Lee Sin Build Guide by Vexilium
Not Updated For Current Season
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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.
Hello everyone, i'm Vexilium and i'm about to say the usual stuff you read in an introduction if you ever bother to not skip it like i do. Ready?
I'm an EUWest player, not particulary skilled, i play mostly junglers and assassin of various kind and some bruisers, which i'm decent at, and i completly suck in bottomlane (lol). This is my first guide on mobafire but i will try my best to make this guide helpfull to those who approach the wonderfull champion Lee Sin is.
I will focus mostly on the gameplay and on the items because i think that they are the most inpactfull part of a guide, and i will explain why i made that choice and why i didnt take another path.
English is not my native language so i hope you will forgive me for the ****load mistakes i'm gonna do troughout this guide.
Ok....enough bla bla bla, let's get started.
Who's Lee Sin?
In almost every guide i read on mobafire i see the tendency to overvalue the champions, making their strong points overshine the weak points, or totally ignoring them. That many times lead me to do something out of my reach when playing said champions. This is what to strongly avoid in this guide.
Like every champion Lee Sin have to adapt his playstyle to situation, that's for sure, but there are things that he just cant do, as well as there are things that he is supposed to do, in this introduction i want you to have an idea of what these things are, just to not blindly (lol) play.
Lee Sin is a very mobile assassin-offtank which streghts lies in the quick unleash of a full combo of skill spaced with some auoto attacks and an even quicker retreat. Despite he rely on autoattack for dealing some damage he is not an autoattack champion like Jax or Xin Zhao. Lee Sin is mostly an AD caster with some steroids.
Many player states that Lee Sin is a great duelist, i find this statement misleading, or at least lacking of a good definition of "duel". If you go as Lee Sin toe to toe with Darius or Olaf or Xin Zhao with both of you and your enemy at full life you will just feed them, no way you can win, your tactic must be something different, yet you have the kit to get the advantage that you need to come on top, rely on your mobility and quick burst to bring them down before go all in.
Another important note while playing Lee Sin is that you have to be flexible in your build and role, with your kit you can play like an assassin, an offtank, glasscannon or peeler, but you have to understand what you want (or need) to do quickly and adapt fast.
Pros / Cons
The Optimal Choice
|You are the jungler, take Smite. I will spend some time talking about people who jungle without Smite. You are useless. One new at jungling might think that Smite is just a 10 min spell,after that mark, they think, one can be fast enough to clear camp of his own, well guys you are terribly wrong. In first place jungling without Smite mean that your top or mid laner must help you for more time, possibly missing some early creeps, that mean that enemy laners will have a reasonable window of time of at least 20 seconds when they are 1 level higher then your mid, huge disadvantage, in second place you are slower then you should be, that follow in receiving more damage from camps, that again traslate in one or two extra trip back for heals, crippling your gank potential and not applying the pressure you should bring on the lanes, in third place you cant secure your buffs, dragon and baron with a very high chance to be conterjungled slowing you even more. When i see my opponent jungler not running Smite i just laugh, buy a ward and place it inside the camp i want to steal, Smite the buff at right time and go back, gg we are 4 vs 5. So please everyone out there that think they can jungle without Smite: stop do that.
|Here the King of all summoner's spell, the most common one and with a reason. Everyone use Flash and not having it is an handicap, when i see someone not having flash in the load screen i grin and prepare to gank him, unless you have a reliable way to escape a gank not having Flash just draw a big big target on your head screaming "GANK ME", yes you are the one who gank not the one supposed to be ganked but you never know when you will get ambushed in your jungle, many people think that very mobile champion like Lee Sin can skip Flash for more offensive chioces, i can understand it, but i prefer to keep my free out card, mostly for when i need to position for a Dragon's Rage or when i'm out of ward to Safeguard at.|
|If you choosed to give up Flash (because you cant give up Smite, never) you might want to go for securing early kills, or maybe you want invade the enemy jungler and Ignite can give you the upper hand in close combats or versus high regenerating champions like Dr. Mundo or Swain
|Another good option if you feel that Tempest / Cripple is not enough, i used to carry this with pain when my laners stubbornly refused to pick champions with some CC, it definitly worth a try, also it is very usefull in teamfight when you can shut down enemy AD carry for the time needed for the kill, still i think that if your team composition rely on the jungler to carry Exhaust something is worng.
|Nice choice if you want map presence and even more gank potential, make your laners put a sight ward behind the enemy lines when they are unchecked and Teleport to it for surprise gank, or you can use this spell for split pushing or backdooring, the downside is that these tecnique has a relatively low success chance if your opponent play carefully, especially backdoor. Still the global map presence is nice but, be sure you coordinate with your team mate if you play to run Teleport.|
Never pick this
|You have a shield with Safeguard and you dont need another, if you do you doing something wrong, leave this for AD carry
|Might be usefull to peek enemy jungler, but leave this to the support
| Lee Sin dont use mana
|There is nothing wrong with this spell, just is dont feel it is that game changing on offtanks like Lee Sin, AD carry spell.
|With all your mobility this is really overkill, also if you really care more mobility, Flash do everything you need
| Lee Sin has sustain with Iron Will, leave this to AD carry and supports.
|If you saw this spell in summoner rift then that player is trolling. We dont aim to die.|
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark Of Attack Damage
I use this mark because Lee Sin ability scales off AD greatly and that's all.
You may ask if Greater Mark of Armor Penetration is better, but i think no, the reason is that the ARpen overcome flat AD once some armor kick in, but this will not happen until enemy champions hit the 2nd/3rd trip back to base, or even later in certain cases, and as Lee Sin you should try to set your lead before they do that, plus the neutral monster, wich you will be hitting the most, have a negligible armor making Greater Mark of Attack Damage a better overall choice.
