Yorick Build Guide by LunaticDancer
Beginner friendly guide to carrying games as YorickBy LunaticDancer | Updated on March 12, 2021
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: Tanky Boi
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order Ability Order
Threats & Synergies
Kinda a skill match up, boils down to "don't get hit".
Don't get hit and build MR. Your E is amazing against her smoke, because your ghouls will reveal her position with their jump. Sometimes anti-heal is a good idea.
Not that much of a threat to you, but a threat to your team. Can have disgusting damage when not kept in check. Since it's a tank, you melt him with your ultimate, it's a wise idea to avoid him otherwise.
Can absolutely abuse you in early game and make sure you never get up. Play it safe and you should outpace her in mid game. Your W is amazing at making her grappling hook useless.
Absolute annoyance. Constant chip damage + her claws can quickly dispose of your ghouls. You need MR and good all in set ups.
Skill match up. You need MR. The main things to be wary of is that him killing your ghouls gives him health and mana, so don't waste them uselessly, and he can eat your Maiden with his R, which is an asshole move. But you do beat him in an even 1v1, so just don't get outpaced in the first 5 levels and you'll stomp the lane.
CAREFUL. He's a pretty easy lane after you hit 6, or even 3, BUT it's still a skill match up. Obvious, reckless mistakes can let him make a comeback, so play safe even with the advantage. Anti-heal might be a good idea. Main tips: Don't get into long trades pre-6, he wins those. You win with bursts. When he uses Q, come closer to him, the inner circle of his Q deals way less damage and you also are now closer to punish him for his foolishness.
Easy, as long as you don't get outstatted early on. As always, burst trades are you friend pre-6. Your ghouls body block his Q, which is his main harass tool. His W deals neglegible damage to them too. Anti-heal cripples him immensely.
An universal nightmare to lane against. If you wall directly onto her, she can parry that and stun you, so careful of that. Still, far from impossible to win, you will need to concentrate though.
Not that threatening to Yorick, as often your ghouls farm for you so you don't even need to get into the barell range, and his pistol poke is easy to heal back up. Still can be dangerous in right circumstances, but you generally outtrade him really hard.
The match up starts out in his favor, similar to Darius, and his passive heal is annoying, but you REALLY win in the long run as long as he's not fed. His Q gives him a speed boost and a cleanse from slows, so hitting him with E after he hit Q is very punishing and frustrating for him. Make sure to hit him every few seconds to disable his passive. If you can't, farm safely when pushed in. You generally win after lvl 6, but still be careful in duels, don't let him get you below 1/3 hp, or he'll surprise R you.
A really annoying match up. When played well, you both won't kill each other for most of the game, so it's a farm race.
I might be an idiot, but this guy always absolutely beats me in top lane (at least last season). You need MR. You need to never get hit by his stun grenade. You need to destroy his turrets immediately before he can create a formation with them. Be careful of him setting up his ult turret and then using Zhonya's.
Skill match up. Basically, build armor and don't get hit. Her ultimate absolutely destroys you, so be wary of that, but generally you outtrade her in a 4 ghoul set up. When cursed with her E, try walking close to the tentacle spawn points and then walking out of the damage zone, so you can attack into Q the tentacle.
Her Q can instantly kill all of your ghouls and buff her up to the point of winning any 1v1 with you. You need to be safe in this lane, and when you do go in, make sure to also immediately attack her, so she doesn't farm your ghouls for free. You do outpace her in mid-late game naturally though, so it's a tough lane, but beneficial in the very long run if you haven't already lost.
Rare top match up, but generally you do outtrade him if you have your full set up. He doesn't have any tricks to counter you, just don't get ulted under the tower unless you're sure you can handle that.
Jax is not as dangerous as he was before, but still be careful. His E is his greatest threat to you, if you're in a fight, save your W to wall him off and walk away, since his E nullifies the damage of you and your summons and then redirects it back at you. When his E is down, you win easily though, but this little shit can also jump away when needed. A skill match up, but not that hard to manage.
A lane bully that doesn't work against you. You can easily avoid/counter his moves and you heavily outdamage him in duels.
Very easy lane you should generally win, but if you fuck this up, you basically lose the game. It's a very volatile champ, so you need to bully her.
Can make an annoying surprise, but generally you outtrade him very hard, as long as you build anti heal. He's slippery though, so that rarely will lead to a kill, still, he'll waste time on not getting anything done.
Can be dangerous, thankfully your minions prevent his isolation bonus from going off on you. You outtrade him, his main threat comes from the fact of how well he can surprise you.
A very unforgiving lane. If he's low HP - don't fall for it. If he hits you enough times, he'll get a HP reset from his passive, and then you're fucked. But, he's also a very volatile champion and has a hard time comming back when behind, so if you start stomping, abuse him until he becomes useless.
Lillia top is a very rare match up, but generally her thing is mid range poke and being speedy as fuck. Generally, don't engage in combat with her unless you hit your E, and don't expect that happening often. On the flip side, her damage isn't too great at the beginning, unless she commits with her W, but then you can heavily punish her with your W and swarm attack.
Lissandra top is very rare, but generally she's a shorter range mage with cool damage and CC. You still eat her alive in 1v1 and when she commits, you can punish her into regretting she was ever born.
Can be very annoying and slippery, but proper usage of bushes makes it harder to poke you, and when he's hit with your E, he's bound to take a massive chonk of damage.
Can be very annoying and spicy at the start of the match, but she has no mobility and not much to offer outside of her burst, so once you hit her with your E, you have the potential to even kill at the spot. And she falls off harder and harder as the game goes on. Just don't die in the first few levels.
You outregen his Q poke while he loses substantian amounts of mana. Your ghouls absolutely chop him and if you harass him constantly between farming, his shield never grows back while you outpace him in the sustain department. His main danger is using his R for team plays, but the solution is easy - bully him in lane so hard, he uses his R to escape your W traps because the alternative is death. Really easy match up.
The main threat of Yi is him getting fed. With a full set up, you beat him easily, especially if you built anti-heal to counter his lifesteal, which you should do. If he's fed though, there's little you can do. If he Qs you, the good move is to move under the turret and cast W under yourself, so he's trapped under the turret while you spank his ass.
Don't get hit and you're more than fine. You outtrade him. Try to bully him as much as you can pre-6, post-6 hold onto your W so you can separate him from you within his ultimate when he inevitably uses it on you. Don't get low near him or he'll murder you. Other than that, he's easy to stomp. IMPORTANT: Your summons don't travel into or from his shadow realm, so don't ever cast your R in his R realm or you'll waste your most important cooldown.
Easy lane, not only you can bully him from early on, it's exactly what you should be doing. It's a match up where you should never leave lane and let him bounce back, as long as he stays miserable, you deny their team a win condition. Don't let him stack on your summons for free though, when you initiate on him, make sure you can afford going all in and show him no mercy.
Annoying lane with some scary AP damage, but you absolutely destroy her if she gets caught. Very volatile.
Nunu & Willump
One of the most annoying pieces of shit, his low cooldown Q can kill your ultimate effortlessly, so be cautious of that. If you see him rolling a snowball at you, just put your W slightly before him, he'll be trapped and the snowball will be destroyed. In a non-gank situation you absolutely obliterate him though.
The scariest thing he has is lifesteal and attack speed buffs when on low hp, so be wary of that, but generally you heavily outtrade him. Also, your W counters his ultimate, a nice bonus.
A boring lane, because if he's good you won't kill him, but generally his damage is easily avoidable and you heavily win all in trades. The character is good at receiving ganks, so be careful of that.
Not really a threat, as you're about even as solo characters, but your Maiden gives you the anti-tank edge. And you don't need to worry about the anti-dash field.
Very annoying lane, can be tricky, buut also she's risking a lot, since one E hit can be life-ending for her. Generally if she bounces off you, even when you're blinded, you have a pretty easy E hit at her because her landing spot is predictable, use this to your advantage.
An unpleasant opponent, you can't really contest him without your R. Black Cleaver early might be a good idea.
A hard start, he can be very swingy and slippery, you gotta play very safe until level 6. As the game goes on, he falls off harder and harder. about level 8 you should outpace him even if you were slightly behind.
Will harass you a lot early. What you need is getting your lvl 2 ghouls the fastest you can so you can at least trade back and not get eaten in the lane. Also, proc your grasp on her as often as you can.
Very volative bully character, you either stomp or get stomped.
Short range burst mage, generally weak, you can abuse him easily, and getting caught in his W doesn't bother you much.
Can be a serious bully, but generally a very manageable lane. Trade in short bursts, so his grit doesn't build up too much. If he uses his big W thing, avoid standing on the center line AT ALL COST. You might need to build anti-heal. Generally he falls off as the game goes on, but his R will always remain a threat.
Annoying and slippery, can fear your whole army, but also squishy, so when you catch him, he's as good as dead.
A good Shen is nigh unbeatable for you, as his W nullifies all damage, making you and your ghouls absolutely inpotent. Avoid his taunts as much as you can, or better yet, force him to use it as an escape tool. IMPORTANT TECH: You can use your W to disrupt his ultimate as long as a wall appears directly where he's standing. Of course, while in theory he counters you pretty hard, in practice the match-up is pretty manageable, as long as you stay focused and fish for stupid mistakes on his side.
Her main thing is dealing obscene damage, but that doesn't bother you that much as a tank. She doesn't really have good disengagement options, so once she commits into you, she better kill you or she's fucked, as you can outtrade her up close and there's no escaping you too.
Annoying, but manageable. Careful under the turret, he can kill combo you there early on. You most likely won't be getting a kill on him, because he's fast and tanky, but you also shouldn't be dying to him and outfarming him isn't really hard.
Easily manageable match up, just make sure to walk out of any of his danger zones. On level 2, you outtrade him, on level 6 he should have no realistic chance of beating you. Careful of his passive, best wall him off and protect your ultimate.
Rare top pick. Generally very weak, the most he can do is drag you under the turret, but you still can fight back using your summons. Other than that, he loses very badly.
Build anti-heal, and just like that, you solved the match up. You kill him pretty easily, just don't get bursted early on and make sure to kill his Maiden whenever he steals from you.
Can have some serious burst, and throw your shit at you, but you pose exactly the same threat to her, and as the game goes on, your tankiness makes her less and less relevant.
A rare, dangerous pick. A good Tahm can stunlock you while dealing massive damage. Too bad you can crowd gank him with your bois, which easily outdamages him. Something to be wary of is that he can use his W on your Maiden and throw her under the tower for an easy kill. Generally be careful to not enable him to combo you, either have your full squad out or be near the turret, or he will run you over with his lick combos.
A free match up as long as you play it right. At the beginning, keep away and come up only to last hit. Avoid getting hit for free, this is crucial early on. As soon as level 2, you can hit him with the E into summon combo to chonk him for half his health. Make sure to wait with your Q until he blinds you and the blind wears off. If you're onto him and he blinds you, run at him anyway, you'll get a grasp proc when the blind wears off. Your W is especially deadly to him, as he can't reasonably outrun you. He's easy to hit with E, so you really should be stomping the lane. As for shrooms, just let your minions/ghouls proc them.
A knowledge match up really, you both need to know your relative power to know when to trade. Generally avoid his buff zones, but as it often is, if you have your whole squad ready, you win.
A champion that can turn off damage and build full attack while also being kinda slippery? Not really fair for you. Can kill your summons then proceed to kill you. His W debuff also affects your summons. Your best bet - W him after he dashes at or away from you, then proceed to beat him down. In lane, watch out for his Fury meter, if it's more than half full, that can mean serious trouble. Also, stomping him early is a thing you're hoping to do, because once he hits 6, he becomes stupidly powerful. You can trap him in your W when he ults and step away, so he doesn't unfairly kill you. If he runs away, that's at least his R wasted, if he runs at you, your minion damage will fuck him up when his R runs out.
Can stun you, kill your ghouls, proceed to murder your Maiden, then when you're no longer stunned, you're in an unfavorable 1v1. A pain in the ass, but can be beaten otherwise.
A pretty tough lane to deal with. Don't get low near him post-6 or he ults you and you die instantly. Avoid getting dashed at and thrown over. When you commit at him, make sure to stand right on his face, so his W machine gun doesn't instantly clear your ghouls. The match up becomes way easier once you have your R out, because you chonk him pretty hard then. Still, avoid even fights, because he can kill you early.
A major pain in the ass, as she can melt you at any point of the game and get better at it the longer the game lasts. The match up doesn't forgive mistakes, but if you catch her, you can kill her pretty easily, but that's a big if.
Don't get poked for free and it's the easiest lane of your life. You can outheal his Q poke, easily shred him with your own damage and the best part - his puddle form can't cross your wall, so if you trap him, he's as good as dead. If he still is any trouble, get some anti-heal and of course MR.
He's annoying, especially level 1, but if you heavily outtrade him level 6 on and are able to keep up with him at level 2 or 3, depending on how well you play and how much he sucks.
Warwick top is a scary fighter generally, but you can beat him pretty reliably in 1v1, the key is to not be low on HP, because that gives him an advantage. If he ults you, your summons are there to keep beating him up. If he's in jungle, it's a similar story. His strongest tool against you is his fear, but it's countered as easily as trapping him in W and walking away until it bursts.
A spicy and sometimes annoying lane, but mostly a skin match up. Big mechanical tip: if you throw an E at him and the mark symbol disappears - that's a decoy you are seeing. Sometimes your ghouls will jump at his real location, so trust your little buddies. Be very careful with diving this guy, because his ultimate can put you in a very nasty situation.
Annoying lane, because of all the poke and dashing around. Try to E him when he's on you, build anti-heal early to deny him a lot of his power. Be wary of the facts that if the situation is clutch for your both, he has a bigger chance of an asspull win, so if you engage, you must be very certain of the outcome. Generally, the longer the game lasts, the harder it becomes for him to tickle you, and how fast do you stomp him is in your hands.
Easy lane. Has an edge over you early because of the busted Q, but it's generally easy to avoid, just keep in mind the shockwave (hitbox) travels a bit further than Yone himself. Anti-heal most likely needed. When the fight is about even and he used E (the leaving body ability), stand between him and his body, so if he returns, wall around him and kill him mercilessly. The only way he outduels you is because you let him poke you a lot before, generally you should be undisputably stomping him in 1v1 scenarios.
