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Lee Sin Build Guide by NixLychee

Jungle [11.16] Lee Sin Owner's Manual

Jungle [11.16] Lee Sin Owner's Manual

Updated on August 14, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author NixLychee Build Guide By NixLychee 334 18 822,599 Views 25 Comments
334 18 822,599 Views 25 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author NixLychee Lee Sin Build Guide By NixLychee Updated on August 14, 2021
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Runes: Turbo Snowball Runes (Favorite)

1 2 3
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Future's Market
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3
1v1 Dueling and Skirmishing
LoL Summoner Spell: Challenging Smite

Challenging Smite

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #42 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats
Jungle Role Ranked #42 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
More Lee Sin Runes
>

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[11.16] Lee Sin Owner's Manual

By NixLychee
Introduction


Hello everyone! I'm NixLychee, an NA Lee Sin onetrick and Jungle Main. I've been playing League of Legends for a while, and I'm always keen on helping people enjoy League of Legends as much as possible.

By no means would I consider myself the best Lee Sin out there, but I can confidently say that I am pretty decent, and am able to give relatively good advice to newer players getting into this game.

If you enjoy the guide, an upvote is always appreciated, and feel free to comment if you have questions about the guide, or about Lee Sin in general, which I will answer as fast as possible to the best of my ability. I will be consistently updating and improving this guide for a while, so if it seems like it's getting longer as the days go on, it's because I'm constantly adding to it.
About This Guide
In this guide I will attempt to present novice and veteran Lee Sin players with a blueprint on how to best play him in Season 11.

There's no cut-and-dry way to play Lee Sin, so you just need to play it by ear most of the time. This doesn't mean however, that you need to go into your games blind (pun intended). This guide will hopefully allow all of you to play your games with a better overall grasp of the champion. I apologize in advance if the guide isn't that good, this is the first in-depth guide that I have ever made, so it'll probably be a little shaky, and feel free to inform me about something I can do to improve the guide through the comments, also, my English is pretty bad, so if I could word something to make it more clear, please let me know by adding a comment.
Why Lee Sin?
Lee Sin is a powerful duelist in the early game, and can scale into a backline assassin or a semi-engage off-tank. Lee Sin is an interesting and complicated champion, and that lends itself to its own pros and cons. Lee is currently incredibly powerful in this current early game meta due to his versatility, so Lee can pull off some pretty crazy plays in the early and mid game.
Pros

+ High early game damage and dueling
+ High pick potential mid-late game
+ High carry potential
+ High outplay and playmaking potential
+ Great sustain in the Jungle
+ High counter-jungle potential
+ High skillcap, always room to improve
+ Good for onetricking
+ Fun and immersing kit
+ Great for securing/stealing objectives

Lee Sin is a very fun champion to play, due to his flashy nature and high carry potential. Everybody wants to be those Chinese Lee Sin players on the montages, but we all start from somewhere. There are many things to enjoy about this champion, from his innovative kit to his excellent way of teaching advanced Jungle tactics. In general, Lee Sin is a well-designed champion that allows players of the champion to make flashy plays worthy of a montage, as well as warranting an "insec pls" in /all chat.

Remember, don't develop a case of "Lee Syndrome"!


Cons

- Countered by some meta picks
- Somewhat weak lategame
- Struggles into tanks (and Graves)
- Very difficult to play from behind
- Very high mechanical demand
- Very punishing of mistakes
- Fairly squishy early game
- High skillcap, hard to learn and master
- Needs near-instant decision making
- Constantly buffed and nerfed

Every champion has its flaws however, and Lee Sin is no exception. Lee Sin has one of the highest skillcaps in the game, and while that can be a good thing, it can be overwhelming for a new player to learn all of his combos. Lee Sin has negative matchups into quite a few of the meta junglers, and is having and overall mediocre performance outside of high elo. He requires high mechanical skill as well as excellent macro knowledge in order to succeed in the higher ranks. Don't be disheartened though, he's still incredibly fun to play.
Runes & Explanation

These are the recommended runes to run on Lee Sin in Season 11.


