Udyr Rework: Freljordian Demigods Including Ildhaurg Find Place in Kit
In 2020, Riot Games put up a poll for the next Visual and Gameplay Update (VGU) and Udyr won it by a landslide. Riot started working on the VGU in the summer of 2021 and nearly a year later, the company revealed the gameplay trailer for Udyr, the spirit walker. The first full trailer for Udyr’s gameplay rework was revealed on 5th August and it showed off his new look as he runs at enemies on the Rift. The trailer showcases Udyr’s new base form along with the new effects for his ability kit, which directly draws power from the Freljordian demigods.
Who are the demigods featured in Udyr’s VGU?
The main reason why Udyr had to be reworked was that his gameplay was over a decade old and the champion really felt old within the League of Legends universe. Riot Games, through the rework, wanted to preserve his stance-changing identity and keep him as a primarily auto-attack, melee-focused champion. Additionally, it wanted to bring Udyr’s in-game portrayal closer to how he has been shown in the recent lore with strong ties to Freljord.
In one of the about Udyr’s rework, Gameplay Designer Stash “Stashu” Chelluck wrote, “We’re exploring a few options, but the one I find most compelling is linking his abilities to those of the most powerful spirits in the north: the demigods. Volibear, Anivia, Ornn, and… did you know that there were others? The lore names at least two more.” It is fair to say that Riot has pretty much delivered when it comes to incorporating lore into Udyr’s gameplay to make him a warrior shaman who can channel superpowers.
The demigods featured in the Udyr rework are as follows:
The Iron Boar
Anivia is the cryophoenix in League of Legends and she is a demigod born of unforgiving ice and bitter winds, she wields those elemental powers to thwart any who dare disturb her homeland.
Ornn, as we all know, is the Great Ram of Freljord. He is known to be one of the more civilized Freljordian spirit gods, who aided early Freljordians in the construction of numerous structures, including the bridges of the Howling Abyss. He controls fire and magma.
Volibear or the Great Bear is the depiction of the Storm and the Wilds. He is one of the more primal Freljordian spirit gods and controls lightning. He is also the brother of Ornn.
The Iron Boar is another demigod who finds a place in Udyr’s abilities. Their actual name is Ildhaurg and they are known as the Wrath of the Freljord and the Warden of Sacrifice. They control iron and Ildhaurg is not a playable League of Legends character yet. It is rumored that Ildhaurg’s passive includes the ability of another demi-god, the sister of Anivia called Seal Sister. All in all, Udyr’s abilities derive powers from these four demigods of Freljord.