The stoic defender is a position that many have held but that none have dedicated fully to, yet. Braum comes to change things with his formidable shield and chilling abilities. When you need a protector, you choose Braum and if you need help for choosing his gear then keep reading on his skins’ review.
|Concept:||Braum as an armoured warrior wielding a dragon-shield.|
|Model:||New model for Braum and his shield. New colour for his poro and poro moustaches at the Howling Abyss.|
|Particles:||New red glow for his shield’s eyes and new red particles for his abilities and auto-attack.|
|Animations:||New joke and recall animations.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||As it’s a tendency recently, we get a few rocks that suggest some blasted battlefield, at best, and nothing else. So Braum gets the spotlight all to himself, in theory, but instead ends up behind his shield. The shield makes a dramatic performance, with overflowing lava from its maw and excellent use of colours. Braum doesn’t look bad either but he’s half in shadow and his lower body is blurred by the shield’s effect. The result is that the shield, while important, overtakes the piece. Thus, it isn’t easy to get a clear view of Braum’s new armour as he seems like a diffuse addition that holds the main attraction. In conclusion, it’s a splash art that gives a great first impression but that struggles to fulfil the aim of displaying a champion in all their splendour.|
|Conclusion:||Dragonslayer Braum is without a doubt an uninspired skin. It takes the broad warrior and increases the amount of armour with a veiled dragon design. On top of that, a shield with a huge dragon head is added so along the red particles and subdued sounds we have a dragon-warrior. That’s not to say that the look is bad as it all comes around well: the shield and the fire particles manage to convey fire-breathing. Therefore, the appearance is distinct and even appealing to the eye. Still, the armour isn’t remarkable and the changes do feel like treaded ground. The bottom line is that Dragonslayer is a skin for fans of Braum. They will find it a nice alternative with a different style and attractive visuals. However, if you are not a fan, while Dragonslayer looks distinct, it’s hardly innovative and probably won’t be convincing enough.|
|Concept:||Braum as a Mexican wrestler.|
|Model:||New model for Braum and his shield. Moderate model changes for his poro and poro moustaches at the Howling Abyss.|
|Particles:||New golden particles for his abilities and auto-attack.|
|Animations:||New recall and beginning of match animations.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||A ring is the setting and one has to guess most of what’s present due to the inexplicably foggy scene. The difference in quality between Braum and the background makes the latter feel like a sketch made by a different person. Braum looks radically different to his surroundings: the colours are bright though a bit waxy and light is well used. The poro by his side is a good touch to remind of his kind personality even if his face doesn’t represent it well. To a point, it could even be a different person. In addition to this, his physique appears too deformed by the perspective which, after a while, starts to get in the way. The fact that his legs seem to start to meld with the area fog doesn’t help matters either. In the end, it’s an evocative portrayal of Braum surrounded by an insipid yet fitting background.|
|Conclusion:||With El Tigre Braum one has to take the skin with humour. While the skin isn’t outright funny it certainly draws heavily from Braum’s jolly nature. This also appears as a warning that the concept is somewhat forcefully adapted instead of integrated.
For starters, the outfit is evocative but unimpressive. It looks pedestrian and dull without even adding tiger elements as the name and theme would suggest. The shield-chair certainly doesn’t work well. Besides feeling preposterous it simply doesn’t carry the same weight as his massive shield. The costumed poro seems like too little an addition to compensate for such basic problems.
The golden particles provide the skin with a distinct trait to define a unique personality. However, one can feel that they’ve been seen before. That might be the case as Glacial Fissure looks like a modified and re-coloured version borrowed from Dragonslayer. The new sounds are actually added over the classic ones most of the time and are barely noticeable. The new animations are alright and follow the style of the skin. Still, they feel like too little and certainly not enough for its high price.