Conqueror is the best keystone on Lee Sin as of right now, giving you excellent sustained damage and healing, as well as scaling into the lategame, something Lee struggles with.
Triumph is extremely helpful for snowballing and dueling, and it, along with Death's Dance, an item in your core buy, allows you to heal a ton after killing a target. The 20 gold might not seem like much, but it actually adds up to quite a bit if the game goes long.
This rune gives you tenacity for free, and is super helpful versus champions who you will lose a duel to if they manage to land their CC, like Nocturne, Ekko or Shaco. Ideally, you just want to ward-hop out of range, or Flash, but if you have nothing else you can just rely on your tenacity to save you. This rune synergizes very well with Mercury's Treads.
This rune allows for Lee to pull off some insane plays when he gets low, because of the increased damage to champions. This synergizes super well with Goredrinker, as both allow you to do more damage the lower you get. This is interchangeable with Coup de Grace if the enemy team has mostly squishy targets who you can oneshot.
I personally have grown very attached to Inspiration secondary on a lot of champions. The extra gold value that these runes give you are super helpful. You can take any of the other trees secondary, but Inspiration is always super helpful for Lee.
Magical Footwear is super helpful on Lee because it allows you to purchase your core items first and not waste 300g on boots. The extra movement speed on them is also always useful.
Inspiration tree is all about gold efficiency and weird gimmicks, and none of these runes are a better example than Future's Market. It allows you to purchase items before you can afford them, further snowballing your lead so that you can easily close games.
Core Items & General Item Choices

Lee Sin has many varying build paths based on the flow of the game, and you will need to adapt each of them to fit your playstyle, blending them and to your personal taste. (Hover over the items to see what they do)


Core Items


This item is incredible on Lee Sin, because it gives you Attack Damage, Lethality, percent Armor Pen, and Omnivamp. I used to take Goredrinker over Eclipse, but after several buffs to Lee Sin, and nerfs to Goredrinker, Eclipse just became a better item for a general build.
Death's Dance is one of the best bruiser items right now, due to its bleed effect and Ignore Pain on its passives. It also has a very good defensive stat, with 40 armor increasing your tankiness, as well as a nice 50 Attack Damage further increasing your damage output.

These are your core items right here. You'll almost always have these two (Mythic item is subject to change), but the rest of your items with differ depending on the situation, enemy team comp, and tempo of the game.


Bruiser Items

Gold words are passives on items.


The Lifeline passive on this item grants you some extra survivability, as well as the 50 bonus magic resistance, 50 AD and 15 Ability Haste being very nice on Lee Sin. Sterak's Gage is a better item in general, but Maw is most likely being buffed soon, so you should watch out for it in the future..
This item is very good on Lee Sin, allowing you to actually damage tankier targets, as well as catch up to a fast opponent with the slow on its Bitter Cold passive. The 45 Attack Damage is very nice, and 20 Ability Haste is extremely valuable on Lee Sin.
Guardian Angel is really nice because it literally gives you another life. Lee Sin really appreciates the base stats as well, with 40 bonus AD and 40 armor helping out both Bruiser Lee Sin and Assassin Lee Sin builds.
Sterak's Gage is great, because it gives you bonus damage, Health, and a Lifeline passive so you can survive engages and long fights, along with a little bit of healing. It's important to note that Lifeline on Maw and Lifeline on Sterak's stack, so you cannot buy both.
Grievous Wounds is really overpowered this season, and most teams have some sort of healing, on top of how basically everybody is using Ravenous Hunter this season. It gives you good Attack Damage, some bonus Health and a solid amount of Ability Haste.
The AoE damage on its Cleave passive is excellent, especially after it now applies on abilities as well as auto-attacks. Unfortunately, it does lack in the defensive stats department, so only take this if you're snowballing or are confident in snowballing.

Alternative Mythic Items

Cyan words are passives on Mythic items.


This item is great on Assassin Lee Sin builds, with the extra damage and Nightstalker passive, you can one-shot a carry, go invisible, leave, and then do it again.
Stridebreaker is very useful because it literally just gives you Kayn's Q, Reaping Slash, on an item active. It gives good stats, as well as that very useful active and solid Heroic Gait, which is just free movement speed.
This Mythic item's active ability is just Qiyana's E, Audacity. In all seriousness, this is a very good item, because you can actually Insec someone without using a Ward-Hop or Flashing. Great stats as well, this is a solid item on Lee.
This item is good on Lee Sin because it helps his dueling power, his damage output, and his sustain in fights and in his Jungle clear, as well as giving him omni-pen, which is good because Lee Sin also does a good bit of magic damage.

Boot Options


Mercury's Treads are excellent into CC team comps, like Maokai, Morgana, and Thresh, and into heavy magic damage team comps like Vel'Koz, Brand, Kassadin and Zoe.
Plated Steelcaps are good into high physical damage team comps, specifically those with mostly auto-attack damage champions. Just remember that some champions will do heavy mixed damage on hit with their items, as Ninja Tabi do not block on-hit damage like Wit's End and Guinsoo's Rageblade.
Boots of Lucidity are nice in the early game, as you want to have as much Ability Haste as possible, and you can have extremely low cooldowns on Lee Sin if you stack Ability Haste. If necessary you can sell Ionian Boots for defensive boots in the later stages of the game.

