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Master Yi Build Guide by Sfaaza

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sfaaza


Sfaaza Last updated on April 22, 2014
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Master Yi is a jungler who concentrates on high burst damage output early game in order to feed his team (not himself! even tho i usually tend to take few frags early if i dont trust a certain lane :]) and collect as many assists as possible. In late game, a good Master Yi is able to jump into a teamfight, take out two primary targets (ADC and APC) and stay alive! In this guide I will do my best to give you precise advice on how to play this champion without much trash-talk.

This is my first guide so any constructive criticism (as long as its CONSTRUCTIVE) will be appreciated :)

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This is a MUST HAVE. If you want to jungle without smite (trust me i've seen this s***) then don't jungle at all. It helps you not only in your early game but is essential for securing objectives ( dragon , baron nashor ) and also for counter jungle.

I run this summoner spell most of the time. It's great for escaping tricky situations, for repositioning yourself in teamfights, for securing frags and getting out of turret's range in the last second.

Depending on my team composition, i choose this over flash in some situations. It's usefull when you know that one of the lanes has to be babysitted (ganked constantly) and you want to (you HAVE TO) help other lanes as well. It's also usefull for splitpushing, you might be pushing bot lane turret and when a teamfight breaks out you just teleport in.(provided your team carries at least 1 ward.)

Only if you counter jungle hard, replaces flash. I rarely take it.

Same story. May be viable during ganks and counter jungle if used wisely.

I think that any other summoner spell is absolutely useless on jungle yi.

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Pros / Cons


+ Very Mobile.
+ High damage output, yet tanky.
+ Can outrun anyone.
+ Great split pusher.
+ He is a freakin' Jedi.


- Item dependant.
- No natural CC.
- Squishy early game.
- Easy to counter jungle.
- Fragile to most forms of CC

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Ability Explanation

  • A nice little burst of damage, helps with jungle cleartime and dueling
  • This is your bread and butter skill. Clear jungle faster, Kill people faster. It is used to chase your opponents, kill secure, kill steal (if someone really annoys you), switch targets in teamfights, MAX IT FIRST, no excuses.

    Hint: when ganking, try to get into melee range first (using Highlander or Youmuu's Ghostblade) and when your enemy is trying to escape, use Alpha Strike to kill secure.
  • This is a very usefull defensive skill. It's simple enough, gives you survi, and more survi. Use it early in jungle to heal yourself (instead of potions, doesnt slow you down if timed right), use it when you know that last turret hit IS going to kill you - flash out of turret's range and use Meditate for damage reduction to stay alive. MAX IT SECOND. no excuses.

    Hint: You can also use it to bait enemies into fighting you 2v1 - when your hp is low and enemy champion is targeting you during a gank, wait until he starts throwing everything at you, absorb this damage using meditate and let your teammate kill him. (doesnt work vs champions with a lot of cc Leona/ Cho'Gath/ Riven/ Malzahar.) unless you time it perfectly right. Takes a bit of practice but it is worth it :)
  • A nice offensive skill, potions give you enough sustain until lvl 3 so taking this at lvl 2 will help u clear the jungle this little bit faster. I usually max it last since you shouldnt use it's active to clear jungle and passive bonus stays the same at all levels.

    Hint: If you are building Trinity Force and instead of using Wuju Style before the fight, you use it in the MIDDLE of the fight, you can deal free ~200 damage provided you time it right.
  • Your ultimate. This is the main reason why you should build DAMAGE before speed on master yi. If you can get B. F. Sword early game, Highlander will give you a lot of damage to burst down almost anyone (dueling hard cc champions NOT recomended). Use it to initiate ganks, to escape difficult situations, to deal Tons of Damage in teamfights

    Hint: sometimes it can be used simply to scare away enemies that are being too brave. (when they start to gank your mid lane under turret and they see you approaching with Highlander and a B.F. Lightsaber they WILL move back.) :]

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Item Sequence

Berserker's Greaves - Furor

Infinity Edge

Youmuu's Ghostblade

Feral Flare

Warmog's Armor

Guardian Angel

Not much to explain here, helps you with jungle clear time and together with Wriggle's Lantern, Pickaxe and Wuju Style gives you a nice bit of damage.

