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Master Yi Build Guide by Zieg

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zieg

Revenge of the Yi

Zieg Last updated on January 10, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 6

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 3

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Hey guys. Welcome to my Master Yi build. It's my first build. I figured I'd do my first build on a champ I've probably used the longest. I know a lot of people consider Yi a low tier champion. Even more say he's not that good of a champ. Well, regardless of how anyone may feel about him, a good Yi can either make or break a game. He is practically the definition of carry. Hopefully here I can explain how great he can be and what he can do for you and your team.

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Pros / Cons

Excellent damage output.
Extremely good Attack Speed.
Life Steal works wonders for him.
Can solo close to every champion.
Excellent at ganks.
Can be easy to use.
Can easily farm.

VERY squishy
Unable to fight well in team fights.
Crumbles to CC.
Hard to combat ranged champions.
If Yi has a bad start, he will struggle late game.
Focused in team fights.

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Summoner Spells

Main Spells


This will help you early game. Playing Yi between levels 1 and 5 will be difficult, and will normally result in you getting no kills, unless you have an amazing lane partner. Exhaust will slow down any fleeing ranged champions, or give you an edge against physical champions. I can't tell you how many times Exhaust has actually gotten me first blood with Yi. Again, need a decent lane partner, that will help you.


Ignite to Exhaust is like Peanut Butter to Jelly, or Mountain Dew to Pizza. The Exhaust/Ignite combo is one I favor. It makes getting early game kills extremely simple. As well as make sure those fleeing champions don't get away once you've lowered their health. It's not every situation, but I normally always throw Ignite on an enemy whenever I throw Exhaust on them. Almost 50% of the time your target won't realize they've been ignited if you exhaust them at the same time, which will lead them to believe they aren't taking as much damage as they think. Which means you've got yourself a kill.

Other spells to consider


Always an excellent skill. I've ran a few games with Flash on Yi and it does help a lot if your main concern is team fighting and not catching stragglers. You can Alpha in. Kill the enemy carry with ease, and Flash away before the enemy team even knows what happened.


As I said before, Yi is excellent at ganking. Teleport makes it ten times easier. Pop to a minion that's close to an enemy and chase them down with Highlander. Or if a gank isn't needed then lane presence is always nice.


Yi's weakness is CC and Stun skills. Normally once an enemy has landed a stun on Yi you've automatically lost the fight, unless the enemy isn't skilled. Clense helps when you find yourself trying to run and someone hit you with something that isn't a slow and Highlander won't help you get away.

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Greater Mark of Desolation

For obvious reasons. With Yi you're going to want Armor Penetration. It severely helps you out early game, which for Yi, can make or break the rest of your game.

Greater Seal of Resilience

Yi is an extremely squishy champion. Late game he could easily be two or three shotted by an enemy. Again, this helps out greatly early game. Your survival is important, and this guarantee's it. Don't confuse Yi for a tank even with these runes.

Greater Glyph of Alacrity

The most important thing about Yi is his attack speed. I know most people wouldn't think to use Glyph of Alacrity but again, this helps early game. I cannot stress enough how important Yi's early game is.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation

Same reason for having your marks. Armor Pen.

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Double Strike

An extremely awesome passive. Every 7th attack is an automatic critical. This build is going to somewhat focus around this. We'll be building Yi's Attack Speed. More attack speed means getting that 7th strike faster, which means a guaranteed crit.

Wuju Style

This right here is your bread and butter and can easily turn a losing battle with another APS champion into an easy victory. You wanna max this out as soon as you can. The boost in damage is crazy, and can turn Yi's swift attacks into powerful punches. Add that on top of your armor pen, and you're slaying champions with ease. On top of Highlander, Wuju Style is an incredible, yet simple skill to use.

