Build Guide by ShadowReign757
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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.
Hello, and welcome to my Master Yi builds. These are three builds that I have tested and love to use. They are generally fun to use, but I recommend you try all of them instead of trying just one, not liking it, then down voting the guide. Please say any and all criticism and comments you have, this build can't grow without the community's feedback. Also I feel the need to say that in my AP and Hybrid builds, I take Good Hands over Perserverence because even if you have 200 mana/hp regen per 5 seconds, you only get 4 more from Perserverence, with Good Hands you get 10% less time dead, and that is a lot more useful.
So AD Master Yi is by far the most common, and with good reason. This build devastates people 1v1 and allows Master Yi to carry his team. This build is very fun to use, but not my favorite. This build will allow you to do a lot for your team, and hopefully you have success with it. This build is not the main focus of this guide, and for a better one I recommend trying out Elitelink's AD Yi build.
AD Pros & Cons
+ Very good 1v1
+ Insane Pusher
+ Can carry his team even if most do bad
+ Lifesteal and attack speed make up for squishiness (kinda)
- Early on mana can be an issue
- Getting focused means a quick and easy death for you
AD Item explanations and Alternatives
Helps you get to your lane faster, and since you get Berserker's Greaves first, these help.
These give you some vital attack speed.
Some nice move speed, attack speed, and crit chance.
This gives you a nice early damage and armor penetration boost.
Some vital lifesteal, and since you have armor penetration, all this flat damage is actually helpful.
Lets you shred tanks and squishies alike (Unless they have a lot of magic resist).
This item gives you good damage and crit chance, plus the awesome passive.
Gives you and your team some lifesteal and attack speed, which is always nice.
Some more nice armor penetration and a little damage, plus the nice passive.
For those really tough teams.
Helps you push really fast and helps more than you may think during team fights.
AD Rune explanations and Alternatives
Greater mark of desolation Some necessary armor penetration.
The dodge chance, however low it might be, will save you every now and then.
greater glyph of knowledge These will solve most of your mana problems early on (Later you should only really be using mana on your ult, and always try to have blue buff, but remember: your team has higher blue buff priority than you).
greater quintessence of desolation Hey, whaddaya know, more armor penetration!
Due to the nerf to these, they aren't really that effective, but they will still give a nice health boost that could always be just enough to save you.
AD Early Game
Grab your boots and potions and go to your lane (preferably with someone who has a decent CC ability, such as Irelia or Ryze, If he even lanes that is). As Master Yi, first blood isn't exactly a challenge to get. After the gank (if there was one), last hit all you can, and if you are against two ranged with decent harass, just last hit with your Alpha Strike. Once you are level 6 and have your boots (And maybe Zeal for your Phantom Dancer), it's not too hard to kill your enemy (If you haven't already that is). Your combo should go a little like this: -> ->-> hit them until they are dead.
AD Mid Game
So now that it's mid game, it's gank time, and what else could Yi be better at? Now most people have to stay with a buddy in this phase, but you don't exactly have to. You have great killing skills and an amazing escape mechanism via . Getting kills in this stage is relatively easy - so long as you don't get focused, and if the tank is doing his job at all then that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
AD Late Game
Ok so, you've hopefully rode out the game so far with a positive K/D and have most of your build. Now, beating you 1v1 is pretty close to impossible (unless it's against a tough tank, or an insane nuker, such as ). Getting your Infinity Edge is not going to happen often, and if it does, then it must have been a good game that was really close. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this guide.
This build offers some nice damage and is a big help during team fights. It maximizes the potential of Alpha Strike and Meditate. This is my least favorite, but it could always work for you. This build has potential depending on the setup of the enemy team.
AP Pros & Cons
+ Fairly good damage via Alpha strike
+ Really hard to kill due to Meditate
+ Meditate will heal for 1k+
+ Not as Squishy as the other two builds thanks to Rylai's
- After using Alpha Strike, damage output has a huge drop-off
- Slow early game
- Auto-attacks are almost useless
- Team dependaent
AP Item explanations and Alternatives
A good starter due to health, MP5, and some AP.
You are relying on Alpha Strike for damage, so the cooldown reduction is very vital.
The slow will keep them in range for your next Alpha Strike and Gives you AP and survivability.
Gives you some more AP and some much needed magic penetration.
The 50 armor is great, along with the 100 AP and the passive makes this an amazing item.
This is amazing for it's 155 AP and the passive 30% added makes this a very nice item.
After you use Alpha Strike, this will make it so you deal some nice damage after using it (I get this last because you need all of your AP from the other items for this to be at its full potential).
Gives some nice magic resist and less MR for people around you. Oh, and the AP is nice also.
This item gives you plenty of survivability and some AP.
Some good AP and some good spell vamp to help keep you alive.
