They wont forgive this.
Only if you're super fed
Threats to Yasuo with this build
|Galio||I've never faced a Galio. Ever. Who the hell plays this guy?|
|Fiddlesticks||He can be a HUGE pain in the ass in the jungle, but his mid lane is very very meh. E directly onto him, harass as much as possible and as soon as he drains E back to minions. This lane can be really easy. (REMEMBER TO WINDWALL HIS CROW)|
Yasuo is one of the most powerful melee mid laners around right now, and season 6 changes have made him a monster in solo queue.
One of the problems with Yasuo is that he is pretty hard to master (I don't care what you think, he is difficult to use properly), but if you can use him to his maximum potential, he can singlehandedly carry games. I build and play him as an assassin with good sustained damage, and high dueling power. He can reliably 2 shot carries and mages late game with his insane scaling (100% crit = 2.0 AD scaling on autos and Qs) and his early game is formidable, and allows for some serious level 1-2 cheese (I remember the days of the one hit kill E, fun times)
I hope this guide can give you an idea of how I play him and help you destroy your lane.
DISCLAIMER: This guide is here to show HOW to play Yasuo, not just what to build on him.
Pros / Cons
+ Crazy Scaling into late game
+ Crits every time
+ Passive Shield helps nullify enemy harass
+ Very mobile around minions
- Immobile when not in vicinity of minions
- Very item dependent. Awkward transition from 1st back to completed 1st item.
- Much like champions like Tryndamere and Yi, very feast or famine, you either win big or lose hard.
Runes and Masteries
9 AS Marks - You need these to max your Q CDR with my build
9 Armor Seals - Helps you deal with early game harass that slips past your wall and passive, makes a large difference early (You are still VERY squishy late game, but your early game is actually pretty bruiser-esque with these)
9 MR Glyphs - Same as above, but with 99% more MAAAAAGIC
1 Lifesteal - Having just one of these makes it so if you are winning and have free access to minions you can sustain easier, while not overinvesting in lifesteal.
2 MS Quints - Yasuo's base MS is already nice and each of these increases it by slightly over 5 Flat, which lets you catch up to people when they are JUST at the edge of E range. Also boosts your E speed, which is important.
(More) Life Steal Quints - These can be VERY helpful when laning somebody like a Zed, as any harass that slips past your defenses can quickly be healed up while your damage sticks on enemies. It does however rely on the fact that you have access to minions (to life steal off of) which often you don't when you need the health. So, I don't usually use these, but they can be very helpful at times, especially when you already know your laner isn't a very pokey person and you can AA minions a lot.
AD Quints - These can help your early damage, but I don't use them because the effect is negligible and I think the MS quints retain more use throughout the game. These can however mean the difference between the enemy escaping with 15 health (This happens more often than it statistically should), and a kill.
With the Season 6 Changes you have a lot more options now, but it basically breaks down into 3 different paths:
1) Warlord's Bloodlust - The lifesteal it gives just has a ridiculous gold value once you start getting low HP, so I basically default to this one. It also makes it more forgiving if you kill their carry with 2HP and their support is still alive, since you can probably out-lifesteal their damage.
2) Thunderlord's Decree - Very helpful in the laning phase because Yasuo procs it very easily, and it helps win trades. It doesn't scale nearly as well as Warlord's or Fervor though.
3) Fervor of Battle - Really good damage for extended fights, it's like Thunderlord's but better for longer fights. It's worse than Thunderlord's if you're expecting assassin-duels where the fight lasts 3 seconds though.
If you like playing tanky bruiser Yasuo, most likely top lane, consider Grasp of the Undying
Must have on pretty much all champions, hands down best summoner spell in the game, crazy high impact throughout ALL stages of the game. Don't even consider not taking this if you are playing seriously.
With Yasuo's formidable early game presence and very feast or famine style getting fed should be your priority, and ignite helps you do just that. This spell is pretty staple mid lane, so expect your lane opponent to be running Flash Ignite.
The most popular alternative to Ignite. Could spend an entire section explaining this spell, but I'll leave that to some random top laner guide. Basically use it to roam.
