Champion Reveal: Kled, The Cantankerous Cavalier
- Skaarl the Cowardly Lizard
Kled's semi-trusty mount, Skaarl, has its own health bar and takes damage in Kled's place when the two ride together. Any bonus health Kled picks up through items, runes, and masteries also applies to Skaarl. When the lizard's life bar is whittled down to zero, it'll for the hills, leaving Kled to fight alone.
When fighting solo, Kled's abilities change and he gains movement speed while heading toward enemy champions. Kled can restore Skaarl's courage and bring the craven critterby attacking towers, champions, or epic monsters.
- Bear Trap on a Rope (Mounted)
Kled throws a literal bear trap tied to a piece of rope, dealing damage to all enemies it passes through and attaching to the first enemy champion hit. If the Cantankerous Cavalier sticks close to the struck target for a couple of seconds, he'll reel in the rope, pulling his hapless target towards him while applying a slow and a decent chunk of damage. This ability deals bonus damage to minions.
- Pocket Pistol (Unmounted)
Kled fires his gun, blasting a wad of bullets in a target direction and knocking himself backward.
- Violent Tendencies (Passive)
Kled's basic attacks cause him to frenzy, granting attack speed to his next four basic attacks. The fourth frenzied blow deals bonus damage based on a percentage of the target's max health.
- Jousting (Mounted Only)
Kled and Skaarl dash toward a targeted area, dealing damage to enemies in their path and temporarily gaining a burst of movement speed. If Jousting strikes a champion or large monster, Kled and Skaarl canthe ability to dash back through the struck target, again dealing damage.
- Laning and Skirmishing
Kled needs to go ham. The Cantankerous Cavalier wants only to bring death to his foes, and Skaarl's courage system rewards Kled for sticking through a fight, even after the reptilian steed abandons its manic yordle master. To remount Skaarl, Kled has to take risks and play aggressively - if he manages to earn back the lizard-critter's trust, he can ride back into battle renewed by his buddy's fresh health bar.
In lane, Kled's strength fluctuates depending on whetheris available. When it's up, the Cantankerous Cavalier can smash opponents with his empowered autos, but the ability goes on cooldown for a bit after it's activated, leaving Kled to depend on his other abilities to deal any meaningful DPS.
Sincecan't be toggled on or off and activates as soon as Kled uses a basic attack, inexperienced Kled players will often find themselves frenzying all over a harmless minion wave, even when it would have been better to save the frenzy for a more threatening opponent. For this reason, Kled will want to carefully farm using his other abilities if he thinks he's likely to engage an enemy champion in the near future.
Once Kled decides to go in for a trade,helps him stick to his target with ease. For trades that could go south, Kled will be able to just back out after he's displayed his .
If Kled goes 'too ham' (if there is such a thing) and Skaarl abandons him, he's got two options to get his buddy back: retreat back to base like a damned coward, or do as the voices in his head keep telling him and go more ham. If the Cantankerous Cavalier goes after an enemy champion, he'll have a limited supply of bullets in his to regain Skaarl's confidence and bring it galloping home to papa.
If he's smart, Kled will closely watch Skaarl's courage bar and bait in opponents just as he remounts the yellow-bellied lizard to gain back his second health bar. With access toand restored, Kled'll be set to lock in the kill.
- Teamfighting and Late-Game
Once laning phase ends, Kled contributes best to his team by acting as a skirmisher - he'llon any unlucky fool he can catch trespassing on his territory, using or to reposition or lock down dangerous opponents. Skaarl's extra health bar gives the Cantankerous Cavalier some tankiness, but it's relatively easy for an entire enemy team to focus down the lizard. If Skaarl abandons its post too early in a fight, Kled will be left stranded with little chance of survival.
