Dec 102012
 
Nami, the Tidecaller
Nami, the Tidecaller

Nami, the Tidecaller graces the League of Legends with, formerly absent, water mage abilities and a classic aquatic theme. Her skins don’t stray far from her watery roots. In fact, they prefer to take an alternate angle to reach a similar aesthetic. How good do Nami’s scales look then? Dive fully into her skins’ review and find out.

Koi Nami
Koi Nami Splash Art Koi Nami Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Nami as a kohaku mermaid.
Model: New model for Nami and her staff plus dark water below her.
Particles: New goldfishes for Ebb and Flow, Tidecaller’s Blessing, Tidal Wave and her joke as well as dark water for Tidal Wave.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New gong sound for Aqua Prison and flute melody for Tidal Wave.
Splash Art: Beautiful but diffuse waterfalls and trees frame Nami as she calmly rests atop a rock. The splash of water on her tail looks quite good but the rest of the background just lacks clarity. Nami is well depicted though, with a nice outline and good shading. Her scales are visible individually and even her hair looks plausible. The composition deserves special mention as it strays far from the usual display of power without being a simple pose; it seem like a glimpse of her free time. All things considered, it’s a pleasing and appealing splash art that deserves recognition for its satisfying composition; which can only do so much against its uneven quality.
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: Koi Nami is an interesting take on the League’s mermaid as it turns her into an ornamental carp lady. While it can feel like a simple re-colour at first glance, there’s more than meets the eye; like the fact that she’s almost naked. Still, cleverly positioned adornments protect her modesty and serve to further the red and white design. On the whole, the skin hardly looks revealing. Instead, the pattern seems rather decorative; quite fitting for a koi. In addition to this, the headdress is elegantly designed and a good fit for her hair strands; it also matches the staff design. The new particles are a nice extra that is more a welcome nod than a significant feature. In conclusion, Koi Nami is a good skin that will appeal to Nami fans as long as they simply want a different view of the same concept.

River Spirit Nami
River Spirit Nami Splash Art River Spirit Nami Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Nami as a river mermaid.
Model: New model for Nami and her staff.
Particles: New particles for her abilities and new fishes for her joke.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New singing for her recall.
Splash Art: The setting is a river or pond filled with lotuses but with darkness both below and around its waters. The background doesn’t just seem dark but its colours are also saturated and even a touch drab. This contrasts with Nami’s bright presence in the middle. the colours are vibrant and, except for the worn metal, everything seems luminescent. The pose is quite nice as it allows a clear view of her style while also feeling inviting and feminine. Something of note is the presence of scales on the sides of her body which put her human delicacy against her hybrid nature. On the whole, it’s a great splash art that serves as a great presentation for Nami despite the background being somewhat unfittingly oppressive.
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: The idea of making Nami a river mermaid is natural but interesting. Her physique is modelled with large fins and multiple colours which match her clothes and so make for a consistent and eye-catching appearance. The particles also follow suit with bright sparks that lighten her activities. For the most part it’s a cheerful Nami that keeps all of her natural charm but with an extra dose of flamboyance. To an extent there’s nothing really new but the visuals are appealing. Fans of Nami will find River Spirit a nice addition that won’t impress but that stands on its own.

