Build Guide by hlupaco
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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.
Hello, this is my first build, updated at this moment. I didnt change the part for laning with Yi but I have added half-jungle part. Hope you will like both. I dont like writing guides on how to gank, use spells etc. because everyone does that how he likes it and also you cant be really happy when you just copy some method from inet to kill someone. Its like cheating tests in school just here the result doesnt matter at all, so I wont post any ideas on how to gank or play. I will just explain why do I buy those items, use those spells and runes,...
Thanks for opening the guide, if you are not interested in reading through, at least comment below please, so that I know what to add and improve.
First build - laning
The part of laning is very hard for Yi, but if you get some CC on your side or weaker players on the enemy side, you can FB very well. Yi is like the best one for FB, maybe only trundle and sion are better. It sounds crazy but even vs 2 harrasers you can line very well, and you will get kills for sure, if your teammate isnt useless.
Pros / Cons
+ First blood
+ Best DPS
+ Can break down towers too quickly
+ Amazing speed and gank effectivity
+ Perfect killstealer / killer
+ Carry, winning lost games
- Almost useless in midgame
- No teamplay
- Cant initiate
- Vulnerable to disablers
- Needs disabler for full efficiency
In the beginning I'm gonna explain why do I buy those specific items and in that maybe weird order.
Boots of speed and potions give you like 80% first blood, when you are laning with some disabler its 100%, because noone can run away from you and with your armor penetration you ignore most of enemys startup armor. Enjoy.
After buying Avarice blade you should not turn it into Ghostblade before you absolutely need to start ganking etc, because the gold income stops then.
Berserk boots can be switched with Boots of mobility if you feel you are gonna carry and gank more than usually.
In the moment you get Ghostblade you are the best ganker IF your enemies dont run away too early (again - disabler would be super useful).
NOTE - you are best SOLO ganker, not ganking 2v1 and more.
I like getting Vampiric scepter even earlier, but this is the last possible option to do so. You dont use so much mana so you need to stay out in field for as long as possible and wasting on meditation isn't always the best option.
Zeal and Phage is your core build for the two better items, they ensure you can handle fights even in midgame.
Now Bloodthirster, try not to die with this one (will be easier when you get PhD) and start jungling and ganking only, dont mess into teamfights (NEVER do so... I'll explain that later)
PhD and IE is item duo that can't be split, they provide super DPS.
Frozen mallet to turn every enemy around into your food + help you survive bursting characters or ganks.
You might ask - Do I need so big attack speed? Yes, I checked it already, with Ghostblade your attack speed is 2.307 / second, so you can be sure none of it is in vain.
I use Alpha strike first because of the first blood (don't initiate with it, use it to keep close to enemies). Then sometimes I even go for meditation before Wuju, so that I can stay on line even vs great harraser/s and just laugh as they try to make me go back. I don't like "farming" with Alpha because it makes you go back too often to refill your little bit of mana. So I use it only in order to keep in touch with enemies, while saving mana for the famous burst (High + Wuju = 160 mana)
I use Ghost and Exhaust almost every game, there is possibility to go for Cleanse as well but be warned...
If you change Ghost for Cleanse, you will have to turn Ghostblade or Highlander long time before you manage to get close to enemy (if you want to do something more than make them run). This reduces your effectivity a lot.
Giving up on Exhaust isn't best idea either, your enemies will be able to run way faster from you now and you will have no escape summoner spell after failed gank (cleanse helps only for disables, not faster enemies)
As I already mentioned in item description, Master Yi isn't teamplaying character. That means he cant mess into teamfights very well, but it doesn't make him useless.
I will try suggesting how you should act in specific situations.
When there is a team fight, you have two options. You join or you dont.
If you decide not to join, be sure to go farm some creeps and sabotage enemy base as you can meanwhile your team is fighting.
In the case you want to join in and fight, go into some bush nearby and sit there, until you see one of enemies is heavily wounded (according to your ultra damage half hp is enough, even in case of tank). Pick on that one, turn everything (Wuju, Highlander, Ghostblade) on, click on desired enemy and watch how he dies. If you dont get focused after that, keep going, but in the moment more than 1 of enemies focus you, run away! Yi is extremely fragile in any case but 1v1 as he has no CC or CCR.
You might have decided to carry your team. Then go for Frozen Mallet right after Vamp scepter and start going solo BD towers. In the beginning you wont make it to kill whole tower alone of course, so you will need to damage just like 1/4 of it (keep hitting as long as your skills work) and run away. This gets easier when some tank joins you, but it means that there will be only 3 people of your team into teamfights, which might be quite hard. That is one of reasons why Shen is perfect into couple with Yi (disable + excellent help with backdooring while not losing opportunity to stay in teamfights).
I have to say Master Yi is my first character and this is the best of all DPS builds you can get as it provides you with enormous attack speed, damage and first blood chance. I have never met any character that would own Yi in 1v1 while having circa same amount of gold. I can only think of Jax and Warwick, but I never met anyone who would kill me in 1v1 with these chars while not being fed. I might be wrong as I am not very skilled in ranked games, but its logical. Your skills grant you amazing DPS, only wuju style gives you 70 more AD, on critical hit its +175 damage.
Rammus is somehow different case. In 1v1 you have to hit him, let him put on his super shield and wait this shield to die down. And then use all dps skills (Alpha only if he flashes or uses roll to get away) and let him see. Even Rammus cant survive this damage, altho he will leave you with few HP left.
Mark of Desolation - Excellent tool for FB and lategame domination... Little example: On lvl 1 champions have about 33 armor. Along with Quintessences you penetrate 25 points of it, so enemy armor reduces your damage by (8/(8+100))*100 = 7%. Cool, isn't it?
