Jun 142013
 
Aatrox, the Darkin Blade
Aatrox, the Darkin Blade

Aatrox, the Darkin Blade has existed as a myth for aeons but only now does he completely reveal himself. Questions remain nonetheless: is he an angel, a demon or a primal force? Does armed conflict summon him or does he create it before his triumphant apparition? Is there justice in his actions? Some answers might be only his but we can offer you a few others in his skins’ review.

Justicar Aatrox
Justicar Aatrox Splash Art Justicar Aatrox Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Aatrox as an armoured celestial guardian.
Model: New model for Aatrox and his sword.
Particles: New light particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New light sounds for his abilities.
Splash Art: The piece centres all attention on Aatrox to the point of leaving the background as an afterthought that simply fills space. One look at the background is clear enough: it’s barren, diffuse and hardly serves as more than a frame for Aatrox celestial presence. Even if there are gusts and the peaks are covered with snow in places it all hardly says anything.
Conversely, Aatrox displays all of his supernatural magnificence in a rather static but evident way. His physique is clearly visible and the confluence of magical energy, pristine armour plus crystalline, celestial blade and wings is interesting. It speaks of an elevated being that isn’t above putting his hands to work. The way in which he is shaded, which isn’t unusual, actually reinforces this: his head bathed in celestial light and his feet dark with the taint of the world below. His weapon a heavenly instrument of justice and his wings give him a higher perspective.
All in all, it’s a surprisingly good portrayal that does more than display a skin: it adds symbolism to it. Regardless, that may be a matter of interpretation or accidental luck. Because, when we add the background and vague lower body we find a polarized piece.
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: Justicar Aatrox is interesting in concept as it presents a being of war with another interpretation. Instead of an evil force that draws humans towards conflict he becomes a celestial saviour at the vanguard of battles. His aesthetic displays him under a more polished and less mundane light. This allows for a fresh new look at Aatrox but also removes the intrinsic and appealing viciousness of his appearance and manners. Regardless, the result accomplishes an appealing look that manages a feel akin to an angel of war.
The particles seal the deal and even if they aren’t impressive they work well to cohesively finish the theme. For the most part, they can feel like re-colours but the mix of gold and blue follows the model colour scheme and is appealing to the eye. The halo present during Massacre is a good touch but it can be hidden behind Aatrox as it seems a bit low.
Overall, Justicar Aatrox effectively reinterprets the Darkin Blade. The result isn’t perfect and it surely could be more elaborate. Regardless, it’s certainly a nicely done skin with an interesting concept.

Mecha Aatrox
Mecha Aatrox Splash Art Mecha Aatrox Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Aatrox stylized as an advanced war robot.
Model: New model for Aatrox and his sword plus new textures during World Ender.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: The setting is that of a huge facility where the assembly of the mecha took place. Unfortunately, most of the details are obscured by an inexplicably thick mist. Fortunately, the cameo of Rumble in a platform proudly admiring his creation is a great touch. Aatrox displays vivid colours and good use of lighting; yet, that’s only in the parts that escape the mist. The sword is half submerged in it and his legs are almost completely hidden, like his wings. Frotunately, the glowing blade and wings add an interesting contrast even if it’s a bit dull for an holographic glow.
In the end, the piece gives a reasonable but incomplete idea of his look. It’s a splash art with a great setting and interesting composition yet it only lets part of the portrayal shine.
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: In many respects, Mecha Aatrox forcibly changes the fantastic aspect of the Darkin Blade into that of a machine. There are some exceptions where the theme comes together but most of the time it’s all superficial. To start with, the model realizes the mecha aspect well and the recall furthers it into Transformer territory.
The new particles have an interesting look and are also effectively supported by the new sounds. This is especially noticeable during The Darkin Blade, which is when the skin displays most of its visual glory. World Ender is interesting with its four wings and re-coloured body but it doesn’t impress as much as an ultimate could. Other abilities are disappointingly simple and brief.
Sounds mostly support the visuals with appropriate sounds. Additionally, his voice-over, processed and all, feels somewhat out of place with respect to his artificial life.
Ultimately, Mecha Aatrox is a good skin that doesn’t really grab one’s attention except for specific features. It could be said that when Mecha Aatrox works it really does but most of the time it’s only alright. Therefore, it’s an interesting option for fans of Aatrox but due to the high price it’s difficult to justify what is offered, so a sale is advised.

