Yasuo: How to Build and Combo, with Zimited *12.6
An advanced, detailed and highly in-depth guide of how to optimize your damage output on Yasuo mid and top.
Best Overall Runes
Best Overall Build
I'm Zimited. I have 800k mastery points on Yasuo on record.
I was highlighted in a Protatomonster "Best Yasuo Onetricks" montage on Youtube recently, "Throwaway" being one of my accounts.
In this guide I took all the knowledge gathered from the best Yasuo players in the world, including my thorough research and compiled it into one place.
Besides build, I will list every single mechanic that exists for Yasuo can do that is even remotely relevant. After reading this guide, you will have the information required take your Yasuo skills to the next level.
Lastly, I will provide you with the information required to know most of the relevant matchups for Yasuo not only in general but for the current meta.
- Most Common, more damage early
- Stronger Mid/Late
- Vs Ranged
- When matchup isn't affected early game
- Super Safe Laning (nerfed a bit)
- The Old Meta Classic
- (If you don't need the tankiness and know you'll get kills. (BOUNTY RUNE)
Some of the aspects of the runes here can be changed to your advantage depending on situation. Therefore I have explained my knowledge on the application of every relevant rune below so you can make your own idea as to when each of them should be used.
Lethal Tempo is currently the rune that provides the most damage of all the runes from a raw damage point of view in the early game. Early, it deals roughly 16.67% more damage per second than Conquerer does. When Conquerer is guaranteed to catch up to the Q cooldown at around level 10 with Greaves, Zeal and Noonquiver. In which Conquerer provides both more damage and healing. Can also have an additional damage surge by rushing long swords early before Greaves, if Yasuo is allowed to have extended fights, he does a huge amount more damage than early daggers. It also catches people off guard if they are inexperienced. As Yasuo's damage practically doubles when he gets his lethal tempo stacks, people don't expect the insane comeback. Coupled with a rune like last stand he can really surprise people. Which is good to consider. Also, as Lethal tempo lasts longer than Conqueror, some enemies can make it harder to keep conqueror going than Lethal tempo.
Conqueror, numbers wise, is significantly better than Lethal Tempo after around level 10 with right items, where it provides both more damage and healing for the rest of the game, and has the same amount of CC from tornado Q, since the Q cooldown hits its cap of 1.33. However, giving Yasuo more power to do things in early game with Lethal Tempo can be huge, as if he gets one or two kills early because of the increased early damage and CC, he will be able to use that to become ridiculously much stronger than conqueror, as Yasuo has a much easier time scaling after a few kills. Lethal tempo is an absolutely unrivaled rune for those early skirmishes.
Fleet Footwork is a free ticket out of laning phase. But Yasuo will be significantly weaker. But honestly it isn't even that bad as Yasuo has great damage anyways. He can also remain healthy after an early kill because he heals it all back. Which isn't possible until later with the other runes. The thing is, that you basically give up the better odds of snowballing on one of the strongest snowball champions for the sake of simply just being even after laning phase.
Triumph provides money. But also gives a significant amount of instant healing if you kill an enemy. This means you can often take one more turret shot under tower early game. Or survive that little extra damage ignite or any othr DoT abilities would have killed you with. It is also better if you can get a kill in a fight without dying to the next enemy and having better odds of killing them too while still remaining at last stand hp range.
Overheal, there are challenger players that prefer it over Triumph. Overheal is a more reliable way of getting the health increase once the mid game begins. Yasuo will generally always be full health before anything happens, so setting it up is easier. In early game it is hard to remain at full health for most of the phase, which is why triumph is better early. Overheal is better if you don't think you're reliably going to be killing several people in a row during a teamfight. It is also better for having that extra little tankiness vs burst enemies in mid to late game. Yasuo can have quite the shield vs burst if coupled with Blood Thirster and his passive.
LEGEND: Bloodline provides sustain at the cost of a less damage. It seems to be the best when using Lethal tempo, as Lethal tempo doesn't require LEGEND: Alacrity to deal damage. Bloodline and Tenacity are better late game runes than Alacrity, but if you're using conqueror, you're pushing back your damage spike quite far back by removing the attack speed. But on Lethal Tempo it is the best choice.
LEGEND: Tenacity is good when there is a ridiculous amount of cc on the enemy team that you think would prohibit you from doing damage. In a way, tenacity is damage. According to another Yasuo pro you only need one tenacity rune unless they have some ridiculous amount of cc. Focus on Coover tenacity with Lethal Tempo.
Last Stand is great for baiting when he gets low. Doubled with lethal tempo early, Yasuo suddenly becomes one if not the strongest early game fighter in the game, but only if he is allowed to deal damage to the enemy. Which depends on your opponent. Its a way to get a kill. This rune deals the most damage of the three runes if Yasuo is able to utilize it right. Preferably, Yasuo wants to avoid being low on health in the first place, but he's Yasuo. He kind of needs to trade health if he ever wants to kill somebody (besides poking with QQ and Q and taking no damage with passive shield into flash ignite comboing, he can survive with 40-50% hp if the enemy slips up, but only then). Last stand really compliments Yasuo's kit if he is allowed to deal damage while low on health. As mentioned in the windwall combo guide, Yasuo has a huge amount of tools that can keep him alive. Windwall, tornadoes to keep people from dealing damage after windwall, passive shield proc, second passive shield proc from using your R that also lets you deal combo damage and extends the stun on them and shieldbow shield and damage increase during these max stacks. He can do all of this while remaining at 100-200, which is one of his ways of baiting enemies to think they are going to kill him. But yeah, Last stand coupled with all of this is how Yasuo can deal some insane damage and reliably survive when at 50-200HP.
Coup De Grace is good versus champions that are squishy and play safe. As said in the end of Last Stand, Yasuo can chip their health points down to what now will be around 40% health remaining and will have more damage for quickly taking away that remaining 40-45% HP with the Ignite and a Flash combo (Q+F+AA+Ignite+E) before they have time to flash. Also helps with bursting down people caught out by a knockup by you or a teammate, perhaps you don't have enough to oneshot them (but you very likely do if ur team is there).
Resolve has been considered and still seems to be the best secondary rune page right now. Because the current item/rune meta provides Yasuo with a lot of self-healing, Yasuo is better off with other runes than healing/vamp that the domination tree provides. Bone Plating is really good for having more tankiness versus champions or matchups where Yasuo needs to wait a bit before trading again to deal damage.
