League of Legends Champion Review: Yasuo

Yasuo

“The Unforgiven”

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Welcome to the SECOND EVER League of Legends champion review on Ready Up Live. First up was Braum, The Heart of the Freljord, and Anthrax did a great job of reviewing the barrel chested support champion. However I think we all know that reviewing a support champion (even if he can 1v1 a full build ADC late game) is not nearly as cool as reviewing a FREAKING SAMURAI! Yasuo, The Unforgiven, is a mid lane fighter style champion who is currently available for 6300 IP, or 975 RP. He is the 117th champion overall (unfortunately no Halo references in LoL, sorry guys) as well as my personal favorite champ at the moment, and you are about to hear all about why.

Abilities

Yasuo_Comic

Passive: Way of the Wanderer

Way_of_the_WandererYasuo’s passive is actually two independent passives wrapped up into one. INTENT doubles his critical strike chance, however it also reduces his critical strike damage by 10% (25% on his Q, Steel Tempest). RESOLVE generates flow, which is a unique resource to Yasuo, it is generated by moving around the map in any way: dashing, teleporting, even enemy CC that displaces Yasuo causes him to generate flow. When he has his maximum amount of Flow the next instance of damage coming from a champion or monster against Yasuo will cause him to convert his Flow into an absorption shield. After 1.5 seconds, if not already depleted, the shield dissipates and Yasuo loses all his Flow.

My thoughts: The Way of the Wanderer (or the WILL of the WARRIOR, as I like to call it) is the key to Yasuo’s strength. Resolve’s shield combined with his high mobility allows him to trade very efficiently in lane, laying down damage at close range while taking very little himself. While Intent’s huge critical strike boost gives Yas the damage he needs to be able to quickly assassinate someone.

Q: Steel Tempest

36px-Steel_Tempest RANGE: VARIES
STATIC COOLDOWN: 5 / 4.75 / 4.5 / 4.25 / 4
PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 (+ 100% AD)

Yasuo thrusts his sword forward, dealing physical damage to all enemies in a 475-unit straight line in front of him. After landing two successful Steel Tempest strikes on any enemy unit (champions, creep, neutral monsters, pets, etc.) within 10 seconds of each other this ability changes. The third strike launches a whirlwind in a 900-unit straight line which deals damage and knocks up enemy champions in it’s path. Steel Tempest can also be used in conjunction with Yasuo’s E, Sweeping Blade, to change the pass through skill shot into an AoE attack, doing damage in a 375-radius circle around him. If the whirlwind is ready then the attack will also knock up the enemies in the circle. An interesting note about this ability is that it is unaffected by cooldown reduction, and is instead reduced by 1% for every 1.72% of his bonus attack speed.

My thoughts: This is pretty much Yasuo’s main skill, it has a very low cooldown, reduced even further by buying attack speed items and it is the key to using his ultimate in 1v1 fights. It allows you to farm pretty easily as it is his longest range skill and on a very low cool down so it is easy to use it to last hit minions. The key with this skill is to try to last hit and poke with it, while also stacking as many whirlwinds as you can. When the whirlwind is ready there is a really obvious indicator on Yasuo which you can use to zone enemies afraid of the damage. It can also be used to get some long range CS in a lane you are doing poorly in. In patch 4.2 an indicator was introduced so you can easily see the max range of the whirlwind when it is ready, which makes it MUCH easier to land on creep or enemy champions. Not to mention its AoE interactions with Sweeping Blade which I will cover below.

W: Wind Wall

Wind_WallRANGE: 400
COOLDOWN: 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18
FLOW: 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15%
WALL WIDTH: 300 / 350 / 400 / 450 / 500

This skill has two components: it’s passive gives Yasuo bonus flow while using his E dash, Sweeping Blade, while it’s active creates a wall made of wind (hence the name) that blocks all enemy projectiles, with the exception of tower shots.

