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League of Legends: Tahm Kench Skins’ Review – StrategyZero
Jul 102015
Tahm Kench, the River King
Tahm Kench, the River King

We all need to escape from something. There are times that we would do anything for a way out, to flee at any cost but, few actually understand the meaning of such a price; until it’s too late. Tahm Kench offers you a chance to leave and go wherever you desire. It doesn’t come free, nothing in life does, and if you let him in then his appetite will have to be sated. Are you willing to go to any lengths to get away? Then read on and find out more about the River King.

Master Chef Tahm Kench
Master Chef Tahm Kench Splash Art Master Chef Tahm Kench Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Tahm Kench as a celebrated cook.
Model: Major model changes for Tahm Kench, new textures for Devour and new ingredients for his joke.
Particles: New particles for An Acquired Taste, Devour, Thick Skin and Abyssal Voyage.
Animations: New recall animation and eating utensils when taunting as well as idle and running after applying three stacks of An Acquired Taste.
Sounds: New sounds for his recall.
Splash Art: The close perspective lends a somewhat intimate view of Tahm Kench’s cooking activities which perhaps isn’t to everyone’s taste. While much of the background is blurry one can see the sausage links hanging near a cage with a poro; we can only hope it can reach the nearby key. Fortunately, seafood seems to be what gathers the interest of Tahm Kench and the impression is that he does know what he is doing; though it’s difficult to guess what. Whatever it is, it’s depicted with a mix of bright and diffuse colours which may be taken as steam; if we are generous.
Tahm Kench is clearly depicted for the most part; if we forget his right side. The colours are vibrant and the surfaces are full of detail. The texture of his shirt or the wetness of his skin is very well done. Sadly, the depiction is uneven and in many places, like his chin, the colours are drab and so the portrayal disappoints. Additionally, despite looking like a professional there’s an uneasy sense that his cooking isn’t very nice. That suits him well but it hardly does his appeal any favours. Regardless, it’s demonstrates another aspect of his personality.
Ultimately, this splash art effectively presents Tahm Kench’s way as a cook. The perspective gives the feeling that it’s too ambitious for what it sets out to do. Besides, the uneven colours only partially let the depiction come to life. It can be said to be an effective piece but also one that stopped short of being better.
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: In theory, Master Chef Tahm Kench is a new model with various extras. Unfortunately, each change isn’t as relevant as it could be and they don’t work together to further the theme. Let’s start at the base: he seems to have a new model but it feels like a re-colour with a new set of clothes. There may be some extra modifications to the model but the classic base is too evident. In fact, the chef aspect is shyly expressed: first comes the monstrous toad and then a bit of cook.
The other additions don’t help the theme stand out either. The particles are subdued and simple so An Acquired Taste only has a new icon, Devour a differently shaped but visually similar glow and a different colour, Thick Skin a new colour and Abyssal Voyage a new colour along a few vegetables. The recall animation does help a bit but isn’t enough to deliver the theme. At least the utensils in use when An Acquired Taste reaches three stacks give some much necessary identity to the skin but that’s the only remarkable point of the skin.
In conclusion, Master Chef Tahm Kench is a simplistic skin that takes a fitting theme and splashes it over the familiar base. The changes are superficial and the theme never integrated into the champion. The only highlight is the new utensils but the skin doesn’t fully bring the cook theme to life. This makes it a passable alternative but far from anything exciting to add to the toad.

