Why The Vexana Revamp Was A Failure

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Turning a queen of the undead into a fragile princess with a bodyguard wasn't a good idea

Story Highlights
  • Vexana was the least picked mage in mobile legends because of her unintuitive and non-interactive kit.
  • Fans weren’t against the idea of a revamp, but changing her appearance to be another generic mage rather than a queen of curses made fans upset.
  • The kit after the revamp was mostly the same as well, just with a different ultimate, making fans think there was no reason to revamp her in the first place.

Vexana, the forgotten queen of necromancy in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), finally received a long-awaited revamp 2022’s Rise of The Necrokeep update. While the update promised a revitalized hero with a fresh identity, it sparked controversy within the Mobile Legends community. The revamp essentially took all parts of her design that tied into necromancy and replaced it with another generic, pretty mage.

From Queen Of Necromancy To A Disney Princess

YouTube video

Vexana never had an engaging kit, so fans weren’t exactly against the idea of a kit revamp. What they did not expect or desire, however, was a complete visual overhaul. She was originally a demonic, ghastly presence that seduced enemies to be her servants even after death.

They took every element from her design that made her a necromancer and replaced it with a generic design that you’d expect to see in a Disney movie. Her demonic black horns? Gone. Her controlling, large claws? Gone. Her menacingly glowing hair, her royal crown, her elegantly eerie fur, the nuances of her deteriorating body under her clothes? All gone and replaced with what fans call a second Odette.

What Made Vexana Unique?

Pre revamp vexana
Pre revamp Vexana (Captured by Tech4Gamers)

Apart from the design, her kit itself was also very unique. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the best, being the least picked mage in the game. Her first two skills were much like other mages, a cc projectile and a huge aoe damage. Her passive as well, causing dying enemy units to explode, made her an extremely good mage. The problem was her old ultimate, which didn’t bring the same kind of team fight presence as an Odette ultimate or a stacked Cecilion.

The Reasoning Behind The Vexana Revamp

vexana revamp - initial concept
Fans were expecting multiple unique summons, but we got a single Undead Knight instead (From Moonton’s Vexana Survey)

Still, some builds made it work. I reached Mythic with the old Vexana quite comfortably with a one-shot ultimate build. The 7-second long duration of continuous damage was enough to retrigger many item effects such as the pre-rework Thunder Truncheon and certain emblem effects.

The gameplay was straightforward, you play as a normal mage until their carry comes near. Then, you ult them, making them either return to base if they want to survive or killing them regardless of their positioning. Both cases removed them from the teamfight. A single point-and-click death sentence was something that a lot of people just underestimated.

Revamped vexana
Vexana revamp design (Captured by Tech4Gamers)

This, however, wasn’t good game design. I absolutely adored playing her because of how fun, but it certainly wasn’t fun for the enemy. Even with 10+ deaths, I had the highest team damage per match. Her game plan revolved around just reaching and ulting the enemy carry, and then dying to the enemy herself. The spawn summoned from the enemy carry would do the rest. It was an extremely non-interactive kit.

What Was Changed In The Vexana Revamp?

Vexana revamp - conce
Vexana revamp – concept art (From Moonton’s Vexana Survey)

A complete revamp usually brings many changes. With a complete overhaul for the design as well, Vexana fans were expecting a completely fresh kit. When the kit was first revealed, however, the fans were disappointed. Her first skill, second skill, and passive were only slightly tweaked, and her ultimate was replaced with an AOE damage and knockup that then summon an Undead Knight to aid you in battle.

Revamped Vexana - Ingame
Vexana revamp – Ingame (Captured by Tech4Gamers)

The ultimate didn’t really provide much apart from the first instance of damage and the knockup. It took away from her identity as a necromancer and made her yet another control mage. The lack of changes on other parts of her kit showed that there was no need to completely abandon her old ultimate, much less her old design; Moonton just did it to appeal to a newer audience.

YouTube video

Even if the fan reception was bad, her playrate certainly increased. With a more generic playstyle, more players started playing her. An AOE damage and knock up was good for proplay as well, so she started being used more. The revamp wasn’t a complete failure if the main purpose was to get more people to play her, but it completely eradicated what was once Vexana to instead add a new hero to the game.

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