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Master Yi Build Guide by Dante Bozay

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dante Bozay

Caster Master Yi

Dante Bozay Last updated on September 24, 2012
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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: 22

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 8

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Why AP Yi?

AP Yi's ult makes it easy to turn what would've been one kill if he only had an Alphabet Strike into a penta and baron steal. It also gives him Double Wutang Style if you kill someone when Wutang style is activated granting a ridiculous amount of AD. The best possible scenario for this is killing one person while ulting with an alpha strike, hitting 3 of his teammates in the process of doing so, then killing another after another with Surge. Due to this, AP Yi is exceptional at picking up low health champions, AD Carries, or whoever is tanking Baron or Dragon.

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Comparing the Yi's

(c)= Con (p)= Pro

(p) Generally faster, since you basically cant avoid at least getting a Zeal.
(p) Reliable DPS
(p) One of the few AD Carries who can burst people down (Alpha-Double strike crit with Wuju Style active)
(p) Can potentially do a lot of magic damage for not building any AP
(c) Transitions into lategame terribly
(c) Can only jungle or top successfully, and only has no CC to help with ganks
(c) Easily shut down early on
(c) Much weaker sustain than his brothers

Hybrid Yi
(p) Hybrid Yi's Unstoppable Force obviously doesnt heal as much as AP Yi, but it's ratio is 4 to 1, so as long as you have 200 AP, you wont really need any more for Medication .
-Steady but unremarkable DPS
(p)Adjusts well to enemy team comps
(p)Above average burst
(p)Hard to build against

(c)Slower than Hybrid or AD Yi, seeing how they both should have at least one Zeal in their builds
(p)Ridiculous Burst
(p)Guaranteed lane dominance
(p)Ridiculous team fight damage if he can manage to kill one champion
(p)Stronger sustain than Mundo
(p)Snowballs even harder than the other Yi's
(p)Still does a lot of AD for a caster
(c)More dependent on items
(p)Can cope with a lane enemy who got first blood
(c)Alpha strike can be very fickle in teamfights as it does not prioritize targets
(c)Can only go mid, whereas his brothers can jungle or top.(Hybrid Yi can go any 3 of these places)
(c)Skeptics will sometimes try to go mid when you called it, so if this is the case switch to Kassadin or some other generic AP carry and switch to AP Yi once its safe.
(c)If you get in the game, people will most likely be pretty annoying and hard to work with due to you taking AP Yi

Dunk Master Yi
(p)Sonic the hedgehog
(p)100% Crit
(p)Max attackspeed
(p)Perfect for backdooring
(p)Strong early ganks
(p)Very strong in low level play
(c)Is completely useless after 10 minutes if the enemy team has any common sense whatsoever
(c)Can only really fight after midgame against other AD carries who have no CC
(c)Even if you do this seriously people will think you're trolling and not work together with you

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My say on AP Yi Metas

So, the biggest thing people recommend for AP Yi is cooldown reduction. My response is:
The best thing about AP (and AD) is that his ult refreshes his cooldowns if you kill someone. This means that as AP , you can easily rack up multikills in this fashion.

"mana regen amirite?"
Get the mana regen mastery in Utility and a dorans ring to start. I would only recommend more mana regen to people who are still adjusting to the massive power of AP Yi.

"u sed no to cdr but u hev deathfire an athene's unholy grail lol"
Deathfire is to supplement burst, as if you dont kill a target you alpha strike to, you're pretty much cooked at said point, and it also can be used while alpha striking which is convenient. Athene's is to assure you do not lose out on mana when you go for the PentaStrike, not to mention it gives MR, CDR, and AP. Even though stressing CDR is stupid on AP Yi, CDR is still cool cats.

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Viable lanes for AP Yi

AP Yi will dominate anywhere he goes, but you'll never want to go bot due to ridiculous lane pushing with Alpha Strike. AP Yi SHOULD go mid, but you can potentially go top as well.

Going mid is obviously what you SHOULD ALWAYS do, but if you're stubborn and really want to play AP Yi then go top. AP Yi should never be played bot. NEVER.

