Riot released its latest Champion Roadmap on Wednesday, which discussed a new Vanguard champion, the upcoming changes for Evelynn, potential changes to Xin Zhao, retooling Azir, and giving Swain a facelift.
Riot has been giving individual roles or classes of champions for the past couple of large scale patches for Marksmen, Assassins, and Tanks. Following that will be a new Vanguard class of champion. The team “wanted to make a new playmaking Vanguard that charged headfirst into tough situations,” and readers were told to readers to “look out for the newest Vanguard.” The champion will most likely hail from the icy world of Freljord, as they are set to “be heating up one of the coldest regions in Runeterra.” Details were pretty mum beyond that, but the new champion sure seems to be exciting, whatever it may be.
Evelynn has been in and out of the competitive meta for some time, and hasn’t seen much play recently. But she will get some “new tools” to play around her permanently-stealthed mechanic, which is unique to the champion. Also in the works is a reboot to her lore — like many other champions since the narrative reboot — and where she lands in terms of the world and the characters to whom she has ties. Her update is set to take place after the newest Vanguard champion.
Xin Zhao is classified as a Diver along with Aatrox, and since the Darkin got his own Champion Roadmap, now it’s Xin’s turn. Xin Zhao will receive a smaller scale update compared to Aatrox, focused on the more of his “less interesting abilities” and giving him “a strong strategic identity in League.” Timeline wise, Xin Zhao’s changes are set to hit the Rift before Aatrox.
Azir has been difficult to balance, as he was left in limbo for a long time before recently being mentioned. The team seems set on hitting Azir’s high mobility, though the direction it will go is unclear. As of now, Azir seems to be of relatively high priority, so changes could be coming sooner rather than later.
Swain is set to get a large scale visual and gameplay update after Evelynn. Swain’s “gameplay has also been a design problem,” where he either becomes unstoppable or useless with no middle ground. The update is set to be major visual and gameplay overhaul, and the release date for this is still tentative.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games