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League of Legends: Master Yi Skins’ Review – StrategyZero
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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 themselves 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.

Cosmic Blade Master Yi
 Splash Art Cosmic Blade Master Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Master Yi as a cosmic bladesmaster.
Model: New model for Master Yi and his sword plus animated textures for his body.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack, critical strikes and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: Stars, meteors and whatnot along several sparks over a dark, monotonous tone; even an aurora borealis can be seen. While it has some cosmos in it the background is a complete disappointment. Not only does it not provide a setting or context for Yi’s appearance but it also doesn’t even dare to play with her star-covered body and clothes.
At least, Yi receives a more detailed depiction. Lines are clear, lighting is well used and the stellar surfaces, though few, are quite appealing. Sadly, the portrayal is chained to a blue colour palette that even displays the prominent golden decorations and white cloth in the same hue as the blue body. Certain areas are also more subdued and blurred than others, only a bit, but unnecessarily so. The pose may also very well be daring and dashing but it conceals much of Yi’s look as well as his sword. While it has to be admitted that it makes an impact, at a glance, in the long term it loses its one trick and becomes substandard.
All added together, this is a splash art that catches the eye for a few seconds before its problems affect the outcome. It makes for a powerful presentation card initially but its reliance on impression prevents it from allowing it to be a credible introduction to the drastically different feel of the three-dimensional reality.
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: Although to be expected, Cosmic Blade Master Yi is naturally but probably too close to Cosmic Reaver Kassadin; to the point that they seem to be the same thing. There’s potential in such an interpretation and there is in the implementation, too. However, not all of it is realised. The complex design of the model can end up overloaded with bells and whistles to the point that more than an astral swordsman Yi looks like a mockery of a bad superhero. The sword itself has a more restrained design but more than elegantly designed it seems caricaturesque. Nonetheless, the model surely stands on its own with a unique though familiar look that doesn’t always display the animated textures given how many elements vie for attention.
In terms of particles, there’s a rather rigid design of blue twinkles. That’s visible in the all-important auto-attacks as well as Alpha Strike. Speaking of which, forming a constellation is a great touch for the ability but the fact that Master Yi turns into a tiny spark makes the ability feel weak and subdued. Meditate makes for quite a display of stars though the bright yellow doesn’t match the dull gold elsewhere and doesn’t work well with the abundance of white and blue.
Wuju Style has a dim glow which, when activated, barely looks any bigger but the large blue trails are a good addition. While in game-play terms that could be an advantage it doesn’t stop being disappointing. Highlander also has an uneven feel to it. The blue glow is a great fit for when Master Yi runs at high speed. The counterpart is that when Yi attacks on one spot the effect gets in the way and doesn’t add to the activity. Perhaps the glow should’ve ebbed and flowed from side to side as Yi swings his sword.
With regards to sounds the rigid design of the visuals seems lax in comparison. Every ability and auto-attack relies on the same high-pitched bell chiming. Sometimes the sound stands apart because of its tone, like the critical strikes, but the general feel is always the same. The recall doesn’t add much to the theme. It’s fanciful and catches the eye yet without having much in regards to stellar qualities.
All added together, Cosmic Blade Master Yi is a good skin but one with quite a limited and strict design. While, for the most part, that means consistency and cohesion in this case it also means a restrictive implementation; even more so as the same elements are reused or simply adapted between abilities and auto-attacks. Add to this the overly complicated model and while there’re things to like Cosmic Blade Master Yi seems too focused on a single star to represent a whole cosmos.

