Build Guide by L0rdMathias
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Lee Sin Build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
"Lee Sin is a ranged, melee, tanky-DPS, assassin, mage, tank, support, jungler. He excels at everything!" - Preak
Welcome to my first real guide to a character on Lee Sin, the Blind Monk. As many of you are away Lee Sin was nerfed before his release so us Lee Sin players had to rework our thought processes to play him properly. If i would describe him under one class of character i would say he's an AD utility character able to help round off a team.
The Mindset of Lee Sin
The way of the Monk
Lee Sin is not a carry or a tank or a nuker. In fact as of his release his role is faily undefined. When you play Lee Sin you have to realize that your job is to support your teammates with their current goals. Lee Sin is very good at following up a failed gank to snatch the kill, assisting an initiate, and supporting a character getting ganked. Although other characters can fulfill these roles, example being urgot/kassadin/nocturne, blitzcrank/rammus/amumu,and shen/alistar/kayle, but the likely hood of having the character you need for a specific moment is very low. Ideally we'd all want these characters following us around like minions to defend us while we PWN DAY ENEMY TEAM!!1!!ONE!1 but this is not an ideal situation.
Lee Sin uses energy instead of mana. Energy limits your skills set slightly. Unlike most champions with large mana pools energy limits you to using very precise combos of moves and energy management is something to always take into consideration. However energy is awesome for the laning phase as when you run out, it refills to max extremely quickly.
Lee Sin's problem is that he simply has too many skills. If we could we'd spam our skills as quickly as possible and annihilate everyone but we simple are limited by our energy resource. This lack of spam is most similar to Udyr. With Udyr you need to pick the right tool for the right job, Udyr just has a mana pool and his skills albeit being on a global cooldown are most effective in fights by spamspamspamming, but with udyr the order of skill dumping is as important as it is on someone like ryze.
What does this mean to our monkey monk master summoners? It means Lee Sin will take a lot of practice before you get the feel for his skills. His skills cannot be spammed to gain the bonus effect everytime and it forces you to think about "what skill do i need now" because playing lee sin with even the slightest uncontrolled spam is the first way to being a dead monk
More Skills Than You Know What To Do With
A Monks Only Tools Are His Fists
Lee Sin has the most unique skill set in the entire game also his skill set is very very precise. Almost all other character can continually use their skills and good things come of it. Not necessarily sona spamming the hotkeys but hitting them constantly to maximize effectiveness during large battles. Only after our first couple of games do we realize a sense of skill order is helpful (such as on ryze) and after a few weeks do we realize timing helps too (such as ticking everyone's banshee's veil with a weak AoE move so Karthu's ulti will hit them).
Way of Air:
Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike60 energy - Sonic Wave: Lee Sin shoots air out, granting vision to enemies hit (i'm still geeking out about my randomly shooting it and killing an eve about to kill my basing lane partner) dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) PHYSICAL DAMAGE on hit.
40 energy - If an enemy is struck Lee Sin may cast Resonating Strike, porting to the enemy and dealing the damage again and dealing 10% of their missing health.
Way of Water:
Safeguard/Iron Will60 Energy - Lee Sin rushes to target ally and shields them for 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 (+0.8 per ability power).
40 energy - Lee Sin casts Iron Will after successfully shielding an ally. Iron Will grants him 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 lifesteal and spell-vamp and also 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 armor
Way of Earth:
Tempest/Cripple60 Energy - Lee Sin smashes the ground around him dealing 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) MAGIC DAMAGE and revealing enemies hit (including teemo's shrooms and stealthed units but not inculding wards)
40 energy - Enemies hit my tempest have movement speed and attack speed reduces by 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60 percent
Way of Fire:
Dragon's RageNo Cost - Lee Sin kicks target enemy back a short distance and knocking up any enemies contacted by the projectile dealing 200 / 400 / 600 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage) PHYSICAL DAMAGE to each hit enemy
Way of Aether:
Flurry (passive)After using an Ability Lee Sin's next two basic attacks gain 50% attack speed and regenerate 10 Energy. This ability does not stack on itself
This gives Lee Sin 7 skills to choose from in combat, but energy limits us so we cannot use them all so easily, meaning that we must pick the correct skills for the correct times in order to prevent us from wasting our very scarce energy and our cooldowns.
