Lee Sin is an extremely aggressive early game jungler. His movement speed slow, high early game damage and two gap closers make for an extremely scary early game hero. While he clears camps fairly quickly, Lee Sin's main strength lies in his ability to gank extremely well and counter jungle.
What is important to note about Lee Sin is that since he is forced to build tanky, his damage falls off vastly lategame. To make up for this, you need to snowball your lanes. This is one of the reasons I play more Jungle Lee over top lane. While he can definitely carry, he cannot 1v5. You want to abuse your early game dominance to put all your lanes ahead.
These are standard tank jungler masteries. The defensive tree gives many stats that help you clear the jungle with high HP and tank for your team. I go 9 offense because it helps increase your damage a bit when you're invading against weaker junglers early game.
THESE ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. I'M STILL LEARNING SEASON 3. THIS IS WHAT I'M RUNNING AT THIS VERY MOMENT BUT THERE COULD BE BETTER ALTERNATIVES.
1 point in Summoner's Resolve
Getting 10 extra gold every smite use is not the biggest deal in the world but it adds up. If I had to guess I'd say I smite 30-40 times a game. That's 300 free gold. I think it's worth the mastery point.
4 Points in Durability (1.5 HP per Level per point
While this mastery is pretty underwhelming early, it adds up lategame. At level 18 that is 108 HP. Nothing to write home about but nothing to scoff at either.
2 points in Tough Skin (1 Reduced Damage from Minions per point)
Another mastery that is great for clearing the jungle with just a little bit more HP. Definitely worth the 2 points.
1 Point in Bladed Armor (Returns 6 Damage to Minions on Hit)
Helps you clear the jungle just a little bit faster. Earlier on you can line up your attacks so that bladed armor last hits the creeps for you. Just be careful when trying to give your teammate a buff! It's embarrassing when you take blue because your midlaner got it to 6hp and it hit you.
3 points in Hardiness (+5 armor at 3 points)
This is a no-brainer. You're in the jungle getting hit by physical damage mobs. You take less damage with more armor! Not to mention you get 1/3rd of a cloth armor with 3 points in this mastery. Pretty sweet.
1 Point in Veteran's Scars (+30 HP)
I love this mastery point. A flat 30 HP at level 1 is a 6% increase to Lee Sin's level 1 hp. Think of all the times you lived with 10hp left. Now you know what to thank.
2 Points in Unyielding
This mastery is useless earlygame since you'll be mostly farming creeps but it's helpful when you're towerdiving and when you're tanking lategame.
1 Point in Block
This mastery is good for tanking up damage from AD carries when you're trying to zone them out of a fight.
3 points in Tenacious.
Great mastery. Mini mercury treads pretty much.
1 Point in Defender
This is a pretty bad mastery point but it's better to spent 1 point here than elsewhere.
1 Point in Reinforced Armor
Just like Block, this mastery is great for trying to survive without those pesky AD carries.
3 points in Juggernaut.
Didn't really like any other mastery up at this point so decided to go with this. 80 extra hp at 2k hp isn't really a lot but meh, better than 5% more bonus mr/armor I feel.
4 Point in Sorcery
I choose Sorcery over Fury because I don't value attack speed on Lee Sin at all. I'd rather have a reduction on all my skills than the ability to attack a little bit faster, which I already get from my passive.
4 points in Deadliness
Self-explanatory. Not a huge dmg boost but a dmg boost none the less.
1 point in Weapon Expertise
Really nice mastery. This will be your only armor pen until you get LW really late in the game. Helps keep your dmg high during the mid game and makes you even stronger early game.
With the Armor Pen runes nerf I've decided to go with Flat AD on both marks and quints. I used to do a mix or Armor Pen and Flat AD and I'm sure those runes still work but Flat AD is simple and effective. Also, now that Wolves and Wraiths are quite strong and have low armor values you need Flat AD in order to clear the efficiently.
Armor yellows are an obvious choice, even with the much needed nerf.
I chose scaling MR runes over flat MR because when you're in the jungle you spend most of your early levels not worrying about magic dmg.
The reason I choose Flash over Exhaust is because while Exhaust is really strong early game for ganks, its use lategame is not as strong as Flash. Flash allows you to make big plays and allows you to be really ballsy. That said, Exhaust is definitely a strong option. Think of it like 6 pooling in SC2. You might pull off that early aggression and win but if you don't capitalize, your lategame economy will suck ***. And you don't want to be a cheeser, right? All jokes aside, it's just preference.
Do you want to do something like that? Get flash my friend ;)
Smite is obvious. Do not jungle without smite, ever.
After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% Attack Speed and return 10 energy each.
Using your passive properly is very important in the jungle. You want to autoattack twice before each spell cast on your first two. Once you have 3 skills you still want to space out but you can autoattack once between one of your spells and still get enough energy to keep casting more. It's a bit hard to explain so just play around with it. In teamfights it is very important to do this whenever you get the chance because you don't have the luxury of being able to autoattack everything since you'll be running around peeling and repositioning.
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin projects a discordant wave of sound to locate his enemies, dealing 50/80/110/140/170 (+90% of bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to the first enemy it encounters. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike for the next 3 seconds.
Resonating Strike: Lee Sin dashes to the enemy hit by Sonic Wave, dealing 50/80/110/140/170 (+90% of bonus Attack Damage) physical damage plus 8% of their missing health.
Cost 50/30 energy
Cooldown 11/10/9/8/7 seconds
Lee Sin's main damage skill. You max this first in the jungle because it is the only skill that scales with cooldown (other than your ult) and it is most of your damage. It helps you stick onto people even after they flash. A great tip is when you're ganking you want to them before you think they will Flash and wait to use the second part of and most of the time they will flash even with still on them. After they flash you close the gap and they're dead. Another thing to note is that (the second part of this spell) does extra damage based on how much HP the target is missing. This means that if you get the chance, you want to use it last. When you're doing objectives get in the habit of Q smite Q to maximize your burst damage on buffs.
Safeguard: Lee Sin rushes towards a target ally, shielding them both from 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 (+80% per Ability Power) damage. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin can cast Iron Will for the next 3 seconds.
Iron Will: Lee Sin's intense training allows him to thrive in battle. For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains5/10/15/20/25 lifesteal, spell vamp, and armor.
Cost 50/30 energy
Cooldown 8 seconds
is awesome because it is so versatile. Defensively, it allows you to save people from dying with the extra hp from the shield and by allowing you to come to their side and fight. You can also use this to escape from ganks by W'ing to an ally, a creep, or even a ward. Offensively you can use this to close the gap on people allowing you to slow them with which guarantees a free land. You can safeguard to a creep when ganking a lane when they're last hitting which brings you into melee range to combo with your spells and slow with your autoattacks (when you have red buff or phage).
The second cast of safeguard, Iron Will, gives you bonus armor, lifesteal, and spellvamp. This makes you great at 1v1'ing, sustaining, and even allows gaining HP from smiting. I max this second because while it doesn't go down in cooldown per leve, it increases the shield and the stats gained.
Tempest: Lee Sin smashes the ground sending out a shockwave that deals 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.6 per bonus Attack Damage) magic damage and reveals enemy units hit. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast cripple for the next 3 seconds.
Cripple: Lee Sin cripples nearby enemies revealed by Tempest, reducing their Movement and Attack Speed by 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60 % for 4 seconds. Movement and Attack Speed recover gradually over the duration.
Cost 50/30 energy
Cooldown 10 seconds
is great early game AoE damage and great at shutting down the aspd/movement speed of people in teamfights. Most importantly it helps you slow down targets when you're ganking. I level this at level 1 for clearing wolves or wraiths depending on where I start. I level it last because the scaling isn't very great.
Lee Sin performs a powerful roundhouse kick launching his target back, dealing 200 / 400 / 600 (+1.5 per bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to the target and any enemies they collide with. Enemies the target collides with are knocked into the air for a short duration.
Cost 0 energy
Cooldown 90 / 75 / 60 seconds
One of my favorite skills in the game. , while being a fairly strong nuke, is great because of the displacement it allows. You can combo this with and to get behind your target and kick them into your team. You can also use a ward and safeguard to get behind your target and kick them. I could go on and on about different ways you can use this skill but what's important to know is that this is a very strong displacement skill. An important thing to remember is that this skill knocks up and damages enemies that are hit by the target that you kicked. This is rare but you can sometimes be able to hit 3 or 4 enemies with this ability.
Skill Order Back To Top
I went over this in the skills section but R>Q>W>E.
The first 3 levels of Jungling can be a bit different everygame when it comes to leveling. In general you want to have all 3 of your skills chosen at level 3 because you need all 3 to have your passive procc'd at all times. I always wait to level a skill until I have to. This means that if a fight breaks out I can quickly level what I need to survive or get a kill. I've had games where I was ganked in my jungle but leveled Safeguard and safeguarded to an ally to escape.
If you're invading and your team gets a CC on 1 hero then you should level Sonic Wave . Tag them with sonic wave and if you don't think the burst from resonating strike will be enough then wait. They will probably flash to get away from your team and you activate resonating strike to follow their flash and kill them. Be careful about them flashing into their team though.
If it is a level 1 teamfight and it's a full on 5v5 then level Tempest . If you can land it on 2 or more targets then you will probably win the fight because of the huge attack speed and movement speed slow.
If you need to shield to save someone from something or to escape then quickly level Safeguard and feel like a pro with your sick reaction time save.
If you're doing regular Wolves -> Blue or Wraiths -> Red start then level Tempest to quickly clear. At level 2 you decide if you are going to be looking for ganks or invades. If you are then level Sonic Wave , if you're going to be farming the jungle and feel like the extra lifesteal, armor and the shield will benefit you then you can level Safeguard. Just know that this will lower your DPS by a lot so wait until level 3 to do anything crazy.
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