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Yasuo Build Guide by Xian217

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xian217

The Story of a Sword Yasuo Mid

Xian217 Last updated on January 8, 2014
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Welcome to my guide and thank you for giving it a shot. All criticism will be read and taken into consideration.

I have been playing Yasuo extensively since his release and have changed many of my builds over that time, as well as having taken him into many positions.

This build will be focused on making him a solo mid lane carry, however he is versatile enough to be taken into just about every different role.

I have gone from Gold 1 to Plat 4 off of the backbone of mainly Yasuo and it is my belief that a well played Yasuo can be viable in even a professional format.

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+ High Damage Potential
+ Extremely Fun
+ High Skill Cap
+ No resource costs
+ Provides CC to the team
+ Windwall
+ Strong trading with passive
- High skill floor
- No innate sustain
- Easily focused
- Hard to come back from a lost lane
- Requires good positioning
- Is poor without set up time
- Crits do 10% less damage

The cons are rather hefty no doubt, and are used to balance out the high power built in his skill set. This is not a champion to try out first time in ranked.
Let's explain just said skill set and what makes them worth it.

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

Yasuo's spell set is home to a wide assortment of defensive and aggressive qualities sprinkled throughout. The proper arrangement of these abilities will lead to a denied enemy and the alleviation of pressure for the rest of your team.

Way of the Wanderer:

Intent: Yasuo's critical strike chance is doubled, but the damage dealt by his critical strikes is reduced by 10%.

Resolve: At maximum Flow, the next time Yasuo would take damage from a champion or monster he first converts his Flow into a shield that absorbs damage. After 2 seconds, if not already depleted, Yasuo loses all his Flow.

The passive comes as two parts. A base 200% effectiveness on all critical chance, at the cost of 10% reduced damage on crits, as well as a resource system. None of Yasuo's spells costs any resource. Instead as he moves he gains charges of Flow based on distance. More movement generates more Flow increasing his survivability.

An important thing to note is the 10% reduced damage is from the full damage of his attack. As in from the 200% base crit damage he is brought to instead 180% on crits. So at 250% from IE he is instead brought down to 225%. Intending to stack critical damage will only lead to failure.

Steel Tempest
Cooldown 5 / 4.75 / 4.5 / 4.25 / 4

Yasuo thrusts his sword forwards hitting in a line. If he hits an enemy he gains a stack of Steel Tempest for the next 10 seconds. Additionally, on-hit effects will applied to the first enemy hit in the line as well as potentially critically striking adding bonus damage.

Upon reaching 2 stacks his next Steel Tempest will send a whirlwind forwards knocking all enemies in a line upwards as well as dealing damage. The first enemy hit in the base line of the weapon will still take the on-hit effects, but no on-hit effects will be applied from the whirlwind.

His Q creates his play style which is based on small quick skirmishes leading up to an eventful climax. The animation is quick and extends his range well enough to poke at enemies or remain safe from them even while behind tanks or your wind wall. This will be maxed third due to how it scales.
Spoiler: Click to view

Wind Wall
Cooldown:26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18

Passive: Yasuo gains an increasing percentage flow after dashing. This includes both Sweeping Blade and Last Breath

Active: Yasuo creates a gust of wind creating a wall that blocks all projectiles except for tower shots.

Wind Wall gives Yasuo increasing benefits for dashing, as well as a way to completely deny ranged abilities from hitting your team in both the lane and in team fights. Most projectiles are blocked, but there are a few that ignore it, such as Mega Inferno Bomb and Depth Charge.

A general strategy is to place it in front of a ranged ADC, like Caitlyn preventing them from attacking from that point until it dissipates. This also works with your lane opponent, and can be used to deny last hits from them as well as gain lane control. This scales well enough to be maxed second, increasing your survivability in teamfights where you need it.

Sweeping Blade
Cooldown:0.5 / 0.4 / 0.3 / 0.2 / 0.1

Yasuo dashes towards his target dealing magic damage as well as marking them briefly. The mark persists based on the level of the ability while the dash's speed increases based on his bonus movement speed. Yasuo can't dash to a marked target.

After dashing Yasuo gains a stack of Sweeping Blade for 5 seconds, increasing the damage of his next Sweeping Blade by 25% per stack to a max of 4.

This creates the style of play and the reason to max Sweeping Blade in the early game. Stacking Sweeping Blade will create a burst effect on the enemy while still generating flow and distance.

