Anytime Yi scores a kill, he's
likely to run over another nearby opponent. Sometimes the
dominoes fall into a lovely penta-kill ace, and then you are truly
While Wuju Style might sound like a bad single from the
Wu-Tang Clan, it’s nothing to scoff at in League of Legends.
Its primary practitioner, Master Yi, is among the most dangerous melee
fighters in the game. Capable of butchering mages in seconds
or even quicker as the game progresses, Yi requires a certain degree of
control and finesse. You have a great deal of movement
abilities and a blink strike that makes you untargetable for a split
second, but the moment you are stunned, you are likely out of
commission. Choosing the right time to strike is the key to
victory with this powerhouse!
Innate : Double Strike –
Everyone 7th attack will hit twice.
A little math will show this to be a
solid overall attack speed increase, but it’s much more than
that. Early on, doing an Alpha Strike on a wounded hero, then
hitting Wuju Style and landing the double strike will inflict severe
damage and possibly net you an early kill against those not expecting
that kind of burst from Yi early in the game. Keep a close
eye on your buff on the bottom and when it changes, go for a quick
double tap on a hero if you can get away with it. Note that
the double attack takes a little longer to come out than your normal
attack, so it can be annoying to miss a last hit when your special
Alpha Strike – Yi
disappears for a second, moving between 4 targets. Does
100/150/200/250/300 damage and has a 20/30/40/50/60% chance to deal 400
bonus damage to minions or neutrals.
The most important thing to understand
about Alpha Strike is your ending location. You will always
end up next to your initial target, or the one you click on.
This can be used to your advantage on chases and be used against you if
you’re not careful. It can be dangerous to Alpha Strike in a
hostile lane since it has a period of animation before any damage is
dealt and you show up that the enemies in the lane can rally to your
eventual location and prepare a world of hurt for you on
spawn. Note that you can time this right as an opponent is
about to Flash or otherwise teleport over a ledge/set of trees and you
will end up on the other side with them, much to their dismay!
This is also one of the fastest ways to
jungle in the game, but we’ll elaborate more on that later.
You can also do a silly build of going ability power and relying
strictly on Alpha Strike to eliminate entire teams in combination with
Highlander’s cooldown refreshing.
Do *not* engage with this late game in
team fights. You want to save it until you are focused, and
then use it to break their string of attacks on you or dodge a nasty
area of effect spell, buying you some breathing room to either switch
targets, get out, or have your team wreck them while you have
Meditate – Yi stops in
place and channels for 5 seconds, restoring 140/280/420/560/700 HP over
that time. While meditating, Yi gains 100/150/200/250/300
armor and magic resist.
If your lane is a harassment-filled
death trap, you’ll have to put a few early points here.
Meditate is a way to stay in the lane or in the jungle, and serves that
purpose quite well. It can be used semi-offensively as well,
by hitting it as your team approaches a tower to easily tank through
the damage as they kill the tower. Additionally, if an
opponent has blown all of their stuns and silences, you can use this to
endure all kinds of pain at level 5 of the skill. Later on,
you can channel it for a few seconds when you enter the grass during an
escape maneuver, and then possibly turn the tide when they enter
looking for you.
Wuju Style – Yi’s attack
damage is passively raised by 15/20/25/30/35. Activating this
skill doubles the damage bonus for 10 seconds, but the bonus is
completely deactivated afterwards until the skill comes off cooldown.
This is part of what makes Master Yi so
dangerous. It gives him easy last hitting the moment you get
1 point in the skill. It gives him a faster jungling
speed. It gives him dangerous physical burst when activated
with his ultimate or an attack speed item or two. It’s almost
always going to be ready for you to go nuts on a hero. A
physical carry can’t ask for much more.
Ultimate : Highlander –
Yi shrugs off all slowing effects, gains a 40% move speed boost and
40/60/80% attack speed boost for 6/9/12 seconds. If you kill
a champion while this is active, your cooldowns (including Highlander
itself) are completely refreshed. Assists will cut them in
Here comes the freight train!
This is where it’s at for dropping a target before they can even
react. Highlander is your go-to move for chasing people down,
for mopping people up, and for getting the hell out of a bad
situation. It has a short cooldown to begin with, and might
as well not have one at all in a team fight. It has a very
obvious noise to its startup and visual effect, so people will either
panic or focus you upon activation. Be careful about who
you’re engaging, and don’t overextend yourself with it at level
1. Six seconds is not a long time, and before you get some
serious levels and items, you’re probably not going to finish the job
on a runner in 6 seconds.
– A healthy amount of damage, critical strike, 20 armor penetration and
a mini-Highlander on activation. Also supplies you with
cooldown reduction for those times someone gets away from your
ultimate. Buy the Avarice Blade early to get the most out of
the extra gold it brings.
– This has two main things Yi needs on it; attack speed and a negative
armor aura. Both of these help Yi wreck a lone hero, or at
least bring down someone before he goes down himself. In the
case you do get one or two down, it also packs a solid amount of life
steal to keep you swinging a bit longer in a team battle.
