Feb 232012
Leona, the Radiant Dawn
Leona, the Radiant Dawn

Leona, the Radiant Dawn is a champion entirely based on the theme of a protector. Her skins are not an exception so whether she dresses more avian or spiky Leona is ready to defend while sporting some good looks. If you need some guidance as to which of Leona’s skin to purchase, lean on this review.

Valkyrie Leona
Valkyrie Leona Splash Art Valkyrie Leona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Leona dressed as a Valkyrie from the poems of the Poetic Edda.
Model: New model for Leona, her sword and shield.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The art offers a fresh and nice representation of Leona. The lighter colours, her pose and the rich bucolic background make the piece feel vivid and relaxed. Details abound like the dents on the shield or the reflections on the armour and sword. Without doubt one of the finest pieces of splash art available.
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Leona dressed as a Valkyrie is a good concept that is well executed. Even if her body armour is lighter than usual her model is elaborate and original: every aspect of her is different from Classic Leona. Each piece of armour contributes to the whole feel and provides an alternative novel look at the armour-heavy Leona. At this price point it’s unusual to find such a nice and thorough model for a champion. If you like Leona you should consider getting Valkyrie Leona.

Defender Leona
Defender Leona Splash Art Defender Leona Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Leona wears heavy battle-worn armour.
Model: New model for Leona, her sword and shield.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The art shows Leona defiantly standing in front of a battle-torn landscape. Leona’s armour evokes the same feeling, dented and scratched but standing. While the background appears a bit simple the amount of detail on Leona and her dramatic stance are able to evoke the urgency of the situation. When a piece is able to capture a moment and transmit it’s feel it means that it’s something special.
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: Defender Leona is a very well done skin that shows Leona as the vanguard of a staunch defence. Dents and cracks cover the whole armour, though the armour inexplicably doesn’t cover Leona’s right arm, and not even the sword and shield are spared of battle marks. The consistency of the model, reliance on darker tones and aggressive spikes convey a dedication to protecting that perfectly fits Leona. Moreover, it helps it stand apart from the other, brighter, skins. Few skins carry out a concept this well and for that Defender Leona is recommended.

Iron Solari Leona
Iron Solari Leona Splash Art Iron Solari Leona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Leona dresses in avian-themed armour as a member of the Iron Solari.
Model: New model for Leona, her sword and shield.
Particles: New particles for Eclipse, Zenith Blade and Solar Flare.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Leona is a protector and the art perfectly reflects that as she is shown before the quarters of the Iron Solari. The sun shining on her remind of her commitment to the Sun while it highlights the intricacies of her armour. The background compliments the piece and spreads the avian theme all over the piece. A great work with a consistent and original theme.
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Iron Solari Leona could be considered the best skin that Leona has available. While the source material wasn’t serious the dedication provided to this model definitely was. The avian theme permeates the whole model; feather-based sword, feathered armour and bird-emblem shield. Moreover, her abilities are changed to contribute to the Iron Solari theme. Unless the idea of the Iron Solari parrot-faction doesn’t convince you, you shouldn’t miss Iron Solari Leona.

Pool Party Leona
Pool Party Leona Splash Art Pool Party Leona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Leona dressed for the beach with sunflower adornments.
Model: New model for Leona, her sword and shield.
Particles: New Zenith Blade particles.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New auto-attack sounds.
Splash Art: The beach, a mermaid and Ezreal in a bad mood while Lux and Taric run, is the setting. Leona looks good but the background seems more interesting than her simple pose. At least her portrayal is quite nice as she seems to have all the necessary tools to enjoy a comfortable stay under the sun. The shading is also quite detailed and nice even if a tad too saturated. All in all, it’s good splash art that does a good job at alluringly presenting Leona. Although, the background steals the show more than it should.
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: Pool Party Leona is essentially the Radiant Dawn as a beachgoer. The clothes display Leona as an attractive lady without leaving her half-naked. Besides, the impractical parasol and board suffice as weapons for battle. The new sounds are good at complementing the change as well as the new particles. The recall is particularly appealing as a welcome finishing touch. On the whole, Pool Party Leona is a lovely skin that could’ve toyed more with her solar thematic. It’s certainly a good choice for Leona’s fans but it doesn’t do enough to really stand out.

