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Is Master Yi Viable in High Elo Matches?

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My asking of you is to start a discussion on everyones...well not really everyones favorite melee dps. Master Yi

I'm interested in playing him because of his ridiculous damage output. I remember the good old days when you could rape face with Yi. But the better I got.. the harder he was to use, because hes shut down really easy in team fights. So my questions to you are;

What build's do you use

What are your early game farming/laneing procedures (other then hugging towers until late)

What runes and masteries do you use?

What are you wearing?


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Senior Member


Crit damage runes, Move speed quins (all i have for master yi)

Mid solo spam alpha strike have meki for mana regen to constantly spam to farm and harass
Meki for mana regen at start, sell later get lifesteal, get phantom dancer asap, boots of swiftness, infinity edge by the time you have phantom dancer you should alrdy raping >.>

wtf are you on about what am I wearing... lolz?

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Senior Member


There's only one way to make Master Yi viable in High ELO games, and that is by using an AP build. Don't believe me? Believe it or not IT FAKKING WORKS (yes flame me I am ready for it muahahahhahaha, oh the ecstasy feeling of being flamed)

Okay nuff of my own stupidity back to topic. Master Yi does have insane damage output if he gets his desired items, and yea I would probably list him in one of the top 3 in terms of pure melee dps auto-attack damage output but as you say he gets focused hard and he got abso-nada-freaking skill to stop that. I do not know my ELO, I won't say I'm pro/high ELO/elitists/top of the top/cream of the crop player/well you get the gist of it but I am at least at a range of ELO where I can actually still play Master Yi and do quite decent with him even when I do actually use AP Master Yi (yes I use it and it works for me).

I might still do decent with Master Yi because of my ELO being quite low, I got lucky getting ****e ****ty opponents when I use Master Yi, I'm just actually an amazing player with secret latent gaming LoL skills or you can name any reason you want, I don't know why myself really. All I can say is, for now even I understand that Master Yi is not viable in high ELO when I myself am pretty sure am not part of the high ELO group.

If you want to know what I use for Master Yi then here is the list:

Item build:
1. Executioner's Calling
2. Berserker's Greaves
3. Phage
4. Last Whisper
5. IE/Madred's Bloodrazor
6. Item depending on situation
7. Turn Phage to Frozen Mallet

This is the rough gist of my item build

25 armor penetration
5.7% critical strike chance
13 Mana Regen/5@Lvl18

This is the rough gist of my runes for Yi


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Yi is a lot about mindset. You have to know when to go in, when to leave and you need at least a little survivability. Also, Yi hates team fights. (I should be more specific, he hates going in first in team fights and should usually sneak in behind to pick off a weak ranged player.)

Highlander makes you unable to be slowed, cleanse can save you more than you would think. He has a build in heal, so if you are having problems early game, you could consider putting points into that. (its 1100 hp heal at rank 5, and if you have that by level 9, you can full heal yourself every 45 seconds.)

I have all HP quints for my Yi runes, Red is ArPen, Yellow HP per Level, and Blue Magic resist. (The magic resist is because almost all harassment is through abilities, which in most cases are dealing magic damage)

I also take at least 6 points in defense for the increased armor and resist. (You can Play a full defense till you are better at surviving, then move on to an offensive mastery. I started with 0/22/8, and now I play 23/6/1)

Chalice also has resist on it, I get that after starting the game with a meki pendent, this will solve almost all your mana problems early to mid game. Once you reach late game, sell chalice if you need to depending on who you are against.

Lizard Buff is pretty important important because with highlander it means you can spend more time auto attacking and less time chasing. Getting Kills with Highlander activated is really important, since it resets all your Cooldowns. Then you can re-activate it to run away if needed.

Usually I start off with a Meki and 2 health pots, looking to build:
Berserkers Greaves, Chalice, something lifesteal (Malady or Bloodthirster. Executioner if the other team has mad heals, even still, you can usually dps to a kill through most healing without it.) and eventually a phantom dancer (Everything on it is wonderful, esp since Yi had Built in passive Damage).

