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Yorick Build Guide by peranimus

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author peranimus

Yorick (5v5) -- They will remember Yorick Mori!

peranimus Last updated on October 12, 2012
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Salvete Omnes! =D I'm AnĂ¯mus

I've been playing Yorick for a while now and I just really love his design and mechanics. His ghouls are incredibly unique in the League of Legends and he has his own playstyle, theme, and feel. Being my best and most-played champion, I've read many guides on him and experimented with things here and there and I feel like this might help some people out there! But that experimentation with your own ideas is what makes a champion all the more fun! So once you try this guide and get a good feel for The Gravedigger, if you have thoughts like "I wonder how THIS summoner spell/item/mastery would do instead" or anything like that, then TRY IT OUT! Just have fun with him and make him your own :)

So yeah, my purpose in writing this is to help people, so if this guide helped you, please take a moment to upvote and maybe leave a comment! Also, feel free to ask questions in the "discussion" at the top and I'll be happy to help if I can ^^

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Pros / Cons

  • Best 2v1 champion in the game (in my opinion)
  • Incredibly easy 1v1 laning due to 2 great ranged poking abilities
  • Very unique play style
  • Can be a pure tank, a pure damage dealer or anything in between (I build him about 2/3 tank, 1/3 damage)
  • Amazing sustain with his e
  • Good AoE CC (slow) with his w
  • Not very difficult to learn once you get a feel for him

  • VERY mana hungry early game (though it works out with my item build
  • His ult isn't very fun

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Helpful Videos

Yorick (Official) Champion Spotlight

Undertaker Yorick skin spotlight

Pentakill Yorick skin spotlight

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Ability Explanations

Yorick's Abilities


Summary: Yorick gains 5% additional damage to his auto-attacks and takes 5% less damage for EACH ghoul active (so max 20% bonus AA damage and 20% reduced damage).
Also establishes that Yorick's ghouls scale with .35 of his health and attack damage.

This passive is straight up marvelous, for several reasons.
1) It gives you the benefits naturally without you having to think about it. You're NEVER going to be playing Yorick without his ghouls.
2) You CAN think about it and take advantage of it if you want to!
This mainly comes in handy when pushing towers (use Omen of Pestilence anywhere, use Omen of Famine on minions, and should have your ult attacking the tower too), but can also come in handy in normal fights if you want to use your ult to give you +5% more, AND the ult clone's extra damage.

Q - First Ability

Summary: Yorick's next auto-attack deals extra damage and summons a ghoul. While this ghoul is alive, you get a very nice movement speed buff.
NOTE: THIS ATTACK RESETS HIS AUTO-ATTACK TIMER (so use it right after a normal auto-attack)

Though Omen of War is useful and is probably his most damaging ability, due to his unique ability of ranged pokes with Omen of Pestilence and Omen of Famine while soloing a lane, you won't find yourself in melee range enough to justify maxing this before the other 2.
Therefore, you'll want to max this ability last.
  • Can be used to pick up farm if already in melee range
  • When chasing down an enemy, if you run by a minion in the lane or the jungle, hit Omen of War before you reach it, go JUST BARELY off-course, hit it one time, and chase down your victim(s)
  • Likewise, when you want to run away, if they're close, proc this when running and quickly turn around, hit them once, and keep on runnin. Be sure you don't do this on champions that can slow you if you get in melee range!!

W - Second Ability

Summary: This ability, used in a target AREA, deals AoE damage and slows enemies hit. It also summons a ghoul which continues to slow nearby enemies.

Though the AoE damage and CC is very nice to poke with, it's slightly less convenient than Omen of Famine, so you will want to max this at the same time as Omen of Pestilence but slightly after it. For more details on that, see the skill order in the summary at the top.
  • Poke from afar and harass with the built in slow
  • Slow an enemy you're chasing
  • Slow an enemy chasing you
  • Check bushes! Since you can cast it in a targetable area, you can cast it in a push and the ghoul will provide vision (before he quickly runs out to attack minions, if it's empty, or runs to attack the champion in the bush). Trust me when I say that face-checking bushes is a horrible idea...
Range: 600

E - Third Ability

Summary: This ability is a single-target spell that deals a decent amount of initial damage and heals you for 40% of that damage. It also summons a ghoul (like the rest of his abilities) with a relative effect. On top of the initial healing burst, the ghoul heals you for some of the damage it deals.[/color].

