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Master Yi Build Guide by ShortyHUN

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ShortyHUN

Master Yi - Retribution of Ionia (Pre-Season 3)

ShortyHUN Last updated on December 1, 2012

Lane

[VS]

Jungle

Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
13
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
4
8
10
12
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Season 3

SEASON 3



Havn't played much on Master Yi lately (got addicted to wukong...), but read some intresting patch notes from the upcoming Season, so waiting to see them and probably rewrite the whole thing (aww ****).

And hopefully he will be harder to counter, maybe he makes his place back at my active rooster. If not this goes archived I guess.

Probably won't update this too often... too many thing to rewrite rather start a new guide for Season 3 Master Yi.


Guide Top

Introduction

Welcome to my Master Yi guide!


This is my first guide, but i decided to give it a try, please leave your opinions.
I'm playing on EU nordic/east and lately Master Yi got really popular, however most of them fail... Anyway I had pretty much succes with him, both AD and AP, but I just prefer AD. I'm planning to keep this updated if I get any new ideas or something changes (season 3 starts soon afterall).

English is not my native language so sorry for mistakes.

My Master Yi build is about getting out the max damage potential out of Yi while making him less squishy. To make this I used some off-tankish items that benefit Yi, and increasing hid critical chance and damage to the maximum. I tried out many combinations, but simply this was the most effective way, sometimes it might look weird for Yi, or you might think it's rubbish, but please mind testing it before down voting. Thanks!

If not intrested in the more indepth parts and you just want to see the final item builds i came up with click here!


Guide Top

Updates

  • Yea i know i published it a bit early, but i want to see how it stands. Gonna update and add parts about gameplay and matchings as soon as i can.
  • Turned on require comment to vote becouse someone downvoted without any feedback or reason -_-
  • Fixed some parts, added gameplay section, started Art of War section
  • Added a list of example full builds (got up early and was bored xD)
  • Added rune comparison chapter
  • Finished jungling chapter
  • Some fixes according to IceCreamy's review


Guide Top

Pros / Cons

So you decided to pick Master Yi becouse you saw someone owning with Yi or you just liked his looks, anyway some basic things you should keep in mind.

PROS


  • Very high auto attack DPS
  • Really good chaser
  • Can initiate ganks with Alpha Strike
  • Can farm/jungle with Alpha Strike
  • Getting an early kill, or two can skyrocket you
  • The looks... just cant ignore a samurai with nightvision
SPACE

CONS


  • Basically squishy
  • Can fall behind if you can't farm
  • Will be heavily focused if played well
  • You just feed if not played well :P
    SPACE
    SPACE


Guide Top

Masteries

Well I think these are pretty obvious for Yi, but you can try a few other things, maybe suggest something in the comments.


For laning:


Masteries
2/4
2/1
4/1
4/1
1/1
1/3
3/1
3/3
1/1
1/2
3/2
4/1
1/1

Pretty self explanatory, getting every AD and attack speed, Weapon Expertise with its 10% armor penetration is always good, same about Sunder , Lethality will come in handy becouse most of your damage will come from criticals. I choose the defensive tab over utility for a little extra sustain.

For jungling:

Masteries
2/4
2/1
4/1
4/1
1/1
1/3
3/1
1/2
2/2
3/2
2/2
4/1
1/1

Pretty much the same, Summoner's Resolve instead of Summoner's Wrath to get that extra 10 gold on every smite, and a few other differences for easier jungle.



You can ofcourse go for utility page but I don't think it will benefit that much.
Another alternative might be Havoc instead of Sunder but doesn't really change much.


Guide Top

Runes

Preferred runes

Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
3


Viable runes for Yi



MARKS
Alacrity
SPACE Well as most AD characters, speed benefits them a lot, since Yi is auto attack based, these can really increase his DPS. These ones are especially useful right on the beginning where you dont have your ulti or anything that gets you attack speed.

Strength
SPACE An early damage boost with flat AD runes, altogether they give you 8.55 AD right from the start. Might help you get an easier early kill. When jungling, jungle mobs have nearly no armor, it's barely noticable. so these grant you faster camp clears on the start.

Desolation
greater mark of desolation
SPACE In early game it doesnt make too much difference, together with Sunder you wil have 21 armor penetration, which isn't too much, but still makes more than strenght marks as people will get some armor.

Malice
SPACE Since we generally have a high speed and high crit chance build, these runes are actually very effective. You can reach higher critical chance with these which might save you an item slot, opening up more option for builds. Still a bit luck dependent compared to flat attack, armor penetration and attack speed, but the higher chance the less randomness.



SEALS
Resilience
SPACE I think these are the best, no other seal gives this much early game sustain. And as a melee DPS you will need armor for sure. And its cheap...





GLYPHS
Shielding
SPACE They give a little early boost and scale relatively well with AP users. With these you will have 24 extra magic resist on lvl 18.

Warding
SPACE Well less late game magic resist, but more early game resist. Helps you gank those AP users if early game. But overall I think shielding glyphs are better.



QUINTS
Alacrity
SPACE Same as marks, they give you pretty nice damage increase as you will hit faster. Each of these add a pretty nice speed so you can even mix and match if you would like.

Strength
SPACE Just like the marks they give an early game damage boost, but still they get nearly totally negated by armor later on. I'm just not fan of these flat AD runes, but they are still viable.

Desolation
greater quintessence of desolation
SPACE Same as desolation marks, they can give you a nice boost through the game, but with a bit less, then marks. I recommend only using this together with greater mark of desolation.

Malice
SPACE Same as the marks. High speed and critical rate from items make them not so luck dependent, and they end up being pretty nice.

Swiftness
SPACE I know Yi runs fast, but for early ganks and a little faster jungle clear they are not bad. Helps a bit chasing people when not using Highlander.

