**We get a champion that can use multiple elements and she feels completely underwhelming based on what riot could have done.**
Imagine a shyvana rework where she gets bonus abilities based on the number and kind of dragons her team takes down. Imagine a warrior who takes on a different playstyle based on element, like earth>tank, fire>assassin, wind>skirmisher, water>bruiser... basically pre-rework poppy or current J4. Imagine how much mastery and skill expression riot could have done to those champs. Imagine a mage that switches styles for different effects. Riot could have easily had taken elementalist lux and said let's build a champion's kit around this idea. That would have been awesome.
Instead we get another AD assassin who is going to build the same items as every AD assassin and who gets an occasional buff from a mechanic that seems like it would have been 1000x cooler if riot build taliyah around it to begin with. Just imagine current taliyah, but with river powers while she's in the river and jungle powers while she's in the jungle... she'd probably would have her 3rd new skin by now if riot had done that for her.
I mean if riot had just moved the mechanic to her R and given her 10 seconds of being the water assassin, or the brush assassin, or the wall? assassin that at least would have been something to write home about. Or riot could have given her 4 kits (base, laning, jungle, river) and have them shift automatically based on where Qiyana is. That would have really given her a level of mastery and driven home her design. I'm sure there's at least a few junglers who'd love to try and learn a champion with depth like that.
I mean if that's what riot really wanted, why not swing for the fences?
**We get a champion that has a really fun weapon and she feels completely underwhelming based on what riot could have done.**
I also feel like riot could have done more with the weapon. As someone who remembers Tira from soul calibur I feel like there's a ton of things riot could have done with that weapon and design. I mean yeah the ult looks broken as is, but I feel like there's a ton of wasted potential as well. That weapon seems primed for dozen of cool attacks, a poppy like passive where she throws it and can dash to wherever it lands to pick it up, spin to win x1000, etc.
A weapon like that demands attention and calls for creativity. It got neither. Imagine a riot creating a champ that uses nun-chucks and then has said champion holding both parts of the chucks in the same hand at all times as if it were a simple club. That's Qiyana in a nutshell.
Part of me wonders if riot had two failed champ ideas they combined into one. I mean take her ult, it seems like it's the perfect thing for a battlemage, but it doesn't feel like it belongs on an assassin with that weapon. Her W feels kind of the same way to me. It feels like something I'd expect on an elementalist battlemage instead of an AD assassin. So we are left with a skill that feels underwhelming for the class it was put on based on its potential and we get a wasted opportunity to do something cool both as an elementalist and wasted an opportunity to do something cool with the weapon.
It's like riot was trying to accomplish too much with one champion and I think her gameplay design, when compared to the multiple potentials it could have been used for, fails completely because of it.
I really wanted to like this champion when I first saw her. Even if the live balance team manage to get her into a good spot, I feel like riot blew it based on what could have been done with her. However riot got greedy and sabotaged both aspects because she was trying to do too much for one champ. You only have four active abilities and one passive to represent a champ in league... this isn't like soul calibur where you can have a moveset of over 100 moves with stances. I think each aspect really demanded its own kit and champion and riot failed the champion by not picking one for Qiyana.