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Janna Mid and Warwick Skins

Personal bodyguards, off-role picks, and Warwick’s skin vault.

Welcome to Ask Riot! Have a question?

This week on Ask Riot, it’s off-roles, bodyguards, and Warwick skins.

Are you ok with champions being played in off roles? For example, a support champ being played mid?

We think it’s great for the game when a wide variety of different classes can be played in a given position, provided the gameplay created is interactive and interesting, both for the person on that champion and other people in the game. Seeing mages come to be played in the support position over the last few years, for example, has generally seemed like a strong positive; it creates a wider variety of experiences, allows players with different tastes to enjoy the role, and enables a wider range of team comps and strategies.

Similarly, some unusual, effective, and relatively fair picks have also been great to see previously (e.g. the occasional Riven mid as an assassin counter, support MF synergizing with Ashe as a lane partner, the occasional unusual mage like Karthus top etc). Right now we’re also seeing Ziggs see play as a farming bot laner. So far at least it looks like an effective pick that has clear strengths and weaknesses and brings something a bit different to the lane. Ziggs probably is a bit on the strong side, both bot and mid, at time of writing though, so we might nerf him on those grounds. Keeping him as a decent choice bot as well as mid’s something we’d like to do if possible.

As far as champs normally played as support going to mid (or other lanes), those would face the same “Is this healthy?” test. We think it’s great to see an enchanter like Karma there for example, given it allows for interesting play and team comps while having a lane that’s pretty fair and interactive for other players. On the other side of things, though, there have been cases where we’ve seen enchanters go to positions other than support in ways that’s created really negative experiences. AP Janna mid is probably the clearest example of that, with her play often consisting of sitting at the tower, casting Q to one shot the wave and then not really interacting meaningfully with her lane opponent at all during the laning phase. That sort of thing’s not something we feel’s good for the game, regardless of which class is doing it, hence Janna’s ability to do that got removed, which subsequently meant she stopped getting played mid.

Lead Gameplay Designer

If you had the chance to choose one champion as your personal bodyguard (not only for protection, but also for kicking the bottom of every person who gets on your nerves), who would you choose?

I thought long and hard about this question, but ultimately, I had to go with my first instinct: Braum. There’s the obvious reasons: oversized shield, swole physique, impeccable mustache… This man can stop bullets, bombs, and tidal waves in their tracks, and I’d always feel safe standing behind Braum. (Plus, I hear his mustache is magical.)

But here’s the other thing: whichever bodyguard you choose, you best be prepared to spend a lot of time with them. (Thinking about the sound of Zilean’s laughter following me everywhere actually tilted me.) But Braum? That guy is a walking embodiment of encouragement and inspiration. I imagine him saving me from baddies only to ask me if I’d like a cup of hot cocoa afterwards. He’s probably too kind-hearted to kick the butts of annoying people, but I’m sure he would gently (yet forcibly) remove them from my presence.

Oh, and the poros. Lots and lots of poros.

Writer

With the Warwick update coming out, will you make Grey Warwick or the URF skin available again?

For Warwick’s release, these skins will not be available. But that doesn’t mean they will never come back. Grey Warwick was originally a reward for the refer-a-friend program, for example, and while we currently don’t have this system in place, the skin could still come back for some other type of campaign in the future. His Urf skin is a bit more complicated. If there was a really cool event in the future that made sense for Urf Warwick, it could make a comeback; however, if we did bring it back we would want to do something special for the players that previously owned it, similar to what we did with Championship Riven.

Lead Producer of Champions

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