Alpha Strike

An important skill for two reason. One of those reason is not the damage output, which is why this skill isn't important to level first. Your first reason is closing in on champions. If you feel safe enough to jump in an eliminate the enemy carry's in team fights then this is your ticket to success. On top of closing in on the champion you want to begin beating the piss out of, it'll do damage to three other champs whom are occupied with battle. I've found that the small damage that comes from sweeping across those champs can save your team mates *** on occasion. The second reason this skill is important is for farming. If you're being harassed in your lane and you can't farm properly then you'll want to pop this when you see a couple minions health are low. What you DO NOT want to do with Alpha Strike is use it as a means of harassing enemy champions. Your mana will be gone before you know it, and when you need to activate Wuju Style or Highlander you will occasionally find yourself without mana to do so, in which case, you're dead.


An absolutely useless skill to level. I don't recommend leveling it at all until you need to. If you're running a jungler Yi then this skill is what you need. However if you want to run a jungler Yi then this build isn't for you at all.


This is your golden goose. An offensive and defensive ultimate. You get close to a champion. Pop Highlander. Watch em run. But don't worry. They'll only die tired, as Highlander gives you a massive attack speed and movement boost. However this doesn't mean that you should just always click it whenever you engage an enemy. Sometimes you can win fights without the need of Highlander at all. You generally want look for these situations to use Highlander.
1. If you're fighting another physical champion and losing health faster than they are.
2. When engaging a mage character. (They're tricky bastards. Kill them asap)
3. If an enemy is fleeing and outrunning you.
4. When you KNOW you will get the kill. Reason being is Highlander can be used as an offensive and evasive tactic. I haven't found a champion and spell/ability combination yet that can catch a Yi running with an active Highlander.

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Vampiric Scepter

You want this as your starting item. Unless you're not confident in your survivalbility, then I suggest starting with a Philosopher Stone for the automatic health regen. I start with Vampiric Scepter because it will pay you back early game and late game. With your armor pen and Wuju Style, you'll find yourself stealing back a lot of life from creeps and enemy champs if you need. Just pop on Wuju Style and let it do the rest of the work. I do strongly suggest starting with Vampiric Scepter. Reason being is that, as well as being a good item for early game, later in the game you'll be wanting to build a Bloodthirster. You've already got 450 of that gold out of the way. However a Philosopher Stone is also a decent choice. After 10 mins the 10 gold every 5 seconds will turn into 300 gold, which is essentially a champ kill out of nowhere. So after 15 mins you'll have a free set of gold for Vampiric Scepter when you're ready to get your Bloodthirster.

Beserker Greaves

Movement Speed + Attack Speed. Not much else to say. If you find yourself dealing with a lot of Stun champions, however, then I highly suggest buying Mercury Treads instead. Your Phantoms will make up for the Attack Speed these offer.


Yi's bread and butter. Zeal offers attack speed, crit chance, AND movement speed, which makes for a very dangerous Yi. Now I know some are wondering why I suggested buying two Zeals. Well, two Zeal's at mid game will make Yi a mini version of the monster he will become. His attack speed on top of Highlander will be about 2 attacks per second, which is what we want for Yi. The crit chance will be at a decent amount, which means for Yi's attack speed, he will more than likely hit criticals, which is always nice. And the movement speed is extremely valuable for chasing down enemy champs whom run and you can't afford to pop your Highlander, or it's on cooldown. Also it makes escaping infinitly easier without needing to waste your ultimate on retreating. In addition to this, your Vampiric Scepter will be healing you for incredible amounts in a short amount of time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you find yourself fighting a Shen or Jax, whom run Ninja Tabi then you'll want to only buy a single Zeal and Sword of the Divine. To make Yi work you need to ensure ALL of your attacks connect. You don't have time going toe to toe with champions and missing your attacks. Even with Highlander they will eliminate you before you kill them.

B.F. Sword

Your Big ****ing Sword. Your main damage dealer. This will make Yi a monster. On top of his massive attack speed, with this equipped he will be hitting HARD. It's a no brainer. You will want this. If you find yourself fighting champions that you can easily catch then I suggest buying your B.F. Sword before your Zeals, as the damage output will be more important.

