The Best Champion Reworks in LoL History (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Every year, League of Legends gives old champions a much-needed glow up.
We’re blessed with new visuals, new abilities, and in some cases, even new lore.
However, not all changes have been… warmly welcomed.
From the changes to Aatrox that vanquished his entire identity, to the nerfing of frostbutt Irelia – don’t worry, Rito caved in and eventually restored the booty to its former glory.
But hey, Riot deserves credit where credit’s due.
Most of the reworks have been absolutely amazing.
So we’re shining the spotlight onto Rito’s best reworks of all time.
Reworked Volibear takes the “thunder bear” thematic to a whole other level.
Now, he genuinely feels like some thunderous deity, with every ability imbued with lightning, thunder, and pure, unadulterated power.
The best part of the rework has got to be the ultimate; it lets Volibear leap straight into a fight and smash his foes to smithereens.
The ult even disables turrets, allowing him to pull off turret dives effortlessly.
Sadly, while overall a good improvement – especially in the visual effects department – the Volibear rework didn’t win me over entirely.
Firstly, they removed his iconic flip (rip, you shall be missed).
Secondly, he just feels too… slow.
A few years back, his lack of mobility wouldn’t have been an issue.
But in a mobility-heavy meta?
The lack of mobility is definitely noticeable and often makes him feel weak in game.
Old Swain was clunky, boring, and for the most part, “braindead.”
His abilities didn’t really work well together, nor did his kit have anything unique about it.
The new Swain definitely fixed these issues:
His abilities now feel unique, and each offers fun ways to play around your enemies.
He also has phenomenal wave clear, and his W allows him to spot out stragglers.
Plus his kit and looks now better represent his “Noxian Grand General” title.
Even the way he walks has an air of authority.
The only drawback?
Most of the abilities have a brief delay, which can feel a bit uncomfortable at first.
Oh, and I would have preferred the reworked Swain to keep some of the old Swain’s healing capabilities – out of all the reworks featured on this list, I personally feel that Swain’s strayed the furthest from the original design.
Akali was… a pretty controversial rework.
Mainly because when Akali was initially released, her kit was so overloaded that she literally had no counter matchup.
Luckily, Riot have done tons of hot fixes, fine-tuning, buffs and nerfs, and Akali is now in a reasonable spot where we can appreciate her reworked version for what it truly is:
A flashy, fun, and mobile champion that allows for way more skill expression (no shade to OG Akali OTPs).
The rework transformed Akali from a simple & rather dull champion, to a deadly assassin capable of dipping in and out of fights and isolating squishy targets.
Each ability is complex, and each move must be calculated to give Akali the best chance of coming out on top.
Plus she has plenty of combos to explore, and her animations are total eye candy.
Now, playing Akali feels rewarding.
Learning her kit feels challenging.
And that mastery level 7?
It finally feels like something worth bragging about.
In lore, Evelynn is a succubus that uses her jawdropping beauty to lure her enemies to their doom.
Old Evelynn didn’t exactly… fit this.
In fact, old Evelynn would probably scare away her enemies.
After all, she was clunky, grotesque, and had a painfully obtrusive color scheme.
Her stealth was the only “fun” thing about her, but even that felt pretty unimpactful as an ability.
But the new Evelynn?
She got the Princess Diaries treatment.
While Evelynn still has the stealth part of her kit, every other ability has been revamped and made so much more accurate to lore, engaging, and well, sexy.
Now she can literally charm her opponents and torment them with her beautiful but deadly burst damage.
Plus her stealth actually feels useful, and she’s transformed into a top tier ganker – something all jungle mains will appreciate.
6. Nunu & Willump
Most adorable rework, coming through!
The rework honestly gave Nunu a totally new identity.
Nunu went from something players would only pick to troll (shout out to disco nunu), to one of the best all-round junglers in the game.
The reworked version still maintains the beginner-friendly kit, but the abilities feel so much more impactful.
You can literally “snowball” your way to victory, and the new kit allows for more versatility.
Plus, Nunu & Willump have now been given distinct identities, and each ability shows off the close (and heartfelt) bond they share.
Oh, and while old Nunu was a one-dimensional counter jungler, new Nunu is all about being a team player:
The champion is a solid teamfighter, has a strong engage tool, and great ganking potential.
Old Urgot was a ranged AD champion that never really gained popularity, and his ultimate was questionable, at best.
Seriously, what were Riot thinking?
An ult that literally teleports a squishy ranged champion into the middle of a skirmish?
Plus, old Urgot is definitely the ugliest atrocity Riot has ever concocted (no offence).
New Urgot is a whole other (much-improved) beast. He’s now a juggernaut capable of demolishing virtually any opponent in lane.
His kit also offers more room for skill expression, and he’s, ahem, much easier on the eyes.
And to top it all off?
Urgot’s new ultimate is actually useful and looks seriously badass:
He impales his enemies with a chem-drill, and if they’re below the health threshold, he executes them in an instant by drawing them into his… chainsaw belly.
Yeah. Not a fun way to die.
Aah, I still clearly remember the day reworked Fiddlesticks was released to the live servers.
Mainly because it honestly traumatized me – reworked Fiddlestick’s appearance and abilities are utterly terrifying.
Instead of the awkward, derpy scarecrow, Fiddle now looks (and sounds) like something out of a horror movie.
Even his abilities are nightmare-inducing – his scarecrows give you neverending jump scares, and his ultimate, with all the grotesque effects, wreaks havoc on your heart.
So, put simply: reworked Fiddlesticks is a total success.
His kit finally matches his lore and he’s much more interactive and fun to play.
The only person who hates the reworked version of Fiddlesticks?
He just loves his birds too darn much.
Old Irelia really showed her age:
She was clunky, her auto-attack reliant kit wasn’t unique, and her abilities didn’t capture her fantasy, agile warrior thematic.
The only “fantasy” element she really had was her ultimate, but even that felt flat and dull.
Plus she was very dependent on snowballing.
If old Irelia got behind, it was a given that she would be useless for the rest of the game.
Reworked Irelia is way more thematically cohesive, and she’s now equipped with the best animations in the game:
Her blade dancing is truly captivating, and every ability feels slick and impactful.
Reworked Irelia can initiate fights with ease (apt considering she’s a war heroine), and her kit makes her an even stronger pick against ranged champions.
The only semblance of her former self is her iconic Q, and even that has been given an upgrade.
It has lots of reset opportunities, granting Irelia more mobility and teamfighting potential.
OG Pantheon was a run of the mill lane bully that had nothing else going for him.
He had an unhealthy amount of harass, and a broken passive that allowed him to block incoming attack after incoming attack.
His “Spear Shot” ability was also downright toxic: it was an extremely high damage ranged attack that… was just a point and click. Yep. No skillshots involved.
Pantheon today still has essentially every ability of his original kit, though the obnoxious harass has been taken down a notch – the new spear shot is a skillshot – and there’s now a lot more room for skill expression.
Rather than simply being a tilt-inducing lane bully, he’s now an exceptional skirmisher with more versatile build options.
He also feels and looks exactly how Pantheon should be:
Deadly, slick, and with an ult that draws the attention of the entire map.
Old Sion was the epitome of boring.
His kit was just passive buffs that didn’t exactly make for engaging gameplay.
He literally just stood there, auto-attacked, and hoped for the best.
Plus Sion was also always unbalanced in some way or another, no matter how many times Riot tried to fix him.
Sion was eventually overhauled in 2014. And boy, was it a total hit.
New Sion is hands down the best rework Riot has ever made.
His undying passive allows him to live up to “the undead juggernaut” tile, and his buff-reliant kit has been swapped out for one brimming with CC, damage, armor reduction, and healing.
His R, Unstoppable Onslaught, is also one of the most fun ults in the game; he literally “runs it down mid,” vanquishing and knocking out anyone in his path.
As a champion, Sion feels extremely well-balanced.
And his animations help to bring his zombie war hero persona to life.
You can even feel the weight of his axe and swings, which is an awesome touch.
Oh, and you’ve gotta appreciate his, erm, interesting attempts at humor:
“The mewling of your orphan children amuses me! How’s that for funny?”
“Your puny body is the only joke here.”
Well, it adds to his character.
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