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Master Yi Build Guide by Absolute.0

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Absolute.0

AP Master Yi - The Need To Know Guide

Absolute.0 Last updated on July 7, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Introducing Me

Hi, my name is Absolute.0 and this is my very first guide here in MOBAFIRE.(despite browsing this site for like a million times.)

Since this is my first guide... I thought i'll start with someone simple.
hence, Master Yi.


I am not a Pro gamer, I just happen to have a lot (roughly 2 years) of experience (1005 wins at normal queue as of Jan. 19, 2013.) that i'd like to share.

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Why choose AP over AD?

So now you guys are probably wondering WHY i would use him as an AP CARRY.

the answer is quite simple my friend.


It's all about how you feel best using a champion, sure i can play AD but my forte really lies in using AP champions.
Besides, his fun as an AP CARRY... (^.^)

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Change Log

I put up this section just to keep track of the changes i'm gonna make so people will know what i updated.

Jan. 25, 2013 - Guide published.

Jan. 27, 2013 - Added a "Change Log" and "Runes" section.

Jan. 31, 2013 - Added a "Mastery" section.

Feb. 07, 2013 - Added "Summoner Spell" section.

Feb. 09, 2013 - Added Abyssal Mask into "Items" section.

Feb. 20, 2013 - Tweak the Items a bit to better reflect at search.

Feb. 21, 2013 - Adjusted Rabadon's Deathcap AP increase to 30% from 25% due to today's patch.

Feb. 22, 2013 - Revised Meditate stats due to the nerf.

Jun. 18, 2013 - Added a guide on how to jungle with AP Yi by Rongyl!!!

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Explaining Runes

My runes are fairly easy and straight forward.
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Greater Seal of Ability Power x9 = 5.3 Ability power
Greater Glyph of Ability Power x6 = 7.2 Ability power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x3 = 14.9 Ability power

These will give you 27.4 Total Ability Power.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x9 = 7.8 Magic Pen
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration x3 = 1.9 Magic Pen

These will give you 9.7 Total Magic Penetration.
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I take flat ability power for raw power it provides for early domination, ability power per level runes will out power you ONLY AFTER LEVEL 6.
and by that time you wouldn't notice 4~10 difference in Ability Power because (hopefully) you already bought something.
Now, I know the 27.4 is not much but don't forget what you'll get from your masteries....

Blast will give you additional 1 Ability Power @ level 1. (increases per level)
Mental Force gives you 6 Ability power flat.
Archmage will increase your total AP by 5%.

With these runes you currently have:
27.4 AP (Runes) + 7 AP (Masteries) + 5% (Masteries) = 39.4 Ability Power!!!

Also the Magic Penetration... I didn't put that much MPen because people don't usually have that much Mres (Magic resist), unless he/she is a tank and you're not really gonna buy lot of MPen just to charge the enemy tank are you? 9.7 is enough because:

Arcane Knowledge adds 8% Penetration.

So with 9.7 MPen from runes + 8% from Mastery you'd be doing a lot of damage!!
And normally at level 1~6 people only have 16~25 MRes (Except tank)
and later you'll be buying Void Staff so there's really no need to sacrifice more AP for more MPen.

NOTE: These are only my reasoning for using this Runes Order, and i personally use them, But if you prefer(or already have) Ability per Level Runes then by all means, use them. This is a guide, not a rule.

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Mastering your Masteries.

Here I will explain why i choose to use the masteries shown above.
I go for 21-9-0 focusing on offensive tree for more damage output.


Summoner's Wrath gives you 5 Ability power and Attack damage whenever your Ignite is on cooldown, not much but still a plus.

Other than that the offence tree is self explanatory, just follow the right side of the offence tree (as shown above) that benefits Ability Casters.

Summoner's Resolve will increase your Heal amount depending on your level.
take Durability because the bonus health will benefit you better than bonus regeneration of Perseverance.(Wrong icon, Garen's passive shares the same name as mastery's perseverance.)
Same goes for Veteran's Scars .

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Summoner Spells

I take Flash for it's utility enabling me to go over-wall escape/chase

My offensive spell will be Ignite, reason is because your role is a Burst AP, there will be time your abilities are simply not enough to kill your enemy, that's when you'll be thankful you have this. Also due to Summoner's Wrath from your mastery, using Ignite will give you 5 AP when it's on cooldown. not much but hey... when life gives you lemon, you make lemonade....

And if life gives you melon, you're probably dyslexic. ^^

I did this section on a very tight sched.. if you have question regarding spells pls comment and I'll answer them ASAP.

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If you will follow my item build here, i would really recommend following the exact same order as i put up there.
My reason is because they're made to adapt to the phase of the game, early laning, mid or late game.
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I buy this as my first item because i find this more usefull (most of the time) than a Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion. You'll need the bonus AP it provides AND the mana regen it gives you. I found that i can really stand my ground solo with this as first item.

Since we're playing AP here, This is the best choice of boots. No Contest.
DO NOT RUSH THIS!!! BUY Boots of Speed first as shown above, you don't need that much mobility, the reason we buy this is because this has magic penetration and mobility in one, making this worth the gold, but don't rush this because you won't need the Magic pen at around level 4 or 5. buy Blasting Wand first before completing this.

An item every AP Champion has in their arsenal, this item provides 120 AP and increase ALL your Ability Power by 30%. This item alone will give you 156 AP not counting Runes, Masteries, Ally aura and Buff!!! (if there's any)

You simply can't play an AP Master Yi without this baby.
If you're wondering why I bought Rabadon's Deathcap first before this, let me stop that wondering of your's.
the reason is because having this item without large amount of AP is a waste, Lich Bane itself deals 50 base damage + 75% of your Ability Power, buying this before Rabadon's Deathcap will only give you around 120 or so AP.

Having bought Rabadon's Deathcap and Lich Bane makes you hurt. A LOT. It also means the enemy team will start focusing on you.
That's where Zhonya's Hourglass comes in and save the day!!!
Yes you have Meditate and that's all good but Meditate can be stopped.

A this point of the game, if you haven't win yet, then you'll definitely need this.
more magic penetration = more damage.

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After looking through this shopping list, you'd probably say something like "Why no this?" or "Why didn't you put that?", while there are other items that are really good, this is the simplest build.
YES! the simplest. i assumed that you're reading a guide because you not a pro player,
even if you are, others might not be. I don't want to overwhelm people.
But i will talk about some of those item below....

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Health Potion: I did not put this up there because early game you already have Meditate which can heal better than a Health Potion, but feel free to buy some to use them in between Meditate's cooldown.
Mejai's Soulstealer: It is a good item to have and very rewarding if you can pull it off, the down side, the enemies WILL focus on you to prevent you from stacking this.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: A decent item, not necessary though, your only damaging skill is Alpha Strike, a multi-hit spell which makes the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter drop to 15%.
Nice but not needed. The HP Boost is OK though.
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Liandry's Torment: Might look like a good item(and it is). But not for you.
This benefits sustain damage and poking type caster the most.(i.e. Teemo, Singed)
Not a good item since you're playing burst damage type.
Rod of Ages: A very nice item to have since you'll benefit from every components of it but very costly and needed to have it early to stack it's passive, don't buy it because this will delay all your other items that are more important. Deathfire Grasp: Hmm... I personally never really needed it specially after S3 nerf but it's a great item to have, you could put it in your inventory if like. (you still have a Doran's Ring in your item slot.)
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Abyssal Mask: If you need MRes take this, but the main reason why it's not in my build and it's here at the "Debatables" is because of it's MPen, if the enemy doesn't have a lot of MRes you can take this instead of Void Staff as it does flat MPen.

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Let's Talk About Skills.

