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[Guide] The Cannon Yi

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WcCannons

Member

09-21-2010

Intro: Cannon Yi- He’s supafly.

v1.0 Inital post

1.1 edits for masteries.
1.2 Edit for Tank runes, Seals were incorrectly listed as Attk speed, instead of Dodge. In addition, added a bit to team composition about tanks.
1.3 Strategy edit, notes on metatanking and build importance.

I am making this guide after recently playing games as AP Yi and frustrating the hell out of myself. AP Yi is a novelty on most teams because any kind of CC on an enemy team with their eyes open will destroy him. He’s got nothing to stand on after his Q pops off (Popping R and running away leaving your team in a 4v5 is not being a good teammate).

DPS Yi is super dangerous if fed, but most good teams will never let that happen, then all you are left with is a 2 hit quit champ that gets focused the second he gets near a fight. Straight DPS is countered too ealisy.

Check out the Pro and Con to see if Cannon Yi looks appealing.

Pros-
-Great early harass
-Survivability grows as game progresses
-Blossoms into a jack of all trades at about lvl 13
-Surprise! I just chased down all 3 of you!
-Has the ability to kill champs fleeing the fight while staying the fight (I’ll explain later**)

Cons-
-Incredibly easy to kill at lvl 1
-CC poses a problem (Pick your time to metatank)
-W/O adequate life leech 1v1 can be a problem (You should avoid all 1v1 until you have a few specific items)


Now to the good stuff!


Rune Page:
Honestly I always believe runes are up to your specific play style, you have multiple paths to use as Cannon Yi (He is a hybrid after all).

My two preferred rune setups are as follows:

AP: I use this for maximum damage early, great for harassing and letting your lane partner rack up minion kills. With your Q and enough mana you can literally stand between the enemy champs and their minions if they are foolish enough to get below ½ life early. The AP/lvl makes Yi super dangerous once he has 2 and 3 points into his Q. With this page I usually get Amplifying Tome to start with Clarity for as much heavy hitting Q as possible.
Marks-Mpen
Glyphs-AP/lvl
Seals- Ap/lvl
Quints-Flat AP

Tank/Early Game Survivor- This is purely a way to make sure you don’t get gimped early game because Yi can be burst down so easily. The attack speed will blossom late when you are hammering towers with 2.3 + attack speed. I do not use AP in this case because I think AP is only viable using flat quints to give that big boost early.
Marks- Attack Speed
Glyphs- Attack Speed
Seals- Dodge
Quints- Flat Health




Masteries:
9/0/21- You want either attack speed or Mpen from offensive, and CDR from utility. Having the CRD puts you close to the cap with just Nashor’s. Having blue buff caps you at 40%.


Summoner Abilities:
You have many options as a hybrid, this is front and center when considering your selection of summoner abilities. I use the following combo, but I will list acceptable substitutes.

Teleport/Clarity- This is my favorite combo. Teleport lets you defend your towers and backdoor. Clarity will keep your Q and W up and running.

Flash- A useful escape/chase mechanism, also good for diving a sub 100 health champ who is waiting around his tower for his lane partner to return early in laning.

Ignite- Always nice to be able to finish off a champ that just barely survived your Q.

IMPROVED Rally- I think Rally is no good, but one point into the offensive tree and you get a hybrid skill, extra damage for everyone and extra AP to make your Q hit that much harder.

*Skills I do not use*:

Exhaust- This may be a point of controversy but I think Cannon Yi has no use for exhaust, he already has an escape in his R and you should not be sticking around a champ that you need to exhaust to survive.

Clairvoyance- I don’t think you should be looking to champs in the bushes to 1v1, Cannon Yi’s Strength lies in finishing a ½ and below opponent.

Heal- You have a built in heal that is 100x as effective as the summoner spell. It’s called your W.

Revive- No one uses revive.

Smite- If you want to jungle, don’t play this champ. And Cannon Yi turns his Q into a smite with a quick cool down after a few lvls. Jungle creeps will be no problem.


Abilities:
Easy as pie. Max Q 1st, followed by W, get R at lvl 6. E is your last priority.

Items:

Start- Two paths- Meki or Amp Tome. If you are using a rune page that supplies MR/5 then avoid the Meki, go for power early with Amp Tome. I especially enjoy using Amp Tome and a Mpen/AP runepage with Clarity to keep my Q going early.

