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League of Legends: Sona Skins’ Review – StrategyZero
Feb 092012
Sona, the Maven of the Strings
Sona, the Maven of the Strings

Sona, the Maven of the Strings may not have that many skins but the ones she does have are quite good. If there’s one thing that her skins share is heavy musical influences. There’s a lot of variety among them ranging from Greek goddesses to metal bands and even electronica. If you want the best dresses for the deadliest musician the League has known check this review.

Muse Sona
Muse Sona Splash Art Muse Sona Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona is dressed resembling Terpsichore, one of the nine Muses and Greek goddess of dance.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art The splash art is adequate albeit unimpressive. All in all, it’s an accurate representation of Sona’s in-game look.
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: Sona looks very nice in this re-model as a Muse perfectly fits Sona and her musical theme. While the skin may not have any outstanding features it also lacks any faults as well. It’s simply a well done skin and nothing should prevent you from buying it if you like Sona.

Pentakill Sona
Pentakill Sona Splash Art Pentakill Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona embraces the gothic style to join metal band Pentakill.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
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: Technically, the skin is a nice re-model with a well defined dark look for Sona. In practice, the metal theme seems a little forced. On the one hand, she is a classically trained musician so branching into symphonic metal seems acceptable. On the other hand, Sona’s personality and music represent the complete opposite of the usual features of metal rock. In the end it all comes down to the concept. If you like the metal angle it’s worth it but if you, reasonably, think that it’s inadequate you should pass on it.

Silent Night Sona
Silent Night Sona Splash Art Silent Night Sona Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Sona lets the Christmas spirit engulf her: she dresses for the occasion and decorates her Etwahl accordingly.
Model: Major modifications to Sona’s model and small additions to her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New joke for Sona, she plays an excerpt of ‘Deck the Halls’.
Splash Art The splash art is a good representation of Sona’s model. The art is nice showing Sona’s flowing hair as she plays her instrument. The particles emanating from the glowing chords of her Etwahl round up a solid piece of art.
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: While the modifications to the skin are not enough to consider it a re-model it also didn’t carry the price of one. Moreover, the addition of a new joke is a nice plus that makes it special; as it should be for a limited skin. All things considered, if you bought it while available you made a good purchase.

Guqin Sona
Guqin Sona Splash Art Guqin Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona wears a Chinese dress to welcome the Lunar New Year while her Etwahl becomes a Guqin.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: New walking animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack, joke, taunt, laugh and new background music for her auras. Check Ciderhelm’s skin video to listen to them.
Splash Art: The splash art is well done, effectively merging Sona’s character with Chinese traditions. While the art has a few minor problems with perspectives and shows more details than Sona’s model has it’s not bad at all
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 StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Few skins provide much more than a new model that may or may not affect some abilities. While visually Guqin Sona is just a re-model, aurally it’s much more than that. The use of a Guqin changes the whole feel of Sona while keeping her character intact. Aside from legendary skins there are very few opportunities to get this much for this price. If you like Sona, you deserve to own Guqin Sona.

Arcade Sona
Arcade Sona Splash Art Arcade Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Sona in casual clothes with a complex game controller as her Etwahl.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: New idle and walking animations.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack, joke, taunt, laugh and new background music for her auras. Check Ciderhelm’s skin video to listen to them.
Splash Art: As a portrayal of Arcade Sona this piece is quite good but it leaves the feeling that much more could’ve been achieved with a proper background. It’s nice that Sona’s skirt meshes with the background, integrating both. However, aside from the little sparks and effects there’s nothing in the piece besides Sona. Conversely, Sona has never looked so upbeat and fresh. The quality of her depiction is wonderful but also is what was chosen to be depicted: her expression, her stance, the flow of her hair and clothes; the end result is breathtakingly beautiful. Arcade Sona’s splash art is excellent and only a more interesting background prevents it from being superb.
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: Arcade Sona is much more than a reference to old arcades and 8-bit nostalgia. Sona’s new model gives her attractive yet elegant clothing as well as an incredible new Etwhal. This new Etwhal is not just for show as Sona constantly presses buttons and moves the joysticks. On top of all this, there are new particles and sounds for the auras and auto-attack that effectively round the arcade theme. Arcade Sona is a skin that changes a lot about Sona but everything is cohesive and appealing. Seldom are themes implemented so well and Arcade Sona shows that no matter the theme, with good execution a great product is possible. In conclusion, Arcade Sona is a fantastic skin and no fan of video games should ignore it.

DJ Sona
DJ Sona Splash Art DJ Sona Model
Category: Ultimate
Price: 3250 RP
Concept: Sona as a futuristic disc jockey.
Model: New model for Sona with animated textures for each form. Three new animated models for her Etwahl. Type ‘/toggle’ in chat or press ‘ctrl + 5’ to switch forms.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auras, auto-attack, critical hits and death in each form. New particles for her transformation.
Animations: New animations for her abilities, auto-attack, critical hits, emotes, recalls, death, respawn and tower channel. New animations when standing idle and walking in each form. New animations for her transformations.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auras, auto-attack, emotes, recalls, death and respawn plus new chanting voice-over for each form. New sounds for her transformations. New background music for each form: each aura adds a layer of music when first used and using Crescendo for the first time at each level makes the music progress into a different section of each track. There are four sections per track and changes are shared between tracks.
Extras: Three Summoner icons and banners, one per form. Animated splash art for the champion’s profile overview. New in-game champion portrait.
Splash Art: An audience all around her and a rather simple stage let Sona be the star of each piece. It also gives a thin context to her surroundings even if they are suitable. After all, except for her Etwahl there’s only a flash of light as a background. Fortunately, the bright colours, overlapping sources of light and sharp lines allow Sona to captivate with her futuristic outfits. The Etwahl also features prominently, as it should, but seems a bit simple. This applies to each splash art actually; though Kinetic is the official one. Nevertheless, for an ultimate skin one would expect more than just a good portrayal. In that regard the splash arts deliver but they don’t appear to have gone above and beyond. Therefore, we find that this set of three pieces is good but gives the impression of having prioritized quantity over quality.
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: Giving an incredible first impression DJ Sona is a skin that sports awesome visuals but a less spectacular aural experience. Let’s start with her looks, visually DJ Sona is superb but most of the credit goes to her Etwahl. Sona’s outfit looks sleek and advanced but it’s also simple and only her Daft Punk helmet, specifically her visor and ponytails, stand out and identify each form. Actually, the outfit could’ve very well changed colours or have animated textures for each form to further the visor’s design. Instead we find the unavoidable presence of cleavage; as if the suit wasn’t tight enough. It’s a puzzling design with an emphasis that doesn’t add to the theme.
If something really catches the eye from DJ Sona is her equipment. Her Etwahl is turned into turntables, mixers and speakers with clear and appealing aesthetics for each form. The designs represent the feel of each music type and also provide Sona with different and unique identities. On top of that, each version of her Etwahl has different animations, that Sona does echo, and some impeccable particles. Without a doubt, it’s a highlight of the skin.
The new particles have different patterns per form: Kinetic seems fitting and appealing but also uninspired and simple, unlike the engaging auto-attacks, whereas Concussive is pleasantly strident and aggressive while Ethereal softly flows in waves. The new particles when Power Chord is ready stay interesting regardless of form: each waveform behind Sona is attractive and eloquent. Strangely, most of the animations are nothing out of the ordinary. Although, when idle or walking, her dancing fits each track and helps define the identity of each form.
The sounds are the true stars of the skin or should be. Her abilities and auto-attacks echo their particles: Kinetic’s crystalline effects strike as delicate yet vivacious, Concussive sounds satisfyingly powerful and Ethereal is entrancingly mystical. Still, they tend to get lost between the tracks and the auras. The auras’ sounds build with their tunes on the rhythm of each track and feel pleasant to hear. The three tracks, which are the most significant addition, have distinct styles within electronica, all unique and attractive: Kinetic approximates techno, Concussive trance and Ethereal ambient.
As an ultimate skin the integration between the forms and the game-play is essential. With DJ Sona we find that they are disconnected from normal play: there’s a specific new command and key combination to cycle between forms; choosing forms, including the starting one, is out of the question. In addition to this, the relationship between the music and the game-play is thin: the tracks evolve as the Crescendo is levelled up and abilities are used but that’s the only significant feature. As a DJ there’s a remarkable lack of actual mixing involved when using her abilities and the noticeable tunes of the auras feel ephemeral. To a point, the tracks override parts of the classic Sona personality.
Therefore, while attractive DJ Sona feels like three skins splattered one on top of another; in a specific order. There’s no practical interaction between each form and the musical aspect could be more developed. There’s some sense of playing with the sounds and affecting each track but only temporarily. Overall, the aural experience appears to be solely reliant on the strength of the tracks and the rest takes second stage.
An ultimate skin should offer a new experience and DJ Sona accomplishes that in a minimal way. She doesn’t feel like a live DJ but a radio DJ that plays some extra tunes from time to time. As a skin that should push the envelope in the link between sounds and game-play DJ Sona feel timid and hesitant to interrupt her playbacks. Perhaps it’s asking too much of a humble skin but the price certainly isn’t modest; even including the release discount. Thus, expectations should be set accordingly and DJ Sona does just enough to get a pass. If you are a dedicated Sona fan or love music then this is the pinnacle of what Sona can do with her music. However, most people will find that her other skins don’t trail behind as much as one would expect.

