Following a wave of buffs to League of Legends’ weaker junglers in Patch 7.7 this week, Udyr is next on the list to get some love.
Once upon a time, the Spirit Walker was a favorite for jungle mains, due to his high-speed gameplay and how easy it was to cheese people with him in solo queue. He never really found a home in professional play, but in ranked games, there were few jungle champions you could pick to annoy the enemy team as well (except for maybe Shaco). Not only was he annoying, he was fairly strong as well—much like Singed in the current meta.
He had commendable damage, his camp-clear was fast and safe, and his movement speed was unmatched. What’s more, you could build him in many ways. If you wanted to go pure movement speed, pure tank, pure attack speed, or a weird hybrid of the three, you could figure out how to make it work if you understood Udyr’s kit. That was back in the golden age of the Wriggle’s Lantern, a jungle item that rewarded you for clearing as much of the jungle as possible with more damage, gave you a ward, and had some OP stats.
Following an onslaught of jungle changes between Season Four and Season Six, Wriggle’s Lantern, as well as other jungle items, were removed and replaced by the lineup we have today. Since then, Udyr hasn’t been able to find his footing, and he’s fallen to the wayside a bit.
The upcoming buffs should definitely help him out, and he might even be an optimal pick in the meta for his insane dueling and split-pushing potential through the new Tiger Stance. Previously, Udyr’s first attack in Tiger Stance would deal bonus damage-over-time and he’d gain persistent attack speed while in that stance. Now, however, he will deal bonus damage-over-time on his first attack and every third attack thereafter. Obviously, this is a huge deal, and it should make him a lot scarier to run into when you’re frolicking through the jungle.
His Turtle Stance is also being buffed significantly, and it should pave the way for bruiser Udyr to rise to the occasion. Instead of providing him lifesteal in Turtle Stance, it will now heal him on every third attack for a portion of his maximum health. The tankier he builds, the more health he’ll receive on attacks.
With the new Turtle Stance and Tiger Stance, we predict many tanky Trinity Force builds in Udyr’s future, and the old terror of the jungle might be making his comeback.