Master Yi Build Guide by Goffterdom
Head Hunter Master Yi
-- Guide updated the 9th of May --
I updated several sections of the guide and the reccomanded items and masteries. Some explainations are outdated here but the spirit of the guide remains.
We all agree to say that Master Yi AD Jungle is still quite a ballzy pick (a non-viable pick can we say) but it's still really fun to play.
Hi everyone, welcome to my Master Yi guide.
I'm French so please excuse all the grammar / vocabulary mistakes you can notice.
It's my first guide so it may lacks of some informations, if so please just tell me so I can provide the missing parts.
I'm a huge fan of Master Yi and I recently realized that jungling improves his capabilities mid/late game. He's squishy and you may not be able to farm properly on a lane early game (if you're facing heavy CCer for instance, welcome Taric and Sion or two ranged champs, hi Soraka and Miss Fortune). When I tried to look for a good jungle guide I realized every items build were the same, no survivability items and not enough informations on how to jungle properly. I must admit none of them fit my needs. I expect this guide to be more complete, to be a really good base to start with Jungle Yi or to improve your own experience of this playstyle.
That's why I'm writting this guide, to have a real in-depth analysis on how to jungle with Yi and how to carry your team to the victory !
Have a nice read ladies and gentlemen...
Pros & Cons
If you are there I think you already choose to play Yi, if so skip this part.
If you are wondering what champion you should play or why should you play Yi, here's the perfect section for you.
Pros• High damages all game long
• Epic farming capabilities
• Good chasing capabilities
• Good jungling capabilities (epic if you have luck)
• Really easy to play against noobies / unorganized teams (resulting in a lof of fun =D)
• Interesting to play against skilled players (they will underestimate you)
• Opportunity to multikill (Pentakill ?!)
• Skilled baiting capabilities
• Low escape capabilities (if Highlander is on Cooldown, you don't have Flash)
• Heavily Focused on Teamfights
• Hard to learn the right behaviour in Teamfights (When to engage / run away), where to positionate)
• No special Counter-jungling capabilities
• Highly vulnerable to CC
In my opinion Yi is a really easy champion to play against noobs but needs really more practice against skilled players (what is interesting). You will get focused, disabled, got down if you play it the wrong way, it's all about when, where and who to strike. If you do it well you can carry your team to the victory. If you die too soon or too often your team will lack a serious amount of damage output and it's a risk you can't afford.
Let's move on to the real guide, that was only for those who were still wondering "why would I play Yi". The real question would be "Why wouldn't I play Yi ?" x)
Runes, Masteries and Summoner Spells
RunesLet's start with Runes as it comes before anything else in the game.
First of all I'm an adept of the "Runes for Early Game" way of thoughts. Imo runes are useful to give an edge early game, not to increase your potential later on. Why so ? Because late game your items provide you what you need, it's not the +200 mana or +150 health that will save your ***, but the equipment you have been able to purchase thanks to your prosperous early game.
*3 / *3
Highly increase your damage output early game. This build gives less Armor Penetration but increases the number of times Double Strike is available, improving your overall damage output.
Greater Mark of DesolationMarks: DesolationIncreases your overall damage output. You don't need Flat AD Runes thanks to Wuju Style.
Flat HP seals are not viable imho. I don't see other Seals you can take.
So Armor Penetration for the early damages output bonus (you don't need flat AD Runes thanks to Wuju Style). Armor runes for the early tankiness in the jungle and Attack Speed runes to exploit the potential of Double Strike.
MasteriesHmm a short part, nothing fancy there, I go for an offensive tree 21 / 9 / 0..
I'm not getting Runic Affinity because the Defensive Tree is now so much useful for a jungler that I prefer going for a clean and fast jungle path than a longer buff duration. Nevertheless if you like having it you can go for a 9/9/12 mastery tree.
I'm not grabbing the points in Tough Skin because Hardiness is more interesting.
Bladed Armor is not a good choice because you can steal the blue/red buff with it by reflecting the damages on them.
Summoner SpellsMy two cents.
Smite: Of course you need it ! Yi is too fragile to jungle without it.
Flash: As for many of the champion, Flash is really useful to Yi. It can save your *** or grabb a kill sometimes easier than any other summoner spell. Ideal to tower dive or to jump through a wall. Coupled with Alpha Strike it gives a huge chasing capability.
