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Master Yi is a farming jungler with very little gank capability before he is Level 6 and receives his Highlander ability. His sustain from Meditate and whatever life steal he has lets him stay for however long he needs. The enchantment is best suited to him as the Attack Speed synergizes with his kit and lets farming be even more beneficial. When ganking, using Highlander lets him get up close and stick to his target to put out his damage. Being a powerful dueler due to the nature of his kit, he can usually kill opponents by himself so long as they aren't going to kill him first or live long enough to be under the (relative) safety of their turrets.
Master Yi's team fighting prowess is not his strong suit. In general, he fails easier as the quantity of opponents ready to focus his squishy health reserves become more common. When going in, Yi must take advantage of enemy cooldowns, Alpha Strike's brief invulnerability, and Meditate's damage reduction to stay in the fight. His damage output is high enough to take down even tanks swiftly, so target whatever is nearest and get Alpha Strike up as often as possible. You may only be wasting time if you chase a kiting carry, so avoid leaving yourself open and your sword not swinging, because the sooner an opponent dies, the sooner you have your abilities off cooldown.
- Master Yi is a DPS-based champion that relies more on his auto attacks for damage through extra attack speed and only occasional use of his abilities which tend to be more for personal utility. Because of his ease of usage with high damage DPS, he is rather infamous due to being hard to duel against, his Alpha Strike being a powerful invincible execute to low health targets, and his Highlander providing resets on his ability cooldowns without him missing a beat as he slays his enemies.
- In order to unlock full potential, perfect timing/reflexes and having knowledge of your enemies abilities/cooldowns is highly recommended as Master Yi more than most other champions because of his low base defense, and weakness against hard CC. Master Yi is one of the most squishy melee auto-attack champions in the game, putting him in a lot of danger when he engages (it is for this reason some higher-level players build him as a bruiser). Master Yi is simple to learn, hard to master when against more powerful opponents, and easy to counter by CC and itemization, especially if played in higher levels of competitive play, many players would have better knowledge of how to counter him.
- However, in the end he is extremely rewarding, with the potential to carry games once you master him and thus, mainly tosses most complicated traits involving caster-type champions out the window in place of learning to make solid decisions and make use of proper positioning. Also, one must be wary of the fact he has no team utility such as a form of crowd control, but he must and can still do his job as an assassin regardless.
- Master Yi's Double Strike is similar to Caitlyn's Headshot. It is very useful for dealing extra damage to enemies in lane, by gathering stacks through attacking minions, then attacking the enemy on the fourth strike. Note that delaying too long will cause the buff to disappear. So compared to the rework, Yi can't time his auto-attack burst as conveniently as before, and even then the passive no longer does as much damage as in the past.
- Using Alpha Strike with Double Strike ready and activating Wuju Style as soon as Master Yi reappears can be an excellent harassment technique as it often takes most of the opponent's health in early game.
- Alpha Strike's multiple-target component has a deceptively long range. You can target minions near an enemy champion to harass them, as well as farm at a better rate compared to most champions.
- If Alpha Strike is used on a unit that dies before the ability finishes, Master Yi will end up where Alpha Strike was first cast as opposed to near the first unit cast on.
- Alpha Strike can also be used defensively. Since it includes a dash function, you can dodge skillshots. Also, Master Yi is untargetable during the teleport, so Alpha Strike can be used to dodge AoE nukes such as Nunu's Absolute Zero if timed properly.
- can also be used to escape chasing enemies, by placing a ward in the Neutral monster camp and using Alpha Strike on the creep, or by targeting nearby minions if fleeing while in a lane (be careful if the minion dies however! Yi will not end up anywhere else if he Alpha Strikes a dying target).
- Alpha Strike also causes Master Yi to lose tower aggro when he uses it, by keeping a few friendly and enemy minions around Master Yi can tower dive an enemy champion without fearing the tower's attack after the dive.
- He can also time it right when if during an even duel, to use it as an invincible execute, in case the enemy has one final attack of some sort either through auto attacks or ability burst as Yi can avoid it while killing them at the same time.
- By timing Alpha Strike properly, Master Yi can follow enemy champions over walls when they use a blink or a dash ability like Flash or Tryndamere's Spinning Slash.
