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Champion Roadmap: April 2019

Mordekaiser, an AD assassin, and an army of one. Check out the new champs and updates coming in 2019.

By Reav3

Hey all, it’s that time of the year again when we get to talk about the awesome new champions and updates we’re working on right now. I won’t be talking about the new enchanter support today since I already talked about her in the last roadmap and she’s just around the corner. But there’s still plenty to share!

Let’s start off by talking broadly about our plans for champions in 2019.

Shifting Focus

Way back in 2017, our Champions team and Champion Updates team combined into one super force, that way we could work on whatever we felt like made the most sense. At the time, we started ramping up VGUs because there were so many champions we felt needed a full-scale rework. As a result, in 2018 we had more reworks than new champions, which brought visual and gameplay updates to Swain, Irelia, Aatrox, Akali, Nunu, and Ezreal—and less new champions than before, with Kai’Sa, Pyke, and Neeko.

After Mordekaiser’s VGU this year, we’ll have gotten through the last of the champions in need of his level of work (think updates the size of Urgot’s, Nunu’s, and Swain’s). So for the rest of 2019 and for the foreseeable future, we’re going to focus more on new champions and less on large-scale visual-gameplay updates.

We still think VGUs have a lot of value and they definitely won’t be going away, as there are still plenty of champions that need work. The list just isn’t nearly as long as it once was, and the champions on the list aren’t as low-quality as those who’ve received VGUs already, so we are going to adjust our cadence accordingly. Outside of the large-scale VGUs, we’ll also be doing smaller gameplay-only reworks on a case-by-case basis.

Since we’re going to be doing fewer large-scale VGUs in the future, we want to hear from you: Which champion do you think is most in need of a VGU? Stay tuned for an official vote in the near future, where the winning champion will be guaranteed a VGU for 2020.

And with that, let’s talk about the next few champions and champion updates we’re working on now.

Night Falls Over Death’s Realm

Mordekaiser’s VGU is pretty far along, so now I can share some more details on what we have planned for our metal overlord. As mentioned in the last roadmap, it’s a massive VGU. We updated or replaced every ability on his kit, while focusing on keeping his gameplay in line with his unique role as an AP juggernaut. One of the biggest abilities you can expect to change is Mordekaiser’s ultimate. We wanted to replace it with something that would make his enemies truly fear and respect Morde, with nowhere to run or hide from his indomitable malice. It won’t be long before new Morde conquers the lands of both the living and the dead, bending the souls of all who oppose him to his unbreakable will.

A New Civilization Emerges

Now let’s talk about the next new champion we plan on releasing into the wild. This new champion will be a solo lane AD assassin. It’s been a while, I know. There are very few of these types of champions in the game and we know a lot of you love playing them. This champion’s arrival will send you deep into the jungles of Runeterra where a brand new faction, hidden from the rest of the world, will reveal itself. This assassin has powers which give them all the elements they need to use their surroundings in clever and innovative ways.

Trespassers beware and stay away from the walls, for nowhere is safe when you enter deep into these jungles.

A One Man Army

Let’s talk about the next VGU we have planned after Mordekaiser. It’s none other than the Man, the Myth, the Legend, Pantheon! After Mordekaiser, Pantheon is the last of the pizza-feet champions, which is to say he hasn’t visually held up very well over time. We will be building his visuals from the ground up, while also making him feel more unique to the world of Runeterra. We’ll also be expanding on his current lore, as we tell the story of gods and humans and how one man fought back against the gods.

For Pantheon’s gameplay, we’re looking to modernize his current kit rather than completely re-imagine it. We plan on preserving the aggressive, reliable nature of his play pattern while also adding a deeper set of options and decisions for him to play around with. We also want to really sell the hoplite fantasy by making Pantheon’s shield feel more integrated into his kit.

In addition to all these big announcements, we also have a very non-traditional marksman planned for late this year. That’s all we have to share today; thanks as always for your feedback and questions!

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