Master Yi Build Guide by lucky825

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author lucky825

Master Yi - The Quick Assassin

lucky825 Last updated on May 25, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Meet Master Yi - The Wuju Master

Keeper of the ancient art of Wuju, Master Yi is a mystical warrior from the isle of Ionia. He descended from one of the few tribes dedicated to the preservation of Wuju, a martial art founded with the principles of absolute spiritual awareness of one's self and one's enemy. When the armies of Noxus invaded Ionia, Master Yi joined in the Ionian defense to fight the craven enemy, bringing his village honor through his unparalleled mastery of the blade. The ensuing battles ravaged the land, but no conflict inflicted as much horror as the day the armies of Noxus closed in on Yi's village. Left undefended, the village became the unfortunate test subject of the latest invention by an up-and-coming chemist, now known as Singed. The remains of the village that Master Yi returned to were so horrific that it remains a festering scar on Ionian history. To this day, no Ionian will ever publicly speak of what occurred.

After the Noxian invasion was contained, Master Yi fell into a deep isolation. For years, he trained morning to night, speaking to no one and refusing offers of consolation by fellow Ionians. The only thing stopping him from madly charging into Noxus battle lines headfirst was his pledge to keep the Wuju style alive. Even though he seethed with impatience, his rage became a tool for sharpening his practice of Wuju, developing stronger and deadlier skills for his eventual vengeance. The only thing that roused him was news of the League's formation, and Noxus' subsequent enrollment in the League. Master Yi now brings his mastery of the blade to the League of Legends with unflinching purpose: to avenge his kinfolk and end the predations of the Noxus once and for all.

''The art of Wuju lives on in Master Yi, and is plunged through the hearts of his foes.'' -- Soraka, the Starchild

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Why Build This Way?

Master Yi The Wuju Bladesman can best be characterized as a DPS build. His abilities allow him to carry out deadly attacks in a short time-frame. He does require some time to earn items before he is able to become dangerous.

I've seen builds for Master Yi that focus too much on AP, and other's too much on his survivablity (once fought a Yi with over 4K HP O_o). I feel this build gets a mix of everything. Attack damage/speed, swift movement, some AP, and enough HP with Life Steal to keep you going.

Speed (Attack/Movement)
Standard and Crit Damage
Instant ability cooldown when used correctly
Ability to maneuver out of tight situations

Very Squishy until health items are obtained
Can easily use up mana
Misuse of Highlander can leave you stranded for over a minute
Attacks early on need to be timed well to have the best effect

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Abilities And Their Uses

Alpha Strike

(mana cost: 90/105/120/135/150): Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing 100/150/200/250/300 (+AP x 1.01) Magic Damage and has a 20/30/40/50/60% chance to deal 400 bonus damage to minions. 18 sec. cooldown.

Double Strike

(Passive) On Yi's seventh attack he will attack twice.


(mana cost: 80/100/120/140/160): Master Yi meditates restoring 150/300/500/750/1100 (+AP x 1.65) Health over 5 seconds. While Meditating Master Yi has a bonus 30 Armor and Magic Resist. 45 sec. cooldown.

Wuju Style

(mana cost: 40): Passively increases Physical damage by 15/20/25/30/35. Additionally, Master Yi can activate this ability to double its effectiveness for 10 seconds, this removes its passive bonus damage until Wuju Style becomes available again. 30 sec. cooldown.


(mana cost: 120): Increases Master Yi's Movement Speed by 40% and Attack Speed by 30/50/70%, and he becomes immune to all slowing effects for 6/9/12 seconds. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns. 70 sec. cooldown.

How To Use Them

Alpha Strike is Master Yi's farming ability early on, and can be used to take out minions early on. Farming minions is key to getting your build up as quick as possible. As you become more powerful, using this ability can make chasing down enemy champions easy to go in for the kill. It becomes especially useful when you come across more than one champion with low HP (doesn't happen often, but it happens) and can allow for a quick double kill.

Double strike is a perk of A.S. When you are chasing down minions or champions, dealing damage twice with one hit becomes amazingly useful. At full build Yi can hit at approximately 300 damage, or ~500 crit damage. With double strike you can take out a large chunk of health with that one strike.

Meditate is a key ability, though in this build, we focus on that last. Its mana cost is far too great early on to use consistently if Yi is low on health. Saving the last 4 upgrades for Meditate makes you use caution while playing early, avoiding excessive mana costs and increasing awareness.

