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Master Yi Build Guide by Alakzar

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Alakzar

Yi Who Must Not Be Named (Updated to 4.20)

Alakzar Last updated on November 20, 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: 24

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 3


Utility: 3

Threats to Master Yi with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
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Hi, my name is Nick. I am a member of the competitive gaming community and avidly play League of Legends. I am a member of a few leagues, where we find awesome ways to break the meta and win XD. I focus on playing Junglers and Supports, my most played champions are Master Yi, Jarvan IV and Amumu (When breaking the meta I play Taric, Garen, Akali, Leona, and Alistar jungle amongst others, I play every champ I own in the jungle ^_^).

Master Yi, is one of my most well known champions. I have AT LEAST 300 ranked games with Yi.

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Many people find my Rune Page to be very... cluttered in stats, and they may have reason but all I know is my Master Yi is Master Obliteration XD.

Marks: 3 Armor Penetration Marks help most when the top laner or tanky jungler gets pissed at you for getting fed off the ADC and midlaner :P. They'll build a Randuins or something so you may want to counter that with some NEIN! I HIT YOU ANYWAY! And the 6 Attack Speed... well that's fairly obvious. Kill stuff faster :)

Seals: Just build the 9 flats as usual. I know I know, my creativity is infallible.

Glyphs: This is strangest part of my build. Now the hardest lane to gank may be bot lane but when the enemy midlaner is an Assassin, the WORST thing you can do is try to gank, fail and die. It's just so horrid. So the 3 flats to start off with make the pre-6 ganking a bit safer, and later on it's a safe bet to have the scaling Magic Resist for the more fed APCs. Quite honestly the APC is 75% of the time your biggest threat, unless they have no CC in which case it's snowball time :).

Alternative Rune Builds:

You may also consider replacing the scaling MRs with some other things, perhaps Attack Speed or Movement Speed.
Also! If the bot lane isn't a really aggressive ADC like Sivir or Urgot or Quinn it may be worthwhile removing 3 Armor Seals for the same things.
Instead of Attack Speed Marks it is equally beneficial to get Attack Damage marks as it buffs your passive quite nicely.
Many Yi guides recommend the 3 Movement Speed Quints but I would strongly recommend against it. Being fast isn't a problem Yi has, I never have issues NOT being somebody's butt when chasing from mid game and on. I would recommend keeping the Quints I have recommended, only thing to change would be make the MR scaling and the AD Flat, but do not have both flats or both scaling. Keep the one MS Quint no matter what, and the MR or AD is highly recommended. ONLY other thing I may recommend would be replacing the MR for Armor Pen. Otherwise keep this.

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So to start off the match it is unconditional for a Yi to begin with a Hunter's Machete and some Health Pots (Don't forget your Sight Ward/Scrying Orb!) Firstly the Hunter's Machete is flat out just useful for the Yi as it builds into Wriggle's Lantern later on and also gives some health regen *currently*. And the health pots are good seeing as you'll use one before getting the blue buff, then you have a good long while of meditation before needing to use health pots again. Super sustain For the Yi.

After you start off with the Hunter's Machete, rush your Wriggle's Lantern. It is really the only thing saving you from getting your butt counter jungled and killed! Plus it's nice to keep track of the Feral Stacks isn't it? Then you've got your Youmuu's Ghostblade. Personally, Youmuu's Ghostblade is one of those items just perfect for a champion and that champ is Yi. When early ganks are needed and Yi is struggling to comply, the Youmuu's plus and ult AND a Ghost is a guaranteed kill ONLY if your laner can capitalize in time to help the burst. Its Active is one of the best things for Yi and wins him lots of 1v1s. Also due to his ult and Youmuu's and the Quintessences of Movement Speed, it wasn't necessary until now to buy Berserker's Greaves! So go ahead and rush that up. Afterwards, snag a Phantom Dancer. For the way Yi ganks/chases people, the Passive is quite handy (BOT LANE ESPECIALLY) as well as its stats are absolutely perfect for Yi. Now finally get yourself a Vamp Sceptre so you can make good use of the Phantom Dancer. At this time I'd like to point out that there are some options you can take. Firstly if you feel you need it, grab Madred's Razors and boots, then Avarice Blade, THEN Wriggle's. This will you give you more utility for the first 7 minutes. Also consider getting Vamp Sceptre after purchasing the Zeal on Phantom Dancer.