With this i dont mean that Greater Mark of Armor Penetration is a bad option, but it will slow your clearing and making your very early gank less scary in exchange to some damage later, and i dont think this is the optimal trade for Lee Sin
Greater Seal of Armor
I consider this runes a must-have for every jungler, the reason is simple: the neutral moster hit you with physical damage, so you need armor to mitigate. Lee Sin has some sustain trough his Safeguard / Iron Will but recent nerf removed the armor component making this runes even more needed then before. Remember that more damage in the jungle directly traslate in a risky gank, or in an extra trip back.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
These Glyphs provide some MR highly usefull in midgame. You can argue that this is not the only choice, and you are right: other viable options are Greater Glyph of Armor or Greater Glyph of Attack Damage, but i think none of them give the same efficiency of the MR for two reason. First is a numerical reason: Armor is 1/2 of the seal corresponding and AD have an even worse ratio with mark corresponding.
Second i really think that some MR is needed in any case, and this is the best way to achieve it other then items (that you cant rush anyway), indeed when larger skirmish happen in mid lane most of the time the enemy AP carry manage to land at least 1 aoe, and this often happen before you can buy any mr item other then your boots.
Last note on the Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist vs Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: unlike armor runes that you use imediatly at first level in the jungle the MR runes start to kick in a little later in the game, somewhere around early-mid, this mean that you will be around lv 8-9 before you can really make an use of this MR; before that level the enemy AP carry probably just bought a mana fixer like catalyst the protector or Chalice of Harmony. Anyway mid game is the AP mages time, because of this the scaling MR start overcome the flat MR just in time for you to use them, that's why i think they come on top in the compare 9 times on 10.
Greater Quintessence Of Attack Damage
This quints follow straight from the marks and are a just better version.
Many junglers like to run Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed for faster travel or Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed for faster clear, they are both viable option for sure but i discourage using them on Lee Sin, in first place Lee Sin is an incredible mobile champion and really dont need more Movement speed at all, in second place the attack speed is pretty trivial to give up the AD in exchange, plus Lee Sin has already an AS steroid from his passive Flurry.
13 point are all we need to be strong, i take all 3 the % damage mastery Expose Weakness , Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving that are the real staple this season, simply put, they scale with everything so having them is unvaluable in general, Double-Edged Sword is plain bad imo because i dont want enemy hit me harder for any reason, Butcher is decent and worth take, but Feast give too little advantage considering Lee Sin dont use the mana portion, rest is just AD and Executioner , even one point is well worth over anything else we could want at that tier
Nothing incredible here too, Tough Skin and Bladed Armor are standard for junglers, debatable point is Enchanted Armor vs Recovery but assuming we will buy 2 or 3 defensive items i feel the latter cant stand the confrontation, Veteran Scars and Juggernaut are super strong being plain and simple hp to add, Hardiness will help vs jungle monster and just make us a little tankyer, last 2 point are up to preferences, i find that having better defences vs crit is always worth so Reinforced Armor is something i would never give up, last i find Oppression better for duels and exchanges over Swiftness due to our debuff with Tempest / Cripple and our 2 dash to make slows less rilevant.
3 point for some movement speed, deal! Is a free movement speed quintessence and i find it quite usefull
Let's now look at Lee Sin's ability, i'll try to explain in-depth what every skill can do and what cant, other then give some general tips about usage. Note that every skill other then ultimate has 2 components: first one can be cast anytime while the second one is available only if the first component actually hit something. Also every single component of the skill count as a full skill for the purpose of triggering certain item ability like Sheen or to pop Spell Shields like Shroud of Darkness.
| Lee Sin's passive grants 40% attack speed buff whenever Lee Sin uses a skill, also the enhanced autoattacks restore 15 energy each. The buff last for 2 autoattacks. Some interesting stuff:
Flurry is particulary usefull when taking down turrets and in the jungle, so try to take habit to space 2 autos every skill you use if you arent absolutly pressed to skip them.
Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
| Lee Sin q is a collision linear skillshot that deal physical damage to the first unit in it's path applying a mark that reveal it from stealth, fog of war,and brushes; if Sonic Wave hit something Resonating Strike become available for the next 3 second. Resonating Strike is a point blank dash ability that move Lee Sin in front of the enemy hit by Sonic Wave.
Ok this is, hand down, your major source of damage as Lee Sin the AD ratio scaling is just crazy o.9 per component, that mean a total of 1.8 total ratio, plus Resonating Strike deal 8% of the enemy missing health making this a great execution move.
How to make the best use of this skill? KNOW IT
The first and most obvious use of Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike is to close the gap in the ganks, this require a good timing and prediction of the movement of the enemy paired with a certain awarness of the enemy itself. A nice trick that suceed very often is this, most of people hide behind the creeps when they know you are coming, make them feel safe and suddendly Smite the minion between you and your target following wirth Sonic Wave, most of people dont react fast enough to swich from "hide mode" to "dodge mode", but quick finger and quicker decision-making are key here. DONT abuse gap closing with Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike remeber to use it wisely (check spoiler for example)
Example of a fight
Other then bush checking use (try to cover the most part of the bush with the skillshot's line) remeber you can use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to escape in the jungle: hit a neutral camp and dash to it over the wall. WATCH OUT, you need some map awarness to di it, is very frustrating to aim for a missing camp, that's one of the reasons why you should FORBID your laners to take your camps without your permission.
Safeguard / Iron Will
| Lee Sin w ability is a targeted dash ability that shield both you and your targed if you cast it on a champion (or yourself) with an absorbtion shield that last 5 seconds or until dispatched, after using Safeguard, Iron Will become available to cast for 3 seconds, Iron Will is a self target buff that gratnt lifesteal and spellvamp for 5 seconds.
Another great skill with tons of usage, it provide the sustain to stay in jungle paired with another dash, sadly riot removed the armor component that Iron Will used to provide, but this is still a very usefull ability. Let's see some details
But the most rewarding way to use Safeguard is, hands down, the ward jump: basically you place a ward and imediatly Safeguard to it, it is not the easyest move and require quick fingers and low lagtency to be used at best, but once you manage that you basically can buy Flash in the store for 75 gold.
Tempest / Cripple
| Lee Sin e ability is a point blank AOE that deals magic damage to all enemy catch in the area and appling a revealing mark for 4 second, if any unit is hit Cripple become available to cast for 3 seconds. Cripple is a point blank AOE debuff that reduce attack speed and movement speed of all enemy in the range that were affected by the mark applied by Tempest for 4 seconds, affected units will gradually recover their movement and attack speed over the duration. Details...
