© 2016 Author(s). We evaluate the utilities of fluorescence-yield (FY) modes in soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) of several cathode materials for Li-ion batteries. In the case of total-FY (TFY) XAS for LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4, the line shape of the Mn L3-edge XAS was largely distorted by the self-absorption and saturation effects, while the distortions were less pronounced at the Ni L3edge. The distortions were suppressed for the inverse-partial-FY (IPFY) spectra. We found that, in the cathode materials, the IPFY XAS is highly effective for the Cr, Mn, and Fe L edges and the TFY and PFY modes are useful enough for the Ni L edge which is far from the O K edge.