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League of Legends Reworks: Old Champions Vs New

Richard Heimer

13 th  September 2018

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If you've been keeping up to date with the changes in League of Legends over the years, then you should know about the numerous reworks. When a champion is launched in League of Legends, it usually fits the meta fairly well. This means the champion usually gets a lot of playtime from pros in the tournaments. However, when the meta suddenly changes, some champions can disappear into the void.

To make sure every champion in League of Legends has a fair chance in game, Riot constantly update champions to make fit the game better. This can mean a completely new set of skills, adjusting existing ones, or just updating the visual graphics.

In order to show you how League of Legends has changed over the years, we’re looking back on some of the most popular champion reworks. From their visual changes to their new skills and abilities, we’re taking a complete look at these amazing transformations.

Irelia Update - 4/4/2018

irelia rework before and after

Irelia’s been around for almost as long as League has, and during that time she has received very few changes – In fact, it could be argued that she’s one of the few classic Champions who hasn’t received a serious rework. Well, until not anymore of course.

She’s undergone a series of nerfs since her release in 2010, so many in fact that it lead to the creation of a popular meme! That’s all in the past now though, as both her visual model and her kit has been vastly improved!

There are the little details, such as the smoothness of her auto attacks and the new colour scheme, then there are the bigger things.

The community was concerned over what would happen to Irelia’s Bladesurge ability;. Thankfully it remained relatively unchanged. If anything it received a buff, as many of Irelia’s abilities and auto attacks now create marks. Irelia can dash to a marked target with Bladesurge and have the cooldown instantly refreshed, giving her far more mobility than she ever had before!

With a title like “The Blade Dancer” you would expect her to dance around the battlefield, and thanks to her new Q, she can! How about her stun though? Well, it’s still a stun, but it functions much differently.

Now Irelia’s E allows her to fling out two blades at different points, upon recasting, the blades will move toward each other. Anyone caught in the path of the blades will be damaged and stunned, which we consider to be a buff.

Overall she definitely seems to be stronger, of course, a couple of people are moaning that she’s ruined, but they always do that.

Swain Update - 2/7/2018

swain rework before and after

Swain is another old Champion, both in terms of real-life time and in-game time. He no longer resembles the mouldy potato he used to though, and now looks like a dapper, elderly gentleman. In fact, he’s the spitting image of Lucius Malfoy, with his sneering expression, light hair, and cane – there’s been some dispute as to which version of Swain looks the best, but in our opinion, the new model is far superior.

Gone is his old, overly fancy dress, replaced by a more practical set of clothes. To those yelling “He’s magic, magic people have robes!” he’s a master tactician first, and tacticians dress sensibly. Plus, his bird form is much more menacing, bigger, redder, and more demonic looking.

In terms of gameplay, there were a few things that the team had no choice but to keep; He had to be a frontline mage, he had to have life steal, and he needed some form of root. Everything else was disposable.

Swain's new kit is as complex as his old one was simple. His new passive now causes his ravens to tear apart bodies of the dead, granting him HP whenever someone near him dies – In addition to this, he can also right-click immobilised enemies to yank them a few feet toward him – this tears out a fragment of their soul and heals him.

His ultimate works much the same as it always has, but it now has a timer. When the ultimate expires, it pops and deals an extra burst of damage to every enemy around him. As for his other skills, they’re much the same as always, although his W can now be used to scout!

Akali Update - 01/08/2018

akali rework before and after

If anyone deserved a rework, it was probably Akali, but many players are furious over what she has become. Her Cloak of Shadows ability now allows her to become fully invisible, though it does take a few seconds to activate – by ‘permanently invisible’ we mean that even towers can’t see her.

Because of this we fully understand why people are upset. It sucks to have Akali tower dive you and then escape on 5 hp. She is also stronger before level 6 now too, so isn’t completely useless until she gets her ultimate.

Graphically however, she remains fairly unchanged. Besides the clothing Riot removed from her, and the new edgy tattoos she has!

Urgot Update - 7/26/2017

urgot rework before and after

Released in 2010, it’s taken nearly 7 years for Urgot to receive an in-game rework. This once love ranged ADC has been steadily declining in popularity for a while until the point where he became the least pick champion in game. In order to increase his popularity and pick rate, Riot needed to something more than just update his visuals, and so they did!

In July of 2017, Urgot was relaunched with a complete makeover. Featuring brand new models and textures for all of his skins, his outdated low polygon model was finally replaced. However, that wasn’t the only major change Riot decided to implement.

Let’s face it, if you ever played Urgot before his update, you’d know how bad his ultimate was. If you were in a team fight then it might have use teleporting an enemy into the middle of your team. However, when on his own, Urgot’s ultimate became more of an escape than a awesome ultimate.