Bruh. Well, this is impossible in ranked and hardly probable in normal games, but in case of Yorick vs Yorick, it's a pure skill match up. Yorick's biggest weakness is being alone without his summons, so just make sure you kill them as fast as you can, especially the Maiden. Other than that, you want either some good sustain or something anti-tank.
Zed can't really threaten you unless he's fed, you don't stomp him completely only because he's so damn slippery. If you catch him though, he's as good as dead.
Champion Build Guide
I imagine most of you questioning, why should you ever trust me enough to follow my guide, so this is what this chapter is about.
I'm a Yorick main since Season 3, that means I've been playing him even before rework. Nowadays I'm basically a Yorick OTP that really likes to experiment with builds for him. This is the build I deem to be the best to learn the champion with. If you want to play the strongest one, try this instead.
Am I good at the game? No, **** no. But I still know this and that about the game and more importantly, I'm often recognized as a good teacher, so here I am sharing my knowledge for your benefit and enjoyment.
Yes, this means this guide is also aimed at people that just began playing the game, all the absolute beginner tips will be colored like this.
Yorick is a summoner class character. His whole identy revolves around controlling simple AI creatures to help him in battle and give him and edge over his opponents.
This kind of design leads to a pretty obvious power balance - he's very strong with his summons present, and one of the weakest characters in the game without them. That's why maintaining your army is a major skill you need to master to be good at the character.
Let's talk skills:
Shepherd of Souls is his passive. It's so weak, he could just as well have no passive and little would change. Basically, every few times an opposing creature dies near you, a grave is created on the ground where the creature died. If there are at least 3 graves close to you, you can activate them, creating ghoul servants that fight for you and live until something kills them. There can be maximum four graves nearby, and if you create a fifth grave, the one farthest away disappears.
As for ghouls themselves, their attack increases proportionately to your attack, and their health proportionately to your health, but champions and turrets can kill them with one hit no matter how much health they have. Their attacks deal physical damage. Each time a ghoul attacks, it counts as you hitting the enemy with an ability, but it doesn't count as an on hit effect.
Last Rites is amazing. It's a damage boost and a heal. When it's on cooldown, it can be activated again to summon ghouls from graves. It's an autoattack reset (which means, that you can press Q immediately after Yorick attacks, so he will ignore the attack cooldown and immediately attack again, empowered with his Q). If it kills the target, a grave is created where it died. Good to last hit minions with, good to deal surprise damage during a duel thanks to the reset. The short cooldown later on in the game is just a cherry on top of that all.
Dark Procession is a very cool tool you'll grow to appreciate the more familiar with the character you'll become. It creates a circle of terrain after about a second of delay, but it can be attacked to be destroyed. Obviously, it's a skill you could use to catch your enemies and finish them off, but that's far from all the possible uses of this skill - it can also be used as a way of saving yourself or your allies by walling them off, and there's also useful advanced tech I'll explain later.
Mourning Mist percent HP damage, a slow for the enemy, a speed up for you, and on top of that, making sure all of your summons focus on the champion hit by this. Your bread and butter combo starter that can often be a literal death sentence for the opponent.
Eulogy of the Isles is a power spike for you. With her alive, you basically become almost as strong, as if you were two champions at once. What's extra spicy is the fact, that she deals magic damage based on target's max HP. This means not only that you melt tanks (characters whose identity is based around being very durable), but also that it's nearly impossible to itemize against you, because you deal both physical and magic damage in obscene amounts.
The general gameplay of Yorick boils down to making sure you have your summons ready for use, making your opponents miserable with constant swarm harassment, making them miss out on their Creep Score (minions to which you dealt the killing blow personally) while you farm like crazy and of course, toppling their towers and other structures the moment they think to leave you alone in the lane. Yorick has the power to brute force through enemy structures, sometimes single handedly winning the objective game by punishing careless opponents foolish enough not to defend their stuff.
In good hands Yorick is a dominant force of nature, that can't be taken on one on one and that poses a constant threat of sneakily destroying or stealing something from you and getting away with it unharmed, or even worse, with a multikill.
This guide is here to help you become that person.
+ Generally amazing duelist
+ Really easy to last hit with
+ Unrivaled map pressure
+ Takes objectives like a boss
+ Satisfying and fun to use
+ So unpopular, noone knows how to play against him
When fully set up, Yorick is hardly rivaled by any single character, often can even win 1v2 duels, that's how absurdly strong he is in direct fights. Both his Q, his ghouls and his ultimate not only make last hitting easier, the sometimes even let you to not be even there and still collect the gold and the experience.
