Riot Games has been busy reworking some of the oldest and least-picked champions in League of Legends (LoL) all year round.
In 2022, Janna, Tahm Kench, Ahri, Rengar, Swain, Olaf, Taliyah, Sivir, Udyr, and Syndra all received updates to their kit that should help them become more competitive against the newer released champions.
The other reworked champions were pretty much a success too. Janna’s gameplay became smoother and easier to execute, Tahm Kench was unbenched in esports, Taliyah was a hit in Spring and at the MSI, Swain and Olaf were insanely strong, Rengar is no longer a sad kitty, and we have yet to decide on how Syndra fares so far since her rework was just recently released.
Of all nine, though, we think three stood out because of how effective they brought the champion back to the meta and how balanced the champion was.
Let’s take a look at 3 of our favourite reworked champions for 2022:
Before this year, the nine-tailed fox has already been out of the meta for quite a long time. Ahri’s refresh was geared toward leaning into her “mobile mage identity,” which we think Riot’s devs did a great job with.
Since her rework, Ahri’s movement and skill combinations have been much more fluid, and chasing down enemies for a kill now allows her to live up to the mage assassin niche that she was meant to be in. She became one of the top picks on ranked games in Spring and early Summer, but her popularity has declined.
But with her Art and Sustainability Update due for next year, we’re sure her \wew would shoot up some more.
In Esports, she was present in 509 games across major regions with a decent 50.9% win rate, according to Leageupedia, a publicly accessible wiki for LoL. She was the most popular pick at the Mid-Season Invitational, with 77 games, a 50% win rate, and a 100% pick and ban rate. At Worlds this year, she was only picked 6 times across all stages of the competition but had an 83.3% win rate.
When Udyr’s visual graphic update (VGU) and kit were introduced, we initially thought that he was the perfect example of how reworks should be done.
His updated appearance and gameplay helped the champion establish a stronger identity, with his stances now linked with power harnessed from the Freljordian demigods. This nicely ties up his lore to his kit.
However, it wasn’t all perfect upon release, with the Spirit Walker needing a hotfix to increase his less-than-stellar 43% win rate.
But as he stabilised, Udyr’s win rate climbed steadily, especially in the jungle, where he remains the second most popular pick in the jungle, according to op.gg.
He wasn’t enabled at Worlds 2022, so we didn't see how he'd fare in esports, but we imagine that he can be a solid pick by the time Season 2023 kicks off.
And finally, our favourite reworked champion of the year, Sivir. The Battle Mistress went from being a benchwarmer for two seasons to becoming one of the most contested picks both in solo queue and competitive play.
In solo queue, she went from being one of the least-picked champions to being labelled as one of the most picked/banned champions with an OP (overpowered) rating at op.gg for more than three patches.
That’s because Sivir’s rework made her feel like a new champion, with developer Ray “RayYonggi” constantly communicating with players on Reddit and social media before the rework of the Battle Mistress came out.
She needed to be tweaked often though, during the first few months of her rework because she was too OP, especially when paired with Yuumi, one of the most-hated champions in the game.
In the LCK and LoL Pro League (LPL), she was the eighth most popular champ in the bot lane, with a 65.5% win rate and 51.3% win rate, while in the LoL European Championship, she found more success, being the second most popular champion in the bot lane with a 72.7% win rate.
Because of the diversity of the meta at Worlds, Sivir wasn’t as popular, but she was certainly still present with an 80-83% win rate, according to Leaguepedia, and where Worlds 2022 Champion Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu of DRX played one game on her at the Grand Finals.
With 2023 just around the corner, we’re hopeful to see more reworks and updates on LoL’s older champions, especially the ones that were problematic, like Yuumi, who is finally getting a rework next year), and Ryze, who is presently at the bottom of the tier list.
As long as the devs are passionate about the champions they’re reworking and open to feedback from players, they’ll continue to produce the best champion reworks in the year to come.
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.