Yorick Build Guide by Spooooooooky

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Spooooooooky

Yorick - A Dominion Guide

Spooooooooky Last updated on November 8, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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(Alas!) Poor Yorick is a flawed champion that sees very little action on Summoner's Rift. He's a one trick zombie, who's greatest skill is getting your teammates to queue dodge for you. In the League locker room all the other champions tease him in the shower, and probably give him the occasional swirly. A sad story indeed...

DOMINION changes everything! Yorick's the big bad voodoo daddy of the bottom lane. He's an immovable object, a lane-pushing diva, and an all around swell guy. He's totally going on a date with the hot cheerleader.

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About Dominion...

First, it's important to understand why Dominion is different.

The Crystal Scar has a global aura, which applies to all champions.

  • 15% Armor Pen
  • 5% Magic Pen
  • 20% Healing Reduction
  • Bonus Mana Regeneration
  • Fixed Experience Gain
  • Increased Gold Gain
  • Modified Gold Gain from Champ / Minion Kills
  • Faster 'Recall' channeling time
  • Respawn times are reduced.

The Mana Regeneration aspect of the Aura is a big deal for Yorick. In the other game modes, Yorick struggles with mana management, and usually ends up buying a Tear of the Goddess to help with mana, which gets upgraded to a Manamune. Outside of the laning phase, the Manamune is a basically just massively inefficient way to get +40 attack damage. I call this the Yorick Tax. In Dominion, there's no need to waste cash on a Manamune.

In a normal 5v5 game, Yorick struggles with high defense champions. His ghouls do not benefit from Yorick's personal Armor Penetration, so more than half of Yorick's damage output can be pretty quickly shut down by armor, leaving an expensive The Black Cleaver as the only real solution. In Dominion, however, very few people stack defensive items. This works out to Yorick's advantage.

(Unfortunately, the global Dominion buff does NOT apply to your ghouls, which means no Armor Pen for them. Hey Riot, how about a little TLC for our ghoulish companions, eh?).

The global armor pen arua only makes Yorick's passive Unholy Covenant relatively more impressive. A flat 15% damage reduction is huge in this game type, and our pal Yorick is probably the tankiest thing on the map.

The Dominion metagame is starting to shape up. I don't want to go into depth about the Dominion metagame, but understand that generally speaking, each team will hold their own Bot and Mid points, and the war is fought over control of the Windmill.

Yorick is a dominant bottom laner. It's nearly impossible to take a point from him 1v1. He even wins most 1v2's when fought at his tower. Even if the other team goes 1v3 on him, his ult can usually keep them from capping or neutralizing the point long enough for your team to arrive and help. It's amazing.

If the opposing bottom laner dies, or leaves bottom for even a few seconds, Yorick can push that bottom lane in seconds. Once he's finished building Sheen, his Q can 1-shot the Seige Minion and his W will finish off the normal ones. If their bottom laner can't clear creep waves fast enough, the other team will have to dedicate a second hero to defending the point, giving you a 4v3 advantage at the Windmill.

Also, don't forget about the health packs. These are awesome, spawn right behind the point you're guarding all game, and restore mana too. Pick these up whenever possible (if only to deny them to the other team), and don't forget the one that spawns right above the bottom lane. These and your Omen of Famine can keep you in a lane for a long time.

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Pros / Cons

Low-Level 1v1 Fights: 9/10
Very few people can 1v1 Yorick at low level, due to the flat 15% damage reduction on his passive.

High-Level 1v1 Fights: 6/10
Some well-fed carries can start to outgun you at higher levels. While you can always shut down Master Yi with Thornmail, you're probably not doing a lot of 1v1 brawling in the closing moments of the game anyhow. Defend that bottom tower!

Outnumbered Skirmises (1v2, etc): 9/10
Not many heroes are better. Popping your ult nearly doubles your damage output, gives you 5% more damage reduction, and gives you 10 more seconds to finish people off & defend your tower after you die. Poppy might be the only hero better when outnumbered.

