Lee Sin Build Guide by Khazem
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Lee Sin is an incredibly strong laner who can shut a lot of champions down with his versatile kit, aimed mainly at dueling other champions with his high attack speed and ability to slow the enemy, but also dash around fights like a ninja with his high mobility. He is what I like to call a tanky assassin.
Basic Information About Lee Sin
"The actions of one may sunder the world, but the efforts of many may rebuild it."
- Health: 428 (+85 per level)
- Health Regen: 7.0 (+6.5 per level)
- Energy: 200
- Range: 125
- Attack Damage: 55 (+3.2 per level)
- Attack Speed: 0.625
- Armor: 16 (+3.5 per level)
- Magic Resistance: 30 (+1.25 per level)
- Movement Speed: 325
Pros / Cons
+ No mana bar. Can sustain himself forever without the need of going back for mana.
+ High sustained damage. Can chain his abilities to keep his passive up for as long as he keeps hitting them.
+ Very high mobility. Has the ability to dash in and out of teamfights with 2 of his abilities. Can also be used to escape over walls.
+ High sustainability. Can stay in the lane for a long time without the need to go heal.
+ Strong duelist. The combination of his high attack speed, high damage and his ability to slow enemy movement and attack speed makes him exceptionally strong in a 1v1 situation.
- Has a high skill ceiling. Takes quite some time to master and is hard to play overall.
- Requires energy management. Chaining abilities can lead to you energy starving, leaving you not being able to do much.
- Requires proper positioning. A lot of his abilities have positional requirements.
- Item dependant. In order to have a decent late game, he needs items badly due to his high AD ratios and being a melee he also needs so survivability.
Flash: Good to have for escaping bad situations or making plays. (ie. Flash behind enemy to Dragon's Rage them back into your team/lane)
Ignite: Adds to your burst and helps you finish your targets off. Also useful when your target is about to receive healing.
Exhaust: Good pickup if noone else on your team does. Especially useful against big AoE ultimates such as Kennen, Fiddlesticks, etc.
Heal: Can be used for a more dominant laning phase and saving your life on multiple occasions.
Hint: When going for Heal or Exhaust, replace them for Flash for a stronger laning phase. Lee Sin already has great escape mechanics and doesn't really need the Flash for escaping. Only do this when you're comfortable in the lane and when the enemy jungler isn't too much of a threat to you.
The standard rune setup for top lane Lee Sin. Makes you very scary early game and makes last hitting easy as cake.
Greater Mark of strength: For easier last hits and a scarier early game. Pretty standard for Lee Sin.
Greater Mark of Resilience: Can be used against strong early game bruisers such as Renekton or Riven.
Greater Seal of Resilience: The only seal you'll ever want really. You need the armor for a better laning phase.
Greater Glyph of Warding: Helps against some of the champions that deal both physical and magic damage ( Yorick, Poppy, Udyr, etc) or just for laning against AP champions
Greater Glyph of Shielding: If you don't need any early game magic resistance, these are the better choice for a stronger lategame.
Greater Quintessence of Strength: In my opinion the only option for Lee Sin. Makes your early game scarier, helps with last hitting and scales better than armor penetration once you get a Last Whisper.
There's 2 different setups I use for Lee Sin depending on who I'm laning against. A defensive and an offensive setup. My usual choice is the defensive one, as Lee Sin already has enough damage in his kit, making him a bit more tanky through masteries is usually the better choice.
Tier 1 - 3 points in Brute Force are pretty self explanatory. A point in either buthcer for easier last hitting or Summoner's Wrath if you're picking up Exhaust
Tier 2 - 4 points in Alacrity to get down to the armor penetration in the next tier
Tier 3 - Weapon Expertise for some much needed armor penetration
Tier 1 - 3 points in either Hardiness or Resistance depending on who you're laning against. A point in the other or Summoner's Resolve if you're using Heal
Tier 2 - Durability to get down to the next tier mastery. 3 points in Vigor for some extra lane sustain.
Tier 3 - Veteran's Scars for a nice early game health boost. 2 points in Indomitable
Tier 4 - Initiator and englightenment, both very strong on Lee Sin
Tier 6 - Juggernaut cause it's awesome.
Flurry: After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 40% Attack Speed and return 15 energy each.
