Yorick Build Guide by Ellieboab

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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 Ellieboab

Yorick - Top Lane Terror

Ellieboab Last updated on September 4, 2013
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hello, i'm Ellieboab and this is my second guide, mostly because i'm extremely bored, however, I have had alot of success using this build. It focuses on early lane pressure which scales through to become a late game teamfighter. Yorick has the potential to be unbeatable in top lane, and if played wisely is exactly that.

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Pros / Cons


+ Very few counters
+ Lane dominance
+ Extremely strong sustain
+ Can speed himself up and slow enemies
+ Strong splitpushing and duelist
+ Monster in team fights

- Can be ganked early
- Susceptible to being kited
- Squishy early, as you must get tears

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Yorick, in my opinion, benefits greatly from running 21 points in offense. It is, eventually, all up to you, if you feel comfortable playing aggressively, I recommend 21/9/0, which provides you with early dueling power and lane presence.

(Notable) Offense:
- I generally run ignite, an extra 5 AP and AD is nice.
+ - Strong dueling and basic attack damage early.
- More armor pen = more damage.

(Notable) Defense:
- Gives more durability throughout the game, hence the name.
x2 + x2 - Extra resistances allow you to receive slightly less damage. Every bit helps.
- 30 extra health for one skill point.

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Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

I believe this rune selection is very strong as Yorick, however if you have any criticism about the rune setup, please let me know your thoughts in the comments (Eg, AD Marks, Armor Pen Marks.)

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All of these items are strong on Yorick, knowing when and why you should pick a certain item can make the difference in a game. I'm not implying that any item is particularly stronger than another, but as I said earlier, your build will generally vary each game, sometimes you might need more damage, armor, health or MR. Items belonging to all of those categories are under this section, if you wish to read the reasoning behind item pick, go ahead. I've added some notes to allow those who don't want to read a paragraph to just see what makes it strong

or Yorick doesn't benefit off any 'aggresive' boots, such as Berserker's Greaves or Ionian Boots of Lucidity, so pick either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads depending on the lane matchup. Remember you can rebuy boots, so don't be afraid to buy Ninja Tabi for the lane, then sell them later and buy a more suitable option for the late game.

-Extremely cost efficient
-Strong poke potential
-Provides AD
-Provides Health and Mana Regeneration

Purchase this item as soon as possible. Even after the nerfs to its AD, it is still an extremely effective item on Yorick, providing him with a true damage burn to his already insane lane poke, free attack damage, which makes his poke even more potent, alongside health and mana regeneration and a nice passive that allows you to counter jungle or clear your golems very quickly, sell this late game for an item such as Guardian Angel or Maw of Malmortius

-Makes Yorick's innate sustain even stronger
-Nice amount of health

Spirit Visage provides Yorick with a notable amount of magic resistance and a fair amount of health, however, this isn't the reason we buy this item. Yorick's sustain with his (E) - Omen of Famine, is exceedingly high, add the bonus 20% to all heals/regens, and Yorick literally becomes an unmovable wall in lane. After buying this item, don't be afraid to push up, get into fights, etc, as this makes you extremely durable in combat.

-Mana regeneration
-Allows Yorick to spam
-Nice basic attack modifier
-Strong dueling item

On Yorick, it is basically compulsory to purchase Tear of the Goddess, as you are very mana hungry in lane and spam your abilities alot, Tears and Yorick go together almost as well as Ryze + Tears does. And it just so happens that there's an item which builds out of Tear of the Goddess which provides 1000 mana, 40 AD and a passive which grants extra AD based on your maximum mana pool. This is one of the reasons as to why Yorick is so strong, as the active on Muramana provides excellent damage with basic attacks, making Yorick even more lethal in duels. Just remember to toggle it off after fights, an 'oom' (out of mana) Yorick is a useless Yorick

-+1000 health
-Synergy with passive
-Overall durability
-Health Regen

Warmog's Armor works wonders with Yorick, it provides him with extra health regeneration to add to his already outlandish sustain, alongside 1000 health, which makes your passive really start to kick in.

