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General Guide by djrecipe

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League of Legends Build Guide Author djrecipe

Master Yi - A Carry from the Jungle

djrecipe Last updated on July 30, 2014
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Introduction

Please note that this guide is still in progress. Last updated 07/30/2014.

.....This is a guide for playing Master Yi as a Jungle Carry. Your goal is to snowball as quickly as possible and become an assassination machine for your team. You will need a proper team composition in order to accomplish this - preferably a mid laner with some crowd control and a tanky top laner. Master Yi is relatively sensitive to the early game - if you get 2 unanswered ganks you have the game in the bag, but even just the enemy stealing one of your buffs will set you back quite a bit.

.....Playing this build can be very stressful - there will be times where you need to have the courage and know-how to dive-in on 3 enemies mid/late game in order to push mid. However, there will be times when you will need to run from a single enemy two levels lower than you! Knowing your match-ups and knowing exactly how much damage you can dish-out is essential.
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.....Lastly, please note that I just resumed playing ranked this season after a busy summer (and a small bit of elo decay)! So even though I'm still low elo, take solice in my Youtube and Twitch channels as I will be grinding my way back up through the ranks during the remainder of season 4.
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Most Recent Ranked Pentakill
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Match-Ups

.....This season is considerably more conducive to Master Yi's playstyle than last season. If the opposing team doesn't have a plethora of hard CC and/or baiting potential, you will likely stomp all over them. On your own team you will be seeking out some tanky engagers, team sustain, and perhaps a roaming assassin in the mid lane. Please note that the list of champions below is by no means an absolute roster of "good" and "bad" champions for Master Yi. The meta changes so quickly that it is hard to maintain a list like this, so use your own judgement!
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Mid Lane
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.....For the mid lane, you want to pair with someone who has crowd control so that you can crowd control + Alpha Strike combo the enemy. My personal favorite mid to play with is Ahri, since her charm, mobility, and insane burst mean you can roam the map together and take-out nearly anyone. Be wary picking Master Yi against an enemy mid lane with good disengage, especially if your mid lane has little-to-no crowd control.
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Good Friendly Mid-Laners
+ Ahri
+ Lux
+ Morgana
Bad Friendly Mid-Laners
- Nidalee
- Ryze
- Cassiopeia
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Good Enemy Mid-Laners
+ Diana
+ Orianna
+ Cassiopeia
Bad Enemy Mid-Laners
- Ahri
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Top Lane
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.....There are a lot of counters in top lane to Master Yi. Jax is one of the worst, due to his ability to block auto-attacks. Essentially you want to avoid playing against champions who will be able to survive your initial burst and then send you running with their superior sustain. On your team you must have a tanky top lane to help compensate for your squishiness in team fights later on. A top lane with good sustain and some hard crowd control (such as Sion) will mean easier ganks early on and better teamfights later on.
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Good Friendly Top-Laners
+ Nasus
+ Lee Sin
+ Sion
+ Shen
+ Chogath
+ Rengar
Bad Friendly Top-Laners
- Vladimir
- Yorick
- Darius
- Mordekaiser
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Good Enemy Top-Laners
+ Vladimir
+ Teemo
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Bad Enemy Top-Laners
- Jax
- Irelia
- Tryndamere
- Riven
- Rengar
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Bot Lane ADC
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.....Friendly/enemy ADC choice is perhaps the role you are most flexible with. Essentially you generally will want an ADC with some sort of engage/disengage to help solidify ganks. Similarly, the less disengage the enemy ADC has, the better.
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Good Friendly ADCs
+ Vayne
+ Ezreal
+ Tristana
+ Corki (6+)
Bad Friendly ADCs
- Miss Fortune
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Good Enemy ADCs
+ Miss Fortune
+ Graves
+ Ashe
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Bad Enemy ADCs
- Vayne
- Ezreal
- Tristana
- Corki
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Bot Lane Support
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.....Honestly what matters more than the support's champion selection is their skill level and level of vision control. More vision control means easier ganks. When it comes to champion selection, however, you generally want friendly supports who have an engage or stun, but can still offer some sustain to their lane. For enemy supports, you generally just want to avoid playing against enemies who can disable you easily. Zyra is an amazing support right now and she has pretty decent synergy with Master Yi. Fiddlesticks may seem like an intimidating support to play against, but just let your ADC and support dive in first and eat the fear, then use Highlander and Alpha Strike to destroy them since Fiddlesticks will have no escape.
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Good Friendly Supports
+ Nami
+ Taric
+ Zyra
+ Leona
Bad Friendly Supports
- Nidalee
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Good Enemy Supports
+ Nidalee
+ Lux
+ Leona
+ Fiddlesticks
Bad Enemy Supports
- Zyra
- Sona
- Braum
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Runes

