Yuumi, the magical cat of League, has brought on magical problems for the Riot balance team. She had the lowest win rate for a newly released champion. It was sitting around 30% before she was hotfixed with buffs to 3 of her abilities and her passive. Yuumi went from everyone’s favorite new cutie to dodge if she’s on your team.
Her win rate never reached over 48%, but in patch 9.12, Riot started nerfing her. From then on, she received nothing but nerfs. Now, on patch 9.21, she is sitting on a win rate of 41%. That’s the lowest win rate in the game, 3% less than the second to lowest in the patch, Sylas.
Why is Riot Putting this Cat in the Ground?
She’s supposed to be floating on a book, right? Well, there’s one more part to the Yuumi equation: the World Championship. The pros figured out how to play her and she boasted a pick/ban rate of 100% in some regions. Teams without first pick were forced to ban her, giving that team a disadvantage and making champ select less fun to watch.
Yuumi was hit with a very hard nerf on the World Championship patch. Riot wanted to make sure she would not be permabanned for their premier Esports games. Although Riot missed Pantheon, another problematic champion that’s the new target for permaban, Yuumi is sitting happily on her book with a pick/ban rate of 43% in Worlds.
Viable for Pros, Not for Solo Queue
This is where the balancing team’s nightmare begins. Riot may have patched Yuumi up with a temporary band-aid for the World Championship, but in Solo Queue, she’s bleeding over her 41% win rate. Riot has already expressed that they plan on fixing her for solo queue later.
Where does the gap form? Yuumi is great for pros but fall short when you see her in your games. Most of the difference comes down to the team. In tournament matches, players are far more coordinated, and they can build a team comp that Yuumi works well with.
When playing Yuumi, her Q can be one of the easiest skill shots to hit in the game because you can control where it goes, but if the partner you are attached to moves back a step after firing it, the Q can quickly turn into wasted mana. This is why we often see her paired up with Garen on the World stage. Garen is a melee champ with a built-in speed boost that lets him run in and out quickly so that Yuumi can hit her Q. Yuumi works well with melee champs in general because they will stand farther up in the lane, letting her freely Q the enemy.
Strengths and Unkillable
Yuumi can quickly turn into dead weight if she isn’t played well. If she is, she can become an unkillable nightmare that turns hyper carries into hyper hyper carries. She can chase with slows and speed, she can heal, she can peel, she is as mobile as Rakan, and she can make any engage 5x better. Yuumi can do all of this safely on the front line so long as she has a buddy to ride. Her weakness is supposed to be her fragile nature, but a good Yuumi will never get caught if she has a teammate nearby. Her only weakness is that her positioning relies heavily on her team. Other than that, it’s her general underpowered abilities thanks to the constant nerfs.
Riot needs to take a step back and give her a clear weakness that isn’t solved by her W. She can currently play the role of both sustain and poke. If Riot wants to balance Yuumi without making her sit on a book of weak abilities, they will need to turn her into either a utility healer or poke god without sustain.
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