Yorick Build Guide by IvoryLGC
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey there and welcome to my first ever MOBAfire guide. :)
This is centered entirely around the concept of playing support yorick. If you're looking for a different yorick guide, this won't help you. :)
I've always been attracted to support yorick and only lately I've been able to practice him in this role to any degree of competitiveness. The first thing I want people to know is that he fairs surprisingly well in both laning phase and teamfights.
As I got to play him more, I wanted to see what other people were writing about him and found a surprising lack of in-depth guides about the idea. The only things I read seemed to be just theorycrafting and not practical application of the role he plays. Some suggest building damage in with your support items, and I feel that is just not feasible if you're playing a serious support game. With my build in mind, he actually comes out 1) quite tanky, and able to wade into teamfights to dish out damage and be where he needs to be to support his team, and 2) damaging enough that you WILL notice his contributions to either ganks or teamfights.
Something you have to keep in mind with support yorick is that he is not there to be a bruiser damagey type character that's supposed to hurt a lot. He doesn't need to be.
In lane, he excels at poking, harrassing, zoning, soft initiation, and soft disengaging. In teamfighting, yorick is, as you may guess, there for pretty much one reason only: his ult. Keep your ad carry going no matter what, even in death (of course).
Although his role is limited in that respect, it does not mean that he can't be doing other things. He will be tanky enough to go into the middle of a fight and throw out his damage on key targets. He will sustain quite well with E, despite being built with no damage in mind. And honestly, nobody takes a support yorick as a serious threat - so rarely will you get targeted hard in a teamfight. (and if you do, just throw your ult on your carry and die like a man! You did your job and ate a bunch of damage for your team to boot.)
Why play Yorick Support?
The first question many might ask is "Why play him in the support role?" and I'll attempt to answer that as descriptively as possible.
There are numerous attributes to look for when choosing a support, here's a list of the attributes in their most broadest sense:
- Sustain (eg, shielding and healing abilities)
- Crowd Control (eg, stuns, silences, slows, knock-ups, knock-backs, etc)
- Zoning capability (eg, dashes, poking damage, cc, etc)
- Buffing abilities
Some overlap, but the basis for what makes a support viable is in these attributes. While Yorick doesn't provide any sustain or buffs for his carry, he does hit the other two categories.
His Omen of Pestilence paired with Omen of Famine make him one of the strongest zoning champions in the game. While normally taken advantage of in top lane, the same principle can be applied to bully your bottom lane opponents back and cause them to miss cs and even exp. By taking advantage of lane brush and wards, you can effectively press onto their support and ad carry with little risk. This creates an extremely pressure-free environment for your ad carry to farm in.
While certainly considered "soft" CC, Omen of Pestilence is still a significant slow, enough for your AD carry to either engage on or, at the very least, poke your enemy with auto attacks. This sort of playstyle is highly aggressive, but again, very positive in risk/reward as neither support nor carry needs to position anywhere vulnerable to do so.
Alright, so some of you may not be convinced yet, but here's the real kicker, the icing on the cake: Omen of Death. This is really what Yorick's ult was meant for. You have no better opportunity to use your ultimate effectively than playing support in bottom lane. Use this skill liberally when engaging, disengaging, and especially when your jungler comes for ganks. Remember that the revenant gains a percentage of your carries AD, so it can be critical to vamping up damage output and securing kills.
Many people, probably unconsciously, view it more as a Zilean ultimate than anything else. This is detrimental to playing Yorick, especially when you're bottom lane, as it can mean the difference between successful kills and none at all. The worst you can do, of course, is to not use it, but to only use it right before your ally may die is pretty close to that.
In teamfights this goes the same way, ult your carry and turn the fight in your favor. If your carry happens to die, he'll come back for another 10 seconds and clean up whatever may be left. The difference you can make in teamfights really is up there with the best supports in the game.
Now that we've discussed why play Yorick as a support champion, let's look at when to play him as support.
My general rule of thumb when looking to play Yorick support is to evaluate the enemy bottom lane in champ select. I'll ask myself a few general questions like "Can their support out-poke me?" A well played Sona will give you a run for your money, for example.
"Do they have a strong engage?" While Yorick is a great poke champion, he does lack escape mechanisms. If your enemy has locked in Leona or Alistar, for example, I might think twice. These champions are quite tanky and will be difficult to zone, and can initiate onto you far better than you can disengage.
Another thing to keep in mind is the enemy AD carry's attack range. If it is larger than your own for your ghouls, you may have a difficult time harassing them. Caitlyn can play quite safely against a Yorick.
Do not let high sustain lanes ( Soraka) deter you from using Yorick. Your goal most of the time isn't to create kills, but to zone effectively. You can still do that against these lanes, they'll just be harder to kill, that's all.
