Yorick Build Guide by Zenitar
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.
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.
I got Yorick on day one like many people, and like most i noticed that he had some balance issues. Even with his problems, such as minion decay rate being to fast, and mana dependency, he is actually still a reasonably viable champion. Here is my Yorick build. I focus on Health and AD and begin by rushing my Manamune. This will stop your mana problems early on, and allow you to perform better early game, as well as helping out with late game damage. This is my first guide but I think that there is more potential in this champ than many people see, and if you take a few games to get used to him you may turn to like him as well. Try and read all of the sections and i am going to try and detail as much of how I play him as possible.
Pros / Cons
Like many I have found a list of Cons which would deter most from playing this champion. He is underpowered, but that doesn't mean he is useless. Here is how I see him.
Great Chasing abilities
High Lifesteal spell on low cooldown
Ult has many more uses than Zilean's
Decay rate of minions is too high
low base defensive stats
Large Mana problems
Hard Early Game
I chose these runes because you are going to be playing Yorick as an AD champ. The Desolation is very obvious, but the armor and attack speed were debatable. I originally used MP5 yellows, and CDR blues. I find that the armor, and attack speed remove some early game squishiness and maximize late game potential. If you cannot get your mana usage correct then either your blues or yellows can be switched for MP5 runes. My suggestion, if you must replace any would be replace the blue, or your lane phase will be troubling.
These Masteries are nothing special. As you are an Ad champ the offense section is very helpful. My 12/0/9 set will also put a couple of points towards your mana regen, experience, and ghost. Ghost is very important because when mixed with your q, and your w. it will allow you to chase down almost any enemy.
The summoner spells are my easiest pick. While I fooled around with Clarity or exhaust at first in the end Ghost/Ignite became my favorite combination. The ghost, like many parts of this build allow a chase, or even just closing a gap between enemies to initiate. Yorick can gain very unexpected speed when you combine your Omen of War, and Ghost. The Ignite took longer for me to choose. An Early game problem is that you cannot finish your kills. Taking along ignite will allow you to secure the kills on enemies who are about to get away. A strong Early game is Essential with this character so Ignite will double viability for your Yorick pick instantly.
These items are what I landed on after trying Yorick for a few games. My first games were very disconcerting, but this build helped to straighten it out. I begin by buying a sapphire crystal and 2 health potions. This will give you the mana needed to continue your harassment early game in lane, and the potions will make up for the damage you take before you get your Omen of Famine. Lane as long as possible, and buy as much of your Manamune as possible on your first trip back to the Nexus. After Manamune return to your lane and begin saving up for your Mercury Treads. Beserker's Greaves do not provide very much help. The attack speed just does not help as much as magic resist and tenacity. Your next full item is a Frozen Mallet, which you will begin by building a phage. This will give both damage, and slows. Remember that you are often going to have to chase, and your Omen of Pestilence is slow. After your Mallet build your Spirit Visage via a kindlegem. This will help a lot by adding cooldowns to your spells, and increasing your healing. Once you have stacked these health items an Atma's impaler should put you at around 250 or above attack damage. My last item is often a Stark's Fervor for the debuff to enemy armor. It lets your minions cause twice the havoc, but it is not always appropriate. Some good replacement items are warmog's, Thornmail, Guardian Angel, or a Ghostblade. These will all help in different ways. The first three make you a bit more tanky. The Ghostblade will boost your movement speed to make you the inescapable Chaser.
Many people play Yorick by taking his Omen of Famine first. I do not agree. I believe that his first spell should be war,his Q. It is true that this is his only non ranged spell, but that does not make is useless. It costs less mana, and allows for good damage early on if you get into a fight in lane. If you plan to teamfight at level 1 then Pestilence, your W will be more useful due to the AoE slow. At level 2 I usually take Pestilence, but if you are against a champion with a strong poke, and are taking a lot of damage then get Famine, your E, so that you can heal from the minion waves. Be careful with using your spells to farm early game. Your mana pool is very small at the beginning so even if it is healing yourself with famine be cautious because you are very vulnerable when out of mana. That is why I add the potions, to reduce the need for Early game use of your E. I take Famine at level 3,4, and 5, and my Ult at six. From there alternate between your W, and your E maxing out your Q last. It's AD ratio is the appealing part, not the actual spell damage.
You have a number of choices for your skills. If you are chasing then you will want to hit your Q earlier, but in a close fight I prefer to save my Q. It has good damage, so I will like to open with my W, use my E second, and then finish with the Q before chasing afterwards. This helps to add damage as your extra ghouls will buff your basic attacks. The main reason for the addition of this section though is to further describe uses of Yorick's Ult. Upon activation you spawn a ghoul that looks just like your ally. It looks a lot like a pinkish version of Mordekaiser's ult. While the minions for your Q,W, and E are uncontrollable your Ultimate's ghoul is not. It is controllable by holding alt and clicking. He will still decay, and take damage so be careful, but often it can make it so that you don't need to die at all rather than relying on the revival. Also remember that if you lane with a Zilean then you must use your ult second because you are announced dead upon revival when your Ult is used and so Zilean will not be able to save you. Remember though, if you send your ghoul at the enemy, and they kill it before you die, you lose the revival option.
Early game is your most difficult time, you have no mana, and low health. Try to lane with a support or another AD down bottom. A strong AP carry can also help in your lane. My favorite combination is Yorick/Ashe. You want to try and both Farm and harass. Occasionally last hit with your Q, as your minions will often run straight for the enemy champs, and your Spectral Ghoul is your Fastest. Do not overextend, but try to poke the enemy down until you can rush in with ghost and ignite to secure a kill. When you have all three of your basic skills a good way to chase opponents is to Proc your Q on a nearby enemy minion. After you spawn your ghoul use ghost, and use the 2 movement speeds to close the gap between you and your enemy. Use your W to slow, and your E for damage. Get your E of early so that you can use it's low cooldown to your advantage. If your lane partner moved in with you it should be fairly easy to secure a kill. He is surprisingly fast.
Your mid game strategy is very similar to your Early game. With any luck you will have Secured yourself a couple of kills without and avoided deaths as best as possible. If that is not the case then you will want to play a bit more defensive. In this phase you can begin to move around. No doubt your enemies are all beginning to leave lane so you can try to counter that with your own decent presence. If the enemy team is pushing your team back in any other lane though, you can also stay to secure your lane's turret. I also find that grabbing Red buff is helpful, but Junglers and Ranged AD Carries should be given first priority on that buff. This is the time of the game where you try to get a few more kills, and rush a couple more of your items, but don't get too cocky, you are still not invincible, even if you are have gotten a couple of kills under your belt.
At the later stages of the game you should be finishing off your Spirit visage, and beginning your Atma's. This item does wonders for your damage. Your damage will reach around 250 and your chases can become as short as 4 seconds. The late game really becomes about good teamfights, and you can help with that. Remember that you can control the ghoul spawned from your ult. It is a copy of whichever champ you put it on with a percentage of their damage. Even yourself. A downside is that it can also be killed by the enemies. If your ghoul dies before your ally, then your ally does not revive, but after some practice you can get to the point where good ghoul timing can save an ally and gain you a kill.
This is my current build, with all of my explanations. You will finish games with around 2500 health and more mana than you will be able to use. I plan on continuing to update it but currently this works for me. I started with a streak of losses but this build has fixed my match history to what is now mostly victories. I enjoy this champion, he is fun, his skills are new, and he can be good. I think that people expected something different which is why they are disappointed with him, but even as a little bit underpowered he is not useless. Yorick can change fights in played correctly. I hope this build helps at least a few people start to play him. Comments Appreciated.