Aug 212012
 
Katarina, the Sinister Blade
Katarina, the Sinister Blade

Katarina, the Sinister Blade is a true fan of swords and daggers of all kinds; her preferred tools for her assassinations. Besides, Katarina is an attractive woman and prefers light, comfortable clothing to long cloaks or armour. Then, do her skins enhance both her lethality and appeal? Read further on her skins’ review and find out.

Mercenary Katarina
Mercenary Katarina Splash Art Mercenary Katarina Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Katarina with pink hair and green clothes.
Model: New textures for Katarina.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Mercenary Katarina hints at a more modern look than she actually has. The background seems to be made of skyscrapers, one of which has its top floors on fire. Moreover, the other buildings are twisted and inclined as if collapsing. The whole of the background is covered by the dust of such falls which makes the lack of clarity reasonable. However, as a much as a show of Katarina’s intense destructive power as it may be it appears inapplicable: Katarina is an assassin not a demolisher. It is fortunate then that Katarina’s depiction is excellent. Her hair flows masterfully, her leather clothes shine under the light as well as her blades while her pose is focused, believable and appealing. For some reason her body tattoo is drawn on her left side which coupled with the extra detail absent from her in-game model make the piece not a faithful reproduction of her true aspect. Still, on the whole this is quite a good splash art despite the obvious flaws it suffers from.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Mercenary Katarina is a re-texture and a hint at her original look. The mercenary colours aren’t particularly good nor are they unsuitable. Truth is, this is a skin that exists more for the nostalgia it provides than the quality it shows. On its own, besides the pink hair and green clothes, you get absolutely nothing else. Therefore, except for nostalgic fans Mercenary Katarina isn’t worth getting.

Red Card Katarina
Red Card Katarina Splash Art Red Card Katarina Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Katarina dressed as an association football referee.
Model: Moderate model changes for Katarina.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This splash art is simple and straightforward: stadium on the background, Katarina on the foreground and work done. The background is simple with a minimal display of the stadium’s crowds and lights; most of it is a dark cloudy sky. Katarina looks nice and attractive in her referee clothes and while the red card makes sense the sword does not, at all. The quality of the drawing is very good but the composition is indeed simple. Overall, a nice splash art that does its job, with quality, but nothing more.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: In spite of how unfitting a referee is in the middle of a battlefield armed with a couple of swords, Katarina does look good. It can’t be denied that the clothes enhance her lean figure and do an excellent job at showing how attractive she is; maybe better than Kitty Cat Katarina does. Still, there isn’t anything striking about her look: it simply offers a clear view of her silhouette. On those grounds, it’s a nice skin but as far as concept and execution goes there isn’t much on offer.

Bilgewater Katarina
Bilgewater Katarina Splash Art Bilgewater Katarina Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Katarina as swashbuckling pirate.
Model: Major model changes for Katarina. New model for Katarina’s swords.
Particles: New projectile for Bouncing Blade.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Bilgewater Katarina’s splash art is good but feels like it could’ve been better. The setting is appropriate: a misty ship; Katarina is well depicted as well. Regardless, it all looks quite empty like a pose more than a glimpse of her seafaring adventures. Still the piece succeeds in its intent: Katarina is well delineated with great shading and good depiction of materials and proportions. Still, despite the visual quality the piece looks devoid of life; it’s just a spotlight. Overall, a good looking piece but with a lot of wasted potential.
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 StrategyZero
Conclusion: Bilgewater Katarina is a nice skin with a few inconsistencies. Firstly, it effectively delivers the sea scoundrel look: patch, hat and boarding sabres effectively work in tandem. Secondly, the revealing clothes and the unexplainable armour stain the quality. It seems as if the skin attempts to simultaneously present Katarina as a pirate and femme fatale with conflicting elements that generate a result that isn’t exactly a success. In conclusion, Bilgewater Katarina is a nice pirate skin as long as you don’t mind her baring skin and retaining traces of her classic incarnation.

Kitty Cat Katarina
Kitty Cat Katarina Splash Art Kitty Cat Katarina Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Katarina wearing a revealing cat costume.
Model: Moderate model changes for Katarina.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Kitty Cat Katarina isn’t a serious skin and it’s splash art has to be considered under the same light. The city background and moon with a cat face are a setting but one that simply frames the pose and just tells that cats like high places. Katarina is alluring and attractive in her cat suit and the excellent shading enhances her portrayal. In the end, the piece succeeds at what it wants to do: spotlight Katarina’s Kitty Cat look; it does nothing more and maybe it shouldn’t.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Kitty Cat Katarina is a skin of extremes as its both desirable but disappointing. On the one hand, it dresses Katarina in an appealing and funny cat suit. On the other hand, that’s all this skin is: an exclusive fetish. There’s no denying that Kitty Cat Katarina is a skin with an attractive look but the concept is quite basic and the execution is limited. You could say that this is a bubblegum skin: it looks incredible in the beginning but in the end it doesn’t amount to much.