And the Endgame build. This is the trickiest area to build up. Sometimes you may wish to reverse the order, mix it up and get two BF Swords or maybe a Vamp sceptre before getting Infinity Edge, or maybe replace some of the items completely. First of all the Infinity Edge gives Yi 250% crit damage instead of the 200%. Couple this with his incredible attack speed, passive, Youmuu's, Phantom Dancer and the Life he will gain from this damage output, those crits will become massive and very worthwhile. But if you are having trouble for funds, don't rush this. Bloodthirster is an item *I* prefer to get on my own Master Yi and it's very good. A) It gives a shield that if you were to catch an opponent by surprise and hit them first you'd gain a lot of fortitude which is something Yi needs; B) It's a lot of Life Steal AND Attack Damage! Thats just yummy. Other items you may wish to add are below. The reasons for getting these items are to help Yi get the most of the Infinity Edge/Phantom Dancer combo, and his Passive. Blade of the Ruined King is HIGHLY recommended if you want to sacrifice the shield and Life Steal for a chase Active despite all the previous chase ability. Many pros use this item but with my masteries, runes and previous items it is not necessary to have. Nobody gets away from Yi anyway :P. Zephyr I would recommend personally as you would first of all gain one extra item slot from selling the Vamp Sceptre it gives a variety of many useful stats, very hand in hand with the Phantom Dancer, not to mention that Passive... Yi craves. Finally the only other option for damage potency would be Statikk Shiv. I never truly understood why get the Statikk Shiv other than for 1v1s but for split pushing and teamfights it's not too amazing. When considering a defensive item, aim for Maw of Malmortius, Mercurial Scimitar and Frozen Mallet.

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Skill Sequence

The Skill order is fairly easy! Start off with the Alpha Strike (Q) as it is the most valuable to farm with and is your engage/dodge... plus Yi says stuff and it's fun :) Level 2 grab your Wuju Style (E) because by the time you reach the Golem you'll have just enough mana as it is to Meditate (W) yourself back up before you die, just pop a health potion :P. Remember E costs nothing to use. 4&5 get Q naturally, 6 get Highlander (R) obviously. 7 - Q, 8 - Get your E once for a little more burst once Q is gone, good for harassing lanes (Q+E). 9 - Finish off the Q, 10 - Grab another Meditate point because at this point your scaling health per level will make meditate kind of useless save for the damage reduction. Then just start maxing the E getting R at 11 and max W getting R at 16.

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Ghost is a very useful summoner ability for Yi jungling. I personally prefer it over Flash seeing as Yi is so incredibly fast and nothing can slow him with his ult up, he is essentially unstoppable. I use it to gank lanes, turret dive people trying to escape, and escape when getting ganked while splitpushing.

Hm? A jungler with Smite? Well isn't that unorthodox. I think this choice speaks for itself XD.

FLASH: Useful for escapes, jukes, all the normal stuff Flashes are used for.
TELEPORT: Wanna push mid enemy team? Oh but hey look who's in your base? Goodbye Nexus Turrets. (Also good for ganking bot lane if they can plant wards for you).
IGNITE: I'm gonna counter jungle, and I'm gonna win. (Also decently helpful to gank not insanely tanky top laners such as Lee Sin, Darius and Jax.

