Yasuo Analysis by Chauster

 

There has been lots of discussion about the new champion Yasuo. During the first week of release, players saw a win rate of under 40% throughout all divisions. Yasuo was not getting any love. Was it true that a champion with double crit % rate was going to fall under the radar?

Before actually playing Yasuo, I saw him in a few games of ranked solo queue. Yasuo never did anything. In fact, every game I saw a Yasuo, the team with Yasuo managed to lose the game. I found this odd because I managed to play so many games without seeing a Yasuo do anything impressive. Normally you only see a champion fail a certain number of times before you see their potential. With Yasuo, that did not matter. Losses were all that happened. Personally, I felt like Yasuo had potential from just laning against one as Zed. I was unable to do anything and was saved in lane by my jungler. If you can bully someone in laning phase, you should definitely be able to snowball that into something bigger. I set out to test Yasuo for myself. I smurfed from Silver to Diamond in order to test out the potential of Yasuo. Seeing as his passive was double crit %, I saw no reason to ever not built crit of Yasuo. If you are to build non crit items on Yasuo, chances are you should have been playing another champion to begin with.

Early game:

Many people talk about Yasuo’s weak early laning phase. I feel like this is incredibly misleading because he does not feel weak at all. In the mid lane, Yasuo is one of the strongest laners against orthodox AP mid laners. He also does incredibly well against Zed. Top lane Yasuo can run into some problems when laning against melee bruisers, but even then he can itemize to do well against them. The only problem Yasuo has with the early game is that his build path has to be good enough to transition him from doran blades to a complete Statikk Shiv. This can be remedied by buying an addtional doran blade into 2 brawlers gloves which puts him at 32% crit (or 42% crit with 5% crit from runes) for a big boost in laning power before completing shiv.

Mid game:

Yasuo mid game is ridiculous. The moment Yasuo obtains Statikk Shiv (roughly 10-14 minutes in the game depending how farmed you are) he becomes a monster in both lane and in skirmishes. His Steel Tempest (Q) becomes much more fluid and can also proc static charges. This pretty much means that Yasuo will be able to do almost 400 dmg worth of burst from one Steel Tempest active. The basic strategy of crushing lane would now be to go in once or twice and get some good damage off before committing to an all in. If you get one or two Steel Tempest + Static Charge procs while poking, going all in pretty much ensures at least two more Static Charge procs which will easily kill someone at the 15 minute mark.

Late game:

Yasuo’s late game is among the strongest of all melee DPS characters at the moment. Upon completing Infinity Edge, Yasuo now has 90% crit (100% if you have 5% crit from runes-recommended). Any character based on firing projectiles will now be at the mercy of Yasuo. AD carries have no chance as Yasuo has both Wind wall and a knockup to stop incoming damage. Melee bruisers without hard gap close/CC will also be kited for days from Yasuo as he can constantly run away while poking with Steel Tempest. Kiting and dashing through targets with Sweeping Blade all synergize with Yasuo’s passive, allowing him to regenerate his shield in the middle of skirmishes and team fights as well.

Competitive play:

Yasuo’s ability to annihilate ranged carries and deal massive damage is just half of the reasons Yasuo will be viable in competitive play. The other half will be because Yasuo’s ultimate functions as the cheapest gap closer in the game. Although you need a set up for Yasuo to utilize his ultimate to gap close, the set-ups are too easy and too faceroll to not coordinate in competitive play. All that is needed is for a Malphite or an Alistar to pop up the back line and for Yasuo to be near the vicinity. Now all Yasuo has to do is cast Last Breath and whoever Alistar or Malphite chose to knock up is now dead as a melee assassin just got past the front line without having to do anything.

Conclusions:

Yasuo is a great champion. He functions well as a mid laner, and scales incredibly well throughout the game. Late game, he can kill all ranged carries with ease. The roughest point in the game for Yasuo is building Statikk Shiv. Yasuo is also viable in competitive play as he provides one of the easiest ways to assassinate the backline in team fights. The skill ceiling needed to play Yasuo optimally is incredibly high, and that is the reason why so many have failed in finding out Yasuo’s potential. I predict that he will become much more popular in the weeks to come.

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by Steve Chau, on December 27, 2013