Urf the Nami-tee
Urf the Nami-tee Splash Art Urf the Nami-tee Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Nami costumed as Urf the Manatee and wielding a golden spatula.
Model: New model for Nami and her staff.
Particles: New manatees for her joke.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: As a shared splash art five champions need to distribute the spotlight in equal parts and, for the most part, that’s accomplished; though the effect is diluted. The setup is believable but some elements stand as predictable. The idea of a costume party is well chosen: it allows the champions to stay together while also adding multiple references as miscellaneous items: like the Urf banner, the bannana skin or the champion head balloons.
The selfie angle seems like a way to standardize and even freeze behaviour. A photograph in the middle of the fun is reasonable but it would’ve been more interesting to see how each of the champions behaves and what they do at the party. The spotlight is effectively shared like this and the champions manage to instil some of their personality with their poses but the feeling remains that more could’ve been revealed.
What can be an irking element is the ever depressing situation of Amumu. While his sadness is a defining characteristic he appears to have been left out of the fun instead of being a victim to his moods; as would be expected. Perhaps if he was in the party but unable to partake in the fun, hiding in a corner, it would be a better representation, and probably less cruel, of the champion’s nature.
The shading and lines used in the piece are correct even if the colours can look waxy in places. The aesthetic is stylized but in a fitting way that doesn’t detract from the picture. What does affect it negatively is the arbitrary and profound depth of feel effect. It might be a camera with a narrow focus but it also seems to clearly display certain elements from the background which are surrounded by fog, because they might be relevant, and not others; regardless of how believable that might be.
All in all, it’s a correct piece that does a good job at displaying five champions in a relevant setting. The composition is good, some elements are unsurprising and the impact of each champion is weakened but, ultimately, it works.
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: Without a doubt Urf the Nami-tee is a straightforward skin: Nami wearing a manatee costume and wielding a golden spatula. The only other difference is the presence of manatees during her joke and that’s it. Admittedly the appearance is appealing and the light-hearted style suits Nami’s fresh personality. Unfortunately, it’s also quite simple. Even though there are new manatee models for her joke they aren’t used anywhere which seems like a waste. At the very least they could ride the Tidal Wave as the goldfishes do in Koi Nami. In the end, Urf the Nami-tee is a simple but charming skin that fans of the Tidecaller can enjoy but that doesn’t offer more than what’s apparent.

Deep Sea Nami
 Splash Art Deep Sea Nami Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Nami as an anglerfish mermaid.
Model: New model for Nami and her staff. New glow for her illicium and deep waters below her.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack, taunt and recall. New anglerfishes for her taunt and giant deep sea fish for Tidal Wave.
Animations: New jiggle for her illicium and new recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: At a glance, this is a splash art that oozes personality with a fascinating concept behind it: a giant deep sea mermaid lures an explorer. That is effectively conveyed and there is a setting among the surrounding darkness of the depths. Schools of fish swim around the hardly little mermaid and the waters have a murky feel with the dark bubbles. The diver is exquisitely shaded with great use of shadow and light put to contrast.
Nami doesn’t look bad either with rustic but fitting colours her delicate features are presented as well as the necessary luminescent areas of her body. With careful and attractive shading the portrayal manages a believable style that isn’t actually photorealistic yet easily appears as realistic. The shading on her tale is much tamer and rougher than it is in her body. That works in conjunction with the extreme difference in size which is a welcome reference to the sexual dimorphism on anglerfishes. Regardless of the explorer’s gender we have a normal sized adventurer before a gigantic mermaid that is orders of magnitude larger than what would be expected. That creates a problem: such size is difficult to portray while showing the whole physiognomy. For that reason Nami’s depiction is partial and, even if evocative, show very little of her actual look.
The result is a fascinating piece that very well stands among League of Legends best displays; provided we don’t take into account how effectively it conveys a champion’s look. If we also add that then we have a piece that aims and perhaps even accomplishes an appealing art style but that has obvious failings as a proper spotlight.
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: To an extent there’s nothing new in Deep Sea Nami: it’s the same mermaid but with a deep sea aesthetic. However, such an approach manages to paints every angle of her classic persona; which makes for a great vehicle for that specific concept. That means that her body, though similar in outline to River Spirit, has an unfamiliar appearance that is close enough to her expected aspect yet changed by a radically different environment. Her clothes and staff follows on the same line, with less intensity, while her glowing fishing rod and murky waters finely convey how her identity has changed.
The new particles further the mix of known and unknown characteristics. The thick bubble of Aqua Prison, the jellyfish on Ebb and Flow, the darker waters on Tidecaller’s Blessing and her auto-attack as well as the deep sea fish on Tidal Wave, always backed by murky waters, show what is expected but with features that strike as strange. The sounds and processing of the voice-over complement the visuals with heavier splashes to reflect the deep waters. Once again, it’s more or less what is known but changed with a darker palette. The new animations are a good reflection of the theme with the taunt being a charming yet darker display. The recall is initially a bit fanciful. The use of magic with the staff makes sense and the final dive into the pool of water is so intrinsic to a mermaid that it could’ve and perhaps even should’ve been part of Classic Nami.
All in all, Deep Sea Nami isn’t a surprising skin because of the breadth and ambition of the changes. Instead its merit relies on the fact that it subtly alters what we all know and changes it with a fitting darker, deeper shade. As a skin, it’s quite good but is especially recommended for Tidecaller fans whom will appreciate the many fine touches that alter her identity.

