Master Yi Build Guide by ADK3
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Master Yi Build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Ok this is my first guide, so I apologize if it isn't that great :P. In this guide I am going to tell you how to get the same Master Yi that I used when I first started playing with him. I was playing with a friend and I was absolutely horrible at PvP (most people are when they start out playing against level 30 players) so he told me to try out Yi and see if I liked him. In the first game I fell in love and I am hoping that this guide will help you do the same.
As you may have noticed, these runes are almost all for attack speed. This is not mandatory, however I do recommend them since they are going to be used later once you get the life steal from your items. If you use these it will give you a pretty big boost to attack speed which will make it so you don't lose health when running after champions/running into large groups of minions. This is possible because it makes it so you are massing out attacks and the more damage you do the more health you're going to get back. If you do not like these runes though, it wont destroy your chances at doing well, in fact the first time I played it I didn't even use runes.
Your items are probably the most important to getting to be able to play this character in a way that makes you a threat. Just like with any build you are not going to be successful if you cannot get the gold needed to make your build. Early game you are going to want to start off with the Doran's Shield, this is only temporary. Next you are going to want to but the Berserker's Greaves, these are pretty important as they will make you attack faster and give you the boost in attack you will need later on in the game. If you can not buy it all right away buy it in pieces but start with the boots since being able to move around is a bit more important early game. Next up is the Emblem of Valour, this is your first item that will give you life steal and it is important to get it early so that you can start running into groups of minions and getting experience and more gold. If you have life steal you can worry less about health and focus on getting kills to get your build. If you can do this you will have the upper hand on someone who is a bit more hesitant and afraid to get close because they think they may die. Next up you're going to want to buy zeal, this is just a stepping stone to phantom dancer, if you want you could skip straight to buying phantom dancer next, however given the choice between finishing phantom dancer and having more life steal, I would recommended getting the life steal boost first. Next up you are going to want to upgrade your Emblem of Valour to a Stark's Fervor. This gives you a considerable boost to life steal and could mean the difference between life and death in a fight. If you have enough life steal, you wont need to recall if you have a good number of minions around you, you can just kill them and use their life to fuel your health. After that you are going to want to upgrade your Zeal to Phantom Dancer. This will give you a speed boost needed for fleeing quickly/getting to back up teammates quickly. Next you're gonna want to get infinity edge, this one is pretty basic, it gives you a good boost to attack and also increases chances of criticals. Once you get that you are going to want to save up and get Bloodthirster, this will give you a good attack boost, life steal and it stacks to give even more damage and life steal per kill. This one is when it is important you dont die because you will lose your stacks. Finally you are gonna want to sell your shield and buy the Black Cleaver. This gives attack speed and damage plus it takes away armor making it that much more effective. This one also stacks up so be careful not to die!
The skills I put up aren't what order I do them in, honestly this is up to you, I don't have a specific way I just upgrade as I go.
Ok this is where its kind of tricky. When I play with Yi there isn't a specific way I use my skills, but there is a way I prefer to do it. You see the order that ideally I would like to do them in is Alpha strike to get in close, then Wuju Style to increase the damage, then Highlander last so that with all those used its attacking extremely fast and hard. This is a bit obvious but theres a lot of people who don't do this for some reason. Now lets say you already used one of your skills and you are waiting to let it cool down (Happens often) you may want to check your health if you have breathing room and maybe step back to use meditate. This is a great way to catch up in health if you have been barraged by people. Also you could use meditate if you are in a pinch and you need just a few seconds before a teammate comes to rescue you due to the massive armor and magic resistance boost you get while using meditate. Whatever you do, always remember that if you feel like you might not die and want to take a chance, more often than not you shouldn't. A lot of the times, especially with this build, it's better to recall and heal than to die and lose your stacks.
Farming or Winning?
In the beginning farming isnt really different for Yi, just take your time and if you can get a champion do it, it is worth the gold early game. To farm with Yi is extremely easy later on in the game due to the fast attacks you deal and the massive damage you can give out. This allows you to take out a large group of minions quickly and the speed Yi has lets him get out of there before a champion can come to stop you. Use this to your advantage! If a lane is empty of enemies take that opportunity to farm a bit and push the lane, just watch out for ganks. Once a Champion shows up run to a new lane or help a teammate elsewhere if needed. Once you have your build done or are finishing up getting Bloodthirster, farming isn't necessary, try to help teammates and if no one needs it then push one lane. Remember this is an objective based game not kills based. This means that yes you might LIKE to have kills but you don't NEED to have kills. If you have the opportunity to win the game or get lots of kills and possibly have some jungler rape your team and make you lose, win the game! Yi has speed that makes him perfect for dashing in, messing up an enemy base, and winning the game without anyone there to help, I know this because I have done it plenty of times. Take advantage of your enemy's ignorance and let them think they are going to win then sneak in and annihilate them when they are busy chasing your teammates around.
Creeping / Jungling
You can jungle if you want but it is not necessary, you can do just fine without it if you don't know how to work it right. On the other side of that, jungling can help get your build from gold bonuses and it can also give you special traits that can help out big time. If your team is in need of a quick boost in power help could be just a creep away.
Master Yi is one of the best characters in my opinion because he can work well with any character, but he can also hold his own when soloing a lane. If you are looking for a specific person to complement him I would suggest either Soraka or Janna, both are great support units and Soraka's healing could help the whole team. If you want to help the team in a specific way that impacts them the most my advice would be stick a lane and push it. If you can get to the inhibitors you have a chance to run in, destroy the turrets, and take out their base very quickly with this build. If you have a choice between ending the game and saving someone on the team, sometimes you need to make sacrifices in order to win. This also means sacrificing yourself. If giving up your stacks means getting your team in a bit further and having a chance to win I would say its obvious that you need to help the team win.
Just remember, this game is an objective based game. Your first objective should be to have fun and win if possible. Even if you lose a game, as long as you had fun doing it, thats all that matters. This guide is just that, a guide or suggestion, if you think there is something that works better for you by all means do that. If you think I need to fix something please leave a comment, I love criticism! Thank you for taking the time to read my guide and I really do hope it helped. Good luck and have fun out there!