Riot’s multi-talent when it comes to entertainment is no secret. Whether it be lore or gameplay, music or animation- Riot delivers. This wasn’t always the status quo, though.
When K/DA was first released or rather debuted in 2018, the quality of their first song POP/STARS’ music video took everyone by surprise. Since then, Riot has done nothing but expand on the fictional girl group’s lore and raise their influence all over social media.
And as with LoL, where there is lore, there are skins.
So far, the K/DA skin line has had two skin sets, three if we count the prestige editions. Any new skin drop is usually the talk of the town for a while until the hype dies down. K/DA, however, reigns as one of the skin lines with longevity, the likes of which we don’t see often. The consistent musical releases and clever PR conducted by the team behind LoL are to thank for this.
Even from a technical character design perspective, opinions on skins and champions’ looks vary wildly. That is the beauty of character design, and today I’m here to take advantage of that and dish out my opinions regardless of how insensible they are.
Let’s take a look at the Top 7 K/DA skins then, shall we?
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7. Prestige K/DA Ahri
Starting with a bit of an unconventional take, I have Ahri’s prestige skin at our seventh spot. Limited skins always bring some controversy with them as players worldwide heatedly debate whether or not the skin is worthy of the title.
Ahri’s prestige skin, in my honest and humble opinion, is one of the only K/DA prestige skins worth its price. Kai’sa’s first prestige skin is a strong contender but falls just a bit short of Ahri’s in terms of visuals, which bumps it off the Top 7 list.
I especially like Ahri’s prestige skin because of how good the gold goes with her crystalized tail. All prestige skins have a golden motif, but none look quite as luxurious as Ahri’s, which is what prestige skins should be all about.
Ahri’s tail is the signature feature of her design, and its gem-like look on her original K/DA skin was already gorgeous. With the golden shine of this skin, it looks even greater than before.
There are also subtle design choices regarding her clothing that bring out her charmer personality, like the thigh belt and the generous slit of her skirt. Character design is the telling of a person through visuals, which makes this an important detail.
Ahri’s prestige skin is the least on our list but certainly not the last, so let us move on to our next.
6. K/DA Evelynn
I don’t think the skin does much in terms of visuals, but any game with it is a guaranteed baptism for your ears. In fact, the sound design is so well that she gets a spot on the list for that alone.
I ought to give credit where it’s due, though. There are some nice touches to its visuals. Like how cool her Demon Shade looks, the fact that we see that form of hers in the music video of POP/STARS also makes it more entertaining to see in the game.
The color combinations look quite well. The pinks and the purples with the blacks and golds help show off the ‘pop star vibe’ they were going for.
But again, other than that, the visuals don’t speak to me all that much.
5. K/DA Kai’sa
With how big of a disappointment Kai’sa’s K/DA All Out skin was, I’m happy the original had some saving graces.
K-Pop groups are known to have a designated role for each member, and Kai’sa’s outfit is fitting for her position in the group as the main dancer. It’s easy to imagine her buns swaying with her moves, and her clothes resemble a real-life dancer’s.
That is, of course, ignoring the high heels she’s in. I would have liked to see her wear more comfortable footwear, but alas. Such is the way of female character design.
I was gushing over K/DA Evelynn’s unique SFX a second ago, and while I stand firm on my opinion that that particular skin’s sound design is the best among all K/DA skin lines, I have to admit K/DA Kai’sa’s SFX is also very well made. Especially her Q, it just sounds so pleasant!
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4. K/DA All Out Evelynn
I originally placed this skin in the top three, but after much thought, I moved it down to fourth. That isn’t to say it’s a bad skin, of course, so let’s talk about what it does great before I explain why I decided to move it down.
Opinions are subjective and all, but I think I speak for everyone when I say I think this skin does a fantastic job in expressing Evelynn’s personality. The one-piece leather outfit stylized like a harness is perfectly seductive, which is her core trait, both in her original lore as the intimidating femme fatale and in her role in the group’s dynamic as the alluring diva.
This skin is definitely an upgrade on her original K/DA skin in all areas except for one, which is her Demon Shade form. It just doesn’t look nearly as cool as the original does.
Its SFX is nice to hear, but compared to her original, it also falls flat.
In other words, just like her original K/DA skin, Evelynn’s All Out skin gains a spot on the list because it does one thing perfectly and is just good at others. If they had combined the best aspects of her two K/DA skins, it would be so cracked it would immediately shoot up to the top of the list. But that is only a dream.
3. K/DA All Out Ahri
I mentioned that Ahri’s tail was her defining feature when talking about her prestige skin. That is precisely why this skin of hers is phenomenal! Everything from the gradient color palette of her clothes to the crystal accessories on her belt, wrists, shoulder, and hair work to complement her tail which we see once more is crystallized.
Most fittingly, all chromas of this skin are named after gems and precious stones. It’s almost as if this entire skin line was made for her. The pink gradient in her hair is just the perfect cherry on top.
One of the most fun aspects of this skin has got to be the SFX of her ultimate, though. Her Spirit Rush dashes almost seem to carry out a consistent tune, with notes we hear in K/DA’s MORE. This skin is just impressive in its execution from all aspects. Not to mention it’s a massive upgrade on her original K/DA skin.
2. K/DA All Out Seraphine
Releasing an ultimate skin for Seraphine would have been a risky choice on Riot’s part… Had they not built up to it so strongly. Leading up to All Out’s release, Riot not only published a comic depicting Seraphine’s journey to stardom, but they also set up a social media account for her where fans watched every step she took up the highway to her dream(Remember that clever PR I mentioned?).
We tag along this journey with Seraphine once again to unlock all three forms of her skin. We, unfortunately, can’t swap between her forms in-game, but that’s hardly an issue in my opinion.
This journey was told splendidly through the three forms of her skin, both with the obvious differences and subtler visual cues.
She starts out with her regular look in the first form of her skin (K/DA All Out Seraphine Indie, what a mouthful). As we unlock the following forms, we can see her hair getting longer to signify the time that passes as she moves up the ranks of pop. A blue theme also seeps into her design, most notably, her signature fluffy pink hair.
This was a great design choice; we witness how K/DA influences her until eventually, she’s singing with them, and her color palette has completely swapped to theirs. She stands in her full glory and as part of the team.
Not to mention blue looks very good on her. I don’t have any explanations for that. I just think she looks pretty in blue. Ahem! Moving on.
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1. K/DA Akali
Perhaps this wasn’t a fair choice on my part, but honestly, there was never a chance K/DA Akali wouldn’t be here.
Ahri might be the group’s center, but Akali is the poster child of K/DA among the fanbase. Sure, SUPER/STARS was a great song with great animation, but it could never have had the impact if not for Akali’s powerful black light rap segment.
Akali was what made us all lose our minds when the song first dropped, and I believe Riot’s focus on K/DA following SUPER/STARS wouldn’t have been this consistent if not for her.
You could remove anyone else from the group, and while it wouldn’t be better, it would still somewhat work. But removing Akali is simply impossible.
The design fits her personality and position within the group, and we get to see that impactful black light form in-game. While the design doesn’t have much more going for it, the hype it arose is unparalleled.
Character design is a beautiful thing, but it’s also complicated. Balancing the authentic personality of the character with visual appeal and storytelling is a challenge that Riot takes on again and again with every skin line they release. K/DA is a prime example of their success.
Here’s to many more great skins. I, for one… Cannot wait.