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Master Yi Build Guide by Vapora Dark

Jungle diamond

Vapora Dark's Grandmaster Jungle Master Yi Guide Season 11

By Vapora Dark | Updated on November 25, 2020
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Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Eyeball Collection
Ravenous Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #5 in
Jungle Role
Win 50%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

-Table of Contents-

Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles including mid and Fizz. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.

I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that by the end you feel my guide was worth the privilege of your time.

Precision & Domination

Conqueror: At the moment, the best keystone for Yi is conqueror. Getting a nice boost to your attack damage makes all your basic attacks and abilities hit harder. Everything Yi does for damage is based around attack damage. More importantly however is the true damage conversion. Making it so 20% of all damage you deal is true damage which has immense synergy with Yi's kit and items.

Triumph: The only viable choice in this tier is Triumph. Extra healing upon getting a takedown has great synergy with Highlander and allows Master Yi to more easily get chain resets in fights.

Legend: Alacrity
Legend: Alacrity: Attack speed is one of the best stats on Master Yi. Legend: Tenacity can have some niche use against enemy teams with a large amount of crowd control. Legend: Bloodline is usually never enough to sustain you in any meaningful way

Coup De Grace
Coup de Grace: This rune offers the most damage for yi over the alternatives. Extra AD on resets and the extra damage on low HP targets is the most consistent. Cut Down has some potential, but often you'll be buying some HP and with Conqueror/your build you'll melt any tank.


Sudden Impact

Ravenous Hunter
Sudden Impact: Gaining some extra lethality and magic penetration after you Alpha Strike is pretty nice, but it's just the best option to go in conjunction with the other rune in this tier. Master Yi also makes good use of both the penetrations because of Guinsoo's Rageblade dealing a small bit of magic damage on hit.

Ravenous Hunter: On paper it might seem bizarre to take this rune over things like Gathering Storm or Celerity. However a small detail many people ignore is that it effects on-hit. This means Enchantment: Bloodrazor, Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo's Rageblade all heal Master Yi for a good amount. The amount of in-fight sustain you get from this rune alone can easily carry fights.
Flash has been the standard summoner spell to take on almost every single champion since forever. It's always been indisputably the best summoner spell in the game, so there's nothing you can replace it with.
Smite is likewise irreplaceable on junglers, even more so than Flash. It immensely helps your clear speeds and the health of your clears, and more importantly it helps secure camps and objectives like Dragon and Baron Nashor. Even if you were playing a jungler that could healthily clear the jungle without Smite, not taking Smite would still be out of the question.
-Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Passive: Double Strike
Double Strike
This passive is perfect for carry like champions. The reason this passive is so good is because it can crit and it applies on-hit effects. At the moment it's the on-hit that we're focusing on. It stacks with itself too meaning when you proc it for the first time the second auto attack that comes from double strike will begin the next chain. This in combination with on-hit items and [Guinsoo's Rageblade]] to give even more on hit procs will deal an incredibly high amount of damage.
Q: Alpha Strike
Alpha Strike
Master Yi's clear and mobility skill that has extra uses when it comes to abusing the temporary untargetability. It's able to clear the jungle quickly thanks to the bonus damage on monsters. This ability has a low skill floor but has obvious mastery for those who truly master Master Yi. It also has scaling with both crit and on-hit so it'll be useful for every build. Firstly, basic attacks reduce the cooldown of this ability making it so the more you attack the more often you can close the gap, a really good gameplay loop. Most importantly though is the fact you become untargetable after a small delay. This means you can dodge skill shots if you time it correctly. It's also the only way yi can close the distance between him and targets who can kite him early. Keep in mind you're untargetable, not invulnerable. You can still die to dots and abilities that already hit you.
W: Meditate
This ability lets Master Yi outplay people if they know exactly how yi's kit works, but it's also very simple to use for its main effect. The cast is a channel meaning you can't move/attack/do anything until it ends or it will also end if you die or you stop the channel by doing anyhing else. Whilst you channel yi gains a high amount of damage reduction and beings healing himself which increases based on his missing health. You also pause your ability buff durations and begin to generate free stacks of Double Strike.