Like any physical carry, you’ll need one of these at some point to keep
your damage threatening to tanks. Combined with the
Ghostblade and an eventual green elixir, you’ll be good to go on
– When facing off against a team likely to be piling heavy on Sunfire
Capes or armor, skip the Stark’s Fervor and pick this up
instead. You may want to pick this up if you’re
against a Taric as well, as Shatter gives him a high base armor
regardless of his build type and he is a high priority target.
– An expensive item that doesn’t mesh too well with Yi’s skill set
aside from his attack speed, nevertheless it remains a critical counter
to HP stacking tanks like Cho’gath and Singed. It can replace
Last Whisper if the team is neglecting Magic Resist.
– The usual reaction to a Yi is a stun or root, and this will block the
first one heading your way, ensuring that someone is going to be on the
receiving end of your blade that much faster. Also provides a
good amount of health and magic resist.
– If you plan on being a bomb that runs in, kills two or three people
and blows up afterwards, pick up one of these. You will
inevitably be focused by some kind of stun and magical damage, and this
will give you some extra endurance and damage at low life, possibly
giving your life steal a chance at extending your suicidal charge.
Flat armor penetration reds, dodge yellows and flat cooldown reduction
blues are a foolproof way to go. If you’re looking to live a
bit longer, Yi isn’t that restricted by cooldowns to begin with with
Highlander, so scaling magic resist blues can give you some extra
endurance without an item. If you plan on jungling, you will
need HP Quints in case your dodge runes fail you against the Golem at
Masteries – 21/9/0
Pick up all of the physical damage enhancing masteries in offense, with
a floater point to use as you see fit. For defense, pick up
the speed up on dodge for certain as creeps will be attacking you as
you focus down heroes in lanes.
Summoner Spells – Cleanse
and your choice.
Yi does not need a lot of help to finish the job, so Exhaust and Ignite
aren’t all that necessary. Highlander has Ghost’s movement
speed effect, so that’s somewhat redundant as well. If you’re
jungling, this will obviously be Smite, but otherwise I would recommend
Flash. Yi is wonderful at getting into a fight and hard
pressed to get out of it. Cleanse will give you the ability
to get out of taunts and stuns at crucial moments where your prey is
attempting to escape.
You’ll need Cloth Armor and 5 red potions, with the same masteries as
above. If you are level 30 and have access to all of the
runes and masteries, you can start on the Golem at level 1, otherwise
you’ll need to start elsewhere. Your first skill point will
be in Alpha Strike. Note that you always want to open up with
Alpha Strike and not in the middle of a fight with a large
monster. Since you go untargetable for a split second, the
monsters will return to their initial positions and begin
healing. This is a lot of HP on the big guys, so you cannot
have that early on!
Jungling order without
the above runes and masteries
Open up on the mini golems with Alpha Strike, immediately Smite one
that didn’t get the bonus damage, and begin cleaning up and chugging a
health potion to keep you well healed. Move to the Wraiths,
and Alpha Strike the blue one to start and take it out first.
You will need to potion again depending on your luck with the instant
kills, but move on immediately to the wolves and clean them up
quickly. Recall at this point and buy an item, likely a
rejuvenation bead, to keep you in the field longer. Now that
you’re level 2 and have a little advantage in toughness and damage, and
with Smite back up and ready, the Golem and Lizard are next, and you
can choose to assist a lane or continue farming the smaller monsters
that have respawned.
Jungling with a full
rune page and mastery set
If you’re feeling lucky, you can start on the wolves. If you
instant kill at least one of them, you’ll increase your speed this way
before the Golem spawns. Start with an Alpha Strike on the
Golem, immediately smite to start the cooldown if you’re not at risk of
having it stolen, and immediately hit a health potion as
well. Now start praying to your dodge runes, or switch to
flat armor runes if you’re not feeling
lucky. Target the Golem first and bring
it down, likely with about 100-200 HP remaining on yourself.
Move to the Wraith camp and hit another potion once the first one is
out. The Wraith camp will take a lot out of you if you’re
unlucky, thus the early second potion. If you are getting a
lot of instant kills with Alpha Strike, you can do Lizard
next. If not, you’re better off going and doing the
mini-golems quicky without hitting another potion (if possible) and
recalling to pick up boots or a Long Sword. From there, it’s
a matter of getting a Wriggle’s Lantern and controlling the
jungle at high HP and assisting lanes when the opportunity
Remember you can do Dragon fairly easily the moment you get your
Wriggle’s. You can do it sooner, but you’ll be losing health
the entire time and if another hero jumps on you, you are likely
finished and the dragon stolen.
Yi is a destroyer of worlds in single combat, and with such a potent
attack speed and damage, lends well to backdooring if it’s
needed. It may not be pretty, but there are few in the game
able to challenge Yi at bringing down structures. Hopefully
it doesn’t come to that, as your blade of honor is much better suited
for swinging through flesh than stone. The hardest part about
becoming a good Yi is learning when to engage and when to bide your
time. You cannot wait to be a vulture like Eve.
Yi’s element of surprise lasts for about a split second once he’s seen,
and in that time you need to be right on top of them ending
lives. But jumping in too early will lead to an early demise
and suddenly your team is down a man, and likely their top physical
damage source. Follow your initiator, and may your
sword crit way more often than it should!