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Yorick Build Guide by sauronkaiser

Yorick and his special lane management. From diamond, 1M mas

By sauronkaiser | Updated on December 7, 2019
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Runes: Conqueror (almost always)

1 2
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand


+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


Recommended always
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


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Top Lane
Ranked #5 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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Champion Build Guide

Yorick and his special lane management. From diamond, 1M mas

By sauronkaiser

While most people may think Yorick is an easy champion to play, the truth is that he is probably the champion with more in-deep hidden mechanics in the whole game.
He is the perfect example of a champion easy to play / hard as hell to master.
when you read Yorick´s abilities, you can perfectly read it all before minions come to lane and play him for first time decently unlike other champions. However, this is cause his abilities are written in a way they look simple and a lot of things are just not putted in the text-boxes.
His passive or the way his pets work are not really explained, as well as much other things.
In this guide ill try to explain basic concepts of the champion but ill try to make it special by putting enphasis on his "horde" strategy, how i like to call it.
Build for a juggernaut Back to Top

First of all i would like to let clear what type of champion Yorick is. He is listed as a juggernaut, but that doesnt mean he is the same kind of Illaoi or Darius.
I say this cause ive seen a lot of people already saying Yorick should have more tank abilities, be able to tf better, etc...
There are 3 types of juggernauts in this game (unofficial names):
Teamfights juggernauts: these are stronger when more enemies are near. Have AoE damage and tank abilities that scale with the amount of enemies hitted. Examples are Illaoi or Darius.
Assault juggernauts: They are resemblant to skimishers but more tanky and less mobile. Usually adapted to 1v1 duels, have the advantage they can use their full combo instantly without having to charge a passive. In this group we find trundle, shyvana, udyr and Yorick himself.
Frontline juggernauts: It seems riot wants to get rid of this ones. Only examples currecntly are Volibear and Mundo. They build full tank as they have no scale, wich makes them the most tanky juggernauts, and have a good movespeed to be the wall of meat of a team. Basically they are tanks with less cc and more damage.

As a juggernaut balanced around his total AD, like Darius or Illaoi, Yorick has a special way to itemization.
While he can be built as a full ad, this is not really optimal and the reason is most of his damage comes just from his level.

I will explain what is the best build for him and why. First lets see at the way his stats works.

Yoricks base damage at lvl 18 is 147. His abilities scale with: 140% on Q, 30% on ghouls (each one), 50% on ult, and ALL of this is total ad scaling, wich means it already beneficts from yoricks base ad with no items.
Appart of this, his damage is determined by: Q base damage, ghouls base damage and their attack speed, E base damage (or depends enemy´s current hp), ult base damage and ults passive on-hit wich scales with enemy´s max hp.
What is each one?
at level 18 with NO items but counting the same as as the trinity build:
ghouls: 99(base) + 44(scale) and their attack speed wich ONLY scales with level.
Q: 130(base) + 206(scale)
E: always the same (lets put it makes 500)
R: 40(base) + 73(scale) + ult mark (always the same, lets say 300 per hit)

Total estimated in a duel of 6 seconds:

Now lets see his damage with the recommended build (18):
trinity + sterak + hydra, rest tank.
ghouls: 99(base) + 89(scale) and their attack speed wich ONLY scales with level.
Q: 130(base) + 414(scale)
E: always the same (lets put it makes 500)
R: 40(base) + 148(scale) + ult mark (always the same, lets say 300 per hit)
Trinity effect: always the same doesnt matter what else you build (294 per hit)
Hydra effect: scales with health (around 40/50 extra damage per auto, a single hit of 440 - 540)

Total estimated in a duel of 6 seconds: 4512+1632+1000+940+900+882(trinity)+3256(autos)+540(hydra)+550(hydra autos)=14212

