The League’s newest jungler has been released, and this furry creature is more than just a cute face. He’s got a fun skill set and decent passive that make him a fun character to play. I got the chance to play Gnar, the Missing Link and was pretty impressed.
I always get excited to see a new jungler (albeit not as excited as when a new support comes out) because the skill set always feels a bit more unique than your standard Ability Power or Tank. Gnar has two forms, a mini form and a mega form. He uses a rage meter that builds up during combat that will be used to become mega (more on that later).
Right off the bat the Q move got my attention. It’s a standard skill shot called Boomerang Throw as Mini Gnar and Boulder Throw as Mega Gnar. Both add a slow to whatever enemy they hit, as well as dealing damage. Each also has the option of cooldown reduction by catching the boomerang or picking up the boulder, making this delightfully quick.
The W is a passive that deals additional damage depending on the target’s max health. Oh baby. On top of that it can be activated for a speed boost. As Mega Gnar this becomes a stun move in a decently sized area.
The E is my favorite, simply called Hop. This allows Gnar to jump, with a bonus that if he lands on any unit he continues bouncing and deals damage to enemy units. I abused this ability to the fullest while jungling. As Mega Gnar, he adds more damage.
The Ultimate ability really rounds out this bad boy. It’s only available as Mega Gnar but throws all enemies around him, with stuns if they hit a wall. This is essential for team fights if you can enter them as Mega Gnar. Hop on in and BAM.
Finally, some words on the passive. This will make him a popular character, if you haven’t been convinced. Rage Gene builds up his rage meter during combat and once it’s filled his next activated ability allows him to go Super Saiyan (Mega Gnar). Bonuses to virtually everything kick in until the rage meter depletes, restarting the whole cycle. Timing this can be difficult, especially if you want to be mega for the team fights or Baron/Dragon. This was much easier to do in top lane games, but getting rage from jungle creatures can be hard. Hop comes in handy especially in the jungle, but I had also faced a Gnar jungler who didn’t use it as much as I.
There are some downsides to Gnar, however. Firstly, the difficulty. Now this isn’t a bad thing with practice, but jungling the first time will be tricky. Rage is a tricky thing to get nailed down and this guy doesn’t have a huge amount of health, making Mega form important to be in when going up against some of the tougher champs.