Seal of Vitality - 156 more hp at lvl 18, you are going to need it quite a lot, considering you play such squishy character and there are situations where you could use exactly these 100 more hp to survive.
Glyph of Furor - Without runes your crits deal up to 1100 dmg to minion. Count in 5,04 percent and you end up at 1155. Imagine dealing this damage 2 times a second to a single enemy while shredding their armor by 25.
Quintessence of Desolation - Another great DPS enhancer. Further explained in Mark of Desolation "section"
Second build - half jungle
Now to the second part. First I will describe the core strategy you will be playing and then we shall get to how I made up this strategy.
You buy your Long sword and a health potion and hurry up to a lane with someone who can go on as solo (therefore you go top everytime). Hopefully you get FB, but if you do, dont get too rash. Keep laning until you get 520 gold AND level 3 at least. Use all your mana, you will need quite big number of killed creep to be as fast as possible. When you achieved those two prerequisities to jungle, go back (and informa about that your laning mate) and buy Madreds razors, in case you already used your potion get another one. Head over to blue golem, alpha it and pop health potion. You will get it down while having in average 400 HP. Use meditation as often as possible, clear entire jungle and if you feel lucky, you can try taking down redbuff too, but i dont recommend it. Relying on luck isnt something you should get used to.
For the ganks, do it only when you have Exhaust ready or when your teammates are in danger. There is no use of throwing alpha and hoping for the enemy will not run away, if you dont want to simply help your friend to lane by harrasing enemy.
I made this way of playing Yi after long time of laning only and jungling only. Its in my opinion the best one - you dont have to get smite spell and you can have one partially-solo lane. I havent lost a single game with this yet, all you need is one nice tank/initiator, in my case it was Maokai.
Long sword, healt pot. - There is option of getting cloth armor too of course (lol), but in my opinion, farming is a little bit faster with this one. Health potion is better if not used, you will be laning for about 5 minutes so no stress. Its needed to take down blue golem and jungle safely.
Madreds Razors - Jungle Yis bread and butter, I wont write smart comment about every of its advantages it brings.
Wriggles Lantern - Mid-game item, dont build this if you suspect enemies are going to have more than one tank.
BF Sword - Some damage so that you can confront someone who steps in your way and gank effectively, dont go into teamfights yet though. I dont reccomend it, you are too easy to get down.
Zeal - Attack speed, needed to farm minions and succeed in 1v1.
Infinity Edge - Amazing AD, this is the first MUST HAVE item you will get.
Phantom Dancer - Again, when combined with IE its the best DPS you can get from two items. MUST HAVE.
Bloodthirster - Every DPS champion needs lifesteal, especially melee ones and specially the ones without CCR or CC. MUST HAVE.
Berserker Greaves - Choose which boots you prefer, in every game you can use simply any boots (but Sorcerers and Lucitidy). Do not follow the building order, get boots just when you want to. Dont act like classic old-school ashes, who buy boots +3 before they get any DPS. Earlier time is, in my opinion, after Zeal. Of course this is MUST HAVE.
Phage - Ganking and CC tool, you can survive some burst AP facerolls too. Feel free to get this even before your first BF, its completely up to you.
Bloodthirster - 50% lifesteal after a while of backdooring or jungling isnt really useless. Also it gives the biggest AD that you can wish for.
Frozen Mallet - Annie? Lux? They maybe instakill you usually, but not now! You can laugh while looking how your Yi refills his HP in no time after being stationary nuked. Turning on meditation while under fire isnt bad idea too.
All the items without MUST HAVE can be replaced with Madreds Bloodrazor, Black Cleaver, Tiamat, Sword of the Occult, that thing that makes you undodge-able etc... Just what you need :)
Alpha strike - You need this to get into jungle quickly and to jungle quickly and to harras. Use this to dodge skillshots and aimed shots.
Meditation - When well timed, it makes you the best of all tanks for about 5 seconds and so allows you to survive classic bursts like lux, nidalee, malzahar etc. Try not to waste for classic healing in lategame, save it for nukers.
Wuju style - More than a BF Sword for free... hmm, that doesnt sound bad.
Highlander - Makes you like the most OP champion for up to 12 seconds. Good game.
Exhaust - Ganking tool and lategame DPS-knockout. Can be changed for Ghost, Flash, Teleport,... but then I recommend you to get Phage way earlier.
Cleanse - The only spell to make you not completely useless in teamfights. I guess you should not change this for everything as long as you want to participate in teamfights at all. Doesnt matter for randoms :)
Never charge in fight as the first one, not even as fourth one. Stand aside and wait. If you are going to lose, you wont change it, if your mates are at least maintaining draw, pick some low HP or adjacent enemy and focus him only. Yi can do quadrakills very well but not while facing all enemies at the same time. Focus the one who is left alone, then jump into fight and pop cleanse in the moment you get first stun or snare. Press R, E and count kills. In case when you are focused too much, use Q and W to redirect the focus upon someone else. W is really team reliable, so dont do it when you know you dont have enough amount of good players in team... Rather run away, you are fast enough!
I have already mentioned some tips and strategies, but I believe build is to tell you what items to use and explain why, but not about telling you how to play. After about five games you should know everything you want anyway; when to gank, when to run, that you shouldnt meet any enemy in midgame, when to mix into teamfight, ...
I hope you will enjoy playing my Yi :)
Comment and rate so I can add more builds and upgrade this one.
Also I am sorry for my english, I tried to make the build understandable for everyone.
Thanks for reading through.