Nov 132012
 
Maokai, the Twisted Treant
Maokai, the Twisted Treant

Maokai, the Twisted Treant may constantly complain about his existence but, unlike the majority, has gladly joined the celebration of festivities with suitable attires. Regrettably, as far as regular outfits go he doesn’t have many available. Still, his helpful saplings know how to match his style, just as his skins’ review will aid in choosing a smashing look.

Charred Maokai
Charred Maokai Splash Art Charred Maokai Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Maokai as a treant with burnt bark.
Model: Minor model changes for Maokai and new textures for his saplings.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background aims to show a huge fire in a forest and it succeeds, but up to a point. In the centre the fire burns wildly and its light is reflected on the nearby trees. However, the rest of the forest is mostly a suggestion: it could be simply a fire next to a few trees. Still, the effects of the fire are rather well displayed, especially on Maokai and the sapling. Their depiction is good but the contrast of light and shade obscures many details. Overall, it’s a good portrayal of Maokai yet note that the in-game skin doesn’t sport such intense and bright colours.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Charred Maokai aims for a darker look for Maokai that feels more like a re-colour than an actual new style. The bark of both Maokai and saplings looks burnt plus there’s a minor chain motif to go along the metal belt and open lamp. However, not only are the changes technically simple but they also aren’t particularly relevant. In general, Charred Maokai appears quite similar to Classic Maokai and considering the price it becomes a product that doesn’t give enough for what it asks.

Totemic Maokai
Totemic Maokai Splash Art Totemic Maokai Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Maokai with a tribal paint theme.
Model: Major model changes for Maokai and new model for his saplings.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: A few wood totems are what make most of this green permeated background. To be precise, the green-centred colour palette in conjunction with the diffuse background make for a subdued and unexciting setting that just provides a frame. Maokai is well depicted with a distinct and attractive wood texture. Alas, the wood doesn’t stand out among all the green which makes Maokai look more subdued than he actually is. On the whole, a good depiction of Maokai that suffers from a lacklustre background and a lack of colour variety.
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: Totemic Maokai is actually more totemic in spirit rather than in actuality. The aspect does reference totems and employs colours and designs to deliver the theme. Nevertheless, the bark appears rather drab and the subdued colours and simple patterns hardly stand out. In fact, aside from Maokai’s face and the beaked saplings there isn’t much that attracts attention. On the whole, it isn’t a bad skin, as the theme is realized to an extent, but the result isn’t particularly attractive.

Festive Maokai
Festive Maokai Splash Art Festive Maokai Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Maokai as a Christmas tree.
Model: Minor model changes for Maokai and moderate model changes for his saplings.td>
Particles: New particles for Vengeful Maelstrom.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The setting is that of a cottage drawn in a simple but appealing style. Multiple objects add depth to the setting: presents on the floor, Christmas decorations over the fireplace, a Snowmerdinger portrait on the wall and a hot snack along a letter over a table. Maokai looks good with a coarse but solid wood body and sapling. However, the decorations on him appear mute and hardly stand out. All things considered, it’s a nice splash art with good general quality. Unfortunately, the lack of contrast flattens all elements and prevents them from shining on their own.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Festive Maokai is a thorough disappointment that is good only as an idea. Maokai as a Christmas tree is definitely an interesting and suitable concept. Nonetheless, when the execution simply throws some decorations over the treant and calls it a day a problem is evident. A look to the model makes obvious that it’s simply Classic Maokai crudely resembling a Christmas tree. To say that the result is lacklustre is an understatement as the skin feels like an afterthought rushed at the last minute. From the half-boxed saplings on his hand to the dull star on his head the implementation is as dim as it is unimaginative. In fact, the impression the skin gives is so bad that the particles added to Vengeful Maelstrom seem like an excuse. In conclusion, Festive Maokai is a bright idea extinguished by an execution that forgot what a quality product is supposed to be.

