K’Sante from LoL was inspired by the anime Dragon Ball Z. It’s a tank that wasn’t there yet

League of Legends’ newest champion was expected to change the image of tanks in the game.

K’Sante, Pride of Nazumah, LoL’s newest champion has been generating a lot of interest and controversy lately. Today, the community already knows his appearance, history, splash art or skills. Initially, players focused on the character’s lore and his romantic relationship with a certain archer. However, when Riot revealed the character’s skills, the discussion started focusing on them.

According to some, K’Sante has an exaggerated skill set. However, the creators think otherwise. According to them, this is a deliberate procedure, as the character is supposed to change the perception of tanks in League of Legends.

The newest hero is supposed to be unique in his own way and provide a unique gameplay experience. Moreover, he is inspired by the cult anime – Dragon Ball Z.

A unique tank from League of Legends

Riot has long promised the upper lane mains that it will introduce a hero that will change the approach to the tank class. The breakthrough champion is about to be K’Sante.

The newest champion can change his style of play. Maneuver between the stoic form of a defender to support his team, and an aggressive fighter who shows dominance on Summoner’s Rift.

The developers want anyone who plays K’Sante to feel his flexibility in terms of gameplay. League of Legends characters are often designed with role diversity in mind – especially in 2022 when Riot is encouraging off-meta build.

The newest character shows this in a refreshed way, as he draws from both old tactics and introduces something new. It has a dual play style reminiscent of characters such as Jayce, Elise, and Nidalee, but without the easy change of form as is their case.

The head of the new character project, Jacob Crouch, said:

He fills in two positions ⁠which is normal for League of Legends characters, but K’Sante does it more directly. He is both a Warden and a Skirmisher, and he takes these roles on in stages.

His identity revolves around this transformation where he is a tank but he can turn into something that kills you. The dream is he fulfills both these roles fluidly. He goes from saving his teammates diving them, protecting his friends, to having this unique skill to duel with the people who are trying to dive them.

This is a really interesting proposition for a role that for years has been regarded as rather low in skill. Typical tankers are associated by League of Legends players with a walking shield or cannon meat. Their purpose is to take damage rather than showcase advanced skills, and the newest character is set to change that.

K’Sante fills a niche of people who want to do more than just protect the team from enemy fire. However, he is not a character created just for tank enthusiasts. According to the creators, he is also attractive to other players who would like to prove themselves in battles using various tricks.

Interestingly, Riot admits that during development it was inspired by the cult anime that many players grew up on – Dragon Ball Z. What exactly is it about? Jacob Crouch further stated:

Eventually we took inspiration from anime like Dragon Ball Z ⁠— you hit someone through a mountain, spike them down on the ground, and the epic duel starts from there.

Riot says K’Sante will be a good choice for Yasuo fans. Like the much-loved champion, Pride of Nazumah can also prove himself in team fights in a spectacular way. This is all thanks to his skill set, especially the ultimate skill.

However, the hero’s super-skill comes at a price. K’Sante gains a lot in terms of damage but loses a certain percentage of his maximum health, as well as additional armor and magic resistance. The enhancements allow him to survive in battles if the player who directs him knows what he is doing. Proper use of the champion’s advantages, as well as weaknesses, will not only defeat opponents but also gain the respect of the team.

Crouch admits that the inspiration of Dragon Ball has made the newest hero reach a certain turning point in combat. He’s like Goku, who transforms into a Super Saiyan for one last effort in the final battle.

It’s a conscious decision to go all the way. Sometimes it’s better to just hold back, let your allies shine and protect them to do their own thing. But when the situation calls for it, the player must be able to give it his all and destroy his enemies single-handedly.

There’s a lot of tension within K’Sante. Do you use your abilities as a Warden to protect or do I want to go into my All Out form and try to 1v1 this diver? There’s a lot of tough decisions that K’Sante has to make in very short periods of time, he’s a very precise character.

The developers acknowledge that the character has many powerful tools for combat, but that using them incompetently will contribute to defeat. Players need to know when to use specific skills and whether to do it as a tank or as a fighter.

That’s the tension between ‘I need to save my carries but I need to save my abilities for All Out’ and a lot of tension from that led to us refreshing his abilities so he gets multiple uses of it. He gets one in tank form and one in All Out.

All this leaves one question: for whom is K’Sante really intended? Appealing to two different game styles at once is a bold play. It turns out that Riot had a full plan here, and was targeting a specific group of people who not only value high skill, but also considerable influence on the gameplay.

We always had this goal of having a character who appeals to more resource heavy players in the tank role. Someone who plays Yasuo or Riven or more carry-oriented characters with high skill high APM ⁠— we wanted to give them an option in the tank role.

Maybe you’re autofilled top lane or your team picks a bunch of champions that can’t fulfill tanking duties so it falls on you but you like the hype playmaking characters. K’Sante now offers that experience for you to pick up and enjoy.