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Master Yi Build Guide by Mercilus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mercilus

Master Yi (Crit Build) S6.20 Yi NERF NOTES!!

Mercilus Last updated on October 16, 2016
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 18

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 12

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

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Introduction (All Edited 17/10/2016) HUGE NEWS!

(17/10/2016 update is in the Jungle Clear section)
Have just checked out a video from Senpai Cowsep about a new bug for master Yi that's going to change the way you play..
As we all know Master Yi's Alpha Strike cooldown resets faster with auto attacks, this has been changed for Invincible champions.
Cowsep proved this in a couple of short clips on one of his videos, if attacking a champion who is invincible you WILL NOT be able to reduce the cooldown of Alpha Strike with auto attacks.
Champions like Kayle, Kindred and Taric literally make Master Yi useless during invincibility (which let's be honest they're invincible anyway) but at least we could Alpha Strike to someone else if we were clever enough and continue fighting.
Now it seems we'll have to hold back our highlander or use it to run away when champions use these types of abilities.
I'm not sure yet if this bug is consistent for all champs like can Tryndamere still build rage on invincible champions etc but i'll keep looking.
Hopefully this helps you guys with your Yi games and leave a comment if you notice anymore changes to our favourite champ.

** UPDATED.. Added some notes about strategy/decision making in the summary.

(At the moment i'm looking at changes for the 6.14 patch, and doesn't really look like it affects Master Yi.)
So you're playing Master Yi?
Do you enjoy destroying squishies with 2 hits?
Do you like destroying tanks in 5 hits?
Do you like being raged at by the opposing team with smack talk like:
"How's right clicking?"
"Master Yi is easy"
"No skill"

If this sounds like you then enjoy this build....
With this build (especially low Elo) you should be carrying EVERY game, make smart decisions and clean up every fight.

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Summoner Spells

Smite - No explanation needed surely.
Only thing I will mention is how you use it.
- Use it to last hit the camp to guarantee you get the XP/Gold
- Or use it early so the cooldown is ready earlier for your next camp
- Also use it for the heal and on enemy champions THIS IS A HUGE DEAL!

With Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior you cut the enemys damage output by 20% for 4 seconds when using Smite on them, you also increase true damage output over that 4 seconds too. Im fairly certain this stacks with Master Yi's Wuju Style too. #DONTQUOTEME

Flash Great item for outplay/escapes/initiating.

Lots of great examples of when to use this item, in conjuction with Alpha Strike gives you 2 abilities to dodge skillshots, especially CC skill shots Morgana Lux etc.

This means you can turn Master Yi's biggest weakness into a strength.
Here's an example, you walk into lane (No Highlander) and you are looking to bait an early bind, you see it coming and either Flash (if long range) or Alpha Strike at close range, then you still have a gap closer if they use flash to get away, plus Highlander to destroy them. You should be able to finish them without using Highlander anyway though.

In a team fight with more than one enemy with CC (CC = crowd control like binds, stuns, knock ups etc for my newbies) You can Q in dodging one bind and flash out to avoid another.

Obviously a few people you can't do this for are Ryze, Alistar etc as their CC is not a skillshot. :(

The other 2 options you could try would be:

Teleport Use this for map control and extreme split pushing, Master Yi is an AWESOME split pusher, especially with this build.
Statikk Shiv will destroy the whole wave maybe bar the Seige minion by a tiny bit of health so use Teleport if you think you can take an objective and get out.

Ghost This has just recently got a buff and has a really low cooldown, experiment with it as combined with Highlander will make you far too fast to be caught, and no one will ever be getting away, not even with flash. I haven't used this very often as I like to use Flash or Teleport for surprise attacks/escapes.

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Ok, now this is going to take some explaining and I know alot of people will disagree but so far it has never let me down and I find im destroying the whole team in seconds.

Yes you are squishy, and yes it's VERY VERY expensive.. But you can literally Alpha Strike into a team fight destroy their Jinx, Tristana, flash out and boom their main damage dealer is toast.
(Using these abilities to dodge attacks is explained in the summoner spells section)

After first clear of small camps you should have the 650 gold needed to get Skirmisher's Sabre.
(Clear explained shortly in the creeping/jungling section)
Get this and then return for your second clear (explained below), after following the clear instructions you should have enough for Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior, (you can opt for half of a warrior build and boots if you like, i do this often depending how the game is going)
**9/9/2016 I have found changing from Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior to Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor more attack speed = more crits = more deaths = more resets... Try it out

Get Berserker's Greaves ASAP as you will need the attack speed and movement, then work on Essence Reaver.
The build pretty much goes build DMG, build Speed, build DMG, build Speed.

