Build Guide by Hetion

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hetion

Master (of Ganking and Backdooring) Yi

Hetion Last updated on May 4, 2010
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 22

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 8

Master Yi is a great character in many ways, but easily ganked if you're not careful. Early game he's particularly vulnerable until his attack speed has been raised to an adequate level. By late game he can easily carry an entire team, gank multiple unsuspecting enemies, and backdoor your team to victory! Yi however is more of a late game character, so you should be focusing more on gaining enough money and EXP to get there as fast as possible.

A few of my definitions:
Early Game = Levels 1-5
Mid Game = Levels 6-14
Late Game = Levels 15-18
End Game = Everyone Is Level 18

-Powerful Ganking and Pushing Mid to Late Game
-Great Pushing, Farming and Backdooring Late Game
-Comparatively Easy To Play (I've seen a surprisingly large number of people who can't play Master Yi at all though.)

-Not Strongest Early Game
-Low Mana Pool Early Game (Makes harassing more difficult.)
-Disable Moves = Death

Summoner Skill Choices:

This move is extremely underrated. It's particularly useful to make up for Yi's vulnerability to disables. However don't think it's entirely limited to that, it has saved my life countless other times (eg. Poisoned by Twitch, silenced while about to gank, etc.). They will also hate that your 'Exhaust' will work on them, but theirs wont work on you =P.

This move is a great addition for DPS ganking (even more useful with the mastery). Although Highlander is great for chasing opponents down, faster opponents will receive less hits (because your character stops for a split second every time he attacks). Therefore, slowing them down further can mean the difference between getting the gank, or the gank getting away (and the +10 armor penetration from the mastery is nothing to scoff at either).

For TT, I drop Cleanse in favor of this. I find in the smaller, faster paced environment, it comes in more handy for escaping or chasing.


Alpha Strike
This is skill is extremely useful for Yi functionally. It allows for farming and harassing, but more importantly, it allows a quick close in on an enemy, during which you are invincible. You should ALWAYS use this to close in for a gank if possible, to avoid any ranged attacks harming you on the way.

Early game this skill can be used for harassment and farming too, but watch your mana pool. If you think you may be able to get a gank on an enemy, always make sure you have enough mana to cast this and Wuju Style.

Wuju Style
Simple but vital skill. It increases the damage you do passively, and activated, it double the said increase. Always activate when going for a gank, otherwise, don't use it, as you lose the passive boost until it recharges.

Although it sounds good, in this particular build, I have never had much need of it. It will be leveled last, and is only occasionally useful late game. Late game it can heal you from very little, almost back to full health, so it could be useful in a pinch. Ignore it early game however.

Single handedly Master Yi's most important move. It increases movement and attack speed, as well as making you immune to any slow down moves. If you 'know' you can get a gank, always activate this move, as if you get the gank, it resets all the cooldowns, so it may be used again right after. It is also greatly useful for fleeing if you are ambushed, or about to lose a fight.


Early Game:
The initial goal here is to stay in the field until you are level 6. In SR, Yi shouldn't solo mid unless you are very confident against opposing hero. Avoid getting too close to enemies (particularly ranged ones). Harass and farm with Alpha Strike, but always have enough mana in reserve in case there is a gank opportunity. Go for as many last hits as possible, as you may need the gold if there are no early game ganks.

Mid Game:
Here's where it starts to get fun. By now you should have Berserker's Greaves, and almost be finished making Malady. You'll want to make extensive use of the bushes to ambush enemies with Alpha Strike. You should be running around lanes, trying to get ganks (or farming minions for a bit if a gank is impossible, by now farming should be getting fast). The combat strategy is more or less always the same, Alpha Strike, Highlander, Wuju Style(, optional Exhaust if enemy is not squishy), beat to death with your stick. If anyting goes wrong, you should be able to tell soon enough, and use your remaining Highlander time to get the hell out.

Late Game:
At this point the both teams will probably be sticking together as big groups. There are two things you can do at this point.
1) Stay 'near' the big group, but don't attack until all the enemy heroes are completely engaged. Yi at this point is often a focus due to his squishyness, and his high DPS 1v1. Only exception to this is if there's an enemy you can pick off quickly then escape with Highlander. This requires good judgment though.
2) Backdoor. Wait for your team to engage the enemy, and start pushing a lane as quickly as possible. Alpha Strike at this point makes this task very quick. If the opposing team is sufficiently preoccupied, it should be fairly easy to take down a tower or two.

Item Build Order:

Early Game:
-Boots of Speed
-Health Potion x 2
-Mana Potion

Mid Game:
-Berserker's Greaves
-Phantom Dancer

Late Game
-Infinity Edge
-Last Whisper

End Game
-Sell Malady, Buy Madred's Bloodrazor

(Disclaimer: This build is similar to an already fantastic build by DEWO. I have modified in several key ways to my liking, however the original inspiration came from his Master Yi build, and I thank him for it.)