SKT T1 Nami
SKT T1 Nami Splash Art SKT T1 Nami Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Nami dressed in blue and gold.
Model: New model for Nami and her staff plus pale blue water below her.
Particles: New fishes for her taunt plus new particles for her abilities, auto-attack, laugh and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities and recall.
Splash Art: There’s no real background or setting to speak of. At best, we could say that the champions are framed by a sky of undefined characteristics. What stands out is the setup of the piece. The ensemble appears like a group of superheroes in a composition that brings to mind the Justice League. Their general appearance seems to convey a pantheon of Greek gods, each with their unique symbolism. There’s also a suited coach that stands in for the ward skin. While it’s good that such an addition is made part of the team it’s fair to say that his look doesn’t fit that of the heroes well.
Each champion shares the spotlight making use of uneven parts of the splash art. Champions on the left tend to be able to make use of more space while those on the right see their lower bodies abruptly cut off. There’s empty room on the left which means that everyone could’ve made some extra room by advancing a bit forward. In addition to this, it’s clear that the centre of the piece has sharper lines and more vibrant colours; though tones tends to be subdued to the point that all metal seems dull. The blur is particularly noticeable towards the left and bottom areas which does the portrayals no favours.
The ornamented armour characteristic of each champion in their SKT gear is noticeable but with varying degrees of success. Individually, Zac looks too subdued and solid with little attention given to his armour; which is the only characteristic that sets him apart from Classic besides the new colour. Jhin’s upper body is quite explicit but the rest is barely visible and the depiction seems rather pedestrian. Nami barely emerges from the blur and shows too much of her naked back and too little of her armour so that it’s more notorious her familiar mermaid body than the new gear. Syndra almost appears in full with nice shading and a good demonstration of power; despite small spheres and dull colours. Ekko is only partially visible and while the new look is prominent enough that’s because of the clothes more than the portrayal effort to make him special, even if the pose is dashing and dynamic. Finally, Olaf closes the formation with good use of light and shade but a partial depiction with much blur and opaque colours that is only saved by the suitable stance. Not to be forgotten, KkOma looks sketchy with a cartoony look that doesn’t suit the more elaborate shading used for the champions; much as his suit doesn’t fit the classical style of the champions.
All added together, this is a splash art that makes a brief but impactful presentation of the champions thanks to its composition. The individual portrayals are marred by several issues so that each champion struggles to attract attention and even convey their actual look. For all that the piece does well in its setup there is an evident need for a good layer of polish to finish the potential of this splash art.
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: With soft blue scales and skin, red hair of thick strands and golden armour and tiara SKT T1 Nami has a regal look that suits her well and stands out with bright tones. The staff also displays copious amount of gold just as the water below her has a gentle, pale blue. The hair can look too solid but her decorative armour is rather nice; even showing a ring around her tail. It’s all purely cosmetic as it doesn’t seem like effective protection but the Tidecaller is no frontline warrior anyway.
Her abilities show a distinct gold tone that makes the water look purely magical. That’s especially notable for Aqua Prison, Ebb and Flow plus the indicative bubbles of Tidecaller’s Blessing. Auto-attacks are a glowing tipped stream of water, which breaks the style a bit, and get added gold with Tidecaller’s Blessing. The same can be said about Tidal Wave. Said wave is purely water with many golden sparks; like in her laugh. The apparition of the wing logo, echoing the shape of her staff head, is a subtle and classy addition that makes the ultimate feel special despite the strong reliance on the classic style. The explicit SKT T1 logo where an Aqua Prison lands isn’t as elegant, though.
New sounds are added on top of the classic ones but the result isn’t bad. Aqua Prison has a the added vibrations of metal against metal as in a rustic musical instrument. Ebb and Flow adds a bright metal tinkle that suits the golden sparks well. Tidecaller’s Blessing has a similar but lower-pitched sound to Aqua Prison while the improved auto-attacks add a clank of metal. For an ultimate, Tidal Wave doesn’t impress but is interesting: the wave hits enemies with a deep bubbling sound that speaks of power but restrained; which could suit other skin themes.
Her new recall is a series of jokes at her expense. With several selfies for her mix of sushi and nyotaimori she’s finally picked up whole for her transportation; at least she’s safe at the end. While it surely is something unique and rather funny, the first few times, it adds nothing to the personality of the skin.
All in all, this is quite a nice skin with fine additions that keep the classic personality intact but serve as an appealing change of look. Still, there’s nothing here that explains the high price. In this price tier much more is possible as cheaper skins have made just as much; the hint of something special by the legacy label is wholly lost. Therefore, this is an appealing skin but one that leaves one wondering why so little was done when there’s room for much more.