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Ranked Play

Early Game
When jungling, the most popular method is to power farm up your Yi and get that Feral Flare as fast as humanly possible. But I personally think that Yi should still be ganking lanes. His largest issue (and it IS quite large) is his large lack of CC. It is hardest to gank lanes before level 4 and then still quite hard before level 6, it takes quite a bit of skill to get the hang of it. But once around these areas, you should be powerful enough to start tearing squishies up. So essentially your largest chance of a successful gank is to start jumping people that are attacking turrets. An overextended laner is a gonna be targeted by all 8 of Yi's eyes; and targeted hard. >:). Another strategy I use is when you ARENT counter picked by any of the junglers mentioned above in the guide, it means you can easily or semi easily counter jungle any other jungle and prolly kill them. I would generally grab my red and immediately beeline for their red and chill in the bush waiting, let them take all the damage from their red and then kick their butt. A safer method but slightly more difficult is to wait behind the red camp where they can't see you and the jungler wouldn't pass through and pump a scrying orb when you expect them to be there at the red and then immediately go for them. One last thing, when their jungler is ganking a lane do not counter gank that lane, try to gank a different lane OR continue farming your own jungler, not theirs. (Unless theyre building a Feral Flare like Udyr or Skarner or Kayle or Xin Zhao then go for it, otherwise don't).

Mid Game.
Mid Game is the roughest point of the game for Yi but the laners will naturally be outleveling you, needing ganks because turrets are gonna start falling places and Yi will be CLOSE to having his lovely Feral Flare but not quite yet. So that's an issue for him. During the mid game BEWARE the APC, and ANNIHILATE the ADC. Otherwise do your best to help lanes stay alive for a good 5 minutes and try to get the last little bit of jungle clearing as you can.

End Game
As is said by everybody's favourite Star Wars Smuggler, and archaeologist/hunter/professor, "This is where the fun begins". Also when melting an ADC be sure to yell "WHOOPEEEEEEEEEEE" like Han Solo does when falling down a garbage pit. Because giggles. By end game you should have Feral Flare stacks (around 10+) and you should have that Phantom Dancer, Youmuu's, Fervor Boots, and fully maxed abilities save for W. Now you're getting those items that make your body cringe... or theirs. Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster (probably). At this point you should be able to melt any and all carries, outrun that mobi boots Udyr, and destroy turrets and inhibitors before they knew you were even in the base.

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Pros / Cons

Very High Damage, High Risk jungler.
Can counter jungle, can make short early game engages.
Extremely Fast, Cannot be slowed, Can dodge any projectile with Alpha Strike.
Strong 1v1 Mid Game and Late Game
After Youmuu's and Highlander (And Ghost), ganking becomes very strong. (Usually about 9 mins in or so)
Can become OP from super farming.
Amazing Split pusher, can overextend very far and still get away.
Very good at dodging CC Abilities.
Can down a full health turret without any minions in seconds without dying (Requires approx 50 stacks of FF)
Very squishy, Assassin mid laners can kill you if you mess up the gank.
Extremely difficult to gank bot lane.
Will die if counter jungled, will usually kill if counter jungling.
Mana hungry early game.
Poor early game ganks.
Relies heavily on farm for Feral Flare early game. (falls behind when ganking)
VERY susceptible to Crowd Control (Like Dark Binding).

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Using Master Yi's Abilities


Double Strike

Every few strikes, Master Yi strikes twice.
Double Strike: Master Yi's Passive "Double Strike" is a useful skill for farming early game, counter jungling, and assassinating late game. Every time Yi attacks he will gain a stack (First basic attack, Second Basic Attack, Third Basic Attack) and then his FOURTH, you will see a green proc on your buff bar and that means that Yi will use a Double Strike, performing a second basic attack right after. Now be aware that the second basic attack a) has its own critical chance and isn't affected by if the first attack crits or not; b) Deals only 50% of Master Yi's AD. (This is another reason I personally prefer to get BloodThirster instead of Blade of the Ruined King).


Alpha Strike

Master Yi teleports to strike up to 4 enemies, dealing 25/60/95/130/165 (+1*AD) physical damage to each and an additional 75/100/125/150/175 damage to minions and monsters.

