Sep 042012
Master Yi, the Wuju Bladesman
Master Yi, the Wuju Bladesman

Master Yi, the Wuju Bladesman has skins that cover many kinds of sword wielders; either of the historic or fantastic kind. Yi dons many robes and armours as well as many blades but if you want to know which make him look best, read further on his skins’ review.

Assassin Master Yi
Assassin Master Yi Splash Art Assassin Master Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 390 RP
Concept: Master Yi all clad in black.
Model: Major model changes for Master Yi and new model for his sword.
Particles: New auto-attack particles without Wuju Style.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: In the distance, guards have fallen victim to slashes at incredible speed. The corridor is ornate, but strangely empty in the distance. Outside, some rocky formations rise under a night sky. The red carpet flows under the long strides of the mysterious figure and is soon to be stained in a different hue of the same colour. As far as context is concerned there is some of it but it doesn’t say much: it mostly frames Yi.
The real star is Master Yi with an impressive portrayal that goes to minutiae detail. The lighting and shading make a wonderful job at depicting leather, metal and cloth. Even his visor goes to the point of having a horizontal pattern for the individual lenses. The perspective is rather abrupt and while a good view of Yi’s aspect is possible there are a few issues. Firstly, his legs appear too small and blurry and the sword appears small too. The blade has the serrated edge on the opposite side and the boot knives are supposed to be larger in comparison with the footwear.
All things considered, this piece makes for a formidable, albeit flawed, portrayal of Master Yi. The background mostly frames the depiction without adding anything substantial. Nevertheless, as far as portrayals go, this is one of the best.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Assassin Master Yi covers him with a thin layer of modernism that fits the Wuju Bladesman but also doesn’t seem out of place. In fact, the aspect, light on protection and subdued in colours, reminds of a contemporary ninja. The result is attractive even if unspectacular and gives Yi a fresh flavour. It’s worth noting that the distinct colour palette doesn’t mesh too well with the bright classic particles but it’s something tolerable. In the end, Assassin Master Yi is quite a likeable skin with a very low price, which makes it a perfect choice for Yi fans.

Chosen Master Yi
Chosen Master Yi Splash Art Chosen Master Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Master Yi wearing a robe and wielding a lightsaber.
Model: Major model changes for Master Yi plus new model and particles for his sword.
Particles: New particles for Wuju Style and lightsaber off for his death.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New auto-attack sounds.
Splash Art: High over a planet a Jedi Master fights an armoured soldier in what could be a Death Star. Most of the setting has to be guessed but as a clear homage to Star Wars it’s not too difficult. Even if we are talking about an Imperial Star Destroyer the idea is simple but certainly effective. Although, it would’ve been better to display a bit more detail in the background so that the setting were more clearly displayed. At least the soldier is quite detailed despite the diffuse depiction, necessary due to the perspective, even if he doesn’t seem that close.
Master Yi’s depiction feels a bit uneven sadly. The general style is appreciable and both his iconic visor and lightsaber easily attract attention. The pose is rather reasonable as it manages to allow an incomplete but functional look at his outfit. The lower body is unnecessarily blurry and sharply contrasts the great shading on his arms. The real problem is that the design of his clothes and colours don’t match his actual in-game look. He doesn’t really wear a cloak and the cloth has a different texture that makes him rougher in three dimensions.
In the end, this is a rather good piece that manages a relevant setting but mostly due to what’s implied by the tribute. Master Yi’s portrayal is also quite good but unfaithful to the real look despite, probably, making more sense. This leaves it as an exciting presentation card but not as useful as it should be.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Chosen Master Yi effectively turns Yi into a Jedi Master and the result is certainly appealing. Especially, as both Jedi and Yi are mystical fighters that rely on fantastic powers and cutting weapons. The outfit is simple and practical but with a degree of style; one that deviates from the splash art. The tunic makes sense, the coattails are a leftover from the classic style and the boots are unnecessarily adorned. Yet, it all makes sense for a stylized Jedi. The peculiar visor nicely fits as a technological wonder of the time and perfectly complements the lightsaber. Speaking of which, the lightsaber looks wonderful and becomes a central point of the skin. Yi’s overall style isn’t striking but that also allows the lightsaber to shine with its own light. All in all, Chosen Master Yi is not only an excellent choice for Star Wars fans but also for those with a liking for sci-fi.

Ionia Master Yi
Ionia Master Yi Splash Art Ionia Master Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Master Yi dressed as an Ionian warrior.
Model: Major model changes for Master Yi and new model for his sword.
Particles: New auto-attack particles without Wuju Style
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece evokes a bucolic setting that represents well the native Ionian land of Master Yi. So, it’s disappointing that an deep fog clouds the background leaving so little visible. Master Yi is one of the few things that remain clear but his proportions aren’t. The legs seem short, like his sword, while the torso appears too long. At least, the clothes are well drawn and coloured; even if not entirely faithful to his model. All in all, Ionia Master Yi’s splash art has the concept and composition to be a great piece; if it weren’t for it’s obvious flaws.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Ionia Master Yi adapts his attire to the particular designs of his home and provides another flavour of sword-master. Yi’s look remains elaborate but flourishes with a style that without being extravagant is certainly ornamental. The colour palette lacks variety but the highlight is on the jagged outline and multiple engravings that decorate his armour. As a whole, Ionia Master Yi accomplishes a style that feels fantastic yet restrained so as to be practical. Therefore, while it doesn’t redefine Yi it provides an appealing alternative aspect and hint at his lore. For its price, it’s surely good but lacks something extra to make it stand out.

Samurai Yi
Samurai Yi Splash Art Samurai Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Master Yi as a bushido sword-master.
Model: Major model changes for Master Yi and new model for his sword.
Particles: New auto-attack particles without Wuju Style
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Master Yi stands on a barren land ready for his enemies; but, why there? What do sterile hills have to do with a samurai? The background is well drawn and reasonably clear but it makes absolutely no sense and provides nothing to back Yi’s presence. Fortunately, Master Yi looks good in samurai armour. The sword looks passable but the tabi that Yi wears look odd: the rope doesn’t appear to be placed between the toes. On top of that, while the general aesthetic represents his three-dimensional look it isn’t very precise. Overall, it’s not a bad piece with glaring flaws; still, a more fitting setting would’ve served as a better frame for Yi.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Visor aside, Samurai Yi is very effective at transforming Yi into a bushido practitioner. The overall style is very clear and the skin has the right feel. Still, it leaves a few nagging doubts, in particular the armour seems a bit light on the arms and especially on the legs. Regardless, the matching and effusive decoration on both helmet and armour provide the skin a degree of style. As a sum of its parts, the skin lacks historical accuracy but is good enough at what it sets to do. Considering its price and what it delivers it’s definitely an excellent choice for fans of samurais and Yi.

Headhunter Master Yi
Headhunter Master Yi Splash Art Headhunter Master Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Master Yi as a futuristic hunter.
Model: Major model changes for Master Yi and new model for his sword.
Particles: New particles for Alpha Strike and his auto-attack without Wuju Style.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Headhunter Master Yi has a nice splash art even though it isn’t perfect. The background makes for a good frame for his head-hunting practice and his placement is definitely advantageous though his stance doesn’t make much sense. Master Yi’s looks good and the effects of the light bathing him are reasonably depicted. This piece goes for a subdued style that is cohesive but doesn’t really match the flashy outfit and pose. Even the futuristic armour is at odds with the jungle and head-hunting. Nevertheless, those are minor qualms: despite the preference for light in the background instead of actual elements the piece is good; though a tad inaccurate with respect to his in-game aspect. It may not be one of the best splash arts available but it’s rather effective anyway.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Headhunter Master Yi is quite a fanciful skin but at the very least it tries to deliver a darker aesthetic for Yi. The armour is heavily stylized and a bit too light. Furthermore, the helmet is finely designed on the front but simply extravagant on the back. The serrated sword is quite a statement and also speaks of a certain degree of blood lust; which could be reflected in Yi’s multiple eyes. In spite of these peculiarities, the look manages to stay eye-catching without feeling bizarre or unsuitable. The result stands apart from the usual fantastic sword-master without feeling like a different character. Unfortunately, his Alpha Strike particles are quite subtle and look flat instead of having depth as they used to. Moreover, Wuju Style’s glow doesn’t even cover the whole length of the blade and has lost its flaming quality. This means that the visual upgrade has been a clear step backwards. Ultimately, Headhunter Master Yi is a nice skin that offers a distinct style that stands out from the norm despite what it lost to the visual upgrade. Unfortunately, it’s no longer as special as it once was and certainly not at the level of other Headhunter skins.

