Galio has been the true anti-mage for as long as can be remembered. The one true hope against that 1,000 stack Veigar on the enemy team. When designing the lore for the new and improved Galio, it seems that Riot really leaned in on the anti-mage aspect of the stone Gargoyle. So lets take a look at some of the new stories for Big Boy Galio.
In the new bio for Galio, we see his true purpose. Galio belongs to the Demacian faction (Jarvan IV, Lux, Garen), a people that fear magic and seek defense from it. The bio tells of the Demacian people’s discovery of an anti-magic substance called petricite. In order to protect themselves from their enemies’ magic, the Demacians built their city walls out of petricite. While this was all well and good for battles defending their homelands, they were still hopeless on the road. As such, they commissioned a magic shield from the sculptor Durand (Idol of Durand is the name of Galio’s old ultimate and Shield of Durand is his new W). Durand produced for them a great sculpture, Galio, to watch over the troops in battle.
As the Demacian troops traveled from conflict to conflict, they would drag this great, big, hunk of rock around with them. The statue provided the troops of Demacia with a anti-magic shield, however, it is not immune to all magic. It appears that, whether by Durand’s design or by his mistake, the statue of Galio is more than meets the eye. On rare occasions, when powerful magic is used in battle, Galio awakens from his slumber. Once Galio makes his stand on the battlefield, it seems that there is very little that can stand in his way. There are often so few survivors in these battles, that the walking Gargoyle is but myth and legend across Runeterra. The story that released alongside his bio, A Hero Wakes, is about one such occasion.
A Hero Wakes details a battle between the people of the Freljord and those of Demacia. Galio is dragged onto the field as usual, and remains dormant until the enemy sorcerer begins slinging magic all over the place, taking out Demacians left and right. Galio breaks forth from his stone bonds, being powered by the enemies’ magic. Feeling the life flow through his body, Galio gets distracted, and engages in a battle with a giant Frejlord beast (that seems fairly similar to Sejuani’s boar). Galio defeats the beast fairly easily, and it begins to flee. The Colossus begins to chase the boar thing into the woods before he remembers why he is fighting. Galio returns to the battle and reluctantly crushes the sorcerer in his massive hands. Now that the magic is gone from the battlefield, Galio returns to his lifeless state until the next time he is needed.
New Galio has a larger than life personality, and he seems rather jovial, especially about fighting. The choice to make him literally fueled by magic, the thing he is sworn to destroy, is pretty damn interesting. Galio’s noble actions almost always require a self sacrifice, which he spends a lot of time thinking about. New Galio seems to have a lot of existential conversations with himself, which is pretty understandable when you are unable to move or speak for 100s of years at a time.
The final thing to note here about the lore is that both the bio and the story have very different endings. The story is the most grim, so lets start there. It ends with a suggestion that eventually Galio will destroy all magic, and will never wake again. Bummer. However, the bio is a little more cheerful. It speaks of Galio’s eternal hope of finding a magic that can sustain him forever, allowing him to truly be the big, bad, Demacian dad that he wants to be. Who knows what could sustain a creature like that with their magic? I am unsure if anyone currently in the game exists with that much power. Xerath perhaps? Aurelion Sol? Soraka? Bard? Syndra? Who knows, maybe one day Galio will finally be able to live the life that he deserves, instead of being stuck as a rock forever.