My thoughts: The WALL! If Pink Floyd played LoL they would play Yasuo for this ability. There is nothing better than windwalling a Cait ult or a Thresh hook at the perfect time. Some people think this ability is too strong and needs to be nerfed, however its extremely long cool down means that if you are able to bait it out of Yas he won’t have any protection for awhile.

E: Sweeping Blade

Sweeping_BladeRANGE: 475
STATIC COOLDOWN: 0.5 / 0.4 / 0.3 / 0.2 / 0.1
MARK DURATION: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6
MAGIC DAMAGE: 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 / 150 (+ 60% AP)
MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 140 / 180 / 220 / 260 / 300 (+ 60% AP)

Yasuo dashes in the direction of the target enemy, dealing magic damage and marking them for a short period of time. Each cast of Sweeping Blade increases its damage by 25% for 5 seconds, up to 100% bonus damage.

My thoughts: Did you read that last part? The bonus damage on this ability stacks up to 100%! This is the reason most Yasuo players take this skill level 1, it does a huge amount of damage when fully stacked. Combine this with the shield resolve provides and Yas can easily carve huge chunks out of enemy champion HP bars just by doing one fully stacked dash on them. I have taken half of the HP bar of squishy mid laners like Ziggs level 1 with this trick and it is fantastic!

R: Last Breath

Last_BreathRANGE: 1200
COOLDOWN: 80 / 55 / 30
PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 200 / 300 / 400 (+ 150% bonus AD)

Yasuo blinks to the nearest visible Airborne enemy champion to the cursor, instantly generating maximum Flow. Upon arriving, he suspends all airborne units within a 400-radius of his target in the air for 1 second while dealing physical damage to all of them. Once he lands, Yasuo gains 50% penetration to bonus armor for 15 seconds (this affects armor from items, buffs, runes and masteries). Casting Last Breath will reset the chain on Steel Tempest.

My thoughts: The key to the Yasuo ult is choosing when to go in with it, it can take you to places you do not want to go so be sure that when you click that R button you want to all in this champion. That being said the ability to instantly join the fight and the automatic shield does allow this to get you in and do huge AoE damage to the team before allowing you to dash onto a carry and blow them up, with the right engage. This ability personifies the high risk/high reward factor of this champion, choosing to ult off the right knock up can be the difference between winning and losing the fight.

My thoughts on his kit in a whole: Yasuo is a lot of fun to play, but a lot of work to master. He is a high risk/high reward fighter that requires a good deal of mechanical skill and positioning to understand and play well. If you do well with him in lane you can scale into late game very well, if you suffer in lane or miss CS you will have a hard time with him as he s heavily item reliant. Don’t expect to do much damage without at least a Static Shiv in your inventory to give you the increased critical chance you need. However once you have gotten a feel for the champion and have a played a few games where you are in the lead you won’t ever want to go back.

Design

Yasuo was once a proud and noble warrior of Ionia, the only student in a generation to master the legendary wind technique, but everything changed when the fire nation attacked! Actually what happened was Noxus invaded, and Yasuo was charged with protecting a senior citizen but instead wanted to go kill people. Which to be fair does sound like a lot more fun than guarding sweet old Ethel while she plays Bridge or knits a sock or whatever. When he got back from the 7/11 with the munchies Ethel had been killed! Yasuo turned himself in for his failure but was surprised to learn he was being accused of the murder itself, not just for abandoning his post (even though they are kind of one in the same in this situation). So, confused and upset, he decided to just kill EVERYBODY and run away, because that is always the best solution to your problems.

He is now an enemy of Ionia, constantly on the run, searching for the true assassin who killed good old Ethel, so he can clear his name and get back to the legal murdering he loves so much.

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Yasuo likes to play a little jazz flute from time to time

Special Interactions

Yasuo has a few special interaction, mainly with other Ninja champions and Riven, hinting at who the mysterious assassin from his past may be.

