Master Yi Build Guide by n33dl3z
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
1st & 2nd (& 3rd??) Recall
Critical Damage > Critical Chance
Final item(s) ideas
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.
!READ-ME! (it's funny how i can tell when you haven't.)
Under the notes above, there is a lot more information. although, unfortunately, I can't seem to edit them. please, please see this, (ESPECIALLY THE MASTERIES SECTION!!!) and all other information here before judging this guide. It makes sense once you understand the strategy. (to me anyway)
Please understand that this set-up has been designed for a specific strategy that I myself have come up with. There is a good chance it won't be as effective if it's incomplete.
If you'd like to make a guide based on my guide, please just put a link to here, and you can post whatever you'd like from it, or get whatever ideas for a guide that you'd like from it. (Including directly copying my text.) And, a mention of credit or something so people will actually take a look.
I know it's not a fancy guide. I probably won't be changing this aspect soon. although, hopefully I can get a video posted to help people understand how and why this works.
suggestions, questions and comments are appreciated, you never know who may want to try it your way, even if it doesn't fit my playstyle. but i bet no one will try what you say if you're rude about it.
***If you think it's a worthless set-up, aren't going to try it, and don't want to be productive about suggestions, just find another guide.***
Please don't vote this guide down until you've tried it for yourself. I realize it looks un-effective. This is not how I started as jungle yi; it's what i've evolved to after months of testing the new and improved yi, it's very different from any yi builds i've seen, and it earns me compliments quite often in gameplay. I am here, spending lots of time and effort to share my own personal gameplay secrets from the kindness of my heart. Don't knock it till you try it.
lemme know what ya think! thanks.
Your job as a jungler, tips as Yi.
Before reading this information, please see the notes for the sections above. particularly the masteries section, there is a detailed explanation for my reasoning behind this wild setup in the notes.
The reason for a jungle is to allow top to have it's own minions, and make use of the ones left over. So, the jungler simply gets minions in the jungle, and must sneak into a lane for player kills, or counter jungle.
the real job- is to aid in controlling more of the map. you kill guys in a lane, your team does better there. you do it in all the lanes and the jungle, you'll control the map and force victory. If all you do is minions, you're useless. If all you do is gank, you're useless. you have to find the proper mix of ganks, pushes and jungling to be most effective.
there is a strong chance the river will be warded. it's often better to enter from the jungle, or even the lane. if you use your ult with ghost, you may move and attack so quickly that they will not make it to the tower in the first place. the river being warded has a lot to do with why it's best to gank when the enemy has the lane pressed. (farther for them to go to escape)
having red buff can kill minions who are very close to dead, you may want to let the flames final-hit them so you can hit another minion or start heading to another area.
Smite is essential for jungle, yi is great with ghost.
Yi can constantly use alpha strike and wuju style when he has blue buff.
Ghost + Highlander will make you chase *very* effectively. start with highlander, and if you need to go faster or farther, use ghost with it.
Ghost can also act as a mini Highlander while you work your way to level 6, and as Highlander is on cool down.
Ghost is not as effective for escapes as highlander is, because highlander makes you immune to slows, has a shorter cool down, and will refresh quicker with champion kills and assists.
Meditate can be used to save yourself from turret hits. you want to use it to stop the last one, or the last couple if your tanking it with team-mates.
Meditate can also be used to tank the enemy team while team mates score kills. be sure to stay alive and get out of the action quickly. also be sure to deal as much damage as you can before going into medi-tank mode.
Meditate during heavy burst damage and then alpha strike + wuju stlye quickly after, (possibly even using Highlander) to gain some HP back quickly if the blood thirster is full of stacks. The attack speed from highlander can be the difference in this situation. BE CAUTIOUS! it's never fun to pop your ult and then die before it does make that difference. If the ult will make the difference, use it if it's worth it, or escape if it's not- as soon as you can tell. the longer you wait, the harder the escape will be.
try to land the burst against a single target before they hit you. this may coerce them to flee.
if you see the enemy jungle on the map, hold tab and see what level they are and what items they have. (so long as you're safe that is) if you think you can take em, go hunting for them and steal their buffs. if your lanes are ahead and you slow down their jungle, there is no ganking for them. if you then take their feed, they will starve and you will catch them at some point and score easy kills on them. counter-jungling is very effective when all lanes are doing well.
if you think the enemy can 1v2 you and your lane, or 2v3 / 1v3, (like say ahri mid is lvl 13 compared to your 8, and team-mates 7.) you should leave that lane alone, you will only feed them more. team fights are the place to focus these enemies down as a group.
tell your team mates to let the enemy push the lane so you can gank. if the enemy is pushed under your tower and low on hp, that is a prime gank. if they're under your tower you may want to go protect it shortly and score minion kills/grind down the enemy.
good levels to gank usually are; lvl 2, lvl 4, lvl 6+ as yi.
the best time for a first recall is around 2,000 gold- so you can buy a b.f sword, boots, and a bit of potions while you wait for lifesteal.
small counter jungles give you more feed than the enemy jungle and can quickly lead to you ganking the jungler (even un-expectedly) which will make the lanes safer places to be and may convince the enemy jungle to attempt a failed gank (feeding your lanes further and creating anger amongst the enemy team.) snag the neutrals on the other side when you have a good chance to.
