Welcome to the League of Legends Spotlight, featuring Yasuo, the Unforgiven. Yasuo: Who says I can’t handle my drink? Yasuo is a melee fighter on the hunt for his Elder’s killer. The only swordsman in his generation to have perfected a legendary wind technique, Yasuo directs the currents themselves to dash through enemy front lines and nullify ranged threats. With zero-cost abilities and extremely low cooldowns, Yasuo thrives in extended teamfights and relies on his high mobility to engage and shred through his enemies. Yasuo’s passive, Way of the Wanderer, has two components. The first, Intent, doubles Yasuo’s critical strike chance, so building 50% crit on Yasuo means his attacks ALWAYS critically strike. The second component in Yasuo’s passive is Resolve. Yasuo’s resource bar, his flow, is replenished through MOVEMENT. The faster Yasuo moves, the faster he refills his flow. If Yasuo takes damage from enemy champions or neutral monsters while his flow bar is full, he converts his flow into a shield for a few seconds. Yasuo’s E – Sweeping Blade – affects several of his other abilities, so let’s start there. Sweeping Blade is a single target dash that damages and marks Yasuo’s enemy, signaling that he cannot dash to them again until the mark has dissipated. Sweeping Blade has a fixed distance, so if he’s standing close to his target, he’ll dash THROUGH it. Each successive cast deals increased damage up to a cap, so it’s advantageous to dash through several targets at a time to maximize your damage output. Unlike most dashes, Sweeping Blade can be interrupted by all crowd control effects. When caught overextending, Yasuo can use Sweeping Blade to dash through enemies towards the safety of his turret. Next up is Yasuo’s Q, Steel Tempest. After a brief channel, Yasuo thrusts his sword out in the direction of your cursor, damaging all enemy units hit. Steel Tempest functions as a basic attack, meaning Yasuo can crit with it, and he applies on-hit effects to the closest struck enemy. If Yasuo casts Steel Tempest three times in a row, his third cast sends out a long-range whirlwind that damages and knocks up all enemies in a line. In lane, Steel Tempest is Yasuo’s bread and butter ability. With its low cooldown, he can use his Q to last hit and harass as he builds stacks towards his whirlwind. By casting the ability so frequently, he’s able to use the knock-up to land extra attacks on Kha’Zix. Yasuo can also activate Steel Tempest while dashing with Sweeping Blade. When used mid-dash, the ability slashes all enemies immediately around him. If he dashes with Sweeping Blade while hitting his third Q, Yasuo also knocks them into the air. Wind Wall has a passive and active component. Passively, it increases the rate at which dashing replenishes Yasuo’s flow bar. Activating the ability instantly sends out a wall in a target direction that blocks all enemy projectiles for a few seconds, including ranged auto-attacks, skillshots and targeted abilities. The only projectiles that the wall DOESN’T stop are turret attacks. Still, Wind Wall is an extremely powerful ability with the potential to block tons of damage… when timed and positioned correctly. Cast Wind Wall behind you while retreating from ranged enemies to ensure a successful disengage. Yasuo’s ultimate is Last Breath, which has an enormous cast range, but can ONLY be used on airborne enemy champions. Activating Last Breath teleports Yasuo to his target, suspending them in mid-air briefly while he deals physical damage to them. After landing, Yasuo gains a huge, long-lasting armor penetration buff that affects enemy champion BONUS armor. There are two important aspects worth pointing out here. First, Last Breath suspends and strikes ALL airborne enemies in the area near Yasuo’s target. Second, Yasuo can capitalize on ANY knock-up ability with Last Breath, making him synergize extremely well with champions like Janna. Last Breath is an extremely powerful ability with the potential to turn the momentum of any fight. Here, Yasuo’s able to chain his ult with Malphite’s initiation to safeguard Sejuani’s retreat. Let’s have a look at a few of Yasuo’s ability combos before we get into gameplay. The first is a simple lane harass combo. After filling your Flow Bar, lead in with E to dash through the minion line and close the gap with your lane opponent. Land your Q – before dashing back through the minion wave, using your passive shield to help you win the trade. Next is an all-in kill combo. After priming your first Q on minions, use your E to close the gap – and strike again with a mid-dash Q, which guarantees a fully primed whirlwind. Continuing your pursuit, chain your whirlwind into your ultimate – before casting a final Q thanks to its low cooldown. This combo is especially effective mid-game to go in on your lane opponent. Once Yasuo’s passive shield has been popped, you have a short window of opportunity to trade with your opponents. Ranged champions can trigger the shield with relative ease before hitting you with hard hitting spells. Successful Yasuo players will be decisive and either trade back, or retreat before the shield expires. When entering a fight, look for opportunities to block off ranged enemies with Wind Wall while you pursue your target. With Ziggs out of the way, Yasuo tags Amumu with several Q’s as he waits for him to pass through the choke point leading back to mid lane. Once there, Yasuo can easily aim his whirlwind and secure the kill with Last Breath. The range on Yasuo’s whirlwind offers great re-engagement potential. After roaming bot for a seemingly unsuccessful gank, Yasuo readies his third Q before retreating. Seeing Jinx head back into lane, he quickly dashes through a minion to line up a long-range whirlwind and re-engage with Last Breath. By leveling up Steel Tempest and building attack speed, Yasuo’s able to stack his Q much faster through the ability’s reduced cast time and cooldown. Once Yasuo’s in range to land his first Q, his cast time is so low that he can essentially use the ability while moving, helping him keep up and secure the kill with his whirlwind. Yasuo gets the most from his ultimate when used early in teamfights. After successfully repositioning himself among the enemy squishies, Yasuo uses the huge armor penetration buff to significantly boost his damage through the course of the fight. Steel Tempest is on such a low cooldown that Yasuo can incorporate the ability into his standard attack pattern. While finishing off Garen, Yasuo uses Sweeping Blade to dodge Orianna’s ball before catching her with his second knock up. Had Yasuo used Wind Wall here to absorb Caitlyn’s attacks, he might have survived the fight and earned himself a pentakill. When building Yasuo, there are a few key stats that are central to his kit and playstyle: Movement Speed, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance and Defense. Critical Strike is doubly effective on Yasuo thanks to his passive, and Movement Speed lets him stick to enemies and refresh his shield more frequently. This makes Statikk Shiv a great early purchase, especially since Sweeping Blade refreshes the item’s charges. Attack Speed directly affects the cooldown and cast time of Steel Tempest, allowing him to use his whirlwind and combos earlier in fights. Finally, as attractive as high damage builds are, Yasuo absolutely needs defensive items to survive in the late game. A Randuin’s Omen or Banshee’s Veil helps Yasuo stick to his enemies while providing much needed durability. Thanks for tuning in to the Yasuo Champion Spotlight. 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