How to Play Against Yasuo (Top/Mid and ADC)
Yasuo is a very annoying champion to play with and against. Our team’s Yasuo always seems to hit that 0-10 power spike quickly, while the enemy’s Yasuo always solo carries and takes over the game.
In this guide, we’re going to break down some tips and tricks to reduce the enemy Yasuo’s carry potential and prevent him from 1v9ing your team.
Please note however that ADC Yasuo has a slightly different playstyle to solo lane Yasuo.
We’ve also recently released new champion combo pages so you can brush up on which Yasuo combos to look out for.
How to play against Yasuo
- Manage the minion wave
- Be aware of his synergies with his allies
- Avoid team fighting in the jungle or around objectives
- Abuse your range advantage
- Bait out his Wind Wall
- Choose a counter pick
1. Manage the minion wave
Managing minion waves in League of Legends is a powerful strategy that is hardly utilized in the lower ranks. With proper wave management, you can tone down the potentness of Yasuo in the early game.
By keeping the minion wave closer to your side of the map, Yasuo should have less room to maneuver and less opportunity to chase you down the lane. If you’re overextended and constantly pushing in a side lane, you’re an easy target for an all-in as the lanes are longer compared to the mid lane. He can also use the minion wave to close the gap and chase you down or escape a skirmish.
To get the wave to stay closer to your side of the map, you need to make sure the enemy has more minions than you do. If you want the wave close to your tower, the enemy needs to have more than two or three (or more) full health minions than you do.
Wave management is tough to talk about, but we’ve made an in-depth wave management guide that will help you understand the ins and outs of how to manage minion waves to make laning against Yasuo easier. Here are some additional pointers:
- Avoid constantly pushing the minion wave. Otherwise, it will allow him to chase you down.
- Stay away from the minion wave so he cannot E to you with ease.
- Once he has completed his first item, his all-in pressure increases- do not overextend.
- If you want to push, use your abilities to push while playing as far back as possible.
- If his Support has strong all-in, avoid pushing the wave as they can all-in you over and over again. This is a favoured tactic by Gragas, Nautilus, Alistar and Leona players.
2. Be aware of his synergies with his allies
When Yasuo is paired with a tank Support or anyone with a knockup or lockdown tool such as Gragas, Nautilus or Alistar, their laning phase can be tough to play against as they have a lot of all-in potential and can 100 to 0 someone very quickly. These champions are picked with Yasuo as they can allow him to use his Ultimate very easily.
When you’re laning against bot lane Yasuo, and he has an all-in Support, the duo may look for all-in opportunities at these times:
- Level 2 all-in
You can counter this by hitting level 2 at the same time as the enemy. To hit level 2, you need to kill the first minion wave and the next three melee minions on the second minion wave. If you’re not going to hit level 2 simultaneously or before the Yasuo, position safely.
While they probably won’t kill you at level 2, they can still look for a favorable trade and force you to burn through your health potions.
- Level 6 all-in
When Yasuo has access to his Ultimate, he can use it on a target that is knocked up by either his Tornado or an ally. Post 6, Yasuo’s all-in strength will be much higher: thus his kill pressure increases.
- Whenever his Ultimate (and his allies Ultimate like Gragas or Nautilus) is up
Yasuo’s will be playing around his Ultimate to get kills in lane. Whenever it’s up, respect his all-in potential and avoid standing close to one another. This will make it harder for him to kill both of you in lane.
There are many opportunities for Yasuo and his Support to run you down the lane and kill you. Keep these timers in mind and try to play around them if you can. For the most part, being respectful will reduce his kill pressure.
3. Avoid fighting in the jungle or around objectives
We briefly touched on it in our previous tip, but standing away from your allies is one way of reducing Yasuo’s ability to hit multiple champions with his Ultimate.
In team fights, avoid grouping too closely together so he cannot land a five-person Ultimate.
Yasuo’s will only deal damage to one champion, but he can keep every knocked-up champion nearby airborne which can allow his team to follow up, reposition or deal damage to them.
Avoid fighting around objectives and in the jungle as teams are usually grouped closely in these parts of the map which increases his chances of hitting every enemy team member. Additionally, if his allies have an AOE knockup or knockbacks like Nautilus or Gragas, it could set him up for a great Ultimate.
Try your hardest to look for fights in an open part of the map where he cannot hit every member of your team with his Ultimate. At the very least, do not stack on top of one another.
4. Abuse your range advantage
Yasuo is a melee champion who can be abused heavily by ranged champions. If you’re able to harass and poke Yasuo, it will make it hard for him to look for an early all-in or use his E aggressively.
Getting early poke down at level 1 and 2 will also force him to burn through his health potions to remain in the lane, which is a huge benefit.
Every time Yasuo tries to secure a minion, try to auto-attack him or use an ability on him. Repeat this as often as you can. However, remember that he can use his E to dodge skill shots.
Avoid auto-attacking him when there is a large minion wave as the minions will start to focus you. Walk backward after hitting him to drop minion aggro, or run inside a nearby bush.
If you walk forward and chase him down, you run the risk of taking excessive minion damage which could work in his favor and even out the trade.
5. Bait out his Wind Wall before committing to an all-in
It is somewhat apparent, but try your hardest to bait out Yasuo’s Wind Wall before committing your Ultimate or an all-in. Yasuo’s W will block all projectiles coming his way, which includes the likes of Lucian’s Ultimate, Syndra’s Ultimate, and Zoe Q.
If you want to commit to an all-in, avoid using (high cooldown and high cost) abilities until his Wind Wall has been used.
There are many ways you can bait out this ability, but it depends on the champion you’re playing and your kit.
As a marksman, you could look for an aggressive auto-attack all-in, bait out the Wind Wall, and then wait for your cooldowns to be up again before looking for round two.
Take note that his W has an incredibly long cooldown which you should look to abuse. At rank 1, it has a 30-second cooldown, which provides plenty of time for you to look for a follow-up play.
For melee champions with no skill shots like Darius or Renekton, this tip doesn’t really matter.
However, if your Jungler needs to land a skill shot for them to CC the enemy like Elise, try to bait out this ability before she arrives to increase your chances of taking him down. Yasuo may just throw out his Wind Wall by mistake.
6. Counter pick him
Yasuo will always be a trendy pick and players love to play him over and over. As such, it may be worth it to have a Yasuo counter prepared.
Yasuo struggles against these champions:
Renekton has a lot of burst and point and click CC. As soon as Yasuo uses his E near you, you can blow him up. Renekton is useful in the mid and top lane, which is an added benefit.
Malzahar has great wave clear, can farm from a distance and is overall a very safe champion. He can use his Ultimate to CC Yasuo as soon as he uses his E on a nearby minion. Malz also has great gank set up, which will help to put Yasuo behind.
Similarly to Renekton, Pantheon has a lot of burst damage and point and click CC too. He also has good wave clear and roaming potential which can help him impact other parts of the map relatively quickly.
Nautilus Support is an excellent pick into Yasuo as he can lock him down with CC whenever he looks for an all-in. Nautilus has the most CC tools in the game which can provide his ADC time to escape or trade back with the Yasuo.
Avoid picking squishy immobile mages into Yasuo as he can run them down and dodge their abilities. Pick champions who can trade back with him when possible.
To summarise, Yasuo is a pain to deal with, but it’s not impossible. If the enemy has locked in Yasuo and you know you’re going to lane against him, pick one of the champions we’ve suggested to make his laning phase a living hell. If you’ve already shown your pick, use the rest of the advice we’ve provided in this guide to make dealing with him a little bit easier.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants’s stream.