Azir Overview Infographic
We put together an Azir overview infographic that has the best builds, runes, strengths, weaknesses, combos, skill orders, counters, synergies and anything else that you need to quickly learn the basics of Azir. Make sure to share with your friends and check back here to get the latest updates. We will be updating this infographic as changes happen so check back often!
Who is iMaaasTeR
iMaaasTeR is well known for playing Azir in the mid lane where he shuffles through his foes and strikes them down with an army of sand soldiers. The information in this guide will show his plays, stats, and rules to take Azir to the next level.
João Pedro Vidal, 20 years of age. Currently playing with summoner names iMaaasTeR. He has over 524k mastery points on Azir plus a smurk with 130k. He peaked at 700 LP in Brazilian Challenger. He has a KDA ratio of 3.11:1 with a 62% Win Rate. A friend showed him League of Legends. He also used to watch his cousin play which made him try the game. Orianna was his main for the first 3 or 4 seasons, then he started to play Azir and he has Ascended ever since.
Table of Contents
Why to Play Azir
Before we start on the Ultimate Guide to Azir we first want to tell you why you should play him. His overall strengths and weaknesses are as follows:
- Ability to shove and poke
- Can stall lanes
- Capable of turning a teamfight
- Siege capabilities
- Solid counter pick
- Weak early to mid game
- Lacks CC
- Ineffective against mobile champions
- Low base stats
- High cooldown at early levels
Cassiopeia is considered a counter to Azir because she has the ability to keep harassing Azir with her Twin Fangs. Doing the Shurima Shuffle right in front of Cassiopeia will likely stop his movement due to her ultimate (Petrifying Gaze) turning you into stone, giving her the chance to hit more skills while you can not move. You can try to avoid her abilities by limiting the use of your combos and reserving it in the laning phase. Your goal when facing Cassiopeia is to poke her down with your Q + AA combo while dodging her skills. This avoids resets on her abilities. Once her ultimate is down and you have a clear vision as well as one of your core items before her, then you can possibly all-in Cassiopeia without worrying that she’ll turn the tide around.
Xerath is considered a counter to Azir because he has the ability to poke his enemy laner without even touching them. Xerath’s playstyle is like Azir but more towards spamming his skills through minions that will also hit you. You can counter him with your poke and balance out the damage he has dealt to you. If you force him to use his summoner spells, then you will have an opportunity to go at him with your jungler. Avoid his stun and communicate with your jungler. Since he has no escape abilities like dashes or blinks, you can play with your jungler after your level 6 to either get a kill or his flash. This will give you another chance to kill him on your next ult
Kassadin is considered a counter to Azir because he can get off of your soldiers range with a 1.5-2 CDR ultimate in the late game and easily kill you. You can beat Kassadin by poking him pre level 6 as this is where he is the weakest. Try to prevent him from gaining more CS than you early on, while also collaborating with your jungler to try to kill him before he gets his ultimate. You should try to hard push the first waves so he loses CS and abuse him pre-6 using runes that will make him a bit stronger earlygame, like Arcane Comet, Electrocute, Hail of Blades or Aery.
Leona synergizes with Azir because of her ultimate (Solar Flare) which can lock enemies down while Azir moves in to push them to his allies. Champions like Leona that will stop enemies’ movements can synergize well with him. Alistar, Morgana, Nami, Malphite, are champions with high CC that can hold enemies from escaping will work very well with the Emperor where he can max out his soldiers and deal damage to his opponents.
Yasuo synergizes with Azir because of his ultimate (Last Breath) which slashes enemies when knocked up. This collaboration with the two can create a set up where enemies are being hit by Yasuo above giving more time to Azir and the other carries in his team to deal as much free damage as possible. This will deal high amounts of damage in their composition favoring your team in the clash and creating opportunities to take objectives.
Gnar synergizes with Azir because your ultimate works as a wall that enemy champions can not dash in. Gnar can then use his ultimate (GNAR!) where he pushes them all back to your wall, stunning them. He can also stun them the second time around using his W (Wallop) after his ultimate. This creates an opening to Azir’s teammates to position themselves in the right spot, hitting the carries of the enemies and reducing their chance of success in this clash.
Azir’s recommended Summoner Spells are Teleport and Flash because he can aid allies around the side lanes. With the use of Teleport, he can roam without wasting too much time and he can also surprise enemies from behind with his ultimate. If Azir wants extra damage as he pokes his enemy targets, you can consider using Ignite and Flash because you’d prefer being aggressive in the lane. Harass your opponent with the most potential damage you can deal. This is great in situations when you are against Kassadin and need to abuse him early.
