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Master Yi Build Guide by StbanJ

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League of Legends Build Guide Author StbanJ

Master Yi: How to Yisus

StbanJ Last updated on October 13, 2015
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Who am I?

Hello! I'm StbanJ and this is my first guide so dont be too harsh on me. I'm currently diamond on LAN server (Ye ik, LAN SUCKS), I was diamond on season 4 too and Master Yi is my main.

I've been playing Master Yi since around mid season 4 and played mostly him during all the season 5, in this time I've seen some awesome Master Yi players and others, well... Not that good
If you're intending to learn or improve with this "noob champ" I hope to be of some help

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Pros / Cons

Spoiler: Click to view


+ High snowball potential
+ Great split pusher
+ True damage
+ Attack speed and movement speed boost with Highlander
+ Crazy outplay potential with Alpha Strike
+ Capability to block auto attacks or skills with Meditate
+ Good clear times
+ Often underestimated
+ Really fun to play!
I find Master Yi as on of the best champs you can play in solo queue, specially in low elos because of its snowball, and its hability to make multiple kills in a row with Highlander's resets, once you get your devourer going and your Blade of the Ruined King the hunger games begin, you just gotta know when to go in and who to target and there wont be long before enemy team goes like "focus yi", you can also help your team make a comeback by backdooring.


+ Kinda squishy
+ No cc for ganks
+ No scapes methods other than running away
+ Not that good if behind
+ Low map pressure before lv 6
+ Requires good judgement
+ Very vulnerable to cc
Even tho Master Yi is a killer machine, if you get caugh in a bad situation you don't really have any effective scape methods, all you can do is run and often cc can prevent you from doing that so, you've got to think about it twice before you engage into a fight.

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First of all, Master Yi is considered a "noob champ", people claim that there's nothing more to it than press R, right clic, then Q, right clic and BUM! you got youself a pentakill, that might be true at low elos, but in higher elo, that aint the case.

In fact, playing master yi correctly takes a lot of knowledge, map awareness and fast decision makin. It requires good timing, with his Alpha Strike in order to make powerful plays, requires quick reactions such as using Meditate to tank abilities or reset basic attacks.

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  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: Master Yi is an attack speed based champion, since your attacks will proc your passive and lower the cooldown on your Q, so attack speed runes comes pretty handy
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Some people might prefer attack speed marks since you'll be able to proc more your passive and cast more Alpha Strike, but having only attack speed runes can make you pretty weak againt early invades and your early ganks (yes, I just said EARLY ganks on yi) not so great, so I recommend taking some ad with you
  • Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Cooldown reduction is great on, specially early game when 2 seconds less on your Meditate or, 5 seconds less on your Highlander's cd can make a huge difference
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: I take this over the flat magic resist on junglers every time because you wont be taking magic damage in the jungle and by the time where the enemy ap carry has bought his Blasting Wand or Needlessly Large Rod this will give you as much, or even more mr than flat glyphs, so they are way more efficient
  • Greater Seal of Armor: Master Yi is a late game champ, which means he's pretty weak early and can take a lot of damage from the jungle camps and even thought you have your Meditate to sustain you want to clean and gank as fast as possible and meditate takes from you 4 seconds which you could use for something else so taking less damage is very efficent

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Double Strike:
Master Yi strikes twice every 4th consecutive attack. The second attack deals 50% of your attack damage, applies all on hit effects and can critically strike.
This is the main reason why you build attack speed on Master Yi

Alpha Strike:
Master Yi becomes untargetable and jumps to up to 4 nearby enemies dealing 25 / 60 / 95 / 130 / 165(+100% of attack damage) physical damage to each unit hit as well as 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 / 175 bonus damage to minions and monsters.
This skill can critically strike dealing (+60% of attack damage) bonus physical damage. Basic attacks lower alpha strike's cooldown by 1 second

This is your gap closer and your damage skill

Master Yi channels, restoring 30/50/70/90/110 (+30% Ability Power) Health per second for 4 seconds. This healing is increased by 1% for every 1% of Master Yi's missing Health.While channeling, Master Yi reduces incoming damage by 50/55/60/65/70%. This damage reduction is halved against turrets

Sustain hability, can also be used to block damage

Wuju Style:
Passive: Increases Master Yi's bonus attack damage by 10 %.

