The long-awaited Spirit Walker’s rework is just around the corner,and we have finally received his overhaul images, videos, and PBE gameplay. Udyr was out of every meta for a long time, getting outshined by newer, more viable junglers like Bel’Veth. However, this rework displays how wonderfully Riot does their job and could easily return this mighty jungler to his former glory. The Freljordian shaman received a complete kit and visuals overhaul, as did his outdated skins.
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Back in 2021, Riot stated they did not want to change the core mechanics of Udyr but mainly improve the outdated character model and abilities and also, introduce slight improvements to his kit to make him viable in the future. The stance changes remain the same, with new visuals and effects, mimicking the legendary Freljordians Ornn, Volibear, and Anivia.
As such, the champion should feel viable enough in future patches to match popular junglers like Viego, and with the rework hitting the PBE recently, it should not be long before the community finds that out. The improved shaman is scheduled to hit live servers with the next patch 12.16 dropping on the 24th of August.
As already mentioned, Rioters are keen on keeping the core mechanics of Udyr, being a fierce melee fighter calling upon the demigods of the Freljord to augment his attacks. One of the designers stated that their goal is to ensure Udyr remains a simplistic bruiser and not complex, as newer champions tend to be.
Further, we will explain each of the new abilities as well as Udyr’s improved passive.
Passive – Awakened Spirit/Monk Training
KEPT: Udyr’s ability stances portray a certain Freljord demigod. Moreover, Udyr receives a 40% attack speed bonus after casting and recasting abilities.
NEW: Every 30 seconds, Udyr can ‘Awaken’ his active stance to gain bonus effects. This is done by recasting the currently used ability.
Q – Wilding Claw
KEPT: Entering Claw Stance, Udyr gains an attack speed boost and two first attacks deal extra damage.
NEW: By Awakening the Wilding Claw, Udyr receives an attack speed buff with two first auto attacks dealing lightning damage that can bounce up to 6 times.
W – Iron Mantle
KEPT: When cast, Udyr goes into Mantle Stance, gaining a shield and two next attacks restore HP.
NEW: When Awakening the Iron Mantle, Udyr recovers a large amount of HP over 2 seconds and receives a fresh shield, stacking on top of the unawakened Iron Mantle shield, if active.
E – Blazing Stampede
KEPT: Stampede Stance initiates, giving Udyr a movement speed bonus and a stun on the first attack.
NEW: Recasting Blazing Stampede enables the Awakened version that increases movement speed and offers a short CC immunity buff.
R – Wingborne Storm
NEW: Udyr calls upon the powers of the Volibear, enabling him to unlock the Storm Stance. During this ability, Udyr summons a glacial storm that damages and slows enemies. The following two auto attacks increase the AoE of the storm. When Awakened, the storm acts as Viktor’s R, following the recently attacked enemy and dealing more damage
Thousands queue up each day to experience the improved Spirit Walker and after a certain amount of playtime, this is our conclusion. By carefully analyzing the rework as a whole, we can say that Udyr has received justice and will surely see a lot more playtime in the following patches, maybe even in competitive play.
The movement is not clunky, auto attacks feel smooth and strong, and stance changes appear powerful, as if with each change, a demigod takes Udyr’s body, improving his combat capability in the process. With this rework, Riot displayed the next-level visual designs (Wingborne Storm) somewhat similar to the Arcane’s. Could this mean that League will slowly shift into a more cartoony setting rather than realistic, as it is currently?