Ivern, The Green Father is the latest champion to be announced for League of Legends [official site]. He piqued my curiosity partly because new LoL champion, but also because I'm always interested to see how the nature-themed characters turn out in MOBAs. Ivern sounded kind of treant-ish and treants are one of those MOBA staples where all the games kind of have their own version - Treant Protector in Dota, Sylvanus (well, Grover, the treant Sylvanus rides) in Smite, Maokai in League, so what was Ivern doing that was different?
Here's his ability set:
Passive: Friend Of The Forest
This one's really cute because instead of killing neutral jungle creatures the idea is that Ivern can click on a camp to create a grove. When the grove matures you can click on it again to free the inhabitants and earn gold and XP. The overall effect is the same - the camp is cleared - but the concept is more appropriate to a nature-loving character. It also sounds like an interesting way of jungling. Oh, and after level five Ivern can "grove" the red and blue buffs which are neutral monsters which bestow particular benefits and free those, leaving the buff itself behind as a sapling which allies can pick up.
This one feels like a fairly standard nature/treant ability. Throw out a root in order to root an enemy. Basic attacks then let you dash towards them and into attack range.
This one has a passive component which means Ivern's basic attacks have increased magic damage and range when hiding in the brush (and for a few seconds after emerging). The active component is that he can also create extra bits of brush on the map which last a short while. I'll be interested to see how people end up using those - maybe to psych opponents out as they wonder if anyone's hiding in them, or to disrupt line of sight while escaping, or whatever else. One point to note is that the brush won't show up on enemy minimaps so if you're playing against an Ivern you'll need to keep an eye out for weird bushes.
Ivern places a protective seed on an ally which functions as a shield which explodes after a short time and damages and slows nearby enemies. It reminds me a bit of Abaddon's Aphotic Shield ability in Dota.
"Ivern summons Daisy, an enormous sentinel who loves hugs. Daisy scampers around joyfully, knocking up Ivern's target after a few hits. Ivern can recast this ability to direct his boisterous friend toward new targets. She'll hang around until her hankering for hugs has been satisfied, or until her health bar is depleted."
I've watched the ability video and can confirm that these are not hugs but punches and knock-ups.
Essentially he's a support-focused jungler who can clear jungle camps without needing to fight them and, while waiting for them to become harvestable, can nip out onto a lane to help out.
As a traditional support player I'm excited to see how this pans out - although my own tendency to play ARAM rather than 5v5 means I'm less likely to be able to make good use of him. I really want to see what the pro players do with him.