Master Yi Build Guide by fireyfinch
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
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.
Reworded the first section to help clarify what was meant.
Altered the skills build to make it even better.
How to win at Master Yi - Solo Mid
Master Yi is possibly the easiest character to pick up and play in the whole of League of Legends. Unfortunately, players will immediately resort to guides on MOBAFire and other websites which lead players down the wrong path. This guide will dispel the myth that three Phantom Dancers is a 'dumb build' and that actually, it destroys EVERYTHING. Enjoy.
I have made this guide on my own accord with my own input and without taking ideas from other guides. Any conflicts of opinion will be noted but ignored as this can and will get you 20-50 kills a match with 1-10 deaths at most.
My Advice, call mid. They haven't found this guide yet if they won't let you mid because it will ensure absolute destruction of the enemy team. Just plead your case and use the logic in this guide.
Why play Master Yi?
Master Yi is a viable character for first time and experienced players who want to pump a lot of Attack Damage into a team. He can around the map incredibly quickly with movement speed increases while also hitting 2-3k a second. This is because he has boosts in Attack Speed and Movement Speed. He is a melee user so this guide will focus on getting you into combat and your sword into the enemy.
Also, Yi is over powered. In the early game, USE ALPHA STRIKE ON NEARBY MINIONS TO HIT THE ENEMY WITHOUT BEING HIT. Perfect way to attack in my opinion.
Why Ignite and Ghost?
Ignite and Ghost are two of the best Spells on the market aside from Heal. DO NOT fall into the trap of using Flash just because everyone else is using it and you get it at a higher level. If you really hate using Ignite then your best alternative is Exhaust. The reason for this is that conveniently they both are on the Offensive Mastery Tree which gives you some nice bonuses to make them more effective whilst also filling your tree quicker. At the same time, Ghost is the prime move for escaping enemies for ANY player. With a 35% movement speed increase, not even another Yi will catch you unless he uses it. Ignite has two uses: One, wearing an enemy down in a tense combat for the edge on damage and Two, killing enemies who would otherwise escape.
(There is a third reason which is kill stealing but that isn't advised officially, only highly recommended if you want to annoy my friend Paul.)
Heal is useful, but keep it along with Smite for Jungling. This is only because early on you will have your Health Potions and Meditate, so you don't need more healing. Also, later on your Life Steal effect will keep your health up.
OMG only one point on utilities?!
If anyone wants to debate why I ignore utilities then please do. THEY DO NOT HELP AS MUCH. Simples. Offensive is your main priority because it will give you an edge, especially with Executioner providing what could be a life saving 6% damage increase. Your 'Spill over' points should then be put on the Defense Mastery Tree because increased Armour and Magic Resistance can and will keep you alive at all stages of the game, especially as your items will not give you any bonuses.
Explanation of the Skills
These are fairly straight forward and almost every guide will be the same. Attack Damage or Attack Power builds will all preference Alpha Strike over any other move because it not only does the most damage. Alpha strike gets you up close and personal with the enemy which makes it much, much easier for you to hit them with your sword, but like meditate, only needs one point to start.
The only option I could offer is that you could wait until Level 8 to get your first point on Meditate, but you never know when you might need it earlier.
(People in the comments petitioned that Wuju Style is better, but they're wrong. It's all in the numbers and Alpha Strike comes up a lot better than 5 measly AD per level.)
Why u no use +% at 18 runes?!
I do and always will advocate the use of Runes which give you a straight off bonus or percentage increase over the ones at level 18 for one simple reason. They help you more in the early game. The main purpose of Runes is to reward good players for their Experience Points increase and staying committed to the game. The reward for this is a slight advantage over other players. This is best found in the early game where you can raise your Attack Damage by about 9, your Armour Penetration by about 11-12 and your Armour by about the same. Imagine the difference that will make at Level 1? It's as if you've just got another 3 items! Plus 6% life steal right off the bat means you can get your health up on minions in the early game! Sounds great right! The alternative is to get the Level 18 Runes. For those stats at Level 1 divide all of this by 10. Sucks right? 'But later on they're better' Yes, yes they are. But later on you have items doing 60-100 times more than they can so they don't really matter anymore. It's all in the stats.
Item Build Explanation - Three Phantom Dancers?!
I can't tell you how many games I have had where someone pulling a 0/10/2 has criticized my build as I run around the map decimating the enemy for a 20/0/2. It does frustrate me to no end. Ignore anyone who ridicules this build, they can't play Yi and they don't know what they're talking about. Also they don't have Key Stage 1 Maths skills.
First, you buy the Boots of Speed so you can reach the enemy quickly with as little range damage as possible.
Buy three health potions along with this so you can recover health on the go and also in a tough battle. THESE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE SO MANY TIMES IN THE EARLY GAME.
Now stay in the battle until you have 570 Gold. Avoid running in and use Alpha Strike on a nearby minion when there are <5 minions to hit the enemy and whittle down they're health. Once they go to recall, GO RECALL AS WELL. This means they don't have a chance to gain Experience Points while you're away and you will come back with Berserker Greaves to kill them if you haven't done so already.
