Master Yi Build Guide by DarkHaki

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 DarkHaki

Master Yi's Path To True OP

DarkHaki Last updated on November 19, 2011
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Master Yi, Master Of LoL

This is my guide on how to play Master Yi as a tower pusher champion killing machine. I've played the beta since week 3 so i have alot of experience with the champions. Master Yi is one of the squishier meele champions, but played right can be the difference in team fights and tower pushing.

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Master Yi, The Wuju Bladesman

Keeper of the ancient art of Wuju, Master Yi is a mystical warrior from the isle of Ionia. His village was steeped in Wuju, and his kinfolk were some of the few to carry the tradition into the modern day. That is, until the armies of Noxus came to Ionia, ravaging the land. Master Yi went to fight the craven enemy, bringing his village honor through his unparalleled mastery of the blade. However, in his absence, the armies of Noxus closed in and tested the latest invention of the chemist now known as Singed. What was done to his village is something of which Master Yi will not speak. However, he has brought his mastery of the blade to the League of Legends in order to avenge his kinfolk and end the predations of the Noxus once and for all.

Master Yi brings the art of the Wuju style in a way that makes his enemies falter. He is capable of fighting with lightning speed, as well as finding purchase behind the defenses of an enemy's armor. He can call on his inner fortitude, regenerating at an accelerated rate. Calling upon ancient forces, Master Yi can fold space, appearing behind enemy after enemy. He is even able to reject magic, rendering it useless against him.

The art of Wuju lives on in Master Yi, and is plunged through the hearts of his foes.

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Alpha Strike

(mana cost: 90/105/120/135/150): Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing 100/150/200/250/300 (+AP x 1.01) Magic Damage and has a 20/30/40/50/60% chance to deal 400 bonus damage to minions. 18 sec. cooldown.(Master Yi's early farming ability/harassing ability, I Use this on minions when ever enemy champions are near them, it's great for harassing and the enemy, most of the time, the enemy won't be quick enough to react and hit you as you run back to your minions.)


(mana cost: 80/100/120/140/160): Master Yi meditates restoring 150/300/500/750/1100 (+AP x 1.65) Health over 5 seconds. While Meditating Master Yi has a bonus 30 Armor and Magic Resist. 45 sec. cooldown. (Great ability late game as it restores about 60% of your hp. It also scales pretty well with ability power but stacking ability power is not needed to make use of this ability.)

Wuju Style

(mana cost: 40): Passively increases Physical damage by 15/20/25/30/35. Additionally, Master Yi can activate this ability to double its effectiveness for 10 seconds, this removes its passive bonus damage until Wuju Style becomes available again. 30 sec. cooldown. (This is Master Yi's main ability it works hand in hand with highlander for pushing towers or owning champions. Always use this when attacking Towers as you are a great tower destroyer. Don't waste this on minions try to keep it off cooldown unless your ganking or smashing towers.)


(mana cost: 120): Increases Master Yi's Movement Speed by 40% and Attack Speed by 30/50/70%, and he becomes immune to all slowing effects for 6/9/12 seconds. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns. 70 sec. cooldown. (Great for champion killing and tower pushing, pop this with Wuju Style and you'll have that champion/tower down in no time. If you kill a champion with this popped it will refresh all your cooldowns, including Highlander! Make sure that you don’t pop Wuju style until the old one runs off because it will stack with your popped one [I.E level 5 Wuju Style= 35x2 while it's active +35 of your passive =105 physical damage!])

Double Strike

(passive): Master Yi has a chance to strike twice each time he attacks. (This works great with the Razors as you can hit 500's twice!)

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Skilling Order

1. Alpha Strike
2. Wuju Style
3. Alpha Strike
4. Wuju Style
5. Alpha Strike
6. Highlander
7. Wuju Style
8. Wuju Style
9. Wuju Style
10. Alpha Strike
11. Highlander
12. Alpha Strike
13. Meditate
14. Meditate
15. Meditate
16. Highlander
17. Meditate
18. Meditate

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Recommended Runes

Rune build 1:
Red(Marks)-Greater Mark Of Desolation
Yellow(Seals)-Greater Seal Of Fortitude
Blue(Glyphs)-Greater Glyph Of Warding
Quintessence-Greater Quintessence Of Desolation

Comment: This build makes your crits hit really hard and your early game damage will be high, you should have about 30% critical damage and 25 armor pen. With infinity's edge your crits will hit for 280% of your attack damage. Your weakness to magic damage will also be reduced.

Rune build 2:
Red(Marks)-Greater Mark Of Malice
Yellow(Seals)-Greater Seal Of Malice
Blue(Glyphs)-Greater Glyph Of Malice
Quintessence-Greater Quintessence Of Malice

Comment: This build will make you alot more dangerous early game but not as much as build 1 would late game, Malice runes are alot cheaper than Furor so go for this build if you can't spare the IP.

