Master Yi Build Guide by RavenPrince
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.
Master Yi, The Wuju Bladesman
Keeper of the ancient art of Wuju, Master Yi is a mystical warrior from the isle of Ionia. He descended from one of the few tribes dedicated to the preservation of Wuju, a martial art founded with the principles of absolute spiritual awareness of one's self and one's enemy. When the armies of Noxus invaded Ionia, Master Yi joined in the Ionian defense to fight the craven enemy, bringing his village honor through his unparalleled mastery of the blade. The ensuing battles ravaged the land, but no conflict inflicted as much horror as the day the armies of Noxus closed in on Yi's village. Left undefended, the village became the unfortunate test subject of the latest invention by an up-and-coming chemist, now known as Singed. The remains of the village that Master Yi returned to were so horrific that it remains a festering scar on Ionian history. To this day, no Ionian will ever publicly speak of what occurred.
After the Noxian invasion was contained, Master Yi fell into a deep isolation. For years, he trained morning to night, speaking to no one and refusing offers of consolation by fellow Ionians. The only thing stopping him from madly charging into Noxus battle lines headfirst was his pledge to keep the Wuju style alive. Even though he seethed with impatience, his rage became a tool for sharpening his practice of Wuju, developing stronger and deadlier skills for his eventual vengeance. The only thing that roused him was news of the League's formation, and Noxus' subsequent enrollment in the League. Master Yi now brings his mastery of the blade to the League of Legends with unflinching purpose: to avenge his kinfolk and end the predations of the Noxus once and for all.
''The art of Wuju lives on in Master Yi, and is plunged through the hearts of his foes.'' -- Soraka, the Starchild
This is my first guide and let me start by saying that Master Yi is NOT my main but I play him consistently enough. Also, being my first guide please don't troll and/or otherwise bash this guide simply because you disagree with it or you believe it was poorly written, give me constructive feedback instead. That being said, Yi is a fun character to play and in my opinion he's a good choice if you're new to the game. This guide will probably be a little advanced for new players however, most Yi guides will tell you to build all out AD/AS, and while that isn't bad, I think a hybrid build gives Yi a bit more survivability and a few more options than just auto attacking. So without further ado, let's begin.
Season 2 officially started 15 Nov 2011 and we all know what that means; new skill trees. I'll be updating the guide to reflect these skill trees as soon as their uploaded on Mobafire and there's a good chance I'll do some fiddling with the runes too. Keep your eyes peeled.
Added a general game play section which was suggested to me and is actually a really good idea. Read up on the tips and tricks of playing Yi and as always thanks again for reading.
Passive - Master Yi strikes twice every 7th attack.
Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing 100/150/200/250/300 (+1) magic damage to each enemy with a 20/30/40/50/60% chance to deal 400 bonus magic damage to minions.
Cost 80/90/100/110/120 Mana
Master Yi channels, restoring 140/280/420/560/700 (+1.65) health over 5 seconds. While channeling, Master Yi gains 100/150/200/250/300 armor and magic resistance.
Cost 70/85/100/115/130 Mana
Master Yi becomes skilled in the art of Wuju, passively increasing the power of his physical attacks. Activating Wuju Style doubles the passive bonus damage for a short time, but the passive bonus is temporarily removed after the effect wears off.
Passive: Increases physical damage by 15/20/25/30/35.
Active: Master Yi can activate this ability to double its effectiveness for 10 seconds, but this removes the passive bonus until Wuju Style becomes available again.
Cost 40/40/40/40/40 Mana
Increases Master Yi's movement speed by 40% and Attack Speed by 40/60/80%, and he becomes immune to all slowing effects for 6/9/12 seconds. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns. (Assists reduce half of the base cooldown amount.)
Cost 120/120/120 Mana
Pros / Cons
+Easy farming with Alpha Strike
+Great ganking abilities at level 6 with Alpha Strike and Highlander combo
+ Meditate allows you to sustain nearly any onslaught once maxed
+Excellent tower destroyer
+Huge burst damage and DPS late game
Cons-Very squishy early game
-Mana hungry early game
-Susceptible to CC abilities
This is a pretty standard route for any DPS to go. Mostly offensive with a little bit of defense thrown in to help survivability, the only difference is you will be focusingAP as well as AD here.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Evasion
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Armor Pen and Attack SpeedMarks; pretty self explanatory I should say, even though you're going to be building a hybrid character, Yi is still a DPS based champion.
Dodge Seals; "Now why would I get dodge seals when I could use them for more attack speed?" you might be asking. Well, simple really, survivability. Sure that extra 6% or 7% dodge doesn't seem like it would make a difference, but every bit counts.
Cooldown Reduction Glyphs; also self explanatory. You want to be able to spam Alpha Strike as much as possible and have Highlander ready on the off chance you don't kill someone before it wears off.
