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Champion Spotlight

By David 'Phreak' Turley [1]

Yasuo Champion Spotlight

Yasuo Champion Spotlight

A marked man with nothing to lose and only his honor to reclaim, YasuoSquare Yasuo's tempestuous path has finally found the Fields of Justice. Bear witness to his unrelenting power and learn more about the Unforgiven in the Yasuo Champion Spotlight.

Yasuo's mastery of both wind and blade is unrivaled. A lethal and disruptive powerhouse against even the hardiest of enemies, Yasuo relies on Way of the Wanderer resilience and his unique Wind Wall Wind Wall to shield himself and his allies from distant threats while he gathers his strength through Steel Tempest Steel Tempest. When the time comes, Yasuo uses Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade to dash through the enemy line until he's face to face with vulnerable enemies. A final Steel Tempest 3 Steel Tempest launches the Unforgiven's foes to the skies, enabling Yasuo to head skywards himself and unleash his airborne Last Breath ult, Last Breath Last Breath.

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Blade item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Early B. F. Sword item Zeal item Boots of Speed item
Essential Phantom Dancer item Infinity Edge item Berserker's Greaves item
Offensive Edge of Night item The Bloodthirster item Mortal Reminder item
Situational Mercurial Scimitar item Maw of Malmortius item Guardian Angel item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Wrath item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran's Blade item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item2
Early B. F. Sword item Zeal item
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Infinity Edge item Phantom Dancer item
Offensive Blade of the Ruined King item Ravenous Hydra item Mortal Reminder item
Situational Randuin's Omen item Maw of Malmortius item Mercurial Scimitar item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item
Howling Abyss
Starting Guardian's Hammer item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item3
Early Phantom Dancer item Infinity Edge item Berserker's Greaves item
Offensive Lord Dominik's Regards item Blade of the Ruined King item Edge of Night item
Defensive The Bloodthirster item Death's Dance item Maw of Malmortius item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item


Playing As YasuoSquare Yasuo
  • Dash through a minion to have Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade available to chase your opponent should they flee; Dash directly to your opponent to preserve a minion as your escape route.
  • At level 18, YasuoSquare Yasuo's Steel Tempest Steel Tempest reaches its Attack Speed cap with 69% Attack Speed from items, runes, and masteries.
  • Last Breath Last Breath can be cast on any target that is Airborne icon knocked Airborne, even by one of your allies.
Playing Against YasuoSquare Yasuo
  • Steel Tempest Steel Tempest is very narrow. Dodge laterally if possible.
  • When YasuoSquare Yasuo lands two Steel Tempest Steel Tempests in a row, his next will fire a tornado. Watch and listen for the associated sound to prepare to dodge.
  • YasuoSquare Yasuo is at his weakest just after he has launched a whirlwind. Engage at that point.
  • YasuoSquare Yasuo's shield from Way of the Wanderer Resolve lasts only 1 second. Dealing damage to him will trigger it. Wait it out, then engage.


Ability Usage
  • YasuoSquare Yasuo's strength as a fighter/assassin lies in his unique kit of power and utility, with his Way of the Wanderer Way of the Wanderer granting him early game protection and immense late game power, mobility from Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade, the defensive potential of Wind Wall Wind Wall, and the teamfight potential of Last Breath Last Breath.
    • However he is fairly item dependent for damage due to poor base stats and is not very durable, as his kit emphasizes avoiding damage entirely rather than soaking it. This and his reliance on sustained damage make several of his abilities require solid timing and positioning as well as precise usage when going all-in, therefore risking a misplay.
      • Add to that the fact all of his abilities can also be baited, the most notorious example being a ranged champion being able to pop Way of the Wanderer Way of the Wanderer's shield with something as simple as an autoattack.
  • Way of the Wanderer Intent doubles your total critical strike chance, giving YasuoSquare Yasuo a huge late game powerspike.
