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Yasuo Build Guide by CrunchMunch

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CrunchMunch

One Blade, One Purpose-A Guide to Mid Yasuo [S5]

CrunchMunch Last updated on January 1, 2015
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Middle Lane
Ranked #23 in
Middle Lane
Win 49%
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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: 23

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 7


Utility: 0

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Change Log

First of all, Happy New Years everyone, hope you have a wonderful time with friends/family. I'd like to note that Yasuo's increased kill potential in lane now warrants a few changes. Ignite really helps now, where it really compliments Yasuo's boosted laning phase. I'd still say take exhaust against assassins like Zed or Talon, but against most mid lane matchups it's not as helpful anymore. Secondly, AS runes are pretty ineffective as they were only a boost to your Steel Tempest CD in lane, and the CD buff actually gives you a lower cooldown without any AS involved, meaning Attack Damage marks and quintessences are better, and maybe 5 Crit Marks and one Crit Glyph might be on the rise again, just for the lucky trades and 100% Critical Strike chance after Shiv + IE. Also, The Bloodthirster is a safer and better item than Blade of the Ruined King now, the AS is just not worth it compared to the raw damage BT provides. Finally, putting points into Sweeping Blade first is now even more beneficial, as proven by some youtubers such as Redmercy.

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A Little Introduction To Everything

Hello, and welcome to my Yasuo guide! Even after receiving nerfs, after nerfs, after nerfs, I still simply can't put this guy down. I've experimented so much on him, I've used so many different skill orders, builds, spells, runes, anything that could possibly be changed and after hundreds of games I'm confident in my choices I'm writing down into this guide. There's more than just one thing that might irk some of you guys, and I'm ready to back all of that up. Let's get into some pros and cons of Yasuo-

+ Proficient at both dueling and teamfighting
+ Brings so much damage to the table
+ Lots of champions synergize well with him
+ Tons of mobility
+ Has CC even while doing tons of damage
+ The godliest passive ever made

- Really, really squishy
- High skill floor
- Difficult to position, easy to get caught
- Actually has some really really bad matchups
- Unreliable if no knockups on team
- Very tough to escape ganks

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Health

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Marks-To start out, some people suggest running 5 Crit Chance Marks to get 99& Crit when you're full build, but I honestly don't think that's necessary. Attack speed is really cost efficient in the sense that it reduces your Steel Tempest's cooldown while giving you attack speed, and it's really noticable early game where you heavily depend on it for trades, and overall, attack speed will give you the most DPS.

Seals-After Yasuo's base health got reduced by 50, these are now mandatory over the original flat armor seals and they do more the job of filling that in instead of giving you a nice boost. You're waaaay too squishy at early levels now and a little extra health where you need it is the best way you can utilize seals.

Glyphs-As anti-mage as Yasuo already is, giving him Magic Resist might be a little dumb. Therefore, he doesn't get any, unlike any other melee champion. Yes, every other Melee champion's MR scales with their level. Even Zed or Talon or Fizz. You need these glyphs pretty badly, actually, kinda like your seals. If the enemy literally has zero magic damage, then you could take armor glyphs, but who's got the rune pages to do that?

Quintessences-The funny thing is, you can run attack speed quints and AD marks, or you can run AD quints and attack speed marks. They provide very similar stats either way, and they're both stats that you need. Double attack damage didn't really fare well because your Steel Tempest would be on a 5 second cooldown until first back, and double attack speed made last hitting too hard and made everything not hurt as much.

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As far as masteries go, you wanna go for the majority of the left side of the Offense tree, which is all AD. Frenzy procs off Steel Tempest crits, which makes it so you can get all 3 stacks in literally less than 3 seconds. If farming is the unholy bane of your existence, then you can take a point out of Dangerous Game and put it in Butcher . Hey, we all hate missing creeps.

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Summoner Spells

Just take it, no explanation necessary I think.

This might be frowned upon by some, but it does some things that Ignite(the other choice) can't do-
1. It can be used both defensively and offensively
2. It shreds armor and magic resist that can be capitalized on by everyone on your team
3. It makes it pretty much impossible for you to lose a duel.

I've been really enjoying this summoner spell, especially since assassins like Zed are really popular. It does so much more than Ignite in my opinion, while keeping the exact same cooldown. I'd suggest that you try using it.

EDIT-Use against assassins like Zed or Talon. Ignite provides much better kill potential now. Details in changelog.

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Skill Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Writing an entire damn section about what order you put your points into your skills might seem kinda ridiculous, but if you look closely, you might notice something kinda weird.

*Waits Patiently*

Ah yes, you might see that I put 3 points into Sweeping Blade before I start maxing my Steel Tempest. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, you might ask? Putting points into Sweeping Blade reduces the cooldown by 0.1 seconds each, and it probably seems stupid for putting 0.1 seconds before 20 more base damage on your main damage ability. However, it's something that really can't be explained in words and must be tried for yourself. If you're curious, create a custom match and try using Sweeping Blade around minions at level 1. Now max it out, THEN try it. If you tried, you'll notice how it flows SO much better and trust me, that's more useful than the latter. More points even increases the damage by the EXACT SAME AMOUNT AS STEEL TEMPEST! So when you're trying to harass with your typical E-Q-E combo, you literally don't do any less damage, and only gain some. In fact, the only real reason why we don't max it first is because your Statikk Shiv would get finished somewhere in the midst of all of that, and now your main damaging ability....doesn't do much damage. That's also why it's unnecessary to do 40 more damage with Steel Tempest, because it doesn't do much early game without your Shiv anyways.
Wow, that was a lot of stuff about just two abilities. Anyways, everything else is normal, put points in your ultimate whenever you can, and max your Wind Wall last.

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All that about the order you need your skills, and now another bout about the skills themselves? You gotta be kidding me.

Passive- Way of the Wanderer
This passive is sooo freaking amazing, I can't express my love for it. It has two parts, so I'll explain them in two different paragraphs-

Intent-This passive gives you double critical strike chance, with a 10% damage reduction. Literally you only need 50% critical strike chance to crit every time. Since that stat is now twice as gold efficient, rushing critical strike chance will give you the most absurd power spikes in the history of LoL, you can go 0/2 in lane then grab a Statikk Shiv and win trades afterwards.
Note-Since this passive reduces your crits' damage by 10%, and not your critical damage(as a stat) by 10%, you'll deal 180% damage with your crits and not the expected 190. It's a very small reduction, especially since you crit so many freaking times anyways.

Resolve-This part of your passive uses your secondary resource, called Flow. Flow is gained by moving or traveling in ANY way, form, or shape, including teleports, flashes, Sweeping Blade, and just plain walking. In lane, this will absorb so much poke it's madness. As long as you move around when you're not doing anything(you should be doing that anyways, who stands around like a derp when they don't have anything else to do?), it's like free health pots that give you an edge if you time your trades right. However, ever since its nerfs you need to watch out for some stuff. It's real easy for ranged champions to simply proc it with an auto attack, wait 1 second for it to wear off, and use abilities to poke like they normally do. Since its duration got reduced from 2 seconds to 1, it pretty much removed the window of time where you could force a trade anyways. Also, DoT abilities proc it too. So lets say you're laning against a Fizz, and you eat a Q and an auto and magic damage is ticking away at you. At the same time, your flow bar's nearly full and you keep moving around to have it fill up, only to have it disappear before your very eyes because of the DoT you took before. It's a great passive, but it still has its disadvantages which were very clearly exposed for the time when Yasuo used to be FOTM, so you gotta watch out.

Q- Steel Tempest
This is your main damaging ability, as mentioned before. In lane, it basically extends your auto attack range and allows for some nice DPS for trades. It procs on-hit effects, can critically strike, and has a 1.33 second cooldown after like two items. The third cast of this ability will launch a whirlwind that knocks enemies up, kinda like Janna's whirlwind. You can use this whirlwind to check brushes, see if a buff has spawned from afar( Lee Sin isn't alone on this one), and most importantly, set your ultimate up all by yourself. If it's cast in the middle of Sweeping Blade, it turns into AoE which also has the same properties, can critically strike, etc. If the third cast is used in the middle of Sweeping Blade, it turns into an AoE knockup. It's important that you don't cancel your auto attack with this(believe me, the skirmishes I've lost by one auto attack because I made this mistake is unreal). Instead, you wanna Q right after you auto attack, which will pull out the most DPS from you possible. Funny how it makes such a large difference, right?

W- Wind Wall
Ah yes, the reason why Yasuo is so difficult to play against. This creates a wall that blocks all forms of projectiles, from auto attacks to ultimates to Maokai saplings. I don't really think there's a need to write a mile long list of what this blocks and what it doesn't block, I mean it doesn't take much to know what a projectile is like. Anyways, this is why Yasuo is such a mage killer. Due to them usually being very ability-heavy, and due to Yasuo having a mile long list of abilities he can nullify, it's very satisfying to play against most of your matchups. It's even useful in late-game teamfights where you can make the enemy ADC useless for 4 seconds, and dodge some CC that would otherwise get you killed. This used to have a passive effect that would let your flow charge with just 4 Sweeping Blades, but it got removed.

