Dual Champion Release : What Does It Mean?



Mon 17th Apr 2017 - 6:24pm

Riot has recently revealed two champions in a joint release: Rakan and Xayah. While these are two independent champions, Riot has made it a point that these two champions have specific gameplay synergies with each other. Rakan is a support character that boasts extreme mobility while bringing solid amount of CC and protection. Xayah is an ADC Marksman that needs some setup, but can deal considerable multi-target damage, making her incredibly useful in teamfights. 


In terms of their kits, this makes them work together considerably well. I mean, they've got a release page talking about how awesome the two play together and everything. The fact that Riot is designing champions to not only bring a new element to a game, but to fit around each other is a big deal. League of Legends has some combos that most players are aware of already. Champions with knockup, like Malphite for example, work extremely well with Yasuo, who needs the big engage and knock up to pull off his Last Breath. 

We've also seen some combinations like the Invisible Gank with Shen using Stand United combos onto a stealth champion like Rengar or Evelynn. In the bottom lane specifically, Lucian and Braum were played together extremely consistently before because Lucian's Lightslinger passive could easily pop Braum's Concussive Blows passive, making them a terrifying botlane.

These combinations and synergies were discovered and tested by players. Not only are these plays fun to watch, but they usually take over an objective or win the teamfight outright. Now that Riot has specifically built two champions that work well together, we might see more of these jackpot synergies in the future. And because they're being released at the same time, they might have a completely new mechanic that no two other champions share together. 


The increasing pool of champions leads to more complex pick/ban strategies, and now with joint releases and champions that are crafted to synergize, it is worth looking at if these champions are worth your consideration. So far, the only exclusive feature that only Rakan and Xayah share is a synchronized back timing. This prevents the two from getting separated, which is a useful mechanic, but it's not exactly at the threat level of being a new skill. 

Still, it is important to note that the two synergize well, and having this extra advantage might be the last straw for some players. To prevent recall shenanigans (or simply to stop the duo from being picked together if they are truly too powerful), it might be worth taking out one of them with a ban or grabbing one so the opposing team is forced to pick the second half of the duo to avoid giving it over. 

Riot has implemented the ten ban system in pro-play since early 2017, and hopefully that system will come to regular matchmaking games as well. Having ten bans means Riot has more options in tweaking champions and experimenting with new combos, because the players will be able to have more control of what is in their games and Riot can be a little bit looser on balancing champions on release. 

More To Come

Hopefully, this casts a positive light on future champion releases. Releasing characters that complement each other means that champion weaknesses and strengths as they relate not just to the meta, but to each other, are being considered. Also, it hints that new mechanics and a wider variety of playstyles are being considered. Power creep that just keeps crawling up with each champion release is no fun, but things that bring fresh gameplay and new team focuses can make a game feel fun instead of being a constant mind-numbing grind.

It feels amazing to get clean combinations together or to perfectly execute a strategy, and it's a good sign that this concept is being realized and implemented into the game. 

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