Author Archive


PBE 16 09 Banner


PBE 16/09 Content:

  • Champion Changes
  • Item Changes


[ Reminder ] The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.


PBE Changes 4 17 Banner



New Soraka Icons


From left to right: Passive, Q, W, E and R.


Soraka_Passive Soraka_Q Soraka_W Soraka_E Soraka_R


[ Note ] Soraka is reworked on the PBE. Link to changelist.



16 09 Champion Changes



Maokai Final Portrait


Vengeful Maelstrom New IconVengeful Maelstrom [ R ]

  •  Maximum stored bonus damage decreased from 150/200/250 to 100/150/200 [ changed from this PBE update ]


  • [ Note ] Vengeful Maelstrom’s maximum damage on live is 200/250/300.



Talon Final Portrait


Cutthroat New Icon Cutthroat [ E ]

  • Now slows the target by 99% for 0.1 seconds (number could be a tooltip error)
  • No longer silences for 1 second.



Item Changes Banner


Infinity Edge New IconInfinity Edge

  • Total cost decreased from 3950 to 3800 [ revert on the changes in this PBE update ]



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Free Champion Rotation Week 35 Season 4 Banner


The following Champions will be free-to-play until September 23rd:





Aatrox Final Portrait

Anivia Final Portrait

Graves Final Portrait

Janna Final Portrait

Karthus Final Portrait

Lucian Final Portrait

Sona Final Portrait

Udyr Final Portrait

Yasuo Final Portrait

Zac Final Portrait



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Champion Skin Sale September 16 to 19 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until September 19th:


Karma Final Portrait

Varus Final Portrait

Vladimir Final Portrait

Battlecast Xerath – 375 RP


Nemesis Jax – 487 RP



Pool Party Graves – 675 RP

Pool Party Graves Splash


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at


Group A Worlds Banner


 Welcome to a co-op series where Tim and I will cover all four World groups and what new picks we can expect in each one. We aim to get the series wrapped up before Worlds so we can focus on coverage of the matches. Enjoy the read!



Edward Gaming Banner


 Ban Yasuo. Those words held true in every game of the LPL Regional Qualifiers and Summer playoffs that featured EDG as teams took the swordsman completely out of the picture. With 5 different picks in the mid lane across 12 games, U has shown he can definitely play around his team’s apparent dislike of the wanderer.

 Of these picks, Kayle came out for three of EDG’s matches. While Kayle remains strong despite her most-recent nerfs, she has definitely fallen out of flavor.  Her most recent revival usually comes paired with a Zilean, creating an incredibly frustrating team comp centered around an undying carry. U has shown that he will play her with or without the Chronokeeper.

 Kayle’s strengths come in droves. Amazing waveclear, great up-front damage, massive utility in the form of a heal and movespeed boost, and an ultimate that can make or break teamfights. There’s less countering Kayle and more just dealing with her, something that becomes incredibly tricky once a match gets to late-game.

 When Kayle and Zilean get together, it’s like divine Intervention. Allowing unlimited dive opportunities, Kayle and the rest of her team can wreak havoc in the front line safely under the protection of Chrono Shift and Intervention. The pair also prevents a champion from just being dived on and exploded, and can force their opponents to think hard about who they want to focus and when they want to fight.

 There are a Zilean possibilities, will the opposition be prepared?



Westdoor Banner


 AHQ’s Westdoor is known for his constant aggression. Expect all eyes to be on the mid lane as he looks to get his team out ahead early. Kassadin and Twisted Fate were almost permanently banned against Westdoor in the GPL and it shouldn’t be much different on the world stage. AHQ depends heavily on their mid laner, and acquiring a comfort pick for Westdoor is a must for them. Keeping Fizz in the back pocket is surely on the agenda, especially looking at his dominating performance on the trickster in the past.

 Fizz brings deadly assassin strength to a team, being able to dash in with Urchin Strike and deal massive burst damage, only to disappear unscathed with a cleverly placed Playful/Trickster. Chum the Waters offers great disruption and zoning potential in a teamfight, forcing players to retreat or fight around its AOE knockup. It’s also a death sentence for anyone caught out of position, which can help AHQ create picks and secure objectives.

 Not to say the Trickster is without flaws. Limited siege ability can set Fizz’s team behind if they’re unable to start a fight. Also an issue is getting to the backline to hunt for carries. If the enemy team sees Fizz, they can center their comp around peeling for their carry and easily counter his strengths. Lastly, Fizz is a risky laner; if he’s facing a poor lane match-up, he can easily fall behind – worst-case scenario for a champion who must be ahead to have a real impact on the game.

 AHQ enters the World Championship as underdogs, and other teams will definitely have heard of Westdoor. With a reputation for clutch plays and snowballing games, letting Westdoor get any of these champions is definitely a mistake. Therein lies the largest issue: lack of diversity. While he has shown he can fall back onto popular champions like Yasuo, Westdoor’s greatest strengths come from familiarity. Teams will either look to ban him out, or prepare strategies specifically tailored to his champion pool.

 Will AHQ adapt, or will they FIZZle out?



Dandy Rammus Banner


 Though he dominates solo queue, Rammus is a rare sight on the competitive scene; OGN Masters saw him once in a favorable match-up against Xin Zhao and Wickd rolled his way to victory at the end of summer LCS in a zer0-stake match against Millenium, but that’s all the pro action League’s armordillo saw this year. Despite odds, it seems DanDy has been racking some Rammus games in Solo Queue and with great success. Can we expect to see a tanky jungler sneak his way past Lee Sin? Certainly, he is blind.

 The meta across regions right now favors stall comps that rely on picks to get objectives and push for map control. Rammus fits the bill with his Sonic Ball and a 2-second taunt. He’s great at locking down and soloing the currently popular hypercarries or peeling bruisers from his carries. Being the best tower-diver in the game, Rammus can capitalize on a pushed lane better than almost any other jungler. His slow clear speed means he loses significant gank pressure in the early game, but that can be off-set by just going for safer laners and stalling until Rammus can become that beast of a frontliner and initiator.

  In the hands of DanDy, Rammus is a snowball machine. DanDy is the one who sets the pace for White’s matches by constantly being in the mind of the enemy jungler and predicting his moves. A Rammus counter-gank is deadly, as it can come from very far away and with guaranteed hard CC. We already know how strong DanDy is at smite-stealing objectives – put that mechanical skill on a rolling ball and you’ve got dragon control covered against all but the top-seed teams. Best part? No one plays or bans Rammus, meaning DanDy always has a surprise pick for when his team faces serious challenge (at the finals).

 Ultimately, a pocket pick doesn’t matter much for White at this point, as they can likely blindfold themselves, go all mid and still stomp their group.



dark passage banner


No data on DP’s Solo Queue training and their Wildcard matches suggest they’d like to go standard at Worlds. If they are bringing new picks against the top teams, they’ve yet to grant viewers passage to their strategy.


