Master Yi Build Guide

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Master Yi - A Comprehensive Guide to Wuju Mastery By Daniechiu/WaveWalker/FinalDoom

written by daniechiu

Master Yi Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Master Yi. A lot of people sneer at me as I play and tell me he's easy and I must be a total noob for picking him. A lot of people also tell me he's overpowered. And you know what? I welcome such comments. People only say such things when I'm kicking their ass, i.e. doing my job :).

    Is Yi really easy? I won't argue that he isn't, but one person said it best when he modified his statement to say that Yi is easy to learn... but brutally hard to master. Here's my reasoning: at low summoner levels, Yi is very easy, a moderate Yi will destroy the other team. At summoner level 30, people typically have a better idea of what they're doing and it is NOT as easy as it looks. People will scoff saying the Yi got fed and blame their teammates, but I'm here to tell you that as Yi it is your JOB to get fed... in other words, you feed yourself by preying on whoever you can get. After a certain point, a fed Yi just means game over.
    Master Yi was the first champion I liked in League of Legends. I've been playing him since summoner level 6. I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about, and I have some fairly ridiculous kill/death ratios. On average, a game for me will go something like 15+/5-/X. A GOOD game will go 20+/3-/X. I am, however, not on any ranked lists, and I honestly don't know how many wins I have with Yi (though I ventured to guess it's getting close to 200 now).

    Yi is not a hard champion to figure out, but you have NO IDEA how many retarded Yi's I've seen. It's so bad the amount of craptastic Yi's out there that some people will actually GROAN when you pick Yi (I snort at them). There are a few basic ways to build Yi that will lead you to success, but most important is HOW you play. Hopefully this guide will provide you with both an idea of what items work best with Yi and what maneuvers you can and can't pull.

    Now, is Yi overpowered? A lot of people tell me he is after I've virtually single-handedly demolished their entire team and am now running down the middle lane with my ultimate activated to chase down their last fleeing champion (for the kill, of course). He's not overpowered. At least, not anymore overpowered than ANY champion is after a certain point. The great thing about Yi, though, is that you do not necessarily have to rely on chance to get yourself to that point. I would also point out that Yi has pretty much NEVER shown up in patch notes for either a buff OR a nerf. At least, he's never shown up in patch notes since I started playing about a year ago. So. Point is, he's not overpowered, and if you're getting destroyed by a Yi, find a way to counter him or get over it. Sorry.

    Now, some stuff about Master Yi himself. Master Yi is probably the strongest hero out there with a full detail of items. He is built as a ridiculous DPS with ideally about two attacks per second, 55% critical chance, 250% critical damage, about 300 attack damage, 45% lifesteal, and above average movement speed. And that is all before applying your ultimate, Highlander, which affords you an extra 80% attack speed (usually capping you out at 2.5 attacks per second fairly early in the game), another 40% movement speed, and an immunity to slows for 12 seconds. As Yi, you do ridiculous critical hits nearly every other strike--and you're striking so fast you may as well be landing critical hits with every blow. Yi is not built with very much health or armor, however, so you rely completely on two things: 1) destroying your enemies before they can destroy you and 2) other champions tanking the bulk of team spells and abilities because as Yi you simply can't handle being targeted by everything. Yi's main weaknesses are slows, snares, and stuns. Slows are handled later by your ultimate, Highlander, which makes you invulnerable to slows. Snares and stuns, however, will leave you vulnerable and more often than not if you were snared or stunned you are now the target of all the enemy team's skills and abilities--in other words, you're dead.

    This guide IS meant to eventually be "Comprehensive," which means that eventually I will do some research in alternative playstyles of Yi-- namely, AP Yi and Jungle Yi. I will tell you right off the bat that I don't think highly of AP Yi because I believe it doesn't have as much potential as DPS Yi. Not even close. I will, nevertheless, indulge you AP Yi players out there eventually.

    Without further ado, go ahead and read my guide and figure out how I make Yi work. When you're done, please don't forget to comment and rate.

  • Abilities

    Double Strike
    "Master Yi has a chance to strike twice in a row with the swiftness of the Wuju Bladesman." This ability has a counter and Yi will double strike every 7th attack.