Finally be aware that Tempest is the only Lee Sin's skill that deal magic damage, and you can consider leveling it first if laning versus an opponent that most likely will stack armor, like Malphite.
| Lee Sin's ultimate is single target nuke that deal physical damamge an enemy champion and knock him back for a set distance over 1 second, any unit in the path of the knockback will be damaged and knock up for 1 second, interesting uh? Want know more?
In first place this is the only way for Lee Sin to break an enemy channeled ability like Fiddlesticks's Drain or Katarina's Death Lotus. i personally think that ever team composition need at least a couple of ways to disrupt channels or severely disable your opponent, and Dragon's Rage is a great tool to do so, in second place Dragon's Rage has the most consistent knockback in the game (1200 units) so it can be used with the same efficiency as a reversed Rocket Grab, in third place dont understimate the fact you can use enemy like a weapon to kill low life enemy behind them, with the right angle you can kill them by knocking a tanky frontliner on the escaping carry.
But Dragon's Rage is not a cheap spell!! Remeber that heavy displacement ability can cost you the game if used poorly, and Dragon's Rage is far from being the easyest spell to use properly.
I've saw many times enemy Lee Sin (and myself also, often) miscalculatin the damage when trying to execute the enemy with Dragon's Rage just to see the enemy walk away with a couple of hp out of the grasp of your team, try to always be sure your cast will kill the target or you will waste your ultimate and get some heavy harass form your team.
Leveling up your skills is a personal choice and should adapt different situations and games, but i can give you some guideline to follow and i hope some point to meditate when taking your choice. I will not analyze the reason to max out Dragon's Rage whenever posible...it is your ult...and you max it.Period.
Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike is a skillshot and has the highest damage output out of your kit, and is the only skill that reduce the cooldown with level, so i usually max it first, anyway when i was still learning the champion i used to miss many of my skillshots due to the lack of experience with the projectile speed and width, altrough you must learn how to land it in some cases the enemy team is just too mobile or too skilled and maybe you want to max something else to counter this, maxing this first provide you the higher damage and the faster skill rounding (you reduce the rotation time of your skill the most). I max this first.
Safeguard / Iron Will is your shield, your friend-dash and your sustain, maxing this set you in the defensive side, is when you want to recover fast from damage absorbed and be more durable, if you max this outright at lv 9 yoiu end having 25% lifestal and spellvamp, meaning that you will never recall for health any more, the downside is that you will deal poor damage and your cooldown isnt affected by level, max this when you want be very defensive. I usually max this last.
Tempest / Cripple is your debuff skill, the damage scaling is not impressive but still good, the cooldown does not scale with level but the slow amount does greatly, bringing it to the awesome 60% at max rank, maxing this first mean you will rely mostly in debuffing your enemy leading others to kill them, this is very effective against champions that rely on their mobility (like Hecarim) or attack speed (like most of the AD carry) to be effective, also you can choose to max this first versus armor stacking champion since Tempest / Cripple is the only skill in Lee Sin's kit that deal magic damage. I usually max this second.
Combo are a sequence of chained skills that lead to maximize the utility/damage in a short period of time, Lee Sin is totally designed to combo your opponent in a short frame and retreat back before he can strike back. Beware. Altrough the possibilities are limitless choosing the best combo in every situation is all about experience and personal judgement. And performing a perfect combo is a presonal skill. Dont be frustrated if you cant do perfectly in the first games you play as Lee Sin because the skillcap is very high and you need to practice alot to be rewarded, still performing a good combo is incedibly satisfy. (I will use the icon of Flurry to simbolyze autoattack, i think it fits perfectly the role)
This is your basic harass combo: Sonic Wave on enemy, Resonating Strike to close the gap, an autoattack that will occur imediatly, Tempest for some extra damage and imediatly Safeguard back to a minion or friendly champion. This move is very quick and the only hard part is to land the skillshot. Also if the enemy want trade chasing you, just Cripple and retreat to safety.
Here you basic execution combo. Sonic Wave in melee range, follow up with Dragon's Rage to kick your opponent away and finally Resonating Strike to kill him due to the %missing healt component. This can be used to displace your opponent toward an incoming team mate, or to separate a weak opponent from the rest of his team, for instance if a skirmish happent into the jungle you can execute this combo to kick your opponent over a wall and follow him creating a duel. Warning: if you Resonating Strike while your opponent is mid-air you will follow him only until the position he is in that moment, creating a gap between you and him due to the remaining knockback, this can also be used to your advantage of course, but be sure do control the time of your Resonating Strike properly.
Safeguard to your team mate to close the gap and protect both, then quicky double tap Tempest / Cripple for damage and severe slow, at this point you should easly outrun him and place yourself behind him, then proiceed with your executiuon combo (if you are placed behind him this should kick him away from his turret)
Another gank combo. use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to close the gap and autoattack, then quickly place a ward behind your ratget , Safeguard on it and Dragon's Rage your enemy toward your team mate and away from enemy turret, note that you dont have any way to follow up other then Flash so be sure you can survive if you using this combo to take out your enemy from his turret.
Sonic Wave in imediatly followng with Resonating Strike when you are mid-air Smite, none will outsmite you due to the % missing hp damage component of Resonating Strike, all to remain is to run Safeguarding to the ward outside the camp. Or fight if is the case. This work for every buff, dragon and baron, and when you can do this is extremely rewarding.
This is not specificly related to Lee Sin itself, but i think that 35-40% of the improvement of my gameplay came from mastering this setup.
What is smart casting?
Smart casting is a setup of your game that allow you to casta skill, spell, or use an item imediatly when you press the key on your keyboard without left clicking your target, pretty much like Flash work.
The actual advantage lies in the fact that you reduce the mumbers of click needed for the action you want to perform. Less click mean less time to perform a combo, less time mean that your opponent have and harder time to react that traslate into an incredible increase of your performance.
