League of Legends continually updates, adding new champions and features to the multiplayer battle arena game. This weekend, during League’s yearly Worlds tournament, Developer Riot Games shared some of the next big additions coming to the game. This includes new champion Hwei, the Visionary, a young Ionian man who uses his massive brush to paint a dizzying array of spells, as well as a host of changes for the upcoming season including adjustments to Summoner’s Rift and the nasty Baron boss.
Hwei is a unique champion because he doesn’t use the typical QWER + passive ability combo that most other League characters use. Instead, his Q, W, and E open up spellbooks, each of which has three spells apiece. His abilities allow him to be a jack of all trades, capable of going mid lane or serving as a support. There’s a lot to examine in Hwei’s kit, which comes with a total of 10 spells. His passive and ultimate always remain the same, and he has a reset ability that lets him to swap spellbooks.
Passive - Signature of the Visionary
Hwei’s damaging abilities against enemy champions mark them for a few seconds. Hitting marked enemies with another damaging ability creates an explosion underneath them, detonating after a short delay and dealing magic damage to all enemies in range.
QR/WR/ER - Wash Brush
Hwei clears his paintbrush and returns to base abilities without using mana or cooldowns.
(Ultimate) R - Spiraling Despair
Hwei launches a vision of pure despair that sticks to an enemy champion for a few seconds. The vision expands and overwhelms all enemies it touches, dealing magic damage per second. Enemies within the zone are afflicted with stacks of Despair over time. Each stack of Despair applies a stacking percent slow. Upon completion, the vision shatters, dealing magic damage.
His Q spells are based around the theme of Disaster, and allow him to deal some nasty damage.
Q - Subject: Disaster
QQ - Devastating Fire
Hwei paints a blazing fireball that flies out in the target direction.
It explodes on the first enemy hit or at maximum range, dealing magic damage plus percent max health magic damage to all enemies in an area.
QW - Severing Bolt
Hwei paints a long-range, devastating bolt at the target location. After a delay, the bolt strikes, dealing magic damage.
Immobilized or isolated enemies take increased damage based on missing health.
QE - Molten Fissure
Hwei paints a field of exploding volcanic eruptions, creating lingering lava in its path.
Every eruption deals magic damage to enemies hit. Enemies in the lava area are dealt magic damage per second and are slowed.
Hwei’s Serenity spells, linked to his W, are the most supportive. Using Serenity abilities allows him to buff and shield his allies.
W - Subject: Serenity
WQ - Fleeting Current
Hwei paints a current of swift waters in a line for a few seconds that grants movement speed to himself and allies.
WW - Pool of Reflection
Hwei forms a protective pool at the target location that lasts for a few seconds.
Allied champions inside the area gain an immediate shield, increasing in value over a few seconds while in the area.
WE - Stirring Lights
Hwei paints three swirling lights that circle him for several seconds.
Hwei’s next 3 attacks or spells deal bonus magic damage and grant mana on hit.
Torment skins represent Hwei’s more tortured side as an artist — which makes sense, considering he had a very close run-in with Jhin, Runeterra’s most sinister and stylish serial killer. Torment skins are high utility, granting vision to allies or disrupting enemies.
E - Subject: Torment
EQ - Grim Visage
Hwei launches a terrifying face that strikes the first enemy hit, dealing magic damage and causing them to flee for a brief duration.
EW - Gaze of the Abyss
Hwei paints an abyssal eye at the target location that grants vision and locks onto the nearest visible enemy champion.
After a short delay, the eye fires at the locked-on champion, rooting the first enemy in its path for a few seconds and dealing magic damage to them.
EE - Crushing Maw
Hwei paints crushing jaws that deal magic damage to enemies hit and pulls them toward the center, slowing them by a set amount that quickly decays.
Hwei’s an interesting looking mage, but I’m very curious to see Riot’s new changes to the Summoner’s Rift map. On top of the removal of Mythic items and the addition of new terrain, there are lots of new Void objectives. Baron, the classic boss who hangs out in the river pit, has received a visual rework. Before the big man himself shows up, the Baron pit will now be occupied by Voidgrubs and Voidmites. The red brambleback and blue golem will become Void corrupted at 20 minutes into the game. The Rift Herald is also back, and players can ride him like a pony and then smash him into structures for huge damage.
These seasonal changes are meant to keep the game fresh, regularly tweaking major elements of the competitive game. The new season mechanics are currently available on Riot’s test servers, and we can expect them to arrive — along with Hwei — in early 2024.