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Build Guide by Madmack

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Madmack

Master Yi - A Skin for Every Occasion [Revised - Updated]

Madmack Last updated on February 19, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #27 in
Jungle Role
Win 50%
Get More Stats

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Opening Comments


This build is currently under construction and will undergo a lot of updates.
Opening Comments:

Master Yi has always been my favorite melee champion, I don't really know why, I think its because the very first day I started playing this game Master Yi was free and so I tried him out and thought he was so cool. I was actually able to kill people! hahahaha

Anyway, this began my fascination with Master Yi and although I had considerable trouble finding success with him post level 20, I wanted so badly to be good with him. I have tried just about every style of Master Yi play that there is, and I have found 3 builds that have given me consistent success.

Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting. Thank you.

I have used these builds primarily in un-ranked games, and so I will give no illusions that you can just go into a ranked game with these builds and rape face or anything like that. I plan to begin testing these builds in ranked games, however, I have had trouble finding the opportunity to pick Master Yi in a ranked game. (Many people queue dodge when you pick him, and often he doesn't quite fit into the team build.)

Regardless, Master Yi is still extremely fun to play and is a very viable champion.

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Video Introduction

CLICK The Video To View In HD:

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Intro to Master Yi


Let's begin with a quick understanding of Master Yi's "out-of-the-box" strengths. There are many and its important that you understand the use of each.

1. Alpha Strike: Master Yi leaps accross the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing 100/150/200/250/300 (+100% of ability power) magic damage to each enemy with a 20/30/40/50/60% chance to deal 400 bonus magic damage to minions. Alpha Strike is a great skill for: closing the distance to enemy champions, harassing champions using their minions, and escaping by using it as a situational flash.

2. Meditate: Master Yi channels, restoring 140/280/420/560/700 (+165% of ability power) health over 5 seconds. While channeling, Master Yi gains 100/150/200/250/300 armor and magic resistance. Meditate is a fantastic survivability tool. Since Yi get's targeted early in most team fights, Meditate can keep you alive long enough for your team to start raping face. Additionally, proper use of meditate will keep you in lanes longer.

3. Wuju Style: Passive: Increases physical damage by 15/20/25/30/35. Active: Master Yi can activate this ability to double its effectiveness for 10 seconds, but this removes the passive bonus until Wuju Style becomes available again. Wuju style is the best passive AD boost of any champion in the game, and will allow you to do great damage even before you have any +dmg items.

4. Highlander: Increases Master Yi's movement speed by 40% and Attack Speed by 40/60/80%, and he becomes immune to all slowing effects for 6/9/12 seconds. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns. (Assists reduce half of all the base cooldown amount.) Highlander is an absolutely awesome escape mechanism and chasing mechanism with its immunity to speed controlling effects and increased movement speed. Increased attack speed is also fantastic and allows you to demolish enemy champions quickly. The chance for a quick cooldown reduction is a nice little touch.

5. Double Strike: Master Yi Strikes Twice Every 7th Attack. Yi's passive for every 7th attack to hit twice is not to be overlooked, and as you begin to "master" Master Yi, you will find yourself timing attacks on enemy champions with your 7th hit.

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What Style Should I Play?

What Style Should I Pick?:

When I decide to play Master Yi I literally have the 3 rune sets set up and simply pick which kind of Master Yi I will play based upon my team composition. Here are some examples:

1. If the team has little to no AP damage I will of course pick AP Yi.
2. If the team has a lot of damage output but only 1 solid tank I will pick Off-Tank Yi.
3. If the team lacks any primary AD carry champion I will pick AD Yi.
4. If there is no significant deficit (unlikely) I will usually pick AP Yi.

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Build Description: Attack Damage, or Carry Master Yi

Intro to Attack Damage, Carry, Jungler, Master Yi:
It is very Important that you select the Assassin Master Yi Skin to play AD Yi. This is the key to your success.
Video Guide to AD Yi:

I hope you enjoy this video guide. Just so happened that the team I was playing when I recorded this was incredibly bad, so I apologize for that and I hope you're still able to get a few tips about how to play an AD Jungle Yi.

AD Yi is the most squishy of all 3 builds. There are a few of reasons for this:
    1. You don't spec into the Defensive Tree.
    2. Your runes are geared towards killing not survivability.
    3. You don't have much AP so your meditate isn't overly powerful.

This doesn't make AD Yi bad, it just is what it is. AD Yi has a few significant strengths that compensate for this lack of survivability:
    1. Highest Damage output of all 3 builds.
    2. Amazing at farming minions.
    3. Awesome solo pusher of side lanes.
    4. Absolutely rapes towers.

AD Yi's primary weaknesses are:
    1. Very Squishy and easy to control.
    2. Very Difficult to Master.
    3. Relies on good team play.

Jungling with Master Yi is relatively simple to do, but it is nothing like jungling with Warwick. So if WW is your jungling background, throw everything you thought you knew about jungling out of the window.

Here's a quick map for you to look over. I'll discuss it further below.

To start, you must first get a and 2 . Your first skill is . You will begin by Alpha Striking the Golems. There are a few scenarios you will want to consider.

1. Alpha Strike Proc's on both Golems. In this situation, you will save , and simply auto attack them both dead.

2. Alpha Strike Proc's on 1 golem. In this situation will you use on the golem that Alpha strike did not proc on.

3. Alpha Strike does not proc. In this situation you will use smite on your primary target and then auto-attack the rest of the way down.

No matter what the situation, you will need to drink a health potion .

After killing the Golem camp, head to the wraiths, and kill the large wraith first. to destroy the wraith camp.

to kill the wolf camp, then teleport back to the spawn.

At the spawn point you will purchase . Make sure that you purchase it even if you have to wait a few seconds for the gold.

The second time through, you will have no trouble with any camps. Teleport back again, and purchase Madred's Blades.

On your third run, head immediately for the blue buff. Use . Head for the Red buff, and follow the same pattern. You won't have Smite, but that's not a problem because you will have plenty of mana to Alpha Strike multiple times.


The item build order for AD Yi is:

Item Explanations:

Cloth Armor
18 Armor.
Cloth Armor is the first item towards getting your Madred's Razors. It helps significantly with making sure the first time through on the spawn camps you don't get owned.

Madred's Razors
23 Armor, 15 Attack Damage. UNIQUE Passive: 15% chance on attack to deal 500 damage to a minion.
This item will allow you to dominate the jungle and get your buffs quickly. 23 armor and 15 damage is nothing to shabby either. The key though is that you will be upgrading this to Madred's Bloodrazor later.

Boots of Speed
Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 1
These boots will assist in your ganking as well as moving through the jungle more quickly.

Recurve Bow
40 Attack Speed.
The addition of 40 attack speed will allow you to kill enemy champions faster and have more chances for Madred's to proc when jungling. This is why I get it before I finish upgrading my boots.

Boots of Swiftness
Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 3
The reason that Boots of Swiftness are my first choice for boots is because movement speed is highly underrated for Master Yi. The quicker he is able to move around the battlefield the better. Since he is easy to control and counter it is very important that you're able to get on top of your enemies or get out quickly if things don't go as planned. I have tried Mercury Treads and I just don't find them to be as effective as the added movement speed of Swiftness.

Madred's Bloodrazor
25 Armor, 40 Attack Speed, 30 Attack Damage. Unique Passive: On hit, deals Magic Damage equal to 4% of the target's maximum Health.
Once you finish your Bloodrazor you will see a very significant boost in damage. Additionally, tanks will be much less of an issue for you. Madred's Bloodrazor is so far superior to Wriggle's Lantern I'm not even going to bother discussing the difference.

Vampiric Scepter
12 Life Steal.
If you're not missing your Lifesteal yet you should be. I have desired to put this in earlier in the build, but I just can't justify it. However, you must get some lifesteal immediately after you've upgraded to Madred's Bloodrazor. You will see a significant difference in your survivability.

Phantom Dancer
55 Attack Speed, 30 Critical Strike, 15 Movement Speed.
What's not to love? Increased attack speed for more 7th hits and more damage done from Madred's Bloodrazor. Your crit ratio will also go up significantly and your movement speed will be nicely boosted from this item. A fantastic addition to your arsenal.

The Bloodthirster
100 Attack Damage, 25 Life Steal. Passive: Gain an additional 1 Physical Damage and 0.25% Lifesteal per kill. Maximum of +40 Damage and 10% Lifesteal. Bonuses are lost upon death.
Okay so for those of you who follow my builds you know that I think that Bloodthirster is the best lifesteal item for a carry champion. And Master Yi is no exception. Once you have your Bloodthirster you'll be absolultely tearing people apart. The 25% lifesteal will keep you healed up, and the 100 extra damage will knock them down.

Force of Nature
40 Health Per 5 Sec, 76 Magic Resist, 8 Movement Speed. UNIQUE Passive: Restores 0.35% of your champion's health every second.
This item is extremely powerful with this Yi build. At this point in the game you will find that mostly AP champions are giving you difficulties, and this item will give you significant protection against them. In addition, you already have 19.5% increased movement speed from quints and Phantom Dancer, and the addition of 8 more brings you up to 27.5% increased move speed. This will help you a lot more than you would think.

Infinity Edge
75 Attack Damage, 20 Critical Strike Chance. UNIQUE Passive: Critical Strikes now deal 250% damage instead of 200%.
Okay so lets be honest, there are going to be very few times that you will get to buy an Infinity Edge. However if a game is going this long, you will probably need it. Make sure that you buy a B.F. Sword first, since it gives you the best item while you're waiting to upgrade.

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Build Description: Ability Power Master Yi

Intro to Ability Power Master Yi:
It is very Important that you select the Chosen Master Yi Skin to play AP Yi. This is the only way you will properly unleash your Jedi mind-tricks on your enemies!
Messed Up My Video :(:

Well I screwed up this video, but I'll share it anyway. Gives a little bit of info. Click the video to watch it in HD on Enjoy.

AP Yi is my favorite style of Yi to play, this may be quite a surprise to many people, but since the last patch AP Yi does ridiculous damage and is subsequently very fun to play. AP Yi has a few stand-out strengths.
    1. Absolutely massive multi-target nuke with Alpha Strike.
    2. Fantastic Self-Healing with meditate.
    3. Very low cooldowns on all abilities.