Alpha Strike can critically strike, dealing an additional 1*AD physical damage. Basic attacks lower the cooldown of Alpha Strike by 1 second.
70/80/90/100/110 Mana
18/17/16/15/14 Seconds
Alpha Strike: Master Yi's Q "Alpha Strike" is Master Yi's trademark ability. It serves as an infallible dodge to any king of damage for 1 second if timed properly like Dark Binding, or a Time Bomb or Light Binding, pretty much anything, True damage DoTs included! It can also be used as a gap closer naturally (Duh), and one of my favourites, when in range you can get through walls with it. (Just toss your Feral Flare over the wall watching that Nunu try to get away, Hah! You can't slow me lemme just jump over this wall real quick. Jarvan IV? Wanna ult me? Whew, no worries XD. This is the power that gets maxed first as it's your camp clearer and will do the most damage when ganking early game since you aren't fast enough by this point to always be on their ***.



Master Yi channels, restoring 30/50/70/90/110 (+0.3*AP) Health per second for 4 seconds. This healing is increased by 1% for every 1% of Master Yi's missing Health.

While channeling, Master Yi reduces incoming damage by 50/55/60/65/70%. This damage reduction is halved against turrets.
50 Mana
35/35/35/35/35 Seconds
Meditate: Master Yi's W "Meditate" is basically the one thing stopping him from being the squishiest and most vulnerable champ evar! XD You use it on cooldown while jungling after level 3 to stay alive in the jungle without using up your health pots, use it early game against tanky laners by engaging them and meditating in their face, use it to take turret shots AFTER getting your *** out of it, and use it to basically heal :P Yi will often times fail in teamfights with Meditates as it is easily cut down mid channel by any stun.


Wuju Style

Passive: Grants 10% (1*AD) Attack Damage.

Active: Basic attacks deal bonus 10/15/20/25/30 true damage for 5 seconds. Afterwards the passive bonus is lost while Wuju Style is on cooldown.
No Cost
18/17/16/15/14 Seconds
Wuju Style: Master Yi's E "Wuju Style" serves a number of functions. Its Passive grants you a good starting amount of bonus damage to help clear camps which is good, and its Active help finish off people. The strategy to follow for using your E is pop it in one of three cases: a) if you're confident your target (monster or champion) will die within 5 seconds, b) if your target will still be alive by the time it's off cooldown; c) if you are trying to get as much damage off in a short period of time and doubt you will be able to land a finish (like when ganking tanks).



Passive: Champion kills and assists reduce the remaining cooldown of Master Yi's basic abilities by 70%.

Active: Increases Movement Speed by 25/35/45%, Attack Speed by 30/55/80%, and grants immunity to all slowing effects for 10 seconds. While active, champion kills and assists extend the duration of Highlander by 4 seconds.
100 Mana
75/75/75 Seconds
Highlander: Master Yi's R "Highlander" is his ultimate ability and what makes him such a great assassin against the squishy carries, and also his most effective means of ganking lanes. This ability makes you move faster (my favourite part), prevents slows from affecting you (suck on that Nasus and Ziggs), and makes you hit a lot faster! I personally find it most effective to pop Highlander right upon ganking a lane (especially bot lane), land a basic attack and THEN Alpha Strike right after that as most champs will try to hit you as you get close (supports especially). If you consider that Master Yi will need to farm some right after ganking a lane instead of constantly ganking like a J4 or Amumu or Alistar haha, considering this, you should imagine that the cooldown on Highlander is short enough that it'll be back up before you attempt another gank. Don't be too conservative with it.

