IntroductionI believe that Yorick is, in fact a great champion, and have found a measure of success with him. He scales insanely hard into the late game, following up on what is actually a pretty good early game. With the right build, it's possible to shore up his weaknesses and be a great addition to your team.
How the Patches Have Affected Yorick
July 08, 2011 v184.108.40.206
Omen of War
- Fixed a bug where the Spectral Ghoul would not spawn if Yorick was silenced.
No big deal, this is more of a bugfix than an actual buff. Still good though.
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
This is a nice buff to his W. It will harassing with this skill much easier, and you will also be able to harass much more often without your tear, because of the lower mana costs.
Omen of Famine
- Mana cost reduced to 55/60/65/70/75 from 60/65/70/75/80
Again, allows you to harass a bit more often, because of the lower mana costs.
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
This is massive. Now, the Revenant doesn't lose health over time, and it will stay up much longer in teamfights, which means it is much more likely that you will get some use out of it.
- 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
Now, the passive gives Yorick more durability, which lets him stay up a little bit longer. This has the biggest effect early game, when having all three of your ghouls up basically increases your resists by 50%. Now, Yorick won't be that squishy in very early teamfights.
- Ghouls are now immune to slows.
- Ghouls take 50% reduced damage from AoE abilities
This is nice. Ghouls won't die in an instant in teamfights anymore, and you can actually utilize your passive during them. This gives Yorick a decent damage and resistance boost during these fights.
- 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
With these changes, Yorick's rune page should be changed slightly. instead of having 1 health quintessence and 2 move speed quintessences, we can take out one of the move speed quints for a health quint, which will help with Yorick's early game problems.
Jungling With Yorick
So, Yorick can jungle well now. It takes him about 5 minutes to get to level 5, which is actually really good. If you wish to view the path, there is a link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ro-_fPGWJU (Credits to Stonewall008 for the video and path)
July 26, 2011 v220.127.116.11
- Base armor of ghouls reduced to 10 from 20
This makes your ghouls stay up for a shorter amount of time, which unfortunately means that Yorick won't be as tanky or deal as much damage during a prolonged teamfight. However, with 40% cooldown reduction, you should be able to keep your ghouls up. Overall, this isn't much, as a lot of AoE is magical, but it is a nerf if you are laning against an AD champion.
Omen of Death
- Damage percent reduced to 45/60/75% from 50/75/100%
I feel that a nerf on his ultimate was needed. After Riot had changed it to not lose health over time, it made the clone much stronger, and borderline overpowered. A nerf in damage will give the revenant less of a presence in teamfights, and make Yorick less of a threat.
Omen of Pestilence
- Now scales off of ability power at a 1.0 ratio instead of a .8 bonus attack damage ratio
This made Yorick's W a lot less useful. It does a lot less damage now, and should be used now for the utility it provides. This change will not provoke a change in skill order, since the slow amount still increases with levels.
Omen of Famine
- Heals for 40% of the damage dealt, down from 50%
- Range reduced to 550 from 650
This nerf lowered Yorick's sustain by a sizable amount. Also, the range nerf made it harder for Yorick to poke. While laning, you are going to need to be a little more careful.
August 9, 2011 v18.104.22.168
Omen of War
- Attack damage ratio increased to 1.2 from 1
No big deal, still should be maxed last, since it's hard to use woften during the laning phase.
MasteriesThe masteries I've put up for Season 2 are just a guess of what would be good, if anyone could help me with that section it would be very helpful :). But so far, I have put it as 9/21/0 Since the new defense tree provides a lot of things Yorick really wants, such as move speed, CDR, heath, and Damage reduction. For the 9 in offense, it's a toss up between magic penetration and armor penetration. While Magic pen would be better for the early game when you're using your E and W more often, Armor pen would be more beneficial later when you have enough tankiness to be able to stay in and auto attack more. It's personal preference.
RunesTake flat AD reds because all of his skills but his W scale with AD. If we choose penetration, we have to pick between increasing spell damage or basic attack damage, but with AD runes we get the best of both worlds. Also, the AD will allow you to heal more with the lifesteal minion.
For seals, get a mix of flat armor to reduce the damage you take from Ranged AD harass, and mana regeneration per levels, to facilitate spamming in lane.