Using smart cast of course remove the indicators of the spell (the range of the spell) but this can be helped by setting "show smartcast indicator" in the option panel, this will cause the spell to show the range as usual when you press the key and to cast it in the moment you release the key.
I really cant stress enough how usefull this setup is, and i suggest you all to try it out for a couple of games to feel the difference.
To set your smart cast you must change your Key binding in the in-game setting, binding your regular key (q, w, e, r,) with the "smart cast spell #" option.
Also remeber you can bind your item slots with smart casting as well, making the placing of ward way easyer, and making ward jumping alot smoother.
This Chapter used to be in the Item section but after some meditations i realized that is better to discuss Boots in a separate place.
I assume everyone agree you need a pair of boots on every champ and in every situation(unless you are really stomping in 14 min-win), but choosing wich one might be hard at some times, my advice is to always get Mercury's Treads in late game, but you can always buy a different pair of boots for early-mid and switch later. But enough anticipation! Let's Get started!
|These are, hand down, the best boots in the game, why? Tenacity.
You need tenacity, period. There is no realistic team composition that have so few CC that you can neglect tenacity, and if you ever find such a team, your team will obliterate them before even bother to upgrade your tier one boots. As a basic rule i always suggest to get this boots lategame , simply sell your current boots and get Mercury's Treads
|Very good item when facing AD team that rely on autoattacks, the passive is pretty much OP early game and work on neutral mostres too, plus this item is very cheap and you can get this very fast
Boots of Mobility
|The move-very-fast boots are great for lane phase and mid game roaming, and will help you to be everywhere, if your ganks are going effective this boots will help you ruin your enemy's day, the downside of this boots is that once you are in combat they loose any utility and became plain t2 boots, i recommend to sell this as soon as you find yourself in teamfight more then roaming
Boots of Swiftness
|Usually people think this boots are useless, but this isnt true at all. These boots give the highest consistent MS value, in other words, you can virtually catch anyone and escape anyone, plus dont understimate the slowing reduction passive, play against a Singed to understand this.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
|CDR Boots, plain and simple, i never bought them on Lee Sin because of the energy limitation, and every other boots give you something more for him anyway.
| Lee Sin dont scale that good on attack speed, and this boots dont feel like fits him at all, this is maybe the only real "wrong" pair of boots you can get on him.
Ok now i will analyze the items i use on Lee Sin, but as introduction let me point out something about the concept behind this whole analysis.
First you shoud adapt your build to the situation. What that mean? Simply that happens many times that your team is slighly different from the current meta, or you want to adopt a particular strategy (split push, early aggression, all roamer, all teamfight, high DPS/low CC, Wombo Combo team..ecc), also happen that you dont reach the gold required for that particular item in the phase of the game you are supposed to, or can happen that you succeed 6 gank in a row and have a tons of extra gold, or the enemy team is unconventional...and more. so the key word is itemize accordigly to the situation, Lee Sin is a very versatile champion and can fit every team composition and situation if played and built smart.
This section is the one i reworked the most in the update from my previous guide, that's due to change in my gameplay, removing of some core items (bye bye Runic Bulwark i'll miss you), and change of the metagame.
As you can see i posted 2 different builds, the first pack all the offensive item and the second all the defensive items i discuss in this chapter, of course you can mix the 2 build to fit your role better and the build as you can see them are purely for explicative purpose.
In the following analisys i neglected adding Health Potion and sight ward and that are the only item i always have in the build, while the first one is optional, WARDING IS A MUST
Ok enough said.
|This item is awesome on Lee Sin. In first place it give 75 AD that are really huge, in second place it give the always welcome lifesteal. But what really make this item great is the passive and the active component, farming will be incredible easy, your jungle speed with just Tiamat and Spirit Stonewill skyrocket and this alone can justify the presence of this item, splitpush will be incredible easy ( Tempest + Ravenous Hydra active + 1 auto = a whole wave of minion in 0,5 sec). Also, while the gold investment is high, the recipe is very good and forgivingfull making an overall good item.
Spirit of the Elder Lizard
|The natural offensive upgrade for your Spirit Stone. This item suffered lots of nerfs but is still good enough to be bought, clearing camps with this item is really a breeze, and is cheap enough to be pucrcheased relatively fast, if you fall back this beauty will help you recover, dont overlook the true damage, it's helpfull but dont rely on it for kills (you are a burst assassin)
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
|This item recived a rework to suit better slow junglers and to reward hp stacking, as drawback it no longer give tenacity, i feel that now this item is useless on Lee Sin since he is very fast jungler and dont stack incredible amount of health, while the lack of tenacity lost his major appeal for monk's player
The Black Cleaver
|AD, HP, CDR and fantastic armor penetration, for 3000g you really cant buy anything better, this item will help you shred trough the enemy with ease and will also help all your team damaging your target, a very good item to have
|One of the best item in the game, for only 2300 g you will ignore 35% of enemy armor and have 40 AD, a must have for anyone that seriously want deal damage lategame
ArPen: why so good?
|This item is the most effective way to stack hp...only hp. It is cost effective by its own and is relatively cheap. Simply put this is the item you want to get tanky against an entire team with only one slot for defensive items, also is extremely good if paired with armor and MR but having it alone also work great. I really dont like plain item like this but out of doubt it do its work.
|Used to be the best AD item around, now it lost this status, i dont find any good reason to buy this over a Ravenous Hydra any more, it cost more, give only 5 ad more and the shield passive cant compare with the Ravenous Hydra active and passive.