After that, you really need to look at the other team and decide what you need to best counter them. I always get a Sword of the Divine if there is a Jax. If the other team has a lot of casters I get either a Banshee's Veil (for the spell block if cleanse doesn't do enough) or Force of Nature (has more MR than Banshee, and movespeed). Phantom Dancer's Dodge is a plus so you don't really need and counters for someone with High auto attack dps. Besides, you should be able to go head to head with most auto attacking dps champs (except if they are fed).

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Senior Member


Playing Master Yi is essentially all about timing, particularly in team fights which are definitely his weak point. If you go in too early, you'll get targetted, stunned, blinded etc. and basically destroyed. If you go in too late, the opposing team will likely be able to kite you and either make an escape or just outright kill you since Yi is very fragile.

Building AP only benefits your first two skills and essentially leaves over half of Master Yi completely useless, I don't really think it's worth it.

Going for a damage and attack speed build is essential and allows Yi to take down towers very quickly however in higher elo games, this is pretty much all he can do. The problem is that Alpha Strike and Meditate don't scale at all, and Yi in general takes a very long time to get big, and there are heroes that are equally or more effective end-game for far less of the early game bother.

I detailed all my problems with Yi and suggested a rework that could maybe be seen as a slight buff, but would really just make him more viable at higher elo:


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Senior Member


Timing is everything with Yi appearantly... recently I have experienced great frustration with stacked AOE spec groups... Gangplank, Fiddle, Kassadin, Blitzcrank, and a Kennen running around all stacked is only counterable with a tank/aoe heal spec group. If your in that clusterfk your dead... Yi has to pop ult to get out and loses chance to clean up... team is dead and gone in seconds and noone to finish off. Yes, frustrating

Seeing a lot of these specs and they all tele on top of the battle and pop aoe ult, slow, or you get sucked in by cranks chain.

Yi is worthless vs this stuff being so squishy... hp build can survive barely but no more uber dmg.

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Senior Member


I have not seen a Yi in atleast 30+ games. I know my ELO is not terribly high, but there are just so many better options for a phyisical dps.

He was my first hero, as my Dota experience and his enormous DPS allowed to stomp through most of my early games. Now I've switched to Shaco as my main for melee DPS for many reasons, escapes x 10 million, jack in the boxes for creeping and early buffs/dragon, and capability of backdooring. also being a complete pain in the ass with a GA. chase the clown is my favorite game as I have half or most the team chasing me while im leaping over trees, setting up boxes everywhere, and watching as they go WTF when my clone comes back off of GA

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I play Master Yi exclusively and I do alright in high ELO. I run armor pen marks, hp per lvl for yellow/blue, and hp static quins. Build for more surviability and like stated above timing is pretty key. Pushing towers is also something you'll find yourself doing a lot. As far as items I usually go berserker boots, last whisper, blood thirster, banshee, atma, and run elixirs for most of the game. Last item is situational but you can also run quicksilver sash if they're CC heavy. Ghost and Cleanse for summoner skills.

Expect to get q dodged on average 3-4 times per q.

I play extremely aggressive and bounce between lanes to gank as much as possible. If you're hugging a tower early game you'll more likely than not end up being useless the rest of the game unless you manage to pull off a few kills / farm jungle.

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QA Analyst


Yi's pretty awful at higher ELOs. No CC, no built in survivability, he's pretty much just a joke against competent teams. The only niche he can fill is "the other team has blown their entire CC load, someone needs to play cleanup" role, but this isn't the sort of thing that happens often and to be perfectly honest it's not something that any team needs often enough to merit Yi being a good choice.

Besides, Jax and Nasus, and hell, even Warwick and Mundo, are just better at the things that Yi does.

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Unless someone figures out a trick to his ulti being useful again, I doubt he ll ever be considered viable.