Keystones and Runes
Azir’s recommended runes are Lethal Tempo, Presence of Mind, Alacrity, Coup de Grace on Precision as primary and Manaflow Band with Transcendence on Sorcery as secondary because it helps Azir boosts his attack speed stats while maintaining a healthy amount of HP during teamfights. This is a great rune page to maximize his on-hit potential and deal insane amount of damage wit his soldiers.
If you want to have better survivability, you can consider using Conqueror, Presence of Mind, Alacrity, Coup de Grace on Precision as primary and Manaflow Band with Transcendence on Sorcery as secondary. Azir needs to survive longer in teamfights and Conqueror will heal him while dealing damage with his soldiers at the front of every fight.
Both builds will be using +10% Attack Speed on Offense, +9 Adaptive Force in Flex and +6 Armor/+8 Magic Resist on Defense depending on his enemy in the lane.
Azir’s recommended items change depending on the situation, however, the following items will give you a good idea of what to build in different situations.
Azir starts with Corrupting Potion if he wants more sustain in both Health and Mana in his lane. This item can help him use his abilities more while having an extra backup for possible gank. Corrupting Potion will burn enemies with extra damage to help you survive the early to mid laning phase. Be aware of your number of potions left since harassing your opponents too much might empty them out. This increases the chance of them battling you without any healing or regeneration which is very bad for Azir. Focus on clearing waves and poking your opponent in the lane to have an early lead.
Azir uses Nashor’s Tooth very well because of its Attack Speed, Ability Power and Cooldown Reduction. His goal is to harass his enemies as fast as possible using his sand soldiers and move away from them when needed. This item can make Azir be a great poke heavy champion or an amazing setter with his ultimate dealing damage while escaping with ease. If you decide to choose Nashor’s Tooth as your first item, Lethal tempo as your primary rune will work well as you’ll have more attack speed early on. However, if you are the type of player that has longer fights then stay with Conqueror.
Azir uses Luden’s Echo very well because you can poke down the enemy while also dealing insane damage early on. With mana sustain from the lost chapter, you can spam W + Q way more than if you had an early stinger. Combining your Manaflow band and transcendence will help you sustain better. Holding a Lost Chapter then going for Nashor's Tooth is also good. If you build it you can use Triumph instead of Presence of mind on your runes.
Azir uses Liandry's Torment very well because it shreds enemy targets. It adds 75 Ability Power and 300 health to you while also getting Madness and Torment. Madness increases your damage the longer you are in the fight while Torment deals % of the enemies' maximum health and burns them whenever you cast an ability. Especially useful on champions like Sett, Mundo, and other tanks.
Use Sorcerer's Shoes to enhance your early game magic penetration.
Offensive Situational Items
If you want to deal a % of magic penetration off of their HP, you can build Void Staff. This gives +70 Ability Power and grants 40% magic penetration. Good for tanky enemy champions with high amounts of health.
If you want extra ability power in your items, you can build Rabadon's Deathcap. This item gives you +120 Ability Power and increases +40% of your overall ability power. It works very well with your other AP items and deals tremendous damage.
If you want to slow down enemies as you kite, you can build Rylai's Crystal Scepter. It gives 90 AP and 300 HP. It also slows any target by 20% as they get hit by your abilities. This item is a great tool to avoid frontline tanks from reaching you from the back.
Defensive Situational Items
If you want to dodge a crowd control ability using Flash or E (Shifting Sands), you can build Banshee’s Veil. It grants a spell shield that blocks the next enemy ability. This can be very efficient to enemy laners that want to prevent you from using your E + Q combo to escape. This item also helps against higher AP damage champions like Leblanc, Ahri, Lux, or more that want to burst you down, giving you no time to move.
If you want protection whenever you cast R (Emperor's Divide) on their backline, you can build Zhonya's Hourglass. This item gives you 75 AP, 45 Armor, and 10% CDR. Once activated, you'll put yourself into static. This will keep yourself untargetable for 2.5 seconds and avoiding any more damage.
