League Of Legends: Kled Charges Into Battle

Kled and Skaarl

Kled, The Cantankerous Cavalier, is the latest addition to the ranks of League Of Legends [official site]. I’ve been away from LoL for a little so it’s more than past time we discussed the bloodthirsty yordle’s skillset, lore and miscellaneous other bits and bobs.

He’s one of those characters where there’s a mount involved and the mount is part of the skillset so I’ll be interested to see whether play makes them feel like a true duo or whether it’s still more like playing a single character that just happens to be drawn in two bodies.


Let’s go with lore first because it’s a Thursday afternoon and I feel like this is a good time for storytelling as I drink my coffee.

The storytelling/character development is an interesting one to me because it’s Riot creating a kind of mascot for going in and going hard in fights as a kind of in-universe inspiration for rank and file soldiers. Think of it as a personification of the values commanders want from their cannon fodder – a love of combat, a willingness to charge when ordered, a belief in the glory of bloodshed, a total absence of cowardice…

Kled and Skaarl

So he’s kind of an idealised mascot who also happens to exist in Runeterra. The description actually explains him as a combat meme in the vein of Kilroy. I have no idea if this is the sound of Twitch chat eating itself right now

When designing Kled’s abilities, we went out of our way to avoid giving him anything that felt defensive or “safe.” Everything Kled does is about incentivizing and rewarding aggressive, risky actions. He has to charge straight into battle to get the shield from his ult. Even when he uses his unmounted “disengage” move, Pocket Pistol, he’s firing a gun blast to knock himself back.

To offset Kled’s ham-ness, or perhaps to make it seem even more extreme by contrast, his mount is a cowardly lizardy chickeny creature called Skaarl. I like the dynamic that’s explained by the character creation team, but I want to muck about with it in-game and see how it bears out.

With that in mind, here’s how Kled and Skaarl’s kit shakes out:

Kled and Skaarl

Passive: Skaarl The Cowardly Lizard

Skaarl functions as a sort of life-bar buffer for Kled. He takes damage in place of Kled when Kled is mounted and he’s affected by bonus health effects from abilities and runes and whatnot. When his life bar gets to zero he doesn’t die, but he does run away leaving Kled on his own on the battlefield which alters his other abilities.

When fighting solo, Kled’s abilities change and he gains movement speed while heading toward enemy champions. Kled can restore Skaarl’s courage and bring the craven critter back by attacking towers, champions, or epic monsters.

Q (mounted): Beartrap On A Rope

This is a beartrap on a rope. What, you want more information? Sheesh. It deals damage to enemies it passes through and latches onto the first enemy champ it hits. If you stay close to the latched target for a few seconds it also yanks them back and applies a slow and some damage.

Q (unmounted): Pocket Pistol

This is pretty simple – a narrow cone of bullets with a knockback effect.

W: Violent Tendencies (passive)

Basic attacks cause Kled to go into a frenzy which gives attack speed to his next four basic attacks. The last of the four frenzied attacks does a bit of extra damage based on the recipient’s maximum health. There’s a cooldown so it won’t be going off all the time, but it’s one of those things where you’ll need to learn how best to budget its usage and when it might be better not to absent-mindedly batter a minion wave.

E: Jousting (mounted only)

A dash which deals damage to enemies along the way and give a temporary move speed buff. If you hit a big neutral monster or a champion you can reactivate the ability to dash back through them for another round of damage.

R: Chaaaaaaaarge!!! (mounted only)

So this is another charge but it builds a shield as you go as well as leaving a kind of move speed buff in the wake of the pair that allies can benefit from. Skaarl homes in on the first enemy he encounters and rams them to deal damage.

I feel like it’s interesting that this seems to gate off certain abilities if your totally not-trusty steed has buggered off. Also that you have to play aggressively to actually lure him back to you. There’s also a significant management element when it comes to Kled – management of Skaarl’s courage as well as the passive frenzying and so on.

The problem for me is that I’m one of nature’s lurkers, though. I’m a back-liner who likes casting spells and GTFO-ing while other people get up in the enemy’s business. I like ranged attacks and mages and NOT RUNNING INTO THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE OMG OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.

I am Skaarl.

Kled and Skaarl

Kled and Skaarl

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  1. Feedim says:

    So, basically just Sir Didymus and Ambrosius?

  2. Oosik says:

    He looks a touch like Spike from Gremlins to me.

  3. Ashabel says:

    The upside is that this is the first champion in two years who isn’t either a generic animu protagonist, a vengeance-obsessed avatar of vengeful vengeance or a spoopy mage of mysterious spoopiness who is working for an important cause beyond our mortal imagination.

    On the downside, they just up and stole Flin from Dawngate, kit and design direction and all, and made his personality more one-note.

    I hope League’s art and narrative team haven’t been getting any bonuses for amazing performance.

    • Feedim says:

      “Spoopy Mage of mysterious spoopiness” made me chuckle. Thank you.

      • Ashabel says:

        “Spoopy mage of mysterious spoopiness” is a great phrase to use once you realize how many characters can be summed up with it.

        Pretty much all League mages who are actually mages in its lore, have been nothing but mysterious spoopiness ever since the lore reboot happened, presumably because writing an actual story is hard.

    • Zankman says:

      Champions released in the past two years:

      Braum – Gnar – Azir – Kalista – Rek’Sai – Bard – Ekko – Tahm Kench – Kindred – Illaoi – Jhin – Aurelion Sol – Taliyah.

      I see one “vengeance-obsessed avatar of vengeful vengeance” (Kalista, pretty much on-point, albeit her Lore at least gives us some detail).

      I see two potential candidates for “spoopy mage of mysterious spoopiness who is working for an important cause beyond our mortal imagination” (Bard and Aurelion Sol, stretches…).

      I don’t see any “generic animu protagonist” candidates, with Ekko and Taliyah being, if anything, “generic Nicktoons protagonists” (in other words, something completely different).

      This means that 1 out of 13 Champions released in the last two years, 3 if we are being generous, fit your descriptions.

      So, friend, if I were you, I’d go see a doctor – because you seem to be full of shit.

      • Ashabel says:

        Ekko, Taliyah and the Taric rework are all as “generic animu protagonists” as they could be.

        Ryze’s reworked lore has zero difference from Bard, and for that matter Taric, Leona, Pantheon and Diana are also now spoopy people of mysterious spoopiness who all work for a grandiose cause beyond are mortal comprehension.

        Miss Fortune’s reworked lore is “vengeful avatar of vengence” to an even more comical and exaggerated degree than even Kalista, and Gangplank ended up going in the exact same direction once the Bilgewater event concluded.

        As for Bard and Rek’sai, you cannot even call those two characters.

        I do agree that I was full of shit in the first year or so after League’s lore reboot, mostly because I still cared about the game’s lore enough to fill myself with it despite it being an embarrassing pile of shit where more and more characters are one-note copies of one another. I have since committed myself to detox.

        • Asurmen says:

          They were quite clearly not talking about reworks, and neither were you.

          • Ashabel says:

            I’m pretty sure nowhere in my post did I say “new champion release”.

            But do instruct me more on what I said and what I didn’t.