Updated at July 14, 11:55 a.m. (GMT+8): Added mid-patch nerfs that Riot just released today.
If you haven’t started your ranked climb this season, these League of Legends patch 12.13 buffs to Master Yi will definitely incentivize you.
Acknowledging that he’s a champion that is stronger at lower ranks and less impactful at higher Elo, Riot Games nerfed him significantly in earlier patches this Season 12, but started to hotfix him again even before patch 12.10’s Durability Update.
Patch 12.13 gives him a slightly longer basic attack range, and more skill expression when he uses his bread and butter ability, Alpha Strike. Meditation also received a massive buff that shaves off 19 seconds to its cooldown.
The game developers believe that Yi “is pretty dependent on being durable in higher brackets of play”, they wrote in the patch notes, and hope that these buffs will give him more ways to survive in longer team fights, reducing his rank polarity in solo queue.
Master Yi buffs on League of Legends patch 12.13
- Attack range increased from 125 to 175
Q – Alpha Strike
- (New) Pick and choose: Previously, when Alpha Strike ends, Yi is placed 75 units in front of his primary target, which has now been removed. Now, by default, Master Yi will be placed 75 units in front of his primary target.
- During Alpha Strike, Master Yi may right click to instead be placed 75 units in the direction clicked
W – Meditate
- Cooldown decreased from 28 to 9 seconds
- Mana cost decreased from 50 to 40 + 6% maximum mana per second
- Damage reduction during meditate adjusted from 60/62.5/65/67.5/70% to 90% for the first 0.5 seconds, reduced to 60/62.5/65/67.5/70% for the remainder of the channel
- Lingering damage reduction: For 0.5 seconds after Meditate ends
Mid-patch 12.13 hotfixes
- Base AD decreased from 66 to 65
- AD growth decreased from 3 to 2.5
- Alpha Strike (Q) – Cooldown increased from 18/17.5/17/16.5/16 to 20/19.5/19/18.5/18
- Meditate (W) – Damage reduction changed from 60/62.5/65/67.5/70%, increased to 90% for the first 0.5 seconds to 45/47.5/50/52.5/55%, increased to 90% for the first 0.5 seconds
Prior to this patch, opposing players could predict where Master Yi lands after casting Alpha Strike. The best time to counterstrike (heh) is after he comes out of Alpha, for it always puts him in front of his primary target. Better players will time and aim their crowd control in this area.
This move made him predictable, and combined with his low survivability, made him an unpopular pick at higher ranks where he held a low 46.74% win rate at Platinum and above on patch 12.12, according to U.GG.
Now in patch 12.13, Master Yi players can choose where to land after Alpha Strike’s animation, opening up a myriad of possibilities. If no direction is selected, he’ll still end up in front of the primary target by default.
Secondly, the big buffs to Meditate cannot be ignored. Not only does it have a much shorter cooldown, it also gives him a huge damage reduction boost in its first 0.5 seconds–an important point for anyone playing against him too–for you might want to hold off attacks the moment you see Meditate’s channel animation.
However, due to server ping plus taking into account reaction times, analyst and content creator Nick “LS” De Cesare pointed out in his patch rundown that the 90% damage reduction within the short 0.5 second time frame may not make any difference at all if you’re not playing in a low ping environment. Combining ping delays, team fight complexity, and human reaction times, opposing players may not even attack Master Yi within the first 0.5 seconds. The lingering damage reduction however, is still a solid buff.
Read the full LoL patch 12.13 notes here.