Build progression- Meki or Amp Tome into Fendish Codex. Get boots early, either right before you finish your fendish or right after. Boot timing all depends on your enemy lane champs. If they have skill shots you are having trouble getting away from get boots at your 1st opportunity (having teleport makes this easy)

Stinger next, you are starting to stack up some CDR and that is vital to this Yi. Complete Nashor’s ASAP 25% CDR is godly early game.

Complete your boots next- If you aren’t worried about CC’s get Swiftness (this helps your late game chase-kills). If CC is a problem get Merc Treads.

I would avoid both Berserker’s and Sorc’s Boots. Your combination damages does not let either of these boots become fully functional. If you aren’t hitting fast enough to kill you should have used Q to finish, if your Q didn’t kill, your Boots of Swiftness would have let you auto attack the final few bars while chasing.

Guinsoo’s- You should have picked up a few kills by now, and you are able to farm minions in almost 100g bursts using your Q. Pick up Guinsoo’s to address 2 problems you are having right now, a lack of attack speed and a deficiency in AP. Guinsoo’s becomes more and more helpful late. This item lets you end a fight (often with a Q) stronger than the Q you entered the fight with. Plus, everyone likes extra damage.

Your 1st 3 items should always be in this order- Nashor’s*, Boots (max), and Guinsoo’s.

*Nashor MUST be your 1st item. This gives your timing on skills enough cooldown for this combo, right when you buy Nashor's. [Auto attack(initiator), Q, Auto attack to 1/2 of your health, W, Auto attack until Q will kill. Your Q will have cooldown time ticking off while you meditate and will be ready for the killing blow.]

Here is where the game determines your build.

-If you are wrecking shop and have more gold than you know what to do with get a Hextech Gunblade, it gives an awesome set of perks. Lifesteal on auto attack, spell vamp on Q, AP and Damage! This will make you hit considerably harder.

-If you find yourself able to BD, then Youmuu’s is a good option, you’ll absolutely wreck towers and procing the item already throws one stack on your Guinsoo’s. Damage and Armor Pen never hurt.

-If CC is a problem, a Quicksilver sash might be a lifesaver, being able to break a snare and R out of a fight to group up with your team is invaluable.

-If the enemy is too **** tanky to hurt, by all means get a Bloodrazor. The attack speed and %damage will surprise any tank foolish to think that you are a one trick pony with your Q. I have destroyed late game Warwicks and Garens who thought they could push me around.

-If you notice that a lot of enemies are getting out with sub 200 health late in the game consider a hard hitting AP item. These are all good options- Rylai’s (slowing effect on Q and more life), Archangel’s (if you are thinking about this it’s best to have picked up a Tear early to maximize the mana gained), Zho’s (nuke and the ability to “double” metatank: pop Zho’s for CC’s then metatank all the auto attacks while your team bashes them).

-Finally I think Abyssal is decent if you are getting nuked by an AP char. This might give you enough resist to take their combo while Q’ing them, and finishing them off with auto attacks. Foolish mages, we have more than one way to kill.

*(option) Mejai’s- If you find yourself destroying them early, by all means get a Mejai’s, you’ll love floating around 15+ stacks late game. BUT if you cannot keep your stacks above 10, just sell it and get something to help you survive, don’t let your Mejai’s be dead weight.


Final Build-


Nashor’s, Boots (your pick), Guinsoo’s, (open, open, open).
Please, please, please use your best judgement in determining your final 3 items, it is always game specific so I cannot suggest a cookie cutter build for Cannon Yi.

Things to keep in mind (Counters to you):

-Snares, Supression, Popups, Stuns. THEY ARE ALL BAD. PLEASEEEE pay attention to the fight, know when to metatank, and know when to GTFO.

-Your Q, when cast on an enemy champ, will put you RIGHT NEXT TO that champ. Keep this in mind early, when it will kill you, and get you a kill. And late, when it will put your right on a fleeing champs tail to finish a kill. (Note: Q’ing early in laning can get you CC’ed and crushed very, very easily. I do not recommend targeting champs with Q early.)

Team Composition (Allies and the Other Guys): You are not the main DPS, you are not the main nuke. Don’t try to be either, and please god do not think you can initiate a 5v5 with your Q… You will get CC’ed and you will die.

