This guide is built to be both accessible to a first-game Lee Sin player and well-versed player, though I don't know why a veteran of Lee Sin would bother looking up a guide. You should have some basic knowledge of how the game works in order to make this work, but it's recommended to know these things for any jungler. Since most junglers are only viable once you can buy tier three runes, you should have plenty of experience.
These runes are not the best, and the quints/marks are multi-racial because I have yet to purchase a third armor penetration quintessence and 5 armor penetration marks. The extra 10%~ attack speed has proven useful to me though, especially when combined with Lee Sin's passive. This runebuild is proven to work, but a full attack speed mark and quint page, with armor seals/CDR glyphs, would probably work. Especially considering he starts with lifesteal and the second use of W provides some as well.
[EXPERIMENT WITH A PRACTICE GAME BEFORE TRYING TO JUNGLE, LEARN YOUR ROUTE AND LIMITATIONS BEFORE PLAYING ANY JUNGLE CHARACTER IN NORMAL QUEUE]
I almost never go 21 into the offense tree, why? It really isn't as beneficial as either spreading out for a bit of defense or going full 21 into the utility tree. However, with 21 in offense, your jungle route time is greatly decreased (that +5% AD on every attack really helps). You'll have enough armor coming from your runes anyway, and you can still get what you're mainly looking for (+5% experience and extra buff time)
The defense tree is also a bit weaker for energy or most health-resource champions, as some of its abilities benefit from a percentage of maximum mana.
Although smite isn’t required for some junglers, it greatly increases jungle time efficiency (mere seconds can make all the difference in avoiding various hostilities, including counter-jungle ganks and buff steals.) For Lee Sin, it greatly helps by instantly killing the blue wraith on your first pass-through and leaving you with enough health to take on the small golems.
Because Lee Sin doesn’t have any particular free movement steroids (Q requires an enemy to target), I personally find it necessary to carry an escape mechanism. Some may prefer ghost, but flash carries a more powerful positioning utility. You’ll find it much easier to flash into an enemy carry and kick them, than trying to ghost past them and follow it up with an uninterrupted roundhouse kick.
Do not take:
Exhaust (Lee Sin has a natural movement slower, on his second E cast. If you feel that you can't rely on its range, remember that the second cast's radius is much larger than the first)
Ignite Smite and ignite is just overkill for the creeps, and it's not that great late game besides shutting down lifestealing auto attackers over a long cooldown. Leave it to another champ to carry, or get Executioner's Calling if you really must shut down that Mundo.
Clairvoyance Yes, it provides great utility and answers those silly questions of whether or not you should facecheck that bush. With one of your summoner spells being used up for smite already, it's just not worth having a second summoner spell being useless when directly used against champions. Though Clairvoyance always has a place on your team, have someone else get it
Revive Haah Waaw
Fortify Useful on a team, not for you
Rally While this skill is considered useless for the most part, it can help a team full of AD champions. But if you're playing seriously(Something I do rather uncommonly), don't play on a team like that. There are just better summoner spells
Heal Falls off late game, and with smite already doing that for you, unless you steal a baron buff or something, you just won't have much use for it.
Clarity If you're really questioning why, just go ahead and use it. I have no quarrels with you
Viable summoners include
Ghost For those who prefer it over flash. I like to take flash over it, gets out of ganks with its ability to send you over walls, and you can flash in front of a carry to roundhouse kick him back into your team
Cleanse They're here because they're not necessarily detrimental to you, but I'd suggest taking 3 speed boots if you go with either of them or maybe prioritize a Force of Nature as your first defensive item (if they're not carrying too much AD you can't avoid). I just love cleanse though, there are barely any champs I would say no to playing with it on
Basically, your E is a huge source of damage output in the jungle, and it's AoE. Your W is nice as well, and I would prioritize it after leveling E three times if you find yourself saving teammates in fights more often than not. The little shield is fantastic, and has saved my carries numerous from Miss Fortune's ultimate numerous times. Its lifesteal also helps with jungle routes and recovering health in the jungle after a fight.
If W isn't among your concerns, just max out E. Q should only get one point, as its just for the utility of flashing to your opponent. Its damage is not particularly outstanding (At least, you don't get more out of it than your other spells, since it's on the longest cooldown besides your ultimate)
Obviously, grab your ultimate when you can
Start with a
, with the proper rune setup, you’ll be fine without the Health Potion's for the first run. If you don’t have runes/masteries to do this without what the Cloth Armor + 3 pots offers, take that. Vampiric Scepter enables you to build your Wriggle's faster
On your first trip back, grab a
and a pot. If you already have a cloth armor, grab the Vampiric Sceptor if you can.
From there you grab
and rush a
, Lee Sin has tons of opportunities for sheen procs in his skill set, and it will greatly benefit his early game damage output more than anything.
