Riot dev Phreak breaks down sweeping Azir changes coming to LoL Patch 13.5

Phreak explained why Riot's nerfing the champion.

After League of Legends Patch 13.4 hit Summoner’s Rift, the PBE servers also received an update, featuring a series of upcoming changes to Azir. Today, Riot Games developer David “Phreak” Turley shed some light on those changes.

The main reason behind the changes, according to Phreak, is to lower Azir’s impact in pro play while making him stronger for casual players. This was also the initial plan for the minor changes introduced in Patch 13.4.

“I wanted to go for a bigger swing at trying to solve the huge problem of Azir being a top three mid laner in pro play while being a 45 percent [win rate] for average solo queue,” Phreak admitted.

The devs added that the overall goal for the upcoming Azir changes is to give the champion a playable win rate for casual players, without him having a 100 percent presence in pro play.

Phreak divided this goal into four subgoals. The first is to tweak Azir’s base stats. The second is to make spamming Q less efficient. The third touches on W’s damage, mostly by removing a three-soldier attack speed buff. And the last is to make his passive a much better tool to use.

Phreak brought out data to support these goals. He revealed that many high-rank players spam Azir’s Q in the early game while virtually ignoring the champion’s other abilities. As a result, the direct nerf to Azir’s Q and buffs to other abilities should target the champ in the higher ranks.

Related: LoL Patch 13.4 nerfs could actually make these champions stronger in pro play

At all ranks, Azir has an embarrassing 46.08 percent win rate in Patch 13.4, according to a League stat site U.GG. In Master and above, though, it raises to an eye-watering 52.61 percent.

Azir is also immensely popular in pro play. In the 2023 LPL Spring Split, he’s the third most popular mid laner with a 21.8 percent pick rate, according to Oracle’s Elixir. In the 2023 LCK Spring Split, he currently takes the crown with 42.3 percent.

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