Ability Explanation

  • Double Strike: Makes your 7th attack hit twice. Not as useful as when playing AD carry but still nice to have.
    TIP: Use it like Caitlyn's Headshot, after attacking six times use the 7th strike on the enemy champion. You can also use Alpha Strike to reach your target.
  • Alpha Strike (Q): Your main (and only) killing skill. This is your bread and butter, when playing as AD this is only a gap closer and minion cleaner, when playing AP, this serves as a very painful multi-hit, you'd be able to kill a squishy champ in about 1-2 hits of this skill late game.
    TIP: Try using this early to harass, use this when there's only 3-4 minions left to make sure you hit the enemy.
    TIP: Use this on a low health minion, if the targeted minion dies before you hit it you will return you to your starting point. A good strategy to use when you don't want to commit yet.
  • Meditate (W): A defensive ability that packs a lot of fun.
    With AD Yi this ability is fine as it is, but it's at a whole different level when use with AP, this is an asset of an AP Master Yi. At max rank, you'd be able to heal 700 HP + 2x your Ability Power. Even with just 300 AP you'd still get 800 + 600 HP healed!!! ( I know! awesome isn't it?! )
    TIP: This can be use to absorb turret damage if you have an ally with you and you want to tower dive an enemy.
    TIP: In a clash (or even small skirmishes.) if you have Zhonya's Hourglass, use it first before Meditate because chances are, the enemies will not wait and throw their hard CC on the others, effectively taking out the threat to your Meditate-ing.
  • Wuju Style (E): Very straight forward, grants additional bonus damage passively and double the bonus damage when activated. It's vital to take 1 point at level 4 to maximized your potential but max this LAST.
    TIP: DON'T use this right after Alpha Strike. Wait after your Lich Bane comes off cooldown before using this to proc Lich Bane again.
  • Highlander (R): Made for AD Yi but makes a nice escape tool for you nonetheless, Plus the passive that, while active, killing an enemy will instantly refresh all your abilities cooldown which is exactly what we need.
    TIP: Activate this BEFORE entering a clash. Assisting decreases cooldown by half.
    TIP: Try last hitting an enemy champion with Alpha Strike while Highlander is active. Yes that is KILL STEALING but it allows you to jump again due to Highlander's bonus passive, enabling you to jump again and possibly gain another kill to jump another time. (which will definitely annoy the **** out of your enemies.)

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Early Game - Laning Phase

When we say early game, this mean we are at the time where we're still trying to take down the first enemy turret, the laning phase.

Now, as an AP Carry you will want to be at Mid lane if possible but if there's happen to be another AP Carry(it can happen) in your team then just be a good Master Yi and let him/her take mid.
The reason for mid laning is merely convenience, you can take on any lane. Even bottom lane.

During laning phase, your main goal is NOT TURRET. If you take down their turret too early that will give your enemies the opportunity to gank other lanes more freely seeing as there's nothing more for them to defend anymore, while you still have to guard your own turret.

Also, This is the time of the game for you to level up, earn gold, and denying your enemy to do the same, so, as a general rule, destroying turret too early can be counter-productive.

Here's what you should do...

- Use you Alpha Strike to kill minions. (Try to make it hit an enemy champion.)

- At this stage your Meditate can't do much yet so DON'T use it to dive turret, just heal yourself when you're missing 1/3 of your life.

- Keep harassing enemies with Alpha Strike(without targeting them), you'll see your chance when it's time to kill. (Save Ignite for that moment.)

- You can try to gank other lane but you lack Crowd Control. You can either take Exhaust over Heal or Ignite, not recommended by the way. Or, you could rely on your teammate's CC.

- Continue doing so until you reach level 6 preferably with a Blasting Wand bought before taking down the turret. Take note that you alone are not very effective for turret destroying because you're playing AP rather the usual AD.


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Mid Game - Killing and Pushing

Mid game is the time of the game where clashes happens the most.
Your objective during this time is turrets. TAKE DOWN THEIR TURRETS!!!!

Remember that, while you might not be as effective a split pusher as AD Master Yi, you can still do so, your Alpha Strike's cooldown is short enough for you to cast it every wave but keep in mind that your Attack Damage is mediocre for destroying turrets.

Be aware of your enemies whereabouts if you decided to split push, you either do it smart or don't do it at all.

I personally would advise for you to join clashes and leave the split pushing to other more effective pushers.

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Late Game - What now???

By this time the game can go 2 ways.

If you were beating the cr*p out of your opponent earlier then you're on the offensive.
Keep beating their sorry a**!!!!
I suggest destroy inhibitors on all sides so they won't be able to turn the table on you.

If your team somehow messed up then be defensive.
Take precaution and set up sight wards around your base, Protect your inner turrets, kill ONLY when there's a golden chance but beware of baiting.
Continue doing so until you earned enough to fight back.

Forget Baron nashor when being defensive, a lot of people die trying(and failing) to steal that buff. Just continue to be defensive, tower hug, and let the buff fade.

Dying during this period can mean defeat.

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Jungling AP Yi

Learn how to dominate the jungle with Rongyl's guide!!!

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That concludes my guide.

Whew... Hopefully somebody will read this, I know this isn't the best guide out there but hope you liked it.

Feel free to comment, I will check this on a weekly basis for the next few weeks and answer your questions as best as i can.