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Master Yi Build Guide by SxyNinja

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SxyNinja

Master Yi, Killing to Live

SxyNinja Last updated on January 6, 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: 24

Honor Guard

Defense: 6

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Chapter 1

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hello there, i'd like to introduce you to Yi, a master of the Wuju. He is a full fledged capable assasin/fighter if you play him correctly. In this guide i will be highlighting How to play, what to use, when to use it and how to have fun with him.

Disclaimer: Not all information here is 100% correct.
Beware: I do not feel the niceties of graphics in the guide.

I may add graphics later if i have positive support, please do not vote me negatively due to lack of graphics, i have put alot of work and thought into this, and i would like it if you respected my work. Thankyou, i hope you find this guide useful.

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Pros / Cons

Yi has a few pros and cons, lets see what they are.


    Yi is very strong against weak CC champions
    Yi can backdoor very well
    Yi is a powerful champion if played correctly
    Yi can change the course of a game easily
    Yi has an awesome Ultimate
There are more, but i do not feel i need to list them, most you will pickup in-game.

    Yi can die easily from heavy CC champions
    Yi cannot be extraordinary without taking risks
    Yi is fairly squishy early-game
    Yi is not a team player,
    Yi is slighty mana deficient
Yet again there are more, i just don't feel the need to post them.

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So here is where i tell you about runes. Runes are an important part in LoL, they play their part by defining builds and stats to a even more minute detail. They can help players alot too, in this chapter i'll be telling you on which Runes I advise you to buy. But feel free to change the Seals and Glyphs if you like. The marks and quintessences' can be changed (mainly the qunits) but i heavily advise against it. Though, if you do not agree with my rune choices please comment why, down below.

Firstly I choose Armor Penetration because it helps you take that lead early on, that lead that is so very important as any Champion, but especially as Yi. Armor penetration works well with Yi because Armor penetration scales well with Auto-attacking Champions, and Yi is defiantly an auto-attacking champion. I also add Armor penetration Quints', because you get 3.3 armor pen per, you can't pass that up!

Secondly, If you did not know, Yi starts off with higher resist then his armor. This makes him a bearable champion against Mages at the start of the game, though his magical resist falls off later game. So we give him Resist Glyphs, you can either choose these or choose your own, this part of the build isnt too important, but do keep reading.

Thirdly, you want more armor, Yi gets targeted first by heavy CC champions, soo soo frequently in-games where you start to destroy the enemy. You need to make sure that you have ample defense against those attacks when the enemy drop on you, because if you can survive long enough to flash or Highlander out, you're good to go. (these runes also arent greatly important to stick to, you can choose dps runes but please dont choose flat damage).

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I chose these masteries because i believe utility is important in Yi. You will notice with the masteries i've chosen that i've also gone down the Damage tree to the armor penetration region, etc. These masteries hope to achieve a yi that can intiate ganks and take down opponents in brief seconds, and a yi that doesnt have moments of struggling to get enough gold. I hope these masteries help. As for telling you what they do, well, just highlight your curser over the masteries, i believe that will tell you, if not im sorry. You may need to visit the Client if they wont tell you.

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Hey, this is the second time i'm writing this, so do bare with me if im not too picky on what i say.

The first item you'll want is the boots, and a side of 3 hp pots.
Why not Vampiric Scepter? I've tried the Scepter in a few games and found out that although the healing in theory means you dont need those hp pots, the healing from the scepture at that lvl in the game just doesnt cut it with your starting attack speed. The Brown boots build towards your next item, which will either be Beserkers Greaves or Mercuries Treads. Why am i suggesting Mercuries treads aswell? Well, because of Yi's weakness to heavy CC (stuns etc) this is the perfect counter. But by taking Mercuries Treads you will not get the juicy +25% attack speed. Which is really quite important too, if you're versing a team with heavy CC, then get Mercuries Treads. If you have their only heavy CC player in your lane, try asking to swap with the opposite side lane before you buy Mercuries Treads. If they let you swap, build towards Beseker Greaves. This is a really important part of playing Yi and most champions, it's starting well.

Now, after acquiring the lovely +25% attack speed bonus ontop of your increased movement speed, you should take another look at the scepter, now its a very viable choice, most likely before you go to buy your scepter you'll have no hp pots left. Well, instead of buying more, this is your answer. Not only will this increase your survivability, but you gold income flow. But how does it affect my gold you ask? Well, the answer is simple, if you do not need to buy hp pots (which can cost alot in the long run) and you are able to stay in the lane longer to farm. Thats really handy.

You've already bought the Scepter, you might as-well go ahead and buy Wriggles Lantern, but before this, if you must, buy Blood Razors, its a nice filler for the gap between purchasing the scepter and the lantern. You'll also notice the armor from the Razors, and then the lantern are a nice bonus when you lack it early game. The wards from the lantern are handy for getting more vision on the field, a simple ward can give you the upper-hand when it comes to ganking and being ganked.

At this point you should be around lvl 10 - 12 depending on how well you're doing. This is were you buy another Scepter, this Scepter is where you can start to use your life-stealing capabilities to kill some people and deal some damage. You should only be going back to your base after buying this if you died or you need to buy the next item. We use two lifesteal weapons in this build because it just helps you the most early game when you're farming and trying to stay in your lane the most (gives you very nice advantage later because you stayed in the lane so long with these items).

After accumulating a fair bit of gold from staying in-lane and perhaps getting off a gank or two. You'll want to buy your first 'killing' item. The rest of your items are childish in comparison once you buy this. But after you've bought this, you'll notice that it is just not enough to only have one. Because now we're going on a crit/lifesteal/attackspeed build you'll want to have a safe amount of crit, otherwise it will be unreliable, and attackspeed and lifesteal go hand-in-hand.

After buying these two items we copy some of the other builds, but though the "Spam Phantom Dancers and buy Infinity" is often dissed by players as being "nooby". Although they/you might consider it nooby. It is a decent and commendable way to play, it deals good damage, so its all good right? Yeah, who cares what people say. I've built builds different to this one, and i've decided that despite how people want to advoid the phantom dancers, they are a key to pure, decent damage.

Phantom dancers- they give massive attack speed boost, awesome crit chance, and increased movement speed. All the essentials for an awesome ninja. We love these so much we want to buy two.

Infinity Edge- Because of our deep appreciation of Phantom Dancers we buy this item. And its a very good investment when if you've bought two dancers.

Alright, here is a were our build becomes unique again, we buy two Bloodthirsts, selling the Wriggles Lantern and the Scepter, replacing them. These bloodthristers give us the damage we need, the infinity and phantoms are going to amplify the additional 120 damage from these bloodthirsters ontop of our damage already, then you'll really really hurt. And dont forget, they bloodthirsters have nice lifesteal, you can get lifesteal up to 160, and when you're hitting as fast as you will be, thats alot of healing very quickly.

If you're going for gold, sell your boots and buy a Trinity, yeah then you crit about 1.2k x4 a second, with 500 heal a second. Its pretty neat.

With this build you are focussing on hitting to kill, and hitting to live. Without initializing fights with your R skill you'll die, you need to kill them before they kill you. You'll do terribly if you dont play extremely aggressively when it comes to ganking, but you need to rationalize, if you dont think you'll get the kill, then don't go for it. If you think you might be able to score a kill, do it, you dont gain anything without taking risks. But hey, you need to expect dying sometimes too though. And yes, you can solo baron if you get both the bloodthirsters.

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Heya, i'll go through a rundown of the skill for you.

Double Strike (Passive) - This ability comes naturally to Yi, on every 7th attack he will double strike, i recommend you hit minions till you have 6 strikes then intiate a gank (dont intiate just because you have 6 strikes, but the 6 strikes should be when you do key for your attack to commence)

Alpha strike - Alpha Strike lets you dart from an initial target to 3 other targets dealing base damage with a % chance that you'll deal extra damage to minions/monsters. This i max out at the very start of the game because i believe it gives more harass and far more gold farming then 'E'. It also helps you to initiate ganks, jumping ontop of people out of bushes, and destroying their wall of minions is more effective then you might believe. This skill scales well early game, but with our build in mind, it is only really for initiating and chasing ( but it wont deal much damage ), you need to remember though guys, you can't have an affective AP & AD Hybrid Yi (not that i know of).

Meditate - Mediate lets your defense/resist skyrocket while you heal yourself for around 1/4 of your health. I won't say that Meditate sucks, but there's just better choices. Alpha Strike and Wuju are much more important, and with our lifesteal/crit build, theres really no point in going for Mediate when it costs a fair bit of mana and requires dipping into Ability Power to become more effective.

Wuju - Wuju is a really nice skill, better then Alpha Strike, but only late-game. This skill is really nice wether you're backdooring, or just trying to hammer someone hard. Wuju passively gives you more damage when its not on cooldown, and it doubles that damage when you activate it. Its a reall nice skill, but not so important at lvl 1.

Higherlander- Highlander boosts your attack speed and movement speed incredibly, you also become immune to all CC. This is your bread and butter move, although its an ultimate you'd expect it having a long cooldown, well not so friend. Even thought its a 168 second cooldown. You have the perk that if you kill a guy while using it theres no cooldown and you get all your colldowns reset. So ideally, you want to use Highlander to intiate ganks, and pop Wuju while you're at it. Highlander makes you a force to be reckonned with, thats how awesome it is. If you are doing really well at lvl 11, and you keep using this to win ganks, heck you snowball so hard. You will dominate everything if you start well and get successful ganks with this.

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Team Work

You'll notice when using Yi that he doesn't like teammates. Thats because Yi is a cold, kill hording little man who likes alot of gold. During Laning phase i recommend your partner play as a support or heavy CC champion, because Yi's Alpha Strike will end up farming the majority of the minions and leaving the partner a little dry on gold. Thats why support is important if the other player wants a chance to do well aswell. Heres some champions that WOULD LANE WELL with Yi.

    Xin Zhao
    That Healing Unicorn

Here's a list of people who you DON'T want to lane with.

Why these champions? Because they're your competition, when it comes to trying to get kills. (im not saying these are the best, but im just giving examples of SOME champions) You want to go uncontested in your lane.

You'll also notice that Yi has been called bad at team fights, well, yes.. and no. Yi is a fully capable Team fighter when he comes in a bit later to the fight and everyones trying to pick themselves up. He'll ultimate from one to the other. He defiantly isnt one to stand in the chaos of the storm and hit people when taking massive damage, he'll die first (without bloodthirsters, still with bloodthirsters you shouldnt risk it due to hard cc).

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Summoner Spells

I'll run through the summoner spells i most like, and then the other ones you could use if you like. But the ones i'll suggest i believe work best for Yi in general.

Flash or Ghost in slot 1 - These are really all about offense/defense they've got both capabilities to do both to a decent degree. You can use flash to jump away to safety, or you can use it to chase or initiate. Ghost, it lets you run really quick additionally to what you already do, ghost is more useful early game then flash, but half of its capabilities become limited later on when you already start hitting run speed cap with Highlander.

Exhaust - I only give you the option to choose exhaust because not only has it secured me so, so many kills that would've gotten away. But its handy for shutting people down when they're ganking you. it lets you flee and it makes their damage 70% less painful.

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Well there it is ladies and gentlemen, i hope you found it hopeful and i would like to thank you for taking your time to read my ideas. I beilieve these ideas are ideal, and would like you to not discredit them without trying them in a match. I also would love some constructive feedback if you have any. Well, thats all from me folks, i wish you a pleasent day.
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