A very viable replacement for ignite in some matchups. Preventing damage from your opponent can be just as valuable if not more than dealing damage to them, and this is specifically EXTREMELY powerful against people who are very burst centric and their All-Ins aren't very ambiguous. You might wanna pick this against people like Katarina, Syndra, and other champions with heavily telegraphed all ins, but definitely HEAVILY consider taking this against Zed, because this completely guts his ult. Generally avoid this in blind pick where you don't know your match up. Mostly defensive but can be used offensively because of its slow.
Personally I don't run this but this is a defensive summoner spell that is a bit more flexible than exhaust, but is a bit less effective. In blind pick if you want a defensive summoner you should consider picking this over exhaust, although exhaust still has SOME offensive capabilities with its considerable slow.
If you're going against someone with a big CC they are reliant on, and you don't plan to build Merc Scim, and you're Korean, feel free to pick this.
Items are the most important thing to getting Yasuo all set up, as leveling his abilities honestly doesn't do very much (Aside from his ult, which gets a MASSIVE cooldown reduction per point invested in it). Here I will explain why I chose these items
This item is essential on my Yasuo build. Simply said, it is the best item a Yasuo can have. Yasuo uses almost every stat on this item better than other champions as well as greatly utilizing the passive with his E, making this item probably THE most gold efficient item in the game for Yasuo. Getting this is the first step to dominating the game.
This is the next item I build on Yasuo, for the simple reason that it just increases his damage MASSIVELY. The 80 AD is the first AD you get, and it is very important, and can deal, as Phreak would say, tons of damage. You also get the rest of the crit chance required to get your beautiful 100% crit with this item. Finally, it's unique passive is KILLER on Yasuo, as the 50% Damage increase happens EVERY TIME. You are effectively increasing your AD by 50% with this unique passive alone. While Triforce is nice and all, it's damage just doesn't compare.
This item gives Yasuo a nice MS boost, that can help escape ganks and get in range for that E. Any boots except for lucidity works, I just put Merc Treads because those are my favorites.
This is my new go-to item for defensive stats on squishies. It gives both and health in spades, as well as having as FANTASTIC movespeed buff, and it even gives a slow and some damage to boot. It's a great defensive item that can just sit on its own and still give great protection, which can't be said about some of the other defensive items.
You probably want to get this item before boots/IE if you're losing, or after BT if you're winning.
I am surprised so many people prefer Hydra over this item. Simply put this item just goes better with Yasuo's play style. He isn't the kind of Assassin that uses that autoattack reset from Hydra, he's the kind that benifits more from the BT shield. That said, BT or Hydra are both obvious choices for this spot because they both give very high AD boost as well as lifesteal. My preference is BT, but if you think Hydra active and cleave passive is better, go ahead and use Hydra.
BORK is also an option here. I downright never use this, but I can see how it would increase your duel potential greatly with the AS, and the active is GREAT, but IMO the stat distribution isn't quite right. That said, if you do take BORK, take Fervor of Battle, as BORK gives more than enough AS so Warlord's AS steroid is unnecessary, and Fervor works great with BORK
Mercurial Scimitar is also a good option, but it's a lot more situational than the other choices. Might want to take it as an extra item on top of one of the more standard Lifesteal items.
Sixth Item Options
Gives great damage, some lifesteal, and a unique passive that is fairly impactful on your survivability.
Good mix of damage and defense, but only really good if your primary threat is AP. Probably shouldn't get this if you also have Merc Scim.
Get one of this thing's upgrades to go against bruisers and tanks who armored up.
You should only be building this if A)There's no armor to penetrate on enemy team so LW isn't worth a slot or B)Dead Man's plate isn't good in your situation
My opinion of this item has gone down a pretty significant amount since I first made this guide, but I still think it's a viable alternative, or side if you want to be bruisery, to Dead Man's Plate. It gives a nice mix of Armor and MR in cases where you need the mixed defense, and the passive is great if you're carrying.
PRO TIP: If GA's revive passive is on cooldown, you can sell it and buy a more useful item while the cooldown will continue without you actually having the item (This mostly applies to full build + 2000 gold ultra late game)
Passive - Way of the Wanderer
The secret ingredient to Yasuo's power. It is relatively straight forward, and has 2 parts.
