Udyr Buffs: Can the Former King Recapture his Glory?

So Udyr is getting a few buffs thrown his way and people's reactions to them are mixed. Some see it as an overall nerf and some see it as a buff. I do see some as nerfs and I see some as buffs and I see some that people think are nerfs as just changes. I'll give you my opinions on the new Udyr.

I'll breakdown Udyr's buffs and nerfs into lists and then individually talk about them.


- (Bear) Movement speed increase
- (Bear) Mana cost reduction
- (Bear) No Minion Collision
- (Bear) Tiny Gap Closing Bear Slap
- (Monkey) Movement Speed - stacking
- (Phoenix) Vomits fire in the first attack in addition to normal
- (Phoenix) Ratio increased on Phoenix fire vomit
- (Phoenix) Mana cost reduction
- (Tiger) Mana cost reduction
- (Turtle) Attacks can crit now
- (Turtle) Base value increase
- (Turtle) Mana cost reduction


- (Bear) Wording changed to "basic attacks" instead of "mauls target"
- (Bear) Duration nerfed
- (Monkey) Resistances removed
- (Phoenix) Small AP ratio reduction on fire aura
- (Phoenix) AP and AD bonus removed
- (Turtle) No more mana restore

Controversial Change

- (Tiger) Damage changed to physical damage instead of magic

First things first while it may seem to favor buffs over nerfs it's not the quantity that matters it's the quality! Let's go into what the buffs and nerfs all mean.

Overall mana cost reduction

This one is pretty much a no brainer. Udyr has always had mana issues and this will certainly help him with his dismal mana pool early. Not much else to say here except that it's a simple yet very welcome change. It is very necessary due to the nerf on Turtle.

Mobility increase

Udyr now gains stacking movement speed from his passive alongside the fact that Bear's movement speed bonus was also increased. If you combine this with the fact that Bear now ignores unit collision and has a mini gap closer tacked on it Udyr's ganking power, chasing power and even dueling power has increased ten fold. He's very mobile now and may even be able to maintain 3 stacks of his passive while traveling through camps if he does it right thus increasing his clearing speed as well.

Turtle mode can crit now

This is actually one of the more potentially powerful buffs for Udyr. The base value has increased too but it's rather negligible. The point is he can crit now and Udyr would, at best, only build a little bit of crit through Trinity Force. This buff, in combination with another will open up a potentially powerful build path for him.

Phoenix activates on first attack now (also AP ratio increase)

Alright this one is very important for multiple reasons. First it will increase his clearing potential due to the bonus damage being quicker - it's as simple as that. Second it will greatly increase the ganking power of Phoenix as the powerful damage is now frontloaded in addition to working normally. The movement speed increase from the passive will make it easier for Udyr to do this too. It will also make Udyr's stand dancing with Phoenix a lot more spammable as you don't have to worry about counting your attacks before switching.

However the potential interaction with turtle is what interests me at the moment. I almost feel it can be enhanced by items such as Nashor's Tooth to create Udyr into a glorious split pushing machine. I know he can already do this but it would be ridiculous to send him over the edge. As for Turtle - you can build a Shiv on him and not waste the crit stance while you're boxing in Turtle. You can swap between Turtle and Phoenix non stop while pushing and stay at high health while grinding down minions thanks to the combination of Phoenix fire breath on first attack, the fire aura that stays when you switch and shiv. Also remember that Turtle has an AP ratio as well. Phoenix + Turtle have always had more synergy than Tiger + Turtle.

Negligible numbers nerfs

The .05 nerf on the Phoenix fire aura is so diminutive it's hardly worth mentioning. It's completely overwhelmed by the instant fire breath. The bear duration reduction is also not too important seeing as you often just spam that spell and it only affects the later ranks.

Monkey resistances removed

I have mixed feelings about this nerf. On one hand its replacement is so good and you never really noticed the resistances until much later in the game yet being tanky and taking a barrage of hell during a fight would help you with the fact that you will be taking more damage than you should due to being melee and having no gap closer. It's a nerf those to his tankiness but I feel the trade is definitely better.

