After Braum was released, Riot promised us that the next champion release would be a Top laner. I was fairly excited. Even though I knew it wasn’t going to turn out this way, but I was really hoping it was going to be Ao Shin. Visually, he would have been something totally different to the Top lane. But, that would end up not to be. Instead we got Gnar, the Missing Link.
Unfortunately I am not on the PBE so I can’t speak as to how Gnar’s kit plays out. I am mainly going to speaking relatively based of what I see from his reveal page and some PBE Youtube videos I’ve seen.
Gnar is another champion without mana as a resource. While it’s referred to as “rage,” it seems to function look a lot like Fury, the resource that Tryndamere, Renekton, and Shyvana all use. While in combat, Gnar builds up his rage bar. Once it is filled Gnar’s next ability transforms him into Mega Gnar. As Mega Gnar, Gnar gains bonus armor, magic resist, health, and attack damage at the expense of movement speed, attack speed, and attack range.
This means that we get another transformation Top laner. While Jayce and Nidalee have the option to change forms, Gnar’s will happen as he builds up meter. This will make for an interesting laning phase. Sure, Mega Gnar is beefy and dishes out the pain but he is extremely immobile. Mobility is pretty favored in the meta right now so I can see in the early laning phase holding back Gnar’s aggression in favor of the ability to be mobile and poke.
Gnar’s Q functions very similarly to Sivir’s Q Boomerang Blade. Gnar throws his boomerang and applies a slow on the first enemy it hits. As it returns, it slows down dealing reduced damage to enemies in its path. If Gnar catches it, he reduces Boomerang Throw’s cooldown significantly.
As Mega Gnar the ability becomes Boulder Toss. Gnar throws a boulder that damages the first target in the boulder’s path. It also damages near by enemies.
This is skill is pretty nifty. The slow will be great for surviving ganks and lane aggression. Seeing as how most of Gnar’s kit is built around mobility, Boomerang Throw seems a perfect fit as it will allow him to kite. As Mega Gnar, I see Boulder Toss as functioning like Mundo’s Infected Cleaver or Olaf’s Undertow. The on hit slow will give Gnar a lot of chase potential.
Gnar’s W is a secondary passive. Hyper causes every third auto attack or ability against a target to deal a percentage of max health as magic damage. When Hyper triggers, or when Mega Gnar transforms back into Mini Gnar, he gains a moderate movement speed boost that decays over time.
As Mega Gnar, his W becomes Wallop. Gnar will slam his fists into the ground dealing damage and briefly stunning all enemies in front of him.
Hyper will be Gnar’s bread and butter. As we’ve seen with the popularity of champions like Kog’Maw and items like Blade of the Ruin King, percentile health damage is pretty great. And consider the Top lane is home to tanks and beefy champions, Hyper will give Gnar the ability to shred through his lane opponent. Wallop seems like it could be a great Flash skill. Flash into the enemy backline and then Wallop for the stun. If Crunch’s range wasn’t so short, this would be a great constant initiation tactic.
Hop is pretty nifty mobility skill. Gnar will jump in a direction and gain a moderate attack speed boost. If Gnar lands on a unit, he bounces, hoping again in the same direction. If he hops onto an enemy unit, he also damages and slows them.
As Mega Gnar, his E becomes Crunch. Gnar launches himself in a target direction, damaging and slowing all enemies he lands directly on.
I am hoping Hop has a relatively low cooldown. As somewhat squishy champion, Gnar is going to have to rely on his range and mobility to survive the early stages of the game. With Hop and Boomerang Throw, Gnar should be able to avoid most ganks fairly easily. With Wallop as a set up, Crunch can be a devastating hit. Also, if you time those two ability towards the end of Mega Gnar you will give Mini Gnar plenty of time to get away and play the poke game again.
Gnar tosses all enemies around him in a target direction. All enemies thrown are slowed and dealt damage, while enemies thrown into walls, including turrets and base structures, suffer extra damage and are stunned. This move just looks so sweet. Much like Shyvana’s Dragon’s Descent, I can see this just being a tide turning team fight ultimate. I hope it’s a got a descent hop to it. If not, I can see people holding onto Flash to make great use of GNAR!.
I have told most of my friends I am not a huge fan of Gnar. The thought of a squishy Top laner who sometimes is beefy seems pretty mediocre to me. I do like the fact that Gnar is highly mobile and almost all of his abilities apply slow. This will give both forms a large amount of chase potential. I can see building Gnar with a lot of health. So a build with Mercury’s Treads, Warmog’s Armor, Frozen Mallet, Randuin’s Omen, Banshee’s Veil, and Blade of the Ruin King. I know this build seems really expensive, but with all the health this build will keep Mini Gnar alive while giving Mega Gnar to be a super beefy front liner when he is around.