Riot discusses Akshan’s intended strengths and weaknesses, why he was designed with a revive

"Every new champion design owes you something unique, exciting, and new."

Image via Riot Games

League of Legends‘ Akshan is a mid lane marksman who simultaneously boasts assassination and support potential. And while that may initially confuse players, lead game designer Jeevun “Jag” Sidhu addressed some concerns today.

Jag discussed the new champ in today’s dev blog, breaking down his intended strengths and weaknesses and answering some community questions about the Rogue Sentinel’s ability kit.

Akshan is meant to be a self-sufficient assassin who can burst enemies down, pull off stellar flanks, and use his mobility to close the gap or flee. Add in a unique ability to revive slain allies (Going Rogue – W) and his potential’s through the roof. But the devs did design him with specific weaknesses in mind, offering enemies a way to counter the mid lane marksman. Jag specifically pointed to Akshan’s late-game damage falling off, his lack of crowd control, unreliable teamfight damage, and the difficulty that comes with killing the most dangerous enemy to pull off a revive.

Jag also discussed the revive’s potential, explaining that the devs don’t have an exact idea about how powerful the ability can be.

“Sometimes Akshan will resurrect a single ally who will proceed to instantly run it down again,” Jag said.
“Sometimes he’ll solo turn a game by killing a Scoundrel that just got a Quadra Kill, reviving his entire team to march forward and take the Nexus. We know just how much potential this mechanic could have, and that drove us to put constraints on this effect.”

Image via Riot Games

While Riot did put certain countermeasures in place, the devs created a risky ability because they want every new champ to offer something “unique, exciting, and new.” Instead of simply repeating abilities from one champ to the next, Riot wants to push League in a direction that can change the game in distinct ways. And if the design fails, the devs will “make changes to keep trying and keep iterating until [they] get there.”

As for why Akshan was given a revive instead of a more supportive champ, Jag gave two reasons. The Rogue Sentinel is a “complex hero” who wants to connect with and help people, even if that could “severely cost him.” And on a gameplay level, Akshan can fit in with the stereotypical selfish archetype of an assassin while also contributing to the team. If he’s chasing down a Scoundrel in enemy territory, for example, then allies will want him to succeed because it benefits the team.

“No champion appeals to everyone, but I truly believe some of you are going to love playing this marksman-assassin who wants to help his team,” Jag said. “That’s a new experience for League. And that’s why it’s worth it.”

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