PROJECT: Yi Splash Art PROJECT: Yi Model
Category: Legendary
Price: 1820 RP
Concept: Master Yi as a hi-tech swordsman.
Model: New model for Master Yi and his sword. New textures and additional blade for Highlander and additional blades for his joke.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack, death and taunt.
Animations: New animations for Meditate, standing idle, high-speed run, death, respawn, emotes, tower channel and recall.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, standing idle, recall and emotes plus new voice-over. New quotes for his abilities, when beginning a match, taunting certain enemies, buying certain items, placing wards and recall.
Splash Art: The diffuse streets of a futuristic city struggle to insinuate themeselves among a questionable fog. What is clear is that Yi isn’t alone: surrounded by androids his blade strikes in multiple directions and doesn’t fail to defend the Master. As we can appreciate, the context is attractive but the delivery, frankly, is underwhelming. We find a draft of a background with androids that are simplistic and generic. That’s something echoed in other PROJECT splash arts but isn’t as relevant as it is here. On top of that, Master Yi’s portrayal doesn’t raise among the letdown of the background as it should.
Truth be told, his depiction is disappointing as it barely elevates the level of detail above that of the androids. In general, he looks a cartoony despite the overall correct but unimpressive shading, reflections and minimal light sources. Even the slash in front of him appears merely acceptable as it lacks vibrancy; much like his blade, which looks dull. Yi’s stance doesn’t help either as we get to see little of his body and many elements are occluded by others.
Seeing as he’s wielding his double blade one can wonder why some extra effects weren’t added as he seems to be relying on Highlander. The only part where the piece reveals a part of its wasted potential is the helmet which surprises with its realistic shading. Elsewhere, the metal is too plain and simple to even attract attention and the cloth or leather gets a waxy look that isn’t nice at all.
In the end, it’s not a bad portrayal of Master Yi: there’s a sensible context, a thinly suggested background and an acceptable depiction of Yi. The problem is that this is a legendary skin so its splash art has to impress and dazzle the eyes of the onlookers. This is far from happening as there is an appreciable lack of depth in the whole piece. In consequence, this a passable splash art but completely unsuitable for a legendary skin.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: A legendary skin is in a category all of its own. Not only does it feature a fully re-worked champion but also the modifications go well past the standard. At least, that’s what we are led to believe from the sumptuous disbursement we are asked to make. PROJECT: Yi, offers changes in all areas but they seldom feel special; let alone legendary. To start with, the new model seems too simple as it modestly presents Yi in hi-tech armour. Could he be a cyborg? Perhaps, but as he’s so lean and the design is nothing innovative it passes for the usual mecha-suit. His sword doesn’t feel particularly deadly either though the quasi-serrated blade manages to feel different.
The new particles may be the only area where Yi catches the eye. However, there’s nothing that cheaper skins haven’t done. Surely, the digital feel is accomplished but there’s nothing that leaves a lasting impression. Specifically, the auto-attacks are fine as activating Wuju Style also changes their colour, Double Strike lets down with a simple burst, Alpha Strike seems to rely on a static image, Meditate’s digital plates are plain, Wuju Style looks identical to classic, except for a new arc, and Highlander only modifies the classic design without adding much to it.
Admittedly, Highlander is eye-catching but the waves and trail are too sober for his star ability. The virtual plates don’t help much as they get lost in between the leaning stance and how brief it is. That also happens to the additional blade: in principle it’s a fine addition but in the heat of the battle it easily gets lost. The fact that he opens part of his armour, helmet included, helps make it special but to expose himself in the moment when he’s most threatened may be fanciful but not logical.
There’s absolutely nothing surprising about the sounds, except perhaps that they are so derivative. The sounds feel cybernetic to a point but there’s nothing that stands out. Most of the time, one doesn’t notice that they are present. The new voice-over sounds uninspired because his quotes express a mix of his classic persona with faint insinuations of his artificial side. Besides the fact that he tends to repeat himself quite a bit the perception is that they lack a unified theme. The speed angle is the only one that stands out as something unique for Yi that is sorely unexploited.
In terms of animations we have a mixed bag. On the one hand some do stand out like the exceedingly cocky and ridiculous idle pose or Highlander’s new walking animation. In other cases, one wonders why they aren’t new at all. In particular, his walking and auto-attack animations are borrowed straight from classic Yi which is inexplicable; as well as why his second running animation is omitted. Meditate takes advantage of his new boots to make the pose interesting but a legendary skin should do more. That’s why it’s inexplicable that none of his other abilities receive new animations; even brief ones like Aether Wing Kayle.
The recall is just another flamboyant show that adds nothing to the cybernetic theme and, like the emotes, doesn’t feel meaningful; especially when more relevant elements are ignored. Frankly speaking, for a legendary skin the animation area is completely deficient.
The truth of the matter is that PROJECT: Yi doesn’t feel like a legendary skin. Actually, it seems like a 975 RP skin with a new voice-over. It has its moments though and in some instances it can be a pleasant experience; like Highlander, despite its simplicity. However, the identifiable classic elements are simply unacceptable. For its price, PROJECT: Yi should astound in all areas but it only does so in some very specific ones; if at all. Sadly, PROJECT: Yi isn’t as cybernetic as it should be and a definite step backwards from Omega Squad Teemo. Perhaps it’s not a bad skin but it surely is a disappointment. If you like Yi, there’re much nicer skins at the lowest price points.