Gameplay Concepts:

1. I always lane with AP Yi, and will sometimes get the mid. Laning with AP yi is extremely easy because he will have excellent harass capabilities with Alpha Strike and self-healing with Meditate.

2. Harassing with Alpha Strike is a must. The proper way to harass with Alpha Strike is to wait until there are 3 or fewer minions with an enemy champion in range. Then, simply Alpha Strike a minion and you will also hit the enemy champion.

3. Tower Diving with AP Yi isn't recommended for inexperience players. However, AP Yi is very good at tower diving. Just be very conscious of how much damage your Alpha Strikes are doing, and when a champion is low enough nuke them down. Alpha Strike followed by Highlander is a great way to tower-dive nuke, and then get out quickly while only getting hit once or twice by the tower. Ignite will also get you a lot of kills with an Alpha Strike.

4. Meditate is very powerful with an AP build. Once Meditate is level 3 or higher, you can use it to tank a tower for your allies to destroy, heal up while taking tower damage after diving an enemy champion. And you can also use it when you get focused in team fights.

5. Even though you're an AP build, you must not underestimate the power of your auto-attacks. Wuju Style makes your auto-attacks hit for a very nice amount of damage and you will get quite a few kills using it. Also, once you have Nashor's Tooth, you will really be able to do a good amount of auto-attack damage. Lastly, coupled with Highlander, you will have some very nice attack speed.


The item build order for AP Yi is:

Item Explanations:

Doran's Ring
15 Ability Power, 100 Health, 4 Mana Per 5 Sec.
Doran's Ring is a great first item for AP Yi. It gives you added survivability, more damage output, and extra mana regen. It will also leave you with enough gold for a Mana Potion, which is prefered over a health potion because you will use meditate to heal yourself.

Needlessly Large Rod
80 Ability Power
This is the first item you should get, hands down, no question. You will not be viable, nor will you do enough damage for a long enough period of time with any other first item choice. I have tried many other first item options and this one is by far the best. Remember, 1:1 ratio on Alpha Strike and 1:1.65 on Meditate.

Sorcerer's Shoes
20 Magic Penetration. UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced Movement 2
These boots will obviously increase your movement speed which is needed, and will give you additional killing power through Magic Penetration.

Rabadon's Deathcap
155 Ability Power. UNIQUE Passive: Increased Ability Power by 30%.
This item is an insanely huge upgrade for your Needlessly Large Rod. With this item your enemies will fear your nukes, and you can take a ton of punishment while channeling Meditate.

Nashor's Tooth
50 Attack Speed, 55 Ability Power, 10 Mana Per 5 Sec. UNIQUE Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 25%
Make sure that you get Fiendish Codex as the first item towards Nashor's tooth, as you will want to have the extra mana per 5. Nashor's Tooth will give you just under 40% cooldown reduction with your runes, and will drastically increase the effectiveness of your auto-attacks. 55 extra ability power is nothing too shabby either.

Zhonya's Hourglass
50 Armor, 100 Ability Power. UNIQUE Active: Places your champion into Stasis for 2 seconds, rendering your champion invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any actions. 90 second cooldown.
This item offers a lot of survivability. 100 extra AP makes your meditate just that much more powerful. 50 Armor is very nice as well, and the immunity for 2 seconds is just a sweet save clicky. When you get targeted in team fights(if you can), let your hp dive to about half, then click this item. As soon as you come out of stasis, Alpha Strike and then meditate to heal up. You will greatly frustrate your opponents with this combo.

Rod of Ages
60 Ability Power, 450 Health, 525 Mana. Passive: Your Champion gains 18 Health, 20 Mana, and 2 Ability Power every 1 min. Bonuses cap at +180 Health, +200 Mana and +20 Ability Power.
Okay so this item probably seems weird at this stage in the game. However, you need something to replace Doran's Ring. Doran's ring did 2 things for you, increased HP and increased sustainability with mana regen. So the goal is the replace both of those things seamlessly. I believe Rod of the Ages accomplishes this the best. Rylia's Scepter is viable, but I tend to run out of mana more quickly with it than with Rod of the Ages. I usually don't find myself missing the slow of Rylia's, and Rod of the Ages is slightly(though very minor) cheaper. For Rod of the ages, you don't have to replace Doran's ring immediately, so get your blasting wand first.

Hextech Gunblade
45 Attack Damage, 55 Ability Power, 20 Life Steal, 20 Spell Vamp. UNIQUE Active: Deals 300 magic damage and slows the target champion by 50% for 3 seconds (700 range). 60 second cooldown.
Okay so I'm going to be 100% honest with you guys here. I have never made it to this item. However, my guess is that if a game lasts this long, the addition of lifesteal and an extra little nuke will be just what you will want to have. But, I've never been able to test it, so I cannot say for sure. Sorry! :(

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Build Description: Off-Tank Master Yi

Intro to Off-Tank Master Yi:
It is very Important that you select the Ionia Master Yi Skin to play Off-Tank Yi. This skin will properly put the fear of god into your enemies!