New League of Legends champion Nilah revealed: Abilities, lore, release date

Nilah in League of Legends cinematicRiot Games

The newest champion in League of Legends has officially been revealed, and they’re a melee skirmishing bot laner that can provide team-wide buffs. Here’s everything we know about League of Legends champion number 161 – Nilah, the Joy Unbound.

League of Legends Season 12 is starting with a glut of champion releases and teasers. First Zeri, then Renata Glasc and Bel’Veth — now a new non-traditional bot laner is on the cards named Nilah.

In a role where marksmen rule, Nilah will shake up the meta as one of the few solely-melee champions in the game with viability in the bot lane.

Mysterious bot laner teaser in League of LegendsRiot Games
League’s new bot laner, named Nilah, will be “mysterious”.

Who is Nilah, League’s “mysterious” bot lane champion?

Not much was known about League of Legends “mysterious” bot lane champion, but that changed on June 17 when we finally learned her name – Nilah.

Riot shared a quick 10-second teaser on socials showing someone walking by the water with a blue hue at their feet. This is likely to be Nilah — as confirmed by the official Facebook account — who we’ve been waiting for.

Earlier this year, Ryan ‘Reav3’ Mireles shared a small snippet of their background during the Season 12 launch livestream.

He described them as a “very mysterious, non-traditional bot lane champion we’ll be whipping out later this year.”

A series of hands laid out in an artistic spiral with deep blues and purples. It’s got a big Ionian vibe to it, which will be interesting given there’s not many bot laners from Ionia ⁠— Xayah is (technically) about the only one. It’s not confirmed exactly where Nilah is from, only that she’s from somewhere “across the sea” from Runeterra.

The related segment begins at 7:55.

On April 18, Reav3 shared some new lore on the apparent melee-focused bot laner. A tussle in “Oyster Bill’s Oyster Shack” revealed some characteristics players can expect when the unique marksman lands.

Known for her joyous laughter, Nilah was described as a “stranger from the land of a thousand colors” across the seas from Runeterra. The watery origin of her power was also teased in the lore, as she was described as leaving “strange glowing puddles all over the place” while creating a mist effect during battle.

Aside from her laughter, “the sound of splashing water” was a key feature of Nilah’s character.

league of legends marksman bot lanerRiot Games
This teaser image was shared with players in April for what is assumed to be Nilah.

On June 17, Nilah received an official reveal, with a new cinematic and some gameplay clips. Although her full kit wasn’t revealed in the cinematic, it revealed that she’d be a quick, mobile marksman whose primary weapon is a whip made out of the glowing, watery substance that connects her to the demon of joy.

And now, at long last, Nilah’s official lore and abilities were revealed on June 22.

In her lore, Nilah is described as a warrior who has “pledged to a legendary order”, whose power stems from her connection to an “ancient demon of joy”. She’s a competent fighter, who enhances the abilities of herself and her teammates whenever a buff ability is cast near her, and her connection to the demon allows her access to a great power that she uses to “right wrongs and slay great evils.”

She practises a “strict code of rites and rituals” in order to keep herself connected to this demon, and through these rituals is able to use the demon’s power, which appears in the form of the “shimmering, incandescent water” that’s been seen in her teaser.

Nilah abilities in League of Legends

With Nilah’s kit rundown officially released on June 22, League fans can finally get a glimpse at what this watery marksman can do. She’s a “melee skirmisher in the bot lane”, who appears to be at her strongest when team fighting, with her ultimate offering healing and shielding to her entire team as well as giving her crowd control and damage.

Here’s a full breakdown of Nilah’s official abilities:

  • Passive – Joy Unending: If Nilah last hits a minion she and the nearest allied champion gain 50% of the experience that would normally be lost from sharing with nearby allies. Nilah gains additional effectiveness from heals and shields given to her by allied champions. When a nearby ally casts an ability that heals or shields Nilah or themselves, Nilah grants the additional benefit to both herself and her ally.
  • Q – Formless Blade (passive): Attacks and ability damage against champions ignore some of their armor and heal Nilah for part of the damage dealt. This effect scales with crit chance and can overheal, granting Nilah a shield.
  • Active: Nilah strikes in a line damaging all enemies hit. Hitting an enemy increases Nilah’s attack range and attack speed for a few seconds. Additionally her basic attacks will splash in a cone, dealing additional damage.
  • W – Jubilant Veil: Nilah envelopes herself in mist, causing her to briefly gain movement speed, reduce incoming magic damage, and dodge all incoming basic attacks. Touching an ally champion hides them in the mist, granting them the same bonuses for half the duration.
  • E – Slipstream: Nilah dashes through a target unit, damaging all enemies she passes through. Nilah can hold 2 charges of Slipstream at once. Nilah can cast Formless Blade (Q) during Slipstream to pull a wave in her path, dealing damage and activating her empowered attacks.
  • R – Apotheosis: Nilah spins her weapon in an area around her, dealing damage and pulling enemies in toward the center with a final burst. This damage heals Nilah for a portion of the damage dealt, converting excess healing into a shield. The healing and shielding scales with critical strike chance and is shared with nearby allies.

Nilah release date

Nilah will officially release on July 13, where she’ll go live alongside patch 12.13.

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