Haunted Maokai
Haunted Maokai Splash Art Haunted Maokai Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Maokai as a crude amalgamation of graveyard and tree.
Model: New model for Maokai and his saplings.
Particles: New particles for Arcane Smash, Sapling Toss and Vengeful Maelstorm.
Animations: New death and re-spawn animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background shows some dark trees with empty branches and a few tombstones at the bottom. Yet for the most part there’s just a grey mist obscuring everything. To the right, Maokai readies a sapling while fragments come off his body; it’s as if he had rose as part of the graveyard he’s in. However, the tombstones on his back are barely visible, even less so easily noticeable. In general, he appears made of earth, bark and some bones so the graveyard look isn’t effectively conveyed. Still, the depiction isn’t bad: the bark looks good, the glowing eyes and maw illuminate Maokai’s face, the earth looks acceptable and the sapling seems like a little demonic tombstone. Overall, it isn’t a bad piece but neither background nor foreground are very clear about what they depict.
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 an animated graveyard Maokai has an interesting look: the combination of tombstones, bones and earth creates an abomination that is difficult to describe but quite eye-catching nonetheless. The refined model is backed by a complement of suitable gravestone particles. Especial mention deserve his traditional helpers, the saplings, for their fanciful model and fantastic animations. The charismatic saplings are without doubt huge contributors to Haunted Maokai’s appeal. Moreover, his collapsing death and unearthing re-spawn help bring forth his living cemetery theme. Then, it comes as a surprise to find that Twisted Advance hasn’t been changed in the least. The cloud particles aren’t much of an issue but the branches that indicate the root don’t mesh well with the theme. Furthermore, the absence of the face on his left hand makes his laugh animation a bit ridiculous. All things considered, Haunted Maokai is a great skin due to an interesting concept and a lot of sapling help. If you can ignore its flaws then it’s a skin that you can definitely enjoy.

Goalkeeper Maokai
Goalkeeper Maokai Splash Art Goalkeeper Maokai Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Maokai as a goaltender.
Model: New model for Maokai and his saplings.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The splash art, shared by all of the new football skins, is a bit of a mess. The background is unnecessarily diffuse, as if the depth of field effect was a way of working less. It gives the idea of a pitch but looks blurry. The champions stand to the right as a sapling-football blurrily rolls on the right. Their portrayal has sharp colours but the proportions don’t convince: some champions seem too small and others too large. Besides, they don’t state anything else besides their presence. It’s as basic a depiction as possible and that makes the piece lack a meaning. In the end, it’s a splash art with no personality that impresses with its crisp colouring but when you look closer you find little.
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: Dressed up as a mix between football pitch and player Maokai’s look is evidently far-fetched yet charming. The football-saplings also add to the appeal with their unique personality which gives the skin a light-hearted feel. In spite of the presence of ample vegetation on Maokai’s abilities the style works well because he never hides his nature. However, that also limits the development of the concept. This makes the skin a simple costume but with a distinct style that manages to be more than merely funny. The result, while far from astounding, is a fine option for fans of football.

Conclusion

Maokai has quite a few styles to choose from but almost half of them are seasonal options and most of the rest are his release skins. While the latter are available all year round they aren’t actually very impressive. If you need to buy a skin for the Twisted Treant then Totemic Maokai is the better choice as it’s mostly a re-model for a low price. Conversely, Charred Maokai is mostly a re-texture for a high price; which makes his release skin selection quite peculiar.

The only remaining option is Goalkeeper Maokai which is wholly dedicated to football fans. The costume has its charm but if this sport isn’t to one’s liking then the skin has nothing else to offer. On the whole, Maokai skins aren’t really great so unless better options are released the Twisted Treant won’t have many regular choices.

  12 Responses to “League of Legends: Maokai Skins’ Review”

  1. interesting reveiw i would like to see nautilus too and maybe kassadin if possible

  2. I’ve been playing a few rounds with haunted maokai and i noticed some things you missed. his twisted advanced has changed, when you go into twisted advance its blue instead of green and the roots turned to a darker brown and the leafs look dead. and i think his minions voices changed as well.

  3. Can you update this with Maokai’s Goalkeeper skin? I really love the saplings and general idea of it so I’d like to see if it’s worth it.

    • Seems like it’s an okay skin for 750 RP if you like the the funny angle. We’ll try to review it as soon as possible.

  4. Hi Zero, just wanted to tell u that Haunted Maokai also have a new standing idle animation!

    • We just checked it and couldn’t notice any differences. Could you be more specific? Thanks.

      • i saw the Haunted Maokai new standing idle animation in lolking.com the other ones don’t have it!

        • We can only find one that is exclusive to Haunted Maokai. The other three idle animations are present in the classic skin. We’ll check in-game to see if it’s actually used.

  5. Hey Zero, just wondering, the new champion Azir is almost out, so can you do a skin review since his model already is on Lolking and his splash art (Classic and Galactic) is on the League of Legends wiki

    • We prefer to wait until he’s released as there can be some last minute changes. Besides, it’s better to work having all aspects of the skin confirmed; price included. Once it’s made available we’ll surely have a review in a short amount of time.

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