AP Yi can also jungle quite effectively, but the main problem with doing so is that his ganks are really weak. He can easily sustain through the jungle with his meditate, however. The only reason you should jungle with AP Yi, though, is if you got stuck in a game with no jungler, or someone who is afk etc.

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They say Master Yi is a cool AD Carry, but hes really only pro if you're wearing a hat... and since the only hat is an AP item you'd best go AP.
(Unless you want to be tiny baby support Yi and get a Shurelya's)

Okay, so... Let me be straight with you right now. AP Yi is so good that you are a liability if you do not play him. It's true. If you have ever not played AP Yi, it should only be because you never tried him before, or because you were too inept to realize Deathfire is necessary.

If you're going to even consider building AD Yi, at least try to get 5 Zeals.
AD Yi still can't win a fight against any CC however. This is why he is devoid of a cream filled meat stick as well as a cervix.

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Pros Why AP Yi is labelled as Viagra

    Has unholy burst as soon as he gets his grubby little hands on Methfire Grasp
    Has the best laning phase in the entire game with a 4-1 AP ratio Meditate and a harass that has a ridiculous range on it and scales directly with AP.
    Has 7 eyes (do good see)
    Has a ridiculous amount of attack damage for not building any at all

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Cons (not that they exist)

    Is easily raped by CC
    Can only deal damage at point blank range

The biggest drawback of AP Yi is his inability to build tension to help start teamfights. You could perhaps go a tankier AP Yi to help initiate but then your team would be lacking in AP. It's not good enough to just be a good AP Yi, your team needs to have an understanding of how AP Yi works to overcome competent enemies.

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Mercury treads seems to be quite the trend for AP Yi recently, and they really are so good that you can put them on anyone. But unless the team has a combination of Republican Veigar, Taric, or Sion they really should not be necessary.

Sorcerer shoes are obviously what you're aiming at first, for the magic penetration. More damage, that's all that really must be said.

You could also just not get boots for something like a Void Staff, Abyssal Scepter or a Mejai's, but in most cases this is not recommended, and even if there is such a situation you should still get boots early and sell them at lategame.

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So, you will almost always want to start with an OP Ring when you play AP Yi, due to his relative mana exhaustion. You should really bring boots if you didn't get , or . You'll want to get boots next if you didn't first, and then a Kage's for the early damage/sustain boost as well as GP/5. You can also consider getting a Philosopher's Stone if you're getting rocked as AP ...SOMEHOW. Sorcerer shoes are typically next, but if you go back with enough for then get it first. The next item you should always get is Rabadon's Deathcap. At this point, your build is so debatable you can decide for yourself if wanted.


    Abyssal Scepter is a good item on AP Yi regardless of them having magic damage so this is definitely the first one to consider if Magic Damage is destroying you in fights.

    Quicksilver Sash works well, since its very cheap and also provides a quick cleanse, so consider this as well.

    Banshee's Veil works wonders since it gives you mana, HP, Magic Resist and it blocks a spell. It's what you'll want if there's a Taric, or a
Republican Veigar.

Lichbane is good for survival and damage, since it gives you movement speed it also helps you run away like an AD Yi as well as giving Magic Resist


    Zhonya's Hourglass is an item you should really already have for your core AP Yi Build, and it not only gives you 50 armor but also puts you in Stasis buying you a potential amount of time for an Alpha Strike or Undying Rage.

    Thornmail is not recommended, but I recommend it over Frozen Heart for AP Yi because everyone will be targeting you in teamfights, and if they have no CC/CC is on cooldown they will hammer on you for a good while hurting themselves a bit, which can kill some inexperienced AD carries.


    If they are just eating you into pieces with every kind of damage, you'll want to build a Rod of Ages, a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, or a Guardian Angel. Guardian Angel should only be considered if you are too weak for AP Yi's Wutang Style.

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Summoner Spells

is highly recommended on AP Yi due to how weak he is against CC and ganks before level 6. It is not necessary because AP Yi is a Baller, it is only taken because You are too weak to handle AP Yi's Mighty Colon Crusader.

is quite useful, as you can use it to pick up Pentakills or come back to your lane after you picked up a Johnny Kage's Lucky Stick.

grants infinite lategame potential but is virtually useless earlygame.

