Master Yi Build Guide by Pognog
Recommended Runes + Notes
Start #2 + Notes
Ability Sequence + Notes
Masteries + Notes
Hello padawans and welcome to my Master Yi guide! In this brief tutorial I will be discussing some of the ways I like to play Yi and hopefully sharing with you some secrets on how to succeed at the League's most wise and powerful Jedi!
When the Master Yi remake was announced, I was devestated - no longer would I be able to Alpha Strike mid lane into oblivion. But have no fear padawans! Our beloved Master is as powerful as ever and can bring more than ever before to your team! So without further ado, let us begin!
///Without the Chosen Master Yi skin, your power is only a fraction of it's total potential. BUY IT!
Season 4 Preseason
In terms of Season 4 updates, there isn't really much that affects our Jedi Yi in the mid lane. Masteries are the main difference however the differences are minor.
Pros & Cons
+Strong farmer with auto attacks, Double Strike and Alpha Strike
+Decent lane sustain and burst tankiness through Meditate
+Doesn't require blue buff if played carefully
+Highest base movement speed (tied with Pantheon)
+Easy escapes, ganks & pushes thanks to Highlander
+Strong AD scaling AND good base damage
-Meditate often hurts you more than it helps
-No crowd control whatsoever
-Can get bullied in lane - melee in ranged-dominated environment
-Relatively low base health pool and resistances
-Susceptible to ganks when abilities are on cooldown
-Requires Chosen skin for true Jedi ascension
///Masteries are flexible with Jedi Yi so feel free to adapt to any masteries you like, however I strongly recommend a 21/9/0 setup.
I run Jedi Yi on a 21/9/0 mastery page to maximise my damage output while adding some tankiness and durability in the defence page.
for extra damage
Fury for extra attack speed
Brute Force for late-game attack damage
Martial Mastery for extra attack damage
Executioner for extra killing potential
Warlord for bonus late-game attack damage
Dangerous Game for health & mana recovery
Frenzy to utilise high crit chance
Devastating Strikes for extra penetration
Havoc for general damage increase
to reduce incoming damage
Recovery for lane sustain
Enchanted Armor for general tankiness and meditate defence boost
Veteran Scars for health boost
Juggernaut for % health boost
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Greater Mark of Attack Damage - As a Jedi, having more Attack Damage is always better. Extra damage on Alpha Strike as well as more potent auto attacks.
Greater Seal of Armor - Seals are the most flexible of runes for Yi - choose whatever suits you best. I like to take armour runes just for general durability against auto attacks, jungler ganks and even minion hits.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Having magic resistance seals is important to help negate against AP damage, however it is optional as to whether you choose FLAT runes or SCALING runes. I prefer to use flat MR runes as most of Yi's squishiness happens throughout the early laning game - this is when you need the resistance the most.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - Note* Either get 3 of these, or 1 of these and 2x lifesteal quints. Extra AD, can't go wrong with these Quints.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal - Great on physical champions to help sustain - good for mid Yi to help mitigate harass.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration - Personally I prefer AD runes over ArP, however these can work nicely when combined with Brutalizer. They offer less damage to Alpha Strike, however.
Greater Mark of Mana - Mana management is an important part of being a Jedi and so these runes are a waste.
Greater Mark of Cooldown Reduction - There are more accessible ways to acquire cooldown reduction. Marks should be reserved for physical attack.
Greater Seal of Scaling Attack Damage - While having more Attack Damage is always good, it is probably unnecessary to use AD seals - not to mention you are only gaining approximately ~20 AD at level 18.
Greater Seal of Magic Resist - If you require extra magic resist then save glyphs for this.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - As mentioned earlier, scaling magic resistance glyphs are a viable option and should be considered. However, flat are more beneficial early game which is when you should be exposed to the most magic damage - you are laning mid, after all.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Attack Damage - You will have a large amount of Attacl Damage by level 18 so flat AD runes are more useful in order to net you some early game kills. These runes can still be used, if you wish.
Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration - If you are facing a heavily-armoured team then these may be viable, however with Yi's massive attack speed and on-hit true damage, ArP is less useful than other rune types.
- As we only have one damaging spell on Master Yi, ignite will add some extra burst in order for you to duel your opponents, especially in the laning phase. Plus when all of your skills are on cooldown you may need that extra burst in order to refresh your Alpha Strike and extend Highlander.
- Almost a must-have now due to everyone else taking this spell. A simple panic button to avoid ganks when your Meditate isn't available or to Alpha Strike snipe someone underneath their tower.
- Somewhat underrated for a mid laner, Cleanse can greatly assist you in a number of ways. It is especially useful on Master Yi as he is susceptible to crowd control. Cleanse will also remove the Ignite damage tick which can help your Meditate keep you alive.
- Easily shuts down that nasty Miss Fortune or LeBlanc in order for you to use your force powers.
- A decent spell but we already have one amazing movement speed steroid in Highlander.