    Alpha Strike
    "Master Yi leaps across the battlefield with blinding speed, dealing magic damage to multiple units in his path with a chance to deal bonus magic damage to minions." Can strike 5-6 enemies at once.
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    This is your bread and butter skill. You use this to harass and to farm. It takes skill and experience to learn the appropriate times and targets for this ability. For example, you don't want to target an enemy hero with this unless you are 1) sure you're going to defeat them 2) pursuing. If you're in a lane early game just trying to harass and get gold, you should NOT be targeting enemy heroes. That is one of the quickest ways to get yourself killed early game. Just don't do it.
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    This should be the first ability you get. You should also level this ability up to 2 as fast as possible. After that, your skill allocation is situational. If you have to play defensively and are being harassed when you try to melee minions in your lane, you want to max out Alpha Strike first. Otherwise, you want to max out Wuju Style first to give you more DPS and make it easier to land kills once you have Highlander.


    Meditate
    "Master Yi rejuvenates his body by focus of mind, restoring health and increasing his armor and magic resistance for a short time." This is a channeling spell, meaning you must stay in place upon activation.
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    If you need to use this skill, you're probably doing something wrong. It simply isn't worth wasting a point on it until you have to. Yi is to be built as a strong DPS, meaning you want attack speed, attack damage, critical chance, critical damage, and lifesteal. If you're getting hurt enough to feel the have meditate early game, you need to control your zones better and play more defensively. Keeping your health up is why you buy 2 health potions at the start of the game. After that, you either play well or you have to go back more than you'd like to.


    Wuju Style
    "Master Yi becomes skilled in the art of Wuju, passively increasing the power of his physical attacks. Activating Wuju Style doubles the passive bonus damage for a short time, but the passive bonus is temporarily removed after the effect wears off."
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    This skill should be used in combination with Highlander to score fast kills. If you are doing fairly well in your lane, are not pressured, and can easily melee minions without being harassed, this is the skill you will ultimately max out first (it is advisable to level Alpha Strike up to 2 before maxing out Wuju Style for farming purposes).


    Highlander
    "Master Yi moves with unparalleled agility, temporarily increasing Master Yi's movement and attack speeds as well as making him immune to all slowing effects. Additionally, killing a Champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns."
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    This is your ultimate and your most useful ability. It great increases your attack and movement speed which makes it much easier to kill enemy champions. What's more, after you land a kill on one enemy champion, all your cooldowns are refreshed and you are instantly ready to take down the next enemy champion if others are around.


  • Summary

    Here I will summarize everything without my wordy explanation. This section does not include alternative builds or options.
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    Runes:
    Greater Mark of Malice
    Greater Seal of Malice
    Greater Glyph of Malice
    Greater Quintessence of Desolation
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    Masteries:
    Offensive:
    [spell=Deadliness] 3/3
    [spell=Cripple] 1/1
    [spell=Alacrity] 4/4
    [spell=Sorcery] 3/4
    [spell=Sunder] 3/3
    [spell=Brute Force] 3/3
    [spell=Lethality] 3/3
    [spell=Havoc] 1/1

    Utility:
    [spell=Spatial Accuracy] 1/1
    Perseverance 3/3
    [spell=Awareness] 4/4
    [spell=Utility Mastery] 1/2
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    Summoner Spells:
    Exhaust Cleanse
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    Abilities:

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    Items:
    [item=Meki Pendant] 2x Health Potion
    Chalice of Harmony Berserker's Greaves
    Vampiric Scepter Recurve Bow
    Last Whisper
    Cloak of Agility
    B. F. Sword
    Infinity Edge
    [item=Emblem of Valour] Zeal
    [item=Stark's Fervor]
    Phantom Dancer
    The Bloodthirster
    [item=Elixir of Agility] Elixir of Fortitude Elixir of Brilliance [item=Oracle's Elixir]

  • Runes

    My original stance on runes was that critical damage runes were the best for Yi, but I have since done a few calculations using the tools available on Leaguecraft and determined that critical chance runes are MUCH better. The reason for this is you end up with a significant increase in damage per second late game and it helps you out a lot early game when unexpected critical strikes can score you first blood and kills.
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    Greater Mark of Malice
    Greater Seal of Malice
    Greater Glyph of Malice
    Greater Quintessence of Desolation
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    Note: This section is currently under revision. I am beginning to experiment with mixed rune sets and will post what I believe to be the best rune combinations when I find them. However, I do suspect that the following kinds of runes will work for Yi: critical chance, critical damage, dodge, attack speed, attack damage, armor penetration.