-Allows Yorick to stick to enemies
-Nice armor
-Mana works well with Muramanato scale up AD

Iceborn Gauntlet gives Yorick extra mana, which makes his Muramana's extra AD passive scale better, it provides a large chunk of armor, which is well needed at this point, as their ADC will be quite farmed and you haven't built much so far. The passive is amazing for Yorick's sticking capability, allowing him to stick like glue to even the most slippery of targets, even Ezreal stands no chance >:D
Note; Remember that when you purchase this item, your CDR will be at 50%, which isn't efficient for Yorick, or any champion, as CDR maxes at 40%. Try to sell your Spirit of the Elder Lizard as soon as possible and pick up your next item, or even a part of the item path towards it.

-Second life
-Good resistances

Late game, selling your Spirit of the Elder Lizard to purchase Guardian Angel is a very wise choice, as Spirit of the Elder Lizard doesn't scale terrifically well into the late game, and having a second life far exceeds having a few ticks of 12 true damage with your basic attacks and abilities.
Note; Sell this after the passive is used on it, and buy something else from the list. Rebuy it after the 5 minutes cooldown on the passive is completed.

-Strong AoE Magic Damage

Sunfire Cape is a strong item on Yorick, as it gives armor to give durability, a nice amount of health which works well with his passive, and a constant 40 damage to anyone near you, and as Yorick is generally in the middle of fights, that 40 damage onto 5 people over a period of time amounts to a very large amount of damage coming from a tank item. Overall, solid pick for Yorick.

-Good amount of MR
-Shield strong for fighting AP's
-Notable amount of AD
-Passive gives AD/Health missing, making Yorick stronger the lower he gets.

Maw of Malmortius is a nice pickup for Yorick, it provides a very notable amount of MR, nice AD, and a very strong shield which allows you to 1v1 AP/Magic Dealers very well. Pick this against a double/triple AP team.

-Gives a generous amount of various stats
-Sheen procs
-Slow chance

Trinity Force Does a similar job to Iceborn Gauntlet, except it does more damage. I personally prefer to take Iceborn Gauntlet for the sticking capability, however if you are against a team that simply can not kite you, feel free to pick Trinity Force, it isn't bad, not at all. Health, mana, crit, Sheen procs, movementspeed, all that jazz. Pretty solid pick for Yorick.

-Strong vs a fed ADC
-Alot of armor
-Mana scales with Muramana

Frozen Heart Nice amount of armor. Alot of mana which scales up your attack damage from Muramana,reduces enemies attack speed when they hit you. Pick this if you really need to shut down a fed auto attacker. (Eg. Vayne)

-Can be procced multiple times quickly
-Good damage
-Armor Pen = More basic attack and Omen of War damage

The Black Cleaver is nice if you need that extra bit of 'oomph' in your build. You can proc the armor penetration stacks 3 times in quick succession by using this combo;

Basic Attack -> ->

Overall, a nice pick if you're fed and are your team's main source of damage, if not, you may want to pick up a defensive item.

All of these items are very strong on Yorick, depending on the scenario, pick items accordingly.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

Flash: Good for escaping and chasing. Strong choice for Yorick as it allows you to easily get onto their carries in fights.

Ignite: Ignite allows you to duel enemies strongly, prevent champions such as Dr Mundo from healing excess amounts.

