IntroductionFirst off, as some of you may have noticed, I've changed my name from TooLeegitToQuit to Fat Beezy. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a well seasoned (S1-Plat, S2-Diamond, S3-TBA) jungler with the great majority of my popularity stemming from my jungle guides. With the changes of Season 3 I felt it was time for a change as well. Those changes in mind, I'd like to set the context of this guide and those yet to come. We've seen a dynamic overhaul on the jungle and items. As a result, many people are looking to develop some new and interesting strategies in all aspects of the game. The changes have yet to take full effect because people are still testing new item combinations to determine which are most effective. Thus, this guide is just my current thoughts on the matter and are subject to change with further experimentation and feedback. That being said, I urge everyone to offer their opinions (positive or negative) so that I can provide the best possible guides for the LoL community. So without further ado, let us begin the exploration.
For the most part, Master Yi hasn't been welcomed in Solo Queue or competitive play for quite some time, and for good reason. Yet there are a series of changes that have significantly influenced Master Yi's place in today's diverse meta. Most importantly, we've seen an increase in the farmability of the jungle. Additionally, the increased difficultly of the jungle has lessened the expectation of early ganks. Moreover, typical starting lane items include a ward which makes early ganks less viable as well. Furthermore, the new items offer a variety of options that can help Master Yi find his niche in current meta. Lastly, Master Yi recently received a minor buff in a few ways. Therefore, with all these changes considered, let's take another look at what Master Yi has to offer from the jungle.
- Fast Clear Time
- High, Sustained Damage
- Snowballs Well
- AP or AD
- Buff Reliant
- Often Focused Fired
- Gold Dependent
Team CompositionPicking the right champion is one of the best ways to ensure victory. Team composition is by far the most significant factor that goes into winning--both in competitive play and in Solo Queue. Thus, it's imperative to pick champions that enhance your team's capabilities, but also work well against the enemy team's composition. While there are a variety of complex factors that go into an intelligent team comp, there are some general guidelines that one should follow. First, a strong team comp will feature both physical damage and magic damage. This is because you don't want to opposing team to stack a specific resistance and counter your entire team's damage output. Second, you want reliable means of initiation. Having a team comp that can quickly capitalize on your enemies' mistakes can turn almost any fight in your favor. Lastly, you'll want some defensive capabilities as well. This categories varies greatly, you can get this from having a strong tank, a support with powerful peeling abilities, and/or champions that have superior escape mechanisms.
With all these concepts in mind, we come to the important question: when do I pick Master Yi and what does that mean for my team comp? For starters, you don't want to pick Yi against a team comp that is laden with hard CC. This means that if at all possible avoid picking Master Yi first. You could try picking your bottom lane's champions and then swapping later if Master Yi still seems like a viable pick. Next, if you pick Master Yi as your jungle pick you take the jungle role which is normally supposed to be some sort of initiator and supportive tank, such as Skarner or Amumu. Thus, to maintain team comp integrity you should try communicating with your team that you will still need a tank--support and top can generally fulfill this role.
While we're on the topic of team composition, it's important to consider when you should play AD or AP Yi. As mentioned, it's crucial to have both physical and magical damage on your team. So, after your team has been fully picked, you should try to compensate for whichever damage source you might be lacking. Also, you could take into consideration what type of resistances the enemy team comp will have. For example, say they picked a Jax or Malphite to counter the supposedly AD Yi. Well, you could counter-counter them by switching to AP Yi. In short, Master Yi is a situational pick that requires a slight meta shift, but with some planning you can fit Master Yi into a variety of team comps.
So you've picked Master Yi, now how do we build him? Let's begin by looking at Masteries. For AD, you'll want to run 21/9/0 to maximize your role as an assassin. This is a fairly standard setup with very little wiggle room.
As for AP, you'll be running full offense as well, but you'll obviously be picking up the AP points. For the remaining 9 points you have some flexibility. I personally prefer and recommend 21/2/7 for the jungle resilience from Tough Skin, while remedying some of his mana issues with points into Utility. However, you could invest the remaining points into Defense for more general sustain or into Utility for the increased buff duration.
RunesSince this is a jungle guide, Runes will be focused on maximizing Yi's potential to clear camps.
