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Master Yi visual upgrade and kit rework

Master Yi's slated for a visual upgrade and kit rework in a coming patch. In addition to a new model, more polished animations and expanded voice over, each of Yi's abilities are getting updates to address issues with his popular AP and AD builds. His kit should still feel familiar to both AP and AD enthusiasts, and we're hoping to retain most of the fun aspects of both playstyles.

We had three basic goals with the Master Yi updates:

  • Polish up Master Yi's art and aesthetics so they hit the same level of polish as new champions
  • Merge the most enjoyable aspects of AP and AD Yi into a single cohesive playstyle
  • Place more emphasis on mastering Yi's abilities so he's less frustrating in lower level play and scales better with player skill





Why'd Master Yi get a new look?

Master Yi was one of the first League of Legends champions ever created. Back then the game had a less established artistic identity. We've learned a lot over the years, but we also thought it was important to preserve his core look and feel as a part of LoL history. The differences are subtle, but when you check out the new Yi you'll notice his proportions are more in line with his fellow champs, his animations are more polished and he has some sweet new acrobatic moves on Alpha Strike, Double Strike and Highlander.

Why does Yi need a design update?

Most of AD Yi's power comes from his basic attack combined with the steroid effects on Wuju Style, Highlander and Double Strike. Without AP, there's almost no incentive to master your active skills – Meditate's not a very effective disengage and Alpha Strike can actually make you lose DPS since you could be attacking during the cast animation. By contrast, AP Yi requires careful management of Alpha Strike, Meditate and Wuju Style to maximize damage and survivability, but doesn't do a whole lot with his basic attack until he gets Lich Bane.

While both these playstyles are interesting in their own right, they don't necessarily have to be mutually exclusive, and there's probably a unified design that offers the best of both. Moreover, while AP Yi's a rather compelling late game fighter, he's extremely frustrating to face in lane, so scaling back Alpha Strike and Meditate was a necessary part of the update.

What's happening to AP Yi?

While straight AP probably won't remain a prominent build, AP Yi players will find many of the familiar elements of their playstyle intact. While Alpha Strike and Meditate are scaled back so they're less overwhelming in lane, carefully managing your active abilities will play an important role in staying alive and maximizing your DPS. You'll also have the added power of AD Yi's basic attack to make up for your less devastating Alpha Strikes.

How's the new Master Yi play?

We imagine the updated Master Yi will work well in both mid lane and the jungle. We definitely want to skew his itemization away from the typical tank-heavy fighter builds. The updated kit rewards glass cannon DPS builds that rely on disengaging with Alpha Strike and Meditate to stay alive. Most of his power still comes though items rather than natural scaling through levels. Overall, Master Yi players should have more strategic options, and more incentive to master his full kit to fight effectively.

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Submitted by Kaiokhen