A lot of the hype surrounding the new art is obviously centered around the full color final card art that made it into The Legends of Runeterra, but I just want to take this time to highlight some of the awesome concept art that sixmorevodka produced as well.
I was initially confused as to what these were, but upon looking closer it appears that these "Burning Fists" concepts suggest that Shurima was going to be a card faction at launch and were put on ice for some reason. Some of them are armed with Noxian weapons and there is a real diversity showing all the different influences between modern Shurima, ancient Shurima and Noxian occupied Shurima. Very cool!
I think these are Frostguard. The dark, forboding armor sets and Tattoo designs suggest that Lissandras' minions (and maybe the Ice Witch herself..) were also originally planned to be a part of the Freljord deck. I'd think that for smaller expansions that don't add new regions, adding left out factions like Frostguard and Lissandra to a preexisting Freljord deck or the Navori Brotherhood and Irelia to add to the Ionia deck with 20 or so new cards is a good idea rather than the 65+ that go into making a new region.
While we are on the Freljord, holy hell! What is the new purpose of these creatures that resemble old lore Frozen Watchers? The cards themselves have very eldritch names like They-Who-Endure, and She-Who-Wanders. Super exciting and I have no clue what their purpose is and whether they are somehow connected to new Watchers and the Void. (Maybe they have more to do with the True Ice and Iceborn, as these are exclusively Freljordian concepts that originated from the Void, rather than being directly connected to the Void)
The personality these Zaunites embody is just striking! The chempunks look so vibrant and have me excited for more of these rambunctious rascals in Arcane!
And these adult Zaunites skeeve me out... so good though...
Even Mageseekers have so much diversity with these mind-blowing Greymark and Half-Mask designs. Such attention to detail. These are some of my favorites!
Vladimir fan-club. Just hilarious like chem-punks and an awesome look at how many youth sub-cultures can exist within each of the more mainstream region cultures exist! Especially in Noxus which is supposed to be a melting pot.
Just for scale to let you know how long that Riot has been pumping out art for this these two concepts predate the unveiling of the MAP. Coming out with Swains' release in early 2018!
If you give a damn about the lore you owe it to yourselves to check out the full gallery and see all of the uncolored concepts that I didn't share! It's that good. Vastayans, Shadow Assassins, Kinkou, Shadow Isles spirits and Undead Aquatic Life, Environments like the Noxian Reckoner Arena, Ionia temples built into cliffs, Demacian buildings! So much!