Master Yi Build Guide by VdeathSpartan

League of Legends Build Guide Author VdeathSpartan

Master Yi Top/Mid Patch 6.24 Bugfixes

VdeathSpartan Last updated on December 6, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Offense: 18


Defense: 12

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Utility: 0

Threats to Master Yi with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Lux Freelo, dodge snare every now and then.
Vel'Koz Freelo, dodge knockup every now and then.
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This section is for information added after the guides initial release


Patch 6.23 introduces a lot of changes that don't affect Master Yi. However one huge item changing with this coming patch is Blade of the Ruined King. Here are the changes made.

This buff will undoubtedly cause a major spike in the power of this guide, due to it being your first item it'll have huge implications on your entire game.


Patch 6.24 introduces long awaited bugfixes on Alpha Strike as well as Double Strike, both of which have frustrated Master Yi players beyond reason for quite some time.

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Click the image for my account information.

I'm not that impressive but I know my champion pretty well. I've messed around with support Nautilus along with some Teemo and Nasus but those aren't my preferred picks.
My roles are in Mid->Top->Jungle->Support->ADC in that order.

To contact me add graham.1293 on Skype or Kulu Mektar on League.

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Yes okay before you by into this build you need some proof that it actually works, that's understandable.

This is the power of a Yi top, level 7 tower dive with one kill.
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For proof of raw damage and sustain, here's how the build fairs against baron .
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And here's a clip of the build preforming against an enemy team.
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Another clip against an enemy team, same day as the last one.
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And again, same day. Note that Katarina with boots and wind drake cant outrun Master Yi in this build, boots are not necessary!
Click the image to open video

Master Yi has some of the most early game damage in League, use it to your advantage.
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More emphasis on the early game damage, getting an early kill can make a difference.
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Against laners in the Mid lane it's no difference, except they're more squishy.
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Another "powerful" Mid laner, destroyed.
Click the image to open video

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"Doubt is the greatest enemy." - Master Yi
These words are important to this build, play aggressive, do not doubt yourself.

Master Yi is a Champion traditionally played in the jungle, however he has plenty of potential outside that realm. This build relies on you being competent at the champion enough to know how to Alpha Strike follow, AA reset, stun disjoint, and dodge things like Distortion. The heavy focus of this build is chain kills, which rely on the player quickly moving from target to target and focusing on the easiest to kill players available.

Later in the guide I'm going to lay out some numbers and discuss exactly what the build does for you.

Again if you don't know Master Yi well enough to do these things, or don't know what they are, I highly suggest you watch some of Cowseps videos and try Yi out in the jungle.

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Pros / Cons

To start things off I'd like to be perfectly clear about the advantages and disadvantages of playing this champion in these unorthodox roles.

- Incredibly squishy
- Susceptible to CC
- Requires split second timing
- Hard to get used to playstyle
- If you engage you're all in
- You HAVE to keep auto attacking in fights
- You'll feel dirty winning games

+ Can't be targeted during large portions of fights
+ Incredible DPS
+ Hard to catch due to Highlander
+ No need to build boots
+ Hard to kill due to Meditate
+ Amazing against tanks due to versatile damage
+ Very rarely out fought level 1
+ Good tower clearing
+ Easiest farm of my life
+ Can 1v1 baron
+ Life steal makes you a tank (As long as you're hitting something)
+ Outscales almost any other top laner
+ Pentakill

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The items in this build seem unorthodox at best, and bat-sh** insane at worst. I am telling you that I want you to build Blade of the Ruined King Phantom Dancer Death's Dance Infinity Edge Essence Reaver and then The Bloodthirster.

What about boots?
No we do not need boots. Those items are irrelevant, Master Yi when using Highlander and having Phantom Dancer to add move speed can outrun anyone you should need to catch.

What about tank?
If you're hitting something, and you should almost always be hitting something, at full build you will be healing for a little over 1000 health per second. IF you find that you are unable to dodge hard CC as Master Yi then I suggest trying him in the jungle or trading Death's Dance out for an item like Dead Man's Plate.

What the hell is this playstyle?
The entire point of this build is to use Alpha Strike to dodge major damage while combining Master Yi's raw auto attack DPS with his Wuju Style and Double Strike to chain kills. These chain kills are essential due to Highlander passive which allows Master Yi to nearly reset his basic cooldowns upon an assist or kill as well as extend the duration of Highlander's active.
This is not a conventional playstyle for a lot of mid and top laners so it will feel uncomfortable at first, but once you adjust to being able to see low HP enemies as potential resets you will start to prosper.

