Nine champions, including Jax and Azir, have had their strengths reduced by the devs. They are currently two of the most well-liked champions in international professional contests. Although the modifications were made to reduce their appeal to professional players, they might have the opposite effect.
The Emperor of the Sands took a hit to his base mana and W. The devs explained in the patch notes that these nerfs are meant to hurt Azir’s early game prowess, but with a buff to his E and R, he will scale much better into the late game. Early leads are important in competitive play, but fights around objectives also play a big role. With Azir having better scaling, he could actually be favored even more by the pros.
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Jax, similarly to Azir, was said to be too strong in the early game, and he received some minor nerfs to his base stats and ultimate. The latter nerfs are understandable since Jax became a powerhouse in the top lane after reaching level six.
The champ, however, also received a new passive on his E, which makes him increase the entire damage of the spell if he dodges attacks with it. In late-game teamfights, this could make him stronger than ever. To make things even worse, the ability also received better scaling for its maximum magic damage. In other words, these so-called nerfs could actually be buffs.
There’s no doubt these champs are dominating the pro meta. Azir has a 66.4 percent pick and ban rate in the 2023 LCK Spring Split, while Jax sits at 55.5 percent, according to a League stat site Oracle’s Elixir. The champs are even more popular in North America. In the 2023 LCS Spring Split, Azir and Jax have 73.3 percent and 64.4 percent pick and ban rates, respectively.