  • Masteries

    For Master Yi I stack up on Offensive Mastery. I try to get everything that will give me higher attack damage, faster attack speed, stronger critical hits, and armor penetration. Because Yi has no slows of his own, I also invest in improved Exhaust, as the increased duration of slow greatly increases Yi's ability to take down fleeing champions. Not all of the Offensive Masteries optimally fit Yi, however, so I will usually put the bulk of my points in Offensive Mastery and the rest of them in Utility. It looks like this: http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/3100340030330100000000000000013040001000000.
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    Offensive:
    [spell=Deadliness] 3/3
    [spell=Cripple] 1/1
    [spell=Alacrity] 4/4
    [spell=Sorcery] 3/4
    [spell=Sunder] 3/3
    [spell=Brute Force] 3/3
    [spell=Lethality] 3/3
    [spell=Havoc] 1/1

    Utility:
    [spell=Spatial Accuracy] 1/1
    Perseverance 3/3
    [spell=Awareness] 4/4
    [spell=Utility Mastery] 1/2

  • Summoner Spells

    Exhaust Cleanse
    Alright, so I used to be a big proponent of Exhaust/Teleport and my friend, ShinyShu/Kamine/Danieshu, used to tell me all the time that I should use Cleanse. I used to wave him off and tell him not to tell me how to play Yi, since DPS characters are more my territory and the tank-ish champions are more his. HOWEVER, while I was switching out my runes for critical chance, I have grown to LOVE Cleanse and now believe it is a must have. I do not build my masteries to buff Cleanse, but even unbuffed it is a great tool to work with. Remember that Teemo that you always hated early game because you couldn't kill him due to his freaking blind ability? No longer a problem, just cleanse the blind and kill the bastard. Heck, most Teemos are so used to killing Yi's and other melee DPS with that blind that they won't even run away when you cleanse it and start ripping ass on them. Cleanse works really well in other situations as well. It will save your life countless times from taunts that would have lured you into deaths, stuns that would have let the enemy team destroy you, slows that would prevent you from getting away while your ultimate is down, etc. Really, the possibilities are pretty endless. The only bad thing I have to say about Cleanse is that it doesn't work for Warwick's god damned ultimate! It really should, but I guess Riot decided it shouldn't. So yeah, don't run into battle expecting to cleanse out of Warwick's ultimate... that mistake can get you killed.
    But enough about cleanse. You must, Must, MUST have Exhaust as Yi, no matter what you get as your other summoner spell (I would almost say I don't care if you get REVIVE if you'll agree to take Exhaust with you, but that's a bit of a stretch). The reason is Yi does not have any innate slows, and this build does not really approve of the time and money it takes to get a Phage or Frozen Mallet when there are so many better DPS items for Yi. Your slows are going to come from 1) Exhaust and 2) Lizard Elder buff (so make sure you're farming it regularly... can't emphasize that enough, you really do want both buffs if you can get them... but be mindful of not taking them from others on your team who might benefit more from them). Exhaust's ability to blind enemy champions is a big plus as well. Sometimes you won't use Exhaust to chase or escape. Sometimes you'll simply use Exhaust because an enemy DPS champion (perhaps one with more lifesteal than you) has decided to go one-on-one with you and you'd rather they claw away at nothing while you rip out their intestines :). Works wonders, but just remember that blind from Exhaust cannot make enemy spells and abilities miss. That's what silences are for and, unfortunately, Yi doesn't have one of those.
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    Other Combinations:
    Exhaust Ignite
    Exhaust Teleport

