As mentioned by Meddler and a recent Ask Riot, we are currently exploring different update directions for our beloved Shuriman emperor. We are still very early on into the process, but I wanted to communicate what our main goals are and the different paths we are considering to achieve those goals.
* Increase opponent play options when playing against Azir
* Increase Azir’s live ranked performance (buff)
* Preserve his core play pattern of summoning Sand Soldiers and using them as his auto attacks
Each following direction seeks to increase options when playing against Azir, but makes its own trade offs.
**Two Major Directions:**
1) Reduce Azir’s soldier command range, exposing him to more opponent damage/cc opportunities when he is dealing damage.
* Ranges would still be decently long, shorter by roughly 15~% is what we'd likely aim for
* Affords his mobility profile remaining similar to live
* Might mean he needs more on-demand survivability
* Is the direction that reduces the most pressure on us to dramatically change functionality on his current spells (might still require some decent changes depending on what we discover though)
2) Keep Azir’s live soldier command range, but reduce his mobility profile so he is more easily killed when you do have the tools to close the gap on him.
* Affords soldiers lasting longer than they currently do
* Most likely means we remove his ability to drift or dash to his soldiers
* Is the direction that restricts Azir to be even more of a back-liner
Regardless of our choice in direction, we will most likely be buffing Azir’s Sand Soldier stab damage and overall DPS potential. At the same time, we will also be looking for ways to ensure his laning phase is less oppressive when his numbers are tuned up.
A decently successful mechanic we have tested a bit so far is reducing his Soldier’s AoE damage early game and scaling it back up to 100% by champion level. This means Azir can still have threatening single target damage throughout the match, but less wave control early game.
Again, we are still very early on into this project, but feedback around these two directions and what you like about the current Azir are all very helpful to us during this stage of development! At the end of the day, we want to deliver an Azir that is exciting to his current players (and potential new ones) that doesn’t warp the meta-game around himself when he is fairly tuned for the average player. I will try to be here often to answer some questions throughout this week as well.