Lee Sin Build Guide by Ur Little Sister
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.
This is a dominion guide featuring Lee Sin, the blind monk. But who exactly IS Lee Sin on dominion you might ask?
Lee Sin is a mobile duelist / assassin. On dominion, his main goal is to skirmish with ennemies, hunt them down and kill them, giving his team the space and opportunity to capture points safely. It is my personal opinion that he should (in contrast to matches on Summoner's Rift) be built extremely agressively, bordering complete glass cannon. The reasons for this are:
- Tactical usage of Safeguard / Iron Will will provide you with inherent tankyness.
- Damage items scale better than defensive items. Defensive stats become less effective as you buy more, damage stats often scale increasingly well as you buy more.
- Lee Sin is extremely mobile and can quickly escape a fight if it goes wrong. Therefore, taking higher risks is appropriate seeing as you have an escape plan.
Note: I do use some technical terms and assumptions in this guide, mainly about the nature of defensive items. This is not a defensive items guide. If you're new to these concepts though, I have a general game guide that specifically tackles these topics.
Pros / Cons
These Pros and Cons are relevant to an agressive dominion Lee Sin. They don't necessarily apply to Summoner's Rift, or to a tanky Lee Sin.
- Very potent dualist. Can do toe to toe with just about any champion.
- High mobility combined with intense short duration cc effects.
- Energy system: no mana limitations
- Safeguard / Iron Will makes you inherently tankyer than similarly built champions, and is great for saving allies too.
- Flurry gives you a nice base attack speed without having to invest in it.
- Huge single target burst damage.
- Vulnerable to hard CC effects: can be nuked down relatively easily if stunned/stunlocked and focussed.
- Less adept at initiating point captures than tankyer versions of this champion.
- Requires the high skillcap that Lee Sin already has, combined with the obligation of a fast-paced playstyle.
- Bad at teamfights. This Lee Sin variant exells at small skirmishes, but if the teams team up into 4v4s, consider building tankyer.
For both Marks and Quintessences I would advise an agressive pick. Armor penetration or flat damage are the choices which give you the most early game dominance, which in dominion is very important.
For Seals, flat armor is imperative! If you get into prolonged combat, it will generally be against a bruiser. Flat armor seals are the best ones to cope with this.
Finally for glyphs I prefer flat magic resistancce. Mages on dominion shouldn't be a big threat to you because you can dodge and shield off their spells, as well as nuke them down quickly. Therefore, when given the choice between flat and scaling magic resistance, I pick flat because the early game bonus is more valuable than the stronger lategame bonus. You generally scale into lategame better than they do, so increase your early game against them!
The masteries I use are 21/9/0, and they almost speak for themselves. Some clarification where it might be needed:
Vampirism vs Havoc :
This debate is a pretty difficult one in most cases because the difference can be subtle. However, Vampirism tends to be the better pick in sustained harassment cases (laning, jungling); where Havoc tends to win out in full on fights. I chose Havoc because in dominion (and especially with the agressive playstyle) full on fights are more what you as Lee Sin should aim for.
Defensive tree explination:
Going down to Veteran's Scars is almost always a good idea if you're taking 9 points in the defensive tree. I chose to put more points into Hardiness than Resistance because as discussed in the rune section, armor will become more important than magic resistance as the game goes on.
I always start with a Prospector's Blade and Boots of Speed. The base stats the prospector's blade gives you as Lee Sin are amongst the best in the game at early levels, and boots are a must on dominion because mobility is king here.
I instantly upgrade those boots into Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, depending on the ennemy team. Defensive boots are almost always a must on melee champions.
Getting The Brutalizer will boost your damage output significantly. At this point in the game (your 2nd to 4th back to base), I like buying relatively cheap items that boost your damage a lot. One could opt for an early B.F. sword into Sanguine Blade, but I feel that waiting for these more expensive items hits you too hard in the period before you get them.
So base on this philosophy, I get Phage and a Vampiric Scepter.