Some enemy champions that Yorick will do especially well against are: Kog'Maw, Ezreal, Ashe, Vayne, Lulu, Janna.
Bottom Lane champions that you will have troubles laning against: Blitzcrank, Alistar, Caitlyn.
And finally, some AD Carries I find synergize exceptionally well with Yorick: Vayne, Ashe, Kog'Maw, Corki.
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Gold
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Gold
Runes are pretty simple. You want income and tankiness. Not much more to it.
Although my actual runepage is slightly different than this, it is the basis for any support character and works just fine for yorick. I suggest you tweak it to your own playstyle as I have done for myself.
The only differences I have made to my own is I take slightly more armor and use a mixture of scaling MR and flat MR to give the best balance for early/late game magic resist.
Again, fairly basic mastery page. What this does is give you great spam-ability through mana regen and CDR, some more gold income, mobility, and of course, more beefiness to be able to harrass your lane opponents successfully.
I'm 100% certain that there are other viable mastery page setups for support yorick, but this is the best foundation to go from. Tailor it to your own specific playstyle. If you're more aggressive, you may want to look into the early offense tree. I caution you to think carefully about what you'd have to give up in the process though.
The skill sequence for a support yorick I think is the most rigid place of all in this build. It's quite straightforward.
Omen of Death > Omen of Pestilence > Omen of Famine > Omen of War
You want to max your Omen of Pestilence first. Why? Because each level increases the initial slow, as well as the persistent slow effect. In lane, this means a harder initiation that your ad carry can take advantage of. Vice versa, it's also a much more reliable disengage.
Next you want Omen of Famine for health sustain, but mainly for added harrassment. The damage from a good W>E combo early game is likened to sona in her Q harrass. Simply put, it's really freakin awesome and totally fun. :P To frustrate your lane opponents further, toss wards in lane brush and zone them even more.
As for Omen of War, it's not really going to help you much in the laning phase as you shouldn't be getting up close and personal to anyone to use it. The only reason I would get a point in Q earlier than level 8 is if our lane was being severely ganked. But even then, good ward placement and good map awareness can prevent having to smack a jungler with Q to run away.
And last, but certainly not least, Omen of Death. As with all ultimates, 6/11/16. Nothing more to be said.
Items are extremely flexible here. Support Yorick benefits just as greatly from a standard support opening as any other support.
You want to wait to buy when you have at least 620 gold. This will allow you to finish your Philosopher's Stone. But because you're Yorick and you've been zoning your lane opponents so well, you'll probably have more, so get Boots of Speed and more wards too. Don't wait too long to get boots, the added movement speed will allow you to harass even more effectively.
At this point in the game you should already feel like king of your bot lane.
From here you don't deviate much from the standard support items. Heart of Gold is a must, as well as Aegis of the Legion unless someone on your team is building aegis themselves (like galio).
Shurelya's Reverie is the next big item you really want. More health, more CDR, and the movement speed activate is so key to successfully positioning for objectives and teamfights.
From this point on what you build on support Yorick is completely up to you. What I've outlined above is the core and should always be followed to give your team the best possible chance of winning. Below, I will outline what I like to build next, as well as some handy alternatives.
Zeke's Herald - I'm a total fan of the new stats on this. You get a bunch more CDR and great stats for your AD carry. Not to mention it gives you a much needed boost to your own sustain as well. However, this is NOT a must build. If you're not used to building it, or have other priorities in mind, or you're just plain behind in game, this may be one item to skip, or push back in your item build.
Locket of the Iron Solari / Randuin's Omen - These are both great items to have on support yorick. Both are made from Heart of Gold and while I prefer Locket of the Iron Solari, turning your HoG into a Randuin's Omen on support yorick is also very effective. There may be games where you need to be more tanky, or you really need that randuin's active ability more than the locket's shield. Either way, turn your Heart of Gold into something, both are totally viable on supporick.
Frozen Heart - Great mix of mana(something support yorick will lack), armor, CDR and anti-carry passive. Get this if it suits your playstyle more, however even with a yorick that lacks mana, I rarely have troubles managing my mana in a support type role with him. The major thing here is the CDR, armor and anti-carry passive. Those stats alone are what makes this a great item for support yorick. The only drawback is its cost.
When should you NOT get frozen heart?
- One of your teammates already intends to buy one (ie. Ryze, Warwick, Skarner, etc.)
- If you already have 2 CDR items in your inventory. This will over-stack your CDR by quite a bit and that's a pretty big waste.
Soul Shroud - Meh. If you need the CDR, and aren't getting it elsewhere, go for it. The health and mp5 are great additions. But I would only get this in extreme cases where your entire team are comprised of mana hungry champions. :P Only then will it be worth its weight.