Other viable summoner spellsExhaust: I can choose this because you can gang easier (it almost makes sure you grabb a kill early game), you can escape a tough situation in your jungle (someone going to counter-jungle you), you can reverse the tide of a 1v1 or a team-fight by disabling a major damage dealer and it gives you one CC ability.
Ghost: A lot of Jungle guide prefer this to have an escape/gank capability. I agree the movement speed bonus increase the surprise for the enemy, but it becomes useless when you learn Highlander. You can still take it if you feel more ***fortable.
Ignite: Somehow useful, prevents lifesteal for Die Hard (hello Dr. Mundo !) champions and increases the damages output while ganking. But I don't like it, if an enemy fled away with 10hp you made something wrong but it's np, you will catch him next time. It won't increase much your ganking possibilities imho.
Cleanse: Really useful, a spell I would take instead of Exhaust. It makes you far more efficient in teamfights and/or ganks. If you can't CC Yi you can't avoid to die. But you can get an improved Cleanse by getting a Quicksilver Sash instead. That's why I prefer Exhaust.
Heal: Why not but you already have Meditate and you may have some healing support champion in your team. Plus you should grabb Life Steal items so if you need life just hit the minions to recover some hit points. Heal can improves your baiting abilities coupled with Meditate. That would be the only useful use.
Teleport: I guess it should be somehow useful to get faster to your jungle or to quickly go defend a tower but taking Exhaust or Flash is more important to you. And Yi is already a really mobile champion.
You should not take any other spells in a regular Jungling game.
The part that needed the more practice. I worked hard to find a skill build that fits my expectations, and I think I finally found what I needed.
My skill sequence offers a high damage output through early and mid game, far more than any other Yi build I have seen.
Note: Never pick your first spell before you actually start jungling, you may need Alpha Strike in case of a teamfight (to chase for instance). Also don't stick to one Skill Order, you may need to chose Meditate instead of Alpha Strike at a certain level if you need HP. A Skill Order is a general guideline (as the item build is), you have to choose your skills depending on your current needs.
Wuju Style: First spell. You may ask why I'm throwing away the 20% chance to deal 400 damages to nearby creeps (from Alpha Strike). Because my playstyle is not relying on luck ! If you're not getting the procc against the two first small golems you will receive more damages, a thing you can't afford while jungling. Whereas if you choose Wuju Style you will kill them faster. Then I max out Wuju to increase my damages output by 35 (70 when enabled) without buying a damage item. A damage boost of 70 worths about 2500 gold.
Alpha Strike: I only spend one point into this. Why ? Because (I'm not relying on luck to jungle)² I only use this spell as mechanism to get close to ennemy champion. The goal here is to have a chasing mechanism who doesnt cost much mana because you're leveling this up at high levels.
Meditate: What makes you a good jungler. Coupled with blue buff it almost makes you an unstoppable jungling machine. It's hard to get out of hp, even more if you have lifesteal items. It also gives a really nice opportunity to bait your opponents.
Highlander: Not much to say, the spell that makes you dominate almost any champion 1v1 (ST*U Jax !). Also gives you a chance to multi/penta kill.
I think I'm done with this. What next ?
The hard part...
What makes you a bad or a good Yi. What makes your jungle effective... or not.
I tried a lot of build, I even tried to jungle without Madred's Razors. But it's not efficient at all.
I saw a lot of Yi, I read a lot of guides and I experienced a lot of bad or good builds. I'm up to share my secrets with you...
Note: My build is an AD build. It is meant to be played in the Jungle. The build is kinda oriented "glass canon" as Master Yi is really fun to play this way. This makes the build not really viable in a ranked or competitive match but remains viable for normal queue.
But a build based on pure damages in only viable against low skilled enemies. You can't expect to win a game with Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, Zeke's Herald, The Bloodthirster, Berserker's Greaves and Last Whisper. It would just don't work (excepted if you are a pro in teamfight and you'll never ever get CCed, in that case I will claim you're the first Yi I ever see that never gets focused).
Your build must be versatile. Even more with Yi. You are squishy and you are a damage machine, it's easy in your opponents' mind: a good Yi is a dead Yi. And if you don't build any survivability / anti CC item you're as good as dead. If someone says he never built such items with Yi, it means he's a bad Yi. If you die as soon as the fight starts, you're useless for your team. Even if you know when to enter a fight and when to hide yourself, you need survivability items because you can't always know what enemies' spells are on cooldown, if they can CC you and so on...
