Yorick, the Gravedigger
This ground-breaking new League of Legends
champion (pardon the pun) combines a durable bruiser-style character with the combat utility of summoned minions. As his name suggests, Yorick has a special talent for digging
up the dead and turning them to his will. Each variety of undead minion produces a different effect, adding some versatility to what could otherwise become a one-trick pony. When summoned, Decay Ghouls will inflict damage and a slow effect in an area around the summoning location. Once they've clawed their way out of the earth, Decay Ghouls will continue to inflict slow effects on any enemy hero who comes in range.
Ravenous Ghouls are as deadly as the name implies, draining victims of life with every hit. The stolen life is transferred to Yorick, giving him the additional survivability needed for close-range combat. While active, Ravenous Ghouls also grant Yorick his own passive life-steal on every melee hit. The fragile Spectral Ghouls round out Yorick's arsenal with very high damage, providing some excellent ganking potential. They also furnish Yorick with a bonus to attack and move speed when active, which will help him chase down and kill fleeing targets.
Yorick's passive will grant him a bonus for each ghoul currently active as well as grant his ghouls bonuses based on Yorick's currently equipped items. This could make for some interesting minion-focused builds, though that may be a risky strategy as Yorick's minions are only active for a short time and can be killed, which strips the bonuses they provide. Solidifying Yorick's role as a proper close-range ganker, his ultimate ability creates a wall that blocks an enemy's escape route, damaging and rooting any enemies crossing the threshold.
Leona, the Radiant Dawn
The Riot Games team has been introducing a large number of female champions lately, although technically the latest one is a clockwork robot
. Adding to that list, Leona
is the game's first female champion designed specifically to fill a core tank role. In a game like LoL
in which players can choose which champion to attack, the traditional role of tank has been augmented to create characters that players will want to mark as a high-priority target. This fiery paladin focuses on disrupting enemies during group fights, providing intense team-support that can't be ignored.
The only details we have on Leona's normal abilities are that they'll all be themed around crowd control, regeneration and resilience. Following that theme, her ultimate is an impressive area-effect damage spell with some nasty side-effects. Named Solar Flare, it's intended to force enemies to scatter from each other to avoid damage and stuns. The ability can be invoked at range and so can appear to come out of nowhere, making map awareness more important than usual when playing against Leona.
Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard
Skarner is a crystalline scorpion
with the ability to buff himself or debuff enemies. He's a true single-target damage-dealer with the ability to deal massive damage over long, drawn-out fights. Each attack on an enemy champion will add a stacking debuff that increases the damage taken from further attacks. When paired with characters who can deliver a few well-placed stuns, this ability will absolutely tear single enemies to pieces. Compounding Skarner's single-target prowess, his tail can be used to impale enemies and drag them away from teammates.
Skarner's other abilities focus on crowd control, including a cleaving attack and life steal abilities, to ensure he remains relevant in team-fights. No details have yet been released on his ultimate ability, but Riot did mention a special hardened crystal form Skarner can take that grants temporary combat buffs and aids survivability.
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