  • Way of the Wanderer Resolve shields YasuoSquare Yasuo from incoming attacks for a short time, but only when his Flow bar is filled. Use this to your advantage when trading during early game as most (if not all) of the damage you take will be nullified.
    • However, it can be baited by smart players and/or counter champions alike. Be very mindful of this and be sure to know when to engage.
  • Since Steel Tempest Steel Tempest has no cost and has a very short cooldown, it is a great tool for harassing and last hitting in lane.
    • Be very careful though, as Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's range is very narrow, and it's quickcast by default. Missing with it can especially be costly in most direct confrontations, and mistiming by using it too early it may cause a very-needed basic attack to be cancelled during a duel. This can also be very true if YasuoSquare Yasuo is not spaced properly to determine well-enough when and if he can consistently land it. Normal skillshot reactions would apply much better for the third cast however, depending on the player's preference, experience and adjustment. Other than that, if one is often missing Steel Tempest Steel Tempest due to its narrow range and skillshot nature on third cast, Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade can be used while Steel Tempest Steel Tempest is on cooldown (1 second or less) but it doesn't make Steel Tempest Steel Tempest cast faster or bypass the cooldown since there is still the travel time from Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade.
    • During late game, Steel Tempest Steel Tempest may also deal less damage than autoattacks if YasuoSquare Yasuo has enough critical strike chance built, due to the damage penalty on Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's critical strike damage. Be wary of this so you can focus more on ensured autoattacks landing as opposed to an unwarranted Steel Tempest Steel Tempest cast.
  • Steel Tempest Steel Tempest and Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade can be used to cancel autoattack animations, where the former does not fully interrupt them and can be timed in the middle of an autoattack cycle to increase damage output. However, using Steel Tempest Steel Tempest from Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade may result in some recovery time compared to it being used standalone.
  • Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade is best used when there are nearby minions, for the following reasons:
    1. It deals more damage for each successive target.
    2. It allows for quick juking, closing or escaping. Do not be afraid to use it to last hit someone in a duel when you can.
    3. Using Steel Tempest Steel Tempest during Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade will still allow you to move during the casting animation. Make sure to know where to walk/run to midst-attack, so you can safely harass or assault your opponent just after your combo. But be sure to space this correctly; using this combo can result in the AoE Steel Tempest Steel Tempest missing certain targets mainly if you dashed past them too far with Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade.
      • However, Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade's greatest weakness is in the mobility it provides being heavily situational and position-dependent. It's possible to dash the wrong way past your target, as well as get interrupted by any form of crowd control. It also does not provide a form of invulnerability, a staple for most fighter/assassins. Make sure you're not tempted to use it if it means risking getting close to a champion who can easily catch you out.
  • Wind Wall Wind Wall blocks all projectiles that hit it, not necessarily only from where it was cast. Circling around the wall while against a ranged champion is a great way to block all of their damage.
  • Last Breath Last Breath can only be used when an enemy champion is Airborne icon airborne. However the Airborne icon knock up isn't limited to the third Steel Tempest Steel Tempest cast. Allied Airborne icon airborne-inducing abilities can be used as well.
    • Be forewarned that the Airborne icon knock up must come from one of your allies' abilities or yours. Any self-inflicted Airborne icon knock up ability used by enemy champions will not allow usage of Last Breath Last Breath (e.g. Satchel Charge Satchel Charge)
    • Last Breath Last Breath's blink has a long range, so you can use it as a gapcloser.
    • YasuoSquare Yasuo can be killed while using Last Breath Last Breath. The Flow shield, however, fully regenerates upon cast, allowing him to survive some burst that comes his way.
    • Last Breath Last Breath applies the damage as YasuoSquare Yasuo smashes his enemies to the ground. If he is killed before the ability is finished, no damage will be applied.
    • Some abilities such as Aqua Prison Aqua Prison can be used to initiate Last Breath Last Breath even though they're not normally considered Airborne icon knock ups. Knowing which abilities can trigger usage of Last Breath Last Breath can give more engage opportunities and potentially surprise opponents.
