[Guide] AP Yi, possibly the most underrated in game?
AD Yi says "Afk 30 mins, see you guys at level 18"
AP Yi says "Solo Top pls" then proceeds to dominate his lane 1v2 with a kill or two and carries his team midgame (at least)
Welcome to my AP Yi guide. So many times you say you are going AP Yi, people call you a noob or Queue Dodge. Ingame, when people see me buy meki pendant into chalice, they say "Noob, get damage items". My response is the same everytime "be patient and watch me 20/0/2".
People liken AP Yi to a bad Katrina with better heal, but worse damage, or just simply a bad caster. Why not play a "real" mage? The answer? Because Level 5 Alpha strike on AP Yi is the single handedly most OP skill in the entire game. You heard it. I stand by it.
Lets get to it shall we? First,
Master Yi The Wuju Bladesman's Abilities Patch v220.127.116.11
Double Strike (Innate): Master Yi strikes twice every 7th attack.
Alpha Strike (Active): Master Yi leaps across the battlefield striking up to 4 enemies, dealing magic damage to each enemy with a chance to deal 400 bonus magic damage to minions.
Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana.
Magic Damage: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+1 per ability power)
Bonus Damage Chance: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 %
Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds.
Meditate (Active): Master Yi channels, restoring health over 5 seconds. While channeling, Master Yi gains armor and magic resistance.
Cooldown: 35 seconds
Cost: 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana.
Health Restored: 140 / 280 / 420 / 560 / 700 (+1.65 per ability power)
Armor/Magic Resistance: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300
Wuju Style (Passive): Increases physical damage.
(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.
Cost: 40 Mana.
Cooldown: 25 seconds.
Physical damage: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35
Highlander (Active): Increases Master Yi's movement and attack speed for a few seconds, as well as making him immune to any slow effects. Additionally, killing a champion refreshes all of Master Yi's Abilities. (This is OVERPOWERED in teamfights with Q-spam - making pentakills possible) Assist refreshes all abilities by half.
Cooldown: 75 seconds
Cost: 120 mana
Reds: Flat Magic Pen (although AP runes could be good too... slightly worse Q's early game, but stronger W's).
Yellows: Flat Mana Regen/AP (get enough mana regen then no more. You are getting chalice first, so you only need enough that you can harass from levels 1-3, then go infinite with chalice. But remember, Chalice has to multiply something...)
Blues: Flat CDR
9/0/21 always and forever (CDR, experience, mana, AP... perfect perfect).
Level 1: Q
Level 2: W
Level 3: Q or W (depending on how it's going)
Level 4: Q or W (whatever you didn't take on 3)
Level 5: Q
Level 6: R
At that point, max R > Q > W > E.
I usually go Flash/Cleanse (explained later), but I can see any of these as viable:
Cleanse (since this gives you two almost 100% escapes with cleanse/R and Blink over trees as the two)
Teleport (always good for solo laner and good farmer/ganker)
Exhaust (if nobody has it yet and you want to go for First Blood)
Ghost (not really needed, but it's not aweful)
Ignite (A mastery point in ignite gives a little extra AP, and this is always a solid choice on just about anyone that is going ganking at 9-11)
Clarity (if you wanted to skip chalice?)
Meki Pendant and 2 pots (I go 1 health, 1 mana)
First bluepill: Get chalice and boots if possible. Always go back early, since the chalice is really what lets you completely wtf dominate your lane like literally no other hero in this game)
Sheen (can reverse the mejai's sheen depending on if you think you can snowball immediately or not)
At this point you are probably Q'ing their team for 1/3 their life, and following it up with a 500 dmg lichbane swing. Then R'ing and hitting for another 500 dmg lichbane. Then someone likely died and you are Alpha'ing again for 1/3rd their life plus another 500 dmg lichbane proc.
The only person I have seen do the kind of DPS that AP Yi does is Eve, and I think AP Yi is higher to be honest.
You can follow this up with:
Abyssal Scepter (if you need the MR, and the Magic Pen), or
Hourglass (Q in, lichbane proc, R, lichbane proc, Pop Hourglass, then Q again. Sick), or
Rylai's (if you want the snare on their team - however, I usually just grab red-buff)
Deathfire Grasp (it's always funny to DFG/Q with lichbane proc and kill someone in under 1 second midgame). That being said, I don't find it neccessary, and would rather just jack my AP up higher with something like hourglass.
