Yasuo Build Guide by Crosserenti
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Assassin of Air
Not Updated For Current Season
So this is my first guide, but I had to. My Yasuo build is solid, and though has a bit of a hard time with tanks, gets in and out of fights easily, wiping out ADC's and supports with no trouble at all. He tends to play as an assassin, less damage based then Zed, but with the grace and mobility of Fizz and Ahri. And with a powerful kit, he is like no other.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Many people decide to go general ADC runes with Yasuo, but this set is the best I have found.
The Greater Quintessences of Movement Speed help to make the flow for Way of the Wanderer build faster without the need for too many early game movement items. Greater Seals of Armor and Greater Glyphs of Magic Resist cover his weaknesses well, and the Greater Marks of Attack Speed give his Steel Tempest an early cooldown while also helping with his auto-attack. Everything else, you can leave up to in-game item purchases.
Other viable options for runes are Armor Penetration, Lifesteal, and Attack Damage. Any situation would be better if you knew what you were facing at all times, but unless you're only planning on playing in draft-pick games, trying to be malleable with your rune pages is the best idea.
As shown above, focusing on ADC masteries allows his damage to scale best. It dishes out a ton of damage very quickly. Putting 21 in that category seems to hit the key notes. Butcher and Feast heals him and helps him farm easily.Frenzy is also important, since his passive will give him 100% critical chance. After that, I focus movement speed, to get him Flow due to Way of the Wanderer, which then shields him. The Scout helps place sight in key points, and Phasewalker means a faster return to the field, and a safer escape. As for Vampirism , Yasuo is unique in that he doesn't need buffs, making him great with buff reliant jungles. Therefore, I chose Vampirism . Even 1% lifesteal early game can help him more than most other champions. The Alchemist mastery is another good idea, but I try not to rely on more than a single potion.
Many a good summoner spell exist for Yasuo. I'm gonna start with the worst. Clairvoyance and Clarity are large no's. He doesn't run on mana and the sight isn't useful. Wards are more useful then Clairvoyance, and there should be as many of those on the field at all times. Cleanse is too situational for most, and Teleport is too much of waste of space for anything except for bots, same with Revive. Heal is too weak past Summoner Level 10. Smite is a must for jungle, but useless for lanes. As for Ignite, Barrier, and Exhaust, they are all good. One of those should be your choice. Barrier keeps you alive, and to me, that is far more important than the other two. The other Summoner Spell one should take should be either Ghost or Flash. Ghost is a powerful technique to get through crowds, but Flash seems a tad better. It can launch an attack or get out of one. Against techniques like Jarvan IV's ult, Flash is priceless, and will always be my choice.
Many have argued over where Yasuo is best. According to the creators at Riot, mid is where Yasuo is best. I agree, since mid allows for a tad more jungle help in a typical game. Every gold increase is key. Top also works, but given as tanks tend to overwhelm him early on, where his game is the weakest, it is a riskier maneuver. Jungle Yasuo can also work. Originally, the farm from jungle was considered too little to get him a good build, but the extra camp can help out with that. I still think it weakens him, but is a better idea than top Yasuo. Support Yasuo is a failure. Even with the buffs, support cannot get enough gold, and needs to focus too much on sight to build well. However, the ADC role can work for him, with a decent support. This is especially good if you have a mid Ezreal as your other carry, but honestly, still seems lacking in the overall composition.
Skill is Everything
Steel Tempest seems to be his most important skill. It's the primary damage skill. In addition, since it is considered a basic attack, the attack speed lowers the cooldown, so this helps add massive damage quickly. With the third hit also a popup tornado with massive range, it is the core of your kit. After that, the next key ability is Sweeping Blade. It can get him in and out of combat once mastered, and when smartcasted, it can actually kill a minion wave faster than Steel Tempest, especially at early levels. It can also chain massive farms by using Steel Tempest within the dash, when timed right. This is equivalent to Ahri's Spirit Rush in mobility, if used properly, though not quite as flexible. His other major ability is Wind Wall. This is a must in a ranged fight, especially against a typical ADC or a chain-reliant APC. Ashe and Ahri are just two key examples. Activation of this can be the difference of life and death, but this tends to be based on experience over all else. Practice makes perfect on this skill. As for his Last Breath, as all ults, take it every time you can. When you ult, aim to hit and escape, but at a large enough build, this can and will kill.
Teamwork, Still OP
Team Compilation is everything. A champion alone cannot win. Janna is a great ally for this, but don't forget Vi, Malphite, Jarvan IV, Cho'Gath, and Nami. Knockups are common, and a well placed one can wreck a team.
Champions without knockups go well with Yasuo too. These are usually champions with low health and high damage, like Teemo or Twitch. Yasuo's Wind Wall helps them wreck others, so don't forget about them either.
What to Buy
The items are the biggest and hardest category. Many items are good, and vary greatly. My build covers everything but armor penetration. I start with a Doran's Blade. It helps him sustain early, which he desperately needs. After that, your focus is usually Infinity Edge. Then you should get the key mid grade items, like your Berserker's Greaves, Hexdrinker, Zeal, and Bilgewater Cutlass. Phantom Dancer is surprisingly a key item, letting Yasuo move quickly in and out of combat, while guaranteeing a critical hit. Blade of the Ruined King is a must to drop pesky tanks, but before finishing Maw of Malmortius, build Guardian Angel. This item will round out your defenses while allowing you to live longer. Your trinket is always important, but picking up some wards here and there might be necessary, not to mention very useful.
