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Champion Reveal: Ivern, the Green Father
- Friend of the Forest
Ivern loves jungle monsters and would never harm them. Instead, he sets them free! Clicking on any jungle camp creates a grove using some of Ivern's health and mana. The grove matures over time; when fully grown it can be clicked on again to free the camp's denizens, granting Ivern gold and XP. a camp with a grove on it instantly sends the monsters to safety.
After level five, the Green Father creates copies of the red and the blue buffs whenever he frees the Red Brambleback or Blue Sentinel - they'll leave behind a sapling which can be picked up by allies.
Ivern shoots out a ropey root that deals magic damage and (as you'd expect) roots the first enemy it hits. Allies who use a basic attack on the rooted target will automatically dash to get within attack range.
- Passive: When hiding in brush, Ivern's basic attacks have increased magic damage and increased range. This effect lasts for a couple seconds after Ivern leaves the brush.
- Active: Ivern creates a patch of brush, temporarily revealing the area around it. The amount of brush created is slightly greater if it's placed near a wall or any other brush. The Green Father's grassy patches disappear on their own after a moderate delay.
Ivern places a protective seed onto his ally, granting them a shield. After a short delay the seed explodes, damaging and slowing all nearby enemies.
Ivern summons Daisy, an enormous sentinel who loves hugs. Daisy scampers around joyfully, knocking up Ivern's target after a few hits. Ivern can recast this ability to direct his boisterous friend toward new targets. She'll hang around until her hankering for hugs has been satisfied, or until her health bar is depleted.
- Laning Phase and the Mid-Game
Who says supports have to hang in the bot lane? Ivern Bramblefoot is a true support-jungler, arguably the first of his kind. Most supports can't hack it in jungle because they lack the sheer damage output to beat up rascally woodland creatures in a timely manner. Ivern gets around that with his ability to evacuate camps without ever fighting anything - the green man just tends to his groves and soon enough the critters go prancing away on their own, happily handing over their juicy XP and gold as they leave.
It only takes Ivern a few moments to lay down or harvest his grove on camps, so he has access to jungle routes that just aren't an option for those who have to fight and kill their prey. One valid strategy: take and , then go into the enemy jungle and drop a near an entrance. After sprinting through and gettin' grovey with all the camps, back to the starting point for another lap to set the whole zoo free.
A more common pattern will see Ivern dropping groves on all the camps in his own jungle, then using his remaining free time to prance into a lane for a quick gank. Regardless of whether the gank is successful, Ivern can then stroll back into the jungle to claim his ripe rewards.
Whenever Ivern's ganking, Brushmaker gives him a thick playbook of ways to sneak into side lanes. His brush doesn't appear on opponents' minimaps, so it's on them to keep a close eye out for any creeping forestry sprouting up around them. The bushes block off vision granted by minions, making it possible for Ivern to create a grassy curtain that'll keep soon-to-be- rootcalled opponents in the dark.
Once the Green Father gets access to his old friend, Daisy, he's got a powerful way to disrupt enemy carries and peel for his own backline. In some of those crucial early skirmishes (like for first Dragon) a rampaging hug monster taking an ADC or mage out of the fight can be all your team needs to build a major lead.
- Teamfighting and Late-Game
Once the teamfight phase hits, Ivern's role couldn't be more clear: he's there to make his team's frontline more deadly. If the droll druid lands a Rootcaller on an enemy squishy, it grants every teammate within range a free dash toward the rooted target. One root hits, and all at once your friendly Braum's giving 'em a mouthful of mustache, your Vayne's spouting condemnations, and your Garen's in the spin zone.
Most of the time, you'll want to save Triggerseed for that moment just after you've landed a sick pick with Rootcaller. Since the root's dash effect is much greater on melee allies, you'll probably want to grant them Triggerseed's shielding and slowing properties. They can ride the root in, pop some fools with the bursting Triggerseed, then tank any retaliatory hits while the triggering intensifies. While all that's going down, Mr. Bramblefoot is free to spank nearby baddies using the extended auto-attack range he receives while in brush.
The biggest benefit of Ivern's brushmaking hobby is its potential to create mind games. Many of us have played on Summoner's Rift for years at this point, and brush locations have been pretty consistent throughout. We unconsciously track our distance from any and all brush, taking pains not to facecheck it. So when you're halfway down bot side's river and find yourself encountering a whole grassy field, it can seriously mess with your mind.
The range on Brushmaker is crazy big, so Ivern can use it scare opponents into thinking he's somewhere he's not. Stand on one side of the midlane and drop a bunch of brush near the opposite side, just to drive them toward you. Or, just plant some on top of your own carries in the middle of a teamfight to make them untargetable.