  • Champion Abilities

    This build focuses on increasing your attack damage as quickly as possible with Wuju Style so that you can more quickly destroy enemy champions when you engage them with Highlander. A lot of new players and often not-so-great Yi players will go for meditate before Alpha Strike and Wuju Style. Getting meditate early game detracts from your lethality. After all, healing is what your health potions are for. Meditate is just a waste of precious mana early game. I will admit that being able to quickly exit battle at level 18, heal, and then return to kill more enemies is pretty great. But that's really more at level 18. One last note on this ability build, I will sometimes skip the second point in Alpha Strike and simply go straight through to maxing out Wuju Style as fast as possible. Sometimes that helps with the extra little damage boost you need to get a few kills early game. A link to this ability build without the explanations is here: http://leaguecraft.com/skiller/Master+Yi/qeqeqrqeqerewwwrww.
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    Alpha Strike
    Alpha Strike is your bread and butter skill. You start with it to get you working on getting money and experience. It takes some practice, but Alpha Strike can also be used very effectively for harassment.
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    Wuju Style
    You're focusing Alpha Strike and Wuju Style early game with a starting emphasis on Alpha Strike. You will be maxing out Wuju Style first, though, as it increases your attack damage by a large amount and that attack damage bonus is doubled whenever you activate the ability.
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    Alpha Strike
    Bringing Alpha Strike up to level 2 will put it at an optimal mana cost for continued farming and bring the damage it deals up to a level where it will really start helping you kill minions.
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    Wuju Style
    Now that you have two levels of Alpha Strike, all of your emphasis is going to be on Wuju Style.
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    Wuju Style
    At level 5 you are one level away from your ultimate ability, Highlander. Once you have Highlander you're going to want more attack damage, so stick another point in Wuju Style.
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    Highlander
    Your ultimate ability, Highlander, should now be available. As a general rule for all champions, you always want to get your ultimate ability whenever it is available.
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    Wuju Style
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    Alpha Strike
    Wuju Style should now be maxed out. Your focus now turns to Alpha Strike for which you should now have a larger mana pool, making it easier to use it continually at higher levels. If you're having trouble with mana, don't forget to farm the Golem for its buff. The Golem Buff is also very useful for helping bring down the cooldown time of your ultimate.
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    Wuju Style
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    Alpha Strike
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    Highlander
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    Alpha Strike
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    Meditate
    At this point you have no other choice than to start putting points in meditate. You'll have the ability, but with the amount of health you should have at this point, it really won't help you very much and is more of a waste of mana than anything else. At level 5, however, when you are level 18, Meditate can effectively be used when you're damage. You can dart into battle, deal some damage, run out of battle, heal with Meditate, then quickly be back in battle. Meditate does also have some pretty useful applications as a tanking spell, as it raises your armor and magic resistance by 100-300 WHILE healing you. At higher levels, this can save your life in a situation where you just pop meditate instead of continuing to try to get away. In that time, I've had teammates save me from certain death while exasperated enemies attempt to take down that last sliver of health that just keeps healing :).
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    Meditate
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    Meditate
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    Highlander
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    Meditate
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    Meditate