Now this is the point where my build splits off from the others. Most Lee Sin players would now save up for the Fratma's combo. This is the Summoner's Rift tactic and is done because Lee Sin is often the teamfight initiator or offtank. These roles however are less valuable on Dominion, where there are no frequent potentially game-deciding 5v5 teamfights.
Here I go straight to building Sanguine Blade. Lee Sin scales incredibly with flat damage, and the lifesteal will allow you to survive prolonged combat with bruisers. After this I upgrade my Phage into Entropy.
At this stage in the game, you are one of the strongest duelists the league has ever seen! The flat damage you have combined with your good scalings and base damage allow you to quickly nuke down squishy champions, whilst your lifesteal allows you to outlast other duelists in combat, and Entropy and The Brutalizer allow you to deal big damage to anybody you choose to fight, almost reguardless of their resistances.
All other items are situational:
- If you're fighting these big armor-based guys like Rammus and Malphite, I would definately advise building Last Whisper. These guys easily hit 200-300 armor, and LW just destroys them.
- Hexdrinker and Maw of Malmortius are good items. I usually don't get them, but obviously if your opponents are magic-damage heavy they're a good investment.
- If they have a lot of bruisers or AD carries, you can opt for Thornmail. I prefer it over other defensive items on dominion because it's relatively cheap, and Safeguard / Iron Will boosts your EHP anyway. Also, due to the fact that everybody has more armor penetration on dominion, buying resistances over health is more effective.
- If their team consists of squishies, you could upgrade The Brutalizer into Youmuu's Ghostblade for a general stat boost.
Flurry This passive is great! It's one of the reasons Lee Sin has a higher skillcap than most bruisers, but learning to weave your auto attacks in between your skills will result in so much more damage... Utilizing this makes or breaks a prolongued fight as Lee Sin.
Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike In-sane single target damage, as well as a gap closer! This skill is Lee Sin's bread and butter, plain and simple.
Safeguard / Iron Will This skill is the reason I build Lee Sin glass cannon! It absorbs a lot of damage on both him and possibly an ally, as well as making him more sustained based on how much damage he has (lifesteal). The fact that it's also a great escape skill and a great way to instantly follow (and enhance) any initiate your allies make is just the icing on the oh so delicious cake.
Tempest / Cripple This skill is solid. It helps a lot in prolongued combat against bruisers. The slow allows you to be inescapable to squishies, and mainly line up your other skills.
Dragon's Rage This is a very solid ultimate. If you can kick an ennemy into his team, the total damage is rediculously high, and the total amount of knockup/knockback is mindboggling. Landing this correctly on an ennemy team wins fights. It's a high damage nuke that immobilizes the ennemy for it's duration, meaning you can line up easy q's too.
Top or Bottom?
In dominion, the metagame seems to be to on average have 1 person go bottom, and have 4 people fight over the windmill. This is usually the best early game strategy, but after the first fights games can become a bit more chaotic.
So this gives rise to the question: Where do you put Lee Sin?
In my opinion, he is best top with his team. 3 of his 4 skills have utility purposes, so why waste that by going bottom?
That being said, Lee Sin is capable of going bot, but only against certain matchups. Don't put him against Ryze or Heimerdinger, but if they have a Pantheon or Gangplank bot, it's well doable.
Duelling: how to play / tips and tricks
As mentioned, Lee Sin is a great duelist. He exels at it more than almost any champion in this game, and is only rivaled by champions like Poppy and Jax.
But how do you duel? Especially with my build being relatively squishy...
1. Picking your fights
You've built glass-cannon-y. It's generally not wise for you to be the 1st guy in the fight. Initiation is possible if you KNOW you're going to win, but if you don't it's more like suicide.
2. Harassing opponents before fights
Harassing an opponent down as Lee Sin without getting hit too hard is easy in theory: Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike in, and instantly Safeguard / Iron Will back to an ally. Due to your damage building, Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike will deal good damage.
3. Fighting squishy targets
Nuke them down. My build offers you big single target burst, and these guys can't handle big single target burst! Use your skills in quick succession and see them melt! Do NOT use the active on Entropy!