Ghost: Ghost is a strong choice against enemies who can kite you well (Eg Ashe)

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Skill Explanation

  • Unholy Covenant:

    Basically, Yorick's ghouls benefit from his stats, and he benefits from the amount of ghouls that are currently present. Essentially, the more health and damage Yorick has, the more damage and health his ghouls have, and the more ghouls alive, the more tanky and deadly Yorick is.
  • Omen of War (Q):

    When activated, this ability makes Yorick's next basic attack deal alot of extra physical damage, and increase his movement speed a significant amount per rank of Omen of War, this ability scales 1.2 damage for every point of attack damage Yorick has, making it a very strong nuke at every point in the game, especially when combined with items such as Sheen.
  • Omen of Pestilence (W):

    Doesn't do a very noticeable amount of damage, however, it slows the enemy by a decent amount (40% for 1.5 seconds + 20% for as long as the ghoul survives), which allows you to stick to enemies, and it also gives vision when used, which allows you to check brush, which is why I take this at level 1.
  • Omen of Famine (E):

    Yorick's bread and butter ability, gives good damage and lane sustain from a nice range (for a melee champion). Not much else to say. I max this first for the excellent sustain it provides, aswell as very strong damage at all stages of the game.
  • Omen of Death (R):

    "Death is only the beginning" - Yorick Mori. Omen of Death is an ability which can be used on any member of your team. When used, it creates a ghost, controllable by Yorick, which deals basic attack damage to whomever it is set upon, however, when the ally (or yourself) dies, it immediately gives the player a second life for 10 seconds, and they can use all of their abilities. Use this on your carries before they die.

Yorick's skill set allows him to dominate his lane, then proceed to become an excellent teamfighter through his sustain in combat and utility with slows and a free second life for his carries.

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Skill Sequence

My recommended skill order for Yorick is as follows:

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
Prioritizing Omen of Death for the cooldown and utility, followed by Omen of Famine, then Omen of Pestilence, then War maximizes damage and utility, and is, in my opinion, the best way to play Yorick, Omen of Death is prioritized first, as it gives your carry (AP or AD) a second life and the chance to turn a lost fight into a won fight, and gives you the chance to kill someone in a 1v1 after they've already beaten you (which generally doesn't happen anyways, but having that ability is nice).

Maxing Yorick's skills in this order provides strong utility and damage, which is the most efficient and strongest way to play Yorick in my opinion.

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Team Work and Team Fighting

During the laning phase, try to communicate with your jungler and team, by co-coordinating ganks and distraction to take objective.
In team fights earlier in the game, Yorick is extremely effective at taking down the enemy carries, in later game teamfights you must attempt to peel the enemy bruisers off of your carries, and at the same time pressure their carries. This can be very tricky, however, one way to do this is by simply sitting on their carry, which would force and smart bruiser on the other team to peel you, which is nearly impossible anyways, so you've put your team at an advantage that easily. If the enemy bruisers don't come to peel you, simply kill their carries then proceed to clean up the rest of their team. Try to coordinate with your team and tell your ADC to play more aggressive than usual, as he has a free extra life due to your Omen of Death

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Stages of the Game

Levels 1-3

From levels 1-3, as Yorick, focus mostly on last hitting minions, using abilities during this time often results in being out of mana. Only use abilities this early on whilst trading. When the enemy laner walks up to last hit, simply basic attack him once, since this early in the game they have no attack speed, they won't have time to retaliate, if you repeat this multiple times, it puts you in a much stronger position.

Levels 3-6

Start harassing the enemy, use your E and try to land as many basic attacks as possible when the enemy goes for CS. They generally won't be able to trade back. At this point in the game, start asserting dominance in your lane, but don't start pushing up. Simply don't let them get any CS, and if possible, keep them away from xp range, so you outlevel them as well as out farm them. When the enemy walks in to cs a minion;
Basic Attack - > - > , then proceed to chase them for a few more basic attacks, just remember to not miss out on too many minion kills whilst attacking them.

Levels 6-10

By now, you should have backed and have atleast Boots of Speed, Tear of the Goddess and a Long Sword (x2 if you're doing well). Start pushing up to their turret, if you've asserted your dominance in lane throughout the earlier stages, they should be 1-2 levels below you. Abuse this. Start pushing their tower, harass them whilst they're under it. At this stage the enemy jungler will want to gank you, keep wards up. If you have really screwed over your lane counterpart earlier on, don't be afraid to 1v2 the jungler and laner. Quite often this has happened and i've simply killed both and pushed the turret. If you don't think you can 2v1, save flash to escape after killing one. If you're not very far ahead, simply run from ganks.

