Build Guide by Kango
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Introduction (Please Read the Guide)
Welcome to my guide! This is my first time using MobaFire to write a guide, but in no way my first time writing a guide. My reason for writing this is that I'm tired of seeing terrible Mater Yi's trying to jungle and using terrible builds that don't work. My goal is to try and stop such atrocities from happening ever again. EVER. FOREVER.
This guide is made to act as more of a guide, rather than a set in stone build (though honestly this build works pretty well in my experience). There are plenty of other options that you could use, and I try my best to explore those and compare. Those of you who actually read the guide, thanks.
About Master Yi
Master Yi is one of the strongest physical carries, if not the strongest physical carries in the game. His gimmick is speed. He hits fast and he runs fast. But more importantly, he hits hard. Because of this he is amazing at pushing turrets. He is also great at ganks. Use all of these things to your advantage.
Pros / Cons
+ Super Fast Attack Speed
+ Great Damage
+ Great Life-steal
+ Amazing at Farming
+ One of the Best Turret Pushers
+ Good at Harassment
+ He's some kind of ********ed Demon.
- Very Squishy
- Highly Vulnerable to Disables
- Good at being Harassed
- Can be Mana Hungry without the Mana Buff
- Can be easy to destroy without his Ultimate.
Greater Mark of Desolation
Mark of Desolation
This is for Armor Penetration, which helps a lot early game.
Seal of Evasion
Some people don't think this is a good choice, but it's helped me well enough. Master Yi shouldn't pick up armor, so this is a good way to counter that. If this had to be replaced, I recommend Greater Seal of Critical Damage
Glyph of Furor
This is for extra critical damage. Master Yi will score criticals a lot, especially late game, so this is good to have.
Early game, you can use this passive for...well, double damage. If you can control when you use you use it, then activate your Wuju Style just before you hit them with your Double Strike. Later on in the game, you won't have to be as concerned with queuing up this power, since you'll start ganking and pushing turrets. You will not Double Strike on a Alpha Strike but you will on a Turret or Inhibitor.
This is your primary ability for just about everything. You will use the chain ability to harass champions and farm minion waves. You are rather squishy in your laning phase, so it's wise to target a nearby minion and hope your chain will hit a champion. When you target a champion directly, you are more or less under their control, since your target is where you will appear when the chaining ends. So say you target a champion who is near their turret, they will run back next to their turret so that you be dropped off right in range. Targeting a minion will allow you to hit a champion next to a turret without actually having to be near the turret at all. Another thing to take note of is that if that champion has any CC at all, you most likely put yourself in their range, so be careful.
In a combat situation, the usage of this skill shifts a bit. It is a great way to open, but leaves you vulnerable during the fight. If you're in a losing fight, using this ability can give you that extra damage to win as well as make you unhittable for those short seconds, so use wisely. Try to avoid using this for no reason at all during a fight, because if they start to run away, you can use this to catch up, or to get the final blow if they make it under a turret.
No. Just No. Honestly, you should never pick up this ability. Sure it heals you, but it doesn't heal you enough to be worth the mana it takes away from you. Late game, it may be useful since if you get too damaged, you can retreat, heal, then go back. But before that, it'll take away precious skill and mana points that could be better spent. Just trust me on this. If you're that concerned about your health, put forth the extra couple of gold for a Health Potion or two.
Now this was pointed out to me and honestly, I didn't really consider it. If someone turret dives you, you can use this to stay alive while the turret turns on them. Cute strategy, but it should really only be considered if you get turret dived a lot.
Passive / Activate
This skill will make a huge difference. You can either pick this first or Alpha Strike depending on how you feel, but I will usually start with Alpha Strike. This is best activated after Highlander for obvious reasons.
Ultimate / Activate
This is Master Yi's ability for combat and ganking purposes and his overall most important skill. I do not recommend entering any sort of battle without it being up, unless you're confident you can win without it. The speed boost, combined with the doubled damage from the activated Wuju Style, you will devastate anyone stupid enough to try and kill you. When you have this activated, make sure you get the kill. Your team may ***** at you, but getting the kill means your cooldowns are refreshed, which means you can activate it again, and kill the next person, and then the next, UNTIL THEY ARE ALL DEAD . Trust me, if you get the kill in a team fight, you will turn the fight, and even go so far as to ace their entire team in one effortless go.
This ability is also a great chase / escape method. Enemies will rarely get away from you with this active (unless they have some ungodly run speed). Combine this with Ghost and very few things will match your speed.
My Personal Choices
I like this spell because it allows quick returns to a lane early game, easy way to push a turret mid game, and a way to get to your team late game. You can easily replace this spell if it's not really your thing, but it is a nice thing to have.
In my opinion, this spell is essential for Master Yi. He's pretty mana hungry, and this is a good way to counter it. Eventually, you can get the mana buff the help counter the need for mana, but even then Clarity can help.
Other Spell Choices
These spells, are obviously, not set in stone. There some other spells you could use in their place.
This a good chasing / running away spell. Combine it with Highlander and nobody will ever match your speed.
Good way to hold people down long enough for you to kill them.
I don't recommend this spell as much as the last two. In my opinion, Master Yi will either win or lose a battle, and theres no in between. But if you truly believe that you can get away, then sure, go ahead and pick this up.
I'm going to move onto the things that make Master Yi some kind of ******** demon. His items. Half of what makes Master Yi incredibly over powered are his items, saying that, I will rarely deviate from the items I put up, but I will post some other viable items here in a second.
