Lee Sin Build Guide by RacistHOUND
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello MOBAFire! I've been using this website for a long time, and I feel like it's time to give back to the community. I play under the name RacistHOUND (yes, it is intentionally offensive, though I am not actually racist ;D) on the NA server. Regardless, I do have some interesting insights I'd like to give on a very underused role of our very own Blind Monk. I'm going to keep things short and to the point. Hope you enjoy!
P.S. Thanks to jhoijhoi for teaching everyone on the site how to make proper guides!
P.S.S. Edits and improvements to be made periodically! Please comment, leave criticisms, and vote!
Lee Sin: A Support?!?
Lee Sin is an extremely flexible character. He is usually played top or jungle, and he is very effective at both. Most people play him as a tanky dps and build items like Warmog's Armor + Atma's Impaler and maybe a The Bloodthirster or even a Madred's Bloodrazor. Due to his kit (set of skills/abilities), he can be played like an assassin, or a beefy anti-carry fighter.
However, I believe that Lee Sin can actually be played as an effective bottom-lane support. Let's take a look at his kit.
(Passive): This passive does not seem very useful for a traditional support, but Lee Sin is different. Between using your abilities, getting a few hits in here and there actually adds up to do quite a bit of damage in the laning phase. Plus, getting that energy back helps you spam your Safeguard / Iron Will and Tempest / Cripple, keeping your carry safe and winning exchanges.
(Q): Fantastic skill for checking bushes (it reveals units), initiating, and closing gaps. I love constantly spamming this skill at the enemy support and carry, just to piss them off and force them away from the bushes, keeping them constantly scared of the possibility that I'm going to jump on them. This ability is key to the aggressive laning style I'm going to talk about later on. Lategame, use this ability to jump to fleeing enemies and slow them for your team to bring them down.
(W): This is your primary support skill. At level 1, it shields for 40 damage, and at level 5 it shields for 200 damage. Compare this to Janna's Eye Of The Storm. Yes, Janna's shield is stronger, and has a fantastic attack damage buff (not to mention it can be cast on turrets). However, Lee Sin's shield gets cast on BOTH YOU AND YOUR TARGET, essentially doubling the amount of shielding received. Additionally, reactivating the skill gives you a significant amount of armor, lifesteal, and spellvamp. Not to mention that you run on ENERGY and that makes this skill spammable, almost completely negating enemies that love to harass in lane ( Zilean + Draven for example). One last thing about this skill: you can use it to jump to wards. Besides using it to escape, you can place a ward in the middle of the lane and hop to it in order to position your Dragon's Rage, kicking your target into danger. Note: I HIGHLY recommend using smartcasting with this spell. You can change it under the "Key Bindings" menu in-game. LoL is a game of split seconds, and being able to simply mouse over your target and shield him may just be barely fast enough to keep him alive. Try it!
(E): This ability is what makes you and your carry win exchanges. The slow is phenomenal (30% at level 1, 60% at level 5), and it lasts for 4 seconds, with a cooldown of 10 seconds. Compare that to Randuin's Omen's active, which is a 35% slow for ~3 seconds, with the cooldown of 1 minute. Once hit with this, the enemy will have 2 choices: fight with extra slow attack speed (and die), or try to run and take a lot of damage (and probably have to pop Flash). This skill, coupled with your shield, puts you and your carry at an advantage in any 2v2 fights that break out in lane.
(R): Your ultimate is multi-functional. It can be used to kick enemies into danger, or kick dangerous enemies away from your precious carry. If you manage to hit other enemies with the one you kicked, you will knock them up and do the same amount of damage to them as well. This is a fight-changing ultimate. The best thing about this skill is that it costs NO ENERGY and has a very short cooldown (90/75/60). Great panic button that can save lives. It is hilarious seeing the enemy jungler try to chase my carry back to the tower, only to have me kick them into the tower and have them bursted down by my carry. Other times, I just stright-up kick the jungler away, or into his teammates even. Also, as mentioned before, you can use your Safeguard / Iron Will and Flash (if necessary) to position yourself for an offensive kick. Note: It is quite hard to kick an enemy that is running away from your team back into your team, because the angle you kick them at is very sensitive, and you might very well just kick them to safety by accident. It takes practice, but once mastered, can score you assist after assist after assist.
Philosophy, Goals, Playstyle
The primary purpose of playing support Lee Sin (or any support for that matter) is to keep your carry alive and get him/her fed. This encompasses all of the following:
- Warding places where the enemy could gank you from
- Helping your carry win exchanges
- Prevent the enemy from zoning your carry and thus denying him CS
- Aggressively (but intelligently) create opportunities for kills
- Ensure that the carry escapes alive, even if it means you have to die (even if you have Oracle's Elixir!)
Additional duties include:
- Being the primary warder on your team (know where and when to ward!)
- Carrying around Oracle's Elixir and counterwarding
- Keep timers on Buffs, Dragon, and Baron. Remember, 5-6-7. Buffs-Dragon-Baron. That's how many minutes until they respawn from the time that they were downed. Just type in chat "drag 2345" if dragon was killed at 17:45 or "their red 1500" if your jungler stole their red at 10:00. You can always scroll up in the chat to see when these things respawn; that is the entire purpose of writing them down.