E- Sweeping Blade
Sweeping Blade is a fixed distance dash that has a 0.1 second cooldown at max ranks(A soft cooldown of 10-6 seconds for each unit). It gives you so much mobility throughout the game, which consists of 6-7 dashes every minion wave during the laning phase, and a handful of wall jumps in the jungle. It's what makes a good Yasuo a good Yasuo, and a BAD Yasuo a painful to watch Yasuo. Literally walking a millisecond more than you needed to walk will end up in you eating one or two turret shots, and it's a lot harder than it looks to think through how you're gonna chain these. Sometimes you'll even end up going in a direction you never expected to go. However, in conjunction with your Wind Wall, you can really make people lose their minds with this by dashing in and out of fights and trading exactly when you want to trade.

R- Last Breath
Ah yes, the dreaded "shouting slash", as my friends call it. It takes any airborne targets and keeps them airborne for another second while giving yourself 50% bonus armor penetration for 15 seconds, and it has a 150% attack damage ratio. This is why Yasuo works so well with champions like Malphite, Wukong, and even the newly released Kalista, because he can Last Breath the entire enemy team, keeping them basically CC'ed for a second while slashing their faces off. However, using this ultimate at the WRONG time will most likely end up in getting yourself killed and losing the fight. This is such a HUGE impact on the outcome of teamfights, negatively or positively, but proper decision-making and thinking will be highly rewarding with Yasuo. Did I mention this thing has a range of 1200, and will instantly fill up your Flow?

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Your Build(or My Build)

Here's the section dedicated to the items I decided to put here as the items most optimized and beneficial to Yasuo. There's around 4 stats that you want to revolve around-
* Attack Damage
* Attack Speed
* Movement Speed
* Critical Strike Chance

The funny thing is, 3 of these benefit Yasuo in two ways, making him a really, really gold efficient champion. Attack speed not only gives you attack speed(duh), but it reduces your Steel Tempest's cooldown down to 1.33 seconds, as mentioned about a billion times. Movement speed reduces the cast time of your E by a noticable amount(seriously, an E before and after Boots is worlds different). Finally, Crit Chance is doubled by your passive. So, there's two items in LoL that give these three stats-
Statikk Shiv, and
Phantom Dancer.
Now, without a doubt Shiv is much better on Yasuo, but I feel like nobody's really explained WHY. Well, Yasuo's a really dash-ey blink-ey champion with his ultimate and his Sweeping Blade. Statikk Shiv's passive meter has the exact same properties as his Flow, meaning it charges with all of the aforementioned things. He can probably proc it more than any other champion in the game, all while it has the potential to critically strike, meaning this champion is literally made for this item if you throw in Yasuo's passive. Or this item is made for Yasuo, depending on how you look at it.

Infinity Edge
An item that gives so much AD and Crit Chance, all while making his crits even STRONGER? Seriously. This combined with Statikk Shiv gives Yasuo SO MUCH DAMAGE. It's unbelievable how much he benefits from just two items.

Blade of the Ruined King OR The Bloodthirster
These two have continued to be really hard to choose between in every game. If I have enough for a B.F. Sword when I back, I'll usually get that and build a BT. If the enemy is building a lot of HP as opposed to armor, then BoRK is the superior choice. Honestly, it's really close, given that BT gives a shield and BoRK instantly steals HP too. To be honest, I'm not sure between these yet.

Maw of Malmortius
If the enemy has heavy magic damage, this is the way to go. Stay on a Hexdrinker until you're done building everything else, you don't benefit from the missing health bonus at all.

Randuin's Omen against AD and/or Banshee's Veil against AP
I usually end up getting both of them anyways, Randuin's can be activated in the middle of your ult to hit a lot of people. Banshee's will block anything that you didn't dodge or block, and its saved my life enough time to be a staple on what I build.

And now, THE BANE of Yasuos-
Last Whisper.
I mean, it's funny to have 90% armor penetration, I get it.'s so unnecessary. You could get more defensive stats, you could get a GA, hell, you could get a second BT. But you really don't need any more armor pen than you get from your ultimate. My exception to this is if you're playing against that piece of **** Rammus, or if 3 people on their team have Thornmail. Otherwise, please don't build this. Besides, could you possibly imagine Yasuo holding a bow in his hands? Ew.

