Jun 262012
Darius, the Hand of Noxus
Darius, the Hand of Noxus

Darius, the Hand of Noxus is an armoured axe wielder in his classic incarnation and also in his alternative ones. His skins draw from aristocracy and technology as sources of inspiration and improve his looks with varying degrees of success. Apprehend the best Noxian looks in one crippling strike with the help of his skins’ review.

Lord Darius
Lord Darius Splash Art Lord Darius Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Darius wearing lavish armour ornamented with gold.
Model: New model for Darius and his axe.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This splash art is heavily centred on Darius to the point of almost ignoring the background. There are just a few soldiers marching, a victim, some flames and a heavy dark sky. While the minimal background does allow for the attention to focus on Darius it also makes the piece look like a pose and not a glimpse into a battle. Fortunately, Darius is very well depicted: the metal plates reflect light in different ways and the chainmail is adequate though a bit plain. Besides, the axe shows dents and an appropriate motion. Still, it isn’t as well coloured as Darius and seems to come from completely different pieces; just like his gloves. Darius expression is convincing, the scar and glowing eyes give severity to his visage but this doesn’t go well with the tiara. Overall, a splash art with an uneven composition that shines and disappoints depending on where you look.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Just like his splash art, Lord Darius is a skin that excels or lets down depending on where you look. From the waist up the armour shows an exquisite detail and complex decoration: it looks both regal and menacing. The axe is also well designed as it is both good looking and believable. Besides, the imprinted cape adds a fitting air of royalty that matches the tiara; which still looks out of place. However, Darius face looks plain, especially in comparison with the splash art where his eyes have an in-human glow and an imposing scar marks his ferocity. Moreover, from the waist down the armour is a complete disappointment because its design is simple and drab. This is even more notorious due to the stark contrast in quality that is evident between Darius upper and lower body. In conclusion, Lord Darius is a skin that tries to be excellent but ends up being barely acceptable thanks to the glaring inconsistency of its design.

Bioforge Darius
Bioforge Darius Splash Art Bioforge Darius Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Darius wearing a serum-powered suit.
Model: New model for Darius and his axe. New glow for his suit when using an ability.
Particles: New particles for his abilities.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New sounds for Decimate, Crippling Strike and Noxian Guillotine.
Splash Art: The background displays some sort of laboratory complex and lots of electricity. The setting is reasonable but the intense fog that clouds the vision simply isn’t. Darius prepares a strike before the viewer: his ferocious expression and in-human eyes are very eloquent about the outcome. However, his suit of armour can’t be fully examined due to perspective chosen. Still, what is visible looks rather good: cracks and dents show its wear and the metal reflects the nearby light sources. Unfortunately, the glowing serum is rather subdued and maybe even eclipsed by the effect of the electricity; but it attracts attention nonetheless. On the whole, it’s a good portrayal of Darius that serves its purpose and makes the look interesting.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Bioforge Darius is an unusually polar skin that shines and disappoints depending on context. To start with, the new model is interesting but the colours are rather mute and the aspect seems dull. Conversely, when the suit lights up after an ability the contrast of colours makes the look quite attractive. Moreover, the new particles, while straightforward, are a nice addition that complements the glowing serum quite well. Therefore, Bioforge Darius manages to feel great and plain depending on the Hand of Noxus’s activities. In the end, it’s a peculiar skin with a novel feature that is appealing as long as you can excuse its shortcomings.

Woad King Darius
Woad King Darius Splash Art Woad King Darius Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Darius as a Pict warrior.
Model: New model Darius and his axe.
Particles: New frost particles for his abilities.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for Decimate, Crippling Strike, Noxian Guillotine and recall.
Splash Art: This piece aims to show Darius as a warrior that succeeds no matter the adversary. In this case he not only faces a strong blizzard, which conveniently blurs most of the setting, but also a pair of reptiles that could very well be the heads of a hydra. Due to the storm most of the piece is rather diffuse: monsters, setting and even Darius. The piece seems like a glimpse into an ongoing battle but one that is taking place in a vacuum. Only the monsters and Darius are discernible and just to a point. In fact, only Darius face, body and axe are clearly displayed.
The rest seems to sink in a sea of blurry snow. There still are a few nice touches like the way the wolf head on Darius shoulder echoes his ferocious charge. It seems as if Darius draws his strength from the animal’s spirit, thus acquiring the strength of a vanquished foe; a fitting motif. Regardless, there isn’t much else that the snow reveals and what it does isn’t very clear. Therefore, it’s an interesting piece with a few nice touches but with a composition that makes the viewer struggle to appreciate what’s going on.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Woad King Darius is actually quite unpretentious yet that makes its accomplishments feel even more special. At a glance, it’s just Darius as a Celtic warrior dressed in furs. Nevertheless, the colourful appearance, richly decorated axe and whimsical armour manage an appealing look. The frost added to his abilities isn’t unwelcome even if it is a bit unexpected. It isn’t unfitting but doesn’t feel like a natural addition either. In the end, Woad King Darius offers a convincing look that might not be as regal as its name implies but that is certainly nice.

Dunkmaster Darius
Dunkmaster Darius Splash Art Dunkmaster Darius Model
Category: Legendary
Price: 1820 RP
Concept: Darius as a brutal basketball player.
Model: New model for Darius and his axe.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New animations for his abilities, auto-attack, emotes, capture, standing idle, walk, recall, death and respawn.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, recall and death. New voice-over and new quotes for his abilities, recall, when buying certain items and taunting certain champions.
Splash Art: The setting is clearly a basketball court that is being destroyed by Darius’ power. Unfortunately it’s all too blurry so while one can get a general idea it’s impossible to distinguish details; like the spectators: they are all a diffuse mass of people. It’s also strange that there are no other players in the court. In fact, it all looks so gloomy and empty that it doesn’t strike as the great spectacle it should be. Darius’ doesn’t fare much better. While his power is expressed in his muscular effort and the fancy flaming ball he’s also rather diffuse. At least, it’s easy to get a good view of his aspect; though his new choice of weapon isn’t clear. Ultimately, it’s a splash art that goes directly for the show which makes the rest of the elements suffer. It barely works but it’s a far cry from something fitting a legendary skin.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: A basketball player as a lethal warrior in a battlefield screams preposterous at a league away. Dunkmaster Darius is a skin that tries to be funny and doesn’t offer anything else: it embraces its comical attitude and doesn’t let go. Maybe because of that intense focus on instilling basketball in everything that Darius does the skin manages to have a unique and appealing charm.
While a joke can only stay funny for so long Dunkmaster Darius goes beyond that and paints every aspect with a shade of basketball. For instance, he doesn’t forget to constantly bounce the ball and in his ultimate he actually dunks a basketball; instead of using his new backboard-axe which would’ve been the expected and suboptimal solution.
As a weapon, the backboard is certainly an exaggeration but he is explicitly displayed as a brutal player; even in his quotes. Besides, as the basketball is ever present it’s arguable whether the backboard or the ball is his real weapon; which cements the theme but appears ambiguous.
There are some rough edges: the particles for Hemorrhage and Noxian Guillotine are the only ones that really stand out. On top of that, Noxian Guillotine is so fast that its new look is barely noticeable; which is a letdown. Besides, the sounds tend not to seem particularly special. However, most of the animations and the voice-over convey the theme very well; even though sometimes he sounds like his brother Draven.
Without a doubt Dunkmaster Darius is a skin that asks for a specific frame of mind to accept its prerogative. As a funny skin it can only be so funny and for so long. Fortunately, the skin tries hard to engulf Darius in the world of basketball and it mostly succeeds. Therefore, if you feel like adding some basketball to your battles then Dunkmaster Darius won’t disappoint.


Darius has few options in his wardrobe, so far, and they are quite different in concept and quality alike. Woad King Darius is the recommended skin due to its appealing appearance. It’s not an astounding look but it’s convincing enough to be a good choice.