- Weak early game
- Easily kited, low mobility
- VERY summon reliant
- Not suitable for teamfights
- Not that flexible in playstyle
Yorick is very susceptible to early bullying before he becomes the bully. That's mainly because of how weak he is without his summons. That also causes a major sting whenever someone kills your Maiden or clears your pre-6 ghouls for free. Though his biggest weakness seems to be being outpaced by all the dashy characters in the game, and there's a lot of them.
General fundamental concepts to be aware of: you only get gold for minion kills if you did the killing blow, so make sure you deal as many killing blows as you can. That's called last hitting, CSing or farming. The game is won by destroying the enemy base. To do that, you need to get through their defensive structures, to do that you need to be strong enough for that. You gain strength through obtaining items and levels, you get items by buying them for gold, and you gain gold by killing enemy things, including minions, players and turrets. That's why fundamentally, the game is a money obtaining race and that's why last hitting your lane minions is essential. A standard 6 minion wave is worth well over 100 gold, and a player kill is worth about 300 on average, meaning that being good at CSing gives you a player's worth of guaranteed income every one and a half minutes. Low skill players tend to chase kills while neglecting their last hitting, which is a gamble that can be profitable, but the key to a respectable winrate is consistency, and if they lose the gamble, they not only don't get the kill, but also actively lose CS. And the higher the general skill within a match, the more these kinds of cocky plays get punished.
If you're under tower and forced to last hit there, here's a pattern to follow to miss as little CS as possible. The turret focuses on cannon minions first, then melee minions, then caster minions. Cannon minions are best last hit by waiting until the turret gets it low, then doing an attack into instant Q combo to secure this big money prize. The melee minion, when full HP, needs 2 turret shots and then your single attack to be succesfully last hit. The caster minion needs a turret shot and your Q OR your attack, a turret shot and your second attack. That's of course without factoring in the damage from your friendly minion wave, managing that is something you'll have to learn from experience.
Your focus at lvl 1 should be last hitting with your Q as many minions as possible, so you can set up a strong harassment play at level 2 or 3. When you have a level 2 and your E leveled up, if you have about equal or more minions on your side at that moment, try hitting your opponent with E. If you fail, do nothing, return to farming. If you succeed, summon your ghouls and go all in on them. You should take half their health with that trade at least, as long as you chase them down to their turret. Why extend so far? Not only do you get to deal more damage and guarantee a Grasp of the Undying proc, you also make their turret kill your ghouls, denying them the last hitting benefits. After that kind of play, return to farming, you might need to enter the bushes to drop minion aggro (minions focus on you when you damage an enemy champion near them, and in early game their damage is no joke). If you have your W up, that kind of harassment play might deal even more damage or lead to a straight kill or a Flash burnt by the opponent.
Though keep in mind, that it's a generally very good idea to never summon your ghouls if you have not hit your E, because that way you'll be losing your main damage source for free.
If you're playing in lower elo (gold and below), it's a pretty effective strategy to be constantly shoving the wave (killing the enemy minions so quickly, your left over minion end up under opponents turret). That way you can easily deny them a lot of CS, establishing your lead. The risk of the strategy is of course getting ganked, but the general rule is to not really care for the first 3 minutes of the match, as pre-level 3 ganks are useless in case of most champion. When it's post 3 minutes into the game and you're shoving, make sure to ward (use your green trinket under the 4 key) after your shove, the best place being a bit below the river bush near top lane. Why not in the bush? Wards in bushes have a shortened vision range, and warding in that particular spot covers all entrance ways to gank you and warns you pretty early, giving good heads up for your escape, much needed on such a slow champion.
I recommend this strategy especially if the opponent is not in the lane when the waves clash. That way your wave will always be bigger and any attempts at trading with you will be detrimental for them. The best way to apply the strategy is to keep attacking the melee minion most of your minions are focused on and finishing them off with a Q cancel. If your Q is on cooldown, attack until a minion is at 1/3 HP, then wait to last hit. This way you will both shove fast and not miss a last hit.
You aim at recalling to the base at around 1500 gold, or at least no less than 1300 if you're not desperate. Your main goal to ensure victory is to hit your biggest powerspike - owning both Sunfire Aegis and Titanic Hydra OR Trinity Force and Titanic Hydra. A power spike is a moment in the game when your character abruptly increases in power and often is in the position to make game-changing plays. That's why you should prioritize buying the components of your first Mythic item when you can, and boots for mobility, as you need to be chasing and dodging as well as you can. If you have less gold, it probably means you're in trouble, so buying Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle could be a very good idea. Also, Executioner's Calling might be the right call (hehe) if you're facing a sustain heavy laner, but generally I recommend at least getting Aegis done before buying that.
And of course, get Control Wards whenever you have some spare change, having one set up at the bottom of your river bush can often save you from ganks for the rest of your laning experience, especially if you're applying the shove strategy.