Sweetheart Sona
Sweetheart Sona Splash Art Sweetheart Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona dressed in a heart motif and her Etwahl as a heart decorated harp.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her recall.
Splash Art: Delving straight into baroque photo-realism this is a splash art that gives a great first impression. The background starts to reveals a few problems. On the left we find a wall with a picture as if it were an indoors while it seems that clouds are visible on the right. Perhaps the clouds are only a painted ceiling but the sketchy structure and overall diffuse look of the background certainly give an unfinished look to the piece.
Contrary to these issues, Sona glows with the best that a portrayal has to offer. The pose strikes as forced but the lighting and colours are excellent. The idealistic porcelain skin and flawless cloth does seem a bit unrealistic but matches the general style. The Etwahl doesn’t stray far behind and even though the metal surface is rather plain and even dull it matches Sona’s smooth depiction. The strings glow with magic at Sona’s fingertips which give the feeling of a picture that captures a unique moment in one of Sona’s inimitable performances.
Overall, the setting is a bit flimsy and the absolute, empty textures used for the clothes, mainly, feel simple. The surrounding blurriness doesn’t help either so the splash art surely feels flawed. However, the portrayal captures the viewer with its particular exuberance and that’s something that seldom happens.
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: Standing directly opposite Guqin Sona we have Sweetheart Sona. Whereas the former skin changed the whole aural landscape offered by the Maven of the Strings the latter instead changes the visuals. The result has a clearly baroque feel that integrates hearts in ample quantities but not always in the most evident way. Sona’s dress is well ornamented with multiple layers of rich cloth that gather in hearts from top to bottom. Her floating curls provide a good match for the gloves and their colour allows them to stand out from the prevailing golden-red scheme. The Etwahl does bow to such a pattern and though simple on its bottom it provides an adequate echo of her dress. The large, plain surfaces do feel simplistic in comparison with the rich clothing; especially the front. Regardless, the result is appealing and effective at presenting the theme.
The particles are nothing revolutionary but certainly catch the eye with their explosions of light. They auras imitate the design of the dress along the border of a circle which makes for the most eloquent addition. Sadly, the same pattern is reused for the three auras which presents a missed opportunity to add variety and personality to the skin. The abilities themselves seldom stand out from the classic ones except for the abundance of floating hearts that are also present in the auras. Exactly the same can be said about the auto-attacks in any of their forms. Even Crescendo follows a surprisingly straightforward design that even envies the charming auras.
All things considered, Sweetheart Sona is a skin that looks nice and attracts the eye with its unique charm. Sadly, that appeal ends up being shallow as the changes end up being more superficial than they needed to be. The dress and aura design are the most relevant additions but those designs could’ve been further developed into the rest of the skin to create a more rounded identity. As it stands, or floats, Sweetheart Sona is a charming skin but also one with unexploited potential.

Odyssey Sona
Odyssey Sona Splash Art Odyssey Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Sona as a mystic, alien templar.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl plus animated, glowing, translucent strips for her dress.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New animated ora for her Etwahl and new recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack, emotes and recall.
Splash Art: Behind, a golden glow of rings and circles and before us, Sona. There isn’t an actual setting only a frame for the viewers’ eyes to focus on Sona. Let’s not digress, then.
Sona appears in the middle of it all but only her upper body is visible. From it, only the parts that aren’t occluded by the glows which don’t affect the surface of her body and, partially visible, Etwahl yet get in the way as if solid matter. In spite of this, surfaces are detailed showing multiple patterns and designs. Unfortunately, for all the light available, colours are rather dim and even though there’s a soft shading which is appealing but shy in places and sketchy in others; compare the colours of both her hands, for instance. The ora atop her Etwahl looks interesting but the light it emits seems to only affect certain parts of its surroundings. Her face shows some alien features but none of them appear in-game.
In the end, this is a direct splash art which goes straight to the portrayal. The piece doesn’t do all that it could to present Sona in an interesting way. Besides, it does strike as simplistic. Nevertheless, the basics are covered, majorly.
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: Odyssey Sona manages to give the Maven of the Strings an alien angle while keeping her mysticism. The multi-layered, gold-lined dress with crowned hood, the suggested cleavage, the floating accessories, the angular, hi-tech Etwahl there are many elements working in unison to define a new identity. Her face appears quite human unlike the splash art and the tone of her face doesn’t match her arms. Besides, the dress gets too narrow at the bottom, uncomfortably even, but she does float so it shouldn’t matter much. The new, animated, glowing, translucent strips of cloth used for her dress are quite nice though the dress doesn’t seem to match their look. Thus, they appear disconnected though fittingly ethereal. Regardless, there aren’t any major missteps.
Particles are rather appealing but they don’t reflect the more solid ora that resides atop Sona’s Etwahl. Auto-attacks and abilities have a misty essence which stands out; more noticeable in auto-attacks and Power Chord. Auras employ distinct circles, figures and shapes inside them which make them quite appealing in their sober simplicity. One thing that looks odd is that Crescendo looks like a big auto-attack. For an ultimate, despite the appeal of the auto-attacks, a novel aesthetic would be expected.
Sounds seem to be a combination of chirping and high-pitched clanks. They are quite nice as they define a distinct aural style for the skin. However, it’s difficult to tell abilities apart and even auto-attacks from Power Chord, as they tend to sound similar. The sounds are actually different but the subtle differences tend to make the sounds more homogeneous than they are.
The new recall gives some much needed relevance to the ora she carries. It also shows the power she wields: presumably able to transport her to another world or another area in the same world. Visually, the particles are nice and the animation collaborates to the theme. It does feel rather restrained given the spectacle that ability particles are capable of, though.
On the whole, Odyssey Sona is an accomplished skin that needs some extra polish and work to finalise the concept’s implementation. Form beginning to end, the skin makes an effort in realising a new identity for Sona while keeping the essentials of her classic persona. The result is great and so the skin doesn’t disappoint despite the few issues present.


Sona’s skins have good quality and are appropriately priced for what they provide. It’s not so much that the execution of the skins fails but that sometimes the concepts don’t merge well with Sona.

However, Arcade Sona stands as an awesome exception that makes its outlandish concept work thanks to an incredibly good execution. Arcade Sona is not only Sona’s most attractive skin but also one of the best available in League of Legends.

Nevertheless, on the whole, Guqin Sona is probably the best of her skins. Thanks to the distinct and appealing visual and aural identity Guqin Sona feels unique. Fans of Sona will find much to like in her new choice of instrument.

Going directly to visuals and forfeiting sounds Sweetheart Sona has a charming style that relies on red, gold and hearts to define an identity. The main problem is that the skin doesn’t play with the designs enough to mix them in ways that feel varied and interesting. It still ends up offering a good appearance for Sona but one that misses its true potential.

Another option worth noting is Muse Sona with her charming and delicate style; as long as you can catch her out of the Legacy Vault. Pentakill Sona may not be for everybody, it does look good but the concept doesn’t fit Sona’s personality that well.

In the exclusive club of ultimate skins we find DJ Sona. It’s essentially three skins in one with absorbing visuals, sans outfit, good animations and entrancing music that trumps over most of her other sounds. For a fan of Sona and music there’s no better option but the interaction with her music is limited.

Odyssey Sona is quite an attractive skin. With an interesting concept and an adaptation that manages to bring the new identity to life the charm is undeniable. There are many nice features and also a few flaws but the positives outweigh the negatives. Anyone interested in a novel, sci-fi take on Sona won’t be disappointed.

