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Champion Sneak Peek - Shyvana, the Half-Dragon

By Average Gatsby [2]

Eventually everyone has one of those moments where life throws them a curve ball and they learn that you sometimes meet people who are full of surprises. So, when we first ran into Shyvana Shyvana, the Half-Dragon, suffice to say we were rather taken aback indeed when we saw her actually transform into a Dragon&#039;s Descent.png dragon.

So unless you're a truly incorrigible herpetophobic, we're confident that you'll find that not all surprises have to be unpleasant.

Shyvana Mechanics Preview

By Average Gatsby [3]

For this mechanics preview, we wanted to focus less on the individual abilities of our upcoming champion and talk about the skillset and character flow of Shyvana Shyvana, the Half Dragon, as a whole.

Shyvana is a melee champion that heavily rewards aggression. She does so by utilizing a modified Fury resource that accrues anytime Shyvana lands an auto-attack. Once her Fury is full, she can unleash it to transform into a Dragon&#039;s Descent.png dragon, giving her substantial buffs, ability enhancements, and some upfront damage. While in dragon form, Shyvana's Fury is slowly consumed, though she can continue auto-attacking to extend the duration of the Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form and maximize her damage output with each use.

It's also worth mentioning that Shyvana's Dragon&#039;s Descent.png ultimate has no cooldown, but can only be used when her reserve of Fury is full. The right set of circumstances can allow a skilled player to transform much more often than would otherwise be possible.

In addition, Shyvana's Dragonborn.png passive triggers benefits to each of her abilities when she auto-attacks. This is to differentiate her from the 'melee caster' paradigm embodied by some other characters, making her play somewhere between an Attack Damage carry and a fighter.

Simply put, Shyvana is for players who like any of the following:

  • Offensive, aggressive playstyles
  • Melee carries or fighters
  • The idea of being a super-rad dragon

We think this wantonly aggressive playstyle is something we haven't seen previously on the Fields of Justice. It's an exciting opportunity for players to experience a new way to play League of Legends.

Ability Update: Shyvana

By Paul 'Aether' Perscheid and Alexander 'Wav3break' Huang [4]

If big changes for Shyvana Shyvana seem out of left field, you're not crazy. Compared to the champion updates you're used to, we didn't pick Shyvana to solve major issues that need huge time investments. Instead, she's one of League's first opportunistic updates: updates where a smaller amount of work can yield big improvements. While not entirely without issues (she's had a tough year) Shyvana's already a pretty cool champion - we wanted to make her better. As pre-season work wound down, we decided to take on that challenge.

Half-Dragon, Half-Diver

Shyvana was created long before today's champion class/sub-class framework. Within that framework, Shyvana's closest to the Juggernauts: a durable and devastating group of champions who lack reliable ways to get to their targets. Of that group, Shyvana's selling point is that Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon's Descent... gives her a reliable way to get to her target. Through this lens, her unique strength is that she periodically gets to ignore one of her weaknesses.

This is why Shyvana has such a hard time clawing her way back from a disadvantage. Ignoring weaknesses doesn't help when you're too behind to flex your strengths! It also gives number changes a short shelf life, since even slight meta shifts push her aggressively ahead or behind the rest of the pack.

That said, Shyvana isn't fundamentally flawed. Even while ahead, her weaknesses are still pretty clear: once she Dragon&#039;s Descent.png ults into the enemy backline, she lacks both crowd control to shut down enemy kiting and sustain to outlast it. We felt a few carefully targeted changes would go a long way - hence this project!

Kill It With Fireballs

We'll start with Shyvana's shiniest new toy: an exploding fireball. E - Flame Breath.png Flame Breath used to become a cone of damage in Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form, which let Shyvana hit more things, provided enemies clumped up nicely for her. Most aren't that accommodating, so we wanted to give Shyvana something she has more control over.