Also worth considering is Bioforge Darius as it delivers an interesting concept with a novel implementation. Unfortunately, the skin is quite polarized as it looks rather dull except when an ability powers it up but that’s what really makes it special.

A particular option is Dunkmaster Darius with its preposterous yet appealing basketball theme. The skin has a clear funny angle but it also makes an effort to adapt Darius to a basketball player in every aspect. The result has its unusual charm so fans of Darius will find that the skin does its best to satisfy.

Finally, Lord Darius is a disappointing skin that falters at its core: the design. Because of its obvious inconsistent quality it’s only worth purchasing for dedicated Darius fans or those that want a royal look for Darius.

  24 Responses to “League of Legends: Darius Skins’ Review”

  1. Nicely done with Darius.

    Can i request you a Talon skn review?

  2. Woad King Darius? Opinions?

  3. No offense, but (in your words) your reviews try hard, but fail to attain the lofty goal that you have set forth. You try so hard to make your speech intelligent and eloquent, but you try TOO hard; you end up sounding contrived, silly and phoney. (if you couldn’t understand that, you use too many words like however, but and therefore. Your overall skin reviews are decent, but you don’t seem to understand the purpose of the splash art: to display the champion, not the background. I don’t agree with a lot of your views but that doesn’t mean their wrong. The one big thing, that I really disagree with, is that the reason Lord Darius is bad, is not that it has inconsistent design/ imbalanced look (or whatever other mumbo jumbo you said), but that it is just too similar to his base skin and has a weak design link – it fails to portray a lord well (it is just a basic skin, no voice over or anything).

    I don’t mean for this post to sound like an attack, just some constructive criticism. I appreciate your efforts, its nice of you to offer your opinions. Just remember that in writing, simplicity equates to better quality of writing. In other words, trying to use fancy words does not make yours a better literary work.

    Good luck in the future!

    • No offence taken yet we do try to lay the facts as simple as possible. Therefore, when we use a specific word is to mark how two concepts connect: whether in contrast or as consequences. We understand that our style of writing may seem convoluted or difficult but we do try hard to make the reviews enjoyable and not just a laundry list of pros and cons.

      We agree that the main objective of a splash art is to depict a champion. However, while a great portrayal and a blank background may seem enough there are splash arts that offer fantastic settings that add a lot to the appeal of the piece. In fact, we always try to differentiate splash arts with a good champion portrayal from one where even the champion doesn’t shine as they deserve. We agree that the portrayal is the most important part but a good background adds so much that we simply can’t ignore it.

      With Lord Darius we don’t entirely disagree: the skin manages a minimal air of royalty but it doesn’t consistently present it. A monarch usually astounds in every aspect: from his shoes to his crown. Nevertheless, Lord Darius looks quite polarized with rather nice body armour and axe but only that. Still, the design and colour scheme seem different enough from Classic Darius even if there is a base which both follow. Thus, we agree, for different reasons, that the skin fails to portray an actual lord.

      We appreciate your opinions and we’ll try to write in a more straightforward way. We usually try to contrast ideas so that you can appreciate the best and not so good aspects of a skin so that you can gauge the overall appeal for yourself instead of being told whether the skin is good or bad. So take into consideration that what we offer is simply a guide to help when purchasing a skin. We don’t intend to provide abstract reviews but practical advice that helps people make the best choices they possibly can. Even if they disagree with our opinion it may still help them in making a purchase which is our real aim.

      Thanks for your feedback.

  4. Hi Zero,
    as always i try to help you making your guides as complete as possible, since i make use of them often.
    About Darius’ skins i have found something to add.
    First is Bioforge Darius, you can notice new sounds for all his abilities (except apprehend), it’s something like a liquid sound. Even the ultimate has something added like a whistle or a hiss. I guess it’s related to the bio armour.
    We also have Woad King Darius with a new warcry for his ultimate.
    If it’s not a problem, i would like to keep helping with these minor details.

    • We appreciate it and thank you for your collaboration; we simply couldn’t do it without everyone’s help.

      We’ll give those skins another look and update as necessary.