Yorick's e ( Omen of Famine does about as much damage as his w ( Omen of Pestilence), meaning DAMAGE-WISE they both have about the same potential (though Omen of Pestilence is an AoE). HOWEVER, this skill gives you ridiculous sustain over time, which is much more handy than a slow from Omen of Pestilence. So definitely max this first, but as mentioned above, max it first with Omen of Pestilence, but with Omen of Famine coming slightly first.
  • Poke from afar
  • Constantly heal yourself when laning (or anything else really)
  • Annoy your laning opponent that every time they come within a fairly large range, you damage them AND heal yourself!
Range: 550

R - Ultimate

STILL NEEDS EDIT Summary: Yorick casts this on himself or an ALLIED champion to make a clone of them for a decent amount of time. Leveling the ability scales the stat ratios it takes from the original champion. If the original champion dies while the clone (another ghoul) is still up, then they keep on living until the timer on the ghoul's life runs out or the ghoul dies. If this effect is never activated, the ghoul can only auto-attack, but it CAN auto-attack! It can also still tank up a lot of damage, especially at ranks 2 and 3.
This ultimate is... interesting. While not nearly as fun as other champions' ults (such as my jungler, Rengar), it still can turn around scenarios and has many different uses. This ability is the only real SKILL required for Yorick, but even if it takes you a while to get a feel for when and how to use it, it's okay! His other 3 abilities are very straight-forward, so it's very easy to destroy enemies without using your ult at all. But with that said, you should NOT just neglect the ability. Play around with it! See what works best and what doesn't work at all. This is going to be your biggest experimentation.

To quote Phreak here... "Like all ultimates, take this ability at levels 6, 11, and 16."
  • Use it on your team's AD Carry to get a lot of extra damage via their auto-attacks
  • Use it on any team member (especially a support or AD Carry) if you know they'll be focused, or if they're about to die. They'll still die, BUT they'll be able to stick around long enough to continue their role through the entire team fight!
  • Use it on your best tank to send in the clone and tank a lot of damage
  • Use this when pushing towers (mainly when solo) to get the 5% auto-attack damage boost and the clone's auto-attacks' damage. This makes Yorick a very strong tower-pusher.
  • Trick your enemies. Stay in the bush, ult yourself and make it run out, let the enemy waste their abilities on it, then pounce on them!
  • In duels or small skirmishes, use this to basically add half of another teammate in the fight, AND trigger your passive's bonuses. It really does make a difference!
Range: 900

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Skill Order Explained

Why the weird order with Omen of Pestilence and Omen of Famine?

Omen of Pestilence and Omen of Famine both have a TON of poking strength, so they're both really useful in the laning phase (early-mid game), unlike Omen of War. I've seen debates over which one to max first, but I believe Omen of Famine is better because of the sustain it gives. One of the many luxuries you get from playing Yorick is that you naturally heal yourself whenever you engage in combat! While a slow on someone far away is nice, I pick sustainability over ranged CC, especially considering the leveling difference isn't very big, and it's the early game, where you NEED sustain to solo a lane. However, Omen of Pestilence is also very useful and has good damage.
So that's why there's a very strange leveling order between them. This set-up is, as far as I believe, the optimal set-up, but feel free to try your own combinations and leave a comment!

I max Omen of War last, after taking one point at lvl 5.
The main reasons for this are:
  • The movement speed buff's scaling isn't nearly as helpful as Omen of Pestilence or Omen of Famine's extra features' scaling
  • You're going to be poking from range WAYYY more often than from melee range in the early-mid game
  • This ghoul is slightly more annoying to manage since you can't control its spawn position
  • Omen of War is not usable on towers
HOWEVER!! With all this said, do NOT think that Omen of War is a weak ability. It definitely does some good damage and you should be excited about leveling it up too! It's just not AS good as his other 2.