Now go back in and play it safe. A little defence will avoid the enemy getting a cheap kill, by skill or luck, which will advantage them and could cost you the game if you don't recover. Aim to get a Vampiric Scepter for 450 Gold. This shouldn't take long and most often you'll have at least 970 Gold by the time your health is low enough to need to return. This time, push the minions back so there is some distance for your enemy to cover and then return to buy a Vampiric Scepter and if you have 420 extra, get a Dagger. This Life Steal is vital as it will keep your health up the rest of the game.
Continue this process of skirmishing and killing the enemy until you have another 420 for a Dagger.
Kill more minions until you get a Phantom Dancer. At this stage in the game, you are ready to gank. Make sure you have Highlander as you will need the Movement Speed Boost. Feel free to go for lanes which are struggling, just make sure that the enemy is on the push, they don't have full health, and you come up behind with your team pushing from the front. If they don't help or the enemy is full health, chances are at this stage you won't be able to take both unless Enemy in mid has fed you by about 4-6 kills.
Repeat the same process for two more Phantom Dancers. Many players find this part controversial. The reason I subscribe to this build is that you get up to 2.341 Attack Speed. Combined with 90% Critical Strike Chance and 36% Movement Speed. How is that not insanely amazing?
If you then buy Infinity Edge (Easily broken down if you buy the B.F.Sword first) then you will have 100% Critical Strikes + 80 Attack Damage. This means your base Attack Damage is now about 200, meaning you now hit 400, EVERY HIT. But you're also hitting 2.341 attacks per second. This means you deal 850-1000 damage per second, whilst also running around insanely fast so that no enemy can escape you.
You now buy the Blood Thirster. This will give you +100 Attack Damage which is effectively 450 Damage Per Second extra as well as 20% Life Steal. This will mean that whilst you're quickly hitting all of this damage, you're gaining so much life that you will recover faster than people can kill you, even if there are three of them. (I got a Triple Kill in my last game where I came out with more life then I went in with, and I only took 5 and a half seconds to kill them all. Including time running between them.)
If hitting 1500 Damage a second isn't enough for you, then you will now get around 2300 Gold and sell your Berserker Greaves to buy the Black Cleaver. This will stop your damage being halved and will let you hit 2-3k Damage Per Second, even on tanks. Because of the insane Attack Speed from your Phantom Dancers, you can remove 45 Armour from the enemy in 1 second of combat thanks to 15 per second for three stacks. If this wasn't good enough, the Black Cleaver boasts 5% more Attack Speed than the Berserker Greaves and an additional 55 Attack Damage.
I now promise you, with this full build, not only will you be ahead of your enemies by feeding, but they will also seemingly melt as they touch you. Master Yi will become the ultimate Death Machine. Combined with Ghost, you will slice through their teams as if they were watermelons.
Apache Helicopters can suck it if they think they're the most powerful thing ever.
So how should I play? Tips and tricks
At the beginning of the game, make sure for maximum effectiveness you have mid. The reason for this is that there are no close bushes for people to gank you in or hide traps/shrooms (Looking at you Teemo you stoner.) Last hit the minions if possible so that you don't end up in the enemies turret and wait until there are less than 5 minions in the group left or aim for the back 3 when the enemy is close behind them, and use Alpha Strike. You will whittle their health down and they won't be able to touch you.
Use Ghost to get away from the enemy if they are slaughtering you, but otherwise save it for when the enemy is a good deal away from their turret. You activate Ghost and run them down, and with the space you have left, you should be able to fit in enough hits to finish them before their turret.
If they survive this onslaught, use Ignite.
Actually use it just before because we would rather be sure they were dead. And you know, everyone loves a little overkill.
Pretty much ignore Meditate is a good idea. Unless you're being destroyed and the cavalry is on it's way then just spam the W key to try and outlast the enemy damage. Outside of combat, use it only if you have Blue Buff.
If there is no jungler, or it is later on in the game, take the Blue and Red buffs, kill the dragon if you are over Level 11 and kill any other monsters in your way. (Except Baron who you should never attack with less than three of you.)
ALWAYS use E and R together. This will give you EPIC BURST DAMAGE and will OBLITERATE your opponent. This will refresh your cooldowns so you can then OBLITERATE your next opponent. Rinse and repeat.
Use Alpha Strike as an opener. Although useful for catching enemies. It will almost always have refreshed mid way through combat or in the chase and you will definitely catch the enemy.
Turret dive. By this I mean swoop in on unguarded turrets while the enemy is occupied. Remember: Teammates make excellent cannon fodder.
If for whatever reason (which is most likely down to skill of the enemy and not this guide) you are losing. Proceed to spam the Hokey Kokey in chat to your team. They will appreciate it.
Proof that this works ->
The defeat was because my teammates hadn't read this guide and couldn't keep up with this much awesomeness!
I'm allowed to sound big headed, I got a 49/9 for god's sake. :P
Love you guys! Enjoy!