- Marks: A blend of Attack Speed and Armor Penetration optimizes your damage output in the jungle.
- Seals: Armor is critical for sustain in the jungle, there is no better choice.
- Glyphs: MR/LVL adds to your durability in team fights, which you will need since you will be up close and personal much of the fight.
- Quintessences: I personally prefer AD. It helps a lot in the jungle and makes your ganks strong. Although, if you wanted to go more AS or Armor Pen those would be viable options as well.
- Marks: Here I use Attack Speed since it's the only reasonable option to help you in the jungle. Magic Pen would be ideal, but jungle monsters don't have any magic resist so it's entirely useless in the jungle.
- Seals: Again, armor is your best option here to mitigate damage taken in the jungle.
- Glyphs/Quintessences: The best option here is AP. It greatly helps your clear time, heal from , and damage in ganks and team fights.
Summoner SpellsAbsolutely necessary for every jungler. Significantly increases your clear time and is imperative for controlling objectives (Dragon, Baron, Buffs).
This is the strongest choice for AD Master Yi. It bolsters your ganks and remains useful throughout the entire game. You already have a gap closer with and the slow works really well with .
I prefer Ignite on AP Yi because he's tremendously more reliant on kills to reset his cooldowns so he can cast more spells. So the extra damage and healing debuff from Ignite helps this cause greatly.
I don't really recommend this cause the only time you would use it is versus heavy CC teams (in which case you shouldn't be picking Yi in the first place). However, if you're hell bent on playing Master Yi and they're laden with CC then by all means consider this spell.
Passive: Double Strike
Nothing fancy here really, just some extra damage. If you have this ready to proc when you're about to gank you can pull off some nice burst, especially when you activate .
Q: Alpha Strike
A great ability for clearing the jungle in record speed, although it does rely on chance. This ability also works great as a gap closer and even an escape tool. For AP Yi, this is your bread and butter.
Note 1: You always end up on the person you originally cast the spell on, unless that target died before the animation ended, in which case you will stay in the original location. (Also, when this happens it glitches and the spell doesn't visibly go on cooldown, but the cooldown is still there)
Note 2: The animation of this spell is slightly delayed. Be cautious about casting on foes that are running towards brushes because you might get baited hard. Also, it's hard to get this spell off on foes that are about to enter brush. So if you're chasing someone don't waste valuable time casting a spell that will just stop once they enter the brush/fog.
Trick 1: Although the cast range is only 600, the AOE radius of the multiple targets hit extends its range even farther. For example, is that champion getting away with low HP and you're just out of range? Then try hitting nearby enemies (minions) and there's a chance they'll get hit, too!
Trick 2: Use it as an escape! Simply use it on a minion that's in the direction you want to escape you'll put some nice distance between you and your opponents. Just tower dive someone and your got refreshed by ? Then use again on a nearby enemy minion to help secure your escape.
Trick 3: Okay this one is harder to pull off and requires precise timing, however, once you do the enemy will shit their pants. Here's how it goes: you're chasing an enemy and you know they're about to Flash over a wall. As soon as they get close to the wall they're going to Flash, this is when you use the delayed timing of Alpha Strike to your advantage. If you cast it just before they get to the wall then by the time they Flash over your animation will be going off and you'll catch them on the other side! Note, this might also backfire if they're Flashing into dangerous territory, such as their base or a tower, user discretion is advised.
Trick: 4: Another difficult trick to pull off. It requires immense anticipation of enemy skills and a great deal of luck. This is how it works: during the animation of your Alpha Strike you become untargetable, similar to Vladimir's pool and Shaco's ulimate. So, you can use this in many ways to avoid enemy spells. Is that Ashe or Ezreal ultimate headed straight for you? Assuming you can't juke it (for whatever reason) try casting your Alpha Strike on nearby enemies and watch it zip right through you! Now that requires a ton of lucky mostly, but you can use it in other ways that requires more active skill. For example, you can anticipate someone's stun or [skill shot] snare and potentially evade it by becoming untargetable.