Lane Pushing Power: 10/10
Who's better? Even Gragas can't 1-shot the Seige Minions. Your creep clearing skills are all on extremely low cooldown, and you sustain for days. With Yorick in a lane, they can never leave their tower undefended.

Tower Defending 9/10
Just below Heimerdinger in the tower defense category, Yorick is really hard to dislodge. Trying to harass him from range? He can harass right back with Omen of Pestilence and heal up with Omen of Famine. He's got damage reduction, that fancy ult, and probably defensive masteries. Good luck.

Dominion Utility 8/10
He doesn't have Pantheon's ability to teleport across the map, or Rammus's ability to be anywhere instantly, but you can't deny the utility of his ultimate, Omen of Death. Even after dying, Yorick can prevent tower caps. Yorick's Omen of Pestilence has decent range to stop channeling, and a large enough AE to interrupt multiple cappers. Omen of War gives you movespeed to get around. It's like this whole kit was designed to be good at Dominion.

One of the largest drawbacks is that Bottom Laning is a thankless job. If Dominion was a game of football, you'd be the offensive line. The team doesn't win without you, but all the glory goes to your quarterback (i.e., Akali). In a way, I feel like Dominion's scoring system is flawed. You may have never lost your point, capped their bot twice, and forced two of them to defend the bottom point all game long, but the stats will say that something like 5th place & 2/2/3.

Another thing to consider is that you only really need one champion at that bottom point. If your team already has a Cho'Gath, picking Yorick with the intent of playing bot might be redundant.

Finally, and this might be nitpicking, but Yorick doesn't have a particularly good anti-stealth item in Dominion. Attack Damage is way more important than Attack Speed, so The Lightbringer isn't particularly compelling and Yorick doesn't really care about Hextech Sweeper. There's no pink wards, and Oracle's is a gamble. Petition Riot to add a +AD vision item, because nothing is more satisfying when fighting Akali, Shaco, Talon, Wukong, etc, than ignoring their major evasion skills.

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Skill Sequence

The discussion of Yorick's skill sequence is a subject of much debate. In Dominion, there's no clear skill that outshines the others, and none which underwhelm. Quite honestly, the order that you level up each skill comes down to personal preference and play-style. Below, I'll try and highlight the advantages of each ability.

Omen of War is your highest dps skill, and this ability scales damage more quickly than the others. The caveat here is that it's a melee range skill, so it's more difficult to maximize the damage every cooldown cycle than the other two ghouls. The movement speed buff is particularly key, and can bail you out of some tight situations. Remember that you're probably the only thing defending bot, so sometimes it's a smart idea to whack a creep with this power and run away.

Omen of Famine also scales well as you rank it up. Each rank reduces the cooldown by a second, which means more ghoul uptime and all the passive bonuses that come along with it. It doesn't do as much damage as Omen of War but the lifesteal can help sustain you.

Omen of Pestilence has absolutely amazing utility. It checks bushes, does AE damage, prevents caps, slows targets, does damage, pops Shaco's Jack-in-the-Boxes, distracts fire from Heimerdingers turrets, and makes really cool noises. This is the only skill that doesn't lower its cooldown as you scale it up, but advanced levels increase the snare effect.

Your skilling preferences should depend on the matchup. If you find yourself in a game where you can constantly and safely push the bottom lane, then consider maximizing Omen of War and Omen of Pestilence for the pushing power. If the other team is more focused on pushing you 1v2 bottom, you should emphasize Omen of Famine for the sustain and Omen of Pestilence for the utility (it can interrupt captures, poke from range, AE Minions, and let you kite around the tower). Leveling War and Famine together will give you maximum DPS output and ghoul uptime, but at the cost of snaring utility and ranged poke power.

The skill sequence listed at the top of this guide is my favorite, as it's safest sequence for pushing the bottom creep waves and escaping ganks. Feel free to sequence your skills in whatever order you prefer.

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Your ultimate job is to defend the bottom tower. Sometimes this will be 1v1, sometimes it'll be 1v3. In the end, the defensive masteries make the most sense. You get 15% - 20% damage reduction from your passive, and another 4% in the defensive tree. This lets you itemize a little more offensively while still being one tanky mofo.