Build up your
, grabbing Boots of Situational(usually
during it. Whether or not you finish Trinity Force first, then get boots, or get them before finishing it, solely depends on how the game goes. Since there are a few options based on enemy composition, I’ll start by listing what boots NOT to get:
Zerk Greaves – Lee Sin will use his abilities too often to make these effective, he doesn’t benefit as much from them as much as he will from other boots
Ninja Tabi – These just aren’t worth it on most champs except ones who will actually benefit from the dodge chance. Unless you’re against a team of auto-attack focused AD champs(Yi, Tryndamere, etc), stay away from these
Sorcerer’s Boots – You’re not a mage, not all your damage is based on spells
Boots of Lucidity – There will almost never be a situation during your spell cycle where you’ll have nothing to use due to cooldowns, as long as you time everything right. Don’t take this unless you’re really unlucky with your Q aiming and need it up as often as possible
Boots of 5x Speed – Unless you’re doing a silly The Last Unicorn run into the enemy base, 5x phantom dancers in tow, they’re not worth it.
Your best choices are between 3x speed boots, or Merc Treads. Merc treads are just amazing in this CC-focused metagame, but don’t take them if the enemy lacks more than one or two sources of CC you’re directly threatened by.
Because Lee Sin isn’t the fastest of characters, and is heavily combo based(He can't just burst and run), 3 speed boots will help you catch up with runaways who require more than just your Q to catch. Although these boots are very beneficial to continuing his damage output, don't grab these boots over mercury treads if the enemy happens to be carrying more than one source of crowd control, or have some heavy magic damage. In such a situation, the survivability provided by merc treads outweighs the benefits of 3x speed boots.
After finishing Trinity, your next choice is based on what champions the enemy team is packing, or on how well the game is going.
Lee Sin is very versatile, and can dish out sizeable damage with Trinity Force alone. It’s best to start focusing on defenses from now on, if you find yourself with grotesque amounts of Capitalist paper, grab a Bloodthirster near the end for that extra “oomph”
Defensive items to consider are:
Aegis of Legion – This item is mostly useful early/mid game, but becomes lackluster later on. Get this if you’re near your team most of the time, which you should be, and the game is less than 25 or so minutes in. Otherwise, the greater bonuses of other candidates are more worth your money
- This doesn't provide the greatest defenses, but if you're fighting quite a few magic dealers without too much CC, you can find this item VERY useful early game. You get an amount of AD almost comparable to the Best Friend Sword, along with a 300 damage spell shield whenever you reach low health from spells every 60 seconds. It's like having Morgana's magic shield and Janna's AD buffing shield in one item's passive. Don't get this all the time though, only if you're getting into the fray with magicians pretty often. Otherwise it doesn't build into anything else, unlike the BF Sword, and can take a chunk out of your wallet(though it is cheap for what it does, of course. Similar to the Wriggle's Lantern)
– Only if the enemy team has a substantial amount of auto attack champions, and your team isn’t doing too hot with keeping them away from a sparring match with you. This item is meant for the pincushions of your team that can make use of the 30 percent damage return, and have substantial amounts of health. Lee Sin can substain quite a bit of damage compared to other fighters, and it can give you the extra edge against people with lifesteal. Don’t prioritize this item, but don’t shirk it, either
– The best of the best in terms of raw defensive power, and its active is incredibly useful. Coupled with your natural slowing abilities provided by E, red buff, and Frozen Mallet(if you have it), no one can escape you. When used defensively, it can
slow down that raging Tryndamere attempting to deal a last-minute final blow.
– The magic resistance provided by this item is not as powerful as what Force of Nature offers, and doesn’t have that nice speed bonus. But if your enemies include Veigar, Sion, or anyone with an easy stun, grab this quickly. Realize that one spell block won’t do much if you don’t use it effectively, considering nearly anything can pop it. In teamfights, imagine you’re piloting particularly deadly blimp in a sea of needles. If you get this, you can couple it with a Quicksilver Sash to really piss off your enemies
– The defensive benefits of this item are nearly unmatched, with a sprinkle of speed boost on top. Get this versus AP heavy teams, of which you will find a lot of.
Avoid Warmog’s of course, but don’t let everyone make you assume it’s a completely worthless item. It has its place on people carrying things like Atma’s Impaler and thornmail, or it can be a nice finisher to a rich tank who has finished up his other defensive items. Warmog’s Armor just doesn’t have a place on Lee Sin
After you have a defensive item of your choice or two
If you're loaded with cash/have all the defenses you need, you can invest on pretty much any AD item of your choice(restrictions apply, of course). I suggest
, but the choice is up to you. Although I recommend the Bloodthirster, DO NOT get it if you'll be unable to maintain the stacks or won't have the time to build up to them.
Most games won't have you make it past your defensive items, even though I'm not telling you to get all of the ones I mentioned, just one or two depending on the situation.
