Deep Diving Akshan: The New LoL Champion
Riot Games recently revealed that a new champion is set to do battle on Summoners Rift as a brand new marksman enters the fray. But it's not just business as usual though, as Riot has worked to design something a little different from the norm.
In today's blog, Team Norse Thunder's League of Legends player Emily Dixon introduces Akshan and puts together her thoughts on the new champion. How will he affect the meta? How do his abilities work? Which is the best lane to play him in? With just a couple of days to go until Akshan makes his debut, it's time to dive in and find out more about him!
The team that designed Akshan said they wanted to "craft an experience that [felt] like a distinct assassin style, but also clearly... like a marksman". They certainly hit the mark! Akshan's hybrid of both marksman and assassin abilities will probably mean he finds a comfortable home in the mid lane, but he may well also be worth considering as a support pick (we'll get to that later).
It's not all about playstyle though: the designers hinted at his obvious good looks by making sure the rather handsome champion had a "nice smile" to go along with his ancient weapon of tremendous power!
If skins are your thing, then you'll be pleased to know that Akshan launches with a CyberPop skin alongside his base skin. The CyberPop design sees him sporting a trendy new haircut and an outfit primed for an appearance on a 1970's dance floor after a hard day's filming Back to the Future. It's cool!
Twitter got itself a little bit up in arms when Akshan was first revealed, so now that the dust has settled a little, let's take a look at his abilities to check out what the fuss was all about...
Akshan’s passive is pretty strong: By firing a second attack after the first, then canceling it, you'll benefit from a burst of increased movement speed. If speed isn't what you're looking for though, Akshan’s passive does extra damage for every three hits and provides a shield if you're targeting an enemy champion. When offence and defence are wrapped up together in a passive attack, it's always going to get people talking.
Akshan's Q shares pretty major similarities with Sivir’s Boomerang Blade. Boomerang Blade flings a boomerang out and then brings it back in again, dealing less damage on the return than it did on the release. However, Akshan’s Q, Avengerang, (you can see more similarity here, right?) has a twist as for each champion it hits, its range extends.
Akshan might just be a champion with damage statistics off the charts, but it's his W that gets me thinking that he might be playable as a support. Taking down an enemy who killed an ally with the W will resurrect the dead ally at base and that'll be hugely useful, especially for ADCs who departed the fight a little too early. Akshan's W paired with the shield generated by his passive adds yet another interesting dynamic for bot lane consideration.
That’s not all though! Akshan's W camouflages him from nearby enemies and allows him to see trails of Scoundrels - he gains movement speed and mana regeneration by following them. The W was already strong enough, so the added bonus probably pushes him over the top on the 'is he playable?' dilemma. Resurrection, evasion, offence and defence all rolled into one champion!
Akshan's E is his most beautiful ability. The E casts a hook shot into terrain and gets him swinging on it as a pivot, shooting while he goes. Not just a pretty face, eh? The W offers a great way to enter and escape from team fights and with a fast reset after a takedown? I can hear the Pentakill announcements now!
Lastly, his R provides an Ezreal like ultimate as he charges up energy in bullets and releases them all in one go. Although not worldwide, this ability promises many kills with its machine-gun style.
Akshan's an exciting new champion for the League of Legends community to try their hand with, and his wide range of abilities look strong enough to shake up the meta a little. He looks like a solid mid lane pick, but it’ll be interesting to see if he makes it as a support option too - the potential is there for sure!
Riot isn't handing us a champion that fits in a small, narrow box - a square peg in a square hole type situation - but they're asking questions of us as players. They're tempting us to try him out in other positions to explore the limits of his abilities and come up with new, interesting ways to play. That's good game design.
Akshan's entry onto Summoners Rift comes alongside a little batch of balance changes that Riot is making to the game, but it's the new marksman that has people excited. The latest patch is scheduled for 21st July, so it won't be long until you can get some games under your belt with him.