Vampirism
SPACE Okay most people say these are useless, but actually when you deal heavy damage with auto attacks, and by heavy I mean you even roadkill a freight train. In the end that 6% that these give wil end up healing you a lot, and anyway it heals just as much as a half Vampiric Scepter. Might save your life, give them a try, they are very underrated.


Guide Top

Rune Comparison

Ok so I pointed out some runes, and some might look just weird so basically im going to (or atleast try to) prove my choices. Basically this part will contain some math, pretty easy math so everyone supposed to understand, if somehow you don't please just skip this part and don't down vote becouse of this.

So let's get started. The basic formula I'm going to use is the armor's damage negation, then simple maths to get how much damage increase a specific rune gives in %. I'm going to calculate only with the Marks now to spare space, and making the same calculation with just different values. If still intrested in Quints I'm pretty sure you can do the maths yourself.

Formulas taken from wiki

Effective armor:


This formula shows how much armor you are actually fighting against after reducing effects such as flat and % armor penetrations and debuffs like The Black Cleaver's passive.
("enemy armor"-"armor debuffs"-"flat armor penetration")*(1-"% armor penetration")

Ok so let's assume we have 20 flat armor penetration, 10% armor penetration from Weapon Expertise and we have 200 AD, the enemy we are hitting has 150 armor. The calculation would look like:

(150-0-20)*(1-0.1)=117

So when hitting this enemy you are basically hitting against only 117 armor.


Armor's damage negation:


This formula gives you the % of how much your physical attacks will be reduced.

1-(100/(100+"effective armor"))

Let's calculate with the values we used last time and the effective armor we got.

1-(100/(100+117))=0.5391

So basically every physical attack you do against that target is reduced by ~54%.


Final damage:


It's really simply now that we got everything.

"AD"*"damage negation"
200*0.54=108

So every auto attack we make hits for 108 on the target.
Now basics are clear, let's get to the comparison.



Basic damage without runes:


  • Note: I calculate in Wuju Style passive damage into lvl 1 AD becouse you either start with it or get it by lvl 2 which is ~75.
  • Note: I will calculate lvl 18 AD with 300 AD becouse with the core build and Wuju Style activated that is the least damage you will have.
  • Note: Weapon Expertise and Sunder are calculated in, you can see the effective armor in brackets.
Target armor
SPACE
50 (39.6)
100 (84.6)
150 (129.6)
200 (174.6)
SPACE lvl 1 AD (75)
SPACE
53.7
40.6
32.6
27.3
SPACE lvl 18 AD (300)
SPACE
214.9
162.5
130.6
109.2


Strength Runes


  • Note: 9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage adds 8.55 AD.
  • Note: Becuse it's a flat increase in damage it's effectiveness will be constant trough the whole game.
Target armor
SPACE
50 (39.6)
100 (84.6)
150 (129.6)
200 (174.6)
SPACE lvl 1 AD (83.55)
SPACE
59.8
45.2
36.3
SPACE
30.4
SPACE
SPACE Increase in damage (%)
SPACE
SPACE
SPACE
11.3%
SPACE
SPACE
SPACE
SPACE lvl 18 AD (308.55)
SPACE
221
167.1
134.4
SPACE
112.3
SPACE
SPACE Increase in damage (%)
SPACE
SPACE
SPACE
2.8%
SPACE
SPACE
SPACE

Summary
As you can see flat AD runes scale very bad to late game. They gave a nice damage boost on the start but as you gain AD their effect just goes so small, they barely worth anything.


Desolation Runes


  • Note: 9x greater mark of desolation add 14.94 Armor penetration.
  • Note: Rounded to 15 for easier calculation, for a total of 21 with Sunder .
  • Note: Becouse of the effective armor formula, armor penetration has a much more complex effect on armor's negating %.
Target armor
SPACE
50 (26.1)
100 (71.1)
150 (116.1)
200 (161.1)
SPACE lvl 1 AD (75)
SPACE
59.4
43.8
34.7
28.7
SPACE Increase in damage (%)
SPACE
10.6%
7.8%
6.4%
5.1%
SPACE lvl 18 AD (300)
SPACE
237.9
175.3
138.8
114.8
SPACE Increase in damage (%)
SPACE
10.7%
7.8%
6.2%
5.1%

Summary
Actually I would be suprised to meet someone with 200+ armor on lvl 1 so you can just ignore everything under the second row on that part. On level 1 Greater Mark of Attack Damage and greater mark of desolation has insignificant difference, but in later phases and as your damage goes higher greater mark of desolation simply out classes Greater Mark of Attack Damage.


Alacrity Runes


  • Note: Attack speed increases are calculated from a characters basic attack speed, which doesn't change no matter what you do.
  • Note: Leveling up gives you a slight attack speed increase, but it's bonus attack speed too so, attack speed items don't stack with it.
Well no need for fancy stuff here. Attack speed stands for how many times you hit each second. This means 1.000 attack speed is 1 hit every second. And so a 0.100 increase in attack speed is a 10% increase to your total damage.
Master Yi's basic attack speed is 0.679 and 9x Greater Mark of Attack Speed gives a total 15.3% attackspeed.
So just 0.679*0.15 and you get the bonus attack speed in the value you can see on the interface.

Basic
Attack Speed
SPACE
0.679
SPACE Attack Speed
Bonus (%)
SPACE
15.3%
SPACE Attack Speed
Bonus (#)
SPACE
0.101
SPACE Increase in damage
(%)
SPACE
10.1%

Summary
So these runes just give the same bonus through the whole game no matter what. Maybe their early game bonus is even less then greater mark of desolation by a bit, but if you compare higher levels and higher armor rates, these are pretty awesome. The reason why they are my favorite.


