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Yorick, The man who's digging your grave

Last updated on July 10, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #8 in
Top Lane
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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Yorick The Gravedigger

The work of gravediggers is essential amongst the living, but invaluable in the Shadow Isles. There are many shades of death there, and each is embraced rather than feared or reviled. One can only ascend from one state to the next with the magical aid of a skilled professional. At the end of the first Rune War, Yorick Mori made his living as a gravedigger. His family owned and maintained the Final Rest Memorial, one of the oldest cemeteries in Valoran. The shovel he employed for his work had been passed down for generations. Each gravedigger taught his son that this shovel was imbued with the spirit of every forefather, and that those spirits would protect him during the long lonely nights amongst the tombstones. To his eternal regret, Yorick died without an heir, bringing the proud Mori line to a close. His body was interred with his shovel in the family mausoleum, and the Final Rest Memorial soon fell to ruin. Death, however, was not the end Yorick had expected.

Yorick emerged on the haunted shores of the Shadow Isles - not quite dead, definitely not alive - still clutching his beloved shovel. He soon learned that with it he could act as a ferryman for the Isles' undead denizens, helping them climb death's many-tiered ladder. This proved a curse, as a gravedigger must ''bury his quota'' before he too can ascend, or so the legend goes. No one knows what ''his quota'' is. Yorick dug tirelessly, waiting in vain for the day when he would be freed of his burden. As decades turned to centuries, the shame of his failures came to a head. He returned to Valoran to find his corpse, convinced that salvation might be buried with it. When he arrived, no trace remained of either the mausoleum or the memorial. Hope nearly lost, he discovered the League of Legends, and there saw an opportunity to immortalize the family name he allowed to be forgotten ages ago.

''Die first, then we'll talk.''

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Hello this is my first guide ever so if you down vote please leave a comment as to why because I'd really like to know. Btw this is the second time I've written this guide because the first time all my information got deleted... so it might not be as good as my first one..

So when Yorick first came out, I really liked the concept of him and i bought him right away.. I played him and he wasn't as strong as I had hoped but he wasn't that weak either. After a few normal games I realized that Yorick was underpowered and i felt like i wasted my 6300IP.. But there was hope because in patch v1.0.0.121, Yorick got some minor buffs that at first don't seem like much but have made him a much more viable champion.

How do I play Yorick?
Yorick can be played many ways. He can be DPS, strong AD, tanky DPS, Offtank, or TANK!! Yes I play Yorick as a tank. I believe Yorick is a great tank who can soak up a lot of damage while still dishing out a lot of damage on enemy carries/squishies.


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Why tank Yorick?!?

After patch v1.0.0.121: Yorick has had some minor buffs but buffs that make Yorick a very viable and strong champion. He can tank(the definition of a tank is to soak up damage and CC's..)

what did patch V1.0.0.121 do for Yorick?
•Omen of War
◦Fixed a bug where the Spectral Ghoul would not spawn if Yorick was silenced.
•Omen of Pestilence
◦Increased the cast range by 50
◦Improved the consistency of the AoE slow by increasing the radius and rate of application.
◦Mana cost reduced to 40/45/50/55//60 from 50/55/60/65/70
•Omen of Famine
◦Mana cost reduced to 55/60/65/70/75 from 60/65/70/75/80
•Omen of Death
◦Updated the visual of Reanimated Champions to better show when a Champion has revived.
◦Removed the health decay on the Revenant and Reanimated pets
◦Fixed a bug with the interaction between Chronoshift and Revenants
◦Fixed a bug with Heimerdinger's turrets and the Reanimated state
•Unholy Symbiosis
◦Yorick now takes 5% reduced damage for each summon that is active.
◦Increased the Attack Damage and Health of ghouls to 35% from 30% of Yorick's Attack Damage and Health
◦Ghouls are now immune to slows.
◦Ghouls take 50% reduced damage from AoE abilities
◦Mana per level increased to 35 from 30
◦Health per level increased to 85 from 80
◦Armor per level increased to 3.6 from 3
◦Base Movement speed increased to 320 from 315
◦Slightly increased his base Attack Speed

The big thing too look at here is that, "◦Yorick now takes 5% reduced damage for each summon that is active." So on average Yorick has about 3 ghouls up.(occasionally 4 if you use your ultamate Omen of Death) That's 15% reduced damage at almost all times!! If you took 21 masteries in the defensive tree that's another 4% damage reduction! Yorick can reduce a maximum of 24% of damage he takes which is quite a bit! I noticed this and THAT is why i chose to play Yorick as a tank.

