Mar 282013
 
Malzahar, the Prophet of the Void
Malzahar, the Prophet of the Void

Malzahar, the Prophet of the Void has seen the future: his visions tell of the Void and the imminent arrival of its denizens; this is our fate. Regardless, the Void Prophet still finds time to sport a few Eastern styles in his battles. Foretell your looks with the help of Malzahar’s skin review and leave no voidling behind.

Vizier Malzahar
Vizier Malzahar Splash Art Vizier Malzahar Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Malzahar as an evil magical advisor.
Model: New textures for Malzahar.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background shows structures built on red rock along a, presumed, volcano; if the ever-present red hue is any indication. There’s a mysterious blue orb floating in the middle that isn’t bathed by the red light, unlike the nearby voidling; which is misguiding as they remain blue in-game. To Malzahar’s right, the scene is repeated. Malzahar is well depicted though with proportions that don’t convince. He looks rather stubby: his legs and body long and wide while his arms short. Still, the clothes flowing give him some panache and the shading is correct. Overall, an acceptable splash art with a monotonous background and a passable portrayal.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Vizier Malzahar is a re-texture that feels like a re-colour. While other elements are displayed, like the metal wristbands or the exposed hair under the small cap, it’s mostly a red and blue outfit and nothing more. For Malzahar’s fans it may an interesting choice of colours but if that doesn’t entice you, then nothing else will.

Shadow Prince Malzahar
Shadow Prince Malzahar Splash Art Shadow Prince Malzahar Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Malzahar dressed with regally adorned clothes.
Model: New textures for Malzahar.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background shows a few decrepit buildings slowly crumbling as they fade into a blue mist that engulfs the rest of the scene. The architecture is meticulous in the placement of elements and the moderation of their use. This reinforces the idea of a richly designed city among the mountains that is now abandoned. Malzahar appears on the right next to part of a building that doesn’t yield to the fog. The golden magic swirls are a nice frame when they don’t turn into a mucous liquid and also match his colours. The prophet’s look is well displayed but a bit obscure in the front. The lines are precise and the shading good in the brighter parts and dull in the darker ones. All in all, it’s an interesting splash art that works despite appearing as Malzahar placed over a random city.
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: Shadow Prince Malzahar is a nice change of clothes that doesn’t stray far from the Prophet’s classic style. The colours are brighter and the outfit more elaborate due to fine, decorative embroidery. However, despite the golden magic displayed in the splash art the skin keeps the classic colour for his magic. On the whole, it’s evident that it’s the same Prophet with different clothes but for Malzahar’s fans it’s a welcome alternative to his traditional look.

Djinn Malzahar
Djinn Malzahar Splash Art Djinn Malzahar Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Malzahar styled as a genie.
Model: Major model changes for Malzahar and new textures for his voidlings.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: While the idea is to depict a dark, desert night the lack of clarity barely hints at some ruins among indistinguishable sand and night sky. Among gusts of wind Malzahar floats in a classic genie pose that allows a clear view of his style. The portrayal is passable as it displays a brightly coloured upper body and a drab rest; except for the dagger. The contrast in quality is rather abrupt: from the chest down, sans flying scarf, the lines and shading are exaggerated and murky. On top of that, the colours don’t even match the in-game aspect. When all is added up we find a piece that suggest an attractive portrayal but that ends as a quick sketch.
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: Malzahar doesn’t need to exert much to attain the look of a genie as Djinn Malzahar demonstrates. The underlying Classic Malzahar base is noticeable but doesn’t detract from the theme. That’s mainly due to the Prophet’s jinn-like style so this skin hardly innovates. Nevertheless, Djinn Malzahar accomplishes an attractive aspect that eloquently displays its theme. As far as jinns go, the look is a bit more flamboyant and vibrantly colourful than usual but still fitting. The new colour that the voidlings receive doesn’t really match Malzahar’s colour scheme, nor do the abilities particles, but isn’t unsuitable either. All things considered, Djinn Malzahar is a nice genie look that isn’t striking but hardly is a bad choice either.