Malice Runes


  • Note: 9x Greater Mark of Critical Chance adds a total of 8.37% critical chance.
  • Note: I calculate with averages here, but critical chance is still luck dependant, so actual results may differ.
  • Note: It's a flat value rune too, so you get the full effect of it right from lvl 1.
Not too much difficult calculation either. Only going to calculate an average damage multiplier based on critical chance and damage in 100 hits.
Let's assume we have 50% critical chance (as you see on the cheat sheet you will have atleast 55% with the build), and check the damage multiplier with 2x critical damage (basic], 2.1x critical damage ( Lethality ), 2.6x critical damage ( Infinity Edge+ Lethality ).
What will matter here is the difference between the 2 tables.

50% chance
Multiplier
SPACE
SPACE
2.0x
2.1x
2.6x
SPACE SPACE
Increase in damage
(%)
SPACE
50%
55%
80%

58.37% chance
Multiplier
SPACE
SPACE
2.0x
2.1x
2.6x
SPACE SPACE
Increase in damage
(%)
SPACE
58%
64%
93%
SPACE SPACE
Difference
SPACE
SPACE
+8%
+9%
+13%

Summary
I see a pretty low chance of Master Yi not having Lethality but still, this little rune would make a nice 8% average damage boost without it. With Lethality you get a 9% average damage boost right from the start, and sometimes a random crit can be devastating early game. As soon as you get an Infinity Edge this rune however gets you the most increase in your damage output among the ones i compared. Still becouse of its dependance on luck I don't really like them.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells


Summoner spells can change the flow of the game a little bit right from the begginning. I will skip some spells, these are pretty much useless for Yi.

Good choices for Yi:


Ignite
SPACE Well it deals true damage based on champion level. Helps secure kills with continual damage and reducing heal effects. Good for the early kills and can be used to prevent healing late game. And with Summoner's Wrath it gives a nice 5 AD when on CD.

Flash
SPACE Flash in for a gank, flash after a low hp enemy to get that last hit, flash out of combat to survive, flash trough walls when they are chasing. This spell has so many uses, it's just generally a great spell, just mind the long CD.

Ghost
SPACE Good for escapes and chasing both. Can be good for ganking too but less effective than flash. Still its a really good spell, thanks to Yi being fast by default. Can be used to backdoor.

Smite
SPACE This spell is a must if you're jungling with any champion. Speeds up the whole jungling by a lot. Has other uses like stealing Baron or Dragon. Has pretty short CD so you can use it as often as possible, Summoner's Resolve makes 10 gold out of it every time, even mid/late game just smite minions if nothing else is around, it should be always on CD.



Viable Choices:


Exhaust
SPACE Well it's a good spell, but Yi just doesn't have problems with chasing, so it's kinda of a waste. Might help at ganks at early game, if you have Summoner's Wrath it reduces armor and resist of the enemy by 10, but there are more effective spells.

Cleanse
SPACE Can save you from a CC. Good to cancel stuns, but since Yi cant be slowed, and knock ups and supressions cant be cleansed it's not really effective. Silence is just ignored on Yi, who the hell silences him anyway? What about taunts, well in Yi's case it's 100% that you will outrun them and start hitting, which pretty much hurts even Rammus.

Teleport
SPACE Only use this spell if you are backdooring and know how to do it *khm*, and only if you are comfortible with it.

Surge
SPACE I guess you think why did i put this here, the reason is, its pretty nice on Yi. With Summoner's Wrath it gives you 50% attack speed, it's like having an extra Highlander right from the start. That last part alone make it sound useful, not to mention pre-level 6.


Guide Top

Skill Guide

Master Yi has an intresting skill set, mainly focus on dealing damage and 1 defensive skill. His skills make him able to go both AD and AP based, I'm making an AD Yi guide so let's ignore that part for now. Some of his skills even have little dirty tricks in it which can be abused, making his skills pretty multifunctional.


Double Strike

SPACE This passive is great, after every 7th auto attack Yi's next auto attack will deal be double damage. Cant really say much about it, it's simply a great skill which increases your DPS. If anyone intrested, it increases total DPS by 12.5%.

Alpha Strike

SPACE Another great skill for Yi. It deals a nice amount of damage to 4 enemies with decent range. Deals nice damage by itself but it scales very good with AP, it does 300(+0.8/AP) magic damage. We are not building AP Yi but 300 damage to 4 targets is still nice. Its great to close gaps on ganks and in team fights. If you get the feel on how it jumps from enemy to enemy you can use enemy minions to harass champions. When farming this skill has a similar effect to madred items, it has chance to deal extra magic damage to minions and neutral monsters. Makes this your golden egg laying chicken too.

Meditate

SPACE Well this skill is a bit less useful for us AD Yi but its still not a bad skill. It heals Yi over 5 seconds for a moderate amount +4/AP which would be crazy if we had any, well good for you AP Yis out there. What makes it still useful with our AD build is that it gives a beastly amount of armor and magic resist, it can save life, or lure someone for a failed turret dive.

Wuju style

SPACE Another crazy skill to increase damage. It gives AD passively, when activated the original effect falls off until it's on CD but you gain a new one with twice as much AD, which means if you kill while Highlander is active, you get back the original buff too gaining the bonus basically 3 times. On level 1 its +15 AD and +5 each time you upgrade. If maxed thath means +35 AD, if activated +70 AD, if activated and killed with Highlander +105 AD... Scary stuff!

Highlander

SPACE If you do things right and get this skill, you just becoma a beast. It gives Yi a massive amount of movement speed, attack speed and immunity to slows. If you kill an enemy while it's active every CD refreshes, if you get an assist, half of it (meaning 2 assist refreshes CDs too). This skill has offensive and defensive uses, both really useful, and even if it goes on CD its just 60 sec.


