Gwen, the Hallowed Seamstress Champion Breakdown
Gwen, the Hallowed Seamstress, is the latest addition to the ever-growing LoL champion roster, and she’s quite an interesting one, too! So, as always, let’s do a full breakdown of her ability kit and talk about the many ways in which she might affect the game going forward. Also, we’ll touch on pro play ever so slightly as that’s where we expect her strengths to shine brightest!
There’s a lot of ground to cover in our Gwen champion breakdown, so let’s begin!
Gwen Champion Breakdown | Ability Kit
Passive: “Thousand Cuts” — Gwen’s basic attacks always deal bonus on-hit magic damage based on the percentage of her target’s maximum HP. So, frankly, if you’re up against a tank in the top lane, you’ll probably have a good time. Plus, as if that wasn’t enough, her basic attacks (against champions) will also heal her for some of the damage dealt.
Overall, a very potent and quite simple passive ability.
Q: “Snip Snip!” — Gwen rapidly snips her oversized scissors between two and six times, dealing magic damage in a cone in front of her. She’ll always snip twice at a minimum and add snip per basic attack that she managed to land on her target before activating the ability. All enemies caught in the center of this snipping spree will take true damage, along with additional bonus magic damage from her passive “Thousand Cuts.”
W: “Hallowed Mist” — Gwen conjures up a fairly transparent mist around her for five seconds, gaining a bit of armor and magic resistance in the process. Enemies outside of the mist cannot target Gwen or even hit her with any of their abilities. The mist will follow Gwen as she moves but only for the first time she tries to leave it and then dissipate over time.
You don’t need anyone to tell you just how bonkers this ability truly is. Being impervious to incoming skillshots, abilities, and crowd control is pretty much the dream of any top laner. This also means that ganking Gwen won’t always be possible — great if you’re the one piloting her, and downright abysmal if you’re on the opposing team.
E: “Skip ‘n Slash” — Gwen dashes a short distance and empowers her attacks with increased range, attack speed, and even a bit of bonus oh-hit magic damage for four seconds. If you attack an enemy during this period, you’ll refund 50% of the ability’s cooldown too! This isn’t exactly her most important ability, but it’s still hugely valuable and will allow her to traverse the Rift and reposition with ease!
R: “Needlework” — Gwen’s ultimate is a very simple one by design. Once proc’d, she’ll fire needles in a straight line and deal magic damage, slow enemy targets, and apply her passive as well. The interesting part is that Gwen can cast her ultimate up to three times, but she has to hit an enemy target within eight seconds to unlock each subsequent cast.
“Needlework” is quite an anti-climactic ultimate. Now, this was almost surely done for balancing reasons. The rest of her kit is already insane. Having a spectacular ultimate would almost certainly mean Riot would have to nerf her to the ground mere weeks after release — as was so often the case in the past with so many champion releases of yore. Still, it’s a somewhat perplexing ultimate that isn’t all that flashy, nor does it allow for any noticeable skill expression.
Still, it’s perfectly serviceable and seems fairly balanced as well, although we’ll have to reserve judgment until we see it in action!
Gwen Champion Breakdown | Pro Play Implications
First of all, the fact that Gwen is an AP top lane bruiser (who’ll almost surely see play in the mid lane as well) is downright fantastic. This will allow for a bit of experimentation in the draft. She’ll immediately become a flex pick. Having AP in top could usher in a different kind of mid lane meta as well.
Her abilities are fast, impactful, and most of them allow for skill expression, too. This means some of the best top laners in the world will almost certainly pick her up and start dominating beyond reason. She’s also a bona fide glass cannon. Having a bit of protection built into her W was pretty much a necessity. It’s undoubtedly a mighty powerful ability, but it’s also one that’ll be fairly easy to balance.
As far as pro play is concerned, Gwen is guaranteed to make an appearance. By the looks of it, she’s bound to leave a mark, too!
Finally, if you’re a fan of letters and the overarching League of Legends backstory, make sure to give Gwen’s lore a read. It’s packed with interesting tidbits! Gwen will hit live servers alongside patch 11.8 (in two weeks), but you can test her abilities on the PBE, should you be so inclined!