- Alpha Strike is great for harassing no matter how many minions in a wave there are so that Yi can harass his foe for amazing damage from a distance. It is best for Yi to use Alpha Strike as a gap-closer and to dodge attacks. Ever since his rework, one must also keep track of how many targets are around due to the ability now only targeting the closest ones around as opposed to a near-random set out of luck (with an enemy champion being one of the targets out of high sheer luck).
- Also, spamming Alpha Strike too much can cause Yi to waste his mana, especially at higher ranks.
- If you're in a lane against ranged players, leveling up Meditate can allow you to stay in the lane longer and gain levels faster than the opponents.
- Use Meditate if you are being focused on, as the percentage damage reduction greatly reduces your damage taken.
- Meditate can help Master Yi survive deadly 1v1 skirmishes by briefly activating Meditate right before the opponent throw high burst at you. In most cases this can turn the tide of the fight as your opponent can't finish you off quickly afterwards. Meditate can reduce up to 70% incoming damage at max level, making it essential for any Master Yi player to master this trick, and to time it right and being sure they won't die while doing so, cause once Yi channels his heal, being a sitting duck can backfire on him.
- When you are being chased, hiding in a brush and channeling Meditate can give you the upper hand against the enemies. However, do not do this if they can still defeat you after the Meditate.
- When playing Master Yi, remember that Highlander reduces all your cooldowns by 70%. Try to cast Alpha Strike to secure kills or grab assists, reducing your cooldowns.
- Highlander can be used as an effective escape tool, especially with Ghost used at the same time. it is also incredibly great at chasing enemies because you cannot be slowed and gain a movement speed boost.
- Triggering Wuju Style and Highlander causes massive spikes in Master Yi's DPS, allowing for unparalleled dueling and assassinating potential. However, the former if activated too soon will reduce Yi's damage output upon the active wearing off while on cooldown due to short duration, and must be used if about to score a kill or if extra damage must be done on the get go.
- Wuju Style combined with Alpha Strike is very strong for last hitting minions.
- Master Yi is one of the best splitpushers/backdoorers. Not only can he push lane very well with enough attack speed items, activating Highlander then attacking a turret or inhibitor can take it down very fast. Though it should be noted that after the rework Wuju Style's active no longer works on towers, so he may not be able to take them down as fast as before.
- Once Master Yi gets enough major items, he is able to rush into the enemy team, swiftly assassinate key targets like the carry or mages, and then Meditate or escape. Watch for cooldowns on disables while doing this, and make sure the enemy team is unwary, otherwise a bad decision can lead to a kill for the enemy team.
- Master Yi must pick his targets wisely with proper coverage from either the environment, situation, or via ganking; he can die easily if used recklessly without careful planning, and often needs his abilities to be able to win in most one-on-one fights with raw auto-attacking. And in other words, it's crucial to know when to engage into a fight Yi can win in.
- Despite Master Yi lacking in teamfights, it's possible for him to dive into an enemy team cluster and run back out at full speed, due to his high base movement speed and with the combination of certain items and his ultimate making himself the perfect decoy/distraction and enabling his team to find a proper time to initiate.
- It's wise to be sure that not all enemies are close and packed together, but are still within reach, so that cooldown refreshes from Highlander are more effective without landing Master Yi in too much danger of getting focused on; an example would be Alpha Strike usage to attack multiple targets to close the gap (depending on which enemy you choose to focus), especially if Alpha Strike's damage is quite high during the time.
- Master Yi is almost always built as a melee AD carry focusing mainly on DPS for easy consistent damage because of his kit's nature. It is possible to build him as a heavy-hitting bruiser or burst carry, but this is less recommended as it requires more experience and knowledge to succeed with.
- The standard AD carry build revolves around a combination of attack damage, attack speed, critical strike chance, and armor penetration for maximum DPS, with survivability through life steal and minimal defensive items. Master Yi's damage directly scales in strength with all of these stats.
- His AD grows multiplicatively due to Wuju Style, making it an obvious build choice.
- Due to Wuju Style's active providing true damage, armor penetration is somewhat less of a priority for Yi, but it should not be neglected to be purchased regardless.
- Playing him as a caster-type champion in the original days of Ability Power Master Yi tends to be risky if not, completely difficult due to proper need for timely for initiation and his squishiness, but full-raw attack damage builds that revolve around maximizing Alpha Strike's damage output for high one-shot burst are possibly just as effective, though armor penetration and cooldown reduction are to be considered.