Turtle mana restore removed

They compensated this nerf with reduced mana costs but it really isn't enough if you're laning. I think they decided to take a dumb on lane Udyr. I personally won't care much since I jungle but I can understand why people would be upset. This makes items like sheen a lot more attractive on Udyr of course and you might as well purchase Frozen Fist on him considering it's actually really good on him. Overall it's more of a nerf to the lane Udyrs than it is to the junglers.

Phoenix AD and AP bonuses removed

The bonuses were removed though to be honest the weak ratio on Phoenix never really took much advantage of the bonuses Phoenix gave it and the AD was never really all that high at points in the game where it could make a real difference. These nerfs are compensated by the ratio buff on Phoenix and its earlier fire breath buff. It won't affect his clearing speed for those reasons. Most people didn't even know they received these bonuses by they way. It was amusing when people found out "where am I getting this AP/AD?" then I tell them to read Phoenix carefully and they're surprised.

Alright so that takes care of the buffs and nerfs. Overall I think Udyr has received a lot of good buffs that completely negate the nerfs he received. However the next one is what convinces people that it is an overall nerf to Udyr. I have mixed feelings about it but I strongly stand by the fact that UDYR WAS OVERALL BUFFED. It definitely makes him stronger early game than late game but at the very least having more builds options open up will allow his late game options to open up as well.

Tiger damage changed to physical

The Tiger damage change to physical instead of magic affects both the jungle and the lane but moreso the lane. The players who believe it's a nerf are neglecting the fact that Udyr has Phoenix to run around as anyways. Udyr has always been a champion of two forms. His Phoenix was the better tank and overall more efficient while also being the stronger jungler yet Tiger outright slaughtered most opponents and was the better laning spec.

When it came to laning against Udyr, one would have to buy two types of resistances in order to deal with Udyr's Tiger barrage. Now one will have an easier time optimizing vs him in a lane. Players see this as a nerf because Udyr can't bully people as easily anymore.

However there is one thing they're not giving much credit to. Udyr's damage options have always been quite limited (few options) and some of the options he did take were either not fully taken advantage of by him and/or have since been nerfed. The change to physical means he can itemize like the bruisers that exist right now and take advantage of all that delicious armor pen. He can take more cost effective offensive builds now too. Yes it nerfed his laning somewhat but it feels like an overall jungle buff and mid-late game buff instead.

As I said - I think these changes are an overall buff to Udyr. Whether or not Tiger's change ends up nerfing him is still up to practice and experience once he's out but I feel it will end up affecting his laning more than his jungling. Phoenix and Bear still received some glorious buffs while Turtle got a balance nerf while still remaining as strong as ever. Monkey was change more for offense than defense as well. I don't know about you but I really want to try a split pushing Udyr build now with Nashor's and Shiv.

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  • #76 Rochai09

    A lot of people forget that the game is shying away from tanks right now, tank items are expensive, and at least for armor, there are many ways to reduce/pen armor so not only do the offensive items give you offensive stats, but they make the gold that tanks spend get wasted, so you reduce the effectiveness of someones items and gold by buying offense. so with the movespeed it may be better to go heavy on the offense for udyr so you can explode a carry, and get like a randuins and spirit visage for tankiness.

  • #77 NicknameMy

    ... and instantly die before reaching him...

  • #75 NicknameMy

    Lane Tiger Udyr: Blade of the ruined King + Ravenous Hydra + Tank (Spirit Visage + Frozen Heart + Warmog's), early Chalice. Option for The Black Cleaver.

    Jungle Phoenix Udyr: Gauntlet + Wit's + tank (Spirit Visage + Warmog's + Sunfire Cape)

    Last edited by NicknameMy: 3/26/2013 6:19:02 AM
  • #68 Pelikins

    I still can't see Phoenix being competitive.

    AS is more expensive than S2, AP is more expense than S2, Phoenix Udyr is still penalized for switching stances. Phoenix Udyr doesn't have that strong synergy between it's main damage dealing stance and turtle stance like Tiger does. You can prime Phoenix, but it nowhere near as effective as priming Tiger.

