Jan 262016
 
Lunar Wraith Morgana, Lunar Wraith Caitlyn and Radiant Wukong
Lunar Revel 2016

The Dark Queens rule with darkness over their lands. Each day, the Snake Queen aims at the Sun and the Wolf Queen ensnares it from the skies. Held prisoner in their castle it leaves behind an eternal night.
A burning light arrives on the Dark Queens’ lands bathing them with hope. As a radiant dawn the Monkey King defies their alluring grace and shatters their illusions with his magical staff. He mocks their animal shapes and escapes mounted on his cloud.
They chase him over hills and seas but every time they catch him it’s only a decoy. Tired, the Dark Queens retire to their castle and, in their slumber, the Sun breaks free from their chains. The light returns and jubilations warm each heart; until a new dusk is to return, once again.

Lunar Wraith Caitlyn
Lunar Wraith Caitlyn Splash Art Lunar Wraith Caitlyn Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Caitlyn as a dreamlike markswoman.
Model: New model for Caitlyn and her rifle.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for Headshot, Piltover Peacemaker, Ace in the Hole, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: To one side, a lady stands altered by magic. On the other side, another sits elegant and mysterious. Behind them there are heavy, solid clouds or a low cavern ceiling; who can truly say? A few scaly bodies appear nearby, perhaps ethereal snakes that answer to the ladies presence. Nothing is certain, it’s an oneiric chaos that shows a lot but says little.
The ladies are a different matter, though. Caitlyn is the one that more clearly displays the effect of this dream on her persona. The sharp lines and vivid colours attract the eye but her slender, even weak, frame and are as alien as her right arm and long ears. Her rifle looks fascinating and questions easily gather as to the nature of its mechanisms. She doesn’t seem as familiar as one would expect her to be; in fact, she looks like another person. Of course, all the mystery doesn’t dare to interfere with an unnecessary dose of cleavage.
Sitting opposite her we find Morgana exuding class. Her appearance is as alluring as it is classy but the suggestion made by the naked back is clear. Fur appears dull and waxy but the metal decorations glint above the pervading dimness. Her skirt lights up with the mystic forces around, just like her visible eye, and invigorate the bland aspect of her skin. The blurry happenings around her right arm add to the mystery despite looking unnecessarily drab. While we may not be able to get a full view of her dress, the pose suits her well.
When we add it all together we find a piece that lets two ladies share the spotlight with equal measure. They both appear relevant and attractive and even display a duality between light and shade that ends up benefiting Caitlyn more than Morgana. Regardless, both are captivating and present appealing portrayals before a setting that tries to be so mysterious and dreamlike that more than surreal appears chaotic and undefined. This results in a piece that doesn’t expose the supernatural aspects of the theme as clearly as it should. More oneiric that anything else, both ladies are enticing but struggle to offer more than a good pose in a nice portrayal.
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: Visually, Lunar Wraith Caitlyn is an attractive and pleasing skin. With a distinct style that is both elegant as well as oneiric she easily stands apart from the usual sniper look. The dress is elaborate and classy and her rifle takes both aspects a step further. Of course, such attention to form leaves several doubts about how plausible and practical it is to go about shooting with such gear. However, if the skin sets itself only to provide an interesting appearance it is effective at it. It isn’t very believable but manages to compensate with an unusual aspect that stays close to the fantastic.
That’s also part of the skin’s problem. Caitlyn looks like an extravagant lady with a strange taste and, with a pinch of imagination, she appears unreal like escaped from a dream. Nevertheless, there’s little evidence of her wraith nature in the skin and she also lacks the vibrancy displayed in the splash art. There’s only a large blue eye on the rifle and the strange shape of her right arm, which could be a peculiar sleeve from the look of things, to present her supernatural life. These elements don’t really convey the feel of a spirit; less so anything snake related. Instead, it seems like a strange ornamentation or a dream-like woman with some weird aspects. That is emphasised by the decorative aesthetic that, far from being wraithlike, looks colourful and fantastic.
The particles and sounds follow the same trend. They do appear different but the blue design and soft sounds don’t feel like coming from a wraith. It all seems magical but lacks the impact expected from a spirit. Perhaps it’s a matter of what kind of image a wraith brings to the mind. In that case, Caitlyn remains closer to the extravagant but classy lady with magic powers more than a spirit. Her recall aims at stating the wraith theme with more clarity but, again, can seem more dreamlike than wraithlike.
All things said and done, Lunar Wraith Caitlyn is an appealing skin that may not evoke the expected image and sound of a wraith but that presents an attractive oneiric aesthetic; at best. The price is rather hefty for a re-model with new particles, sounds and recall, though. While attractive there’s nothing here that doesn’t fit at 975 RP. Add to this unclear focus of her appearance plus diluted theme and we are left with a skin that can be quite interesting but that doesn’t present its personal allure as it should.