Important Note


Do not switch out your Stealth Ward for an Oracle Lens. As Lee Sin, ward-hops are vital for your gameplay and combos. Remember as well that you cannot Safeguard to Farsight Alteration or wards spawned by Zombie Ward. This is why you want to leave the base with one or two Control Wards, because you can ward-hop to Pink Wards as well as Yellow Wards.
Adaptive Build Paths

Lee Sin can be build in multiple ways: assassin, frontline, juggernaut or duelist, and these different playstyles come with their own pros and cons. You should go whichever build path that you prefer, but remember to build based off of the flow of the game. I will explain that in this section.


Assassin Build Path


Are you snowballing? If you built a solid early lead, and the enemy team has a few squishies (it basically always does), you can go for more Lethality items. These items are great for cruising through the game with tons of damage and decent utility, but fall off harder in the lategame than Lee Sin's tanky build path, which will be mentioned later.

This item is great for higher elos, where vision is key. In lower elos though, this item is chaotically strong. People won't know where anybody is on your team without actual vision, and without and Ashe or something people will have to ward. This item gives great stats for Lee Sin, with AD, Ability Haste, and Lethality. Pairs excellently with Zombie Ward.
This item is for those who want to go fast and run around the map quickly. It gives excellent stats, and has a great passive to go with Relentless Hunter. This was a favorite of some Lee Sin players when Dark Harvest was the rune of choice on Lee, and it still pairs well with Electrocute.
One of my favorite Lethality items, due to the Spell Shield and health it gives you, along with AD and Lethality. Great item for if you're a bit ahead, but still want to build a little beefier.
Go this item against team comps with massive shields, like Shen's Stand United, champions who take Barrier, all of Rakan's kit, etc. There really isn't much else to say about this item. It's kind of a niche item that only works at its highest potential in certain team comps.

Frontline Build Path


If you fell a little bit behind in the early game, here's where you can go. These items allow for misplays to be more forgiving. These items scale decently into the lategame, and allow for easy Insecs because you won't get blown up instantly if you try (unless there's a Vayne or Fiora or something). Great utility, and can supply some decent damage with Titanic Hydra.

This item gives you a lot of Armor, good health, and a little Ability Haste. Randuin's is very good into comps with a lot of Critical Strike damage, such as Yasuo, Yone, Caitlyn, Jhin, and Ashe. Basically every ADC besides Ezreal and some other weird builds on some champions.
This item is for fighting heavy AP burst damage threats like Syndra and Veigar. The stats are nice, and the passive increases healing and shielding on yourself, of which, Lee Sin has both. Great item against heavy AP team comps.
This item is really strong this preseason, and it has great stats, such as high defenses and Ability Haste. The passive helps you stay alive in a fight even longer, and the active helps out even more by giving you a gigantic shield.
This item is if you are against team comps with a lot of healing, like Vladimir, Sylas, and Aatrox. Grievous Wounds helps a lot to cut champion survivability, especially against enchanter supports.
Jungle Pathing
Like all Junglers, pathing is adaptive based on the way the game is going. Is the enemy toplaner shoving and being aggressive? Gank them for a summoner spell or kill. Do you have a CC midlaner like Galio? Gank them to secure a kill or flash. Kill your enemy botlane and transition that kill into a Dragon kill. Sneak Rift Herald . Steal Dragons. Seige with Baron Nashor .

First Path: Ally Buff-Ally Buff-Ally Wall Camp-Gank-Rift Scuttler

This first clear is the standard double-buff start, for the best ganking potential. Start either Red Buff or Blue Buff , then go to your other buff, and then either Gromp or Krugs (Wall camps). After this you'll transition into a gank, which will hopefully result in a kill, and then you can go to secure the Rift Scuttler . Remember that if a gank is not available, you can do Rift Scuttler first.

Second Path: Ally Buff-Enemy Buff-Skirmish-Ally Wall Camp

This second clear is based off of you being able to invade the enemy Jungler, and assuming that you clear your Buff faster than they do. Make sure that you can win a level 2 fight with them, and try to have both potions up for use in the middle of a fight (multi-tasking is important). After this you should back and get items, and then continue farming or invading, all the while tracking the enemy Jungler. I'm not going to specifically tell you how to track in the Jungle, but at a later date I'll include a few tips about tracking and other vital tricks in a short macro chapter.