    Phoenix doesn't have the objectiving power, the burst on on ganks, the strong late game, you can't maul a carry with pheonix, you can splash the front line...but big deal?... what does it have? I honestly don't think it even clears the jungle as fast as Tiger anymore, it certainly doesn't clear as fast mid game when a Tiger Udyr has a wriggles.

    So what I see here is Tiger probably got a little nerfed, phoenix is still garbage... so Udyr's best build got nerfed: so he got nerfed...

    I like the changes to E, don't get me wrong... I hope the E changes go live and that the pheonix changes go live (or even, something better because these changes don't make pheonix viable IMO). I can even live with Tiger becoming physical. But I hope the passive change and the mana vamp changes don't... If 15 MS is really what Udyr players think is going to make Udyr... there are boots of swiftness, boots of mobility, zephyr, and trinity force for MS boosting options.

    The big claim to this being a buff is that "build paths open up." But I disagree... Nothing has changed. He still only has one or two cost effective items and the rest are really just a hodgepodge mediocre stats on him.

    With these changes, he loses as many build paths as he gains as building tank stats is less effective with his 12% survivability loss.

    Building crit on Udyr is still going to suck... especially phoenix Udyr. Many ADCs don't even build crit because its over costed. Building AP on him might be better, but it's a stretch to say its going to be "good". It's certainly not as effective as on a mage. Really the only thing that makes me say "that's nice" for build path is that now BC on tiger Udyr is pretty strong...

    If you want to make Udyr a desirable champion, make him better late game. Think Rank 6 of his skills.

    Last edited by Pelikins: 3/25/2013 7:41:39 AM
  • #69 Gameguy301
    the point of pheonix after the change is that it deals 475AOE magic damage, with no items at all (its scales harder with AP now too), you can build tank and spam out respectable damage. how many of those can a carry take before he crumbles? how many can a team allow him to dish out before they stop ignoring him? udyr loves CDR as the prominence of the "jatt build" in season 1 and season 2 showed. every 3.6 seconds 475 magic damage? thats better than most spells out there. the average targeted nuke has about a 6 second cooldown for 240 base damage, udyrs pheonix fire is double the damage on the same cooldown oh and AOE.

    jungle objectives have significantly less magic resist compared to armor (some even have negative values) dragon slows attackspeed which hurts both, and baron reduces AD and AP, which pehonix fire is more independant of compared to tiger DOT (which probably has madreds) so another toss up. as for towers tiger will do more damage to the tower but pheonix will push the wave faster.

    as weve argued many a time, you are focusing too much on one ability vs itself, the total package of new udyr vs old udyr is an improvement. new udyr with the old passive would be pretty broken. Faster, more damaging, AND just as hard to kill? not in my game please. I've been an udr player since the day he came out, id like to see him stronger but not banned every game.

    you simply do not like arrows pointing down next to your arrows pointing up, you are fixating on them. those movespeed options you mentioned sacrifice defense to be built, now i can get my movespeed for free and focus on building defense, and considering your love for udyrs old passive i suggest you do the same.

    udyr is loseing defense, and gaining damage and speed for free, whats a melee to do when he gets free damage and speed? build more tanky obviously the other bases are covered for free so spend all your income on beefing up.

    every rework ive seen so far (all of them) have come with a mountain of whining, which is quelled within a few days upon the official release as people realise how the changes translate into real game power, you arefollowing this same trend i have seen it time and again,to my memory the only rework that was a nerf was the twisted fate rework, and riot told us to our faces the intent of that change. (for those that dont know preseason twisted fate was so broken he was banned from tournament use by riot staff so that teams didnt have to waste bans themselves, also bans were done on paper because the draft system wasnt out yet.)
    Last edited by Gameguy301: 3/25/2013 7:52:28 AM
  • #70 Pelikins

    475 damage on one spell is high. But consider that is his ONLY damaging spell (unless you are doing some kind of Tiger+Phoenix hybrid), it deals it over an elapsed time, requires melee range, and has no additional effects aside from damage.

    Also consider that Udyr also doesn't have an ultimate.Ordinary rules do not apply with Udyr...

