League of Legends: Yuumi is getting a rework in 2023

Riot Games
Riot Games /

I’ve been away from the competitive League of Legends scene for quite a while now. The extent of my knowledge at this point comes from the show Players, a 2022 mockumentary on Paramount+ that follows a fictional professional League of Legends esports team. If you haven’t yet seen it, I highly recommend you watch it because it’s hilarious — especially if you’ve ever played competitive League of Legends.

The reason I bring this up is that one of the main characters plays support and, at one point, chooses Yuumi in a high-stakes match. I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, but the way the writers tie the lore of Yuumi into the story of the show is incredible. Another thing, the character’s choice to play Yuumi is called into question, and for good reason, if you watch the series.

So all this to say, Riot Games released a blog post this month addressing a rework for Yuumi. Describing the champion as “one of the most popular and one of the most contentious,” the developer shed some light on the magical cat friend’s design and how they are going about her rework.

For starters, Yuumi’s design in general poses a problem. She’s designed to help new players easily learn the basics of League of Legends. She has a mechanic that allows her to attach to her allies and remain untargetable, while providing that champion buffs. While this mechanic has made her approachable for new players, it’s also created some obstacles. As Riot explains:

"The combination of Yuumi’s Enchanter-level defenses, hyperscaling identity, access to powerful engage tools, and untargetability create the perfect storm for frustrating gameplay with little to no means of counterplay. Enchanters as a class are often kept in check by their spell ranges and low durability, which limit how effectively they can protect and support melee champions. For example, a Fighter or Assassin diving in the backline needs to do so without the help of a Lulu shield or Soraka heal, and are often equipped with abilities and items to help them out. Yuumi circumvents a lot of this, as she’s free to jump to whichever champion is strongest, regardless of what happened in the early game."

Riot has made changes to Yuumi’s core fantasy over the years, but they aren’t satisfied with the champion’s current state. She’s incredibly strong in Pro play, but she’s still not quite stable in solo queue. Riot is working to make her less frustrating to play against, while still maintaining her core gameplay pattern. They want her to be better for players but less prevalent in organized play.

In discussing her rework, Riot has identified four primary reasons for Yuumi’s high ban rate and Pro dominance. Yuumi’s strong scaling makes losing lane feel like you’re losing the game. Since Yuumi’s power isn’t tied to her own success, limiting her in lane doesn’t feel impactful. Because she’s weak early game, laning with her as an ADC, especially in solo play, isn’t particularly fun. And finally, Pros have found a way to capitalize on Yuumi’s lack of counterplay. To sum this all up, she’s too strong with the Pros, but not quite balanced enough to be successful in solo queue.

So what’s the plan for Yuumi? Riot hasn’t gotten into specifics for Yuumi’s rework, but we do know it’s being worked on. They still want her to be an easy-to-learn Enchanter and they want to keep her core of protecting and enhancing her allies.

Some top-level ideas briefly discussed in the blog include introducing forms of counterplay, such as making her skills easier to dodge and making her less powerful on highly mobile characters. Or figuring out a way to tie her strength into winning lane. They still want her to be able to attach to champions because they feel it’s a good way for new players learning the game to understand the basics. If they can figure out a way to maintain this mechanic while balancing other aspects, Yuumi could be a fun character to play as in League of Legends.

We’ll learn more about Yuumi’s rework next year. But for now, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.