Master Yi Build Guide by deApollo
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Welcome to my guide for AP Master Yi. I consider AP Master Yi to be one of the most underrated solo-mids in the game. I have compilied a quick list of pros and cons below to give you a better idea of what kind of champion AP Yi is.
- Amazing Burst Damage
- Great Mobility
- Easy Farming
- Great Harass
- Strong Sustain
- Great team fight potential with
- Ridiculous AP ratios
- Fun to play
- Mana Hungry early game
- Vulnerable to excessive hard cc
- Falls off slightly late game unless fed/farmed
- Team might qq at you for going against the grain
Now that we have the basics covered, lets move on!
Master Yi has a diverse set of abilities that allow him to do anything from escaping ganks, to long range pokes, to healing and sustaining in lane with ease.
(Innate): Master Yi strikes twice every 7th basic attack.
While this passive may seem relatively useless on AP Yi, combined with the bonus AD from Wuju Style, and the on hit effect Lich Bane makes this simple passive pack quite a punch.
(Active): Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing magic damage to each enemy with a chance to deal 400 bonus magic damage to minions.
This is AP Master Yi's bread and butter ability. It is a long range poke not to mention an amazing farming tool. It's 1:1 AP ratio makes it incredibly strong and it's ability to hit up to 4 targets while simultaneously making Master Yi Untargetable is amazingly useful. I go in detail about this ability later in the guide.
(Active): Master Yi channels, gaining massive health regeneration, armor, and magic resistance for 5 seconds. Master Yi is also healed at the beginning and end of the channel.
This is truly an amazing ability. With a 1:4 AP ratio (the highest in the game) and the amount of bonus armor and magic resist provided upon activation, this ability is undeniably one of the strongest heals in the game. Using this heal, I have tanked entire teams, as they all tried to focus me down, and lived. This ability also provides valuable sustain for your time in lane. When their AP carry thinks they have won in forcing you to go back, simply heal away all the harass. The ability has a few limitations, it is vulnerable to hard cc and it has quite the cooldown. All in all this is an amazing utility ability.
(Passive): Increases attack damage for as long as Wuju Style is not on cooldown.
(Active): Master Yi can activate this ability to receive bonus attack damage equal to double the passive bonus for 10 seconds.
Not really that much to say about this ability. It gives a nice boost in AD early game, bringing you to about the level of most early game AD carries. It synergizes well well with Lich Bane and adds to your burst. It also gives you a boost in farming as you do more damage to minions since it becomes easier to last hit.
(Active): Increases Master Yi's movement speed by 40% and attack speed for a few seconds, as well as making him immune to any slow effects for the duration. Additionally, killing a champion during the duration will refresh all of Master Yi's ability cooldowns, while assists will refresh them by half the base amount.
This is an amazing ultimate. It gives AP Yi his teamfight viability. If you can kill one enemy in a teamfight with your Alpha Strike, it lets you chain to yet another Alpha Strike. This chain will usually allow you to completely dominate a teamfight and most of the time win the game for your team. Aside from team fight viability, it is an amazing escape tool early game. Say that God Tier Jungle Mundo comes to gank with that mean ol' Cleaver of his, just Highlander away and you can't be slowed! It is also an amazing chase tool, say that enemy Caitlyn is getting away from a crucial teamfight and she slowed you with a well placed 90 Caliber Net, just activate your ultimate, press Q and receive the kill. Easy as that.
The runes in this build are geared for complete early game domination to allow for easy kills early game. This allows AP Yi to scale better into late game and keep his viability. Here is an explanation for each of my rune choices, as well as some possible alternates.
Greater Mark of Insight
Pretty much standard on AP casters. Magic-pen marks give you a nice damage boost, nothing much else to say. You could possibly replace these with Greater Mark of Ability Power, for more early burst.
Greater Seal of Potency
Here I go for flat AP runes to give you a really powerful early game advantage. Possible replacements could be Greater Seal Of Clarify or Greater Seal Of Replenishment for the early mana regeneration.
Greater Glyph of Potency
Once again, I go flat AP for early game damage. Alternately you could go for Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction or Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction. These help throughout the game as Master Yi has some rather long cooldowns.
Greater Quintessence Of Potency
Here I go for flat AP quintessences. This, combined with the Seals and Glyphs truly gives you a massive AP advantage early game. Another possibility could be Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, for the extra magic penetration.
If you use my recommended rune page and start with Dorans Ring, you will start at level 1 with 53 AP. This gives you a ridiculously strong poke, as well as the ability to clean out minion waves.
I go for an aggressive 21/0/9 mastery page. This page is aimed at giving me an advantage early game while still allowing me to remain viable late game.
I take ability power, cooldown reduction, magic penetration, and increased damage in offense.
In Utility I take increased mana and buff duration, grabbing improved flash to help the cooldown.
Not much else to explain here.
