Master Yi Build Guide by Tarishian
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
Master Yi, The Wuju Bladesman
Keeper of the ancient art of Wuju, Master Yi is a mystical warrior from the isle of Ionia. He descended from one of the few tribes dedicated to the preservation of Wuju, a martial art founded with the principles of absolute spiritual awareness of one's self and one's enemy. When the armies of Noxus invaded Ionia, Master Yi joined in the Ionian defense to fight the craven enemy, bringing his village honor through his unparalleled mastery of the blade. The ensuing battles ravaged the land, but no conflict inflicted as much horror as the day the armies of Noxus closed in on Yi's village. Left undefended, the village became the unfortunate test subject of the latest invention by an up-and-coming chemist, now known as Singed. The remains of the village that Master Yi returned to were so horrific that it remains a festering scar on Ionian history. To this day, no Ionian will ever publicly speak of what occurred.
After the Noxian invasion was contained, Master Yi fell into a deep isolation. For years, he trained morning to night, speaking to no one and refusing offers of consolation by fellow Ionians. The only thing stopping him from madly charging into Noxus battle lines headfirst was his pledge to keep the Wuju style alive. Even though he seethed with impatience, his rage became a tool for sharpening his practice of Wuju, developing stronger and deadlier skills for his eventual vengeance. The only thing that roused him was news of the League's formation, and Noxus' subsequent enrollment in the League. Master Yi now brings his mastery of the blade to the League of Legends with unflinching purpose: to avenge his kinfolk and end the predations of the Noxus once and for all.
''The art of Wuju lives on in Master Yi, and is plunged through the hearts of his foes.'' -- Soraka, the Starchild
Welcome. This is a hybrid Master Yi guide. I was bored, so I made this build from scratch.
Fed up of playing characters the conventional way? If yes, read on!
This guide is still under construction so please be patient for the final result :)
All critisms and pointers are appreciated.
Pros / Cons
Constant Sustain / Heal
Fast Movement Speed
Excellent Lane Control / Harass
Great Farming / Jungling
Initiator / Escapist
No Crowd Control
Lacks In-fight Sustain Early Game
Often Focused For Revenge ***ults / LOL ;)
Flamed By Newbs
Alpha Strike Displacement*
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x 9
Early magic penetration allows your Alpha Strike to pack an extra punch, with that you can zone out the enemy from the lane and gain dominance.
Greater Mark of Ability Power x 9
If you decide to include ability power runes in your yellow or blue slots then these can give you that extra damage on your Alpha Strike
Greater Seal of Armor x 9
Since you will be harassing a lot with Alpha Strike Wuju Style combos, you will receive a lot of attention from minons and also retalian. Extra armor allows you to survive and stay in lane.
Greater Seal of Ability Power x 9
As above, if you decide to use ability power runes as marks or glpyhs or want to be more damage oriented, these will give your Alpha Strike and Meditate extra power.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction x 5
These will give you the ability to use your abilities a lot more early game, allowing you to control the enemy in lane, and get that last Alpha Strike off to kill that fleeing Lux.
Greater Glpyh of Celerity x 4
As above, yet these will allow you to gain more cooldown reduction mid game as they outscale the glyphs of focus.
Greater Glpyh of Potency
You can decide to go full ability power runes in all slots for a strong early game Alpha Strike play.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
If you can't dodge skill shots then these are your friend for that firstblood.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
As stated above, these will give you that early edge with your abilities.
Taking both of these is important as throughout the whole game both your attack power and ability power will be scaling roughly the same amounts, making both of these choices very useful.
Remember that you gain an additional 6% damage on low health targets, with this you can secure more last hits with Alpha Strike on enemies.
Optional choices in the Ulility Tree:
You can choose between these two, however remember that the extra mana is going to provide extra attack power through your Manamune
If you so decide on Good Hands then you can put full points in Swiftness and place the final point in Runic Affinity if you often go for buffs.
Flash is one of the best summoner spells for any champion. It allows you to escape, close the gap, jump over walls, dodge spells, intercept etc. Overall, it allows you to be much more flexible on the field and to play more recklessly. However, if used incorrect you can end up feeding, so make sure you assess the risks properly before getting into sticky situations.
Ignite is an excellent spell, especially with the Summoner's Wrath mastery, because it gives you extra attack damage and ability power when used. Generally, you will be using this spell to kill off weakened enemies and to stop the heals from lifesteal-happy champions like Xin Zhao, Nocturne, and Olaf. Another thing to keep in mind is that it will limit champion abilities like Sion's ultimate Cannibalism, so do not overuse it.
Also, if you must kill a single target, use Ignite before you initiate with Alpha Strike for the addition attack and ability power.
Ghost gives you great speed to chase or escape in situations. Since you won't be using items which give you Tenacity , ghost is not the prefered choice as you can just get CC'd and end up wasting the spell. Another reason it is not the prefered choice is because you already have Highlander which essentially is the Ghost spell. However, if it suits your playstyle to run with speed instead of flashing around, take this.
Surge is also a viable choice for this build. The attack speed and ability power are perfect for destroying targets, especially on multi-kills when Highlander and Alpha Strike are refreshed upon kills while Surge is still active. In terms of damage, this spell gives greater output than Ignite, however all the attack speed and ability power in the world will not tag that Tryndamere using Undying Rage once he has killed you or run away, as Ignite would.
