League of Legends’ champion reworks is always a subject of controversy with a portion of the fans liking a rework while the other completely dislike the way it’s done. The best champion reworks are those that have acquired more positivity from the League of Legends community because both visual and gameplay updates have either made the champion more relevant or more appealing to play in general.
Ranking the Best Champion Reworks in LoL
Ranking the best champion reworks is completely subjective to the player and their views about the champion being updated. As a few objective factors for this list, we’ll be ranking 11 champions according to how the champion became better in terms of their visual and gameplay updates. We’ll look at how better the champion’s abilities became to balance out the competitive aspect as well as the upgrade of aesthetics that the champion had to fit more with the world of Runeterra.
League of Legends has evolved to be such a fluid game with really great graphics and a bit of a balanced(?) gameplay overall. Riot Games continues to make the game more appealing to new and old players so they’ll try to update the champions to stick to the League of Legends we know today. Looking back at some of the old champion models might be a good way for veterans to get a bit of nostalgia while introducing how imbalanced the game was to the new generation.
Fiddlesticks was originally created to be some terrifying scarecrow figure but the old model felt like a derpy stick figure cartoon. His abilities were okay but his W was useless outside being used in jungle camps. The worst part about his old model was that his abilities kinda looked a bit outdated and the large blue circle didn’t look good aesthetically. He also lacked burst damage to finish the job in clutch situations.
The new Fiddlesticks really looks like a nightmare incarnate. In terms of visual upgrade, Fiddlesticks easily wins the best champion rework category but in terms of changing the abilities, nothing really changed. It didn’t feel like Fiddlesticks became a lot stronger and retained much of his identity. He is still not widely used in both casual and professional play. It’s still enough for him to get placed in the Top 11 Best Champion Reworks in the game.
Irelia’s old model was extremely clunky and even the model looked like an out-of-place character that didn’t make sense. Her weapon of choice was really funny, especially the way she wielded it. Her abilities were similar with a lot of champions which included the theme of adding on-hit bonuses to auto-attacks. A lot of champions during the old phases of the game had those mechanics which really felt like Riot Games’ lack of creativity in the early stages of game development.
Looking at the new Irelia feels completely different from the old version but her aesthetics was the best part about the update. Unfortunately, her release made her one of the Most OP reworks in League of Legends history. The new abilities were extremely easy on the eyes and made her more unique as a whole. If she didn’t need all those post-rework nerfs, she could’ve landed at the top of this list. Well, you know what they say: “Better nerf Irelia”.
Evelynn had one of the strongest passives in League of Legends history. However, the rest of her kit felt completely underwhelming with the only compensation to her entire existence was that she was an incredible ganker. When people learned how to use Vision Wards, she became one of the most useless champions in the game with her kit not being good enough to classify her as any of the League of Legends classes.
The new Evelynn didn’t just receive a jaw-dropping visual update but her kit made her more balanced. Even though her passive ability now requires her to be Level 6 before getting permanent stealth, the rest of her abilities became a lot stronger and made her into a truly terrifying assassin in the game. Her transformation from terrifying demon imp to alluring succubus has really gained very positive approval rates from a certain demographic of the player base.
Mordekaiser was extremely OP during his release. However, his kit made him a living bug machine which made it difficult to release new champions or dragons (even though Viego exists now). The visuals were the biggest issue with the old Mordekaiser looking really displaced in the League of Legends universe. His ultimate ability just made him a gigantic clutter around the map.
The new Mordekaiser felt more connected to his origins with the Shadow Isles. One of the marks of being the best champion reworks in the game is that there should be positive change. The dragon thing didn’t feel right for Mordekaiser, so the new Death Realm makes more sense in terms of his character. It’s gonna make the champion’s transition from one era to another a lot smoother since you don’t have to worry about the Ghost mechanics anymore.
For the great bear god, Volibear kinda looked a bit derpy in his old model. He was also too similar with his Dota2 counterpart, Ursa Warrior, in terms of abilities. Although the effects of his abilities were pretty strong, they were extremely underwhelming visually. As mentioned before, a lot of League of Legends champions only had on-hit bonuses to their auto-attack or attack speed increases were a lot of the abilities in the early stages of the game and Volibear had half of them.
The new Volibear has more of a thunder deity feel. The visual upgrade to his character design and abilities makes him feel like he has a more powerful grasp of the thunder as an element compared to the old Volibear that had little to do with lightning and thunder. Even the voice lines of the new Volibear has some great depth to make him more connected to his character.