Ask for a solo lane - either mid or top solo is ideal. There are two reasons why you should be solo over just about anyone else...
1) Nobody can dominate his lane like AP yi. .
2) Anyone else in your lane will literally get NO last hits. So anyone in your lane will likely be starved for gold. This is a good thing to say to someone that wants to lane with you. "Okay you can lane with me, but you won't get any gold, because my alpha last-hits 80% of the minion wave instantly. Their response "oh okay, you solo then".
Note: if you are mid, you should be Q'ing your wraiths anytime your lane gets pushed to their tower. More on this later.
Get a point in Q, and support your jungler if applicable. When minions spawn, head to lane.
When in lane, use Q to harass the enemy out of exp range. Slowly move back to their ranged line if possible, hitting Q on them and bouncing to their champion (q can bounce almost 2000 yards, while leaving you at the point you started). This is completely risk-free harass.
Nobody can stay in lane against AP Yi. Q harass is just ridiculously overpowered at the moment. Each Q takes about 1/5th of their life at level 1, and upwards of 1/4 to 1/3 at level 3. Then consider that it effectively has 2000 range, and you are at zero risk while doing it, and you have the strongest laner in the game.
Pro-Tip: A good way to harass is to Q into them (so you are standing on top of them) then hit them (hopefully with the double-swing). This puts their minions on you. Now, kite the minion back a bit towards your side. There, now you have a minion that you can Q on, and likely their minion wave is now a spread-out verical line. This is perfect, and here's why. Your Q will now bounce all down their minion line, and potentially hit their hero who is upwards of 2000 range away. When your Q finishes, you are back to the safety of your minions. This is perfect pro risk-free, super range harassing. /end protip.
If you get damaged (especially if you make good use of the above protip), use W to heal back up. Always watch for ganks. I've pushed 1v2 lanes back to their tower before, so be careful of 1v3 ganks. Your goal in this phase is to make them bluepill or take them to half life for....
Go get yourself first blood. Q on them so you are standing on them, then pop R and get a kill.
Baiting:A good thing with Yi is to try to bait the other heroes. There are a few baits that work well:
Protip Bait #1: If you are ever low, run into the bush and W immediately. They'll come in thinking you are blue-pilling, and when they stick their face in the bush, they'll see a full-life Yi who just R'd on them.
Protip bait#2: If you are low, head just under your tower, but out a bit... far enough away that they think they can tower dive you. Now blue-pill. They will come for you like a fat kid chasing a twinkie. As soon as they get to you, hit W, pop your armor up to 300ish, tank them, your tower will get some hits in. Then pop R, chase them, and season with a spicy Q to the face.
Protip bait#3:If they are playing aggressively while semi-low HP (say half-hp or so), if you've had them zoned out all game, retreat back a bit and start a blue-pill. Then when they come a little closer and think they can get some exp (they likely won't try to kill you, they'll just try to gain exp again), you Flash towards them, Q on their face, and Bam, you just covered about 1500 range and are right up in their grill. Pop R and chase. Free kill.
As soon as you hit 6, don't just go attack them for first blood. Use one of the above baits for higher success rate.
Level 7-11, or whenever laning phase ends:
Keep laning if teamfights haven't started yet, and if they have, go support. You are probably your strongest now that you are ever going to be.
If you have the gold and level advantage, I strongly suggest picking up an early Mejai's at this point, as stacking it is VERY easy and VERY deadly.
Typically, because you are so strong in lane, you are likely level 9 when they are level 6-7, and your Q (espeically if you have any stacks of mejai) are literally half their HP bar.
This phase is all about caution. Both teams aren't advancing past their rivers, and are just jungling, and playing cat/mouse. Stick with your team. Anytime you can (if it's relatively safe), pop into their wraiths hit Q and run. Q auto-clears that camp in a microsecond. Do this everytime you can. Think of it as a super powered 4-target smite with better gold return.
Your goal in teamfights is to be right behind the tank. As soon as he initiates, you Q in, get a sheen hit, pop R, get a sheen hit, focus their carry, then probably blink out, or tank/heal with W. You'd be surprised, but at this stage, you can almost tank 4-5 people while staying at even-life (as long as you have played well to this point). So many first teamfights end in aces because of this. Just be careful for stuns, as it can interrupt your W. If they have stunners, just blink out, then heal, then Q back in and take another 1/3rd of their entire team's life.
