Apr 212017
 
Rakan, the Charmer
Rakan, the Charmer

Rakan, the Charmer isn’t known as such for no reason. Magic, love and ecstasy combine to scare, hurt and frighten as easily as he can form an irresistible smile. When you need someone to focus attention Rakan can captivate multitudes. Whenever he does so chances are he’s simply setting the scene up for his other half to seal the deal. When you see that a performance turns into a lethal shower of feathers you’ll know the focus has changed. Therefore, if you need a coordinated couple to do a particular job know that’s he’ll be preparing the board for sharp feathers to arrive.

Cosmic Dawn Rakan
Cosmic Dawn Rakan Splash Art Cosmic Dawn Rakan Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Rakan with phoenix features.
Model: Major model changes for Rakan plus new flames for his hair and cloak feathers as well as new animated texture for his cloak.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: A solar eclipse behind joins dawn and dusk together; in longwinded and highly metaphorical a way. Regardless, despite how simple it is to have Sun and Moon together surrounded by some stars and clouds it makes for a good match to Xayah and Rakan. They join hands floating on air or space, nothing’s concrete, but with an evocative pose that brings their connection to the forefront; which is the most relevant aspect of this couple. What all the setting lacks in terms of meaning the composition more than makes up for it; a clever choice.
With regards to Xayah she enjoys an effective portrayal. Surfaces are smooth but sometimes waxy, reflections aplenty but subdued and lighting soft but elaborate. It could be said that she shines with an intense yet quiet light; which fits her personality well enough. Her legs are largely omitted and there’s no suggestion of her essential crescent-feathers, sans a timid pattern on her cloak. Her cape and legs are also a bit simply depicted and even diffuse. Regardless, her delicate features and appealing appearance make for a good presentation card.
Rakan follows with equally soft shading, perhaps even softer, and rather dim reflections. While the general feel is not dissimilar to Xayah he seems more diffuse, especially the lower body and torso. The fire hair nicely displays the whims of the flames while making for a credible mane as it faintly lights his cape. Lighting is put to good use in other areas and while the shoulder medallion looks a tad sketchy the overall quality is good. Although not as vibrant, which may be surprising knowing his personality, Rakan makes for a good match to Xayah.
The light they create together is as important as it is mysterious yet gives meaning to them joining hands in the middle of nothing. It could be their salvation from a high fall or just another trick only they can perform, together. Ultimately, their attractive portrayals might set the bar too high for the less detailed and elaborate three-dimensional models. While certain degree of artistic freedom is understandable, there’s the feeling that going from two to three dimensions implies breaching a non-trivial gap. That doesn’t detract from the formidable composition and meaningful way to share a splash art that Xayah and Rakan demonstrate. In spite of some flaws, this is an example of how to allow two champions to shine under the same spotlight. Because of this clever and elegant setup this is a splash art that could join the select group of League of Legends’ best.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: In spite of some noticeable additions, Cosmic Dawn Rakan can’t differentiate himself enough from the Classic counterpart. With similar clothing as well as colours the similarities are more than evident. The fire particles added to hair and feathers as well as the astral texture help add some much needed identity to the skin. The blue tones of the cloak stand out of the most for being different to Classic and making a nice contrast with the rest but that’s the most salient change in the model.
Particles fare even worse not because they aren’t appealing but because they look particularly similar to the classic ones. In fact, specific designs aside, the general look and feel is almost the same. There’re some nice touches like the constellation trail of Gleaming Quill or the star-spotted silhouette of The Quickness but there aren’t significant departures. At any rate, there’s some extra blue here and there.
With regards to sounds the story repeats itself. While the pitch is higher and twinkling deeper the general feel is akin to Classic. There’s a subtle difference that sets the sounds apart but it’s a shy approach. Truth be told, it seems like both visual and aural sides owe too much to the classic counterparts and struggle to stand apart to define an identity of their own. The new recall may be the sole exception where the skin’s theme is displayed.
Overall, Cosmic Dawn Rakan is a skin that has some interesting additions but that seems too chained to the classic persona. The feel is too familiar to the point that most feels like retreaded ground. Add to it that the implementation doesn’t incorporate novel features to realise its concept and we are left with a skin with a few nice characteristics but too few to realise a new identity; which is particularly questionable given the resources of the price tier.