As AD, this is a rarely used spell, but it has a few nifty quirks. Is that Karthus ulting and you don't want to die or take unnecessary damage? Then start channeling this for a huge buff to your resistances. Are you fleeing the battle but have an annoying DoT ticking on you? Then use this to heal through its damage! (Doesn't work so well through Ignite, but it's worth a shot). Starting to get focused in the team fight? Then cast this (when their CC is on cooldown preferably) and you'll laugh at their futile attempts to finish you off.
As for AP, this spell is miraculous. Its maximum heal has a 400% AP ratio, which is the highest AP ratio of any spell in the game! If they have exhausted their CC (and they don't apply Grievous Wounds to you) then you can pretty much heal through any amount of damage.
E: Wuju Style
A very basic ability, it simply increases your damage. Yet there are key moments when you want activate it (and when not to). First off, for AD you want to make sure you activate it right as you're about to start attacking during fights to maximize damage. Secondly, you can use it right as you charge up your to maximize your damage during the jungle and pushes. Lastly, and more importantly, don't use this too early during the jungle camps. Once the active dissipates so does the passive. This results in a loss of damage (you don't want that). Also, you don't want to cast it too late either because it won't be off cool down by the time you reach the next camp.
Trick 1: For AP Yi, once you acquire you can use this spell cast to proc Spellblade. So, you don't want to activate it right as you ult as you would with AD Yi. Rather, you want to cast your , , , wait 2 seconds, and then activate this ability to maximize your damage.
Trick 2: AD: When you reset your cooldowns from it gives you the passive from this skill again. Thus, you actually retain the active and passive damage. However, as always, don't recast this ability until the duration expires or you will lose out on damage because it will remove the passive again.
A tremendously powerful ultimate, but poor timing can negate its usefulness. If you use it too soon (mainly during Rank 1) you won't have it up to maximize your damage and you won't reset your cool downs either (which is extremely detrimental in a team fight). Also, if you know you're about to get hit with a stun then don't cast it. Every second counts with this ultimate and you don't want to be stunned in place with it activated. Once their stuns are blown then activate this to watch their entire team tremble in fear!
Trick 1: You can use this to push buildings very effectively. As AD, with this and activated you can steal buildings faster than any other champion in the game.
Trick 2: Don't forget about the slow immunity and speed boost! Use this to leave your enemies in the dust and laugh as they blow all their slows on you. Most importantly, you have to make fast car noises when you use this ultimate to maximize its effectiveness.
Trick 3: The cooldown resetting component of this ability is marvelous. It is what enables Master Yi to have more Penta kills than most other champions in the game (Katarina is his rival in this regard). Hopefully, you'll manage to land a killing blow while this is activated and you can spam all your moves again. Most importantly, you can spam to bring about disarray to the enemy team (whether it's killing everyone or simply making your self untargetable to buy you a couple precious seconds). Keep in mind to not reactivated your until they're about to expire. That way, you can maximize the duration of your spells to reach the full potential of your damage.
Start with to increase your clear time and it's useful in lvl 1 teamfights. Max first to maximize your clear time. Max second to make your ganks stronger. Also, it's important to note flexibility of when you want to put your first point into . If you're against a then I would suggest getting it at level 4. However, in most cases you can wait until 8 to put a point into it.
AP simply maximizes first because it's significantly more effective as AP. The single point in is just so your auto attacks aren't complete crap in the jungle in the unfortunate event that you don't get procs on your .
Item BuildsMaster Yi's primary role is an assassin. Thus, we want to equip him with enough damage to effectively burst down priority targets. Although, you also want to consider some defensive items as well so you don't die too easily. Please keep in mind that there are a variety of viable options; these items are just my opinion as to what's optimal. Moreover, these items aren't listed in any sort of chronological order. Thus, use some discretion to determine when you need which item. If there isn't an item here you think will go well on Yi then just leave me a comment and some reasons and I'd love to discuss it with you.
This is by far your best starting option. It allows you to clear the jungle rapidly and gives you enough sustain to farm a decent amount without having to recall and heal.
Yi lacks sustain in the jungle and this is a frugal way to fix this issue. Not to mention it will speed up your clear time as well and give you a valuable ward.
This is another great "bang for your buck." The cheap AS and MS will help your clearing and roaming tremendously.
