From birth she was tasked with protecting her realm. She received two pups as a gift to guard her as well as the kingdom. The years went by, the training was extensive and the pups grew up. She became an Empress and her pups canine Guardians that watched over the realm with her. There was peace and so the Empress grew apart from her Guardians as her land prospered. One day, darkness stroke.
The Wraiths came and tarnished the land with their darkness. Fortunately, the Empress hadn’t forgotten her training and reunited with her faithful Guardians, defeated the Wraiths and drove the darkness away from her realm. This happened many years ago but we know that the Wraiths are waiting in the darkness. At the gates, the Guardians stand tall on their watch and our Empress is watching over us too.
|Concept:||Lux as a mystical regent.|
|Model:||New model for Lux and her staff plus new animated neckpiece. New glow for her dress’ neckpiece and staff.|
|Particles:||New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New animations for her neckpiece and recall.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||Glowing light, clouds, rocks: there’s power in the air. There’s also too much light so that everything is homogenised under its tyrannical intensity. The Lunar Guardians are also present, flanking Lux, but they are diffuse figures that only give the most general of ideas of their look; this makes them look rather similar too despite their differences.
In the middle of this chaos we find Lux, sharply depicted, like a calming dose of order. This relief isn’t perfect as the rough shading and dull colours take away the expected brightness; likethat found on gold, magical adornments or glows. The look is quite clear though, even if legs are omitted, and the stance communicates a serene determination that may strike as simple but is also fitting for an Empress that is tasked with guarding her realm. Still, her face doesn’t look exactly like the Lux known to all.
All in all, this is a splash art with a decidedly messy background. There’s some backdrop but aside from Warwick and Nasus there’s little sense to it. Lux’s portrayal is straightforward but appealing. Strangely, all the lustre seems to be missing as if it were unfinished. Regardless, given the effective depiction, the piece works.
|Conclusion:||It’s evident that Lunar Empress Lux owes a lot to Elementalist. The base and shared technology is noticeable so that the skin feels like an extra form with a bit of Eastern style. That’s not a bad thing per se but it comes with its own set of ups and downs. While the skin manages to be appealing there’s also quite a bit of familiarity that comes from it.
The model is a case where the skin displays its identity yet also seems chained by the Elementalist base. While it’s true that there are only so many ways to dress a sorceress we also find the quintessential high boots, long gloves, lightly protected body and flourishing neckpiece. To be fair, the armour is a good touch and the golden highlights add the necessary royal feel. The hairstyle with golden pin is distinct and the dragon ended staff also stands out. Another aspect that catches the eye is the aforementioned neckpiece with a faint golden glow that echoes the staff. She may bring to mind a different take on a fire form but Lux looks quite nice, nonetheless.
Particles also seem to remind a bit of fire but in a more generic magical way. There are fire sparks emanating and trailing after the golden light which, given the stylised use of fire in the abilities, makes the skin feel rather familiar. Most abilities rely on golden fire with circling swirls as seen on Lucent Singularity and Prismatic Barrier. The explosion of the former has playful clouds that also follow Light Binding’s projectile; they also briefly appear in Final Spark. Unfortunately, even if it allows the skin to tie in the style of other Lunar Revel skins it doesn’t fit the ethereal, mystical identity of the Lunar Empress style. What is a good example is Light Binding’s sphere of light which vibrates in its trajectory; making for an eye-catching display. The cage of golden light also has a mix of Eastern and regal style that is a great representative of the skin’s identity. Neither Illuminate nor auto-attacks stand out; they simply work. Final Spark, for an ultimate, shows the most reliance on Elementalist. The circle of magic is a good addition but clearly borrowed. It has a simpler design to Light Binding’s cage yet tries to evoke the same feelings; with diminished success. The burst of light is a brief, almost unrestrained discharge, similar to Elementalist’s natural power, which seems to betray the control displayed in her other abilities. Light Binding’s sphere does show that her magic isn’t fully dominated so her ultimate would understandably be more difficult to keep under check. Unfortunately, this aspect of Lux trying to control the vast power bestowed on her to protect her realm goes by without being taken advantage of. The flames left by Final Spark are nice but also reveal a fire-form Elementalist base. A major problem of the particles is also how homogeneous and sometimes flat-out monotonous they can be. Everything seems made from the same generic magic except for cage and shield. Consistency abounds but variety is lacking which can make the abilities less impressive than they can be. It’s also surprising to see that Lux’s death reuses the classic particles instead of adapting everything.