Armor Pen Quintessences; see Marks above
These two spells are ideal for Yi in my mind.
Exhaust is crucial throughout the entire game and will allow for easy ganks early on and escapes for when Highlander is on cool down.
Flash is simply my personal preference, it's a good escape tool and will allow you to get that little bit of extra distance you need to hit with [Alpha Strike]
Feel free to grab Ignite if you're used to playing with it and want that extra damage to help with first blood.
Ghost is a favorite of mine and it could definitely help early game but after level 6 I just don't see much value. That is just a personal opinion however.
Cleanse is a pretty good choice also, you aren't always going to have Highlander to get rid of those pesky debuffs.
NeverIt should be obvious that all other spells are what I consider a waste when playing Yi. You're sole job is to destroy towers and players and I consider all other Summoner Spells to be a waste for a purely offensive character.
As seen above, you'll want to max out Alpha Strike as quickly as possible. Alpha Strike is your main (and only) source of burst damage and your only harassing/farming ability. Follow that up with a combination of Wuju Style and Meditate. I almost always max out Wuju Style immediately following Alpha Strike but it's all about what you're comfortable with really.
Boots of Speed
Needlessly Large Rod
Trinity Force is your core item here. No more, no less. Everything else is negotiable but with ahybrid build, Trinity Force is your everything.
Rush Sheen. Before boots, before anything, Sheen is your top priority. It gives you almost double your starting mana and a little bit of AP which is the difference of first blood with Alpha Strike and that always irritating sliver of HP and an escape.
Depending on how you're doing next can either be Boots of Speed or Zeal. If you're forced to head back to base before you can farm enough gold for Zeal, settle with Boots of Speed and save up for Phage.
Complete your Trinity Force and Berserker's Greaves and move on to Bilgewater Cutlass so you can stay in your lane longer without healing.
After completing you Hextech Gunblade the sequence you choose to purchase your items in is completely up to you. I prefer following my way because, well it's my way for one, and the added AS from Nashor's Tooth really increases the life steal from your Hextech Gunblade.
Other viable options are Thornmail and Sunfire Cape if you're really being targeted by other DPS champs but with your life steal percentage you'll almost never need them.
First and foremost, team work is everything. Always try and work well with your team and especially your lane partner. Yes, you'll always have "that one guy" who always seems to be pissed at the world no matter what and will blame you for everything but try to keep your cool. The rest of the team is probably going to hate him as much as you do and if you don't fire back at his insults he'll just look stupid.
Team fights should always follow this sequence; Tank initiates, hopefully with a taunt or stun and you follow behind with Highlander and Alpha Strike while your other teammates perform their jobs (i.e healing, CC, or dealing out damage as well).
NEVER be the one to initiate a team fight. Even with your life steal and the extra life from your Trinity Force you are still a pretty squish character.
How to Play Yi
Alright, well to honor my first commenter and his useful advice I'm adding in this section on overall game play with Master Yi. To get right to it specifically; I was asked to give an example of what a good Yi does throughout the course of the game i.e is he a roaming champ performing ganks and helping out the other lanes, is he a backdoor champ, etc. My answer: yes.
Yi is a versatile offensive character for the majority of the game, at mid-late game a good Yi should be wandering around the map helping those in need with Highlander assisted ganks or backdooring towers when the rest of your team is getting pushed to defend a tower against the majority or entirety of the opposing team. In general, Yi should avoid the dual situation because of his susceptibility to ganks and CC effects and we all know there's always that one guy waiting in the bush to see how things go, but dueling isn't entirely off limits. A fully built Yi can take on nearly anything that gets thrown at him provided you're comfortable and confident playing as him.
Before level 6 however, Yi should never, ever venture out on his own. We come back to that whole "super squishy and susceptible to CC effects" thing. Before you get Highlander and unless you took Cleanse you have no way of escaping from an eager CC happy ganker and you're more than squishy enough for that person to get the kill and be on their merry way before you can even call for help. Item-wise I would tell you that you should probably stick with your lane partner at all times until fully completing your Trinity Force.
Keep in mind that just because you follow this build doesn't mean that you'll go right into a game and have 30 kills with 1 death. Every character takes practice to get a feel for and any new build is the same way. Even if you've been playing Yi for a while now and you're deciding to try a new build doesn't necessarily mean you're going to go out and dominate. Also keep in mind that this build is rather expensive and it is hard to start due to the cost of the Trinity Force. Be patient and don't rush into dangerous situations.
Once more, this is the first time I've written a guide so if I've left something out or somehow screwed something up, let me know and I'll fix it ASAP. I'd also be welcome suggestions on how to make this guide/build better.
If you've made it this far down instead of just checking the items and skills I'd like to thank you for reading my guide.
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain