Master Yi Build Guide


Uploader Léopold
Updated 4 years ago
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Magic Penetration (+0.87 magic penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Armor (+1 armor)
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Magic Resist (+1.34 magic resist)
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Ability Power (+4.95 ability power)
Skill Order
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Hello, I am Léopold and many years ago I decided I wanted to make a guide for AP Master Yi with a little more depth than the ones that are already posted on this site. This was originally a fun guide for fun, but as my good friend Алех Иш of Москва 5 got a pentakill in IPL5 with it, this is now a super pro guide for pros. I like Master Yi very much in all his forms, and I am relatively proficient and consistent with him, as you can see here: [imgext=] AP Yi can push very well, tank towers and enemy attacks like they are nothing, and burst squishies down to nothing in one or two attacks. The unexpected burst damage and tanking ability makes him very good in solo queue. In high Elo, this is pretty much the only viable Master Yi build, and it is still gaining popularity, to the point that Master Yi is now being built about as much AP as AD. Don't underestimate this build. The laning phase is generally an automatic win for AP Yi, and his involvement in team fights is similar to his AD counterpart's. If timed right, he can be a devastating force. Pros [.]Extremely strong laning phase [.]High multi-target burst damage [.]Flexible build [.]Strong tanking ability while not subject to hard CC [.]Fast pushing ability [.]Extremely strong and sustained early/mid game [.]Gap closing ability Cons [.]Melee [.]Few damaging skills [.]Small mana pool [.]Poor cooldowns

[imgext=] Magic penetration is the standard for mages, and it helps Master Yi pierce through early resistances with his high damage poke. Armour seals are here instead of mana regeneration of HP/level because, as a melee champion, you will take a lot of harass from the enemy laner. Armour also helps in general in fights and jungle ganks. Magic resistance is here to deal with champions like Veigar or LeBlanc. If you know your opponent, scaling ability power is great against champions that are easily exploited by Master Yi in the laning phase, and magic resistance won't help as much against characters that don't have heavy burst. Flat ability power is the standard quintessence option, and a very good one for Master Yi, to boost his early damage with his great AP ratios.

[title][img=skills/masteryi/p.png] Passive: Double Strike[/title] [number]Master Yi strikes twice every 7th attack.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] It's not particularly useful when building AP, but, especially early game, it does add some fairly significant damage when combined with Alpha Strike. As long as you don't miss out on CS, you can save it to damage the enemy laner significantly. [title][img=skills/masteryi/q.png] Q: Alpha Strike[/title] [number]Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+100% of ability power) magic damage to each enemy with a 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60% chance to deal 400 bonus magic damage to minions. Cooldown 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds Cost 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana Range 600[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] I would argue that this is one of the best poking attacks in the game for a mid laner. It does a lot of damage, it allows you to stay at a safe distance because you can target a minion instead of the enemy, it's not a skillshot and it has a 1.0 AP ratio. Combined with Meditate for sustainability you will be the biggest bully in the playground. [title][img=skills/masteryi/w.png] W: Meditate[/title] [number]Master Yi channels, restoring 140 / 280 / 420 / 560 / 700 (+400% of ability power) health over 5 seconds. While channeling, Master Yi gains 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 armor and magic resistance. Cooldown 35 seconds Cost 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] In the early game this lets you stay in lane if you lose too much HP, although the mana costs are high so be careful. It allows you to trade hits with anyone, because you can just regenerate your HP afterwards. And thanks to its 4.0 AP ratio and huge resistance steroids, it is possible to tank the entire enemy team at once as long as you don't get CCed, so it's a good baiting tool. [title][img=skills/masteryi/e.png] E: Wuju Style[/title] [number]Passive: Increases physical damage by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35. Active: Master Yi can activate this ability to double its effectiveness for 10 seconds, but this removes the passive bonus until Wuju Style becomes available again. Cooldown 30 seconds Cost 40 mana Range 20[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Use it whenever you need extra damage, when fighting enemy champions, when taking buffs and objectives, and when pushing towers. It doesn't deal very much damage until you get Lich Bane, after which you should activate it with the intent to proc it. [title][img=skills/masteryi/r.png] R: Highlander[/title] [number]Increases Master Yi's movement speed by 40% and Attack Speed by 40 / 60 / 80%, and he becomes immune to all slowing effects for 6 / 9 / 12 seconds. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's cooldowns. (Assists reduce half of the base cooldown amount.) Cooldown 75 seconds Cost 100 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] It is essential that you know how to use this skill as AP Yi. When you build AD you might use Highlander to boost your damage output, especially when you expect to be able to kill someone quickly. You might use it to run away too and that doesn't change with the AP build, but your effectiveness in team fights will go down dramatically if Highlander is down. As it refreshes your cooldowns on kills and assists, you have to use it right before going for the Alpha Strike killing blow. Actually, even if you can't finish somebody off, it will boost your damage output as long as you can still gain an assist or two from it. Once your Alpha Strike cooldown is refreshed you can just spam it over and over again, get a pentakill and have everybody call you OP.

