Release The Hound

By Daryl Zammit
on Feb 14, 2017

Yeah yeah yeah a werewolf is not a hound...but I couldn’t let a title like that just pass me by without using it, so sue me. Any minute now, Warwick will finally be released on the live servers, and that leaves us just enough time to compare and contrast the old teleporting hound to the winner of all long-jump competitions, aka: new Warwick.

 

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But before we get into the details, I really have to commend the designers who worked on this rework, because if you actually stop to think about it, all of his abilities are technically still the same as they were before, while still being different. Confused? Yeah ok sorry. Let’s go!

Old Passive (Eternal Thirst) vs New Passive (Eternal Passive)

It’s fitting that Warwick’s passive retained it’s original name, as it’s pretty much the same ability. He still deals bonus damage with every hit, with the difference being that now, NEW Warwick will only heal himself once he drops below half health.

I mean….yeah ok I guess...don’t fix what ain’t broken…?

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Old Q Ability (Hungering Strike) vs New Q Ability (Jaws of the Beast)

Now that we’re done with the boring part of his rework, let’s get into some interesting details. Hungering strike was this weird swiping attack where Warwick would deal damage, and heal a pretty good chunk of health. Simple. Effective.

Jaws of the Beast is a big bite attack (sorta like Trundle) where Warwick deals some damage, and heals health. Yeah ok but hold up, there’s more. This ability now has TWO versions of the same attack; just tapping the key gives you the same old ability you’re used to (plus a mini-dash), but holding the key now sends Warwick dashing BEHIND the targeted enemy. While that may or may not be interesting enough for you, check this out; if the enemy flashes, jumps, or uses any type of mobility while you’re executing this ability, Warwick still follows!

And I thought his old Q was scarily strong…

 

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Old W/E Abilities (Hunter's Call/Blood Scent) vs New W Ability (Blood Hunt)

Stay with me here, I’ll try my best to explain.

Hunter’s call was a pretty boring ability; it basically just gave Warwick bonus attack speed, and half it’s value to nearby allies. Pretty bland.

Blood Scent was the toggleable ability that was pretty much never toggled off; it passively granted Warwick vision of targets below a threshold of health and gave him an extra burst of movement speed. Pretty good.

Well, say hello to Blood Hunt (HUNT-er’s Call...BLOOD Scent….you can’t tell me that this name isn’t just a mix of the two). This ability somehow managed to make the old Blood Scent ability even stronger, in a more interesting way. While the old ability gave vision of targets, Blood Hunt passively forces player’s below a threshold of health to leave behind a global “blood trail” which will lead warwick towards the player. Warwick cannot actually see the character, but he should be able to find it if he follows the trail left behind. As an added bonus, should he follow the trail, Warwick puts on his best Flash impersonation and basically zips towards his hunted target faster than my attention span runs off while I’m learning something ‘important’. There’s also an active side to this ability which forces all enemies to leave behind blood trails, with the closest one to Warwick becoming hunted, regardless of health...so that’s cool...

Oh yeah and remember Hunter’s Call? Warwick now passively gains extra attack speed against hunted enemies, attacking faster as the opponent’s health decreases. Talk about adding insult to injury….

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Old W Ability??? (Hunter's Call) vs New E Ability (Primal Howl)

Ok so the two abilities don’t really have anything in common, but I found the thematic similarity to be interesting. In Hunter’s Call, Warwick gained his bonus attack speed by howling. That’s pretty much it.

Well, the importance of this wolf’s howl has now been cranked to a hundred. Primal Howl begins with Warwick gathering his energy, causing his enemies to deal reduced damage to him (remember Warwick tower-diving you before?....yeah good luck). Once the ability is re-activated, or a few seconds pass, Warwick let’s loose a bone-chilling howl that fears anyone and everyone around him. Cause why the hell not…

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Old Ultimate (Infinite Duress) vs New Ultimate (Infinite Duress)

And just like his passive, the new version of Warwick’s ultimate retains its original name. As can be expected, it’s pretty much the same ability, but with one crucial difference. Before, we had Warwick popping out of nowhere and scaring the bejesus out of you with his insta-mini-teleport ultimate.

In the new version, you get to watch this hulking beast soar through the sky like a mini Aurelion Sol, jumping over anything that’s solid in the game, with you as his target. In all seriousness, the new version of this ultimate is honestly the best version. By turning the ultimate into an actual leap, they managed to keep it’s old theme and execution alive whilst turning it into an ability that can actually be evaded. Oh but uh...the more movement speed Warwick has, the longer he can jump...yay…(remember Blood Hunt…?)

 

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Nah but all jokes aside, I’m really excited for this rework because I honestly think that it’s a definite improvement over the old Warwick, who desperately needed some quality of life treatment. But I might just be completely horribly wrong, and we just end up with a character that’s more broken that Yasuo… Only time will tell….

Until then, cya!!!

 

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In case you missed the official champion spotlite by our beloved Phreak:

 

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