If Kled manages to hang onto his cowardly reptilian friend, though, he'll achieve his true potential as a single-target slayer. He can repeatedly slow and dash toward a lone, fleeing opponent using hisand , making him incredibly deadly on cleanup duty. You don't disengage from a fight with Kled whenever you want. You disengage from Kled when either he or you is dead.
Kled's single-target stickiness makes him great at responding to enemy split-pushes, since he can use histo blast into lane with a big ol' shield that'll boost his 1v1 duel potential. The speedboost effect left in wake lets him bring some friends along for the party as well.
A well-timed Kledis the perfect way to force a teamfight - if you're grouped, your whole team can ride your slipstream and smash into the enemy frontline with you. But is also Kled's best (and nearly only) way of quickly moving onto an exposed flank.
Of course, even Kled shouldn't go charging into battle against a whole army by himself. A little help from some friends might help him out.
|Works well with:||Struggles against:|
|Lulu - the Fae Sorceress
Kled may have two health bars, but he's hardly a tank. The Fae Sorceress'and grant Kled the fortitude to go in on engages he'd normally be too squishy for, or, if he's been dismounted, to stay calm and keep .
|Lux - the Lady of Luminosity
It's tough for Kled and Skaarl to remain in the fray if they're up against an opponent with both crowd-control abilities and burst damage. If the Lady of Luminosity catches the yordle-lizard duo with a, she may be able to them to pieces before they can respond.
|Garen - the Might of Demacia
Kled's immobile allies aren't so immobile when theyinto battle with him. If the Might of Demacia lends his heart and sword to Kled, they'll both have the speed and strength to smash straight through the enemy frontline.
|Janna - the Storm's Fury
Enemies that can disengage and slow Kled are a pain in his fuzzy arse. A quickor a is all it takes to turn a into a Chaaaaa-aaawww...
|Kindred - the Eternal Hunters
Kled always has to make a choice once he's been knocked off his mount: stay in the fight to try and restore Skaarl's courage, or pack it in and ham so he can remount his spineless critter and continue the battle stronger than before.to safety? With Kindred around, the choice is easy - gives Kled a free ticket to keep going
|Tristana - the Yordle Gunner
The Yordle Gunner's late-gamewill make an unmounted Kled think twice about hanging around teamfights, and both and negate one of the Cantankerous Cavalier's greatest strengths: sticking to his opponent.
Champion Insights: Kled, the Noxian Meme
If Noxian soldiers made memes, what would they look like?
A weird question, maybe, but you can find the answer by cracking open a history book and flipping back to the 1940s, when American GIs were tramping around Europe during World War II. Around that time, a pre-internet meme started to appear as graffiti across the continent - an image of a little bald man with an enormous nose peeking over a wall. His name was.
It's unclear exactly where Kilroy came from or who first drew him. Some say Kilroy was named after a man who worked as an American shipyard inspector in the '40s, but a very similar drawing is said to have appeared among Australian soldiers as early as the first World War. Whatever the case, American GIs couldn't resist doodling Kilroy all over territory they'd conquered, even if it got them thrown into the stocks for a night. To the soldiers, Kilroy was an icon representing their victories, their values, their identities. Kilroy was the spirit of those soldiers.
Just likeis the spirit of enlisted Noxians.
- The Fuzzy, Bloodthirsty Spirit of Noxus
Life isn't easy for the men serving among the lowest ranks of the Noxian soldier class. To survive in that job you have to learn to love war, hate cowardice, and seize whatever bloodsoaked glory you can get.
With this in mind, we began to imagine a character who would take those Noxian warrior values to the extreme - an ornery creature that relished riding into battle and chopping off heads. Someone who’d never back away from a fight, who'd always want to go ham. Who better to represent the ideals of these troops than a murderous, mounted, yordle soldier?
We set to work developing a champ that would encourage hyper-aggressive gameplay. We didn't yet have any real idea of what the character would look like, so our designers slapped together a prototype using existing assets. The first model was literally riding around on a tiny .
