How worldbuilding brought Spirit Blossom to Runeterra.
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Editorial note: May your past joys bloom and your present sorrows wilt. Welcome to Spirit Blossom! Every Tuesday for the next four weeks we’ll be dropping a behind-the-scenes look into Spirit Blossom, including worldbuilding, Spirit Bonds, the animated short, and sound design.
Spirit Blossom started as a simple pitch: What if we draw influence from spiritual folklore to create a League skin line? As the team started by looking for inspiration in films, anime, and folklore, it soon became clear that this skin line could be much more.
Folklore is deeply tied to history and tradition—it's a way for people to connect and share stories across generations. What would that look like in Runeterra?
The idea blossomed, and soon, other teams wanted in on the unique new thematic set in the world of Runeterra. Flash forward to today, where we have handsome human Thresh, actual fox Ahri, and even more annoying flute-playing Teemo. There’s also an in-depth look into their characters through a visual novel, a shiny reskin of Nexus Blitz, new Legends of Runeterra Guardians, new champions, and... a lot more.
But how did it begin? Where did this idea come from? And who do we have to thank for yet another Ahri skin ?
All’s Fair in Love and Thematic Development
The thematic development team is made up of writers, artists, and producers who handle multiverse worldbuilding, aka creating alternate universes like Star Guardian , K/DA , and Odyssey . They work with the rest of the skins team to create new thematics, reinvigorate old ones, and explore new ways to look at champions.
Every few months they hold a meeting where anyone at Riot can share an idea, and that’s exactly where the seed for Spirit Blossom was planted.
Spirit Blossom’s initial pitch was to take spiritual folklore and apply it to League. Champions would take on somewhat familiar spiritual archetypes, and that would be that. But when the concept artists shared some early exploratory art, the team realized they could push the idea further.
“We were driving on the idea of creating a badass, surreal experience for players,” says associate art director Jon “Riot DrPh8” Buran. “We’ve sort of dipped into the spirit world theme before with Blood Moon, but that was dark, twisted, and blood cultish. We wanted Spirit Blossom to be elegant, whimsical, beautiful, and unnatural.”
The team initially started with a world defined by absolutes: There were good and evil spirits. The good spirits sort of just existed, living in this beautiful world for all eternity. But the evil spirits lived up to their name. Like, really . At one point players would witness an evil spirit feast on the flesh of some unfortunate new resident of the spirit realm. And while that certainly was an interesting take, good versus evil was something we’ve already done.
“We didn’t want this to be another versus event, so we had to make sure there was no overarching tension in the spirit realm,” explains thematic development narrative lead Jared “Carnival Knights” Rosen. “It was important that this world and its inhabitants had a blue-and-orange morality, rather than black-and-white.”
This blue-and-orange morality led to the version of the spirit realm we have today. The two sides of the spirit realm aren’t necessarily in conflict. Instead, they coexist in a world in which they’re inherently connected. It’s a balance between peace and passion, and the spirits all exist somewhere on that spectrum.
Each one is never truly good, and never truly evil.
The more peaceful spirits, or the kanmei, have found peace in the afterlife and reside in the spirit realm for all eternity doing... well, whatever they want. Then there are the more passionate spirits, the akana. Unlike the kanmei, they haven’t found their peace and obsess over the choices—or mistakes—they made in their lives, causing them to take on a more obsessive and chaotic nature.
For a while, the world of Spirit Blossom was designed to be an alternate skin thematic, like Star Guardian or PROJECT. But eventually, a new idea took root: What if we made Spirit Blossom canon Runeterran lore?
We Canon Now
We’ve recently tried matching the release skin for new champions with a thematic that makes sense for their character. Aphelios is a Lunari, so he received a Nightbringer skin. Sett’s a punchy guy, so he got Mecha Kingdoms. Lillia’s literally a flower from Ionia, so hers is Spirit Blossom.
“Originally Spirit Blossom was just going to be a skin thematic for Lillia and the other champions, but people really liked what the team had created,” says Carnival Knights. “We were discussing ways to make the event a bigger deal because more teams kept joining in—people were working on other Spirit Blossom content, Legends of Runeterra, and so on. That’s pretty much why we decided to make it a canonical thing within Runeterra. It just kind of... happened.”
That meant the world needed to be fleshed out to fit in Ionia. The team eventually landed on the concept of a Spirit Blossom Festival. The festival signaled the blossoming of an actual spirit blossom flower, and is a time for Ionians to commune with their deceased loved ones, celebrating their peaceful passing into the afterlife, or mourning their inability to rest.
Narrative writer Michael “SkiptoMyLuo” Luo explains that Ionians have different traditions and rituals with the flowers. “The most prevalent is to place it on the tombstone of a deceased loved one. If it blossoms, that means they’re at peace, and their spirit appears allowing you to speak with them for a little while. But if the flower wilts and nothing appears, then that’s a sign the spirit has been corrupted or cannot rest in peace.”
Cool, great. We now know the lore behind the festival. But how the f*&^ do we make these skins? To figure this out, the team decided to draw some further inspiration from Ionia.
Spirit Blossom Thresh
“We spend a lot of time exploring the different champions who could belong to a skin line,” says Riot DrPh8. “A lot get cut, which is a little bit sad, but we don’t view this as time wasted. Showing as many champions as possible populates the world in our minds. It helps us view it as a real place.”
Spirit Blossom Ahri
Ionia is an inherently spiritual place. There are spirits within the rocks, the trees, everywhere. This is where the team found inspiration for the Spirit Blossom skins. Each champion’s skin embodies things like nature, salvation, heroism, atonement, obsession, hate, despair, loss, temptation, and death.
“But Riot, this doesn’t make any sense. You literally just said Spirit Blossom is canon lore. Is Thresh a hunky spirit now? I thought he was from the Shadow Isles.” Yeah, you’re right. This won’t work.
“The Spirit Blossom skins represent the oral traditions and plays around this holiday in Ionia. So the festival itself is canon, but the skins are folklore,” says SkiptoMyLuo. “You’re going to the Spirit Blossom festival to commune with your loved ones. But you might also go see a play with the Spirit of Obsession fighting the Spirit of Salvation. People get dressed up. It’s a celebration.”
