General Guide by Neonblade9009
Not Updated For Current Season
Lee Sin Top
Lee Sin Build
Not Updated For Current Season
Hey, and welcome to my guide! I play Lee Sin quite a lot whether it be in the jungle or top lane, and I've made this guide to help you secure that early first blood. Lee has a ton of early game damage with a % HP damage Q that can help you deal tons of damage. Lee also has a decent escape for ganks which can also be used to engage on your opposing laner, and an AOE ability which deals magic damage but scales off AD, giving you more options if the opposing laner stacks armour. Lee does tend to fall off late game if you aren't able to snowball early, or if you cannot reach the key members of the enemy team in their back line. However with a Last Whisper and Ravenous Hydra you can instantly lock down any squishy target that was unlucky enough to find themselves in your way, alone. Lee Sin takes a lot of practice to master, and his Sonic Wave is quite hard to hit blind (inside joke there). However, once you've got the hang of him you can pull off incredible plays.
Makes squishies explode
Somewhat hard to gank
Can deal with armour
Most abilities require you to be in close range of the target
No form of tankiness without items
Requires practice, time and skill
What runes and why I take them
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage gives a nice amount of early AD, very necessary.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage provides attack damage which is highly required on Lee Sin.
Greater Seal of Armor gives early armour for defence against AD champions and auto attacks.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is again, beneficial to early game defence which in turn helps get that first blood.
What you could take instead:
greater quintessence of armor penetration gives a lot of armour pen if you need it badly against a hard armour builder (eg. Malphite). This can also be used to improve overall damage if you already have enough AD as it is.
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal is not recommended. You already have decent sustain in lane with your Iron Will, and the quintessence could be better used for damage.
greater mark of armor penetration helps a lot against early armour stackers.
Greater Seal of Magic Resist - magic resist is best on glyphs, but you could take these if you need strong MR.
Greater Seal of Health is an interesting one. 48 extra HP at level one could prove beneficial, or possibly used with Cloth Armor. I don't think this is the best choice of seal to take, unless you're against an AP / a team with lots of AP and already have enough from your Glyphs. The health could help, but this take of rune is not recommended.
Greater Glyph of Armor - as with the Greater Seal of Magic Resist, armour is best on seals, but these could do well for you against a hard AD foe or AD team.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is not a bad choice at all if you are against an AD, or a lategame based AP on the opposing team.
Greater Glyph of Health : this gives less health than the Greater Seal of Health which is a controversial enough rune as it is. Taking this with the matching seal would leave you without early game defences which you should not do. Not recommended.
What masteries and why I take them
Double-Edged Sword - 2% more damage, 1% taken. A must have.
Fury gives more attack speed, works with Flurry which allows you to get more hits in.
Butcher makes csing a lot easier.
Brute Force gives more AD.
Spell Weaving : lee uses spells a lot to deal damage. Functions well.
Blade Weaving : works in the same way as above.
Martial Mastery gives more AD.
Executioner is a mastery you cannot miss; 5% more damage when enemies are below 50% HP is very efficient, synchronises with Resonating Strike.
Warlord provides even more AD with ad scaling, very helpful.
Havoc : even more damage.
Block gives you more defence which helps at all points of the game.
Recovery provides HP regeneration, good for sustain and outliving DPS (eg. Ignite)
Unyielding : more defence, additionally it's more as Lee Sin is melee.
Veteran Scars gives more HP, necessary.
Juggernaut works with Veteran Scars and helps you get even more HP.
The items I build and why
The Elixir of Fortitude is the most recommended item to take first when against a laner you can kill, for example Kayle. If you're against a ranged top lane like Teemo or Jayce you can start with a Doran's Shield if you'd rather get the CS. A Doran's Blade isn't recommended, as if you are building this you should buy an Elixir of Fortitude anyways.
The The Brutalizer is well known for being a very strong and snowball item for ADs. The armour penetration is something you cannot miss; additionally you will gain cooldown reduction to get more of your abilities up more often. And of course, the AD is nice as well. The Tiamat provides HP regeneration for more sustain in lane. 40 AD doesn't seem like much compared to something like a B. F. Sword for its price, but the passive AOE damage helps increase push and damage. The active effect of the Tiamat allows Lee Sin to clear bunched minion waves quickly when used with his Tempest. Additionally, the upgraded Ravenous Hydra used with Iron Will gives Lee Sin incredible sustain.
Mercury's Treads are known for being the best boots in the game, for the simple reason that they provide tenacity, reduction of crowd control effects. You should always get these UNLESS the enemy team has little to no crowd controls. For example, a team composed of Master Yi, Ezreal, Soraka, Zed and Teemo. In this example only Zed and Teemo have a type of crowd control, both being slows ( Teemo also has a blind, but the blind does not affect your movement in any way]]). This doesn't mean you should get Boots of Swiftness to counteract the slows, but looking at this example of a team composition, they have three AD champions, notably Master Yi who is mostly based around his auto-attacks, so a Ninja Tabi would be the perfect choice. But typically 9 times out of 10 you should be getting Mercury's Treads. You do not need Boots of Mobility as you are already mobile enough with your Safeguard, Resonating Strike and Flash. Berserker's Greaves provide attack speed, which Lee Sin does not need as much compared to tenacity or armour and auto-attack damage reduction. Lee Sin can only deal magic damage through Tempest which is not your main ability anyways, so you should not be buying Sorcerer's Shoes.
The Last Whisper is somewhat of an essential item for Lee. The 35% armour penetration makes his damage a lot higher, especially the Resonating Strike. The attack damage works for all of Lee Sin's abilities other than his Safeguard. Note that the armour penetration will not work for Lee Sin's Tempest because it deals magic damage, rather than physical.
The ultimate sustain item for Lee. Provides great wave push with the passive and the active can allow you to instantly clear close minion waves when used with Tempest. The 75 base AD that this item provides is very high, and the HP regeneration gives even more sustain in lane and helps you survive damage-per-ticks like Ignite. The 12% lifesteal which works with both the passive and active of the Ravenous Hydra, then combined with Iron Will is what makes this the ultimate sustain item for Lee Sin.
This item is like the Ravenous Hydra, but focuses more on damage, though you can gain more base lifesteal than the hydra by fully stacking this (18%). If combined with the Ravenous Hydra and usage of Iron Will you will have insane sustain. Though this item seems brilliant I don't get it as much compared to items like The Black Cleaver which provide good, mixed stats for Lee Sin. Overall I prefer to buy Ravenous Hydra over this item even though they synchronise well together.
The next armour shredder after the Last Whisper that you should buy (don't get Youmuu's Ghostblade, I will explain why soon). The cooldown reduction from The Black Cleaver helps get more abilities up more often, which is helpful. Note you can only have 40% maximum cooldown reduction. The 50 AD is a nice boost, and 200 HP is nice for surviving more fights. 10 armour penetration is another good boost for your damage. And the passive armour shred shreds 5% armour every time you deal physical damage. This means your auto-attacks, Sonic Wave, Resonating Strike and Dragon's Rage can apply the stacks.
This item has been nerfed recently to reduce its early game damage. However it still has power. The HP and armour are great against enemy ADs, especially ones that need to get in your face to deal damage like Riven. The magic damage passive helps you push lanes and minions faster, and scales with level meaning you will deal 43 magic damage per second at level 18 (it used to be 40 at all levels, meaning its been buffed in the late game, though Sunfire Cape was known to be a deadly early item for it's damage). Remember, this is magic damage, so it doesn't work with armour penetration.
Like the Sunfire Cape, this item gives high armour and HP which is needed for the same reasons as noted above. The passive effect on Randuin's Omen really hits champions based around basic attacks hard, like Aatrox or Master Yi. Lowered attack speed and movement speed can allow you to come out on top in 1v1's or escape more fights, especially when used in conjunction with the active. The active; AOE, wide range slows are very strong in teamfights, especially when the enemy team is bunched up to protect the backline from skillshots. It can also be used when escaping or chasing. Note that it increases the duration of the slow by a second for every 100 armour or magic resist you have, though you shouldn't have tons (eg. 200+) when playing Lee Sin as this assassin type laner.
This item helps increase your sustain even greater, though you shouldn't buy this as a first defensive item if you're against an AD laner. 10% cooldown reduction gets more abilities up more often, 400 health is a nice amount to help you survive longer, 20 HP regeneration gives better sustain and survivability in lane and 55 magic resistance provides good defence against APs. Now, the passive: this boosts your HP regeneration, spellvamp, lifesteal by 20% specifically. The HP regeneration that is boosted can come from both this item and Ravenous Hydra which you should have bought. The lifesteal works with your Ravenous Hydra and The Bloodthirster if you bought one, and synchronises with your Iron Will. Next, the spellvamp - spellvamp works off any summoner spell, ability or item damage, no matter what type of damage is done (physical/magical). This also synchronises with your Iron Will, as it not only gives lifesteal but spellvamp as well. Overall this is a great item for sustain and a must-have when against an enemy AP.
This item gives a nice amount of HP to increase survival chances and 55 magic resist to take less damage from magic damage. The spell-shield passive can be very efficient against all types of champions - eg. blocking a Wind Slash or Rocket Grab. Note it has a 25 second cooldown upon taking any damage from enemy champions, so make sure you let it refresh. The second passive provides 45 HP regeneration per 10 seconds upon taking damage from an enemy champion. This gives great sustain when combined with Spirit Visage. Note that an ability actually has to deal damage to you in order to activate the passive, meaning if your spell-shield blocks an ability you will not trigger this passive from it.
This item directly affects your defence stats but also the way you play. Knowing you have a second life or 'chance' gives you the opportunity to be more aggressive. However you must always remember in a teamfight, the passive rebirth can leave you like a sitting duck in the midst of the enemy tanks and frontline, with their backline ready to burst you down as soon as you revive. If you have quick enough reflexes you might be able to wardjump with a Warding Totem (or upgraded version) or a ward if you have one in your inventory, and either Flash, Sonic Wave -> Resonating Strike or just Dragon's Rage to escape afterwards. Onto the stats: 50 armour and 40 magic resist are nice mixed amounts. These can be good against mixed damage laners like Shyvana. By themselves, there are better single defence items (eg. Randuin's Omen for armour or Banshee's Veil for magic resist). Last things to note; the Guardian Angel passive has a cooldown of 5 minutes, the same as your Flash, and remember the passive will only revive you for 30% of your HP - eg. around 600-700 health if you have 2000 maximum.
This item is good for escaping specifically. The AD and magic resist are nice stats if you're against an AD laner; otherwise, this can be used to stop hard crowd controls like an Enchanted Crystal Arrow, and give you movement speed to run for it afterwards. If you're looking for a more offensive based AD/magic resist item, you should go for the Maw of Malmortius, which will be explained next. Note that the active does remove all debuffs but does not work exactly the same to Cleanse : you will not gain a 65% immunity to debuffs for the next 3 seconds when using the active of the Mercurial Scimitar.
This is a good item for winning 1v1's against AP laners. 60 AD is a decent amount, 40 magic resist is a good secondary defence stat, and the Lifeline passive blocks a whole 400 HP's worth of magic damage. Note that it will only absorb magic damage, like Morgana's Black Shield. Now, the AD raising passive; this works somewhat like Olaf's passive in that the less HP you have the more of a stat you gain. I've calculated that if you had 40 HP out of 2000, this item would be giving you 109 AD (60+49). You cannot gain the whole 50 AD, as you would have to be dead. Overall a good offensive/defensive item against enemy APs.
I wanted to note why not to buy this item. It would seem 'Oh, bonus attack damage, a lot of armour penetration, move and attackspeed buff which is increased on a melee champion like Lee and even crit chance!' but this item is not worth the cost it takes to buy on Lee Sin. The 30 AD is not enough for the price. Crit chance is completely unnecessary on Lee Sin - if you are able to get auto-attacks into a full teamfight on the enemy ADC before bursting them down then you're probably so far ahead that you can just buy a The Bloodthirster or Ravenous Hydra instead. You are already mobile enough with Safeguard, Sonic Wave and Flash that you don't need the movespeed, and the attackspeed is just not required. The only thing decent about this item on Lee Sin is the amour penetration, but consider this: for 2700 gold, you could get a Last Whisper which gives better armour penetration or a Sunfire Cape to provide great defense. And wait for another 50 gold and you got yourself a Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage.
tl;dr - don't buy this item.
See the chapter Wardjumping for an explanation of buying the Ruby Sightstone.
Typically your build should contain:
This is the skill sequence I take most of the time when I play Lee Sin. Occasionally it is more efficient to max your Safeguard/ Iron Will before Tempest/ Cripple for the shield and sustain, but if you do this you lose part of your assassination potential, going more for surviving the lane, getting creeps or protecting teammates. It can be beneficial to max Safeguard/ Iron Will if you're against an enemy laner that is both melee and relies on auto-attacks, like Aatrox, but even so the movement and attack speed slow from Cripple allows to slow down their auto-attacks, give chase or escape them while dealing good damage through Tempest. Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike is the typical ability to max first, for the great damage and 1v1 potential it provides. However it can be good to max your Tempest/ Cripple over this if the enemy is stacking armour - eg, Malphite against you. This is because your Tempest deals magic damage but scales off AD. Armour only provides defence from physical damage like auto-attacks, your Sonic Wave, Resonating Strike and Dragon's Rage - while the armour will affect most of your skillset, you will deal more damage to the opponent in lane. If you do this, max Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike second, as you need the assassination potential it provides, for example to kill the enemy ADC. And lastly, it is obvious to max your ultimate whenever possible (at levels 6, 11 and 16}.
What spells I take and why
Onto spells. The typical assassin combination is Flash Ignite. Why is this taken? Because Flash is almost a must-have, providing great mobility, a free escape or a free engage. A Flash Summon: Tibbers with the Pyromania stun is one of the harshest teamfight starters. And why Ignite? Because ignite is great for finishing off your enemies or dealing quite the damage to them. 70 true damage at level 1 is more than you'd imagine; the average champion only starts with about 500 or so health, around 570 with masteries and about 600+ with a Doran's item (or Ruby Crystal if they actually buy one at level 1, which they shouldn't). And it's all true damage, meaning it is not affected by armour or magic resistance. The only disadvantage to it is that it's a damage-per-tick spell, rather than instantaneous damage, meaning that it can be negated by potions or healing, though not completely. Though ignite applies heal reduction to your opponent while the effect is lasting, so healing it off won't be as effective. Note that Cleanse and Quicksilver Sash or Mercurial Scimitar can stop the damage-per-tick affect, but not the healing reduction.
tl;dr - take these
Wardjumping, sightstone, and walls
I decided to devote a chapter to wardjumping specifically. In case you didn't know, wardjumping is the act of placing a ward and using Safeguard onto it. With this you can dodge skillshots like the Trueshot Barrage flying in to finish you off, or to get over certain walls. You could just use it to get somewhere faster if you've got the time. The Ruby Sightstone makes Lee Sin a lot more mobile than he already is just from the fact that he has a free jump.
Explanation of buying the Ruby Sightstone:
So, 1550 gold for 360 health. Seems terrible at first sight. 'I only get wards in compensation for the price? I could buy a The Brutalizer or B. F. Sword for that price!' But think about it. This item is like boots; it gives you mobility for a decent price. 'Mobility?' Lee can Safeguard to any ward he places with this. You can dodge crucial skillshots with this; or you can escape, or even engage. Couldn't land that Sonic Wave because of the distance? Safeguard to that ward you placed with your Ruby Sightstone and magic, you're in range. Overall; it's a tough choice. You have trinkets to use ( Warding Totem) in replacement, but it's only one per (cooldown). And once you've bought this, you don't really need to buy wards again, unless you want to fly all over the place with your 10 wards. Need mobility? Get this. Need survivability and damage? Don't.
List of walls that you can Safeguard to a ward through:
(If I missed any, feel free to notify me)
- Some parts of blue buff camp
- Some parts of red buff camp
- Golem camp
- Wraith camp
- Wolves camp
- Wight camp
- Wall by wolves camp, nearing enemy/own base
- Wall by Wight camp, nearing enemy/own base
- Wall by Golem camp, nearing top/bot lane
- Wall by red buff/wraith camp, nearing enemy/own base
- Wall by blue buff camp, next to brush (typical invade path or Rocket Grab zone)
- Baron pit
- Dragon pit
- Mid-lane, wall by river brush (both sides)
- Bot-lane, tri-bush to lane (purple side)
- Bot-lane, near tri-bush to entering river brush (purple side)
- Bot-lane, if you are high enough up the wall by tri-bush (blue side)
- Top-lane, near tri-bush to entering river brush (blue side)
- Top-lane, walls entering lane (seperating jungle from top, entrances) (purple side)
- Top-lane, wall near Wight camp and entrance to blue buff camp (blue side)
- Wall between top/bot lane, where inner turret is located (both side)
The wards you can jump to, what items they're from, etc:
Greater Stealth Totem
Greater Vision Totem
This is your crucial area. The early game of Lee Sin is what decides whether you become a monster later or just a tool to Dragon's Rage away the enemy team to disengage or protect your carries. Note that you're still deadly to encounter solo by the enemy ADC, and you should kill them (unless they're 15/0/_ ). In early game, you must go for the kills. You will win the 1v1's if you play them right; dodge skillshots through sidestepping or Safeguard, hit the Sonic Waves, Dragon's Rage in the right direction, successfully kill your opponent. Sometimes you won't be able to do it alone; if so ask your jungler to help. That enemy Kayle with 5 kills and 2 levels over you isn't just going to let you kill her. Roam to mid every now and then when your opposing laner has recalled; assists still give you money to buy your snowballing items. And remember- even if you don't do well, to win a game you complete objectives, not get the highest K/D/A. First the tower, then dragon, then second tower, third, baron, inhibitor, and eventually the enemy nexus.
Mid-game, late-game and teamfights; what your role is then
Lee Sin is known for his early game. He greatly outdamages opponents with Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike in early levels. So what is your role in the later game? It's either explode the enemy carries or defend your own. If you land that Sonic Wave behind the front line onto the enemy ADC and kill them, you have just played a move that can win the game. But if you don't do that, and can't get to the enemy ADC or mid laner? Then defend your own carries and they might be able to score the ace. You might even survive. Don't forget that while Dragon's Rage is mostly used offensively, it can also be used defensively; kick away that Dr. Mundo, Shyvana or Renekton, save your carries and win teamfights to score objectives.
While you are able to carry the game by yourself, you are not a 'carry' laner. You probably won't deal as much damage as your fed mid laner or ADC. Remember this.
Combos that you can pull off
The typical Lee Sin combo is Sonic Wave, Resonating Strike into a Safeguard behind your opponent and then Dragon's Rage to knock them backwards into your team or over a wall, or just towards you. This is actually more difficult to pull off as it seems; you have to time your Safeguard right, place your ward right and then Dragon's Rage in the correct direction. And of course you've got to hit the Sonic Wave in the first place. Here's a list of all the combinations I know of, all of which include the use of Dragon's Rage:
4 move combinations (without Flash):
Sonic Wave-> Resonating Strike-> Safeguard-> Dragon's Rage
Safeguard-> Dragon's Rage-> Sonic Wave-> Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave-> Safeguard-> Dragon's Rage-> Resonating Strike
3 move combinations (without Flash):
Sonic Wave-> Dragon's Rage-> Resonating Strike
Dragon's Rage-> Sonic Wave-> Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave-> Dragon's Rage-> Resonating Strike
Combinations with Flash:
Sonic Wave-> Resonating Strike-> Flash-> Dragon's Rage-> Safeguard
(note that Flash can be swapped with Safeguard)
Flash-> Safeguard-> Dragon's Rage-> Sonic Wave-> Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave-> Safeguard-> Flash-> Dragon's Rage-> Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave-> Flash-> Dragon's Rage-> Resonating Strike
Note that none of these are using Tempest/ Cripple because these abilities should be used after completing the combination.
Thank you for reading my guide. This is the first ever proper guide I have made, so any assistance or useful tips would be greatly appreciated. Once again,
Thank you for reading my Lee Sin guide!