See? Phreak liked it. Reluctantly.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at




News 12 09 Banner



Azir has been delayed on the live client because of bugs, Ghostcrawler explains the goals of the Fighter rework and Lyte notes that extending chat restrictions for neutral players is a mistake of the system. Lastly, IronStylus with clarity on texture rebalances and why the end result seems less detailed than the original.

TL;DR in featured comments.


Recent News


Visual-Rebalancing-Banner (1)


PBE Changes 4 17 Banner



Azir Delay Banner



Are you delaying Azir because his Shurima story isn’t over

sixtwo Final PortraitHey guys, not sure where the quote comes from, but Azir isn’t out yet because he’s not done – bug fixes are being checked in around me as I type this. Now carry on!

[ Link to Post ]


Baconhawk Final PortraitI was not clear in stating Azir is not available yet because of “reasons” (he is getting bugfixes). I did not mean to insinuate we are waiting for a lore story part 2… just to give some sort of hope and looking forward. My wording was ****.

I’ll try to be more clear next time. Let me know if you have any more questions.

[ Link to Post ]



He shows up in Champ list but is unavailable for purchase

Baconhawk Final PortraitThis is because he was shipped in the patch but not switched on. This is normal.

[ Link to Post ]





Can’t you give us detail on issues or at least a timeline

Baconhawk Final PortraitI totally understand. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten really burned when trying to give you guys dates on when x will come out (or if it even will at all, RIP Magma Chamber, so say we all), so to save us all the the heartache, its best if we just get him ready and unlock him when he’s finished.


You DO know there’s a champ coming. There was a time before PBE when surrender@20 and other sites wouldn’t be able to do all these great screencaps and preview videos, and set the hype stage for champs, skins, game modes, etc. We have a lot to deliver and we’d like to make sure it’s ready before we say YES IT IS GOING OUT ON THIS DATE and then what happens when we get an Azir and he ends up with some last minute bugs that just absolutely cannot ship? We look bad, you’re upset, we’re upset, and no one wins. The expectation is that we will release everything perfectly, meet everyone’s expectations 100%, release on time AND let you know ahead of time when that is. IN A PERFECT WORLD!

[ Link to Post ]



Fighter Rework Banner



What are the exact goals for the fighter rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe goals are to agree on what is the strategic identity – the strengths and weaknesses – of melee champs, as well as figure out how many categories of melee we actually have (e.g. Is a bruiser different from a diver? What is a melee carry?)

The list of champs that we’d want to adjust to meet these goals is beyond the scope of a forum post. Generally those who are largely balls of stats with limited counterplay or those who seem mirror images of other melee are the ones most in need.

We haven’t decided yet on the future of red buff. As a general guideline, I think we do throw around movement speed debuffs too readily.

It’s okay for someone to have good or weak laning, within reason, as long as there are trade-offs elsewhere. Our general concern about melee is they don’t have any trait to offset their lack of range. The two characteristics that we have tried (hard to kill or eats your face if they manage to close) have been problematic. The former erodes a niche for true tanks and the latter makes the counterplay pretty binary, as well as making melee on melee engagements slow slugfests.

[ Link to Post ]



How would you define a “tank” in League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitA common thread we’ve found with tanks is that they are good at initiating. The problem is that the word “tank” also carries a strong connotation from other games that they have a ton of survivability as well. If we renamed the role it would be easier to define, but we’re not sure players would react well to redefining a whole lot of roles in the game (as I mentioned for fighters above).

[ Link to Post ]



Why don’t you name the Fighters you plan to rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitNot sure I agree with that.  Even stating that we think a champ is overtuned feels like a mic drop without a lot of context. The other challenge is that when we mention we want to work on something (like say a fighter rework) and then it takes a lot longer than expected, players get frustrated and want even more context for the delay. Believe me, my inclination is to be as honest and open as possible. If we can earn enough trust with the community that changes we mention will eventually come to pass, I’d love to be able to talk more about long-term plans.

[ Link to Post ]



Can we have specific information on the Fighter reworks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s just a big project that touches a whole lot of champions. At our current cadence for gameplay updates, it would take a long time to reach them all. In the meantime, if we introduce say counterplay for one fighter and not another, then the second one becomes overpowered in the interim. It’s not just fighters either. If we decide that we offer too many slows, then a lot of ranged champs would need to be touched as well. This is the kind of thing we’d love to be able to hit with some sweeping changes all at once, but we’re still working out how that could be possible.

I’ll talk to Morello and some of the other designers. Maybe we can put together a dev blog that explains our current thoughts so long as we can provide sufficient caveats that we haven’t ironed out all the details yet and would welcome plenty of feedback before those thoughts turned into patch notes.

[ Link to Post ]



Issues with Muting Banner



Chat Restrictions shouldn’t be extended if you’re neutral

Lyte Final PortraitCompletely agree. We recently tuned the system to try to be more accurate up front, but it’s clear we might be up to ~20 games off still in some cases.

[ Link to Post ]




Can you provide an example of toxic gameplay

Lyte Final PortraitAt the end of the day, are you a neutral player, or a negative one? If you’re still negative, your account will continue to get chat restrictions.

Have you actually reformed after going ~50 games in silence? The answer is probably no. Even how you communicate with others here on the forums shows that your behaviors really haven’t changed.

[ Link to Post ]


Lyte Final PortraitThe idea that the system expects toxic players to be “positive” is a misunderstanding. If a player is “neutral,” their account will eventually be clean of any penalties or punishments.

The actual problem with the system is with situations like these, where the system should have probably just given the player 78 chat restrictions right off the bat; however, that’s a tuning problem that we’ll need to continuously work on to get right.

[ Link to Post ]



Single Posts Banner



Why texture rebalances seem less detailed

IronStylus Final PortraitGotta remember that detail frequency often works against us. Excessive detail, especially detail that is highly contrasted against it’s adjacent material leads to “flickering” and “buzzing.”

That a) hurts they eye, b) generally feels low quality, c) doesn’t fit in with our changing style.

While it can be sometimes confused with feature removal, it results in a cleaner asset, it’s for the overall health and quality of the game.

[ Link to Post ]



What are some of the more known Rioters working on

FeralPony Final PortraitSure, no real spoilers here (sorry) but CertainlyT is still working on Champions. From what little I’ve seen the next one he’s working on looks pretty awesome. Xypherous and myself are working on “Systems” which is primarily working on the next pre-season patch change with a number of other folks.

