Lee Sin General Guide by jotunheimr
Not Updated For Current Season
Lee Sin Build
Not Updated For Current Season
I've added a basic lee sin guide, but this is just for reference sake.
As with all things we must define this term first; metaphysically what is the top lane? We can also dissect it further than common sense as well to gain a larger grasp of the lane itself. Lets start with a simple definition, the top lane is the uppermost of the 3 lanes in League of Legends, with baron sandwiched in between it and middle lane.
This is a suitable definition, and we can augment this with some characteristics: Top Lane is like bottom lane, its major point of contention is baron (as opposed to bottom, which deals with dragon.) It is a longer lane like bottom lane (your mid laner will hit 6 before a solo topper or solo bot. Try it.) On blue side top lane is the bulwark to blue, for purple, red buff. There are bottom brushes similarly to bottom lane which enables some laners (eg nidalee).
Now with a suitable list of characteristics we can add a great deal of questions. First to most people newer to league of legends is why are the lanes set up like this? (eg. solo top, ap carry mid, support+ad carry bot) (this is a generalization). AP carries generally have stronger ults than solo tops or ad bots and want to hit 6 to aid their team more as they scale off of levels. AD carries scale off of items more, and such are babysitted in bot lane so they can farm their hearts out. Now top lane is the solo lane, but why not have two laners there like in bot lane? We need a jungler. Cutting that, why not two top and 1 bot for baron control? Good questions and I asked these myself. 1) dragon spawns at 2:30 which means that whoever pushes bot lane well can pick up a fast drag (~5 minutes safely) and gain a huge lead for their team. If we had a solo bot it would be harder to do dragon and also, the double bot lane would simply push the solo laner out and take dragon control for themselves. This is a crude rundown of bot and mid lane pretty much.
Now the most important question of all, what is top lane? Top lane can honestly be anything. Anything at all. Support, ap carry, ad carry, ap bruiser, ad bruiser, ap tank, ad tank, etc. However, since you are getting the second most farm in your team (2nd to mid) you'll want someone that scales off of items. AD carry. Boom. Fair choice, but you have to remember that ad carries will also be alone (without a support) so sustain is also critical in this lane. Most AD carries have little to no sustain or escapes, which makes them hard to use in top lane, combined with smaller range. AP carry is a fair choice, similarly to mid lane. Longer range, more sustain, more zoning, etc. A better choice. Lets take tanks (great cc and can sustain decently in lane) and the last pick, the bruiser. People have been shifting on the NA servers to bruisers because they scale better than all of the other three picks and help the jungler tank for the team with a lot of cc and duelling prowess. This is most likely going to be your choice for top lane and probably the most common one you will face. That being said, bruisers do lose to carries early game. Period. This must be accepted.
Pick your poison
I prefer my bruisers in top lane but really, pick your poison: if you can carry well from top lane, by all means do it. Make sure however, that this is not at the expense of your team's tankiness (eg the support is more tanky (maokai leona alistar) in exchange, for instance. Being a meta sheep won't help you too much in league, so thinking outside the box to counter that odd top lane choice, for instance, is a good thing.
Good Lane Practice
Always ward the river. Pay attention so the jungler doesn't gank you and kill you (this basically hands over the lane to your opponent); make sure the opposing jungler isn't grabbing your blue or red. Counter jungle a long with your jungler. Create ganks on mid. Do pressure.
Don't push the lane unless you want your opponent to miss last hits. (this is situational, don't do this against an irelia, for instance) or to knock down their first turret. The main mechanic of the turret is to grant map vision. If you knock down all of the outer turrets, for instance, you can control your jungle, their jungle, dragon and baron. Not to mention you need to push at some time to win the game. Turrets also grant hefty global gold and exp (a turret is slightly less than a dragon and two turrets=1 baron w/o the buff gold wise.) If you knock down your opponent's turret they can't farm as safely and you pretty much save your jungle from being countered on the top side.
Help your teamates out. Don't die. Kill your opponent if you can, but denying farm is effectively killing a top laner as well. use the rule of thumb; 15 cs=1 kill, so if you've denied 15 cs and gotten 15 by yourself you're now 2 kills ahead of your opponent. That will help a lot in teamfights.