Here are some tips:
1) Sonic Wave is a good poke in lane. If you are laning consider maxing this first.
Resonating Strike is a nice teleport that adds to the damage done from sonic wave. This is where the Q key becomes crucial. This can be used to prevent an enemy from escaping (example head to head slugfest, toss a sonic wave at the master yi while fighting, once he realizes he's gunna lose he'll flash away. Normally that's it unless you have ignite, but saving your resonating strike can allow you to chase him down with ease) Also resonating strike can be used to piggyback on enemy teleports such as shen's ulti, the teleport summoner spell, nocturne's ultimate and others.
Resonating Strike can also help steal the dragon kill due to the damage based on lost health (steal baron by hitting q+q/smite(almost same button press) extremely fast, almost always works)
2) In lane, Safeguard is going to be your main reason for hitting W. The blink can help you get into a position to land a sonic wave and to shield a teammate. Also it can be used to run from the enemy.
While in lane however do not disregard Iron Will. Iron Will gives you temporary lifesteal and spell vamp meaning that you can regenerate your lost health using the enemy minion line.
In the Jungle Iron Will is your best friend. Lifesteal Spell-Vamp and Armor AND and shield? I think yes
3) Tempest is a slightly weak skill in my opinion but other people swear by it. The Aoe damage is helpful in chasing situations (resonating strike to the enemy and hitting tempest ensures either a kill or a slow from cripple) Also when killing towers this can damage the enemy minions while keeping your attack speed up with Flurry.
When in the jungle Tempest is more important than sonic wave.
Cripple is where the E key shines in lane and just finishes the argument for "do i use q or e in the jungle". Slowing all enemies hit by tempest helps in chasing, kiting and positining in teamfights, the AoE attack speed reducation helps in level 1 battles and even lategame vs those people trying to stretch their builds thin.
4) Dragon's Rage is a peculiar ultimate. In order to use it effective positioning must be perfect and the damage on it is mediocre at first rank settling out to a decent nuke at it's third rank. At first glance it's a meh ultimate, but it's comboing potential and synergy with his other skills makes it devistating in the right hands.
Breath of the Dragon combination:
Using lee sin's q in combination with his ultimate can lead to interesting results. If sonic wave hits before the ultimate resonating strike can be used to blink to the thrown enemy. This can be used to tower dive at level 6, to pop out enemies or to chase him down if you misjudge the nuking potential.
Sweat of the Dragon Combination:
If used with safeguard the blink effect can be used where the q would be too dangerous or to escape.
Stomp of the Dragon Combination:
Another interesting combo is when used with tempest. Kicking an enemy our of a fight or into your allies and then immidiatly casting cripple leads to them either unable to escape your team or unable to rejoin the fight.
A more advanced combo: Sonic Wave enemy > Dragon's Rage another enemy into team > tempest enemies > resonating strike back into team > safegaurd initiator on your team > cripple enemies > kill people. This, like his longer stings of combos you'll find, requires you to abuse his flurry passive as much as possible.
Lee Sin has many possibilities for skill usage and due to my inexperience with him (only been out 2 days lol) i cannot possibly put them all down.
*note* many of his combos are situational such as my "advanced" one from above. safeguarding to someone like kat gives them a shield then resonating strike into enemies allows you to take the intial burst as kat shun-po's on top of you while shielded and ult's them for the kill.
Items and Item Pathing
Lesson 2 is a Lie (but don't tell the non-monks) These are a Monk's True Tools
Lee Sin's core item build are as important as his item pathing.
The final items should balance surviability damage and utility based on your teams needs.
The pathing is the order in which you take them which is very important for Lee Sin as taking magic resist too soon leave you vulnerable to attack damage and gimps your damage, but staying on damage too long makes you get focus fired and die awfully fast.
The Items I use for Laning
Start with Regrowth Pendant. The health regen in conjunction with Iron Will should keep you pretty much maxed from level 1-7 where the health regen becomes much less noticable.
On your first trip back you should buy either boots or a sheen. Sheen seems like it'd be a wasted cost on Lee Sin but the passive increases the harass you can deal out with resonating strike and builds into one of his best items: trinity force.
After that you should buy your basic boots if you haven't but do not complete the merc treads just yet.
