Credit: Riot Games

The champion we love to hate

Wreak havoc on Summoner’s Rift: The complete Yasuo LoL guide

Buckle up for a complete guide on the one and only Yasuo, the champion we all love to hate.

Yasuo is one of the most polarizing champions in League of Legends history and, given his popularity, is essential to learn. Even if you don’t intend to play him, you can gain the upper hand if you know how he works and what he aims to do, as you will run into him in solo queue at some point—100%.

Hard to learn and master, Yasuo is extremely rewarding when you get the hang of it: no solo queue game will be safe from you wreaking havoc. Even when Yasuo isn’t suited for the meta, skilled players will make him work regardless.

Use these runes when playing Yasuo

Whether you play Yasuo in top, mid, or bot, the Precision tree is the way to go with Lethal Tempo. This rune is simply too strong on Yasuo, especially for his Q—Steel Tempest as it scales with attack speed. 

With Lethal Tempo, you want Triumph to help sustain yourself after fights, as there will be many of those. Pair it up with Legend: Alacrity for more attack speed, and Last Stand to increase your damage when your health goes low. Together, these runes can win you clutch fights. 

For the secondary tree, you want to be a little defensive. The Resolve tree and its Second Wind rune provide extra sustain during trades. Then, it’s up to you if you want Revitalize for healing and shield power or Unflinching for extra tenacity and slow resistance. If you go up against a heavy crowd control composition, then Unflinching is your friend.

For the last three runes, you want extra attack speed, adaptive force, and either armor or magic resist depending on the matchup.

Rune page for Yasuo's guide. After taking Lethal Tempo as a keystone, Yasuo goes Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand. From there, the Resolve Tree's Second Wind and Revitalize runes do a good job at completing it.
Screenshot via: Riot Games

How to build Yasuo in League of Legends

To no surprise, the build for Yasuo is heavily focused on what makes him fun to play: damage. Yasuo wants to be the carry in focus on a team, but he still needs to think about containing himself as he can easily get popped by burst. We’ve all heard about that 0/20 power spike.

Therefore, most Yasuo players opt for Immortal Shieldbow as their Mythic item, for its protection and sustain when jumping into the middle of the enemy team. Pair it with an Infinity Edge, and you have the first big power spike. 

The following items will often depend on the matchup. In most cases, Mortal Reminder is a great option to get more stats and have Grievous Wounds in this healing meta.

If you need more sustain, Death’s Dance and Bloodthirster are solid options for your third or fourth item. You can even pair the two up to have an incredible amount of lifesteal. Finishing off the build, Guardian Angel’s extra life has prevented many Yasuos from going 0/40. Let’s keep it at 0/20, shall we?

This Yasuo guide will have you going... not 0/20. No, we don't want you to have that power spike, thank you.
Photo via: Riot Games

Skill Sequence

Yasuo’s skill sequence is straightforward: R > Q > E > W.

His main-damage source is his Q—Steel Tempest, the ability you always want to spam to stack up for the whirlwind cast.

When Steel Tempest is maxed out, you want to focus on getting E—Sweeping Blade maxed instantly. One level in W—Wind Wall is plenty and doesn’t need more points before the others are maxed. Wind Wall is mainly for protection, whereas the other two abilities will ensure Yasuo keeps outputting damage and moves around. 

Naturally, you want to put a point into R—Last Breath whenever possible—at levels 6, 11, and 16. 

How to approach the game from laning phase onward

As a fighter and assassin, Yasuo wants to dominate the Rift and dictate the game’s pace. Preferably, he wants his teammates to set him up to land great ultimates. So, the team’s composition is often built around Yasuo with many knock-ups—or at least one crucial knock-up, like Diana’s R—Moonfall. 

As this isn’t always the case in solo queue, you will rely on his knockup through Steel Tempest’s third cast. Before making the ‘big combos,’ you want to play the laning phase aggressively but without overextending. 

Use E—Sweeping Blade to dash through minions and to land poke on the opponent. Always leave a minion untagged by E to dash back to safety. Slowly but surely, you will win trades, chip your opponent’s health bar, and potentially go for a lethal blow. 

When playing against ranged champions, you want to be right up in their face so you don’t fall flat to poke. However, be mindful for signs that your opponent is setting you up for a gank, especially around your W—Wind Wall’s cooldown.

Photo via: Riot Games

Upon hitting level 6, Yasuo becomes dangerous. At this point, you can engage in more skirmishes and potentially roam to other lanes to find kills. Yasuo can win games with one or two kills in the laning phase as he reaches his power spike faster. 

In the late game, you want to split push when possible, and group up for big teamfights. In those fights, patience is important: you can’t ‘just go in’ and expect to survive. Instead, as is the case with most assassins, find the perfect timing with Last Breath and dive onto the enemy backline. 

If you successfully land a combo onto the backline, the teamfight often goes in your favor. As a Yasuo player, that is your ultimate goal.