Overlord Malzahar
Overlord Malzahar Splash Art Overlord Malzahar Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Malzahar as a powerful lord of the Void.
Model: New model for Malzahar and his voidlings.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The background is quite a blurry mess that scarcely hints at a Void portal unleashing its horrors in a dark and undetermined place. The voidlings actually look rather nice, most of them, but that comes at the price of not matching their in-game aspect. The same can be said about most of Malzahar; as his lower body looks very drab. The portrayal allows an imposing stance that, while a bit rough, conveys well his power. In general, the splash art and in-game looks match but the loose clothes and elaborate armour are better represented in this piece than in the three-dimensional model. Therefore, it becomes an exciting portrayal, despite it’s simple background, but not a very accurate one.
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: Overlord Malzahar is a skin with an immense potential but, sadly, little is actually realized. The idea of an all-mighty armoured lord of the void sure sounds nice but the execution is quite a letdown. There’re simply too many clothes and too little impressive armour on display. In fact, the voidlings do a better job than Malzahar at delivering the concept. The Prophet is mostly dressed in purple clothes that look too similar to his classic garments. The brief armour appears unnecessarily simple, weak and small to convey any kind of overflowing power. Thus, details like the voidling eyes decoration on the helmet and the richly ornamented belt with matching dagger seem lost among plain shades. In the end, the skin hints at its theme but doesn’t truly deliver it as it should. If you are able to accept that you may consider Overlord Malzahar a passable skin with some nicely armoured voidlings.

Snow Day Malzahar
Snow Day Malzahar Splash Art Snow Day Malzahar Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Malzahar as a cryomancer wearing warm clothing.
Model: New model for Malzahar and his voidlings. New poro for his recall.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, recall and death.
Splash Art: Mostly a suggestion, the background barely displays some trees and snow aside from a huge and unremarkable Void portal. The invasion of furry voidlings is a good touch and they add some necessary personality to the setting. Malzahar is nicely depicted emerging from the portal: the rippled right leg is a great indication. The colours are sharp and his clothes detailed even though the fur appears simplistic. Additionally, the textures of his cowl, mask and boot seem flat and devoid of life; unlike the rest of his body. All in all, it’s a splash art that provides a fine portrayal of Malzahar before a background that amounts to nothing with the voidlings being its only redemption.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: As a long overdue new skin Snow Day Malzahar shows that some dedication went into its development. The adaptation isn’t without its flaws but it accomplishes an interesting frost angle. Malzahar’s model is nothing revolutionary: just warm clothes. Added to his new ice powers he reminds of Captain Cold but the reference stays as a suggestion. The poro-voidlings don’t really fit their role that well. They mix cuteness and monstrosity but the result appears clumsy despite the recall’s clear explanation. They look like a furry crab that doesn’t capture the appeal of neither classic voidlings nor poros.
The new particles are rather nice and while they aren’t impressive they largely convey the ice aesthetic. Still, Malefic Vision’s bubbly visuals look strange: they make the enemy appear drunk like Gragas. Maybe a tiny snow storm would’ve better communicated the ice theme.
In addition to this, Nether Grasp looks simplistic for an ultimate; which is a letdown. The new sounds help convey the theme. They are subdued and don’t attract attention but they supplement the visuals effectively.
All things considered, Snow Day Malzahar has a clear and attractive identity. The changes don’t always make the most of the theme but the skin ends up being quite good. Fans of ice mages and Void Prophets will find it an interesting option.