The Final item is strictly up to you, i'm confident enough to just go with Phantom Dancer that puts us at 100% crit and I love the extra movement speed, attack speed plus passive for taking a little less damage.

You can swap this for anything defensive ( Guardian Angel is a really good choice or Sterak's Gage or Maw but that's up to you.)

And finally swapping out Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior for The Bloodthirster just gives you more DMG, a shield and Health steal.
The active you lose on your smite may deter you from swapping this out so again, up to you, try it out.
The raw damage you get from full build including Elixir of Wrath means a couple auto attacks and their AD carry should be dead.
Even tanks don't last very long at all..

An example in a recent game I had was I could Highlander Alpha Strike to the AD carry, attack them once and flash out without the other team being able to react fast enough.. Because Master Yi i'snt any good at initiating a massive team fight just going in to destroy the carry was a huge advantage and allowed my team to initiate with better odds, even if Highlander went on cooldown I could still clean up afterwards if it was needed.

Essence Reaver
I don't see people build this often and i dont know why, get this after Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior & Berserker's Greaves.

Statikk Shiv
Farming creep waves will be effortless and good for laying damage on champions who are within range.

Infinity Edge
Get this for extra extra damage, you'll be deleting people pretty easily after this only limited by attack speed

Phantom Dancer
I get this for the movement speed and attack speed and to get that 100% crit, could be a better option to go for youmuu's to have more damage plus the speed from it's active.. I'm starting to think this would be better and will start trying this instead.
Other good options for last item could be Mercurial Scimitar or Maw of Malmortius

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Once again not 100% accurate but the idea here is to max all your damaging spells without needing a point in Meditate.
I find this works for me in low elo as with good farm you should find yourself doing tonnes of damage without the need to regenerate health.

Obviously if you feel the need to have this put a point in it whenever you feel.

I can do a clear of the small camps early without needing it, same as the 2nd clear (which includes the buffs) without needing to Meditate aswell.
(Will explain the clear later)

Obviously take Highlander whenever possible too.

Try not to initiate a gank with Alpha Strike unless you absolutely have to, save it to gap close if the enemy uses Flash or one of their damaging spells or binds.
This is entirely up to your decision making as using it too early leaves the enemy open to be able to escape and using it too late can put you in a bad position for a counter gank, take turret shots or even worse miss the gank altogether.

Alpha Strike
You can use this to lose tower agro, this is awesome for tower dives as killing an enemy reduces the cooldowns so it should make it easier to escape that last tower hit that could kill you.
You do not know how many times i've been saved from death because of a last minute Alpha Strike to a minion after killing a champion. MASTER THIS!

The way I play atm this isn't too usefull and I play as if i've never had it so i'm use to not having it in the early game.
People won't be turning on you to go 1v1 (unless they are Jax so usually you'll get a flash or a kill/assist.
Take Meditate when YOU feel like you need it, I take it usually when I have no other option as i'm wanting to go full damage. To some people this won't seem very efficient, as the longevity of Meditate should be greater than the extra damage from Wuju Style, they are probably right but my play style allows me to counter the need for Meditate.
If your farming doesn't go too well and you get countered then you may need an early Meditate to literally keep yourself in lane and farming your butt off to catch up.

Wuju Style
Like i've been repeating get this when not getting Alpha Strike and keep putting the hurt on em.

You know when to take this...

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Pretty standard here. Few options though.
Runic Affinity
You may want to take this over Assassin but i find im giving blue buff away to mid anyway so almost no need..

Could go Natural Talent if you wanted, but the lifesteal is what keeps you alive in the jungle especially early.

I go Fervor of Battle but Warlord's Bloodlust could work very well too I might start trying it out.

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Also pretty standard, either max attack speed or put a little damage there, this is purely for helping fist clears, your scaling goes through the roof with this build so no matter what you take youll be OP at the end of it anyway.
Don't have much of an explanation, I played around with these a bit.
I generally start out with about 61 Damage and nice chunk of attack speed and even with an average leash can get a clear done with a little health left and enough money to get Skirmisher's Sabre straight out the gate.
Other things you might want to play around with and experiment is adding more attack speed or add more damage and swap the flat resist and armour for scaling resist & armour.
This is purely up to you and how you feel in the early game..
The 1% subtle differences wont make much difference unless playing high Elo/Rank anyway i find.

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Jungle Clear

Have started experimenting with staying a little longer during the first clear, alot of junglers these dasy (low elo) are cheesing level 3 ganks so sticking around for a counter gank is slightly paying off. The counter to that is that you may be giving a double kill if you aren't carefull. Have found Junglers like, Lee Sin, Volibear even Kha'Zix are cheesing low Elo, so while sticking around early if you can predict their jungle path it could be worth while. The is making the meta game quite important for a Yi player now and becoming more of a "stop the other team from snowballing" instead of 'farm my arse off and get fed" type strategy. People know that Yi isn't ganking early so are taking advantage of free early game non existant pressure.
Good luck with this and any ideas let me know.

