Yorick Build Guide by Pelikins
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Why pick Yorick:
Yorick is perhaps the most under-rated top lane pick in the game. In the rock-paper-scissors match up that is competitive top laning, Yorick is a direct counter pick to many powerful top laners suck as Kennen, Irelia, Vladimir, and also does well against any top laner without early sustain such as Wukong, Talon, and Renekton.
Yorick has the benefit of being both a fighter and a mage with half of his damage dealing capability being from long range nukes and half from his formidable melee damage dealing ability.
Yorick boasts the best self sustain of any champion in the early game. That, along with decent harass, a solid slow, a self speed boast, a great team fight utility ultimate, solid damage and inherent tankiness, makes him a top tier selection for the teams fighter.
Yorick is very difficult to stop from being effective with his long range and can apply soft CC to help his team catch their target while also dealing significant amounts of damage. Yorick also can scout bushes for his team with Omen of Pestilence allowing the team to navigate unwarded sections of jungle more safely.
Yoricks ultimate Omen of Death can change the outcome of a team fight. It can effectively counter a successful gank that otherwise would have won a team fight against you. It also effectively counters the popular burst/aoe ult comps that are often popular.
This build's highlights:
This build offers a powerful and aggressive top lane option for the early game that farms and harasses effectively while self sustaining along the way.
The build effectively and efficiently snowballs Yorick into a huge team fight threat that is difficult to counter and yet deals heavy damage to the desirable targets on the field while protecting your carries from being shut down.
The build primarily focuses on gaining AD, mana regen, and CDR. These three stats are the most effect offensive and defensive stats available to Yorick.
A Manamune early will give Yorick a near infinite supply of mana while also providing him with a substantial amount of attack damage that continues to provide more and more benefit through the build.
The completion of an early Trinity Force allows Yorick to truly become a force to be reckoned with. The item boosts Yorick's damage output considerably while also allowing him to catch and skirt enemies to be effective. Yorick's base damage is considerable making the procs powerful nukes, especially when used in combination to Omen of War.
After completing the trinity force, the guide shifts to becoming a tanky dps and gaining additional benefit out of the existing items in build.
Trinity Force on Yorick?
It is a little known fact that Yorick is the absolute best Trinity Force user in the game.
I've dedicated this chapter to show you why.
The first reason lies in Unholy Covenant - Yorick's takes 5% reduced damage and his basic attacks deal 5% more damage for each summon that is active. Meanwhile, Yorick's ghouls have 35% of Yorick's Attack Damage and Health.
That means all basic attacks deal bonus damage while his ghouls are active.
The rounded melee stats on the item complement this passive making AD, AS, and Crit (all present on Trinity Force more valuable to Yorick while his ghouls are active.
The second reason- and the most obvious one- is that yorick's skills all have very low CDs and are spammable once a manamune is achieved. This gives consistent procs.
The third reason is that we do build a Manamune on yorick. The mana on the trinity force adds a humble 5 bonus AD to Yorick. It's not much, but free is free. Yorick also builds an Atma's Impaler providing an additional 5 AD from the bonus on Tri force.
The fourth reason is the movement speed on the item. Since Yorick has no hard CC and a melee ability, being faster than his target is a necessity. Meanwhile being a champion that can kite with ranged abilities makes Yorick also effective at a mage like harasser while outnumbered or against no range fighters. The movespeed also allows for revenge kills if he does fall as he can catch back up to his killer after the short transition time of being transformed into a ghoul.
The final and most significant reason is that Yorick has one of the highest base damages in the game. With a 3.5 AD / level benefit Yorick can really crush people with Trinity Force procs.
With all these reason's combined, Triforce is a core item for Yorick!
Pros and Cons:
Decend ratios on abilities
A team fight changing ultimate
Blocks skill shots with ghouls
Stops Rammus Powerball / shuts him down hard!
Can burst like a mage
Deals both magic and physical damage (hard to counterbuild)
Can be burst down
No inherent escapes
No hard cc
Ultimate can be lackluster in a duel
For Yorick, I choose 13/2/15
Yorick can play early on as a mage if you build into the offensive tree. Our main stats are AD, and CDR. Penetrations aren't as effective for Yorick as his damage is split between magic and physical, but getting AK for one point is worthwhile.
I grab 2 points of the best defense stat from the defense tree against the champion I'm up against (armor if blind).
I grab 15 points in utility to get mana, mana regen, spell vamp, and gold/5
I've played around quite a bit with masteries on Yorick and have three favorites- Flash Teleport and Ignite.
Flash is a good choice for Yorick. It gives you some anti-gank protection in the lane which is very helpful in the early game, especially against a top lane with an aggressive early game such as Pantheon or Renekton and a early ganker such Alistar or Dr. Mundo. The fact that it isn't usable in ghoul form when I'd like to use it most makes it less useful beyond lane phase, however often a flash in to Omen of War will seal a kill.
I aslo enjoy Teleport as it really can put you ahead in the lane phase, can allow you to get to fights that you'd otherwise miss, and can allow you to get farm that otherwise would of been lost to a turret/ save a turret that otherwise would of gone down.
Yorick is especially important to have at a team fight as his ult is often the determining factor of losing just on guy or losing a whole team fight.
Another skill I enjoy is Ignite. Ignite allows Yorick to more heavily burst in the lane phase and can mark a kill target in a team fight. Yorick's inherent speed advantage, range, defensive passive, self sustain, and his ultimate make him an undesirable focus target. This allows no-escape Yorick to be effective.
Ignite with summoner's wrath also passively increases Yorick's offensive capability even while on CD.