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Alpha Strike

Using dat Alpha Strike
Contrary to popular belief if you think you can run into your target's face don't Alpha Strike to close the gap immediately, get up close to them and hit em FIRST because at this point SOMEONE is gonna try to stop you. THATS when you want the gap closer off cooldown. Also make sure you use your Q SMART! It blocks just about anything INCLUDING turret shots! So when diving turrets, Alpha Strike to dodge the turret, Alpha Strike to dodge those Dark Bindings, Cataclysms, Crowstorms, Amumu attacks, Tornadoes, all that stuff. Also when farming, attack the camp FIRST once then immediately Alpha Strike before the camp hits you because you'll deal damage and the camp will stop attacking so you get a nice little head start.

Other than that there really isn't much to Yi. Just learn how to jungle, get the judgements and choices right, weigh your options and kick ***.

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Synergies to Master Yi

Leona: Just like for everyone Synergies are champions that complement the other persons failings or boost their assets. Leona is someone with massive CC capabilities and for a Yi, anyone that can provide him with a locked down or slowed as hell champion, is essentially spoon feeding him kills and Feral Flare stacks.

Lux: With her very nice slow and double snare she provides easy kills for Yi. PLUS her great amounts of High AoE burst, assuming she isn't finishing off enemies just makes enemies melt faster. ALSO she's got that lovely shield which makes Yi just a little less squishy :).

Morgana: She is probably one of the biggest synergies AND counters to Yi for the exact same reason. She gives the Black Shield that makes Yi take less damage in case of getting targeted, as he tends to. And her stun is PRECISELY what feeds Yi. If she lands that on a carry, there is NO WAY in The Void that that carry is getting out alive. NOOOO WAY.

Nasus: Who likes to be slowed by Nasus? No one. That's why he does it. Jerk. But it is very helpful to get that Yi a kill.

Taric: He's a fun little sparkly guy that helps out :) when you want someone assassinated a little quicker, Taric's sparkles are there to save the day! His stun is good to keep the target still for Yi to get there if they try to get away, then his W explosion thing makes them take more damage, and his ult makes Yi DEAL more damage. What more could you ask for?

Essentially any champion that is unlikelier to kill steal from you, can help you take less damage, deal more damage, or MOST OF ALL lock someone down for you to whoop is a synergy :) but a displacer is NOT good for Yi, like Lee Sin or Alistar or Blitzcrank. Nuh uh.

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Counters to Master Yi

Fiddlesticks: Keep in mind I don't mean Fiddlesticks as a jungler! I just mean his stupid crowstorm, and his damage. And MOST OF ALL. It's that damn fear of his! It lasts so long and since you run so fast he just does that while you're chasing him and makes you run half way up your lane again. (Or when youre meditating. That douche).

Lee Sin: Oof. They picked Lee Sin and I'm Yi. Craaaaaaaaaaaap. So this means he's gonna jump in your jungle snagging buffs, blowing you up faster than you can burn him down and he's gonna punt you out of his jungle or kill you when you try to get at him. Also he'll usually counter gank you. Which makes him a pain since he kicks you away.

Morgana: Gg. She lands that snare on you? It's over. You're just... just stop chasing they're already gone and you know it. Just meditate bro, you're cooked.

Singed: Now you're probably thinking so what? He knocks you back for a second, just chase him down. Yeah no... his speed isn't the problem even tho he tends to just bait you into the team with half his health still. It's his tankiness and his poison damage. He'll live long enough for you not to be able to kill him before he poisons you so much you have to back off.

Udyr: I'm gonna bully forever. And ever. Maybe even a little after that too. He is so tanky which means you can't kill him as fast, he's got so much damage that he'll burn you up much faster, he's so fast that it's actually somewhat hard to chase him, and he's got CC too which messes you up even MOAR so. Not to mention he cannot be counter jungled against and if he walks in your jungle, just let him go. It'll just turn out badly.

Tryndamere: Very fast, very tanky, and quite strong. Dat Statikk Shiv will surprise you, and if you try to gank him, he'll prolly kill you or the laner first, dash away, slow the laner if you're dead and have Undying Rage just in case. And if he counter jungles you he'll smash you to bits while still having that Undying Rage up to keep smashing you/escape you if you're tough.