His new ultimate Fear Beyond Death finally solves that problem that plagued Urgot for nearly 7 years. Not only can he now deal ranged damage with it, but he can also pull an enemy towards him without having to teleport himself into enemy’s lines. Combine this with new changes for the rest of his abilities and it’s amazing to see how long he lasted without an update!

Galio Update - 3/21/2017

galio rework before and after

Also released in 2010, Galio has been part of the rift for almost the same time as Baron Nashor himself. Based on a fierce gargoyle, Galio was one of the first flying champions available on the rift. However, as more and more champions were released throughout the development of the game, Galois popularity pretty much became non-existent.

The main reason for this was due to his play style and abilities. Originally a tank / fighter champion, Galio actually did have that many damage abilities and was often used as a support. He could fire a gust of wind to his enemies, but apart from that, everything else was fairly defensive.

In March 2017, Galio was reworked featuring a brand new model and a whole new set of abilities. Galio could suddenly deal a lot more damage to enemies and even stun them with his new crowd control abilities. Unlike the old Galio, this now allowed him to participate better in team fights and deal more damage to his enemies. His new ultimate Hero’s Entrance, also allows him to do a huge AoE knock up which allows him to crowd control the entire enemy team.

This new Galio has helped improve his popularity in game and has seen a sharp increase in pros picking him throughout the professional scene. We say this rework has most certainly done its job!

Warwick Update - 1/25/2017

warwick rework before and after

One of the first ever champions to hit the rift back in 2009, Warwick was a fierce champion that had an impressive skillset. With the ability to suppress enemies, heal himself and chase down those wounded, he was a great pick for players of all skill level.

As League developed and new reworks were introduced; such as the Jungle and visual update rework, Warwick started to lag behind. He still a great skillset, but wasn't as tuned for the jungle as he used to be. This led players switching champions to the likes of Master Yi as he could basically do everything Warwick could just faster.

At the start of 2017 after nearly 8 years since Warwick first stormed onto Summoner's Rift, a completely rework was released. This rework featured a brand new model and character makeover, which is vastly different from his previous style.

In terms of his new skills and abilities, they are all in fact, very similar to his old ones. His ultimate is almost exactly the same, he can still smell out enemies on low health, and heal himself with his Q ability. Although these skills have been tweaked and the damage ratios adjusted, his skillset is almost identical to the one he had before.

Although Warwick’s skills were already great before the update, his visuals definitely needed some work. This update brought Warwick back into Summoners Rift with style and he's most likely here to stay for a long time.

Yorick Update - 9/8/2016

Yorick champion rework before after

Released in 2011, Yorick the Gravedigger was an interesting champion. With some pretty unique skills such as the ability to summon ghouls, this allowed for some interesting gameplay.

The original Yorick was well, let’s say, not very impressive. His terrible visuals and terrible skills made him not the best champion to play in game. In fact, he was often shunned for much better picks and almost only ever used as a last resort.

After hiding away in the shadows for long enough, Riot finally decided to give Yorick a complete makeover. This meant brand new visuals and brand new skills to update his gameplay to the current meta.

His new skills include the ability to summon Mist Walkers from the grave, as well as the ability to summon the Maiden of the Mist as the ultimate. There is also a new ability that gives Yorick some much needed crowd control. His Dark Procession ability now allows Yorick to summon a destructible wall of corpses that encircles a target area for a few seconds. This wall requires a minimum number of auto attacks before it breaks, which is different from having champions have to deal damage instead.

The new Yorick rework is definitely an improvement on the old one, with the new sleek graphics and tweaked skillet, this rework was certainly much needed.

Ryze Update - 07/13/2016

Ryze champion rework before after

One of the first champions to be released at the initial launch of League of Legends is Ryze. This champion, named after the CEO of Riot Games, Brandon “Ryze” Beck, has always been a popular option for many players.

The original Ryze was a unique champion that relied a lot on having the lowest cooldown time possible. This meant that players would often build cooldown reduction items in order to improve his gameplay. Combine this with his ultimate cooldown that was reduced further by using his other abilities, and Ryze was a solid pick.

For over 6 years Ryze remained the same until one day Riot decided he needed a revamp. After all, his model and textures were from 2009 which made him look very ancient. The new rework not only included a new model and texture, but also a brand new set of abilities for him to use on the rift.

These new skills include a reworked ultimate and a new rune system that causes additional effects such as extra damage and a longer snare. Apart from those 2 significant changes, Ryze remains about the same. His spells still rely on cooldowns and using them in the correct order, but the new rune system allows players to be even more creative with plays.

The new Ryze remains somewhat similar to the old one in that most of his abilities are the same. However this new tweaked Ryze definitely makes him more of a team player. His old ultimate only benefited himself, whereas his new ultimate allows team members to teleport into the centre of battle. This new change makes him more of an offensive champion that his old defensive self.

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Richard Heimer

Content Writer
Richard is our resident League of Legends player. He knows everything.

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