Intent - Yasuo's crit chance is doubled, but his crits deal 10% reduced damaged (25% on Q)
Resolve - Yasuo's flow turns into a shield on taking damage from a champion or monster (Jungle Yasuo, new meta <Update: Somebody get a phone cause I called it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTP3PO-LGeQ>) that dissipates after 1 second and depletes all his flow. Requires filled flow bar.
Q - Steel Tempest
This is Yasuo's bread and butter.
He uses this to farm from relative safety, harass upclose but still out of melee range, and deal respectable harass at a very large distance with it's 3rd cast, as well as a knock up for setting up ganks and Last Breath. Use this whenever you can and capitalize on it's short cooldown. Remember to use this in synergy with E for AOE damage, as well as it's ability to proc on hit effects, like lifesteal and shiv. This can be used mid-ult for pretty nuts damage on landing.
It only procs on hit effects on the first target struck, and after patch 5.14 the 3rd Q (whirlwind) also procs on hit effects, albeit only to the first target as well.
W - Windwall
This move is notorious for distinguishing the good from the very good, and the very good from the best. It has the potential to completely shut down champions, making them utterly useless, but also can be a complete deadweight against some champions. Remember that the wall blocks as it expands out, so using it at point blank (as in it will pass through the enemy when fully extended) can still block if timed correctly.
A neat trick when at point blank range is to use it and then dash through the champion with E, It will block any projectiles used while it moves forward, you dodge any nonblockable skillshots, and it places you behind the windwall, in relative safety, but still in reach to Q the enemy and, depending on your original position, autoattack from behind the wall.
Also remember that you can auto attack through the wall, and using this correctly can singlehandedly win a lane.
Using this on the other side of a wall briefly reveals it, allowing you to dash through a wall to a jungle monster if needed.
The wall still blocks when it's extending outwards, so with enough skill, pretty much any projectile can be blocked.
Windwall blocks Dragon and Baron AAs (Baron has other attacks that are unblockable, but most of those are dodgable (E helps as well)), and you can position it so that you can still attack from behind it. This can allow for easy solo drags, and helps a lot with 2 man barons.
E - Sweeping Blade
With it's laughably low cooldown you can use it whenever you want, however, it has a onhit timer that prevents you from dashing to a target twice in a certain time (Udyr bear stun, Rek'sai unburrow, Zed passive, etc.), so use it wisely.
This is your main engage and disengage tool in lane, and the source of your mobility in fights. Note that it's damage rises by 25% with each consequentive use up to 50%, which can be a lot level 1-2. It's speed scales with your bonus MS. It can be synergized with Q for AOE damage, and is especially useful for getting the knock up off for an ult on a slippery target.
Generally, if the target is around your max dash range Qing mid dash is safe, but up close dash Qs often don't hit. Spam this on minions against skillshot mages as they blow their CDs, then use it on them to engage.
Finally, this deals magic damage, which helps a bit when they start cloth armor.
If your opponent starts cloth armor, it may be better to max this before Q
R - Last Breath
His big playmaker aside from his W, his ult lets him dash to a target, suspends them and all nearby in the air for 1 second, and finally lands dealing high physical damage.
This only works on airborne targets, but they don't have to be from you, so this synergizes very well with champions like zyra, malphite, wukong, and rek'sai.
It also fills your flow bar and grants 40% armor pen on landing, which helps obliterate tanks and deal even more damage after using it. This is actually huge, it's pretty much a free Last Whisper that stacks with normal Last Whisper except it's better because (40% Armor pen > 35% Armor pen and Some AD)
This thing can turn around ganks into 1 v 2 double kills, trap a diving enemy under turret for a long *** time if you knock em up then use it at the last second, and decide entire team fights by potentially dealing a huge nuke to the entire backline, if not entire enemy team. The dash is also extremely useful, as it can help reach teammates that are behind walls or are just far away, because this thing has a huge range. Hits hard and helps hit hard after using it, and the kicker is that you can Q mid-ult, for even MOAR DAMAGE.
