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Yorick Build Guide by Loctorak

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Loctorak

Yorick - Art of War

Loctorak Last updated on September 23, 2011
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Top Lane
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Win 51%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 8

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 22

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Hey everyone,

This is my first attempt at writing a build, so I thought I'd do one for a hero not a lot of people seem to play - Yorick. I bought Yorick when he first became available and sat in silence while he sucked up and down the lanes.

Yorick's come a way now and is (IMO) a very fun hero to play with great dps, sustained pushing and decent mobility. There are, of course, some shortcomings (like his base Health rate and AP scaling) that keep him from being a pretty OP hybrid. My build is an attempt to make a Yorick with viable early to late game DPS without sacrificing much survivability.

Hope you like it, and please let me know where/how I can improve this build and why. I'm still playing around with Yorick to this day, trying out builds that keep him effective throughout a game - this is one of the builds that's worked for me. :)

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For runes I've picked Marks and Quintessences of Strength - this is pretty obvious and helps with the Sheen/Trinity bonus. Also, Yorick's abilities scale well with AD, so it's useful to have.

As for the remaining runes, I chose Glyphs of Warding and Seals of Resilience to help his survivability in both laning and team fights. As I mentioned earlier, Yorick's base HP is quite low, so having some MR and Armor allows Omen of Famine to do its work keeping you alive (and hurting people!).

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I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure it's the best mastery setup I could have chosen (so please feel free to suggest alternatives or things I've missed).

As for what IS there, I've focused a lot on fixing the other thing that I think Yorick lacks - mana. I find that, in most stages of my Yorick game, I'm running out of mana at crucial moments. To combat this I've put most of my points in the utility tree, picking up base mana increases and mana regen masteries as well as improved clarity.

The rest of the points are placed into Offense (you could consider also a slightly defensive mastery build and getting Mercury's or Ninja Tabi instead of Berserker's). This is did for the bonus to crit chance, CDR and also improved Exhaust - this is because it's a very viable and sometimes preferable alternative to Flash.

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OK so Item build... With this I often found when I followed builds like Atma's -> Warmog's -> Frozen Mallet etc I did well, but I didn't know what my place was on a team. Sure I could do a bit of damage, but the burst wasn't great and DPS wise it wasn't enough to make me someone I felt was a credit to my team. In addition I was tanky but, lacking any CC aside from Omen of Pestilence, not really a viable tank.

In making my build, I chose the Sapphire Crystal first as Yorick doesn't have much to begin with. His spells make or break his ability to push lanes or escape for a fight, so having this mana from the start really helps you continue with your push (along with Clarity) for as long as you need to. I generally lane until I hit 860g then head back and buy a Sheen (although if I'm laning well I hold off until I can buy both Sheen and Boots at once).

Sheen (and later, Trinity Force) is really the key element of my build as the passive it has makes Omen of War hit twice as hard than it normally would. Considering that OoW is your main nuke and cools down fairly quickly, this passive makes its mark early and with a nice, big, shovel-edged bang.

From here I moved towards increasing Yorick's attack speed as well as continuing towards Trinity Force (because really, it's so expensive -_-). I stop, however, at Zeal and focus then on getting B.F Sword/Infinity Edge. I know it isn't really a Yorick item to use, but it means you aren't putting the slight crit chance from Zeal or TF to waste, as well as gaining massive damage and bonus on your criticals, which sometimes happen when you use OoW. This leaves people thinking: "Since when did Yorick hit like Jax?".

After I've finished Infinity Edge, I start drifting into the late game phase with Yorick. This phase of the game often sees massive damage dealt in small amounts of time, so suddenly Yorick with his deadly shovel but small health is not looking such a threat in team fights. To correct this, I start on an Atma's for better armor and further crit chance.

After this, it's situational. I usually opt for either Phantom Dancer or Frozen Mallet, depending on which aspect of Trinity I feel I need an extra boost on. Bloodthirster is a viable alternative, and having lifesteal makes him that much harder to kill. I didn't suggest it before as he already has OoF, so I don't tend to find myself wishing I had autoattack lifesteal at any point.

Finally, the defensive item. Some builds can do away with having a defensive item, and you may be tempted to call Atma's such. Personally I don't find Atma's to be enough. People playing AD heroes get armor pen runes for people like me. To that end, the items I would consider using for his defensive slot are:
- Spirit Visage: Good defensive item that makes OoF more effective;
- Thornmail: You have a lot of HP if you go the Frozen Mallet route so this can make good use of it against an AD;
- Banshee's: Item of choice against AP heavy teams;
- Shurelya's: Another good choice for Yorick, with added regen all around and CDR to increase DPS.