  139 Responses to “League of Legends: Sona Skins’ Review”

  1. Arcade Sona is a lot better and more complicated than some Legendary skins. Totally worth 975 RP !!

  2. Will this Arcade skin ever come on sale I’m wondering? ;x

    • Yes it will go on sale, eventually. Even though it was offered for free at an event it was made so that it wasn’t restricted to it; unlike PAX skins.

  3. I have some requests please.
    Sorry for the long list, take your time. Just champions I want skins from XD

  4. I really do like both Amumu and Sona. They are one of my favourite champions buy I can only afford buying skin for 1 of them. Since Sad Robot Amumu and Guqin Sona are on sale please guys tell me which one should I buy. I really really do love both of them and can’t decide. If Guqin had some particles it would be the one but I don’t know. Help me!

    • Firstly, Guqin Sona only changes the aspect and audio of Sona. In her particular case, the new sounds for her abilities and auras are a great addition. However, particles aren’t changed.

      Secondly, Sad Robot Amumu not only changes the audio of most of his abilities, and modifies his voiceover, but also the look of all of them.

      Therefore, Sad Robot Amumu is a more complete skin in term of sheer features. However, Guqin Sona is cleverly designed as it provides brand new sounds to a music-based champion.

      You should also consider how much you play each champion and if you like the skins enough to use them when new ones are available. For instance, if you eventually acquire Arcade Sona, will you still play with Guqin Sona? The same could happen to Sad Robot Amumu when a new skin is released.

      If you have more questions please feel free to ask them.

  5. The thing is that I love and want some skins more than theese but I am afraid that I will apologise in the future for not buying those. I know….Im overthinking it but it’s all about money spending.

    And one single question. Do you think Aeser Wing Kayle skin will be a legendary one? I know it’s incomplete yet but do you think keeping the same ultimate visually is a good choice from riot?

    • Money is actually a good point to consider when making purchases. Besides, remember that these skins will be on sale again, eventually. If you are patient then there’s no problem. If possible, try to buy the skins that you like the most for the champions you play and enjoy the most. In that case, chances are that it will be a good investment.

      Aether Wing Kayle has a new voice-over so in all probabilities it will be a legendary skin; as those are the only ones with wholly new voice-overs.

      If there is any change to Intervention it sure is subtle; though particles aren’t finished yet. There are two arguments on particles changes: one is to keep particles to make the ability easy to read regardless of skin. The other is that a legendary skin should provide a distinct visual style to reflect its status.

      Both arguments are valid and understandable. However, one belongs to the designer and the other to the player. Therefore, as a paid product the skin should incorporate as much visual flare as possible to awe and impress beyond a good first impression; especially legendary skins. Besides, there’s much that can be done while keeping the general style of iconic abilities intact so as to facilitate readability.

  6. I find your skin reviews rather exquisitely fascinating. Two thumbs up for all your work. Crisp and downright precise as they are, keep’em reviews coming. πŸ™‚

  7. Will Guqin Sona get on sale soon?

    • Guqin Soneawas last on sale between the 11th and 14th of January, 2013. Theoretically, it’s been enough time for it to go on sale again but, as there are so many skins and sales are rather small, chances are you’ll have to wait. That’s because there are a lot of skins that haven’t been discounted for over a year. Regardless, don’t let your hopes down as sales are quite unpredictable and it could be discounted at any time. Sorry we can’t be more specific but with the ever increasing amount of skins in the game sale have become very difficult to predict.

  8. It feels like the reviews for Sona’s skins (except for Arcade) are all a bit shorter than most other skin reviews, but they are still nice. I have a question about the Guqin Sona skin though. I tried it out on the PBE and noticed that her walking animation is not exactly the same as in her other skins. She seems more “pointed forward” when she walks and the two flowing parts of her dress that are behind her seem to constantly “cross” while she is talking. I have taken a screenshot of each skin’s walking animation from lolking for comparison. http://i.imgur.com/7dTbWu6.png
    Looking at that, you can also notice the flowing parts of her dress in her Arcade skin seem to stay lower to the ground while she is walking.

    • Sona’s review was one of the first we made and so they seem a bit brief. Fortunately, they still serve their purpose and we have a planned update in the future; at least, when her visual upgrade comes.

      What you mention about her walking animation is very interesting though it might not be enough to call it a new animation. It seems that the animation was adapted to each skin to ensure a better view of Sona according to the model. It’s nonetheless something worth giving a closer look, thanks for the notice.

  9. I got both Arcade Sona and Guqin for free, so which one do u think is better?

    • Both are nice and different: Guqin is more musical even if Arcade is more elaborate, regardless they both are great for their price. As you have them both, we hope you enjoy them.

  10. Although the reviews are pretty much adequate, the star ratings here are quite baffling. First you describe goquin as a pretty good skin and give it 5 stars. Then you label(correctly) arcade sona as fantastic and one of the best skins available and give it…. 4 stars. Something is not quite right. Certainly it has a bit higher price of 1350, but we are talking about whole new model sounds and visuals. We are lucky it is not 1800ish.
    I may see a bit fanboyish, but i simply think ratings(which are probably first things people look at) are misleading.

    • We know well that ratings are the most explicit indication of a skin’s value that’s why we try hard to make them as accurate as possible. In fact, the conclusion tries to be an explanation of why the skin received its rating. We probably aren’t always as clear as we should but the idea is that by merely looking at the rating you should know how good a skin’s value is. Then, you have the conclusion if you want to delve into the whats and whys.
      As always, feedback is appreciated and we pay attention to suggestions to make the reviews the most useful they can be.

      In this particular case, there’s little doubt that Arcade Sona is more elaborate and visually spectacular than Guqin Sona. However, there’s the matter of the price. For 975 RP Guqin Sona offers great value but Arcade Sona might need a little extra to really shine at 1350 RP. The price of 1350 RP is quite high and even close to a Legendary skin. Thus, we feel that a skin needs to justify the expense and the higher the price the more and better features it needs to provide.

  11. Hey Zero, as mentioned on the comment above, “Arcade Sona is not only Sona’s best skin but also one of the best available in League of Legends.” you wrote this and labelled it 4 stars. Is it due to the price? Now it’s on sale, I’m not a Sona main but then this skin sounds appealing at 675 RP, what do you think? Does it worth 5 stars?

    • Arcade Sona is a fabulous skin but a bit expensive at 1350 RP. If you like Sona then Arcade is a fantastic choice and at 675 RP it’s a more palatable purchase. So, you can add an extra star despite still being a bit more expensive than 487 RP.

  12. If Arcade Sona was 975rp would it be 5 stars and a must buy?
    P.S keep up the good reviews πŸ™‚

    • Definitely, in fact it was rated at five stars before the price was increased. If you can catch Arcade Sona at a sale it would be a good way of minimizing the influence of the price.

      Glad that you like the reviews, we’ll certainly keep working hard.

  13. Sona and Mordekaiser are getting some model tweaks for their PENTAKILL skins (I think it’ll be on the release of the album) please check it out!!! πŸ™‚

    • We did take a look and it seems like some touches of polish along a few changes to adapt them to the new Pentakill look; depicted in the Pentakill event announcement. It doesn’t seem like anything will change in a significant enough way to warrant an adjustment of the reviews. Regardless, let’s hope that it’s all an improvement.

      • The champions that have the pentakill skins are also getting a new shared splash art (for example TPA/SKT T1)

        • So’ve heard, though we aren’t looking forward to that. Sharing assets doesn’t seem to be working that well as they tend to squash the individuality of each champion.

          • damn if they would just take the time to change the sound effects for pentakill sona. Then i would buy it without hesitation *even though i already have Arcade and Gu Qin* Maybe snippets from their newest album Smite & Ignite will do? It’s gonna be a sick skin if that happens. Amirite??? πŸ˜€

          • Definitely, if they changed the sound of her auras to tunes from the Pentakill album the skin would be awesome. Of course, the probability of that happening is low but we can always hope.

            As a re-model Pentakill Sona is interesting and different but there’s a lot more that can be done with her.

  14. Will you be doing an update on Pentakill Sona? She receive a new splash and a texture update today. πŸ˜€

    • The review of the splash art will certainly be updated once we are done with Karthus’ visual upgrade. The idea is to update all of the Pentakill splash arts at the same time because, after all, the splash art review would be identical.

      With regards to the texture update, we didn’t notice any significant differences that would warrant changes. The main issue is that Pentakill and Sona forcibly mix together so the extra polish doesn’t change that.