Rune build 3:
Red(Marks)-Greater Mark Of Desolation
Yellow(Seals)-Greater Seal Of Furor
Blue(Glyphs)-Greater Glyph Of Furor
Quintessence-Greater Quintessence Of Desolation

Comment: This build makes your crits hit really hard and your early game damage will be high, you should have about 30% critical damage and 25 armor pen. With infinity's edge your crits will hit for 280% of your attack damage.

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Recommended Summoner Spells

1. Cleanse- Master Yi's ultimate makes him immune to slow, and with this build you have a lot of lifesteal. So basically, if you are attacking, you stay alive. Cleanse prevents the only thing that can stop Master Yi from staying alive: Stuns, Silences, and any other crowd control.

2. Rally - Have you taken the time to read rally? It increases your damage(and your team's) by 30% (20% for the mages). That is what we like to call a ****ton. In my opinion, if you don't take rally, you are doing it wrong.

3. Teleport - For the longest time, I took Teleport on Master Yi. Don't get me wrong, it is a great spell and has its uses. However, I feel that Cleanse (which took it's spot) and Rally just outweigh the bonus of a little extra xp.

4. Exhaust - Exhaust is a great offensive spell, but it lacks team potential in my opinion. I think that Rally will net both you and your team a larger amount of kills.

5. Ghost - Ghost can be fun when combined with Highlander. See exhaust for my opinion of ghost.

6. Clairvoyance/Fortify - I guess if your team has some super-secret team build and they tell you to take one of these, go for it. They are great team spells, but they don't influence Yi very directly.

7. Heal - i normally run with heal as it can save you so many times and turn around bad situations

8. Flash - With the nerf to flashes range i don't normaly use it, tho its still a good spell for escapeing and catching up to enemies.

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Recommended Item Build

1) Madred's Razors (1000 g)
2) Vampiric Scepter(450 g)
3) Boots Of Swiftness(1050 g) OR Berserker's Greaves(920 g)
4) Phage/zeal(1290 g)(1195 g)
5) Zeal/phage(1195 g)(1290 g)
6)Infinity Edge (4080 g)[At this point you should sell Madred's Razors as you dont need the chance on hit anymore.]
7) Phantom Dancer (3395 g)
8) The Bloodthirster (3200 g)
9) Frozen Mallet (3250 g)
10) Madrid Bloodrazor (3800 g)


Last Whisper-Get this if the other team is stacking armor.

Guardian Angel-This can win games, in team fights people won't notice you reviveing in the middle of the fight and then you can proceed to open the can of whoop *** on the enemy champions.

Madred's Bloodrazor-Get this if the other team is full of tanks.

Total:13,515g (if you sell Madred's Razors)

Why this item Build?

Madred's Razors-This is my first item because IMO it's the best jungleing item out there and it's cheap! with Vampiric Scepter when you hit those 500 hits your hp goes up so much, also the item works with double strike!( 2X500= 1000dmg)

Vampiric Scepter- As soon as i get this item i hit the jungle, with this you can take on any neutral creep and will barley lose any health and later levels won't lose any.

Boots Of Swiftness- I get the boots next because it helps with Yi's movement around the jungle and helps with ganking and running away.

Berserker's Greaves- Good attack speed and movement, will help yi get alot of kills and move faster around the jungle.

Phage- I purely get Phage for the chance on hit slow because Yi has none of his own, it also has some nice survivability stats on it.

Zeal- Attack speed really helps with the life steal on neutrals and helps to own other champions, the extra movement speed is also nice, not to mention the lovely 10% crit!.

Infinity Edge- With the crit damage runes you'll be hitting like a truck with the 250% damage on critical strikes with this baby, with this item you should be 3-4 shotting caster champions and making tanks fear you with all your armor pen!.

Pantom Dancer- Finishing off the Zeal this gives some more attack speed and movement speed plus some dodge which is great for back dooring towers!

The Bloodthirste- By the time you get this there’s not many more items you could get. With its +1 physical damage per kill you should be a force to be reckoned with!

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Why this build?

The idea of this build is to be able to head into the jungle as soon as you get your life steal item. By jungleing you’re giving another team mate a solo lane so you all level quicker. You will start to 3-4 shot enemy champions and be owning towers and inhibitors. Your main goal as Yi is to gank squishy champions and take down buildings.

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How to Play From Beginning to End

Early Game (levels 1-6):At the start of the game pick a lane and stick with it, try to last hit mobs and keep harassing with Alpha Strike, buy a long sword first and a health pot, don't worry about going back for mana only blue pill when you have enough gold for Madred's razors. I also like hideing in the bushes at the top or bottom lane close to the enemy tower with an ally. Normally the other team has the same idea so get there as fast as you can with an ally, let them know you have exhaust and that you want to gank them. usually if the enemy doesn’t have heal/flash you will kill them or force them to blue pill, but DONT GET YOURSELF KILLED! Keep harassing and last hitting in your lane until you reach 450g, blue pill back and get the life steal item.

