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.
Threats to Master Yi with this build
|Karthus||One of the best lanes for Yi - you can abuse Karthus' weak lane by playing aggressively at low levels and then use your Q (to dodge) or W (to mitigate) on his ultimate.|
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!
Since Master Yi has been removed from the AP wizard category, his position as a mid laner has largely been laughed at - even after playing him for hundreds of games in ranked I still get my teammates saying "mid yi, wtf?" in champion select. This does not mean Yi is not a viable mid laner! His kit is simple but well designed to prevent the nasty AP carries of mid lane from killing you. Use this to your advantage!
Without the Chosen Master Yi skin, your power is only a fraction of it's total potential. BUY IT!
Tahm Kench - Swamp Guardian
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
-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
-Still not widely accepted as viable mid (people will call you "troll")
-Requires Chosen skin for true Jedi ascension
The recent S6 preseason mastery changes have left some wiggle room for your choices however I usually run 18/12/0 to maximise damage and add some useful utility in the cunning tree.
for extra attack speed
Feast for lane sustain
Vampirism for general sustain
Bounty Hunter for extra damage
Battering Blows for penetration
Warlord's Bloodlust to enhance your crits
to help your ganking potential
Secret Stash to aid lane sustain and elixir duration
Merciless for execution-style damage
Dangerous Game for sustain on champion kill
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Critical Chance
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
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 Mark of Critical Chance - While not a necessity, having the ability to critically strike (however low chance it is) before buying any crit items can come in great use every so often.
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 use scaling runes to transition Yi's early to mid game strength into the late game by adding some durability.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed - Attack speed runes are fairly standard on AD type champions nowadays, and Yi is no different. He is very strong with attack speed which allows him to proc his passive more frequently, apply more on-hit true damage, and generally do higher DPS. The reason I choose these over flat AD quints is that with a Doran's Blade start and Brutalizer rush, you have a fairly decent amount of AD already but don't usually get any attack speed until boots.
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 Attack Speed - I like to have, at the very least, AD marks to help me kill creeps early game however attack speed is very efficient on Yi and is an overall stronger DPS tool than AS. Run these runes if you don't have AS quints (you should have at least AS quints OR marks but not necessarily both).
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 Magic Resist - If you want some extra damage mitigation early rather than late (or if you don't own scaling runes) then these glyphs are the way to go.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - If not running AS quints I would recommend simply flat AD, offering you some extra power on your Q as well as aiding in early game CSing.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Attack Damage - You will have a large amount of Attack 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.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal - Great on physical champions to help sustain - good for mid Yi to help mitigate harass.
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.
Cleanse is excellent for mid lane as it completely removes opponents CC from you which can get you out of some sticky situations. As Yi is highly prone to being CC'ed and preventing him from getting his vital resets, Cleanse is a very useful choice.
|While useful in certain scenarios, Highlander has a much lower cooldown than Ghost and provides us with essentially the same functionality. Ghost is also unable to bring us across walls which is why I highly recommend Flash instead.|
|Can be useful if you like the extra 'panic button' but Meditate usually is enough to save you in Barrier-worthy situations.
|A good panic button but most mid laners tend to bring Ignite which cuts the effectiveness of Heal - if you really want this functionality I would suggest Barrier instead.|
Every 4th consecutive basic attack, 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, assuming the target didn't die to the first strike or died between the 1st/2nd strike)
Master Yi becomes untargetable and leaps to strike up to 4 enemies, dealing 25 / 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 (+ 100% AD) physical damage to each and dealing an additional 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 / 175 damage to minions and monsters.
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 spell fits wonderfully into Yi's kit and its usage is paramount in allowing you to succeed. Rendering yourself untargetable at the correct moment separates good Yi's from the Jedi Yi's. Dodging a fatal tower hit or breaking an auto attack are just some of its uses. This guide teaches you that Alpha Strike is SO much more than just a gap closer, and shouldn't just be used as one. Read Tips & Tricks section for more.
Master Yi channels, restoring 30/50/70/90/110 (+30% Ability Power) Health per second for 4 seconds. This healing is increased by 1% for every 1% of Master Yi's missing Health.While channeling, Master Yi reduces incoming damage by 50/55/60/65/70%. This damage reduction is halved against turrets.
