Waiting For Cooldowns 7: The 3.14 Patch, Yasuo and Snowdown
What’s up guys? Martin ‘Hutch The Clutch’ Hutchison here with another Waiting for Cooldowns for you all! This is the first WFC I’ve written during the most recent 3.14 patch, so I’ll be talking a little about that but most of all, I’ll be discussing the new Champion on his way to the Fields of Justice, Yasuo. But first, it’s time for the ABCs of LoL!
F is for…Fratmog! This is one of the more unusual things to make it’s way onto the ABCs of LoL so far, but it’s a build that I really like. It’s shortened from Atma’s Impaler, Frozen Mallet and Warmog’s Armour. These are three items that go really well on a very tanky bruiser, and have amazing synergy with each other. At the core of the item is Atma’s Impaler, a Legendary tier item that grants Armour and Critical Strike Chance. It’s true strength lies in it’s passive, which reads “You gain Attack Damage equal to 1.5% of your Maximum health.” As you stack health, you steadily gain more and more AD from Atma’s. And that’s where Warmog’s comes in. Warmog’s is a great item for any tank, as it gives you 1000 HP and massive Health Regen equal to 1% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. Rounding up the build is Frozen Mallet, which gives 700 Health, 30 AD and a passive that slows your opponent on every basic attack. It’s pretty easy to see the great synergy between the three items, and it’s a terrifying combo in the hands of a skilled bruiser.
Let’s talk about Yasuo!
Yasuo, the Unforgiven, is due to be the first Champion released into the 3.14 patch and, considering that the most recent Champion to hit the League was Jinx, he has some big boots to fill. I doubt Riot will market him quite as intensively, but they don’t need to. The League community is already abuzz about this guy. He’s an honest-to-goodness Ronin, fleeing his past, and a crime he didn’t commit. A Samurai who uses an ancient Wind technique, he’s being touted as a mid laner with a relatively weak early game phase. Aesthetically, he looks pretty badass. He’s got a really cool rogue wanderer vibe going. Also, Yasuo wields an epic long blade, which actually gives him an edge in combat; Yasuo has one of the longest range Melee auto attacks in the game at 175.
On to his abilities! Now, please keep in mind that Yasuo is still on the Public Beta Environment. Anything and everything about the Champion could still change before he sees release.
Yasuo’s passive is called Way of the Wanderer. There are two sides to Way of the Wanderer; Intent and Resolve. Intent doubles Yasuo’s critical strike chance(We’ll reassess this while looking at builds) while Resolve allows him to generate a unique resource, Flow, while he moves. His maximum Flow increases every level, and he generates it faster the higher his move speed is. When Yasuo’s flow is full, he consumes it all to generate a Shield equal to the Flow he consumed the first time he’s hit by a Champion or Monster. It seems like this would make him a relatively effective Jungler, as he’d easily generate Flow when moving from camp to camp.
Our first active is Steel Tempest at Q. First of all, Steel Tempest has an interesting Cooldown. The cooldown is static, at 6/5.5/5/4.5/4 seconds, but can be reduced by Attack Speed, but not by traditional cooldown reduction. Coupled with his passive, this makes items like Phantom Dancer or Statikk Shiv seem really strong on him. Casting Steel Tempest consecutively will form a chain. The first and second time, Yasuo thrusts out his sword, damaging all enemies in the line it hits. The line is 475 units long, which makes it great for harassing champions, especially Melee ones. The third cast sends out a whirlwind, damaging and knocking all enemies caught in it’s 900-unit line up into the air, and resetting the chain. It’s damage isn’t great, but it scales with 100% of your total, not bonus, AD, so it can get pretty high considering it’s short cooldown.
Wind Wall is Yasuo’s W, and this is the ability that has everybody up in arms. Passively, it allows Yasuo to generate a percentage of his Flow every time he uses Sweeping Blade(E) or Last Breath(R). But it’s the active that’s just plain ridiculous. He generates a wall of wind that slowly moves forward, and blocks all enemy projectiles. Yes, you read that right. All. Enemy. Projectiles. I’ve included a video where Yasuo uses it to block Five, count them, Five enemy Ultimates. It doesn’t have much of a cast time, and it can be used while you’re moving without stopping you. It seems like a pretty ridiculous ability, but I guess it’s all about timing.
Moving on, Yasuo’s E is called Sweeping Blade. This is a great piece of kit that, if utilized properly, could make him one of the most mobile champions in the League. Upon using it, you dash to your target enemy, marking them and dealing magic damage. Each cast of Sweeping Blade increased the damage by 25%, up to +100%, but it scales off AP and not AD, so I don’t see it’s damage being much of an issue. Yasuo can’t use Sweeping Blade on a target who’s already been marked, but the duration of the mark lowers with every rank. Additionally, if you use Steel Tempest during the dash, it causes Yasuo to slash out around him, hitting all nearby enemies.
