League of Legend’s latest champion is budget Invoker, and you won’t sway us otherwise.
League of Legends has revealed its next champion, Hwei, and if you’re a fan of Dota, his mechanics are going to be highly familiar. Hwei, a mid lane mage has 10 different spells that must be queued up using multiple individual casts - almost exactly like the Defence of the Ancients hero Invoker.
Hwei was revealed in a presentation during the Worlds 2023 broadcast by Riot Games designers, unveiling the human mage with a plethora of magic at his disposal. Hwei uses combinations of his three initial spells in a sequence of three to cast one of a variety of spells. These fall under three different categories.
In the least convincing deflection ever, the Riot Games designers stated they knew Invoker, but that Hwei wasn’t meant to be LoL’s version of the character. In fact in earlier versions he apparently was a mage painter who would use spells tied to painting and color, kinda like… Grimstroke from Dota. Ironically, the previous backstory also was suspiciously similar to Invoker's backstory. They’re really gonna beat the allegations on this one.
Hwei has 10 possible spells, just like Invoker. Unlike Invoker though, Hwei will reportedly work on cooldowns rather than being a Mana-hungry champ, with each type of spell going on cooldown after casting. For example, his “Disaster” group of spells are damage-dealing abilities, that have various amounts of utility. However, casting one Disaster spell puts the rest on CD. This also presumably prevents you spamming your abilities and going out of mana, something we wish our pub-game Invoker's would figure out how to do.
Ultimately, Hwei does seem to embody the complexity of his *ahem* not-inspiration, Invoker. Which is surprising given many of the design decisions in League of Legends. For instant, high-skill champions like Lee Sin and Azir have continually found themselves neutered and simplified by nerfs and changes. Meanwhile, more simple champions, like Dr. Mundo, Malphite, and Maokai, continue to see constant play.
League of Legends cribbing notes from Dota is nothing new. LoL was created by some of the original creators of the Defence of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III, although the split was far from amicable. Many of the champions of LoL have been inspired and informed in design by Dota, from the obvious like Corki and Gyrocopter, to the more transformative like Blitzcrank and Pudge. You can even track the evolution of the characters through a family tree.
Hwei will provide an interesting niche in League of Legends: A high skill character with lots of utility, that you need to master the champion to unlock that utility. But if Hwei ends up like Invoker in Dota 2, then he's sure to become one of the most popular champions in the game.
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