In addition if Steel Tempest is used while dashing with Sweeping Blade Yasuo will instead strike in an area around his target at the end of his dash. If Yasuo has 2 stacks of Steel Tempest he will also knock up all enemies hit.

Last Breath
Cooldown:80 / 55 / 30

Last Breath can only be used if the target is knocked up into the air beforehand. On cast Yasuo will dash to the closest airborne target suspending them, and all airborne near them, for another second before slamming them painfully down and dealing damage.

For 15 seconds afterwards Yasuo gains 50% bonus armor penetration.

This causes Yasuo to become a terror to any he is allowed time with. It allows him to extend the duration of the knock ups he dishes out as well as giving him a lot of damage. As with most ultimates you will want to max this whenever possible.

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Spell combos and intricacies

Yasuo has a wide assortment of combos with very few being cookie cutter obvious. You will have to innovate slightly based on the positioning of the enemy in order to leave your enemies in the dust.

Nothing here is final. These are all working combos that work with Yasuo's kit. If anyone knows of a combo that is not listed here feel free to comment.

Basic Combos

Up you go!:

One of the basic initiations for Yasuo is to get max Q stacks and go in for a kill. To do this he will E onto the enemy and while dashing will press Q. Upon arrival the enemy and his nearby allies will be knocked up into the air allowing for an easy and efficient Last Breath.

Dat burst doe:

Due to the stacking nature of Sweeping Blade you can create a rather effective immediate burst on the enemy by stacking Sweeping Blade against minions. This is simple by just using it as a way to last hit. As soon as your enemy comes within range to last hit then dash to him for an immediate burst of damage. Add in a Q or AA before walking off and watch that health drop!

The Hit and Run Slide:

Due to Yasuo's extremely short cooldown on his E he is allowed to use it for extreme advantage in lane. For example imagine the enemy has two minions in front of him. Minion A and Minion B. Yasuo can dash to minion A, hit the enemy quickly, then dash back through Minion B recreating distance. Generally this will lead to a benefit for Yasuo as his passive will shield most of the retaliation.

Early Dragon:

Less of a combo and more of an intricacy of his Wind Wall is that it also blocks dragon projectiles. This means that you and your jungler can easily jump over to it after mid lane backs for an easy amount of global gold.

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Laning and counters

In lane Yasuo will have an interesting time. He has no resource costs which allow him to harass his lane opponent far more than they will generally be willing to handle. Despite what is often said, Yasuo actually has a good laning phase against a large amount of mid lane champions.

Preferable laning

Yasuo prefers his lane to have:
  • Low mobility
  • High resource costs
  • Low early damage
  • Low immediate CC
  • Ranged attacks
  • Skill shot based spells
With his spread of high mobility, 0 resource costs, decent shielding from his passive, and the ability to block projectiles with his wind wall Yasuo prefers the enemy to have these traits. Many fall into this category such as Orianna, Gragas, Ahri, and Zyra.

Their low spread allows Yasuo to heavily abuse them in lane, however equally the opposite is harmful:
  • High mobility
  • Low to no resource costs
  • Good early damage
  • Immediate CC
  • Melee attacks
  • Target based spells
These are detrimental to Yasuo and can be found on champions such as Xerath, LeBlanc, Fizz, and Ryze.

Picking Yasuo into an unfavorable match up can alter the flow of the game, and just frankly ruin your day. However, it's not impossible to shift it around even if they counter you well.

Early Trades

As Yasuo you have high capability to trade during multiple short skirmishes. However long drawn out battles can weaken Yasuo or leave him open to a detrimental gank. Hold onto your skill point if you can and gauge immediately their willingness to trade and how close they must get to the minion wave to last hit.

If they aren't willing to trade and will get close then put the first point into E. (Otherwise put it into Q and play passively until level 2. Allocate to E then start trading.) Start last hitting with Sweeping Blade while keeping pressure. As soon as they get close jump on them and jump out with E once more. Make them buy every last hit with blood!

Keep up the pressure on the enemy and watch out for ganks. If they all in you then back off. Use your E on minions to make distance and poke with Q. During the early game you can't handle a full on engage. Break out into the river if you need to get away. They'll have blown their resources on you for a potential well made trade on your part.

Assuming you don't die that is.

Coming Back

So you died. That's really unfortunate but it happens to the best of us. The best thing you can do is not let it drag you down. Start playing passively and let the minions die. Focus on amassing lane exp and buy immediate advantages to stay in lane for as long as possible.