Your Jungle Route
For those of you who just alt tabbed out of the loading screen and need it quick,
Wolves > Blue Wraith (Smite blue) > Twin Golems
Blue Golem > Wolves if they're there > Red Buff
Do some ganking
Pick up your items, and wait by the wolf spawns. I’d suggest camping out in the bushes behind the blue golem’s wall, to watch for enemy gank attempts. But don’t get too uncomfortable, wolf paths are much less susceptible to ganks than blue golem ones, no mystery bush 2 feet to the right of you to worry about.
Autoattack, E, auto attack twice (Efficient use of your passive is crucial for making it through the jungle on your first time. Every one of Lee Sin’s first 3 spells has a second effect you can activate within a few seconds. You have more than enough time to auto attack twice thanks to Flurry’s speed boost, and still pop the second E spell.
Level up W
Move onto blue wraiths, get in the middle of the group (Click on the spot while it’s in fog of war to avoid autoattacking something prematurely.) Smite the blue wraith to start, E, 2 autoattacks, E, two autoattacks, W, two autoattacks, E. You can just let Lee Sin choose his targets here
Move onto small golems, try and attack one while it’s between you and the other, giving you more time before you start sponging attacks from his ally. Pop your E, take your two autoattacks, and try to keep the cycle you had in blue wraiths. Low health may make it necessary to substitute W before a second E proc. While it may waste one of your
cooldowns, the shield and lifesteal could save your life. Don’t hesitate to do whatever it takes to survive this encounter.
Level up your E or Q, choice is covered in the skill order section. Blue pill and grab the cloth armor + a health pot.
Walk to blue golem’s spawn and begin your combo, smiting him when he’s below the 450 health mark. If you want to gank, you can, but it’s much easier when you have a red buff under your belt.
If you didn’t gank, or you’re coming back from one with a decent amount of health, fight the red golem. You should have a feel for your combo now, and will come out with a nice amount of health with that red pot you bought earlier.
Take any ganks you can or go to base and grab wriggles/start your trinity force and boots. From then on it’s just a matter of cycling through the jungle, and watching for ganks. Typical jungler stuff
This guide isn't complete yet (and it's my first, so give any recommendations you'd like to spare, opinions, etc)
I know it's not pretty to look at, I'll try and fix up the aesthetics in a little while. Until then, good luck!
-Removed Frozen Mallet due to its lack of popularity, I'll admit I'm a bit of a ***** for slows. It's just personal preference for when I'm rocking the kills and have money to blow
-Removed Sorcerer's Boots from the "Boots to avoid" section of the item block. I still prefer other boots over them, but they're not detrimental to have and they're not as out-of-place as warmog's on Teemo.
-Added a few pretty pictures, nothing major. Guide still needs some more visual fluff. i attemped to organize it in a way that presents the items with their picture when they're in the first sentence that specifically talks about buying them (Because I discuss future items early on in the build, I didn't want to have multiple pictures of Trinity Force in a block)
This is for people who are quickly running down the guide when they're alt tabbed out of a game or something, so the items themselves sort of "pop out" in a chronological order within the item build elaboration. If it's not too much trouble, go ahead and comment on my design choices. I'll try to keep them universally appealing and acceptable for everyone
-Changed "do somet ganking" to "do some ganking" in the jungling section of the guide.
-Enlarged the icons of items whenever I emphasized on buying them. If I'm mentioning something I want you to buy, it'll retain the small icon. E.G. The Cloth Armor is enlarged when it appears for a second time because you buy it after your vamp scepter, but there's a smaller icon when it's first mentioned as an alternative to the scepter.
-Added Hexdrinker and Bloodthirster to the items list (Hexdrinker stayed off of the item tree at the top so it wouldn't cause confusion, you won't see it as often as other items in your arsenal). I got a few requests to add a sixth item, so hopefully this will satisfy for now (Feel free to make item recommendations, I read all the posts in the comments section)
-Xenasis for information on embedding icons/improving the overall "pop-out" appeal I was looking to get, and the overall support throughout the making of this
-WarriorSean23 for pointing out the odd wording of my boot recommendations, it would've been a real mess if more people caught that sooner
-Zewrath, Trojan995, Guidemaker for unanimously agreeing to eliminate the Frozen Mallet and getting me to come up with something that actually appealed to most people. Extra thanks to Trojan995 for actually coming back and neutralizing the downvote, it would've been very easy to downvote and leave
-Trophycase for recommending a 6th item, it hadn't crossed my mind that some people could get stuck in a 60 minute game without any sort of guidance as to what they should buy next
Thanks to all who commented and voted(or just commented, I don't need votes if I don't deserve them), it was more than the people above who helped improve this guide until it reached front-page material. As stated above, I read all the comments that get posted, I'll be happy to continue enhancing this guide as time goes on and the game changes along with it