- Because Master Yi is very fragile, burst damage through critical strikes and items providing life steal helps him finish the work quickly and stay alive as long as he's doing damage.
- Due to Double Strike, attack speed items like and and items that provide bonuses on attacking or subsequent attacking like are more useful on Master Yi. Also, higher attack speed dramatically reduces the cooldown for Alpha Strike. However, for maximum DPS, and to boost Alpha Strike's damage and Wuju Style, it is strongly recommended to not focus on stacking attack speed.
- Because of the attack speed and movement speed steroid from Highlander, it is recommended to neglect these stats in the beginning of the game (other than boots) while itemizing for attack damage and life steal instead. This gives the highest increase in DPS and sustain.
- It is important to keep in mind that with Highlander's attack speed bonus it's not hard to cap out attack speed at 2.5 attacks per second, meaning you may have unused stats during Highlander.
- , as with most champions, helps in laning because of the basic attack damage reduction, health, and health regeneration, and if the player is planning to build him as a bruiser.
- is a great major item since it provides a little bit of several stats. With the attack speed boost of Highlander, and the multiple opponent application from Alpha Strike you can easily benefit from the stacking mechanism that penetrates their armor.
- / is very recommended on all Master Yi builds, even tanky ones, since Alpha Strike and Double Strike's second hit can crit.
- Used in combination with or , not only is DPS greatly improved, but so is movement capability.
- It is generally accepted that is superior to because of its better stats.
- Highlander and the active effect of can be used as a popular combo to gain huge amounts of attack speed and movement speed. This can likely catch unwary opponents off guard and allow for a very fast gap-close, as well as a huge boost of DPS for dueling and taking enemy structures.
- Used in combination with or , not only is DPS greatly improved, but so is movement capability.
- can act as a source of magic damage, and synergizes well with Double Strike and Highlander. This can allow you to improve your magic resistance without sacrificing a significant amount of damage potential.
- Master Yi is extremely vulnerable to crowd control abilities, especially blind and snare, so players can consider Cleanse as a summoner spell to counteract these effects.
- can provide good results in surviving; the active "Cleanse" effect is very useful for countering crowd control. The magic resistance also helps against return damage from , a primary counter to Master Yi. Building it into the is highly recommended due to the high Attack Damage bonus and because Yi greatly benefits from the movement speed buff on the "Cleanse" active.
- similarly helps to fizzle initiation abilities (which are often crowd control).
- Building will help you survive due to the aversion to focus someone with it, and the passive can allow you to come back to a fight just as the opponents get low on health and clean up with repeated Alpha Strikes.
- is a fantastic item when playing Master Yi, with its multiple stats and passives.
- The Rage passive enables a fine substitute or compliment for , allowing him to easily stick to most every target with auto-attacks.
- The Spellblade passive can lead to impressive early-mid game burst in conjunction with Alpha Strike and Double Strike. However, Double Strike will not make Spellblade hit twice.
- The movement speed bonus has a higher effect since Master Yi has the highest base movespeed in the game.
- The critical chance, attack damage, and attack speed synergize with his kit as a whole, while the small amount of AP slightly improves his Meditate's healing.
- The HP and mana amount is also solid for extra defense and more spell casts, and if possible can be worked into some bruiser builds.
- In the Jungle Master Yi most benefits from Stalker's Blade With the Devourer enchantment. Stalker's Blade adds some CC to his ganks, the main area he lacks, and Devourer adds a large amount of mixed damage to his kit.
- can work well with Master Yi, as after level 6 you can often choose your battles and rip through most squishies with ease, creating a powerful snowball effect in the early game when there are few hard CCs to stop you.
- Similarly to Red Buff, items such as or work well on Master Yi as he lacks any form of crowd control. Without said crowd control your movement speed from Highlander may allow you to keep up with a fleeing target, but you can't help your teammate(s) close the gap to your target. improves upon .
- , , and are recommended life steal items for Master Yi's damage output combined with survivability.
- The is a suitable option on other maps.
- Since Yi is DPS based, can rocket his damage output as he's on the offense, especially with his Highlander activated.
- is great for having extra burst on Yi's auto attacks, as well as having life steal with added sustain via health regen, with the AoE effects enabling Yi to deal more damage in teamfights and farm more effectively.
