Gather ye round for the tale of Taliyah The Stoneweaver. Well. A bit of the tale of Taliyah The Stoneweaver because it was pretty long but with more of a focus on investigating what her abilities will be when she joins the cast of League of Legends [official site].
My biggest takeaway from Taliyah's dedicated lore story thingummy was that she has the power to warm up stones when she fancies. As someone whose body heat is sucked out by a cold stone floor every morning EVEN through my slippers I feel like this would be the best ability in the world.
But yes. She can control stone and make it do her bidding, using it to (in the lore, anyway) get rid of a grumpy lion and stop herself from being killed in an avalanche. But how about in the game?
These are her abilities:
Passive: Rock Surfing
When not in combat Taliyah will move faster if she's near a wall. Essentially, by hugging the sides of a lane she can move faster and the animation makes it look like the ground turns into a surf board.
Q: Threaded Volley
Active: When you use this Taliyah converts bits of the ground around her into projectiles and sends five stone shards flying in a target direction. The circle around her which marks the area she used for the ability looks a bit different for a few minutes. in this slightly mangled state it's referred to as Worked Ground. If you cast Q again on Worked Ground you only get a single projectile out of it on account of the ground being depleted as a resource, I guess. Given the depletion lasts a few minutes I'd say it'll need careful deployment in the laning phase to stay effective.
Passive: When Taliyah runs over Worked Ground she gets a movement speed boost
W: Seismic Shove
For this one you sort of use the ground to punt someone in a direction. You click on the ground where you want to cast it and after a second or two it pings whichever enemies are standing on that point into the air. The delay between casting the ability and someone being launched into the air can be used to cast the spell in a particular direction. So you click once to cast, then can click again if you want to direct it. Apparently you can use it to throw champions over walls so I'm thinking there could be some neat clutch getaways as you launch pursuers into a jungle camp.
E: Unraveled Earth
This one throws out a cone of boulders which do damage as she chucks them then they shudder and explode after a few seconds. I'm thinking this one would be good for wave clear as well as zoning or dealing damage in an area.
R: Weaver's Wall
This one sends a rock wall chuntering through the rift in a line. Kind of like Earthshaker's wall in Dota 2 but instead of it just being like this big immovable rock sausage he whacks onto the table it's more of an unfurling thing, like something's tunneling under the rift and raising a hump of earth as is does. Pressing R again while you channel the ability means that when it starts you'll be on top, riding it in that target direction. If she takes damage or inputs a move command the ability ends early. So basically it's a way of blocking escape routes and coralling the enemy, combined with swift transportation.
One of the more obvious synergies here is that you can use her shove to knock someone into the boulder bombs. She seems a pushy kind of character from these abilities, and I'm wondering if the way Threaded Volley works is designed to make people move her around the map, lane swapping and split pushing. I mean, her passive should mean it's relatively easy to get back into lane or head to a new one after you go back to base without needing to burn a teleport or anything.
I am looking forward to seeing this suggestion from the champion reveal page play out too:
"They're fighting Baron but taking lots of damage? Sweet: simply line up your ult to wall off the Baron pit with them in it, sealing the squishies in the oven to prepare a delicious feast for your teammates."
Just as an aside before I wrap this up (and by "wrap this up" I mean "go and watch the developer stream about Taliyah") I wanted to note that between Taliyah and Illaoi (and Rek'Sai and Kalista back in 2014) I feel like Riot are rounding out the female League Of Legends lineup a bit better. They're still being outnumbered by dudes on the release schedule but this is a really promising trajectory right now in terms of just having an interesting bunch to pick from.