Awesome passive. This is what makes Lee Sin such a strong duelist.
- Flurry does not activate when using summoner spells.
- Flurry does not stack but it will refresh its duration each time an ability is used.
- Flurry will still return 15 energy, even if the attack is dodged ( Counter Strike), parried ( Riposte), blocked ( Aegis Protection), or if it misses (blinds).
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin projects a discordant wave of sound to reveal his enemies for 3 seconds, dealing 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+0.9 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to the first enemy it encounters. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike for the next 3 seconds.
Cost: 50 energy
Cooldown: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 seconds
Resonating Strike: Lee Sin dashes to the enemy hit by Sonic Wave, dealing 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+0.9 per bonus attack damage) plus 8% of their missing health as physical damage.
Cost: 30 energy.
Lee Sin's main ability to do damage, chase and initiate. Has a high AD ratio so deals a ton of damage later in the game. Also deals more damage the lower the target is.
- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike does not proc on-hit effects.
- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike strike procs spell vamp and Rylai's Crystal Scepter slow similarly with all single target spells and abilities with full effect.
- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike will not damage Black Shield.
- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike pops spell shield. If Sonic Wave is blocked by a spell shield, it will prevent follow up with Resonating Strike.
- Sonic Wave can hit and reveal stealthed units. If Resonating Strike is used, the target will no longer be revealed.
- Resonating Strike can travel through walls allowing for escapes when used on jungle creeps (more on this later)
- Sonic Wave is launched from Lee Sin's stretched-out hand. Units standing inside of the hand animation will not be hit by the skillshot.
Safeguard: Lee Sin rushes towards a target ally, shielding them both from 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 (+0.8 per ability power) damage for the next 5 seconds. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin can cast Iron Will for the next 3 seconds.
Cost: 50 energy
Cooldown: 8 seconds
Iron Will: Lee Sin's intense training allows him to thrive in battle. For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25% lifesteal, spell vamp and 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 armor.
Cost: 30 energy
This is what makes Lee Sin such a strong laner. Gives him a ton of sustain and tankiness while Iron Will is up and gives him the ability to come out ahead on trades with most melee. Also allows for making plays and escapes.
- Safeguard can be used on champions, minions, pets, wards, H-28G Evolution Turret, Demacian Standard, Jack In The Box and Noxious Trap. When cast on wards, Safeguard reveals the ward for 2 seconds.
- Safeguard can self-cast to shield Lee Sin without dashing to an ally.
- Safeguard cannot be used while immobilized. Lee Sin will be unable to self-cast Safeguard if he is rooted or snared.
- When stacked with magic shields such as Hexdrinker or Black Shield, these shields will take magic damage before any all-damage shields.
- When stacked with shields such as Soul Shield or Eye Of The Storm, the most recent shield takes damage first.
- Safeguard can travel through walls.
Tempest: Lee Sin smashes the ground sending out a shockwave that deals 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) magic damage and reveals enemy units hit for 4 seconds. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast Cripple for the next 3 seconds.
Cost: 50 energy
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Cripple Lee Sin cripples nearby enemies revealed by Tempest, reducing their movement and attack speed by 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60% for 4 seconds. Movement and attack speed recover gradually over the duration.
Cost: 30 energy
Another ability that's great for chasing enemies or fighting melee/ranged carries. Deals magic damage so makes Lee Sin hard to build against in the early laning phase.
- Tempest does not proc on-hit effects.
- Tempest procs spell vamp and Rylai's Crystal Scepter slow similarly with all are of effect spells and abilities with diminished effect.
- Tempest pops spell shield. Targets protected by a spell shield will not be marked and therefore not affected by Cripple.
- Tempest can hit, mark and reveal stealthed champions. Tempest cannot reveal wards, Noxious Trap, or Jack In The Box.
- Tempest grants vision of all enemies hit, even if the enter the Fog of War or brush.
Dragon's Rage: Lee Sin performs a powerful roundhouse kick launching his target back, dealing 200 / 400 / 600 (+2.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to the target and any enemies they collide with. Enemies the target collides with are knocked into the air for a short duration.
Cooldown: 90 / 75 / 60 seconds
Amazing ability. Proper positioning with this ability can deal a ton of AoE damage. Also has various defensive purposes.
