League Of Legends: Yasuo Item Build, Masteries & Runes
With League Of Legends latest Champion Yasuo out in the wilds, we put him to the test to find out what some the best item build is.
Published on Dec 17, 2013
League Of Legends new Champion Yasuo is available to buy. We’ve put our thoughts together on how Yasuo is as a Champion, but all you might care about is what items you’re better off buying for him.
Yasuo is an attack damage based sustain bruiser, intended to chip away at health while protecting his own.
He’s best suited to a solo lane (mid or top, typically) since he does rely on maintaining a heavy dose of gold and XP all for himself. He’s an interesting character with a bunch of important stats affecting his gameplay – so the options open to you are fairly vast.
You could emphasise attack damage, and go all in with Yasuo’s ability to punish players who overstep their mark.
Or you could stick to building tankiness, a common and popular route to help out-sustain his enemies when trading.
Others might, instead, rely on Yasuo’s double critical strike chance passive, and combine that with attack speed to slice off chunks of their opponents.
It’s also worth noting that Yasuo can be played in jungle, though our Yasuo item build focuses entirely on laning.
League Of Legends: Yasuo Masteries
The masteries for Yasuo aren’t particularly confusing. Your basic 21-9-0 in Offense and Defense – in all likelihood you already have a mastery page set up ready for attack damage Champions.
On the Offense side it’s worth noting that we’ve focused on the left-hand tier of the masteries, including the unlocks that boost damage based on when spells and basic attacks are struck.
Remember that Yasuo’s Q ability – Steel Tempest – acts as a basic attack, so this mastery bonus won’t proc on that. However, dashing toward an enemy – either through them or a nearby minion – will do, giving you that extra damage bonus.
Since you’ll likely be using Yasuo to cut through the enemy team anyway, having this mastery is super useful.
It does mean we use an extra point in Offense than you might be used to, so either knock it off Devastating Strikes or Expose Weakness (though the former is more recommended).
Additionally you could forgo Defense’s 3% health boost from Juggernaut, but considering Yasuo’s fairly low health it might be worth grabbing this over the extra 2% armour and magic penetration.
League Of Legends: Yasuo Runes
There’s nothing unprecedented here and if you’ve played an attack damage Champion before you’ve like got a Rune Page already set up for it.
Armour seals, magic resist glyphs and attack damage quintessences are the staples here.
The only thing you might want to adjust is the marks, which could be all attack damage – for an all-out offensive early game – or a focus on armour penetration for better opportunities late game. Or, of course, a spread of the two.
That’s really all there is to it for Yasuo’s Runes.
League Of Legends: Yasuo Item Build
How you want to build Yasuo might depend on what it is you’re looking to achieve with the Champion. The recommended guide in-game does a functional job of giving you some key options, but it can be improved upon.
It’s true that Statikk Shiv is a good suggestion. Its activation of additional damage gives you a subtle advantage and improves wave clear, and all of the item’s effects give Yasuo a boost in key areas.
But it doesn’t offer much in the way of damage. The 20% critical strike chance becomes 40% with Yasuo’s passive, and that’s a huge, useful boost. Meanwhile the attack speed and movement speed buffs are both very useful to this Champ.
Additionally getting an Avarice Blade as part of its recipe means you can help out Yasuo’s early game by grabbing a bit of a gold advantage through the bonus cash the item rewards.
But instead we swapped this out for Youmuu’s Ghostblade. Though the cooldown reduction of the item is practically unnecessary on Yasuo (his abilities already have minimal cooldown) the extra damage advantage is useful to build as your first item.
The active effect gives you a similar (in fact, better) buff to Statikk Shiv, though it does only last 6 seconds. Enough for an advantage in a team fight, however.
Here's what we recommend:
Yasuo Item Build – Core Items
Our objective with Yasuo’s item build is to target critical strike chance. Get a flat 50% and that will be doubled to 100%, meaning every single hit is a critical. Though you do 10% less damage, you’re still always criting and grabbing Infinity Edge will help mitigate some of the damage loss.
The item you want when you first head back depends on how well your laning stage has gone. If you’re having a poor time of it, or expect you will struggle once your opponent gets a few abilities unlocked, then start with Avarice Blade.
It might seem like an odd choice since the item does little to boost damage (a 20% critical chance after Yasuo’s passive is nice, but not enough to favour over extra damage), but it’s really the extra gold that you want this item for.
If you’re having a fairly easy laning phase then try and stay out as long as possible. If the Champion you’re up against is an easy match up then consider starting with Long Sword and three potions instead of Doran’s Blade.
If possible on easier lanes try and stay out until you have at least 1662 in gold. This will net you a Brutalizer and a pair of Boots – giving you a boost to damage (more important early on than later) as well as the necessary speed to keep up in chases.
