Riot's focus on balancing champions also moved further away from the practice of merely designing new characters for use in Rift games. Mid-scope upgrades
Throughout 2022, the League of Legends universe continued to develop, bringing well-known characters to the fore through lore updates and smoothly integrating new champions into the continuing conflicts affecting Runeterra. As players learned how the cast changes affected gameplay and the constantly shifting Meta, the well-known MOBA underwent another significant adjustment. In addition to revising the champion who won the 2021 overhaul poll to give a champion who has wandered Summoner’s Rift for more than ten years fresh life, Riot Games introduced five new League champions this year. Only two of these new champions occupy the same lane position, despite having quite distinct playstyles, each of whom was designed to fit a particular niche.
It’s interesting that Riot skipped over releasing a mid-lane champion in 2022, despite promising that the mid-lane will get one or more new champions every year. The most popular role in the game may not have any new players filling it, but the Meta was always shifting, giving the impression that there was always something new for players to discover in the mid-lane.
Riot’s focus on balancing champions also moved further away from the practice of merely designing new characters for use in Rift games. Mid-scope upgrades, or smaller kit improvements, were made to champions like Taliyah, Swain, and Olaf in order to reintroduce them to the game without changing the thematic elements of their characters that have made them so popular with players. However, the five champions who were added to League this year, along with 2022’s only redesign, all altered the meta in novel ways—some more drastically than others. Here is our list of the champions that players had the opportunity to meet in the previous 12 months.
Players were extremely afraid of Nilah’s power before her release because of her kit. Together, Nilah’s attributes made it seem as though she would be completely overturned upon release and a balancing nightmare akin to another ADC released this year. These attributes included mobility, significant healing, a shareable Jax E, an Orianna-like ult, and a passive that lets her share experience with her lane partner.
The Joy Unbound, however, had one apparent flaw despite her intriguing lore: she was made to be a melee ADC. Nilah has continually struggled since her League debut in July because of how challenging it is to play her in a lane where players are subject to barrages of assaults from two or more opponents at once, despite having a good amount of whip range. Although Nilah’s hyper-carry potential is still high due to her rapid experience gains, given how much faster games have gotten, Nilah has little room to develop that play-making potential.
Despite a fairly steady ADC Meta that allows for variety, Nilah is also the only champion launched this year to have been nearly entirely shunned in professional play worldwide. Even while Nilah has appreciated a couple of the changes brought about by this continuing preseason, she hasn’t yet had a significant impact on her role as the Demon of Joy’s wielder.
Since it has proven challenging to adjust the complicated—and frequently overpowered—kits of a select few champions developed over the past few years in a way that stays true to the champion’s original design, such champions as Yuumi and Aphelios have remained the subject of debate regarding their potential to be truly balanced.
Riot introduced Zeri, the Spark of Zaun, as League’s newest ADC just before the year 2022 got underway, giving the character new types of basic attacks, tremendous mobility, and ludicrous damage ratios that led to this year’s balance nightmare. Zeri played a crucial role in a meta-defining combination with Yuumi that had little to no counterplay for almost ten months, dominating both the solo queue and professional metas. Sivir would later usurp Zeri in this position.
The majority of this year’s patches comprised Riot making vain attempts to modify Zeri’s equipment in some way. The Spark of Zaun wasn’t entirely eliminated from all levels of play until August, which resulted in one of the worst win rates in the game’s contemporary era. The champion who had staked such a significant claim throughout the year was kept completely out of the World Championship by those nerfs.
Only a few champions in the history of the game have managed to completely take control over practically all elements of the League in just a single year as Zeri did. Zeri has already shown herself to be yet another balancing headache that Riot will probably continue to struggle with for a very long time. She may be a fun champion to play because of how different she is from all other ADCs, but Zeri has already proven to be yet another balance headache.
