I Hope You Brought Friends
Standard Full Build
Not Updated For Current Season
Welcome to Yasuo! (Introduction)
Yasuo has been one of the most popular League of Legends Champions since he was created. Arguably the biggest game-changer in most matches is whether or not the Yasuo player can get fed early. If he can, he'll win his lane and carry his team to the enemy Nexus. If not, he'll spend most of the game dead from a lack of sustainability. To this day players are still working on the best way to build and kill with Yasuo, and they've gotten pretty effective with it, leading Yasuo to approximately a 50% win rate in both Normal and Ranked matches (according to lolking.net).
With this guide, I plan on maximizing on Yasuo's strengths while working to fix and/or minimize his weaknesses.
Why play Yasuo? (Pros/Cons)
|+ Strong early game
+ Mid-game = 100% CRIT
+ Scales very well into late game
+ Passive shield helps with staying alive, even through overcommitting
+ VERY mobile when around minions
+ If you get ahead, you typically stay ahead
|Yasuo is quick. I mean REALLY quick. I'm not just talking about pure speed either (although if you can master Dash, you're almost untargetable). He can mow a lane of minions down with ease, the entire time poking the enemy Champion. Early game he's aggressive and annoying, slowly working the opponent down until they either leave lane or die. By mid game, he can annihilate his lane opponent with his 100% Critical Chance. By late game, he can erase 2 or 3 mid-health enemies, Whirlwinding them into the air, smashing them into the ground with Last Breath, tearing them down with his 50% armor penetration, then dashing out to survive for the next assault. When he gets ahead, he stays ahead unless he's reckless.|
|- VERY difficult to master
- Immobile when there are no minions nearby
- VERY item dependent (he doesn't begin to snowball until Shiv is completed)
- If you fall behind, you very rarely come back
|Yasuo is an assassin, and like all assassins he needs to get fed to stay ahead. When you aren't able to use Dash, you're a much easier target to hit, which means you die. When you can't build items because you're not able to farm minions, you'll die. If you fall behind, you're going to keep dying unless you get lucky, have the JG camp your lane to help push the lane back, or you quit. Like Yasuo's namesake suggests, he's unforgiving when not played well. That being said, don't get discouraged! His mastery level is sky high, and even the best Yasuo players make mistakes. It'll take time to get used to his playstyle, just keep trying.|
Fire and Flash (Summoner Spells)
Ignite meshes very well with Yasuo's constant pressure. Any champions who survive Yasuo's all-in will rarely survive the true damage of Ignite afterwards.
Flash is still easily the best current Summoner Spell. Being able to get away from ganks, hop over walls to get away from the enemy near Dragon or Baron, or even being able to get IN to Dragon or Baron is about as broken as this game can get. If you aren't using this, you better have a DAMN good reason, and with Yasuo there's almost no reason not to use this.
Exhaust is a viable option. The slow means your opponent has no chance of running away due to your dash, and the 40% reduction in damage means that you can wail on them without much damage being taken. When going against Yasuo's counter picks, such as Fizz, Zed, Leblanc and others, having the damage reduction can easily save you from a sure kill.
Barrier is another option. The large shield is like a huge Flow shield and can save you from an enemy's Ignite or DoT spell or ability. You're also in a better position to dive a tower, or when running from a tower you can save yourself from that last hit.
Almost feels like an ADC (Runes)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage: You'll reach 100% Critical Chance by mid to late game (Statikk Shiv + Cloak of Agility), so Critical Chance runes will be wasted relatively early on. Attack Speed runes are almost the same way, as Statikk Shiv and Berserker's Greaves will cause Yasuo to hit his AS cap on Steel Tempest. Since you'll hit your stat limits relatively early, why not pack on some extra damage so you can hit harder and clear minions faster?
- Greater Seal of Armor: Armor runes will give Yasuo some sustain from basic attacks, minions and towers. Some champions also pack on some AD, which can be mitigated with Armor runes.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Most mid lane champions are AP champions. Magic Resist will keep you alive longer when trading with these Champions during the laning phase.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: This is changed for the same reason as the Marks of damage.
