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Ability Remake: Evelynn, the Widowmaker

By James 'Statikk' Bach [1]

In an upcoming patch we'll be revisiting two of the first champions to grace the Fields of Justice: TwitchSquare Twitch, the Plague Rat, and EvelynnSquare Evelynn, the Widowmaker. These champions haven't been as viable as we'd like them to be due to problematic long-term Ambush stealth Shadow Walk mechanics. For Evelynn, her core ability Shadow Walk Shadow Walk allowed her to remain invisible for long periods of time, ultimately forcing players to stay on the defensive and favor cautious play. Since we want the action to remain a fun and fluid experience throughout the match, we decided to update these champions with some new stealth abilities.

Evelynn Screenshots

Because Evelynn has always been the consummate assassin in League of Legends, we really wanted to preserve that bloodthirsty feeling of stalking an enemy champion. Instead of traditional invisibility, however, we decided to retool Shadow Walk Shadow Walk into a new form of persistent stealth. Whenever Evelynn is out of combat, this passive version of Shadow Walk Shadow Walk will kick in after a short period of time, reducing the range at which enemy champions can see her. Additionally, while in this state Evelynn will be invisible to all Stealth Ward icon Sight Wards and minions, though turrets and Vision Ward item Vision Wards will still be able to spot her as normal.

This new version of Shadow Walk Shadow Walk will allow Evelynn to close in on an enemy, positioning herself closer to melee range while she waits for the opportune moment to attack. To help her initiate in an appropriately predatory manner, her new Dark Frenzy Dark Frenzy ability can give her the Movement Speed boost she needs to quickly close the distance on an unsuspecting target. Additionally, we've modified Ravage Ravage so that it not only functions as a nuke but also provides an Attack Speed bonus to help her quickly take down her victim. Should she score a kill or assist, the cooldown on Dark Frenzy Dark Frenzy is reset, allowing her to either redouble the attack or escape and vanish as quickly as she came.

Evelynn also faced challenges participating in team fights. To give her some additional staying power when entering the fray, Evelynn can employ her new ultimate ability Agony's Embrace Agony's Embrace. This new ultimate targets an area, dealing damage and slowing the enemies it hits. In addition to its offensive effects, Agony's Embrace Agony's Embrace also grants Evelynn a significant damage shield for each enemy champion caught within the target area.

Combined with the strategic advantage of Shadow Walk Shadow Walk, this Agony's Embrace shield can give the Widowmaker the tactical advantage she needs to quickly reach and Ravage tear down a high value target in a team fight. For even more added punch in these group situations, we've also increased the range on Hate Spike Hate Spike and updated it to strike multiple enemy targets in a line each time it's cast. This added team fight utility combines with Evelynn's new persistent Shadow Walk stealth to keep her alive and dangerous even in the more advanced stages of the game when group action is more prevalent.

Abilities

Shadow Walk
Shadow Walk

While out of combat, Evelynn enters stealth causing her to be detectable only by nearby champions or True Sight icon true sight. Additionally, Evelynn rapidly regenerates Mana while stealthed.


Hate Spike
Hate Spike

Evelynn fires a line of spikes through a nearby adversary, dealing magic damage to all enemies caught in their path.


Dark Frenzy
Dark Frenzy
  • Passive: Evelynn's spell hits grant her a stacking Movement Speed buff.
  • Active: Evelynn breaks free from any Slow icon slows affecting her and gains a massive Movement Speed boost for a short duration.

Champion kills and assists refresh Dark Frenzy's cooldown.


Ravage
Ravage

Evelynn slashes her target twice, dealing magic damage with each strike and gaining a massive Attack Speed boost for a short duration thereafter.


Agony's Embrace
Agony's Embrace

Evelynn impales all enemies in a target area, dealing magic damage based on their maximum health and Slow icon slowing them. She then gains a shield based on how many enemy champions she hit.


Champion Update: Evelynn

Evelynn OriginalSkin HD

The demon Evelynn lures in prey with a beautiful lie: the voluptuous façade of a human woman. Once her victim succumbs to her charms, she subjects them to unspeakable torment, gratifying herself with their pain. And yet, humans expire so quickly during agony's embrace. Any one dance grants Evelynn only a tiny morsel of pleasure—just enough to tide her over until the next feeding.[2]

DEMON SHADE
Demon Shade

After avoiding combat for a few seconds, Evelynn is enveloped by Demon Shade. If Evelynn's health is low, she'll recover it quickly while this ability is active. Starting at level 6, Demon Shade also grants camouflage—this makes Evelynn hidden from view to all except nearby enemy champions, control wards, and turrets.

HATE SPIKE
Hate Spike

Hate Spike -Evelynn lashes out in a target direction, dealing damage to the first unit hit. If the lash strikes a target, Evelynn's next three spells or attacks on that target will deal additional damage. If the struck target is a monster, a significant chunk of Hate Spike's cooldown will be refunded. After the initial cast, Evelynn can recast Hate Spike up to three times to fire a line of spikes through the nearest enemy. The spikes deal damage to all enemies hit. Hate Spike prioritizes the enemy Evelynn is attacking.

