Build Guide by ShadowReign757
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Master Yi Build
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.
Hey everyone, welcome to my 7th build. This time I'm going to give you my take on Master Yi. Master Yi is generally very fun to play, and can bring a lot of damage for his team. He is easy to learn, fun to play, and devastating when mastered. With him being one of the fastest runners and fastest attackers, escape is near impossible. And for just a puny 450 IP, who wouldn't buy him?
So, I encourage you to read on, and find out some things about how I play Master Yi, and everything he is capable of. Which, might I add, includes destroying anybody who opposes him.
Attributes: Recommended, Carry, Melee
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Health: 444 (+86)
Mana: 235 (+36)
Damage: 52.96 (+3.1)
Attack Speed: 0.679 (+2.8%)
Health Regen: 6.75 (+0.65)
Mana Regen: 6.5 (+0.45)
Armor: 16.3 (+3.7)
Magic Resist: 30 (+1.25)
Movement Speed: 330
Pros & Cons
+ Amazing damage
+ Great carry
+ Insane pusher
+ Amazing 1v1 power
+ Only 450 IP
+ Runs very fast
+ Good at last hitting
+ Easy to play, learn, and master
- Slow early game
- Slightly item dependent
- And good disable can shut you down
- A little on the weak side early game
This ability is the reason that Master Yi scales so very well with AS. This is also why having a high crit chance is a good thing, because both hits can crit. So when your doing 700 crits and you crit twice on Double Strike, that's gonna hurt like a *****. Trust me, it's happened to me and I've done it to others many, many times. This skill is pretty self-explanatory, but remember that it can turn the tides of a losing battle very, very quickly. This is essentially Master Yi's bread and butter skill.
Active): Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing magic damage to each enemy with a chance to deal 400 bonus magic damage to minions.
Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana.
Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds.
Magic Damage: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+1 per ability power).
Bonus Damage Chance: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60%.
This is Master Yi's second skill. It has great last-hitting potential, and is a pretty nice form of harass. This is also the skill that makes Yi such a great jungler. This skill does minimal damage since this is an AD build, but it still has it's uses. Probably the best use for it is harassing, but it is also an amazing chase tool. Aside from that, there are a few lucky occasions where you can escape with it. To do that, simply Alpha Strike the creep farthest away from your enemies, and continue to run away.
(Active): Master Yi channels, restoring health over 5 seconds. While channeling, Master Yi gains armor and magic resistance.
Cooldown: 35 seconds.
Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana.
Health Restored: 140 / 280 / 420 / 560 / 700 (+1.65 per ability power).
Armor & Magic Resistance: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300.
This is Master Yi's 3rd skill. It starts out rather weak, but can prove to be amazing late game. This skill can make people who try to tower-dive you cry. This skill doesn't bring too much to the plate for AD Yi, but it is a heal nonetheless. This is also the skill that makes it tough to focus you in teamfights. Just be careful of any stuns they may have on their team, as it can take any strategy you were trying to do with this and ruin it.
(Active): Increases Master Yi's movement speed by 40% and attack speed for a few seconds, as well as making him immune to any slow effects. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's Abilities. Assist refreshes all abilities by half.
Cooldown: 75 seconds.
Cost: 120 mana.
Attack Speed: 40 / 60 / 80%.
Duration: 6 / 9 / 12 seconds.
This is Master Yi's 5th skill, also his ultimate. This is what makes Master Yi an insane pusher, and it also makes him insanely hard to kill. This ability has many, many uses. The two most-common are killing and escaping. it is also good for pushing towers down in a matter of seconds. It also can turn a fight around once you have some lifesteal. This skill is amazing for getting multiple kills in quick succession also, thanks to the cooldown being refreshed after a kill while it is active. Since this build lacks the attack speed that other builds have, this will be used to crank our AS up to around 2.2 attacks per second. It has amazing synergy with both Wuju Style and Double Strike, and is arguably one of the best ultimates that a carry can ask for.
This is the range on Alpha Strike. Your other abilities have no range circles available for them.
greater mark of desolationGreater Mark Of Desolation: These runes give you some nice armor penetration, which just means more damage. Pretty standard on Yi, and most carries in general.
Greater Seal Of Malice: I grab these because having a pretty high crit chance is just unfair on Yi. These will bring us up near 80% crit chance, which is just devastating.
Greater Glyph Of Clarity: Mana can prove to be a problem early game, so we grab these to solve some mana issues.
greater quintessence of desolationGreater Quintessence Of Desolation: We grab these to top off that nice armor penetration we already have. Goes very nice with our marks and our Youmuu's Ghostblade.
