In an ideal world, every champion's theme and abilities would be a cohesive experience. Unfortunately, Riot sometimes misses the mark - especially during early seasons when they were releasing champions every 2 weeks. Riot has spent the last few years pushing gameplay and visual updates for the champion's who are the more serious offenders (and even some).
Riot's usual goal of these "visual gameplay updates" is to preserve the champion's original theme and focus on modernising their gameplay (they learned early that changing the champion's theme rarely goes down well, eh withand ?). However, there are occasions where the champion's original kit doesn't match their theme but there's ultimately nothing wrong with the kit - e.g. . So what was Riot to do?
- Create a new kit that better suits his original Valkyrie theme, or
- Create a new character to better suit his blademaster kit?
Unfortunately for fans of either Aatrox, Riot went with hidden option number 3: keep neither.
What complicates matters for Aatrox is the fact his relaunch came less than a year after his first rework. While Aatrox went largely unappreciated for years leading up to his first rework - his rework was a huge success and lead to the champion becoming insanely popular. If Riot had never released Aatrox's first rework - his relaunch would have likely been well-received. While his relaunch did nothing to address his thematic issues by replacing it with a new theme: lore-fans are usually very quickly drowned-out by new fans of the character.
However, gameplay-fans do not give up so readily. While many of his former fans have requested a do-over (as was done for, and ), relaunch poses a new problem - his new experience is good. The aforementioned reworks had objective problems that were worse than the problems the original kit had - but not for Aatrox. While his new experience might not appeal to his previous fans - it has found new ones, and plenty of them. To revert Aatrox would ultimately put the game in the same situation it is now - lacking a playable character that players previously enjoyed.
My solution? Release new champions to fill the voids oforiginal kit and lore.
While the easiest solution would be to simply create a new character for his old kit and a new character for his old lore, and do nothing to the live iteration - I personally adore his original design. His original artists went all-out to capture his front-line commander with his banner-wings and crown-horns. The demon-Valkyrie who lands in the center of the carnage and inspires his team to victory. The champion whose most iconic line was "even those who have nothing can still give their lives". I would rather see that character get the kit it originally deserved, and instead create two new champions for the two existing kits.
But to make things more complex? The perfect kit for the demon-Valkyrie already exists. Almost a year prior to Aatrox's massacre, Riot deleted another champion and replaced it with an entire new one with the same name:. Nothing about Galio's original gameplay or theme were preserved in his rework - leaving his fans (me included) a little bit sour. However, that's not to say Galio's new kit isn't fun - it's hella fun. But it would be better on .