his return on investment for attack speed is way to low.
-Nashor's tooth only has 60 AP there are much better items for him.
-his soldiers do not proc on hit effects so nashor's passive is wasted.
-you are going to build 40% CDR anyway so using Nashor's to do so over others is unnecessary.
-yes Azir's bast attack speed is **** but that is what his passive is for to help make up for it. and unless you are planning on just using him as a poke mage (and we already discussed in roles why that is not best) you will need attack speed and the 50% you get from his passive with max CDR is not enough that wont even get you to one attack per second.
-true other items have more AP but nashors is the only viable item he can take with AP and attack speed. then next closest is trinity force but that is more expensive and allot of its effects are wasted on azir where as Nashor's has immense stat efficiency. when you buy it you get 75% attack speed (more than any other one item can give you or any other champion) 20% CDR and we need 40% at the end of the build so that is great. it has AP unlike other attack speed items.
-true the passive doesn't work on his soldiers but it is not wasted that damage goes to your basic attack which allows a few things. 1 it allows you to proc rylai's with your basic attack which is handy. 2 it lets you last hit minions easier, 3rd and best it makes you an ever greater terror vs towers when you split push. and if you are using azir and not split pushing you are doing it WRONG. other than nasus i doubt anyone has the potential for such high burst damage against towers late game.
-totally false yes 40% CDR will be built anyway but i have already said above all the benifits that come from getting nashor's. and i will also in this section explain why other items are not core including Athene's unholy grail the most common replacement for Nashor's people argue for.
The items I did not choose as core.
Athene's unholy grail
this is pobably the number 1 item that other people will argue is core on Azir but the way i see it is this above i explain why nashors is so valuable. Athene's has a redundant 20% CDR so to have both in core is to say your core already includes max CDR which means any more CDR items are out of the running. so both in core is not viable. and as i explain above nashors MUST be core so to me athene's is only 1 option for magic resist and yes the mana regain is good but i think that other than early gain Azir does not strongly need mana regain. and azir is a late game champion anyway. if you really want to fix his mana reagin early then buy a cheep chalice and the passive will keep you just fine until l latter and then you can sell it off.
this is the only item that MIGHT be an acceptable substitute for one of the core either replace rylais if you think damage is more important than CC or replace deathcap if you think you will get more damage done by reducing magic resist than by adding AP. but more commonly to me Void staf is just 1 option to add on to the end of a build if the enemies are heavy magic resist not a core.
I haven't seen allot of other suggestions for core azir but if you have any comment them and i will update accordingly.
Last 3 Items (how to choose them)
Ok the way i have set up to choose what the last items in your build will be is this almost always (this is not purchase order)
Core -> CDR boots -> armor item -> magic resist item
the armor item and magic resist item are chosen from the categories i have above.
to change this build method you can choose 1 or more items from the to change the build path category above. obviously you wont take 2 boots so this means there are limited ways to change and i will list the alternatives bellow.
core -> CDR boots -> guardian angel -> any item
(good if you want an offensive item with no CDR added to the build)
core -> any boot -> guardian angel -> any CDR item
(at least 10%. is good for when you need merc treads for the tenacity but they have a AD and AP balance. or if the one last item you want to add happens to have CDR)
core -> ninja tabi -> magic resist item -> any item
(either magic resist or any item must have 10% or more CDR. also this only works against teams without allot of AD)
core -> merc treads -> armor item -> any item
(either armor or any item must have 10% or more CDR. also this only works against teams without allot of AP)
if you use these rules your build should at least be a decent one and it allows you the flexibility to customize to your situation and play style.
Final Item Builds (my favorite and other options)
my personal favorite build
(again none of these are in purchase order for this whole section)
Core -> CDR boots -> abyssal scepter -> Zhonya's hourglass
Azir is a mage almost all mages can't ignore zhonya's as the best choice for armor because it has HUGE AP and the passive is also amazing. so its in my build.
has the best AP on an item with good magic resist and not only that but it essentially gives you and your entire team 20 flat magic penetration in the form of reducing your opponents magic resist by 20. this is great especially if the other team has not built huge magic resist which is when flat magic pen is better.
Ionian boots of lucidity
this item makes it easyest to max CDR fast as the CDR boots are the best gold value CDR in the game. at a cheep 1000 gold they give you 15% CDR which with your passive means they also give 18.25% attack speed. having this as a cheep early purchase is amazing.
when i do this build my order looks like this
spellthiefs edge (because i usually play as support), 2 health and 1 manna for potions and trinkets as coordinated by your team
Rush for max CDR
fiendish codex -> Ionian boots of lucidity -> finish nashor's tooth
next for you to have relevant damage you need more AP so deathcap is next
if you are ahead here (not getting killed allot) take crystal scepter this keeps people in range of your soldiers longer and makes your teamfight and chase potential much better. and the health and AP are always good
if you are behind your next item should be either abyssal scepter or zhonya's hourglass depending on if your opponents AP or AD are more of the problem for you.