This is a premium moment to be shoving, especially if you have a Control Ward put in the top river bush. When the lane is shoved you can be stealing the enemy jungle, especially if you're playing on the red side. The river scuttler gives you additional vision and gold advantage, if you find an unguarded Blue Golem, you might deny the enemy jungler a huge buff and some serious gold while also gaining an additional advantage in lane. And there's also always the possibility of stealing lesser camps, if the wave is big enough for you not to miss out on too much in your absence. Also, if your jungler is in the position and willing to do the Rift Herald, help them out, Yorick is very strong with the Herald. I advise not really trying to clear Herald on your own, because it will take quite long AND there's a chance your Maiden will die in the process.
You're also trying to look for some major pushing plays, as at this moment your Demolish damage should be no joke, you could be taking the top inhibitor pretty early on, and then if your team has any brains, winning by split pushing bottom lane while everyone else is busy dancing in the mid lane.
If you have destroyed the outer turret, it's generally a good idea to place a ward in the middle of enemy jungle, so you can spot any traffic near you very early on. This way you can push aggresively and get away with it. Of course, when you're far into enemy territory, keep paying attention to the map. It's generally smart to back off when more enemies are not visible than visible on the map, as they might be cooking a nasty surprise for you and you're not exactly an escape artist.
Generally you are not a good teamfighter but a complete monster splitpusher, so if you see the teams duking it out over a dragon, baron or on mid, it's your time to shine and get as far into the enemy base as you can. Sometimes though, it's still a better play to participate in the teamfight, and knowing when to do which really comes with experience.
Your Maiden is a high priority target for turrets, so don't enter turret range unless you have a high health cannon minion with you, and walk away as soon as it dies so you Maiden doesn't get fatally hurt.
Once you have your two item power spike and your Maiden alive, a Mourning Mist hit on the opponent can be a serious death sentence, because both your damage and survivability are hardly matched by any champion at this point. Most often you can afford being aggressive to the point of tower diving your opponents (following your opponent under their turret range with the intention to kill and the confidence that you won't die despite a huge disadvantage).
Teleport channels for 4 seconds before taking effect, rendering you immobile and unable to fight on your own. It's disrupted by a lot of CC (crowd control effects), inlcuding: stuns, silences, knock ups, knock backs and more.
Make sure to be safe from these effects when using the spell or you're gonna waste the cooldown for nothing.
In early game there's not much important teleporting for you to look forward to. The situations to look after, that are often worth teleporting:
= There's a cannon among the enemy wave and you're in base - teleport to one of the caster minions or to a ward near your lane
= The enemy bot laners have pushed very far, there's a ward behind them and both bot lane duos have about the same health or your team is winning slightly - teleport to the ward behind them and ping at least twice that you're comming, so your bot lane will cooperate and you'll get a sweet double kill
Other than that your priority should be hoarding all the farm you can in your lane, that's why two use cases here are specifically for making sure you don't miss out on CS.
Mid and Late Game
This is the part when you start making actual plays.
You're generally looking for situation when both teams are busy with each other or the enemy team is visible and far away from your target. You general goal is to destroy structures or steal objectives. You're an absolute pushing monster in late game, so the enemy team can't realistically leave you alone to your antics, because that would cost them two towers and an inhib. If for example, there's a teamfight around dragon, and you teleport to a ward in the enemy top jungle, you'll clear all the minions in the lane in 5 seconds or less and they'll most likely panic and start making mistakes in the teamfight, as their new priority will become to quickly come back to their base and stop you from outright winning the game at the spot. Or they can choose to keep fighting, possibly wiping your team, but at the cost of losing an inhibitor.
Generally, if there's a fight over dragon, push top, if it's over Baron, push bot, if it's a mid lane ARAM situation, favor top over bot, unless top inhibitor is already down (great job!).
The importance of Inhibitors
Why should you care so much about taking enemy inhibitors?
When you destroy an inhibitor, two things happen:
1. You're now allowed to attack the enemy base directly.
2. Each of your minion wave on that lane is now strenghtened by an additional minion with massive damage and survivability, that's guaranteed to push into the enemy base on its own, unless stopped by a strong player character.
Destroying an inhibitor puts a permanent leak in the enemy defenses, that has to be proactively dealt with. What that means is that it effectively weakens their team in case they need to deal with your further antics or contest your map control, and that's a state of advantage Yorick excells at abusing.
The smart move once you have claimed a sideline (top or bottom) inhibitor is having your team relentlessly pressure mid, while you push the other sidelane. Either of you are near guaranteed to take an inhibitor, because uncontested, you can take two towers and an inhibitor in about half a minute in late game, and if there only one person sent to deal with you - you're still a monster duelist that can fight under the turret and leave victorious.
