Build Guide by smadam813

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author smadam813

Master Yi! Why won't he die!?!?

smadam813 Last updated on December 27, 2010
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

Tank Master Yi... Who would have thought it was possible even without having to go AP!

I am writing this guide as a quick reference to receive feedback. I would like people to try it out and get back to me letting me know their experience. I eventually will create quite a nice guide with fancy pictures and all that fun stuff, but for now I just want to get the concept out there.

Masteries: 0 / 21 / 9

Defensive Build because I am making Yi a Tank... Need I say more?


Marks: Armor Penetration
Seals: Mana Regen / Level
Glyphs: Magic Resist / Level
Quints: Flat Hit Points

Armor Penetration with this build is important because most of your damage early game comes from Wuju Style. Since you are not buffing your damage until you purchase Atma's Impaler, it is important to have that extra Armor Penetration. Other Runes are standard for most tanks.

Core Build:

Start the game with Doran's Shield and 1x Health Potion. Take mid if possible! Its better to level fast using this build because your damage will be high with Wuju Style early game. Use Alpha Strike whenever its up to farm. This build is expensive so good farming practice is a must. With Doran's Shield you are also quite robust, so don't be afraid to stay engaged in a fight on your lane. Most likely you will be the one walking away with higher health and first blood.

Analyze the team you are facing. If they are mixed between AP and DPS, or they are mostly AP, your next item will be Mercury's Treads. This is the case 90% of the time. On the off chance they are all DPS, your next item will be Ninja Tabi.

After purchasing your boots, next stop is Warmog's Armor. This is where your opponents haven't noticed what you are doing yet. Once Warmog's Armor is complete, be aggressive! You will be surprised how much damage you can take... Most times, opponents still won't understand why it is so hard to bring you down.

Here's where it gets fun! After getting your Warmog's Armor, get Atma's Impaler... Hell will break loose! Your damage will be average, but your survivability will be through the roof! Start engaging in team fights. Most times your opponents will focus you... well... that's because your Yi... Soon as they focus on you, pop Alpha Strike on their weakest link. Start hitting them with Wuju Style and pop Highlander if you can score a kill. When you get to about a 1/4 health use Meditate. With this build, you are invincible with Meditate.

After Core Build:

Most of the time I find myself getting Banshee's Veil, Force of Nature, Madred's Bloodrazor, Sunfire Cloak, or Thornmail next. (Any one of these depending on the opponents will do fine.) The build I show above is what a Damage Focused Yi would look like. I assume most people would prefer to play him this way. If not, just substitute the Madred's Bloodrazor and/or Phantom Dancer with different defensive items. (Magic resist if they have a heavy caster team or armor if they have a heavy DPS team.) Between Atman's Impaler and Madred's Bloodrazor, you should be a force to be reckoned with. For my final item I just try to get more health since people are doing more damage now. I like to get Frozen Mallet, but you can get Rylai's Crystal Scepter as well for AP to be used in conjunction with Meditate and Alpha Strike. Either or is a very good choice, I just like to have the extra health for Atman's Impaler.

I do realize this is an expensive build, but I rarely have a problem getting most of the items. Just remember to never stop farming. Resist the urge to run across the map to gank, because your income is more important. Tank Yi does not work without items!

Yi really is a versatile character and possibly one of the best champions in the game. The beauty of this build is once you have the core, you can either continue to increase his Tank ability or increase his DPS ability. I will leave that up to you.

Please give it a try and let me know what you think!