League of Legends introduces Braum, the first tank support

League of Legends has just unveiled a new champion: Braum, Heart of the Freljord. He's currently available to test out in the public beta environment, pending a full release sometime soon.

The announcement describes Braum as a resilient melee support character. He can serve as a late-game tank, and forms synergistic bonds with ranged characters. His skills focus largely on concussive strikes and defensive maneuvers that put him in harm's way to protect teammates. The official site goes into greater detail about how he plays against bots or in the middle of team skirmishes, along with lists of champions he's either strong to ally with or weak against in direct confrontation.

"As with all champions, we designed Braum to fill a specific gap in the League of Legends champion pool," the announcement states. "Specifically, he’s the first true tank support that we’ve created, a champion who takes the hits for their team. We’ve had plenty of defensive supports--champions like Nami, Soraka, Janna etc--who negate damage through heals or shields, along with fighter supports like Leona and Alistar, who are generally great at initiating teamfights before diving deep into the enemy team and disrupting as much as possible. Braum’s something different: he’s a tanky support who literally takes the hits for his team, and as such requires a new mindset, position and playstyle to most conventional supports."