This is fairly straightforward. [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/r.png] > [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/q.png] > [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/w.png] > [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/e.png] Wuju Style is somewhat of a one-point wonder on AP Master Yi, because one point will grant you 15 whole AD (30 when activated) to help you last hit and damage your enemy. An Alpha Strike -> Wuju Style -> Double Strike combo is deadly. However, additional points only grand you 5 more AD, which is trivial for an AP champion. Take one point in Wuju Style at level 4 and leave it there until your last levels. Alpha Strike is your main damaging ability and you need to get it up as soon as possible, and Meditate scales amazingly well with AP and grants absurdly high resistances, but it is more than sufficient levelled second, since in lane, it is a sustain tool.

[title]Starting:[/title] [img=items/dorans-ring.png] With the boots nerf, Doran's Ring is a more cost-effective item. Mana regeneration and extra AP is very useful early on Master Yi, Meditate is enough for sustain, and 25 extra movement speed is not enough to guarantee a safe lane. Master Yi also has the highest base movement speed in the game, so the benefits of a Doran's Ring greatly outweigh those of boots. [title]Core:[/title] [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] Alpha Strike and Meditate have huge AP ratios, which makes AP stacking very effective. [img=items/lich-bane.png] Combined with the AP of Rabadon's Deathcap, it allows you to deal an absurd amount of damage and make Wuju Style useful. Be sure to keep the cooldown in mind when you try to proc it, you might benefit from using Highlander or Alpha Strike a little later than you would otherwise just for that extra burst. It also gives you some mana, on which Master Yi is highly dependent, and movement speed, which is especially effective on Master Yi, as the champion with the highest base movement speed in the game. [title]Boots:[/title] [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] You're building AP, so you'll need some extra damage. Sorcerer's Shoes provide extra damage. [img=items/mercurys-treads.png] Mandatory if you are against Veigar, Sion, etc. [title]Situational:[/title] If you need HP and/or lack CC on your team: [img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] If enemies are getting some MR and/or have too much magic damage: [img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] If enemies are getting way too much MR: [img=items/void-staff.png] If you need extra single target damage: [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] If you get focused by the enemy team: [img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] If you still get focused by the enemy team: [img=items/guardian-angel.png] [title]Typical Final Builds:[/title] Damage: [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][img=items/lich-bane.png][img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png][img=items/void-staff.png] Survivability: [img=items/mercurys-treads.png][img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][img=items/lich-bane.png][img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png][img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png][img=items/banshees-veil.png] Don't forget: [img=items/elixir-of-brilliance.png]

Early game is very important for AP Yi because your job is to be a super bully, use Alpha Strike as much as possible when you know it will hit your opponent and get him or her out of your lane as soon as possible, as much as possible. Alpha Strike is a very safe skill to use to deal a moderate amount of damage from a good distance, you should have no trouble shutting down a lot of mids if you do it right. Meditate for sustain so your opponent can't afford to trade hits. Without massive help from the enemy jungle you will be unbeatable. In order to harass properly with AP Yi, you must understand that Alpha Strike is unreliable. Here is a diagram of what the lane might look like. Y is Master Yi, E is an enemy champion, and M is an enemy minion. No allied minions are displayed, to avoid clutter. [imgext=] Assuming you want to harass the enemy laner, which is very easy to do safely with Master Yi, you have two options. If you wait until there are three or less enemy minions alive, and the enemy champion is in range, you will hit the enemy champion. Otherwise, you risk missing the enemy champion and only hitting minions. Many smart opponents will understand that Alpha Strike is strong harass, and move away from their minions after clearing a wave, so it's not wrong to take risks in these situations. The "path" Master Yi takes (meaning which enemies he hits) is random. Here are two possible paths. [highlight]Pattern A[/highlight] [imgext=] Here, Master Yi hits the enemy champion, dealing significant damage while avoiding any potential counter-attack. This is an ideal situation. However, with less luck... [highlight]Pattern B[/highlight] [imgext=] Master Yi fails to hit the enemy champion. Sometimes, especially when the enemy champion plays very safely, taking a chance is your only option. Other times, it's advantageous to be patient and secure free guaranteed damage onto them. It's by knowing when to Alpha Strike that you will dominate your lane as AP Yi.

