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Champion Reveal: Taliyah, the Stoneweaver

Taliyah Reveal header
It's tough being different, and Taliyah Taliyah's Seismic Shove.png earth-shattering powers have always set her apart from the crowd. She's a control mage who Unraveled Earth.png weaves the ground beneath her into Threaded Volley.png a deadly weapon; when she sets her sights on a destination, Weaver&#039;s Wall.png the world itself shifts to get her there. [1]
Abilities

Rock Surfing
Rock Surfing

When out of combat, Taliyah builds movement speed whenever traveling near walls.


Threaded Volley
Threaded Volley
  • Passive: Taliyah gains increased movement speed when traversing worked ground.
  • Active: Taliyah rips up the ground around her, firing a volley of five stone shards in a target direction while moving freely. Casting Threaded Volley converts the area into worked ground for a few minutes. Additional Threaded Volley 2 Threaded Volley casts over worked ground will yield just one rock projectile.


Seismic Shove
Seismic Shove

Taliyah marks a target location. After a brief delay, the ground erupts, Airborne icon knocking up and damaging all enemies caught in the blast zone. Taliyah can recast Seismic Shove 2 Seismic Shove before it erupts to Airborne icon throw the victims in any targeted direction - even over walls.


Unraveled Earth
Unraveled Earth

Taliyah scatters boulders onto the ground before her. Opponents who dash through the fractured earth take damage from an explosion. After a few seconds, any remaining rocks in the field erupt, dealing a second wave of damage.


Weaver's Wall
Weaver&#039;s Wall

Taliyah briefly channels before summoning a massive wall of spiraling rock that tears through the Rift in a target direction. Taliyah can reactivate Weaver&#039;s Wall 2 Weaver's Wall while channeling to ride atop the wall as it emerges. Taking damage or inputting a move command in any direction will cut her ride short.


Taliyah Screenshots
Laning

Taliyah is all about control - she dictates when and where she fights by setting up a gauntlet of traps for her lane opponent to navigate. To win trades, she can close off a section of a lane with Unraveled Earth.png Unraveled Earth and knock her opponent into the trap with a well-placed Seismic Shove.png Seismic Shove. With her opponent exposed, a quick Threaded Volley.png Threaded Volley will melt their health.

Spamming Taliyah's abilities in lane will slowly diminish her dueling power, however, since ground which has been worked by Threaded Volley 2 Threaded Volley won't produce enough missiles to effectively stave off fast-approaching attackers. Experienced Taliyah players will work around this by carefully working strips of ground in a trail leading to their tower. She can use the exhausted pathways as an escape route when thirsty enemy junglers come barreling into her lane.

If she's winning trades and dodging ganks, Taliyah excels at pushing waves into towers with her area of effect attacks. Once she's pushed her wave, her Rock Surfing.png passive lets her bust out her rock-board and surf over to a friendly lane with tremor-inducing speed. She'll Rock Surfing.png cruise alongside the map's walls, constantly gaining movement speed before blasting into a buddy's lane. Building an item like Luden&#039;s Echo item.png Luden's Echo gives Shurima's greatest (and only) surfer the means to dart around even faster, making her roams especially deadly.

Skirmishing

If you thought Taliyah's ganks were cataclysmic because of her Rock Surfing.png passive, just wait til she hits level six. Weaver&#039;s Wall.png Weaver's Wall lets her roam to other lanes with ease, and the wall she rides in on can block off escape routes for the poor soul(s) she chooses to gank.

Clever Taliyah players will use her Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ult to instantly apply pressure to far-flung objectives on the map. The enemy team's taking Dragon Dragon? Excellent: just Weaver&#039;s Wall 2 cruise over there and fill up the pit with Unraveled Earth.png Unraveled Earth, then blast the enemy jungler out of the fight using Seismic Shove 2 Seismic Shove. They're fighting Baron Nashor Baron but taking lots of damage? Sweet: simply line up your Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ult to wall off the Baron pit with them in it, sealing the squishies in the oven to prepare a delicious feast for your teammates.

Taliyah's strongest items allow her even greater control over her opponents’ movement. When she dings a fleeing enemy with Threaded Volley.png Threaded Volley while wielding Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Icy will make it that much easier for her to land her signature Seismic Shove 2 knockup-into-Unraveled Earth.png Unraveled Earth combo. Items that boost her low in-combat movement speed help the Stoneweaver quickly maneuver herself into the best spot to control any battle.

Teamfights

In teamfights, Taliyah's area of effect abilities give her masterful power over her enemies' positioning. She might use Seismic Shove 2 Seismic Shove to hurl incoming juggernauts away from the fight, then slow the enemy team's exposed backline with carefully-planted Unraveled Earth.png Unraveled Earth. Taliyah's damage-less Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ult means that she won't bring major burst power to fights, but she can unearth her Weaver&#039;s Wall.png Weaver's Wall to split their team in half, giving Taliyah and her team the chance to gang up on exposed opponents before moving onto those left behind.

