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Master Yi Build Guide by godthemanjesus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author godthemanjesus

Master Yi: Pass the Damn Potion (Vi Update)

godthemanjesus Last updated on December 21, 2012
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LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #17 in
Jungle Role
Win 48%
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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12/5/2012: It's no secret that Master Yi is not viable. Master Yi is in tier 5 champion, and that's the lowest tier. Look at this site ( That being said lot's of the new changes in Season 3 made Yi "more viable", yet he still needs a rework. I did read somewhere that he will get one.

Before I began I would like to mention that I would love some constructive criticism with this guide. It is my first. Not only that I would like to here even more about Master Yi himself. There is always more to learn. If your going to down vote the guide, go ahead. You have to leave a comment for me though, I clicked the "Require comment to vote" button! Since your leaving me a comment might as well teach me something I may not already know!

Welcome to my guide! Master Yi is an easy champion to play that is great for stomping n00bs, can fill 3 roles and keep team composition, dishes huge damage, Great 1 on 1, excellent pusher, backdoorer (please only do this if it is your only way to win}, a great scout along side quicksilver sash, and has an infamous success rate for escaping.

HOWEVER, Master Yi is hard to master, and difficult to play with against skilled players. Because he is imfamous and most people have been stomped by him in the past; he usually is focused as much as even Teemo. In fact this is why he was so popular when we all started. We got smarter and found out that there is more to this game than right-clicking! Rammus can beat Master Yi just by getting hit! Jax can poke Master Yi all day and with the help of abilities can easily duel him! Even our little precious Teemo can blind Master Yi long enough to earn a kill. We learned he is easy to handle. Master Yi cannot handle crowed control and is really bad in team fights. Some statistics sights show that the win rate for Yi is very low, I've seen him as the 3rd worst champ in front of only Karma and Evelynn. Most will know the Master Yi does not really fit into the meta. The meta in my opinion is many things. Meta was a term coined first by chess players. In video games, a meta is a unwritten rule created by combined knowledge of all players into something the organizes game play to where it is best. The meta decided that the best way to play League of Legends was by 1 top (tank or off-tank), 1 jungler (tank or off-tank), 1 middle (mage), and 2 at the bottom (1 ranged attack damage glass cannon and 1 support). I remember what was best for Master Yi was for him to duo-lane with someone that had lots of cc, which would not work against a ranged ad carry. He was good at early levels because not many knew the meta. Because of these reasons most people find other champions and consider Yi unusable in competitive games.

There is more downsides than upsides.

Than, Freerfs, why are you making a guide for him? You don't even think he is good!

That is not true, he is just easily countered. Some people think Karma is worthless. It's the people that try her once and don't learn her that think that. Karma can be very good, I've seen it. Hell, Evelynn can be good too! I think she is underpowered but as long as she can get fed and avoid detection she can do good! Most people that are good with her play her alot. The good news is Master Yi is not like Evelynn. He is balanced and if he gets fed it gg! Yes, Master Yi is easy to understand; but it's hard to know when it is okay to 1v2 Ashe and Alistar. It is not obvious that silly little Meditate can save your life from that pesky Requiem. The people that are good with Evelynn probably do not pick her when they see that the other team has Lee Sin or Twisted Fate. Same thing for Yi! Play him, just don't insta-lock him when you see that Rammus is jungling.

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When should I use Master Yi

Master Yi doesn't really counter anyone atm. I would say use him if;

- The only cc on the team is in the enemy jungle
- The enemy jungler is a support jungler { Amumu, Alistar, Sejuani)

What you do than is "haunt" that jungler. Take his jungle like it is your own. Search and hunt for him etc. Honestly other's like Shaco or Lee Sin are better at doing this.

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Runes on Master Yi are pretty standard for most champions.

With AD you will want

Desolation (Armor Penetration) Marks
Resilience (Armor) Seals
Shielding (Magic Resist) Glyphs
Desolation (More Pen!) Quintessences

With AP you want
Insight (Magic Penetration) Marks
Your choice for Seals, I take either Resilience or Clarity (Mana Regen.) Seals
Force (Ability Power) Glyphs. You can take Shielding Glyphs too
Potency (AP) Quintessences

If any one has any recommendations please comment!

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You get hit twice instantly on your 7th stack. If works much like Annie's and Nunu's passive. You can surprise foes in 1 on 1's to your favor when they think it is there's! Your can also stack it up before a gank to get a good 1st hit. With a Sheen the damage could be massive!

Overall probably Master Yi's best non ult ability. It has some many uses and when positioned right you can have it take Flash's place. Use it to close a gap, escape to a minion, last hit, finish off and proc a Sheen. On AP Yi this is your bread and butter and does lots of damage.

I see a lot of guides that do not give it proper praise (unless it is AP of course). Although I do admit this ability is Master Yi's worst ability, it's still quite useful to take a rank early. While jungling I will always take this to heal a little bit before a gank. This is a great ability to have in times of danger. Getting towered dived at low health can easily turn into your favor. Most people do not expect Yi to have meditate at early levels and you shudder a tower dive from a pesky Graves when a gank has gone wrong, and get yourself a kill! This ability is a good counter against mages. When Veigar traps you meditate and you can survive his burst! Ryze Rune Prison's you and you can meditate while you wait. Most importantly, meditate to save yourself from the Requiem. On AP Yi this ability allows you to never leave your lane because of low health.

The passive is what make Yi hit hard. As AD this is the 1st ability you want to max. The active is a double-edged sword. Use it to double the passive for 10 seconds but lose the passive for the cooldown. With no cdr it is 25 sec. So you want to use the ability when all you need is 10 sec.

This skill is what defines Master Yi. This ability instantly allows Yi to become over-powered, even considering his current state. You want to use the on the offensive, but only use it if you have to. You may have insta-gibbed that way overextended Karthus, but your Lux got the kill with her ult and now there is a Rammus powerballing toward you. Oops! Use this ability to escape from bad situations too. Again, only if you have no other option.

Highlander + Quicksilver Sash makes you invincible. If your having a bad game this item may be a better choice than a 3rd doran's sword.

This ability is good an AP Yi too. Comparing with AP Sion's ult, you have the better end. The ability is great to clean up kills and escaping.

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Lanes and Jungle


The best place for Yi. Your in the jungle so you don't have to suck at top lane. Your creep killing is pretty good, and make sure to do that as much as possible so you can be fed. Your ganks suck without Exhaust, Phage, and/or red buff, so some real team work will make a gank work. Overall Yi is good at carrying through the jungling, not so much as a team player.


Remember when we all started playing this game and thought Master Yi was OP and needed to be nerfed? LOL! Now we know that a simple stun kills him! Luckily with alpha strike you can farm okay and your good against champions without much cc. Just try to not die or get bullied.


So AP Yi absolutely punishes the lane early game. Although gimmicky, this works great for counter picking. I usually go mid with Master Yi when the other team has Ahri and Karthus. Grab a Doran's Ring and you have your sustain. Have a blast bullying your lane. However that's is all he can really do at this point. Your lane will just go recall after you've whittled there health, so not a whole lot of 1v1 kills. You do get make the carry unfed most of the time. All you can really do is harass and provide some damage in teamfights. Master Yi was intended to be AD in my opinion.

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Used by: Jungle, Top, Middle

This item is mandatory for most champions early games. Sometimes you start out with it and should be grabbed early game if you have leftover coin or are having a rough time.

Used by: Jungle, Middle

This item is pretty useful, although not as good as health pots, and not as useful on Yi. Maybe early game for both jungling and middle. While jungling blue buff is only mandatory on Yi, only the 1st time. It's better to let the AP Carry have it. While middle early game Yi's mana usage isn't too bad because of Doran's Ring(s) so think twice before you buy.

Elixer of AgilityElixer of Fortitude
Used by: Jungle, Top

It is always a good item to get with leftover gold, even early game. Having both of these babies helps even Yi out against enemy Baron Buff. Elixer of Fortitude is typically better to get over Agility if you have to, which would be the cause for most bruisers. Get these mandatory after having a full build.

Elixer of Brilliance
Used by: Middle

Much like above it definitely doesn't hurt to have on AP Yi.

Oracle's Elixer
Used by: Jungle, Middle, Top

Be careful getting this. It is usually the junglers, tanks, and supports that get this item but there can be exceptions for the carries to nab it. If your going against Teemo, Talon, Shaco and Twitch all on the same team than everyone should nab it or always stay together. If your doing good in the jungle and are a force to be reckoned with than grab this, they can't kill you. Plus your a fed Master Yi, they would just feed you more coming after you in the jungle. I usually will take it if I am not dying too often late game.

Sight Ward
Used by: Jungle, Middle, Top

Wards win games. Lack of wards lose games. I can go over these items for there own section there that important. As a jungler always grab them. Grab a vision ward if you have extra money or the other team has someone like Shaco or Wukong jungling. If you have a vision ward it always fits with Dragon and Baron spawns. As top and in lane grab them if you don't have wriggles. Always grab at least 1 if you can as Top and Middle everytime you come back to base (unless your doing really bad and have 3 doran's items). Grab them constantly mid-late game.

Obviously only for dominion or ARAM. My rule is to make sure there is at least one floating around on your team if the other team has at least two stealth champs on the other team.


Used by: Middle
Replace: Void Staff

I wouldn't get this item too often. If you find that most of the other team is stacking magic resist or you see that most of your team is AP, make sure someone has this. You or the support would work. Definitely keep the Sorcerer's Shoes.

Used by: Jungle
Replace: Quicksilver Sash

Try not to be the one that gets this, the tanks or tanky supports get this. Typically you chose Master Yi because top lane was a tank ( Malphite, Nautilus). It's good on some junglers like Nocturne but not as much as Master Yi. Your job is to be fed and kill, that's what Yi does best. However this item is too good not to have on a team so grab it if no-one else will.

Don't get this. You have one AP move, and you don't have to spam mana to be effective. This item is good on the likes of Ryze and Karthus because there great spammers.

Used by: Middle
Replace: Zhonya's Hourglass

The reason you would get this item is because the other team has a lack of AD and too many AP's. Even then Abyssal Mask would be a better choice to replace. You can grab this if someone on your team already has an Abyssal Mask AND the other team has an abundance of AP's.

Used by: Jungle, Top
Replace: Infinity Edge

Great item, that's is why it is in one of my builds. Atmog's is a great combo, but so is Fratma's. Your gonna want to start eyeballing this item if your game that you where wanting to go squishier in isn't going so well. Also get this item if the other team has a bunch of AD or an carry is fed. This item can give you hope. If you haven't bought Phage yet than buy Giant's belt first.

Used by: Jungle, Top
Replace: Zeal

This means your getting Youmuu's Ghostblade. Gold for 5 items are great but this is in my opinion the worst one. If you want this item than i would start with Doran's Blade so you aren't behind on damage, and try to get it early.

Used by: Middle, Jungle, Top
Replace: Quicksilver Sash, Infinity Edge, Wit's End, Zhonya's Hourglass

Pretty much a universal AP counter. This item is viable on every single champion, even the ones with spell shields already. This item is great but should only be bought if the AP Carry is too fed.

The reason I would recommend replacing Infinity Edge on the atmog's build is because that build does not work in a bad game where you are carrying 3 doran sword's.

More coming soon!

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Final Scores

Here's my final scores with my build(s).

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The Future For Master Yi

11/20/2012 In Season 3 almost all champions are being buffed, with the exception of AD Carries and there items being nerfed. Some of the new items offer cc in them, so I can see Master Yi effectively using those. However he still will need a rework because his kit is too weak.

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When I made this guide I hadn't established a role to main. Currently it is now support. Jungling is something I can do efficiently still, but I hesitate to ever use Master Yi in the jungle. Still I will do what I can to help this guide, albeit it is secondary to my Alistar guide.