The idea is that the skins are costumes that could theoretically be bought at the festival. Thresh just represents the Spirit of Obsession... with some purple body paint and a nice outfit.
Bringing the Blossom to Players
“If Spirit Blossom as an event—the skins, rewards, gameplay hours, cinematic, everything —was put into a gift box, our publishing team would be responsible for designing and packaging that gift box in an elegant way,” says publishing creative director Anton “Riot Manton” Kolyukh. “We tried to design a visual style that honors the source material, but also blossoms outside of those bounds into something original and interesting for Eastern and Western audiences.”
And that’s when visual designer Craig “Riot MrParkinson” Parkinson got started.
“Words like whimsical, spiritual, beautiful, unnatural, and mystical were being repeated a lot, so I used that to create references initially,” Riot MrParkinson explains. “Spirit Blossom is all about the afterlife, and this ethereal world where it takes place. I noticed that Yasuo’s art had folklorish patterns on his shirt, so I used that to create some geometric patterns and shapes. I combined that with natural textures, brush strokes, and colors. And that’s where we ended up.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the visual design process for Spirit Blossom, check out the deep-dive .
The Future of Ionia
So there it is. Spirit Blossom. It’s not an alternate universe. It’s an in-lore thematic with folklore skins. And we hope you love it. Oh, and there’s one more thing you should know...
“This year’s Spirit Blossom festival is particularly special,” says Carnival Knights. “The war with Noxus ended very recently and there are lots of battlefields that haven’t been properly scoured. Those Ionian war dead haven’t been properly buried. So across all of Ionia there’s an influx of azakana.”
Wait. What are azakana? Where else have we seen that word…
“Azakana are sort of parasitic minor demons, as they’re not full demonic entities like Evelynn or Fiddlesticks,” Carnival Knights explains. “They hone in on a single person or spirit’s fear or shortcoming, and just absorb the negative emotions until they kill the host. Then they become a full demon or move onto another host that has a more rich flavor, so to speak.”
“It’s kind of this horror undertone of the whole festival,” Carnival Knights continues. “The azakana are growing in number, and there’s a chance that in the very near future Ionia will be overrun with demons. No one outside of the Kinkou Order is dealing with them.”
If only there was someone who would.
- League of Legends
Here are all the new 2022 Spirit Blossom skins in League of Legends
The spirits have come out to play.
“Old traditions make way for ancient magics, and in their wake the spirit realm begins to bloom,” according to League of Legends’ Spirit Blossom page . The summer might be ending in a couple of days, but vibrant, beautiful flowers have just started to flourish on Summoner’s Rift.
Riot Games has revealed a full set of new Spirit Blossom skins that will be wowing League players around the world very soon. There will be nine champions joining the Spirit Blossom universe, pushing the popular cosmetic line’s count to a whopping 19 champions featured within its lush, exciting lore.
Sett, Aphelios, Syndra, Evelynn, Master Yi, Tristana, Soraka, Darius, and Yorick will be donning their own traditional wear as spirits representing different aspects of life, like love, night, freedom, and more. Here are all of the Spirit Blossom skins heading to League’s live servers in 2022.
Sett, the Spirit of Challenge
Aphelios, the Twin Spirits of Night
Syndra, the Spirit of Freedom
Evelynn, the Spirit of Love
Master Yi, the Spirit of Legacy
Prestige Spirit Blossom Master Yi
Tristana, the Spirit of Chance
Soraka, the Spirit of Pity
Darius, the Spirit of War
Yorick, the Spirit of Ruin
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League of Legends’ Spirit Blossom skins return with plenty of style
Ten new Spirit Blossom skins emerge on test servers
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League of Legends has a series of skin lines that contain extra lore, some of which comes from alternate universe settings, and others of which relate to the main Runeterra world and characters. The Spirit Blossom skin line is the latter; these skins are based off in-world myths and legends from the region of Ionia. Spirit Blossom has gone live on Riot’s test realms, allowing players to get a look at the upcoming characters and their gorgeous splash art.
In past Spirit Blossom skins, we’ve seen characters like Ahri and Thresh be transformed into spirits from Ionian lore that attend to souls after their passing. This year, there are 10 skins in total, including a Prestige skin for Master Yi.
In the past, Spirit Blossom has come with a visual novel called The Path starring previous Spirit Blossom champions like Cassiopeia, Lillia, and even Teemo. While it looks like we won’t be getting narrative content to accompany the Spirit Blossom skins this year, the skins — and their biographies — give us a little bit of League of Legends lore. It also looks like URF (Ultra Rapid-Fire) will return as a limited time game mode, allowing players to pick champions and use their abilities without waiting for pesky cooldowns or worrying about balance concerns.
The skins will remain on the test realm for some time; League fans can expect them to arrive in a future content update, along with a potential new look at the game’s next champion, K’Sante. Riot announced that Lil Nas X would collaborate with the company on K’Sante’s first skin , as well as performing this year’s anthem for the Worlds tournament.
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Complementary Visual Design in Spirit Blossom
- Jul 21, 2020
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Spirit Blossom is Riot’s first in-game event to span multiple games, allowing players to explore Spirit Blossom in both League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra . But before we dive into how that happened, let’s take a look at what Spirit Blossom is .
Spirit Blossom is an in-lore (meaning canon League of Legends IP) event that signals the blossoming of an actual (-ly fictional) spirit blossom flower in Ionia. Ionians use the flower’s intrinsic spiritual properties to commune with their deceased loved ones and either celebrate their peaceful passing into the afterlife, or mourn their inability to rest.
But League and LoR are two very different games—one’s a MOBA and the other a CCG. They have different aesthetics and players, so how exactly do we ensure that players have a cohesive experience across both games?
Visual Design Has Entered the Chat
Visual design at Riot is split into two key areas: Designers who work on products, creating individual assets like icons, boards, and user interfaces within our games, and designers who work on brand and publishing assets, ensuring that players understand exactly what they’re getting before they get in game.
We’ll hear how visual designers from both of these areas work together to ensure consistent design language and style across different games.
So let’s start at the beginning: Discovering the visual brand for Spirit Blossom.
