Master Yi Build Guide by ScoobySniper74
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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 is an infamous champion in League. People think he is easy to play or that he is just a pubstomper. And they are right. Yi IS easy to play and he DOES stomp low elos. What the masses don't mention is how important decision-making is and that to play well on any champion you need to have good game sense. I am here to help you make those decisions and give you more game sense that is relevant to Master Yi.
Pros / Cons
-Insane late game
-Best split-pushing jungler
-Make enemy team rage at each other
-Not a team player
-Team will hate you if you don't carry
-Team will hate you until you start carrying
Smite is a must. Stop asking, you are the jungler.
I like teleport. You can use it to farm faster for first couple clears, and also make plays by tp-ganking(highly advise against this pre-6). Not to mention the split-pushing power it offers.
Exhaust, Flash, Ghost could all work as well, but once you learn how to use your teleport I think you will agree with me that is it the best option.
Marks: 9x Attack Speed
Options: AD, Armor Pen
Explanation: Master Yi scales incredibly with AttkSpd because of his Q and E. More auto attacks equals lower Q CD and more true damage. His passive scales with Attack Speed as well.
Seals: 9x Armor
Options: Attack Speed
Explanation: New jungle kicks your *** basically. I used to run AttkSpd in S3/4 but switched for S5 and it has worked better so far.
Glyphs: Attack Speed
Options: MR, Scaling MR
Explanation: Glyphs don't offer Yi much. You could get some more MR, but I find the best Defense is Offense with Master Yi. And AttkSpd is the best Offensive stat.
Quints: You guessed it- Attack Speed.
Options: Lifesteal, AD, Armor Pen, Movement Speed
Explanation: Quints are really versatile. Again I go with Attack Speed because it works so well with his entire kit.
21/0/9- Need 21 in Offense. Most junglers take 9 in Defense to help with early clears. Yi doesn't need the help, so the Movement speed, shorter TP CD, longer buff duration and increase in potion efficiency is much more valuable.
Early: Q, W, Q, E.
E is all about scaling so taking it at level 3 doesn't make much sense. W at level 2 in case your leash sucks or you get screwed over early somehow.
After level 4: R, Q, E, W.
Ult first as usual.
Q 2nd because it makes you melt jungle camps and E requires more AD and AttkSpd to be worth it.
E before W because by level 13, E is scaling well enough to be worth it.
In-depth Skill Explanation
Passive: Double Strike - One of the many synergies Yi has with Attack Speed. Also helps a ton with early clears, especially after smiting Krugs. The extra Auto DOES reduce the CD of your Q. Pretty straight forward.
Q: Alpha Strike - Tons of cool tricks and ways to use this. Let's set the rules up first though. You will, for all intents and purposes, disappear from existence for as long as you are Alpha Striking. How long it lasts depends on how many enemies you hit and how far away they are from each other. You can and should try to follow people who use dashes or blinks with this - even if its not over a wall it can mean the difference between a kill and an escaped victim. And 1 kill getting away can be the difference between losing a team fight and getting a pentakill. Eventually using this skill becomes a DPS loss, so only use it for other purposes late game, like : a gap closer, to follow someone who uses a dash or blink, to become untargettable, to finish off an opponent as well as chunk their nearby teammates to possible set up some resets, etc. This skill CAN crit and it IS affected by the Infinity Edge passive.
Note: Do your best to not use this to clear minion waves while split-pushing. If an enemy attacks you while it is on CD, you have little to no opportunity to outplay them.
W: Meditate - Early game it can be used to sustain yourself in the jungle - be careful though it costs a ton of mana. Late game it is best used in 1 of 2 ways. 1) To mitigate a burst of damage. Easiest to use against predictable burst damage mages such as Annie or LeBlanc. In this case, start channeling right before they use their combo, and stop channeling as soon as the danger has passed. 2) To stall. Using it to stall only works against someone that does sustained damage and cannot interrupt your channel (i.e. most ADCs). Team fight breaks out, you wait a couple seconds until the enemy mage is low enough for you to kill with a single Q. You rush in, finish her off, but now you are stuck in the back line surrounded by the enemy team, and your team is busy finishing off the enemy bruiser. Start channeling your W - enemy can't finish you off, and you buy time for your team to collapse. Can also be used to stall long enough to get your Q back up and continue the massacre.
E: Wuju Style - Extremely simple, but powerful ability. Activate when you are going to be able to stay on the target for a good amount of the duration. Q'ing before you activate is only recommended on jungle camps and in situations where doing absolute maximum dps is the most important. I have already gone over Q and how versatile of a tool it is - don't want to go wasting it.
BONUS SECTION: With the Chosen Master Yi Skin, Wuju Style's state determines the color of your lightsaber. When E is active, your lightsaber is red. When E is ready to use, but not active, your lightsaber is green. And when E is on unavailable and inactive, your lightsaber turns blue.
