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General

  • Azir is the first champion to have his first ability point restricted to a single one (Arise! Arise!) since it's required for the other two (Conquering Sands Conquering Sands and Shifting Sands Shifting Sands) to function.
    • He is also the second champion to be unable to rank up a basic ability at Level 1, the first being Zilean OriginalSquare Zilean.
  • Shurima's Legacy Shurima's Legacy may be referencing the Egyptian solar disc god Aten[1] (depicted as a sphere emanating rays of light each ending with a hand) and titular god of the short-lived monotheistic religion imposed by Pharaoh Akhenaten. His son Tutankhamun later restored the polytheistic religion.
  • Azir's dance references Remember The Time by Michael Jackson.
    • A side-by-side comparison can be seen here.
    • If Azir Arise! summons Sand Soldiers and then dances, they will follow him and dance all in sync.
      • His soldiers will keep dance in Azir's stead while if the player types '/dance' while Azir is Recall recalling.
      • If enemies cannot see Azir while he dances, his soldiers will not appear to dance to them.

Development

  • Azir is voiced by Travis Willingham, who also voices Talon OriginalSquare Talon.
    • Azir's Japanese voice actor is Akio Hirose.[2]
  • Azir's development started right after patch V1.0.0.131 and went on for three years, eventually having to be pushed back due to his skillset needing to be reworked.[3]
    • His release was scheduled for patch V4.16 but had to be delayed six days due to numerous bugfixes.
      • A few hours after release he was disabled due to even more bugfixes being needed, finally being re-enabled the following day.
  • Azir resembles:
    • Egyptian theonym Wsjr > Coptic ⲟⲩⲥⲓⲣⲉ > Greek Ὄσιρις-Osiris, possibly from Ancient Egyptian wsr "strong"[4]
    • Central-Semitic noun *ʕĀðir > *ʕĀzir "he [who] helps" (> Hebrew עוֹזֵר ʕozer)[5]
  • Azir's codename was SethSquare Seth, a Sand Mage that was expected to be canceled,[6] possibly after the Upper Egyptian deity:
    • He was more focused on sand magic at first, but was later shifted to more of a commander/emperor after Riot realized that was the theme/story they really wanted to capture with Azir.[7]
      • There was a Reddit leak in 14-May-2013 showing Azir's early concept, which was presumed fake up until his reveal.
        • One of the earliest Azir skillsets Colt 'Ezreal' Hallam worked on had an ultimate called 'Sand Hands' in which a pair of those would rise from the ground and, after a delay, move together pushing everyone between each other and squish them in.
          • Other themes included Sand Golem, Man with Sand Cloak, Sand-Bender Lady, Evil Sand Wraith, and more until Azir reached his current look.[8]

Lore

  • Based on the timeline in Realms of Runeterra and his lore, Azir is between 3000 - 3050 years old.
    • Based on his human appearance, Azir was between his late 20s and early 30s when Shurima fell, similar age as human Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath.
  • As suggested by Taliyah OriginalSquare Taliyah's quote *  
    Taliyah.tauntAzir05
    "Close to the ground, the sparrow flies faster than the falcon.", his animal form is that of a falcon.
  • Azir's mother was born in Vekaura. Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath later destroyed the place during the events of Bloodline.
    • Azir originally intended to destroy Saikhal, Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath's birthplace, for revenge but was convinced not to as he was reminded that it would make him the same thing as what Xerath has become.
      • Azir knows a lot of secrets about Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath's past that are only known to the two.
  • Azir was a benevolent leader, a kind dictator devoted to his people's well-being and prosperity. Though he got a little ahead of himself with the over-enthusiastic Ascension ritual, even that was done with good intentions, for he saw Ascension as a means to have Shurima grow and influence the entire world.
    • This desire was never derived from conquest, as Azir truly believes Shurima was the pinnacle of civilization and could only continue to prosper.
    • Azir put off freeing the slaves because that's not the sort of thing you can do in an instant without a major coup happening and getting deposed... And as power went to his head, his hubris blinded him to the prospect that other people might have good ideas and points about the whole thing.
  • Azir currently wishes for the other city-states to join his empire so that they may benefit from Shurima's culture and way of life. This might prove difficult after being trapped in limbo for millennia, given the likes of Zaun are the antithesis to Shurima.
    • So for now, Azir's motivation is to restore Shurima's glory.[9]
      • Back in the empire's heyday, Azir was popular with everyone.[10] This charisma might help him restore his people to greatness.
  • Azir's gauntlets have ribbon-like tassels to emphasize his regal status and to resemble embroidered robes which in turn represent feathers, cementing the bird-like appearance.[11]
  • Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath's ascended power was stolen from Azir, however it manifests differently than it should as the ritual wasn't keyed for him, it wasn't his to take.
  • At the end of Twilight of the Gods, Boomerang Blade the Chalicar had absorbed the - for want of a better phrase - Darkin DNA essence, which - combined with Ta'anari's heart - would allow humans to craft the weapons tailored to trap the Darkin at a later date.[12] Tomb of Emperors is Shuriman, but the events of the story imbued the Chalicar with a resonance to the Ascended, so it acted as a channel between Sivir OriginalSquare Sivir and her distant ancestor, Azir which allowed her blood to revive him. As the Alchemists of Old said, "Like attracts like...".[13]

