New Champion Tagged Articles RSS Feed | New Champion RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Paladins Introduces New Champion in OB40 Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:21:10 -0500 Lydia M

During the live patch preview show Thursday, Paladins lead designer and lead developer announced a new champion entering the realm in the latest patch, OB40. 

Tyra, The Untamed

Her weapon is an automatic rifle. Unlike Kinessa or Victor, she doesn't look down the sights to aim -- all firing is off the hip. Her abilities are as follows: 

  • [LMB] Battle Rifle- 180 damage on headshots, 120 regular damage.
  • [RMB] Grenade Launcher- Launches grenade at target that deals explosive damage.
  • [Q] Molotov Grenade- Tosses fire grenade that spreads on the ground dealing percentage health.
  • [F] Hunter's Mark- Marks an enemy for a short duration. Tyra can do extra damage while they're marked. Teammates can see marked enemies through walls. 
  • [E] Unleash- Shooting speed, movement speed is increased for a short duration along with unlimited ammo for the duration of the Ultimate.

Looking at the gameplay preview, it looks like Tyra is definitely going to be a tank shredder -- especially when using items like Wrecker and Nimble. We didn't really get to see what cards would be provided to her quite yet, but as she becomes available on the Public Test Servers, players will get to try her out before she is added to the live servers.

Tyra will be available in the OB40 patch next week.

Riot Reveals Newest League Of Legends Champion Kled During European LCS Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:00:59 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

After the last game of yesterday's European LCS, Riot Games had a little treat for all of the League of Legends fans tuning in. A short teaser trailer was shown which gave the public their first look at the 133rd champion to be introduced to League of Legends, Kled. 

Kled is the next yordle to be included in League. If you've never heard of a yordle, they're like a gremlin, racoon, gnome type hybrid. Yordles usually have some kind of penchant for technology, and love to tinker around with odds and ends. Arguably the most famous champion in League, Teemo, is the yordle poster boy.

The inclusion of a mounted champion is cool, because the only other character in League that is riding something is Nunu and his yeti. Hopefully, Riot will implement some kind of cool mount/dismount mechanic and other fun interactions between the fuzzball and his serpent buddy.

However Kled ends up, he will most likely have a new, interesting impact on League of Legends. Over the past few years, Riot has only released champions that do something that has never been seen in the game before, so there's bound to be some innovation that comes along with the newest fuzzball to march on the Rift.

The Virtuoso revealed - Riot changes the game with new champion Jhin Wed, 13 Jan 2016 11:14:52 -0500 Jessa Rittenhouse

In a recent video, Riot teased the face of their newest champion, Jhin - and now they've released the info on his game-changing, never-before-seen ability.

We've known him by a few names.




We've been granted brief flashes, hints of what he can do before now. We've seen champions fall to his power, but had no idea how it happened - until now.

Jihn the Virtuoso is, as some have speculated, a marksman, though his play style is similar to that of an assassin. The slowest marksman yet, building attack speed and crit does not actually increase his attack speed or crit; instead, these stats increase his movement speed after a crit and increase his attack damage.

Additionally, every fourth attack is a guaranteed crit, thanks to his passive Whisper (a first in League of Legends without having to use other abilities or items) which synergizes well with the benefits he gets from his attack speed.

His fourth auto-attack in Whisper, as well as his ultimate, Curtain Call, are both executions - meaning that they deal increased damage based on how much missing health the target has. If the target is already near death, these attacks will finish them off. Those executions also give him a more assassin-like play style, making him a good choice for mid-lane or jungle.

Jhin the Virtuoso has a new ability that could be a game changer - a guaranteed crit.

What makes Jhin a virtuoso, however, is his appearance - it lends an artistic quality to the character. According to his creator, rioter Gypsylord, if he kills an enemy champion with his ultimate, a flower blooms where that champion dies, granting vision and dealing damage to other enemy champions in the area. 

We don't yet know the Virtuoso's story, and his appearance only adds to the mystery - the stylistic markings on his mask seem almost Ionian, but his poncho and guns have a Wild West flair. The hump on his shoulder and his metallic arm also inspire questions as to this strange champion's history. Hopefully, Riot will let us in on the secret, soon.

Are you excited for Jhin's release? How will you build him? Do you think his new ability will be as game-changing as it sounds? Let us know in the comments.

Smite Releases a Squirrel God in Latest Patch Wed, 03 Jun 2015 18:28:48 -0400 CallSignDriver

As if I needed any more reasons to start playing Smite. Say hello to Ratatoskr, Hi-Rez Studios' most recent addition to the Smite pantheon.

In case you're not familiar (and I can't imagine why you wouldn't be), Ratatoskr is a red squirrel from Norse mythology, who spends much of his time conveying insults between the wise eagle living atop Yggdrasil (the world tree) and the wicked serpent living at the bottom. In short, he's the Norse god of smack talk, and he's ready to start some shit.

In addition to being unjustifiably adorable for such a mischievous mammal, Ratatoskr is also expected to be a formidable opponent, posing the greatest threat to gods like Isis and Ra. The sly squirrel will also be the first character to possess their own character specific item--in this case, the magic acorn, which provides the character with diverse playstyles.

Ratatoskr is available to play now for 200 gems or 11000 favor. For more information, including early concept art, be sure to drop by the official reveal page. 

Time-Traveling League of Legends Champion Revealed: Ekko, The Boy Who Shattered Time Thu, 14 May 2015 06:21:28 -0400 Jessa Rittenhouse

Riot has just revealed their newest League of Legends champion, Ekko: The Boy Who Shattered Time.

Soon to hit the public beta environment (PBE), Ekko is a streetwise kid from Zaun with a unique talent for rewinding time to get himself out of trouble.

