- Master Yi: Champion Overview
- Evolved Master Yi
- Champion Spell
- Deckbuilding Options
- General Playstyle
- Closing Thoughts
Master Yi, an Ionia swordsman who wields the incredibly powerful (and infamous) Wuju Technique, has finally made his way to Legends of Runeterra. The Wuju Technique is one of the strongest styles of fighting (if not the strongest style) in the entire world of Runeterra, so it’s to no one’s surprise that Master Yi would step into Legends of Runeterra with such potency.
With an extremely high level of snowballing potential, Master Yi can easily get too out of hand for your opponent to deal with thanks to his ability to infinitely stack and reduce the cost of spells in your hand. So, let’s take a look at Master Yi and how you can effectively build a deck around him.
Master Yi: Champion Overview
Master Yi is a two-attack, three-health unit with Quick Attack that costs three mana to play, and his evolution condition is the following: “I’ve dealt 12+ damage.”
His mana cost-to-stats ratio is decent, though slightly below average (as an average ratio would see him with one more attack). Additionally, he can only be leveled up while in play, so you can’t try and sneak him out with some extra stats.
Through his Flow effect, which has him granting Master Yis everywhere plus two attack, he can become an extremely threatening presence as time goes on, though his three health still makes him a relatively easy target to remove.
Finally, his round start effect reduces the cost of a random spell in your hand by one mana for the round, making it less of a hassle for you to trigger his Flow effect in the earlier rounds when mana might be sparse.
Evolved Master Yi
To trigger Master Yi’s evolution, he needs to deal twelve or more damage himself, meaning he needs to stay in play for a few rounds at least. Once evolved, his effects largely stay the same except he gains an attack effect, which has him immediately striking the weakest enemy.
This attack effect scales very well, as when Master Yi strikes, he deals damage equivalent to his current attack power, so the higher his attack, the more he hurts. It’s also worth noting that this attack effect occurs before the blocking phase.
As such, your opponent cannot use the unit Master Yi is striking as a throw-away block to negate his attack, as it will be dead before your opponent gets to even choose their blockers.
Master Yi’s champion spell is Master Yi’s Wuju Style. This spell costs one mana to use and gives any ally plus two attack for the round.
It also creates his secondary champion spell in hand, Meditate. Meditate is Fleeting (meaning it will vanish from your hand at the end of the round), costs two mana to use, and gives any ally plus two health.
Both of these spells are burst-spells, and that, coupled with the fact that they are such low-costing spells, makes them quite potent. Ideally, these will be used reactively, so that you may protect Master Yi from some poke spells that deal two to three damage.
Master Yi’s champion spell is also its own spell, meaning you don’t need a Master Yi in your deck to draft up to three copies of Wuju Style.
Master Yi’s core gameplay relies on, simply put, spell-chucking. In other words, between his vulnerability, due to his low base stats and his Flow effect, you’re going to be playing a lot of spells, be it defensively or offensively.
This rings particularly true when it comes to his evolution condition. Since he needs to be in play to level himself up, you’re going to need to keep him alive long enough to do as much, which means you’re in need of low-costing defensive spells.
As such, it makes sense to pair Master Yi up with champions that also rely on spell-chucking (so that they can level up in tandem), and regions that can offer plenty of spells to chuck in the first place.
Master Yi And Lee Sin
Master Yi and Lee Sin is a great team-up for a few reasons. First off, they’re both Ionian champions, allowing for some flexibility with which region you want to pair them up with.
When it comes to this choice, pairing up with a region that has spells that grant Overwhelm is a great option due to the extra threat it provides both Master Yi and Lee Sin with, turning them both into one-turn-kill (OTK) machines. As such, Shurima’s focus-spell, Supercharge, is a great option because it also grants SpellShield and allows you to attack the same turn.
In addition to this, Lee Sin’s evolution condition is playing eight or more spells, and he can level up out of play. You’re already going to be playing loads of spells to defend Master Yi, meaning you get a leveled-up Lee Sin for free.
In the end, though, this deck turns both your champions into win conditions, allowing for some flexibility in how you play each game.
Master Yi And Zoe (And Taric)
The synergy between Master Yi and Zoe isn’t exactly unique, but it is nonetheless strong. Zoe herself can offer Master Yi some protection through the two mana SpellShield card she can generate, but also, Targon can offer some very potent defensive cards to help keep Master Yi alive.
On top of that, Zoe will typically draw your opponent's attention away from Master Yi because of how big of a threat she is once evolved, and she can even turn into a win condition herself.
Swapping out a Zoe or two for Taric can be beneficial as well, just for the sake of giving Master Yi some more protection, if anything else. Since he is also a Targon champion, you’d be keeping all the juicy defensive Targonian cards you had when just running Zoe with Master Yi, but if you’re looking for a more blatantly mid-range style deck, putting in a Taric or two may be worth it.
Master Yi And Nami
Running Master Yi with Nami can snowball really hard, but both champions need to be in play in order to do so effectively. That said, having Bilgewater as your complementary region to Ionia can make for a serious Elusive-focused deck.
While you don’t necessarily have to make Master Yi Elusive, he can be a scalable distraction for your enemy to prioritize dealing with while you buff up some Elusive units with both Nami and various spells to go in for the kill.
Master Yi And Gwen
Pairing up Master Yi with Gwen and her Hallowed support cards is a relatively straightforward strategy, as you want your Hallowed units to die so that way you can buff up Master Yi’s attack even more every turn (which would inherently buff his attack effect too).
Bring along some defensive Ionian spells to help keep Master Yi and Gwen alive while you stack your Hallowed buff throughout the game, and that can lead to some very large threats for your opponent to deal with.
Just because Master Yi has infinite scalability with his Flow effect doesn’t mean that he is a great late-game champion to have. After all, his low health makes him vulnerable to a great number of removal spells, so you need to be careful with how late you let the game go.
Granted, if you’re running a deck that has another champion to get you through the early goings of the late game, such as Lee Sin, Master Yi doesn’t necessarily need to be your win condition.
Either way, like any other champion with low base stats, Master Yi needs to be protected in the early game to get some good work done, and both Ionia and Targon have excellent low-costing defensive tools for you to utilize.
Just make sure you’re activating his Flow effect with some consistency and keeping him alive to set yourself up for a win, preferably before you’re deep in the late game.
When it comes to win conditions, Master Yi is certainly one in his own right. To see him do his best, though, it pays to either pair him up with supportive champions or other champions that can be win conditions as well.
After all, just because Master Yi can single-handedly win you a game, doesn’t mean your opponent will let him do so. Thus, having some other threats of equal caliber can help to take some attention off him while he ramps up with his Flow effect and evolves.
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