Riot Games continues their Champion Roadmap series of developer blog posts in which they highlight the new creative direction on Udyr’s long-awaited rework and tease two new champions joining League of Legends.
Udyr’s rework promises to breathe life into what has become an outdated kit. Meanwhile, bot lane players can look forwards to plenty of new tools, with both a marksman and a support slated for release.
Udyr is one of the champions most in need of a full visual gameplay update, with a kit that’s begun to show its age after more than a decade of League of Legends. Currently, Udyr’s entire gameplay experience needs him to be in melee range of an enemy to accomplish anything. Centering around his lack of a traditional ultimate ability, Udyr’s stance-dancing fantasy is one that has resonated with players since the game’s inception, wich each stance channeling the power of a different animal spirit. Previous developer blogs suggested having Udyr be closer to a demigod than his humble shamanic origins from the game may be what’s in store for the champion.
Fans seem to love the concept, and Riot is moving full steam ahead on demigod Udyr. His new burly look includes a more distinct Freljordian aesthetic, some fancy new horns, and a headband gifted from Lee Sin after his time in Ionia. Udyr’s look is meant to more clearly invoke the idea of a towering druid channeling primordial power.
In tandem with information on the Udyr Rework, Riot released images suggesting the next two champions are a marksman from Piltover & Zaun, and a support with a darker tone and a distinctly Ionian look. The first champion, expected early next year, appears to use a custom electrical rifle depicted through an in-world schematic. This new marksman will be a lightning-quick attacker with a unique auto-attack mechanic.
Following that champion will be a new support. Judging from the excerpt given by Riot, it’s meant to evoke tones of dark manipulation and pulling the strings from behind the scenes. The shot-calling aspect of supports is an underutilized aspect of champion kit design. With ethereal clouds and careful workmanship, the emblem featured for this mysterious character is in line with Riot’s established aesthetic for Ionia.
Bot lane has been a relatively static role for some time, and these new champions could be a refreshing change of pace for players. Meanwhile, the Udyr rework promises to rejuvenate the Spirit Walker’s outdated abilities and freshen up his look.