LUST DUST
Allure

Evelynn briefly curses a target champion or monster, briefly revealing her location to her target. Hitting the cursed target with basic attacks or Eve's other spells will expunge the curse, refunding Lust Dust's mana cost and significantly slowing the target.

If the curse lasts for at least a couple of seconds, expunging it will charm the target. If the target is an enemy champion, their magic resistance will be reduced for a few seconds. If the target is a monster, the length of the charm will be increased and the spell will deal bonus damage.

Casting Lust Dust does not break Demon Shade's camouflage.

WHIPLASH & EMPOWERED WHIPLASH
Whiplash

Whiplash -Evelynn impales an enemy with her lashers, applying on-hit effects and dealing damage as a percentage of the target's maximum health. Evelynn is then granted a short burst of movement speed.

Entering Demon Shade upgrades Evelynn's next Whiplash into Empowered Whiplash.

Empowered Whiplast -Evelynn pulls herself to her target before impaling them, then deals Whiplash's effects to her target and all nearby enemies.

WIDOWMAKER
Last Caress

Evelynn unleashes her demonic energy, becoming untargetable and decimating enemies in front of her. She then warps backwards. This ability deals bonus damage to low-health enemies.

PLAYING AS EVELYNN
Evelynn - Teamfight00:17

Evelynn - Teamfight

As Evelynn, you're a living nightmare for your opponents on the Rift. When you sprinkle Lust Dust on your crush, they'll know they're being stalked, but they'll have an idea of your location for a fleeting instant. The next few moments are emotional torment for your victim.

Once you've finally emerged, you've got precious few moments to enjoy your handiwork. Burst your opponents as quickly as possible with Hate Spikes, and stick to them with Empowered Whiplash. When you've had your fill, Widowmaker lets you slip back into the shadows.

TIPS AND TRICKS
Evelynn Update Screenshots
  • Now that Evelynn's camouflage doesn't kick in at the start of the game, she's less of an early threat to lanes. But when Widowmaker activates, it's built-in untargetable effect makes her one of the best level six towerdivers in the game.
  • Landing Lust Dust's charm reduces your target's magic resist. This makes Eve a particularly good pick when you have lots of magic-using teammates who can easily follow up on your engages.
  • Be mindful of how you use your Q when clearing camps. Land the initial cast of Hate Spikes on the biggest baddie in the camp so your subsequent casts deal bonus damage to it. And, as with pre-rework Evelynn, try to maneuver the smaller critters in the camp into a line so you're not just spiking the trees.

Champion Insights: Evelynn

Evelynn Insights 01

Evelynn’s old identity was… a bit confusing. She was a badass shadow assassin who’d slit your throat and disappear before the blood dripped but was also inexplicably blue and quite scantily clad for a professional hitwoman. Plus, she might’ve been an assassin in the world of Runeterra, but in reality (or at least in-game) she didn’t always play like one.

New Eve is still a shadow assassin, but she’s also a demon. A succubus demon. Who wants to make you very, very happy… before tearing your flesh off.[3]

BORN OF A THOUSAND SCREAMS

Evelynn doesn’t want the quick and easy target. For her, the real enjoyment comes from luring in unsuspecting prey, getting their hopes up, and then replacing their exhilaration with torment. “She’s messed up,” says narrative writer John “JohnODyin” O’Bryan. “Evelynn feeds on happy people because she thinks they have more to give.” If someone is already at the bottom, there’s no room to fall, and where’s the fun in that?

Evelynn Update concept 06

Evelynn Concept Art.

A quick and simple death is never enough, though. Evelynn attracts her target with the promise of physical pleasure, striving to elevate them to their absolute pinnacle of happiness, before revealing her true intentions. It’s about seeing the hope in their eyes fade into fear and turning their anticipation into agony.

“Pain for her isn’t as delicious if it’s just physical,” says concept artist Gem “Lonewingy” Lim. “It’s much more satisfying when it’s also mental and emotional.”

Evelynn s l o w l y tortures her prey until there’s nothing left for her to take. But even the sweetest kill isn’t enough to sate her hunger, and as soon as the warmth leaves their body, she’s already looking for the next target.


She’ll stalk them in the darkness, waiting for the moment when they’re most vulnerable before using her command of the shadows to once again take a human-like form. Evelynn’s perfected her female facade over centuries, honing her seductive skills victim by victim.

Where does a demon like this come from? “We knew Evelynn had acquired a taste for inflicting pain,” says JohnODyin. “So I asked myself, ‘What’s the point in Runeterra’s history where there was so much suffering, it could’ve created a demon like that?’” The answer was clear: Evelynn was born from the amount of agony present in the most recent Rune War. The Runeterrans’ colossal loss and suffering nourished the young demon, and she’s been chasing that feeling ever since, one victim at a time.

STALK AND SEDUCE

Evelynn’s livelihood hinges on her ability to attract prey and make them feel excited and hopeful, so she’s deliberately shaped her human appearance to do just that. “If Miss Fortune is a 10/10 on the sexy scale, Evelynn needed to be an 11/10. It’s what her character deserves,” says Lonewingy. Exaggerated proportions, dramatic poses, running in high heels—Evelynn’s not constrained by biological limitations.