And then there’s his ultimate ability, Last Breath. At the moment, it’s on a ridiculously low Cooldown, but it’s an ability that’s all about synergy, so we’ll see if that changes. An enemy(or enemies) need to be airborne for Last Breath to be used, and when it goes off, Yasuo blinks to that champion(Or Champions) and holds them in the air for an additional second while dealing Physical damage to the target. Once he lands, Yasuo gains 50% armour penetration for 15 seconds, but this Armour Pen only affects his target’s Bonus armour, such as that from items or runes. There are a lot of abilities in the League that cause a target to be knocked up, the most obvious of which include Zyra’s Stranglethorns ultimate, Malphite’s Unstoppable Force ultimate, Blitzcrank’s Power Fist and Nami’s Tidal Wave. I would expect to see entire team comps based around the amazing power of this ult, in a new generation of Wombo Combo.
He sounds like a ridiculous Easy Mode champion, but I can assure you that this isn’t the case. Yasuo’s early game is relatively weak and I’ve had more success in the Top lane than the Mid. In Mid, you’re often against Ranged champions, and I hate playing Melee champions against Ranged. In the top lane, though, you’re rarely up against anybody with a greater melee range than you, which can help with last hitting while keeping yourself safe. This is incredibly important during his poor laning phase. Maximising the use of your Q to farm and poke is vital, and you can use Sweeping Blade to dance through the minion waves, which can make it really tricks for an opponent to land a skill shot on you.
Yasuo’s Intent passive leads to some…interesting build paths. Even without Critical Strike Chance Quintessences, you can build a Statikk Shiv and an Infinity Edge and have 100% Crit Chance, and every Crit will deal 250% damage. There isn’t a single stat on either of these items that’s wasted, either. He’s an AD Champion, so Infinity Edge will always rock on him, and he makes great use of the Attack Speed and Movement Speed buffs of Shiv, not just the Crit chance. His Q can also crit, as it’s essentially a poke version of his base attack. It procs On-Hit effects, too, which means it can fire off the Passive from the Shiv. This gives him insane wave clear and team fight potential, all the while he’s dashing around and making it impossible to hit him.
It’s so easy to hit 100% Crit Chance on Yasuo that the rest of your build can be dedicated to whatever you want. Want to build massive amounts of AD? Bloodthirster, Last Whisper and Ravenous Hydra have got your back. Stacking Attack Speed? Blade of the Ruined King, Zephyr and Youmuu’s Ghostblade, reporting for duty. Heck, you could just make him a tank after getting your core Crit items, using your Q, E and R to put out lots of damage while taking tonnes yourself thanks to your Guardian Angel, Warmog’s Armour and Aegis of the Legion.
Do I think Yasuo will see play competitively? I’m not sure. I’m not the best at judging shifts in the meta, but I think he has a place in either the Top lane or the Jungle if he’s played right. His gap closer can be used repeatedly to jump around, and of course, Wind Wall is welcome in any lane where you’re up against Ranged champs or those with Skillshots.
Anyway, we’ve spoken a lot about Yasuo, and I’ll get you up to date with any changes. Let’s look art something a little more jolly now. Festive, even. That’s right, with the Harrowing behind us and Winter well on it’s way, it’s time for Snowdown Showdown!
In Valoran, the world of League of Legends, Snowdown is the holiday that comes at the end of the year, to mark the passage of one year into the next. Known enemies are known to lay down their swords during this time, offering each other shelter and solace. It’s a time of great reverence, celebration and peace.
But not for the League. No, where would the fun in that be?
The League celebrates Snowdown by holding it’s annual Snowdown Showdown and that’s where we, the players get to join in. There’s new skins available for certain Champions(This year, it’s Singed, Lulu and Sivir) and there will be a new Game type available in the game’s Winter themed map, the Howling Abyss. I’m led to believe this will be a 1v1 or 2v2 game type, which could lead to epic duels, something I’m always happy to embrace.
Here’s a glance at the new Champion skins. Snowstorm Sivir looks like a badass Frost Princess, Winter Wonder Lulu looks as cute and whimsical as always, and Snowday Singed is Singed in snowday gear. What’s not to love here, guys? If you jump over to Lolking.Net you can see previews of the models in action, and check out their various animations. I really like that Snowdown Singed is using a Sled as his shield, and has a Woodchipper on his back instead of his famous poison vial.
Thanks again for reading Waiting For Cooldowns! I’ve never had more fun than when I’m writing this column for you all. As always, feel free to add me on League of Legends, where I play on the EUWest servers under the name of Hutch the Clutch. You can also add me on Twitter @Hu7chTh3Clu7ch or follow the column on @CDTWFC