It’s been quite a while since we’ve had the opportunity to explore the design space of a true melee carry in League of Legends. Fiora, the Grand Duelist, is our first all-out take on this type of champion since our initial launch, and our new addition to this role has let us really focus on a particular aspect: speed.
Not content to leave melee to the guys with oversized weapons, Fiora makes up for it in raw agility and lightning speed, using a fencer’s grace to shred opponents apart and keep herself in the fight. One way she utilizes this is by parrying her enemy’s attacks if she times it right. Parrying returns damages in the same swipe, making enemies think twice before directing attacks at her.
A melee carry must consider how to engage a fight, such as when to attack and how to stay on important targets with stuns, slows and snares flying around the battlefield. Fiora doesn’t deal with these by being immune to crowd control, or being too stubborn to lose that last bit of health – that would be uncouth. Instead, her Blade Waltz moves her from target to target at light speed, making her so fast that no spell or weapon can lay a hand on her during its duration. Popping Blade Waltz early will give Fiora some additional up-front burst, but will leave her vulnerable to burst damage and counter attacks. This “de-aggro” timing is an important choice that can result in either a swift death or a Pentakill.
While all carries have a boost to help their auto attacks get the job done, Burst of Speed has a high effect, very short duration, and a moderate cooldown. To compensate this higher opportunity cost, it refreshes when Fiora runs an enemy through. This not only makes Fiora players consider their timing as when to use this powerful buff, but her enemies can also deny her the opportunity by saving their escapes and disables for when this is up, suppressing her massive damage increase.
Being a melee carry is no longer a boy’s club – Fiora adds grace, class and a rapier wit to the group. While she may not be as large or overbearing as her contemporaries, underestimating her is an often fatal mistake.
As the youngest child of the noble House Laurent, Fiora always considered herself destined for greatness. The Laurents had dominated the dueling culture of Demacia's aristocracy for centuries, and Fiora's father was regarded as one of the finest swordsmen the nation had ever seen. Inspired by his tales of glory, Fiora began training as soon as she could wield a blade and quickly showed greater talent than any of her siblings. As she grew older, her self-confidence and rigid discipline only widened the gulf of expertise between Fiora and her peers. Her fellow duelists perceived her confidence as arrogance, but none could defeat her in combat, and each victory only heightened her lofty self-esteem. Even so, Fiora never allowed herself to become complacent in her training, and she drove herself ever harder to become a worthy successor to her father's legacy.
Her devotion turned out to be misplaced. On the eve of an arranged duel, Fiora's father was caught slipping a slow paralysis poison into his opponent's drink. Following the incident, many of his past opponents came forward with their own accusations: envenomed weapons, bribery, blackmail, and more. In an instant, he had destroyed his family's honorable reputation. Fiora was outraged. Not only had her hero betrayed her ideals, but Demacia's dueling elite now doubted her own ability. She desperately wanted to wipe the stain from her family's history but, even more, she wanted the world to acknowledge her mastery. She found her solution in the one arena where she could fight the world's strongest warriors without being accused of dishonesty: the League of Legends.
“Fiora’s ego would be insufferable if it wasn’t so . . . justified.” – Jarvan IV