Conclusion

Mermaids are usually depicted in the same way so variety is something that won’t come easy for Nami. Little by little her wardrobe expands as well as the possible variations of fish she’s hybridized with. From what she has available, the recommended skin is River Spirit Nami.

River Spirit Nami offers a more elaborate but also brighter style that suits her nature. The particles also further this theme and the result, while far from astounding, is certainly attractive and distinct. For fans of Nami, River Spirit is a welcome addition with a different take on a mermaid.

Another option is Nami’s release skin, Koi Nami, which is somewhat modest yet still attractive. The koi theme is well realized and despite the lack of clothes it’s definitely not exploitative. If you were expecting a skin that re-defined Nami then this isn’t it. However, if you just want more of the same then Koi Nami definitely delivers; there’s nothing wrong with more of what’s good anyway.

Urf the Nami-tee is light-hearted and appealing skin that ends up feeling too simplistic. The aspect is nice but there’s nothing beyond the obvious. It’s hardly a bad skin but it also doesn’t offer much beyond her appearance.

Finally, Deep Sea Nami is a skin that takes advantage of Nami’s classic identity and paints it with a darker, deeper hue. The essence of Nami remains unscathed but everything is modified with an alien but appealing deep sea feel. There’s nothing surprising in the implementation except for how effective the feel is changed. For fans of the Tidecaller it’s a fine alternative both familiar and strange.

SKT T1 Nami is an appealing skin that doesn’t change her identity but makes for a fine change of appearance. Model and particles are quite pleasing but, preposterous recall aside, there’s nothing else. It’s a good option but there’s ample unexploited room left untouched. At this price tier much more can be done and the Tidecaller has other skins that support very well that assertion; if in doubt they can be a better choice.

  26 Responses to “League of Legends: Nami Skins’ Review”

  1. Not sure if you noticed but for the Koi skin there was a new flute melody that plays when she uses Tidal Wave which doesn’t exist in the classic version. Just thought I’d point that out 😉

  2. I’m so hyped for River Spirit Nami, I hope you are able to review it when it’s released!

  3. Waiting for your review on Spirit River Nami!

  4. I felt your criticism of the background is slightly unfair as it was obviously influenced by the brushstrokes of Asian art.

    • We’ve seen some Asian art and we didn’t notice that things had to be so diffuse. Even if that were the case, the background should complement and add to the piece. If it’s content with merely providing a setting or just filling space then it’s wasting its potential. A good background can enrich a piece in great ways.

