Yorick is having a renaissance in the League of Legends meta in Season 11. After his patch 11.7 buffs, players are taking the Shepherd of Souls back to the top lane with an interesting new Lethality build. Here’s why it’s so strong.
Yorick hasn’t really seen the light of day for some years in the League of Legends meta. Since his rework back in 2016, he hasn’t really been a prevalent pick.
His identity as a champion has been a weird fusion of split-push bruiser threat with the Maiden, while also being a teamfight drain tank. However, he’s been simply outclassed by others who do it better.
Now though, that’s all changing. After a hefty buff in League patch 11.7 that went largely unnoticed, Yorick is rising up the ranks. It’s not just in top lane too, with players taking the Shepherd of Souls into the jungle. Here’s why.
Why is Yorick so strong in League’s top lane and jungle?
Breaking down the patch 11.7 changes, there were two big buffs to Yorick. First, when a champion or large monster is marked by his Mourning Mist (E), they will continuously awaken nearby graves to summon his little ghouls while they are tagged.
This means as ghouls die, if you have graves around, they’ll spawn without you having to cast Q or E again. It’s very helpful in fights, especially once you have both spells on cooldown, to maximise your DPS (and your clear speed in the jungle).
The second is a buff to his E that doubles the damage his ghouls do to enemy champions and large monsters when they jump. It’s no small amount of damage, and with a full lethality build, can one-shot even decently tanky champions.
For those who want to abuse Yorick atm.
If you have cats nearby and you land E, as soon as they do their leap press R to spawn 4 new cats which will also leap and do the 200% dmg which will oneshot most mid/bot/supps lategame.
— Markus Tobin (@QuinncidenceLoL) April 2, 2021
These two changes in conjunction have made Yorick an absolute menace. His win rate and playrate have skyrocketed.
According to u.gg, the Shepherd of Souls’ winrate in top lane has jumped from 51.48% with a 2.1% pick rate on patch 11.6, to 54.97% with an 8.8% pick rate on patch 11.7.
His jungle win rate and play rate aren’t quite there yet, but with analysts like Nick ‘LS’ de Cesare putting the spotlight on his strong clear with the changes, it could just be a matter of time.
Lethality Yorick vs Bruiser Yorick: what’s stronger?
The big question on players’ lips is whether the new Lethality Yorick build is stronger than his current Bruiser build. The answer to that is… maybe.
There hasn’t been enough time to experiment with runes and builds with Lethality Yorick yet to make a perfect determination, but from the amount of Twitter clips floating around, it’s obviously strong.
Eclipse is the Mythic of choice for Lethality Yorick, as it amps his damage and sustain in duels. Items like Serylda’s Grudge, The Collector, Essence Reaver, Black Cleaver and Edge of Night only help to amp his sticking power and damage to reach that one-shot potential.
As for runes, Arcane Comet has been the go-to instead of Grasp of the Undying or Conqueror. It makes sense, with the mark being the primary source of damage. It’s no different to Comet on poke Malphite, for example. Running that with a bit of extra damage in Domination or utility in Inspiration is your best bet.
However, Bruiser Yorick is feeling the impact of the buffs just as hard. The regular build of Divine Sunderer into Sterak’s Gage is still tip-top. Rounding out the build with Titanic Hydra, Dead Man’s Plate, and Spirit Visage still hits hard, with more tankiness than full Lethality.
Then, with Grasp of the Undying in your runes with Inspiration secondary, you should be able to get through the laning phase in most matchups by just outpoking and sustaining your opponent.
All you have to remember is the combo. Once you have three graves, you lift your ghouls up with your Q or E and mark them. Then, you cast your ultimate while the enemy is still marked, and that’ll finish the job. There is literally no counterplay.
Opinion: Riot should hotfix Yorick’s patch 11.7 buffs
One thing is for sure: Riot went a bit too far with these Yorick buffs. He is incredibly strong right now, and it’s only a matter of time until the player base catches up on these patch 11.7 changes.
Once they do, it’s likely Yorick will skyrocket to the top of every tier list. He does too much damage with too few shortcomings. He’s the ultimate split pushing threat, and he can nuke carries with a well-placed E in a teamfight.
Plus, in the jungle, his clear speed is ridiculously fast, and there’s almost no way to escape his ganks between his E slow and W trap. Did we also mention the ability to solo Baron at 20 minutes with Maiden? Because he can do that too.
Yorick is too strong right now, and in solo queue you should abuse him. However, don’t be surprised if a revert is on the way in the coming updates.