Meditate is a highly useful tool for burst tankiness. The damage reduction is paramount in allowing you to survive damage when on low health - for example, Ace in the Hole or that last tower hit before you drop out of range. Since Yi is no longer played AP the heal is less significant, however if used from low health it can still regenerate a fair amount of your HP. Overall a very good spell if used correctly..
Passive: Master Yi gains 10% of his total AD as bonus attack damage.
Active: Basic attacks deal bonus 10/15/20/25/30 (+10/12.5/15/17.5/20% Attack Damage) true damage for 5 seconds. Afterwards the passive bonus is lost while Wuju Style is on cooldown.
A very useful steroid at all stages of the game. It has great synergy with the attack speed from Highlander and our items, allowing us to use the active to its maximum potential. The active also helps secure your late game strength by further increasing your bonus AD (not as useful early game as our first few items do not provide large amounts of AD, but still nice nonetheless). A very strong damage tool early game, especially when combined with Double Strike.
Passive: Champion kills and assists reduce the remaining cooldown of Master Yi's other abilities by 70%
Active: Increases Movement Speed by 25/35/45%, Attack Speed by 30/55/80%, and grants immunity to all slowing effects for 10 seconds. While active, champion kills and assists extend the duration of Highlander by 4 seconds.
One of the strongest steroids in the game, Highlander allows you to complete your ascension to Jedi Carry status. It has a significant range of uses from the moment it is unlocked until the end of the game, ranging from chasing, escaping, pushing, to brawling. The attack/move speed steroid, in combination with our deadly set of items, allows Master Yi to chase down and eliminate even the most tanky of targets. Highlander also allows us to avoid any sticky situations thanks to it's slow-ignoring component. More detailed use described in the Tips & Tricks section.
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 + Refillable Potion
In Season 6 we now have two viable starting options. For a stronger early game you can run Doran's Blade which is an all-round good choice, providing useful stats to help you win lane. Alternatively for a more cost effective route you can buy Long Sword + Refillable Potion. This provides early game AD and sustain while it lacks the HP from Doran's Blade. If you are interested in farming and getting more powerful this route is definitely the way to go. You have to make the choice whether to spend the 350g and upgrade to Corrupting Potion, however.
-> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->
Starting with Doran's Blade or long sword suggested above, we want to buy Serrated Dirk as soon as possible as it gives excellent early game strength. If you are roaming often, or are having a fairly standard game, buy boots soon after Dirk (you can skip boots if you are uber-fed). 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 Blade of the Ruined King as the lifesteal is important to help you survive - not to mention the nice AS increase and useful active.
Luxury items are next - I recommend Phantom Dancer -> Infinity Edge -> Essence Reaver. The new S6 Phantom Dancer excels in duelling situations and helps Yi go toe-to-toe with foes such as Jax, Xin Zhao etc.
- The best early game item we could ask for. There is not a single game where I don't buy this any more. It's stats are perfect to help Yi net kills early. BUY THIS!
- Getting tier 2 boots as early as possible is a good idea as it will allow you to roam much more easily as well as escape nasty situations. Usually I will buy these to help my kill potential buy Mercury's Treads are a completely viable alternative. I would not recommend any other boots (except perhaps Ninja Tabi in rare circumstances.
- Good synergy with your fast attack speed to dish out major damage (especially against HP-heavy opponents). Also provides you with some much needed sustain. The active is great in team fights and allows Yi to chase if his Highlander is unavailable.
- Critical strike % is a great stat on Yi and it comes bundled in a nice package with attack speed here. This will allow you to deal massive damage when combined with Wuju Style The improved season 6 version is just TOO good to pass up on Yi, providing you 12% movespeed for free when near champions as well as unitwalking. Furthermore any champion we are duelling will deal 12% less damage to us.
- Likely your attack damage isn't very high yet so Infinity Edge is a brilliant option here. The increased crit damage works exceptionally well with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Phantom Dancer crit % to up your damage considerably. Updated in S6 to be less cost effective so I wouldn't recommend getting this item until later in your build (if at all).