Generally in lane, getting your ult off means the enemy either has to flee or you win the fight, unless you had a huge disatvantage to begin with like very low health, or being hard countered (Kayle ult hurts)
Note that this works off of most displacements like trundle pillar and anivia wall, as well as rammus roll.
Combos and Strategies
There are a lot of combos you can do with Yasuo's kit, below are only a few of the combinations you can do.
In lane harass
This can be done in a lot of different ways, and rely on a lot of different variables.Image Courtesy of Zohn 07
Reverse the colors, obviously, for other side.
Low damage, low risk harass combo.
Q (Any minion, get a stack) - E (Enemy Caster Minion) - EQ (Enemy Champion) - AA - E (Enemy Melee Minion) - W (Block enemy projectiles as you back off, only cast if there are projectiles on you) - Q (Enemy Champion, whirlwind)
This simple combo lets you go in, deal damage, get out, and can be executed in a matter of 2.5 seconds, including engage and disengage. It also blocks any damage sent back at you in the form of projectiles, while your passive shield blocks any damage windwall doesn't block.
Effectively free damage, but requires all your cooldowns to be up, and enemies who are either mobile or just have really good reflexes can deal damage back. If you can get the first Q on a minion , you can then hit them with a whirlwind as they inevitably try to go through the windwall.
Q(Any Minion, build stack) - E (Minion) - Q (Enemy Champion) - AA - AA - Q (Whirlwind) - E - AA - Ignite - AA - Q - Walk Away
This can deal massive damage and can take enemies from 50-70 to 0 relatively quickly.
This only works on enemies who are low mobility and have to just awkwardly walk away from you (Especially on Ahri pre-6). Stringing in a Windwall is HIGHLY recommended, but the timing heavily relies on the opponent. The idea of this is to use a minion to gapclose, so you have your E to finish the opponent off when they build a bit of distance. If they are low and go under turret and you think you can finish them, don't hesitate and let them build distance, dive it while they are still relatively close. With some luck the enemy minions will be attacking you from outside the turret range and you can E to them to escape the turret once you've secured the kill.
It should not be necessary to mention that ulting whenever possible is recommended, and that the Qs that are on random minions are to build stacks, and you should wait till your Q is off cooldown (or about to be) to start the actual combo.
The idea in teamfights is to go to the backline while avoiding all damage, kill their squishies instantly, and then converge on the enemy front lines.
(Y) = You (YB) = Your Backline (YF) = Your Frontline (EF) = Enemy Frontline (EB) = Enemy Backline
Someone Has a knock up:
(YB) (Y) (YF) (EF) (EB)
This keeps you out of the way of things like Morgana binds, Thresh/Blitz hooks, Nid Spears, etc. while still in range to use your ult to cut straight to the backline when your Malph, Wukong, etc. knocks them up. The combo should be something like this.
R (Enemy Squishies) - Q - EQ (As they start to run away/dash away, this should kill em) - EQ (Enemy frontline) - Q and AA for clean up.
IMPORTANT : Whenever you feel threatened due to ranged damage incoming, windwall it. This is essential to getting your damage off and destroying the enemy team. You don't tank the damage, you just avoid it entirely. Remember, you can Q during your ult.
Just You with knock up
(YB) (YF) (EF) (EB)
Here you ARE the frontline, as you need to take matters into your own hands. You should have hopefully 2 stacks on your Q, but it can work with only 1 stack, you just have to string in a normal Q before the Whirlwind one (This can be tough as you have to execute this fast or die).
E (Enemy frontline [REPLACE WITH EQ IF 1 STACK]) - EQ (Enemy backline, should knockup) - R - Q (Enemy backline should be dead by now) - EQ (Enemy Frontline) - Clean up with Qs and AAs
It is essential here to block the frontline/backline's CC with your windwall in order to not die. You are diving the carries here, and it is quite possible for them to instantly focus you, remember, you move much faster than your team, they can't always follow up. Again, remember you can Q while ulting. This combo is a lot tougher and it's much easier to just have an ally with a knock up.