Chalice of Harmony - MAYBE. MAYBE. Okay, if you're having serious mana issues (you shouldn't be) and the enemy is running a heavy AP comp, then this MAY be worthwhile. My reluctance comes from it being an item that only benefits you, not your team. But hey, if it keeps you alive and in the fight, who am I to judge?
Abyssal Scepter - Expensive, yes. But quite a good item for a support to pick up. The MR makes you beefier, and gives your AP's (preferably more than one, if you're deciding to build this item) an edge in teamfights. Also, your Omen of Pestilence has a 1.0 AP ratio, so that's kinda cool I guess. This item is situational through and through, but if the situation arises, go ahead and get it.
Manamune - I figured I should address this item since it's generally considered one of Yorick's usual core items. While it does look appealing, even for a support, I suggest against it. Mainly this is due to the playstyle you have to adopt as a support. You will not need to use your abilities as much as you would in solo lanes, and the damage it gives you is negligible in your role.
Also, to get a tear early (so you can stack it accordingly) would be doing so at the expense of either your GP10 items, or your boots. Neither of which I find to be worth delaying. By all means, try building manamune as supporick. Just don't be surprised if you are set back greatly late-game, and still don't do any significant damage. <3
Kage's Lucky Pick/ Avarice Blade - Some may be thinking, "Well hey, if some GP10 items are good, more must be better, right?". The problem with this is that Kage's and Avarice blade don't build into anything useful later.
It takes somewhere between 10-15 minutes for a GP10 item to start being profitable, so using the first 30 minutes of the game building 4 GP10 items, only to turn around and sell 2 of them when the game is already near completion, is a serious waste. They won't make you any more money in the long run, they'll just eat up item slots and delay other, more useful, items from being built.
Will of the Ancients - Here's an interesting item. Some like it on a support, but personally I find it wasteful. The reason for this is that you'll be spending a larger portion of your time with a champion that will never benefit from it. It also doesn't benefit you at all either. If the AP champs want a WoTA in the game, they can bloody well buy one themselves.
Mercury's Treads are my go-to boots for supporick as you are a rather tanky support with close-ish range abilities and in teamfights you WILL find yourself in the middle of the action. With this in mind, merc treads give you some much needed MR and tenacity to absorb some CC as well.
Other options are...
Boots of Mobility - Lovely boots on a support. Great for yorick to chase and harrass and zone all that much more. Also, for getting around the map, from lane to lane, warding and de-warding and supporting and ganking (when possible), these boots just make it all that much better. The downside is you lose out on your tankiness in teamfights, so use these with caution. If the team you're against has high mobility and zero cc (master yi!) then these may be a wise alternative.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Another pair of lovely boots for supports. The only time I would ever consider these is if I was planning on Shurelya's to be my only CDR item. If that is all you're building, and again, you are confident that the team you're against is lacking CC (and heavy AP damage) then these are another decent alternative to Merc Treads. The situations are limited, though.
Ninja Tabi - Only buy these if you are getting seriously butthurt in early laning. They can drastically help lane against a fed AD carry, and are super cheap to boot. (Chances are if you're far enough behind in lane to need these, you're probably starving gold-wise too.) As soon as these have done their job, however, I would look to switch them out for Merc Treads or other boots, as they would help you more once the laning phase is over.
Any other boots would not suit supporick and should be avoided at all times.
Items you might think about buying but really shouldn't:
- Warmog's Armor. No.
- Frozen Mallet. Nono.
- Trinity Force. Tons of damage? No.
- Spirit Visage. No. Although I love this item, and it DOES synergize well with Yorick, it boils down to it being one item slot that is only benefiting you and not your team. You can live without it. Nonono.
- Sunfire Cape. God no.
- Banshee's Veil. I see where you're going with this, and if you were at all an important target, then maybe. But you're not. So no. Eat the spells that are thrown your way and express your gratitude to the enemy for wasting them on you and not your carries.
- Force of Nature. Too expensive, and reserved for the main tanky champs on your team. If you ARE the main tank on your team, then there's something wrong with your team.
- Hexdrinker/ Maw of Malmortius. No. You're not building damage, stop it.
So in summary, Support Yorick can be described as a tanky support with incredible poke and zoning capabilities, soft CC, self-sustain, and a completely unique mechanic that no other support in the game can provide (his ult).
If you guys enjoyed my guide, feel free to leave a comment and don't forget to rate! And well, if you didn't like my guide, comment and rate too! Just remember to keep it constructive and if there's enough interest I will further update and expand on how to play this wonderfully underplayed niche support. <3
Yorick - Undertaking the Top Lane
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Yorick Item Build