Next time you back, try to pick up a Spirit of the Elder Lizard and a Kindlegem, and possibly even upgrade your Boots of Speed. Tell your team you are ready to fight. Go for dragon with your team, or if the other team goes for dragon before you, tell your team to just poke and take their top turret. Some team fights may occur during this space in time, either pressure the map whilst the fight is occurring, or make your way to the fight. Try to stick to the enemy carries until they die, then clean up the fight. If the fight's going badly, remember to ult the most fed person on your team, which may well be yourself.

Levels 10-16

By now you should start finishing your core items, being Muramana and Spirit Visage, start aiming for the three most suitable items of this list.

If you're doing well, you might have 1-2 of these items. Start pressuring the map hard at this point, as you can 1v1 pretty much anyone.

Levels 16-18

By now you'll be nearly at a full build. Sell your Spirit of the Elder Lizard at this point, to avoid overstacking CDR, aswell as the fact that by now it's generally pretty mediocre. The burn helps, but not enough to warrant an item slot. Pick up the last couple of items and get ready to fight. Pressure the map and Baron. Once again, when fights erupt, peel for your carries, whilst eliminating the enemy carries. Generally you'll want to use your ult one of your carries, as they'll have scaled much better damage-wise than you. Avoid using your ult on burst AP's, as a general rule these three AP's warrant an ult the most ; Ryze, Cassiopeia and Karthus. However, some champions such as Akali and Katarina can make good use of it. Carries such as Vayne and Tristana are the #1 ult priority at this point, as they can single handedly rip apart a whole team.

Super Late Game (40-50 mins +)

If the game has lasted to this point, it's very close. Death timers are long, and any mistakes can cost the game, and your time. Make your team stick with you, and recommend a Guardian Angel to all the carries, as a possible third life in a team fight is phenomenal. In fights, as always, stick to the enemy carries. By now, however, enemy carries may well be able to 1v1 you, this is fine. If you are able to distract the enemy carries, your job is done. It's now a 4v4 and your team has an adc, which tips the balance massively into your favour. However, if they've picked an adc such as Varus or Sivir, they probably won't be able to 1v1 you, and simply do the same as always. Play very carefully, as, once again, any mistakes can cost the game.

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Easy Matchups

(Disclaimer; All of these matchups are in my personal experience, if you have difficulty with a certain champion, please comment and elaborate on exactly what was difficult about that certain enemy)

Irelia is generally a pretty easy matchup, as aside from her ult, she has to get into melee range to last hit, which you can punish her for severely. As long as you avoid extended trades you'll come out on top every time. When she last hits, land a few basic attacks and a Omen of War and a Omen of Famine. Irelia is killable early, however, it depends on the enemies playstyle, some like to go all in and abuse her extended trading power, don't let her.

-Avoid extended trades
-Abuse lane dominance

Tryndamere is very easy to beat, as, once again, he has no ranged abilities to farm with. Tryndamere is a champion that scales extremely well into late game, whereas Yorick is strong at every point in the game, and can abuse Tryndameres early game weakness. Tryndamere needs alot of farm to get to his late game monster stage, Yorick has lane sustain, harass and zoning potential, exactly what's needed against a Tryndamere. Don't push this lane to the tower, or he'll get free last hits, just zone him away from minions and he can't do anything about it. Try to kill him early but don't expect any kills once he gets his Undying Rage.