[ Link to Post ]



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



PBE 12 09 Banner


PBE 12/09 Content:


PBE Changes 4 17 Banner



Texture Rebalances


Don’t know what “texture rebalancing” means? Here’s a summary of red posts on the topic:



[ Note ] Sorry, PBE is still down and I can’t wait for it to come back up (living in Europe). I’ve uploaded screenshots from the Model Viewer, but that’s about all I can do. If you want to see the updated Champions and Skins in an in-game environment, check out Surrender@20′s coverage of the update, they have most of the content covered.


Classic Ahri
Dynasty Ahri
Midnight AhriClassic Akali Crimson AkaliStinger AkaliBlood Moon AkaliNurse AkaliSilverfang AkaliAll-Star AkaliClassic Ashe Freljord AsheWoad AsheSherwood Forest AsheQueen AsheAmethyst AsheClassic CorkiHot Rod CorkiURF Rider CorkiUFO CorkiClassic FioraRoyal Guard Fiora  Nightraven FioraClassic Galio Enchanted Galio Hextech Galio Commando Galio Gatekeeper GalioClassic Graves Classic LeBlanc Prestigious LeBlancMistletoe LeBlancClassic Leona Defender Leona Valkyrie Leona Iron Solari LeonaClassic Nautilus Abyssal Nautilus Subterranean NautilusClassic XerathRuneborn XerathBattlecast Xerath



Worlds 2014 Icons


profileIcon696 profileIcon697 profileIcon698 profileIcon699 profileIcon700

profileIcon701 profileIcon704 profileIcon705 profileIcon706 profileIcon707

profileIcon708 wallpaper_760px_1522 profileIcon702 profileIcon703 (1) profileIcon694



Champion Changes 12 09



Garen Final Portrait


Perseverance New IconPerseverance [ Passive ]

  • When Garen reaches level 11, damage from non-epic monsters will no longer stop Perseverance, the cooldown between taking damage is decreased from 9 seconds to 6 and the health-per-second is increased from 0.4% to 0.8% (per second)
  • When Garen reaches level 16, the cooldown is decreased to 4 seconds and the healing is increased to 2%



Soraka Final Portrait


[ Note ] Soraka was recently reworked on the PBE. Link to changelist.


  • Movement Speed decreased from 345 to 325  [ revert on the changes in this PBE update ]
  • Base Armor decreased from 18 to 17


Starcall New Icon Starcall [ Q ]

  • Mana cost decreased from 70/80/90/100/110 to 70/75/80/85/90


Astral Infusion New IconAstral Infusion [ W ]

  • Maximum heal from Starcall (when Soraka is low) decreased from 50/70/90/110/130 to 40/60/80/100/120


Equinox New IconEquinox [ E ]

  • Mana Cost increased from 60 to 70
  • Base damage decreased from 80/100/120/140/160 to 60/80/100/120/140
  • Now deals damage only to Champions, not minions and monsters



Tristana Final Portrait


Buster Shot New IconBuster Shot [ R ]

  • Cooldown increased from 60 seconds at all ranks to 100/85/70



Viktor Final Portrait


[ Note ] Viktor was recently reworked on the PBE. Link to changelist.


Glorious Evolution New Icon Glorious Evolution [ Passive ]

  • Hexacore AP-per-upgrade decreased from 25 to 20


Death Ray New IconDeath Ray [ E ]

  • Missile speed of base and augmented version decreased from 2000 to 1500



Item Changes Banner


Infinity Edge New IconInfinity Edge

  • Gold cost increased from 3800 to 3950



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at




News Banner 12 09



Patch 4.17′s forecast is here, detailing a shift in Nidalee‘s balance from AD lane bully to an AP bruiser, possible nerfs to Kha’Zix‘s W, minor buffs to LeBlanc and Rammus, nerfs to Tristana‘s early and mid game and the recent PBE reworks of Viktor and Soraka. Also, all 111 Champions released before 2013 and their skins will be color-fixed to match the visuals of the new Summoner’s Rift. This doesn’t mean particle changes or texture updates, just a rebalancing of the colors.

TL;DR in featured comments.


Recent News





PBE Changes 4 17 Banner



Patch 4 17 Forecast Banner



Live Gameplay: Saludos Invocadores!

Spinning these Patch Forecasts back up as more changes come hurtling to the PBE. In the future we’ll be experimenting with the forecast to see what’s the best way to communicate pre-PBE changes, but for now we’ve got some neat things on the way that we wanted to talk about.

The overarching narrative for this patch is to reduce stagnation in the live environment by targeting highly banned champions and (finally) looking at those champs who make for a low-counterplay game (looking at you Talon). Speaking to the latter (low counter play dudes), it’s worth mentioning they’ve always had low counterplay, but that we’ve traditionally let them be due to their low visibility and (occasionally) lack of current-meta strengths. More below!

There’s also the GLORIOUS EVOLUTION of Viktor with his gameplay update (PBE friends, check that feedback thread) and the still-glorious-but-not-named-glorious evolution of Soraka with a larger gameplay update of her own (PBE friends, once again).

So some forecasting:

There are a few oppressive champions out there who have been climbing the ladders in terms of ban rates, play rates, and win rates, and we’ve finally decided to get into the weeds to make them a bit healthier to play against. Between 4.17 and 4.18 you can expect some small changes to champs like Akali, Talon, Yasuo, and Fiora (oh man Fiora), with most focused on reducing some in their low-counterplay abilities (maybe not eliminating, but reducing at the very least).

Speaking of strong dudes, there’s a few more on our radar that we wanted to address specifically:


Nidalee Final Portrait

Cat lady’s doing pretty well in all levels of play, specifically when she’s thrown into top lane as a low counterplay bruiser-bully. We’re looking for ways to reduce some of Nidalee’s high AD / auto-attack focused strengths while maybe giving some love back to her AP bruiser / AP burst builds.


Tristana Final Portrait

Don’t really need to say much beyond this, but Trist’s pretty good right now. Specifically her early / mid-game tradeoffs just aren’t being made when she’s got such a monster lategame potential. We’re looking for ways to fix this, specifically by adding windows to actually beat her up throughout the game.


Kha'Zix Final Portrait

As an opportunistic assassin, Kha’Zix’s gone back to his missile-bugging days of prioritizing W to poke away at people. Given W’s got tons of utility already piled on top of it (slow, vision, aoe), we’re a little concerned that as missile-bug picks up, Kha’Zix will go back to losing a lot of his counterplay, especially since he can poke for high damage on grouped up individuals. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Kha’Zix as our changes develop, but if he needs help assassinating people, we’re prepared to give him some love in those areas!


Rammus Final Portrait

Not really a nerf or a huge buff, but just in case anyone mining PBE files gets confused, we’re making it so that Powerball and Defensive Ball Curl can now overlap by 1 second, so if you use one to cancel the other you get 1 second to consider your mistake before it actually happens.