As a skirmishing assassin, Ekko has an interesting list of abilities:

  • Passive: Z-Drive Resonance - Anytime Ekko hits a target three times with skills or attacks, this ability triggers, dealing extra damage and slowing his opponent. If the opponent is an enemy champion, Ekko also gets a powerful increase to his movement speed.
  • Q: Timewinder - Ekko possesses a device he can throw in a given direction, dealing damage to all enemies in its path. Once it has achieved its maximum distance or it hits an enemy champion, it creates an expanded field that slows both enemies and neutral units caught within it. When the field contracts again, the device rushes back to Ekko, once again dealing damage to enemies on the way.
  • W: Parallel Convergence - on the passive side of this ability, Ekko's basic attacks deal extra damage to targets already low on health. On the active side, Ekko creates a rift in time; this, in turn creates an alternate reality copy of him. This copy hurls an expanding device, creating a slowing sphere. If Ekko enters this, the device detonates, shielding Ekko while stunning any enemies caught inside.
  • E: Phase Dive - This ability lets Ekko dash a fixed distance, at the end of which he acquires a huge increase on the range of his next basic attack; he blinks to his target, applying on-hit spell affects and dealing damage.
  • R: Chronobreak - Ekko's ultimate epitomizes the theme of this new champion. He rewinds time and is briefly invulnerable and untargetable; he then reappears where he last was with some of his health recovered, and does massive damage to nearby foes.

This streetwise kid from Zaun knows something his foes don't - time is on
his side.

According to Rioter gypsylord, Ekko is built to make players feel not just skilled, but smart through predictive gameplay. His time-related abilities should add spice to the game for players who can attempt to predict the outcome of each encounter - "call the shot and right and you get a reward."

He shines brightest as a skirmisher, so he's built more for utility than for strength. He's also not as resilient as some other champions, so more cunning play is required to keep him up and running.

Can't wait to play Ekko? What ability really gets your blood pumping to jump back into League of Legends? Talk about it in the comments!

Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Wants Banjo Kazooie as Smash Bros DLC Sat, 04 Apr 2015 05:56:42 -0400 Jessa Rittenhouse

Nintendo wants to know who fans think the next Super Smash Bros. champion should be - and Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer is on board to make that next champion Banjo Kazooie.

In a tweet to user @PedroDarkinson, who had messaged Spencer about Banjo's popularity in the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot, the Xbox boss mentioned he's definitely not opposed to seeing Banjo as the next champ in the popular Nintendo property:

Spencer's tweet was all the encouragement his followers needed to bombard him with support for the idea - at the time of this writing, the message had been retweeted 2,292 times, favorited 2,297 times, and had a long list of replies rooting for Banjo's inclusion in the next Smash DLC.

You still have plenty of time to vote for Banjo (or any other champion you'd like to see included at the game) - the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot is open for voting until October 3, 2015.

Who would you like to see in the next Smash DLC? Let us know in the comments below!

Bard, the Wandering Caretaker: In-Depth Ability Analysis Wed, 25 Feb 2015 05:19:40 -0500 Ryan Mayle

Riot has just revealed League of Legend's next champion which totally wasn't designed by Hayao Miyazaki. Bard, the Wandering Caretaker, a new support with a new style of roam-focused play.

This style of support being one that allows you to leave your AD carry and roam the jungle. However, are his abilities really capable of being able to change the meta of supports always being glued to the hips of AD carry? Let's break down each of Bard's new abilities and decide.

Passive: Traveler's Call

Bard's passive comes is a special two-parter.

Ancient Chimes

Bard's presence causes sacred chimes to appear on the Fields of Justice. Collecting a chime grants Bard a brief burst of movement speed, experience, and mana.

This ability is what gives Bard his ability to roam. Without this nothing would be possible and he would be stuck in lane or quickly fall behind. However, the video posted by Riot leaves out some vital information as to whether or not you will constantly be able to see the location of the chimes. If so, this ability will be easy to strategize as to when you can leave lane to collect some chimes. It will be possible to leave your partner to collect chimes and gain some movement speed all while not missing out on lane experience as you will have your own source from the chimes.


Bard's presence attracts small spirits known as meeps to his side. Whenever Bard attacks, a meep throws itself at his target, dealing extra damage before disappearing back to the spirit world. As Bard collects more chimes, the meeps that follow him grow in both number and power.

This ability looks to gives Bard a little more burst damage, without being too outlandish for having two passives. Also when a Meep is launched to a character it is then able to arc out and hit multiple targets on the other side of the target. This probably won't come into play until late game lane pushing, but it is nice to have regardless.

Q: Cosmic Binding

Bard fires out a burst of spirit energy in a line, damaging and slowing the first enemy struck. After Cosmic Binding hits an enemy, the burst of energy continues through, searching for secondary targets. If it hits a wall, it stuns the initial target; if it hits a second enemy, it stuns both targets.

This is Bards crowd control ability, every support needs one. Your positioning will differentiate how this spell interacts with your opponents. This skill shot ability will always provide a slow on a target, but if you are able to line up two enemies it will give you the opportunity to stun them both. Also, if there is only one enemy and you shoot through that enemy champion towards a wall, it will stun that champion. I don't see Riot giving this ability too short of a cooldown, but I would expect to be able to use this ability two to three times during a team engagement.

I don't see Riot giving this ability too short of a cooldown, but I would expect to be able to use this ability two to three times during a team engagement.

W: Caretaker's Shrine

Bard conjures a health pack that gains power for a few seconds. Allied champions who walk over the pack gain health and a brief burst of movement speed, while enemies can stand on the pack for a moment to destroy it.

This ability gives Bard the ability to help his teammates without actually being in the same lane. After placed on the ground, the shrine takes 10 seconds to become active and you can have two out at a time. From the video, it appears at level 18 the shrines will heal as soon as touched for about 300 health (depending on items, which is unknown in the video). If a champion is able to hit two shrines back to back, that is a very sizable chunk of healing that you can setup in case you are about to be attacked under your own turret. The one drawback with this ability is that it cannot be used reactively to give a teammate a boost of health and speed as it takes time for the shrine to become active, and if an enemy champion walks over it, it's gone.

