For a long time now, Riot Games have been telling us that Azir needs to be changed from the ground up, yet the coming rework for the champion was lacking in details both in the direction of the changes and the timeline of when it was supposed to be implemented. While still lacking in exact details, a new post by the developers gave us a glimpse as to their train of thought about the champion.
Since its release, Azir was infamous as one of the mechanically hardest champions in the game. After pros had enough time to actually learn to play it, we were given some mind-blowing plays, proving the power of the champion. The problem always was that Azir’s design meant that he can’t be brought to a balanced state at the highest levels of play without making unusable for the more casual player. His range, burst, and mobility are all problematic, yet every single one of these things requires great skill to take full advantage of. When Riot tried to fix the champion through number-tweaking, it turned out unusable for the casual player outside of high ELO one trick ponies.
In a Quick Gameplay Thoughts post that has been released on June 6, the scope of the upcoming Azir rework was further defined. For comparison’s sake, the changes hitting the champion should be similar to what has happened to Rek’Sai only weeks ago. According to the post, the rework will be focused on reducing Azir’s mobility, range, or burst and adding power somewhere else. It’s not likely that we will get to see what Riot arrives at this month or the next. While they are working on it, some other champions are likely to be tweaked.
Azir is honestly one of the rare champions with a unique mechanic revolving around summoning soldiers and controlling them to do your bidding like a general in a battlefield. This is also where most of his problems stem from. Sufficiently micro-managing the soldiers to optimize damage or using the mobility and burst resulting from the rest of his kit while remaining safe is one of the mechanically hardest things you can do in the game, especially when you try to do the famed Shurima Shuffle, a move similar to Lee Sin’s Insec, where you spawn a soldier, move it forwards behind an enemy, dash to that soldier and use Ultimate, ideally pushing one or more enemies towards your team with the resulting Wall. Hopefully, Riot will somehow succeed in keeping Azir’s core identity as it is and make the champion easier to balance, which, admittedly, is a very hard task.