Creating Spirit Blossom’s Visual Identity
With league of legends visual designer craig “riot mrparkinson” parkinson.
I began by asking the thematic development team—who are the artists, writers, and producers tasked with creating League’s multiverse —what exactly Spirit Blossom was. And as they told me about the thematic there were a few key words they repeated, like whimsical, spiritual, elegant, peaceful, abstract, and beguiling. So I compiled those words in a document and just... started from there.
Spirit Blossom focuses on the afterlife, and the spirits that reside within. They’re inherently interconnected in the spirit realm and live in relative peace. I used that as my north star, so to speak, as I got to work pulling visual references and creating mood boards that evoked those feelings.
Then I broke the references down into the key areas I needed to explore and looked at the shape language, color, and texture. This helped me decide the direction I wanted to take Spirit Blossom’s brand. But I had to ask myself how we would bring all the pieces together—mainly the key inspirations of anime, East Asian mythology, and League—and make them feel cohesive.
I wanted to capture the event’s elegance with its unique shape language. It needed to be something abstract and soft, while still feeling fresh and unfamiliar. Using that as my guide, I started to explore the types of shapes I was looking for.
Geometry jumped out to me almost instantly. I could use these elegant shapes to build a sort of symbolism to reference different things within the Spirit Blossom festival. It really lent itself well to the overall thematic because geometry’s intention is really up to what the viewer sees in it. It can mean lots of different things and nothing at the same time.
I used reference images from East Asian art like floral shapes, swirls, and clouds. And as I was iterating on this and thinking about how it would fit in the UI, it felt like something was missing: A deeper tie-in to the work that the thematic development team was doing. What if I could use the concept art for the skins within the design itself?
I wanted to keep it grounded in what players could see and interact with in-game, so I added them as sort of framing components. The geometry I was going for became the folklore patterns you see on Yasuo’s shirt. Using that as the foundation, I thought about how these distinctive folklore patterns and shapes could support the brand elements. And that’s what led me to the next part: color and texture.
Color and Texture
The thematic development team created a beautiful color palette for the event that was heavily based on watercolors. Everything was meant to feel very whimsical and dream-like. As I looked at watercolor paintings for reference I couldn’t help but notice the distinct textures they had—even just the way the ink drops onto a piece of parchment.
I wanted to keep the visual design tied into the skins so it feels like everything ties in together. But I still needed some unique textures to ensure that not everything felt like flat color. I used things like tree bark, brush strokes, or even the veins within a leaf as inspiration, and from there I sort of had a small vertical slice of the event’s visual design.
After all of this initial discovery—and an emphatic yes from the team—I kind of went into crazy mode. I must’ve designed about 90 logos or something. It was rather crazy. And each time I presented and got more feedback, I’d narrow it down until we got to where we are today.
Once everything was decided on and set, I created a guide that I then gave to the rest of the teams working on the event. And that’s what the Legends of Runeterra team used to get started.
Bringing the Blossom to LoR
With legends of runeterra senior visual designer tom “riot tomukus” sayer.
I work on the design and implementation of assets within Legends of Runeterra. What that means is I work with user experience designers, engineers, concept artists, writers—basically all of the LoR team—to ensure players have something to look at and interact with in our game.
My work really begins when we get a wireframe from the UX designers. That’s basically a set of grey, black, and white boxes that gives us an idea of where each piece we need to create goes. Then it’s my job to rearrange those things and decide the hierarchy of each individual element—essentially which things are in the background or the foreground. And this is based off of the information that’s most important to players.
When we were designing the client space for Spirit Blossom we decided on a tracker so players could see their progress as they earned rewards. It functions similarly to Region Rewards, which lets players select a region and earn progress towards it. Visual design needed to pull all of this information in to ensure that Spirit Blossom’s tracker looked visually consistent with the style League made, and that it looked different from Region Rewards.
To do that, I looked at the assets and visual design guidelines Riot MrParkinson prepared for us and translated them into a format that made sense for LoR. Even though League and LoR are within the same IP (and from the same company) they have unique styles for art and visual design. League’s client is a modern, flat UI—there’s some dimension and flourish added in certain places, but it’s different from LoR’s, where we took a more skeuomorphic approach.
Skeuomorphic design feels sort of real. If you think back to the original smartphones, their app design was really realistic. Notepads actually had the texture of paper, and the font they used when typing on it looked similar to taking notes with pen or pencil. This was because people weren’t super familiar with how to take notes on a touchscreen. We took the same approach with LoR—to immerse players in the world of Runeterra. Everything you interact with should feel like it’s a physical object. So when it came to applying the Spirit Blossom visual design, we needed to tweak it a little bit to fit LoR. This can be seen everywhere in the UI, but the easiest example is the cloud.
When Riot MrParkinson gave us the visual guidelines, I noticed they included clouds as an element of inspiration. They’re sort of East Asian styled, which works well for LoR because they’re both heavily stylized. They have a lot of swirls and are generally quite soft-looking. But in order to make them work in our client, I needed to add texture and make the cloud more metallic, because that’s the general style we use.
When I started on the cloud I pulled up references, which meant opening Adobe Illustrator, pasting visual references from Riot MrParkinson on the artboard, and then drawing. I knew I wanted it to be metal and bulkier, which meant that instead of tracing the reference I drew it on my own.
I personally start by drawing in Illustrator because it gives me a clean vector. Then I can stroke the lines to make them thicker or thinner. After that I import it into Photoshop as a shape.
Once the vector is in Photoshop I use layer styles like bevel and emboss, add gradient overlays and strokes, and create inner/outer drop shadows and glows. Once I find exactly what I’m looking for, I drop those layer styles onto the vector of the cloud.
I finished the layer style by adding a drop shadow because I wanted the cloud to be in the foreground, and for it to feel as though it was floating on top of the background.
And then I paint.
I added little flairs of light and some areas of shadow. And then, to ensure it didn’t feel like a flat piece of metal pasted on top of the client, I added some dark lines so it’d appear to bend towards the player.
Once I was happy I shared it with the team. And then I did it again for every other asset for the event. There were about 40 in total. It’s important that we make every asset feel like they’re handcrafted—because they are!
