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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.