- Greater Quintessence of Life Steal:Yasuo finally has some sustain in Warlord's Bloodlust. That being said, it isn't really much until he gets to low health. Having extra life steal will keep him alive longer in lane.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed:Yasuo's Steel Tempest has a CD reduction from bonus attack speed (from runes, masteries and items) that stops at 60%. That being said, having more attack speed in the beginning of the game allows you to AA and use Q more often, which means more damage output and faster farming.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Armor:Because Yasuo has his Flow shield, his early game mitigation from basic attacks is very good in bursts. If you'd prefer the higher armor in late game, scaling seals would definitely be a good choice.
I have taken out the Greater Quintessence of Critical Chance and the Greater Mark of Critical Chance since Warlord's Bloodlust no longer triggers off of Critical hits. Building early Critical Chance can still be beneficial since Yasuo does double any critical chance he receives, but it's nowhere near as powerful as it was, and I don't consider them very viable to the kit anymore.
... A LOT like an ADC (Masteries)
18/0/12 gives Yasuo the most damage possible while also helping patch some of the holes in his kit. His Keystone Mastery since their release has always been Warlord's Bloodlust , but it's been nerfed multiple times since it was created (Thanks Rito). It's sad, but when it comes to the game as a whole, the nerfs were definitely needed to keep Yasuo's immense power in check and balanced with other champions.
||We start off with the weird choice of
. It may seem strange at first, but if you paid attention to the Runes I picked, you'll see that I'm very much about minimizing wasted stat boosts. Points in Fury would be wasted once you hit 60% bonus Attack Speed. Plus, Sorcery will boost the damage of both Sweeping Blade AND Steel Tempest since they are abilities.
Next is an easy choice. Out of the three, Double Edged Sword is the best Mastery to take here. Extra damage is always good, and the extra damage you take can be mitigated with smart use of Flow. The other options are very lackluster ( Feast has far too long of a CD, and you're in lane by yourself most of the game so Expose Weakness will be no use to you).
Another weird choice of Natural Talent over Vampirism . Because we're going 18/0/12, the points in Resolve will take the place of Vampirism, leaving you with more damage for Sweeping Blade and Steel Tempest.
Another easy choice, Bounty Hunter over Oppressor . You have no built-in way to impair your opponent's movement, so Oppressor would be completely wasted.
It's almost too easy, Battering Blows over Piercing Thoughts . You're an AD champ, why would you get Magic Penetration?
|The Resolve tree is all about giving Yasuo some sustainability, and it starts with
. Yasuo doesn't build Armor or Magic Resist early, and the bonus stats from the Runes aren't enough to warrant the use of Unyielding. The HP Regeneration from Recovery is more useful, and is boosted by the rest of the Resolve tree.
Tough Skin over Explorer . It's almost as easy a choice as Battering Blows. You're not going to spend hardly any time in the brush or river, the reduced damage from Minions (which you'll be taking a lot of Minion hits) is much more useful.
I can't begin to tell you how much Runic Armor helps you out. 8% increase to all healing. Literally ALL healing. Actual heals (make sure to thank your Supports), life steal, AND base HP Regeneration (which is already being boosted by Recovery). Plus 8% to ALL shields. Granted shields (thank you based Supports), Flow shield, Bloodthirster shield, Maw of Malmortius shield, etc. Pretend Veteran's Scars doesn't even exist. Because to you, it doesn't.
This last one I'm still a little on the edge, but I think I've settled on Insight over Perseverance . Having Ignite and Flash back faster is a little more meaningful than the HP Regeneration boost (although triple HP Regen when below 25% HP is pretty awesome when you add all of these boosts up).
Resolve vs. Cunning (Masteries Continued)
Do you run with the Assassin title and build fully into it, or do you cut back and try to make your champion a little more well rounded?
I personally try to round Yasuo out, I also dial back slightly on the number of times I burst, going in only in favorable scenarios rather than constantly harassing my opponent like most that I've seen. But, if you would prefer to go all out, I've built a tree for that as well (this will be 18/12/0 rather than 18/0/12).
||Since you're going all out, having the fast Minion wave clear from Savagery is much better than the movement speed from
. Faster wave clear = more gold = more items = fed Yasuo = win. It's simple math.
As a solo laner who wants as much damage as possible, Assassin is the most useful pick here. You won't be in the jungle to make use of Runic Affinity , and while the additional healing from Secret Stash is nice, it's not as good as being able to push the enemy Champion out of lane faster.
If you even though about picking Meditation , pls refund your Yasuo. Not only do you not use Mana, but the extra damage from Merciless is awesome. 5% extra damage when they're already low on health is basically the last nail in their coffin.