I just hope that any players who log into League and then log into LoR (or the other way around) see what we’ve created and instantly recognize it as the same event. Then that means we’ve done our jobs well and gave players for both of these games a good and cohesive experience.
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League of Legends Spirit Blossom primer: Earning favour, Spirit Tree and Petals, and Epilogue
The Spirit Blossom event is set to be a huge, multi-patch event lasting over a month between 22nd July and 24th August, with fully-fledged narratives for all of the champions associated with the event. Allegedly, the event has been in the works for over a year, and it’s so big, Riot has gone to the effort of putting an FAQ page together .
🌸🌸 Spirit Bonds 101 🌸🌸⠀ Learn more about the new narrative experience, Spirit Bonds, debuting in Spirit Blossom! pic.twitter.com/jFhOuiO8TM — League of Legends (@LeagueOfLegends) July 21, 2020
While “dating sim” might be a touch facetious, the visual novel tag is not. Riot Reav3 c onfirmed as much over on Reddit , though noted the event’s system of building relationships with champions is more similar to the Persona series than a traditional Otome. And for those who care, the “dating” part of a dating sim might not be entirely off the cards either…
How the Spirit Blossom event works
The aim of the event is to forge bonds with the various champions who are part of the event. To do that, players have to start up conversations in-client with champions to start earning “favour” with that champion - the more favour, the more loot you unlock and the further you progress that champion’s narrative. Important: you have to click on a champion’s face to begin interacting with them - no interactions means no favour!
Once you’ve kicked off the interactions, you can earn favour by playing standard matchmaking games (Summoner’s Rift, ARAM, Nexus Blitz, or TFT), playing a specific champion, or completing champion-specific tasks. You can earn favour for multiple champions at once, and a more complete list of all the ways you can earn favour is also in Riot’s FAQ.
- Read more: Legends of Runeterra patch 1.6: Spirit Blossom event starts with nerfs to Braum and Heimerdinger
Having the event pass will increase both the loot drops and the amount of favour you earn for champions. 100 favour with a champion will get you all the way to an S-rank bond with a champion!
The Spirit Tree and Spirit Petals
Once you’ve reached that coveted S-rank with a champion, a special tier of missions becomes available tied to the mystical Spirit Tree. Those missions will earn you Spirit petals, which you can give to an S-rank champion to earn a unique emote, and move up to an S+ rank.
Be careful, though: you can only earn a maximum of three spirit petals without a premium pass, and five with the premium pass. Be careful who you give those petals too, as you cannot max-out every character…
The one area of the event still largely shrouded in mystery. All we know is that there is set to be an “epilogue,” where the story will wrap up at the end of the Spirit Blossom event. For those who hit that fabled S+ rank, there may be some special interactions with your favoured champions - which Riot have been tight-lipped about. Who knows, maybe that date with Ahri isn’t completely off the table…
The Spirit Blossom event begins on 22nd July and ends on 24th August. Best of luck on your dating sim adventures, Summoners!
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- League of Legends
New LoL Spirit Blossom Skins: Release Date, Champions & Price
Riot usually does something big for the League of Legends World Championship. Last year it was Arcane, the year before it was a K/DA comeback, so what have they got planned for 2022?
Riot has already revealed the trailer for the 2022 Spirit Blossom event which is set to take place during the League of Legends World Championship . Now we've also got a glimpse of all the splash arts and let's just say there is a lot!
A bunch of the champions had already been leaked , while new champions have been added into the mix of upcoming Spirit Blossom skins this fall. One thing is for sure though, our boy Sett is the main character this time – and as a totally unbiased Sett main, I'm happy.
Which Champions Can We Expect to Get Spirit Blossom Skins?
A while ago infamous leaker BigBadBear posted a video on YouTube where he went over the potential champions to receive skins. Did he get all the champions right, now that we have the official trailer from Riot, as well as the splash arts? Let is take a look right below of who is confirmed to receive a Spirit Blossom skin in 2022:
- Spirit Blossom Sett (Legendary)
- Spirit Blossom Master Yi Prestige Edition
- Spirit Blossom Syndra
- Spirit Blossom Darius
- Spirit Blossom Aphelios
- Spirit Blossom Evelynn
- Spirit Blossom Soraka
- Spirit Blossom Yorick
- Spirit Blossom Tristana
Spirit Blossom Skins: How Much Will they Cost?
These skins are all going to be 1350 RP with a few exceptions. We're going to also receive an event prestige skin for Master Yi, as well as a legendary skin for Sett, who we know from the trailer, will play a big part in this event.
So, Sett's skin will likely cost around 1820 RP, while the rest go for 1350 RP as is usual for epic skins. The Master Yi prestige will cost you 2,000 event tokens, but we wouldn't spend those tokens right away, since we know another special skin awaits us at the end of the League of Legends World Championship.
When Will the Spirit Blossom Skins Be Released?
These skins will be released in League of Legends Patch 12.19 . They have gone onto the PBE just in time so we can enjoy them while the League of Legends World Championship will be taking place. This confirms all the previous leaks we've gotten regarding this skin line.
Will We Get a Spirit Blossom Event?
We are going to have a League of Legends Worlds event. This event will be Spirit Blossom themed, though. We also know we are going to have Worlds tokens with which we're going to be able to earn the upcoming Lil Nas X skin for the new top lane champion K'Sante . So you'll likely have to make a choice between the Prestige Spirit Blossom Master Yi skin and the K'Sante skin.
URF Coming Back for Spirit Blossom/Worlds Event
It has also been revealed that URF will be the designated game mode for this League of Legends event! Unfortunately, a lot of fans had been hoping for a return of Nexus Blitz, since this unique game mode had been brought back during the initial Spirit Blossom event in 2020. But it's Riot and we all know they won't give us PvE or Nexus Blitz, so URF it will have to be.
Sabrina Ahn is the League of Legends and Riftfeed Lead. During her time at Concordia University in 2014 she fell in love with LoL and is playing it since – how she hasn't lost her sanity is still unclear. ...
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Ranking all Spirit Blossom skins in League of Legends
For the ultimate Japanese aesthetic.
