Azir Counter Mini-Guide
Azir Counter - How to dethrone the Emperor himself
Welcome to an article solely focused on how to play against the Emperor, a prevalent and dominant pick quite some time ago - has fallen a bit due to recent nerfs, but nether less he still remains a potent power pick if you play him properly, so let's dive into the general aspects of the champion and then talk about his counters.
Azir is a ranged control mage, who excels at keeping his enemies at bay with his soldiers while doing a lot of damage from a safe range. He has the possibility to dive the backline and do an “insec” / azirsec to put the enemy mid/adc in a bad spot for your team members to finish off. His laning phase is pretty good and even though he got guted ( for example lower duration on ultimate, no knock up on E, no tower damage on W ), he still remains a prevalent pick, his core identity didn’t change that much and this allows him to be very dominant in good hands.
How to counter Azir, the ranged control mage?
a) play a control mage who can perform at the same level;
b) play an offensive style as another AP champion with more early game power;
c) play an offensive style as an AD assassin.
a) Control mages who can perform at the same level and eventually become a bigger threat:
1) Anivia – after the rework, her laning phase was definitely improved which allows her to be a big threat to enemies who are not paying attention to her stun. Once she gets going after a good laning phase ( which you’ll most likely get by playing against Azir if you position properly ), she can scale better and be a better zoner/teamfighter than his counterpart, Azir. During laning phase you need to watch for the typical W+Q combo with two autos to proc Thunderlord’s and you should be fine.
2) Lux – she is a hidden “op” pick, even though she got nerfed a bit aswell. Her kit allows for pretty easy waveclear and her Q allows her to have good burst opportunities without any options to retaliate. Against Azir try to use your E’s early on to push the wave, while also trying to get Azir on the edge to proc passive+thunderlord’s every time it’s not on cd, if your jungler comes around, try going for clutch bindings which can easily allow you to kill him and snowball even further beyond.
3) Vladimir – the sustain king of them all ( big advantage against Azir is that Morello doesn’t go into his core build, unless he wants to sacrifice a lot of damage from Nashor’s Tooth), that’s why you can easily pick this champion, rush some magic resist early on and just farm and scale better in teamfights.
b) Offensive/aggressive AP champions who have a bit more early game power:
1) LeBlanc – very mobile, allows you to easily poke Azir out of lane if you wait out for his soldiers/Q, just jump in, do a combo, jump back out, repeat a few times and Azir has to back. If jungler comes, you can go for a kill easily if you land your chain aswell. You can literally abuse Azir as much as you want as LeBlanc, there’s almost nothing he can do, if you want to be super safe, get Negatron before finishing Morello to be even more tankiner if you make some mistakes. After 6, just try to pick him off every time you have ultimate.
2) Syndra – an aggressive, assassin type mage, which can adapt her style the way she wants. She has a lot of pressure during laning phase due to her low cooldowns which allows you to manipulate the balls pretty easily and punish Azir whenever he wants to do something. Once you reach 6, if you hit a stun, you can insta-burst him pretty easily as long as you have enough balls spawned.
3) Malzahar – after the rework, he is very easy to play to be somewhere useful, laning phase is pretty easy for you against Azir, he can’t deal with your voidlings properly, you can just keep pushing like no tomorrow and once you reach 6, you can go for easy kills if he is mispositioned.
c) Offensive style as an AD assassin:
1) Zed – the terror from shadows. Very mobile, you can achieve his powerspike early and punish Azir before he scales into mid/late game. Just make sure to not waste your shadow for poking if you have no vision of the enemy jungler, it’s a pretty high risk sometimes you might get baited to do it and then Azir will dash to you with his E and his jungler might appear and force you to flash or kill you.
2) Talon – another great champion to punish Azir. Harder than Zed because you have mana, unlike Zed who has endless energy. Your main pushing/harras tool costs a lot of mana and doesn’t do that much damage early on soo you might need some help, but with 1 or 2 kills you can just delete him with a simple combo from stealth.
3) Jarvan – a very rare pick, started being more popular in LCS to counter certain champions. The burst you can do with his E+Q+auto+Hydra+auto+R ( all while the target is still CC’ed ) is enormous. Your laning phase isn’t that bad either and you can safely farm under tower. After reaching 6, you can dive Azir and punish him pretty easily.
That is all for the playstyles and certain champions to counter Azir with, good luck on the Rift.
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