- Dragon's Rage does not proc on-hit effects.
- Dragon's Rage pops spell shield.
- Dragon's Rage will not damage Black Shield but the knockback or knockup will be negated.
- Dragon's Rage has a brief channel time (0.2s) upon cast before it activates.
- If Dragon's Rage's primary target dies from the damage, it won't be knocked back and no knock-ups will occur.
- Dragon's Rage will interrupt all channels with the knockback and knock-ups.
- Dragon's Rage can knock enemies through walls.
This is usually my preferred skill sequence. I max Safeguard / Iron Will first for the sustain, shield and armor it gives to make Lee Sin a beast in the laning phase. Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike second for the damage.
However against mobile opponents ( Riven, Akali) or high attack speed opponents ( Fiora, Jax) it can be more useful to max Tempest / Cripple second.
Put a point in Dragon's Rage whenever you can.
Boots of Speed
The usual starting item. Makes for safer early laning, good chasing for more killing potential at low levels and allows for 4 Health Potions at level 1. (Buy 3 when the game starts and wait near the fountain for 35 gold for a 4th)
Works, but not recommended unless you're against a really easy opponent. If you can pull this off you'll be very scary at level 1.
The item you should pick up against most strong bruisers. Allows you to buy 5 Health Potions to help you stay in lane longer.
Great early buy when your lane opponent starts getting some armor. Can be upgraded into Youmuu's Ghostblade which is also a pretty good item.
Because of Lee Sin's high AD ratios, this is a very good item to buy. This is what I buy instead of Wriggle's Lantern for sustain.
Amazing item. Allows you to stick on your targets for as long as you please and gives you a very nice health boost as well.
Great item to counter high armor targets. Becomes a good buy once at least 2-3 enemy champions have over 100 armor.
Good buy if you're snowballing the lane. All the stats on it are useful so it's gold well spent, just make sure you have the gold to spend.
If you're getting one, might as well get a second. Two of these should be enough to make you a beast early game.
Good buy to snowball your lane and increase your early game strength in general.
Get this when you start getting some health (from your Doran's Blades and Frozen Mallet.
Maw of Malmortius
Great buy against a double AP setup. Get an early Hexdrinker in the lane against AP and upgrade it to this later on.[/columns]
If you want to be more tanky, you can get this. Personally I prefer other items but this is definitely a good option.
Force of Nature
Great item against heavy magic damage. You can get this against double AP setups.
Great item. Lee Sin already has a built in one with Tempest / Cripple so this makes you twice as annoying.
Aegis of the Legion
Good and cheap way of getting some tank stats and giving your team a nice aura. You can get this when your support/jungle isn't going to.
Good to get against very bursty long cooldown AP champions, such as Sion/ Kassadin/ LeBlanc. The health and mana boost is a nice bonus.
Good pickup if you're being heavily focused. Goes well with The Bloodthirster to sustain through fights and be very hard to kill.
Good against heavy CC and/or double AP comps.
Against auto attack heavy comps. Good against a lot of bruisers in lane, especially the likes of Riven or Irelia.
Item Builds Explained
Early Game Core
This is what you'll be looking to build (in this order) against a heavy AD bruiser. Gives you the armor and benefits from Ninja Tabi with a good amount of health and sustain to keep you in the lane.
Same idea as above. Instead of the Phage (which you'll get later) you pick up a The Brutalizer to get past some of the enemies armor.
Getting an early hexdrinker against AP champions can safe your life. Build into Maw of Malmortius later.
The 2 Doran's Blades are always crucial, even in a difficult lane, to increase your early game strength and give you that bit of sustain. Vampiric Scepter for even more sustain and rush straight into a Frozen Mallet for survivability. The health you get using this build is also strong against true damage ( Olaf, Irelia, Cho'Gath)
Straight into a strong AD item for max snowball potential.
Finished Item Builds
This build gives you a nice health pool, enough magic resist to deal with most of the AP damage, a shield to save your life from Maw of Malmortius and some nice damage as well.
Note: If the enemy AD carry becomes a problem replace either The Bloodthirster or the Force of Nature for a Randuin's Omen.
A nice balance of tankiness and damage. If enemy team doesn't have a lot of armor, replace Last Whisper with The Bloodthirster.
