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League of Legends Build Guide Author PFP

Master Yi - Physical Carry [Sidelane]

PFP Last updated on March 30, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 9

Chapter 1


Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting.
Trying does not mean playing Master Yi for the first or second time.
Get to know the champion first, and how to use him situationally to realize the potential of this build.

Comment with constructive responses or with insightful questions and I will respond when time permits.

Abbreviated Terms
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArP = Armor Penetration
DPS = Damage Per Second
CC = Crowd Control
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MIA = Missing In Action


  • Dec. 24, 2010 - Guide Created


Welcome to my 4th guide for mobafire, this time for Master Yi. With all the recent patches to the game, I feel Riot is attempting to bring back Melee DPS champions through nerfing ranged carries, supports, and tanky champions. Now if you have seen or used my Ashe guide then you should instantly be familiar with playing this type of champion [Yi]. In those terms I mean that Ashe and Master Yi are often picked up by newer players at the start: they are easy to learn, but hard to master [high ELO gameplay]. My goal is to provide a resource for prospective Master Yi players and improve your gameplay. Before I used to build Master Yi with full AS, Crit, and a little bit of AD. What I didn't know then was that I was lacking ArP, AD, and survivability [key proponents to high level gameplay]. This will be addressed in this guide.

The youtube commentator, coldturkey49, finally released a video on the beast that is, Master Yi. What I saw was quite thought provoking.

Going for an AD build, he suggested that the traditional 21 in offense
should be changed for early game survivability in side lanes, as that was what Master Yi was lacking. There are much better junglers in LoL than Yi, so it is best to play him as a traditional carry.
This was new to me, and his starting item choice was also quite unique.

I found this after multiple tests to be the most CONSISTENT method of carrying with Master Yi; and it worked in solo queue, premades, and ranked games.

So, I am now attempting to summarize his build [he assumes all credit] on paper for all of you to enjoy and utilize.

Carry Harder

To begin, let's look at what one must do to win a game of LoL.
  • Hard Carry: Killing the opposition efficiently and repeatedly.
  • Allowing: Your team to push the towers down and get in the enemy base.
  • End Result: Winning the game, solely because of your performance.

Now this works best in Solo Queue as you will often be teamed up with people that have no clue what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. And by "it" I mean help your team to your champion's potential to win the game.

Master Yi

Master Yi is one of the strongest hard carries in the game. This is mainly because of his ability to take single targets down rapidly with ease, and then moving on the the next. Everytime he gets a kill, all his cooldowns are refreshed allowing him to kill, and kill, and kill again.

[ACE!] Something a good Yi will hear often, the reason Yi is a very strong hard carry is after he wipes the other team, he can proceed by taking down all of their turrets. He's fast, he's strong, and he does a lot of damage.

The question is: Can you be consistent?
Consistency is the most important aspect of playing a carry. That's why you see bigfatjiji as the best player in LoL due to his ability to repeatedly carry his team no matter what the outcome the situation will always be him playing his best.

This is why I think defensive masteries, flat health quints, and a Doran's item are a must on Master Yi so he can survive the early game, farm up enough items, and proceed by carrying his team. Consistency prevails in this aspect, if you build him like coldturkey49 has presented to us.

Summoner Spells

Removes all current CC on you and then grants you 65% CC reduction for 3 seconds after.
This is a needed spell on Yi as he will get focused and stuns will be thrown at him.
Cleanse is borderline OP on him, actually. It drops any debuff instantly.
AND combined with these boots you literally have 100% reduction on CC for a couple seconds after activation.

Another spell that is great for Yi and melee DPS champions in general.
Yi already has built in Ghost, what he is lacking is CC.
This spell provides just enough CC for you to kill any champion and take anyone 1v1.

Runes and Masteries: Survivability + DPS

Greater Mark of Desolation ArP Marks, you want to maximize your damage by penetrating [hehe] armor.
Mana Regen Seals, you want to stay in the lane: combined with Doran's Ring you're set.
CDR baby! you want your abilities off cooldown: combined with Ghostblade you're set.
Flat Health, you want survivability early game.

I go with 0/21/9. This provides a strong early game allowing Master Yi to "Carry Harder".

-Veteran's Scars for even more early hit points.
-Strength of Spirit for lane-staying power.
-Willpower for CDR on Cleanse.
-Meditation for early mana regen.
-Perserverance for synergy with mana and health regen [early].
-Awareness to level up faster.

These masteries help you out alot early game so you can get multi-kills later.

Skill Ordering

Alpha Strike

I get a point in this for harass early on.
This is raised second, due to it scaling with AP and we are building an AD champion.
Good to chase with, good to initiate with, good to clean up kills with.


I get a point in this for the small health regen to counter harass.
This is raised last, it has amazing scaling with AP but we are focusing on AD for constant DPS.
With the early AP from your Doran's Ring, we can stay in the lane.

Wuju Style

I maximize this ability first.
This provides strong early damage (AD) for Yi, giving you strong lane presence.
This will make your auto-attacks hit harder, and with activation doubles the effect of the increased AD.


Your ultimate, the reason you carry hard.
Activation gives you AS and MS. You will move fast and hit faster, basically.
Everytime you are going for a kill, activate this ability. Once you get the kill all your cooldowns refresh, so activate it again!
Reusing this skill is key to getting those addicting multi-kills.
Maximize your damage output with synergy of your ultimate with Youmuu's Ghostblade.

Core Item Build:

Start: Doran's Ring + 1 Health Potion

Boots of Speed after, it should be a second item in any build.

Mercury's Treads: Depending on how well your doing, either finish your boots into this, or buy an early Brutalizer.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: Amazing item, a must have on Yi. I switch my item slot hot key for this item to "t". This allows me to go in and simply pop all my abilities [E,R,T] plus my ghostblade rapidly giving me insane AS and MS. Not to mention the item's passive traits giving ArP, Crit, and CDR.

Zeal: Exactly what you need next [since all your AS & MS is from actives], some base AS , base MS, and Crit.

B.F. Sword: You'll want more AD now just to show the other team you're still hitting hard. You'll build this into an Infinity Edge late game.

Stark's Fervor: Much needed base AS, Lifesteal (for 1v1s), and more ArP. Not to mention it also helps your teammates as well.

End Game Items:
More surviability isn't that necessary with Yi, because you are trying to be unnoticed to clean up. You are your teams janitor, if you get focused or make a bad choice, you are generally dead.

Infnity Edge
This item is needed for all carries, and is amazing with Yi. More AD, Crit, and then it also makes your crits hit harder [250%]. Yes please!

Phantom Dancer
Well it's a good time to upgrade your Zeal for more base AS, Crit, and MS. If you get to this item, there should be no one standing in your way to the enemy Nexus.

Guardian Angel
Long, drawn-out games will force you to pick this up. It provides strong Armor & MR.
Teamfights win the game this late into it, and if you die it's over as your team has no carry anymore.
Guardian Angel will hopefully get you back in to win the fight and end the game. However it only works when your teammates are right with you and on top of your body [protecting you] as your are reviving.

Early Farming Basics:

Taken from JunSupport. He creates wonderful guides, and I've learned alot from him. Please check him out and comment on his builds, I am also using the same format as him as he did a similar guide with a Hybrid Twisted Fate build coldturkey49 presented to us.

This is something everyone should learn ASAP. As a carry, this is critically important, because you're dependent on your items and will fail harshly if you rely on your base stats and abilities.
    1. Never mindlessly attack the minions. This will cause your minions to push closer to the enemy turret; in a bot game this is good, in a normal game it will lead to you getting ganked and crushed.
    2. Let your minions attack, and watch for the enemy unit being damaged most. Attack accordingly to score gold. This will keep your wave from pushing too far ahead.
    3. Always be walking around. Try to avoid the enemy, and stay behind/beside your minions. Idling will give your enemy time to aim for harass damage.
    This will also allow you to stay near the enemy minions without auto-attacking them.
    4. Tank minions and Melee minions give more gold. (Just thought I'd throw that in there)
    5. Pay special attention to MIAs, and browse the mini-map every so often in case your allies forget or don't call them.
    6. Run in closer to a target minion before last-hitting to ensure your attack hits the mark.
    7. If you're taking lots of damage, stay back (turret-hugging if necessary) and soak exp. Your EXP can be just as important as your farming, so when you can stay safe, don't back out.

~~Final Comments~~

Remember, never ever initiate a teamfight. You come in as an assassin, when they least expect it to wipe their team. Master Yi is a great carry and with time, experience, and the playing of this guide you will learn how to consistently win games. [But most importantly, have fun!] You'll find multi-kills are quite fun.

Remember to comment with any questions/concerns you have.