Don't forget.... every time a hero dies, you should be Q'ing. Infact, in teamfights, your little pinky should be chain-hammering the Q key. You want to Q the very second something dies, so spam that button until you wear it down to a nub. I also suggest using smart-casting keybindings for this reason.
By this point, you are either dominating the game or it's back and forth. Feel free to use lichbane to help you tower snipe. You are just as good at this as AD Yi. Remember to pop W for the armor boost. Get in and out fast - they are coming. If they do come, you can always cleanse/flash/R away, as well as Q'ing to something nearby for a little blink.
Pro-tip bait #4 - Lategame Bait: In the lategame, you can bait them by setting up a ward in upper bush (or asking a nearby teamate with wriggles to do it for you). Now run to lower lane tower, and try to snipe it. You just got the attention of their entire team, so get ready, they are coming... as soon as you are low (or only have about 15 seconds until they are on you), head to the closest bush and teleport to the upper ward, W-up to full (and stacking armor), then snipe their upper tower, while their whole team is down at bottom lane trying stop your lower distration-snipe.
I've sniped so many towers like this, I can't count.
I would be remiss to write a guide without listing his weaknesses.
If the enemy team stacked MR very early (like by level 9), then your effectiveness will drop. Of course, this severely gimps them, but still.
You will likely get focussed the entire game simply due to your massive threat, because you dominated so early and so fiercely. Sometimes your job is to Q in, blink out, heal up, because you are instantly focussed. That being said, being able to full-bar heal is so strong. This is largely why I recommend Flash and Cleanse, so that you can get out everytime.
I actually think of Yi and a giant Banshee's veil in this regard. He Q's in, takes just about every single spell they have, cleanse/flash out, and heals it back up and Q's back in. If they don't focus you, because they fear your W tanking, then feel free to have a hay-day with Q spamming due to R refreshing it.
So why go AP Yi over AD Yi?
Think of AP Yi as Eve without the stealth, with an AOE Ravage, that has 2000 range, a full-bar heal, and who, instead of royally sucking from level 1-5, is arguably the single strongest hero in the game from 1-5. Considering most good players get oracles, the only good side of Eve just went away.
Yi snowballs amazing given his insane early game power (possibly better than anyone else). 4-5 stacks on a Mejai's by level 11 is scariest on AP Yi than anyone. He has a 1:1 ratio AOE huge range spell, plus a full-bar heal, and one of the best chase mechanisms in the game. You just aren't getting away from him, and you start every fight at 1/2 hp.
AD Yi avoids teamfights so he can farm into a useful player at level 18, leaving your entire team 4v5 for the duration of his farm. AP Yi dominates early, and can end the game effectively at level 11, plus still has the abilitly to carry lategame in the same way an AP Eve can.
AP Yi can harass tower defensing opposition very very effectively. Just Q on a creep just at or outside their tower range, and you'll pop in and snipe out little 1/3rd chunks of their life. I liken this to what a Lux or Niladee does. Chip Chip Chip, then bam team iniates with them softened up and you dominate the teamfight under their tower.
I think the only reason AP Yi isn't getting any attention is because for some reason people just dismiss him without any knowledge/experience. They are very ignorant. This is great for me though, because if you ask me, AP Yi is the single most overpowered thing in this game right now.
No other hero can dominate a lane to the extent that he can, snowball as early as he can, PLUS have the ability to carry lategame, tower snipe with the best of them, all with such a low risk, high range, high damage (1:1 ratio aoe) overpowered skill as alpha strike.
AP yi suffers from the same syndrome as AP shaco, people saw one do really well, everyone gives it a go, instead of acknowledging the very high skill ceiling they blame the build, everyone else sees them feed and follows.
i play him quite often, extremely fun and effective build, personally i rush 3 dorians rings over the chalice, but i pick it up if im feeing confident. AD yi is useless till late game, AP yi is only useless for about 4-5 levels, then his damage ramps up. people also assume just cause hes AP build means his damage must be all magical, when in fact most of his damage is till physical but a huge chunk is magical making him hard to counter build against.
great character, great build, great playstyle. i liked your guide.
I think you are overstating AP yi by..... alot. No one can dominate like an AP Yi early game can, or snowball as well? I don't care how good a player is with AP Yi he's not going to be as good as an anivia or annie or most other casters. His aoe damage is nothing compared to other caster aoe damage and stopping in a fight to try and heal yourself will very very rarely work any cc will interrupt and ignite will hurt if they haven't already mopped the floor with you before you had the chance to try. If you want that play Mundo. He just can't take advantage of AP enough for it to be that good.
