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Azir - Bird is the word [S5]
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Threats & Synergies
Fizz is very hard to deal with as Azir. His Playful/Trickster can traverse your Emperor's Divide and his Urchin Strike will place him behind you, making it hard if not outright impossible to use Shifting Sands to escape.
Akali will generally be obnoxious during laning phase with constant Mark of the Assassin harass. It is hard to push her out of lane because of her natural sustain. Later in the game, she can be dealt with by using Emperor's Divide to keep her out of a fight and potentially knock her out of her shroud.
Syndra will constantly bully you with her Dark Sphere harass. At level 6 she can very easily kill you with a single combo and ignite. Keep your distance and you should be fine.
Fighting against a Yasuo can either be very easy or very hard, depending on your and the Yasuo's skill level. You can push him out of lane very early because Yasuo typically only starts with Doran's Blade and a single health pot.
Zed can be hard to deal with because his shadows aren't effected by Emperor's Divide. However, his ult has a 1 second cooldown before he can return to his shadow and you can easily ult him into your turret. Predict when he will return to his ultimate's shadow.
Katarina, like Akali, with harass you throughout the laning phase with Bouncing Blades before all-inning you. You can only cancel her ultimate, Death Lotus, with your own ultimate.
Dealing with Xerath can be quite tricky. He outranges you by far and will harass you ceaselessly. He will make you farm under tower most of the laning phase. Late game he doesn't put out nearly as much damage as you, but he is still a major threat.
A very skill-based matchup. This matchup is slightly in Ahri's favor because of her ability to play around you wall with her three dashes. Has very good waveclear and will not struggle to keep up with your pushing.
Winning against an Annie is all about keeping your range from her. If she can't get in range of you, she can't stun you and you will win the trade.
Anivia struggles in farming under turret and clearing waves because of her high mana costs. Take advantage of your waveclear and destroy her creep score.
Fairly obnoxious with the safety of his ult. Can farm under turret because of his W passive. Can waveclear well with his Q. Beat him by staying out of his range and abusing his melee auto attacks.
A matchup that swings in your favor. You can harass him while standing in your minion wave to reduce the damage of his Q. His ult will do a lot of damage to you because of your 30 magic resist.
Will try to harass you often with his Q. Take advantage of his low auto attack range to push him out of lane.
A painful matchup. Leblanc can chunk you for a large portion of your health with her Q + E and will generally try to bully you out of lane. You can interrupt her Q + R + W combo with good timing on your ult.
Orianna will generally be at a disadvantage against you. Her ball, while having a moderate range, is still nowhere near the size of your effective attack radius.
Twisted Fate will mostly try to farm in the early stages of the game. He has waveclear and can farm under turret with decent efficiency. Poke him whenever he goes up to last hit a minion.
In this guide, I will show you why Azir is incredibly strong and worthwhile to pick up.
+ Potentially highest DPS of all mages
+ Incredibly powerful utility
+ Long Range
+ Strong late game
+ Great Auto Attack for farming
+ Sustained damage as well as burst
+ Versatile and long-distance escape
+ Turret is great for siege compositions
+ Wall interrupts all dash abilities
+ Absolutely melts Baron
+ Can turn fights around very quickly
+ Incredibly sexy
+ Delicious with many different seasonings
- Innately squishy
- Only escape can be blocked
- Vulnerable early game
- Mana hungry during lane phase
- Damage is dependent on placement of Sand Soldiers
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - These improve your early game magic damage against enemies and should be standard on every AP mid laner. Can be replaced with greater Mark of hybrid penetration if you feel like you'll be Auto Attacking a lot.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Health - Health per level seals are very strong. In almost all cases you will want 216 extra HP at level 18 rather than an extra 9 armor from Greater Seal of Armor. Greater Seal of Health are also an option, but are outclassed by Health per level seals at level 6.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction - Cooldown reduction allows you to put down more Sand Soldiers and relocate them more often, leading to much smoother and more satisfying gameplay. Can be replaced by Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power but it is not recommended.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Gives early game power, like the magic penetration marks, as well as helps with waveclear. Standard on all AP mid laners.