For blues, take scaling magic resist to make up for the lack of early magic resist items, and a couple of mana regeneration per levels. By mixing up our regeneration runes, we do not take away too much from either armor or magic resist.
The two flat health quints make up for Yorick's awful base health, while the one movement speed quint puts Yorick above 400 move speed, which I like to get on every champion.
Ghost is essential for Yorick. It allows him to stick to his target when he chasing, and gives him a much needed escape. For the second spell, ignite is preferred for that extra oomph you need to add on to your burst, but judge based on the situation and take exhaust if no one else on your team can take it.
Why not Flash?
Ghost is better than flash by a longshot on Yorick. While flash provides a useful gap closer, any champion with a movespeed boost will outstrip you right after, and you'll have no way to catch back up. Also, with the new changes to flash, the range is simply too short for it to be effective on Yorick.
Passive: Unholy Covenant
Yorick's basic attacks deal 5% more damage for each summon that is active. Meanwhile, Yorick's ghouls have 35% of Yorick's Attack Damage and Health.
This passive is great at all stages of the game. Early game, they give Yorick tankiness for early teamfights, and late, they give him a lot more damage during teamfights.
Q: Omen of War
Yorick's next attack will deal 30/35/40/45/50 (+100% of attack damage) physical damage and summon a Spectral Ghoul for up to 5 seconds.
The Spectral Ghoul deals 8/16/24/32/40 additional damage per hit and moves 15/20/25/30/35% faster. While the ghoul is active, Yorick moves 15/20/25/30/35% faster as well.
Cooldown 7/6.5/6/5.5/5 seconds
Cost 40 mana
This skill isn't so useful early game. It requires you to be up in their faces, and your ranged skills are much better for harassing and last hitting. However, late game the skill is good for chasing when combined with ghost, which is why it is maxed last. We still get a point in it at level 4, because it resets your auto attack timer, which is nice for getting last hits you would otherwise miss.
W: Omen of Pestilence
Yorick summons a Decaying Ghoul that arrives with a violent explosion, dealing 60/95/130/165/200 (+80% of attack damage) magic damage and slowing nearby enemies by 20/25/30/35/40% for 1.5 seconds. While the Decaying Ghoul remains alive, nearby enemies continue to be slowed by 10/12.5/15/17.5/20% for up to 5 seconds.
Cooldown 12 seconds
Cost 50/55/60/65/70 mana
This skill is very good, but not the one to max first. It doesn't provide the lane sustain that his Omen of Famine offers, and also pushes the lane because it is an AoE, making you vulnerable to ganks. Late game, this skill keeps enemies slowed, letting you chase better and possibly buy you a few precious seconds to escape.
E: Omen of Famine
Yorick deals 55/85/115/145/175 (+100% of attack damage) magic damage and heals for up to 50% of the damage dealt. A Ravenous Ghoul is summoned behind his target, which heals Yorick for the damage it deals and lasts up to 5 seconds.
Cooldown 10/9/8/7/6 seconds
Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana
This skill is Yorick's bread and butter, and undeniably his best skill early game. It becomes a decent version of transfusion very, very early on. It allows Yorick to sustain himself in lane, and offers up his best form of harass. Later, it helps you stay alive in fights, and finish off enemies that are trying to run away.
R: Omen of Death
Yorick conjures a revenant in the image of a target allied champion. Revenants deal 50/75/100% of target ally's Attack Damage. If his ally dies while its revenant is alive, the revenant sacrifices itself to reanimate them.
Revenants and reanimated allies lose 10% of their maximum Health per second.
Cooldown 120/105/90 seconds
Cost 100 mana
With the recent patches, his ultimate is simply amazing. It creates a minion of the allied champion that you cast it on, and at rank 3 will essentially double their damage output for a short time. In teamfights, a copy of your AD carry will wreck the enemy team, and the chances of it surviving are much higher now since the health decay is gone. In 1v1 situations, use it to create a clone of yourself and basically make it a 2v1, which is really nice.
The reason W is taken first is for level one fights in the jungle, since the AoE slow is very useful. If there is no level one fight, take E instead. E is maxed first because of the lane sustain it provides, and the great combination of harass and healing it offers. Q is maxed last because it doesn't have much use early game. Obviously, get your ultimate whenever you can.