-Keep him away from your minions at all cost
-Don't let him reach his late game hypercarry stage
-Abuse your early game power against his early game weakness

Although Shen is a relatively common ban, if you are to go against one, simply play it like you would against a Tryndamere, don't let him farm and get to his unkillable tank stage. He'll try to resort to last hitting with his Vorpal Blade, punish him whenever he does. Early game you can abuse your laning power and he can't do anything about it, since he isn't tanky enough and doesn't do enough damage. Once he starts stacking up resistances and health, push the lane to his tower and roam.

-Max W second, as Shen will stack armor
-Push his tower when he ults away
-Harass him early

There's a common trend for the easy matchups, all of them have to be in melee range to farm, and Fiora has to do exactly that. Abuse her early game weakness, don't allow her to farm and outlevel and out-itemize her. You can basically 1v1 her at any point of the game, make sure you don't proc he parry with your Omen of War, otherwise you'll lose out of a good amount of your dueling potential. If Fiora tries to all-in you, take the free kill and continue farming. Fiora can't take you 1v1, abuse this.

Malphite is banned very commonly at lower elo, as many teams can't handle with him, however, Malphite is a counter to attack speed based AD champions in top lane. Expect him to build straight armor, I recommend maxing your W ( Omen of Pestilence) second, to bypass that somewhat. Once again, he needs to last hit in melee or he'll run out of mana quickly. Punish his weak early game, push hard to his tower so he runs out of mana last hitting, when he recalls, try to take his tower and roam while he tries to catch up. Don't expect many kills in this lane, as he can slow you and your attack speed, and if needed Unstoppable Force away.

-Harass early, don't bother later
-Rum him oom, then when he recalls push and roam
-Abuse early power

Vladimir will just be a poke/sustain battle. Vladimir is generally picked for lane domination, but that's what you're picked for too. Your poke is stronger than his early and mid, toward late game, his will exceed yours as he'll build mostly damage, however, your sustain will remain better or equal to his at every stage of the game. You can keep Vladimir away from the minion wave with relative ease. There'll generally be no kills in this lane.

-You'll outsustain him the whole laning phase
-You'll outpoke him the whole laning phase
-Use your E after he harasses you with his Q (Transfusion)

Early game Singed will try to push up your wave by running up and down it with poison trail, I know this because I mained Singed for a fair while, however, if he does this you have two options, either harass him until he uses up all his potions and recalls, or just farm his minions before they reach your turret, you won't lose health due to your Omen of Famine, and he'll slowly run out of health and mana and get forced to recall. If you're against a proxy singed, you can either proxy the lane yourself, or ask for your jungler to gank him, after he's died 4-5 times in a row don't bother with him, and remind your team not to either.

-Don't be afraid of him flinging you, as you can out-trade him 100% of the time
-Don't be afraid of running in his poison to get a few more basic attacks, you can sustain it back up
-Ignore proxy singed after he's died 4-5 times, take the free gold before that.

Nidalee has three options, she could go hybrid, ad or ap. Of all of these, AP is the easiest to deal with, and AD is the hardest. (Btw check out my Nidalee guide if you want :P). If she's AP, hide behind minions and she'll have to go Cougar Form to do any damage, where you can out-trade her. If she's AD, counter-harass her auto attacks with your Omen of Famine.

-Nidalee can kite you easily, get an Iceborn Gauntlet
-Nidalee's basic attack poke can get annoying, if she abuses the brush, ward it and spam your abilities on her.
-Max W second, to stick to her and counter-poke, she can't trade with you.

Gangplank can't do anything against you, he can either harass you with his Parrley, and you sustain through it, or he can try to last hit with it, in the latter case, just play aggressively and force him to use Parrley on you, and sustain through it. If he tries to last hit in melee punish him severely, he can't trade with you.

-Use your Omen of Famine after he uses Parrrley, to heal back all the damage he did.
-Play aggressively and force him to use Parrrley on you, so he misses out on CS.
-Trade with him as much as you can, he has no sustain.

Wukong will be unkillable in lane, due to his superior duking and mobility potential, however, he's extremely vulnerable to being zoned, and Yorick is extremely good at zoning. If he uses his E->Q combo on you, try to harass back, but be careful not to waste mana on his clone. Sustain with E.