|Very good item to protect you from AD/AS champions (even after the nerfs, riot why so much hate?), the passive of Warden's Mail alone is great but paired with HP and incredible acrive can turn Lee Sin in a decent initiator for his team, if you pair it with Cripple debuff your enemy will be severely disabled for alot of time, overall a great choice
|I used to love this item before the nerf of the duration of the slow, but it is still decent, i buy it when i find myself struggling to stick with my enemy ( Hecarim Fiora or Singed for example) or when my team just lack the necessary CC and my Cripple is not enough, it also make you really beefier while not neglecting some AD. Still this is an expensive item. Is a valid alternative to Warmog's Armor to get tanky, since your sustain will come mostly from lifesteal and not from hp regen, beware tho, it's very expensive so be sure you NEED that slow
|This is a very good item after the buff, it provide the second higher magic resist value of the game, some hp and a massive amount of CRD, i tend to not build that much CDR on Lee Sin because the energy resurce limit you anyway, and be more spammy just lead to energy starvation in critical moment, but if you can control the temptation to waste your energy this is a good irem to shot. Also is cheap and greatly boost your sustain considering you have natural lifesteal with your Iron Will. also the last patch buffed this item greatly and now completly fits the role of a late game defense against an AP heavy team with pokes
Other Viable Items
In this chapter i will discuss other item that are alos viable on Lee Sin. To be honest most of them i consider not viable at all (like Atma's Impaler) but some other player find them usefull in some wahy, if you ever want give them a try here my impression about them.
|Imo this is an overrated item. The armor is actually good, but the crit chance is somewhat low, plus it has a real problem with the recipe: is pointless to buy this item before you have at least a big Hp item, but you have to buy Avarice Blade early to get profit of the passive, while the crit chance is completly wasted on early Lee Sin. Anyway if you feel that you doing good and can withstand the invest of 800 gold for that critchance and gold usage go for it. Warning you buy this item only if you already have an item like Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet, or even both.
|this item got great love in the last patch like was for Spirit Visage, now no longer grants mana and provide more Hp and MR then used to be, plus the spell shield occur more often then the older version and the recipe is way better now after the introduction of the Spectre's Cowl, all in all this item suddendly became viable on everyone that want MR even if dont use mana, that include all bursty assassin that fear sudden disables, and Lee Sin is so happy about that.
|Finally this item got some love from riot, it used to loose the race with his close cousin Iceborn Gauntlet since the latter came out, but maybe the tide is turning. In first place the spellblade damage got buffed to 200% base AD making it noticeably stronger then his rival in second place the best improvement in my opionion was the Phage rework, now removed the unreliable chance to slow and given a consistent speed buff on-hit and on kill, last a nice price reduction set Trinity Force back among the "goods" items. Buy this item to improve burst potential or to be simply stronger in everything you do.
Blade of the Ruined King
|This used to be my main item on the previous version of this guide, sadly the nerf bat strike hard and this item suffered it alot. But not only the active nerf set this item back, mostly is the meta changing that convinced me to buy this item way less then i used to. Simply put the HP meta is slowly changing and Warmog's Armor isnt everywhere any more like some month ago, yes Blade of the Ruined King is still a great item, but you have to think twice now befre buy it because if you dont see many fat guys around (looking at you Gragas) you can have better performance with a The Bloodthirster
|A very situational item, it provide the highest armor in the game for a real cheap cost, the downside is that this provide only armor and nothing else. The passive is great if the enemy AD carry is getting fed but i suggest you build this only if at least 2 enemy rely only on autoattack as surce of damage (dont buy this vs Darius for example)).I think this item work better if paired with something like Warmog's Armor or such.
Locket of the Iron Solari
|Sadly riot removed my beloved Runic Bulwark from the game, and i'm incredibly sad about it, to compensate they revamped this item that was averagelly bad by mixing the old version with the Aegis of the Legion, i still dont like it but many people can use this successfully and make use of the defensive stats, and also Aegis of the Legion is still great early-mid game.
|Personally i dont like this item much but is still a very good option if you getting insta bursted, has a decent amount of armor and magic resist but if you buy this is mostly for the rebirth passive, i've seen many equal game turning in one side's favor just becasue all 5 bought Guardian Angel to come ontop after the pseudo double-ace.
|Imo this is a weaker and cheaper version of Randuin's Omen and you can replace it accordingly if you fall behind for some reason, but this has way lesser sinergy with Lee Sin then the former, mostly due to the fact Lee Sin is meant to jump in and out the fight instead then stick to the mid to fully exploit the passive of Sunfire Cape. Sub par choice to recover bad start. As a side note be wary when preparing the buff for your laners with this on, if you push too hard you will end kill it with the passive.
Maw of Malmortius
|This is a very good item, it provide good AD and decent magic resist, and a great life-saving shield, buy this to counter bursty champion with low hp pool, also this provide increased AD accordingly to your missing health, making you able to perform crazy turn around at low health for the lulz.
|I dont like this item. Yes it give massive amount of magic resist and AD and the active of Quicksilver Sash is just awesome but have 2 downside i cant cant withstand. First the item cost is just too high, it used to be even higher but 3700 gold is still alot and really is a bitter pill, second the recipe is just unforgivingful, building from the expensive B. F. Sword and the expansive Quicksilver Sash, for these reason i never bought it without regretting. Anyway there are some times that you just need the Quicksilver Sash to get rid of that annoying fed Malzahar or Skarner, so upgrading it into Mercurial Scimitar is just the most obvious choice.
| Feral Flare changed the jungle in season 4 but resist the temptation buy it on Lee Sin, why? almost everything about lee sin is in opposition to Wriggle's Lantern playstyle, Lee Sin is a burst ad caster that gank hard and dominate early game, the lantern is a autoattack item that reward long farming to wreck late game with his stacks
|After the release of this item you hardly see a team that dont run at least one of this, just HP and some free wards around, wards win games and everyone know it so if your supp isnt doing enough with that you can buy a Sightstone and help him out, plus thanks to Safeguard you just bought a limtless surce of free flash, definitly a great item to have if it fits your playstyle and contingent needs.
Jungling: Curse of the sad Jungler
There is a sad truth in League of Legends: is Always a jungler's fault.
If you (like me..) had the misfortune of falling in love with the jungler role and you (like me...) play alot of solo queue i suggest you to subscribe in a yoga gym, or in a camunity for the rage suppression, or to provide yourself with some drugs or alchool.
Why? Well i must warn you: Whenever any of your team mate will die wherever in the map and for any reason it will be your fault, you will get one (or more) report for every game you loose and get flamed in 90% of every game you play.
