Sky Striking – A Look at Synergistic Supports for Bot Lane Yasuo
Thu 8th Aug 2019 - 5:00pm
Ever since the awesome dudes meta came around in early Season 8, we have seen more flexibility for champions that aren’t marksmen with champions such as Vel’Koz and Swain still being a possibility in the bot lane. However, one champion has embodied this more than the rest of LoL’s non-marksman roster, and that champion is everyone's favorite target of hate, the Unforgiven, the Whirling Blade, the Exile himself, Yasuo. But this does not mean you can just lock Yasuo bot into any setup. For the pick to work, you need to have some synergy set up, especially with your lane partner/support’s champion pick. Therefore, in this piece, I hope to showcase some synergistic pairings that you (and your friend if you are lucky enough to be duoing) can utilize in the bot lane for some spicy moves in a sick teamplay conversion.
This is the most obvious pairing alongside Yasuo and it is for good reason, the Rabble Rouser covers so many of Yasuo’s shortcomings whilst giving him 2 potential aoe setups for his ultimate: Last Breath.
Gragas is by definition an AP bruiser, meaning that he brings a balance to the lane damage mix as Yasuo’s damage output is physical. This, paired with the ability to thin waves with his Barrel Roll, means that the bar destroyer is an optimal pairing for bot lane Yasuo as he sets up waves, balances the damage, and has enough knock-ups to unlock Yasuo’s full potential as a bot laner.
Now many people will just look at Sejuani in this example and call her a ‘Poor man's Gragas,’ and they are almost right, Sejuani does have one less knock-up than Gragas and less magic damage, but she brings one thing in the pairing that brings her in here, CC, CC, and more CC.
Now one of the reasons the boar rider is not seen in support role traditionally is due to the stacks for the stun on Sejuani’s E, Permafrost, can only be set up by melee attacks which traditional bot laners are not, but Yasuo is, meaning Sejuani support now has a second stun to go with her ultimate, Glacial Prison. This means Sejuani now has two stuns, a slow, and a knock-up to lock down whatever target Yasuo wants to go in on. This means that the synergy for engaging in a Sejuani/Yasuo bot lane is immense.
The Titan of the Depths is currently a huge part of the meta in Summer 2019 and is here on this list for one reason - an almost (Stopwatch, Zhonya’s, and Banshee’s Veil be damned) guaranteed knock-up on a point and click ultimate.
This is provided via Naut’s ultimate, Depth Charge. But why is this so important? Well, it's simple. We have all lost a team fight due to an enemy carry being able to kite out from the backline. With the combo of Depth Charge and Last Breath, you can almost guarantee that a target will die and also place Yasuo on the backline for some total destruction. Synergy via effective targeting.
Now the picks highlighted so far all have a major trait in common, a potential to tank and mostly low levels of damage (unless your going the full Mikyx AP support Gragas build) and this is where this partnership bears its own kind of fruit.
Now Vel’Koz has been one of the most flexible picks in recent months being a pick that can play carry, support, and mid. In his operation in all of these roles, the Eye of the Void has been a damage provider and it is no different here.
Now the damage is not in short supply in the lane, but what is lacking in a Yasuo lane is magic damage at range with a knock-up built-in. But does Vel’Koz have those things? Magic damage? His entire spell reel does magic damage (or true damage when his passive applies)! Range? His entire kit is ranged! And finally, Knock-up? Tectonic Disruption (Vel’Koz’s E) brings that to the table to complete this high damage synergy in the bot lane.
Ok, so I haven’t mentioned any of the enchanter supports here yet and it's because they are very simple. All they require is an amplification buff for the Yasuo and a plethora of knock-ups to set up Final Breath. Not very complicated in theory.
The two enchanter supports that do this are Nami and Janna. Both amplify via their Es, Tidecaller’s Blessing and Eye of the Storm, have a knock-up on their Qs (Aqua Prison and Howling Gale), and a second knock-up on their ultimates, Tidal Wave and Monsoon. Synergy via amplification and knock-up set up in a beautifully simple fashion.
There is a reason that the Fae Sorcerer was included with the other two enchanter supports mentioned prior, in theory, they operate in a similar fashion but in execution, they are very different in truth. With a Lulu/Yasuo lane, you are playing for a very specific engage combo to execute the synergy.
The combo is as follows Lulu uses her W and E (Whimsy and Help! Pix) onto Yasuo to amplify his damage and MS speed. Yasuo then uses his E (Sweeping Blade) through the opposing minion wave to then use a final E onto the intended target. As that final E passes through the intended target, Lulu will use her ultimate (Wild Growth) to enlarge to Yasuo and knock-up the intended target (and possibly more), where the Yasuo applies his own ultimate before using auto attacks and repeated Qs (Steel Tempest) to convert the kill. A lengthy combo but when this is executed together is a synergistic fashion it is very hard to stop.
Yasuo bot lane is still an unconventional pick right now, but not as unconventional as it used to be. It is an executable pick with the right setup and the synergies that go with whatever setup you choose to run. Whether it be magic damage, excessive knock-ups (or other CC), amplification mixed with facilitation and/or executing a set combo. However, remember that you still need to play with that synergy in mind and going ham with Yasuo on his own is a recipe for disaster, so pick for the synergy then play to execute it, and with that, I once again leave you with the thoughts of GL, HF, and GG.
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