As your 1st skill, i recommend putting a point into Alpha Strike it deals 100 dmg to 4 targets and has chance to do extra damage to minions and nautral mobs, its really effective both on lane and in the jungle.
If jungling and you feel more comfortable starting with Wuju Style just start with that, but Alpha Strike actually deal more damage to a camp, and has chance to instantly clear it!
After leveling up put a point on Wuju Style (or Alpha Strike if started with wuju).
From here on the most important is to get atleast 3 point on Alpha Strike, your second priority is to max Wuju Style since Meditate wont benefit AD Yi that much, but you can put a point on it on lvl 4 if you want. Always put a point on your Highlander when it's available!


Guide Top

AD vs. AP

Master Yi can be built both AD or AP, both are good, but in my opinion, AP Yi mostly relies to his Alpha Strike, and supporting it with a few things like Lich Bane and Deathfire Grasp for example. But making his Wuju Style and Highlander way less effective.
In a team fight if you dont get a kill with 1 burst on AP Yi you just run around on the battlefield waiting for CD. But everyone has admit that Meditate has not much use as AD but as AP Yi it gets noteable.


Guide Top

Core Items

This is one of the most important parts until now, i suggest reading trough the whole thing.
I'll keep this updated. Ideas welcome!

Starting items




If you like to start with boots, has better speed, few potions to keep you alive.



Might think it's noobish, but actually this has everything you need, both on lane and in jungle.



Pretty good start when jungling with Yi, with your high AD you can hit enough and steal enough HP with this.

Early game




Ok so this one is especially good on lane, it might look weird for Yi, but actually the runes and the boots give you enough attack speed, while the 2 Doran's Blade and Phage has the most dominating lane presence early game. They will be kind of suprised from your dmg-health ratio. Try it and you'll see.



If you decided to go jungling this is probably the optimal way for you. Wriggle's Lantern grants you enough AD and armor for the jungle and ganks, while Phage gives you attack and some sustain. Don't forget the Wriggle's Lantern passive and free ward!

If the laning ends


So now we have one of the starting gear, the laning phase has ended, people start roaming and making bigger and smaller team fights. At this point our gear is getting out dated, and anyway our Phage's passive wont be of much use at this speed, so time to build!



This way you get a nice boost of attack speed, a little bit movement speed, and a 10% critical rate. The critical rate is not too noticeable yet but its there and its kicking, this way you rather go for more static damage with that B. F. Sword.



If you choose to rush phantom dancer, you choose the speedy way. This just gives an overwhelming attack speed with 30% critical rate, the movement speed on this one is pretty nice. Its nice to make criticals about every 3rd hit, but it's kind of luck dependent, but it's up to you which way you follow.


Now that you got a bit stronger time to finish your most important items which will lift you to epicness.

Master Yi - The Retribution of Ionia


So now time to get that overpowering wuju stuff. For that you only have to finish and you most likely have half the things needed. You can see the items you need right below the chapter title. The order i put them there is actually the order you should complete them.

Step 1. Phantom dancer
SPACE Okay so this item is your bread and butter, it gives you insane speed combined with insane 30% critical rate. This item should make your attack speed 1.5+ without Highlander with it glancing or even passing 2.0. At that speed your Phage will proc a lot, and that 30% chance to deal double damage is extremely good. Sometimes Double Strike might crit on both hits and deal insane damage.

Step 2. Infinity Edge
SPACE Infinity Edge was probably designed for Yi, its a big yellowish blade with that freakign high damage potential... where did I see something similar. So this item gives you +80 AD which is a lot already, but thats not enough it gives us 25% critical chance, making it now a total of 55%. Still not the end of the story, it increases critical damage by 50%, making the total critical damage 260% with Lethality . Even if that tank lower your 300ish AD to nothingness with 300 armor, you will still crit him for ~200 (AD*(100/(100+armor))*crit multiplier / 300*(100/400)*2.6... just put the maths for proof, not going to do it often). All in all this item is sick!

Step 3. Frozen Mallet
SPACE So why adding this, becouse without it Yi would be too easy to kill. This item grants him both AD and HP. 700 HP is not bad, makes Yi way less squishy, you end up around 2800 HP. Since you got Phage before it wont raise your AD too much, actually only 2 AD difference between Frozen Mallet and Phage. But what counts much more is the passive, lets take that procing slow, and make it always proc. Generally with Yi speed (somewhere between the speed of sound and light..) it's a perma slow. One does not simply escape from Master Yi!!!

Agility Potions
SPACE These little potions are just 250 gold. Yet they give you a nice boost on attack speed and critical chance for 4 minutes. With this you can cap attack speed when Highlander is on, and the increase in crits is more damage overall. I usually always have it on after I complete the core build.


Guide Top

Phantom Dancer vs. Youmuu's Ghostblade

It's always been an argument around Yi which to use, well this is my opinion, if you don't like it, play Yi different. People differ I prefer him this way. I'm making a fast comparison why I choose Phantom Dancer over Youmuu's Ghostblade.

SPACE
SPACE
SPACE

AD
Aspd
Crit%
CDR
ArP
Price
SPACE

-
55%
30%
-
-
2845
SPACE
VS.
SPACE

30
-
15%
15%
20
2687
SPACE --SPACE--
--SPACE--
--SPACE--

just meh.
just from the active (60s CD)
half the crit%...
like you need it...
well only good point
basically no difference

So in the end it' 15% less crit chance for a bit more attack and your speed going on cooldown. You think it worth that 142 gold? I still think it's not good on Yi whatever people say.


Guide Top

Viable Items

So now we got everything that's needed to win, but still you have 2 Doran's Blade or that Wriggle's Lantern and an empty slot, so what should we do whit those. Here are some items that are good for Yi for those slots, but it's kind of hard to go wrong from here, except stacking Phantom Dancer or Infinity Edge like a noob. So...

What do we need/what helps?

AD
crit%
life steal
hp
armor/magic resist

SPACE AD always helps Yi
If 70% total its about always crit
High damage = lot of hp stolen
Well staying alive is important
Same as above
So the items I think are good. It's my opinion and I gladly try other ideas, and im trying some always.