Some Other Good Choices
Greater Seal Of Evasion: Goes very nicely with your defense masteries, and can easily save your life.
Greater Mark Of Alacrity: These give us some more attack speed to charge up Double Strike quicker, and to kill people faster in general.
greater glyph of knowledgeGreater Glyph Of Knowledge: Take these if you feel like you don't need the mana regen as much as you may just need flat mana.
Greater Glyph Of Warding: These glyphs will give you some nice MR for more early game survivability.
Greater Seal Of Resilience: These, much like the glyph choice above, will allow for some more early game survivability.
Greater Quintessence Of Fortitude: Again, adding more early game survivability can really be the difference between life and death.
Deadliness 3/3: Some ore crit chance is always welcome.
Cripple 1/1: A nice boost to the effectiveness of Exhaust
Sorcery 3/4: We really get this just to move on, but the CDR is still helpful.
Alacrity 4/4: A nice little boost to our attack speed.
Sunder 3/3: Even more armor penetration, how great!
Brute Force 3/3: A minuscule amount of damage, but every bit counts.
Lethality 3/3: The extra crit damage is just perfect.
Havoc 1/1: A nice boost to your damage that scales to late game as well.
Resistance 3/3: A little bit of early MR is a little helpful.
Hardiness 1/3: Wow, a whopping 1 armor! We only grab this to move on.
Evasion 4/4: A little bit of dodge, but it has saved me many times.
Nimbleness 1/1: Goes nicely with the Evasion mastery.
Which Boots To Choose?
These will be your most common choice. Classical AD carry boots.
You always have to remember that your ultimate will only stop slows, any other disable can still totally screw you over. If they have a CC heavy team, these may be your best choice.
These boots are totally unnecessary. You already move at very high speeds, there isn't a need for more.
The CDR is nice, but since we are going AD, it is pretty useless. Plus we get enough CDR from Youmuu's Ghostblade.
It is just absolutely absurd how fast you would go with these, but much like Boots of Swiftness, these are not a good choice.
No need for these since we are going AD Yi.
If you're getting wrecked by AD carries every time you show your face, these are the boots for you. 90% of the time they are going to be useless though.
Youmuu's Or Last Whisper?
Well, the answer is simple. Whatever the situation calls for really. A majority of the time Youmuu's is going to be your best choice. If 3 people on the enemy team have greater than 100 armor, Last Whisper is your best bet. Any other time, Youmuu's will provide better penetration (lol). Even if they have exactly 100 armor, Youmuu's is still better. Why? Because if they have 100 armor, Last Whisper will give you 40 armor penetration, but this build provides a flat 45 armor penetration, making Last Whisper less effective for killing.
Another point I would like to bring up is the fact that you should never buy both. I shouldn't even have to explain this point. It's not that bad to have armor penetration runes and a Last Whisper, but having a Last Whisper and a Youmuu's is a bad choice.
This item is an absolute must on Master Yi. This is what makes him the hard carry, what makes him an absolute beast on the battlefield. Not getting this item on an AD Yi build is almost a sin.
This item provides some massive damage, as well as a hefty amount of lifesteal. This item is pretty situational. If you are dying and can't hold the stacks, trade it out for a Zeke's Harbinger.
A nice item for armor penetration, as well as the amazing active. The crit chance and CDR is like a huge cherry on top of it all. This item is amazing on Yi, and is as high up on his list of good items as Infinity Edge.
A good choice if the enemy team is really tanky. The damage is also decent. For more information on when to get this over Youmuu's Ghostblade, refer to the above section of this chapter.
Attack Speed Items
This is a very strong item on Yi, providing every stat that he thrives on other than damage. Cranks your movement speed up nicely, as well as some amazing crit chance and attack speed.
This item is a nice replacement for The Bloodthirster if you are having some trouble holding the stacks. Providing some very nice attack speed and decent lifesteal, this is not a bad choice.
This item is used if you feel like shredding those tough to kill opponents. Not exactly the best item on Yi, but can be extremely useful in the right situations.
Another item for shredding the tough enemies. The attack speed is great, as well as the nice damage in there. This item will shred 45 armor from the target, meaning that if you have this you will completely ignore 90 of there armor. Best when used on a team of high armor people.
This item provides some amazing attack speed, as well as a nice passive for some added damage. The active is also great for even MORE armor penetration, as well as stopping dodge *****s like Jax.
