Udyr’s League of Legends rework revealed: New abilities, release date

Black Belt Udyr rework skin in League of LegendsRiot Games

Udyr’s rework is the next major VGU coming to League of Legends in Season 12. The Freljordian Spirit Walker has received a total visual and gameplay overhaul, although Riot is keeping his new kit similar to his old stance-based one.

Udyr is finally getting his long-awaited League of Legends rework, thanks to a fan poll in Season 11. While he was prevalent in the 2021 meta, his outdated kit doesn’t have long left on Summoner’s Rift.

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“His popularity has waxed and waned over the years, but somehow there have always been plenty of players in his corner ready to stance dance and maul their way through the Rift,” champion designer Stash ‘Stashu’ Chelluck said in a June 2021 dev blog.

To combat this, Riot are planning on bringing Udyr into the modern game ⁠— much like they did with Fiddlesticks and Dr Mundo, most recently.

A recent updated gameplay trailer shows a smoother, more modern-looking kit, complete with a visual update that sees Udyr transformed into a weathered, rugged druid fit to channel the spirits of the Freljord.

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Udyr rework abilities

Udyr’s reworked abilities heavily resemble is old kit in League of Legends. The Spirit Walker is in tune with all the elements of the Freljord, tapping into four of the region’s demigods to harness their power.

He channels Volibear with his Q, Wilding Claw. Much like the old Tiger Stance it gives him extra damage and attack speed for a couple of attacks.

That’s a similar theme across all of his abilities: keeping the same effects but tying it to Freljordian lore. His W is still a shield but it’s named after Ildhaurg, the Iron Boar. Udyr’s E, now called Blazing Stampede, is like the Bear Stance players know and love (or loathe), just with the added power of Ornn.

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The biggest change is in his R. Instead of being a fiery phoenix, Udyr calls on Anivia with Wingborne Storm to freeze the battlefield.

Where Udyr’s reworked kit differs from what players already know is his new passive, Bridge Between. It allows Udyr to Awaken one of his stances every little while, giving it a ton of extra power. Chaining together the right string of stances to Awaken the best one for the job is paramount.

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New Primal Udyr splash art in league of legendsRiot Games
Udyr’s new kit works by Awakening his stances to become ultra-powerful abilities.

“[It’s] a method for us to give him occasional impactful moments that were thematically in line with the things he was already doing,” designer Stash Chelluck told Dexerto.

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“The trick here was finding exciting and powerful utility that wasn’t a skillshot or a twitch-reaction test because those aren’t the types of things Udyr players tend to be interested in, so we modernized it that way.”

You can find a full rundown of Udyr’s reworked abilities in League of Legends below.

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New Udyr abilities in League of Legends

  • Passive — Bridge Between
    • Awakened Spirit: Udyr has four basic abilities that swap between stances. He can periodically recast his active stance to Awaken it for bonus effects, with a shared cooldown between stances.
    • Monk Training: Each time Udyr enters or Awakens a stance, his next two attacks gain attack speed and refund some of Awaken’s cooldown.
  • Q — Wilding Claw: Udyr gains a burst of attack speed and his next two attacks deal bonus physical damage.
    • Awaken: Udyr gains even more attack speed, and his next two attacks chain lightning off the target, bouncing up to 6 times. Lightning can strike the same target multiple times, dealing heavy damage to isolated targets.
  • W — Iron Mantle: Udyr gains a shield and his next two attacks restore health.
    • Awaken: Udyr gains a bigger shield, his next two attacks heal even more, and he restores a percentage of his max health over the next few seconds.
  • E — Blazing Stampede: Udyr gains a burst of move speed. His first attack against each target while in this stance lunges a short distance and stuns them.
    • Awaken: Udyr gains even more move speed and briefly becomes immune to crowd control.
  • R — Wingborne Storm: Udyr temporarily summons a storm around him that slows and damages nearby units. His next two attacks cause the storm to pulse, dealing bonus magic damage.
    • Awaken: Udyr unleashes the storm, causing it to deal additional damage and chase after nearby enemies.

Udyr reworked skins

As with every VGU, all of Udyr’s skins will be reworked ⁠— including his 3250 RP ultimate Spirit Guard cosmetic. You can find a full list of his cosmetics below.

  • Black Belt Udyr (520 RP)
  • Definitely Not Udyr (975 RP)
  • Dragon Oracle Udyr (1350 RP)
  • Spirit Guard Udyr (3250 RP)

There is a goal with these reworked designs though: keeping his Shaman identity.

“We want to upgrade Udyr’s visuals to modern League standards while keeping his general theme of a warrior shaman intact. Our goal is to build on Udyr’s visuals, not reinvent them,” Ryan ‘Reav3’ Mireles said in January 2022.

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That will hold especially true for his ultimate skin, which Reav3 says is commanding most of the attention of the skins team to rebuild.

“We really want to pour a lot of love and attention into [Spirit Guard], with it being an Ultimate and all.” Reav3 said.

“One of the goals for Spirit Guard is to keep some of the essence of old Udyr, so to do that it will represent the time he spent training in Ionia, and will also use the same animals as pre-VGU Udyr (Tiger, Bear, Turtle, and Phoenix).”

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Udyr rework release date

The Udyr rework is set to release as part of League of Legends patch 12.16, which goes live on August 24, 2022.

It’ll tide players over after the release of Bel’Veth and Nilah to the next couple of champions — including new top laner K’Sante.