Battle Boss Malzahar
Battle Boss Malzahar Splash Art Battle Boss Malzahar Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Malzahar as a polygonal level boss.
Model: New model for Malzahar and his voidlings.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack, death and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, death and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: Planes organized in grids and polygonal creatures advancing, relentlessly, at the command of their boss. Ships try to fight back but, despite their star pilot, the outcome is uncertain. The idea is certainly good but the actual setting is rather bare and even simple. Truth be told, besides Malzahar there’s actually little to see; ships aside. It’s a good frame for his portrayal but lacks significance.
Malzahar, probably to impress with his size, isn’t shown in full so that his lower body is omitted. The upper body doesn’t help either in giving a good view of his aspect as the perspective conceals his arms and shoulders. Although attacks are incoming they don’t seem to matter much so that his pixellated eyes and grid-like hands end up stealing the show. A far as feeling goes the depiction coveys the idea of a dark and dangerous foe. On the other hand, it’s an uneven affair. While his body shows metallic reflections and his torso has enough details that the shape of the polygons that make up his body is noticeable below, everything becomes muddled into a muddy whole.
All in all, this is a splash art that has a relevant approach to the depiction of Malzahar. The setting offers good even if not relevant enough support and the message is appealing. Sadly, great compromises are made which don’t compensate for the lack of clarity in this chaotic 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: Although Battle Boss Malzahar doesn’t deviate from the usual assortment of changes it has to be admitted that it does a great job with what it has available. The new model appears robotic with a florid armour design that doesn’t forget variety of colours; though kept to a sensible level. Hands and legs show a timid but interesting transition into polygons which adds personality and also justifies the other visual additions. For starters, voidlings are remade in low polygon count. The finely coloured lines give them an appealing look that combats the simplicity of the design; even more as they are animated and pulse with light between vertices. That said, the extravagant style of Malzahar still feels detached from voidlings and particles alike despite being eye-catching. Perhaps a less abrupt and shy transition to polygons would’ve meshed the different parts better.
Speaking of which, particles don’t merely retread the same pixel look of other skins. There’s a bit of that but also with classier and more suitable polygonal use. Auto-attacks are a pointy polygon with a faint trail of pixels behind which explodes in rectangles; which suits the theme very well. Void Shift’s shield is colourful and divided in triangles which helps mix the more stylish and polygonal parts of Malzahar. Call of the Void shows a clever and memorable pair of polygonal ships shooting at each other their barely pixellated fire. It’s a fantastic choice that gives a lot of personality to the ability; it could seem ironic given the splash art of a demonstration of superior power. As stated before, the voidlings created by Void Swarm have a distinct polygon based look. The summoning effect is simple and, though nice, hardly stands out. Malefic Visions surrounds the enemy in zeros and ones while small rectangles bubble out. The bubbling effect is actually quite appealing and the binary circle an apt symbol. Nether Grasp doesn’t fail to capitalise on the different areas of the concept. The binary line that holds the enemy in place is good. Accompanied by rectangles and glowing with sparks on the enemy it also leads a trail of pixels downwards where a grid-covered portal gives an excellent impression of immeasurable depth. There’s no doubt that the ultimate manages to feel special; even if the portal is shared with the recall.
Sounds are mostly fitting and, thankfully, match the visuals by employing vibrating midi-like sounds instead of chiptunes. Truth be told, none stand out. The gurgling pixel feel is consistent across abilities but usually rather brief; especially in Malefic Visions in comparison with the ability’s visuals. At large, there’s nothing wrong with them, duration aside, but they fail to be more than support even if they are quite charming. The processed voice-over is also somewhat weak. It adds style but makes his voice unintelligible.
The new recall has Malzahar leading an invasion through a smaller but recognisable portal. With many voidlings before him the polygonal dagger, which often serves as mere decoration, finds a use. His death also receives a new grid-based effect which keeps things consistent and helps further the identity of the skin.
All added up, Battle Boss Malzahar is a great skin. It has some problems but they are never in the way of the enjoyment that the best features provide. The message is clear and, sans antiquated animations, the skin has a modern feel that suits the contemporary old-style. For fans of digital villains and Prophets of the Binary World this is a skin worth taking into account.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, Malzahar’s skins aren’t exactly something amazing. The skin that provides the more interesting style for the Prophet is Overlord Malzahar but mostly in intentions. The look isn’t bad but fails at delivering a powerful armoured mage. At least the voidlings do look good so you’ll have to excuse the wasted potential if you plan on brandishing this look.

Both Djinn and Shadow Prince Malzahar are possible alternatives but they don’t really offer anything striking. The former mostly relies on Malzahar’s classic style while the latter is just a re-colour.

Vizier Malzahar may be worth a look at a legacy sale if you’d simply like new colours for the Prophet. Nonetheless, it’s a skin that feels too conservative and uninspired despite a concept with room for development.

Long overdue, Snow Day Malzahar has a nice theme that is well implemented. There are some qualms to be had but the result is appealing. While it could’ve been a better skin it manages to be a rather good option.

Even if imperfect there’s a lot to like in Battle Boss Malzahar. The concept is brought to life with effective and appealing additions which make the skin quite satisfying. There are issues to note but the best features compensate for them. If you like digital villainy then this is a skin you shouldn’t ignore.

  44 Responses to “League of Legends: Malzahar Skins’ Review”

  1. Doesn’t Vizier Malzahar actually have a minor model change? He doesn’t have a hood in that skin like in the classic one, instead he has long black hair tied behind his head.

    • You are right in your description but a close inspection confirms that it’s actually the same hood textured to look like hair. At a distance it’s passable but when near it does look a bit weird.