"When you got dismounted, the little Iain 'Harrow' Hendry. "Sometimes", he says with a smile, "you need an expressive prototype to sell an idea."would run away and the would be left by himself", says champion designer
When designing Kled's abilities, we went out of our way to avoid giving him anything that felt defensive or 'safe'. Everything Kled does is about incentivizing and rewarding aggressive, risky actions. He has to charge straight into battle to get the shield from his. Even when he uses his unmounted 'disengage' move, , he's firing a gun blast to knock himself back.
We've always thought about Kled as 'light cavalry', as opposed to'heavy cavalry' role, but there are other ways we wanted to differentiate Kled from the boar-riding jungler. One thematic problem for is that her mechanics don't emphasize interaction with , her boar. If we removed altogether and was just a big ol' lady, it wouldn't necessarily make a difference to her gameplay.
So, we wondered, how could we fix this for Kled? What sort of relationship might he have with his mount?
When it comes to nimble AD champs designed mostly for the top lane (we call them 'skirmishers') your options include folks like, , and . Each of these champs is designed for the kinds of players who like going in deep, usually a bit further than they should. All of these characters, says Harrow, are sort of tryhard champs. "These are super-serious people with super-serious swords", he says. "The goal was to make Kled a little more playful than his skirmisher peers."
- A Yordle and his Gutless Lizard-Bird-Thing
Kled may be a yordle, but that doesn't mean he has to be cute. "Cuteness isn't valued by the Noxians", says art lead Edmundo 'odnumde' Sanchez. "He's sort of a weird little goblin, and that was the vibe we were going for. He's supposed to look very wicked."
, meanwhile, needed to appear a bit more goofy to fit its 'cowardly mount' theme. We went through a bunch of animals during early explorations of Skaarl's design, including a rhino, a frog, and a buzzard. While all of these sound like mounts, the design direction is sort of appropriate given the role Skaarl plays - it's cartoonish, like a critter that could pop out of a barrel. "I don't think the Donkey Kong vibes were intentional", says odnumde, "but we were aiming for whimsical, so it worked out that way."
Before working on Kled, Narrative writer Odin 'WAAARGHbobo' Shafer had just finished writing VO lines for. After spending months writing gems like "Life has no meaning, but your death shall" he was ready to move onto something a little more lighthearted. Yordles are lighthearted, right?
"We wanted them to be a comedy duo", Shafer says. "The idea is that Skaarl doesn't want to go into combat, but Kled really wants to go into combat. So Skaarl will run off at some point, causing Kled to freak out. Their dysfunctional relationship is built directly into the mechanics."
The process works both ways, with the mechanics informing the character as the character informs the mechanics. Once we were certain that Kled would spend time fighting both on his mount and off it, Shafer gave Kled two stages in his voice-over lines.
Kled always wants to go ham, but once he gets knocked off of Skaarl he actually starts going more insane and more aggressive. Kled may have lengthy conversations with Skaarl, but Skaarl has the intelligence of a dog - mostly Kled is projecting onto his reptilian pal when he talks to it. He loses a part of himself whenever Skaarl runs off, resulting in some way crazier lines of dialogue.
There's one exception to Kled's 'aggressive or nothing' design: the ability to re-mount Skaarl just by returning to base. This was a sort of compromise around player expectations. For every other champ in League, successfullyto base offers a complete reset; we felt it was important to preserve that with Kled.
The cantankerous cavalier is more than just a crazy old yordle. All the aspects of Kled's character - the violence, insanity, and his refusal to back down from any fight - are things that would make him an icon for the soldiers of Noxus. Not just an icon, but a meme. The dankest Noxian meme ever.
Inside Kled Dev with Harrow and more!
This week, designer Iain 'Harrow' Hendry, writer Odin 'WAAARGHbobo' Austin Shafer, and artist Edmundo 'odnumde' Sanchez share the behind-the-scenes story on the development of , the Cantankerous Cavalier.
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