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League of Legends has an adorable new champion, and a reworked veteran

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

League of Legends developer Riot Games made two champion announcements today, revealing the cute but deadly Gnar and a rework of the songstress Sona.

Gnar, a fuzzy yordle born thousands of years ago (but then trapped in ice), comes in two forms: Mini Gnar, in which he is mobile and kites well, but dies quickly, and Mega Gnar, in which he becomes a hulking beast that's "tanky and surprisingly bursty."

League of Legends game designer August "gypsylord" Browning wrote on the game's official website that Gnar is "a champion with identifiable strengths and weaknesses in both forms."

"Mini Gnar's one of the most mobile champions in the game," Browning said. "He boasts good sustained damage and kites incredibly well, but when he does get caught, he dies fast. On the other hand, Mega Gnar is a colossus. He's tanky and surprisingly bursty, with strong area of effect and crowd control to boot. But he's slow, meaning his enemies can pretty much get away simply by walking in the opposite direction."

Mini Gnar builds up rage that can then be unleashed when full, transforming him into Mega Gnar when he uses an ability. Players don't have full control of Gnar's transform, "adding extra complexity and depth to his gameplay," Browning said. Learning how to play as Gnar during his transitions is as important as learning how to play him in both of his forms.

League of Legends - Sona

Riot Games also detailed some changes coming to Sona, a rework designed to make sure the champion "feels as awesome as possible" and to make playing as her rewarding and fun.

"She wasn't terribly strong or weak, but her kit clearly lacked high moments and overall satisfaction," game designer "Fearless" wrote on the game's official website. "We wanted to keep her theme as it was and retain her awesome Crescendo while giving her basic abilities a more visible and tangible impact. Oh, and if we could sneak in some fancy texture updates in the process (and we could!), then all the better."

Sona now has abilities to "power up her allies and save their lives when a fight turns against them."

"You'll be able to make plays as Sona, earn your team kills and save lives with clutch ability casts and smart positioning," Fearless wrote. "At the same time, the enemy team has larger windows to fight back in thanks to her longer cooldowns, adding in clarity and counterplay to Sona's kit. We can't wait to see what players can do with her update."

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