Starting Items:OR OR
These are the most optimal starting items. They allow Yorick to use his abilities more often, while still being able to heal with health potions. This will also allow you to get a faster Tear of the Goddess.
If you expect to lane with an AD carry such as , take a Doran's Shield to be able to mitigate some of the damage.
If you are laning against someone with a lot of skill shots , etc. take this to be able to dodge them better.
Against Hard CC:
As a melee champion, expect to be CCed often. Mercury treads are the solution to that. A fast Tear of the Goddess into a Manamune solves all of Yorick's mana problems, and enables him to spam his abilities all game long. Moreover, the Manamune provides a lot of damage by the time you finish it. The Spirit Visage and Glacial Shroud give Yorick the combination of cooldown reduction and resists that he needs.
If you're getting really fed, then a Hextech Gunblade should be bought after your Tear, since it will provide you with a lot of burst. It will also make sure that they don't run away from you while you're destroying them.
You should have your core finished by 25 minutes. If you're being chosen as the target for a lot of hard CC, build a Quicksilver Sash to counter it.
After your core items, a Sunfire Cape and a Frozen Heart will make you tankier, while providing some more utility and damage. Another option is to sell your Spirit Visage late-game and replace it with a Banshee's Veil, if the enemy team has a strong AP Carry. This should also be done if someone on your team has purchased a Soul Shroud, which will make up for the loss in CDR. If this is not the case however, a Randuin's Omen can be built instead of a Sunfire Cape to add little more CDR. A Warmog's Armor is also a viable choice if you foresee the game going on for some time, and in that case an Atma's Impaler must immediately be your next buy.
Sixth Slot Options:
OR OR OR OR OR
For the sixth slot, there are several options. Build a Trinity Force if you want more burst, a Bloodthirster if you need more damage and some sustain, a Yoummu's Ghostblade if you need to stick to people, an Atma's Impaler if there is a lot of AD on the enemy team, and a hextech gunblade if you really need to sustain yourself. Last Whisper is only as a last choice if the entire enemy team is stacking armour-including their carry. Otherwise, as long as there are squishies for you to kill, it's unnecessary.
Note: Yoummu's Ghostblade would also be enough to make up for the loss in CDR from selling Spirit Visage.
Why you don't Rush a Sheen/Trinity ForceI've been seeing a lot of Yoricks rush this item. This is bad. When you rush a trinity force, Yorick becomes extremely squishy, and is going to get blown up before being able to do anything. Furthermore, his cooldowns are far too long to use it to it's full potential. You need to build maximum cooldown and more resists before a Sheen or Trinity Force can be effective, which is why we build it as an end game item.
After even more testing (and some math), we have determined that a Sheen does not do that much for him. The basis for our test was raw damage from auto-attacks over a 10 second period, along with the extra damage from abilities. Buying a Sheen over finishing the Manamune after the other items in the core build results in this:
Damage with Sheen:
1. 25 extra damage->25 extra spell damage
2. Base damage of 115 x 10 seconds x 0.9 attacks per second = 1035
3. Sheen proc every 2 seconds = 115 x (10 seconds/2 seconds) = 575
*Total Damage Dealt: 25 + 1035 + 575 = 1635 damage
If instead we choose to finish the Manamune, and giving a mana pool of 2000, the results are as follows:
Damage with Manamune:
1. 60 extra damage on E. Giving the CDR in our build, W will be cast once in 10 seconds and E will be cast twice.
So, a total of 60x2 = 120 extra spell damage
2. Base damage of 115 + 60 = 175. 175 x 10 seconds x 0.9 attacks per second = 1575 damage
3. No sheen proc.
*Total Damage Dealt: 1575 + 120 = 1695 damage
Buying the Sheen and finishing the Manamune both cost around the same, and looking at the math the Manamune is clearly the better choice for overall damage output. Note that this is without even factoring in the bonus damage your ghouls would gain, or from your Revenant. The scenario presented is also with optimal use of Sheen procs. In a real game, Yorick would spam his abilities every time they came off cooldown to maximize damage, and thus miss out on sheen procs. The gap in damage, in turn, would be even larger.