Unflinching is good against hard to dodge cc, but generally just the go to rune pick in general if you're betting on doing well in fights, as most enemy champions have some form of CC that is hard to dodge, even if its just a slow. It gives Yasuo more room to breathe during the fights and will in turn give him more time to deal damage, stay on target, use QQ to keep up and vamp up. He will be able to deal more damage when it matters the most if it pays off.
Overgrowth and Conditioning are good if you can afford to have worse trades early on and you prefer having tankiness over anti CC. Which is the way to go vs assassins in little CC teams. It doesn't help in laning, but scales into later on.
Overgrowth and Conditioning are good if you can afford to have worse trades early on and you prefer having tankiness over anti CC. Which is the way to go vs assassins in little CC teams. It doesn't help in laning, but scales into later on.
Second wind is better than Bone Plating versus matchups where the enemy can deal damage to you persistantly. Because of Second wind having no cooldown, Yasuo can get more survivability-value than when using Bone Plating. But keep in mind, if the enemy has assassins that aren't in your lane, boneplating will be better than Second Wind for fighting them in the mid game.
TREASURE HUNTER RUNE (No Image Yet). As far as we know so far, this rune is good for Yasuo if he knows he will get same amount of kills despite less lane sustain. But as LS says about Dorans Blade, Yasuo relies on the sustain to do anything in lane. This needs some testing to see where the limit is.
If enemy has an AP midlaner and AP jg, switch out the armor rune with magic resist for better value.
- Summoner spells
Flash is always the best primary spell for Yasuo. It is an amazing gapcloser and is practically required for being able to get away from opponents if they have flash and you don't. It is also an insanely powerful tool if you truly want to catch even challenger players, who are the best players in the game, off guard. In the combos section I will go into detail about how you can utilize flash to truly use it to your advantage, as it really compliments Yasuo's mechanics. Flash is essential when it comes to avoiding jungle ganks. It is just that extra little distance Yasuo needs to be able to farm safely. If somebody ganks during the early minutes at an angle Yasuo doesn't have vision on, Yasuo simply flashes and even if the enemy flashes they won't be able to kill Yasuo.
Ignite is the rune that will be the best most commonly. If your enemy is possible to kill, Ignite is preferable. If the enemy goes ignite and you don't, and they are as good as you, you will have much worse odds at killing them. Because you need to back off when you're in ignite killing range, giving control over the lane to the enemy. As Yasuo is so forced to needing to use up his HP and his passive shield to deal damage, he is put in a rough spot when he is in ignite range and can't kill his enemy without dying. Even if you think you will win lane, ignite is just a great skirmishing tool for making 2v1-s possible in certain circumstances.
Teleport is something I've seen professional Yasuo players go versus champions like Veigar. It is because Veigar, if played right, can survive a Yasuo who has ignite and still get most farm and retain control over the wave with the help of his jungler. Because of this, Yasuo can instead go Teleport, which is seen as a much better summoner spell for mid to late game. Why is teleport, or otherwise shortened down to TP, good late game? For one, it can be used to teleport to your allies in the botlane to assist them. Also, somebody with TP can apply pressure at one side of the map, then quickly teleport to the other side. This can force the enemy to be divided from each other or they'll lose objectives if used correctly and they don't do the counterplay required. Normally, the toplaner goes TP. But it isn't bad if there are more players with TP on the team. Keep in mind that if your toplaner doesn't have TP and Yasuo will survive splitting, TP becomes even more reliable here when used correctly.
Heal is something that is more reliable in bot for Yasuo. I can assume it is because the heal is good to be used on 2 players, which has a lot of value, but also provides somewhat of a 2 player escape and heal, also for if junglers come. I see challenger Yasuos run Heal a lot in bot, but also Exhaust more than in midlane (granted, this was pre-TP nerf).
Exhaust is something I've seen used from time to another. Decent against champions that can burst you to death before you even have a chance to do anything, like a good Zed. However, keep in mind that Yasuo can block the main burst spells of a majority of the Assassins in the game with a well timed W, making it depend partially on the skill matchup. Also, it is possible to build against burst champions too, but it would be at the cost of sustain from vamp and damage. A Yasuo main recommends using this versus Zed. But Exhaust still isn't essential vs Zed compared to just ignite.
Cleanse is something I saw Faker, one of the very best players in the world, use against a Galio. He cleansed Galio's taunt and was able to avoid otherwise unavoidable Galio's lethal combo by doing it. Cleanse is a great tool for when you can't kill the enemy with ignite (Like for example a Lissandra, or Veigar. If Veigar is in killing range in the first place he's playing wrong. So don't count on that happening by going Ignite), when you don't need TP much, and they have CC.
Smite is for if you want to play Yasuo in the jungle. It is definitely not meta, as in, Yasuo jungle is not as good compared to other jungle champions, but I've had a lot of fun with it. You get a lot of clear power with your inherent AOE damage. You can also get some sick ganks off by jumping the wall at raptors with a third Q (tornado) ready to go during their slow push and using the minions to dash and stun the enemy midlaner. It is surprisingly consistent to get kills from it.
In ARAM, Mark is the best secondary spell. As explained in the "Q" combo guide later in this article, gapclosing spells are essential for Yasuo when he is without minions due to all his abilities basically being at Q range (except for teammates helping you get R with knockups).
- Most Games
- Early Gapcloser Vs Ranged
- New Group
E can only be leveled first in a select few set of circumstances.
Niche skill paths with explanation (which are in bubbles above the graphics below)
- 1. Enemy won't have projectiles to windwall in general, or they just used it and you don't need windwall for a bit. 2. Yasuo requires faster minion clear in the moment.
- Yasuo won't be able to use his ultimate during the next fight and knows he won't be using it versus anybody before he levels up.
Dorans blade start is interchangable with Dorans Shield depending on the frequency of interactions with enemy champions, Dorans Blade being better when there are less.
Most Common Path 2
Let's say you recall with 850 gold and not 1100 gold. Here you do not buy the 300g boots, but you buy Short Sword. But this depends on matchup. Some games you might be fine not getting max damage right away and build into Zeal with a crit cloak for a delayed but stronger spike.
It might seem ridiculous, but so is the damage it provides. But Yasuo doesn't tend to be tanky enough to actually reach it or the enemy dies before it is worth and requires a long lane like toplane. Requires building Lethal Tempo.