SPACE

Offensive

The Bloodthirster
SPACE So this item gives a pretty massive AD boost with 12% lifesteal, pretty nice, and each enemy kill, be it minion or neutral or a champion, it will give +1 AD and 0,5% lifesteal for a max of 40 AD and 8% lifesteal. Pretty nice, increases your dps which make you steal even more HP, but if you die you loose a lot of those stacks, so im not really a fan of it.

Executioner's Calling
SPACE This little item is very underrated. It gives you 15% crit chance, just enough to get that 70% and meanwhile it gives you 18% lifesteal, nearly as much as a fully stacked The Bloodthirster trust me or not this cheap little item can make atleast as much use as that The Bloodthirster.

Last Whisper
SPACE Well you should basically only buy this if the enemy stacked so much armor that even your crits dont help. That won't happen too often... Still ignoring half the armor +40 AD sure can smash some heads. Still I suggest using this only if enemy stacks 2 Thornmail, otherwise not too much of use.

Sword of the Occult
SPACE This item mostly only for fun, but if you can stack it you can go over 400 AD. If fully stacked it even gives you a lot of movement speed, actually that much that combined with Phantom Dancer you can outrun someone with ghost on. Maybe sooner instead of something, but I just dont really like these stacking items that can loose stacks.

Maw of Malmortius
SPACE This item is really good if enemy team has faceroller AP users like Cassiopeia, Brand, Annie and others like them. This item gives you a nice magic resist and AD bonus with it. The spell shield it has can save you too. Don't forget that as you are going lower hp it gives you even more AD, however since Yi is squishy you might not use it at it's full.

Atma's Impaler
SPACE This is another great combined item, gives you a nice amount of armor, and becouse of the Frozen Mallet it gives pretty nice AD bonus too. But what makes it really good for Yi is that extra 18% crit chance. With this you can make 81% crit rate ( Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, Elixir of Agility). Just has pretty much everything that benefits Yi, great item in my opinion.


SPACE

Defensive

Guardian Angel
SPACE This item is fun. It's trolling on the highest level, they hardly kills you but you damaged them lethally, they have to change focus in the team fight, and *pop* guess whis back. The armor and magic resist it gives is pretty neat too. What else to say, its actually a very effective armor for its price.

Randuin's Omen
SPACE Get this if you are heavily focused by AD carries, or if enemy is mostly of AD based champions. Yi sucking up so much damage will drive them crazy. The extra HP is useful addition to it, also the passive and active on this item is just pure goodness. Don't forget to turn it on in teamfights if you got this.

Banshee's Veil
SPACE Similar things as Randuin's Omen, nice magic resist and a nice hp increase there. Yea the mana kind of goes to waste but it's still pretty nice. The passive can block a skill shot or a direct skill every 45 sec. It's really useful against those damn AP users who can faceroll you.

Quicksilver Sash
SPACE I say this is an underrated item, it's like an alternative cleanse, an even stronger one. This thing can actually cleanse supression too. A good choice if the enemy has heavy CC, but don't forget you are still not a tank, and this has 90 sec CD, don't jump in becouse you can cleanse 1 CC. Keep it for when you are really in a pinch.


SPACE

Utility

Aegis of the Legion
SPACE Another very underrated item. It gives a nice health bonus, and an aura which is actually pretty damn good. Gives you a total 270 HP, 30 armor, 39 magic resist, and 8 AD. Not bad for less then 2000 gold, and your allies around you get +18 armor, +15 magic resistm and the same 8 AD. This item gives you sustain, and a small damage boost, but giving them to the rest of the party too?

Zeke's Herald
SPACE Not a bad item either. Gives you a little HP too which might save you a lot of times. Sadly the CDR goes to waste on Yi but the attack speed and lifesteal is still pretty good. Similar to Aegis of the Legion this item has an aura that gives the lifesteal and attackspeed to nearby allies, which make it another useful item for teamplays.

Wriggle's Lantern
SPACE Well it's not a bad item afterall, it gives you some attack and defense along with HP steal. The passive adds some to your farming both on lane and in the jungle. If you started with this item for the jungle build you already have it and if you decide to keep it well it's there. The free ward that comes with it can help a lot as a jungler, or spares ward for other teammates. At higher levels you can just free ward Baron all the time.


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Example Builds


I'm putting here a few example of what can you make of this type of build. These are the ones that were a success when I was trying out lot of item combinations. Might add some if I find any new, or get some nice suggestions in the comments. Each build will have a small description about it's pros and possible cons.

The Never Ending Yi




This is one of my favorites, thus putting it first. With this you will reach pretty nice armor and magic resist thanks to that Guardian Angel while Executioner's Calling gives you an amazing 18% life steal and making your crit chance 70%+8% from Elixir of Agility. The deal here is that your AD will be 260ish without Wuju Style activation, but still get that 300+ that way. So a bit less damage for effectively always crit, a nice amount of HP steal and defenses. Another useful thing is the passive of Guardian Angel this stuff is made for kamikaze action, you go in, deal damage like a boss, ending dead, then you stand up and run away or finish the team fight with that 750 HP.

BloodthirstYi




Another version I like to build. This one has probably the most damage abilities. Since you have 2830 HP from Frozen Mallet and masteries, Atma's Impaler will add about 43 AD, along with 45 armor and making your crit rate go 73%+8%. The Bloodthirster add up atleast another 60 AD and gives you some lifesteal to stay alive. However you will lack magic resist, and no tricky life saver like Guardian Angel.

Frontline Yi




This build grants Yi a very massive HP and defensive boost along with that spell shield. This lets him walk around fights more comfortably, but you sacrifice a big amount of damage with the less crit chance and AD. Also there's no HP steal in this one so you still need some precautions.

