Riot Games released a new champion for League of Legends on May 14, 2019. This champion is Yuumi, a magical cat who rides on a book and is meant to be an enchanter-style support character (a champion that directly augments their allies’ abilities), and the first support character added to LoL since the release of Nami almost seven and a half years ago. She is the 144th champion released by Riot.
Yuumi is the familiar of Norra, a fairy-like creature who is a manifestation of pure magic. One day, Norra leaves but never returns. After a month or so, Yuumi discovers Norra’s sentient book, the Book of Thresholds that can teleport the user to any location. Now, Yuumi explores the world, looking for her master.
As a brief sidenote, I find it adorable that Norra once said the phrase “You and Me”, which Yuumi misheard and assumed to be her name. It’s really cute how her W, the ability where she attaches herself to an ally, is named “You and Me”.
As stated before, Yuumi is a cat. This makes her fill a design niche previously untouched in League of Legends, that being the “World through the Eyes of an Unaware Animal” archetype. As humans, we can imagine what things would be like through a human perspective, but we are for the most part unable to think like animals. Therefore having an animal as a character allows for ideas and perspectives completely foreign to humans. We can see this in her character reveal video, where she was in the Void, the counter dimension to the world of Runeterra where billions of malformed and malicious beings and monsters that are the size of skyscrapers and specialized in consuming the denizens of Runeterra, and Yuumi is busy talking about fish to her book. This is meant to reflect cats being whimsical creatures that ignore things that they don’t care about.
As for looks, Yuumi is adorable. She’s bluish-gray with a white underbelly, large blue eyes, a tuft of fur around her neck that looks like a lion’s mane, and a magical jeweled gold collar. In order to convey the fact that she’s the pet of a Yordle, she has large curly golden eyebrows, and strands of fur at the top of her head are golden, and she’s topped off with a golden leaf hat.
Her book looks like the standard Grimoire found in fantasy games with a large jewel in the center wreathed by a golden vine. I love how she rides it like a flying carpet; it’s really precious.
Yuumi is a unique champion that brings a mechanic not previously seen in League of Legends before: she attaches herself to an ally champion, becoming untargetable for enemies and, in most cases, allies. While attached to an ally, she and her “anchor” gain various buffs and boons.
Yuumi has a very basic and boring passive, in my opinion. Basically, every 20 to 8 seconds, depending on her level, Yuumi will have 40 to 160 mana restored and will be granted a shield equal to 80 to 360 plus and 40 percent of her current ability power, unless she is attached to an ally, in which case the shield is instead granted to the ally. This passive is weak in my opinion. It just doesn’t help, since Yuumi pops like a balloon when attacked by anything with even the slightest amount of damage output, due to having a microscopic amount of health. The only things I could think of to make this ability better is to, first of all, also redirect the mana she gains if she’s attached to an ally, and also increase the base healing drastically.
Yuumi’s Q is a pseudo-skillshot that has a set duration the projectile can travel for, before exploding. This projectile follows the cursor in a very slowly and turns in a very wide curve. If it was in the air for over one second, it does bonus magic damage and slows the enemy hit for 40 to 80 percent dependant on Yuumi’s level. If Yuumi is attached to an ally, the time this ability follows the cursor is increased by three seconds.
Her W is her main gimmick and has three different effects. The first is a passive ability: Yuumi and the ally she is attached to gain bonus attack damage or ability power, dependant on which stat the other person has. To clarify, if Yuumi has high ability power and her ally has a lot of attack damage, Yuumi will gain bonus attack damage and her ally will gain bonus ability power. In addition to this she starts the game off with a point already in her W, so she starts off with two abilities instead of the normal one. In order for her still have something to put a point into at level 18, her Q has six point slots instead of the standard five.
The active of this ability allows Yuumi to dash to a target ally,become untargetable, and follow behind the ally she is attached to, losing her ability to choose where she moves. She can still auto-attack and cast all spells that aren’t movement spells. In addition to this, it is impossible for Yuumi to be considered disconnected from the game while attached to an ally.
Yuumi can recast this ability to either change the ally she’s attached to or become detached from any allies.