Eternal Sword Yi
Eternal Sword Yi Splash Art Eternal Sword Yi Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Master Yi as a Xianxia sword master.
Model: New model for Master Yi and his sword plus transparent strips and new wind trail.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New animated strips, new animation for Double Strike, Highlander, high speed run and recall.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: Blurry mountains behind with a photorealistic feel to them but no personality. The setting is nothing more than a frame for Yi to be within. There’re flying swords that don’t glow as they do in-game and petals which are quite unexpected. In truth, it all seems rather barebones.
Master Yi stands with a relaxed visage and confident pose about his skills. His back is visible and only from the waist up so it’s not possible to get a good idea of his looks. What is obvious and the great revelation is his face, uncovered for the first time. There’re even glowing lights before it echoing his famous visor; which is a great touch. Sadly, his face feels utterly generic. He simply looks like any other serene, master swordsman found in any media. That is: clean face, small beard, long hair; there’s nothing interesting and he does look a bit like Yasuo. The symbol on his forehead hints at something grander but only that. It could be argued that his face shouldn’t look strange or weird for the sake of it, agreed. However, for a mystery long held it seems anticlimactic. Fine, he’s a normal man underneath the visor but perhaps too normal. While nothing extraordinary is necessary his features could’ve told a bit more about himself; perhaps hardened or mystic. As he looks, he seems uninterested, bored and even a tad pretentious. Being the high point of the splash art there’s little else to see. The mask hanging at his waist is a good touch to reflect its use in-game. Besides, the flowing clothes suit the windy mysticism. The partially seen sword shows most of its elaborate design but the glow seems weak and solid. Additionally, his left hand fingers seem too long for the proportions of his body. The blur around Yi doesn’t do the splash art any favours either and should’ve better communicated the wind aspect.
All in all, this is a splash art with one sole redeeming quality: the reveal of Yi’s face. Unfortunately, it isn’t as impressive as it could be as his visage strikes as generic and, ultimately, more appropriate for a spoiled prince than a master swordsman. The portrayal has a good approach but isn’t effective and the setting lacks meaning. With all that in mind, this piece feels a lot like a letdown.
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Conclusion: Undoubtedly, this is a concept that suits the Wuju Bladesman almost automatically. With less technology and a touch more magic the msytical swordsman is easily presented. Still, for such an effortless transformation the skin seems to be rather unimaginative. In terms of looks, Eternal Sword Yi stands out more for revealing the Bladesman’s face than the identity it proposes. Even the style of his clothes fits Classic. From the waist down they are practical but simple. Up, they tend to be too ornamented as if overloaded with designs. It all ends up being practical enough, for the presented fantasy, though the decoration doesn’t seem to serve a purpose beyond looks. The strips of transparent cloth are there for style and the mask, going on and off between abilities, feels whimsical and a bit random; even if it actually isn’t. The new black blade has a gold-engraved surface and feasible yet classy design. It’s an attractive, tasteful design that seems at odds with Yi’s flashy clothes but not the philosophy expected from a swordsmaster. In other words, the blade seems to represent the idea behind the skin better than the clothes do. In fact, sword aside, it seems like it’s the same Yi with a change of clothing.
Particles are quite brief in most cases. Auto-attacks have interesting trails only when Wuju Style’s passive or active is present. Alpha Strike shows a barely noticeable golden outline of Yi between enemies along the wind trail. It’s visible but seems simplistic. Meditate is the most interesting ability with its unfolding of swords around Yi. The golden swirls look nice and match the swords’ glow but are nothing groundbreaking, the best part is the beginning. Wuju Style’s glow for the sword is subtle and elegant. It flows with delicacy and bathes the blade in colour though it’s rather low-key. Highlander uses large gusts of winds and a longer, wider trail behind Yi when active. Animation aside, it’s a simple addition of a few particles which, for an ultimate, lets down.
Sounds employ soft metal clanks to add a mystic air to Yi’s abilities. Auto-attacks sound almost like Classic except for an added, subtle sonorous slash added to the hit. Alpha Strike sounds like a series of dull metal clanks ending in a final bell chime that’s left vibrating; which is good yet hardly impressive. Meditate unfolds swords in a mystic clank of metal with soft, weak whistling afterwards; only the first part is appealing. Wuju Style’s passive manifests as a magical howl and the active as a crystalline twinkle. Both are nice even if short sounds. Highlander starts with xylophonic magical tunes and continues with soft gusts of wind which is all quite apt and classy though subdued.
Animations are few but interesting. The recall sees Yi removing his mask, for no reason, and unfolding his magical sword in an eye-catching display of magical sword prowess. They join together for him to ride it away. It’s mostly a show but, at least, it shows relevant aspects of the skin. The high speed run sees Yi again over his sword which is consistent albeit unimpressive. Double Strike changes the horizontal double swipe for two vertical, one-handed swipes: first upwards and then downwards. It’s noticeably different, a bit showy but, ultimately, a good touch to contribute to the skin’s identity.
Overall, Eternal Sword Yi is a skin that does quite a few things. The problem is that most aren’t really remarkable. The model hardly stands out in looks and elements are used without much meaning added to them. Particles are classy in many places but tend to also be too restrained even when there’s no reason to be so. Something similar applies to sounds with nothing that strikes as memorable. Animations tend to merely fill the gaps with only Double Strike feeling novel yet perhaps not being the ideal choice. Thus, this is a skin that tries yet doesn’t manage to define its identity with the various implemented elements. It’s good and appealing for what it sets out to be but the result isn’t as good as it could be.