This is used to keep yourself healthy in early clears of the jungle, to heal if you're low after a gank, to dramatically lower your damage taken allowing you to outplay abilities like Primordial Burst if you're unable to dodge them with Alpha Strike and it's a DPS increase. Why is it a DPS increase? Because if you time it pefectly it resets your auto attack timer. So you can potentially (with a rageblade/passive proc) apply 4 on-hits instantly. This in conjunction with your next ability can make yi do some incredible damage. Mostly though you'll be using it for the damage reduction and heal.
E: Wuju Style
Wuju Style
Passively Yi gains bonus AD based on his total AD. A more multiplier when it's not on cooldown. When you activate the ability your attacks gain a true damage buff based on your bonus attack damage however once it goes on cooldown you lose the passive. What this means is if you buy a lot of AD or Attack speed you will be doing some a very large amount of true damage which stacks with Conqueror.
R: Highlander
Passively, when you score a takedown all of Yi's BASIC abilities get a 70% current cooldown reduction, which means you can get resets on his Q/W/E in fights against multiple opponents. Actively you get a huge buff that lets yi ignore all slows and cripples whilst giving himself massive attack speed and movement speed. This can be used in many ways but usually you press it just before you're in range of an enemy to get a quick MS boost and to remove Slows/Cripples allowing you to turn around and kill them withe the large attack speed it provides.

You can also use it to split push as it lets you DPS faster and run away faster. It also increases in duration by 7 seconds if you get a takedown, this means if you kill 2 people it will last a total of 21 seconds. You'll pretty much use this whenever you need to close the gap/get extra DPS/run away/before you get a kill and you're looking to reset. It also has great synergy with Celerity as the extra movement speed will also gives you a large amount of attack damage.
Starting Items
Hunter's Machete & Refillable Potion

Hunter's Machete is the only item you'll ever start with. You buy this and a refillable potion at the start of every match as it gives Master Yi the ability to jungle. You don't really need the potion after your first clear but it lets you top off your health for ganks if you take damage from something making it very cost effective.
Core Items
Skirmisher's Sabre + Bloodrazor

You'll want to build the Skirmishing smite first then get the attack speed as you can, combining to a bloodrazer as fast as possible. This is specifically for the on-hit build but once you get this your attack speed will skyrocket, plus it'll proc very often with Double Strike. Likewise once you get a Guinsoo's Rageblade you'll proc it even more giving you great damage.
Berserker's Greaves

After you finish your full jungle item you'll be then wanting to finish your boots. Berserker's Greaves are the best default choice as the only time you'll able to hit the attack speed cap is once you're level 18 with a fully stacked rageblade and have Highlander running. Until then, the extra attack speed these offer are great.
Guinsoo's Rageblade

You gain a lot of attack speed once you stack it, % bonus AD and bonus phys damage on hit that's based off your bonus AD. It deals a small amount of magic damage on hit too, but because you buy no ability power it's very small. It'll become noticeable if you get infernals/baron though so keep it's worth mentioning. It also has the incrediblely strong passive of giving you an extra on hit every other auto attack. This stacks your passive faster giving you more on hits which simply means it stacks with itself that also stacks with yi's kit.
Blade of the Ruined King

In combination with Guinsoo's Rageblade, your passive and Bloodrazer Master Yi will do all types of damage to players. Once you get these 3 items you will be able to easily kill tanks and squishies alike plus the active is amazing to 100% stick on someone easily.
Situational Items
Guardian Angel

One of the best defencive items for any attack damage based champion. The stats it offers are good all-round stats as you'll very rarely see a game with little/no physical damage threats. The revive passive is especially useful as it can allow you to make more aggressive plays without a fear of just dying instantly
Sterak's Gage