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Pros / Cons

-Unique Champion
-Ghouls are a cool new mechanic in Riot(a summoner even though you can't control 3/4 of them)
-If played right can tank the whole team and their turret while your team stomps on them
-He's got a shovel to smash people then dig their graves for them. So nice of him.
-AoE slow
-Mid/late game farms really well with Ghouls
-People think, "Oh look an underpowered Yorick... Jump him!!" which since you're tank you're doing your job of taking the hits and CC's
-Block skillshots with your W icon=Omen of Pestilence

-Very mana hungry early game (still mana hungry late game with this build but not so much)
-With this build(rushing frozen mallet) doesnt get tanky until mid game
-Ghoul damage because much weaker late game(not useless but weak.. they still have alot of utility though, AoE slow, Speed boost, Lifesteal)
-Slow as hell with only boots... 390 movement speed..(i know they dont want him too fast because his Q gives him movement speed and his W slows but still.. he's slow)
-Smite kills his ghouls...
-A tanks job is to take hits but as a bonus, tanks have good CC's to control the other team. Yorick doesn't have a hard CC..(i counter this by making Yorick deal enough damage to keep enemy champs scared and away from my carries.)

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How I build Yorick

I build Yorick as a BEEFY(emphasis on beefy) because it helps him take more damage and also keeps his Ghouls alive for his passive and to hurt others more. Ghouls that stay alive longer means more % damage reduction from Yorick's passive. I also build some AD(i usually end up with about 200 or so AD) because a tank is nothing if he can't do damage. You need to be a big threat or else the other team will have no reason to focus fire you. Since you have no scary and hard CC's you need some damage to make them regret not focusing you. And if they do focus you then they'll regret not focusing your hard hitting carries.. Either ways they're screwed.

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Greater Mark of Desolation I use armor penetration marks to make Yorick's auto attacks and icon=Omen of War stronger because those two are his main damage source.

I currently don't have alternative runes i would take here because i feel that he really needs the armor penetration to deal enough damage while tanking.


I take mana regen per level because I feel like i really need the mana regen mid late game. It fits my playstyle perfectly. I tend to build icon=Philosopher's Stone to take care of my early game mana regen.

You can take flat mana regen icon=Greater Seal of Replenishment to help with your early game mana problems or if you like to spam skills.
If you do not have mana problems at all(early, mid, and late game), then feel free to take runes that help beef you up. You can take Health per/level icon=Greater Seal of Vitality for the boost in Health (which helps both you and your ghouls) or take flat armor Greater Seal of Armor to help reduce damage taken during the laning phase.


Greater Glyph of Shielding size 32 I take magic resist per/level because mid/late game fed/farmed magic damage carries will burst you down so I like these runes because they soften the blow. My typical Yorick build also leans more towards armor which makes him squishy to magic damage carries.

If you did not take mana regen in your seal runes, feel free to grab icon=Greater Glyph of Replenishment or icon=Greater Glyph of Clarity but do not grab mana regen in both glyphs and seals!! Yorick does have mana problems but he doesn't need that much mana regen... Take it in seals, glyphs, or neither.
You can also grab flat magic resist ] for a stronger early game in case you're laned versus strong magic damage champions.
Also if you want to spam your skills more often early game you can take icon=Greater Glyph of Focus for the CDR.(Flat CDR is almost always better. CDR per/level don't better than flat CDR until level 11ish which is okay for a solo laner but Yorick is better off in duo lane.)


Greater Quintessence of Fortitude size 32 I take flat health quints because they are good on almost all champs. They give you much more health which helps you a lot early game for stronger laning.

You can switch these out for icon=Greater Quintessence of Desolation if you want extra armor penetration for more damage.

These runes are just my preference and can be changed however you like. THIS IS NOT A BIBLE!

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For masteries I take 9/21/0.
I get offensive masteries all the way up to icon=Archaic Knowledge so that Yorick's icon=Omen of Pestilence and icon=Omen of Famine still do decent damage when enemy champions stack up magic resist because even though they scale attack damage, they deal magical damage...
I get 21 Defensive masteries because i like the extra health, armor, magic resist, and damage reduction they give and i feel that defensive masteries are essential to tanking.

This is a Tank Yorick build so I like to go 9/21/0. You can also go 0/21/9 for awareness from utility to get more experience and take mana regen or utility mastery if you want.

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Core Items

Yorick gains a buttload of health from this item which makes him more beefy and his ghouls making him that much harder to kill allowing you to get extra hits doing more damage. It gives him 20AD which isn't much but still helps. I also love the slow because if I can catch up to them I use W Omen of Pestilence then continue slowing them with autoattacks to finish them off while they run or allow my team to catch up and kill them.

This item protects you from 1 negative spell every 45 seconds! Mid to late game that could protect you from taking a hard hit! Fed/farmed people may hit you for 500-1k damage with 1 spell. With this, that spell hits you for 0 damage. This item also gives you 50 magic resist which adds to your how tanky you are, gives you 325 health which beefs you and your ghouls up even more, and 325 mana which allows you to spam more skills without going back to base!

This item adds to your defense, gives you an 18%(20% with offensive masteries) critical strike chance and converts 2% of your maximum health to attack damage! Yorick on his own has about 2k health at level 18 which is 40attack damage. Combine that with his other two core items( icon=Banshee's Veil and icon=Frozen Mallet) that's 60attack damage.

This next item is a core in my build but it doesn't have to be in yours. If you do not like icon=Philosopher's stone and do not plan on getting it then do not buy a regrowth pendant as a starting item. You can buy a icon=Doran's Shield or any other item that will build into your final items.

Philosopher's Stone The reason I use this item as a core is because it helps my a lot during the laning phase and continues to help me mid game and pays for itself if you keep it long enough.(but you can sell it whenever) I also like to upgrade it to icon=Eleisa's Miracle if I don't get Mercury Treads for the CC reduction and even more mana regen/health regen.

Other Possibilities
The rest of my items usually depend on the other team composition.

This item makes Yorick's Q icon=Omen of War hit like a truck. Each time you use icon=Omen of War, you'll be hitting for about 300damage early/mid game and late game when you get more AD, you'll be hitting about 420 which isn't that much more but it still hurts.

This gives Yorick 100AD and 25% lifesteal which makes Yorick hit that much harder and survive that much longer.

Aegis of the Legion size50 Overall one of the best items for a tank. Gives good health, armor, and magic resist. On top of that it provides an aura for your team(and yourself) armor, magic resist, and 9 attack damage!

This has so many useful things all put in one.. It gives you Armor, health, 25 health regen per/second, 5% cooldown reduction, 20% chance to slow enemy movement speed + attack speed AND and active that slows movement speed and attack speed. This is overall a great item with so many positives all put together.

I love this item on all tanks. This item gives you armor, health (yay more beefy Yorick and ghouls) and deals damage over time to others around Yorick which is just a bonus.

This item beefs Yorick up and his ghouls by a ton. Combined with your gives you more AD to deal more damage.

It is very annoying when you have to kill a tank two times. And even more annoying when you have to kill them 3 times!!!(if you ult Omen of Death yourself)

If you can get your stacks up to 20(I don't really use this because it's very risky and hard to get stacks sometimes): grab a icon=Leviathan at 20 stacks you will have 39% reduced incoming damage.

Shoes: if they are heavy on AP users or CC's I grab icon=Mercury's Treads but if they have a lot of AD users i grab icon=Ninja Tabi which provides 12% dodge chance + 2% if you got the defensive masteries.

Other items that you can build are(im to lazy to do them all...)
icon=Thornmail, Spirit Visage, icon=Quicksilver Sash, icon=Hexdrinker, icon=Frozen Heart, icon=Force of Nature.

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Why I personally DON'T use trinity force on Yorick?

Trinity force looks like it could(and should) be a great item for Yorick. I think it really would do wonders on Yorick because of the increased damage, movement speed(more than 390 movement speed? YAY!), increased health, 15% critical strike chance(35% crit chance with masteries and Atma's impaler), and a 25% chance of slowing your enemy.

Yes this is a GREAT item for Yorick. The downside is I find it too expensive for it to be a core item for Yorick. Maybe if you're getting fed you can invest in it but otherwise I would rather buy a Frozen Mallet (which has 100% chance slow not 25% chance... and slows them much more) and buy more items that help me tank.

That's just my personal opinion on the item and why I don't think it's that great of an item to get(unless fed of course). It's a huge damage boost early game but late game on yorick, you only get about 120 extra damage.

