Yasuo's Ultimate: Pain to Balance, But I Want to See More


Yasuo's Ultimate: Pain to Balance, But I Want to See More

Yasuo's Ultimate is interesting in how it interacts with the rest of the cast.  I like how there is not only synergy in the nature of Yasuo's kit, but how the team around him directly changes his kit.  This kind of inter-teammate synergy is relatively new and I want to see more of what Riot can put out using this idea. 

A New Type of Inter-Action

Traditionally, champions interact based on the nature of their kits.  For example, Amumu is great for AOE team comps because of his huge AOE root.  This makes it easier for Morgana, Miss Fortune, Graves, etc. To land all of their AOE damage.  But Galio would also work in place of Amumu.  As would Orianna on any champion.  No champion really has a specific kind of synergy built into their kit that directly interacts with another champion's kit.  About the only example I can really think of is how Cassiopeia can utilize Singed's poison to spam her E.  Cassiopeia gets some relief in her kit when Singed is around. 

Yasuo works similarly to the Singed/Cassiopeia example.  Yasuo's only source of knock-up in his kit is using a 3rd Q.  He must build up the Q as well, but unlike an Annie stun, it does not store forever.  Instantly gaining access to his ultimate can be difficult if he starts a fight (especially a team-fight) with no Q stacks built up.  However, other team mates completely flip this dynamic on its head.  The counter-play in his kit is revolved around this build up on his Q, but now all I have to do is pick another champion with a knock-up to literally make Yasuo's kit better.  Malphite, Janna, Alistar, Wukong and more simply make Yasuo better. 

This interaction makes team building so much more interesting.  If I saw I had a Yasuo on my team, I might just pick a champion that makes him better.  Malphite initiations with Yasuo ultimates have immense brutality potential.  Who does not like that?   

Ranked Vs. Solo-Que

Skills like Yasuo's ultimate take on new meaning when you can build a team around him.  This is one of those times when a champion can be underpowered in Solo Que but overpowered in ranked. 

What people pick in Solo-que and are good at using varies to such a large extent that you can never rely on them having something you think the team needs.  Just because you pick Yasuo, does not mean you are going to see more knock-ups on your team.  In such a case, Yasuo ends up having to rely on only his own source of knock up, which is much less reliable. 

Ranked however fixes this problem.  Your team knows you are going Yasuo and they will pick to help him out.  The balance issue here is simple: Do we assume he is always going to have other knock-ups around or do we assume he will not?   Obviously if your balancing Yasuo with the assumption of another knock-up, doesn't that mean he needs to have some power taken away?  But then in solo-que there is no guarantee....That's tough to balance correctly.

If future champions have more synergies like this (and I hope they do), they have to balance assuming there will be the other elements present.  I am not sure where Yasuo falls on the power scale, but I do enjoy the synergy and new interactions it creates. 

I cannot wait to see what Riot can come up with next. 


About the Author, Emeraldw:

  • Loves psychology and philosophy.  Then tries to apply it to even simple things like League of Legends. 
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  • #58 LightEcho

    A big part of this its not just knock ups but any airborne effects such as gragas and orianna ults

  • #56 LPF

    My major beef with Yasuo is when someone last picks him on a team with 0 other knock ups.  On the one hand, I like a champion who promotes teamwork.  On the other hand...solo queue...

  • #57 MerryLane

    Champs with knockups don't improve Yasuo.

    Once or twice in a game you might be able to land a R after a teammate knocked up, but chars with tons of cc/peel (like Leona, Lux, ...) are way better for Yasuo than a champion with less cc but a knock up, or that are not that great lately (like Malphite isn't always the best pick)

  • #54 myrec

    that ultimate is so strong, i see nerf with riot telling us:
    "We had to do it. Good players used it to great effect and we are happy with champion being only for pros."So don't cry then.


  • #52 Elvas12

    For me is good design, fun and I like the interaction. Also for me he is not a pain to balance because of this interaction:

    - He CAN proc his ulti with q3. So he CAN use his ulti even with no teammates, it requires more work.
    - He does NOT require is ulti. Think Quinn,shyvanna,TF,pantheon,gankplank without ulties, they are still good without them (instead of a orianna). Her ulti is situational, but she is not a bad pick. Yasuo can bring a lot even without his ulti. I have readed a lot of: why ulti when you could q+aa in the same time?
    -116 champs to choose. As CertainlyT said, if you don't like yasuo...don't buy/use him. If you don't like him in that team comp just don't pick him.

    At absurd he can be balanced(in his ulti only mind you) by having "Malphite" in his team, he will still be a good champ. Will he be picked competively without malph? no more than you see kog or poppy or fill_with_UP_champ picked. To be a good champ does he need to be picked every game? I don't think so.

  • #51 WizardOfAngmar

    Talon's passive (Mercy) has a sort-of interaction aswell as long as one of your mates has any stun/slow/root.

  • #50 ratzing

    Yasuo's winrate in diamond queues are pretty bad, around 45%, and from what I've experienced, I'm pretty sure no nerfs are incoming in few next months (maybe later, when rito overbuffs or someone discovers some crazy super-efficent build).