Third Path: Enemy Buff-Ally Buff-Ally Wall Camp-Gank

This isn't a traditional clear path, because you go directly to the enemy Buff, whichever Buff isn't the one that the enemy Jungler starts (usually Blue Buff ), and then take it with the help of your laners. You might get a kill off of a laner who is guarding the Buff, and so you have the opportunity to secure first blood for your team. After this, you can go back to the your side Buff, and then into a wall camp and then lane gank.

Fourth Path: Enemy Buff-Enemy Lane Camp/Enemy Wall Camp-Ally Buff-Gank

This is the traditional invade with your team. Either wait in the pixel brush (the small bush in river near midlane) and try to catch an enemy warding off guard or walk straight into the enemy Buff. Fight whoever is there (it might be no-one). After the fight, take either their Wall Camp or Lane Camp (depending on which one you clear faster), then go to your Buff, and then try and execute a gank. If a gank is not possible, you can back for items.

Fifth Path: Ally Buff-Wall Camp-Lane Camp-Gank-Rift Scuttler

This is a full side clear, usually starting at Red Buff . You will want to go from this clear directly into a gank. Make sure to either gank or get scuttle crab. Whichever one you do, do the other one directly afterwards.

Sixth Path: Ally Buff-Gank

This is the simplest early path, you can go from a buff instantly to a gank, cheesing the enemy laners and possibly getting a kill or summoner spell.

There are numerous other clear paths, and other gank setups, but these are the main paths that you will take. You need to adapt your pathing. Always be ready to adapt your clear and gank patterns.

Standard/Useful Combos

Difficulty Rating: 1/3


Auto-Attack Weave ▼


> AA
This isn't so much a proper combo as it is just a general tip about Lee Sin. If you use Dragon's Rage while in auto-attack range, you can sneak in a free auto-attack for extra damage. Remember this tip while executing literally any of the combos involving Dragon's Rage. I felt it appropriate to include this little tidbit of information.

Blink Tempest ▼


>
If you use Tempest and then instantly Flash during the animation, it will cause it to cancel the animation partially, making it significantly harder to react to, as well as being unpredictable in where you will appear afterwards.

Fast Follow-Up ▼


> >
You first Sonic Wave the target at close range, then use Dragon's Rage to kick it away, and then finally Resonating Strike into them for the gap-close and damage. This is one of the main combos that you will use to try and execute someone, with Resonating Strike being used last due to its bonus damage based on missing health.

Guaranteed Q ▼


> >
After you use Dragon's Rage on your opponent, they are airborne, and cannot dodge your Sonic Wave, which you will throw onto the airborne target. There are some instances in which your Sonic Wave would be intercepted by a minion, and in these circumstances you can Smite said minion (assuming that it would kill it) in order for your skillshot to land.


Difficulty Rating: 2/3


Surprise Burst ▼


> > >
A staple damage combo, you throw out your Sonic Wave, instantly Flash into Dragon's Rage's range. After kicking your target, take Resonating Strike into them. This is one of the combos that can 100-0 a squishy target in the early to midgame, and is very difficult to react to, as the target cannot dodge your kick by using Flash or a mobility spell because Dragon's Rage roots them.

Surprise Burst w/o Flash ▼


> > > >
This combo is for when you want to burst someone, but either don't have Flash or don't want to burn it for the kill. Same concept as the first Surprise Burst combo, this is a more efficient (albeit slower) replacement for it, and is also very difficult to react to.

Easy Insec ▼


> > >
This is the easiest version of the famous Insec combo (invented by Insec, of course), barring walking behind the enemy to Dragon's Rage them into your team. It might be the easiest, but it is also the slowest and easiest to react to. You throw your Sonic Wave, take the Resonating Strike, Flash behind your target, and use Dragon's Rage to kick them into your team.

Standard Insec ▼


> > >
This is the most common Insec in games. It consists of using Sonic Wave, taking that into a Resonating Strike, and then using Dragon's Rage while simultaneously using Flash to get behind your target and kick them into your team.

Classic Insec ▼


> > > >
This is the Insec that was popularized by Insec, and at the time was considered an extreme mechanical outplay, but now it has fallen into the norm of the Lee Sin community. This is the same as the first Insec, but you ward-hop instead of using Flash to get behind them. Ward-hop before your Resonating Strike finishes to Insec faster.