You MUST have a true tank to succeed late game. I have played a few games recently with characters trying to run tank who really shouldnt be, causing them to be burst down and the rest of the team shortly follows. Basically you need a Amumu, Morde, Taric, Shen type to have a little sustainability so you can go to work.


The Phase Breakdown:


Early-


Lvl 1- You are a lobster without a shell, act like it. Pinch and get away. Pop your Q on MINONS ONLY, it will jump to champs in the process and you will be getting cheap damage on them.

Pay attention to the number of minions in range of you Q, if there are only 2 minions left and both enemy champs are standing right behind them spam your Q on the minions relentlessly, you will annoy the hell out of them. Use this early time (before lvl 6) to MANAGE your mana, always have enough for one last Q if you find a champ hanging around a tower with no health. I have got a ton of kills on champs who think 150 health is enough to be hugging a tower with when they are standing near minions.

Once again, I cannot stress this enough in tower range: Q on minons only unless you are sure Q’ing the champ is 1) Going to kill them. 2) Not going to leave them with 50 health. Because they will run deeper into the tower and drag you with them, all the sudden after your pop out of your Q, you’ll be on the back side of a tower with a champ punching you right in the face.
Before lvl 3 Meditate is NOT to be used to tank tower shots. You will not be gaining enough life to survive. Once you hit lvl 3 meditate you should have enough AP to start giving yourself massive amounts of life.

Take special care to watch how agressive you enemies are. A kite into tower range when you have less than 1/4 health and lvl 2 meditate is more than enough time to metatnk your way to 2 tower shots on the diver, and a Q (because your W gave the Q time to refresh) to finish them off.


Mid-

By all means look around the map, is blue buff available? Take it. Is dragon floating around? Kill it. Your team will thank you. Is there a lane with 2 champs who are hanging on to 230 life each at their tower? Teleport in to your allied tower, making sure they don’t see you, run around to the lower entrance to their tower, Q, get that double kill, and R out of tower range. Let the raging begin.

Often if just 1 champ has walked in to get one of your towers you can chase and kill them once you are lvl 6 using the following: Q them to start right out of teleport, this will get you right on their back as they run, then pop R, E if you have it, hit a few times. If they turn around to throw everything at you W and absorb everything [Careful of CC’s] then Q again when it is up. This will finish them much of the time assuming you could get their health low enough at that point. Timing is a big factor here.

By all means if you see an opportunity to hammer away at a tower once you have your Guinsoo’s then do it! If the enemy mid went back to buy because they just killed your mid, take that time to remove 1/2 or more of the towers HP. You’ll be surprised at how much damage you can do with R, E, and Guinsoo’s early.

If you have teleport or ghost, make sure you are being a good teammate and babysitting open lanes. Plus showing yourself to as many enemy players as possible early will give you a psychological advantage later: Them: “This Yi is AP, I’m Safe after he Q’s me.” You: “HAHA! I’m not just AP you tool! Eat my auto attacks, I’ll meditate anything you throw at me, then I’ll Q again to kill you, enjoy.”


Late-

Prepare to shine. Enemy players won’t know what to do. Do they blow all their CC’s on you while the true DPS on your team hammers them? Do they ignore you and watch you pick off anyone below ¼ health? Are they dumb enough to try and run away one by one? If they run you can literally pop Youmuu’s and your R, and you E, and have 4 stacks on Guinsoo’s after Q’ing them to be right next to them. Then you can auto attack and hammer away anything they have left.

Meditank at opportune times and you can save 3 teammates while sacrificing yourself. If you see teammates in trouble, Q in, and pop your W. This may give a smart set of teammates time enough to get back to the tower to defend. Being a hero and saving 3 teammates and a tower will win a lot of games.

BD, BD, BD. If no one is paying attention to the Yi with 230 attack damage and 2.3 attack speed… go hammer a tower and make them notice. Save your Youmuu’s or your R to escape without even seeing an enemy.

** From the Pro’s Section: Late game Canon Yi has enougn AP once Guinsoo’s is 8 stack to Q on a enemy champ with full health, only to jump to 2 other fleeing champs (timing is important) and kill BOTH. This turns a tank coming to save his fleeing teammates into a tank that has just walked into a 2 or 3 vs 1.