Sounds are, truly, surprisingly disappointing. Most abilities have various assortments of twinklings which are only different in their tone: the larger the ability, the deeper. Final Spark is a bit different as it modifies the twinklings into a gong-like chime. It’s a mix of sounds that doesn’t manage to have a concrete identity but the echo left after the discharge is simply great.
The sole new animation is the new recall. It’s a fitting yet subtle reference to the year of the dog and her two guardians. What’s most interesting is that they are kept as the heads of her staff. There’s nothing else of note; except that Nasus and Warwick manage to look cute for once.
When all is added together Lunar Empress Lux is a nice skin but too familiar. Without exaggerating, it’s a stylised fire-form Elementalist Lux. The fire is less overt and natural yet clearly noticeable with a dress that follows the general Elementalist design with a, perhaps, darker or more aggressive armoured touch. The sounds don’t help and the recall doesn’t even say much; though it thankfully says something. Therefore, if you own Elementalist, Lunar Empress will feel like an extra, reinterpreted fire form separate from the main package. If you don’t own Lux’s ultimate skin then it’s an appealing budget alternative that still struggles to define a clear identity for the Lady of Luminosity. There’re suggestions of one yet it all fails to coalesce into a concrete whole. Regardless, it’s hardly a bad skin so while it doesn’t have many distinct characteristics it does have some appeal.
|Concept:||Nasus as a celestial protector.|
|Model:||New model for Nasus and his halberd plus new glow for his golden band. New textures and glow for Fury of the Sands.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New animations for his golden band and recall.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Splash Art:||Colossal proportions for an environment that only shows passing life and the fall of rocks against incoming fireballs. More than anything, there are clouds and some light before a gate in the heavens. Is this the way to welcome a celestial being?
Whatever the reason for this, Nasus makes his presence felt. He stands tall and wide but also unevenly depicted. The upper body, even if a bit sketchy, is clear, homogeneous and vibrant. The lower body is dull, subdued and the halberd, for all its importance, largely omitted. Even the glowing band, notorious in-game, is relegated to a simple decoration. There’s a hint at even more power as the closed left fist gleams with inner might. There’s a strange effect on Nasus’ body and arm as if his shirt were burning but it seems like it’s magic coursing through his body. It’s certainly not clear and while a little ambiguity can make the supernatural more interesting this is a simple, confusing, magical effect.
All added together, it’s clear that the duality of light in the heavens and darkness on the world aims at presenting an interesting dichotomy. It is, but it barely comes through given how pronounced Nasus importance is. Such details get lost behind the uneven portrayal and they aren’t vividly depicted either. This makes the splash art functional yet with untapped potential.
|Conclusion:||If there’s one thing that stands out in Lunar Guardian Nasus is the heavily stylised model. Employing multiple designs the model’s eye-catching style gives Nasus a distinct look. The appearance borders on cartoony even though there’s an Eastern feel to it. The golden decoration on Nasus’ body culminates in an attractive golden band that hangs behind his long, dark mane of hair. In contrast the lower body, despite additional patterns used on the clothes, looks dull and uninteresting. The halberd also displays an elaborate style that matches his upper body. It seems heavy yet ceremonial so that its lethality could be put into question.
What can’t be questioned is how uneven and frail the new particles are. They have a classy, subtle style that isn’t unfitting but the abilities end up feeling weak. A highlight is the varying translucence of Spirit Fire on the golden, canine face is an appealing though timid touch. Fury of the Sands is the ability which stands out the most; as should be expected of an ultimate. The new streaks of power as he transforms and the large, imposing aura of power are good changes to make the ultimate feel powerful and special. The new textures, despite their noticeable bright colours, are a disappointing change for a skin that hints at much more with its model.
Sounds are strangely unremarkable as well as repetitive. There’re different metal clanks as well as vibrations but no ability has a sound that is distinct or even fitting to the specific action. It’s as if a bunch of metallic sounds had been distributed so as to have cohesion without regards to suitability.
The new recall sees Nasus closing a florid gate which is a good representation of his guardian role. The action is simple though and most of the work and style seems to have gone to the gate; even to the point that it seems more evenly decorated than Nasus. Oddly, the same gate is shared with Lunar Guardian Warwick so that the skins seem linked but the asset reuse makes the gate less special; especially as each guardian is supposed to guard a different entrance to the realm.