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....................Greater Mark of Armor Penetration.................... ....................
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.....Quintessences: Movement Speed

.....Movement speed quints will strengthen your ganking presence, especially early game and when used in combination with one of your movement speed actives ( Ghost, Highlander, and Youmuu's Ghostblade). In addition to being more easily able to stick to your enemies, movement speed helps you escape, split-push, take objectives, flank, and generally just waste less of your most precious resource as a jungler: time. In the scope of this build, these quints help compensate for lack of boots. Note that Greater Quintessence of Life Steal would be reasonable as well.
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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration.....Marks: Armor Penetration

.....Having armor penetration on your rune page somewhere is highly recommended for most attack damage oriented carries. You will generally want to try to avoid purchasing Last Whisper as part of your standard build (if possible), thus these marks are of utmost importance. Combined with Youmuu's Ghostblade, your armor penetration will be 31.5 fairly early into the game. If the enemy team decides to build Thornmails you may need to pick up Last Whisper mid or late game.
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.....Seals: Attack Speed

.....Reasonable seals for this build include Greater Seal of Armor, Greater Seal of Attack Damage, or Greater Seal of Attack Speed. I prefer attack speed due to the synergy it has with Alpha Strike. More attack speed means more auto-attack damage, more frequent life steal, and more frequent damage & invulnerability via Alpha Strikes. An alternate, identical rune page but with Greater Seal of Armor could be a decent choice if you are facing tanky attack damage threats on the opposing team, i.e. Tryndamere, Rengar, etc.
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.....Glyphs: Attack Speed

.....Not much to be said here. Attack speed provides damage, indirect life steal, more passive procs, and more frequent cooldown reduction for Alpha Strike. Go big or go home.
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Masteries

Masteries
1/5
4/5
3/5
1/1
1/1
3/5
1/1
3/1
1/
1/
3/
1/
2/5
2/1
3/5
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Offensive Masteries (23)

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.....Double-Edged Sword: 1/1
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We want to take Double-Edged Sword because a 2% damage increase is significant, and we will be relying on Alpha Strike, Meditate, and base movement speed to avoid damage.
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.....Fury: 4/4
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We need the attack speed from this mastery for more frequent auto-attacks and Alpha Strikes. I haven't done the math, but I wouldn't be surprised if stacking attack speed results in more frequent Alpha Strikes than stacking cooldown reduction.
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.....Brute Force: 2/2
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This mastery is rather lackluster, but will be a little bit helpful with your level 3 - 6 ganks where every little bit of damage counts.
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.....Martial Mastery: 1/1
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We already spent the 3 points to unlock this mastery and it holds a higher return (Attack Damage per point spent) than 2 out of the 3 points spent in Brute Force, so let's take it!
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.....Spell Weaving: 1/1
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Due to the very fast attack speeds that we will be achieving, you will quickly stack-up to the 3% damage increase for Alpha Strike while auto-attacking an enemy. In addition, we unlock the "child" of this mastery.
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.....Blade Weaving: 1/1
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During your me-vs-the-world dives on the enemy team, enabling Highlander will cause you to quickly stack up to 3% increased basic attack damage via subsequent Alpha Strikes.
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.....Executioner: 3/3
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This is an amazing mastery for Master Yi. It turns an enemy team full of low health champions into a free buffet of gold and elo. This mastery is the cherry on top of your absurd runes/masteries/items combo that will leave your opponents wondering how you just deleted them from the face of the map.
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.....Dangerous Game: 1/1
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Master Yi need mana and health. Master Yi kill champions and receive reset. Master Yi need more mana and more health. Note that this may not be good for the environment.
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.....Warlord: 3/3
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You won't really be stacking attack damage, but 5% is too good of a bonus to pass up.
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.....Frenzy: 1/1
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You will have a fair amount of critical strike and a fast-enough attack speed that you will be proccing this mastery fairly often.
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.....Devastating Strikes: 3/3
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You will be stacking a fair amount of flat armor penetration, and this mastery will allow you to usually avoid having to buy Last Whisper in the mid-game, if at all.
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.....Havoc: 1/1
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A free 3% damage increase with no drawbacks? Yes please!
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Defensive Masteries (4)