The old Swain’s model felt extremely dated even the animation of the abilities looked like something out of a 1980s cartoon. While there really wasn’t anything terrible about the mechanics of the old Swain’s abilities, it still felt like he didn’t bring a lot of uniqueness to his kit. Swain’s appearance didn’t feel like it was doing anything good to improve the overall image of Noxus. With him, there was nothing Riot Games could do that would convince people that Noxus is not an antagonist to the story.
Swain’s new model didn’t only transform him as a hard-handed revolutionist, it also gave Noxus a chance to have some moral ambiguity similar to the Horde/Alliance relationship. His new abilities also gave him some uniqueness that fit well with the demon raven motif that Riot Games is trying to create for him. He’s still one of the most balanced champions in the game today.
The old Galio was probably one of the worst champions in League of Legends. He had nothing that made him viable to pick which caused him to have the worst pick-rate in the game. They tried so hard to make him into an MR support but if you were playing in the bottom lane pre-2016, you wouldn’t really see any magic users in the bottom lane so he would only shine during the mid to late stages of the game when teamfighting would be there more often.
The new Galio is probably one of the best champion reworks in the game. Even though they intended him to retain being a support, the increase in AP ratio made him an excellent Mid Lane tank that would be the bane of all mages in the future. While the rework didn’t go as intended, it’s still allowed the champion to be more playable both in casual and professional games. He also made more sense in the League of Legends universe.
There was nothing wrong with Pantheon’s abilities before he got reworked but this is just one of those champions that you didn’t know could be improved. The worst part about Pantheon was his ultimate that even my grandmother could dodge because of how long and obvious it was during its channel time. Pantheon’s visuals were also kinda out-of-place since they really wanted to go with the spartan look that didn’t incorporate well with the Mt. Targon lore they were going with.
The new Pantheon kept all of Pantheon’s old abilities’ mechanics but mixed and matched some of them to find the perfect balance. He no longer has any weaknesses in terms of his abilities so that it’s not as easily dodgeable as the previous abilities. It also allows him to choose when to go invulnerable instead of it just randomly happening. In addition, the slight changes to his armor set made him more attuned to his relationship with Mt. Targon.
Akali’s abilities didn’t shine out and didn’t feel like they were even being cast because of the low-key animation that they had. Even the Twilight Shroud felt so outdated with the circle indicator that doesn’t exist anymore outside of champions like Gragas’ barrels. There wasn’t really anything wrong with Akali’s old visuals but there was still something very lacking to connect her with her Ionian heritage.
The new Akali character update looks absolutely stunning and makes her more attuned to her assassin nature and Ionian heritage. However, the clincher that puts her on the best champion reworks is that her abilities look extremely flashy. She’s become really very exciting to watch even in the esports scene where she gets to jump in and out of a fight. The best part is that her Twilight Shroud ability now looks more realistic.
Sion is widely considered as one of the best champion reworks in League of Legends history. He had an extremely imbalanced ability kit that allowed him to be an immortal juggernaut that can fight the entirety of your team on his own. Aside from that, the recurring problem of having no flashy abilities and just having self-buff abilities really make it a problem to want to play this champion when all you do is walk up to a champion and try to live as long as possible.
The new Sion didn’t just have an amazing visual update but his abilities were surprisingly great. They incorporated the theme of being “undying” by creating the perfect passive combined with a lot of defensive buffs to his basic abilities. He now has a more effective set of CCs that don’t involve the overpowered point-and-click crowd control abilities that were considered as being “not healthy for the game”.
AHHHHHHHHH! The old Urgot was absolutely horrible in every way imaginable. This champion’s character design was coming off too hard to try and match Dota’s Pudge, which was inspired by the character models of WoW’s flesh golems. It was extremely hard to play a sack of meat on spiderlegs. Even the abilities were really confusing and some of them had redundant mechanics like the Q ability which required the E ability to hit before so that it passes through enemies instead. The ultimate also didn’t feel like an ultimate ability and had very little practical use in the game.
The rework of the new Urgot finally gave this champion some justice. He still remained to be a sack of flesh but at least it was an aesthetically pleasing version of that. The abilities now made him connect more with his class as a marksman and gave transformed him into a juggernaut instead of a pure tank. His visual and gameplay upadte easily makes him a worthy champion to take on the title of having the best champion rework in League of Legends history.
Who was the best champion rework in LoL?
Sion is widely considered the best champion rework in terms of gameplay balance while Urgot has the best rework in terms of character design.