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Everyone loves math class as much as I do right? Statistics are super fun right guys? Anyone? No?

Well regardless I'll try and captivate your attention with some big numbers.

What we have BEFORE the mess that comes with masteries and Wuju Style:

Master Yi has a 70% critical strike chance, and the passive of Infinity Edge increases the damage of his critical strikes.

Master Yi strikes 2.92 (or 2.5 due to the cap) times per second. (With Highlander)

After counting in runes and items, Master Yi deals 440.35 damage per basic attack, that's 1100.87 when he crits. (before Wuju Style)

Master Yi has 45% life steal which equates to 198.15 health gained, or 495.39 when he crits.

What we have so far:
1100.875 DPS from only basic attacks with no critical strikes, which equates to 2752.18 DPS with critical strikes. These numbers average out to 2256.77 DPS. (With Highlander, without Wuju Style)

Master Yi lifesteals for 495.39 health per second with no crits, 1238.48 health per second with only crits, and an average of 1015.54 health per second. (With Highlander)

That leaves Wuju Style at 128.75 true damage per hit or 321.87 true damage per second.

When it comes to movespeed while in Highlander Master Yi runs at 571.55 in combat and 408.25 without Highlander in combat.

Now I know that damage isn't everything, which is why this build also caps out cooldown reduction at 40%.

Did I mention this is all without calculating masteries? Lets check that out:

Full build after killing 5 unique enemies Bounty Hunter gives you 7.5% increased damage, plus the 2% increased damage if you're fighting enemies without allies. Also Vampirism adds 2% lifesteal.

Non Crit basics:482.18




Crit Every Basic:1205.45






That totals out to just under 2500 DPS without red buff, Infernal Drake, or Elixir of Wrath. However this build also deals 320 true damage per second, as well as utilizes BORK passive, which deals 6% of targets current HP in bonus AD damage every auto attack. Baron can be slain in around 15 seconds solo.

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Our masteries, like the rest of the build, are based on chain kills and 1v1 potential.

1st Tier
Fury is the obvious choice over Sorcery because Master Yi is based on auto attacks.

Wanderer is chosen over Savagery because, unlike most Yi builds, we aren't relying on clear speed in the jungle, and being able to roam due to Wanderer is incredibly helpful for picking up early kills.

2nd Tier
I choose Fresh Blood over Expose Weakness because we aren't very reliant on team damage in this build, and Fresh Blood gives an advantage over opponents in early game skirmishes. Feast can be better than Fresh Blood when you want to play a slow farm game, this is not the playstyle we're focusing on however and so its a sub-optimal pick.

Assassin works better than Secret Stash because our character has a built in heal, and Secret Stash is only worth anything in the early game. Plus this is a damage focused build. Runic Affinity is hardly worth mentioning, we're not jungling so when we do have buffs a 2% damage increase is better than slightly longer timers.

3rd Tier
Vampirism and Natural Talent are both great picks on Master Yi. What pushes me toward Vampirism is that it often helps Master Yi stay in lane and farm when he wouldn't be able to normally.

Merciless is better than Meditation in most cases. Occasionally I miss a kill due to a lack of mana but when this happens I realize that without 5% of my damage I wouldn't have gotten them to that health in the first place.

4th Tier
Bounty Hunter gives more % damage than Double Edged Sword , which also makes you squishy, and Battle Trance , which forces you to stay in fights to receive it's buff.

Dangerous Game functions as further incentive to chain kill and it also enables you to survive long enough to get another Alpha Strike off on an enemy. Greenfather's Gift is a good mastery on Master Yi however the health and mana gained from Dangerous Game provides for more outplay potential. Bandit is worthless because you should be CSing not letting others.

5th Tier
Battering Blows is better than Piercing Thoughts because Master Yi doesn't deal AP damage.

6th Tier
While Warlord's Bloodlust is a great mastery for Yi, Fervor of Battle provides AP damage to enemies which reduces the need for armor pen and also helps more early while Warlord's Bloodlust is largely useless in the early game.

Deathfire Touch seems like an odd pick for Master Yi, however if it could be popped when Yi uses Wuju Style it would be my first pick by far. The damage it applies would be well worth the investment of a 3 second duration and it would also allow for kills to be picked up after death, which always feels nice.

