Is it just me, or does the splash screen above look like it’s from a totally different game than League of Legends? Well, I promise, that’s Riot’s official Jarvan artwork (here’s the proof). With the artwork we’ve got the official skill list.
As I mentioned a couple days ago, I’m not thrilled about the Jarvan release. He looks an awful lot like another spear wielder. Though his playstyle seems a little different, he does have some basic similarities to Xin Zhao. It looks to me like he’ll occupy the same role as Xin: a carry killer with enough staying power to hang with the tanks. Yikes.
Here’s the list:
Dragon Strike: Jarvan IV’s spear extends through his opponent, dealing physical damage and lowering their armor by a percentage. If this ability is cast on the Demacian flag, it will pull Jarvan through to his Standard, knocking up all enemies in his path.
Golden Aegis: Jarvan IV calls upon the ancient kings of Demacia to shield him from harm and slow surrounding enemies.
Demacian Standard: Passive: Grants Jarvan bonus attack speed and armor. Active: Throws a Demacian flag, dealing physical damage and granting passive benefits to nearby allies.
Cataclysm (Ultimate): Jarvan IV heroically leaps at his target, dealing physical damage and creating a circle of terrain around them for a few seconds.
Martial Cadence (Passive): Jarvan IV exploits his target’s opening, dealing a percentage of the target’s current HP as magic damage. This effect cannot occur on the same target for several seconds.
Looking at his first three skills I’d say Jarvan actually sounds pretty cool. I like the synergy between Dragon Strike and the active on Demacian Standard. I’m a little worried about yet another champion getting a shield, especially when a different skill grants him bonus armor as well. My biggest concern, though, is his ultimate. I’ll have to see it in action to really know how it works, but here are a couple points of concern. First, trapping a carry with a carry killer just seems harsh. Second, what about all the different ways characters can escape from this kind of skill? There are so many dashes, not to mention Flash, that essentially negate the ability. Unless it’s some kind of stun, which sounds like a nightmare, or creates impassable terrain, which sounds like it could be buggy, his ultimate could be extremely conditional.
His passive also gives him the interesting ability to switch between targets and deal big damage. Because it deals a percent of current health, Jarvan is most deadly when switching between high health targets. It’s a weird mechanic, but it could make him much more deadly than similar characters. A champion’s ability to deal big damage to consecutive targets is typically limited by a couple factors: cooldowns or farm, and in some cases mobility. Depending how hard his passive hits, Jarvan’s passive puts him in a unique position for dealing damage to multiple enemies. Again, we’ll have to see how this plays out.
I hate to sound like some harbinger of doom lately, but the design on these kind of big DPS melee champions is a little confusing. Check back on Tuesday for my full impressions.