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League of Legends: Karthus Skins’ Review – StrategyZero
Sep 272012
Karthus, the Deathsinger
Karthus, the Deathsinger

Karthus, the Deathsinger isn’t just an eccentric undead vocalist as he’s prone to be found dressed in more spectral or metallic apparel with interesting supernatural activities in mind. When in need of guidance to choose the right robe, staff and book for a death-defying experience, keep in mind that his skins’ review will gladly give you a helping, skeletal hand.

Phantom Karthus
Phantom Karthus Splash Art Phantom Karthus Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 460 RP
Concept: Karthus as an armoured lich.
Model: Moderate model changes for Karthus, new model for his staff and new textures for his book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: With several brushstrokes and patches of colour the background appears closer to an abstract painting than a proper setting. If we take some of the elements as ruins and bright green vegetation before bluish surroundings the scene could very well be underwater. It’s a frame for Karthus but with little to say.
Karthus’ portrayal goes for impact mostly. There’s a prominent display of magical prowess even if nothing similar is to be seen in-game. Still, as a powerful lich he ought to be able to cast some spectacular spells. The robes are rather well even if sketchily depicted. The general look is appreciable so the depiction is useful enough. However, while at the top lines and colours display textures in a believable way the lower part is a pencilled draft. The staff stands in between with look that isn’t fully convincing; like the hand that holds it.
This means that we have a serviceable splash art. It fulfils the aim of presenting Karthus’ look but doesn’t go beyond that. There’s little, if any, context and beyond looking at Karthus showing his power there’s nothing else.
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Instead of a ghost, Phantom Karthus is an armoured battle-mage as the metallic protection of his outfit reveals. The engraved plates provide the skin with a clear image that is echoed by the book and staff. The tattered, black robe is still noticeable underneath but a new aesthetic is realized nevertheless. So, while originality isn’t the strong point of the skin, the aspect is appealing and has a low price. Therefore, fans of Karthus will find it a nice option despite its modesty.

Statue of Karthus
Statue of Karthus Splash Art Statue of Karthus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Karthus styled as the Statue of Liberty.
Model: Moderate model changes for Karthus, new model for his staff and new textures for his book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New eagle cry for his dance.
Splash Art: For a background it could be said that there’s a slight urbane feel given by the areas that resemble cement while the water adds a port-like quality to the surroundings. It’s mostly abstract though because there’s nothing concrete that can be seen. In fact, the liquid swirls seem to take precedence over the setting.
Karthus appears to be in control of these swirls and also divided in half by the white and orange sunlight that bathes each of his sides. The robes are complicated but the crown and torch are easily identifiable. His face is completely obscured, unlike in-game, and the arms much more humane than the skeletal limbs to be expected. There’s magic flowing from his eyes and also a perceivable saturated feel that is rather interesting in the right leg and left arm. The saturation gives a poster-like style to the portrayal that is rather attractive. In the upper body the sketchy feel loses such an appealing feel, though.
The result is a splash art that has some potential but that, ultimately, only gives a minimal idea of his look. The setting is an indescribable mess and the uneven portrayal loose on specifics. There’s a perceivable style to the piece but it never spread over all aspects.
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: Considering the concept and execution, Statue of Karthus is a skin that struggles to appeal. On the one hand the look is distinct and stands apart from the classic style. Besides, the idea of a stiff lich impersonating the Statue of Liberty is funny; for a while. On the other hand, an American symbol is due to lack worldwide interest. Even if we take the reference as a personification of Libertas, the Goddess of Freedom, we find some qualms are to be had. In the end, it’s a fine and iconic look for Karthus that won’t appeal to everyone yet certainly is something different.