  • Items

    [item=Meki Pendant] 2x Health Potion
    The first items you want are a Meki Pendant and two Health potions. Remember, your bread and butter skill is Alpha Strike early in the game. Yi does not come with very much mana, nor does he come with a lot of mana regeneration. Meki Pendant allows you to continue to use Alpha Strike in your lane to get gold and harass enemies. Because your mana regeneration and your ability to get gold and experience from a range are increased you will not have to go back as much. The Health Potions are meant to give you increased survivability for those times when you slip up or the enemy champions pull a good play. Don't be afraid to use your Health Potions--a healthy Yi is a happy Yi.
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    Chalice of Harmony Berserker's Greaves
    Ideally you're not going back to base until you've got at least 1420 gold and can afford to upgrade your Meki Pendant to a Chalice of Harmony and can buy yourself some Berserker's Greaves. The Chalice of Harmony gives you even more mana regeneration, which will end up being very important for Yi in ganking and team fights. Without a Chalice of Harmony, a Yi will frustratedly find himself without enough mana to activate all of his abilities and unleash his full attack potential. At higher levels, however, Yi will have enough mana and innate mana regeneration that you can get rid of the Chalice of Harmony and sell it to give you a cash boost for another item. Berserker's Greaves are extremely important for two reasons: 1) you need increased movement speed to catch enemy champions and to get away from enemy champions when necessary and 2) as a DPS champion, Yi needs a lot of attack speed and Berserker's Greaves affords him his first upgrade in this department. I like to start out with Berserker's Greaves rather than a situational boot of choice. Later in the game I will typically switch Berserker's Greaves to something more tactically useful, as there comes a point when Yi's attack speed is so high that this bonus is just redundant.
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    Vampiric Scepter Recurve Bow
    Ok, now we're getting into the new stuff (edit after changing to critical chance runes). When you've got about 1500g you want to head back to base and get yourself a Vampiric Scepter and a Recurve Bow. The Vampiric Scepter is really useful early because it'll give you more survivability in your lane AND can enable you to go into the jungle and farm some buffs. (With everything up to the Vampiric Scepter you'll be able to take the buffs around level 8 or 9 but will take significant damage and will probably need to go back afterwards. With Vampiric Scepter and one component of Last Whisper, you should be mostly fine.) Recurve Bow you're buying to build into Last Whisper, which I have found to be one of the most useful items for Yi, especially early game so tanks never become a really serious problem. In fact, once you have Last Whisper, you will surprise a lot of tanks by spoon feeding them with the bowels you just yanked from their gut. If you find you cannot afford the Recurve Bow, but you CAN afford the Long Sword, go ahead and buy the Long Sword. 10 extra attack won't help as much as the boatloads of attack speed from Recurve Bow, but it's worth it anyway.
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    Last Whisper
    As soon as you can complete Last Whisper, do it. You're going to find yourself going back a little more than you might like, but trust me these items make a HUGE difference. You don't have to worry so much about the experience either, for some reason I usually find myself leveling faster than the rest of my team, even if I'm not soloing a lane. Now, it is important since you've gone Last Whisper first that you have some form of critical chance in your runes! I run Yi with a full critical chance set with armor penetration quintessences, so I have 15% critical chance from the get go. This allows me to bypass any kind of critical chance item I might otherwise have gone for and go straight for the Last Whisper for maximum benefit. It is still possible to run this Yi build without critical chance runes, but you will be waaaaaaay more awesome if you've got them. Just sayin'.
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    Cloak of Agility
    Even with the 15% critical chance, now that you've got so much attack speed and armor penetration from Last Whisper, you're going to really want some more critical chance. You're building into Infinity Edge now, and I used to go for the B. F. Sword first, but I have found that buying Cloak of Agility first keeps me about on par for attack speed and critical chance from my old build so long as I've got my critical chance runes.
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    B. F. Sword
    Yes, you are going back again. I know, maybe a little too much, but the B. F. Sword is an important addition to your arsenal. More attack damage now can only mean stronger auto-attacks and more devastating criticals. Just do it. I promise you won't regret it. As an added note, I will usually sell my Chalice of Harmony either to help me buy the B. F. Sword, or to help me complete the Infinity Edge. At that stage of the game, Chalice of Harmony's mana regeneration effects won't really do you much good as you'll have a fairly large mana pool and some decent mana regeneration of your own. If you find you're having trouble with mana without your Chalice, though, make sure you are farming the Blue Golem buff.
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    Infinity Edge
    When you have 1350 gold you need to go back and finish your Infinity Edge. The Infinity Edge was practically made for Yi and is a crucial CORE item. Not only does it provide you with more critical chance and with a significant attack damage boost, but it also increases the damage on your critical hits to 250% (from 200%). It also increases your critical chance, bringing you pretty close to 40% at this point if you have critical chance runes. That is a BIG DEAL when you're hitting 250% criticals with 200+ attack damage and lots of armor penetration.
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    [item=Emblem of Valour] Zeal
    Originally I would probably have rushed to Phantom Dancer at this point, but I have changed my build to include some extra life steal and health regeneration to give you more survivability in fights. You're still going to want to be able to buy yourself a Zeal before you go back for Emblem of Valor, though, as the Emblem of Valor upgrade for Vampiric Scepter is cheap (and every bit worth it) and doesn't exactly merit a trip back to base on its own. If you can't buy the full Zeal, get the Brawler's Gloves first, as now that you have Infinity Edge, critical chance is your priority.
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    [item=Stark's Fervor]
    Again, if I didn't have critical chance runes, I might go running for my Phantom Dancer at this point. But with critical chance runes, I don't feel myself needing the Phantom Dancer bonuses as much. Sure, the dodge and movement speed are nice, but I can get the attack speed elsewhere. Soooooo, I now put a lot of stock into buying Stark's Fervor at this point in the game. Not only will it provide YOU with much wanted attack speed, it'll also boost your allies and take off another 20 armor from enemy champions. This makes nearly every champion pretty damn squishy, especially if you're significantly fed over them (which, as Yi, you really should be... it is your responsibility to make sure you get fed every game... which is why I don't like taking crap from people who say Yi is an exceedingly easy champ to play). Stark's Fervor will also boost your lifesteal more, which is AMAZING at this point. I have seriously played games where I have been on the run with very little health, but then turned around and killed enemy champions to HEAL, then kept going to kill even more enemies. I don't care if you don't like lifesteal, it is a MUST.
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    Phantom Dancer
    Ok, so now we finally get the much-talked-about Phantom Dancer. Boosts to movement speed, attack speed, dodge, and critical chance. At this point you really shouldn't need the attack speed anymore (your attack speed is so high that I am actually considering switching a few of my attack speed mastery points over to something else... but more on that later after I've tested it out). The critical chance will bring you up to 55% critical strike, which we will further augment later with Elixirs of Agility (yet another reason why you maybe don't need as much attack speed in your Yi build). Movement speed and dodge are added bonuses that are nice for obvious reasons.
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    The Bloodthirster
    Games don't usually last this long, but after Phantom Dancer you're pretty free to choose whatever you want. Within reason, anyway. My personal favorite is The Bloodthirster for pure DPS and lifesteal destruction. You may want to take a quick look at the situational items section below, though. Before buying this last item may be a good time to start downing potions or changing out your boots for something more tactically useful.
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    [item=Elixir of Agility] Elixir of Fortitude Elixir of Brilliance [item=Oracle's Elixir]
    If somehow the game goes long enough to get you here, you have no more items to buy. However, there is another way to spend your hard-earned cash (or, at this point, probably not too hard-earned). Buy as many of the above listed potions as you can (the order listed is the buy priority for the potions). When your inventory is full, elixirs will be consumed on purchase - there is no need to clear space in your inventory. If there are ANY enemy invisible champions (including Teemo and his invisible mushrooms if you so desire), the first potion you should get is Oracle's Elixir, NOT Elixir of Agility.
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    Situational Items

