Master Yi is a melee DPS champion and one of the best at that. He focuses on killing champions one by one starting with the “squishies,” usually the enemies carries next, their support mages, their AP mages, and
finally killing the tanks. This is critically important due to his ultimate Highlander, but we’ll get into that at a later time.
His skills info:
It actually never ceases to amaze me how terrible the existing guides out there really are. Some even tell you to add Wuju Style at level 1, or even to build a Tiamat… That is a major no-no and will be explained in this guide. I hope you enjoy it, and happy carrying!
The rune set I recommend is a basic melee DPS page. This includes armor penetration marks, dodge seals (They WILL save your life occasionally), and your choice of flat magic resistance, or scaling magic resistance in glyphs. I prefer to go with scaling because you will NOT buy any magic resistance during the game, and its value is much greater at level 18, which your role in team fights becomes critical late game. Alternatively, you can go attack speed glyphs, but it is just not my preference. In quintessences, you can use either more armor penetration, move speed, or flat hp. Armor penetration increases damage, move speed is an otherwise unavailable boosted stat, and flat hp increases your already high first blood potential.
I follow a 21/9/0 mastery build, but a lot of people do this WRONG, so I will go into a little more detail.
You add 3 points in deadliness, 1 point into exhaust if you so choose that summoner spell, or 1 into archmage’s savvy if you don’t. You then add 4 into alacrity, and 3 into sorcery. You then add 3 into sunder, 3 into brute force, 3 into lethality, and of course, following up with havoc. In defense, you add 3 into resistance, 1 into hardiness, 4 into evasion to help your dodge seals, and nimbleness for the extra speed for offensive uses when you chain it with the original dodges from defensive uses.
When it comes to summoner spells I tend to use either cleanse and ghost, or exhaust and ghost. Cleanse is better for late game, exhaust is more useful early game. The “better” of these is cleanse, but requires a lot of timing, but when used correctly, just think for a moment; no disables, no one to stop you. Overpowered, yes? I have occasionally used ignite instead, a situation where this should be done is when you see a Dr. Mundo pick in a ranked game, and no one on your team happens to bring an ignite. In ranked games, you should always choose the above summoner spells accordingly based on the champions your opponents use.
Your starting items should look a little like this:
|+3 hp potions|
|+1 hp potion|
- You have the option of starting with boots, which I usually don’t recommend, but it’s decent with Yi due to his already high starting move speed. If you manage to keep your enemies in lane long enough, at 6 you will most likely get a kill due to high base movespeed, the boots, and your ultimate which increases your move speed.
- The item I actually prefer is the long sword. Before you go on thinking it’s better to start with a Doran’s Blade, realize it won’t build into anything, and the lifesteal is essentially useless. In addition, your goal is simply to outplay them as you will always be a soft target all game. If your hp drops low enough to where you think you would need “lifesteal,” consider picking up a Vampiric Scepter, or adding 1 point into Meditate.
- First blood is actually very easy to do with Master Yi regardless if you start in a standard lane or be a champ and go mid. Your laning partner can literally suck and can still pull out a first blood, because Master Yi is just that offensive early game.
- In order to do this you need to put out at least some amount of harassment before you reach level 3, as this makes the gank much easier. If your team mate is a harassment based early gamer then this just makes it that much easier. An easy way to harass melee opponents is to count your enemy minions until they reach 3, and then Alpha Strike a minion and your attack will extend to your opponent as Alpha Strike always hits 4 enemies.
- The skill points you need to have added are 2 into Alpha Strike, and 1 into Wuju Style by level 3. Start with Alpha Strike, then Wuju Style, then back to Alpha Strike.
- You should be well aware that your passive, Double Strike, allows you to strike twice on every 7th attack. At level 3, preferably as soon as you hit level 3 to catch them off guard, strike minions until you have your passive at 6 strikes which you can count by looking above your skills at the bottom of the screen. If you brought exhaust, now is the time to use it. To the softest or overextended enemy, Alpha Strike right on top of them, making sure you activated your Wuju Style skill. Your attack right after your Alpha Strike will hit twice and with ridiculous damage due to Wuju Style. You then use your exhaust (or ignite if you happened to bring it) and simply slap them around with your standard attacks, which should still be boosted by Wuju Style.
- This almost always nets you first blood, and should make you very happy because now when you base you can buy more items than usual.
- It is important to note that some early game champions you should just stay away from if they can counter your combo. Just don’t even go for the above listed steps for the kill because you are likely to die instead.
Now, I’ll go into what you should buy when you first travel back to base:
|alternative to above|
|first finished item|
|if you need it|
|viable third item|
|buy these as you farm|
- Buy your boots first now, and I shouldn’t kill your budget too badly as Berserker’s Grieves are the cheapest type of secondary boot.
- You should usually leave your long sword as is, but for whatever reason you happen to have a lot of extra gold, turn it into a Brutalizer. If you can’t afford the Brutalizer, pick up an Avarice Blade. This sets you up for a very good metagame item, the Yomuu’s Ghostblade.
- Again, if you have extra gold, feel free to add to your ganking skills with a Zeal.