High Command Katarina
High Command Katarina Splash Art High Command Katarina Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Katarina in her high rank Noxian military uniform.
Model: New model for Katarina and her swords.
Particles: New projectile for Bouncing Blade.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The siege engines stay silent behind Katarina, she stands defiant under the rain; with her swords drawn, her eyes face what’s coming. She waits calmly but focused: Katarina is always ready to do whatever her loyalty asks for. This piece makes a clear and interesting impression and backs it with great use of colours and lighting. The background does look rougher that Katarina but it also contrasts her precise assassin style with the blunt destruction of the catapults. While it is strange to find Katarina alone in the middle of such machinery it could very well be an infiltration to reach her target. Truth is, this is a piece that tells a lot and suggests even more. It’s not just a good spotlight, it also is a little story and that makes it one of League of Legends’ best splash arts.
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: High Command Katarina is a skin that doesn’t deliver on the promises of the splash art; as unexpected as it may be. Still, what it does deliver is quite good as the overall aesthetic is well presented: it equally demonstrates Katarina’s attractiveness and lethality. For instance, the clothes show skin but are more suggestive than revealing. Moreover, the guards of the swords echo the knee caps with very eloquent skulls. The golden decorations add an aristocratic feel without standing in the way of practicality. While the daggers have the classic design the hooked style of her swords matches the skin perfectly and also modifies Bouncing Blade; which is a nice addition.
The design still has a few issues: the unnecessarily high boots make the gaps on the outsides of the tights almost insignificant. Furthermore, the jacket going under her trousers is a whimsical and ridiculous choice as it serves no other function than to show something unusual and make her tattoo disappear. Having the clothing as two separate pieces seems more natural and comfortable. All things considered, High Command Katarina is a very nice skin, despite its flaws, that heightens her classic theme with some militaristic aristocracy.

Sandstorm Katarina
Sandstorm Katarina Splash Art Sandstorm Katarina Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Katarina wearing desert style clothing and wielding serrated scimitars.
Model: New model for Katarina, her swords and daggers.
Particles: New projectiles for Death Lotus, new particles for Sinister Steel and Shunpo.
Animations: New animation for her taunt.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Flying sand is nothing uncommon in the desert, something quite convenient to get away with an unnecessarily fuzzy background. At least the structures’ silhouettes are enough to clearly convey the setting. Katarina looks really good: the loose clothes flow in the air, the metal decorations shine and the serrated scimitars look deadly and eye-catching; just like her. Regrettably, there seems to be a few perspective problems that, while minor, make certain aspects of Katarina look awkward. For instance, the size and width of the coins on her dress, the scar over her left eye and even her body’s proportions. The individual effects are minor but together they affect the perception of the piece. Overall, it’s quite a nice splash art that suffers from an underlying and not always subtle problem with the way things are delineated.
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: As a homage to Prince of Persia’s 2008 version, Sandstorm Katarina is definitely faithful to its source material. In addition to this, the desert theme is executed effectively providing an appealing and fresh outfit without making it revealing. In other words, Katarina does show skin but it makes perfect sense for a hot environment; even though, in a true desert she would completely cover herself. The serrated scimitars and daggers are good but it’s strange that blades designed to be wielded with finesse are made less precise and cleaner by this characteristic.
Actually, the skin seems to be more about looks than source fidelity and at that the new particles make a great job adding sand and serrated blades to Katarina’s activities. On the whole, Sandstorm Katarina is a very nice skin that executes well an attractive concept. However, Bouncing Blade suffers from a glaring oversight: the blade she actually throws is one of her classic swords instead of the serrated scimitar she holds in her right hand. If this were to be fixed Sandstorm Katarina would be an excellent skin but as it stands it stays quite good but obviously defective.