Now the funny thing: lets put here a full ad build.
Lets say you have yoummus, deathdance, trinity, sterak and draktharr.
Your total ad is 441 and you have 39 lethality, but obviously your resistance is very poor.
lets calculate your damage now.
ghouls: 99(base) + 132(scale) and their attack speed wich ONLY scales with level.
Q: 130(base) + 617(scale)
E: always the same (lets put it makes 500)
R: 40(base) + 220(scale) + ult mark (always the same, lets say 300 per hit)
trinity (294 per hit always)
total (counting the lethality that affects some of your damage since a part is magic, lets give 15% more damage to all physical, and i think im very generous):

no items:
offtank (includes waveclear, tanky stats and makes you more independant of ghouls):
full ad and lethality:

32% more damage. Thats what you get for giving up all the advantages of the offtank build and get total ad in its place. The items you get in this build are not really optimal: deathdance goes bad with yorick as a lot of his damage has 1/3 effectivity in the healing.

The only item that could be worth in this case is Yoummus. Its cdr, price, ad/lethality and movespeed steroid out of combar and in the active is extremely usefull for the champion. However, i do not personally recommend it.

If you ask me, the offtank build is the best you can get on yorick.
Trinity-boots-hydra-sterak-tank. As simple as that.
Early game and laning phase Back to Top
Yorick got a nerf time ago that gutted his laning phase by reducing to absurd levels his ghouls damage. This made his early game pretty much weak as hell until like lvl 13. This is the reason you should be carefull when engaging in lane: having 4 ghouls up and hitting your E doesnt mean you are goin to win yes or yes. A lot of champions can easily outdamage you there, or just quickly outrade and get out the combat before you have time to deal real damage.

This doesnt mean you will not be able to trade, but you will need to choose VERY WELL the moment when you do it.
Lets get serious: The horde Back to Top

This is probably the most important aspect of this champion, and surprisily a lot of guides about him do not explain it good enough.
Im going to explain it though various chapters;
-basics: AI of the ghouls and maiden.
-ghouls pushing alone.
-maiden pushing alone.
-getting objetives with pets.

The first basic thing to know is yorick can actually have as much ghouls as he wants in the map. The only limit is how he manages their spawn and how the enemy team allows him to. In practice mode you can even do this funny thing.
The horde part 1: basics Back to Top

The first and most important thing to know is that ghouls have 2 modes: follow yorick and push lane.
When you summon a ghoul, he is always in follow yorick mode. Once he autoattacks a minion, only with one succesfull auto, he enters in push lane mode.
Once a ghoul enters in push lane mode, he will just push like a minion until one of this things happen:
-he dies
-he autoattacks an enemy champion
-he detects a E mark in his leap range
-he "ends" the lane he is in by entering in enemy base´s zone. If he is near enough of an inhibitor, he will go for it. If he is not and there are no minions near for him to attack and follow their lead to the inhibitor or nexus tower, he will turn back and go to yorick far on the map.
This can be a bit hard to get at the beggining, specially counting the simple some champions are compared to this one at technical level, but is all a matter of practice. After all the champion is funny as hell so you will have lot of hours to learn and enjoy doing it.

when you summon maiden, she will always position at your back. This means that, if you want her to place herself in a safe zone, you must look in the opposite direction. Of course this can be unconfortable as hell.
My first advice about maiden is: if you want to leave a zone and some enemy is near you, wait a moment when he has to go back (for example, push the wave with ghouls included until it goes to his tower), this way that enemy will not have time to punish your maiden, as the wave would eat him for doing so.

An important thing to mention about this 2 types of pets is that, when yorick gets inside of a bush, they all will position exactly where he is, with no distance from his back as they usually do. This can be usefull to reposition maiden in the toplane: instead of just turning around, enter a bush and wait until she is just next to you, then go to the extreme of the bush in the direction you want to go and just walk outside. This way she will move in a way is almost impossible for an enemy to punish her.

To end with an usefull fact, ill explain how ghouls leap work: they have a limited range to jump (you should learn it by practice, to know if is worth to raise them after hitting an E but the enemy is too far), once they go for a champion, they will pray on him until they die. Because of how they are programmed, they wont swap their aggro to minions always an enemy champion is near enough (and in sight).