Urf Kench
 Splash Art Urf Kench Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Tahm Kench paying homage to Urf.
Model: Moderate model changes for Tahm Kench.
Particles: New stack indicator for An Acquired Taste.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The fuzzy, pencil style of the splash art gives it an instantaneous identity but the composition doesn’t leave any doubts about what it is: a simple display of a few costumed champions. That’s confirmed by the absent background. There’s not setting to speak of, only a flash of light for the champions to emerge from and jump towards the viewer. As homage to cartoon openings it’s clear but brief and, ultimately, simplistic.
The champions manage to share the scene though, even if they can’t manage more than a pose for a photograph. Going by altitude: Tahm Kench looks diffuse and concealed by too bright light. There’s some faint shade to make the surfaces more interesting. Regardless, only the mouth with its detailed saliva and blunt, separated teeth stands out. The grabbing of a cat-sapling does little to make the portrayal interesting; it’s something at least.
Vel’Koz almost gets out of the picture and its tentacles are largely omitted by either a blur or going out of borders. The colours are bright for the most part and the use of light is attractive. However, the pattern of the pinstripe suit is too difficult to notice, the watch is on the right instead of the left tentacle and the trouser seems to be on the front-left tentacle while the back tentacle seems to wear a sleeve. It’s a complete mess that makes getting an idea of its look more difficult than it already is given the convoluted posture.
Maokai appears with a warm, fuzzy look for his costume while his bark looks dry and his features supernaturally powered by magical energy: an eloquent presentation. Cat-saplings fly all over leaving multicoloured trails and sparks but their flat faces lack vivacity for living beings. The effect of motion on Maokai’s foot is subtle but noticeable yet also pointless because there’s no perceivable reason for him to be smashing anything. The body, large and simple, appears a bit diffuse and lacking relevance while the pose appears to twist him in an uncomfortable position that can make his creepy face reveal a delight in pain.
Finally, there’s Draven with a pose that it’s as fanciful as it can be foolish. The huge mask shows reflections that hint at its artificial nature. Still, it could very well pass for a consequence of his inflated ego. The body is actually quite well shaded yet the proportions of the limbs aren’t believable: thick, stubby legs and short arms with big hands. The body also loses details towards the centre becoming flat, muscle-less and deformed by a forced posture.
When all is added together, we find a splash art with a simple background that is content with just introducing a set of champions. Available space is shared unevenly and there are portrayals that are clearly superior to others. The general idea of the champions’ look is given but seldom do the depictions add elements that make them memorable. In the end, it works but it doesn’t capitalise on its best characteristics.
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: Without going far into model changes, let alone any other changes, Urf Kench is a straightforward tribute to the famous manatee. The new model has much in common with the classic River King appearance. The most significant modification is the clothes which incorporate Urf’s fashion sense and add a fancy jacket to carry implements that won’t see any use. They could’ve received the same treatment as the cooking utensils do in Master Chef but they are relegated and ignored. The wristbands match the jacket’s rustic style but they don’t do much for the Urf theme. It’s the new textures and the tail changes that deliver the manatee look better despite amounting to little more than a re-texture and some slight tail modifications. Besides the laurel wreath, bib and weapons there’s nothing that states the theme with weight. It seems like a partial adaptation where Tahm Kench takes on some traits of Urf but also adds some of his personal rough style to the mix. That wouldn’t be a problem if there were more to develop the main theme but there’s nothing else. The stack indicator for An Acquired Taste, borrowed from Master Chef, doesn’t amount to much. Therefore, we are left with limited model changes that gloss over the concept and do as little as possible. For Urf fans, it could be enough as a funny reference. Regardless, there’s little doubt that Urf Kench is a skin lacking in desire to present its theme.

Coin Emperor Tahm Kench
Coin Emperor Tahm Kench Splash Art Coin Emperor Tahm Kench Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Tahm Kench as a merchant monarch.
Model: New model for Tahm Kench and new coins added to Tongue Lash.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: Demanding and somewhat disgusting in manner and looks the Coin Emperor show some of the worst characteristics of royalty, yet recognisable. The background barely establishes a setting with a weak depiction of buildings and fireworks. The pig under the table is barely visible in the darkness and may not be happy for long given what’s coming down. It’s only the table and food, flying at the Emperor’s command, that have any substance. The table cloth is softly coloured, rather dim and a tad diffuse while the food appears pencilled with sharp colours and lines which makes for a peculiar contrast.
Tahm Kench is somewhere in the middle. His skin and prominent tongue is soft and elaborate giving a lot attention to detail. The golden ornaments are harder looking as well as dimmer without the lustre expected of precious metal. His body and arms are blurred, understandably for the right hand smash but certainly not for the left hand. Shadows are strong and provide darkness to the portrayal that doesn’t resemble the colourful, bright and cartoony representation in three dimensions.
All added together, we have a weak background with a portrayal with personality but one that doesn’t exemplify the in-game look well. While certain aspects of the Coin Emperor make sense the piece seems to be more centred on showing an eye-catching scene than a sensible and useful portrayal. The consequences are evident at a glance.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Colourful yet without much contrast between tones Coin Emperor Tahm Kench dresses in a regal style but it’s quite cartoony about it; the coin-adorned moustaches were a bit of a giveaway. There’s a palpable eastern style in both the regal attire as well as the gilded toad physique. The result is an adequate model that looks like a change of clothes. The classic Tahm Kench persona remains, suitable so, intact and not just in the model.
Particles rely heavily on the classic template. Additions are few like the handful of coins flying with Tongue Lash and Devour. Thick Skin seems re-coloured in gold only. At least, Abyssal Voyage, besides a few coins, makes good use of a measured but appealing amount of fireworks.
Sounds follow particles closely. There are some metallic sounds for the coins and the addition of a pig squeal for An Acquired Taste. The rest of sounds rely on the classic ones. The fireworks of Abyssal Voyage are a welcome exception so that the ultimate can feel as such.
The new recall only tangentially addresses the main concept. The pile of gold coins and finding a coin among the food hints again at the theme. However, the meal appears to be a reflection of the splash art without much actual meaning in developing the skin’s particular concept.
All added together, Coin Emperor Tahm Kench is as superficial skin that doesn’t know how to integrate neither the monetary nor the royal aspects of the concept on the River King. There are some additions in that direction but only coins, ultimately, have relevance. The fireworks, which have little to do with the theme, end up being the most attractive additions. Therefore, if you don’t mind the shallow approach, the skin has a few features to like but, for the most part, there’s too much Classic Tahm Kench.


For a release skin Master Tahm Kench is a recognizable case of a modification of the present base. Elements are added to alter the feel but only over the classic style without going deep enough to make it part of the champion. This results in a superficial look that is little more than a costume. It can be an acceptable option if you just want something different but the theme is too thinly developed.