Updated on October 11, 11:20 am. (GMT+8) : Added new Spirit Blossom skins.
Which League of Legends skin line is the prettiest, and why is it Spirit Blossom?
Spirit Blossom skins debuted in 2020, the same time as the release of the nature-loving fawn champion, Lillia . Since then, a lot of other skin lines have been released, but nothing has been able to top Spirit Blossom’s concept and aesthetic.
Champions featured under this skin line embody the magical characters in tales told during Spirit Blossom festivals held in the region of Ionia.
With over 19 skins to choose from, which ones are worth your Riot Points?
Ranking all Spirit Blossom skins in League of Legends from best to worst
- Spirit Blossom Aphelios
- Spirit Blossom Kindred
- Spirit Blossom Sett
- Spirit Blossom Cassiopeia
- Spirit Blossom Darius
- Spirit Blossom Lillia
- Spirit Blossom Master Yi
- Spirit Blossom Riven
- Spirit Blossom Soraka
- Spirit Blossom Thresh
- Spirit Blossom Tristana
- Spirit Blossom Vayne
- Spirit Blossom Yorick
- Spirit Blossom Ahri
- Spirit Blossom Evelynn
- Spirit Blossom Syndra
- Spirit Blossom Teemo
- Spirit Blossom Yasuo
- Spirit Blossom Yone
While it’s true that Spirit Blossom is the most beautiful skin line in League of Legends, a few of its skins need a bit of improvement. We have nothing personal against yordles, but let’s talk about some issues with Tristana and Teemo’s skins.
Spirit Blossom Teemo looks whimsical with his big fluffy tail and straw hat, based on the tanuki or the Japanese raccoon dog. He looks straight out of a cute and popular animal social simulation game with his animations.
The kasa (traditional Japanese hat) is a great touch, but it could be a little smaller so we could see Teemo’s model and appreciate his character design.
For some reason, Vex fits better in Spirit Blossom Tristana’s design, especially in the skin’s splash art.
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Enchanted to meet you
As Taylor Swift’s popular “Speak Now” track goes, we were “wonderstruck, blushing all the way home” and enchanted upon seeing the Spirit Blossom skins of Cassiopeia, Darius, Riven, Soraka , Master Yi , Yorick, and Lillia .
Although Spirit Blossom Lillia looks gorgeous with blue and purple tones, we somehow feel like this should have been her default look to help differentiate her from Neeko’s default colors.
Her particle effects involve a mix of scattered petals and dark blue orbs which looks like a nature version of the Dark Star skin line. Lillia also leaves a trail of blue fireflies when she moves, giving her an overall ethereal vibe.
As for the new batch of Spirit Blossom skins featuring Darius, Yorick, and Master Yi, we were impressed with the details Riot Games put in. Combined, they managed to seamlessly merge these brawny champions into the line’s striking aesthetic.
Spirit Blossom Darius looks incredible in his new form as the Spirit of War. Street Fighter fans might even say he looks similar to the True Great Demon, Shin Akuma.
Spirit Blossom Yorick also looks insane with his well-thought-out design. Yorick’s familiar, Maiden of the Mist, has been transformed into a yokai (an entity in Japanese folklore), complete with her own chilling music.
Brb, we’re off to become Yorick mains!
The best among the blossoms
There are so many great designs in the Spirit Blossom skin line, it’s hard to pick just one and crown it as the best. A total of 10 Spirit Blossom skins stand out from the pack and truly embody the ancient Ionian festival.
The Chain Warden Thresh might have been classified as undead, but he looks charmingly alive (and ready to take your soul) in his Legendary Spirit Blossom skin. While we may have already seen his human form in Riot’s League of Legends: Realms of Runeterra book, his Spirit Blossom skin is on a whole new level.
Thresh is wearing a traditional hakama with giant ropes as an obi sash. The middle of his obi looks like a modified version of the traditional oni (demonic creature) mask. His soul lantern has been transformed into a strange, purple head-familiar tied with a string of ofuda (paper charms). Overall, he looks like a human yokai , and reminds us of the anime character Inuyasha.
His champion dance features a lo-fi beat that plays in the background while his lantern does all the dancing. He also leaves traces of lovely white blossoms when casting his abilities.
The Night Hunter, Vayne, looks relentless in her Spirit Blossom form. She emits a vile vibe while carrying her glowing crossbow.
Casting her abilities leaves a burst of blue butterflies, which goes well with the blue flames that surround her. These could be likened to the Japanese folklore’s Hitodama or spirit orbs. The enemy marker on her ultimate ability Final Hour reminds us of the writing on Ryze’s magic spells.
Out of all the champions on this list, The Unforgiven swordsman Yasuo fits the Spirit Blossom theme the most. He looks like a calm and collected ronin in his splash art, sporting a blue kimono with a stylish pink flower headpiece that matches his white hair.
He summons a fuschia pink tree in his recall animation, which totally reminds us of Japan’s cherry blossom trees.
Yasuo’s right arm glows light blue, which comes out as a beautiful fusion of pink and blue hues when casting his abilities. His Wind Wall is also quite a sight to see, displaying a holographic moving scene of bonsais and traditional patterns in its duration.
Spirit Blossom Ahri is simply divine. It’s everything we have ever wanted the nine-tailed fox to be — whimsical, adorable, and absolutely stunning. It’s the champion’s best League of Legends skin to date, which shows her fox form in her recall and homeguard animations. One of the emotes also displays a mix of her human and fox form, just like kitsune in Japanese folklore.
Spirit Blossom Syndra wins the unofficial best in the splash art department, featuring a breathtaking, intricate masterpiece that showcases the champion as if she’s blossoming out of a chrysalis. This piece of art was drawn by Riot Games Principle Illustrator Chengwei Pan, who admitted that the splash art was “such a challenge” to work on .
Can’t choose which Spirit Blossom skins are the best for you? Collect them all, ranging from 1,350RP to 1,820 RP.
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Spirit blossom: lore, champions & more.
The Spirit Blossom event is an ancient Ionian festival, filled with various folklore. It is a time akin to the All Hallows Eve of the real world, and other such dates in the year when the barrier between the natural and spiritual weakens.