Once a teamfight has ended, Taliyah is able to press her advantage with speed and grace. Her Rock Surfing.png passive lets her rapidly cruise alongside jungle walls, catching up to escaping enemies or making her way to a far-flung tower. Once late-game hits and she drops a third point into her Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ultimate, its range increases enormously - she can steal an enemy Crest of Insight.png blue buff after a fight, then Weaver&#039;s Wall 2 Weaver's Wall to double-time it all the way to the enemy's Red Brambleback Brambleback camp for the Crest of Cinders.png double-buff.

Synergy
Works well with: Struggles against:
LucianSquare
Lucian - the Purifier

Enemy frontliners will find themselves eating a relentless Threaded Volley.png volley of rocks and Lightslinger.png bullets when running down Taliyah and Lucian. Plus, if the Purifier ever finds himself caught out, the Stoneweaver can Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ult to summon a rock wall near his location. Lucian's Relentless Pursuit.png Relentless Pursuit lets him easily dash over the wall to safety.

ZedSquare
Zed - the Master of Shadows

Taliyah is safe from nimble opponents so long as she's got earth between her and them, but she struggles against baddies who can dodge her rock barrage and slip past her defenses. She'll want to stay well out of the Master of Shadows' Death Mark.png ult range, or she'll find herself marked for death.

LeeSinSquare
Lee Sin - the Blind Monk

Lee Sin's powerful ganks combined with Taliyah's deadly roams make the mid-game very scary for their opponents, but they jive especially well in teamfights. When Lee uses Dragon&#039;s Rage.png Dragon's Rage to punt enemy laners into Taliyah's Unraveled Earth.png Unraveled Earth, the kicks and stones will probably break their bones.

MalphiteSquare
Malphite - Shard of the Monolith

The Stoneweaver works best at the edges of teamfights, but Malphite has a way of bringing the battle straight to his targets. The Shard of Monolith's Unstoppable Force.png hard CC and engage are anathema to Taliyah - It's hard to weave stone when a living boulder knocks you ten feet into the air.

PoppySquare
Poppy - Keeper of the Hammer

Taliyah ganks are extra devastating when the Keeper of the Hammer uses her Heroic Charge.png Heroic Charge to pin enemies to the Stoneweaver's Weaver&#039;s Wall.png wall. In teamfights, Poppy can unleash her Keeper&#039;s Verdict.png hammer to deport opponents to the far side of the wall, splitting teams even further.

LeBlancSquare
LeBlanc - the Deceiver

If Taliyah can't catch a champ with her Seismic Shove.png Seismic Shove, her damage output suffers. Enter LeBlanc, who's got enough tricks up her sleeve to keep Taliyah Ethereal Chains.png grounded. And also Mimic.png dead.

Champion Insights: Taliyah, the Stoneweaver

By Cactopus [2]

Taliyah promo

When was the last time we released a traditional mage?

If you ask champion designer Daniel 'ZenonTheStoic' Klein, he'll argue that every recent AP champ has had some odd, non-magey twist: Aurelion Sol Aurelion Sol feels untraditional because of his orbiting Center of the Universe.png stars, Ekko Ekko is more of a Phase Dive.png Diver or Z-Drive Resonance.png Skirmisher, and Azir Azir has Arise!.png Marksman-like qualities. Vel&#039;Koz Vel'Koz is totally an Lifeform Disintegration Ray.png artillery mage, but many players took him bot lane to play Support. You've got to go all the way back to Lissandra Lissandra to find a champ that really fits the 'traditional mage' label, and she was released in April, 2013.

We wanted a champ that felt like an old-school League of Legends mage. "Then it hit us", says ZenonTheStoic. "What about an Taliyah earth mage from Shurima? The idea seemed like fertile ground."

A girl leaves the desert

The Shuriman Desert isn't the easiest place to grow up. After Shurima Xerath fell, the people of the empire were scattered to the winds, eventually forming nomadic tribes. We imagined a young nomadic girl who was born with a strange and rare power. Magic is a rare thing in Valoran, so no one in the tribe could teach the girl how to control or manage her abilities.

Taliyah's gift is her ability to manipulate rock, but she was raised by nomads - people unlikely to have much knowledge about making things out of stones. Rock structures are too heavy, too permanent. Taliyah grew up surrounded by shepherds, textile artists, and weavers, so in order to understand the power within her, she began to think of it as being like weaving cloth. Others see rock as a hard, immutable material, but to Taliyah, the earth teems with strands of sediment just waiting to be looped and sewn together into a new Weaver&#039;s Wall.png tapestry. The problem is, stoneweaving tends to make more of a mess than weaving garments. If Taliyah isn't careful with her powers, she could accidentally hurt the people around her.

"Taliyah's need to understand and gain more control over her chaotic power is a major part of her story", says narrative writer Ariel 'Thermal Kitten' Lawrence. To achieve that control, Taliyah would ultimately have to leave her tribe, embarking on a journey to find Yasuo a teacher that could help her harness her potential.

In some early concepts, we considered making Taliyah a 'spite' mage, a cruel sorceress who slings curses and hexes (and otherwise bad vibes) at opponents. Curses on you, your children, your couch, etc. Some Rioters are pretty amused by the idea of a permanently-salty champion, but we'll have to revisit it at a later date.

