The Taric-Yi Climbing Strategy – Should it Be Nerfed?

By Tristan Zheng

July 25, 2018

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Taric Yi League of Legends

If you haven’t heard of the Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s a climbing strategy which has only been really used in the higher elo divisions of League of Legends but is starting to gain ground in lower elos like bronze, silver, and gold.

Though you may not know what the Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy is or how it works, you still know about the carry potential that Master Yi has. Master Yi has the damage, attack speed, sustain, and hardcore carry potential to put his team on his back and carry them to a victory.

However, Master Yi does have his own weaknesses, and during the late game, he can be locked up if the enemy team has enough crowd-control. Plus, his early game is so weak that if one thing goes wrong, Master Yi can be out of the game for good.

That’s where the Taric plus Master Yi strategy comes in. Essentially, the duo is part of a bigger picture called gold “funneling” where teammates put their gold into one player on the team and have them do the carrying. Usually, this only works whenever there’s a champion that can actually hard-carry the match like Kai’Sa, Master Yi, and maybe even Jax at times.

This is what the Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy is all about: you’re putting all your money on Master Yi ad having someone like Taric defend him while he is shredding through the enemy team. How do you deal with that?

No one has an answer just yet which is why I’ll be discussing whether or not it should be nerfed yet. It seems quite one-sided. You have a duo that can hard-carry so why not nerf it? Well, sit back and relax and I’ll tell you the pros and cons of this new trend taking the League of Legends world by storm.

Why is Taric+Master Yi So Strong?

Before we can dive into this, you need to know that Master Yi is the definition of hard carry. Before hard carries were a thing, Master Yi was the leading frontier. He deals insane amounts of bonus true damage thanks to his Wuju Style (E) which scales with his attack damage.

His Alpha Strike (Q) lets him gap close, dealing moderate damage and making him invulnerable for a short period of time. The cooldown can be reduced by auto-attacking or drastically reduced if you manage to kill an enemy champion by any means necessary.

His ultimate, Highlander (R), gives him bonus attack speed, movement speed, and immunity to slows, meaning that, not only is he attacking at supersonic speed, you can’t kite him unless you have an insane amount of crowd-control.

To put the cherry on top of all of that, his passive lets him attack twice every few auto-attacks, meaning that you’ll be getting double the true damage, double the critical strike damage, and double the regular physical damage he deals.

Give him what he needs, and he can become a one-man army. However, if you can focus him down, you can either kill him extremely fast or crowd-control him until he basically becomes useless. So, despite his extreme carry potential, there is counter-play. Or at least, there was.

The Taric plus Master Yi strategy works as follows. Taric goes either mid lane or support in champion select. Master Yi clears out his jungle camps, and then his mid laner will let him take the rest of the mid lane farm so that he can scale up while sacrificing his own mid laner’s snowball potential.

That’s how gold funneling works. The mid laner is essentially giving up their own carry potential to try to ensure that Master Yi gets ahead during the early game and can carry them during the mid to late game. After Master Yi hits level six, that’s when things start to get hectic.

Usually, afterward, Taric will roam with Master Yi, looking to dive different champions which is possible since Taric’s ultimate, Cosmic Radiance (R), makes them invulnerable for 2.5 seconds, enough time for Master Yi to deal sufficiently enough damage to kill the target.

Slowly but surely, Master Yi will get his items, and because Master Yi goes full-out attack damage, critical strike, and attack speed, what he lacks in armor and magic resist, Taric makes up for it big time. Trust me. When I say big time, I mean big time.

Taric’s Bastion (W) passively increases Master Yi’s armor and will give extra shielding when activated. If Master Yi times his Alpha Strike just right and Taric times his Dazzle at the same time, whenever Master Yi hits a champion, he’ll stun them thanks to Taric’s Dazzle (E).

With an impossible-to-dodge stun if timed right, insane damage, extra armor, and the ability to be invulnerable, Master Yi and Taric have been the reason that teams have won their matches even if they were down.

They seem like an unstoppable duo. Before, Master Yi could be stopped due to how squishy he could be if the entire team focused him. Plus, his early game was significantly weaker than most junglers. Now, with the gold funneling strategy and Taric by his side, Master Yi is a whole different champion.

Should it Be Nerfed?

Whether it not it should be nerfed depends on how you view it. Personally, I think it should definitely be nerfed but believe it or not, the Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy has actually been beneficial for the League of Legends scene in its own way.

The Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy is bringing about a new side of League of Legends that we haven’t scene before. It’s stressing more team fights rather than rotations and vision control which makes the game more explosive and intense.

That being said, I’ll go over the pros and cons of the Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy and then afterwards, I’ll explain why I think it should be nerfed and why I think it’s way too overpowered to be played in the game.

Pros

With the Taric plus Master Yi climbing strategy coming into play, more teams have focused on building team composition rather than solo-carries, and this makes team fights much more exciting. In the higher elos, whenever they see the Taric and Master Yi are on the enemy team, they instantly start building a team composition that can counter their strategy.

Whether this is a boat-load of crowd-control to make sure that Master Yi can’t get close to them whenever Taric pops his ultimate or a mage-based composition that can try to out-shield or out-heal Master Yi’s dominance.

Even though the duo has no hard-counter champions, names like Janna and Lulu can still keep their team alive long enough for Taric’s ultimate to fall off and make him vulnerable to damage again. However, the team has to be able to play it right, or else Master Yi and Taric will just obliterate through their team.

Not only this, it’s brought in new champions into the play like bruiser mid laners as well as different champions in the bot lane such as Vladimir and Brand, two champions which can easily take down Master Yi if he gets too close.