Mid-Game (levels 7-13): Now it's time to head into the jungle, With the life steal item and the razors you shouldn’t be dropping in hp. By the time you are level 10 you should be able to solo lizards without losing health. Make sure you keep killing the dragon to help out your team with xp when ever it's up. Keep your eye on the minimap, when you see an ally hitting a tower go pop highlander and take it out with them, don't be afraid to jump into team fights and ganks by the time you have a Zeal you should be ripping other champions a new one, you are very squishy though so wait till the enemy use there abilities on a tank first.

Late Game (levels 14-18): This is where the ownage starts, by the time you have Infinity Edge you should be able to solo push towers with ease, pop Highlander and Wuju to take it down fast, then you should be able to run away before anyone catches you.Now your main goal is to get out of the forest and start pushing and helping in team fights. You should be 3-4 shotting squishy champions.

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Master Yi is a great farmer. This is good, since you’re going to spend most of the game farming to get the gear you need to do well=D. To accomplish this you’re going to depend on timing Alpha Strike to last hit minion mobs. You can also pop Wuju Style to up your dps long enough to take out a minion mob.

Early on, you’re going to want to sit back and wait for the minions to come to a position where you can safely Alpha Strike them. You don’t want to Alpha Strike and end up in the middle of 2 enemies. Early on you’re too soft and they’ll end up pwning you. If you’re laning against 2 enemies who are trying to harass, stay back and wait for the minions to come just out of the range of your tower.

When they get in range, Alpha Strike and you’ll kill most of them. You can kill the remaining minions with your normal attack by juking back and forth until the tower gets them low. If you’re close to your tower and there are 2-3 minions and an enemy around, you can use those minions to slingshot into the enemies with Alpha Strike. You’ll damage them and land safely behind your tower.

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If there's a lull in the minion waves I’ll swing by the jungle to pick up some extra gold and a neutral buff or two. Before I do any jungling, I like to wait until at least lvs 2-3. Jungling is very difficult without at least a second rank in Alpha Strike. The first camp you want to hit is the one with the specters. Alpha Strike them and if any are still alive, pop WuJu Style to finish them off.

If you want to focus exclusively on jungling, then you’ll want to pick up Madred’s Razoras one of your first items. Madred’s allows you take out the golem/lizard earlier, but I almost always skip on this item since I can plow minions so easily with Yi in lane. The money I save on Madred’s allows me to funnel gold into Zeal, Chalice, or a Vamperic Scepter. I often stick mostly to the lanes, but if I have 20-30 seconds while I’m waiting for more minions I sometimes hit a few minion camps to pass the time.

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Pros and Cons

+Great damage
+Great atack speed
+Superb chaser
+Great escape mechanism
+Superb pusher/carry/farmer
+Easy to play
+Good harraser

-Squishy early game
-Vurneable to disables
-Easy to harras (Melee)
-Low HP pool
-After using Ulti on a gank that is not working out, he has no way of fleeing from battle.

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Best Allies

Disablers, tanks, and mages always make great allies for Yi. Blitzcrank, Alistar, Malphite, Morgana, Veigar, and Karthus are some of my favorites to lane with. However, early on, Yi makes a great solo.

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I don’t usually initiate against more than 2 enemies. In team fights, it’s better to let your teammates go in first. Contrary to popular belief, Yi CANNOT simply run into 5 enemies and take them all out.

To be effective with Yi, you need to know when to strike. The best time is after your allies have initiated the battle and the enemies are scrambling/have focused someone else. When this happens, I rush in with Highlander/Wuju and finish off as many as I can. If an enemy is low and escaping I’ll try and get in Alpha Strike range and pop it to take them out. Once he’s dead, I’ll chase down whoever’s left. It’s not unusual to get triple or quadra kills doing this.

It might sound easy, but timing is everything with Yi. The real trick is to know exactly when to rush in and when to pick your battles. For example, if a teammate is alone and being raped by 3-4 enemies youdo not engage. In this situation, it’s best to just let him die ratherthan trying to be a hero and ending up dead. I know most people feel that they're obligated to help in this situation, but you'll just end up feeding the enemy more gold by doing so.

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Final Words

I hope you all enjoyed reading my guide. I'm confident you'll find most of the basic strategies and item builds to be pretty straightforward.

Master Yi is a lot of fun to play - since you're reading this, you probably already know. If you're not having much success, be sure to refer to the other builds in depth. Although Yi is easy to learn he does take some time to master.

That's my guide for now, this guide works for me and normally get's me pub game wins. I'm not saying my way is the best way of playing Yi but it works for me and I thought I’d share it with all of you

Keep playing and by all means have fun playing Master Yi!

Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments. If you enjoyed the guide, please give me some feedback below! =D