  15. Anyone noticed the tattoo’s on Pentakill Sona’s new shared splash art?

    • You mean the one that’s completely absent on her model even after a texture update? Yes, seems appropriate though it might be a matter of taste.

  16. Hey, does the visual rework Sona had affect the ratings now? It was only some changes to her hair, but I want to see your opinion on the visual update. πŸ˜›

    • From the look of things the changes aren’t significant enough to affect the ratings. Not only are they applied to all skins but they also only modify small parts; mostly. We’ll keep giving it a look but we don’t expect things to be much different.

      • Muse Sona is definitely a lot better and way more spend rp on me convincing

        • We agree that there are some improvements but they aren’t major. The changes make Sona look better but things stay more or less the same.

          • You should at least change the in game pictures of the skins because like me a lot of people actually check your site before purchasing πŸ™‚

          • The problem is that the review would assess a splash art that doesn’t correspond to the one displayed. We could simply note that the text is to be updated but it seems like a poor fix.

            In these cases, when a lot of content is updated, we simply have to do things little by little. It might not be the ideal solution but it allows for a useful analysis.

  17. Sona’s beautiful texture upgrade arrived a few months ago and now I would really love to see more of your thoughts on Sona’s skins now, like you said you would in an earlier post here. I really feel like you are leaving Sona out because you updated Sion’s skins entirely after he got his relaunch, same for Karthus and Twitch after their visual upgrades, and you also gave tweaks to the ratings of Viktor and Soraka’s best skins after they got their gameplay changes. Please give Sona some love, she barely has two to three sentences for some of her skin reviews and other champions have entire paragraphs for theirs.

    • You are right and we offer our apologies. Sona was one of our first reviews and it shows. We plan to review her again, especially the older skins, but we have been delayed as with other things. Don’t worry though because Sona is firmly in our plans.

      • Thank you, I will eagerly wait. There is no rush, of course, I just love seeing this site grow because it is the only decent skin review site and I visit it very often even though I have read almost everything on it.

        • Not at all, people deserve our best effort even though it might not always be enough. We try to have the website up to date and with useful information but as it grows it takes time and a lot of work.

          We prefer to do things slowly but do them well so that things are as reliable as possible. Still, we can’t avoid mistakes so all help is greatly appreciated.

  18. You said that Arcade Sona is the best Sona skin and among the best skins in the game, but you only gave it four stars, while Goqin Sona received five stars. This seems like a contradiction.

  19. Hey Zero, do you have any idea when Muse Sona will be available to purchase?

    • Probably during the yearly Legacy Vault Sale that usually happens by the end of the year. The good news is that you may also get it at half price the bad news is that it’ll take quite a bit of patience to get to the sale.

      There’s been instances when legacy skins are put on sale outside of the LVS but that’s the exception rather than the rule.


    I just saw the preview for DJ Sona and OMG I’M SO HYPED RIGHT NOW I NEED HELP

    It’s literally EVERYTHING I could want from a skin and as a Sona main I can’t even make myself try to contain my joy omg. I don’t even care that I own every single Sona skin (except Muse though I plan to get that as soon as possible) I’ll instabuy the DJ one.

    Sorry about that rant it’s just that I am very excited about it and UNF I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

    What do you think about it though? Which is your favourite stance? Mine is probably Ethereal when it comes to model and in-game atmosphere I’d like to project but the music on Concussive I think I like the most

    • First of all, calm down and relax. We agree that the skin gives an impeccable first impression however we are a bit concerned about how far down the musical theme reaches. Visually, the skin is great though the transformations are more superficial than one would expect. That’s because only the Etwahl is actually remodelled, the rest is just re-textures.

      Then we have three tracks, each per form. However, we fail to see how they are tied into the gameplay of Sona. In other skins that modify her sounds, like Arcade or Guqin, each aura gets a new tune. In this case it’s not clear how her auras would affect the music. Besides, the fact that the forms are completely detached from the gameplay, as you’d cycle through them with a special command, disconnects the transformations from the action.

      We’ll probably have to get our hands on the skin and see how the gameplay and the music are connected. We know that the forms are separate from it which is disappointing. A better option may be to connect them to emotes for instance, like Neon Strike Vi’s sunglasses, or, preferably, a more engaging way that isn’t so passive. Then we have to check how the auras affect the tracks and if Sona actually mixes music as a DJ should. That is, if her abilities, at least, allow the music to dynamically change with direct input from the player.

      At a glance it seems like a complex skin. However, a closer look is revealing that it’s just three skins in one with an extra toggle button that isn’t even part of the GUI. We expect more from an ultimate skin with that grandiose price it has.

  21. What do u think of the upcoming DJ Sona skin. I don’t think the name suits the skin, but I love the amount of detail that went into this skin. Every legendary and ultimate skin should have this much detail! Btw I a big fan of ur work, u are an amazing art critic, and everything you say can be backed up. You know what u r talking about.

    • Thanks for the kind words, we try hard to give good arguments so that people can agree or disagree with them but, ultimately, have an opinion to base their purchases on.

      A general view of DJ Sona, so far, is that it’s a superficial skin. That is, the visual aspect is attractive but it doesn’t reflect as much depth as it could. In each form only the Etwahl actually changes and Sona is just re-textured. Additionally, the forms are detached from the gameplay and one actually needs a special command to cycle them; not even choose which one.

      On top of that the aural experience seems underdeveloped. Each form has a new track but is it affected by the auras or the abilities? Can the player via direct input affect the music and so make Sona mix tunes? Those are essential aspects considering the theme and the category of the skin. At the level of an ultimate skin the concept should be reflected in the gameplay and we don’t see that in this case.

      We need to more closely inspect the skin but, despite the great impression it gives, we aren’t sure it offers a different experience as an ultimate skin should.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSbNeoUWsZE

        It appears as though DJ Sona’s skills do have some effect on the music.

        I think it’s very important to keep in mind that Sona is a champion who uses her skills rather frequently, and if her forms changed and/or her music was remixed significantly every time she used a skill, visual and audio clarity may be negatively affected (and you know how picky Riot is with game clarity).
        Just my opinion though. Of course, we’ll have to wait untill she goes live to fully analyze the skin as a whole.

        • It seems that the abilities only have an effect when first used: they add a layer of music. Besides, that is shared among forms. We agree that the music couldn’t be noticeably remixed as it can be distracting. However, each ability could’ve made a sound that modified the rhythm base of the track, for instance. Alternatively, it could’ve added a new instrument that then is substituted when using another ability; so as not to overload the track and have a different feel for each aura.

          The point is that there could’ve been more interaction with the music by the player. As it is, it’s all rather passive: once you use the abilities it’s all done. It’s not a bad option but it feels restrictive.

          Another thing to note is that Riot has been pretty inconsistent with clarity. An example: Singed’s Poison Trail. From what we recall, Mad Scientist Singed couldn’t receive a blue trail so that it wouldn’t be confusing with regards to the classic colour. However, Riot Singed existed with another colour and eventually Snow Day did break the rule. Riot’s words have been modified several times already so we’ll take anything they say with a spoonful of salt.

          • I have to disagree with you on the last part.

            The last paragraph feels like it’s saying “Although Riot does say that clarity is important, they have been inconsistent (ex: Singed). Therefore, it’s ok for DJ Sona to lack clarity.”

            Rather than taking ‘anything they say with a spoonful of salt’, we should instead look at how far Riot has progressed in terms of consistency and clarity. For example, there were times when they had been inconsistent with skin particles (Woad Ashe receiving new particles despite being 520RP), but they have fixed that; none of the skins under 975RP nowadays have new particles.

          • You’re right that just because a rule has been broken before it isn’t a free pass to do so again. That’s not really what we wanted to say though we agree it sounds exactly like that.

            Actually, what we wouldn’t like is for DJ Sona to lack an interesting relationship between music and gameplay that is excuses as preserving clarity. If it’s too much work or it’s not technically feasible they should say so. However, it does feel that, in the name of clarity, things have been left underdeveloped in many cases.

            DJ Sona looks promising but we think that an ultimate skin should push the limits. If the tracks were affected by the abilities, minimally but noticeably, then she would also play like a DJ and that’s a connection between the theme and the gameplay that only an ultimate skin can deliver. As it is, the forms are in one place, the music attached to them and the gameplay barely touches on them.

