With Akali’s rework now hitting the PBE servers for League of Legends, it is time to take a look at Riot’s reworks. There are a lot of reworks to cover so let’s take a look at some of their more recent attempts.
Aatrox, The Darkin Blade
Aatrox since his inception had always been visualised as a war-bringer, the master crafter of battles. With a stoic attitude, he uses his blade to run through his enemies and help the underdogs to win every battle. He was an imposing figure with large demonic wings and a living sword.
His kit, however, was quite simple. You had a simple dash spell that would knock up enemies, a toggle ability and a few AOE skills to boot. His kit left little room for balancing as even a few slight changes on his numbers could push him from useless to amazing.
As Riot had stated, “Next let’s talk about the Darkin Blade, Aatrox. As noted previously, Aatrox’s changes will be the largest pure gameplay update we’ve ever done, and it’s taken us a bit longer than we originally predicted. We think that Aatrox really isn’t holistically living up to his Darkin Warlord theme and needs to be rethought from the ground up.”
Now, his reworked kit is more complex. His skills require good positioning and reading your opponents (theoretically) and he now has more CC for utility. His visuals do hold the same theme of being all demonic and ‘evil’. His voice lines have more interactions with several champions including his fellow Darkins, Varus and Rhaast.
Irelia, The Blade Dancer
Formerly known as the Will of Blades, Irelia was a meme for the League Community. She had been targeted by nerfs since she joined the roster. One of the phrases you might have heard would be, ‘Better nerf Irelia!’.
Her kit was perhaps even more simple than Aatrox. She had a simple dash ability with effects added to her auto-attacks and a decent CC. Despite this, Riot believes that a majority of her kit doesn’t feel it fits, “The rest of her kit (not Q) is going through pretty big changes to help fully realize her theme.”
Now her kit had been fitted with new conditional spells that could be avoided by the enemy player. In a sense, she’s more interesting to play against. While she still retains the image of a warrior who controls several blades by her will, the new style is far more complex than her former self.
Akali, The Rogue Assassin
Akali was one of the earliest energy users in the League Roster and she had minor reworks done to her kit before. Formerly known as the Fist of Shadows, she quickly became known for her very feast or famine playstyle.
“Akali has always been a beloved champion, but she hasn’t aged particularly well. Her assassin pattern is very all-or-nothing, so it can be difficult for her to succeed unless she snowballs off of early kills,” Riot stated in their roadmap.
As of the writing of this article, her new visual update and kit are now in the progress of testing in the PBE servers. She still maintains the ‘assassin’ playstyle as she is a ninja and rightfully so, using stealth mechanics and mobility. However, there are still many unknown factors to whether she will become an overtuned powerhouse for the meta or simply too weak to justify using.
More Reworks down the road
Riot had reworked several champions over the years, some more than once (Ryze) in order to make their gameplay and lore more intuitive and interesting. Not all updates were received positively as there are some complaints that those characters no longer held their previous identity.
Regardless, it is interesting to see where Riot will take these champions in the future as some of them are easily forgettable.