And what if there are three inhibitors down and you still haven't won, instead ending up in a stalemate? The best play is to go take Baron. The enemy team can't realistically leave their base without immediately losing, and what you'll get is an extra dose of pushing power, basically guaranteeing a victory as long as your team doesn't die stupidly one by one.
At least until you master the character enough.
It's not ever worth it before level 11, it becomes very worth it at level 16. In between 11-16 it's a good idea to free Maiden in a non-contested lane if you can foresee participating in a teamfight in the near future. At level 16+ you can actively look for Maiden splitpush plays, but make sure to coordinate with your team so you don't sacrifice resources in vain.
Keep in mind: Level 16 Maiden is strong enough to push back a superminion lane alone (a lane in which a friendly inhibitor has been destroyed).
Generally, when uncontested, Maiden with an aid of a minion wave should be able to take at least one turret down when level 11+.
If the rest of your team is forcing teamfights on mid for no reason (often happens below Gold), a pretty good play is to send Maiden on one sidelane while personally going to the other one. When choosing which sidelane to send Maiden to, prioritize the one where the minions are more pushed to you (so Maiden has more space to snowball a wave) or to the lane that's further away from the next Dragon/Baron that's now contested or is about to appear.
Grasp of the Undying - a match made in heaven for a build based on having as much health as possible. You get an extra punch in duels, a bit of sustain, and most importantly, another mean of scaling your tankiness (and in turn damage) into the lategame.
Demolish - a tower destroying ability that scales with your max HP and has a sweet 40 seconds cooldown. Absolutely disgusting in lategame, makes too much sense in the build not to pick.
Second Wind - Yorick is very weak early game. How do we remedy that? Sustain! This rune makes it easier to outheal poke, especially paired with Doran's Shield.
Overgrowth is generally consider a weaker rune, but in the case of this build, any bonus to your max HP is a big bonus. Also adds the benefit of not being completely useless when you're behind, since it doesn't care about whether you were the killer or not.
Taste of Blood is a thing of personal prefference. It gives you an additional sliver of sustain, which is greatly appreciated by the brawly type I am. It can just as well be replaced by Cheap Shot or Eyeball Collection for more damage, but I don't deem them as impactful personally.
Ravenous Hunter - very important rune. Makes you heal on attacks, both your and of your summons (!) and also increases the healing from your Q. This rune alone makes it so you don't even need to look at lifesteal items. The sustain it gives lets you send your ghouls down the lane and heal you from afar while you farm as safely as it gets.
Corrupting Potion - it's an option when you're feeling very cocky about establishing an early build and crushing the lane. In any other situation, not really as good as the Shield.
Sunfire Aegis - Gives you quite some health, good resistances, decent burn damage, and later on contributes to your obscene Titanic Hydra damage. It's especially synergistic with Yorick since each time your ghoul attacks, that's a separate instance of damage, meaning that hitting your E on an opponent basically activates the higher damage passive of the item instantly, enabling you to be rapidly dishing out some great additional damage.
Trinity Force - Amazing stats, amazing scaling, makes you strong in extended fights, gives you movement speed. The Spellblade effect scales with base AD, and Yorick has one of the highest base AD in the game (especially in late). The components are amazing too. It's way better than Divine Sunderer (which looks like the better option at first), especially after Sunderer's Spellblade effect stopped working on turrets.
Titanic Hydra - Damage, health, additional damage based on you max health and on top of that turning your attacks into area damage effects. This is your big pay off. With this item you destroy everything absurdly fast. The bonus attack also directly buffs you ghoul damage, which is insane. Why not build it first then? If you're ahead in lane, you're better off getting Trinity Force or Stridebreaker first. Otherwise, you're not big enough for the max HP damage to pay off, and the resistances Sunfire Aegis gives are damn good. You can't really be making pushing plays in early game anyways, and the Mythics make sure you win your duels. This section is this long because yes, building Titanic first is very tempting, but I don't believe it should be the default, especially with Trinity Force around.
Sterak's Gage - Attack, health, even more crazy sustain. And on top of that, a sudden life saving enbiggening thing that gives you a massive shield. Gives you damage and damage (from Titanic health conversion), and on top of that turns you into an unkillable raid boss.
Boots of Swiftness are a thing of personal prefference and I can see a lot of people disagreeing with this choice. The big speed buff makes up for Yorick's lackluster mobility, giving him better odds in chases and enabling him to be present in all the lanes at once in the right circumstances. If you're not feeling this, you can go with the classic Plated Steelcaps or Mercury's Treads.
Dead Man's Plate - Health, for both tankiness and damage. Armor, because everything deals physical damage, including turrets. Movement speed, to mitigate one of Yorick's greatest weaknesses. Truly amazing in this build.
Black Cleaver - Attack, health, ability spam. And that's not even the best part. Each time you deal physical damage to a target, you stack up the item's passive against them. Guess what deals physical damage? Your ghouls. This means that one E hit gets you 4 stacks instantly, and when you stick onto that opponent, both you and your ghouls deal the percent HP shred damage from the stacked passive, meaning you'll be obliterating people absurdly fast.
Chempunk Chainsword - Health and attack, but what you really care for is the healing disabling effect. Your ghouls apply that effect with their attacks, so you don't even need to get close and personal. Out of all the anti-heal options, this is the best one in this build, beating even Thornmail.
Force of Nature - an anti-mage alternative to Dead Man's Plate. Not as good in the speed department, but when you need it, it's there and it's still good.
Maw of Malmortius - an aggressive anti-mage item. Don't really recommend it in this build, but it is an option.
Spirit Visage - now here's a good item. Synergizes really well with Sterak's Gage. Gives you health, MR and improved sustain.
Guardian Angel - Armor, Damage, but what you're really taking it for is the ressurection. Good against wombo combo teams or when you feel like doing some kamikaze pushing. The very neat interaction this item has is that your Maiden doesn't die when you're recovering.
Gargoyle Stoneplate - an item you take when you need to become a lategame tank for your team. Not that great, but holy damn does it make you unkillable when it's the last item built.
Serylda's Grudge - Your ghouls slow enemies with their attack. Do i need to say more? Because I can. It also gives you damage and armor penetration, both directly buffing your ghouls.
Youmuu's Ghostblade - damage, armor penetration and a movement speed boost on demand. If you need an extra edge, this item gives you a lot of it.
Sanguine Blade - attack, lethality, lifesteal for your attacks and ghouls and a cool damage bonus when alone. Pretty good when you're very commited to splitpushing and eliminating anyone daring to interrupt.
There can only be four ghouls alive near each other, but generally there can be way more than four alive at the same time, meaning for example that it is possible, to send separate four ghoul waves down each lane, each earning you gold and experience. Sending ghouls down lanes before stepping away from them is a very good practice you should try and implement into your playstyle.
Ghoul behavior pattern is pretty simple. When freshly summoned, they will follow you around. If you engage in combat so will they, trying to push the nearest lane until they die. If you mark a target with your E, they will jump on that target and focus it down no matter what. Late enough into the game, you can use E on jungle camps to send your ghouls onto them, that will cause them to fight the camp until it's dead, then push the nearest lane. When tanky enough, you can sneakily take buffs or even do dragon this way.
Maiden also has pretty basic behavior. She tries to stand slightly behind the direction you're facing, unless there are enemies nearby, then she prioritizes attacking them. If you attack something, she immediately switches targets to that thing. If you move 600 units away (basically about your E's max range), she will immediately stop whatever she's doing and come to you. The only exception to that is when there's an enemy marked with your E, then the Maiden will rush after that enemy, even if it means entering turret range and ignoring your safe return range, so be aware of that when using your E. Also, when you stand in a bush, Maiden tries her hardest to also hide in that same bush.
Your Dark Procession knocks entities around if they stand directly where the solid wall appears. This kind of knockback cancels channeling. Notable effects you can waste this way are opponent's Teleport, Shen's Stand United, Karthus's Requiem, Fiddlesticks's Crowstorm and many more.
One More Shot
Your Dark Procession can be a target of a turrent and it takes one shot to be destroyed, no matter the ability's level. If you want to maximize your damage against the turret during a cannon wave, cast your W just as the cannon minion becomes one or two shots shy from dying (it takes a second of delay to appear, so if you cast it later, it's too late).
Late to the party
The ghouls don't need to be alive at the moment of marking the target for them to focus that target. That means you can first hit your E and then press Q to raise your ghouls and see them fly at the enemy. Using this trick is a big difference between a decent Yorick player and a total noob.
Turrent Targetting Order
Here's the priority order things have under the turret.
Dark Procession > Cannon Minion > a ghoul > Maiden > melee minion > caster minion
As you can see, the order is not very forgiving for you and Maiden staying under the turret unless you have a cannon minion in handy.
Pay To Lose
The Resistance skin for Yorick has a property that is detrimental to him in a meaningful way. The property - it forces Yorick to face downwards during the recall animation. Why is this a big deal? As you might remember from the Maiden AI section, your Maiden tries to stand behind you when not busy doing anything else. This skin practically forces your Maiden to stand above you while you recall and no other skin has this problem, meaning this skin gives you a disadvantage, because you can't as reliably protect your Maiden from being targetted and killed, because you can't choose where she stands, unlike with any other skin. (this has been patched and fixed)
This build was heavily inspired by Krykey, a Challenger tier Yorick player. If you want to see some badass Yorick gameplay, here's a link to his Twitch streams.
On that note, I may as well plug myself here. I present to you:
The games I've made
The music I've made
A dark fantasy antology I wrote
Have fun following the way of the shovel and farewell!
(updated for 11.5)