Lunar Wraith Morgana
Lunar Wraith Morgana Splash Art Lunar Wraith Morgana Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Morgana as a lavishly dressed aristocrat.
Model: New model for Morgana and new particles for her aura.
Particles: New particles for her abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for Dark Binding and recall.
Splash Art: To one side, a lady stands altered by magic. On the other side, another sits elegant and mysterious. Behind them there are heavy, solid clouds or a low cavern ceiling; who can truly say? A few scaly bodies appear nearby, perhaps ethereal snakes that answer to the ladies presence. Nothing is certain, it’s an oneiric chaos that shows a lot but says little.
The ladies are a different matter, though. Caitlyn is the one that more clearly displays the effect of this dream on her persona. The sharp lines and vivid colours attract the eye but her slender, even weak, frame and are as alien as her right arm and long ears. Her rifle looks fascinating and questions easily gather as to the nature of its mechanisms. She doesn’t seem as familiar as one would expect her to be; in fact, she looks like another person. Of course, all the mystery doesn’t dare to interfere with an unnecessary dose of cleavage.
Sitting opposite her we find Morgana exuding class. Her appearance is as alluring as it is classy but the suggestion made by the naked back is clear. Fur appears dull and waxy but the metal decorations glint above the pervading dimness. Her skirt lights up with the mystic forces around, just like her visible eye, and invigorate the bland aspect of her skin. The blurry happenings around her right arm add to the mystery despite looking unnecessarily drab. While we may not be able to get a full view of her dress, the pose suits her well.
When we add it all together we find a piece that lets two ladies share the spotlight with equal measure. They both appear relevant and attractive and even display a duality between light and shade that ends up benefiting Caitlyn more than Morgana. Regardless, both are captivating and present appealing portrayals before a setting that tries to be so mysterious and dreamlike that more than surreal appears chaotic and undefined. This results in a piece that doesn’t expose the supernatural aspects of the theme as clearly as it should. More oneiric that anything else, both ladies are enticing but struggle to offer more than a good pose in a nice portrayal.
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: Elegant yet gloomy, Lunar Wraith Morgana does look like an Ionian aristocrat with a penchant for elaborate and unusual ornamentation. A closer look only reinforces the idea due to the floating wolf busts and her strange gloves; the latter are completely absent in the splash art. There could be some indication of something supernatural but it’s subtle. The idea that sets is that of a lady with class but a sombre personality.
The particles and sounds also subtly poke in that direction. Dark Binding appears appropriately supernatural but the other abilities are much more measured in that regard. The dim flames around Tormented Soil are a great touch but the rest seems a simple re-colour of the ability. Something identical applies to Black Shield with its suitable aura but familiar look.
Soul Shackles strikes as particularly weak and similar to other dark interpretations of the ultimate; which is anticlimactic. Even her normal aura looks so dim that is too easy to ignore. The recall aims at presenting a feral frenzy of supernatural power but against the predominance of elegance and modicum of mysticism prevalent on the whole of the skin it seems out of place.
All in all, Lunar Wraith Morgana is a skin that appears more elegant and classy than supernatural. There is a well measured undercurrent of magical power that subtly brings the spiritual aspect to the surface. However, it’s never strong enough to make it the main feature of the skin as the name indicates. There’s also too much familiarity in the abilities which added to the extent of the changes prevents the skin from defining a unique identity. Therefore, it’s a skin with a nice style but that doesn’t captivate as it could and should.