Taliyah concept 01
Weaving a beat
Taliyah concept 02

One design goal for Taliyah was to capture the chaotic potential of her powers on the Rift, as if her powers are barely-contained. We achieved that by making her Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ult - her most powerful ability - feel crazy strong. "In fact, we specifically tuned it to feel almost too fast", says ZenonTheStoic. "It's like she's not totally in control."

Because Taliyah strives for self-control, using her basic abilities shouldn't feel like you're wildly ripping apart the earth or smashing big boulders together. Taliyah wants her stoneweaving to feel Seismic Shove.png elegant, Unraveled Earth.png structured, even Threaded Volley.png rhythmic.

When she hurls her Threaded Volley.png Threaded Volley at you, the rocks fly in a measured thump, thump, thumpthumpthump pattern. Her other spells are similarly composed of lots of smaller rhythmic effects. When someone gets thrown through a field of Taliyah's Unraveled Earth.png Unraveled Earth, it doesn't blow up all at once. They pop one-by-one in the order they were touched, like a deadly piano glissando.

The weaving metaphor also manifests in the way Taliyah uses her Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ultimate ability to construct a map-spanning wall. There are many ways to build a wall - she might have done it with piles of layered stone - but instead, she laces threads of rock together in a line that looks a lot like stitching in a piece of cloth. She's reshaping the Rift, not destroying it.

In early playtests of Taliyah, we toyed with the idea of giving her some big, destructive abilities. One was an alternate Weaver&#039;s Wall.png ultimate that allowed her destroy any chunk of map terrain on the Rift. She could knock out entire base walls, chunks of the jungle, even the back side of Baron Nashor the baron pit. There were obviously concerns from the art team about how to make this not look stupid in game, but the bigger problem was that this power didn't seem like a Disruptor spell. It was primarily a way for her to open up paths for her allies, which made it feel a lot like a support ability. We killed the ability early in development - it just didn't fit our original vision for a classic, self-sufficient mage.

On a surface-level, Taliyah's insistence on weaving rock elegantly might lead you to think that she's similar to Jhin Jhin; after all, they're both destruction artists. The difference is in their intentions: Jhin Jhin uses the tools at his disposal to Curtain Call.png create art. For him, art is very much the purpose, the end-goal. Taliyah does what she does because she has to in order to protect her people. Artistry is just the only way she knows how to express it.

Taliyah concept 03
Silly hats and wizard cats

So, she's a traditional earth mage. But how do you make a someone look like they've got rock powers?

There are a few easy tropes designers can use to make characters look magical. "You can put a wizard hat on almost anything and it'll look like a sorcerer", says concept artist Hing 'Hdot' Chui. "Put a wizard hat on a cat and boom, it becomes a wizard cat. You'd look at that cat and think 'he probably knows some spells'." Unfortunately, it just wouldn't make sense to throw a wizard hat onto a nomadic desert girl.

Taliyah concept 04

One of the key aspects of a mage is the idea that their power is an innate ability. This could manifest as pulses of arcane energy emanating from their skin or burning electrical currents coursing through their veins. The trouble with these elemental effects is that they tend to be very glowy. Earth isn't glowy at all.

Taliyah concept 05


Taliyah concept 06

The artists working on Taliyah also had to keep the Stoneweaver's appearance consistent with her kit. Before we were sure what her spell lineup would look like in-game, we explored giving Taliyah a sort of stone 'spool' accessory she would use to gather rocks before unleashing them on enemies. The issue here was that Taliyah would only realistically use such a weapon up for charge-up abilities, and she has none.

In the end, the solution was to actively downplay her power. Many of League's champions are in their prime - they're kings, warriors, or gods. Taliyah is just a sixteen-year-old girl with a power she doesn't yet fully understand. She's rough around the edges, so we gave her messy, wind-swept hair, and the color palette of her costume is drawn from the redstone flats of Shurima. We also dug the idea that she used her powers to craft the rock mantle she wears around her shoulders. This reinforces the idea that, to her, rocks don't weigh anything.

"Taliyah is still powerful, but she's got room to grow", says artist Evan 'Somnicidal' Monteiro. "And, in the end, isn't it more fitting for an earth mage to feel down-to-earth?"

Taliyah concept 07

Inside Taliyah Dev with the Designers

This week, designer Daniel 'ZenonTheStoic' Klein, writer Ariel 'Thermal Kitten' Lawrence, and character artist Willem 'Tokkelossie' Van Der Schyf share the behind-the-scenes story on creating Taliyah the Stoneweaver.

Media

Taliyah, the Stoneweaver - Login Screen03:17

Taliyah, the Stoneweaver - Login Screen


Taliyah Homecoming00:56

Taliyah Homecoming


  • Taliyah Prototypes
  • Taliyah Homecoming concept art 01 (by Riot Artist Jason Chan)
  • Taliyah Homecoming concept art 02 (by Riot Artist Jason Chan)
  • Taliyah Homecoming concept art 03 (by Riot Artist Jason Chan)
  • Taliyah Homecoming concept art 04 (by Riot Artist Jason Chan)
  • Taliyah and Yasuo (by Riot Artist Mitchell Malloy)


References

References

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