Slay Belle Katarina
Slay Belle Katarina Splash Art Slay Belle Katarina Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Katarina dressed as a sexy Santa helper.
Model: New model for Katarina and her blades.
Particles: New projectile for Bouncing Blade and new particles for her abilities.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her recall.
Splash Art: The background is actually undefined, some hints can be caught from the Christmas tree and walls, it could be a hallway or a manor’s entrance. Regardless, it’s more speculation than an actual display; much like the identity or even relevance of the startled and falling man. Katarina’s depiction has a pleasing cartoon style and interesting composition. She seems to have ripped a box open from the inside so as to make a surprise appearance; though she could just be on an anti-present rampage. Her portrayal is very nice: the stance is dynamic but it hides her body and boots. Besides, the shading is great yet her hair looks a bit waxy, her dress too wrinkled and her right blade quite plain. Overall, is a fine depiction of Katarina that serves its purpose, to a point, yet has some issues.
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: Slay Belle Katarina is a fine skin with a simple but attractive concept: Katarina as an enticing Santa helper. The clothes are nice and the antlers acceptable but the outfit is hardly impressive. Conversely, the new blades have a fascinating design that greatly helps make the skin unique. The particles seem mostly like a re-colour of the classic ones, yet there are new light effects so they stand as a good addition. All things considered, Slay Belle Katarina doesn’t bedazzle with its style but it’s still an appealing skin for the Sinister Blade.

Conclusion

Katarina shows different aesthetics befitting a blade wielding assassin. Sandstorm Katarina and High Command Katarina are the best exponents but are not without their issues. The former suffers from a visual oversight and the latter from questionable design choices. Still, they are both good looking skins that deliver good concepts with acceptable executions.

Bilgewater Katarina is a good choice if seafarers are to your liking but be aware of the lingering classic traits that remain in her. Finally, Mercenary Katarina is a cheap change of colours for the Sinister Blade. If you really like the colour scheme or feel nostalgic about Katarina it may be a skin for you; yet be mindful that there’s nothing else on offer.

Image Credits

Red Card Katarina and Kitty Cat Katarina model screen-shots taken with Gamebase’s League of Legends Skin Viewer.

  42 Responses to “League of Legends: Katarina Skins’ Review”

  1. Trank you very much for the skin review Zero!..

  2. pls do a nunu skin review not sure if i should get glacial Olaf and demolisher nunu.

    • Sure, Olaf added to the list and Nunu bumped in the order.

      With regards to the skins, Glacial Olaf is simply blue Olaf so consider how much you like Classic Olaf but with a blue colour scheme.
      Demolisher Nunu is more interesting as it outfits Nunu and Willump in heavy armour. The look is quite appealing and if you like Nunu there’s a good chance you’ll like the armour; despite Nunu’s gorilla face.

  3. I really do like katarina but I’ve never played her due to the fact that everyone else plays her. I really like her christmas skin and im not sure if I should buy it, wait for the sandstorm to go on sale or buy neither of them. Please tell me your opinion guys. I really do need it.

    • It’s true that Katarina has become quite popular after her visual upgrade but she’s still quite fun to play.

      Slay Belle Katarina is a nice skin but it’s firmly Christmas based. Therefore, you should consider whether the look is nice enough to use the skin for the rest of the year.

      Sandstorm Katarina has a distinct Persian style that isn’t tied to a season. However, the particle problem with Bouncing Blade is a bit detracting; though it should be fixed, sometime.

      In the end, you should purchase a skin if you intend to play the champion and like the skin. Sandstorm has a broader concept but Slay Belle is more exclusive; as it’s legacy.

      Besides, you shouldn’t discard new skins being released; as Katarina is quite popular. If you purchase any be sure that you like it enough that a new skin wouldn’t make them obsolete.

  4. There’s a small typo in the Mercenary Katarina: her hair is not pink, but some kind of greyish blue. I’m surprised nobody in the comments noticed it.

    • Actually, we were mostly quoting a Rioter who explained that Mercenary Katarina homages her original look with pink hair. We’ll check a bit further and update the review as needed. Thanks for the notice.

      • I thought I was colorblind for a sec, I had to check with my friends what her hair color was, haha!

        Still, I didn’t know her original look had pink hair. That is indeed a surprise on my part.

        • It probably goes as far back as beta, as only in her visual upgrade were her icons updated with her new aspect. Before that they showed her with pink hair as she looks in her mercenary style.

          Apparently, Katarina was a tad more lively in her origins. In the end, everyone has a dark past they want to conceal.

  5. For most of the skins you have stated “New projectile for Bouncing Blade.”, but how so are the projectiles new? I have seen several videos on the skins but cannot really notice any new projectile.