- Well if you had a great start, the metagame should also be quite easy for you as long as you buy the right items. Master Yi excels at all stages of the game, and even if you had a rough start, it is possible to recover.
- The first item you really want to get is the Yomuu’s Ghostblade. Did you know the active which increases move speed and attack speed also stacks with your ultimate Highlander, which also adds move speed and attack speed? It’s broken on Master Yi and should always be bought first. The active is improved for melee champions, and has a relatively low cooldown.
- If you think you need lifesteal, which you might want to buy to stay comfortable, buy a Vampiric Scepter and leave it at that. Some people think it’s best to immediately finish a Starks Fervor, and this is a no-no. Starks Fervor does add bonuses for your team, but it doesn’t have any useful stats besides the attack speed, and thus should be an item you buy later.
- I usually don’t recommend this on other champions, but you actually can finish a Phantom Dancer first for the following reasons. First of all, one of Master Yi’s greatest attributes is that he naturally just moves fast, even without his ultimate. He also attacks fast, and the Phantom Dancer boosts both of these. It also adds some critical chance which also synergizes with his skill Wuju Style, which you should have a fair amount of points in anyways.
- If you can afford it, pick up a B.F. Sword to add to your damage. You can even buy more than one. This should really be all you can afford in midgame, but if you so happen to farm like crazy, you can consider finishing that Starks Fervor (or at least the Emblem of Valor) or even buying another Zeal which should not be turned into another Phantom Dancer right away, because other items are more important, and one dancer is sufficient.
- Once you hit level 6, you should be allowed to KS (kill steal) every kill, especially in team fights, due to your ultimate, Highlander, which you can chain over and over again as long as you get a kill. Note that if you get an assist the ultimate cooldown is only halved. This is for ALL of your cooldowns, so every time you kill an enemy, spam your Alpha Strike and Wuju Style. As long as your team was made correctly, they should have no problem with this. After all, the late game is on your shoulders as you ARE the carry.
- Your late game items should be incredibly easy to farm as you have high damage, and high attack speed, so regardless if you did well or horrible, the following items should almost always be purchased also regardless of the type of team you are playing.
The items you must have by now in late game:
|stack these, 4th or 5th items|
|attack and move speed , 3rd 4th or 5th item|
|preferably 3rd or 4th item|
|you can also turn your b.f. swords into this|
|only if your team sucks|
- Your Berserker’s Grieves; obvious.
- Your Yomuu’s Ghostblade, if you don’t have this by now, I’m sorry, but you failed hard.
- Some sort of lifesteal, whether it be The Bloodthirster, or the Starks Fervor, or in some situations even both. Such a situation could be when you are facing someone who has bought a thornmail, your greatest enemy. The only way you can counter this alone is to have higher than a 30% lifesteal to counter the 30% return damage.
- At least one Phantom Dancer by now, and as I said before even a second Zeal could be built into one now. You could alternatively use it for the item Trinity Force, but I do not usually recommend this.
- B.F. Swords as you need at least 2 to build your damage items for late game.
- Your B.F. Sword should first be converted into an Infinity Edge. While Master Yi does not build for crit like other carries such as Tryndamere or Gangplank, if you happen to build 2 Phantom Dancers and an Infinity Edge, wel… that’s gg.
- Your second B.F. Sword can be converted into either a Black Cleaver or a Bloodthirster, depending on whether or not you need the extra lifesteal, but also keep in mind if you’re dying a lot, the Bloodthirster essentially becomes useless.
- If you progress to a third B.F. Sword, you can stack all 3 of the finished items the B.F. Sword turns into.
- If NEED be, if your team picks were really bad, or they are simply not doing their job, you can build a Frozen Mallet, but NEVER as a first item or a midgame item. If you need hp early, leave it as a Phage. Again, don’t do this unless your team is not disabling for you, or your team entirely lacks slows.
Well that’s all for items, I’ll now fill in your skills chart.
Level 1: Alpha Strike
Level 2: Wuju Style
Level 3: Alpha Strike
Level 4: Wuju Style (or 1 in meditate if you need it)
Level 5: Alpha Strike
Level 6: Highlander
Level 7: Alpha Strike
Level 8: Wuju Style
Level 9: Alpha Strike
Level 10: Wuju Style
Level 11: Highlander
Level 12: Wuju Style
Level 13-15: Meditate
Level 16: Highlander
Level 17-18: Meditate
Now your job is to carry your team as said before; however, there is a time when you should actually build Master Yi for AP. I’ll be creating a separate guide for that however, so stay tuned. Always build according to the team you are facing to have the greatest benefit. Such items can include Madred's Bloodrazors vs tanks, or Sword of the Occult if you are absolutely owning them. The 20 stacks movement speed buff is crazy on Yi, and the damage output is also broken. Remember, you kill the softest targets first, and work your way up. It’s honestly easy because of how fast you move. That’s all there is to it!
Oh yeah, and if someone builds Warmog’s and an Atma’s Impaler, kindly explain why they’re an idiot and refer them to this guide, but remember to uphold the Summoner’s Code. ~_O Lulz yeah…