All added together, Lunar Guardian Nasus is a skin with great potential and a fascinating style that is wasted instead of exploited. The flourish of the design isn’t evenly employed or spread across all of the skin. This leaves the skin feeling flawed instead of impressive.
|Concept:||Warwick as a celestial protector.|
|Model:||New model for Warwick plus new glow for his golden band and right claw.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.|
|Animations:||New animations for his golden band and recall.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for Blood Scent, Primal Howl, Infinite Duress and recall.|
|Splash Art:||The skies open in a barrage of light, clouds circling the guardian takes hold of the whole world; literally. Perhaps the context doesn’t make that much sense or there’s a deeper meaning that hints at the supernatural aspect of the skin’s concept. At any rate, the setting is bare at best and sketchy at worst; the clouds left and right are clear enough about that.
Warwick’s portrayal is full of impact with a visceral growl that implies that it’s no time for games. The uneven teeth and asymmetrical fangs give Warwick a feral look of unbridled power which is reinforced by one single eye glowing with a touch of power. Still, it’s obvious that the colours are dull due to the extreme intensity of the ambient light. Gold decorations and reflections are subdued and the shading homogenises designs and prevents details from being appreciated. In fact, it’s not very clear how Warwick looks and the glowing band so notorious in-game is relegated to a side ornament.
In the end, it’s clear that this piece goes for the throat. It makes a strong initial impression but a closer look makes one think that it’s unfinished. The depiction is simply too uneven and at its worst disappoints as weak. Truly, not what the first impression promised.
|Conclusion:||Displaying an elaborate and sometimes overloaded design Lunar Guardian Warwick is a skin that tires the eyes with its array of complex decorations. The right claw, head and back machine have florid, stylised shapes that compete with the simple yet also eye-catching golden band behind his mane. The rest of the body is rather unassuming and dull but where the model tries to show stuff it does so in droves. In spite of all this visual excesses the skin doesn’t go far from being an ornamented steampunk werewolf; emphasis on form instead of function to contrast the classic look.
Particles can dumbfound by their strict adherence to the classic template. In fact, the base design seems unchanged with only some shades changed here and there. There are two salient features. The first is the use of a floral pattern in gold used for Primal Howl, which allows it to stand apart. The other is the yellow added to Warwick’s mane and tail, as well as his eyes, which makes Blood Scent and Infinite Duress much more attractive and distinct; especially with the golden trails employed by the latter. Slashes and bites everywhere are practically identical to classic; auto-attacks show some sparks to try to say that something is different, something small.
Sounds are sparse in what they add new because the classic base is left untouched. For example, Blood Scent still keeps the iconic heart beats but also adds a gong-like sound on top; which diminishes the impact of both. Primal Howl has a single, high-pitched chime when it detonates. Finally, Infinite Duress seems to only add a metal clank at the beginning.
The recall sees Warwick closing a lavishly decorated gate, though not as overdone as him. The action is simple even if meaningful for a guardian. Oddly, the same gate is shared with Lunar Guardian Nasus so that the skins seem linked but the asset reuse makes the gate less special; especially as each guardian is supposed to guard a different entrance to the realm.
When all is added together, we find that Lunar Guardian Warwick is an uneven skin. Some areas are made to catch the eye and not let go while others seems to forget the company they are in. There’s no doubt that the skin has its moments but they are surrounded by dullness. If you can appreciate the good then it’s a skin with something to offer but the issues pile up.
The florid designs of the models give a great first impression but these Lunar Revel skins start to disappoint under closer inspection. There are good features to like but usually surrounded by dullness which leave a bitter taste. This unevenness doesn’t help the skins and if we add that the best features aren’t groundbreaking we end up with skins that struggle to feel as special as they ought to.
Lunar Empress Lux is a skin with a darker fire form take on Elementalist. The similarities are too many to ignore. The advantage is that it makes the skin work rather well but the downside is that it also makes it too familiar. As a budget, stylised extra fire form it’s a nice skin. It’s not an option with a clear identity but there’s no doubt that it’s an appealing skin in its way.
Lunar Guardian Nasus is a skin with a florid style that is unevenly employed and often wasted. It has some features that stand out but it stands far from the special place that would be assigned to an event, legacy skin. It’s an interesting skin, no doubt, but more of the interest lies in the potential rather than the realisation.
Lunar Guardian Warwick is a skin with moments that catch the eye and don’t let go but sailing in a sea of dreariness. For being a special skin it shows that there was some idea to make it stand out but the uneven execution ends up marring any good intentions.