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Published: September 20, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • One of the most popular mid-laners is receiving a nerf in the next LoL patch
  • His Q’s cooldown will be increased by two seconds
  • Although not much, Riot hopes it will be enough to change the champ’s pick-rate

After the champion was quite prominent in last year’s LoL World Championship and in this competitive season so far, Riot has decided to nerf him in order to avoid an Azir-heavy World Championship 2023.

Riot Nerfs Azir

Balancing a game like League of Legends is never a finished job. Riot Games has to constantly teak champions and items with each patch in order to try and provide an equal playing field for everybody. This becomes even more important as the World Championship 2023 is coming in fast.

With this being the case, League’s Patch 13.19 is one of the most crucial balance patches of the season as it is the game version on which the tournament will be played. Much information about LoL World Championship 2023 has already been released, but more news is coming daily. The preview of the version is yet another one, but one detail revealed today made many people lift their eyebrows.

According to the Lead Designer of the League Balance Team & Preseason Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison, Azir will quietly be taking Ziggs’ place in the list of planned 13.19 buffs, nerfs, and changes. This is bad news for the many Azir mains, as the champion is one of the most popular mid-laners in the game currently. The studio reasons that Azir has benefited too much from several meta effect buffs, necessitating Riot to nerf him, as they fear that Worlds will be an Azir-heavy event.

To avoid a situation like this, Riot will be nerfing his Conquering Sands (Q) ability, its cooldown duration being increased by two seconds. This means it’s now scalable from 14 to six, depending on how many points are in it. This is technically not a very big nerf, but considering most players max out the champion’s W and Q, they will now have to make slight adjustments in the laning phase and team fights. This would also likely make the champion be chosen less, fixing the large pick rate Azir currently enjoys.

Riot has taken some lessons from last year’s Worlds where the champion was seen in many matches as he was one of the three most-picked champions by teams such as DRX, Gen.G, and DFM. The champion had a 50% win rate in said tournament and was played a whopping 48 times. This season also saw Azir being used very often in top-level League of Legends play, although interestingly enough, he was not picked even a single time at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational in London.

Only time will tell if the nerf will work as expected, or if we once again see Azir being quite prominent in this year’s World Championship.

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