League community responds to controversial Yuumi hotfix buff on LoL Patch 12.16

Riot Games

She’s the cutie cat that everyone loves to hate, and a hotfix buff on LoL Patch 12.16 has made Yuumi more powerful than ever.

If you’ve ever played a game of League of Legends, watched LoL esports, or tuned into a League stream on Twitch, chances are you’ve heard somebody complain about Yuumi, the Magical Cat.

Released on May 14, 2019, Yuumi quickly rose to popularity as one of the most polarizing League characters of all time. She’s a support champion whose primary utility comes from healing and buffing her carries, remaining untargetable while she’s attached to an ally.

She’s simple to play and provides huge gameplay rewards for very little skill investment – making her one of the most controversial champions in the game. She’s currently the second-most banned champion in worldwide solo queue as of August 26 with a 37 percent ban rate, second only to mid lane assassin Zed.

Her presence in professional play has been meta-defining. Fnatic’s Yuumi/Garen bot lane was one of the most iconic features of the 2019 World Championship, and she’s seen a consistently high presence in the pro meta thanks to her consistent utility. So far in 2022, she’s the third-highest presence support champion across the world of competitive League.

So you can only imagine the community’s response when Matt ‘RiotPhroxzon’ Leung-Harrison confirmed via Twitter that Yuumi had received a hotfix buff on August 25, in an attempt to ‘add some power back’ to a champion many believed was already too strong.

What was the buff and why was it necessary

The buff has added a significant amount of damage back into her Prowling Projectile (Q), and taken 20 seconds off her Final Chapter (R) cooldown at rank one.

According to Phroxzon’s tweet, the aim of the buffs was to move power away from her Zoomies (E) after putting the spell in a “better long term spot” with nerfs on Patch 12.16 – which came out less than 24 hours before the hotfix was introduced.

Her win rate did take a slight drop on the release of 12.16, bringing it down to where it currently sits at 48 percent. That is, admittedly, on the lower side – so is her high ban rate the result of a hatred of her playstyle, or the fact that she’s an overpowered champion?

The answer is a little bit of both. Enchanter-style supports have always been somewhat controversial in League of Legends. There’s nothing more tilting than getting a target to low health only to have them healed right back up to full before you can deliver the killing blow, and that’s something that enchanters like Yuumi, Janna, and Lulu shine at when their healing abilities are a little overtuned.

Community response

As you can imagine, community responses to a hotfix buff immediately after a major nerf were… not impressed. Multiple pro players responded to the original tweet suggesting, in no uncertain terms, that the only way to properly balance Yuumi would be to remove her from the game entirely.

Many expressed concerns that such a huge buff would completely counteract any effect on her win rate that had come from the 12.16 nerfs – that Riot had undone any positive change they’d made with the original changes.

Cloud9 LoL coach Maurius ‘Veigar v2’ Aune has already begun championing the return of Garen/Yuumi as a result of these changes. The combo relies on early game damage from Yuumi’s Prowling Projectile (Q), something which these buffs provide in spades.

With professional play still currently on Patch 12.15, we’re yet to see whether Garen/Yuumi bot lane will be back in the pro meta. But it’s clear that pros, casters, and streamers alike are unhappy with the changes.

The community sentiment of ‘delete this champion’ has never been clearer – but with Yuumi only having been released recently, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any full-scale reworks for the magical cat on the cards for a good while.

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