- has a strong synergy with his kit and build options, especially as a jungler, and allows him use of the active at his discretion for quick gap-closing.
- 's shield passive and powerful life steal greatly improves his sustain.
- is also a powerful choice for Master Yi, since not only does it offer mana recovery - something otherwise unavailable and maybe even in short supply - but also offers Cooldown reduction, a notable benefit for many of Yi's abilities.
- is a viable item for Master Yi in order to stand against tanky targets, but as mentioned before, armor penetration is not as vital to Yi due to his Wuju Style true damage active scaling on raw attack damage, though that combined with items like and can instead benefit his auto attacks while Wuju Style is on cooldown, and most of all, the damage of his Alpha Strike.
- For those on the AP part of it, is a very powerful item for those who prefer mixed damage DPS and extra ability power to power up Meditate. The cooldown reduction is also a massive benefit to Yi's abilities. However, this should usually be his only AP item, and the rest should focus on AA multipliers.
- tends to be expensive, but also offers DPS potential packed with CDR. This also works very well for when you need Tenacity in order to escape CC easier, with CC being one of Master Yi's biggest weaknesses.
- Berserker's Greaves should be replaced with this item when you reach full build, offering double the attack speed and about the same amount of movement speed, in addition to some more invaluable AD.
- For the tanky side of things, it is possible to include a , the CDR and mainly the healing boost passive can boost Meditate's healing power as well as life steal.
| Greater Mark of Attack Damage|
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
- Hard CC can single-handedly bring down Master Yi. However, his teammates may be able to hold you off before you are able to burst him down, which makes it important to isolate Master Yi or bait him into chasing you with Highlander, before shutting him down.
- Master Yi's strength is his biggest weakness. Since his main damage output comes from his auto-attacks, buying a is a very good choice against Master Yi. But note that Wuju Style's active is an on-hit effect that ignores Thornmail's passive and bypasses armor.
- Attack speed slows do not affect Yi while Highlander is active, so and are not as effective against him.
- If Master Yi goes all-in against you during a teamfight, becoming untargetable will cripple him:
- He will waste at least half a second idling, giving your team a chance to react.
- More importantly, he will be forced to either retreat (which may spell an unfavorable return for your team as he lives on) or attack a less favorable target while you are untargetable.
- When Yi uses Meditate, it is better to use a form of crowd control (especially silence or knockup, as these interrupt him) than attempting to deal damage.
- Using Exhaust on Master Yi will cripple his damage output, even during Highlander.
- Slow is ineffective when Master Yi uses Highlander, this also applies to attack speed reduction as well.
- Master Yi excels at split-pushing. Keep this in mind and be particularly aware of your mini-map.
- You can apply Grievous Wounds, (ex. Ignite) on Master Yi during Meditate to reduce his healing by half but it will not stop him from channeling the spell (Hard CC is required).
- Remember that Master Yi's Wuju Style only gives him the bonus when the spell is not on cooldown, making Master Yi weaker when Wuju Style is on cooldown.
- Remember that Alpha Strike places Yi at his initial target when it ends - you can "pull" him into a bad position if you are his target. Note that if the initial target dies when Yi is untargetable, he will return to the position he first cast Alpha Strike, so a smart Yi can land some interesting harassing blows; beware.
- Be very careful if you happen to be on low health with little in the way of fighting back, as Yi can quickly execute you with Alpha Strike. This can be dangerous in teamfights, especially with out-of-position teams. By reducing cooldowns thanks to kills and assists, and spamming Alpha Strike to damage while being untargetable can cause a fed Master Yi to chain kill an entire team (even without Highlander).
- It is instinctual to split when Yi uses Alpha Strike as the targets have been pre-determined at the time of casting and splitting will allow him to focus individual members of the team.
- Group focus should be able to bring Master Yi down before he can deal his full damage potential.
- As a carry, Master Yi is very item-dependent and requires a lot of farm, so during early game, it's crucial to deny him kills early to prevent him from doing major damage. If left alone however, scaling to late game can be a breeze for him as he can become one of the most dangerous champions in the game when fed.
- Master Yi's ultimate being immune to slows can backfire greatly on him; champions with fear as a source of CC can easily chase away Yi while Highlander is active, forcing him to flee at full speed due to ignoring the slow. Keep this in mind if you need to flee a pursuing Yi.