Grim Reaper Karthus
Grim Reaper Karthus Splash Art Grim Reaper Karthus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Karthus dressed as the personification of Death.
Model: Moderate model changes for Karthus, new model for his staff and new textures for his book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: A dark night with massive clouds or a barrier of white smoke or thick smoke; it’s difficult to say even if most of the background is comprised of this indecision. There’s also the tombstones covered in candles which, sketchy and plain as they are, provide only a simple setting. At least, the accompanying trees, thin and naked, add a grim touch to the stereotypical presentation; including distant crosses.
Karthus appears bathed in candlelight wearing a robe of twisted, uncountable wrinkles and folds which is quite appealing to see. His skull is bathed in the dim light of the tome between his small hands; as small as his skull is. There’s his scythe with a design that is closer to Giger’s style than to what is actually displayed in-game. It makes for a stupendous weapon but much more elaborate than it truly is. It’s also a very large weapon which added to the fact that Karthus’ skeleton seem rather meek, thin and short in comparison with the tombstones, makes one think that this portrayal of the Deathsinger may show him as smaller than he actually is. There’s also the fact that while the robe is quite eye-catching in its style it’s too simple in comparison to the ornamental protection of his three-dimensional self.
All in all, this is a splash art that has some interesting ideas and the right mood for the depiction of Karthus in his Grim Reaper look. However, the result doesn’t capitalise on the potential of the ideas and while there’s a hint of how interesting the piece could be it’s, sadly, just that.
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: There’s little more fitting for a powerful lich than to dress like the Angel of Death. However, despite the fitting concept the execution doesn’t make the most of such a wonderful choice. The model changes are relevant and accomplish the distinct appearance that is to be expected. Yet, it all conforms to the classic base and, modifications and all, there’s a lot of common ground. On its own, the skin realizes the image of Death well but without going out of its way. The model changes suffice but leave the feeling that there’s room for improvement. Thus, Grim Reaper Karthus is a skin that fans of the Deathsinger will enjoy; as long as they can accept its humble proposition.

Pentakill Karthus
Pentakill Karthus Splash Art Pentakill Karthus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Karthus outfitted as a heavy metal singer.
Model: Moderate model changes for Karthus, new model for his staff and new textures for his book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New metal inspired voice-over lines.
Splash Art: As with other groups of skins, Pentakill has a splash art shared among its members. Realizing the consequences of such decision we find that the piece doesn’t really make up for it with astounding quality. The background is suggestive, at best, of twisted constructs between peaks. Add to that a rock platform with some engraved runes in some places and we have the whole of the setting. At the centre we find the famous metal band with all its members. As a poster their depiction is acceptable but nothing out of the ordinary. There’s the usual tough attitude and display of might but it all feels superficial. What might be serious is the arbitrary fog that diffuses parts of the bodies of the champions.
Concerning each champion we find that: Yorick seems strangely eager for an undead, Mordekaiser struggles to be noticed behind the other members and the flames, Karthus looks rather vivid and imposing, Sona aloof and distant while Olaf struggles like Mordekaiser at the back. For the most part, the portrayals don’t capture much of what makes each member unique in the band. Besides, in some cases, Sona in particular, they appear to be at odds with their natural personality. Ultimately, it serves as a band poster for Pentakill but as a splash art it doesn’t do much.
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 title of Deathsinger has obvious consequences and it could be said that death metal was doomed to be one of them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as the glam rock style of Pentakill Karthus manages to fit within a fantasy realm; if we ignore his staff-microphone. That aside, the aspect is elaborate, colourful and attractive to the eye. He surely evokes the covers of many heavy metal albums and the added lines to his voice-over add to the idea. The result is definitely a stretch: a funny skin that won’t provoke laughs for too long. Regardless, it’s also a nice tribute to rock that fans of the genre will probably appreciate. Ultimately, it might not be a skin for everyone but it surely has a charm of its own.

