Hey there, Raphterra here! Master Yi‘s release in Patch 3.14 was quite underwhelming, as he didn’t find a home in any competitive deck. Riot wasn’t going to let things stay that way, and they made sure to give Master Yi a substantial buff in Patch 3.16. My assessment of the buff to Master Yi was quite on point! The change was very impactful; Master Yi now sees play in meta decks, and I’m sure that we are just at the cusp of his full potential.
In this article, I feature the best Master Yi decks in the current patch, including some home brews that I made with the Wuju Swordmaster. Before we start with the list, make sure to check out our articles covering Leona, Fiora, and Swain if you haven’t done so yet!
The Most Popular – Spooky Karma Master Yi
As usual, we’re starting off with the most popular list of our featured champion: Master Yi Karma. Despite being the most popular list, Master Yi Karma hasn’t been thriving with an overall winrate of only 46.2% in 8000+ games. I’m featuring the best list that I could find, and this one is barely hanging on with a winrate of 49.8% in 1600+ games.
I think that Master Yi Karma is a very decent deck, but it’s subpar winrate is mainly attributed to it being an extremely difficult deck to pilot. Karma Shadow Isles control decks can be very complex because of the sheer amount of decisions that you need to make to survive until Turn 10 where Karma can start winning games. This deck runs all the control and utility tools in Ionia and Shadow Isles to stall until the late game. Karma, Go Hard, and Pack Your Bags are the deck’s win conditions to close off games.
Master Yi is more of a support champion in this build, but he can also apply board pressure if you can activate Flow multiple times. Having discounted spells makes your turns more efficient. Even a single discount can mean the difference between losing or surviving for one more turn.
Karma Master Yi beats Lee Sin Akshan, Leona Aurelion Sol, and Annie Jhin, but struggles against Fiora Pantheon, Lee Sin Nami, and Swain Norra. If you’re a control player and a Master Yi fan, this is the deck for you!
The Best Master Yi Deck – Master Yi Nami
Nami is arguably the strongest champion in the game, and her pairing with Master Yi seems to be having success as well. Nami Master Yi has a respectable overall winrate of 51.3% in 600+ games. I picked out the best decklist, with a winrate of 64.3% in 42 Masters games. Not bad, but not surprising considering how strong Nami currently is.
This build uses the shell of Nami elusives: Nami, Fleet Admiral Shelly, Vastayan Disciple, and Wiggly Burblefish. Activating Master Yi‘s flow should be easy since Nami decks already cast multiple spells in a single turn. The deck plays similar to the best deck in the meta: Nami Lee Sin. If you were to ask me what the strongest Master Yi deck is, this archetype is what I would recommend. Nami is just extremely powerful right now when played with Ionian Tellstones and Momentous Choice.
Dual Swords – Master Yi Fiora
I featured this exact list of Master Yi Fiora in my article for the best Fiora decks! Since then, the build seems to be doing even better. This list now has an increased winrate of 61.6% in 73 Master games. It would be very interesting to see how well this deck does once more players start experimenting with the archetype.
Forge and Flow – Master Yi Ornn
There aren’t much more promising Master Yi archetypes when looking at the stats, but worry not! I’ve been experimenting a lot with the Wuju Swordmaster, and the next two decks will be my own personal brews! Some of you might be familiar with this Master Yi Ornn, since I recently featured it in a deck guide.
This deck uses the Forge mechanic to level up and win with Master Yi or Ornn. Our champions end games quickly when attached with an Upcycled Rake or Fishawhack that was forged multiple times. Harsh Winds, Three Sisters, and Concussive Palm are utility spells that are used to stall the game until we can win with our leveled champions.
I used Ornn Master Yi to climb from Platinum to Diamond with a 64.2% winrate in 42 games. I underestimated how difficult to pilot it is, since the overall winrate of this decklist is only 33.6% in 1500+ games. This was quite surprising to me. The games during my climb were relatively easy, and I expected the list to hit at least a 50% winrate. I still think that if piloted correctly, you can climb with this deck all the way to Masters. If you want to see this deck in action, check out my full video guide!
Can You Feel The Rush? – Master Yi Tryndamere
My second personal brew is another Freljord Ionia build, and a very spicy one. This is a Master Yi Tryndamere deck featuring Feel The Rush! I played this list in Diamond, and my personal winrate was 60% in 25 games. I wanted to use this deck to push my smurf account from Diamond to Masters. However, I eventually needed to switch to another deck (it was Taliyah Malphite, in case you were curious). Decks that rely on Feel The Rush to win will struggle in a meta dominated by Ionia decks running Deny.
Master Yi Tryndamere wants to discount and cast an early Feel The Rush with Master Yi and Disciple of Doran‘s Preparation. I chose Tryndamere as my second champion because he can end games as soon as he’s summoned by Feel The Rush. Drawing him isn’t too bad as well; I’ve won several games off of casting Tryndamere‘s Battle Fury.
The rest of the deck is built towards stalling and surviving until we can cast Feel The Rush. I’m running full sets of Three Sisters, Concussive Palm, and Harsh Winds to survive on defensive turns. Ionian Hookmaster and Combat Cook might seem like weird inclusions, but both cards provide strong board presence in the early to mid game. Some improvised weapons can also be clutch in the late game e.g. Upcycled Rake on Tryndamere.
This is a fun deck, and I think there’s potential in playing Master Yi with Feel The Rush. However, Deny and Rite of Negation will always be hard counters to this strategy. It also doesn’t help that the strongest decks in the current meta are from Ionia. I’m hopeful that there will come a time where this deck can consistently shine!
Master Yi is slowly becoming one of my favorite champions. I get the “feels good” vibe when I catch my opponents off guard with discounted spells. Although he hasn’t been doing too great if you only look at the stats, I think he’s one of the stronger champions in the game right now. I won’t be surprised if there’s suddenly a broken Master Yi deck that pops out of nowhere! When that time comes, a list of the best Master Yi decks might look very different from what we currently have.