Getting both of them around the mid-late game mark is inadvisable. By building the Sheen before you get some additional defensive items, you become far too squishy and lose out on the presence you have in team fights. Being able to charge through the enemy team and lunge straight for their carry is the mark of Tanky DPS, and is what we aim for with our build. This is why Trinity Force is placed as a luxury end-game buy, instead of a core part of the build
*Note: Assuming you're around level 13-14 at the time, Yorick will have a base mana pool of about 600. Then the glacial shroud gives 425 bonus, and the manamune gives 350 base. On top of that, add another 600~ from spamming your abilities with Tear, and you end up at just under 2000 total.
Early GameUpdate 06/24/11: His early game is actually a lot better than we thought! You can use play style number 1 against a wide variety of champions with great success.
Yorick needs a solo lane. It really is the only choice. While this does take away a solo lane from your ranged carries or casters, Yorick becomes a strong carry in his own right late game. Yorick takes too much harass bot lane unless he is with a strong support, and even he needs levels to do any damage at all early on.
Early game, Yorick has two play styles:
1. Harass, harass, harass. This should be done, in general, when laning against a squishy champion that does not have a form of regen, or else anyone you can exchange harass with and come out on top against. The latter is extremely rare, but the first is more common. In this scenario, you need to abuse the combination of E and W to continually harass. The range on E is quite good, but for W it's really short, so try to cast it first. The trick here is to land both of them at the same time, so that the enemy will not be able to simply kill one ghoul off and take no damage. One thing you can do to make this easier is to, at level 4, go for a last hit and then quickly press Q to hit another minion. This will summon your first ghoul and give you speed, which will make it easier to get in range for your other spells, and suddenly you have three ghouls running after your opponent - and the best part is that they have no way to judge when you will do it. Their only choice becomes to back off every time you go to last hit, instead of harassing you when you try to.
While you won't always be matched up against champions you can do this to, your early laning actually becomes quite strong when you can. The only danger is, of course, jungle ganks, which you are very vulnerable too. Otherwise, you would be able to completely zone some of these champions out - but instead don't go out of your way to zone them out, and make sure that when you do, you're not stepping too far out into your lane.
2. Passive play. This should be done if you know you can't win your lane. Sit back and last hit, using Q and E when basic attacks aren't enough, and cast your E on creeps to regen instead of trying to harass the enemy champion. The combination of your two health pots and the healing from E should be enough to keep you in lane until you can afford a Tear + boots + health pots. At that time, try to push the lane by spamming your skills, and go buy.
If you ever have money left over after buying your core items, buy a few wards and place them down, so that you can see if the jungler is coming to gank. Yorick is very susceptible to ganks, so getting caught unaware will usually mean a quick and painful death.
Still, it's not completely hopeless, and when being ganked your best bet is to cast your W on the jungler before they tag you with red buff, and ghost if necessary. DO NOT try to fight 1v2, even at level 6. Unless your death is already assured, it is best to try and run.
If you are forced into an early game fight, your best bet it is to ignite the carry, spam your skills, and make sure to use Q to proc the speed boost. Remember to cast your E whenever it is off cooldown, so you can stay up for as long as possible.
At level 6, take note of your opponent's burst and CC. If they can nuke you down easily, then your only choice is to switch into play style 2.
Mid GameContinue farming up your core build, and until then your play style remains identical to before. Keep doing what you've been doing in lane, and assist your team with dragon when you either try to take it, or contest the enemy team for it.
The important thing to take note of is that by now, there is an important level gap between you and the duo lane champions. Despite your overall low burst, you can take out a decent chunk of health with your abilities by focusing them, especially if they are squishies. Which they will be; due to the support-carry bottom setup that is popular right now.
Overall though, your damage is still lacking, and you want to focus mainly on farming up the Manamune.
Late GameBy now, you should have at least your core completed. Your mana pool should be quite large by now, and Manamune will add a significant amount of damage, both to your spells and auto-attacks.
In team fights, cast W to slow the target your team is focusing, and cast E every time it's off cooldown to keep yourself alive. Remember that Q will not give you speed until you hit it something with it, so use ghost and W to catch up initially and Q to help stick on them. Make sure you auto-attack before you cast it, as it will reset your auto-attack timer.
