Hi there. I got a few thoughts about possible Yi rework and for some reason i wish to share them. Chances of riot stuff ever reading it are close to nonexistent i guess, yet why the heck not.
For those who hate to read this much - sorry for no tl;dr, you might skip the italic text (though they contain quite a few valuable thoughts) or just skip the complete article and go play another match instead. And please, do not comment it with "didn't care to read, too much text". If you don't want to read it, simply go your way, nobody's forcing you. For those who decided to give it a shot - thank you kindly. For those who will read and think it's stupid - well, sorry. From my point of view it all fits together well enough, otherwise i wouldn't bother you at all.
So i think i've heard somewhere that Yi is to be reworked again (since 2013 rework didn't really change him that much i suppose), or maybe it means just little gameplay tweaks, but i'd suggest to compelety change him, no matter how i love the good old Yi.
First off - i'm no professional gamer, i do know how game works but i never had patience to try climbing above gold league. My playlevel is sometimes around plat+ and sometimes around silver, all depending on motivation. Lately i got pretty bored so i just keep playing only Yi, Yasuo and Lux mostly, with Yi in priority.
Now, about Yi nowadays (and all way back in history of League). He's quite unique champion, probably the most unforgiving in terms of enemy mistakes, the most steamrolling, the easiest to carry the game alone in low divisions (gold and below). His only downside is once you get to know how to play against him, you can effectively take him down before he hurts anyone. I dunno myself about how well Yi works in high league, but from what i've heard and suspected - not so good.
The other cool thing about him is that you can build pretty much any AD stuff on him and it will work. Usually you'd want to boost one stat, either crits + AD or onhit items, but it still works anyway.
And finally the last thing about Yi: he's considered one of the most "unskilled" champs in League. I think it's wrong but that's just my opinion and i kinda still agree he's pretty easy to master (yet it's hard to find an actually smart Yi but that's how it is with any champ).
Ah, and one more thing. By lore he's supposed to be a highly skilled swordsman (this is actually one of reasons i ever play him, and i will stick to this matter all the way till the end), but in reality he's just a walking blender, like he was called in one of Plentakill songs. I think it'd be better to make him more of a fighter than assassin.
**Actual thoughts (skip the prelude if you don't give a damn):**
So the main idea is to give him some sort of global stacks of abilities shared by mutual cooldown. Y'know, like Azir soldiers, but a little different - you use one of basic abilties, consuming one stack, then all basic abilities go on a cooldown. A pretty short cooldown, plus it's reduced by bonus attack speed or CDR. Stacking time itself is reduced by the other stat (CDR or bonus attack speed respectively). Also his actual attack speed benefits from bonus AS only by half (so he won't surely be "a blender", giving his attacks a better feel, a weight).
**Innate passive(Wuju Style?): ** Master Yi stores stacks of (Wuju? Ki? I dunno how to name it). All Yi's abilities except for the ultimate require stacks to use. Bonus attack speed speeds up basic attacks only by half of it, the other half is contributed to cooldowns between stacks uses. CDR stat reduces time to get new stacks. Or opposite (CDR between stacks, AS stacking itself). Basic abilities share the same stacks and cooldown in between. By default Yi has 4 stacks, +1 for each ultimate level.
Also, all his abilities cast speed (animations too) benefits from movespeed.
_This all is supposed to keep all stats relevant to him as it is now. Yet i'm quite unsure what's the best way for it to be done. If you max the stat that reduces time between stack uses, you'll run out of stacks, and so if you reduce stacking time but not the time between uses you simply will never be able to use em to fullest. It requires some thinking but i'm honestly out of thoughts on this one.
Update, a thought while finishing the conclusion. Bonus Attack Speed might give him additional skill damage instead, stacks replenishing time reduced by CDR and/or level and time between stack uses is static and is reduced by leveling (like Garen's perserverance boosts or even more softly, like -0.1 second per each level. I would go with the latter).
The idea of stacks itself seems like a good way to underline his bladesman nature. A real swordsman either attacks or blocks or moves (or dashes to land an attack, and to those who do know stuff about swordsmanship, i know it's not entirely true, but.. i hope you get my point), but not all in same time, he needs time to catch breath. Also it will give some window of playarounds both to him and to his foes. And you'll have to think what to use in that exact moment and should you ever use it cuz after it you can easily be caught off-guard. After all, it looks like a nice half-borrowed, half-original mechanic._
**Alpha strike (Q): **briefly becomes untargetable, jumping forward, dealing damage in line alongside the blink distance, and delivering a horizontal slash (like Yasuo's EQ synergy? But is treated like a basic attack in AoE cone) upon arrival. The jump is a blink (ignores collisions and can't be interrputed). Its main purposes are mobility (escapes, walljumps, gapcloser) and waveclear. And a good finisher.
_Thinking of it again i remembered that Kayn has a similar dash + swing stuff (never played Kayn thus i don't rly know how it's performed), but i think mine version is distinctive enough, in all terms. And unlike AD Kayn's dash it won't literally oneshot squishies. Its damage line while blinking can do extra damage to minions and monsters but cannot crit. The arrival slash oppositely doesn't do extra damage to creeps but is just an AoE basic attack which can crit and applies lifesteal/on-hit effects.
The best side of it is that it's not targeted. Alpha Strike right now is both effective and too predictable with its targeted nature. A player with good reaction will know where you land and will be prepared for it. And even though i lost count to people wasting flash on my Q and just delivering me to their lowhp adc, i think it would be much better if it was non-target. If you think it will give Yi too much mobility in terms of wall-dashing, keep in mind the cooldowns. _
**Meditate/Some other name (W):** Readies to parry an incoming attack or spell, completely negating damage from it, healing for amount of missing hp (up to ~20% on max) and restoring one stack of basic abilities (but they still go on cd).
