Season 2 of League of Legends has ended and preseason for Season 3 has begun, but Riot's season of creating great champions ever continues. The next League of Legends champion has been revealed and her name is Nami, the Tidecaller. In Japanese, Nami means "wave," so it should come as no surprise that Nami is mermaid. What should come as a surprise, however, is that Nami is a rare support character.
Nami's abilities each focus on supporting her teammates in interesting ways, altering movement speeds and positioning in most cases. Nami also has a heal of sorts, which Riot has said they prefer to avoid, but it seems unreliable and so shouldn't create any immediate unbalance. Take a look at Nami's skills yourself:
- Surging Tides (Passive): Allied champions affected by Nami’s abilities have their movement speeds increased for a short duration.
- Aqua Prison: Nami sends a bubble of water into the air to a targeted location that deals magic damage and displaces enemies hit by the bubble.
- Ebb and Flow: Unleashes a surge of water that can target an enemy or allied champion. The water can bounce from champion to champion and deals magic damage to enemy champions and heals allied champions.
- Tidecaller’s Blessing: Nami buffs an allied champion, adding extra magic damage and a slow to their attacks.
- Tidal Wave: Nami summons a massive Tidal Wave from her position. The wave deals magic damage and slows all enemy units it passes through. Enemies closest to the initial spawn point are slowed for a shorter duration than those farther away, but all are slowed for a significant length of time and Tidal Wave has a large range.
Nami's skills allow her to be uniquely aggressive in ways that other supports cannot. Her combination of slows, displacement and buffs encourage her laning partner to be more aggressive, or alternatively allow Nami to help teammates escape from rough situations. Whether Nami will create a new niche in the meta or slip into situational team compositions is yet to be seen, but hey, she looks pretty cool.
Personally, I'm a little underwhelmed with Nami, as each of her abilities seem to be new takes on old skills. I mean that as, I don't think any of her skills will persuade player to pick her over other supports that perform better in certain ways. Janna's movement buff requires no skill usage, Nunu has a more reliable heavy slow, Sona's ultimate stuns as opposed to slows. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I just don't see her introducing any exciting fresh gameplay to the League. My biggest fear is that due to her other abilities being weak her heal will be buffed and she'll become a sustain support. Sedentary gameplay is never particularly fun.
Nami's lore is missing from her reveal, but hopefully we'll hear more prior to here release, which could come either the week after Thanksgiving or the week after that. More supports in the League of Legends is always a good thing!