Riven:

  • “Which weighs more, Riven? Your blade, or your past?”
  • “Everyone faces a reckoning, Riven.”
  • “You can’t run from yourself, Riven… I’ve tried.”
  • “Broken sword. Broken spirit.”

When using Riven’s Q Broken Wings:

  • “Wait, that technique… huh.”
  • “Huh, three swift strikes…”

When using Riven’s R Wind Slash:

  • “Another wind blade?”
  • “Who taught you that?”

Master Yi:

  • “Wuju? Hmph. Never heard of it.”
  • “Wuju? No, I wouldn’t.”
  • “Nice… sword… boots?”

My Thoughts: I really love the Yasuo back story, it might be a little generic but I am interested to find out exactly who killed Ethel, and the Riven special interaction are a nice hint at that.

Launch Skin: High Noon Yasuo

Yasuo_1

The launch skin for Yasuo is a nod to the classic spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s, which is perfect for Yasuo as any good cinema nerd knows those movies are inspired by classic Samurai films which are the core concept for his design. It’s very meta. The skin is available for 975 RP (Roughly $10 USD).

My Thoughts: I own this skin and really love it, especially the dance animation’s harmonica tune. Plus as a Final Fantasy fan I can’t turn down a gun blade, no matter who wields it.

Suggested Items

Statikk_Shiv_item

Statikk Shiv: The first item you should ALWAYS get on Yasuo, you aren’t going to do much damage until you pick this bad boy up. I like to back out of lane once I get enough gold for my Zeal and maybe some boots, and then back again to buy the rest of the item. Then you can return to lane and start to really put the hurt on your lane.

Infinity_Edge_item

Infinity Edge: I tend to go for the IE second item on Yasuo. Some people will tell you BOTRK is a better choice but those people are wrong. The IE gives Yasuo his famed 100% crit chance (with the right runes) so that means every auto-attack you are going to crit and do HUGE damage, not to mention the damage on your Q.

Blade_of_the_Ruined_King_item

Blade of the Ruined King: This is the item the supposed “professional” players say to build on Yas second, but I obviously know better than them. This is a great item on Yas and good to pick up if you are ahead, but you should get it 3rd or 4th, not second in my opinion.

Other Items: Yasuo only needs a few damage items and the rest of his build is going to be based on what champions on the other team are fed and who you are laning against. Pick up Ninja Tabi or Merc Treads for boots, and tank items like Randiun’s, Banshee’s, or a Spirit Visage depending on whether you are facing a heavy AD or AP team.

Runes

runes-sepcific

Magic Resist: +11
Physical Damage: +9.8
Lifesteal Bonus: +3%
Crit Chance: +5%

My Thoughts: I have experimented with Yasuo rune pages since he was released, and yes I did try a page of all attack speed runes and no it does not make him a God like I thought it would. This setup provides exactly 5% bonus crit, on Yasuo that gives you 10% crit at the beginning of the game, which can be a huge advantage if you get lucky with a few Q’s or auto attacks in lane. The life steal quints allow you to sustain in tough lanes, and the early AD makes last hitting way easier. Finally since Yasuo is mainly played in the mid a bunch of MR glyphs will help you with those pesky magic users abilities.

Video

It just wouldn’t be a post of mine without a video, would it? So here is a little example of what you can do with a great big bowl of Yasuo:

Thanks for reading guys! It was a lot of fun writing this champ review and I hope we get more LoL content on RUL in the future! Be sure to leave a comment in the thread and let me know what you thought of the review, things you would like to see added, point out my mistakes. You know: internet stuff.

“There is only death… mine, or yours!”

– Yasuo, The Unforgiven

P.S. If you liked this article you should come out to our weekly League of Legends community game nights! They happen every Thursday at 7pm central time. Don’t worry if you aren’t the best player, these nights are just about having fun with your fellow community members! You can add summoners Minolta1034 or AnthraxTHK to join in all the fun!