  • YasuoSquare Yasuo can apply the following tricks with Last Breath Last Breath, along with other tips tying into its timing as well:
    1. There is actually a short window of time that YasuoSquare Yasuo can use to activate Last Breath Last Breath after the Airborne icon airborne target has landed. All enemies hit will be Airborne icon knocked up for another 1.5 seconds. Keep in mind that this is an extremely short margin, perhaps 0.1 seconds or less, and is not very reliable, unless he can land an autoattack for extra damage by spacing the cast time of Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's Airborne icon knock up and simply waiting for his target to almost land before using Last Breath Last Breath. Given YasuoSquare Yasuo's nature as a melee DPS autoattacker, this works quite well but it's often best applied if a target goes Airborne icon airborne at a close enough range to pull it off.
    2. With enough attack speed to shorten Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's cooldown, and if YasuoSquare Yasuo uses its Airborne icon knock up to trigger Last Breath Last Breath, he can wait till the Airborne icon airborne effect is almost done (especially one that can linger, like for example against targets in a row) and, as the opponent hits the ground, enable YasuoSquare Yasuo to have Steel Tempest Steel Tempest ready not only sooner, but even during Last Breath Last Breath's animation (and thus cast Steel Tempest Steel Tempest during that time), allowing him to rack up even more damage on the chosen target.
    3. Beware once YasuoSquare Yasuo and his target(s) land from Last Breath Last Breath, as it's very important to know where to aim his abilities or any of his incoming/planned actions. For example, it's possible to land from Last Breath Last Breath and prepare to land Steel Tempest Steel Tempest when landing next to the target, only to aim it the wrong way during a decisive moment. Because of this, it's not always suggested to press the attack right after Last Breath Last Breath, but rather 'running-and-tagging' with Last Breath Last Breath's activation can sometimes be the better option, especially if you need to return later for a possible clean up during a teamfight. Yasuo also cannot autoattack for a slight while after landing his ultimate.
    4. Waiting till YasuoSquare Yasuo or his team actually launches the correct target Airborne icon airborne is also very important, since he will blink to any target first Airborne icon knocked up, but soon-to-be-launched ones will not be hit if YasuoSquare Yasuo casts Last Breath Last Breath too early, causing him to potentially waste the burst damage and misplay an engage. This gets even worse if the enemy team is prepared and ready to focus him and shut him down, considering YasuoSquare Yasuo is still targetable while ulting. As such, it's often best to save Last Breath Last Breath for when a kill is sure to be secured or when you can simply use the bonus armor penetration buff as you safely get away for re-positioning. Misusing Last Breath Last Breath (especially if used out of temptation after a Airborne icon knock up) can easily lead to it being baited and YasuoSquare Yasuo being dragged closer to the enemy team, ensuring punishment.
  • If you are dueling against another champion, when you landing the knock-up of Steel Tempest Steel Tempest, instead of using Last Breath Last Breath immediately, land an auto attack followed by Last Breath Last Breath to add in extra auto attack damage to advantage you over your enemy.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • YasuoSquare Yasuo is usually played mid and sometimes top. Alternatively, he can be the ADC or the jungler, but neither is recommended due to the inherent difficulties coupled with his squishiness.
  • As a damage dealer for his team, YasuoSquare Yasuo can quickly become lethal by purchasing critical strike chance, attack damage, and attack speed.
    • Because Way of the Wanderer Way of the Wanderer will double YasuoSquare Yasuo's critical strike chance as well as Steel Tempest Steel Tempest benefiting from it, items with critical strike chance are more gold efficient for him than any other type of item. For example: Infinity Edge item Infinity Edge/Lord Van Damm's Pillager item Lord Van Damm's Pillager and Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv will give YasuoSquare Yasuo 100% critical strike chance for only Gold 6000+.