Ivern's designer, Blake 'Squad5' Smith, says he once stole a Dragon just by filling the pit up with grass and hanging out in it. When he the Dragon for the kill, the other team didn't think to check the grassy knoll where he was still hiding. Instead, everyone just wandered off, dejected, and to base. Victory through trickery: the true way of the Green Father.
|Works well with:||Struggles against:|
|Rengar - the Pridestalker||Master Yi - the Wuju Bladesman
Ivern's kit lets him do many things well, but dueling with speedy swordsmen is not one of those things. A good Yi will Alpha Strike right around Daisy's hug attempts, leaving Ivern with almost no chance to escape the Wuju Bladesman's excessively-goggled wrath.
|Diana - the Scorn of the Moon
Ivern's Rootcaller gives allied bruisers and juggernauts a quick, reliable way to engage fights, but it can also work as a mid-fight life preserver ring for assassins who've gone too deep into enemy lines. Just rootwrap any target near the outskirts of the fight, and divers like Diana will have a free dash to safety.
|Annie - the Dark Child
Grass fire! Most of Ivern's abilities help him keep teammates ahead in longer, drawn-out fights. He can shield here, root there, all while Daisy disrupts the backline. This doesn't work so well when the other team brings burst. Like, for instance, a big, fat, flaming bear that drops out of the sky and kills everyone in an instant.
|Darius - the Hand of Noxus
Normally, the only thing keeping Darius from bleeding out all your carries is his inability to close the gap between his team and yours. Not so when he's got Ivern on his team. A clutch Rootcaller on an enemy carry is the alley-oop the Hand of Noxus needs to start dunking.
|Teemo - the Swift Scout
Brush doesn't have allegiances. Any time Ivern lays down a patch of the green stuff to help out his own team, he's giving any and all invisible yordles (and/or eldritch fuzz demons [ | from the 666th circle of hell) another place to hide.
Champion Insights: Ivern, the Really Swell Guy
By Ryan 'Cactopus' Rigney 
In League, everybody is trying to kill everybody else. Despite their personalities or backstories, champs are all really on the Rift to do one thing: drain some health bars.
So, what if we made a nice guy? One who, no matter where he is, just wants to do something super sweet like save all the animals? Enter Ivern, the druid with the heart of gold.
- Forced by Tree Magic to be a Really Swell Guy
Most great characters have a goal - an enemy to defeat, or a burning desire to fulfill, or some huge, grueling task ahead of them. Narrative writer Matt 'FauxSchizzle' Dunn realized that, for Ivern to work as a character, he'd need to be a little more carefree. He'd need to be someone who's already fought his battles and overcome his demons: a character near the end of his narrative arc. So FauxSchizzle began sketching out the tale of the Green Father.
"Ivern used to be a man, a long time ago", explains FauxSchizzle. "He was a sort of Freljordian, the first one to discover Ionia." While exploring the Ionian forest, he happened upon a sacred tree called a Godwillow. Back then, Ivern was a miserly, vicious man; seeking the tree's power for himself, he cut the Godwillow down. But as wood cracked and fell, the tree's magic essence lashed out and gripped the Freljordian, reaching deep within him and bonding with his troubled soul. Tree and man became one, and in that moment all of Ivern's violence, selfishness, and cruelty was drained out of him. The void in his heart was replaced with childlike wonder and gentle curiosity. He was filled with a joyful zest for life.
"In the hundreds of years since then, he’s been wandering around the forest taking care of it", says FauxSchizzle. "He cares for all the creatures of the forest, and he has this strange, looming sense in his mind that, if he does his job well, one day he'll earn the right to become the tree he cut down."
We realized that if Ivern was really in the forest for such a long time, he'd probably start to develop pretty weird insights into his natural surrounding. He'd develop relationships with the creatures that live in the forest, some which would stretch back for ages. Ivern has a wild, crazy history with the Brambleback (Red Buff) and he occasionally references it when he encounters his buff buddy in-game: "It's the Kumungu affair all over again!" he shouts. "Run!"
Ivern's a pacifist, and he loves the animals of the forest. So, an idea struck us: What if he's a jungler who frees monsters instead of harming them? It would work perfectly on a thematic level, but it'd also open up some really weird design possibilities - namely, we could make him a support-jungler.
We struggled with figuring out a way to communicate that Ivern was 'freeing' the monsters in the jungle, instead of abducting or vaporizing them: in early builds, his groves looked like flowery death machines which sapped the life force away from camps. He'd come prancing over, click on the grove, and the critters would fade away like little ghosts.
- A Good Bro Wherever He Goes
Any jungler needs three things: mobility, some utility for ganks, and the power to clear out jungle camps. It's this third requirement that makes it nearly impossible for champs like Thresh, Nami, or Bard to work in the jungle. Their kits are packed with teamplay-oriented abilities, but they don't do so hot when facing down a pack of wolves. Even if they manage to clear out a few camps, afterward they're unlikely to be in good enough shape to go toe to toe with an invading Yi or an Udyr.
Our 'free the animals' idea for Ivern was like a loophole we could use to bypass the damage limitations on supports. The Green Father's passive ( Friend of the Forest) gives him all the power he needs to clear camps and level up, without making him oppressively strong in duels. This one ability freed up the design of the rest of his kit, allowing us to focus on abilities he could use to empower his team.