Active: Master Yi can activate this ability deal 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 (+10/12.5/15/17.5/20% of attack damage) true damage per hit. Master Yi loses the passive effect of this skill while it's on cooldown.

Gives you bonus ad and true damage which scales with your ad

Passive: Champion kills and assists reduce the remaining cooldown of Master Yi's other abilities by 70%

Active: Increases Movement Speed by 25/35/45%, Attack Speed by 30/55/80%, and grants immunity to all slowing effects for 10 seconds. While active, champion kills and assists extend the duration of Highlander by 4 seconds.

Yi's steroids, it's a must for fighting
Tips and Tricks
  • Alpha Strike Use this to dodge jungle monster's attacks, as well as skills/skillshots and to reset turret's aggro when diving
  • Meditate Use this to block abilities, AA or skillshoots. Karthus used his Requiem and you're 30% hp? No problem, just Meditate out of it; it can also be used to reset your AA
  • Wuju Style Do not fear to use this while clearing the jungle, but make sure to always have it (and active it) when you're ganking as it helps A LOT
  • Highlander When ganking, don't pop your R too early, as it might go off before you kill your target, when until you're in range to cast this, it makes you inmune to slows and to losing attack speed from things like Frozen Heart

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This is pretty much the strongest item you can have with yi since when it's sated you'll Double Strike every 2 attacks. Yet, if the game is past 9 mins and you haven't bought your enchantment yet, you should go for Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior instead.

This is a MUST on every Master Yi build since your Double Strike will proc its passive so you'll be dealing a lot of hp % damage to your enemies and its sustain is great. Also, the active deals a lot of damage and the slow/movement speed steal is just sweet

The boots are situational but, personally I take mostly berserker's, there is not much room for choosing tho. It's either Berserker's Greaves, Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi -I don't recommend this last one unless you're up agaisnt a full ad comp- and in order to choose between greaves and mercury you should ask youself "will 35% less cc duration really save me if I get caught?" if the answer is no, go for berserker's

This can be controversial item and you might be wondering "why trinity force instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade, well the answer is quite simple. They both give you ad, crit and atk speed and you'll be mostly focusing squishies so you don't really need arm pen which is the adventage youmuu's gives you over tri force; also your goal is to delete the enemy's adc and apc as fast as possible and Sheen's passive will help you do that, also Phage's passive will help you stick to targets. If you're still thinking something like "ok, that's fine but what if I run into a tank?" Well, the answer is quite simple too, you have true dmg with Wuju Style, health % magic dmg with Blade of the Ruined King, nice mobility and a ton of attack speed so you'll mostly cut throught tanks like they were made of butter.
If this doesn't convince you and you think Youmuu's Ghostblade will give you more damage, think about this: You'll only use the youmuu's fully when its active is up, so you'll have another cd to wait for which will limitate your fighting potential, it gives only 30 ad and thus the speed buff is nice having this item will mean you'll need to Alpha Strike and aa about 4-5 times before the enemy adc is dead (this will depend on their lv and items tho), with Trinity Force you only have to Alpha Strike and aa it 2 or 3 times before he dies, this is a faster way to delete someone and also, the first aa after your alpha will take a chunk of any squishies hp and that will make them run instead of fighting so, even if you can't kill them you'll most likely prevent them from doing anything in a tf.

You may get this item instead of Trinity Force, it'll make you more tanky while keeping the usefull Phage passive, BUT it'll reduce your damage to squishies, even tho this item reduces armor and that will help you shred tanks your main focus should always be the squisy ones so I don't find this as convenient as trinity unless you're willing to trust your team to do a good amount of damage so you can either take their front line and continue to kill them all or take down their carries while you tank, which, most of the time is way too much to ask from a team so try to be wise about this.

This item will give you A LOT of hp, which along with its passive can turn you into someone your enemies really dont wanna run into, its situational tho if they've got a Rengar or a Pantheon and their adc is cric dependan like Sivir or Caitlyn you may want to trade this for Randuin's Omen

You get this when the enemy team is got a lot of crit, or they have a Rengar which can burst you before you can do anything. This can also prevent a Vayne from outplaying you since it'll lower her attack speed as she hits you.

Personally, I'm not a fan of this item, it's supposed to help you stick to your target but with Highlander's speed boost + Phage's passive you can do that pretty well without it... Even tho it gives you nice stats I don't find it really cost-efficient, if I need hp I'd rather get Sterak's Gage which will also give you damage and a % max hp shield, If I need armor I'd rather go for Randuin's Omen which also makes you take less dmg from crits, and lower the atk speed from whoever targets you, also it's active is pretty usefull for chasing/peeling

This item, along with your Trinity Force will make you delete the enemy's adc or apc before they can even realize what's going on. Yet, It's only superior to The Bloodthirster because of its crit and bonus crit dmg, build this is you're looking to go in, kill 1 or 2 enemies as fast as possible and back from the fight, otherwise go for The Bloodthirster

Gives you a shield, which can be really helpfull if you already have some defensive item, a lot of dmg which makes your Trinity Force even more fearsome, it's life steal added to your Blade of the Ruined King's will give you a lot of sustain.

Buy this when enemy's initiation is cc dependant
Ex: they've got an Annie, Blitzcrank, Sejuani, Fiddlesticks, etc
When the enemy's cc is messing up your cleaning/initiation or when you can get 1 shot from enemy's apc

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You're a jungler so this is mandatory, end of the story.

Some people prefer flash, some others prefer teleport. I'd take teleport 9/10 times, why? Map control, a tp gank can be really effective, a ward placed correctly can turn any tf into your favor; you can also control more objetives and farm more having tp
ex: Enemy team is doing dragon and you can't contest it because your team in behind? tp top, farm the wave, take their turret and keep pushing until around 4 secs after you know any of the enemies recalled, then ward their jungle and try to make a play somewhere.

Personally, I like tp better on yi and already explained why above. But, in some cases flash may be the best choise
Ex: The enemy team doesn't have any cc that can stop you (Slows can't stop you)
In that case you should take flash and on a tf you can just flash then Q into their carry, kill it and if you're low run or keep fighting if you've got a good amount of hp. Another good case to take flash would be if your team is got a lot of gap closers or burst dmg, in that case you should wait until your team goes all in and then flash over a wall and go all in too yourself since your team's burst should take atlest 1/2 of their squishies' hp you can take them down, get your resets and get some more kills.

This might be a really good spell, or a really useless one. When taking this you're saying something like "I'll take any of you 1v1" but truth be told, you can probably already do that, this can be usefull if there's a high burst champ on the other team but even so you could still just build armor/health/mr agaisnt that champ and use another spell ( Flash or Teleport) to gain better positioning or map control or both

I don't see any good use of this spell, you already got a ghost-like ability in your kit and it also gives you inmunity to slows and atk speed. You may go like "yeah but double ghost is op", well not so much considering cc is your weakness and ghost can't do anything about cc; "well, neither can flash", true BUT flash is situational and will place you in the right place at the right time, ghost will only help you to get to that right place, see the difference?
"tp can't do anything against cc either" Also true, but as flash this will get you AUTOMATICALLY (well, after a couple seconds of casting but you land on the spot right?) to a desired spot
Ex: behind the enemy front line in the middle of a tf

I have not seen Master Yi taking ignite in any place but bronze elo (no offenses) and there's a good reason for that. It'll only give you more damage in a champion which already has A TON of damage, most of the time ignite will deal as much (or a little more) damage as your Q, so is it really worth sacrificing tp, or flash for this little extra damage? I don't think so.

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How To Play League Of Legends As Master Yi

This chapter's title might sound ridiculuos for some, but I find it pretty accurate as some people might know how to play a champion, or even a role. But they don't actually know how to play this game and I'll try to explain why is that, and how to play this game with this specific champion.

First of all, what does it mean to know how to play a champion/role but not knowing how to play league?
In your league experience you may, or may not, have found people whose scores are like 15/3/8, 18/5/13, 20/4,5, etc. But they end up losing their games, they may claim it's "because of their teams" and that might be the case sometimes but must of the times IT'S YOUR FAULT because you knew how to kill people but you didn't knew what to do with those kills, either you lacked of decision making, a good build path or focus you can always correct your mistakes and improve.

Build Path & Basic Decision Making

I'll talk about this first because this is the easiest thing to improve. It's really important to know (even if it's hard to believe at first) that you absolutely CAN'T build the same way and the same order EVERY SINGLE GAME. This should be situational and will depend on how good you're doing, how good your team is doing and enemy's comp.
No matter what, you want to get your Skirmisher's Sabre - Devourer ASAP every single game, but remember that if it's past 9 mins you should go for Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior instead because if you start stacking @9 mins you'll fully stack too late and that will be really bad. It'd take me forever to explain every situation and every possible build path so you'll have to learn how to judge that by yourself, yet I'll give some tips you may want to consider.
*Note: The standard time to buy your Skirmisher's Sabre - Devourer is min 7:20 if you make an early gank you can buy it faster

After you're lv 6 and you have your Skirmisher's Sabre - Devourer

If you went for tp (which I recommend most of the times), and you used it after your first clear (which you should), it should be up by now so you should look for a tp gank/countergank. Try not to get involved in a situation where you're outnumbered as you're not as strong at this point. If there are no gank opportunities then just tp as near af you can from dragon and solo it, dodge it's fireballs with your Alpha Strike best way to do this is to wait a little after it's mouth shows some red light (fire). Try to save your Highlander while doing this in case you need to rush it if someone comes or if you wanna run in case their jungler arrives and you're at low hp
  • If you managed to successfully make a tp gank, try to also take enemy turret/jg or if you ganked bot and got enought health go for dragon, meditate and farm your jungle, recall after this
  • If you went for dragon instead, clean the Rift Scuttler then meditate and farm your jungle, then recall
The items you wanna buy after your Skirmisher's Sabre - Devourer will be either Blade of the Ruined King or Bilgewater Cutlass + Berserker's Greaves - Homeguard, so after doing the previous you should get yourself atleast a Long Sword or a Long Sword + Dagger if you can affort it as they both can be build into Blade of the Ruined King but the Dagger can also be used for your Berserker's Greaves - Homeguard. Buy your items and go farm your jungle, gank too if possible

When your next Teleport is up

It's important that you make as much use of your Teleport as you can, else it'd be a waste having it. By this time you should have either a Long Sword or a Long Sword and a dagger with you, if your Highlander is up, recall, get your Berserker's Greaves - Homeguard and wait to make another tp play.
*Note: Don't wait more than 30 secs
  • If you see the opening for a play, just tp, activate your Highlander and try to kill someone, your speed will most of the times catch them out of guard and you should manage to get atleast 1 kill/assist, then you should take either their turret, jungle or both
  • If 30 secs or more have passed and you can see no chance to make a tp + homeguard play, then just get your Bilgewater Cutlass and go farm while being aware that you can tp any time to save either a life of a turret, try not to hold too much to your tp, don't be afraid of using it, you may also gank without tp having the slow from your Bilgewater Cutlass' active
When you have your Blade of the Ruined King

This is a pretty big powerspike for Master Yi, by this time if you haven't bought your Berserker's Greaves - Homeguard you should've seen enough of the enemy team in order to decide either you'll get Berserker's Greaves or Mercury's Treads
*Note: If you're up agaisnt full ad comp you can also consider Ninja Tabi

Next, you should be focusing in getting your sated so farm as much as possible, gank anyone who is overextending if your Highlander is up and if you're stronger than the enemy jungler don't be afraid to go take his camps, watch out from getting into a fight with the jungler+some of enemy laners as you may or may not win

You have Blade of the Ruined King, your boots and sated

Your next purchase should be focused on getting the ingredients of your Trinity Force, but should be a little situational:
  • If you're melting the enemies then go for Zeal
  • If you're lacking some chase potential, go for Phage
  • If you're doing fine but they're grouping too much, get a Dagger and your Greater Stealth Totem, try to hard this to get vision of where the enemies are and make some picks or backdoor
You have your either your Phage or Zeal
[*]If your team isn't behind, you can engage in as many tf as you want, try to focus their squishies in order to win but don't be afraid to change focus to any of them in low hp in order to get your resets. Judge, from those teamfights what you're lacking in order to make your next purchase; if you're still melting them rush your Trinity Force, if they're melting you go for Giant's Belt, if their apc is the one melting you then go for Spectre's Cowl
[*]If your team is behind, try to pink ward baron, choose a lane to do backdor (top is likely the best) and try to get turrets for your team, as in the previous advice if you're fine yourself go for Trinity Force, else go for some defensive item

You have your either your Trinity Force and your defensive item is either done too or halfway

Time to be a Yi God (also known as "Yisus"), keep using your trinket every time you can in order to get vision, buy Vision Wards and try to always have vision on baron, backdoor whenever you can while keeping your presence with Teleport, if your team is around baron and you see the enemy adc bot lane, rush baron, keep farming as much as you can while trying not to deny farm from your adc or apc unless they're useless
*Note: If your adc or apc are useless, then you have to play their position, you're worth as 2 people for your team so think carefully before engaging into a fight as if you die they're as good as a 3v5, so try to position yourself well
Else from this point on the game will be as situational as they get so I'll try to advice a little but the final result will be up to you, and your team ofc.
  • Dont be afraid of having 2 defensive items such as Banshee's Veil and Randuin's Omen, its okay if you see you need it
  • When you die (if you do die) Always take a look at your death recap and see who did the most damage to you, and if it was either physicall damage or magic damage this will help you build agaisnt them
  • Always try to take their adc/apc first. In order to you this you can either use your tp yo get behind them or just try to get into a good spot before the fight begins (A good spot might be behind the enemy team, but watch out for wards)
  • If what you need is to burst someone down FAST, and then you can trust your team to clean up go for Infinity Edge, if you gotta take atleast 2 of them for your team to do something then you may want to take The Bloodthirster instead
The game so damn too long, and you already have your defensive item and either Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster

Don't you EVER dear selling your jungle item unless it has warrior enchantment, try to push and control objetives while the enemies are cleaning the waves. If you're ful build, leave the farm to those of your team who aren't -unless they take too long to clear the waves-, try to take any enemy inhibitor and leave a ward there, a backdoor can turn the game around as if your team engage into a bad situation you can just tp to that ward, and when the enemies see you, the'll most likely panic and make bad decisions. Always have vision on baron in order for you to take it, or to deny it, buy either Elixir of Wrath or Elixir of Iron to make yourself even more powerful and in last stance you can sell your boots, but REMEMBER if you do this you'll be sacrificing your homeguard's speed so be wise about it.
In exchange for boots you should choose between Guardian Angel and Zephyr, I recommend Zephyr as the stats are pretty awesome and even if you die, and your Guardian Angel is up, most of the times your team wont be able to do anything and you'll just be back up and dead again.

*And always remember: Objetives > kills. You don't win this game when your team reaches 100 kills or something like that, you win it by destroying enemy nexus.