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.....Tough Skin: 2/2
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This mastery will prevent a fair amount of monster damage early game as you farm, allowing you to approach a lane gank with more health or perhaps save a health pot.
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.....Recovery: 2/2
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Of the first tier non-monster-related Defensive masteries, I think this mastery is perhaps the most valuable for an early Master Yi jungler. It helps (albeit slightly) with your sustain problem and will allow you to do accomplish more things before backing to base, especially when you do not have blue buff.
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Utility Masteries (3)

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.....Fleet of Foot: 3/3
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Since we are opting not to buy boots, this mastery is a must-have. Our base movement speed should be well into the 370 range at level 1.
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Summoner Spells

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Smite is a staple spell for junglers, primarily for its use as superb objective control. Generally speaking, mid game you should be saving your smite for Dragon, and late game save your smite for Baron. Master Yi can also Alpha Strike + Smite combo a minion to potentially execute a "Remote Alpha Strike" to a nearby enemy champion.
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Some Master Yi's may say they prefer Flash to Ghost, to whom with I will wholeheartedly disagree. Flash can be an excellent escape tool or, in some circumstances, can be used to set-up a gank. Ghost, however, can be cycled with Highlander and Youmuu's Ghostblade to ensure you always have a movement speed steroid available. At level 6, pop Ghost to gank a lane which lacks slows and use your Highlander to gank the more "difficult" lane (usually mid). Late game you can stack your movement speed actives for hilarious results.
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Skill Sequence

Aggressive Ability Sequence

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
....Q.......E.......Q.......W......Q.......R.......Q.......W.......Q.......W.......R.......W......W.......E.......E.......R........E........E
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.....This is your standard ability sequence - the sequence you want to follow if you feel you are going to be safe in your own jungle. You want to take a point in Alpha Strike (Q) first, followed by a point in Wuju Style (E) to help maximize your damage output. After placing a single point into E, you want to max your Meditate (W) while making sure to place a point into Highlander (R) whenever possible.
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Defensive Ability Sequence

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
....Q.......W.......E.......Q......Q.......R.......Q.......W.......Q.......W.......W.......W......R.......E.......E.......R........E........E
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.....This is the ability sequence you should use if you are expecting an early invade, if an early invade already happened, or sometimes if you invaded/plan on invading. This sequence is nearly identical to the "Aggressive" sequence, except you place a point into Meditate (W) prior to placing a point into Wuju Style (E) so-as to provide you with an early heal & damage reduction tool. Having Meditate (W) at level 2 can ensure, for example, that when Shaco or Lee Sin shows up at your Red Buff, your mid or bot lane will have enough time to come kill him.
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.....First Priority: Alpha Strike

.....Max Alpha Strike first because it is your only damage dealing ability ( Wuju Style is laughable at early levels) and your are invulnerable while the ability is being animated! Always put a point into Alpha Strike when it is available.
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.....Second Priority: Meditate

.....I prefer to max Meditate second, since it now provides you with 70% damage reduction at maximum rank, as opposed to 50% an rank 1. Meditate will save you in many, many situations - especially enemy ultimates - including Tryndamere ults, Zed ults, etc. Make sure to draw out the enemy knock-up or stun and then Meditate. Note you will want to place one point into Wuju Style for the passive 10% attack damage boost prior to fully maximizing Meditate.
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.....Third Priority: Highlander