LeBlanc Final Portrait

LeBlanc changes! Since we removed the silence from her sigil of… malice, LeBlanc hasn’t been in the best of places. We’re looking for ways to give LB a bit more power in a healthy way, so we’re talking more deception and cleverness rather than more damage.


And that’s it for this forecast! Remember that we’ve got champion update forecasts going on with their own separate contexts here:


As for followup discussions, today we’ll be throwing Riot Jag into the mix to answer any followup questions you may have.

[ Link to Post ]



You’re hitting Kha’Zix’s W just because players use it now

Riot Jag Final PortraitThe direction we’ve always wanted to take Kha’zix is that he has to be an opportunistic assassin. To exert his power on the field, he needs to find the correct windows of vulnerability on the enemy team instead of brute forcing his way. Much like DR on his earlier versions of evolved ultimate, or the damage profile on his old Q, this version of W gives him the ability to force action.

I sympathize with you that continuous nerfs to a champion can be frustrating. That said, we’ve tried to reorient Kha’zix’s power in ways that are healthy for the game while still giving him the opportunity to be picked. We don’t plan on nerfing him to the point where he does not feel viable.

[ Link to Post ]



You can’t force players to isolate themselves as Kha’Zix

Riot Jag Final PortraitYou bring up some good points. The part that is questionable to me is asserting that teams can ensure they literally never will prevent themselves from becoming isolated. I think the natural chaos of teamfights means that positioning is a dynamic state, and opportunities will always present themselves, even against top-level players. Furthermore, certain champions control space or just create disruption and isolation naturally (e.g.: Gragas), so I think teams that play Kha’zix will always have tools to make certain he’ll find his spots.

That said, isolation has often been challenging to tune correctly, both in terms of range of isolation and in terms of payoff to Kha’zix. The clarity issue is made worse by the concept of isolation being difficult to understand. I wonder how you’d feel Guardian of the Sands Kha’zix feels in this regard?

[ Link to Post ]



Why are you nerfing Champions

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitForgot to add this in but we’re prepared give Kha’Zix some compensatory assassin-y buffs if he needs it. Q is important to note with regards to isolation (so Kha’Zix is more of a strategic counterplay than an in-the-moment tactical counterplay, I suppose), but yeah back to that first point.

[ Link to Post ]



What about Cassiopeia, will she receive changes in 4 17

[ Note ] Cassiopeia was reworked in a recent PBE update. Link to changelist.

Riot Jag Final PortraitDefinitely keeping a close eye on her. We get more playtests of a champion in the first hour they’re out on live than we ever did internally, so RiotStashu will have plenty of data to look at and assess what state she’s in. Keep giving him feedback.

[ Link to Post ]



Can we expect the Poppy gutting for this patch

Riot Jag Final PortraitRight after we crush Hecarim.

P.S. Just kidding.

[ Link to Post ]


Morello Final PortraitI’m not sure if we’ll club her or not – I’d prefer to stop abusing her if we can manage or if there’s some team strategy that makes this interesting as opposed to dominant. I need to speak to the Live Gameplay dudes as this develops.

[ Link to Post ]



Are you aiming to nerf Akali or give her counterplay

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitWhile Jag is out, I think we’re exploring lighter changes to give her more directionally-relevant strength while potentially giving her just a bit more opportunity for counterplay. That said, Akali’s a tough gal to strike the right balance. Her effective all-in and reset mechanics are a very big part of her core identity, which gets really weird because that’s pretty anti-counterplay.

[ Link to Post ]



All-ins and Reset mechanics don’t fit Akali’s ninja theme

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitShe collects their essences and becomes stronger. Isn’t that what Ryu Hayabusa does? Ninja stuff.

In all seriousness, I think the shroud/stealth aspects of her kit really do fit with what you’d expect of a ninja (aside from giving resistances, cough) and there may be changes we can make to it to play up that a little bit more. We’re still looking at options.

[ Link to Post ]



How do you plan on giving Talon counterplay

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitI don’t think we have anything concrete to commit to as of yet, more that we are considering both and hashing through proposed changes / playtesting them. Sorry :(

[ Link to Post ]




Visual Rebalancing Banner



Ququroon Final PortraitHey everyone!

As the update to Summoner’s Rift continues to percolate on the PBE, we’re looking to address the fact that many of League’s older champion and skins were created using the Rift’s current look and color palette (or even older ones), which continues to evolve over time. At this point, many champion and skin textures need a bit of rebalancing to ensure they look nice regardless of where they’re standing, or who they’re standing next to.

We’re talking just about every champion and skin released before 2013 (with a few outliers). This may seem scary, but I want to emphasize that these will generally be small tweaks; corrections rather than major changes. Due to the scale of the project, this won’t all be coming at once, so don’t despair if you don’t see your favorite champion in the first batch! Here’s an example of what you’ll eventually see (old on the left, new on the right):

This then ties back to the update to SR, as one of our primary goals with the update is fleshing out LoL’s visual hierarchy. Put simply, this means that particles should have the highest visibility, followed by characters, then finally the environment and map. Rebalancing characters’ colors and textures gives us the chance to also better execute within that visual hierarchy.

We also aim for hierarchy on the characters themselves, drawing attention to key areas like heads and weapons through highlights, while dropping the values on less visible or important areas so it doesn’t distract from characters’ focal points. At the highest level, we want to ensure that everything looks consistent, and that the art always adds to, rather than detracts, from gameplay.

With these goals in mind, we’ve locked several character artists in a room (no, they’re really in there – they’ve got classic rock playing on a loop, and we’re occasionally throwing them some food or something), and they’re cranking away in order to finish things up by the time the update to SR hits Live. We’ll be rolling these out over time, and you’ll see the first batch of ~10 tomorrow on the PBE (barring any hitches!).

Please let us know any feedback and questions that you have on this. IronStylus and I will be hanging out and chatting!




Q: Could you explain a little more of the technical details of this?

While making these changes, we’re reassessing the finer details and making calls to emphasize certain areas of characters with the goal of increasing overall visual fidelity. Because we have a very zoomed out isometric camera angle, we want to communicate the important parts of a character without detracting from them as a whole. In other mediums (minigames, Udyr comic, cinematics like ‘A New Dawn,’ etc.) characters will also show a level of detail suitable for the angle in question.

This is something we’ve already been doing with new champions and skins to increase readability and clarity, while minimizing pixel flicker and excess noise. Our goal is never to take something away from our characters. We continue to develop and iterate on all our characters so they look like they fit inside of the same world, and in this case so they’ll have visual consistency on the Rift.

Q: Are you updating skins as well?

Absolutely. We always consider skins when working on champions, although in this case most recent skins already reach the quality standard that we’re shooting for on this project.

However, there will be a few instances where we’ll deliver some changes to a character that will only affect their default appearance. An example of this is a metal shader that we’re adding to Orianna’s base texture, which will not be applied to the skins at this time. This is being done opportunely where we see a chance to do justice to the character’s core identity.