The build I aim for in the avarage game. If there's an AP carry dominating you can always replace The Bloodthirster with either Maw of Malmortius or Force of Nature.
These are of course not the only viable builds and I did leave out a couple of items, but those are more sitational and should only be used under certain circumstances. (All viable items explained in the above 'Items' section)
Gameplay - Laning
First thing you need to pay attention to is who you're laning against. Buy your starting item accordingly (usually Boots of Speed, exceptions include Riven, Renekton, Garen and other strong early game melee).
Hint: When buying boots, unless you have to go help your team, wait at the edge of the shop range untill 10~ seconds after minions have spawned for another 35 gold to buy an extra Health Potion. It helps a lot.
Grab your starting skill accordingly. ( Sonic Wave against weak early game, Safeguard against strong early game)
Hint: When on purple side, you can ask your mid lane to assist you with killing the wraiths to get an edge on your opponent. In this case you can put a point in Tempest first but Safeguard works fine as well.
You can start harassing your opponent from the moment they get in range. If you picked Safeguard you'll usually come out ahead on early trades. Try not to push up your lane (also the reason why you don't want Tempest at level 1).
Here's a few common harass combos:
Safeguard (on creep near enemy) --> Activate Iron Will --> melee hit --> Tempest x2 --> 2 melee hits --> Sonic Wave --> melee untill out of range --> Sonic Wave
Tempest x2 --> 2 melee hits --> Safeguard away
Sonic Wave x2 --> melee hit --> Tempest x2 --> 2 melee hits --> Safeguard away
When going for a kill: Safeguard to nearby creep --> melee hit --> Tempest x2 --> 2 melee hits --> Sonic Wave --> Ignite --> Dragon's Rage --> Sonic Wave
When being ganked, escape using your Tempest when they get near, slow them and either Safeguard to creeps or try and line yourself up for a Dragon's Rage on both of them.
You can also carry a ward with you for escaping puproses (more on this below)
Top Lane Match-Ups
Gameplay - Teamfights
Lee Sin can take on a couple of roles in teamfights. When building some more damage, he can act as an assassin trying to kill the squishy targets in the back. Try and land a Sonic Wave to close the gap and use your Tempest when you get on them. You should have a Frozen Mallet already so unless they get peels, you can stick to them untill they're dead. You can use your Safeguard to dash back out of the fight once it gets too hot or once you've assassinated your target.
You can also be more of a disruptive tank, initating a fight and landing a Tempest on their entire team. Your goal here is to just be as disruptive as possible slowing people and kicking them into each other with Dragon's Rage. Here you just try and soak as much damage as possible, while dishing out as much CC/damage as possible.
Lastly, Lee Sin also does a great job at protecting his carries. If anyone gets on your carry you can either slow them with Tempest, Frozen Mallet procs or simply kick them away from your carry. To further protect them you can also Safeguard to them for a small shield. Do whatever it takes to keep your carries from harm and attack whoever is attacking them.
Lee Sin's Escape Tricks
Escaping Using Wards
This is fairly simple. You place a ward over a wall or on a spot ahead of you and you immediately Safeguard to it. Works best when smartcasting. Also works on allies or other friendly objects such as H-28G Evolution Turret, Demacian Standard, Jack In The Box or Noxious Trap. This works on any wall you can place a ward over.
Escaping Using Minions
You can also abuse the fact that your Sonic Wave can send you through walls. You can escape from certain bad spots to neutral creep camps. Here's some key spots.
Lee Sin can also abuse his mobility to steal dragon or Baron and get away with it safely. His Sonic Wave deals a lot of damage to a dragon or Baron that's nearly dead so timing it right can allow you to steal them and get away using your ability to get over walls both ways.
Note: When you don't already have vision of the dragon, you can use your Sonic Wave to give you vision, wait for the right time and then Resonating Strike in for the steal.
If you have a ward, you can also get away safely as shown below.
That's all I have to say about Lee Sin. Thank you for reading! If you liked the guide, feel free to leave a +vote and/or a comment. If you disliked the guide and want to -vote, I would very much appreciate if you could leave a comment saying exactly what you didn't like about it so I can improve it. Any feedback is always appreciated so don't hesitate to leave a comment.
Lastly, credits to jhoijhoi for her guide to making a guide for all the great looking templates I used when making this guide.