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League of Legends characters wandering in the forest.
Image via Riot Games

Total failure: This 2023 LoL champ has already slumped to least played in entire game

A rough year.

League of Legends has over 160 champions, but not all of them see action on Summoner’s Rift. One champ released in 2023 is suffering a terrible fate, recording a worryingly low pick rate in Patch 14.10.

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Upon seeing Naafiri’s pick rate in Patch 14.10, players concluded in a May 21 post on League‘s subreddit that her design completely missed the mark. Currently, Naafiri is the second least-picked champion in League, right behind Ziggs. Even though it’s completely normal for a champion’s pick rate to fall drastically after release, Naafiri’s popularity plummeted far more than normal.

When designing Naafiri, Riot Games intended her to be a beginner-friendly mid lane assassin, but this apparently wasn’t what League players wanted, and most dropped her after the initial spike in popularity. Her kit revolves around bleeds, and Naafiri is at her best in skirmishes. If you ask League players, it would have been better if Riot leaned into the pack mechanic more. Even though she can heal her pack, there’s no real reason for her to do so, since she loses mana and damage.

Others feel like Naafiri and Briar should swap roles, and that the dog champion would have worked perfectly in the jungle. Even though plenty of players tried to make jungle Naafiri work, her clear was simply terrible and Riot never addressed it.

Naafiri original splash art
Naafiri is one of the least popular champs right now. Image via Riot Games

But players’ biggest pet peeve with Naafiri is that the champion has no real skill expression. Most of her abilities are point-and-click, and you’ll fully understand her kit after just a couple of matches.

Naafiri plays more like a skirmisher, not an assassin. Zed and Talon are typical assassins, and they have characteristics in common like burst damage, easy gap-closing, and escape tools. Naafiri’s dash has a long channel time, can be blocked, and her bleed damage works best with fighter items like Black Cleaver.

Hopefully, she’ll get a similar treatment to Rell, and Riot Games will rework her so she properly becomes a viable noob-friendly assassin. 


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Author
Image of Izabela Tomakic
Izabela Tomakic
Staff Writer & World of Warcraft lead. Izabela has a long history with writing and games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Fortnite, and The Sims. Before finding her home at Dot Esports in 2021, Izabela was an English teacher and a freelancer at Hotspawn, GGRecon, and Gameranx. In her free time, you’ll find her writing novels, wandering Azeroth, or inting on Summoner’s Rift.