            Additionally, we don’t think that cheap skins shouldn’t receive any extra work. On the contrary, Woad Ashe is a great example of a skin that may not be technically advanced but that offers multiple attractive changes. It’s understandable that a cheap skin wouldn’t have significant changes but sometimes a simple change of colour for the abilities’ particles, like Woad Ashe, adds to the personality of the skin.

    • We are watching the previews closely and getting ready for a review. Once the skin is released we’ll give it a close inspection and get a review ready as soon as possible.

  22. Do you think the next ultimate skin (DJ Sona) should have gone to Sona, who already has numerous good skins, rather than to someone else who might be in greater need of them?

    Just wondering.

    • There are two sides to the argument. On the one hand, as you mention, maybe a champion with less skins would’ve been a better choice. We agree to an extent as there are many champions that have received no attention for far too long.

      On the other hand, there’s Riot’s idea of turning good ideas into skins and developing as much as necessary. That’s not exactly always the case as there are numerous examples of skins that would’ve welcomed extra work. However, it might be better to develop a good idea instead of limiting it because it shouldn’t go past a certain threshold; which seems to happen.

      We think it’s better to strike a balance between the two. If there’s a fantastic idea that should become a legendary or ultimate skin then go for it. However, Riot should definitely make an effort not to leave champions forgotten behind. It’s true that there are a lot of champions to consider however, it was Riot’s decision and now they have to deal with the consequences.

      Perhaps they should do less and better while encouraging and even prioritizing skins for champions with limited skin options.

  23. Hello strategy Zero,

    I would want to know what do you think about arcade sona and DJ sona for the price, which one is the best choice considering the skin quality and the RP cost?

    Thank you in advance

    • If you are a fan of Sona then getting Arcade Sona on sale is a great purchase. The price is a bit high but a sale alleviates the problem and the skin is quite attractive.

      As for DJ Sona we haven’t yet a final idea about the skin. It’ll probably be released with an initial discount but it certainly won’t be cheaper than a legendary skin. It certainly would be a skin for ardent Sona fans. We’ll need to give it a good look to find out whether it lives up to its ultimate label.

  24. I am curious as to your first thoughts on DJ Sona. I will be grabbing it regardless, but I’m nonetheless curious. I feel like the

    -multiple different background songs for games (1 for each form, extra layers when she uses abilities)
    -3 separate models
    -new particles for every form
    -new animations and recalls for every form

    make it perhaps the best ultimate skin yet. And that dance…

    • It’s not exactly 3 new models, in fact only her Etwahl changes model between forms, Sona only changes textures. Besides, while visually the skin is nice there isn’t much relationship between the gameplay and the music. Sona gets a track per form and each ability adds a part of the song when first used, which is shared among tracks, and that’s all.

      As a skin it’s one of the most elaborate but as an ultimate it needs to offer something unique. So far, it’s seems like it just ticking boxes: new forms, particles, animations, sounds, etc. An ultimate skin, considering the incredible price they have, should aim much higher than they usually do.

  25. First of all, I’m a fan of your reviews zero, I think your reviews are mostly spot on and usually you know what you’re talking about especially that I think you have an eye of an art critic. I’ve been pondering about DJ Sona for a while because from what I have seen from your comments about the skin, you are, on some level, disappointed in the skin. But can I ask if the ultimate skin is on par or sub-par compared to the last 2 ultimate skins? Why?

    Thank you in advance

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      We are, to an extent, let down by DJ Sona. We expected an ultimate skin that would integrate music into the gameplay and that would, in some way, make the player feel like mixing music while using her abilities. What we get instead is mostly good looks because the aural side is not very developed. Even more so, the three forms are completely disconnected from the gameplay and you need an extra command to switch between them.

      If we look back, we find that Pulsefire Ezreal had the forms tied to the ultimate so, in a way, he was upgrading himself. Spirit Guard Udyr also had the new forms tied to the level of his abilities so he seems to be evolving into a more powerful being. DJ Sona, however, just feels like three skins combined into one.

      An ultimate skin should be a little revolution in terms of the integration between visuals and gameplay. In the case of DJ Sona it would be the integration between sound and gameplay but that’s completely absent from the skin. If the skin were cheaper we wouldn’t be so harsh but we are talking about a lot of money so if they are going to charge a fortune it has to be something impressive. Currently, we have serious doubts it can be.

      • Thank you for the reply, sorry, last questions XD, but can I also ask if DJ Sona, although unlikely, is discounted around the price of a legendary skin, will it be better compared to Arcade Sona?. I am seriously reconsidering purchasing DJ Sona right now because I also think at first look, that it’s too pricey compared to what it brings on the table. I haven’t purchased a skin for Sona before and I want to right now because I main her as support. What are the probable skins for Sona you think are best, not including the price as a factor?.

        Thank you again.

        • The truth is that price is always a factor. Besides, if we ignore price, the best skins always tend to be the most expensive; even though they may not be up to the expected standard.

          Previous ultimate skins were discounted down to a price near a legandary skin. In the case of DJ Sona we expect that to happen again. That would be the best opportunity to get the skin. It still would be expensive but the regular price is prohibitive.

          Currently, we think that Arcade and Guqin Sona are the Maven’s best skins. Both incorporate new music besides the visuals and are visually attractive as well. We would still recommend waiting for a sale as neither is cheap; specially Arcade.

          With regards to DJ Sona, we can only hope that the stay in the PBE ends up making DJ Sona a worthy ultimate skin. More work should go into such an expensive product to make it the best it could possibly be. It seldom happens as the PBE practically receives final products but we can dream.

          If DJ Sona stays as it is we would only recommend getting it on sale and only for the most fervent fans or collectors. At its regular price it simply wouldn’t offer an experience that justifies the price. It’s even arguable if any ultimate skin actually offers anything so significant that justifies the incredible price.

          • Thank you Zero :), Might I suggest you create a Top 10 best skins of all time page. Just a suggestion anyway πŸ˜€

          • No problem. We have the Skin List which is a table including all skins along their price, category and rating. That way you can check all one star to five star skins.

            Unfortunately it’s a bit outdated due to some technical problems. We hope to solve them soon.

  26. Just bought Dj Sona, played the skin in game 5 times.

    What to say?

    She’s MARVELOUS! Totally worth the high cost

    • We are not as enthusiastic because of the high price and the disconnect between the forms, music and game-play. That’s not to say that it’s a bad skin, it’s good but we would only recommend it to dedicated fans of Sona and music.

      • What about the current discount?

        • It helps but not much. If you have an interest in DJ Sona now is the time to get it. At least the release discount allows to save a bit though the skin, with or without sale, is pretty expensive.

          • I agree. I wouldn’t get DJ Sona as I already have Arcade Sona, but since I have a smurf account that I use alot, and I either play Sona or Janna as a Jungle/Support main, I think it is worth it only if you buy it now, and Sona is one of your main champs you play.

          • Would you have given her 5 star if her price was, say, legendary instead of ultimate?

          • There’s no doubt that if anyone is considering buying DJ Sona the sale is the time to get it. After the sale is gone the difference in price isn’t as huge as it was for previous ultimate skins. However, it’s still money saved and not such a small quantity as the skin is quite expensive.

            If the skin had the price of a legendary then the rating would have to rise. Comparing DJ Sona with what legendaries of late offer, perhaps a five would be conceivable. DJ Sona offers a lot and there’s no doubt that it’s above the level of usual legendary skins. The point is whether an ultimate flies that much higher than a legendary.

            As an ultimate, both price and category imply demands way above that of a legendary. Sometimes we get the idea that an ultimate skin is simply a legendary with something extra and that the revolution in new features that treads where no other skin went before is only shyly touched.

            In other words, ultimate skins don’t feel like they add that much over a legendary. If we compare features we have that model, particles, sounds and animations are modified in both cases. The ultimate needs to add something else and that is a sense of evolution or deeper interaction with the theme. That’s a facet of the ultimate skins that isn’t as developed and explored as the ultimate concept leads one to believe.

  27. I love the review for DJ Sona, its length almost makes up for the poor length of the Muse, Silent Night and Guqin reviews. Seriously though, you really should consider updating those soon. I cannot stand looking at them while all other champions have normal reviews on their skins. I also think her skins need updated screenshots, except for Pentakill.
    An interesting note I have on DJ Sona is her cleavage area. I am just puzzled as to why her skin is a dull gray in that area, while in the Kinetic and Ethereal versions you can clearly see her face having normal skin. The splash arts for those two also seem to show normal skin, though it could be the lighting, while Concussive’s splash art does actually show gray skin. It could be an extremely form-fitting undershirt, but it is unlikely.
    The other thing I do not like about the skin is her oversized behind. I think something much more fitting would have been a short mini-skirt to cover that while still showing her legs like Riot wanted.
    Besides those two things, I am really pleased with the skin.

