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Master Yi Build Guide by ParadoX911

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author ParadoX911

This will be... a harsh lesson [Yi Mid Guide] (3.12)

ParadoX911 Last updated on October 12, 2013
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AD Carry/Burst

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
14
16
17
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
15
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

News

Changelog:
[30.09.2013.] - Guide created.
[12.10.2013.] - AD carry Assassin build added (core) + new chapters
.
Possible future plans:
[Stale]Adding match-up chapter
[Stale]Adding video guide
[Stale]Adding more pictures to guide


Guide Top

Introduction

Master Yi has through a lot of changes and obstacles. From being underplayed melee carry to overpowered and annoying AP mage. I never liked AP Master Yi because my auto attacks almost didn't deal any damage and meditate was so annoying and unfair, but I loved Alpha Strike burst damage and great minion clearing ability. I even tried take hybrid item build on Yi, but it just was too weak, if not going pure AP or AD. I always felt that Master Yi right spot is being AD carry, but there was no spot for melee AD carries in current META.

In patch 3.10 Master Yi got visual upgrade and kit rework. These upgrades made me happy. After trying new Master Yi out I felt that he's on right spot, but after some time, I noticed after playing against Master Yi he's ridiculously noob-friedly (low risk, high reward) - you couldn't do anything to him after killing blow because of Q being untargetable and of E allowing to grant bigger AD ratio while granting more flat, AD ratio True Damage, Q damage. It was really frustrating to deal with him without hard-CC, he was the most picked and banned champion (about 90%) with 53-54% win rate. It was so easy to play with him while being a huge threat to enemy team. I hated it (if I lost game, everyone flamed me for being horrible with broken champ or if I won the game, I also got flamed by picking 0 skill champion) and waited for proper nerf.

Finally the long waited Master Yi nerf was live and IMO Master Yi is on ideal spot. Two main Master Yi problems were fixed - E AD ratio boost per rank and fully Q reset on kill. Now playing Master Yi requires skill which made noob-friendly players lose a lot of games after patch making Master Yi "trash" in their eyes.

Example: Every time I take Master Yi in ranked play mid lane, I so often hear: "pls no yi", "why yi", "troll", "ad or ap yi?" (seriously?), "we need ap mid" (umh... Zed, Kha'Zix?).

After lot of testing I found perfect build to lead you, Master Yi fans, to victory. Now let me teach you... a harsh lesson.


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Why AD Yi Mid-lane?

Ofcourse I might aswell go top lane or jungle, but why mid-lane? In top lane it is really hard to deal with tanks and bruisers with squishy Master Yi even if you max E for flat true damage, while stacking health can counter you. It's not a no lane for Master Yi, but the major thing why Master Yi can't go top-lane is lack of tanks (as you see, I focus more on assassin build than split pusher).
In jungle Master Yi excels on clearing jungle really fast and counter jungling. But then he has no CC in his kit, low jungler gold income compared to lane gold income and risk to lose Dragon/Baron while split-pushing, because of Smite. As Season 4 promised jungle and support gold income will become bigger I'll try jungle Master Yi more in jungle.

Lets finally answer, why mid-lane? Before rework AP Master Yi was strong in lane, because of strong, safe harass, huge sustain and great farming abilities. Then why AD Yi was not a thing then compared to AP Yi? Weak sustain, weak and random minion kills, but great harass (kinda). After rework mid-lane Master Yi saved specific great qualities - great harass and most important constant, strong farming ability, which plays huge part of mid-lane Master Yi.


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Pros / Cons

Pros


+ Huge Damage Output (if snowballed)
+ Great Farming Ability
+ High Mobility
+ Resets
+ Tower Destroyer
+ High Reward


Cons


- Squishy
- No CC
- Early mana issues
- Melee Auto-Attacker
- Countered by hard CC and invulnerability
- Heavy Focused
- High Risk


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Summoner Spells

Best Choices:
.


As Master Yi has no reliable escapes except Highlander which is his ultimate, you'll need to take Flash to survive unexpected ganks or other tricky situations.


Best ability to finish someone in order to gain resets and kills.
Spoiler: Click to view

Optional Choices:
.

It works really well with Master Yi as he has already build-in high mobility with Alpha Strike and Highlander to keep lane pressure when needed, but it sacrifice Ignite instead of Teleport for kill secure.


As Master Yi is squishy Barrier could help survive lethal attacks while losing Ignite and being able to get killed by it.


It's an option against high-CC, sustained damage dealers or tanky carries with no escapes like Ryze or Swain.


Generally it's a bad spell as Highlander gives same effect thought it has good synergy with it and Flash is much stronger choice for Master Yi.


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Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage It scales with all Master Yi abilities, except Meditate, bringing the highest possible early damage. Mark of Armor Penetration is not an option, because it doesn't scale with other abilities aswell Master Yi already has True damage from Wuju Style

Greater Seal of Armor Standard seals for mid-laner.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist Against magic dealers flat magic resist help Master Yi farm and harass safer, as he is melee carry.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage Same as Greater Mark of Attack Damage.


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Masteries

Standard [21/9/0] masteries for AD carry with exception Hardiness and Resistance depending on situation (what kind of damage dealer you face in lane).


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Abilities


[Passive] Double Strike

Great passive to farm better, harass opponents and to destroy towers faster. Every 4th attack will proc Double Strike do deal instant second attack with 50% reduced physical damage reduction ignoring on hit effects, meaning everytime you get 3 or 4 Double Strike stack you can harass opponent with Wuju Style with full True damage potential.
Second attack from Double Strike will proc additional Double Strike stack making Double Strike strike twice every 3rd attack, which allows destroy towers really fast.


[Q] Alpha Strike
Leap that damages up to four units, but now it has constant increased damage dealt to minions, meaning you'll have much easier time farming in lane, similar to old AP Yi, which is why mid-lane AD Yi is a thing compared to old AD Yi. Additionally Alpha Strike now deals damage to four closest units to each other, meaning at Alpha Strike (Rank 3) you'll be able kill caster minions instantly with possibility harassing enemy champion without being in contact (not so random anymore), this is why I max Q first = higher nuke, faster farming.

The best part of Alpha Strike rework is ability to crit which gives huge damage spike to Master Yi damage output similar as AP Yi did. Also auto-attacks reduce Alpha Strike cooldown by 1 second, reducing it by 2 seconds with Double Strike proc.


[W] Meditate
Meditate is changed so Master Yi couldn't use it typical healing tool. Instead now it is more a surviving tool with better heal, as lower you are on hp, and changed from flat resistances to damage reduction. So use Meditate whenever you are low on hp if you're not recalling back or when to survive burst potential. Take point early at level 3 as it has saved my life countless times right before I killed enemy with Ignite on.

Major thing what is changed about Meditate is damage reduction is changed to half against towers, meaning don't tank towers or you'll die instead. Use Meditate to survive last towers hit instead.


[E] Wuju Style
Cooldown massively reduced, Wuju Style duration reduced, active changed to True damage, it has AD ratio on both passive and active, no mana cost. A lot of changes. There are two things which allows Master Yi harass opponents often is CD reduction and true damage. With having about 94 AD at level 2, meaning you'll do about 141+38TD=179DMG with Double Strike proc ignoring Alpha Strike damage, which is a lot. And with reduced CD sacrificing Wuju Style duration you can harass opponent much often than you used to with old AD Yi. Later in game True damage will allow you to duel tanky enemies.


[R] Highlander
Highlander now has a passive and active. Part of active (Resets) is changed as passive, which I find is really great change, because it solves mana problems which you had with old Yi Highlander reactivation, now instead on killing or assists duration is increased while Highlander has it's own cooldown. Major thing what is changed is the way how basic abilities are reseted. Now instead reseting basic ablities fully, it resets 70% of CD in order to use auto-attacks or Meditate to reactivate Alpha Strike, which is reasonable, because old AD Yi didn't do much with Alpha Strike back then, old AP Yi did a lot of damage with Alpha Strike with full resets, but was useless if he couldn't finish him, but when combine similar effects in one piece, it made Master Yi "broken", which hyped noob-friendly players to exploit Yi's capabilities.


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Items - AD-Carry Assassin Build (Constant)

Sight Ward
Starting Items

I always take these items, when going to lane. Crystalline Flask is such a great items for Master Yi. Most of time Alpha Strike while farming/harassing and Meditate while recovering will soak your mana. This item will help you recover your mana aswell will recover your health as Meditate is a weaker heal you're not low enough. The best part of this item is that you call sell it later to get little more needed gold to buy big items.
Health Potion is great when you are being harassed hard and need health to recover quickly.
Aswell Sight Ward helps you notice upcoming ganks as Yi doesn't have any escape in his kit while laning.


Doran's Blade
Doran's Blade is next needed damage item as it gives you AD/HP/and 5 HP per hit which synergies well with Double Strike.


Boots of Speed
Self-explained. You need additional MS to avoid ganks easier.


Youmuu's Ghostblade
This item is specially made for melee ad-carries, which makes Master Yi shine. Youmuu's Ghostblade gives everything Master Yi needs - Attack Damage, Cooldown Reduction, Critical chance, Movement Speed, Attack Speed and Armor Penetration, it almost like it's made for Master Yi only. Lets take a deeper look, why!
The Brutalizer, getting it early after finishing Doran's Blade and Boots of Speed will give you enough AD, CDR and most important ArP. At this state of game enemy laners will probably build armor items to avoid you damage output, like Seeker's Armguard or Ninja Tabi. It's even better if they skip armor, because if lower their armor get the more damage you'll deal, while AD will increase your overall boost and CDR will lower your Alpha Strike cooldown meaning you'll be able to farm and harass opponent more frequently.
And now for Youmuu's Ghostblade. The sad part is that it only gives 30 AD, which is not a lot compared to other AD items, but most important it gives 20 ArP, 15% Crit and amazing active is huge for Master Yi. 20 ArP is a lot while you're still laning, this will negate Cloth Armor users and make squishy champions squishier. Then getting 15% Crit is huge thing as it will increase your damage dealt as you're auto-attacker - combined with Double Strike it will ensure you'll crit this early in game, not to mention Alpha Strike crit scaling. And the most important part of Youmuu's Ghostblade active: Grants you 20% MS and 40% AS compared to Highlander (25% MS, 35% AS (rank 1)) is almost equal. So basically you get a second Highlander with only 45s CD, and combined these both together, well... you won't outrun Master Yi. And combined all stats together, you get great item, which is made for Master Yi only for 2700g. That's indeed cost-effective purchase during early-mid game.
Spoiler: Click to view


Boots
Complete you boots to Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi. Grab Mercury's Treads if you have problems with CC or magic damage dealers or grab Ninja Tabi if physical damage dealers cause you problems. Mostly I prefer Mercury's Treads, that's why I sell Ninja Tabi for Mercury's Treads later in game.


Mid Items
As auto-attacker you'll need Vampiric Scepter to sustain yourself during skirmishes and team-fights. As for Zeal, you should get it right after Vampiric Scepter to increase your dueling capabilities, by adding more crit chance for stronger auto-attacks and more frequent Alpha Strike crit proc, by adding more AS to lower Alpha Strike faster, increase your DPS and by adding MS to ensure you're stuck to your target.

or
AD item
As you got enough AS and Crit, you need to get another AD item. Choice between Pickaxe and B. F. Sword depends on how much gold do you have. I would always prefer to get B. F. Sword instead, but usually I don't have enough gold to purchase it after next Recall as it is 675 gold more expensive. The goal here is getting AD items which builds Infinity Edge later on.
.
********************************************************************
.
QUESTION?
Why do you switch items between AD and Crit/AS so often? Why not finishing them?

.
First of all, look at Master Yi kit. He almost benefits from AD/AS/Crit equally - AD gives boosts AA, Alpha Strike and Wuju Style, AS also AA, Alpha Strike and Wuju Style and Crit AA, Alpha Strike and Wuju Style passive. While crit doesn't synergies with Wuju Style active, it doesn't matter as Wuju Style active is just a bonus to deal with tanky champions. So basically Master Yi kit benefits equally to AD/AS/Crit, meaning, you will need to buy items, also slow and steady, to maximize Master Yi damage potential as AD-Carry Assassin. This is why Youmuu's Ghostblade is such a good item on Master Yi. Also its cheaper to get them in middle-game than higher tier items. Forcing on one stat early will lower your overall damage output while increasing specific ability's damage (it's also a choice, but then you'll need to check Burst Assassin Build instead).
.
********************************************************************
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Late Items
After getting AD item finish Zeal to Phantom Dancer as it will give you much more guaranteed Alpha Strike crit proc, faster auto-attacks (more true damage from Wuju Style active) with increased crit chance for maximal dueling capabilities. Actually now when you'll finish Zeal to Phantom Dancer you'll start assassinating people instead of just dueling, as carries won't stand a chance to compete versus you without proper CC, additionally Phantom Dancer will provide you with nice passive to ensure no one stands in your way.
But why not taking Infinity Edge before Phantom Dancer. Ofcourse same thing about AD and Crit/AS balance, but that's not a main reason. Main reason is Cost-Efficiency: For 1625g you get 20% Crit/32% AS instead of 25% Crit/45 AD for 2925g, excluding passives, while both increase damage output similarly. Thought buying Infinity Edge first is not a good idea, but after getting this item you'll become a unstoppable killing machine. I mean it! Infinity Edge will give you such a big damage spike that you'll wreck carries in pieces without proper CC, because it's just too good for Master Yi - AD/Crit, but most of all passive 260% crit bonus damage where Alpha Strike is included, making it deal 165(+ 196% AD) when critted, it's almost 2.0 TAD for ability which hit up to 4 targets. This is when fun gets real.


Defensive Item
Now you'll have to get a defensive item as you'll be doing huge threat to enemy team. Guardian Angel will give you defensive stat boost to survive enemies attacks against you. The passive will revive Master Yi if he dies, which is really important to not let carries die in late when everyone have big death timers. Quicksilver Sash will help you a lot against hard CC like Fiddlesticks Terrify which can shot you down instantly in teamfights. If you can't remove effects like Janna Monsoon grab Banshee's Veil instead.


Lifesteal Item
And as you last unfinished item is Vampiric Scepter upgrade it to any of these items. Mostly I prefer Ravenous Hydra, because in my opinion it outscales other item such as The Bloodthirster or Blade of the Ruined King. It gives you 75 AD, but most important you'll additionally deal AoE damage per auto-attack with attractive active to burst someone down even faster. But generally I like this item because it also gives you great split pushing ability, which is really important in end-game. If you want The Bloodthirster for better crits and damage overall, take The Bloodthirster, Blade of the Ruined King for shredding tanks apart. Your choice!


Optional Items
It's really weird, why I don't change Youmuu's Ghostblade instead of Last Whisper. Question is - Do I want to lose 15 crit for 35% ArP? I'll say - no. Youmuu's Ghostblade already gives little ArP which still helps, Youmuu's Ghostblade gives utility active to avoid tricky situations and I don't like to see Crit chance dropped from 70% to 55% as I like seeing critical damage dealt as often as possible combined with Alpha Strike and Infinity Edge effects, which add that assassin feel. Also this is where Wuju Style active should get handy as it deal true damage. If armor is really a problem, take Last Whisper instead Youmuu's Ghostblade.
Why not taking Statikk Shiv instead as an option? Well losing 10% Crit chance for little AoE burst is not worth so much as higher chance to crit with AA and Alpha Strike, but you can try building Statikk Shiv instead, if you like that burst effect.


Guide Top

Items - Burst Assassin Build (Risky)

Sight Ward
Starting Items

I always take these items, when going to lane. Crystalline Flask is such a great items for Master Yi. Most of time Alpha Strike while farming/harassing and Meditate while recovering will soak your mana. This item will help you recover your mana aswell will recover your health as Meditate is a weaker heal you're not low enough. The best part of this item is that you call sell it later to get little more needed gold to buy big items.
Health Potion is great when you are being harassed hard and need health to recover quickly.
Aswell Sight Ward helps you notice upcoming ganks as Yi doesn't have any escape in his kit while laning.


Doran's Blade
Doran's Blade is next needed damage item as it gives you AD/HP/and 5 HP per hit which synergies well with Double Strike.


Boots of Speed
Self-explained. You need additional MS to avoid ganks easier.