Things like
Doran's Blade
Negatron Cloak
Vampiric Scepter
Chain Vest

Can keep you in lane after your opponent kills you. The best thing you can do is gain the scraps, survive the lane, and maybe hope they mess up. Even without a lot of farm Yasuo can still do a lot with the base utility of Wind Wall and Last Breath.

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Team Battles

In teamfights Yasuo can end up playing a mixture of a support and a high damage assassin.
Knowing your limits is the best thing you can do, and remember you are not the tank!
Do not go in when the front line does. Stand behind and block what you can from their ADCs while doing as much damage at a safe distance.

The biggest thing you can do on any ADC is to understand your limits and what is murder range. While the enemy ADC may look tempting to kill they are invariably going to be covered with goons just waiting for you to step in. Staying out of range, or behind a wind wall, while you dispatch their friends can be the best thing to do.

An ADC is meant to do as much damage as possible. Staying alive, even if you're hitting a tank, is a good thing if you're still hitting!

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Buying items is one of the strongest things you can do in this game. After farming up all that gold you're left with the task of spending it on something that can actually help you in the long run.

However which ones are worthwhile varies from situation to situation, while some are simply terrible in all. Balancing this and coming to a conclusions of an items worth is what this section is about.

1 = pls don't buy
5 = decent item with some synergy
10 = core item; extemely efficient

Offensive Items

In considering these I took into consideration Yasuo's stats as well as what is most efficient for him and his play style. Critical chance is extremely efficient and as such those that synergize with it will be ranked higher.

The life steal is very nice and will generally keep Yasuo both in lane and in fights for longer. The AD also helps a lot. However he doesn't AA as much as a Caitlyn or Draven making the total life steal a bit less gold efficient compared to other ADCs. A great item if a Vampiric Scepter was picked up early for lane survivability and you're focused on single target damage.

An extremely efficient item that gives no wasted stats as well as a lot of really worth while ones. With all of the dashes from his abilities, as well as his [[steel tempest]'s applying on-hit effects, he will end up sending out lightning storms every couple hits. As well the critical chance and attack speed will smooth out all of his abilities giving him a nice consistent curve.

Infinity Edge rounds out at the second core item with a load of efficiency with Yasuo. A lot of AD, bonuses from building AD, as well as increasing the damage that Statikk Shiv will do per proc makes it a great item after Statikk Shiv. As well with runes of crit chance, Statikk Shiv, and Infinity Edge you will end up with 100% crit chance making every point of AD worth 2.25 points on every AA.

The Black Cleaver ends up being a bit too unattractive of an item. It offers armor penetration on hit, but Yasuo won't be able to apply many stacks of The Black Cleaver while remaining safe. In addition it doesn't stack very well with Last Breath's armor penetration. It does provide some flat armor penetration though as well as some AD so it could be worse.

Youmuu's Ghostblade is actually a pretty good item in certain circumstances. It offers the largest flat armor penetration capable of being bought at 20, as well as some critical chance. The active as well offers some attack speed and movement speed. The problems with Youmuu's Ghostblade are born from the critical chance becoming wasted after a certain point. You are going to be spending most of this money for the active and the armor penetration, so only get this if they are strictly buying 0 armor. You will shred through them like butter.

Ravenous Hydra is the other life steal/damage item that can be bought and is specialized for AoE damage. You will be healed a lot if there are more than 2 people near your AA, including minions, making it a very strong heal in many circumstances. Even with a short respite in the jungle you can get to full very fast. However, the cleave damage cannot crit, and the less minions you have to jump to the less mobility you have and the cleave has a tendency to kill all minions in sight. Other than that it is solid.

I do not recommend taking Blade of the Ruined King in any normal circumstances. The benefits of the item are great on AA based champions which Yasuo simply won't be able to get into range for. Further, as a crit based champion, the passive effect will be mostly wasted. The bonus damage cannot crit lowering your total damage from the item. I recommend this only when you need the active slow/movement speed buff against their team and can't get Youmuu's.

Defensive Items

Picking Against the Opponent

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This is what I feel is how Yasuo should be built.
This is my first guide so reviews will be taken heavily into consideration on where I need to improve. If I find the time I will add pictures or videos of Yasuo's combos and other such examples.

Let me know what you would like to see added to this.

Thank you jhoijhoi for the help with the basics, and you for taking the time to read my guide.