.....You essentially just want to place a point into Highlander whenever possible. It's a superb ganking tool which can also be used (albeit wasted) to escape.
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.....Last Priority: Wuju Style

..... Wuju Style's passive bonus is the same at all ranks! Since the active portion of Wuju Style is the only portion that scales with rank and I have a hyper-aggressive build, I tend to level Wuju Style last. There are times when it is appropriate to max Wuju Style before Meditate - namely if you are dominating or if you find that your Meditate is being quickly met with hard crowd control.


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End-Game Build

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.....First Priority: Feral Flare

.....In season 4 this is an absolute must-rush for a lot of carry junglers. The magic damage health restoration are quite good for this Master Yi build, since you will have an insane amount of attack speed. The magic damage will assist you in melting through heavily armored targets. Don't forget - the earlier you get this item, the more significant impact it has on the entirety of the game.
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.....Second Priority: Blade of the Ruined King

.....This item was an iconic staple for season 3 carrys, and for good reason. The attack speed equates to more frequent Alpha Strikes, the life steal will help sustain you during duels and while taking objectives, the unique passive helps you melt through tanky opponents quicker, and the unique active provides you with a valuable ganking/kiting tool.
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.....Third Priority: Youmuu's Ghostblade

.....This item has amazing synergy with Master Yi. This item provides some much needed armor penetration, cooldown reduction to help bring us closer to 40%, critical strike chance for our Alpha Strikes and auto-attacks, a small bit of attack damage, and an absolutely amazing active ability for Yi.

.....Ever since the nerf to Highlander which changed the ability to reduce cooldowns by 70% (as opposed to a flat amount), an important part of playing Master Yi is finding ways to bridge your Alpha Strikes. When engaging enemies, you will generally pop Highlander followed by an Alpha Strike, after which you will be the most vulnerable. That's when you pop Youmuu's Ghostblade. The active will provide you with a super-steriod which will feed you Alpha Strikes like no tomorrow while indirectly increasing your life steal and further enhancing your ability to stick-on your victim. Youmuu's Ghostblade can also be used as an escape tool or as a way to quickly take down objectives such as towers, Dragon , or Baron .
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.....Fourth Priority: Trinity Force

.....The unique passive,(unknown embed type)/league-of-legends/summoner-spell/ghost-2.....Master Yi can also make use of the plethora of stats on Trinity Force. The attack speed, critical strike chance, and unique passive, Spellblade, mean that Yi's Alpha Strikes will hit harder and more frequently, as will the auto-attacks that come immediately afterwards.
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.....Fifth Priority: The Bloodthirster

.....If you had built the items in the order I have listed thus far, you will have obtained all of the utility, abilities, and secondary stats you will need for the rest of the game - the only thing left to obtain is "bigger numbers" (i.e. more damage and more survivability). This item gives just that.

.....You will likely be able to farm up maximum stacks for this item in a matter of minutes. Regardless of whether or not you have this item fully stacked, possessing it will ensure that very few champions will possess the burst and hard CC necessary to kill you.
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..... .....Flexible Item Slot: Last Whisper / Guardian Angel

.....This last item slot is reserved for a "situational" item. Note that just because I listed this item last does not mean you will actually purchase it last. In the case that you are facing a heavily armored, tanky team, you might consider picking up Last Whisper as your fourth item, prior to finishing Trinity Force.