Sweetheart Rakan
Sweetheart Rakan Splash Art Sweetheart Rakan Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Rakan in a flamboyant heart motif.
Model: New model for Rakan plus new flower and mirror.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New animations for his recall and duo recall with Xayah.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: A lake with swans and ripples of a powerful energy: love. Yes, this is how it’s going to be so turn back now if it’s too much sugar; you’ve been warned. The background is simple but appropriate for a tender moment. There’s no doubt that it’s a magical night, or cloudy day because there’s too little setting to extrapolate from there.
Xayah and Rakan join hands and longingly look into each other; a frozen glimpse of the end of their shared recall. The connection runs deep and is, frankly, a good demonstration of what makes these champions special. The perspective manages to give a good view of both. Legs are nowhere to be seen but, up from there, colours are soft, shading is delicate and reflections are dim. Everything seems so soft that even highlights on the reflective surfaces are subdued. There’s also a subtle yet noticeable blur around both champions which doesn’t do them any favours. For example, it collaborates in concealing their distinct feather-like capes.
All that said, there’s no doubt that this is a splash art that lives and breathes by the portrayal. The meaningful connection between Xayah and Rakan is put to the forefront. It’s something intrinsic of them but also relevant to the Valentine’s theme. The rest is simple support. For a presentation card, it’s actually quite good though it could’ve done a better job at showing their appearance.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Pink cape, suit in tones of blue and several hearts as decoration on top of a heart-shaped mirror in hand. Sweetheart Rakan has the feel of Prince Charming but with a clear narcissistic streak. Thus, it’s surprising to notice such a subdued colour palette in the model which ends up making such an extroverted and extravagant character rather dull. There’s a touch of extra colour added to the end of the cape and subdued gold to the suit but, for the most part, colours are rather homogeneous.
Particles don’t stand out much either. Auto-attacks are particularly surprising considering how eye-catching the classic counterpart is. The abilities, with their subdued pink tones, don’t fare much better. There’re hearts added to all of them and even a circle of pink roses to Grand Entrance but nothing really catches the eye as special. Even the golden glows are dim and less attractive than they ought to be, given Rakan’s personality.
Sounds don’t help. They simply adopt all kinds of fitting but uneventful harp tunes. They support the theme but hardly are noteworthy.
The new recall, surprisingly, is rather interesting: he gets a large mirror on which to admire himself. Considering the narcissistic Prince Charming idea of the skin it’s a great addition. The recall that is most important, though, is the one shared with Xayah: a waltz they dance together. It’s direct and simple but also meaningful and evocative of their relationship. Just like with Xayah, it’s not enough to elevate the skin to something grandiose. Still, it’s certainly a good addition.
Overall, Sweetheart Rakan is a skin that has a good concept that barely comes through in the execution. In fact, the skin ends up letting down with additions that feel weak in personality; much unlike the champion. If you can see past these issues or really want the counterpart to Sweetheart Xayah then the skin has something to offer but the problems may be difficult to ignore.

SSG Rakan
SSG Rakan Splash Art SSG Rakan Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Rakan in flamboyant blue.
Model: New model for Rakan.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: The setup is pretty simple: a lake surrounded by carved rocks in the form of waves. There’s a statue of Mega Gnar which, despite how diffuse it is, looks photorealistic. Besides some rocks for the champions to stand on, except Taliyah whose feet aren’t visible, we can only comment on how clear and fresh the water looks. It’s a setting for the champions to be present but there’s no content or meaning in it.
The champions appear in a way that part of their personality is visible in their stance. Xayah and Rakan hold hands to represent their link, Gnar is mildly curiuos, Taliyah is confident, Jarvan IV serious and Ezreal cocky. Each portrayal is eloquent enough about the look of each champion. Taliyah, being at the forefront shows the sharpest colours with an appealing soft glow on her strips; Jarvan IV and Gnar’s transparencies are more solid. Ezreal manages to show a nice glow to represent his powerful magic but Xayah and Rakan look a bit dull with washed out colours.
All added together, this is a shared splash art that takes the shared part to heart. Each champion gets a good share of the space available but the composition is content with simply showing each one. The setting has little significance and each champion is only able to display a bit of personality in their stance. The result is a splash art that works at the basics but doesn’t aim at anything else.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: It doesn’t take more than a glance to recognise Rakan but dressed in blue and that’s what SSG Rakan is all about. The new model shows richer, more decorated clothes with a bit of armour but they keep the general, classic lines associated with him. There isn’t a difference in the identity of Rakan but there’s a flashier approach to dressing which suits him well.
Abilities have different patterns with more wavy decoration but the real feature is the new colour. Whether it’s an auto-attack or an ultimate, glows turn to blue without much fanfare. It’s only the more elaborate decoration in the magical circles that helps make the abilities not feel like actual re-colours. One exception is the new flames that light up around the magical circle used to indicate Gleaming Quill’s heal. They are a nice touch that set the ability apart; despite the change being minor it’s appealing and maybe even a good addition to Classic.
Sounds follow the classic template quite closely but with more elaboration. Strings are clearer and louder, twinklings sharper and the fantasy, magical feel is enhanced thanks to it. It’s a superficial change, after all, but for its breadth, quite effective.
Two new recalls are available. Alone, Rakan paints himself a new, flamboyant hat which tangentially suits his flashy personality. With Xayah they simply raise a trophy without much display of personality; a simple reference to the skin’s ultimate aim.
All in all, SSG Rakan is more than Blue Rakan but barely just. Model, particles and sounds emphasise the flamboyance characteristic of Rakan in small yet fitting ways. This makes the skin have some meaning. However, it’s hardly enough for one that is to be a special, legacy offering.