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When going top pretty much the only acceptable combination is Flash and Teleport. However sometimes ignite can be taken if facing a heal heavy enemy team.

Mid lane however has multiple combinations of Summoner Spells. Mostly I use Flash and Ignite. Ignite can be replaced by Teleport (if you feel as though you don't need the damage and resets it can provide), Ignite can also be replaced with Ghost because it completely negates any argument for building boots on Master Yi. Ghost vastly increases your lifesteal and DPS because it enables you to auto attack consistently.

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When it comes to early game farm Master Yi is the way to go. He gets an extra basic attack to kill higher HP minions with Double Strike and his Alpha Strike is a great way to farm and harass at the same time.

Later into the game Master Yi can clear a minion wave with one Alpha Strike and a few basics to mop the wave up. He should be able to kill caster minions with one Alpha Strike or a single basic attack during most points of the game past 15 min.

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Unique Skills and Q/A *IMPORTANT*

There are several tricks which are essential to master if you want to be good using this build, and Master Yi in general.

Yi can poke in lane?
In lane a great way to harass is to Alpha Strike a creep which is positioned so that the enemy laner will be poked, but you will remain a safe distance away from them.

Wuju like some damage?
When farming creeps if you find that your Double Strike passive is ready to be popped, a common way of getting your opponent very low in health is to Alpha Strike to them, use Wuju Style and then basic attack them for the Double Strike while quickly withdrawing to safety or pursuing the kill.

How do I basic attack reset?
One common method of squeezing a little extra damage out of Master Yi is to Meditate directly after using Double Strike and then instantly toggling it off. If you do this your basic attack timer will be reset and you can squeeze in one extra hit, which can turn around a low level fight. In this video the red team Master Yi employs this tactic, and this one combines this tactic and the previous one.

How do you quickly avoid damage?
Master Yi is naturally not a very tanky champion. Some players choose to build items like Dead Man's Plate, Frozen Mallet, Iceborn Gauntlet as well as others. Personally I prefer to rely on my reaction times to avoid taking damage in fights, while it's already known to most if not all league players I felt it was important to mention Master Yi has his Alpha Strike to avoid skill shots as well as Meditate to tank incoming damage. These aren't skills but they should be on your mind at all times.

What do I do when they flash over walls?
A fairly well known trick to Master Yi players is commonly referred to as "Q Following" To accomplish this simple task all you have to do is activate your Alpha Strike on a target the instant before they Flash, Distortion, Assassin's Path, or some other quick dash. You will soon find yourself on the same side of that wall as your opponent, neat huh? Unless of course you followed without vision and their whole team was there, but you would never do that, right?

I thought I was supposed to teleport to my Q?
Actually Master Yi Alpha Strike teleports him to wherever his first Alpha Strike target is whenever the animation is over. However if your target is dead before your Alpha Strike damage triggers (at the end of the animation) you teleport to wherever you standing when you pressed Alpha Strike.

I heard Cowsep can disjoint stuns, what does that even mean?
Disjointing a stun is actually a simple process on paper, you use your Alpha Strike at the very right time so that the game believes you've been stunned, but also allows you to finish your Alpha Strike animation. This effectively reduces, and sometimes even negates, the duration stun and other immobilizing affects. Here is an example of disjointing a Xin Zhao knockup, and here is an in depth guide.

How come that Yi just lost tower aggro without leaving the range?
Master Yi has a lot of room to outplay opponents under towers, while this can help you and your team get kills it can also, more importantly, tilt the Hell out of the enemy team. Whenever being targeted by a tower if Master Yi has friendly creeps or an allied champion under the tower too, he can Alpha Strike to reset the tower's aggression. However beware of accidentally hitting enemy champions with Alpha Strike as this will turn the aggro back onto you. Here is a clip me using this trick against an enemy Kled.

How do I know when to dodge?
While this may seem like a silly question much of the time Master Yi has the capability to dodge abilities which are cast without an animation, or with one that lasts less than a second. These abilities can be dodged using Alpha Strike, which is harder than it looks when you can't actually visually see the ability until it's affected you. The only way to dodge things like this is really just a gut feeling, think about when you would press buttons as the enemy character, it doesn't come easily but once you adjust to it you'll dodge things and everyone around you will call it luck. Let them believe that if they want.

If I have a question or generally want to complain about this build, what do I do?
To contact me add graham.1293 on Skype or Kulu Mektar on League.