Riot's quite clearly excited for their next League of Legends champion release. Gnar, who was teased and had his name announced just yesterday, has now been fully revealed. His title is "The Missing Link" which perhaps implies that this Gnar is some evolutionary step between kittens and the yordles we know today. Actually a child, Gnar's place on the battlefield may initially surprise some players. That is, until they make him angry.
As speculated Gnar will feature a Rage mechanic that will see him transform into beastial form they're calling Mega Gnar. Unlike Nidalee, who can change forms with the press of a button, or Renekton and Shyvana, who can activate their Rage to transform, Gnar's Rage builds up and activates passively through combat. Once Gnar's Rage threshold caps out, he'll either transform at the activation of his next ability or without activation a few seconds later.
As for Gnar's lore, in typical modern League of Legends fashion very little is said directly. It's noted that Gnar was captured and held in True Ice, breaking free just recently to join the League. There's a portion of Braum's story where he notes finding his shield next to some True Ice, so it's rumored that Braum indirectly caused Gnar to be freed. As for the creature that initially locked Gnar away and perhaps killed his family... well, who knows. It does look a bit like Vel'Koz, but could likely be a Watcher too.
In-game, Gnar will be initially played as a top-laner. Whether his kit proves to be versatile enough to do jungle or even mid as well will depend on how well he's balanced, I suppose. Let's take a look at his kit now.
Regarding Gnar's skill-set, it should be noted that each is split between his two different forms, Mini Gnar and Mega Gnar. The only skills that aren't split are his passive, which allows him to transform via Rage in the first place, and his ultimate, which is reserved solely for Mega Gnar's use. Otherwise, each skill-set will be similar in form, but have different functions and results which each befit the form that uses it thematically.
Gnar - The Missing Link - Abilities
- Passive: Rage Gene
- Gnar builds up rage in combat. Once he fills his rage bar, Gnar’s next ability transforms him into Mega Gnar, giving him bonus armor, magic resist, health and attack damage at the expense of movement speed, attack speed and attack range. If Mini Gnar doesn’t use an ability, he transforms into Mega Gnar after a few seconds anyway. While in Mega Gnar form, his rage slowly runs down, and once it’s exhausted, he turns back into Mini Gnar. After transforming back, Mini Gnar briefly becomes tired and can't gain rage for a few seconds.
- Mini Gnar - Boomerang Throw: Gnar chucks his boomerang in a target direction, dealing damage to the first enemy struck while applying a slow. After striking an enemy, the boomerang slows before returning to Gnar, dealing reduced damage to all enemies in its path. If Gnar catches it, he reduces Boomerang Throw’s cooldown significantly.
- Mega Gnar - Boulder Toss: Gnar launches a huge boulder in a target direction, damaging and slowing the first target in the boulder’s path along with all nearby enemies. Once it’s landed, Gnar can pick the boulder up to reduce Boulder Toss’ cooldown.
- Mini Gnar - Hyper (Passive): Every third attack or ability against a target deals percent max health as magic damage. Whenever Hyper triggers, or when Mega Gnar transforms back into Mini Gnar, he gains a moderate movement speed boost that decays over time.
- Mega Gnar - Wallop: Gnar stands on his back legs before slamming his fists into the ground, damaging and briefly stunning all enemies in front of him.
- Mini Gnar - Hop: Gnar jumps in a target direction and gains a moderate attack speed boost. If Gnar lands on a unit, he bounces, hopping again in the same direction. If Gnar hops onto an enemy unit, he also damages and slows them.
- Mega Gnar - Crunch: Gnar launches himself in a target direction, damaging and slowing all enemies he lands directly on.
- Mega Gnar - GNAR!: Gnar throws a tantrum, tossing all enemies around him in a target direction. All enemies thrown are slowed and damaged, while enemies thrown into walls, including turrets and base structures, suffer extra damage and are stunned.
Riot tends to release champions the week following their full reveal, though they're known to drop surprise updates early in the week as well. Hopefully we'll log in sometime in the next 1-7 days and be surprised to see a Gnar login screen waiting for us. I've got nothing but love for this new League of Legends champion.