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Yasuo is a complex champion that is easy to learn, but very hard to master. He puts out a TON of AD in mid to late game, but his squishiness throughout keeps him from going all out early in team fights. The Windwalker can wreck tanks and mages alike with his ultimate, Last Breath, which gives him 50% bonus armor penetration (which gets him through Randuin's Omen, Frozen Heart, and similar items). He can also tear down high-health targets with his Steel Tempest, which applies on-hit effects such as Blade of the Ruined King.
All in all, he's a well rounded champion that can be used as a Top-Lane, Mid-Lane, and in some cases an ADC if built to do so, but this guide will only go over his mid-lane game.
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
- 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 a squishy mess when he falls behind. He is vulnerable to ganks, can't engage and be the "kill" champion that he's meant to be, and is squishier than normal. But a fed Yasuo can easily carry a team into late game.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Due to buffs and such in items, Yasuo's base runes have changed.
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Due to the buff in Statikk Shiv, Crit runes are no longer needed. These will buff Yasuo's damage to make up for it.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Armor runes will help Yasuo survive basic attacks from minions and champions.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Since most mid champions are casters, MR will help Yasuo survive pokes from their abilities.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: Replace the third quint with another attack speed quint, or with a damage one, either one will work.
18/0/12 gives Yasuo a TON of AD and AS, along with the health to get through the early game, and the new keystone mastery Warlord's Bloodlust DRASTICALLY increases his survivability throughout the game. With a 2 second proc time, you can use this almost every single hit, which equates to 15% lifesteal and a never-ending 20% AS buff.
This. Is. AMAZING. Once you add this to a Bloodthirster or BORK, you're looking at basically 25-35% lifesteal, which can keep you alive through those longer teamfights, and can seriously increase your damage output with basic attacks.
Yasuo players rejoice! Riot has given us an AMAZING gift.
Flash is hands down the best current Summoner Spell. It has the ability to throw you into a team fight OR throw you out of a potential death. Any laning champion should take this spell.
Ignite meshes very well with Yasuo's constant pressure. Any champions who survive Yasuo's all-in will rarely survive an Ignite afterwards.
Exhaust could be another option, but in lane you should never need to slow your opponent to catch up to them, and their damage should be taken care of with your Flow shield.
Barrier is another option, but your Flow shield should also take care of this problem.
Way of the Wanderer is Yasuo's passive, and where most of his power comes from. With this passive, Yasuo's critical chance is DOUBLED, but he does 10% less damage with his critical strikes. Without Infinity Edge, this means that his crits deal 180% damage, with IE his crits do 225% damage. His resource bar also fills with Flow, which he gets by moving (including dashing with E). At maximum flow, the next time he is hit by anything he gains a shield equal to his Flow for 1 second and his Flow resets.
Last Breath blinks you to any nearby airborne target, dealing moderate damage and granting you maximum Flow and a buff for 50% BONUS armor penetration. This only applies to armor granted by Runes, Items and Masteries. This can also be used on enemies affected by Blitz's Q and similar effects, along with any abilities (including your own) that knock-up champions. Like all ultimates, this is leveled up at every opportunity.
Steel Tempest is your bread and butter. It's considered a skillshot basic attack: It's cooldown is based on your attack speed (minimum cooldown of 1.33 seconds), can critically strike, does more damage with AD, and applies on-hit effects (Blade of the Ruined King, Frozen Mallet, etc). If this hits any unit, it grants a stack of Gathering Storm. At 2 stacks, Yasuo's next cast shoots a whirlwind that knocks any hit units airborne. This is the only way to self-proc Last Breath. Combined with the damage output this produces, Steel Tempest should be leveled up 2nd.
Sweeping Blade is your mobility tool in lane. You dash through your target, doing a flat amount of damage (increases with AP, which is negligible since Yasuo doesn't build AP) that can increase with multiple casts (25% increase in damage per stack, max 2 stacks). If Steel Tempest is cast while dashing, Tempest is cast in a circle instead of in a line. This has an extremely low cooldown (0.5 secs > 0.4 > 0.3 > 0.2 > 0.1), and is your #1 way of both engaging and disengaging in lane. Level this up 3rd.
Wind Wall provides very good protection in lane. When cast, a wall is launched in any direction that stops all projectiles (this includes Baron and Dragon auto-attacks). This DOES NOT stop non-projectiles such as Lux's Ult. Because the cooldown is only lowered by leveling and the wall stays for the same amount of time, this can be leveled last.
Yasuo has a very standard build, but the new masteries and buffs have changed it slightly.
I start with Cull instead of Doran's Blade because of the gold income buff. The small amount of health is mitigated by your passive shield, and the loss of 3 damage is mitigated by getting to your Shiv faster.
After rushing into your Statikk Shiv and completing your Infinity Edge, you have the option of Blade of the Ruined King or The Bloodthirster, depending on the enemy team's composition. High health = BORK, otherwise BT is the way to go.
From there, it's all about the enemy comp. I prefer Frozen Mallet regardless due to the slow, but it's all interchangeable.
All in all, Yasuo is an extremely fun champion that can zig zag across the Rift better than almost any other champion, while also dealing tons of damage. While very difficult to master, he is well worth the time and effort. An excellent Yasuo player can single-handedly turn a game in his team's favor, or a bad one can lose his team the game.
Which one will you be?