The one drawback with this ability is that it cannot be used reactively to give a teammate a boost of health and speed as it takes time for the shrine to become active, and if an enemy champion walks over it, it's gone.

E: Magical Journey

Bard conjures a portal on a target wall. The portal tunnels through to the far end of the wall, granting one-way passage to all champions, friend and foe, who enter it.

This is the playmaker of Bard's toolset. When this ability is released you will see YouTube montages of it. It basically makes a one-way trip through most walls for you, your allies, and any enemies who decide to follow. This ability can be a great way to get your teammates out of a bad fight, or possibly used to set up traps. If you cast it in a decent spot, while being followed it isn't out of the realm of possibilities to convince a low health enemy into following you through your portal right into a turret. Another way this ability could be used would be to bait an enemy team into a trap. You could have multiple members of the enemy team follow you through a wall directly into the rest of your team that is waiting for them. I look forward to

Another way this ability could be used would be to bait an enemy team into a trap. You could have multiple members of the enemy team follow you through a wall directly into the rest of your team that is waiting for them. I look forward to seeing the creative uses that people find to utilize this new mechanic.

R: Tempered Fate

After a brief delay, Bard places all units in a targeted area - friend or foe, including champions, minions, monsters and turrets - in stasis. Frozen units are immune to all damage until the effect wears off.

This ability works almost identically to Zhonya's Hourglass, but instead of only affecting yourself, you cast a ring, which turns everything in the ring into a frozen stasis that is immune to all damage for a short period. This ability isn't only able to be cast on champions, but will also work on monsters such as the Dragon and even Towers.

This ability will have a plethora of opportunities to shine. You can use this as an ability to escape from a fight, save a fragile AP or AD carry, or freeze a tower in order to continue the pressure on the enemy team.

Final Thoughts

After looking at each new ability Bard, the Wandering Caretaker has I have to conclude that this support will have a very high probability of being a top-tier support. Cooldowns, speed buffs, and healing numbers can be changed, but it will be the mechanics that will make this support shine (think about how many times Thresh has had his numbers adjusted but still remained incredibly strong because of his mechanics).

Bard will bring the ability to have huge presence in both middle and bottom lane due to his roaming passive. If middle or bottom lane is struggling, he can periodically give them healing shrines to support them, while staying in another lane. Then when team fights begin, Bard can move his entire team great distances by guiding his friends through walls instead of having to walk around them. In the end, I can only see Bard as being a champion that is always banned in ranked games or will control the flow of battle. They have this champion set up to be nothing less than a success.

Is the New League of Legends Champion Ao Shin or Virgil the Bard? Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:29:36 -0500 Jessa Rittenhouse

Riot Games has teased a new champion on the League of Legends website, arousing a lot of fan speculation as to who and what the new champion will be.

The teaser page depicts an older man atop a cloud-covered mountain, telling a story by a campfire to three young people; each part of the story he tells is illustrated by a different constellation representative of previous major events in League of Legends lore.

Hints in the Constellations

The first constellation the storyteller mentions is The Frozen Watcher, relating it to the "Battle for Freljord" event, which introduced the Howling Abyss map.

The second constellation is The Fall of Shurima, harkening back to the "Rise of the Ascended" event.

The Fall of Shurima

The third constellation, The Shattered Crown, is a reference to "Noxus Reborn," an event that told the story of the resurrection of Sion, the Noxian general who died as he defeated King Jarvan I of Damacia. This event signaled the re-release of Sion as a champion.

The fourth and final constellation is given several names: The Mountain Shrines, The Great Caretaker, and The Bard. This constellation is likely representative of the new champion, and could reference either of the two major threads of fan speculation as to who this new champion will be.

The fourth and final constellation is the source of much speculation, and teases fans with three different names - "The Mountain Shrines," "The Great Caretaker," and "Bard."

Mt. Targon and Ionian Speculation

Due to the style of the people's dress and the trees of the landscape shown on the outer edges of the page, many fans are speculating that the new champion will be from Ionia. Still others believe the mountainous locale could be a reference to Mt. Targon, though Mt. Targon's harsh landscape does not seem to suit the idyllic scene depicted in the teaser images.

Those fans that theorize the new champion is from Ionia speculate that it could be Ao Shin, a champion that was revealed but not released back in 2013 due to Riot's desire to take the time to do justice to the movements and abilities of a dragon character. The shield-like appearance of the constellation -  coupled with the names "The Mountain Shrine" and "The Great Caretaker" - could support this, as Ao Shin is purported to be the celestial guardian of Ionia, and was slated for a 2015 release according to the League of Legends wiki.

Other fans, however, have zeroed in on the name "Bard," speculating that this could reference a popular fan suggestion on the Champ/Skins Concept board for Virgil, The Wandering Storyteller. The fireside storyteller image, the name "Bard" for the constellation, and the files for the teaser being named "Promo_Bard_Teaser" all make this as likely a theory as Ao Shin. Riot has taken fan suggestions into account for major releases before - most recently for the DJ Sona Ultimate Skin - so this is not outside the realm of possibility.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming champion? Who and what are you hoping for? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Character Design: Kalista - The Spear of Vengeance Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:29:27 -0500 Neej Yang

Oh, where do I start with you, Kalista? Is it your zombie walk that attracts me so? Or the way you can just poke the crap out of champions? Don’t forget about her awesome CG video…

Just thinking about it brings me shivers!

I wanted to address some concerns that I have been reading about all over the League world.

Her Passive: Martial Poise.

There have been concerns as to why Riot didn’t question such an “over-powered” passive. Will she be the new Lucian of patch 4.14? Will she be a new hypercarry that is an updated version of Vayne?

 Nope, Kalista is Kalista.

But here are some things to consider.

Kalista as a champion is very unique in her design mainly due to her dash-hop passive – in fact, there is not one ADC quite like her. That is why she is a pain to play, but also oh so rewarding. The design of Kalista as an ADC is one that requires preemptive cognitive skills – in other words, you have got to know where you are going to be going next if you want to play this chick. Her massive poking skills are mainly reliant on her passive which allows her to safely enter and reenter combat without being caught necessarily as she can move side to side and back and forth. This is where it gets complicated: no one knows how to play her or rather, in this case, knows how to use her hop.

kalistapassive on Make A Gif

So does this mean she is a flawed champion?