Sea Hunter Aatrox
Sea Hunter Aatrox Splash Art Sea Hunter Aatrox Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Aatrox as fantastic, inhuman pirate.
Model: New model for Aatrox and his sword.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Was it a storage room or the hull of a ship? Neither now as the plain, dark room has been replaced by a shipyard. Such a dramatic change of scene leaves its mark on the piece. The contrast of light is too drastic and the outdoor brightness gnaws at the champions on the foreground, unwanted like pollution. Goods are still visible but the context isn’t clear. Instead of decorated doors we have a draft of Malphite but most is empty yellowish sky. The truth is that the setting remains too ambiguous to draw anything certain. Not much can be discerned and for the most part it’s just too much light and filler. The only other thing that matters is two pirates that calmly pose and one that isn’t enjoying the downtime before a diffuse ship-golem.
Valor is almost hidden by Quinn who seems to prefer to stay away from any attention. This means that they don’t give a good view of their uninspired aspect; especially as the colours are a bit diffuse. Besides, their pose says nothing about them. With confidence Garen stands in the middle of the scene with all his flamboyance. For the heavy stylization of his appearance the bright colours and elaborate lighting place him as the pivotal figure of the piece. Aatrox, in his fantastic guise, stands in opposition with his disgusted expression and tense demeanour. The lighting is also darker though the colours are sharp and details are abundant. From the cracks on his armour to the marks on his skin the depiction is very detailed but also confusing. Instead of mixing with the present crowd he appears to defy them but only subtly: context is noticeably missing.
On the whole, this is a splash art with an insipid background and straightforward portrayals. Said portrayals are from elaborate to eye-catching and timid yet they don’t really capture the personality of each champion. As a display of their look it works for the gentlemen but the lady seems unfairly relegated.
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: While the aim is simple the result of Sea Hunter Aatrox is quite interesting. The concept may be merely to turn the Darkin into a pirate but the fantastic interpretation of the concept, necessary due to his nature, makes the skin stand out from the usual buccaneer. The gargoyle-like appearance stands out as Aatrox’s physiognomy could very well evoke the shapes of certain sea creatures. That makes the lack of proper boots rather reasonable as his body may be as adept at moving underwater as over it; it’s a deviation from the splash art but a welcome one.
His clothing is also fitting for a seafaring adventurer as he would use what he finds. The classic base is recognizable but always painted with a nautical shade. That would include his most prized and necessary possession: an impressive sword. An irregular blade around a magical, even if dull-looking, core gives the sword a fantastic yet fitting look that is also very eloquent about its lethality. There aren’t any other additions but as a re-model the skin is pleasing enough.
All things considered, Sea Hunter Aatrox is a satisfactory skin with an appealing fantastic style that uses a pirate theme with, perhaps, a touch of an underwater feel. The general appearance is different from the norm and makes Aatrox stand out as a rare kind of sea adventurer. For fans of the Darkin Blade this may not be an impressive skin but it certainly is an attractive new style.

Conclusion

Aatrox doesn’t have many options available but the few he has are quite unique. The recommended skin is Justicar Aatrox as it provides an idealized version of the bloodthirsty Darkin Blade. His Justicar aesthetic has much in common with an angel, as his classic one does with a demon. Therefore, it’s an attractive reinterpretation that, even if it doesn’t surround him in celestial might, does offer enough to be appealing.

An alternative is Mecha Aatrox with its Transformers style. The skin has its moments and during those it can be really satisfying. However, they are limited so most of the time it feels underwhelming. The idea is surely attractive in both visuals and audio but doesn’t manage to impress. In the end, it’s an attractive option while on sale.

More humble than the previous options but with a distinct style we shouldn’t forget Sea Hunter Aatrox. The fantastic approach to a pirate gives the skin a unique aspect that incorporates elements from both piracy and the sea into a satisfying whole. In spite of only being a new model this is a skin with a great aesthetic that definitely stands out.

  38 Responses to “League of Legends: Aatrox Skins’ Review”

  1. Nice Review! However, Justicar Aatrox has a new recall animation. Something I’ve learned while debating whether to buy the bundle or not!

