Yorick Build Guide by Xiege3
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Not Updated For Current Season
Welcome to my guide on Yorick, The Gravedigger.
Yorick is an extremely strong top laner who I often use as a counter to certain champions, who also has great sustain (some of the best sustain in the game). He's one of my personal favourite champions and my favourite top. However I feel he is only best used to be a counter to the enemy top laner. I'm not a high elo player at all. I also wouldn't consider myself someone who has mastered him. I'm just someone who loves to play him when I can. I've experimented so many different builds and have come up with something that encapsules my playstyle and has helped me win many games with him.
With this guide, Yorick will be able to out-sustain any foe, giving Yorick a fair fight against stronger sustains. Note:This guide will probably be updated whenever a major patch involving Yorick or these items goes live.
This guide is nowhere near finished and will be completed with updates regualrly.
Pros / Cons
- Amazing sustain - one of the best in the game
- Great at 1v1 encounters later in the game
- Can push a lane very hard, very quickly
- Farms extremely easily
- Strong Harass
- Ultimate can change team fights, and games
- Squishy early game
- Vulnerable to ganks with no real Crowd Control or escapes
- Very mana hungry early game through to mid without specialised items
- Ultimate has to be used carefully and not squandered
As starting items, this may seem like a lot but it'll help Yorick sustain even better than he already does. Faerie Charm + 2 Mana Potions for obvious mana reasons. (Without mana in lane, Yorick becomes really limited and we can't have that.) The sight ward obviously to stop/alert you to ganks, and trust me Yorick needs them whenever you can get them. And health pots because he can. Because of these starting items you will most likely be able to stay in lane longer, farm more and buy more quality items on your first trip back.
And if possible
First things first - I like to take a Philosopher's Stone to help build my sustain, and the GP/10 is always a nice addition in an item. On my first recall, I usually have enough farm and gold to purchase both the Tear and Philo Stone. Along with a couple of wards for map awareness, these items will keep you holed up at top, letting you farm and out-sustain anyone who opposes.
In the rare scenario where you pick up a kill or first blood and have a good amount of farm at the time you can come back with a lot more gold allowing you to purchase the Manamune straight. I would suggest taking this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This item is absolutely amazing and it extrapolates Yorick's arsenal of DPS and turns it into absolute carnage wether it be the extra attack damage or the spammable spells - This helps too much to pass up on it at the earliest opportunity. Just get boots whenever, they help when you get them, but aren't as urgent as your core items.
Fed? Farmed? Unstoppable? Feeling Lucky? Buy this item now:
The Bloodthirster Honestly, if your opponent cannot stop you in lane, exert further pressure onto them. Eventually they are bound to make a mistake which will result in some sort of advantage for you. However, in this God-Mode-Like state, be very very careful from ganks as it is at this point where you're most vulnerable - Public Enemy Number 1. I would only get this item if I were in such a situation or we already had a true tank and you needed to focus on damage.
In any other situation I would take the following:
Frozen Mallet. This Item is amazing for Yorick. This is always one of my core items. It makes Yorick that much tankier and with a slight damage boost to make you feel a little better about yourself. Not to mention the passive, which always helps in almost every situation. Slow with W + Q with Frozen Mallet's Proc on the passive. Yorick will literally stick to your enemies.
The Iceborn Gauntlet:
This item is one that I've been testing for quite some time and I can safely say it's amazing especially with the slows from your W and your Frozen Mallet. Not only that, your Q will proc Sheen's Passive for massive damage combined with the immense power his Q already possesses. Yorick also receives 500 mana which will stack perfectly onto is Manamune or Muramana to give him a slight damage bonus. He also gets a bit of armor which always helps (Despite pretty much every top getting armor penetration - I.E THAT DAMNED The Black Cleaver. Yorick will also receive 10% Cooldown Reduction - Nice but not the reason I buy it, just a bonus.
Enemy AP carry fed? Farmed? Bursting everyone to instant death? AP defensive options:
Both of these items can do amazing things in the hands of Yorick.
First up the Maw of Malmortius. Can save your life literally, that shield will often stop you from being shutdown, dying from being caught out, or buy you enough time for help to arrive. It gives you a large damage boost which increases the more health you lose which is amazing. At full build with half health, this item can drag you over 400 AD which is more than enough to dig some graves for your foes (See what I did there?).
Mercurial Scimitar. Another item that can literally save your life. Instantly removes any debuff off you and gives you a 50% movement speed bonus to hasten your escape or just let you continue to hunt down your enemies. Also gives you an amazing 45 Magic Resistance and 60 Attack damage. Just as a defensive option.
Never buy both of these items. Either of these items will work extremely well for him. It's up to you to choose which will work better in what situation. Personally I would usually take the Maw but if there was a CC heavy team I would consider the Scimitar.