No not necessarily, it just means she needs a quite a bit of work in order to truly wield Kalista as a playable ranked champion. Quite like Azir, Kalista is a champion based on mobility. She does not have a massive base Attack Damage (will now be referred to as AD), starting at 53 AD and scaling to 104 AD at level 18 without items or runes. She definitely is not like Vayne or Lucian.

Kalista is reminiscent of Nidalee with her Q: Pierce which does not guarantee damage since it is a skill shot.

kalistaq on Make A Gif


Kalista, in a sense, is also like Ashe. A utility ADC with her W: Sentinel acting as an overextended Hawkshot.  But also triggers extra damage on the champion who has been attacked by her or her Oath Bound.

kalistaw on Make A Gif


Ultimately, her E: Rend (Think of Twitch!) is what makes her such a formidable champion. Along with her long range kiting ability and her hopping passive, Kalista can very easily chase down folks thanks to her unlimited stacking ability Rend which allows not only extra damage to be applied but it also slows the ones affected.

kalistarend on Make A Gif

Her Ultimate: Fate's Call is just something that needs to be seen in action to actually determine the use of the ultimate. In the right situation, it is the best engage ever.

kalistar on Make A Gif

Kalista is neither broken nor weak.

Will she be a hypercarry? I honestly do not know. But I do think and believe she is a champion that is truly unique and fun to play.

My Diamond ADC Friend who has played Kalista has said, “She’s hard to CS with. I don’t think I’ll be playing her anytime soon in the future.”

But that is one of many opinions. Let me know what you guys think.

Based on her design and difficulty, but ultimately her fun-tastic scale:

I give her champion design: 7/10.

League of Legends Releases New Arena Mode Ascension for a Limited Time Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:34:13 -0400 Jessa Rittenhouse

The developers at Riot are shaking things up a bit for League of Legends players, introducing a new arena mode called Ascension - but it's only for a limited time.

Ascension mode pits two teams against one another, battling to claim the Ascension buff by defeating Ancient Ascendant Xerath. Because the sands of Shurima have moved the Crystal Scar, making it impossible to traverse the outer circle of the map, players must use the Golden Transcendence trinket to teleport them to the battle.

Ascended Xerath holds the key to great power - if you can defeat him.

At the center of the map lies Ascended Xerath - a Baron-like boss that players may slay in order to attain the Ascension buff, which awards them double points for every champion kill - making it easier to attain the 200 points necessary for a victory. In addition, the Ascension buff provides the champion with:

  • Attack Damage and Ability Power
  • Cooldown Reduction
  • Bonus Health
  • Infinite Mana
  • Armor Penetration and Magic Penetration

What this means for players is that the typical strategy aspect of League of Legends is downplayed in favor of a more skill-based match that depends heavily on individual player ability with their champion. In short, Ascension is a death-match mode that pits champions against one another without the aid of towers or minion waves. Victories in this mode grant players access to rewards like the exclusive Shurima icons.

Ascension appears to be a promotional effort on the part of Riot both to exemplify the new narrative direction they're taking with the game and as a teaser for their upcoming new champion, Azir, The Emperor of the Sands.

This new gameplay mode will be available from September 10 - 21.

Riot Reveals New Champion Gnar With a New Game Mechanic: Forced Transformation Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:08:18 -0400 Travis McGee

Yesterday Riot teased their newest champion Gnar, but today all the details are out and this (sometimes) cute little guy is one of the most interesting champions to ever hit the game. The official reveal page outlines his background, abilities, and even laning and gameplay strategies, but this champion is bringing more to the game than just strong top-laning and late-game tanking. Gnar's unique ability is an uncontrollable transformation that will force players to anticipate when it's coming and change their playstyle dramatically.

First of all: Gnar is apparently not only an adorable fuzzball but a time traveler as well. His background is still missing some details, but Gnar is a prehistoric yordle that was trapped for centuries in Runeterra's True Ice. Time stopped for the frozen yordle until he finally managed to break free of the ice, and this cute critter is much more than he seems.

Gnar shows that Riot still knows how to put plenty of cute into a game that revolves around crushing your opponents

Gnar's passive is called "Rage Gene," and if that doesn't give away what this little guy is all about the fact that each of his abilities have two names should. "Rage Gene" causes Gnar to slowly build up rage in combat. Once his rage hits a threshold Gnar transforms into Mega Gnar.

Oh my god where did the cute go?!

Now, Mini Gnar (the original form) is an agile, fragile ranged champion that relies on mobility and attack speed to harrass and poke in the top lane. When Gnar reaches max rage and transforms, though, he becomes a much larger, much scarier tank with slow movement speed, no mobility, high damage, and lots of crowd control. Because the transformation is more or less uncontrollable (though not unpredictable) it will require players going against and piloting Gnar to be able to shift between these two playstyles very quickly - and back again once Mega Gnar runs out of rage.

Riot discussed this development decision at length before settling on this implementation for a new champ and after struggling to balance other transform champions they decided they wanted a champion with obvious strengths and weaknesses in both forms - so that neither would be more or less useful than the other overall - and a more or less uncontrollable transform mechanic so that players must adapt to it rather than abusing the transform mechanic itself.

Gnar is the first champion to have this unique transformation mechanic, and because of it he will play very differently between early and late game. For now, though, it seems best to consider him a solo top laner or a support since his both of his forms support either role well.

Riot Teases League of Legends Gnar-ly New Champion Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:24:48 -0400 Travis McGee

Today Riot teased the newest champion that's soon to join the cast of 119 other playable champs with this interactive web page devoted to League of Legends' frosty new combatant. Riot has been tight-lipped on any details not provided in the promo page, but what is known is that the new champ's name is Gnar and he looks pretty angry.

