To be clear, I’m not advocating for the removal of Quinn’s current ultimate — for every one of us that misses old Valor, there are just as many who love the current ult too.
That said, I do think having the ability to play as Valor was an integral part of the champion, and it should return in some form — but not at the expense of her current ult.
In 2019, a Rioter responded to the idea of a partial ult revert with the statement that it “would require some pretty compelling reasons for a revert”. However, as someone who’s made countless threads on the old League forums, several Reddit discussions, multiple “Ask Riot” submissions, and even memes on the topic for the past few years, sharing these reasons has felt akin to shouting into an abyss. So, this is my final effort to bring back Valor, and I hope the following reasons are strong enough to support his return as a playable melee unit.
Quinn is the archetypal fantasy ranger, and rangers are typically proficient in both melee and ranged combat. Designing the champion to fight from both afar and in close quarters would strengthen her theme as a Demacian ranger that’s prepared for any situation.
Playing as an animal companion and seeing through their eyes is a staple of the ranger fantasy. You see it across games like WoW, D&D, and Assassin’s Creed — each of these offers the player a chance to act through their beast. As it turns out, animals really resonate with people, and giving them the chance to play as one serves as a cool moment in video games!
and her legendary eagle, Valor, share an unbreakable bond, and their foes are often slain before they realize they are fighting not one, but two of the kingdom's greatest heroes."This crucial aspect of Quinn’s lore has existed since her release, but no longer feels true in her gameplay. Valor’s shown to be capable of taking down fully armored soldiers on his own in several of Quinn’s stories, and is hinted at being a reincarnation of her twin brother — but his main contributions in game involve ferrying Quinn around and appearing on screen for half a second to mark enemies. Quinn’s kit just doesn’t do justice to the deadly, sapient warhawk Valor actually is in the League canon.
Quinn needs mechanics outside of just “right click the bullseye”. While not every champion should be Aphelios levels of complex, I think you could make the argument Quinn's mechanics are quite flat and would benefit from having more interesting combat patterns. Introducing a skill test of “should I stay back and deal damage from a safe distance, or dive in for a quick assassination?” would provide some depth to the champion's kit without excessively raising her difficulty bar.
"Marksman that transforms into a speedy melee assassin" is an awesome opportunity space that’s currently unoccupied. While we do have several marksmen with similarly risky and high octane playstyles, like Kai’Sa and Samira, Quinn would be uniquely defined by her melee transformation that provides powerful roaming and scouting tools.
It gave Quinn’s gameplay a high moment akin to activating a Riven or Vayne ult. There was something very visceral and satisfying about suddenly going from a kiting ranged marksman to a swift melee assassin, and flying in to claw someone’s face off as Valor — not only due to the accompanying visuals and sound effects, but also because it served as a cool high moment in Quinn’s gameplay that’s now missing from her current iteration.
Valor was the only "bird of prey"-style champion in League. While there are many bird characters in the game, none of them fulfill the fantasy of a swift and lethal avian that roams the skies and dives down on their enemies. This niche has been missing in the game ever since Quinn’s rework.
Quinn and Valor were the only duo in League that allowed you to play as both characters. Unlike Nunu and Willump or Lamb and Wolf, Q&V had their own individual attacks, skills, and in-game portraits. They were one of the strongest and most unique duo designs in League because you could play as either one or the other. And while the old ult did need some work to make Valor truly feel like an individual character (i.e. giving him his own abilities rather than melee versions of Quinn's), it was still a better version of the duo concept than the one in game today.
- The current ult animation looks silly. Seriously, if there's one thing I think most players could agree on, it's this. While we can probably forgive the idea of a falconry bird carrying a fully-armored woman due to League being a fantasy setting, the way it looks in game doesn't even come close to the beautiful animations we used to have while flying and attacking as Valor.
- Many League players loved the old ultimate — even those who don’t regularly play Quinn. As someone who spends a fair bit of time discussing and reading feedback about the champion, I tend to see a lot of comments asking for Valor as a playable character again. And while every rework will inevitably create a set of players that want a return to their old iteration, Quinn’s in a unique position where Riot can satisfy her split playerbase with relatively low-scope changes.
So, what’s the solution?
Outside of a full VGU — which could still be years away given her recent results on the rework poll — I truly believe a partial revert to Quinn’s ult would be the best compromise for both new and old Quinn players, at least until she does receive that full VGU. Let us play as melee Valor again, but keep the channel upon casting the ult, and preserve the speedy, low-cooldown roaming that newer Quinn players love. Scrap the pre-rework AoE execute and make Valor function as a scout that finishes off Quinn’s prey once she’s whittled them down to low health. That way, those who preferred the old ult can finally play as Valor again, and those who prefer the new one can still have those unparalleled map rotations that only Quinn has to offer.
With Riot planning on updating some older champions that need love with small-scope reworks like Rammus’s upcoming one, this may be the best time to tackle Quinn and Valor's issues once and for all. I really hope we'll see our favorite Demacian eagle return as the swift melee assassin he always should have been.
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