    I really do hope I'm wrong... and that I'm over reacting, but historically my hunches have been spot on translating things from paper to in game...

  • #71 Subjugglator
    If you really think that Phonix is trash, then I'm sorry, but you are trash. Phoenix has actually always been the superior build in the jungle (Except for that brief period where tiget had a 2.25 ratio because seriously riot?) It clears faster, it does the same or more damage in a protracted fight, and doesn't require you to actually get damage to do so. People just feel the impact of tiger because it's instant, and now that phoenix is too, people will start to fear it like they should already be.
  • #72 Pelikins

    Well, then you are calling Saint Vicious trash then.. because he also builds Udyr Tiger...

    Phoenix Udyr is currently horrible... sorry... it is...

    But Tiger Udyr has a very strong early game, objectives well and can carry from the jungle in solo que... Phoenix... not so much.

    Last edited by Pelikins: 3/25/2013 4:35:12 PM
  • #74 theedee

    Have you ever tried ganking with a Phoenix Udyr Subjugglator?

    Unless the Enemy was low it was a waste of time since you did no damage. Not so for Tiger. Done right you could pull off 2 Tiger Strikes and a bear slap in a second, dealing immense damage.

    Last edited by theedee: 3/26/2013 5:52:59 AM
  • #78 Subjugglator

    @ Pelikins
    Actually, I never said tiger was trash. I said that calling phoenix trash was something that bad players did, because it is actually statistically better than tiger in the jungle, and honestly not significantly worse than ganking. If you can gank someone as udyr, it's because their escape is down, and they can't outrun you. If you catch someone as phoenix udyr, you do plenty of damage, and if you can't catch them, then you'd have missed the gank as tiger too. Tiger feels more powerful, and in certain aspects it is, but phoenix more than makes up for it imo, so don't discount it. 
    Have you? Because I've been jungling udyr since a month of his release, and I've always preferred phoenix over tiger, because of its better clearing, teamfight presence, and with proper play, yes, damage. Tiger does more single target damage when you have some good ad, but the base values on phoenix are much higher than tiger's, allowing a tankier build. Are the ganks lower damage? Yes. Do you need that damage if you can actually get on them in the first place? No. 

  • #79 RoakOriginal

    It's not about SV... It's about whole NA scene bein trash...:D Let's wait when EU or asians get to play udyr at tournaments....

  • #80 Yaamahri

    Quote from RoakOriginal »

    It's not about SV... It's about whole NA scene bein trash...:D Let's wait when EU or asians get to play udyr at tournaments....

    Did you seriously just call SV trash? He's one of the best junglers in the game, bar NONE.

  • #65 LolLolLolJake

    (Bear) Wording changed to "basic attacks" instead of "mauls target"


    wtf Roit RIP udyr.

  • #61 clutz1

    I like how they had to completely remake bear stance because they can't code minions.

  • #62 OuterRaven

    Quote from clutz1 »

    I like how they had to completely remake bear stance because they can't code minions.

    - (Bear) Movement speed increase
    - (Bear) Mana cost reduction
    - (Bear) No Minion Collision
    - (Bear) Tiny Gap Closing Bear Slap

    How is this a complete remake?

  • #63 Gameguy301
    He's talking about how the no unit collision part being added because minion blocking has gotten worse and worse with each patch cycle.

    Basically a crack at riots minion problem, disguised as a conspiracy theory.
    Last edited by Gameguy301: 3/24/2013 8:57:02 PM
  • #64 clutz1

    Quote from Gameguy301 »

    He's talking about how the no unit collision part being added because minion blocking has gotten worse and worse with each patch cycle.

    Basically a crack at riots minion problem, disguised as a conspiracy theory.

    Not a conspiracy theory. Just an outright attack on riot.

  • #67 JocularThePeasant

    Yeah... I've been meaning to rant about the minions. Just haven't found the appropriate time or place.

  • #60 Shing

    Vomits fire? Couldn't we have gone for something like spews fire?

  • #66 Cerbereth

    Flaming vomit op?

    Last edited by Cerbereth: 3/24/2013 10:18:05 PM
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