Nilah, League of Legends's new champ, will be a melee ADC skirmisher

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Nilah, the Joy Unbound was designed to be a short-range, skirmishing melee ADC. (Photo: Riot Games)
Nilah, the Joy Unbound, was designed to be a short-range, skirmishing melee ADC. (Photo: Riot Games)

League of Legends (LoL) developer Riot Games recently revealed Nilah, the Joy Unbound, as the game's newest champion coming to the bot lane in a trailer last week.

Wielding a whip and channelling the demon of joy, Ashlesh, Nilah slays mythical beasts and continues to hunt down the many evils of Runeterra.

Nilah's kit was then revealed on Wednesday (22 June), and it seems like she’s going to be a hybrid ADC/support champion.

In the Champion Insights, the devs also said that Nilah was intended to be a "melee skirmisher ADC".

With this in mind, Nilah was designed wielding an Urumi, a whip-like sword with South Asian origins, which has a short range.

Nilah's weapon is the Urumi, a whip-like sword that has South Asian origins.  (Photo: Riot Games)
Nilah's weapon is the Urumi, a whip-like sword that has South Asian origins. (Photo: Riot Games)

Along with her weapon, Nilah's ability kit is an exciting mix of champion abilities, which include amplified shielding and healing, a smaller, Senna-like Shroud but with Gwen’s abilities, a Jax-like dodge and a dash like Yasuo’s, along with old Mordekaiser’s bonus.

And maybe after that dark, terrifying addition in the jungle in the Void Empress, Bel’Veth, Nilah just might be that much-needed joyful addition who can flex in the bot lane.

Here’s what you can expect from Nilah’s kit:

Passive - Joy Unending

Passive - Joy Unending (Photo: Riot Games)
Passive - Joy Unending (Photo: Riot Games)

Nilah amplifies the healing and shielding abilities of nearby allies. Allies that heal or shield Nilah gain a bonus heal or shield for themselves. And when an allied champion heals or shields themselves near Nilah, she gives herself a bonus heal or shield.

If Nilah last hits an enemy minion, she and her nearest allied champion will gain the normal amount of shared experience, plus half of the experience that would have been lost due to sharing.

Nilah will sync well with healing and shielding support champions, as their buffs will be much more effective with her around. The shared experience is also great for the support champion accompanying Nilah, which is reminiscent of Mordekaiser’s old bonus.

On the other hand, this sort of passive can allow for a double ADC composition in the bot lane, with Nilah healing and shielding the squishier ADC and both of them dealing tons of damage.

It might work in certain situations, but we have yet to see if this will be effective.

Q - Formless Blade

Q - Formless Blade (Photo: Riot Games)
Q - Formless Blade (Photo: Riot Games)

Active: Nilah’s Formless Blade strikes in a line, damaging all enemies hit. Hitting an enemy will briefly increase Nilah’s attack range and attack speed and empower her basic attacks, causing them to splash in a cone and deal additional damage.

Passive: Attacks and ability damage against champions ignore some of their armour and heal Nilah for part of the damage dealt. This effect scales with crit chance and converts any excess healing into a shield.

As if the amplified healing and shielding weren’t OP enough, Nilah's Q also briefly increases her attack range and attack speed, with a side of additional damage served in a cone.

And because of the passive on Q, crit builds will most likely be prioritized on this champion.

Jubilant Veil (W)

W - Jubilant Veil. (Photo: Riot Games)
W - Jubilant Veil. (Photo: Riot Games)

Nilah shrouds herself in a Jubilant Veil and briefly gains bonus move speed, takes reduced magic damage, and dodges all incoming basic attacks.

Touching an ally champion hides them in the veil as well, but they’ll be protected for a shorter period.

The W seems to avoid two auto-attacks and the shroud is similar to Gwen’s Hallowed Mist (W) or Jax’s (E) Counterstrike.

With Nilah, she is rendered safe from enemy auto-attacks for a period of time, along with a brief movement speed bonus.

What makes Nilah's shroud unique though is that it follows her and hides both her and nearby allies, protecting her allies in the same way for a shorter period.

Slipstream (E)

E - Slipstream (Photo: Riot Games)
E - Slipstream (Photo: Riot Games)

Slipstream lets Nilah dash through a target unit, travelling a fixed distance every time and damaging all enemies she passes through. She can store up to 2 charges at once.

Cast Formless Blade during Slipstream to pull a wave in your path, dealing damage after a quick delay and granting Formless Blade's enhanced basic attack effect.

Nilah's E is similar to Yasuo's or Samira's, who can dash through enemies too.

For Nilah though, this can only be used twice at a time.

Slipstream will also be extremely useful in maneuvering through the laning phase and to ensure that you don’t fall behind against longer-ranged ADCs, who can poke and harass you in lane.

R - Apotheosis

R - Apotheosis (Photo: Riot Games)
R - Apotheosis (Photo: Riot Games)

Nilah unleashes a surge of power, lashes her whip in an area around her and, with a final burst, pulls enemies in toward the centre.

Apotheosis heals Nilah for part of the damage dealt, converting any excess healing into a shield. This effect scales with crit chance and is granted to nearby allies.

This insane ultimate packs a punch. Nilah's R can be an engage tool that can be used to set up ganks and team fights. On top of that, it heals her and nearby allies and scales with crit chance.

Nilah has a lot of tools that will definitely lane well with a partner. Bot laners need to get used to her short range however since most ADCs in the same role have safer ranges, so timing your heals, shields, and dodges is crucial to surviving the lane or a skirmish.

It seems that crit is a crucial part of her build since some skills scale with crit.

We’re guessing that this kit will be very powerful, especially with the current meta and the durability update that just came in last month.

Nilah is available on the Public Beta Environment for testing and feedback and will be released into the servers in Patch 12.13.

For more details about Nilah, check out the official reveal here.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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