    Banshee's Veil
    Against a caster heavy team, can be very useful, though to a limit. Yi has a hard time spending a lot of money and slots on defensive counter items and still fulfilling his role as a hard DPS carry. In a massive team fight with lots of chaos, Banshee's Veil might save you from one spell, but there's no guaranteeing the next won't be targeting you as well. In fact, if you're doing your job right, you can almost count on most of the spells being cast on you... they really want you dead.

    [item=Madred's Bloodrazors]
    Thornmail is a hard counter against Yi for tanks. Sometimes you will attack a Rammus or a Shen and find that, while you still rip them to pieces, you pretty much die in the process (in some cases you die before you can take out that last sliver of health). Thornmail's ridiculous return on normal auto-attack damage means a good chunk of your DPS force is now being turned against you. The solution? Buy yourself some Madred's Bloodrazors. You're still going to be smarting after a fight against a tank with Thornmail (and you should try to avoid it as much as possible), but the added 4% of their health in magic damage (especially after they've probably stacked armor to counter you) means you will take them down that much faster and sustain less damage. Plus, I believe that extra 4% of their health in magic damage will not be returned to you by Thornmail.

    Quicksilver Sash
    If you didn't get cleanse (and seriously, I used to hate cleanse but now I am telling you that you HAVE to get it), getting a Quicksilver Sash to fill its role in saving your ass from countless situations is probably a good idea. But I would definitely not switch out any of your core or DPS items to get this... so if you do get it, probably at the end of the game... so seriously, just get cleanse.

    Sight Ward
    This is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, if a team likes to gank a lot OR there is a jungle champion (ESPECIALLY if you are in the lane against the champion that was left solo by the jungler), it is a VERY good idea to invest in a Sight Ward on one of your first few trips back. It only costs you 90g, and can save your life and even land you kills. Typically I will stick this in the far corner of the bushes in the river in either the top or bottom lane. Advanced warning will save your life and that of your teammate.

    Vision Ward
    As a variant of the Sight Ward, if there are invisible enemies, again, not a bad investment. If this can save your life once or land you a kill or assist ONCE, it was worth it and will have paid itself back. Place this either somewhere in the middle of the lane (or wherever the skirmishes seem to happen most), or, if there is a combined jungle invisible that likes to gank, perhaps in the river bushes of the top or bottom lanes.

    Guardian Angel
    Ok, I laugh at this item. Not really going to explain it, but if you're really ripping ass and you can come back to life after you've died... well, more chance to rip ass and probably get away. You definitely don't want to buy this if your team is losing or if you're not doing so well yourself, as if they stick around to wait for you to resurrect and you can't do the damage, they're just going to kill for real this time.

    Ninja Tabi Mercury's Treads
    These are the two situational boots you will want to consider most. My personal preference, pretty much regardless of enemy team composition, is Mercury's Treads. Why? Because stuns are another hard counter to Yi. If there is a single stun on the enemy team, it will help a lot to be able to reduce its duration. Mercury's Treads also provide magic resistance, which can be helpful against some of those pesky casters. Ninja Tabi can definitely work too, but use your judgment. Dodge is nice, but you've already got some. Reduced crowd control effects are probably going to help more.

  • Conclusion and Final Stats

    [builder=Master Yi/0c9fcfd3aebb1dde69253f3709b9d635]

    Theoretical Outcome Over 5 Seconds:

    Attacks: 11.32
    Total Life Stolen: 3182.326
    Total Criticals: 5.886
    Total Bonus Critical Damage: 1824.66
    Total DPS: 1414.367
    Total Damage Inclusive: 7071.836


    As Yi you rely on taking down your enemies before they can react or do any damage to you. I like to joke with my friend that I can take down any enemy champion in about 4 seconds. We see here that this is more or less true, considering most champions will not have much more HP than about four or five thousand. Squishier champions go down in no time at all while tanks might take around 6 seconds to defeat. Good hunting!