Classing Top Laners?
We've already established that near anyone can come to top lane. Ap or ad, tank, carry or bruiser. That being said, dividing laners into those divisions is probably not the best idea. (eg you fight a tryndamere far differently than you would a graves even though they are both ad carries). We need to establish a system. You can choose whatever you feel like, I've felt as though these distinctions are fine.
Sustain-(eg. Warwick, AP nidalee, Irelia): they can lane forever. They gain lots of health back on hitting minions or cooldowns.
Duellist(eg. Lee Sin, Trundle, talon): You can't kill these champs period. They are generally early game champions more reliant on killing their opposing laner through a bunch of skills and want to snowball out of this.
Pusher: (eg. sivir, graves, malzahar): These champions are more or less great at pushing down your first turret. Once they do, they roam around and push other turrets to cut down your team's map control.
Most characters are adept at two or more of the categories (eg olaf is a duellist type that can sustains decently (w skill)) and some are in all three categories (eg lee sin is a duellist that can sustain (w skill) and also has decent aoe (tempest). Unless a character excels completely in one aspect (#1 sustain, #1 duellist, #1 pusher)
you'll want a champion that can do at least two of the categories decently (eg. I prefer duellist pusher champions because I can kill my opponent then knock down their turret granting my team more baron control). What you pick is entirely up to you. What is your playstyle? Do you like being passive and farming? Do you crave first blood? Do you want to stand in lane with a doran's shield for 20 minutes? Ask these, then write down what you think your champion does and how it fits your playstyle.
For example: my top laner
I picked Lee sin as my top Laner (first build). Lets take a look, shall we (this is meant to establish what someones mindset/builds should be before entering the battle).
First items: Doran's blade, cloth 5, boots 3, null 2. Decent items, general starting items, except for null-2. No one really uses this. What are the items meant to do?
-Cloth 5 means I have effectively 750 more health than someone who comes to lane with no pots. This is the most inefficient (eg I get 300 gold for my 475 investment) but lets me dominate my lane (750 health means i'll have double my opponent's health so i can stay ~ 2-3 times as long. This ia a good, safe, vs ad lane pick. Vs harassers, it is also needed.
-Doran's blade is straight up for duelling, period. You've said screw sustain (3% is pretty bad) and want to go for the extreme in your opponents face agressive first blood style. Doran's is especially good on lee sin as he scales extremely well off of ad (i'll do ~ 30 more damage through my full combo and then +8 more damage + auto attack? that's pretty awesome. This is a good item choice vs. carries to keep them down in the early levels (the best counter to carries is DUEL THEM ALWAYS)
boots 3- mobility is awesome, mainly for dealing with skillshot champions and playing safe while being more immune to ganks (50 ms means your opponent can't catch you). 3 pots is decent sustain, if you get the gold mastery and wait briefly you can get 5 pots, even better.)
null-2- against ap carries. it lets you stay in lane a lot longer against aps and duel against them. Good choice to keep in mind.
Starting items are a tool to augment what your objective is. Many champions can be played many different ways (lee sin can be a tank, off tank, carry, duellist, sustainer, utility, etc.) Runes also come into effect. Do you want a short term benefit (more fitting of duellists who want fb) or a long term benefit (more carry oriented). Maybe you seek the middle road (stronger mid game rune set). Pick your poison here again; if you know (eg ranked) that you will play against an ad some people will run a 70 armor page level 1 and proceed to destroy the lane. This will however make your character far weaker late game (all armor is very inefficient page wise). Some will run a full armor pen page with scaling mr blues and health/level yellows. This means an extremely bad level 1 but an extemely well scaling late game.
Now from the rest of the build you'll notice that this is more utility/tank focused. I'm not looking for straight out dps (ie I have warmogs/frozen, hog, wits, atma, etc). These are all item choices to make in the mid game that can make or break your lane. Top lane requires a great deal of knowledge on top laners (what damage do they do? can they kill me? How should I build to counter them?).
Once we have that down, how do we deal with the three types of opponents?