- New Essence Reaver is a great item on crit-based champions, providing some wonderful cooldown reduction based upon critical chance. As we will be building numerous crit items this is a great choice and will allow us to restore some much needed mana throughout combat.
- A great choice if the enemy team has a large amount of burst. This item will give you the opportunity to out-heal the damage before it has a chance to be fatal, which is quite a useful feature on a champion like Yi who has high healing. It also provides some extra healing, even including damage from Alpha Strike for great sustain.
- Due to the recent nerfs to BT it is not as great as it was before on Yi but if you are lacking raw damage then this item can help. I usually don't purchase this unless I am building hyper carry.
- It is very easy to get caught up in CC in a team fight and die as Yi - this will give you a second chance to fight while bringing up your poor defensive stats.
- Your best alternative to Berserker's Greaves. Likely the enemy team will have CC and will focus it on you; this is where these boots come in handy. The extra magic resist can help you against AP mids also.
- The recent changes make this arguably a better choice on Yi. The inclusion of Phage into the build path means you don't have to purchase a second Brutalizer and gives you some extra chasing potential thanks to the passive. It also works nicely with your attack speed to stack up quickly. Overall a solid 6th-man item.
- One of the better tank alternatives for Yi as it still offers you some offensive power also. Your chasing potential is infinite with this item as you already have extremely good movement speed thanks to Highlander, Phantom Dancer and Youmuu's Ghostblade.
- 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.
- A great item if the enemy team is AD focused or has particularly strong AD champions. Gives a nice amount of HP and allows you to roam around the map better (synergises well with Yi's quickness). Slightly better in most situations than Randuins.
- If you need some armour / health but don't want DMP, or the enemy team is heavy on crits, this can be a good choice. Usually I would recommend DMP for the nice passive effect however Randuins offers more tankiness if that is what you're after.
- If you are up against fed AP carries, or champions with potentially deadly abilities (eg Blitzcrank), this can greatly help you avoid getting caught.
- 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.
- 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.
- While not the most fantastic item for Yi, its stats do synergise quite well with his kit and so this item is an okay choice, especially if you need the tenacity but don't want Mercury's Treads.
- 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.
- 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.
Advanced Jedi Tactics
*Master Yi has one of the strongest level 2's in the game. A process I use almost every game is as follows. Kill the 3 melee minions in the first wave and then use Alpha Strike to hit the 3 ranged minions and the enemy champion. Then continue to hit creeps until your Alpha Strike is off cooldown and you are level 2. Hit minions until you have Double Strike ready, then turn on Wuju Style, Alpha Strike into the enemy champion, auto attack and Ignite. If they are not yet dead, Flash and an auto attack should finish the job.
* One factor that separates good Yi's from bad Yi's is the use of Alpha Strike. It is imperative that if you are laning (or fighting) against a champion that has critical, high damage or high cc abilities (such as Chum the Waters, Javelin Toss, Charm, Explosive Cask etc) you save your Alpha Strike to dodge the ability. Your goal should be to CAREFULLY study the enemy champion so you can anticipate when they are about to use the ability, and be ready to act when they do so. This can easily turn the fight in your favour as you can dodge their key abilities while getting some damage down with Alpha Strike.
*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.
*Using your Alpha Strike on a minion as it dies (your goal is to have the minion die from other minions or tower whilst you are completing your Alpha Strike animation - you should not be getting the last hit on the minion) enables you to return to your starting position safely.
*Save Alpha Strike for a quick escape by using it to jump to jungle camps (use your trinket ward to help you)!
*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 Raptor camp whenever possible - easy clear time with Alpha Strike.
*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 as a last resort to dodge Requiem or Ace in the Hole if your Meditate is not available! (it's not very reliable - Meditate is always advised)
*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.
*Whenever you have a ward available (especially after you upgrade your trinket) place a ward inside the enemy Raptor camp. That way the smite bonus (ward clearing) will be activated immediately and essentially wasted. (They hopefully won't be able to clear wards mid lane as the bonus will have ran its course)
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 Cho & Pog Percyvale for help with images/gifs