These are my starter items. The health potions will keep you in the lane long enough to afford your next item. You may question why I would go Boots of Speed and I answer YOU ARE NOT WORTHY GO AWAY. But seriously, this will help you catch up to people who are running away, or even help you get away yourself. If you don't want The Bloodthirster then you can get Rejuvenation Bead instead of Boots of Speed, and build into Zeke's Harbinger
I get these for the extra attack speed. They can be replaced with boots of your choosing. I recommend Mercury's Treads or Boots of Swiftness.
You should always include these in your build. You should buy Zeal as soon as you can after your boots and build into Phantom Dancer. I do NOT recommend Youmuu's Ghostblade. In my opinion, Phantom Dancer is better, and the activate is just a little bit overkill seeing as you already have your Highlander. The Cooldown Reduction will make only a very small impact, even then your Highlander resets your cooldowns anyways.
Get this for some nice attack damage and Lifesteal. You will rarely have to worry about health with this since a couple hits will bring you back to full health. This can be replaced with Zeke's Harbinger if you prefer.
This is the item for Master Yi. You should never replace this item,ever. You have to always include this in any Master Yi build, it will make you powerful enough to kill anybody in about 2-4 shots. If you Double Strike on a critical, it'll be a surprise if the thing you hit SURVIVES. If you had to replace it, I'd recommend Infinity Edge or Infinity Edge.
Sword of the Divine
Do you remember how fast you were hitting in Highlander? This item will allow your regular hits to hit faster than that. Going into Highlander will cap your attack speed, so Highlander won't be as needed at this point. But if you want a replacement, then the items you pick will be dependent on who you're up against. So Last Whisper if you're up against an armor heavy team, or even if you're not. There is also The Black Cleaver or Frozen Mallet. If you wanted a second chance then Guardian Angel. Keep in mind any of these items can fill the 2 slots.
Game-play (Summoner's Rift)
During this time you will be, guess what, laning! I'd prefer to go into the sidelanes, but Master Yi is viable in the middle too. Only go middle if no one else wants to. Start off by buying your Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion and laning with a ranged or anyone with some CC. You'll want to stay back as much as you can during this time and harass enemies by chaining your Alpha Strike off a minion and by timing your Double Strike for some good damage. If the enemy champion is about 25%, that is the best time to queue a Double Strike then hit them with a activated Wuju Style. Don't forget that you're squishy so it's best to stay in the bushes until your Alpha Strike is up. If you're alone then you can run out and auto attack the minions for some gold.
Around this time, you'll want to gank anyone you can get with your Highlander. The key to doing this is the same as any gank, make sure they don't see you leave. Never change lanes by running through a enemy minion wave, otherwise it will be easy to call you MIA and you will probably lose a kill because of it. The best time to attack (this is true for any gank) is when the target is distracted with you ally near your ally's turret. This way they'll have a ways to run back to safety and they won't usually see you coming. Try avoiding taking on multiple enemies at once if you can, and never change targets mid fight. Mark the person you want dead.
Around this time you will also want to push turrets that aren't being immediately defended. If you're left alone at a turret, activate Highlander and Wuju Style to bring it down literally twice as fast. Also keep an eye on your minimap during this time. If their entire team is missing, RUN. Just get out of there. Even if the turret is really low, you can run back at a later time and hit it a couple times while tanking the shots. They'll never expect it and they lose a turret.
Assuming your game is going well, you'll want to run around and wipe up any last turrets and just devastate any enemy stupid enough to get in your way. You should also have Infinity Edge by this time, if not, make the effort to get it. Try to stay out of team fights until your team is properly engaged, at which point you should come in and target the weakest enemy and wipe up their team one by one.
Assuming the game is going badly, try to get your team to stay together. Once your team enters a team fight, start back-dooring a lane and trying to bring down as many turrets as you can. This is key to turn a game around. How it ends will all depend on your team.
Good Champions to Lane With
Taunters are good for just about any champion. Laning with guys who can do this means you have a target who can't run away, and who isn't focusing on you.
These guys are the same as taunters, except they're not hurting anyone. You can seriously injure or kill anyone during these short seconds that they can't do anything.
Slowed. Plain and simple. If they're trying to run away they'll have a lot harder time getting to safety. Always take advantage of these moments, as it can mean an easy kill.
Your Best Friend
If you find or have a friend who plays Soraka, lane with her. She will heal and restore your mana, which helps a lot for you. The heal will help you turret dive and make you an unstoppable killing force that even God can't stop. As long as she's acting as a mana battery for you, you can go right ahead and spam your powers.
Bad Champions to go up Against
As I've stated before, Master Yi is highly vulnerable to disables. He's pretty squishy, and his counter to this is life steal. In this case, without his ability to hit anything for life, he is very vulnerable, so watch out. In a team fight, you should usually wait until you see the enemy champions use up their disable before you go in.
Tanks are a generally bad idea to go up against alone. With Rammus and Shen, you probably can go up against them, since you are auto-attack based, and their taunts will be a stupid idea to use on you. Otherwise, Cho'Gath can silence and and hit you up into the air, Amumu and Taric can stun you, and Vladimir can life steal off you and turn a fight. Overall, these characters are tanks, and will probably have a lot of health and armor, so it will be hard to face them on your own, even if they didn't have those powers.
Before I said you shouldn't worry about taunters too much. Well except for this guy. The more damage you do to him while he is channeling his ultimate, the more damage he will do to you upon exit of his channeling. It is best to stay away until you know he has wasted his ultimate, at which point you have no need to worry about his taunt.
Personal Statistics (AKA Ways to Convince you this Works)
That's about it for my guide. Please do rate and comment, and tell me if there is anything you feel like I missed or should expand on. Constructive Criticism welcome.