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League of Legends’ next champion is a water whip-wielding monk with a big demon

She takes a hands-on approach

League of Legends - Nilah, the Joy Unbound, is an agile woman with dark hair, brown skin, and a magical water whip. In the background, a massive demon tears through the scenery. Image: Riot Games
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

The next League of Legends champion is a bot lane skirmisher with a water whip and an ancient demon in her pocket. Nilah, the Joy Unbound, is a warrior monk pledged to a legendary order that has sealed a demon of joy in a spiritual lake. That prison allows the ascetics of her order to channel the demon, but as a result, Nilah can only feel joy.

Since the Sentinels of Light locked up Viego in ancient Camavor at the end of their event, Nilah sets out to investigate who did this and why. She finds out about an even greater threat — perhaps Bel’Veth, the Void Empress? — and prepares to face them so that she can defeat the world’s villains and live forever in song and myth.

Nilah is a melee champion, but she thrives in the bot lane thanks to her kit, which gives her lots of synergy with enchanter supports like Lulu, Karma, and Janna.

Passive - Joy Unending

If Nilah last hits a minion, she and the nearest allied champion gain 50% of the experience that would normally be lost from sharing with nearby allies.

Nilah gains additional effectiveness from heals and shields given to her by allied champions. When a nearby ally casts an ability that heals or shields Nilah or themselves, Nilah grants the additional benefit to both herself and her ally.

Q - Formless Blade

Passive: Attacks and ability damage against champions ignore some of their armor and heal Nilah for part of the damage dealt. This effect scales with crit chance and can overheal, granting Nilah a shield.

Active: Nilah strikes in a line damaging all enemies hit. Hitting an enemy increases Nilah’s attack range and attack speed for a few seconds. Additionally her basic attacks will splash in a cone, dealing additional damage.

W - Jubilant Veil

Nilah envelopes herself in mist, causing her to briefly gain movement speed, reduce incoming magic damage, and dodge all incoming basic attacks. Touching an ally champion hides them in the mist, granting them the same bonuses for half the duration.

E - Slipstream

Nilah dashes through a target unit, damaging all enemies she passes through. Nilah can hold 2 charges of Slipstream at once.

Nilah can cast Formless Blade (Q) during Slipstream to pull a wave in her path, dealing damage and activating her empowered attacks.

R - Apotheosis

Nilah spins her weapon in an area around her, dealing damage and pulling enemies in toward the center with a final burst. This damage heals Nilah for a portion of the damage dealt, converting excess healing into a shield. The healing and shielding scales with critical strike chance and is shared with nearby allies.

While some players might be tempted to try Nilah in another lane or the jungle, her kit really rewards playing with someone else, especially if that champion has shields or heals. Nilah is also fairly mobile thanks to Slipstream; she doesn’t need to hang back and wait for an opportunity to go all-in. Instead, she dances around a fight, sustaining herself while dishing out damage with Formless Blade.

Nilah will also be part of the Star Guardian alternate universe, where a host of popular champions are magical girl-inspired heroes. The next Star Guardian event, Return to Valoran City, will start on July 14.

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