Udyr’s rework is the next major VGU coming to League of Legends in Season 12. The Freljordian spirit walker is getting a total visual and gameplay overhaul, although Riot plans on 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 While he was prevalent in the 2021 meta, his outdated kit doesn’t have long left on Summoner’s Rift.
“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.
Udyr rework abilities
While there’s no details of Udyr’s reworked kit floating around yet, Riot has a specific design direction they want to take the jungler. They want to keep it melee-centric, preserving his “stance-changing identity”.
“We think this is what makes Udyr unique and stand out on the roster,” lead champion producer Ryan ‘Reav3’ Mireles added in January 2022.
However, they’re juggling this more simple kit with a modern game full of dashes and flashy effects: “We want to add a bit more interest to his stances and melee pattern to give some more depth to playing him, as well as make it more clear when Udyr is doing something cool.”
Riot are going to preserve his “four basic abilities that change stances”, and not give him any “ranged abilities or significant dashes”.
However, they’re looking at introducing “super stances”, where “Udyr can recast is active stance to use the super version on a cooldown”. This passive has been newly labeled as “awakening” stances.
“If Udyr is already in a stance and it is on cooldown, he can Awaken it. Each stance has an empowered form or function when it’s Awakened,” developer Luis ‘Bloois’ Aguas said in a January 7 blog post.
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,” Reav3 added.
That will hold especially true for his ultimate skin, which Reav3 says is commanding most of the attention of the skins team to rebuild.
As of April 18, base VGU Udyr is finished and waiting for release but Riot are still hammering out the premium Spirit Guard cosmetic package for the jungler.
“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).”
Regardless of where the VGU takes Udyr, League players will recognize Spirit Guard’s classic imagery that will preserve the general effects and appearances of the iconic skin.
Udyr rework release date
The Udyr rework is set to release sometime in League of Legends Season 12. Though there’s no specific date, Reav3 said to expect Udyr’s VGU to launch later in Summer 2022 at the earliest and probably after the new bot laner comes out.
No date has been locked in yet, but we will let you know once Riot finalizes their timeframe.