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Master Yi/Strategy

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< Master Yi

Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia

Skill usage

  • In order to unlock full potential, perfect timing/reflexes and having knowlegde of your enemies abilites/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.  Master Yi is simple to learn, hard to master, and easy to counter by CC and itemization but extremely rewarding, with the potential to carry games once you master him.
  •  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.
  • 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.
    •  Alpha Strikes can also be used to escape chasing enemies, by placing a ward in the Neutral monster camp and using  Alpha Strike on the creep.
    •  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.
  • 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 gapcloser and to dodge attacks. 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).
  • 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 is especially useful when an opponent is trying to turret dive against  Master Yi. He can stand next to the turret and use  Meditate to hold off damage from the opponent while they are repeatedly being hit by the turret.
  •  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% incomming damage at max level, making it essential for any  Master Yi player to master this trick. 
  • 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, 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 backdoorers. Activating  Highlander then attacking a turret or inhibitor can take it down very fast.
  • 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.
  •  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.

Build usage

  •  Master Yi is almost always built as a melee AD carry.
  • Due to  Double Strikeattack speed items like  Phantom Dancer and  Berserker's Greaves and items that provide bonuses on attacking or subsequent attacking like  Blade of the Ruined King are more useful on  Master Yi than on general champions. 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 while neglecting attack damage.
  • Doran's Shield, as with most champions, helps in laning because of the basic attack damage reduction, health, and health regeneration.
  • The Black Cleaver is a great first major item since it provides a little bit of several stats. With the attack speed boost of Highlander, you can easily reach and benefit from the maximum four armor reduction stacks.
  • Infinity Edge/ Lord Van Damm's Pillager is very recommended on all  Master Yi builds, even tanky ones, since  Alpha Strike can crit.
    • Used in combination with Youmuu's Ghostblade, Statikk Shiv, and Phantom Dancer (or all three together) can not only improve DPS, but it can amp up critical strike chance and enabling Yi to inflict many strong critical strikes in a row, all while having more possible movement speed to chase down targets.
      • Statikk Shiv and Phantom Dancer are often debated upon for which is best for Yi, especially since one of the both combined with Berserker's Greaves is enough attack speed for Yi to suffice. The former is often more popular to enable more burst damage in combination with Infinity Edge/ Lord Van Damm's Pillager's passive, though the latter is best for raw stats and running through minions. Though both the Shiv and Dancer have been combined in some builds.
  • 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.
  •  Highlander and the active effect of  Youmuu's Ghostblade 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 gapclose.
  • Wit's End can act as a strong source of magic damage, and synergizes well with  Double Strike Wuju Style, and  Highlander. This can allow you to counter opponents with huge amounts of armor, though armor penetration may do the same job.
  • Since  Master Yi is an effective DPS/Pusher, it is useful to build him with attack damage and attack speed runesLife steal can also be useful with increased damage and attack speed, as Yi tends to need it more than most other carries due to being a melee champion.
  •  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.
    • Quicksilver Sash 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  Thornmail, a primary counter to  Master Yi. Building it into the  Mercurial Scimitar is highly recommended due to the high Attack Damage bonus and because Yi greatly benefits from the movement speed buff on the "Cleanse" active.
    • Banshee's Veil similarly helps to fizzle initiation abilities (which are often crowd control).
    • Building  Guardian Angel 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.
  • Trinity Force is a fantastic item to rush when playing  Master Yi, with its multiple stats and passives.
    • The Rage passive enables a fine substitute or compliment for Furor, allowing him to easily chase down any 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 it offers and the attack speed synergizes with his kit as a whole, while the small amount of AP may give a bit of a push to his healing from  Meditate.
  • Sword of the Occult 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  Frozen Mallet or Bilgewater Cutlass 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. Blade of the Ruined King also works just as well.
  • Spirit of the Elder Lizard is a great item for jungling with Master Yi early game, as it enables damage overtime without needing red buff constantly, so Yi can force an easier retreat on targets to regain lane dominance for his team. However, it's possible to sell the item for others that fit his build more, if jungling no longer matters around late game especially.
  • The Bloodthirster, Ravenous Hydra, and Blade of the Ruined King are all recommended life steal items for  Master Yi's damage output combined with survivability.
    • The first one mentioned is popular for all AD-based champions alike, being somewhat easy to rush early game, and is great for snowballing on raw damage output and life steal stacking; however, on other maps, the Sanguine Blade is the only direct substitute for it.
    • Since Yi is DPS based, Sanguine Blade can rocket his damage output as he's on the offense, especially with his  Highlander activated, and/or his  Wuju Style as well.
    • Ravenous Hydra is great for having extra burst on Yi's auto attacks, as well as having a more all-around life steal mechanic with added sustain, with the AoE effects enabling Yi to deal more damage in teamfights. Unlike The Bloodthirster and Sanguine Blade, the damage stays consistent but is still high, making it great for an early game item to farm and splitpush with via crowd clearing minion waves/monster packs. However, depending on how much attack speed Yi has, it can be hard to fit the Crescent active in the middle of his auto attacks without trying to slow his attack speed down.
    • Blade of the Ruined King is more of a situation-based item, due to the fact that as of its recent nerfs, the attack damage it provides is not as effective for  Wuju Style's active, and is more of a counter against Thornmail as well as a mere gap filler for attack speed and/or life steal. However, depending on how tanky enemies are in terms of health, then this item tends to do wonders for Yi's auto attacks, though buffing up  Wuju Style is best left to higher damage items.
      • However, any of these two or all three items combined can be very powerful for Yi indeed, especially The Bloodthirster/ Sanguine Blade in combination with Ravenous Hydra can really make use of the combined damage output to power up  Wuju Style's active effect.
      • The BotRK itself however, is nowadays still powerful regardless of its nerfs due to giving a good DPS boost, which is what Yi excels in.
  • Last Whisper 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 Youmuu's Ghostblade and The Black Cleaver 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, Nashor's Tooth 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 as well as its movement speed. However, this should usually be his only AP item, and the rest should focus on damage.
    • On a related note, the other final recipe from the ingredient Stinger along with Nashor's Tooth, which is the Zephyr, tends to be expensive, but also offers the same kind of DPS potential packed with CDR, only with attack damage in the place of AP. This also works very well for those who prefer Tenacity in order to escape CC easier, with CC being one of  Master Yi's biggest weaknesses.
  • For the tanky side of things, it also possible to include a Spirit Visage, and especially combined with a tanky DPS build with a Nashor's Tooth, the CDR and mainly the healing boost passive can massively boost  Meditate's healing power, especially added with the damage reduction since the rework.


