Poros, poros everywhere! When once snow was the star now it’s all poro-covered lands as far as the eyes can see. What’s one to do under such circumstances but mesh with the surroundings? Adapt your clothing to this new era and fit in among the poros. It’s all that’s left to do, lest the Poro King frown at unsuitable vassals.
|Concept:||Orianna as a ballerina from a musical snow globe and her ball as a clockwork poro.|
|Model:||New model for Orianna and the Ball.|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities and auto-attack. New poros for her recall.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds and music for her recall.|
|Splash Art:||The snow is left outside while a cosy fireplace warms oneself up. The wooden cottage has a welcoming feel and is full of little touches like the poro carpet and other elements around the fire. On a table, a snow globe contains Orianna as she makes her performance accompanied by a poro version of the Ball. Her depiction is charming and useful with great use of matte colours as well as some well placed sparkles and reflections. Material textures tend to look flat so both wool and fur don’t convince and metal appears as plastic. Nonetheless, for a toy doll it’s reasonable that cheaper substitutes were used instead of the real thing.
All across the piece colours are subdued but clear and elements are identifiable. There’s a bit of unnecessary blurriness here and there yet nothing that affects the piece much. More important though is the fact that the composition is very attractive and the piece brings its charm through effectively. Thanks to a great setting and a fine portrayal this splash art serves as a wonderful presentation card for Winter Wonder Orianna. Therefore, it joins the club of the best splash arts present in League of Legends.
|Conclusion:||Without being impressive Winter Wonder Orianna is a pleasing skin. The appearance is charming and fitting drawing from Orianna’s artificial playfulness. The concept is appealing and the aspect is more than a mere change of clothes. Even though the base isn’t modified at all it’s a good adaptation.
The Ball reinforces the theme with its poro-based aspect and new particles. Between the auto-attack and abilities the particles manage a different look but the Command visuals are mixed. The auto-attack, Dissonance and Protect look great with their new designs. Sadly, the modifications for Attack and Shockwave are disappointingly simple.
In the end, fans of Orianna and snow will find the skin to have an enchanting style. It surely feels like the skin could’ve been more, specially as part of Snowdown Showdown, but it still is quite good.
|Concept:||Sejuani wearing warm clothes, wielding a frozen poro snack and riding a giant poro.|
|Model:||New model for Sejuani, Bristle and her flail. New poro for her recall and death.|
|Particles:||New floating snow particles for her abilities and auto-attack.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||For those that wanted to know what a poro charge is this piece has a clear answer. Sejuani and Bristle send flying snow and poros alike as they advance; leaving behind some recognizable faces. Those faces can be difficult to identify as most of the background and even poro-Bristle are rather blurry. There seems to be a hint to a race or some other event but the setting isn’t clear about it. Sejuani is clearly displayed yet her face seems alien: it doesn’t look like her. The warm clothes are displayed well with appropriate quality. Her flail, though, seem to compete and even try to gather more attention than the actual characters. As a try at humour it’s not that effective. The result is mixed: the elements are present and are good. However, the implementation and composition doesn’t let them shine as they could.|
|Conclusion:||For the most part, Poro Rider Sejuani is just a re-model. It’s quite a good one as the new aspect is very appealing though mostly due to the presence of poro-Bristle.
The new clothes for Sejuani bring back to mind her Bear Cavalry wardrobe. Whereas, her new flail seems like a joke that isn’t as good in practice as it is in theory.
Bristle, however, steals the show with his new poro persona. It is, without a doubt, the main attraction and what really gives the skin its identity.
The particles seem underdeveloped. While it’s understandable that Sejuani’s classic ice particles work quite well the added floating snow is a flimsy addition that can pass unnoticed. Perhaps confectionery would’ve been a better theme for the particles because they feel lacklustre.
In conclusion, Poro Rider Sejuani is a charming skin thanks to poro-Bristle. It’s a skin that feels as a re-model which is unbecoming of Snowdown Showdown but, at least, it has a big, furry saving grace.
|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.|
|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.
The Snowdown Showdown skins of 2014 are rather good but don’t always exemplify the quality expected from legacy skins tied to an event. The recommended skin is Snow Day Malzahar. The clothing isn’t impressive but the particles and sounds as well as the poro-voidlings give the skin a distinct identity. There are some rough edges but, overall, it’s a nice option.
An interesting alternative is Winter Wonder Orianna. The concept is fantastic but the implementation doesn’t make the most of it. In particular, her abilities go from having clear visuals to looking practically unchanged. For fans of Orianna it’s certainly a tempting choice but they’ll have to accept some low points in the execution.
Finally, Poro Rider Sejuani is all charm thanks to the gigantic poro mount. Bristle notwithstanding, the skin doesn’t offer much: just warm clothes for Sejuani, a whimsical flail and some falling snow for her abilities. Fortunately, poro-Bristle comes to the rescue and steals the show; which allows the skin to stand out. If you accept it for what it is then it’s quite a likeable skin to get.