PROJECT: Leona Splash Art PROJECT: Leona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Leona as a hi-tech defender.
Model: New model for Leona, her sword and shield plus new glow for her sword and shield.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall. Processed voice-over and two new movement quotes.
Splash Art: Not much is clear in the background but the sense of a futuristic city abundant in neon and electronics manages to sip through the small cracks we are allowed to peek through. For some reason the floor appears quite diffuse but it doesn’t convince as dust due to the rain. The centre of the piece is certainly Leona crushing androids left and right.
Leona’s portrayal is eye-catching due to her stance and the combat context. It does seem more realistic in the surrounding parts and more cartoony in the centre; which is puzzling. Her face appears almost photorealistic as well as her left arm, and the androids, while her right arm and legs are almost there. However, in comparison, the helmet but especially her body seem flat and devoid of the depth that the other areas have; the same applies to the light sources. In spite of this issue the depiction is quite detailed and the running water over the armour helps alleviate some of the problems. Both shield and sword attacks are magnificently made as they eloquently attract the eye while stating the cybernetic theme.
All in all, it’s an uneven piece that suffers from the exact inverse problem as most other splash arts. Whereas most pieces are only clear in the central area this one seems flatter just there. Regardless, it something subtle so the portrayal is great, which added to the context and setting, make for an incredible splash art that can be considered among League of Legends’ best.
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: At first sight, PROJECT: Leona looks more like a heavily armoured warrior than a cyborg. That suits her well as she’s known for her preference for good protection; at her service and others. In that regard, the new model preserves her core while communicating the cybernetic theme effectively. In particular, the transparent blade and shield wings are a great touch to make the theme clear and also visually appealing. The added glow is icing on a fine cake.
The particles have a fitting technological feel and so do the sounds. In both areas they are too strictly limited by the theme and so they can feel too similar to the usual. The digital waves provide a unifying design but also lack variety. Nevertheless, they are attractive and do their job. The enlarged shield when activating Eclipse isn’t as noticeable as in other skins but the aura of protection seems more satisfying with its animation. The teleport employed by Zenith Blade is a great choice so that Leona appears mighty yet surprisingly nimble; which is to be expected thanks to the artificial enhancements. The new recall conforms to the expected flamboyance without being an exaggeration. The modified particles added to her death keep everything consistent and further stress the digital angle of the concept; like the processed voice-over.
All things considered, PROJECT: Leona is a good skin but one that doesn’t go far beyond the usual additions. The new death particles are the only addition the skin has beyond the norm but as it’s necessary to keep cohesion it doesn’t really feel like a true extra. Fans of technology and Leona will find PROJECT a nice skin but one to get on sale.

Barbecue Leona
Barbecue Leona Splash Art Barbecue Leona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Leona as a griller, ready for a fight with fork and grill in hand
Model: New model for Leona, her sword and shield plus new sparks for her shield.
Particles: New shape for Zenith Blade.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: With regards to a setting there isn’t much to speak of as there’s only a very blurry image of Master Chef Tahm Kench overlooking the meeting. There’s a paper lamp at the top and a table layered with all kind of delicacies. Still, the actual place is unidentifiable. Because of the multitude of utensils at the forefront a kitchen seems reasonable enough but the context eludes definition. There’s the possibility of a reunion of friends or a culinary competition but nothing concrete. The table also seems rather rustic, even like a slab of stone if the area near Olaf’s left hand is of any consequence. The food on display is also of uneven quality. The sausages and bread can look photorealistic and almost smell delicious while the crab pincer and the steak appear sketchy and unconvincing; other examples abound. The sashimi and its ingredients stand in the middle: cartoony but believable.
For the most part the cooks share the available space equitably. They are only visible from the waist up but they usually manage to transmit their speciality. Lines are clean and colours have different tones though they turn waxy when moving from left to right. Whereas Akali’s shading is sharp, Pantheon shows sketchy signs which Leona emphasises and Olaf only confirms. Additionally, there isn’t as good a connection between the cooks as there could be despite their proximity. Akali seems distracted, perhaps by the subtlety of a certain meat tenderiser, or maybe she’s simply staring vacantly into space; though that doesn’t seem to affect her concentration while chopping away. What she’s actually chopping isn’t clear but the result seems grated. Pantheon, with unexpectedly large rolling pin behind, is solely focused on admiring his masterpiece while Leona, escaping the encroaching fog, inspects the quality of the sausage’s grilling with satisfaction; as would be expected. Olaf pours all of his skill in making sure that the steak is tender and nice; a lesson the poor meat will have to learn. In other words, everybody is dedicated to their own activities so they could perfectly be on their own and each portrayal would be unmodified in the least.
All in all, this is a piece that crams as many champions as possible, a full team actually, into as little room as it can. While that means that some sacrifices need to be made it isn’t the main responsible for the uninvolved portrayal of cooks. Each one is solely interested in their own work and there’s no interaction between them. Given that the setting is as basic as it could be the splash art feels too straightforward and, ultimately, disappointingly simple. When all is said and done, it works as a shared spotlight for the cooks but it does nothing to make the presentation captivating.
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: For a straightforward joke Barbecue Leona is quite appealing. The hat, though too small, apron and mittens are eloquent about her role while the napkin around the neck, baggy trousers and leather boots give a countryside air to the look. The nicely decorated apron matching the golden lined shirt gives a fine air of elegance. As is expected, the sausage-tipped fork and grill take charge of the preposterous side of the skin. The new weapons are to add the funny side of the skin. The fork with sausage firmly in place is amusing but the grill seems less inventive. It’s a flat, solid surface that looks more like a shield with a little forge than a cooking implement. The new sparks add to that idea more than to the original concept, also. Besides, it’s not exactly the ideal choice for a shield. An interruption would cause the cook to naturally grab a fork or knife, sausage on it or not, but the grill seems an ineffective and unconvincing stretch. The result is appealing for the most part and is a look at Leona’s cooking activity with an added exaggeration. With a less direct and forced joke the feel would’ve been more natural.
The particles are nothing significant but keep things consistent. Specifically, the new shape for Zenith Blade matches her new sword. That’s all there is of note in the ability department.
When all is added together, Barbecue Leona is a fine joke that also presents the Radiant Dawn in her cooking adventures; perhaps grabbing what she had at hand to defend herself. The skin’s identity is attractive but the pull of the joke means that exaggeration is necessary to cause a laugh and that dilutes the sensible and cute personality otherwise present.