CORE ITEM. I usually try to buy it AFTER i get IE, in order to make the best possible use of Avarice Blade's gold income potential, together with Wriggle's Lantern they give you around 1k+ free gold before you buy Youmuu's Ghostblade. This item is great for initiating ganks, you dont have to waste your ultimate and in case a gank fails, it still has a relatively low cooldown. If it's active is used together with ultimate ( i usually do it in 5v5 teamfights only, depending on a teamfight.), it gives you all the damage you need.

CORE ITEM. Damage. And more damage. This is a great item, together with Youmuu's Ghostblade it gives you a very high damage output + 40% crit strike chance! (trust me, it IS enough).

I choose this 80% of the time. I was testing both Trinity Force and Last Whisper and i have to say this item's unique passive makes you kill tanks as if they were made of paper. Definitely worth buying after Youmuu's Ghostblade. If you feel like you need a little survi, build Giant's Belt before Last Whisper.

SURVIVABILITY. This item, together with armor and resists from Guardian Angel + damage reduction from Meditate gives you all the survi you need. I think that Warmog's Armor + Guardian Angel is a much more viable choice then Randuin's Omen + Banshee's Veil, since they only give you 20 armor and 15 magic resists more, and by buying them both instead of my recommended items you loose Guardian Angel's passive.

I usually buy it last. It's unique passive lets you initiate a teamfight, get focused and absorb damage with Meditate, get killed, let your team hurt them a lot, come back to life to finish off enemy team. Usually when it's passive is down i go for Randuin's Omen or Banshee's Veil depending if i need extra armor or magic resist. Once Guardian Angel's passive is back i re-buy it if i can afford it.

I tend to get this item when enemy team consists of all-atack damage champions, this is THE item vs AD damage. It also gives you a nice boost on hp, which lets you stay alive longer to kill more enemies. Replaces Warmog's Armor.

Is there a Lich King Karthus on the enemy team? Well if there is, this item is a MUST BUY. Works well blocking his Requiem. Replaces Warmog's Armor. The HP and magic resist it gives you are very usefull.

A situational damage item which lets you play around with Master Yi's abilities a bit more. Instead of pressing > > > alt + tab, you can actually initiate by jumping to enemy with Alpha Strike, use Trinity Force passive, launch another ability ( Highlander)then wait 2 seconds again and use Wuju Style. There you go! roughly 600 free damage there. I buy it sometimes if i need a bit more survi early game.

I did some testing and in my opinion Wriggle's Lantern is a much better item then Spirit of the Elder Lizard, especially on Master Yi. It lets you clear jungle much faster due to 100 extra damage + its speed/damage and cost efficiency work extremely well. Why does it work better then Spirit of the Elder Lizard? It gives you INSANE jungle clearing power and stats, which are perfect for master yi. It's main job is to transition you from a farming jungler, into a carry for your team by providing a large dose of damage based on your camps cleared over the course of the game. This is why farming is extremely important when you jungle with Master Yi. On top of that, between Spirit of the Elder Lizard getting massively nerfed with losing a big amount of damage, the fact that clearing blue buff then red buff no longer gives you level 3, and even certain changes to brush placement (specifically regarding lane-ganking top and counter-jungling), there is very little reason to assume the utility junglers will be better off then carry junglers anyway. Junglers no longer rely only on ganks. You are able to choose if you want to help your lanes as much as possible and farm less, or if you want to stay in jungle a little longer and farm more. If you feel like you will be ganking constantly, then by all means get Spirit of the Elder Lizard. This guide, and my playstyle, concentrates on Wriggle's Lantern. Upgrade it into Feral Flare asap. after killing 30 large jungle monsters, without any stacks, feral flare gives u extra 33 magic damage with every basic atack vs champions.

This is a great item vs any AP carry ( Banshee's Veil works kinda better vs LeBlanc). I usually get this when i feel like i will need to absorb way more damage than usual (your team needs a tanky top laner and some genius picks fiora type of situation), it's unique passive works great with Meditate and together with Randuin's Omen and Guardian Angel it gives you nice defensive boost. If you choose to build these 3 items you will be left with ~300 dmg at lvl 18, which is enough if enemy team doesnt stack tons of armor.

I am currently doing some testing on this item and I have to say, it works exceptionally good early to mid game. I tested a more offensive build (botrk, yoummu,IE,feral flare, boots + 1 survi item) and a more defensive one (botrk,IE,boots,feral flare + 2 defensive items) and the second option works better for me. Experiment with this item to suit your playstyle.