Q: Will this affect the releases of Champion Updates?

Nope! This isn’t a project done by ChampUp, so it won’t affect any of the upcoming projects in the slightest.

[ Link to Post ]



What’s the difference between this and texture updates

Ququroon Final PortraitThis isn’t the best example, but this might help.

A TU would be repainting your car. You might even add a spoiler during the process. Man, what a cool car!
A Rebalance would be more like… repairing any sun damage, or filling in any chips in the paint.

Does that make sense?

[ Link to Post ]



Will there be any particle changes to the updated skins

Ququroon Final PortraitNot at this time. This is just texture rebalancing, not particles and not really any model work. Sorry! 

[ Link to Post ]





Can we also expect updated Splash arts

Ququroon Final PortraitThat is apart from this, but the Splash team is working super hard.

[ Link to Post ]






How many of the 111 pre-2013 champions are you adjusting

Ququroon Final PortraitMost of them? :D

And Legacy skins are included in this.

[ Link to Post ]




Will all these updates be live before the new SR visuals

FQuquroon Final Portraitor the most part, yes. We might miss a couple by a patch or two, but it should be at least very close.

[ Link to Post ]





If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at




PBE 11 09 Banner 2


PBE 11/09 Content:


Reminder: The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.


Previous updates from Patch 4.17 Cycle:


PBE-09-09-Banner (1)

PBE-11-09-Banner (1)



New Skins Fnatic



Fnatic Corki – 750 RP


Fnatic Corki Model 2 Fnatic Corki Model


Fnatic Gragas – 750 RP


Fnatic Gragas Model 1 Fnatic Gragas Model 2Fnatic Gragas Q


Fnatic Janna – 750 RP


Fnatic Janna Model 1 Fnatic Janna Model 2


 Fnatic Jarvan IV – 750 RP


Fnatic Jarvan Model 1Fnatic Jarvan Model 2Fnatic Jarvan E


Fnatic Karthus – 750 RP


Fnatic Karthus Model 1 Fnatic Karthus Model 2



Champion Changes Banner



LeBlanc Final Portrait


Mirror Image New IconMirror Image [ Passive ]

  • When dropped to 40% HP, LeBlanc goes invisible for 1 second, increased from 0.5 seconds


Distortion New IconDistortion [ W ]

  • Time during which LeBlanc can re-activate Distortion increased from 3 seconds to 4



Maokai Final Portrait


Vengeful Maelstrom New IconVengeful Maelstrom [ R ]

  • Maokai can now store up to 150/200/250 magic damage, decreased from 200/250/300



Nidalee Final Portrait


  • Base Attack Damage reduced from 49 to 44
  • Base Attack Speed reduced from 0.670 to 0.638


Takedown New IconTakedown [ Cougar Q ] 

  • Attack Damage ratio reduced from 1.0/2.5/3.33 to 0.8/2.0/2.67  (min/max/max Hunt)
  • Ability Power ratio increased from 0.24/0.6/0.8 to 0.3/0.75/1.0  (min/max/max Hunt)


Pounce New IconPounce [ Cougar W ]

  • Pounce cooldown reduction mechanic added to Hunted Pounce (removed from Hunted Swipe)
  • Pounce cooldown reduction mechanics baseline effect increased from 1.0 seconds to 1.5
  • Cooldown reduction mechanics on Pounce now affected by Nidalee’s Cooldown Reduction stat


Swipe New IconSwipe [ Cougar E ]

  • No longer affects the cooldown of Pounce when used on a Hunted target



Clarity on PBE Nidalee changes

Repertoir New PortraitHey all,

Now that Nidalee has been out and about on the Live environment for awhile, we wanted to make some changes to her to address a few issues. There are all sorts of ideas floating around out there as to what to do about her, ranging from ‘leave her alone’ to ‘please just delete her.’ Not too surprisingly, I’m sure, we haven’t opted for either of those, but here’s what we have decided to do.

One of the paramount problems with Nidalee in from a playing against perspective is that she doesn’t offer opponents meaningful windows during which they can put their guard down or feel like they have the upper hand, especially during the laning phase. Nidalee is intended to have short periods of time between Javelin Toss cooldowns where she is somewhat less dangerous, but when she builds primarily AD duelist items, that weakness seems like it’s hardly there anymore. To that end, the approach we are taking is one that will hopefully help to emphasize her windows of strength and weakness, and we feel that moving her more toward the direction of AP or AP bruiser will help with that. AP builds almost always have lower power from basic attacks, so we think that if she can move a bit in that direction, she won’t pose a such a high constant level of threat to opponents, particularly in the lane phase.

One final thing to note is that Nidalee is not exactly known for her incredible teamfighting capabilities, and a large contributor to that is that she actually offers opponents so many ways to play against her in a teamfight environment. As such, we’ve made a small change to the way the Pounce reset on Hunt works to give Nidalee players more consistent results on the mobility end when Hunting.

[ Link to Post ]



Soraka Final Portrait

[ Note ] Soraka was reworked in a recent PBE update. Link to changelist.



  • Base Movement speed increased from 325 to 345



Luminary New IconLuminary [ Passive ]

  • No longer converts bonus Armor and Magic Resist into bonus AP. Still grants increased movespeed when moving towards allied Champions below 40% HP.



Starcall New IconStarcall [ Q ]

  • Slow strength at the center of the AoE increased from 20/25/30/35/40% to 30/35/40/45/50%.



Astral Infusion New IconAstral Infusion [ W ]

  • Base heal increased from 110/140/170/200/230 to 120/150/180/210/240
  • Base passive heal when an enemy Champion is hit by Starcall increased from 20/30/40/50/60 – 40/60/80/100/120 to 25/35/45/55/65 – 50/70/90/110/130


Equinox New Icon Equinox [ E ]

  • Now deals 80/100/120/140/160 (+0.4 AP) magic damage to enemy Champions in the cast radius (once). All enemy Champions who are rooted by the zone at the end of its duration are dealt the same damage.


Wish New IconWish [ R ]

  • Now removes any Grievious Wounds debuffs from allies before healing.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Azir QA Banner

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 AMAs that were hosted on Riot’s site about the League’s newest addition – Azir!


Azir Q&A Breakdown


Recent News






Azir Gameplay



What are some abilities you tried on Azir and scrapped

Zenonthestoic New PortraitOne of the earliest kits that Colt “Ezreal” Hallam worked on had an ultimate we called “sand hands”. Two giant hands of sand would rise from the ground and after a delay move together, pushing everyone in between together and squishing them in. The TL;DR here is that vacuum skills are insanely powerful. The kit had other issues as well, but everyone remembers sand hands. THE HORROR.

