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League of Legends new champion Aurora is a roaming, evasive monster you've absolutely got to try

Riot Games has been hard at work on a new champion, an AP carry for both top and mid lane.

Aurora splash art in League of Legends
Image credit: Riot Games

Aurora has just been announced officially as the next big champion release for League of Legends. As an AP carry with a focus on confusing enemies and quickly roaming around the map for skirmishes, she looks to be an absolute powerhouse. I was able to try out the champion earlier this month firsthand, and can earnestly say she'll be a monstrous release.

I'll break down all the abilities below, including what they actually do and interesting tidbits about them! After that, I'll give general impressions and notes I had on her strengths in lane, what she'll be strong against and her weaknesses too!

First up is her passive: Spirit Abjuration. Spirits are drawn to Aurora passively, providing additional movement speed. But how do you get these spirits? When Aurora damages an enemy 3 times with her spells and attacks (who doesn't love a three-strike passive), she will perform an exorcism that deals a percentage of the enemy’s max health as magic damage and frees a spirit. This spirit will empower her healing her every second, and turns on her Spirit Mode. Spirit mode grants additional movement for a few seconds.

So, a three-hit passive has been historically strong in lane as a way of cashing out short bursts of damage. Add on top of that a method of gaining increased movement speed both following these short trades, and long-term for the rest of the game, helps make her a powerful champ when it comes to trades. Trigger this enough and you'll be able to quickly leave lane following a push and roam into enemy jungle, other lanes, or major objectives before your lane opponent can.

It's also worth noting she has a pretty long auto-attack range! As this can assist in triggering the passive, I feel she'll be a pretty scary top lane mage. Pair this with her kiting capabilities tied to other abilities (which we'll touch on later) and it might be worth pouring one out to tanks and bruisers without a way of sticking onto Aurora.

Her Q is really cool too. Twofold Hex is a skillshot that can be shot out dealing magic damage, and marking enemies hit with it. On recast, marked enemies take magic damage that scales with missing enemy health. This can also pass through minions, so it's your go-to pressure tool and wave clear spell. As the recast deals increased damage based on missing health, it's best used as a trade-ender especially when you can use it to trigger her passive.

Playing the champion, I was surprised how long this mark actually lasts on enemies! You can use it as the first and third attack for the passive, weaving in an auto attack for a quick and easy trade. But, given the amount of time this mark stays active, you can also hold onto that recast after extended trades to really maximize that missing health blast. It's got a good range to it and a larger-than-expected hitbox too so this will be really nasty in capable hands.

Her W - Across the Veil - is especially fun. When cast Aurora hops into an invisibility state and enters spirit mode (increasing movement speed). Note, as this is invisibility, you can cast abilities inside this hidden state and not reveal yourself, making this a great ganking tool on top of a great chase and escape spell. Not only that, if you kill an enemy while Across the Veil is active, its cooldown is refreshed, making her a hard target to lock down in extended teamfights.

Here's an interesting tidbit though. Her hop can pass over walls. This means you can use it to leap over mid river walls, dragon walls, and so on. It's not a massive distance so you'll have to be right close to the barrier in order to make the leap, but it's certainly possible and not too hard. Again, great for invades into enemy jungle or roaming to help out your own jungler during laning phase.

Aurora's E is interesting! The Weirding is a rectangular area spell Aurora casts in front of her, dealing magic damage and slowing enemies hit. Aurora also jumps back a short distance once this spell is cast, placing some space between her and her enemies. You can also use this to hop over small walls like the mid river wall, but it's a lot tighter than her W. A great kiting tool for laning phase as well as a good way of getting away from those pesky top laners and junglers.

Now if all that sounds exciting, her ultimate is downright crazy. Between Worlds is a castable ultimate that deals magic damage in a large area and slows enemies hit. Aurora enters and empowered spirit state while the ultimate is active, boosting the usual bonuses considerably. What's especially cool is the walls that surround this ultimate area.

If enemies run into these, they are pushed back towards the centre and slowed. However, if Aurora runs into a wall, she'll pop up at the opposite end of the ultimate area. So, if you run through the north of the ultimate, you'll instantly appear at the south end. This bypasses walls, champions... Everything. A very entertaining way of duking and dancing your way around enemy champions.

All this packed together makes Aurora quite scary! In midlane she'll fill the same role as a Katarina, looking for roams around the map in order to gain a lead and snowball into a bit of a menace. In top lane, she's a lane bully. Able to get you low, push the lane in, then buy herself some time to leave your lonesome island and cause havoc somewhere else. She's hard to pin down and a juking savant, a real carry champ for those who like twisting the enemy team's mind. Shaco players, Leblanc players, and Neeko players will have a fun time here.

The development team, speaking to journalists at this preview event, noted that they paid special attention to the champ when it comes to auto-attack based poke builds for the toplane, aiming to make that sort of build less viable than your tried-and-true AP builds. However, with that three-hit passive and auto-attacks being able to trigger it, I do personally think a lich bane build could maybe work? Something to keep an eye out for.

In terms of what you can do to beat her, she's incredibly squishy. So shutting her down early and acting on your lead will be crucial. champions like Camile or Fiora who are able to close the distance and push past her kiting will do well here, and items like Rylai's Crystal Scepter will be a godsend for AP champions. If you can stay on her, she can't do much.

But all in all, she's an incredibly fun, incredibly tricky champion that is well worth trying out if you have a taste for quick evasive trades and roaming around the map. Maybe don't lock her in first time in your ranked games though yeah? There are some quirks to learn before you can really make the most out of her.

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