In conclusion, El Tigre Braum is a nice skin with a charming style that takes Braum’s bright personality into the world of wrestling. Unfortunately, the skin price is rather high and despite the changes being good not enough is present to justify a price of 1350 RP; especially a beginning of match animation alone. If you like the skin, get it on sale. If you are a great fan of Braum, know that you’ll be paying quite a bit more for very little.
|Concept:||Braum as a knight in armour.|
|Model:||New model for Braum, his shield and poros|
|Particles:||No new particles.|
|Animations:||No new animations.|
|Sounds:||No new sounds.|
|Splash Art:||A group of friends make a campfire and share a quiet time on their travels. A lake enchants the view with its moonlight reflection and only cartoony soil makes it company with regards to setting. It’s simple for a background but works. The stars of the piece are the merry men that follow the soil’s cartoony depiction.
There’s a knight petting his poro which draws the attention of the bowman; perhaps. That doesn’t distract the knight from having a firm grasp on his cup but the one responsible for the pouring of spirits can’t take his eyes from the wonders at the fingertips of the wizard. Even though there’s a clear disconnection between some of the champoins, Varus and Ryze seem to be on their own more than part of the group, there’s interaction between most of them. This links them together and also allow a view that goes round them covering their activities. The portrayals differ in quality with Braum and Varus having more elaborate shading than Gragas and Ryze who appear to economize on details despite being part of the central scene. Additionally, it’s difficult to get a good look at the two champions closer to us and legs tend to look sketchy as well as some gear and Varus’ right hand. The cartoony feel pervades the whole piece, mostly, and where it doesn’t fit feels out of place as if borrowed from a better piece.
In the end, the composition of this splash art is great. Simple but effective, it gathers all the champions and allows a rather good look at them all. There are problems with how close some are and how uneven the depictions are. Besides, the setting feels too simplistic and even neglected around them. Overall, it’s a splash art that does a good job at offering a group view of the champions despite some annoying flaws.
|Conclusion:||Not far from being a knight in shining armour Braum Lionheart is a clear re-model that suits the Heart of Freljord in armour and leaves it at that. The result is actually rather good as Braum appears as an affable and picturesque yet evidently strong and brave knight. The armour design leans towards the fantastic more than the practical but is reasonable as well as fine looking. There’s a good balance between effectiveness and decoration and while there’s nothing particularly impressive there are no obvious flaws. His new shield is the only explicit connection to the Lionheart part. It’s largely ornamented yet appears sturdy and solid as it should.
The presence of ice powers comes out of nowhere because there’s not even a hint about them in the model. Even the shield’s blue glow comes from blue areas so despite not being out of place they don’t make much sense. It’s an aspect that seems abandoned and left to fare on its own. In that regard, it’s not terrible but isn’t sensible either.
All in all, Braum Lionheart is a nice re-model that captures the style of a knight in armour without going into details. The surface is adapted but nothing is done to link his ice powers to the new aspect. This makes the skin a fitting change of clothes but lacking in the integration of classic and Lionheart personalities.
|Concept:||Braum dressed as a Father Christmas.|
|Model:||New model for Braum and his shield plus new flames for his shield.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New high-speed run and recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||Straightforward but fitting, there isn’t much context that isn’t obvious to the naked eye. In that regard, the background consisting of a mere night sky over a snowed pine forest is little more than a frame. The poros aim to add a bit of meaning to an otherwise direct portrayal but they do little. The queue to ask for presents and receive in kind is brief and unassuming. It doesn’t help the fact that the thick brushstrokes that make the fur of the poros give a noticeably sketchy feel. The shield doubles as a portable fire-place surrounded with presents and the dim colours used in all cases continue the feel of a draft. Even the light of the flames is weak and subdued; especially for the chosen setting. For all their simplicity, the Christmas lights hanging from the fireplace actually look rather nice.
Braum, as expected of most portrayals, tries to escape this pervading feeling. The sharp lines and elaborate shading helps but a familiar problem remains. The colours used are dim and the brushstrokes thick. When looking at hair and fur the effect is good at a distance but from up close the granularity is low. The light from the fireplace looks binary without a soft dégradé from bright to dark areas. This abrupt change surely doesn’t help the fact that either areas lack colour variety. The pose also strikes as exaggerated and the face too stern. It’s clear that Braum is bombastic and strong but the general portrayal seems to try too hard to capture that feeling to the point that he appears aloof and distant instead of warm and welcoming. At least the poro on his left shoulder adds some comic relief even if it’s only a small touch. The fact that both his boots are hidden, something easily solvable by moving the presents on the right a bit to the side prevents a full view of his clothing.