Phantom Dancers

At this point you should be coming close to late game. Now it's time to step up that amazing attack speed and movement speed. Essentially an upgraded version of your Zeals. Attack Speed, Crit Chance, and Movement Speed are all dramatically increased. With two Dancers, without Highlander, you should be attacking 2 times per second. Which is good news. Your movement speed will make you the fastest champion in the game, and you'll easily be able to catch/run from champions whom aren't running speed boosting items and/or abilities.

Infinity Edge

The grand daddy of em all. Massive damage. Good crit strike chance, and a boost to crit damage. This will make your passive all the more juicy, as you'll be landing guaranteed crits every 7th attack, and with your crit chance as high as it is with your phantoms combined with this, as well as your mastery, close to every single one of your attacks will be criticals, which means a lot of damage being dished out very swiftly. Again, like the BF Sword Zeal ordeal, if you find yourself nabbing your sword before your Zeals, then you'll want to get Infinity before your Phantoms.


On top of even more damage, you gain more life steal. With your massive damage output and attack speed, you'll be recovering a large chunk of health from fighting for just a second or two. If you find yourself fighting a heavily armor team, however, you'll want to buy a Black Cleaver instead of this.

Banshee's Veil

An underestimated item, in my opinion. The health and mana boost is nice and the Magic Resist makes dealing with those mages so much easier. But the main reason why I love this item is because of the incredible passive ability, which offers you a shield that nullifies the first enemy ability you're hit with. This makes dealing with champions like Morgana, Lux, and other stunners infinity easier, as they're one and only way of stopping Yi is with a stun move. Well they'll find themselves dead after they see Yi still coming after they set their stun move loose. This grants Yi that much need survivalbility late game, and I highly recommend nabbing this. You'll want it a lot earlier if you're dealing with those stunners early and they are giving you trouble.

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Team Work

This is an incredibly important section, as most people often confuse Yi's swift killing ability for being a reason to just jump in a team fight and attempt to kill everyone. Good players know Yi can kill swiftly, and the moment he gets in ranged they will focus him. Yi's health barely breaks 2000 at level 18, which means he will get nuked before you can even blink if you over extend yourself. As Yi, the first thing you need to do is learn if you'll be an asset or useless to your team in a team fight. When a team fight breaks out you'll want to stay completely out of range of the carries and mages and let your tank draw out their abilities. Keep your eye on other squishy champions to take out. Once you're ready to jump in Alpha Strike to the most squishy champion and take them out with your Highlander and Wuju Style activated. Once they are dead, GET OUT! Two champions can easily take Yi out, and they will as soon as they noticed you killed one of their own. If you are not chased down then repeat the process till the enemy team is broken. If someone just can't let you go after you've retreated then eliminate them. They will learn the hard way that they can't one on one Yi.

Now, if you find your enemy team having a lot of CC then you will be nothing more than a punching bag to them. What you want to do, in this case, is run espionage. Take a lane unoccupied by the team battle, and run through minions and try to take the turrets. This will serve your team well in the long run. Also attacking the towers can help your team, as I've found that sometimes the enemy team will completely disengage from the fight to go and stop you, in which case you can pop Highlander and run away laughing. Or sometimes they feel sending one or two champions to stop you might help. It won't. You can easily take a couple champs. Be rid of them, and continue on with eliminating your turret.

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Yi is an extremely fun champion to play, IF played right. A lot of people see good Yi players and are motivated to playing Yi themselves. However when they fight against or with a Yi, they see the dominating part of Yi. They make their first mistake there, as they don't realize the tact and strategy to playing Yi. It would be easy to confuse him for a tank if you're laning and you see him just rush up to an enemy champ, with no fear, and take them out. The life steal can confuse people into thinking Yi has a lot of health. Well he is not either of that. Though he is a simple champion, he does require a decent level of skill before you can go on rampages and be legendary with him. Just remember these things.

-Yi is squishy. ALWAYS be cautious when engaging an enemy.
-Attack Speed is your best friend.
-Be sure to know when to engage with team fights.

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Thank you guys for reading. This is my first build. Hope you guys like it. Thank you for reading and thanks for playing League of Legends.