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Items -- How to build a Yorick


What to get every time, no matter what:

After those 2, it depends on 4 key situations:
A) The enemy team composition
B) Your team composition
C) Your performance in the match

Some items that work well on Yorick:

It really does depend on the above variables. The more you play Yorick and get a feel for him, the more confident you'll feel about saying "I think I'll get a ___ next!"

Example Builds and their reasonings:

Example Build A

Situation: The opposing team has 3 or more AP champions including a really painful one like LeBlanc. Therefore, you'll want to focus more on Magic Resist than on Armor, but don't forget Armor altogether! There's still one or two AD champs on their team.

Example Build B

Situation: The opposing team has 2 or more deadly AD champs such as Darius or Xin Zhao. Stack dat Armor!

Example Build C

Situation: You're having a really good game, the enemy is having a hard time killing you, and therefore you aren't dying much if any. Know what that means? MOAR DAMAGE ITEMZ!

Example Build D

Situation: You're having a bad game and you die almost immediately in fights! The opposite of the build above this, it's time for MOAR TANKY ITEMZ!

Just learn to evaluate the situation and adapt accordingly

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Mana Crystal first? What??

So, I'm not surprised that a lot of people are dissing the Sapphire Crystal and 2 mana pots start. Thus, I decided to edit in this section to shed some light on the reasons behind this.
Like I've said throughout the entire guide, if this turns out to not fit your playstyle, then try other things!

1) the problem: Yorick is mana-hungry. He's mana-STARVING.
2) the solution (general): Get item(s) to give him more longevity.
3) the solution (specifics): This is where things branch off. Naturally, there are several different approaches you can take!

Now let's move on how to choose between increasing your mana pool, or increasing your mana regen.

Mana Pool:
  • More mana means that you can cast a lot more abilities CONSECUTIVELY from full mana to empty.
  • With that said, once you're out of mana, there isn't anything you can do other than recall or grab blue buff.
  • A larger mana pool lets you constantly pressure your laning opponent.
  • Most items that increase your mana pool, including Tear of the Goddess and Manamune, also give you mana regeneration

Mana Regen:
  • More mana regen means that you can cast a lot more abilities OVER TIME.
  • That being said, if a fight breaks out or something else important happens and you're out of mana, not only will you have a smaller mana pool, but due to the regeneration's time limit, you still won't be of much use.
  • This limits your ability to put a constant pressure on your laning opponent, since you need to wait for the mana to regenerate.

Try both strategies out and see which one you prefer. Since I personally think that the Mana Pool method is better, that's why the items at the top are that way.

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Think of Yorick as a tank that's just as much of a caster as he is a melee champ. With that said, the extra Attack Damage (scaling up Omen of War and Omen of Famine) is a nice boost. The Cooldown Reduction and Magic Penetration also give him a nice little boost in this aspect.

But above anything, Yorick is primarily a tank. Therefore the 21 points in Defense masteries help him fill out his roll. Most of the masteries taken in that window are pretty self-explanatory. I like the bonus damage against towers because when I play, I find myself pushing several towers on my own almost every game, so it does really make a difference. If this doesn't fit your personal playstyle, then change it! This is a guide, not a must! ^^

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Yorick's rune set-up is very convenient because it is the standard AD rune page. Offensive Marks and Quints (Attack Damage or Armor Penetration), Armor yellows, and Magic-Resist blues.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage and Greater Mark of Attack Damage -- What I use, though I'm sure the Attack Damage per Level, Armor Penetration, or Armor Penetration quints/marks would work fine too. I personally like Attack Damage over Armor Penetration because it just gives you more power, not to mention small details like the fact that AD gives you more farming help than Armor Penetration. I also like these runes over the AD per Level runes because it gives you more room to shut down your laning opponent from the get-go. If you break their morale from the start, then you'll be golden, not to mention fed!

Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist -- You're a tank. You need Armor and Magic Resist. Armor yellows are better than Armor blues and Magic Resist blues are better than MR yellows. There's not much else to say. Again, I prefer the standard over the scaling per level for a stronger early-game.