    Personally, I'm having a blast with this champ, and I'm doing progressively better with him. Still, occasional unability to use your own ulti can feel really bad. The window of Steel Tempest should be wider. And casting it in teamfights/sieges is a pain in the ass. Not to mention hitting proper targets.

  • #55 MerryLane

    I don't think Riot is gonna buff him (maybe some quality of life changes tho).

    I don't think neither you can find out a better build than Shyv + IE then adapt either with full AD (hydra BT mercurial) or tank items (randuin, banshee), because items are either ultra-efficient on him (Shyv/Ie), either not efficient at all (anything giving cdr, mana or even %pen isn't as efficient on him than on another char).

    I have an awful winrate with the guy atm, but I'm halfly trolling due to preseason (played him only in ranked).
    But I think his winrate will slightly increase and reach up to 55/60% on players that are really used to him. It's simple, this char is so "hard to handle" during the first 50 games, there are so many things you can learn through experience to do better... And since it's a snowball-required champ, after a while it's logical you'll manage to be like 5/0 before 20th min in most of your games because his kit is OP, and win from there, bypassing the lategame of ennemies.

  • #48 Bodycounter

    I don't really see where Riot did anything new. Where is the difference between the combination of Malphite's with Orianna's or Yasuo's ultimate? Both will destroy the enemy team, if executed properly through high AoE damage and good timing. There are many possible 'wombo combos'. The only new difference is the knockup. There are not many forms of crowd control or similar 'state changing abilities', that are viable choices for interaction. Most forms are strong by itself (and op with interaction), too easy to land  or just too often implemented.

    Yasuo's ultimate should be unique. Every new champion with a knockup will be a balance problem for itself and Yasuo, too. Imagine there would be more champions with these kind of interactions and the problems of balancing.

  • #49 Benegesserit

    His ult requires a knockup trigger. That's unique. Ults don't usually have a pre-req besides range, cooldown being up, and resource cost, if any.

  • #44 PedestrianA

    Forget about the random solo Q and balance around the professional scene, case closed

    Seriously for a meta involving absolutely no gameplan and ever fluctuating skill level even for single individuals, every single bit of balancing efford is a waste of time.

  • #40 oOSharsharOo

    Just for the sake of trolling: "This kind of inter-teammate synergy is relatively new and I want to see more of what Riot can put out using this idea. " - Pre-rework Karma had a lot of that and they didn't like how you had to rely on team mates in order for you to perform well, so they got rid of it! :D

  • #39 Arannan

    I'd make Yasuo's ult more powerful if the knockup comes from his Q rather than from any other source.

  • #36 Shinkada

    I really just don't like this aspect of his design. As you said, you have to choose between balancing him assuming no knockups or assuming knockups. Any champ with an easily useable AoE knockup sky-rockets his power, because Yasuo has trouble knocking up groups when he needs to. Guaranteeing an ult is fairly easy, you will likely live for 3 qs, yes. But you cannot really choose when it comes, and while you'll usually get the ult, you won't always (giving him problems if he's the one who's gotten fed) and he just gets focused. No matter how you cut it, in a team fight situation, an AoE knockup massively increases his useability. Even if you were amazingly good and could guarantee an AoE ult in 2/3 fights alone (which is probably impossible) with a Malph you've just made it 3/3.

    He WILL end up being balanced around having a knockup, because if he's balanced around not having it then his win rate with will be much higher than 50% because of that (optimistic) 1/3 fights you could not get a good/any ult. He would/will be incredibly op if his ult is balanced around anything but having that knockup. And as a result, he will be crap without a knockup (reminder: crap characters still get a 40% win rate, don't win a game then say OMG SEE NOT CRAP).

    I really just... Don't like that. I'd rather stick with the loose Amumu + MF style synergies that mean both those characters are totally fine on their own, than more specific synergies that mean they NEED to synergize or their win rate drops off. :/

  • #41 MerryLane

    Hm after having a reallly awful winrate with the guy in plat, I start and get better and better.
    After like 50+ ranked games with the guy, which is more than what I needed with any other char.

    Now I'd say I can pull him off with a 50% winrate, and I still can improve with him a lot.

    I don't think he is bad as he will always have a low winrate.

  • #45 Stingeris
    Quote from MerryLane »

    Hm after having a reallly awful winrate with the guy in plat, I start and get better and better.
    After like 50+ ranked games with the guy, which is more than what I needed with any other char.

    Now I'd say I can pull him off with a 50% winrate, and I still can improve with him a lot.

    I don't think he is bad as he will always have a low winrate.

    He is an exellent character. At current given moment after 65~ games got 62% winrate on him on qolo Que.  

  • #35 Sanear

    Cass/Teemo synergy (both E)

    Ashe/Anivia synergy (Anivia will get bonus dmg for her E from Ashe's R IIRC)

    but ye Yasuo's Ultimate is much more complicated and hard to balance

  • #42 WingedHussar

    ^ This ^

    didn't know about anivia/ashe

  • #34 KKeegan

    Nice article !

  • #27 Nevran

    I think people are really just badmouthing the player base. I play Yasuo with random and I never had a problem to really use my ultimate. The real thing is to see the good opportunity.

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