  5. Dunkmaster Darius, although it is extremely incomplete, what are your thoughts so far?

    • For what little we saw and the concept behind it, seems like a whimsical funny skin that could be either hilarious or a failure. The idea is definitely a stretch so the execution will have to be very good to make the skin be more than a passable joke.

  6. Dunkmaster is finally out, can you review it soon?

  7. Quick First thought on Dunkmaster?

    • Looks nice as it does an effort to transform Darius in a basketball player. The real star are the animations which deliver the theme. In spite of the funny angle it appears to go an extra step to represent its concept and that’s its saving grace.

  8. I was just wondering with the upcoming new ward skins and a good amount already released, if you could do ward skins reviews? I’ve looked around the web and there aren’t many places that have good ward skins reviews besides the forums. Just a cool idea I thought of, keep up the great work with the champ skins though, I really appreciate it!

    • We’ll certainly keep trying to improve.

      Reviewing ward skins is not a bad idea. We haven’t seen much complexity in them and they tend to be similar in features but sometimes there are differences. We’ll give them a look and take it into consideration. It’s a possibility, we’ll have to see how much there is to say.

  9. Always find it a wonderful experience to read your reviews. One thing to factor in with Dunkmaster though that you might have failed to consider is that his Noxian Guillotine Dunk changes in animation with regards to positioning and distance from the enemy champion I think. It’s a neat thing that I really enjoy about the skin cause it makes the ult a different experience every time you use it even though it comes out pretty fast.

    Also, it just seems a little weird to me that your review for Dunkmaster seems a little on the negative side and not much on the positives when it’s one of the few Legendary skins that you guys gave a 4* (which I’m pretty happy about cause I think it’s a pretty cool skin).

    I personally have to give it props though because there’s so little you can do with Darius with regards to particles and animations because his skills come out just way too fast, but Dunkmaster does it pretty well compared to all his other skins. Miles better IMO.

    Just my two cents. Maybe factor in some of my input if you didn’t consider it? But keep up the good work!

    • Glad that you find the reviews useful.

      We didn’t really notice Noxian Guillotine having multiple animations but it’s something that crossed our minds. The thing is that as it’s so fast it’s quite difficult to appreciate. We’ll keep our eyes open to see how many varieties there are.

      Maybe the review makes a little too much emphasis in the negative. Our idea was to explain that despite the issues that a joke skin usually has to put up with, like a preposterous concept, Dunkmaster Darius raises above them. You can appreciate the effort in making the skin work and while it does have some rough edges it still is an appealing option.

      We completely agree that the skin goes an extra step to deliver its theme which is what a good legendary skin should do. That’s why we think it’s a great option worth considering despite the price.

      Your feedback is appreciated and we’ll try to be clearer in the reviews, thanks.

      • Np. I still enjoyed the review. It just seemed a little strange to me that despite being one of Darius’ best skins most of what you talked about were the issues and not much of the positives alongside them. XD

        Also one thing I forgot to mention was that the recall also has multiple animations and the number of hidden taunts he has for different champions is staggeringly huge. Around 36, I think? As well as a lot of different reactions for buying items and also interestingly enough, for simply placing wards. I think those also make nice positives worth mentioning that make the skin worthwhile.

        • Another reason to cover the negatives so much is so that people are well aware of the skin’s weak points. Therefore, when we explain the positives and they make a balance between the two they can get a more useful idea of what the skin offers and how good it is at it. After all, what’s good from a skin is usually easier to see, especially when it’s new, but the bad tends to be ignored; psychology apparently.

          When legendary skins want to get complex they surely can. Those are all good additions and also a lot of trouble to cover. We’ll see what we can do though the skin is good enough and those are nice extras that make it feel better but don’t really make the bulk of what is good.

  10. You might want to take in account that dunkmaster Darius has 40+ special quotes with other champions

    • That would be included under the new quotes for his taunt though it’s not very descriptive. We’ll see how to rephrase it, thanks for the notice.

  11. Woad King Darius also has a new sound for his recall. It is just some axe sounds but they are clear enough to be noted.

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