Bird people incoming.
League of Legends’ lore has always been some of the most interesting parts of the game, often fleshing out backgrounds of our favorite champions to hints at upcoming ones. After straying off for a little bit, Riot Games made a revamped push, launching the beta of League of Legends Universe, a collection of in-universe lore. This saw a lot of re-writes and as a result, champion remakes. Universe’s latest entry came from the journal of Eduard Santangelo, an explorer who introduced us to the Vastaya, whom he described as a mix between human and animal. He notes that the Vastaya, aren’t a species (as he runs into Vastaya resembling a number of different animals), but more so an order or phylum.
Though he never gets to introduce himself, Santangelo runs into a woman he described as part fox but “otherwise very, very much like a female human”. He provides a sketch, revealing a longstanding champion, Ahri, who is now all but confirmed to be a Vastaya. The Vastaya also appear to range in degree of how animalistic they are. Making friends with a merchant named Shai, Santangelo is completely caught off guard when the former shapeshifts into a pig. This raises questions of whether other existing champions like Wukong and Volibear could also be Vastaya.
Who are clearly Vastaya, however, are the League’s two newest revealed champions: Xayah and Rakan. This marks the first time since Gragas and Pantheon that Riot Games has unveiled two champions at once. A pair of bird-like Vastaya lovers (Riot’s words), Xayah and Rakan enters the rift as Support and Marksman duo.
Xayah is a bit immobile, making positioning vital, but has a root crowd control and an escape (or an engage depending on how you use it) built into her ult. Rakan, on the other hand, will perhaps be the most mobile support once he is released. On top of this, he has both healing and shield spells in his kit, though the nature of the abilities may force himself into danger. While these two champions by no means have to be played together, the champions have a special recall, the allows one to join another by walking into their recall range. Once there, the recall timer of the late arrival will sync up with the first recaller’s time. Here is both Rakan and Xayah’s ability list, courtesy of Riot Games:
- Clean Cuts (Passive): After casting an ability, Xayah’s next few basic attacks will pierce through all enemies in their path (dealing reduced damage to all targets after the first). They’ll also leave a feather where they land. Feathers remain on the field for a moderate length of time.
- Double Daggers (Q): Xayah throws two blades in a line, damaging all enemies hit. The blades leave a feather where they land.
- Deadly Plumage (W): Xayah conjures a storm of feather blades that increase the strength and speed of her next few basic attacks. If Xayah attacks an enemy champion while empowered by Deadly Plumage, she’ll gain a short burst of movement speed. If Rakan is nearby when Xayah activates Deadly Plumage, he’ll also gain the ability’s effects.
- Bladecaller (E): Xayah recalls all feathers, which deal damage to any enemies they strike on the way back to Xayah. If a target is struck by several feathers at once, they’ll be briefly rooted.
- Featherstorm (R): Xayah leaps into the air, becoming briefly untargetable. After a short delay, she hurls a storm of blades in a cone, each of which deals damage to struck enemies and leaves a feather upon landing. Xayah may continue to move while airborne.
- Fey Feathers (Passive): Rakan’s coat occasionally generates a shield, even in combat. Rakan can reduce this ability’s cooldown by attacking an enemy champion.
- Gleaming Quill (Q): Rakan slings an enchanted feather forward. If it connects with an enemy champ or epic monster, it deals damage and Rakan’s cloak surges with magic. After a brief moment a heal triggers in the area around Rakan. The heal activates immediately if Rakan touches an ally.
- Grand Entrance (W): Rakan leaps forward, landing at his destination. He then pauses for dramatic effect before launching into the air and knocking up nearby opponents.
- Battle Dance (E): Rakan leaps to an ally’s side, shielding them from harm. He can cast Battle Dance again for a few seconds after, even on the same target. If Xayah’s the target, Rakan rushes to her aid from an increased distance.
- The Quickness (R): Rakan breaks into a sprint, enchanting his coat and captivating his audience. While The Quickness is active, Rakan charms and damages all enemies he touches (once per champ). The first champ he touches grants him a huge burst of movement speed.
- Lover’s Leap (Special Recall): If either Xayah or Rakan is recalling, their lover can sync up with them, choreographing a perfect return to base.
While there is no announced release date for the pair, feel free to give Riot’s reveal page a look for more in depth info and some fantastic lore.
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