If you need more sight, remember, the new pink wards, though visible, never fade. Putting them behind Dragon and Baron will give you constant sight on them, and since the enemy champs have to go around the monsters, it'll give someone plenty of time to head to those locations. Allows you to save even more money without skimping on sight.
Note switching it up may be necessary. Against heavy AP champions, like Viktor and Fizz, Hexdrinker is a rush, as well as Vampiric Scepter. Judgement is key is any build, and order is not as important as some would think. What to build first comes with experience. No guide can override that.
Yasuo, like many mids, is a combo specialist. This means that his skills, when chained together in the right sequence, dish out more damage than just basic attacking and wild mashing of a keyboard. Utilizing these can differentiate feeders from carries. His biggest, and most basic, combo is the third Steel Tempest shot, knocking up an enemy, right into his Last Breath. However, there is a third step that also removes you from the combat again. As soon as you land, use Sweeping Blade through the enemy you just hit, escaping cleanly. If you spam the Sweeping Blade and Steel Tempest on minions before beginning this, Sweeping Blade should still have its stacks, dealing up to 300 damage upon exit.
A video of this chain will be up at a later date.
Another useful tactic involves sight, and lots of it. Sweeping Blade is clear on how you go though enemies, but this includes walls, like the ones in the jungle. When being pursued, using this can get you to a safe location. At one point I dashed into the Ancient Golem camp. The enemy burned Flash to get me, and by choosing a different, smaller golems, I dashed back out. I ended up surviving because I utilized Sweeping Blade to its fullest.
A video of that chain will also be up at a later date.
What to Expect Mid Lane
Yasuo is a natural counter to Ahri. His Wind Wall stops all of her abilities, making it impossible to combo her moves into the massive damage she is known for. Never slack off against an opponent, but this is one that is much easier than others.
Fizz is Yasuo's bane. With no actual range to his techniques, and his maneuverability outclassing almost every champion, he will destroy all but the best Yasuo players, and even then, there will be difficulties. If you find yourself against Fizz, either swap lanes or ask your jungle to gank your lane more than not. This is just one champion you will need to rush Hexdrinker against, and pray.
Orianna can be difficult, since her ball cannot be stopped by your wall. That being said, most Orianna's I tend to face are better as the game progresses. She scales well, better than you, but her early game is weaker. As a result, if you pressure her early and shut her down, you can easily stop Orianna from stopping you.
Orianna, his barrels go through your wall, and since he is naturally tanky, shutting him down early is nigh impossible. But unlike Orianna, he doesn't scale quite as well, and needs to get close. Since you can outmaneuver him drastically, his combos with have problems touching you. Easier than Orianna.
Yasuo isn't an AP champion, otherwise Veigar would wreck him up. But Yasuo's Sweeping Blade is affected by crowd control, and Veigar can easily keep you still if you drop your guard. Difficult, but manageable. Just don't let him feed.
Zed is a champion that does what you do at range. His combos are very similar in how they interact, and that can be bad. However, he lacks defenses, and with Wind Wall, his range cannot hit Yasuo easily. Roughly, this is like fighting Orianna. Aggressive patience is the best way to win this matchup, so poke him through the farm, but never full-out engage.
Yasuo. Though Cassiopeia isn't as overwhelming as Fizz, she can still wreck. Your speed is all you can rely on, so play extremely passive against her. She cannot turret dive like Fizz, so this gives you the extra protection you will need.
Kayle will be difficult for you. She can build various ways, but most go AP heavy, with slight tank. Her natural tank is devastating, and with her heal, she is hard to knock down. Rely on your third level Steel Tempest, since this out-ranges her greatly. Let her bleed her mana, then strike while she is weakened. Have your jungle steal their blue, and Kayle can't sustain.
Kayle. The difference here is that Mordekaiser has no heal and uses his life instead of mana. This makes it far easier to knock him down. Shouldn't be too difficult.
Lux. Her scaling is a tad ridiculous, but luckily, your Sweeping Blade makes it hard for anything but her root to affect you. Beware of the rooting technique. If you keep track of when it is up, try to get her to waste it on minions. Her ult is annoying as well, but again, Sweeping Blade can help you dodge it, given its tell. Surprisingly easy for a Lux face-off, but just remember to never underestimate her.
Viktor is a rare mid, but still a potent one. His ranged burst is weakest early, but only until Level 3 at best. His mobility is his weakest point, and without blue, he flounders, due to lack of mana and cooldown. Like Kayle, hit him hardest when his mana starts running low, since he will be unable to stop you. Hexdrinker may be important to rush, as he get AP really quickly at the beginning. Aggressively patient is the best way to play against him.
Wind Wall can stop even a third hit Steel Tempest. This means timing it right can stop a potential Last Breath from destroying you or your allies, but this also goes in reverse. Anticipating it means you might be able to prevent the waste, so just be careful.
Long story short, I really like Yasuo, and though my Yasuo build is not cheap, once you master him, you will see that my build is very solid. As said several times, it is not the only build. Play, and learn. Enjoy him like I do.
A thanks to Riot for making this game and champion.
A thanks to jhoijhoi, for teaching me how to code again.
A thanks to Maintained, for showing me that guide.
A thanks to my friend Roh Rollback, for helping me type and code since I broke my hand.
A thanks to my friend Unleash Madness, for also helping me type and code.
And a major thanks to you, for choosing me.
Good luck, and may the bacon be with you.