Fnatic Karthus
Fnatic Karthus Splash Art Fnatic Karthus Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Karthus dressed as a modern warlock.
Model: Major model changes for Karthus, new model for his staff and new textures for his book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: With some effort, the background could represent the illuminated entrance from which the glorious team emerges. Unfortunately, it’s all so blurry and lacking in detail that it’s only a guess. The champions escape from the diffuse surroundings with effort. Their stances make it all feel quite dramatic but also somewhat exaggerated. In fact, it seems to unexpectedly evoke a poster from the eighties with all the nostalgia and excesses that implies. Moving onto the champions themselves, none make a convincing display of their classic personality. There are hints here and there but, for the most part, they seem to be out of character. Ultimately, this splash art accomplishes its basic premise of providing a dazzling display of the champions but in a confusing and chaotic way.
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: Between the colourful outfit and preposterous staff Karthus looks like a flamboyant, contemporary warlock. That’s rather fitting as he does have a knack for extravagance. However, the aspect ends up being whimsical rather than unique. Besides, the modern aspect does little, not to say nothing, to mesh with his supernatural nature. Overall, Fnatic Karthus is a reasonable option if you’d like a touch of modernism for the Deathsinger as long as you don’t expect much cohesion.

Karthus Lightsbane
Karthus Lightsbane Splash Art Karthus Lightsbane Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Karthus as an arcane warlock.
Model: New model for Karthus, his staff and book.
Particles: New particles for Lay Waste, Wall of Pain, Defile, Requiem, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his Lay Waste, Wall of Pain, Defile, Requiem, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: In spite of the ridiculous homogeneity of the background it’s a setting with much significance. It shows how Jayce tries to prevent, Bard witnesses and Sejuani is taken aback by Karthus’ discovery and surrender to the tome’s unrelenting power. The actual building has a high ceiling apparently but it’s difficult to discern any specifics about the architecture. Not only is the background monotonously bluish but also unfairly relegated despite its relevance.
Karthus’ portrayal shows him as a warlock giving himself in full to a power so overwhelming that it should fulfil his wildest ambitions; or so he is to believe. The colours are dark and a certain feel of decadence can be felt from the moody shading and measured use of light. His face shows a mix of satisfaction, desperation and madness as the power of the tome courses through his body and makes his staff react in accordance. The fact that the bottoms of his robes shows tears in opposition to the pristine look of his upper body is a good contrast between what was and is to be. The lines are sharp but the colours tend to be too subdued and dependant on the, by now, overused blue palette.
The tome, while meaningful and central to the piece, is given too much space yet also falls prey to the same problems that Karthus’ portrayal has. The extra space allows for more details, like the ornamented cover, but the pages are summarised in few brushstrokes. The pedestal over which it reposed is the lone example of the place’s architecture and while there’s the feel of a twisted nature it’s too dim to delve further into other meanings. The magical effects with some runes on a circle are eloquent but weak and derivative with little to add to their obvious meaning; a wasted opportunity.
All things considered, this is a splash art that is better in concept than in execution. The idea of a party of adventurers that finds a powerful tome during a quest is a classic trope in fantasy. Sadly, for all that this beloved classic means it’s given a display that relegates context and economises variety. The mood of Karthus’ portrayal is right but the way in which it’s ultimately achieved takes away from the full breadth and importance of the events. In summary, an uneven yet effective piece that shows a lot of promise as well as room for improvement.
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: The first impression given by Karthus Lightsbane is that of a dramatically different take on the Deathsinger. After all, he looks quite healthy and alive despite the pale visage. However, the differences shrink as all the familiar elements start to appear. Regardless, it’s a novel interpretation of Karthus, perhaps of his time alive even, that shows him as a wizard of impressive magical power instead of a lich.
While other champions wouldn’t see much value in a change to white skin and hair it does for a striking contrast to Karthus decaying undead body. The gothic outfit is also interesting. The elaborate spaulders crown the robe as if it were a trophy of power made of gem-embedded gold. The robes are nicely multi-layered with several folds and decorations though usually in very similar, washed-out colours; even the golden lining. The staff also looks more aristocratic with its gem top and golden edges; just like the book’s cover. What seems a tad odd is his clawed boots, assuming that’s what they are; perhaps a reflection of his classic self.
The particles rely on rune-inscribed circles that give way to runic inscriptions around a recognisable pattern on the ground for Lay Waste. It’s all rather familiar but suits the more arcane and less necromantic magic at Karthus’ disposal. Wall of Pain reflects this with runes on the base of the wall and more decorative columns at the sides topped with magical energy; the wall itself seems only re-coloured though. Sadly, the same can be said about Defile. Even though the bluish swirls aren’t shapes as similar to ghosts as in the classic incarnation there’s nothing, not even runes, to make it stand out. Lastly, Requiem also re-colours the magic energy but, identical to Lay Waste, precedes the explosion with rune-inscribed circles and then decorates the aftermath with runes on the ground.
The sounds have a more haunting feel which is surprising seeing where the visuals are going. Fortunately, the stronger and more impactful sounds make the abilities feel more powerful so that they do fit the skin rather well. Regardless, there aren’t any which stand out as they sound very much alike the classic ones. The new recall is a simple addition where Karthus casts his teleportation spell with all the pretentiousness of a showman. It’s nothing remarkable but looks nice and suits a warlock’s fanciful style.
All things considered, Karthus Lightsbane is a rather straightforward and even conventional skin that benefits the most because of the stark contrast it makes with the classic incarnation. The fantasy wizard idea is hardly original and the implementation doesn’t even pretend to try to break any new ground. What it does do is add a thin but appealing layer of bright high-fantasy over the moody lich. This contrast sets the skin apart from the many other alternatives and the result is actually rather nice.