If you want to slow down enemies as you kite, you can build Rylai's Crystal Scepter. It gives 90 AP and 300 HP. It also slows any target by 20% as they receive your abilities. This is great against enemies with no mobility or dashes like Darius. The item is too nerfed so its only good on rare occasions
Full Build Example
Here’s how a full build would look like:
- Nashor’s Tooth
- Sorcerer’s Shoes
- Luden’s Echo
- Liandry’s Torment
- Zhonya’s Hourglass
This is the most recommended build path for Azir to have the most damage output with his poking abilities in any teamfights. Nashor’s Tooth combined with Luden’s Echo provides attack speed with your harass along with high damage to your poke. It gives movement speed to escape any who slips away from his soldiers and comes to the Emperor. Morellonomicon provides penetration to enemies who build magic resists and health items. They’ll be poke to death by you which is the main component of Azir’s kit. This is where Azir shines and outmaneuvers almost anyone who comes in his way. If enemies are too tanky, you can build Void Staff or Liandry’s Torment. Zhonya’s Hourglass is a great defensive item you must build especially when you use your Shurima Shuffle. It provides extra protection to you and gives time to your support to assist you to escape. Amazing positioning skills is your key to winning with these items. Overall this built is a balanced one that brings Azir’s legacy up to par with any mage he will face. This will also be great when sneaking to objectives and dealing damage as fast as possible if you are avoiding any teamfights
Passive - Shurima's Legacy
Q - Conquering Sands
Azir orders his soldiers to rush towards a target and deal significant magic damage to the area. He slows all enemies they pass through by 25% for 1 second. The slow stacks and it is an ability that helps Azir poke his enemies. Use this skill to move your soldiers around the location and deal damage to your opponents. Your goal as Azir is to provide as much magic damage that will help your teammate without you getting killed, perfect kit for an Emperor.
W - Arise!
Azir passively gains attack speed when leveling this ability. Upon activation, he summons an untargetable soldier, with a limit that will grow when you upgrade the ability. He places it in a location for 10 seconds which will expire twice as fast within range of an enemy turret. This will also disappear when the Emperor is too far away. Azir then selects a soldier and will be an extension to you dealing his basic attacks plus magic damage through his soldier’s range. Sand soldiers will not be able to attack turrets, wards, trinkets, and traps. This ability is the first one you will automatically need to get at level 1 as Azir’s kit requires a soldier. This ability can be used offensively, striking enemies down or can be a defensive tool to escape moments when your opponents catch you off guard. Also, maxing the number of Sand Soldiers in teamfights will increase your attack speed so be ready to go all-in when necessary.
E - Shifting Sands
Azir will dash towards a targeted sand soldier and shields himself for 1.5 seconds. This deals damage to enemies he passes through but will halt if an enemy champion is in front of his soldier then gaining shield with a charge of W. This skill is a perfect escape for assassins that will hunt you down within their range. It is also a great mechanic for engaging a teamfight and setting a nice ultimate Emperor’s Divide for your teammates to engage upon. This ability is often used by Professional Players when attempting to do a Shurima Shuffle where you place a W (Arise!) click E (Shifting Sands) to the soldier then Q (Conquering Sands) in a location. It is a fast combo for Azir which is a great additional mechanic for him to prepare a teamfight worthy of his abilities.
R - Emperor's Divide
Azir calls forth a wall of soldiers knocking back enemies and damaging them. Enemy champions with dashing abilities can not pass the sand soldiers and will be unable to charge. Your ultimate is perfect for skirmishes that can push his opponents to his allies. You can also move in and out of the wall freely casting combos and setups that will gain an advantage to your team. Emperor’s Divide playstyle is similar to Lee Sin’s Insec mechanics but with greater value. You can push more than 1 enemy champions to your group which, when done correctly, can win you the teamfight.
Ability Skill Order
The skill order for Azir is R – Q – W – E. The reason is you want to maximize your ultimate damage whenever possible. This is on levels 6, 11, and 16 which will offer a great deal in the late game phase. Your Q (Conquering Sands) will provide you the extension of damage you need when poking tanky enemies. W (Arise!) will give you more damage to your sand soldiers when casting it in teamfights. Peel to gain an advantage in the clash. Your E (Shifting Sands) is your only mobility tool. Use it to either change position to deal damage or escape an enemy trying to assassinate you.
A power spike is when a time champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes them a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Azir’s Powerspike is when he reaches level 16 because he has already a max level on his ultimate (Emperor’s Divide). He also gains more skill points for his other abilities. The perfect set up to be more aggressive as well as when he completes Nashor’s Tooth for more harass to the enemy laner. Luden’s Echo also adds burst potential to Azir because in Season 10 the game is more focused on the early to mid game phase. Having these items in level 11 can help you get more objectives, deal more damage in teamfights and decrease the chance of you having no more mana to fight. Azir’s goals are to maximize his attack speed before spamming too much of his mana, that is why one should be cautious when to use his skills in a teamfight.
