Yorick Build Guide by Enervata
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
I bought Yorick on Day 1 and was underwhelmed. REALLY underwhelmed. As a tank I find him too squishy. Spending all that money for Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, and other tanky goodness, I find he still drops way too easy for a tank. Without a buff to his core stats each level, I don't think he'll ever rival any existing tank. His CC is too weak, his base health is too low, and the gravedigger has little more than wrapping paper as protection when it comes to base magic resist or armor.
However, I decided to keep playing him until I found something that worked. I dislike the Manamune builds on him because his mana pool is so pathetic you only get a few extra AD off of it. I find it's too much gold to waste just to fix a mana problem. I decided to throw Clarity on him instead. It works for Kog Maw when I play him to solve his mana problems, so I figured it should work on Yorick too. It does.
Clarity - Required for this particular build. Yorick needs a mana source. Most people choose to spend gold on Manamune, but I find that too wasteful. I find he gains very little bonus damage from the item over the course of the match, and because so much gold was spent to "fix" his mana problems you end up behind other players. I would rather use that gold towards a B.F. Sword earlier on. With his native abilities scaling off of health and damage, I dislike buying something that doesn't benefit either of these two statistics really well.
Teleport - This is just my personal preference. Yorick is speedy enough already, but I don't like being outside of a lane more than a few seconds. I also really like Teleport once the teamfight stage begins. Yorick with his ultimate can take down a tower fairly quickly. So I will often roam with my teammates and then Teleport to a tower in another lane as soon as a minion wave reaches it. After all, to take down a tower you'll have your twin brother to help. :D
Flash - An excellent choice for Yorick. He is a total opportunist when it comes to playstyle with this build, and this grants you the ability to quickly dive in to take advantage of an enemy who is out of position, or let's you escape as needed.
Exhaust - If I thought he didn't need a movement based summoner spell, I'd recommend this next. The slow on Omen of Pestilence is pretty much a joke, so Exhaust will essentially give him a CC. If you decide to go tanky with him, I highly recommend it to make up for his shortcomings.
Ghost - Another fine ability for getting to and from a location quickly. This plus Omen of War will make the hunchback scurry in a hurry. It might match your playstyle better, but I find that his Q and W will help you escape and chase enough in most cases. I just prefer the utility of being able to kill a tower on demand more helpful.
Masteries & Runes
Masteries - 0/9/21; For this build the Utility tree is more or less required. The end mastery,
Presence of the Master
, lets you cast Clarity more often. If they ever fix his native mana issues, I'd definitely dive into the Defense tree instead to grab the health boosts. As it stands now the Utility Tree is pretty much a requirement for his mana fixing.
Runes - Yorick wants to fire all his abilities at once for maximum damage output. Cooldown reduction gives me less downtime between these ability bursts. Armor penetration is just good for red with his AD scaling. Yellow and Quints go for health because not only does it help him to be less squishy, but it makes his minions stronger too. Early game if you sneeze in his direction he will crumple like a piece of paper. So extra health is very good.
Doran's Blade - I tried using the shield first but I really prefer having extra damage and a tiny bit of lifesteal. The flat life you get from a Doran's seems mandatory for Yorick early on.
Phage - All your native abilities scale off of health and damage. This has both, and slows people too.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - To play an effective Yorick, you will want to fire off all 3 core abilities in quick succession for maximum damage output. This decreases the downtime between these ability bursts. Some people choose to go with Mercury's Treads instead, but I find that works better when you're building him more tankish.
The Bloodthirster - As Yorick you want damage as soon as possible. However, your base stats are so horrible that you really need a health source in your core set. Most go with Warmog's Armor. My preference is to go with damage and lifesteal. Do not be confused. The lifesteal will not make you dominant. The lifesteal on Bloodthirster is to let you stay out in the field longer. You will find you recall quite often with this build because your life will get low. This item gives you a way to heal up after a fight without returning, and scales your damage. Kill a jungle creep or buff creep and you'll be back in decent fighting shape again.
-- DAMAGE ROUTE --
Sheen - At this point in the game you need to decide whether you want to go high damage or high life. If you choose damage, Sheen coupled with Omen of War is beastly. I know a few people will poo poo the fact that this item has ability power, but until Riot comes out with an attack damage equivalent item it will have to do.
Trinity Force - You already have Phage. Sheen is awesome with him. Might as well grab movement speed too. He's a speedy hobbling opportunistic ninja. Best to just go with it.
-- HEALTH ROUTE --
Giant's Belt - If you're finding that you just don't have enough staying power, this goes a long way towards fixing that.
Frozen Mallet - You already have a Phage, this will grant you a true slow. I often don't go this route because it requires an autoattack hit, but every game is different.
I tend to play Yorick very much like I do with Kassadin. You're an opportunist who waits for an enemy to be badly positioned, then you pounce on him. When you go in to kill a champion or tower, what I tend to do is Q ( Omen of War immediately to charge it, then W ( Omen of Pestilence) and then E ( Omen of Famine) in rapid succession as I charge in. Your Q will hit, and you'll be get your 3x damage boost from having your ghouls with you.
REMEMBER: Never ever, ever, ever go into a fight without your 3 ghouls! You will suffer and die a horrible death!
[[Omen of Death] is often situational for me when I charge. If I think I need more damage to finish off a target, I will pop it. You should never think of your ultimate as a resurrect, because it's terrible as that. Think of it as a way to clone an AD champion (often you, but late game others) and get yourself a nice boost of damage.
REMEMBER: Always use Omen of Death on an AD champion. Never use him on a magic user or tank!
When attacking a tower, always keep as many ghouls up as possible to keep your damage output high. I treat towers the same as enemy champions. You want your 3 ghouls helping you. I will almost always pop Omen of Death on myself when taking down an unprotected tower as well. Having the clone helps immensely. Extra damage and extra tower targets (ghouls and the clone) buys you more time to destroy it. Do not be afraid to cast Omen of War and Omen of Famine as overkill on a minion when attacking a tower. The damage boost is well worth it.
REMEMBER: You are a one man train. You need to crash into people and towers with your full force of ghouls. Choo choo!
Farming and Skill Order
First I grab 1 point in E ( Omen of Famine) so I can last hit minions and it is a relatively quick cooldown. Farming as Yorick sucks until lategame, so early on you need a ranged attack to steal minions. The second point goes into Q ( Omen of War) because it resets his autoattack which will also let you kill a minion when you want to. These two abilities together are your farm mechanism. Do not bother with W ( Omen of Pestilence) to kill minions, it's way too weak and it's rare to have multiple minions low enough to kill with it. Save your mana for the other two abilities so you can farm.
I skill order in this sequence: R > Q > E > W. Don't be afraid to grab another point in Omen of Famine if you're noticing that it's harder to farm with it. But for the most part I build this way for two reasons. First, Yorick becomes a speedy little shovel freak with all the Q you have, and your lifesteal helps you stay in the lane longer. You will get pushed around and pushed out of lanes quite often if you're not careful. This skill order is aimed at helping to prevent that.
-- TIP --
Do not cast Omen of Famine on an enemy champion unless you intend to kill him. The ghoul spawns behind him, and in most cases will be instantly targeted by a tower. Instead cast it on a minion in front of an enemy champion so you get a few extra ticks of lifesteal.
If I had to summarize this guide into bullets, they would be:
If you have 3 ghouls, attack and destroy.
If you have 0 ghouls, retreat.
Last hit with Q and E.
Be the opportunist, wait for an opening.