I pick up the Masteries for both Exhaust and Garrison, since those are the two summoner spells that I'll be taking 100% of the time. Everything else is pretty straightforward.

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Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage

Attack Damage marks are amazing on Yorick (since the AD ratios on his Q and E are both ridiculous). Your ghouls improve massively based on your damage, but aren't affected by Armor Pen, so the choice here is pretty straightfoward.

Greater Seal of Evasion

I go with Dodge seals, as they synergize with your Nimbleness mastery, and the Dominion meta is dominated by DPS carries.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Magic Resist glyphs. Ultimately, it's your job to stay alive and defend the bottom point. This is my only nod towards magic resist until late game, and I let the damage reduction from my passive and masteries take care of the rest.

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

Quints: CDR. CDR is actually quite important on Yorick, and I spend most of the game around 33%. (3% from Masteries, ~5% from Runes, 15% from Boots and 10% from Brutalizer). Late game, I may upgrade to Youmuu's which puts me right around the CDR cap.

Alternatives: I could see a world where you took CDR Glyphs and used your Quints for more Attack Damage. It's up to you, but I like having a little extra defense from the MR Glyphs, just in case I'm laning bot against Xerath.

Note: Hat Tip to Syl, who correctly pointed out that you should use scaling runes instead of flat runes on Dominion. For example, the scaling attack damage per level runes surpass their flat counterparts at level 7. In Dominion, you start at level 3, and if you didn't kill a single minion, you'd naturally hit level 7 after just under 4 minutes of gameplay. (Game time will say 5:13, and this counts the 1:20 that you spend locked into the summoner platform). Normal Dominion games are right around 20 minutes long, so for at least three quarters of the match, scaling runes are superior.

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Summoner Spells

Exhaust and Garrison are the two summoning spells of choice, because they both directly help you do your job - defend the bottom tower.

You can win 1v3 tower dives if you have Garrison up. It interrupts anyone currently capping, it gives your tower increased regeneration (aka, it'll recover to it's state of being 100% capped faster), it attacks faster, it does splash damage. It's awesome.

Too many people think of Exhaust as a ganking tool, due to its movement reduction. That's generally an incorrect usage on Dominion. Exhaust is a defensive spell. You can use it when the other team is diving your tower 1v3, and you need to live just a little longer while help arrives. More often, I use it to escape a bad situation where I overextended. For example, you might be pushing the bottom lane because there's a big brawl going on at top. If their Twisted Fate and Pantheon were both to ult on you, not only will they stop your push, but they could kill you if they caught you out of position. Dying must be avoided, because you're the only line of defense between them and your bottom tower. Exhausting Pantheon will let you live long enough to get back to your tower safely.

Here's all the other summoner spells, ranked from best to worst, with an explanation about why you shouldn't take them.

Promote: This would be my first pick if Exhaust were unavailable. However, you should prioritize the defensive nature of Exhaust over the offensive nature of Promote in most situations.

Ghost: Great for everyone else on your team who is running all over the map. Since you're on Bot Duty, you really don't need it. Exhaust is just better.

Cleanse: An underrated spell with a decent cooldown, but the current meta tends to feature DPS over disables. Situationally it's amazing, but those instances are more infrequent than needing Exhaust.

Ignite: Popular on offense, sort of unnecessary on defense.

Flash: Flash is amazing on Summoner's Rift, but horrible in Dominion. The walls in the Crystal Scar are too wide to flash across, which really reduces the life-saving power of this spell.

Revive: When you die, you generally get 10 seconds of revenge from you ult. By the time that's over, you're about to respawn anyway.

Heal: Horrible. Less healing than the healing relic that spawns a few feet from your tower

Clarity: See Heal.

Clairvoyance: Pfft.

Smite: Why is this even in Dominion?

Teleport & Rally: Not available in Dominion

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Itemization is a tricky thing, and it's usually fairly foolish to recommend a build that you should do every time. So with the understanding that item selection needs to take into account the context of each individual game, here's a rough guide to properly itemizing Yorick.