      • Note: YasuoSquare Yasuo's attack damage and attack speed growth per level is very low, which makes him over-reliant on critical strike chance. To balance this, acquiring stats such as attack damage, flat and/or bonus armor penetration, and life steal, is absolutely key to making sure YasuoSquare Yasuo can put out as much consistent damage, especially against tankier opposition.
  • Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv is usually rushed, for it has major synergy with Steel Tempest Steel Tempest, (which can land an Energized Strike to proc Shiv Lightning) and it also helps offset the ability's critical strike damage penalty. Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv can also potentially increase Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's damage or at least keep it up to par with Critical strike icon crit-empowered autoattacks. This makes it a perfect fit for YasuoSquare Yasuo, whom after completing the item (and whose player once knows the range of Steel Tempest Steel Tempest) becomes extremely hard to lane against thanks to Shiv Lightning providing solid burst and extreme harassment capabilities. The additional movement speed pairs with Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade to allow YasuoSquare Yasuo to be frequently on the move as well as accelerate Flow generation for Way of the Wanderer Way of the Wanderer's shield.
  • Infinity Edge item Infinity Edge/Lord Van Damm's Pillager item Lord Van Damm's Pillager usually follows Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv right away. However, due to how expensive it is, one may opt for other items with other stats (whether offensive or defensive) to make YasuoSquare Yasuo less dependent on Critical strike icon critical strikes for his damage output. But ever since Season 6, the introduction of item changes allows Yasuo's core build to be more flexible:
    • Trinity Force item Trinity Force provides overall useful stats (except mana) and since YasuoSquare Yasuo has many low cooldown abilities, Spellblade is relatively easy to proc (and can be used to empower Steel Tempest Steel Tempest even more) and so is Rage (for even more mobility). While the Spellblade cannot crit, it allows Yasuo to easily siege towers and possess consistent burst on Steel Tempest Steel Tempest, even if he misses with it so that way his auto attacks can still use the proc. The HP it provides is also solid for tanky Yasuo builds, though no longer having any critical chance hinders it somewhat.
    • Phantom Dancer item Phantom Dancer could complement or even substitute Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv. However, YasuoSquare Yasuo may not find Spectral Waltz nearly as useful as Shiv Lightning, but only when it comes to burst. The same cannot be said for Lament however, as Yasuo can build Phantom Dancer item Phantom Dancer for dueling potential, especially when built alongside Trinity Force item Trinity Force for tanky-bruiser builds.
      • With these four items in hand, Yasuo's means of achieving 100% crit is more flexible than before through two of the four items (with one that provides 30% and the other providing merely 20%).
  • Berserker's Greaves item Berserker's Greaves are the standard boots of choice. It and Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv's combined attack speed reduce Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's cooldown to its maximum of 1.33 seconds. Yet if one wishes to obtain attack speed from other sources, other boots can be purchased instead, whether Boots of Swiftness item Boots of Swiftness, Ninja Tabi item Ninja Tabi, Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads, or even Boots of Mobility item Boots of Mobility (the latter provide YasuoSquare Yasuo with much more movement speed needed to roam and build up even more Flow, but they have more better usage outside of combat as opposed to duels or teamfights alike)
  • Cooldown reduction is generally less valuable of a stat on YasuoSquare Yasuo since Steel Tempest Steel Tempest's is reduced by attack speed and Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade's cannot be reduced. However, it can still be useful since Wind Wall Wind Wall and Last Breath Last Breath have no cost but fair cooldowns. Especially reducing the cooldown of Last Breath Last Breath can be quite powerful if your teammates can regularly launch people Airborne icon airborne.
  • Since YasuoSquare Yasuo does a lot of autoattack damage (including Steel Tempest Steel Tempest), life steal from The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster, Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra, or Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King, would be very good to have.
    • The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster gives a huge lifesteal bonus, making it an excellent item for dueling as well as allowing you to build a shield on top of your Flow one.
    • Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra is slightly less offensive but allows for very quick waveclearing, and a stronger burst with Cleave. Note that Crescent does not Critical strike icon crit.
    • Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King will do the least damage out of the 3 (unless you have 4000+ health targets), but has a good active ability that can be useful for chasing or escaping, as well as providing attack speed that is great for his overall DPS nature (as well as increasing damage though health shredding).
  • Due to him being susceptible to crowd control, either Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads or Mercurial Scimitar item Mercurial Scimitar can be very valuable, especially against a heavy magic damage team due to his 0 magic resist scaling.
  • The armor shred from The Black Cleaver item The Black Cleaver is often very good for most raw damage builds or the player seeking to peel defenses with powerful sustained damage (as well as make it a part of more tankier builds due to the health).
    • Youmuu's Ghostblade item Youmuu's Ghostblade isn't a common item, but YasuoSquare Yasuo can easily make use of the cooldown reduction (just like with The Black Cleaver item The Black Cleaver) for Wind Wall Wind Wall and Last Breath Last Breath, as well as more importantly, give him defensive bypass with flat armor penetration. The most rewarding aspect is its active, where YasuoSquare Yasuo can easily use it to chase down/run away from targets, and output damage at a much faster rate (especially with higher Steel Tempest Steel Tempest spam) to towers and enemy champions in duels alike.
  • Guinsoo's Rageblade item Guinsoo's Rageblade is not exploitable by YasuoSquare Yasuo because while Steel Tempest Steel Tempest costs nothing, does not require a target, and has a cooldown lower than the stack expiration. Guinsoo's Rageblade item Guinsoo's Rageblade and Steel Tempest Steel Tempest require hitting a unit in order to generate and keep max stacks. He does not make very good use of the ability power unless it's for Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade, which allows him to last-hit minions for wave-clearing very well.
    • Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil is also a solid ability power item that works both offensively and defensively (again, for Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade to last-hit better and to have more initiation damage), but should mainly be considered only against a heavy magic damage team.
  • Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil can greatly reduce YasuoSquare Yasuo's vulnerability to being burst down and allow time to engage.
  • Maw of Malmortius item Maw of Malmortius is another valuable item, providing attack damage, magic resistance, flat armor penetration, and both Lifeline and Lifegrip help his survivability in critical situations.
  • Due to YasuoSquare Yasuo lacking inherent durability and, as a result, being reliant on avoiding damage to stay alive, it is often advised to purchase some defensive items to help boost his survivability.
    • Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen is one of the best armor items to build on YasuoSquare Yasuo if one already has Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads and some other item to cover for magic resistance. It is especially effective against other Critical strike icon crit-reliant champions and for allowing easier 1v1 situations as a result.
    • Sunfire Cape item Sunfire Cape can also be a more risky but viable niche option, due to Immolate allowing for much better sustained damage potential during any fight, a teamfight or 1v1 alike.
    • Guardian Angel item Guardian Angel as usual is a very common pick for most champions of a carry-nature, especially of the melee DPS variety. Its passive can easily allow YasuoSquare Yasuo to thrive more in fights and finish a clean up, as well as force the enemy team into killing him in order to waste some of their more valuable resources once he revives, which is the gameplan for many a Guardian Angel item Guardian Angel user.
    • Spirit Visage item Spirit Visage is also great for giving him an increase in sustain for his life steal items, as well as giving some slight cooldown reduction.
    • Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate is also a solid item to help increase his on-hit damage and his mobility. Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra is also a solid tanky-damage item that also provides for his on-hit damage, but at a more consistent rate while not offering the same mobility passive.
    • Sterak's Gage item Sterak's Gage is also a wonderful tanky item on YasuoSquare Yasuo, especially for his recent bruiser builds. The passive greatly allows him to be disruptive in teamfights, and its base damage boost helps with increasing the damage of Steel Tempest Steel Tempest.