Other defensive options:
A Frozen Heart goes a long way with Yorick. Firstly, the mana is going to stack with your Manamune or Muramana. This is the ultimate item for Yorick in a 1v1 situation in the top lane against an AD foe. 20% CDR means your abilities will be up faster which makes a slight difference. Combine this with 90 armor and a passive that will reduce their attack speed, Yorick has the potential to win any encounter under these guidelines.
A Second Life...Or Third
Just a Guardian Angel really. Get some alright resistance statistics and an extra life. This should give you greater incentive to ult someone else. Or you can die, be revived by your GA, then ult yourself. You know just to piss everyone off. ALL HAIL YORICK, THE MASTER OF REVIVAL.
Runic Bulwark.Wow. This item is absolutely amazing. It's my favourite item in the entire game. Does everything. It's perfect for Yorick if your team needs a true tank or offtank. Hell, even if they don't it is still worth getting. The resistances are amazing and the health is always amazing on Yorick. If you can't decide what defensive items you want before you back, just buy this and you can never go wrong. NEVER.
Why Warmog's Armor?
Well this one glorious item is the key winning any and every game. This item gives you 1.5% regeneration of your max health every 5 seconds. This makes you feel like a Garen with 600 Rejuvenation Bead's, like a Dr. Mundo with 19 Spirit Visage's. This, my friend is the key to victory. Not just the health regeneration, but the 1000 health (soon to be 980 again if the PBE patch goes live) goes a long way, especially at top lane with Yorick. This is the epitome of sustain for Yorick. This is why the "Surrender" option exists.
Boots + Enchantments
Boots are more important than people think. You need to pick the right ones for the situation and that is something surprisingly, people often get wrong.
Solid magic resistance with a passive that makes these boots even more worth it. You shouldn't always necessarily buy these just for the tenacity because Ninja Tabi are also valuable when used in the right situations. Usage - The enemy team has a fair amount of CC that could easily disrupt you in the middle of team-fights, or in lane through a gank, or the enemy team has majority of AP damage dealers with some sort of CC. This also helps against foes with silences and slows.
Solid armor bonus which doesn't mean much anymore in the dominance of Black Cleavers, but still helps. However, attention must be drawn to it's passive which can be very helpful in negating some damage from pokes from auto attacks likes your annoying AD nidalees or even your radical lane swaps that place an AD carry in your lane. This extends into late game with auto attacks from the ADC playing a huge part in the game. Not as much, but it still helps surviving.
There are a few enhancements that will allow Yorick to really stick to his targets and cause more damage. Note: I do not necessarily know when it is best to buy enchantments and it's really up to the player to decide for themselves.
FUROR:Furor is a great enchantment for Yorick. Basically, whenever you use your Q or E, Yorick will gain a 12% movement speed buff which combined with items like Frozen Mallet or Iceborn Gauntlet will allow Yorick to stick to his target. It is noteworthy that Yorick's Q gives a movement speed buff while the ghoul is active and corresponds to the level your Q is. This stacks with furor which is always a handy tool of destruction on a champion who is often slow by any standards.
HOMEGUARD: Homeguard does for Yorick what it does for every other champion - It let's you recall and get back to lane faster which is an advantage for Yorick since he is a slow champion. However, it is also used in conjunction with teleport which allows you to teleport anywhere possible with the homeguard enchantment speed buff. Racecar Yorick. HELL. YEAH.
CAPTAIN: Captain boots are great if you're expected to be a full tank or offtank Yorick. This basically will help your team initiate and escape faster which is always and amazing. Also if you're going to play "Scumbag Yorick Playstyle" and do nothing all game but push towers, your minions also get a speed boost allowing you to push lanes faster.
My personal preference is probably Furor just cause I don't like enemies getting away that need to be killed for the way they're playing. However enchantments are exactly like items and boots - based on what you need and what the team needs.
Counters. Who can you beat? Who can't you beat?
In my experience, there are some champions that Yorick can outright beat. There are many reasons for this whether it's being able to poke someone out of lane or outsustain your opponent. These champions are:
Darius: Yorick Vs Darius is a pretty unfair lane for both involved. Generally Yorick will win majority of the time. However, even the slightest advantage in Darius' favour can turn the entire lane. This is why you need to be careful. At level 1, Darius can beat you no doubt and kill you. If this happens prepare for the worst. Just try to farm and poke at him when he gets to close to you. Hopefully, he'll walk back seeing as how he is taking constant damage. All you do from this point is focus from farming and trying to deny him farm. This will eventually even out the lane making it easier for Yorick. People can argue that this is wrong. From experience this can happen so easily and it makes life hell.
However, if he doesn't get an advantage early and Yorick hits level 2 or 3, this is an easy lane for Yorick. Yorick has way more sustain and a soft CC in the slow which can often stop him from pulling you back with his Apprehend. Darius has no sustain and no escape. A semi-decent Yorick should and will never let a Darius in melee range, and will harass him out of the lane to about 50% health, thus denying farm and experience. At this point, if Darius doesn't recall he will die which will hasten the snowball of the already snowballing Yorick. After level 1, Yorick wins.