    • We certainly have to update the rest of Sona’s review. We have prioritized new content to fixing old issues but it’s obvious that we have to find time to update. We’ll try to update the review as it’s becoming a necessity. Perhaps we went overboard with the length of DJ Sona but it’s a complex skin and we tried to be as brief as possible while covering all that was necessary. The contrast surely doesn’t help.

      Truth be told, we just don’t understand DJ Sona’s outfit. The truth is that it looks more concerned with showing her body than representing the DJ theme. It’s understandable to make the girls attractive and all that but there’s a limit. In this case, it’s clear that the suggestive outfit doesn’t add to the theme and, in fact, can even detract from the real star of the skin: the music. At least, the Etwahl saves the model along the visor and ponytails. Why couldn’t the outfit follow the style of those features that so evocatively represent each form? That doesn’t seem to have been covered in the Q&A.

      • They actually did explain the outfit decision in the Q&A. Initially they had contemplated different dress designs, or just something more varied, but in the end they thought that the clothing had to stay consistent for all forms for two reasons – to cement Sona’s look, so that it’s really “1 sona with 3 moods” and not 3 DJs, and secondly, to have an outfit that wouldn’t be too distracting because visually the helmet and turntables are supposed to stand out the most. They went fit skin-tight spandex because it’s futuristic, minimalist and clean, a “blank state” sort of clothing that fits the overall archetype. I do agree with you that Sona is sexualized in this costume, but honestly, ALL of her skins sexualize her, she has a massive cleavage for no reason whatsoever. Thus, I don’t take this point as valid criticism. But there you have it, Riot’s logic behind the outfit πŸ™‚

        • While we can understand their point of view we have to disagree. Firstly, just because a champion is always sexualised is no excuse to continue doing it; especially, when it isn’t fitting for the skin concept. There are many alternatives as other futuristic skin and a plethora of sci-fi demonstrates.

          Secondly, the changes to the suit needn’t be drastic. Imagine if we continue with a minimalistic take and add coloured lines to the suit that change colour with the form. Another idea would be to have a logo, one single indicator on the front or back, that would take a shape that identifies the form or perhaps echo the distinct waves of each form.

          Those are just a couple of simple ideas that could’ve added to the identity of the suit. Being small additions they wouldn’t compete with neither helmet or turntable. The truth is that there are alternatives if one looks for them. We can accept that sometimes you just don’t think about something. It happens that the muse may remain silent when you most cry for her. Regardless, the alternatives always existed and with Riot’s resources they are expected to find them; especially for an ultimate skin.

  28. I wonder if there will be an Ultimate skin that could at least reach 4-5 stars. Well, considering DJ Sona surpassed SGU Udyr and Pulsefire Ez by a mile, I can’t wait to see what Riot has in store for us.

    • Actually, a close look shows that, as far as visuals go, DJ Sona isn’t that far from Spirit Guard Udyr. The aural side is certainly more developed but also dominated by the three tracks that let the rest of the sounds trailing behind.

      Hopefully Riot can learn and keep improving so that skins can be the best they can. It’s not always a matter of adding more it’s usually preferable to do things that represent each theme and make changes that, even if simple, improve the experience offered by a skin by making the message clearer.

      • I’m going say they are going to keep improving, look at the old 1820rp skins and compare them to the new 1820rp skins. For the most part they improve and we can count on you to review them.

        • We will certainly be reviewing when new skins are released.

          It’s true that skins have improved significantly in comparison with the old times. However, the increase in quality has slowed down as time goes by. It may be just our perception but sometimes a skin seems to be releases with just enough to fit its price.

          Sometimes there’s a lack of interest in the theme and only when there’s a specific developer with a passion for the concept does a skin shine. It’s not always like that but it seems to be a trend that is spreading over the conception and execution of skins.

          We certainly hope that skins become wonderful. Ideally they should all be great and the only choice should be which champion and which concept is preferred. Perhaps in time the ideal can become a reality but only with a concerted effort.

  29. Woah, you are pretty harsh giving DJ Sona just 3 stars. I understand that the price is a huge factor in the judgment but that skin is pretty amazing if you ask me.

    I love the huge write up on your legendary skins review. Good read and very informative. Good job as always! πŸ˜€

    • Glad that you liked the review. We though it could be too wordy but it’s a complex skin so there was a lot to analyse.

      The price was certainly relevant when reviewing DJ Sona but also the fact that the skin, as an ultimate, should integrate forms and music with the game-play. That isn’t well implemented in DJ Sona so while the skin offers some novel ideas they can feel wasted.

  30. What skin would you recommend besides DJ Sona and Arcade Sona?

    • Guqin Sona is a great option if you are looking for something different and well done. The new sounds add a different feel to Sona and the model is rather good. It’s not particularly expensive as well and you can also get it on sale.

  31. OMG,DJ Sona in my opinion is the best skin ever(arcade too),and guqin so… bad,im a Sona main ,it’s sad
    But,TY Zero πŸ™‚

    • DJ Sona is quite good but ridiculously expensive. Arcade and Guqin are quite nice, though different, alternatives. All in all, Sona has some rather good skins in her wardrobe.

  32. What is your opinion on Sweetheart Sona?

    • Seems quite nice, as it takes the concept and spreads in most of Sona’s activities. We’ll have to give the skin a thorough look but it seems to be a nice option.

  33. please make a review of sweetheart sona too! i cant wait to see your opinion on it Zero

  34. Would you know if skins like sweetheart sona go on early sales anytime soon? I could get it now and I like it very much but i’d rather wait if it were to go on sales.

    • It should go on an early sale but we can’t be sure of when it will come. It’s supposed to be from four to six months after release so there’s ample leeway. We always suggest to wait for regular sales as when buying a few skins the expense quickly adds up.

  35. If only DJ Sona is just a legendary skin.

    Zero, a question. Which Garen skin do you recommend (from 520 RP to 750 RP only).

    • If DJ Sona were a legenday skin it would be fantastic though mostly because it’s three skins in one instead of introducing novel features. It could be considered like three legendary but very similar sister skins. DJ Sona certainly is more than a legendary but for an ultimate the transformation should’ve been more integrated and relevant than a mere switch.

      With regards to Garen, keep in mind that you can get Dreadknight Garen for free if you follow Riot’s Twitter account. Although the redemption page doesn’t seem to be working from what we’ve been told and seen; contact support if you have any problems. Taking that skin aside, Rugged Garen is a good style for him. It’s not as rugged as it should be but it suits him well. Something more fantastic is Rogue Admiral if you don’t mind the stylization.

      You could also consider Sanguine or Desert Trooper but they are quite similar to his classic apperance. If you don’t mind the similarities it’s a couple of cheaper skins. Commando is a mixed bag that tries but doesn’t accomplish the army style it intends to. In case you can only spend as much as 750 RP we would recommend to catch Steel Legion on sale; at 675 RP. If you like sci-fi it’s a skin that fits Garen and offers quite a lot.

      Back to the tiers in question, we think that Rugged Garen is probably the safest option. It’s rather conventional but also appealing despite its flaws. You could consider Rogue Adminar an alternative if you don’t mind the cartoony feel. Sanguine and Desert Trooper probably are too similar to classic to be interesting but they have something to offer.

      • Sadly, our server adapted that free dreadknight garen promo.

        But, I think I’ll gonna get Rogue Admiral, since he really look like Rugged Admiral. I don’t like the way the Rugged Garen is implemented since he just look like a typical wanderer, nothing Rugged. And since I like the cartoon theme of Rogue Admiral, I’ll get it.

        Keep up the good work and thanks for the help.

        • Never adapted, I mean.

        • Not at all, we’ll certainly keep working hard. A pity that you can’t get Dreadknight Garen with the promo. You might as well write to support and see if there’s anything that can be done. At worst you won’t get it and the message wouldn’t take much time to write. It’s worth a try as there’s nothing to lose.

          We agree on Rugged, he just doesn’t fit the bill. It’s not exactly the veteran of a thousand battles that he should look like. At least Rogue Admiral goes straight for what it wants to achieve. It’s stylized but also effective at what it intends. Hope you enjoy the skin.