      • Now that you mention it and I took a second look, you are completely right. That is horrible. I really hope a visual upgrade happens for him soon because I like his concept and his kit but his appearance is just bad. His skins do not really appeal to me also. At first I liked Overlord but then I stopped when I realized the total removal of his scarf. It also offers underwhelming amounts of features in comparison to more modern 975 skins. The remaining three I like the models but the classic particles and Voidlings for Vizier and Shadow Prince just ruin the skins for me.

        • Completely agreed, even though Malzahar may not look that bad in comparison to other old champions he is in dire need of a visual upgrade. In no small part so that he may finally receive some good skins because what he has available is nothing remarkable.

  2. will u put snowday malzahar?

    • Once it’s released we’ll review the skin.

      • What are your current thoughts on it? I am curious because the Orianna one has too much poros and not enough winter theme, and I am honestly not such a big fan of poros but I love snow/ice themes. I also already have Bladecraft and Gothic so another one would not be worth it. (the Sejuani one doesn’t interest me since I do not play Sejuani.)

        • Seems alright though fire would fit his damage over time better than ice; unless we are talking of extreme cold which the abilities don’t convey. Additionally, the voidling-poro seems too much voidling and too little poro so it looks weird. The idea behind the winter skins isn’t really serious so it has to be taken as such. Under that light they are rather good.

          We agree that in some cases there’s a certain overabundance of poros even to the point where the ice takes second stage. It would’ve been interesting if Orianna’s Ball was a huge snowball that would splash snow when activated but we have a clumsy, round mech-poro instead.

          As funny skins they seem to be offering a good amount; as long as the price is reasonable. For the most part they stand apart from other skins that these champions have available. Neither Orianna, Sejuani nor Malzahar have ice based skins though Sejuani’s classic theme is exactly that; which explains the reliance on the poro concept.

          They key might be the price. The skins are interesting and offer a good amount of changes but if the price is too high, coupled with a legacy label which prevents sales, then they won’t be very attractive.

          • The price of each of the skins on the PBE is 975 RP, and it seldom changes by the time they are released (Atlantean Syndra…), so you can judge by that.

          • If that’s the case it seems reasonable so far. At the very least, they don’t seem bad but whether they will really be great that’s another matter.

      • ok btw keep working on these thinks you help a lot of people

  3. In the conclusion section of Overlord Malzahar, you mentioned that he is dressed with blue clothes but they are clearly purple, both in-game and in the splash art.

  4. A helpful fact to give about Shadow Price Malzahar’s splash art is how he is wielding swirls of golden dust-like magic in the splash art, which looks beautiful, but in-game he retains his classic purple Void particles and there isn’t a single spark of golden particles. This would be helpful for some people, as I have seen several comments about that skin and how people bought it after being enticed by the eye-catching splash art and ending up extremely disappointed by the in-game look, as the outfit is ok but mixing white and gold colors with purple doesn’t look pleasing at all. I feel like it is a skin with immense potential, just like Overlord, but it is not recognized. I hope that in the future Riot will do something similar to what they did with Battlecast Xerath and recolor his particles to golden.

    • Um, it no longer says the comment is awaiting moderation but I cannot see a reply. Zero?

      • Something seems to have happened here. We either forgot to answer or it’s a consequense of some settings we changed to make the anti-spam plugins work better together. If there’s any trouble please tell us and we’ll check to see what is it that we did this time.

        • It is not trouble, it is just my comment about Shadow Prince Malzahar remained unanswered even though you even said you would answer it in a reply to one of my comments on Azir’s review page.

          • Indeed we did. Could’ve been an end of year oversight but in case something strange happens with comments in the future don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

  5. So is Shadow Prince just a recolor? Or is there more to it?

  6. Zero I have 2 questions about Malzahar’s skins. First question is why is it that Djinn Malzahar has a 4 star review on this page and a 3 star on the skin list page. My second question is which skin is better for Malzahar, Djinn or Snow Day, as I own them both but I have to decide every game.

    • About the different ratings that’s a very good question. We aren’t sure what happened but something got lost when updating. We’ll take a look and see which one is the right one.

      As far as elaboration goes Snow Day is a more satisfying skin due to the new particles and sounds. Djinn is more fitting in concept but also simpler in implementation; the price sensibly accompanies the execution though. They are certainly skins with different scopes and objectives. That, technicalities aside, is the biggest difference.

