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Lee Sin Build Guide by pepsiM4A1

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League of Legends Build Guide Author pepsiM4A1

Out Of Elo Hell Series: Top Lane Lee Sin

pepsiM4A1 Last updated on August 27, 2013
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Ability Sequence

1
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction

Hello once again and welcome to my second "Out Of Elo Hell" series guide. My first guide is about Jayce and you can find it here. I am a Gold IV player and I usually climb the ELO ladder playing either top lane or jungle. I got to say that I am a way better jungler than top laner but however, top lane is really enjoyable because of the constant action I bring to the lane. I climbed my smurf on EUNE to Silver I from Bronze I in a couple weeks with the help of Udyr, Jayce and more or less Lee Sin.
Now, why does Lee Sin work in lower elos? Because of his excellent snowballing ability. In the jungle, you still have a huge snowballing ability but if you can't win early, your damage will start falling of as the game progresses but top lane however, if you pick up a kill or two, you can snowball during the whole laning phase and sometimes even the whole game and since you build damage, you will be HUGE threath late game. You needn't pick up many kills with Lee Sin because even with little damage items, he deals high amounts of burst with his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, Tempest / Cripple and after level 6, the godlike Dragon's Rage.
Now once we understood why Lee Sin works in the lower elos, why would we pick him? Well, I can tell you some picks that are better(not many) but the thing about Lee Sin is that not only he is strong, but a really fun champion to play with his awesome combos and chasing/escaping ability. Now let's get to the guide.


Guide Top

Pros/Cons

Pros

+High amounts of burst damage
+Fun to play
+Strong in every second of the game
+Can't be shut down easily
+Easy time farming
+Can catch up rather fast
Cons

-Hard to learn
-Can be baited easily
-If shut down, he will be abused
-Skill shot dependant(Q)


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Runes

Q

U

I

N

T

S
greater quintessence of armor penetration
Q

U

I

N

T

S
S

E

A

L

S
  • Greater Seal of Armor - Quite helpful seals, they are really good against champions AD champions and in my opinion the best for Lee Sin.
  • Greater Seal of Health - Actually I don't use these but one of my friends does and to be quite honest he is at a quite respectable ELO so I think they are viable against AP champions.
S

E

A

L

S
G

L

Y

P

H

S
G

L

Y

P

H

S
M

A

R

K

S
greater mark of armor penetration
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage - Like the quints and masteries, these help me deal a lot of damage really early. If with the high amount of damage these runes give me a kill, then my lane is already won.
  • greater mark of armor penetration - Same with quints, some people just prefer armor penetration but I don't think they are ideal on casters so I don't take them but however you can use them.
M

A

R

K

S


Guide Top

Masteries

Summoner's Wrath - I take this for the improved Ignite.
Fury - I mainly take this in order to unlock Deadliness but however attack speed won't be wasted on any AD champion.
Sorcery - Cooldown reduction is really good on casters because it lets you spam your abilities quite often and since Lee Sin uses energy, you won't have any problems with mana.
Deadliness - Now, at level 18 this will be worth more than a Long Sword meaning that this is worth 400 gold(this proves how valuable this mastery is). Now, let's let the maths and get to the simple logic, extra AD is good for every caster.
Havoc - According to my maths, in a basic game your extra AD(considering you buy a The Bloodthirster that is fully stacked) will be 270(runes and masteries not included). Dragon's Rage has a 2.0 AD ratio so at rank 5, it will deal 600(base damage)+540(bonus AD)=1140. With Havoc it will deal extra 25 damage(not much but still something).
Brute Force - You get 3 extra AD in the beggining of the game. Sure it is not a lot but combined with the runes, the amount of extra AD you get is really helpful.
Sunder - Armor penetration, something that is godlike on AD casters togheter with AD and cooldown reduction. 5 Armor Penetration is sure not a lot but still, every bit helps.
Executioner - Not only last hitting is easier with this but even killing targets is easier. Let's say you want to kill someone who is under half health with Dragon's Rage. Previous calculations showed it deals 1140 damage. With this, it will deal an extra 60 damage and with Havoc , 25 damage so it deals an aproximate of 100 extra damage which is quite a lot.
Durability - I mainly take this in order to unlock Veteran's Scars but however this is somewhat useful.
Hardiness - Since I usually lane against AD champions, armor is always welcome.
Resistance - I take these just so I can unlock Veteran's Scars but however magic resist is not going to waste. You shall put 3 points in this and 1 point in Hardiness if you go against an AP champion.
Veteran's Scars - 30 health from the beggining, boy that's good. I mean, you should always take this mastery as it has a huge impact on your stats.