It is important to note that summoner skills may not be used as a ghoul during Omen of Death. This makes Flash and Ghost less desirable as those two skills would be powerful to position yourself in a no risk situation, but again can't be used while in ghoul form. However, the passive from summoner's wrath still applies.
Other options are Exhaust, Ghost, and Heal
Runes are very important for Yorick as they dictate his power in the early game.
The right runes make Yorick very difficult to lane against as his Omen of Famine and Omen of Pestilence are powerful harass and anti-harass tools.
For Yorick, I take flat AD marks and quints
flat armor seals and mana regeneration glyphs.
These runes make omen of famine both spammable and powerful. The flat AD runes also punish any champion that closes to melee by adding power to Omen of War and your basic attacks and also increase the damage of all three ghouls (along with your ghoul during omen of death).
The lack of mr glyphs may seem strange to some as Yorick is a fighter, but we are playing him more like an AD mage early on. And we are optimizing our harassing ability.
We will pick up defensive stats once we have our offensive capabilities setup.
Itemization: General Strategy
Itemizing Yorick is the most important factor in building a successful one.
Yorick can be either a very powerful offensive force, a immovable tank, both or absolutely useless all depending on which items the player chooses to build.
To truly make Yorick shine, we must first understand the meta of a typical game.
Early on, the base damage of skills tend to over power defensive stats. This allows squishy mages with tons of offensive power to squish tanky melee champions without much trouble. Yorick is unique to fighters in that he can actually play as if he were a mage early on. We can kite tanky melee and harass from range only exchanging melee blows when Omen of War is off cd. Meanwhile, if fighting a mage, we can trade harass and be fine but look to close to melee range to finish them quickly. Offensive stats allow Yorick to farm more easily. Easier and faster farming mean more money to turn into more gear and become even more powerful. This gives us all the more reason to build offensively early on.
Later in the game, tanky melee with heavy defensive stats catch up and eventually surpass mages. Luckily, we can also eventually become a tanky dps.
Mid to late build we begin to take items to pump our defensive stats so that we can take hits and make use of our auto attacking ability.
Itemization: Build Order Walkthrough
Start with Boots of Speed and potions choosing 2 hp potions and 1 mana against a non-sustain aggressive laner, 2 mana and 1 hp against most matchups, or 1 sight ward and 1 mana potion against docile opponents if you are afraid of being ganked.
Certain junglers have very powerful level 2 ganks. Not running flash only makes ganking you more enticing. We can easily foil this gank by guarding the lower entrance of the jungle to keep our jungler's red safe before creeps spawn and by warding the river on route to the top lane.
I then will grab a doran's blade followed by merc treds. 1 doran's blade is often the difference between winning or losing the first duel. Make sure to win your lane. Boots will make ganking you harder.
I then will rush a Tear of the Goddess. Rushing tear is the most important thing to do as gaining early stacks on it will effectively snowball the champion once the Manamune is completed.
After the manamune, I build a Glacial Shroud and a Spirit Visage which I build first defends on my lane opponent.
bolstering my resistances, I begin building a Trinity Force the triforce is excellent for Yorick as his CDs are inherently short and spammable. The triforce makes Yorick harder to catch or kite and gives him a well rounded offensive stat boost. The mana on the item gives Yorick bonus AD, and movespeed allow Yorick to catch an enemy who killed him for revenge kills in skirmishes and on ganks. The item also provides a nice health boost along with AS and crit which help overall DPS while in melee range and help him farm.
After Trinity Force is completed I upgrade the shroud to a frozen heart.
I then grab either build a Maw of Malmorteous or build Negatron Cloak. Either of these will significantly decrease the damage dealt to Yorick by magic sources.
The Maw will provide more damage but the cloak will give more MR.
If I go the cloak route I turn this cloak into a Banshee's Veil to complete the build.
I find Yorick's ult the most effective on sustain mages that have low CD's such as Ryze early on and on AD carries beyond 30 minutes. However, most of the time saving the first man to fall (especially if they still have their ult) the best choice. I am reluctant to ult the support because they usually aren't combat effective. I will ult a support if they have a fight changing ult or cc that is still available as long as the carries (and myself) are still in good shape.
Your Omen of Pestilence can be used to scout bushes. This can be useful to check against ganks or to harass an enemy in a bush. All your ghouls can tank turret shots for you while you push one down but the other two need targets to be cast.
Omen of War resets your auto attack swing timer. Especially prior to getting a zeal this is important as a free auto attack is often the difference between a kill or a death. This is also useful when pushing towers.
Remember to charge your Tear of the Goddess the tear will provide you extra mana and AD throughout the game. Every time you have a cool down available and the item is off CD then use an ability. This may be the difference between having the mana to cast something or not or the difference between a killing blow or not later in the game.
Always farm! You can clear jungle camps without losing any hp or use abilities on creeps to ensure a last hit. It is good for your Manamune and good for your CS/income. Stats win games!
Be mindful of how much CC they have, how much they are saving, and how much focused burst they have. They will try to stop your ult. You mush play against it.
Teleport wins games. Be mindful of where wards are placed outside you lane and what is going on in other lanes. Try to spot a heavy push in one lane that needs help take free kills when offered by using wards behind them to get in. Also be mindful of the dragon respawn times.
Thanks for reading this simple but effective guide to Yorick.
Yorick has quickly become one of my favorite champions in the league and this build has been a major part of my enjoyment.
Good luck, have fun, and stop by afterwards and tell me how it goes.
Enjoy making corpses with corpses!