Analyzing the preview page reveals a few more details about Gnar, though. It seems that at one point Gnar had a family or tribe and lived happily in a sunlit land. However, scrolling down on the page reveals that something came along and destroyed his home and people. There's a lot of discussion on the official forums about what (or who) that something may be, but I'm leaning towards Vel'koz myself. The cave painting depicts what looks like a central eye surrounded by tentacles to me.

The next painting down shows Gnar wearing what looks like the skull of one of his kinsmen on his head and roaring, likely enraged at whatever destroyed his home. After that, though, it seems Gnar somehow got trapped in ice but has finally torn his way free. Not much to go on, but Riot sure has teased us with just enough to have everyone speculating.

Also, there's an unconfirmed rumor that this new champion was actually predicted in September of 2012 when a player named Lunarwind posted a "champion suggestion" to the forums that presented "Gnar, the Snowmass Sorrow."

Granted, Lunarwind's depiction of Gnar seems a great deal friendlier and cuter than what Riot has unleashed, but with an abundance of information still to be released we'll have to wait and see. Be sure and let us know what you think in the comments: what sort of skills will this new champ bring to the table? Are we looking at a tank/support or a bruiser assassin? What do you think happened to his family/tribe?

And as always, keep an eye on GameSkinny for the latest League news and updates.

League of Legends Vel'koz Champion Guide Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:44:24 -0500 Wokendreamer

The newest champion for League of Legends, Vel'koz, the Eye of the Void, is live and ready for play!  As is so often the case, however, there are a few tricks to using him that can almost instantly and drastically improve your effectiveness.

Learn the Delays

Every one of the Eye of the Void's abilities except his ult has a delay built into it.  This makes them all potentially avoidable by an opponent with fast enough reflexes, makes them harder to aim accurately, and makes them more confusing for opponents who do not know what to expect.

Vel'koz's Q, Plasma Fission, can be an extremely tricky ability due to the way it splits.  

When hitting a target or being re-activated after firing, it splits and fires off shots at 90 degree angles, letting it fire around corners, minions, and even bouncing off one champion to hit several more.  The delay on this ability comes when you activate it again to split the beam, taking a moment before actually firing those paired shots.  Knowing the exact timing on this delay is essential to getting the most out of the ability, and actually makes it even trickier for your opponents to predict until they also learn the delay as well as you.

His W, Void Rift, only does a small amount of damage initially.  

The real damage comes about 3/4 of a second later.  It can sometimes be worthwhile to fire Void Rift in front of a moving target.  Either they have to stop, setting them up perfectly for your other abilities, or they have to take the second, more damaging hit.

Vel'koz's E, Tectonic Disruption, has the least obvious delay for your opponents, but the most important for you to learn.  

It has a travel time to its destination before taking effect.  This makes it possible for a canny foe to bait out as they change directions and makes it more important to use care when aiming.

Use His Abilities Together

There are two excellent reasons to learn to combo these abilities together smoothly rather than simply using them on cooldown to harass.  

The first is Vel'koz's passive.  Organic Deconstruction does true damage to someone who gets hit by three of his abilities in short succession.  These stacks go away if they go seven seconds without being hit by any, and the true damage the passive inflicts is high enough to be worth the effort.  Never forget his ult can rapidly apply multiple stacks of the passive and will likely leave one or two after it ends and his W can apply two if it hits both before and after its delay.

The second reason to combo these abilities is how well they compliment each other.  Hitting the knock-up and then throwing damage at the enemy is obvious enough, especially since he has one ability that delays most of its damage so an immobile target is effectively guaranteed to take the full damage and the true damage from the passive.

Less obvious is reversing that and using Void Rift to bait someone into walking right into the knock-up from Tectonic Disruption.  A quick Q and then Vel'koz has a target with no way of escaping a sizable duration of his ult, effectively guaranteeing heavy damage and either a kill or a rapid retreat.  Throwing Ignite right before ulting further ensures the kill.

Plasma Fission can also be used to bait people into Tectonic Disruption.  Firing it past your foe and having it split while immediately firing E forces the opponent to choose which one they take a hit from.  Since the Q was fired first, most people will instinctively react to it first, leading them right into your knock-up combo.

Watch for Junglers

Vel'koz has a lot of power and utility, but he lacks one very important thing many other champions have: mobility.  None of his abilities enhance his mobility in any way, meaning if he gets stuck in a fight he cannot win, he will not be able to escape without a lot of luck.  Always be extra careful to keep track of the enemy jungler or anti-carries later in the game to avoid being caught in a no-win situation.

Vel'koz is an interesting addition to League of Legends.  He brings a lot of damage and some unique tricks to the board, rewarding skilled play, but is also very easy to over-extend with and fall behind with in a hurry.  Avoid tunnel vision and keep your opponent guessing how you intend to tear him apart next, however, and he can carry his way through Summoner's Rift with the best.

Unconfirmed New League of Legends Champ Vel'Koz Leaked! Fri, 17 Jan 2014 05:36:49 -0500 Wokendreamer

Riot has been slowing down its new champion releases over the past year, but with some of the hints we have received in the fairly recent past there has been a lot of anticipation for the champions we do have upcoming.  It seems only natural, then, for the first major leak of what is implied to be the next champion coming to the League of Legends to be something we have not heard anything about at all yet.  Vel'Koz is unconfirmed, but given both the amount of detail involved and threads on Riot's forums discussing it having been closed, it seems plausible enough to report.

Vel'Koz is clearly another void champion, and the most alien-looking one yet.  His abilities, as seen in this leak, would imply he's an AP carry, but with some potential as a support if the crowd control applied by his abilities is altered.  He also gets a very unique skillshot mechanic in his Q, with a damaging and slowing skillshot that splits off at 90-degree angles either when it strikes or is activated again, creating the potential for some truly astonishing play in skilled hands.

But is it legit?