It's important to judge how farmed your carry is, when deciding whether to ult yourself or your carry. Right after getting Manamune, casting it on yourself would probably be the right choice, but the more time that passes afterwards, the more likely it will be that ulting your carry will become the better choice. Either way, by this point your damage output is great, and you have enough CDR to continuously cast your spells.
If you crunch the numbers - Yorick's damage is truly high. With all three ghouls alive, he has +15% damage, and each ghoul deals 30% of 115% of his damage. So, 100% + 15% + 0.9 x 115% = 218.5% of your damage. That's a lot. Your ghouls might die fast, but you re-cast them continuously. If you decide to self-cast your ultimate on top of that, add another 86.25% (115% x 75%) damage to that.
218.5% + 86.25% = 294.75% of your AD. Yorick scales extremely well into the late game, and this is when you are strongest: right when late-game starts. Afterwards, the need to buy more survivability leads to Ranged carries outstripping you in damage, but right now the amount of survivability and damage you have is just right.
Team FightsYorick's role in team fights is fairly straightforward, but it changes somewhat over time. There are 4 main stages to this:
Level one team fights:
If your team decides to invade the enemy jungle, or try to repel an invasion into your own, for the most part you will be depending on your team to do most of the work. On your own, Yorick does not have a hard CC, so if the rest of your team lacks for stuns or knockups as well, I would suggest avoiding these encounters altogether. However, if it does come about, then the best thing Yorick can do is to drop his W where the enemy team is clumped together the most. This way, you will be slowing as many enemies as you can, possibly forcing summoners, and otherwise helping your allies land their abilities more easily. After that, auto-attack whoever your team is focusing and hope you come out ahead.
Early-mid game fights at dragon:
At this point, you possibly offer even less in a team fight than at level 1. Yorick has to choose between laning strength or team fight strength (between E and W), and the second isn't really an option because he will get crushed in lane. So, the best thing to do here is NOT to try and take dragon yet, and only team fight if the enemy team goes for it. What you should do then is simple: spam all your spells and focus whoever your team is focusing.
Mid-late game team fights:
By this point, your core items should be completed. With the purchase of Manamune, Yorick's damage output will have increased drastically, and you hurt a lot. The important thing now is to time your entrance into the fight. As you are still a melee DPS, you need to wait for your tanks to initiate first and some CC to be blown before charging in. Pop ghost and run straight to the enemy carry (AP or AD, whoever is stronger at this point), and on the way there, tag whoever you pass by with your Q for the added movespeed. Once you reach him, cast your W immediately for the slow, and then otherwise continue to spam your abilities and auto-attack him. Wait a few more moments-wait for the strong AoE ults to drop. You'll take a beating from them, but you should be tanky enough to survive. And then cast your ult on yourself. With the strongest AoE spells on cooldown, your Revenant will actually be able to live for a short while and deal a ton of damage, unless it gets focused. Either way, both are good for you.
End-game team fights:
Continue to charge the enemy carry and try to take him out with everything you have, but there are two things that have changed. Your damage output has lowered, while your survivability has gone up, so run in straight after your tanks and make sure to ult your Ranged DPS instead of yourself.
Final CommentsYorick's early game is great, especially with the recent batch of buffs, and his mid to late game strength is incredible as well. With 39% CDR, he is able to spam his abilities very often. The items built allow Yorick to be tanky, while still dealing significant amounts of damage. All in all, Yorick is a very strong tanky DPS champion, and can bring a lot of raw damage to a team, along with very useful AoE slow.
Credits to scoolyou for letting me use his account to play Yorick a ton :)
Credits to an anonymous friend for helping me with editing and theorycrafting :D
If you have any questions or concerns about this guide, feel free to post a comment below, or PM me.
Also, I need some help updating this guide! I've been finding myself playing Yorick less and less, and I'm going to need your help seeing what works and what doesn't. However, please provide explanations for your reasoning. If you do help, I will credit you.
What is needed so far:
- Mastery Trees
- Hextech Gunblade right after Tear
- Hextech Gunblade as a last item
- Warmog's Armor + Atma's Impaler vs Spirit Visage + Glacial Shroud/Frozen Heart
- Teleport vs Ignite