Remember that if an enemy enters a bush and you lose sight on him, the ghouls will instantly go for minions and forget about him. Its important to know this to ward a bush in the correct situations and prevent a fail (remember the E mark also grants vision and lasts 4 seconds!). Also, if you want your ghouls to harrass an enemy while you stand from far distance farming after hitting E, remember to move and be always in a certain range from the ghouls so they dont get withered (lose movespeed), we will talk about this later.
The horde part 2: ghouls pushing alone Back to Top

Some people ask a funny question about Yorick; if splitpushers usually need mobility to escape lane if they are targeted, why yorick has not? he only has a wall what is easily countered and a not-very strong slow.
Well, the answer is... you dont need to be in a lane to splitpush it.

This is my favourite about this champ and a very underated mechanic.
In fact, ghouls are able to push a whole lane by themselves, take nearly all the farm (exp and gold, 100% of what they kill) for you, and even get towers or inhibitors just by themselves.

This is probably the most in deep thing i have to explain so will be a bit long, but every detail here is important. After all is a strategy-based mechanic (those that are not very common in lol this days) and demands you to know what you are doing and be aware of various things at the same time. The minimap will be your best friend even more than usual with this champion.

-When can ghouls begin to push alone?
You can force them to do from level 11, but really at level 13 is when this mechanic gets strong. This is cause at that level is when they begin to get a good base damage and they attack speed passes the 1.0 mark, making them dps machines.
Also theres another reason: at level 13 yoricks passive gets "unlocked" wich means he gets a free tomb every 2 minions killed (not by Q), this means you can get 4 tombs from any 6 minions wave; just kill with Q 2 of them and the rest by any other methotd, doesnt matter the order, and you will get 4 tombs.

At level 13, ghouls get aprox. 90% of the minions they face, stadistically (the rest are "lost" cause killed by allied minions). This % maintains itself for the rest of the game and even gets a bit higher at late. Building Yorick full AD makes them a bit more competent but the difference is not the big thing, not recommended.

The withering mechanic:
Once a ghoul (or maiden) is far enough from yorick, it will get withered. This is reverted when he enters in yoricks range again. Withering means it loses movespeed and cap at 325. This is what makes this mechanic work, since it allows the allied minion wave to surpr*** your ghouls, facing the enemy wave before them. Enemy minions will always try to focus rift minions adove your ghouls unless the normal minions are too far. If an allied wave has melee minions, usually your ghouls will not suffer almost any damage and will keep going until facing a tower, getting almost all the gold and exp from the lane.
You will notice when your ghouls are withered when the passive counter is 0/4. This also means you can summon ghouls again from tombs or ult while the others you sent to lane are safe and will not despawn.

The most important thing to say is: always leave ghouls when the incomming allied wave has a canon minion. Canons are priorized by towers before ghouls. This means that, if things go correctly, the canon will tank the tower while your ghouls eat it, being able to even throw it or at least lower its hp a lot.

Important thing to mention is when the game reaches 25 mins, every wave will have a canon, so you no longer have to worry about that and can just put ghouls in any wave.

The worst thing that can happen when using this mechanic is an enemy wave facing the allied with ghouls in the exact moment yours enter in range tower. This is a mess because all that time the canon minion will tank, your ghouls will use their autos to minions, not to tower, resulting in they wasting their dps, but at least they have got all the farm until this point. How do i prevent this from happen? well... i dont think is possible. Is a matter of luck. The way minionwaves work is too random to control/plan all that. Their movespeed scales with mins in game, your wave will take a random window of time to clean the enemy... at least the possiblity of this going wrong is low, so just try over and over and most times it will succeed.

Now, how do i put ghouls in lane in the correct way?
2 options:
-kill minions to get tombs in a place where both waves will colide. Then release ghouls, let some melee minions alive and go out.
-raise ghouls and go with your allied minion wave until they encounter the enemy, then kill some of the enemy minions and go out.
-In BOTH CASES, ALWAYS MAKE SURE ALL THE GHOULS LAND AT LEAST ONE AUTO. If they dont, they will still follow yorick.
-When you see your ghouls hitting autos, go out the lane in a determined direction as fast as you can. You WANT them to get withered. If they dont, they will move faster than the minion wave they have to support, resulting in them hitting the enemy wave before and tanking it, probably dying some of them or all and ruining the strategy.