This is a great item for the mid-late game as it'll give you a decent amount of HP and the potential to get an large shield that makes you unburstable. When the shield procs you also gain 30% tenacity making you harder to crowd control. Overall an incredibly solid item. An important thing to note however is that you cannot buy this and a Maw of Malmortius as the shield, although offer different benefits, is the same passive meaning it cannot stack.
Frozen Mallet

A lot of health and some attack damage makes this item have solid stats for Master Yi as with your core you already have an plenty of damage. The slow on-hit might seem redundant with Bortk/Highlander but some champions can still kite you long enough to either kill you or get help. This simply makes it impossible to run from you, and as Yi does an huge amount of damage you'll also nearly always win.
Dead Man's Plate

After you finish your core, you don't need much in the way of extra offensive power. Dead Man's Plate is a great armour based item for Master Yi as it further increases your movement speed making you impossible to run from whilst at the same time giving you the ability to slow your target once you do get into melee range and attack them.
Mercurial Scimitar

A very situational item that you buy against pick-based champions because you really need the Quicksilver Sash's cleanse effect and this is simply the upgraded version for late game. You'll pretty much only ever get this item as your 6th if you need it, but you can buy the Quicksilver Sash as early as your third item if you need it. Champions like Morgana, Ahri and Malzahar are examples of when a Quicksilver Sash is probably going to be a must buy item.
Randuin's Omen

Sometimes you just need pure tank stats to survive long enough to deal your damage. Champions like Xayah, Yasuo and Jinx all deal tremendous crit based damage and being able to slow their attack speed, lower their crit damage and slow them if you get into range of them is just the perfect counter. However it's not a must buy even against them because you can easily kill them before they do enough damage to you if you're ahead.
Maw of Malmortius

This is the anti magic damage situational item if you don't need the cleanse from Quicksilver Sash. Champions like Azir or Vladimir come to mind when you need some a lot of magic resistance but simply don't need cleanse. Keep in mind it's not just mid laners who you might need magic resistance for. Brand, Zyra, Akali, LeBlanc and Rumble all come to mind as champions you'll want to buy maw against. An important thing to note however is that you cannot buy this and a Sterak's Gage as the shield, although offer different benefits, is the same passive meaning it cannot stack.
Essence Reaver

Whilst this item is better suited for different Yi builds, it's still incredibly powerful even with this on-hit variant. A very large amount of attack damage and some good cooldown reduction make it solid from a stats perspective but it has a lot more too it. Infinite mana is great as you'll always be auto attacking but the real power is in the unique passive essence flare. After you cast Highlander then land a basic attack you'll gain a large 50% attack speed and all your basic abilities will cooldown faster with every basic attack. It has great synergy with Master Yi but it doesn't have the best synergy with the on-hit build overall.
Red > Opposite Scuttle > Blue
This is the safest jungle path that allows you to get an early scuttle crab, and scuttles are really important at the moment for junglers. You'll want to start with your red buff as it allows you to more quickly kill the scuttle crab through its high armour and also potentially duel the enemy jungle with the red. However as it's only possible to duel most junglers if you have your Conqueror up it's a good idea to go to the opposite scuttle that you start on. I suggest to hold your smite for the blue buff if you can help it, but it's better to smite the scuttle crab if it's low and the enemy team are nearby looking to contest it.

Most junglers take the crab that spawns on their starting side of the map. So for example if a red team jungler starts at their blue buff, they'll likely take the dragon scuttle which allows you to take the herald scuttle without contest. It's a good idea to ward in the edge of the pixel bush of one of the scuttles as it'll nearly always spot the enemy jungle doing the scuttle. If it spots nothing then it's almost a guarantee that they did not go for the crab which is a lot of positional information for your team.

After you have both buffs you'll want to farm until level 3. If you took the scuttle crab it's just 1 more camp but if you were unable to or it was too risky to take then 2 camps. Once you hit level 3 you'll either simply continue to farm or look for a gank.

If you're not ganking, you should be farming. You want to get yourself as fed as possible so take as many jungle camps as you can, as well as take lane CS whenever the opportunity arises (explained further down). It's also really important to kill scuttle crabs when they spawn as they offer a large amount of gold and experience. You can contest early crabs against some champions if you have Conqueror ready but still be careful of early game brawlers like Graves or Xin Zhao.