[ Link to Post ]



What’re some other abilities you considered using

Zenonthestoic New PortraitI had a super complicated Ritual of Ascension ultimate on him once. He spawned three obelisks of light in an equilateral triangle, lasers spawned to link them together, and all enemies inside the triangle who took damage from Azir were also zapped by the obelisks. Crossing the lasers damaged you, and Azir received a shield based on the additional zap damage. If the shield hit a certain number, Azir ascended, gaining a massive chunk of spell vamp, AP, a doubled shield, and crazy move speed.

This is probably the most disgustingly overloaded and overcomplicated skill I ever designed. On the plus side, I learned the formula for quickly detecting whether or not a point on a 2D plane is inside a triangle, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

[ Link to Post ]



When will he be released

Zenonthestoic New PortraitBirds will not be rushed.

[ Link to Post ]





Will Yasuo's Wind Wall W block Azir’s turret shots

Zenonthestoic New PortraitNope. It will however stop soldiers in their tracks.

[ Link to Post ]





Will Azir transition into a Support mage late-game

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s late game sustained damage is incredibly high. His allies might find it beneficial to protect him late game as if he were an AD carry.

[ Link to Post ]




How did you make Azir’s gameplay match his theme

Zenonthestoic New PortraitIt’s… messy.

In Azir’s case, we had a bunch of old kits that were basically straight-forward mage kits (AOE spell, utility spell, CC spell) that we knew we didn’t want to ship. We have more than 120 champions in the game now, many of whom fulfill the “I want to be a midlane mage and burst/aoe people down” fantasy perfectly well. We don’t need another one of those.

So for Azir, we sat down in the beginning of this current kit’s lifetime with champion team and split into 4-5 smaller teams, sometimes just two dudes, jamming on different takes on Azir. The kit I worked on had a sand resource that you had to gather, made a triangle of obelisks for the ultimate fight arena, and spammed sand missiles from sources of sand, for instance. GypsyLord made a kit with a sandstorm ultimate that literally covered the entire map and slowed all enemies in the game. We’re talking that level of crazy prototyping.

One thing that all the kits had in common were soldiers; the kit I worked on had a skill that summoned three targetable guards that moved in formation in front of you, blocking skill shots, until you reactivated the ability to send all surviving soldiers forward as skill shots. Another kit summoned two walls of soldiers that immediately charged forward, knocking enemies back (sound familiar?) Squad5 made that ability and it obviously strongly inspired my ultimate. CertainlyT’s kit had a spawn soldier mechanic where you could order soldiers to turn into skill shots by attacking enemies: all soldiers in range of an auto attack target would charge toward that target. This clearly turned into my Q (and the idea of ordering soldiers with your basic attack).

This was a really, really cool exercise (we called it AZIRDOME — THE SHURIMARING, named after the THUNDERDOME code jam we do two-three times a year here at Riot) and it quickly taught us a lot of things that were cool about Azir, first and foremost being soldiers and controlling them. I don’t think I could have come up with a kit this unique without the help of the entire team. Champion design is a huge team effort!

[ Link to Post ]



What would happen if I click on a Champion outside Azir’s AA range but inside one of his soldiers’

Squad5 New PortraitIf the enemy is within the soldier’s range, Azir will stand still and the soldier will attack.

[ Link to Post ]




Why can’t both Azir and his soldiers AA at once

Zenonthestoic New Portrait The emperor doesn’t get his hands dirty! As a matter of fact, he USED to attack alongside his soldiers, but it was only when Roku played him and said “you know wouldn’t it be cooler if your soldiers attacked INSTEAD OF you” that we had our “oh shit” moment of “this is something entirely new and exciting”. This allowed us to decouple the soldier attacks from Azir’s attack range, for instance, and it’s just COOL to point at dudes and have your sand army stab them.

[ Link to Post ]



How long does Azir have to proc his passive on a tower after it’s destroyed

RickVanPrim New PortraitWhen Azir’s passive isn’t on cooldown, dead towers will have a clicker as soon as they die that he can use to summon the Sun Disc. There isn’t a limited window of opportunity and he can summon a Sun Disc on the same dead turret multiple times (cooldown providing).

[ Link to Post ]



How is Azir’s ultimate used in teamfights

Squad5 New PortraitI’ve seen Azir’s ult used in a number of ways effectively. I think the most common use case is to peel for either himself or other carries on his team, throwing back people who would dive into the backline. However, uses of the ultimate to wall of an area to split the team or halt their approach without even hitting an enemy with the initial cast are really cool to pull off in the jungle, and the aggressive “move behind the enemy team and wall off their escape” play is sometimes incredible (though it will often get you killed).

[ Link to Post ]



Does the damage of Azir’s Sun Disk Passive scale

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s Sun Disc’s damage scales a bit with game time, but also with Azir’s AP.

[ Link to Post ]





Does the Sun Disk focus targets like a turret

Squad5 New PortraitThey should behave in the exact way a regular turret would.

[ Link to Post ]





Do Azir’s Soldiers push Champions aside when placed

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s soldiers will move slightly if placed on another object.

[ Link to Post ]





Can Azir’s Soldiers be stacked on top of each other

Squad5 New PortraitYes, but you would limit your area of control, so unless you are trying to ambush someone this is not the optimal strategy.

[ Link to Post ]




Do the Soldiers apply Q’s slow if they’re walked through

Squad5 New PortraitThey do not slow if they are not being directed by the Q, so if they are idle they will not slow you.

[ Link to Post ]




What’s the maximum number of Soldiers you can have up

Squad5 New PortraitMax CDR and constant casting of abilities can get you up to 4 soldiers at times. 3 is much more common though.

[ Link to Post ]




How do Azir’s Soldiers interact with Azir’s Auto Attacks

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s soldiers become his auto attack.

[ Link to Post ]





Can the Soldiers attack one target and Azir another

Squad5 New PortraitNo, Azir must direct his soldiers to attack each time.

[ Link to Post ]






Is there a damage reduction for multiple Soldiers’ attacks

Squad5 New PortraitYes, every soldier after the first will deal reduced damage.

[ Link to Post ]





Can Azir’s ult go over short walls, blocking two paths

Squad5 New PortraitDepends on how you cast it…

[ Link to Post ]





Can Azir knock up multiple enemy champions with one E

Squad5 New PortraitHe could, but they would need to be very close together.

[ Link to Post ]





Why DON'T Azir's soldiers proc on-hit effects

Squad5 New PortraitOne thing that was an issue brought up early was determining whether the soldier’s attacks were actual attacks or spells. We felt in general that encouraging Azir to build as a mage was the appropriate direction, and so the stab uses spell effects from items as if it were an AOE spell. Since the soldiers use the spell archetype, for clarity they should not use on hits. The primary reason really is that we want Azir to build mage items though. (Nashor’s is still pretty good on him though…)

[ Link to Post ]



Can Azir’s Soldiers proc the Support

Zenonthestoic New PortraitThey do not proc anything that procs on auto attacks. Sorry.

