Yorick Build Guide by Verdande
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.
Yorick's a pretty cool guy- he's a big, nasty Necromancer champion who can also kick some *** in melee combat. You might not believe it, but it's true: The guy's stronger than people think.
He's an AD caster, in the vein of Pantheon- all of his abilities scale off of AD. Every single one. AP is useless to you. Not even your ult has any benefit from it. At all. You need raw AD, and as much of it as you can get your hands on without dying.
You also gain effectiveness from health stacking, due to the fact that your ghouls get tougher and stronger as you do. Don't be afraid to skip Armor and MR (something I would never recommend for any other champion) in favor of straight health. Be a pile of health, so your ghouls can be one too.
Yorick's not an easy champion to play. Managing his spammable ghoul summons and using them intlligently takes practice. Don't be afraid to play practice games to get it right. It's not easy, as the hundreds of threads saying that he's trash and useless can attest to. Yorick's not Master Yi, for ****'s sake. He takes effort and skill to do well with.
Pros / Cons
Lots of Fun
Good Lane Presence
Extremely Low Cooldowns
Very Skill Dependant
Low Minion Health
Low Minion Damage
Low Base Mana Pool
No Real Escapes
Omen of War: A pretty good skill that's in a pretty good spot. Like most of Yorick's skills, it has a couple of ideal uses. First off, it grants you a pretty hefty bonus damage on your next strike, so use it when you're fighting some fool and need to shovel his nose off.
Secondly, you can use it when you're in a hurry- run over and smack somebody, then scoot away with your 15% movespeed boost. It makes a noticeable difference, and honestly is a lot of fun.
It's also practically free and has a negligible cooldown, so late-game when you have a lot of mana, you can always have a blue translucent buddy around.
Omen of Pestilence: It has both AoE damage and a decent slow. It keeps slowing people as it chases them around. It's useful, but not as immediately useful as either of your other basic Omens. I don't know why people have such a fetish for this skill above all others, but I think that it's a big part of why people complain that Yorick is so weak. Yeah, he doesn't do very good damage if you're trying to harass with your slow- that's not really what it's for.
Omen of Famine: My personal favorite. Your Ravenous Ghoul is the reason that you can stay in lane with a Doran's Blade so well. It grants you life back both on the initial blast and on all the damage your red ghoul does, so it really helps in lanes with a lot of attrition. This will be your main harassing tool, since it does the most damage for a relatively modest casting cost. Just be sure to cast it where your enemies won't just run backwards into their tower and annihilate the ghoul. If it doesn't get at least a couple of attacks off, you're wasting your mana.
Omen of Death: People just don't understand this. Don't cast it when somebody's about to die- all you're doing is giving them an extra 10 seconds of life and then they die anyways.
No, what you want to do is pre-cast it and let your carry decide what they're doing.
If they live, then you had 75% of your carry hanging around, smacking up bad guys and towers and Barons and stuff and then the revenant goes away and that was still pretty cool. If they die, then they get to come back for 10 seconds and beat some stuff up maybe, or maybe not.
The point is- use it like you would use a Mordekaiser ghost. Use it all the time, on full health guys and send your revenant in to beat up guys and cause problems. Be a nuisance with it. Wreck towers, tank dragon- it really doesn't matter. Just do it. It's got a short cooldown and it's not Zilean's ult for ****'s sake. Use it all the time.
I prefer Greater Mark of Desolation, but Greater Mark of Attack Damage and Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage can also be good choices.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration and Greater Seal of Replenishment are your only real choices. You need mana regen early game. It helps so much it's unreal.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is nice, as are the Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration and Greater Glyph of Replenishment. Extra mana regen is nice, and some bonus magic resist is nice as well.
As far as I can tell, there are a couple of good starting items for Yorick.
Doran's Blade is my personal favorite, though. It gives you an early game advantage, in that you're doing more damage and your minions are doing more damage. You can't summon many of them no matter what you do, so why not have them do more while they're around? Doran's Blade also helps you farm it up, which means that you'll be able to purchase the other items you're going to need.
Regrowth Pendant is a good choice if you plan on being passive. It doesn't help you with your lane presence, but it does help you if you want to hang back and wait out the storm. It also helps give you a quick Philosopher's Stone, which is a helpful item, especially if you're solo laning.
Sapphire Crystal is perhaps not as useful as it looks. Sure, having more mana early game means that you can harass more, and it helps you build into an early tear, but your regen isn't any better and you're not doing more damage, so you're really only trying to rush Tear of the Goddess, which maybe isn't the best idea.