Tips and Tricks (Important)
Your auto-attack crits actually deal more damage than your Q crits after 333 AD, so remember to string in auto attacks in between Qs, this is ESSENTIAL to dealing any sustained damage whatsoever (If you don't want to deal any sustained damage, go play Zed, or Talon).
Windwall can easily be positioned in a way that lets you attack while staying safely behind the Windwall. Mastering this positioning is the difference between roflstomping your lane/game and losing the lane/game
You can, a lot of the time get in an extra autoattack as you knock a person up, and then ult, thus increasing your damage significantly (Remember, late game AAs > 'Q's, 'E's, AND EVEN YOUR ULT IS OFTEN WEAKER THAN AN AA)
Windwall blocks Baron and Dragon.
Both Thresh and Blitz Hook can be ulted, with Blitz you can wait for him to actually pull his target to him, but with Thresh you have to ult immediately (The window is almost nonexistant, but it's there). The Thresh hook thing applies to most environmental displacements (Anivia wall, Trundle Pillar), Bigger displacements that don't seem to knock up (Janna Ult can get an entire team knocked up easy, Shyvana ult can hit multiple people who are in a line), and even (I THINK) Dragon, can apply this when he rises to the air.
That said, be patient with knock ups that actually have a number tied to them (.5 seconds+), as ulting at the last second can maximize their time in the air (and their time stunned and thus unable to do anything. Don't rush your ult, it can be enticing to jump on the first knock up you see, but don't do something dumb)
Eing onto another Yasuo is hilarious when he has the same idea (Classic Samurai movie scene)
That said, waiting for a target to dash before Eing them can be the optimal way to go about it. It can even help you counter-juke an opponent because it automatically dashes in the direction they are going if the timing is right.
Your E speed scales with your MS, so if you are heavily slowed (Nasus I'm looking at you) expect your dashes to take much longer than usual. They are still faster than walking though, no matter how slowed.
Using your W and then Q rapidly can allow you to skip the Q animation and deal damage faster. This is especially helpful when you have a whirlwind, and you walk up to the opponent to get harass in, and they throw a projectile at you. Normally, you would throw out your whirlwind, get hit by the projectile, and give them a chance to just walk out of it, but if you WQ combo, you block their projectile and send out the whirlwind at the same time, effectively skipping the entire animation. This can throw people off and just makes it harder to dodge it, and late game there is actually just no cast time for the Q if you execute this, which can be VERY significant. DO NOT, however, use this if they are not using a projectile at you. In general, if you have good reflexes, only use windwall when a projectile is already on its way unless you go in for harass on something like a Ahri and expect counter-harass, or if you dive the carries in a teamfight and just windwall of the front-lines in anticipation of their CC.
Warding is something almost everybody tells you to do, and for good reason, but it is vital on Yasuo that you ward, because he just has a hard time getting away from ganks, especially when you consider that Zed and Leblanc are around, which helps you see just how immobile you are without any minions. Wards show you the enemy jungler in the early game, even for just a second, which can mean the difference between dying to a gank, escaping, or a double kill.
Remember to ward: The two bushes next to you lane (Totem will do for this), the bush behind your lane on the blue jungle (Looks like a 4 way crossroad), the bush in the middle of river close to your lane (River vision is always good, bot lane might do bot river for you).
If you feel threatened to go to those areas to ward due to your lack of escape and idea that the enemy team might already be there, or you're just too far away (Roaming, stealing enemy buffs) ask the jungler for help with warding nicely, and he might comply. It is your responsibility to keep the area around mid lane warded, you signed up for this when you called mid in champ select.
You can very easily solo drag if you're fed and pushed up, but if you make it obvious/don't clear enemy wards it can be a surefire way to die. If you bring your jungler you can take a lot less damage as well as have smite to secure it. Objective control is an easy way in general to get your teammates winning if you are fed.
I felt the need to add an entire chapter about this because I feel like ignoring these things is what's keeping a lot of players from realizing their full potential (Including me some games). Warding is so vital, and of course if you watch any educational league content on youtube you've probably heard this a million times, but there's a reason they stress it so much. Ever get ganked and feel like there was nothing you could have done to escape it, like you just can't push up and pressure your laner for fear of the jungler? WARDS.
