Meddler: Master Yi Changes on the Horizon

by James Bates

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(Photo: Riot Games)

After spending the last six months in one of the worst states in his history, Master Yi may finally be getting some love. 

Meddler went on the forums to respond to a post about the champion's weak state, and claimed that the balance team is currently looking into changes designed to increase his power. When these changes would be shipping was left in the air, but he was adamant that they would be coming soon. 

These changes are the second confirmed changes hitting the jungle in the near future. Meddler also confirmed buffs for Nidalee earlier in the week, as she has taken sole possession of worst win rate ever since the beginning of Season 7. 

Both of these changes have sparked controversy within the community, however. Nidalee utterly dominated the competitive scene from the time she was reworked to be able to jungle up until she was all but gutted a couple months ago. Master Yi spent quite literally years as one of the most oppressive solo queue junglers in lower rankings due to his combination of extraordinary damage and farming speed -- a combination that he exploited to make great use of Feral Flare and it's eventual successor, the Devourer Enchantment. Fans of champions that have long been on the periphery of viability, such as Urgot or Warwick, have complained bitterly about Riot already taking a look at buffing up both Nidalee and Yi after a comparatively short period of time spent out of the metagame. 

There's also a strong argument that Master Yi is so dependent on the existence of complementary items that he's all but impossible to balance. Before the existence of Feral Flare or Devourer, Yi was widely acknowledged as one of the weakest champions in the league, with neither the crowd control to lock down targets nor the burst damage to kill them quickly. The end of Season 6 saw Devourer get removed from the game due to game health concerns, and Yi's winrate plummeted as a result. What Meddler intends to make Yi strong enough to stand on his own is largely unknown, but many in the community are worried about what will happen if another item that synergizes so strongly with Yi is released after he receives buffs. Few are left in the League community who remember the horrors of Master Yi back in season 2, where AP Yi completely dominated the game for a number of months. Those that do are understandingly skeptical about what will happen if the balance team doesn't keep a keen eye on the League's master of Wuju.

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.