Conclusion

In terms of release skins Cosmic Dawn Rakan feels too close to Classic; to the point that it hardly shows the potential of the champion for new themes. There’s a definite reliance on the classic base that only a few features manage to disrupt. While there are some characteristic that are appealing there’s little that contributes significantly to the skin’s theme. This ends up making the skin a timid departure from the classic version.

The idea of a narcissistic Prince Charming put forth by Sweetheart Rakan is quite interesting. Unfortunately, the implementation hardly takes advantage of it. Instead, we have a skin that feels weak in personality and dull in many areas; which is unexpected. Unless you can excuse its problems or want to join Sweetheart Xayah this is a skin without much to offer.

SSG Rakan is more than Blue Rakan but only just. Model, particles and sounds reinforce his flamboyance but with small additions based on the classic template. There’s something to like in the skin but not much is offered. As a skin that is to be a special, legacy option it doesn’t seem like much.

  23 Responses to “League of Legends: Rakan Skins’ Review”

  1. He looks like a completely different champion, skin is great and deserves more than 2/5.

    • Sorry but we’ll have to disagree. Cosmic Dawn Rakan doesn’t look like a completely different champion by any means. There are some appealing changes that stand out but there’s a lot of classic in the skin. There’s ample room to further develop the theme that is left reusing classic assets. For that reason we can’t give a higher rating. The skin’s concept is simply not developed enough.

      • What Zero has said is completely true, before coming here I was expecting the rate to be 2 or 3 as much, the skin is basically the same but with a stellar theme.

        Honestly, I like the skin for that, the feather coat looks really awesome and the ult as well, the only part I dislike about the skin is the fiery hair.

        As least by myself I’d give it a 2.5/5

        • We like some parts of Cosmic Dawn Rakan. Truth be told, it’s a good base to start the theme. However, it feels like only the beginning. There’s room to develop the concept more but it never is. Sadly, there’s too much Classic Rakan.

  2. They’re not gonna change some of the sfx too far because they need to look like Rakan shields rather than say Janna or Karma shields.

    • While that’s understandable it would apply to any of the other champions that employ shields and have also received skins with different particles. We understand that the matter of readibility shouldn’t be ignored. Regardless, Rakan being far into a long line of champions with shields, there are many ways of making a shield look different and also keep certain sylistic cues.

      • Although, I would have to say that I find Elementalist Lux’s ice form and Winter Wonderland’s shields look very similiar.

        • That should be a coincidence but we can’t say for sure. We don’t have a problem if it suits each skins. However, when it’s only done to cut corners then it’s a flaw.

  3. Opinion on Sweetheart Rakan: worth?

  4. Feels bad if you go solo SH Rakan before a game…Most of it is Xayah’s arm in the loading screen

  5. Hey Zero !
    I already have Cosmic Dusk Rakan and kinda wanted to buy his Sweetheart skin too as I’m a pink lover and really like the effects. D’you think I should go for it? :’D

    • Cosmic Dawn* my bad (//blames the lack of sleep)

    • Considering what Sweetheart Rakan offers we’d say that it’s worthwhile only if you play a lot or Rakan and you really like the skin. There are easily noticeable issues in the skin so if you are willing to excuse them and you can appreciate what the skin does well it’s a skin with something to offer. Just be aware of what you are getting: a skin with problems.

      If the main feature is the pink colour there are other skins with lots of pink. What shouls set this skin apart if the unique characteristics that make it special and the champion. Still, it depends on how much you like pink. Maybe the skin has enough value for you with its flaws. At the end of the day, you should buy a skin you really enjoy, regardless of the perceived quality, because you give the skin its real value.

      • Thanks a lot for the reply ♥ I’m honestly not a fan of how the skin looks itself but it does not bother me either, it indeed has some flaws but the positive things balance it out for me so I suppose I’ll go for it (plus I’m already kinda bored of his first skin)

        • Not at all. It makes sense that if you have already played a lot of Rakan in his available looks then a new, different style would be welcome. It’s not a skin without some good features so, there’s something to like. We hope you enjoy the skin.

  6. Which do you think is the “better” skin for him? Just wanna get a skin for him or maybe i might just get project vayne.

    • If money isn’t an obstacle there’s no doubt that PROJECT: Vayne will offer more. Be mindful that it should go on early sale sometime in the future; if we recall correctly. That said, Rakan’s skins aren’t that great. If we had to choose between the two we’d recommend Cosmic Dawn but it’s still a skin with too much reliance on Classic.

  7. Hi Zero. Can’t wait to see your review of SSG Rakan. I feel kinda tempted to own it, I think it might be objectively best Rakan skin so far, but I need to see professional comparition to other skins. Do you think he’s worth his price? Have a nice day!

    • We aren’t impressed by SSG Rakan at all. From what we’ve seen there’s a lot of Blue Rakan but the flamboyance fits in. We don’t know if it would be the best but it’s also true that Rakan doesn’t have that many interesting skins. Perhaps it would stay in a similar tier to the other skins; so to speak.

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