      It may be a matter of what you are looking in a Malzahar skin, as both are rather good, but each has its own aim.

  7. Snowday Malz has a new spawn particles. They are blue not the normal purple (similar to his death particles).

    • We didn’t notice them but weren’t able to check well. Do you mean when spawning at the beginning of a match or when respawning after death? Both perhaps? We’ll try to check again, thanks.

  8. Got Snowday Malzahar in a mystery skin, very happy with it. I wish they had another skin for him that did more then model changes but was available year round.

    • Agreed, each champion should have a skin that extends the classic fantasy with a twist but that kept the core. Snowday Malzahar is a nice skin but it’s a diversion. A skin that takes the powerful Void mage idea and does something interesting with it is what is missing. The model changes are alright but there’s a lot that can be done with more elaborate skins.

      Hope you enjoy your Snow Day.

  9. You might have to update this due to his rework, maybe…

    • The gameplay update did change his abilities but they use the same assets from what we gather. We’ll update if we notice anything substantial. For the time being, we think everything holds mostly the same.

      • I’ll have to disagree, I think the update, specifically the passive which covers him in a purple aura, sort of ruins his simpler skins (Vizier, Shadow Prince and Djinn). The skins, mostly the former two, rely mostly on new colors, and the new passive… well it sort of reverts them back to classic Malzahar while it’s up. I don’t know, but the skins feel very heavily downgraded by the passive, and Shadow Prince specifically deserves a star subtraction with how much the particles clash with the skin now. Before it left a sour taste, especially with that splash art, but now the new particles literally cover his new look! It’s ridiculous, honestly. I’d hate to have bought that skin in the past, would have felt such utter disappointment now.

        • You’re right though it’s a problem that all skins that don’t change particles share. Why didn’t they do it like Snow Day where the shield is more transparent and not so solid? Truth be told, it’s ridiculous how intense the shield colours are for skins like Shadow Prince which are, essentially, re-colours. Let’s hope for a fix, though that may be wishful thinking.

          • Extremely wishful. The highest chance of them fixing this is when they give Malzahar a much needed visual update in the distant future, and it’s obvious that it’s not guaranteed in the slightest then. In fact, we might just end up getting a better model for the skin and it STILL being covered by the purple particles. Frankly it’s saddening to think about.

          • That’s why the wishful thinking option was better: the depressing reality is that things will only get worse. After all, the improvements are, at the very least, uneven and brought down by an equal measure of problems. Better to concentrate of what little is still enjoyable before it’s removed… has happened before.

  10. how did model change affect skins?

    • There were some new textures changed, higher quality, that make his look clearer and less messy. Still, the extent of the changes remains in all of his skins so they stand on the same ground the did before. In fact, the most significant new textures appear to be used on Classic Malzahar so that the rest of the skins, at large, looks the same as they did before.

  11. Do you find Malzahar’s passive a nuisance to his skins? You know, being shrouded in a purple shield periodically.

    • Certainly, especially as most skins simply keep the classic particles untouched. An exception like Snow Day has a valid excuse as it changes the look to resemble snow. However, most skins merely hide behind the shield which compromises the aim of having a skin in the first place.

  12. Hey Zero, what are your thoughts on choosing between Djinn and Shadow Prince Malzahar?

    • The advantage of Djinn over Shadow Prince is that the former has a different look thanks to the model changes while the former only changes the textures and so it resembles classic much more. The idea of a Djinn also fits Malzahar while Shadow Prince is the same idea with a superficial change of colour.

      If you like Djinn it’s a skin that offers more than Shadow Prince. However, neither add that much in terms of realising a distinct, new personality for Malzahar. They both rely on his classic form and it shows.

  13. Do you plan on doing your review on Battle Boss Malz now, or do you wait until it comes out on the global server?

    • We usually wait until the skins are released officially. While it’s true that skin on the PBE seldom get any significant changes sometimes they are incomplete. For example, Pentakill Kayle only recently got the new sounds. It’s usually better to review the final product in our view.

  14. For Battle Boss Malzahar, I think it has a new auto attack animation. For me, it feels faster. What do you think?

    • We checked and it seems to be the good, old classic attack animation. Take into account that Malzahar’s model and animations are rather old so they look rather fast. It’s also possible that in adapting the old auto-attack animation to the new model the result is a faster animation. If you have a video that shows the animation differently we’d appreciate the information to fix the review. There could be something we didn’t notice, thanks.

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