The one really big exception to this is Daisy, Ivern's boisterous bestie who comes running whenever he needs her (assuming his ult timer is off cooldown, obviously) Before we invented Daisy, Ivern always needed an ally; he felt nearly useless on his own. To solve this, we landed on the idea of 'a defensive Tibbers' - a big, adorable A.I. friend who could lend Ivern some muscle whenever he needs to escape a bad situation.
Unlike the other abilities in Ivern's kit, Daisy explicitly harms others instead of buffing Ivern's friends. This is partly a way to preserve Ivern's nice-guy mystique: even when he uses his ultimate to crush your backline, it's not really him doing it. It's his big, overexcited buddy!
In early designs, Ivern had no way to give a buff to his allies - it's not like he'd be willing to leash it for them. But the whole idea behind the Green Father is that he wants to share the gifts of nature with others. "What are the gifts of the jungle?" asks champ designer Blake 'Squad5' Smith. "Buffs!" The natural solution was to let Ivern create copies of buffs without causing harm to the camps.
- This Season's Style Tips for Men Made of Tree Parts
We were keenly aware that Ivern isn't the first 'tree guy' in League of Legends. Maokai and Zyra are the Rift's other nature-magic beings, but they differ from Ivern in a couple of ways. Maokai, unlike Ivern, was never actually a man. He's pretty much an angry batch of forestry brought to life. Zyra, too, is a sort of thorn monster taking on a human form. Ivern's human origin is the thing that makes him special.
We leaned a lot on our visual designers to capture and communicate little storytelling details that hint at Ivern's former humanity. They gave him a ring hanging from his antler that was probably once a part of his ear - perhaps it stayed hitched into the flesh as it was morphing into wood. He's also still got his little gauntlet he wore when he was a Freljordian adventurer, although now mushrooms have grown all through it.
A big area of concern for our illustrators was Ivern's face. It needed to be human, full of emotion and personality. We realized that he ultimately needed to look like a very old man who's lived a life full of mischief and joy; we gave him a big ol' crooked schnoz and put a kind twinkle in his eyes. "If you were to run into Ivern in the woods", says concept artist Chris 'Skeeziks' Campbell, "how would you feel?" Would you want to A) give him a hug, B) take a picture of him, or C) run?
Smash your taunt button while playing as Ivern, and you'll find he doesn't have too many zingers or insults to throw at other champs in League. Instead, he says nice things to everyone! When he taunts an enemy Maokai in-game, he makes a joke about ing as a sassafras at next year's tree con.
In the end, we decided the best design might evoke a little bit of all three reactions. Ivern's a Friend of the Forest, and when those who will evil toward nature's bounty come around, Ivern is left with no choice. Even nice guys have to fight, sometimes.
Inside Ivern Development
This week, designer Blake 'Squad5' Smith, artist Chris Campbell, and writer Matthew 'FauxSchizzle' Dunn drop in to share the inside scoop on the Friend of the Forest's development.
Dev Blog: The Animation of Ivern
By Lingyun 'LukeHop' Hu 
Hello everyone! Lingyun 'LukeHop' Hu here to tell you about our latest champion, Ivern, and how we used animation as a tool to strengthen and define his character.
- Personality and Run cycles
A character's personality is always the first thing we need to nail down before we begin production. It's the most important element to make the champion stand out from others and affects every aspect of art production. Ivern began as a peaceful, mysterious, zen type of character, but we wanted him to be more of a springy, energetic oddball. This was partly to distinguish Ivern from Maokai or Zyra, both of whom use the power of nature in a violent and aggressive way.
As the most frequently played animation in League, run cycles are treated as foundational when building a character. Even though it's just a couple of seconds of animation, it may take us several iterations before we finally have a satisfying piece. I wanted Ivern's run cycle to feel like he's a gardener walking around his garden. He's comfortable, confident. He enjoys exploring his kingdom. I lifted up his spine, raised his head, and let him do really big, over-the-top strides to emphasize that. After the base movement speed run was done, we needed to do different versions of run cycles to match Ivern's speed when he hasor other .
- Limber, not Lumber
Next up, the Green Daddy's idle animation! The idle animation is the first thing you usually see as you enter the game and it's the core component that connects nearly every other animation. So we need to make sure it perfectly matches the character and also has a unique shape. For Ivern, we decided to avoid the traditional 'lumbering tree man' archetype and highlighted his nature-enhanced limberness. We rigged up a special right arm for him which allows it to stretch and twist like vines.
Theanimation is also super important for building personality. It's a good opportunity for animators to show a shining performance in about nine seconds. My idea was that, as a friend of the forest, Ivern cares about everyone's life and would want to bring them to a safe place... in a fun way!
- Gameplay Animation
All the locomotion animations are light-hearted, but sometimes Ivern needs to fight for his team. Even though he's a gentle soul, Ivern is still able to teach you a lesson when you want to hurt his friends. The question for our animators was: how can we maintain his friendly impression and still give players a sense of satisfaction when Ivern fights? Our solution was that, instead of letting him hit an enemy hard by using powerful punches or kicks, he could do sort of comical slaps and flicks.