Early Concept: Husk, the Hive Commander
Cancelled champion for League of Legends. Husk was eventually split to create Zaun, the leader of a team called "H.I.V.E", comprised of other mercenaries, outlaws and bounty hunters. She was to be ex-partner, defecting to Zaun after Caitlyn betrayed her by paralyzing her from the waist down during a shootout.and . She was intended to be a mercenary from
Champion Roadmap: January 2018
Suiting Up a New Marksman
To start things off, let’s talk about a new champ we have in the works. Looking back at the last few marksmen released, we discovered something that’s been null from our roster for a long time: a super high-risk, high-reward marksman, in the vein of well….
With that in mind, we locked onto a marksman that rewards players who aren’t afraid to hunt for the perfect opportunity, no matter where it takes them. This new champion’s best players will go deep into enemy territory and thrive, while the weak players will perish, never to be heard from again.
Champion Reveal: Kai'Sa, the Daughter of the Void
To survive among predators, Kai’Sa became one. Stranded for years with no hope of rescue, Kai’Sa endured through sheer will and a symbiotic second skin adapted from a living Void creature. Now the Daughter of the Void emerges an apex hunter torn between two worlds: the one that birthed her, and the one that made her.
- Second Skin
Caustic Wounds: Kai’Sa’s basic attacks mark enemies with Plasma, dealing increasing bonus magic damage. After a few successive attacks, the Plasma ruptures for a burst of damage based on the target’s missing health. Nearby allies’ immobilizing effects add stacks of Plasma.
Living Weapon: Kai’Sa’s symbiote-suit adapts to her chosen attack style, evolving her abilities based on permanent stats gained from shop items and experience level.
- Icathian Rain
Kai’Sa releases a swarm of missiles evenly distributed among nearby enemies, with additional hits on the same target dealing slightly reduced damage.
- Void Seeker
Kai’Sa fires off a beam of Void energy, revealing the first enemy hit, dealing magic damage, and applying stacks of Plasma.
Kai’Sa charges up, briefly increasing her movement speed but losing the ability to attack. After charging up, Kai’Sa whips out the big guns to increase her attack speed for a few seconds. Basic attacks reduce Supercharge’s cooldown.
Living Weapon: With enough bonus Attack Speed, Supercharge briefly grants true invisibility while charging up.
- Playing as Kai'Sa
As Kai’Sa, you’re a threat that’s never far, hunting down would-be killers and diving into danger to emerge the sole survivor. Track and tag isolated enemies with, then follow up with your ultimate and a merciless Icathian Rain for a quick kill. On the off-chance they survive the initial onslaught, a will keep you in range for a rapid-fire takedown.
In teamfights, strike at blinding speed with your, positioning Kai’Sa at the optimal angle to avoid pesky crowd control and shot-blocking frontlines. That carry in the back no one can get to? Kai’Sa can—but you’d better be ready to fight your way out once you’re in deep.
- Tips and Tricks
- Watch for enemies wandering without backup, but also keep an eye out for allies already in combat—if they can immobilize and mark an enemy with Plasma, Killer Instinct is a free ticket to a fast kill.
- turns key item purchases into serious power spikes, so don’t hesitate to pick fights. Kai’Sa’s adaptations work best when you recall and roam—you evolved that vicious new Void enhancement to farm champions, not minions.
- While can annihilate an enemy isolated enough to take full damage from the missile salvo, Kai’Sa’s at her most murderous when she’s making good use of her autos. Her passive means each one hits extra hard, and a constant assault will drastically reduce the cooldown on so you can keep repositioning.
Champion Insights: Kai'Sa
When her world was reduced to predator versus prey, Kai’Sa became a survivor. Despite years spent on the edge of the Void, she remains uncorrupted and unconsumed by the uninhabitable purple doom. But no matter how many nightmarish creatures she outlasts, she’s encumbered by a constant struggle for life.
The Daughter of the Void has a symbiotic second skin, a parasite-turned-bio-armor that would probably eat her if she didn’t feed it so well. While still hunted by endless horrors, she’s learned by observation and has evolved her own highly effective feeding habits. As both a character and a champion, Kai’Sa occupies a unique role: a vulnerable target that’s also a lethal predator.
- THE HUNTED BECOMES THE HUNTER
“I never thought this would work,” says Jeevun “Riot Jag” Sidhu. “It’s a scary term, ADC assassin. I was just waiting for someone to tell me, ‘Please stop.’”
The goal was to make an aggressive marksman, someone who fought in-your-face, up-close and personal. The twist would be their ability to force engagements and pick fights when it suited them—a “high agency” champion, in gameplay design lingo.
Kai’Sa needed a kit that gave her not just options, but choices. “The hallmark of a good ADC is intelligent target selection,” says Riot Jag. Normally, marksmen do this from a safe distance, sniping targets and attacking from afar. But Kai’Sa has ways to demonstrate that you’re more than just a kiting bot who keeps out of the thick of it.
With her ult, Kai’Sa can be literally anywhere in a team fight, making plays other ADCs couldn’t dream of. Your Maokai just made a Twisted Advance into their backline? Kai’Sa can follow up instantly, diving deep with a buddy and blowing up any enemy unlucky enough to catch the crowd control. But there’s a price to pay for that kind of mobility. “She’s the first champ in… I think five years? With absolutely no crowd control of her own,” says Riot Jag. “She’s just there to do damage.” Not to mention that while she’s got a few ways into a fight, she has exactly zero ways to get out.
In the end, that’s what removed much of the dread from the phrase “ADC assassin.” Kai’Sa is forced to outmaneuver and outwit opponents through agility and forethought, rather than taking them down with brute force and better burst.
- A NEW VISION FOR THE VOID
While it was always known that the next marksman would be geared towards all-in offense, it was never a given that the character would be from the Void.
“We were exploring a Zaunite life-essence-drainer for a while,” says Willem “Riot Tokkelossie” van der Schyf. “But everything about this champ felt very predatory, so tying in to something that was an actual predator made sense. The Void kept coming up as a way to explain that animal instinct.”
While the team was exploring possible sources for her predatory nature, they found a concept that complemented the aggressive playstyle they envisioned: a Void “jetpack.” Not only did it have a distinct visual read, or silhouette, but it instantly suggested both speed and power.
The jetpack idea helped clarify the unique take on the Void embodied by a champion that was more agile than brutal. “We homed in on a vector shape for her. Her whole body takes the shape of a chevron, like an arrow pointing forward,” says Riot Tokkelossie. “Everything about her feels like she’s moving.”
Then there was the question of what she was actually shooting with.
The team explored weapons that grew out of her hands, including a Void rifle made from the same biomass of her suit, but the bulky firearm didn’t fit with Kai’Sa’s nimble movement and symmetrical visual design. Besides, a rifle wasn’t exactly a novel approach to the marksman role.
“We didn’t want to literally give her a gun,” says Riot Tokkelossie. “She was an opportunity to do something different from other ADCs.” Eventually the team landed on crystalline Void weapons, formed out of energy flowing from the carapace element on Kai’Sa’s lower body.
The team also wanted to do something different with Kai’Sa’s particular degree of Void-ness. “We knew she was gonna be humanoid—not a monstress,” says Michael “CoolRadius” McCarthy. “We have monsters born in the Void, we have people whose minds and bodies were corrupted by the Void. Instead, we wanted to make someone who was a survivor.”
A human view of the Void, told from the perspective of a survivor, became a core pillar of Kai’Sa’s character design—as did the particular trauma of being abandoned and forced to fight for her life.
“I did a lot of research on survivor mentality and coping with extreme trauma,” says CoolRadius. “It can make you a shell of who you were—but those who came through didn’t let it take everything from them. They held on to something.” Kai’Sa started as a victim, nearly broken by the Void, but by refusing to relinquish all of her humanity, she managed to resist and adapt. She turned her struggle into the source of her power, converting dangerous creatures into protective armor and finding balance by accepting all parts of herself. Even as she embodied a monster, she maintained her humanity.
“If she had the Void suit and mask as a permanent feature, it would have felt like she had lost her sense of self,” says Riot Tokkelossie. “We wanted to make it her choice to tap into the full power of the suit, or let that part of herself recede.”
- SOUNDS LIKE PURPLE
Nowhere is that choice more obvious than with Kai’Sa’s helmet. Built from the same tech powering DJ Sona’s controllable jams, Kai’Sa’s helmet—automatically activated when she uses her dash—can also be toggled on and off at will. And when the mask is on, so is the predator.
“You really feel like you’ve stepped into her skin,” says Brandon “Riot Sound Bear” Reader. Since that skin is a living Void creature, Kai’Sa’s voice is far more Void-like while masked, sharing a very specific sonic quality with other apostrophe’d champs.
“Her sound is very round and purple” says Riot Sound Bear. That means the audio tends to be darker, deeper, and full of bass. A pink sound, by comparison, would be a lot higher in the midrange.
“It’s kinda lasery, but sticky and gooey, not sharp and staticky. More guttural,” he adds.
Using similar sounds for champions from the same region not only helps with thematic cohesion, but creates a foundation that can be built on, remixed, and transformed. “I actually repurposed some of the movement of Vel’Koz’s eye on recall,” says Riot Sound Bear. “I morphed that into Kai’Sa’s general movement.”
inding Kai’Sa’s unique take on the Void sound led to tons of experimentation and play—and accidents.
“I hit the low register key with my pinky on accident at one point and percolated a plugin that made a really cool bass swell,” says Riot Sound Bear. “That’s the fifth hit of her passive now.”
The accident, and then the final sound.
Combining all of these sounds paints an audible portrait of a Void predator—and the human underneath it all. “That’s the headspace I hope players will be in,” says Riot Sound Bear. “I’m dealing with the Void, here are my weapons, now how do I survive?”
The answer is up to you."
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