  2. I am extremely upset about your omission regarding the recall animation – I am concerned that this shows your new approach of quantity vs. quality. There has been a general decline in quality of reviews – please return to your former glory.

    • We are sorry we made a mistake and we apologize if that caused any inconveniences to you. We are far from infallible so despite our best efforts we may not always reach the level of excellence that our readers deserve and expect.

      We have always strived for quality over quantity and will continue to do so. We would be grateful if you could be more specific about which aspects of the reviews are worse than before. Are the analysis too light? Are we missing characteristics? Should we elaborate on any particular facets of the skins? We value your feedback greatly and only with your guidance can we make reviews that will be useful and interesting.

      We are sorry about the mistake and will try to be more careful. Yet, your help and guidance is also valuable to make the reviews the best they can be.

  3. Please, can you make a post with all the five star skins gathered together.
    Thanks for a great review! 🙂

  4. Zero, will you do a review of the upcoming skin of Aatrox and Malphite?

    • Any impressions about Mecha Aatrox and Mecha Malphite?

      • We’ll definitely do a review once they are released. As far as we have seen they look good and the idea isn’t bad. However, we’ll have to see how they are implemented related to their price.

  5. Hey Zero can you make a mecha aatrox review

    • Incoming.

      • With the sale at 975 rp until Monday would you rate it any higher?

        • To be fair, the skin doesn’t really convince at its price and a 28% discount is nice but not that great. At 975 RP we would say that it’s better for fans of Aatrox that like the Mecha concept and will use the skin a lot.

          The changes are there and they are a lot. Still, they don’t usually amount to much except in some specific moments. Given that the skin will eventually reach a sale the question becomes: can you wait?

          If you really like Mecha Aatrox and don’t want to wait for a sale then now is your best chance; bundles notwithstanding. If not then it will eventually be offered at a lower and more tempting price. It’ll be a long wait but if you aren’t that impressed by the skin it might not be a big problem.

  6. Mecha Aatrox has new animations for his Q. He transforms into his jet while flying down and transforms back into his regular form. It’s a very short animation, and is hart to see, but it’s there.

    • You’re right, it happens in the blink of an eye but it’s definitely there. Thanks for the notice we’ll add it to the review.

  7. I just made a comparison between Classic and Justicar Aatrox and I think he has a new sound for his Q and R. They aren’t the most prominent of sounds but they are certainly different from the classic, at least according to the videos I found by SkinSpotlights on Youtube. I sadly cannot check in-game because I do not own Justicar Aatrox, but I love the skin. Sadly, Aatrox’s playstyle is not my type.

    • Aatrox can be played as an assassin, appearing out of the blue and leaving only bodies behind; sounds like fun and just like his kind of thing.

      Anyway, we thoroughly checked Justicar Aatrix as well as Justicar Syndra and Arclight Varus and all of this light-based skins have new sounds. The problem, and excuse for not noticing until now, it’s that they are mixed with the classic sounds. For instance the impact of a projectile is the classic sound but afterwards comes an eerie celestial chime.

      We’ll update the reviews. In spite of the fact that they certainly aren’t easy to notice, especially in the midst of battle, they are a change to be noted.

      • Thank you so much! I have been wishing you notice the new sounds on these skins for so long and you finally did. I am personally a huge fan of this theme and own both the Syndra and Varus skins, even though I rarely play Varus, and the only one I am missing is Justicar Aatrox. I might pick it up on sale sometime if i have spare RP and try to learn to play Aatrox. Aatrox as a light-based angel is a beautiful concept that is enough to make me play the champion.

        • Not at all, on the contrary: thanks to you for helping make the reviews more precise and useful. Sometimes we struggle to notice subtle additions because in the midst of battle, with all the abilities and auto-attacks, it’s difficult to differentiate changes that aren’t really clear.

          That’s mainly because we prefer to check in-game as that’s the actual official word on what is or isn’t included. Of course, it also means that we have to notice them and it’s not always an easy task. Therefore your contributions, and from the many others that also help, are essential to improve the reviews and make them the best resource they can be.

          We completely agree that the idea behind Justicar Aatrox is quite attractive. There’s a bit of conflict between his visceral, classic nature and the celestial style. Nevertheless, the result is good and manages to be rather appealing.