This protects you from harmful spells and disables as well as providing health, mana, and magic resist.
Plenty of health with this item.
This gives some AD, HP, and a nice slow.
Farming & Pushing
Master Yi is an amazing farmer, and easily one of the best pushers that this games has to offer. With the % chance to deal bonus damage to a minion when you use Alpha Strike combined with the great damage from Wuju Style, you can push to the enemy inhibitor in about 10:30 if left unattended, but who would leave a Master Yi unattended for that long anyways?
Your main skill for early minion kills is going to be Alpha Strike. This is especially useful when laning against ranged opponents. This lets you get off some last hits as well as providing you with some nice early harassment.
Wuju Style is great for pushing considering the very high damage that it provides you with. It is also very helpful when trying to get some last hits. This paired with Double Strike will let you push insanely fast, as well as getting a lot of last hits.
Never just sit there auto-attacking minions. You lose out on a ton of potential money, and you push your minions to their tower, which leaves you very vulnerable to getting ganked. Last hitting provides much more gold, which leads to more items, which leads to more kills, which leads to more potential pushing, which will win games. That alone is why I can't stress enough the importance of last hitting every minion possible. The only person that should have more minion kills is your mid lane, unless the rest of your team is really good at it, which is unfortunately really rare.
The next point I would like to address is using Highlander while pushing. I see so many Master Yi players use Highlander the minute they get to the enemy's tower, don't. The only reason you should do that is if you know that you can kill the tower, otherwise it was a waste. Sure, you got the tower lower health than you would have had you not used it, but now it's wasted so if you need it for a gank or to score a kill, you don't have it. You could also say that the same thing can happen if you used it to kill the tower. But getting a tower kill is the most important thing. Yes, dying is bad, but tower kills are vital to winning. And if you die, one enemy will get a little over 300 gold, while all 5 of your team gets over 100. That's a pretty fair trade. When you go to push a tower down, just use Highlander and activate Wuju Style. The tower should fall with ease.
Skill Sequence & Skill Rotation
1. Alpha Strike
2. Wuju Style
3. Wuju Style
4. Alpha Strike
5. Wuju Style
7. Wuju Style
8. Alpha Strike
9. Wuju Style
10. Alpha Strike
12. Alpha Strike
This is the most common skill sequence that you will end up using. There will be times when you have to add a few variations, but this is what you will mostly use. In the event that you are getting harassed pretty hard, grab a level or two in Meditate. If you are forced to take solo top, grab more early levels in Alpha Strike for harassment, as well as a level or two in Meditate.
Basically what you want to do is rush at the target with Alpha Strike. After that, you want to activate Wuju Style and Highlander simultaneously and start to beat on said target. After that, you may want to use Meditate depending on how much damage you have received. If you think that you'll be alright, then proceed to Alpha Strike towards the target again, then activate Wuju Style and hit them until they are dead.
So in short, you want something like this:
Alpha Strike---> Wuju Style---> Highlander--->Auto-attack them until Alpha Strike is ready again---> Meditate if you took too much damage---> Alpha Strike towards the target again--->Activate Wuju Style and hit them until they are dead.
I take this spell so that people can't escape you.
I take Flash to catch those that are lucky enough to get away from you, or to escape before level 6.
Other Good Choices
This helps you keep a steady XP gain and push lanes better.
This spell helps for those times when you are stunned or snared.
This is helpful for finishing off people with really low hp.
This helps get first blood as well as some decent help in teamfights
Helps you get away when your ult + Youmuu's just doesn't cut it.
Not So Good Choices
You have Meditate which is a better spell on a lower cooldown.
You're an auto-attacker, plus your glyphs should keep you at a decent amount of mana
This is not a jungling build, although Master Yi is an effective jungler.
You shouldn't die enough to need it.
Leave this for tanks.
Leave this for supports.
Grab your Boots of Speed and some potions of your choosing and head to your lane. Most of the time you are going to want to take a duo lane, but taking solo top can also be a good choice depending on who you are facing. You want to try to harass the enemies with your Alpha Strike, but don't over-do it. You want to always have mana to spare. Also remember to use it to last hit those minions in the back that you can't quite get to without taking damage. If the enemy is being aggressive, don't be aggressive back. You want as much time in the lane as you can possibly get.
If you end up taking solo top, I suggest starting with a Doran's Shield so that you can stay in the lane for a long time. Never be aggressive other than a little harassment here and there. If you have to sit at your tower and watch the enemies push minions while you miss last hits, then so be it. Giving up an early death, especially in a 1v2 situation, is just something that you never want to happen.
