Azir PBE Change Discussion

{{champion:268}} Hey! {{champion:268}} I want to open this thread to discuss the recent Azir changes. Below I have listed the changes to Azir and Stinger, which he buys frequently (copy pasta from UPDATE 18th May: Emperor's Divide has had its duration increased from 2s to 3s. *Arise (W) [NOTE: Tower damage bits removed from tooltip but seems to still function in-game at the moment.] *Emperor's Divide (R): Wall duration lowered to 2 seconds from 5/6/7 No longer grants 20% movement speed for 1 second when passing through wall for Azir and Allies Stinger *Total Price reduced to 1100 from 1200 *Attack speed lowered to 35% from 50% *Now Builds into Trinity Force. If you are not interested in reading my opinion (the wall of text), feel free to come with your own suggestions and thoughts in the comment field below. My opinion: Arise (W): note: Change is not active in game yet *On one hand I agree with this change because it has proven itself to be a buggy mechanic and often caused Azir to attack the turret while he actually wanted to spawn a soldier. *At the moment it also seems that the range no longer matches Azir's auto attack range, which makes Azir walk a step closer to the turret, wasting valuable time and potentially getting too close (minor quality of life issue). New Azir players are also likely cancel their auto attacks on the turret in favour of this abillity, which during the early game is not really worth it, as its damage is rather low at that point. *In some cases it has also been an additional strength for Azir. Removing it will help cut down Azirs overall big power. *On the other hand I would argue that it compliments Azir's feel, it feels satisfying to chunk down a tower with your raw magic instead of an autoattack, and is certainly a unique abillity in the game. *Removing it will also remove a minor choice of semi risky tradeoff for Azir. If he uses both his soldiers he may get the turret down faster, but during a turret push losing escape potential can be very risky. *Overall I would say removing this mechanic in favour of more fluent gameplay and power cut for Azir is good, but could also be tuned down and made less buggy. Emperor's Divide (R): *A nerf to his ultimate is in my opinion justified. *The movement speed of this abillity simply added unnecessary strength to Azir's ultimate. Removing it is fair, and doesn't hurt Azir's thematic or gameplay noticeably. *Wall duration reduction to 2 seconds. This is the big one and deserves its own section. *Make notice that Azir's wall still has a scaling width. The width of the wall serves 2 purposes: wider initial knock back and wider established path block. This could be scaling could have been tuned down instead of the wall's duration, but I think riot did the right choice to reduce its duration instead. Pros and cons: Pros: *Azir's insec combo remains intact. * Less wall duration cuts down his power. *A reduced duration is justified. At max rank the stationary wall lasts 6.5s, can't be dashed through and has no allied drawbacks (except denial of the occasional Blitzhook). Cons: *A too low wall duration will cause his ultimate to not serve as a wall, but mainly an AOE knock back. This will pretty much remove Emperor's Divides undashable mechanic. *A reduced, but noticeable duration will lower the stationary wall's power. The placement of the wall will become less about shaping the battlefield and more about blocking just one single enemy engage. Impact of Emperor's Divide wall duration: Note: In game the wall will be summoned and starts traveling, pushing back enemies. *It takes about 0.5s for the wall to reach its destination and become "stationary". When reading durations below keep in mind that even though Emperor's Divide lasts 5s, the actual stationary wall only lasts about 4.5s. (Milliseconds matter!) *During the 0.5s wall travel, Azir cast an animation that roots him and denies use of any of his abillities, only way to break this animation is by using flash. Durations and according effects: 2s duration: The stationary wall will only last 1.5s, which is a 1s shorter than zhonya effects. This leaves Azir very vurnerable after a R-Zhonya chain, as the enemies will have one full second to get on top of him, denying any escape paths with his E (Shifting Sands). 3s duration: Stationary wall will last 2.5s keeping enemies away from Azir after a R+Zhonya chain. This duration will also allow the stationary wall to keep synergy with Zhonya effect abillities such as Kindred and Bard's ultimates as its stationary duration will match their 2.5s durations. Above 3s duration: Wall will now last longer than zhonya effects, remaining long enough for easier escapes/some additional damage output after the zhonya effects are gone. 5s duration: Wall duration is now 0.5s short to be equal to the Anivia wall. Keep in mind that Anivia's wall has many times proven to incredibly impactful despite being a normal abillity. At this point the stationary wall is strong considering its additional effects (allied passage and undashable). Above 5s: Very strong, by far one of the strongest ultimates on any champion in the game. Having potential to create a safe zone for over 4.5s. Conclusion Personally I believe a non-scaling duration between 3.5s to 4.5s would be the ideal, and a 3s duration to be the minimum. Though i'd consider 3s the minimum, it could potentially make enemies just wait for it to fade instead of looking for new paths, which makes it lose a big part of its stratigic niche to set up a favourable battlefield. In a scenario where Azir is beeing chased down by an enemy in an open field and uses his ult it should never be optimal to simply wait in front of it to decay. If the duration ever gets that low, he may be better off having his soldier's and wall mechanic replaced with a linear version of poppy's "Steadfast Presence" that has an initial knock back. Less attractive experimental changes: Give Emperor's Divide the Poppy "Steadfast Presence" treatment: The wall will only block a single dash from each enemy. Could cause a lot of confusion, and could make the wall less reliable as it's the number 1 of the abillities that are supposed to guarantee safety from dashing foes. Reduce wall width: Would reduce the Azir's knockback combo potential, would also reduce his path block width. Reduced path block potential would open more option for finding paths around the wall, while still keeping kiting between both front and back of the wall to avoid hard enemy dash engages. Could make the ult feeling underwhelming at later levels. {{champion:268}} "Shurima is eternal." {{champion:268}}
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