There are two parts to her E ability. First, Yuumi is constantly building up charges of this ability, up to two times. Second, Yuumi uses up a charge of this ability to heal herself for a base percentage dependant on her missing health and then a bonus amount that also depends on her missing health. She also gains movement speed equal to a forth of her current movement speed plus bonus movement speed per every 100 ability power she has. If she is attached to an ally, they will instead gain all of those bonuses.
When she uses her R, Yuumi is pushed backwards and her book fires out seven waves of magical energy. If an enemy is hit by three of these waves, they are rooted in place for 1.75 seconds. For the duration of this ability, she can cast her W and her E as she normally would be able to. At first, this ability sounds like a pretty good ultimate for an enchanter like Yuumi. That is, until you find out that each wave after the first one deals half the damage as the first, and the first only deals damage equal to 140 plus 20 percent of her ability power. That is a laughable amount, even for an enchanter. Plus, Sona has the same ultimate as Yuumi, except Yuumi’s ultimate deals less than a forth of the damage across a few extra waves.
Roles and Lanes
Jungle: Her absolute worst role. She cannot clear jungle camps at even a fraction of the speed other joke jungles can, you have no engage tools, and you pop like a bubble.
Top: You are awful in solo lanes, and with your lack of damage output, escape tools, defense, and health, you are basically unable to even exist in the top lane versus the tanky and attack damage building warriors and brawlers that infest that lane.
Middle: This lane is also aweful for you, but you can at least lie to your allies that you’re still new and you thought that it’d be fun to have an adorable cat as your main and you thought that as a mage she was guaranteed to succeed in mid lane as they flame you for feeding the enemy midlaner as they Thanos snaps your puny existence away with only a few auto attacks and an ability if they decide to spice up the murder of a poor kitty.
Support: This is the role she was made for and the most successful role for her. That being said, literally any opponent who has ever played a game before this one will be able to end Yuumi in only a few button clicks. To put this bluntly, you are a detriment to her team if she are not attached to her ADC (Attack Damage Carry) every possible second. Keep in mind that she will be left alone if her ADC dies, so, unless she abandons ship the second it seems like her ADC might die and haul herself back down the lane to her turret, she will be fed upon by the enemies.
APC (Ability Power Carry)Yuumi was meant to be a support, but, almost immediately after her release, a large portion of the professional players said that her best role would be an ADC who builds ability power instead of attack damage. She has a free escape with her W, so attaching her to a tanky support will make her a decent damage attacker with an escape. For the most part, though, it’s better to just not play her at all.
Yuumi’s release has fueled the ongoing idea that Riot Games has completely forgotten how to design balanced support champions. This all started with Rakan, who, upon release, was considered god tier, then continued with Pyke being better played as a midlaner or jungler, Sylas being played almost exclusively in mid lane, and Yuumi being considered unplayable or an APC.
I’ll be blunt here: if you play any Champion who is at least playable, you’ll beat Yuumi 99.99 percent of time. It’s so bad that, less than an hour after her release, Yuumi hit the second lowest win-rate of any champion at any point, with a laughable 29.71 percent, beat out only by Syndra’s release day win rate of 24.92 percent. At just over 24 hours after her release, Riot disabled her and buffed literally everything in her kit. Even then, she’s sitting at a mere 33.75 percent win rate, making her a complete joke of a champion.
I like the idea of Yuumi. I like the design of Yuumi. I like the lore of Yuumi. As a character, she is wonderful; an amazing inclusion into the roster of champions. However, the way she needs to be played is incredibly boring, I actually went AFK (Away From Keyboard) to cook supper while playing as Yumi, and I came back 20 minutes later to find out my ADC got fed and didn’t even realize I was gone. That is how little skill and effort you need to play her. The lack of power and abysmal win rate is a genuine tragedy, and the fact that, even after everything about her was buffed, she’s still doing horribly, makes me believe there’s no hope for her. Not to mention, the mere fact they changed her W’s name from “Attacc and Protecc” to “You and Me!” enrages me, even though I love the reference to her lore, as the meme potential that was lost out on kept me awake the night I found out about it. I give Yuumi a 1.2/10, and a prayer that Riot will keep buffing our kitty cat goddess.