It’s been challenging to determine whether K’Sante, League’s newest addition, has significantly changed the game. The Pride of Nazumah, although breaking barriers in Runeterra’s lore, has a somewhat unusual kit and a variety of playstyles that make him a challenging champion to fully comprehend. Since the release of Ornn in 2017, K’Sante is the first real top lane tank. Like many other tanks in League, he has a kit that is ready to utterly disrupt opponents even when he is not using his ultimate ability. The only obvious flaw in his basic arsenal is his range, but it is more than compensated for by a mix of a pull, an unstoppable, and some respectable mobility.
But K’Sante’s ultimate, All Out, which not only removes an opponent from the fray but also turns his ntofos into blades for a brief period of time to change the effects of all of his basic abilities and increase his damage output significantly, is what really distinguishes him as a difficult champion.
As soon as the initial attack is over, K’Sante loses a significant amount of his defences and half of his remaining health, thus he cannot simply enjoy this form shift. Although K’Sante is undoubtedly a strong champion with the ability to make game-changing moves, not enough time has elapsed since his release for the majority of players to feel at ease using the Pride of Nazumah.
Even though he had won the 2021 revamp poll just a few months prior and would soon be updated with a new appearance and abilities, pre-rework Udyr was terrorising the jungle Meta just a year ago, chasing and slapping foes as he saw fit. When it came to the process of updating the Spirit Walker, Riot was quite open with its audience in both 2021 and at the beginning of this year. The riot was primarily concerned about giving this one guy access to the Freljordian gods’ abilities, even though it did want to eliminate the choppy animations that had plagued the champion for years. So, the new Udyr was created.
The riot quickly intervened with a post-launch hotfix that repurposed the damage around Udyr’s kit, despite the fact that the modified Udyr initially struggled to find a niche, shifting about both the top lane and the jungle with tank and AP bruiser builds. Udyr has remained a respectable choice in the jungle ever since those original adjustments, although he has never attained the “OP” status that reworks can occasionally bring.
Players from Udyr are now testing a variety of new items added during the current preseason, such as Jak’Sho, and The Protean, as well as adjustments to jungle pathing and clearing in an effort to give the champion more prominence. Udyr continues to be in one of the most constant and stable states he’s ever been in because of this excellent rework.
Even though void champions play a significant role in Runeterra’s known lore, they only make up a small portion of the playable champion cast. The ones that do exist are recognisable monsters with a sizable, devoted fan following, giving gamers tidbits of knowledge about this enigmatic, largely untapped area of League. The Empress of the Void, Bel’Veth, the embodiment of a whole city intent on reshaping the universe into her ideal image, was eventually introduced to players earlier this year. Players were first turned off by her somewhat unusual playstyle and movement, but when the value of her potential for hyper-carry became clear, her selection and win rates skyrocketed.
While not the most oppressive force in the jungle, Bel’Veth is still a solid choice who has benefited from the multiple jungle-centric adjustments brought on by the ongoing preseason. Players who grossly underestimate the amount of damage she can deal in a matter of seconds will quickly discover that Voidlings are swimming across their lanes and have reached their inner turrets in a matter of minutes.
As League’s first “corrupt” enchanter, Renata Glasc was introduced by Riot, filling the support role with a cutthroat businesswoman with a fervent desire for retribution. She gained popularity among fans right away just based on her thematic design, but it was her distinctive enchanter skills that made her a go-to champion in the Meta game and ultimately the best-designed champion introduced this year.
A revive connected to a basic ability and the introduction of the “Berserk” status effect on her ultimate are two of the tools the Chem-Baroness has at her disposal that set her apart from the conventional healing and shielding supports. Players expected that such a complicated kit would lead to a series of nerf patches, yet the champion has maintained a win percentage of roughly 50% at all skill levels since her release, earning plaudits from fans for Riot’s design.
Renata Glasc works well with almost any team composition in 2022, even though she is frequently partnered with Kalista. She disrupts any foe who tries to stand in her way while giving her friends a sufficient amount of sustain. Renata Glasc is anticipated to continue solidifying her position as one of the most effective enchanters in the League and possibly reach levels of popularity that rival Nami, Janna, Soraka, and others due to her low entrance barrier and high skill ceiling.