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Heir To Blackblade: Fulfilling League's Thief Fantasy

Ages ago, there was nearly a champion named Rob Blackblade. Poor Rob didn't make it into the game, seeing as how, Riot admits, "he didn't keep with League's art style." I think this is fortunate for us, as 'The Dashing Rogue' was as bland as they come. His presence would've made League worse, IMO, and Riot dodged a bullet when they ditched him.

The niche remains though - that unfulfilled fantasy of the thief. No champion in League embodies this archetype, even though Talon some Twitch come Evelynn close. A quick Google search reveals that there is demand for a thief champion, if only for the sake of saying that League has a thief in her roster. The kits I see put forth though, aren't convincing. Many fall into the trap of turning their would-be thief into "just another assassin". You know what I'm talking about - one of these leather-clad, dual-wielding, gold-snatching, faceless DnD characters.

The potential is there though! Riot has Shaco all the pieces in place for a thief champion, all they need is nudge in the right direction.

An Honest Thief

1 Growth 18 1 Growth 18
Health 450 - 2000 Attack damage 45 - 95
Health regen. 5.5 - 11.5 Attack speed 0.65 (+2.5%)
Mana 375 - 750 Armor 20 - 55
Mana regen. 7.5 - 11 Magic resist. 32.5 - 55
Attack range 625 Mov. speed 350

Imoen is a Support-Marksman and a crafty thief. Wielding her magical key, she is capable of picking locks and opening doors from a distance, letting her travel unseen down dark and mysterious corridors. She can also spy on enemies from afar through special keyholes and steal Dark Binding.png potent spells en route to your allies or Gold Card.png aimed at her. She is adept at hiding, capable of attacking without being revealed - although her attacks give away her position - and very lucky. Always seeking to have fun, she can find treasures deep in enemy territory, rewarding both her and her allies.


Unlocked & Loaded
Per-Target Cooldown: 11 / 10 / 9
LivesByProxy Whisper AltColor2

Basic Attacks: Imoen's basic attacks use ammunition, allowing Imoen to attack once before having to reload for 1.5 / 1.25 / 1 seconds. Additionally, she does not utilize projectiles and has an attack wind-up that is reduced by 0.25% per 1% bonus attack speed, rather than the standard 1%.

Locked & Loaded: Imoen cannot Critical strike icon critically strike unless she has 100% critical strike chance but her basic attacks temporarily increase her luck against her target and attacking does not break her stealth, nor reveal her from cover. Additionally, Imoen's Critical strike icon critical strikes deal -70 / -60 / -50 / -40 / -30% (+35% per 100 AP) (+10% per 10% bonus critical strike chance)% modified magic damage, and Stasis icon locks her target in place for 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 seconds.

Ability Details
Unlocked & Loaded is an on attack effect.

Additional Information:

  • Imoen gains X% bonus critical strike chance with each successful attack she makes on her target, capping at 100%.
  • While Imoen can't have more than 100% critical chance, her total bonus critical chance (i.e. that from runes, masteries, items, and the rewards from Treasures!) is counted for her passive.

Rogue's Passage
RANGE: 625
COST: 75 mana
COOLDOWN: 19 / 17 / 15 / 13 / 11
LivesByProxy DoorToNothingness

Active: Imoen opens a secret corridor that extends in the target direction and lasts for 5 seconds. Rogue's' Passage can be accessed by all champions, though it can only be accessed from the original entrance. However, it can be exited from any point within the corridor.

  • Corridor Length: 1250 / 1500 / 1750 / 2000 / 2250

Rogue's Passage's walls block Sight icon sight both in and Nearsight icon out. Using Rogue's Passage on a Keyhole will reduce Rogue's Passage's cooldown a % (before factoring in Imoen's cooldown reduction) but restrict it's direction to the direction of the Keyhole.

Ability Details
Rogues Passage is a linear, pass-through skillshot that leaves a trail behind.

