Next League of Legends Champion Revealed: Bard, the Wandering Caretaker

Riot revealed the new League of Legends Champion today, and he's got some surprising abilities.

Riot Games revealed the identity of their latest new League of Legends champion today - Bard, the Wandering Caretaker.

Teased last week with a story titled "The Wonder Above," there were heavy hints that the new champion would be at least modeled after a fan-proposed concept known as Virgil the Bard, and while the name and abilities are somewhat different from what was originally proposed, this speculation was confirmed in today's reveal.

Riot Games presents Bard, the Wandering Caretaker.

The Celestial Vagabond

Bard's more celestial influences evident in his abilities come from the Riot devs' desire to make Bard more suited to an otherwordly portrayal by one of the champion's concept artists. The final artistic product has fans drawing comparisons to several of Studio Ghibli's more notable films, with speculation that Bard may have been inspired by the kodama, or tree spirits in Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke.

Though initially intended to be a more music-centric character - which would fit Riot's recent music-themed releases - Riot devs wanted a way to join this character concept - "The Celestial Vagabond" - with the idea of a roaming support.

Fans are speculating that Princess Mononoke's kodama may be an inspiration for Bard's appearance.

Roaming Support: A "New" Style of Play

Bard is a support character, as the title "The Wandering Caretaker" would suggest, but he is unique in that he is the only character whose passive and abilities actually encourage him to wander outside of his lane. 

While Bard is currently the only roaming support in the game, this is not the first time Riot has toyed with the idea; Alistar roamed so well at first that players used him as a jungler, utilizing his powerful W+Q combo and tower-diving capabilities. This led Riot to nerf Alistar to set him firmly back in his intended support position, but the idea of a roaming support never went away, so Riot gave Bard a passive and abilities that reward him and his teammates when he wanders.

What champions do you think will be compatible with Bard? Are you excited about his upcoming release, or are you pining for Ao Shin? Let us know in the comments!

Published Feb. 24th 2015
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