Karthus’ has a unique selection of styles which suit, complement or challenge his existence as a lich. From the ones available, the recommended skin is Grim Reaper Karthus: it’s a concept that embraces his lethality into a unique and fantastic icon. The changes are modest and there’s a definite lack of enthusiasm yet it’s acceptable for its price.

A nice and cheap alternative is Phantom Karthus; when it’s available. If you like the idea of an undead battle-mage then this skin delivers. The ghostly idea is practically ignored but the skin offers an appealing appearance at a low price, so it’s worth considering.

Statue of Karthus may interest fans of funny skins or those that want to make a statement about freedom; still, cross-dressing isn’t for everybody. The look stands on its own and is definitely distinct but the concept itself restricts its appeal.

Pentakill Karthus is the skin for the music enthusiast: it gives a more direct meaning to Deathsinger but it hardly stuns with its looks. It’s an appealing aesthetic that suits the chosen musical genre but that ends up feeling like a stretch. Still, fans of heavy metal will find it an attractive prospect.

Conventional and straightforward, Karthus Lightsbane has the Deathsinger turned into a fantasy warlock with arcane power. The looks are appealing even if familiar in tone and the rune-fuelled magic isn’t any different. Regardless, the skin manages to be interesting because of its good looks and start contrast with the undead, classic counterpart. In spite of the lack of originality and complacent execution, Karthus Lightsbane is a nice option.

  57 Responses to “League of Legends: Karthus Skins’ Review”

  1. A very good guide indeed. I personally think Pentakill Karthus would deserve 4 starts. It may not change particles, but the model and textures are wonderful and top notch for a 750 RP skin.

    • Glad that you like it.

      Actually, a re-model can reach four stars without additional extras but in the case of Pentakill Karthus we consider the skin to be good but not really impressive. Regardless, you shouldn’t consider the reviews more than a guide to help you decide your purchases. If you like the skin then chances are you’ll enjoy it.

      • Your point is indeed valid. I would totally consider, but y’know, the wallet is in danger of weeping.

        Also, just another side point: would you consider someday doing some kind of Top 10 Skins following your point of view and opinion? A bit like It would make my day if you did so! Seeing your analyses and opinions really make my day and helps me decide.

        • Aah, screwed the link. I meant to make the text “this one here” go to the page http://www.summoners-society.com/the-top-ten-975-1350-skins-worth-your-rp/

          Sorry, not good with HTML >.<

        • Totally agreed, there are quite a few good skins and monetary resources tend to run low quite fast.

          We actually have in mind making a sortable table that allows to check all skins at each rating besides other criteria. For instance, you could check all skins with one star so as to run fast when you see them. As we have to do it by hand it will take a while but it’s something we’ll certainly do.

          A specific top ten article would be interesting but with the constant release of skins it would also need to be constantly updated and will leave skins out due to the quantity. Probably a full table will be more interesting and useful but we’ll keep the article in mind anyway. Thanks for the idea.

          • I agree. It must be so fun working at the blog, I once had two Weebly and one Blogspot sites used for RPG guilds and such, and it felt awesome. This blog is a very useful resource and I give kudos to you for it! Just the feeling that readers enjoy reading it and when they compliment it makes it totally worth it for all the work. At least for me, right. ^_^

          • Completely agreed, without doubt, it’s very satisfying to be able to help people make better purchases and enjoy the game and skins as much as possible. We appreciate your kind words and rest assured that we’ll continue working hard in our reviews.

  2. Hi zero,
    I was just wondering is Grim Reaper karthus is worth it? Also could you please tell me what you like about it, and what you dislike about it. Finally, which skin, buy itself would be better: Officer caitlyn, or Grim Reaper karthus….

    • Grim Reaper Karthus has the advantage of displaying the personification of death itself. However, the age of the skin is noticeable in the model and textures as well as some recycled parts like his hands. Overall, the skin delivers its theme well and is quite pleasing to use but there’s little doubt that a visual upgrade is in order.

      Officer Catilyn is a very different skin as it aims to display a sexy police officer with an execution that doesn’t embrace its objective. There’s re-use of parts, like her skirt, and also doesn’t seem to reflect an officer as well as it could, no badge but a tie instead, nor be as sexy either, low heels instead of high. The one saving grace is the elaborate and attractive rifle she wields.

      Which one is better may simply come to personal preference. We find Grim Reaper Karthus as a skin with a better implementation than Officer Caitlyn yet there is something to like from each.

  3. Why is Phantom Karthus 460 RP? Its he only 460 RP, so I was just wondering if you knew?

    • It could have to do with how similar it is to Classic Karthus as it’s just the black robe and mask. In fact, the same can also be said about many other recolours. For instance, Ashe has two skins that only affect her colour scheme: Freljord and Sherwood Forest.

      Another case is Assassin Yi, which used to be simply Yi in black. After the visual upgrade the skin is more interesting but the price of 390 RP remains. It could also have to do with some previous pricing plans.

      It seems probable that the skin was given a low price due its modest changes but we can’t find any official confirmation.

  4. What’s your impression of the upcoming Karthus VU, from the little that we have seen so far?

    • It seems like they improved Karthus’ base a lot; which isn’t difficult as he’s evidently aged. However, his skins are heavily based on said base and don’t seem to incorporate more than the necessary model changes to implement their concepts.

      More additions are possible and there’s room for improvement but usually what gets on the PBE hardly sees any relevant changes. From what we’ve seen, it’s a good improvement but like many others it may not change the state of the skins that much.

      • It seems like Pentakill Karthus has a full set of metal-themed voiceovers, based on the preview. I think that’s a first for a 750 skin, if it stays at that price.

  5. Is there a chance that karthus’s skins would get more stars because of the VU?

    • For example, phantom karthus has 2 starts right now because it’s just a recolor of the original skin, but with the VU phantom karthus gets a new look and is not just a recolor. So would the rating go up because of the new look or just remain the same.

      • Not all of the skins improved after the visual upgrade. However, Phantom Karthus is an example of a skin that was little more than a re-colour and now it offers something else. It’s possible that the rating would go up.

        To be fair, all of Karthus’ skins are very similar to his classic one so it proves difficult to notice the extent of the changes.

  6. When is the review for the VU of Karthus coming out? Also are you hyped for the new SR? (Summoner’s Rift) :)))))))

    • Unfortunately, new content will take a while because we are experiencing technical difficulties; of the kind that prevent access to League of Legends.

      The new Summoner’s Rift looks better but it’s also the second visual upgrade it receives which clearly cements its place as the main map of League of Legends. While understandable it’s rather underwhelming for fans of the other maps which not only share a balance team but also have restricted ranked access. As if Twisted Treeline and, especially, Dominion weren’t ignored enough.

  7. Hi there,

    What are your thoughts on the new VU of pentakill Karthus? I personally prefered the old splash art.


    • Agreed, the old splash arts were better. Maybe they lacked the modern technical quality but they allowed a more personal view of each champion. The shared splash arts seem like a distant glance that usually lacks any real personality.

      The visual upgrade is a great improvement for Classic Karthus but for his skins not so much. From the look of things they can all be considered moderate model changes. To be fair, the state of the skins after the VU is underwhelming.

      • Thankyou!
        Yes i agree classic karthus looks much better now, i was going to but pentakill karthus, but after the VU it doesnt interest me

        • They could’ve perfectly added some electric guitar sounds or metal-inspired lines as they had all the resources at hand. The truth is that all of Karthus’ skins should’ve received more work than just a few model changes from the classic persona.

          Unfortunately, we have to agree that Karthus’ current skins aren’t very interesting.

          • Pentakill Karthus did get some additional VO, you can hear the lines when he moves, attacks, or does some jokes. The frequency of the Pentakill lines over his standard ones isn’t super high though.

            I think Phantom Karthus looks really nice though, it looks very similar to Sauron.

          • We checked and there are some extra touches. However, they could’ve done much more than that as they had all resources available during the visual upgrade. Better than nothing then.

            Phantom Karthus has certainly improved and it’s an exception to the general state of his skins after the upgrade.

  8. Will you update soon the review for his visual update?

  9. I dunno if its’ really worth mentioning, but Phantom Karthus’ updated in-game design reminds me a LOT of the Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. There’s really no evidence supporting that he was based off of him, i just think he happens to look very similar, and that makes it my favorite Karthus skin for that reason.

    • You’re right in that there’s some resemblance between the two. Maybe the new Phantom of the League drew some inspiration from mutant amphibians. Anything is possible in this world.

  10. Fnatic Karthus or Pentakill?

    • Good question. That’s a close one as both skins are rather modest in terms of changes despite communicating their theme. We think that Pentakill has a little advantage as Karthus was made more overtly musical after the visual upgrade. Besides, there are a few additional quotes that separate the skin from the usual re-model.

      Fnatic is a bit weird as it tries to be modern and also a tribute at the same time. It has problems making all its elements work together but, as far as contemporary liches go, it manages to be acceptable.

  11. I have a question, Zero. At the Conclusion section of Karthus’ skins review, you stated that Grim Reaper Karthus is his recommended skin and that it is acceptable for its price. However, I must disagree on the price statement, as it is not even a new model and it is only worth 520 RP in the current state of skins (think Headhunter Caitlyn, Ice Drake Shyvana, Guardian of the Sands Kha’Zix, etc.), not to mention the splash art and actual model look nothing alike. I do agree though that it is his best skin idea, sadly made out to be a disappointment.

    Off topic question, what are your thoughts on some of the strange pricing decisions Riot has made? For example, Atlantean Syndra and Blade Queen Lissandra feel like they offer the same new features but one costs less than the other. Do you think it is because of the low effort they put into making Atlantean Syndra’s model compared to other skins like the earlier mentioned Lissandra skin and Dragon Trainer Lulu?
    I also feel like it is very unfair how they made a legendary skin for Draven at 975 RP for players who do not play Draven. I know it was to celebrate something, but I still find it to be very unfair to a lot of players.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Karthus is in a position where none of his skins are really good. Grim Reaper earns a recommendation and three stars more because of how well the concept works than the brilliance of the implementation. If a fan of Karthus asked us which skin they should get then Grim Reaper would the be answer. However, it would be because of the concept and the fact that his other skins aren’t much better. It’s a situation with few alternatives so we have to settle for the lesser of evils.

