Skins are a non essential part of League of Legends. They do not provide buffs, items or any in game advantage other than looking a bit cooler than your opponents. Why do people spend so much on skins? Spamming the cowbell on Moo Cow Alistar, protecting the universe as Star Guardian Ahri, or even playing Teemo as the devil himself all contribute to League’s healthy quality of life. Skins have been around since the beginning of League, and I am here to help find the rarest ones any player will ever see!
Bearing an uncanny resemblance to a certain villain of a popular video game franchise, King Rammus was only attainable if one was invited to beta test League of Legends in the late 2000s. Rarely seen lumbering around Summoner’s Rift, this skin was only on a select few accounts before League started skyrocketing in popularity. His availability was eventually spread around to other regions’ beta testing, but ultimately only invited beta testers could obtain this treasure. If one has the opportunity to witness this spiky turtle in action, they should remember that jumping on him will not solve your problems.
Young (Human) Ryze and Black Alistar
Now we are getting into a war that has been waged throughout time from playerbases across any game – Free to Play or Pay to Play. Black Alistar and Young Ryze could have only been obtained by pre ordering a copy of League of Legends, a new and otherwise mysterious game to most consumers. Riot has recently renamed Human Ryze to Young Ryze, albeit both names fit skin quite well. Most importantly, the question of value is brought into the fray considering Riot released its game as a freemium model. Because of the non-necessity to spend money to progress, pre order collector edition sales may not have been as high as they could be. But hey, to those fanatic players that stuck with League for the near decade and have these skins, props to you!
Much like Black Alistar and Human Ryze, Silver Kayle came with a paid version of the collector’s edition. However, unlike the other two skins, this edition was not a pre order version and as a result, more copies of this skin can be found. Regal and majestic, this skin definitely symbolizes the early pioneers of League of Legends.
At first glance, one would probably think “Is this just another splash art for regular Blitzcrank from another region?”. The shocking answer is no – this skin was on sale on the Riot store for a few months before behind recalled for its non-unique aesthetics. The in-game model appears to be a darker colored Blitzcrank, which could honestly be mistaken for a chroma skin. But do not be fooled because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
PAX Twisted Fate
While Riot was showcasing their new game at PAX in 2009, they were simultaneously handing out codes for the infamous PAX Twisted Fate skin. Being the first large venue event Riot attended, this skin was only available to those who ventured to Riot’s booth at their debut. At its prime, before Riot disabled expired code cards for skins, this skin could be seen on Ebay for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Still heralded as one of the rarest skins in League, PAX Twisted Fate has been seen as more common than most rarer skins in games due to its wide recognizability.
Aside from the amazing splash art, UFO Corki stumbled into the spotlight when Riot Games asked its players to vote League of Legends for two reader’s choice awards. Only accounts made before January of 2010 received the skin, so roughly about four months’ worth of accounts since League’s inception.
Riot Singed and PAX Jax
Premiering just a year after their PAX Twisted Fate brother, these two skins were given out during PAX 2010 to attendees. Although less recognizable than Twisted Fate, these two skins used to be on the secondary market for quite a large markup price, but with the disabling of expired codes, only accounts that redeemed these skins prior to 2014 will have them.
Any Victorious Skin
Becoming a recognized sign of a skilled player, the Victorious skin lineup is given to any player obtaining at least Gold V in Ranked Solo Queue. They even include the champion in case the player does not possess the champion beforehand. Theses skins are seasonal only – one cannot purchase or gamble their way into possession of one. Only through the blood, sweat and tears of ranked queue will a player enjoy these merits. Of course, the further back one travels, the more valuable the skin. From the oldest to the most recent skins, they are: Jarvan IV, Janna, Elise, Morgana, Sivir, Maokai and finally, with his cigar back in action, Graves. It is also worthy to note that none of these skins possess chromas except for Graves, where the player had to achieve Gold V in Twisted Treeline ranked queue as well as the standard Summoner’s Rift Flex Queue. Encountering these skins in any queue is not uncommon, but these skins remain account bound and cannot be obtained in any other form.
Grey Warwick and Medieval Twitch
Once upon a time, Riot had decided to implement a referral system in order to help advertise the game while offering two extremely rare skins as rewards. Unfortunately, the fairy tale turned into a nightmare when people realized they had to refer 50 friends for Grey Warwick and 350 friends in order to obtain Medieval Twitch. After considering player input, Riot then lowered the threshold from 50 and 350 referrals respectively to 3 and 5. Although the referral system is over, Riot has graciously given us Honor Capsules to bridge the gap. Upon reaching Honor level 5 in the Honor System, the player is guaranteed one of the two skins. This change has been implemented in 2018, so these two skins may decrease in value in the near future.
The Honorable Mentions
There are certain skins here that need credit for being valuable but in a different respect. Hextech Crafting has given us an array of champions that are locked behind a ten gemstone gate. Annie, Darius, Kog’maw, Vayne, and Hecarim all require ten gemstones to unlock, and getting them was a rare occurance. Before the Essence Emporium, ten gemstones would average somewhere around $200 to $300 to obtain. However, gemstones have since been more available, thus lowering the price of each skin. UrfWick, PAX Sivir and Championship Riven were formerly extremely exclusive skins, but there has been a re-release of each one – Urfwick in the Essence Emporium, Neo PAX Sivir with a different color, and a borderless Championship Riven. Granted, the original of each skin provides indicators of the first edition status and is worth considerably more, but having a skin reprinted as recent as last year gave all the new players access to the limited supply.
All image sources are from Riot Games
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