if after being ahead and having deathcap you are still doing well and don't need the magic pen, armor, or magic resist then liandry's torment is a great extra damage item to help kill that fed nasus (or any tank) who's HP is absurd.
so if steemrolling them all game
fiendish codex -> Ionian boots of lucidity -> finish nashor's tooth -> deathcap -> rylai's crystal scepter -> liandry's torment -> abyssal scepter or zhonya's as needed
if needing the defense earlyer
fiendish codex -> Ionian boots of lucidity -> finish nashor's tooth -> deathcap -> abyssal scepter and zhonya's in either order -> rylai's crystal scepter
this build can be played anywhere azir can be played so mid support and occasionally to counter-pick top. and it is very suited to auto attacking allot in a (stationary) teamfight, splitpushing, burst damage in a moving teamfight, and stalling any lane by zoning opponents out and clearing waves very quickly.
Other builds I have seen played
(they just are not my favorite or not my style)
Builds using my method
this means that are hybrid builds but my favorite hybrid build (listed above) is focused on AP (its most glass cannon like) these ones focus on different things wile still being a hybrid. so they will all have the same core and use one of my methods for choosing the last 3 items.
core -> CDR boots -> randuin's omen -> Banshee's veil
in this build you gain a little magic resist and Armor as well as defensive abilities both passive and active. you also gain lots of health that scales nicely with your E which in this build you should be maxing second. in this build you should also be taking a mastery approach with at least 9 points in defense and you can even take a 9-21-0 approach. you should also be taking health, armor, magic resist, and 1 other thing of your choice in your runes instead of the normal. in this your damage will not be burst but you will be playing like a tanking AD carry trying to get in auto attacks over a period of time except you are AP and will use your soldiers of course. so you will play this build mostly when you are counter picking top and occasionally for support never for mid.
auto attack focused
core -> ninja tabi -> wits end -> blade of the ruined king
This build is perhaps the most unusual build you will ever see for a mage and requires allot of explanation. first of all the items do not get you to 40% CDR so in this build you are on the hook to get what is left usually by taking CDR runes. you will only use this build for support and on occasion to counter pick top never for mid. you play style is auto attack focused entirely so if your soldiers are not attacking you should be. and you have the ability to do good damage with your auto attack because of the combination of nashor's tooth's 15% AP when you auto attack, 5% AP when you auto attack from masteries, 42 from wits end plus the fact that wits end will let you steel magic resist, and finally no mater who you are the 8% from blade of the ruined king is always great damage. in this build your greatest strength is you split push. with this build done you are the god no the ASCENDED EMPEROR of split push. the damage of your auto attack, your attack speed, and your W will OBLITERATE towers.
there are of course more combinations of items to try but these represent the most extreme methods that the hybrid has to offer. you can customize your own and i would love to here what your favorite combinations are.
Builds outside of my method
(meaning they don't follow the steps i gave or necessarily use my core)
in all honesty these are my least favorite builds and maybe i flatter myself but i think they are the least effective builds because they do not take advantage of all of his kit in my opinion. but here they are anyway.
this build goes something like this usually
armor option with AP -> armor option with HP -> magic resist option with AP -> magic resist option with HP -> flexible boots pick -> your choice item
the last item is usually some form of AP, HP, or a useful ability
this build is ALWAYS played top and not just as a counter pick. it is played and built almost always for the person who wants azir to generally speaking be a top laner. of course this comes with almost exclusively defensive runes and masteries because you need every bit you can get. again not my favorite but if i were to build it here is how it would look.
zhonya's hourglass -> randuins omen -> Athene's unholy grail -> banshee's veil -> CDR boots -> rod of ages or rabadons deathcap or rylais crystal scepter
ROA if you want full tank RDC for the most additional damage and RCS for balance and a good effect. i am in favor of RDC because i think you have basically irrelevant damage otherwise.
full AP (the glass cannon)
this not much needs said. full AP is full AP so here is my build for it. if i had to build it this way i would use the same items in my favorite build except i would switch nashors tooth for void staff and abyssal scepter for athene's unholly grail. this option is of course for mid only and is played as an extreme poke like most mages are.
full auto attack focus
this does not exist. the closest thing is what i put in my hybrid above. but you can't effectively in my opinion build a mage even azir as focused entirely on auto attack.
I would love to here back from everyone. anything from praise to criticism (both only if explained and backed up by logical thought please) and let me know what works for you. if you spot any inaccuracies or mistakes let me know so i can improve.
So that is everything i have for this build in summary Azit is an extremely unique auto attack/utility mage who is best played as support or mid and occasionally as a counter-pick top lane. played right he has a amazing split push with his W and a huge impact on teamfights with his ultimate and the active part of his passive. he is incredibly difficult to start playing but has high rewards for those who do play him well and communicate with their team. and most important of all remember this
WHAT IS A BARON TO AN EMPEROR!!!!