Guide Top

Abilities

After using an ability, Lee Sin's next 2 basic attacks within 3 seconds gain 40% attack speed and return 15 energy each.
A lot of people tend to forget about this passive and they get out of energy pretty fast. In the jungle it can be utilized quite well but while laning you can use it while pushing or sometimes in duels(if you have the luxury to).

SONIC WAVE:Lee Sin shoots a wave of sound in a line, dealing physical damage to the first enemy it hits and revealing the enemy for 3 seconds. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike within the next 3 seconds.
RESONATING STRIKE:Lee Sin dashes to the enemy revealed by Sonic Wave, dealing physical damage including 8% of the target's missing health. Minions and monsters take a maximum of 400 damage.

This is the ability that deals a whole lot of damage to your enemies. It has a huge ration(0.9 extra AD) and another good aprt is that it deals extra damage based on enemy's missing health. After you get your items, once you land this on an enemy, he is dead. However it can be quite hard to land this ability on the enemy so you have to improve your aim. You can use this to escape too, you can use it to everything. When fighting, you can use this as a gap-closer(if the enemy is far away) or you can tag your enemies with it and then damage them as much as possible before using the second part of it(remember the missing health). If you don't hit your enemies with your Q and max it, it will end up in you losing all the trades so it is better to max Tempest / Cripple.

SAFEGUARD: Lee Sin dashes to target ally, he and the target each gaining a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. Each shield dissipates after 5 seconds if not already destroyed. Lee Sin can cast Iron Will within 3 seconds of using Safeguard.
IRON WILL: For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains bonus life steal and spell vamp.

A really useful ability because it helps you with wardhopping, jumping allies and help them and sometimes save people from dying by being Ignited. The second part of it helps you get a nice amount of sustain and if you are in a hard lane, you can put points in this to stay in lane as much as possible.

TEMPEST: Lee Sin smashes the ground, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and revealing them for 4 seconds. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast Cripple within the next 3 seconds.
CRIPPLE: Lee Sin cripples all enemies revealed by Tempest reducing their movement and attack speed. The movement and attack speed recover over 4 seconds.

Tempest / Cripple is as the others, one important ability because it adds a lot of damage to your burst. The first part reveals stealthed enemies and it comes handy when you face an Akali or a Teemo and has a 1.0 extra AD ratio which is really high. It also deals magic damage so it is really hurts people who build armor against you. The second part is a steroid in my opinion. Just like Nasus's Wither it decreases your enemy's attack and movement speed not only allowing you to chase but to fight AA based champions easier too(like Aatrox or Tryndamere). I max this first because first of all, it deals magic damage

Lee Sin launches a powerful roundhouse kick, dealing physical damage to a target champion and knocking it back 1200 units over 1 second. Enemies the target collides with take the same damage and are knocked airborne for 1 second.
A really strong damage/utility ability. It has a 2.0 extra AD ratio and every rank the base damage is increased by 200.
Because of the high damage value it is a big part of your burst. Remember that once you knock back someone the people he will hit while he will be in the air will get damaged too so you can use the frontliners to actually kill the MVP in the back. It is used for utility too as it is a great escaping mechanism.


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Summoner Spells

OFFENSIVE SPELLS
I usually pick this summoner spell because of the killing potential it offers me. I am so used to this summoner spell I know wheter an Ignite will kill someone even if he will use his health potions but that's me. You can take this against champions with high health regen such as Sion or dr.mundo.
Decent summoner spell against high damage targets like Aatrox or Tryndamere( Ignite is better against Tryndamere tho) but since it doesn't add any damage to your burst, I don't personally like it.
Definetly an offensive spell. Say you and your enemy laner both died in a skirmish. You then Teleport to your lane and get a CS advantage meaning a gold and experience advantage. It can be used to gank enemy lanes so if your bot lane loses the lane for instance, you can make a five men gank on bot this setting your bot lane ahead and once you are there, you can go for a turret or you can kill the dragon.
DEFENSIVE SPELLS
One of the best summoner spells. With this spell you can kill, escape, juke, basically everything aside from farming. I mainly take this spell because I am used to it and because it is such a useful ability. The only bad thing about it is the long cooldown.
Ghost is a pretty good summoner spell for Lee Sin but however I prefer Flash over it because it gives me a bigger potential to destroy/escape enemies. Another reason is this(credits to ShakeDrizzle).


Now for Lee Sin you must take either one offensive spell and one defensive spell or the two defensive spells but I recommend you take one defensive and one offensive because it gives you more potential to make plays(making plays with Lee Sin isn't a pro player job nor an experienced player's job, it is something natural to be quite honest).


Guide Top

Items

Starting Items





sight ward
A basic start against any AD champion. It gives you a nice amount of sustain and a ward so you can be safe. You can start with Doran's Blade too but you can only do that if the enemy is a post-6 ganker like Warwick or someone who just has weak ganks pre-6. The thing is you gotta stay in base a little bit more so you can afford the third pot.



sight ward









sight ward
sight ward
Another basic start but not against AD champions, rather against AP champions or true damage dealers(not Irelia). It's health regen is pretty nice and you have to get more potions for sustain and you can either stay more in a warded lane or you can keep a ward for ward hopping in case of anything extreme(if you want to keep your Flash or Flash isn't enough).




sight ward
sight ward




A really strong starting item because it gives you health, sustain and a really nice amount of damage thus giving you a really huge killing potential however you are vulnerable to ganks so you should take this if the enemy jungler has really weak ganks pre-6 such as Warwick or Shyvana or even Master Yi. If the enemy however has a strong pre-6 ganker like Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Aatrox or Udyr, don't risk yourself.

Core Items

Ravenous Hydra is a great item on Lee Sin for various reasons:
First of all, why Ravenous Hydra over Blade of the Ruined King? Well because Lee Sin doesn't need attack speed, and the Blade of the Ruined King passive is good but in order to shred tanks, Lee Sin already has Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to do that. What Lee Sin needs is PURE DAMAGE and SPLITPUSHING ability and that is what Ravenous Hydra gives.
Now that we clarified that, Ravenous Hydra adds a lot of damage to Lee Sin's burst with that extra 75 damage and the cool active which just adds to your burst.




The Black Cleaver is a core on every AD caster/assassin. It gives cooldown reduction, a good amount of attack damage, armor penetration and health for extra survivability. Now why does an assassin need those? Attack damage obviously so you deal more damage with your burst. Cooldown reduction obviously so you can spam your abilities more often. Armor penetration? Well that's just to shred your enemy's armor so with it and Last Whisper you nearly deal true damage which to be honest adds a lot to your burst.




Last Whisper, as The Black Cleaver is a core item for assassins. It grants decent AD which adds up to your overall damage and it has a godlike armor penetration which is just lovely for every assassin. And considering the other items that are in your inventory it is relatively cheap for the advantage it grants.

Offensive Items

The Bloodthirster is just a wonder with the damage it gives you(100 if fully stacked). It adds an aproximate of 390 damage to your burst which is A LOT OF DAMAGE. If you want to build offensive items other than your core items, this is a really good buy for you and in my opinion a cost-effective one.




A really good item, mostly if the enemy APC is really fed and if he locks down his targets with high CC. It gives you a lot of damage too so it really is an ideal pick for you. To be quite honest, I find this item the strongest one to reduce incoming magic damage.




In order to reduce incoming magic damage early, I usually build a Hexdrinker which later I upgrade it to a Maw of Malmortius. It is quite good if the enemy has something like a huge burst(i.e. LeBlanc, Kassadin) because the shield will hlep you stay alive a little bit more and once their abilities are on cooldown you can kill them with a fast Q-E-R-Q combo.



Well I don't neccesarily buy Infinity Edge but to be quite honest, when you are near your target and land an autoattack, if you are lucky enough to crit, it will deal a hell lot of damage which can make you able to move to your next target faster. So take Infinity Edge like a gamble. But even if you don't land a critical strike, it gives you a huge amount of AD so that's welcome. If you don't like bets I recommend a The Bloodthirster.




Some people just like Blade of the Ruined King on Lee Sin and to be quite honest, I was building it a while ago, till I tried out Ravenous Hydra. It gives you nice AS which just sometimes is cool and it gives you a nice active/passive and a little bit AD. I still recommend you at least try out Ravenous Hydra.

Defensive items

Warmog's Armor gives you a lot of health which is really good against mixed damage but however if the enemy has something like Blade of the Ruined King, it won't be of any use.




Sunfire Cape is a really strong item at the moment because of various reasons:
It gives you health and armor which are quite good on Lee Sin and it has a really nice passive which helps you splitpush because it, Ravenous Hydra and Tempest / Cripple give you such a huge pushing ability.




Spirit Visage is a great item if the enemy APC is fed because not only does it give MR and health which are really beneficial defensive stats but it gives you cooldown reduction(I explained already why cooldown reduction is good on assassins) and healing increase which is really good on Lee Sin.




Well Randuin's Omen is still a great item. It is really good against AD carries like Vayne because of the attack speed reduction and chasing potential with it's active slow and it gives you two important stats, armor and defense, actually a lot of health and armor.




Great item for Lee Sin not because of the health it gives but because of the wards it gives you so you can wardhop pretty often. The amount of health given can be somehow useful but that's not what you should think about when you buy this item, you should think about making plays when buying it.


Guide Top

Which team comps does Lee Sin Fit?

Lee Sin fits team comps that are disruption teamfights(i.e. Zac, Janna). Why? Because Lee Sin needs to take down the MVP and then try to stay alive. That is not possible if the enemy team isn't disrupted because unless other assassins he doesn't have any way out of teamfights. SO after I sad that other assassins have a way out, and Lee Sin doesn't, why pick him ? Because even though he trully doesn't have any way out, he deals way more damage than most assassins and much faster than most assassins.
Lee Sin to be quite honest fits all-in team comps because he can Safeguard / Iron Will to an ally that is close to enemy MVPs and he can stay in the fight for as long as he can want. Other team comps he fits are those AoE CC locking teams (i.e. Malphite, Leona, Orianna) because as the enemy is locked, no one can help your target to get away from you.


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Match-ups

Elise

Hard





Elise is one of the strongest top laners I have ever faced because she can easily harras you with Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite and get you very low therefore you must go back and she is quite good in 1 v 1's. You can't go for little skirmishes against Elise because sure you deal more damage but not MUCH more damage and when you will go back to what you were doing before meaning the skirmish ended she will come out on top of that skirmish because she will hit you with Cocoon / Rappel and/or Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite. If you go in, you must go for a long fight. Try to juke Cocoon / Rappel because the stun will give her free time to damage you. You should take flat MR runes against her and early MR( Mercury's Treads, Hexdrinker) so she won't hurt you that much. After level 6, still be careful as what she will be doing won't change much but you will have more dueling potential and a good player will know that so she will try and disengage with Cocoon / Rappel whenver she can. You usually won't be able to kill her by yourself so call for jungler help whenever he can do so. There is no problem if you fall behind( Lee Sin catches up really fast), go try and catch the enemy jungler at a buff or in the river, gank mid lane or when the mid laner roams to bot, stay mid lane because you can farm there at least. You can find a lolreplay file of me playing against Elise here!
Jax

Easy





Jax is a rather easy match-up for Lee Sin for various reasons. First of all, casters are good against Jax in the first place because they don't get affected by Counter Strike that much but still the stun can make you recieve a lot of damage because Jax is a monstrous damage dealer. You can however get away from his stun with nearly all of your spells: If his Leap Strike is down, use your Tempest / Cripple to slow him down so you can get out of his stun range. If a minion wave is coming, just Safeguard / Iron Will to the minions. If you are level 6 or more, use the first part of Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike then Dragon's Rage and wait till he stops moving his lamppost then use the second part of Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike. Early you can easily trade with Jax because of your superior early game dominance. If you manage not to get stunned by Counter Strike, then just go and abuse him for the following 18 seconds. At level 6, you both will be great duelists but once again, if you manage not to get stunned, you will outdamage him therefore you will manage to kill him rather easily. You can find a lolreplay file of me playing against Jax here!
Shen

Medium





Shen is a really strong top laner but however, everybody has his weaknesses. Before Shen builds that heavy armor, he is quite vulnerable to you. You can try and abuse him but don't overdo it as you will get yourself killed. Don't forget that your Tempest / Cripple deals magical damage so you can hit him with it for quite a big amount of damage. Once Shen started to build heavy armor, don't try and kill him, keep the lane pushed. Why? Because you can't kill him because of his high amount of armor so why not push the lane so he will lose CS? Shen is quite good at farming under the tower but once his Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike are down he can't kill the caster minions and if you wait for the enemy minions to hurt your melee minions so that two turret shots will kill them(two turret shots attacking a full health melee minion gives the enemy the chance to easily lasthit). Some people would take Teleport so they can catch up to Shen but I'd rather destroy the turret when he ults away with my cool passive, Flurry. You can find a lolreplay file of me playing against Shen here!


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Early Game

Lee Sin is a great duelist at level 3 when he unlocked all his spells and is one from there on. That's why you should be aggressive in the laning phase but don't lose on a lot of farm because farm is vital for a good mid/late game.
If the enemy is someone who naturally builds armor like Shen or Malphite, keep your lane pushed as he won't be able to get all the creeps under the turret thus giving you an advantage and so later you will be able to duel him later. If the enemy is a bruiser like Jax then be really aggressive because trading with you will be pretty hard for him. BUT AS I SAID, don't lose farm because it is crucial.If you push the enemy lane, no matter which side you are on, you can get the golems and if you want to go further ward the enemy buff and try to kill your enemy once he reaches the buff. Be careful however if the enemy buff near top lane is blue buff because the mid laner will naturally be there. If you kill the enemy jungler proceed and take the buff too.
Now let's talk about harrasing with Lee Sin. Lee Sin's harras is pretty strong early because of the high damage he has. The easiest way is to Safeguard / Iron Will the minion your enemy is about to lasthit and use your Tempest / Cripple. This will chunk down his health for a good amount. Another way is to use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to close the gap between you and your enemy then use Tempest / Cripple and then Safeguard / Iron Will to a nearby minion as fast as possible so you take minimal damage. The easiest however is just to walk near your enemy then use Tempest / Cripple. Note that using Tempest / Cripple will push your lane because it deals AoE damage. If your lane is pushed, it is the wisest to keep it warded else you will be an easy target for the kill-hungry enemy jungler.


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Mid Game

Mid game if you are really fed you should join your team but if you are not keep on splitpushing because now you should at least have your Tiamat so you will be able to push quite fast and with the help of Flurry you will be able to take down enemy turrets in no time.
If you are going to join your team wait for your allies to initiate and then once the enemy is distrupted go and pick up the MVPs with your huge burst. If you are behind don't get on tilt because just farming will make you catch up in no time. If you are really ahead don't let the thanks intimidate you because you can take them on. After you kill one enemy, you should type in "COME AT ME, ALL OF YOU, I WILL TAKE ON ALL OF YOU, COME AT ME, MOAR!!". If you aren't lucky they will listen to you and come to you.


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Late Game

By late game, you should be really strong because well, if jungle Lee Sin falls of late game, lane Lee Sin is a late game beast. One Q on your enemy and they are dead. Don't however go in when the MVP is guarded because you may get CC chained and get killed so you will leave your team in a 4 v 5. Be careful when you go in because you may go in later and do a clean-up but the faster you get the chance to enter in the teamfight, the better it is for your team.
You can splitpush if you want but MY ADVICE is not to splitpush bot because your enemy might find the chance to go baron once you are bot. If you want to splitpush, stay top lane and farm, get towers, farm, get towers and so on. Be careful however to ward the enemy jungle so you won't get caught and die giving up Baron.


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The End

Well, this is it guys, next up is my Aatrox guide but before closing in I would like to thank jhoijhoi for her awesome line dividers. I am going to add the match-up section quite fast but I must ask you something. I am going to put a video for most of the champions in the match-ups, so shall I film it and then post it on youtube or is it enough for me to put the lolreplay file?