Last, but not least, is Dangerous Game over Bandit . While you could easily abuse Bandit and get a good amount of gold, you'd be missing out on half of its full effect. Plus the healing from Dangerous Game will more than likely save you on multiple occasions (we all know that you're gonna jump in on those 3 champs you knocked airborne even though it's a 3v5).
The One Weapon No One Uses (Cull Explanation)
Stats: 80hp, 8 Attack Damage, 3% Life Steal
The standard starting item for almost every AD champion. It's got great base stats: 80hp helps provide good early game survival, 8AD helps to poke Minions and Champions down, and 3% Life Steal is awesome early game sustain. All of that being said, there's no return on it. At all. When you sell it, it's -270g (180g cost - 450g cost). With that almost being the cost of a dagger (and you need a lot of those in Yasuo's kit), I think there's a much better alternative.
Stats: 7 Attack Damage; Passive: Grants 3 health on-hit; UNIQUE passive: Killing a Minion grants 1 additional gold. Killing 100 Minions grants an additional 350 gold and disables this passive.
I have rarely seen anyone use this, and I can't figure out why. It's the same cost as the Doran's Blade for very similar stats. You take a 1AD loss and some will say that 3% Life Steal is better than 3HP on-hit, but it can actually work in your favor (Remember, your Q procs on-hit effects). There's also this amazing passive, which is the main reason why I take this item.
Yasuo has awesome wave clear. He can poke from a distance with Q, or he can E+Q and hit the entire wave (while also setting up trading with the enemy laner). For every Minion, he gets 1G. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up. Once you hit the 100 Minion mark (which should be relatively early), you get 350G immediately. Sell the Cull and you've got the Kercheis Shard you need to finish your Shiv and start your snowball.
Let's Go Shopping (Items)
There are a few ways to start your game depending on your play-style.
2. Brawler's Gloves + 2 HP potions
3. Dagger + 3 HP potions
4. Boots of Speed + 3 HP potions
I prefer to start with Cull. If you plan to start off with E, start with the Boots. The others are a fast track to Zeal/Stattik Shiv.
Your first major item is the Statikk Shiv. This is the butter knife to Yasuo's bread. Moving and using Sweeping Blade add stacks to the passive, so do make sure to keep moving. The Critical Chance you get it doubled, so you're now also at 60% Critical, making you AND the passive very deadly. Strike fast, move around, and set off the passive as many times as you can. If you run low on health, sit back and let the passive hurts your opponent for you.
Infinity Edge is generally your next item, as it will put you at 100% Critical and increase your damage by approx 25% (250% critical damage - 10% from Yasuo's passive = 225% damage). After that it mostly depends on the enemy team composition and their item builds, but normally you're getting fed at this point and you'll build a The Bloodthirster.
I've been building more into the Maw of Malmortius lately, and it's been amazing. The Magic Resist has helped a lot, and the extra damage and armor penetration go well with Last Breath. Lifeline also helps against bursting AP champions, and it's also boosted by Runic Armor.
Level Up! (Skill Sequence)
|space]||Yasuo's W; throws a wall in direction casted that stops all projectiles for a short time. This includes Baron and Dragon basic attacks, but not non-projectiles such as Final Spark.
Your main protection from being stunned, rooted, or otherwise movement impaired or 1-shot killed in lane. Keep in mind this wall doesn't go immediately in front of you, it does move forward a short distance. Casting this at the right time in the right direction will mean the difference between living and dying.
E+QCasting Q while dashing causes Q to be cast in a circle. This is an easy way to hit all of the minions in a wave, hit multiple enemies at one time in a team fight, or catch your laning opponent in the middle of their minion wave. Your 3rd Q also knocks your enemies airborne, so make sure to hit as many enemy champions as possible, especially if you're planning on using Last Breath as a follow-up. If you're running low on health, using this on a group of minions can also get you a good amount of health due to Warlord's Bloodlust.
3Q+EWith this combo, you stack up your Q until you have your whirlwind ready. Lock onto your enemy, cast whirlwind, and as soon as the whirlwind leaves the blade dash onto the enemy. This does a quick large amount of damage and is a very good engage or disengage tool depending on the direction of the dash.