You can farm/clear waves really fast with Alpha Strike, so once you get the first tower, help out other lanes by ganking or pushing with them. Farm, get global objectives, roam when an opportunity arises but don't sacrifice too much CS for it. You should be fairly threatening to opponents but remember that all you have past your initial burst with Alpha Strike is Meditate, and that doesn't kill people. So don't get into fights alone, just scare off enemies with an Alpha Strike poke if they try to farm with you around.

Not only can you still push very hard, especially with a procced Lich Bane on a tower, but now you can also tank a tonne of damage as long as you don't get CCed. You can help your team destroy towers by tanking them of getting enemies to focus you through Meditate while the rest of your team destroys them. You are still heavily reliant on your team in team fights but in a 1v1 situation you should be able to burst an enemy down very quickly with this combo (using Lich Bane as a placeholder for an auto attack while it is procced): ([imgsmall=items/deathfire-grasp.png])[imgsmall=skills/masteryi/q.png][imgsmall=items/lich-bane.png][imgsmall=skills/masteryi/r.png][imgsmall=items/lich-bane.png][imgsmall=skills/masteryi/e.png][imgsmall=items/lich-bane.png] and repeat [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/q.png][imgsmall=items/lich-bane.png][imgsmall=skills/masteryi/e.png][imgsmall=items/lich-bane.png] as needed. You can regenerate your HP with meditate if you get low in a 1v1 fight, no one will EVER damage you faster than Meditate can heal you late game, unless they throw hard CC on you of course, but unless they can burst you down before their CC ends you just have to wait for them to use it and THEN Meditate through the rest of their combo.

Your number one goal in team fights is to get kills while Highlander is active. If Highlander is on cooldown and you HAVE to fight, time Alpha Strike to hit as many enemies as possible without dying, and proc Lich Bane if you have it. Tank with Meditate, try to disrupt and distract as much as possible. Chances are the enemy won't know whether you have the snowball potential or not, and they will focus you no matter what. Use that to your advantage and net your team easy kills while the pressure is off of them. If Highlander is available however, stay on the side of the fight, look at the HP bars of enemies and once someone is low enough for you to kill, activate Highlander, Alpha Strike to them and kill them. Once you do that, you can use Alpha Strike again right away, leading to a snowball effect and winning your team the fight. Getting the reset is your only goal and this is what will win you games.

AP Yi may be very strong in the right situation, but he is definitely not perfect, and some matchups and team compositions will cause him a lot of trouble. His main counters, in lane, are hard CC, silences, and shields. The former two because they interrupt Meditate, and the latter because they negate most, if not all of Alpha Strike's damage in the lane. Healing reduction is also very effective, but not enough on its own. These aren't hard counters, because Master Yi's potential lies in snowballing team fights, but they certainly aren't ideal matchups. A few examples: [img=champ/sion.png] He has a stun to interrupt Meditate and a shield to nullify Alpha Strike. When against him, get him to burn his mana to shield all the time, and bait his stun before using Meditate. [img=champ/annie.png] At level 6 she has the potential to kill you before you have the time to cast Meditate. Annoying, but her low range is abusable. [img=champ/morgana.png] Forces a stagnant lane and pushes too fast to roam too much. Not a hard counter, but annoying for sure. [img=champ/galio.png] Similar to Morgana, ultra durable and can also kill you if his jungler comes and he catches you in his ultimate ability. [img=champ/janna.png] AP Janna shields Alpha Strike and has two skills to interrupt Alpha Strike. One of the most annoying champions to face, she is also hard to gank and pushes fast. [img=champ/leblanc.png] Her burst is painful and her silence interrupts your Meditate. You can negate a portion of the damage by timing it well, but she will still bully you from level 4 onwards. [img=champ/fizz.png] Early on, the healing reduction on his W reduces Meditate's tanking ability significantly. At level 6, his ultimate ability can interrupt it completely. If he catches you in a bad position you will most likely die without your own ultimate ability to run away, as he sticks to targets very easily. He can also avoid being damaged by Alpha Strike with Playful/Trickster. [img=champ/veigar.png] If you get stunned and his ult is up past a certain point, you will probably die. Abuse his early game by harassing him a LOT with Alpha Strike and your auto attacks, and avoid getting caught in Event Horizon at level 6. Alpha Strike does go through the wall, and you can always Meditate if you don't get stunned.

This is the second game of M5 vs. Curse at IPL5, where Alex Ich played Master Yi mid and got a pentakill. Pay extra attention to his positioning in team fights. [youtube][/youtube]

AP Yi is pretty good. If there is anything wrong or questionable with my guide, please let me know in the comments. I would also like to know about any question or issue that is not addressed here. Thank you. And before I go, here is the password for bomb number nine: UKQ HRB NNK.

Comments coming soon!
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