Go with the Hunter's Machete Warding Totem no pots start.
Watch players like N3ac3y cheese this build and you'll see why its so good.

Clear all the small camps starting from bot (big frikken frog or rock Golem looking dudes)
Start with an auto attack straight into Alpha Strike using Smite to guarantee the gold/experience.

Make your way to the razor backs/wolves using the same strategy with AA to Alpha Strike.
With the birds auto the first small bird and use Alpha Strike this will kill the bird you AA'd and then only need 1 hit each for the other 2.
The big one will take more hits and make sure you use Wuju Style on him.

The wolves are a little trickier as you may waste your passive Double Strike on killing the small wolf instead of using it on the big guy so you can switch if you like.

Then cross over to the other side and work your magic on the remaining 2 small camps.

After clearing these you should have $650 which is enough to get Skirmisher's Sabre

Get this and head back to repeat the process, but this time you can take the buffs.
Once you get this clear down pat you should be ahead of the enemy jungler and be looking for a scuttle or easy gank top/mid.

If you get a successful gank and a scuttle you should have level 6 and can look for another gank either gank or go back to farming camps.

Ideally you want $1600 to go back and finish off [[skirmisher's sabre - warrior).
If you get on an awesome start/roll you may be even able to get boots aswell.

Farm like an absolute legend and look to get gank bot to take dragon, you can solo it at level 6-7 but it will take ages and you will need to use ult, I would only risk this for Fire dragon and if you have a good idea where the enemy is.

Once you have boots start working on Essence Reaver and from now the game is in your hands, you should spend the majority of this time farming and look for ganks when opportunities rise, DO NOT spend your time only looking for ganks as you will waste precious minutes running up & down the map..
If you can save someone do it, but only if safe to do so and gank if it's handed to you on a plate.


If any of your lanes get ahead that just makes your job 10x easier and when they start roaming you can then look to gank more and clean up any easy team fights.

FARM, FARM, FARM I cannot stress this enough, if there an opportunity to push a lane right in and take a tower do it, then on the way back to every camp you can before going back to spend money, you will get better at the decision making here and you need to be keeping tabs on everyone.

If you farm the **** out of the map you should reach full build extremely quickly and be deleting everyone just as fast...
On the other hand if your team is feeding then all you can do is tell them to stop getting caught out and initiating fights and just defend while you push & farm what you can.

Obviously the game is easier if you can be ahead of the other team but even if you are on par with them this build should still do ridiculous amounts of damage, and if they are fed they probably aren't building to counter you.

Im hoping you guys have some questions here as i've probably forgotten some good information so feel free to ask in the comments.

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Summary So far


Ran this build again yesterday 1/8/2016, found something that may help..
Deciding when to fight:
In my most recent game following my build I farmed like a boss (standard) with a couple of small ganks top & bot lane. If you find yourself ahead in farm and levels you want to, no.. you NEED to keep this advantage. The easiest way to do this is to NOT DIE!
Even though you'll be shredding through the enemy like nobody's business I kept my cool as the enemy team seemed to have me in their sights, using THIS to my advantage I found myself more effective at kiting the other team into battles they shouldn't want.
Most of the time this meant giving up kills I would have otherwise gone ham for.
An example was in the mid lane where their jungler and AD carry were trying to push I figured once I showed up in the lane the rest of their team would show up for a shut down, they had Tristana & Graves although i could probably get a double here (maybe) I decided to Q to Tristana unleash what I could knowing she would jump away, like predicted their team showed up and while i got a hit or 2 on Graves had to back off straight away, my team ended up turning up at the same time and got both the kill on Tristana and the kill on graves with me still at full health and their team left with nothing to do but defend mid.
Now I could have gone ham and got both kills died myself, but in my opinion was better that I fed my team with 2 assists and no deaths, this allowed me to go take Dragon and continue farming while my team pushed mid.
This mentality should be your thinking at all time, grab the advantage and keep it or use it to feed your team, being dead relieves pressure from the other team and could allow them to push somewhere without fear of you showing up to wreck them. Keep this mentality in mind and you will find yourself carry alot harder than before as your map presence is crucial to THEIR decision making.

Im going to keep hammering home that this build isn't for everyone and would probably take someone fairly good with Yi to use.

I use to use the shred build ( Youmuu's Ghostblade, Blade of the Ruined King etc) and while it is great just felt it took too long to kill people (Long as in a few seconds/attacks longer) and with how squishy Yi is and being countered by CC I figured that if i'm going to die from CC then i'm going to take at the very least the AD carry with me.
Plus generally anyone with CC can die just as quickly too, this made them more scared of me than I was of them and with Flash & Alpha Strike up my sleeve there was alot more chance of an outplay.

Obviously tho, your mage bursty types will whip your butt! Like seriously, if Fizz catches you with a full combo you're done (Just like anyone else in the game) or if le blanc catches you out you're also done, and thats just the nature of the game so you'll be needing the help of your team to deal with these and don't fall for the "1v1 me Yi" BS that you'll get after killing everyone after a team fight clean up, or after the enemy team has ults on cooldown.

Your decision making is key!! Can't stress this enough, if you get this build working for you you will feel invincible but you aren't, remember your team could be feeding and their team could be farming like bosses so don't be trying to initiate 1v5s or solo baron just yet. (Although this can be done)
Remember you are a clean up artist and no one can escape you, wait for those ults and CC skill shots to be used up and even if the enemy team is full health you can cut them all down (this is what I mean about the shred build taking too long) with previous builds I would find I would still hold off joining the fight until the enemy had been poked enough for you to finish them (that could be my mistake there) but with this build I find that I engage the instant the main CC and Ults have been used, and with how quickly you can destroy the Squishies you will find yourself watching the other team hit retreat mode fairly quickly.

Very very important, once fed you need to push the advantage and create pressure by taking objectives, but this gives the other team opportunity to set up ganks.
WARD WARD WARD, your team needs to help you ward Dragon, Baron and buffs all game, once you become the target (bain of their existence) they will hunt you, they will find you and they will kill you.. Unless. You outsmart them.

Show your presence by split pushing a lane, don't push it too far and and you'll need some good judgement when to leave, when you think the team could be coming for you make your way to another lane and push that and continue this cat and mouse game while your team push their own objectives. Don't be afraid to use Highlander to get away too or to quickly take a tower, the cooldown on this is pretty low.

Now.... most teams do this wrong as they are normally playing for themselves and not playing to their strength which is you and I think is one of the MOST important strategies in the game PROPER SPLIT PUSHING.

You DO NOT want your team initiating a fight that they cant win, if you are split pushing then you need to assume your team will be going 4v5, not good odds, what your split push is meant to do is hopefully force 1 of the enemy to come stop you, and at this stage NO ONE should be able to 1v1 you, so they will most likely send 2-3 people and in most cases i've found, THE WHOLE TEAM.. If your team is smart they will notice you split pushing and start a push of their own (or hold off the enemies push), you generally DO NOT want them to tsrat a fight unless absolutely beyond a doubt they can win and even then I wouldn't recommend it.

The most frustrating thing in the world is when your team stupidly initiates a team fight knowing they are at a disadvantage (this usually happens from being baited to death) and then means you have to rush to save them if they aren't already dead usually leaving you to decide can you 1v3 or 4 which is 50/50 at absolute best as you haven't been there early enough and not sure what spells were used how much health they have or if anyone is hiding somewhere waiting for you.

Now lets say your team lived and the enemy saw you pushing a tower, worse case scenario they send 3 people your way catch you and you die..... I can guarantee you I can take at least 1 out before you kick the bucket, so then you go one for one and your team has been free for a while to take something of their own, either you or them should get an objective/kill and so now you've gone 1 for 1 but you've taken an objective or another kill and that's pretty good.

I could go on about little strategies like this forever using Yi but i'm at work and don't have time lol, if you want to get better watch Cowsep or Faker or any Master Yi Senpai but in the OCE in a normal game this build just destroys, same has been happening in ranked games (unfortunately i'm not ranked very high as I just never play ranked :() but I will continue to use this build until it doesn't work and with the buffs that have been given to both Essence Reaver and Infinity Edge why not take advantage of the extra 10 damage.

So far this is my guide and i plan to keep it as up to date as possible, please leave me some comments with questions and suggestions, I've tried many of the other builds and yes they are great but so far this is my favourite which is what i've chosen personally with experience. I'm not platinum ranked (sorry) and that's because I play with mates who just like to play normals... for now.
**Update** So finally decided to get a rank using Master Yi and went 4/10 wins... :(
3 of those losses had either someone AFK or feed because they didn't get their lane.
And I barely managed to score an A ranking.
2 of the wins were carries where i recieved S rankings.
So could have been better but got into Silver 5, will only play Yi ranked from now on and see how this build fares..

I appreciate any feedback and if you guys hit me up i'll be sure to add anything i've missed out, atm i'm at work and this is all i can think of.

Thanks Mercilus