Does Ying’s mirror put some pep in your step? Do you long for the locks of Barik’s beard? (Okay…this is getting a little weird.)
In all seriousness, Paladins players with even the most diverse champion pools have a couple of go-to picks they gravitate towards most. Whether it’s a challenging kit, aptitude for killer stats, or a snazzy set of skins, we all have that one champion or two who make us feel at home when we pilot them in the Realm.
But which champions would our resident casters call their bae? Which Champion of the Realm has become the champion of their hearts? Let’s find out!
Nick “PrettyHair” Keogh
You feel your life returning as a warm glow envelops you. In a stern-yet-gentle voice, you hear the words “Spring Has Come” — and you know everything is going to be okay.
When I really look back at my time in Paladins, Grover has always been near and dear to my heart. He’s followed me through my years as a connoisseur of Hi-Rez Games. I originally found him in SMITE, where he literally carried the “god” Sylvanus on his back. But we all know Grover is the true god. After all, he was chosen from nearly one hundred other gods to do battle in the Realm amongst its other Champions.
Grover was the first character I got comfortable with in Paladins, partially because I knew him from my time in SMITE and partially because people told me he wasn’t good enough. Grover and I set out together to prove the world wrong. He just needed the right player behind him, and that player was me.
Grover embodies the mantra “bring a knife to a gunfight and win”. In wielding an axe, he broke the mold and showed us all that nothing is impossible in the Realm. He paved the way for other characters like Zhin and Terminus, who wield other bladed melee weapons to great success (though none as great as Grover’s, of course).
When the game needed more support characters, Grover was among the first to hang up his former abilities, transform his identity, and heal other so they could go on to achieve greatness and secure victories. Grover laid down the axe for the good of the game — both literally and metaphorically.
Though he may blossom thousands of points of healing for your teams as a true support, he might also lay down an axe in your face for hundreds (if not thousands) of damage. Grover is good yet lethal, firm yet gentle, and everything we should aspire to be in our daily lives.
Gabriella “LeTigress” DeviaAllen
Ash…Lian…Ash…Lian…Ash or Lian? This is a tough one. Ash tugged at my heartstrings the moment she busted out during the OB51 Patch Notes shows. Given my love for holding strong on the front lines, she automatically offered a needed addition to my champion pool.
Ash’s kit emphasizes the need for proper positioning and map awareness, because no one wants to be that Ash who Shoulder Bashes off the map or flags down with Assert Dominance in the wrong place at the wrong time. And have you see that Slug Shot legendary? It’s insane! Seeing Ash climb back into the good graces of so many players gives me butterflies.
But let’s switch gears to Lian for a moment. This champion really settled into my heart once I decided to use her as a tool for bettering my in-game precision. By working with legendaries like Eminence and loadouts with a little sustain to let me stick around longer in fights, I gradually saw my gameplay improve over time.
One of my favorite things about Lian is that she has so many viable legendaries (though I’m currently rocking Alacrity the most), and she’s sparked arguments from professional players and community members regarding why each legendary might come in handy. The mobility of Grace alongside so many weapon attacks offers a unique play experience I’ve come to enjoy. And telling my opponents to kneel during Enlightenment sure makes me feel badass.
So who’s my bae? It’s really tough to decide. But for now, I’ll go with Ash because she’s got some pretty cool hair. Check in with me a couple months from now to see if things have changed.
Evan “Raynday” Ranyr
There are a lot of champions in Paladins who reside in my heart, but was it ever a question of who really holds the crown? That honor goes to Bomb King. He’s always had my favorite combination of personality, confidence, and explosive action on the battleground. His joviality makes him an easy-going and lighthearted companion through the ups and downs of grinding ranked, and his rather rotund body shape always makes me feel better about my lack of hitting the gym.
In all actuality, Bomb King’s luster for me has always resided in the idea of his origin story. Where the heck does a Bomb King come from? What does his country look like? What’s a day in the life of a Bomb King back home? Is there a Bomb Queen? His entrance into Paladins was so sudden and unexplained that he immediately found his hooks in my heart and never let go.
Bomb King has also manage to dominate most of our competitive LANs and creates more highlight plays than nearly any other champion — so much so that our fans now retroactively refer to our first Paladins Masters LAN as the “Bomb King LAN”. His mobility and mastery difficulty make him a complex yet rewarding champion to invest your time into, and there’s always something to improve on for your next match with the King.
Fun? Check. Dominant? Check. Easy to learn, hard to master? Definitely Bomb King is a champion unlike any other in the Realm, and his excellent kit alongside his boisterous personality make him a no-brainer for my “bae” in the Realm. In his case, though, I’d have to call him my “bbae” — bombs before anyone else.
William “GoreMiser” Newberry
It has to be Bomb King for me. While I love other champions either through gameplay or art design, Bomb King has that extra personality that just gets to me. Just the simple “Your King Appreciates Your Support” line towards healers helps drive it home, showcasing exactly what this champion is — a bomb who is also your king.
The first time I played Paladins, Bomb King was the one who stood out to me, and he continues to do so. He throws small smiling bombs at his enemies, as well as a grumpy bomb. He doesn’t care about your race, your skill, or where you’re actually from. He is your king — at least in his mind.
Last but not least, Bomb King’s kit is well-versed in fights, and once you pass a threshold he becomes one of the best (if not the best) champion in the game. Very small details in his kit all work together, and when coupled with everything else about him…this champion shines bright like a freshly polished bomb.
There you have it, folks! Some champions found the favor of the few, while others haven’t quite stolen our casters’ hearts yet. Do you share a bae with any of our Paladins analysts? Or do you have a bae of your own you’d like to declare? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @PaladinsPro.