League of Legends' New Champion Unveiled

By Alice O'Connor, Dec 04, 2009 6:20am PST Riot Games has revealed to Shacknews the next champion entering its Defense of the Ancients-esque League of Legends, the shape-shifting beast mistress Nidalee.

Raised by cougars in "the mysterious Kumungu Jungle," the 'hunter'-type wildwoman is able to shift between human and cat form and packs different abilities in each.

A mid-December patch will add Nidalee to the free-to-play RPG-RTS hybrid's lineup, a rotating selection of which are available to everyone while further characters are unlocked either by microtransactions or with 'Influence Points' earned as you play.

Look no further than below for descriptions of Nidalee's abilities as well as her harrowing, touching and inspirational origin story.

Ability Descriptions

Because Nidalee can transform into a cougar, she has two sets of abilities. One ability set for when she is in human form, and a different ability set when she is in cougar form.

Javelin Toss/Takedown
Javelin Toss: In human form, Nidalee throws a spiked javelin at her target that gains damage as it flies.
Takedown: As a cougar, she grabs her opponent by the throat and attempts to bring them down, dealing more damage based on how wounded the target is.

Bushwhack/Pounce
Bushwhack: In human form, Nidalee lays a damaging trap for unwary opponents that, when sprung, reveals the target and reduces their armor and magic resistance for 12 seconds.
Pounce: As a cougar, she pounces forward, dealing a small amount of damage when she lands.

Primal Surge/Swipe
Primal Surge: In human form, Nidalee channels the spirit of the cougar to imbibe herself and her allies with increased damage and attack speed for a short duration.
Swipe: As a cougar, she rapidly claws enemies in front of her.

Aspect of the Cougar
Nidalee changes her form, switching her ability set in the process. Leveling up this skill improves Nidalee's cougar form abilities.

Prowl (passive)
Moving through brush increases Nidalee's movement speed by 25% for 2 seconds.

Lore

There are few dwellers, let alone champions, residing in the blasted and dangerous lands that lie south of the Great Barrier. Much of that world still bears the scars of past Rune Wars, especially the mysterious Kumungu Jungle. There are long-forgotten treasures in these strange places which many risk life and limb to acquire. The champion known as Nidalee was only a young girl travelling with her treasure-seeking parents when they lost their way in the dense, rainy jungles. The jungle was unforgiving, and she watched her parents suffer agonizing final days as they fell victim to a mysterious and vicious disease. As improbable as it was for a child to survive in the inhospitable jungle by herself, she did just that. Her youthful innocence and a fortunate naivete caused her to appeal to the beasts of that place and she was taken in by a family of cougars and raised as one of their own. She grew and somehow absorbed the raw magic of the dense wilds, evolving beyond both her human physiology and her feline affectation. On one pivotal day in her life, standing over the torn remnants of a Noxian squad of woodcutters, Nidalee chose to rejoin the so-called civilized world, to fight in the League of Legends so as to protect the vast woods from both Demacia and Noxus.

Nidalee was taught to fight by her feline family, battling viciously with tool and nail. Something in her feline ways may draw you to her, but remember that she is no pussycat.

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