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YI?! Y U NO LIFE STEAL?! (updated)

Ok... so these are comment's that i hear very often during the game:

"YI no lifesteal?! f**** noob"
"bronze yi? get a lifesteal!"
"f**** you yi... no lifesteal,noob report!"
"i am 12 and i just learned to curse so i will use all the words i learned so far: wh*** f*** sh** noob b*** mother***** pickles!" <-- this one is prety much how I see 70% of league of legends community.

What do i do when people flame me? I usually use a star wars quote:

"i find your lack of faith... disturbing." (I have a lightsaber so I can!)

Well the truth is, i find items like Blade of the Ruined King, The Bloodthirster or Ravenous Hydra absolutely useless on Master Yi. In my opinion they are limiting his damage too much to buy them + you dont need Blade of the Ruined King to catch up to enemy since you have so much mobility from Highlander and Youmuu's Ghostblade already that you can easly catch up to and kill ANYONE who tries to escape(well, meaby except Lee Sin. This dude is damn mobile). Yes, you will have this bit of extra survi when you buy The Bloodthirster instead of Last Whisper, but this lets you stay alive in teamfights for additional second or two, when Last Whisper or Trinity Force allow you to deal so much damage that you will be able to kill your enemy BEFORE he kills you. Meditate is enough to absorb damage and stay alive while your team is finishing the teamfight.

4.5 update: Feral Flare now gives you lifesteal.

update: Blade of the Ruined King works fine when replacing Youmuu's Ghostblade

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Yes, you need to buy them. Here is a map that i borrowed from Making a Guide(separate section for credits at the end).

Use your Wriggle's Lantern's active + buy 1 additional ward AT LEAST to keep a ward at the red spots (baron + drake) at ALL TIMES. It is your job as a jungler to keep both objectives ( baron nashor and dragon ) safe! Kill dragon as often as possible, with the help of your bot lane in early game, you can easly solo it in mid-late. Ward in any other spot marked on the map if you have another ward left. Keep in mind that since season 4, warding the map is a TEAM EFFORT, so do your best to co-operate.

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Farming + Jungling


is a very important aspect of my build. I will try to make it short and understandable. Once you reach level 3, GANK. If you cant, farm some more, use Meditate to regenerate your life. You should have about 1-2 successfull ganks before first recall(of course, not every game will go as smoothly), once you do recall make sure to get Wriggle's Lantern if you can afford it. If you can't, i usually go for Avarice Blade + Madred's Razors.

I will say it one more time. Get Wriggle's Lantern and Avarice Blade AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Do NOT spend god-knows-how-much time in the bush waiting for a right opportunity when you try to gank. You are Master Yi, you go in, you assists (yes, you assist in EARLY GAME, you dont kill.), and you go out. If a gank failed, it doesnt matter, you will gank again. A successfull gank is when you can at least make your enemy waste a flash. Straight after ganking you go back to jungle to FARM.

I want you to make the best possible use of your Wriggle's Lantern and Avarice Blade as you can. USE THEM WHILE YOU HAVE THEM. They help you get core items faster = they help you own faster.

Jungle paths? Simple.

smite Blue buff > wolfs > smite red buff > after that kill anything that moves.

If you have a strong support from your team, you can do smiteless blue and use your first Smite on the big wraith. This will give you a little extra exp early.

Proffesional Jungle Hints:

1. Don't die.
2. Gank something.
3. Get a ward.

Diamond HERE I COME!

That wasn't a joke, this is as much as you need to know about jungling. Remember, EVERYTHING comes with practice.

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Counter Picks

If anyone picks this guy to jungle, you DO NOT counter jungle, you DO NOT visit his side of the jungle UNLESS you are absolutely certain that he is not there. If Jax is ganking top lane and still did not take his blue buff, take it. If Jax is ganking bot lane and still didnt take his red buff, take it. Take his buffs only if you are close enough to do so, if you are closer to the lane he is ganking, you will obviously help that lane. (unless it's Teemo, everybody hates Teemo). Jax is THE counter for master yi. He doesn't care about your ulti, or about your e, the only thing that can damage him is your Q which doesnt matter because he will burst you down before you can even hurt him. DO NOT ENGAGE.