Snow Man Yi
Snow Man Yi Splash Art Snow Man Yi Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Master Yi as a snowman swordsmaster.
Model: New model for Master Yi and his sword.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: For such a blurry background there surely are quite a few things to see. So, it’s a real pity that everything is so diffuse when so much is going on. From a familiar reference on the right to the furry company on the left or the many dummies that have tasted Yi’s blade, it’s a setting that gives us a full scene but forcefully relegated.
Master Yi appears like a true master of the carrot sword, his vanquished foes can attest to it. With bright colours and nice shading his portrayal catches the eye with detailed surfaces. Unfortunately, ice and metal look rather dim despite being directly under sunlight. Other surfaces are also dim or diffuse like his trousers. Conversely, his jacket seems rather bright though not the fur lining which is a bit sketchy as well as the hat. Still, it’s a dashing portrayal that lets Yi work in tandem with his surroundings.
All added together, this is a particularly engaging splash art with a rich context for an appealing depiction of Master Yi. Things could be better, more of Yi could be visible, for example, and an extra layer of polish is in order, especially to make the background less blurry. Regardless, this is a good example of how to provide an interesting and well rounded presentation card.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Snow Man Yi does right by its name. While he may be more clothed than the popular depiction of a snow man Yi is effectively transformed and given a deadly sword made out of a frozen carrot. Besides matching his nose, in the right hands it’s something to fear. The clothes are all in tones of blue which make Yi more homogeneous than he probably should be. Given that he’s made of snow perhaps a colour palette with different colours or more contrast would’ve helped make him look less monotonous. The eyes proper of his visor are adapted into several shards of ice which looks peculiar but works as a reference to Classic.
Expectedly, particles would make use of large quantities of ice but that’s not really the case here. Besides the use of small snowflakes all around, the base of the particle design is blue trails and glows. While there’s a subtle frosty feel to them they do look flat, while abilities add some extra ice here and there it’s always subtle and while impacts display snow the visuals end up feeling lacklustre. Meditate’s golden glow is an understandable need for a healing ability but more emphasis on snowflakes and the timid blue swirls would’ve helped the ability fit in the theme. Highlander, for an ultimate, looks simplistic. It just doesn’t offer anything above the basic design of other abilities but it does share all of their problems.
Sounds are quite shy. While auto-attacks make the sword sound convincing there’s only the usual icy tones and twinklings to be heard in abilities. It’s also noteworthy how abilities sound weak and afraid of any loud or impactful sounds. Highlander may be the only highlight with its gusts of wind. Other abilities tend to sound rather alike and also, as if making an effort not to be noticed.
The new recall is a joke at the expense of his weapon’s choice. While the joke can remain funny for only so long it’s a rather suitable choice as it specifically works with his unique look. What is strange is how the replacement carrot blade appears. As therecall is done, it seems to simply reset the animation which looks unpolished.
On the whole, Snow Man Yi is a skin with a rather good model surrounded by disappointing and uninspired particles and sounds. They are timid, weak and have no novelty. It could be said that the skin delivers on what it promises and that’s fair enough. However, that’s taking things too lightly. The skin, as a whole, lets down in half, let’s say, of what it offers, particles and sounds, while only model and recall, for what the latter’s worth, are actually nice. Given that this is a legacy skin for a special event more is to be expected.


Master Yi has always had good skins and 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 among the others due to their concept or execution.

The recommended skin is Chosen Master Yi. It may have a discreet outfit but the spectacular lightsaber will delight Star Wars fans. The new particles and sounds effectively bring the weapon to life and give the skin a fantastic personality. On top of that, it has a rather low price so there’s a lot to like in Chosen Master Yi.

Those that prefer something with a less pronounced sci-fi angle will find in Assassin Master Yi an interesting alternative. It delivers more of what makes Yi attractive but with a new and interesting dark flavour. With its modern ninja style the skin offers a likeable appearance at a low price that is recommended for Yi fans.

A traditional option is Samurai Yi. The path of bushido fits Yi perfectly so he easily fits the role. The armour is restricted by his classic design and historical accuracy is compromised but the end result is attractive. Given the low price Samurai Yi is a great choice for fans of eastern warriors.

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.

Quite eye-catching with its distinct style is Cosmic Blade Master Yi. This is a skin with a clear focus on its theme but so intense that it bases most of its features from the same star design and blue glow adapted to each situation. The model also seems overloaded with ornamentation. All together makes for a skin that stands out but that fails at exhibiting the cosmic properties it intends to. It’s an appealing option but one that needs broader horizons.

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.

