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Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins

Author: Sean Rehbein
09-Feb-2018

Category: Opinion

While there's one standout must have skin this year, what about the rest of the Overwatch Lunar Event skins? We give each one a grade to help you decide which ones to buy and which ones to wait for a loot box drop.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins

INTRODUCTION

Hot on the heels of the Blizzard World update comes the Lunar Event for Overwatch. As with any event, the main draw must be the goodies you can unlock only during the event’s duration. Luckily, Blizzard has extended this event to last a full month, giving everyone more time to earn the skins through loot boxes, rather than buckling to pressure and just buying them outright. There are a few skins, however, worth shelling out the coins for.

Normally a list like this is ranked from worst to best, but we’re going in a new direction. Instead of ranking them from #X to #1, each skin will be given a grade. Skins will also be judged by their own merit, not whether they are better or worse than the hero’s other skins. Genji will be starting things off, and boy does he do so with a bang.

GENJI “BAIHU”

Grade: S

Ho. Lee. Crap. Now this is a skin! Every so often a skin comes out that is so good that it makes you want to learn to play the hero better, just so you could get some use out of it. The feeling is more intense since this is Genji, a popular pick with a skill ceiling most don’t even come within arm’s reach of. The Baihu skin turns Genji from a mean green cybernetic ninja into a cool blue samurai.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins - Genji Baihu

Genji’s sword also changes class, going from a thin katana to a symmetrical broadsword. The darkened turquoise is laced with black lattice, and cyan letterings rest closer to the hilt. It’s a gorgeous sword that pairs well with a stunning set of armor. You won’t see an S rank given out very often, but this skin absolutely deserves it.

McCREE “MAGISTRATE”

Grade: C

A far simpler skin compared to most, McCree’s Magistrate skin dons him in basic, no-nonsense clothes with some light details here and there. It’s an overall rather dull and boring skin, though it could appeal to those who strictly believe in “less is more.” It hardly compares to some of his other skins like Van Helsing, however. On its own it’s not bad, though, just…basic.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins - McCree Magistrate
His pistol looks far more decorative and antique, made of more wood than metal, with a barrel that resembles a canon. It’s not a bad item to look at, so if you do get this skin on while playing McCree, at least the view on your end will be nice.

MERCY “ZHUQUE”

Grade: A-

Mercy is to Overwatch as Priests are to World of Warcraft, in that they always get great “skins.” A lovely play on her ability to resurrect fallen allies, Mercy adorns herself in the garb of a phoenix, ready to lift the fallen out of the ashes. The red and orange gives her a fiery, beautiful, look.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins - Mercy Zhuque

Feathers make up some of her staff, further cementing her phoenix inspiration. There’s not much more to say about her weapons, but there rarely is for Mercy weapons. They offer too little in the way of decoration and flair, so they are often just accessories rather than new entities unto themselves.

PHARAH “QINGLONG”

Grade: B

If Mercy is the phoenix of the group, then Pharah is surely the dragon. With dragon claws reaching over her missle-loaded shoulders, to a dragon helm seemingly devouring Pharah’s head, the only things the boom-queen missing are a tail and a horde of gold. While the teal coloring is nice, there’s something a little…Power Rangers-y about the whole ensemble.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins - Pharah Qinglong

Not one to settle for just one dragon, Pharah’s missile launcher, too, gets the draconic treatment. Rushing clouds and a fin decorate the butt of the launcher, while a dragon’s gaping maw makes up the other end, firing rockets like so many fireballs.

WIDOWMAKER “BLACK LILY”

Grade: B+

A simple but elegant look for Widowmaker. She’s not cosplaying as any animals or warriors of old. Instead she’s just dressed to impress, ready to ring in the new year in style. She doesn’t seek to add anything new to her style, just touch up on some things to make them more fitting for the season. Whereas McCree stumbles in his simplicity, Widowmaker excels with it.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins - Widowmaker Black Lily

The same goes for Widowmaker’s rifle. A black lily for which the skin is named rests on the left side of the gun, and charms hang loosely from various points. Like Mercy’s staff, it acts as an accessory, and a gorgeous one at that.

ZARYA “XUANWU

Grade: B

Rounding out the end is another warrior of myth and legend played by the muscle-bound Zarya. Zarya wears heavy armor, with a glowing green sigil acting as a holographic belt buckle. Once again the name of the game here is simplicity, telling more with less. Zarya calls upon multiple animals for her ensemble. A hawk helm, snake tattoo, and turtle sigil make up her new skin.

Grading the Overwatch Lunar Event Skins - Zarya Xuanwu
Even better than her skin is her amazing gun. The decorative piece looks right at home on the battlefield just as much as it does in a museum. A snake coils around the middle, with a circle of its tail rotating around for her gravity well.

CONCLUSION

While this event didn’t give as many new skins as some other events, the skins we did get were all good to great, though McCree’s is arguably lower in quality than the others. The Genji skin is a must have, no question. Even if you don’t play Genji, that skin is highly desirable. After all, tomorrow you could wake up and suddenly be amazing as Genji. And if you miss the window to grab his samurai skin, what’s even the point of being a pro Genji?

What did you think of the skins this year? How about the sprays and emotes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and thanks for reading!

The views expressed are that of the article’s authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of the Keen Gamer staff.



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