- It almost goes without saying that Yasuo needs tankiness. And I can't press enough how much more he needs it in the current meta, where everybody seems to be able to survive his burst damage. Don't be ashamed to go armor or magic resist items before Infinity Edge.
Early game, you can go this against champions you have a harder time using the omnivamp from dorans blade against
Some times a tanky start is better if the enemy has a lot of poke or burst. An example is when vs-ing a good Zed, you tend to need at least a cloth armor to be able to live/go even unless you do well and get a good advantage before your first recall. See it as a "get farm free card" where the enemy can't kill you unless you misstep. Which in many cases leads them to misstep with greed. So it works out. Exhaust over ignite instead of switching boots might be better here.
It is actually good to go this as an early item against Sylas and whatever other champions that rely a lot on heal to in fights. It really depends, though
If you really can't find any reliable ways to win or go even in a matchup with the best builds, going Cull and only focusing on getting CS or ganks is the best item to get. People can buy multiple of these throughout the game, but Yasuo needs his spike earlier than this.
Zeal gives more raw damage than anything else. The reason for this is because it rushes your Q cooldown to reach the lowest point early if you are going conq, which is huge for comboing and damage. Get it after Greaves if you want that. However, Vamp Scepter is better for staying alive in lane (a bit worse after the 12.6 update, but still decent).
If you have Lethal Tempo, rush many of these before boots for an insane damage surge. They quickly build into noonquiver and vampiric scepter afterwards.
As of 12.5, Shieldbow is still the best item by far for Yasuo to go when he can afford having damage. The survivability, vamp scepter for sustain and shield + damage increase means that not only does Yasuo deal enough damage, but he has the survivability that is so essential for him to have to not just die before he dishes out damage because of his inherent squishiness. You can consider the other noonquiver mythics if every single teammate is a support that is funneling you. This item couples fantastically with Last Stand and Lethal tempo, as Lethal tempo reaches max stacks around when Shieldbow pops, which just deals ridiculous and unexpected amounts of damage if the enemy allows him to stay on them.
Death's Dance is by far the best big item to go third for Yasuo if he doesn't need to build antiheal, magic resist or heavy armor. Some times it can be better second. Yasuo desperately needs tankiness at this point of the game, but Death's Dance tends to be enough armor to fill that criteria and is by far the best item for dealing damage without dying on Yasuo when he doesn't need magic resist. See Wits' End as the MR twin of this.
After the "Max Damage" Items are bought, pretty much any item with attack damage is fine to go if you want a max damage build. Granted, a hybrid of damage and tankiness (Like Dead Man's Plate if you really want speed and not Youmuu's) is simply just better unless you have supporting characters to keep you alive or you're unfathomably fed and can even find a way to survive 5 people at the same time without it. For damage later, focus more on the unique item abilities the items provide, like even youmuus ghostblade is surprisingly viable here if you want just pure damage and no tankiness.
Update: LS disapproved of this strategy when I asked them: "I think Dorans blade is just really good on him, because it just allows him to get through early parts of stuff". Source: https://clips.twitch.tv/SeductiveGlutenFreeAardvarkKappaPride--hdQDrzRw5Y8hiaM . So yeah, take this start with a grain of salt. Secret build! Here is the secret explanation. This is my current go-to build path versus enemies I know won't be able to burst me. Yasuo simply doesn't need vamp to get CS, he prefers pressure when he can afford it. And the extra 80HP simply isn't needed for instances where the enemy can't burst or outdamage Yasuo past his normal HP. And since attack speed is much more significant on Yasuo than attack damage early on, Yasuo will deal significantly more damage and thus outdamage the enemy easier if he can stay on them. The vamp scepter might to be needed to balance out the lack of healing mid game if you intend to gank somebody while at healthier HP. But there's a good chance noonquiver is just better, as the healin you get from the vamp before leaving lane and from the few hits you get against the botlane is miniscule compared to the additional output from Noonquiver and faster minion clearing speed. As for the cloth armor, lately I have noticed I have become way too squishy in games at the early mid point, even with doran's blade or shield. So if I am fed I can afford building into armor or magic resist faster, then after shieldbow ending it with an armor item instead of infinity edge. It really depends on how much burst the enemy has to kill him before he kills them, which takes experience to decide about. Something the matchup guide can help with. Armor or magic resist is my go to nowadays before infinity edge. It is seen in professional play too. It just seems to be more reliable if you are fed, or if you just think you will be killed too fast to deal any damage. Which tends to be exactly before infinity edge is built.
It is possible this item is better when you just keep getting bursted by enemy's first rotation and you are required to be more of a frontline that tanks a lot of damage.
If your team has a lot of healing and you have needed to buy vamp items like BT, Bork and Wits' End. Otherwise, Force Of Nature is better.
Best MR item for vs heavy AP comps and fed AP damage centered champions like Brand.
If the enemy has magic but you don't need to go full magic resist, Wit's End is not only the best MR tankiness+damage hybrid, but it is also the best third item for the mathematically best damage output when you take HP and tankiness out of the equation.
This item, used after Wit's End when used after IE and Shieldbow, is literally best fourth to sixth item for raw damage if tankiness and movement are taken out of the calculation. It is actually quite insane. However, when Yasuo goes Wits' End into Navori fourth, Yasuo's squishiness almost always gets the better of him. However, if you already went Wits' End, and you don't need tankiness for your last item after you've gone some tankiness and don't need more survivability, Navori Quickblades is the item to go. Pretty sure the only reason this is never seen in play is because Yasuo either becomes too squishy or has better use for tankiness/hybrid of damage and tankiness/anti HP/armor/healing items for the last 2 items.
Terminology: Q: Steel Tempest. QQ: Steel Tempest Tornado Q. WW: Windwall. E: Sweeping Blade. EQ: Instant (as fast as possible) Steel Tempest use after using E. EQQ: Same as EQ with the Steel Tempest Tornado. EQW: Implying that windwall is used right after EQ press, instead of "EQ+WW", which would be a little bit later WW. Same goes for the other abilities when paired together like that, like "AAQ", although I might not have done this for all explanations. R: Last Breath. Passive: Way of the Wanderer. AA: Auto Attack.