It’s also promoted teamwork among the players. With the duo being such a formidable threat in the game, players are essentially forced to work together or face a quick and destructive loss among each other.

Cons

You already know most of the cons of Taric and Master Yi. Not only are you facing a formidable threat that makes Master Yi essentially indestructible for a certain period, but he also has a free ticket to the late game unless your entire team sacrifices their laning phase to make sure that Master Yi doesn’t get what he wants.

As I’ve mentioned before, he lacks armor and tank stats, but with Taric, all of that is covered. Taric is essentially his bodyguard and makes sure that Master Yi is not only harder to kill but harder to kite around.

You’re basically making Master Yi the best player on the team throughout the game, and this type of strategy can lead to broken strategies that abuse the term “free elo.” However, that’s not the part that troubles me the most.

Sure, you can consider the crazy potential that Taric and Master Yi have in team fights as a con if you’re on the enemy team, but the “gold funneling” strategy is what really makes this duo such a bad thing for League of Legends.

As stated before, “gold funneling” is the process of pooling all your resources into one player and hoping that they can hyper carry your team to a victory. These can only be done with champions that can actually hard carry and take down a team single-handedly by themselves like Kai’Sa or Master Yi.

While the “gold funneling” strategy is an interesting take on things and does bring a new element to the game, it distracts the community from the theme of League of Legends itself. League of Legends is meant to be a five versus five where cooperative teamwork and individual contributions help you win the game.

Now, with this type of strategy, you’re basically trying to see who can carry harder. Most of the time, you’re giving Master Yi the farm in mid lane and even sometimes bot lane and then abandoning the AD Carry so that you can aide Master Yi in his antics when it was originally the AD Carry’s job to carry. It’s literally in their title.

This leads to a broken mess where both sides could be composed of one really strong player and then four weak players who are just supporting them. If I’m looking at it this way, to me, it seems like the first step in a process which will make League of Legends no longer enjoyable but rather, a nightmare.

Should You Use the Taric+Master Yi Strategy and Should it Be Nerfed?

Personally, I think that, unless you’re Diamond or higher, the Taric plus Master Yi strategy will be hard to implement in your games. For one, it has to be a team effort or at least close to a team effort. You need at least two other people willing to support you in your antics, and you won’t find that in Platinum or lower.

Plus, the pressure on Master Yi’s shoulder is immense so one slip-up could cost them the game. That being said, I don’t think that it would be a viable choice to have one play the Master Yi and Taric strategy because one reason is that you need the skill level of a Diamond player and up to fully master it.

A second reason this wouldn’t work is because Taric is mainly a support, meaning that the mid laner would have to be fine with you taking his farm during the early game, something that will rarely ever happen.

Then, even if the mid laner agreed to let you farm out the waves, the AD Carry would have to be okay with Taric leaving near the transition from early to mid-game to help you snowball as Master Yi. That’s why this tactic has to be a team effort and can’t just be based on two players.

Sure, you can play Taric mid lane, and that might work out but needless to say, that would just mean less diversity and a more restricted team composition that might not work out for all we know. In conclusion, if you’re Diamond or higher, this tactic is a good way to abuse gaining LP (League Points) at the sacrifice of your morals and how the league community views you.

Now, should this strategy be nerfed? Absolutely. In my opinion, this tactic could bring about unforeseen changes that we won’t know about till they hit us and that could be extremely dangerous for how the game progresses.

For one, Master Yi is a champion that deals insane amounts of damage if given the opportunity. With Taric covering up everything that Master Yi lacks, Master Yi becomes a team-fighting powerhouse when, in reality, he was built to clean up team fights, not start them.

So, not only do you have someone who can sweep tanks and squishies alike with a swing of his blade, you now have someone who can tank all the damage they send at you and still regenerate it all by the end of the team fight.

In conclusion, all his weaknesses—his susceptibility to crowd-control, his squishiness, and his early-game—are all compensated for by Taric, and that makes the duo extremely dangerous. If left untouched, I’m afraid that it could either influence something that could make the game extremely unbalanced or make the game unbalanced itself yet again.

Conclusion

League of Legends is a five versus five game where two teams work together to look to destroy each other’s Nexus. It requires teamwork, individual contributions, and a ton of planning for the game to go in your favor.

That being said, there are always new additions being brought into the game to make it more interesting and exciting. Sometimes, these changes are brought in by the League of Legends developers themselves, but they can also be brought in by the community of League of Legends.

The Taric plus Master Yi strategy was a new idea brought in by the community, and so far, it’s been seeing great results but mixed feelings. People who use it love it, but the people who play against it hate it.

This strategy not only utilizes Master Yi’s carry potential and his strengths, but it also covers up the weaknesses that teams could use beforehand to make sure that he didn’t shred through their entire team. That being said, the community is pretty divided on whether or not to nerf the champions so that it becomes more balanced out.

Even Doublelift has shown his own complaints against the Taric plus Master Yi strategy. However, nerfing champions takes a lot of consideration and work before you can actually consider doing anything of the sort.

In the end, it’s up to the developers on whether or not they want to keep the game going as it is or nerf down the Taric plus Master Yi combination that has taken the game by storm. I’ve voiced my opinion on it, and I’ve also shown you why it’s such a strong pick noawadays.

I’ve also given you my own feedback on whether or not playing Taric plus Master Yi is a good way to climb, and the choice is eventually yours, not mine. I just give the suggestions, and you make the decisions. However, if one thing’s for sure, this new combination has brought something new to League of Legends, something that might potentially change the way we see this game.

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