      Koi Nami’s background does provide a setting but that’s it. Besides, it gives just a general idea without getting into any details. It works but there’s much more that can be accomplished. Maybe it’s a reference to some specific art movement that we don’t know; we are far from experts. In which case we would be grateful for more information. As far as we know, we think there’s room for improvement.

      • If the background were drawn crystal sharp the focus would not be on Nami. Perhaps, before criticizing artwork, you should first learn a bit more about it. Any artwork is about directing focus and telling a story. It is how your eye works. Just check any good photography, or film stills with focus on foreground. If the foreground is sharp the background is not. Also your description of color is way off. Saturation and drab are opposite. Good artwork has a contrast in saturation and uses it to create even more focus. Making everything saturated does not make it look real, it makes it look as if a kid got his hands on his first disco themed crayon set. And the last thing: detail is also something to use to direct focus. Areas with more detail attract attention. So only a part of the image should be detailed if you want to use that effect. Now go head over to deviant art or cgtalk and get further education 🙂

        • Good photography and film stills aren’t hand-painted art. This is and people are smart enough to realise who’s the central character in a splash art without making the background a dull blur. In fact, a detailed background adds to the context and can help tell a story about the character. With backgrounds that abuse the depth of field effect that’s hardly possible. Good art doesn’t need to make things diffuse and actually revels in displaying detailed backgrounds and central figures.

          Drab means that something has little colour or excitement while colour saturation is the intensity of a colour. We don’t see how they are opposites. In River Spirit Nami’s background there are few colours used, little is shown and so there’s little excitement but the few colours present are quite intense. We don’t find where we said that saturated colours make things more realistic. On the contrary, intense colours often look unreal.

          When a piece is well organised the eye naturally follows elements towards the intended centre of attention without need to have an explicit indication. It surely is a tool but not the only one or the best to direct the eyes. Besides, champion’s splash arts are, by definition, the spotlight of a champion so the centre of attention is already stated. There’s actually no reason why the background can’t provide an interesting setup to the portrayal. They don’t have to compete if everything is well done then they would complement each other. There are many splash arts we have commended for integrating background and foreground into a whole and making for a very interesing piece with good context and an attractive portrayal. It can be done but not all splash arts do. Just make a quick look on the site for the ones we indicate as ‘best splash arts in League of Legends’.

          Finally, there’s no need to be confrontational if you disagree with us. We appreciate feedback and are willing to correct ourselves if we are in the wrong. However, constructive criticism doesn’t need to attack because arguments are strong enough by themselves.

  5. First things first, I love your site. I always come here whenever a new skin comes out to read your insightful reviews. I was just wondering whether Urf the Nami-tee is worth getting, since I’m an avid Nami player and I already have Koi Nami. I quite like the design and the price is relatively cheap, but I don’t know whether I should skip it or not. Since it isn’t legacy I could just potentially wait a year for a sale.
    Your input would be much appreciated. Thanks for all the work put into this site!

    Kind regard.

    • Thanks for the kind words, we are glad you find the reviews useful.

      With regards to Nami skins if you are a fan then it might be better to wait for a sale on River Spirit. It’s been released for a while, 10 months so far, and it’s a well rounded skin. Urf the Nami-tee is charming but also simple. There’s little beyond a manatee costume so, even if cheap, it’s not exactly Nami’s best option.

      If you play Nami a lot then perhaps waiting for a sale on River Spirit would be better. Then, when Urf the Nami-tee goes on sale you can consider whether to get it as well. It also depends on which concept you prefer, perhaps the River Spirit idea doesn’t look attractive.

      In general terms, River Spirit is more expensive but better executed while Urf the Nami-tee is appealing but limited in scope. If you play Nami a lot then the sales would be the best option as she has great skins but none that justify ignoring a sale; especially as River Spirit should be discounted in the foreseeable future.

