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Lee Sin Build Guide by TimeMuffin

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author TimeMuffin

Play to your Senses - Platinum Jungle Lee Sin Guide

TimeMuffin Last updated on October 7, 2013
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
12
13
14
Ability Key W
3
10
15
17
18
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


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Introduction


My name is TimeMuffinPhD and I'm a Platinum jungler in EUW. I think it would be best if you got to know a little background information first before I start to move on to the nitty gritty side of things. I started playing ‘League of Legends’ roughly one year and a half ago – I still remember playing Cho’Gath bot lane and getting pissed because I couldn’t learn this brilliant game. But now I’m here, placed at Platinum and hoping to proceed to my Diamond promotions sometime soon.

I’ve been learning the Jungle role for most of the time I’ve been playing; something intrigued me about appearing from a shrouded brush and attacking an un-aware enemy. For the first season I played, (which would be the second season) ranked was my enemy and my persistent bane to play; however changing my attitude and my will to improve made my most recent season standing an adjustment for the best. Keeping a consistent positive energy and attitude in your ranked games will surely increase your performance of play – that’s what I recommend – and that’s what I currently follow; nevertheless you've heard enough about me and would like to know what this guide is going to revolve around. I’m sure you could’ve guessed it’s going to be about the Lee Sin The Blind Monk.

Lee Sin is my favorite and most played champion, I hope my expertise will allow at least the lower leveled players to climb with his super-aggressive play-style.

On a different note, LoL Replay isn't working with this patch currently so I can't add these videos: team-fighting, tips and tricks and ganks. I will update the guide as soon as I fix it, but anyway enjoy the guide.



Feel free to listen to some chill music while you read:


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Pros / Cons

Pros:

  • Strong early-game
  • Strong dueling potential
  • Good ganks
  • Easy counter-jungling
  • High mobility
  • Versatile



Cons:
  • Weak transition into late-game
  • Not an amazing team-fighter
  • High skill cap


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Summary

Lee Sin is renowned for being one of the strongest early-game Junglers and also one of the highest skill-cap champions to boot. Playing Lee Sin will centre around exploiting his ridiculous early-game potential to your advantage – learning how to make ‘plays’ through extensive practice of your mechanics will benefit your play and your team marginally. Snowballing an advantage should allow you to blend into a reliable bruiser/carry by the time mid-game comes – and if it turns out better than expected you should be able to destroy the nexus before late-game; however I know I’m speaking positively towards early-game, but the dealer won’t always show you the card you desired. His infamous transition into late-game would be that loathsome card.




When you’re a Jungler in late-game, you essentially fall into the bruiser-tank category, acting as a utility meat-shield for your team, (yes I’m aware of the nightmares) at this stage of the game you still want to be a constant source of threat towards the enemy team; Jarvan IV would be an example of a champion who would remain as a constant detriment towards the enemy team in all stages of the game. Jarvan IV provides threat in the form of CC (crowd control), natural tank damage and aura effects (this is with the exception of items). This is a very high-threat level, but in comparison to Lee Sin, not so much in accordance to early-game. So that’s why you have to exploit Lee’s early-game – you can increase your threat depending on your item build or how far you are ahead, especially if you build damage, but I’ll get to that a bit later.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
6
These are a pretty standard set of runes for attack damage – the attack damage scales with all of your damaging abilities, so it increases your early game strength. The mix of flat and scaling magic resist glyphs are probably controversial; but I like to take them because it gives me balanced magic resist both at the start of the game and the end.

I’m not an expert on masteries and runes – I don’t go to deep into it and don’t possess mathematical prowess, I just learn from experience. This goes the same for builds so; if you ever want to discuss it with me, feel free.


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Masteries

Masteries
4/5
2/1
4/1
1/5
3/1
1/1
2/5
3/
1/
4/1
2/1
1/1
1/5
1/1
These are standard aggressive Jungler masteries – you should take 21-9 because you want to optimize for early-game not late-game. This will increase his early game strength and have you dealing “tons of damage”. Again I won't go too deep into this, because it's very much preference and I'm not very mathematical so I don't test it that way.


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Items

STARTING ITEMS:





Nearly every Jungler should be starting with Hunter's Machete and five Health Potions. This goes the same for Lee; the only other option is Doran's Blade – I have not tested this start too much, but personally I think it’s risky and you end up finishing both your buffs with low health. If you want to try it out, then you can check out the video I made on Doran's Blade starts:




CORE ITEMS:





Spirit of the Ancient Golem should be your first main tank item. It’s the most cost-efficient jungle item right now in my opinion and I build it on nearly every Jungler because it’s so good. It provides many good stats that a tank would need, it helps you clear the jungle and it’s extremely affordable.



Your second main item should be Sightstone, it’s complete preference whether you want to complete this before or after Spirit of the Ancient Golem; but any way in which you do it, this item is enormously useful. Sightstone is very cheap, gives health, and allows you to have the mobility to roam around the map.




