Master Yi Build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Fixed minor errors
Edited guide based on some of the comments in discussion section
Updating guide according to rework
Updated guide to season 4
Added new Master Yi banner
Added more explanations for each section
Added new items to build section
Edited information to make guide up to date after current patch
Changed the guide from jungle to middle lane
Edited information to make guide up to date for Season 5
Updated information for Season 6
Hi! I'm Crusading Angel. This is my first guide for one of my most favorite champions! MASTER YI WOOOO! I apologize if it doesn't seem as pretty as other guides. This is my first guide. However, I have played probably at least 100 or 200 games if not more on him since season 1. I know a bit about him ;). I'll tell you my story on why I played him so much at the end if you're interested. Also if you would like an in-depth explanation please continue reading. I suggest you skip to the abilities section.
Note: This guide is constantly being revised. Revisions will continue on as I gain more feedback. I will add more things to the guide according to some of the advice from the discussions page.
Pros and Cons
+Cheap to buy and easy to play
+Amazing at farming
+High mobility and attack speed with certain builds
+Can heal a lot with meditate (longer sustain)
+Does an INSANE AMOUNT of damage.
-No CC and vulnerable to other's CC
-Very mana hungry, needs blue throughout the game
-Usually first to be targeted
Fury Extra attack speed is always great on Yi
Double Edged Sword For more damage
Vampirism For the extra sustain
Bounty Hunter More damage
Battering Blows More penetration means more damage
Warlord's Bloodlust Gives you more sustain
Unyielding Extra MR and Armor allows you to stay alive longer
Explorer Great for if you want to jungle or gank
Insight 15% cooldown on summoners is a must
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
I choose attack damage marks over armor penetration/attack speed marks because the marks will help you with doing much more damage early game to give you more farm and gold. You are rushing the ghostblade so it'll help you a bit in the armor penetration department. Also, it should make it easier to last hit. You can alternatively use armor penetration marks if you'd like. Also I choose life steal quintessences because they will help you with sustain early game and then throughout the rest of the game. You can also alternatively take 2 attack damage quints and 1 life steal quint for the extra damage and still be able to sustain yourself.
Generally I will always take flash and ignite. Why you ask? I choose flash because of its many different uses. You can use it as an escape. You can use it to perhaps flash into baron or dragon and steal it. You can use it to chase an enemy. There are so many uses for this summoner spell that it would be a waste not to take it! Next up I choose ignite because it helps get more kills. Ghost or exhaust are also very viable options.
Ignite-This spell is great for getting that extra damage out while you're attacking champs.
Flash-This skill is great for chasing, running through walls, initiating, etc.
Exhaust-Great to slow down champions and reduce their attack power.
Ghost-This is always ideal for when you need to escape, chase, or gank. Stack it with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Highlander and basically you can catch up to anyone. Even Usain Bolt!
Smite-A must for when you're jungling as Master Yi.
Heal-Meditate can do the same, but you get to spam it. Although it has been made better through one of the latest patches, this spell is unneeded for Yi. Flash still works much better in my opinion.
Teleport-A great spell to use if you want to get back to turret, to farm, or to help out a teammate etc.
Barrier-Just use Meditate. This is more viable for ADCs in bottom lane.
Clarity-You can just get blue buff.
Clairvoyance-You can use Stealth Ward instead.
Cleanse-An iffy spell, but kind of useless if Yi can just run away from CC.
Garrison-Just don't even bother.
Double Strike (Passive)
Alpha Strike (Q)
Wuju Style (E)
Active: Master Yi can activate this ability deal 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30(+10/12.5/15/17.5/20% of attack damage) true damage per hit. Master Yi loses the passive effect of this skill while it's on cooldown.
Health Potion+Boots of Speed
Take Health Potion and Boots of Speed at the beginning. You might want to alternatively get Long Sword and Health Potion to get a good start on building your Youmuu's.
This is the core item to this build. You want to finish this item first because it is what will get you kills. The active is AMAZING on Yi. If you activate it at the same time as your ult you get ultra speed and attack speed! The active is the reason I choose this item first. The damage, cooldown reduction, and critical strike also works very well with yi too.
Then you want to finish your boots. I often finish Berserker's Greaves after Youmuu's. Whether you choose to finish your boots first or not is up to you. I like rushing Youmuu's.
I choose this before Infinity Edge because the life steal is very helpful. The lifesteal gives you sustain while the item also gives you some damage as well. I preferably choose the sword for more damage. It's best to build damage items first because after the update Yi does better with higher and higher damage. You can similarly switch this item out for the Blade of the Ruined King if you'd like. I often find the blade being very useful as it can slow your opponent and it can help shred tanks.
