League of Legends (LoL) recently unveiled one of the most awaited champion reworks in a while.
Udyr the Spirit Walker’s rework trailer was posted on YouTube and social media on Saturday (6 August), and fans are rejoicing.
Udyr, one of the oldest LoL champions, was released in 2009. As a result, the champion's in-game model has been outdated for over a decade and doesn't match the game's cosmetics standard.
He was chosen by players in Season 11’s poll as the next champion to get a visual graphic update (VGU) and a kit makeover.
His new look and his gameplay gave the champion a better identity, on top of his new 'dad bod' that reminds me of Thor in Avengers: End Game, but with the Stormbreaker.
Riot promised in a dev blog last year that the team would build on Udyr’s visuals and not reinvent him.
In the trailer, we saw that instead of random animal spirits, Udyr’s stances are now based on his powers harnessed from the Freljordian demigods.
One of the stances changes his arms to look like a cryophoenix, representing the power he harnesses from Anivia, the Cryophoenix champion in-game.
Another stance, based on fire, has ram horns representing the power he gets from Ornn, the Freljordian demi-god of forging and craftsmanship.
When his arms transform into a bear, most players know that this represents Volibear. Udyr also has a stance that looks a bit like the old turtle but is actually the Iron Boar, the Freljordian demigod that hasn’t been fully revealed yet in the Runeterraverse.
This gives his transformations a better meaning and connection to his current lore.
Udyr Gameplay Updates
Apart from Riot’s trailer, former Team Gates owner Timothy "Trick2g" Foley revealed internal gameplay testing footage on his YouTube channel.
While he emphasised that the video “does not represent final gameplay,” it gives us a better understanding of what we might expect from the Spirit Walker’s kit.
Here’s what we’ve seen so far:
Spirit Walker (Passive)
It is now possible for Udyr to re-cast one of the stances during its cooldown period in order to Awaken it and gain bonus effects. Also, using any stance increases attack speed by 30% for four seconds and cuts the cooldown of Awaken by 5%.
Riot also previously mentioned that this passive might be connected to another unknown Freljordian demi-god, the Seal Sister.
Wilding Claw (Q)
Wilding Claw replaces the old Tiger Stance. Udyr gets 25% attack speed for four seconds, and his next two attacks deliver additional physical damage based on his maximum HP percentage.
When Awakened, Udyr's attack speed increases and the two empowered attacks gain a lightning strike that bounces up to six times, causing greater max health damage to isolated targets.
Iron Mantle (W)
Iron Mantle gives you a shield for four seconds, and the two attacks it empowers steal life and heal you when they hit.
The Awakened version increases the amount of shields he gets and gives Udyr four seconds to heal himself. During this time, both Life Steal and on-hit health gains are doubled.
Blazing Stampede (E)
Blazing Stampede (E) replaces Bear Stance and gives Udyr 30 per cent faster movement for 4 seconds. When Udyr is in this stance, his first attack stuns an enemy for 0.75 seconds, and Awaken makes him immune to effects that slow him down or stop him from moving, as well as giving him faster movement over 1.5 seconds.
What's there to love
What we love about this kit so far is that Riot made sure to keep the champion’s identity instead of erasing what players loved about him.
On top of that, his kit is straightforward and not overloaded, unlike other reworks that incorporate three new dashes, one that goes through walls, or an infinite passive that nearly cripples any counterplay.
The thematic addition to each stance on his kit is a welcome integration that ties up everything together and revives the player’s interest in his story.
Udyr’s rework will arrive on PBE soon. Given Riot’s usual timeline, his final ability kit will be revealed within the week, followed by playtesting on the PBE.
With some more tweaks, he’ll probably be ready for the public servers at the end of August or in early September.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.