  • AP Yi

    Alright, so let me tell you right off the bat what I think of AP Yi: it's stupid. Now, I'm not saying it's not doable, in fact, I just came from a game where I went 21/11/12 as AP Yi (a game I played specifically so I could discuss AP Yi here... by the way, my first and ONLY AP Yi game so far). What I AM saying, though, is that Yi has way more potential as a DPS champion. In that game, despite going 21/11/12, my team lost. I KNOW I would have done at least one and a half times better as DPS, and the game would probably have been an easy win. I would beg you not to play AP Yi unless it's absolutely necessary, and I can't think of a situation where it would be (maybe if your entire team is clearly going damage and you're worried about the enemy tanks stacking armor). If you want to play AP that badly, I might suggest you pick a different champion... AP Yi can be amazing, but not as amazing as DPS Yi, and perhaps not as amazing as a conventional AP carry (though, admittedly that last game I did better with AP Yi than I probably would have with any of my normal AP carries). I do have some belief that a Hybrid Yi might do better than a straight up AP Yi, but still I would say DPS is the way to go.

    Pros
    --Big burst damage. The Shen in that game was complaining at the end that my Alpha Strikes were doing 1700+ damage. Yes, that is impressive, but in reality my Alpha Strike was only doing about 800-900 damage. The rest of that was coming from Lich Bane in the auto-attack immediately after Alpha.
    --Big burst damage comes from Alpha Strike which means big burst damage is applied to FOUR targets.
    --**Some argue that AP Yi has increased survivability, but that is completely dependent on how you build him. I built straight up AP carry, no health or defense items, still really easy to die. On the other hand, AP really gives a big boost to Meditate, which can potentially increase your survivability. Very easy to heal often as AP Yi, and you will easily heal your entire health bar every time you use Meditate. As far as using Meditate as a tank spell goes, it's a great idea and I do it with DPS Yi as well, but there's always a point where you're just taking too much damage and you're going to die anyway.**
    --Awesome AP ratios. 100% of your AP becomes bonus damage for Alpha Strike, and probably about 175% of your AP becomes bonus healing power for Meditate (not sure the exact AP ratio, but it is above one and approaches two).
    --Pretty useful in team fights, though not necessarily more so than DPS Yi. The difference here is that AP Yi will deal a bunch of damage to the entire enemy team which can help significantly shift the odds. DPS Yi, on the other hand, will take targets down one at a time, though EXTREMELY quickly if you've done it right.
    --Burst damage gives you the element of surprise. It was hilarious destroying the half health Miss Fortune in one Alpha Strike + auto-attack. Basically any champion in that game below a third of their health was dead.

    Cons
    --Nowhere near as much damage potential as DPS Yi. Why? Because your damage as AP Yi is dependent on either Alpha Strike or Lich Bane. Lich Bane has a two second cooldown on its effect, which means at the fastest you can only deal burst every two seconds. Your auto-attacks in between really don't make much of a difference. With DPS Yi, you deal about the same amount of damage as the burst from AP Alpha Strike in two hits and more than the burst damage from a Lich Bane effect in one hit. And guess what? As DPS Yi you WILL be striking 2.5 times a second. That's five attacks in the time it takes for your Lich Bane effect to come off cooldown.
    --Only two spells actually benefit from AP. To be fair, only two spells really benefit DPS, but as DPS I really use Alpha Strike more to engage or to chase.
    --Relatively slow cooldowns. This can be solved with a bunch of cooldown reduction, but remember that cooldown reduction caps at 40% (heard that somewhere, have not actually verified it). But as long as your Alpha and your Lich Bane effect are on cooldown, you're pretty much useless.
    --WAY worse in any one vs. one fight. Hard to win, because of your slow bursts and because you have no lifesteal... and I didn't experiment with spell vamp, but I imagine that since Alpha Strike is again the only ability that will actually activate the spell vamp, it's not so useful.

    Masteries
    Go 21/0/9. I grabbed all the offensive AP stuff and then as much of the mana regeneration and maximum mana capacity as I could in utility.

    Runes
    Now, I'm by no means an expert in AP Yi after playing him ONCE, but here are the runes I might suggest:
    Magic Pen Marks
    Dodge Seals
    Cooldown Reduction Glyphs
    Ability Power Quintessences?