Next up is Statikk Shiv. I think it's crucial to build this item because it gives both crit and attack speed. At the same time the item's passive is very helpful for split pushing and extra damage. I choose this item over Phantom Dancer because of the passive.
Basically get the B. F. Sword or Pickaxe first for the damage and then finish the item. I chose this item because it has high damage along with critical strike. After the Yi update higher critical strike on Yi is very OP.
Definitely my second favorite item after Youmuu's Ghostblade. It's a great sustain item. The 700 health is very beneficial to Yi. At the same time you get some +30 damage. HOWEVER, the most important thing is the slow on basic attacks. This is very great if champs are running around solo of if the opposing team is spread out/running. By using your ult and youmuu's special and having this slow you basically can annihilate champions. A great item to use as your sixth item. Sometimes I forego this item for something else with more attack damage if the other teams has no escape mechanism to counter Yi's speed.
Attack Damage (Offensive items)
Maw of Malmortius
A great offensive and defensive item. The magic resistance is great for AP heavy teams. At the same time the passive can sometimes come in handy. The shield will give Yi some extra time to put some damage in. Furthermore the extra 10% lifesteal from the lifegrip passive is very helpful as well. A very viable item.
It removes debuffs, while supplying attack damage at the same time. Definitely buy this if you're playing against a heavy crowd control team. Also it gives more magical resistance which is good against heavy AP teams.
The stats and price are very similar to The Bloodthirster. The only difference is The Bloodthirster a shield. While Hydra has a passive for pushing and an active for more damage. I generally don't use this but it's worth a try.
This is a very valuable item if the enemy team has a lot of tanks or are just building a lot of armor. This item along with Youmuu's armor penetration will help you hit more. Definitely build this item if the other team is stacking armor!
Blade of the Ruined King
After extensive testing, I think that this is a great item for ganking. Because Yi doesn't have any CC, this item helps a lot when it slows the enemy through its' active. I recommend you build this before Youmuu's (or replace Youmuu's with this) for those early game ganks if you want to get this item.
Armor or Magic Resistance (Defensive items)
I think this item could possible replace your Frozen Mallet as your end game item. It slows the person down and their attack speed while additonally adding armor and health. It's especially a good item against a heavy AD team. I only choose Frozen Mallet over Randuin's because of the extra attack damage and slow on movement speed. You should choose frozen mallet if you feel you're winning the game. Take Randuin's if the other team is heavy attack damage and you feel that you need to be more tanky.
This item is very similar to Randuin's Omen. Similarly I would possibly switch this out with the Frozen Mallet. This item is gives a lot of armor, cooldown reduction and the attack speed reduction is great against fed ADCs.
Another optional defensive item. Good against AP heavy teams. It gives +55 Magic Resist, along with +20% cooldown reduction, and +400 health. All of which are pretty helpful for Yi. The +20% healing regen is also a very good item that helps with your meditation.
This is a great item to get if you are going against an enemy team that has a lot of cc. It's also a great item to counter burst champions. Want to avoid the burst of a 1000 AP veigar? This is the item to get!
More SPEED. Yes, I'm obsessed with speed. The more speed you have the easier it's to gank.
This is the creep score I try to get after twenty and fourty minutes. The creep score is very doable. If you check my second gamer screen at the bottom you will notice that I managed to get 241 minions at 36 minutes along with some kills, so just aim for 100 at 20 minutes and go from there and you will be fine.
*20 minute: 100 minions
*40 minute: 200 minions
Begin the game by buying Boots of Speed and following the build from there. Head to your lane or help your jungler leash.
Yi usually goes top, mid, or jungle. Middle is better for Yi though because the lane is shorter which makes for better farm. At the same time most are AP casters that rely on burst damage to kill you. As long as you avoid them and harass with Alpha Strike you can get easy farm and easy kills.
After that begin farming and harassing with your basic attack and Alpha Strike. Use Meditate whenever you need to heal. In order to harass your opponent, use Alpha Strike when you know you can hit them. Wait until there are 3 minions and 1 champion closest to you in order to 100% hit them. Try not to waste too much mana on last hitting using alpha strike. Use basic hits to get some/most of your creep score early game.
If you can sustain and harass your lane enough, you can probably get a kill, or have them recall, if they recall you can continue to farm in order to outfarm them.
This is the combo you should be using to kill champions after you get your ghostblade.
Youmuu's Ghostblade-> Highlander-> Wuju Style-> Alpha Strike to opponent if needed or for more damage->continue basic attacks-> Ignite. Generally Youmuu, highlander, and wuju style are activated consecutively (as quick as possible). I don't like to use alpha strike to engage. You should save alpha strike just in cases a champ flashes away. Saving alpha strike allows you to "re"-catch up to a champion if they manage to pull away from you.