Wuju Style is Yi's primary ability. Its passive effect of increasing attack damage gives you an advantage. Combining it with AS essentially makes you a flying blade, literally. Use it when going in for the kill to deal double the passive damage to the opponent.

Highlander is your best friend with Yi. Killing enemy champions while it is in effect will eliminate the cooldown of your abilities. Your attack speed increases significantly, combined with high chance of crit damage, and moderate attack damage, and increased foot speed, you become a weapon that can be next to impossible to stop when at full strength. In some cases, when you need to escape from a tight situation, it can help you get away. Highlander nullifies any attempt to slow Yi while activated, giving you an open window to get out quick. Combined with Ghost, your foot speed is increased by 85%, making escape a quick and easy move.

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How to Use

This build is simple. Early on, farm minions, occasionally attacking enemy champions when they are vulnerable, but be careful since Yi is very vulnerable himself early in the game. Utilize your mana and health potions early on and get back to base in emergency situations. Utilize the bushes and turrets for easy defensive maneuvers. If you need a quick escape, use Exhaust to slow the champion targeting you, and use Ghost to get out quick. I much prefer this Ghost over Flash in this case, as combining with Yi's Highlander ability, you can move quickly.

Once you obtain Highlander, try to single out weaker enemy champions and launch an offensive against them using Wuju Style, Highlander, and then use Alpha Strike to get in close. Be careful not to wander too close to turrets or get surrounded by minions early on. Only attack enemy champions that have lower HP, until you can obtain the Phage, as this will give you a slight HP boost.

Once you reach level 10 or higher, go ahead and jungle. Attack the Golem to obtain the Crest of the Ancient Golem to give yourself a mana boost when needed. This will make recovering from ambushes quicker, so you can keep fighting. Ambush your enemies from behind to get a head start on diminishing their health. If they are getting away too quickly or seek the refuge of a turret, back off, unless you have the health to withstand a few hits from the turret.

By the time you have a full build, you can charge in on enemy champions. Most minions will tend to die with one strike from Yi's blade. Utilize Highlander when attacking champions to regain your abilities, so you can keep attacking other champions. Triple kills can be easy to obtain if used right, and Yi will be a solid offensive and defensive force not to be reckoned with. Be careful, however, if you are caught off guard by a double or even triple team, as stuns and taunts will render Yi inept for several seconds.

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Item Choices and Uses

Most of the items are pretty straight forward. You want the increased HP, movement and attack speed, as well as attack damage and critical strike chance. Life Steal items such as the Vampiric Scepter and Bloodthirster will ensure that Yi will not go down without a fight. Later in a game, you may be constantly attacking enemy champions with your abilities, so the Archmage's Staff, along with the Trinity Force, will give the additional boost to your mana pool and mana regen. In most cases, at level 18, Yi can back off into bushes when at ~20% HP, use Meditate, and continue fighting a little longer.

The Elixir of Agility I consider an optional item. If you have enough gold to buy it, as well as the Trinity Force, I suggest using it. Buy it, use it, then buy the Trinity Force for an additional 22% attack speed, on top of the 101% you already should have. It gives you a stronger advantage, and will help make the push to destroy the enemy Nexus.

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Rune/Mastery Choices

Greater Mark of Alacrity
9 of these runes give you an increased attack speed of 15.3%. Higher attack speed = more DPS = quicker ability to kill.

Greater Seal of Resilience
This seems to be a standard across most builds for Yi. 9 of these runes give +12.69 armor, making him less prone to physical damage. Even with this, Yi is still somewhat squishy, so be careful.

Greater Glyph of Shielding
9 of these runes will give Yi a slight bit of magic resistance. This helps shave off a small amount of magic damage that can be taken. 2.7 at level 18

Greater Quint of Fortitude
Again, Yi has low HP to begin with, so 3 of these will tack on an additional 78 HP. A small boost, but it could mean the difference between life and death in some cases.

For the Mastery Tree, Yi is a solid offensive character, so the Offensive choices will give additional key components, such as Armor Penetration, Life Steal, Attack Speed/Damage. The remaining points are in Defense, because Yi is simply an easy target early on. With perks like additional HP and Armor, give him a little boost, especially early on in the game.

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I'll try and get some PvP screenshots in soon.