Master Yi has always had good skins yet most benefited from the layer of polish that the visual upgrade brought. In general, it’s difficult to choose a bad skin but some skins subtly stand out from the others due to their concept or execution.

The recommended skins are Assassin and Samurai Master Yi. They both deliver more of what makes Yi attractive but with a new and interesting flavour. For something equally satisfying yet less traditional Chosen Master Yi offers a more discreet outfit coupled with a spectacular lightsaber; a fabulous choice for Star Wars fans.

More expensive yet still interesting options are Ionia and Headhunter Master Yi. The former is a particularly ornamental take on Yi that also comes with a lore reference. The latter lacks any subtlety yet its unique style is rather appealing and different. Both are good choices but as there are so many good and cheaper options they have quite a bit of competition.

The legendary option is PROJECT: Yi. While the skin offers changes in all appreciable areas they rarely stand out. The fact that some areas actually reuse assets from the classic incarnation and that others are too thinly implemented leaves the skin wanting in the impression it makes. Fans of the Wuju Bladesman will find some things to like but for the most part PROJECT: Yi is a letdown; better to rely on cheaper but more satisfying options.

  26 Responses to “League of Legends: Master Yi Skins’ Review”

  1. Now that Yi has been updated, are you going to do a re-review of the skins? I have so say, samurai master yi looks GOOD now…

  2. 1. The ingame pictures are outdated and gives a confusing look. 2. Chosen Master Yi has new sounds to his auto-attack. Check it out.

  3. Chosen master yi has its splash art updated, what do you think of it

    • It’s an improvement but it still isn’t very convincing. Our apologies as we’ve been slow updating splash arts reviews but we’ll try to finish them; hopefully soon.

  4. I swear either ionia or headhunter had 5 stars before ?

    • Headhunter certainly did but the visual upgrade changed things. Now he no longer has his flaming particles on Wuju Style and the particles for Alpha Strike are flatter and lack the effect they once had. It’s sad and ironic but Headhunter was actually degraded in quality by the upgrade.

      Ionia has two stars but the visual upgrade improved its model so that it’s a passable albeit still expensive re-model. Truth be told, it has it’s charm but it still doesn’t offer enough for its price.

  5. Will you be adding the Project skins to the reviews of their respective champs and/or will you be making a post rating/reviewing all the Project skins together soon?

    • The PROJECT skins are all reviewed now and the analysis is available in each page. It took a while as they are a bit complex and we had to make the images as well. We made an effort to make everything as fast as possible. Hopefully, the reviews are useful.

  6. C’mon really? I Love Project Yi So much and you give them 2 Stars but a Fucking 390 RP Skin get 6 Stars without Changed Something and Its just a Recolour._,

    • A skin has to justify its price. A skin may cost just 520 RP but if it offers a well realized theme then it can get five stars. A legendary skin, because of its high price, is expected to deliver impressive changes in all areas. Not only are many of the changes somewhat simple but assets are reused from the classic skin. That’s unacceptable for a legendary skin.

