Nilah, League of Legends’ newest botlaner is set to release sometime soon, and here’s an in-depth look at her abilities
League of Legends has been one of the biggest game titles in recent years. The game has continued to dominate the gaming scene since its release in 2009. League of Legends is a free-to-play MOBA game where players fight 5v5 in an arena.
In MOBA games, picking the right characters — or what the community calls “drafting” — is essential in securing a win. Aside from individual player skills, building towards a team composition during drafting often gives teams an advantage. Team compositions will have their strengths and weaknesses; picking the suitable composition puts the team in a stronger position.
In League of Legends, drafting is different between Ranked and Normal games. Ranked drafting requires more communication to achieve a better team composition, while in Normal games, players can draft which champion they want to play. From its initial pool of 40 champions, League of Legends now has a pool of 160 champions that players can choose from. A new champion will soon be added to that roster: Nilah.
Nilah, The Joy Unbound
Riot Games recently teased its upcoming champion, Nilah. According to Riot, they wanted to introduce a unique gameplay option for the bottom lane carries through Nilah. The champion’s lore tells the story of a bookish young girl passionate about myths and legends. This passion led Nilah to explore deep below the surface to search for heroes of legends. She found what she was looking for but for a terrible price. The world was rid of her existence, and the only emotion she knows is joy.
Nilah’s design is based on South Asian cultures. Her weapon, an urumi, is a whip-like sword from South Asia. She harnesses the power of Ashlesh, a demon of joy from legends of old, from a magical jar on her hips that extends prismatic water to her weapon. Nilah’s kit revolves around using her whip to bring devastation to her enemies.
Nilah’s Abilities and Gameplay
Before we try to analyze Nilah’s kit, we should gloss over the details of her abilities. Here is a quick rundown of her abilities.
Passive – Joy Unending
Nilah boosts the healing and shielding of nearby allies. Allies that heal/shield Nilah gain a small heal/shield for themselves. In the same way, Nilah gains a small heal/shield whenever allies heal/shield themselves.
Nilah also grants the nearest ally 50% of the experience lost for sharing exp whenever she last hits a minion.
Q – Formless Blade
Passive: Nilah gains bonus armor penetration. Attacks and abilities heal Nilah for a percentage of the damage dealt. These bonuses scale with critical chance. Excess healing from this effect is converted into shielding.
Active: Nilah uses her weapon to strike in a line, damaging enemies. Whenever she hits an enemy, she gains 125 increased attack range and bonus attack speed that scales with her level. During this, her attacks splash in a cone, dealing bonus damage.
W – Jubilant Veil
Nilah cloaks herself with a Jubilant Veil that grants her bonus move speed and ghosting. Nilah is unaffected by basic attacks during this effect.
While Nilah is under Jubilant Veil, touching allies will give them the same effect for a shorter period.
E – Slipstream
Nilah dashes through a target unit. Her dash distance is fixed, and it damages enemies she hits along the way. Nilah can store two charges at any time.
Nilah can cast Formless Blade during Slipstream to pull a wave of water towards her destination and grants her the bonus effects from Formless Blade.
R – Apotheosis
Nilah spins her weapon around, damaging enemies. The final spin drags enemies caught in the area towards her and slows their movement.
Apotheosis heals Nilah and nearby allies for the damage dealt. This effect scales with critical chance, and any excess healing is converted to a shield.
Riding In Tandem
Nilah’s abilities are designed to be played in tandem with a teammate. Her passive makes the bottom lane the best place for her since the bottom lane is home to a carry and a support. A bottom lane with Nilah means that her lane will often have a level advantage. Aggressive players can capitalize on this because they are more likely to reach level 2 before their opponents, so they can engage with their ability advantage to push their enemies back.
From the looks of her abilities, Nilah is best paired with enchanter supports that could heal or shield their allies. Enchanter supports are often easy to kill since they have low health and resistance, but Nilah’s Jubilant Veil and Apotheosis can help protect them. Apotheosis can also be great when paired with engage supports who are tankier and often gets close to enemies to start fights. Nilah can use Slipstream to follow her support to the frontline and then use Apotheosis to control the enemy’s movement further while keeping her ally healthy. Nilah can then use Jubilant Veil if she and her ally need to disengage.
Nilah the Teamplayer
Nilah’s kit is strong in team fights. League of Legends account owners who enjoy the spotlight will love Nilah. Her vibrant abilities shine best in team fights where she can whittle down her targets and rally her teammates. Apotheosis is a crowd control ability that can keep her team alive if she manages to hit many enemies with it. The bonus attack speed and splash effect from Formless Blade increases her damage in a team fight because she can attack more often while damaging enemies clumped together. Jubilant Veil is also there for additional mobility and protection against team compositions that rely on auto-attacks for damage. Nilah brings a lot of utility to a team fight while dishing out a decent amount of damage.
Nilah also has decent dueling capability. Formless Blade deals good damage upon use and boosts Nilah’s overall damage output with the increased attack speed. Jubilant Veil is a strong dueling ability because it allows her to evade damage while giving her additional mobility. Nilah can use Slipstream to dodge incoming skill shots or chase enemies should they try to escape. Apotheosis is a crowd control ability that can be used to land an additional hit or two or to catch escaping enemies. The healing she gets from Apotheosis is also valuable for duels. It is essential to note that Nilah can cast Formless Blade and Apotheosis during Slipstream, which saves a bit of time, and in a game like League of Legends, a short amount of time can be the line between life and death. Another vital thing to note is that Formless Blade and Slipstream are auto-attack resets, which means more damage.
Nilah’s weakness is her need to get close to enemies to deal damage to them. Usual bottom lane champions have farther attack range than her. They can poke her with auto attacks to eventually pressure her out of lane. Champions like Ashe would do well against Nilah because they can reduce her mobility or keep her locked down. Champions with higher mobility like Vayne are dangerous because they can kite her around, especially in a duel.
Nilah’s shorter range gets her in dangerous positions where the enemy can single her out and quickly take her down. As an ADC, she will not have much durability, making her easy to kill. Being in a bad position could easily mean a kill. Nilah’s kit is geared toward team play, so it’s best to stay close to allies.
Nilah suffers the same threats as with usual ADCs: juggernauts and tanks. Nilah’s kit isn’t designed to tear through high HP. Tanky champions with much crowd control like Ornn can lock her down and slowly eliminate her while tanking through her damage. Same with tanky champions like Volibear or Vi that are equipped with a couple of mobility abilities that can either help them stick to her or immediately catch her.
Players can supplement these weaknesses by trying out different builds, but some of her abilities get stronger with more critical chance, making building crit chance items optimal. Whatever build players opt for Nilah, people are likely to see her in the bottom lane. Her kit is more potent if she is alongside an ally. The bottom lane would feel like home for Nilah. She is an ADC that tries to get in her enemies’ faces and strike them in their comfort zone while supporting her allies.
When Will Nilah Come to League of Legends?
Nilah is set to come with patch 12.13, which releases in July. LoL account owners can enjoy playing Nilah once the patch is live. This patch will bring Nilah, balance changes, and a new Star Guardian event. Stay tuned for updates, and enjoy playing in the fields of justice!
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