-Don't bother fighting him, he'll just juke you.
-Deny him farm
-If you have good reactions, try to land a Q as he dashes at you, Yorick out-sustains and out-trades Wukong


I'll be adding matchups as I learn more about the. If you have any requested Easy matchups, drop a comment and i'll try to add it in :)

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Difficult Matchups

I've named this chapter "Difficult Matchups" - however, Yorick is a champion that is capable of winning any lane, so when I say difficult, I really mean that it won't be as much of a field day as the easy matchups are. Once again, any requested matchups are welcomed via the comments.

Riven is a similar champion to Yorick in the sense that Riven loves to abuse her damage at every stage of the game and dominate the lane, however, where Yorick builds tanky and sustains through his Omen of Famine, Riven tends to build straight damage with a GA or another defensive item, gaining sustain through lifesteal. This means, until she gets lifesteal, Riven has no sustain in lane. Abuse this. Poke her down early, avoid extended engagements as her passive hurts. A good Riven will look to fight you as much as possible, don't let her. Poke her down and try to gain control over the lane.

-Riven hurts. Don't get into extended engagements, try to dodge her stuns and knockups and sit back and poke.
-Riven's mobility allows her to kite you easily, get an Iceborn Gauntlet.
-Max W ( Omen of Pestilence) second, to prevent her engaging on you.

Xin Zhao is an all in champion. Although he is relatively uncommon in top lane, he hurts. If he charges you, Omen of Pestilence immediately and kite him whilst poking. Be careful in this lane, because if he gets a kill he'll snowball hard. Avoid being knocked up and poke him down, his sustain is weak.

-He's an all in champion, he either kills or gets killed
-Easy to bait, once he charges in he's very susceptible to ganks
-Can snowball hard

Phoenix Udyr is become somewhat popular in top lane after he got a buff, this means AP runes on him, which makes his Turtle Stance extremely annoying, as it can stop all of your poke. If you try to all in him, he'll stun you and stroll away, if you try to poke him, he'll shield it. Not alot you can do here, farm up and late game you provide more for your team in fights.

-Underestimated Phoenix burst
-Can block your harass
-Can escape ganks easily with remade passive

Renekton has good sustain, a gap closer and a stun. His ult allows him to all-in you and win most of the time. This lane is somewhat tricky, because you want to kite him, however, he can dash in, stun, damage you and dash out before you can do anything. Try to kite him. He can't kill you if you play wisely, but you'll most likely get zoned out, let him push up then freeze the lane at your tower.

-Armor is a good counter to his burst
-He can dash 900 range with his double dash through minions, using Slice and Dice. This allows him to stick to you easily.
-His sustain comes from Cull the Meek, which is based off how much damage he does. His heal is essentially based off how many minions (or champions) he hits with it.

That concludes the difficult matchups, i'll add in anything else if I verse a hard lane. Apparently Cho'Gath is strong against Yorick, however, I am yet to vs one, i'll come back when I do.

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In conclusion, Yorick is an extremely effective team fighter, laner, splitpusher and provides excellent utility and fight presence which, if abused by your team can provide you with easy wins. This is only my second guide, so please give me criticism and feedback if there's something you like or don't like about it.

I would like to thank Jhoijhoi for her guide which taught me how to actually make a decent looking guide. Here's the link to her guide about making guideshere.

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- 1:45 AM 7/4/2013 - Added Easy and Difficult Matchups, Finished up the item section. Added pictures alongside ability explanations.
- 10:33 AM 7/4/2013 - Cleaned up the item section a bit by adding lines in between every item to avoid confusion/messiness
- 5:44 PM 7/5/2013 - Removed the lore aspect (some were complaining about it being useless, which it was), fixed up the skill distribution, as there was a complaint about skill splitting between Q and W (Only partial benefits and such)