W + AA Combo
This combo is used to kill minions in your lane and avoiding overextension to the enemy laner’s side. Azir wants to be as far away as possible to gain a a lead in the early to mid game phase. Since your troops work as an AoE damage, you can summon your troops within a minion that is in line with your enemy champion. Strike both of them in the same direction the soldier is facing.
E + Q Combo
This combo is used for 2 things in the laning phase, you can use it after you’ve summoned a soldier and escape a possible gank, or extend your soldier to reach your enemy. Have vision around the map to know where the jungler and other teammates of your opponent are rotating to. This is also a great combo to use after you’ve pushed the wave to your opponent. Lessen their CS by harassing them and get a better lead early on with this combo. Be cautious when using it as you’ll be losing your only escape ability and would rely on your summoner spells alone.
Q + AA Combo
This combo is used after summoning a troop and you want to harass your opponent in the lane. This keeps them away from your minions. Do not use more than one soldier when your goal is to push them away from having more gold and taking the lead. You should save a soldier to use your E + Q combo whenever you need to escape a gank or a big teamfight.
R + Passive (Spawn Turret) Combo
This combo is used whenever you are alone and you want extra damage when facing a champion 1v1. The knock-up of your ultimate will give you time to spawn your turret. It will then help you deal damage to the enemy turning it into a 2v1 matchup. Your turret can help in a lot of ways especially when you are in the enemy’s territory. Note: Your ultimate’s damage will increase as your ability power does. That is why you can play around it and be the Emperor one should respect.
E + Q (Reverse Drift) Combo
This combo is used when Azir wants to retreat from an enemy or fake out a dash in the wall. This works well around the jungle where he can access almost every wall and save himself from any assassination. You can use this combo to save your flash and still escape especially when a stun has hit you.
W + E + Q + R Combo
This combo is used for pushing enemies towards your teammates. Also known as “Shurima Shuffle” where he slides through walls and lanes to setup this combo and lock in your opponents to your team. Use this combo when you know your teammates’ ultimates are up and are ready to follow up. Teammates with hard CC like Leona, Malphite, Sejuani, etc. are some of the greatest champions to work with. This can help you stop the enemy’s movement and secure a possible ace giving you an advantage to the game.
W + E + Q + Flash + R Combo
This combo is also used for setting up a way to kill your opponents in one combo. This is similar to the first one but you are adding a Flash to place Azir to the best position to push your enemies. Opponents will still have ways to escape that is why using your Flash preemptively will help you create the perfect situation. This will give your team the time to follow up while you prevent any escapees from getting away. Quick reminder, both of these combos will lead you to the side of your enemies so being aware of your positioning is a must. If you do not have a Zhonya’s Hourglass to protect yourself, one should move away or ask help to supports like thresh, Nami or Lulu to avoid dying.
W (Behind Enemy) + EQ (Reverse Drift) + R Combo
This combo is used for dealing the ultimate damage to your opponent while saving yourself from being killed. This is a bit difficult to do compared to the first 2 as you need to be as fast as possible to do the combo before the animation finishes. Your goal is to drift to your soldier while the animation hasn’t stopped yet. Direct your Q (Conquering Sands) back to your team while spamming your R (Emperor’s Divide) to bring your opponents closer to them. This is a great way to deal with your opponents while being the carry your teammates need. Be careful with assassins like Zed, Talon, Akali, Katarina or even Rengar as they will be focusing on killing you to reduce overall damage output in the teamfight. Also, stay close to your support so they can aid you whenever possible.
How to Play Azir
Pre-level 6, you want to try to poke your opponents with your Q + AA combo. Walk back to avoid the hits from minions as it will beat you up when doing it all the time. Ideally, you want to harass your opponents with your soldiers to keep them in check and not acquiring more leads than you in the early game phase. When the minion waves hit at the same time, summon 2 of your soldiers in the front part of the minions. This will kill them then summon your 3rd soldier. This is the fastest way to push your enemy in the lane. You can use Q + AA combo for your enemy laners that stay inside their turret’s range. Always remember to step back to prevent hits from the tower. Level 5 is where your Q has the highest damage early on. You can poke them inside their turrets but always be aware of your surroundings as junglers will try to help their mid lane when you do this. Doing this poke heavy style will make you level up before your enemy laner giving you more advantage. Be aware of the cannon minion when poking your enemies as it will deal significant damage to you counteracting the purpose of harassing your opponent. Your Q (Conquering Sands) costs more mana than your W (Arise!), that is why never use Q unless you can follow up with an auto-attack or proc your keystone. This is how you manage your mana while poking your opponent in the lane.