      Pricing, just like sales, is a mystery. It happened with Frost Blade Irelia and Wildfire Zyra, among others, that they were moved from 975 RP to 1350 RP because they took more work than an usual 975 RP skin. However, those two we mention were returned to 975 RP because Riot reasoned that the result, despite the effort, didn’t justify the price.
      This means that we have two criteria for pricing and there’s no telling when each is applied. In some cases a skin results in a wonderful product at a reasonable price and sometimes the complete opposite.

      What we can do is to identify those cases and recommend them so that people can get the best skins for the least money. Ideally, skins should take an effort that is directly related to how good the result is and the price assigned. However, reality seldom is like theory so things like this happens. Besides, preferences are subjective so we can only advice as true objectivity is as unattainable as real perfection.

  12. The Concept section of Phantom Karthus looks outdated actually, since the Visual Upgrade turned him into an armored mage in that skin instead of just giving him a mask and a black robe. I am really annoyed at the unfaithful splash art for that skin, it has so much potential.

    • You’re right that was an oversight. We agree that the splash arts are in dire need of updating for many upgraded skins; and even for some that haven’t yet been changed.

  13. Hello Zero,
    It is Xavkul again. I was wondering if you plan on reviewing the chromo for the champions and skins? Also is your name at all influenced by Code Geass?


    • It’s something in the to-do list that keeps getting relegated with the amount of work we have in front of us. We’ll try to do so but it may take a while.

  14. Wow Karthus is definetly one of those champs who needs more skins/better looks. I would really love a new skin for karthus that changes the looks on his abilities, especially his q. Do you think I should get statue of karthus or not?

    • There should definitely be more skins for the lick but who knows when there’ll be a new Karthus skin.

      Statue of Karthus is a good example of a skin that gives you as much as you see. The Statue of Liberty reference is all the skin has to offer. If you like the idea then get it but there’re better skins for Karthus. It’s a rather one-dimensional skin so don’t expect anything special.

  15. Just wanted to comment to say that because of the new splash art updates from Riot, 3 of Karthus skins (the ones that aren’t 750 RP) now have different splash arts.

    Since I’m on the topic, I just wanna say it’s a shame almost all of Karthus’s skins only have his model changed. New particles or animations would be really cool on him.

    • We agree that Karthus needs new skins that take advantage of the potential that modern skins have. It could be that he isn’t that popular and that’s why new skins aren’t released. He did receive a visual upgrade before other champions though so it’s not clear why things are this way.

      With regards to splash arts we are progressively updating them as they are a lot. We will eventually update all reviews with the new splash arts but it will take a while. We have to prioritise skin reviews and overviews of new content so the update will be done but not as fast as we’d like it to progress.

  16. Zero, what are your thoughts on Lightbringer Karthus (His new skin.)
    I’m in love with it, finally a new skin, I have all of his skins since I have been playing him since season 3, and finally, FINALLY, they have released a skin that has an awesome amount of changes! I’m truly so happy I have 300k with him and I’M SO HAPPY.

    • Karthus Lightbane is a skin that looks quite appealing as it’s the first that shows him as what he could once be: a powerful and alive warlock. The idea has a nice contrast with his classic lich persona so that helps the skin a lot. With regards to the actual changes the skin tends to rely too much on the classic assets. Regardless, the result is attractive because of its concept. It could be better presented but it’s acceptably implemented.

  17. Shouldn’t Karthus Lightbane be the new recommended skin?

  18. Unfortunately, Riot named the new Karthus skin Lightsbane, not Lightbane. Almost as unfortunate as those stupid classic circle indicators for his Q and E.

