Best Master Yi build in League of Legends: Runes, counters, items, and more

"Doubt is the greatest enemy."

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Master Yi is one of the oldest champions in League of Legends. Throughout the years, the fundamentals of his kit have remained mostly unchanged—he’s a melee attack damage-based jungler who relies on fast and powerful auto attacks and on repeatedly using his Alpha Strike to finish off enemies.

For the past couple of seasons, though, the Wuju Bladesman wasn’t picked much in the professional play and in the solo queue either. This is because he wasn’t as strong as other junglers, and was simply pushed back by the ever-changing meta.

After the recent patches, however, Master Yi has returned to Summoner’s Rift and is once again one of the best junglers in the game.

Still, mastering the champion isn’t the easiest task. He’s a perfect example of a hypercarry that, if played well, can single-handedly carry the game on his shoulders. But actually executing a game like this on Master Yi is much tougher than it sounds.

Don’t worry, though. We’ve analyzed the data and patched together the best possible build for Master Yi in the current meta.

Here’s the best build for Master Yi in League of Legends.

Best runes for Master Yi

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Precision

Lethal Tempo: Master Yi’s strongest asset is his auto attacks, so it makes a lot of sense to increase his attack damage and attack speed. Lethal Tempo helps with the latter. It makes a champion stack additional attack speed when they hit an enemy—up to six stacks. When fully stacked, it increases attack speed and range even further. 

Triumph: For aggressive champions who look to go in and eliminate as many enemies as they can, Triumph is a pivotal rune. With the rune, champion takedowns restore 10 percent of missing health. Looking at how squishy Master Yi usually is, this can make a big difference on numerous occasions. It also grants you a bit of gold with every takedown.

Legend: Alacrity: Another irreplaceable rune for attack speed-reliant champions like Master Yi is Legend: Alacrity. You collect stacks of Legend (up to 10) by killing champions, epic and large monsters, and minions. Every stack gifts you an extra 1.5 percent attack speed, which adds to the passive three percent from the rune.

Last Stand: Last Stand is a usual rune picked for melee fighters in League, like Master Yi. It makes champions deal more damage to opponents while being low on health (maximum bonus is gained at 30 percent).

Domination

Eyeball Collection: Since Master Yi is an all-in type champion, it only makes sense to increase his snowball potential through the second rune tree. Therefore, Eyeball Collection is a superb pick. It grants the champ adaptive damage per every eyeball, which is collected via champion takedowns. At max eyeballs (10), Master Yi will gain a small amount of extra damage as well. 

Treasure Hunter: This is one of the newest runes in League, but it works perfectly to finish off the rune list. Treasure Hunter will give the champion additional gold with every takedown on each enemy.

Bonuses: +10 percent attack speed, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor

Best starting items for Master Yi

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Emberknife: On Master Yi, players will definitely need Challenging Smite instead of Chilling Smite. Emberknife is therefore compulsory. The basic difference is your damage should be high enough to shred through tanks, fighters, and squishy targets either way. Because of this, it’s much better to have Challenging Smite, which reduces the damage you take from a marked target and empowers yours against it.

Refillable Potion: Having a bit of utility early is always helpful on junglers. A Refillable Potion is much better than just purchasing a few health potions at the start of the game since it’s reusable.

Stealth Ward: This is crucial in terms of securing jungle vision and control early on, so don’t hesitate to pick it up at the start of the games. As the game goes on, however, you should swap it for Oracle Lens. 

Best core items for Master Yi

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Kraken Slayer: While a lot of champions have a few mythic items that they could pick, in Master Yi’s case, there’s only one: Kraken Slayer. It’s an item that works best for attack speed-reliant champs, so it’s mandatory to have on the Wuju Bladesman. With it in your inventory, you’ll deal additional true damage with every third auto attack. With your high attack speed, you should be shredding through enemies with the items Besides, it also grants 65 attack damage, 25 percent attack speed, and 20 percent critical strike chance.

Guinsoo’s Rageblade: Another irreplaceable item for Master Yi is Guinsoo’s Rageblade. It boosts key statistics (attack speed and critical strike chance) by a ton while giving you a fantastic passive ability. It converts every percent of critical strike chance into two bonus physical damage on-hit. With the full build, you should have plenty of those.

Berserker’s Greaves: Naturally, when looking for boots, Berserker’s Greaves come to mind since they significantly boost your attack speed. There are, however, some instances where you’d rather choose Plated Steelcaps or Mercury’s Treads, so make sure to consider the state of the game before you purchase your boots. 

Best late game items for Master Yi

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Death’s Dance: Death’s Dance is an amazing pick for champions like Master Yi. It not only boosts your major stats but also comes with a helpful passive. It allows you to store post-mitigation physical damage and take it as damage over time. When you kill an enemy, however, all of that stored damage is removed and you also get healed 120 percent bonus AD in two seconds. This item greatly increases Master Yi’s potential to delete enemies in teamfights and also allows him to survive longer.

Blade of the Ruined King: Another tremendous item to increase Master Yi’s damage is Blade of the Ruined King. It boosts attack damage, attack speed, and lifesteal while making your basic attacks deal a percent of the target’s current health. It’s extremely useful, especially when fighting with tanks and should open the door for players to take on the beefiest members of the enemy team. 

Guardian Angel: At the end of your build, you should have enough damage stored in your inventory and should instead look for some survivability. Therefore, it’s wise to pick Guardian Angel, which is basically a second life every five minutes. 

Optional items for Master Yi

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Wit’s End: There are games where the enemy composition is made mostly of ability power-based champions. In those cases, it’s worth picking up some extra magic resistance. Wit’s end boosts Master Yi’s important stats, AD, and attack speed while granting you 40 magic resistance. 

Maw of Malmortius: Unfortunately, sometimes Wit’s End won’t be enough. In games versus really heavy AP squads, don’t hesitate to pick Maw of Malmortius, which gives you attack damage, magic resistance, and a shield that absorbs magic damage if you go below 30 percent health. 

Mercurial Scimitar: While Master Yi doesn’t usually have many problems with closing the gap with his enemies, mostly due to his ultimate, sometimes life can get pretty rough when the opponents have a lot of CC. When you’re in a match like this, just trade one item from your inventory for Mercurial Scimitar, which allows you to remove all crowd control debuffs (except Airborne). 

Best Master Yi counters

Skarner

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Skarner is an extreme threat to Master Yi because of his ultimate. He can get pretty beefy himself, so he’s able to survive your early burst. Once he does, he can grab you with Impale, which could easily lead to you being deleted by Skarner’s team. It’s worth banning Skarner for that reason alone.

Rek’Sai

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Rek’Sai is another great counter to Master Yi due to her kit. Once she gets underground, it’s tough to kill her, especially since she can escape through her tunnels. Besides, once she knocks you up, which isn’t hard to do on Rek’Sai, you’ll likely quickly return to the fountain yourself. It’s best to dodge solo fights against Rek’Sai. In teamfights, look for flanks, so you can easily access the enemies’ back line. 

Kha’Zix

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Kha’Zix can shut down Master Yi early due to his isolation damage, making him a perfect counter jungler to the Wuju Bladesman. Unfortunately for you, games don’t get easier after level six. Kha’Zix’s invisibility from ultimate allows him to freely roam the map and omit your vision, which can often lead to you dying. His invisibility can make your abilities simply run out (like Highlander) as well, so he’s a real pain in the neck. 

Wukong

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With his clone and ultimate, Wukong has a perfect combo to bait you into going in and then knocking you up for eternity until you are dead. When you meet the Monkey King, the best strategy is behind Wukong and focus on squishy targets.