Of course this is something you will aim to do when a lane is pushed to your side of the map, but you can also find utility in enemy´s side.

Imagine you go for the top lane and you know there are no enemies there except one that is comming from base to prevent you from getting the tower. You see the jungle in that side is up. Well, yorick is probably the only champion in the game who can get both minions in lane and jungle at the same time, and even kill various jungle camps at the same time.
You will put ghouls in the lane, go far enough so the indicator of the passive is 0/4 (and not get near again, if you do and summon other ghouls, the previous ones will instantly die).
Then go to a camp that is far enough from the lane so the ghouls there wont get triggered by the E mark; summon maiden, launch E and just go out to another camp.
If you do this correctly, you can get all of it in no time.
You can get minions from the lane thanks to your ghouls, a jungle camp thanks to the ghouls and maiden you just placed (they are tanky enough from 13 on to do) and yet another camp with your direct damage inself.
Doing this in the correct way can result in you surpr***ing the 10 minions per minute mark making you extremely strong.

The most important rule when using this strategy is: DO NOT DIE. If you die, your ghouls in all the map do too, ruining the strategy.

Here you have some examples of what they can do.
this is a funny one: the ghouls eneded the game (riven trolled, but still)
The horde part 3: maiden pushing alone Back to Top

Maybe you think putting maiden in a lane is the same than putting ghouls alone, or its a waste to do so. I (and a lot of yorick mains) also believed that, but not so much time ago we discovered this may be a hidden-op strategy.
In certain moments of the game, putting maiden in a lane can result in a true 5vs6 scenario.
While is technically possible to do it when yorick is lvl 11, i think the real moment when this is important is when you reach 16 (maiden at 3).
At this point, she has an extreme hp steroid and more base damage.
I will say this once and is the truth: maiden is a champion by herself.

She is so strong at this point that she is able to get not one but various towers just by herself if no one comes to stop her.

Peolpe will understimate her damage (and the ghouls surrounding her) and try to just kill her, resulting in them... inting to an AI monster. As sad as it sounds.
Even if they dont die to maiden it doesnt matter since they will be forced to stay in lane for a while to stop her, and probably back to recover after that. This means that, for a while, you will be 5v4 in another part of the map.
Even if yorick is not the big thing in teamfigths, at least he is in the tf, not like the guy who had to go clean maiden.

I know what your are thinking: but man, if i release maiden yorick gets weak as ****. Well... thats not true. Not after level 13. As i said earlier, you can get tombs very easy at that point. A 6 minion wave (by this point is always 7) can give you 4 tombs with no problems. Maidens damage represents around the 10% of yoricks damage, so you can perfectly duel without her (always taking care of not dying, since it would ruin the strategy)

The only problem with this strategy is if they send a carry or a champ with a very high dps to stop maiden, si she will die in no time.
For example, i wouldnt release maiden in a game aganist yasuo, ryze, caitlyn, senna and yi, all in the same team, as she would be useless. Just put ghouls and reserve maiden for fights.

As i said with ghouls, the most important rule is to not die, since it would kill maiden and all the ghouls too.

The theory behind releasing maiden is the next:
As we stated before, in the usual build your damage is divided in:
-Q damage
-Hydra active
-autos (also empowered by hydra)
-Ghouls autos
-Maidens autos
-Maidens mark passive

But, in late game, what portion of damage are each one?

ghouls: 99(base) + 89(scale) and their attack speed wich ONLY scales with level.
Q: 130(base) + 414(scale)
E: always the same (lets put it makes 500)
R: 40(base) + 148(scale) + ult mark (always the same, lets say 300 per hit)
Trinity effect: always the same doesnt matter what else you build (294 per hit)
Hydra effect: scales with health (around 40/50 extra damage per auto, a single hit of 440 - 540)

in a duel of 6-8 seconds (aprox) you deal a total of 16.266

ghouls: 6768 = 41% of the total damage
Q: 1632 = 10% of the total damage
E: 900 = 5% of the total damage
trinity: 882 = 5% of the total damage
hydra: 520 = 3% of the total damage
autos + hydra: 3500 = 21% of the total damage
maiden autos: 1164 = 7% of the total damage
maiden passive: 900 = 5% of the total damage

So maiden´s damage represents a 12% of your damage in that duel.

