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Build Guide by Skaeling
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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Welcome to my ranked Master Yi guide! There are many other guides out there on this champion, so I was trying to figure out how to build Yi the most optimally. This is an AD Master Yi guide, where his role is to establish jungle control for himself and lane control for your teammates. In teamfights his primary target is the AD carry followed by the AP carry. The guide features two viable build paths: Survival and Glascannon
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Hard target to catch with no CC, but as long as you dodge her Charm she poses no threat either.
She doesn't have CC, and she can only do so much damage with her energy pool. Some health and magic resist makes her burst laughable. Drop a Vision Ward in her Twillight Shroud if she is low on health.
Easy counterjungling target, he falls behind easily. Don't ever focus him in teamfights, because you just refresh his Tantrum and damage your teammates effectively. Stay spread to counter his Curse of the Sad Mummy
There is no best build for a character. But there is an optimal build which takes account of how the game is going, whom your playing with and against. This guide explains how to achieve an optimal and cost efficient item build. Always rush either Youmuu's Ghostblade or Phantom Dancer because without some early burst Yi is useless.
Boot Choice: Against AD heavy team: Against no hard crowdcontrol:
Survival and Glasscannon are currently the best choices to start early game. Notice how their Masteries, Runes, and Skill Sequences slightly differ from each other.
Some things to keep in mind:
Yi is a melee autoattack champion, therefore you cannot just build offensive items as ranged AD carries do; you cannot just build defensive stats either because you would inevitably be ignored. Thus it is essential to find a pretty good balance of offense and survivability for EVERY SINGLE match.
Both builds are meant for damage wise balanced teams; of course if one exceeds the other the item selection is simplified a whole lot.
Greater Mark of Desolation Survival build relies on flat armor penetration. Taking it makes each consecutive point worth more and more (inverse to armor stacking) Glasscannon build relies on Last Whisper, and thrives on attack speed
Viable Seal: You need the flat armor to survive in the jungle
Viable Glyph: You are not exposed to magic damage early on, therefore per level gives you more when it will count.
Viable Quintessences: Better sustain early on
Greater Quintessence of Desolation Armor penetration begins to shine later on
Jungle Yi masteries are pretty straight forward standard 21/9/0. 21/0/9 does not provide enough creep damage reduction to be sustainable; 9/21/0 although sustainable, has terribly slow clear times and lacks damage. Make sure to take 3 points in
Summoner's Wrath (only if you go with Exhaust).
Must have for every jungler to speed up farming and secure buffs, drake and baron for the team.
Exhaust works better with Survival build. Reason: It is an excellent ganking addition, slows, cripples a carry and gives 10 more armor reduction. Shines consistently throughout the match.
Cleanse works better with Glasscannon build. Reason: You have little defense but very high damage. If you are stunned or exhausted during Highlander is active you won't kill the AD carry, meaning you failed. Not only does it clear the first CC but more importantly it makes further ones wasted. Possibly best late game teamfight spell.
Flash is a good spell overall. You have movement speed and boosts, but this is your only way to jump over walls which comes very handy in the jungle, especially if you counterjungle. Also might be the element of surprise you need to steal dragon and baron.
Overal 12.5% DPS increase, but if charged up provides a nice burst for ganking. Charge it up on minor camps before ganks.
Gap closer and farming tool. Leveling it increases base magic damage, chance to deal extra damage to creeps, mana cost but reduces cooldown. You return to your initial target unless it dies before you finish the move. Use this to Smite a creep if you want to return to your initial location
Channelled heal and defense boost. Use it to heal between camps, or to survive a teamfight if you get focused hard
Damage boost. Activate against champions and tougher creeps. Use it smartly together with a Double Strike proc to maximize your burst.
Ultimate killing and escape tool. In teamfights time its activation, so your skills get refreshed.
Before you blindly level Alpha Strike over Meditate consider this: The DPS boost is really small, and costs more mana at higher levels. But it becomes increasingly better for farming minions and more reliable to steal buffs/dragon/baron. Therefore it is recommended to level Alpha Strike to accelerate clearing times when rushing Youmuu's Ghostblade because of lacking additional Attack Speed (Survival build).