In Ionia, though, Spirit Blossom is not to be feared. However, it's not to be taken lightly either. Here we bring you all of the information needed to live through it and perhaps benefit from meeting these spirits .
Are Spirit Blossom Skins Canon?
When it comes to the Spirit Blossom event, the most popular part of said event is the skins accompanying it. In the main League of Legends universe , both the Spirit Blossom lore and the Spirit Blossom skins are canon.
"The Spirit Blossom Festival is an ancient and celebrated time in Ionia, when the door to the spirit world is opened, the dead return to their loved ones, and spirits of all manner turn their eyes towards the living. From the benevolent Kanmei to the obsessive Akana—their stories play out again and again, like shadows on a paper lantern."
How Many Spirit Blossom Spirits are There?
There are, currently, as many Spirit Blossom Spirits as there are Spirit Blossom Skins in League of Legends. Each and every champion with a Spirit Blossom skin is one of the aspects of Ionia's spirit folklore.
- Spirit Blossom Ahri - The Spirit of Salvation
- Spirit Blossom Aphelios - The Twin Spirits of Night
- Spirit Blossom Cassiopeia - The Spirit of Temptation
- Spirit Blossom Darius - The Spirit of War
- Spirit Blossom Evelynn - The Spirit of Love
- Spirit Blossom Kindred -The Spirit of Death
- Spirit Blossom Lillia - The Spirit of Loss
- Spirit Blossom Master Yi - The Spirit of Legacy
- Spirit Blossom Riven - The Spirit of Despair
- Spirit Blossom Sett - The Spirit of Challenge
- Spirit Blossom Soraka - The Spirit of Pity
- Spirit Blossom Syndra - The Spirit of Freedom
- Spirit Blossom Teemo - The Spirit of Nature
- Spirit Blossom Thresh - The Spirit of Obssession
- Spirit Blossom Tristana - The Spirit of Chance
- Spirit Blossom Vayne - The Spirit of Hate
- Spirit Blossom Yasuo - The Spirit of Heroism
- Spirit Blossom Yone - The Spirit of Reflection
- Spirit Blossom Yorick - The Spirit of Ruin
As their names would indicate, these Spirits have all taken on the aspect of who they used to be in life, such as Riven The Spirit of Despair, or what they were born from, such as Evelynn The Spirit of Love.
What is the Lore of Spirit Blossom?
As the Spirit Realm of Runeterra only interacts with Runeterra during the Spirit Blossom festival, the actual lore is not as easily defined. Much like the Shadow Isles , instead of the usual chronological lore, we instead have the interactions between the various spirits.
The most famous interaction is, of course, the one between the brothers Yasuo The Spirit of Heroism, and Yone The Spirit of Reflection.
However, in the most recent lore development we have an opportunity to witness Sett's journey.
What is Spirit Blossom Sett's Lore?
Spirit Blossom Sett is born to two spirits. One an Akana and the second a Kanmei. In the Spirit Blossom lore, the Akana spirits are the malicious ones, and dealing with them is to bring their wrath upon yourself, as they embody and fulfill concepts harmful to mortals.
On the other hand, the Kanmei are the benevolent Spirits, who tend to helo anyone that crosses their path, whether they are mortal or a Spirit. In Sett's case, his mother is an unknown Kanmei Spirit, while his father is an Akana Spirit, The Spirit of Abandonment in particular.
Now Sett, due to the trauma induced by his Father's departure from his life has grown into a Spirit of Challenge, who challenges all slain great warriors to test their mettle. Once again, one the even of the Spirit Blossom Festival he has set off in pursuit of finding his father.
Syndra, The Spirit of Freedom offers to free him from his shackles which he says he has no need for, while Master Yi, the Spirit of Legacy, offers to teach him what he needs to know and is again refused, as he can no longer trust anyone.
Sett is, currently, classified as both an Akana and Kanmei, and the result of his journey will likely push him to one side or another. Though with how he refuses help to deal with his trauma, we fear that he may become a full Akana in the end.
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12 places to watch the flowers bloom in Moscow
Botanical garden in bloom. Credit: Lori/Legion Media
Moscow in the springtime is an incredible place. After months in monochrome, the capital erupts into color around late April and early May. Here are the 12 best places to enjoy the city’s flowers during their brief and glorious blossoming, whether your taste is for grand displays, cottage gardens or walks in the wild forests… .
Parks and formal gardens
To the English philosopher Francis Bacon, a garden was the “purest of human pleasures … without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks.” It is certainly true that the magnificent parks that surrounded the palaces of Moscow’s czars and nobles have often proved to outlast the latter as attractions.
If you mention spring flowers to many Muscovites, they will immediately think of the colorful displays in Kuzminki Park, in Moscow’s southeastern suburbs.
The buildings of this 18th-century aristocratic estate are less memorable than the landscaped park and the avenue of flowerbeds that lay under leafy arches leading up to the front gate.
The ranks of multi-colored tulips are cleverly staged to flower continuously from late April to early June. The park can be accessed from Kuzminki or Volzhskaya metro stations, and a walk along the shore of the ornamental lakes to the formal gardens around the Museum of Estate Culture is a treat at any time of year.
Alexandrovsky garden. Credit: Lori/Legion Media
The Alexandrovsky Garden next to the Kremlin was first laid out in the early 19th century, when the muddy Neglinnaya River was imprisoned in an underground pipe. The pathways are bordered every spring by ranks of tulips in strictly regimented banks of color.
There are also purple lilacs and pink-white hawthorns, surrounded by beds of pansies.
One of Moscow’s finest central springtime walks is through the Alexandrovsky Garden, across the Moscow River, and then left through the area known as Bolotnaya Ploschad (“marshy square”), with its flowerbeds, sculptures and fountains. Right across a much smaller bridge, the Zamoskvorechye area (“beyond the Moscow River”) is full of cafes, galleries and beautiful old churches.
The Hermitage Garden is a tiny, central park with more than its share of romance and history. The “Novaya Opera” has its home here, Chekhov’s “Seagull” was first staged here, and, by late spring, it is overflowing with roses and sweet-smelling mock-orange blossoms.