Steel Tempest, or "Q" can be used to cancel the animation of your Auto Attack after Autoing. This saves some seconds and actually provides a decent DPS boost. E-s also cancel auto attack animations. This is why if you see one of worlds best Yasuos, Pz ZZang doing Auto+Q+Auto+E to clear his waves, this is why. It is faster than E+Q. If you Auto Attack at the same time as Q, you get an instant auto attack after Q. It is an important trading tool to use whenever you trade to aim to weave in the Auto+Q+Auto. It deals a lot of damage. Q deals more damage than AA, however, Q has a longer animation than AA which means Yasuo stands still for longer when using Q than using AA. Which can be the crucial movement Yasuo needs to survive. When using E+Q, the faster you press Q after pressing E, the faster it is put on cooldown and the faster it will return off cooldown. If you have bad attackspeed cap on Q, like, 4.9 seconds, it is essential to use Q as early after Q as possible when it is a component in other combos. For example, you can do EQQ+Auto+EQ+R. This combo is only possible at 4.9 second Q cap if you do the first E+QQ(QQ stands for tornado Q) fast enough for it to come off cooldown before the next EQ that happens at the same time as R. When you have a tornado up and only have a single target to use it on who is in range, it is technically faster to E+QQ with a fast QQ after E. Because QQ has a longer startup animation than a normal Q, it wastes more time attacks if you use it normally and you also have more fluid unpredictable movement than just doing a stand still QQ. As said, QQ has a startup animation and Yasuo is required to stand still when using QQ. This makes the tornado highly predictable. Use this to your advantage by pressing 'S' while having a tornado ready. You will appear like you're about to use Q, but you don't. It will be easier to actually hit the tornado when they dodge and need to dodge again. Tornadoes are important to hit, so patience is necessary. If you have a QQ, and the enemy is running away from you and you can kill them, there is only one direction they can run. Away from you. Which eliminates most the directions. Try to position at the correct side of them while they're trying to walk to their tower, and your QQ will cover more areas. Throw it from there towards their exit and it forces them to only be able to dodge away from their exit or into the tornado. You're not only more likely to hit the tornado as you eliminated most directions, but if you miss they will be closer to you because of dodging. QQ at an angle covers more area of effect than a QQ in a straight line, depending on the circumstance. When aiming Q and QQ, aim for the feet, that's where the hitbox begins. The faster you spam the Q button, the better chance you have of using it the moment it comes off cooldown, which technically means that the faster you press the more damage you deal. A long range QQ gives you more time to deal damage. You can technically get more damage in when hitting a long range QQ by walking right after QQ-ing, then E+Flash Autoing them before following up with an EQ+R combo on them. But this combo is seemingly never worth doing. If a teammate stuns or knocks up an enemy, you can follow up the stun or knockup with your own tornado to chain them. If they still aren't easily killable by your walk up Q+E+Auto you can then use R. This doesn't work for your own knockups, but when your teammates knock an enemy up, you can use Q right before ulting and the Q will deal damage where you ult. Same thing for QQ, you can throw it in a direction before ulting the teammate's knockup and the QQ will teleport with you with the same trajectory thrown. This can be used to hit multiple other enemies while ulting somebody. You can also do E+QQ before R-ing your teamate's R and the knockup technically goes off, which can hit enemies around the enemy you're ulted if they're not in the air already and knock them up. When you use Q, there's a small moment before Q's damage happens. The same way QQ needs to charge up, Q needs to to, albeit faster. You can use Flash at the end of Q to blink the Q damage forward, which extends it. This is a combo you should only use when you can't use your E to gapclose the enemy and you have no other ways of killing them. Here's what the combo looks like: Q+Flash. As said earlier, Q+Auto Attack executed at the same time makes a very fast combination of the two. If you pair this with flash and ignite, you have the fastest burst combo that Yasuo has: Ready a Q charge+Ready an E+When Q comes up, use Q, aiming at target who is in AA range+Preemtively charge Auto Attack by right clicking the same target+Flash before Q damage goes off+Ignite. Right after the auto attack goes off, you can do an instant EE (second E has more damage than first E, I call this EE) that cancels your auto attack animation and if they aren't dead yet and haven't flashed yet you will be able to do one more auto before having a small opening to use the QQ tornado you now have. The usage of this depends on if you can survive the turret while throwing the last tornado. This combo deals more damage than EQQ (EQQ+F+stun them)+AA+AA, because the times this combo is the most useful is during early game, meaning the attack speed will not be enough for even an E+earlyQQ be enough for Q to come up in time for an auto Q auto after the knockup. Also, this combo tends to happen pro level 6 making the E+QQ+F combo even less good. If you flash during QQ (QQ+F), the trajectory of the QQ remains the same despite being blinked forwards. This can be used to get some interesting instant QQ trajectories. An example where this can beu seful: If somebody is chasing you and you're chasing somebody else and are barely not in meelee range to them, you can direct a QQ backwards towards the enemies chasing you+Flash in front of the enemy that is running from you and hit the person running from you with the beginning of the tornado while also hitting the enemies chasing you, hitting everybody. It looks like this: Press QQ aiming backwards, flash forwards in front of the person running and it can hit everybody. Q and QQ can be used at the same time as Wind Wall. For maximum Q proficiency during laning phase, always use Q when it is up, always throw QQ when it comes up. Some times you can't QQ minions to retain a freeze but still, the concept is there. Q can be used over a wall on jungle camps to charge up an additional Q. You can do this during down time whenever you get the chance and can't do it on minions and you will constantly have tornadoes. If you have vamp healing from let's say Vampiric Scepter, during downtime, you can go to jungle camps and Q them, then kite them and Q them. Keep following and kiting without being touched and keep Q-ing. When it resets you can return and start over. Basically a way to heal to full HP. Yasuo tends to deal more damage versus many non-bruiser enemies in a straight up even in gold fight without minions if he is in attack range (which is why people think he's broken.) But keep in mind that as Yasuo's only damage happens when he is in Q range of the enemy, as his entire kit only deals damage in that range, even his QQ. Well, when nothing is there to use Q on, which you can't bet on having and is unreliable to get. Without minions to dash through or things to get QQs/tornadoes from, Yasuo is slower than every single other champion in the game after boots upgrade, as they all have movement granting/reducing/denying options outside of minions. Because of this, the damage Yasuo can deal to you is cut down significantly if not entirely if he has no gapclosers. This is another reason why you don't go ignite versus a champion like Veigar. Because if they allow you to be on them in the first place without their tower, they are likely dead. And with their tower you couldn't kill them with ignite anyways if they played right. But yeah, this is also why R is so insanely unexpectedly strong for Yasuo. Its not the damage from the R that is good, it is the damage you are allowed to deal once you use the R that is so significant. People can easily avoid Yasuo QQ range entirely with enough awareness and skill. But that is why engager champions with knockups can be so essential for Yasuo to be able to do anything in some games. Once he is on them he can start using his own tornado knockups to keep up. Teammates with knockup/catchup are insanely good for Yasuo). As mentioned earlier, Yasuo is desperately