As you can see there are several different but still quite similar build sequences. I almost always follow one of this build. I'm adapting the items I purchass depending on how well I manage to farm, how my game is going, who I'm facing and so on... I'll explain all of the build later on.
Starter• I was always starting with the Cloth Armor but with the recent nerf on the Health Potions I just felt that it was a waste of gold to keep relying on them. With the major jungle modification and the buff on the jungling masteries, jungling became so easy that the Vampiric Scepter is know far more viable. It makes every jungler an unstopable jungling machine. You can almost go for the red buff before your first recall.
Items bought: Vampiric Scepter. 450g needed.
Jungle Needs• You need 1000g to afford Madred's Razors. You should rush this item instead if your lanes dont need ganks. Take the boots instead if you want to gank or if you are forced to back with only few gold saved.
Items bought: Madred's Razors. 1000g needed.
• But as a jungler you also need mobility, to get back faster to your jungle between each recall and to gank properly. Your next item will be Berserker's Greaves. You need 920g. You would have performed at least one succesful gank and since you have Madred's Razors you will likely have the needed amount really fast. Always remember to get at least 1 or 2 Sight Ward(s) while backing, you need them for your own safety and for your team (it's easy for you to give map awarness to your partners because you are running accross the map and there's not much things the opponents can do to prevent this). You can switch this item in order to get Mercury's Treads instead, in case you're facing an AP/CC team, if so you should not build Negatron Cloak at the end of the early-game.
Items bought: Berserker's Greaves and 1 Sight Ward. 920g / 995g needed.
• Your final jungler item is Wriggle's Lantern. It costs 150g. It will provides you life steal, what you need to kill the dragon. It also gives you the opportunity to constantly have one available Sight Ward. In most of your games you are going to follow the same build sequence but it can change sometimes. You can choose to not build Wriggle's Lantern if you plan to build Zeke's Herald because you will need Emblem of Valor which gives 17% lifesteal (so he can replaces the lantern).
Items bought: Wriggle's Lantern and 1 Sight Ward. 150g / 225g needed.
End of the Early GameNote: For now on the build will be versatile. You can't really say I'm going for this, then that at every games. You need to adapt your build to your needs. I'll give you my point of view on what items to build, when to build it and why.
• Zeal: you will likely need to build this item right after the Wriggle's Lantern but you may need a survivability item before. This is the first step in your damage build. It gives you the attack speed you need to load up Double Strike quicker and also increases your movement speed, two elements needed to gank properly. Zeal is your priority among your offensive items, to take whenever you can afford it. You need 1195g.
Items bought: Zeal. 1195g needed.
• B. F. Sword: this is your main damage items through all end early-game and mid-game. You will probably craft it to get Infinity Edge. You have to build this as soon as you can afford 1650g. You can even take it before Zeal if you already have enough gold. But I'd rather focus on survivability items if I need them.
Items bought: B. F. Sword. 1650g needed.
• Phage: to build if you don't have B. F. Sword and if you need survivability. I build this instead of Giant's Belt when I feel I'm going to have a hard time killing people (because of the lack of pure damages/attack speed at that time). I'm often building it part by part when I'm having troubles to farm, you need 1315g. If you already bought the sword it could be a better choice to build the Giant's Belt instead of Phage. The interesting point here is to get hit points in the same time that you are improving your damages output. It's better to wait to have Zeal to build this. Don't purchass this item if you plan to build Warmog's Armor and not Frozen Mallet.
Items bought: Phage. 1315g needed.
• Giant's Belt: a really useful item if you're lacking survivability. It will improves your survival chances against AP or AD champs. If you already have B. F. Sword go for Giant's Belt as soon as you have 1110g. If you build this item you don't need Phage that early. It's better to wait to have Zeal and/or B. F. Sword to build this.
Items bought: Giant's Belt. 1110g needed.
• Negatron Cloak: to build if you're facing an heavy AP or CC team. This will be used to craft Quicksilver Sash later on in the game. It only costs 740g and really increases your survival chances against mages. It's not a strange item for Yi, it can be really useful. Don't build it if you already built Phage or Giant's Belt. Also only build this if you already built Zeal and/or B. F. Sword if you prefer an offensive playstyle.
Items bought: Negatron Cloak. 740g needed.