    • It can’t be true. Why would they do something like that? It’ll take a while to update all resources with the new, inferior, name. Must be the same logic that thought Dominion wasn’t worthwhile…

      • I’m afraid that it can…
        Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do but try to ignore the issue. Onto entirely different matters, I wanted to ask something unrelated to the site but related to skins still, if you don’t mind.
        In the past ~4-5 months I’ve been playing mostly bot games in Blizzard’s MOBA Heroes of the Storm, much more relaxing than League of Legends and the best part of all is that bots games can give you actual rewards and that the mastery system isn’t complete and utter garbage like Riot’s and awards you with free chromas for the heroes and mounts, icons, gold (equivalent of IP) and even access to a unique Master skin purchasable for gold.
        Have you ever taken a look at the skins there? I think the skin line is expanding well, even if a bit slow. Many skins tend to have inconsistencies, but for the recent Black Friday Blizzard made a bundle with five heroes and a skin for each at 87% off! That’s a discount Riot will never even think of thinking of, not to mention ~50% discounts on legendary skins separately, and even if the bundle’s skins weren’t top quality I still bought it because five skins for a mere 6.19 euro is such a steal!

        • We haven’t seen much of Heroes of the Storm but we can agree that a bundle of five skins with such a discount sounds quite good if you like the game. If it’s Altered War Bundle then 10 USD is quite the price if the skins are good. After all, you may very well spend just as much on LoL for one single re-model; with luck with some re-coloured particles.

          Recently, it seems that other companies have starting offering what Riot doesn’t. For example, the casual aspect of a MOBA is something that Riot has relegated and others are happy to fill in. They got in a position where the competition is effectively taking their players all by themselves. Other companies, not only Blizzard, are doing a good job at providing alternatives that fill the gaps in LoL so Riot should be forced to improve on all the lacking areas of its game.

          Perhaps that prompted the improved client; which we still don’t know if it allows to configure keys and settings. There’s also the replay and practice mode been added; many features often requested and ignored. Riot still claims e-sports as the main objective but we’ll see if that direction pays in the end. After all, most players aren’t professionals and Blizzard, among others, has realised that very well.

          • Yeah that’s the bundle I was talking about. All sensible people can agree that League of Legends needs improvements in areas which are overall stale or have gone in bad directions. Take icons for example, nowadays the majority of icons is for RP only, with one IP icon per set most of the time and not too many earnable icons. Another aspect I’ve been questioning for over half a year… They added new bots (such as Yasuo, Gangplank and Katarina) to 5v5 bot games, yet they did not make them available to add in custom games. I’d say it makes no sense but considering how Riot cares about bots almost as much as they care about proper skin pricing, I’m not surprised at all.
            Also, the new client. Okay, I see the intentions Riot have with it, and they are good, but they are going about all the wrong ways with it. Primarily, it is rather alien and not much alike the old client which everyone has been using for about six years at all. Would have been very helpful to make at least the profile page more familiar but still updated, since everyone can agree that that aspect probably needed an upgrade the most.
            Additionally, I absolutely despise how the new client is the default one when you launch League of Legends now. It is unfinished and very slow at starting up a lot of the time, yes you can switch to the old one but only after opening the new one, at that point why bother? I am just hoping the find end result is good, at least performance-wise.

          • When looking at the whole picture it doesn’t paint a good image for the future of LoL. It seems that improvements are ineffective or, at least, marred with issues while areas of concern are largely ignored. Perhaps Riot still has the most played game on the world but if it continues helping the competition outdo them in relevant areas then it won’t be easy to keep a healthy pool of players.

            They may know what they are doing: they’ve always had the attitude of Riot knows best because they have all the data. Still, the game has become much less appealing with time instead of actually being more attractive. Some things are better, sure, but the overall experience is more limited and geared towards high competition. According to what we’ve seen we aren’t alone in this so it begs the question: are they shooting themselves in the foot?

          • The thing is: They let us know our ping (for e.g) before we enter the game, others maps and challenges for people who don’t like “rankeds” and “pro play”. Yes I have ARAM and rotating modes, but in the middle of the week is boring, and if I don’t like the “week mode” I must go for ARAM.

          • Exactly, the casual appeal of LoL has been sacrificed in the name of competitive play. It could be said that it’s a valid choice but there are consequences. One is that pro players are always an elite so most people can’t actually compete at a high level. If you just want to play for fun then the game struggles to offer any options.

  19. Anyone else think that Karthus Lightsbane is actually Kael’thas Sunstrider from WoW?

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