Noteworthy On DARIUS:
- Very Strong Early Game Damage
- Potential to beat you Level 1.
- Armor penetration passive on Apprehend
- True damage from Noxian Guillotine can often catch you by surprise dealing a lot of damage.
Yorick is a great counter to Darius and can beat him in lane with a little care at level 1.
Pantheon: This matchup basically has Pantheon at a huge disadvantage. However, don't let this guise fool you. Until about level 4-5, he can be some trouble but shouldn't be able to kill you with your amount of sustain. He will often poke you with his Spear Shot and whenever he can he will try a Aegis of Zeonia+ Heartseeker Strike combo. This is a case where you definitely want to be maxing your Omen of Famine. Your sustain with this being maxed will help you to negate most of the damage he has inflicted on you all the while farming creeps. Try not to push however as Pantheon's stun can keep a kill secure during a jungle gank. After a fair bit of farming I recommend recalling and returning to your lane with a Tear of the Goddess and a Philosopher's Stone. This is also one of the few situations where I would recommend using teleport to get back to top. This is because that little bit of farm Pantheon gets while you're at base can go a long way in getting his brutalizer. Stopping this can help you delay this as long as possible to the point where he gets it means nothing. He will still do damage but a bit less.
Noteworthy on PANTHEON:
- Heartseeker Strike and auto-attacks have the tendency to crit at low HP due to his E's passive.
- His W+E combo can do a hell of a lot of damage. This is why you may need more sustain.
- Never underestimate pantheon. At lower levels as he is strongest in lane between levels 2-5
- Can farm and get fed off of other lanes using his Grand Skyfall
- Very mana hungry early. TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THIS
- Has a large range on his Spear Shot
Yorick can win this lane with ease provided he farms more efficiently
Jayce: A matchup that is always debated as to who counters who. First of all, Jayce is an extremely strong champion who can make your life miserable at top. He can do heavy damage, chase you down, do more damage, disengage and walk away. All while losing minuscule health. However, Yorick can make Jayce's time at top horrible. This matchup can go either way but I would have to say, A decent Yorick player who shows a bit more awareness in this lane will come out on top anyday.
If a Jayce is giving you a hard time at top I would recommend doing this:
Stand back for a moment and last hit with your Omen of Famine all while dodging his Shock Blast. From here let Jayce push down to your turret. This will open up an opportunity for a gank. Simply freeze the lane (Easier said than done). Last hit only, and every time he comes near you to auto-attack, Use your E on him and simply continue farming. Try to aim minions that you can last hit which is also targeted by the turret to make it's attack do nothing. Since Jayce is such a hard pusher, call your jungle to either gank him while he is vulnerable or hold your lane if you're low. Pick up some core items (like a Manamune) and repeat. You won't be guaranteed to completely win this lane, but you will have more presence and make it harder for Jayce. P.S Any Jayce player who dives you can kill you and escape. This is why if you are approached by a Jayce while you're under the tower, immediately Omen of Pestilence and Omen of Famine. Make everything he does to you cost him. You can win this lane.
Noteworthy on JAYCE:
- Two Ability sets, each with it's own strengths and weaknesses
- No Sustain - TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS
- Ranged and Melee - An absolute pain
- Has a strong gap closer and even stronger disengage
- Never assume you will beat him. Jayce can turn the lane around in a pinch
- Strong Burst Damage
There is no clear counter between the two, but Yorick can win this lane but it will be in no way easy.
Olaf: This matchup is a tough victory for Yorick. If played right Yorick can win, but he has to be extremely careful. Olaf's Armor Penetration is getting nerfed and removed as a passive which should make this matchup easier for Yorick in the future.
Basically in this matchup, Yorick must not let Olaf get close enough to land his Reckless Swing. If you take a hit, your sustain should be enough to keep you in lane. You also want to be constantly harassing Olaf with your Omen of Famine to deny his farming without exhausting your entire mana supply. For this purpose, I would strongly recommend taking a Philosopher's Stone as soon as possible to help with this lane. Try to avoid Olaf's Undertow hitting you as it does more damage than it seems.
Noteworthy on OLAF
- The true damage is actually a lot of damage to Yorick early
- Yorick will pretty much always lose an early game duel with Olaf. Avoid This!
- Olaf's Ragnarok will burn through your slow and all your item slows
- Ragnarok will make Olaf almost ungankable.
This lane should be a victory for Yorick but can be a somewhat difficult laning phase
This guide is far from done, I've published it just as a general guideline to help people who are new to Yorick or need a build to follow .
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I would love to hear from more experienced Yorick players or any player for that matter.
Yorick, The Gravedigger, Is absolutely amazing.