As with any jungler you should be ganking, but don't go out of your way to force ganks that seem unlikely to succeed. But on the flip side, go for any ganks that seem likely to succeed, since whether it results in a kill for you or for your laner, you'll still be getting free gold and XP, and then get to tax some gold/XP from the lane CS as you help your laner shove the wave into the tower to make the enemy miss out on CS.

When you do gank you'll want to just attempt to flank a target allowing you to walk into melee range without using your Q. This means if the enemy has a dash or has their flash you can follow them with Alpha Strike. Sometimes though (such as if they're tanky or don't have mobility) then you can open with Alpha Strike which hopefully can be used to dodge abilities. For example, Darius usually pushes up letting you flank him easily and his only mobility is Flash. This means you either save Alpha Strike for the Flash or you dodge his Apprehend or Decimate.

Whenever one of your ganks succeeds, look out for an opportunity to get an objective out of it. For example if you double kill the enemy bot lane you can convert that into a dragon since for the enemy mid and jungle to contest that they'd have to 2v4. However, dragon is not always a possibility, especially if your team is low or if you only kill one of the enemy bot lane, and sometimes it's just not even the best objective to take. If you have to choose between taking a dragon or getting the tower first blood, you should pretty much always go for the tower first blood, since it grants a massive gold increase which is more immediately beneficial than that of the buffs given by dragons. And in general I would just always prioritize towers over dragons, since getting more map control by taking down towers makes it easier to take dragons later on, whereas choosing to take a dragon instead is harder to convert into taking towers later.

Additionally make sure to hold lanes whenever possible, e.g. if one of your laners has to recall or dies, the enemy will be shoving that wave into your tower to make your laner miss CS, so you can take advantage of this by taking the wave for yourself since it would die to tower anyway, and thus get yourself ahead since lane CS gives more gold and XP than a jungle camp, and does so without being at the expense of your HP.

Whenever you see the enemy jungler showing up on the opposite side of the map, if there's no plays for you to make on your side then it can be worth going into their jungle to counterjungle them while they're too busy to respond. Whenever you counterjungle, if possible you should take the big monster but leave 1 small monster alive, to delay the camp's spawning as much as possible. When the enemy jungler wants to farm the camp, they won't find it already in the process of respawning soon, but have to kill the last remaining monster for a tiny bit of gold and a tiny bit of XP, and then have to wait the entire 1m40s for it to respawn.

If you find yourself getting significantly ahead of the enemy jungler then you can just start going into their jungle whether you have vision of them or not, provided your lanes are in a position to help you. With a level advantage you have a stronger Smite and can easily steal away camps they're trying to do, and they shouldn't be able to straight up win fights against you. Just don't do this if your nearest laner is getting pushed in since that means they won't be able to come help as they would miss a lot of CS to the tower, but the enemy laner can come help kill you without losing out on anything.

As time goes on, towers start to fall and baron begins to swirl in his pit you'll either want to be on the wings to follow up engages your team makes allowing you to get a reset and wipe the enemy team, or abuse the fact you're practically unkillable 1v1 and split push. Do keep in mind though, that you're the jungler meaning if you're split pushing bot lane when baron is up, odds are the enemy team will simply force a 4v5 baron as you'll be unable to steal it. So it's a better idea to split top lane or simply never split too far.

Once you have your core 3 items you'll be an incredibly strong carry being able to melt squishies and tanks alike. If you have Conqueror ready to go from attacking baron/minions/monsters then you'll be able all kinds of true damage. Flat true, on hit true, % max hp true and % current hp true, which translates to "pretty much nothing can fight you 1v1 if you're in melee range" and this only gets worse for the enemy team as time goes on thanks to the more HP they get from items/levels the more damage you deal, and of course Gathering Storm.
Hopper is Bae
That's it for my Master Yi guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Master Yi as well as you want to.

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark Master Yi Guide
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