Items needed before the next step: Zeal, B. F. Sword and at least one survivability item (I often choose Giant's Belt)
Middle Game• Phantom Dancer: as soon as you have Zeal and B. F. Sword you are ready to build your Phantom Dancer. You need 1650g to purchass it but you can also build it part by part. You should buy this item whenever you feel ready to deal damages. If you don't build survivability item at that time it means either you don't need them (you're facing a noob team) either you forgot to, in that case focus on them instead of finishing this item.
Items bought: Phantom Dancer. 1650g needed.
• Frozen Mallet: Your first high tier survivability item. This will cost about 2000g depending on what item you built first. The point in taking this item is that it also gives a natural slow to each single autoattack and it increases your damages output. If you feel that you don't need both of this effects you should rather build Warmog's Armor.
Items bought: Frozen Mallet. ~2000g needed.
• Quicksilver Sash: An item I almost always build. It gives you an improved version of the summoner spell Cleanse. It disables every negative effects on your champion, even neutralization ! This is a must-have for Yi because as soon as you can't hit someone, you are vulnerable. Yi's strenght relies on quick epic damages, if you can't hit you will get down. It will cost 700g if you already built Negatron Cloak or 1440g if you didn't. This item allows you to disable the eventual CC in teamfights or to run away from a tough situation (remember, under Highlander effects you can't be slowed but you can be stunned or rooted). If you get this, avoid to take Frozen Mallet in the same time or your damage output will suffer a lot.
Items bought: Quicksilver Sash. 700g/1440g needed.
Items needed before the next step: Phantom Dancer and one survivability item.
Late Game• Infinity Edge: What makes you trully epic. It's really expansive since it still costs 2180g even if you already built your B. F. Sword so you can buy it part by part (my advice would be to start of with Cloak of Agility. Once you get this item you can nearly beat anyone 1 versus 1 (maybe excepted the Hax). This will improves your damage output by a lot.
Items bought: Infinity Edge. 2180g needed.
• The Bloodthirster: An expansive item (3000g) because you didn't build anything for this yet. Try to purchass the B. F. Sword first. You will need to sell Madred's Razors if not sold yet to get one inventory slot back. Once you get The Bloodthirster you should stack it a bit (a half) or else you loose some efficiency from the item cost. After getting this item you can kill any hero that doesnt have a CC and no matter how much HP remaining you have. One single hit from you will recover a huge amount of life, considering your critical strikes and your attack speed you can get back to full life easily after such a fight.
Items bought: The Bloodthirster. 3000g needed.
Alternatives ItemsNote: You can't switch any of the three core offensive items. If you need to switch something you need to make a choice among the rest of the items.
Jungler Items• Madred's Razors: Instead of crafting your Wriggle's Lantern you can keep Madred's Razors and build an Emblem of Valor. If you do so it means you're going to build Zeke's Herald later on in the game or else it would be more gold efficient to build the Lantern (higher life steal and other bonuses). Build Emblem of Valor before you kill the dragon (you need the lifesteal to do so) so you should be buying this around end of early game.
• Vision Ward: You may need this in case another jungler is in the place. You can use this wherever you think your rival puts a ward (likely at Dragon and/or Buffs).
Offensive Items• Stark's Fervor: A really useful item on Yi, it gives a nice lifesteal coupled with attack speed. Why not making this a to-take item ? Because you can already have both of this bonuses via other items. The only thing this will add to your build is Armor Penetration that you may need if you're facing an heavily armored enemy team. Zeke's Herald is a bit expansive so you may build it around mid-game.
• Atma's Impaler: An item that needs to be coupled with Warmog's Armor. If so you gain around 55 physical damages thanks to your high HP pool (maybe more, depending on your build). It also gives Critical chances and armor (a higher survivability is always appreciated). This should be build end-game in the same time you're building Warmog's Armor.
• Last Whisper: An item you would need against an heavily armored team. You should not grabb Zeke's Herald if you know you're going to buy this. You should not need both of the armor penalty. Last Whisper is more gold efficient than The Black Cleaver, check below for more informations.
• Sword of the Occult: Care, it's a snowball item, meaning you should never die in order to get the full potential out of this item. Sword of the Occult is gold efficient after 4-5 stacks so even if you die often you should be able to always maintain such an amount of stacks. Grabb this item early game if you feel you're going to be deadly with your opponents. If your ganks work well each time, if you don't die often or if you easily cut them all into pieces, this item is for you. But care, survivability with Yi is very low, snowballing items may not be viable.
