Nidalee is the next golden child of the new Legends of Runeterra expansion.
Legends of Runeterra has a history of redesigning outdated champions, and, to some extent, expanding the lore of champions which are released more in tune with their League of Legends counterparts. Champions such as Annie, Seraphine and Aatrox got real updates to their stories, with many fans claiming Seraphine is much better represented in the card game. Meanwhile, other champions were completely redesigned visually, such as Caitlyn, who arrived in LoR with her new sheriff redesign which would later reach League, and Udyr, which, to the dismay of many, had a different design than what he became in League later on.
At each LoR expansion, many players outside the card game community, such as the lore-focused community and the visual-focused community, keep an eye out for Legends of Runeterra's new cards with hopes another outdated champion gets a new story or new clothes. Legends of Runeterra is constantly praised for its expansion of the lore and visuals, and many claim it is the testing grounds for anything canon that might be incorporated in any other games from Riot.
The latest Legends of Runeterra expansion, however, brought a pretty significant redesign and love to an old fan favorite: Nidalee.
For any League veterans, Nidalee has been an iconic figure in the game. A shapeshifting huntress who defends the weak and ambushes her prey with lethal accuracy, Nidalee has been worked on for quite some years now. The first real change to her story was when Ixtal was introduced in the Runeterra geography, and became the home for this huntress, Rengar, Zyra, Ivern and many others.
As one of League's oldest designs, Nidalee has always struggled to find her place visually. After Ixtal was introduced and the map was updated, Nidalee got an alternative design on the old Runeterra map website which showed a very different take on the character.
Just this year, Nidalee's voice actress, Kelly Burge, was invited back into the League studios to update some of the champion's voice lines. And now, after this long journey, Nidalee has come home with an entirely new design, in Legends of Runeterra.
The new design steps into Nidalee's animal nature more, giving her animal ears, new clothes, and a badass Puma shape, much bigger than the original one. The green tattoos on her human arms are a part of her big cat form, and the design altogether brings a new feel of how Nidalee is where wilderness and humanity meet.
This isn't the only thing done for Nidalee for "The Heart of the Huntress" Legends of Runeterra expansion. A promotion of the expansion online had legendary sculputor-made-Twitch-streamer Christopher Notbush carve Nidalee live on his Twitch channel. He's still sculpting at the time of this article, so don't miss out on watching this amazing display of artistry!
There was also a new exclusive song created for Nidalee, a partnership between Riot, Brain Tan and Abigail Osborn, called "Shine On", which was released just this Wednesday, the 21st, on YouTube.
It seems Nidalee is pretty much ready to get a redesign on League based on all these changes. Fans have already begun calling for a new League model for her on online forums, though any news on that is still yet to come from Riot's part.
You can check out the full song below: