Master Yi Build Guide by IKiZzAI
Not Updated For Current Season
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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.
Everything You Need to Know About Yi
Master Yi is a mainly played as DPS champion, even thou some play him AP style. He can both jungle and lane. In this guide, hopefully I'll help you with lane Master Yi. This build focuses on four vital points. Attack damage, Attack Speed, Life Steal and CC defense.
Master Yi's story
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's 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."
Master Yi - The basic
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Attributes: Carry, Melee
Cost: 450 IP Points or 260 RP Points
Health 444 (+ 86 per Level)
Health Regen 6.75 (+ 0.65 per Level)
Mana 199 (+ 36 per Level)
Mana Regen 6.5 (+ 0.5 per Level)
Attack Damage 55.12 (+ 3.1 per Level)
Armor 16.3 (+ 3.7 per Level)
Magic Resistance 30 (+ 1.25 per Level)
Attack Speed 0.679 (+ 2.8% per Level)
Movement speed 330
Pros / Cons
Great pusher/tower destroyer
Pretty easy to learn overall
Great escape/chase mechanism
CD resets/halves when you get a kill/assist(if Highlander active at that moment)
Vulnerable to disables like blind, stun,suppress...
Low HP poll until you get Frozen Mallet(or other HP item)
Not so great in team fights
Mana problems if you spam abilities like Alpha Strike too much
Not so great in team fights
You should not initiate first. Master Yi is already squishy and if you go first, you won't do anything for your team except feed enemies. Enter the battle after your main tank and try to focus squishy champions like AD carries and AP carries first. If they have more than few squishy champions, try to focus one that have huge CC availability like Malzahar. For more in deapth instructions about team fights read gameplay section.
Vulnerability to disables
Master Yi's vulnerability to CC is one of his biggest flaws. To be realistic, this flaw is very hard to be fixed via items, runes, spells and masteries. I try to counter this flaw by taking Quicksilver Sash and situational defensive items like Banshee's Veil.
Low HP Pool
Master Yi has pretty low HP base when it comes to Melee AD carries. At level 18, his basic HP is just under 2000. The best item IMO to counter this con is Frozen Mallet. Its good for you on defensive and offensive side, by granting you both massive health and AD + slow.
The simple way to counter this would be stop using Alpha Strike, but that will lead to disruption of early game. Since you won't get Mana regen/5 from items, I counter this con by taking MR/5/Level Seals or Greater Seal of Clarity. These grant you 10.53 mana regen/5 at level 18.
Greater Mark of Desolation for Armor penetration. Great damage addon in laning phase, you'll deplete most weak champion's armor in lane phase with these.
Greater Seal of Resilience for survivability against heavy AD champions.
Greater Seal of Clarity for countering mana problems. Allows you to use Alpha Strike more without running out of mana so fast.
Greater Glyph of Shielding for survivability. These work miracles against quick AP bursters.
Greater Glyph of Celerity for cooldown reduction. Already low cooldowns combined with these make your skills available in no time.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation for armor penetration. Combined with ArP marks and your lane enemies have no chance.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude for flat health. Great in laning phase to counter their damage. Good for replacing health of doran's items if you start with boots.
These are pretty much runes I combine with Master Yi. Bellow you have some combinations of these runes. You should use whichever fits you best. I personally like balanced most, because they give a good ratio between damage and survivability, while countering mana problems. If you like to kill your enemies before they can hurt you, take offensive set. If you feel too squishy in lane and die often, take defensive combo.
This is my all time favorite spell. I take it on EVERY champion. Its useful both in offensive and defensive tactics. You have been hopelessly ganked? Flash away. Enemies chasing you? Flash over the wall. Enemies got away with 50Hp? Flash to them and deal 1 more attack. Simply the best.
This spell is great and also one of my primary. It deals a lot of damage and is great to finish off champions with this extra damage. Ignite is useful because of 50% Healing reduction aswell. With Ignite you can shut down enemies like Swain easily.
This is great spell and like Flash, works miracles both in offensive and defensive tactics. When chasing, this spell reduces enemies Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds, which makes it a great offensive tool. When using it defensively, this tool protects you by nerfing enemy's basic attack damage by 70% and item/ability damage by 35% for 2.5 seconds.
While I rarely use it, it can be still viable on Master Yi. This champion is extremely vulnerable to CC disables and if you do not intend on buying Quicksilver Sash, this spell is kind of must take.
I almost placed this spell in the Bad category, but I changed my mind. Teleport can be very useful in laning phase and when backdooring, but this spell is only viable on Solo Top Master Yi. In latest patch it has been buffed and also removes summoner spell debuffs which is great and makes it more viable for Master yi.
Master Yi strikes twice every 7th attack.
This passive is a beast when it comes to Melee DPS champions. Because this build is critical damage based, your critical is doubled every seven attacks. Also with your ultimate and items you have a lot of Attack Speed, so these 7 attacks are happen in matter of seconds.
Tips and tricks:
Try to stack your double strike before you gank so you hit double damage when ganking.
Master Yi leaps across the battlefield with blinding speed, dealing magic damage to multiple units in his path with a chance to deal bonus magic damage to minions.
Alpha Strike is one of greatest tools. Because of chance to deal 400 bonus damage to minions, you can farm up to 4 minions in 1 second, you can catch up with enemies and you can deal damage up to 4 enemies in team fight. When at level 5, it deals 300 damage(x4 = 1200), which is respectable since you get no bonus from ability power.
Tips and tricks:
There is a picture explanation on how to use Alpha Strike in Gameplay section
Master Yi rejuvinates his body by focus of mind, restoring health and increasing his armor and magic resistance for a short time.
Even thou I leave Meditate for last, its an incredible tool on Master Yi because of his squishiness and vulnerability. This skill is mostly underrated on most players.When at level 5 it heals you for 700 over 5 seconds, and in that time grants 300 Magic Resistance and Armor.
Tips and tricks:
This skill grants you 300 Magic Resistance and Armor. Use it wisely against champions like Karthus when they use requirem.
This tool is amazing when it comes to survivability with low HP. You can trick your enemies into towerdiving you, granting yourself an easy kill.
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.
This is pure ownage skill on Master Yi. Because of massive amounts of AD that this skill provides, I first take Phantom Dancer providing Attack Speed and Critical Chance. At level 5 only passive already gives 35 AD. When activated, you get 70 AD boost for 10 seconds.
Tips and tricks:
Since last patch, this skill can be actived when in Alpha Strike form. Activate it while you're in Alpha Strike so your first hit will be affected by bonus.
Master Yi moves with unparalleled agility, temporarily increasing Master Yi's movement and attack speeds as well as making him immune to all slowing effects. Additionally, killing a Champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns.
This skill is epic. This is your chase, escape and kill resource. You have a problem with enemies chasing you? Press R. Your enemies too fast for you? Press R. Not dealing damage fast enough? Press R. For what it offers, it has low cooldown. When maxed it gives 40% Movement Speed and 80% Attack Speed for 12 seconds. If thats not enough, this skill makes you slow immune when active.
Tips and tricks:
If you kill an enemy during Highlander is active, all your cooldowns drop to 0 and you're skills are available again.
Combined with Wuju Style this skill is pure beast dealing damage in fast time frame. Use this in your advantage and backdoor when possible.
Many players underestimate this skill on AD Master Yi. They just rush E as soon as possible. But in my opinion this is a great farming tool, which allows you to farm even if your getting shut down in starting levels. So I take this skill at level 1, for poking and farming and then upgrade it when Wuju Style is off.
Many recommend upgrading 1 point in this skill early game and then leave it for later. The reason I don't upgrade this skill until level 13, when its needed, is that this skill has too much mana cost for your laning benefit. 70 mana for 140 health gain at such small mana pool is just too much. I admit, this skill is beast when maxed, but in laning game you don't get as much benefit as you do with other skills. This skill is meant for late game, when team fights are going on, not laning phase.
This skill is your priority after ultimate. Since you rush AS with Phantom Dancer early game, this is your source of damage. I take this at level 2 and max it by level 9. By level 9, you'll have 70 bonus AD when this skill is active.
There is not much to say. This skill is your first priority and like most of ultimate skills, I upgrade it at level 6, 11 and 16.
Attack speed bonus and basic Enchanted movement 2. Take them, if you have easy time killing enemies.
Massive attack speed bonus, critical strike chance which is a good combo with Infinity Edge and 15% movement speed.
Item with most AD Damage boost in game. Also has 25% critical strike chance, but what makes this item special, is its passive, which makes your critical strike deal more damage.
This item is your damage and life steal resource. With your passive you can get up to 100 damage and 25% life steal with this item, but be careful, since these stacks reset when you die and you lose the passive bonus.
Massive attack speed boost
15% Movement speed
Massive Critical Strike Chance boost
No Armor Penetration
No Cooldown Reduction
No AD boost
So what do we gain and what do we lose if we buy Phantom Dancer over Youmuu's Ghostblade:
+15% Movement Speed
+15% Critical Strike Chance
+55% Attack Speed
-20 Armor Penetration
-15% Cooldown Reduction
-30 Attack Damage
So why is Phantom Dancer better than Youmuu's Ghostblade in this build:
Phantom Dancer is source of Attack Speed in this build, which Youmuu's Ghostblade doesn't provide
This build is Critical Strike based, so Phantom Dancer is better since it gives double the amount of critical chance than Youmuu's Ghostblade.
You already get enough AD with this build, you have low cooldowns combined with your ultimate and runes(possible choice) and you already have some Armor Penetration with runes
If you go with Youmuu's Ghostblade you are depend on Active part of this item, while all gains of Phantom Dancer are for good
Who to lane with?
So you can play Master Yi to his full potential, you need to lane with proper champions. Your best bet are support champions with much CC, so they can use it on enemy and prevent them from fleeing since you have no way of stopping them in lane phase. Support champions are better to lane with, because they don't need gold to be effective, so you can farm like you're on solo lane.
Alistar is good to lane with, because he has CC power to prevent your enemies from fleeing( Headbutt and Pulverize) and he is also a healer. He can be even played as support so he doesn't need to farm. SPAC
Blitzcrank can be played as support aswell which leaves you to farm and gain more gold. A good Blitzcrank can work magic with Rocket Grab and powerfist which means you can get easy kills. SPACE
Kayle is good to lane with because of 4 reasons. She can go support, she has powerful slow which makes chasing enemies easier, has heal which enables you to lane longer and she has ultimate that protects you from any damage for few seconds, which is great for towerdiving. SPACE
You can lane with Leona from pure reason of her heavy CC. She has 1 stun and 1 stun/slow which makes enemy getaway problematic. SPACE
Shen is good to lane with because of his taunt and ultimate. Taunts are Yi's best friend ingame, because they can both prevent enemies from fleeing and save him when low hp. Ultimate is very helpful if you get extra low hp, saved me so many times. SPACE
Maokai is overall very good champion. Its good to lane with him because of his long duration root( Twisted Advance). He can make your enemies rooted for 2 seconds and there is a lot of damage on the way in 2 seconds. SPACE
It mostly like Shen, because of the taunt. Also with Rammus's ultimate and your Highlander + Wuju Style towers can go down from 2.5k to 0 in matter of seconds. SPACE
Taric is support, which leaves farming to you. Hes also the best support to lane with. He has stun, he can heal you and he has passive skill which gives you armor and makes you more tough.
Master Yi is very weak on department of teamfights. Due to his vulnerability to CC he can be crushed in matter of seconds if you don't initiate at right moment or don't position good. With Master Yi you should wait behind while your tank/tanks initiate and take the damage. When major CCs and damage have been used, you should engage. Focus high end damage dealers, AD or AP like Vayne, Caitlyn,... or Annie, Malzahar,..
Updates & Patches
23.4.2011 Build created
24.4.2011 Changed few masteries in Offense, added some details
1.5.2011 Added situational items
21.6.2011 Removed some mistakes, changed description a bit, added some information
26.6.2011 Added Quicksilver Sash
27.7.2011 Few text changes, major visual changes
29.8.2011 Removed some mistakes
20.9.2011 Major removal of text, replacing them with intergrated informative icons
23.9.2011 Removed pictures in Skills, Summoner's Spells and both Items chapters and replaced them with informative intergrated icons
23.9.2011 Rewritten the whole "Playing Master Yi" chapter
14.10.2011 Many text edited for better user understanding
21.10.2011 Huge guide update
10.11.2011 A lot of major changes in last few weeks due to some good feedback and reviews
Patch v126.96.36.199 (15th November 2011)
Alpha Strike mana cost reduced to 60/70/80/90/100 from 80/90/100/110/120
Highlander mana cost reduced to 100 from 120
This has actually huge impact on Master Yi, because it allows you to spam Alpha Strike more often and with reduced Highlander cost you're more viable in team fights considering there will be less mana lacks.