A very strong early item. This item allows you to burst down priority targets with ease. I guarantee once you come out of the jungle with item and hit them they will shit their pants.
This item synthesizes very well with your and will make your burst even more deadly. It's quite expensive, so you may want to consider a defensive item or two before you pick this up.
I personally prefer this item because it helps you shred baron and tanks. Not to mention the active is great for dueling and chasing down your enemies.
This is your best option when it comes to armor penetration. Grab this when they are starting to pile on the armor. It's both cheaper and more effective than its counterparts: . The former takes too long to build up, and the latter is too expensive for what it offers.
The slow is extremely valuable when chasing down enemies and the additional HP ensures that you don't get burst down once you start being focused.
While you shouldn't be picking Yi versus heavy CC teams, it's almost inevitable you'll encounter some CC that can completely inhibit your damage, such as a snare, stun, or . Thus, if you find yourself being torn apart by some sort of CC then consider this item (or at least ).
A wonderful item for Yi as it provides a great boost to your resistances. Plus, the revive can be a game winning factor in the later team fights.
Once you finalize your build, pick up the first two items for that little something extra. Also, if you have enough gold you can sell your for either or .
Again, a great starting choice. However, if you do decide to build this you shouldn't upgrade it at all. Keep it through midgame and sell it once you can replace it.
A slightly riskier starting item since you don't have pots. However, unlike the it actually gives you stats that will benefit you outside of the jungle. With the AP from Runes/Masteries and this item it makes you level 1 heal for almost 400 HP. So, if you don't get caught in the jungle you should have a faster clear, with more sustain, and stronger ganks. You just have to be a little more cautious with this item.
This item significantly helps with your burst damage. Since you will have a strong heal in the jungle as AP Yi, you should be able to farm up 1600 gold in your first run to purchase .
Grab you some magic shoes to help your mobility and damage during ganks.
An obviously strong choice. If you are farming/killing exceptionally well then consider picking this up as your 3rd item. If not, I would consider some of the defensive items.
Another great option. The additional mana comes in handy since you'll be spamming your spells frequently. Also, Master Yi can utilize the passive quite well since he can easily get off auto attacks and his refreshes his cooldowns.
Consider picking this up once they start stacking a decent amount of magic resist.
This is a crucial item for AP Yi. AP Yi relies heavily on his cooldowns, and if you don't manage to kill someone at first you may find yourself helpless in the midst of a battle. However, if you have this item you can give yourself a precious 2.5 seconds to wait for your abilities to cooldown and to avoid being focus fired.
A good item to consider if their AP carry is gimping you. Also, the magic resist debuff works well if your team has 2-3 mages on your team.
Again, just a little something extra to help if you've filled your inventory.
Jungling and GankingRoute 1: Since Yi's ganks pre 6 aren't the greatest, then I suggest you to focus mainly farming the jungle and ganking only when necessary or if they're way out of position. Just do a standard Blue clear, times may vary based on procs. Start Wolves, then Blue, then Wraiths, then Golems, then Red (if you cleared rather quickly I would suggest waiting until your is almost cooldowned so you don't take unnecessary damage at Red), then Wraiths, and finish at Wolves. After that, try a gank or two, but nothing that would risk you losing your buffs.
Route 2: Blue get stolen/invade? No problem....well kind of, but you'll just have to manage. In this scenario there are a few different things you could do but it all depends on their set up really. One way to handle it is to just clear your jungle without Blue buff (it isn't as bad as you would think). But if you know their jungler won't be attempting their Blue anytime soon then you could attempt to steal theirs. If you manage to steal theirs then proceed to clear the jungle as normal and gank when appropriate.
Ganking: As always, before you attempt a gank you want to be aware of the location of their ward(s). Communicate with your teammates to figure this out and gank accordingly (which means use different ganking routes to navigate around the wards). To explain briefly: you can gank from the river, from behind (tribrush), or an in-lane gank from the brush. Once you're aware of their wards and the proper gank route you can attempt a gank.
The ideal way is to run up to them first and save your for when they Flash. With a stun from a teammate and your you should have a pretty solid gank. If they don't have a stun then it will be tougher so you could lead with your in that scenario. You probably won't get a kill but at least you've applied pressure and maybe even blown their summoners. When you get level 6 remember to wait to use your until you're just about to hit them so you don't waste its finite and precious time duration. However, if they're already low enough for you to kill them with and a hit or two then you can use your ultimate sooner to help close the gap.