Summary:
Cannon Yi is valuable because of his versatility, having all those options at your disposal will give the enemy team a hell of a time figuring out what to do against you once they figure out you aren’t just AP. Don’t be afraid to chase, but be mindful of the jungle as with any champ… Chasing someone at 1/5 health does you no good if you are just running into a 3v1.
Finally, have fun, experiment, and communicate. Let your team know what you are doing, hopefully they are smart enough to use you to their advantage as well.


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WcCannons

Member

09-21-2010

Please comment, critique, improve, disprove! This is a work in progress.


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zomgz

Senior Member

09-21-2010

I like it and it sounds quite fun. I'm gonna try this soon. The only problem i see is the need for a hell of a lot of gold in order to be good ap early and good damage late game, but I have yet to see how this works for myself.


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Korath Arcolite

Senior Member

09-21-2010

I like your breakdown for playstyle. The build itself is solid but the true money here is how well you explain how to roll this champ, especially the emphasis on dragoning and ganking with tele, you take what many see as a selfish champ and turn him into a teamplaying wreckhouse


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Captain Dildac

Senior Member

09-21-2010

I've recently fell in love with AP style Yi but find that he really only works when your team is built with AP yi in mind. I love this guide it opens up more fun ideas with him and gives a quite advanced tint to an otherwise very vanilla hero.

Would you suggest any items like triforce/lichbane if so which one?


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ifrickenreck1

Junior Member

09-21-2010

i loveee the ap guides for yi, but after awhile it gets boring u start to miss the old yi that can 3 hit champs. if u are fight against another master yi he is most likely to pick dps, that master yi would rape u even at full hp and hes around 1/3 of hp cuz of lifesteal and his crits and speed. if u have ur meditate on, he still hits 200 or so damage each hit. i like this build u are using.


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WcCannons

Member

09-21-2010

Quote:
zomgz:
I like it and it sounds quite fun. I'm gonna try this soon. The only problem i see is the need for a hell of a lot of gold in order to be good ap early and good damage late game, but I have yet to see how this works for myself.


Your effectiveness early is truly determined by your timing with Q and knowlege of how long you can chase and pop a few extra hits before its time to get out. Once again, you arent a true nuke or DPS, you are an elite chaser with excellent ability to kill, meditate any enemies trying to help, then R out.

As with any champ, chasing too far is a death sentence.


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WcCannons

Member

09-21-2010

Quote:
Korath Arcolite:
I like your breakdown for playstyle. The build itself is solid but the true money here is how well you explain how to roll this champ, especially the emphasis on dragoning and ganking with tele, you take what many see as a selfish champ and turn him into a teamplaying wreckhouse


Yeah, if your team isn't on the same page as you it will be GG. I recently took the time at the begining of the game to remind my team not to flee when I'm Metatanking 3 champs. What happened later? MF poped in with a Make It Rain and Ult'ed to a triple kill.

They were all about 1/2 health, attacking me while I was Metatanking, and right before it ended I Q'ed when I saw MF in range, this took them down to a little over 1/3, MF's 2 skills too care of the rest.

This highlights how important it is to communicate. MF knew that I was actually holding them there at low life for a kill, not just trying to get a kill myself. This ended up netting me 3 assists.


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WcCannons

Member

09-21-2010

Quote:
Captain Dildac:
I've recently fell in love with AP style Yi but find that he really only works when your team is built with AP yi in mind. I love this guide it opens up more fun ideas with him and gives a quite advanced tint to an otherwise very vanilla hero.

Would you suggest any items like triforce/lichbane if so which one?


I honestly haven't tried either since the last buff. But I have been getting a Zeal after Hextech Gunblade. However the games haven't been progressing long enough to finish a Trinity. Perhaps a Trinity might be a good addition after Guinsoo's, more survivabilty, the Proc damage, and most importantly in my opinion, more run speed. Being able to dart in and out of champs range is invaluable.


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WcCannons

Member

09-22-2010

After running a few more games on this build I am 100% positive the optimal build starts with a Meki. You can lane FOREVER, basically long enough to get your boots (lvl1) and Nashors before your 1st trip back. Assuming you bought 2 mana pots and are packing clarity.
*Note, never buy health pots with this build. It just makes you look like a noob.


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