Cloth Armor and Potionx5 is pretty bad on Yorick. Don't do it, you'll regret it. You have plenty of health if you're intelligently harassing with your Omen of Famine like you're supposed to be, and the armor's not doing you any favors. Your bases aren't that great, so you're more or less stuck sucking down potions and not building anything useful out of the Cloth Armor.
BASIC ITEM BUILD
Doran's Blade + Manamune + Catalyst of Aeons + Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Once you have these four things, you're ready to go on a rampage. You have boat loads of mana, good attack damage, and moderate durability. This is the core that you're going to want to build on, depending on the individual game you're playing. Yorick's item builds aren't terribly flexible, but there's a little wiggle room.
B. F. Sword / Infinity Edge
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Frozen Heart/ Glacial Shroud
In general, good items for Yorick focus on health, mana, and attack damage, in whatever order you need. If you find yourself dying a lot, get more health. If your ghouls are only tickling, get more AD. You shouldn't need much mana after your Manamune, but don't be afraid to get something like Frozen Heart that has a secondary purpose as well.
Anything with AP, really. Don't build Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Rod of Ages or anything like that. It's not going to help you.
Now we come to the meat of the build: the playstyle. Anybody can tell you how to build Yorick and really, it largely comes down to personal preference. If you build a glass cannon Yorick and play like a super-tanky Yorick, you're not going to get far.
Let me tell you how I play.
EARLY GAME / LANING PHASE
Yorick is a world-class skirmisher, when played right. He can dominate a lane with intelligent use of his Omen of Famine and Omen of War, constantly whittling down the health of his enemies and allowing himself to endure whatever harassment his enemies throw at him.
With his dirt-cheap Omen of War he can hop up to the front lines for a quick last-hit and his newly generated Spectral Ghoul will cover his tracks and discourage followers. If you get in a bad position, slam down your Omen of Pestilence and run. You need some time to escape, don't forget that.
Skirmish as much as you can, and get those last hits. You need to get your Tear of the Goddess and your Boots of Speed relatively quickly. Prioritize your Tear of the Goddess- you have enough of a movement advantage from intelligent positioning and intelligent use of both Omen of War to prevent bad positioning and Omen of Pestilence to prevent their sudden attacks and ganks.
Use Omen of Famine as much as you feel the need to, to keep your health above your enemy's. If your health is higher than your enemy's, they'll be less likely to pull an attack out of nowhere, keeping you relatively safe.
If they attack anyways, use your Omen of War and Omen of Famine to fight, and then run. If they pursue, drop an Omen of Pestilence behind you and run to the safety of your tower.
Mid-game is defined as when either the first tower goes down, roughly. Some champions will start to roam and to gank, and you'll likely have your ultimate. You should aim for having your core set of items ( Doran's Blade, Tear of the Goddess, Ionian Boots of Lucidity) by now, and should be capable of helping out a lot in fights. Your abilities are on an extremely short cooldown, and if somebody attacks you, you do deceptively good damage.
In teamfights, send your Omen of Famine out to harass, and continue slaying minions with your Omen of War. Use your Omen of Death on anybody that has a good deal of Attack Damage, including yourself. Also use it when the battle starts to turn sour. Don't try to use it like Zilean's Ult- if you do, you're wasting the Revenant portion in favor of saving somebody for 10 seconds, and they'll still die. Not a good trade.
Try not to initiate, really ever. You're not a tank, you're a tanky support. Think like Taric, if that helps- you make your team perform better and discourage enemies from standing near you.
Use your Omen of Pestilence to cover retreats and to help chase. With both your Blue Ghoul and your Green Ghoul out, you can catch anybody that doesn't have flash.
Don't be afraid to venture into the jungle and take the buffs, both yours and your enemy's. You can clear jungle camps extremely quickly by spamming all of your ghouls and punching them to death.
Your performance late game really depends on how well you've been doing all game. If you've been doing well, you likely have good attack damage and health and will be able to fight on your terms a lot. Try not to wander around by yourself, but rather stick around your carry and your tank. You're better at everything in the company of a team.
I'll add more in this section as I gain more experience, but this is what I've been doing, to moderate success.
In summary, Yorick's a fairly complex AD caster. With the extra mana from Manamune, the CDR from the Ionian Boots of Lucidity, and whatever other situational items you decide to build, you should be able to stay in the middle of fights and dish out surprisingly good damage.
Don't forget your role- you're tanky support, and perform better in the company of others. It's not easy to play Yorick well. It takes practice and dedication, but with persistance, intelligence, this guide, and a bit of luck, you can show your enemies that the last breath is the sweetest of all.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!