Leona has a wonderful collection of skins, all different and inspiring. From the serenity of Valkyrie Leona to the stern dedication of Defender Leona, without ignoring the parrot-esque Iron Solari Leona or the beach-inspired Pool Party Leona, none of her skins disappoint.

Regardless, when the time comes to make purchases Iron Solari Leona stands above thanks to its new particles. Both Defender and Valkyrie Leona are also good, though a bit more modest, so you can choose based on concept or price. Pool Party Leona is also a fine option for something less serious despite not making the most of its concept.

At the highest price comes PROJECT: Leona with attractive digital visuals and sounds. The theme is clear and fittingly adapted for the Radiant Dawn but there’s nothing beyond the expected additions. It remains a fine skin but one that needs to offer more to really excel.

Barbecue Leona is a skin with an appealing identity that shows a cooking Radiant Dawn at the ready for a fight. The presentation is quite appealing and the implementation consistent. However, the identity is made to take an extra step beyond the amusing to be funny and that ends up compromising the pleasing and sensible personality. It’s a nice skin but the plain statement of the joke doesn’t make it funnier.

No matter what you buy, it’s difficult to go wrong with any of Leona’s skins. Some are certainly more attractive than others yet all skins offer something unique and interesting.

  28 Responses to “League of Legends: Leona Skins’ Review”

  1. Isn’t the particles on Iron Solari Leona’s Eclipse the same?

    • Apparently not as the magical explosion has a different pattern. Although, to be fair, it’s not as noticeable as it should probably be.

  2. Nice review of all the current skin. though cheaper with little to no changes, I decided to buy Valkyrie Leona. Iron Solari doesn’t seem toattract me more than Valkyrie.

    • Glad that you like it. Truth be told, Valkyrie Leona offers a new model for her that is quite appealing even if somewhat fantastic. It may not have new particles but, for the price, it’s quite nice.

      Iron Solari seems more sensible, in terms of gear, with a clear bird design; of a parrot, specifically. The nice model and new particles make it a great option for the price but it also falls under the ‘new armour’ skin category. Valkyrie is more of a departure and so it stands out more.

  3. In the Iron Solare skin, there is an animation on her shield, the wings opens when she uses her w.

    • We are aware and that’s an animation that happens in all of her other skins; even the classic one. The shield is composed of three parts and the ones on the sides extend to provide more protection when Eclipse is activated. It’s a nice touch that remains across skins but with some differences due to the dissimilar shield designs.

  4. fun fact, you can see leonas underwear when she goes into a bush in the valkyrie leona skin

    • We read about that somewhere though we don’t remember much about it. If we recall correctly, correctly it’s because when hidden the game displays a lower layer of the model so it gives that impression.

  5. Yas, Project Leona is out, to be fair, I do think that the overall theme is consistent, even though basic, but what are your thoughts is it worth the price?

    • Yes, we think PROJECT: Leona is worth its price. We were expecting more but it may be one of the skins, along with Zed, that does the most to realize its theme. The new glow for her weapons and the new death glow help add some extra complexity to a skin that mostly does the usual.