A cheaper alternative is Urf Kench with its moderate array of model changes. Urf fans may derive some satisfaction from the reference but it’s presented in an evidently limited way. The most relevant changes are the most essential and there’s nothing else to add flair to the barebones presentation. If you aren’t a fan of Urf, chances are that you won’t find much to like in this simple skin.

Coin Emperor Tahm Kench is a skin that suffers from a superficial adaptation that barely exposes the coin and emperor facets suggested in the name. The most enjoyable feature ends up being the fireworks of the ultimate which bear little relation to the skin’s theme. The result is a skin with a few features to like but too much reliance on Classic Tahm Kench.

  24 Responses to “League of Legends: Tahm Kench Skins’ Review”

  1. Tahm is a catfish.

    • Well, he’s a mix of things. Besides, there are cases of toads with whiskers; though we only found during metamorphosis, from tadpole to adult. Considering the tongue and amphibian characteristics we think that toad isn’t that far from the truth. There’s probably some catfish in there too but we don’t think that Mr. Kench is trying to be too specific about his nature.

      • Look up a gonch o beleive it is called, it’s found in Indian rivers, while I do think he could be part road I do think he most resembles this catfish from those Indian rivers, expecially his teeth

        • We agree but as his general aspect reminds of a toad that’s why we nicknamed him that way. It’s not a precise description, just a way of referring to him with a bit of humour. It’s good to now about the goonch and other catfishes which do have much in common with Tahm Kench’s appearance. Thanks for the information, it could prove useful for future reviews.

  2. You forgot to mention that it seems tahm has some sort of lobster tail in his skin

    • As it’s not that different from his classic tail we didn’t pay much attention to it. The model ends up conforming rather too well to his classic base; which is a bit disappointing.

  3. Can you do a review on the new July attack bundles?

    • Sure, we’ll try to have one ready as soon as possible.

      • Ok, thanks. Who do you think will get this year’s victorious skin? It’s supposed to be a marksman.

        • No problem. We have no idea who could get a Victorious skin but it’s usually a champion that had a big impact at the tournament level. The same applies for the Championship skin; as far as we know. So, probably one of the trending or more used marksmen will get it.

  4. Hello kind of off topic but are you planning/going to do Chroma reviews in the future? Thanks and you have good reviews.

    • Yes, we have the Chroma packs on our sights but are a bit delayed with them due to the amount of content that patch 5.14 will come with. We’ll try to get to them as soon as we are able.

  5. Hi, could you maybe do a list of your top 5 or 10 favorite skins of all time, i love your reviews and opinions on skins and i think it would be cool to see what you think arethe best skins in the game! thanks

    • The best skins in the game are the ones awarded five stars. You can find them at the Skin List. As it’s a sortable table you can order by rating and get all the five star skins.

      That aside, we prefer skins that transcend their limitations. An example we always use is Sewn Chaos Orianna. It only has model changes and it’s not even a full re-model. However, with a good concept and well placed changes the result is wonderful. It’s a great example that you don’t need a high price or basketfuls of particles to make a skin that stands out.

  6. what do you think about the new Urf Kench skin that is about to come out? I play quite a bit of tahm do you advice me this one, the chef one or waiting for a better one in the future?

    • Urf Kench only has some model changes that don’t take it far from being a change of clothes. Master Chef has more changes but it’s also strongly based on the classic style. Unless you particularly like one of his skins we would recommend to wait. Neither has any features that make them truly great so there isn’t much reason to get them if you aren’t interested as they are.

      • And now that they added a lobster for its passive?

        • It doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s a minor addition and also borrowed from Master Chef Tahm Kench. We should note it though, thanks for the information.

  7. Is there going to be another tahm kench skin coming out? The urf tahm kench is not worth 750rp at all. If it was 520 I would buy it but its not and i feel like the 975 master chef tahm kench is meh. I love the utensils though when hes about to eat someone.

    Do u think its worth the price?

    For the urf skins they should of made the 3 stacks passive an urf picture but Riot was too lazy and just copied and paste from the other skin.

    • We agree, Urf Kench isn’t a skin were the concept is brought to life with much enthusiasm. With Master Chef something similar happens: the concept is present but not taken advantage of in an interesting way. We agree that neither skin is particularly attractive.

      That said, a new and interesting Tahm Kench skin should appear because it’s necessary. However, as he just received a new skin, Urf, chances are that it’ll be some time before he gets another. That’s how things usually are despite the fact that it’s not the best prospect for the discerning River King fan.

  8. What are your thoughts on both the new Sejuani and Tahm Kench Chinese New Year skins. The Tahm one looks very detailed but idk if I should buy it. Thanks,

    • From what we’ve seen the idea is good but we expected a more dazzling visual display for the Firecracker skins. Coin Emperor seems a bit sparse in the use of coins which, as the main theme, could’ve been stronger. The skins have appeal but we expected the themes to have stronger personalities.

  9. is there going to be a review on the new emperor tahm kench skin soon?

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