Sword of the Divine
And here she is. This item is so great on Master Yi, because it has perfect synergy with Master Yi in every aspect. Lets see why. First, you are building Sword of the Divine from AS items, which are cheap and effective. Early AS allows you to use full potential of Wuju Style and Double Strike, aswell as Alpha Strike for CD reduction to maximize your dueling capabilities. Second, with AS items combined with Double Strike you'll shred towers in no time.
And at last when you'll get Sword of the Divine itself. You'll instantly notice huge damage spike for Master Yi upon usage. Best part of Sword of the Divine is that it grats 100% crit chance, meaning you'll have guaranteed critical bonus from Alpha Strike for free without consuming Sword of the Divine stacks, so after dealing critical Alpha Strike you'll still have next 3 attack with 100% crit chance, which is absurd damage output so early in game, not to mention it will grow and grow more as you'll build more AD to it. But be careful using it, because any kind of hard CC or invulnerability will during Sword of the Divine active can negate its effect as it is only 3 seconds. High risk, high reward item for high risk, high reward champion.
Spoiler: Click to view


B. F. Sword
Now building AD is important as it will increase damage output of Alpha Strike, Wuju Style and Sword of the Divine.


Boots
Complete you boots to Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi. Grab Mercury's Treads if you have problems with CC or magic damage dealers or grab Ninja Tabi if physical damage dealers cause you problems. Mostly I prefer Mercury's Treads, that's why I sell Ninja Tabi for Mercury's Treads later in game.



The Bloodthirster
Same as B. F. Sword you need AD as much as possible. Why not take Ravenous Hydra or Infinity Edge instead? Ravenous Hydra is good item for Master Yi, but I tend to build him as assassin, meaning Ravenous Hydra will scale with Alpha Strike, Wuju Style and Sword of the Divine less than pure AD. Second, Master Yi has no problems stacking full The Bloodthirster with Alpha Strike farming potential. Infinity Edge is bad item rushing for assassin Master Yi - 25% Crit will make Sword of the Divine a waste, The Bloodthirster gives a lot more AD, its cheaper and gives lifesteal. Infinity Edge passive is not enough.


Late Items #1
Guardian Angel will give you defensive stat boost to survive enemies attacks against you. The passive will revive Master Yi if he dies, which is really important to not let carries die in late when everyone have big death timers. As for Infinity Edge. Infinity Edge is really useful at this state of the game. Yeah I mentioned why it's a bad buy, but now I'll tell you why it's a good buy at this state of game. First, AD itself. Second, passive from Infinity Edge. This will significantly boost your damage output upon crits, because the more AD you have the stronger crits become, not to mention it makes Alpha Strike crits also stronger. And third, 25% crit chance won't be waste anymore in this state of the game, because after using Sword of the Divine you can't stop and go back, it's not 100% crit change, but 25 crit chance is still good to deal massive damage output after assassination attempt.


Late Items #2
These late items are more tended on survivability than damage output. Quicksilver Sash will help you a lot against hard CC like Fiddlesticks Terrify which can shot you down instantly in teamfights. If you can't remove effects like Janna Monsoon grab Banshee's Veil instead. Randuin's Omen will make you more tanky against AD carries or assassins. At upgrade Quicksilver Sash to Mercurial Scimitar for AD damage boost.


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Which better - ADC or Burst?

I created this guide to popularize mid-lane Master Yi as I find him really strong there. At beginning I used Burst Assassin Build or Sword of the Divine build, it was really good build and still it is, but it felt always to me "Make or Die." I already knew Youmuu's Ghostblade was great item on Master Yi, but damage later on wasn't enough. Now after a lot of testing different builds on Master Yi, I found perfect build path, that will always snowball you if you're getting in lead of others. Lets compare these two builds!
.

___________
ADC

+ Constant Damage
+ High Mobility
+ Monster late-game
- Need to snowball
- Weak burst damage early/mid-game
.
_____
_____
Burst

+ High damage burst
+ High Attack damage
+ Strong turret pusher
- Slow without Highlander
- Risky ( Sword of the Divine depended)
- Countered by Crowd Control, Untargetability, HP
.
After comparing both builds, I concluded that both builds offer different playstyle - while ADC build is typical AD Master Yi approach, burst build is focused more on using full potential of Alpha Strike and Sword of the Divine active. Still I prefer now more going ADC build as it is more constant, offering to deal huge amount of damage in extended skirmishes or team-fights, while burst build excels great at killing high priority target with strong peel in second, like Jinx or Varus.


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Results

Fell free to send your success with this guide:
My results:


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Summary

Thanks for reading my Master Yi guide. Hope it will help you as Master Yi mid-laner.
Leave comments or ask questions.

If this guide will get popular I'll also update it with counter-pick and counter strategy chapter, and ofcourse with latest patch changes, also with Season 4 changes.