Items Runes Spells

Hunter's Machete Health Potion x5

GMarks (2) Greater Mark of Attack Speed
GSeals (1) Greater Seal of Armor
GGlyphs (4) Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
GQuintessences (1) Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration



Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
Starting Hunter's Machete item Health Potion item5 Scrying Orb item
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Wriggle's Lantern item Avarice Blade item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Infinity Edge item Trinity Force item Last Whisper item
Defensive Banshee's Veil item Guardian Angel item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item Sight Ward item
The Howling Abyss
Starting Boots of Speed item Health Potion item2 Mana Potion item Doran's Shield item Doran's Blade item
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Infinity Edge item Statikk Shiv item
Offensive Last Whisper item Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item
Defensive Mercurial Scimitar item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Crystal Scar
Starting Boots of Speed item Prospector's Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Avarice Blade item The Brutalizer item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Infinity Edge item Phantom Dancer item
Defensive Mercurial Scimitar item Guardian Angel item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Blade item
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Avarice Blade item Grez's Spectral Lantern item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Lord Van Damm's Pillager item Phantom Dancer item
Defensive Mercurial Scimitar item Maw of Malmortius item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item


  • Hard CC can single-handedly bring down Master Yi, always. 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 Thornmail 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.
  • 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.
      • As such,  Zhonya's Hourglass is a great item to counter him with if playing with any AP champion.
  • 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 use 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.
    •  Alpha Strike can also follow you over walls when timed correctly, try to get  Master Yi to use it before flashing over a wall.
  • 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 requires a lot to farm for, so during early game, it's crucial to deny him kills early to prevent him from doing major damage.
  • Master Yi's ultimate being immune to slow 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.
    • Any form of CC that slows but locks movement into a set path can also be just as powerful against Yi, such as  Charm making him run full speed uncontrollably towards  Ahri's direction.

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