The start (in my opinion) is the most important part of the match. if you take an early lead, it's harder for the enemy to recover. keep up the good work, and it becomes very hard, maybe even virtually impossible- to win the match. I focus everything I can on the very start. My goal is to get ahead and gank everyone right away. Often times, this can cause them to forfeit the match because they feel that none of their lanes can push to your base because they were all ganked and now they are fighting uphill.
Buy a hunters machete and 5 pots. this will be fast, pots will keep you 75%+ hp to meditate, which can do the job on it's own till mid-game when we add lifesteal. Since we have a larger movement speed starting the game than other champs, as well as Ghost, we know we will not need boots to start, the damage will clear the jungle more effectively, leaving us able to steal some enemy jungle camps or even search for the enemy jungler just to slow them down.
now, there are three basic starts for the jungler, well, at least I think so. The more people you can get to join your initial brigade, the better and will probably decide what your initial strategy becomes at the very start of the game. All methods have their dangers, and some methods will be more effective than others depending on both teams' compositions. Always remember to ping assistance right away so people will hopefully come leash for or invade with you. All three of these builds like you to use potions as needed, usually quite quickly at first, and by level 3 you may not even need any more of them. Also, if you have blue buff, you want to alpha strike quite often. if you don't have it, keep an eye on your mana. As the time for ganks comes, I often start with mid, either gank or steal minions and then very quickly counter-jungle the ghosts camp when i see alpha strike and wuju style are ready to be cast again. then return to my jungle asap because there is a good chance someone will head there to kill you if you were seen. continue killing your jungle, ganking lanes when they're prime, counter-jungle when it's prime.
Start one- no leash.
this start can be disheartening, and is quite intimidating as a jungler. It does happen, and when it does, it doesn't mean quit the match or waste time complaining. It simply means they share minions with you. (just don't tell em this.) start on wolves and go for buffs later. clear the small neutral monsters by which is closest to you, and steal minions from the lanes. try to save your Alpha strike + Wuju Style combo for the lane minions. you want to steal them all, and avoid hitting towers so you can get back to jungle minions. IT'S NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO COUNTER JUNGLE DIRECTLY FROM LANING. go back to where you're hidden, and sneak in a way you are sure isn't warded. ask support to get pink wards so you can see if they can see you coming. when they don't know you are, you can come in with better timing as they won't be expecting you or coming to get you off their turf. counter jungle is done after buying items. get blue buff at lvl 3 using smite, don't worry about red till 4 or 5 for ganks. you probably want to counter jungle a lot as soon as you feel you can if you have a start like this. but, that is risky. this start is the hardest start to have, and is the most dangerous for losing the match. avoid it if you can.
Start two- 1-3 leashes.
This is normal. Head for blue and hide in the bushes in the river with your members. if anyone comes too close, you can take them out or send them back crying. at 1:55 alpha strike blue golem and when smite will kill it, blast it. you want no team member accidentally getting blue, or stealing it from you. smite will refresh by the time you get to red, so it's pointless to save it unless you invade. After you kill the blue camp, go to wolves. somewhere around here or ghosts you're going to get wuju style, and then after ghosts get golems, which will put you to lvl 3, meditate right away, and go to red. combo alpha strike and wuju style, usually right as i alpha strike again, smite will kill red and alpha will kill the others. then, this is a good time to gank, or steal a few minions for a short time before going back to the wolves jungle camp. This start is what i do most often, it's usually quite safe, but still can be invaded and forced away, in which case, you revert to the first start, but you're already behind.
Start three- 3-5 leashes, invasion.
Invading can be dangerous if your team isn't entirely on board with the idea. this is the best start, and works wonders if orchestrated properly, but is also the most difficult to arrange properly. I invade red when I invade as yi. This time, I will go smiteless for red, and make sure my team mates are willing to assist on that degree. leave one small lizard so red will not respawn as they expect. you may find the enemy in the jungle, in which case, is an excellent chance for your team to score first blood. sometimes the whole team will then come in one by one and your team will get several kills before the minions even meet in the lanes. others it will be an entire teamfight, most often you'll see 1-3 enemies together this early (if any) and can gank all of them if you have enough DPS with you. most often, you will see no one, steal red smiteless, rush to blue with 1-3 leashes, smite this one, and continue jungleing as start 2, except you have a good chance to gank sooner, as well as counter jungle.