R- Highlander: Big movement and attack speed boost, makes you immune to slows the passive allows your resets. Pretty short Cooldown, so use it whenever you think you can get a kill with it. That being said, try your hardest not to fight without it - it is extremely important to stay on top of your target with Yi, so without your ult it is very hard a lot of times to weave auto attacks in while keeping up with you target.
- Start with Hunter's Machete, 2 Health Potions, and a Yellow Trinket.
- First back you want to upgrade your smite, and get atleast 2 Health Pots.
Note: Your first 3 items: Berserker Greaves, Jungle item w/ Warrior, and Blade of the Ruined King all build out of Longswords and Daggers. Every time you back until you complete these 3 items, you can buy a component that will never cost more than 450g.
-Early game build towards having Boots of Speed, your upgraded Smite item, and a Bilgewater Cutlass.
-Work towards the Blade of the Ruined King and Berserker Greaves by stocking up on Daggers.
-Once BoRtK and AttkSpd boots are done, build towards the Warrior Enchant and the Brutalizer for your Ghostblade by stocking up on Longswords.
-Ghostblade adds the most flat ArP in the game: 20. Warrior adds another 10, so you are cutting 30 of an ADC's armor off - makes it much easier to burst them down with a few auto's and your Q to start the reset train. The CDR from the Brutalizer's is nice too, because usually when you build an auto attacking champion there isn't much room for it. The AD is actually super important here, because so far you only have 25 AD actually built, and then a bunch of Attack Speed. The AD will help add some power to your rapid strikes.
-Use the Ghostblade active whenever you Ult. Also use it when you feel pressured to finish an objective quicker, a tower they are rotating to, taking a Dragon out from under their noses, making a risky Baron call, or focusing down the Nexus while they are respawning. I use it most often in conjunction with my Ult to give myself HUGE Attack and especially Movement Speed. 2nd most often when I am rushing down a tower when I know they re coming for me.
-These are your 4 core items: Berkserker Greaves, Jungle Item w/ Warrior, Blade of the Ruined King, and Ghostblade. From here the build can drastically change.
-In a lot of situations you are going to want Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster to round out the build. But sometimes you need to pick up 2 completely different items, depending on the situation. I've outlined when to pick up each situational item below. If the game doesn't meet any of these situations, build Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster.
-Maw of Malmortius vs. Banshee's Veil: Best to buy when the enemy has a very fed mage. Against a fed Ahri for example, a Banshee's is a better option because she needs to hit that Charm to 1v1 you. Another example would be Brand, because he needs to combo his stun onto you to 1v1 you. Against a fed LeBlanc though, she doesn't need to combo anything, she just needs to cast all of her abilities on you and then if you die you lose, if you live you win. The shield helps in this case to effectively give you a higher HP pool against her burst. Also, the passive helps you finish her off after her burst fails to kill you.
-Mercurial Scimitar: When you need QSS for something such as Skarner, Malzahar, Warwick, Lissandra, Veigar, etc. You KNOW they are going to be aiming these hardcore lockdown abilites at you, so you have to have a way to defend yourself.
-Last Whisper: Normally you don't need this because you get your resets off the squishies and then shred down the tanks with your auto attacks. This is a budget item - maybe you need a powerspike for the next teamfight or you are about to respawn and attempt to backdoor them but don't have enough money for IE or BT. Last but not least, you build this when you need to actually focus the tanks. Something like Maokai top, Sejuani jungle, Cho'gath mid, and Leona Support. There is no getting around these guys - you need to kill them and they are all stacking 300+ armor.
-Frozen Mallet: You can get on top of enemies, but once they start running you can't keep up with them AND auto attack. This is going to be a rare situation because of your Ult, Ghostblade, and BoRtK, but if you find yourself constantly getting outran by the tanky Udyr or Singed this is the item you want.
-Guardian Angel: Buy this item to be the best distraction possible. Maybe your ADC is fed, but the enemy blows you up and then relentlessly dives for your ADC. This item can win your team the teamfight because it'll buy time for your ADC to go to town.
-Warmog's Armor: Just gives you a huge chunk of HP for mixed damage threats. Also a good item if the game has bogged down into sieges that you need to be there for. When they land poke on you, you can heal it back without having to base or put yourself in danger to lifesteal off the minions.
-Ravenous Hydra: A close 7th behind BT, but BT's shield and higher Lifesteal percentage are more valuable than the Cleave on your Auto attacks. Amazing for clearing minions waves quicker without wasting your Q. Only build this if you have been mostly fighting minions in your split-push attempts. BT is more useful in duels and teamfights.
-Trinity Force: A surprisingly not ****ty item. This is personal preference. None of the 3 components suck on Yi. The only item I would consider replacing for this is Ghostblade. Problem is, Ghostblade is super cheap, offers flat ArP which is pretty hard to come by, and the active acts as a mini ultimate to be used. Doesn't give enough raw damage to replace IE and doesn't add any lifesteal to compete with BT for your final slot.