in need of gapclosers, as his entire kit worth of damage is only at a short range. And when he has no minions he is like a fish out of water. Like a Rengar without bushes. Like an ADC in 2021 (queue laugh track). Therefore he needs to use his next best form of gapclosing: QQ. The knockup from his tornado can be just what he needs to get within' dash/flash dash range of the enemy he needs to gapclose. But as I will explain, using R when you could have used E to reach your enemy, is a waste of a gapcloser if you don't intend to burst or have armor penetration for the enemy. The point is, you need to be conservative about when you use your QQ. It might be more worth to wait until you have no more dashes/ways to stick on them left before you utilize it, or you make sure you have a QQ at the right moment. If you hit that QQ and are not in range for damage, that's what you save your R for (instead of simply dealing damage on the spot). After that you can get at least 1 more knockup from Q-ing them off if they don't flash it, which is basically how Yasuo sticks on to enemies without being kited, when away from minions. When going for cs, you can some times use your QQ to aim for the enemy and the cs at the same time instead of autoing. Some times a Q without auto is better than the full damage Q+AA combo. The more HP you save during trades, the better if you want to play safe. While spacing an enemy, you can walk behind a minion with an E direction that would go the same direction as the enemy walk back direction, and you can E into max range Q for unexpected poke range. E into normal Q has amazing range and is unexpected. Time Q for right after E ends. You can hide the QQ animation slightly by autoing while throwing it. Yasuo is extra vulnerable after using QQ. Be sure to keep that in mind before using it. Enemy matchups like Katarina will know this and can simply E behind you once they see the startup animation, granting them the kill potential you had before using the QQ. For best possible odds of hitting a tornado, stand as close to the enemy as possible and shoot towards the direction they need to run away from you and somewhat where they need to go to dodge. You almost can't miss these. And if you do, its because the enemy is already dodging too much to escape. So it’s a win win if you can afford going deep enough to do it. If you can hit a free skillshot tornado instead of using E, it is a better form of gapclosing than E. And gapclosing is essential to maximize, as its basically a free flash. However, choose to use E on the enemy instead of minions to gapclose if it is not a long trade. Yasuo can deal significant harass damage (dealing damage without taking any damage) by using tornado, then dashing in to attack in the small window of them being knocked up. If Yasuo knows he won't be in range for an auto attack after using Q because of either a tower or their teammates that would kill or deal damage to make him need to recall, he should go for auto attack first into Q, since auto attack has shorter range than Q. While fighting an enemy you know you're going to kill and you want to shove the lane in (shove = killing all enemy minions in the lane as fast as possible) after the kill, you can use E+Q instead of the common E+AA+Q to deal more damage to more minions while fighting, if your Q angle is too bad to hit the minions if doing the most damage combo. It deals less DPS but it saves significant extra time when pushing in the lane after and the enemy loses more CS and EXP.
As of patch 12.4, Wind Wall is currently glitched, where some abilities go through or crash on it. Patch 12.6: Not sure, but it is not widely mentioned if it was patched. Wind Wall can be used during E, but doing that only works after using Q. So if you instantly use Q after E you can get a really fast Wind Wall. This can be used to instantly block things like Ahri charm and lux Q if you have good reaction time. When using Wind Wall, Yasuo does an animation for making the Wind Wall. If you throw a tornado during this animation, the animation before throwing the tornado will be hidden. This can be used to catch people off guard, but its often at the cost of your Wind Wall. As long as E+Q is a component in a combo, you can use Wind Wall during it. This can come in handy but can be hard to execute. Think about if you want to use Wind Wall on yourself or if you want to use it on a team mate. It can easily save their lives if used right. If a team mate is dying to a ranged enemy you can flash Wind Wall them to block the enemy projectile before it hits your teammate. I have often saved lives doing this. During teamfights is when Yasuo's windwall can truly shine. It can basically block every single enemy ability for a time if used in a chokepoint and they are ranged enemies with projectiles. You can use this after a few seconds of the teamfights when your enemies decide to use their main abilities, and you can practically flip the entire teamfight and thus the game with that. When you are not the main carry of the team, focus more on using windwall for your carries. You know how good it is for yourself, so you can only imagine how good it is for an even squishier character than you who has even more dps. You can hold your windwall until the middle of the fight to bait your enemy/enemies to think they can fight you instead of running away. Imagine being taken down to 100-200 HP left and they think you're about to die and go even closer in range to kill you, just for you to dash towards them and remain within both the range of them and your windwall protection. Using this coupled with the tornado you're saving for after the windwall. Into your ult that stuns them even more. You can basically deal an entire champion's hp worth of damage while remaining at 100-200hp the entire time. There are so many factors here that bait the enemies. Your shieldbow popping, giving a passive shield coupled with a huge damage surge during this period, your passive shield returning, your lethal tempo/conq reaching max stacks, your windwall blocking most if not all of their damage for a bit, your second passive shield that you get when using R since R refreshes it. And since all of these things keep Yasuo at 100-200 HP, Yasuo gets to have last stand on top of that for just literally another additional amplified damage bonus. When going up against enemies who aren't affected by your Wind Wall, like meelee characters, consider if you need to level Wind Wall at all and instead level Q and E. Keep in mind that you're inherently weaker than most other champions that have three abilities while you only have two. So you need to play smart about it to compensate, like kiting with Q and E if they fight you in a minion wave. Even this doesn't work often, though. Wind Wall can block a lot of unexpected things, like: Fiora W, Lillia R, Sylas R steal, Vel'Koz E, Zilian Q, Soraka E, Qiyana R startup, Cassiopia W, Irelia E, Illaoi E, Zac Q, Diana W, Camille E, Swain R, Nami Q and Ziggs E. This is more common knowledge, but Wind Wall grants vision. Use this if you hit somebody with a QQ over a wall and don't have a ward to get vision for your R, since R needs vision to work on knocked up enemies. Also, use this to get vision on the enemy for you to use E on them over the wall. For a very brief moment after using Wind Wall, its hitbox covers the middle of your body. So, in theory, because the hitbox of Wind Wall is just a straight line across your body for a brief moment, if you use the spell sideways, you can block spells coming towards with the corners of the windwall for a brief moment if timed correctly, possibly blocking projectiles from every angle except for behind you if timed right. Enemies often want to go behind your windwall to reach you. So in a way you can control where the enemy goes for a moment. Use this to your advantage, like when baiting for a gank. Or when fighting enemies in a teamfight before your team uses AOE spells. Good ranged players (with the kit to do it) will try to get around your windwall by going around it and shooting you with auto attacks at the side of your windwall. However, since their auto attack takes a short duration of traveling to reach you, you have a time window where you can choose to not be inside your windwall at the time they auto attack you, then walking in a way that your windwall blocks the auto attack last second. Same works for any spell that takes a bit to reach you, like Annie Q, Vayne E, etc.