At this point in the game, Alpha strike should be doing a nice amount of damage and refreshing quickly. meditate will be dropping off in effectiveness, but will still be a decent source of tankiness against a turret or a single champion. This means we need to get lifesteal right away, and maintain a high DPS with it. so, bloodthirster is the answer, build this as soon as you can, and get it full of stacks as quick as you can. usually i go mid, kill my ghosts, mid minions, enemy ghosts, and i have several stacks build up already. most of the time, when i have my full bloodthirster, i have the highest dps in the match, and i will gank several times right away in as many places as i deem will be successful. This is also dragon time, and maybe around lvl 14 baron time. at level 10, with most any combination of items, yi can solo the dragon. after i've solo'd the dragon (assuming we didn't team up with bot lane after a gank around lvl 6-8) i will recall and usually sell the machete. you can kill the dragon without it, so if i haven't by now, this is when i do. (very rarely, i'll build it into something, but that is very very rare.) the next item i will work on after a bloodthirster is infinity edge, starting with another b.f. sword, then pickaxe over the crit chance cape. (usually i save up good chunks of money before going and buying things. or, when people start to catch up to my damage, i will go buy more stuff. this point in the game should also be all about ganks and counter-jungling. it's best to share your jungle buffs with your team and steal the ones from the enemy. just be sure to keep blue as much as you can. this point in the game is a good time to start split pushing mid semi-often, the goal being to take the towers down every time mid is abandoned. sometimes you will split push a different lane, just depending on who's doing the wandering on the enemy team, if any at all. other times you will do your split pushing according to ganks, and team fights. remember to always be killing everything all around you, and in general try to get all three of the lanes ahead in level before late game when it becomes a match of pure teamfights and someone is having a hard time catching up, feeding. this is the time of the game to get them prepared to "surrender @ 20." or work very hard to catch up in level, or surrender yourselves. surrendering the match goes over better when your whole team is frustrated and dead. don't waste it as a teamfight breaks out, use it after you lose one.
if you make it to this point, you (hopefully) have a high DPS, and the best way to bring it up is more critical chance. This time of the game is battles over baron, backdooring the base, and if you're fed, getting penta-kills. if you critically strike the enemy constantly, you will be a HUGE source of burst. (easily over 200k damage in a single match.) since alpha strike can, and will be constantly refreshed with the attack speed, and CD reduction from kills/assists, (not to mention high level highlander with this setup) there's a good chance you'll have nothing to be afraid of. If there is a pesky ability or something else you can build around to overcome that last obstacle keeping you from penta after penta, your last item slot should be devoted to it. (aka, sometimes armor piercing, sometimes more lifesteal, sometimes movespeed, etc.) the very end of the late game is hard to say what would be most effective, because it's highly depended on circumstance. It's always best to kill the nexus when you have the chance. instead of getting the nexus turrets and running for baron, just win the match. don't give them a chance to recover the game.
but, i will tell you why i have listed the items i have listed, and when i like to get them.
the static shiv will put you at full criticals, boost movespeed and attack, as well as give you an excellent *passive* to deal extra damage, which will explode quite often with this setup. i get this most of the time that i get all 6 items.
the ghostblade is also a mixed effect, adding movement speed and attack speed in a large bonus on an active, armor penetration and finish off your critical chance always. i get this against tanks, or fast champions, or people that will slow me alot.
ravenous hydra can do some great aoe damage, clear minions quickly, critically strike (even if it's not 100%) and most importantly, is a good source of lifesteal. i will use this if i'm against an high burst damage, but not so high that i should use life, or armor, or other means of protection.
blade of the ruined king can be useful for the lifesteal, just like the hydra. but this, is geared more twoard the high burst damage tank. be sure to use the active, which is more effective against tanks than any one else.
trinity force is all around useful in this build. passive damage, passive slow, move speed, attack speed, damage, crit chance, life, mana... just costs a lot. if you have 5 items quickly, you may want to wait for this baby to round yourself off as some crazy dps assasin.
black cleaver is mainly for a whole team of tanks in this build. or, against tanks who are just very full of armor, like lee sin.
sword of the occult is the last AD item on the list for me, but it's usually not effective. this item is the best item to buy as your last option if you are already un-killable. you'll fill it up with stacks and have a very high damage output with a very high move speed. this is a very risky item, only get it if you think you can get 2 penta kills without dying, and your bloodthirster has stayed full for a very long time.
guardian angel is a wonderful defense for this build, because the movespeed and going through units can make an escape after the revival quite easy, or, you can revive and bust them plus lifesteal and totally recover instead of dying. this item will save you more often than you'd think, and is a good choice if the enemies have insane burst damage.
warmogs armor is good to get if you notice that an extra 1000 hp would be constantly saving your life, or making your escape more effective. as yi, often i'll end the game with around 2k hp, which may not be enough in some cases- to lifesteal enough to sustain and recover after taking burst. this can be effective against champions who will root you, and then burst you. lux, ryze, jinx, morganna, etc.
last whisper is another option against anyone armor-heavy tanky, (lee sin etc.) but adds a lot of damage in general. if the enemy team is buying armor, you may want this. with the true damage from wuju style, this item ends up going a long way toward negating armor.
I appreciate your time given to read and test this, i look forward to the feedback.
if you see me in a match, please say hello, and that you saw my guide, i think it would be cool to happen.