The Shadow Isles are dormant no longer, after hundreds of years their resurgence has unearthed terrors that should’ve been forgotten; never to tread over solid ground again. This has deeply affected some champions of the League of Legends. They have found themselves forever changed by the sinister presence of the Shadow Isles. Come, take a seat and let us see what these horrors have done.
|Concept:||Hecarim as a pumpkin-headed, blazing centaur.|
|Model:||New model for Hecarim and his halberd; flames for his head, hooves and tail.|
|Particles:||New fire particles for his abilities and auto-attack.|
|Animations:||No new animations.|
|Sounds:||No new sounds.|
|Splash Art:||The background is suitably spooky and even closely resembles the Twisted Treeline. Trees with faces and contorted branches flank an arid path. Along that path a centaur with red-hot hooves is found without a head. A coarsely carved pumpkin takes its place and its flames echo the tail. The setting and composition of this piece are excellent. Not only is the background attractive but also the portrayal. Hecarim appears passing by the viewer and threatens towards them with his weapon; he even looks amused. Moreover, the depiction is great: the flames and hooves light nearby surfaces, the clothes are nicely shaded, the flames contort like the tree branches and even the weapon shows its use. On the whole, it’s an incredible splash art that proudly joins the best of League of Legends.|
|Conclusion:||Headless Hecarim is an accomplished skin that effectively exploits its juicy source material. The model shows a headless centaur wearing an elegant suit and long coat wielding a massive axe; perfect for decapitations. A burning pumpkin between his shoulders fills the cephalic absence yet isn’t the only supernatural element visible: the tail is made of flames like those from his red hot hooves. Additionally, the new particles further the flaming spectre theme resulting in a very cohesive skin. As a whole, the skin provides an attractive variation of the classic legend that manages to be more than the sum of its parts. In conclusion, Headless Hecarim impresses thanks to a clever concept and a polished execution thus becoming a satisfying product.|
|Concept:||Maokai as a crude amalgamation of graveyard and tree.|
|Model:||New model for Maokai and his saplings.|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities.|
|Animations:||New death and re-spawn animations.|
|Sounds:||No new sounds.|
|Splash Art:||The background shows some dark trees with empty branches and a few tombstones at the bottom. Yet for the most part there’s just a grey mist obscuring everything. To the right, Maokai readies a sapling while fragments come off his body; it’s as if he had rose as part of the graveyard he’s in. However, the tombstones on his back are barely visible, even less so easily noticeable. In general, he appears made of earth, bark and some bones so the graveyard look isn’t effectively conveyed. Still, the depiction isn’t bad: the bark looks good, the glowing eyes and maw illuminate Maokai’s face, the earth looks acceptable and the sapling seems like a little demonic tombstone. Overall, it isn’t a bad piece but neither background nor foreground are very clear about what they depict.|
|Conclusion:||As an animated graveyard Maokai has an interesting look: the combination of tombstones, bones and earth creates an abomination that is difficult to describe but quite eye-catching nonetheless. The refined model is backed by a complement of suitable gravestone particles. Special mention deserves his traditional helpers, the saplings, for their fanciful model and fantastic animations. The charismatic saplings are without doubt huge contributors to Haunted Maokai’s appeal. Moreover, his collapsing death and unearthing re-spawn help bring forth his living cemetery theme.
Unfortunately, the visual upgrade has made his particles mostly a re-colour of the classic ones. Before, they had a distinct and macabre style. Now, they are just another fuzzy effect that struggles to adapt to Maokai’s gloomy style. They are certainly the biggest disappointment of the skin. The loss of Arcane Smash’s sound doesn’t help either; Bramble Smash sounds just like classic.
All things considered, Haunted Maokai is a great skin due to an interesting concept, well chosen animations and a lot of sapling help. If you can ignore its clear flaws then it’s a skin that you can definitely enjoy.
|Concept:||Twisted Fate as a spectral gambler.|
|Model:||New model for Twisted Fate.|
|Particles:||New particles for his auto-attack, Wild Cards, Pick a Card (Card Selection), Stacked Deck and Gate.|
|Animations:||No new animations.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for Wild Cards, Stacked Deck and Gate.|
|Splash Art:||Gothic buildings raise over the mist that shrouds the city while a cloudy sky covers all. Leaning on a wall a mysterious figure offers a bet that may include more than gambling. The background is actually a bit too sunny and clear for Twisted Fate’s haunting style; even if it looks abandoned. Regardless, his depiction is great: his eyes echo his left arm’s glow and his armour looks to have successfully served its function, shining under the sunlight. Truth be told, this piece shows a dichotomy as the ghastly Twisted Fate doesn’t suit the sunlit and pristine city. On the whole, it’s a nice splash art that shows great quality in its implementation but suffers from a contradictory composition.|
|Conclusion:||As a ghostly card master Twisted Fate works better than could be expected. The model suits him up in a dazzling outfit that combines chains and spikes for a distinct wraith-like aspect. It looks as effective protection as it looks comfortable but the aesthetic is well realized. Nevertheless, the new card particles are a stunning addition to deliver the theme. White, semi-transparent and glowing they perfectly fit as the cards of a spectral gambler. There are a few extra changes that, while minor, do add to the skin: Pick a Card shows worn-out cards to choose while Wild Cards has an ominous new sound. Additionally, Gate gets new sounds and particles that truly make Twisted Fate seem like an apparition dissolving in thin air. On the whole, Underworld Twisted Fate is an accomplished skin that contrives to be more than the sum of its parts and is very pleasing to use.|
All three of the Shadow Isles skins are really good products that can be enjoyed by any fan of horror stories. Firstly, Headless Hecarim stands out due to the finesse of its execution and attractive concept. Secondly, Haunted Maokai benefits from an original and fantastic death and re-spawn animations as well as extraordinarily charismatic saplings. Finally, Underworld Twisted Fate offers a distinct take on a card shark that manages to deliver a satisfying spectral feel. Regardless of which skin you choose, none of them will disappoint.