Defensive Items• Warmog's Armor: A hugesome buff for your HP pool. Yi is a farming machine he will likely get the full potential of this item soon enough compared to other champs. If you also grabbed Frozen Mallet] this has to be coupled with [[Atma's Impaler. >3000hp is a blessing for Yi since you will get heavily focused. It makes you a bit less squishy (we can't say "a bit more tanky", you are still Yi :P). I would get this at end game because it's an expansive item that you should not afford earlier in the game, it would ruin your damage output.
• Banshee's Veil: An item almost everyone is grabbing at some point in the game. Really useful is you're facing champs like Karthus, Caitlyn or Fiddlestick. I'm getting this as soon as I realize Quicksilver Sash doesnt make it anymore. This two defensive items coupled makes you almost impossible to CC (what you need). But I find myself that it is quite redondant to build them both so I reccomand to choose only one of them.
• Spirit Visage: A cheap item that gives both HP and magic resistance. It also improves the efficiency of Meditate which is good. To buy mid-game if you feel you're too squishy even after having built Frozen Mallet. I'm only buying this when I lack money for offensive items, your build is an AD build after all, you should not invest too much money in defensive items.
• Guardian Angel: Not a fan of this item myself but quite useful. The magic resistance and armor bonus is a nice addition to your survivability items. Really useful since you always get focused to death, if you revive your opponents will likely focus someone else. If Yi is not focused he can Pentakill. Just go for the kill whenever your team engage, you should not die anymore after buying this (excepted if your team sucks, but there I can't help you !).
• Mercury's Treads: To switch with Berserker's Greaves as mentionned above. The Attack Speed boost from the core boots is really useful early game but far less end game. Whereas the extra magic resistance coupled with the 25% tenacity is perfect for an anti-CC Yi.
Items not to take• The Black Cleaver: Less gold efficient than Last Whisper. Why ? Let's do the maths, an opponent with 100 armor will see this number reduced by 45 with The Black Cleaver and 40 points with Last Whisper. An opponent with 200 armor will see this number reduced by 45 with the first item and 80 with the second. What is better ? You can say that the first item also gives other bonuses but if you build an item to get through the enemy armor you're not going for attack speed, you're going for Armor pen, what Last Whisper gives.
• Youmuu's Ghostblade: Why would you build an item that gives the same bonus than Highlander ? Let this to other AD carry, you don't need it, you're already the fastest guy ever. But I'm missing the japanese sound that triggers when I used it :(
Ah, the main part, what you were awaiting for (or at least what I was looking at on Jungle build =D).
Jungling is all about knowing where to go, when to gank, how to ward, when to kill dragon/buffs and so on... I'm not pretending I masterized every aspects to the perfection, but I may have a more or less good idea on how to do.
A lot of junglers don't know when to stop jungling, it's because they are focusing on their little tiny forest. As a lot of guides say, you need to have a good map awarness (knowing where is everyone at any moment, thanks to the minimap, the control map you have thanks to you ward and your allies' communication). Even more because you are the jungler. A lot of things will rely on you to get succesful. So before we go for an in-depth analysis of the jungling Yi style, we need to focus on the other tasks you have to do as the jungler.
General Tasks a Jungler has to do• Be aware of what's going on in the different lans
• If the solo-top or the mid guy needs to port back, go cover his tower while he does
• If you are covering a lane for someone ask him if he wants you to push his lane or not
• Don't stay too long on a lane, don't steal his gold, your partner needs to level up (once I was middle and the jungler denied me 40g, I tried to kill two minions of the next wave and I died...)
• If a lane is doing bad, gank there in priority (the enemy will likely be pushing/overextending because they have the upper hand) Even if you don't kill someone you can make them waste their summoner spells, or give the upper hand to your partners in a matter of HP pools
• Always aim for a gank when you see overextending opponents
• Don't wait too long for a gank, if you see your opponents are not overextending aim straight back to your jungle, you can't afford one single moment of inactivity
• Warding. Use the regular Sight Ward and use the Vision Ward if there's a chance your opponents also warded the place you wanted to look at. Ward the Dragon, ward your buffs, ward the ganking bush of the top and bottom lanes, ward your jungle entrances... Ward wherever you think there's a chance of getting surprised. Don't waste too much gold anyway, ask the two lanes to ward their bush, ask the bottom lan to ward the dragon... Divide the cost among your partners. Wards are especially useful if there's another jungler, warding your entrances will almost lead to a fail counter-jungling.