[ Link to Post ]





Were there concerns during design about distinguishing him from other champions that use clones

Zenonthestoic New PortraitYeah absolutely! We started out from the very beginning with a many page long document where we broke down what a zone control mage can / should do in league, what current kits do, which aspects of this we like and which aspects we don’t and so on.

We quickly identified that dropping zones and forgetting about them leads to super defensive kits that often make not engaging with the champion the correct choice. This is why you have to right click to access the soldiers’ power (this and it feels super cool to point at someone and have your minions skewer them).

Yeah absolutely! We started out from the very beginning with a many page long document where we broke down what a zone control mage can / should do in league, what current kits do, which aspects of this we like and which aspects we don’t and so on.

We quickly identified that dropping zones and forgetting about them leads to super defensive kits that often make not engaging with the champion the correct choice. This is why you have to right click to access the soldiers’ power (this and it feels super cool to point at someone and have your minions skewer them).

[ Link to Post ]



Can Azir be a viable Support

Squad5 New PortraitAzir support is definitely an interesting way to play him. I do think he can be played there (I also just like to play lots of random supports) but in general he will bring more to the team if taken as a mid laner. A lot of his power is tied up in scaling, so if you don’t mind losing out on that his other abilities can be useful as a support. I’ve seen tankier builds succeed, but in general I find an ap centric build on him much more exciting. I will say that slightly more than others he relies on his team to succeed if you do go down the AP path.

[ Link to Post ]



Zenonthestoic New PortraitWe did a lot of work to make sure Support isn’t Azir’s strongest role. Azir support probably works as a gimmicky off build, kind of on par with, say, Ahri support or Karthus support; like, yes, you can poke in bot lane, you bring some CC, but by not scaling as well as you would mid lane you give up a lot. Vel’Koz conversely has such great base damages that he doesn’t need to build scaling items to be effective. This is why support became his main role.

The levers we identified for support Azir (and correct me here if I’m wrong, Squad5) are:

  • Soldier attacks drawing minion aggro to Azir
  • Turret damage of the sun disc scaling with Azir’s AP
  • Relatively low slow amount on Q
  • Hard CC requiring ult or all-in
  • Low base stats, particularly armor

[ Link to Post ]



How did you decide to make Azir an

Zenonthestoic New PortraitI kept joking that even though ADCs are my weakest role by far (never ask me to play Lucian–I SUCK) I can’t stop making them. But you’re right; in some ways Azir is MORE of an ADC than Lucian, in that his right clicks are so much more important than his spells. The decision to make his auto attacks so central to his kit came when we played around with different ways of ordering soldiers to attack. Basic attacking (even outside of range) felt like the most natural fit. The bugs this created though, oh boy. Sometimes I wished I could travel back in time and slap ambitious, naïve past me around the head.

[ Link to Post ]



What was your main inspiration for Azir’s design

Zenonthestoic New PortraitPrimarily we wanted to have the archetype “sand mage” in the game–we always thought this was a cool thing we should do in league. We tried a lot of different kits, but only when he became the Emperor of Shurima and the soldiers entered the picture did we feel we had a cool enough dude to release.

For myself, I was always driven by the question of “what does it feel like to be the emperor?” Consequently a lot of my gameplay design was focused on creation and manipulation of underlings. Even if you have a bad game, even if you struggle to win your lane, I want you to come out of the game saying, well whatever else happened, I felt like I was an emperor, ordering my troops around.

[ Link to Post ]



Azir QA Creative Banner



Was Azir the kind of ruler that people flocked to

Riot Opeli Final PortraitHEH

[ Link to Post ]





Why does Cassiopeia want to serve her family and having Kat, Talon and Darius come after her

Jaredan Final Portrait Cass has very little interest in serving Azir or Shurima. She is certainly still Noxian and loyal to her family; she went into Shurima searching for wealth and power for her, her family and Noxus. As seen from the video today, she just didn’t get what she bargained for.

[ Link to Post ]



Why would an emperor dash to his lowly soldiers

HiddenAce52 Final PortraitThe dash, to me, is a more aggressive skill that just so happens to double as an escape. Using E on a soldier that’s near a champion knocks the champion up briefly and grants you a shield, great for initiating and closing gaps. So, I see it as an Emperor coming to the aid of his soldiers, soldiers scouting an area for him, as well as him using them as a means of escape.

[ Link to Post ]



Were his legs always bird-looking

Riot Opeli Final PortraitNo, he was human originally. But I also think he has fabulous legs. :P

[ Link to Post ]




Tommy Gnox Final PortraitNope. When he was human, he had regular old legs that bent the normal way. :-)

[ Link to Post ]




Are there other ascended Champions we’ve yet to see

Riot Opeli Final PortraitEntirely possible! They haven’t shown their faces lately, though, if there are others out there.

[ Link to Post ]




How long has Azir been in the works

Riot Opeli Final PortraitFor three years, I believe. I think it started with a kit. Someone might have to correct me on that, though. He became the bird emperor you know today about a year and a half ago.

EDIT: NOPE I was wrong. Runaan corrected me. She pitched him as a character over three years ago. It wasn’t a kit, first.

[ Link to Post ]


Runaan Final PortraitTo clarify, he started out as a really loose idea of a “sand mage” – Ezreal and I liked the idea of a sand dude who could sort of “envelop” people with the desert itself. The emperor idea came out of this, but the original kit/art direction weren’t working, so we went back to iteration town. We really knew what we wanted to do when the idea of “Ascended” Azir came about (yes, we were the most excited when we decided to make him a bird guy). :) From there, it took a lot of iteration to capitalize on the personality of an emperor as well as the game play – and here we are today!

[ Link to Post ]



Will Azir receive lore other than his character description

Riot Opeli Final PortraitHe has a full story coming, but it’d spoil the rest of the Shurima event. So we’re waiting to reveal it until you guys see the full story.

[ Link to Post ]




What was the original art direction

Runaan Final PortraitHe was kind of just a dude that happened to be made of sand (a bit Brand-esque; replace fire with sand). It was a decent start, but we knew we could push it further. :)

[ Link to Post ]



What does Azir think of Yordles

Riot Entropy Final PortraitAzir would welcome their furry enthusiasm, provided they directed it toward expanding Shurima’s greatness. 

[ Link to Post ]




Does Azir know Anivia at all or have any relation to her

Riot Entropy Final PortraitAzir was once human, so he’s a great deal younger than Anivia. Nasus on the other hand…

Birds soar to great heights, I can’t help but think Azir would admire that.

Also, Anivia X Azir OTP. Take that Valor.