  36. What do you recommend? Arcade, Sweetheart, or Guqin? I wanna buy the three of them πŸ™‚
    P.S. When will you update Sona’s skins reviews? I think they lost a lot of things during the visual upgrade(I watched the spotlights for Guqin and Arcade before and now :D)

    • I also have owned the Pentakill one due to a gift, and I own Arcade Sona, though I am wondering which is the best if I didn’t own one out of the three of them…
      P.S. I also want to own the Silent Night Sona, what are your thoughts of her?

    • Arcade Sona is a skin for the fans of retro gaming as it captures the visuals and sounds rather well. Sweetheart is an equivalent to Guqin but with different focus. Whereas the former relies on chaning the visual the latter focuses on the sounds. We prefer Guqin as Sona is a sound-based champion but Sweetheart still has it’s charm; it just isn’t as appealing.

      We didn’t notice anything significant in terms of changes for Sona. Actually, she only got a texture update and some particle changes due to a gameplay update. We just checked both videos and didn’t notice anything relevant but we may be wrong. Did you find anything in particular that’s missing?

      Without a doubt Arcade Sona is more elaborate than Pentakill. Besides Pentakill being only a re-model its concept doesn’t fit Sona as well as it should but there’s enough overlap that the darker take on music can be enjoyed. We agree, Sona has wonderful skins and let’s hope that never changes.

      Silent Night Sona is a skin from times gone by. Because of its low price, appealing model changes and fitting joke change it’s an option to consider. However, it’s more of an extra to have besides the main skins. On its own it doesn’t offer much so, in the long run, it can feel similar to Classic.

      • Last question: How many dollars does it cost for you to buy 975 RP and 1350 RP? I don’t see ’em large enough to affect rating here in the Philippines because it only costs 200 Php and 250 Php respectively, which is hardly more than a dollar difference. Does it really cause a significant difference?

        • We use the North American server as reference as it’s the base for the game. Also, it’s not just a matter of money. As described in the Guide to Skin Price Tiers each tier is expected to fulfill certain requirements. When a skin doesn’t we note it as a relevant factor. On top of that, it also matters if the feel of the theme is captured. There are many cheap skins that do a great job at presenting their concepts while more expensive and elaborate ones fail. It’s not a matter of using more but of using resources better.

          In conclusion, the difference in tiers matters but it’s one of many factors. The effectiveness of the execution is also considered among other things.

      • I think it’s just me but when I play Arcade Sona, the background tune like in Ciderhelm’s video was lost (I don’t know if it’s just me, though). Most of them lost vibrancy of the colors, like in Silent Night Sona, which hit ’em hard…

        • Last one (promise), do you think that the older skins will be updated in the near future, such as the Pentakill Sona and other 975 RP and below skins which did not receive any changes? On what year do you think it’ll happen.

        • It could be that there’s a bug left after the upgrade; it wouldn’t be the first. As the sounds are somewhat subtle it may not be evident but still noticeable if paying enough attention. We can’t discard something like that happening just as we can’t ignore the fact that skins have lost features, like particles, after a visual upgrade.

          Both are possibilities, sadly, If in doubt sent a support ticket so that Riot can look on it. As a paid product a skin shouldn’t lose parts for whatever reason; though it happens.

          There’s nothing about visual upgrades scheduled for Sona in the LoL site. If a visual upgrade comes it’ll probably update all the skins; including the older ones. Hopefully it will all be an improvement; instead of the mixed results of other champions. There’s no telling when it’ll be done. Sona doesn’t look that outdated in comparison with newer champions so she’s possibly not a high priority target for an upgrade. Eventually, she’s bound to be updated but that’s as far as we can tell.

  37. Since Guqin Sona is a slightly older skin, do you think it needs to be updated in any way? I actually like the splash art and I think it’s pretty (Although DJ and Arcade will be my favourites), but once I saw the in game model, it was a bit…disappointing I want to say? I’ve only played with one person ever who owned this skin, but the model makes me a little sad somehow. I don’t know if it’s the colours, the auras, or just the model shape itself.
    What do you think about it?

    • Also a small note, is there a different or updated picture of the one that shows the particle changes and models for DJ Sona (the one that’s next to splash art)? I don’t own the skin, so I wanted to take a close look at the particles and it shows the red form’s Q animation thing twice instead of her E.

    • In comparison with more modern skins Guqin Sona resembles the classic model much more than others. It could be said that it’s starting to show its age but its charm was never concentrated in the visuals. The real star of Guqin Sona is the new sounds for her abilities and auras. The change of instrument paints a different aural landscape that still suits her ethereal, string-based feel.

      With regards to DJ Sona’s screenshot we didn’t realise we have repeated an ability; sorry. We’ve updated the image and all abilities should be visible now. If you find anything else that’s missing don’t hesitate to tell us. Thanks for your help.

  38. Hey strategy zero! I recently got DJ Sona in hextech and although I agree with your review to an extent, I just want to add something about her abilities affecting the background music. Although layers are only added /the music evolves at certain thresholds, when she dies some of the layers tune out and are then returned upon first use of q, w and e after respawn. This is true for all 4 tiers of each song. It’s something I clearly noticed after playing for a couple of games, and honestly this small feature feels like actual DJ mixing. Also, while I can’t confirm for sure, I think at certain moments in each track ability use might affect which part of the song plays. I doubt this will increase her rating, but honestly it’s the most mixing that can be done with this skin without clarity interference. If gameplay completely dictated the sound, it would be quite bad when you spam abilities at 45% CD. Just my two cents (I know, I have too many cents :))

    • You can rely on as many cents as you desire, we are always grateful for additional information.

      Frankly, we didn’t notice that evolution and change of the music to that extent. We do see that there’s only so much mixing but it should be noticeable. Even in the evolution we find it somewhat subtle. It’s there but we aren’t talking about something that screams DJ. The problem may not be just that there’s limited mixing but more importantly that when there is it isn’t significant enough.

      We may sound rather strict and demanding but with Ultimate skins and their pricing we simply can’t accept anything but the best. Besides, an Ultimate skin is supposed to be a small revolution that goes where no other skin can. It should cover new ground with characteristic never before seen and that bedazzle with their impact. That’s what we except and we have to note when that isn’t happening.

      • Hey Strategy Zero! Happy New Year and Merry Christmas (with a delay)! Sorry for the delayed response, the holidays were a bit hectic. I suppose your criticism of the music mixing element of the skin is valid – we could always push for more. But honestly, I try to imagine my gameplay actually affecting the sound and I just get the feeling that while creative, it could lead to some inner anxiety like “I really want to produce this sound combination, but I have to waste mana for that and I don’t really need to cast those abilities now”. Even now when I respawn I press all abilities to unmute the layers, so an OCD person like myself would feel a bit more anxiety to “get the best sound” – this is where concept might, psychologically, interfere with gameplay and clarity.

        I just don’t agree that the skin doesn’t have an aural experience like Guqin – it certainly does, as all the elements when combined on the background of the music pieces really create a unique atmosphere. I think it’s mainly that music in league is not well explored outside of promotional and other out of game content. Of course, we could ask for more, like adding our own music or mixing the actual music, but as it is this is the only instance of us playing music that is not the typical background score. When you combine the visuals and abilities, I would say it feels very unique. For me it’s definitely a 4-star skin, especially in comparison to the other ultimate skins. I actually had a game recently with Elementalist Lux, PF Ezreal and SG Udyr and me playing as DJ Sona. I have so many more severe criticism of the other 3 ultimate skins so far and, while cool, they just feel disappointing in many regards (Ezreal is feels like a legendary, Udyr’s skin is like a paid visual update, Lux is rather superficial). Only DJ Sona provides an actual experience that is unique to the game and is not just a different fantasy of the champion or just some nice visuals. If I want a different fantasy I will get a legendary skin.

        As for DJ Sona’s outfit from my above comment – actually I agree with you. I just wanted to clarify what Riot’s logic was. I too agree more could be done with the outfit, even if subtle. The logo in particular really makes sense, as well as different colored lines on the suit. The only good thing is the outfit does not stand out, so it’s not as important to the skin. Elem. Lux has 10 unique, fantastical outfits, but that doesn’t by itself increase the value of the skin (not to mention how impractical and, quite frankly, sexualized some of them are). But I do agree with your points nonetheless, I just compare DJ Sona strictly with other ultimate skins, which to me feel underwhelming. So if we look at the tier as a whole, I’m just not convinced the Sona skin is on the same level as it brings much more than visuals. Does it have potential to be done even better? Definitely. Is the end result satisfying and unique? I would say so.

