Introduction and Stats
Hey there, Raphterra here! Today, I’m sharing my guide on Ornn Master Yi, the deck that I used to climb on my AM smurf account from Platinum to Diamond at 65% Winrate (26 Wins, 14 Losses). I’ve already climbed to Top Masters with my APAC main account, now it’s time to do the same for my alternate account.
Ornn and Master Yi are two new champions from the Awakening expansion, but didn’t really perform well upon release. Patch 3.16 brought huge buffs to Ornn and Master Yi, which made me immediately try out these champions once the update went live.
If you want to see the deck in action after reading this article, check out my full video guide!
The Ornn Master Yi Deck Build
Ornn Master Yi is a champion-focused midrange / combo deck that wins by attacking with leveled up champions. The gameplan for this deck is to stall the game while forging powerful equipments for Master Yi and Ornn. Both champions can threaten ending games quickly when equipped with Upcycled Rake or Fishawhack.
The region combination of Freljord plus Ionia allows this deck to run two of the premium weaponmaster units: Ionian Hookmaster and Combat Cook. Playing these weaponmasters activates Momentous Choice as a premium combat trick and an enabler for Master Yi‘s Flow. Once you have an equipment on board, you can start making them more powerful with Time and Dedication from Ornn’s Forge and Favored Artisan.
For most games, you’re going to try to survive until Turn 7 onwards where you can start threatening lethal damage. Harsh Winds, Three Sisters, and Concussive Palm are great tools to use in this regard. Since this is a champion-centric deck, I’m running two copies of Entreat to make sure that I will have access to my win conditions in each game. A full set of Deny is a must to protect our precious champions from hard removals.
Master Yi‘s recent buff is very impactful for the deck’s gameplan. Sticking a Master Yi on board will make it almost impossible for your opponent to play around your utility spells. No one would expect a 2-mana Deny, or a 3-mana Harsh Winds! The reduction to Ornn‘s level-up requirement is another key reason for this deck’s success. It’s very easy to get Level 2 Ornn on Turn 7, either on summon or after he attacks.
To close off the deck build, I’m also running Vastayan Disciple as an elusive blocker / draw engine, Kindly Tavernkeeper for healing, Sonic Wave for interaction, and Troll Chant as another combat trick.
The mulligan for this deck is very straightforward. You’re always going to keep Master Yi, Ionian Hookmaster, and Combat Cook. An early Master Yi will start discounting your utility spells, and it’s essential for your gameplan to get a weaponmaster on board. If you have these cards, you can consider keeping other cards depending on the matchup.
Gameplay Combos, Tips, Tricks
- Plan your Flow combos for Master Yi’s level up, but do not force activating Flow if you don’t need to.
You don’t need to force the activation of Flow in every round. Often, you want to activate Flow just once or twice to setup Master Yi‘s level up. If activating flow will tap you out of mana for your utility spells, then it’s much better to pass and wait.
- Plan ahead, always reserve and represent spell mana for your utility spells.
This deck has several spells and equipment. It can be very easy to be baited into using mana unnecessarily. You need to plan ahead and make sure that you have mana prepared for key turns e.g. Ornn + Deny on Turn 8, Harsh Winds + Concussive Palm on key defensive turns, Ornn + Wuju Style / Momentous Choice for lethal damage.
- Know your deck combos!
Here’s a quick list of this deck’s combos and synergies for your reference:
- Upcycled Rake and Fishawack are the best improvised weapons to get. The Fix-Em 5000 is another good alternative to equip on Ornn. Once you find these equipments, try to trade away the unit holding them so that you can re-equip them on your champions.
- If you have multiple weaponmasters, save your Forge spells until you’ve found the best weapon (preferably Fishawhack or Upcycled Rake).
- You can level-up Ornn prior to playing him on Turn 7 by striking with one of your units with high power. Best examples would be Master Yi or any other unit with an equipment that was forged multiple times. If your damage is lacking, you can use Momentous Choice, Sonic Wave, or Wuju Style to push extra damage.
- Master Yi or Ornn with Scout are the best targets to give Challenger with Sonic Wave.
- If you have multiple forged equipments, you can “heal” your key units by swapping out weapons every turn. You can see this in action in my video guide.
- Vastayan Disciple can inflict lethal elusive damage if you can equip it with a forged weapon.
Meta Matchup Tips
Swain Twisted Fate
- Keep stalling Swain‘s attacks with Fearsome blockers, Concussive Palm, Three Sisters, or Harsh Winds. You will be able to waste several of their attack tokens if you spread out these spells across multiple turns.
- Master Yi will often eat removal spells, which opens up your Ornn on Turn 7. Ornn is your main win condition, you often want to reserve your Deny to protect him.
- Pressure in the mid game with Combat Cook. Outside of Swain, most of their units can’t trade into him.
- This matchup is even. It depends if they can draw enough removals for multiple champions.
Nami Lee Sin
- Follow the usual gameplan of setting up for Turn 7 Ornn. Use Harsh Winds, Three Sisters, and Concussive Palm to stall their combo attacks in the mid game.
- Go aggressive. Nami Lee Sin decks have a weak early game, you can pressure with weaponmasters and Master Yi.
- Don’t play around their utility spells too much. You just need to execute your strategy and hope for the best. If they have it, they have it.
- If you have Sonic Wave, prioritize removing their elusive units over Nami.
- Save your Deny for their Homecoming.
- Preserve Vastayan Disciple as an elusive blocker for key defensive turns.
- This matchup is unfavored since they can have multiple copies of Homecoming and they can Deny your Deny.
- They don’t have pressure in the early to mid game. You can usually freely setup Master Yi and Weaponmasters.
- Expect them to use Vengeance on your Ornn. Prepare and represent mana for Deny. Don’t be afraid to play Ornn on Turn 8 if that’s what it takes to have mana for Deny.
- They may use multiple ping spells to kill Master Yi, but you can counter easily with Momentous Choice and Troll Chant.
- This matchup is favored. They will usually need to use Vengeance on one of your champions, but it will be hard for them to have answers for multiple champions. Good thing we’re running Entreat!
- Ornn’s Forge is a game-winning card in the matchup. The landmark will allow you to outscale and outstat their units, making it awkward for them to attack. It will be very hard for them to outscale Ornn once he’s on board.
- If they’re able to deal with one of your big units, you can simply re-equip your forged equipment on another unit.
- The will likely use Single Combat or Concerted Strike as removals. You can counter with Deny, Three Sisters, Troll Chant, and Harsh Winds.
- This matchup is favored. You can outscale them, and you have the utility spells to counter their gameplan.
Decks that you can apply the same strategies: Scouts, Leona Demacia
It seems that Riot changed their strategy in releasing new champions in the Awakening expansion. Ornn and Master Yi were two underpowered champions on release, but the small changes in Patch 3.16 made them very viable to play in the meta. This is a big contrast to Kai’sa, a champion who was extremely powerful upon release and needed to be nerfed immediately. I think this new approach to new champions is healthier for the meta, and I’m looking forward to what awaits us in future updates!
Hope you enjoy playing this deck! In the next days, I will be climbing to Masters in my AM account. Stay tuned for the next guide!