Azir Build Guide by Aqua Dragon
Diamond Bot Azir - Lethal Emperor
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+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I've been in Diamond for multiple seasons and I play Marksman Azir.
I also play:
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- Highest "base range" of all marksmen
- Excellent objective taker and defender
- One of the strongest anti-melee self-peels
- Damage hits relevancy at just two complete items
- Great mobility to escape from danger
- Among the highest DPS outputs in the game, in an AOE
- Terrible laning phase; insufficient mana against two targets
- Excessively squishy; will blow up if touched
- Low sustain makes Azir especially weak to poke
- Dependent on mana; can't fight once oom
- Only escape can be body-blocked
Azir is most traditionally played at Mid-lane, with a big emphasis on using their soldiers as pseudo-projectiles to dish out damages with a flurry of Conquering Sands. The mid lane requires constant fighting to stay relevant.
But Bottom does not require this constant fighting. At Bot, the support and lane-length allows Azir to realistically stall to their major power spikes without having to take as much risk. This lets Azir get away with building in hyperaggressive DPS ways that lets them hit their core power spike earlier than ever.
There's not nearly enough mana to fight two enemies at Bot, but there is plenty of time to farm up and stall until reaching this quick power spike. Traditional ADC's are able to get away with a lot, a fact which Marksman Azir exploits to maximize their DPS as quickly as possible.
The Runes of Civilization
Lethal Tempo is the premiere DPS rune for Azir that fits Bot Azir's reactive playstyle better than Conqueror's proactive requirement.
Triumph is preferable when there aren't enough mana issues to justify Presence of Mind.
Cut Down allows relevancy against tanky targets earlier, and Coup de Grace requires laning aggression that Marksman Azir would rather avoid.
Transcendence is the reason for Sorcery secondary. It allows Azir to only need one ability haste item (Liandries), increasing DPS at all points more than the alternatives.
Gathering Storm is a solid chunk of AP, whereas Manaflow is unnecessary.
Ability Haste, Flat AP, and Armor
The ability haste helps keep triple soldier uptime, while the early stats are a nice mix of offense and defense.
That's the Spearit
Arise! is an unusual first max, but makes sense in the context of bot lane.
Marksman Azir does not want to fight early. Marksman Azir is abusing the safety of bot lane to reach their DPS spikes as soon as possible. Marksman Azir does not have even close to enough mana to harass two enemies in a lane with Conquering Sands, even with Tear. Marksman Azir gets enough early ability haste that repositioning with Conquering Sands is not prohibitive even without early ranks in it.
All of this makes Arise! a much more enticing max, as it offers significant extra DPS with the bonus attack speed. The higher soldier uptime also makes up for the lack of positioning from Conquering Sands.
The Math of Shurima
A traditional ADC tries to maximize their raw DPS output with every purchase, as they can largely get away with such aggressive itemization in the Bot lane. Marksman Azir attempts to do the same thing as a traditional ADC by maximizing their raw DPS output as fast as possible. To that end, I did extensive testing against practice dummies to find the absolute highest raw DPS per gold per item.
The most damage efficient DPS path for Azir is:
This order is true against any target with 60 or more MR. Of course, League is not merely a mathematical game. Raw DPS alone won't win you the match. After ample testing, I found that I could get away with going raw DPS generally until at least after two complete offensive items, and then I was forced into a defensive item just to survive.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter finds use as a defensive choice against multiple melees or if already so far behind that other utility than damage is needed.
Banshee's Veil is handy against most assassins and dodge-or-die abilities
Most interestingly, Dead Man's Plate finds power against artillery compositions (Azir's soldiers do not proc it, so Azir gains a permanent +80 movespeed bonus from it).
I trended away from Zhonya's Hourglass, as the focus of the build is to deal ranged DPS above all else, and making flashy shuffle plays using Zhonyas was counterethical to that purpose. Imagine if an ADC threw themselves into the enemy team like that.
I ran several tests on Luden's Tempest and Liandrys is mathematically superior DPS to it every single time. The only reason to prefer Ludens then is for the waveclear, which Azir doesn't need help with.
After extensive testing, Imperial Mandate with Rylai's Crystal Scepter can't compete with the damage of a Liandries DPS build, while requiring two complete items and mana runes (a further net loss of stats).
As shown in the maximum DPS order above, Demonic Embrace can't compete with all the other DPS options until 5 others were built. However if we want a semi-defensive choice, Rylais is better in-class for that purpose, leaving no room for Demonic.
According to my tests, Sorcerer Shoes is always superior damage efficiency to Berserker's Greaves no matter what stage of the game, the MR of the target, or the amount of prior AS. It's only better for clearing minions.
Skipping Doran's Ring may seem a bit odd. However, its early AP isn't very helpful for a passive laner, and Sapphire Crystal offers similar mana with a headstart into the build for faster power spikes
Void Staff is the choice against any targets with 60+ MR, which is all front-liners
You can consider skipping it if there is literally nobody who fits that criteria
Consider an Oblivion Orb after the main 3 items if GW is needed
Choose one of these defensive choices. You're free to skip this,
but I found my damage increasing with one mandatory defensive choice.
Don't forget to upgrade Oblivion Orb if you purchased that.
In the early game, your goals are to
- Farm up safely
- Get in free hits, but don't fish for any
- Reach the Liandries powerspike
Don't use Conquering Sands: As much as possible, avoid using Conquering Sands. There is nowhere near enough mana to harass two opponents at once (I tried. Amply.) Focus on farming and scaling.
Grab free hits: While you might not be fishing for hits with Conquering Sands, get a free hit on an enemy if you see a chance. It'll stack Manaflow and scare off aggression a little.
Efficiently Summon Soldiers: You don't have to summon a soldier for every CS, nor do you usually need more than one soldier alive at a time. Azir has a satisfying instant autoattack; enjoy it!
As the laning phase ends, you will start taking on your full form
- Your damage is incredibly threatening now
- Massacre objectives
- Avoid aggressing with Conquering Sands
You are a Massive Threat!: With just a few complete items, this damage-efficiency tailored approach will have enabled you to become extremely damaging even without kills or more time. You now can melt even tanky targets.
Stay in the Backline: Harassing is not only dangerous, but Conquering Sands doesn't hurt much without those early ranks. Stick to your role: you are a marksman, and must kill everything that approaches while staying safe
Use the Ult Defensively: Emperor's Divide is one of the best anti-melee skills in the entire game. Tanks should have trouble approaching, assassins should be shoved off when they dare try to hurt. Focus on maximizing your overall DPS.
Watch Your Mana: Once you're out of mana, you're spent. You have no real mana regeneration. Be cautious of your mana bar to make sure you won't overexert yourself before battles are truly done.
Slaughter Objectives: Stationary targets are fodder for Azir's soldiers. You can take down Barons and Dragons at record speed with a few soldiers, a fact that should be abused amply to set them up using control wards.
- For Shurima!
DPS: Anything standing in your domain is destined for death. Tear asunder any insubordinates stepping into your soldiers, painting the sand red with their insolence. A flurry of spears so rampant that the presence of one soldier for one second carves an enemy into a fine, crimson mist. Bury them. Alive.
Stay with the team: The power of friendship!!! You're pretty squishy, so don't go out being a lonely hero.