Why not Exhaust?
You will gain the required slowing mechanism from Hextech Gunblade or the buff from the Lizard Elder , so taking Exhaust would just be denying your self of the great benefits from Ignite or Surge.
Core Starting Items
These are you most important items to get early. They provide all the necessary stats early game which hybrid Master Yi requires.
Doran's Ring gives health, ability power, and mana regen to keep you in lane.
Boots of Speed allows you to evade enemy attacks and initiate kills.
Sheen gives you an extra punch since you do not have a lot of ability power yet.
Hextech Revolver provides ability power and spell vamp. This allows the proc from Alpha Strike to give you additional heals.
The order of these items are not solid. You can get Tear of the Goddess before Sheen if your team has lots of CC, meaning you won't require the extra damage and you can start charging your Manamune early.
Also, if the enemy team has lots of fast moving or squishy champions such as Ahri, getting Hextech Revolver before Sheen will compensate for your inability to stick to a target by providing more ability power to give your Alpha Strike more damage as it is a ranged attack.
Core Item Build
Sorcerer's Shoes give you magic penetration to get through magic resist as you will be doing a lot of damage with Alpha Strike
Manamune will stop you from running out of mana. It will also give you additional attack damage as your mana pool increases. At a cheap price for such a valuable item, it provides all the necessary values to keep you on the field, instead of recalling back to base all the time.
Lich Bane is a very useful and powerful item in your arsenal. It enhances your Manamune values with its base mana, gives you extra movement speed which is vital as Master Yi spends a lot of time ducking and dodging throughout the game. Most importantly it provides the on-hit effect, dealing damage equal to your ability power, giving a powerful burst with Alpha Strike.
Hextech Gunblade provides all the additional stats that you will require. Life steal, spell vamp, a ranged nuke with a slowing effect, plus extra attack power and ability power. You will be using this to stick to your target after using Alpha Strike, or to kite enemies while you are running from them and do not have Highlander ready.
Optional Attack Speed Items
Primarily, this is the item you will want, however if your team consists of AP champs such as Malzahar or Fizz, then the passive buff may go to waste. Additionally, your Hextech Gunblade will provide enough life steal, so losing this is not such a big deal.
Yet, if you do not require defensive items such as Thornmail due to getting wiped out by the triple AD team you are facing, you will want something which provides attack speed if you will be completing the build with Guinsoo's Rageblade which will be discussed later.
Optional Attack Speed Items:
Madred's Bloodrazor lets you to deal extra damage to champions with large health pools.
Malady will allow you to do extra damage with Alpha Strike due to the stacking debuff, while providing some extra magic damage on each melee hit.
Nashor's Tooth is a great item which gives a good boost in ability power and attack speed, while also providing a lot of cooldown reduction.
Sword of the Divine synergises with your passive Double Strike and provides an active ability which would be useful on targets with armor.
Wit's End is an attack speed item with a defensive edge. If you find you are taking too much damage from those AP champions then take this as its base stats provide magic resist, along with its passive.
Counter Build Defensive Items
If you must build defensive items, these are the two items which you will be replacing. You will have to decide on sustain vs damage based on your team composition and the enemies.
These are the most viable counter-build items you will take. You must evaluate the higehst and most consistant threat which you wish to counter-build.
Frozen Heart is the perfect counter to an attack speed AD champion like Nocturne or Vayne due to the passive debuff you will apply when in range. You will also gain mana which will support your Manamune, along with a large amount of cooldown reduction.
Thornmail is great when there are multiple AD champions like Tryndamere or Ashe. Not only will you deal damage back to them, in essence you are also limiting their lifesteal in a subtle way.
Guardian Angel is a great item for this build and for Master Yi in general. The ability power you gain from other items will allow your Meditate to bring you to full health after engagements. This means, if you die and are ressurrected, you can use Highlander to run and heal your self up, then jump back into the fight. You should take this if you die a lot and the game is very unpredictable, especially in those late games when all towers and inhibitors are down for both teams.
Banshee's Veil will stop you from getting stunned and killed when you initiate into a team fight with Alpha Strike. Often verses champions such as Rammus or Pantheon, you will find you are taunted/stunned a lot and die before you can be of use to your team. This item will increase the chances of you surviving the initiation and can also protect you from ganks. Generally, you will want to take this verses AP champions instead of AD ones.
Force of Nature is the perfect counter to all AP champions. It also counters Madred's Bloodrazor. While providing great magic resist value, it also provides movement speed which is great for Master Yi.
*Using Alpha Strike Properly
This section will give you tips on how to properly use Alpha Strike, as it will be your bread and butter ability, and has more uses than just providing damage!
What can you do with Alpha Strike?
2. Gap close
With correct timing and proper execution, you can use Alpha Strike to dodge enemy champion abilities. An example would be Brand's Pillar of Flame. Just before it hits you, if you use Alpha Strike would will actually be untouched by the ability. This takes some practice, but once mastered it is an extremely useful tool.
Now lets take an overall look on what Alpha Strike does. To sum the ability up, it can be said it is a damage dealing ability which makes you disappear for a scond and relocates your character based on the targets.
Creeping / Jungling
Alpha Strike and 1 shot.