General Itemization Notes:

  • Yorick thrives on CDR. Your ghouls have awesome cast effects, give you bonus damage and mitigation, proc sheen, but die quickly. Getting at least 30% CDR is a priority for you.
  • Attack Damage is the most important offensive stat. Two of your ghouls scale extremely well off Attack Damage, and so does your ult. AD will buff your Sheen procs too.
  • Armor Pen and Attack Speed don't apply to your ghouls, so do not prioritize this stat.

Starting Items

Ridiculously cost effective. There's a reason they made the health bonus unique. This should put you around 100 Attack Damage to start the match.

I frequently buy both a Health Potion and Mana Potion to start. I want to make sure that I'm able to sustain my lane until I have 700+ gold for my first trip back.

Early Items

Cost to upgrade is 700g. Invaluable CDR.
CDR and Attack Damage, your favorite two stats. The Armor Pen is wasted on your ghouls, but it's nice to have when smashing people with Q. Remember, you get an additional 15% armor pen from the global aura too.
Yorick Smash! This lets you one shot (or close to it) the seige minions, and really lets you push a lane hard when the game state calls for it. A sheen'd Omen of War proc really hurts.

Late Items

It does everything. Cost to finish is 2810g.
At this point of the game Carries are starting to hurt, so the extra armor really helps. It's the most cost efficient way to add +Attack Damage. You can't go wrong. (Also, critting with your Sheen'd Omen of War is pretty fun!)

Situational Items

Here's where itemization gets tricky. You really need to respond to the state of the game. In general terms, choosing one of these three paths should really be enough for Yorick, thanks to the robustness of his kit.

Hit TAB and look at the score screen. Who is dominating? Who has been killing you, or been the biggest threat to push you off bot? With that in mind, choose one of these paths:

Scenario 1: "I'm getting rocked by AD!"
These guys are usually identified by the Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancers they've been building. Good examples are Master Yi and Tryndamere. Respond by building Thornmail. The 100 Armor and extra damage should be enough for you to defend your tower against most DPS types.

Scenario 2: "I'm getting torched by AP!"
You can tell who these folks are by the Rabadon's Deathcap, Archangel's Staff, and the GIANT BALLS OF FIRE they're hitting you with. Common examples are Lux, Karthus, Veigar. Respond with a Hexdrinker. Some magic resist, some attack damage (yum!) and a big fat magic shield to soak up that Karthus ult.

Scenario 3: "What are you talking about, I'm smashing faces!"
I'm not surprised. Good jerb. In that case, just upgrade your Brutalizer to Youmuu's Ghostblade. For such a low upgrade price, you gain +5 attack damage, +5% CDR (putting you at the cap), +5 armor pen, +15% crit (remember what I said about critting on your Q?), and a pretty nice activated effect that's worth using because it makes a cool sound.

Ultra Late Game

Dominion games only last a finite amount of time, but you might be having one of those games with 27 kills and a giant mountain of money. At this point, buy whatever you want. Entropy is great, and Frozen Mallet might be even better. Sell your Prospector's Blade and buy The Black Cleaver or something. Hell, sell all your items and buy three Hextech Gunblades to troll your own team.

One last thought...

As mentioned in the opening, itemization is always context dependent. Tip of my hat to McRofls, who suggested mentioning Glacial Shroud. In a bottom lane matchup against heavy AD (such as Master Yi or Tryndamere), consider the Shroud instead of The Brutalizer. The shroud builds into a Frozen Heart, which is a superb defensive item and a fine replacement for the more offensively oriented Youmuu's Ghostblade.

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That's it. Go win games.

The one thing I can't help you with is your teammates. You might be destroying your bottom lane all game long, but if your teammates decide to overextend, die in the jungle, and generally fail to hold the Windmill, there's not much you can do. Be prepared for them to blame the loss on you "LOL, 1/2/1 Yorick Noob!".

The best thing to do is to repeat over and over "I'll defend bot, you go take top". Whenever one of them is overextending, ask them to fall back and hold top. You might not have a team of Einstein's, but the phrase "go top" shouldn't be too hard to understand.

Good luck! Leave feedback and questions in the comments, along with your upvotes. :)