The League of Legends community has already started finding and latching onto hints that this leak is legitimate.  For starters, summoners have been pointing to previous champion artwork and picking out Vel'Koz in the images.  Most plausibly, Battlecast Viktor's splash art shows a machine in the background that looks very convincingly like a Battlecast version of this possible champion.  Both Lucian's Hired Gun splash art and Kassadin's Pre-Void splash show tentacles as well, but such things are hardly out of place as a generic and symbolic representation of evil, so could easily be coincidence.

Perhaps most tellingly is Xelnath.  He is known for using puns to give veiled hints about upcoming champions, and he was quoted with one that could very easily indicate this supposed champion.

I'm a little sad it's premature to start hinting at the next champ. I've been eyeballing some amazing puns for when the time is right.

All of this is only guesswork, but it looks pretty convincing.  Speaking personally, Vel'Koz looks like amazing fun and I am always at least vaguely interested in new non-human champions for League of Legends.  Watch for an official response to this leak/rumor from Riot Games!

League of Legends Champion Revealed: Yasuo, The Unforgiven Fri, 22 Nov 2013 12:45:52 -0500 Wokendreamer

It's that time again, Summoners!  Riot Games has revealed the new champion for League of Legends.  Yasuo, the Unforgiven was the lone master of a wind technique from an Ionian martial school who left his post and returned to find himself accused of slaying the person he had been assigned to protect.  Now he wanders to find the real killer and exact just retribution while being hunted by his own people.

For those of us in the League, however, it means we now have access to a melee brawler with some dangerous damage-over-time potential.  A couple of entirely unique tricks also make him potentially game-winning against certain team compositions.

Passive: Way of the Wanderer

Yasuo's passive seems to have two sides to it.  Intent which doubles his critical strike chance and Resolve which grants him something called Flow as he moves.  He gains more Flow the faster he is moving.  When Yasuo's Flow is full, he gains a temporary shield after the next time he takes damage.

Intent will be worth watching for, as a doubled critical strike chance can make single crit items like Youmuu's or Infinity Edge exponentially more powerful while it lasts.  Given his ability to use abilities repeatedly in combat, being able to have a shield for part of the fight will also pay dividends both in lane and after.

Q: Steel Tempest

The Unforgiven's Q damages enemies in a line.  Hitting with the ability gives Yasuo Gathering Storm stacks for a short time.  If he is able to get three stacks, the next Steel Tempest will send a whirlwind that launches foes into the air when it strikes them.  In addition, if cast during Sweeping Blade, Steel Tempest will hit all enemies around Yasuo.

This ability will be extremely important when we get to Yasuo's ult.  For now it is simply a source of damage and hard CC, and the champion's only interrupt.  It seems like it will be a reliable one, but not one he can use immediately.  Mages should have a chance to get off their burst if they start with it, but they need to be wary if Yasuo has been engaged for long enough to get his stacks.

W: Wind Wall

The passive on this ability charges Flow faster while Yasuo is dashing during Sweeping Blade.  The active sends forward a short wall for a few seconds.  This wall blocks enemy projectiles that strike it.

This ability will probably have the greatest effect on the overall game when used properly.  A list of projectiles this ability can block would include things like Varus's auto-attack, Nidalee's spears, and even Ashe's Crystal Arrow.  This ability can, in fact, block ults, and used properly it certainly will.  Being able to deflect clutch abilities of that amount of power can easily be game-winning in skilled hands, and while it will likely be difficult to use so well, the effects will be spectacular.

E: Sweeping Blade

Yasuo's Sweeping Blade causes him to dash a set distance through an enemy and mark them briefly.  The ability does more damage if used several times in succession, but cannot be used against a marked target.

This will likely be the ability Yasuo does most of his burst damage in a teamfight with.  Dashing through each enemy one after another also gives him some potential in an anti-carry role, especially if he reaches the carry just in time to use the knock-up on Steel Tempest.  How long the marks it places last will be extremely important in teamfights, but likely not so much in lane since the ability's wording suggests it can be used on minions.

R: Last Breath

When activated, Last Breath teleports Yasuo to an airborne enemy and briefly suspends them and other nearby airborne enemies while doing damage.  Once Yasuo lands, he also gains armor penetration against the original target's bonus armor.

This is why Steel Tempest is so important and why Yasuo will need to watch champion composition carefully.  His ult is only usable against an airborne foe, but the effect could be extreme.  Taking an enemy who is already airborne and holding them that way for even longer gives Yasuo a literal one-man crowd control chain.  Knocking multiple foes up with Steel Tempest or waiting for an allied Alistair or Janna to knock up an enemy team can let Yasuo hold them there even longer, creating some wildly one-sided fight potential.

Yasuo looks to be able to throw out a surprising amount of damage during teamfights while bringing truly unique and potentially game-winning utility to teams.  Unless his damage ratios are godawful, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

New League of Legends Champion Jinx Revealed Fri, 27 Sep 2013 05:24:04 -0400 Wokendreamer

After hints and very limited-perspective art, we finally have a definitive reveal of the next champion for League of Legends: Jinx, the Loose Cannon.  Lore-wise a criminal in Piltover who's just out to have a violently good time, the Harley Quinn similarities seem obvious in more ways than one.  

Gameplay-wise, Jinx is an AD Carry with a single move-speed enhancing ability and no gap closer, but plenty of damage and a bit of non-ult-based crowd control, so she looks to be a very different sort of champion.

P: Get Excited!

Jinx's passive is Get Excited!  It gives her a bit buff to her movespeed every time a tower or champion she recently attacked is killed or destroyed.  The buff decays quickly, but this seems to be an extremely powerful ability specifically to chase down a team fleeing a lost teamfight, even if it will likely have very limited application otherwise.

Q: Switcheroo!

The Loose Cannon's first ability switches her weapon back and forth between a minigun and a bazooka.  The minigun gives an attack speed buff with each shot, stacking up to three times, while the rocket launcher uses mana for each shot but does more damage and has an AoE.