Lee Sin plays a tanky support role, using his utility to give his team the upper hand in teamfights. You are an offtank of sorts, the carry's personal bodyguard. You keep enemy anticarries off of him/her for the duration of the teamfight. You should always aim to use your Dragon's Rage to kick the enemy anticarry (who is going gung-ho after your own carry; think Jax or Olaf or Akali) back into his own team. Remember: YOU ARE NOT FILLING AN ANTI-CARRY ROLE, you are filling a SUPPORT role. This means priority one is ensuring the safety of the carry. Only if you are sure that your carry is safe can you assist in slowing/disabling the enemy team.
Note that if your Graves sucks and feeds and is an idiot and buys a Frozen Mallet instead of an Infinity Edge, leave him to get himself killed and instead protect that Akali that is wrecking the enemy team. If it's an Annie, then follow her around. You basically are the bodyguard of the highest-threat damage-doing person on your team.
Itemwise, your goal is to complete your build up until Aegis of the Legion as fast as possible. Once you reach that point, you are set. I will explain more about the item build later, and possible alternative item choices.
Our goal as support Lee Sin is to get Aegis of the Legion as fast as possible, but we still have our obligation to buy wards (and Oracle's Elixir). We need funding, and as we all know, supports live off of little to no CS in the laning phase. The answer: Gold per Second items and runes.
I have tried both Defensive focused masteries and Utility focused masteries and this is what I have discovered:
My personal preference is 0/22/8 for the reasons listed above, but you may decide that you want something different for yourself. That's fine, find what works for you and your personal playstyle.
Flash is almost necessary. It is multi-functional and too useful to pass up. Escaping, flashing to shield a wounded ally, flashing to try to land that Q for that last hit on a weak enemy, flash then ulti, etc. You'll have a hard time if you don't get it.
Choosing the other summoner spell is up to you. The carries I usually lane with already have Heal, so I just get Exhaust. If they get Exhaust, then I get Heal. A lot of carries these days actually grab Ignite to counter healing effects and aggressively grab kills. If the enemy laners grab Ignite, picking Exhaust is obviously better than Heal in that instance. Note that Exhaust does NOT reduce Ignite's damage, but reduces damage from basic attacks and abilities.
If you REALLY REALLY want to, you can get Teleport if you want. But don't squander it getting back to lane quickly; it is better used for helping the other two lanes if they are being ganked and/or towerdived. You may just pull off a Shen and turn the tables.
In order to maximize our supporting potential, we get 1 point in Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike at level 1 in order to check bushes and constantly harass. We want to max our Safeguard / Iron Will as fast as possible, but we need to grab at least 1 point in Tempest / Cripple at either level 3 or 4. And, as usual grab Dragon's Rage whenever possible.
I know what you're thinking: WTF Kage's Lucky Pick?!? There is a reason, friends, calm yourselves.
I start off with a Ruby Crystal so that I can rush a Heart of Gold and some wards. With your runes and masteries, you are quite tanky and that extra HP goes a long way.
Now, getting a Kage's Lucky Pick is completely optional. I get it because I like the extra bit of AP for the shield, and the Gold per Second is nice. If I'm having a tough lane and they are hurting quite a bit, I get it in order to better protect my carry. That 25 AP translates into 25*.80 = 20 extra damage on the shield. This might not seem like much, but remember that shields basically act as "bonus health" and are capable of mitigating damage depending on how much armor and MR the person being shielded has. When laning with a Graves and that incredible passive of his, True Grit, that extra 20 shielding goes a long way. Once you get Aegis of the Legion, it is even more effective for those you shield. However, it's completely up to personal preference. I'd love some feedback on this in the comments, feel free to post and give me suggestions, and I can make edits to this guide accordingly.
For boots, you can get either Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, depending on the other team and their composition.
After you have these things, build up your Aegis of the Legion as it does take some time to work up that much money. You should be pretty beefy now. Once you have it, the laning phase should be over or almost over.
At this point in time, there is a lot of flexibility in the build. Sometimes I grab an Oracle's Elixir right away and start roaming and counterwarding. Other times, I start building up a Randuin's Omen or Force of Nature, depending on how the other team is doing. Now, Lee Sin already has a build-in super- Randuin's Omen active, but Randuin's passive is still very useful. If you don't like it, you can get a Thornmail, a Sunfire Cape, or even a Zhonya's Hourglass if you feel like having massive shields (it would add 100*.80 = 80 additional damage to your shield).
Other strange but actually viable items to get are Abyssal Scepter, and Frozen Mallet, followed by an Atma's Impaler. Remember: your primary job is peeling anticarries off your Miss Fortune, not doing damage. She can do all the damage in the world, so no need for you to get an Atma's Impaler until AFTER Frozen Mallet, if you DO get it at all (remember, supports barely get any CS at all).
Note: If one day they buff Locket of the Iron Solari, it might actually be worth considering it in this build, possibly before getting Aegis of the Legion. Otherwise, I think it is not worth 2225 gold and giving up my Heart of Gold to build it early.