SITUATIONAL ITEMS:



Doran's Blade is a situational early game item, and I don’t mean for a starting item. After you have picked up Spirit Stone and Boots, it’s actually a pretty good item to pick up. It isn’t that risky if you have already picked up a kill/assist and have some money to spare. It provides some tankiness, damage, and a mediocre passive for only 475 gold.



Randuin's Omen is the item you need to pick up if they have a very fed ADC or they have multiple ad’s and you need the armour.



Spirit Visage is an amazing item currently, it’s cost-efficient, provides good magic resist, tankiness and has a pretty decent passive to enhance your Iron Will. Buy when you need some magic resist.



Last Whisper would be the only damage item I would consider on Lee – it’s good to pick up when their tank line is diving in on your carries and you need to get through their defences or when you just need a little bit more damage. If you don’t fulfil your tank role before you purchase this item, then make sure you accomplish that first.



Locket of the Iron Solari would be a core buy before it's nerf, but now I don't think it's vital. It's still a good item, it helps with your transition into late-game because you're able to support your team on another level. I would buy it if they have a lot of AOE damage or my support hasn't bought it in late-game. Prioritize core items before this however.


Blade of the Ruined King isn't really an amazing item on Lee - he doesn't benefit from the attack speed largely because of his passive as it already grants him this stat; the active is nice but has been nerfed as of recent and isn't as strong. Lee Sin synergises best with attack damage items because of the benefit it provides to his Sonic Wave and Dragon's Rage. Buy this when they have large amounts of health and you need damage.


Maw of Malmortius could strictly be classed as both an offensive and defensive item; it gives attack damage and a passive which will increase your damage as your health bar drops; it also gives magic resistance and a shield which will block magic damage. It's a very balanced item, and is good to buy when you need a mixture of damage and durability against magic damage.


Ravenous Hydra synergises massively with Lee Sin when played in the top lane (since he's you're meant to grab a lot of damage when playing him top); however in the jungle it's risky. Ravenous Hydra is very expensive, it costs a lot for just a damage item, when you're meant to be a bruiser in the first place; but it does work well with his kit and dueling. I don't really suggest to pick this item up - only when you're very far ahead and you want to split-push a lot. It also has a Pickaxe in the recipe, so you could change your mind at any time and build another type of offensive item.

The Bloodthirster I recommend for newer Lee Sin players - simply because you don't have to worry about the active in Ravenous Hydra, they're basically the same item with slight variations, so I would only cover the same reasons if I were to elaborate on this.



The Black Cleaver is an alternative choice to Last Whisper. I normally would buy this for the same reasons as Last Whisper; but more so if I decide to get a The Brutalizer during the early game. The Black Cleaver is very expensive; whereas Last Whisper is not. They do the same job, but The Black Cleaver provides a little more in the way of: health and cooldown reduction. Buy this if you got The Brutalizer early.


Frozen Mallet isn’t an item I would buy, it’s my personal preference; but I see a lot of Lee players picking this up; the main reason is because of its utility; but the main reason I don’t buy it is because of its cost. It’s extremely cost-inefficient, the stats it provides is just not worth that amount of money. It will require some further testing, but from the amount of games I’ve played with it, I don’t suggest it.



Sunfire Cape is a good item to pick up around mid-game; however there are many better choices as a tanky option in late-game. It grants moderate armour, some health and a fair passive. It will lose it's utility a little later, buy when you have the money kicking around - it's quite cheap.





For boots, most of the time you want to pick up Ninja Tabi – because you have Spirit of the Ancient Golem and that grants tenacity, so you won’t need to purchase Mercury's Treads. If you feel you need to roam more than you should, then buy Boots of Mobility – it’s a very situational pick, but once you have that eye for it, then it will profit you greatly.


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How Does he Fit Within the Meta?

The meta-game or simply: ‘Meta’ as it’s often coined, is a frequently misunderstood concept and is often used in the wrong context. I don’t claim to be an expert on the Meta, but I definitely have a general grasp – you learn the Meta from watching professional games and also by playing yourself. Here would be a ‘textbook’ definition of the term meta-game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metagaming.




This is a pretty elaborate and broad description of what a meta-game is, so let's focus our aim and narrow our definition to apply only to ‘League of Legends’. To put it simply: the meta-game is the current state of the game; it refers to the conventions and current play styles that are popular. Factors that can change this could be: item additions/removals, buffs/nerfs, region play-style, and team play-style. This doesn’t mean all teams will maintain one play-style – there will be multiple play-styles that will be effective within the current meta-game. Because League is based around players competing against other players, the Meta is constantly shifting – this is often because of the different factors I explained previously, but also because there is an incredible incentive to always remain ahead of the pack; players who can outsmart the current meta and create strategies that exploit weaknesses in the current playstyles will be highly succesful.




Yet, we should cut that last thought short, we’re meant to be talking about jungling here right? At present (as of patch 3.11), in my opinion, the current meta-game gyrates around objectives. Early and mid-game situational teams have become the norm – being able to control objectives like dragon is a bonus. Late-game has slumped to a degree because of the amount of teams that unanimously push towers and focus objectives; not allowing the late-game team to even get their foot in the water. Picks which I can slap down like a card in a game of Snap would be: Ahri, Zed, Corki, Fizz, Aatrox, and Zyra. The list does go on, there’s a plethora of champions that could fulfill a decent role within the meta-game, but that’s just some of the best.




Now, how does Lee Sin fit in with this objective based meta-game? Well, as long as you’ve kept awake between my ramblings then you should’ve gathered that: yes, he actually fits very well. Lee Sin provides massive early/mid game threat with his over the top damage. He also possesses dragon control because of his stellar mobility; dragon steals will be effortlessly done; and vision should be easily acquired. So Lee Sin fits like a glove in relevance to the meta-game, but that doesn’t mean he fits everywhere.


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When to pick Lee Sin

This entire section would be in regards to ranked solo queue and picking appropriately to fit a particular team-comp; however, this may be a little off topic, but if you’re below the gold division then this isn’t essential – when in silver you should focus on playing more aggressive Junglers and trying to single-handedly carry your team. So briefly skim over this if you wish my low-elo compadres, but for the rest of you, picking Lee Sin in the correct composition could give you the edge in a game.




In ranked solo queue, Lee Sin is usually a very good first pick; he manages to counter or sufficiently handle most matchups; he doesn’t have real counters, arguably Udyr and Shyvana; and doesn’t have to fit into a team-fight oriented composition because of his versatility and most of the time you don’t actually have to team-fight. There’s always an unsurmountable chance that you won’t get first pick, this is where you have to analyse what both teams pick, and choose what you are going to do accordingly.




As you should have already summed up, Lee Sin has unprecedented early-game presence, so he’s a good pick if you have lanes that are somewhat weak in this particular stage of the game; there’s also the polar opposite, perhaps your lanes are very strong early, this is a way in which you can synergise with your laner and plan out your gank focus. Lee is able bully out weak early-game Junglers such as: Amumu, Maokai and Nautilus - putting them behind marginally and ruining their chances of transitioning into the next stage of the game. Having said this, Lee packs a lot of damage, if you need that extra oomph in your team-comp and you aren’t shy of tanks then he is normally a good choice. Let’s face it, Lee Sin is almost always a good choice, snowballing lanes can end up in a victory nearly every time and it especially helps when your team knows how to capitalize on it.


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Early-Game

In this portion of the game it’s best to analyse the team’s compositions and plan prior to the game actually starting. A lot of this decision making has to do with experience, but you can base it on a few factors and I can also give you routes which you can decide when to use on your own account. Some of this should seem overt to veteran Junglers; however to inexperienced Junglers this will take some practice.




Early-game is the stage of the game where you can have the most influential effect as a Jungler, so you want to be as efficient and precise as you can. With Lee Sin you want to prioritize ganking over farming your own jungle – even when you are farming it would be better stealing your opponent’s jungle instead. You don’t want to just snowball your lanes, you want to create an avalanche – you want to contain consistent pressure on the lanes and have constant source of threat; there’s no point in playing passively, this is where you shine. You have a large amount of mobility, so you should have an easy time breezing around the map – Sightstone will enhance this attribute, but I will elaborate on that more later.




The route you take is very situational, the way you decide can depend on a number of varying factors, but let me try and put it simply. The last buff that you take is the location where you are going to gank from; so the lane you are closest to will be the most predictable lane you will gank – especially if they are pushed. This is an effective way to learn how to counter-gank, if you think of this when you are in the enemy Junglers shoes, you can probably predict where they are going. The leash you are going to get to assist you with the buff is also your decision, normally the mid-laner won’t aid with the buff; but usually it’s best to take the buff on the side where the bot-lane can help you. I take Sonic Wave as my first spell, this is considered controversial; but Sonic Wave will provide a stronger clear if you have a decent leash – it will also give a faster clear time because it can be utilised as a shortcut to a buff from over the wall. The final deciding factor: the last buff you take will be the one you will have for the longest duration of time – taking red buff last is usually the best decision for a gank based Jungler because of its usefulness in keeping pace with an opponent.




Ganking itself however is a whole other ball game, it doesn’t matter if you have the routes perfected, if you can’t gank then you are missing a crucial gear in a clockwork. When playing Lee you never want to engage a gank with your sonic wave; unless you are certain it will land and be beneficial, or it’s going to get a kill. Otherwise you want to simply get close to the enemy to use Tempest and Cripple - you can also use Safeguard / Iron Will to close the gap between you and your opponent, but you might need to ration it to help save a team-mate. Sonic Wave is Lee’s main damage source and also does more damage based on the amount of health missing with Resonating Strike; so you can either do the damage immediately or save it for the finishing blow in-case the enemy laner has some form of problematic escape. Of course this is all in relevance to a very early game gank – once you have acquired your ultimate, the gank can become much more devastating, I’ll talk about this later along with a useful trick. So speaking of ultimates, let’s move on to mid-game.


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Mid-Game

Basically this is the section of the game when early team-fights being and dragon control is absolutely vital. You should still have your damage, so you can initiate team-fights if you are skilled enough: using this method (or a similar method) is an effective way to start a team-fight as long as you can pull it off quickly enough:




You will find more information on that example in the ‘Tips and Tricks’ section which will be appearing shortly. This is very similar to early-game; you should still play aggressively; push towers as often as possible; and now make ‘plays’ with your ultimate. As long as you have map pressure, you are doing a good job.


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Late-Game

This is when things are going to become difficult and you will have to adapt to playing a different style. You shouldn't be incredibly squishy at this point; but your damage will definitely fall off – this will promote more passive play, especially if you are a main initiator. Your threat level will be a precipitous drop (since your damage has dropped considerably) – you will have to build specific items to make sure you are still presenting a threat to the enemy team, but still remaining tanky. It’s also good to note than Lee is very good at peeling for his team, you are able to: shield allies, slow enemies and kick them away – sometimes it’s good to convert into this style of play. Lee Sin is an amazing baron stealer – a Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike onto baron, Smite, ward jump to safety. That’s how easy it is. Learning how to be skilled with Lee Sin will assist you in surviving the late-game.


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Tips & Tricks

Dragon's Rage Combo 1:


This combo allows you to take a big chunk out of the opposition’s health with your ultimate, so that your Resonating Strike can do more damage. It’s my go-to combo if I want to burst someone as quickly as possible. All you have to do is hit them with your Sonic Wave, Dragon's Rage, and then use Resonating Strike instantly.





Dragon's Rage Combo 2:


This is a very situational combo and is often hard to pull off, but it’s useful from time to time. You can virtually do this over any wall in the game, you follow the same instructions for the first Dragon's Rage combo; but you don’t instantly use Resonating Strike, you wait until the enemy is at a suitable position and then you use it.




Dragon's Rage Combo 3:


I recommend this for newer players to Lee Sin as it makes it much easier to apply your damage. This allows you to hit your Sonic Wave because you know where the enemy is headed. You have to use Dragon's Rage and then use Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike.





Dragon's Rage Combo 4:



This particular combo is much acclaimed and is extremely hard to execute if you don’t have a large amount of practice. This is the best combo to initiate a team-fight (as I have said previously) because you are able to get their highest priority target in range of your team. You can also perform this same combo with Flash in substitute for a ward jump.




Ward Jump:



This is an absolute core mechanic to learn on Lee Sin, it’s pivotal on perfecting his aggressive strategy. I smart-cast the number key that I assign to my wards or Sightstone, I recommend doing this because you will be able to execute it quicker. It will take a bit of practice, but you will be able to do it easily eventually.




Iron Will + Smite:



This can save you by the skin of your teeth; but don’t expect this to heal you for a massive amount. When you need a little bit of extra health then use Safeguard/ Iron Will and then Smite a jungle monster or a creep – you will be healed around thirty health.


Using this video, you can see all the available combos performed by me; so you can see for yourself how they're executed. Use the annotations in the video to view the video appropriately


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Conclusion (are you needing help with jungling?)

Lee Sin is my favourite and most played champion. I currently have a 53.5 % win rate with him and over 100 games in ranked. In normal games I've probably had more than 400 games experience playing him. I hope my experience and knowledge will help you to understand the jubilant sensation after you perform a flawless insec kick in a ranked environment.

I will update this guide when I can, and perhaps add more chapters etc. Feel free to ask me questions I will provide as much feedback as I can. All the videos featured in this guide are from my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/anirazor which mainly provides League of Legends jungle guides, so subscribe if you're interested in that sort of stuff. You can also find me on my social media here:

- https://twitter.com/FraseyBaby
- https://www.facebook.com/timemuffinphd
- http://www.anook.com/blog/timemuffinphd

If you're a beginner, or you just need a re-cap, check out this video:
Also check out my Lee Sin montage from my silver days:

Thanks for reading! Credits to Jhoihoi for helping me out with coding and Shizukani for the awesome line dividers.


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Changelog

02/10/2013 - Released the guide
04/10/2013 - Updated the items sections with offensive item tab
05/10/2013 - Added a video to the Tips and Tricks section
05/10/2013 - Changed description and various other related pieces referring to Sunfire Cape