  6. Hi Zero, I’m a LoL player from SEA, in this week’s weekday sale there is Koi Nami with 50% off. So I was browsing your site and SkinSpotlights’ channel for reference, and I found out that there is a different sound for her Aqua Prison *Koi Nami ofc* other than her Tidal Wave. It is somewhat like a gong sound when the bubble bursts if you listen carefully, not very distinguishable from the background music and other abilities sounds during team fight. Hope you can fix that 😀
    Btw, love your site, really helped me to decide when purchasing a new skin. Keep up with your good work!!

    • Glad that you like the reviews.

      We checked the ability and it does have a new sound, well spotted. Thanks for the information, we’ll add it to the review.

  7. Hey Zero. I know you didn’t start to do the chroma pack reviews, but there is a new chroma pack coming for Koi Nami:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uve9Yc4xrwE

    I didn’t like the colors of the original, but that chroma pack sure gives something new. What are your thoughts about it?

    • The only colour scheme that seems interesting is the last one in blue and golden gear. The others are too similar to the original Koi Nami style. The problem with chroma pack like this is that you need to own the skin so that’s an added cost. Besides, it can happend that only one colour may be interesting and the others might go unused.

      Chroma packs for classic skins are more straightforward but we’d like to review them all. Due to the characteristics of chroma packs for skins, other than classic, it’s difficult to reach a consensus on how to approach a review.

  8. Hello, Zero Staff. I got a dilemma right here. Since this week (well, until tomorrow) Nami Koi is on sale, I was thinking about buying it BUT only because I want to buy the chroma (where I ONLY like one, the “Smoke” one, the white-y version, if you can recall). I play support a lot, and she is really fun for me to play, and I already have the River Spirit skin.
    My question: Is it really worth to buy it just because of the one chroma that I like? I am seriously debating it, and I need a second oppinion.

    • You may have a good point in having doubts as it seems like it’s quite a bit of money for one specific version of a skin; one which asks for an extra expense. Being on sale, Koi Nami costs 487 RP to which we have to add the cost of the chroma pack: 590 RP. Thus, for Smoke Koi Nami we reach a total of 1077 RP.

      The contrast of colours on Koi Nami’s Element chroma pack is nice but it doesn’t stop being a trio of re-colours. Assuming you play Nami a lot the main question is: do you like Smoke Koi Nami enough and would you play it enough to justify 1077 RP? If you do then you should get it but you should be sure. You are not only getting a skin but also a chroma pack on top of which you only like one of the three chromas offered.

      Even if you liked the three chromas, it’s a pack for a specific skin and there will be competition for attention from River Spirit Nami; especially if you like that skin a lot. In the end, it’s a matter of how much value you get from the product considering its price. Getting a chroma pack for a skin is certainly for fans that would use the skin a lot as the price isn’t low.

  9. ELLO 🙂

    Just dropping by to see what you think of the new deep sea Nami skin that’s on the pbe! Thanks for the awesome reviews!

    • Looks like it’s trying to deliver the deep sea theme. So far, it looks good, we’ll have to look closer to see if it’s enough for the 1350 RP price it has.

  10. Your site has been so useful to me so many times, thanks man. I really like Nami and i play her every time she is in the semanal free rotation. One day in a chest i won the kou nami skins, and I was quite excited because the skin isn’t bad but the deep sea and the river spirit were quite more attractive (because their abilities changed a lot) so i always bought an other champs before reaching the 6300 pi, but before reading this i thought koi nami didn’t have any changes in her abilities. Now i know it and i am buying nami as soon as i can to activate the skin. I think that the changes in his R and joke will make it a bit more enjoyable. So thanks for your help again zero.

  11. Excuse me but do you think deep sea is much better than river spirit nami?

    • Not much better but Deep Sea Nami is more elaborate and takes advantage of the extra possibilities that its price tier allows. Within the confines of the 975 RP tier River Spirit Nami is a great skin but so is Deep Sea. They have different, perhaps complementary, concepts and both executions are attractive and eye-catching. Instead of a matter of which one is better it might be a case of which theme you prefer: the darkness of the deep seas or the bright tones of the river spirits.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)