If the game is STILL not over at that point, keep on building tanky and disruptive. You may even consider a Zeke's Herald or other aura items. The game depends on the carry now more than ever, and it is your job to keep him alive long enough to ace the enemy.
But remember, you are the support, so make sure every time you go back to base, you buy 2-5 wards before even considering buying more items for your build. Remember, wards win games.
Best Carries to Lane With
The best carries you can lane with are those with a ranged attack, an escape mechanism, and some kind of harass and/or burst. This is so that they can be aggressive with you, but escape if they need to. You should always take the hits for them and let them run away, because once they are at a safe distance, you can just Safeguard / Iron Will to them.
- Graves has great burst and survivability. Perfect for playing aggressively.
- Caitlyn has great poke, traps, and an okay escape mechanism.
- Tristana has great range, an awesome escape, and can use Buster Shot with your Dragon's Rage.
- Vayne has great burst, can pin people to the wall, and can escape well.
- Ezreal has great poke, great burst, and can escape well. Awesome laning partner.
- Corki has great poke and a fantastic escape.
- AD Kennen can escape like none other, and his stuns make him so dangerous.
- Sivir can harass well, but does not have her escape until level 6. Also, her range is short.
- Miss Fortune has good range, can harass well, but her escape is reliant on not getting hit.
- Urgot is a god at harassing, has a fantastic disable, but lacks an escape mechanism.
- Ashe is just begging to get ganked and die. Good harass and CC, but is so incredibly vulnerable.
- Draven has great harass but lacks a reliable escape mechanism (his steroid is not enough).
- Fiora has a hard time getting CS in lane, and lacks a good escape mechanism.
- Gangplank has great poke, but will get picked off even with Remove Scurvy.
- Kog'Maw has great damage and harass, but, again, lacks a good escape.
- Master Yi has an escape, and a harass, but is melee and has trouble getting CS.
- Tryndamere is melee and has trouble getting harassed when getting CS.
- Twitch is a roaming ganker with no escape mechanism.
- Varus has epic poke and harass and CC, but no escape mechanism.
LEVEL 1: Buy your Ruby Crystal, then cover the jungler as he starts out. If it appears as if he will be fine, leave with your carry and go to bottom lane. Use your Q to check any and all bushes. Never facecheck.
LEVEL 1 ONWARDS: Constantly harass the enemy with Q (but don't jump at them!). Even if they have a Soraka or Sona that heals through it, keep on doing it. It is a psychological advantage, pissing them off and establishing you as the king of the bushes.
LEVEL 2 ONWARDS: Once you get your Safeguard / Iron Will, use it to shield your carry whenever he gets harassed or decides to harass the enemy. Spam your shield like crazy! Don't forget to use it a second time to give yourself a nice little armor boost for 5 seconds.
LEVEL 3 ONWARDS: When you have your Tempest / Cripple, consider being a bit aggressive. Communicate with your carry. Let him know that you are going to be aggressive and that you need him to back you up. If he is up for it, and the enemies look overconfident, use your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, jump at them, slow them, get a few hits off, and then shield to your carry, who will get a couple shots off on the enemy. If they run, then good. If they fight, then pop summoner spells as needed and fight! Calculated aggression is potent. But don't be stupid! Don't get into situations you can't handle. The key word in calculated aggression is "calculated".
After their support realizes that your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike hits for only 50 damage, and is comfortable just sitting in the bush, taking the hits, what I like to do is use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to him, and do the unexpected: jump to him and beat the living daylights out of him. Both carries come in to help, I shield my carry, slow the enemy carry, and they run away. Establish dominance early, and enjoy bush control.
LEVEL 3-5ish: Go back and grab Heart of Gold and 2-3 wards. Put one ward at Dragon, and mind the minimap for incoming ganks. If necessary, ward the tribush as well.
LEVEL 6 ONWARDS: You have to be wise with the use of your Dragon's Rage. You may need it defensively to kick away an enemy jungler with the red buff. If you see the enemy jungler likes to camp top, or if you feel confident that you can keep your carry out of danger, then consider using it offensively. Force your way into the bush. Walk out into the lane, and put the ward down behind them. Walk back into the bush. Now watch them panic in terror as they realize that you can Dragon's Rage them at any time you wish. When the time is right, utilize your Safeguard / Iron Will and Flash if necessary to position yourself, then kick them right into your carry and watch them pound them into the ground. They will undoubtedly pop Flash, but you're still standing by the ward. So, just slow them and get a nice little assist.
This all continues until Dragon fights happen, or teamfights and mass towerdives happen. From then on, just keep your carry safe, ward well, and counterward if you've got the money to afford Oracle's Elixir.
In conclusion, I believe Lee Sin to be a very strong support/offtank due to his tankyness, his mobility, and his kit and utility. I will continue to edit and re-edit this guide, and am open to comments and criticisms of all kinds. Help me make this guide better! Tell me what to change! No need to downvote if I take your advice! Sure, downvote each other for dumb comments or faulty reasoning behind build theories, but let's make this guide OUR guide, with the combined insights of the entire MOBAFire community. Peace, RacistHOUND out.
Find your center - Top lane Lee Sin
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