Variety is the spice of life is a saying that is especially true when it comes to MOBAs where the main draw are the dozens of unique champions you have at your disposal.
But do you think it’s easy coming up with cool character designs and innovative kits every couple of months? Who can blame fine, hard-working developers for phoning it in every once in a while. Or conversely, swing so hard for the fences that reality rips and a bizarre new champion pops out.
Featuring picks from both sides of the spectrum, here are the 10 most absurd characters you’ll find in MOBAs.
10. Techies – Dota 2
Technically three characters in one, Squee, Spleen, and Spoon make up Techies, Dota’s resident explosion enthusiasts. Riding around on a mine cart and wielding a bazooka, Techies ruin their opponent’s day by placing a plethora of mines to deny movement and control objectives.
And even if their enemies do make it through the maze of traps, the Techies can always blow themselves up before they’re killed and take a few with them.
9. Ivern – League of Legends
Lovingly dubbed the “Tree Daddy” by the countless junglers he’s boosted to Platinum, Ivern Bramblefoot has an unorthodox approach to roaming the Jungle. Instead of slaying innocent wolves, dogs and birds for their buffs, this friendly Treant can a grow a grove around the camp and will then gain the same benefits from freeing the monsters as other junglers get from killing them.
Fortunately, his restriction against killing innocent wildlife does not extend to enemy champions who are fair game for Ivern’s forest-y might.
8. Cho’Gall – Heroes of the Storm
Two heads are better than one, which is doubly true when it comes to HotS’s resident Ogre Magi. Possibly the only two-player MOBA champion, the left-side head, Cho controls movement and the body’s melee attacks, but his brother Gall is the brains of the operation with access to spells. While Cho’Gall takes up two character slots on your team, with good coordination, you and your partner can become an unstoppable army of two.
7. Tahm Kench – League of Legends
There are some characters that really make you wonder how they went all the way from conception, to design, to production without anyone commenting on how absurd the basic idea was to begin with.
Tahm Kench is a giant catfish monster with a top hat.
It's a little unclear what Kench actually is in Riot's infamously malleable lore, perhaps there's a Runeterran equivalent to New Orleans in the Vastayan regions of Ionia. Kench's 50-word bio only states that he's a "River Demon" that travels around rivers eating people and occasionally makes deals that "will most assuredly end in the depths of despair." Real great advertising there, Tahm.
Don't bother going too deep into the lore on this one. Whatever conclusions you come to will probably be retconned in a week.
6. Ratatoskr – Smite
Smite is all about the clash of the most powerful Gods and spirits from thousands of years human mythology…and then there’s Ratatoskr, who is for all intents and purposes, a squirrel.
In Norse mythology, the World Tree Yggdrasil links all planes of existence with the eagle Veðrfölnir at the top and the dragon Niddhogg at the bottom. Ratatoskr runs up and down the trunk trading what are probably Xbox Live-level jibes and insults between the two.
Naturally, his kit is heavily acorn-themed, with Ratatoskr’s boot slot replaced by an Acorn of Yggdrasil which he can upgrade to increase his movement speed and power. You seriously can’t make this stuff up.
5. Dr. Mundo – League of Legends
It’s hard enough becoming a doctor, with the seven years of schooling, residency and fooling around with peoples’ insides and all that. You’d think it would be even harder to get and maintain a medical license when you’re a purple monster man who’s been investigated for murder multiple times.
However, according to the good Dr. Mundo’s official bio, “By the time he had legally acquired his license to practice medicine, he had been acquitted of thirty-eight separate charges of murder by the Zaun authorities; the lack of evidence made prosecution impossible.”
Okay fine, there wasn’t enough evidence. However, as Ian Fleming wrote, “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. 38 times means he’s probably a murderer and shouldn’t be practicing medicine.”
4. Probius – Heroes of the Storm
In the course of StarCraft esports, countless Protoss probes lost their lives to early Zerg Rushes, cut down before Zealots could be warped in to defend the defenceless.
In Heroes of the Storms, probes got a chance to strike back in the form of Probius, the “Curious Probe.” Don’t let it’s small stature fool you, Probius is currently one of the best specialists in the game thanks to his ability to warp in structures like Pylons and Photon Cannons.
If you’re a StarCraft exile looking to see what these new-fangled MOBAs are all about, you’ll be right at home with Probius.
3. Meepo – Dota 2
Look at this face. Really look at it.
Is this a face anyone but Abed could love? On top of being ugly enough to make Moe Szyslak retch in disgust, Meepo is one of the most mechanically difficult heroes in the game thanks to his ultimate which creates three clones of himself, each of which has to be controlled manually.
2. Krypto the Super Dog – Infinite Crisis
DC’s extremely short-lived MOBA Infinite Crisis may have been about as successful as Suicide Squad’s critical reception, but at the very least it gave you a chance to play as Superman’s trustworthy canine companion, Krypto the Super Dog.
A support character with the ability to toss out a bone as a vision ward and then charge towards it to deal damage to opponents, Krypto’s kit of buffs and debuffs proved that he truly is a Kryptonian’s best friend.
1. Teemo – League of Legends
Let’s face it, no one else was going to grab the top spot. When he was released all the way back in 2009, nobody would have thought that this cute little Yordle scout would be the most toxic champion to ever terrorize Summoners’ Rift. Mountains of salt have been mined after getting bushwhacked by Teemo’s arsenal of poison darts, mushrooms and unrelenting cuteness.
Riot has definitely hinted at his notoriety within the community, with skins like Omega Squad Teemo, which transforms the Yordle into a battle-scarred veteran with a liberal attitude towards war crimes, and Little Devil Teemo which literally makes him Satan.
Honorable Mention: Jinx – League of Legends
Like, she's just Harley Quinn. That's it. Her actual passive is an immunity to copyright suits and inspiring mediocre cosplays.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.
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