Point is that your team mate will expect you magically appear out of nowhere and save them in the most desperate situation with ease, give them the kill, towerdive, take the turret, provide them a buff place a couple of ward and disappear in a blink of an eye, all while doing the same thing in another lane. When the current reality will hit their face they will just flame you because you didnt satisfy their hopes. God save you if you loose the game, or if anyone loose the lane hard, it will be your total fault regardless of how good you doing or how horrible your laner did.
My advice is to completly ingnore them. Dont argue. Dont try explain that even your champion have a limited movespeed and cooldowns, dont try to say that you dont have a stun, dont point out that your team should stop push if they want a gank. Ignore them. If you waste time typing you will have less time to get xp/gold or to gank, also like every keyboard-arguind everyone want to have the last word, and the complains will be endless and totally ruin your day. As important side even if you are frustrated by the repeated flame of your team dont flame back. Be sure that you get so many report as jungler that 50% of your games are rewied by the tribunal, and you are the most exposed at disciplinary action, dont make them find a reason to punish you.
In this chapter and in the following i'll amply discuss the jungler role, the jungle monster, the basic of ganking and the varius tips about jungling in general. All i'm going to share are personal opinions so take that with a grain of salt (still i greatly apreciate comment and discussion about that), but i think that there are concepts that really represent a good way to interpretate the jungler role.
If you are experienced at jungling with others champions you can skip this section, here i'm just introducing new player to the wonderful world of the jungle. Let's start.
The Jungler Role
In first place we have to clarify why we even bother to go in jungle. In short the main aim of having a jungler is to make the other lane to be more fed. According to game mechanics every champion that is near to a dying enemy creeps or neutral monster take a portion of the experience it provide, so at equal number of creeps (in range of exp) 1 champion alone level faster than 2 champions, 2 champion level faster then 3 and so on, so in first place we go in jungle to let one of your teammmate (top) to get the full xp/gold from the creeps, while we kill neutral monster to do the same. Is this progression equal? no. While you can keep the range for the first 5-6 levels usually the jungle creeps start do be severely overcome xp/gold wise by lane creeps so consider that we are way underfed compared to solo lanes (we might keep the track with duo laners xp wise but due to the 0 creeps support meta we have more gold then support but way less then AD carry).
We all know that the task of the laners is to protect our turrets while taking down enemy turrts, but the jungler has no turret! so what's our task? due to the particular gameplay of jungler he must act like a jolly, he must do everything that your laner cant/dont get to/dont think at, in practice we must do everything and more. I'll follow with some of the general task of a jungler trying to go in depht of each to answer many question that might come into mind while wondering at jungling.
|This is maybe the most iconic Jungler's task, basically ganking mean to sneak into a lane trying to kill the enemy laner(s) with the number/position advantage. If the gank is sucessful your team get one or more kills, or force your enemys to use their defensive summoner's spell, or at very least to force your enemys out of the lane while your team mates is still healthy to keep farm, when a gank occur your enemys is forced to play more safe or to waste resources to be as efficient as usual, weakening their resilence in lane and giving your team mates the upper hand in trades, this effect is called applying lane pressure.
|This basically consist in damaging blue and red buff until appropiately low, then making your team mate (usually mid for the blue and AD carry for red) to kill it quickily then rushing back into the lane with minor loss of xp/gold. To be honest most of the time this task can be limited to the blue buff to your mid laner wich impact the most having the blue buff, allowing him to spam his ability to harass. Usually you start giving the buffs from the second spawn and on, but it really depend from the champion in midlane and the necessity for the jungler itself to have it, this mostly apply for the red buff, that is very handy to have for jungler due to the slow. on autoattack durning ganks.
|Securing objectives mean to control and manage the dragon and the baron trying to assure the killing blow on these enemies to your team. The enemy jungler want the same thing so basically the point is to find the right moment to achieve these objective without the enemy team disrupt you. Smite has a great role in this task allowing you to secure the objectives from ranged nuke.
|Happen that your team mate are severely injured due to a gank or they had too hard harass or lost a trade when your enemy is still healty and with serious pushing ability so if your laner leave the lane alone the turret is in danger, in that case the jungler cover the lane until your ally is back.
|This is not properly a jungler task, is just that everyone have to ward, included you (still when someone complain that there are few ward on the map he should keep in mind that he share 1/5 of the guilty with the team). But due to your roaming nature you can put wards in strategical spots or inside the enemy jungle to keep track of the enemy jungler to prevent ganks or counterjungle
|Sometimes happen that you and enemy team are stuck in a dead point of the game facing each others but none of the team willing to engage, or you just want to make the enemy team split, in these situation you go alone to an uncovered lane and push it as far as you can to make one or two enemy be forced to leave the siege to protect their structures. beware this is a risky move and have to be used with caution, be sure you notice when the enemy come for you and be sure you dont get ambushed while pushing, Teleport greatly increase your ability to perform this kind of strategy, and having Flash up for emergency is a wise also.
|This is optional and for experienced junglers currently playing certains matchups, this consist into going into the enemy jungle trying to steal enemy buffs and/or killing the opponent's jungler in order to take an advantage on him making him less efficient as jungler, this require map awarness, strong duel ability and coordination with your team mates, watch out for enemy laners tho, if they are missing is wise to not counterjungle too much. Master yourself and master the enemy before try this, and anyway just dont counterjungle champions extremely fast/strong duelist (one example for all Shyvana)
Jungling: Neutral monsters
In this chapter i'll describe all the neutral moster you will find in the jungle. To be a good jungler you have to know all about the camps you going to clear, included spawn time, resurces required to clear, estimated time ivestment and respawn time. Once you have clear in mind all these information you can take decision like where to gank, what path you will follow, the counterjungle strategy, or when to recall to optimize time/gold.
||Golems are imo the less worthy camp to clear, they deal relatively high damage for a small reward of xp golds plus you can find them in a very unconfortable place to reach wich is in no ganking path, i most of the time skip this for my first route and maybe the second.
||Wolfs are one of the basic camps, each camp consist in one big wolf and two small wolfs, these mosters deal respectable damage but they are relatively squishy and overall rewarding, also wolfs are the only type of neutral moster that have a crit chance so dont be upset if the damage you recive isnt consistent trough different clearings.