Evelynn Update concept 03

Early Evelynn Concept Art.

From the beginning stages of conception, Evelynn never had clothes… well, she never had human clothes. For one, Evelynn isn’t human. She’s a demon imitating a human form, so she uses shadows to mimic clothes rather than dealing with the inconvenience of a physical closet. And two, having Evelynn wear human clothes would make her seem more like a generic girl in a bikini rather than the powerful demon sadist she really is. Eve’s attractive appearance is a weapon—not a fashion choice.

The biggest challenge of redesigning Evelynn was finding a way to communicate her stealth that wasn’t just “let’s make her model semi-transparent for 75% of the game.” Lonewingy went hard in the creepy, horror-inducing designs at first: Spider legs, cracked porcelain skin with shadows pushing their way out, the cavity of a missing eye you could peer into and see three eyes within. “Then the team and I were like, ‘Alright, let’s hold back a bit so players still feel like they’re playing an attractive succubus,’” says Lonewingy.

Evelynn Update concept 04

Evelynn Early Exploration.

Evelynn’s stealthed (or demon shade) form is kind of how she really looks, but not exactly. It is the form she takes while stalking her soon-to-be toy from the shadows. There’s no need for Eve to hide her demonic lashers or horns in the darkness—she’s free to stalk as she pleases, waiting until her target is most vulnerable before revealing herself as a beautiful woman. “My goal for Eve’s demon shade form was for it to feel like you are the shadow stalker hunting down your prey,” says Lonewingy.


MY PLEASURE, YOUR PAIN
Evelynn Update concept 05

Demon Shade Concept Art.

Possibly the most iconic part of Eve’s kit is her high-uptime stealth. This mechanic was pretty fair in most situations, but it proved to be so frustrating on a jungler that Evelynn was tuned out of the jungle for everyone else’s sake. Still, permastealth was so attractive to junglers and Evelynn fans that they’d always find a way to make it work (Smite+Revive, anyone?), and it became clear that Evelynn was going to stay in the jungle no matter how weak or strong she was. “We knew this was something players really wanted, so we committed to finding a way to implement it that feels good for everyone,” says game designer Stash “RiotStashu” Chelluck.

The main problem with permastealth in the jungle is that it becomes very difficult to track the jungler’s location. Early iterations of Evelynn’s stealth revolved around giving some type of information to her enemies. For example, one iteration was a cloud that covered about ¼ of the map. It moved along a predetermined path throughout the game, and everyone could see it on their minimaps. If Evelynn was in the clouded area, she’d be invisible, but if she was somewhere else, she wasn’t. “These types of mechanics ended up feeling very chore-like for the Evelynn player,” says RiotStashu. “It was a lot to play around but didn’t have a very satisfying payoff.”

MY PLEASURE, YOUR PAIN

Possibly the most iconic part of Eve’s kit is her high-uptime stealth. This mechanic was pretty fair in most situations, but it proved to be so frustrating on a jungler that Evelynn was tuned out of the jungle for everyone else’s sake. Still, permastealth was so attractive to junglers and Evelynn fans that they’d always find a way to make it work (Smite+Revive, anyone?), and it became clear that Evelynn was going to stay in the jungle no matter how weak or strong she was. “We knew this was something players really wanted, so we committed to finding a way to implement it that feels good for everyone,” says game designer Stash “RiotStashu” Chelluck.

The main problem with permastealth in the jungle is that it becomes very difficult to track the jungler’s location. Early iterations of Evelynn’s stealth revolved around giving some type of information to her enemies. For example, one iteration was a cloud that covered about ¼ of the map. It moved along a predetermined path throughout the game, and everyone could see it on their minimaps. If Evelynn was in the clouded area, she’d be invisible, but if she was somewhere else, she wasn’t. “These types of mechanics ended up feeling very chore-like for the Evelynn player,” says RiotStashu. “It was a lot to play around but didn’t have a very satisfying payoff.”

Evelynn Update concept 01

Evelynn Animation Study.

Instead of playing the information game, Evelynn’s stealth was delayed until level six. This gives laners time to set up vision defenses, farm, and play aggressively without the paranoia of having an invisible Eve in their lane at level two. But once Evelynn hits six, no jungler (or carry) is safe from her demonic shadow stalking.

The rest of her kit was designed to balance the innate strength of being an assassin who also has a high-uptime stealth, while still giving her the tools to kill people. For example, Eve’s W marks a target, giving them a heads up she’s somewhere nearby, but if they don’t gtfo in 2.5 seconds, they’ll be charmed when she strikes. Plus, the whole thing feels very… Evelynn. Your screen turns pink as she whispers into your ear, and then you wonder if she’s coming from the river, or the brush.

Or perhaps, she’s already right behind you.

Evelynn Update concept 02

Media

Evelynn, Agony's Embrace - Login Screen02:53

Evelynn, Agony's Embrace - Login Screen

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References