But when rushing Phantom Dancer followed up by Infinity Edge (Glasscannon build) the extra damage for camp clearing doesn't matter, and you will have little survivability. In these cases spend a single point on Alpha Strike at level 2 to use as a gap closer utility spell, and afterwards max Meditate instead. After you burned through Highlander and Wuju Style and get agroed by enemies pop Meditation. If they insist on trying to kill you just tank the damage happily with the increased resistances. If they interrupt the channel try to move to safety. Keep in mind not to Meditate if they have some stun or silence on cooldown.
Late Game Lifesteal:
Additional two items: (if there is none in team) (AD heavy opponent) (AP heavy opponent)
Late Game Lifesteal:
or (if you don't plan on buying armor/hp)
Amazing item for killing squishy carries, shreds 45 armor after 3 hits. It nets 81 (91 with exhaust) flat armor penetration/reduction, meaning you do true damage to carries (Survival build). If you get really fed early, rush this first and terrorize the enemies in lane.
Rushing this is also very efficient: Wuju Style provides AD, this gives AS, CritC and amazing movement speed. Synergies: Infinity Edge
Extremely expensive, but with the Critical Damage Boost, AD, and CritC simply devastating. You need additional CritC and AS to back it off.
I only get this on Build 2, because having flat Armor Penetration/Reduction makes this less cost effective. Also penetration wise it becomes better then The Black Cleaver at 150 armor. But who the hell is focusing champions with 150 armor? And a typical AD carry has 80-100 armor at level 18.
This is the 2nd nerf on this item in a short time. I didn't like it much before but now I think it's better to leave the Vampiric Scepter alone and rush a serious damage item. Although its cool to get it if you don't want additional armor items.
Awesome HP boost and permaslow on autoattacks, gives much wanted early survival and minor damage. Also I like to give the red buff to the AD carry, who is unlikely to build this. The slow is actually a DPS increase, because you spend less time running to close the gap between attacks.
Major armor and minor magic resist buff, with a nice unique passive, which has a long cooldown but will divert focus from you in a teamfight. Best used in Glasscannon build. Synergies: Meditate (after revive).
Pretty good stats and passive. Get this if the AP carry has repeatedly tried to unleash a combo on you, or you feel you miss some magic resist.
Very solid item, but only buy it if support is building other aura items. I would only ever get a 2nd one in team if the solo top champion buys it (as you both gain double bonuses, whereas that is not important when the support has it)
This is a bad item on Yi, especially early on. The Sheen part is pretty useless on Yi, and you don't spam enough to make use of the updated proc either. I would only ever get it as a last item on Glasscannon build, when I already have some solid damage. This would also allow to replace the Berserker's Greaves to a second Phantom Dancer, but games rarely proceed this far.
Gives too little health and health regeneration. Only ever get it if enemy is autoattack heavy (Survival build). You also don't have the defensive stats to make full use of the active.
This is a good bet if you don't know what is killing you, and you don't like to think. Flat health is meh on Yi. Although decent in Glasscannon build as there is little space for defensive items.
I like this new item, although it suits Tryndamere more. A great addition to both builds if you feel the need for more burst and magic resist. The shield is absolutely annoying for the enemies.
Other items are not optimal on jungle Yi, don't get them.
With the new jungle and your initial 19% lifesteal you pretty much do what you want:
Steal enemy red or blue buff, even solo ( Flash advised).
Wrights then red buff for a level 2 gank.
Wolves then blue buff for standard jungle clearing; then wrights, golems, lizard and you are ready to gank. Alternatively go back for Boots of Speed before picking up the red buff for stronger ganks, especially if target started with them.
Around level 6 the Drake MUST be warded, as it is worth 960 gold for the team, like three champion kills. Same applies to Baron after 15 minutes, which is worth 4-5 champion kills gold wise and gives an excellent buff to everyone alive in the team for four minutes or until they die.
