I read through a lot of your champ remakes. Not all, but enough to where I've found several that I like, some that I don't really care either way, and some I disagree with.
I feel that your Sion remake is just spot on. If anyone should have Anivia's passive, it's Sion. If I had to use one word to sum up what I think Sion needs to be all about I think it would be "inexorable," much like Nautilus (who pulls inexorable off with aplomb), but less of an "I can't get away, I'm being dragged down to the depths, noooooooo" inexorable and more of a "Oh no, it's gonna get me, I can't kill it, IT WONT DIE AAAAHHHH" flavor. Everything in the kit makes this happen. The axes fall over and over, growing in strength, and the more he kills, the bigger he gets - he just slowly becomes this (thematically, not practically) unstoppable force that shrugs off CC, heals off damage, and spits in the face of death. What has Sion to fear from death? He's already dead. Nigh-perfect in my humble opinion, with the slight concern of the impact of loss/gain of resistances in passive form on game balance.
Many of the champions I glossed over a bit because I recognized a nostalgia factor in my knee-jerk "No way. Are you kidding?" reactions and resigned myself to the fact that I probably couldn't view it with an unbiased eye. Over time, certain champs become ingrained in peoples' minds as a cohesive character, no matter how off-the-wall their abilities might seem. Nobody in the league has a poison trail but Singed. That's his thing. For me, poison trail and Singed are peas and carrots, so to speak, and I can't think of him as anything but the spewing bottle dude that you don't chase. Therefore I distanced myself from those.
With Swain (my favorite champ, and as I myself have mused over possible alterations to him, I figured my nostalgia factor would not factor as much here), I can appreciate the thematic direction in which you took him, but I don't feel that alterations are currently needed (unlike Sion's situation).
(Also I do realize that these were intended for an entirely new game a la "LoL2." So yeah, I see nothing wrong with that, if the purpose is to make each champion kit differently from scratch using only their themes as a starting point.)
What you proposed is certainly a cohesive, synergistic "Tactician" theme, but I feel that there are multiple of these. Your kit is but a single strain, and I think Swain's current kit elaborates another. There are some base qualities that I think are necessary to rightly convey a trope - in the instance of "Tactician," cunning and foresight among others. I think your Swain goes more toward the idea of an aloof tactician who wins the war of attrition, never committing, wearing down the enemy health until they can no longer justify continuing to fight. The consummate laner. That is certainly one way of looking at it.
However, the current Swain I believe perfectly fulfills the qualities of "Tactician" as well. What may have turned you off (I don't know, just guessing) was the whole "giant flamboyant bird monster" aspect of current Swain. At face value, it certainly seems like a giant healing hard-to-kill monster who sits comfortably in the middle of teamfights would not be caught dead wearing a tactician title. That's a tank that I just described. There's so much more to Swain than his ultimate, though. I believe Swain truly is at his core an old hobbling guy with an air of unknown consequence. By that I mean that from his pre-6 abilities, a lane opponent who didn't know Swain could get the feeling while dodging Nevermove and taking E's and Q's that there's something terrible he's holding back, not wanting to commit until the opponent has fallen into his trap. Nevermove is a great AoE snare, but why is it holding you in place? For Swain to hobble up and toss a ball and lazer bird you? Course not, he can do that whenever. Decrepify and Torment are both great DoTs that give that same "war of attrition" feeling of being constantly whittled down, but the crippled old dude still doesn't follow up. Swain is a tactician, so yes, he can whittle opponents, yes he can single out people to die (Torment's damage steroid), YES he can zone and position and trap people. But why? Because if you slip up or he outplays you, and the opportunity arises, he drops his cool, collected, logical mask and goes balls deep ravenmode on your ass. Swain is a dyed in the wool Noxian, and personal might and glory are still very important characteristics to even the normally reserved tacticians of Noxus.
I think your kit would be perfect to fit some sort of Ionian or Shadow Isles version of Swain, or ex-Ionian like Varus, where the idea of either "emotionless attrition until you leave this lane" or "never-ending itching annoying torture" seem to mesh better thematically. Also I'm pretty sure I'm not confusing theme with lore here (might be), though I named specific places, but you get the idea. Current Swain is meant to be ominous, which I think the current kit pulls off well. You can't be ominous if there's no terrible secret hiding in the shadows. But once again I reiterate - even if you weren't going for ominous, the kit is still a great "tactician" set, just thematically a bit different in my opinion.
The only one I really felt I disagreed with was Karthus. It seemed that you went for a completely different theme, to the point where I would expect a different model, backstory, etc. In short, an entirely new champion that has little to do with Karthus. I understand your frustration with the current Karthus being an R on a stick, but to me it seems his current theme is something along the lines of "undead lich who chants in horrific eldritch tongues to effect harmful voodooesque change on his enemies, namely their death.
I mean, if you want to make the whole dancy ghoul control thing a champ, that's great, and I'm not complaining about what you "did to" Karthus (which would be silly). My main point here is that if X champion has a backstory/theme that you expect them to fulfill, and they currently don't, then there is already a wealth of thematic material for you to build on kitwise, seeing as their kits do not satisfy it. So why create the new theme if your goal is to remake champs based on the theme you currently have?
Just some thoughts from a random non-game-designer dude who plays the game.
Also I love the discussion by the way. :3
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