Quotes

  • Azir himself heavily references the Dune franchise, specifically emperors Muad'Dib and his tyrant son Leto II. They are both associated with deserts and relentlessly pursue their vision of greatness for humanity, while also alluding to its inevitability.
  •  
    Azir Original AttackNeutralBaron 0
    "What is a Baron NashorSquare baron to an emperor?" references No Church In The Wild by Kanye West.
    • The quote is likely still referencing the Dune franchise, with the baron being Baron Harkonnen whom Paul Atreides (Muad'Dib) defeated right before becoming emperor.
  •  
    Azir Original AttackChampion 0
    "See what I see." might be referencing V for Vendetta.
  •  
    Azir Original BuyItem3157 1
    "Shuriman sands flow ever in our favour." references The Hunger Games. ("May the odds be ever in your favour.")
  • Azir shares quotes with:
    •  
      Azir Original UseItem2044 0
      Azir OriginalCircle  
      AetherWingKayle.move4
      Kayle AetherWingCircle "Trust in my vision."

Skins

Azir OriginalCircle Original Azir
  • He references Ra and Horus from Egyptian mythology.
  • The scene depicted is most likely moments after his Ascension, Sivir OriginalSquare Sivir having long departed and Azir Arise! summoning his sand army to prepare to fight Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath, with the newly-risen Shuriman capital and the Shurima's Legacy Sun Disc in the background.
Azir GalacticCircle Galactic Azir
Azir GravelordCircle Gravelord Azir
Azir SKTT1Circle SKT T1 Azir
Azir WarringKingdomsCircle Warring Kingdoms Azir

Relations

  • Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath's treachery made Azir furious at his former soul brother betraying his trust to become an Ascended being and destroying Shurima in the process.
    • He can't let go because he truly loved his nation, however much his ambition may have led him astray. He can't accept responsibility for what happened to his kingdom - he blames Xerath, but was it really Xerath's fault...? Or was it the emperor who couldn't see the cruel intent of his most trusted advisor - and friend? And yes - for the moment, he is an emperor without an empire. An emperor without a people. He has nothing - but he'll do everything with his newfound power to change that, and rebuild Shurima into the thriving, powerful empire it once was.
  • Given Ezreal OriginalSquare Ezreal's exploration of the Shurima Desert and robbing of artifacts from its tombs, it's likely Azir won't be entirely fond of him.
  • Azir dislikes Sivir OriginalSquare Sivir's graverobbing but does not resent her. She is family after all, and saving her from Cassiopeia OriginalSquare Cassiopeia's backstabbing meant everything at the time of his revival.
    • He would hold his hatred for Cassiopeia for almost ending his bloodline forever.
  • When he was young, Azir was taught ancient knowledge from Nasus OriginalSquare Nasus and combat from Renekton OriginalSquare Renekton. The Ascended brothers' teachings will prove useful for the trials ahead.
    • Azir is disappointed that a mighty warrior such as Renekton OriginalSquare Renekton has been reduced to a rabid beast after being tortured beyond insanity for imprisoning himself with Xerath.
    • On the other hand, Nasus OriginalSquare Nasus might be the only remaining Ascended that can help the Emperor.
      • Azir deeply respects Nasus, though the Curator looks down on him for his arrogance and for what his hubris did to Shurima.[14]
  • Azir doesn't seem to be aware of Amumu OriginalSquare Amumu's existence as of yet.
  • Azir would welcome Yordles and their furry enthusiasm, provided they directed it toward expanding Shurima's greatness.

References

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