In another words, you can put an extra champion on the map that can take various towers and inib into nexus, demanding the enemy team to send someone to stop her only for losing a 12% of your total damage and nothing more (your tankness and ghouls raising is the same in that level).

In the best scenario, when someone goes to clean the maiden he will take a while, so you can go get objetives or force a 4v5 meanwhile. If a carry is sent to clean her, she will die very fast but still you have sent an enemy carry to a lane so he is not present in a 5v4 teamfight you are going to force.
Of course this is just the theory. Adpat every game and dont expect things to go always as you want, but that doesnt mean they will go wrong.

here you have some examples (funny as hell seeing people dying to maiden).
The horde part 4: Getting objetives with pets Back to Top
Yoricks pets are so strong they are able to take some objetives by themselves. at high level, ghouls are strong enough to solo-drake, and yorick is one of the few champions who can solo-baron easily, thanks to how the baron debuff works.

For those who dont know, when baron hits you he applies a debuff that makes you deal 50% less damage to him by all methods. In yoricks case this affects all; his direct damage and his ghouls and maiden.

However, if a ghoul tanks the baron, he is the only one who will get the debuff. This allows you solo it by alternating correctly the aggro between you and your pets. Its a bit tricky, all practice.

Remember maiden gets a lot of damage from baron attacks, DO NOT LET HER TANK.
Mourning mist (E) and tips Back to Top
The most important thing to say about this ability is the fact its speed changes depending the distance:
As you can see, using it at melee range is almost an instant hit, but launching it far makes it slower.
This makes much it much easier to use when near an enemy, at the same time, remember this:
-Is easy to hit opponents who are trying to escape from you, but extremely hard to hit the ones who are running in circles around. In the second case, try to get as near as possible so theres no delay and is easier to hit.
-It can be used to get your ghouls out of a lane or command them to solo some jungle camp. Once you know the range is pretty intuitive.

Optimal trade:
Most people wait to hit E and then raise ghouls from tombs, so if they fail nothing really happens. This is a good way to go, but the most optimal you can do is raise ghouls and in the exact moment their hp bars appear, hit E. If you do this correctly, you will not even need wall to deal a good amount of dmg, and you can place it later to secure the trade. This way the initial slow is not wasted. Is a good strategy aganist melee champions who dont respect you in lane and have low mobility.
The wall Back to Top
Yorick´s W is a circular wall that doesnt affect allies, wich means it has a good amount of different uses.
It can be used in certain zones of the rift to isolate champions.
For example, you can place it in the entrance of baron when the enemy team is rushing it so they are trapped with the monster while your team poke them from the outter zone.
You can also block corridors in a lot of different situations.

Remember that any champion with a dash/jump or an autoattack reset can easily take down the wall in the first levels. Aganist some champions is recommended to level it to 3 so it has 3 hp, for example aganist Morde so you can poke him inside of death realm (in this matchup remember to never use the wall before he ults, otherwise it dissapears and you are naked).

The wall also has some weird interactions in game:
-Yorick actually has one hard cc; when wall comes out, enemies in the border when pulled in or out and thats a micro-stun. It can, in fact, stop channels.
-Wall can make a turret aggro on yorick. This is one of the weirdest interactions in the game; if an enemy is pulled out by the border, nothing happens, but if he is pulled in, you get tower aggro. -wall is focused by tower before any other entity (dies instantly). You can use it to tank an extra turret hit.
Extras/tips Back to Top
-best way to take a tower is to use Q with trinity, then when trinity is recovered use E in the time lapse after you hitted an auto and you need to wait to use other, so trinity is activated again. This wastes mana but makes you more effective at this task.
-be aware of using tp to a pushed lane to backdoor. Yorick is one of the best champs in the game in this aspect.