Can be used to grant an early first blood, but is not that useful later on.

Only get this if you're playing Backdoor or Dingalingless
as it can never be used offensively and spells like or provide better escape and offensive capabilities.

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Team Work

AP cannot be used with an utterly and irrevocably autistic team. This is crucial, because most people are fat and hungry for the enemies' meat. But due to your ult, you need the kills to be most efficient.
I would recommend playing with a premade when you AP so that you contend with less fatties.

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The Game Plan

Here are just various notes of how to handle differing situations when you play as AP

If the enemy at mid has an item that provides no defense stats at all (Usually speed boots) then you'll want to put a point in Wutang Style for your second ability. Once you've harassed them once, they should be ripe to receive AP Yi's long, hard, veiny ALPHA WUTANG DOUBLE PENETRATION attack. This is when you get double strike ready and then Alpha strike to a champion, Activating Wutang Style while in mid Alpha Strike and then double striking. If you bring Ignite and Surge to mid to supplement this combo, you should be able to kill anyone that does not have a Null-Magic Mantle, Flat MR Runes and all tank masteries at level 2.

If the enemy is getting baron and you're alive... Then you are going to become an adult very soon. Make your way to baron, wait until someone is low enough and flash over the wall if you can. If not, position yourself beforehand. Then pop highlander and wutang style before using your Alpha Strike. If you chose wisely and hit the correct person, you will have hit 3 other targets as well. The worst case scenario provided Yorick, Annie or Malzahar's pets are not present is that you only hit 2 other team members. From these 2 or quite possibly 3 team members whom are wounded, Alpha Strike the weakest and use Methfire while in mid meditate as well as Ignite if you are carrying it. After this point, only Super God Carry Tank Mundo with 6 Warmogs could really hope to survive any more alpha strikes. NEVER STOP ALPHA STRIKING! The second you aren't alpha striking, you're insanely vulnerable to any CC. The beauty of accomplishing a PentaBaronStrike is that it all flows together in one grand succession, and if done correctly you will be impossible to target for the duration.

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VS other mids


Finding Taric at mid is so rare, its actually so rare that you have a 50/50 chance of encountering him at mid if its Friday the 13th, the planets have aligned, its a blue moon, solar eclipse and Valve releases a game simultaneously. However, if this happens, do not be alarmed! AP Yi still has the upper hand. It's just that Taric is extremely hard to kill by yourself, and if he has a gank his Dazzle will easily shut your Undying Rage off.


Has a lot of burst once she hits 6, so she can easily pick you off from full health at this level if she has Ignite or Surge, but she really isn't that big of a threat at all, even though shes the second best counterpick to AP


Keeps you pushed at your turret chilling until about level 3, and at this point hes annoying to kill unless he's stupid.


So, essentially, Kassadin should never be able to wreck you at mid. His purpose is really to just annoy you by having a quick silence, slow, and his passive being magic resist. Though, if he runs flat AP... I guess he could like, maybe do something... If you're playing AD Yi.


Can zone you out a lot, but your alpha strike can dodge 3 of her abilities.

Karma can sustain against you and do some poopy burst damage but you'll meditate through all her abilities.


Nunu will never kill you. this is a fact. but with Consume and his naturally above average HP you will probably never kill him. his only purpose is to annoy you.



So, when you go against a mirror at mid as AP I would suggest finding something to do like sexting or eating while going at mid, because you'll both be staring at eachother blankly for about 15 minutes.

I'll update this list everytime I manage to vs a mid with AP Yi 5 or so times.

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AP does a ridiculous amount of damage in teamfights, has nearly infinite sustain and survivability, and is very Sexy, but he has no range which forces him into teamfights (though AD Yi also shares this ****py trait) which is really where the only flaws to list of AP Yi stem from- his range. It's very strange and gimmicky to have him in your team because usually the AP carry(s) are good at harassing the enemy team to build tension and start a teamfight. AP Yi really has to sit in one spot until he can get a kill off a squishy or stolen kill from someone else, and chain it into a multikill. AP Yi is very good... But you really need superior judgement to even consider picking him up.

Also, AD Yi<Evelynn