- Split Pushing – Azir’s attack speed increases when he summons more soldiers. Create options to where you can use your Passive (Disc of the Sun) and push waves on other lanes. Do this when your teammates are doing an objective and enemies are trying to contest them on the other side. It can be a Dragon attempt while you are pushing the wave in the top lane to gain a better position. Try to summon soldiers around you to use Shurima shuffling to escape any attempts on killing you while you are sieging their turrets.
- Objective Control – Taking large objectives like Dragon and Baron increases the poking potential of Azir. Dragons increase his damage, add more protection to him, and provide more utility to his kit while the Baron gives him more sieging power. Use your soldiers to gain the vision to the area and avoid face checking yourself. Keep your distance to the dragon and always be ready to escape when teamfights are about to happen. You want to have a better position from your enemies and deal DPS with them. Be closer to your ADC and support as you can to be both backing each other up especially when juggernauts try to attack and immobilize you.
Tips and Tricks
- Last hit carefully with your sand soldiers making them hit 3 minions in 1 strike.
- Watch the distance between you and your sand soldiers, your goal is to avoid being reached by the enemy champions.
- Walk away from your soldiers when recalling to not give away your location.
- Use only 1 soldier when facing enemy champions in lane or when farming, the 2nd soldier should be for all-in attacks or escaping ganks and other possible attempts to kill you.
When hitting towers, try to put 3 soldiers behind you to give you attack speed and when someone from the enemy team comes to stop you, just E to those soldiers and walk away if necessary.
These videos below are great game play examples of how to play Azir.
Frequent Mistakes/Noob Traps
These are things most Azir players do that shouldn’t be done at a high level ELO.
Mistake #1 -Using E forward when you don’t know where enemy jungler is. Your Shifting Sands is your only escape tool in lane, you should not use it to harass the enemy mid laner when you don’t know the position of their jungler. Always utilize E by placing a soldier at your back, this will save your life more often than you think.
Mistake #2 – Trying to Insec everytime when sometimes it`s just better to just try to hit and use ult to protect yourself. Every game is not about sick plays. Sometimes, doing those sick plays will lead to a loss. Focus on surviving the longest and poking as much enemy as possible in teamfights.
Mistake #3 – Thinking Azir lanephase is bad cause his early game is bad. You should probably not be looking for skirmishes and fights early, but Azir lanephase/push is actually pretty good. Maximize the time when he is great and avoid deaths when he is at a position he isn’t.
Mistake #4 – Trying to roam or follow enemy midlaner roams instead of staying in lane to get plates. In the early game, you should get as much gold as possible to prepare for your late game. This will increase gold leading you to better items as early as possible.
Similar Champions To Azir
Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Azir as a mid laner dealing constant magic damage with his abilities when he isn’t available, either banned or picked by the enemy team. This will give you a variety to choose from. Safeguarding your LP from going down and keeping your games awesome.
Insane DPS, Huge outplay potential and the advantage of using 6 items in the game (no boots). If you want a mage who constantly poisons a target and slowly kills them, then Cassiopeia is your best option. She synergizes well with other poison abilities like Singed's Q, Poison Trail, and Teemo's E, Toxic Shots. She thrives on shocking enemies and turning them into stone with her Petrifying Gaze. This venomous snake is deadly.
Incredible burst, Revives from passive and Exceptional at teamfights. Anivia is a burst mage that excels in teamfights. Her amazing crowd control can turn fights around through incredible damage and kiting potential. Glacial Storms slows enemies around giving your allies more opportunities to deal damage. When they try to escape, your Crystallize is ready to block them. Enemies will expect Frostbites coming into their heads.
Great pick potential, Good poking in the laning phase and can easily burst down tanks. This beautiful lady loves to charm people around. Her power to lure targets is extremely powerful. She uses their essence and fills her body up with power. If you want to use the grace of Vastaya and deceive enemies with your beauty, then Ahri is the champion you'd want to rush and pick in the mid lane.
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