League of Legends' new champion Briar brings chaotic fun to the game

You'll have access to big damage and self-healing with Briar, but you'll also lose control of her when she fully lets loose.

Image via Riot Games

League of Legends has a lot of interesting champion concepts and functionalities, but we’ve never had a champion that gained a burst of power at the cost of the player losing control of them. That’s what the new champion Briar brings to the table: She’s a vampire that can frenzy for massive damage and lifesteal, but when she goes fully berserk, you can’t control her till she’s had her fill.

A relentless pursuer

Riot Games gave me an in-depth look at Briar during a recent private preview session, as well as sharing more details publicly today, and her concept was interesting to say the least. It began at a point that the team wanted to create a berserk archetype that the player actually lost control of for certain moments. Despite being a vampire and practically a living weapon, Briar is also at peace with her being (despite having a pillory around her wrists and neck keeping her restrained). She likes drinking blood and doesn’t have any malicious thoughts about it.

As far as her character functionality, Briar has all sorts of odd features about her. For one, Briar doesn’t actually have any regular healing that other champions have. She has to heal by attacking. Many of her attacks cause bleeding which she can recover from, as well as getting bursts of healing from certain abilities. Here’s the full rundown of her abilities:

Briar’s Abilities

Briar hitting her R and getting ready to dive an enemy champion in League of Legends
Briar hitting her R and getting ready to dive an enemy champion in League of Legends
Source: Riot Games

Passive - Crimson Curse: Briar’s regular attacks apply stacks of bleeding, healing her increasingly for damage dealt over time. She gains increased healing from the stacks based on her missing health and if an enemy champion dies, she instantly heals for the remaining bleed damage stacks on them, allowing for bursts of healing on kill.

Q - Head Rush: Briar will leap to an enemy champion with a flying kick, breaking armor and stunning them for a short time. If this move is used on an enemy minion when Briar is under the effects of Blood Frenzy, she will stop prioritizing champions for a time.

W - Blood Frenzy/Snack Attack: Briar temporarily breaks free of her pillory and goes all out. Once she does, Briar will relentlessly pursue the nearest enemy, prioritizing champions, mostly out of the control of the player. She also gains increased attack speed and move speed, and her attacks will cause area-of-effect damage around whatever target she hits. When in Blood Frenzy, Briar also gains access to Snack Attack, allowing her to chomp her current target, damage them based on their missing health, and healing her based on the damage dealt.

E - Chilling Scream: On activation, Briar begins to focus her mind, taking reduced damage and healing based on her max health. On reactivation, she lets loose a massive scream. In any stage, the scream will damage and slow enemies, but on max charge, it will knock them back to deal additional damage and stun them if they hit a wall. This also allows Briar to end the effects of Blood Frenzy and return control to the player.

R - Certain Death: Briar kicks a blood crystal in a line which marks the first champion hit in a line. Briar will then dive towards that champion, fearing other champions in an area upon her arrival. Once there, Briar will be in an upgraded Blood Frenzy, still gaining move and attack speed, but with the addition of boosted armor, magic resist, lifesteal, and even more move speed. She’ll keep on her target until one of them dies, or she cancels out with Chilling Scream.

Briar's in-game model in League of Legends
Briar's in-game model in League of Legends
Source: Riot Games

It would seem that knowing when to use Blood Frenzy and when to use Chilling Scream will be the absolute key to using Briar effectively. Of course, players will want to be in a stronger state to do more damage to enemies faster, but if you let Briar go, she risks situations like chasing an enemy into their group or even under a turret for massive punishment. Either way, she’ll be a relentless fighter with quite a few crowd control options that’s hard to bring down thanks to how much self-healing she can do. Building grievous wounds against her with items like the Morellonomicon will be important in countering her otherwise huge sustainability.

Briar will be the next big champion release in League of Legends, so stay tuned to the League of Legends topic for when the patch notes drop that let her loose. We’ll share them right here at Shacknews as soon as she goes live.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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