I like to upgrade to blue trinket because you can have as many blue wards out as you want and they last indefinitely! Get blue trinket if no one else on your team has!
Ward or feed.
Discipline V.S. Instinct
This is more of an overall idea in League of Legends that is sometimes difficult to decide about. There are many scenarios where either can lead to success or failure, but it's important to remember when to stick to what you know and when to follow your instincts. Which to follow is decided by multiple variables.
Experience Experience is the #1 factor in whether to follow your instinct or what you know. The curve is kind of weird. When first starting out, you probably want to follow your instincts a lot, because this will lead to you making mistakes, and improving from them. It also prevents using tactics you don't understand. When you use a strategy, you should know how and why it works. Once you get comfortable with a champion's mechanics, when he is weak/strong, and when you can win a fight and when you can't. Now you should start incorporating more 'Discipline' into your play.
For example. You ult a LeBlanc during a close duel and she double hops under her turret. Your discipline in league tells you that she has a lot of escapes, and tower diving is very dangerous, so you should back away. Your instincts tell you to go for it. But just choosing one won't get you anywhere. Backing off leaves you with little reward for your cooldowns, health, and time you could have been CSing, while going in blindly will get you killed. You have to incorporate both. Use your knowledge of the game to realize that after a duel in which she used most of her abilities her damage cooldowns would be down and she just used her W and Ult so she is immobile, and use your instincts to flash in there at the right time and time your Qs and Es so that you can escape.
Overall, once you feel that you've truly mastered the champion and you think back to this guide, remember. A good player can blend Discipline and Instinct, a great player sees them as one.
Don't just go ham based on your instincts, use your knowledge of the game and logic to complement your instincts. Use your logic and game knowledge for planning (I don't mean sit there for a minute planning, I mean split second decision making right here), your instincts for adapting to something going wrong in the plan and/or executing your plan correctly
End, for now.
I will be updating this guide as much as possible, so be sure to come back if you want more tips and tricks, and comment and + if you found this informative. (and if you didn't, comment why, feedback is valuable)
If you would like a match up for a champion not currently on the list (Doesn't have to be a mid laner, I get some of you want to know how to counter junglers and top/bot laners that may gank you), please just sent me a PM or comment your request, I'll see to it the match up is added.
Changed example build to have Merc Treads instead of Berserker's Greaves
Fixed the abilities having 6 points in E and 4 points in Q
Updated image in Combos and Strategies, special thanks to Zohn 07 for making the updated version
Small changes in Abilities section
Changed example build to include Phantom Dancer
Changed build to include Phantom Dancer
Minor typo corrections
Updated build, some changes still needed.
Revised for Season 6. Big update, lots of little things.
Changed build, put in Dead Man's plate instead of GA.
Minor changes like spelling correction, punctuation, etc.
Minor changes to abilities section, due to changes patched in since it was originally written
Updated title to reflect actual guide
Removed Phantom Dancer build RIP
Man it's been long since I last updated this.
Big update, added lots of stuff and things:
Added Summoner Spells section, could use some explaining.
Added Warding section, definitely needed.
Minor touch ups on most sections, re-wording some things, generally brushing things up.
Removed Patch 5.1 Section, it's been a REALLY long time and things have blown over, no need to dedicate space explaining what everyone already knows.
Added the Discipline v.s. Instincts chapter.
Added more tips and tricks (Warding and Dragon)
Put Introduction before Patch News because patch has been out for a while and thus people already know about it.
More small, insignificant tweaks
Reordered chapters in a way that is more logical (Introduction and Important Patch News first, Build next, strategy last(I'm cheating because technically I did this on the 17th but whatever))
Random insignificant tweaks
Corrected Ult description to accurately say 40% Armor pen instead of 50% (Whoops)
Added some suggestions like alternate runes and BORK to build
Changed LB match up
Added Item explanation section
Added A better 5.1 Patch build complete with new runes. HAS SHIV HALLELUJAH!
Added Tips and Tricks section (Recommended read)
Minor Random adjustments like spelling corrections
Created Change Log.
Added Chapter on Patch 5.1
Added Experimental Patch 5.1 Build
Multiple decorative adjustments