About this time you should be around level 8-11 and your regrowth pendant is just wasting an item slot. Here you make your first large decision: to build warmog's or to build shoes and atma's for resistances and build warmog's after atma's.
Assuming you were able to get the warmog's without delay, finish your boots for some MR and grab an Atma's for armor if needed. If the armor isn't needed grab banshee's as the bonus damage from atma's won't be worth it quite yet.
After that last step you should either work on the banshee's/item you haven't completed or trinity force.
The Items I use for Jungling
Start with cloth armor and 5 pots or trade some pots for a ward, your jungling is sketchy early on. Build that into wriggle's lantern as soon as possible.
after wriggles get boots. The lifesteal from wriggles/Iron Will should pretty much prevent you from basing for a long time.
Grab a sheen if it's still fairly early on. If not grab either an attack speed item, a survivability item or a damage item. Remeber you want that sheen eventually but due to the hiccup from wriggle's/boots getting it midgame might not be the best option.
Lategame you should be built more ***issin than the laning build and the wriggles can be sold for an item of your choice.
***General Item Tips***
Generally speaking you want to base as little as possible to maximize experience and gold. So everytime you base there are a few checks you should make on EVERY CHARACTER.
Also on every character you play you should have 3 core items (including boots, sometimes they are important but not core.) These should be the 3 items your character can be perfect with and the other 3 items are just extra. Boots are a special case as for most characters you need the movements speed, but lategame you can sell the boots for a large trade in power over speed. The only character i could think that can go without boots as core is someone with a speed move like rammus or someone who doesn't need to move like alistar. Another thing with boots is that you don't need to finish them until you get your second item in most cases (obviously not with jax or people who need the bonus from the completed boots)
1) "how much gold till my next item": if 50 and below consider waiting it out, if more consider step 2. and "Do i have leftover gold" if yes move on to step 3
2) how much do I need this next item? This doesn't mean "is this item one of my core 3 so i need to rush it" it means "if i don't get this item in the next 2 minutes i'll be useless". If you can hold off for a bit and you have 500 gold consider step 3
3) This step is what separates the pro's from the noobs. "If i have leftover cash, what can i buy" Open the consumables tab and buy at least 2 wards. If you still have leftover cash or your map already has the **** warded out of it, then consider buying an elixir. Think of elixir's as miniature baron buffs. A fully elixir'd team can be very powerful but the temporary cost should leave these as things you get with leftover cash.
Note on step 3: The reason step 3 separates the noobs from the pros is that commonly in low level low ELO games you will see people rush very expensive items and will not "waste gold on wards and elixirs" It's true the gold might be wasted but usually the temporary advantage helps you get the item you want just as fast if not faster. try to make it a habit that whenever you base you buy a ward with leftover cash, health pots if you're getting harassed too hard and can't push out, and elixir's finally if hp pots aren't worth it at that level/you could use the boost. Also consider doran's items early/midgame.
Another thing that separates the good players from the bad ones is item pathing or flow. Many of you may remember being low level, seeing an awesome item like Infinity edge and rushing straight to nothing but Advanced Tier items. I recall reading a Miss Fortune build that looked something like this > vampiric scepter > boots > BLOODTHIRSTER>PHANTOM DANCER>INFINITY EDGE>PHANTOM DANCER>FROZEN MALLET. All of those items are good, but some of the most expensive in the game. If that's my final build it'd be a lot better to go v. scepter>basic boots>phage>zeal>Frozen Mallet>bf sword **consider building thirster,dancer, infinity edge**> build the other ones. The damage flows much better instead of the game being like this:
Damage is average. Damage sucks. Damage sucks. Damage Sucks. Damage is insane. Survivability sucks, survival sucks/damage is average. survival/damage sucks. survivability is average, average damage output. and so on.
In terms of Flow. Some items rock, like philosopher's stone. If i could i'd build that on every character during laning phase, but on most it just doesn't flow into any other items and although it pays for itself it takes around 15 minutes of me holding that item for it to work.
4/3/2011: First Draft Uploaded
**notes: Consider moving around some stuff in part1/2. Consider shortening some of the WoT's. Also consider adding more pictures to make the WoT's less WoTish
4/4/2011: changed item build for lane