.....In the case that you are facing an assassin or wombo-combo team with hard cc, you will likely want to purchase a Guardian Angel. In these match-ups I typically wait till I have 4 or 5 items completed before I pick-up my Guardian Angel.
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Farming Up

Initial Rotation
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.....Master Yi is pretty flexible about what buff he starts at. I almost always start at Red Buff, since it will allow you to clear the jungle camps a bit faster - an early game Red Buff will allow you to walk away from small jungle creeps that have a miniscule amount of health remaining - this shaves precious seconds off of your clear time. Also, I have found that many junglers will attempt to steal my Red Buff after taking their first Blue Buff - but very few junglers will start with Red Buff and then attempt to come and steal my first blue buff. In addition, taking Blue Buff second ensures that Master Yi will ultimately have Blue buff at a slightly later time in the game (when he needs it more). Some important considerations here are 1) who is the enemy jungler and 2) which lane do I want to gank first. I will cover ganking in a later section.
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The Level 3 Gank
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.....Once you clear your first round of buffs and achieve level 3 (via wolves or wraiths) you should immediately go for a level 3 gank - usually on top or mid. You want to target whichever enemy champion is most pushed-in, taking into consideration what escapes they have available to them and the amount of health your friendly laner has. There are many top laners who, if low health and pushed back to their tower, can help you secure a bait-n-gank.
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.....Ganking an enemy mid-laner will generally be a bit harder, as it is somewhat dependent upon having a intelligent friendly mid-laner. If you can force the enemy mid-laner to flash and/or go back to base, you will usually be able to kill them when they return to lane.
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.....Regardless of who you choose to gank first, Ghost will often be your best friend. Remember that if you use Ghost and the enemy uses Flash, this is almost always a victory for you. If ganking top or bot lane first, wait for the enemy laners to use an ability to commit forwards in lane, then pop Ghost and breeze by any and all wards. Often times you can time an Alpha Strike to land on someone just as they Flash, negating the Flash all together.
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Early/Mid Game & Feral Flare
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.....You want to make your first recall when you are level 5+ and you have 1475+ gold. By this time you should have applied pressure to at least two lanes, so-as to buy you some additional farming time in the jungle. Purchasing Feral Flare first will ensure that you will farm quickly and yield better returns because of it. After your first recall, try to hit level 6 (if you haven't already), farm your 2nd round of buffs, and go for a gank as soon as possible. After taking your second round of buffs and executing your first Feral Flare gank, farm like a mad man and head to a lane whenever one of the following things happen:
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1....Ghost and/or Highlander becomes available
2....Teammate is pushed back to a friendly tower
3....Enemy champion is dangerously low on health
4....Enemy bottom lane has zero wards
5....Enemy mid-laner has no flash (especially if they are a non-mobile champ)
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.....Clearing monster camps in the jungle is a pretty straightforward and easy concept. Never jungle with your camera locked to your champion and try to adhere to the following suggestions:
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1....Always kill the big monster first
2....Try to save Smite for a killing blow on an objective, but don't go extended periods of time without using Smite since it has a very short cooldown
3....While you're auto-attacking monsters, click on the minimap and constantly observe / check-up on your lanes - your health and experience to help notify you when you have killed a creep
4....If you're being counter-jungled, ward entrances from your jungle into the river
5....If you're 1 monster kill away from your next experience level, try to achieve that next level before heading into a gank
6....Enemy blue buff will become available at about 7:10 and will usually not be warded - be sure to avoid the obvious approach from the river since it will usually be warded
7....You will generally be able to solo Dragon at about the time when you have Blade of the Ruined King and Youmuu's Ghostblade - use Highlander and Youmuu's Ghostblade to ensure frequent Alpha Strikes and adequate life steal on Dragon
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.....When you decide to recall-and-buy a second time is largely dependent on the match dynamics at that point in the game. If you are already doing well, a 1400+ gold recall is ideal as it will allow you to pick up a Bilgewater Cutlass for damage, sustain, and sticking power. If you are behind at this point in the game, an 800g Avarice Blade is your best bet, as it (specifically the gold income) still stacks with Feral Flare. Generally the better you are performing at this point, the more time you want to spend ganking and counter-jungling.
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Post-Laning Phase
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.....Sure, Master Yi can be a decent ganker and he can do well during the laning phase - but it's the mid/late game roam that will determine whether or not you win the game. Once you have a couple of items and laning phase has ended, I almost always favor minion waves over non-buff monster camps, since Master Yi can easily push a lane to a tower and run away before the enemy team can type "Master Yi OP". You will be racking-up enough cs to rival your laners while providing map pressure anywhere and everywhere.
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