When you do E+Q, the faster you press Q right after E, the faster that Q comes on cooldown. Later on, you can do the combo: E+QQ+Auto Attack+EQ+Auto Attack+EQ+Auto Attack+EQQ, Etc. the attack speed is so low that it allows a combo like that. Every auto attack is shortened by E, while every Q is shortened by being pressed right after E. Also, when doing E+Q, your Q doesn't even need to be done being on cooldown yet for the E+Q to work. If you do E+Q while your Q is at around 0.6 seconds remaining before it is back, it will actually automatically refresh. This is an intended mechanic that is well known. And it is really useful for getting that little extra needed for good combos to happen. With that in mind, when you do E+QQ+F, it can be done even faster. If you right click the ground in between each E, the Es refresh faster and you go faster. It is generally good to reposition inbetween each E anyways for a straight line. Try to have as many directions to E to as possible at the same time to keep your enemies on your toes. You can basically dash anywhere if you are in a position like that and are hard to predict. The direction of your E is sharper the closer you are to the target you're E-ing. You can wiggle in front of the target before using E to make it hard to predict which line you're taking with E. Being behind a minion or target is basically a constant reminder to the enemy that you can E to them at any moment. It keeps them on their toes at all times. The more you pressure using E the better. People will have a harder time predicting skillshots on you when you do this a lot. Another advantage with excerting the constant possibility of dashing on to the laner, is that the enemy jungle will feel like you can go in at any moment (granted Yasuos tend to go in when they have a freeze). In any case, literally just being Yasuo and existing while pressuring using E will bait the jungle. Pair that with being mastery level 7 with a bunch of mastery points with a really expensive latest skin with a cool border and I can guarantee that the enemy jungle will already hate you with all their guts. It might sound like a bad thing, but think of it this way: you get to bait their jungler and waste their time by simply existing. It is great. Same goes for when you're splitting in a lane alone. Statistics show that Yasuo mains are are 3 times more likely to be attacked by more than 3 enemies in the lane they're pushing than any other main in the game. Why? Because everybody hates Yasuo mains. So go recall when everybody comes top and voila, you distracted 3 people. During dashing towards an enemy, you can choose to suddenly stop dashing before continuing. This can throw off the timing of enemies if they have any spells to hit. For optimizing damage, dashing right after Auto Attacking to cancel the auto attack animation provides a lot more dps when you do it consistently. This is mostly to be used on clearing waves, but can be done on players too, its just harder to stay on them while you're doing int. Always strive to use E instead of Flash when you have the chance and know its possible. Using Flash when you could have just dashed as Yasuo is a shame to see. Even when its flashy. In between each Auto Attack, you can reposition yourself in a way that you can instantly use E on a minion when you're out of auto attack range. This way you avoid needing to use E on the enemy. Avoid using E on the enemy at all costs before it is abslutely necessary. You're basically giving up a free dash if you use it on the enemy. It is possible to use E on the enemy if you know you can stay in range to them long enough to get another E when it refreshes. Some times you can just spam E a lot. It makes it very hard to hit you and even to target your character model with their mouse, its like an exhaggerated version of walking back and fourth to be unpredictable. A method of dealing damage, is to spam E, and only using EQ for damage without any auto attacks or Qs. Only EQs. I'm not sure how reliable it is but you certainly become ridiculously hard to hit. The only downside is that you need a sea of minions to do it, and most decent players simply just avoid the minion wave and Yasuo can't reach them, as that's his only way of moving. You can use E to dash over most walls that there are jungle camps to dash through with. As long as you align the line of the E to be directly facing towards the wall and you're close enough you can make it over. There are videos that highlight every wall you can jump over with Yasuo. My favourite camps are the raptor camps. Good wall jumps can really catch people off guard and get you out of a pickle. The only issue with wall jumps is how random it can be when there are camps available to utilize. The easiest camp to learn has to be the Gromps. Using E on a minion that has many minions next to it can make you dash just a little bit further forwards, because there is no space to stand right on the minion pile. Try to use your E mobility to divide your enemies, allowing you to only fight one at a time as much as you can. You can also use EQs, QQs and Qs while using the E mobility to kite them as long as you can. You probably don't want to try to be in this spot in the first place though, as this strategy isn't always reliable. Yasuo can E forwards. He can E sideways. He can E backwards after he has E-d forwards. But he can not E backwards beyond that. Yasuo is practically an immobile mage if he has no minions to E backwards with. He is like a fish out of water. He is completely screwed by kiting champions in this position. Only difference is he can only deal damage at a long range. Try avoiding putting yourself in a vulnerable position like that without knowing exactly where the enemies are and if your jungle is backing you up. This is the reason why a challenger Yasuo player said that they go Yone instead of Yasuo when the team has no knockups. Because the knockup can often be a necessary tool required for ever getting close to their targets without being kited and walked away from to oblivion. It is possible for Yasuo to Auto Attack + Q an enemy while standing in turret range, then to use Sweeping Blade to dash out before the turret shoots him. This is a fantastic way of poking somebody under tower the same way a ranged champion would. However, it is required that you time the attacks to happen the moment after the tower shoots a missile at a minion. This way it spends the most time possible before redirecting to you. Yasuo can be a jungler and use raptors and a charged up tornado Q to basically jump the wall and use the slow pushing wave of the enemy midlaner mage to go right up to them and knock them up. Then kill them. If they flash away you can use the incoming wave to dash to them even more. This technique really tends to work most of the times I do it when I play jungle Yasuo. When playing Yasuo, you need to play around when minion waves arrive. Optimally, if they have a slow push going on (or you have a freeze), you should look to begin the fight right before the next enemy wave arrives. If timed correctly, you force them to need to go away from their tower to their jungler who is waiting in the bush to avoid you. (because the jungler is always in the bush when Yasuo has slow push coming