- Useful for backdooring and split pushing. Not particularly a Jedi spell so I would avoid this.
- Unnecessary thanks to Meditate.
- Jedis must train themselves to conserve mana!
- We already have a heal.
- No. Jedis will die with honour (or not die at all!).
- Jungle monsters are no match for Jedi Yi but this is not a jungle guide.
- Decent but no particular use on Jedi Yi.
Master Yi strikes twice. The second attack uses an attack damage modifier of 50%, but applies on-hit effects and can critically strike.
Double Strike's counter resets if Master Yi has not dealt or recieved damage in the last 4 seconds.
A fantastic passive. Allows Yi to dish out MASSIVE damage throughout all stages of the game. When combined with an Alpha Strike, Wuju Style and Ignite, you can burst most opponents for an easy first blood. It even procs on itself! (meaning the second hit begins the counter - effectively making double strike proc every 3rd hit)
Each bounce will target the nearest enemy that has not yet been damaged. Master Yi re-appears at the initial target's location after the effect ends.
Alpha Strike can critically strike, dealing additional physical damage equal to 60% AD. Basic attacks lower the cooldown of Alpha Strike by 1 second.
Demonstrate the true power of the Force with Alpha Strike! This wonderul spell allows you to farm minions and players alike with deadly grace and power. With a 100% AD ratio, it can build up to deal significant damage in any situation. It is also exceptional for negating damage, as you become untargetable for the duration!
While channeling, Master Yi reduces incoming damage. This damage reduction is halved against turrets.
Meditate is a perfect spell to suit your Jedi lifestyle. At lower ranks it can be used for sustain in lane and later can be forged for the perfect burst tankiness ability. It can allow you to tank turrets, Ace in the Hole, even spells that cancel the channel such as churn the waters can be almost negated by Meditate. This is the spell that separates Master Yis from the Jedis.
Active: Basic attacks deal bonus true damage for 5 seconds. Afterwards, the passive bonus is lost until Wuju Style is off cooldown.
After the Master Yi remake, Wuju Style has shifted from being a powerful early game steroid to a temporary true damage boost. Despite appearing to be weaker, the 10% bonus attack damage can be enormous in a late game situation. Additionally, with the massive attack speed from items, runes and Highlander, true damage will be procced with maximum efficiency.
ACTIVE: For 10 seconds, Master Yi gains increased movement speed and attack speed, and becomes immune to movement speed slows. While active, champion kills and assists extend the duration of Highlander by 4 seconds.
Have you ever wanted to join the Olympics? Well now Usain Bolt has nothing on you thanks to Master Yi's extreme movement speed steroid in Highlander. This spell has more uses than can be described here but know that it is the perfect spell to suit the neseds of our Jedi. Not only this but you will be able to escape / set up ganks, move around the map faster or just push a tower.
Note - Whether you max W or E first after Q is purely preference, however I would recommend E in most situations.
Highlander is Master Yi's ultimate and hence should ALWAYS be upgraded as soon as possible (levels 6, 11 and 16).
Next comes Alpha Strike which is our only damaging skill and for the most part, Yi's best skill. This is why we rank it up FIRST and max it FIRST (excluding Highlander).
Secondly we have two options. If you are getting dominated in lane, max Meditate first. In all other situations, max Wuju Style. Despite being tailored for late game, Wuju Style is incredibly strong when used with Youmuu's Ghostblade + Highlander and the extra skill points really help.
Points in Meditate help you in dire situations but otherwise could be used to increase damage so only go this route if you really need the extra sustain & tankiness.
Doran's Blade OR Long Sword + Health Potion
9/10 games I will elect to start with a Doran's Blade. This item offers everything that Yi needs to lane successfully. The extra damage is particularly strong thanks to Alpha Strike scaling.
An alternate route is to start with Long Sword and 2x Health Potion. Go this route if you are laning against a champion who is going to be dishing out constant poke or harass, or simply if you want some extra sustain.
-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->
Starting with Doran's Blade as suggested above, we want to pick up an early vampiric scepter to offer some HP sustain ( Meditate is too costly to spam), followed by The Brutalizer to ramp up your early damage. Rushing a Youmuu's Ghostblade will allow you to burst down squishy opponents with extreme speed, thanks to the extra AS and MS. It also gives critical strike which will work wonders for your DPS.
After Youmuu's Ghostblade we should purchase Berserker's Greaves. As a mid laner, you should be ganking lanes (especially bot) wherever possible, and these boots will help you move from A to B. We can afford to prolong them until after Youmuu's thanks to Yi's exceptional base movement speed.
Afterwards we should pick up The Bloodthirster as Yi needs loads of AD to work correctly - not to mention the lifesteal is great for your survivability.
At this point you can decide whether or not to purchase Sword of the Divine - this will require some judgement on your part. If you are ahead and/or the enemy team has numerous squishy carry-type champions, then grab SOTD. Otherwise continue on to luxury items.
*Note Sword of the Divine should be replaced later aka it is not an endgame build item!