-Stattic Shiv: I am actually strongly against Master Yi and Shiv together. It does not bring enough Auto Attack dps to the table. If you want to add some waveclear to this build, build Hydra. I wanted to mention this item because I know it is pretty popular on Master Yi, but I really do advise against it. This guide isn't going to dictate your actions though, so I guess if you want to try to fit it in some where you can try.
Early Clears & Tips for Laning Phase and Mid game
Krugs(smite), Red, Raptors(smite if you think you might see a ward), Wolves(smite to protect from invade), Gromp, Blue, Back to Base.
TP to turret closest to Krugs and do the same clear again, skipping Red and Blue because they won't be up. Do Rift Scuttler after Gromp and/or after Raptors. You have about a minute here to maybe gank (Be Careful!!!) or get some vision in river or their jungle (Be careful!!!). Back to Base.
TP back to same turret. Smite 'em and do the same full clear as first. From here you gotta start to feel out how the game is flowing. A couple tips moving forward:
-Probably want to stop TP'ing to that Krug turret now that you have Ult and some items you can actually make some plays around the map with it.
-Rift scuttle gives amazing gold, but is quite easy to get caught out so if you are taking scuttle by yourself and spot an enemy, get the hell outta there. It's not worth dying for it.
-Never try to make a TP play without your ult, it is too easy to kite and/or outplay you when you aren't immune to slows and running 100 miles an hour.
-Be patient. If you don't think a fight looks good, just run. Your team is going to hate you whether you ran away and lived or dove in too late and just gave up another kill.
-As the jungler, time is your most important resource. Doesn't matter if you are playing Nautilus or Master Yi - you always have something to do and you always have to be doing something. If you literally can't do anything safely at the time, then go back to base.
In-depth Jungle clearing mechanics & What to Smite and When
Start every camp by auto attacking the creep you want to kill first, then immediately Q to dodge the first auto.
Only E after you Q, and when you are about to go home or you need the extra dps to survive.
Don't waste your passive procs. If your passive is up and the 2nd small wolf is going to die in 1 auto anyway, use your passive on the big wolf, switch back to small wolf to kill it, and then continue as normal.
Blue- Kill the big guy first, but do not underestimate the gold or especially the XP value of the little guys next to him. The buff is nice because you never have to worry about mana when you Q and you can even Meditate freely when you feel like it. Your mid laner is going to hate you for taking it usually, so you can give it to them if you want, but I recommend taking it yourself because Yi just wants as much gold and XP as possible and as soon as possible.
Red - Same as above. Kill the big guy first, but do not underestimate the gold or especially the XP value of the little guys next to him. Very valuable to smite because it returns 15% of your missing health whether you have Ranger's Trailblazer or not. The actual buff is amazing on Yi all throughout the game - early, mid, or late. So try to always take this, unless your is super fed, needs to kite one of the enemies super hard (Renekton, Shyvana, etc.), or they picked an adc whose kit is built around kiting like Kalista or Ezreal. The burn that applies on auto attacks helps with clear speed more than most people realize as well.
Krugs- Kill small one first, smite whenever possible early, saves you a ton of health between all the attack speed you have from runes and the fact that your passive procs it. Waste of a smite late game because you already take no damage from jungle and the true damage on first auto against turrets is very meh, since you already melt structures. If invading, almost never smite Krugs unless you need to get outta there quickly because chances are you aren't doing a full clear of your jungle and that is the most useful thing to do with this buff.
Raptors- Kill small ones first, usually it goes: AA small, Q, AA 2nd small, AA 3rd small, Kill big. You may need to use 2 autos on the small ones early. Kind of the opposite of Krugs here in that its kind of useless early. I don't recommend ganking before level 6, hell going through an entire laning phase without ganking once is pretty common, so no need to clear out any laner's wards. Only time you want to smite early game is if you think the enemy warded your jungle - just because you aren't ganking doesn't mean you should just give free information to the enemy. Later in the game, you want to smite this camp extremely often - keep your jungle clear of wards, keep Baron or Dragon clear of wards if they are up soon, and clear out enemy wards in neutral territory just for the sake of it. If invading enemy's raptor camp, smite is recommended to deny them the buff so you can get your own vision down safely.
Wolves - Kill small ones first. AA small #1, Q, AA small #1 and should be dead, AA small #2, AA Big one to not waste your passive, AA small #2 for the kill, and then clear big one. That is the usual farm pattern early game. Smiting this is completely situational. Against any heavy invaders that you know are gonna **** around in your jungle, i.e. Shaco, Nunu, or someone with a Poacher's Knife - you are gonna want to smite this extremely often to keep your blue side clear. If invading, smite this camp EVERY time. It gives SO much information. If anyone on the enemy team roams through their blue side jungle for the next minute and a half or so, the spirit will alert your team instantly.
Gromp - AA, Q, activate E because this is usually final camp in your clear before going back, and this guy hurts so killing him quicker is a bonus. I wouldn't really recommend smiting this guy often. If you are forced to start Blue side, then smite him for the increased clear speed, but after that I don't really see a reason to ever waste your smite on this camp. If invading, only smite if you need to get outta there quickly, because the buff really does little for you.