        Anyway, I wish you many wonderful moments in 2017, and keep up the detailed and helpful reviews πŸ™‚

        • No problem, hope you had a nice time surrounded by your loved ones. We hope the best for you in 2017. The future is unwritten so it’s full of possibilities.

          We understand your point on the desire to re-do the tunes, for instance, but that’s part of the skin’s design. We always prefer for a skin to give options and then it’s up to the player whether to take them or not. You can’t simply plan for every eventual situation but you can give options for players to take. If there aren’t options then there’s no choice so the skin becomes more limited in its game-play. That’s an aspect that ultimate skins are supposed to emphasise, not restrict.

          We agree that there’s a definite aural style for DJ as well as there is for Arcade; as well as Guqin. We can’t find if we said or implied otherwise but we don’t think that was what we meant. The problem with DJ is that it doesn’t fully feel like a DJ because options are rather restricted for a convincing mixing feel.

          We agree that music has been and is underused. Even if someone wanted to access the many themes composed specifically for each event or release it’s not possible to do it on the game itself. There’re a lot of areas in League that have been ignored and probably still are in favour of released more products to sell. Fair enough, it’s necessary to keep the game afloat but by now it’s obvious that Riot isn’t exactly lacking in coins.

          That said, we understand your point of view that it’s tricky to give an explicit mixing feel without affecting game-play. We just are of the opinion that an ultimate skin should be able to do it. As it stands, DJ Sona is good and you could very well say that the game-play aspect is superior to the other ultimate skins. However, we also find other areas where the skin doesn’t do its best job; like the costume.

          In the end, it’s all added together. DJ Sona does some things better than other ultimates but others aren’t. In fact, the same could be said of the other ultimate skins. It’s a difficult tier to review because they are very expensive and expectations are very high for what they can and should offer. In all fairness, we don’t find differences drastic enough to give more or less stars to the skins.

          Overall, ultimate skins have been good. Visually well done, though not always far beyond a legendary skin, but with enough features to give each skin a unique personality. There have been some specific additions that go beyond the legendary realm but not significant changes that justify the ultimate label and price fully.

          It’s only our opinion, your view of DJ Sona at four stars is just as valid as ours at three. It could be said that it’s all subjective. We do try to be as objective as possible. DJ Sona is a good skin but the mixing aspect is subtle. That doesn’t make the skin bad, even if added to other problems, but we just don’t see it as great.

          That doesn’t mean that it can’t be great in the eyes of others. What really matters at the end of the day that each player is happy with their purchases. Whether they agree or not with us that’s irrelevant. What matters is that they have as much information as possible to make a good decision and that there’s a frame of reference with which they can agree of disagree but that helps them reach an informed choice.

          • Oh yes, don’t get me wrong, I think your review is very fair at 3 stars, and I agree for the most part on the pros and cons of the skin.I also own Arcade and Guqin, so I can’t help but also recommend these as amazing, cheaper options for Sona fans out there. I just wanted to bring a bit of love to DJ Sona, since a new ultimate skin was released recently anyway :p Thanks for the thorough posts and attention, looking forward to a year of new skins and reviews πŸ™‚

          • We understand your point of view and we do see all the good things that DJ Sona has. Perhaps we don’t see them as significant with regards to the rating but we actually agree on the general worth of the skin. It’s also true that with such good alternatives, like Arcade and Guqin, DJ Sona has to make an effort.

            Indeed, we’d like to see ultimate skins that effortlessly rise to four stars. DJ Sona could do with some extra elaboration because there are really good aspects of the skin. Sadly, skins often give a great first impression and then aren’t unable to sustain it. Hopefully, 2017 will see quality going up instead of prices. At least that’s what we hope for League, in general terms.

  39. In the conclusion, you refer to Arcade Sona as one of the best available skins in League of Legends. I agree completely and I find the skin absolutely lovely. I received it as a mystery gift from a friend so I never thought about the price. Is the 1350 RP worth it? If so, then what else is holding back the skin from its full 5 stars?

    • We’d say that Arcade Sona is worth it at 1350 RP but a much more palatable option while on sale at 675 RP. The skin could reach five stars with some extra variety. The particles are identical between auras with the same pixellated design reused for each. Sounds could and should show more variety despite the limitations of chiptunes.

      After all, Sona is a sound-based champion and that’s an area that can’t be ignored for her. A few animations that reinforce the unique design of the Etwhal would cement its relevance as well. The point is that 1350 RP is a tier that isn’t legendary but isn’t far so a skin should do a good effort to excel at this point.

  40. Is the Golden Lunar Revel Guqin Sona chroma worth?

    • All the Golden chromas are to be crafted so it depends on how difficult and invested you are in hextech crafting to start with. That stated, they are small changes that mostly gild the weapons and change some colours. As far as chromas go they don’t attempt anything different but have a feature to offer. The gold weapon feature may not be much and it depends how much you like the look. We don’t the chromas bad but it depends on how difficult they are to acquire to determine if they are worth the effort. After all, they offer nothing revolutionary.

  41. Does Guqin Sona still have its unique aura sounds or is it just a remodel at this point?

    • As far as we know, the skin still has the new sounds for the auras. We checked in-game to make sure and we think we are listening to her guqin in the abilities and the auras. However, we tend to listen to the same tune with the auras which makes us wonder if each aura has a different song; that’s how it was suppossed to be. From what we can tell, it’s not just a re-model, yet, but some change here or there could’ve ended up affecting the skin’s features; it wouldn’t be the first time.

      We hope the new music stays, at least until a visual upgrade comes and wreaks havoc with everything.

  42. Hi! I recently pulled Muse Sona from a chest, and I’m having a hard time deciding what to do with it.
    I already own DJ skin, which I very much love and use on regular basis, but Muse’s rarity and appealing look are drawing me to take the skin. It’s HIGHLY overpriced, this skin doesn’t look over 520/750, but Sona just looks so beautiful and as a fan of Greek mythology, I really appreciate the theme of this skin.

    However, keep in mind that even though it’s something I pulled for free, Orange Essence is hard to come by, so I don’t want to randomly throw it on the first skin I even remotely like.
    So with all that in mind, do you think it’s a good idea to snatch this skin and play it from time to time, or disenchant it and use the essence it gives on something else?

    • We agree, Muse Sona is a charming skin but too expensive. As you put it you have two options: get Muse Sona and play it occassionally or disenchant and see what you get. Both options have their ups and downs.

      If you keep the skin it’ll have to compete with DJ Sona. From what you say DJ Sona would be prefered so Muse will only see sporadic use. Conversely, if you disenchant you could get another skin with that essence but just as you could get a better skin you could get a worse skin; it’s all luck.

      This leaves us with the question of how much you like Muse Sona versus the possibility of getting another skin of any kind. Muse Sona may not be so great but with thousands of skins as possibilities you could very well get a skin you don’t like. In this case it depends how much you like Muse Sona versus how probable you suppose it’ll be of getting a better or worse skin. This is all subjective, a estimation based on your liking of Muse Sona and other skins.

      With that guess in mind you can see if Muse Sona is worth keeping. You could very well get lucky after disenchanting or not. It’s a risk versus a skin with moderate appeal, it seems. There lies the key. Perhaps Muse Sona isn’t great but it has its charm. Perhaps its better to chance another skin but you don’t know what you’ll get. Perhaps Muse Sona won’t see much use versus DJ so it’s better to keep trying to get another skin you like; don’t really know if you can keep disenchanting. It depends on the value of Muse Sona versus the chance of being lucky.

      • Yeah, you made a lot of valid points which we agree on. I think that the best thing I can do about it is just open up a few more chests and see how lucky I get with those. Who knows, I might pull out something amazing that will make disenchanting Muse Sona an easy decision. But, on the other hand, I can have a series of terrible pulls which would pretty much force me into taking the Sona skin.

        I appreciate your opinion! Guess I’ll just try to remain as patient as possible and test my luck with a few more boxes.

        • That’s the thing with crafting, the random aspect makes decisions about probabilities. At any rate, you can wait and, let’s say, muse on the idea a bit more before making a final decision. The advantage you have is that you don’t have a time limit to make a decision so use that to your favour.

  43. What do you think About Odyssey Sona? Is it Worth to buy

    • As we mention in the review we think it’s a great skin. Model, particles and sounds all work to realise the theme in an attractive way. It’s not a skin without faults but the skin is worthwhile. Still, at its price, we recommend a sale.

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