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Going down the list of 121 champions, there's a lot of them that you'll face often. I'll describe what it's like to face some of them here.





*More matchups coming very soon*

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Early Game

Pre-6, you wanna focus on farming. Get used to aiming Steel Tempest to make it hit just one creep, so you don't end up pushing the wave too hard and/or missing any minions. You can use your whirlwind to poke, or farm from a safe distance. You shouldn't be playing too aggressive pre-Shiv, however an E-Q-E here and there never hurts to show who's the boss of your lane.
Speaking of which, it's about damn time I explained that. It's where you Sweeping Blade onto a minion(usually a caster minion), and harass with the AoE of your Steel Tempest and Sweeping Blade another minion to retreat. It's kinda like Renekton's bullying abilities, but toned down a lot and a lot harder to do. Constantly spamming this combo drives people nuts, because it's pretty tough to lock you down when you're doing it especially since you have Wind Wall up your sleeve, making it very safe harass.

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Mid Game

So you finished your Statikk Shiv, pushed down the outer tower, and you're working with bot lane to control dragon. At this point, especially since preseason updates gave a 300 HP shield to inner turrets and champions inside the inner turrets, it's pretty pointless staying there, considering the risks. Instead, you wanna push your lane fast and start roaming a little. Usually, one of the top lane turrets are pushed either into your side or into their side, and bot lane is still a farm-fest. We'll be focusing on the top side of the map. Either way it's pushed, your mobility lets you gank that lane very easily, and how you capitalize on that usually is the deciding factor on how well you do. Lets say top lane's pushed all the way to the inner turret, where they have a 300 HP shield too? Work with bot lane to secure dragons, or begin to ward the enemy jungle to catch him out and/or kill him and/or steal his buffs in coordination with your own jungler. Meanwhile, the enemy mid laner will do one of two things-
1. Continue to push mid OR
2. Start roaming herself and either fall off or get ahead.
If he pushes the lane, then his shield's gone, and he's usually an easy kill. If he starts roaming, then you roam to the lane he didn't go to, whether it be the farm fest located south or the island known as top. Thinking like a jungler seems to work pretty well after the inner turret changes, it's pretty impossible to chunk them while they're under it.

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Late Game

Late game is where the game can turn in less than 20 seconds. Losing a fight here usually means losing the game, Baron Nashor, or an inhibitor or two(or three). That means it's that important to play teamfights correctly. You can't mash your keyboard and expect a pentakill, people doing that is the reason why Yasuo's win rate is at rock bottom at the moment. Your job as the mid laner is NEVER to engage a teamfight. NEVAR. You knock up 4 people with a whirlwind? Nice job pal, take it as a high-five and don't you DARE jump in and get your sorry samurai butt killed. Positioning is so key, yet so difficult with this champion. It's unreal. However, there ARE some pointers I can give you-
1. Steel Tempesting jungle camps to charge your whirlwind up is gonna get your team killed, no matter how well they engage. I see amateur Yasuos doing this all the time and I feel like ripping my hair out when all I can do is sit there and watch. If Amumu flashes in and ults all 5 of them, you can't be across the lane over there at Raptors charging your Steel Tempest, that is the biggest NO I can give you. Use that damn DPS of yours on the CHAMPIONS, not the jungle creeps.
2. Speaking of hitting champions, don't stand there auto attacking them like a derp. Like I said, Yasuo's a special case where you're a melee champion, yet you have to position yourself well because you're probably just a Randuin's worth of tankiness more than an ADC. This is where it's important to use your Wind Wall and Sweeping Blade to your advantage, but now if you mess up a Sweeping Blade, you don't take a couple of turret shots, you outright die.
Seems really pessimist, right? Can't help it when there's a hundred ways to die as Yasuo in a teamfight and so many things that could go wrong. But if you do it right, the game is extremely rewarding in the sense that you get to read the word PENTAKILL with your sexy icon in the middle of the screen.

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Wow, so satisfying reading my own guide! Especially since it's my first one. I'm proud to share what I know about Yasuo, and eager to answer any questions! Really hope they stop nerfing my bae.


12/2/2014-Added Matchups section

12/10/2014-Patch 4.21 WOOHOO! Steel Tempest's cooldown is now 4 seconds at all ranks! Just another reason to put points in E early on. Base movespeed buff is barely noticable tbh.