  • Early game, YasuoSquare Yasuo relies heavily on Critical strike icon critical strikes for his overall damage output due to his low attack damage and attack speed growth per level. Armor is a very good stat to mitigate most of his damage if he hasn't rushed any armor penetration or has yet to land Last Breath Last Breath for the bonus armor penetration buff, especially if he only has critical strike chance items with no extra damage early game.
  • Wind Wall Wind Wall can be potentially devastating to Mages and Marksmen alike. Champions that can quickly reposition themselves through or around the wall (such as AhriSquare Ahri, LeBlancSquare LeBlanc, EzrealSquare Ezreal, etc.) can largely nullify it.
    • Additionally, Wind Wall Wind Wall is probably useless against Champions who purely rely on melee combat like NasusSquare Nasus.
  • Be very careful about using global projectile ultimates such as Enchanted Crystal Arrow Enchanted Crystal Arrow and Super Mega Death Rocket! Super Mega Death Rocket! when YasuoSquare Yasuo is nearby, and only use them when you know Wind Wall Wind Wall is on cooldown and/or YasuoSquare Yasuo isn't near the target. This also goes for initiation abilities such as Rocket Grab Rocket Grab, Zap! Zap!, or Death Sentence Death Sentence.
    • Wind Wall Wind Wall blocks many skillshots and targeted abilities, but it does not block instantaneous abilities like Final Spark Final Spark, 'overhead' abilities like Mega Inferno Bomb Mega Inferno Bomb, and terrain-based abilities like Tormented Soil Tormented Soil. Knowing what can bypass Wind Wall Wind Wall can give you a great advantage.
    • A common strategy against Yasuo is to bait his Wind Wall Wind Wall using any auto attack when using any ranged champion.
  • Steel Tempest Steel Tempest has a narrow hitbox on the first two casts, but the tornado on third cast has deceptively long range for a skillshot. Sidestep to avoid the knockup, or stay very far away just to run out of its total range.
  • Way of the Wanderer Way of the Wanderer can generate a very strong shield as YasuoSquare Yasuo levels up, but it lasts for a very brief duration. Treat it like a Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil and pop it with one of your lesser abilities or a ranged autoaatack before fully engaging YasuoSquare Yasuo.
  • Building health (unless YasuoSquare Yasuo builds Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King) can mitigate the effect of Last Breath Last Breath, since it only works against bonus armor rather than total/base armor.
    • Some YasuoSquare Yasuo players give up on building Last Whisper item Last Whisper and instead buy more lifesteal and rely on Last Breath Last Breath to deal with enemies that stack armor. You can take advantage of this; dodge any knockups that the enemy team may have, and build Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen.
  • Focusing YasuoSquare Yasuo or interrupting Sweeping Blade Sweeping Blade with hard crowd control can make him very easy to kill. If your aim is good, don't be afraid use crowd control on him while he's dashing, less so since YasuoSquare Yasuo can't use Wind Wall Wind Wall mid-dash.
  • While a capable fighter/assassin on his own, YasuoSquare Yasuo's kit makes him one of the most team composition-reliant champions in League. Take note of his allies to gauge just how much of a threat YasuoSquare Yasuo will be.
  • As a melee ADC with an ability that scales based on attack speed (Steel Tempest Steel Tempest) as the center of his kit, items like Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart can have a big impact on YasuoSquare Yasuo's damage output.
    • On top of being dependent on attack speed, Steel Tempest Steel Tempest is considered an autoattack and therefore procs Thornmail item Thornmail. This will allow him to receive a massive amount of recoil due to his damage output relying on Steel Tempest Steel Tempest.
      • Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen is tailored to counter YasuoSquare Yasuo: it adds to his innate damage reduction penalty on Critical strike icon critical strikes, and Cold Steel reduces his attack speed. All this effectively hinders YasuoSquare Yasuo's dueling potential.
  • Playing any champion that can potentially block & negate his Steel Tempest Steel Tempest is generally a good idea against YasuoSquare Yasuo.
  • Choosing any champion that can also out-duel Yasuo is generally a good idea.