Additional Information:

  • The shape of the corridor is a perfect rectangle.
  • Despite Rogue's Passage having only one-way in, there's no one way out. i.e.: You can step out / off it from any point of its area.
  • Once out you cannot regain the Rogue's Passage's effects unless entering from the proper entrance. However, unaffected enemy champions are still robbed of Sight icon vision of their allies still inside.
  • Enemies are stealthed both from you, your allies, and from their allies.
  • Rogue's Passage will grant assists to Imoen if an ally that uses it scores a kill or assist inside or shortly after exiting.
  • There is no limit to how many times a given instance of Rogue's Passage may be used.
  • Units using Rogue's Passage are targetable whilst inside if True Sight icon revealed.
  • Rogue's Passage passes through terrain, but does not let champions pass through terrain.

RANGE: 2000 / 2250 / 2500 / 2750 / 3000
COST: 50 mana
COOLDOWN: 33 / 30 / 27 / 24 / 21
LivesByProxy Netrunner Keyhole

Active: Imoen channels indefinitely, Nearsight icon limiting her sight to a thin beam that travels a much longer distance, passes through all terrain and True Sight icon reveals all stealthed units in its line of sight. This True Sight icon line of sight follows the cursor rapidly, but is bound within a 50 degree cone.

  • Keyhole Duration: 90 / 150 / 210 / 270 / 330

Attacking, moving, taking damage, or reactivating Keyhole immediately ends its effects leaving behind a Keyhole that lasts a short while. Imoen can Right-Click a Keyhole to Sight icon look through it.

Ability Details
Keyhole is a channeled ability.

Additional Information:

  • The width of the True Sight icon line of sight is approximately one Teemo Teemo.
  • The Sight icon sight granted by this ability supersedes the Nearsight icon nearsighting effects of Rogue's Passage
  • While attacking immediately ends the channel, Imoen can attack while channeling if the target is in range.

RANGE: 375
COST: 75 Mana
COOLDOWN: 9 / 8.5 / 8 / 7.5 / 7
LivesByProxy Chronobreak Pink

Active: Imoen dashes in a target direction, gaining a special shield and X% bonus movement speed as she does so, with both decaying over 2 seconds.

  • Shield Strength: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+100% AP) (+100% Critical Strike Chance)

Enemy abilities absorbed by her shield will Silence icon silence the caster for 1.25 seconds.

Treasure! / Secret!
RANGE: 125 / 400
COST: 100 Mana
COOLDOWN: 60 / 45 / 30
LivesByProxy DibsE

Passive: Located throughout the enemies' side of the map, including inside their base, are Treasures! that only Imoen can open. Upon successfully Critical strike icon opening a Treasure!, Imoen gains experience and a permanent increase to her critical strike chance, with nearby allies being healed and gaining 100 gold Gold.

  • Heal: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 (+100% AP)
LivesByProxy MTG VoidmageHusher

Active: Imoen places a Secret! at the target location or inside a previously opened Treasure!. Critical strike icon Opening a Secret! will heal herself and nearby allies for the same amount. Imoen cannot use this active part of the ability until she has her second rank in Treasure! / Secret!.

Imoen begins the game with one rank in Treasure! / Secret! and can increase it at levels 6, 11, and 16.

Champion Insights

For Riot to do a thief in League any justice, they must NOT do the typical grim cut-purse or gutter-skulk stereotype that I mentioned earlier.

I began to think, "where in Runeterra would a legendary thief most likely come from?" The answer should be obvious: the Bilgewater. What better place for a thief than a land of Gangplank pirates, Graves outlaws, and Twisted Fate con-men? With the setting in mind, her character evolved. Suddenly, the questionable act of stealing is somewhat moral - she steals from the thieves! But why does she steal? It's not for money, or even because she needs too, or because it's 'the right thing to do'. She does it for the challenge. It's fun for her. Like a child playing at make-believe.

