Harrowing is a time of joy and treats or horror and tricks; depends for some. It’s also a time for some League of Legends’ champions to don costumes and join in the fun; everybody wants their candy bucket full after all. This time a trio have taken up the mantle with some interesting new outfits. Do they look good enough to get the sweets they desire?
|Concept:||Fiora as a traditional ruler-wielding headmistress.|
|Model:||New model for Fiora and her rapier.|
|Particles:||No new particles.|
|Animations:||New animation for her taunt.|
|Sounds:||New ruler-smacking sounds for her auto-attack and taunt.|
|Splash Art:||The sunrays coming through the stained-glass window bathe the room with a warm radiance. As admiring followers, the lamps join in to highlight the pristine surface of the bookcase. On a side of the room a smirking Fiora signals with her ruler as the light shines on her porcelain skin and immaculate dress. The quality of this piece is absorbing and stunning: an incredible achievement. It isn’t a perfect piece but is so close that its minor flaws become irrelevant. The detail of the background, you can even notice the texture of the wood, added to the superlative portrayal of Fiora make this splash art one of League of Legends best without any shadow of a doubt.|
|Conclusion:||Headmistress Fiora aims to inspire the classic pupil fear of a strict and severe authority figure. However, she simply looks too attractive and elegant to elicit any terror. Nevertheless, the refined and enticing look is well done while the concept is a perfect fit for Fiora’s aloof personality. Actually, the ruler makes for a comical yet effective method of punishment and the smacking sounds of her auto-attacks are great proof of the allure of such a weapon. Sadly, contrary to the release statement, her abilities keep their classic sound which makes for quite an inconsistent combination; especially when using Lunge or Riposte. Furthermore, the ability sounds are so loud that they completely eclipse the smacking auto-attacks and so they often become inaudible. All things considered, Headmistress Fiora is a great looking skin but the inconsistent smacking sounds feel like a mere afterthought that wasn’t integrated into the skin nor even completely added. Maybe it would’ve been better to wield a ruler with a keen edge.|
|Concept:||Ryze outfitted like a classic buccaneer.|
|Model:||New model for Ryze.|
|Particles:||No new particles.|
|Animations:||New animation for Overload, Rune Prison and standing idle.|
|Sounds:||No new sounds.|
|Splash Art:||The setting of this piece is mostly a fuzzy sky with some rock formations and sea water. What actually makes the background attractive is the presence of multiple champions in their pirate attire: Swain, Tristana, Katarina, Fiddlesticks and Rumble join Ryze in this disembarkation. Unfortunately, the cartoony appearance of the champions doesn’t mesh with Ryze’s visceral depiction. Ryze shows ample detail: multiple folds on his clothes, strands of beard that reflect the sun, he even has a couple of gold teeth and his eye patch shows a rough surface. On top of that the cannon on his back shows dents like much of his apparel. Therefore, this faithful pirate depiction makes the ball of magic in his left hand very peculiar. In the end, it’s a nice splash art that tries to mesh League of Legends with buccaneering with mixed but overall positive results.|
|Conclusion:||Pirate Ryze is a skin that isn’t as simple or pedestrian as it looks. The model is quite elaborate with particular attention to classic pirate attire. Moreover, the skin adds a few fitting animations that reinforce the corsair theme. Overload shoots a magic ball from the cannon on his back and for Rune Prison he strikes a daring pose. There’s no doubt that the former looks better than the latter but both complement the flashy pirate look. Besides, when standing idle Ryze takes a sip from his rum bottle; which is a perfect addition. On the whole, Ryze’s usual magic display directly clashes with the pirate aspect. However, if taken as a costumed mage the idea becomes more reasonable. After all, Classic Ryze’s voice, quotes and manners aren’t that far from the concept.|
|Concept:||Brand as a brain-eating zombie set on fire.|
|Model:||New model for Brand and green flames.|
|Particles:||New green particles for his auto-attack, abilities, taunt, joke, dance and footprint trail when walking.|
|Animations:||New animations for his auto-attack, abilities, standing idle, walk, emotes, death, re-spawn, recall and capture.|
|Sounds:||New voice over for Brand and new sounds for his auto-attack, abilities, death and re-spawn.|
|Splash Art:||In a dimly lit crypt a man in flames screams. Closer inspection of the subject reveals his tattered clothes and torn flesh. His dead body being animated by an unholy energy that erupts from his hands and head. The premise is attractive but the setting a little too blurry. Still, Brand’s portrayal is quite good, the perspective adds to his death-defying aspect to make him look menacing and even powerful. Besides, the clothes are very well delineated to show the abuse of his undead existence. Overall, it’s a nice splash art but leaves the nagging thought that it could’ve been spectacular with a little more refinement.|
|Conclusion:||Zombie Brand really does turn Brand into an undead corpse: the skin provides a complete set of new animations as well as a new voice over and new particles to back his aspect. The decrepit look is accomplished despite the fact that a suit is rather ill suited for a battlefield; an undead mage or warrior could’ve fit better. The animations are excellent and truly deliver the strain on his body due to the failure of multiple muscles and sinews. In addition to this, the new voice over complements the previous elements with a rough voice and slurred speech for suitable zombie quotes.
Unfortunately, the green flames and imperceptible sounds are a bit disappointing. They do look good and appear a bit more capricious than his usual ones. Nonetheless, while a flaming zombie isn’t a bad idea it seems like the particles chose to stick to Classic Brand’s formula too closely while the other elements went an extra step to deliver the zombie theme. This is even more pronounced and noticeable after the particle update. Currently, Classic and Zombie Brand’s abilities look almost identical. Gone are the wavy flames and gaseous effects and all we have now is a re-colour of the classic visuals; the auto-attack stain is missing too. At a legendary level, this is completely unacceptable.
Therefore, the skin feels and acts like a zombie but a zombie with fire powers; his pyromancer nature remains intact. To sum up, it’s a great skin that truly delivers the feel of a zombie but doesn’t push hard enough to effectively round the theme.
This year Harrowing skins have tried to be more than just re-models and they have succeeded, though with varying degrees. Pirate Ryze is the recommended skin as it delivers as close a pirate look as a mage could do: it’s a very good model with a few extra animations that complement the concept well. Zombie Brand is also quite good but it also asks for a heftier expenditure: the zombie feel is accomplished but for a legendary and legacy skin little less than perfection is to be asked; a perfection that is close but not reached. Finally, Headmistress Fiora is better left for dedicated Fiora fans or those that admire elegantly dressed ladies administering punishments with a long ruler: the concept is great but the execution is too inconsistent to satisfy.