Counter Jungling: Master Yi is an excellent counter jungler. So try to take advantage of this strength whenever possible. As briefly mentioned in the Route section, you can counter jungle when yours has been invaded. However, you can steal their even if they haven't invaded your jungle. Generally, it's wiser to leave their smaller camps with 1 minion left so they don't respawn and you cripple their XP/Gold. Yet when you take their buffs you want to kill it entirely and record the time so you can take it next time is respawns (5:00). I don't like to go into specific match ups because some junglers are rather unpredictable and giving you tips on how to beat them could be misleading. It requires a bit of experience and discretion, but you can generally categorize junglers: aggressive jungling, aggressive ganking, and passive jungling. Certainly, some of these categories may overlap, and the lists may not be exhaustive, but I'll try to touch a little on each category to give you a general idea on how to handle them.
For the aggressive junglers () just don't let them bully you. If they invade your jungle then go invade theirs, it's as easy as that. You can steal their camps very fast with . However, it would be advantageous if they didn't invade at all really. While you can't really control how frequently they invade, you can at least know when they're going to by placing wards at the entrances of your jungle. If one of those pesky guys comes in the call for aid from adjacent lanes and punish them for trying to counter jungle the Master.
For aggressive ganking the list may vary but generally it's people like . Since you can't do too much to counter gank as Yi I would suggest that if you see them attempt a gank then immediately run to their jungle and steal their camps. Obviously, if you're close enough then you should try to help the lane, however, if you're across the map then there's really no point in running over there. Once you steal their buffs, record the time and try to grab it again next time it spawns. If they gank top you can sneak in a Dragon steal with the help of Mid and Bot.
As for passive junglers, they're the easiest to play against. Although, in the current competitive meta you won't see them that often (). Nevertheless, try to bully them in the jungle and take their camps. Don't get too aggressive and get yourself caught though. Time their buffs and go steal them when appropriate.
Team Fights and Late GameTeam Fights: As shown throughout the guide, your role in the team fight is a an Assassin. As an Assassin, you want to kill their carries and/or squishiest targets. For starters, don't blindly run in there and get blown up. Instead, wait for the battle to get going a little bit and then try closing the gap with and then activate your . Depending on how farmed/fed you are at this point you may very well blow them up, however, if you built tankier then you can just perma slow them with your .
Once you've engaged the enemy there's a high chance they will focus you. There are a couple ways you can manage this: run away with or . I would suggest waiting to use both of these until they've blown their hard CC. If they don't focus you, then they've made a big mistake. If you manage to get one kill you should be able to clean up the rest of their team easily (that is, assuming your team didn't die) thanks to your . This process is even more amplified if you're AP Yi as the more kills your team gets the more damage you can do.
Split Pushing: As previously mentioned, if you're AD you can split push like a boss. Master Yi is the master of split pushing (lolololol I'm so funny!...). If your team can stall objectives and their team is pushing then you can take that opportunity to steal some towers/inhibitors. Use your to clear buildings in just seconds and then zip outta there with your .
Game PlayThis is the ultimate Yi guide. It's imperative you watch this to fully understand all that I've outlined in this guide.
More videos to come soon!
Final CommentsIt is assumed that Master Yi is a face roll champ, but that's only in the hands of a novice. Hopefully, I've shown you the intricacies and nuances of Master Yi so that you'll be considered a master yourself. With some diligence and precision you can seize Master Yi's potential in team fights and pull out tremendous amounts of damage. If played correctly, he's an extremely rewarding champion--both in winning and enjoyment.
Comments: If you have any criticism for my guide I genuinely embrace and welcome it. However, I cannot make necessary changes and address your concerns if you don't provide me with reasons for your disapproval. This guide wouldn't be where it is today if I didn't receive any feedback. That said, I am thankful for those of you that share your questions and discuss things in a mature, intellectual manner.
Lastly, if you have any specific questions you can leave them here in the comments or send me a message here on SoloMid. Please don't send me a friend request just to ask me questions, thank you.