All in all, this is a portrayal that doesn’t go beyond presenting how Santa Braum looks. It could be considered that there’s an impromptu gift wishing session but that’s as far as the piece is willing to go. Even though it’s a suitable and effective portrayal it feels more serviceable than evocative.
|Conclusion:||Santa Braum is a simple costume and doesn’t have any ambitions to be more than that. There’s a slight air of wrestler due to the open coat, oversized shield and Braum’s boastful personality that is largely ignored. It’s his jolly side which actually meshes better with the Santa angle but some depth would’ve been welcomed. Besides the costume there’s the shield turned portable fireplace which is as preposterous as it is unwieldy. Regardless, the whole of the skin is consistent in its suspension of disbelief so it can be funny; even if not forever.
The particles embrace poros and gifts alike. Concussive Blows relies on a large poro icon that results in an explosion of poros that, to be fair, wouldn’t be unfitting in Classic Braum; considering his close relationship with said furry beings. Both Winter’s Bite and Unbreakable base themselves on presents with large, classy ribbons that surely stand out; though Unbreakable is only colour changed, ribbon aside. Stand Behind Me has a disappointingly subtle golden shield that seems too shy given the effusive demonstration of Christmas spirit elsewhere. Finally, Glacial Fissure starts with a puzzling eruption of candy canes which result in a row of snow-tipped pines which are a great addition to the recognisable frost flanking them. While there’s much retreaded ground the ultimate adaptation is fitting and clever.
Sounds are particularly subdued and uneventful. It’s possible to notice the difference yet all seems familiar. The aural adaptation strikes less as a support for the new visuals and more as a way of finishing the consistency necessary for the skin. The recall is a clear allusion to Santa but with poros to carry the sleigh into the air. Simple, elegant and effective: a good choice in few words.
When all is added together one can’t shake the feeling that everything is done in too direct a way. It’s as if the shortest path was chosen even if that meant reusing assets. The result is effective as the Christmas message is evident but also lacking in flourish. For what it attempts to do it works but, apparently, without going out of its way or exploring any additional angles. Fans of Braum and Santa will find it an acceptable proposition provided they don’t ask for anything elaborate.
Braum’s skins aren’t exactly noteworthy but they are far from bad as well. Between the two, Dragonslayer Braum is the recommended choice. For a release skin, Dragonslayer Braum seems to have been chosen based on how straightforward its implementation was. In fact, everything seems to have been chosen so as to reuse the present foundations. Due to that, the skin seems like more of the same. Nonetheless, it has good looks and the design works. So, it’s a good option for Braum’s fans that want something different yet clearly recognizable.
The alternative is El Tigre Braum which offers an appealing Mexican wrestler theme. The outfit is passable, the particles distinct but mostly due to the colour and the animations reasonable. However, nothing explains the high price of the skin. If you are a great fan of Mexican wrestling or Braum you should try to get the skin on sale. At least, you won’t be paying that much more for almost the same additions as a 975 RP skin.
A cheaper option is Braum Lionheart. As a change of clothes it’s a fine skin with a suitable appearance that Braum effortlessly adopts. The ice powers aren’t linked with the new suit of armour so they feel coming out of the blue. Regardless, his aspect is appealing and so stands as a good armoured version of the Heart of Freljord.
The legacy option is Santa Braum, a skin evidently tied to Christmas but also, by design choice, chained to it. There’s the small potential of a wrestling Santa but that is ignored in favour of a direct adaptation to the concept. The particles are nice though straightforward and sometimes rely too much on the classic assets. The sounds barely stand out but the recall is a great finishing touch. Therefore, this is a skin that manages to provide what it intends to: a somewhat basic costume with some extras.