Another expensive option is Eternal Sword Yi. It’s a skin with an unsurprisingly suitable concept that has every advantage to succeed. The problem is that the implementation lacks punch and while it’s often classy and elegant it doesn’t have impact. It doesn’t help that Yi dresses rather flashy yet also behaves with rather subdued effects. Regardless, the skin is likeable for its intentions if its imperfections can be forgiven.

Snow Day Yi is a skin that delivers on its promise but too strictly. It has a good model and a recall which makes use of his peculiar look but particles and sounds disappoint. They simply fail to be interesting and they surely lack personality. The result is a skin with areas that are simply lacklustre which deteriorate the appeal of the whole product. As a special, legacy skin for Snowdown, this is a letdown.

  52 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

  8. No insult intended, but why is Chosen Yi not the recommended skin?
    For an incredibly low price, you get a new model, new particle effects, and new sounds effects. Assassin and Samurai seems redundant given Master Yi’s design.

    • Don’t worry, it’s a sensible question and you’re completely right. It seems we didn’t update the conclusion as thoroughly as we should’ve. We’ll change a few things to better reflect the actual ratings. Thanks for the notice.

  9. Ah cmon! Project yi is like the best! I love the techno-style kinda look. Those and the arcade skins are riot’s best work. Although i do not agree with the pricing, its splash art and new ability looks are amazing to me. But nevertheless, great review and I enjoy them a lot!

    • Glad that you like the review.

      We agree that the concept behind PROJECT: Yi is great but the execution simply falters. The skin doesn’t even offer the usual features expected of a legendary skin and that’s simply unacceptable these days. There’s no excuse to release a legendary skin that is technically simpler than the previous ones.

      • what features are you talking about here?
        can you please tell me, i really love this skin and i think it is worth

        • We are talking mainly about new animations as it only has a few. Legendary skins tend to have all brand new animations custom made to reflect the new theme. The particles also are uneven in that some stand out easily and other look too similar to classic: like Wuju Style’s sword glow. Alpha Strike mostly uses a static image that looks nice but that could’ve added an extra animation or effect as it’s practically the same ability but with a different outline texture.

          The skin has an appealing concept and the execution does have its moments. For instance, Highlander is rather well done though we feel there’s room to make it more special. In the end, it’s a subjective matter and we understand why you like the skin. However, we find that PROJECT: Yi doesn’t reach the level of a legendary skin. It’s good but its potential far surpasses what its ultimately achieved.

  10. Hey man Thx for the review I got Chosen Yi and it is a pretty nice skin. One question are you also the owner of Lolskinshop and if you are can You tell me if its safe to buy smurfs there because Im in need of a smurf but Dont have time to get one too lv30 thx again!

    • We have no relation to any other site. Besides, we would advise against purchasing accounts as its against the terms of service of League of Legends. We don’t know if sites that sell accounts are trustworthy or how they really operates but accounts are stated by Riot to be individual and selling them is against the rules. Besides, you never know what lies beyond a webpage’s pretty design.

      You can risk it but you are opening yourself to consequences that may not merit the effort. We’d advise caution and to simply open a new account and play with it if you really want another one. The less middlemen involved the better.

  11. Hey Zero, I just got PROJECT:Yi from the disruption cache. I wanted to know if it was worth to enchant it or not.

    • On the one hand, PROJECT: Yi isn’t such a good legendary skin so as to pay full price for it; only choice though as it’s a legendary. On the other hand, you could try to get better skins if you reuse the resources necessary to craft it.

      Either way there are advantages and disadvantages. The problem is that you may get the chance of crafting better skin or you could get worse ones. Crafting relies too much on luck so you have to consider how much you like PROJECT: Yi. Would it be worth to lose the chance to craft the skin for the chance to craft better skins? It can be subjective due to the luck factor. It’s a matter of seeing if what you risk is worth the possible reward and if you accept the possible loss.

  12. Similar to the question above, if PROJECT: Yi was “free” (such as acquired through a chest), would your ranking improve? Obviously free skins are essentially automatic 5-stars, but not what I am going for with the inquiry lol

    • Not really as you could get any other skin free. We stand by the rating: as a legendary skin PROJECT: Yi is lacking. It doesn’t cover the essential features it should have; most of the animation are identical to classic for example. Besides, the particles and sounds don’t go an extra step to be appealing. It’s a skin with some saving features but only a few. For the most part, it would be better to get another skin for Yi.

      The problem is that just as there are better skins there are also worse or just as bad but less elaborate. Therefore, hoping to disenchant resources to get a better skin might work but isn’t certain. We’d advise caution. PROJECT: Yi is flawed but not terrible. There’s ample room for improvement but it could be worse; sadly there’s ample proof of that.