    Also, this is my personal opinion but, don’t you think Bilgewater Katarina deserves a 4 star rating?

    • What we mean is that when Katarina throws her Bouncing Blade the blade on the air matches the one she was holding in her hand. For instance, that’s not the case with Sandstorm Katarina as the blade she throws isn’t a serrated scimitar but instead her classic blade.

      Bilgewater Katarina is an appealing skin but for 975 RP it should let go more of Classic Katarina’s design. We agree that it’s charming but it could embody the pirate look a bit better.

  6. Zero, very good review as always I currently have bilge water,high command, sandstorm, and mercenary. And I love using katarina, I really love slay belle katarinas splash art and in game look and I live in Asia do you happen to know If they will be selling it and the rest of the showdown skins this Christmas thanks in advance and sorry for the long post

    • As far as we know, Slay Belle Katarina is a legacy skin and so will probably be available for purchase again during Christmas; as well as other 2011 and 2012 Snowdown skins. Theoretically, skins shouldn’t be unavailable depending on region so, unless something strange happens, next Christmas they should be back at the store.

  7. does anybody knows when kitty cat katarina will be available this month? i really want to take her!!!!!!!!!

  8. does anyone know when katarina will be able to buy slay belle skin? on chirstmas? or when?

  9. the slay belle katarina is 5* for me :3

    • Nothing wrong with that, in fact, we agree that it’s a great skin. However, to reach five stars as a legacy skin it needs something extra that pushes it beyond the usual quality. Nonetheless, it’s definitely quite a charming skin.

  10. What is the best skin for katarina?

    • If you like something serious then Sandstorm Katarina is the best though High Command is also quite good. For something funny then Slay Belle delivers good looks. Personal preference is probably the deciding factor as these three are all nice options.

      • I cant buy slaybelle and i dont like the look of sandstorm , I like high Command and i like mercenary too b’cuz it has blue hair … better to hear your opinion

        • High Command is quite nice, not only in looks but also in terms of lore: she’s reasonably, yet not flawlessly, dressed as a high ranking officer of the Noxian military.
          Mercenary is simpler and cheaper as well as a tribute to her original appearance.

          In this case, there are sufficient arguments to make both skins an attractive purchase because of the most important factor: you like them both. You only have to decide if you’d rather spend more for something more elaborate or not.

  11. Really good review! :) Do you know if bilgewater Katarina or high command katarina will be coming on sale soon? :)

    • Bilgewater Katarina was discounted on July right after High Command. Therefore, a reasonable amount of time has passed since they were on sale. Sadly, there are some skins that haven’t been discounted for over a year. Ultimately, a sale including any of these skins is feasable in the foreseeable future but there’s some tough competition to beat.

  12. Zero, can you confirm on Red Card Katarina’s price? It says 520 rp on lolwiki.

  13. After looking at the kata skins for sometime I have decided to not get any, so do you think they (Riot) need to make a new skin for her. One with full FX changes! If so what skin would you guys like to see? (Make one up and use your imagination :D )

    • There should be another skin for Katarina as the ones she has are good but none are really impressive.

      We currently don’t have any specific ideas regarding possible skins. We’ll have to think long on this one as it’s not a matter of just having an idea that might work and doing what you can with it. Ideally, it should be an interesting and fitting concept backed by a meticulous execution.

      The people at Riot have the expertise to do something spectacular let’s just hope that the end result is satisfying to the player once released. After all, skins aren’t exactly a cheap thing.

  14. Well Zero, seems like its 975 RP. Thanks!

  15. Hi Zero, I read all the skins reviews before I buy a skin and I think there really cool and have stopped me from making stupid decisions. But anyways I would like to ask a question, I own all the KAT skins most of them I have got in special but i wanted to here your opinion on owning all of champions skins if you “main” them or play them heaps like I play KAT.
    Cheers

    • Glad that you find the reviews useful.

      We think it’s understandable and even a good idea to have a lot of skins for a champion you enjoy and play a lot. They provide variety and some champions do have many good skins so there’s satisfaction to be had in owning many skins.

      The other side of the matter is if a skin is purchased simply to have them all. There will be more skins, eventually, because it’s the nature of the game. So, unless you are a collector there’s little point in getting a skin that won’t see much use.

      The bottom line is that it’s not really a problem to have several skins if you use and like them. However, getting a skin just to fulfil a quota is a weak argument.

  16. My opion, and im not sure about others, is that mercenary is the best skin

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