Luxury items are next - I recommend Phantom Dancer -> Infinity Edge -> Last Whisper. These items are fairly obvious choices and will help with your burst and survivability. I recommend Phantom Dancer over Statikk Shiv as it gives higher AS and Crit chance while the passive on Statikk Shiv is almost negligible when compared with your burst.
Which T3 boots you choose is mostly personal preference, however I would recommend one of the following:
- If you are ahead and would a more aggressive option then opt for furor boots as they can help Yi chase down opponents.
- If you are playing a defensive game and are behind, opt for homeguard as you'll likely be back at your spawn pool more frequently and can make use of the speed boost.
As a general rule of thumb, we should be focusing on building OFFENSIVE items rather than DEFENSIVE items as Master Yi!
- An alternative to Phantom Dancer. While I recommend the latter, you can still pick up this item if you so wish - all of its stats are beneficial to Master Yi.
- Great item if you intend of split pushing. Generally works better on less AD-intensive champions (off tanks / bruisers) but can still work nicely on Yi.
- While previously part of my core build for Yi, I have phased it out and replaced with Sword of the Divine as I now believe there are much more viable alternatives - while yes it does synergise with Yi's attack speed, you should be prioritising damage via critical strikes rather than chipping away at your opponents health. However this item is still useful as it provides Yi with some sustain and a good escape / chase active.
- Too good of an item to not have here. If you feel too brittle and need some extra health and magic resist then this is the item for you. It is incredibly gold efficient and even increases Meditate's heal! What's not to love?! Keep in mind that buying this item will sacrifice some of your damage.
- A good choice on pretty much every champion. Having two lives means you have twice as long to slice up enemies with your lightsaber. However, the item does take some time to purchase so it should be left till last if you are intending to but it at all - we do not want to delay increasing Yi's damage.
- Not as vital to Yi as it is to ranged ADC's (I refuse to say "Marksman") but it can still be very useful if the enemy team has a significant amount of armour.
- This is a great item in general, although very expensive. If the enemy team is CC-heavy then consider buying this item. It also helps by removing healing reduction effects which allows Meditate to heal for its full effect.
Advanced Jedi Tactics
///In the early game laning phase, there are many things you can do to harass your opponent. One of the best ways to ensure your Alpha Strike will hit your opponent is to kill all enemy minions in your lane except for THREE or LESS, then Alpha Strike onto any of them to hit your opponent.
///Whilst in the early game, avoid using Alpha Strike on your opponent directly as this can lead to your imminent death. It is much safer to use it on a small group of minions which may still hit the enemy champion.
///If your health is critically low, retreat to a safe distance before using Meditate. Otherwise use it while in the lane - this can often lead to your opponents engaging on you which can work to your advantage!
///Save Youmuu's Ghostblade active for when Wuju Style is on to maximise your damage potential.
///Gank bottom lane wherever possible; when your lane is pushed, run down river and Highlander for easy kills.
///Farm Wraith camp whenever possible - easy clear time with Alpha Strike.
///Your team can engage / kill Dragon early on thanks to Alpha Strike bonus minion damage.
///Focus on building DAMAGE rather than TANKINESS - it will help you more in the long run.
///Make sure to SMART CAST your Alpha Strike! This will save significant time and is easy to do.
///Push like you're giving birth! Towers are no match for Yi's damage - feel free to Youmuu's Ghostblade and Highlander to help you push & escape.
///If you are fed, BUY WARDS! Your damage will be great regardless and you can never have too much vision! This is especially useful if your top lane or jungle aren't doing so well - placing wards down can help them greatly.
///Don't hesitate to use Meditate if it will be cancelled by a spell - often it is wise to negate damage EVEN if it will interrupt the channel. Fizz's Chum the Waters and Summon: Tibbers are perfect examples of spells that Meditate will almost completely block.
/// Alpha Strike makes you untargetable. Use this to dodge Requiem or Ace in the Hole if your Meditate is not available!
///Combine an Alpha Strike with a Double Strike proc and Ignite to pick up an easy first blood.
///Although it may seem tempting to channel Meditate until it runs out, a good Jedi knows when to stop channeling and retreat. It is important to determine whether the enemy champion(s) will be able to out-damage your Meditate. Otherwise you are simply standing still in order for them to kill you. Sometimes it is better to channel Meditate for one or two ticks just to gain some additional health before cancelling it and running away.
///Before you enter a team fight, look at the champions present on an enemy team and judge which crowd control abilities are most damaging to your Meditate. For example, if there is a Taric, wait for his Dazzle before using Meditate. The exception to this is when you are confident that you can refresh your cooldowns by killing an opponent / assisting.
All in all I hope you have enjoyed my guide for playing Master Yi as an AD Jedi! Please try / experiment with my build before you upvote or downvote. If you have any suggestions, improvements or comments be sure to let me know!
Thanks for reading!
Guide by Pognog
-Thanks to jhoijhoi for her How to make a Guide guide!
-Thanks to Juganog