You should avoid items that give more AP than you want (frankly the 25 on Sheen is a waste and I wish it were something else). Most of Yorick's abilities scale and scale well with AD, whereas not all his moves scale with AP and those that do scale atrociously. He's not an AP hero, so just don't do it. :)

Aegis of the Legion - This is the tank or the support caster's item to get. My build incorporates runes to deal with MR and armor.

Force of Nature - This is an awesome item for HP Regen, MR and MS. That said, OoW gives a huge MS increase for a short time, and OoF can do the HP Regen job. An item that would fill a slot otherwise better filled by a different item.

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Skill Sequence

Omen of War is, as I said, your main damage dealer with this build. It's pretty mediocre before sheen, however, so I usually use this time to get one point in both his other Omens. Pestilence first so you can check bushes and for the slow, Famine second for sustainability and then finally I start getting Omen of War.

Don't forget how Yorick's Ulti works! IMO, it's best used in one of two scenarios:
- Start of a team fight, to be used on your main AD carry. This gives them the chance to go crazy at the other team as usual with a clone that does % of damage. It gives the added bonus of allowing that carry a Karthus-like retribution if they happen to die. I know I shouldn't be condoning deaths, but if your death enables you to fearlessly tear apart the opposing team for a few seconds it could change the game.

- In a 1v1 scenario. This will maximise your DPS output and can (if timed right) act almost like Tryn's ultimate without the survival part afterwards (if you have no choice but death).

- DO NOT try to use it to save a hero that is running away. I've seen a lot of people die, get resurrected as the ghost then continue to run, thinking I'm Zilean. YOU ARE STILL DEAD WHEN YOU COME BACK AS A GHOST, so unless you plan to go ape**** at the enemy then it will not be worth using it. :P

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Unique Skills

* Don't forget to try using Omen of War to move around the map faster. If there's a creep nearby and you need to get somewhere, hit that thing first. Similarly, you can combo Omen of War and Omen of Pestilence for a great speed up/slow down getaway.

* The low CD on his spells means he is able to go from being alone to being two champions (don't use your ulti to push unless it's a tower) with three minions in a small matter of time. Use this to your advantage in pushing as your opponent can sometimes feel a bit helpless with this one-man wall of crushing death moving towards them, constantly spawning new ghouls everywhere.

* Yorick's ghouls seem to have an innate attraction towards enemy champions. This is immensely effective in keeping champions back while you are laning. As the above point states, casting his spells more frequently allows more ghouls to file towards your enemy and hopefully get a shot or two in. They're going to die in two seconds anyway, so you may as well use them to harass.

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Summoner Spells

Flash - I like to take flash as it gets me out of some pretty sticky situations. Not the best option for Yorick, but it can also allow you to close a gap to connect an Omen of War shot and start you off with a MS boost. If a champion sees you coming towards them they will run - flash denies them this option.

Clarity - With my build, this is a must. Improved Clarity allows me to continue pushing far longer than I usually would have as well as being good for team pushes.

Exhaust - Another decent choice for Yorick. You have a slow in OoP, but having Improved Exhaust can slow them further and also lower their resistances - Did I hear a shovel swinging?

Ignite - As with any melee AD champion, you often have the runner. This is less of an issue to deal with as Yorick due to his MS increase, but ignite is always a good spell if you need that last bit of damage off an enemy for the kill.

Ghost - Again not something you really NEED with Yorick, but you can definitely use it to help you close some gaps when there are no neutrals or creeps around.

Cleanse - Good to take for much the same reasons as flash.

Other than that, I find the rest of the spells to require little comment. If you really want to take them, by all means. Just be aware that I've found the above to be the most effective options.


Heal - Don't bother.

Smite - Yorick would (IMO) be a decent jungler. This build is not aimed at that, so Smite would be a waste unless you were intent on a Baron steal.

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This pretty much sums up all I've got to say about Yorick, my build and why I choose to use it. His concept is fantastic and allows him to move quickly and become quite overwhelming in a 1v1 situation. This build takes that concept and attempts to make a Yorick that seems to dart around the map, burying anyone he comes across.

Hope you found this build/guide to be useful or at least food for thought. Please be constructive with any criticisms. I'm happy to look into improving this build and way of using the Gravedigger.