towards him, remember the whole baiting thing?). While dashing through minions, besides just stopping up to be unpredictable, you can vary the directions you dash easily by moving a little bit. There is a huge amount of potential in the flexibility provided by dashing through very close targets. While dashing with Sweeping Blade, you can actually use Flash to rush the Sweeping Blade. If you use Sweeping Blade on an enemy within' and flash on to them right after, the Sweeping Blade damage will still happen, but it will happen instantly. Combine that with the good old Auto+Q+Ignite+Auto, you can get even more burst. This combo is mostly useless because to get into their range to Sweeping Blade you often need to go under their turret. Instead of just flashing and then Sweeping Blade-ing as mentioned in the which is the option with more reach. If you press E on an enemy who is within' the range of your Flash+E range, you will instantly use E onto the targetted enemy. You can combine Flash+E with Q and turn it into Flash+EQ for an instant EQ on top of the enemy. It is always smart to have a Q ready before going in or simply just a QQ, because QQ is a very important gapcloser. Or you can Flash+EQQ. As said in the Wind Wall section, you can use windwall during this combo, so it becomes Pre E+Flash+Q the moment E begins+W in the direction you want. by using this combo, you can have a very quick method of directing your Wind Wall at a chosen area. This can be super helpful for saving your teammates, by shielding them with the windwall. By doing E+Fast Q+Flash, you can reposition the EQ circle to where the flash goes. This can reach surprisingly far if you time it correctly. The cool thing is, that this move is only as slow as you can press your Q and Flash after E. This is one of the most common combos to be considered "Flashy" in the Yasuo community. You can E+Q to make a really fast EQ, and that can provide you with a tornado that can kill. The cool part happens when you do the EQQ+F combo. This is one of the more useful flash combos. You can basically reposition a circle knockup at quite a huge range, because we're talking the E range plus the F range. Oh, and as explained before, the faster you press QQ after E, the earlier the Q will begin refreshing. The trick here is, that you wait for your E to end, because you still get your QQ when you flash. But when the QQ happens, you will pretty much immediately have another Q, because of how you delay the QQ with E by flashing at the last possible moment of E. Use this combo to catch multiple players in a huge wombo combo ultie set up by yourself. It is a very conditional thing to successfully pull off, but its a thing. I need to mention, that QQ is slower than E+QQ because of the QQ animation, but E+QQ is slower than doing E+QQ+F. So you basically remove the a majority of the QQ delay. This is why Yasuos sometimes reposition their E+QQ for seemingly no reason some times. How the full combo chain with the ultie and everything around it would go, is this: You need to have reached around attack speed cap on Q for this (1.33): E(instant)QQ on a target+Flash at the end of E, aiming to reposition it on targets+They're knocked up+Auto Attack+Auto Attack+EQ+R+Auto Attack+EQ+then aim to get the last QQ tornado off after auto attacking. You can also switch this chain up, by flash engaging without QQ but with a preemtively charged Q, meaning the next Q provides a QQ happening. So it can be like this: EQ+F+Auto Attack+EQQ+You hit the EQQ and They're knocked up+Auto Attack+Auto Attack+EQ+R+Auto Attack+Q+Auto Attack+QQ, etc. So. with the windwall, the combo becomes this: Q. E+QW+F+AA+EQQ+AA+EQ+R+AA+AA+EQ. Etc. I actually got highlighted on a huge youtube channel video doing this combo, it was pretty awesome. Here's how that looked: https://youtu.be/T26tMx3C74k . In this clip I also utilized the E+Q dashing method for dodging things that is mentioned earlier here. Not to mention the E+Q fast reset mechanic. Another combo that is similar but deals more damage in its on regard. I think this combo might be whats best to do before you get full attack speed, I can't remember, but it goes like this: You hit the enemy with a tornado. But instead of doing EQ+R as follow up, you just do this: E to them, Auto Attack, Simply press R, After R you Auto Attack+Q at the same into another Auto Attack. This actually deals more damage than EQR in this situation. Interestingly, if you do EQ before R, you are stunned for longer after the ult, and you can't do the Auto Attack+Q+Auto Attack chain. You can only auto attack after a longer delay. Here's the combo again: QQ+AA+R+AAQAA+E. Another combo: Flex kill: QQ nado+Recall animation+EF to something+QR. Its a very impressive combo that is also completely unecessary. You should probably flash your mastery points during the entirety of this one. You can cancel your E by flashing. You can do this: E+EF+AAQAAIgnite+EQ+AA. Well, you'd need at least 1.33 cap for the last EQ, but yeah. You can use minion camps and walls to extend the range of your dashes immensely. This is good for catching people off guard and extending gapclosing. Another combo: There are 2 enemies seperated apart and no minions: QQ target furthest away+F+AA the closer target while furthest away target is still in the air, EQ close target+R over to far away target, kill far away target. This combo might sound like a ridiculous waste of flash. But it really boosts the damage. They get an additional auto and E+Q. Which means they'll stack their next QQ after the ult, which is basically a second gapcloser after R. Which means much more damage. If they hadn't used flash E they would have much less damage. And the flash technically becomes a second flash because of the new gapcloser if Yasuo can hit it. It is possible to do a ridiculous amounts of E+Qs in a row in the span of like 2 seconds by maxing out attack speed. There's this korean clip. But it is more of a joke because it isn't replicatable in a normal game, and the damage isn't worth it if it was. You can use E on champions when they're chasing you to go through walls if they place themselves incorrectly. I have been saved from my bad map awareness countless times because of this trick. As moving any distance builds flow, that's a good incentive for you to spam E around like a maniac. Only use E to gapclose/stay on the enemy when you can't do it in any other way (except for flash), like hitting tornadoes that helps you walk up to them, using R on knockup, a teammate slowing them, literally just walking to stay in range and Lethal Tempo range. Niche situations: if you need to, you can significantly extend your QQ range by using flash over walls that make flash go much further. This makes your tornado or Q pretty much blink to your new location. Yasuo can deal significant harass damage (dealing damage without taking any damage) by using tornado, then dashing in to attack in the small window of them being knocked up. E can be used over small walls for additional reach that can easily surprise enemies. Something to take specific note of is turrets and the inhibitors. Yasuo can walldash all of them by using correct angles. This can be a surprise to enemies. Especially if you use an enemy champion you're killing to do it.