[ Link to Post ]



Did Azir rule alone, or would there have been a

Riot Opeli Final PortraitIt’s safe to say he was… popular with the ladies.

[ Link to Post ]





Did Azir recognize his Soldiers’ equipment when he first summoned them

Riot Opeli Final PortraitYeah, he forms the image of them, so he wasn’t surprised.

[ Link to Post ]





Did Azir suspect Xerath would betray him

Riot Opeli Final PortraitHe was blind to it. He totally trusted Xerath. :(

[ Link to Post ]





Are Nasus and Renekton’s ults their Ascended powers

Riot Opeli Final PortraitTheir kits/characters were created before Ascension was something we discussed, so, maybe they were designed with a similarity in mind back in the day.

[ Link to Post ]



Does Azir sleep in a bed or a nest

Riot Opeli Final PortraitI don’t think he sleeps! At all!

[ Link to Post ]





Xerath’s betrayal seems uninspired and predictable

Tommy Gnox Final PortraitI wouldn’t say so. Keep in mind we may not know everything there is to know about Xerath just yet.

[ Link to Post ]




What brought you to the concept of controlling soldiers

Riot Opeli Final PortraitThe fantasy of being an emperor. As an emperor, you have soldiers fighting wars for you, and you’d command them – so we went with controlling soldiers. :)

[ Link to Post ]




Is it intended that all sort of animal features appearing on them

Riot Opeli Final PortraitYes! It’s intended. They were all human before Ascension. Because Xerath corrupted the ritual, he turned out, well… different.

[ Link to Post ]




What sort of data influences your Champion design

Tommy Gnox Final PortraitIt’s not so much data as inspiration. The initial idea can come from anywhere — often it starts as an artist’s sketch — and gets ideated and iterated on by pods of gameplay designers, artists, and narrative writers over a period of many months. The strength of this approach is that all three aspects of each champion are developed in concert and constant dialogue with each other, so the end result hopefully feels thoroughly integrated and whole. To some degree we also look at evident gaps in our champion roster when conceiving and slotting upcoming champs (not enough tanks, not enough beasts, etc.).

[ Link to Post ]




Azir QA Art and Sound Banner



Why did you choose a bird figure for Azir

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitI’m not sure if the concept artist will be stopping by so I’ll try to answer this as best I can. We knew we wanted to create a new Shurima Champ. The 2 main Shurima Champs, Nasus and Renekton were both very beefy muscly dudes and the animals that they take the form of support that. We knew that we wanted to do something different, specifically make a Shuriman mage. Obviously a Hippo or an Elephant doesn’t really fit the bill in this case.

A bird was the best fit for a lot of the qualities that represent a mage. Birds are often associated with wisdom, magic, cunning, and charisma. They are also agile and sleek while at the same time being fragile. All of these qualities are things that seemed to fit really well for the mage emperor of Shurima.

[ Link to Post ]


Lonewingy Final PortraitHi! Concept artist here! Good question! :)

When we want to make another Shuriman Champion, we decided to go through the idea that is something instantly relates (visually) to Renekton and Nasus. Just like what the other gentleman says (Blood91Raven) Nasus and Renekton are inspired from Egyptian iconic figures, Anubis and Sobek :)

Azir is inspired by the God of Radiance, Ra. It fits the puzzle perfectly for these Shuriman Trio, because it easily relates to both Nasus and Renekton, especially as the Emperor of Shurima.

We never meant to base these characters through real wild life :3

Hope this helps :D

[ Link to Post ]



Will we see an Azir skin where he’s in his daily dress

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitThere were some cool concepts of “pre-ascension” Azir. I think that could make a pretty sick skin. Maybe someday : D I would also like to see what this dude looks like in his bath robe smoking a cigar in front of the fire. R&R Azir anyone?

[ Link to Post ]



How about a parrot skin where he summons pirates

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitHaha I love this idea. Rito Plz!

[ Link to Post ]





Was Galactic Azir inspired by StarCraft’s Protoss race

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitI actually think the Galactic line of skins was mostly inspired by the movie/tv series “Stargate.” Azir’s skin obviously moves a little toward a high tech direction, but we really tried to give it a unique look/feel that felt like our own. We actually tried a bunch of crazy color schemes to try and make it feel even more unique (I think at one point he was sort of purple with glowing orange energy) but in the end the blue/gold/silver scheme seemed to read the best with the new color scheme on the updated summoner’s rift so we went that way.

[ Link to Post ]



Have you taken steps to make Azir with 1not look absolutely weird

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitAs for the soldiers, their attacks were just recently redone (last week) to accommodate some of the max attack speed situations we were seeing. I made some changes that helped them not feel quite as spastic. As for Azir’s pointing motion, I’m not super happy with how it looks at high speeds, but I also don’t currently have a great solution to make it look better. In that case, I’m hoping that most of your focus will be on the soldiers, so that’s where I put the most effort. If I come up with a better solution down the road for Azir’s command animation, as always, I’ll try and get it in the game.

[ Link to Post ]


Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitI actually agree with you that it gets a bit wonky at high speeds. I do like the feeling of him “commanding” the soldiers as opposed to just sort of magically gesturing at them. He is after all their emperor. However if I get the chance at some point in the future I’d love to try and go back and figure out a solution for high attack speeds. At lower speeds I think it looks ok but at high speed it starts to look a little wonky.

With champs that have widely varying attack speeds it’s a big challenge to find an animation that works well for all cases. Azir has so many assets, Azir/Soldiers/ult soldiers/sun disk, so I really had to prioritize where I’d get the most bang for the buck. In this case, I spent more time focusing on the soldiers’ attacks instead of Azir, since most of your focus will be on the soldier’s location.

[ Link to Post ]



What design motifs did you use to sell him as an emperor

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitAs an animator I can speak to the movement. (I did talk about the staff design in an above comment so check that out). Azir is obviously has a lot of hawk or avian themes so I tried to queue off of things that would help him feel birdlike but at the same time regal. One of the big ways we accomplished this was by keeping his motions very conservative. Most of his motions are concise and efficient. A lot of the feeling of stoic power comes from a lack of motion or flourish.

On top of feeling regal and powerful, I also wanted him to also feel birdlike. To accomplish this, I tried as much as possible to give his cloth “feathers” the feeling of wings. This meant hand shaping them in every animation. I also wanted him to feel light and agile as if at any moment he could catch a gust of wind and lift off the ground. One of my favorite animations in his set is his home-guard run because I think it accomplishes both of these goals fairly well.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Champion Skin Sale 12 09 15 09 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until September 15th:



Lucian Final Portrait

Tryndamere Final Portrait

Wukong Final Portrait


Fiddle Me Timbers – 375 RP



Shockblade Zed – 487 RP




Thunder Lord Volibear – 260 RP



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at