If you can hold the stacks then this is great and gives some nice cooldown reduction.
Some necessary cooldown reduction and good AP, plus the passive is beast.
This solves any and all mana issues, but the passive won't be of too much help because you still won't have a ton of mana.
A nice new addition to the game, giving you some nice AP and MP5, as well as some very vital CDR.
AP Rune explanations and Alternatives
Some good magic penetration.
The dodge chance is always nice.
greater glyph of knowledge The mana is very nice because you are going to be relying on your abilities.
Wow, more magic penetration!
For a bit more AP.
Once again, AP is always nice.
greater seal of knowledge Kinda overkill on the mana, but if you really want it...
AP Early Game
Grab your Doran's Ring and go to your lane. Now, getting first blood is a bit harder, as you don't exactly have a consitent damage flow, and while your damage output is higher than an AD Master Yi's because you have some AP to boost Alpha Strike, at level 2 that changes. Your damage comes solely from Alpha Strike. Now, this doesn't mean you auto-attacks aren't powerful enough to do some decent damage, they just aren't as effective as an AD or Hybrid Master Yi.
AP Mid Game
Now that ganking starts, you may want to stay with at least 1 other person, as your 1v1 is weak. But when you and your team get ganked by multiple people, you do some nice damge to all five people, and should treat the fight like you are an AD Master Yi by using Alpha Strike, then popping your ult and smacking away at them, using Alpha strike when you can
AP Late Game
There isn't much more to say about AP Master Yi, except you should spam Alpha strike during team fights, as they can be a game changer. Also, just because you are AP doesn't mean you shouldn't be in a team fight whacking away at people, because no matter what, every bit helps. Good luck with AP Master Yi and have fun with him.
Now for my final and favorite Master Yi build. This build offers you boosts to your abilities while still giving your very strong auto-attacks some kind of boost. This build is fun to use, and by not being focused on one attribute, it's not as easy for people to counter you.
Hybrid Pros & Cons
+ Auto-attacks are still useful
+ Abilities are more effective than if you were straight AD
+ Item choices are easy because there aren't many hybrid items
- Still has relatively low 1v1 power
- Because you focus on AD and AP, neither of those two will be high
- Can't shred like an AD Master Yi can
- Can't AOE nuke like an AP Master Yi can
- Rather team dependent
It looks like the cons outweigh the pros, but it balances out in the end.
Hybrid Item explanations and Alternatives
A nice boost to your mana and health, plus a little starting AP.
Gives you some nice attack speed.
Gives you AP and AD plus the passive is nice for the attack speed.
Some good attack speed, AP and cooldown reduction.
Some decent AP and some nice attack speed, but we get this for the passive.
This has to be the best hybrid item I've seen, it offers some spell vamp as well as lifesteal, and some very nice AD and AP.
This offers a little AD, but I get this for the armor penetration so your auto-attacks can hit as strong as they can.
I honestly can't think of any other items off the top of my head, but really grab any item that offer more AP or AD, depending on what you want more of.
Hybrid Rune explanations and Alternatives
Helps your abilities get through to the enemy.
I swear these have got to be the best seals out there.
greater quintessence of desolation Good to boost your auto-attacks.
The little boost can always help.
Hybrid Early Game
Grab your Doran's ring and head to your lane. As always, first blood isn't too hard to achieve. As with my other builds, you should be able to easily achieve a kill by level 6. This build exels in a lane because when you open with Alpha Strike, it does more damage than an AD build, and then your auto-attacks are better than those of an AP build, so you are perfectly balanced.
Hybrid Mid Game
More ganking, but like the AP build, you aren't exactly safe alone. So once you have a partner to stay with, move around farming and ganking. Mid game is one of Master Yi's strong suits, as he kills with relative ease. Just focus on farming all the time and getting a kill or an assist when the opportunity presents itself. If you stop farming or killing, a gap in cash flow arises, and that can be a big problem.
Hybrid Late Game
In team fights, being a hybrid Master Yi is fun. Alpha Strike does decent damage as well as your auto-attacks, so you have a nice AOE move, and good single target killing power. There again isn't too much to say about late game. So have fun with hybrid Yi and be sure to rate and comment.
Hopefully at least one of these builds gave you some success, so I hope you had fun trying these builds. Again, please leave all criticism and tell me any problems you may have, and give every build a chance. Please try the build you plan on using in more than one game, just to be sure you weren't having an off game or a bad team, as Hybrid and AP Master Yi builds are rather team dependent.
Bonus Tips and Trivia
- If you're in a lane against ranged players, leveling up Meditate can allow you to stay in the lane longer and gain levels faster than they will.
- Wuju Style combined with Alpha Strike are very strong for last hitting minions.
- Alpha Strike's AoE component has a deceptively long range. Target minions near an enemy champion to harass them.