Radiant Wukong
Radiant Wukong Splash Art Radiant Wukong Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Wukong as the hero of Journey to the West: Sun Wukong.
Model: New model and glow for Wukong and his staff. New textures for his death.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New animated head appendages. New high-speed running and recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: It can’t be denied that this is a piece with a particular style. The background is extremely ambiguous and lets out only hints of trees and, perhaps, walls. However, the curls and coils as well as the specific colours define a distinct identity. Unfortunately, those features also make it monotonous and too homogeneous to add up to more than a frame for the Monkey King.
Speaking of whom, Wukong has an evidently dynamic portrayal that sacrifices a full view of his aspect for action. Much can be seen though and the sharp depiction ends up being the sole interesting part of the piece. The lack of variety in the colours make Wukong struggle to differentiate himself from the background and appears struggling to be noticed; which can explain the daring display of power. Such display can be exaggerated due to the particularly pronounced perspective of his staff and right arm. Add to it that there’s little context for his actions and we end up with a desperate attempt at grabbing attention.
In the end, this is a splash art that doesn’t seem to give its champion enough breathing room to catch the eye. Wukong suffocates in a sea of similar tones with little justification and effectiveness for all his effort. While the idea of having a unique identity for the splash art is welcome the oppressive approach prevents the basic needs of the splash art to be fulfilled satisfactorily.
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: The unequivocally fantastic aesthetic of Radiant Wukong helps the skin stand out from the, already, multiple interpretations of the Monkey King. The colour palette is certainly quite restricted but the design and decoration is definitely attractive as well and fictionally plausible. The newly animated head appendages, whatever they stand for, help define a distinct identity for Radiant Wukong. In general, it’s a different and appealing appearance that lacks colour variety.
The particles should compensate for the few shortcomings of the model but it’s questionable whether they do. The new cloud particles have a unique aspect that catches the eye initially but that promptly reveal their simplistic nature. Instead of being animated they are static images that appear and disappear one after the other. The rest of the glows and trails merely adapt the classic visuals to the new colour scheme and so the abilities disappoint. Even the new sounds struggle to feel different from the usual assortment. On top of that, the recall seems like a compendium of other classic animations. At least, the high-speed run is a good tribute to the source material.
Overall, Radiant Wukong is a skin that manages to define a unique and fitting style for the Monkey King. Unfortunately, it ends up being superficial as none of the changes go far beyond a good first impression. In spite of simplicity being preferred to an overloaded skin Radiant Wukong feels simplistic in its colour selection, particles and sounds. Only the new model with its florid design stands out but it can only do so much to salvage the skin. The result is still different and appealing enough as to be a valid alternative but the price stands in the way. Radiant Wukong has some good ideas in it but neither offers enough features nor are they implemented well enough for the high price it asks for. This makes it a skin to catch on sale though there are better and cheaper alternatives.

Conclusion

This year offers three skins that are, conceptually, well linked together and with depth behind them. However, the implementations fail to expose the best characteristics of the stories behind them. The results aren’t bad but feel shallow in comparison with the mythology suggested.

The recommended skin is Lunar Wraith Morgana. It’s not a skin with groundbreaking features but it effectively delivers an elegant appearance. The other additions are rather subtle, relying quite a bit on the classic assets, but the result is one of measured class. This allows the skin to be appealing even if its identity is somewhat diluted.

Lunar Wraith Caitlyn suffers from a style that is more oneiric than wraithlike. The style doesn’t ignore the magical aspect but fails at instilling a sufficiently supernatural feel. The style is distinct and also attractive so it ends up as a nice skin. However, the amount of additions and particular focus means that its price is an obstacle.

Finally, Radiant Wukong presents a unique aesthetic that surely stands out. Sadly, the lack of colour variety and the simplicity of the particles don’t let its identity shine as it’s supposed to. The style can feel flat which, considering the price, means that the skin doesn’t offer enough for what it asks for.

  7 Responses to “League of Legends: Lunar Revel 2016 Skins’ Review”

  1. I believe Caitlyn price is 975 RP, not 1350.

    • Well ignore that, i thought both of the Wraith skins were 975 RP. Sorry about that. Are you going to be reviewing the bundles?

      With great apologies,
      Xavkul

      • Don’t worry, just a misunderstanding.

        We weren’t aware of the bundles as they weren’t listed in the Lunar Revel page; at least we didn’t find them. We may give them a look eventually but, fortunately, there’s the reviews to already give an idea of whether the skins are worthwhile. The question is if the bundles are worthwhile; which depends on the skin selection and possible discount.

        From what we see on the Lunar Revel 2016 guide it’s the usual mix of skins of variable quailty. Besides, the presence of icons and wards means that the bundles are built to sell stuff more than collect great products.

        Truth be told, we see little to be excited about in the bundles. We may do an overview but it all seems pretty self-explanatory due to how clearly uneven the bundles are.

  2. Just discovered your blog, it’s awesome 🙂

  3. When is the Jhin review coming up?

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