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Early Game Laning

I usually start off with icon=Regrowth Pendant and a icon=Mana Potion. (You can buy a icon=Doran's Shield if you don't plan on building icon=Philosopher's Stone.) I never take solo lane because I find it better to let your carries/tank/offtank get solo lane experience. So usually I end up in bottom lane. If the other team has a lot of range/harass then I take icon=Omen of Pestilence or icon=Omen of Famine depending on the situation. Otherwise I take icon=Omen of War and begin farming minions. I try to farm enough until i can buy a philosopher's stone and boots of speed my first trip back(i do not go back until I need to, if i don't need to then i keep pushing.) If you have enough money buy a vision ward and a sight ward. Vision ward the dragon(so you can see if they warded it and kill their ward) because as the bottom lane, it is your job (and your jungler's job) to have dragon control. Use the sight ward to ward your lane to prevent ganks and giving the other team first blood or a kill.

NOTE: if you have a strong lane partner and can harass/push very hard(an example of this is mordekaiser, caitlyn, or even a strong/good support like soraka), then you can harass them to kill them or force them to go back to base. I like to harass with W (Omen of Pestilence) because at level 1 it costs less mana and does more damage than E (Omen of Famine). You can also harass with your Q(hit them and let your ghoul chase or last hit a minion with Q and let the ghoul chase.)

I farm up on minions or kills and rush Frozen Mallet/shoes. After that I build catalyst to help out with my mana problem and build from there. If they're more AP heavy I build Banshee's Veil first. If they're more AD heavy then i build Atma's Impaler first. From there I itemize based on what I'm up against.

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Skill Sequence

I try to get Omen of War first because that's Yorick's main source of damage. After Omen of war I get Omen of Pestilence because Omen of Famine's lifesteal at level 1 is already great and I want the extra movement speed slow to catch up to running champs (Or slow down enemy champs from catching me or my teammate.)

When fighting 1 versus 1, if I know i can kill them, I use my Q and W to bring the pain! Then pop my E to lifesteal my lost health back. If it's just me and him and I know we aren't team fighting anytime soon, I ult myself and use my revenant ghoul to do extra damage (that's right you can control him just like mordekaiser's ult. Just Alt + click. Depending on the level of your ult it has 50%/75%/100% of your health and attack damage.) After you killed him, you can go back to base or if you have a lot of mana left, spam your E on minion waves to lifesteal your health back.

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Summoner Spells

I take icon=Ghost and icon=Flash because with my usual build i feel that Yorick doesn't have enough mobility. I usually have 390 movement speed which is SUPPPPERRRR slow on a melee champion.
icon=Exhaust is a great summoner spell for the slow, and it weakens the damage of enemy AP/AD carries. I like to use this on Ashe or Annie in team fights because it softens their heavy hits protecting my carries.
icon=Ignite is great to finish off champs that run away or lessen the health regen of champions (yes this includes lifesteal. I'm not sure about spellvamp but it should.)
icon=Cleanse I don't really use this summoner spell but it could come in handy for heavy CC teams. (if anything I could just grab a icon=Quicksilver Sash..)
icon=Teleport Helps you prevent backdooring, teleport to important teamfights, early game you can return to lane after recalling. Overall a great summoner spell.

Most of the other summoner spells aren't great for yorick. You can take them if you want though.. I'm not stopping you. This is a guide not a bible.

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Team Work

In team fights you want to be smart. You're the tank so you should be the one initiating. Good map control makes team fights a breeze. Try to only fight when you know you can win. After the initiation, you want to throw out your W to slow the enemy carry (whoever you choose to focus. This should be their squishy carry or heavy damage dealer.) Continue smashing their face with your shovel and remember to spam your skills once they're off cooldown. More ghouls means you take less damage and deal more damage.

As for your ult, you can use it a few ways.
You can Ult your AD carry at the beginning of the fight to use the Ghoul with 50%/75%/100% of your carries attack damage and use it to rape their team(and if your carry gets focused and dies then he gets to come back and take revenge.)
NOTE: This method is more for selfish Yoricks who just want kills for themselves lol aka me... There is a lower chance of this ultimate bringing back to life your carry because it either dies or decays before your carry dies... which makes it useless.

You can also use it when you see your carry dying and for sure bring him back to life to take revenge.

Also if you lost the team fight(you can't win them all.. you can try to but i can gaurantee that you won't win them all), as the role of the tank, it is your job to keep your carries alive (especially those with mejais, occult stacks.) Even if they don't have them if you die and help 1-4 of your teammates run away, you just stopped them from gaining 900 free gold. I'd rather die and give them 300 than let the others die and possibly give them 1200 gold.

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Here are a few games I've played with Yorick.

All comments are welcomed! Vote up if you like and if you dont then tell me what you don't like. Also tell me what you do like about it.
You can send me Pictures of your game results so i can post them. Also tell me some pros/cons? I couldnt think of anymore...
Tips to make my guide better are always welcomed.