      Consider Omega Squad Teemo for instance. Every single aspect is changed and in many cases made more elaborate in comparison with the classic persona. That’s not the case with PROJECT Yi. The difference between both skins is evident and we simply can’t recommend a skin that doesn’t even cover the basic feature of changing all aspect of the champion. A legendary skin is a full reimagining of a champion and PROJECT Yi keeps too much of the classic incarnation.

      That doesn’t mean that you can’t like the skin. The concept is great and the implementation has some few interesting moments. However, just a few good moments is too little for such an expense in our opinion. In the end, it’s just our opinion and you can disagree. If you like the skin a lot you can add a star and consider it a good skin.

      We only intend to guide people to make informed decisions not to state the ultimate truth. We think that for the price PROJECT Yi is not worth it and that there are better skins to get. It’s just a view of the skin that is explained in the review. You have the right to think different and that doesn’t mean that anyone is wrong. They are simply different perceptions of the same product and both valid.

      • Don’t listen to AnimeKamiSama. You guys are have been doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

        • We can perfectly agree to disagree. It’s just a different view on the matter.

          We are glad that you find the site useful. We’ll certainly keep working hard.

          • Always wanted to say about this… Nice attitude! It’s not only professional, it’s almost Shen like!
            “The Eye of Twilight sees not the despair of its victims, only the elegance of equilibrium.” Good job, protectors of balance! :3
            P.S: On a side note… In my opinion, Project Master Yi, is so simplistic, first art directions they created for him, were wayyy better and interesting… The reason i think that skin is “failed” to deliver properly is…
            Skin is “too safe”, there is no bold changes aside that he is a “robot” now…(And that in 2015!) Effects could be better, and color of the main Yi body is gray and dull with some “orange”. Also i don’t see “strong theme” in that skin.(Compared with Infernal Nasus) If they wanted gray colors for his body, then it’s probably serious theme, but then cartoon like “face”, less amount of detals we can see on his main body(Original Yi!), washed out body even. Color effects are just there, they don’t give impression of additional power, and variety of them for sword is less than Chosen Master Yi. I understand that main color of Project skins is supposed to be “orange”, but then Fiora… (It’s boring to have only orange color, especially if it doesn’t fits.)
            Lastly, on hit effects and ultimate. Why circle-spheres? It would be better to have a splash effect with blazing fire-energy like fissure of some sort, similar to his login screen, it would make sense, like he is slashing enemy with powerful force! (Something like “half-circle”, behind his target or on that target, simulating a plasma cut.)
            “Ultimate ability”, so, instead of using effect when Yi is “ripping through wind”, circles again? Why they even use same idea from his “on hit effects? Is he trying to run through checkpoint?
            Results: Colors: Gray, “orange”, a faint blue color… Without some jokes, taunts, and “new” but similar like animations, it could be a decent 975-1350 skin, but it seems someone wanted to be greedy. That is all for 2015 year skin… (Also his fingers, if he really is “cyborg”, then his skills with sword should become worse…Otherwise he use something tech like, and not using any of his “wuju”.) I think, maybe they wanted to make that skin in 975-1350 category, and then just oversaturated him with effects and animations, “to make it worth 1820”, just a theory…

          • Thanks, we try to make things better for everyone and having a good attitude is essential to be helpful. We can agree or disagree on many topics but if we want to get something positive out of the exchange of ideas we need to understand instead of react.

            With regards to PROJECT: Yi you have a very interesting view on the matter and we agree with it. The concept art seemed more interesting than the final product which leads us to believe that the idea had a lot of potential but that it just didn’t materialize.

            As far as cyborgs go the design is quite unambitious, as you mention. It’s essentially Yi but as a robot: there aren’t any novel features that really stand out. Without a doubt it’s a missed opportunity but also a let down for Yi fans. Sometimes, if something isn’t as good as you want it to be you just have to accept it. At a lower price the skin would’ve made more sense, at least.

            It’s quite probable that the skin was intended to be cheaper, perhaps 1350 RP like the others and then they upped it a bit with more featurs but never adding enough to make it truly legendary. That would explain the conservative particles and the classic animations left in it; among other things.

  7. Now with the new splash arts for Master Yi’s Assassin and Chosen skins, will you be doing an update on their reviews? I’d love to hear your take on the revamped artwork

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