|Your passive, Shurima's Legacy, erects a turret in the place of any destroyed turret, be it yours or the enemy's. As of patch 5.14, Shurima's Legacy No longer grants bonus attack speed based on cooldown reduction. The turret is mainly used for when you are sieging or being sieged on. Its health will decay over time and it will lose armor if Azir wanders too far away from it. The turret seems to do more damage than normal turrets, but solid evidence is still pending.|
|Arise! is the bread and butter of your kit. This ability summons a Sand Soldier, your main source of damage and what your basic abilities are based upon. Azir can store up to two Sand Soldiers at a time. Summoning a Sand Soldierin the range of a turret will cut the lifespan of the Sand Soldier in half, so be wary. You can target an enemy turret with Arise! to deal a substantial amount of damage to it, however this will leave you defenseless if you are jumped by an enemy. Finally, this ability is what makes Azir a monster at taking objectives. With an ally tanking baron, you can easily deal >900 DPS, shredding it in seconds. You can even out-smite your jungler with a Sand Soldier Auto Attack + Conquering Sands. Arise! Will now grant bonus attack speed based on the level of the ability.|
|Shifting Sands is your primary escape tool. Using this ability will send Azir flying towards the closest Sand Soldier, stopping at the first enemy champion hit, while giving you a small shield. As of patch 5.14, Shifting Sands no longer knocks up the first champion hit, which is why assassins are an effective way of dealing with Azir as it is very difficult for Azir to escape when engaged upon. Shifting Sands can be used in conjunction with Conquering Sands to cover a surprisingly long distance in a small amount of time.|
|Your ultimate, Emperor's Divide is an incredibly powerful tool. When used, it will knock any enemies in the immediate vicinity in the direction of your cursor, deal damage to them, and form a wall of non-controllable Sand Soldiers. Enemies are unable to walk through Emperor's Divide and any dash-type abilities will be canceled, bouncing the offending champion back. On the other hand, you and your allies can move through Emperor's Divide, and will receive a movement speed boost upon doing so. This is what makes Azir so hard to kill, as he can easily throw off any melee champions and keep them away from himself and his AD carry.|
*Note - Though Emperor's Divide will cancel out almost all dash abilities, Fizz can still get past the wall with Playful / Trickster. Also, targeted damage-dealing dash abilities like Fizz's Urchin Strike and Jax's Leap Strike will still deal damage if canceled by Emperor's Divide, but they will still be knocked back and take the damage from the wall.
An example of the Shifting Sands –> Conquering Sands combo. Credit to Siv HD for creating the video. https://www.youtube.com/user/WQLFY http://www.twitch.tv/sivhd
|Flash is pretty much mandatory on most champions. It can be used to catch up with a fleeing enemy, Flash over a wall to safety, or do some sick Flash –> Emperor's Divide #LCSbigplays to throw an enemy into your team. We are also going to take Barrier because you are generally going to be keeping your distance from your lane partner and won't be in range to effectively use Ignite. You will want to take Barrier over Heal because Ignite is a very common pick on most mid laners, and it reduces the healing you receive from Heal. Since you are in a solo lane, Heal is also less effective than Barrier, as most of the time you will be in a 1v1 lane. Azir has a weaker early game than a lot of popular mid laners, so if you get behind with Ignite it becomes much less useful than Barrier. Barrier also helps you survive against assassins and bursty mages such as Syndra and Zed to make it to the late game.|
|Exhaust is a viable alternative to Barrier against any champions with burst. A common example of this is in a lane against Zed. Once Zed uses his Death Mark, use Exhaust to mitigate nearly all of his burst. This is an effective counter at all stages of the game. Teleport is useful for when you want to have high map-pressure, or have very little kill potential against an opponent. This is generally used more for top lane, but remains an option. I have, on occasion, taken both Ghost and Flash. I wouldn't really recommend it, as it's more just something to do for fun rather than an effective way of playing Azir. If you buy Enchantment: Distortion the cooldown for both spells are reduced, and you get some nice bonuses when you use them.|
|What I start 90% of the time. Doran's Ring helps with mana sustain in lane, makes you a little beefier with the extra HP, and the 15 AP lets you fight your lane partner more effectively. You are also rewarded with mana for last hitting properly, giving you even more incentive to farm well. If you feel you can benefit by buying a second Doran's Ring to either help you mana sustain or make you look more beefy, go right ahead. A general rule is to not buy more than two of these.|
|The burst item. Why do we build Luden's Tempest? Luden's Tempest, though nerfed, remains a strong item. Granting 100 AP and 10% movement speed, it also gives a useful passive similar to Statikk Shiv that deals magic damage which scales off of your AP in a small AOE. The materials are fairly cheap, as Amplifying Tome builds into Aether Wisp.|
|The DPS item. Nashor's Tooth is an item that has recently begun to be seen in many high level games. What was traditionally a niche item on Azir has grown in popularity ever since it was changed to give the same amount of ability power as items like Morellonomicon and Athene's Unholy Grail, but with slightly less attack speed. Because Azirs attack speed no longer scales with his cooldown reduction, Nashor's Tooth will give you the early game attack speed that Azir used to have, as well as a sizable chunk of ability power. The one thing that Nashor's Tooth does not grant is mana sustain, so now one must be even more resource-conscious when playing Azir.|
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
|As of patch 5.13, Rylai's Crystal Scepter is incredibly strong on Azir. Prior to patch 5.13, AOE's (including your Sand Soldiers) would only apply a weaker version of the slow applied to single target spells. However, after patch 5.13, all AOE and single target spells (excluding damage-over-time based spells) apply the full slow. This means that when your Sand Soldiers hit someone, they will be slowed and will continue to be slowed until you stop hitting them. This allows us to make catches easier, kite better, poke more, and chase even harder. With the added benefit of giving 100 ability power and 400 health, Rylai's Crystal Scepter will make you a very, very tough cookie.|
|When you first back, try to aim for either a Stinger or an Aether Wisp. This is the point where you will have to make the decision between building Nashor's Tooth and Luden's Tempest. If you don't have enough gold, buy an Amplifying Tome, a Vision Ward, and a few Health Potions. You can buy Boots whenever you have a bit of extra gold to spare.|
|At ~16 minutes into the game with a decent creep score, you should have these items. With your Nashor's Tooth ( Luden's Tempest), you will start to put out a lot of damage. Be careful not to overestimate yourself at this point, as you are squishy as hell.|
|Choosing boots is generally up to preference. I prefer Sorcerer's Shoes over Ionian Boots of Lucidity as early on in games your damage is focused more around Conquering Sands than your Auto Attacks, and your attack speed no longer scales off of cooldown reduction. If you feel you will need to reposition your Sand Soldiers more often, take Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Generally when late game comes around, if you have Luden's Tempest instead of Nashor's Tooth, sell your Sorcerer's Shoes for Ionian Boots of Lucidity.|
Mid game goals
|These items give a good amount of ability power, health, utility, and magic penetration. You can replace Void Staff with a Rabadon's Deathcap if the enemy team hasn't built any magic resist. If you are against a team with a large amount of physical damage, you can take Zhonya's Hourglass. Unless they made a buffet out of your bot lane, the enemy team is going to keep their distance from you.|
END GAME FANTASY
|May the chicken god have mercy on his foes. Congratulations, there are few things more scary than a full build Azir. By this point, an Arise!–> Conquering Sands–>Auto Attack combo will do well over 1000 magic damage to a squishy target. Stay safe in teamfights and there are very few things you can't kill.|
We are going to want to max Emperor's Divide first, as it is your ultimate ability. Next, we want to max Conquering Sands as it is your main source of damage early game. Ranking up Conquering Sands also allows you to re-position yourSand Soldiers more often, as the cooldown is lowered. Afterwards, we max Arise!. Ever since the changes to Azir's passive, it has become much more efficient to max Arise! second. Leveling Arise! now will grant bonus attack speed based on the level of the ability from 20% - 60%, as well as lower the cooldowns of your Sand Soldiers. Lastly, we max Shifting Sands because Arise! is now more important and Shifting Sands retains its utility.
mid-laner that can deal a constant stream of damage, Azir is the champion for you.
- Changelist added.
- UPDATE added.
- Updated Introduction, Build path, Pros/Cons, Runes, Masteries, Abilities, Champion Matchups, and Skill Sequence.
- Updated Items, Laning phase, Mid game, Late game, Summary.
- Minor touch-ups to Pros/Cons
- Added matchups for Ahri, Annie, Anivia, Ekko,Karthus, Kassadin, Leblanc, Orianna, Twisted Fate
- Removed UPDATE
- Added Attention!
- Minor grammar changes to changelist
- Updated Build Path, Items, Recommended build
- Significant changes to Nashor's Tooth block in Items
- Removed Attention!
- Touch-ups to Introduction