Riot Games has been pumping out reworks for older champions, an improved client, and a wide variety of new champions over the past couple months. Kayn, the Shadow Reaper, was released barely a month ago on July 12, while before that Xayah and Rakan were released on April 19, about four months ago. That’s three new champions over the course of five months, while reworks for Urgot and Galio came at times before and in between the release of these new champions. Riot has kept busy, and there are no signs that they’ll be slowing down in the near future.
Earlier today, Riot released a video (shown below) revealing their latest addition to the League of Legends universe. Orrn, the Fire Below the Mountain, will be the first fire breathing tank to hit the Summoner’s Rift since Udyr. Who is this guy though, and where does he fit within the world of Runeterra and the universe as a whole? According to the League website, he is a demigod that dwells underneath a volcano. He “senses trouble; divine beings are once again meddling in mortal affairs. During the upcoming wars, the Freljord—and the world—will need a good blacksmith.”
Ornn will play a pivotal role in the wars to come–especially since most of the trouble that will be coming to Runeterra will stem from divine beings. Having divine powers himself means that he will have to leave the comfort of his volcano and venture off into the world to help the mortals survive the coming storm. But what sort of value with Ornn bring to the Summoner’s Rift? Let’s take a look at his abilities.
Ornn’s passive, Living Forge and Master Craftsman, allows him to purchase and forge items from the store anywhere on the map–while out of combat, that is. Allies will still need to go back to base to shop. His passive also allows each teammate to select one item to have a special upgrade for. Ornn–being the helpful blacksmith that he is–will make a huge impact in regards to item selection, for both allies and enemies. The team without an Ornn will have to think strategically when deciding what items to choose after they discover which items the other team has had upgraded. The website didn’t specify whether or not opposing teams will be able to see (in some fashion) the items upgraded by Ornn, but I would have to assume that that will be the case. It would be a little unfair if not.
Ornn’s Q ability, Volcanic Rupture, is a skill shot that will deal damage and slow enemies. After a brief period of time, a pillar will form at the target location. This pillar will act as a small wall for a few seconds, which, in turn, will assist Ornn players with landing a volcanic combo with his other abilities. It also allows champions like Vayne and Poppy to use this piece of created terrain to use some of their abilities on. A true team player, this demigod is.
Ornn’s W ability, Bellows Breath, is an unstoppable, fire breathing force to be reckoned with. The word “unstoppable” is used on the web page associated with him when discussing this ability, and I have to make the assumption that that means he is immune to crowd control debuffs–like slows, stuns, roots, etc.–when Bellows Breath is activated. The most important feature of this ability is the Brittle passive, only activated if the final shot of his breathing flames hit an enemy (and with his ultimate).
Here’s what Riot had to say about Brittle: “When Brittle, enemies suffer a portion of their maximum health as bonus damage when struck by immobilizing effects. Immobilizing effects also last longer when used on Brittle enemies.” That means any immobilizing effects from either Ornn (i.e. Volcanic Rupture) or any of his teammates’ (i.e. Rumble’s Equalizer). That’s a game changer.
Ornn’s E, Searing Charge, is also a game changer. This ability is a charge that deals damage to enemies he passes through, and, if he collides with terrain, a shockwave will send enemies flying in the air while dealing damage. Now one can see how that pillar from Volcanic Rupture can be important to landing an extremely dangerous combo. Not only does Searing Charge grant the potential for a combo, but it also breaks through enemy created terrain.
What has been that one champion most professional players have been using in the mid lane recently? Taliyah. Why do they use her so much, besides the amount of damage she can consistently hand out? Her ultimate, Weaver’s Wall, creates an impassible wall (unless flashed through, or if players are using a champion like Ezreal that can teleport through it) used to cut off opponents in a strategic manner. It was fun while it lasted, Taliyah. Now Ornn can destroy your wall, preventing any picks that the wall may have created.
And, finally, Ornn’s ultimate, Call of the Forge God, is a fire elemental looking bull that runs through enemies at an increasingly faster rate. Enemies hit become Brittle. The ability can then be recast in a different direction, sending the fiery spirit towards enemies at a different angle. The second cast knocks up enemies and, again, applies the Brittle effect. This ultimate has the potential to combo with other champions abilities very nicely. For example, Ornn can start off a team fight by using Call of the Forge God to apply Brittle to as many opponents as possible, then Leona can come in with her ultimate, Solar Flare, to stun them for an extended period of time.
There are numerous possibilities when playing with Ornn. He can go well with almost any champion due to his passive but even more so to those with immobilizing effects and terrain related abilities. His role on the Rift will prove to be an important one, I’m sure, but his role on Runeterra as a whole will be just as essential. Riot has created a champion that not only applies comprehensively to the battlefield, but also to the League universe as a whole. The little lore we got with this reveal suggests there’s a big conflict coming. What part will Ornn play?