Thursday, September 18, 2014


ascension [uh-sehn-shun]
1. Mythology. A figure or object rising into the heavens or to a higher form of existence.
2. To move, climb, or go up.
3. To rise to a higher point, level, or position; to be promoted or become superior.

EX. That's right chumps! Another new League of Legends champion has been released less than a month after Gnar the Missing Link (a shocking development). Furthermore, it is a champ that has been rumored and anticipated for a year or two. So, without much further ado, besides mentioning the fact this is the first piece of rebuilding League of Legends lore, let's take a look at Azir, Emperor of the Sands!
Cassiopeia hired Sivir and her band of mercenaries to explore the ancient ruins of Shurima and slip past Nasus, the Curator of the Sands, unhindered. As she neared the pay-off of her journey, Cassiopeia showed little or no concern as Sivir's men died, one by one, to the traps in their path. By the time they reached the vault containing the Ascended, all but Sivir and Cassiopeia had fallen prey to insidious defenses within the tomb, and yet they did not falter from the doors barring them entrance to that which they sought.

As they approached the stone serpent guardian that stood at the doors of the vault, Cassiopeia betrayed Sivir and stole her blade as the key to open the vault. The statue came to life, set upon Cassiopeia, and its venom burned her flesh and spirit, twisting her with its ancient curse. Sivir could only watch as Renekton, Butcher of the Sands, turned mad by his imprisonment, and Xerath, the Magus Ascendant, architect of Shurima's destruction and his own madness, escaped to sow chaos once again.

As Sivir lay on the floor of the tomb, dying from her wounds, her blood soaked into the sands. An ancient magic stirred and Sivir, the last descendant of Azir, a resurrection stirred. Azir rose from his slumber and, recognizing Sivir as his own blood, he carried her to the Oasis of the Dawn. Laying her in the waters, he saved her life, and finally, after years of being denied the glory, achieved ascension and can return Shurima to its long lost glory.

Before we move onto talk about Azir's game mechanics and abilities, let's discuss how, as part of the Azir's release event, we also get visual upgrades to several Shurima champs, like Cassiopeia and Renekton, and a new featured game mode Ascension.

In Ascension, two teams of five players must attempt to capture relics, defeat enemy champs, and fight the Ascended (Xerath). If you defeat the Ascended, one of the champions on your team ascends, growing large and gaining a lot of buffs temporarily. This game is pretty simple and borrows a lot of elements from Dominion, but I'm glad to see it thinking outside of the box with elements like an extended cloud of war (a sandstorm) and a variant of the base map (meaning all sorts of special teleporting).

Now, back to Azir:

Azir is a hybrid (more "hy-bird") mage that focuses on building cooldown, auto attack speed, and AP to tear down towers with an army of his own sand minions. His kit provides him with a ton of lane-pushing potential and harass, allowing him to be a potential bully in any lane, and he has just enough escape, disengage, and zoning abilities to help escape ganks from all but the most relentless of foes.
His passive, Will of the Emperor, has two functions: it grants him a flat bonus to attack speed for building cooldown. This is essential to his kit as Azir relies on auto attacking to control his minions and take down objectives. The other part of his Passive, an activated ability, allows him to temporarily raise turrets on destroyed buildings. This unique ability allows him to farm when even out of lane, though it is debuffed if he is too far away, and also allows him to zone his opponents in lane to prevent ganks and help position in team fights. A unique and potent ability that is extremely satisfying, unique, and useful.

Speaking of utility, let's skip his other abilities to talk about Arise, Azir has to pick it at Level 1: Arise raises a temporary melee minion from the sands that has a long range on its attacks and interacts with Azir's other abilities. The minions stay tethered to Azir and require his autoattacks to attack anything, making them far less independent than something like Malzahar's voidlings, but compensate through their crazy utility with his other abilities. They can be cast over walls, there is no limit on the number of units that can be produced (though they only last about nine seconds), and they do grant vision. Lastly, they cannot attack turrets or buildings. Instead, you can expend a cast to deal direct damage to a turret (which really lends itself to Azir's push potential). I'd recommend leveling this first.

Azir's primary aggressive ability is Conquering Sands an ability that sends all of Azir's minions to a target location, striking all enemies in their path, and slowing all targets hit. This gives you the ability to reposition your minions, poke and chase enemies, and last hit minions at a distance. I'd recommend leveling this second.

 Azir's E, Shifting Sands, has him dash to a target sand minion, hitting all enemy creatures in his path, until he reaches the sand minion or strikes an enemy champion. If Azir hits an enemy champion with Shifting Sands, he stops at their location, knocks them them, and gains a shield. This ability is great for escapes, chases, and engages. I can see a lot of combo potential but the real utility comes in mobility/escapes since it allows Azir to hop over walls with ease.

Azir's disengaging R, Emperor's Divide, knocks back enemies in its path and creates a wall that prevents their movement and dashes. Allies can move through the wall to gain a speed boost but otherwise the wall is just a temporary barrier. This ability is vital for escapes and team fight disengage but has some aggressive potential since it can be used to block the path of enemies.

All in all, his kit is fairly interesting and I can't wait to see team comps that are built around this unique champion.
Oh and Azir's alternate skin let's you construct additional pylons and you all know...

No comments:

Post a Comment