By dominating his game early, I'm talking about levels 1-7. Teamfights and W tanking haven't happened yet. W tanking also isn't a way of life, but it's a tool you can use. You'd be surprised how relevant it actually is. But don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating a playstyle initiating teamfights with Q in, and W tanking. That's a sure way to get yourself killed. Let the tank play the tank role, and you play the DPS role. My point was only that many many teamfights start with 1-2 people getting blown up, then you W'ing back to full and it's essentially 3 full-hp champs against a 2 full and a wounded one.
Yi's main strength is his chipping away with Q prior to teamfight engagement though. It's risk free, and hurts like heck.
As for early laning...
Q-harass starts at level 1, and it is deadly by level 3, not level 5. It's deadly at 3. Chalice allows you to spam Q every cooldown. You can force bluepills by level 3, and zone them out by level 4 when they get back. Only fiddlesticks against a non-stunner can harass as well in my opinion. Anivia is great around level 5-7, but not straight from level 1. Not like Yi.
I stand by my statement, but I do appreciate the fact that others may disagree.
Just a note though, even if he's considered in the same class as the strongest laners, the point is still valid. Whether you think he's the best or not doesn't really matter, but what does is the fact that he is VERY VERY strong, VERY VERY early.
There are heroes with much better Q harrass abilities that do more damage and don't put them in danger.
You really don't need to argue past the fact that he will never be that useful of a caster without CC and only 1 offensive use for AP.
That is very short sighted. The difference is that his Q is INSANELY powerful, especially in the most game-defining stage - the midgame.
The fact that you can Q in and hit people who are 2000 range away for 1/3rd their life, and instantly return back to your starting position is just important beyond words. You can't make generalization statements such as that without fully understanding this.
No other hero in the game can chip-chip-chip so devastatingly and so safely, then still be able to pop their steroids and DPS with the best of them.
Also most other casters don't have the ability to pop an offensive steroid like R, and do the damage that lichbane procs do while steroided.
Generalization statements are bad.
Biggest disadvantage: CC heavy time.
Try AP yi vs a team with morgana, sion, Amumu, ashe, Malphite and you are screwed... The more people able to Stun/Snare/Silence you, the weaker is AP Yi.
AP Yi is EXTREMELY strong with a TEAM SUPPORTING IT, and when oponents have LOW CC.
Think about it... Anivia R has a 0.2 AP ratio per second... assume 3 seconds = 0.6 AP ratio. If you start looking for different casters you will notice 1.0 AP ratios are either Ultimates, small AoE or hard to land skillshots. Yi has a 4 target AoE, 1 AP ratio nuke on a 6-8 second cooldown that basically resets if someone dies or if he kills someone. That's awesome.
On a side note 40% CDR = 6 sec Alpha Strike. Assist on Highlander = 5 second cooldown reduction. If you get an assist or a kill you are free to spam Alpha Strike again if you have high lander on.
The nuke is weak with no CC. Annie or Anivia or any other caster will zone you out and WTF pwn you if you try to get close enough to use alpha strike. If you need any further proof play a practice game against me. I'm by no means a pro but I can certainly help you understand how AP yi is not going to work out against anyone with half a brain.
In a 1v2 lane, if you don't get your ass rickrolled, then your opponents are completely terrible.
The only time I've seen Yi do more than a fraction of the punishment damage he'll receive after Alpha Striking is when he's being babysat by a serious laner, and when the opponents are simply not paying attention.
Personally, every time Yi Alpha Strikes during a lane phase, I look to see how I can rip off 350+ HP because he just CC'd himself for 1.5-2 seconds. Yi is just a terrible laner, able to turtle against non-aggressive opponents -- and that's it.
The best AP Yi's I've seen have been good enough such that they're not a drain on the team -- mostly a distraction while they meditate, which fails epicly when the enemy has any CC.
You're also failing horribly to account for damage per second. I don't know why you think a 300 dmg ap ability that can hit 4 targets on a 6 second cooldown that CC yourself for a while and leaves you open to counter attacks is that good. You have to wait 6 more seconds before you can take advantage of your AP to do damage again. Other nukers will just destroy you and your damage output.
The games you win as AP yi is more due to your teamates or opposing team being bad than anything to do with AP Yi.
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