This is largely where Yasuo struggles, after all. If you’ve already marked your target with your E ability, you have no other ways of keeping up.
From there you’ll want to build this into Youmuu’s Ghostblade, but constructing the final piece will remove the benefit of Avarice Blade’s gold bonus, so consider buying that then holding off upgradng to Ghostblade until your second main item.
Here you’ll want to target Infinity Edge since the 50% critical strike chance (combined with 20% from Avarice Blade) will give Yasuo an edge, but it is a costly item to target.
If you find yourself struggling you’ll want to build a defensive item at this point, since it’s around the mid-game where Yasuo’s low health starts to become a key factor.
As always with League Of Legends it’s about understanding the game flow, and picking the items right for the situation. Check defensive item suggestions below.
It’s probably better to build into a defensive item first, however, since Yasuo’s core items are pretty expensive. Next up: Trinity Force.
Trinity Force offers a nice spread of stat boosts for Yasuo, but the real benefit is its passive Spellblade, which increases the next basic attack by 200% after activating an ability.
As a reminder, Yasuo’s Q ability acts as a basic attack, meaning you can essentially double the damage of his primary damage dealing ability. Dash in with E to activate Spellblade, then slice with Q. Job done.
With this trio of items built that’ll give you a flat 100% critical strike chance. There’s little reason to build anymore since it will just be wasted, so instead focus on defensive items – or perhaps the odd damage item.
Yasuo Item Build – Defensive Items
Yasuo’s health is naturally quite low, and around mid-game other enemies will begin scaling beyond the meagre confines of his health. If you can’t shutdown enemies in trades, or find yourself in 2v1s more often than not, then you’ll need to start building defensive items.
You have a selection of options here, and you won’t need all of them.
The in-game recommendation is Randuin’s Omen, and this is certainly a viable option. If you’re up against a lot of attack damage then the boost of 70 armour will help negate a lot of their damage.
The 500 health will be appreciated too, but so will the Cold Steel passive – which means you can get in close without the enemy kiting or escaping. It’s active effect can help you chase down those speedy Champs too.
Preferably you’d build a Banshee’s Veil. While this is best used against an AP heavy team, the spell shield – that blocks the next enemy ability – is great for mitigating some damage in a teamfight, and syncs nicely with Yasuo’s in-built shield.
Alternatively you can go all out for Warmog’s Armor, kitting Yasuo out with a huge health boost. It doesn’t necessarily help if you’re taking large chunks of damage (say an enemy ADC managed to get an early advantage), but for general team fights the health advantage can be huge.
Lastly is Frozen Mallet, a great item for Yasuo that complements Trinity Force’s passive Rage – which gives 20 movement speed with each basic attack.
This means, alongside the extra 30 attack damage and sizeable 700 health boost from Frozen Mallet, Yasuo is also able to slow his enemies and speed up himself as his basic attacks land – a solution to his lack of chasing abilities.
Our preferred build would be to pick two of these – likely Banshee’s Veil and Frozen Mallet, but this comes down to the situation, of course – alongside the core three and a set of boots.
Yasuo Item Build – Additional Damage Options
If you’re not encountering much in the way of damage, then you could forgo a second defensive item in favour of more damage. With Yasuo’s 100% critical strike chance it’s not necessarily important to build extra attack damage, but you may prefer it.
Last Whisper is a good option here since it adds a decent amount of additional AD (40 extra) but also adds the always-important armour penetration bonus of 35%.
Maw Of Malmortius is another good option, adding in a base bonus of 60 attack damage alongside 40 magic resist – making it a viable alternative to an MR defensive item for its bonus AD.
In fact, if you’re having a good game it might be better to focus this instead of Banshee’s Veil, thanks to the passive Lifeline that creates a shield blocking 400 magic damage for five seconds.
Then there are items like Blade of the Ruined King or Bloodthrister. Lifesteal isn’t as important a boost to Yasuo since he’s largely about mitigating damage not regen-ing it, but it does give you a little extra lane longevity by farming for health from minions or jungle.
Blade of the Ruined King is probably the better option due to its passive dealing extra damage based on the enemies health, but Bloodthirster can be a good choice for heavily raising your attack damage stat.
Yasuo Item Build – Boots
There’s little to say on boots these days. You know what they do, and often it’s easy to pick the situations you might need them in.
Berserker’s Greaves give a handy boost to attack speed – which is a great synergy with Yasuo’s 100% crit chance – and are a worthy purchase if you’re going for two defensive items.
Alternatively Ninja Tabi (for armour) or Mercury’s Treads (for magic resist) are good options, depending on the damage type – and how much of it you’re encountering – that the enemy team are presenting.
Mercury’s Treads are particularly useful to Yasuo for its Tenacity effect, which reduces the duration of them. Crowd control can be a killer for Yasuo, so worth giving these a thought.