  13. Hey there Zero, can u help me decide which skins should I craft? Ive got 5 skins in my hextech chest. Cottontail Fizz, Iron Solari Leona, Fnatic Janna, Junkyard Trundle & Project Yi. Keep in mind I have to disenchant some of the skins in order to craft one.

    Im planning to disenchant Junkyard Trundle anyway as I dont play him at all. Cottontail looks funny & entertaining, Iron Solari looks really cool with her armors, Fnatic Janna not really worth but since it’s Esport maybe I cud consider, Project Yi of course im really considering since its a Legendary tier n I lack any skins for Yi.

    Can u help me decide? much appreciated 😀

    • Sorry for the late reply the message must’ve slipped between others.

      It depends on how much you have spent on hextech crafting but, most importantly, what you really like. We can agree that Iron Solari Leona, for a fan of the Radiant Dawn, is a very nice choice. PROJECT: Yi is probably the most elaborate skin he has yet not the most well realised. The skin seems like a 975 RP skin with a few extras that don’t justify the legendary label. However, if you like Yi it may be one of the best skins you could craft for him considering the random nature of hextech crafting.

      As you mention, Fnatic Janna and Junkyard Trundle are mostly re-models with shallow personalities. The latter has a clear identity but if you don’t like Trundle it simply isn’t good enough to be considered indispensable. The former has some value as a legacy skin for collecting purposes. However, the Storm’s Fury has much better options available in her wardrobe. Cottontail Fizz has an uneven execution and simple concept. It’s not a bad skin but doesn’t capture the theme in full.

      From what you mention, we think that PROJECT: Yi sounds like a good option to craft. It’s not really a skin to purchase, too expensive for what it offers, but has some flawed appeal. Iron Solari Leona is a good skin. It has aged a bit but still has a fine personality that suits her. Cottontail Fizz could be an option if you can accept the notorious inconsistencies. Fnatic Janna could be worth crafting as it’s not that great of a purchase. Junkyard Trundle might be better left behind if you don’t play him.

  14. Are you kidding me. Project yi is prolly the coolest skin he ever has besides chosen

    • Technically, PROJECT: Yi is the most elabrate of his skins. However, it’s too inconsistent and uneven for a legendary skin. In fact, Chosen Master Yi does a much better job at realising its concept than PROJECT does. If we add the legendary level of resources then it’s clearly questionable why the skin doesn’t offer a compelling transformation for Yi.

      In terms of how effective PROJECT: Yi is as a legendary skin we have to admit that it’s lacking. It’s a flawed skin that seems made for 975 RP then bumped to legendary. The rough edges that show the absence of the skin’s theme are too salient and the lack of cohesion is easily noticeable. As a legendary skin, it’s too poor of an implementation to be lenient with.

  15. When will Cosmic Blade Master Yi be reviewed?

  16. Which skin should I get? Project Yi or Cosmic blade?

    • In spite of the difference in tier they offer similar features. PROJECT: Yi has serious problems as a legendary skin. Cosmic Blade is acceptable but there’s much more that the skin could’ve done to realise the whole appeal of its theme. In this case it might be better to wait for a sale on Cosmic Blade. It’s a good skin but not as good as the concept allows. There’re also cheaper and better developed alternatives if you want to look beyond these two. PROJECT: Yi should be reserved for the most dedicated fans that don’t mind the skin lacking in certain areas.

  17. Should i get cosmic blade yi or eternal sword yi?

    • Depends if you prefer something more eye-catching like Cosmic Blade or restrained like Eternal Sword. Both skins are quite different but they also share an adaptation that doesn’t take full advantage of the concept. Neither easily stands above the other but they do have differences. It really depends on what you expect from the skin.

  18. Hi, about Snow Man Yi, you said the ice shards are reference to his classic visor. At first I thought the ice shards or gems are arranged in the pattern of a smiley face, like a typical snowman has a smiley face made of pebbles. But after reading your interpretation, it does bear the resemblance of his classic. Hmm…never thought about that.

    • If we recall correctly, in the trailer for Snowdown 2018 it mentions a snow man with seven eyes. We counted and didn’t come up exactly with that number but most of the eyes seem to be there, anyway.

      • Oh I haven’t watched the trailer until you showed me. It does mention a snowman with seven eyes, but is it? All i saw is a smiley face XD

        • From the splash art, icon and model we see a snowman face with a carrot nose and three shards of ice scattered on each cheek, which are the eyes. We agree, though, that depending on perspective Snow Man Yi does look like he’s simply similing with two eyes. The design is a bit ambiguous in that regard, for better and worse.

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