Master Yi is not only a classic champion in the League of Legends but also one of the original ones. Seeing the ongoing advance in visual quality his cartoon-like looks have clashed with the general aesthetic for a while. Moreover, Yi has struggled in his role of melee carry; just like his colleagues of role. A visual upgrade and a re-work are in order so let’s take a look at what awaits the Wuju Bladesman.
A New Set of Clothes
For a mystic warrior Master Yi has always exhibited a clear lack of protection and actual spirituality. In fact, he was a man in a trench coat with quirky boots and a big sword. The visual upgrade doesn’t really change that but it does refine the visuals into something more convincing.
Even though a swordmaster should only rely on his blade a few plates of armour are always welcome. The funny sword boots remain but seem less ostentatious as they used to. The sword becomes a finely crafted weapon while Yi magical and physical expertise is better incorporated into the general theme.
A Multifacetic Swordmaster
The nice layer of polish applied to Classic Master Yi also extends to his skins. The result is a welcome refinement in the looks of a few skins; which felt a bit lacklustre. For instance, Assassin Yi has a more contemporary appearance while Ionia Yi is a tad more elaborated; though not by much it seems.
In the case of Samurai Yi, the look better represents such warriors with more appropriate armour. Chosen Yi acquires an even more satisfying and appealing lightsaber and his clothes are a better fit for a Jedi Master. Headhunter Yi doesn’t seem to change much but his aesthetic is refined with a touch more of aggression.
A New Wuju Style
The changes don’t end in mere looks as melee carries have notoriously been unable to match the efficiency of ranged champions. The re-work tries to address that by combining elements of both AD and AP Yi into one single build. The intent is to make Yi less frustrating in the early game and more effective in the later stages.
Unfortunately, the changes also point to the elimination of the AP Yi build. The changes to Alpha Strike are a good indication: physical damage with AD scaling but without an AP ratio. Maybe most of AP Yi is incorporated into the general build but this also removes flexibility.
To be able to build a champion in vastly different ways adds a lot of depth even if the result isn’t tournament viable. The changes could make sense if they do succeed. However, if they don’t then they simply streamline a champion and remove part of his charm.
As far as visuals are concerned there isn’t much to criticise as Master Yi was in dire need of an update. The classic style keeps his identity intact and better fleshes out his core concept. The notion of a mystic bladesman is more explicit and the look is more attractive.
Master Yi’s skins finely follow with more elaborate and satisfying aspects. In all cases the looks are improved but not as much as one would’ve hoped. Some skins see a clear improvement but in others the changes are marginal. The general feel is positive but, as is always the case, more could be achieved.
Lastly, the re-work is probably the most controversial of all changes. In spite of the good intentions of the streamlined game-play the possible elimination of AP Yi may be too much to bear. Even if the game-play is actually improved restricting the breath of builds won’t be something welcome and could be a sacrifice that not everyone would appreciate.
What do you think about the new Wuju Bladesman?