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Mar 9, 2019

Yasuo Counters | Best Counters for Yasuo - Who and How?

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How to Counter Yasuo?

Countering Yasuo is all about picking a counter champion that can stop him from snowballing. Some counter champions are excellent counter-picks to Yasuo's early all-in ability, and some champions will need to counter Yasuo later in the game by shutting him down. Yasuo can quickly get out of hand if enemies have an extra knock-up, so countering Yasuo depends on paying attention to more than just Yasuo.

How to Counter Yasuo?

Countering Yasuo is all about picking a counter champion that can stop him from snowballing. Some counter champions are excellent counter-picks to Yasuo's early all-in ability, and some champions will need to counter Yasuo later in the game by shutting him down. Yasuo can quickly get out of hand if enemies have an extra knock-up, so countering Yasuo depends on paying attention to more than just Yasuo.

As the most banned champion on the Rift, players are terrified of Yasuo and equally terrified of having a bad one on their team. A good Yasuo is unstoppable, shredding through teams on sight with his slow meticulous play style. Even 1v5 some teams will have trouble against a particularly fed Yasuo. So how are we to stop this madman?

Yasuo Overview

  • High mobility multiple targets
  • Free armor penetration
  • Low cooldown spells and high damage per second
  • Powerful skill shot blocking Wind Wall [W]
  • AOE crowd control
  • Built-in Shield
  • Melee Range
  • Low Health Pool
  • Knock-up reliant
  • Low mobility without minions

Countering Yasuo's Playstyle

Based on the weaknesses and strengths list above, beating Yasuo largely comprises of champions that can accomplish the following:
  • Crowd-control him when allied champions are knocked up to prevent Yasuo from using his ultimate
  • Abused him from a range [Lissandra]
  • Use non-skill shot reliant champions that can ignore his wind wall
If you don't have any of these, then the following strategies work well too:
  • Stay away from minion waves to limit his mobility
  • Avoid fighting him in melee range
  • THINK about his Wind Wall [W] and either position accordingly or wait for him to use it. Be especially wary when playing champions like:
    • Nami
    • Miss Fortune
    • Brand

Who Counters Yasuo Mid Lane?

  1. Vel'Koz - Early game you just want to farm up and abuse your long-range against Yasuo. His wind wall can stop the majority of your spells, but if you are patient and wave clear until level six, your ultimate can one-shot him as soon as you land a knock-up. Later on, avoiding the all-in game and sticking to poke makes Yasuo nearly useless.
  2. Nocturne - Nocturne Mid is the exact opposite of Vel'Koz, and relies on his powerful melee range all-in abilities to take down Yasuo. Yasuo can't stop your fear or your ultimate with his wind wall, and the crowd-control Nocturne dishes is more than enough to duel.
  3. Lissandra - Lissandra's ability to poke down Yasuo from a range combined with her crowd-control make her optimal to take down Yasuo players. The only thing you have to worry about is if he picks up quick silver sash. If that's the case you need to wait for team fights or else he can still all-in you and win.

Who Counters Yasuo Top Lane?

  1. Wukong - Yasuo's early game is incredibly good, but will have trouble against Wukong's early all-in cheese. Wukong also lacks skill shots and has point and click crowd-control, which takes away Yasuo's ability to wind wall.
  2. Kled - Kled is another counterpick to Yasuo because of his his durability and incredible burst damage. In many ways he's an even better counter pick than Wukong because he's so difficult to kill.
  3. Hecarim - A recent FOTM pick, Hecarim top is extremely good from early to late, and beats Yasuo in damage, crowd-control, and engagement power. He also out-bursts Yasuo and deals more sustained damage. All in all, Yasuo will have a lot of trouble keeping up with this pony.

Move by Move Analysis of Yasuo Countering

In order to further uncover the secrets of countering Yasuo, analysis of his specific move set is beneficial in understanding how to use these Yasuo counters to their greatest effect. After all, just picking up a champion counter is often not enough. 

By understanding each of his moves and how to counter them, you'll end up in a much better position than blindly picking a counter champion and facerolling your keyboard.

