Master Yi Build Guide by JAYZORZ

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League of Legends Build Guide Author JAYZORZ

Master Yi - The Quick Killer

JAYZORZ Last updated on July 26, 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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Master Yi is an amazing, and with this build incredibly strong champion. This build relies on a good team, and a team with a designated tank such as Rammus or Leona. This build will allow you to kill opponents in a few hits, and potentially one with a double strike critical.

One advantage of Master Yi rather than other ad carries is that his ultimate Highlander gives him almost unmatchable speed and attack speed boosts and he cannot be slowed, but can still get stunned or supressed.

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Runewise, I take Armour Penetration through Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation, durability through Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and a bit of extra critical damage with a Greater Quintessence of Critical Damage.

I take these so I can take a bit of punishment while dealing massive damage even through armoured foes.

Master Yi does differ to most of my other junglers, as I usually use Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, but these are only effective with a CC jungler IMO, such as Alistar, Nautilus or Udyr.

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I max out the offense tree as this Master Yi build is based solely on killing quickly and oftenly, and as such it just seems logical. I don't bother taking Butcher as the damage that Master Yi already deals alot of damage, especially with help from Wuju Style, and as such my masteries are based on champion killing, not minion killing.

With the remaining 9 skill points, I refrain from the utility tree, even increased buff duration and invest in defense, as this allows a safer and easier jungle. I also take improved smite for added gold, although this is just personal.

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As soon atop the guide, I start with a Vampiric Scepter as this gives me some sustain in the jungle. I then take Wriggle's Lantern and Boots of Speed when I can as this enables me to jungle significantly faster and gank with help from Exhaust.

I then take Berserker's Greaves and build a Phage for increased gank potential.

I then take a B. F. Sword on my way to Infinity Edge and then transition into The Bloodthirster for extra sustain and damage.

Phantom Dancer adds critical chance, move speed and attack speed and then finish off the Frozen Mallet to tank up and increase your damage.

Finish up by selling of Wriggle's Lantern, as it isn't as good late game. Instead, look to build a Guardian Angel.

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Situational Items

Last Whisper: If the enemy team stacks armour, look to get this

Madred's Bloodrazor: If the enemy team stacks health, this can counter them

The Black Cleaver: With flat armour reduction, if the enemies have low armour, this is a good choice (see my Swain guide, chapter " Abyssal Scepter vs Void Staff" for more information regarding flat and % reduction.

Atma's Impaler: Can give you some decent damage, as well as critical chance and importantly some armour

Maw of Malmortius: A good item now, the passive is very nice and can save you in a pinch, also adds some nice damage.

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Skill Sequence

Many players start at double golems with Wuju Style, however I like starting at the ancient golem with Alpha Strike. Even without the bonus damage effect applying, you can take him out, and if it does apply you will lose very little health and get to level 2 almost instantaneously.

If you are too low on health to continue jungling due to a bad leash, early gank attempt or some other unfortunant unforseen event, taking Meditate at level 2 will grant you a safe, albeit slower, jungle route whereas, with a good leash or if the bonus damage applies you can take Wuju Style for a faster jungle and more potent ganks.

Maxing Wuju Style first gives you a guaranteed fast jungle and very strong autoattacks, and Alpha Strike gives burst magic damage and a very fast medium to take out groups of creeps.

Level up Highlander whenever it is available.

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Summoner Spells

Smite is a must for almost every jungler, I constantly see people taking Ignite as a substite for smite, but truth be told it just doesn't fill the same role. Ignite deals alot less damage, and deals its damage over time, not to mention it has a cooldown of over twice as long, and cannot be used to secure or steal buffs, dragon or baron.

Exhaust is my second preference, Master Yi has no inbuilt cc, and I refrain from building frozen mallet as I rather keep my damage high, and as such taking exhaust gives me cc for late fights and to control my opponents during ganks, hopefully enough to make them fall.

Flash is my favourite summoner spell in general, it is a very useful initiating, chasing or escaping tool however, I think that smite and exhaust are more vital for a jungler without any crowd control effects.

Ghost is a useful spell, however without any crowd control and with Highlander, I consider it unneccessary and essentially useless.

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Ranked Play

This build is fine for ranked play aslong as your team has a designated tank and an adequate amount of ability power, as Master Yi cannot tank and a good team is needed to carry, as you are melee and will likely get focused if your tank does not engage.

My ranked stats with this build are shown in this picture below

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Jungling Route

At the start, begin at the Ancient Golem with Alpha Strike. If you kill the golem with enough health remaining, level up Wuju Style as it allows you speed, but if you take alot of damage, get a point in Meditate to heal up. Follow a standard path from here, that is wolves > wraiths > double golems, and get red buff when you can and have gank options.

During the Midgame, Alpha Strike minion camps and then continue to attack with Wuju Style passive, keep farmed but also look to help your team and gank whenever you can. Also look to kill the dragon and baron whenever appropriate, and always finish with Smite just incase of wards and killsteal attempts.

You can also view the map below to see my suggested route

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Team Work

Master Yi cannot tank, and as such you need your tank to initiate first. You should then initiate from the side and use Alpha Strike as a gap closer to reach the squishy back targets such as support champions like Sona or Soraka or their ranged ad carry like Miss Fortune or Ashe. However if they have a CC heavy squishy ap carry such as Malzahar you should focus him first.

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Always look for overextended enemies, especially when your laner on that lane has some CC such as Nasus with his Wither on top.

Master Yi is not an extremely potent ganker as aforementioned, he has heavy damage but lacks CC except for Exhaust and as such is partner dependant. Always keep farming, but ensure that you are giving appropriate help wherever needed and go to help lanes in trouble, such as defending turrets from minion waves, holding lanes and ganking to deprive opponents of farm and set up their lane opponent with an easier time.

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Ganking Tips

As discussed above, with your exhaust down you have no crowd control, and as such you should follow the person in lane in the engage, waiting for them to CC your victim, such as Wither.

Due to your lack of CC you should always obtain Red Buff before ganking whenever possible.

You should also have Double Strike ready, have enough mana and save Alpha Strike for after a flash if they have it, unless you need to quickly close the gap first or it will kill them.

Also, activating Wuju Style gives you a nice damage boost and should always be used when ganking.

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Taboos of jungle Yi

As numerously mentioned above, Master Yi is strong, but due to a lack of CC is not a great early game ganker. As such you should not waste too much time sitting in the brush waiting for a perfect moment to strike, as there may never be one.

Instead, you should gank fast and try to kill them, even if they don't die, they'll still be put at a disadvantage, and you can continue farming which is beneficial as you are of most use late game as an assassin fighter, and you are very item dependent.

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In conclusion, Master Yi is an extremely potent champion as he gains unrivalled speed, features an in-built gap closer and can as such easily act as an anti-carry whilst himself carrying, even in ranked games.

Get out there, have fun and own with The Quick Killer - Master Yi.

Also, check out my Swain guide, it got a massive revamp, and is very informative now.