          • Glad to be of help! I hope I can continue to contribute to your site as I am a huge fan of it and observe it carefully, especially when new skins come out.

          • Feedback and corrections always welcome. We’ll keep working hard so that the reviews can be as useful as they can possibly be.

  8. Justicar Aatrox also has new particles for his auto-attacks. I am somewhat curious, what is stopping the skin from receiving 5 stars? I mean, Justicar Syndra, a skin with an identical theme and execution, has 5 stars and they are fully justified, so I don’t see what makes this skin less appealing to result in 4 stars. Is it because the theme clashes with is manners? I can somewhat understand that, but I still think the skin is quite a perfect theme for him, contrasting his dark classic skin, the same as with Syndra.

    • You’re right, we gave Justicar Aatrox a look and there’s a tiny difference for the auto-attack: the hit particles, not the blood, is light coloured instead of red. It’s difficult to notice but exists. Thanks for the notice. This is one of the reasons why Justicar Aatrox isn’t as convincing as Justicar Syndra.

      With Syndra her particles are clearly shown and the theme stands out at a glance. With Aatrox you have to pay attention to notice some differences. Justicar Aatrox is still a great skin but we think that the changes don’t stand out with regards to classic as much as they could.

      It could be said that Syndra has an advantage due to her design: her dark spheres always rotating around her, for instance. Regardless, a skin has to take into account the design of the champion. After all there are other cases where the champion doesn’t use much in the way of particles and then comes a skin that surprises with its style.

  9. I bought Aatrox a while ago and I found Sea Hunter to be my cup of tea, since I don’t get along with the textures of Justicar and I’m not a fan of Mechas. If Justicar had a more pronounced angelic theme, things would’ve been different. As it stands, Sea Hunter is gorgeous, though his wings look kind of dull as oposed to the classic skin. And in my opinion most of these group splash arts ruin an image or two for some of the champions. As it does for poor Quinn there 🙁 Your review – amazing! Thank you.

    • Glad that you find the review useful.

      As with everything in life, it’s a matter of personal preference. A skin may be full of new particles, sounds and animations but if you don’t like it then there’s little point in getting it. Fortunately, Sea Hunter rather appealing thanks to the approach that didn’t just give him a new set of clothes and instead also changed his appearance with an oceanic tint. The wings are a bit on the simple side but the ray feel they have suit the theme. Overall, it’s a nice re-model.

  10. Excuse me Zero can I ask a question? Is Modskin Illegal? It only lets you see the Custom skin butt not the others though its not like scripting. So what Im saying is, is it illegal or not?

    • Not sure about the specifics on mods in League, the terms and conditions must be somewhere on the site. The Terms of Use explicitly forbid the use of mods. However, from what we recall programs like third party replay and skins were allowed as long as they didn’t interfere with the client-server comunications or affected the game in a way that could give an advantage to a player.

      We can’t find anywhere on the LoL site that strictly allows the use of custom skins though. They are rather popular and, in theory, as they are purely cosmetic Riot shouldn’t have a problem with them. In practice, the Terms of use are clear: no modifications allowed.

      In our view, play it safe if you have something to lose because they can always refer to said agreement which all players are supposed to follow. Also, be aware that even if you have more than one account Riot can know, possibly via IP checks and cookies, if you are the same person and they could sanction you across all accounts.

      • Riot said it is actually allowed for now, however, this may change in the future.

        • We couldn’t find any concrete information on the site so we would’ve simply been guessing. Do you have a link to a statement by a Rioter or a page on the LoL site as reference? It’s better to have some backup in some cases.

  11. We need an ultimate aatrox skin

    rito pls

  12. Sea hunter Aatrox is reference to one of head hunters on Davy Jones’ ship from “Pirates of the Caribbean”. I refer to that shark looking guy up there

  13. Will Aatrox rework be reviewed? 😀

    • Yes but we are delaying it as we check the rework. Besides, it seems like Aatrox will be getting his wings back on the base model, without the ultimate on, in a couple patches or so. That’s why we aren’t in a rush to update. Regardless, the rework seems to have kept things more or less at the same level as before. Chances are that the review won’t change much when we update; according to what we have seen.

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