Commander Yi




This kind of build make Yi extremely supportive for his team. The Wriggle's Lantern's free ward offers great map knowledge by placing wards on important places and Aegis of the Legion grants great defensive utility for your team in teamfights. Also this two items give Yi a nice defense bonus, aswell as HP steal and a little AD. However again your crit chance falls back to 55%+8% with this build too.

Crimson blade Yi




This one can be pretty scary. With Zeke's Herald and The Bloodthirster you can reach a total of 35% HP steal. Also the high AD bonus granted by The Bloodthirster and your insane crit damage makes that lifesteal really effective. Even with the lower crit chance the bonus speed from Zeke's Herald compensates for it, and caps your speed with Highlander so the sick amount of speed+damage combined with massive HP steal keeps you alive with this one. Note that Zeke's Herald also adds a little HP pusing you over 3000. Also Zeke's Herald will support your surrounding teammates with extra lifesteal and speed too!


So these are some of the builds I came up with and use more often. Still if you want something different, go mix up something from the items above, maybe even post it in the comments.


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Gameplay

When playing Yi always keep in mind that you are kind of squishy, so don't jump in mindlessly into a fight. Early game you should stay a bit defensive and farm a lot. Even in later phases yi can make a big profit from his fast farming capabalities, this doesnt mean you can go chill out at wolves during a teamfight!

When attacking with Yi you can either open with an Alpha Strike to close the gap, or just run to him and save Alpha Strike when he starts running away. Later when you have Highlander the 2nd option is better.
When going into a fight never turn on your Wuju Style before reaching the enemy, a lot if its time will go to waste that way. Keep this in mind with Highlander too.

In teamfights you should always know who to attack with Yi, focusing the right target makes so huge impact on teamfights that a bad focus might just end up the enemy team scroing an ACE!

  • Your primary targets will be squishies, with your high speed and crits sometimes you can kill a carry in about 2 second... yea thats right about 4 hit. If lucky and you get a Double Strike maybe even faster. Among the squishies you should always decide to go for the CCing ones or the high DPS. This will make Ashe for exmaple a pretty high priority target, or Annie with her stun and insane burst damage.
  • After getting rid of these you should target the less squishier supports and bruisers.
    SPACE
    Bruisers are the melee champions that are either tanky DPS or off-tanks, they deal moderate damage, but have pretty good sustain. Still some of them can be pretty dangerous like the totally fair Darius for example, or Riven with her stun and inhuman mobility.

    Supports are mostly casters that heal, shield or supply the team with CC like Soraka, Sona, Janna, Morgana and many more. They usually are less squishier than AP carries or assassins, but they deal less damage, however their other skills make them really useful for their team, and pretty dangerous for yours. So just kill them before they lay eggs!
  • And only least priority are the tanks, they don't hit much so they rely on the DPS on the back (and the surviving of the DPS relies on a good tank). Since you killed the DPS and probably the support, and the tank already lost some hp, you can now target him if you have enough HP, with you speed and damage output you should finish the job and he doesnt really have a chance to run, well not suprising with a Frozen Mallet. I even managed to slay Dr. Mundos with this build.

Sometimes in a team fight your HP will drop dangerously low, in these situation you should think through what benefits your team more.
  • Running away with your Highlander and recover, while being proud of yourself about how much you helped (or sometimes not...)
  • Going kamikaze but dealing out the most damage you can, maybe ending in killing one more enemy, or sometimes even you just end up start thinking: How the f*** did i survive this fight...


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Jungling

When I choose to jungle with Master Yi many start bashing me and start calling me a noob (well they always blame the jungler for everything anyway), but actually this are the typical narrow minded fools who will be feeding like hell and do 30 damages, well really fast but still useless and just KS those low hp luckers that survive a talon burst with 17 HP and call themself pro. With 7 KS/18/21 stat and saying they carried the whole game... why do these people so pro at staying alive ********it...

Anyway to the topic. Master Yi is actually a reall good jungle, the reason is even if he not really high sustain, he can clear camps insanely fast. He has 2 way to start the jungle, and both common jungle routes work for him very well. When using Wuju Style jungling you can start with a Vampiric Scepter which will keep you on pretty fair hp with the damage you can do. When you choose Alpha Strike type jungle you can either start with a Long Sword for higher auto attacks after Alpha Strike thus clearing faster, or with Cloth Armor for extra sustain.

When jungling always take the summoner spell Smite and the mastery Summoner's Resolve , the reason is Smite helps so much in the jungle, that I can't even exrpress it! For Summoner's Resolve the reason is granting 10 gold every time when using Smite, since smite has a relatively low CD this mastery actually gets you pretty much gold in the long term. Even later when you don't spend much time in the jungle, you must have Smite always on CD, just use it on a random enemy minion that derps into your way, 10 extra gold worth overkilling an innocent minion...

Item priority is important too, when jungling having the most HP after each clear is important, but ganking is important too, so on your 1st recall you must always buy Boots of Speed!


Basic Jungling



The ways of jungling


Alpha Jungle


This is the type of jungling I like on Master Yi, this type starts with one point on Alpha Strike just like the laning build. In my opinion it's really effective, Alpha Strike hits 4 targets with 100 damage on lvl 1, with 20% chance of dealing extra damage. Add to that your auto attacks of 60-65 depending on runes and a few things.

Why I think this way of jungling is more efficient? It's pretty obvious, starting on a camp with hitting 4 targets with 100 damage... except small golem every camp has atleast 3 neutral mobs, so thats a 300 total damage to the camp before they even start attacking, oh and don't forget the 20% chance for extra damage on each mob!. This skill has the potential to instantly clear wraiths and wolves right on the very start. As you level Alpha Strike this skill will increase the base damage by 50 each level and the chance to proc by 10%.