Instead of a cone, Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form now gives Shyvana control over how far Flame Breath.png Flame Breath travels, exploding for bonus damage. The explosion leaves 'scorched earth' that constantly marks enemies for Flame Breath.png Flame Breath's on-hit proc. Basically, cast Flame Breath.png E at a distance for spicy fireball snipes, or cast it in melee range and claw face on whoever's stuck in the blast zone.

E - Flame Breath.png Flame Breath

Shyvana unleashes a fireball that stops after hitting a champion. All enemies hit take 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+ 30% AP) magic damage and are marked for 5 seconds.

Shyvana's basic attacks against marked targets deal 2.5% of their maximum health as magic damage on hit.

Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form: Flame Breath explodes on impact or at target location, dealing 100 - 200 (based on level) (+ 30% AP) bonus magic damage and scorching the earth for 4 seconds. Enemies on scorched earth take 60 - 120 (based on level) (+ 20% AP) magic damage per second.

Flame Breath's on-hit damage against monsters is capped at 100 damage per hit.

Just Dragon Things

Looking toward R - Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon's Descent, we felt we could deliver a much more epic transformation. That means a bigger dragon and uninterruptible flight (think Unstoppable Force.png Malphite or Onslaught of Shadows.png Hecarim) We also swapped Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form's resistances for bonus health - while both are survivability stats, Juggernauts find more interesting ways of using health (Titanic Hydra item.png Titanic Hydra, Sterak&#039;s Gage item.png Sterak's Gage, etc.) It also fills up a chunk of Shyvana's HP bar, which is nice.

Of course, we had to trade a few things to get there. Beyond the loss of resistances, Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon's Descent does less damage and travels less distance. Overall, we don't expect these changes will shake up how Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon's Descent is used, but we're pretty sure it's cooler now.

R - Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon's Descent

Active: Shyvana transforms into a dragon, gaining 150 / 250 / 350 health and flying to target location. Enemies along her path take 150 / 250 / 350 (+ 70% AP) magic damage and are Airborne icon knocked toward her target location.

Passive: Shyvana generates 1 Fury every second. Basic attacks generate 2 Fury.

Keeping Focus

Time will tell if we9re right, but the Flame Breath.png E and Dragon&#039;s Descent.png R changes look to be a big buff to Shyvana. While we want this update to be a net power up, internal testing showed us she didn't need that much love (a kiss on the leg should be sufficient) Rather than hit the active elements of Shyvana's success, we targeted mechanics we think she'll still function without.

First, W - Burnout.png Burnout no longer leaves a flame trail in Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form. Shyvana wants enemies in front of her so she can attack them, but Burnout.png Burnout asked her to stay in front of them instead. Felt weird. So, Burnout.png Burnout now gets bigger as Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dragon Form does, letting Shyvana focus on what's in front of her.

Next up is Shyvana's Passive - Dragonborn.png Dragonborn. As work progressed, we noticed Shyvana was becoming unkillable in playtests. Dragonborn.png Dragonborn - a big ball of resistances - was an obvious lever to pull to reduce that tankiness. It got fairly sad to read as we whittled its numbers down, and we wondered if we could make it more interesting, rather than just weaker.

To be clear, in most cases, Dragonborn.png Dragonborn will be weaker than before. Shyvana gets much fewer resistances by default, and those resistances no longer scale with level. However, she can recoup some of the loss if she and her team secure Dragon dragons. This gives Shyvana - a champion frequently left to her own devices on top lane island or the jungle farmhouse - a unique way to participate and celebrate in her team's success.

Passive - Fury of the Dragonborn.png Fury of the Dragonborn

Shyvana deals 10% more damage to Dragon dragons.

Shyvana gains 5 armor and 5 magic resistance. Dragon Elemental drakes defeated by Shyvana or her allies grant her an additional 5 armor and 5 magic resistance.

With everything going on, it's hard to nail down exactly where Shyvana will land. All said, we're hoping she comes out stronger than before. If we miss the balance mark (in either direction) this update's put us in a much better position to follow up.

Dragon&#039;s Descent.png Dive well, Shyvana.

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