The obvious use for this is for Jinx to start in minigun mode until she gets the three stacks before switching to firing rockets, taking momentary advantage of the attack speed increase to use the strengths of both modes at once.  The mana cost will likely be a serious issue during laning phase, but by late game teamfights will most likely only come up if Jinx was using her rocket launcher to farm minion waves.

W: Zap!

The second ability on our newest reveal is a simple skillshot doing damage and applying a slow to the first enemy hit.  The most boring of Jinx's abilities on paper, depending on the slow amount this could be huge.  Single-target slows are historically extremely debilitating, and Jinx's is even a skillshot, so this may well be all Jinx needs to ensure she can and will prevent an enemy from escaping.

E: Flame Chompers!

For her third ability, Jinx tosses a line of grenades.  After a few seconds they will detonate to inflict AoE damage, but if an enemy steps on one before then they will detonate it early and be snared.

This is huge.  It's really huge.  There are exceedingly few AD Carries who bring immobilizing abilities to lane, (Ashe, Varus, and Caitlyn) and the only ones who bring reliably targetable abilities of the sort (Ashe and Varus)have to use their ults to do it.  Having an aimed snare on a non-ult cooldown could potentially make Jinx one of the hardest snowballing AD Carries the game has seen since Vayne, and definitely goes a long way to make her safe despite lacking a gap closer.  No one wants to step on a snare while chasing someone.

R: Super Mega Death Rocket!

Our upcoming champ's ult is a global-range skillshot.  That is not original.  Ashe has one that stuns/slows, Draven has one that boomerangs back for more damage.  Jinx's just does damage, but it does more damage the farther it travels, and it also does extra damage based on the amount of health missing.  Oh, and it also happens to do this damage in an AoE.

The potential of this ult is amazing.  There are going to be videos all over YouTube of people getting double and triple kills picking off an enemy team trying to escape a lost teamfight, or sniping a bruiser in top lane from all the way in bot lane mid-fight.  Let's not even talk about the potential shenanigans regarding taking out entire teams while they're doing Baron.

Just look at that smile, she's havin' a ball!

Jinx looks to be a tricky, high-damage champion with options at all ranges.

She herself is not particularly mobile unless she is already winning the fight, but she has enough crowd control and damage options to be able to effectively control the terms of engagement better than almost any other unsupported AD Carry in the game today.

All we have to do now is wait to see the actual numbers and ratios on her abilities to find out if she is good, just quirky, or absurdly lethal.

Riot Gives Sneak Peak of Ao Shin, New League of Legends Champion Mon, 09 Sep 2013 11:00:20 -0400 Wokendreamer

The bad news is Ao Shin is not the next champion Riot Games is releasing for League of Legends.  The reason that is bad news is because he looks like he is going to be awesome.

As sixtwo from Riot explained it, Ao Shin is the culmination of the long-held desire by players for the League of Legends to have a genuine dragon among its playable champions.  Shyvana was an early answer to the desire, but was only a partial fulfillment of the wish given her half-dragon status and transforming gameplay.  At the same time they did not want to steal any of Shyvana's fire in making a full dragon, so they began designing Ao Shin.

There are a couple things of note to specifically get excited about.  The first is realizing we have seen Ao Shin before on the last page of this comicimplying he has been in at least conceptual development for months.  The second is this line by Riot's Meddler.

...size is also something that's got a decent amount of discussion, as is how to capture the sort of power associated with dragons in a way that's both satisfying and balanced. We're not ready to talk details yet, great topics for discussion once we are though.

Trying to craft a champion to live up not only to players' in-game expectations but even to mythological ones (especially for an eastern-style dragon) seems likely to result in some eye-opening capabilities.  Riot being unable to give us a specific size for the in-game model is also exciting, because given the size in the comic image above, he may very well end up rivaling Nautilus or full-stacks Cho'Gath in terms of raw size to back up that power.

At this point Riot cannot even tell us what role he will fulfill, though it seems safe to say he is unlikely to be a Ranged AD champion.  I could see him being a storm-throwing AP Carry or a powerful brawler equally well, but only time will tell!

Is This Image Hinting at the Next Champion for League of Legends? Tue, 03 Sep 2013 17:03:43 -0400 Wokendreamer

Lucian has been out and about on the Fields of Justice for a good solid week, so naturally it is about time for us to start getting rumors about the next champion we can look forward to releasing in League of Legends.

This time, the rumors are both more cryptic and more obvious than usual.

This question gets significantly more perplexing given the tattoos, nail colors, and one very simple quote from Riot's own Gypsylord:  "It's not Vi."

The image above was released recently by Riot Games and at first seems fairly unexciting.  A bit of joy at a possible pool-party Vayne skin, since it sure looks like her in the one-piece on the left, but then someone raised the question of exactly whose perspective the image was depicted from.

This question gets significantly more perplexing given the tattoos, colors nails, and one very simple quote from Riot's own Gypsylord.  "It's not Vi."

With Vi being removed as a possible candidate, the plot thickens!

But it would hardly be a mystery worth discussing without a few more little hints from Riot's staffers, so here's what else we know.  Xelnath says it is:

"something > Vi"

while WizardCrab added in the even more frustratingly cryptic and potentially telling,

"Are you so sure the person's a girl?"

So what does everyone think? Is this a new skin for LeBlanc, Ezrael, Caitlynn, or someone else?  Is it an entirely new champion we are just now getting our first glimpse of?

Why is Riot doing this to us?!  Chime in below if you have a theory, I cannot be the only one seeking definitive answers on this!

New League of Legends Champion Lucian Details Wed, 10 Jul 2013 12:25:07 -0400 Wokendreamer

Riot Games has revealed their latest champion to us at last.  Lucian, the Purifier, is the upcoming ranged AD carry we can look forward to, bringing a pair of relic pistols to the Fields of Justice.  His abilities bring a mix of unique AoEs and direct skillshot punishment.


Passive: Lightslinger

Lucian's passive ability is a simple enough damage steroid.  After using an ability, Lucian's next auto-attack will shoot twice.  The second shot will do reduced damage, but this is still something very capable of building up over the course of the game, and on an AD carry, no less.  Given careful timing of ability use, it could easily end up adding more damage than Corki's passive (a straight 10% true damage) depending primarily on the cooldown of his abilities.