Jungle RoutesNote: Back whenever you need to, I won't specify each time "you have to port back" because it really depends on how you build your champion. Your main goal will be to always be killing something and to always have the red buff. The Jungle Route is easy and you should not have to back before you have around 700-800 gold.
Jungle RouteWolves (your teamates help you damaging them) [BLACK] Blue Golem [BLACK] Wraiths
Small Golems [BLACK] Red Lizard [BLACK] Wolves [BLACK] Wraiths
Always remember to gang as soon as you get close to a lan where your opponents are overextending (ganging with red buff will makes things 10 times easier).
Go for the Drake as soon as you are level 6 and have Wriggle's Lantern and Berserker's Greaves.
General Tips for jungling• Try to activate Wuju Style when you have Double Strike available in order to get two improved Double Strike, but also try to activate it soon enough to get it re-available before your next creep camp
• Always finish off buffs and dragon with Smite (if unavailable make sure you won't get stolen)
• Don't start jungling before you are sure nobody's hidding in the bush right behind you (wait a few moment to see where your opponents are)
• Be present for the teamfights (or backdoor), and while it's finished if you don't need to heal, clear the enemy jungle if it's safe (3 or more opponents dead) and ward it, if not, go to your own jungle
• Aim straight to your towers if you realize it is going to get pushed
• If you see a lan needs backup and you are currently killing a buff, if you know it will takes more than 3-4 secondes to finish it, let it go and go help your partner(s), the buff will hopefully still be here when you'll get back
• Try to always gank with the red buff (except when your enemies are overextending with low hit points)
• Always ping before ganking ! And ping your target !
• Always keep the control over the dragon, it's a huge advantage for your team
Early GankI like to go for a gank right after the Wolves camp if I see the mid guy is being pushed or if the enemy has low-to-mid hit points. You just hit your third level, you have Wuju Style level 2, Alpha Strike, Double Strike and Exhaust available, you're up for a gank. Be sure your ally knows you're going to gank (ping the map !).
When to stop jungling ?As soon as you realize mid-game has started you should stop jungling and go for the regular push & back game. You can grab some creep kills, but always be sure to be close enough to some of your partners, in order to help or to be helped (use a lot of wards at that time). To sum up: stop jungling when your allies can't stay/hold their lans anymore with the regular 1/1/2/+1 jungler composition.
Counter Jungling - Doing it and Suffering it
Doing itIf you are facing a team who also have a jungler, you're not safe. Yi is fragile, even more if someone attacks you at a critical moment (low hit points). You have no escape mechanism at start and a lot of jungler do have a chase/escape skill ( Udyr's Bear Stance, Nocturne's Duskbringer for instance).
To properly counter-jungle you need wards. It's not an option (you can even switch two Health Potions for a Sight Ward at start, and wait few seconds at respawn to grabb another Health Potion). You are going to use them on both of his buffs, so that as soon as he's doing them you can kill him and take his buff with Smite. Don't kill the buff before your rival is dead, he's also attacking him (so he helps you out !).
After you take down the Wolves you aim straight for the enemy wraiths, you kill the blue one then you keep going, you kill one of his small golems. If he started by his blue buff he might be there so be careful. It's a risky move so it's up to your playstyle of doing so.
Warding the dragon is even more needed if there's another jungler, it deals a lot of damages and it's almost sure you can kill the other jungler and finish off the dragon if you spot him. Moreover, it's an advantage you can't let the other team take uppon yours.
You may use Vision Ward if you think your rival warded somewhere.
You may ask your support if you have one to use Clairvoyance on a specific spot you think your rival is.
If one of your lan is overextending, there's a chance the enemy jungler is going to gank there. You can counter gank them, try to be there at the moment he ganks and you have a chance of triple (or double if it's a solo lan) kill.
Suffering itA counter-jungling rival will likely try to gank you at blue at first minute of the game. Considering you are starting at small golems he will fail. You can also be ganked at this spot but there's not much chance, your allies can cover the first bush at start and coming to your help if they gank you (I already scored a double kill before the minions spawned because two guys randomly tried to gank me there, my two mates were there, ask your team to help you, ping the map).