||Wraith are maybe the easyer camp , each camp consist of 1 wraith and 3 lesser wraith, this camp give relatively low xp/gold but the hp/time investment is minimal as well, so this camp is a good one.
||Anncient golem provide one of the 2 basic buff of the game commonly known as "blue buff", it provide 20% cool down reduction and heavy mana/energy regen, basically you cant have mana problem with this buff on, the management of this buff is vital in every match, if your team can have it regulary have a major advantage over the enemy, this is particulary true for your AP carry, but most of the jungler that use mana to be able to spam ability and clear faster in the first clear. The camp consist in the Ancient Golem it self and 2 small lizard, the buff is tied to the Big golem only so you dont need to kill the small lizard if your sole purpose is the buff, the big golem deal high damage at a slow attack speed. A good jungler keep track of this buff regualry and manage to give to the most needing team mate.
||The Elder Lizard provide the second buff of the game commonly known as "red buff", it provide on-hit slow on basic attacks with a true damage DoT effect, this buff along with the blue buff is very important but fit a different role, mostly this buff is used to gank lanes reling on the slow or later in the game this ad some CC on your AD carry. The Elder Lizard deal massive damage so handle this camp with care. The camp consist in the Elder Lizard and 2 small lizard.
|The dragon is the second most importnt neural monster of the game, it spawns alone and the team who kill it gain 190 gold each member. The dragon is very powerful and until mid game you wont be able to kill him alone (unless you play few jungler with particualr features) all his basic attack apply a debuff that deal 60 true damage as DoT and slow attack speed by 20%, this debuff refresh on subsequent attack and dont stack. Controlling dragon is huge gold advantage for your team and killing it efficiently is one of the keys of the game.
||The Baron Nashor is the strongest neurtal monster in the game and is almost imposible to kill alone unless very fed or playng with particular junglers. On kill it provide 300 gold for each member of the team and a specific buff for the team that give massive hp/mana regenand bonus AP and AD based on level. The buff is so powerfull that usually the team who have it is going to win the game at the next push. Of course controlling this objective is extremely important and most of the time securing it is the turning point of a game. The baron is extremely powerfull and is the only one that have skills. Definitly the most important objective in game.
Jungling: Jungle route
[In the previous chapter we learned to know every jungle monster and the respawn time of each camp, so now we have enough information to decide the "path" we will follow while clearing the the various camps. Why is this important? Deciding where to start and where to proceed is vital in order to minimize the idle time waiting a camp to respawn or the time spent to move trough the jungle. Ideally you should return in a cleared camp just in time for the monster to respawn.
IMPORTANT: a camp will start the respawn timer when the last monster of the camp is killed so dont leave living small creeps if you want to have a camp respawn, vice versa you can intentionally leave one small creep alive when counterjungling to make the camp not respawn until the enemy jungler notice the invasion.
When choosing the path you will follow you must keep several information in account, one of the most important is when you foresight to gank and wich lane.
One of the main mistake i see often in people jungling is to waste the red buff: many people take it just to waste it in the jungle.
To speak short the red buff is for ganking. Period. Dont take the red buff just to speed up your jungle route, is stupid and ineffective; many people just think that Lee Sin must start at red buff, that's not completly true. Lee Sin is capable to efficiently gank at level 2 and this is a fact, but still that's not always the case, and ganking no matter what isnt a good way to set your mind in the jungle, be sure that your team mate have some CC ability or that you can profit for the gank before going for it.
Here i prepared some jungling path i use often, these are just expamples not set in stone but i recommend to give a try for each.
In the last patch the jungle has changed: is no longer posible to start at small camps before heading to buff camps, due to the delayed spawn time of the wolf/wraith/golem. This change surely helped balancing the game (the blue team had a consistent advantage due to golem kill for carry) but also radically changed how to jungle in early game. Long story short, you must start at one buff, you just have to choose which one.
Start at Elder lizard, afterward you can gank midlane, top if you are on purple side, or bot if you are blue side. use this path to have the faster gank, usually you can gank a lane before they even reach level 2 while you get it anyway after killing the red Lizard. If you choosed to run this path you want to gank as much as posible, so you afterward run at wolfs, go wraith for lv 3 and gank again while your red buff is still ongoing, if one of this gank is successful you've done your job, if not, you wasted your red buff, and generally the enemy jungler is ahead of you, good luck.
Start at blue and ask for a smiteless leash, then go straight red and use smite, then gank, i used to avoid this route before last patch but the latest jungle changed revamped this route greatly and indeed is the route i most often use, you can gank at lv 3 with both buffs on at min 3, currently is maybe the best option.
Start blue and use Smite on him, proceed with wolf, when you kill the wraith alone go back to wolf that will respawn exactly whern you reach the camp, at this point you are lv 3, go to the Red buff and you will be able to use Smite on him. for the faster kill time on red lizard you have to place behind him, use Tempest 2 autos Cripple 2 autos Safeguard 2 autos Iron Will 2 autos, while auto the second time use Smite for extra heal from spellvamp, then use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike for last heal and kill (use this sequence if you are sure your enemy laner inst any near, if you fear being counterjungled just use Smite to secure the buff as usual), after you kill red you can quickly clear the newly respawned wraith to get lv 4 and gank mid or bot. This is the path i prefer and i use this like 80% of the times, it make you gank with lv for at 4:30 mark if played correctly with not less then 85% hp (i manage to do it full with ne potion left most of the times). used to be my main route but since is no longer posible to time it perfectly due to jungle changes it lost viability, you can still try.
You can make your own prefered path in the jungle, but as general rule try to take the red buff imediatly before ganking, also is good to gank at highest level posible within lv 6 (you should have a slight advantage over lanes xp wise until then) so check your xp bar to know how many camps you need to get to the next level and if that camps are in the path of your next gank spot.
There is no way to explain how to gank, every gank is different form another because it is all about positioning, map awarness and team coordination. i'll give you some general tips in this chapter but your best teachers will be the time and the patience.
