New League of Legends champion Hwei the Visionary is the next to step into the fray in Riot Games’ world-beating MOBA, and he’s looking like one of its most complex and versatile characters yet. With an arsenal of ten unique spells at his disposal, this brooding artist cuts an impossibly handsome figure, and promises to have exactly the right answer for every situation that arises, provided he’s in the right hands. I’m already excited.
As someone who dabbles in both League of Legends and Valve’s Dota 2, one of my favorite characters across the MOBA games is Dota’s Invoker, so I’m very excited by the prospect of LoL newcomer Hwei. Much like Invoker, Hwei uses various button combinations to employ a much wider variety of skills than the traditional ‘one per key’ approach can offer. It’s also reminiscent of the Ninja in FFXIV – which happens to be my go-to job there as well, so clearly I’m just a sucker for this particular mechanic.
The way Hwei’s abilities work is perhaps more straightforward than those other examples, although I’m certain it’ll still take some getting used to. Each spell requires a two-button sequence: the first press denotes the color of paint and thus the type of spell (Q is ‘disaster,’ W is ‘serenity,’ and E is ‘torment’), and the second chooses which of the three spells from that subject you want to cast, also using Q, W, and E. Cooldowns are shared across all spells from a school, so you’ll only be able to use one of each type at a time.
As you might expect, the disaster spells focus on powerful destructive abilities, serenity spells offer protection and buffs to Hwei and his allies, and torment spells can be used to inflict negative effects on his opponents. If you decide you want to cancel out of the chosen subject after the first button, you can hit the R key to wash your brush clean and return to a neutral state without expending mana or cooldowns.
Press R with no subject selected, however, and you’ll instead cast Hwei’s ultimate, Spiraling Despair. This sticks to an enemy champion, then expands, creating a zone that inflicts magic damage and a stacking slow effect on all enemies within it, before shattering for a final burst of magic damage to anyone still left standing inside its range.
This effect is reflected in Hwei’s passive ability, Signature of the Visionary. Landing a damaging ability on an enemy champion marks them for a few seconds – land another on an already marked foe and an explosion will be created underneath them, which then detonates after a short delay dealing magic damage to all enemies in range. You’ll want to stay spread out when you spot him on the enemy team, then.
Hwei’s wide-ranging arsenal certainly makes him one of the most versatile champions League of Legends has ever seen. While the shared cooldowns on each school of magic mean he has to pick his tools carefully, the potential he puts at your fingertips is thrilling. It’s yet to be seen whether that means he’ll be as tough to master as the likes of the weapon-swapping Aphelios, or Azir and his army of sand soldiers, but I can’t wait to find out.
League of Legends Hwei abilities
Here is the full set of abilities for Hwei the Visionary, who joins the roster in League of Legends patch 13.24 on Wednesday, December 6, courtesy of Riot Games:
Passive – Signature of the Visionary
- Hwei’s damaging abilities against enemy champions mark them for a few seconds. Hitting marked enemies with another damaging ability creates an explosion underneath them, detonating after a short delay and dealing magic damage to all enemies in range.
QR/WR/ER – Wash Brush
- Hwei clears his paintbrush and returns to base abilities without using mana or cooldowns.
Q – Subject: Disaster
QQ – Devastating Fire
- Hwei paints a blazing fireball that flies out in the target direction. It explodes on the first enemy hit or at maximum range, dealing magic damage plus percent max health magic damage to all enemies in an area.
QW – Severing Bolt
- Hwei paints a long-range, devastating bolt at the target location. After a delay, the bolt strikes, dealing magic damage. Immobilized or isolated enemies take increased damage based on missing health.
QE – Molten Fissure
- Hwei paints a field of exploding volcanic eruptions, creating lingering lava in its path. Every eruption deals magic damage to enemies hit. Enemies in the lava area are dealt magic damage per second and are slowed.
W – Subject: Serenity
WQ – Fleeting Current
- Hwei paints a current of swift waters in a line for a few seconds that grants movement speed to himself and his allies.
WW – Pool of Reflection
- Hwei forms a protective pool at the target location that lasts for a few seconds. Allied champions inside the area gain an immediate shield, increasing in value over a few seconds while in the area.
WE – Stirring Lights
- Hwei paints three swirling lights that circle him for several seconds. Hwei’s next three attacks or spells deal bonus magic damage and grant mana on hit.
E – Subject: Torment
EQ – Grim Visage
- Hwei launches a terrifying face that strikes the first enemy hit, dealing magic damage and causing them to flee for a brief duration.
EW – Gaze of the Abyss
- Hwei paints an abyssal eye at the target location that grants vision and locks onto the nearest visible enemy champion. After a short delay, the eye fires at the locked-on champion, rooting the first enemy in its path for a few seconds and dealing magic damage to them.
EE – Crushing Maw
- Hwei paints crushing jaws that deal magic damage to enemies hit and pulls them toward the center, slowing them by a set amount that quickly decays.
R – Spiraling Despair
- Hwei launches a vision of pure despair that sticks to an enemy champion for a few seconds. The vision expands and overwhelms all enemies it touches, dealing magic damage per second. Enemies within the zone are afflicted with stacks of Despair over time. Each stack of Despair applies a stacking percent slow. Upon completion, the vision shatters, dealing magic damage.
Hwei the Visionary joins the roster with League of Legends patch 13.24, which is currently set to arrive on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.
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