At this point in the game, the first turret should have been taken down. People will begin to roam. Continue farming. At this point if you're lvl 6+ and you have Youmuu's Ghostblade begin to take buff whenever possible to help your mid game. Possibly try to take dragon at this point of time. If you have pushed your lane well enough and you've taken down your opponent's turret begin to help out other lanes by ganking along with your jungler.
By now more turrets should have went down. Team fights become more prominent. Master Yi's role is to clean up remaining champions. Let a tank or off-tank engage. Never ever engage in a team fight unless you know you can take out all of the champions. Basically use the combo listed above to take out as many champions as you can without dying.
Also help your team take baron and dragon. Yi can do a lot of damage late game. In fact if you finish this build you can probably solo baron. One thing I like to do is time dragon and baron.
Also you need sometimes back door on Yi. Backdooring is pretty simple, it's basically sneaking into another lane to take a turret when the opposing team is distracted somewhere else by a team fight, baron, or dragon. Yi is ideal for this because he can take a turret down in seconds and still be able to escape. There has been several occasions where I have won close games as Master Yi through backdooring.
This is a guide for people who may want to try and play Master Yi in jungle. Although this is a mid guide, I've included a jungle section because some people may decide to play jungle.
Your role as a jungler is to:
Farm and level in the jungle.
Gank other lanes.
Gank lanes where your teammates are losing lane in order to help them.
Generally I focus ganking bottom lane the most because the ADC is down there. I also find that ganking is the easiest for Yi in mid] lane because people don't usually ward both sides of mid lane. Another rule of thumb that I follow is to gank lanes that are overextended as well.
Cover lanes whenever your teammate needs to recall.
This means that you should cover the enemy champion from taking your teams turret. Also, if the enemy champion is not there I suggest last hitting minions for some money. This means that you should let minions do 90% of the damage and last hit the last 10%. (This allows you to get some cash, hold down the turret, and benefits you because otherwise the minions would take all the cash). People generally get mad at this because they think you're pushing their lane, but in general if you just last hit, you're not really stealing any cs. Because otherwise your minions would just kill the enemy minions.
Simply follow the steps listed below. Preferably go smite less blue buff first. Ask your teammates to help you.
1. Krugs: Smite the Krugs to get the poison buff. Make sure you get help from your teammates!
1. Blue Buff: Go smiteless blue with help from your teammates.
2. Wraiths/Wolves: At this point smite is still on cool down. Finish wraiths/wolves smiteless.
3. Red Buff: Use smite on Red buff. If you get to level 3 add a point into meditate and heal your health (furthermore you can heal your remaining health with a health potion).
Generally I gank after getting blue and red buff. After that I usually continue ganking until the buffs run out. It's your choice whether you decide to gank after getting buff or if you decide to continue farming the jungle until you get to level 6 for your ultimate.
After ganking, it generally doesn't matter which neutral monsters you go for, just try and kill them in a line as to minimized the time walking as much as possible.
Things to Know:
1. You need to get as much farm as you can on Yi. Even while jungling or ganking. Master Yi is dependent on farm to do well.
2. Always use Highlander and Youmuu's Ghostblade at the same time.
3. Rush Youmuu's Ghostblade. It's one of Yi's CORE item.
4. Stay in lane as long as possible in order to get more farm. However, don't overstay so much that the opposing player outmatches you because they recalled and bought better items. (If you're laning)
5. This is always the combo you should use. If a skill is in cool down, move on to the next thing in the combo. Youmuu's Ghostblade-> Highlander-> Wuju Style-> Alpha Strike to opponent if needed or for more damage->continue basic attacks-> Ignite
Here's my story on why I've played Yi so much. It all begin with my dusty old laptop. It had one of those trackpads with a button for right clicking and a button for left clicking. My left clicking button broke. Since it broke I couldn't really do skill shots. So being the low level noob I was I picked one that didn't need any skillshots (Master Yi duh)to play. 3 years later, after playing !00+ games as Yi, Yi is now the champ I am best at.
I've gotten a new laptop last year (thank god). Now I'm finally practicing on other champions. Who knows, in the future you might see a guide on Veigar, Tristana, or even Teemo that is written by me :)!
Here are some screens of games where I have played with this build. If any of you guys have games where you do well on Yi, please post it here so others can also see your skills too!
Thank you for reading my guide! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post in the guide discussion below! Otherwise, please up vote my guide! If you find any problems with my guide please tell me why you had any problems with the guide before you decide to down vote it! I usually check this guide every day to fix grammar/spelling errors and to update minor details. So if you feel free to discuss anything just post it in the discussion page and I will respond ASAP.
I'm also currently taking suggestions on what I can add or fix!