Think of it as a high damage aoe attack with an improved chance of Madred's Razors effect. And anyway on your 1st level up you cant upgrade Alpha Strike again and Wuju Style seems to be the better choice, so it's a total win I think.

Wuju Jungle


This way of jungling starts with 1 point on Wuju Style, granting a bonus 15 AD right from level 1, and another 15 AD if activated. This way Vampiric Scepter has more use then with Alpha Jungling, becouse higher damage = more life steal... pretty obvious.

But the problem is jungle mobs have a little armor, while they don't have magic resist, so some of that bonus gets negated. And this makes only about 4 hits with activated Wuju Style do the same damage as Alpha Strike but not to the whole camp!

When playing Wuju Jungle you need to use Wuju Style really carefully. You should always have it up when arriving at the next camp to keep the clearing time good. And you should have it activated at all Double Strike to make the most damage. Not to mention activating it early will waste some of you extra damage time.

To counter this i recommend turning it on during the attack animation. At first it might be a bit tricky but if you get used to it you can just turn it on during the animation before the attack lands. Another trick to have good manage on your Wuju Style is to know when to activate on a specific camp, some camps clear faster so you might activate on the very 1st or 2nd hit, but buff mobs die harder so you might consider activating maybe only just on the 4th hit (just some random numbers dont take these serious).


Routes


Fast Route


This route is faster, but puts more pressure on you, so you might not be able to gank when you clear the jungle. If somethign goes wrong you might even recall. Another bad point is blue nearly runs out by the time you clear. I suggest using this route if you know what are you doing. I see so many noobs fail with this route, even Warwick and Udyr... *insert facepalm here*.
SPACE
  1. Blue buff
  2. Wolves
  3. Wraiths
  4. Red buff
  5. Small golem
  6. Wraiths
  7. Wolves

I guess everything is so obvious I shouldn't really write more about this route, route here, item priority already explained (not like it's so trivial), itemization explained, how to jungle with the way you choose, so just nothing else I can think of.

Safe Route


As the name tells, this route is easier, usually better for less skilled/experienced players, however it has slower clear time. The good point in it is that you will have both buffs on when you clear, so it might grant an easier ganking. You can even use this route if you could do the fast one, but you are planning an early gank with both buffs or you feel more comfortable with this.
SPACE
  1. Small golem
  2. Wraiths
  3. Wolves
  4. Blue buff
  5. Wraiths
  6. Red buff
  7. Small golem

When choosing this route, you start at smaller camps and shouldn't take as much damage as you would with buff camps. Also enemy team sometimes raid your blue buff, which might result in your death, this way you won't be raided. Same goes for counter jungling, becouse of its difference from the common route it's a bit harder to counter.



Advanced Jungling




Counter Jungling


Counter jungling is when you go into the enemy's jungle and block his farming. To do this only kill the leader mob of te camp and leave the small ones. Your main targets are the buff camps, so the enemy cant grab their buffs, and the buff camps on your side can be taken by others who benefit from it.

For example you go into enemy jungle and steal their Blue buff golem and leave the 2 small lizards next to it, while your AP mid laner takes the blue buff on your side. This way both you and your AP mid laner got blue, and the enemy team has no blue buff to get. And the respawn timer won't start until they kill the small lizards.

When counter jungling always assume they see you, the enemy team migt placed a ward somewhere, so always be really cautious and if you notice someone coming your way, just run, it doesnt worth it to give them a free kill. Even if they lack teamwork, just don't gamble that they might not come for you.

Counter jungling is a hell of a thing and one could write a book about it, I don't really want to lengthen the guide too much with in-depth counter jungling. If intrested you can check out Mikuroo's jungling guide for example, but there are many more around on mobafire.


Ganking


Ganking is when you help one of your lanes as a jungler, usually going for a kill or two. Shutting down some enemies are important and you should know which enemy champs should be shut down. However babysitting the solo top lane is not as important as most people say, he choose to be solo so he shouldn't ask for a gank every half minute, he should withstand.
Anyway solo top should defend not make a rampage in the 1st few minutes. Another reason why I say that solo top is not your priority becouse it's either 1v1 tanky wrestling where you don't really give a big impact, or its a 2v1 which would end as a 2v2 on a gank, fair fights are not our thing here.

Mid and Bot lanes are way easier to gank, becouse going there will result as a 2v1 or 3v2 for your team, granting easier kills, and thus helping a lane a lot. Also Dragon is between these lanes so you can keep an eye on it early game, aswell as staying close to it.

When you go for a gank you should always check first if it's even possible.
For example don't gank bot if enemy is nearly under his turret, even if they ask for it... trust me there are some noobs who do that... Timing and enemy's position is really important, otherwise you are just wasting time, only scaring the enemy back to his turret. If ganking you should make atleast 1 kill, doesn't matter who kills, just score it.
I know this is about lane safety, but it's fine as a jungling notation too.
  • Green area: The enemy should be in this area to make the most succesive ganks, too bad you won't see this as often as you want to.
  • Orange area: You have to be cautious in this area, but it's still good for a gank, you can easily pick up a kill and scare away the other enemy, or sometimes even kill both of them. Just know when to pull back from this area and you should be fine.
  • Red area: Never gank when the enemy is in that area, you are too close to their turret, they can easily attack from the back and it's hard to pull back from there. Helping to hit down a turret is ok, but don't gank, you will most likely just waste your time, or even get killed

"KSer noob" this makes me bite my keyboard, this game is about teamwork, guess what, in a 2v2 you can't score all the kills.So your choice let enemy escape with about 0 HP, or secure and get the last hit instead of that other guy in your team. Securing kills is important, stop crying KS al the time when someone just secures a kill instead of giving even a glimpse of chance for that enemy to escape.