Same story. She cannot be counter jungled, even if you catch Vi with minimum HP, she will just Vault Breaker to safety. If you try to 1v1 her early game, she WILL crush you. The only hope of slowing her down is stealing as much from her jungle as possible, but once again do it ONLY when you are absolutely certain she is not there. It's a dangerous opponent, APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

Tough opponent. Even if you catch him at lvl 2 with low health, he can Dragon Strike to safety. I dont recommend counter jungling this guy unless you are sure that he isn't present in his jungle at the moment. If he catches you in his Cataclysm try your best to Alpha Strike to safety. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

Riven is a champion who has a stun, a short knock-up, a shield, sh*t load of damage from her passive and ultimate and high mobility. You DO NOT want to encounter her in the jungle. She is kind of like Jax, she doesnt care, she just jumps to you, does her combo, crushes you and walks away as if nothing happened. The best way to counter jungle her is start with your red (smiteless) go to her blue and hide somewhere she wont see you (use warding trinket to reveal her blue) and once blue buff gets her hp down to less then a half, you can attack. Ignite or Exhaust are recommended in this case. APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

His passive can be annoying. He has 2 types of cc, a knock up and a slow, so before you decide to counter jungle this guy, make sure his passive is down. A good volibear WILL eat you. If you want to counter jungle him a lot, make sure you have ignite. Catching him with low health at one of monster camps in his jungle + Ignite can kill him. Dont try to duel him when his HP is full. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

This guy has so much mobility, he is NOT WORTH chasing. Ever. This is a skill match up. A good Lee Sin will crush you, especially early game, but if you can avoid his Resonating Strike his damage will be reduced greatly, since most Lee Sin's max Resonating Strike first. Try to counter jungle him but dont chase him, just steal his jungle farm to slow him down as much as possible. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

A very hard jungle opponent. The lower his HP is, the faster he can kill you due to his passive. If he catches you without your ultimate, well.. you're fu***ed :) His Undertow will prevent you from escaping and his Reckless Swing will destroy you. It is generally not a good idea to counter jungle him but of course, always do your best to steal his jungle farm so you can slow him down. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

I hate this guy. He can dive you under turret when you're low health, kill you and then just walk away. Dont try to duel him unless you are absolutely sure that you can kill him. His Undying Rage is so annoying combined with his Battle Fury, he can shut you down easly, it is definitely not a good idea to go all out on him when his HP is full, or even when his HP is low. Ignite strongly recomennded if you want to counter jungle anyway. APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

Udyr is a champion you don't want to face 1v1, especially when he is maxing Tiger Stance. If he counter jungles you at early levels, all you can do is run. His Bear Stance gives him a lot of mobility to catch up to you so use Flash to escape if you have to. His Tiger Stance deals massive damage, you will NOT be able defeat him in a fair 1v1. If you see him in your jungle, it's a good idea to ask one of your teammates for help. APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

In my opinion any other champion that you encounter in jungle can be counter jungled relatively easy. Be very careful when counter jungling and remember to always ward at least 1 of your/his buffs. Ganking lanes and helping your team to get fed early game is always on the first place. Counter jungle just lets you slow down enemy jungler and prevents him from ganking, which is a great thing if one of your lanes is pushing constantly and you dont want them to get killed.

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You're an assasin. Your job during the team fight is to let your tank initiate, go in after him and jump straight to enemy adc or apc. Once you kill one of them, jump straight to the other damage dealers and kill them. Remember to use your Highlander, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Randuin's Omen in big teamfights. NEVER FOCUS ENEMY TANKS OR SUPPORTS. This is not cool. Their job is to absorb damage and if you atack them, you are doing exactly what they want you to do. Here is an example of great teamfights including master yi.

This dude did exactly what he was supposed to do. He jumped straight to the damage dealers in first fight, and in 2nd one he was so fed he just didnt give a damn anymore :) I dont own any rights to the above montage, all credits go to #League Combo 's youtube channel for providing the video. Once I manage to get a better PC i will upload my own master yi plays in high quality.

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Ability Sequence


Master Yi is a very fun and relatively easy champion to play, and once you 'master' him, he can be a very viable choice for Solo Que ranked games. His mobility as well as his abilities, make him a good jungle pick. I dare say that his sh** load of damage, ganking potential and his amazing survivability make him at least worth trying out :)

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Some Screenshots

This section will be constantly updated, for now, i will upload 2 recent screenshots.
^Photoshop level: Paint. I know 2 recent games isn't a lot, as i said, this section will be updated :)
recent penta ^

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As i have mentioned before - credits for the video go to #League Combo's youtube channel.

Credits, as well as thanks for providing templates that i have used throughout this guide, go to JHOIJHOI and Making a Guide.

Please try it out before you judge it :) Thank You.