It’s time to look to the future once again. After the success of the durability update in rebalancing the meta and giving some of the squishier champions the chance to shine once again, Riot’s ready to shake things up, and prepared to deal with the inevitability of the need to rebalance things again down the line. In the meantime, say hello to Nilah, the Joy Unbound.
So why is Nilah called the Joy Unbound? As part of an order of monks from lands far away from the main story of Runeterra, Nilah and her order sealed away a Demon of Joy known as Ashlesh, letting Nilah tap into their power. However, as a side effect, Joy is the only emotion she is capable of feeling. This seems to be a boon as much as it is a side effect however, as Nilah joyously dispatches her foes, boasting how her battles will become the things of song and legend. Will she find a worthy opponent when she joins the game in patch 12.13?
Lore is all well and good, but how will Nilah play? Designed to be a speedy bot lane skirmisher, Nilah has quite the kit, with options for team support, some self healing, damage and dashing.
Her passive is called Joy Unending. When an ally heals or shields Nilah, they get an additional heal or shield for themselves. This also works in reverse, giving Nilah a shield or heal if an ally gives themselves one first. The passive also grants a boost to shared experience.
Her Q ability is formless blade. Unactivated, it allows Nilah to ignore some of the armor of enemy champions, and heal a percentage of the damage dealt, even allowing overhealing into a shield. Activated, her blade strikes out in a line, where hitting an enemy temporarily increases attack range and speed, and her basic attacks are augmented to deal damage in a cone.
Her W ability, Jubilant veil, shrouds herself and potentially an ally in mist, granting a boost to speed, a reduction of magic damage, and allows you to dodge all basic attacks thrown Nilah’s way.
Her E ability, Slipstream, can have up to 2 charges at once, and allows Nilah to dash, causing some damage in her wake. This ability also has a combo with Formless blade, allowing Nilah to pull a wave of water with her as she dashes.
Last but not least, there is her ultimate, Apotheosis. Apotheosis is an AOE that drags enemies into the center as it damages them, then takes that damage and grants a portion of it to Nilah and her allies as a heal or shield.
Nilah’s release date is still unknown as of now, but she will be released alongside patch 12.13. But Nilah isn’t the only new champion to be on the lookout for. And it’s some good news for fans of monstrous champions, as Riot is gearing up to ensure that the next round of champions have a lot less joy, and a lot more scares. Until then, we’ll see you on Summoner's Rift champions.