Piercing Light

Another very simple ability, Piercing Light is a skillshot damaging all targets in a line.  Given how simple it is, this ability is likely to be the one whose usefulness is most dependent on the raw numbers associated with its damage.  It might end up being useful in laning phase as a ranged poke that can pass through minions, but it would need either a very short cooldown or some very impressive damage numbers to match up to the likes of Varus or Caitlyn on that front.


Ardent Blaze

This ability is where Lucian starts getting much more interesting.  Ardent Blaze fires a shot at a target that explodes in a star-pattern AoE, marking targets caught in it.  If Lucian hits a marked target with an auto-attack, he gets a short movement speed boost.

The AoE is entirely unique, making it a trickier one for other players to avoid than might initially seem plausible.  Diana taught us all how changing up the way abilities travel or the area they cover can really throw off players who have spent so long getting used to very specific methods of avoidance.  This star-shaped AoE could do the same thing all over again, and a brief speed boost on an AD carry is never something to sneer at.


Relentless Pursuit

Any champion lacking a gap-closer in the modern meta needs to have some serious damage potential to make up for it.  Lucian, however, does have one, and specifically as an escape it is a rather powerful one.  Relentless Pursuit dashes a short distance and removes slows.  Anyone who has tried to chase a ghosting Garen knows how obnoxious it is watching someone clear the slows you've stacked on them to ensure you can keep up.

The other obvious use of the skill is in chasing, letting the player get close enough to land an Ardent Blaze for the speed boost could sometimes be just enough to secure the kill.  Since the ability refreshes each time Lucian kills a champion, he can be an absurdly dangerous opponent to have alive at the end of a teamfight.  If he catches one person, he could very easily chase down the entire team one by one.

This ability also adds some extremely tricky possibilities to Lucian's ult, which is...


The Culling

Lucian's ult fires repeatedly in one direction, with shots stopping at the first enemy hit.  In some ways, it is Miss Fortune's ult with a much smaller AoE and lack of piercing.  The advantages it has are big, though.

For one thing, Lucian can move freely while using the ability, meaning while Miss Fortune's ult might result in her doing a lot of damage and then getting killed for being stuck in one place, Lucian can throw his ult without fear, even while running away to punish someone chasing him.

On top of that, Lucian can freely use Relentless Pursuit while channeling his ult, meaning he actually retains full mobility the entire time, also enabling him to get certain angles to fire his shots into a teamfight if necessary.  It could also be a great way to rapidly finish off a target to refresh Unrelenting Pursuit for any of its myriad uses, or a way to punish someone trying to anti-carry and jump on top of you.

Lucian has a lot of potential and a lot of style.  Keep yourself practiced and watch for him to hit the Fields of Justice soon!

New League of Legends Champion Revealed: Aatrox Fri, 10 May 2013 00:42:37 -0400 Wokendreamer

Recently there was an image posted on Riot's forums of a man wielding a pair of very hefty pistols.  It was removed from the forums in fairly short order, leading many to suspect the unnamed gunslinger was going to be the next champion for League of Legends.  Apparently the people thinking so were wrong, as just today Riot has announced their next champion: Aatrox, the Darkin Blade.

Lore-wise, Aatrox is an ancient warrior who has wandered from hopeless battle to hopeless battle inspiring and leading others into viciously bloodthirsty combat.  As for what he actually does...

The Abilities

Let us start with his passive, Blood Well.  Aatrox's abilities cost health.  As he uses his abilities he stores up a part of the health he pays to use them.  This blood well will lose accumulated health over time if he stops using abilities, but can store a sizable reservoir.  Aatrox runs out of health, he pulls the health out of his blood well.

Passive abilities that stave off death always have potential uses to bait enemies into over-extending--how reliable the ability is will depend on just how much health it can store and how quickly.

His Q is Dark Flight.  Aatrox rises and slams down at target location, damaging and knocking up champions at the target point while damaging champions nearby.  A gap-closer that knocks up always has uses, giving initiation and counter-initiation opportunities. The range would have to be very short and the knock-up extremely brief for this ability to be weak.  It will almost certainly not be leveled up as a first priority, however, the utility likely requiring an early point but not needing more until later.

Aatrox's W is called Blood Thirst.  It applies a passive effect, giving some life recovery with every third auto-attack.  Activating the ability turns it to Blood Price, which replaces the life recovery with an attack damage buff that instead costs health.  AD steroids tend to vary very heavily, but given this ability's active only boosts damage and costs health, I'd expect it to boost damage by a huge amount.  With that assumption, it will probably be leveled first, both for the sustain and for the ability to trade hard for short bursts.

Blades of Torment fills in Aatrox's E slot.  He fires a skillshot line which damages and slows targets hit while refunding part of the health cost if it hits a champion.  This is a fairly standard skillshot, which seems mostly to be a chasing tool in case Aatrox initiates with his Q, but might also grant Aatrox a bit of poke depending on just how far it reaches.

Aatrox's ult, Massacre, does damage immediately in an AoE around himself and then gives him extra attack speed and range for a duration.  This combined with his Q makes for a painful initiation, and combined with his W, makes him a monster in a fight for a short time.  Even his E synergizes a bit with the ult by using the combination of extra attack range and slow to make chasing that much easier.

This kit flows together rather nicely.  Blood Thirst/Blood Price gives lane sustain and trading power at the same time, and is likely to be the ability that sees the most careful balancing on Riot's part to keep Aatrox from being either too dominant in lane or too easy to harass.  The combination of Massacre and Dark Flight will likely be the cause of most of the truly impressive plays, with added damage from Blood Price to help seal the deal.

As with most champions, how viable he will be at various levels will be largely dependent on the actual numbers on his abilities, most notably Blood Thirst/Price.  He should be hitting the PBE soon, and top lanes everywhere shortly thereafter.