- 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.
- Although you cannot be slowed during Highlander, a good disable or blind will stop most of your damage, so be careful of enemies with disables.
- Highlander can be used as an effective escape tool, especially with Ghost used at the same time.
- Use Meditate, when in mid-clash and you are being focused upon. Enemies overly committed in killing you will find you surprisingly difficult to kill since Meditate grants 300 armor and magic resistance at max rank.
- Meditate is especially useful when an opponent is trying to Turret Dive against Master Yi.
- Master Yi 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.
- Meditate can also be chosen early in the game to maximize Master Yi's time in lane. However, choosing Meditate over his other abilities will sacrifice DPS and early game kills.
- 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.
- When playing Ability Power Master Yi, remember that Highlander refreshes all your cooldowns on a kill. Try to cast Alpha Strike so it will result in a kill. This may seem like kill stealing but it will greatly increase the damage the other team will take.
- Since Master Yi is an effective DPS/Pusher, it is best to build him with damage and attack speed runes. Life Steal can also be useful with increased damage and attack speed but not necessary.
- Consider that while his abilities are good, they work with relatively high cooldowns, meaning that Cooldown Reduction items are great to increase his overall use of abilities.
- Master Yi is extremely vulnerable to Crowd Control abilities, especially Blind and Snare, so players are recommended Cleanse as a Summoner Spell to counteract these effects.
- A Quicksilver Sash can provide essential good results in surviving; the Magic Resistance and the "Cleanse"-Effect is very useful.
- Using Highlander and the active effect of Youmuu's Ghostblade at the same time is very effective in many situations since both of these have great attack speed and movement speed bonus.
- Generally, items that provide bonuses on attacking or subsequent attacking are more useful on Master Yi than on other heroes due to his passive and high attack speed.
- A hybrid Ability Power based Master Yi can yield good results, with items such as Lich Bane or Trinity Force, especially if your enemies are packed with armor.
- A full Ability Power based Master Yi can pull off fairly good results. His Alpha Strike becomes a fairly strong AoE nuke, and is refreshed instantly if a kill is scored while Highlander is active. Your Meditate also heals and protects for a lot more than it did before.
- Pairing Master Yi with items like Phantom Dancer, Berserker's Greaves and Stark's Fervor can greatly increase his dps.
- Starting Youmuu's Ghostblade at level 1 by purchasing a Long Sword and choosing Wuju Style allows for a very effective last hitting and a high damage output. That gives you 25 bonus damage and when Wuju Style is active you will have 40 bonus damage.
- Sword of the Occult works exceptionally well with Master Yi, as after level 6, and even before he is able to rip through most casters with ease, creating a powerful snowball effect.
- Due to his high damage output, and 'Right-click-to-win' play style, along with being very easy to use and only 450 IP makes him great for low level games. However, against competent players, he is arguably the most difficult champion to use in the game, because of his extreme fragility and vulnerability to Crowd Control effects.
- "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.
- 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".
- Master Yi's Meditate ability highly resembles a similar ability used by Yoshimitsu from the Tekken & Soul Calibur series, using both a similar stance and a similar effect (healing).
- Master Yi was one of the champions chosen for the Ionian pool available during the 2010 Ionian Versus Noxus Grudge Match. However, he was not one of the selected champions.
- Master Yi's Highlander ability is a reference to the Highlander movie series, In which the main characters fight with swords and are immortal otherwise, the main characters, Connor MacLeod uses a katana, and in the last movie two characters use super speed.
- His quote "My blade is yours" is a direct reference to the Dota hero Yurnero, or more generally the Warcraft III hero Blademaster, who frequently uses it upon selection. His abilities are also similar to Yurnero
- Master Yi's Alpha Strike ability could be inspired by Yurnero's Omnislash.
- The term "Omnislash" originated as Cloud Strife's ultimate limit break in Final Fantasy VII.
- The term "Alpha Strike" was first coined by the US Navy to describe a large air attack during the Vietnam War.
- 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). This is similar to the Jedi Knight games which had blue, yellow, and red lightsaber stances each altered the speed and power of attacks.
- Master Yi's Ionia skin may be a reference to the "red period" of Hero, as both the art in background as well as the color scheme matches.
*Very special thanks to the hard workers over at the League of Legends Wiki for providing this great information.*
Began work on guide
Fixed grammar mistakes
Some more writing mistakes fixed
Very slight re-working to the item sequence for AD Master Yi build (Switched Phantom Dancer and Last Whisper in the item sequence)
Did a very slight re-working to the runes of the Hybrid build (The difference is very small, I switched out the marks to magic penetration, and the quints to armor penetration)
Added the "Bonus Tips and Trivia" section of the guide
More grammer fixed
Added Morello's Evil Tome to the Alternatives list of the AP build.