    Summoner Spells
    I went my usual Exhaust + Cleanse, though you can, as usual, switch Cleanse out for something else like Teleport or Ignite. I'd still keep Exhaust, honestly, it's not really a good idea to buy Rylai's Scepter to slow down enemies when you've only got one ability that will apply its effect. You might even try Ghost with AP Yi. I laugh at DPS Yi's that take Ghost, but with an AP build I found myself being much more cautious about the use of my ultimate, trying to activate it in such a way that I could activate Lich Bane's effect. As a result, my ultimate was not activated to chase as often, and after a kill my ultimate had worn-off more often, so I could not take advantage of the instant reset in cooldowns. Ghost could be an easy solution to allowing you to continue the chase (remember, you only need to get close enough to hit them with Alpha Strike... as an AP Yi, that's usually enough if they've decided they need to run away).

    Abilities
    Highlander>Alpha Strike>Wuju Style>Meditate
    I'm still really not a big fan of Meditate. If you're playing DPS Yi, please, don't get it. Just learn to be good enough that you don't need a heal like that... and get some god damned lifesteal. As AP Yi, I can see how it might be justified to focus Meditate before Wuju Style, or at least get a few points in each fairly early. You definitely want to make sure you have at least one level of Wuju Style, though, because activating it during a fight is useful for the Lich Bane effect. If you don't have it, your only burst will be your Alpha Strike, which has such a slow cooldown that it won't be all that practical for winning fights.

    Items
    [item=Meki Pendant] 2x Health Potion
    Fiendish Codex
    Sheen
    Sorcerer's Shoes
    Lich Bane
    Void Staff
    [item=Zhonya's Ring]
    Nashor's Tooth
    Deathfire Grasp

    Really, there are a million ways you could do this. Lots of options for an AP build, but I would tell you the absolute necessities are Lich Bane for the burst, [item_text=Zhonya's Ring] for the ridiculous AP bonuses, and anything with some pretty serious cooldown reduction. I choose Nashor's Tooth because it has amazing cooldown reduction, one of its ingredients is Fiendish Codex which is a great starter item for cooldown reduction and mana regeneration, and has attack speed boosts, which I still can't get away from because I just love DPS Yi :P. Sorry.

  • Old Builds

    My old main build, before I was using critical chance runes. Perhaps useful if you can't get yourself a set of critical chance runes, though I still think my current build is just generally better.

    [item=Meki Pendant] 2x Health Potion
    Chalice of Harmony Berserker's Greaves
    Vampiric Scepter Zeal
    B. F. Sword
    Infinity Edge
    Phantom Dancer (Sell Chalice of Harmony)
    Last Whisper
    [item=Stark's Fervor]
    The Bloodthirster

  • Credits and Contact

    This guide is brought to you by Daniechiu/WaveWalker/FinalDoom. Credit for Cleanse under the Summoner Spells section goes to my friend ShinyShu/Kamine/Danieshu. While I'm not inclined to give out my personal information, feel free to add any of my accounts to your buddy list and ask me questions. Please remember to comment and rate!

  • Update History

    7/14/2010 - First Draft Complete
    8/22/2010 - Edit to item build to buy vampiric scepter before zeal for better and earlier buff farming
    8/25/2010 - Edit to item build to buy Bloodthirster definitively as last item to reflect maximum attack speed of 2.5
    8/25/2010 - Changed damage predictions to reflect changes in item build
    8/25/2010 - Added elixirs to item build for extremely long games
    8/26/2010 - Changed mastery build from 22/0/8 to 21/0/9 for 15% longer neutral buffs
    8/28/2010 - Changed recommended runes from critical damage to critical chance. Note: will not be further updating guide until I have a full set of Malice runes and do additional testing with them
    9/1/2010 - Not done switching out my runes quite yet, but have tried out some interesting things that I would really like to feature here, so added the "Beta" Builds section
    9/1/2010 - Minor organizational tweaks
    10/3/2010 - Full critical chance rune set is complete, in the process of making some fairly significant changes to this guide over the next week or so (if time allows). A glimpse of what I feel needs to be changed: runes, item build, summoner spells.
    10/3/2010 - Formally changed item build and summoner spells. Runes have already been changed to discuss critical chance. Took out "Beta" Builds section and added Old Builds section where I am now housing my old main build for those who still want to find it. Removed differing ability builds in favor of two points in Alpha Strike and then Highlander>Wuju Style>Alpha Strike>Meditate in nearly all situations. Added a new "Situational Items" subsection to my item build.
    10/24/2010 - Played my first AP Yi game, got a feel for how it works, and posted a tentative AP Yi build. Since this is to be a "comprehensive" guide, I will experiment more with AP builds in the future (as well as jungle builds).
    11/11/2010 - Edited item build explanation to reflect the fact that buying elixirs with a full inventory automatically consumes the elixir (rather than selling an item and buying elixirs one at a time). Thanks to Dudboy for telling me about that.



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