Passive: Way of the Wanderer

Way of the Wanderer
Yasuo doubles his total critical strike chance from all other sources, but his critical strikes deal only 80% (+ Infinity Edge item 22.5%) AD Attack damage bonus physical damage.
This first part of Yasuo's kit largely goes unnoticed and results in a huge damage boost scaling once he gets an item or two. As a result, play cautiously once he picks up an item, even if you were beating him before.
Yasuo generates Flow resource Flow for every 59 / 52.5 / 46 (based on level) units he travels by any means. At 「 100 stacks 」 and upon taking champion or monster damage, Yasuo consumes all Flow to shield himself for 100 − 510 (based on level) for up to 1 second.
Understanding his shield is key to understanding how much damage you can deal to him. If you deal enough damage, you CAN break through his shield. It's not an invulnerability, but if he's not low yet it's better to tap him with a light attack and then use your burst damage after his shield fades out.

Steel Tempest [Q]

Steel Tempest
After a slight delay, Yasuo thrusts his sword in a straight line and deals on-hit effects to the first target hit. If cast with Sweeping Blade it will affect enemies around Yasuo at the end of the dash. if this hits an enemy, he gains a stack for six seconds. At two stacks, his third cast will unleash a whirlwind and knock up enemies in a target direction. If cast with Sweeping Wind, it willl knock-up in an AOE (same animation as a normal Sweeping Blade [E] + Steel Tempest [Q]). Steel Tempest can critically strike.
This looks like a lot, but really it can be broken down into the following tips to counter Yasuo's [Q]

  1. Watch out for a knock-up after two hits of [Q].
  2. This can crit, so watch out for damage spikes
  3. If Yasuo has flash up, watch out when he has two stacks. He can [E] + [Q] and flash on you for a knock-up.
  4. This is a skill shot, you can dodge it by moving erratically and should.

Wind Wall [W]

Wind Wall
Blocks all enemy projectiles except turret attacks in a wall that drifts forward 50 units over 3.75 seconds. Wall width changes depending on level.
Countering this move is largely understanding how long it lasts for. It lasts a LONG TIME. However, as you're positioning yourself to move in for ranged attacks, make sure you're counting how long it's been since he last cast it. Around 3.5 seconds, you can prepare to start casting your ranged spells.

Sweeping Blade [E] 

Sweeping Blade
Yasuo dashes up to 475 units towards a target enemy and deals magic damage. Each cast increases the base damage by 25% for 5 seconds, up to 50%. Yasuo cannot dash to the same target more than once every few seconds.
Countering this move is somewhat difficult since Yasuo gets to see which minions he can dash to while you'll just have to try and remember. Here are some tips on how to counter Yasuo's Sweeping Blade:
  1. Know Yasuo's damage increases after he uses it a few times
  2. Run away from minions if a Yasuo is chasing you
  3. Remember which minions he's already jumped to and predict where he can go

Last Breath [R]

Last Breath
Yasuo blinds to the other side of a visible airborne enemy, generates 100 Flow [Passive] and resetting Steel Tempest's stacks. Upon arrival, he suspends all nearby airborne enemies for 1 second and deals physical damage.For 15 seconds afterwards, Yasuo's critical strikes gain 50% armor penetration.
The key to countering this move is to not get hit by any knock-ups. That might be too obvious. Here are a few other tips:
  1. Yasuo can be damaged and killed during his ultimate, but you need to get through his passive shield first.
  2. Yasuo's ultimate can be QSS'd, but the damage will still go off and you need to Flash to move.
  3. Yasuo cannot ult while CC'd, so if someone is about to be knocked up, quickly CC him.

Overall, countering Yasuo's moveset does require a lot of game knowledge and much of it is not intuitive. However, once you get a firm grasp of his moveset, countering Yasuo becomes that much easier.

Conclusions for Countering Yasuo

Countering Yasuo can be difficult and frustrating at best. Against a good Yasuo player, he may still find ways around all the counter tips above and run over your team. However, once you understand his skill set and pick a good counter-champion, you can render his wind wall and movement null and beat him easily, especially if he's not a Yasuo God.

    Got more tips for beating Yasuo or champions that work well? Comment below!

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