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League of Legends Yone: How to play the new undead samurai

lol yone build abilities
(Image credit: Riot Games)

League of Legends Yone is finally back from the dead, and has arrived at Summoner’s Rift. If you’re a fan of Yasuo, you’ll likely find plenty to enjoy, as Yone has a lot in common with his little brother, dashing in and out of fights and using his twin blades to slice up his opponents.

Now that LoL Yone is here, here's everything you need to know about the new League of Legends champion, including what you’ll want to build and the strategies to pursue now that The Unforgotten has joined the Rift.

LoL Yone abilities

Yone is a little deadlier than his younger brother, jumping into fights to assassinate squishy targets before vanishing back into the shadows. If you’re familiar with Yasuo, however, Yone shouldn’t present too steep a learning curve: Their kits share several significant similarities.

  • Way of the Hunter (Passive): Yone automatically doubles his critical strike chance from all sources, but his crits deal 10 percent less damage than that of other champions. Yone’s passive also sees him use two different weapons for his basic attacks: He’ll start attacking with his Steel Sword, but his Azakana Sword will deal damage split 50/50 between physical and magic damage.
  • Mortal Steel (Q): Yone thrusts his Steel Sword in the target direction, dealing physical damage and applying any on-hit effects. It can also strike critically. If Yone hits an enemy with his Q, he gains a stack of Gathering Storm for six seconds. While he has two stacks, casting Mortal Steel again consumes the stacks and causes Yone to dash forward, creating a whirlwind which knocks enemies up for 0.75 seconds.
  • Spirit Cleave (W): Yone swings his Azakana Sword in a large arc, dealing equal parts physical and magic damage to enemies hit in a cone, scaling with the target’s maximum health, but dealing a minimum amount of damage against minions and monster. If Spirit Cleave hits an enemy, Yone shields himself, gaining a larger shield based on the number of enemy champions hit.
  • Soul Unbound (E): Yone dashes, gaining Spirit Form for five seconds, and creating an untargetable clone a short distance behind the cast direction. While in Spirit Form, Yone gains bonus movement speed and stores a percentage of the damage he deals to enemy champions, marking anyone hit with basic attacks or abilities. After a minimum of 0.5 seconds, Yone dashes back to his clone, detonating any marks to deal true damage equal to the amount stored.
  • Fate Sealed (R): Yone winds up, and then blinks in a direction. After 0.125 seconds, all enemies between Yone and his casting position are briefly stunned, then immediately dealt damage, pulled towards Yone, and knocked up. Fate Sealed will attempt to place Yone a short distance past the last enemy hit.

Yone gameplay tips

In lane, Yone’s trading power proves significant. Use your Q to poke at enemies, then once you’re ready to cast your whirlwind, engage with E, use a quick QW combo to get in some CC and mitigate too much return damage, then dash back to safety and wait for the detonation damage to pop. Decent waveclear with Q, W, and decent attack speed should also set Yone up to roam effectively, thanks to the distance you can cover with your E. 

Rely on that combo throughout the game, but it’ll become even more potent when you have your ultimate up. Attempt to isolate carries with Fate Sealed before darting around them with the rest of your combo to pick them off before the fight has even started. Elsewhere, you can utilise your E to jump into the fray and then dash back out to safety before the enemy can do any sustained damage—just watch out for hard CC.

The best items to use as Yone

Both Yone’s Q and W cooldowns scale with his bonus attack speed, and his passive makes critical strike chance particular efficient, so prioritising those stats in the early game is a must. Zeal is likely to be a great item for your first back, building into a Statikk Shiv or a Phantom Dancer. Grab an early Infinity Edge to get the maximum crit chance out of your passive, and opt for Berserker’s Greaves to help increase that early game cooldown. A Stormrazor is also a possibility, although be careful not to overstack your crit chance. 

Later on, some resilience is likely to help out—consider a Death’s Dance to prevent yourself from getting burst down, or a Bloodthirster if you end up in extended fights. Alternatively, a Blade of the Ruined King will provide that lifesteal while stacking nicely with Yone’s predilection for attack speed.