It was then I realized that our thief champion was, in fact, a little girl. Older than Annie Annie but younger than Ekko Ekko, she was this spunky, sarcastic, energetic waif living an almost care-free lifestyle in a place that is, by all accounts, not a very nice place to be.

Almost at the same time, I knew that she needed to wield a key as her weapon. It just makes sense doesn't it? What more useful tool could a thief have at his or her disposal than a key that could open any door, and unlock any container or seal? Unfortunately, that idea had already been done in the form a of blade.

But wait! What if, instead of using her key like a sword, she used it like a gun? So she became a Support / Marksman in my mind, and I attempted to give her abilities that suited her. I also tried to think of how she would look, and her silhouette in game. What I imagined was a little girl, with an oversized key-gun, and a cloak large enough for a grown man (perhaps alluding to a master-teacher-thief of hers?) that was bright and gaudy, a rainbow of colors. This use of contrasting elements - the idea of a 'sneaky' character who wore loud, bright clothing - rang true to me.

It also helped cement her personality, which is that of CeeCee, with a little bit of Jinx Jinx and Vi Vi, with a touch of Pinkie Pie, and Mabel Pines. She's also reminiscent of Pippy Longstockings in many ways, and even Peter Pan.

She's this brazen little girl who is equal parts cutely naive and cruelly clever when she needs to be, but one of League's most light-hearted champions. Let me put it this way: if Braum Braum is the champion who jovially jumps in front of that Morgana Morgana Dark Binding.png Q to save you, laughing it off with ease, this girl is the champion who jumps in front of Braum - stealing Morg's Q - just so she could see the look on their faces. To quote Riot (talking about Braum, who she shares a lot with) she is 'causally invincible... not a reckless disregard for person safety, but a complete non-acknowledgement that other things are threatening.' She is still very innocent, and her world is viewed through a lens of child-like wonder.

She's a homage to two characters specifically: Rikku from Final Fantasy X, and Imoen (for whom she's named) from the Baldur's Gate Trilogy.

I'm sure there are many more characters to which countless players can recognize and identify with her, which is why I feel so strongly that this is a powerfully resonant thematic, one worthy of League of Legends.

UPDATE: In a random game of LoL, I encountered a user by the name of 'MouseGirl'. It then hit me that Imoen could be (should be) a yordle. Yordles already share some qualities with hamsters and gerbils, it should be no stretch of the imagination to imagine a mousey yordle thief. The transition from making her a normal human girl into a mousey yordle wasn't difficult, and I think her being a yordle makes even more sense thematically. Whenever and wherever mice have been anthropomorphized, they are almost always depicted as using materials / tools that they've 'stolen' from the humans that they exist alongside. It was quite a serendipitous encounter, and I'm not sure I would've made the connection if I hadn't met MouseGirl, haha.

UPDATE 8/31/16 : I've given her a new ultimate based on the feedback I've gotten so far, namely, that she still didn't feel like a thief. Hopefully, her Treasure! / Cache! ability captures the fantasy of sneaking into dangerous territory, finding the prize, and getting out. I also think it gives her an incentive to roam / explore when the enemies are away or not much is going on, much like Bard Bard's passive. The Treasure! Spheres also give her something to build her crit during a teamfight when other targets aren't available or are too risky to get near. She can also 'pop' a chest during a fight to heal her allies. :)

Questions For The Community

Is she a thematically resonant champion? Do her abilities, artwork, and personality make sense? i.e. does she come together in a thematically cohesive way? Does she look fun to play? Over-loaded? Over-powered?

Do her ability names, and their effects, make logical sense given what you know about thieves from gaming, popular culture, *cough* personal experience *cough*, i.e. can you savor the flavor?

Let me know!

Concept Art

  • 1st Imoen Concept
  • 2nd Imoen Concept
  • Keyhole Art
  • Rogue's Passage
  • Imoen Appearance Concepts


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