Build Guide by whitesvillewilly
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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.
Master Yi is the keeper of the art of Wuju, or at least that's what the RP nerds will tell you. I'm pretty sure the real story involves being raised by wolves.... or dinosaurs.... or robots.... or robot dinosaurs. I'm pretty sure it's robot dinosaurs, which is where he learned how to chop babies in half and rape grizzly bears. This all happens to be a true story, which is why he's such a bad *** in the League. Knowing that he'd be nerfed to oblivion by Riot, he then proceeded to write a million guides involving 16 phantom dancers, Infinity Edge, and anything with life steal on it so that no one would ever take him seriously enough to ever ban his greatness in ranked matches. Now that you know the real back story I will tell you the actual way to play and build Master Yi. Enjoy.
I play Master Yi as a jungler because he is amazing at it, and is also kind of a weak laner. You can lane with him, but I feel like he's too mana hungry and squishy to be really effective. For the route, I used to start at golems and work my way towards blue on my first run, but now tht they made it so you can re-aggro jungle mobs without them resetting it is a much better option to start blue, then wolves, wraiths, golems, and red.
After the initial run you can buy your longsword and a few health pots and look for any lane to gank. I won't go too in-depth with the route after this because it's so individually game dependant, but your focus is to get lantern, boots of speed, and zeal as quickly as possible. After that you can dragon by level 7 or 8 with zero problem. ALWAYS keep a couple wards in your bag at all times (including your lantern). Keep Blue Buff up as often as possible. Also with ganking early game you are very Red Buff dependent.
I like to get as much ArP as possible. All non-buff jungle mobs have only 12 armor, so some people like to get 12 ArP and then go AS. It's all personal preference. For seals I like dodge the best but armor and health per level also work here. Glyphs are completely personal preference. I like CDR per level because I get no cdr items with Yi (not very cdr dependent), but magic resist glyphs are also pretty nice.
Nothing tricky here. Crit and improved smite, AS is very helpful for jungling. You don't rely on your alpha strike for the damage so I don't go archaic knowledge. Extra damage, ArP, and minion damage, are all self explanatory. Go 9 in utility so you can get the buff duration extended, and get extra experience (insanely important for jungling).
Items Prologue (Why I Hate Every Yi Build)
This is what inspired me to write this guide. I won't go too far in telling you how to play your toon, everyone has their own style... but oh my god, every single guide has yi with nothing but dancers, lifesteal, crit, damage, crit, attack speed and more crit. Yes, with 2 Dancers, IE, and 2 BT's you can crit for over 1k a shot on squishies!!!!!!!!! But unfortunately for you, armor, tanks, and cc exists so every game is either 20 kill 20 minute surrender, or you run into a team that isn't ******ed and you go 2-13. As Master Yi you have 3 jobs. Early and Mid game you are farming as quickly as possible and ganking as much as possible to make life easier for your team. Damage items rape faces at early stage, and you almost can not be beaten 1v1 or even 1v2 with red buff post lvl 6. Great. Oh wait, they started grouping up. This brings you to your other 2 jobs. Pushing lanes and killing carries. Now that ashe you were chopping is sitting behind a rammus or a shen. You get taunted and their caster just one shot you. NO AMOUNT OF LIFESTEAL OR DAMAGE WILL SAVE YOU. So no good teams care that you crit for 1k because they won't allow you to anyways, and none of their carries die, you lose.
Now for the Short explanation of the items I build, why I build them, and what you are capable of once you have them.
Items - Extensive description as to why I take these items
Lantern - I rush this even before my boots. Once you have this you are one of, if not the fastest jungler in the game with alpha strike. W/O boots early you need to rely on red-buff slow and Ghost for ganks.
Mercury Treads - Yi is so reliant on his Auto Attacks and so squishy that CC is a killer. These boots are a must in 95% of your matches
Zeal - Crit is not the reason I get this item, AS and MS are. attack speed makes that sweet lantern proc more making you jungle even faster.
Sheen - Gives you some mana (which you need if you can't pull off the 24-7 Blue Buff). Also more importantly gives a pretty substantial boost to your first attack after alpha strike.
Trinity Force - This is the Force Link wishes he was questing for. Best Item in the game imo. The proc is based off of BASE damage so stacking AD items does not help you. The damage it gives you on the proc is ridiculous. Every single part of this item is perfect for Yi. Once you have Trinity and Lantern you can cut through squishies like butter, but you are still easily killed, let's fix that.
FoN / GA - Complete these two items then congratulate yourself on being the new God of LoL. The order you build is up to you. I go FoN first most of the time because the move speed is insane, and it always seems like the casters are the most over-powered at this stage of the game. Once you finish these 2 Items you can charge past tanks, take a couple shots and jump those toons who are raping your team from a safe distance. Just trust me on this, with your wuju style, lantern and TF, you do more than enough damage to make the carries run for the hills.
Last Item Choices -
Infinity Edge - if you happen to need that damage boost
Banshee's Veil - Too many casters on the other side, or too much cc? Get BV and ruin their day
Last Whisper - Not really a fan, only get this if they have 3 or more super armor stacked toons. Toons like Rammus and Malphite are only getting focused AFTER the carries and support are dead. If you kill them correctly a slow gang-rape death for the enemy tanks works just fine
Super AD Team - Got a nocturne, mf, and a vayne on the other team?, forget FoN and go GA, Warmogs, Atma's and Thornmail. This does a surprising amount of damage and Ad toons can not handle you. Even if you do die, everyone should be so wrecked that your team can mop up the fragmented remains of their near lifeless bodies.
If you get to super end-game you have all your items stage, trade that lantern for a Bloodthirster.
Ghostblade - Not a fan really. The armor pen is only significant early game, and it doesn't help you farm much faster. The proc is like a mini ****** version of highlander and I've never found it to be that useful other than early game.
Please try this build before you down vote the hell out of it. You will be shocked to find how much more useful you are at taking out enemy carries and your team will praise your glory.
Please tell me how my guide worked for you. I've just started getting into ranked and this build has held strong so far (only in the 1300's atm). I don't go into skill description or game play style too much. Only meant to be a build guide. It's just that these Yi's out there let the fact that they got a few 30-2 games in low level normal games get to their heads, and I just couldn't take it anymore. Would love to hear some feedback on how this worked for you guys.