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Summoner Spells

Viable Choices (from best to worst)
  • A must-have, for me at least. I'm one of those guys that believes it's the strongest summoner spell in the game. Flash out of Ults, over walls to run away, over walls to join a fight, Flash when running, flash when chasing... it's just too good to not take! I normally put it on F (slot 2) just out of personal choice so I have my TARGETED summoner spell on the closer key (D), but that's just a suggestion ^^
  • I personally like Ignite the best as my second summoner spell, with Teleport as a close second. That luxurious strategy of "I just have to get him low, not 100% dead" comes in handy so much, especially when tower-diving (something I'm too fond of).
  • Another very useful ability! You'll be soloing a lane 90+% of the time as Yorick, so the ability to teleport back to your lane in the early game is nice. Towards the mid-late game, once you start getting really tanky (and therefore really aggressive), it's useful to teleport around the map, whether picking up a gank for fun or defending a tower that would've been backdoored!
  • Another good option, especially when taking on an AD champ due to the Attack Speed decrease, but you already have a built-in slow so it isn't as good.
  • If this fits your playstyle, go for it! Due to Omen of Famine's sustain however, Yorick doesn't really need it, especially if you build some Spell Vamp on him.

Clarity: just don't do it man!!
  • Clarity - Trust me when I say I'm a big fan of clarity. I never go mid-lane without it, and the 3 mid-laners I play are all very very different. But with that said, I don't think it's a good choice for Yorick since the early Tear of the Goddess makes up for his mana issues. On top of that, Yorick burns through his mana pool pretty quickly, so the timing would be very off with Clarity too. All in all, I just advise against it.

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Unorthodox Strategies -- the fun section!

This is more of a general section rather than specific to Yorick. I'm a big fan of throwing the metagame out the window and having fun games. ARAM in a queue match or completely disregarding the standard for what champ goes in what lane are really fun. And sometimes, specific strategies are actually really useful!

This section is intended for FUN, not for competition, and therefore is NOT advised for any ranked play, unless you personally just want to try it.

Two Junglers

Team comp:
(Any normal solo top)
(Any normal mid)

This strategy puts a standard solo top and a standard mid in their proper lanes, with Yorick 2v1 solo'ing bottom lane.
The catch is that we have two junglers: Dr. Mundo and support jungle Janna. Both take Smite, both run around together (NEVER separate), and both gank together. These ganks are unstoppable. Great support from Janna, Mundo is tanky, 2/3 of the laners are tanky, and all 3 champions involved in the gank have some great Crowd Control.
Here's how it normally works for us:
  • Yorick starts out in the middle of his lane 2v1 and slowly gets pushed back to his tower.
  • After letting them get comfortable (but not letting them damage the tower), gank for the first time. Take advantage of the fact that they're pushed up!
  • While they're both dead, facepalming, use the free time to farm it up and push minions to their towers.
  • Repeat all this for a second gank.
  • After they return to the lane, you will be so much higher level with them and have enough farm that you can easily solo both of them together!

So far, my friends and I have only come up with one ridiculously good strategy that's unorthodox. If you have one you would like me to add to this section, let me know in the comments!

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Farming tips

This is probably the latest thing I've discovered. If you're good at last hitting with melee champs, then ignore this section. However, if you're average at best like I am, then I have good news for you! Your skills make farming easy!

  • Omen of War - If you're already auto-attacking minions, time this to do a lot of extra damage to one minion (for significantly less mana than your other 2 abilities)
  • Omen of Pestilence - AoE damage from afar!
  • Omen of Famine - A lot of single-target damage from afar! I use this a lot to pick up minions that are far away and below half health, but it also gives your health regen!

    I STRONGLY SUGGEST AGAINST THIS UNTIL MID-LATE GAME!!! Due to Yorick's ravenous mana hunger early on, this will seriously drain you. Save your abilities for poking your opponents. Once you hit lvl 8+ and your Tear of the Goddess has built up a bigger mana pool for you, then it becomes a much more viable strategy.

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Special Thanks

As stated in the introduction, this is my first mobafire guide, so I really want to thank a few other sources for inspiration and reference on how to make this:

  • The MobaFire how-to guide -- "Thanks to JhoiJhoi! Her epic guide can be found here!"
  • My favorite guide ever: the Orianna guide I use.
  • The Xerath guide I use.