He can also kills the big blue wraiths and/or one of your golem and ward your buffs, use Vision Ward nearby your buffs and Sight Ward nearby your wraiths/golems/wolves. As soon as you see he's in your jungle ask your teamates to gank him. An easier way than warding everywhere is to ward the entrances of your jungle, it works perfectly well. If you warded the right way you could be able to know where your rival is at any moment of the game. If so always tell your partners where is he to avoid them to be ganked.
If your rival suddenly comes out of nowhere, steal your buff and try to kill you, it means you didnt warded the right way. Ward more or grabb Wriggle's Lantern faster in your build (before Berzerker's Greaves for instance).
You should use a Vision Ward to cover your dragon because it will likely be warded by your opponent.
Enough about jungling, let's move on to finally focus on Yi's abilities...
In this section I will focus on how and when you should use your abilities.
• Don't use it if you are already close to an opponent, the damage output is less useful than the chasing mechanism.
• Always engage a creep group by using this spell.
• In few situations you can use this to flee away (jump on an enemy minions who's far away from the danger, jump on a creep and so on...).
• If you are getting tower dived you can use this to be untargetable by autoattacks or target shots during the frame, but if your opponent use a target shot before you jump you're going to die and if he uses a skillshot on the location you were before you jump you will die too.
• It shots 4 different targets, meaning if you are in an early teamfight (sometime there are teamfight occuring on level 1) and an enemy champ is running away with low hp but he's out of the range of your spell, you can still use it on a close enemy champ, you have a chance to kill the low HP guy, same thing on minions, if an enemy champ with low hp is sitting behind his minions, hoping for some XP you can try to kill him this way.
Meditate. If you are low hit points and you think your opponent is going to try a tower dive or if he's low hit points too but more confident, you can bait him. Feint to recall and he will likely jump on you. Instantly use Meditate, wait until it's finished or until your opponent realizes he's getting damaged more than you do (either by the tower or your minions) and then attack your enemy with Wuju Style enabled, if he's already too far (or to chase him down) use Alpha Strike.
• It also gives the opportunity to switch the tide of a battle. Go into a bush while getting chased, use Meditate and sometimes you will have more hit points than your chaser, kill him !
• You can also use Meditate to reduce an incoming source of damages ( Caitlyn or Veigar's ultimates for instance).
• You can use it while being hit if you need few seconds to have Highlander or Wuju Style back in order to enable both to kill your opponent.
• If you're about to die during a teamfight but your allies can still help you, cast Meditate and ping your location, your allies may notice you're not dieing as they expected you to and come to your rescue. Congratulations ! You are now tanking !
• Finally you can cast Meditate if you are fighting creeps (with Wuju Style disabled) and you realise you are going to die, use this and re-active Wuju Style to finish off the creeps before they kill you.
Note: Meditate looses any effectiveness against a stun (like Pantheon's Aegis of Zeonia or Twisted Fate's Pick A Card - Gold Card).
Double Strike skill, at any moment of the game (except maybe level 1) if you enables Wuju Style as soon as Double Strike is ready, you will have two improved Double Strike, this is a lot of free damages bonuses ! It also goes with Critical Strike and Madred's Razors procc (so double procc and double cs) !
• If you're going for a gank be sure to have Double Strike ready, paired with an activated Wuju Style your first hit will do approximately 150-180 damages early game.
• You can active this to finish off Buffs/Dragons faster, but try to activate it when you know you are going to finish it because once the passive is off you deal really low damages.
• You don't need to activate it while being on Highlander, on the contrary, keep it in case your enemy doesnt die from your ultimate, it's like a second skill to enable if your ultimate wasn't enough.
Highlander, you may need it to finish off your opponent or to run away if everything goes wrong.
• Sometimes you don't need your ultimate to fight a champion, you don't have to fear if you realize your ultimate is on cooldown. Wuju Style and autoattacks may be enough to get rid of a lot of squishy champions.
• You can enables it to take down a tower quickly, paired with Wuju Style you only need few seconds to destroy it.
• It's also a mean to escape a tough situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is mainly questions I asked myself. I find an answer for all of them and I'd like to share it with you.
• Why wouldn't I start at Blue's Golem ?