      We still would advise to get it on sale; especially as one is coming soon, not the best discount but useful. There’s little reason to spend 375 RP extra to get a border as the skin doesn’t benefit from it. Better to save the RP and get something else you like.

      • thank you for this! such a great review ^_^ i just needed someone to say the border has no benefit, it just looks nice. i shall wait for the rp price to drop for sure now.

        • Not at all, glad that you like it.

          Definitely, there’s no point in spending so much for a simple border. We understand the desire to have a collector’s item but the cost is too high for so little. If it were instead a matter of buy early and you get a bonus then that’s something else.

          Take into consideration that two 1350 RP skins bought with the border means an extra expense of 750 RP. That’s the full price of a re-model skin or enough to get a PROJECT skin on a regular sale: 675 RP.

          To be fair, the idea is understandable but the price makes no sense.

  6. Project Leona also has 2 new lines “Pen or sword – the shield is mightiest.” and “The day is upon us.”

  7. Eh, I personally feel that PROJECT Leona is worth 2 Stars, just think the w and ult are beyond lackluster but good reviews nonetheless.

    • In our view more could’ve been done with the PROJECT skins. The price is high so we are to believe that they’ll have some extras beyond the usual changes of new model, particles and sounds. Besides glowing weapons and Leona’s new death particles there’s nothing special; a couple of quotes as well as processed voice-overs should also be mentioned.

      The particles are a bit too strict with regards to the visuals but the result is good. Eclipse seems to be well done with different visuals for each of the three stages of the ability and a few extra animations for said particles. The enlarged shield isn’t as obvious as in other skins but, overall, the ability looks good. We agree, nothing is truly spectacular but we think that the general result is good.

      In the end is a matter of taste but we agree on the fact that we expected much more; especially considering the great presentation that PROJECT has received.

  8. Hey strategy zero! As a big Leona skin and owner of half her skins, I just want to give my two cents about some of the skins as someone who has played Leona extensively, to reiterate some of your points and just help Leona fans choose a skin.

    I own Iron Solari, Valkyrie and Project Leona, and for the most part I completely agree with your review of them.

    First I got Valkyrie and Iron Solari, as a gift and a purchase, and I think both of these are very solid choices. However, I would say, for dedicated fans, Iron Solari is definitely the superior one, enhancing the militaristic aspects of Leona and developing the Solari religion into a military order. The model is gorgeous and her minor particle changes to her E, W and R are a nice touch, although they are not substantial. It’s a very solid skin that is worth at full price and further complements Leona’s personality, although it is nothibg that goes beyond that. I strongly recommend it.

    Valkyrie is a lovely skin and good for those who don’t want to spend too much money on skins. With that said, for me it’s charm quickly wore off and I would say Iron Solari feels like a more satisfying skin. If you want a pretty, fantasy Leona for a small price, then it’s good, otherwise look at the other options.

    Finally, Project Leona is a skin that, at first, I thought is not worth its price and I would generally pass. Recently, however, I got it in hextech and played it for a couple of games and I have to say – it is a very, very satisfying skin with a few flaws. Thematically it’s very consistent, with eye-catching and cool particles, a rather serious, yet fitting model, and gorgeous weapons. Thematically, it perfectly fits Leona and she feels like an actual cyborg warrior, she has an almost “digital paladin” feel which is very cool and satisfying.

    When it comes to particles, initially I thought they are all lackluster, but as I played it I can say the following: her W, E and R feel very, very satisfying and powerful. They are intricate, very well done and actually quite awesome within the theme of Project. With that said, I have minor issues with her Q and passive. The Q stun, which on classic feels powerful, in Project feels more like a “love tap” rather than a powerful shield bash, and not because of the particles, but the soft digital sounds that accompany it. Likewise, her passive is very soft and actually hard to see – quite often I can’t really see who I’ve marked and who has my passive triggered. These soft particles are more visible on a single enemy unit, but easily get lost in the thick of battle, which really reduces visibility and satisfaction. To an extent that is also true for W’s explosion, although the aura makes up for it. Thus, the main flaw is really with the softness of some particles and the soft digital sounds that come with them. These do not impair gmseplay seriously, but they could be better done. Thus, I would say Project Leona is definitely worth it and is a skin I highly recommend – but when discounted or gifted. I was lucky enough to get it in hextech and I love it, even with its small flaws.

    So, definitely consider getting either Iron Solari or Project (on sale) , as these are for me the best skins right now.

    If you prefer something more fun, choosing between Pool Party and Barbecue, I would say Pool Party is slightly more interesting and creative as it’s model and silhouette deviates much more and this gives the fun a novel appearance. Still, barbecue is also nice – really depends on the theme you enjoy more.

    Whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong with any of Leona’s skins – just follow your heart on what looks and feels like the best purchase for you and which theme attracts you the most. Again, I highly recommend Iron Solari or Project (on discount) . Hope my personal experience with these skins was useful for you guys!

    • Thanks for the detailed analysis of skins. We agree with you so we actually have nothing specific to add to the points you raise. We do find one omission: Defender Leona. We’d like to defend, ahem, the skin adding that it’s a great re-model that reinterprets Leona in a grittier and perhaps more practical way; she still wears high heels though. Still, it exemplifies how the core concept of a defender can remain while interpreted under a different, dimmer, light.

      It’s only a re-model so there won’t be any other extras to notice. Besides, it can look a bit washed out, it’s the idea of the skin in a way, but the point remains. Regardless, it’s a skin that adds a different flavour to the Radiant Dawn with more emphasis on her role and less on the Sun; the shield only shows a slight connection to it. Therefore, we’d say that it’s a worthwhile skin for fans of Leona.

      In the end, we agree: it’s difficult to go wrong with Leona’s skins. Some skins may be better executed than others and some concepts may be more interesting or original than others but there’s nothing that is bad. it’s a matter of choosing what you like best and let Leona take care of looking good and spread the radiance.

  9. Valkyrie Leona is just such a horrible skin…. Splash art is not as good as in game

    • The splash at is of little relevance when in-game. We review skins based on what you actually get in the battlefield. We can agree that a skin should have a good presentation card. However, what really matters is what you experience in-game.

  10. “A mermaid”, are you serious? Nami’s my favourite champion :'(

    Apart from this, thanks for all your insight; it’s a fine read when you wanna delay bedtime but don’t feel like playing 🙂

    I’m gonna go for Barbecue Leona because… I just love the joke, and her face looks drop-dead stunning in the splash art. I am definitely disappointed with the grill-shield indeed; but what can I say, the ensemble seduces me 🙂

    • Well, we didn’t want to spoil all the fun of finding Nami in the splash art. We ought to mention that there’s a nice cameo but we always try not to ruin surprises.

      Glad that you like the reviews. Hope they are as useful as they are entertaining.

      Barbecue Leona is actually a rather charming skin. Had it employed a different approach it could’ve been fantastic. The problem with the exaggeration is that it gets in the way of her appeal. If the skin instead tried to show her as a cook, not perfect but not trying to be funny either, it could’ve benefited from Leona’s charm more. Still, it’s hardly a bad skin by any means.

  11. It seems PROJECT: Leona will be on sale for 675 RP this December. I know you gave a rating for that skin when it is full price (1350 RP). How will you rate it and how many stars will you give it when you consider the price as 675 RP? Thank you for taking time to respond to this. I look toward to your analysis and response.

    • We take into account whether a skin can be put in sale or not. That’s why we are more strict with legacy skins because their price can’t change; they are also supposed to be special and so better than usual. In sale, we’d say that it’s a more palatable skin to get; which is why the review recommends to get on sale.

      In other words, if you like PROJECT: Leona then the sale is the best time to get it. It’s a bit straightforward but the result is nice. While the implemenation could’ve gone further with the changes what is present is appealing. With a lower price then you can lower the entry barrier.

  12. Hi! I wanted to say that Project: Leona has a back animation too. I also wanted to ask what should I get between Project or Iron Solari Leona? Iron Solari looks a little old to me since the splash-art looks pretty out-dated compared to the others… I love your reviews, they are so great!

    • Glad that you like the reviews.

      What do you mean by a ‘back animation’? We don’t understand the action and her back doesn’t seem to have any new effects beside the new model.

      If you find Iron Solari Leona outdated let it be because of the model and particles not being as elaborate as PROJECT. The splash art, besides being a presentation card that is only partially used when loading a match doesn’t have any use in-game; little portrait on the corner aside.

      There’s no doubt that PROJECT has an advantage over Iron Solari but it’s also more expensive. Both are good skins but chances are that the parrot joke of Iron Solari isn’t what it used to be. It’s still a nice skin with an appealing bird motif. PROJECT is also good but we would’ve like to see more depth in the cyber side.

      We’d recommend to get the skins on sale: PROJECT is expensive and Iron Solari may not be up to par with nowadays level. Neither is a bad skin but PROJECT may be a choice that is more apt if you are used to the current technical development of skins.

      • A re-spawn one. I meant she does something after recalling I didn’t know the term

        • After recall they call it windup animation; if we are not mistaken. Respawn is when the champion comes back to life after being killed.

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