-I inserted a second hybrid build that utilizes high AD damage from lich bane with enough crit to nuke enemy heroes even more, plus with added tower taking capabilities. With crit you get 1000+ dmg every 6 secs. Use when you dont have many enemy CC or enemies stacking armor.
Playing Ap Yi is a lot of fun IMO. It is one of the few "click and win" heroes in the game but quite unpredictable as well. Because his damage is somewhat unpredictable playing Ap Yi can get you trolled by your teamates. Why for example play ap yi instead of annie or brand? Well this is what this guides intends, to provide the proper build and tactics ,to lead your way to woe and victory.
What to expect from Ap Yi
-Fast farmer and good pusher. So fast indeed that you can lane AND jungle (wraiths or wolves)
-High Ap ratio on 2 skills (q,w) - Alpha Strike and meditation - gives him high enough damage and survivability.
-His ultimate can be used both to hunt enemy heroes, escape nasty situations, take towers, or stack kills. I will explain how soon.
-His passive is similar to caitlyns, allowing for a fast burst of damage.
-He can tank 5 enemy heroes with meditation if not disabled.
-Cannot be targeted while he uses alpha strike!
On the other hand
-Dont expect Ap Yi to initiate vs heavy CC teams. In fact, even his survival can be questionable.
-The nature of Alpha strike makes his damage Unpredictable.
-Needs 3 items to function properly and 4 to shine as a hero.
-Wrong sequence of skills or choice of targets in battle will get you killed
Getting full AP runes is the typical build on most AP based Heroes. The basic questions is why scaling Runes instead of Flat AP runes?
Yi's alpha strike starts with a high cooldown. It only gets better after lvl3. That means you will be lvl 5-8 by then. By then you will need that extra AP to do more damage. 18 to 14 secs of cd on lvl 1 to lvl 5 is a long time to wait to do serious damage or secure the kill.
This is almost the typical mastery build for all heroes.
I prefer movement speed over small spell vamp percentage cause movement speed is a lot better overall and spell vamp of 1% wont save the day. Ap yi uses meditation for full heal!
Why is cd important on Ap yi?
Ap yi mostly uses alpha strike for dealing damage. He uses meditation to heal himself. With high cd he can harass a lot more (20% higher cd is like 20% higher damage on lane) and he can heal a lot more often, which will matter MOST to have when u need it. People will argue that your ultimate will clear all cds anyway when you get either assists or kills. While this is true, in order to get those kills or assists you will to kite the enemy heroes more often, farm faster, and have a strong lane pressence overall.
Start with meki pendant or doran's ring.
You will get meki pendant anyway so you can get it either as first or as second item. Ap yi is mana hungry. I start with doran's ring when i fear the enemy hero in mid will give me more troublethan i can handle and i will need that extra health and ap.
get boots>fiendish codex>Morello's evil tome.
So what have you spend so far? 3400 gold (and 475 if u get doran's) for 2 items that will get you to 39% total cooldown reduction (with 4% from masteries), and that will provide you with enough mana to alpha strike without problem.
Get rabadon's first and lich bane afterwards.
What this means is that only with rabadons you will get your ap as high as 375. With another 300 on alpha strike that gets u 675x4 every 6 secs (when alpha strike is lvl5). Usually when u cast it twice (and hits the enemy heroes) the enemy team either runs back or cannot initatiate.
With lich bane you just add another 450 dmg + your basic attack + the bonus from wuju style every 6 secs when you normally engage. Its sick. The problem is that you will need 3600 gold for rabadons and 3470 more for lich bane.
Total gold cost so far 3400+6070=9470.
I am mentioning gold cost because it is something that should be considered on all builds in order to realize how long before you can finish the build.
10.000 gold means and average of 30 mins gametime.
MAX aplha strike first, Meditation second.
Get one point in wuju stile at lvl5 only if the enemy hero in your lane cannot harass you more than you can harass him. In other words only if you can stay healthy with no problems.
Summoner spells have been discussed extensively.
I prefer flash because i can escape out of nasty ninja ults like annie's when needed, or when disabling will mean death. That usually happens with silence or stun for yi.
Ignite is good because AP Yi is an ANTI-CARRY hero. That means that if you fail to kill the enemy carry in teamfights you probably have failed altogether. Try killing caitlyn with 2 bloodthirsters (or ever one) without it. :) All u have to do is stay alive enough to alpha strike at least twice. That usually does 5000+ dmg to the enemy team, if u dont hit minions that is :)
Surge is also nice. It gives a good buff to either take towers faster, or q harder! It is also a nice spell on yi.
The most important part is this one. When to use what and how.
- Kite!. When in lane alpha strike on the creep closer to you but close enough to the other creeps so it can connect. Dont waste mana for killing one creep only :) Use this tactic to harass enemy heroes and stay at safe distance. Deny the enemy hero by contantly harassing him as well. If he drops low enough he wont farm effectively (or not at all prob).
- Use your passive. Very few players pay attention to yi's passive. Wait till it charges then alpha strike the enemy hero and hit him twice (activating wuju style as well if you got it). Preferably do it when he is under 40% hps and gnite for the kill. Sounds like a cooking recipe!
- Jungle! Jungle wraiths or wolves if your jungler gangs ATM and you have pushed too much for your taste. This way you can outlevel the enemy hero even if he gets all the exp from the minions.
- Use meditation. Dont provoke unless needed. Meditation incrases your thoughness a lot but dont use meditation on the enemy hero just to see him hit you unless you want to lure him. Use it when you want to heal yourself, preferably at a safe location.
- Use your Ultimate!. Dont use it to traver faster. Use it to chace-kill, use it to escape ugly situations, or take down a turret.
- Kite! If there are minions in front of the enemy team but not close enough to get you insta-killed harass the enemy. The funniest part is to alpha strike on the last remaining minion and let alpha stike chain on three enemy heroes :)
- Teamfight is on! Use your ult just before alpha strike. Make sure you focus properly. Focus what your team is focusing (usually the carry) if you are cofident enough. If you are not confident focus the tank and make sure alpha strike connects to more heroes. If you get the enemy focus after that or if your are low on hps just meditate for the next 6 secs and alpha strike again. Fear or slow will not work or stop your meditation(!) if you have your ult on. Only stun and silence, taunt and throw will.
- An enemy hero is dead! Usually that means that your cds are all up thanks to your ultimate. Always alpha strike again and again, ultying where necessary to keep the damage going. Only meditate to stay alive. Then Alpha strike again!
Prepared to be trolled! Ap Yi is concidered not be viable and for good reason. What will make him viable are these guidelines and your skill summoner!