- Make your team mate know you are ganking, you cant kill any opponent alone, your team mate must follow the gank and deal some damage for the gank to be successfull, otherwise you will just end eating some turret shot, new pings help, but be very sure your laners understood and have enough hp/mana to be effective durning a gank.
- Be aware of enemy wards, the enemy team will probably ward important spot so be sure to avoit warded spot, for example if you know the ememy has a ward in the top-bush on the river you can gank from the tribush passing behind the baron nest to be unseen until strike, also you can Safeguard to a ward to jump warded spots and do a surprise gank.
- Keep track of enemy Flash, if the enemy use Flash and your Sonic Wave is on cooldown, just give up, burning a summoner spell is good for a gank, still you want to gank again within 5 minutes to exploit the cooldown and net a kill, knowing when the spell is up again is very usefull. Also remember you can Sonic Wave an enemy, wait he Flash then follow with Resonating Strike.
- Use you CC ability, almost every gank need some form of CC to be effective you have a good slow from Cripple but dont forget your activated items such as Blade of the Ruined King and randiun's omen as well, use that to lock down you enemy.
- Focus the squishy, dont bother ganking a the tank if there is a tasty squishy with him, this apply for your team mate too
- Dont take useless risks, like Resonating Strike under a turret with no creeps to Safeguard out, leaving a uncertain kill to avoid a certain death is a good exchange.
- Gank only overextended lanes, ganking a lane you know will end in a tower dive is just exposing you to a risk, ignore your team mate if he insist you dive, he most probably let you die to get the kill then blame you for feeding
- If your team mate call you for ganking give them your estimated time of arrival, this is particulary important if you have to shop or to clear a camp before ganking, or simply if you have to travel half map to get there, donnt expect them to know that you have to recall first, thy will never pay attention to your life bar, just give them your timing (and respect it).
As i said in the previous chapters everyone has to ward the map, just to repeat an obvious sentence "wards win games" and everyone know it.
In this image i pointed some general spot that is good to ward. (assuming you are the blue team)
TheRed dots are the most important spot: warding Dragon and Baron Nashor is vital for any game so whatever happen be sure to have a ward there, better if a vision ward to remove enemy wards.
The Yellow Dots point places usefull to protect your laners and usually they should provide for theyrself, if they cant or are too lazy you can place one or two to protect from incoming ganks, the key of that placement is to check multiple path with each ward, like entrace form jungle and river with the mid-river ward.
The Purple dots show where to place wards if you fear to be counterganked or invaded often, again the reason behind that placement is to have vision of multiple path with a single ward.
The Green dots show where to place wards if you want to check enemy objective and try a counterjungle or set an ambush, i highly recommend to spend the most of your warding this way, as a jungler you have the mobility to give the vision advantage in the enemy jungle just when the small skirmish start to happen giving your team the upper hand.
Jungling: Counter jungle
Conunterjungling is to go in the enemy jungle and steal enemy camps to slow down the enemy jungler or to set an ambush to kill him, to be successfull in this you need some caution and good awarness, here some generic tips.
- Warn your team mate to keep track of enemy laners, if they come help the enemy jungler you are pretty much screwed.
- If you dont plan to kill your enemy just take the camp fast and run away, stealing a buff is incredibly vaulable in the game economy.
- If you get ambushed in the enemy jungle you might consider an oracle elixir to know if you've been spotted by wards (this work also if you get ambushed in your own jungle)
- If the enemy jungler is ganking a lane seize the opportunity to counterjungle him on the opposite side of the map
- Leaving one small creep in a camp will prevent the camp to respawn prolonging your advantage.
- be sure you have an escape mechanism up when counterjungling if the things turns ugly. Flash and/or Safeguard + sight ward highly recommended.
- More time spent in the enemy jungle increase the chances you get spotted and ambushed
- Counterjungling with Smite on cooldown drastically decrease your chance of success
So now we have an idea of what doing in the jungle, now let's see how to behave in the teamfight.
Sadly Lee Sin is relatively weak in large teamfight due to his particular playstile. He is not a tank, and he will never be despite all the tank item you can build, Lee Sin has no defensive steroid nor sufficient CC to lock down anyone in the fight making him quite ignorable if dont deal sufficient damage to be relevant, yet Lee Sin is neither a carry, you cant carry games because you have no crit chance nor high autoattack damage vs structures or tanks, and you cant assassinate like Akali or Zed. Your task will be different.
First of all you can peel for your ad carry, it mean you babysit him and interpone when some tanky bruiser come close to shut him down, Cripple is very good to disable autoattackers just the time your carry melt them, if they are too scary you can either Dragon's Rage them away and disengage.
Peeling is not a secondary task, your ad carry life has the priority and if you can make him survive you most probably win the teamfight.
Another role you can cover in teamfight is the disruptor, come from the backline and kick enemy carry out of position in order to create panic and give your team the chance to insta burst him and win the fight, this is risky because if you dont have an escape you can get killed in the meanwhile, otherwise is golden.
Lastly you can be the perfect bait, you can make the enemy team run into an ambush exploiting your superior mobility to get out sticky situation and turn them to your profit, also risky, but so be it.
Dont forget Lee Sin is a great chaser and can clear fleeing enemy with ease, so remeber to position right to be on the way when the enemy will retreat.
You reached the end of my guide too Lee Sin, thanks for reading and i hope that this guide will help you improve your game or give you some point to think at while playing Lee Sin.
Remember that Lee Sin is all about mobility and quick burst so be aware of your ability and enemy's equally, and overall have fun playing.
Thanks to jhoijhoi for her's guide How to make a Guide that helped legions of guide-makers
Thanks to Caballeros for no actual reason
Thanks to Satella for helping with the mastery coding
Any contribution to this guide will be apreciated, that include videos, banners, constructive criticism, pointing out typos and grammar mistakes, your opinion and consideration etcetera.
Also if anyone know how to solve the following issues with this guide will have my gratitude
- cant get the ability icon string for some reason(seems the blog dont recognize the name of the champion) this work for other champions but seems it dont work for Lee Sin (example down)
- how to make reference to boots enhancements in bb coding " homeguard" dont work
Thanks anyone will answer my questions