Outdoor stages and cafes, statues, pagodas and a giant metal heart complete the scene. You can walk here along the back streets from colorful Trubnaya metro station, with its backlit stained glass mosaics of famous Russian towns.
Stroll along spacious Tsvetnoi Bulvar (whose name, “flowery boulevard,” refers to an old flower market here). Passing a collection of bronze clown sculptures — one of them riding on a unicycle through a fountain with rain pouring down from his umbrella — turn left past the circus and head west along Maly Karetny Pereulok.
Hermitage Garden. Credit: Lori/Legion Media
Another great, central place for spring flowers is the old “ Apothecary garden ” on Prospekt Mira. Moscow’s late spring means the crocuses, daffodils and tulips all come bursting out together.
Around the winding wooden paths there is a lake of color: pink corydalis and white stars of Bethlehem, golden anemones and blue-grape hyacinths. The entrance fee is 150 rubles ($4.90) — quite steep for the garden’s size, but needed to fund ongoing restoration.
The curators of the gardens, which were founded in the 18th century by Peter the Great, say they “try to select only the rarest and most unusual, but at the same time most beautiful, plants”.
In 1945, the Russian Academy of Sciences laid out an enormous Botanical Garden in the north of Moscow. This is also a lovely place to stroll. Apart from a few designated areas such as the Japanese garden, it is generally more of an arboretum, where wild flowers flourish under the trees.
The Ostankino and VDNKh parks nearby also have a great mixture of natural and formal landscaping, with themed flowerbeds near the entrance later in the summer.
To enjoy the some classic dacha gardens, take the “electrichka” (“electric/commuter train”) out of town in any direction. Peredelkino , for instance, just 20 minutes from Moscow’s Kievsky station, has gardens full of color. Boris Pasternak’s dacha here is surrounded by an overgrown tangle of flowering thorn trees, as if to protect itself from the sight of the monstrous new housing development across the road.
The wooden cottages of Sokol “artists’ village” are at their finest in the spring. Individual gardeners take great pride in their work, and there are also flowers in the communal areas around the playground and community center.
Take Moscow’s dark green metro line to Sokol station and walk past the memorial park behind All Saints’ Church to reach the village on the far side of busy Alabyana Street. The streets are all named after famous Russian artists and are lined with different kinds of trees.
Snowdrops, the first crocuses and the blue stars of the flower known appropriately as “glory-of-the-snow” sometimes appear as early as March.
Silver Bor. Credit: Lori/Legion Media
Moscow’s large forest-parks have a rich variety of plant life. The carpets of wild flowers are particularly beautiful in May. One of the most accessible places to see this natural phenomenon is in Sparrow Hills , where the shade-tolerant yellow anemones spread under the trees starting in April.
The forested island of Serebryany Bor (“Silver Bor”) , in a loop of the river west of the city, is also another of the city’s nature preserves. You can get there by trolleybus from Polezhaevskaya metro; walking there beside the water is idyllic, if popular.
Turn right after the bridge, along the island’s slightly less-visited north and eastern shores, to see delicate wild strawberries and pink dog roses, starry stitchworts, purple vetch and yellow archangels.
Anton Chekhov’s “ Cherry Orchard ” must have some of the most memorable spring flowers in literature. The playwright planted cherry trees outside his wooden country house at Melikhovo , and there is still an annual theatrical festival held in May there, under the blossoms.
But there is no need to leave town to see fruit trees “all in white.” The orchards in Kolomenskoye Park , 20 minutes from central Moscow by metro, are one of Moscow’s May marvels.
The miles of flowering avenues, dropping petals like snow onto the dappled paths, make these riverside hills deservedly popular. The loveliest orchard is on the cliff top near the Church of St. John the Baptist — a 20-minute walk from Kolomenskaya or Kashirskaya metro stations, through ancient valleys and rebuilt palaces .
Kolomenskoye Park. Credit: Lori/Legion Media
More centrally, the apple and cherry trees in the Kremlin garden are often the first to flower, making a beautiful frame for the gold domes of Cathedral Square. The whitewashed, 16 th century, Ivan the Great bell tower, seen through a wreath of blossoms, is one of the city’s most iconic spring sights.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
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Moscow parks – leisure, nature and historical
Moscow is the most green megapolis in the world. There are over a hundred parks and green spaces like gardens, squares and boulevards. You will definitely bump into a few of them wherever you go. Whether you are interested in memorial, historic parks, parks of wildlife or you just want to have a calm break from the speedy city life – city parks have something special for everyone.
Moscow leisure parks
The leisure Moscow parks are undoubtedly the most popular and famous with the locals and travelers. Today such parks provide a great number of exciting entertainments for Muscovites and city guests, adults and children.
The Gorky Park
Gorky Park opened in 1928 and was the first holiday park in the Soviet Union with playgrounds, a sports stadium, exhibition halls and attractions for kids. Today it has a fresh, vibrant appearance. The park features bike rental stations, a comfortable business area with Wi-Fi, an outdoor movie theatre and a greenhouse where you can buy fresh greens such as basil and lettuce. To contemplate the sky and the stars, go to the observatory and look through the telescope while listening to fascinating stories from astronomers. Enjoy many sports in the park: volleyball, handball, football or a peaceful jog around the beautiful surroundings.
Opened in September 2017, Zaryadye is the youngest on our list. Located just a few minutes away from Red Square, it includes various activities like the floating bridge with its thin V-form extension, an ice cave, also concert hall and an amphitheater. The entire territory of the park was divided into four zones of Russia: forest, steppe, tundra, and the floodplains.
By walking along the Moskva River’s bank from the Gorky Park towards Vorobievy Gory (Sparrow Hills) you’ll reach Neskuchny Sad («Not Boring» garden), a wonderful place in the Moscow center, one of Moscow’s oldest parks, charming slice of wildlife. The park mostly consists of pristine forest, dotted with old summer pavilions, ponds and quaint little stone bridges. There are a lot of opportunities for different activities lots of children playground, a ping-pong and chess clubs, football fields and tennis courts, horse riding, tree climbing and having rest in one of the nice cafes.