A nice way to get first blood if you are a bit more experienced with Yi is to sit at the tower at around level 3 with about 1/2 bars of health. See where I'm going with this yet? Make sure you have a level in Meditate. A lot of times they want to tower dive you. Once they do, pop Meditate and then Alpha Strike to one if they are low enough and kill them.
Always remember that your entire game balances on how well you can do early game. If you get fed early, then you can go gank lanes and have a large chance of winning. If you have a fairly passive laning phase, then it is still anyone's game. If you give up early deaths, you lose XP and farm, and then have trouble carrying your team like you should. That usually puts the odds in the enemies favor.
Mid game is all about ganking. This phase of the game is also crucial to your late game outcome. As Master Yi, you are a great ganker. You want to try to kill as many people as possible without being completely reckless about it. The complicated thing about this phase is that you still need a lot of farm, but you need the kills from ganking as well.
So basically you have to try your best to find the perfect balance of ganking and farming. I find the best method to be this: Go to the bush to gank etc. etc., and then run in for the kill. After the kill is achieved (hopefully), you want to stay in that lane and start taking some last hits. After that, you want to travel to the next lane that needs a gank, but on the way there, stop and clear the jungle. Simply repeat this until all ganks are completed and there are no more jungle creeps on your side. Once that happens, simply return to your lane and let the farming continue.
Never be concerned about 1v1, you are Master Yi. As long as you have a bit of lifesteal and some good attack speed, you should be perfectly fine. If your lane is being ganked constantly, then you are going to have to get your teammates to help you, and maybe even get a lane switch. You cannot afford deaths, not now, not early game, and not late game. You are almost like a crutch for your team, they lean on you when they are in trouble, and you pull them through.
Late game is all about teamfights, and as such, you need some serious focus fire. But also, you are going to be focused, often times the entire enemy team will try to get you. Master Yi, like all carries, is usually only as good as his tank. If you have a bad tank/no tank, then you are going to be focused to hell and won't be able to do anything to give your team the stopping power they need. If you have a good tank, then they will be able to hold focus long enough for you to do some massive damage and pick up a few kills. Always remember that your damage is massive, but you aren't invincible.
Whenever a teamfight starts, any and all squishy enemy carries must die immediately. I won't give a huge list on who needs to be focused, I shouldn't need to. You always want the enemy carry dead first, always. If the enemy carry just happens to be a tanky DPS character, then you are going to want to kill one of the squishy supports first. But for the most part, it's all about how much damage you can dish out to the carry. Even if their carry is a tanky DPS, grab a Madred's Bloodrazor and The Black Cleaver and rip them apart. So long as it can be done quickly, if not, kill the support. Also, I really shouldn't have to say this, but don't focus the tanks.
I hope this guide gave you some good insight as to how good of a carry Master Yi can be, and that you have success with it. This guide was pretty extensive and took some time, so I hope it was an enjoyable read, and you can have many, many good games with it.
Bonus Tips & Trivia
- If you're in a lane against ranged players, leveling up Meditate can allow you to stay in the lane longer and gain levels faster than they will.
- Wuju Style combined with Alpha Strike is very strong for last hitting minions.
- Alpha Strike's AoE component has a deceptively long range. Target minions near an enemy champion to harass them.
- Triggering Wuju Style and Highlander when combined with various melee increases makes Master Yi a high damage dealer, if for short periods. It's especially effective in destroying towers.
- Although you cannot be slowed during Highlander, a good disable or blind will stop most of your damage, so be careful of enemies with disables.
- Highlander can be used as an effective escape tool, especially with Ghost used at the same time.
- Use Meditate, when in mid-clash and you are being focused upon. Enemies overly committed in killing you will find you surprisingly difficult to kill since Meditate grants 300 armor and magic resistance at max rank.
- Meditate is especially useful when an opponent is trying to Turret Dive against Master Yi.
- Master Yi can stand next to the turret and use Meditate to hold off damage from the opponent while they are repeatedly being hit by the turret.
- Meditate can also be chosen early in the game to maximize Master Yi's time in lane. However, choosing Meditate over his other abilities will sacrifice DPS and early game kills.
- When you are being chased, hiding in a brush and channeling Meditate can give you the upper hand against the enemies. However, do not do this if they can still defeat you after the Meditate.
