Master Yi

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Riot Dev Says Master Yi Nerfs Imminent After His Win Rates Soar

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
Updated On: 
Highlights
Riot Games rolled out the changes to Master Yi with Patch 12.5. Within a day since the release of this new patch, developers are questioning the changes
Currently, Yi has a win rate of 53.3% in Platinum and higher ranks and is rated as a S+ tier champion in League of Legends
To counter his soaring win rates, Riot is looking to hotfix nerf him in the coming days.

Update: Riot Games Rolls Out Master Yi Hotfix Nerfs

Riot Games has rolled out the hotfix nerfs for Master Yi through a mid-patch update late on 4th March. It initially stated that Yi would be getting further nerfs since his changes were looking more like buffs and that was not what the developers intended. His lethality build took over the rift and Riot saw that it was too overpowering and made changes to his ability kit on LoL Patch 12.5 to get players to opt for critical strike items. At the time of this update, Master Yi has a win rate of 52.41% in Platinum and higher ranks, according to U.GG.

In the mid-patch update, Riot wrote, “While the changes in 12.5 succeeded in making Yi’s on-hit builds more optimal than his lethality builds, they actually resulted in a large buff to on-hit with roughly no change to lethality-overpowering Yi as a result. We’re tuning Yi down with some stronger nerfs this time, but ensuring that we’re pulling power from across his kit so as to not dramatically impact his gameplay.

Changes made in mid-patch 12.5 are as follows:

Base Stats

Base Health reduced to 550

Q - Alpha Strike

  • Q Attack Damage (AD) ratio reduced from (+60% AD) to (+50% AD). Now it will deal 30/60/90/120/150

  • Q critical bonus damage reduced from +50% damage to +35% damage.

  • Q on-hit damage reduced from 100% to 75%, and 18.75% for subsequent hits

E - Wuju Style

True Damage reduced from 30/38/46/54/62 (+35% bonus AD) to 30/37/44/51/58 (+30% bonus AD)

R - Highlander

R Cooldown changed from 85 seconds to 100/90/80 seconds

Riot will be closely monitoring how Master Yi performs in ranked games following this hotfix nerf.

It has been only a day since Master Yi’s ability kit was adjusted by Riot Games in LoL Patch 12.5. He was given some changes owing to the fact that players were opting for the lethality build but Riot wanted players to prioritize critical strike items on Master Yi. Yi is one of those champions that can scale well in the game and fight 1v5. If you have played League of Legends long enough, you would understand the frustration when a Yi runs at you at full speed, slays you, and runs out of combat in invisibility, thanks to the lethality items.

According to U.GG, Master Yi is currently rated S+ tier in LoL Patch 12.5. Master Yi’s win rate in Platinum and higher ranks is 53.3%, while his pick and ban rates are 9.3% and 13.0%, respectively.

Is Riot hotfix nerfing Master Yi again?

Game Designer Kevin “Captain Gameplay” Huang wrote on Twitter that the changes made on Yi’s kit were looking like buffs when they were not intended to be so. He wrote, “Yi's changes this patch are looking like they were a major buff (~55% win rate), which was not intended (and he didn't have any room for buffs, to begin with). Expect a significant hotfix nerf to bring his power back into line.

He made it clear that Riot did not expect Yi’s win rate to hit 55% even with these changes to his Q - Alpha Strike.

One Twitter user commented, “Making a champion with built-in on-hit true damage apply on hit effects 5x under a second on a point and click ability that makes him untargetable and he's overperforming suddenly??? who would've thought :o

A Reddit user who criticized the situation said, “We don't like him building lethality so we nerf that build and compensate him by buffing his old builds which were already pretty balanced, to begin with.

The community pointed out that Riot could have tested out the newly reworked Yi and calculated his damage outputs on the Public Beta Environment (PBE) before shipping the changes out. A Redditor said, “How is it possible? I'm not someone that complains about the balance team because I understand that there are a lot of things going on, but damage is basic math. If you are lazy you can even go against a dummy. This aside that anything that suddenly procs on-hit effects screams broken.

What are the changes made by Riot?

Master Yi’s main spell, his Q - Alpha Strike, was the center of most of the changes. Now, the ability scales less with bonus Attack Damage (AD) and has lured away players from opting for the lethality builds. Alpha Strike also applies on-hit effects, encouraging players to go for items like Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Wit’s End.

Master Yi changes

The current item path for Master Yi is as follows:

Mythic and Core items: Kraken Slayer, Guinsoo’s Rageblade, Blade of the Ruined King, Plated Steelcaps

Other item options: Wit’s End, Death’s Dance, or Guardian Angel

People have been debating about Yi being very strong in lower skill tiers but abysmal in the higher ranks in League of Legends. However, Riot would not be hotfix nerfing a champion if it did not think it was over performing in the game. Just recently it shipped out a micro patch to nerf Renata to counter her soaring win rates. Master Yi one-tricks can keep an eye out for the nerfs in the coming days.


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Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant