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Master Yi Build Guide by DeathshotXX

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DeathshotXX

Master Yi - THE Game-Master

DeathshotXX Last updated on August 12, 2011
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Team 1


Team 2

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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 9

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Ok, so you've all probably seen a million master yi guides telling you what you want to do and how to play him. They have probably gotten your mastery of yi to at least a 1.0 k/d ratio and maybe 2:1 k:d every now and then, but if you want to end almost EVERY GAME with 4.0 and above, you need to see this guide.

Note: The second build is really my first build, but it's the items you are going to end up with when you get all of them, so if you want my final list of items and you want to do your own build order, there it is.

BTW, this is my first ever guide so feedback will be appreciated.

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Pros / Cons

Pros and Cons of Yi:

Tremendous AD
Good ganker
One of the best carries

Blinds make you die
Has no ranged attacks

So why use this build? (Pros and Cons of this build)

- Heavy Attack Damage and Speed
- Good lifesteal and survivability
- Very good late game

This build's weak areas

- Uneventful early game
- Squishy early on
- VERY Gold dependent, please see farming section if you have trouble.

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My runes are fairly basic, they are relatively expected. Obviously, the AS and AD are very important with yi and i'll show you why they are especially important in this guide. The runes are quite pricey especially if you are a casual player like me and go on every now and then for a few hours. Otherwise, these runes are meant to make up for your early game (pre-lvl 6) squishyness.

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Logically, if you look at my build and strategies, you will see why i picked what i picked. You want heavy offense but you do need the extra gold (if u take a look at the item build, u'll see why) and the extra exp will help you get to 18 before others, hopefully getting those gank kills and hitting up a few turrets as well.

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So before I even get into the actual tactics of yi, i wanted to remind you that, if you look at the items I buy, you HAVE to be a farming beast. If you cross a minion fight on the way to your destination, FARM it. If you see a minion camp in the jungle as you are going to wherever (unless your running away) FARM it. And of course, if you see a enemy low on health, well, farm him too, though that's really not the right term but you get the idea. This build puts you at 15345 total gold and you want at least IE before the 30 minute mark. That puts you at a gold income rate at at least 390 gold a minute. For those that don't really know what that means, it means you gotta be a serial murderer with a vengeance.

So, if your new, you might want to know how and when to farm. I think I covered "when" pretty well but "how" is a good question. Remember that versus minions, especially in the lanes if your just diving in for some extra gold, you got to be in and out. So alpha in and wuju it up and once your job is done, move to somewhere else or go for the champ if you can. I'll talk more about this later.

Note: If you really cannot farm this fast, that's fine for most normal games because if you can get IE by the 35 minute mark, then you should be good to go. Still, try to collect everything else. If you finish the build and the game still hasn't ended with a "Victory" banner, then the other yi is probably reading the same build here.

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Ok, so now to explain my items, probably what you guys came here for. (sorry no pics right now, this is first guide and i haven't really gotten to know mobafire yet, I'll add them in as soon as I know how)

Early Game:

Boots of Speed & 3 Health Pots: Ok, so depending on where Yi is, this can change slightly. If he is laning top or bot, then go with this. If he is in mid, which actually works pretty well, go with a mana pot instead of a health pot. The main idea of this is simply lane staying power. If you can stay in lane, you can farm, and if you can farm, you can pull off a better late game.

Emblem of Valour: Ok, so now your potions are not going to cut it and if you put points into meditate, you are going to lose killing power and last hit power. The lifesteal (17%) is really nic at this point of the game. The passive will also give you a little boost of health.

Mid Game:

Daggers, Zeal and Phantom Dancer: Ok, so the item build looks a little more complicated than it needs to be. Simply put, you want to max out your attack speed first and the two daggers are going to give you that. Really, right now at about 10 min into the game, you don't need to go too hard for attack damage yet. Yi already has great base AD and I just feel that at this point, your attack speed will matter the most. Plus, if we go right for IE now, the items that you want to go for are a bit out of a good steady item build range because of your farming speed. Daggers and then Zeal should take you about 7 min or so to get and that's a nice upgrade for 5 min. Then, all you do for Phantom is grab a CoA and grab Phantom. It's easier to go for at this point because you might be out for maybe 5 min at a time and it's nice to get quick upgrades that are significant at the same time.

B.F. Sword & Infinity Edge: Ok, so here's your first big AD purchase. I'm personally not a big fan of CoA so I go for the B.F. Sword first for the massive AD boost. Plus, with the huge attack speed boost already, you can really start seeing the effect of successful farming. Then I normally go for Pickaxe and then CoA last before IE itself. After this, it's already a gg. If you farmed at a good speed, it should be about 30 minutes and the damage per second output including the massive critical strike and CS chance is just massive. Now you can start really ganking people. Don't be afraid to dive in to a 1 v 3 situation to help a teammate cause if you focus on one target, you can probably take it out in about 1.5 sec. Then, it's a 2v2 and you're the big hitter that just came in.

Late Game:

Phage & Frozen Mallet: If you are here (which I am a quarter of the time if I didn't farm fast enough or the other team's really good), then you obviously haven't been a cheap enough player. That's why we have the big mallet here. Yes, the health boost is nice and the AD boost is awesome as well. But the main reason, to me, is the passive. 40% slow movement speed is ridiculous. When I saw it for the first time, I couldn't believe my eyes. If ANY opponent can get away from you when you have FM, Highlander on, BG, and PD, they probably flashed, ghosted, and activated a special ability because, in a race, you will be going about 3 times as fast as them. Yeah, it's cheap alright. Ok, now since I raged a bit about the ridiculous speed factor, I also use this item for the health boost. +700 Health equals extremely high survivability for an AD based character.

Stark's Fervor: Ok, so you already have Emblem of Valour, Might as well put in the extra gold to get SF. An extra 20% attack speed is amazing but that is FAR from the best part. in team fights, not only do you get 20% lifesteal, EVERYBODY who doesn't want to tear your head off in real life does too. Oh, and did I mention the additional 20% attack speed that you, and everyone else who got the first buff gets? 30 health per 5 sec is nice too I suppose, but with the lifesteal and the DPS you deal, its nothing. The armor reduction of 20 makes taking down tanks a bit easier as well.

Guardian Angel: ... ... How the f*** did your opponents not die yet? Ok, so normally the problem here is that they keep focusing on the biggest damage dealing threat (aka you). So you get killed off in about 2 or 3 sec since everyone is attacking you. The armor boost and the great magic resist should help with casters and maybe a fail Ashe. But, the passive is a huge wakeup call. Every 5 min, which is not as big of a period of time to wait as it sounds, you get revived with 750 health and 375 mana. That's about a quarter of your health and a third of your mana. This is enough to AS back in, pop WS and highlander and, if you need, pop highlander again if you need it (assuming your mana regenerates fast enough cause your 25 mana short without mana regen) When and if your opponents manage to drag the game this long, it should be about 45 min or so with the gold your racking up with kills and minions.

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Other Item Choices

Ok, so pretty much Berserker's Greaves, Phantom Dancer, and IE are locked in. However, you can choose between a wide variety of items for the other 3 items in your build. I'll place them into catagories and talk about them.

Instead of Stark's Fervor:
Ok, so if someone else on your team has Stark's, you don't really need to get it. However, lifesteal is a must for Yi and you don't want to rely on someone else for constant lifesteal. I suggest the following.

The Bloodthirster: Yeah, pretty obvious this was coming. Soooooooooo many builds use this for yi. However, the main down side to it is that, if you look at where I put lifesteal in the build (right after berserker's greaves), the B.F. Sword will take a bit to get. So either you just go with vamp. specter (recommended) or you go for the big thing itself.

Bligewater Cutlass into Hextech: Not a terrible choice, but your don't really need the extra ability power. Go for it if you want, the AD is quite nice as well as the active.

Instead of Frozen Mallet:
Oh god, Frozen Mallet's passive is so nice, I personally would never leave it. However here are some options for you if you can manage to not use Frozen Mallet.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: Wow, you need more attack speed and movement? Really? Personally, I never time the active right so I just don't bother. And it's another cooldown to look after but if it's your cup of tea, go on ahead.

Trinity Force: A wonderful all around item if you need to get an upgrade for everything. The item speaks for itself. +30 Damage, +30 Ability Power, +30% Attack Speed, +15% Crit Chance, +12% Move Speed, +250 Health, +250 Mana, and a nice passive.

Instead of Guardian Angel:
I'm guessing you are not too into the armor and passive? This is a really flexible item if you don't want it.

Manamune: Yes, mana does run out sometimes. I just don't think it's that much of an issue normally. At most you lose some pushing and find that the enemy has pushed you back a bit. However, if you somehow find yourself in this situation constantly, this is a good item to get.

Last Whisper: You need more attack damage? Well, I suppose it can't hurt. And the passive is REALLY nice for tanks.

The Black Cleaver: You obviously lack attack power... but why not? Also good for taking down tanks.

Tiamat: Ummm... never tried myself, but it seems like an alright item, especially for team fights since your attack speed is so darn high.

Another Phantom Dancer: In case you want to run faster and hit quicker, you can have another Phantom Dancer.

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Summoner Spells

Ok, so my summoner spells are heal and teleport. That is siimply my preference. If you don't want to do this, go ahead and get whatever the heck you want. I'll tell you why I use my summoner spells.

Heal: It's a great multi-use spell. You can bait your opponents into a gank when you're at low health (since they already want to kill you so bad) and then heal and beat them down. You can also use it right after guardian angel respawns you and heal you and your entire team so you would have like 1200 health maybe? Yeah, it's nice to not die... Also, if you get ganked, heal can save you because highlander sometimes isn't enough to get away if someone stuns you.

Teleport: Turret Saves are nice and your team will thank you for it. Also, i've gotten some kills off of situations where my teammate is being chased and I time the TP right so I can get on top of the opponent who's chasing and get a quick kill. Takes some practice to time, but if they don't see it coming or aren't paying attention, you can make them pay. It also helps you get back to lane faster so you get more gold and exp.

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Skill Sequence

Ok, so since I fail at getting the images to pop up, I'll just use the abbreviations AS for alpha strike, WS for wuju style, and HL for highlander. I don't use meditate a lot unless it's for a quick heal in lane in which, you just use it if you need to, I should have to explain it. I will cover a few common scenarios and what to do in those scenarios.

Harass in lane (starting from level 2): AS in, activate WS, auto attack and retreat.

Chasing kill (starting from level 2, but really good from level 6): AS in, activate WS and HL (if you have it), auto attack until dead or another AS if they flash away.

Gank (you initiate): AS in, HL first, then WJ (they will probably start running so highlander first lets you land an extra blow). Once you kill someone, pop another HL once you first wears off and WS and AS if needed. Repeat.

Gank (opponents gank you): If it's a 2 on 1 gank, look to see if you can kill someone by AS in, WJ and HL. If you can, go for it and then if you still have enough health to go after the other guy, go for it with WS and HL again and AS for finish.

Turret Dive: This is tricky. Don't do it if someone can stun you and don't do it with less than 2 thirds of your health. AS in, HL and WS for kill and GTFO. Don't try for this if the opponent has more than like 1200 health left. It's too risky and if they have decent armor, you're probably going to be the one running away.

Team Fight: Ok, this is where you can really show off and get some kills. Focus on LAST HITTING. I cannot stress this enough. If you got HL on and you get a kill, guess what? Your cooldowns all refresh including HL. Then, just go after another guy with low health. AS is your friend and considering, all your opponents are nearby, you could probably get a 300 damage hit on every one of them. Wash, Rinse, and repeat until you hear "Ace".

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Team Work

Set up ganks and help out if you see someone say "MIA". Call MIAs yourself and use the alert ping to signal ganks and team fights and stuff. Communication is key. Even the best yi can't take down a whole team by himself (actually, not entirely true cause I have once or twice). Ask the supports nicely for heals and/or to focus heals on you in team fights.

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Ok, that's it for my first guide ever on MOBAFIRE. Please give me comments that are constructive. Don't write "YOu SUCK!" and not tell me why at all. Come to think of it, don't write "YOU SUCK!" at all. If you guys would like me to have another section/chapter or want me to explain something else to a further degree, please don't hesitate to give me a comment and I'll try to answer it as soon as I can. Thanks!