- When playing Ability Power Master Yi, remember that Highlander refreshes all your cooldowns on a kill. Try to cast Alpha Strike so it will result in a kill. This may seem like kill stealing but it will greatly increase the damage the other team will take.
- Since Master Yi is an effective DPS/Pusher, it is best to build him with damage and attack speed runes. Life Steal can also be useful with increased damage and attack speed but not necessary.
- Consider that while his abilities are good, they work with relatively high cooldowns, meaning that Cooldown Reduction items are great to increase his overall use of abilities.
- Master Yi is extremely vulnerable to Crowd Control abilities, especially Blind and Snare, so players are recommended Cleanse as a Summoner Spell to counteract these effects.
- A Quicksilver Sash can provide essential good results in surviving; the Magic Resistance and the "Cleanse"-Effect is very useful.
- Using Highlander and the active effect of Youmuu's Ghostblade at the same time is very effective in many situations since both of these have great attack speed and movement speed bonus.
- Generally, items that provide bonuses on attacking or subsequent attacking are more useful on Master Yi than on other heroes due to his passive and high attack speed.
- A hybrid Ability Power based Master Yi can yield good results, with items such as Lich Bane or Trinity Force, especially if your enemies are packed with armor.
- A full Ability Power based Master Yi can pull off fairly good results. His Alpha Strike becomes a fairly strong AoE nuke, and is refreshed instantly if a kill is scored while Highlander is active. Your Meditate also heals and protects for a lot more than it did before.
- Pairing Master Yi with items like Phantom Dancer, Berserker's Greaves and Stark's Fervor can greatly increase his dps.
- Starting Youmuu's Ghostblade at level 1 by purchasing a Long Sword and choosing Wuju Style allows for a very effective last hitting and a high damage output. That gives you 25 bonus damage and when Wuju Style is active you will have 40 bonus damage.
- Sword of the Occult works exceptionally well with Master Yi, as after level 6, and even before he is able to rip through most casters with ease, creating a powerful snowball effect.
- Due to his high damage output, and 'Right-click-to-win' play style, along with being very easy to use and only 450 IP makes him great for low level games. However, against competent players, he is arguably the most difficult champion to use in the game, because of his extreme fragility and vulnerability to Crowd Control effects.
- "Wuju" is a reference to two of the developers at Riot Games. Namely, Andy Woo and Jeff Jew.
- "Wuju", or "Wuji", is the grey field a taijitu (the yin-yang symbol) is traditionally shown on, symbolizing nothingness.
- It bears similarity to "Wushu", the collective name of Chinese martial arts, mostly known as Kung-fu in western countries.
- The goggles Master Yi wears (known as the Seven Lenses of Insight) seem to be an over-exaggeration of trifocal Night Vision goggles, and according to his background, provide a similar effect, allowing him to "see across a wider range of the spectrum".
- Master Yi's Meditate ability highly resembles a similar ability used by Yoshimitsu from the Tekken & Soul Calibur series, using both a similar stance and a similar effect (healing).
- Master Yi was one of the champions chosen for the Ionian pool available during the 2010 Ionian Versus Noxus Grudge Match. However, he was not one of the selected champions.
- Master Yi's Highlander ability is a reference to the Highlander movie series, In which the main characters fight with swords and are immortal otherwise, the main characters, Connor MacLeod uses a katana, and in the last movie two characters use super speed.
- His quote "My blade is yours" is a direct reference to the Dota hero Yurnero, or more generally the Warcraft III hero Blademaster, who frequently uses it upon selection. His abilities are also similar to Yurnero
- Master Yi's Alpha Strike ability could be inspired by Yurnero's Omnislash.
- The term "Omnislash" originated as Cloud Strife's ultimate limit break in Final Fantasy VII.
- The term "Alpha Strike" was first coined by the US Navy to describe a large air attack during the Vietnam War.
- The Chosen skin is a direct reference to the Jedi Knights of the Star Wars franchise.
- This skin's lightsaber changes colors based upon Wuju Style's current state: blue (normal), green (passive), red (active). This is similar to the Jedi Knight games which had blue, yellow, and red lightsaber stances each altered the speed and power of attacks.
- Master Yi's Ionia skin may be a reference to the "red period" of Hero, as both the art in background as well as the color scheme matches.
*Very special thanks to the hard workers over at the League of Legends Wiki for providing this great information.*
My Other Guides
Be sure to stop by and read my other guides as well!
Your Extensive Guide To Tanking As Garen (DPS Build Included)
Warwick: Thirst Unending
Nunu: The AP Jungler