Yasuo’s brother is on his way to live servers. This guide has everything you need to know to get ahead of the game.

19:30, 30 Jul 2020

As the 150th champion in League of Legends and Yasuo’s brother, Yone is a big deal. He is already playable on the PBE, and once he hits live servers there’s no doubt that he will be just as popular as his younger brother.

Yone was originally designed as an ‘echo fighter’ of Yasuo, effectively a Yasuo 2.0. While Riot eventually changed direction and gave Yone his own unique kit, he still retains many similar features to his brother, and even their stats are very similar. Thematically, both are squishy, high damage hyper-carries who rely on knockups, so experienced Yasuo players will feel right at home playing Yone. Both champions are solo laners most suited for the mid lane, but can also be played top or bot under the right circumstances. Yone and Yasuo bot lane will certainly be a terrifying combo.

That said, there are also many differences between them that will take some getting used to. While Yasuo is free to dash around lanes using enemy minions and champions, Yone’s movement is much more limited. Yone also lacks the passive shield and wind wall that allow Yasuo to stave off poke from ranged champions. 

So, why play Yone? Well, first we need to go in-depth with his abilities.
 

Understanding Yone’s abilities

Passive:

Way of the Hunter    

INNATE - INTENT: Yone doubles his total critical strike chance from all other sources, but his critical strikes only deal (80% + Infinity Edge item 22.5%) AD Attack damage bonus physical damage.

INNATE - PURPOSE: Yone's basic attacks alternate between using his Steel Sword and Azakana Sword on-attack. Yone begins attacking with his Steel Sword, and basic attacks with the Azakana Sword deal 50% AD physical damage and 50% AD magic damage.
 

Yone’s passive has two distinct parts. The first part, Intent, is identical to Yasuo’s passive, doubling Yone’s critical strike chance and reducing his critical strike damage. This means that, like Yasuo, crit items are extremely important for Yone’s damage output. Any two crit items like Phantom Dancer and Infinity Edge will give Yone 100% crit chance, giving him a huge power spike and boosting his damage massively.

The second part is more difficult to understand and is similar to Corki’s passive. Yone wields two swords instead of one; one is steel and the other, the Azakana sword, is bright red. Like Sett, he alternates between the two when auto-attacking and the order is not affected by ability use (with the exception of E). 

He will first attack with the steel sword, dealing physical damage, and second with the Azakana sword, which deals an equal split of 50% physical damage and 50% magic damage. Importantly, this damage is not an on-hit effect but a damage modification, so it does not synergise with items that enhance on-hit effects. When Yone critical strikes though, the increased damage will also be split in two, making it extremely hard to itemise against Yone without building both armour and magic resistance. 

TIP - Note that hits with the Azakana sword stack Conqueror twice, making the keystone a top tier choice for Yone.

Q Ability:

Mortal Steel    

ACTIVE: Yone thrusts his Steel Sword in the target direction, dealing physical damage to enemies hit and applying on-hit and on-attack effects to the first enemy hit. Mortal Steel can critically strike for (60% + Infinity Edge 20%) AD bonus physical damage.

If Mortal Steel hits an enemy with the thrust, Yone gains a Gathering Storm stack for 6 seconds.

Mortal Steel 2    

While Yone has two stacks of Gathering Storm, Mortal Steel consumes the stacks to instead cause him to dash a fixed distance in the target direction and unleash a whirlwind travelling the same direction, both dealing the same damage and icon knocking up all enemies hit in their path for 0.75 seconds.

Mortal Steel's thrust is interrupted if Yone is affected by hard crowd control during the cast time but its cooldown is reset to 0.1 seconds.
 

While the explanation is long, Yone’s Q ability Mortal Steel is extremely similar to Yasuo’s. The base damage and AD ratios are the same, as well as the cooldown. The cooldown and cast time are also decreased by attack speed, identical to Yasuo. You’re always going to want to max this ability first since it’s your main source of damage.

TIP - Like Yasuo’s equivalent, this ability is an auto-attack cancel which should be used when trading to increase your damage output.

Hitting two minions, monsters or champions with Yone’s regular Q will allow a third cast where Yone dashes in the target direction and throws a tornado ahead of him. In-game, a marker like Yasuo’s appears to indicate the distance that the tornado will travel, but note that Yone’s dash does not travel this whole distance.

Since this is Yone’s bread and butter damage ability, it’s important to know its nuances. Like Yasuo’s Q, this ability counts as a basic attack and as a result is blocked by Jax’s Counter Strike and Shen’s Spirit’s Refuge. Grounding effects like Cassiopeia’s and Singed’s, as well as roots, will prevent the use of the third stack of this ability, but not the first two stacks. As a dash, the third stack will also be blocked by Poppy’s W. Wind wall does block the tornado portion but Yone’s dash. If Yone’s character model hits an enemy through the wind wall, they will still be knocked up and receive damage.

TIP - The third use of this ability can be used to cross terrain like Yasuo’s E, but has a greater range than Yasuo’s. This can be used to make escapes, steal objectives like Dragon and Baron, or assassinate targets from unexpected angles.