Hermitage Garden has always been known as an amusement, entertainment center with theatres, shows, cafes, summer pavilions, pergolas since 1830. Shalyapin, Sobinov, Nezhdanova – great Russian opera singers starred on the garden stage. Famous Russian composer Rakhmaninov conducted the orchestra. Sara Bernar, Maria Yermolova, outstanding actresses, played in the open air performances. Tolstoy and Lenin had a stroll in the garden. So lots of celebrities from different epoques liked it a lot and spent their time in Hermitage Garden. You can find here three theatres in the garden: Hermitage, Sphere and New Opera. During winter an ice rink works here and in summer a musical stage is assembled to host jazz and brass band festivals.
In Sokolniki Park visitors can play billiard, chess or draughts, table tennis, as well as go cycling, roller blading and swimming in the summer and ice skating or skiing in winter. Each season is highlighted by special memorable and bright events, for example, Summer Jazz Festival or Baby Fest (for future mums), open air beach disco parties, Ice Cream Day, International Clown Festival and many other shows and exhibitions. The park has an observatory, kids center and a co-working zone with free Wi-Fi which is really nice for spending high quality work time there.
Moscow nature parks
The nature parks are national reserves with the amazing forestry and incredible variety of animals and plants there. The breath of wildlife and the chance to be closer to the virgin nature excites both children and grownups. Hundreds of different species of animals can be found in Moscow nature parks. The richest woodlands with old and even ancient trees, like a 200 years pine-tree in the Elk Island National Nature Park, are the point of passionate interest for visitors.
Aptekarsky Ogorod (Apothecary Garden)
Aptekarsky Ogorod (Apothecary Garden) is one of the oldest gardens in Moscow. It was founded in the XVIII century by Peter the First (great Russian emperor). A larch that he planted himself still grows in the garden, so it’s more than 250 years old. At the time of its foundation, it was a garden with herbs and medicinal plants and was used as an educational center for doctors. Today there are the orangery with its tropical palms, the carp pond, and the immense trees that dot the landscape and turn wonderful golden shades in the autumn. Several restaurants and cafes work here making it a very nice spot for relaxation no matter what season it is. You can book a special tour or join the guided excursion group.
Losiny Ostrov (Elk Island Park)
Losiny Ostrov (Elk Island Park) is located at the north of Moscow. It covers 22 km from the west to the east and 10 km from the north to the south and it’s one of the most beautiful national parks in Moscow. Two rivers, Yausa and Pechorka begin here. You can find lots of fields, ponds, meadows, streams in the park as well as elks. Here you can enjoy guided tours, available in English. You can choose a guided tour about flora and fauna of the area, you’ll learn why elks are there, which animals are their neighbors. Or enjoy another excursion, which is totally devoted to historical past of ancient tribes once lived there, you’ll know about old Russian mythology, rituals and traditions.
Serebyany Bor (Silver Forest)
Serebyany Bor (Silver Forest) is a famous pine forest in the west of Moscow. The park has 230 forms of plant life, and is also home to watersports complex, providing a lot of activities for visitors. The layout of Serebryany Bor is unusual, as it is located on an artificial island between a meander in the Moscow River and a channel. There is an artificial lake, the Deep Gulf and picturesque Bezdonnoe (Bottomless) Lake in the depths of the forest. Serebryany Bor’s beaches are the cleanest in the city and very popular among Muscovites. On weekends it is difficult to find a free spot here, especially because a whole range of services are offered to visitors, from simple deckchairs to catamaran and yacht rides. Driving is prohibited on the territory of the island so be ready to use trolleybus to reach the entrance.
Greenhouse of Botanical Garden
Main Botanical Garden of The Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest and most famous is Moscow. The garden is a real museum of nature with a very rich (more than 18000 types) collection of plants. The park was founded in 1945 at the place of the 17th century Apothecaries’ Gardens. The garden’s collection is turned into botanical expositions, made with use of modern receptions of landscape architecture. Here you can see a tree nursery, a shadow garden, hothouse complex, collection of flowers, a rosary, exposition of coastal plants, garden of continuous blossoming, Japanese garden and expositions of cultural plants and natural flora plants. The biggest part of Garden is the Tree nursery occupying the space of 75 hectares. About 2 thousand wood plants grow here. Another big exposition of the Garden is nature Flora, divided into six botanic-geographical collections: European part of Russia, Caucuses, Central Asia, Siberia and Far East. Pride of the Main Botanical Garden is the collection of tropical, coastal and water plants, which is considered as the best in Europe. The Japanese garden, a great model of Japanese landscape gardening art has a 13-level stone pagoda of the 18th century, stone Japanese lamps, ponds, falls and streams, tea lodges and more than 100 species of the most character Japan plants. It is especially decorative in spring, during Oriental cherry blossoming and in fall, when foliage blazes in crimson colors.
Moscow historic parks
Historic nature parks and estates once were the mansions of the Moscow aristocracy. At that far times the estates were outside the Moscow city limits, but after the city expansion and urbanization, they became easily accessible.
Kolomenskoye Museum and Park
The chief attraction of the park is undoubtedly the stone Church of the Ascension of the Lord. It was constructed in 1532 by order of Tsar Vasily III to commemorate the birth of his son and heir, Ivan the Terrible. But there is a lot more to see in the park: the pretty Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan – with its bright azure domes and plenty of gold. Further into the park there is a charming Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, built by Ivan the Terrible to mark his coronation.
Kuskovo Park is one of the oldest country estates in Moscow. It was given to General Sheremetev by Peter the Great in 1715, but was left to fall into neglect before being plundered by Napoleon’s troops in 1812. Nowadays the estate has been restored to its former glory and is a good example of Russian 18th Century imperial architecture. The palace is a fine and rare example of wooden neoclassicism. It was completed in 1775, and the rich interiors remain unchanged since 1779. It includes a room hung with exclusive exquisite Flemish tapestries, an abundance of silk wallpaper and an impressive collection of 18th century European and Russian paintings. The palace looks onto the lake, which is surrounded by smaller pavilions: pretty Italian, Dutch and Swiss Cottages, Blank’s Hermitage and the old Orangery, where the State Ceramics Museum is located now, an extensive and absorbing collection of porcelain from the 18th century to the present day. On the other side of the lake is a large wood popular with local cyclists and joggers.
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