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Warding

Warding can change the flow of the game, sadly many people totally ignore or forget about warding. If you are a jungler you roam around the map, so you have lots of opportunity to place wards. Placing wards can save allies, give ganking chances, help counter jungling etc.. etc... so lots of useful things.

Still try to make other team members buy wards too, not only supports and junglers can ward. Even if you roam around you just cant ward every little corner of the map.

There are a few points on the map that give really a lot map awareness and utility, these points have higher priority when warding. However this doesn't mean you should only place wards there. If you think your should place one somewhere else jsut do so.

  • Blue spots: These ward points are basically to counter enemy team's ganking. It helps your team notice enemies before they jump in, these save lives many times, especially early game.
  • Green spots: These are placed in the bushes at the buff camps, really useful when counter jungling, or you can do the same on your side to prevent counter jungling. These are less important then the blue spots, but still useful.
  • Red spots: I choose this as red becouse they ward 2 really important neutral camps, at early game Dragon is hell of a money earning creep, warding him can keep you aware of it's state. Also you can see if an enemy is gankable there to get some extra kill with Dragon's help, or simply steal Dragon.
    With Baron the same, knowing if the enemy goes for baron is and keeping an eye on both enemy and Baron's HP is just such a big advantage.
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Backdooring

- Coming soon -


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Art of War

Who to lane with when playing Master Yi is pretty simple, a ranged or tank champion with any kind of skill that can slow down or block enemy from running away. For example this makes Ashe, Twisted Fate, Morgana, Nasus, Singed, Blitzcrank etc. very good lane partners granting you easy kills.

Lane and even late game matchups are a bit more complicated, so here is list of easy kills and dangerous enemies for Master Yi. Will update this list as much as possible/needed. Any help completing this section is appreciated.

Easy opponents


Ashe
SPACE Bascally she's a easy opponents becouse she walk way slower then you, is way squishier, and you are immune to her slowing arrows when Highlander is active, only her ult might be dangerous but other than that pretty easy kill for Yi.

Caitlyn
SPACE Same as Ashe, you just run faster, survive for longer, and probably hit harder... Her slow wont stop you. Keep in mind that she can leave traps that snare you, becouse you run fast, she can just place it infront of you and you will run in to it before noticing. And beware the ulti when low hp, better run behind that tank.

Ahri
SPACE Why is Ahri an easy opponent for Yi? Well you can just Alpha Strike or run to her and start attacking, and if you get to her she's probably dead. She can't slow you, and if she taunts you it's a suicide... Also you can still outrun her even if she has 4 flashes :P

Fizz
SPACE I consider Fizz kind of easy match-up. You can outrun him, you outdamage him, especially since Fizz is not a typical high-sustain champ. Also Chum the Waters is a skill shot which shouldn't really be a problem to avoid with Yi. And even if you get hit, theres a little time before it actually hits, so get away from your allies (which is still easy with Yi speed) and use Meditate, it will interrupt it, but that additional magic resist for just that moment when the skill hits is enough.


space

Hard opponents


Teemo
SPACE So you wonder why did i place this insignificant to be roadkilled rat here? It's becouse of his Blinding Dart. That ****py skill can totally negate you, Yi uses auto attacks and this skill makes auto attacks miss. With this skill Teemo can totally make you fall out from that teamfight, wasting your Highlander and/or Wuju Style. And probably if you become a 0 damage non-tank in the middle of the enemy team... you're gonna have a bad time.

Annie
SPACE Those damn stuns... can stun pretty easy and Highlander won't save you from stuns. Also her high burst can easily insta-kill you. It's pretty hard to counter annie, basically you have the best chances if you wait until she uses Summon: Tibbers on someone else so she cant combo burst you to death.

Blitzcrank
SPACE Blitzcrank is a tanky champion, so you can't take him down in just 2 second. What makes him a hard opponent is his skill kit. The Mana Barrier that keeps saving him when half dead, Rocket Grab which can pull you in a fight unprepared, Power Fist which is a CC with decent damage, ofcourse Highlander won't save you from it, Static Field which is a constantly annoys you while going vs blitzcrank. But still the most annoying of all is Overdrive the skill that makes Blitzcrank run nearly as fast as Yi. Overdrive and timed Power Fist can make your Highlander totally wasted. If not using Highlander he simply runs away...

Darius
SPACE Umm well... do I really have to write why? High damage spammable skills, true damage, damage over time, tanky, can reach 80% armor penetration, simply OP, leave him to the ranged teammates...

Wukong
SPACE Wukong is basically an off-tank (well good player atleast know) so he's not one of those you kill in less than 3 second. He can do pretty nice damage burst with that Sheen/ Trinity Force+ Nimbus Strike+ Crushing Blow combo. Probably throws the combo at you, which can take about half your HP, and has chance to get away with his Decoy. Sometiems he can even trick you to waste a lot of Highlander and/or Wuju Style time on the decoy.

Evelynn
SPACE Stealthy runner, this pretty much tells all. Her magic damage can really hurt early game too. With Dark Frenzy she can pretty much escape your attacks and if you can't catch her in 6 sec, she goes invisible. Can be really annoying, especially if fed. Best option to counter is Oracle's Elixir and only using Alpha Strike after she uses Dark Frenzy.

Riven
SPACE Again another off-tank, pretty high HP pool and nice defenses, while she can use Valor to attack you, or pull back away from you while shielding her. Further more she can use Broken Wings and Ki Burst to stun you and waste your Highlander and/or Wuju Style time (I have a feeling that I'm going to write this down a lot). So better think when you use those against her.


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Tips and Tricks

Will go indepth in these.

Alpha Strike immortality frame

Alpha Strike flash chasing

Wuju Style max potential

Surge+ Ghost - Highlander Beta


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Credits

Credits go to:

  • jhoijhoi for the dividers and on her Guide
  • To whoever made that Yi art down there... sorry found it on google.
  • To IceCreamy for reviewing my guide.


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