4. Fighting tanky champions
The tankyer they are, the more you have to use Flurry by spacing out your abilities. You can still use ability combos to nuke, but I'd advise you do this towards the end of the fight as a finisher. Against tanky ennemies, Entropy's active effect is your best friend. Use it relatively early to get the most out of it, then nuke them down when they get low.
5. Classic combo's / tips
- Open with Sonic Wave. Use Dragon's Rage and follow up with Resonating Strike. Instantly use Tempest / Cripple. This combo is your second highest burst damage combo, and it slows the victim too, allowing for a quick finish.
- Open with Tempest / Cripple to slow the victim. This allows you to position yourself anywhere around him, and quickly Dragon's Rage him (into your team, his team or a wall is generally the idea). You can follow up with Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike. The victim can't move whilst getting roundhouse kicked, so it's a guaranteed hit! This combo deals the most damage you have (due to Resonating Strike scaling off of ennemy hp missing). It doesn't leave them cc-ed after it though.
- When given the choice, always use Safeguard on an ally. Giving you both the shield prevents more damage in total than just using it on yourself.
- You are a master of billiards. If you can position yourself correctly, always try to Dragon's Rage one ennemy into his teammates. It's a very high-damage ability, and the total amount of CC this gives is insane.
- Dragon's Rage into Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike allows you to hit a target standing behind a frontliner. Kick Rammus into Teemo, and Q Teemo for the kill!
- Combo's involving Dragon's Rage and Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike should be timed out against opponents with steroids! If an opponent activates a steroid, roundhouse kicking him out and jumping back in once his godmode ends gives you a keen advantage!
A note on smartcasting
The playstyle I advise with Lee Sin is fast-paced. I personally smartcast everything on Lee Sin, and I smart+selfcast Safeguard / Iron Will.
Why smartcast everything?
Fast paced playstyle requires fast actions. Also, Tempest / Cripple's slow starts wearing off the second it's applied. This results in only a short window of time to kick the ennemy in the complete opposite direction he's running in (which for some reason tends to be the direction you want to kick him in). Smartcasting helpst with this.
There's an option for it in key-bindings. Almost nobody uses it, so some explination is needed:
- If you smart+selfcast a spell, clicking it will instantly apply the effect of it on yourself.
- If you cast a spell like this, but are hovering your mouse above a valid target, the spell will act as if it was smartcasted regularly. In other words, this option does NOT impair your ability to jump to allies in clutch situations.
A quick word on tankyer builds
My Lee Sin build is hyperagressive. On paper (and in my own experience), the build I propose here works best in small skirmishes. In larger fights, squishyer melee champions are the first to die. Therefore, if you are finding that the ennemy team is constantly teaming up AND your team is countering by doing the same and relying on 4v4 / 5v5 teamfights, you SHOULD disreguard my build and build tankyer.
I have already linked to another guide of mine in the introduction (a look at defensive items). If you don't understand defensive items, I'd advise looking at it. (I'm obviously biased though :p.)
Now for a quick overview of do's and don'ts for tanky Lee Sin on dominion:
Frozen Mallet gives you good tankyness and some slight damage. Not too expensive either.
Atma's Impaler synergises well with health (like Frozen Mallet). Also boosts your AD.
Force of Nature is ppb one of the best MR items you can get here. Movement speed + big raw MR? Yes plz!
Randuin's Omen is ppb the most cost-efficient armor item in the game. Not to mention it counters melee bruisers, which are abundant in dominion.
Aegis of the Legion is a good allround defense item that buffs your teammates too.
Warmog's Armor costs a ton of money, and you have to farm minions to get it up to strength.
Frozen Heart is never worth the money if you're a manaless champion.
Guardian Angel is not worth the cost without the passive ability. Dominion matches don't last long and fights are abundant, meaning said passive WILL be down for too many fights.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. Lee Sin is in my mind one of the most fun champions to play, and dominion is a playground to his most agressive (and most fun) self.
Criticism, comments and questions are always welcome!