I mained Evelynn for six years. I was never a one-trick pony, but I played her more than any other champion, totally in at just under 1,000 ranked games in seasons 2 through 7, probably totalling up to at least 500 hours.
I started playing League back in Season 1. Orianna would have been the first new champion after I started.
Towards the end of the season, I gravitated towards playing the rarer and less-played champions, the ones who were considered too bad to play, including Karma (who was very unpopular at the time) and Evelynn.
Back then, she was the definition of "Eve tier", and I'd get flamed and accused of trolling for playing her occasionally (I only started playing ranked in season 2, so the flaming wasn't that harsh yet.)
But what I found interesting and fun about Evelynn was that while she was extremely weak in any straight-up fight, with careful tactics (and foolish opponents), you could outsmart your enemies and be effective.
Evelynn was all about timing. You had to carefully stalk your prey, waiting for them to get into a bad situation so that you could pop out of stealth and murder them. While the long-duration true invisibility had some slight nuance in having to find a safe space to hide every 50 seconds when the spell wore off, it wasn't exactly that interesting, and also offered very little that opponents could do against it other than drop pink wards - which also felt really unfair for me playing as Eve, since they countered her very hard.
Then came Evelynn's first rework. It took what I liked about Evelynn and amplified it. Instead of a long-duration binary invisibility, she gained her iconic stealth which required her to very carefully stalk her prey, dancing around the edges of their vision until an opportunity presented itself. It really amplified Evelynn's fantasy as a stealthy assassin who carefully stalked her prey, with vision-based stealth somewhat similar to real stealth games.
That was really the point where she became my favourite champion. Her stealth never got old. Tense minutes following the enemy team, just outside their vision, waiting for one of them to get out of position or to make another mistake that I could exploit.
Evelynn was always a bit of a mixed bag. Her model was that of a strange blue woman wearing belts with spikes on them and silly shoes. Her skills didn't really fit together, especially her ultimates in both previous incarnations.
However, her lore and stealth gameplay still painted a fairly clear picture of her to me: a mysterious and sadistic assassin who loved to stalk and torture her prey. She was good at what she did, but also enjoyed watching her enemies suffer, like a cat enjoys playing with a mouse.
Evelynn was a dark and primal force her enemies feared, always looking to the shadows and wondering if she was coming for them.
The awesome new splash she received in 2016 perfectly illustrated this vision of Eve, depicting her viciously tearing into an enemy with a wicked look of pleasure on her face.
When I heard that she was on the rework list, I hoped that they would take and amplify these elements, possibly playing up the demonic side and giving her visuals to truly match the terrifying creature implied by her gameplay and hinted at in her lore.
There was an image of a redesign for her which floating around a couple of years ago which I always liked, it kept her appearance very similar to the classic one, while amplifying the demonic aspects by giving her vicious claws:
But Riot's new rework has taken her in a completely different direction.
Instead of a sadistic huntress, they decided to re-engineer her towards a succubus angle.
Instead of being dark and mysterious, the new Evelynn appears far more shallow.
Her iconic dark blue skin and sinister appearance are gone, replaced by a far more conventionally attractive body archetype. Her skin is only slightly blue, and the "third eye" is gone.
Instead of being mysterious and sinister, she is a now cliché seductress, overdone almost to the point of parody. Almost every line of dialogue is cheesy innuendo, while she often sounds like an innocent teenager in bad comedy.
Needless to say, I'm not a fan. League already had a succubus character - Ahri - who does the job far better. Her lines are playful and flirty, but not as over-the-top cheesy as the new Evelynn's.
The pair of demonic tails are interesting, but they are ridiculously oversized and just end up looking silly (especially the way they curl up into a heart shape when she dies.)
Riot said that they don't like characters who are sexy just for the sake of being sexy any more, but that's exactly what the new Evelynn feels like. Her character feels flat, like she's entirely based around being a sex object: traditionally attractive, cheesy "sexy" lines, bright pink colours, heart motif, the works.
Yes, the original Evelynn didn't wear much by the way of clothing, but that also fit her demonic theme - look at any picture of a male demon, and you'll note that most of them don't wear much clothing either. It's not really being sexy for the sake of it in their case, but rather a representation of their more primal, beastial nature.
Disregarding for a moment that I dislike the vast characterisation change involved in turning her into a succubus, it also makes no sense in relation to the most defining characteristics of her kit.
The idea of a succubus seducing an enemy is to lure them into letting their guard down and then striking when they are distracted, but Evelynn's stealth-based kit is all about stalking enemies and suddenly striking from the shadows. She can't be there to seduce her enemies because she's *invisible*. Seducing someone who doesn't know you're there doesn't even make sense.
Her appearance changes from demonic when she's invisible to cute and seductive when she's visible, but the only times when Evelynn is visible is when she's attacking. A cute seductress suddenly turning into a demon to attack you makes thematic sense, but a demon turning into a cute seductress to attack? It's completely the wrong way around.
I haven't really talked about her new kit at all yet, and that's because my biggest problem here as that the Evelynn rework is just another example of a VGU completely destroying a champion's character and basically replacing them with a totally different person with the same name and a similar kit. The character of that old Evelynn that I loved for all those years is gone, even if elements of her kit remain.
As for her kit itself... that's harder to speak about without having played her myself. I like some parts of it, while other parts continue with the disturbing trends of League's "modernised" gameplay.
Evelynn's stealth has always made her problematic to balance, because it lets her apply constant pressure with hard-to-avoid ganks from the start of the game, and so the rest of her kit has to be very weak to compensate for that power.
Only giving her stealth from level 6 onwards is a great way of easing that problem and freeing up some much-needed power budget for other areas of her kit.
I also like that it now gives her heath regeneration, since with her low base stats and no sustain, Evelynn was a jungler who always had health problems throughout a lot of the game.
Seems reasonable. It makes Hate Spikes slightly more interactive and interesting, and probably saves future Evelynn players from having quite so much strain on their Q fingers.
By biggest complaint about this ability is a thematic one. The charm just pushes her more into that succubus theme which I've already mentioned disliking, and makes her feel more Ahri.
The idea of being able to mark a target is interesting - allowing you to choose to warn them of your approach in exchange for some CC when you arrive. A meaningful choice. I'd just have been a lot happier with it if it was a proper curse - a hint of malicious laughter in the air, followed by being feared if she managed to trigger it.
I don't really like the idea of Evelynn having a gap-closer, since it cuts into the time that opponents have to react to her when she emerges from stealth. That said, the range seems to be fairly low, so it might not be as bad I suspect it might be. I'd have to actually play as/against her to be sure. Either way, I'd miss her movement speed buff and her being one of the only champions in the game without a dash.
I hate untargetability, plain and simple.
It's a terrible mechanic that Riot keep pushing more and more of into the game. It allows the champion with the untargetability to negate opposing plays and gives little opportunity for counterplay or reaction.
I've ranted at length about how much I hate play negation abilities in the past, so I won't repeat myself here.
I'm not surprised that Riot added untargetability to her kit, considering how much the game has moved towards twitch gameplay, but I am disappointed.
The slash-and-dash-backwards part of it is okay, but nothing special. It guess it fits with her theme better than her previous ultimates.
Overall, I feel that this rework has aimed to make Evelynn more mainstream and more appealing to new players, while disrespecting her few long-time players by completely changing her character. Just like Galio before her, and (to various extends) the other recent VGUs, such as Urgot and Taric.
I will always remember the fun times that we had together.