3Q+R+QYour ult suspends the enemy in the air for 1 second. In late game, the cooldown on your Q is very low. If you time Last Breath correctly, you can hit your enemy with your 3rd Q and knock them airborne, use your ultimate, then hit them again with Q when they land. If you haven't used it already, you can even dash on them (E) for even more damage.
Mastering these combos can open up a very dangerous side of Yasuo that can easily erase anyone he comes across. There are many more combos that can be done on top of these (using Flash opens up combos on unwary opponents), so make sure to use everything in your disposal, and be creative.
Things You Should Know
Yasuo has a few mechanics that can make or break him depending on your skill.
- Yasuo's Q has a minimum CD of 1.33 seconds, which is met by obtaining 60% bonus AS. Any excess over this is still viable, your AA's will still be faster, but your Q still will not come any quicker.
- Way of the Wanderer decreases the Critical Damage of Yasuo's Q by 25% instead of 10%. Because of this, after a certain AD cap (somewhere slightly over 300 AD), you'll begin to do more damage with your auto attacks than your Q. Make sure that in late game fights that you're constantly AA'ing in-between your Q to do the most damage possible.
- Yasuo is an EXTREMELY mobile champion. Stuns, roots, etc. will throw him completely off balance and stop any combo you were working on. Practicing your Wind Wall can mean the difference between being a sitting duck and casting Last Breath on the entire enemy team.
Farming Your Way to Mid-Game
Yasuo, just like every champion in League of Legends, has his own way to snowball in game. While champions like Ryze, Nasus, and similar champions are "farm" champions, or champions that prefer to stay out of combat and kill minions, Yasuo is a "kill" champion similar to Katarina or Zed, which means the best way to begin the snowball is to get a kill on the enemy Champion before they get one on you. A dead enemy lane means a small gold spike and free farming, meaning more free gold, which gets you the items for an immense power spike. How to do this depends on what your enemy's style of play is.
If your enemy laner is a farming champion, they're going to stay as far away from you as possible. Casters have an advantage against you due to their range. These champions can normally stay in lane for a VERY long time if they aren't dealt with appropriately.[/center]
- Force them out of lane by dashing in and attacking, then free farm while they're too far away to interfere.
- Lure them away from the turret and have your jungler come in and gank. While they're dead or going back to base, farm as much as possible.
- Don't use your abilities to farm (this is a bad idea, but sometimes it's the only option so you won't get ganked or leave them to free farm under their turret).
- Keep them zoned away from the minions to prevent them from farming.
- Have your jungler come in and gank when appropriate. Just like Yasuo, if a kill champion falls behind, they're generally useless until they catch up.
- Pay attention to when they're trying to lure you in for a gank. Only dive if you know it's safe, or you can guarantee a kill.
An excellent Yasuo player can single-handedly win a game, or a bad one single-handedly cost his team the game.
Which one will YOU be?
11/16/2015: Updated rune chapter to include options and to explain choices; mastery tree to explain choices; added Farming Your Way to Mid-Game chapter; added Combos chapter; general aesthetic changes as I get better with coding :)
11/23/2015: Guide has been altered to reflect the change to Warlord's Bloodlust (now only proc's when hitting an enemy CHAMPION); slight wording changes
11/30/2015: Guide has been slightly reworded (I've misspoken a lot and said that Yasuo's AS was a max of 60% bonus, when that is only the max AS that goes to Steel Tempest's cooldown).
3/30/2016: Updated for the new season; updated the entire guide, also added a chapter explaining my reasoning for Cull.
5/11/2016: Massive update to BBcode (I finally figured out how to use columns!); text colors have been considerably toned down; added in a Cunning tree for anyone interested; general overall changes
Thanks to everyone who's looked at the guide, over 2.5 million views in around 7 months! Please make sure to comment and tell me what you guys think so that I can continue to try and make this the best possible Yasuo guide on the site!
Thanks to jhoijhoi's Making a Guide guide for all the coding techniques I've used to make this guide!
Thanks to gibbsey97,YDabid, and jiraiyazeraki for their amazing Yasuo fan art!
Thanks to anEscapedtestSubject for helping to improve my mastery choices!
11/19/2015: Thanks to Tdfootball for helping to improve the Rune chapter and the item selection!
11/30/2015: Thanks to CityBlazer for pointing out some of my mistakes!
3/30/2016: Thanks to 4rtificial for helping me to add to the combos section; Utopus for pointing out some flaws in the guide and giving me ways to make it better!