E+Q+R is the standard R combo. It requires correct timing and usage of spells to work. This combo is mentioned in the other spells, because R is a very common part of most combos. When you R somebody, Yasuo will blink to the other side of that person. Knowing this, you can reposition yourself before using R to put yourself in an advantageous position. For example, you position your ult to place yourself between the enemy's exit and them, forcing them to walk through you. You can intentionally dash through the enemy while they're knocked up to reposition your ult to end up on the chosen side. R, or Last Breath, if used on an enemy that is inside of turret range, will reposition you outside of that range if possible. Besides the obvious way of using this, which is just to use R mindlessly, you can utilize this in another useful way. If the enemy is low on health and is hiding behind their tower in midlane, if you hit a QQ on them, you can use R and it will actually reposition you outside of the turret range behind the turret. You basically get a free kill despite it being between two of the enemy's turrets and in their jungle. The only problem with this method is that their jungler can easily pick you off if they're around and you're low on resources. When multiple enemies are in the air, if you press R closer to you the front 2 are ulted, if you press R away from you the back 2 are ulted, but if you press in the exact middle of everybody in the air, you will ult everybody. Ulting more than two people at the same time is basically a wombo combo. You want to get that kind of ult, but realistically you should be fine with ulting one person. Because you're likely not getting another knockup in that fight unless your team is really good for Yasuo. Yasuo relies heavily on gapclosers to be able to do even a little bit of damage to anybody, since his entire kit worth of damage is in meelee range. People who are good at the game will know exactly how to kite him no matter where he is, and if they are good they will avoid his minions, his main form of gapclosing. This is why Yasuo relies so heavily on having teammates that can knock up for him. Once somebody has knocked an enemy up for Yasuo, Yasuo gets a free access card of a gap closer with R, and can follow up with his own QQs to stay on his enemies now that he's in range of them. Most R combos have already been mentioned in the other abilities. Using R provides a free shield by maximizing flow. So, optimally, Yasuo wants to have as little flow as possible when using R, implying his recent shield passive was just used. This way he gets double the shielding. Try to avoid using your R until it is absolutely necessary during a fight where you will probably encounter more than one person than the person you're already dealing with. R is such a valuable gapcloser and shield/damage provider that it is important to save for those reasons. However, some times it is just better to use it right away if you think it will take out a big portion of their damage. It really depends. You can use the knockup that the dragon does against the enemy team to your avantage and ult it. Same goes for Rift Herald when it is crashing into a tower. If somebody doesn't avoid the knockback, you get a free ultimate opportunity. Right after R is over you can do an instant QF for a surprise attack that is hard to predict. You can use R to instantly blink out of turret range. If you time your approach and R placement right (for the moment the turret attacks a minion), (and the enemy is mispositioned to let you R out of turret range), you can dive and even get this full combo: As turret begins shooting minion: Ignite+E+AA+QQ and walk out of turret range cause its killed the minion now+R to the other side of the turret range+AA+Q damage burst off without even taking a single turret shot. But keep in mind, it is a bad idea to tower dive if an enemy jungler you can't duel afterwards is nearby, since it provides the enemy laner with assist gold. But you can argue that if you push out the wave before the enemy wave arrives before killing and dying, the Gold+EXP and frozen lane state from the CS your opposing laner is worth it. If you know you kill the enemy with an Auto Attack after your R, it is better to use your Auto Attack instead of your Q. Because the enemy might want to flash away after your R, and your Auto Attack will still kill them, while your Q will not. In other cases, using Auto Attack first after R can generally be better if the enemy goes out of your auto AA range to somewhere that can't gapclose to. By looking at your HP and situation, you can sacrifice HP by not using your R (and then taking more damage from the enemy cause of the extended fight from not killing them as fast with R). If you figure you'd rather have R up over HP. Depends on the situation.
Since flow is distance travelled-based, if your flow bar is almost full but you're about to die and have nothing to dash to, it can unironically be optimal for you to flash the remaining distance just to get a passive shield to save your life. Using R provides a free shield by maximizing flow. So, optimally, Yasuo wants to have as little flow as possible when using R, implying his recent shield passive was just utilized. This way he gets double the shielding when he uses R. Coupled with Wind Wall, Shield Bow, Last Stand and Lethal tempo/Conqueror, Yasuo basically baits their enemy then dishes out a lot of damage while remaining at 100-200 hp. Utilizing the passive shield is a huge part of trading for Yasuo. Use it whenever you can. The fastest damage dealing trade for Yasuo is E in+AAQ(Q cancelling AA end lag)+E out. This is good because he can use it and not lose HP while doing it because it lasts just long enough for his shield to block most incoming damage (this fact varies a lot depending on who you're up against here though). If you're able to keep track of your own flow bar, you can intentionally bait people into fighting you right before you get the shield. People often fall for it. Or you can stall just a little bit before letting them hit you again when you get the shield up. Dashing around like a mad man with E will build up flow much faster. You can utilize the fact that you don't need mana to your advantage, but enemies with mana tend to have workarounds to avoid mana drawbacks. Another example of flow buildup: since flow is distance based, you could technically use a fire plant to get a quick passive shield up to potentially save your life.
As for matchups, I must admit that as a person with much time into the champion, knowing matchups still require me to know significantly more than just the champion. Something that challenger players can do better and more reliably than me. And they also have significantly more time spent figuring them out.
So, because of this, I can only do one thing: easily provide you with the knowledge of the challenger players. Linked below is the ultimate matchup spreadsheet for Yasuo in todays current meta and also in general. Provided to you by Tempest, a professional Yasuo player who happens to be famous in the Yasuo guide making world. I approve of this spreadsheet of matchups, as I generally agree with everything I know about it.
If you want to see how I play Yasuo, check out my twitch VODs, or catch me livestreaming. I work to successfully create funny and satirical comedy content where I also play Yasuo, feel free to check out my latest video!
I stream my life, cause why not. I'm pretty good at games and do my own design. I do what makes me happy. Stream company is nice: twitch.tv/zimited