You can totally open up your jungle with the blue buff. It is easier to keep jungling over the levels if you start by taking this mana buff. But it has also cons. You can be easily ganked at start (if you have a team that doesnt help at all, and even if they are 3 what if you're being ganked by the whole enemy team ?), another jungler can steal your buff with Smite if you don't use it at the right time or if he uses it before you. Starting by small golems leads you to be level 2 faster, it allows you to gank with almost full life at level 3 after the wolves. I think starting by small golems is all in all a better start for Master Yi.
• Why don't I manage to kill the Blue Golem after the Wolves ?
It can be a problem of remaining hit points, you need 3/4 of your life to kill it. It can also be a problem of runes, or skill sequence. You should be able to take it down with very few hit points remaining, don't be afraid. It's when you hesitate to keep fighting that you die.
• I never manage to hit someone in teamfights, I always get killed before, what do I do wrong ?
What is your position during teamfights ? Behind your tank ? Hide in a bush waiting for an opportunity to cut the head off an opponent ? Or on the contrary running in an openfield fighting the first enemy you meet ? Try to analyse your behaviour during teamfight. Yi is really fragile and needs a serious amount of reflexion before going in fight. Can an opponent blinds you ? Stuns you ? Is the enemy team really grouped ? If yes how is your team positionated ? Yi needs his teamates around him to lure the focus (even if they will still try to focus you down). If you are taking the firepower of the opponent team it means you just tanked for your team. Yi is not a tank at all, we all know this, nevertheless his Meditate paired with few survivability items can make you the epic lure for the enemy team.
• My team lost whereas I had my final build, how is it possible ?
Yi can obliterate a noob team, 1v2, 1v3 he doesn't fear much as long as you don't get stunned. If you play it the wrong way you are going to be totally useless to your team, no matter your stuff. You can't expect an enemy team to ignore you, it will be the contrary. If you engage or enters the fight at a bad time you can make your team loose the game because they will lack your damage output (you'll be dead !). Remember you are a major damage dealer in your team but one of the squishiest.
• Why are there more than 6 items in the item sequence ?
Because you will sell Madred's Razors and because it's only a sum up of what you may build to be efficient.
• Can I double stack Phantom Dancer ? Is double stacking viable ?
Yes you can but it's not efficient and viable at all. Yeah you will hit as fast as a machinegun. But what's the point hitting really fast if you can't actually hit anyone ? It's useless. A Quicksilver Sash or a Warmog's Armor is ten times more useful than a second Phantom Dancer. I already seen videos where Master Yi built two Phantom Dancer and two The Bloodthirster. He was freaking obliterating everyone. But they were noobs. It doesnt work in a real game, people know what you are capable of.
• Am I invulnerable while casting Alpha Strike ?
Enemies can't target you with target skill (click a target) but they can hit you with skill shot if they use it at the place you were when you casted Alpha Strike. Also if an enemy used a target shot at you before you casted Alpha Strike you will be hit.
07-11-11: Build created
07-13-11: Build almost finished
07-14-11: Beta Build posted
07-18-11: Build reworked, changed the Item section, presentation and few texts improved, added FAQ section
07-22-11: Build reworked
07-27-11: Removed "Build Analysis section" and all other Yi builds to make it clearer (thanks Searz)
07-29-11: The guide has been Vet Voted \o/ Thanks to the review of jhoijhoi ! I also fixed mistakes she found out. I may add videos soon.
11-19-11: Updated Jungle Runes for Master Yi.
11-28-11: Guide updated : Masteries & Jungle Routes
12-04-11: Starting Item changed according to Health Potion nerf
08-25-12: Guide updated to reflect the jungle changes
I'd like to thanks this community. It's an amazing learning tool. Also thanks to all the teachers (there are so much guides O_O), it's nice to see people helping each other. I'd like to think my guide will be useful to those who read it.
I also thanks jhoijhoi for his review. She made my Guide a Vet Recomanded and allow you to read it. You can thanks her too.
If you go so far I'd like you to tell me if the guide needs something more, what question I should develop or if I just missed something.
See you on the battlefield summoners !
Note: Please comment and rate this, feedbacks are useful to improve the guide and rating will bump up this guide. Also if you downrate this please leave a comment to know what did I do wrong. Thanks in advance for all votes/comments.
(AP) The Dark Side of Master Yi~
(AD) How to Master Yi~
The Alpha Male S3 v2
[S3] Master Yi, The Wuju Jungle Style (AD)