You need to gank whenever an enemy overextends, or when your teammate is in difficulty. Make sure to help losing lanes as much as you can.
It is highly advised to counterjungle with Yi. He excels in 1v1 fighting and assassination; this is exactly what counterjungling has to offer. In ranked games not using a champions FULL potential you risk losing.
I have seen many newbie junglers try to counterjungle and fail miserably. That is because they expect honorable and glorious confrontations. Wrong. Think of it as trolling the enemy jungler. Consider what would be annoying for you and do it to the enemy. Examples:
Try to steal one buff right in the beginning
Encourage your team to invade especially if you have stun(s)
Clear camps leaving a minor creep behind (thus preventing respawning)
Activating Wuju Style a second time, after the cooldown has been refreshed by Highlander, actually results in a decrease in damage, as it eliminates the passive-active stack
Master Yi's Double Strike is similar to Caitlyn's Headshot. It is very useful when farming minions. Gathering stacks on it by attacking minions, then attacking the enemy on the seventh strike is an effective harrassment method.
Alpha Strike's multiple-target component has a deceptively long range. You can target minions near an enemy champion to harass them.
Meditate is especially useful when an opponent is trying to turret dive against Master Yi. He can stand next to the turret and use Meditate to hold off damage from the opponent while they are repeatedly being hit by the turret.
When you are being chased, hiding in a brush and channeling Meditate can give you the upper hand against the enemies. However, do not do this if they can still defeat you after the Meditate.
Be aware that Blinds can effectively cut almost all of Master Yi's damage
Triggering Wuju Style and Highlander when combined with various melee increases makes Master Yi a high damage dealer, if for short periods. It's especially effective in destroying towers.
"Wuju" is a reference to two of the developers at Riot Games. Namely, Andy Woo and Jeff Jew.
"Wuju", or "Wuji", is the grey field a taijitu (the yin-yang symbol) is traditionally shown on, symbolizing "nothingness".
It bears similarity to "Wushu", the collective name of Chinese martial arts, mostly known as Kung-fu in western countries.
Master Yi was one of the champions chosen for the Ionian pool available during the Ionia vs. Noxus match. However, he was not one of the selected champions.
Master Yi is your enemy in The Proving Grounds. He is incredibly easy to deal with however, not matching his true power.
The goggles Master Yi wears (known as the Seven Lenses of Insight) seem to be an over-exaggeration of trifocal Night Vision goggles, and according to his background, provide a similar effect, allowing him to "see across a wider range of the spectrum". They were made and given to him by Heimerdinger. His costume and the googles bring strong resemble to Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell game franchise,
Yi is the Chinese word for one.
Master Yi's dance is based on Napoleon Dynamite. Notably, he shares his dance's source with Katarina, but her dance is a different part of the same dance.
Master Yi shares a quote with Wukong: "Wuju style."
The Chosen skin is a direct reference to the Jedi Knights of the Star Wars franchise.
This skin's lightsaber changes colors based upon Wuju Style's current state: blue (normal), green (passive), red (active), purple (cooldown). This is similar to the Jedi Knight games which had blue, yellow, and red lightsaber stances; each altered the speed and power of attacks.
The Headhunter Master Yi skin clothing bears many resemblances with the Predator from the Predator movies and Alien VS Predator franchise.
Headhunter Master Yi's helmet and goggles also look very similar to the game Shinobi's main character Hotsuma, who would dash to his enemy similar to Master Yi's Alpha Strike.
"The art of Wuju lives on in Master Yi, and is plunged through the hearts of his foes." Soraka, The Starchild
The goggles Master Yi wears are a techmaturgical device that was gifted to the champion by Piltover's own Heimerdinger, the Revered Inventor.
The one-of-a-kind goggles, known as the "Seven Lenses of Insight", allow Master Yi to see across a wider range of the spectrum than normal people see. They also give him abilities not dissimilar to that of real world binoculars and telescopes. The goggles are synced to Yi's own magical resonance, allowing him to adjust settings without the use of his hands. He simply thinks what he needs, and the goggles act accordingly.
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