W Ability:

Spirit Cleave

ACTIVE: Yone cleaves with his Azakana Sword in the target direction, dealing equal parts physical and magic damage to enemies hit in a cone. The total mixed damage has a minimum threshold of 40 − 410 (based on level) against minions and monsters.

Yone shields himself for 40 − 75 (based on level) (+ 60% AD) for 1.5 seconds if Spirit Cleave hits an enemy, increased by 100% − 200% (based on number of enemy champions hit).

This is Yone’s second basic ability, which offers him both percent maximum health damage and a scaling shield. Since this ability uses the Azakana sword, the damage is also a 50/50 split between physical and magic. Combined with percent maximum health damage, this ability allows Yone to cut through resistances and huge health bars easily.

Despite that, you’ll want to max this ability last after his Q and E since levels don’t give much of an increase to its damage. Like Q, this ability’s cast speed and cooldown decrease with attack speed. At base, the cooldown is a lengthy 16 seconds, so you’ll need to use it wisely. Since the shield increases by 25% with each additional champion hit, it’s essential to hit as many people at once to get maximum value. 

TIP - If possible, you should also time the shield to block high damage attacks or projectiles since the shield only lasts for 1.5 seconds. Spell shields like Sivir’s and Nocturne’s will not prevent you from gaining a shield when you hit them with this ability.

E Ability:

Soul Unbound

ACTIVE: Yone dashes a fixed distance in the target direction, gaining Spirit Form for 5 seconds as well as creating an untargetable clone a short distance behind the cast location, though not sending it through terrain. After a 0.5-second delay, Yone can recast Soul Unbound.

SPIRIT FORM: Yone's resets Way of the Hunter Way of the Hunter, gains 10% − 30% (based on time active) bonus movement speed and marks champions damaged with basic attacks or abilities. Yone stores a percentage of the post-mitigation physical damage and magic damage he deals to each enemy champion.

RECAST: Yone detonates the marks of champions to deal true damage equal to the stored amount and dashes unstoppably back to his body.

After the duration ends or upon Death dying, Soul Unbound will recast automatically.
Damage dealt by item effects, runes, summoner spells, and buffs are not stored.

 

Soul Unbound is an amalgamation of multiple other abilities; Ekko Ult, Zed Ult, and Zoe Ult all in one basic ability. Because of its power, it also has many trade-offs which you will need to play around. This complex ability is what makes Yone unique, and is where most of his skill expression comes from. Using this ability properly will separate the good Yone players from the 0/10 Yone players.

When you first cast the ability, your spirit form will dash forward, gaining 10% movement speed which quickly increases to 30% over time. This movement speed should be used to run up to your target to start dealing damage. Upon cast, your original body will move backwards slightly, and it is to this body which you will return, not the original position where you cast the ability. The spirit body can cross terrain with the initial dash, but the original body cannot be sent backwards through terrain. This means that Soul Unbound is totally useless as a defensive or escape ability, as you cannot escape over walls and enemies can simply wait at your clone body to kill you. This ability should only be used offensively for things like tower diving, trading, harassing and assassinating targets with little risk. 

Damaging enemies will mark them, and a percentage (from 25-35%) of damage you deal in spirit form is dealt again once you recast the ability. While this damage is technically true damage, it is not actually useful against resistances like true damage normally is. Since this true damage is a percentage of your post-mitigation damage, you are not bypassing any resistances. The only use of it being true damage is so that it is not reduced twice by resistances. It is more helpful to think of this damage as a simple damage steroid in your spirit form, rather than true damage. In the case where this true damage will kill a marked target, the mark will change colour to indicate this. 

Upon recast or when the ability expires, Yone’s spirit form will dash back to his body unstoppably. An orange bar under Yone’s health bar indicates how long you have before your spirit form expires. When there are 0.5 seconds before expiry, there will be a sound cue and the corners of your screen will darken.

While most normal CC won’t be able to stop you from returning to your body, there are exceptions. Superior abilities like Camille’s Hextech Ultimatum and Mordekaiser’s Death Realm will stop you from returning to your body and you will be trapped. For this reason, these champions are hard counters to Yone and should be banned or avoided. Dying in your spirit form while under resurrection effects like Guardian’s Angel will also stop you from returning to your body.

You can also time your own abilities to extend the duration of your spirit form slightly. Using your Ultimate or third Q will allow you to complete the dash before then being pulled back into your body. The video below shows some useful examples of this.

With a solid understanding of Yone’s abilities, you’ll be ahead of the pack once he hits live servers. While builds and rune setups are still being experimented on and change with patches, learning how his abilities work is fundamental.

From what we’ve seen so far, Conqueror looks like the obvious keystone choice. PTA is viable for shorter trades but doesn’t scale anywhere near as well as Conqueror. Some people have even suggested Hail of Blades, but the trade off for this massive burst damage and early aggression is terrible scaling. 

In terms of builds, Yasuo’s builds translate well to Yone. You can also try out various items like Death’s Dance, Frozen Mallet or Guinsoo’s Rageblade. It’s up to you to experiment!

 

Images via Riot Games

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