_The Meditate now has quite a few uses - stacking doublestrike, healing, enduring damage, AA reset. Yet i always thought that for a swordsman like him a parry defence mechanics would fit much better. Like Fiora's or Irelia's W, yet with its own style and sense. Since basic abilties share the cooldowns you won't be able to use something else for some time. Yet from the other hand if you're dying from ignite on 2% hp, you will probably die before you finish your Q, so it's better to try to W something to heal out. The parry window is supposed to be even smaller than Fiora's, somewhat 0.5 seconds, to be truly hard and rewarding. Missing health heal looks a good way for some sustain on low health without healing too much on high hp. And again it fits the style of some samurai, geting more profit on higher risk.
I think it's worth mentioning that it only protects you from damage (and CC? I guess it would be too strong since you can already dodge CC with your Q, so CC will still impact you, so you'd better go with Q on it) outside, not from the DoT effects. And you probably won't be able to W out Fizz's R, it still will bite.
Ah, and it can't be interrupted, yet with its really small window it's not a big deal. Also it might ready an attack so you hit it immediately after the W ends, somewhat a reset. _
**Wuju style/Offensive Defence? (E): **Sidesteps and delivers a true damage blow to a single enemy.
_Kinda similar to Fiora's Q, yet with much lesser range, primarily to jump around melee enemy and deliver single true damage attack, not for dashing purposes at all. Still it should be good to dodge some linear spells like Sion's Q. The spell is targeted, so you can't dash to nowhere like Ekko/Fiora, the direction of sidestep is choosed according to your and enemy's facings (not sure in what pattern. It might also be a doublecast like Fiora's Q/Ekko's E, but again, targeted, so before you even move you pick the two points. It, again, fits well for a skilled swordsman who thinks and then moves).
Old E was playing around risk to lose extra damage from its passive while getting some bigger extra damage right now. Since you consume a stack and can't use QW for some time, it retains the risks of losing something while gaining extra burst. It also looks better as a single attack rather than timed buff.
The amount of extra damage to give it remains a mystery to me though. I'd propose either extra true damage, bigger than on current E, maybe sure crit or simply convert all (part of/depending on ability level) the basic AA damage into true while boosting it by ~10-50%. _
**Highlander (R): ** Master Yi calls forth his Wuju spirit, gaining a significant movement speed boost for a few (7 looks fine still) seconds. He can't be slowed and his basic abilities have separate cooldowns for the duration. Also while in ult the last ability used resets its cooldown on a takedown.
Passively each level of ultimate gives an extra maximal stack (as stated in passive description) and give a free stack on a takedown.
_I always love his ultimate like some sort of motivation, when you boost all your speeds and bring the massacre upon the fools trying to fight you (or you run like a coward after taking that lone top tower). The nature of its self-buff is trully joyful for me so i'd in no way accept any other ult for this character. Thus let me explain how and why i'd love it to change.
First of all removing attack speed bonus seems a legit tradeoff since we have a much stronger buff for our mutual basic CDs mechanics - we get separate CDs for the duration. So as soon as you have the stacks you can do everything you want, play around, jump around, parry. It is supposed to show his endurance and motivation boost much better. Also, since abilities speed benefit from movement speed, you get to perform them much faster. And the last cool thing - if you kill someone with, say, Q while in ult, you get that Q reset to chain it or to Q on someone to reduce distance to E him for the secure kill (yet then you reset your E and will have to reach someone else somehow else). I think it would be much more profitable and less OP than CDR on ALL basic abilities, retaining Yi's nature and still allowing him to kill everyone in a single run, yet requiring some good combat thinking and reaction.
Also, i'm not sure if it should get prolonged for each kill. At least not for the full duration. I'd propose 3 or 4 bonus seconds (maybe 2/3/4 on ult level but that's not really necessary) or simply let it be (my point of view). It's probably strong enough already and i would love it to stay a temporary buff. Current Yi, unless he's full crit, can't really enter a somewhat big fight (and sometimes even a duel) without an ult, since he really needs that attack speed buff. With all my reworks i hope he'll be able to sustain himself without ult, and ult will serve exactly the critical moment of motivation. Also no additional duration means you'll have to time it wise, not relying on a takedown to make it literally infinite since 14 seconds in summary is more than enough usually to end a fight or at least score another kill. And now you'll have to wait for a good opportunity, instead of bluntly RQE into the crowd and shredding everything into pieces.
In terms of numbers (damage, cooldowns) i don't think there's any point proposing them, i stated approximate values where needed to give a feel of it. Overall i think his attack pattern will still revolt around attack speed, with abilities being more of survivability with some additional damage alongside, but the damage compared to his AA (with Q being the CC dodger/gapcloser with damage somewhat equal to AA, W being completely harmless to the enemy but proposing a very good sustain and damage endure when timed well, and E being the most damaging (somewhat 1.5-2x more damage than AA) yet the least protective). Cooldowns are supposed to feel like you're playing Yasuo, if you catch my drift. Early on you're slow and use a spell once in a few seconds. But with a game flow you speed up, being able to jump around the battlefield much more fluently.
I maybe should've said something in conclusion, but i've stated all i wanted in comments to abilities, thus i rest my case. I look forward for some criticizing and discussion, but please don't offend me or Yi on the ground of "typical Yi main" or "Yi should just be deleted, no rework will make this cancer a good champion". I'm neither typical player, maybe a Yi player and i sincerily think that the way i proposed he'll be more skillfull and yet have the feeling of Yi plus the feeling of a real swordsman, not the lawn mower.