Difficulty Rating: 3/3


The Drive-by Insec ▼


> > > >
For this Insec, you need to do a pretty advanced cancel mechanic in Lee Sin's kit. You need to Sonic Wave, use your Stealth Ward, Safeguard to that ward, and then take your Resonating Strike before you finish your Safeguard. This allows Tempest and Dragon's Rage to be cast during the cast time of Resonating Strike. (The same thing can be done if you cancel your Resonating Strike with Safeguard. You need to use Dragon's Rage on the target in front of the person who you hit Sonic Wave on. This is used to kick a priority target who (for whatever reason) is standing in front of their frontline that you hit Sonic Wave on.

The Zig-Zag Insec ▼


> > > > >
This is one of the flashier (albeit less practical) combos on Lee Sin. This is used for dodging dangerous line skillshots, specifically things like Morgana's Dark Binding, Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab, and Xerath's Arcanopulse. You throw your Sonic Wave, put down a Stealth Ward, Safeguard to it (at a weird angle usually), take the Resonating Strike, and then use Dragon's Rage while Flashing behind them, all the while dodging their skillshots. Who needs a Wind Wall?

The Chinese Insec ▼


> > > > >
This Insec is used for when you don't want to die during the combo. You throw Sonic Wave, instantly use a Stealth Ward in front of the target, then Safeguard to it, use Dragon's Rage and simultaneously Flash behind them, kicking them into your team. You can follow-up with Resonating Strike to get yourself out of the enemy team. My personal favorite Insec.

Extra Damage Q2 ▼


> > > >
You need to use the same cancel mechanic as mentioned earlier for this combo. You can sneak in Tempest on your Resonating Strike if you time it right. You throw Sonic Wave, do the Safeguard cancel by using a Stealth Ward and then Safeguarding to it, and then take the Resonating Strike before your Safeguard finishes. You can use Tempest during the cast time of your Resonating Strike for some extra magic damage.

There are numerous more Lee Sin combos, but these are the ones that newer players might want to know, and also the ones that they won't tear their hair out trying to master. It's okay to not be able to do a combo when you first try it. Just practice, practice, practice and you'll get it eventually.

Macro: The Game Plan
Lee Sin is an early game champion. If you fall behind, you're going to lose to scaling Junglers like Karthus, Evelynn, and Shyvana. Try to establish and early lead by ganking (using the optimal clears I mentioned earlier) so it will prevent you from falling off too hard in the lategame. By the way, all three of the Junglers that I mentioned above can be invaded easily, with or without your team, and just remember not to invade without priority.

(See Lee Sin's stats page on champion.gg)

See this winrate? Lee Sin can semi-scale into a backline diving assassin or frontline engage tank based off of his build, but it would be in your best interest as a Lee Sin player to not let games get to that point. Spread your influence over the map as much as possible to either end the game early, or risk trusting late-game carries to win the game for you later on. If a game lasts longer than 30 minutes, you might want to start building some of the tanky items I have included earlier.

Gank level three, and countergank when you can. Try and track the enemy Jungler (if you don't know how to do this, you can probably watch a Virkayu video or something.)

Try and solo Dragon at level four to six, and you should also try to get Rift Herald ASAP to end the game faster. As Lee Sin, you want to be absolutely everywhere in the early game, and Relentless Hunter and Mobility Boots help with this. If forced to choose between them, I would go Mobility Boots and keep Ravenous Hunter, my rune of choice.

During ganks, try and use Stealth Ward and Safeguard as a gap-closer, as opposed to just throwing out your Sonic Wave and potentially missing it. If you do not have the ability to ward-hop, and don't want to burn Flash, and you can try and predict the enemy's dodging movement (if they flash it is what it is, it's fine to leave them and gank again later). Don't greed for kills.

Remember to watch for invades (especially late invades, those are the worst), and have your team ward the pixel bush early, around 1:20, ten seconds before the Jungle Buffs spawn. Try and have your laners help you contest Rift Scuttler , which Lee Sin is pretty bad at securing right now because the scuttle crab has a huge shield that can only be broken by hard CC or the Smite spell. Regarding the scuttle crab, you can trap the bot lane scuttle in the Dragon Pit and top lane scuttle in the Baron Pit to secure them more easily. Remember: the scuttle crab will attempt to run directly away from any source of damage that attacks it. Use this to guide the scuttle crab into the pits.

The Rift Scuttler is annoying to secure as Lee Sin this season because it has a massive shield that can only be broken by hard CC or Smite, and you don't want to waste Smite if you can help it. If you can, coordinate so one of your laners (for example, a roaming CC support like Pyke and Bard) can CC the crab so you can take it easier. The gold, vision and speed boost it provides are invaluable in Jungle.

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