There are several options for summoner spells but there are two who rise above the rest
- This is an all-around amazing ability. It gets you out of all kinds of situations that would normally be the death of you.
- This ability is part of your early game combo as well as a great all around spell. It lets you pick up first blood and counters any kind of healing ability. It shuts down lifesteal on AD carries and brusers allowing you to kill them.
When playing AP master Yi I start off with a . This gives me an AP boost, as well as giving HP and mana regeneration for sustain.
First Trip Back
The sustain from Dorans ring and Meditate allows me to stay in lane long enough to build up enough gold to get my, and on my first trip back. If you don't have the gold for both of these, try to get and , or simply rush
Now that you have some AP and move-speed you should be able to farm like a true boss, if not just simply kill your opponent if you haven't already. Finish up your , and follow that up with your .
Total Core Build:
Now that your core build is done, you have a variety of options.
- If their team starts building magic resist, what better way to counter it?
- Dying a lot, need to carry your team, want an all around good item? Great Item!
- Need to initiate a teamfight but their team has too much cc for you to simply heal through it? Zhonya's Hourglass is the item for you!
- Is their AD dps through all your abilities? Is their Caitlyn just shutting you down with her auto attack? Thornmail
- Spamming your abilities so much you constantly run out of mana? Your jungler won't give you your blue buff? This item is for YOU!
- Their team building flat health? Too much for your burst? Get this handy little item and watch them all melt!
- Doing really well? Wan't to capitalize on your early game kills? Buy this if you're doing really well and want to get further ahead.
- Dying a bit too fast but want some more AP and Health? Rylai's is a great option for extra survivability combined with the utility from the slow and the nice boost in AP.
- This is a nice item for the extra burst, lifesteal, and spell vamp. If you're going for flat burst, this is a pretty decent item.
- Running out of mana early game? Need some more CD reduction? This item is for YOU!
How To Play AP Yi
Some people will tell you playing AP Yi is as simple as pressing Q, I beg to differ. Correctly playing AP Yi requires a measure of skill and judgement beyond simply activating an ability.
So here we are at the start of the game, you buy your Doran's Ring, put a point in Alpha Strike and head out to Mid-Lane. Now when the minions arrive you might just want to dive right in with an Alpha Strike, DO NOT. Last hit minions with your auto attack until there are exactly 3 left. THEN use Alpha Strike, this guarantees a hit on the enemy champion provided they are attempting to last hit as well.
Continue with this strategy of last hitting minions and only Alpha striking if a a hit is guaranteed. This will ensure no wasted mana and maximum to harass to the enemy. If they try to harass you and you begin to get low, simply heal away the damage. Your heal is also a useful tool if a jungler comes in for a gank.
If a jungler tries to gank, try to get an Alpha Strike off and then pop your heal. The damage combined with the fact that their attacks are doing nothing is usually enough to convince most junglers to retreat.
Once you hit level 6 the real fun begins. By this time, if you have been using the afore mentioned harassing tactics, the enemy champion should be rather low on health. Once you hit 6 get ready for action. Try to sneak in one more harassing Alpha Strike if you think it won't make them go back. Also try to have your passive proced. After this, follow this combo,
Highlander + Wuju Style -> Use Flash To close the distance for Alpha Strike. Land your Double Strike and Ignite if necessary. Then use Highlander movespeed to escape any turrets or dangers. This almost always yields first blood as it does not give the enemy player any time to react.
Now that you have a kill, and are decently farmed you can go back and buy your Boots of Speed and Needlessly Large Rod, and proceed to mid-game.
This is the part of the game, around level 11, where teamfights start to erupt around the map, and you start to encounter lanes being pushed by the entire enemy team. During this phase you should always be aware of the map. Be able to respond to any developing teamfights, Push any unguarded lanes, and respond to enemy ganks.
By this time you should have finished building your Rabadon's Deathcap and started on your Lich Bane. This gives you great potential in teamfights.
In teamfights your damage will come from chaining Alpha Strike while using Highlander. Try to aim straight for the enemy carries as they are usually the squishiest members of their team. Once you have killed a single target, your Alpha Strike will reset and the chain can continue. Thus AP Yi carried the teamfight!
You should now be about done with your build and be doing massive damage. Your roll late game is mainly an assassin-like carry. Your role in teamfights is picking off the enemy carries and breaking their team apart. Your mobility and survivability should allow you to survive all of the enemy team's damage.
Simply assassinate and win!
Proof of the Pudding!
Here is a quick sample of the results I get when I use my build.
Feel free to send me your results from using this build!
AP Yi is an amazing all around character. He can out-mid almost any other mid in the game. His poke with Alpha Strike, his sustain with Meditate, and his amazing AP ratios all contribute to him being one of the best AP mids in the game.
I hope you enjoyed my guide and it brings you great success!
Go forth and be a DunkMaster Yi!