For those that have started to play more recently, once upon a time Master Yi was playable as an AP midlaner due to having an outrageously high ratio on his Q. This meant his gameplay consisted mainly of
- Stonewalling lane forever and ever with meditate (which also had a huge AP ratio)
- Waiting around skirts in teamfights to use Q, which was all of his frontloaded damage
- If he got a kill, his ult reset used to be 100% of the cooldown, so he immediately went into another Q.
is a classic example of this gameplay in action.
Does this sound similar to current Yi? It pretty much should, since Duskblade is kind of the second coming of this kind of playstyle. One of the express objectives of the Yi rework was removing this kind of uninteractive playstyle where Yi would just Q you, you take the damage because untargetable, except this is also most of his damage so you can't avoid it, you can't hit him, and if he does kill you he just goes at it away. This is why Yi's current passive isn't a full reset, to give a window where Yi doesn't have his Q up after a kill and can't immediately go untargetable.
However, enter Duskblade. Duskblade is currently the most built item on Yi, and changes his play pattern to something quite similar to what old AP Yi used to be. Instead of using Q as an outplaying/dodging damage tool, with duskblade now:
- Yi has frontloaded burst in the form of Q + duskblade auto, so the brunt of his damage is during untargetability.
- Yi now has a stealth window to wait out his Q reset with no risk, creating the cleanup problem we talked about.
Honestly every time I face him I feel like what it was facing old Yi, where you just have to be completely cautious at all moments or he's going to start a reset train which doesn't actually let you stun or exhaust him. Also bear in mind I'm not talking balance or strength-wise, I don't think Yi is OP or anything like that. I'm just wondering why a playstyle that Riot themselves disavowed some time ago is now pretty much coming back. What do you guys think?
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